CLUELESS MALES OF AMERICA
Sometimes it's clear you've gone wrong but you continue; sometimes there's a luxurious amount of time before anything bad happens. - Anonymous
To CMAs the mysteries of relationship are shadows in the bottom of a well. Membership in CMA requires only tonal demonstration of six meanings for the password: Huh?! (Where's the beer?!) Huh?! (Don't bother me!) Huh?! (No, you're not fat!) Huh?! (That's really cool!) Huh?! (This movie sucks!) Huh?! (Aren't I sexy/ righteous/ sly?) CMA recovery starts by memorizing mantras: Listen, please- don't fix. Yes, do ask, do tell. Stop, look, listen! (Also known as "Hear the train?") That's my bullshit I smell? How do I really feel? Next, recoverers must practice turning slogans into steps until they've waltzed with every shadow from the well. Last, there's one thing every CMA must learn: Recovery never ends.THANKSGIVING BLUESProust's Law... is twofold: a) What least thing our self-love longs for most others instinctively withhold; b) Only when time has slain desire is his wish granted to a smiling ghost neither harmed nor warmed, now, by the fire. - James MerrillAt dawn my wife and I square off for another pre-feast bout, barely duck the tractor beam that tries to yank our marriage back to yesteryears of rage. At noon I halt my car beside the glue-faced watchman of a wealth commune, sneer, "I'm here to eat my mother-in-law!" He says "A guy's gotta do what he's gotta do," shakes his head morosely, waves me on. At three our family gathers at the table, offers thanks to wailing souls: "Oh, holocaust of native birds, rounded into compounds, slaughtered once a year, we become thee as we grind thy flesh inside our grins." At ten p.m. I turn loose the mike at Java Joe's, nose my car through fog as jazz spills from the radio, floats along the hissing streets. An ambulance screams by, lurching someone's package to a body shop for the apron gang's repair. I tiptoe in my front door, pause to watch the cat stalk our napping shepherd, unleash three left jabs then leap from flailing paws. I ease in bed beside my reading bride, recite a silent vow not to get beamed back into our cargo bay of woes where ballast gets compressed until it bursts like shattered stars. Oops- did she hear the shot I just gave her in my mind, that squelch I didn't think of when we sparred at dawn? Her fantasized rejoinder crashes treelike on a moon where only I can hear.HALE-BOPPI want to be with those who know secret things. -- RilkeThe first attempt to document this comet, corral its blazing power, was a local shaman. She scraped a firebrand across her cave, surprised to see its yellow change to black. She called it THROGG, spewed ochre round her hand slapped on the wall to log the time as NOW. My wife shouts me from our house to see its blazing eyebrow rise above the darkness on our hill. It thrills her, thumbs a golden stud into her cosmic map: "You see, it's come from somewhere and it's going somewhere else!" "Hale, yes!" I yell so I won't dent her joy, downplay her FTD from God. I strain to see more than a match discarded by a nervous smoker as he strides between a billion galaxies. But I keep this vision to myself, hug my artist tight, awed by her fey power to launch her soul on bits of errant stars.