Last night was an insomnia night. I went to bed at around 11:00, and the popped awake at about 2:15. My dog was having what I can only assume was a bad dream, so I got up and told him all about this episode of Jimmy Fallon I had seen that had Neil Young and Jack White on it. Atticus seemed particularly interested in Jack White’s under-belly of maggot white skin and funny little elf ears, but he wanted to get back to dreaming, so he sighed, released a dark cloud of kibble-rich gas, and went back to sleep.
Not so easy for me. I did a little tossing and turning, and then switched on the Beeb. It was a great night for all kinds of half conscious learning, with one interesting thing after another! First, in the news, I got to get all worked up about the Boko Haram. What a bunch of assholes. Between you and me, and, of course, with no offense intended, I hate those Taliban terrorist types. I know, I know, ‘hate’ is a strong word, but what other is appropriate? None other. I’m glad the African leaders have decided to declare war on the group, but, good luck, Jonathan, I wonder what they are really going to be able to do to stop the tide of committed delusionals who hear God telling them to kill in His name. Like I learned in my time working for the BSISD, you can’t argue with crazy.
Then, on to the insanity in Turkey. One would think that governments who incite people that are desolate, furious and desperate to be heard, might notice that, based on recent history, an alternate form of communication with the citizenry might prove more efficacious than gassing,stoning, water cannon-ing, or further provoking what have been, according to all accounts, peaceful protesters.
That news was depressing.
But also, there was this news: The biggest dinosaur EVER, a Titanosaur, has been discovered in Argentina. It was HUGE, and it grew that way by eating its vegetables, proving that vegetarians don’t have to be small and testicularly disadvantaged, like Hitler. This guy weighed 77 tons (or “tonnes” as the BBC likes to say), and was 40 meters long and 20 meters high. (The Beeb knows that Americans have no idea of how big that is, so they added “as tall as a seven story building,” but they said it like ‘storey’, so Americans would still know the Beeb is British, even if it’s dumbed down for Yanks.)
I love dino stuff. It’s mind blowing and other-worldly, and those gargantuan reptiles are what chickens are made out of, which is why you should never trust them. The best thing about dinosaurs is that they are dead, and can’t hurt me, though I did once have a terrifying dream about a Tyrannosaurus Rex-Anthony Keidis hybrid that had enormous, scaly Princess Leia ears that could pick up even the tiniest scared breath, so I guess they still can hurt me, in my sleep…maybe that’s why I have insomnia…)
Also, I heard a great poem and interesting interview with Frieda Hughes, the daughter of British poet laureate Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath. I couldn’t find the poem in print for you to read it, but it is at the beginning of this episode of “Outlook”, so check it out. https://player.fm/series/outlook/outlook-frieda-hughes-the-trouble-with-death. The piece on the guy who plays Beethoven (or is it Bach?) for elephants is good, too.
Anyway, after all that, I finally fell asleep.
This morning, I got up and took a walk. Here are some of the things I saw:
It was a good morning.
Finally, a word about the last post. It was so nice to hear from so many old friends! I’m happy you liked my poem. Many found it to be dark and depressing; I found it kind of uplifting! One of the people who commented on it was a friend I haven’t seen for at least 15 years. I was reminded of I poem that I had written for her a long time ago.It’s a little long and rough; like I said, I wrote it a long time ago. Anyway, I leave you with it now. Happy weekend, all!
Sandra looked like a Botticelli on Valium
A sleepy gray cat
An egret in the fog
She drawled a slow, low song
So I had to lean in
And wait for the chorus
Her movements all L’s
Liquid, languid, loose
A noodle draped over a silk sofa,
Watercolors in a puddle
Thoroughbred among the donkeys
Elegant, confident, flowing
Rhythmic in streets and soul
Smoke smudged, she glides
Half-lid eyes focused
Just over there
But when I looked
There was nothing
Sandra had a way
Of making things seem like very good idea s
That I had thought of myself.
One day, Sandra was an artist
Blue and purple fireworks, Kandinsky circles, a volcano of black lace
On the back of a wrinkled, yellowed envelope
Reminding me it was my turn to buy the toilet paper
One day, she was a bridesmaid who slept with the groom
One day, she fell asleep in her boots and sunglasses,
On the hood of a red truck
In field of yellow hay
She looked like a ladybug, floating in gold
She went to 7-11 for a Co-Cola
wild, seaweed hair
Pulled back tight
Severe, moon-faced ballerina
lipsticked and eyelined
Black, white, red, glossy spread,
straight out of Vogue magazine, circa 1967
Sandra was gritty honey and Jack Daniels
in Earl Grey Tea served in a porcelain cup
Sipped at the edge of the Seine
One day, she went to college
One day, she ran away with the circus and was gone for a year and a half
One day, she stayed up all night in a city she wouldn’t remember
Doing cocaine with strangers
Dancing under a streetlight
Her friends lived in rainbows, in church towers with big brass bells
On couches and floors of other people’s homes
Upstairs in the hat factory
Smelling of cloves and beer and nighttime
Artfully constructed hair, molded just so
Even if it was dirty, or a wig
They called her Boo
She came into the bathroom while I was in the shower
Didn’t knock and peeked behind the curtain
Sat on the toilet while I sang “Blue Bayou”
I feel so sad, I’ve got a worried mind
When it was over, she breathed, “Sing it again”
One day, she lost her mother
And her sister, too
One day she ran away to Alaska and worked on a fishing boat, hoisting huge salmon and slitting their bellies down the middle
One day, we went to a concert, and she strode onstage in front of thousands of people who thought
She was a star.
So did I.