Friday, January 19, 2018

Ground Dreams -- A Breakfast

               A tank is better than a pond.

               A fan is better than the wind.

               Steps are better than a hill.

               I dig out from the ground each morning.  I feel strange calling what is under me, the ground.  Maybe my memories are just dreams.

               In front of me now is a pile of clean, dried leaves.  I dig down far enough and it is hard and smooth.  And cold.  I did not like the cold.

               In my dreams, in front of me, would be stones and grains, sands and silt, moist and dry, hard and scrapable.  I would see chunks.  Some were shinny.  Some were smooth.  Some had striations.  There would be holes.  Delicious smelling holes.  The memories of those smells remind me of breakfast.  They remind me of being hungry.  Of walking and looking.  And there, in front of me, sliding, bunching, burying under rocks (what is a rock?) is this long, arm like, slender to thick, almost pulsing, pulsing with each move, a delicious meal to fill my wanting stomach.

               It is funny what a dream brings to mind.  I dig now and I do not see lunch.  I see no signs, no holes, no lunch.  My stomach hurts for the smell of lunch.

               In my dreams lunch was more.  I apologize.  I like lunch now.  I like the strips of leaves.  They are green and they moisten my mouth.  I like the tears, those short strips of what, chicken?  What is chicken?  I like it.  But it is not the breakfast of my dreams.

               And when I dig for dreams, when I dig for the want in my stomach, when I am stopped by that smooth, hard, cold barrier of my awake world.  Sometimes I, not dreaming, think this is the same existence I walk into when I am not digging.

               When I look past myself. 

               When I look past my water.

               When I look past my non dreaming breakfast.

               I see where I cannot go.  Something is keeping me from going there.  Maybe it is like when I am digging for my dream.  When I dug deep enough to be stopped from the silty, the hard, the soft, the breakfast smelling dream ground.  When I dug deep enough to be stopped.  To be kept from my dream breakfast. 

               Like it is, when my head is up, when I am walking, when I am not digging, when I am in reality.  Reality blocks me, halts me, stops my world.  That reality of restriction is smooth.  It is hard.  It is cold.  And with my head up I can see it.  In that restriction I can see lights.  In that resistance I can see movement.  In that denial of anything I want, or even think of, I see another me.  I see the living shape.  I look into those eyes.  It is like I look into my own eyes.  We try to meet.  We move closer.  Closer to each other.  And the hard, cold, stop of reality keeps us apart. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Should I,Would I, Could I

                Should I sit  
Like A Nit Wit
                Should I dance
Like there’s ants in my pants
                Should I stand
Like I think I’m so grand

My music has no beat
And with that Rhythm
Life is hidden
By that same word I REPEAT REPEAT REPEAT

                Would I talk
Like a bully and I balk
                Would I smile
Like I’m proud of my own guile
                Would I pose
Like from you I arose

I hope you’re feeling tense
My using words
Seems so absurd

                Could I feel
I know you’ll say it’s no big deal
                Could I hurt
I know your ears turn off my blurt
                Could I cry
I know your truth is the bigger lie

Our hearts don’t beat as one
Oh who’s to blame
We’re both the same
Behind deaf ears echo IT’S DONE IT’S DONE IT’S DONE

                Let sleeping dogs lie.  Because there are so many problems around here.  If that dog did not lie to himself, he could not sleep.  He has to be ware.  He has to be on guard.  He has to be aware.  He has to lie to himself, that life was okay, so he could get to sleep.

                Let him have this temporary peace.  Let him regrow his strength.  Let him clear his mind, his heart, or at least what is currently echoing in his memory.  Let him have his lie.

                He is dreaming.  He is dreaming of eating.  He is dreaming of drinking.  He is dreaming of playing with other puppies.  He is dreaming his youth.  He is having fun.  Fun for him is a dream.  For him it is his lie.

                Where does it get you if you wake him up?  His awake life.  He is hungry.  He is frightened.  He is alone.  Don’t you feel some of his happiness when he is happy?  Let sleeping dogs lie.

                How lost is my brother
When he is in limbo
                The one that claims
I’m the big fail
                Don’t trust one another
   From minute to minute
My life is just his fairy tale.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

There's a K-Nine Hush all over the World

The Mute Mutt

Episode Five

There’s a K-Nine Hush All Over The World

               The Ferret and I followed the Marx in the streets.  And we listened.  Echoing back to our ears came their: “Tramp.  Tramp.  Tramp.”  This caused The Ferret to yell, “They went that a way!”

               We explored all around.  We searched through the alleys.  We knew they were here, somewhere.  In the distance we heard them silently singing.  When you silently sing your mouth opens but no sound comes out.  The Ferret asked, “How can we be certain it is all four of them?”  I said, “We can be certain.  We will find them.  It is all four of them. They are silently singing ‘Sweet Adeline.’”

               The poor kids are in barrels.  Harpo and Charley are rolling out those barrels. Those two sure are greedy.  First, they steal your smile.  Then, they pickpocket your smirks.  Harpo impersonates a Doctor because, as everyone knows, Laughter is the Best Medicine.  And if it is the Best it must be the Most Expensive. Just look at your co-pay.   

               The Ferret and I pieced it together.  The puppies were told that Life is a Movie.  That Movie is Valuable and their Lives are Not!  But their lives got taken away from them.  Instead of the riches of their thoughts and feelings the kids are just given cheap special effects, cartoon graphics, and loud, meaningless noises.  When these children try to express themselves.  When they try to show that they have value.  They are told to Hush.  So, they are controlled.  They are stuck in their seats.  They are watching meaningless images of flashy but not real Gold, Diamonds, and People while they waste hours upon hours.  Charles and Harpo stole those kids’ valuable hours.  That Celluloid robbed their lives.

The loud bangs

The meaningless violence

The senseless words

All that took their lives away.

They became the Hushed Puppies.  


               Garth’s kids were told, “The World’s a Stage.  This Stage is boarding now.”

               Since it was Garth’s children who were missing we decided to follow the Sound of Garth’s Heart Beats.  And if Garth’s Hearts beat his Clubs then his partner is cheating, or his wife.  But Garth is a widower.  We had to look into this.  We just had to peer into his Widow’s Speak.

               Where can we hear her speak?  She’s dead.  We’ll use the phone.  Since she’s deceased it would have to be on the Dead Line.  Where can you find a Dead Line these days? 

               To The Local Papers!

               Then we both started dancing around, “To the Papers!  What a relief!”  And after we relieved ourselves we burst down the door and yelled, “All Right.  Stop the Presses.”  I looked at Harpo and told him, “You are about to leave.  Do you have your Good By Line?”

               At first, we thought they were trying to make amends.  Then we realized it was really amendments.  Shots rang out all over the place. We had to duck for that second amendment.  The duck wasn’t so lucky.  They must have really been drunk.  There were a lot of Fifths rolling around here.

               When we arrested them, we emphasized their Right to Remain Silent.  Charley asked, “What about my rights to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Slapstickness?”

               The four kids’ lives are now enriched.  The robbers lost their ill-gotten gains.  Lives with three dimensions are richer than lives with just two dimensions.  A light does not have to get too hot to burn a bubble in the film of your life.  You can’t just splice out the value of growing up and having friends.  These are not meaningless repetitions to achieve a cheap laugh.

               Now, at Eddy Bow Wows, we can ease back into meaningfulness with Garth snoring at his desk.  The playground and the school yard gently hum with the sharpening of pencils so that the kids can learn the value of trigonometry and verb declensions.  The apartment building clamor also eases to allow sleep and the reading of that newspaper tossed to the front porch.

               Garth can protect valuables because he is no longer mute.  The next generation can learn because they are no longer hushed.     

Open your mouths

State you minds

Oggies let you mouths work on

Talk it up

Speak in kind

Oggies let your tongues wag on

Everybody’s squawkin

That those Oggs are finally talkin

Hearing them is so sublime

Their vocal chords

Will vocalize

So our ears can finally hear them chime

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

I Hear None of the Oggs

The Mute Mutt

Episode Four

I hear none of the Oggs

               The Ferret and I are looking for Garth Oggs’ children.  We are at Garth’s apartment.  They are not hear.  We are now at their school.  They are not hear.  Now we are at their playground and still they are not hear.

               The Ferret suggests that maybe the kids got religious.  Maybe they took a bow wow of silence.  There are also some anti-violence movements happening.  That group has a saying, “The hear of the dog that bit you.”

               I just keep thinking about those Dogged Dears.  Dog Nab it, no, they’ve been Dog Nabbed!

               It has been so noisy since the children have been gone that we realized we should be following the sounds of silence.  That set a tingling in my ear. Rin Tin Tin Tinitus.  Whatever that criminal did to those kids, there is less silence here.

We began investigating.  And along the way we made some mistakes.  

               We looked into this one group.  They say they are a bunch of Seeing Eye Dogs.  They kidnap disabled people.  They really raise cane.  Then someone blows a dog whistle and they go nuts.  We found out that they really can’t hear and just want to make fun of people with other disabilities.  If they see someone blowing a whistle they jump and howl and stomp all over the place.  They can’t hear anything but if they see their friends jumping around they join in.  And if you are not in the gang you think someone is really blowing a whistle and that it hurts their ears.

               Then we looked at this other group.  They did not like fish.  They don't like water either, especially to bathe in.  They could not stand the smell or taste.  They found some Quack Doctor who offered to take away these Dog’s Herring.  But he really took away their hearing.  They couldn’t hear or smell so they couldn’t tell the difference.

               With all this going on, these different groups thought they were growing huge, silent gangs out to take over the world.  The Ferret and I were at a loss.

               Finally, someone gave us some tips.  Filter tips that is.  We began sniffing out some Butts.  You would not believe how easy it is to sniff out a Butt.  That’s my favorite part of this job.  And that lead us to these old stogies we had found. No.  Wait.  Instead of trying to Find the Children maybe the word was Fine.

               Yeah!  Larry Fine!  I’ll use my Lariat.  I hope we can Lasso it up.  Or is that Lassie.  Did Timmy fall in the well?  Larry always put me in stitches.

Like another Old Stoogie I had found

Short and a bit too big around

He’s a Curly Que Link

The brother of Moe

Then I realized that his full name was Jerome Lester Horwitz.



Like I said before, there was Les Silence here.

               Garth Oggs’ kids got Dog Napped by the guy no one listens to.  They don’t hear and they don’t speak.  A loss of hearing.  It was a natural theft.

               There were two of them.  Several years ago this one guy took up a hobby.  He tried pretty hard and it took a while but he came up with his own dog breed.  He trained them real good.  He taught them a lot of tricks.  People thought he taught those dogs to speak.  People didn’t like this guy.  They gave him a lot of room.  But you know how people are.  They are always spying on the guys they don’t like.  And at a distance, especially looking across the street through your window blinds, or staring through a pair of binoculars, they see this guy:  He says one thing, the dogs sit up.  He says another thing, the dogs give paw. He says something else, they roll over.  Then that guy says something and all the dogs open their mouths.  “I bet he said ‘Speak’ and they answered him.”  The neighbors thought that guy’s dogs followed orders.  The guy that bred those dogs name was Charles.  As in Charles Chaplin.  He went into a partnership with a friend.  Harpo.  And a hush fell over the world.

Shut your mouth in this movie

Clamp your trap in this show

Stifle your speaking

That clickety clack

Lose your voice

It better never come back

To Be Continued…

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Quit Acting - Role Over

The Mute Mutt

Episode Three

Quit Acting – Role Over

               We are worried about Garth.  We keep asking him to speak.  He just rolls over and plays deaf.  He just sits, raises his hand, and breathes real hard.  Is he sick?

               I say to The Ferret, “Garth is huffing.  He’s squealing.  He’s puffing.  He’s crying.”  Then The Ferret says to me, “No!  He’s panting and whining.  Pant and whine.  Pantomime!  Garth wants to communicate to us.  Garth wants us to play Charades!”

               I think to myself, “Does Garth really want us to play Charades?  I mean, I like to play.  But I would rather play Tic Tac Toe.  They are delicious, those Tic Tacs.  And I really like getting those tics out from under my skin.  I just love chewing my toes.  I would think The Ferret would rather play Duck Duck Goose.  He looks hungry.”

               I say to The Ferret, “Don’t get your Pantomimes in a bunch and I’ll try not to rain on your Charades.”

               We look at Garth.   After all, this is not Blind Man’s Bluff.  Garth hits his hand on the ground four times.  The Ferret says, “Four Words.”  Garth whines and shakes his head “Yes.”  Garth hits his hand on the ground one time.  The Ferret says, “First Word.”  Garth whines again and shakes his head “Yes.”

               Garth puts his hand on his head.  I say, “Head.”  Garth shakes, “No.”  He points to his eyes and looks ahead.  I ask, “See?”  He shakes again, “No.”  Garth then frowns, puts his hands over his eyes, and points his head down.  He’s quivering and lets out a frightened cry.  The Ferret says, “He’s scared.”  Garth looks up and almost speaks.  The Ferret asks, “Is the word Scare?”  Garth bobs his head, “Yes.”

               Then Garth opens his mouth.  I say, “Yawn.”  He doesn’t even react.  Instead he points behind the chair.  I ask, “Shadow?”  He puts up a disgusted frown and shakes his head, “No.”  Then Garth sits up, raises his hand, and touches his own chest.  The Ferret asks, “Is it yourself?  Are you saying Garth?”  Garth lets out a happy squeal and shakes his head, “Yes.”

               I then say, “Scare, Garth.”

               Now Garth scratches his ear a lot.  I shout, “Ticks!”  Garth lets out a sad moan.  Then he puts his nose to the ground and points out little black droppings.  I say, “I know.  Poops.”  Garth lets out an even sadder moan.  Now Garth lies on the floor, puts his hands up near his ears, scrunches his nose, and shakes his rear end.  The Ferret asks, “Mice?”  Garth jumps up, raises his hand in an obvious “Yes.”

               Now I mumble, “Scare, Garth, Mice…Scare,Garth,Mice…”

               Good old Mister Oggs now sat on the floor.  He spread his legs out.  He placed his hands in front of him.  Using his hands he slid himself across the floor with his legs facing forward.  I shout, “Butt!”  Garth shakes his head.  I shout “Scoot!”  Garth gives another angry shake.  The Ferret put his hand over my mouth and asked, “Is the word Skids?”  Garth stopped and gave The Ferret his hand.

               I am still at a loss.  We got the four words now.  They don’t mean a thing to me.  I keep saying, slowly, out loud, “Scare, Garth, Mice, Skids…Scare,Garth,Mice,Skids…Scare,Garth,Mice, Skids…Did mice poop scare Garth to silence?”

               Then The Ferret says, “I think I know.  Garth is asking us ‘Where are my kids?’!!”  And on that, Garth stands at attention.  He looks right at The Ferret.  He touches his nose.  And, with a big smile on his face, points at The Ferret.”

Oh the Games Weasels Play Now

I just don’t know, I could have a cow

I just feel like some dumb fat sow

I just hate to play Charades

And now we have to look for Garth Oggs’ children.

To Be Continued…

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Ferret Out

The Mute Mutt

Episode two

Ferret Out


                I am A Dog.  I am also at a loss.  Dachs, Doug and I discussed what we knew so far.  It wasn’t much of a discussion.  We don’t know much of anything.  We couldn’t find Garth.  We can’t even find his litter.  No, he didn’t litter.  He didn’t throw anything away.  We just can’t find his children.  We can’t even find a place to think, Canid, it is so loud here.   

                Instead of taking it on the Chinchilla I decided to work with a buddy of mine from the League of Feline Purrers.  When we come up with something, this Purrina and I will run it up the Polecat to see who salutes.  This guy is very good at sniffling around.  And I thought I was the one with the cold nose.  He is called The Ferret.

                When The Ferret got here he commented on all this noise.  “What is all that?  The Sounds of the Baskervilles?”  I said, “Yeah!  Call me Dumb Luck Hounds.  But Ferret, that story happened on the Moors in the old days.  These are new Times.  Moor is less.  Less this.  Less that.  Less everything.  Less barking.  Less night watchmen and less children.  Speaking of Times, someone better lay some paper down.”   The Ferret said, “A Dog, I hate to disagree with you.  I can’t call you Dumb Luck.   There is nothing Dumb here.  Dumb means you can’t speak.  There is too much speaking going on.”  I answered, “The Speaking Squeal gets the greasy fries. (Mmm, I love fries.)”

                Before we slipped up on all this grease we asked ourselves “Who is doing this dastardly deed?”  “Was it Dog Caller and his brother Dog Hollar?”  “How about Saint Hearnard?”  “Maybe there is a political agenda.  Is someone attacking the Silent Majority?”  It was so annoyingly loud that I was ready to ask for help from my good friend Shhhhhih Tzu.  But then The Ferret Ferretted it out.  He was that silent scream at the moon muzzle.  I told him, “You’re not just a Seeing Eye Dog.  You are a Shut My Mouth Dog!”

                This is what happened:  We were looking all around.  We called for Garth.  We turned here.  We turned there.  We turned everywhere.  We called and it echoed.  But we kept going forward.  We heard nothing.  Forward.  Forward.  Forward mush.  Then The Ferret said “Stop.”

                I was looking for a sign.  And all I heard was a Sigh.  A street sign.  A neon sign.  A stop sign.  Anything.  Heck, I like stop signs almost as much as I like fire hydrants.  But I cannot hear the fire because of all those rants.  And then The Ferrant said “We need some retrospective.  We got to look back.”  And look back we did.  Who would have guessed.  There, tromboning behind us.  Tailing us all this time, all along.  Poor old Garth Ogg was running after us. 

                He was trailing after us like a faithful puppy dog.  But we didn’t hear him.  We couldn’t hear him.  He was silent.  He had a Plunger Mute strapped across his mouth.  I looked and asked Garth, “Cat gut your tongue?”  The best he could say was “Wah-wah”.  Like that drum solo, he was beaten, frightened, and definitely muted.   Garth Ogg was our Mute Mutt.

                We carefully freed up Ogg’s mouth.  Garth bearly could whisper.  And then, presenting a soliloquy,

                The Ferret did chime:

                “Who hurt the Night Watchman?

                Who did this fowl crime?”

                But no matter how much

                That pump we did prime

                No words fell from Garth’s Mouth

                Not even a mime.

                And A Dog said,

                “I know.  How I know.

                This is taking some time.

                I feel oh so sorry

                That this ain’t so sublime

                But, But, But…

                Like Jerry Colonna

                I can’t find a Rhyme.”


                Or Reason



                To Be Continued…

Monday, January 1, 2018

The Mute Mutt and the Case of the Hushed Puppies

               Hi.  I am A Dog.  I am currently in my secret identity, Barkley Brewer, shoe salesman.  I get tired of this secret identity stuff.  One minute I am Dashing.  One minute I am Chew Bone …er, I mean I am Debonair.  One Minute I am super Pawered.  One miniature I am A Dog.  And then, before you gnaw it, I am done saving this world from a total Cat A Trophy.  I am Fish Netted chasing those Curs from a T-bone dinner.  I have fetched squeak toys in my bare jaws.

               I have to get my coat brushed.  I’ve got to crinch up my grin and eat some tooth paste.  I’ve got to get my toe nails clipped.  I’ve got to look like a domestic.  After all that I’m wearing my tags showing I had my shots.  Now I’m wearing a little sweater and booties.  Heck, I even have some plastic bags clung to my collar, whatever those are for.

               Just so I can measure people’s feet and sell them shoes.  It’s easier chasing The Possum away than it is heeling, sitting, and shaking all day.  But at least when I am staying, I am staying and looking at Lillian D’gon.  Canid, she smells good.  And I don’t mean that just because she sells cosmetics.  It could be cosmic tics for all I care.  I’d bathe in vinegar for her.  I’ve got to get up the nerve to ask her out.  Kay Nine’s been hounding me about that too.

               I just got in to work.  Our boss here at Eddy Bowwow’s , Herman Sheppard, called an emergency meeting.  Our night watchman, Garth Ogg, has not shown up for work these last three nights.  The cop on the beat, Dachs, informed Herman this morning.

               Garth is a good family man.  He lives in an apartment complex just a quick walk away.  He has a pack of kids.  He keeps a short leash on them.  They are all well trained.   Never a complaint, until a couple nights ago.  Someone reported that it sounded like a wild party all over the place.  Officer Hundth came snooping around. 

               First Dachs steaked out our Eddy Bowwow building overnight.  He told Herman that the noise was unbearabull.  For instance, when he walked through the foyer Dachs heard a constant, “Tick! Tick! Tick!  Tick!  Tick!  Tick!”  That wall clock was sure loud. Then he had to put up with the echoing of his footsteps.  That gave him a major headache.  As he walked up the stairs to the building’s second floor there was that loud, “Creak!  Creak!  Creak!”  Add to that was the deafening chorus of the honks of the cars in the street below.  Then you got that ear-splitting “Whoosh!” as those cars sped past.  Dachs had to stuff his ears with cotton balls, those beats of his heart were just too deafening.  He remembered that when Garth was there the clinking of the change in Garth’s pants pocket commanded order.  Garth’s dialing of his cell phone shouted at the echoes to “Shut Up!”  Garth’s persistent snoring at the Night Watchman’s desk kept exclusive control of this entire building.

               Dachs found similar conditions at Garth’s apartment building.  Those window air conditioners were roaring annoyingly in the various flats.  That wind hitting the elm tree’s branch caused it to sway in the front yard tap tap tapping vexatiously against the building’s awning.  The Snap! Snap! Snap! of that demonic Mail Man placing letters into the various homes’ letter boxes.  Intentionally slamming those hard metal flaps, hitting the four acoustical mirror producing rectangular sides.  Brutal.  When Garth’s kids were there, they would do stuff to calm the world, stuff like turning the handle of the pencil sharpener to quiet life so homework could be concentrated on.  Those precious little guys would fetch the newspaper from the delivery boy, even before it had a chance to disrupt nearby lives by smacking off the concrete flooring or bouncing off the front door.  Those cute tykes would make their beds and straighten their chairs while hushing each other so that the neighbors bearly knew there was life thriving in the heated hearty halls.  Mama bearly, Poppa bearly, and even Baby bearly. With those children it was the hush of a chimney.  Without the children it was the chaos of cacophony.    

               Dachs knew something was amiss.  He discussed it with Doug Katcher.  They went to inspector Gordon.  They lit up the beacon.  Man, I wish it was Bacon.  Still, it is in my blood.  My heart got racing.  I’m chasing my tail.  No booties.  No cute little sweater.  I leap and howl and growl.  I high tail it to them.  In the night sky overhead, the lights blazed into a fist holding a rolled-up newspaper.  That was A Dog signal.

Hello Dachs, my old friend

I’ve come to bark with you again

Cause you’ve uncovered something real creepy

With all that noise the neighbors can’t go seepy

Those echoes of this chaos is like chasing rubber balls

I slides and falls

I need to bone up on silence

To Be Continued…

2018 is a New Year.  It will bring new thoughts, feelings, observations, and hopefully laughs.
My stories for 2017 are now available in Paperback and Kindle formats.