Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Uncle Dog: The Poet at 9 (revisited)


Kai is serving here as place holder. He has the attitude and manner of famed Uncle Dog, though not the "mongrelness" of that legendary animal, a nine-year-old's vision of a Chicago garbage man's dog.

Uncle Dog was the first animal I ever saw who seemed to have some sense of purpose, dignity, pride, and self-regard. Fuck the human species. This Heinz 57 mutt refused to cringe or bark, or in any way even acknowledge other dogs. ‘Uncle Dog.’ He was the one who rode around with the once-weekly garbage man. This was Chicago back in the mid-1940s, and we lived on the second floor of a two-flat apartment. Rent: $65. a month. And the best of it was our back porch where I hung out with animals. But never my favorite, the garbage man's dog, dog of dogs!

I think of him now in our age of "companion animals," "designer dogs," a time when 69 million American households have dogs--73.9 million dogs! Dogs. Dogs. 39 billion dollars a year goes for the care and feeding of American pets.

Anyway, more than any family member or school teacher or, for that matter, yoga instructor... it was Uncle Dog who taught me the importance of carriage and self-regard. Self-respect. We’d gotten dogs from that notorious Cook County prison (c. 1940), the Chicago Humane Society and, no fault of their own, those canines were a sorry lot. Three hungry days in a cage and, broken-spirited... either they were“selected” by some dog-lover or were gassed. That's where we got some real "suspects," canines picked up off the street... dogs without street smarts, dogs... victims of human self-regard, "human exceptionalism."

Uncle Dog. The mongrel prince of princes. Dog of dogs.

In 1957 at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop I wrote the thing. And, surprise! it got accepted by the Chicago Review. Then the Chicago Review Anthology, then Hayden Carruth’s The Voice That is Great Within Us, and some others. And, needing publication to nourish my ego, to do for me whatever needed doing... I draw inspiration from...

I can hear him now: Woof, woof! Woof fuckin' woof!

17 comments:

Unknown said...

Room Addition Contractormanufacturing company

real scarcity in Manhattan—genuine real quiet. As I zoned out to Bicaj’s selection of Bossa Nova tunes, she began my “Manual Lift,” which involved cleansing

Unknown said...

pareoMississauga Condos

Surviving unemployment is an unfortunate storm that many people are currently weathering in this down economy. Worse still, obtaining a job of any kind is far more competitive than in the past.

Akai_Tsuki said...

Surviving unemployment is an unfortunate storm that many people are currently weathering in this down economy. Worse still, obtaining a job of any kind is far more competitive than in the past.
Karaoke MixerBottle Opener

Unknown said...

japanese singlesexhibitions stall designs

Chronically plagued by dark undereye circles, Malhotra continues her search for the perfect concealer.

Unknown said...

hair loss extensions womenset up a swiss company

which involved cleansing, intense stimulation (including a depuffing orbital massage), lactic acid exfoliation, and a super silky oxygen mask, with products by French skincare company Biologique Recherche (above right). While I waited for the ingredients to work their magic, Bicaj worked hers, giving me a peppermint-infused foot massage that made my tension disappear as quickly as my blackheads. Just in case, I packed a makeup bag with foundation and concealer to camoflauge the typical post-facial damage. As it turns out, I didn’t need to. I left the spa with honest-to-goodness clear skin, and a new addiction.

Unknown said...

must have butterfly dressHome Warranty Companies
Leo, mai darlinjjj, la chaqueta PI-LCI (en adelante, "chaqueta Pilci")es un perfecto de Zara en tejido entramado en colores claros y plata, con cremalleras, no se abrocha.
Tiene un estilazo bárbaro y es muy bersátil (sobre todo si la remangas).
Más prendas apiales: Los pitillos blancos de Miss Primark, de EA también, el modelo "Alberto de Mónaco as a Groom".

Unknown said...

on line clothingwine of the month gift

Dicen en la rueda de prensa que la pasarela será acuática...los billetes de 500 euros se mojarán!!!

Unknown said...

common cold treatmentprinter cartridge ink
Ideas analyzed in the essay and elsewhere in the novel include the split between inward and outward existence; the presence of angels and spiritual enlightenment; and the interplay between genius and madness.
Although critics panned the novel, Balzac remained steadfast in his belief that it provided an important look at philosophy, especially metaphysics.

Unknown said...

Dallas Apartmentselements of fiction

Ideas analyzed in the essay and elsewhere in the novel include the split between inward and outward existence; the presence of angels and spiritual enlightenment; and the interplay between genius and madness.

Anonymous said...

Sexy Lingeriesecurity home systems

Anonymous said...

natural gas heatersWedding Weight Loss Tips

Anonymous said...

sex web camSydney Escort

Luckyluke said...

Hate has a reason for everithing bot love is unreasonable.r4video production blog

Sange said...

holiday in barbadosFood Bags1/2

Sange said...

Main Line Breast AugmentationUniqueHoodia Reviews2/2

Sange said...

Galapagos CruisesSex date3/2

Sange said...

profesores particulares de inglésbusiness web hosting1/3