O Well, O Well, O Well! Figured out how to roll a smoke today — tidally ho — “Talk about yellow newspaper wrapped around stale coffee grounds” — just couldn’t figure out that mean matchbook with these tiny paws, but then this girl, who I think used to go out with my cousin and that I remember thinking highly of — drops down her own cigarette on the sidewalk — and she doesn’t stomp, stomp, stomp it out like you’d think she might — instead just walks with that beautiful goddess body, and I think to look up a skirt — but I can’t because my mind is shot, not enough drink! Not enough tobacco! Hold my smoke drawn in sharp puppy teeth, light myself up from her discarded burning ember, take a drag, and then I just exhale. “Tastes like a woman.”

— Frisco is cold, evil chill, even so in my plain turtleneck sweater made by my beautiful mother, before she took the bus to New York to find us an apartment — “I’ll be with her again come summer” — but for now the cold Bay Area wind, and I’m trying to get those City Lights boys to get behind my manuscript “The Dharma of the Dog” but they don’t necessarily believe that it’s really me, though I sat at the kitchen table all last week tapping away at the keys, and those boys came by to visit and listen to the sweet jazz on the record player, and I’d shout at them, “If it’s not me, you guys, then who do you think drained all these wine bottles!” — except that I can’t shout, as dogs shouldn’t shout, but bark, old boys, bark, bark. Don’t you believe it’s me? It’s me all right, I bark in sweet rhythm.

Mayonnaise —

Are the jars of mayonnaise still with us?

Or did the river swallow them up?

Wag, wag, my tail goes wild while I puff on a smoke and wait for the van to stop on the shoulder — haven’t waited on the side of the highway a whole hour before a kind soul scoops me up — I toss my bag into the back and hop aboard — it’s going to be a long night under the stars and I cannot sleep a wink, because the orange glow of LA waits for my return, and when I get there I swear to eat bread! Sticking my head out the open window and then getting tired of that and instead looking out the windshield I feel a mean depression settle in, and I pull out my pen and journal to capture these dark times, but my paw loses its grip and the pen rolls under the seat and out of my reach — moonlight off the blank white pages of my conscious mind, and then my aching puppy stomach turns sick from all the motion, and I throw up on those pages! I ask the driver for a cigarette, but he never looks my way again.

— I borrow an old hat he’s not using, and he drops me off somewhere on Hollywood Blvd — nasty place — but there’s this swinging hip top-hat kind of place, and luckily it serves booze to small critters as though it (booze) was going out of style, and there is an open mic up front under a blaring white stage light, in front of a red brick wall — by now they’ve recognized me, and they know I’ve still got it — that I’m still hot for this spot, so I go up there, up front, clear my squeaky Chihuahua throat, give them a glare, and then tell them what’s what!

“Bark, bark.”
“Bark, bark.”