Turkey Genocide Day Sonnet

In honor yet again of Turkey Genocide Day, here is my annual sonnet. I would also like to provide, to those who are interested, the link to a wonderful documentary about turkeys called My Life as a Turkey. It is a fascinating story about a man who lived with some turkeys. It’s well worth your time. View it HERE.

Thanksgiving Sonnet
Perspiring hormones, Tom Turkey stares with one sad eye at a crumbling chimney tower belching death in putrid smoke, blackening holiday skies. Annihilating light.

Bodies, bones. None remain unfrozen. With elaborate precision he’s taken apart; neck, gizzards tied in a bag between his ribs, head ground neatly into pink hot dog slabs.

Holiday skies are crowded with turkey souls, ascending to heaven like deflated balloons.

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Holiday Sonnet

Turgid turkeys, strained into rickety
wooden coffins, exit four-by-four from
a ten-ton hearse. Into the turkey mill:
mutilation, holocaust.

Perspiring hormones, Tom Turkey stares with
one sad eye at a crumbling chimney tower
belching death in putrid smoke, blackening
holiday skies. Annihilating light.

Bodies, bones. None remain unfrozen. With
elaborate precision he’s taken apart;
neck, gizzards tied in a bag between his
ribs, head ground neatly into pink hot dog slabs.

Holiday skies are crowded with turkey souls,
ascending to heaven like deflated balloons.

Thanksgiving Sonnet

Here again, my annual posting of the sonnet I wrote in college about turkey murder on our holiday. I’ve gone back and tried again and again to get the exact syllabic format for a completely proper sonnet, but could not find words to replace those here that would maintain the imagery and metaphoric content that I want, and so it stays the same.

Thanksgiving Sonnet
Turgid turkeys, strained into rickety wooden coffins, exit four-by-four from a ten-ton hearse. Into the turkey mill: mutilation, holocaust.

Perspiring hormones, Tom Turkey stares with one sad eye at a crumbling chimney tower belching death in putrid smoke, blackening holiday skies. Annihilating light.

Bodies, bones. None remain unfrozen. With elaborate precision he’s taken apart; neck, gizzards tied in a bag between his ribs, head ground neatly into pink hot dog slabs.

Holiday skies are crowded with turkey souls, ascending to heaven like deflated balloons.

ChickensTurkeys

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A lovely film that all should watch is My Life as a Turkey. Watch it online here.

There was only one time in US history when refugees actually did wipe everyone out—and we’ll be celebrating it on Thursday.” — John Oliver

Cookie Monsters

CookiesI baked cookies for Christmas. Yummy, buttery, sugar filled, high fat content cookies. Basically they were mostly butter, sugar, and flour, and the frosting was straight up butter cream. Yum, yum, yum, but oh, so rich. I could only eat one at a time or I would feel sick.

I gave a bunch of these cookies as gifts to family and friends, but we still had a lot ourselves. I realized shortly after Christmas that I was going to have to give some more away; they were too rich for just me and Isabel to eat, and Milla was in Arizona for another five days. I decided I would take some to some friends at the coffee shop under my office. They were in the cupboard in a bag on top of our dinner plates. I thought of making the gift, but then forgot to take the bag to work with me.

A few days later I was at home putting away the Christmas tree and decorations and remembered the cookies. Ahh, what a perfect way to ring out the holiday season but with a buttery cookie and a cup of tea?

“Isabel?” I asked. “Would you like a Christmas cookie while we put away the decorations?” Isabel loved this idea. (And I should add that my daughter is the best person ever to remove ornaments with. She was extremely quick, careful, and thorough. I couldn’t have had an adult partner who did a better job than this five-year-old. She managed the bottom half of the tree while I did the top half.)

I put on the kettle to heat and opened the cupboard to get a cookie for Isabel and myself, and shock of shocks, the bag was gone! It wasn’t there! I peeked further into the cupboard to see if I was wrong. NO cookies. I looked in all the cupboards. I looked in the drawers. I looked in all of them again, and again. No cookies! I couldn’t figure it. What in the world had happened to them? I wracked my brains, trying to imagine if I had given them away and forgot about it. No. I did not. I could not fathom what in the world had happened to them. I asked Isabel. She was as baffled as I was and looked a little afraid I might not believe her. I gave her a hug and assured her that I knew she had not eaten that bag of cookies. There were a dozen and a half at least. It wouldn’t be possible for her to have, even if she could have gotten up in the cupboard and gotten them down. There weren’t any crumbs anywhere. Plus she’s not the sort to sneak cookies. If she wanted one, she would have asked first and then eaten it right in front of me.

I started to worry. Someone, somehow had come into our house and eaten our cookies. I started to wonder about anything else a thief would want. The bluetooth speaker was playing music in the living room so it wasn’t stolen and neither was the computer playing the music. My camera was in my room. We don’t own much else of value that is the sort of thing a robber would want to steal. I couldn’t imagine anyone would come into our house and steal a bag of cookies and just take that. I was completely baffled, and honestly a little afraid. What in the world had happened to those cookies?

Over the next several days I mulled this over and over. Isabel and I considered all the possibilities, but none were plausible. No one has a key to my house. I have a key hidden outside, and I moved it, just in case someone had found it and stolen the cookies, then returned the key to its hiding place just to trip me out. I don’t really have any trickster friends, but this was weird and I had to consider all options. I considered filing a police report, but just couldn’t bring myself to do so. It would seem much too ridiculous and I thought maybe they would wonder about my sanity.

On Saturday I went to visit my best friend Debbie in Corvallis and told her the story. She too was completely baffled and afraid for me. None of it made any sense. Somehow those cookies were gone and I could not explain their loss.

Today I cleaned house a bit. My dogs had chewed up a pinecone in my room and left little pieces lying everywhere. I dragged the vacuum from its place in the closet and plugged it in. I vacuumed through the main part of the house, the kitchen, the hallway, and my youngest daughter’s room (I don’t go into the teenager’s room–it’s scary in there). Then I headed into my room. Click, click, click, the vacuum sucked up pieces of pinecone. I began vacuuming under the bed. George, my Dachshund, loves dragging his forbidden quarry under the bed. He is constantly grabbing things that aren’t his and heading into his cave. It’s the perfect size for him.

My vacuum is a canister vac, the kind with a head that has it’s own engine apparatus. It almost vacuums itself. As I vacuumed under the bed, I heard a strange flapping sound as the vacuum sucked something funny. I turned off the vacuum and leaned over, peering under the bed. What was that weird thing off toward the wall? I sat up and grabbed my iPhone, scrolled to the flashlight app, and shined it into George’s lair. There, far under the bed, was what appeared to be the chewed remains of the cookie bag.

I called Isabel into the bedroom to have her crawl under the bed and grab the bag. She came immediately as she had been as curious as I in the disappearance of our sweets. I held the iPhone flashlight as she slithered under the bed with ease, retrieving the bag within seconds. It was obviously the cookie bag–there were bits of green frosting remains in the crevices. The mystery was solved.

I realized after this that in considering taking the cookies to my office, I must have removed them from the cupboard, set them on the counter, and then gotten distracted and left them there for the canine thief to steal. He’s done it before, jumped up and taken things off the counter. He might be short, but those squat legs of his are powerful and he can easily jump almost 4 feet in the air. All food goods must be pushed back from the counter’s edge if I’m not in the kitchen to supervise and intervene when George is around.

I am relieved. I’m glad to know that no one broke into my house and stole our cookies. It also explains the obnoxious gas both dogs suffered with for two days, naughty things. In the future I’ll be more mindful, and if and when there is a time in the future when any food goes missing, the obvious place I’ll check for evidence will be under my bed.

Stupid Things I’m Thinking

These are some stupid things I’ve been thinking about recently.  As I’m sitting here thinking of these things to write down, there are quite loud bangs going on outside. I’m not sure what the bangs are for, as it is not near midnight. However the sorts of people who seem to find fulfillment in loud noises are probably also the sorts to find that fulfillment at whatever time of day. They are just glad of the excuse for a holiday with which to cause extreme vibrations to reverberate through the air.  I hope actually that this is what it is, because I would hate that these noises are caused by a shotgun or a canon or a home invasion or something of that ilk.  This would be not good.

My cat is bulimic.  If she’s gone bulimic to lose weight, it’s not working: she’s fat. Actually, the truth isn’t that she is bulimic, but that she is an irrepressible glutton who gorges on her food and doesn’t bother chewing it. This causes her to vomit all of it back up, whereupon she heads back immediately to the food dish for more.  I have begun to believe she was a starving alley cat in a past life or something, the way she eats. And she has always been that way, for as long as I have known her, which has been since she was six weeks old.  Glutton.  Bulimic glutton.

It used to be when I typed in WordPress, I could option delete back to delete an entire word.  They have changed something and now I can’t do that.  I must write to support and ask why because it is really annoying not to be able to do it.

About a month and a half ago, there was a story in the Oregonian about how personal care and cosmetic products are basically unregulated.  It cited many multiple ingredients in these products that can give you cancer and ultimately kill you.  A spokesperson for the industry was quoted as saying that the industry does not need to be regulated because the products are all safe; no one has gotten sick or died from personal care products.  The Oregonian left it at that. I thought the reporter should have pushed this point, although the article was probably written by the AP and not a human here and reporting in that manner is pretty shoddy.  In any case, this statement was pure foolishness.  All sorts of cancers have increased exponentially.  Breast cancer continues to increase.  Autism is at an all-time high.  We have millions of people with all sorts of increasing physical ailments putting known toxins into their bodies by an industry that is virtually unregulated, and their representative claims there is no evidence these products cause harm?  How about some long term studies to back up that claim, hmmm?  That would be nice.

Laments

Alone. Alone. I spent most of Christmas alone. Milla went to her dad’s and Isabel went with her dad and I didn’t have either of them for about 5 hours. Last week when I was stressed I looked forward to the break, but I’ve had some time to relax a little and I was bored without them. I went to a movie and went for a walk with the dog. What was different in my aloneness this time is that I wasn’t achingly lonely, desperate for my life to be different. This is a huge shift from a few years ago, before my last relationship, when I would stand in my shower with my head on the tiles of the wall and sob.

As I walked along I thought about the fact that I’m spending no time at all with my parents, not even trying to maintain the charade we’ve kept up for the last 2 decades, and I was glad of it.  It was so much simpler not pretending that I gave a shit.  I was glad to be free of the resentment that every year my little family is given short shrift. A couple of years ago my mom stopped even pretending to try and see us on Christmas. My sister has been so relentless about everything being on her terms, even to the point that for years she would find out when I wanted my mom to visit me and then make sure that this was the time she asked my mom to visit her. I started keeping it a secret just so she wouldn’t know, but then that left my mom wondering and unable to schedule, and of course anytime I would allude to what I thought was going on, the denials would take over. So many years of me and my girls being the bottom of the priority list. If anything good has come of this backing out of any semblance of a relationship, it is the end of losing the argument over who gets my mother.  My sister won. And it isn’t even me being sour grapes about it; I honestly don’t care. I have nothing in common with my mother, nothing to talk about of any substance, so there isn’t anything to miss or be sour grapes about. Our conversations are empty.  There are long silences. I can’t talk about my life because she just doesn’t get it. My mom won’t talk about politics, or world events, or constitutional issues, or the kinds of movies I see, or the kinds of books I read, or any of it. And honestly, I don’t really like the kinds of movies she sees or the books or magazines she reads either. It isn’t all one way. I am just as disinterested in her interests as she is in mine. My mother is desperate to pretend the world is a perfect place. She sees movies that are so sappy and cloying, they make me want to vomit. She reads the Bible and books about how to be a good Christian, and I’m an atheist. I like The New Yorker. She likes Guideposts. She wishes I wouldn’t discuss the problems our world is facing  or rail against greedy bankers, even if she agrees with the sentiment, and that everyone would just get along.

Me too, Mom, me too, but life is not a Rockwell painting. If she knew me at all she would know how deeply I lament the complexity of the mess this world is in.  If she knew me at all she would know so much more about me than she does. I suppose it is probably a good thing, but she doesn’t even know I write this blog, and I’ve done so for years. I believe she doesn’t want to know me. She has avoided who she thinks I am for years, and the only reason I can come up with is that I scare the shit out of her, and that’s too bad.  She doesn’t even know the simple things. Grey has been one of my favorite colors to wear for several years now.  Last year she was going to give me some gift of an item of clothing, but said she did not because it was grey, and “Lara doesn’t wear grey.” Um, yeah, I do, I told her, marveling at how little she knows even the simple things.

With every failed relationship except the last one, she blamed me for the breakup, even when she had no idea what happened.  She thought I should have been less independent and more devoted to the man, and that if I had taken better care of all of them, they wouldn’t have left, as if it was always so simple, always my fault alone, and always that they left. She doesn’t consider leaving a miserable relationship, so she can’t conceive that I would do just that. Funny how you can love someone and not really like them that much.

You know, the thing I’ve noticed about spending so much time alone, never having any conversations of depth with anyone, is that I find when I am with people, I have very little to say.  It’s as if in failing to find relationships of the depth I crave, I’ve lost the capacity to have them.  I don’t think that’s true, but it sure seems that way sometimes.

I am too much alone.  I can be surrounded by people in my job or through the computer, but I am still alone. Blah blah blah all day at work, but nothing is really a meaningful conversation, the kind that nourishes my soul. I speak with people, but our words have no depth, and I am still alone. Of late, I can’t find anyone with whom to have these kinds of conversations. I think though,  that this situation has more to do with not knowing how to meet people who have these sorts of conversations.

I saw an amazing movie called The Artist.  It was a silent film about a silent film actor and what becomes of him when talkies take over.  It was utterly brilliant.  I could have discussed that film with someone for hours, but there is no one to talk to. I saw another great movie called Hugo with Milla. The two of us had a lot to say, and I loved discussing it with her, but I could have had even deeper conversations about that film as well, but there is no one to talk to.

I read The New Yorker. I devour The New Yorker. It is filled with amazing articles, but I have no one to discuss them with. I have one friend who reads The New Yorker, but he’s married with a small child and he doesn’t have time to discuss things like that with me. None of my other friends have those kinds of conversations, even if they do read the same things I do or see the same kinds of movies. If they do have those kinds of conversations, they certainly aren’t having them with me.

I read a eulogy by Ian McKellan about Christopher Hitchens.  It described their last days together, how they dissected films and books, and I felt my insides move with desire for those kinds of conversations, friendships with that kind of depth. But I have no clue how to get them. None. I have thought and thought about it, but I don’t know how. I don’t do the right job. I don’t move in the right circles. I don’t have friends who have those kinds of conversations. I’m starving.

This was supposed to be a writing about being glad I’m not pretending Christmas needs to be with my parents, but it’s gone to a darker place. I feel too sloth-like, too fat, too alone. The intellectual part of my head says This too will pass, but another part, a darker part, thinks This is how it is for you.  No one except Milla and Isabel would even notice if you were gone.

Reading back through this, it drifted inperceptibly into self-pity, as if I’m really desperately lonely, but it’s not true.  On some level I think I was supposed to feel lonely because it was Christmas, but actually, except for our rushed festivities with one another in the morning, it was just like any other day (we had to rush because Milla had to be at the airport by 11).  The only real difference between this day and others was that Milla left and that always causes some melancholy to float through me.  Those days always end slightly empty, whether they are Christmas or not.  In any case, I’m fine.  No self-pity here.  I’m going to snuggle my baby and get some rest and tomorrow will be another day.

Thanksgiving Sonnet

Turgid turkeys, strained into rickety wooden coffins, exit four-by-four from a ten-ton hearse. Into the turkey mill: mutilation, holocaust.

Perspiring hormones, Tom Turkey stares with one sad eye at a crumbling chimney tower belching death in putrid smoke, blackening holiday skies. Annihilating light.

Bodies, bones. None remain unfrozen. With elaborate precision he’s taken apart; neck, gizzards tied in a bag between his ribs, head ground neatly into pink hot dog slabs.

Holiday skies are crowded with turkey souls, ascending to heaven like deflated balloons.