CLOWN STAR, by Marshall Woodward (DIGITAL)





C L O W N : Have you ever wondered where the body starts and heaven begins? CLOWN STAR, the left kidney of modern poetics, is a gutty exploration of how poetry can be deconstructed in a hopeful body of work to save our dying planet. It is a plea for resuscitation, leaning on fractured forms of familiar structures like the Villanelle, Sestina, and The Ode in order to turn time forward, backward, and forward again. It is a body of work that asks you to reconsider your own armpits, stenches, and the halo around your head. It is memento mori, tattooed on your Achilles heel.

S T A R : CLOWN STAR is a chapbook about the disintegration of both the male and heavenly bodies — the end of earth as we will it closer with every self-destructive act. This collection of poems circles the rot of earth, celebrating a sublime landscape filled with fading treasures in our shared toxic cadaver. It is made of exuberant decay, bodily distortions, heavenly cries, and comical cosmic eulogies. Language is deconstructed, destroyed, and rebuilt into a broken but hopeful lyric.


Release Date: February 27th, 2022

Page Count: 38 Pages

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© 2022 CLOWN STAR.

by Marshall Woodward and Gutslut Press.

ISBN: 978-1-716-05944-5

Poems by Marshall Woodward.
Interior Design by Ami J. Sanghvi.
Cover Art and Design by Ami J. Sanghvi.

First edition: February 2022.

Published in the United States by Gutslut Press.




Poem from CLOWN STAR, by Marshall Woodward


 look around

see what you are made of

this is the exercise

of life

the heart bursts the lungs

collapse when you find out

you want to be gagged

and go on a vacation

to near-death experiences

and the pressure point between

the back and your left shoulder

is the center of all the universe’s

nervous energy

thank you

god, dylan  

for getting dragged

erasing just the part

of the man

that stinks

i pretend to be a scientist

even though i’m bad at math and cried

when i shot a deer through the liver at eleven

it was not biology

when some dads poured the deer’s blood

on my head

from a styrofoam cup

it is important to confess

most of the bad stuff

like the moment you killed

and couldn’t kill again

but not confess too much of the bad stuff

by that i mean

you don’t stay up at night worrying

about the big one killing everyone you know in california

because you sense earth’s mantle is already shattering

i shaped that tremor

deep in the upper crust of another pre-teen

and trauma

given, forced on my mother

like a seismograph

sensed only after the incident

has passed

i feel so free

pouring my own blood

on my own head


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