Constance Merritt is the author of three poetry collections: A Protocol for Touch (UNT 2000), Blessings and Inclemencies (LSU 2007), and Two Rooms (LSU 2009). Her awards include a Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award, and the Porter Prize for Literary Excellence. From 2002-2005 Merritt served as the Margaret Banister Writer-in-Residence at Sweet Briar College. She makes her home in Louisville, Kentucky.
Dog-Man Blues You can’t stray from the yardYou can’t come in from the coldYou can’t stray from the yardAnd you can’t come in out the coldThey got you runnin on a choke chainThey got you pacin the threshold You can’t run with the packAnd they won’t let you hunt aloneYou can’t run with the packAnd they don’t ‘low you hunt aloneMan give you a rag to sleep onFor hunger some lonesome boneDon’t bite the hand that feed youDon’t look a gift horse in the mouthDon’t bite the hand that feed youDon’t look a gift horse in the mouthTake affection where it comeForgive the out-a-nowhere kick of wrath