It’s Animal but Merciful

by Jane on July 9, 2013

It's Animal but Merciful front cover

“An ambitious work, and a risky one, It’s Animal but Merciful finds common ground for a diverse group of poets in excellent craft and fearless voices…Read this book. Stick with it to the end. You will not be disappointed. You will be dazzled.”- Emilia Fuentes Grant, The Pedestal Magazine

It’s Animal but Merciful draws the reader into a page-turning set of accessible, provocative poems and short stories…International poets add a detectable international flavor to It’s Animal, which is also national in its American scope.”- David St.-Lascaux, Interrupting Infinity

A collection of fearless poetry and prose from fifty-five writers across the United States, plus Botswana, the Philippines, Denmark, and Canada. This is world writing with a New York flair-no nonsense, no claptrap, ready to spit in your eye or call you lover in a cyberminute. There’s brutality, glamour, danger, and glitz…but an unexpected tenderness too.

It's Animal but Merciful back cover

Contributors: Hala Alyan, Claus Ankersen, Daniel Aristi, Marcia Arrieta, Priscilla Atkins, Paco Brown, Gabriel Cabrera, Patrick Cahill, Billy Cancel, Lauren Marie Cappello, Peter Carlaftes, Jay Chollick, J. Crouse, Sabina Crowley, Marie Dominique E. Dela Paz, Rich Ferguson, Joan Gelfand, Flores, Christian Georgescu, Russ Green, Janet Hamill, Deborah Hauser, Karen Hildebrand, R. Nemo Hill, Aimee Herman, Vicki Iorio, Ted Jonathan, Kit Kennedy, a.m. kozak, Sarah-Jean Krahn, David Lawton, Richard Loranger, Christopher Luna, Catfish McDaris, Kate Marchetto, Kristen Orser, Daniel Scott Parker, Puma Perl, Dan Raphael, Francis Raven, Lynette Reini-Grandell, Karl Roulston, Cin Salach, skoo d foo da bom!, Mary McLaughlin Slechta, Jon Steinhagen,  John Duncan Talbird, Charles F. Thielman, John J. Trause, Bruce Weber, Gina Williams, Theresa Williams, David Winter, Amy Wright, Tina Yang.


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Because I cast myself off as a brave heart built of the straw of a sparrow’s
nest.   I cry all night when lilac bushes bend to the ground
from rain.   From snow.   From habit.   I cry in the absent arms
that brought me.   Warm from phosphorescent sky banks

Though nothing will ever close the distance.    I still cry
tied to the ribcage of the moon.   Listening to the foghorns
blowing over the seas of the moon.    In rain.   In snow.   From habit
I cry because a wanderer tries to break out of my skin

Every night.   Its muscles heave and convulse.   Its spine ripples
its eyelids swell.   Its oars dip.   Its body rises and tries to separate
with a boat no longer than a drugged horse.   No wider
than a channel of tranquilized blood

From mountain stillness.   From sands restrained by carnivorous reeds
from rain.   From snow.   From habit.   I cry all night




The Correctors have allowed you
to try living in your name again.

Left hand in your mother’s,
right hand in your woman’s,

you face glass, you face
the man who has come home.

You tell me you learned home
from that anti-place

where no drunk mother
kicked you out, no father

mocked the accident
of your making, where

concrete held you, softly,
until anger fell from your body.

You tell me of returning
to this world I shakily walk.

As you step from my family
home into the open dark,

into our watched American town,
I notice what has not changed:

your gait conveys a purpose,
a place you mean to arrive,

a naked space, unwalled,
unnamed, stripped of air,

not yet witness to the horror
we call freedom, or its limits.


It’s Animal but Merciful
great weather for MEDIA 2012
ISBN: 978-0-9857317-0-0
$15.00, 7.5″ x 9.25″
162 pages


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