the rivers of it, abridged

New York City skyline at night


Fall 2014 / Spring 2015



Renga Chunk
Michael Morical, Philip Miller and Milton Dawg

Illustrations by Philip Miller

Illustrations by Philip Miller

between mirrors
my place in the pound

awoke among strange dogs
all of us howling

along with the pack
mama's in heat

new moon/no moon—
dogs on my block struck dumb
from a puddle
the rain pauses

a dog floats
in a pool of sky
left alone
he looks for shadows
behind the tv

barks coming from the box—
I'm beside myself

I bark at a dachshund
in the fast lane
how does she smell?

old man pushing a cart—
my nose twitches:  hot dog!

a poodle in shades
prances down the promenade
where's my hotdog?

Master cannot see me
napping in this pool of shadows

in the shade
of falling leaves
my bowl is empty

I awake to loud sparrows
singing from a red tree

heavy head
between my paws
missing a cold bone

holding it high in my teeth—
the old dog's rib

a squirrel laughs
when I bare my teeth—
trick or treat

interrupting my dream of green—
an acorn lands on my nose

a smashed jack-o-lantern
where's the candle?

early sundown gray sky—
moon     a bite taken out

I take a drink
of the moon in my bowl—
missing harvest

hard rain strips the trees
brings me a dish full of leaves

walking into
my own shadow—
carried in a cage

I'm invisible in the dark—
Master is singing a song

ocarina breeze
dries my sweat
calling the dogs

I hear my name at dusk—
sinking sweet-potato sun
howling between
the missing strings—
autumn leaves

bare branch scratches the pane—
my low growl growing
my itch
turns to pain
shaking off a bath

Indian summer—
the bite of a late fly
Indian summer
gets under my collar—
a new pompadour
warm day in November—
that poodle strut, struttin'

Afghan sniffing
a steaming mound of pooh—
permanent wave

show dog with nose held high
stinks the same as I

show dogs
roam the room they share
cooling their dander
    (last link 11-13-08)

Renga: Japanese linked poetry in the form of a tanka (or series of tanka), with the first three lines composed by one person and the second two by another. A typical renga sequence is comprised of 100 stanzas composed by about three poets in a single sitting.

Michael Morical studied East Asian Languages and Literatures at Indiana University. That led him to Taiwan, Japan and India where he taught English and wrote about life there.  His poems have appeared in The New York Quarterly, Barrow Street, The Pedestal Magazine and other journals.  Finishing Line Press published Sharing Solitaire, his first chapbook, in 2008.  He is currently a freelance writer in Taipei.

Philip Miller taught at Kansas City (KS) Community College and directed the Riverfront Reading series in Kansas City. He lived in Mount Union, PA, where he edited The Same and co-directed the Aughwick Poet and Writers Reading Series. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Coal City Review, Cottonwood, Gargoyle, Home Planet News, the I-70 Review, Kansas Quarterly, Literary Magazine Review, the Mid-American Review, New Letters, Poetry, Poetry Wales, Rattapallax, and Thorny Locust. His sixth book of poems, The Casablanca Fan, was published in 2008 by Spartan Press. He co-edited the ghost-poem anthology Chance of a Ghost, from Helicon Nine Editions. His posthumous collection, The Ghost of Every Day and Other Poems, published by Spartan Press, can be ordered by contacting The Same: He was a contributing editor of the magazine.

Milton Dawg., haiku practitioner, lived in Mount Union, Pennsylvania with Nancy Eldredge and Philip Miller. He collaborated with Miller and Michael  Morical on a renga from 2008 to 2011, commuting between Mount Union and Taipei, Taiwan.

Not one to count syllables in his haiku, Milton also enjoyed playing fetch.




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