Termites make didgeridoos but they can't play them.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Boots, boats, backpacks and cats. A sandwich.

Raw feed, a new time carved from the day between the work and the swaddling of infants. God bless the wife who sleeps briefly. God bless the son not kvetching.

The word, dusted off. I wish I had a typewriter, something metal and mechanical I could dust off, huff at and beat at, something with weight, occupying certain space. Rough-edged black animals swarming on hairy white pages! Letters used to cut into the page, a bite, a snap, a commitment, a failure difficult to ignore.

I have a cat though and sometimes a cat is just as good, hairy anyway, and verbose. Unfortunately, I have 3 cats and a dog (the having of) which leaves little room for the word under all the fur. The puke. The shit. The stained wood and shredded wood and piss-bleached wood. The word the word, the forgiving word. Waiting for the baby to cry and wedging words in the spaces between silences. Failing miserably but at least feeling the noise. It’s a nice feeling in your hands to get words down, to let them go, set them loose into the wild to do horrible, embarrassing things.

It’s going to be hard to worry about the dead all the time now that I’ve got a baby, new life around. A new past to watch getting laid down. I’m out of my element.

Maybe I should be writing about soap. I love soap. How much can you say about soap though?

There’s all the things I feel I should be writing about: things that keep me up at night, equality and race and rights of variously oriented people, and justice and evolution and pillage and how horribly off track we’ve all gotten, and positive things: the baby and the baby and why have a baby and what else matters but a baby and shouldn’t I be worried about the devastation my baby’s diapers are causing and baby baby baby baby, but even in there there’s an interesting conversation for me and him to have about our genes and our history and the names of the things that creep and grow and flourish upon the earth.

There’s the other things I should be writing about like fat and psoriasis and dog shit and bathroom fans still uninstalled and check engine lights and the lingering reek of ghosts. Something tells me, though, that what would really be the shit, the thing, the funky goat dancer’s new pants about which to write is: great sandwiches I have known. There have been a few. Actually I have only known two but I sincerely wish there had been more. I don’t know that sandwiches need to be divided into categories but one might do so. For instance: sandwiches are sometimes made at home, sometimes by you and sometimes for you. Sandwiches are sometimes eaten out. These classes of sandwich inhabit totally different spiritual spaces within one. I suppose too there’s a whole panoply of lesser sandwiches worthy of remembrance, the kind which make your heart and throat warm but fail to recall a business address or the friend or lover you with whom you ate them. I can think of grilled cheeses, or at least of gleaming, erupting fractions of grilled cheeses which match this bill. There were grilled cheeses in the middle of the night at Mickey’s but I couldn’t say which one, I know though that Rick was cooking. There were grilled cheeses that I made for others, some bastard lucky enough to catch me with a clean grill, not too hot, soft butter and enough time and patience to pay attention for three minutes. That son of a bitch got the best grilled cheese of his life. Those don’t come around very often but sometimes more often than you’d think. I could write about that, even just that last grilled cheese, but that would take a while and who the fuck would want to read it? Eat it instead.

On the other hand, maybe I’ll put out a chapbook showcasing great sandwiches I have known. I’m so wordy it will run 5,000 pages and begin on some cold, dark fucking forgotten island in Denmark a hundred years ago. It will include a pictorial life history of the pig as a food factory. Smokehouse and tomatoes, grocer’s wilted lettuce. There may be pictures of sandwiches. There will undoubtedly be pictures of women. And boats. And boots. And cats. Boots, boats, backpacks and cats. A chapbook for you. About sandwiches.