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“Eating the Zoo,” by Patrick Hicks

July 14, 2010

A poem that breaks into the zoo, snaps a peacock’s neck, and walks home, feathers swishing behind it.

Some students and I went to hear Dr. Hicks read at Zandbroz Variety Store in Sioux Falls, St. Patrick’s Day, 2009.  There was hot cider to drink and a deft fiddler playing, too.  Besides being a crowd favorite for itself, “Eating the Zoo” flipped something inside my writers: There’s nothing in history that can’t become a poem!  My imagination can jolt anything to life.  And Holy Haunch of Tiger! What other weird, terrible, wonderful episodes have I never heard of? Never thought about?  Besides enjoying this one for itself, I love it because it started something that semester.

“Eating the Zoo” is in Patrick Hicks’ book, Finding the Gossamer (Salmon Poetry, 2008).

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 15, 2010 11:36 am

    Useful hilarity!

  2. July 15, 2010 1:25 pm

    No doubt, Laurie!

    One thing I really like about this poem is the gentle allusion at the end to Noah’s preservation in the ark. Amazing what a simple phrase–“two by two”–does to provide a kind of life-giving ballast to the historical facts and whimsical menu items before it.

    Glad you liked it, too.

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