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  • - * 13 DOORS OF X* *Meeah Williams* The Barking Cat Press * 2015 Brooklyn, NY * Seattle, WA copyright 2015 Meeah Williams/The Barking Cat...

Monday, March 30, 2015

=Book recently read=

It's as if a curtain had been dropped.
Go back into yourself. None of this matters
to you anymore. All that drama, color, movement—
you can live without it. It was an illusion,
a tease, a lie. There is nothing out here but smoke
from the rubble that was everything,
everything you wanted, everything you thought
you needed. Ships passing, forget it.
Children bathing, there's no such thing.
Let go, your island is a mote of dust.
But the horns of the ghostship say, remember us,
we remember you.

*      *     *

What I thought was infinite will turn out to be just a couple

of odds and ends, a tiny miscellany, miniature stuff, fragments
of novelties, of no great moment. But it will also be enough,
maybe even more than enough, to suggest an immense ritual 
      and tradition.
And this makes me very happy.

—James Tate

=This room I never wake in=

In the wee hours
mom comes to my bedside
and pretends to wake me.

Downstairs my crazy uncle
is talking quietly
into the void.

Overnight, the kitchen table
turns a bright blue
and no one ever mentions 
cyanide poisoning.

She says: your father
is home.
He's okay.

She kisses me as if she's placing
postage on my forehead.

Deliver us from evil
they taught us to pray.

Then she leaves
behind a scent of baby powder 
and forest fires.

If I had a brother
he'd turned to ash by now.

In the upper corners
of the room
the vultures shrug 
in their shabby
second-hand coats
and lift off
one by one.

There's nothing they can do here.

It is the most
disappointing moment
of my life
to that point.

I will sleep for another thousand years.

Sunday, March 29, 2015


=envelope art=

=asemic book pages=

=German-Italian-Chocolate Cheesecake=

Here’s how to build your German-Italian-Chocolate Cheesecake

First you lay the groundwork: The Crust.

Mix two eggs, two-thirds of a cup of softened or melted butter, and a ¼ cup of sugar. (As always you can use more sugar here but I don’t find it necessary). Cream this all together.

Then add 1.5 cups of flour and a pinch of baking powder.

Now you can add a half teaspoon of lemon zest, like I did, before my husband came into the kitchen suggesting that I make it a chocolate cheesecake. The sensible thing to do is to ask first if he wants a chocolate cheesecake. I’ll do that next time. This time, though, it was too late. As it turned out, the lemon flavor in the crust wasn’t bad at all. It actually added another dimension to the cake, but, all in all, I’ll probably leave it out next time if I’m going to make it a chocolate cheesecake.

Okay, so now work the dry ingredients into the wet until you get a sticky batter, which you then press into the bottom of a 9-inch spring pan, working it up the sides as far as feasible.

Put this aside for the time being. Preheat your oven to 350.

Next you make The Filling

Here you have some choices. I used a cup (8 ounces) of cream cheese and a cup (8 ounces) of my precious Calabro Nonfat Ricotta Cheese. I can’t recommend Calabro Nonfat Ricotta Cheese enough. I must have eaten about 9 tons of it in the last eight years. It has only 30 calories per ¼ cup. So it significantly reduces the calorie count of these cheesecake. True, maybe it doesn’t significantly reduce the calorie count when you’re talking about something that has a million calories in it to begin with, but it does reduce it, at least mathematically speaking.

That settled, it's back to the filling.

You put the two cheeses into a bowl. Add a teaspoon of flour and a cup of sugar. Add the yolks of five eggs and reserve the whites in a separate bowl. What you’re going to do with the white is beat them until they’re stiff, until they form a kind of cream with stiff peaks. This is something that I apparently didn’t do correctly. I stood there with my hand mixer for a good five minutes and didn’t manage to produce anything but a lot of bubbles. Later, I Googled “stiffening egg whites” and found I did several things wrong.

You’re supposed to start blending at a low speed and gradually work your way up. I started blending like I was at the helm of a speedboat trying to escape hitmen from a Mexican drug cartel. You’re also supposed to let the eggs reach room temperature. Mine were straight out of the fridge. The could have been penguin eggs lying in the Arctic ice they were so cold. Finally, all the sources stress that the bowl you put the egg white in has to be completely clean; any residue of anything, including the tiniest bit of yolk that makes it way into the egg, can screw up the chemical reaction necessary to make the egg whites bind. I lazily used the bowl in which I had earlier mixed up the crust, still smeared with whatever I hadn’t managed to scrape out of the bottom and into the spring form pan. Oh well, live and learn.

If you did the egg white thing right, or if you didn’t, you fold the five egg whites into the cheese mixture.

If this weren’t a chocolate cheesecake, you could add more lemon zest and even a little lemon juice. But it is a chocolate cheesecake so you don’t add the lemon zest or lemon juice.

Now here comes the complicated part. 

First you have to give up on love. Because of damage suffered in your early past, you’ve definitively concluded that you’re a magnet for abusive, domineering, belittling partners and you’re better off alone. In fact, living alone for the first time in your life, you discover you’re not only happy, but happier than you’ve ever been. Love is for other people, not for you, and that’s okay.

Once in a while you get the urge to be with someone. This urge can be satisfied through sex alone. So you begin a period of sleeping with many different random guys. It’s instructive, you learn a lot about people when they figure they’ll never see you again; you learn about their secret lives, about who they are when they aren’t pretending to be things they aren’t. You learn about what really turns even “normal” guys on. It would surprise you, I guarantee you.

It’s also dangerous, but you don’t dwell on the risks. You know that growing up in a household like yours, you developed a sixth-sense for avoiding danger. You put your trust in that.

You discover that you relate easier to others on a purely sexual basis. You are confident and in control in situations where it’s exclusively about sex. It’s a surprising turn around because you always feel so awkward and lost in ordinary social situations.

When you offer guys sex with no-strings-attached, you can have company whenever you want it. And it never overstays it’s welcome. Almost all of the guys you do it with are married; you often don’t even know their last names, and suspect that even the first names they use may be fake. That suits both of you just fine. You don’t want to marry them; after your first liaison, you don’t care if you never see them again. There’s always another one.

All the same, several guys are repeat visitors. But you’re careful to keep your distance emotionally. You keep these “relationships” casual, superficial, sexual. One guy, though, is different. You like him; even if you weren’t having sex with him, you’d like to be his friend. Love, though, never enters your mind. Love? You’re thoughts against it have hardened, become cynical, and mocking. When he hints about actually having real feelings for you, you make light of it, laugh it off, kiss him, rub up against him to let him know you appreciate his kindness, his gallantry, but that it’s not necessary for him to lie. You initiate sex to change the subject. You don’t truly believe a word of what he says and don’t believe he really believes it either. Guys often say things to keep the blowjobs coming; in your case, you want to make it clear, it isn’t necessary.

One afternoon, you’re in the kitchen, fixing him something to eat after sex. He’s trying to talk to you seriously and you’re making the usual jokes, deflecting what he’s saying. He’s had enough. He grabs you by the throat with one hand and shoves you against the wall. He’s lifted you up on tiptoes. “Take me seriously, damn you,” he says in a voice you’ve never heard come out of him before. Something in the infernal decibels, fed-up and angry. You’re pinned there in his grip, helpless, and you sense he could kill you then and there. You’re panties are soaking wet. You’ve never been so turned on in your whole life. You don’t realize it then but this is a moment you’ll never forget: the moment you fell in love with him.

You’ll come to understand that the reason why it was so hard for you to recognize love when it came was that you had never been in love before. You were always looking for something else. What you had called love up to now, what you recognized as love,  wasn’t love at all; it was a toxic dependence on a personality type reminiscent of the primal abusers of your past.

There will be several years still to come. Years when you will become more than weekly sex partners, but lovers in every sense of the word. You’ll date. You’ll travel. You’ll live together. You’ll experience things you never could have dreamed in your wildest fantasies that you’d ever experience. He'll never be anything but kind and considerate and caring. He'll appreciate things about you that no one ever appreciated before, that no one even bothered to notice. He’ll tell you one day you’re going to get married. You won’t believe him, even though every thing else he’s ever told you, no matter how improbable, has come true. Then, one day, you’re standing before a minister trembling, crying softly, hardly able to read the vows you wrote him, saying “I do.”

Now he comes strolling into the kitchen, this man you’d give anything…you’re life, if necessary, because he gave you a life and love that without him you would have never known existed. There’s nothing he could ever do to you from here on out, including kill you, and you mean this literally, he could take you by the hand one afternoon and bring you in the cellar and sit you on a chair and say “this is it, this is where it ends” and shoot you through the head and that wouldn’t change your basic feeling of gratitude towards him, it wouldn’t change the fact that you love him. This is a fact that you don’t really want him to know but feel the need to express somewhere, if just once, so you bury it here in the middle of a chocolate cheesecake recipe where it is unlikely he or anyone will ever read it. This is the man who comes into the kitchen now at exactly the right moment and asks, “Can I grate the chocolate for you?”

I guess there are other less complicated and less dangerous ways to grate a cup of chocolate but this is how I did it. Use the chocolate of your choice. My husband used a bar of Croatian chocolate he bought at the Croatian butcher shop. He grated it up very fine using a cheese grater. We kissed and he returned to the living room to watch TV.

At this point, you’re nearly done. You fold the finely grated chocolate into the cheese mixture. Then pour the cheese-chocolate mixture into the spring pan. If you like, top with sliced almonds and dust with cinnamon.

Next you need a baking sheet or pan. Something with raised edges. You line it with tinfoil and set your spring pan in the center. Then you pour about a half-inch of water into the pan. This is supposed to help keep the bottom of the cheese cake from burning and the sides from sticking.

Slide the cheesecake into the oven and let bake for about one hour.

The cheesecake will need a couple of hours to cool. So if you haven’t started this early in the day, you better have something else on hand for dessert. Better still, let the cheesecake cool in the fridge overnight. Remove the springform when the cheesecake has thoroughly cooled—or, the very least, significantly cooled.

I’ve made a number of cheesecakes in the past and they’ve all been so-so to pretty good, but nothing really special. This one is far and wide the best I’ve ever made; it's really special! It tastes like it was made by someone else who really knew what they were doing, not by me at all! I’ll definitely be using this recipe again.

=Advice to writers=

It seems to me that no story I've ever read hasn't been made instantly more interesting, indeed, suddenly become interesting if it hadn't been before, by the appearance of a llama. If I were to give one piece of advice to an aspiring writer—if, that is to say, I were in such a position or held in such esteem that anyone sought my advice—I'd advise every struggling writer to keep a llama in reserve. When all else fails and you're really up against it, trot out your llama. If the llama can't save you, nothing can. But don't just take my word for it. Read this story and tell me if I'm not right.

I'd gone to the basement to fetch some cherry preserves. I was going to bake a peach pie. 

Where was the pantry, anyway?

My husband had given me very precise instructions. "Back room, back wall," he'd said.

I had only gone halfway down the stairs when I heard the llama. "Blaaah," it said, trotting around the corner from the direction of the laundry room. "Blaaaah." It said this in the very matter-of-fact way that llamas have of saying anything.

Apparently this llama was a pet although I would have sworn to anyone who might have asked that until that very moment I had no prior knowledge that we kept a llama in the house. Still I wasn't surprised to see the llama. How can that be?

The llama passed me, continuing on up the stairs without further comment. I proceeded to the pantry, which was not where my husband said it would be at all. I searched and searched the shelves of bottles and jars. We were out of cherry filling.  So I grabbed the peach preserves instead and followed the llama up the stairs. 

"Did you see the llama come up?"

My husband made a noncommittal noise. He was sitting at the kitchen table, a hummingbird open in front of him, a jeweler's glass in his left eye. He was working on the delicate clockwork mechanism now exposed in the bird's chest. I didn't dare break his concentration by asking twice about the llama. These things have a tendency to explode.

He sighed and looked up of his own accord. Things mustn't have been going very well with the hummingbird. He noticed the can of peach preserves in my hand and said, "How did you know?"

"Know what?

"That I'd changed my mind about the cherry pie?"

I shrugged. "Women's intuition, I guess."

Moral of the story: Some things at the end are not nearly as absurd as they seemed at the beginning.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

=asemic book page=

=Book recently read (and decorated)=

(Return to the City of White Donkeys by James Tate)

=No evil-eye strips=

=Bad Dream Factory=

All last night I lay there churning out 
one bad dream after another. I was like 
a bad dream factory. First I was chasing
my heart, which turned out to be a fat toad, 
across a scorching desert. Each time it
jumped it landed with a disgusting green plop,
always keeping one hop ahead of me. Then
I was arrested for eating a talking hot dog.
Or for not eating it. I can't remember. 
My punishment was to return to high school
that's when I knew I was having a nightmare.
There was something else about a plane
crash and evil leprechauns and then 
I was married to someone who always left
a lot of dirty dishes in the sink. Somehow 
I managed to produce all this and it wasn't 
even four a.m. yet. There were hours still to go.
Hours of flying grandmothers, chocolate eels,
and lost cars. How was I going to get through
the night? Where was it all coming from?
When at last it was time to wake up
I was already exhausted. Just grateful that when
I rolled over I didn't find myself in bed 
with Ulysses S. Grant. There was a headache
spreading inside my right eye, and when
I looked in the mirror I saw a beautiful flower
blooming there. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

=James Tate on the enigma of grocery shopping=

Everyone is smiling at me as though I were completely
naked. I look down and I am completely naked.
And that's what I find so mysterious about
grocery shopping, how that could be.

=Can't Say Why=

My friend Sue told me that John had died and I tried to look shocked and sad but all the while I was frantically wracking my brain thinking "John? Who's John?"

The way Sue said it, the look on her face, the fact that she told me at all—these were all indications that not only should I know who John was but that his passing should naturally be of importance to me.

We were having coffee at an outdoor cafe. It was 10 a.m., a cool morning, early spring, everything smelling green. Around the base of a tree at the curb I saw tulip blades twisting out of the hard littered soil.

I meditatively nibbled the end of my hazelnut biscotti without thinking and when I realized what I was doing I quickly put it down again. Should I even be eating at a time like this? I mean, John was dead. Dead!

Had John been ill? Had we suspected this was coming? Or did it come a bolt out of the blue? Were we shocked? How was his wife taking it? Was it a shame about the kids? Was he even married? Did he have kids? Had he been taken from us too soon?

Sue was offering no clues and I seemed at a loss how to prod one loose from her.

On the street a large refrigerated truck rumbled passed. It was emblazoned with a smiling pig head in a chef's hat and bore the slogan "Purveyor of Quality Meats" on a shining gold-leaf banner.

"When is the service?" I could think of nothing else to say.

"Tuesday. I'll email you with the details."

I nodded. I stared down at the biscotti  on my plate. My hand. The coffee cup. "John is dead," I said to myself. "John is dead." I recited it like I learned to recite lines in an acting class I once took in school, varying the cadence, the emphasis, the tone. I said it first like a child, then like a wife, then an ex-wife, a mother, an estranged sister. I said it like Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator. I said it with a comic faux British accent. I said it like a cartoon duck. I said it a half-dozen other ways. 

Tears came suddenly. Can't say why.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

=mail art from Richard Canard=

=Me, with Grated Teeth=

When  I was twenty-five I worked as a stripper for about a week. My friend Holly talked me into it. She'd been working at this club on the highway and said it was easy money. "Well," she qualified, "easier money than working at Wal-mart."

"But I don't even know how to dance," I said.

We were both post-graduate students in English Literature at the time; the first glimmerings of the disastrous financial consequences awaiting us were just becoming obvious.

Holly made a face. "What dance?  At this place all you need to do is walk around the stage and bend over at the waist."

You wouldn't have thought this information would have encouraged me to give it a try, but it did.

What Holly had said turned out to be true. The gentlemen at Hot Pockets weren't there for the choreography. The biggest obstacle was to get over feeling stupid and worrying that your ass was too big and your tits not big enough.

The clientele came in four basic types. There were the ones that watched you with hawk eyes, as if ready to fall on you with spread talons. Then there were those that sat there looking dumbfounded and bemused, like they just found a hundred dollars on the sidewalk and didn't know what to do next. They tended to give you the most money, but clumsily, their hands fumbling around in your panties like small trapped animals.

Other guys sat there totally composed, watching you coolly, with sardonic, amused expressions, sipping their drinks, making out as if they were there for some other reason altogether and you were just incidental. They made a point of looking at you sideways when they stuffed your bra, like spies passing nuclear secrets.  Finally there were the idealistic ones who tried to catch your eye in order to communicate some important message, as if they wanted you to know that they recognized you as a princess lost in a postmodern fairytale and they were there to save you from this ignoble fate, your knight-in-shining-armor. Holly told me to watch out for this type; they were the most dangerous of all.

One afternoon, at the end of my first week at Hot Pockets, who should walk in but my thesis advisor, Dr. Franks. We exchanged one frozen horrified glance and then acted as if we hadn’t seen each other. I danced over to the other side of the stage and by the time I minced my way back I was relieved to find that he was gone.

The next day we were scheduled to meet to discuss the second draft of my dissertation. I had already decided to act as if the person he saw at the club wasn’t me; fortunately, this was made easier by the fact that he apparently had decided to pretend that the person I’d seen wasn’t him. Just before we wound things up, he mentioned that an associate of his was writing a biography of T.S. Eliot and looking for a new research assistant. If I were interested, he'd recommend me. The money wasn't great, he acknowledged, but it was better than "well, a lot of things a struggling poet has to do to make a buck;" he turned an alarming shade of red, I thanked him, and we hurriedly said goodbye. I ended up meeting his associate, a distinguished scholar, accepting the job and falling in love, not with him, but with the research assistant who I would be replacing.

Gary and I were married and, after four increasingly tumultuous scarring years, we parted, acrimoniously. 

That was nearly a decade ago. Whenever the subject comes up, Holly will still say, "I hate to say I told you so, but…"

She'll let the phrase hang there, like a glass set down perilously close to the edge of a table, where we both watch it. She with a shrug of the shoulders. Me, with grated teeth. 

=James Baldwin on Asserting Yourself=

You've got to tell the world how to treat you. If the world tells you how you are going to be treated, you are in trouble.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

=Blueberry Walnut Basil Goat Cheese Pie=

I know. This one sounds weird. I thought so, too, the first time I ever heard of it. That would have been on an episode of Diners, Drive-ins, & Dives a couple of years ago. It was featured as a special desert—if I remember correctly—served at an Indianapolis restaurant called Three Sisters.

Since then, I've made this pie—oh I don't know—maybe a couple of dozen times at least, it being one of my husband's co-favorite pies. (The other being, pecan). This is a blueberry pie that is actually packed with blueberries and has none of the sugary blue goo that stands in for the blueberries in most commercial blueberry pies. The goat cheese takes on the flavor of the blueberry and imparts a delicious creaminess to the  pie—there's nothing goat-ey or even cheesy about it. The basil—well, you don't even taste it. Not overtly, anyway. 

Over time and many pies, I've altered the original recipe, which has a lot more fat in it (heavy cream) and much sweeter (covered with a sliced almond-sugar glaze). When I cover this pie, I either do it with additional crust or with an oatmeal crumble topping. Sometimes, like the pie above, I leave the top off altogether; this is the convertible-version.

First off,  make yourself a pie crust. Of course, you can buy a prepared crust, but I prefer to make it myself. Press it into the bottom of a pie dish.

Next, make the filling:

In a bowl place a half cup of goat cheese, 1 egg, half a cup of brown sugar, 1/4 cup of flour, a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 1 tablespoon of chopped basil, fresh if possible. Instead of a half cup of heavy cream, I've used many different variations. This time I used a half cup of low fat cream cheese loosened up with some nonfat milk. Mix all this together with a hand blender. 

Dip a finger into this goop and take a lick. It's already pretty delicious. If you want it sweeter, this would be the time to add more sugar. If it's sweet enough, you now fold in five cups of blueberries. Yup. That's a lot of blueberries—and blueberries are usually rather pricey. That's why most commercial blueberry pies are short on the blueberries and heavy on the blue goop. 

Add a quarter cup of chopped walnuts.  Mix.

That's it. Pretty simple.

Now pour this mixture into your prepared pie crust. If you're not going with a topping, off you go to the oven. The pie bakes at 350 for between 25-30 minutes. 

You can eat this warm, but it's a bit messy. If you don't care, dig in. Otherwise, let the pie cool and set completely and it will cut cleaner. Put it in the fridge for a couple of hours or let it set overnight and it gets easier still. Cold or warm, it's creamy blueberry yumminess. 

=envelope art=

=Book recently read=

              ...It's all lies,
I came from no one, nowhere,
had no folks and no hometown,

no old friends. I was born

of rumors, a whisper in one
state, an unsubstantial brawl
in another, uncontiguous state.

—James Tate

=The Two of Us, Together…=

I was tied to a chair. "Do it," my interrogator
insisted, "do it for us now." He had removed
his coat, yanked down his tie, undid a button.
He was getting down to business and meant
to show it. If you want to know the truth, 
I believe he wasn't just acting: he really was 
close to tears. 

"I don't know what you're talking about," I said.

He threw the chair he'd been sitting in against
the wall and roared. He stomped back and forth
a few times. He massaged his corrugated forehead
with his fingers. This job had cost him his hair
and god only knew what else. "Listen," he said, 
catching his breath, forcing himself to calm down. 

I was worried about his health, clearly he wasn't
in the best of shape. The work he was doing 
was killing him. He needed a long vacation, anyone
could see that. A month or two on a beach somewhere,
then a transfer to another department.

To be totally honest, I couldn't have looked so
hot myself. We'd been through a lot together.
The wire cutter, the waterboard, the length
of rubber hose, the dogs…it takes a toll. Frankly,
I could've used a little freshening up, too. My hair
and makeup were a fright. I would have liked
a pedicure and a new pair of panties. We
were like an old married couple who'd been
at it for decades and yet, somehow, inexplicably,
to the bafflement of friends and family, 
had managed to hang on together. 

Sweat-stains had fanned out under both his arms. 
He'd rolled up his sleeves at some point. Now 
he planted his big fists, knuckles down, on the table.
He still had impressively hairy forearms; he still
gave me that special tingle inside, I don't
mind telling you. He hung his head for a moment. 
He looked  exhausted, done in. His bald spot was the
embodiment of human vulnerability. I would have
kissed it tenderly if my restraints hadn't made
taking any such initiative impossible. He lifted
his head slowly and leaned towards me instead,
but a kiss the last thing on his mind 
just then. 

"I'm trying to be reasonable," he said in his new
and measured tone, "I don't want to do what 
you're going to make me do, but it's my job, 
it's my duty. If I have to do it, I will." He indicated 
the instruments of torture which had already been 
laid out in full and lurid array, some still unused. 
Implied, too, was his silent partner, standing off
to the side, just within the limits of my 
peripheral vision, arms folded across his chest
as he leaned against the wall, chewing
on a toothpick to relieve his tension,
eager to resume

My interrogator brought his whiskery face
close to mine. I could smell his animal body, 
feel his heat, his breath, his salty need, 
it was almost sexual.

"Please. Please show me?" He whispered,
in truth, he practically whimpered, like a whipped dog.
It was nearly too much, the helpless pleading
in his voice. I was only human. I had my limits,
too. I wasn't being difficult, I swear. 
I wanted to show him, I wanted to give him what
he wanted, I truly did. I just didn't know
what it was.

"Show you what?" I asked. I thought I'd see his head
explode,  but instead a slow smile spread 
across his drawn and shadowed face, he motioned 
excitedly to his friend, "Look, look, she's doing it! 
Come here! I can't believe it!" 

Doing what?, I still wondered. Was he kidding, 
was this just another torturer's trick? 

"Amazing," said his silent-up-to-now partner, 
who had kicked off from the wall to have
a closer look. He was clearly disappointed 
that he wouldn't get to play more with his toys.
"Simply fucking amazing," he grudgingly
acknowledged and backed off again.

"Is the camera running?" my interrogator asked,
"For crissakes make sure it's running. We don't
want to miss this." 

Miss what? I was just as dumb as ever until I caught
a glimpse of myself in the two-way mirror. 

An ostrich was sitting in the chair that I was
still sitting in, an ostrich had taken my place. 

How? What? My dark seductive eyes widened, 
my beak dropped open in simple-minded astonishment,
and my long neck, so freakishly elegant, 
twisted one way, then another in a careful
appraisal of the situation.

Well, I'll be damned! I could transform myself 
into an ostrich! Or I was an ostrich 
that could transform itself into a human being. 
I swear I never knew! How was any of this
even possible? What's more, what else 
didn't I know about myself? What other secrets
was I hiding? 

If not for my interrogator, I might have remained
ignorant of my true self forever. I owed him a lot, 
more than I could ever repay. I vowed to myself
that I would do my best to work with him as honestly
and as hard as I could from now on. If need be
I'd swear to it on a stack of bibles. 

We were in this together, that was clear to me. 
He was my best friend just as he'd been saying
all along. I hadn't been lying and he hadn't
been lying either. It had just been a great big 
misunderstanding, that's all. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

=Dean Young on the Desert=

No one comes out of the desert
a college administrator or realtor
although you might be able to perform
brain surgery with a stone knife.

The joy is surviving the poisonous sunset.
If you are caught with a single to-do list
you will be executed.
You will be tied to a chair
and you'd better not float.

If you harass a single hallucination 
you will be executed. 

Drowning has nothing on the desert
when it comes to striking your head like a match.

=Meditations on K.=

=Book recently read=

Maybe all that we become
is rhyme of our limited time alive,
an echo loosening almost no snow,
no avalanche, just some puffs of white
like clouds that seem like nothing
until the pilot hits one.

*     *     *

But we just be passing

figments in this waterhead world or
is there hope that you and I may leave

some trace more permanent, scarlet,
tooth-marked, at least upon each other's heart?

*     *     *

Perhaps you should be practicing not having
a self to claim, one day it's baggage
we're without, no longer waiting
for it to squirt out onto the conveyor belt
with all the others that look so much alike.

—Dean Young

=Last Words=

At 8.45 this morning, the aliens made their
long-secret presence on our planet known.
I would have missed it if Terry hadn't called
to tell me to turn on the TV. Sure enough
the story was on every channel. They hadn't come
for blood, the President assured us, or babies
or virgins as we might have feared from the old
sci-fi flicks. They hadn't even come for oil. They
came for ink instead. Within moments of the
announcement pens all over the world began
drying up, printers were laying sheets of ghostly
paragraphs in paper trays. So this will be my last
poem. Forget the barroom boasts, the grad school
solemnity. There's no way I'm really going to
start writing this stuff in blood. Or pencil. 

Or crayon, either, for that matter.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

=Dean Young on not taking life too seriously=

How little it all amounts to.
So take comfort, you're just a blip,
an anomaly, datum to be discarded,
negligible as a chorus member with the sniffles,

your totem animal a baloney sandwich,

your life dismissed without a trial,
so stay awhile, whatever burns inside you…

you don't belong but don't worry,

you won't be there long even if
it'll feel like eternity….

So praise the flicker and the power

even though it abbreviates us ash.
Better to dash than never go at all,
the error is not to fall but to fall
from no height

=5 card draw=