Bess

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Bess wore black sheer silk stockings with rear seams to temple. Glossy red lipstick, a full length sable coat, and stilettos to according to one source, unabashedly flirt with the cantor. The rabbi hated her as well and she didn’t know this. In Haddasa she was a cappo and organizer. To raise money she culled together the best of the congregation’s recipes for a cookbook. Including her own poppy seed coffee cake and ambrosia. She explained her philosphy that I know now was very much old testament & scholarly. That to believe in G-D was to abstain from revenge or raising a finger against one’s enemies.

KALIFA

 

KALIFA PHOTO

it’s sweltering

hot 

the sand

lonesome

the sigh of

air conditioning

in Dubai 

if you

follow my cheek

there’s a raccoon 

in the mirror

Kohl drawn 

sultry eyed 

the long yawn

of another

stifling summer

wearing

a pinched armani

hotel terry

marking another 

sweaty 

spa daze

for my flip flop

feet natural

marshmallow

tootsie spacers

immersed in a Vita

C fruit slushy

I’m riding a

bull of a

shiatsu recliner

the most 

comfortable

4D massage

in the Emirates

with chair doctor

technology

from my

observation

deck 

at the Burj Khalifa

not the tippy top

needle

but from level 148

I can almost do 

a downward dog

balancing

a turban knot

pretzeling

stricture of

condensation 

into one

solitary

paisley tear

tumbling

all these

stories an

eggplant

into

baba ganooush

The Chicks Are Wild

IMG_5012Last week I pried open Meeschoo’s jaw (again how many times I have I done this?) and retrieved a baby chick covered in drool. She trembled terrified that I might eat her. She couldn’t walk but was spright and imprinted quickly. Desperate to be close to her new mother; I kept her in a cage in the living room, feeding her chick starter and cashew cheese. During the day I would call out to her – Little Bird?!! All excited she would respond. I got her a mirror for company and jingle balls meant for cats. At least once a day a walk around the garden holding her close cooing, simultaneously saying NO! to Meschoo who wouldn’t be deterred and jumped along, nipping. Maybe they could learn to coexist? What a capitol companion, Little Bird  tuning into everything before I did. A neon green lizard leaf hopping. She anchored all the breaking news of the garden, neck extended sounding a Theremin peep alarm 1 minute ahead of the rain falling. John spent hours reinforcing a fence with a finer secondary fence around the apple tree whose apple’s taste like roses. With Meeschoo tied up outside, she lived in the sun two days. I warned John she could shimmy up the tree and fly out. It only took minutes on the day 3 she rushed to Meeschoo’s jaws. I heard the commotion and found her again cupped in my hands – LITTLE BIRD I cried. She was contorting and gasping dark lids sealed already. When I think of my work and what it is I really do, I recognize a chicken doula.

In Robert Allerton’s Garden

There’s a tiny stone structure with a Polynesian peak roof. A lookout that they point to from afar. A mystery without benches or seating; the tour bus pulls on. If you ask it’s large enough for four bodies, empty except the walls. A marble Medusa hangs facing a mirror. Not the conundrum trustees would have you think. Robert Allerton understood the need for discretion, when conducting private liaisons. Allerton

ACHOOO

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My floor is adrift with snow white piles of wadded tissue bindles. Influenza? I couldn’t imagine how or where but then I remembered a detail from my Thanksgiving marketing that all the employees were mysteriously absent. The shelves were bare and I was complaining to the cashier that asked did you find everything you needed? NO I didn’t find anything are you kidding? He said yeah well sorry, we are understaffed. He didn’t mention they were all dead from the flu they got at “Papayas Health Food Store.” That they should have closed or at least posted a skull and cross bones at the threshold WARNING like I’m warning you it’s coming. Enjoy the Christmas papaya boobs from my island to yours. ACHOOOOOO!

MY FRIEND COLIN AND DEATH AND SHAKE AND BAKE

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I’ll never forget Colin being there for me on one of the worst days of my life, and the day after that, and the day after that. My beloved cat I found in the jaws of 2 coyotes and she couldn’t be saved. I was inconsolable and blamed myself.

Colin offered to have a funeral at his house and bury her in his back yard. I accepted but decided I needed a new kitten immediately.  We went to at least 10 different shelters because of a clause in my Santa Monica rent control apartment, I wasn’t allowed to have ANY additional cats. My landlord spelled it out, if one died let there be NO REPLACEMENTS, it was in my lease. Three cats and no more.

Since I had been golden about monthly cash under the table unlike my predecessor who stopped the payola two months after moving in, I figured I could fudge a little. I would have to find an all black kitten to replace my dead black cat – KITTER GIRL.

Who else but Colin would have co-signed this lunacy? For two days we drove from shelter to shelter interviewing kittens but there were no blacks. We hit the Sepulveda shelter pronounced by Colin with his UK accent, supple vita. If I had asked Colin to drive me downtown to The Union Rescue or The Los Angeles Mission? If I had decided to adopt a man or a full grown woman he would have carried them to the car for me.

The funeral had everything, flowers, mix tapes by Colin, funerary organ music and a crowd of dear friends. He catered vegetarian as well, with dubious surprise balls. I kept asking what’s in these balls? Colin was a new convert to vegetarianism and rabid in his implementation. So when I detected what I thought was a Progresso bread crumb; I pressed for the recipe. I wasn’t sure how processed food was vegetarian. So when he wasn’t looking I went through his trash and found an empty box of SHAKE AND BAKE. Which suddenly seemed very funny and I began howling until I couldn’t breathe.

My new kitten CHEESER was there. She ended up living with me for the next 23 years and she wasn’t black after all the driving I made Colin do. Cheeser was the craziest dressed moo cow Calico you ever saw. When she poked her mitten at me thru a cage, I couldn’t deny that I was choosen. Colin was always in the background cleaning; he fussed after digging KITTER GIRL’S grave under a tree in his back yard. Another friend who had a crush on Colin made KITTER GIRL a velvet lined coffin and she was off like that with all my tears.

Colin last week was given a funeral in Thailand. A pyre.

 

 

Coconuts

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Back in Nam when the rations didn’t come thru, you lived off your coconuts. Some locals here use the meat and wellspring to avoid all forms of hard labor. If you know how to drain the nut, which an adept can do with a dull knife, you have everything you need. Deodorant even soap or bathing are unnecessary for the healthy jungle eater, although one’s clothes suffer from a sour dough mildew. My new guru Spicoli set up a lawn chair outback in the woods and fashioned himself a tent with rope hung out a like hammock between two trees. Plastic trash bags he picked up at the dump drape over his lawn chair and sleeping bag. He enjoys the song of the Kauai O’o Bird and has abandoned his car here, suggesting it’s part of a work trade. The details of what we get never quite hammered out. His forté is barefoot with a chainsaw, tree trimming stoned, but what if he falls and self amputates on my property, then what?

GIZZARDS

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I cooked gizzards for the cats and they came out so rubbery un-edible that I googled recipes. At least on my first attempt they tried to chew them before spitting them out, arranging them all over the lanai, with regiments of ants surrounding each morsel in a trail. Rather than use my vegan pressure cooker I decided on the 5 hour boiling recipe. I dumped the rest of the gizzards from the refrigerator that I didn’t want to go to waste into cold water, sullying my French and pristine clean kosher skillet.

(WHAT IS MY PROBLEM WITH WASTE AND WHY DO I WASTE MYSELF?)

A cauldron of nasty odors incensed this vegetarian all Saturday. It took HOURS of stabbing until I felt them tender. Then I replaced the boiling water and I fried the last of the cheap pork, let it all rest, then cut it with a dull steak knife so it took even longer, into the tiniest kitty bite pieces. Service wasn’t until close to 8.

They barely sniffed immediately turned tail. All three left the feeding area in protest. I waited 5 minutes, bagged and refrigerated the rest. They didn’t even taste them this time. When I woke up I retrieved the gizzards from the fridge and warmed them on the counter for an hour. My morning epiphany was to pour one small can of cat food over the top which they licked off.  The wild chickens, that I try not to feed, gobbled up the two plates in minutes saving my project ultimately from the ants.