Saturday, March 23, 2013

Bygone days

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sweet Walt exalts bygone days, and exteriors, a celebration of living, fingers exploring the outward shapes, the soft surfaces, the hard boundaries, the rough skin and smooth, in a world where life seems to come in monochrome ignoring the hot and gold of things, the big and small, the loud and silent.
I lean in and smell the aromatic scents, the flower and perfumes that give our universe its appeal, even the sour scents that define all that makes us real. I need to taste reality the way Whitman did, the sting of sea salt on the tip of my tongue, the fling in the face of ash bringing tears to my eyes, or the choking, smoke heat I feel deep in my throat. I want to swallow it all, take it into me, feel it warm me from the inside out, pressing against my ribs as I breathe, and against my thighs with the rise and fall of tides.
To touch it, to feel it, to hold it, is not enough. I must take it in and keep it there until the world blooms inside of me and radiates out my eyes, and explodes from my lips, oozing out of every orifice so that I am what it is, and what will ever be.
Sweet Walt, singing this to me and I feel its beat.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Messing with Time

Saturday, March 09, 2013

This is the day we turn back the clocks and I lose that hour’s sleep I thought I got back in fall when we gained an hour.
People complain government has too much power and ponder the drones and other aircraft secretly seeding clouds with chemicals to keep the air wholesome or humanity sane, part of some super conspiracy to which I’ve never subscribed.
I hate the government’s messing with clocks, one of the few things I agree with Arizona about. Time is precarious enough without government tinkering.
Bad enough we have leaders to collect packs of greedy gadflies, money hungry hangers-on seeking to get a piece of his power or money, hanging onto his coattails long enough to get both before the general public discovered just how incompetent or corrupt he is, and the gadflies are forced to seek a new body to feed off of.
I understand greed for money and power, and how good people will prostitute themselves to get on line ahead of everybody else, justifying their actions by claiming the world is unfair and it’s up to each person to grab what he or she can while they can.
Most cheaters lose anyway in a market place where competence pays whether you cheat or not, and if you’re really good at anything, you get ahead. If not, you don’t.
But what in it for all these time keepers?
Do they have some kind of government contract for setting the clocks twice a year, or their repair?
Are the battery companies secretly paying off politicians the way insurance companies, public relations firms and attorneys do ordinary political people so that people must change the batteries in their smoke detectors twice a year?
I understand how some people can’t feel important unless they are on the inside, part of the in crowd at Club 54 where only the special people get in.
But why do they have to mess with time?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The passing of Tygrrr

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Tygrrr is dead. I knew something was wrong the minute I opened the door to the basement and he wasn’t in his usual spot. The size of a small mountain lion, Tygrrr never missed a meal, and usually waited on top of one of the basement book cases for his dish of food, morning and evening. Not a fat cat, just big, Tygrrr saw himself as a tiny animal, and perpetually tried to squeeze into places he couldn’t fit, a box or a shelf, but this morning, he was stretched out on the downstairs kitchen floor, stiff, but still warm, as if he had simply closed his eyes and gone to sleep. He’s the second cat to die on me this year, a sad kitten from the start, and the first of a series of kittens I took in from an outside cat called Ragzy. She was a prolific mother we could never catch, who kept popping out batches of cats, and I kept taking them in or getting them adopted. Tygrrr was a mother’s boy, and when I managed to get him into our basement library to isolate him until I could get him his shots, he was so miserable for his mother, I had to let him out again, only to catch him later. Hashy, the downstairs cat who I had brought in earlier as a fully grown and wild cat, felt so sorry for Tygrrr, he forced open the library door and adopted him, and was soon joined by two other Ragzy kittens from two later batches, Little Bit and Huey, both of whom died last year of cancer. Tygrrr missed them since as his kind, they often huddled together for warmth, although Tygrrr grew larger and larger, and soon was four times their size. Finding him like I did this morning, I understood that his death was as much from loneliness as it was from illness, although I suspect it was his heart that gave out, unable to sustain his size. Had we known his personality sooner, I would have named him Lenny from the novel Of Mice and Men, because as kindly as Tygrrr was, he was also dim, one of those characters that makes his way through life without needing much except food and love, lacking ambition for anything except the company of others who might treat him well. He did not have a bad life, but would have found more happiness as the only cat, someone who might have had my full attention. As it was, he and his brothers lived their lives as a clan, always there at my feet or by my side, and when the others went, even Tygrrr’s size could not make up for the missing figures of his life. His mother also passed away a year or so ago, having lived her entire life on the street, breeding until she could no longer breed, and then being cared for by neighbors who cooked meals for her at the end. I still have one of her kittens, fully grown, but such is life that immortality is fleeting and that the best we can hope for is to find brief snatches of love the way Tygrrr did, and find someone like Hashy who will do his best to adopt us when we feel more miserable. Tygrrr was not my favorite cat (Tug was and he died earlier this year), but Tygrrr was special because he was not special at all, just a dim, wonderful, loving animal who shared the couch with me while watching TV and always came to the same place to feed – his spot now vacant in my twice-a-day routine.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Wash and Dry

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Stark dawn oozes into gray haze this early Sunday morning. The ritual of wash and drive, the precarious tumble of loose clothing after a long nights toss and turn, winter’s brittle pieces beginning to crack and fade, stiff melting into something soft and tender, flowing with the intense brooded-over relief, warm-blooded fools like me ache for, a Goldilocks locked into a cycle of too hot or two cold when always desperate for just right.
I am not alone in being alone (as the old song says) as this stretch of Kennedy Boulevard yawns with emptiness, the usual gush of traffic caught in desperately needed sleep, me, waking early from a middle of the night sweat to shiver and make my way into the world of routine – wash and dry, tumble and roll, arms and legs entwined in a paid-for warmth I can’t access only watch from the outside, envious of the shirt or skirt that tumbles from one cycle to another, aching for the heat they exchange, forced to wait that painful last moment until the tumbling halts and the participants fumble with button and zipper, or the hook of the brazier caught in the mechanism, reminding me of the 16-year-old usher I once was in that theater balcony struggling to undo the same contraption, though the reward for this accomplishment won’t live up to the same expectation now as it did then, wash and rive, fold, then wander back to the street where the sleep deprived stumbling along the sidewalks as if from a scene out of the Night of the Living Dead.
Wash and dry, bags over my shoulder as I make my was to the next stop in this Station of the Cross, this Passion play full of lashes and crowns of thorns.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Rubbing things green

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Fog swirls over Newark Bay like shreds of silk, cook kill against my moist cheek this chilly morning in March, shreds strewn over the water in vaporous streams like thin hair, the serrated tips of stones poking through.
Drips of rain or dew lingers on the lips of sticks that pierce this fog, or run down the long brown leggy tree trunks, spread wide, gaping before me as I stand near the shores, aching for spring to explde in and around them, aching for warmer kinds of fingers to rumb them green, twig fingers rubbed raw over the long season trying to revive what has died.
The wind makes these limbs groan in the mists, slow moaning that makes something inside me ache, pieces of something pushed and pulled inside my heart, shredded inside of me even as I breathe deep these wisps, even as I sign out something I did not know grew inside of me, adding new fingers to the rubbing limbs, hoping that if I rub hard enough, I might revive life inside me, too, or at least something like it.