FORT MORGAN by Joseph P. Wood

Fort Morgan

Say a place & said place loses
seagulls & amberjack beyond periphery
too busy caught in the pre-Civil
War cannon amphitheater & derricks
seeking where the world went wrong.

Say a place & its ammo shells
lie like dogs
at one’s feet. Move the feet:
one tunnel leads to a prison
molding, another set
of stairs: the horizon smells

like Whitman. I am telling
you I’ve done nothing
& that nothing is the jail I call
from. The derricks do their daily
dig to my skull. Say that place
& inherit its ghosts.

-Joseph P. Wood


STATEMENT: This picture is of my daughter, Daisy Veronica, climbing the rails at the top of Fort Morgan, an architectural marvel on the isthmus of coastal Alabama. On the horizon, you can notice the oil barges. I am someone who tends to be quiet about my political beliefs–but I also know that there are moments in history–not even major moments–where one’s convictions require action–voice, in its most primate form, is action. She will inherit that water; she is one dot among the many.


Joseph P. Wood is the author of two forthcoming books of poetry, Fold of the Map (Salmon Poetry 2012) and I & We (CW Books 2010), and five chapbooks, most recently including Urgency (Cannibal Books) and Gutter Catholic Love Song (Mitzvah Chaps). New poems can be found in BOMB, Boston Review, diode, Hotel Amerika, Sycamore Review, and Verse. He is co-founder of Slash Pine Press and is director of The Slash Pine Poetry Festival.

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