CHRIS RICE COOPER is a newspaper/Fiction writer, poet, photographer, & painter. CRC Blog is an INCLUSIVE & NON-PROFIT BLOG acknowledging ALL voices –ALL political views, ALL philosophies, ALL religions, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Catholic, Protestant, Judaism, Agnostic, Atheist, etc. ALL Individuals LGBTQ & individuals from everywhere in the world. She has a B.S. in Criminal Justice & completed her workshops required for her Master’s in Creative Writing. She lives in St. Louis.
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
#41 Backstory of the Poem "Dog Sitting" by Jonathan Kevin Rice
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***This is the forty-first in a never-ending series
called BACKSTORY OF THE POEM where the Chris Rice Cooper Blog (CRC)
focuses on one specific poem and how the poet wrote that specific poem.
All BACKSTORY OF THE POEM links are at the end of this
#41 Backstory of the Poem Dog Sitting
by Jonathan Kevin Rice
you go through the step-by-step process of writing this poem from the moment
the idea was first conceived in your brain until final form? A friend of
mine asked me if I was able to watch her dogs for her over a three day weekend
while she visited family in Oklahoma. It would be later in June. She knew I had
watched dogs before for other friends. She has two terrier-mix dogs, who know
me well and like me. They’re sweet dogs, so I knew I wouldn’t have a problem
with them. I was free, so I agreed. After spending a lot of time with them and
it was time for me to leave, I began to say my goodbyes to them, reassuring
them that their mom would be home soon that night. (Right: Two terrier-mix dogs from Wikipedia)
were you when you started to actually write the poem?And please describe the place in great
car I listened to a Santana cd on my way home, when the poem started to come to
me as I drove. The first thing I did at home was rush to my computer and
started typing. I spent a few hours writing, revising, and playing with form
and line breaks until I felt like I at least had a rough draft. I saved it and
thought I’d return to it the next day. Over the course of that week I revisited
the poem several times with the intent of keeping it simple, while trying to
capture and express something larger…relationship between dogs, their owners
and other people. In this case, the relationship is like family. I don’t even
like to use the word owner in this
context. I’m the parent of a dog and a cat. They are my children and I treat
them as such. That’s the way it should be.
month and year did you start writing this poem? June 2018
many drafts of this poem did you write before going to the final? (And can you
share a photograph of your rough drafts with pen markings on it?) With this poem, I didn’t have
to do that much revising. It came to me organically. It’s not like I had an
idea and I made an effort to write it. It just started coming to me and I went
with it. Of course, I needed to craft the poem and ran it by a few poet friends
in the process, so a few weeks ensued before I became more comfortable with it.
do you want readers of this poem to take from this poem?I think readers with animals in
their families will connect with this poem right away, while other readers may
understand it some or not at all. I think this is basically a love poem though,
and love is universal. There is always the danger of sentimentalism in a poem
that can ruin it for the critical reader. I hope this poem doesn’t cross that
Has this poem been published
before?And if so where?Since it is a new poem, it
hasn’t been published and I haven’t submitted it anywhere. I do intend on
including it in my next collection though.
to a badly produced
hike a trail
climb on me
like I’m a
piece of furniture,
lick my face and hands.
me, or at least know,
I’m the one feeding them,
them, picking up their crap,
with them, giving them treats,
them like they understand me,
them my problems, what I should
somewhere else, drinking your wine.
at the sounds of footsteps and
neighbors as they pass your front door
the gate out back where your tomatoes
cucumbers grow. I can tell they wonder where
They wonder with sad eyes as they stare
front door sometimes. They know I come in
door, but I don’t envision them
for me as they long for you.
their mom. I am a friend, an uncle.
wait for your return.
K. Rice edited and published Iodine
Poetry Journal for seventeen years and served as a co-editor for Kakalak in 2016. He most recently
co-edited Of Burgers & Barrooms,
an anthology published by Main Street Rag Publishing in 2017.
He is the author of two full-length
poetry collections, Killing Time
(2015) and Ukulele and Other Poems
(2006), as well as the chapbook, Shooting
Pool with a Cellist (2003), all published by Main Street Rag Publishing. He
is the recipient of the 2012 Irene Blair Honeycutt Legacy Award for outstanding
service in support of local and regional writers, awarded by Central Piedmont
Community College. His art and poetry have appeared in numerous publications.
Jonathan lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.