Blog and Blat
The Blog has been my companion for six months, padding after me in the house, wanting his daily rations of nourishment and attention. His tail thumps on the bed when I wake up in the morning, and he happily guides me to my desk, where I feed him and give him a scratch behind the ears. Good Blog.
When we set out for a walk, the Blog is hard to keep at heel. He’s rushing ahead to sniff at every corner, to sense where the other blogs have been. In the weedy, run-down park, where you can just glimpse a corner of the Parthenon through the trees on winter days, he is full of joy—running after the circling pigeons, rolling in wild chamomile, discovering new lines of thought, scraps of poems. For a few months I have experienced everything partly through the eyes and nose of the Blog. What will the Blog make of this? Could I feed this to the Blog? Will this make it thrive?
The Blat, too, has been a companion. It sleeps in the sun, but prowls at night. It wants to be let out, it wants to be let in—crying in its shrill Siamese voice. Pay attention to me, it says—I have teeth, I have claws. Stroke me the wrong way and I will shock you with my electricity. Stroke me the right way and I will purr. Its smiles are disembodied, like something out of Lewis Carroll. Its hisses, too, seem to spit out of the pure aether.
The Blog clicks behind me now as it walks—tick, talk, tick, talk. Its nails need clipping. It needs its shots. It needs to be taken to the groomers for its shaggy and musty coat. Its easy to forget it isn’t really a domestic animal, though. Sure, it shared the house for a while. But it was feral once. It can fend for itself. It’s a social animal—it runs in packs. It doesn’t need a master. It will find a new home. Goodbye, Blog. I'll miss you. Good Blog.
A. E. (Alicia) Stallings studied classics in Athens, Georgia and has lived since 1999 in Athens, Greece. She has published three books of poetry, Archaic Smile (1999), which won the Richard Wilbur Award; Hapax (2000); and Olives (2012). Her new verse translation of Lucretius (in rhyming fourteeners!), The Nature of Things,...