Reanimated Lavender Granola Switchblade Nun rides again.

Thursday, August 31, 2017


"Hold you in his arms, yeah, you can feel his disease" --The Beatles

Here is your ideal lover,
restless beside you in bed,
skin alive with a traveling infestation.
Reach out.
Go ahead.
Embrace the one who writhes as he sleeps.

Here is your constant one,
with words as sweet as rot
leaking from cracked teeth that teem with larvae.
Kiss him.
Suck his infected tongue with your lips
Because he cannot harm you.

Here is your adored one's treasured heart
housing sickening vermin.
Never mind the pitch and yaw
Of whatever fills his discolored chest.
He can explain all that, like so many times before;
Bring in a team to identify exactly what he is.

Touch him.
Kiss him.
Sit beside him and listen to him break wetly apart,
and, out of kindness, try not to vomit too obviously.
He is not what you thought he was.
He is legion,
and it is himself he devours, not you. 

For Skyflower Friday. Monsters.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Book Review : "Sad Riddance"

Sad Riddance: The Milwaukee Braves' 1965 season amid a sport and a world in turmoilSad Riddance: The Milwaukee Braves' 1965 season amid a sport and a world in turmoil by Chuck Hildebrand

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Let me say first that, if you are not a baseball fan with an interest in either the era or this particular team, this is probably not for you. BUT, if you are, then you'll enjoy "Sad Riddance." From the outset of the 20th century through 1952, baseball's major leagues enjoyed a 50-year period of amazing stability. However, between 1953 and 1971, no fewer than nine franchise shifts (with the Athletics relocating twice, first from Philadelphia to Kansas City, and then from there to Oakland, California) took place.

The first of these was the incredible story of the floundering Boston Braves' move to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where a second-division team (the year before, in Boston) were welcomed as conquering heroes, and attendance records were smashed across the board as the Braves became a winner and then a champion. In the early 1960's however, while the team always won more games than they lost, they were not the powerhouse they had been at their height, and most of the old familiar names had departed, replaced by a parade of forgettable imports. Attendance fell, and the team was sold to a group out of Chicago, headed by Bill Bartholomay. Bartholomay spent two years assuring the city of Milwaukee that he intended to keep the team there, then went back on all of it by applying to the league to move the Braves to Atlanta, Georgia for the 1965 season.

Not so fast, though. Court action prevented the team from breaking its lease on Milwaukee County Stadium, and so the Braves headed into unprecedented territory, becoming the first and only team to ever have to play a lame duck season in a city while knowing they were leaving at the end of it. This book chronicles both the action on the field and the machinations in the court rooms, as well as giving a real feel for the city of Milwaukee itself.

The team still had eventual all-time home run king Henry Aaron and fan favorite Eddie Mathews, the only player to appear for all three incarnations of the Braves--in Boston, Milwaukee, and Atlanta--as well as such players as Joe Torre, Phil Niekro and Rico Carty. Set against the backdrop of the National League's marvelous pennant race that year, the empty seats and broken hearts in Milwaukee are a stark counterpoint to a pennant race the team stayed in until as late as the end of August.

There are plenty of villains here: in addition to Bartholomay, there is reviled manager Bobby Bragan, who didn't seem to know when to shut his mouth and not say things to disparage the city of Milwaukee or his players, and do-nothing baseball commissioner Ford Frick.

While this book is rather long, and contains perhaps a little *too much* detail, I do recommend it to anyone who loved the Milwaukee Braves, or who wants to know how a city can lose a beloved professional sports franchise.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, August 29, 2017


There is a diner where the waitress lets down her hair,
despite Health Department directives,
or fevered men with their angry wives.

Each table has a miniature juke box
with songs on a flip wheel, 25 cents a number.
"Mister Sandman." "Brandy." "Spirit In The Sky."

You can order eggs, but the cook is loathe to break them.
He says he is haunted by the birds,
silent and accusing about their unlived lives.

At night, after closing, the cook and waitress go home together,
and take menus with them to remind themselves that everything has cost.
In her dreams, the waitress has an operatic voice, and can fly. 

There is a clock in the diner, advertising a particular soft drink.
At exactly noon, the waitress stuffs napkins into a dispenser
until it is full to bursting. She hates a mess, that's why.

Come to the diner. Take the bus, avoid the downtown rush.
Bring a good appetite and order pancakes
warm and brown as the waitress's eyes.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Strange House

I lived for years in a strange house
where the sun only rose when it would
and sporadically.

The fields around this strange house
were stunted, though I crouched and sang
Billie Holiday for the yellow shoots.

In the night--which lasted days at a time--
I wrote letters and mailed them at the foot of an oak.
In the Fall, I could not tell them from the leaves and acorns.

Winter came; then Spring. Fall followed,
then Winter, and Winter again.
I had a million scarves. Hundreds of boots. A candle. Half a ring.

Why did I stay? It seems so foolish now.
I made biscuits and pies just to fill the strange house,
if only with aromas. The sun rose less frequently.

Finally, a letter came. 
"Please leave now," it read.
And I did.

Monday, August 21, 2017


The rooster was dead.
My bible was blank.
The sun went down and I opened my eyes.
Stars, you don't fool me;
I'm not some country fool headed down the cellar steps.

The Moon is the only one I can trust--
Don't you think I know that?
Roads go both directions, no use to set out on them at all.

Rain made the river drunk,
and the fields lay back like whores for it.
Here I come, after dark.
Here I come, half a teacher with a lesson long as willow branches.

I wasn't always like this.
I was a bauble on a string, thinking myself rare. 
Then you wrote your name on my skin in fingernail blood,
and after that I was rare, a horse apple in a blind man's hand.

The rooster is dead;
He won't be traveling anymore.
My bible is blank and open on the berm.
Stars, you don't fool me--
I'm woke as fuck
and have forgotten more mercy than you'll ever deserve.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Rather Large Cat Diary

Ah, our patience has paid off:
A Fireblossom in its natural habitat!
This one is a female. She looks to be
an older girl...I don't see any kittens anywhere,
although there does seem to be some sort of wild dog shadowing her,
hoping to scavenge a morsel.

Look, look!
The dog's strategy may be about to pay off,
because we see that the Fireblossom has moved to a large white object
in which she has stored food for later.
This is great....we get to see her pulling out...
what is that? Oh! Some apple pie, and now some ice cream.
(whispering) It's only ten a.m. here, so we were very lucky to catch this scene!

All right. The Fireblossom and her canine shadow are on the move.
They're on the way to a sort of den she's made,
something naturalists call a "living room."
See how she carries her meal on a round flat object rather than in her mouth!
Such ingenuity! 
She's half way there...but wait! Oh dear, what's this?

A small black object in the corner is making some sort of sounds.
It's hard to tell exactly what it is, but...'s some kind of rhythmic song.
Yes! It's what young hominids in the 1970's called "disco".
It's a sort of mating call, often accompanied by frenetic movements
designed to attract  a partner,
or, sometimes, they just do it for no particular reason,
at least not that we can understand.

Anyway,this could be trouble!
She's moving. With the round food-bearing object in her hand...
Oh no. Oh dear.
She appears to be reacting to the sounds from the box.
An animal of this age and size should never....
See that! She almost spilled the food! 
The wild dog was licking his chops,
he thought the dinner bell was about to ring!
Here she goes again. Watch out for that couch! And the coffee table! 

We've seen some close calls, haven't we?
She had better settle in a tree or under a shrub
or even on that couch and consume her meal.
Hyenas may come and try to steal it--
the dog seems to be trying to tell her this!
But no, she's swaying her hips, moving her arms around--
and there it goes! Oh no! All over the floor, er, ground!
What a windfall for the dog!

Oh! Listen! I think we caught her on mic.
Yes. Yes, there it was. 
When irritated or angry, she'll make these short aggressive vocalizations.
But look at the dog! He doesn't care.
Now the Fireblossom is headed back into the other room again...
Look! She seems to have cooled off
and she's making a sort of snapping noise with her phalanges, or "fingers." 
What's that she's got? 
I'm trying to see now... cleaner!

Well! I'm afraid we're out of time,
but it's been a pretty exciting morning, hasn't it?
Please join us next time on Rather Large Cat Diary! 

for Bits of Inspiration at Real Toads, where the topic is dance.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Upstairs, And The Fine Things Kept There

Don't dream.
Don't sleep.
Not yet.

Did you like dinner?
It was simple,
made from ordinary things.
A little pasta, sauce, and spice.

I brushed garlic on the bread.
I felt your eyes
and the warmth from the oven.

Lace our fingers.

for this.

someone once played this song, "Dreams", for me and told me I had a "totally amazing mind." But as another song by another singer has said, I'm just another silly girl.


Monday, August 14, 2017

The Winter Guest

You were the winter guest
wrapped in scarves and leather,
and I was the girl with red hair
and a dollar on the dresser.

One night, eating on the cheap
at the Chinese restaurant downstairs,
you turned an egg roll into a talking dog
who called me her Heart....her Air.

Do you remember when I played you
the song about a nightingale in Berkeley Square?
You called me a granny and kissed my ear,
then dropped your coat on a kitchen chair.

I loved the delicate balance
of my quilt on your back--
candle light in my bedroom--
and all of that....

You were the winter guest
wrapped in cable knit and leather;
now I'm a lonesome nightingale
with a scarf on her dresser.

from a word list.


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Believe Me, Darling

The thing is,
You can believe in me
When I say
That there's bound to be
A place so lovely
That even we
Can't mar it.

And my love,
In all of your enchanting
Recently repaired
Almost perfection, can't we
Enjoy the evening air
That even we
Can't ruin?

Every time that the planets
In this certain way,
I find myself wanting to say
With only the slightest irony,
"Will you be mine?"

My nodding love,
We don't really need
The crutches that we
Allowed to become more important 
than this feeling
That even we
Can't poison.

So, now that the planets
Have aligned
In our favor, this once darling,
I find myself wanting to say
In an only slightly disingenuous way,
"Will you be mine?"

for Magaly's "Out Of Your Own Words" challenge at Real Toads. As per instructions, my 2012 poem "Sustenance" shares an opening line with this one.


Friday, August 11, 2017


 "Magic Mirror, if we only could / see ourselves as others would." --Leon Russell

I tried to call you last night.
I tried twice more but you never picked up.
Where were you?
Oh. Who did you go with? 
Yes, I know her parents. She smokes, doesn't she?
I'm just saying.
Nothing. Nothing at all. Don't get upset like you do, please.
Yes I know she's 21.
No, she can't be 37? 
Okay. I guess that's right, you kids are the same age. Time flies!
Well, you'll always be kids to me.
Did you get the recipes I sent you?
Some coupons, too.
Did you go to that job fair I told you about?
I thought it would be good for--
But you don't want to do that for the rest of your life, do you?
It's not really going to take you anywhere.
You could do--
Pardon? You did? That's wonderful. How much of a raise was it?
Well, excuse me. I'll never ask anything again.
Any men in your life?
Yes, but I thought that might have changed.
Oh yes, her.
But why were you so upset? It was only another woman. 
I just worry about you.
If you'd lose a little weight, and dress a little more--
Well, I'm sorry you heard it like that.
You've always been too sensitive. 
Your brother isn't that way at all!
Always do what?
Don't be that way. I'm trying to help you.
Why take everything I say as criticism?
Don't raise your voice, please. 
I never said that.
I don't remember saying that.
I just want you to be happy.
Well I'm sorry if you misunderstood what I was saying.
You know how you confuse things sometimes, just like your father.
Well, your friends don't say these things to you because they don't love you like I do.
Have you thought any more about becoming a Lutheran?
I only thought--
Well, when we went to church with your brother and Debbie, you said--
I thought you did express an interest. 
He'd be glad to talk to you about--
All right! I just wish you had something solid in your life, that's all.
I worry.
What have you been up to?
An award, how nice. Is there any payment for that, or...
Oh, I see. 
Well, that's a nice hobby I suppose. Nothing I would ever think to do, of course.
Yes. Yes, but...
I just think that if you spent that time in a more--
Well, because I'm your mother. I care about you. I worry.
At your door? Right now? It's rather late.
All right, I'll call you tomorrow then. 
You won't?
How about Wednesday? Any room in your schedule then? Ha ha.
Well, they'll wait, won't they?
You're just like your father, always running off someplace but never getting anywhere.
All right, yes, better go see who's at the door, my goodness.
Be careful.
Love you.

for Out Of Standard at Real Toads.

Image: The Broken Mirror Effect by croissance at deviant art.

Blogger won't let me add a video, so here is a link to Leon Russell's "Magic Mirror." 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


There are a million pretty girls
climbing in the windows,
filling up billboards and tv screens like pretty kudzu.

There are a million other girls
marking and piercing, trying anything
to make themselves different from all the rest. 

Be pretty like THAT girl.
Be thin like that one.
Fit in, fold spindle and mutilate, and most of all keep smiling.

But,...what if you are never meant to fit in?
What if you are marked out by God, or life, or nature?
What if, Jehanne,
what if, Janis,
what if, Miss Brains, Miss Butch, Miss Misfit Toy,
you believe?
you belt it out?
you don't let them shame you or shrink you or stop you? 

What if you accepted that you were touched by God? 
Damn, you'd be different.
And, damn, wouldn't that be fine?

I have become fascinated with Brazilian model Mariana Mendes.

She was born with a birth mark, melanocytic nevus, on her face. 

At age six, her mother paid for laser treatment, but it didn't have much effect. Mariana says she's glad it didn't, and doesn't want any more treatment.

She's a model, an internet sensation, and fucking gorgeous. 

Rock on, Mariana! 

Sunday, August 6, 2017


Come over.
For dinner.
Here's a box and a bowl.
Something wrong with Rice Chex?

What I want,
what I'm in a fever for,
is that book.
Dja bring it?

Here I am,
ever the lady,
climbing you like a fire ladder.
Not kissing you--
I want the book.

Got it!
Go, now. 

for Flash 55 at Toads.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Book Review: "Business Cat : Money, Power, Treats"

Business Cat: Money, Power, TreatsBusiness Cat: Money, Power, Treats by Tom Fonder

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Business Cat is a tycoon, captain of industry, cat, and cartoon. He's all about the bottom line until something trips him up, like an empty box to sit inside of, or a can of tuna served at a leading restaurant.

Whether he's playing with print-outs or sending employees to sensitivity training for looking at cat memes, Business Cat is hilarious. He runs toward the elevator someone is holding open for him, then sits down and won't get in. His house has a cat habitat on the roof. His Secret Santa gift to an employee is a demised critter wrapped in cheery holiday paper.

The combination of cool, collected CEO and goofball kitty is the funniest thing I've seen in ages. (Not as funny if BC horks up a hairball on your keyboard, but that's life in corporate America.) Absolutely recommended.

View all my reviews

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Sand & Water

"Solid stone is just sand and water, baby; sand and water, and a million years gone by." --Beth Nielsen Chapman

They say that if you love a Selkie,
she will leave with the tide, and not return for seven years.
Lovers of Selkies walk the beach collecting shells
and other empty things, here...and here...and here.

They say that if you love a Selkie,
to keep her, you burn the seal-coat she's shed.
Then you'll have a Selkie wife
silently crying in your bed. 

Here I've been, since who knows when,
Drawing pictures in the dust on the sill while you slept.
Don't say you believe, in me, in us
anymore; what's been burned can't still be kept.

Down through the town, past the fields, to the water
with my seal-coat stitched from paper and leather,
I slip back home, on my back I'm carried
by the change in the waves, in your heart, and the weather.

for Margaret's Artistic Impressions at Real Toads.