rik-rat corn pile

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

a Porch too Far.

This is Porch Cat. She is an orange and white tabby that adopted Seth and I six months ago. The first time I saw her she was asleep in the dirt filled planters on our front porch. We called her Porch Cat and the name stuck. She was endearing, her tail would vibrate when she got excited, she kept the mice away, and she was cute. Sitting on the back porch watching Porch Cat hunt bugs was a good way to spend a lazy afternoon.

But I’d compare Porch Cat to a vampire. Not only because of her ravenous thirst for blood but because once you invite a vampire into your home they will come inside whenever they feel like it. Cats are masters of manipulation and, one cold December morn, I invited Porch Cat into the basement.

Porch Cat started peeing on the floor within the hour. I got her a litter box to pee in but it didn’t work. It was time for her to go back outside. But Porch Cat wouldn’t stay outside; she wanted to live inside the house. Everyday was a battle to keep her from running between my legs and into the house. One day she sat by our back door and oozed puss from an open wound. I couldn’t deny her treatment, I cleaned her up with hydrogen peroxide, saline, and antibacterial gel. I gave her some kibble and she ran away. The wound didn’t affect her ability to eat or want food; I assumed she would be ok. She was ok except for the bald patch she developed on her cheek. Porch Cat left us alone for awhile and lived in the chicken coop.

One night, about two weeks ago, there was a loud smash, flapping, and fucking cat noises coming from our living room. Porch Cat had broken into the house and was trying to murder both of the pet birds. She knocked over the finch’s cage and the finch went flying through the dark room, crashing into everything. Seth turned on the light and saw my finch on the floor, tired from his spastic flight, and he saw Porch Cat sticking her paw into the cockatiel’s cage. That was enough, I had enough. We broke up with Porch Cat and stopped leaving food out for her.

It was a hard two weeks of training. No eye contact, no giving into feline manipulation, no food. But she got the point. Finally, Porch learned to stop breaking into our house. Now I’ll leave food for her by the garage so she doesn’t associate our home with food. The other day I gave her some bologna. As you can tell from the photo, she’s happy to be fed again.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Body Drop

Body drop.
Written jan.25

I see black garbage bags on the side of the road a lot. It costs money for trash pickup and people burn their garbage in burn barrels to avoid the trash pick-up fee. But some things don’t burn and when your burn barrel is full of unburnables you are left with a bag of garbage. Since you don’t have trash pick up and you don’t want to pay a pick up fee you dump your garbage on your neighbor’s lawn. It’s the circle of life and I am a dung beetle, when I walk along the side of the road I'll pick up other people's trash.

I found deer legs and a deer ribs in a garbage bag, dropped off by some chode, on our property the other day. It was pretty gross. But I took a picture anyways. I have to document all these strange things or I’ll forget them. I asked Seth if I should call the Department of Natural Resources to report poaching. He said it was probably just some slobs dumping off their unwanted deer parts. Strange things happen in Iowa.

Monday, January 25, 2010


I grew up in Oak Park, Illinois. Oak Park did not have bald eagles. Oak Park mostly had robins, cardinals and tiny brown birds. Occasionally a kid from school would report having heard an owl. A crow said “Hello” to me at the Trailside Museum during a field trip; I didn’t know crows could talk at the time. When I was ten, running barefoot on Humphrey Street, I stepped on a pink baby bird. I liked birds a lot. Birds were cool.

I still like birds. I still think birds are cool. Cardinals are my favorite and always have been. A pink winged cardinal lives in our glorious backyard. I like to identify the other backyard birds with Peterson field guides. Quick list of the yard birds: goldfinches, blue jays, tufted titmouse (tufted titmice?), pheasant, downy woodpeckers, turkey vultures, and regular gobble turkeys, red tail hawks, red winged black birds, and red bellied woodpeckers.

I didn’t see a bald eagle until mid December or late November in 2009. A bald eagle flew above my car on a drive to Muscatine, Iowa. Now, I see them all the time. Seth saw two of them eating a deer corpse in the field yesterday. I saw a bald eagle on my drive to town today. The eagle was eating possum road kill. I managed to snap a shot of the eagle after it flew away from his lunch and into a cornfield, that bird probably smelled terrible.

I got another pretty good photo of a bald eagle today. I snapped the shot by the Pig slaughtering plant. That was where I saw a big, black, lump in a cluster of trees. I pulled over and walked through mud and dog poop to investigate the big, black, lump. It was, as I suspected, a bald eagle. He looked at me for about twenty seconds before I took out my camera so I could violate his privacy. Of course, the eagle called me a tourist and flew across the river to avoid me.

I’m sure I’ll see more bald eagles this winter. They are truly an awesome bird; carrion eating, scavengers with yellow feet and beaks.

Friday, January 22, 2010

ice storm

(I got new specks and can see again. Everything is so clear, perfect...awesome.)

Iowa got blasted with an ice storm. A serious blast. Power lines are down. People are without electricity. Turkeys can't scratch through ice plates to get their food. Ironically, everything is beautiful. I've never seen anything quite like it. Iowa is wearing an icicle coat. Individual blades of grass have individual ice sheaths. There was a dead vole encased in a form fitting ice casket in my yard. Each twig on each tree is shining like a fucking diamond and it feels like I am living in a souvineer shop geode. And I need to see it with my new glasses. After work.

After work: I park the Honda and slip and slide my way to the deck. I open the back door and let Arkoo the dog outside. We need to see the ice-spectacle together. He immediatly eats icicles. When we walk onto the lawn, together, it crunches, cracks, and meows? Porch Cat decided to join us and I decide we are a pack. Ice is covering everything and I'm overstimulated and I start to run. And the dog, the cat, and i are all running together. And its dark. And the light on the garage is reflecting off every ice crystal. And it is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen or felt. Me and my pack, running together through the ice in my backyard.

We run through the tall grass and it snaps and falls like dominos. We run through the low trees and it looks like the inside of a chandelier. and we run back to the house. Porch Cat is hungry and i give her a bowl of lard.

and then its all over.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Fake Beards.

I've been having strange dreams lately.
I was at an art opening. It was late. I was alone.
and I was nervous.
As I wandered through a maze of people i recognized but did not know, I saw abundant nooks and crannies on every wall.
Each nook was occupied by tiny pieces of art. Each crannie held a rat cage inside and I fed the rats crumbs from my pocket. It was plesant and I felt less nervous.
All the men in the gallery had long, beautiful beards made of yarn. A myriad of color on each man's face. Some of the men had monochromatic beards, some had complementary colored beards, some beards were earthtone with a punch of color, some were actual rainbows. They stroked them often.

I was lead out of this dream by a dog licking my hand.

Monday, January 11, 2010