Alice George



(dog is cream standard poodle/project occurs just outside my Evanston home)


no correlation other than the color of the sweater
the pipeman is wearing


complete overlay reveals the silhouette
of my dog echoes the flow of gravel
from the heap


neither is speaking to me


but the spanish of the four participants
the growl and whine of the other


both arrived on my threshold
to improve quality of life:
say “companionship” say “dry basements”


the dog is waiting to go outside
the men are waiting to go inside


one is named Leo
the other is named by a green flyer
in the trash


the dog follows me everywhere
the project should be done by Thanksgiving


the men seem to notice
the hundred-year-old elms overhanging
while the dog subdues golden leaves


water knows where it is going
the dog shits on the perimeter of the garden


no one looks up when I have an idea
the project and animal are too full to move


both are domesticated


neither are as beloved
as my children but they live
in the same neighborhood as my children


they are both speaking to me
but I am not a good listener


at first my dog barked at the workers
but lately has stopped
they probably have an idea about him


I have not spoken directly to the workers yet


I overheard a big fight between one man
down in the ground where I couldn’t see him
and the other man on the surface
obscenity and walking away


I work at home you see


my daughter wonders on the nature of our dog’s death
city engineers calculate floods


I could go on and the comparisons
will keep swarming either way
but the potential for learning is limited


but I just checked and one of the machines
is called Water 952
the other Water 955


the dirt they shovel back in
is an amazing color
they could be hiding anything down there
I should be watching


I need to be alone
but then I start feeling lonely
because there is no one here to be alone from


the back-up beep
has become a sound in the house



When I walk and think about science, the arrows become change.
Blood, skin and ideas are related, they laugh together.

Every day, mothers run through my hands and I eat war.
If entrails and text stand next to each other, you can almost see silence.

When I walk and think about arrows, the blood becomes botany.
If mother is everywhere, then where are the entrails?

Every day, hands runs through my hands and I eat my daughter.
Change, monsters and dissection live next door, they are neighbors, I hear them.

If blood and skin stand next to each other, you can almost see the ideas.
If Afghanistan is true, then I am happy, but if anthrax is true, then I am sad.

Every day, Afghanistan runs through my hands and I eat anthrax.
If my daughter and dissection stand together, you can almost see my hand.

If seeds equals silence, my life means nothing.
Skin, text and war are related, they laugh together.

Every day, war runs through my hands and I eat text.
If skin is everywhere, then where is silence?

Science, seeds and silence live next door, they are neighbors, I hear them.
If skin and text stand next to each other, you can almost see the war.



On My dog & the sewer project:

It's all true. This piece came at a time when I was steeping myself (like an ardent Earl-Grey tea bag) in post modernism, and represents the closest thing to narrative I had done in a long time. Breaking stories into bits! The sewer seems to be working fine, but the lovely dog died from a pancreatic disorder.

On Afghan Variations:

This piece was composed in november 2001 using a mad-lib process, in which I composed sentences with holes, and then created variables to fit those holes. Then shuffled and drew. Then tweaked it so that it read. My inclination to handle tough stuff thusly was prompted by a great process class I'd taken at the School of the Art Institute with John Corbett and Terry Kapsalis. My ability to concentrate was made possible by the Ragdale Foundation.