Ken Denberg

Bark, Bark, Bark

Whose dog are you? Don’t

come near me, my dogness

wells up, I’m out of control this time

I bite you good right on the butt

and hold you down on the street.

What did I know about you, nothing

from out of the blue, endless road

woods. Woof. You won’t come back here

again – not a chance. I want to

chew your neck, you sexy dog.

Spots, like a calf, heavy on the hoof

but four pawed. If you prance that way

for long I’ll bite you once more, for good –

I am dog bite because I have to, you taste

so good I have to, I can’t resist. Dog bone

chew you up. Rub my belly.

Then the moon. Run away, quickly. Run.

Bow wow – bow wow.

Then the moon and wind.


Parts Unknown

I lie around like old paint in winter, sniff

then wag, my fleas are my kingdom, red, digging

my gods, my skin, my memory, the end

for I am scruffy, not wanting much tho’

you will be in my way. I walk around

you, licking my lips, tail high in heat, this

gentleness of dog is not my style come quick

like calling me, like holding a leash, dogness.

I am. What was a cherry in my mouth.

If you would take a bite, just draw some blood

pull me down, straddle  me with your teeth then

I’d know what was on your mind, then I’d know.


Even Dog, Odd Dog

I have your ear in my mouth, can’t let go

of your face, fit for this survival

I lick your eyes, nozzle your neck who rubbed you the wrong way

held you beneath me and shouted my barks

in a crescendo? I held you in my paws, laughing

and crying at the same time, I a dog in my whispers

that long run home over the ridge and then some

what of, what of my dog heart, my dog heat

a measure of what we are, were, down dog

up, zensitive, live, in a moment of what was –

then I settled down, lay down, go to my corner

of the world: barking, biting, drag you down

to the bottom of the world, then some more

in the bottom of the world, you and me, barking. Say so.



My work appears in Offcourse, The Southern Poetry Review, The Little Magazine, Agni, Sundog, and Poems & Plays. I lived in Albany for four years, and now reside in rural Cambridge, NY, and teach English part-time at both UAlbany and RPI.


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