Is Daddy in a cage?

Booted and perfumed

Like grasshoppers

And other delicate

Instruments of

Instantaneous absorption;

Between handshakes

Let trail a trace

Of a silent sweet perfume

On palms and fingers

So slightly held

That essence

Clings and bears

No resemblance to that

Hand of his which

Had it not been held

Would still be said

To smell of sand


Ted Goodell


Saint Counselor


Saint Counselor

Crammed down in his boots

Like a bomber

Vigilant tank target

Of the crooked night,

The endless end over

Gambled boys and their pain

So verbal that one out,

So verbal that the night

Finds thin habit shame


Ted Goodell





Through doors that open

On my mother’s socks

I see a crumpled Kleenex

Certainly one of many used

In the patient act of

Blowing or wiping.

A stray now,

Displaced from the plastic pail

Which holds the residue of

Surplus tossings through a

Stalactite of socks.


Our mornings arise

From a myth of

Pancakes and perfumes.


We halt our impressions

By the side of the sink.

How easy it is

To flush and forget.


Ted Goodell



Christ’s Buckle


Christ wore his buckle

On the other side

It was the center

Of his strength

He gripped its full

Metal girth

Between both thumbs

Like an American cowboy

He made the

Prairie Palestine

His home

And all his prayers

Brought butterflies

To his fragile flame


Ted Goodell