Life Pig

The hams the hocks the oddly delicate

little busy trotters

dug in and pushing forward through the already grunted through

wet stink of what’s been rooted up and chewed and

gobbled down to be shit

out in clumps and dribbles to be again ploughed

through like a harrow back

and forth across the pen for more and still more

scraps shreds fumes bacterial hints of fumes to feed on

so the hunger can keep feeding–

till at last the head lifts up

defiant   nostrils pulsing wide

as if to suck in the even bigger pig of sun

which as it eats is glistening

inside the darkest beads and beadlets hanging from

the tip of every bristle on the snout.




Alan Shapiro, has published many poetry collections (most recently Reel to Reel, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and Night of the Republic, finalist for both the National Book Award), 4 books of prose, including The Last Happy Occasion, finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Broadway Baby, a novel. Winner of the Kingsley Tufts Award, LA Times Book Prize, an award in literature from The American Academy of Arts and Letters, he will bring out two books in 2016: Life Pig, a book of poems, and That Self-Forgetful Perfectly Useless Concentration, essays on convention, suffering and self-expression.


Issue #67 February 2017
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