Poetry: Dog Years – Brad Liening

Dog Years

Anxious for a time of tomato soup
They were busy resuscitating a pile of cash
There was concerned talk about browsers
Secret histories
Swarms of bugs
No one was sure who was behind the fundraising
Stadia hulked quietly mid-construction or mid-
Ruin it was hard to tell
Ghostly Porta Pottys
Ghostly graffiti
Alternative milks
The dead left arms in yards
Swaths of skin and hair on loose nails
The ghastly ditch no one talked about
Weird hot wind
Whelps the icebergs
There was delight when the first photos
Started coming back from Pluto
It seemed to awaken within us some hard to name thing
It curdles upstream where they electrocute
Each other for a sum of pond scum
An A+ poodle and a coup d’état
Disgusting pizza
Cryptofascists huffing walnuts
Raving about late capital
They ran into the woods screaming
They had their dark rationale
The shift key broke they started calling it the shit key
Grim office hilarity
Portly professional solemnity
And a bold pinstripe suggesting subvocal veto sex
All with the heft of lived experience
Infest cobwebby corners of radical genius
Incredible nomadic dreams
And gentle congestion
Roost in the tallest skyscrapers
Expensively made to look like trees
AC units shuddering to life in the middle of the night
You roll over with a plop
A carton of black eggs resurrecting borders
A congenital razz passed from father to son
Revving up the last elephant a pink flamingo
A prize
A field of lawn ornaments no one knows
If all suffering is ridiculous or just theirs
A green plastic spiral moving faster
A rumor gaining steam
The dogs roving the streets
Inmates smoke and watch
The contralto springing a leak
The traps smell good that’s how they work
There is a god and he is merciful is one explanation for black holes
An ice cream cone falling end over end
I can’t find my cat it’s very sad
Can you help me
It can’t be Thursday again

Bio: Brad Liening lives in Minneapolis. He is the author of Death Salad (gobbet press).

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