The Labor of Stagger Lee: Boar

By Douglas Kearney Douglas Kearney
pigs prey to piggishnesses. get ate from the rooter to the tooter.
I’m a hog for you baby, I can’t get enough go the wolfish crooner.
the gust buffeted porker roll in the hay or laid down
              in twig rapine. let me in, let me in.

              no drum-gut, Stagger’s stomach a tenement:
his deadeye bigger than his brick house.
Stagger Lee live by the want and die by the noose,
whose greedy void like a whorehouse
              full of empties getting full. can’t get enough!
rumored Stagger would root through pussy
to plumb a fat boy. here piggy! what Lee see he seize.
manful, ham-fisted. sorry Billy,
              your name mud and who love dirt like swine?
they get in it like a straw house. it’ll be cold out
before Lee admit his squeals weren’t howls.
he got down. he get dirty.

Source: Poetry (March 2013).


This poem originally appeared in the March 2013 issue of Poetry magazine

March 2013
 Douglas  Kearney


Poet, performer, and librettist Douglas Kearney grew up in Altadena, California. He received his BA from Howard University and his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, and is also a graduate and fellow of Cave Canem.
In the Los Angeles Times, poet David St. John observed, “What Doug’s articulating is the fragmentation of the self and sensibility that you see prominently in T.S. Eliot and The Waste Land. He’s at the . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Activities, Sports & Outdoor Activities, Nature, Animals, Social Commentaries, Town & Country Life


Poetic Terms Free Verse

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