Gobble

As I mentioned already on Facebook, we cancelled Thanksgiving due to the pandemic and will instead eat club sandwiches via skype with the children on Saturday. The turkey we had ordered from the organic farmer down the road got a last minute reprieve and, cynical and disillusioned after having said goodbye to life, is presently hitchhiking somewhere with a beach to smoke French cigarettes and write existentialist poetry. Don’t worry, we ordered another one for Christmas, assuming the lockdown is over by then, and in preparation will all self-quarantine 10 days before getting together bc you can’t be too careful.

Anyway the turkey mailed me his first poem this morning, excerpt attached below.

GOBBLE
I

I saw the best fowl of my generation destroyed by farmers, gorged hysterical cackle,
dragging themselves through the angry yard at dawn looking for a trough of corn
angelfeathered hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,
who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and gobbling sat up clucking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water barns floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,
who bared their brains to Heaven on order before the holidays and saw the poultry angels staggering on barnyard roofs illuminated,
who passed through plucking sheds with now dead eyes hallucinating nothing, no more Blake-light tragedy among the scholars of carnivorism,
or those like me expelled from the slaughterhouse by some trick of pandemic and quarantine, left to wander
to cower unplucked in rooms in unfamiliar underwear, burning their poetry in wastebaskets and listening to the Terror through the wall…

II

What sphinx of cement and metal ax bashed off their heads and ate them up with sauce of cranberry and mashed yams?
Thanksgiving! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans and unobtainable dollars! Turkeys screaming under the stairways! Turkeys gobblesobbing in flocks! Old poet turkeys pardoned and weeping in the parks!
Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving! Nightmare of Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving the loveless! Mental Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving the heavy judger of turkeys!
Thanksgiving the incomprehensible prison! Thanksgiving the crossbone soulless jailhouse and kitchen of sorrows! Thanksgiving whose heaping platters are judgment! Thanksgiving the vast stone of war! Thanksgiving the stunned governments!
Thanksgiving whose mind is pure machinery! Thanksgiving whose blood is running money! Thanksgiving whose fingers are ten armies! Thanksgiving whose breast is a cannibal dynamo! Thanksgiving….

The Habits of Five Happy Couples

Have you ever caught yourself staring out the window, maybe your office window, watching someone younger than you get into their car up the street, or unloading groceries from their trunk, wishing for a little more peace, happiness, respect, joy, sex, love, agape, laughs, intimacy, happiness and peace in your relationship? Or perhaps, instead of giving mutual support you find yourself stuck (unstuck) inside a negative feedback loop itself unstuck (stuck) within a chronographic experiential time cycle in which you zoom around your life in circles, or figure eights, back and forth and around and around, experiencing the same pathetic, depressing conflicts over and over.

If that is the case, and for many of us it is, there is a good chance that you sometimes wonder why your relationships, and life in general, suck so bad while other people’s lives and relationships seem so awesome. And, statistically, you have at least three feet of shelf space in your home library devoted to self-help relationship books promising clarity about all the ways relationships fail, but look here’s the problem:

Smoothly functioning, harmonious relationships are only possible if one or more of the participants settle for less than they need, hold back, suffer in silence, give in all the time, or all of the above, or get even through indulging their bad habits.

While popular entertainment, and pretty much everything else about modern capitalist society seems desperate to convince people that people stay in love their whole life long and there’s something wrong with you if you feel differently, real relationships are more complicated than that.

Take John and Rebecca. John listens to 80s hair bands and plays air guitar. Rebecca farts before leaving elevators if she’s riding alone.

Or Max and Peter. Max bites his nails, Peter checks whether the front and back doors are locked about ten times every night before going to bed.

George can’t stop putting empty containers back into the refrigerator, no matter how much Jamie yells at him, while Jamie clips coupons and spends more on gas running to multiple stores to cash in the coupons than the coupons actually save.

Mike has a drinking problem and is addicted to internet porn. Martha is attending group therapy as part of a plea bargain following her arrest for shoplifting.

Home alone while her husband Donald is a coma following an opiate overdose, Gretchen steals packages delivered to her neighbors’ houses and stacks them in the spare bedroom and when it is full she drives them out to the desert and sets them on fire.

Reset

My phone crashed I know not why and I had to do a factory reset and lost all of 2020 and I thought, good riddance.

Life Hack/No Life Hack

It is November and the weather is dark and depressing. My city just underwent a terrorist attack. Currently, as I write this, Trump is doing “better than expected” (=cheating is going well) in initial counts. My tooth broke off day before yesterday and I spent yesterday morning at the dentist getting the rest ground off and a temporary crown applied and it was, of course, not in my budget. And, finally (?) we are not only in the middle of a pandemic, still, and our second lockdown (so far) — we are quarantined for the second time, waiting for someone to come test us, bc we were exposed to someone who tested positive.

You may ask yourself, why is Mig in such a good mood?
Well, strictly speaking, not a good mood, but maybe, why isn’t Mig in a worse mood?
Why isn’t Mig depressed?
Or, more accurately, why isn’t Mig more depressed? 2020 is being 2020 with a vengeance, he can’t see his friends in person, etc.

Ok you know what, when I started this post that was going to be the joke – there is no life hack, right? Things are terrible and I’m depressed. Except right now it occurs to me I am not really depressed. I am sad, but that’s different. My opinion – and I am not a psychologist – is that if you have a reason it’s sadness, not depression. I am sad bc a young man felt compelled to shoot random strangers. I am sad bc of seasonal grayness. I am sad bc I can’t see my friends who *are* depressed and try to cheer them up. I am sad bc I have to figure out how to pay for a crown on my molar (I have the money don’t worry).

I don’t know. My tent wisdom comes to mind – when I started this post, it sucked that it was raining when I was in a tent. But before I finished the second paragraph, it was great to have a tent when it was raining.

Maybe it’s just my brain’s last desperate attempt to cheer me up before I plunge into despair, but right now I am thinking about everything, and everyone, I love. My family. My friends. Random people I follow without knowing on social media saying decent, or indecent but funny, or kind, things right now. The city of Vienna. The country of Austria. The person who hollered “Schleich di du Oaschloch” at the terrorist. The Viennese personality that phrase is so typical of. The Americans who voted against Trump.

And so on.

I don’t know. Maybe it isn’t enough. We’ll see I guess. Maybe absentee ballots will be so overwhelmingly against Trump something good will come of 2020 after all. Maybe the feeling of unity and kindness in Vienna will last. Maybe my friends and I will cheer up. I am already thankful for a lot of things – my breadbox is full of bread, my wife and I are getting along, my small cats like me and the big one doesn’t bite me much. My transmission is making a funny noise but I only have to drive to the train station, usually. My children and my wife and I are all safe and healthy, except maybe for coronavirus. I don’t know, it’s a balancing act.

It always is, for someone, I guess right now we’re getting a taste of it, in case we didn’t realize before.

Now excuse me, I have to go into the cellar and write, Gamma is my new writing partner and we’re doing Nanowrimo this year. <3

Like a boss

I was buying yarn, no wait, I had finished buying yarn (oh, you’re a busy knitter, said the yarn lady, I like to see that) and was paying the lady at the dry cleaners… no wait, I was at the dry cleaners, but had not yet been to the yarn store, after which I returned to the dry cleaners to pay because I forgot the first time, nor had I been to the bank yet — so this was the first visit to the dry cleaners, before I went to the bank and to the yarn store, and before I returned to the dry cleaners to pay, my phone rang and I answered it and my mother in law said, hi mig, we have a big problem (invoking images in my mind of things leaking and smoldering etc.), the nurse’s outside door won’t close.
At this point let me interject for clarity that it’s one of those doors I first encountered in Austria, which you can open normally, in a door-like way, or if you turn (a) different handle(s) just tilt in, like if you want to air out the room.
Ah, I said, did she tilt and open at the same time?
I think so, said my mother in law.
So I finished my errands, going to the bank and the yarn store and the catfood store (because I got them food the day before yesterday, when I was at the hardware store getting light bulbs for my inlaws and super glue to fix a camera filter I had dropped, causing it to pop out of its mount but not break, but the hardware store didn’t have the food they like and they hated the food the hardware store did have so much that only one ate it and another ignored it and the third meowed at me plantively), where it took me forever to find cat milk, then went home and unloaded and gathered tools I thought might help (screwdrivers, a length of pipe to use as a fulcrum, and a big rubber hammer as comic relief) and drove over to fix their door.
But first I had to fix my car engine, which made a funny noise when I started it. I fixed it by turning my car off and back on again.
Noise was gone. Success!
Yeah so I drove over with my mask on and my mother in law and the nurse (who was cooking lunch, because my mother in law treats her more as someone to help with everything than someone to look after her husband) were both happy to see me. My father in law, a former mechanic who built the house, was watching TV and I sort of snuck around because I didn’t need him helping. I looked at the door, and my mother in law looked at me looking at the door, while the nurse made lunch, and then I looked at a healthy door to figure out how it was supposed to work, and went back and forth a couple times.
Then I went downstairs where we quietly got another tool (big chisel, to use as a lever because the door was too heavy for my screwdrivers) out of the furnace room, quietly because father in law thinks they lost the key to that room because we don’t want him in there fixing anything. Then I went back up and mother in law, father in law and nurse watched me trying to fix the door. We figured out what had to be done (metal hinge thing had to go back into metal hinge thing receptacle) so I asked the nurse to stick it back in when I lifted the door, which I did by sort of grabbing the door with one hand on the inside and one hand on the outside because my original lever/fulcrum idea wasn’t working, and manhandled it up and she stuck it in and boom, fixed, like a boss.
They were all happy, and I explained to the nurse, tilt or open but never both at the same time and drove home and took cardboard to the dump. Leaving the dump again, a guy with an SUV pulling a horse trailer (full of garbage I assume) couldn’t get in the in gate as I was getting out the out gate, I suppose because he had forgotten his key card, and got out of his truck and walked back to the car behind him, totally in my way and not even checking to see if, like, there was an oncoming car he might be blocking, and finally turned around and saw me and gave me a dirty look and I gave him a dirty look back, then he walked over to the other car, I suppose to ask to borrow that person’s key card (good thing for him he didn’t ask to borrow mine, I would have said no and felt good about it) and as soon as there was space I drove past, thinking, use the right tool for the job, moron who takes garbage to the dump in a horse trailer, ignoring my attempt to fix a door (like a boss, let me reiterate) with a chisel, a pipe and two screwdrivers.
Now if you’ll excuse me gotta bake some bread (which has been rising way too long cause of unexpected errands).

Rainy day

It’s raining. The light outside is remarkable. Dark sky, with brighter spots lighting various deciduous trees turning gold at various rates. A glossy wet crow stands on the balcony railing outside my office. I go outside and place dog treats along the railing. Before I’m even done, I glance over my shoulder and there’s another crow 2 feet away with a beakful of dog treats hurrying me up.
Hang on a sec, I have to go back out and refill the dog treats.
Ok.
The problem with life is eventually the crows shit all over your balcony and someone says, hey Mig stop feeding the crows they’re shitting all over the balcony.
Hang on, they’re cawing at me for more treats. BRB
Thing is, though, it’s also nice to tell yourself you know the crows know they can count on you.
Maybe the rain will wash the shit away.

I vaguely remember flowers

I pinched my penis in the woods yesterday, by accident, climbing through a wooden fence to look at a grave.
The fence was made of horizontal slats attached to wooden fence posts. Normally there would have been plenty of space for me to squeeze through, but I was wearing a pack that made it a tighter fit.
I groaned, and my wife asked what the matter was, and I told her.
My pack held a few apples, a thermos full of cold water, and a rain jacket I bought last summer (2019) at REI.
I started out with three apples, then ate one, then fed another to some goats.
The grave stone seemed to be granite. There was a bronze (?) plaque on it with five names, two with one surname, the other three with another. There was a space in front of it the size of a couple shoeboxes, covered with a flat rectangle of metal or stone (I forget), so I assumed they were putting urns in there and not whole bodies.
There was a bench beside the stone where you could sit and look into the distance.
I vaguely remember flowers.