Death in the Woods


My wavery window glass makes it appear something out there’s moving among the trees, out where the woodchuck nibbles at the grass, out where the raccoon feels that rabid whirr like a lawnmower savage his nerves’ core. As I shift my weight behind the glass, tree bends to tree, unhelped by any breeze. I hear them whisper, and I know conspir- acies green with chlorophyll are afoot: he’s sprouted leaves for manufacturing his own dark sustenance; his parasite root nurses at the breast of my decomposing mother, and his blossoms broadcast spring to hide the preparation of his fruit.

JAY ROGOFF is the winner of The Third Annual Robert Watson Poetry Award for his chapbook Twenty Danses Macabre. Rogoff received an MA in creative writing and a DA (Doctor of Arts) at Syracuse University. He has written three books of poetry with two forthcoming, and his first book, The Cutoff (1995) was the winner of the Washington Prize. The poems in this chapbook will appear as part of a longer sequence in The Art of Gravity (LSU, forthcoming, 2011). He teaches English part-time at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY.