Since my original publication of this poem in my collection, Turtle Woman & Other Poems, I have revised “Alex as Artist” into the form of an American-Innovative sonnet.
Alex as Artist
“It’s a dog’s life.”
When he curls up beside me on the couch and settles into steady breathing,
his ease of comfort flows like a polished sonnet.
He has mastered the art of comfort.
When I cook, he perfects his craft of begging. Taking bits of food off
the ends of fingers requires precise placement of teeth and tongue.
He’s mastered the art of eating.
Some say he’s cowardly, but he’s just careful.
The artist’s eye and ear perceive the world to be a dangerous place,
so he’s crafty to run from loud noises and sudden moves.
Some say he’s dumb, but he’s just deliberate.
He wants to keep body and soul together
and retire a well-matured craftsman.
Unlike schemers, shams, and fantasizers, he takes his art quite literally,
and he has learned to simplify: beg food, bark, and sleep sleep sleep.
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To read my prose commentary on this poem, please visit, “Original Poem: ‘Alex as Artist’ with Commentary” at LetterPile.
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