Dog Pound (Chapter One)

My aunt and uncle, 

The aunt who passed away recently

Would always drink a ton of soda.

They would drink enough Big Gulps from 7/11

That they would gauge distances

In relation to where the 7/11’s were in our neighborhood. 

They would always say, 

“We can go to the movies with you, but let’s drive this way,

because that 7/11 is the closest

between the theater and your house.”

I thought you were going to say

They gauged distances they walked

By the mean or median distances

Between all 7/11’s

It was strange, 

I always knew when they were coming over

Because we had to clear out the top shelf of the fridge

To fit their Big Gulps. 

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My mom’s family, they only had Vizslas

I love Vizslas cuz they get that jowel thing

That was their dog

They look kind of like Weimaraners but they’re auburn

They’re really red, they’re really brick red


And they have really short fur

Really tight, really sleek


My aunt and uncle have a lot of animals

They have horses and dogs

That's actually how they met

They both had Rottweilers I think

They both went to this dog park 

And hit it off because they both had Rottweilers


Was your aunt raising Rottweilers for shows at that time?

I think she was

But the time when she had Odie, her main show dog

Was while they were together


They met because of her dogs and her love of showing dogs

They had this big property out in Pendleton

The kind of property where you have to drive to get to your neighbors house

“Everyone has 20 acres” kind of thing

driving out there,

it’s like a giant flat plane with houses dotted 

you drive down this long road

and take a left by a crop circle 

it's a very surreal empty space

It was so vast


That I remember my cousins had this trampoline

It was one of those big ones with the net around it

One of those standing ones, big and bright blue

They had one out by the house

They get those big windstorms out there

Because it’s so flat

The dust just blows in

I remember one time we came they said 

Oh we don't have a working trampoline anymore 

The wind picked it up blew it across our property 

A tumbleweed, big blue plastic

They had tried to put it back together

But they had lost so many springs

And little metal bits

Across the field. 

My cousins would go out and look for them

Maybe your aunt found the springs?


There’s something about how flat the landscape is

How that is so unfound in the space we now enter

Maybe that's why it feels so supernatural

Like the surface of Mars

You describe the dust flying, and the wind carrying it across

That sort of data collection

It is manageable data

A la twister

There’s something to be said for the manifest destiny concept of the west

The mythos of the space

The thing I used to think about was how 

They used to live near a giant crop circle

This big circular flat disk


Do you actually know the use of crop circles? 

I actually don't know

Oh yeah, crop circles are made in that way 

Because they are significantly more efficient 

In terms of water distribution.

From the center point of a square acre

to the edge, is the radius of the circle.

a watering system on wheels 

is fixed at the center point

and radiates around it. 

That way you only have to move one point, instead of two

I remember when I learned to draw, 

My friend told me if you shade in circles

You get a dramatically more even tone

I’m not sure if it true

The geometry inherently suggests

A closed loop

I remember in elementary school, 

We had a competition to see who remembered

The most digits of pi

There was a kid who kept us after school

Because he remembered so many.


There’s a means of transportation

From one realm to another

That in combination with 

The mystery surrounding the means of my aunt’s death

I kept thinking that the landscape had something to do with it

And if you don't know a conclusive answer what’s the difference



Run me through the whole 

Timeline yes run me through the timeline

My aunt lives in Pendleton, Oregon

My aunt Julie and my uncle Mel

They both live on a property in Pendleton, Oregon 

Or at least they did when they were both alive

It was last summer

Maybe late summer, early fall

Basically she just went out 

Onto the property with her horse

She came back inside and was complaining of muscle aches

And she hadn’t fallen off the horse or anything?

She didn't say that that had happened

And it would be strange of her to not express that?

She just lay down

It kept getting worse over the course of a couple of days


Then my uncle decided that he needed to take her into urgent care

So they drove all the way out to the nearest urgent care

They said they didn't know what was going on 

We need to take her to a hospital

It spiraled, and after three days’ time

He was on the way to the hospital when they called him 

Said, “she’s on life support, but we can’t bring her back”

You need to call your kids 

Have them say goodbye 

There’s something about this feeling 

Of something happened

 That she didn't tell us

 Something she could not speak on

And when her ashes were spread

They were spread in the field, 

With the combines running 

Kicking up the dust 

Along with the ashes of her show dog, Odie

The landscape knows, there’s forensic evidence out there


The more I learn, the more it seems our arbitrary action

Becomes dynamic

Before we started this project you told me about this event

But it was a secondary descriptor

For the sensation of ghost hunting

As a form of obsessive faith

and now rather than ghost hunting

It’s conspiracy theory tied into personal narrative

I think conspiracy theory now, 

has an odd political weight.

The fact that we now have a political regime, 

whose entire game is based on transparency and opacity 

“What does transparency look like?”

“What does absolute opacity look like?”

“How do we negate the parts that we can’t control?”

Belief becomes the strongest tool you have.

Ultimately her death and the strange events that transpired 

are in your control as much as anyone else’s in terms of dictating

what that means and what happened.

You can tell yourself

“The Dogs do know” 

the land still knows, 

there might be something still there on that property

and the confirmation bias

creates magic.

When we first went down to the dog pound

the running joke 

and basis for our conspiracy

was that, this is an abandoned dog pound

it’s been abandoned as long as I can remember

growing up in New Jersey

it’s this old fashioned dog pound

it has the pendant fences

mud everywhere 

it wouldn't be considered ethical nowadays

it’s more where you keep dogs for a dog fighting ring

there’s all this eighties equipment

it looks like something bad transpired there

that history has tried to erase

and it's a strange monument to that.

The joke was, this was like a holding cell

for some sort of government operation

with the dogs.

I had also just seen the OA

About a man forcing people

Who have had near death experiences

To participate in experiments.

We brought the radio there

and we were obsessed with the idea of 

this space being a place of spiritual 

and political importance.

Some sort of conspiracy had gone down there

and then when we turned the radio on, the signals 

got jammed. If you pointed it towards the holding cells

the radio signals died off.

The Christian radio died off.

Then when we were outside and we pointed it 

towards the building,

the signals died off again.

In that way our confirmation bias

allowed us to find

a relationship.


You will see what you wish

in the signs you are given in the world.