“John’s red sow won’t go / out of labor so we stay all night / and John brings coffee and smokes / and flashlight batteries and finally Jan / can feel another pig but John’s red sow’s / swole up tight and she can’t grab hold / but only touch so I push her side / and she grunts and screams and shits all over Jan’s arm / and Jan sez I got it help me and I help / and we pull for a goddam hour and pull / the pig’s head off // and I sez oh my god we gotta get that pig now / or that fucker’s gonna die for sure / and John sez what happened? and Jan / gives him a baby pig’s head in his hand / and John goes somewheres else again / while Jan goes back fast inside / grabbing hard and John’s red sow / hurts bad and Jan sez I got something help me / and I help and we start taking that pig out / piece by piece[.]”
—from David Lee’s The Porcine Canticles
I was raised in Utah and on theological polysyndetons and why do bad things happen to good pigs and was hired to shoot the birds that ate the dog food meant for my uncle’s pigs, and I missed every bird but found a dead bird on the ground and pressed a BB into its wing with my thumb, and my uncle said it’s been dead three days and he pushed my thumb into some pig shit.
4 thoughts on “A Sentence About a Sentence I Love, by Andrew Borgstrom”
That’s one hell of a sentence. I hadn’t heard of this Porcine Canticles, but I’m going to check it/them out. Thanks!
hi AD[am]. kind of a regional appeal for me, but if you like this sentence, you’ll probably dig the whole.
My father grew up on a farm in New Jersey, and we used to visit when I was young.
Your sentence is a good one, too. I especially like “birds that ate the dog food meant for my uncle’s pigs.” That’s the problem in this world—everyone’s eating everyone else’s food…