Features, Poems

Ed Skoog: “Radial”

The third in our series featuring poems by Ed Skoog written in response to photographs by Robert J. Lennon.  Read the first, “What’s Your Beef,” introduced 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


More and more the radial
makes a horrible noise.

My tires and I are made
to the worksong noonwhistle

of Goodyear Tire and Rubber
in Topeka’s limited, endless grid,

building two wheels into my surname
rolling further from home & harangue

to slash tires, shoot out lights, break
into the old hospital to get high,

admire the radical simplicity of whistling,
which, not radial nor rubber, is air,

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 “Space”