critic, Christopher Mulrooney

IMG_2132Untitled, London Bellman



even in the wee hours the harrumph
and skittish laugh over the dingus
brought to attention which will its way be
for an apple in the pig’s mouth
with a flower behind its ear hairier

Christopher Mulrooney


Review by Lynn Otto


Christopher Mulrooney’s poem “critic” seems like a silly thing, with words such as “wee,” “harrumph,” and “dingus” and the image of a decorated pig. So what’s this poem about? “Dingus,” while fun, is imprecise—is it something we can’t remember the name of or can’t be bothered to articulate, or is it a person doing/saying something stupid? The syntax is challenging, with no punctuation helping out. I go back to the title, “critic,” and the image of the pig with an apple and a “flower behind its ear.” Sounds like a roasted pig to me (though that “hairier” ending makes me doubt). Does the poem suggest a roasted poet or poem, or a foolish, inarticulate critic who, despite some fancy words, doesn’t say much?

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