Ed Skoog







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Ed SkoogEd Skoog’s first collection, Mister Skylight, was published by
Copper Canyon Press in 2009.


To purchase his book online at Amazon.com

Born in Topeka, KS, in 1971, Skoog attended Topeka High School, Kansas State, and University of Montana.  After many years working at the New Orleans Museum of Art and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, he now lives in Seattle and Washington, DC.


In 2005, Skoog was awarded the Marble Faun Prize in Poetry by the Pirate’s Alley William Faulkner Society and the Lyric Poetry Award from the Poetry Society of America. His poems have been published in many magazines, including Poetry, American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Threepenny Review, and The Paris Review.

Visit his website at: www.edskoog.com  




Wild Hog in the Cemetery


Hill of stubble in moonlight, the hog

bristles across the lawn,

eats whole bouquets, eats bouquets whole,

plowing tusk through silk rose and fresh lily.

Our headstones surrender their salt.

Wilder animals would not perturb us.

Worse hogs will cross and sand

down names. This one, at least, grunts life.

He would eat hog, could he make one die.


Originally published in The New Republic, June 2005





To leave you is like waking, or refusing to wake,

in that way the body has of haunting itself.


Returned to your hand, I’m an astronomer

unable to lower my telescope, or look away.


You are the telescope, too. Close, you show me

far reaches that are themselves not even the beginning.


Not to have left you is life in an alarm,

the unstraightened bed interrupted and warm.


But I always bring bright souvenirs from our travels,

a feather, a coin, a bee, astonishing in my palm.


Minutes past your touch, what our bodies were

is disappearing like a ship caught in polar ice,


covered up, compressed into deep. To leave you

is where the icicles fall, and the fog we wake to.




All poetry on this page
© by
Ed Skoog, 2006 





in scarves and boots

turn around our neighbor’s pine

spill grog into snow,

approaching our porch with

O Come All Ye Faithful.

A few stumble or sing wrong,

open the door, Jim for

come let us adore him.

Annual Christian, pipered

by their pied joy, I lean

to follow when they go.

A hand holds me back.

The lead caroler, encountering

our Ford glazed with ice,

undeterred, opens the door

and crawls right through,

knees on the seat, gloves

on the dash and headrest.

The rest follow, pulling

We Saw Three Ships

through the car like a rope.

Soon I am falling asleep

in vast winter bedroom silence,

and I am singing with them

through local traffic

houses towns lives

exile and years of night.


Home at Thirty


On the street at midnight,

I hear a hat box latch   

fall open in an attic closet,

and then the silence

of the library of Alexandria.

Even the low clouds’

dark stucco seems applied

by the drowsiest journeyman.

The fire hydrant stares

from its tri-color face

at a branch fallen

in the street. Up the chain,

a snail punches its

antennae, a great excursion

to the loose bolt

where a little water drips.


Originally published in Poetry, Dec. 2004

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