Paul Muldoon Reads "The Coyote"

Veering down the track like a girl veering down a cobbled street in the meat-packing district, high heels from the night before, black shawl of black-tipped hairs…
  • Transcript

TRANSCRIPT

Paul Muldoon: So this is a poem called The Coyote, or The Coyote, depending on where you are brought up, and it has do with a coyote I came across--saw--one evening in Vermont. And my dog didn’t seem to notice the coyote, and that's really at the core of this poem--trying to make sense of that moment. I mentioned the game of marbles, keepsies, the marbles weren't kept.

 

The Coyote

Veering down the track like a girl veering down a cobbled street

in the meat-packing district,

high heels from the night before, black shawl of black-tipped hairs,

 

steering clear of that fluorescent ring

spray-painted on an even stretch of blacktop

like a ring in which we might once have played keepsies,

 

veering down the track without the slightest acknowledgement from Angus,

the dog lying in a heap on our porch

like a heap of clothes lying beside a bed,

 

Angus who had himself been found wandering by the highway

somewhere on the far side of Lake Champlain,

slubber-furred, slammerkin, backbone showing through,

and, though we didn't know it when we brought him home,

blind in one eye, the right one,

the one between him and the coyote,

the cloudy, flaw-fleckered marble of that eye

now turning on you and me,

taking in the spray-painted ring where you and I knuckle down.

 

Recorded on: Jan 30, 2008