Brandon Cesmat
  • Brandon Cesmat
  • When the boy’s dog didn’t come
  • home from hunting squirrels or rabbits,
  • he rode on a brown mare
  • in the hills above the ranch,
  • singing the name, “Ti-ger! Here boy!” as he looked.
  • His parents already knew
  • that the ranch foreman had dumped the body in
  • a baranca just below the crest.
  • So many shadows rose beneath the sycamores,
  • the boy never saw his dog lying in the leaves.
  • He called until the name became a lament.
  • Those two weeks in the hills belong to Tiger.
  • Finally, his mother told him not to call anymore,
  • but a ghost of that boy is still up there,
  • riding the ghost of that mare
  • every place that he left his voice.
  • No one can touch them.

Brandon Cesmat’s most recent collection is When Pigs Fall in Love, published by Caernarvon Press ( He is past president of California Poets in the Schools, the largest artist-residency program in the U.S., and teaches literature at California State University San Marcos. As a member of the international collective Acanto y Laurel, Cesmat performs poems throughout North America. He is a current nominee for Poet Laureate of California. “Lost Dog” appears in his collection Light in All Directions, published by Poetic Matrix Press.

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augustosandino April 3, 2012 @ 10:48 p.m.

Update--On March 22, after the above bio was submitted, Gov. Brown's office announced Juan Felipe Herrera's appointment as Poet Laureate of California.


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