Monthly Archives: December 2013

For Celibate Lovers Everywhere, a poem

for celibate lovers everywhere

For Celibate Lovers Everywhere

Leo was almost seven feet tall; his skin, dusty
brown as baker’s chocolate, his fawnlike eyes liquid,
shining, his manner shy and delicate.  I fell in love

with his polite voice that first night he came calling,
carrying his stack of Hindu texts in a wicker basket —
we were eating pizza, loaded with greasy sausage;

he looked down at us in my small dark room, polite, curious.
He spoke with a strange hesitation, his tone oval and clear
as the notes of a heavy iron bell.  He had been a monk

for years, wearing spotless but wrinkled saffron robes,
his head shaved except for one small tattered tuft
on the high, vulnerable peak of bone at the back of his scalp.

His hand was leathery, dry, smooth, like an expensive saddle.
It was embarrassing how I always wondered about his desires
for sex, wondering does he lie awake at night, thinking

about the bodies of women?  If so, what an awful shame,
for the way Leo moves, bowing his tall, elegant frame
through every narrow doorway, bespeaks a gentleness

with flesh, a respect for the gift of skin, the clarity
of nerves.  What a waste, I always think, but he’s given
his life over completely to his god.  His father was

disappointed when Leo gave up basketball; his long,
long palms still curve around in the air when he speaks,
as if reminding his body of what it once loved to do.

One day, I could tell he wanted me too, though only for an hour.
We walked the temple farm’s hot green fields, inspecting sacred cattle
together.  The dirt path circled around a lake, then wandered away

from the main house; next to a thicket of velvety cattails the same color
as Leo’s skin, we sat together on a stone bench, the surface gritty,
cold against the back of my knees.  I couldn’t look in his eyes.

I smelled the thick, wet breeze off the lake, and the wind ruffled
his gauzy robes.  I heard the snap of cloth against his lean calves;
his toes long and spidery, the nails thickened, blunt in his

canvas sandals.  His hand brushed mine on the bench – no accident.
But he had been celibate for nearly twenty years, and I would not
willingly be the cause of his release on that sad day, or any other.


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she’s leaving tomorrow for new zealand

my darling daughter, turning 25 in april, is leaving tomorrow to go back to new zealand.  it’s been the greatest thing ever having her home… many postings to come!

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he didn’t know he would die on december 19, 1979. a beautiful letter, regardless. my daddy. i loved him.


Thurs. 9-27 (1979)

Hello my beautiful daughter,

I haven’t checked my mail at Steve & Etta’s in a couple days, so I don’t know if you’ve written or not.  When I wrote you last and asked to hear whether you’d gotten it, that seemed important.  When I’ve thought about it since, it hasn’t.  That is, if you’re supposed to get my letters, you will; and if I’m supposed to/need to hear from you, I will.  I love you, and one of the things that means is that I enjoy expressing myself to you.  Don’t get me wrong:  I also really like hearing from you, hearing you/listening to you expressing yourself to me.  That’s what I want, and what I get will be what I need.

I hope you’re enjoying yourself and learning and growing.  I know you’re doing the latter two; the first is the only thing I’m unsure about.

Things are really interesting & exciting for me: seeing some patterns in my life, some big ones, for the first time ever.  They are really far out:  mostly they have to do with my history of relationships with women (including your mother & going back further than her) and how I use/have used those relationships to work out my feelings about my mother & her inability to give me love, affection, respect, hugs, kisses, TLC… that kind of stuff.  (I’m unclear about how much of this I “should” be sharing with you… when, if ever, should I relate to you like a peer?  Or:  when a father tells his child about his own emotional/psychological struggle/growth/insights/development, is that OK?  I guess I should go with my feelings and it feels OK to go this far; I’ll go as far as it feels OK to.  Part of my desire is for you to maybe learn a little something about your own psyche, and to know me as well as you can… given our… the way our relationship has gone (off the main point: I want you to know that I am not threatened or bothered at all, any more, by your relationship with your stepfather.  I accept that he was your father, is your father, in many ways.  And I think it’s beautiful that you have two of us.  How many young women have a straight dad and an unconventional dad?)  At any rate, the genesis of this recent big insight was George Oliver, from whose apartment I called you the other week.  I was talking to Geo. about my feelings of longing for Barbara & he told me that what I was saying sounded just like what I’d said & been feeling right after separating the last time from your mom.  That blew me away, because it was real true.  In essence, my largely unconscious/subconscious need/wanting to “get back at” my mother for what some part of me sees as her deliberate refusal to give me what I wanted, love, has led me over the years to play the game with women (who I’ve viewed as mother-surrogates) of “when I’ve got you, I don’t want you; when I haven’t got you, then I want you back.”

All this realization is so new I’m still trying to get my mind around it.  I’m pretty sure I want to stop playing it:  it sure doesn’t feel good for those involved, myself included.  (I realize that, at some level, it had to be satisfying some real deep need in me; otherwise why go on doing it for 30 plus years?)

Exciting and scary times.  The prospect of opting out of the game is exciting.  And scary:  the game-playing part of me says, “gee, what will I do if I don=t play that game?” or “But that’s all I know how to do!”

Incidentally, I have no regrets about having come down to Florida & having been there 3 & 1/2 months.  It all needed to happen, I’m sure of that.  And our time together was beautiful.

And something else that needs to happen is going to the first part of next week: I’m heading south again.  I’ll be driving in the van down Baja California to La Paz & taking the ferry across to mainland Mexico again.  I’m going to revisit some of the places I raced through (e.g. 3 hours in Oaxaca) and visit some of the places I chose not to make side trips to.  And drink in that delicious tropical sun & sea for a while.  I guess I’m feeling that I’d rather go to Europe in the spring, warmer weather.  (Sat.)  A feeling that’s really been reinforced by the last couple days in LA, real cool here, rainy & overcast on the beach today.

My current thinking about my travelling is that I’ll do Mexico again until Dec. or Jan. then go to the Caribbean.  I’d love to visit Jamaica, St. Martin, Puerto Rico, etc.  And then in summer go to Europe.  Rather than going to London now, then immediately to warm weather in Africa then going back to Europe next summer.  But, it’s real hard to stay definite..  I don’t know what this does to our talking about travelling together, but if we’re supposed to, we will.  And I would love to see the Caribbean with you.

I don’t know whether I’ve told you or not: when I came out here in Aug., my first stop was San Diego, where I talked to my Aunt Cecelia (who also was my godmother) & the lawyer that drew up my mother’s will.  Cecelia, after hearing that I felt humiliated, hurt and angry about Mom’s will, said that Mom had felt all those same things & ways about what I’d done in living my life.  Which is no doubt true.  And sad, that my efforts to live & be happy were taken so personally by her, and that she chose to be so upset about them.  There’s a lesson there, for sure.

I will write you from Mexico and I’ve decided to assume you will get my letters & stop worrying about whether Gail might intercept them.

My thoughts are with you a lot.  Know that I love you.  (The thunder outside seems to punctuate my writing with an exclamation point after that sentence!!)  Allow yourself to be who you are; remember that if you were supposed to be different, you would be.


Incidentally, I asked Sheila’s lawyer how long before I get my money from the estate & he said he couldn’t be definite (you know how lawyers are) but he thought it’s be sooner than 6 mos.!

(You can write me in Mexico if you want.  I’ll be stopping in La Paz, in the state of Baja Calif. Sur and mail will be held for me if you send it c/o Lista de Correos, for that city & state.  La Paz is 1000 miles or so south of San Diego so I shouldn’t be there until at least a week or so, more like 2 weeks, after you get this.)  I’ll let you know other cities later.  The next one after La Paz will be Puerto Vallarta, but I forget the state name, but you can just check an atlas.


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Christmas Eve Next Door, a poem

841 oleander drive


Next door is a house painted peach,

roofed with thick white tiles, its mature

shrubbery pruned horribly precise.


The rumor is Eileen was the first woman

poor Larry ever slept with.  For thirty years

the two of them have kept to themselves,


now they understand why no one bothered

to butt in, and suddenly begin to argue.

Eileen sits alone in her room, maybe drunk,


maybe nuts, even she can’t tell.  She screams

once, then says nothing for days.  Late

on Christmas Eve, she emerges in her


quilted satin robe, only to assault the visiting

cars parked out front on her swale, pulling

antennas off, gouging paint with a screwdriver,


vicious, more vicious than she ever imagined

she could be.  Her high, shrill voice pierces

the hushed air.  Summoned peace officers


shrug their burly shoulders and offer Larry

boxes of soft, greasy pastries.  He feels almost

relieved when they finally take her


into custody, though he hates

to think of her in the same holding cell

with a bunch of sleazy streetwalkers.

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Mad Women Have Delicate Lather, a poem

ImageMad Women Have Delicate Lather


My armor is supposed to sustain and insult,

though I sense a mysterious advantage

in the bottle of my pale skin.  It’s not my fault,


I don’t intentionally cheat happiness,

nor do I smash the old frogs that record my life

with their incessant, querulous croaking.


Come accolade the cheapest sort of honor —

I was unfaithful to him in August, or was it September?

I came back to him ten minutes too late,


I came back to him just in the nick of time….

Mother, a brutal cat rolled over my bed —

one volley of giant iron shots can save,


a gentle shake of the head can kill.

But now he is firmly attached to the lower post

with an old spiral….  It’s now over a year


since he & I were together.  We never smoked

the bells of autumn the way we had planned.

Hard to say why the episode happened,


it was so crazy to do, a very human deal,

given initially to a strange pensive, a morbid mother.

To the left of the baby is recorded the pain and hurt,


recorded specially for you because your eyes are portable.

If lies are rampant, drain the last good bottle.

Pots you offer for sale mirror sullen spiders —


I and the fish I’ve eaten will share a strange heaven.

I have become an article, alone and grumpy,

printed with bloody kisses.  Passion or sacrifice,


is anything ancient enough for this fellow?

When the month of April follows punting,

we don’t track what’s left of our hearts.


My Atlantic school ends after a year, and

in numerous respects, we are satiated by simple bathing

with charity.  Sharp or wounded, it doesn’t matter,


only I write to beg the bandit for fat hospitality

with ties near and black, a code of decoration! 

We don’t serve special people in my house —


turgid glee is apparent to the eyes.  Mention the world

of tomatoes in fat, newsy letters with a flash of humor,

while I guard gyrations and lag behind my duties,


living a scalloped life full of vulgar eating. 

Before I die I’ll pour peaches over your offense,

that sweet Jamaica of my eloquence and truth.

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read this document, or else. and pass it along. i insist! from the united states institute of peace.



United States Institute of Peace • • Tel. 202.457.1700 • Fax. 202.429.6063

© USIP 2013 • All rights reserved.


June 28, 2013

Democracy, Like Revolution, is Unattainable Without Women


• The biggest challenge facing women in Arab Spring countries is transforming their leadership  and attendant influence during the revolutions into high-level governance positions, both  elected and appointed, after the revolutions.

• To achieve this goal, reform efforts should include: 1) amending election laws to increase  the proportion of women represented at the local, state, and national levels; 2) increasing  high-level employment opportunities; and 3) using public education to highlight the role of  women and counter perceptions of traditional gender roles.


Contrary to popular media coverage, the Arab Spring was not the first time Arab women took on  leadership roles in populist uprisings. As far back as the 1919 Egyptian revolution against the British  occupation, women in the Middle East have played pivotal roles in both political movements and  mass protests. Indeed, women constituted a significant proportion of street protesters during the  1960s Algerian revolution, the Iranian revolution of 1979, and in Palestine during the First Intifada.  This Peace Brief posits that the biggest challenge facing women in Arab Spring countries is transforming  their leadership and attendant influence during the revolutions into high level governance  positions, both elected and appointed, after the revolutions.

Despite their involvement in past revolutions, whether against native dictators or foreign  occupiers, women in the Middle East have yet to attain the degree of political representation that  reflects the scope of their contributions in deposing regimes. As soon as the conflicts end and the  revolutionary fervor is over, society has reverted back to traditional gender roles wherein women are  expected to stay out of the political process beyond exercising any voting rights they may have. Their social and political positions remain largely unaffected notwithstanding their sacrifices. However,  without women’s participation in social and political institutions, nations are unable to develop  healthy and sustainable democracies. And as a result, democracy repeatedly eludes the nations of  the Middle East.

What will differentiate the Arab Spring revolutions from past ones is the degree to which the  political revolution triggers a social revolution wherein women gain meaningful access to and representation in political institutions. Notwithstanding their increased participation in the public sphere as workers, women’s interests have been woefully underrepresented in the political process.  Thus, women’s participation in the formal workforce, albeit at proportionately lower rates than  men, should not be mistaken for political representation and equal treatment before the law.

Accordingly, those concerned with achieving substantive equality should focus on the following three key measures: 1) amend election laws to increase the proportion of women represented in local, state, and national politics; 2) increase high-level employment opportunities for women; and 3) reform public education curriculums to highlight the role of women in the revolutions and the various professions to counter perceptions of women’s inability or disinterest in roles outside of the home and to communicate to the youth how sustainable democracies depend on equal participation by women. In combination, these steps will increase the likelihood of a more equitable society wherein women are sufficiently empowered to minimize gender disparities and meaningfully contribute toward the nation’s progress.

Amend Election Laws to Promote Political Representation

At less than 10 percent, the proportion of women representatives in Arab parliaments remains the  lowest in the world.  While post-revolution amendments to election laws improve transparency and independent oversight of electoral processes, additional legislative amendments are needed to establish a fair, free, and accessible electoral process for all citizens.

Historic biases coupled with unequal access to elected office nearly guarantee women’s inability to obtain adequate representation in pursuit of their diverse interests.  As a result, remedial programs such as quotas or gender ordering on party lists are warranted.  As women’s participation in electoral  politics normalizes over time, remedial measures can be phased out.

A comparison of Egypt and Tunisia highlights the importance of proactive measures to ensure adequate representation of women in political office. After decades of international advocacy calling for more female representation in Parliament, as well as a U.N. recommendation for special measures to increase women’s representation in Egyptian public life,4 the Mubarak government relented in 2010 and mandated a quota for 64 women to serve in the People’s Assembly. As a result, female parliamentarians increased from five members in 2005 to 64 in 2010.

Soon after taking control of the executive branch in 2011, Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces eliminated the quota and replaced it with a requirement that political parties participating in proportional representation districts include at least one female candidate anywhere on their party lists.  As a result, only 12 women were elected or appointed to the now dissolved 2012 People’s Assembly and five in the Shura Council. Political parties exacerbated this regression even more after they refused to list female candidates at the top of their party lists, nearly guaranteeing women’s exclusion from parliament.

In contrast, Tunisia’s post-revolution caretaker government crafted an innovative gender ordering system to increase women representatives in the new Tunisian parliament. Candidates for 217 seats divided among thirty-three districts ran as members of party lists under a proportional representation system. The electoral rules mandated that every other candidate on a party list be a woman.  Despite these remedial measures, in 2011 only 49 women (22.5 percent) were elected to Tunisia’s 217-member National Constituent Assembly, which was the body tasked with drafting a new
Tunisian constitution after President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was deposed. Although Tunisian women candidates fared better than their counterparts in Egypt, full representation eluded Tunisian women candidates because parties consistently listed women second in districts where only one seat was available, thereby guaranteeing the male candidate a seat upon the party’s victory.

Until the election of women is normalized as part of a nation’s political experience, remedial measures are necessary to overcome entrenched cultural, religious, and social biases against women seeking political office.  Their political participation will inform governance processes with the diverse perspectives and interests of women who may otherwise lack spokespersons in the male-dominated halls of power.

Increase High-Level Employment Opportunities

Without economic empowerment through access to high-level jobs, women are unlikely to translate their influence in society into political representation in parliament. But women’s political representation is not the only cost of gender disparities. The nation’s economic development hinges on women’s education and meaningful participation in the workforce. Neglecting women’s access to employment and consequent political participation, thus, undermines the revolutions’ aims to improve the quality of life for all citizens.

Women in the Arab world face disparities in economic and employment opportunities. While Arab women are not far behind the United States in gender pay disparities, their nations are among the lowest ranked in terms of equal access to employment, especially executive or high-level positions.  According to a 2012 Women’s Economic Opportunity study, no country in the Middle East has a female labor participation rate above 50 percent. Similarly, the World Economic Forum’s 2012 Global Gender Gap Report found Arab countries ranked among the lowest in the world in  providing equal employment opportunity to women. In Egypt, for example, 28 percent of women are unemployed while only 9.1 percent of Egyptian men are unemployed.  These disparities exist notwithstanding a legal framework that facially protects women from such discrimination.

Egypt’s new 2012 constitution, for example, provides a general framework for advancing women’s economic opportunities. The Preamble guarantees “equal opportunities… without discrimination” for all citizens. Additionally, Article 63 explicitly states “[w]ork is… guaranteed by the State on the basis of the principles of equality, justice and equal opportunities” and guarantees for every worker “the right to fair pay.” While Egypt ranks the highest in the “wage equality for similar work” category in the World Economic Forum’s study, Egyptian women experience significantly less access to employment opportunities in comparison to their male counterparts.

Similar to Egypt, Yemen’s laws on paper appear to promote women’s equality in the workplace, but the facts on the ground show otherwise. Yemini women’s unemployment rate in 2012 was a staggering 41 percent of those seeking employment while their male counterparts experienced a 12 percent unemployment rate.

Reform Public Education Curriculum

Deeply embedded cultural stereotypes in the Middle East also impede women’s ability to win seats in parliament or serve in high-level government positions. In general, society continues to view women’s rightful place in the home, with work outside of the home permissible so long as it does not interfere with her domestic responsibilities to her family. Meanwhile, political office is viewed as reserved for men. Not only does it compromise her domestic responsibilities, but political roles require cunning and callous decision making beyond the capacity of women perceived as emotionally weak. Despite the advancement of women, albeit in modest numbers, in the professions and business, such negative stereotypes persist. Until the population is educated at a young age about the significant accomplishments of Arab women both past and present, women will remain at the margins of political decision making.

As a first step in eliminating such stereotypes, and the attendant obstacles to women’s advancement, school textbooks should be updated to portray women as doctors, engineers, business executives, and politicians. Portrayals of women and girls in school textbooks can have a major effect on both a society’s perceptions of women and on girls’ educational and occupational aspirations.  Two studies of Arab textbooks conducted in the 1980s found that women tended to be portrayed mostly in gender-based roles inside of the home.  These studies found that when women were portrayed in ways other than as mothers or little girls, they were still relegated to traditionally feminine occupations, like teaching, nursing, and agricultural work. In Yemeni textbooks, women were portrayed as being responsible for both domestic and agricultural work.10 In Tunisian textbooks, when women were portrayed in “income-generating” professions, their activities were given a traditionally-feminine bent, such as “baking cakes at home for their sons to sell in the market.”

With the assistance of the United Nations, Tunisia and Yemen started updating their textbooks in the 1990s.  In 2005, Morocco commissioned a study of textbooks following the passage of its new Family Code. The report concluded that women were “clearly marginalized” in the textbooks with men being prioritized over women in photos and attributing negative characteristics to women and girls.  Moreover, men were shown in positions of authority almost six times as often as women, and men were  portrayed in professions requiring specialized training or skills eight times as often as women.

In a troubling reversal of the trend to portray women in their various societal roles, the Egyptian Ministry of Education in January 2013 removed from textbooks the picture of one of Egypt’s famous women’s rights pioneers, Doriya Shafiq, because she was not wearing a headscarf.

Aside from the secular-religious ideological controversy surrounding this decision, the removal of indigenous women leaders from textbooks sets the nation backward. As empirical studies demonstrate, a nation cannot prosper without meaningfully including its women in education, employment, and politics.  For that to happen, Egyptian officials and other Arab leaders have an obligation to increase portrayals of accomplished Arab women from various walks of life to disprove the fallacies of negative gender stereotypes and educate citizens about the importance of gender equality for the nation’s welfare.


Despite earning their rightful place in leadership roles, Arab women have been pushed back into the private sphere where their ability to make systemic change is significantly constrained. Thus, the same tenacity and courage they exhibited during the revolutions must now be directed towards creating permanent places for them in high government office, political party leadership, media, and civil society.

It remains to be seen if the Arab Spring revolutions will bear all of the fruits of the people’s labor, but one thing is quite clear.  Democracy, like revolution, will not come to fruition without the full participation of women.

About This Brief

Sahar F. Aziz is an associate professor of law at Texas Wesleyan School of Law and a fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. She also serves as the president of the Egyptian American Rule of Law Association where she works on rule of law projects with Egyptian lawyers, judges, and civil society advocates.  Aziz is a prolific writer and frequent speaker on Egypt’s ongoing transition to democracy. Professor Aziz thanks Derek Clinger, Nancy Khalil and Danielle Jefferis for their research assistance.

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cockroaches, firelogs, and personal archives: my personal, award-winning horror movie for today

american cockroach life stages

okay, i should first tell you three things:  i have never liked “firelogs” OR cockroaches; i have always LOVED old photographs, sentimental papers, family archives & stuff like that.  firelogs being those fake things that people who don’t know how to build a REAL fire use to build a fire.  it’s a wimpy, no-good shortcut & my first husband, who knew his firebuilding stuff, wouldn’t have used a “firelog” for all the wealth in china, which is to say he would have rather gone to his death kicking & screaming.  he was, after all, an indian guide with his father, used to build models of warships to have REAL WARS with his youthful, boyhood friends in the creek, and would gladly set his hours-of-work-invested masterpieces on fire just to have the satisfaction of winning!!  get my position on firelogs?  and see how i can see noble virtues even in people whom i couldn’t manage to stay married to?  my judgment is, in other words, EXTREMELY RELIABLE & TRUSTWORTHY.  i don’t say that to toot my own horn.  ask anyone who has really loved me & been the recipient of my love.  ANYONE, i dare you.

on to cockroaches.  i would rather deal with the deadliest poisonous snake on the planet than a cockroach.  poisonous snakes at least exhibit LOGICAL behavior.  cockroaches are entirely unpredictable.  they will fly toward you, away from you, straight up, straight down, they will hide, attack, scuttle into the woodwork, fly into the light — and they will do all these things SIMULTANEOUSLY.  you leave a poisonous snake alone, you creep quietly and smoothly at the highest speed possible in the opposite direction from said snake — with respect in your heart and self-preservation in your mind — that admittedly lethal snake will leave you alone.  all that being said, there are still a few people whom make cockroaches look GOOD.  their names are unavailable to the public, or in fact, anyone but me.  as a poet & an attorney, i keep secrets for two separate livings/careers/vocations/callings/professions.  so don’t bother to ask.

next we must discuss the third topic:  my family & personal archives.  i am very careful & protective of these.  i don’t have a fireproof safe like my dear grandfather the tax attorney/professional trustee, but i am careful enough for my purposes.  today, however, makes me question that prior assumption.  i was in the process of posting to this “blog” a poem about my darling eldest daughter, and i wanted to add to the post the first picture ever taken of her, the picture that inspired the poem (well, actually SHE inspired the poem, but the picture would have helped people understand exactly HOW she managed that inspiration).  so, i opened the built-in brick and cypress floor cabinet the builders of my danish modern home (1953, and they were in fact from denmark) added to store their firewood, right next to the fireplace itself, and incorporated beautifully into the design of the room.  a lovely piece of work, in other words.  yes, i opened this cabinet.  do you want to know what i found?  do you really? i don’t know that you want the grisly details.  suffice it to say, roaches cannot chew through the thick plastic of the bins i have my archives contained in, the contents sorted by type, author, & era.  carefully packed.  tightly sealed.  so don’t panic, the contents of those bins are perfectly fine.  let’s just say, it is obvious where the roach problem i have experienced this season so far has been coming from (the large, american cockroach/”palmetto bug” kind, not the little horrible german cockroach kind which is easily controlled just by cleaning up ones kitchen & having a pest control service)!

roaches CAN, however, chew right through the wrappers of the case of “firelogs” i had also stored in the aforementioned fireside cabinet  to keep them away from my darling kitty maynard.  he smelled them once, the day they came home from the store, and tore a “firelog” bag open himself & proceeded to gorge on this “firelog” because it smelled of molasses, thick rich molasses that made anyone, animal or human, who smelled it crave molasses cake or cookies, or anything prepared with molasses, or even just a big, gnarly spoonful of it, placed in the mouth with reverence.  when maynard did this, he shortly thereafter vomited the stinkiest vomit & shat the stinkiest diarrhea  i have ever personally observed, and let me just say right here that i have experienced vomit, bloody vomit, diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, and every other possible combination of horrifying personal body fluids & excretions you can imagine, and had to clean them up unaided except by a steam cleaner.  get my drift?  of course the animal poison control hotline, which costs almost $100 just to consult, but is worth every penny, explained to me that while producing unpleasant effects, the “firelogs” were not toxic and that my darling kitty would be ok.  still, after this incident, just to be safe, i thence stored the case of “firelogs” inside my solid, unbreachable (or so i thought) cabinet so that we would not have to be subject to any more foul, stinking bodily excretions, nor have to clean up same.

it took me quite a while (a few hours, anyway) to get into the right headspace to clean up this debacle.  luckily, my bug man placed baits inside the chimney (which was their conduit in & out of the house to get food & water), AND closed the flue, which my ex husband & i mistakenly thought we had closed at the beginning of last winter.  oops!  big, big, big mistake when you are dealing with cockroaches.  you must think like a tiny, flexible, numberless, resourceful invading army.  you must think small, which isn’t always easy!!!!!!!!!!  my grudging respect for these creatures (which god, after all, thought should be here for some reason which i will press him for, when & if we meet in person), has had to be adjusted even farther upward.  it is not mythology alone which says they will be the last surviving creatures on this earth should we experience some lethal global tragedy.  damn!


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