MY DOG, HE IS FAT
a poem by Stallion Cornell
My dog, he is fat
My dog, he is fat
My dog, he is fat
Fat is my dog. He is. (Fat, I mean.)
(c) 2013, Stallion Cornell. May not be reproduced or replicated without express written or implied oral consent. May not be folded, spindled or mutilated.
Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with famed poetry critic Lloyd Calamine, who discussed both the composition and thematic impact of my groundbreaking verse, “My Dog, He Is Fat.” The conversation was recorded and is transcribed below.
LLOYD: Thank you for taking the time to sit down with me, Stallion.
ME: It’s a pleasure to be here, Kent.
LLOYD: I thought my name was supposed to be Lloyd.
LLOYD: Whatever, indeed! Which brings us to your magnum opus, “My Dog, He Is Fat. ”
LLOYD: What inspired the majesty and power of these four immortal lines?
ME: Many things, actually. Injustice. Plus the disconnect between the Platonic ideal and our savage reality. Stuff like that. Also, the fatness of my dog.
LLOYD: So your dog really is fat?
ME: He is fat, yes.
LLOYD: How fat?
LLOYD: Can you be more specific?
ME: Yes, but I choose not to be.
LLOYD: Ah. Are you then reticent to expand further on the powerful themes evoked by your deceptively simple stanza?
ME: Not at all. There’s a lot going on in those 24 words. I wouldn’t expect anyone to get it all in their first read.
LLOYD: And what are some of the more evocative elements that might not be apparent at first glance?
ME: Well, it’s not just a description of my fat dog, although, as I conceded before, my dog is, in fact, fat. But really, this piece takes it further, and I, as an omnipotent narrator, embody the owners of all fat dogs. In doing so, I give voice to the millions of observations that have pierced the collective unconscious on this universal subject.
LLOYD: In essence, then, you’re saying to anyone who’s ever looked at their dog and said, “Man, that dog is pretty fat,” that you are they.
ME: Well, that’s one way of looking at it, but it goes far deeper than that.
LLOYD: In what way?
ME: In every way.
ME: Thank you, Kent.
LLOYD: Can you give us a taste of the process? What comes first: the general outline or the specific words? Does it evolve slowly, or does it arrive, fully formed, in your imagination?
ME: It’s difficult to say. I had long observed the fatness of my dog, but who can name the obese muse who demanded that this story be told in iambic pentameter?
LLOYD: I didn’t notice that. Is the poem written in iambic pentameter?
ME: To a degree. As my passion grew, so did my impatience with the limitations of that particular form. Consequently, I took liberties with the meter when the content required it.
LLOYD: A bold choice!
ME: Perhaps. For me, it was not a choice. I write as I must. I don’t have the luxury of flinching in the face of brazen truth.
LLOYD: Are you insinuating, then, that poets willing to accede to the strictures of any preassigned meter don’t share your moral courage?
ME: I can’t judge their hearts. But yes.
LLOYD: So why have you succeeded where lesser poets have failed?
ME: Drugs, mostly.
LLOYD: But of course! Clean living has been the downfall of so many great artists.
ME: Look what it did to Lawrence Welk.
LLOYD: To be fair, he was a foreigner.
ME: Canine obesity knows no borders, Kent.
LLOYD: Oh, I know that. I’m a racist, that’s all.
ME: Racism is bad. You should know that if you truly read my poem.
LLOYD: Ah. Here’s where it gets embarrassing. I haven’t actually read your poem.
LLOYD: I’ve got a lot on my plate at the moment.
ME: Well, sure, but –
LLOYD: I’m not like you. I didn’t get into the poetry game for the wine, women, and song. I did it for the money. Big money. High stakes poetry, that’s me.
ME: Then I advise you not to read my poetry. It will indict your soul.
LLOYD: I have no soul. (He commences weeping.)
ME: I can’t help but notice that you’ve commenced weeping.
LLOYD: Nothing escapes your keen, penetrating eyes!
ME: Alas, only one of my eyes is keen and penetrating. The other is playful-yet-vapid.
LLOYD: Oh, my leg! (He dies of joint pain. Exeunt.)
ME: I need a bath. (I brush my teeth instead.)