Of course the return of the heat is messing with my Internet connection again, and I'll have to keep an eye on the router to see when it gives me the green light. Life is full of little irritations out here at the edge of the grid. Later I'll assuage this irritation with some beer— probably the last of the Sierra Nevada Summerfest lager, which usually vanishes from the shelves in early September. It used to be quickly replaced with their Autumn Brown Ale, but they haven't made that in several years. I keep hoping it will be brought back, but so far no luck. I miss it.
I'm also missing one of my feral cats today. I don't recall for certain but I believe the last time he was here was yesterday afternoon. I'm now recalling all the barking of the dogs who live across the alley from my back fence, and wondering if that had anything to do with my missing cat. They barked frequently far into the night, but I didn't hear any cat yowls, so if my cat was involved he was very quiet about it. Of course that particular cat has stayed away a day or two at a time before, and he's a good hunter, so it's possible he bagged something big and tasty and hasn't felt any need to come and eat. I'll be keeping an eye out for him, too.
Tonight's English murders will be delayed until ten o'clock, and will be a rerun, but there will be an American murder at nine o'clock to tide me over, however inadequately. But as has often been said (or maybe not so often) an American murder is better than no murder at all. And I have just about enough time to finish this, check on the feral cats, and fix myself a dinner sandwich (and one of today's bargains was potato salad, so good side dish for a warm night) before the slaughter begins.
To a Waterfowl
by Donald Hall
Women with hats like the rear ends of pink ducks
applauded you, my poems.
These are the women whose husbands I meet on airplanes,
who close their briefcases and ask, "What are you in?"
I look in their eyes, I tell them I am in poetry,
and their eyes fill with anxiety, and with little tears.
"Oh, yeah?" they say, developing an interest in clouds.
"My wife, she likes that sort of thing? Hah-hah?
I guess maybe I'd better watch my grammar, huh?"
I leave them in airports, watching their grammar,
and take a limousine to the Women's Goodness Club
where I drink Harvey's Bristol Cream with their wives,
and eat chicken salad with capers, with little tomato wedges,
and I read them "The Erotic Crocodile," and "Eating You."
Ah, when I have concluded the disbursement of sonorities,
crooning, "High on thy thigh I cry, Hi!" - and so forth -
they spank their wide hands, they smile like Jell-O,
and they say, "Hah-hah? My goodness, Mr. Hall,
but you certainly do have an imagination, huh?"
"Thank you, indeed," I say; "it brings in the bacon."
But now, my poems, now I have returned to the motel,
returned to l'eternel retour of the Holiday Inn,
naked, lying on the bed, watching Godzilla Sucks Mt. Fuji,
addressing my poems, feeling superior, and drinking bourbon
from a flask disguised to look like a transistor radio.
And what about you? You, laughing? You, in the bluejeans,
laughing at your mother who wears hats, and at your father
who rides on airplanes with a briefcase watching his grammar?
Will you ever be old and dumb, like your creepy parents?
Not you, not you, not you, not you, not you, not you.