By Rodney Jones b. 1950 Rodney Jones
Gram of mania, animated pepper,
shadow-monger dressed in panic,
monitor of  ghostly footfalls,
it concentrates in its essential tic
the frog leg dropped into oil
and the human shock at the verge.
If  it would stop and let me look,
I might imagine the tropic
where it hangs in a hammock
between two popsicle sticks
admiring the iguana’s stealth,
but it does not stop. Hawk-
dodger, crow-pretzel, gallows’
twitch. Spider-shark. Porter
of  readiness, miller of  the
steady shudder, peripatetic
rectitude, run by the power
of   the sunlit rock, it fortifies
Darwin and the idea of   being late
and the missed appointment.
With its blue tail, it reminds us:
it will go on. It will not stop.

Source: Poetry (May 2008).


This poem originally appeared in the May 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

May 2008
 Rodney  Jones


Rodney Jones was born in 1950 in rural Alabama. He has described his childhood and youth as “very much like being a part of another age. Our community still did not have electricity until I was 5 or 6 years old.” His poetry frequently celebrates the relationships and events of the small, agrarian community he was born into, as well as preserves the kinds of vernacular speech he grew up hearing. Jones has noted of his youth in . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Animals, Arts & Sciences

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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