Vassar Student Review

Vassar Student Review

The Goof

By Noah Alpers

Inspired by The Man-Moth by Elizabeth Bishop


The goof climbs from the sewers, hair matted

with cheap alcohol and pigeon scat. 

He has a skittish grin that violently 

shakes the confines of his formless face. 


Don’t leave your clothes in the laundromat. 

With the mildew comes the goof. 

He climbs out, fingers snapping, 

Flannel swinging from his shoulders. 


The goof will inch up your garbage disposal. 

He will lick your plates clean with a greasy tongue. 

He will shatter your bowls. 

They are the scalps of his friends. 


The goof will not stop screeching during the movie. 

He crawls along the floor, eating scraps of 

popcorn, ice cubes, raisinets.

He has the finesse of a seasoned pick pocket. 


“You stupid, stupid goof. Go back to your sewer. 

Here, have a dollar store wind-up toy, you bumpkin. 

I don’t like you, goof. Not one bit. 



Say something like that to the goof. 

He will leave, head slumped, defeated. 

But he will certainly reappear. 

When headlights strobe through his gutters, 


He will be back.

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