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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
C. D. Wright
C. D. Wright
Author of numerous volumes of poetry, Wright has served as the Poet Laureate of Rhode Island, and in 2013 was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets...
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Obscurity and Selfhood

 
by C. D. Wright

Not far
from a college.
Nevertheless.
A man
living by himself

kept his fighting cocks in plain sight. Each had its own tether and
miniature shed and dish with embossed sobriquet. Their domestication
reserved for battle before the table. Gallus gallus domesticus. A young
male, a cockerel, my husband's patronymic before the adoption. Some hens
are disposed to poach another's egg. Once there were teeth. Given certain
conditions they could come back. If not a full set. Even now a breathing hole
has to be pipped for the offspring to break out. This is done with an egg tooth.
Not a true tooth. Love among the chickens involves a circle dance. He is
a wonderful dancer. It goes straight to her brain. Before and after they prefer
to wash off in dust. Ashes will work if no dust. If they aren't forced into shedding
one another's blood, they can live until their heart gives out.
The cock
the man
could not
resist
loving.
He withdrew
from
the ring.
Yet
relinquished.
To settle
an unforgiven
debt.

My question is this:
Would you describe yourself
as a wanderer, a friend of the court, amicus curiae, falsely construed as a snitch, a blue yodeler,
   an apostate, a lost cause, a bird in the house, a biter, a common blogger, a contender, a purse
   snatcher, a false witness, a palterer, a silkie, a backyarder, channeler
for malevolent spirits, girt in the loins, figure on a shard of black pottery, moderately active, a fog
   machine, a visionary miserabilist, a chook or a cuckold, a roundhead, a little seditious, a slow-wave
   sleeper, a dead mule, a gongorist, honey on the comb, half goat half god, a white throwback, crossed
   with a mongrel, a genesis, a retired fighting
cock,
a doll
named
Memphis.










Copyright 2013 by C. D. Wright. Used with permission of the author.
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