Written by Phillip Woodruff

end of the world (as seen by a stray dog who doesn’t it’s the end of the world)

(this poem is dedicated to wayne gilbert, my friend and teacher, who taught me the joy of reading, writing and speaking poetry)


perhaps this is a poem

or ancient prophecy echoing thru the ether

or page three hundred and three of the g.e. 

refrigerator repair manual 

or too much caffeine 

too much ambition 

perhaps i’m walking the block 

in high tech shoes of direction and destination

or maybe i’m just spinning the earth with my feet

this might be september

and the moon is shaped like a riddle 

too big to smash with a hammer

this might be a fishbowl 

and i’m just another fishy citizen

working in a fish stick factory 

i eat and shit and work

work and shit and eat

and then pray for god to come and clean the water

this might be the sticky afterbirth

or the moment of climax, or the wink

of a lover’s eye

in a faded blue buick with steamed up windows

and young spirit waiting to enter

the motel called mother

this might be a daytime tv talk show

this might be a keystone cops movie

or maybe both

grainy black and white

big hat, billy club

rescue of the whispering, whimpering mr and ms damsel

tongue tied to the railroad tracks of tv guru voodoo

this might be a snow globe 

and i should feel foolish 

for not believing in fairytales

this might be candy-hopscotch-doo-dah-la-la mountain

where happiness glows like a crack-pipe cherry

where catfish swim with dog packs of dolphin 

grapevines sing songs of festival wine 

and all the spy satellites hold hands and twinkle


this might be a motor-home graveyard

flat hills of empty shells and grey weather

dead center of humdrum 

where hummingbirds forget how to hum

and drop dead

this might be trick photography 

or the rare occurrence of natural magic

behold the mighty onion

a gallery of curtains

unwarp the mummy from the mummy and wah-lah

no more universe

perhaps there’s another universe next door

that looks and smells and shakes just like this one

except no one there sings songs

about onions (let’s go!)

this might be leap year

and all the leap frogs are leaving this world

to orbit some other mud puddle 

bum around in limbo

snuggle up in candy-colored god clusters

get too heavy with philosophy and fall down

tomorrow it will rain frogs 

this may seem crazy

but this might be someone else’s fever dream

and i’m sleeping in the wrong head

this might be the day before i die

and i’m here to cast the first stone 

to fill my coffin with novocain

comic books and last minute field goals 

perhaps all of this could be or should

be or once was

long ago

all i know is

i misspoke, tried to sing a choked

bit my tongue so hard it made me cry

and i can’t see anything very clear


this is a poem


Text © Phillip Woodruff



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