She-dog on She-cat Crime


Two things on my mind today:  pet wars and naked logos.

The not-so-new addition (even the picture above is over a month old), a Husky pup, who, at 4 3/4 months weighs about 35 pounds of massive paws and thick, stocky chest and haunches, loves to “play” with our penultimate addition, a mostly white Japanese bobtail stray, smallish for a full grown cat typical of the breed. 

The latter is wily and clever, eccentrically faithful to her chosen human, my daughter. She abides people amicably. The former is a doofus, aggro, boundary-testing youngster, whose only purpose in life is to play, eat, shit and destroy. She’s pretty, stunning ice-blue eyes with a thick, grey and tan wolf coat, and sweet. She’s also unrelenting.

Willow the cat is curious and heat seeking. She’s also playful. She often comes looking for Goose. She quietly stalks the puppy, who, upon spying her, full-speed gallops in a furious rush. She sniffs (tries to), bites and captures the cat with crushing will and heft. Frustrated by the rebuff–getting her nose clawed–she whimpers, turns her body around, and boom-lowers her massive girth to snuff out the feline, a horrifying domination, as if the small cat 1/8th the other’s size will be bone-crushed smothered in furry cement.

But despite the cat’s frantic struggle on her back, paws and claws air-poised to strategically strike vulnerable nose and eyes (everywhere else is futile with that thick, cushioned hide), her deep, low growl in constant grinding gear, she seems to know what she’s doing. Because despite clearly taking a beating from massive paws and jaw with beastly big teeth, she knows that at some critical pause, some crack in the feeble-minded puppy’s concentration, she can scuttle up a bar stool or leap up a high armoir to safety, wide-eyed glaring down at the dopey, tongue-flapping brute. 

I confess that I watch in both amusement and terror, anxious and hopeful for the underdog kitty’s safety.  I’m unwilling to intercede on her behalf, though, resolved that she asks for it.

The other image teasing me this morning is the picture on my website–a sort of branding logo–for onenakedpoet.com. The picture reveals a naked woman’s back, hands clasped behind her, one arm bent over her shoulder stretched down her back to link the other reaching from below to center of her back. The yoga pose twists rotocuff and bicep, which casts in relief dorsal and bicep muscles and sinew. Her ass is partially exposed, just the twinges of crack and buttocks. 

The photo is also slightly blurred, out of focus. The back is mine. A few years ago, a photographer shot my unclothed yoga practice. I used the picture on a whim to name my author’s website–one naked poet. I deemed crafty the double sense of revealing heart and skin, a doubly exposed confessional poetry. 

Clever as it may have seemed at the time, I now wince at that photo, which collapses the private and public in a way that could be perceived as both celebratory–an aging body contributed to the ongoing conversation of body “beauty” conceptions–and discomfiting. 

Not discomfiting as to nudity or aging. No, the ruffle arises over the hidden face and naked back. The unwitting exposure is the attempt–all writers, all women–to confess, reveal and expose a mind’s “truth” without holding back, but being unable to do so. 

A hidden face is in all writing: the persona or mask. 

Because you can spew words all over a mile long blog about love, ownership, family life, daily doings, heart break, possession, politics, hygiene and belief, everything that makes up a breathing machine called human, one particular human, and never show your face. You can write obscure, viny verses that suggest, tease and seduce but ultimately obfuscate and confound, leaving a reader clearing the rainforest, skin-misted without absorption, without sensing the screeching, raucous hues and pitches of a mad-scramble, raging artist’s pallet. That’s the writer’s plight.

So much color, so little connection. Blank screen. 

But this is also the plight of many. The same kind of angst in complicitly witnessing interspecies battles, I experience eyeing that branding: nakedly hiding a truth–about women, fear, prejudice, the lengths we the civilized go to oppress the marginalized, the subterfuge victims cultivate to survive, configured bodies continuously on public display–utterly exposed without identity, without face. Hiding in plain site always is her lurking predator–in dark alleys of the city and congress.

Women’s problems are just women’s, some believe. I could turn around, show my wrinkled face, my sagging breasts, my pregnancy-ravaged poof belly and crepey legs, a less “attractive” view, but in whose eyes? 

I am concerned about my or anyone’s acceptance or even tolerance for violent, insidious misogyny. I agonize over finding voice. In gendered inherited words, striving to write real from inside a body, I worry that we’re all cowards, immobile before the fray.

Post-human partial participant: ten for today


So much work to do in the next few years, and it’s not about organizing or taking back the country. Taking it back from whom, from what? I can’t identify the enemy, the target. As always, I’ll look to discrete acts, situations and callings to make my move, do what’s right in my own estimation. Others’ fears and interpretations are not my own. Yes, it’s bad. And yes, it’s good. But as my father wisely said as he looked me dead in the eyes, “What difference does it make to your life? Will you change the way you live?”
 
I don’t know if his words are true, right, wrong or indifferent. It doesn’t matter. The compulsion behind his words was/is desire–to see me healed, less worried, less angry, what he would characterize as “back to normal.” Normal for me looks like balanced anger, kindness, and apathy. Normal. But his urgency snapped the alarm off, shut. The blaring horns insistently blowing, ah, ah, ah, ah!, clicked off. I could not stop hating everyone and everything. My trigger-shot temper could not safety lock. I wanted to gun things down, shoot up the world.
 
Ironically, that’s what my father threatened to do not three months before, when his world and cancerous body turned in on him, making daily waking like a whack upside the head. He couldn’t take it one day. His cruel temper, the one I inherited, could not be culled from the near mostly normal he maintained.
 
So, in a way, there’s the same to do as there ever was, even before the world turned riotously dark, sinister-clownish, and despairingly downfallen. Finding my own way never was more than what I was always doing. Being part of the world was always a part time gig anyhow. Not that I didn’t march, protest or speak up. I have. I do. But I don’t have to lose my mind in doing so. That’s the way it has always been. That’s been my normal.

A Little Light Reading

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10 healthy take-out meals for 2017

Take your health seriously – you are the only one responsible for it

How are you going to eat healthier in 2017? It depends on how you define healthy. Do fewer calories, lower fat, fewer additives or higher ethics make a meal healthy?

What about time? True, your busy life…

Read the rest here.

 

 

Image: El Pollo Loco

Up from all fours (ten for today)

January 3, 2017
 
Peeling back the layers, easy as waxy adhesive pleasingly pulled back from a band-aid strip, you might find underneath

the muffled amniotic sound of my mother’s fear, my father’s absence,

and her mother’s lung cancer, his two pack a day habit, 

her father’s leukemia, his brother’s stomach cancer,

my sister’s jealousy, me, smack dab in the middle, ordered 

induced, long-labored, lost virginity to a lie,

adolescent somnambulant, anesthetized

plucked peak, poised, cut in half, abandoned childhood

love, anger, pain, salty wounds and tears, trials

errors, risks and high cliff jumps, all of it, all of the skin’s striata.

 
And yet, and yet, still, it’s the new year, and 

I’m dressed in the same uniform, repressed ire,

suppressed desire, tempered expectations, doubt

longing, trust, fomenting flames, and churning torrential inward glances.

I’ve heard my ancestors’ voices mute, in a gesture, a turn,

phrases never uttered, lovingly eked from un-warmed fingers tapping. 

Beneath the eviscerated bowels, below the libido, homonidae snapping heads aside, 

peer over their shoulders, wide-eyed, and slack jawed, unsuspecting 

after all, for who would have known, how could she predict, she just up from all 

fours, awaiting death-birth, a notion less cerebral than pelvic, yet 

surely her demise and liberation? No, her gaze reveals she never conceived, never saw me coming.

 

ape-monkey/pixabay

Happy New Year Love: Painting Trees Passion

December 31, 2016
 
“Write for one reader.” I heard that in a movie. Have a face, a personality, a height, even, but only one, so you can craft your story with a voice directed to someone with a voice too, in a conversation about what you two shared–or never shared.
 
So here goes:
 
I couldn’t write about a pure love. There have been many loves. All special loves. I think he insisted I watch this movie (plugged in the headphones, handed them to me, and loaded the movie to the rectangular screen inserted into the back of the seat in front of me) because there are loves that beam a hole in your brain and others in your heart. There is love of the right thing, doing the right thing, even if it is wrong for a part of you, wrong for some wild, abandoned adventure that you’ll never take. The purity lies in never going there. That love is an idea.
 
Ideas are clean, laser light, perfect, not messy like hunger, sex or anguish. Love as idea. Those abandoned are the purest because they are never lived. Those less glamorous, the responsible kind, the right kind, have their own line of righteous good, a purity of sorts, but not like a diamond (more a ruby). Those are reserved for the love so sublime but impossible.
 
If I write to you, will you understand? I think we both know how cut-painful words read starkly on a page. But it will bleed us pure. And that’s what you mean when you say you’ll love me to the day you die, visions that will run through your great fantasy-loving, movie mind when you’re rocking grey-silent inside, peering absently through a dirty window obscuring the winter dance of dusk-lit, flaming trees.
 
And it’s sacred and raw because it’s not messy, not calloused in boredom, sadness, anger, irritation and hate. Fragile love with a tough hide. We carry each other in a deeper pocket. I know you believe. I believe too.
 
The question never answered, I believe that too. Suspension, free floating purity, I can’t write that.