Cheap Wine & Poetry

"We should never have named what we buried. We know now it wasn't love." ~ Richard Hugo from Graves.

Last night I attended a reading at Seattle's Richard Hugo House, a Cheap Beer & Prose event hosted by Cheap Wine & Poetry, to quote their blog, "Seattle’s biggest, coolest, hippest reading series." There was a huge turnout. I went alone but met some really nice people who invited me to join them at their table. One had come to read poetry at the open mic following the main event. As it turned out, I read as well. It's wonderful reading to people who actually listen. By the way, the Hugo House is a great place. Next time you are in Seattle, check it out.


Chumming for the dog

Since Baby Thea discovered how much Owen and Uncle Sonny like tasty treats, in this case Baby Os, she has become their new best friend.


Local news at 5:15 PM

A gray white moment coming in the window from the bird park. Smooth snow pocked with claw prints. And mud reappearing covered in tiny black husks. This afternoon, under a bright blue Nevada sky hawk flashed by after a crying bird. Color fading now as inside the room around the monitor grows quietly dark.


Daily Dead Log


The extent of the cruelty and neglect PETA documented in this massive and filthy animal warehouse is mind-boggling. Tens of thousands of animals—including ring-tailed lemurs, wallabies, sloths, hedgehogs, hamsters, guinea pigs, prairie dogs, squirrels, ferrets, snakes, turtles, and tortoises—were dumped into severely crowded and filthy boxes, bins, troughs, and even soda bottles and left there, often without food and water, basic care, or minimal veterinary attention for their life-threatening injuries. The following are a handful of examples they documented of the daily, systemic mistreatment of animals:

  • Scared hamsters were crammed by the thousands into litter pans, unable to move for fear of being attacked by other distressed hamsters. These cruel conditions resulted in rampant cannibalism, horrific wounds and infections, and a daily death toll. Faulty watering-system nozzles routinely flooded bins, drowning the animals trapped inside.

  • Delicate green tree frogs were kept inside plastic soda bottles. Denied food and water, the frogs sometimes remained inside these bottles for weeks at a time until they were either sold or died—whichever came first.

  • A young hedgehog (pictured here) who was one of hundreds of little "pocket pets" at the facility was denied basic medical attention after his front leg was nearly severed. Many animals—including a spotted squirrel whose neck was torn in half—were dumped into a chest freezer to die slowly.

  • More than 12,000 baby turtles languished in cardboard boxes for weeks in the facility's warehouse and were deprived of food, water, space, humidity, heat, and ventilation. In just one day, 657 turtles were recorded in the facility's "daily dead log."

For more than seven months, a PETA investigator worked undercover inside U.S. Global Exotics (USGE), a major player in the pet trade. USGE buys and sells hundreds of thousands of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and arachnids from all around the world, many of whom are eventually sold to large pet store chains PETCO and PetSmart—stores PETA has campaigned against and even won major concessions from over the years. This was the largest cruelty-related seizure of animals ever conducted. It has already affected the global pet trade, and with more hard work, it could change the industry forever.

If you'd like to join the fight against U.S. Global Exotics, and other traffickers in this barbaric trade, consider contributing. I tossed $5 into the can. How about you?


Storms and circuses

One of the many clowns at Reno's Circus Circus casino. I love/hate clowns. This guy in particular caught my attention the other day. The Circus Circus midway is a truly strange place. Macabre.

This little fellow, a midway prize, looked otherworldly amid the garish gloom. Reminds me of the Tarot's Hanged Man reversed which has some interesting meanings.

For instance, there is this interpretation:
Reversed: as the Hanged Man card usually involves sacrifice and insight, the inverse would be a refusal to surrender what needs to be surrendered, or a refusal to see things from a new perspective. In this regard, the reversed card is the assertion of the ego; stubbornness or selfishness. The querent is clinging to whom and what they are - all that they have - refusing to give it up even though the exchange could transform them and help others.

and this one:
The Hanged Man generally shows a life or situation at a crossroads - one with only two options e.g. in or out, up or down, yes or no. This is not a time to attempt to control people, outcomes or situations, it is a time to look critically at yourself and your options, and to be deliberate in your progress. If you don’t know what to do, at all, it’s often a clear signal to do nothing.

Well, much to think about but I am off to Reno today. Big storm coming. Stay warm wherever you are.


Local news at 10:09 AM

Today is the 31st anniversary of my mother's death. We share a tradition on this day, my sister, brother, and I; an email exchange and candles plus whatever goes on in our private thoughts. I included my brother's message below. Seems all three of us dream and redream our childhood home. It's like a haunting but that can be a good thing, I suppose. Or okay anyway.

Today in Seattle the weather was just like it was 31 years ago, that January day - cold with a dirty fog that closing in the city. We put mom in a wheelchair and pushed her around the hospital floor. Which one? The 7th? We stopped at the NW window looking out over 15th st. A very depressing, gray mist pushed up against the window. I distinctly remember feeling embarrassed showing her such things. I told her I loved her and that I would miss her dearly. She just looked out, saying nothing. Moving on, we went back to the room and I lifted her into bed. So light and frail.

The other night I had a dream of biking home to Beaux Arts. I was going up 106th street, the Akin's house to the left, the Wah's to the right, the road was cobble stone with emerald green moss growing and healthy between the stones. I was tired, it was a long ride from my office in Seattle, or wherever I had come from. In dreams you never really know, only the moment, the cobblestone path, and the thought that it was so so long a ride. Soon I would be home. But then I realized the family was not there and I would have to make it a home on my own. It was too far to ride.

One hell of a dream, eh?
Love to both of you.

I'll light a candle tonight.

I posted a new poem on my poetry blog today. I started it awhile ago, I don't know when. I found it in one of my old notebooks. Anyway, I finished it this morning.


As though

I am the shadow and the leaves tonight. I am pooled under trees. I seep into the forest floor and smell of mold and rot. I am quiet as moss and the dark side of rocks. I drink rain with an open mouth. I am the reflection that looks back with many eyes.


Local news at 12:31

I am a wreck. Have been for a while. My office is a wreck. Everything is a drag. I will tell you what. I am getting really sick of this. Just sayin.

Depressed Hamster


Cookies for breakfast but no Haloscan

Coffee can message holder
left at the peak of a lonely
mountain top somewhere
in the Nevada desert
They weren't the hit I'd thought they'd be but this morning I gave the magpies butter cookies for breakfast, the kind you buy at xmas in the big tin. I'm not sure how old they are. At least a year. By seconds the general consensus was they were weird. A few birds hung around to pick and nibble but even they left some on the table. Now, as usual, one fellow is still out there cleaning up but I hope he doesn't get a tummy ache. No more cookies for magpies. Maybe I will try them on the ducks. They are pigs with feathers.

In other news, Haloscam has finally extracted itself from my blog. Good! Skeevy bastards. It was waste of time installing their stupid service in the first place. Blogger comments always worked just fine. I was like a crow, enamored by a bit of shiny tinsel. The downside is that the brilliant, witty comments left here over the years are also gone leaving me at this outpost border crossing bribing birds for company and hoping a ragged traveler or two will happen by and leave a note in the can. Yes, they are only digital but they do make the world seem a friendlier place.


Local news at 12:17

From where I sit, twenty-ten came out of the gate sideways. Change. So be it. I don't have to like it. I just have to go with it. Even my favorite cafe in Reno closed. WTF? It had the best poetry open mic in town and was right on the river in the same building as a great gallery and an artist's resident hotel. On the other side of the spectrum, the assholes at Haloscan still haven't removed me from their service. Fuckers. Anyway, I am in Reno today. Will post some photos later. I hope your year had a more gentle beginning.


Real friend test


Skin flick

Do you need heart or guts to watch this video?


Bird eat bird

Today is Haloscan's big deadline. Either start paying for their service or get dumped. Screw them. I have been wanting to switch back to the Blogger commenting system for years but, oh no, Haloscan didn't offer that option. Undoubtedly, part of plumping up the user base in hopes of getting acquired and/or eventually discontinuing the free service. Yes, I could have reverted to Blogger's default widget template at any time thereby (probably) deleting them in the process but didn't want to make work for myself so good. Delete me. Adiós assholes.

And while I am on the subject of good sites gone bad, WTF Technorati? Seems Corporate also decided to castrate this once saavy interconnected site and turn it into a top-down-one-way-maze leading to the inevitable craphole advertisement. Fuck you too, Technorati.

Okay then.

And while I am on the subject of predator and prey, a small hawk recently claimed the Bird Park as his personal hunting ground. He is eating the little birds and leaving disturbing feather piles in and under bushes and trailing across the yard in tell tale testimony to successful captures. Just yesterday he swooped by my window after some poor fellow who probably did not get away. The Bird Park is on the brink of becoming yet another Nevada ghost town. The magpies still come about 7 am but they just grab their peanuts and go and though, at the moment, the little birds are braving death for a quick breakfast, they don't stay long. I really miss watching them throughout the day. Now, more often than not, I just look out at the fence and ugly roof line of the neighbor's horrible house. No movement, no life just another dead suburban moonscape. While I really resent corporations who suck the life out of things, I don't blame the hawk. He is not obsessed by profit and control but, between him and the fat neighborhood cats who saunter by after breakfast to play lion, there is not much joy in the Park. It's sad. I'm wondering if the magpies might chase the hawk away or at least challenge his hold on the place. They'd hang around if I feed them more. They scream at the cats. Of course, they also eat finches. It is a bird eat bird world.

The pigeons don't bother anybody but the neighbor on the other side of the fence but he died last month so that's something anyway. His widow doesn't give a crap about the outdoors. And the quail keep to themselves and are very fun to watch. They too are plagued by hunters, mostly the babies, but that's in the spring. Talk about sad. I get instantly attached to the tiny fluff ball babies following their parents around like a little train winding around curves after the engine. Last year the hunters gobbled them up like popcorn. What are ya gonna do? We are all food for somebody no matter how I wish it were NIMBY.


Blue Moon New Year

The photo is from Beaver Dam Wash. We don't go there anymore. The one road in washed out. Only the moon goes there now.