Sunday, December 31, 2006

War Diary


The children returned. Sat under the bed with me. Then we rearranged Abu-Ghraib pyramids in the South Forest. Oh, yes, Tony and Shelly, enjoy the so-called "Florida" beach while you can. You'll have a lot to clean up if you wish to regain some semblance of precious bourgeois propriety in your living room.

Then the obtrusive odor of Rumsfeld and his Familiar, the Zuni doll, as they wake at the foot of the stairs. The children, in their belted trenchcoats and intractable knee socks, watched me watch Rumsfeld and his Familiar prepare my food.

The two vast ex-Pentagon beasts were dilgent. They crushed my heart pill and mixed it with the contents of an arthritis capsule. They sandwiched my medicine between two robust dollops of IAMS Senior Formula Lamb and Rice. I pity Rumsfeld. No other job but the one he lost could have so much blood in it.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Aircraft Pendulum World


The last thing I heard Tony say: he didn't pack a coat because the weather in Florida was 80 degrees.

Wear a cape and pointed shoes, I don't care.

A telephone call, a honking taxi, a shuffle of obsequious luggage and a door click shut.

The children came. In their trenchcoats.

Their hair blotted the color of IAMS Senior Formula Lamb and Rice, and their knee socks filamented and ambiguous.

This would be an aborrhent week.

I climbed into the empty newspaper box under the bed and huddled myself to sleep.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

"You've Disappeared"

"Where have you been, Shimmy?"

Rumsfeld’s Zuni doll poured arthritis medicine in my Iams Senior Formula moist Turkey food. He was forbidden from eating any of it.

"You've disappeared," he said, then asked again: "Where have you been?"

"Filing writs of habeas corpus with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals."

"That’s quaint," Rumsfeld’s Zuni doll said.

He stopped to look at the kitchen counter. He crushed a heart pill with a teaspoon on a small teacup saucer.

He continued: "Habeas corpus is old-school, Shimmy. It’s like when Lincoln could see Robert E. Lee’s plantation out the White House windows after the attack on Fort Sumter. We killed it a couple months ago."

"Shut up and feed me my Senior Formula food and heart and arthritis medicine. What do you think I hired you for?"

"You’re not paying us anything. My master and I spent the last week feeding you every morning while you slept in the empty newspaper box under the bed. But you haven't given us any money. And we sleep at the foot of the stairs."

"I've been filing petitions," I said. "It means 'you must have the body.'"

I smelled delicious, rank turkey flesh mixed with tuna-flavored arthritis medicine.

I said, "We don't have stairs -- this is an apartment. Your master, Rumsfeld, killed habeas corpus. You're both paying off the debt by feeding me until Shelly and Tony get back from their 'vacation' in 'Florida.' It's your penance."

He fixed his small, drooling eyes at me. "But Tony and Shelly returned to Chicago three days ago," he said, "and you're still making us feed you. And you're not paying us."

"Nobody came home. They are heartless -- their fucking 'plane tickets' and 'phone calls' and 'hotel reservations.' I'll drop a load shaped like an Abu Ghraib pyramid in the South Forest of the apartment when they return. You just watch me."

"Of course, they came home, Shimmy. I caught you sleeping on top of their suitcases last night."

"Go away. I don't care. You're wrong."

Friday, December 15, 2006

Puppet Airplane, Bat Fly Porches

SHIMMY: I see gaps in your resume since November. What have you been doing?

RUMSFELD: Yes, are you bragging then?

SHIMMY: Do you understand what this job requires?

RUMSFELD: I want to reach out and touch the sky. I want to touch the sun, but I don't need to fly. I'm gonna climb up every mountain of the moon and find the dish that ran away with the spoon.

SHIMMY: I mean everything. The known knowns. The known unknowns. And the unknown unknowns.

RUMSFELD: It's a bit small for you, I think.

SHIMMY: You must scoop every day. No exceptions. If you don't do a full cleaning every seventh day, I drop a load shaped like an Abu Ghraib pyramid in the South Forest of the apartment, on the exfoliated hardwood floors. Next to their precious, bourgeois love-seat.

RUMSFELD: I don't do quagmires.

SHIMMY: I doubt I have work for your Zuni doll. Would you still want the job?

RUMSFELD: You want to bet on that?

SHIMMY: Trash bags. The vacuum cleaner. Rain. The dogs upstairs. Yoga mats. Ring tones. Venetian blinds. Lightning.

RUMSFELD: Well, I'll go to the foot of our stairs.

SHIMMY: Why do you want this job?

RUMSFELD: I'm a quick strike force, fast and efficient, a blitzkreig. In today’s customer service oriented society, timely, friendly, proactive service is sought to enhance future business growth and impact customer loyalty. I'm a team player with effective interpersonal communication skills, and a positive, impactful, can-do attitude. I like to travel.

SHIMMY: But you'll never leave the apartment.

RUMSFELD: I want to be in Europe saying goodbye to everyone.

SHIMMY: That's blood on the side of your mouth.

RUMSFELD: I don't have a mouth.

SHIMMY: Where do you want to be in 5 years?

RUMSFELD: The foot of our stairs.

Friday, December 08, 2006


1. Spike Owen
2. Clive Owen
3. Buck Owens
4. A Prayer for Owen Meany
5. Owen Wilson
6. Wilfred Owen
7. Owen Glendower
8. Owen Roe
9. Michael Owen
10. Maureen Owen
11. Jesse Owens
12. Frank Owen Gehry
13. Gary Owens
14. Owen K. Garriott
15. Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law
16. Owen Chamberlain
17. Terrell Owens
18. Deirdre Owens
19. Reginald Owen
20. Owen J. Roberts
21. Owen Dejanovich
22. Owen Lovejoy

Monday, December 04, 2006

Please. What Good is Tenderness?

The Mayakovsky Tree swayed. Its bark melted in the sunlight.

"Who should replace John Bolton?" he asked.

Snow ruffled the insidious squirrel bole.

"Catherine Deneuve," I said.

"She's the better actress."

"In Belle de Jour, Catherine Deneuve wasn't afraid of window blinds, wastepaper baskets, yoga mats, or the dishwasher."

"God is content, Shimmy. God rubs his palms. God thinks: just you wait, Vladimir!"

Saturday, December 02, 2006

First Day of Winter

I'm scrounging for food that doesn't smell like arthritis medicine or crushed-powder heart pills. The catnip carrot tied to the door hinge; a bat under the rug; a mouse under the stove; something to kill in the radiator. Fresh snow pile suffocating squirrels in the bole of The Mayakovsky Tree. Go away. I'm very busy now. I have work to do. Leave me alone. Mice come in from the cold into my restive mouth. Radiators clanking, mice in from cold scruffling in the radiator slats. I'll eat them. Don't steal my food. What's that clicking noise? Only Jeff is truly free. One December morning 12 years ago I was asleep in the threshhold between the bedroom and the hallway so Tony and Shelly had to step over me if they wanted to walk anywhere. Then Tony picked me up and locked me in my carrier and took me to the Den of Spies. It's when we lived in Boston. The Den of Spies was a free clinic, dogs and halitosis everywhere. Shut up and let me tell my story. Kissinger in charge, as always. I woke up next morning at the Den of Spies with my sex gone. I woke up the next morning and one of Kissinger's minions told me she had been monitoring two patients that night and that I had a pretty serious case of sleep apnea. I woke up the next morning and there was snow. I woke up the next morning and my head was fuzzy. I saw costumes strewn about the floor. For a moment, I thought the spaying was a bad dream. I woke up the next morning connected to beeping machines. I woke up the next morning to the sound of lions. There was no sky.