Shadows of the King

Shadows of the King
by Joshua Jennings Wood

Shadows of the king pollute this city.
They occlude, as a rule, the horizon.

Graffitied affections enclosed, the staged
Dream between planks of old-fashioned scaffolding.
Residue spreads from the reverse fireworks
As we gag the national anthem backward.

But we’ll raise in a dilated ditty
Our black marks and bottles, sift in the shin-
Level silt thronging the statue ashen
As faded paper. The demands of weather
Forecasters here are unsurprisingly
Simple, but the appointed ladies at court
Insist on poets intimate with firearms.


Sections of this city stay blockaded.
Even the most tongue-talented travelers
Find pulp sheet erections bar entrances
To the museum where movies play on
Unannounced midnights—indigestible
Refreshments are still free, thankfully.

Once in a while one slips past a limp patch
Of choked scratch shoving the uncontestable
Sky aside, or rumor lands like a rock
In a well nowhere near here that all is…

Wishlessness—arid garbled thralldom.

Department heads commend themselves with slaps
Behind the back and prep the next dead astronauts.


Shadows of the king pollute this city.
They occlude, as a rule, the horizon
Producing one that is more present and
Truly, not lacking its own color and charm.

Shadows of the King – Joshua Jennings Wood

Joshua Jennings Wood is poetry editor and blogs for dirtcakes, a journal that explores themes suggested by the UN Millennium Development Goals to end extreme poverty by 2015. Please stop by. Other writing appears in ChaparralDIAGRAM, The North American Review, SpiralOrb, VOLT  and elsewhere.

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