Alan Shapiro

Life Pig
January 23, 2017 Shapiro Alan

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 is the author of 13 books of poetry, two memoirs, a novel, a book of critical essays and two translations. His awards include the Kingsley Tufts Award, 2 NEAs, a Guggenheim and a Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Award. His newest book of poems, Life Pig, was published in 2016 along with a book of essays, That Self-Forgetful Perfectly Useless Concentration, both from University of Chicago Press. He is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina.