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.