An Ordinary Dog by Gregory Woods
An Ordinary Dog is a carnival of clashing forms and tones, all deployed with a cool wit and technical precision to bear sceptical witness to - what? As much to the touching ordinariness of human needs as to the vanity of human wishes. Woods writes about desire: sacred and profane, frantic and serene, refined and grubby. Often traduced by cussedness and always complicated by external events, desire is here constructed less in the present than in anticipation and memory; loss is resistant to the balm of forgetting. An Ordinary Dog returns repeatedly to those times of crisis when history is lived and reinvented, when myth degenerates into faith, reason falters. The poems' moods veer between cheerful equanimity and desperation; their focus between detachment and intimate involvement. In the end, as events take their course, it is always chance that prevails.