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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Cat Poem

My Cats

I know. I know.
They are limited, have different needs and concerns.
but I watch and learn from them. 
I like the little they know, which is so much.
They complain but never worry.
They walk with a surprising dignity.
They sleep with a direct simplicity that humans just can’t understand.

Their eyes are more beautiful than our eyes.
and they can sleep twenty  hours ­a day without
hesitation or remorse.

When I am feeling low
all I have to do is
watch my cats and my courage returns.

                                  By Charles Bukowski
                                  May he rest in peace!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Buckminster & Amber - Bucks Talks About Nothing


Exploring the Feline Brain.

I’ve looked at Amber’s blog, her Swedish art thing, and it’s nice if you’re into paintings and such. I much prefer TV, watching the colors move . . . And yes. I understand what’s going on. I just don’t care. There’s nothing I could possibly relate to. The servants tried to trick me by installing an aquarium screensaver last week. I gave it a couple half-hearted swipes, and they thought it was a big deal. So what? (I’m going to tell you about, ‘so what,’ some day. But that’s another story.) Where was I?

            Oh yes, talking about nothing. I am going to tell you everything you need to know about nothing. I will describe nothing. I will illuminate nothing, and when you have finished reading this monolog, I promise, you will understand nothing.

             It seems like understanding nothing it should be easy, but it’s not. It’s far easier to understand something. Something happens every day. Nothing hardly ever happens, and is much more difficult to talk about. Most of us believe in something, and why not? The worst that can happen is nothing . . . fade to black. But black is something in the eye of the beholder, and it has a name. Nothing is nameless. I sometimes wonder if nothing is possible.

            Great minds with large budgets are searching for nothing with cyclotrons. They zoom particles around at near the speed of light, in temperatures hotter that the sun, slamming them into one another. A cosmic train wreck . . . particles splattered everywhere, smaller and smaller. Photons are like whales in the sea of sub atomic particles. There are quarks (six kinds of these), and Bosons, Leptons, just to name a few. It seems there’s always something left.

            Scientists predict that they will find nothing sometime in the next ten years. They want evidence taken from the moment before creation . . . to discover the primal building block that existed a split second after the big bang; the mother of all things, including time itself. Before this moment there was nothing. Where did nothing go? Is it still there?  After trillions of years?

            Nothing is beyond my kat-like comprehension, but I think about it all the time. You humans think I’m doing nothing, but I’m always doing something. Naps are something. Nothing seems almost impossible to do, but I am working on it.
                I hope I have at least clarified something for you. Nothing is more difficult to understand.
P.S.  Here’s something I just Googled.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Buckminster & Amber - Catwalk - An Esthetic Tour

A Review of Swedish Art


I’ve been living in Sweden for some time now and have been thinking about the art I see around the house. I should start by telling you there are no kat pictures, which is odd, but then I didn’t decorate the place.
My subject today is Philip von Schantz, a famous Swedish artist (1928 – 1998) famous for painting fruit and potatoes in the seventies. He moved on to pots in the eighties. That’s one of his paintings at the top of this page.

This is what they look like in real life - Too small to sleep in.


Hard for me to understand, but there it is. After the pot phase he moved into vases – I guess that’s what you’d call them. If you stare at them long enough they seem to move. For this reason they were very popular with Swedes who did not own a television.


Bucks on Break


Some of you have complained that my magnum opus, ‘The Bucks,’ is still missing the final chapter. The truth is I needed a break. I mean, hard work is something kats are simply not into. So, I am having a long nap. When I wake up I will republish the whole story in chronological order. In the meantime I am letting Amber have some space to post some of her work, which is probably boring, but whatever.

I’ll be back.
                                                                                                             The Bucks

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Bucks - Pumpkin

These things are so weird. The come around once a year, then disappear after a few weeks. 

 You can’t eat them. They are impossible to sleep on, and they don’t roll. 

Why are they here?


Monday, October 14, 2013

Observing Sweden - Weather Report

Fall Tree 

         The weather’s changing. Every day increasing wind, foreboding clouds, and cool damp air . . . promise of rain . . . just a wet kiss, but we all know the big one’s coming. Neighbors batten hatches, wax their cars, trim hedges, fertilize the lawn and cut grass for last time. Time to store lawn furniture, umbrellas, barbeques . . . take in the plants that might sleep though the long dark months. We change to studded tires this week—the law here, one that I approve of.

         Christmas decorations start appearing in October. I’ve already seen TV adds selling Christmas cards and decorated glassware . . . little angels. Celebration ends in March. There were still Christmas wreaths on front door when we moved in. Soon windows will soon be filled with candle lights. I think this is the Swedish way of getting through the winter, and there’s alcohol, of course. But we’re way down the list of heavy drinkers. Ireland’s at the top, then Czech Republic, Germany and Russia.
        This will be old news for many of you . . . been there, done that, more than once, but it’s completely new to me. I come from California, and Seattle which has something they call winter, lots of rain. It snows once or twice and freezes sometimes . . . not that often. Not like here.

         Kind of exciting . . . scary? Swedish winter. I could freeze to death on my way to the mailbox. A trip to the grocery store turns into a Donner Party experience. I was happy to be done cutting the yard. Now I’ll be shoveling snow; there’s no escape. People go mad here in the long dark nights.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Crows - 1

They go unnoticed overhead
Above the supermarket malls and cities
Suburban fields and meadows
Airborne gangs dressed in black feather jackets
Fearless wise guys with a raucous comment
For the goings on below.

                                                            Published: Pulsar Poetry U.K.   2011

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Observing Sweden - Life & Death Part 2

            Sunset with music, non-invasive, nice.  I start to understand this quiet river as a symbol, driver, metaphor and simile . . . provocateur. Darlana, here tonight, for me, is life . . . and death. The river curves, goes out of sight into unknown, obscure, event horizon  . . . Death. A major change in life, the mother of addictions.

            Orchestra now playing James Bond movie theme, Gold Finger— simple, unpretentious. Nice. This perfect evening, warm for Sweden in September. Colors deepen . . . masterpiece evolving, still more fascinating. I’m locked in . . . this river, life . . . and death.
            As we grow older, short term memory begins to lose some staying power. Long term memory turns up the volume, in 3D. Things done, and things not done. A Tibetan Buddhist asked me, “If you take away all good things you’ve done in your life, then all the bad things you have done. Who are you now?” An interesting question. 

            Bad things. Remembering. Only had one fist fight in all these years, with a best friend, of course. He’s dead now, and I swear I didn’t do it. I’ve been fairly innocent, did a few stupid things that hurt people, but that was not my intention. I can’t think of all that many good things either. I once taught inner city High School . . . got to be some bonus points for that. If there’s a judgment I should have a 50/50 chance.

            ‘Old’ people read obituaries, curious I guess. Can’t read the local papers here, or understand the Swedish TV news. I do not channel surf for English language views. It’s kind of nice . . . not knowing. But one sees and hears of death. Once famous actors fall like ten-pins, Bogart, Brando, and so many others, long gone, James Gandolfini, almost yesterday. Great writers, Mailer and  Capote. Is it ill advised to wonder, how much time do I have left?
I think about the Hindu Goddess, Kali, belt of skulls around her waist, a severed head held happily in one hand, dripping blood, more instruments of death other hands. We symbolize things we can’t fully understand . . . give them a name to make them seem as known, at least identified, a label. Goddess Kali is no more, or less, than time personified. She kills us all. No one escapes her.

            Time. How much to I have left? A decade? Probably that at least, and maybe more. Another twenty years? I would be ninety-five. If I were asked of years, how many more I want . . . glad I don’t have to answer that. My choice of way to make an exit? By surprise, would be my pick. James Thurber’s wanted to be bit by a blue mamba in the Taj Mahal . . . creative. 

           Things are winding up . . . this magical interlude. Music and fireworks punctuate the night. My mind still floating down the river on a raft of memory . . . exploding colors overhead. Fantastic punch line to this evening. I’m remembering a favorite movie, ‘Meet Joe Black’ (Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pit). There’s fireworks at the end, when death walks off with the protagonist. This river’s been a trip for me tonight. I’m curious to see what happens next. Worst that could happen, a rude unawakening.

            Death is the exclamation point of life. I hope my sentence is a long one. Time enough to add a few more words.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Observing Sweden - Life & Death Part 1

What’s Up Around The Bend

            I’ve been thinking about death this year, but not in a depressive way. More curiosity, an interesting subject, much unspoken of . . . perhaps okay to read about. I’m starting to feel old, a new experience – Awareness? I’ve been lucky all my life, one broken bone, a motor cycle. Mama told me not to ride, but god, such thrill, and women loved it. I’ve digressed again.
            Had hepatitis, and I think, most of the common ailments, plus one kidney stone I will remember always. If you make your way through seventy-five years you have, in fact, been lucky. Lots of people didn’t. Old friends, and acquaintances keep dying, classmates, guys I spent time with in the Army. Writers, Mailer, and Capote, famous poets . . . Ginsberg, Seamus Heaney,  . . . younger than myself by years! 

            I have been thinking about age, and death. Not all the time . . . but sometimes. There’s an intellectual awareness. I’ve been, labeled, classified. It’s strange, the power of these words. I’m suddenly, by definition, old. It’s in the book. Confirmed on television: 

            “It was an old guy, officer, seventy something.” 

            There is no escape. In truth, I find myself less energetic than I used to be, and less resilient, slower, ignorant of high-tech toys. I dislike cell phones, boom boxes, and car alarms, leaf blowers . . . Noise. They all equate to noise, but that’s just me. Oh yes, and also the martini glass – designed to spill. A therapist once said, I was eccentric. Told me it was okay to be eccentric, but confirmed I was one. Good. That’s fine with me.

            You get to be eccentric when you hit your seventies. It’s a benefit. You’ve earned it. At a boring party? “Gee, I’m tired I need to take a nap.” You have the right to refuse a drink, or get drunk. People start driving you to places . . . and events. There was an event here recently, a celebration, Borläng, Sweden’s Salute Festival.

            A dished out, grassy slope, and lawn below, make up a modest amphitheater beside Darlana River. It’s a nice crowd, typical of these sorts of things in Sweden. Ten or twenty thousand here tonight. The mood is easy, light, with happy people, kids. Sitting on camp chairs, blankets on the grass, with thermoses of coffee, sandwiches and quiet conversations.  A pervading, easy going sort of mood, this perfect evening . . . comfortable in a light jacket. On the lawn below, a blue tent shelters a large orchestra that will play popular, non-controversial, happy music, after several high school bands perform with baton twirlers. I’d forgotten twirlers still existed; guess they will be with us always.

             A dance team performs something acrobatic . . . teenage girls. Water ballet on grass. I keep getting a feeling of innocence here in Sweden, along with robust healthiness. I guess you have to have that to survive the winters here.

Those damned cell phones again.

            My gaze drifts out onto the river. Flat, as though without a current, mirrored surface, splashed with green and blue reflections. Images of trees, and woods on pastel pink, and blue. A small, substation’s white, and yellow lights reach out like fingers on the water. Fascinating. Damn, I’m deeply moved, and wonder why. I’ve seen my share of world class sunsets, none has ever hit me quite like this.