I could chew on this, p.1

I Could Chew on This, page 1

 

I Could Chew on This
 


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I Could Chew on This


  Text copyright © 2013 by Francesco Marciuliano.

  All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher.

  Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data available.

  ISBN: 978-1-4521-2969-3

  The following images copyright © iStockphoto.com/photographer: bortonia, 2 (bone); luoman, 2 (typewriter); herkisi (frames), 5, 11, 44, 49, 61, 67, 76, 93, 111; dageldog, 13, 40; SuperflyImages, 14; Palto, 16; edurivero, 19; MoniqueRodriguez, 20; chictype, 23; Leontura, 27; SVM, 28; tderden, 31 (dog); broken3, 32; snapphoto, 34; Shershel, 36; robh, 38-39; m.p.imageart, 42; golfladi, 44; membio, 49; EduardoLuzzatti, 50; tomeng, 53; -aniaostudio-, 56; standby, 60; paule858, 62; Jot, 64-65; Wavetop, 67; herreid, 68; hnijjar007, 73; Floortje, 75; Fenne, 76; deviousrlm, 81; craftvision, 82; ProjectB, 84; cillay, 86-87; DebbiSmirnoff, 91; bit245, 92; ruthrose, 97; sentido_fotografia, 99; cmannphoto, 100; Juanmonino, 103; ZoneCreative, 105; oddrose, 106; patty_c, 108; Nadeika, 111. The following images copyright © Shutterstock.com/photographer: Kathie Nichols, 10-11; marekuliasz, 21 (stamp); Jiggo_thekop, 31 (background); Denis Hsn Photography, 47; SeDmi, 55; Cathy Keifer, 89. 5 copyright © Francesco Marciuliano. 6 copyright © Renee Stockdale/Kimball Stock.

  Designed by Emily Dubin

  Chronicle Books LLC

  680 Second Street

  San Francisco, California 94107

  www.chroniclebooks.com

  CONTENTS

  Introduction

  CHAPTER 1: Inside

  I Lose My Mind When You Leave the House

  I’ve Been Watching

  On the TV

  Hoarding

  Dance of Joy

  Going Somewhere?

  Subterfuge

  Buffet

  Nothing Seems to Work

  Bored

  Where Are You?!?

  Holiday Card

  Bath

  Judgment Call

  DOORBELL!

  Sympathy

  I Dropped a Ball

  CHAPTER 2: Outside

  Unleashed

  Across the Park

  Alpha

  Purse Dog

  Can You Smell That?

  Splash

  Chasing Cars

  Sheepdog

  Outside the Store

  Little One

  Another Bag

  Chain Reaction

  Next Car Over

  King of the Mountain

  Look at Me!

  CHAPTER 3: By Your Side

  Wingman

  Time

  If You Got Lost

  And Then Our Eyes Lock

  Lassie

  Six Ways

  Never Learn

  When I See You

  Kisses

  Sit

  Dog Breath

  No Longer Together

  Lapdog

  Special Word

  CHAPTER 4: Heavy Thinking

  The Naming

  The Cone

  Ponder

  Just a Head’s Up

  I Bite

  Halloween

  The Best Day

  Food

  Hello

  Date Night

  Playing

  New Career

  Chasing the Rabbit

  Treat

  I Could Chew on This

  Acknowledgments

  Dedicated in cherished memory to Panda,

  the sweetest, most loving,

  perhaps poetically gifted

  (we like to think)

  dog a family could ever have.

  INTRODUCTION

  Dogs have never been shy about expressing their emotions. When they’re happy, they wag their tails. When they’re nervous, they wag their tails. And when they’re suffering from ennui, they wag their tails—a slow, mournful sway scored to a lone piano—as their soul remains as empty as the food dish they devoured before tearing into a Hefty bag replete with uncertainty and pizza rolls.

  But while dogs may wear their hearts on their sleeves (especially when forced to wear a poncho), people have never truly known what goes on in their minds. Until now, that is. Thanks to an unprecedented—and unaccredited—writing program, dogs everywhere are exposing their true inner lives through the power of poetry. From their rich experiences indoors to a wealth of wisdom gathered outside, from their unbreakable bond with their owners to the way their hearts shatter whenever they’re placed inside a purse, these canine verses reveal why dogs keep sniffing, why dogs keep running, and why dogs keep staring at you until you just break down and reveal state secrets you never even knew you knew.

  The dogs are trying to reach out to you. They want you to know what they ponder, what they desire, and what you can do with those rain boots you just bought them. So read their poems. See the world as they do. And maybe the next time your furry friend is neck-deep in trash, you’ll gently pet his head and say, “I understand now. I do. But no one has ever found what they were looking for at the bottom of three pounds of partially thawed rolled pizza. Trust me, I know.”

  CHAPTER

  INSIDE

  We were wolves once

  Wild and wary

  Then we noticed you had sofas

  DOG DICTUM

  I Lose My Mind

  When You Leave the House

  The plants are torn

  The garbage strewn

  The wires chewed

  The couch and I had a fight

  Your bed is soaked

  Your liquor spilled

  Your TV smashed

  Your laptop no longer has any vowels

  There’s a Kindle in the toaster

  There’s a toaster in the toilet

  There’s a toilet in the hallway

  There’s underwear in my mouth

  I went places I should never go

  I saw a side of myself I should never see

  I said things to the cat I can never take back

  So please don’t ever leave again

  I’ve Been Watching

  Maybe you should shift to your left

  Maybe you should move your knee

  Maybe you should go a little slower

  Maybe you should stay there a little longer

  Maybe you should try talking this once

  Maybe you should never say that again

  Maybe you should play dress-up

  Maybe you don’t know how to act like a pirate

  Maybe you don’t want my advice

  Maybe this is not the time or place

  But I’ve been watching you two every night

  For the past six years

  So maybe I know a little something

  about making love.

  On the TV

  Whenever I hear

  A dog bark on the TV

  I bark and bark and bark

  But the dog on the TV

  Never barks back

  Probably because a lot of celebrities

  Are really stuck up

  Hoarding

  Ooo! A remote! I’ll take it!

  Ooo! A sponge! I’ll take it!

  Ooo! A shirt! I’ll take it!

  Ooo! A plastic bottle! I’ll take it!

  Ooo! A USB drive! I’ll take it!

  Ooo! Carpet padding! I’ll take some!

  Ooo! Underpants! They’re in my mouth now!

  Ooo! A . . . thing! That’s going under the bed!

  You may think this hoarding is a problem

  You may think that I need some help

  But I prefer to see it as

  a very gradual robbery

  So hand over your left slipper

  Dance of Joy

  This is the dance I do for you, do f
or you

  This is the dance I do for you

  As you get my can of food

  This is the twirl I do for you, do for you

  This is the twirl I do for you

  As you open my can of food

  This is the leap I do for you, do for you

  This is the eight-foot vertical leap

  I do for you

  As you stop serving my food to answer

  the phone

  This is me running in a sheer panic,

  wild panic

  This is me running in desperate,

  gasping, blind panic

  As you continue to talk on the phone

  THIS IS ME LOSING MY [censored] MIND

  MY [censored] BRAINS, MY [censored] COOL

  THIS IS ME WONDERING WHAT THE [censored]

  COULD BE SO [censored] IMPORTANT

  THAT YOU’RE STILL ON THE [censored] PHONE

  This is me realizing I was howling out loud,

  really loud

  And that perhaps I overreacted

  just a little

  And so this is me eating the food

  you give to me, always give to me

  Going Somewhere?

  I know this routine

  The gathered clothes

  The miniature toiletries

  The bag with wheels, handle, and zipper

  I know what happens next

  The short trip

  The long trip

  The time away from me

  I know there’s nothing left but

  The farewell licking

  The final whining

  The last minute burying of all your ID

  Like I said, I know this routine

  And this time Delta’s leaving without you

  Subterfuge

  A nudge of nose

  A slight of hand

  And within a moment it is done

  I appear by your side

  Right there for the drop

  And another mission is complete

  As spies in the night

  As agents in the field

  And as couriers we must not be caught

  Then something goes wrong

  Then I hawk up a bone

  Then twelve pieces of meat

  And then that napkin I ate without thinking

  A resource is lost

  A network undone

  And alas, there will be no more table scraps

  tonight

  Buffet

  Okay

  All right

  Hold on

  Just another second

  There

  I’ve successfully digested

  A dirty diaper

  Really, the things you people throw out

  In a garbage pail at nose level

  But hey

  I’m always up for a challenge

  Nothing Seems to Work

  I use my teeth

  I try my paw

  I whine a lot

  I walk in circles

  But nothing seems to work

  Then, with a twist of your wrist

  You turn the doorknob

  And that’s when I finally realize

  You’re a wizard

  Bored

  I get so bored

  So very bored

  Being all alone

  Stuck inside this house

  House

  House

  House

  House

  House

  Which explains why

  I shoved my head inside this jar

  And everything has an echo

  Now does anyone have any Vaseline?

  Where Are You?!?

  I was so worried

  I was so scared

  I thought that I had lost you

  And the life that we both shared

  I searched through the entire house

  From the basement to the attic

  The living, dining, and bedrooms

  Even the trash cans, because I was frantic

  Up and down the staircase

  Back and forth across the halls

  In and out through every door

  Louder and louder were my calls

  I had given up every hope

  I had given in to despair

  I had given the bad news to the pet cat

  Who gave me a look before re-licking her hair

  But just when all seemed lost, I found you

  And it gave my heart a rush

  To see you sitting—startled, but alive and well

  So if you don’t mind,

  I’ll just stay here until you flush

  Holiday Card

  Two little sweaters

  Two big smiles

  Two happy pets

  Together

  Too cute

  Then the photo is taken

  The cat swipes at my face

  And we mail out our annual lie

  of family bliss

  Bath

  Bath!

  I’m taking a bath!

  Hey! I’m taking a bath!

  I’m taking a soapy

  Sudsy

  Oh so foamy

  Big ol’ bath!

  Just thought you should know

  That I’m taking a bath!

  Now I’m going to shake

  Now that feels so good

  Now if you’ll excuse me

  I really should run back upstairs

  To finish my bath

  Bath!

  Judgment Call

  I don’t know what to do

  I don’t know where to go

  I don’t want to be wrong

  I just want to be good

  But I know they are waiting

  And I want to succeed

  So I pick a spot on the newspaper

  Only to pee on the arts section

  And now everyone thinks I’m a philistine

  DOORBELL!

  THAT WAS THE DOORBELL!

  SOMEONE RANG THE DOORBELL!

  SOMEONE’S AT THE DOOR!

  I CAN HEAR THEM AT THE DOOR!

  I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE WHO’S AT THE DOOR!

  OH PLEASE LET ME SEE WHO’S AT THE DOOR!

  WHY ARE YOU TAKING ME

  AWAY FROM THE DOOR?!

  WHY AM I BEING PUT IN THIS ROOM

  AWAY FROM THE DOOR?!

  OH, MAGICAL, MYSTERIOUS PERSON

  WHO RINGS OUR DOORBELL!

  ONE DAY WE SHALL MEET!

  Sympathy

  I’m not expecting

  Any sympathy

  I’m not asking

  For any pity

  I’m not seeking

  Any condolences

  I’m not hoping

  For any sorrow

  But that giant roast

  You were going to have for your party

  Before I just ate it

  Still isn’t sitting right in my belly

  So maybe I am expecting

  A small sense of gratitude

  For saving you from this pain

  I Dropped a Ball

  I dropped a ball in your lap

  It’s time to play

  I just put a ball in your lap

  So it’s time to play

  See that ball I placed in your lap?

  That means it’s time to play

  You can have your emergency appendectomy

  Any other day

  But I dropped a ball in your lap

  And now it’s time to play

  CHAPTER

  OUTSIDE

  Best not to ask

  “What is it?”

  Until you finish

  Rolling in it

  DOG MANTRA

  Unleashed

  I’m free!

  I’m free!

  I’m free!

  I’m free!

  I’m free!

  I’m free!

  I’m lost.

  Across the Park

  I ran all the way across the park


  I ran as fast as I could

  I ran right into bird poop

  Which is in no way as good as dog poop

  And I looked and looked and looked for it

  I started doubting my abilities

  I started questioning my sanity

  I started seeing if the bird poop tasted any good

  I even thought a squirrel must have taken it

  Which is why I chased them all for half an hour

  And then I came all the way back across the park

  Panting and wheezing and pelted with nuts

  Only to find you PRETENDED to throw the ball?!

  Alpha

  Scruffles is our leader

  Scruffles is our king

  Scruffles is the captain of our pack

  Scruffles’ praises we each sing

  Scruffles is who we always follow

  Scruffles shows us all the way

  Scruffles led us to an abandoned factory

  In the middle of freaking nowhere

  And not even a fun abandoned factory

  But one that made belt buckles

  Now Scruffles is why we’re all thinking

  We really need some sort of voting process

  Or at least a system of checks and balances

  Purse Dog

  Just because

  I’m carried around in a purse

  High above the dirty ground

  Does not mean

  I’m less of a pet

  Less of a dog

  Less of a true canine

  It just means

  I think I can fly

  And that I know

  What lipstick and loose change taste like

  Can You Smell That?

  I smell the air

  I smell the dew

  I smell that rock

  I smell your shoe

  I smell the leaves

  I smell a slug

  I smell the dirt

  I inhale a bug

  I smell the grass

 
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