Light Moose by Jon Peschke; for more information, visit

The Destroyer Defends the Destruction of the Cloud Animals

By Martin Ott

The Destroyer remembers the childhood version of himself, backyard wreckage easily repaired, the hours lying exhausted and staring at the oceanic sky. No one even thought about sunscreen and how the cloud animals traversed the sun too slowly, even then a beacon for bullies and predators. The Destroyer sits in his Hollywood office and soaks in the sky now the color of gravy and tries to justify how former animal friends deserved their fate. “It’s not like rabbit with a beak could actually fly and the elephant with two heads, one like grandma’s, was prone to confusing the oven for the television,” he told a new employee during orientation. The Destroyer’s spotty memory held shifting and unsubstantial shapes, much like his own, morphing into bulges and distortion in the passage of years. The rains would come occasionally, shedding smog banks and sidewalk urine, but it was a mistake to hope for the return of polar bears frolicking with one-eyed triceratops. “The mold in the coffee pot becomes one with the coffee. Two things are now joined. I know this from the sky,” The Destroyer told his CFO. Everyone credited him for the arrival of the new coffee maker. Dreams were still alive in the soup of his morning drive. The Destroyer wonders if the horizon can reboot like his ancient laptop with spirit animals to protect his children from the hidden rays and smoke-filled days.

About Martin Ott

Martin Ott is the author of nine books of poetry and fiction. His newest book Fake News Poems, (BlazeVOX Books, 2019) takes the headline of a news story from each week as a jumping-off point to explore political and personal turmoil in the first year of Trump’s presidency. His work has appeared in 20 anthologies and more than 200 magazines. More at