Today's poem is by Chad Davidson

I Took by the Throat the Circumcised Dog

This is why we read: this same tragedy
of Shakespeare just beyond
my body's yard-length grasp.

When I recall my father
raise his voice to prop Othello
on his breath, I curl around, meaning

I'll stay to hear the final blow,
which punctuates this drug called
play. We're trained. Still these

tricks, these variations spun
in circles like the dogs we are before
we lay them down on paper. Words rattle

in their rooms, doubloons held back
for fear we couldn't stand all that
emptiness: this is why we read.

This dog I drive along does not believe
the delphic yelp of birth-
right neat in stainless scalpels,

the ins and outs of suture.
I scan graffiti in pentameter
while instinct — which is always wrong

and perfect — tells me not to.
But we are smitten thus: forgive me,
Father, you who never read me

Shakespeare, never knew Othello.
Like myself, it's sitting on its stand.
I have never read it. I do not think I will.

Copyright © 2005 Chad Davidson All rights reserved
from In a Fine Frenzy - edited by David Starkey and Paul J. Willis
University of Iowa Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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