Dog Joy, Local, a Poetics

If anyone wants to know where I am I’m inside my dog. Forget Groucho Marx: “Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read…” Inside my dog there are mountains and pine forests. There’s a strange happiness in here. Odor of “fud” (Middle English, a rabbit’s rectum)—inside my dog I discover the rabbit’s rectum smells like rotting cabbages since odors are stronger for dogs and rotting cabbages smell good, oh so good, like yummy death.

The rabbit ran away but left a ropey trail of deliciousness on the wind. Live with a dog long enough your head tends this way. Over time you start to get the zesty darkness of essential things. There’s a dropped mitten in snow, it smells like fear.

Fear in turn has several smells—fusty, malodorous, noisome stinks of burning rope, gasoline, and urine; the frowzy house of fear has too many odors to name but all are good to a dog even rancid oils—any bolus of strong odor that sticks in the throat is a pure excellence for a dog, a trapped and suspended ick is a Rococo picture frame for her.

I’m inside my dog. I smell the cordite and antimacassar of crow shit and the mellon scented smear turds of fat walking geese.

And you should say, “so what?” Should say: “you’re just a poet playing with the piano keys, and that’s sort of cute, but maybe not…”

But dogs bring fresh air to whatever does not have freshness in it. They breath over the trapped stink they’ve brought inside. They can make something of the fetid local.

Try doing that with just your head.


Author: skuusisto

Poet, Essayist, Blogger, Journalist, Memoirist, Disability Rights Advocate, Public Speaker, Professor, Syracuse University

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