Thursday, July 2, 2020

Quacking, Quacking Like a Scarf

  • Early past March visiting Planet in Michigan
  • on the Sunday morning before we left for airport 
  • Earthgirl and I met Planet and Air and Air's parents for brunch in Chelsea 
  • Walking to the restaurant we passed a store selling local hand-crafted Duckdogs (and other stuff, some remarkable but not duckdogs) (it
  • fascinates me why my head just duckdogged not dogducked, why did I automatically name Duckdog Duckdog and never occur to me to name Duckdog 
  • Dogduck) the store had just opened, bought
  • We left Chelsea directly for the airport
  • gave Dogduck to Planet for assured safekeeping
  • hugged her goodbye in Chelsea Michigan four months ago and haven't hugged her since much less picked up and brought home Dogduck as I would have without this plague
  • Planet mailed me Dogduck (with help by Air's amazing boxing skills)
  • arrived yesterday, my newest favorite object, meet Dogduck


James Tate

The directions to the lunatic asylum were confusing,
more likely they were the random associations
and confused ramblings of a lunatic.
We arrived three hours late for lunch
and the lunatics were stacked up on their shelves,
quite neatly, I might add, giving credit where credit is due.
The orderlies were clearly very orderly, and they
should receive all the credit that is their due.
When I asked one of the doctors for a corkscrew
he produced one without a moment's hesitation.
And it was a corkscrew of the finest craftsmanship,
very shiny and bright not unlike the doctor himself.
'We'll be conducting our picnic under the great oak
beginning in just a few minutes, and if you'd care
to join us we'd be most honored. However, I understand
you have your obligations and responsibilities,
and if you would prefer to simply visit with us
from time to time, between patients, our invitation
is nothing if not flexible. And, we shan't be the least slighted
or offended in any way if, due to your heavy load,
we are altogether deprived of the pleasure
of exchanging a few anecdotes, regarding the mentally ill,
depraved, diseased, the purely knavish, you in your bughouse,
if you'll pardon my vernacular, O yes, and we in our crackbrain
daily rounds, there are so many gone potty everywhere we roam,
not to mention in one's own home, dead moonstruck.
Well, well, indeed we would have many notes to compare
if you could find the time to join us after your injections.'
My invitation was spoken in the evenest tones,
but midway through it I began to suspect I was addressing
an imposter. I returned the corkscrew in a nonthreatening manner.
What, for instance, I asked myself, would a doctor, a doctor of the mind,
be doing with a cordscrew in his pocket?
This was a very sick man, one might even say dangerous.
I began moving away cautiously, never taking my eyes off of him.
His right eyelid was twitching guiltily, or at least anxiously,
and his smock flapping slightly in the wind.
Several members of our party were mingling with the nurses
down by the duck pond, and my grip on the situation
was loosening, the planks in my picnic platform were rotting.
I was thinking about the potato salad in an unstable environment.
A weeping spell was about to overtake me.
I was very close to howling and gnashing the gladiola.
I noticed the great calm of the clouds overhead.
And below, several nurses appeared to me in need of nursing.
The psychopaths were stirring from their naps,
I should say, their postprandial slumbers.
They were lumbering through the pines like inordinately sad moose.
Who could eat liverwurst at a time like this?
But, then again, what's a picnic without pathos?
Lacking a way home, I adjusted the flap in my head and duck-walked
down to the pond and into the pond and began gliding
around in circles, quacking, quacking like a scarf.
Inside the belly of that image I began
recycling like a sorry whim, sincerest regrets
are always best.


  1. 1)that's a picturesque and colourful decorative object - and it seems cheerful - whether you call it a lucky dog or a ducky log

    2)after going to the 'kiwi kulcha' blog you linked to i wandered a bit more and found the wikipedia article about the chatham islands - a picturesque and colourful archipelago with an instructive history of non-europeans treating other not-so-different non-europeans harshly - as wavy gravy [birth name hugh romney] told his mirror one morning it's all done with people

    3)dr francis collins, director of the national institutes of health, concludes

    It appears that most of us are inherently capable of producing antibodies to neutralize this devastating virus. That brings more reason for hope that the many vaccines now under study to elicit such neutralizing antibodies in sufficient numbers may afford us with much-needed immune protection.