Features, Poems

Ed Skoog: “Dean”

The second in our series featuring poems written by Ed Skoog in response to photographs by J. Robert Lennon.  Read the first in the series, “What’s Your Beef,” with an introduction by the poet, here.

In Seattle, don’t miss Ed Skoog reading on October 15 as part of the Richard Hugo House Literary Series, and on October 30, 7:30pm at Elliott Bay Books, supporting Kary Wayson along with Kevin Craft, Erin Malone, and Rebecca Hoogs reading Obstructionist Revisions of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 129.  New Yorkers: catch him reading on November 19 at New York University’s Lilian Vernon Creative Writers House, with Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Gregory Pardlo, and Gregory Orr.

Photo J. Robert Lennon

Dean

Less I see you through this stone,
displeasure on your face as you wait

for me to deliver this short curriculum
in repose of armor, of landfall. Begin

where we left, red world of symptom
such as money and heart. In my deanship

I lead a quaint faculty. Learn nothing.
Threat of stone is release into the body,

John Donne was Dean of St. Paul’s.
Born a girl, I’d have been Pauline.

It’s good to know your other name.
Names are of interest.

Ed Skoog‘s first collection of poems, Mister Skylight, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2009. His poems have appeared in Paris Review, American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Threepenny Review, and Poetry.  He has been a Bread Loaf Fellow and Writer-in-Residence at the Richard Hugo House and George Washington University.  He lives in Seattle and teaches at Everett Community College.

J. Robert Lennon is a novelist and photographer living in Ithaca, NY.  He teaches writing at Cornell University.

Next: Ed Skoog’s “Radial”