three poems, by puma perl

die before the dog

We leave soft jazz playing
She used to love the Velvet Underground
“Run Run Run,” also Joan Jett’s cover
of “I Love Rock and Roll”
Now it’s this CD Lite crap
she finds soothing

She crawls under the corner table

and waits for someone to come home
Occasionally, she tears up a paper bag
or tosses shoes around the room

She wears a pink coat during the winter
and shivers dramatically if it’s under 40
She pretends to pee and surreptitiously
searches for crap to eat and gets sick
Then I take pictures of her shit and send
them to my daughter to analyze and we
feed her rice and chicken instead of kibbles

When she takes healthy shits we’re happy
They look like small cigars and roses
I rarely take pictures of the good ones
A month without a visit to the vet
is a good one, but usually the car
breaks down or I lose my wallet
just to keep everything Even Steven

I had hoped to die before the dog
But it isn’t looking likely
She only smiles in the morning,
forgets to bark at other dogs,
and asks to be lifted onto the bed

She may be the last dog

and I’ll most likely be alive
after she leaves, looking
at her pink harness and collar,
the green Kong toys,
the soft leopard bed,
the mat she stole from me,
the water and food bowls
with her name, Diva,
written on the sides

A simple group of possessions
Toys, bowls, bed, mat,
two people, are all she has
and she’s pretty happy

most of the time.

out of the zone

into the interior
The beaches
have burned,
without ozone
as leftovers
shuffle toward
black waves,
staring into
praying for signals.

Rod Serling reports
the weather
As the Twilight Zone

poets gather
in the mountains
shouting their obituaries
to the sky
pick at their words

Deeper and deeper
we ride
Into the interior.

on waking at 4am, eating ice cream, taking pictures of the sky

I dreamt of eggs frying
in a dirty pan

Belatedly recalled
that I had the makings
of a delicious omelet

Fresh chunks of ham,
gouda cheese, mushrooms
sitting in the fridge

Three eggs congealed
in a dirty filthy pan

I’ll never look back
at “a life well lived”
I’ve paid the price
for the long lines
and street corners,
the bad decisions,
the nightmare days

I refuse to write
an angst-filled memoir
Reading about bad times
is as boring as
living through them

At 5AM I contemplate
where it’s all gone wrong
At 5:30 I eat caramel ice cream
At 6, I photograph the sky.
in hopes of injecting beauty
into the craters of my mind,
the corners of my dusty room.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s