Five poems by Russ Woods


There are three times as many cats in this room as I would like for
there to be. There are eight cats in this room and I would like for there
to be two and a bloody third of a cat, still a little bit alive. I think this
would create some nice drama in this particular room, the cat room.
This ship is a mighty vessel, one known for its many delightful
rooms, and I think two cats and a bloody stump that is one third of
another cat would perfectly suit our visitors experience in this room.
Also it would transition nicely to the sad room next door.



my back
pack is

full of dead
bees for you

look at

these dead
bees for

we can | crush
them up | brush
our teeth | rub

our gums

who can
you kiss /
with a mouth

full of dead
bees? everyone!

our skin is
glowing like

love is a ][



When I was eight years old I used to leave peanut butter for the
spiders in our basement. There was an empty closet under the stairs
where the ceiling was shaped like the underside of stairs and there
were webs down there. I didn’t always see the spiders alive, or at least
sometimes I couldn’t tell if they were alive. I liked spending time with
them when I felt creepy. I don’t know if they liked peanut butter. I
didn’t really know what else to give them. I would just leave the jar
open down there and then throw it away and put a new jar out
whenever it got hard inside. I used to try to make them crawl on
me. On my legs. In my hair. Somebody told me spider bites could kill
you if they were the right kind of spider like a black widow spider or
a brown recluse spider. I’m pretty sure our spiders weren’t like that but
I wasn’t too worried about it. I was eight. The spiders seemed nice.
My mom thought I ate a lot of peanut butter.



The doctor says I have unwanted thoughts syndrome. I am afraid to
tell anyone because what if everyone wanted to know what the
thoughts I don’t want are? What if I want them again later? The doctor
said it would be okay. He said applesauce would help a head wound if
i held it close enough. He told me you should stand close too, and
start licking if things got out of hand. I can feel your breath on me.
The doctor said this is a good sign, your breath on me. Thanks to the
doctor i think I am feeling better. How does the applesauce look?
Should you lick it now? I think it might be time. Here, lean closer.



It was the day after the first wolf rain of the year and I
hadn’t been planting yet. I was worried the second sun
would dry up the crops if I started this late in the
season, but it was now or never, and the sigourney-
weaver seeds were yellow, almost white, so I knew
they would take root right away if I put down enough
water. Sigourney-weaver needs a lot of water to grow.
I was going to be spending all day in the fields. The
first sun set around 3 that day so I had a few hours of
cool dark to plant in before the second one came up. I
hadn’t seen Celia in fifteen years, but I still thought
about her. I remember in the fall, when she used to
help me harvest, just her and me out in the sigourney-
weaver all day long, her hair, her smile. It was really
hard not to think about Celia these days, now that
there wasn’t anyone else around to take my mind off
her. It’s amazing that she still held such a spell over
me after all these years. She probably wouldn’t even
look the same now. Lovely, lovely Celia.

More poetry at Used Furniture.

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