Dulary's journey

Today Dulary the elephant is en route from the Philadelphia Zoo, where she has lived for the last 41 years, to the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. Big Day! Zoo officials have a great attitude about sending her and I think this kid does a good job of summing up the attitude for most of the locals in this CBS video.

You can leave a message for Dulary here. You may think, "Why bother? She's an elephant, for chrissake." Naturally, I think it makes a difference. There is more than one way of hearing.


Bass in the bathtub updade

The bass speaks

The bass is out of the bathtub. The other day we had a buyer. It was love a first sight. He bought it, half up front and years to pay, no interest, but when he got it home he freaked out. He plays for the Reno Philharmonic and it turned out that it wasn't as loud as his current bass, which was a deciding factor. Plus, I think he decided that he couldn't afford it. The poor guy recently moved to a double wide in the valley after his divorce. His wife got the house in Tahoe. As he put it, she got the gold, he got the shaft. Anyway, of course we refunded his dough but crap. But now that the fiddle is out of the tub, neither of us have the heart to put it there again. It just seems wrong. It has such a heartbreakingly beautiful sound. Now we have to find it a home. We were going to take it to LA as Bonhams and Butterfields will be there doing appraisals next month, but decided against it. We wouldn't do a consignment with them anyway. Brad (the musician) gave us a San Francisco contact who seems better suited to our needs. At this point, we are not sure what to ask for it, eight to ten thousand was always the upper end. You know how these things are. You get what you pay for but you also only get what people are willing to pay. Either way, it is a beautiful instrument, perhaps as much as two hundred years old, solid, hand-crafted wood and in great shape, but Lee's x-dirty beatnik bebop bass player dad, heavily modified the neck. It is ... at this point in it's star-crossed life, after 50 years in someone's basement, or was that good fortune? ... a jazz bass. Want to buy a great bass? We will make you a sweeeeeeet deal.

Strange days

I have been too swamped the last few days to spend any time on line, but I always have my camera with me so here are a few strange things I came upon in recent days.

I can't imagine how hanging strips of toilet paper from the supermarket ceiling is suppose to be attractive to people but obviously the manager at the local Raley's finds it so. To me it merely underscores the obvious connection between eating and shitting.

The Salvation Army had this neat item for sale. No. I didn't buy it. The Raley offered enough virtual reality for my "taste" this week, thank you.

As I do from time to time, I visited the grave of the unknown baby boy who died in the '60s. There is no name on his marker and he only lived a couple of days. I'm not the only one in town who looks in on him. The cartoon drawn on the scrap of wood is new since my last visit but I was alarmed to see tire tracks across the lower, right edge of his tiny resting place. The images came out very bleached and over exposed which seems to fit the melancholy shrouding his little grave.

Victory for horses!

Here's a happy update...

Last Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly (277-137) to restore a 34-year-old ban on the commercial sale and slaughter of America's wild horses and burros (H.R. 503 - the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act). On Wednesday, the bill to ban the sale and transport to slaughter of all American horses cleared a critical Senate committee by a decisive 15-7 vote. There is more work ahead but these victories move us even closer to banning horse slaughter in the United States permanently.

Thank you.



I have been way too busy lately and feel half crazy from the frenzy. Things are finally beginning to wind down but I have no energy tonight to anything more than check in. Doing graphics and editing makes me crazy after a certain point, and over the last week, I went past that certain point.

Among other things, I have been working
with some friends to put a show together. We call ourselves the 5th Night Company. We are planning to do three shows this year, each one of the 5th Friday of the month. As there are only four this year, a 5th Friday is something like a blue moon. The first 5th Friday of the year was on March 30th but we started too late to catch it. The next 5th Friday falls on June 29th. That's the one we're shooting for, then August 31st and November 30th. As I can only maintain my marginal sanity if I take things one day at a time, this kind of thinking can quickly become just too much but we shall see.

Naturally the event will be at Comma Coffee. Thanks to June, the place is becoming
the hub of Carson City's scene. Woo. But kidding aside, she is a one woman, downtown arts renovation project. So what is 5th Friday you might ask? It is a performance opportunity for actors, poets, musicians, dancers, comics, puppeteers, anyone who dares to be interesting.

So that's it. Now_I_must_rest.


Wednesday snow

No wonder there was such a frenzy in the Bird Park last night. They knew it was going to snow and wanted to fuel up for the cold night ahead. This morning, I made sure there was enough for everyone but this crow didn't think so.

Tuesday Blue Plate Special

The 7 o'clock magpie is early tonight. I guess she noticed that a couple of starlings have been vacuuming up the goodies at 6:30. Actually 2 more magpie just showed up so I'm not sure any of them are the 7 0'clock magpie. After all, it is only 6:43. Perhaps she isn't even here yet. Whoever it is, they are hoovering up the peanuts and drilling the apples. One of them just stashed a slice under a clump of dirt for later. It's a feeding frenzy out there. I think it's the wind. It's been a fury all day and that sets everyone on edge. The magpies are hopping and lunging around, hurling themselves through the gusts to get to a peanut, jetting off in a wobble, then are back for more and the pot bellied quail are running in every direction scooping up what they can before the wind sweeps them and the seeds away.

Roy asked about the photo in last night's post, No. I did not take the original. I just happen to really dig diners. Somewhere in the dark-rooted ganglia of my brain an inviolable connect exists between poetry, sleazy roadside diners and cheap hotel rooms so a while ago I hunted a diner image down on the web and have been playing around with it ever since. These things are something of my personal mythology I guess you could say, as is the coyote, the crow and others too numerous to mention. I apologize for using the little lemur. He is rather famous. I should swap him out for one of my own but ... mañana.

(Note: As is their style, Blogger ate the photos once posted here but here's the idea.)

Also, in keeping with last night's post, here's another jumble of words I stumbled across today while I was rummaging around in my files. I had forgotten I'd written it. I'm not sure I like it all and may end up just deleting it, but for the moment I'm including it in a draft called Book of Images. Posting it tonight might be in bad taste because of the recent tragedy at Virginia Tech. It is not my intention. I wrote this sometime ago. You might say it is a portrait of the world from a vegetarian point of view.

Dinner party

excerpt from Book of Images

I sit at the table of the living before a living feast; hearts, eyes, livers, backs, spleens, ribs, dreams marinated in their own juices; blood, sperm, milk, bile, tears. A quartet plays music behind a velvet curtain. They are blind. The cello sobs. Blood is dripping from my elbows. The woman on my right is dining on breaded fingers, spaghetti and eyeballs. The man on my left is slicing into a breast, colostrum oozing from the nipple and greasing his lips. There is a live fish on my plate laying on a pile of sautéed brains that pop like blisters when I stick my fork into them. They splatter fluid on the woman but she does not seem to notice. She stabs an eye, drags it through the sauce then pops it into her mouth. I look back at my plate. The fish is nibbling the brains. I press my fork into its scaly skin and it excretes a black pearl. I hurriedly snatch the pearl and tuck it into my pocket. The music stops. All the eaters turn in unison and look at me. They thump their utensils on the table making a fiendish racket then suddenly quit and the room is completely silent. The fish takes a tiny violin out of his hat and begins to play a heart rendering solo. The man slowly runs the prongs of his fork up and down my arm. He smiles dragging his tongue over bloody lips, burps loudly then resumes eating. Everyone resumes eating. I stand, slowly withdraw the pearl from my pocket and place it into the fish's hat. He continues playing. I exit the building and find myself standing in a giant, noisy, congested stockyard. After a pause to get my bearings, I push through the herd of people pressing eagerly forward toward the feast.



Peace please

The chickens have had enough but are the rabbits
fighting or playing?


Vonnegut, last words

Kurt Vonnegut's last book, “A Man Without a Country”, was a collection of biographical essays. It concludes with his poem "Requiem" and so, in a public sense, these could be considered his last words.

on Comedy Central
excerpt from New York Times Book section

closing lines from....
by Kurt Vonnegut

When the last living thing
has died on account of us,
how poetical it would be
if Earth could say,
in a voice floating up
from the floor
of the Grand Canyon,
“It is done.”
People did not like it here.

Happy Birthday Cheeta

Today is Cheeta the Chimp's 75th birthday and Cheeta Day in Palm Springs, so named by former Mayor Ron Oden. Cheeta, aka "Jiggs," was one of the stars of the original Tarzan movies, in case you are an uncultured slob and don't know much about Hollywood celebrities. Cheeta celebrated with a sugar-free cake and diet soft drinks, proving that indeed wisdom does come with age.

After retiring from the movies, Cheeta fell on hard times with booze and cigars but that's all behind him now. He got sober, moved to Palm Springs, famous retirement community for old movie stars, and took up painting, which helps pay the bills.

There have been 4 unsuccessful attempts to secure a star for Cheeta on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. What's up with that? Cheeta is a better actor than half the smucks who's stars act as grinding stones for cigarette butts. Filmmaker Matt Devlen is organizing another campaign for 2007. Be ready to vote. The Guinness Book of World Records lists Cheeta as the world's oldest primate (note from Wikipedia: presumably meaning oldest non-human primate). Besides that he is just one cool dude. So Happy Birthday, Cheeta.


Then and now

I brought back one of my mother's old photo albums from Seattle. It is what she wanted by her side as she lay in her death bed the final days of her life. The memories made her happy. The cover is missing, many of its black pages are torn or loose and they are simultaneously brittle and alarmingly soft. The whole thing is gradually disappearing with the passing years. My brother asked me to scan what is left of them before they are beyond capture. They are lovely. They have haunted me ever since I saw them there at the hospital so, a few years ago, I wrote a poem for them and her and today I joined them together. I hope you enjoy them.


Abecedarian is a funny little word and fun to say. Pronunciation here.

The 7 o'clock magpie just dropped by for a few peanut chips before retiring for the night. She is no abecedarian but rather the resident expert, having mastered the secrets of the Bird Park.


Writer's block?

Ever suffer writer's block? I think I do most of the time, to one degree or another. It's a terrible thing. Mental_floss recently posted one writer's creepy solution:

While plagiarism and alcohol are pretty lowly tactics for dealing with a bad case of writer's block, no one's quite handled their agony as morbidly as writer Dante Gabriel Rosetti.

A poet and a pre-Raphaelite painter, Rosetti truly loved his wife, Elizabeth. ("How much did he love his wife, you ask?") Well, after she died of a laudanum overdose in 1862, he buried her with the only existing copy of his unpublished poems. Seven years later, however, Rosetti found himself suffering from an extraordinary case of writer's block, so he dug up her body and retrieved his poems.

They were published in 1870 and were well received by the critics. Rosetti, however, never quite recovered. The poet could never forgive himself for pilfering his own wife's grave.


Bush almost blows himself up

Huffington Post disabled comments on this story and no wonder. Mr. Chucklehead President Bush almost blew himself up the other day ... heh heh.... Even if it didn't have a happy ending, it's a story worth repeating. I hope it brings an Easter smile to your face. Isn't Bushie cute? He looks so happy. Always getting into things.

Full story here:
Business Insider
The Detroit News

Credit Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally with saving the leader of the free world from self-immolation.
Mulally told journalists at the New York auto show that he intervened to prevent President Bush from plugging an electrical cord into the hydrogen tank of Ford's hydrogen-electric plug-in hybrid at the White House last week. Ford wanted to give the Commander-in-Chief an actual demonstration of the innovative vehicle, so the automaker arranged for an electrical outlet to be installed on the South Lawn and ran a charging cord to the hybrid. However, as Mulally followed Bush out to the car, he noticed someone had left the cord lying at the rear of the vehicle, near the fuel tank.
"I just thought, 'Oh my goodness!' So, I started walking faster, and the President walked faster and he got to the cord before I did. I violated all the protocols. I touched the President. I grabbed his arm and I moved him up to the front," Mulally said. "I wanted the president to make sure he plugged into the electricity, not into the hydrogen. This is all off the record, right?"


Haste makes ...

Ten minutes before the NAC deadline this evening I ran up the stairs to their office clutching my still drying submissions packet but half way up I tripped and crushed it with both my hands. I smoothed it out although it instantly went from a nice, clean envelope to looking like it had been in the back of a pick-up truck for a week. I made it in the door, they stamped it and that was that until about an hour later when I realized that, due to a last minute edit, I had included a duplication and therefore failed to meet the criteria of 10 poems. Fucking Lovely. Have I learned anything besides the fact that I am an arrogant idiot? Perhaps. How about give yourself enough time to do it right ... or ... pay attention ... or don't run on the stairs. Anyway, I got several new poems out of the deal so I'm not complaining plus I finally opened my NaNoWriMo manuscript from last fall and didn't want to commit suicide after reading a few paragraphs. I just got home after reading some of the new work at Comma Coffee's open mike. It helped me come down a bit. I am still rattling off of the caffeine and adrenalin high. I want to grow up now.


Afternoon report

Okay, I harvested 10 poems from the NaNo pigpile of words. It wasn't as painful as I imagined it would be. The ol' internal editor is still out of the office so I'm gonna take what I got and run with it. The red pen comes later but right I've got to meet Susan at Comma Coffee. I blame her. She threw down the challenge harvesting 11 poems from her NaNo-rama pile-o-words.

Lucky Pierre and Monsieur Chance mock my effort to sell out.

Dear Diary

Must open flash drive and view NaNo manuscript. I'll pretend I wrote that one thousand times now so I can jump ahead to the dread. Okay ... dread ... dread. Got that over. Now .... hum .... must have more tea then, promise to self, I will get to work. Meeting Susan at 2. Must have something. Grant deadline Friday, 5pm.

Now that I have made my resolve public will I drag myself into action? Will your implied presence keep me honest?

Seattle, omens and images

I don't need no stinkin flash, she said.
Dinner party

I'm back from Seattle and running to catch up with unfinished business here. I worked in the garden all day yesterday, didn't touch my computer and went to bed achy and scratchy. It felt good. I spent most of today helping someone out with a project and then back to the garden. I want everything I planted yesterday to grow immediately into a tall, green secret world into which I can disappear at will. Tomorrow I must prepare a submissions packet for the Nevada Arts Council Fellowship deadline this Friday. Third time running but I don't expect it to be a charm. So far, I printed out the entry form but that's it. I promised myself I'd open my NaNoWriMo manuscript from last November to see if there is anything in it I can harvest. That should be painful. Mostly, I consider this exercising the idea of "writing for money".

Aunt Peggy,
beauty and mind destroyed by alcoholism

For now, here are a few photos from last week. The one WATCH YOUR STEP turned out to be rather prophetic. I knew it at the time and almost didn't take it hoping to ward off its dire prediction but no point in that. Things are what they are. It was wonderful spending time with my family but the lines twisted with my daughter, as they often seem to do. I thought it was hard being a mother's daughter but the fact is I was very difficult. The justice is that it can be so much more painful being a daughter's mother. I made so many mistakes along the way that even now they cast a chill shadow but this evening I did manage to put a few peanuts out before the 7 o'clock magpie arrived. At least I got that right.

Union St. wall

Urban wildlife

Union St. steps

University of Washington

Chinatown window

Morning, Lake Washington

Farmers Market afternoon

Uwajimaya grocery section

Seattle Public Library "Red Hall"