Saturday, December 5, 2020

Some of You Future Motherfuckers Oughta Be Ashamed About the State of Your Ply Count

  1. We might not buy thirteen acres of land near Dexter Michigan 
  2. What arrives yesterday but a Home Owners' Association contract to sign and fuck that my first thought
  3. I've never been in a Home Owners' Association and every association I have in my head about HOAs says fuck that
  4. but a week ago we got to Gaithersburg earlier than expected because of light traffic so we drove through Washington Grove to kill ten minutes
  5. Washington Grove still looks like it did fifty years ago 
  6. because of its notoriously strict Home Owners' Association, people can vouch
  7. The contract for this still farmland's HOA 
  8. (no one has bought anything much less built) 
  9. says dogs, cats, fowl, and horses OK 
  10. no other kind of animal 
  11. specifically in Earthgirl's case, goats and alpaca 
  12. (I've let Earthgirl know this isn't a deal-breaker for me)
  13. We did get easement rights to build a driveway over a gasline and permission to tap into that gasline so we can contribute to climate change with natural gas instead of propane or heating oil
  14. My daughter's father-in-law told me, when Earthgirl and I were just starting to gauge what future housing prices and where in Michigan, be careful of HOAs, especially lakefront HOAs, but all HOA's, though good luck finding anyplace in Michigan without an HOA
  15. We've since voiced our concern to the real estate agent who, in expressing our concerns to the seller, impressed me to a confidence in her I hadn't
  16. the seller wrote a thoughtful and friendly email back, maybe this isn't as skeevy as it seemed of a sudden
  17. Nap is old for his years, nothing is imminent and his kidneys are good 
  18. he has heart disease 
  19. which of the two most prevalent in cats only a cat cardiologist can determine 
  20. BUT xrays revealed advanced arthritis in both his hips 
  21. he is in constant pain I'm told, we have drugs for that now
  22. <iinsert> nap photo
  23. Vet said, how many cats have you in your life, I said lots, he said, even though it happens the same way each time each time you miss the slow day by day signs
  24. Imagine how shocking it will be how people we remember from often contact but haven't seen in months and months will look in real life when you ever see them again and then imagine *their* look at *you* when they do same
  25. I had a 930 appointment today for a regular check-up for Fleabus, no, no thank you, can we do next Saturday?
  26. I would rather live in HOA Washington Grove times infinity over non-HOA Michigan 
  27. another reason all posts but two a year are tagged My Complicity 
  28. both of them the reason I'm moving to Michigan under our HOA contract
  29. <iinserft>fleabus photo 




Marcus Wicker

Toilet paper takes center stage amid coronavirus outbreak. Be thankful we no longer use corncobs and rope ends.
—Washington Post

Some of  you future motherfuckers oughta be
ashamed about the state of your ply count.

Ol’ hologram square, skid tread-
bare, pressed-dandelion-dust-on-a-roll-having

jokers. Bet you’re allowed to have company over.
For shit’s sake, fam. What you know about Chanel

Cottonelle? Perfumed & powdered
as your Great Aunt Merle. Sounding like a Sunday

summer trolley unspooling, yawning along Prairieside.
More than any well-armed spice rack or herb garden,

elite TP soothes ennui. Scoff  if you want
but it worked for me. Way back, before the virus.

Perhaps, secure in your weekly haul of oatmeal
& toilet bowl cleaner, dear reader, you will see this

& feel like 2020 Twitter user
Ant_the_Champ3:16, who famously wrote:

&  for everyone who missed the toilet paper rush;
cannot one just  jump thine  fonky ass in the shower

right quick?!   Valid question. Latecomer,
during the recession of ’08, dad’s nest egg

crashed, mom’s job went. Vanished
without warning. No notice. I was comfy

as you, off  to grad school. Insulated
from worry & blame. Subsisting on

Slurpees, popcorn, licorice rope. Writing
important things about Flava Flav.

From an apocalyptic lens, I suppose
I have always been a little Icarus—

firstborn son who saw sun in his reflection.
As if, by studying light, inside an eclipse,

I might touch a magical push-button switch
that would handsomely reward my hubris.

It seems like every few years I’m moving
somewhere. Usually south, in pursuit of the

“next big test,” next job title, next for what?
A couple of   bumps in my FICO score?

Another book, more air between us?
Maybe I could have helped, stuck around.

Maybe I should have kept slinging
Cadillac engines. Should have oiled the invisible

door hinge that swings uneasy, between me &
most of my loves. There’s a 6-foot gap

betwixt guilt &  grief that’s viewable only by
forensics. You’ve got to scald it, shame.

Scour the stain with steel wool pads & a high-
power microscope. Everybody I know wants

to score a quick fix for the escalating problem
of  closeness. Suddenly, everyone wants to leave

&  love &  live like they’ve been paying attention.


  1. home owner associations

    i am part of one and have been from time to time advised to conform my property's appearance to community standards - i grumble some but i comply

    i would be willing to enter another hoa in future - such associations are part of the legal landscape in my ancestral province, i have just learned, which is where i would prefer to move if the opportunity presents itself

    toilet paper

    during a recent trip to costco the only toilet paper available to purchase was made from bamboo - but not the kind that pandas eat, it was asserted on the package - imported from one of the u.s.'s top three trading partners


    i was disappointed in ian welsh's blog on this topic - thanks for linking to duncan mitchel's reply

    1. i looked up the 'toilet paper' epigraph from wicker's poem - it was published in march of this year, and the author was michael ruane - although not the poker player by that name

      i looked up other poems by wicker - some deal explicitly with race and religion and violence in a contemporary american context

      then, through a series of semirandom events, i was reading about race and religion and violence in a middle eastern context a thousand years ago - peripatetic asian american writer linh dinh is now in lebanon and quoting accounts of the crusades - strong stuff

      [should i explicitly state here that when i suggest something is interesting to read, i am NOT saying 'you should not only read this, if it interests you, but agree with it completely'?

      thirty years ago i got a book from liberty university's library by interlibrary loan, and it was stamped with a version of that disclaimer - later, one of my nieces graduated from that university - while falwell sr. was still in charge]

      returning to wicker's poem here - not the first lines, but the last - Suddenly, everyone wants to leave &  love &  live like they’ve been paying attention - i was reminded of this when i read in linh dinh's piece something from dostoyevsky

      “The painter Kramskoy has a remarkable painting entitled The Contemplator: it depicts a forest in winter, and in the forest, standing all by himself on the road, in deepest solitude, a stray little peasant in a ragged caftan and bast shoes; he stands as if he were lost in thought, but he is not thinking, he is "contemplating" something. If you nudged him, he would give a start and look at you as if he had just woken up, but without understanding anything. It's true that he would come to himself at once, and yet, if he were asked what he had been thinking about while standing there, he would most likely not remember, but would most likely keep hidden away in himself the impression he had been under while contemplating. These impressions are dear to him, and he is most likely storing them up imperceptibly and even without realizing it--why and what for, he does not know either; perhaps suddenly, having stored up his impressions over many years, he will drop everything and wander off to Jerusalem to save his soul, or perhaps he will suddenly burn down his native village, or perhaps he will do both.

      with regard to bast shoes, wikipedia tells us

      Bast shoes are shoes made primarily from bast — fiber taken from the bark of trees such as linden. They are a kind of basket, woven and fitted to the shape of a foot. Bast shoes are an obsolete traditional footwear of the forest areas of Northern Europe, formerly worn by poorer members of the Finnic peoples, Balts, Russians and Belarussians. They were easy to manufacture, but not durable. Similar shoes have also been made of strings of birchbark in more northern areas where bast is not readily available.

      Bast shoes have been worn since prehistoric times. Wooden foot-shaped blocks (lasts) for shaping them have been found in neolithic excavations, e.g. 4900 years old. Bast shoes were still worn in the Russian countryside at the beginning of the twentieth century. Today bast shoes are sold as souvenirs and sometimes worn by ethnographic music or dance troupes as part of their costume.
      In Russian, they are called lapti (лапти, sing. лапоть, lapot); this word is used as a derogatory term for cheap and short-lived footwear and, in the form lapotnik (лапотник), also for an uneducated person, notionally one who is too poor to afford good shoes and wears bast shoes instead.

    2. speaking of saving one's soul, as dostoyevski does -

      The Serenity Prayer is the common name for an originally untitled prayer by the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr. The prayer has been adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous and other twelve-step programs. The best known form asks for serenity, courage, and wisdom; the extended version is -

      God, grant us the...
      Serenity to accept things we cannot change,
      Courage to change the things we can, and the
      Wisdom to know the difference
      Patience for the things that take time
      Appreciation for all that we have, and
      Tolerance for those with different struggles
      Freedom to live beyond the limitations of our past ways, the
      Ability to feel your love for us and our love for each other and the
      Strength to get up and try again even when we feel it is hopeless.