Thursday, July 30, 2015

For Cecil

Every creature wants its life every bit as much as you want yours. They don't exist for our purposes, they exist for their own. 

The kind of ego it takes to go out and shoot a magnificent animal like Cecil, the pure lack of empathy, and to then be proud of having destroyed something you can't replace, is beyond anything I can understand, and a blindness that is hard to fathom.

I hope the dentist, whose name I don't want on my blog, faces justice for what he did. This whole entitled business of seeing the world and everyone in it as simply fodder to be consumed, must stop.

I am personally deeply distressed and upset by the murder of Cecil the lion, the disruption of his pride, and the danger now facing his cubs.
 
Hunt with a camera. Respect nature. Fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.  

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Golden Duo

It begins and ends with the golden duo.
I can tell that you don't believe me.
I can see that you think I'm some crackpot, some hare-brained loony.

Wouldn't wanna be you
when they get here.

All this, these fields, that shitty old house over there,
the well in the yard where we used to play Lindbergh kidnapping,
it's gonna be a paradise.

You think I'm just some old biddie.
I've got the inside dope!

The man, he's as handsome as a Fourth of July sunrise,
as muscled and graceful as a Kentucky Derby winner,
and if he kisses you, well, you're gonna fall backwards, healed.

The other one, nobody can tell if it's a man or a woman,
but oh what a voice. Never talks, just sings,
and the birds on every bush and fence post just shut up and take lessons.

One gonna sing. The other gonna lay on hands.
I seen this once before, in the forties. They made me young again,
then I got old again, so I hope they hurry up and get here.

You watch. There's never been anything like the golden duo.
They make cats crap out diamonds and dogs quote Shakespeare.
They'll make your mama tall like she wanna be, 

And you? They could make you an astronaut or something fine like that.
You're already a brain 'cept for not believing me about the golden duo.
You wait. You watch. You're snotty quiet now, but when you spot 'em 

You'll crow like a rooster and lay an egg, both. You can thank me then.
______

Co-written by Poetic Naychur Cat (me), and Baby Puppy (Mama Zen's daughter.)

 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sky, Earth, Sky

sky,
earth, sky,
never try
piloting prop
when you're sad and high.
last night i dreamed that i
cleared my head, got out of bed,
and walked down the wing to kiss you.
never take random pills with warm wine--
sky, earth, sky, fall, roll, rise, you, us, i.
______

an Etheree for Play It Again, Toads.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

CBU

Maude Millicent Rosevear, generally considered pleasant and quite the beauty,
sent her hopes off, by mail, in 1955.
Consider her surprise when they return to her in 2015. 

Maude, now aged seventy five,
nearly trips over the parcel while walking out of her door
on her way to the pharmacy for her numerous prescriptions.

"Non-standard surcharge," states one of the rubber stampings.
(That business with Alice, at college, in 1959?)
The postal system cares about her package. The plastic wrapping says so.
Nonetheless, they have returned it.

"Postage due", "Addressee Unknown", "Unclaimed" all on the side.
Bent, frail, living in a mother-in-law apartment attached to her son's house,
Maude supposes the return of her hopes was inevitable, 
but it didn't feel that way when she sent them. 

Maude goes back inside and sits down to compose a letter--
--an old fashioned paper letter--
to the Unabomber in prison. 

"Dear Teddy," she writes, "I finally understand."
Perhaps this one will get through, she thinks.
Perhaps he will even answer, and if he does, 
she must be sure to be the first one to the mailbox, and to not lose her key.
_______ 

for Get Listed at Real Toads. I used "prison", "mail", "inevitable", and "system".

CBU--Cluster Box Unit, a freestanding outdoor multiple delivery receptacle for mail.

CBU-55--cluster bomb fuel air explosive. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Summer

What's with the weather, anyway?
If I wanted to live in some sweltering buggy outpost, 
I would wear a pith helmet and talk nonsense about rare beetles;
do you see me doing those things?
Doesn't National Geographic handle all that?

I have caught myself in a few rare moves lately, though, I admit.
I blame it on losing sleep.
I never know anymore whether I will put a sachet in the guest room drawers,
a bag of dog poop,
or one of Muffin's dead mice.

Behold the end of the world, when fey devils employ a single match
to devour, with light, all that is, and then almost delicately, 
throw the bar,
lock the latch.

Signs of The End are everywhere, not just the tv weather.
Have you seen Trudi Beauty Queen lately?
She's about the size of a zeppelin, and isn't even blonde anymore.
All day, she screams at the help in German,
while stuffing eclairs into her mouth like shells into field artillery.

I think, if it would snow, my chi would center and I could be my usual self again.
Instead, I have to wear sunglasses so huge that I look like a Mars probe,
and I can't see a blessed thing, sidewalk from six-lane,
Trudi from a tarantula,
Greek yogurt from green tea facial mask.

Perdition arrives on the arm of Despair, in evening's early gloaming
announced and feted, by Chinese lantern light,
to faces slack,
and ashy white.

I think I'll throw on a caftan, hire some sherpas to carry the tea cakes,
and go visit Bitsy Henderson, to have her administer a test,
running her finger back and forth in front of my eyes.
She'll tell me, if I'm a little off,
and whip out her planner to tell me that summer isn't forever--

only alimony, crow's feet, and naturally, us. 
_______ 
 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Voice of Martyrs

She had to do without a lot of things,
for your sake, to help you,
because God knows you needed it.

Go ahead, dive into those beer-battered iguana steaks
and RC Cola--
made by hunchbacks from old cancer drugs
and leaf-tea water from the bird bath.

Ungrateful, that's what you are.
She brings her sheepskin and her medical bag,
her sharp eye and her dull scalpel,
and all you ever do is buzz like a stupid toy as she removes the barbs
she put there over time, millions of them, placed just so.

Too bad one can't make a sampler out of a disappointed look--
you'd never need wallpaper.
Nature provides exactly what each creature needs,
though she has chosen to do without heart, stomach, ovaries,
in favor of giving everything to you, especially those betrayed, doleful eyes.

Now here you are, a donation box she has poured herself into,
sleeping it off,
hating yourself,
collecting methods of suicide like stickers,
last night's appalling Chinese take-out uneaten and wasted (!)
on the table and on the floor where it has spilled and mixed
with the pet hair on the carpet.

See the ants, as industrious as if they were going to Mass,
substituting congealed chicken kow for wafers and wine.
See the roaches, immortal and unstoppable as your jones,
demonstrating grace and sacrifice--
for you! again for you!--
by entertaining the cat
who plays with, and then kills them, but who sometimes

reverses the sequence.
_______

grace for Karin.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Don't Be So Critical, Darling

Don't be so critical of me
if you could only be just a little bit nicer,
not swear, not hit,
not tell me that I look like shit
then I would be such a happy girl and make you glad you chose me.

I know you don't like the cats
but there are only three, okay twelve,
but nine aren't really mine
they just needed some love and some time
and I promise to brush the fur off your black jeans, I will, I swear.

Our day will come,
some band will need a drummer and there you'll be
famous and when you are,
don't forget me, don't forget me.

Don't stay out so late
till the moon is gone and the kitties have given up,
don't you see, they really love you
and I do, too
so please let us back in, this isn't funny, I haven't even got my coat--

Honey?-- Sweetheart?--
or any place else to go.
________

voice, for Kerry.

 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Lullaby Of A Beautiful Girl

I'm a beautiful girl, made of ice.
I am water when it stops moving.
If you want me, it is either because you're crazy,
or because you see summer, still, inside me--
a season preserved that you can't touch.

Invite me in anyway, murderer.
Make love to me with a hammer;
don't kiss me unless you want us to stay that way forever,
not eating, not speaking,
like poets, or the damned.

I was an urchin once, making cat shit castles in my sandbox,
wondering what I'd be when I became a woman.
It rained and I became a mermaid instead--
winter stilled the waves and left me half in and half out,
half a woman who will never bear a child,
half a fish caught on a glittering hook.

I'm a beautiful girl, made of ice.
I am water when it stops moving.
If I want you it is either because I'm desperate,
or because I feel summer's seed, still, inside me--
a season destroyed, yet suspended in my touch.
_______

Monday, July 13, 2015

Book Review: "She's Come Undone"

She's Come UndoneShe's Come Undone by Wally Lamb

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This is a fairly ancient book (1992) that I have only just now read, and I read it because so many people have told me that Wally Lamb is a man who can write a female character really well. (Full disclosure: I also love the band The Guess Who, from whose song the title is taken.)

The cover told me I would laugh, and cry, and fall in love with the character. Well...not quite. The narrator, Dolores, has plenty to deal with. Her father is a philanderer who hits his wife and finally leaves. Her mother goes to pieces and has to be institutionalized for a time. The upstairs tenant, a married man in his 20s who seems to be a friend at first, rapes her. In response to all of this, Dolores isolates, doing two things mostly--watching tv and getting really fat.

That's just the beginning. We stay with Dolores into her mid-thirties, through a whole laundry list of disasters. In her favor, Dolores is ultimately pretty courageous, making different decisions over time, even if she does seem to come to them very slowly, kicking and screaming all the way. I did something while reading this book that I almost never do. After seeing several brick walls looming up and watching her slam inevitably into each one, I skipped to the end to see if there was a point to all of this hard-to-watch stuff. Satisfied, I went back and finished, but I came within a whisker of giving up on the story.

Dolores is a sympathetic character, and I wanted her to overcome, and be happy, but she was hard to root for, and sometimes hard even to like. People in pain often are, but she has a mean streak right from the start. She teases her father's boss's dog. When someone even lower on the social scale falls in love with her, she kills their beloved tropical fish with bleach. She insults and pushes away everyone who tries to help her. Some of her zingers are pretty funny, but also needless and hostile. She's an angry girl, and it is sometimes hard to bear with her.

The novel is ambitious. It's about making the best of what life leaves you, after the best laid plans are blown up and set on fire. It's about perseverance and forgiveness, and accepting the good things that come from out of left field. Did I like it? Not as much as I hoped I would. Some scenes are unforgettable, and Lamb has a wonderful eye for the detail that makes a scene real, but I only laughed a few times, it didn't make me cry, and I definitely didn't fall in love with Dolores--she's too prickly for that.  



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The Mighty Skittles

watch her conquer the green ball!

video

Internet Date

Out in one of those western states where nobody lives,
she clawed her way out of the dirt where I had buried her
during a desperate fit,
under a vulture sun.

Everybody out there has got a gun, and so did the lonesome rancher
she first kissed after spending the night in his pick up truck.
She fed him his own bullets like candies
and charged him for them, too.

Sweet girl.

She has your barbed bones, but her heart is a rattle gourd.
Out there, she got fat on the stupid and the slow,
then starved herself down to a focused edge.

Today, at the bottom of a drawer, I found the kimono I bought 
in the hopes that you would like me in it.
I never wear it anymore, 
not after the anthill ceremony you call fun.

Returning home, I took love out to the yard and chopped its head off,
fed it to silence, to injury, and to hopelessness.
It refused to die, but became something else--
this girl-- so I poisoned her with your every word and 
left her in the desert.

Now she's awake,
headed east,
one lung full of stacksmoke and the other collapsed and dying,

but still able to articulate her wild hatred and intention
for both of us.
_____

for Mag 278.

 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Black Milk

On your back,
thin as a banker's smile, 
black cashmere.

In your pen,
your campy prop,
black ink.

And in your fridge,
bare as a Detroit warehouse,
black milk.

Well what the hell is that?
Really honey,
what's in that shit? Irony?

You smile like you know the joke.
The cow, you say,
was making a statement about post-modern physical art.

The cow was sick
of not having command over her own body,
and so this is her finger at the world.

If you believe that, you should write it, I say,
but you just smirk and add a tab to the orange juice, stylishly blue.
Moo.
_____

for the mini-challenge at Real Toads.

 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

My T Rex

The neighborhood association objects to my T Rex, whom I have named "Annie."
I am informed, via certified letter, that Annie violates the section of the bylaws concerning over-sized pets.
"She is a bird, really," I assure them at the next monthly meeting. "Nothing but an extremely large--and flightless--parakeet."
My assembled neighbors address me, exuberantly, as a "stupid cunt" and a "clueless bitch."

Forgive them.
They have never seen Annie, hurt and bewildered by their hostility, holding out her stubby arms to me, her large eyes certain of my wisdom and my intercession on her behalf.
The neighbors continue with their monikers and complaints.
They say that she sets off their car alarms when she walks.
They say that when she goes to their miserable little gardens in order to relieve herself, that they must then rent industrial equipment to clean up the mess.
They even claim--lying through their capped teeth--that she eats their dogs and cats, when in fact those pets have simply fled such intolerable households as theirs must surely be.

I named her "Annie" after the beautiful song of that name by John Denver.
Within her beats the heart of a poet, as big as an 18-wheeler.
Within her burns the courage and the power of a thousand Roman legions.
At a word from me, the subdivision would be leveled, and so it is really at my pleasure that they remain here, alive, domiciled, and calling me unpleasant names.
"But," I say, stroking Annie's huge nose and feeling the lovely furnace of her devoted breathing, "one can only suffer fools for so long, isn't that right, Lambchop?"

As bonded as we are, I can easily tell that Annie agrees, and I turn toward our tormentors to report this accord,
this finding,
this harmony of opinion,
but evidently I have not given the members of the neighborhood association enough credit;
they, too, can interpret her expression,
and wisely,
drop all complaints.
____

for Ella's Edge. I love T Rex!











Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Lady Poet Of A Certain Age

Inside a door,
behind a glass,
spread out on a table top,

I have that white jacket with the snap pockets back,
with silver jewelry and a red bandana
tied around my wrist.

It's summer again
and we like Bananarama and Bryan Ferry.

Here is what I love about poetry--
I can kiss your shoulder,
each freckle in turn,
and feel the light soft hairs against my lips.

I can write it that you stayed--
that we both did.
As long as I have coffee, and a pen, 
we are each other's one more time,

inside a door,
behind a glass,
spread out on a table top

at Zhedo's.
_________

 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

In A Land Of Birds, And Night

In a land as close as birds to the branch
and as far as the moon from the window,
I came to do the one thing I must do, and that is

to kiss your hair because it is the night wind
and to kiss your lips which are the river beneath the night wind,
and to be inside your arms like a lost star.

In a land where to look at birds is to fall,
and falling, to make them seem to shift and fly,
it is really us who move, who fall, who flock and who have no language, 

but yet, in wind and darkness, entwine and sing.
 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Beatrice

Dear Dante--
That chick isn't Beatrice.
Her name's Liz Siddal and she likes her laudanum.

Aligheri didn't really know Bice.
Oh, he bled a million words, like you do paints,
but it was just woolgathering, a big bowl of bullshit.

You keep that brush in your hand, but
she goes home,
zones out,
forgets you.
_____

A 55 for Kerry at Real Toads. 

Process notes: Beatrice "Bice" di Folco Portinari is said to have been the inspiration for Dante Aligheri's writings, though he said he met her only twice, nine years apart, and she was married to a banker. 

Elizabeth Siddal was Dante Gabriel Rossetti's favorite model. He painted her thousands of times, often as Aligheri's Beatrice. Friends said "Beata Beatrix" (shown at top) didn't really look like Elizabeth.

In the spring and summer of 2009, I wrote several (bad) love poems for someone who, to me, looked like Rossetti's Beatrice, and so I gave her that nickname. It occurs to me that writers and painters may be beautiful idiots. I have tried not to be one again, since then.

 

 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Panda

China is so big, such a giant on the map and in physical space,
that a person might fall in love with someone,
go all stupid over someone,
and never see them again, disappearing into the crowd
in a port city
on a bicycle,
ringing the little bell and vanishing.

Pandas eat bamboo shoots, 
so poor in nutrition that they must consume mightily to survive.
They don't know how remarkable they are, they never see a mirror;
they just eat and crap and sleep and have no idea how loved they are
all over the world.

You are twenty miles down the road, 
but I am feeling equators and great walls.
Come back, I'll boil you all the rice you want,
and when I speak it can be in those little characters.

I have a shovel,
and I am digging digging digging.
I am hoping to hit bicycle tire.
I am hoping a big black paw will reach up for me, and pull me through,
or that I'll hear your truck,
the door, your bag hitting the entryway tile.

Opium's for suckers, your face is the only high I need,
so catch the first thing smoking and I will
cancel my expedition, put the kibosh on the dig.
I love you. Don't you know?
Or are you a panda, adorable and clueless,
wandering the bamboo forest 
when I've got something better in mind?
_______

for Hannah's prompt at Real Toads.



Thursday, July 2, 2015

Proof

Let's be together. We'll take pictures for proof.
Fill our mouths with those heart-shaped candies
and say the words, those melting words--
a dollar hidden in your hat brim, an amulet tucked inside my shoe.

Pretty wildflowers grow
fed from the slack-jawed smiles below--
blackbird, bluebird,
cowbird, crow.

Here is our memory book, let's fill it and call it a life.
If you need anything, ring this little bell;
I'll blow in to say the words, those healing words--
like the cutest little Christ-girl, your do-the-devil wife.

See the sunflowers, tall and fine
lining the road from our prairie cottage here--
sun burn, sour churn,
your lies, mine.
_______

"Ghost Maiden in the Meadow," 2015, by Angela Deane

A little scribble for The Storialist.