Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Hawks are good for reminding writers that their writing has been neglected. It is aching to be let out. Ready to play. Go out and watch a hawk eat lunch. Feathers and blood everywhere. A mess on the lawn. Beady-eyed gaze guarding what's good.

Yeah. Go on.

Before the end of the meal, that hawk is likely to be distracted, interrupted, maybe shot, killed, eaten, you name it. But do you think that she'll let go of the carcass she's wolfing down as fast as she can? Will her beak let up for one second, allowing it to fall to the ground? Not on your life.

So, like I said, go ahead.



Monday, November 17, 2008

Cat Bowls at Midnight

Have you ever been insomniac and the moon so full you went nearly blind in the blare, so you got up and padded through the house in sock feet, and suddenly the clink of china, then a cold wet slide across the kitchen on one hip washes you up against the pan cupboard in the west corner. Ow!

What the hell are they doing there! You don't have a cat, or a dog. What are three bowls doing on the floor in a puddle of water! You stop swearing a minute, get up on all fours and creep over to the mess. Sniff. Put your finger into what looks like cheerios. Taste. It's cheerios. Wha....?

The other bowls are half filled with tea-colored liquid. You dip in one finger. Taste. It's cooled-off, bitter from the bag being in too long goddam lapsang souschong! Who is messing with me?

Getting up again, you swoosh along on the shiny wood boards without lifting your feet, like an old lady on icy pavement, until you get to the porch door. You peer out the window into a silent yard so full of moon it's hard to find an edge. But that is exactly what you want right now. To find an edge to grab onto. And pull at the threads of cloth you've been working over the last year, to find colors that weave themselves in unobtrusively, completely. To ravel the sides into froth. To kick up the rug at the door and go out.

To moon the naked sky right back. And follow a tiny trail that leads off to the side, around beds of peony stalks, winter-battered cones and mullein. The taste of air that clicks with cold, a furtive scurry under. Little tracks all over the driveway and down to the road. A bicycle rusting against a drainpipe. Dust in the air of this too dry night.

But sudden sleep catches hold and draws you in, back under the covers and down down down into murzy thoughts of the past. What is the past doing here? Get out! You say, get out! You need to get back to sleep. You must've dreamed it all.