The Eternal by Michael Crummey March 21 2016

Little Dogs by Michael Crummey

The Eternal

by Michael Crummey

It was where ugly thrived.
Blight and galloping stench
prospered there in exile.

The spent and defective arrived
in the bed of a flagging half-ton
on a strict bi-weekly schedule.

A way station between town
and abiding absence,
a parcel of magic and ruin

we haunted all summer,
casting through that wild acre
of refuse in our young skin,

gleaming like crows.
We trawled hours through those
reeking ponds of junk

where the rarest prize—
porno mags or pocketknives—
could fairly make me sing.

Rats and the eternal stink
kept everyone but us well clear,
it was the only place in our lives

I felt like a king.


Twenty years after the publication of his debut, Little Dogs: New and Selected Poems brings together selections from Michael Crummey’s first four books of poetry with a significant offering of new work. In this collection, Crummey emerges not only as the master storyteller we know him to be, but also as one of our great poets of connection. Whether reporting from a solitary room or a shared bed, recalling the barbed delirium of adolescence, the subtler negotiations of mature love, or the generational echoes between fathers and sons, these poems are deeply engaged in the business of living with others. Of living with the absence of those who have shaped and sometimes scarred us. Unafraid of confronting the darker corners of desire or of digging into the past to make sense of the present, Crummey has already given us a tremendous body of work. Little Dogs showcases the evolution of one the most distinct and celebrated Canadian writers of his generation.