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Go Away Closer

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Jun. 14th, 2012 | 07:13 pm

          I am a cat person, I say,
And that is why I do not get a dog.
They bark.
          They drool.
                They jump up.
It is not cute.
I do not want to interrupt my walks to feel the warmth of a fresh turd through a plastic bag.

It is for these same reasons I do not have a child, I say.
They cry.
          They drool.
                They want your attention.
It is not cute.
I do not want to roll the baby appearance dice, gripping the edge of the croupier's table,
          watching to see if they land on Gerber Baby, Frog Spawn, or Winston Churchill,
                knowing that no matter what, those ivory bones will always come up craps.

Also, I do not get a dog, or a baby, or a baby dog
          --though maybe a dog-faced baby would earn its keep--
                because patting a stranger's pug will keep me for another week,
                      the warmth of little Queenie or Malcolm or Mr. Wiggles' coat staying
                      long after I've immediately washed my hands.

I do not get a dog because last week was Seattle and this week is Edmonton
          and somewhere in between was eleven hundred miles of prairie,
              driving third shift under a sky curved down like a dome
                      washing my ankles with stars.

I do not get a dog because last week I changed more time zones than underpants.
          Because my ex has lived in Vegas for eighteen months
                    and still we cannot bear to sign the papers.
          Because I can walk away from you at the train station
                    instead of waiting, waiting, tirelessly, faithfully,
                    for the master's return.
          Because I can look back once for effect
                    and not because my gaze is pulled to the hollow of your throat,
                    or the look on your face as I walk the wrong direction,
                    the direction of away from you
                    instead of sprinting towards the ticket machine to live an AT&T
                            Visa Check Card
                                or Oil of Olay-worthy moment.
          Because one night is a stand and two is laying down my guard.

I walk the row of woeful, eager, Justin-Bieber-eyed puppies,
Then choose.
           The sunrise over Hradcany,
                  the scars of Hazard mines.
I choose big sky.
I choose yellow fields of canola.
I choose the glass canopies of Clark Quay,

          And walk away.
Leaving the dogs to the gas chamber,
          the lethal injection,
                    the fake kindness of the no-kill shelter where gangly adolescent dogs
                    languish past their cute-by dates.
I leave you to your balcony of herbs,
          your collection of 80's vinyl
                    the bitter sting of edible flowers in your mouth,
the night-swimming in Lindau, the secret door arching the picture of the lake.
                  





whipchick is not so sure about the title.
This piece is an unofficial intersection with the stellar everywordiwrite,whose entry may be found here.


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Comments {16}

Jemima Pauler

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from: jem0000000
date: Jun. 15th, 2012 04:20 am (UTC)
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I love this. :)

When I first read the title, I was like, "Do what?" but when I re-read it after the poem, it made complete sense and I laughed.

P.S. Because one night is a stand and two is lying down my guard. I think "lying" was supposed to be "laying" or "letting"?

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whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Jun. 15th, 2012 05:10 am (UTC)
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Argh, you are correct and thank you for spotting that! Fixed :)
I'm so glad you liked it!

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Jemima Pauler

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from: jem0000000
date: Jun. 22nd, 2012 08:16 am (UTC)
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You're welcome! :)

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A Sentient Being

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from: alien_infinity
date: Jun. 15th, 2012 01:37 pm (UTC)
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I thought this was really good.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jun. 18th, 2012 04:30 am (UTC)
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Thank you! I lost a poetry slam with it and the "Curiosity" poem the other night :)

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(no subject)

from: minnesattva
date: Jun. 20th, 2012 09:42 am (UTC)
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I'm sure I like the title.

This fits well with the "vacation" one too :)

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whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Jun. 24th, 2012 12:52 am (UTC)
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Thanks :)

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(Deleted comment)

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jun. 24th, 2012 12:52 am (UTC)
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Me, too! And boy, was your poem ever a punch in the gut. Nice job :)

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basric

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from: basric
date: Jun. 20th, 2012 10:58 pm (UTC)
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I had to read it twice before I think I got the message. Nice format.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jun. 24th, 2012 12:53 am (UTC)
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Yeah, this one's a little dense :) everywordiwrite helped me with the format and the line breaks - she had some great feedback!

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m_malcontent

(no subject)

from: m_malcontent
date: Jun. 21st, 2012 03:39 am (UTC)
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I love my two big dogs, but they are limiting in a way. I can't just spend a week on a trip without making specific arrangements. My cat I can leave alone for 3 days with ample food and water, but doggies have needs.

Maybe you will have a more puppy friendly lifestyle one day. Til' then we can both envy each other a little I guess.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jun. 24th, 2012 12:53 am (UTC)
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Yeah :) I've often thought it would be neat to be a guide dog puppy home, because you can then take the dog anywhere!

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alycewilson

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from: alycewilson
date: Jun. 21st, 2012 07:04 pm (UTC)
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Beautiful. For mr it really took off about halfway through.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jun. 24th, 2012 12:54 am (UTC)
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Yeah, there's a change of mood about halfway, and I think I'm still working on making this one feel like a unified whole. Thanks!

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The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors

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from: halfshellvenus
date: Jun. 21st, 2012 07:55 pm (UTC)
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Gorgeous style, and I love the exploration of what at first seems a simple sentiment.

Because one night is a stand and two is laying down my guard.
Great phrase.

Half of this is the pain of denying wantint more, though you know how wonderful it could be, and the other half acknowledging the pain of how your job and traveling would affect those left behind. Especially a dog, or a child to whom you could never explain that you're coming back-- and know that it just won't be soon enough.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jun. 24th, 2012 12:55 am (UTC)
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Thanks - I really appreciate your perspective, and it's funny how much I love the lack of connection while it's still a little painful :)

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