Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Head's up about the drug Tegretol. I had been taking the drug for about six weeks at a low dose, which was then recently doubled by my doctor. Within a few days, I developed a bad skin rash, chills, night sweats, reduced urine, fatigue, agitation, and a suppressed white blood count. I'm off it now, but still sleeping a great deal from the ordeal.

Am trying to figure out why my cat Camilla has been so vocal in the bathroom, sitting on the side of the tub, staring at the ceiling. I cannot figure out what she is seeing, or what she wants when she goes in there and begins meowing. Feline mystery. Perhaps mousie in the wall?

Poor M & S. M came home Sunday night and found her cat Kip dead and cold at the foot of the stairs. He had been fine that morning when she left. Just like when Dill died, in the same house, similar circumstances.

Watched "I Am Legend," with Will Smith yesterday. Lame scifi story, but Smith has become such a fine fine actor, even in a B movie vehicle. Best parts were with his dog Sam. And loved the physique cameo where Smith is doing wide-armed pull ups showing off that extremely buff and toned body. The monsters were ridiculous.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


On my way to the massage therapist yesterday
I drove by these magnificent creatures and
Of course had to stop and take their photo.
One guy was rather close to me and
Graciously stood in place while I captured his image.
I asked my therapist what they were
She said, "Scottish Highland bulls," also
Reporting that other clients had wondered
If they were goats or llamas, both guesses
that left her perplexed at their stupidity.
I defended with, well, some folks lead
very urban lives, but she was having
none of it, pointing out, "This is Durham,"
There are cows everywhere.
Still, I didn't know what they were,
but I could at least define their boviness.
God is in the details
and this moment of wonder and beauty
which I initially passed by but
turned the car around to view
Provided the needed lift I sorely

"Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous."
— Albert Einstein (The World As I See It)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Army Cats

Army Cats
by Tom Sleigh

Over by the cemetery next to the CP
you could see them in wild catmint going crazy:
I watched them roll and wriggle, paw it, lick it,
chew it, leap about, pink tongues stuck out, drooling.

Cats in the tanks’ squat shadows lounging.
Or sleeping curled up under gun turrets.
Hundreds of them sniffing or licking
long hind legs stuck in the air,

great six-toed brutes fixing you with a feral,
slit-eyed stare . . . everywhere ears twitching,
twitching as the armor plate expanding
in the heat gave off piercing little pings.

Cat invasion of the mind. Cat tribes
running wild. And one big pregnant
female comes racing through weeds to pounce
between the paws of a marble dog

crouching on a grave and sharpens
her claws against his beard of moss
before she goes all silky, luxuriously
squirming right under the dog’s jaws,

and rolls over to expose her swollen belly.
Picture her with gold hoop earrings
and punked-out nose ring like the cat goddess Bast,
bronze kittens at her feet, the crowd drinking wildly,

women lifting up their skirts as she floats down
the Nile, a sistrum jangling in her paw.
Then come back out of it and sniff
her ointments, Lady of Flame, Eye of Ra.

Through the yard the tanks come gunning,
charioteers laughing, goggles smeared with dust
and sun, scattering the toms slinking
along the blast wall holding back the waves

from washing away white crosses on the graves,
the motors roaring through the afternoon
like a cat fuck yowling on and on.
The gun turrets revolving in the cats’ eyes

swivel and shine, steel treads clanking,
sending the cats flying in an exodus
through brown brittle grass, the stalks
barely rippling as they pass.

After the last car bomb killed three soldiers
the Army Web site labelled them “martyrs.”
Four civilians killed at checkpoints. Three on the airport road.
A young woman blown up by a grenade.

Facts and more facts . . . until the dead ones
climb up out of the graves, gashes on faces
or faces blown away like sandblasted stone
that in the boarded-up museums’

fractured English “leaves the onlooker
riddled and shaken, nothing but a pathetic gaping . . .”
And then I remember the ancient archers
frozen between reverence and necessity—

who stare down the enemy, barbarians,
as it’s told, who nailed sacred cats to their shields,
knowing their foes outraged in their piety
would throw down their bows and wail like kittens.

February 2. 2009

The New Yorker


Photo of my friend JG's rescue.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Seven with her auntie.

Bionicles. Embroidery. Knitting. Wii. Walk the dog. Shop. Reptile exhibit, Rodin exhibit, motorcycle exhibit. Eat. Color at the table. Cuddle. Melting snow. Moogie. Poppie. NYTimes. Morning muffins. Catopoly. Flowers. Read. Eat. Fire in the fireplace. Roasting marshmallows. Cartoons. Talk.
Cry. Eat. Braid hair. Mouse tie. Stepping.
Eat. Cry some more.