I love this book, a poet’s personal history of our most celebrated interspecies relationship and the son that is dog transmuted. As weird as a loved creature can get, get this book, you will love Zach Ozma’s gifts in all his moving experiment for poetry.
With chiaroscuro-like effects, Zach Ozma interlocks levity and gravity, the light and dark of childhood remembering. There are genuine tragedies haunting the world Black Dog tugs at—tugs like a dog tugging a rope with the knowledge that he will never win (winning may not be the point); tugs like a dog pulling her companion from a burning building. But these tragedies have been transformed into a pack of wild others. And though Ozma’s language can be private, meditating as it does on the iconography of the author’s own life, that privacy becomes, poetically, another occasion for ferality: memory goes wild. Against the backdrop of our transforming notions of self and family, Black Dog asks, How can I make a radiant armor of the life I’ve already lived?