Sunday, June 14, 2020

No Tank, the Obtuse Beagle Who Bays at Ankles for Attention

  • The poem that was here yesterday but is gone today is still there
  • Sad sick world: One study found that people with toxoplasmosis, the infection caused by the parasite, “are more likely to major in business.
  • Haunt. It will be six months in eleven days
  • Palimpsests and riddles
  • When a BLM protest came to my neighborhood
  • Closing up time
  • Today may or not be David Thomas' birthday and he may or not be 67 today, but June 14th I saw somewhere once is his birthday so here, BLCKDGRD Theme Song Two, and if I like the current iteration of Pere Ubu less than previous iterations and listen to previous iterations less than I once did Pere Ubu/Thomas projects still one of two permanent members of My Sillyass Deserted Island Five Game

  • Reading last year's post I'm reminded that was the day it dawned on me as I typed Maine vacation that 2019's Maine vacation was in jeopardy
  • Can we finally talk about the British Empire
  • Shitlords Forever
  • I did recently reread Wolf Hall and am midway through rereading Bring Up the Bodies, the plan is to read The Mirror and the Light on upcoming Maine vacation in evenings after long day hikes 
  • What novel I read between Bodies and Mirror tbd
  • How not to defeat Trump
  • Reminder: they don't want to defeat Trump (though Reich won't admit that)
  • UPDATE: Random barking Sunday
  • Avedon's occasional links
  • Maggie's weekly links 
  • { feuilleton }'s weekly links
  • As of now 2020's Maine vacation is scheduled to start exactly a month from today, the plan is GO (by car, not plane, I will be seeking advice on best way to drive from DC past NYC and Boston)
  • UPDATE: 2020 June 15
  • My favorite song from my favorite iteration (or second) (or third)


Noah Baldino

On the days we don’t talk, I watch the dog do foolish frantic loops alone around the park.

This morning, late brittle fall, she’s taken a stick and made it her treasure.

It’s far too big. One end’s lodged between her back teeth, the other dragging almost on the leaves, its weight causing her head to cock like I’ve just asked a question.

Just us today: no Brandy, the St. Bernard. No Tank, the obtuse beagle, who bays at ankles for attention.

Eight semis idle in the gravel lot of that factory across the street. I like to watch the steam leave its small skyline of pipes, which passenger planes pass through, leaving behind their little lines like a tennis ball’s two stripes.

(You’d say, I know, I’m being sentimental, and note how the factory always smells like beans, so in the right wind some abandon their stations, frisbees flung to the fence)

The dog won’t let me near her.

She trots toward me but, suddenly coy, dodges my outstretched hand. She’s forgotten glee again,

how the brisk air fills her flapping jowls, sprinting away after I’ve thrown it; how her hind legs strain to hold the flash of her, making her way back down the hill to me, her tail an exclamation.

Who am I to you? The gate’s latch glistens

from early morning’s rain, which pools in the lip of each blue bucket tipped on its side so the dogs won’t drink from it. They do make distinctions, whether or not I understand.

Most water’s just water to my dog, whose breathing I believe I’d know (like one sheet of tissue paper skimming another) if I heard it on the radio in a dream.

I worry a mud streak deeper into my coat sleeve.

A car door closes; we look, together, to the lot. As I turn, then, I hope

for your silver Endeavor but it’s just a gray sedan. Those two Great Danes again, Jackknife and Thunderclap, names stern as their chins, who gawk and putter more than play. The dog goes to greet them anyway, dropping her stick near the black metal bench as she passes.

She waits with her entire muzzle pushed between the fence’s links. Her tail, an even sway. But when the gate finally opens, click of nails against concrete, she wobbles once before backing away.

She slinks shyly to the park’s far end, lined with trees, when the first Dane’s unhooked from its brown leather leash.

Nine semis now, across the street.

I won’t call you today.

The dog pushes her nose now across the whole park to find her missing stick. She’s diligent, turning over stray balls and pinecones, foamy snot collecting under her nose from her allergies, her efforts.

The Danes putter behind at a cautious distance before a rope toy wins their dual attention.

(I sang it to the dog on the car ride over, all down 2nd Street and across the tracks—I won’t call her today, Fanny, I won’t call her today, I won’t, I’ll wait, I’ll wait—)

The dog tests dozens of other oak sticks, holding them each for a moment. She’s feeling for those familiar grooves she spent our whole morning making.

I pick a stick that looks the same (although we both know it isn’t) and toss it to the leaf pile ahead of her. I want to ease her grief. She doesn’t stop her search. I toss another. She sneezes. It’s no use.

She wants the one that knows her mouth by heart.

1 comment:

  1. 2 19th century british sonnets inspired by an ancient statue

    Shelley and his friend Horace Smith both agreed to write a sonnet when the stone in question arrived in England - see the Wikipedia article Ozymandias

    initially published under the same title as Shelley's, Smith retitled it when it was later republished in collections:

    "On A Stupendous Leg of Granite, Discovered Standing by Itself in the Deserts of Egypt, with the Inscription Inserted Below"

    In Egypt's sandy silence, all alone,
    Stands a gigantic Leg, which far off throws
    The only shadow that the Desert knows:—
    "I am great OZYMANDIAS," saith the stone,
    "The King of Kings; this mighty City shows
    "The wonders of my hand."— The City's gone,—
    Nought but the Leg remaining to disclose
    The site of this forgotten Babylon.

    We wonder,—and some Hunter may express
    Wonder like ours, when thro' the wilderness
    Where London stood, holding the Wolf in chace,
    He meets some fragment huge, and stops to guess
    What powerful but unrecorded race
    Once dwelt in that annihilated place.

    Horace Smith, 1818

    Here's Shelley's sonnet - not "the original" because they are both originals:

    Percy Shelley's "Ozymandias"

    I met a traveller from an antique land
    Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
    Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
    And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:

    And on the pedestal these words appear:
    'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.