poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

About this Poem 

“I wrote this poem after being sick for a couple days and realizing I had yet again survived.  So it's about the sort of cockiness one has about still being alive.”

—Dean Young

Could Have Danced All Night

Dean Young, 1955

The wolf appointed to tear me apart
is sure making slow work of it.
This morning just one eye weeping,
a single chip out of my back and
the usual maniacal wooden bird flutes
in the brain. Listen to that feeble howl
like having fangs is something to regret,
like we shouldn’t give thanks for blood
thirst. Even my idiot neighbor backing out
without looking could do a better job,
even that leaning diseased tree or dream
of a palsied hand squeezing the throat but
we’ve been at this for years, lying exposed
on the couch in the fat of the afternoon,
staring down the moon among night blooms.
What good’s a reluctant wolf anyway?
The other wolves just get it drunk
then tie it to a post. Poor pup.
Here’s my hand. Bite.

Copyright @ 2014 by Dean Young. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on August 6, 2014.

Copyright @ 2014 by Dean Young. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-a-Day on August 6, 2014.

Dean Young

Dean Young

Largely influenced by the New York School of poets, Dean Young combines aspects of experimentation and surrealism in his poems.

by this poet

poem
When I saw you ahead I ran two blocks
shouting your name then realizing it wasn’t
you but some alarmed pretender, I went on
running, shouting now into the sky,
continuing your fame and luster. Since I've
been incinerated, I've oft returned to this thought,
that all things loved are pursued and never caught,
even
poem
It's not only the word roses
lurking inside neurosis or the fact
that most of my formal education
occurred in the midwest, so too
my summer job inhaling industrial
reactants should be considered.
It's an unstable world, babe.
Always an inner avalanche
as they say in receiving.
I'm sure if I'd gotten a shot
of
poem
You don’t have a clue, says the power drill
to the canoe hanging from the rafters.
Is life a contest everything plays
by different rules for different prizes?
You’re really worthless, aren’t you?
barks the cherry tree covered with eponymous
fruit to the wagon lying on its side.
Unfair! Wasn’t that wagon not two