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Cat Repels Dinosaurs

Dreamed 1984/8/12 by Wayan

THAT DAY

I tackle the garden after weeks of procrastination. Crush the drifts of dry leaves under the rosebushes to create a mulch. The most effective way's with my bare hands... except that one leaf out of a hundred hides a thorn. And I'm allergic--every little scratch swells and burns. Force myself to finish, bleeding. Swollen-handed, I write a poem...

BITE
Sketch of rose-thorns puncturing my hand, by Wayan.

Scoops of mummy
potatochips. Clench
hands to shatter their
dry faces, crunch

Dead rose-leaves
(Godzilla's dandruff
flakes) to fertile mulch.
Been weeks. At last!

The stempoke of each
clicking as it snaps forever
snaps to me, "remember!"
Palm-pain says yes.

The dead rose wants not
remembrance;
it's out for hate.
My cuticles rap the coffin and
dry thorns bite.

Casually I smashed
tan saddles, twig poles,
leaf tents. Thought I was
immune. But now I learn,
through pain, torn by thorn,
how death rears to strike:

As I crush dry structures, clear
the way, with my soul--or fist--
I'm a structure the dead can crack.

My pummels, and the crunch-resist,
are the force I give the world to stab--
no way to take it back.

If I scoop life
with full-force flail,
my heart-fist I'll
like Wilde's old Nightingale
on vaster claw my thrumming breast
impale--
the darkhot wine upwell.

I fear this now, but fear's a healthy pall
weighed against the blue-lipped shadow
of life vampired by sudden spine.

No gamble: life's a bed and house of nails:
an ambush porcupine.

Slow, slow now I crush.
Someday may regain the guts to rush
but this I know: not blind.
Each pace I glare!

Forever in kind sand or pillowed snow
I sniff for blades.
I ask "Who put them there?"
I ask, who put them there!

In kind sand or pillowed snow,
forever mine the mermaid's slow
steps of brokenglass and fire--
her razorpain, my fear.


THAT EVENING

I watch the 1980 movie Little Darlings. Tatum O'Neal and Kristy McNichol, two teens at a summercamp, place bets and race to lose their virginity. I expected no more than a teen sex farce, just (maybe) one that let girls have major speaking roles for a change.

But...beneath its summercamp surface, surprising depth. The emotional consequences of Tatum's and Kristy's stupid bet turn serious.

Foodfight in 'Little Darlings', 1980.
The film ends up affecting me strongly. Even the side plots and characters are powerful--like Cynthia Nixon as the hippie-raised pacifist Sunshine who eventually punches out a bully. Since I really was raised radical pacifist, and did get beaten by bullies as a result, this hits home. Just know I'll dream about it...

THAT NIGHT

I'm a librarian on a world unique--
craters, basins of dried-up oceans,
waxy flowstone terrace-formations--
sensual, sculptural, but O they reek.

That bad-egg stink presages each raid
by the T. rexish native monsters we
lazily call dinosaurs. But today
all's quiet on the stockade.

Up comes the library cat. Colleagues insist
she has a vital job: to keep the dinos off!
(She's here, they're not; it's hard to scoff.)
No one dares to shoo her just

in case it's true. Those dino infestations
just shred the library books. And patrons.

I'm told the cat's half-wild, avoids the staff.
But she lets me pet and carry her. Do I feel
more feline? She's no feral. Watch her patrol
the chick lit stacks. Beams at the peeping fluff

on shelves, the baby chicks. Bites Rex alone.
Co-workers call this guardian aloof
'The Important Cat'. Her silver chain is proof
of that--registered '82, but with no name.

I check online--the Center for Important Cats.
She's registered as... Anonymous! But why?
Smitten by kitten with hidden past!
Her mystery teases--witness? spy?

Spices my alien hotspring stinky
dinosaur humdrum day.

Cat defends baby chicks from an alien dinosaur; dream sketch by Wayan. Click to enlarge.

DREAM NOTES (2020)

I worked in a library, so no mystery there. But the careful anonymity of the Important Cat... as if she was a witness in a protection program...

Is she my own body, whose hands I callously thorn-slashed? Or one of the Little Darlings, burned by the emotional intensity of first sex? That's hinted at by the dream's 'chick lit' pun, and the implied second pun all through it: that traumatized pussy! Five years earlier I'd left an abusive partner who'd nearly killed me; I was still skittish. Longed to be petted, but wouldn't let anyone... pick me up.

Today, tentatively, I'd say that cat was Sunshine, the hippie girl--'chick'--who eventually flattens her bully. And more importantly, her brainwashing.

Took me years. Even after the dream.



LISTS AND LINKS:
DAY: plants - thorns - pain - austerity - anorexia & self-denial - hands - (self-)sabotage - poems - woodcut prints
EVENING: films - the woods - friendship - initiations - puberty - bets - love & sex - kids of radicals - bullying, pacifism & self-defense
DREAM: other worlds - smells - libraries - animals - cats - birds - kids - dinosaurs - guardians - puns & humor - healing from abuse - poems & pencil art

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