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Wake Me When It’s April – MUTTS Comics

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Mooch Dreams of Africa – November 19 2017, Sunday Comic Strip

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Mooch Dreams of Africa – Patrick McDonnell’s MUTTS

Kaushiki Chakrabarty – A devotional bhajan in raga Bhairavi with Soumik Datta and Vijay Ghate

Signed ‘Me. . . Jane’ Book by Patrick McDonnell (creator of MUTTS)

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Me . . . Jane by Patrick McDonnell

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December 2, 2007 Sunday Comic Strip Print – Framed, Unframed, Signed

AUDIO – Franny Choi Reads From “Perihelion: A History of Touch” & & Editors Discuss – Poetry magazine, November 2017 issue

Perihelion: A History of Touch

Launch Audio in a New Window

wolf moon

No moon in sight, so I howled at the exit sign instead. Red runes, electric. Telling an old story of escape, of wind, a wide cold. A distant car alarm. Otherwise: the dark, and our bodies, two strange women trying to touch each other. Breathing strange. Moving toward or away from each other as the red ghost in the sky opened, called us gone, showed us the door to another world. Otherwise, the dark, and our mouths, tearing at what bones we could find. Grinning and hungry for something — something we couldn’t, with all our words, name.

snow moon

The magic where the streetlights turn the snow pink lasts only for the first night, the same way, maybe, a blanket loses track of its scent when it’s been touched by too many hands, or the way a body grays when too many feet have dragged their cigarettes and complaints through it. But for that one first night, everything cold- flecked and whispering was ours, the pink light ours, sent from some other world so we could, for a night, feel untouched. So we could feel like sugar—crumbling, and perfect for it.

worm moon

Like any girl, I pulled myself into shreds to test the rumor that something with blood like mine could be halved and still whole. And what did I learn? I buried myself all over the garden, but the pieces only sprouted into new riddles: squid leg, spaghetti squash, a jerking thumb. Their names still sounded like mine; everyone in the same dress, chewing dirt to avoid each others’ eyes. I lay down next to the one beneath the porch, hiding among the oyster shells. Don’t cry, I said, but she cried anyway. Her tears fell straight into my eyes. What a lesson—to watch them float back and forth between us until we knew each one’s shape. Until we knew, finally, what to do with them.

pink moon
Outside, the colors leapt from the trees. Here, inside, some new word was blooming in my underwear—darker than I’d expected. I’d expected something pink; a slow, sweet trickle. Not this wet tar, treacle, dark, like the blood had been stretching inside me for years, slow-building into a sticky chord, the first falling away. Soil’s been watered; come play. First stuck, first gum, first hum of pollen, calling in the bees and readying to wilt.
flower moon
Spring is the season of crying and seeing nothing. Of choking up on someone else’s trash. Barbed tennis balls that lodge wherever air’s supposed to go, nasal cavity homewreckers. All spring my lenses wrenched themselves from my eyes, jumped ship, spore-lined and furious. Everything melted and ran down my face. All the trees wanted my number. Sent fuzzy messengers to murmur in my ears: I get so afraid sometimes all I want all I want is. All spring I brushed confessions out of my hair. Tore the little letters apart and locked myself in the refrigerator, until the world promised to stop birthing such soft things
strawberry moon
The house was filled with the smell of it, the last misshapen, sweet-heavy berries of the season losing their shapes on the stove. The house was filled with the smell of fruit unbecoming, fruit pulled to its knees at fire’s feet. All summer long, the bushes had whispered take me, shown us all the places we could kiss if we wanted. And so, as the light died, we put our mouths on the least lovable, the too-full, the easy-bruised, we shouted, I choose you, and you, and you, and you, and canned that hunger, and spooned it into our mouths on the coldest days.
buck moon
Some of the cloven-hoofed things are good at leaping from one rock shelf to another without shattering. Good, in other words, at falling. I never trusted that ankles were any match for my body’s insistence on becoming earth again. So when I found myself on the cliff face, I knew it was dive or dust. A boy called to me from the bottom of the gorge, called me all the names he knew, and I stood frozen, wearing a crown of bones. The gravel laughed as it fled from my feet. I shouted down to the boy, Don’t try to milk me unless you’re fond of being kicked — buck and bray and jawbone. He responded, No, totally, sounds tough, how are you feeling?
sturgeon moon
I hid in his rivers and estuaries. I ate his wet earth’s crops. I grew plump for him. Grew egg-lined, thirty tiny hearts in my belly, fruit thumping with seeds. He pulled me from the mud. Laid me out in the sun. Opened me down the center. Scraped every dead daughter from my silly maw. I learned better next time. Next time, I grew three extra rows of seeds. Hid them in my mouth. Sharpened them to teeth.
harvest moon
Last winter, when we finally kissed under fluorescent lights, that was the seed we pressed between the ground’s lips. Then I laughed when the sky collapsed into pathetic rivers. Then I drank the dirt through my hooves, and liked it. Then I ate all the sun I could find. Though the weeds claw, sugar-starved, at my thighs. Though the sky casts over, cataract, callous, and the earth fumes as iron claws uproot the children’s children we keep warm in our bellies. Still, when the moon and the horses are fat on the horizon, still you’ll find me, arms heavy with eggplant, chard, tomatoes bruised blue, blushing kohlrabi till the kohlrabi’s gone. Will you pluck me before the dust does, root and all, radicchio tendon? I promise, I’ll feed no upright animal. Only the bees and the bees, beans sitting on the squash’s face. Will you turn your palms to the sky? Will you turn your palms to the prayer hunger makes? Will you feed and feed, and lick the bowl clean when we’re both full?
hunter’s moon
I picked up my own scent somewhere on the forest’s edge. Spoiling flour, holy basil, sweat. My oldest smell is the smell that still clings to pajama sleeves late into Saturday afternoon. Toothpaste, mixed with the musk of rest. I pressed my snout to the ground and breathed deep, watched the tendrils of my slug trail bloom blue, bioluminescent. I followed the maze, pushbrooming forest floor with face, followed the promise of a rapid heart. Don’t ask who’s the bloodhound, who’s the hare, when there’s a chase to be made: the clarity of a cardinal direction clicking into place. And: the quickening—the tendons that appear, sudden, when the distant, rabid howl of hunters rolls across the tree line, and you lift your head in greeting.
beaver moon
We made our home in the place where the water slowed. Yes. We flooded the plains until the landscape bloomed with wet. We stopped the tub. We drew a bath and called the river to its new, quieter life. Ring-builders. Kingdom carved. At the end of the line, we made our own place. Sure, from above, it looks like a snaking tail, headed by a circle. From here, in the mud, it doesn’t look like that at all. It looks like a world. Like a cleared space. Like everything that’s left when the trees soften and come, at last, crashing.
cold moon
Back below the ice. Back to
swim.    Seastar.    Creeping
brine.    We salt, sink.     We
pull down the cold.         We
pull  the  moon to our floor.
           Hello.       Waterstone.
Brinicle.  Cold-blooded and
still flesh.        Still    horned
       fingers groping the kelp
bed.       Still       salt.       Pull.
Everything  the  ice  touches.
Is ours.     Is quiet now.     We
sink  slow.          We pray still.
For moon.          We answer it
now. Ourselves.
Notes:
These poems borrow their titles from the Farmers’ Almanac, which cites Algonquin origins; however, their correlations with any indigenous languages are inconsistent and unclear. Colonial knowledge makes for strange distances.

Franny Choi Reads From “Perihelion: A History of Touch”

Tom Clark – Beyond the Pale – THURSDAY, 16 NOVEMBER 2017 YOU / coexistence

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_DSC0831: photo by noppadol maitreechit, 23 April 2016

 

YOU (I) 
The door behind me was you
and the radiance, there like
an electric train wreck in your eye
after a horrible evening of waiting outside places in the rain for you
to come
only to
find all of them, two I know, the rest scullions, swimming around you
in that smoky crowded room like a fishbowl
I escaped from, running away from you and my André Breton
dream of cutting your breasts off with a trowel
and what does that matter too them or you now, but just wait,
it’s still early
to the children embroidered in the rug, who seem to be setting up siege
engines under a tree house full of midgets who look like you.
Where are you in this sky of new blue
deltas I see in the drapery, and your new friends wearing bamboo singlets
what are they doing down there in the moat waving tridents like stalks
of corn?
Me, I’ll be happy to see their blood spilled all over the bedspread
pavilions of your hands as an example. If you come home right now I’ll
scrunch your hat
between my thighs like a valentine before you have time to wipe them.
YOU (II) 
You are bright, tremendous, wow.
But it is the hour of one from the horrible tremendousness
Of youth is about to depart.
The boats are ready. The air is soft and you perhaps nearby
Do pass, saying “I am for you.”
This is as much as “Everything is great.”
But desperation builds up all the time.
Life is nothing
            more to me
strapped at the bottom
      of  the throat
Than majesty, I think. You are arduous as that
Ashtray.  Swallow me!  since
Your hands are full of streets
And I walk out upon the streets
And I think the girls are better looking, vicious, cool
And the men are flying kites and newsprint
Gets on my arms. I enter rooms —
Wild my steps like an automaton’s —
Where batons are linked into some residue.
A gull is eating some garbage.
The sky is an old tomato can, I think.
I buy a newspaper and begin to walk back.
Smells torture the kites like gulls. Wild gulls, and
It’s the tremendous sky of survival.
Few things are still visible to me. Baseball
Withholds the tremors. They fall, so
I drag you down and
You are akimbo as I stick it in
And everything is thunderous accordion April, great,
Risen from palms and hypntism. I run home
And dip my coffee in bread, and eat some of it.
YOU (III) 
Today I get this letter from you and the sun
buckles        a mist falls over our villas
with a hideous organic slush like the music of Lawrence Welk
I lay in bed all day, asleep, and like some nocturnal
beast. And get your salutation among the torn green numbers
in the sky over the council houses. And see your eyes when
                                                   the retired pensioners pass
me by the abandoned railway station — this is not nothing, it is not
                                                                                          the hymn
of an age of bankrobbers or heraldic days but it is to sing
with complete gaiety until your heart freaks. I love you.
                                                         And go down amid the sycamores to
summer. Wandering by the lake any way
seems lovely, grand, the moon
is a gland in the thigh. Tumble and twinkle as on the golf course apparel
lifts. And a door is opened to
an owl. It is snowing, and you are here on the bed with me
and it is raining, and I am as full of frets as a guitar or a curtain
and I am singing, as I sponge up the cat place. You
                                                     are heaped. A curtain
of belief keeps me away from the tombs
of imagery. I love you, I’d like to go.
YOU (IV) 
The chords knotted together like insane nouns         Dante
you are in bed           in the dark copula you
of the musical phrase          a few star birds sing in the branches
their voices are tangled not high
now all of them are dark and some move            you
were a word in the wood of my life
where the leaves are words, some of them fucking
in obscurity their clasping is terrible and brusque
pain birds ache thru them            and some
are lighter and seem to suggest less
of death than of a viola da gamba player these
birds sweep past in the forest
of my hands on your chest,            as we move
out on the glowing sea of the tropics on an ice pack,             you,
YOU (V) (after Hölderlin)
 

Desert flowers (sunset): Tom Clark

O Earth Mother, who consents to everything, who forgives everything
don’t hide like this                                                        and tell

Her Power is sweetened in these rays, the Earth before her
conceals the children
of her breast in her cloak, meanwhile we feel her,

and the days to come announce
that much time has passed and often one has felt
a heart grow for you inside his chest
They have guessed, the Ancients, the old and pious Patriarchs,
and in the secret they are, without even knowing it,
blessed
in the twisted chamber, for you, the silent men
but still more, the hearts, and those you have named Amor,
or have given obscure names, Earth, for one is shamed
to name his inmost heart, and from the start however man
when he finds greatness in himself and if the Most High permits,
he names it, this which belongs to him, and by its proper name
and you are it, and it seems
to me I hear the father say
to you honor is granted from now on
and you must receive songs in his name,
and you must, while he is distant and Old Eternity
becomes more and more hidden every day,
take his place in front of mortals, and since you will bear and raise
children for him, his wish
is to send anew and direct toward you men’s lives
when you recognize him           but this
directive which he inscribes in me is the rose
Pure sister, where will I get hold, when it is winter, of these
flowers, so as to weave the inhabitants of heaven crowns
It will be
as if the spirit of life passed out of me,
because for the heavenly gods these signs
of love are flowers in a desert       I search for them, you are hidden

Tom Clark


Desert flowers (dawn)
: Tom Clark

Shell by 高橋新吉 Takahashi Shinkichi (1901-1987)

Shell

Nothing, nothing at all
is born,
dies, the shell says again
and again
from the depth of hollowness.
Its body
swept off by tide—so what?
It sleeps
in sand, drying in sunlight,
bathing
in moonlight. Nothing to do
with sea
or anything else. Over
and over
it vanishes with the wave.

 

– 高橋新吉 Takahashi Shinkichi (1901-1987)
from Zen Poetry: Let the Spring Breeze Enter
Translated by Lucien Stryk and Takashi Ikemoto

Zen Master 高橋新吉 Takahashi Shinkichi