I’m heavier than some animals, lighter than others. Also, I’m more threatening than most animals, less threatening than a few; faster than some, slower than most. I don’t bite, though, unless provoked by desire. What I want to say is: I still measure distance in years. And swans mate for life. At least that’s what I believe. I want a pair of somethings to refer to when I’m trying to make a point. The point is this: I’m an animal who knows where he stands among other animals. I can outrun a snail and threaten a housefly. I can conquer an anthill and mate for life. But the fact remains: My favorite dog has bitten the entire neighborhood. Here, boy, I say, but he ignores me, intent on running down another frightened child on a bicycle. He’s mangy too. His collar’s too tight, and there’s no quenching his thirst. Raw meat’s the answer, but I’m too lazy to go to the store. This is the story of a boy and his dog. Though as far as I can tell, the dog ran off a long time ago.
by Christopher Kennedy
The latest Poetry Centre podcast, a discussion featuring Kate Clanchy, Jane Yeh, and Sophie Mayer which was chaired by Alex Pryce, is now available. Recorded at a recent symposium entitled ‘Sisters in Verse’, the debate examined the place of women within contemporary poetry and whether poetry itself is a gendered field. You can listen to the audio here, and your comments are welcome via our Facebook page, via Twitter (@brookespoetry), or via the website.
Notes from BOA Editions:
Christopher Kennedy grew up in a working-class suburb of Syracuse, New York. He received a B.A. in English from LeMoyne College and a M.A. in Creative Writing/English from Syracuse University where he is currently the Director of the M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing. He is the author of three poetry collections, Encouragement for a Man Falling to His Death (BOA Editions, Ltd.), which received the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award in 2007, Trouble with the Machine (Low Fidelity Press), and Nietzsche’s Horse (Mitki/Mitki Press). His work has appeared in many print and on-line journals and magazines, including Ploughshares, New York Tyrant, Ninth Letter, The Threepenny Review, Slope, Mississippi Review, and McSweeney’s. He is an associate professor of English at Syracuse University where he directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing.
The poems in Ennui Prophet, Christopher Kennedy’s fourth collection, range from deeply personal explorations of relationships with family and friends to examinations of the political climate in the first decade of the millennium. Whether personal or public, Kennedy gazes through a slightly distorted lens to better see the world around us. The novelist Dave Eggers has written that Kennedy’s work is ‘[s]ingular and deeply pleasurable. Christopher Kennedy’s prosetry is a lonely anarchic nation-state unto itself, half vacation funspot, half eerie purgatorial layover.’ You can sample a playlist that Christopher Kennedy put together to accompany his book at the Largehearted Boy music blog.
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