Marcus Slease

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Marcus Slease is a (mostly) absurdist, surrealist and minimalist writer from Portadown, N. Ireland and Utah. His writing has been translated into Danish and Polish, and has been published in various magazines and anthologies, including Tin House, Poetry, Fence, Bath Magg, The Lincoln Review, Black Box Manifold, and Best British Poetry 2015. He is the author of numerous books from indie presses, including: Never Mind the Beasts (Dostoyevsky Wannabe), The Green Monk (Boiler House Press), Play Yr Kardz Right (Dostoyevsky Wannabe), and Rides (Blart Books). He comes from a working class background and currently teaches high school in Barcelona. Find out more at: Never Mind the Beasts ( and follow him on Twitter @postpran

Introduction to PUPPY By Marcus Slease

There was loneliness and isolation in a foreign country. We all wanted to go for a walk. Out there in nature where we all belong. Having a puppy is not easy. There is lots to learn about training a puppy. We are in a big net full of jewels and each jewel reflects the other jewel. The puppy is a jewel reflecting our jewel but the puppy is also its own jewel. Puppy is on a growth spurt and I am on a down spurt. We all exit on the ground floor. This prose poem sequence is about life. Hearts emitting sparks to other hearts in deep space. Welcome to the world of puppy.

Preview of PUPPY By Marcus Slease

Wearing anti-camouflage. Walking the mountain trails. Planning a future dog. So I watch dogs. Walking down the stone steps of the mountain trail, a wolf dog shadows me. Watching the bushy tail. A dog needs a job. If they cross a wolf dog with a golden retriever what will they retrieve? I love humans. Humans are my enemy. Pulled in two directions. A dog’s day’s night. Domestic and wild. Can they be reconciled? 

This is a strange feeling. I roll the cabbage. Here is my head. I wash the cauliflower. Here is my brain. It has two hemispheres. I wash both sides. It is best to play with a full deck. It is best to light up the whole circuit board. The lusters of heat. The hush of ashes. The wilderness of locusts. Father on late night stake outs. Drunken benders. Snoring on the sofa. Dogs howl from the castle of the faithful. A stick. A truck. A rump steak. Those were my dreams. Fetch it. Leave it. Come get it. 

Too much freedom is no longer freedom. You have to train your puppy. I have a puppy tent. When I close the zipper, she yelps. Then accepts it. But then there’s pee. I am the pee and poop collector. Vinegar and more vinegar. It is good to have a schedule. The river Styx runs upstream. Zip the zipper when puppy is tired. But not too soon after eating. A banana in the tent. Small treats in the tent. Chew toys in the tent. Stay near puppy tent. When she wakes, run to the balcony. Catch the stream. Clean the doe paws of my puppy. 

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