Saturday, January 31, 2009

Army Cats from The New Yorker

Army Cats


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

by Tom Sleigh

Friday, January 30, 2009

Saddlebacking is the new black. Look it up.

Since I am using the person who introduced me to this band's computer to burn music I thought I should share this. First glimpsed on the I Am Fuel blog.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

photo ©2009 sharad haksar (from File Magazine)

I seem to be ignoring the blog because of facebook. I will make more of an effort here. Still reading all the Lippman and Hiaasen books I can get from public library at the moment although sidetracked by the book about the circus fire I found on discard shelf. This is probably funniest commercial I have seen in a while. (Warning: Animal balloon sex is involved.) Enjoy the new Neko single from Paste Magazine sampler. Record is due out March 1st.

Neko Case- People Got A Lotta Nerve

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My winter retreat on the Black Sea. An Iowa dacha sans waterfront. The new Odessa is Kalona.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I have drifted into Kalona proper to use Internet at the library and spend time in a nice little coffee shop. The last few days I have been shacked up with a stack of novels back at the farm. I am now a huge fan of Carl Hiaasen, his book Skinny Dip, is one of the those laugh out loud Florida farces. I don't know why I have never read him before. Too many books, so little time I suppose. From there I moved on to his Basket Case, which includes lyrics of a song written by the late great Warren Zevon which was included on his record, My Ride is Here.

I have also been spending time in Baltimore thanks to Laura Lippman's Tess Monaghan series. Start with Baltimore Blues.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Some cows from my friend's farm where I am staying to house sit his dog while he is in Florida for work. Not a fair trade but its not too bad to get out of town and enjoy the bucolic life.