Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Headache After a Long Night

Well, friends, whoever is out there, George W. Bush and Condi and I hashed it out
over Camel No. 9's in the pink pack and Dead Guy Ales. Turns out the big terrorists
are not Osama bin Laden et al but instead it was an inside job--inside America, that
is. The Masterminds of the 9/11 and 3/11 attacks as well as Pan Am Flight 103,
for anyone that is interested, is a couple that includes my high school buddy
Nancy Jo Sales (see www.nancyjosales.com) and her husband Frank Morales
and their adopted son, who shot a few people at VA Tech a few weeks ago.
Nancy and Alex (his real name) intended to kill the Pope and Jesus Christ among
other targets. Mr. Bush assured me that the website with Nancy's "Rosebuds"
blog is under FBI surveillance and a warrant has been issued for the arrest
of Nancy Jo Sales (BA Yale University 1986, summa cum laude, MFA Columbia U.)
and her husband Alexander McCullough, who had his name legally changed
to Frank Morales after the couple's long bitter divorce between 1992 and 1994.
George W. Bush will not slide back into alcoholism because of last night's "slip"--
he decided it would be better to sip Dead Guy Ale than be a dead guy.
There was a plot against his life as well.

The ramifications of all this are huge, of course. Number One is that George
Bush, President of the USA, has authorized me, Harriet O. Leach, acting
CIA director, that the troops will begin returning home from Iraq and
Afghanistan on 25 May of THIS YEAR. I had demanded that they start
returning TODAY and some military personnel will be shipping home

George W. Bush, the jolly rancher, is a rock 'n roll singer, who goes by
the name Don Henley, if that means anything to anybody. He has been
in love with me at least since I was 13. I refuse his hand in marriage,
because he killed Saddam, and because I am happy with Rae.
On the other hand, if the Celtic ring I wear yokes me to George forever,
I will say I do. For I am heterosexual, through and through.

I am also gay. Does that seem strange? Who's not gay? I'm sorry if they're not.
I'm sorry for anyone who is not gay. Gay marriage? Laura Bush says, well, OK.
After all, she has lesbian feelings for Harriet, which she has written in her
private diary.

Now, another thing I have been authorized to announce to the small group of
friends who may occasionally glance at the blog, is that Condi is running for
President in 2008 and I've agreed to be her running mate.

I'm not 43 but 45 years old. I was born 13 August, 1961, with my sister Karin
at a hospital in East Berlin.

with love,

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

diary of a control freak

OK, so I got my way, I made my blog private, at least temporarily, as an experiment.

I was becoming anxious and feeling out of control which is a typical way for a control freak to feel; this sort of feeling is what makes the freak a freak.

Another reason I'm a freak today is that it's not a good day: Tasso ran away again, and though he came back the last time, I just have a bad feeling, but maybe that's because I'm in a bad mood anyway.

I've got a killer headache. I didn't want to stay until the end of Tai Chi.

I'm feeling grouchy because Baba, the teacher, seems to go out of his way to ignore me. He spoke to me once when I first met him, admired my turtle necklace, then from that point on avoided eye contact.

Is there something wrong with me?

No comment from the peanut gallery.

I've had Tasso more than a quarter of my life. Maybe that's not all that long, but it feels like a while. I think it's pretty obvious why he took off; 2 new kittens have been tested for kitty leukemia and kitty aids and vaccinated for everything under the sun, but we didn't take Tasso in for his annual stuff even though he's due. OK, so he's a cat, and he doesn't know all that stuff. But could the actual meowing playful presence of the kittens have given him a clue??? Funny, though, he could have gotten jealous when we had a friend staying here with two cats--he didn't take off then. Why do I think my cat is smart???

Have any of you ever thought cats could be or contain spirits of the departed? OK, did I ask the question earlier: is something wrong with me??? Well, I have had this thought. To take out a mental inquest warrant, all you have to do is go down to the courthouse...

So Tasso has reminded me of my grandfather. That's one reason I haven't worried about him too much. I think if he's got the spunk to come back into my life as my skinny gray tom, he can pretty much take care of himself. If he wants to come back, he will; if it's time to move on, I should get over all the sad sentimental stuff.

I wonder if I can post another photo of the boy. OK, it published to the top of the blog, I guess that's alright.

Yeah, I worry anyway. It is cold, rumors of snow tomorrow.

I should go look in on the kittens. I have felt less enthusiastic about them since it feels like they have chased my guy away. Little Bit, i.e. Mehitabel,
is trying to get through the door from upstairs. Blank (our houseguest) had two cats here for months who were never clever enough to get through that door.

My friend S. says Tasso will be back. He may be. I don't know, I'm sorry.

I need to get back to my spiritual roots, being OK with not knowing things. Knowing I don't know and not needing to know. That's a much less anxious way to be, and being less anxious is a whole lot more comfortable.

Whom does anxiety benefit???

I think I better put a couple more pictures of Tasso on the blog.
I think his attitude shows in the photos. Tasso is definitely a cat with attitude.
I feel so much better not talking about politics. A friend told me I should not erase my blog because it's in some way good to be a "blue" presence on the Internet. I don't think of myself as "blue" necessarily. I don't like the whole red and blue thing, actually. I never have really liked Us and Them. When Tom Robbins talks about Angels and Cowboys, that makes a little more sense to me. I don't know if he talks about that in any of his books but the one about Invalids in Hot Climates.
I mean, when I became enlightened (I'm not going to put that in quotes as if I didn't really mean it) I then saw the world as being comprised of the enlightened and the goats. But then later I heard that when you're enlightened everyone is a goat. Or is it a sheep???
All this just goes to show there's a lot of value in dividing the world into
two groups.
The well and the ill??? Buzzer.
I don't know who I'm fooling if I'm thinking more people will read my blog now that I'm opening it to fewer people. I don't know what my problem is; I started out wanting to be published, appearing in print for the first time at age five, then involving myself in as much journalism as possible through high school, trying to publish first stories then poems.
All along I had a secret ambition to be a newspaper columnist. I never lifted a finger in that direction, though.
Blogging was a little along those lines. But I have discovered there's a dizzy feeling about blogging that I don't like. I'm much less interested in being famous than I used to be, less interested in being notorious. Though there's of course a difference between the two, I think there's a lot of overlap. Here's my poem about fame and notoriety:
The Icon Who Doesn’t Watch Herself

One day out of life, celebrate like mad.
Cross the borderline and cherish love.
Will I ever get past all the hairstyles
and the colors, and one appearance on Letterman
with fishnet stockings and combat boots,
another all obsessed with riding horses?
I’ve had a typical love/hate with Madonna,
though perhaps less typically, I’ve had dreams
that she and I were sisters, which in waking
seemed repugnant or attractive, depending.
No, let’s not call me sane: my last warrant read
“She said she and Madonna could only be
separated by death.” Yeah, I heard her voice
coming from my fingernail, as if it dwelt there.
Once while on a flight of fancy I grabbed
a grunge band’s microphone and sang
“I Shall Be Released,” saying Madonna wrote it,
and I said I was Madonna, in my white
wing tip shoes, with a new haircut.
Another time I was Madonna in a locked
isolation room at the State Hospital.
Then Madonna, wanting me to change
my hair, was my blonde silly roommate.
I got out on a pass and saw Madonna
at the bar at the Mexican place down the
street from me. I went down to the
kitchen, and I was Madonna, tasting
bits of cheddar cheese from fresh-made
enchiladas. But people didn’t seem
to understand. I could dance like mad
when I was mad, and now that I am not,
I really do not give a damn about
Madonna. I don’t like the curled wings
she had in her hair on Ellen, or the smug
look on her face. Now don’t get me wrong
I wish her all the best, but I’ll take
anonymity, and she can have her notoriety.

What will I do with a blog that is only for my friends? Why is it any better than communicating with each of you privately by e-mail? What is better about it than keeping a private journal or diary? In what way is it better to write here than to write new poems?
If none of you comment, will I become discouraged and mopey? Yes, I can guarantee that. But all of you have busy lives, and to read this blog you will have to sign in, an extra thirty seconds or so, which is the new hour.
Yes, thirty seconds is the new hour.
It's probably more correct to say thirty seconds is the new week.
Like they say that in the development of girl children, 10 is the new 15. But that's something else.
I do think that knowing the whole world does not have access to this blog will eventually give me more courage, but then again I'm a contradictory person because I do outlandishly courageous things and then I second-guess myself. I guarantee I've published blog entries that would sizzle Satan's socks... or something like that, but then I've erased them the next morning. Speaking of sizzling socks, I'm going to publish the poem I wrote for the exercise in ekphrasis at the Spalding residency:
The Farmer’s Curst Wife
after a painting by Daniel Dutton
21 C, Louisville KY

Is the tunnel of internal screams
merely an eternal surgery—
hopeless, painful try at exorcising
life’s burning thread?
Hell, the theme park, hurls fire
down its own black throat, the moods
the coaster knows available
to all who have abandoned hope.

I watch from what I hope is
a safe distance, as,
approaching an auxiliary entrance,
a demon hoists
the farmer’s gray and gruesome wife
on his hot shoulders;
she’s waving a baseball bat
at no one in particular
or maybe at the farmer
who finally shot her.

Another scarlet sprite
sits at the ticket window.
Who would pay to enter here?
Apparently the ghost crowd
all dressed in see-through
knows not what
awaits on the

So now I’ve paid my way inside
for the small admission price:
my life.
How about hell’s midway?
Can I win a sizzling prize?
I hurl softballs made of
red hot coals
into a choice of
fiery eye-holes.

All I am is on the line:
if I cause enough explosion
I will win the devil as a
plush toy,
wearing flannel, striped pajamas;
if I miss the mark, I’ll get
his sulfur breath,
and lava bed to share—
devil may care.
I'm sure my choice of artwork to write about says something about me,
even if the poem itself is pretty much a joke (I entered it in the Literary Leo "bad poetry" category).
Jokes about hell have been part of my vocabulary since I was ten and my babysitter got me drunk. If you came to my graduation reading you heard me read the following poem which is about this experience:
i. alison

Babysitter, sponsor of my fantasy and shame,
you, who taught me the compelling game
of pouring poison on my ten-year-old brain,
you’re a trace, a scratch, I go obsessively back
to the scar, to learn, to try to change it, but
it’s too late. Abstinence, medicine --- nothing helps.
The sober path will always be the road not taken.
You with your long hair tucked into your Mexican poncho
always looked British and sick, but I tried to be
like you, copied your handwriting, lowered my voice.
Soon enough I smoked. I was cynical, caught
in a Princeton drop-out’s vivid dreams of hell.
You taught me it was thrilling to be bad;
for years, being bad was all I had.
So this is turning out to be kind of like a form letter mailed out to all my friends at Christmas, something I have always vividly disliked. Is it simply pathetic not to have the "guts" to publish my blog for the whole world???
I have really been seriously stressing out about the blog lately. I mean it has given me headaches, for real. So if I'm a coward, at least my headache is gone for the time being.
While in reality every day is concerned with life/death questions, it is fortunate for most of us that we don't think that way all the time. But my blog had become entwined with ultimate concerns.
I'm going to stop writing this now. Please say a prayer that Tasso will come home. Thank you for reading this--I mean it, I know that the minutes it has taken to slog through it are the new hours.
Peace and love to all,

Sunday, November 19, 2006

graduation photos part four

graduation photos part two

graduation photos part one

Friday, October 06, 2006

Acceptance is the key

God grant me the serenity...

What do I know, anyway???

So tonight it's all about Buddy the Cat, who wants to climb down into the hole in the floor and do whatever secret kitty-kat things kitty-kats do in holes in the floor (three guesses).

Have I lost the ability to
  • string ten or twelve jokes together in a poor imitation of a bad comic???
  • forget about the purple elephant in my living room???
  • focus exclusively on myself to the extent that the NEWS is a matter of complete indifference???
  • apologize to my friends for apologizing for my most recent apology???
  • differentiate between myself and that Greek guy with the beard who called himself a gadfly???
  • blog about poetry???

Oh yeah, once upon a time these blogs were to be about poetry. I remember writing about Dickinson and Plath. Those were the good old days. What's different now???


Saturday, September 09, 2006

Saturday in the Park

Wilfred Owen, known to some as the "greatest war poet in the English language," said among other things two things I will quote.

I hate washy pacificsts (October 1917)


If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
to children ardent for some desperate glory
The old lie:
dulce et decorum est
pro patria morire

---from "Dulce et Decorum Est"

Many Europeans, and the Japanese, and others, have
come to a place where pacifism seems to be the only thing that makes sense. The Germans and the Japanese, our former implacable enemies, are now both committed to the attempt at non-violent conflict resolution whenever conflict occurs. The following comes from a blog called Mid East Web Gateway; it is written by someone who calls him or herself a European who has lived in Israel and Lebanon.

The following has decided to shout in a huge font, I don't know why. It wasn't my choice.

I see two peoples, having lived side by side for so many decades and yet being ignorant of one another. How many Israeli civilians have experienced the charm of downtown Beirut, its busy streets and the joyful bustle at the beach, young people, yearning for life after so many years of destructive war? And how many Lebanese can imagine the sparkling life of the Tel Aviv promenade at a mild summer night? -- I see two peoples, both longing for peace, stuck together like the two sides of a coin, and yet -- complete strangers, deprived of the slightest glimpse of one another. What the Lebanese really know about Israel is air planes, tanks, devastation. And for many Israelis their picture of Lebanon is that of yes, a beautiful country, but inhabited by fanatic, Katyusha-launching Jihadists wearing explosive belts. It seems to be true that the behavior of humans is influenced not so much by reality as it is, as by their image of it. Disputes between nations are somehow a war of shadows; each side fights the image of his rival, the way he pictures him. As long as the enemy doesnt have a face, a voice, a smile, he is not human and his death does not mean anything to me. "Terrorist" has become such a convenient term.

I don't know the name of the author of the blog. Blows my mind how easy it would be to plagiarize or steal people's ideas.

At the beginning of the Bhavagad Gita two armies are about to clash and one of the would-be fighters gets all upset thinking about how kinsmen will be fighting and killing kinsmen, etc. etc.
so just knowing your enemy isn't enough to insure you won't blow him away. But it does seem that Arab and Jew have a willful ignorance about each other. Then there are certain facts about Islam, and facts about Judaism that are found to be off-putting to the other side. Jews can't fathom why Muslim women would want to be so "oppressed," and Muslims have trouble with the Jewish claim to chosenness. Just to name one example on each side. There's a long long list of reasons why Arabs and Jews can't hit it off.

However there is no reason or set of reasons to give up on the pursuit of peaceful resolution.
Just because I become irritated about some minor detail of my daily living, just because I can make a list of reasons I am not Perfectly Happy, there is no one reason or set of reasons why I should abandon the quest for inner peace and harmonious relations with my fellows.

The fact that bloody nd destructive wars can be fought in this century may indicate that humans have not evolved. Or it may indicate that there will always be humans who were born to fight and die or at least fight and possibly earn great honors--too bad about the PTSD that afflicts some--they simply don't have strong constitutions.

Everything I'm saying has been said by so many in so many ways since humans developed language. However, I don't subscribe to the "war is inevitable" camp. I think the Germans and the Japanese are more evolved than we are, or maybe they've just been through too darn much to want to put the killing machine into action again which would mean to become a victim as well. Why do some people say wars cannot be won? Some people will say wherever there's a loser there's no winner. Only one state, Rhode Island, used to celebrate V-J, or Victory Over Japan Day. Yeah, we stopped that war, but we didn't get away without feeling a little guilty. It is not a victory we can gloat over.

Weapons are the tools of violence
all decent men detest them

Weapons are the tools of fear
a decent man will avoid them
except in the direst necessity
and, if compelled, will use them
only with the utmost restraint
Peace is his highest value
If the peace has been shattered
how can he be content?
His enemies are not demons
but human beings like himself
He doesn't wish them personal harm
Nor does her rejoice in victory
How could he rejoice in victory
and delight in the slaughter of men?

He enters a battle gravely
with sorrow and with great compassion
as if he were attending a funeral.

from the Tao Te Ching, Stephen Mitchell translation

Can anyone read such an ancient text and get away without feeling a little