Jack Underwood

A Man is Dragging a Dead Dog

on a lead, down the street. It makes a low-register hissing sound that is constant and gives you a sense of the weight of the dead dog. The lead is pulled tight to a straight line. It is attached to a collar which is the point of the freight most forward, the dog’s head having been pinned beneath its body as it moves along relatively slowly against the pavement making that hissing sound. The rearmost point of the dead dog is what you might call, in this instance, its “bottom leg” because the pelvis has been rotated, the dog twisted on its side, so one leg is in full contact with the ground while the other is slightly elevated and wobbles. And since you already have a street in mind and perhaps a breed of dog, a colour of lead, or the kind of coat the man is wearing, why not become the man dragging a dead dog on a lead behind you? Why not try to understand this thing you are doing: how the dog came to be dead and you came to be dragging it, what this means to you and where is it that you are going?


Jack Underwood was born in Norwich in 1984. He graduated from Norwich School of Art and Design in 2005 before completing an MA and PhD in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths College, where he now teaches English Literature and Creative Writing.
He won an Eric Gregory Award in 2007 and Faber published his debut pamphlet in October 2009. He also teaches at the Poetry School, co-edits the anthology series Stop Sharpening Your Knives, and reviews for Poetry London. He lives in Hackney.


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