Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Interview With A Dog-Water Reporter

Q. “How did it all start?”
A. "It was inspired by guilt, over a real-life incident I should have acted to prevent. Happened twenty years ago, but I still can’t talk about it. I was waiting for a bus, if the bus had been on time I would never have become a dog-water reporter. Here's a poem, describing what happened, (in the style of William McGonagall, the great tragedian of Dundee). But don't ask me to talk about it further.

 It’s all Yours' – Don’t Fall

I made it easy for the kid
When I unscrewed the lid
Off a jam-jar of piss,
Abandoned on a wall.
He was running towards it –
I thought, it’s all yours – don’t fall.

Running ahead of his mother,
Pushing a pram containing his little brother.
He stopped and looked at me.
I looked at the jar -
Gave him the green light.
(His mother’s view blocked by a reversing car.)

He just couldn’t resist its golden glow.
The mother saw him pick it up - screamed, no,
Then looked to me to intervene,
But he took a massive swig of amber, as the traffic lights turned green.
He threw up, just as my bus turned up. 
Q. “Have you ever seen a human drinking from a dog’s bowl?”
A. “Only once, in a porn film, never on the street.”
Q. “Do you see what you do as part of, for want of a better phrase, ‘the dog in art’ tradition? I’m thinking of Thurber’s dogs, Wegman’s portraits of Man Ray, or Elliot Erwitt even?”
A. “No, there are no dogs in my photographs.”
Q. “Good point, why not?”
A. “I don’t own a dog. I’m not interested in dogs. Did you know that Steiglitz had a three-legged dog called Tripod?”
Q. “No, but can I return to William Wegman for a moment? Are you familiar with his self-portrait with dog and newspaper? It’s a domestic scene - Wegman and his dog are at home sitting in front of the fire, Wegman’s reading the paper whilst the dog chews on a ball of newspaper: dog and owner both digesting the same news”
A. “No.”
Q. “That’s a shame because your water reporting of the word DOG, written on water bowls, could be read as, 'a thirst for knowledge', a comment on dog-literacy?”
A/Q. “I’ve heard that Wegman dresses his dogs in ball gowns and the like. Horrid stuff. But your idea of ‘a thirst for knowledge’ is closer to what I do. The biochemist Rupert Sheldrake interests me. Have you read his book, Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming home (1999)?”
A (by the questioner). “No.”
"Before we continue this conversation any further, can I insist that you go and read it?"

To be continued…

No comments:

Post a Comment