The Northville Review
an online literary journal
Introduction by a Noted Scholar

Danny Collier

Introduction by a Noted Scholar

From the day of The Chicken’s invention in 1938, we ingested its symbols and made them part of how we
saw ourselves: White for purity, a dash of red for the strength The Chicken lends, the eternal shape of a
lesser, westward Australia. Soon we could see The Chicken with our eyes blindfolded. We could sketch The
Chicken with a single line.

With iconic status came room for play, for fashion. Was it any less chickeny in red? In stripes? Faverolles to Sebright to Appenzeller, nothing thrilled us like a superficial redesign of The Chicken.

Then it was dead. Murdered.

It is hard now to appreciate that this once moved us. How could we survive without The Chicken? Who
were we that we now were reachable only through the death of The Chicken?

Before we could reach any serious conclusions it was back, with a new haircut and a snazzy ironic wattle.
With The Chicken’s return, one thing was shattered by two: the notion of limits by way of the authority
and emotional impact of death. We would no longer easily be impressed.

The Chicken entered constant flux. It grew thin, comic, with an exaggerated head jut when it walked. It
was a cop, a clown, a hard-boiled detective. It flew. It rolled. It walked as a man.

It became violent, muscle bound, with a feathery mullet and an authoritarian contempt for authority that
compelled it to lash out With great pecs or mighty tits. And pockets. So many belts and pockets. Allow me
to stretch the compact of scholarly distance to say this: those were horrible times.

Now, what is billed as a return to reality. Gritty, dark adventures for an everyman Chicken. The old,
original white and red marred with a speck of dirt. Punches that bruise and bruises that purple with time.
We hail this as progress but it will not hold. Someday we will again see how ridiculous we always were. The
present is delusional, the past a cartoon. Only The Chicken is forever.

About the author

Danny Collier earned an MFA in Creative Writing from George Mason University. He created the ongoing project An Abbreviated Family Dictionary ( and helps out a friend's unpublished poetry manuscript by maintaining its twitter feed (@unpubd_poetry). His writing has appeared in places such as Everyday Genius and Kill Author.