Nothing much has changed here except that I am working
a lot too much, it’s too hot outside (and we never did get our monsoon), and I think Kana throws up hairballs every other day because with her IBD she has difficulty passing the fur as she ought to.
Here she is in her new Cat Person chalet. I didn’t make a chalet last time because I thought Kana, my box queen, was too big. But SHE doesn’t think so.
For fun I thought I’d share an old poem with you. It was published in the journal Front Range, Issue 6, Spring 2011. It’s more narrative than usual for me, but I remember having fun writing it. After my daughter graduated from the University of Oklahoma (Boomer Sooner!), the gardener and I drove back to Arizona through Texas. So did daughter and son in daughter’s car. It was a fun family trip, and it was kind of relaxing that it was in two vehicles. Two years before her graduation, my daughter had performed in summer stock in Texas (Granbury and Galveston). So the last time I had been in Texas before daughter’s graduation was twice the summer she was there–once to Granbury and once to Galveston. The old theatre in Granbury has been the scene of John Wilkes Booth sightings. The idea is that he didn’t die when the history books tell us he did, but instead he went to Texas and got back into acting.
Booth Made Footprints in Texas after Escaping the Burning Barn
John Wilkes Booth didn’t die an assassin’s death
but like a schoolteacher in love with Shakespeare,
in his bed confessing with precise diction
though at that point not a soul believed him
because he acted the role of nobody
so authentically that his own frustrated soul
banned from acclaim for what was left for him,
returns to the scene of his last applause
and blesses the opera house actors
who can hear his boots slipping down the aisle.
My daughter and her castmates searched
in every shop, in the fly system
weights and pulleys, the rotting velvets and silks
wishing not to find him knowing if they found him
they would silence something important
something bigger than he was back in Washington,
or on national tour, in the middle
of the country, an opera house in Granbury
which is to be expected in a state
like Texas which magnifies everything
under its glass where you drive and drive
for days and are still in the same damn state,
a state of industrial stupor.
We aren’t lulled by the long grasses, the stretches
between. Count the oil derricks
vying with the windmills, the refineries,
and the ghost of boot prints in the dust
so enormous I worry that our kids
driving ahead of us on the Interstate
on the way home from college graduation
will disappear into one, swallowed
into the mirage as if they were never
part of us, leaving us searching for prints.
Do you like cats? Do you like veterans? Do you think a 95-year-old man should have a good birthday even during Covid? Then you might want to pull out your box of birthday cards and fill one out for the human grandfather of Bob Graves, the Writing Cat. Bob looks so much like my Mackie Man (RIP, 1998-2015).
This is what Bob sent in his Bobington Post yesterday:
Operation Birthday Card!
by Bob Graves, The Writing Cat
We thought it would be best if everyone sent cards/notes to us and then the woman will package them all up together to send to her dad. The address is below.
If at all possible, please try to send to us by Friday, September 11th. This will allow the woman time to package them all together and send to the birthday boy. Since he lives so far away from us, she will not be able to deliver them in person.
A little about Mr Graves…
- His name is Robert (Bob) Graves
- I was named after him because I remind the woman of him
- He’ll be turning 95 years old on September 17th
- He’s sharp as a tack and loves receiving mail
- He’s a WWII Veteran
- He loves both cats and dogs
- He attended Georgia Tech
Please know in advance that we are so grateful for each of you, whether you send a card/note or not. Let me know if you have any questions about this very special project. We will keep you posted on how many cards we receive!
Very truly yours,