Tuesday, February 16, 2016

For . . .

I should consider our cat Gus
while I watch a tape of the ESPN
telecast of the Tigers
who are after all cats
against the Yankees
who are after all mercenaries
of a most ugly sort.

But I don’t. I consider instead
baseball. And then Chris calls
and I am reminded that we saved
this cat from destruction
and that I am in some sense responsible
for his wellbeing, and I pray for his salvation

because I haven’t seen him since I got home
but there he is when I step outside
flirting on the sidewalk four doors down
with Odette. Gus is indeed the servant of nature,
duly and daily living according to it.
And catting in both senses with Odette
who is deaf but not mute, and very white

where she’s not dirty. He leaps up to catch the scent
of her musk and wreathes his body seven times
around all the tires that she has haunted. When he
meets Odette he kisses her in kindness. Because
she is deaf she doesn’t hear him coming
but that is just how those
who cat around do their business.

For Gus is a Manx cat, and although
he’s never been to Man I have and
his very presence reminds me
of that brilliant afternoon
when Chris and Stella were out on the loose
in Peel looking for a cat to call
the sighting of their own while

I sat in the White House on Tynwald Road
the greatest of funky pubs
watching cricket on the telly
while old timers argued forcefully
and completely pointlessly over pints of Okells
about something of which I had no concept.

Seemingly neither did they,
although for sure it wasn’t cricket,
but the habitues seemed to know
them and what they were arguing about
and then the rains came. Hard.

So Chris and Stella didn’t find any cats
not even in the antique shop where the
proprietress treated them rudely as though they
might have been Yankees and
after enduring her kind inattention

they found me in the White House and
we found the narrow lane where I
had parked the rented Brit Ford and we
hit the road, the same road
the TT races on, back past the Tynwald

and turned right in the by-now seriously driving
rain, toward Foxdale and the Manx SPCA
where there are more Manx than you could
shake your tail at if you had one
(which some of them do)
and met Trevor, all 25 copper-coloured pounds
of him and the nice people there
made clear we couldn’t take him

back to North America. John Perry Barlow,
our Manx at the time, survived
that absence, but took sick in
a foreign place (Sunnyvale)
and died at home in San Francisco. For
Manx cats although the best in the world
are subject to malady.

Gus hopes to take prey among the gophers
who feed upon my onions and cabbage but
they have a chance because he has not yet
learned to go underground like they
and six gophers in seven so escape
although hardly by his dallying . . .

For though he is quick to his mark of any creature
be it gopher or insect, he seems to have his
best success with insects, tenacious
of his point even as to the gophers but
they generally burrow too far down
for there’s only so far down a cat can dig.
(They are not dogs.)

Throughout their native island
(and the two on either side of it) they
are no longer bred for style, or at all,
in honor of their inbred genes which need
be left to their own devices.
Yankees should be so advanced,
but far too many believe in intelligent design.

If you get on the net you can find one
in California for humane and domestic purposes
and a nice cat lady from Sacramento
will deliver him or her to your door
even on the hottest day of the summer

if you pass the eligibility test, and
she will be pleased if you make
a donation greater than asked
and will refuse your offer of
additional funds for her trouble and gasoline.

She travels with a Dane
of the human sort. Which is how
our cat Gus became ours. He was
utterly faithful until Odette
flashed her witchy blue right and
witchy brown left eye at him
and now it seems he’s taken over
several households up and down Ashton Avenue.

“Y’gotta watch them Manx,” is all I can say.
A certain spirit comes about their bodies
to sustain them as compleat cats.
They do not seem to know
any Diety, let alone personal saviour,

But I know not what goes on in the
mind of those cats, particularly not those Manx
and maybe neither do they. For
they are cats of estimable heritage.

And I long to return to that place
from whence they came to see
if we can’t find many more such
remarkable creatures
for nothing is sweeter than their
mixture of gravity and waggery.

When we do return we will be
the politest of tourists
as they pursue their delirious pranks.

No Gnus is not Good Gnus

--in memory of my brother Bob, aka the Wildebeeste--

And then there were
how many? It is
difficult to say. Difficulty
ever having been

A specialty of the house, &
a constant of
existence. This house exists, that’s
for sure. How many What?

Deaths in Republican Iraq? Very Very
Many. Deaths of USA deadend
folk who got there at the mercy,
the tender mercy, of their operators . . .

Very Very Very Many. Deaths of
the poor dumb fucks who
were going to welcome the
USA with flowers?

A magnificent series of VERIES.
(Welcome to the Real World, as Butch sz.)
They line up like horn-ed
Apocalyptic Beestes.

No Matter.
Gnu Criticism is dead.
As a doornail, or God.
But the shock of the Gnu

Can’t possibly be heavier
than the shock & awe falling
on yr average highly
evolved immortal Iraqui soul.

America, a Prophecy:

The whirlwind will assuredly
be reaped & all the girls
& guys
who don’t know hay from straw

Will fuck like rabbits
on the threshing floor.
Sadly, no pleasure will be had
in the breeding
& the offspring of it

Will greet the next advent
with bitter tears
spilling hideously over misshapen
noses and mouths

Where all the teeth left
are gnashing, and there will be
no more gnus, let alone any of us
to criticize them.



In Pat & Diane’s garage
there’s a painting of a Willys
in a dry ditch outside
Flagstaff, peak in the background,
and a game of Cootie.

Hadn’t thought of Cootie
since, say, 1962. Wouldn’t
have, probly, not seeing it there.
(Athough hadn’t necessarily
thought of Willys either.)

Aunt Fenna & Uncle Bert
had Cootie. So did we.
May have been my introduction
to dice, or in that case
a single die.

In the sixth grade it was a game
Conservative Christian Right Wing Republican
Straight White American Male 6th graders
played at the expense of a homely girl.

She had ‘em & if she
brushed you, you passed ‘em on
to the next Conservative Christian male 6th grader.
We boys, of course were all so handsome
in a cute teutonic sort of way.

Have to wonder how straight
we all were even then, though.
Memory, bad memory, so you go looking
to Wikipedia. And learn
that Cooties do have gender content,

that they are a form of
“ repression of child sexuality,”
of which no one sure wanted
there to be any of
at Seymour Christian School.

Etymology interesting, if obscure.
At the turn of the 20th century U.S. soldiers
occupying the Phillipines were afflicted
with festering lice and referred to them
by their Tagalog term, "kuto."

Eventually, these soldiers returned
carrying their own version.
In time, the name stuck,
and the Scharper Company
marketed the game around 1949.

That’s the game in Pat & Diane’s garage,
classic lines on the little buggers
and a week ago you could have bid for
a similar set on eBay where it went for
a little less than $7.

Or, you could get the modern version
marketed by Hasbro® (of course)
which is really pretty ugly.
See for yourself at the company site.

There are Cooties in the Simpsons,
and lots of them in Calvin & Hobbes
& the MTV series Blowin Up.
In the UK they call them lugi
& they were in The Goons.

From 1912 to 1918, Willys
was the second biggest car company
in these United States. While Mr. Ford
who owned the biggest was against that war
Willys only survived because of

the next, in which it was
a damned fine little war machine
(although known by its pseudonym,
Jeep, also the name of a character in
Popeye, though no relation).

No doubt one of the big
reasons the USA rules the world
today, albeit badly. The name now owned
by Chrysler Daimler, reminding one of what

Blicero’s protégé Katje realizes on page
105 in Gravity’s Rainbow, that
“the real business of the war
is buying and selling.”


Highway Blues

The guy
although handsome
is a fathead.

The girl
although pretty
and pretty clever
is a stupid cow
just because she saw
her parents having group sex.

The chapters
although fast
don’t go anywhere
beyond cliffs
for which there are no notes

The church
although totally to blame
turns out not to be
the one true church

The pyramid the light gets through
although accurately described
turns out to be a thing
anyone can photograph
and will always look the same.

The creep directing the plot
although learned and mysterious
turns out to be Mel Gibson
in his dotage.

The heavy
although easily persuaded
turns out not to be able
to taste the poison
that kills him.

The author who pretends to be learned
although innocent
turns out to only want to be
a millionaire
& is only too happy
to put his wife
although a coconspirator
on the stand.

The funny little box
although meant for mushrooms
is empty.

The chapel
although in Scotland
is placed where other gods so much
before that time
ate the hearts of
imperfect devotees.

Robert Graves
although long deceased
issued a curse
that will get anyone who believes
this nonsense

In August 2006 (CE)
Mona Lisa appeared mysteriously
on a cliff beside a highway
singing the blues
in Oregon. The mystery of her
creation is unsolved to this day.


You don’t show me
your poems
She complains
with a sigh.

I don’t have any poems
you cautiously reply
& she looks you right
in your teeth & cries
You lie! You lie!

Caustic Solution

Yes, that
will cost you.

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