Saturday, September 24, 2011

Nonnie and Drago are Fine, Really

Nonnie and Drago are Fine, Really

The world had a rather bad week, of course. Well, parts of the world have only had a few good weeks, if that, in the last decades, but it seemed to us that what with weather disasters in the Far East, further diplomatic dust-ups in or about the Middle East (where is the Near East, again? I have trouble keeping my Easts straight, and who are they east of, exactly?) and the global economy's inability to hold onto global money, it's been a lousy week. The hiker's got out of Iran, though. I'm happy for them and I hope they don't do anything like that again.

Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Bill Maher pretty much covered Drago and my U.S. woes this week. Last night Bill and his panel even discussed Troy Davis and all of that, but it was a writer friend of mine, in Zoetrope, where we sometimes hang, who brought up lawyers and the gazillions in legal fees (not paid by the prisoner in question-I mean, when was the last time the U.S. executed a rich man?) that get racked up when people are in death row for, say, twenty-two years. If I ever have to be executed for something, I think I'd just as soon go the guillotine route and right after getting the bad news. I could pretend I was Ronald Colman at the end of A Tale of Two Cities. I don't want to be on death row, waiting, hoping, then getting whacked anyway, for even one year. Okay? Oh, and there was another Republican debate. So, that happened, and happened, and happened.

One of our neighborhood's best dogs died of digestive problems. A little guy named Ralphie. All the dogs and dog people loved him. And Daisy, a totally non-aggressive Yorkie, got bitten by a visiting dog who was OFF HIS LEASH! This morning our cat Sam fell in the pool. (Yeah. We have a pool. Dad put it in back when you could still be middle class.) Our dog Blossom looked more worried than guilty; we don't think she did it. Sam's okay, now, but he was very sad for awhile.

Drago saved a hummingbird whose beak got caught in a screen, though. That was an upful ting (I'm learning Jamaican slang.) Florida's weather is cooling off, sorta, and our Aunt Peggy sent us pictures of old times and places, people we've lost (on this plane, anyway) and people who are wonderfully alive and kickin'. Here's one of me when I graduated high school. Still shiny, you know?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Heart and Souls

The Best

Oh, dogs. Dogs, dogs, dogs, dogs, dogs.
Here she is. There they were. 
Riding along, running along, alongside, 
At my feet, on their backs, in my lap,
Kisses, kisses, kisses, kisses.

Play, play, play, play, play, oh, play.
Bark, snort, growl, yip, yap, giggle
Brave, yes, ready, always, obey, meh.
Hurray for food, naps, pissing!
Damn all fireworks!

Love, love, love, oh love, love
Dogs…and cats. Of course. Cats.


The Lost Elizabeths

Dead, of course. Long dead. The documents tell me who these Elizabeths and Catherines married, and what children they birthed, raised, or lost, but not who they were before they changed their names to his and his. They kept their English, Irish, French, Austrian given names, so often showing up as some version of Catherine or Elizabeth. Kathleen, Katrine, Kate, Kay. Eliza, Elsie, Berta, Birdie.  Last night I found a new (old, so old) marriage record and finally, for Catherine Eulalie, there is a surname. Wonderful discovery, that. Eulalie, as she was called, lived twenty years before she married Charles, and maybe I can find out who her parents were, where they came from, where I come from. Maybe these women who contributed their DNA were harridans,  but I choose to think of these lost Elizabeths as gentle women and as, certainly, brave women.  I’m going to continue to search for them. It feels like I owe them that.    

Sunday, September 04, 2011


you’ve been in place,
just beyond reach 
since first memory-
my advocate, my judge.

Unlike Mr.Gray’s monstrous portrait,
you grew with me to womanhood
then stayed young, vigorous, unsullied.
Your arm beyond my arm rests along the couch.

When I move on,
you come quietly behind me
but will not take the lead.
Bright path or tunnel?
The choice never defaults to you.

I’ve tapped malevolent shoulders,
taken the candy, trusted the fox,
and you've stepped away
to a safer, frowning distance.

You’ve triumphed, cried,
laughed, made love,
courted heartbreak,
through me and in gentler tones.

When all I can do is lie gasping, you revive me with cool grace,
until I’m able to catch my breath and resume the dance.