Tuesday, September 14, 2004

a mongrel will do (any mongrel) or a

pedigree: the seemingly endless choice
and/or the distinction makes no difference

first you must ensure you get a dog
any dog will do own it borrow it beg
it steal it capture it but get one make
sure it has a collar and a leash and take
it with you on a car journey get a friend
to drive you so that you can sit
in the back
with the dog it must not know where you
are taking it perhaps you will not know where you
are taking it but take it somewhere out in the countryside
in bright daylight make sure you hold it tight
in the back of the car so that it follows
your every move
when you think you have discovered the right place
get the car to stop pull over and take the dog out
walk a little way from the car and stop
you and the dog in the carbonmonoxided dried
prefantasized Wild Flower Collection scattered
wayside and hold the dog firmly by its collar
feel its legs tremble its body fat thin muscular
or not it doesn't matter but feel its body shake
there's empathy and sympathy but don't allow
yourself any half-baked measures get the dog's fear
running through you squat
down in the lay-bye and keep hold of its collar let-
ing its leash dangle in the feathery grass detritus
like an unfinished sentence
talk to the dog tell it your life's history
your desires especially your desires and be as explicit
as you can make it the keeper of your worst secret
and when and only when you have taken up the slack
of its merest nascent vulnerability and just at
the very moment it begins to trust you don't balk
accuse it of its own sentimental hostility and making sure you
are level
with its pleading
watery eyes
then and only then might you realise
what it's like not to be
able to talk

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