Wednesday, October 09, 2002

RED SQUIRREL
God, we got mutant squirrels in this town
Getting huge off forest city
perpetuate the moniker with buried seed
But this ain't natural
not even the dogs give chase
just a buk chok chok chatter
and flick of tail
sends ol' Bowser or Rex or Fifi
to back door scratching, cowering
It's not just nuts rocky red humongo
subsists on
Like all cunning, omnipresent mammals
Our rodent friend is omnivorous
So lock up your chihuaha, toy poodle
anything smaller than a terrier
I'm serious folks
All you'll find are bones and a rhinestone collar
Leave the upside down bowl
off your feeder pole
stack corn cobs on a nail
acquiesce to them
because the squirrels
round here are the biggest, boldest belligerent
mofos in the world

That's the poem I read two nights ago. Many laughs and titters from audience. I wrote in jest after seeing so many squirrels chatter on my bike ride, but they are big, biggest I ever seen. The large ones are red. Smaller grays near oak stands or in city parks. But the reds took over the neighborhoods. Right off the bike path, as it enters Loves Park and goes through a neighborhood, are squirrels just as large as the red, but are colored almost jet black. There's an article. About squirrels. Just where are the world's largest squirrels? Great journeys, literal and figurative, always begin with a question.

I got to get on the ball and start working on my stories for the Beloit Daily News. And will, this afternoon, after a bike ride. Got to wait for deadline crunch to really get rolling. I got three days to write three stories, and no other items on my agenda. Going to start sending out query letters, too, to magazines (egads!), with ideas like the squirrel one. And take my creative writing from the poetry stage to fiction. And then there's the music... I'm a regular renaissance man.

I figured out the third song I will play when I do open stage (next week?). It is going to be Radiohead's Exit Music (For a movie). Easy for guitar, but a real test for my vocal chops. And not so easy on guitar I don't have to practice. A B-minor chord or two thrown in to make it sound interesting. The two Bowie tunes also need work. Just some repetition, practice. Evening time for that. Worked on Space Oddity with Andy this morning. We only practiced for about half an hour before he got distracted, I got distracted, story of our lives. I thought old perfect pitch Andy would pick it up quick, listen to the song a couple times, write down the notes, wha-bam. Funny that he has perfect pitch, but when playing in ensemble with me he couldn't seem to find the right notes. God, what I wouldn't give for perfect pitch. Andy'd kill for my rhythmic sensibility.

I was a bad calorie boy at Andy's, ate a boiled egg and two sausage patties. Yogurt was not good enough for me for breakfast. I'll go easy on the lunch and take a nice long bike ride. Hey, it's noon already. Gotta roll. Jelly roll. Stoomage and sayo and cy young awards. Water droplets and one-celled creatures see the world as it truly is. Them and Blake. Scratch, chicken scratch, porcupine gnaw on shelter walls for hiker salt. Hurdles in place, moat against quilled menace. Dead possum roadside scary looking creature, but remember Foxfire moment of now-dead Appalachia grandma saying how she and her siblings would fight for the right to eat possum head. Supposedly tender meat, tasty, delicacy. Like boiled slugs and dandelion stew. Who needs the gleamy plasticine supermart? Possum heads, aisle 8. Protein all around. Gotta learn to be a real backwoodsman. All you need for life and happiness can be gleaned from forest's store. Just takes more effort and ingenuity to obtain them.

Well, enough on that. I really got the itch to pedal.

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