Dog Food or Glue

David R. Langdon, Western Kentucky University

If I were a racehorse
I wouldn’t bet on me,
for I am starting the race
with no jockey’s colors.
my old poetry professor
sits in the stands,
mint julep in full stride,
and says,
“that horse is facing the wrong way.
I don’t get it.
I don’t know where he’s going
with that.
he needs to make his intentions a little more clear.”
I huff and stomp
to ramrod this constant banality
of jobs, weather, and newspapers.

The gate opens
and flash, they’re off.
once I back out of the gate
turn around and see
the other horses’ asses
tearing out
Hell for leather
spurred and whipped to a froth,
I’m definitely going to the glue house for this,
but lost in a heavy-hearted solace,
I muse I’m the first horse to choose
not to run in the face
of the heavy-handed jackbootedness
of jobs, weather, and newspapers.
but in the tradition of those
who can’t race, I become another of the
hidden horses in dog food bags
speaking nibble to kibble
about days of foaling
jumping and running
with no comprehension of fences,
but now I can tell the tale to
dogs’ gut,
and wont it be just like the little terriers to
run and jump and bark
and pee on the world.
bless them.


David Langdon is an undergrad in creative writing at Western Kentucky University. His poems have appeared in WKU’s literary journal Zephyrus as well as The Whiskey Traveler. David was born at a very young age in Elizabethtown, KY which is a place where people are from. He is praised among his peers as “average” and “well-meaning.” Some have gone so far as to call him “tolerable.” Once a professor suggested he stop writing and maybe even stop living. To which David replied, “What’s the difference?”


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