Piggy the Wonder Dog

Get away from me you dumb flipping dog.
You circle around with your stinky oozing paw, limping.
The floor recoils from your touch.
You are oil to my water.
Piggy the Wonder Dog. You used to jump through
hula hoops in a single bound, sporting that Mohawk
like nobody’s business. Looking so fine, like a circus dog.
What is he? people would ask. ‘e’s a Dingo! we’d say.
Jonesing to ride a monkey’s back into somebody’s notice me life,
insistent like rain that won’t let up.
You make me want to shoot you in the head.
Fireworks.
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
You are our escape from reality
and no one wants you to die.
I imagine playing with you when you were a puppy.
We could have gone camping to Yellowstone
or chased our dreams across Hill 57.

Brenda Warren 2016

piggy

Piggy the Wonder Dog 2015

If you want to see the prompt that brought me here visit Elizabeth’s 1sojournal. Piggy deserves a long story, and one of these days he will get one. He is still here, but age and infirmities complicate things for him.

Can someone please turn off the color in this room?

A Play in One Act

dog sofa

 

(Title question posed in dog’s voice from off-stage.
Dog enters room, jumps on couch)

Oh yeah…
Word is
I can’t see color.
I’m a dog.
A dog with a human.
A human with a blog.

She fashions herself literary
like that shiny bitten apple
flashing its light
enticing your collective serpent soul
(don’t tell me that apple wasn’t a plant
to root spending’s glorious growth).

You humans are messed up.
Give me a field filled with dog poo
and gopher holes any day.

And turn off your colors.
Distracters destroy
the living breathing world
right under your nose.

(Dog jumps off couch
and exits, nose to carpet,
no looking back.)

Brenda Warren 2014

Thank you to Tess at The Mag for the ekphrastic inspiration for this piece.

napo2014button1

 

The Drunkard

Gravity pulls hard on the drunkard,
shifting time in alleys.

Prophets born in bottles
spin circles around the edge
of everything he never was
as expected whatnots thunder in his ears,
forgotten.

He binds his back to brick
and trumps his dreams,
sliding into blackness.

Nothing mends his world
like tomorrow’s waiting dog.

Brenda Warren 2013

20131012-181115

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storm

mark haley

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Backlit clouds hint
at the presence of the day star
illuminating stones beneath our feet.

Shallow light rustles mist
over autumn’s raspy grasses
saturating chills beneath our skin.

Our old dogs lag behind
on this journey toward shelter
panting stiffness beneath their stride.

Thunder pushes our shoulders low
until roofed walls open protection.

Screaming sister wind
whips rain like trains
on tracks against the sky,

and we worship the time we are given.

Brenda Warren 2013

Last Chance Stampede and Fair

Invisible in this heat,
our breath threads through the air
and we expect pillars of salt to rise,
casting shadows where our shoes
melt against gravity’s pavement
connecting us to history’s
sweaty landscape of fry bread and
Ferris wheels.

Fresh horseshit sends us
a breeze of sweet pungency, and
our eyes connect in smiles
as we sense our plan’s fruition,
then head to the barn to breed.

We take this last chance before war
fetches you again, like a dog
lays claim to its bone.

Brenda Warren 2013

Note: Every summer of my youth, I attended The Last Chance Stampede and Fair in my hometown. Other than the title, the piece is fiction. It started surreal, and worked its way into something else. As our poet friend Catherine McGregor says, sometimes poems have minds of their own. Indeed they do.

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13 Ways of Looking at a Dog

1.
My dog’s tongue is a long pink lick machine.

2.
Victor Little Plume claims he’d rather eat
his grandmother’s dog soup than school lunches.
Any Day.

3.
Laying claim to Earth, Daystar masks
the bright shine of Sirius
engendering summer’s dog days.

4.
Joanie believes a recording
of vicious barking dogs
repels rapists.
Real dogs make her sneeze.

5.
Plains Indians refer to the time before horses
as Dog Days—honoring interdependence.

6.
The sociable docile beagle wags its way into lab experiments.

7.
Only a true dog lover masters the expression of anal glands.

8.
Beneath the city
in the morgue
the coroner pries the victim’s scalp
from the teeth of the Rottweiler
that shredded her pretty blonde head.

9.
If you lie down with dogs
you get up with fleas.

10.
Driving through Browning,
hub of the Blackfeet Nation,
we see more dogs than people.

11.
Corky, Floppy, Bruno
Becky Zent, Bearsy, and Belle
Hopper Doodle-Doo
and Piggy, too.
And BoonDog and Elliot
over in Mizzooo.
ow-ow- owooooooooooooooooooooo!
Howlers howling,
sing it to the moon.

12.
Four legged loyalty
adore me like royalty.

13.
Soother.
Companion.
Protector.
Friend.

Brenda Warren ~ August 2011

Hopper Doodle Doo is Dying

Wagging his tail weakly,
when I walk through the door,
he lifts his head and lowers it.

I ease my body next to his,
as his breathing shallows
and I know, Hopper
is approaching the threshold
of “the other side”

You know,
rainbow bridge, that crap.

He entered our life
through a flyer
offering a deaf dog—
right after Thyra asked for one.
Kismet. Fate. Happenstance. Luck.
Hopper. Dennis. A dog who jumps.

Hopper.
Tonight he lies
dying by my side,
while Piggy, deaf,
cognitively impaired,
and significantly low vision,
whines and circles Hopper.

Feeling his compass fade
Piggy’s herding instinct falters
and he throws himself to the ground
in wait.

His anxiety is palpable.

How will each of us fill that space
Hopper’s emptiness creates?

Brenda Warren 2013

So we wait. I love my boy, rubbing his shoulder and his belly. His eyes tell me he’s traveling somewhere else.

Poem Starting with a Line by Sherman Alexie*

I saw a man swerve his car
into his life.
I saw a child kick a dog,
then I stopped to vomit
into a bag you pulled over my head
while some other part of me
watched from beneath
the gutter’s
utter
stench.

Brenda Warren 2013

25

Processing it:  Wowza… that was weird. Quickly, click on the bee
before they vanish forever…that’s where you’ll find the prompt.

*First line taken from “The Limited” by Sherman Alexie.

similes, dogs, and prophets

Luray Flying thinks that cumbersome stands out like that booger on Mrs. Challenger’s nose, dangling there, reluctant to join the murmuring mass of words posted on Challenger’s industrial strength file cabinet. Luray says, “Hey Mrs. Challenger? You print them words on magnetic paper so they won’t stray like Mr. Hurley’s dog?” She knows Mrs. Challenger will appreciate the simile.

Mrs. Challenger cups the backside of her palm around her mouth and sardonically says, “If he wouldn’t pelt it, it wouldn’t stray.” She points to the word pelt, and they know she’s looking for more similes.

Smoothly and slowly, Lester Jones says, “Just like smoke rises steady until sister wind pelts it,” he closes his eyes and sways, “people release dense messages of smoke,” he adds a metaphor, “that float in pelts against the gloaming’s fading sky.”

Lester entrances the girls, and makes Mrs. Challenger smile.
“You have the heart of a poet, Lester. Similes rise like smoke through your words.”

“How about cumbersome?,” Luray asks, pointing to the word hanging on Challenger’s file cabinet like that booger on her nose, “Can you use that word, Lester?” Luray pauses, then swoons, “It’s like a cement block chained to my slender ankles,” she sways her foot in the aisle, then drops it hard, ” . . . cumbersome.”

Lester thinks through his senses, then answers, “The thought of a loser like Hurley pelting a creature like that sly brown dog, weighed cumbersome on the boy’s heart. So he took that dog home with him and fed it good, right after using three feet of chain to collar Hurley up to a tree, where he made him get on his hands and knees and kicked him three or four times in the belly and hindquarters till he yelped like the wretched cur that he is.” Lester holds up his hand, closes his eyes, and shakes his head. Deliberately.

Two weeks later

Lester Jones didn’t do it, he was on the class picnic when Hurley was nabbed, but Lester did give Ted Drummond a map for the deed.

The caption under Hurley’s picture in the News Argus read, “Richard Hurley was found chained to a tree north of town, where he was kicked like a dog and left for dead. Authorities found him after two days with no food or water, and are looking for a masked man with a rifle.”

Hurley’s dog disappeared, and few people know that it is forever eating Alpo on the Drummond family farm out by Utica. And our class? We never speak of it. Not one word. Not one.

But now?

Luray Flying thinks Lester Jones is a prophet.

Brenda Warren 2012

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