National Poetry Month Day 28: “Nine Out of Ten Dentists Agree I Am Not an Octopus” by Gregory Sherl

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Welcome to The Rumpus’s National Poetry Month project. We’ll be running a new poem from a different poet each day for the month of April.

Nine Out of Ten Dentists Agree I Am Not an Octopus

I think I am an octopus.
Nine out of ten dentists agree
that I am not an octopus.
Still, eight eight eight eight
eight eight eight eight
thoughts
before bed, eight eight eight
eight eight eight eight eight

kisses in a cave of black mist.
Having three hearts, holy fuck.
I filled you & then hid my three
hearts behind a rock that looked
like me, just stonier. Sad, I know,
the way my hands bleed rooms.
I think I am a salmon. Hello, upstream.
Nine out of ten dentists agree
that salmon are so brave.
Grizzly bears don’t need to be brave,
they just lean over running faucets.
I didn’t notice that tree before.
This damselfly, these Google Alerts.
Mom, did you see them say
those words? I didn’t turn
wine into less wine but I brought
her home & she wanted to stay.
Her is you & you are midwestern’s
winter, soon midwestern’s spring,
my never midwestern’s forgotten.

Gregory Sherl

Check out the Rumpus Review of Gregory Sherl’s The Oregon Trail IS the Oregon Trail in our review section.

If you like what the Rumpus is doing for National Poetry Month, you’ll probably like this multimedia anthology of original poems we’ve run at The Rumpus over the last three years. Available only for iPad. Check it out!


Original poetry published by The Rumpus. More from this author →