Wednesday, August 9, 2017

THIS ONE DEDICATED TO/THE ONE I LOVE/ZEL-LEEEE!!!

I’m fighting with my cat.
         (Because she’s not here and I’m a fair person, let me just channel her:  ‘she started it.’)
         To keep going with a theme, let me respond to that:  it wasn’t my fault.  (It wasn’t!)
         It was Maggie’s.
         She’s the one who showed up at the front door with a big box and a weirdly anticipatory expression.  I said, what’s in the…?
         And then they mewed.
         She had found two abandoned Siamese kittens who had spent perhaps two days next door huddled beneath an agave plant that blooms only once a century.  It just so happens that this year, that night, the plant was blooming.
 Clearly, despite their tiny size, half-open, gloopy eyes and visible fleas, these were magical kittens.

         Maggie scooped them up, took them to the vet, got antibiotic drops for their eyes, a big can of kitten formula, and once it was ascertained they were disease-free, promptly took them home to bathe them until every last blood-sucking bug had been washed down the drain, whereupon she began their two-hour feeding schedule. 
This, I might add, happened on her day off from her course work.  Faced with a couple of upcoming 12-hour days of school in San Francisco (and no one to pinch hit at home), she came over and asked, can you, please?  Just for tonight and tomorrow?  
         Kittens, five weeks old.  Small cream puffs with chocolate-tipped ears and tails, cashmere-like fur and sky-blue eyes getting clearer by the hour.
         Like I was gonna say no.

         Within the space of ten minutes, they were installed, not just in my room, but on my big bed.  Because it was an unusually chilly night, I put them under the covers with me, spread the ‘pee pads’ Maggie had so thoughtfully included everywhere, then turned off the lights. 
I woke up only when they mewed (and bit the ends of my fingers – kitten-speak for, I’M HUNGRY NOW) to bottle-feed the insatiable little creatures, then again when one of them peed on my ribs and finally at dawn when after one especially voracious bottle session, one of them came staggering up my torso, breached the covers, opened his tiny mouth and deposited a few long noodles of curdled milk on my pretty pink North Carolina t-shirt.
But this isn’t really a story about a couple of cute, messy little orphans.  It’s more a story about my own cat, Zelly (short for Zelda, as in Fitzgerald, because when I adopted her it was very clear that she was a party animal rather than a lap cat), an Abyssinian who has lived with me since 009, and has slept on my bed since the beginning (when she isn’t outside looking for small, innocent creatures to kill, that is).
         She came in, took one long look at the two adorables, opened her mouth and barely gave breath to that HAHHHHH noise cats make (the kittens backed waaaaay back) then turned to me, with a look I needed no help interpreting:  ‘what fresh hell is this?’
         Without giving me another glance, she split.  I called her, tried to feed her, went out to cajole her, but she’d disappeared until around three in the morning, when she came in once more, and seemed beyond incredulous to find that the new youth had totally colonized the bed, walked out once more, and, basically, did not come back.
         Not the next day, when the kittens left, nor the day after that when the coast was clear.  She didn’t come in the day after, either, and she had no interest in the bowls of food I tried to get her to smell before bringing them inside, where she did not come in to eat them.
         One of my favorite Zelly traits is that from the beginning, she always came (usually running) when I called.  And also how chatty she’s always been, saying hi, saying where the hell were you, saying here I am, saying what took you so long?  Saying feed me, saying, come watch me play!
Now when I went into the house to watch TV (I live in a little cottage across the yard), she hung out on the sofa just outside, and when I went running through the cold night air back to our cottage, she remained stony-faced right where she was, hunched into herself, utterly silent.

         This treatment lasted for ten (that’s 10) entire days.  Which may not sound like a lot to you, non-animal guardian, but felt longer even than the ten days I once spent in Mexico, leaving her alone in Carmen’s Toxic House of Horrors (back then, she was just so damn glad to see me back, and me her, that we spent the next couple of weeks glued to the same surface, within a foot of each other.  Of course, back then, she hadn’t been ‘replaced’ even if ever so briefly, by not just one cuter, younger version of feline, but two).

         During those ten days, she reduced me to tears (not once, but three times) before she suddenly appeared last night, at 1 am, & curled up next to me on the bed; I made much over her (and meant every second), then woke up at four to find her gone again.
         Now she has taken to sleeping in the basket right next to the window, which means she is technically inside, but only four inches from the open window that functions as her cat door.
         I have a feeling it’s an attitude I’m going to have to learn to live with; after all, it’s summer, right?  Who wants to miss a breeze?
         The lesson here being that while those kittens were so damn cute, they  left me with a certain amount of damage with my own best friend.
         But the question here is:  Would I do it again?
Please!  How stupid do I look to you?
By which I mean:   Absolutely. 

By which I mean:  Every time.

Ellen Fagan, John McCloy, Henri Laborde and Paul Robert McDonough, this is for youse



     Taking care of the Kansas kitties early every a.m., wake sometimes at dawn (shadeless windows, WHY??)  and never do go back to sleep.   Feel my heart pounding, slam a single-fingered hit of vodka.  Sometimes helps.  Often does not (the tolerance dismays me).  
Sick of doing this; it takes too much to calm me down so little & leaves me simply tired -- but I gotta chase the fear & anxiety out of my brain or I cannot seem to bear the single-second-after-the-next of being alive, the simple experiencing of every moment that life is, or should, be.  

      And the help I need is spiritual, not psychological.   My mind can perform any acrobatic spin around any ‘precept’ intellectually proffered.  No, thanks.  Again, as usual – as always!  I need to feel it in my BODY.  Had no idea I was such a rampant materialist.  Sometimes I think, baby needs her bottle -- & it really is that simple -- and, of course, that bizarre & complex, too – a tightrope walker who cannot step forth without the pole.  Gotta hang on to something, even if it ain't gonna do shite to help your fall! 

         Maybe this comes from being a terror-stricken infant whose mother left it to figure her own misery out when she cried.  And I did!  I now absolutely understand that if you need something, you gotta go get it yourself (thank God for my Auntie Maureen, who gave me Hodoll! -- and that's pronounced HAW-doll, you pervs) -- 
     -- & eventually that will lead to how many things you can go without.  You’ll ask for her attention and she will act as though stabbed in the gut with the hideous nightmare that would be putting you in her lap RIGHT NOW, when she has just sat down with her dashing husband in her charming Madrid home, finally getting to the cocktails!
         (Hmmm…I’m feeling something odd…a strange sense of parallelism but I don’t quite know why…)
         [Pause:  sip.  'Nother sip.  Nearly empty.]

         Still.  (Still: what an odd phrase.  STILL.  Stop.  As in listen, look?)   At me, that’s the subtext.  And then again, not.  It’s also:  wait.  Think again.  There are so many other answers.  Including those you cannot conceive of – somebody, entity, sentient being, the inanimate breathing, Haig-Bosin Particle (aka dark matter aka the God molecule) – I make entreaty of thee to make Thy Self/Selves apparent, somehow.  

     I ask that you unmask, wrap thyselves around me, Kali, Ganesh, the Dalai Lama, Jesus Christ, Mother Mary, Yahweh, St. Anthony (because I am always misplacing stuff!), *and my favorite of all time, St. Francis of Assissi* (esp, as it turns out, I was born in his nameplace!)  The greatest animal lover e-ver. 

         I remember feeling (doubtless under the influence, I believe, of legal MDMA – hoo/ those were!/the good old/days!) the reality that is the infinitude of love, and its microscopic depths, too, but the memory does not warm me, nor leaves me an iota less scared.  Only actual experience, in the axis of time (now) & space (here), as in:  the present, will suffice -- even as it is the only locus in which to have an experience, it is also always in the process of becoming both its own future and its own past – thus you are really occupying now/here (nowhere) while already someplace else; and of course, we cannot forget our past trajectories, either.  
     (We would love to, but our body would never allow it.  And mind, naturally, is much more tenacious, while the heart can bleed over its own bruises for entire lifetimes of pumping.  Spirit itself becomes damaged, falters in faith, stops knowing itself, is estranged from others and especially separate from the cosmic relatives…)
         'Every radio host needs a great go-out line.'
         (I  paraphrase.   Either from Bullseye, 360 or RadioLab.
Dude Thorne, je crois.  Ouehhh….je crois que c'est lui).
         Mine is:

         Looking for truth?  Follow  the parenthetical aside.
         Either that, or fuck you, I'm from New York.
You guys choose!

In my fifth hour of insomania, I send you
ALL OF MY LOVE/ALL OF MY LOVE/ ALL OF MY LOVE/TO YOU...

Sunday, June 25, 2017

koo koo ka chu!

3 of AuGUST, OAKLAND 2015; RESCUED FR THE FILES, WHY I DO NOT KNOW:

Hey Now/Witchy Cow (inspired by WAZ the OG)

Where you AT?  Where you at, right NOW?

come on & shake it/shake it with me
(shake it to th'END…!)*
*added lyrix, unasked for

Who, me?  I fine, myself
Walkin dogs
Looking th'other way
When they do they biz
Gawpin at the sky
All newborn pink, blue
(and/ink)

So I'm alone – so what!+
(+Miles Davis, I shout you OUT) --
Anyway, that ain't true – when you gots your crew/round you!
And I got Iz the Dizzy Izzard with her plumey tail
And her last last 'brlk'…(thass 'word' to you, mo'fo!
(cause like ev'ry big-mouthed antsy girl/ she got to have
the lasssss word!)

Oh I got my Rossie Roscoe
He's a high-steppin boy-oh!  He's the English banker
& even got his own H'wood salon!

Comin home, I'm askin God
What should I do, my God, what should I do right now?

And God – to my surprise! – he said dance, dance, DANCE!
So I turned up Cherry Weazel
& even watched myself in the mirrah
doing the white chick shuffle,
the wish-I-was-a-black-girl hipside tussle
But HEY NOW
PRETTY THING,
I be talkin to
YOU!
Oh yeah, mister?
Well, koo koo kachu!
(an then I twitch mah hips, oh yes I DO!)

The man with the cigarette
The man with tha squint in his eye
He says it ain't the smoke, baby,
It's the fire
And right now, sweetheart,
I be dancin that pyre!

(yeah
I believe
I will settle

For that….)

Friday, June 16, 2017

Passion ate: Unedited Ramblings...

I Wanna Get Off & Go Home (J Mayer Stop This Train – yes that too) – May 30 2017
DDS tomorrow

Listening to the radio, some live recording of John Mayer* just then singing, Someone stop this train/I gotta get off, I gotta go...
Where the Light Is/GRAVITY wants to bring me down...

       'O Gravity!  Don't Come for Me!  Stay the Hell Away From Me!  Just keep me where the light is/ oh keep me oh/where the light is/keep us...ohhhh just keep us keep us keep us (KEEP US)'
OK FUCKED UP NUFF FOR YOU?


You think of that song by Coldplay – and the way the singer windmills backwards in that first video that went -- ('viral,' no you will not say viral, it seems like an anti-vaccination, the worst kind – your computer just corrected that to 'kid'! – of poison epi-pen) –
Well, you tell yourself, gingerly touching the pouchy puffs of eye you used to call lids, If even the Most Beautiful Girl in the World and that angelic British boy didn't stay together, then...what chance have we?  (Speaking wholly meta/phorical/ly)

Line from another song (now THIS woman is in love):
+Sade: 'I'll tell you you're right when you're wrong'

Mayer, from Come Back to Bed:  'I know you're not a quick forgive/I survive on the last breath you breathed/please baby it's cold/come back to bed/it's 98 degrees and six of separation'/
Dave Chappelle: 'there ain't nothing colder than a woman's/cold shoulder'}

The Verve here:

'cause it's a bitter-sweet symphony/that's life now/you're a slave to the money/then you dy-ie...
where all the things...?
Try to make ends meet/try to meet somebody before you dy-ie...
No change/ I can change I can change
But I am here!/ in my mode
And I'm a million different people from one day to the next/I can/can/change my mode/no no no no!
..but tonight I'm on my knees, yeh
I need to ease from sounds that record master painted...(?)  I let the melody shine/till it cleansed my mind I feel free now/


So on my friend Josh Pais' Committed Impulse page/work, he says, we have about 65K thoughts a day; and about 55K are the same ones you had yesterday ('exercise/drink less/lose weight/write more/is it too late for...?')

O!  How very very very.
O!  HOW VERY FUCKING TIRESOME.
To think the same 65 thousand thoughts every day at least 55K of which are the same!
  Of which most if not all lead to the:

    'maybe I fucked/that up/maybe I'm a big/fuck up/maybe I just fucking SUCK!!!
...till you get to THE:  Suckittude!
You live squarely in SUCKITTUDE, and because we are ALL the stars of our own shows, we all SUCK the most!  (How not?)]

Lately, a most confounding, a most alarming:  I feel the need to dictate, out loud, TO myself, and only AFTER I have typed it, whatever I have just said.  The inflection is that of someone dictating.
I have become a dictator.

At least, there's only one kingdom, and by that, I mean a single queen.

The weirdest about queens?  (okay now I'm talking and typing and laughing at the same time which means I just smoked something J got me at her dispensary because she is SO GENEROUS like that!!  Called Candy Jack – and I SWAR, I didna make that UP!)

I think some y'all mighta noticed that lately stuff I write comes short and sometimes rhymes
(OKAY WHO IS THIS??)

Chance ya gotta take when you invite the Genie in.  Tonight she seems to be Southern.  I'm praying Austin but very afraid some hidjeous Parish in Alabama (FRANKLY).
Fuck y'all.  As long as she's a queen!

I love how the queen does rule; even in chess, such a man's game:  all that back and forth w/ just a lil diagonal (but no such thing as a curve; what would we call that now?  An algorhythm?  Ie, what rules the fuckin world?)

Fibonacci's sequence.  HA!  Hardly, hardly his.

Every spiral made to such particular design.  Denying the multiverse's radical intelligence is simply, bovinely, supinely, and contrary to every law of nature including mathematical (the first of our virtual worlds -- after 'let's play pretend!' I mean) – well, the right word is simply stupid, but that's so ugly and without meter...I wanna say simple, but simple is so different from easy, and easy is so close to sleazy and sleazy is so close to...
I don't know the answer to that.
Ir - responsibility?
Per...HAPS.
        Quien sabe, Miguelito?
WhoTF is Miguelito...?

Suddenly the stars fell off.
This is now automatic writing…\

        Ash lash mash cash rash math lath laugh lack of lack of laugh of cash of rash of pash of passion ate passion  ate passion ate

PASSION ATE.

Friday, May 19, 2017

A Repost to Margaret Atwood


'To want to meet a writer because of their work is like wanting to meet a duck because you like pate.'
- Margaret Atwood

So I've been thinking about this, and I disagree.

If you're lucky enough to have the right editor (the first and most important one being yourself), and getting the right editor is like being struck by lightning, your sometimes crazed ramblings, sometimes duplicated scenes, sometimes long-winded asides all get smoothed out and what you end up with is really what you wanted to say all along, with all the character flaws ironed out.

Because I do think our character flaws are mirrored in our writing. For example, when I tell a story I will often (immediately) go off on a tangent, then come back to the story then -- again -- have another aside (you see my instruments at work here, the parenthetical aside and the dash let me just interject dash dash) and I've been told by more than one (all male, btw) that they find it irritating.  I imagine this is because they're being asked to hold the main story line in their minds while then following the writer's mind into a different sphere, then come back to the main story, then have that linearity broken again, even if ever so briefly.

For some reason, I think women don't have as much of a problem, and this is probably because when they talk to their friends, especially if they're at home, they're also doing at least three other things: folding laundry, making a snack, soothing children -- and they're counting on their friends to hold the story they're telling for them ('where was I?'  And then a chorus of 'at the part where --' 'oh yeah!  So...')

Still, I do understand that breaking what is essentially a reader's concentration too many times would be off-putting, and now that I'm aware of it, I do try to keep it to a minimum -- both the length of the tangents and the breadth of the asides.

A friend of mine writes very descriptively.  I love description, the way it sets a scene, the way it puts you right there, but when it's extensive, when it tells every detail of an ordinary task (washing dishes, say), it can be not so much evocative (the point) as suffocating, because it doesn't leave any room for the reader to enter the scene with their own imagination.  As an editor, I would say select a few details then leave some in between out, because really, we all do know what it is to shower, to drive, to cook, to walk in a park.  I love it when it evokes that activity, but there's a certain tedium in being told 'then she put the dishes in the dishrack to dry, and picked up the handtowel to work on the wineglasses before putting them away on the right shelf in the cupboard next to the sink.'

Pick one or two details out of that, I'd say, and you evoke the rest.

But given the right editors, yourself then the next person -- who has to, who must, absolutely love your writing, that's the first prereq -- those bits of irritating distraction or feelings of tedium get lifted off, airbrushed out, and you're left with the way that writer thinks, with how she experiences the world, and what she values the most.

If she's good, anyway.