Category Archives: Pet Life
First poem of 2015:
is my last day
I have no plans. I really have no goals to achieve in the immediate future. My calendar shows a series of blank fields. Unprecedented!
Here’s the thing: every year of my adult life I’ve needed a focal point. By 1 December, I would have had a prepared list of things to do in the coming year, by quarters, with approximate time tables for project completion. This year? All I did was wake up and show up.
I did pack my laptop and wireless keyboard and mouse under the pretense of getting my prose and poetry organized. The devices spent more time occupying the bend of a sitting room couch than in action!
I did a little exercise of writing technique. For the first few days of my visit, I used my morning pages to compose a fairy tale, about the Queen of Saturnalia leaving her coastal lands for the dark and cold North, ruled by The Dark Prince. Probably five entries in, did the story go from fantastical alternate world scape to sequential erotica! How is it? Well, reading it over analytically, I have a solid grasp of the activity, but the anticipatory factor, that build-up the Midwest moms really need, is very weak. To borrow a publisher’s comment, it ain’t bad, but it ain’t great!
I still haven’t done my book unveiling yet, it was my planned New Years Day event, but then decided I wanted it to be a private affair.
No more irrational pressure. If I can I will. If it’s not in me, it’s not gonna happen. Sourcing that pressure, I know it to come from a culture demanding accountability, when, in and of itself, the culture is conditioned to act irresponsibly. This year, any pressure I embody will be self-developed for my own personal gains. This, my crone emphasized, is enhancement. Those who adhere to cues from Society call it selfishness. Just bear in mind, School of Latter Thought, the trophies for self-sacrifice are almost always awarded posthumously. My intention is to be relevent now by first acknowledging the Now.
Switching gears, I want to talk about you in your face! I am absolutely flattered by the diversity of readers engaged in my madness. Based on skillful trolling, my recent new readers average their early 20s and are artistically driven. This puts me in a vantage of mentorship, but not in the typical, “I’m older than you therefore I am better than you” way; rather, I’d like to approach my proselytizing like who I am in real life: your cool aunt who passes the ganja around while she shares tales of shenanigans, with a pinch of morality thrown in! Experience, not age, is how one achieves Wisdom.
For 2015, I’m going to enhance my blogging experience by sharing more, which isn’t easy for me, but I know if I unlatch a bit of armor, you’d appreciate associating with me more. The challenge is to be more revealing about my existence.
So let’s start with this piece… CLANK! There goes the left gauntlet to the floor.
Hi. My name is Ivonne, with an I not a Y, it’s pronounced with a hard eee, not a yuh or an eye. For the sake of monosyllablism, let’s go with Von.
And you are…?
Lucky for me, I have two benevolent people in my life who embody the values of Love and Wisdom in a manner I deeply desire. I met Love, protective and gentle, and Wisdom, reflective and balancing, about the same time last year, and since meeting them, the delusions of archetypal conditioning have started to melt away. Entering into 2015, I no longer feel starved of these self-actualizing components. Rather, I’m experiencing real-life affects of their abundant energy.
As I pack up Queen of Saturnalia’s caravan for a later departure back to the bright coastal waters of her queendom, I feel spiritually, physically, and emotionally sated. I will enter my home, settle in Bobby, and look out to the lake and marine wildlife in my backyard. I’ll plug in my newer tablet to fully charge.
In the morning, after my morning pages and coffee, I will do my book unveiling ceremony.
That’s the plan.
Visiting the NOMAD art bus during the Florida Bookstore Day after party. The non-profit organization visits disenfranchised neighborhoods to provide creative activities otherwise nonexistent for residents. Please visit their Page and support art for all!
I figured Mean Ol’ Roxie had a baby.
I saw a small-bodied dog standing at the patio sliding door staring out at us during our evening constitutional. Later that week, the middle-aged woman I called Roxie’s Mom (even though we’ve been neighbors for three years), was sitting out on the patio with the baby.
“Oh, Roxie had a baby girl,” I assumed.
“This one’s a new one,” she corrected, then did a slow inhale before saying, “we had to put Roxie down.” The careful delivery of those words meant she wasn’t quite resolved in sharing such a sad announcement. I could sympathize; I was in her position last year when my old man Bear passed.
Oddly, I clutched my chest and gasped at the news. “She was sick?”
“Had stomach cancer these past two years.”
Ah, I think to myself, all this time I thought Roxie was being an ornery cunt towards me and my dogs.
“She was a good dog. I liked her very much.” That was true. I remember years ago, Roxie chasing Bear from her side of the lake all the way over to our side, up the stairs and to the doors. She was goofy and playful, but very large, too large to be an apartment dog in my Self-Righteous Dog Mom Opinion (SRDMO).
I reached over the fence to touch the young bitch’s face. “And who is this?”
“Delilah,” Delilah’s Mom said. I heard a smile in her voice.
Delilah is a gorgeous tawny American Pit Bull Terrier with a black mask and nose. Only 11 months old, yet she’s already fully grown, according to Delilah’s Mom’s vet. Sweet and slightly shy, I take a liking to her. She reciprocated by licking my hand.
But Roberto Tiberius was in L-O-V-E. My fluffy, messy American Cocker Spaniel pushed his nose up to hers, tail wagging a 1000 miles a second, wishing the white cross hash fence wasn’t separating their four-legged bodies. Then his tail stopped moving as they gregariously rubbed snouts and faces against each other. Ooh, intimate! Bobby T and I wish them a good evening then continued our walk around the lake, Bobby T adding a bit of a skip to his gait. Aww, puppy love!
Wednesday I had Bobby taken to the groomer for his seasonal shave down. Would you like a cologne? the groomer offered. Why not? Bobby, now sleek in his mini-Laborador cut, showing more George Clooney-esque salt-and-pepper around the haunches and face, got spritzed with the dog version of Davidoff Cool Water.
Saturday morning we ventured out on our constitutional. I’m used to me and Bob being the only ones out that time of the morning, so I typically let him off leash. Normally he’s sniffing and hunting about in a zigzag fashion, but this morning, he’s walking rather delicately, kicking out one set of feet forward, than the other, in a tight quarter march, in a straight line, until he came to a deliberate stop, then lowered to his seat and sat perfectly still. Thinking he’s signaling to me he’s spotted game, I’m looking around for feral cats or coons or some aquatic life but there’s no one, just us on the crushed seashell and sand trail.
Through the branches of the squat Cabbage Palm a few meters ahead, I noticed movement. Normally Bobby would go forward and pursue it, but today, oh no, he sits very still. Doing the dog equivalent of licking fingertips then brushing them over eyebrows, Bob presented his face to the sky, shook his ears, and yawned just as Delilah and her mom cleared the tree and joined us on the trail.
How’d he know??
Delilah stopped walking at the sight of her friend. I shrug to her mom, then stepped aside, after all, I don’t want to cock block a Cocker. :P
Bob lowers to his stomach, flattens against the ground, and stretches his lean, freshly cut body out towards her.
I smack my forehead.
He wags his tail so fast it’s a blur. Delilah is clearly smitten but shyly walks back to her mom. I let them lead off and Bobby sighs, I mean, literally, both nostrils went “hooompf”! On the walk home, I bust his non-existent balls.
“BWAHAHAHAHA!!! Really, Bob? Reeeealllyyyy?? Puttin’ it all out there LIKE A HO! Aaahahahahaaa!”
They do make a cute couple, though. I give the relationship my blessing! :D
[Fun day with Writer’s Block last Sunday! This was an ekphrastic exercise, my favorite timed prompt. Here’s what I produced in the 15 minute time frame.]
Concept: Observe one of the featured paintings on the Community Cafe wall, and write in response.
He bought me this bunny. He bought me this bunny because when we first met at the fountain, he overheard me talking to my best friend Jordie about the movie “Con Air.” Jordie and I thought we were the only Americans at the fountain in Hannover until that afternoon. The three of us kept talking about bunnies in movies. “Best film rabbit ever?” “Donny Darko!” He and I hugged at whim, a random affection imparted to a random man in a not so random city, or as Jordie pointed out, in a very romantic city. “Come on,” Jordie begged like a whiny kid, “give love a try, one more time, for me.”
“For you, or because we’re in Europe?”
“Just fall in love, kiddo.”
He brought the velveteen, blue-gray bunny to the bistro that evening. I’m so glad you called, he said. Where’s Jordie? He asked. When I didn’t answer, he blushed. “I brought you something.” I already saw its black leathery nose peeking out of the top of his bulky cargo pants. I watched as he fished around, knowing what he was going to do before he did it, but psyching myself to not laugh until he did it.
And then he did. And I laughed so hard, so hard… I don’t remember ever laughing that hard before. Or ever since.
That bunny rode on his dashboard during the six months he was away; I, back home in Florida, pretending not hearing from him every second of every minute of every damn day didn’t cause me any heartache. One scary phone call at 4am; he thought he was in trouble. I trembled for him, I cried for him, all the while repeating, “You stay alive, baby. That’s your job, stay alive,” in the steadiest voice I could.
I never knew the beauty of a sunny day until the day he landed at the airfield. Safe, all in one piece, handsome in his tailored suit. It looked like the one we saw across the street from our table, on a headless mannequin behind a shop window. I squinted as sun rays coaxed him down the stairs and into my arms…yes, it is the exact same suit.
In a separate bag, he carefully removed the bunny and placed it in my hands. Coated in motor oil and sand, he kept apologizing for its sorry state. I hugged the dirty, sandy bunny, the talisman that brought my heart home in one piece.
And that’s why, my sweet little girl, this bunny is so old and dirty. It was busy keeping your father’s love for me alive.
But I have promises I have to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
- from “Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening,” by Robert Frost
Fatigued yet excited, I pushed my truck up a slithery thin road coated with sticky, humid fog. No lights along or on the road to guide, I lowered my high beams and windows, using sound and smell to help me through the most uncertain of situations: finding my campsite at a state park I’ve never been to, completely shrouded in tall pine darkness, in a state famously known for horrific acts upon humans who didn’t look like they belonged. I not only tested Fate but I mocked her, and after some back and forth on the windy roads, I found the site, my lot, and praise Allah, a full restroom with functioning showers!
Bobby Tiberius took the role of guard dog as I rinsed off the agony of Arkansas. Friggin’ Arkansas with its major construction, which the locals will appreciate and I will refuse to traverse anytime soon. My bunk, the back of the truck, with my faithful senechaux to one side, and the local radio station broadcasting from the dashboard, lulling us to quick slumber.
The following morning, I used the dictation feature of Inkpad to capture my thoughts en Existenz. Here’s my best transcription based on the choppy voice file:
8 AUGUST: I woke up this morning to the sound of chimmy chimmy chimmy chimmy, a bird I am not familiar with … [and all I can think is] it’s a great way to wake up in the morning. … it’s been a while since I’ve woken up before sunrise; got cleaned up, walked the dog, got breakfast [out of the truck,] a nice bento box of peanut butter sandwiches and fruit for breakfast. The way the sun hits the pine tree behind the picnic table, just so warm and inviting I don’t feel any anxiety here, which kind of [strengthens] the fact that I’m much more comfortable in nature then I am in society. Waldo Emerson, David Thoreau were absolutely right; the man in nature is truly complete.
Think about for a sec…you got a running shower, you’ve got gorgeous atmosphere, scenery, isolation…man! People are too afraid to go outside! That is based on fear.
If you’re one who understands that fear is a motivator, or you’ve broke past fear … use it rather as an engagement of intention, you can pull into a state park at any evening in the dark of night and feel completely at ease.
I hate that I need a cigar to wake up, but frankly I don’t have any heating element to which I can quickly make hot water to make a cup of hot tea.
So I already have it planned for next time; book lot #2 and lot #3 of the campground, which is right across from a playground with a Frisbee golf course, a beautiful walk along the side [of it.] Waking up listening [huh?? to birds, maybe?] is the life for me. For 14 dollars you can’t get that shit in a hotel! You can’t have a conversation with the gods in a hotel! (NOTE: I recall looking up into the pines taking pictures while saying this) To which makes me think that hotels are for the lonely and fearful … I think this is the best way for me to travel, feeling most at home. I can totally see me coming out here, plugging into a outlet with my laptop, writing from sunrise to sunset. The potential to imagine would be limitless, words undisturbed and I feel, [would be] of the best quality.
I noticed that my lot neighbor has a camper and a city truck and I can only assume he might be living here. (NOTE: Waved at him when he pulled off to work, so think I was talking towards him) I don’t blame you; this is perfect.
I imagine the reason why young people don’t like to camp is because they have watched too many horror movies, like they learn from what they see on the screen, and think that’s reality… equal to reality; the reality is that you can, with nature, transcend into something greater than one is used to, become truly connected. I don’t feel I can ever longer advocate for society, I certainly can [advocate for a] transcendental experience.
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Allowing a day to heal at my host’s comfortable place. Her cat checks on me intermittently as I raid her bookshelf. Like the company my novel keeps…