This week, we are pleased to present a new poem by Todd Osborne. Osborne holds an MFA in poetry from Oklahoma State University and currently lives and works in Hattiesburg, MS, where he is pursuing a PhD in poetry at the University of Southern Mississippi. His writing has most recently appeared or is forthcoming in The Collapsar, Arc Poetry Magazine, Hobart, and Shot Glass Journal.
I wrote this poem after completing a longer poem that dramatized an episode of television, expanding and exploring the inner lives of the characters in a way that the hour-long format does not allow. I started to do the same thing for this poem, inspired by Ray McKinnon’s “Rectify,” and the poem kept shifting until the focus was less on the characters in the show and more about my experience watching these characters. It’s odd to feel so attached to people who are not there, whom I have not and cannot meet, and yet this is one of the amazing things about humanity—we empathize with imaginary creations, just as we graft emotions onto inanimate objects and see ourselves in nature in ways that nature does not intend.
Running with the Bull