Your Own Back Yard – Michael Gillan Maxwell

Visual Art – Creative Writing – Social Commentary



2 1/2 Dogs

2 1:2 Dogs
2 1/2 Dogs





Chauncy In Formal wear


Ollie in Formal Wear












Hello and welcome to our first edition of: DogTalk on DogTalk Radio! The internet radio show by dogs, for dogs. (BDFD.)

So pull up your dog beds and get ready for a fun filled hour of howlin’, yowlin’ , scratchin’ & lickin’ and just a whole lot of fun spewing plain old fashioned doggerel.

DogTalk on DogTalk Radio has been transcribed and translated into human English by Michael Gillan Maxwell.

So, without further adieu, let us introduce the hosts of DOGTALK, Chauncy and Ollie!

Chauncy: “Hello everyone and welcome to our inaugural broadcast of DogTalk!”

Ollie: “Yeah, what he said. Wait! I heard a noise! What the fuck IS that in our yard? I think it’s Sasquatch! It MUST be Sasquatch! We’re ALL gonna die! Hoooowl! Yoooooowl!”

Chauncy: “As you can see, my sidekick is a bit of an “excitable boy”! It’s just a case of the jitters because this is our first broadcast. He’ll settle down. But I just wanna say, you’ll never find a better wingman, er, I mean “wingdog” than this little feller!”

Chauncy: “ So, Ollie, now that you’ve caught your breath, the switchboard is lighting up, would you like to take the first call?”

Ollie: “Don’t mind if I do! Hello Caller. This is Ollie on DogTalk. Go ahead. I’m listening.”

Caller: “Yeah, Ollie. Thanks fer takin’ my call. This is Bert. I’m a mutt and an outside dog. I think I’m in love with a Cocker Spaniel, but she’s too rich for my blood. Whaddya think I can do?”

Ollie: “ Sorry Bert, but we’re Cocker Spaniels too. Forgive my impertinence, but this is just friggin’ “Lady and the Tramp” all over again. Sorry dude, but life ain’t no Disney fantasyland. Everybody loves us, but, let’s face it, half the time we’re just mean sons of bitches, or in some cases, just plain mean bitches. The best advice I can give is to go after another dog in the same social stratosphere as you. Is that even a thing? I don’t know, but I think you know what I mean. I know that’s not what you want to hear, but believe me, you’ll be happier in the long run. Thanks for calling DogTalk Bert! Keep on yowlin’!”

Chauncy: “Well can you believe it? We’ve already run out of time! But ~ really~ what is “time” to a dog? This show may have lasted minutes, or it may have lasted hours, even days. Who knows, when you’re dealing with “Dog Time”!

Until we sniff again,

This is Chauncy, signing off

Ollie, running over the hills and far away!

(Theme music and barking dogs)

Outro: “You have been listening to DogTalk on DogTalk Radio with Chauncy and Ollie. To get notifications of all upcoming broadcasts, send pee mail to the nearest tree or fire hydrant c/o Dogtalk Radio.” We welcome all your queries, questions and issues. You can contact us via this website or send us a tweet or a text or a pee mail to:












Book Report TIMBUKTU by Paul Auster

Timbuktu by Paul Auster

TIMBUKTU  by Paul Auster

I finished reading Paul Auster’s 1999 novella, Timbuktu a couple of days ago, and I have to say, it’s one of the most beautifully written and haunting books I’ve read in a long time. You might say it really got inside my head and under my skin. However, I think it’s more accurate to say that I really got inside the head and skin of the protagonist, a dog named Mr. Bones; through whom the story is told. Wait, I know what you’re thinking. You’re ready to hang it up right here and bail out, writing this all off as demented drivel from a sentimental dog lover rhapsodizing about one more tear jerking tale of an anthropomorphized mutt on a Homeric odyssey. Well, if that’s what you think, you’re wrong. It’s not Benji or Bobby the Wonder Dog or Lassie Come Home. It’s not that at all. I do admit that I am sentimental and I am a dog lover; and there is a dog and there is an odyssey. However, there is more to this story than that.

First of all, I think Paul Auster is a genius. His command of language and his ability to tell a story as a meditation on some of the major philosophical quandaries of life ranks right up there in the upper echelon of the Gods of Literature pantheon. I’m not worthy! I’m not worthy! Auster’s narrative prose alone is worth reading just to hear the music created by the lyrical flow of language. Timbuktu is thought provoking, emotionally engaging, sometimes cerebral, often visceral and always full of humor and pathos. It awakens all of your senses with descriptive passages that are tightly woven with lush imagery.

The story is told through the eyes of a dog named Mr. Bones, the loyal companion and soul mate of Willy G. Christmas, a homeless man who is also a brilliant, but deeply troubled poet-savant.  Mr. Bones conveys the story  through an internal monologue, describing their travails on a quixotic quest while recounting their earlier lives through a series of flashbacks. Auster’s ability to depict Mr. Bones as an intelligent sentient being, and his development of the various human characters in the book through clear prose are nothing short of breathtaking. The title of the book, Timbuktu,  comes from Willie’s concept of afterlife, which evolves into one of the over arching themes of the story.

To all of you professional literary critics out there, (if there are any) take it easy, this is kind of like open mike night and I’m just spit ballin’ here. In many ways, Timbuktu reminds me of The Road by Cormac McCarthy as it explores many of the same themes, and depicts a dark journey through gorgeously rendered cinematic imagery and lyrical descriptive narrative. For those of you who just can’t live without genre labels, here we go. I’m having difficulty assigning this to a single genre, but Timbuktu uses many of the devices of both “slip stream” and “magic realism” to tell the story. It contains many of the central themes of Auster’s writing, including constructing an understanding of the world through language, depiction of daily life, a writer as a central character, and a sense of imminent disaster. Throughout it all, the influences of  existentialism and transcendentalism are clearly apparent.

I don’t really want to say much more about the actual story because I think you should read this book, and I don’t want to give too much away and ruin it for you. I will say that I loved this book and that  it resonated with me on the heart level. I think it might have even made me a little smarter, and I’ll take all the help I can get. Let’s not forget that DOG is GOD spelled backwards. Paws & Claws Forever!

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