26 April 2009

Kevin Young

Many thanks to the organizers of Johns Hopkins University's annual Joshua Ringel Memorial Reading for inviting Kevin Young to Baltimore today. Here's one of the poems he read (an audio of this and other poems he read in Key West in 2008 can be found here)

Ode to Chicken

You are everything
to me. Frog legs,
rattlesnake, almost any
thing I put my mouth to
reminds me of you.
Folks always try
getting you to act
like you someone else --
nuggets, or tenders, fingers
you don't have -- but even
your unmanicured feet
taste sweet. Too loud
in the yard, segregated
dark & light, you are
like a day self-contained --
your sunset skin puckers
like a kiss. Let others
put on airs -- pigs graduate
to pork, bread
becomes toast, even beef
was once just bull
before it got them degrees --
but, even dead,
you keep your name
& head. You can make
anything of yourself,
you know -- but prefer
to wake me early
in the cold, fix me breakfast
& dinner too, leave me
to fly for you.

from Dear Darkness (Knopf 2008)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the mention of the Joshua Ringel poetry series. Glad you liked the Kevin Young reading last year! Hope you can make it to see Mark Doty tomorrow (at the Museum this time)!

-Susannah Ringel

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