Wednesday 5 February 2014

2 Poems by Alan Britt


He’s either the lover
or the killer;
it all depends upon whose side
you’re on.

Ask him for intellectual ID
and he’ll flash a brilliant disguise.

Ask him for emotional DNA
and he’ll vanish like a cougar
into the receding hairline
of Hollywood, California.


Shit happens when you’re a dog.

You have only 10 to 12 years
of real intensity.

If you’re lucky,
your final years
involve compassionate survival.

Compassion, ah, there’s the rub.

Has to be a rub somewhere;
otherwise, dreadful expectations
could relieve themselves
like drunken patrons
stumbling from Catholic sermons
on their way home
for more wine.

Dogs are subject to potluck
in these situations.

Although dogs pretty much
wake up whenever they please,
and when they do,
it’s Are you hungry?
or You wanna go outside?

But dogs also gather the logs
necessary for our winter fireplaces.

Blue flames pop
from their loving fur.


Alan Britt's interview at The Library of Congress for The Poet and the Poem ( aired on Pacifica Radio January 2013. His interview with Minnesota Review is up at He read poems at the historic Maysles Cinema in Harlem/NYC, February 2013, and the World Trade Center/Tribute WTC Visitor Center in Manhattan/NYC, April 2012. His latest books are Alone with the Terrible Universe (2011), Greatest Hits (2010), Hurricane (2010), Vegetable Love (2009), Vermilion (2006), Infinite Days (2003), Amnesia Tango (1998) and Bodies of Lightning (1995). He is Poetry Editor for the We Are You Project International ( and Book Review Editor for Ragazine ( He teaches Creative Writing at Towson University.

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