Ode to the Rotator Cuff

The body is a leaky vessel
When the rotator cuff is torn
It lists to one side
And the oars are powerless
To steer the boat

Its compass hovers with uncertain range
Directionless and unfamiliar with the sea
Its hull dashed against the wild waves
Its yard arm flapping helplessly in the wind

Ted Goodell
November 2017


Nothing Back


Whenever someone turns

The covers back

Remember times hidden hand

Turns nothing back

Not even dawn

With its crescent

Spectacle of light

Can steal a single feather

Lost in flight

Release it to the wind

Or give it freedom

For another night


Ted Goodell

April 30, 2007

Felipe Aguilar


Who was Felipe Aguilar

When he lived his last address

Was the county jail

When he died his last address

Was the county hospital


We can not classify absurdities

Anymore than we can classify certainties

To speak of Felipe Aguilar

Is almost senseless

A hopelessness inherent in language


For Felipe Aguilar

Lies somewhere between

Imagination and bewilderment

And we touch the

Mystery and miraculousness of life

For Felipe Aguilar the ceremony

Of his life is as incoherent

As a feather

Changing direction in the wind.


Ted Goodell

May 1, 2006



In time the image

Is less like me

And more like you

Pencil legs long boned

And thin

The vestibule of the groin

A web of shadows

Above the knees

Much less like weight

And more like wind

Blown by the head

That once had hair

A prong called nose

Between the

Planets of my eyes

That once saw sound

But now see nothing

But the noise


Ted Goodell

March 16, 2010