Good dog. You’re on the shaggy side of space
Laika I’ll miss you and our long days of fun
Playing with our stick in the big field
Even when you were a bad and stupid dog
Before you were inclined to nation and science –
What did you see then? Cats constellatory,
in revolt? You didn’t find that humbling
Or enough oxygen for more than a week
We sent you up just to spin you around
Puppy, it’s three times around and have a sleep.
We’ll find your brittlèd bones in the Pacific abyss
Encapsulated, diving down & collecting intricate doggy coral
To wave about, shouting Laika! Is this your ball?
Look, Laika’s back. Good dog. It never was, no.
What makes the bus go? asked the man I’d been talking to, as he prepared but slowly to get off the bus. What makes the bus go? to mostly bored faces. Electricity, says one guy. No! Does anyone know? We rolled to a stop. The wires, said someone else. No! I’ll tell you. Art makes the bus go. Later, after cornering, the silent man with the coat made of stuffed animals smiles. Others mutter, Crazy. The city rattles by all these facades where lives might be, another man suddenly screams It’s my stop! And we do on a route visible only to him, lost in a daydream and caught unawares that the bus would soon pass into dangerous territory. You’ve got to pay attention: Keep Hands Clear: The city is indifferent – these are bus lines not leylines, traplines, songlines – don’t be so heretical, these don’t mean. For your safety, Please hold on.
typing as though on a hammond, the
sparkedplug joints follow along, floating with
each click and stickier key. I find there’s no time
to speak of unfinished sentences, with the way
you move me, so much like water. bringing the noise
that we whisper, of quick hope undiminished. tell me
no stories of souls and smithys, and let’s find instead
a smiley-face balloon, all hot air and latex,
my misspent youth. can we call this working, dear,
and let it go? it is, in fact, a sharpie in my pocket
and i’m happy to see you: both things are true —
I needed both to write this poem.
Mine own private mesozoic dreaming interrupt –
no, I didn’t hear about my extinction
but it’s nice to get the news that
you’re a living fossil. That takes the chill
out of weekends. Thanks, Captain Science.
But sing to me not of being lonely,
it’s tough when even Darwin (pegacorn-killer)
passes you by, me and my abyssal cave –
even when fins hint at legs –
your brief earth, indolent and sensual first:
My scattered sea-floor ocean full of young’uns
lost Pangaea and shipwrecks. Keep your broken robots
and soupy dreams, like me, split –
and please, keep it short.