Kathryn Kirkpatrick





The Bloodhound’s Poem

 

The hound bred for blood

wants in this poem.  When she

 

rushes the stanza, I can’t help

but flinch. Here’s her paw

 

on my page where I don’t

want it. It’s far too late

 

to collar her for

my metaphor—we both

 

know she can cross an acre

in a flash, that the road means

 

nothing to her.  Those russet

swaying jowls are not the dog

 

I’d conjure. But territorial rage

and all, she’s here, with her

 

more than human need,

her bay and bite.

 

Maybe I’m the intruder

in her poem, the poem where

 

she’s had my scent for days

as I’ve stumbled upwind,

 

adrift in winter, dragging

the sky like a mottled rose.

 


Father’s Clock

 

Jangling behind the driver’s seat, its face

still handsome beneath broken glass, your clock

of Saturday morning windings, your clock

of the solemn gong, of the wide-cheeked face

 

fit for the storybook key, of the pacing

hours, the high up reach, you tall at the clock

of the lacey hands and wood-shine, the clock

whose pendulum you stilled so we could sleep.

 

How I lived the slow, deliberate turning,

diurnal reckonings across each week—

now I fear the broken times returning

 

as we gather up our mother’s things. Gong

at the stop light and at the hard right. She

has no need of time and you’re long gone. Gong.




Kathryn Kirkpatrick lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, where she is a Professor of English at Appalachian State University. She has a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Emory University, where she received an Academy of American Poets poetry prize.  Her poetry collections include The Body’s Horizon (1996), which was selected by Alicia Ostriker for the NC Poetry Society’s Brockman-Campbell award; Beyond Reason (2004), which was awarded the Roanoke-Chowan Poetry Prize by the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association; Out of the Garden (2007), which was a finalist for the Southern Independent Booksellers Association poetry award; Unaccountable Weather (2011); Our Held Animal Breath (2012) which was selected by Chard DeNiord for the Brockman-Campbell Award; and Her Small Hands Were Not Beautiful (2014), selected by Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda for the Brockman-Campbell Award.  She has held writing residencies at Norton Island in Maine and the Tyrone Guthrie Center in Ireland. Her long poem about Maud Gonne in six voices was performed in 2013 as part of the Yeats Summer School festivities in Sligo, Ireland. As a literary scholar in Irish studies and the environmental humanities, she has published essays on class trauma, eco-feminist poetics, and animal studies.










                                    

 

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