John F. Buckley and Martin Ott

Krypto's bark was worse than his bite

the time his howl broke the eardrums


of the mailman, so eager to protect

and serve, his heat vision released


to sizzle every bratwurst in Metropolis, 

hoping to feed his master after a long 


day revising copy for a dying publication

and deflecting asteroids above Kansas.


Walks in the park proved perilous until

Clark asked Zatanna to unleash super


canine powers with a Latin phrase, a turn

that also created Krypto's actor alter-ego


Joe Kuhl, accidental rival for Lois’ heart, 

so suave until instinct won out, eloquent


were-thespian drooling, then humping 

her leg at an interview. “Her haunches as


spry as the spaniels of Kandor…” his last

human words before the spell ended.


All he could think about when Superman

left him in the Fortress of Solitude, an icy


doggie daycare, was how difficult it was

not to fly into the Kuiper belt and chase


hypersonic Plutonian astro-squirrels around

forests of comets, panting in a vacuum with


glee, using fetid super-doggie breath to tickle

the hairs on their bushy blue methane tails.


Out here he could almost forget the loneliness

of siblings and parents blown to dust, villains


and women looking to steal his master, dreams

of bloody steaks pooling into a giant red sun.

John F. Buckley and Martin Ott began their ongoing games of poetic volleyball in the spring of 2009. Since then, their collaborations have been accepted into more than seventy journals and anthologies, including Barrow Street, Drawn to Marvel, Map Literary, Rabbit Ears: TV Poems, Redivider, and ZYZZYVA, and gathered into two full-length collections on Brooklyn Arts Press, Poets’ Guide to America (2012) and Yankee Broadcast Network (2014). They are now writing poems for a third manuscript, American Wonder, about superheroes and supervillains.