Paperback Price: $13.95
Paperback ISBN: 978-1882295425

Selected Poem

The Lucite Pranksters

The best-selling hopper takes a seat on a heap of umbrage,
opposite Howard McNear, who played
Floyd the Barber on the Andy Griffith show,
wearing a little hat, a nano-hat even,
for which there is no backstory. Then
the Lucite Pranksters are stabbing and stabbing,
and the cart-topping hopper hangs his nano-hat on a blood flower,
heads for the receding door,
the gangplank door,
below which is another angry little pile
with another Howard “Floyd” McNear sitting on it,
holding it down, and another pair
of the Lucite Pranksters with another pair of golden dirks,
with which they dirk and dirk—
the popular hopper feels like he’s inside a tomato,
at the fulcrum of the tomato,
doesn’t know whether to eat
or scream his way out

Mister Goodbye Easter Island

“The flavor of fable and creation myths are at the core of this book, with Woodward often taking a child-like project and (sometimes in a single line) managing to open the entire poem (the entire reader) to deeper possibilities. And so, we go back and read again. The things have something to do with us—something that rebounds off a wall inside we are glad we can’t quite see. It is crucial to the success of Woodward’s poems that he never asks the reader, explicitly, to look at this wall we have.”
The Denver Quarterly

“Woodward’s improvisational approach—wild nonsequiturs folded into smoothly flowing syntax—at once evokes the disjunctive surrealism of James Tate and the rhetorical shell games of John Ashbery.”
Library Journal

“Jon Woodward’s poems exhibit a rage and humility at the role of the human in the cosmos which makes one want to weep. In addition, his work amazes one with its variety of formal strategies, the multiple ways in which it uses—and often reinvents—our sense of what an image is, collapsing allegory into realism and realism into fable in ways that are vertiginous and deeply instructive. Transforming our current use of wit, of bitter and sweet irony, and bringing honesty back on board as if from the back door of contemporary poetics, Woodward seeks news rather desperately from outer space—and finds it in that huge vacancy, the human heart.”
—Jorie Graham

“Paul Valéry observed that the real is expressed most immanently through the absurd. Reading Jon Woodward we encounter the real fully, in all its delicious and demanding variety. A rigorous poetic intelligence guides these explorations: in the churning, surreal-but-true juxtapositions of our moment, Woodward balances by the grace of his honesty and the purity of his open attention.”
—Laura Mullen


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