Saturday, December 31, 2005

Rub, II

I rub my head on Tony's hand as a world's parade of dachshunds, nose-to-tail, girdle the earth. I rub my cheek against the red catnip mouse and punch it with my hind legs as a policeman in large flat shoes swishes a daffodil into the alley next door. Once I rubbed against a man's teeth to wake him as he snored with his mouth open. The dining room table leg rubs against my haunches as I creep into the bathroom just in case someone turns on the tub spigot. I rub myself on a handful of garlic bulbs as a dustbeam grazes my tail. I rub my coat with my tongue as dust and dirt are scraped from my savage pumpkin fur.

Friday, December 30, 2005


I rub my eyes as I wash them. A fish rubs against the bottom of an aquarium as I dream about him. I rub against Tony's pant leg as he stands the kitchen with an open can of "Active Maturity" tuna. A chipmunk rubs the Pope as I sleep on the couch. Tony rubs his chin as I squint, still half-asleep -- the upstairs buzzer jolted me and the dogs upstairs howled, their insecurities rubbing off on each other ("Omigod, someone came home," they bark, "I must pledge obeisance! I must obey!" Fools.) I rub my cheek against the bathtub spigot as water falls. Rumsfeld rubs his hands together as he smells blood. "I rub my language against the other," Roland Barthes says, as if language were a skin. I will rub out the squirrels as they chase each other in the tree outside the living room window.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

My War

She was nowhere. Shelly was gone. I broke into the closet every night and slept on her backpack. I left thatches of my dazzling hair on it. This always gets attention. Confirmation that I exist. Not this time. I ate leaves from plants in the South and North Forests of the living room. I tried to throw up a hairball. I ran the full length of the apartment -- spare room to couch -- and knocked over a garbage can. (No dental floss. I checked later.) I mewed in the bathtub even though the spigot was running. Did you just see a dainty succession of shadows glance the wall? I will catch one someday. I rummaged in the laundry room when Tony wasn't looking, and knocked around a milk-bottle-cap-ring I found there. I can slice into a pigeon -- its tender, clattering fear -- and will trot with a string of mouse tail dangling from my magisterial mouth. If I want. When Tony tried to write, I whined to get on his lap; when he put me on his lap, I jumped away and made bleeping noises. But Shelly never came out. She hid somewhere for a whole week. She's back today, trailing a suitcase. This doesn't mean I have to notice.

I was rattled by her absence all week -- just like you feel when the street cleaning trucks churn back and forth on the street, or when the dryer buzzer goes off, or when a yoga mat is unfurled. I'm sleeping all right in the wicker newspaper box again, after several turbulent days of horrifying bleach-smell. Their cleanliness is virulent. I want a bag of moths.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Episode Three: "Police State or Garden of Eden?"

The President of the War on Terror speaks to the country tonight on TV, Mary.

Stay the course? Or apologize for being a corrupt, lying, cowardly little man? Tough call.

Christ, the Pentagon is spying on America.

The clink of a chipmunk, a lovely shadow. A pile of tuna in a dish in the kitchen on the floor. In the middle of the night.

The Pentagon says the Quaker Meeting House in Lake Worth, FL, is a threat to national security.

They washed the white towel in the newspaper box I sleep in. It smells like bleach. I'm supposed to sleep there. On the bleached blanket. In my newspaper box that doesn't smell like me anymore. Who are they trying to fool?

I support the troops going to the lawless border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan and capturing Osama and Ayman Al-Zawahiri.

I cannot be touched or picked up today.

Wait till you hear this, Mary. Post said in the Fort Bragg speech that the war on terror is "a war that's been going on since the Garden of Eden in many ways. (Terrorism) is a very complicated species of political violence."

Yahweh pushed around Adam and Eve like they were water bugs trying to flee my bathtub. They can't. I always win.

Remember, he also said: "You can't (fully) defeat terrorism without defeating democracy." Oh, my God.

The Defense Department says, We kill democracy in order to kill terrorism.

What planet do we live on?

Shelly wants to change her name to "Cinnamon."

It's right there on the Defense Department web site: "Terrorism has been going on since the Garden of Eden." We're fucked, Mary.

Bush hates his own troops so much, I don't know how he can sleep at night.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Microsoft Tarot

"Justice returns to your emotional life today, Shimmy. [No more salt truck rumbling monsters down the street. Death to rolling computer chairs!] Under the protection of Judgment and Justice, you’ll find yourself swearing your loyalty to your partner, putting your relationship on a more official footing, or finding a balance in your relationship. [Tony was gone for two days. I'm still furious. Maybe I should crouch and leave him a gift in the corner of the living room South Forest? Make him boo-hoo-hoo with his paper towels and Murphy's Oil Soap? Last night, I slept on top of his suitcase so he couldn't leave again.] You get what you want not by force but through care, intelligence and patience. [Care, intelligence, and patience lull the mouse. Without force, how might the mouse be caught and eaten?] Bravo -- may it bring you happiness! At work, your day will be dominated by the search for balance and security. [Such is my struggle. How can I live balanced and secure when the terrifying rain wakes me from my sleep? When the vet comes to me in dreams and says, "My name is Lucifer, please take my hand"?] Justice and the Empress are encouraging you to settle or clarify your social and professional situation. You'll use all your intelligence and skill to protect your hard-won achievements or to sort out anyone who's likely to try and knock you off course. [My vigil atop his suitcase.]"

Friday, December 16, 2005

Episode Two: "Who Wants to Be President of the War on Terror?"

You're not gonna believe this, Mary.

A smell changes -- thins the circumstance. I hope for meat, for yogurt, for a violent fish tank, for a solemn occasion of blankets and peculiar sniping mice.

Get this. The Defense Department says terrorism "may never be fully suppressed." I wonder why they didn't think of this on September 20, 2001. During Bush's speech to a joint session of Congress. When he said the enemy wasn't Al Qaeda, but instead the enemy was a type of warfare called "terrorism."

If Osama had lined up 19 acolytes in a ditch firing guns at Americans -- instead of sneaking them on a plane -- I guess this would've been OK.

"That's not terrorism, it's trench warfare!" the Pentagon would have said. "Let's wait till they run out of bullets."

Then the CIA could go back asleep under the porch steps next door. And Bush could chase the milk-bottle-cap-ring his creepy wife hid under the rug. Fuck them.

Wait. It gets better, Mary. In speech at Fort Bragg, Dr. Jerrold M. Post "explained that active dissention is an important part of democracy" --

Oh, really?

-- but then he added that dissension "can be difficult to prevent from turning to violence -- a bleak prospect for Americans who value a free society." I can't believe the Defense Department doesn't fucking know how to spell dissension.

Rhoda, dissention is a variant of dissension. I just looked it up.

"You can't (fully) defeat terrorism without defeating democracy," he said.

Every single day of my life I wonder why Bush hates our troops so much.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

My Ballot

I voted for Alice Cooper in the Iraq election. He'll do a better job than Ngo Dinh Diem. I fell asleep in the bathtub again.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

"A myth that serves as the perfect shroud and justification for institutional power."

Muckraker columnist Norman Solomon was at San Quentin two nights ago:

"The operative God of the night was a governor [. . . .] Hours later, a new killing would be sanitized by law and euphemism. (Before dawn, a newscast on NPR's 'Morning Edition' would air the voice of a media witness who had observed the execution by lethal injection. Within seconds, his on-air report twice referred to the killing of Williams as a 'medical procedure.')"

They are the guardians of our sleep.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Spectacle Isn't Stupid. It Wasn't Born Yesterday, You Know.

Television nearly gives me everything I want. Yet as it expresses itself, television actually communicates what is permitted rather than what is possible. I guess the true spectacle is not really the mass media. The mass media are limiting, to be sure. But the insidious reach of the spectacle is rooted in power relations.

My favorite scene in Team America: World Police is when they release the jaguars. They ate the throats of the puppets. In this way, the spectacle props our daily life -- the spectacle underwrites the Science Diet food pellets in our bowls each morning, the magic water that drips from the bathtub spigot. The spectacle is the subliminal force of everyday life, with power relations as its governing archetype.

Capitalist division of labor only makes things worse, creating "the mythical order with which every power shrouds itself from the beginning" (Guy Debord). A two-week vacation means nothing: by taking it, you legitimize your "activity" -- your working -- during the other 50 weeks of the year. Division of labor is, really, just a question of "separate production as production of the separate" (Debord). What is modern is archaic; that is, both depend on structures that cleave "subject" from "object," creating a separation that is mythic -- a myth that serves as the perfect shroud and justification for institutional power.

The Sean Penn puppet was really fucking scared.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

List, II

1. Trash bags
2. Vacuum cleaner
3. The dogs upstairs
4. Venetian blinds
5. Thunder
6. The broom
7. Yoga mats
8. Shoes
9. Eugene Chadbourne
10. The cat travel carrier
11. Rain
12. USA Patriot Act
13. Motorized toys
14. Lightning
15. Big parcels
16. House sitters
17. The apartment buzzer
18. Lemon rinds
19. Outside
20. Uptown Animal Hospital
21. Loud sneezes
22. The dishwasher door
23. Lemon Pledge furniture polish
24. Anaesthesia
25. Rolling desk chairs
26. Salt trucks driving down the street
27. Orange rinds
28. Ringtones
29. Clapping hands

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I Mean It

Don't touch me. Don't you fucking touch me.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Episode One: "Libby Commits Treason"

A mouse is tiresome.

Get this. "A number of classified documents from the CIA" were faxed to Libby "on or about June 9, 2003." These documents "did not mention Wilson by name."

I could tack some glassy-eyed chipmunks to the wall or chew on a leaf.

Here's what Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor, said: "After receiving these documents, LIBBY and one or more other persons in the Office of the Vice President handwrote the names 'Wilson' and 'Joe Wilson' on the documents."

I could kick the catnip mouse across the living room.

Fitzgerald's all sexy bland forehead.

I catch the mouse, but it's not moving, and, really, in the end it's made out of fabric not flesh-and-blood.

Listen, it's one of many pieces of evidence in the indictment that Libby and the Office of the Vice President -- maybe the leprous Cheney himself? -- revealed that Valerie Plame was a CIA spy.

Bob Woodward once brought down a corrupt government but is now no better than a Three-Headed Cerberus guarding the White House from honest checks and balances.

Poor Woodward, who, as Cerberus, is becoming the next Judith Miller. The poor sap didn't want to reveal he also knew Plame was CIA.

He nuzzled his hack snout on Bush's cowardly lap. He criticized Fitzgerald as "disgraceful" and said the investigation was "laughable."

He said Fitzgerald was a "junkyard dog prosecutor." Let me get this straight: I've always understood the act of revealing the name of a spy to be an act of treason.

I am taken to heaven in the Rapture but the mice are left behind.

In 1985, when his Islamist captors in Iran found out he was a CIA agent, William Buckley (not the lunatic fringe columnist of the same name) was tortured and killed.

When Aldrich Ames and, later, Robert Hanssen (a rabid member of Opus Dei) were convicted of giving the Soviets the names of secret U.S. intelligence operatives, their crime was called "treason."

Libby, Woodward, and Miller are very intelligent. Maybe they are so smart and busy that they have never heard of Title 50, United States Code, Section 421 ("disclosure of the identity of covert intelligence personnel"), and Title 18, United States Code, Sections 793 ("improper disclosure of national defense information"), 1001 ("false statements"), 1503 ("obstruction of justice"), and 1623 ("perjury").

Or maybe they just really fucking hate our troops.