October 24, 2014 Admiral Admin Ackbar

Doug Anderson stretches and shakes, snorts and sweats like a horse in a muddy field. From the scar tissue of the Vietnam War, to the family plot in Kentucky, to the voice of the Mississippi River, Anderson mines a deep vein where ‘all our nakedness comes back to us.’ There’s history and humor in this sorrow, forgiveness and loving as well.
—Dorianne Laux

Doug Anderson’s Horse Medicine has grit and laughter as its main ingredients. We follow the compass needle to wherever it points, and before we realize it, we have crossed numerous borders, and are delivered to some engaging truths. These homages to friends and passing strangers, to everyday souls—being in and of the larger world—transport us to a fidelity that matters in our daily lives. These poems sing in a key we feel and know. Horse Medicine, tinctured with wit and love, goes down so easily.
—Yusef Komunyakaa

“see that red barn, blue sky and gold cone of wood chips, / is that not a major chord?”

“Fifty was poignant, heavy pear / departs the tree and the poem / a sigh between branch and mulch.”

Live Myth

I would believe in the unicorn if it stood heaving and slathered,
snapping flies off its flank with its tail. It does not smell
of sweat and stable, does not snort at the wolf in the brush
and twitch its ears. A unicorn does not get dirty,
kick up mud when it runs. I know that I would throw
my leg over a bareback horse sooner than I’d step
into the stirrup of a saddled unicorn. For spite, I’d shoot
and slaughter one, roast choice bits over a fire, and hang
its horn from my belt, just to outrage the legions
of tourists of the imagination, the kind who flock
to séances, or invite Rasputin to tea. A unicorn
is impossibly cute, it doesn’t shit or rub its rump against a tree.
But a horse, my god, can swing its neck around at a dog’s yip
and break your jaw, can brain you with a hoof.
It makes the ground shake. Look at him, the black pool
of his eye, muscle rippling along the flanks, and how
he stands, placid, chewing, as the little girl lies on top of him
braiding his mane, whispering, my magic, my magic, my boy.

Buy Horse Medicine (2015) online via our secure payment service, Paypal:
ISBN: 9780989329668