The Rottweiler’s Guide to the Dog Owner

Les Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry


– adapted from SJ Fowler

If you were a fruit,
what fruit would you be?
Black banana, fruit flies,
les ananas ne parlent pas,
(a little song of two children learning french on Canadian TV).

In middle school, the chair in the crypt.
The stack of cryptic poems high enough to use as a chair
& those who will never be sitting on it. Those who flower,
I flower you, you flower me golden, & Russian surrealism,
remember when I sledded into a tree in a yard without trees?

The black eye bloomed yellow. For the two who fold the chair
while your hair is wrapped in a towel; that counts as naked.
The talk, the Skype,
that neither of us remembers how to decline pooka
that was made of wood, & flowers.
And sea creatures, you only see the octopus
when I see the squid.

The diagnosis is a cup upside down a paradox.
That prozac in the hand held, not yet
sexual, but facing the wall with the fist
& not the street. Either fluoxetine is not treating this
or this is a side-effect. A paradox of sex, trust the bitch.
The two, like breasts, are two. Like kidneys, we need each other
and your head on my butt great & free, & outdoors
(you leave your boyfriend a note “do not forget to take her for a long walk”)


Part of The Learned Pig’s Wolf Crossing editorial season, spring/summer 2017.

Cover image: Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, illuminated manuscript (c.1412 – 1416). Detail from calendar scene, December. Photo: R.M.N. / R.-G. Ojéda


The Learned Pig


Julia Rose Lewis

Julia Rose Lewis is working on a PhD at Cardiff University; she is researching the question: what is lost without discourse between poetry and science? She has published two pamphlets: Zeroing Event (Zarf Poetry) and Exhalation Halves Lambda (Finishing Line Press). Her collaboration with James Miller is forthcoming with Aquifer Books. Her pamphlet How to Hypnotize a Lobster won the Pitch Viper Prize 2017 and is forthcoming with Fathom Books.