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School of Critical Studies faculty Douglas Kearney's poem in Poetry Magazine


The Labor of Stagger Lee: Boar

By Douglas Kearney

March 2013
Poetry Foundation

Listen Here.

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.

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