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we were bred for coursing, for racing --

by Eli Skipp


i can feel my heart going like the hinds of a well-worn greyhound who
has run her fair share about the centrifuge. we, as a pair, are jaded,
brindled, trotting with the greatest limps and palpitations and announ-
cing it through our knotted brows and doe eyes: great marbles in the
skulls of stuffed rabbits on mechanized poles.

four years from now they'll throw us into massive pits along with the
rest of our generation, where we will writhe and cry and feel foolish
and quote the greater voices baying out amongst our litter who all tried
to say, "the free mind is not a barking dog to be tethered," and still
chased those same rabbits.

you see: for every person betting on our whip-spring victory there are
nine more betting on the rest and leaning on our backsides in the hopes
that we will sit, but no -- we together with our murmuring hearts pushing
and pushing within our cavernous chests have intelligent faces and
ingenious minds

we shall chase neither taxidermic game nor the feet of aristocrats, we shall no longer
come when whistled to.

08/22/2008

Author's Note: the first in a very long time. i will try to spruce it up.

Posted on 08/22/2008
Copyright © 2022 Eli Skipp

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 08/23/08 at 02:53 PM

A refreshingly different piece in terms of style and message. A fine introduction to your work Eli. Two thumbs up from this fellow bard.

Posted by Sandy M. Humphrey on 08/24/08 at 12:31 AM

What interesting metaphor and how descriptive and a great intro to world of greyhounds, excellent and wow. smh

Posted by Angela Nuzzo on 08/26/08 at 05:39 AM

This is excellent, Eli! The imagery is great. As soon as I read the "four more years" -> OLYMPICS! I can just see the machine grinding out winners from birth. The ending line of self-realization is perfect. For some reason, it also hints at US elections also. ;) I LOVE the title!

Posted by Meghan Helmich on 08/27/08 at 08:10 PM

this is just excellent, eli. i agree with the above, i think it's great the way it is. if you've been MIA for a while, this is an awesome awesome way to make a come back.

i don't believe i've ever read a poem about/referencing greyhounds. it's sad and strong at the same time.

Posted by George Hoerner on 08/30/08 at 02:11 AM

Number one and really well deserved! The dog I have was gotten through the "Greyhound Rescue League" in the Myrtle Beach SC area. I have a friend who had a rescued Greyhound that died just in the past few months. They are put through so much and such gentle animals not unlike the Great Danes I've known.

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