My Prince’s Dogs

Matthew Weinstein

Matthew Weinstein is a visual artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He has assembled a 3D computer animation production community that assists in the creation of his non-narrative animated cabarets, and he aims the technical and narrative concerns of this medium towards the art world. His polymath approach to uncovering a creatively integrated yet ever-expanding aesthetic cosmos integrates commercial processes (vector-based vinyl stencils, airbrush, metal patination, metal casting) as well as watercolour, painting, and writing. He is currently collaborating with Cornell Tech in an investigation of identity-based interactivity, and is working on an animated film inspired by the writings of the British writer Anna Kavan. Weinstein also contributes regularly to ARTnews and other publications.

My Prince arrives from trips empty-handed. His dogs do not.

His dogs always remember to bring me little gifts: a key chain from a mountain, tiny dried roses in a ceramic bowl, or a painting of a shell, made of shells.

My Prince would like me to believe that these gifts are from him. I know better. They are from his dogs.

“I cannot win,” says My Prince, as I allow his giant dogs to nose around beneath my skirt, “I cannot win.”

THE DOG SONG

My Prince let out your giant dogs.
Hello you, oh you, and you.
Thank you for the gifts.
The mochi buns
Nestled in a tomobako.
The tiny solar-powered doll.
The cutting board and cheese.
You all, you dogs.
How thoughtful you all are.
You all, you dogs.
Where my neck has been bitten,
Chewed and drooled on,
You only bury your nose,
And sniff my hair.
You hand me a
Small wrapped box
That contains a silver spoon
From Switzerland.
You all, you brown-eyed dogs.
And you with one blue eye.
Where men have walked ahead of me,
And said to me,
“No,”
And rumpled me
And sent me home.
You, and you,
With one blue eye,
Hand me an embroidered blouse,
From Mexico.
I remember:
I worked a lather
Into your neck.
I rinsed you and I dried you,
When you shook,
You head in motion
Looked like it had 100 eyes.
The droplets caught the sun;
A mane of stars.
I hold a giant Tiki fork and spoon.
You left it beside me
One moonless night,
When I wondered
When you would return.

My Prince wanted to be a writer or a painter, but he could only subtract, not add, and really, who needs what one already knows without a little trim, a dab of light, a bauble painted in the foreground that looks as if one could lift it out of the picture and hold it up to the light, or the description of an elegant dress worn by a minor character that goes on for pages and pages and suggests that the flickering glance of the author lives in slower time than the racing internal clocks that we only dream of smashing.

“You are only with me because you love my dogs,” you say.

“Your expectations are unrealistic,” I reply, “and by the way, have they been fed? Their glances contain recrimination.”

Paintings line the walls. Wonderful paintings. “Who made these?” I ask My Prince. “You know I did,” he replies. “You lie,” I say, as I toss a knowing wink to a brown fellow who is alert and panting in the corner. I know this fellow paints at night, that’s why he sleeps late; there can be no other explanation for a dog who sleeps late, his nose resting on an extended paw, gazing at a beam of light that is as fresh as the morning he longs to depict.

Atlántica

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