Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Smiles Await You When You Rise

I've been having crappy dreams ever since I took this photo. I noticed these hand-written messages plastered in various spots up and down First Avenue on my walk to work a couple weeks ago. Then I realized that's nothing new--I pretty much always have crappy dreams. Or they're just odd mixes of regurgitated media images, snapshots of when a particular feeling hit, Judge Judy calling me an idiot... I actually looked back at my old journals, and here are some big hits of my dreaming activities over the past 10 or so years:

-I was hobbling by the dorms in college, which were all sort of open-air, and announced loudly to a large group, "I have a snotty nose."

- I dreamed I had a uromastyx lizard who had 50 big, chubby babies. She was stressed and overtired and told me, "This is no thanks to you, you never took proper care of me."

- I was dancing in a performance in which we were supposed to be animals in a factory farm, and I got so into it that I passed out. The teacher handed me a big, drapey cloth covered in yellow stains, and I continued on, staggering and nauseated and dizzy.

- Dreamed that I was interviewing Courtney Love, who was talking about her involvement in a program in which she helped give light bulbs to kids so they could see when they read. There was a guy there who looked like Andy Warhol, so she asked, "Is your name Andy?" He said, "No, my name is Dandy.

Awful, right?! To be fair, it's all balanced out because I have had some crazy-good, beautiful dreams that I'm pretty sure were sent to me by my cats. I should write about them and not be such a freakin' drama queen, eh?

You're having a nightmare!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: More Like the Moon Than the Sun

Oh dear. Sometimes it happens this way. From the two books that found themselves, kneeling and reeling, on my bedside reading table this week:

There was shadow in bureau drawers and closets and suitcases, and shadow under houses and trees and stones, and shadow at the back of people's eyes and smiles, and shadow, miles and miles of it, on the night side of the earth.
-Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

UNCERTAINTY like opening your eyes wide in the dark then closing them hard then open and blinded by the sparkling silver dots created from the pressure on the corneas, squint, roll, focus, then you're blind again but at least you saw the light somehow.
-Kurt Cobain, Journals

And for musical accompaniment, why, I thought I'd serve up two of the saddest songs I've ever heard!

When I heard him start to play this next one at Michael Jackson's funeral, I thought..."No, not that! Everyone will cry!"

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Lady Cab Non-Driver, Volume 1

I've been traveling a lot for work these past couple years, so I often find myself being driven…to hotels and conferences, from airports and train stations, in new towns and cities… a hay-haired Cinderella, heart in rags, whose pumpkin chariot turns into a shiny yellow taxi.

And somehow each ride writes itself into a poem, roly prose of stops, signs, starts.

Just last month, on my way to the pet blogger conference, I hadn't even shut the door yet when my driver asked, "Are you going to DC?" No point in asking, "How did you know?," because, hey, that's just the way it seems to go. As we made our way to Penn Station, every block or so he'd spout out a line of verse… It takes man so many steps to hang something from the ceiling, while nature so easily suspends the stars in the heavens. We spoke of earthquakes and suns and where they start, and as I was leaving he said, "I know I've met you before."

"I believe it," I said.

And back in July, I was picked up at DC's Union Station (oooh, I love that place! It's like fairies live there or something) by D. (I know some people hate that first initial thing, but I didn't think to ask him if I could tell his story, so it's not fair to use his real name), who had been driving a cab for 22 years. He told me that he is one of 12 chosen people visited by Saint Anthony 50 years ago, all of them born on the same day--May 18, 1956. He got really sick as a kid and was near death in a hospital, but Saint Anthony teleported on in, or whatever Star Trek-y thing that saints do, and told him it wasn't his time to go yet. I also remember D. telling me he was gonna be going on a pilgrimage in September to..I can't remember where…Portugal? touch a holy rock, and he was nervous about it. Dude, if you're there now, everyone reading this blog is pulling for you!

And there's Georgia, who dropped me off at a dance class in Asheville, NC. In front of the building I met a little girl holding a 3-day-old baby chick. "We have 8 more," she said. When Georgia came back to get me, she had a new name for me. "Pom-Pom…is it okay if I call you Pom-Pom?" Everyone loves pom-poms, right? How could she have known that one of my favorite eBay searches--try it sometime, but expect to get a lot of vintage Barbie outfits on your list--is "1960s mod pom poms"? I still have Georgia's voicemail message confirming a ride to the airport for Pom-Pom.

It's no accident, I think, that inspiration should roll up with the meter running, 'cause the delicious irony is I don't drive. (If you saw me take my road test, waving during my 3-point turn at this lame guy I had a crush on, you'd be glad of it, too. Though I figure if I can be a radio DJ, I have adequate, um, motor skills. )

And while I don't wanna stop the dream by asking what all of this means, for me it's not just fodder for a good story. I'm not really sure what it is, but it feels like magic, and it feels like verses unfolding, like life is art. And behind the wheel, angels sent to make me feel at home along the way a long way from home. Like Nietzsche said, We want to be poets of our life — first of all in the smallest most everyday matters.

Though guiding someone to where they need to go is no small matter.

P.S. I have 3 more taxi stories, but I'm not sure you guys can take any more--this one's high on the ersatz-new age gaggability scale. Stay tuned for Volume Two. : )

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Dead Flowers

A couple weeks ago I stood at the edge of the East River just as this wee procession traveled past. The first thing I thought of:

Each bloom a floral Ophelia,
petalled and pistilled and
twittering en route to a watery beginning or end.
Drowning in gowns of pinks light and dark.

I really like the musical selections today, even if they're all big-a$$ bummers. Bright spot: two Nick Lowe tunes in a week!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Meezer Monday: Wooly Bully

Confession--my cat is a total nutter. Seriously, I've told you how Derrick has been known to go all mental and attack Bing, but lately the consequences are greater, particularly 'cause Bing's been sick this summer and he's already a frail oldster to begin with.

I figured it was time to call in the big guns--and on Friday we had an appointment with the animal communicator. Just in time, because Bing was feeling pretty distressed. "It's so hard to be in a situation where I never feel any peace," he told the animal communicator.

And Derrick's reply? "I just can't stand seeing him in my space sometimes."

WHA??!!!! Entitled much?! I get it, Derrick, I get how easy and well, cheap, it is to take your own $hit out on someone else, but couldn't you pick on someone your own size? Derrick's so tall that Bing can fit right under him like they're stacking end tables. I've walked in the room to find him straddling Bing like he's the freakin' Colossus of Rhodes, wobbling along like the family pet in a deranged Weeble family.

Oh wait, wait, that was me taking a bit of a poetic license! In Derrick's defense, 90% of the time, he's sweet and full of vibrant energy. He's one of those cats who licks your arm, follows you everywhere and talks to himself constantly. From 10 am to 3 pm, he and Bing cuddle together on the bed, Bing resting his head on Derrick's tummy. Total charm-ball.

Then, it's like this switch flips on and he's a psycho. I've seen Bing slink around the perimeter of the room to avoid the wrath of BFA (Big Fat A$$), the behemoth that takes over Derrick's kitty brain at times like this.

And no, he can't promise he'll try to be better because he doesn't really know what's going on with him. "I just go berserk," he said.

Berserk? Does anyone use that word anymore, except my dad, who pronounces it just like it's spelled and not the usual morph of ba-zerk? And is that the end of the discussion then? It's like he's copping the insanity plea, story's over, periodtheend.

Well, in this case, we're working on an entire treatment protocol to put Derrick back in balance. This will involve a visit to the holistic veterinarian, so maybe he'll get a chiropractic adjustment. Wish us luck. And honestly, if ever you're in a tight spot in which you, say, tripped a lady wearing a fur coat (egads! who would do that?!) or went postal on someone for cutting you in line at the store, tell 'em Derrick made you do it.

Do you know that the original "Wooly Bully" was supposed to be called "Hully Gully," but there was already a song named "Hully Gully"? And I still have the stickers that go with this album, even if it was the recent vinyl reissue:

OK, so since Mr. Lowe wrote that above song for Mr. Cash, it seemed only fair to feature this next one. And what a great vid this is! I've never heard this version, which is even more exciting than the costume changes. And if Nick can change his song, Derrick can certainly change his tune.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Meezer Monday: Baby Mama

Don't have kittens, people--Jayne's back for another Meezer Monday!

I'm not sure there's a lot I can add here--the image really speaks for itself. But what the heck is it saying?! It's wonderliciously whack if you ask me. Jayne's putting on a brave, maternal sort of face, and I find it interesting that the mom meezer chose to have her babies on what appears to be a hardwood floor. I mean, we know all the 8 bathrooms in the Pink Palace have wall-to-wall-to-wall fluffy pink carpeting! And Jayne gets props for being so respectful of the mini meezers, not picking them up and posing by the heart-shaped pool and jacuzzi just to get a better shot or anything.

OK, so I never thought this wasn't about a baby...

P.S. Click here to watch the kittens play "The Immigrant Song."