Wednesday, April 10, 2013



Today I spent about four hours trying to get a chapbook cover just right. It still isn't, but it's closer. And yes, eventually it will be talked about on this blog, but not today.

Today I spent another couple of hours going over and making notes on writing from my writing group that meets tomorrow in Nelson. We meet about once a month and I stayed current via email while I was away in Mexico, but I haven't seen my buddies since last year so I'm really looking forward to it. 

And speaking of email allows me to segue into today's poetic pursuit post which I wrote before I checked to see what the NaPoWriMo prompt was, and by sheer synchronicity, the poem fits. The prompt? I quote from the website:

“An un-love poem isn’t a poem of hate, exactly — that might be a bit too shrill or boring. It’s more like a poem of sarcastic dislike. This is a good time to get in a good dig at people who chew with their mouth open, or always take the last oreo. If there’s no person you feel comfortable un-loving, maybe there’s a phenomenon? Like squirrels that eat your tomatoes. (I have many, many bitter feelings about tomato-eating squirrels). There’s lots of ways to go with this one, and lots of room for humor and surprise as well. Happy writing!”

As it turned out, I was quite happy writing today's poem. Here it is:

I’m Not Looking For the Cat

April, and snow, that unwelcome guest who,
though not invited, came to the party,
shows up on the mountain across the river.

This morning’s e-mail is replete with stern
admonitions that North Korea is about to
send a missile somewhere, it would like it
to be the USA but will probably have to settle
for its neighbor nation to the south.

That, and the first of what will turn out to be
several daily forwards from a friend so dear
I don’t call him on it, of Things to Look At,
look at me, look at me, Look! At! Me!
as if I have time or inclination
to find the cat in the picture of a huge mound
of discarded crap—refrigerator doors, washing machine tubs,
weed-eaters, birdfeeders, carburators,
and that’s just the stuff I can identify—
but not the cat which is probably not a dead cat
as you might expect in such a monstrous midden
but one licking its paw or its asshole
as cats are wont to do.

Usually I don’t read, just delete such missives,
but also in today’s mail was a link to another friend’s
poetry site wherein I read a poem by
an Angry Young Man (whose poems I’ve been
reading for a long time now, so how young
can he be?) who is upset by the way
the parental generation has raped Mother Earth.
Well yes, we have, as did the parental generations
before us, and before that us, and before that,
take it right back to the first ooze of life
that crawled out of the sea or out of God’s finger
if you subscribe to that particular fantasy.

What’s surprising is that the planet is still here at all,
still bravely putting out buds on wintered trees,
still forcing life from shivering ground,
still casting snow on the mountains
so we’ll all—the buds, the trees, the shivered ground—
have something to drink later when the sun comes out,
did I mention that the sun still comes out
from time to time, and warms the metal detritus
pictured in that e-mail that invites a cat
to sit awhile and not be seen,
something we all assay to do on this day,
in this life, on this planet.

Dudley, posing for a cat picture. He thinks he's a gargoyle.


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