Mercy Kill

21 09 2008

Sharp Teeth:

I had to put it down. (No dog jokes.)

Let me be plain. I speak out

of ignorance. The only book-length poem

I’d read wasn’t The Odyssey,

or even The Divine Comedy,

but George Keithley’s The Donner Party,

which unlike Sharp Teeth

at least seemed to earn

its form by breaking sentences

into lines less obvious

than syntactical units,

like I’ve done here. I looked

to Barlow’s horror hybrid

for that revealing feeling

I got years back from the opening

of Blade—blood and metaphor—but got

impressionistic notes

for a screenplay. No excuse

for verse. Now

for comfort, I consult

a gently Roethke Keithley interlude:

“Is it a hound halfway

out of hell? Is it you?

Do you suppose he knows

I’m a long dog too?”



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