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Clade Song 10

Sixteen-Lines of a Sonnet for the Sixteen Letters in Redbone Hound Dogs

Based on a photo, A Redbone Hound Dog “Picks Out His Master,” Springfield, Illinois, December 27, 1944

Let’s say the sonnet took over our lives. Fourteen steps toward Stone Mountain.
Bashō began planning his next journey like wind drift in the man’s red flannel plaid.

Judge Benjamin S. DeBoice. Sagamon County Court. December 27, 1944. All he knew and which and was is the thug-struck of men lying to save their lies. Belongs to me

belongs to you. Waking with someone else’s owl feathers in the chest. I wish I could trace mounting hounds of love backwards to wormwood and yarrow. Many dogs stick.

To one another. To our lives. Many horses become glue. The phrase, my redbone
hound, has precisely fourteen ways of mouth. In each letter, I count Kyoto tea trees

fourteen feet high, if untrimmed. The scary parts of my beard prepare me
for railroad heart in Livingston, Montana. Did the dog ever really belong to one man or

the other? Roy Frasse or Cleatus Belville? Did Louis Leaky locate grooves of the moon in Olduvai Gorge, proving what we dream embeds itself in the rough-stuck

of the tongue? Let’s say lies took over our lies. Fourteen becomes sixteen. The drift of letters in redbone hound dogs. This hound must surely have had a name—not Chicago

Bureau or Springfield, Illinois. Who did he choose and why? Say fourteen steps was all we need. Bashō traveled everywhere at once with only his journal and a begging bowl.
 
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George Kalamaras, former Poet Laureate of Indiana (2014-2016), is the author of fifteen  books of poetry, eight of which are full-length, including Kingdom of Throat-Stuck Luck, winner of the Elixir Press Poetry Prize (2011). He is Professor of English at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, where he has taught since 1990.