ROCKPILE on the road / 7

David Meltzer

from: Bark, a Polemic

I ran one down. 
Now car-chasing dogs
Cower from my car.

He was a rear-wheel barker
Chased me halfway into town
Day after day

For what?
No matter how or why you do it
You'll get run down .

Bark is what us dogs do here in Dogtown
also shit on sidewalks doormats porches trails
wherever new shoes walk fearless.
Bark is what us dogs do here in Dogtown
it's a dog's life
we can't live without you.
Mirror you we are you.
Beneath your foot or on the garage roof.
You teach us speech bark bark
for biscuits we dance for you.
You push us thru hoops
& see our eyes as your eyes
but you got the guns the gas the poison
all of it.
Bark is what us dogs do here in Dogtown .

It's what they teach in school.
Go for the throat.
If it moves, attack.
Mrs. Callahan in 6th grade said
To get ahead you gotta be a head-hunter.
Shrink knowledge into know-how.
No difference between smart ones or dumb ones.
Everyone's called asshole.

We learn after a while of it
How dangerous mind is.
A mine-field. Tread easy.
Minding the store is easy.
Not caring for any of it is hard,
Cracks shields.
Your flags & faces crash to the floor.
You gotta remember
It's the Ship of State that's carrying us away.
Not the people jumping off .

Almost there
crushed dog
slammed to death
whilst stuck
in hot bitch.
Both went
neither came.
O merciful God
cares not for
crushed dog.

I sent him to school & when he comes back he can
walk with me down any street .

Dog eat dog.
Can't you see it?
Everybody's got a bite on
Everybody else .

on a leash
in orbit
free fall
wired into
master ship

on a leash

telephone lineman
harnessed to a pole
Rover pisses on

on a leash
doin time
chain gang

on a leash

Open the door for the paper
milk & cottage cheese.
5 new puppies in a shredded Mexican basket
eyes scaled, root for tit.

Neutered spayed
Fixed altered
Stud & bitch
Walk around in circles
Trying to remember
Something like
What to do

We came & never left your side.
Your damned hands never stop grabbing.
All we wanted was the warmth of your fires.

Mistress is puzzled & angry.
"I wish they'd speak English. What are they
saying? I must have the secret."
Does he know?
She buckles a chemical collar around his neck.
The circle spreads death to fleas.
"It's for your own good."
Branded for life.
Arf arf

Dog who didn't know he was a dog climbed up a tree & hung from a
branch by his tail, swinging back & forth, singing a song that sounded
as if it were coming out of a tenor saxophone.
"Dogs don't do such things," a master said who passed by the tree.
He put dog in his place & gave him a name & a collar & trained him
with a rolled-up newspaper never to sing again .

Dog stinks of sea & rain
lies before the fireplace.
Ribbons of stink-aura steam off his hide.
Out damned Spot.

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