Cat Meanderings

15 Jan


Charlotte has been a trash communicator for years. She speaks to me by trashing the rooms. Flock! Off in the middle of the night, an empty plastic gallon jug falls to the floor. That was where this got started.

Charlotte rapidly learned that she could manipulate me by thusly interfering with our environment. What Charlotte generally wants is in, out, or new and thus better food. That’s pretty much her itinerary in this conversation.

Once she got me trained to let her out when she knocked down empty plastic bottles, I started keeping the empty plastic bottles elsewhere. Then she moved in to the sink, where I feed her, and took to moving her can in the metal food bowl around and around and around in the sink in the wee hours. At one point before I introduced the metal food bowl for the can in order to decrease the food scraps in the sink, she fished the stainless steel sink trap out of the sink with a claw or three and deposited it firmly upon the floor. I woke up. I let her out. Or fed her. I’m not sure.

When she wants in, she throws herself high upon the front door, where she makes a resounding thump and then claws her way down. This, too, awakens me fairly reliably, even from the most compelling of dreams.

Meanwhile, Charlotte has continued to evolve her methods of informing me she wants new and thus better food. This involves one of my favorite drawings, which is pinned on a wall in here just barely low enough for her to reach the edge.

She goes for it at times. I speak sharply to her and I get up to see what she wants. Sometimes this means “new food.” But sometimes it means “pay attention to me as I go and eat more of what’s left of the old food.”

Lately Charlotte has taken to spraying. She sprayed the dog food bag for a bit. She sprayed me in the bathroom. And then she took to waltzing across my sitting room to the electrical outlet there and spraying the wall a couple of inches to the left of it.

I took a bottle of mint-scented flea soap that didn’t particularly work on Falcor (who is a dog) and hosed down the wall to try to discourage this new development. Never deterred, Charlotte continued to approach the wall in a suggestive manner, now and then, when she knew I was looking.

Charlotte hates to be picked up. I did it anyway. When I saw her doing this, I went nicely over to the electrical outlet and sweet-talked her as she yowled in my arms and deposited her outside.

We did that twice. The third time, when I got up to capture this cat, she trotted over to the front door to be let out.

What just happened there?


Deidra Sullivan: Dear Women’s March Organisers – Name the Problem of Pornography

15 Jan

writing by renee

This letter can be edited or sent as is to Women’s March organisers in your area. Suggested Subject line heading: Name the problem: Pornography is male sexual violence against women.

Dear Women’s March organizers,

Thank you for the time, energy and effort you have put into organizing the women’s march initiative, and in advocating for women’s right to be free from male violence in all aspects of our lives. The strength and power we collectively gained from the January 2017 march was inspirational.

This year, I implore you to specifically name the sexual violence committed by men against women in pornography as part of the problem. We cannot separate the violence committed against women in pornography (and prostitution) from domestic violence, stranger violence, or other forms of sexual violence perpetrated against women. To identify this violence is not to blame women for the situations they are in: it is to…

View original post 730 more words

Some basic questions about sex and gender for progressives

14 Jan

Rebecca Reilly-Cooper

1. Do you believe that being born with the kind of body that has the potential to gestate children – a body with a uterus, ovaries, and a vagina – is of any political significance? Does having that kind of body have any bearing on a person’s likely opportunities and outcomes?

2. Do you believe that people born with those kinds of bodies have historically been subject to any distinct forms of injustice, oppression, exploitation or discrimination? Have they historically been subordinated to the people with penises and testes?

3. Do you believe that people born with those kinds of bodies continue to be subject to any distinct forms of injustice, oppression, exploitation or discrimination?

4. Do you believe that people born with those kinds of bodies often suffer physical and sexual violence, abuse and harassment perpetrated by the people with penises and testes?

5. Do you believe that people…

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How To Protest

11 Jan

Let’s say you want to protest something. You find like-minded people who are also affected by this thing you want to protest and you start an organization. Your group holds an event or two, it’s wildly successful.

Then some people join your group, people who are not affected by the thing you’re protesting, the thing you organized around in the first place, and tell you they want to support you but you have to stop organizing around that thing because it offends them. In fact, they’d prefer you never even mention it again. This is what’s known as a hostile takeover attempt.

Do you

A. Tell them “No way! If you don’t like it, you can leave.”
B. Tell them “Oh, we’re terribly sorry we offended you. We will never speak of this again. Also, please give us a list of anything else we might want to organize against that doesn’t affect you, that you find offensive, so we can make sure never to mention any of those things either.”

If you do not understand that the answer is A, will you please get out of organizing while there are still a few of us around who actually understand how this works?

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

Zapatista women convoke International Women’s Gathering

9 Jan

Chiapas Support Committee


Zapatista women convoke International Women’s Gathering.

Communiqué of the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee, General Command of the Zapatista National Liberation Army


December 29, 2017

To the women of Mexico and the World:

To the original women of Mexico and the World:

To the women of the Indigenous Governing Council:

To the women of the National Indigenous Congress:

To the women of the national and international Sixth:

Compañeras, sisters:

We greet you with respect and affection as the women that we are—women who struggle, resist, and rebel against the chauvinist and patriarchal state.

We know well that the bad system not only exploits, represses, robs, and disrespects us as human beings, but that it exploits, represses, robs, and disrespects us all over again as women.

And we know that things are now worse…

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6 Jan



Interior self: what is the point of all this, this never works

Exterior self: look out there there are trees and maybe anything

Interior self: it’s probably cold

Exterior self: it might be nice

Interior self: i will die sometime anyway, might as well do it on ice.


New Year’s Resolutions

1 Jan

1. Stop feeling guilty about plumbing you don’t get to access.
2. Spend more time when there is sun at you
3. Learn more logical fallacy descriptions
4. Be kinder to the dog
5. Be more understanding of the madness of the cat
6. Sweep
7. Insulate better
8. Lamps!
9. You still can dig, you’re not that bad off yet
10. You probably can dig up that plumbing and you probably can rework it too
11. Cement is not that complicated
12. Look it’s February, it’s getting warmer, you can do this

It’s Always Broken Here

27 Dec

There are remnants in the cupboards
They might not look like much

Those lamps. Those pin trays. That basket. Who but me
Would understand how these go together?

Here, in the middle
A pit of selenite
Over seashells from a dumpster
Over small rocks from here. And under them, bricks, set carefully into the soil.

The bricks are migrants too. They came from the neighbor’s grandmother.
Who died, and I watched her irises fail
Though not entirely

The brick guy was the grandfather. His milk barn next door was torched fifteen years back. I heard it scared the dogs.

I was living across town that day. My housemate came one morning to say he’d read the paper and we should go see to my house.

“Has it burned down?” I asked, sitting outside in the morning sun.

“Maybe,” he said.

So we drove off away on his morning mission and we looked at the fire engine tracks in my easement. And I looked at all the dead grass.

And I never finished that fire pit
The one with the bricks
From the guy next door
Who was dead when my other ex-housemate got here
My other ex-housemate who’s also dead
The one who started building the fire pit.
I’m not sure about the earlier one
Though I hear he’s not doing well.

I just got inspired one day
To fill the fire pit up with whatever I could find upon the premises
Which wound up all stone and shell, and finally selenite
More rock from my extinct past.

There is still a slight depression there
But no risk that I will trip in the dark, with all that shining at me.


Word Game Ads

20 Dec

These gamer video ads on the
Faux Scrabble platforms
Are driving me up a wall.

These elfs. These walls. These poorly drawn
Hollywood stages.

And the peanut butter cups where they make you
Go out of your way to turn off the sound.

This is just inexcusable. If I wanted
Fucking peanut butter cups
I would buy fucking peanut butter cups

I know how to find and buy things
I know about peanut butter cups

I personally cannot stand them
Doomed mix of adulturated nut butter, ersatz chocolate
And salt that they are.
I consider them anathema

And yet here they are
Being advertised in this wretched online faux Scrabble
Where they keep you upgrading so you can pay to cheat better

Probably good practice for all those games
With those poorly drawn elfs

Is there no end to this madness? Will I end my days
Subjected to horrible peanut butter cup adverts?

Will this be my life? Will these be my friends, in my ancientness
Squabbling over failing games played on failing electrical grids

With failing people I’ve never met
In real life, as we say on the Internet

Though I hear people on the Internet are real.

Who Is In Charge?

1 Dec

Here we go merrily, merrily
Here we go merrily, with all our machines

Fumbling, bumbling, tumbling

Further along, we’ll learn all about it
Further along, we’ll understand why

I wrote today of property, science, and nuclear death
As if these presented separate problems that we might address
At our convenience.

As if they did not all present a sort of unified religious theory
About us.

Us and our gods
Whom we don’t seem to know
How to do without

We remake them every time we forsake them
Like jilted lovers hounding the doorsteps of strangers
Because anybody is better than nobody
Even if they call the cops
Even if they kill you
At least it’s a form of contact.

At least you know somebody was paying attention
There at the end, and that they cared
Bad strokes are better than no strokes at all.

There are stories of other religions
But we’ve largely forgotten them, fixated as we are
On our gadgets.

We know more and more
Of the bitter end
The brutal slap, the sweet release.

The final exit. But the show must go on
Like any hell, this is eternity

And as with any true sin
We get exactly what we deserve
We really did ask for it
Now if only
We could remember
What made this seem so important
So necessary
So much more critical
Than the smell of honey locust in the spring
The flight of the hawk at dawn
The slow slither of snails

If only we could remember
Just who did this to us
Maybe then, we could start to learn.





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