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THE DOG INSIDE

a poem from barukh's first poetry book in english who is this stupid poet


barukh the dog inside from who is this stupid poet artwork

barukh spent his monday afternoon

on the hillside

among warm sunbeams

wrapped in sweet floral scents

and birdsong

happy bees buzzing around his head


he worked for

an hour or two

at the wooden table by the woods

then gathered his things

and set off to rami levi

to get groceries for the family

but rather than heading

for the streets

as usual

he took the scenic route

walking around the whole mountain


and called shoshana in the meantime


as he walked on the dirt path

phone in hand

listening to shoshana’s voice on the speaker

he caught a glimpse of movement

out of the corner of his eye


during the conversation

he glanced towards the stirring


acting on instinct


hardly aware 

of what he saw


hardly aware

that three large dogs

appeared around the bend


no leash

roaming free


the hillside is a much-loved spot for dog walking


the dirt path

around the mountain

is about twenty minutes’ walk

forty minutes round trip

popular trail

among the owners 

of large dogs


barukh knew this

neither he

nor his nervous system

was surprised

to spot three large dogs


what surprised barukh was

how his instincts

responded to the dogs

because

ladies and gentlemen

several layers of 

instincts 

can be seen here

actually


first of all

there’s the home-grown

shall we say

genetic heritage


in barukh’s family

no one ever had a dog


his parents’ feelings towards dogs were

ranging somewhere between 

indifference and repulsion


because all their lives

they deeply repressed anything

ancient

visceral

spontaneous

instinctive

AKA

wild

feral

living inside them

so that the so-called civilized world

would absorb them


so that all life outside 

and around them

ancient

visceral

spontaneous

instinctive

wild and feral

was unwelcome


they kept a wide berth

of those outside

the wild beasts of the world

they engaged only in the zoo

if at all


just as they engaged their own animal inside

only from the other side of the bars

for they are decent folks

no room for their animals 

at their tables


in their lives


and little barukh grew up 

in this anally charged atmosphere

eventually crowned with

his own psychosis

grown out of

decades of carefully considered dread

which yielded numerous memorable

panic attacks


the fear of the world

of his own world

reached the limit of tolerability

in two thousand and fifteen

and that was when he said

the line that 

became family lore


alright then!

to the desert!


barukh’s intuition

that the desert

will offer

some kind of a solution

for his unsustainable lifestyle

has proven correct


because out there

there are so many

wild animals of every kind 

and so near to boot!

from scorpions

through snakes

to hyenas

that barukh

had to choose

whether to die

of fear from the beasts outside

or reconcile with the existence

of the animal inside

and open for him

the gates of the dungeon


thus

equalizing

the pressure difference between

the wilderness inside

and the wilderness outside


thus

averting

the mortal danger of deadly fear


barukh chose the latter solution


four and a half years ago now


and it’s been three years 

that he began his public therapy

that made

the animal inside

believe

slowly

that the gates of the dungeon

will stay open in the long run


so he ventured out

and joined barukh 

on and off

as a sidekick

as a travel companion


and

when

on the hillside 

barukh spotted

the three large dogs

from the corner of his eye

his first instinct was

panic


it surged from somewhere very deep

it only lasted for a fraction

of a blink of an eye

but was intense enough

for barukh to sense then

and remember now

as he recalls the events


the second instinct

paired with

a verbalization of sorts

was the lesson learned in the desert


enough of fear!

enough of dread!

one must be present in the moment!

one must live!


and the third instinct

was to hand the reins over

to the beast within

the dog inside

who first slowed down

then stopped

barukh’s steps

and

then

while his head and mouth

continued the conversation with shoshana

he reached down

and placed his hand

on the head

of the first dog to come to him

and patted it

and let 

the dog sniff

and lick his hand

even take it in his mouth

then did the same

with the other two large dogs

catching up

pat

sniff

lick

the touch of sharp teeth


barukh was calm

and something else too


as he recalls

this thirty-second episode

an odd thrill washed over him


barukh at once felt

a sense of belonging

to himself

to the pack

and to the world


he felt

that the creature

he is

free from words

and compromises

part of the universe


that he

the dogs

and the world

are one


that in that moment

there is an

ancient

deeply

physical

almost

sensual

joy


as he lifted his head

he spotted the owners of the dogs

who had by then come around the bend

and leisurely strolling

and chatting

caught up with their animals


and considered barukh

with the warm camaraderie

of one dog owner 

meeting another dog owner


they thought

that their dogs

engaged the owner in barukh

and that barukh

treated them with 

such calm and confidence

because he has a similar large dog

at home


only the animals

and barukh knew

that the dogs

engaged barukh’s inner dog


their bond and trust

was not meant for another master

but for another beast


 











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