Dog

“Dog,” by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

The dog trots freely in the street
and sees reality
and the things he sees
are bigger than himself
and the things he sees
are his reality
Drunks in doorways
Moons on trees
The dog trots freely thru the street
and the things he sees
are smaller than himself
Fish on newsprint
Ants in holes
Chickens in Chinatown windows
their heads a block away
The dog trots freely in the street
and the things he smells
smell something like himself
The dog trots freely in the street
past puddles and babies
cats and cigars
poolrooms and policemen
He doesn't hate cops
He merely has no use for them
and he goes past them
and past the dead cows hung up whole
in front of the San Francisco Meat Market
He would rather eat a tender cow
than a tough policeman
though either might do
And he goes past the Romeo Ravioli Factory
and past Coit's Tower
and past Congressman Doyle of the Unamerican Committee
He's afraid of Coit's Tower
but he's not afraid of Congressman Doyle
although what he hears is very discouraging
very depressing
very absurd
to a sad young dog like himself
to a serious dog like himself
But he has his own free world to live in
His own fleas to eat
He will not be muzzled
Congressman Doyle is just another
fire hydrant
to him
The dog trots freely in the street
and has his own dog's life to live
and to think about
and to reflect upon
touching and tasting and testing everything
investigating everything
without benefit of perjury
a real realist
with a real tale to tell
and a real tail to tell it with
a real live
	   barking
		  democratic dog
engaged in real
		free enterprise
with something to say
		         about ontology
something to say
		about reality
			        and how to see it
					      and how to hear it
with his head cocked sideways
			        at streetcorners
as if he is just about to have
			  his picture taken
				              for Victor Records
		         listening for
				His Master's Voice
	and looking
		       like a living questionmark
				       into the
			               great gramophone
			           of puzzling existence
           with its wondrous hollow horn
	      which always seems
               just about to spout forth
			         some Victorious answer
				     to everything

 


Document URL: http://www.english.upenn.edu/~afilreis/88/dog.html
Last modified: Wednesday, 18-Jul-2007 16:25:37 EDT

A Dog in San Francisco

Our dog Monty is pretty good with 75% of dogs and 99% of people.

However, there are just some people whom he doesn’t like, he’ll lunge and snarl. For the record, largely stocky Hispanic men and old people in dark clothes and hats.

I assume this is some artifact of his life in shelters, a bad experience he hasn’t yet learned to overcome, but it means we can’t leave him tied up outside a business or restaurant, as many other people do with their dogs.

If we’re out walking I have to get something at our local grocery store, I’ll some times carry him in with me, even though he isn’t a registered “service animal”.

The last time I did this, a gentleman commented, “In my next life, I want to be a dog in San Francisco, and you can be my owner.”

Yeah, Monty does have it pretty good.

From Feb 1, 2012