Visitors for morning tea and the Great Dane was happy as only a sociable puppy can be, thumping his tail and wanting to get Up Close and Personal. Snips and snails and puppy-dog tails. He does take up a lot of space in any room and since many people are not used to having an affectionate whiskery snout hovering over the sugar bowl, he had to go out and stood there on tiptoe watching his new friends through the window. Getting to know you/getting to know all about you…
Big puppy-dog sighs and a slump when they left. Now he is sitting all alone at the gate waiting for them to come back, making some excuse about having left behind a purse or pen, hurrying back just so they can see him again and pat his head. He is on patting terms with far more people in the village than I am. In about 10 minutes his friends the jaunty pointer and a Yorkie companion will come trotting past on their daily walk and all hell will break loose. Their human companion in her huge floppy hat always apologises to me for the barking, but barking is how dogs indicate that they can talk louder than humans and have more fun doing it.
I should be busy writing fiction, but am proofreading because the Muse has wandered off to pick figs or something. Not an image or idea in my head. Never mind, here is a brilliant poem from Michelle Chan Brown in Boxcar Poetry Review
How to Write Fiction
Here is the way to build minor disaster:
a car, a doomsday joke, an opening line.
Say the dictator’s elegant wife is Vogue’s
Rose of the Desert, posed with her heirs
by the fountain full of huntable coins. Blow that up.
The people are software, she said. By all means,
use the old fairy tales, with an industrial mixer,
a matte finish. There will always be a forest—
the flowers are crepe, and the birds gorgeous metal,
their eyes the buttons of widows’ war coats.
The story is the slickest form of taxidermy.
The sidewalk is only the rain’s funeral.
It’s impossible to make a synthetic version
of the sand’s perfumes. The toxins
are subtle, threading yellowly to the hilt
of every front porch in America.
The mills have closed. There never was a product.
Every bottle of dye bought for the pageants
turns the May Queen’s hair into glossy algae.
The middle is the hardest part, and we are always in it.
We drive through Arcadia in our Sunday best.
Now all we have is the photo album.
Now all we have is the scrawled directions.
So much waiting for new species, to allow us
tolerance of extinction. We used to praise impatience,
call it national habit, call it the silver filling
in the laughing mouth, and cast its partner, dread,
as the black vastness in the unknowable throat.
Let’s re-draw the town’s boundaries. Let’s pen
a promissory note. Let’s hem the gown until we can
no longer see the rotting body. We drank a lot
before we posed the corpses. Our pleasure seemed
the only charitable act: in stolen Teflon,
weren’t we all cases-in-waiting? We didn’t follow
the critical election, but we assessed our personalities.
The new mills will generate a forest.
The stories end when we decide they do.
The children will wander off, and we’ll be left
to press our cheeks to the cool indentations of their footprints.