A Discontent Dog Writes

During the great pandemic of 2020 – 2024, the home accommodation of cats and rabbits fell, while for the same period of time, the figure for dogs rose. Writing as a dog, I find the statistics both believable and understandable. After all, you won’t get very far down the road for your daily exercise expecting a rabbit to lead the way. However, this hasn’t been all good for the dog world, at least not in my part of town. First-off, the additional influx has brought with it pressure onto the ownership of territories, with new claims appearing every month. These new dogs, often they don’t even have English as their first bark, growl and whine language, making civil communication over a dispute near-on impossible.

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Evolution Behind the Door

“I wonder what’s up there?” Phyllis said to to Zelda over a background noise of the elevator counterweight system in motion. They studied the control panel showing floor levels marked with gallery names. The label for the top floor read PRIVATE NO PUBLIC ACCESS. A mutually-shared sense of curiosity dispensed with any need to exchange words, as her companion pressed the corresponding button.

Outside of the elevator, everything in view was a disorientating whiteness. A labyrinth of echoey corridors, soon found them lost and confused. “Wow,” said Zelda, “Are we in Heaven?” Aside from the floor, skirting boards, the walls, the ceiling and pendant lamps, there was nothing. Not a trace of decoration, no tropical plant displays, water-cooler or snack-bar vending machine, not even a fire-extinguisher cannister, as one might expect.

“I don’t recall dying.” Said Phyllis sardonically, “This, is like some mad Minimalist’s fantasy! What is it about minimalism’s fascination with the colour white? Why not all this in mauve, for example?”

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Plastic Teeth

These plastic teeth of mine
I bought online

In the advert
the model’s own teeth
slipped easily inside
into a strip of plastic teeth

First the top ones
then the film cut away
and the bottom ones were fitted
In the third scene
the model looks elated
is filmed pretty close-up
to the recording camera lens

They look great
the teeth
Amazing!
Stunning!
Uniform and the whitest white!

The model’s face is lit
The model looks elated

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St Lonely-Heart

I lived alone
Sunday morning,
awoken,
I watched,
as a bright burst of shimmering light entered the bedroom,
and a vision appeared
Just like how we are told they do

I said “Who are you?”
I answered myself,
“You’re an apparition of a saint,
aren’t you?”
The figure emerging,
acknowledged my statement-question,
with a bow of the head
“Patron Saint of,
what?”
I asked

“This,”
the Saint spoke with a marginal echo,
“is of no importance”
“Maybe not for you,”
I said,
“but maybe for me it is,
giving credence to my story,
for when I tell others,
about when a vision of Saint So-and-So appeared before me”

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Mail Order

Pam received a knock on the door at five in the afternoon, to the door of the house she’d rented and a place she’d called home for the previous fifteen years. She hadn’t done much with the place over this time, trapped as she was, by the renter’s dilemma: Why do things the landlord should do, when she might decide to leave next year. A dilemma that felt progressively meaningless, as each year followed after another. Yes, the carpets had worn thin long ago, the power of the shower, never good, was pathetic now. The small sun room on the back of the property leaked-in rainwater, paint peeled from the window frames and from the front door, the same front door that had just received a rap from a lightly tightened fist, trying to gain her attention.

Pam was slouched on the futon-settee, a laptop computer resting on her thighs as the anticipated second burst of reverberations from a more firmly tightened fist rang out several decibels louder. She felt irritated by the interruption. Who could it be, another door-to-door sales person selling window replacements? A police officer half-heartedly investigating a local burglary? A pesky teenager doing a knock and run? Keiko, her mangy black and white cat was slotted comfortably within a space formed by Pam’s legs, sleeping, twitching occasionally. This was going to be a considerable disruption, Pam thought. She felt conflicted. To answer, or ignore? She glanced up at a the bright, unshaded wall light and concluded that from the outside, this would indicate to an observant visitor that someone was indeed, home.

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Looking Dead

I’m snoozing on the sofa when the woman who chooses to spend time with me – innately highly perceptive – she walks in through the front door, home from work, and she says:

“You look like you’re dead, laid like that.”
I say, “What do you mean, laid like that. Laid like what, exactly?”

“Laid with your forearms crossed over your chest, it’s like you’re laying-in-state, ready for a viewing, waiting for the public to pay their respects.”

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Sandals and a Scooter

As a little boy, the local newsagent shop owner
assumed I was a little girl.
He’d say so in a volume set lower,
as I chose which sweets to buy from the pick ‘n’ mix.

He’d lean forward and say,
“Aw, what a pretty little girl.”
He’d turn away to address
anyone else within earshot,
swapping “Aw” to the end of the sentence,
placing emphasis on the words “what” and “pretty”.

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My Lesbian Love

A woman I felt more than fond of,
she didn’t like men.
Not in that way.

At the time, I thought
perhaps her mind might sway,
listening to the things I say,
the crazy things I talk about.

Maybe we’d become
more than friends.

Once,
I bought her a tie she liked as a gift,
hoping her thoughts about me,
these might shift.

Later on,
that same evening,
we rose up inside a tall building
in an elevator (a lift).

Lost in a maze of mirrored corridors,
finally, we picked a door.
Walked through, tentatively
into somebody else’s party!

On the open-plan top floor,
below the black night sky
we window-gazed,
out upon a universe of city lights.

And once comfortably seated,
I told her, I wanted more.

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Mum Cat, Dad Dog.

Mum was cat mad when I was a kid.
In the morning, before I left for school,
She’d be in the kitchen, wearing her cat mask.
Often, she’d be making me an egg-based breakfast.

The mouth on the mask, totally fixed.
Had no moving parts in the construction.
This meant her voice always sounded really muffled.
I’d just nod my head and smile whenever she spoke to me.

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