[POETRY] Pets Get Pets


by Bud Smith, with illustrations by Michael Seymour Blake

     Around here, everybody is alone. We get pets. The pets eat our loneliness. That’s all they do.

   Other than eating loneliness, they just lay around the apartment, dreaming, Thinking and dreaming. Waiting for the perfect time.

     The dreams lead the days down the conveyor belt.

    The conveyor belt carries the dreams through an invisible wall that no one can cross. The invisible wall radiates loneliness. Our pets have to eat that for us. Or we die.

     I’m a pet. I put on my shoes and my pants and I go outside the apartment and catch an underground train, and I go to a big metal building full of other pets. All of us, we’re pets to countless things.

     Here’s a big one: our computers. The computers glow, and our fingers move on the keyboard and loneliness comes out of the screen like a electric dust attracted to us.

     My dog, Dusty had to get another dog. A dog for her. Pet for a pet.

     The apartment has four walls.

     Dusty also has an invisible wall.

   Where all her dreams are lead, by a conveyor belt of sleep, and waking, and drinking and drooling, eating, bathing, and all the other things us pets do.

    It became too much. She was slobbering on the floor, barking at the closed window. But I trained her to use an iPad.

    Now Dusty has a dog that lives in her mouth. A puppy. She got the puppy off of Craigslist in exchange for biting a man on the neck who likes that kind of thing

    And now the puppy eats her loneliness.

    The puppy living in Dusty’s mouth has pets too, two separate pets, tiny kittens that camp out in Dusty’s ears.

   My computer screen releases a wall of electric dust and it sticks to every fine hair on my body.

That’s okay, the kittens living in Duty’s ears have pets too. They’re two Siamese cats, Error and Terror. They curl up and sleep on Dusty’s eyes. 

     Humming in unison.

     Oh, one more thing, this computer might be a kind of conveyor belt.

    Think I figured that out just now. 

Bud Smith is the author of the novels F 250 and Tollbooth, the short story collection Or Something Like That and the poetry collection Everything Neon. He works heavy construction in NJ and lives in NYC where he has a car he parks on the street like that TV show Seinfeld. 

Michael Seymour Blake is an art creator and admirer, person who says "hello puppy" in a weird voice whenever he sees a dog, and hypochondriac extraordinaire. He has lived in New York his whole life and has a love/hate relationship with it. He likes talking at length about movies, books, and comics, he also enjoys toys, food, and old stuff (but not old food). Email him at SeymourWBlake@gmail.com to talk about things.