Michael Brown

The Martin Bormann Dog Care Book

The Martin Bormann Dog Care Book takes its title from a poem written in 1970 when Richard Nixon was president. Michael Brown was finishing his dissertation on the major poets of the Harlem Renaissance while he shared an apartment in Ann Arbor with a young couple who let him sleep on their water bed while they were working in Western Michigan. These events fused when the couple brought home a puppy and a behavioralist dog training book. Reaching back to 1930’s Germany and carrying forth into the first Nixon election and the continued mess of the war in Vietnam and racial injustice in the US, that one poem became, like the heart of a crystal, a seed for the agonies of the times then and resurgent political turmoil extending into the US today. The sections of the book evoke public life, finances, color, and war. As with Susquehanna (Ragged Sky, 2003), a number of the poems here are dedicated to or inspired by fellow activists, students, scientists, war veterans, and renowned people of color.
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