Zawmb’yee Takes Over the Blog

Zawmb’yee Takes Over the Blog

I’m Zawmb’yee from the future where the blog destroyed the world. I’m sorry we did that. Naztko came back to try to fix history. I know that he fails, so I’m taking over the study of the old blog that created the catastrophe. I will expell him and try to do better. In the meantime here’s where in the old blog, I take it over just after Doug almost gets killed. Here’s my account. And also for the record I give you James Ziohat’s blog that made us worry about him. The old Zawmb’yee says:

Zawmb’yee Takes Over the Blog

ENTRY 69

I know it’s unprofessional for the stenographer to speak in her own voice but I wanted to make clear that I’m typing in the blog while Doug recuperates. Most of the time, I’ll just transcribe his words for him. Oh yes, in case you don’t know, it’s me (I?), Zawmb’yee, posting this stuff for a while. Actually, I guess it’s OK to speak in my own voice for a while, because I’m not a professional. It’s good that Doug tripped and fell, because the bullet just grazed him. If he hadn’t blocked the gun, I’m sure Zusoiti would have killed me [stenographer pauses]. (Yeah. I know it’s silly but I’m trying to be like the court reporter who puts everything in the transcript like “cough”, or “indistinguishable”, and all that…)

Geez, I know I could never be a court reporter because you have to record every word and sound that anyone says without getting emotional, which reminds me that I can’t get through Doug’s steno poem without flooding the paper. It was horrendous for me as an adult being violated by the Gods for their genetic experiments, but I can’t imagine the unbearable trauma for a child violated in any way. Well, I guess you don’t know what I’m talking about, so, be careful: this poem I’m going to show you I find disturbing. It’s fiction but nevertheless…

My Poem For Mommy Steno

Mommy, a Lady’s writing
big hand for me with commas.
Did you write me down, and
everything? Ok. Here goes:
No wait a second. Ok, umm

Mommy don’t let me cry too much.

I didn’t mean to be mean
to Daddy when he yelled

Didn’t want to make you
go to jail

Mommy, I’ll let him
touch my breast again
if they’ll let you out
from jail

Has he gone to Heaven?

Foster people say
you’re trash

Mommy, forgive me.
Didn’t want you to kill Dad.

Mommy, don’t let me cry too much.

My poem. Is it good, Mommy?

Lady don’t cry. Make it good? Ok?
Make it pretty on good paper.

I’m sick. Doug writes such dark poems, and I’m not sure how he connects to what he writes. I’m so glad he and Utcoozhoo are OK, but still, Zusoiti did escape. Oh yeah, more about that later…

ENTRY 70

Because Doug is still too fatigued to write the blog, I’m going to continue. I don’t know how Doug and I expected to stop Zusoiti in her War Room without weapons; it’s just that we were the only ones in position, and time was running out. I was trying to run up the stairs in the War Room when Doug and Zusoiti got shot. By the time I turned around, all I could see was the FBI surrounding Zusoiti on the floor. I don’t know why they took their time, but a trapdoor opened under her, letting her disappear, and then it snapped back up. The whole task force, it seemed, took turns pounding the door with sledge hammers. Just as they smashed it open, there was an explosion. Smoke, dirt, and choking gases filled the air. Putting Doug on a stretcher, shouting into their radios, they moved en masse to the stairs, pushed me up the stairs, helped me put on a gas mask, and we all ran out of the library through the main ballroom, and out past the statute “Aphrodite Foaming At The Mouth,” when the entire Mansion collapsed into a pile of rubble. They never did find Zusoiti’s body. They assume she escaped.

I could not get to the hospital before they started interrogating Doug. I’m so glad he had sense enough not to tell them everything. I mean, what if he had told them that not only was Zusoiti running for Mayor in the village but also for high-priestess of the Grand Council that governs a secret cave society? Had they heard that, they would presently be tearing apart the “apparatus of the Gods”, trying to reverse engineer everything.

ENTRY 71

I’m sprucing up Doug’s apartment, or I guess at this point I should say “our” apartment. He did leave most of my decorations intact from the last time, as he said he would, which leaves just a few final touches — the major thing is that I’m going to put up my paintings. This time it’s really going to feel like home. My quarters in the Cave: These I’m going to think about as “school”. I want to think about it this way: Doug and I will have a sanctuary here, and our cave apartments will belong to the adventures of childhood.

Knowing how I am, Doug set up my stuffed animals on the bed to greet me as soon as it seemed like I might be coming back. I felt so comfortable coming here, having my things, but Utcoozhoo says I should wean myself off ebben (I think they call it transitional objects in English). He says teddy bears are like amulets and should not be overused.

This writing of the blog in English is so tedious — laying out all the pieces of events, each a section of canvas difficult to imagine from the sound of the blind letters. I much prefer the seeing of the Utd’mbts even though I’m just a beginner at it.

I’m chattering away here, and I haven’t even written about Utcoozhoo’s escape on the thiktdi. I’m going to mount my paintings first.

ENTRY 72

Utcoozhoo Uses Powers and Makes Plans

Well, something good came of all this. There is a new tunnel in the sacred quarters. I should have known Utcoozhoo wouldn’t allow himself to be trapped anywhere as he knows more about the Gods than even Zusoiti. I’ve always wondered how great an emergency was required for Utcoozhoo to utilize the power of the Gods, to embrace his prerogatives without shame, neither shaman nor king, an executor of the ancient endowment. Sometimes I think he is too humble for our good, should use his powers.

Yes, the tunnel is a good example. He and the elders were trapped in the Tzvaleubhoi while Zusoiti made havoc. Finally the legend of Tpiqlat’ng was vindicated when Utcoozhoo declared pcapdyntpa. It must have been a shock when Utcoozhoo and Naztko, from the Forbidden Zone, reactivated the Thiktdi, “the flying mole in fire tube”. They loaded up 500 elders into the Thiktdi that looks like a jet plane without the wings. No one knows how, but it vaporizes rock in front of it, and compresses it off to the side into a kind of slippery glass. At the right moment, they flew through the rock into Utcoozhoo’s anteroom in the sacred quarters. Utcoozhoo got them all accommodations, and the next day, they stunned the Registrar when they marched into his office and registered to vote. That’s one step.

With Zusoiti away, Utcoozhoo now thinks he can push through a Magna Carta in the Grand Council, but I’m not so sure how many supporters Zusoiti still has.

ENTRY 73

So much has happened since the FBI went after Zusoiti — I don’t mean that they caught her, but her fugitive status has been a blessing. Utcoozhoo found her secret interface between the ancient technology and the modern. The good news is that he has developed his own interface device and has hooked up the Gods’ grp’nl system to the Internet. Now, I can do my homework for Utcoozhoo from here, and actually, I’d rather do it here than in the cave. The bad news is that there may be other hidden interfaces that Zusoiti is using.

I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t get my last assignment exactly right. I logged into the grp’nl with Utcoozhoo’s new password and went to the language practice page, thinking it would be easy, because I’ve done pretty well with his meditation exercises. The Utd’mbts language, in its full form, is much harder than I thought. I went to the first vocabulary word exercise all excited and confident. I was to simply learn one word that would be displayed on the screen. I stared at the screen, not consciously perceiving anything as I was told to do, and let whatever it was sink into my subconscious. Then, I lay down on the bed and meditated to await a vision. I saw an angry parent scolding a child, a rampaging gang of kids, a marauding group marching with a flag, heard a National Anthem of some kind, saw the construction of buildings, of supermarkets, of trains, of planes, and of ships, saw all of them blown up and destroyed. I was supposed to say what this word meant in English. I said I thought it meant that “the displacement of anger from family to ethnic group to country, over generations, was the cause of war.” Utcoozhoo said, no that’s not it. He said it’s a lot more complicated than that, and I didn’t allow myself to absorb more, that I was suppressing most of the important elements of the word. That was very discouraging because I thought I had already learned many Utd’mbts words and he said I had only learned a few of the beginner’s training subset language — the baby-talk babble of the beginner.
(Because Doug is still too sick to write the blog, I, Zawmb’yee, am going to continue to write this blog).

ENTRY 74

Doug Has Lost His Will to Live

I’m worried. I think Doug has lost the will to live. It’s odd but I don’t think he ever thought about his own mortality until Zusoiti fired her gun at him. It seems as though he thinks he will go out of existence at his death, and he will not be aware that he had ever existed. He is much too logical and analytical to be happy. I do think that Utcoozhoo is right that he has the curse of the eokxavexa. Utcoozhoo is all mystical and vague, but I could put it bluntly: some of the gods’ genes have been quite destructive to our people.

Doug has been just moping around, doesn’t want to get out of bed, doesn’t want to eat.

The other day I said to Doug, “I know you’ve been hurt because most people find it very hard to talk to you, don’t want to hear your ideas, and can’t wait for you to gather your thoughts… But then, you hate what you are — you can tolerate neither kegmn, bsoer, bsoei, nor veb.”

Doug said, “No, that’s not it. I can’t understand how people can talk, talk, talk, chatter, chatter, chatter, on and on, without saying anything. By the time they’re finished, I can’t remember what I wanted to say.”

“See, that’s the thing: it’s not just chatter to talk about how you feel…” I leaned forward and placed my hands on Doug’s forearms. Doug looked down.

“What’s the point of talking about problems, if you don’t have a solution?”

“Look up,” I said and as I looked into his sad eyes I could feel tears welling up. I spoke louder: “It just feels good to vent,” But I could see he was clueless when he looked away as soon as a tear started to form on my face.

“Yeah. I know. You tell me everything, and I understand how you feel and you always say you feel much better after telling me. But I feel much worse. I don’t know how to solve anything.”

“You don’t have to solve… just listen… You are a comfort to me…” I put my hands on his cheeks and wiped away a trickle of a tear from one corner of a twitching eye.

While smashing his eyes with his hands and wiping his hairy fingers on his pants, he said, “That is a mystery, but I love to see you smile, hate to see you cry…”

“That’s empathy, isn’t it?”

“For what purpose? It’s emotion without solutions, without goals…”

“Oh Dougie Wougie Wougie, give me your tired poor tears…” I sighed. “Y’know, on another subject, you haven’t seen this because you haven’t left the apartment, but I’ve seen quite a few people on the street wearing royal purple uniforms…”

“What is that — the latest fashion? You’d look good in purple. You could get…” He looked me over from top to bottom.

I watched his smile grow and I sighed. “No, no, no. It’s not fashion. I think it’s Zusoiti’s followers. I think she’s building a secret police. It’s the beginning of a movement. You know, like the Nazi ‘brown shirts’, except it’s the ‘purple shirts’ . ”

“Oh come on. You’re just being paranoid. Enough already with all this cave culture stuff. Could we just join the mainstream for a change, just be normal people?”

“Normal people?” I pointed my palm at the sky.

“Oh hell, you know what I mean.” He squeezed his forehead with three fingers.

“So, anyway, you should see this… they’re holding rallies and meetings. I just know Zusoiti must be behind this.”

“Uh huh. Zawmb’yee, could we do a joint painting — you could do a sketch and I could paint over it. ”

“You see — that’s kegmn. You weren’t listening while I was talking. You were just thinking about what you wanted to say. You couldn’t wait for me to finish, and then you plunge ahead.”

“No. You just keep talking and don’t say anything.”

I was so mad, and almost started a tirade, but I don’t know, Utcoozhoo keeps telling me it’s eokxavexa. Yeah, but that’s no excuse for bad manners. Is it?

ENTRY 75

I’ve been losing my temper a lot lately, but it’s just that this place is such a strewn-fest, my things scattered, boxes falling, hell, I can’t find anything, and Chloë’s driving me crazy with hassle, hustle meetings — I’m sick of the damn Moose Café project: I tell her it’s done, it’s done, I’m done — cash the check. An avalanche of building plans and escaping wardrobe snow are burying me in a shoe storm and fashion disasters, even though Doug gave me my own bedroom in case he snores, but the bed is piled high with my dresses and shoe boxes, and the carpenters are just leaving.

Out, out, damn Carpenters, leave the spots — the painters will do it — give me my space, my closet… I must go on stage in a gown without sneakers if I can finally use the “closet organizer” right.

I haven’t even used my bedroom yet and Doug doesn’t snore. Actually, I’d rather be with him for the snuggle factor, and getting my feelings onto his hairy chest. Oh, maybe I’m the one who snores. I’ve been angry so much, so often. OK, I’ve got the closet organizer, and Doug gave me his project room for my work. I should be able to bring my furies to the clothes. Where, the hell, are my Viwwa shoes — Chloë’s going to be envious, and I look gorgeous. It’s got heels like stalactites. No one could run around in the cave wearing these if they didn’t want to fall into the K’ut’mbletaw’i. But who would want to be well-heeled in the cave anyway. Chloë says I have to dress well for business. Somehow I have to mix and match, or match and mix, or match and match, put on the makeup… which reminds me. I should go yell at Doug before we make up. Just kidding. Yeah. I don’t know what I’m so angry about. Utcoozhoo says I should work on my anger. But I don’t know. I think my anger was justified when Doug dismissed what I was saying. But here’s this thing — oh hell, I can’t remember the word for it in any language. It seems I forget because I don’t want to let go of my anger — for some reason I want to keep it. Um, well, the thing was something like “firm assertion that cajoles attention for loving reprimand (is this an oxymoron?).” Oh geez, even if I could remember some level of an Utd’mbts word for the thing, I bet Utcoozhoo would say I’ve got that wrong. Yeah, I’m lost — certain concepts I have a problem with. Yeah, maybe that’s why I can relate to Doug sometimes because we’re both lost souls. I really hate what Doug’s father did to him: made him repress all emotion and even forced him to show no facial expression (said, “Don’t look at me that way), and he remembers his Mom always saying, “That can’t be…” — I bet he had extraordinary abilities as a child and I bet they were frightened by how much he knew their thoughts. That’s why he claims he has no talents — they’re all suppressed or repressed or you know. Damn, I have to work on vocabulary. His father was incredibly destructive. Doug was already born poor at reading body language and he could have used some compensating skills.

Doug needs to develop at least some skill. As Utcoozhoo says (don’t quote me), “If you can close your eyes and get into someone’s mind, you don’t need to read body language…”

ENTRY 76

OK, I think I’m getting my closet more organized. Well, not exactly; I’m getting good at organized tossing and throwing: I tossed some of my shoes onto the racks, threw some onto the lower shelves, but I don’t know what tier a teardrop buckle shoe should occupy. Chloë says there’s a style for every occasion, but should I have a shelf for cocktail parties and gallery openings? I’ve had a pair of Wymucen “Ballerina” shoes in black patent leather that keep pirouetting around the racks and shelves and won’t let me toss or pigeonhole them. Do I have to dance if I wear them — no, I guess, if they’re not red, I don’t have to. Doug heard me mumbling and said I should get an automatic transmission and pump the cheap gas. I thought, huh-what, but then I realized I was mumbling about my flat open-toe PUMPS, and my evening CLUTCH bag. Now, I’m in the clutches of unforeseen consequences at the Moose Café, and we can’t seem to finish.

Angela had to have the marble slab countertops for her transformation: she wanted an elegant design to scrub out the “Moose” image, but now, we’re on the antlers of a dilemma. She’s all hysterical because she read in the newspaper that some marble is radioactive. She’s the one that insisted on richly grained burgundy countertops. The technician went over it with a Geiger counter and it was fine, but Chloë wants me to get my own Geiger counter because Angela only trusts me. It’s ridiculous. Now, I have to learn how to use this thing. Some granite has uranium in it. I’m trying to tell her our granite slabs don’t. I mean, ours are not even from Brazil or Namibia.

I wish I could just negotiate on the phone and send another technician, but Chloë says the “customer is always right.” The more I think about it, the more it gives me the creeps, because I’m remembering that Angela was going to vote for Zusoiti for mayor just because she had purple hair.

Doug loves my long blond hair when I use the Gecmen Creme conditioner. He doesn’t know the trouble I go through — he thinks it’s just always soft and flowing like a self-washing river.

This morning, I thought Doug’s mood had improved. When I came out of the shower, he said, “Y’know, you’ve been wanting to have a party in our remodeled dining room to show off the crystal and the chandelier you designed. Why don’t we do it tonight. Call everyone and you can invite Chloë and mix business with pleasure and …”

“You want me,” I said, “to prepare everything on such short notice? How do you know everyone can drop everything and come over?”

“Well, Chloë will come and…”

“Uh huh. Yup.”

“What do you mean uh huh?”

“It’s not that you really want me to have a party to show off the chandelier. It’s just a little bsoei on your part, but it’s no mystery to me.”

“So why can’t we keep it a mystery? I mean, isn’t that what romance is about: mystification?”

“No, Utcoozhoo says bsoei is a form of manipulation,” I found myself saying, but actually, I have always thought that this sort of thing was harmless play and romantic (How did I change sides on this issue).”

“No, not if we agree to it,” Doug protested.

“He says bsoei…”

Wait just a second… Um, what exactly does bsoei mean?”

“It means when one person is masking his true intentions in order to manipulate the other to get what he really wants. He wants it to be a mystery as to what he wants and um…”

“Are you sure that’s exactly right?”

“Well, you know I can’t always explain it perfectly,” I said, “and I’ll admit that, as usual, if I gave this definition to Utcoozhoo, he’d say ‘ubemuwx’ .”

“Oh geez. Now what does ubemuwx mean?”

I laughed. “It means, ‘That’s not exactly it.’”

“Are you sure,” Doug said with a sly smile, “that ubemuwx means that?” Doug was moving in for the coup de grâce. “What would Utcoozhoo say if you gave him that definition?”

“He’d say ubemuwx to my ubemuwx definition.”

“Ah ha. I know this one: you’ve made the uxomexn,” Doug said triumphantly.

“Oh yeah. Well now, YOU define uxomexn!”

“Um, it’s, um, ‘the spiral of the mirrors — the nested paradox,’ the um…”

“Ubemuwx!” I said.

“Now, I forgot, what were we saying before?”

“We have decided to have a mystery party for no purpose, but for the benefit of our friends, and then somehow we’ll be surprised when we end up having sex for purely noble causes.”

“Don’t you think I deserve to share the Nobel prize with you for deception if you’ll switch back to your old naïve romantic self, so we can both be foolish and playful?”

“Ubemuwx. Love is better.”

ENTRY 77

I think there are two good omens today; Utcoozhoo called to make it official: I’ve been appointed to the Grand Council to fill the vacancy left by Zusoiti. It’s only temporary, but I have all privileges and powers of a council member. And the other thing is that Doug has been writing his novel nonstop for three days straight. Well, that’s good, but he hasn’t gotten any sleep at all. I think I’ll wait a few more hours and tell him he’s got to stop and get some sleep. Maybe I should tell him that I’m dying to read it. If I can just take it from him and get him to lie on the bed, I’m sure he’ll fall right to sleep. Well, anyway, I have to meet Utcoozhoo now for my swearing-in ceremony and to receive my Nipusindi (equipment, paraphernalia, and vestments of office). Doug should be ready for sleep by the time I get back.

ENTRY 78

It’s been scary. I came back home after being sworn in. I didn’t realize how much power Council members are given, and how Utcoozhoo had to call in a lot of favors to get me appointed — I even heard some grumbling in the background: someone said, “She doesn’t even know Utd’mbts.” Utcoozhoo just needs another vote on the Council while Zusoiti is away to make some vital changes. He told me not to worry, and that I’d just do some ceremonial things until he needs my vote.

Doug was still writing at his desk, drinking coffee and splashing water on his face after each page.

I went back to organizing my closet. Utcoozhoo had seven large ancient hand carved chests, containing the Nipusindi, delivered. I stuck five of them in the middle of the bedroom, heaved one, using a drawing board as a ramp, on top of the bed next to a pile of dresses, and dragged one into the closet. Before the chest arrived, I was going to dump out my old jewelry box and put all my rainbow bangle bracelets on a display rod. But there was some jewelry, ceremonial dresses, and shoes in the chest that didn’t really go with anything. So I became disorganized again.

I carried some dresses and my old jewelry box into Doug’s bedroom. He was sitting on the bed still writing.

He said, “More dresses? I thought you were organizing your closet?”

“Well, I was, but I have seven new chests of stuff, most of which I haven’t even opened.”

“Seven chests? Yeah, I wondered what all that noise was — I thought you were getting new furniture. What kind of chests?”

“It’s Nipusindi.”

“Nipusindi? I thought that was for Grand Council members only?”

“Guess what.”

“What?”

“I’ve been appointed to the Grand Council!”

“Whoa. Really?”

Doug finally put down his manuscript and smiled. I took off my shoes, stood on top of the bed, put my hands on my shoulders and then unfolded my arms in a regal gesture, palms up. Doug got up and took my hands and we jumped up and down on the bed, shouting “Hooray, hooray!” Doug’s manuscript fell to the floor. Letting go of my hands, Doug did a seated trampoline landing.

I said, “Leave it. You should get some sleep. Tomorrow we should talk about your friend Ziohat — his curiosity is getting to him again. You never should have teased him in the 1960′s with tales of secret caves. Just tell him it was a joke.”

Doug yawned, and said, “Well, OK. Um, he always wondered how I used to “disappear.” He’s always suspected there was a secret passageway from the party cave to the real one … and um, hmm, uh … I’m tired and uh …”

I lay down next to Doug, touched his face. “Never mind about that now,” I said.

“Uh, well, umm, oh … Congratulations! You are uh …”

Doug fell asleep. And somehow, yawn, so did I.

ENTRY 79

Today has been an odd day. This morning, Doug was so sweetly dreaming that I wanted to fondle him awake to rock me fondly before the sunrise might intrude with exigencies. But because he hadn’t slept for three days, I didn’t want to wake him at all. I fumbled around quietly, and in the bedroom got dressed in the dark. I had to go to the Moose Café. Having only to just reassure Angela about her marble table top, I thought casual nonchalance would be the best look for my accessories. I had the jewelry box on the night table, but didn’t want to turn on the light and wake Doug. The box had my bangle bracelets, rainbow-colors collection, with the blue one on top that I easily snatched. I started to push on my blue bangle, but it was hard to get over my hand. I thought I must be getting fat or my hands were hot and swollen or something. I thought, gee, I’m not going to be able to wear my favorite blue bangle anymore. I pushed hard for a while until it grudgingly slipped on. Feeling my way around, I got to my coat that was slumped on the chair in the corner, put it on, and rushed into the living room to call a cab. That was no problem, but then something odd happened. I remember getting into the cab and telling the driver the address for the Moose Café, but then I went blank. I woke up with the driver shouting at me, “Hey, Lady, we’re here.” I didn’t remember anything in-between. I was startled, but I looked up and there we were on Darling Street diagonally across from the Antique Shop, in the first parking spot past the street light, right in front of the Moose Café. I paid the driver, and marched to the entrance. I had my shoulder bag, and my Geiger counter.

I went in. Angela was waiting. She said, “Hi, I’ll take your coat.”

Taking my coat off, I said, “Don’t worry. We researched this: your marble counter tops are certified safe. But I brought a Geiger counter, and I’ll prove it to you.”

Angela put my coat on the rack. She said, “Yeah, I know. I’ve calmed down since I last spoke to you … Hey, I like your purple bracelet — where did you get it?”

“Huh? I’m wearing my favorite blue bangle.”

“I think I know purple when I see it.”

I looked down and saw that it was purple. “Oh,” I said, “I got dressed in the dark. I thought I put the blue one on.”

“That’s funny. I’ve always wanted one of those. It has a very pretty design engraved in it. You can only get it in very exclusive boutiques — very expensive. I hope you got it on sale. But not everyone likes them: you have to get it an extra size bigger because it shrinks over time. So tell me the secret. Where’d you get it?”

“Oh. I think Chloë gave it to me that night that we came back from the psychometry lecture at the Blue Attic Club. I don’t remember where Chloë got it from but Chloë has expensive tastes.”

“Well, never mind — I could never afford it, even on sale. So, as long as you’re here, anyway, why don’t you try out your Geiger counter.”

We walked over to a marble counter top, and I said, “Well, it’s going to click a little, but that’s just normal background radiation — see, I put the wand over the table and the meter stays in the normal range. OK?”

“Yes, alright. I guess we’re done then.” Angela tossed her hair off her face, and ran her hand over the counter top.

I started to feel dizzy. I said, “I don’t feel well. I have to sit down and …” The next thing I knew, I woke up home again on the living room couch.

ENTRY 80

I didn’t know how to couch my feelings. What had happened? Was I forgetting things — having blackouts? No, probably, I thought, just fatigue and exhaustion.

For a while I wondered if I had actually gone to the Moose Café, but the phone rang.

I felt panic, but reached for the phone on the end table, picked it up in trepidation. It was Chloë. She said, “Good job. Angela is pleased with our work, and we got the bank transfer, paid in full.”

“Finally. And I went out there for nothing.”

“No. Answering a client’s questions and concerns is always a good idea, and it helps our reputation for satisfaction …”

“Yeah, but I spent a lot of time — more than the project is worth.”

“Hey. Just think of it as a down payment on a future project from a referral.”

“I guess so. But …”

“Stop fretting. You did a great job and Angela said you were sick, so just relax for a few days and …”

“You’ll never believe what …”

“Shush. Lie down, drink some warm milk or whatever … I’ve got another call. Gotta go. Bye.”

I think Chloë has been a little too efficient sometimes. Words couched in concern, but cynical in execution.

Maybe all this was language overload — trying to learn Utd’mbts and idiomatic English. I vowed to call the couch a sofa. But in any case, it was no place to rest.

I went to Doug’s bedroom, and turned on the light to see that he looked dead in bed. I jumped on the bed. Doug opened his eyes and smiled. He said, “I was dreaming of you and here you are, gorgeous one. Can a council member give me a kiss?”

“Yes.” I gave him a quick kiss.

“What’s wrong?”

“Um nothing. I finished the Moose Café project.”

“That’s great. Finally. It was giving you a real headache. How is Angela?”

“Oh she’s OK, but we didn’t talk much because … never mind. I need a vacation. Maybe I’ll just do my art work and take more acting lessons and …”

“Hey yeah: ‘You’re a class act’. I just learned that. Do you know that expression? ”

“Thanks, yeah. I’m tired of language studies — I think I’ll just grunt …”

“And what a lovely grunt you have Grand… Oops sorry, I almost said ‘Grandma’. ”

“Huh?”

“You know, the ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ story, except that I got the wrong character. You’re nothing like a wolf and … Oh sorry, I’m just rambling …”

“Uh well, before I forget, we have to discuss Ziohat. He’s …”

“Hmm.”

“What are you staring at?”

“You’re so beautiful, so …”

“Not now …”

ENTRY 81

Finding Out About Ziohat

I wondered why I would say, “not now,” when I had always succumbed to a moment. I could have fallen as, oh, I was feeling so engulfed in a metcar or maybe a ipzabexr, and Doug is such a cute animal, but Utcoozhoo wanted me to resolve this problem with Ziohat, and I didn’t really know that much about him. I said to Doug, “How did this Ziohat character get the idea to create an artificial cave in the rock bluff above our cave complex?”

Doug, sighing in disappointment, said, “He just wanted an exotic, out of the way location on a cliff suitable for a Guru. It was his way to hype the hippies, make a movement. You know, be groovy, far out, cool, an avänt-gärde, he thought, but no matter how much he tried, Jack Chelka always called him the ‘fake guru’. ”

“Jack Chelka?”

“Yeah, I think he was the only one in the group who had a genuine interest in poetry itself.”

“What group?”

“Ziohat called it the Xyiwa poets, and Utcoozhoo told me to join the group to learn up-top poetry. It was supposed to begin a rebellion in poetry to embrace the Zeitgeist: love, peace, compassion, and rock-and-roll — ‘power to the people.’ You know, all that jazz and blues, and psychedelic enlightenment …”

“Supposed to …?”

“Well, as far as the poetry went, it was mostly angst. But actually Ziohat wasn’t really interested in promoting poetry … “

“The guru thing I guess was a little bsoei and veb, uh, games. Right (and if you say, ‘ubemuwx!’ again, I’ll slap you silly) ?”

“Yeah. I think you have it pegged. Yeah, he was all excited about Camille, a rich older woman, who was his patron, and paid for the construction of the poetry cave. The whole thing to him was just a gimmick to attract chicks and an excuse for an orgy. There were some pretty wild parties in the cave.”

“And you?”

“Uh, me too …”

“Thought so …”

“Don’t think so much … “

“I have to . We have a problem with Ziohat, and I have to get to know something about him … What ever happened to the group?”

“Well, it was disbanded years ago, and the club was closed down and sealed. I guess I’m the last of the Xyiwa poets. But recently, Ziohat has been cleaning up the mess left behind, and has been rummaging through the storage boxes. I gave him a blog to post some of the poetry he recovered.”

“What poetry is that?”

“I made copies of what he found so far — I can show it to you, but could we do this tomorrow?”

“Uh, well, the thing is: he seems to be remodeling and expanding. We don’t want him finding one of our secret entrances …”

Doug sighed again. “Don’t worry, he won’t … You know, I was dreaming of you before you jumped on the bed .. ”

“Yes, you told me.”

“And you came in here to unwind and relax. Right? ‘Cause you love me, you came here, blue eyes, gorgeous one …”

“Sometimes it’s not love after a hard day, but a desperation to avoid metca, you know, anxiety.”

“I relieve your metca because I love you.”

“And I don’t suppose you enjoy the process?”

“You are beautiful you know.”

“Well, um, Utcoozhoo, always says, eujxami.”

“Eujxami?”

“Well it’s somewhat like the French expression: ‘La beauté sans vertu est une fleur sans parfum’ ”

“Which means?”

“ ‘Beauty without virtue is like a flower without perfume’. ”

“And that’s what the Utd’mbts word means?”

“Sort of …”

“Ubemuwx!”

That’s when I lost it and couldn’t help but pull down his pants and see that his beauty was already standing erect saluting me. I gave it a few licks and got up from bed. Doug grabbed my arm, but I managed to reach the night table. I let Doug pull me back onto the bed and I rolled a condom over his beautiful hardness.

ENTRY 82

Feeling Strange

This morning I felt strange. The purple bracelet on my left wrist only would slide a little bit. I wanted to put on my wide silver bracelet and then put on my gold charm bracelet. I thought it would be a funky tricolor expression. There wasn’t enough space for all three.

I took a shower wearing the purple bracelet that seems to have shrunk and is too small to take off. I was thinking that I should read Ziohat’s blog to see if he is really a bumbling, harmless person not capable of stumbling into anything important. Doug seems to think that Ziohat has no idea about our secret culture, and just thinks that we’re a bit eccentric. Yeah, I guess we should try to be a little less eccentric and blend in better. I’m beginning to embrace the up-top culture which, I think, is what Utcoozhoo wanted me to do — uh, well, I suppose he really wanted me to learn about it, but not embrace it.

I got an e-mail message from Fewo Jegucso saying they had a way-out, blowout designer sale. Yeah, maybe, I should run out while I have the chance and get Christian Nuiduim suede booties at only $700, and the Marc Pestymorvo totes for only $600. Hey, all the designer handbags and shoes that I could ever dream of getting are all now on sale. Well, I don’t know, it seems all about prestige. I mean, it can’t really cost that much to make a handbag or a shoe as a raw leather object with stitches, can it? I buy a brand name so other women can admire me? I mean, Doug likes me naked, doesn’t he? No, I don’t mean sexually, just that he likes me as a person without decoration. Uh, well, most of the time, I think.

Dare I say that fashion is empty. No, I think that blasphemy should always be a last resort. I think I’ll just print Ziohat’s blog while I think about it all.

CHAPTER SEVEN

James Ziohat and Mischief Awry

PREFACE
By Zawmb’yee

This is a reprint of James Ziohat’s Blog. It’s mostly nonsense and not worth reading. However Utcoozhoo wanted a full report on what James Ziohat might be up to. Except for the ending, I would suggest skipping all of this blather from James Ziohat. Mostly, it’s silly ramblings. However, the last section entitled “My new exploration Blog” looks ominous but is probably a joke or satire.

Here’s the last section:

HEY, ENOUGH OF THIS. I HAVE A BETTER IDEA. WHY SHOULDN’T I GET SOME DRILLING EQUIPMENT OR MAYBE EVEN SOME DYNAMITE? I’LL JUST BLOW HOLES IN THE WALL AND FLOOR UNTIL I FIND A PASSAGEWAY TO THE SECRET CAVES. I SHOULD HAVE DONE THIS, YEARS AGO, INSTEAD OF WASTING TIME TRYING TO FEEL ALONG THE ROCK FOR SOME KIND OF DOOR. WHY LOOK FOR SOME MECHANISM THAT OPENS IT? I’LL JUST BLAST THROUGH. WHY NOT? IT COULD WORK. IT’S GOT TO BE SOMEWHERE.

My New Exploration Blog

Ziohat Looking for Explosives

OK, forget the archive blog. It’s time to do an exploration blog. I’m looking for a mining contractor who can get me some explosives. I don’t know why I never thought of doing this before. I remember how I saw Doug once go down a passageway as I was about to call him to ask a question, but he turned a corner and when I reached the turn he had disappeared. I dismissed it at the time, because I thought maybe I was distracted and somehow he just ran past me. No, he must have gone through a secret door.
—————————–

I told them I’m mining for gold, but it’s all top-secret. They’re setting up the explosives. Once they’ve done the blasts, I’ll tell them I’m calling in a digging crew and I’ll dismiss them. I’ll just tell them I’ve run out of money for now and I’m looking for investors and blah, blah. They’ll think I’m a crackpot and lose interest. Then I’ll explore at my leisure. This could work. I’ve already paid them plenty.
—————————–

I don’t know, maybe Doug was just kidding about a secret society. It was years ago and maybe I remember everything wrong. Yeah, maybe I was just drunk and Doug just ran past me and I remember it wrong. But wait, I think he did disappear more than once… Besides all that, it could just be a very minor cave of no importance.
————————-

This is getting more complicated. I need special permits and an inspector has to come. The geologist says I’m nuts and there can NOT be any gold. Oh hell, the gold story was a bad idea.

I’m not sure yet, but I think a found someone who for a little extra money will do whatever I want — no questions asked…

We’ll see… I’ll write more in the blog as soon as I’ve arranged something. Yeah, OK, and if this works out I’ll start to give a lot more details. Sorry about that — I didn’t think it was safe to give names and descriptions of the equipment… OK, as soon as I get this organized I’ll describe the whole operation in detail. This should be exciting….
******************************************

Whole Thing by James Ziohat Is Here:

James Ziohat’s Reminscence

By the founder of the Xyiwa Poets

Much has happened, but for now I’m left with the task of cleaning up the old party cave. I’m James Ziohat, the Poetry Guru. Doug, who’s the last one around that I know of, has lent me a blog to post on.

In the 1960′s (who can remember exactly when) I founded the Xyiwa Poets. Poetry readings were held for a few select followers in secret caves. Like the impressionists in painting, we, the early vanguard poets were scorned. A few rich patrons financed the building of a luxury cave complex where wild parties were held and poetry was written on the cave walls. We called ourselves the Xyiwa poets because Jack Chelka found some obscure words that he learned in his travels, and we just picked one. We condemned the dependence on the traditional University system for validating the decadent standard for poetic excellence. Some of the early works were moderately incoherent, and meant for shock value such as this wandering verse by Jack Chelka:

Forbidden Cave
by Jack Chelka

The scrub
cave way
often not high
not hiding
entrance to danger:
spikes and crevices of stone

Inside
never gone to.
Outside fire
guardian sits

Mob on fire
slays him
evil curiosity

wandering flesh torn inside
falls and torments
spirits savage
many hours to death
screams louder
softer
spikes and crevices
broken gasps
stone and stream gurgles
screams many hours

guardian spirit
greets the dead.
rather be outside

The Xyiwa poets can easily tear apart and destroy any formal form of poetry, making it unrecognizable. Here’s an example by Douglas Gilbert that shows how a haiku can be distorted into nothingness:

COLD ENDINGS

by Douglas Gilbert

For the festival cry
many at the reflecting pond
see each other see
a lunch time in the park
a man gushing blood on a tree
cops jumping back to catch a

trial day for the
collapsing man on marble
his woman crying by

our exploding Sun where
couples in weeping willows
release spirits from ashes

by meowing lions
lambs in meadow’s lake

for all to
ripple still waters
with sneezes deadly mocking

Here’s another fragmented style by Douglas Gilbert:

INCOHERENT ICE

by Douglas Gilbert

Lost cake
no birthday
deeply my song
in twists confesses

Flat note dance
in double time confessions
floored hard
fallen

With me gravely
deeply jam
rasp my horn
berries red

Lonely the night
leaky eyes stain
in fog lashes
for ships on ice
coldly stoned rocks
bleeding red confessions

Flat death
smashed cake,
deeply un-noted
twists turn to
song gash,
betrayed icing

The Xyiwa poets often ridiculed the poetic forms by including them with a non-traditional internal rhyme scheme. Here’s an example:

MRS. CLAUS HATES SONNETS
by Douglas Gilbert

Santa Claus left her
a sonnet to read:

The romp of love beguiles, a playful horse
my heart a rider gripping spirit’s trip
a bit of banter falls from saddled lips.
A candor canters, musical in source
a clip-clop hoofing it, my fruit is tossed.
Her lust is cantaloupes so sweetly quipped
yet love’s a cherry deeply red of lip
outspoken rips in bound’ries’ gorgeous loss

I know you love me mole and mountain bluff
I show my cards, won’t raise to bluff a love.
It’s real this deal of sharing zeal, a bliss
no gamble oneness riding thought enough
to join two souls, a coup by doves
who fly with coos to play the music’s kiss

Mrs. Claus hated his bluff –
rarely did she see
his cherry lips or cheeks

She could play
with farce no more, for
the fantasy wishes
in unlabeled boxes

would not suffice
for Mrs. Claus who
wrote free verse
while Santa was busy

Santa answered
delightful letters
from giddy children, but

she received letters
of rejection from the
poetry editor,
a trochee donkey
iambic like an ass

Mrs. Claus hated when the big one
went away on Christmas,
when the snow looked like
semen dried up and flaky,
his departing stomach
like a pregnant indulgence
she could only wish for

Finally, one Christmas
when no more
could she count the
melting snow flakes on her tongue,
count the elves, the reindeer,
the orphan toys, her emptiness
overtook her sanity, and
she took an empty sleigh
to drive into the city of sin,
her naked body wrapped only
in a fur coat, a pocket
for her Santa cell phone

She left the sleigh,
tied the reindeer to a lamp pole,
strolled the streets showing a leg,
singing “Ho, ha, ha”; Heaven’s
white tears covered her head as
she peered into loneliness
waiting for a finger of love, but
she spied a lost little girl

She hoo, ha, ha’ed the girl
’till the crying subsided,
asked her name
found a Lisa

“Where’s your Daddy?”
She didn’t know,
said he went for a quickie walk

She would look to find him as
the snow thickened, her head covered
with a white crown of sorrow. Lisa skipped
and jumped close behind her like
a newly born calf not
straying too far, waiting for an available tit

Mrs. Claus walked, showing a leg. A man
appeared from nowhere, laid
his hand on her thigh
like a roadway, followed the path

Eventually he noticed
her glistening tears. Looking
in her eyes, saw
he knew her
once before

Just then, the
Santa cell phone rang.
The Elf Secret Service said,
there’s been a sleigh crash, and
Santa is dead.

The world was wrapped in gloom
as Mrs. Claus
brushed snow from her head

Joy fell from artificial boons
and wrappers filled the ocean

With a poof
unreal gifts
vanished in a twinkle,
elves all banished
to a realm of puff

Starlight appeared
on Lisa’s tears,
a word on innocent lips:
“Can we all be married, Daddy?”

With a ho, ho, ha
and a ho, ho, ho
they vowed to
do better with love
to listen to snow
gust up and swirl,
to see a gift like a crystal
had already been born

Apology by Ziohat

When we were partying and scribbling poems on the cave walls, I never thought about preserving them. I suppose that even though the walls now appear to be blank, there must still be some residue, chemical imprint, or subtle difference in the surface that was temporarily protected by the pigment of the writing. We could bring in some experts, but we really don’t want to reveal the location of the cave complex to any outsiders. However, I have found some old photo’s of a party where the walls are visible in the background and I’ve been able to read some of the old stuff.

I’m sorry, but most of us were relatively young at the time, and although I put on a show as a Guru promoting poetry readings, the ostensible leader, I was really just excited about a rich older woman who took more than a casual interest in me. I guess, foolishly, I just thought of the poetry as a gimmick or excuse for an orgy. The older guys I guess must be dead by now. Looking back, it was really stupid not to publish in a book — after all, we were too drunk to memorize anything. Well, a few kept notebooks and did do some vanity press books. Doug has stuff out now, but not all of it is authentic to the movement — ah, well, I guess I shouldn’t be such a snob, especially as he’s been gracious enough to let me use this blog site…

And now that I think about it, Jack Chelka hasn’t always been that consistent either because he wanted to be published in the Mainstream press, but still wound up broke in the creek. Anyway, here’s a few different ones:

SEA SHACK

by Jack Chelka

Below the tide line
a shack sits on my sorrow
on her grave in shallow soil
spotted ramshackle place
lair of the leopard who
could not but kill her nagging.

Wave crown like a lion’s mane,
erosion has left
an ocean opening for
pain’s swirling wash and drain

The beach shack of this leopard
shall not stand as
roaring sadness bites me there
where I will tell Guilt one thing:
eat me as prey,
pray me down soiled
blot the blood in spots
before I die awash

FRYING LAMENT

by Jack Chelka

If feelings were enough
I could just be sad
like Swiss cheese
but there’s a hole
in that argument

You don’t know me at all
never asked to listen to me
’cause you say your tears
speak for themselves,
mine don’t
being too few, you say

If you’d let me speak
I might cry too
with an explanation that
I made the oceans

Let me fish in peace
and I might gut our problems
fry love in olive oil
stuff your poem in
a green pepper, sweet
and sour with a note from me
that doesn’t rhyme but’s
on rice paper that’s edible

I’ve been thinking about how to organize Jack Chelka’s scattered poems because I think the style varies quite a bit. I suppose I really should wait a few years until I’ve synthesized it into a more intellectual presentation, but I decided to plunge ahead with my primitive first draft. Ok, so I’ll embarrass myself a little. Jack would have liked that — he always thought I was a bit pompous considering how he suspected that I really didn’t know anything(I think I once overheard him call me the “fake Guru”, or maybe it was a curse word…) Anyway, here’s my first attempt.

Jack Chelka often fretted about his sense of identity, and pondered Love as a loss of ego:

ON DISAPPEARING

I spread myself
to be without boundaries
to conquer, to control,
yet diluted drop
doesn’t taste of
blood, soup, love
that I take back
when feeling loss of identity

Not I would be
if lost in love, but
who
is an owl, and
what a hoot feathers are
shedding

But, of course, Jack could often be grandiose. Here he imagines himself being God:

BEING GOD

I awoke this morning
finding myself not a cockroach
as in Kafka, but
as God

Everything is a bit much.
Therefore, I put all humanity to sleep,
except for one

You foolish one:
I give you
the power of Love, and
a baby

I know you will give it
the infinite Love
I have infused in you,
because this baby
is you.

Teach yourself, and
when you’re finished,
help me to continue.

I have many billions more
to surprise
with laughter

Jack experimented with the re-assignment of word function. He forced the verb to be noun with an article: “the IS” — beingness; preposition with verb also used to force the verb to be a noun: “with COULD” means “with hope”…

eeHuh Light

sanguine pump in the played
the laughed love gushed
with could by the wished
the is by the bleed
a duel duet sings
the where ever light
up pump the huh down
duh the why burden heavy

beamed out the shadowed
the light by the be
sings the shine
on flashlight, onward

Jack liked spoofs. Here’s a spoof of the song “Anything Goes”:

ANY SONG

In
the
fun
the sun
is magnificent
warming the scent
to tent all the
tender ways,
and anything goes

well,
decamping a passion
lighting a fire
drinking desire
wellsprings a choir
so,
anything goes

On
the
march
the strut
is parading love
blowing our horns
to vent all the
kisses saved,
and anything goes

Drum up a throbbing
trumpet a
heart beat
glide with a
trombone smooth,
but

In
the
sun
the fun
is significant
warming the tent
to scent all the
tender ways
and anything goes

Well, that’s all for now. Geez, I’m thinking of deleting this — I don’t think this selection does justice to the body of his work — I think he’s done better. I could leave it for now, and I’ll search for more — I know I remember there was a lot more that was better…
————–
One of the underlying techniques embraced by the Xyiwa poets was the unending sentence, dependent clauses galore. This one is hard to follow until you realize that it is structured as “John, a blah-blah, troubled, is lost”:

The Explorer of the Clause
by Jack Chelka

John, explorer of the weird
troubled by the accumulating
detritus of fear, greater in
reputation than courage, who
might easily step into
an abyss of unending tragedy, if
his fans goaded him into
indulging his foolish bravado by
leaping into supernatural danger, a
lurking phantom of dread, a figure
from the closet of his childhood,
this danger that he could
wrap around himself like
a cloak of honor, he, standing on
the magical cliff above the cheering crowd
who wait for his downfall, playing for time
that would run his future out of luck
with his last coin for the
slot machine of lemon cars driven
into rivers of lost hope, and who
distinguished as a novelist
fighting to publish the memoirs of a fool,
hoping bad jokes can be extremely bad,
campy comic and like a
very excellent counterfeit painting, one that
all collectors will insist is real to
save both their face and his, hoping a
cult following will astound the critics, but
not curse him when he ultimately
disappoints them with his frailties, those
quirks that twitch in the night of the dead authors,
is lost

John is lost and so am I, but this one is a little easier to follow:

Blubber
by Douglas Gilbert

The psychic woman
had showed her
rough seas ahead,
said beware the tides
and flowing kisses,
but that seemed like
shallow waters to her

She had a fifth
her thick handkerchief
mopping up her eyes
highly high on her trumpeted mope
slipped on her poor spilled
cocktail of his love kisses
lost crawling
across the stage
where she was to sing beige
before a sea of mahogany tables
over drunks and hecklers

sticky stinky beckoning
bass strings plucking her heart
blubbering
woe tale wagging about him
the bragging whale
who blew his spout
and left her high and dry.

Seeing her collapsing,
I could not bear her despair,
rose to say,
“I have always loved you,”
and we all stood,
hecklers and all,
to beg the last song

She knew me at last–
kissed me, the little one

Turning from beige to blue
caressing the mike,
she rasped in weeping harmonies
“Stand for me
the stood-up one;
harpoon my love and

sail me to the Port,
wine me down mellow,
me, a cello solo
singing this tale of prophecy:
the big ones get away, and
the little ones stay.”
———————————–
Jack worked as a chef once and had a steamy affair with a rambunctious waitress named Marie who wrote a few poems about him, and although they had many fights, she did tend to exaggerate. Here’s one of the milder ones:

I Dump the Chef for the Poet

by Marie Draper

My precious chef is a practical man
knows where to find fragrant garlic
can drive a chive dish to profit
buys me gifts and trinkets
but won’t let me buy him mouthwash
says smell is macho natural
won’t wear sissy cologne

I want less spice
more romance
but not a diamond ring;
mushrooming passion singing
brings a new excitement to

another, my passionate poor poet
complex, enigmatic
a soul layered
like an onion

In my buttercup, Poetry Man,
I shall sauté our bubbling love
and be soft
don’t make me cry
though I’m unfaithful to riches

Now, who will bring me
a hero
sandwich first

Marie could cook too. She made some special dishes on occasion. Pasteles is a traditional Puerto Rican dish — Wrapped green banana stuffed meat pastry. It’s wrapped in parchment paper, and made with pork.

Having Pasteles

by Marie Draper

When I write my poems on parchment
he is my spicy pork
boiling with passion
wrapped in words of love
filling my scroll
dipping in the lip
of a labia pasteles seeker
————————————-
I seem to remember there were a lot of poems written by the Xyiwa poets about floods and storms, but unfortunately I think most of them were written during the purge ceremony: We had a pile of pens, markers, crayons, and paint brushes with buckets of paint scattered about with a giant stack of old computer fan-fold paper. Someone started a chant, “Write your ire — throw it in the fire.” All night we wrote hundreds of pages, most of it crap, and threw it into a bonfire. By not worrying it was supposed to eliminate writer’s block. The day after, we liked to imagine that everything we wrote was a masterpiece. But unfortunately(or fortunately), Paul Chelibi had bad aim and a few of his poems missed the fire, or at least that’s what I surmise from finding a charred scrap, or maybe it was from a different time and he meant to burn it and changed his mind. I suppose it might need more work, but it’s too late for that now. Well here’s the burnt draft I found:

Her Floods

by Paul Chelibi

Technology
you fair weather friend,
have you seen her?

500 year almanacs, and
planes by twilight
didn’t warn us

She and I had last cognacs
before floods scoured

Now lost I am
forgetting her for hours
awash in fragrant flowers
in harsh despair I pray will soften,
but since I see a glimpse too often
of glints in shadow sorrows seen,
I look for her still in rainbows
gone in soaking drowning rains
those floods awash in flagrant flows
of love remains awash and soaked
like boundless muddy sadness buried,
in all, forlorn to mourn a body missing,
not saved by dams man-made
nor comfort jammed assistance,
but madness of sadness remains to be found lost
on ships listing heavy in names of my loss
I also think this one escaped purge night:

Still Verse Born Dead

by Paul Chelibi

I showed you my
only poem child
who wanted to sing me
the gospel of my wails
to sail on windy travails
my hurricane of desire

He is too fragile for you
to adopt

You won’t
rock us to sleep
when calm seas
seem too boring
to let us dream
of tranquil verse
because
our cries to the sky
are more amusing
by doldrums
than albatross

Here’s a more recent one written by Doug, but he claims he wrote a much better one those many years ago that he threw in the fire on purge night, claims it was magnificent, but never mind — we’re all stuck with minor work now:

A Wash Day

by Douglas Gilbert

Clear skies a sad beauty
blue light on the
heavy smashed awash

Flagging hopes asunder
only her scarf waves
a brick on its end

My eyes flutter full
overrunning my face
a thunder sob escaping me
though death escapes her not
beneath a fallen wall

Waves
she had for me
while I was away

Waves she got
while I could not
wave good-bye

Last wave
too high for tiptoes
dancing toes, dainty
toes in the water
I wave of me in light
it waves of blue in dark,
last waves cried tsunami
—————————————
The Xyiwa Poets had many “unanswered prayers” — none of them were ever published in a legitimate publication to my knowledge, and I don’t think any of them made it to Woodstock. I haven’t been in contact with any of them except for Doug who’s letting me use this blog space while he recovers from his brush with death and … well that’s another story. I think Paul Chelibi went to the Grand Canyon once, but probably that has nothing to do with this poem of his:

Climbing Music
by Paul Chelibi

I am my own donkey
carrying my mule-song
down this canyon road
narrow ledges slippery

More than once
I grasp a tree root
protruding from rock crevices
devastated to hear
answered cries are echoes
off backpacks heavy with
futile supplies
too heavy to cross the river
too light to turn back
unanswered prayers
heard by vultures circling
seen by eagles leaving
scenes tumbling in
avalanched dreams
hoping to reveal a cave
a cave-in song, or
you

Marie Draper was a troubled person who prayed often and experimented with many different religious movements. She kept a journal or diary but was unfaithful to it. Sometimes she shared her journal entries with the group and certainly, everyone would agree that she had many “unanswered prayers”. She said, “The restaurant where Jack works(where he thinks he is chief Chef, but is really just a lackey — I mean, he hasn’t been to Cordon Bleu school or whatever the hell those elite saucy snob cuisine colleges are called) has been in turmoil ever since one of Jack’s prize steers on his cattle ranch died. He’s not much of a rancher or cattleman and his dream of a new cut of prime famous branded beef has died. As they say, “he’s all hat and no cattle.” He was going after that dream of a perfect herd and great riches. The death of his best stud was the end of a dream. I told him that the Native Americans always said a prayer before eating an animal(so maybe he forgot that part): they thanked the spirit of the buffalo for sacrificing itself for their survival. Jack doesn’t want to put prime beef on the menu for eating anymore — I wouldn’t be surprised if he put a memorial sticker over the entry on the menu. He’s too sad. He just wants to bury it. I say, eat the meat because we have canine teeth for it and we’re not meant to be vegetarians. I’ve written a poem in honor of death and chicken bone soup for poor Yorick or Boris or whoever that famous allusion is, and I think I’m going to dump him, the arrogant chief Chef, because we fight too much. I guess I should have taken him with a grain of salt and thought of him as a poetic moment— wait, um, what ever happened to that discussion at the cave party? I thought we were going to amplify on that concept. Somebody started a flu poem and then did a second more poetic version…. well anyway, here’s the poem:

Marie on Death of a Chef Who Loves His Beef More Than Me

by Marie Draper

Don’t rip me no more
you’re tearing out my guts;
I’m tearing out yours
spewing entrails
in my trail

I’m stuffin’ it;
take your chitterlings and go
’cause I’m not mad enough
to eat your brains.

Sweet bread, I
once thought you
were sweet enough
to eat without your pancreas

Defeated I cry blood, but
your pain:
take it with you
because
it’s a pleasure
to vomit alone without you:
I can flush

Oh, writing hurts so much, well.. so this scattering:

Oh hell, what is this crap, “Poetic Moment”. I’m not sure what that means. Is it an incident and an emotion that’s trying to be expressed? I’m not sure what many of these poems are trying to say. Some seem to be hiding very dark events that are too painful to express. But I don’t think that vagueness in poetry is always a virtue(I almost accidentally spelled that “vulture”, but I guess vagueness can’t be a vulture, because the carcass is the vagueness I guess— you can see I have trouble with metaphors). Am I wrong about this? My poetic moment is confusion:

I’m confused about
what words to use
to stew my angst
banking fear by the river
where I stir my pot
over the campy fire
with soft marshmallows
charring with emotion
Maybe I misunderstood something, but I thought one of the poems that someone blurted out during one of our drunken orgies was about rape. So I wrote a poem talking about revenge and/or forgiveness. So we come back to vagueness: I don’t know what I’m saying, if anything:

Cornered in Hell
he holds his breath
while praying for his birth

The Devil asks me
shall he be forgiven:
you decide

No, no, no,
I cry in remembered blood, but
a question occurs to me to ask

Have I ever been in Hell
on Earth or elsewhere, and
whose forgiveness did I require

I was tempted until I heard
my former tormentor shout,
I will get you even from Hell

My screaming anger
burst into flames
turning him into the ash
of a phoenix

Whose remorse
will God seek now

Not mine is a life that
is an end to suffering.
Pain will not let me forgive”

That’s the end of the entry that Marie donated to the group. Each of these is very different but I think they both represent “unanswered prayers”.
—————————–
Discovery! I found a box of old 45rpm records, and tucked between “Honky Tonk Women” by The Rolling Stones and “Knock On Wood” by Eddie Floyd, I found a gem of a poem by Marie Draper. Gee, I don’t think there’s a turntable anywhere in the cave to play any of these. Oh well, here’s the poem:

Minding A Mine
by Marie Draper

Loving a stone
is like being stoned
’cause
he comes alive
sometimes, love
revealed
coursing in gold veins,
sometimes he’s
in my mine
and I share my treasures
pleasures we are
in my mind, but
he is a rocking
a stone of mystery
sometimes
he is a gem,
could be
I love a stone

And I found this one at the bottom of the box. I had to wait to stop sneezing from all the dust before transcribing it.

Rushing Love

I call to the waterfall
who shushes my heart
fallen

Peeking through
a shining sky peaks

Waterfalls speak that
shining tizzy for bears who
love a glistening fish falling in

jumping bubbles of dinner calling,
but alone I watch for

the arrow of Cupid
within the rushing twirling fluid
and I pray to the guardian
of the calming sound
for a listening lover
found so fit
to christen me in
the love in a bubble
a splashing sound
found when
champagne glass
breaks for a ship
————-

Cleaning up the mess has been more tedious, more arduous than I could have ever imagined, slowed when an objet d’angst brings me the pain of reminiscence, tiny little crumbles and broken things. What is it I should remember…

Y’know, the more I think about it, the more I realize that as kids we were arrogant and foolish to think we were inventing new theories of transcendence: we thought that thought-games would liberate us from redundant emotions and sentences to obscurity such as this. Venting anger on paper was supposed to cleanse us. It didn’t work. If anything it reinforced our rage. We must have written hundreds of angry, unfocussed poems that wound up in the trash. But I think when Paul Chelibi helped Marie Draper write a few, it wasn’t too bad.

I found something the other day. I had been doing a meditation on a stack of 45′s when I found a tightly crumbled up wad of paper in the center hole of a record. At first I thought it was a crude version of one of those plastic conversion discs that were used to change the large hole of a 45 to a small hole so you could play it on a 33 1/3 rpm turntable. Maybe, out of curiosity, I’ll try to play it, some other time, to see if it has any significance– hmm, “Lover’s Holiday” by Peggy Scott &; Jo Jo Benson? Sort of scratched up…

I’ve unfolded the crumbled up center paper and even with all the dark black pencil scribbles all over it, I’ve managed to pick up the impression of the writing from the under sheet. So here’s one which I think was a tamed down version from an argument between Marie and her sister about who would make a better hypothetical Secretary General of the UN. It’s pretty mild and I think maybe the original rant was better. Paul broke up the fight, and by the time he and Marie decided to collaborate on a poem they were both too calm and too drained of passion. I’ll look and see if I can find some other draft, but for now here’s the crumbled up version:

Adze

by Marie Draper (with Paul Chelibi)

While resolutions were tabled
at the foot of war
peace was axed, and
the ancient evil growled
in the castle fortress
on the pimple of the world

The blond UN lady
knew I would blitz
up the hill with
my adze
for I had advertised
my attack with polish
that it was time to chop wood

Dreaming at the foot of twilight
the ancient house called
me to reform its recalcitrant wood
to etch a notch in the handle of my adze
by slaying the dragon
saving my son but
I had brass and so did he,
so I arrived to his triumph
kissed his success
as we cried for the dead

Kiss my adze blond lady
if you want to auction it
to the highest bidder who
chops down ancient trees
in the forest of the evil castle
where the Beast waits
to be transformed by
the Beauty of justice
at “twilight’s last gleaming”

If I would be as beautiful
as he is ugly
I might approach him
with reproach
but I polish
the handle of my adze
until I am pure of heart
and the wood is ready for carving
because death is the only solution
for the impudence of ignorant brutality

Only revenge now
when evil breathes fire

Tasty is the barbecue
that roasts on the
spit of freedom

And speaking about rage, here’s one by Doug:

Killing Dad
by Douglas Gilbert

Justice, I called on you
to shield me
from my father,
a hanging judge
self-appointed
child critic
who made me
an orphan from love
as he had been one
in fact and for me
de facto. TURNING AWAY,

a scientist, giving me
a time machine,
let me go back to pre-mean.

Seeing my Grandmother
hit by a random stone
I lured her into a trap, thought to
let the crowd stone her to death
a method ensured to suggest
to Fate that my Father never be born.

Told I could not come back
as I wouldn’t exist,
I visited myself as a child,
had him kill, but
it took an extra day for
his Mother and him to dump the body,
never did tell his friend Becky
to check out the museum where
she was to meet her future husband,
father of the world’s greatest healer.

If it was my fate to suffer
I was convinced these paradoxes
made time traveling circuses
dreams not to be had
as I know I woke up from
somewhere unreal,
but next time I’ll
introduce Becky,
then kill him
except…

I could have gotten help
when Justice I called on you
but you were dead;
I am Justice alone.
———————————-

I didn’t want to do any spring cleaning because bringing back memories is so painful. I’ve been finding all kinds of stuff.

I found an odd note from Jack Chelka: “I’m sorry I left in such a hurry, so if you find any of my poems, could you please burn them. Well, OK, I know you never listen to me, so, could you give them to Doug in case he ever publishes anything. He can do whatever he wants with them. I’m going somewhere — maybe Australia. You are groovy Ziohat… and don’t take this the wrong way but you have been so cool and I love your… never mind… peace and love,

~~~Jack Chelka, 1969
p.s. Marie Draper says, ‘Right on.’ ”

Well yeah, great guy, and I’ve found at least one poem that was to be burned:

Not A Fair Match

This last affair
not a fair match
in the clinches

Saving the ring and little else
only one tissue an eye
dampened
dripped insufficient
last box

Only
a tissue in each corner
to watch her die
stifle a scream
sing a lullaby
put my voice in her
to ring out hush tones
wring out tissues
silhouetted shreds in a box
———————————–
HEY, ENOUGH OF THIS. I HAVE A BETTER IDEA. WHY SHOULDN’T I GET SOME DRILLING EQUIPMENT OR MAYBE EVEN SOME DYNAMITE. I’LL JUST BLOW HOLES IN THE WALL AND FLOOR UNTIL I FIND A PASSAGEWAY TO THE SECRET CAVES. I SHOULD HAVE DONE THIS, YEARS AGO, INSTEAD OF WASTING TIME TRYING TO FEEL ALONG THE ROCK FOR SOME KIND OF DOOR. WHY LOOK FOR SOME MECHANISM THAT OPENS IT? I’LL JUST BLAST THROUGH. WHY NOT? IT COULD WORK. IT’S GOT TO BE SOMEWHERE.
————————————————-
My New Exploration Blog

OK, forget the archive blog. It’s time to do an exploration blog. I’m looking for a mining contractor who can get me some explosives. I don’t know why I never thought of doing this before. I remember how I saw Doug once go down a passageway as I was about to call him to ask a question, but he turned a corner and when I reached the turn he had disappeared. I dismissed it at the time, because I thought maybe I was distracted and somehow he just ran past me. No, he must have gone through a secret door.
—————————–

I told them I’m mining for gold, but it’s all top-secret. They’re setting up the explosives. Once they’ve done the blasts, I’ll tell them I’m calling in a digging crew and I’ll dismiss them. I’ll just tell them I’ve run out of money for now and I’m looking for investors and blah, blah. They’ll think I’m a crackpot and lose interest. Then I’ll explore at my leisure. This could work. I’ve already paid them plenty.
—————————–

I don’t know, maybe Doug was just kidding about a secret society. It was years ago and maybe I remember everything wrong. Yeah, maybe I was just drunk and Doug just ran past me and I remember it wrong. But wait, I think he did disappear more than once… Besides all that, it could just be a very minor cave of no importance.
————————-

This is getting more complicated. I need special permits and an inspector has to come. The geologist says I’m nuts and there cannot be any gold. Oh hell, the gold story was a bad idea.
—————————–

I’m not sure yet, but I think a found someone who for a little extra money will do whatever I want — no questions asked…

We’ll see… I’ll write more in the blog as soon as I’ve arranged something. Yeah, OK, and if this works out I’ll start to give a lot more details. Sorry about that — I didn’t think it was safe to give names and descriptions of the equipment… OK, as soon as I get this organized I’ll describe the whole operation in detail. This should be exciting…

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