LB’s Poetry: “It Was The Navajo Dog Took Me To The Hopi”

by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB: 

I used to say that the answer to the question, “Who was the Navajo Dog” was, “She was my mother in bitch’s clothing.” But no one ever seemed to get that. So here’s a little tale of how she mothered, and if you need to, feel free to ignore mom’s biology:

It Was The Navajo Dog Took Me To The Hopi

It was the Navajo dog took me to the Hopi,

Their tribal enmity ignored. She said there was

A man there I had to talk to, and next morning

We headed for Gallup, where I bought

Some tobacco to trade for the man’s time.

But when we reached First Mesa

(So close to the sky I felt like a cloud)

I found out the man had died.

The Navajo dog took me to ramshackle dwelling,

Tin-roofed and rambling, one room multiplied by five.

She said, “His cousin is here, and he knows more,”

Then barked, and a Hopi Elder appeared.

“Shake his hand,” said the Navajo dog.

“Shake it gently, no pressure.”

I did as she told me, and gave him the tobacco.

It was his favorite, Red Rock Blend.

We sat down together outside in the sun,

(So close to the sky I felt like a cloud)

And the Hopi elder looked to me from my

Navajo dog. “You listen well,” he said,

And spoke of the everyday life of the Hopi,

The trinity of dreams, visions, and animal

Songs. When he finished, it was dark.

“Stay the night,” said the elder. “Use my

Spigot. You can camp out in the yard.”

And so I discovered that time with the Hopi

(So close to the sky I felt like a cloud)

Is like a miracle never-ending,

Courtesy of my Navajo dog.


Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. Although the book whose cover you see above is for sale on Kindle, he is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, “As the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out to me, ‘Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you compromise your artistic vision by trying to please those who are paying. If you don’t accept money, you can be yourself. Like your art, you too are free.’”

Who is the Navajo Dog? Keep coming back and you’ll see.

LB’s Poetry: “Just Send Us Your Credits, And Your Most Recent Samples Too”

by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB: 

 

It’s a showbiz world, kids, and has been for awhile. I first realized this fact back in the early ’90s, and one byproduct of my attempt to grapple with the New Reality Paradigm was this poem, which, yes, still seems pretty damn true.

Just Send Us Your Credits, And Your Most Recent Samples Too

God was quite a showman six thousand years ago.

Look at all that stuff with Moses, for example.

The staff turning into a serpent was just openers.

God called out the plagues. Famine, and

Pestilence, even frogs, for Christ’s sake!

But what impresses me is how God kept hardening

Pharaoh’s heart. Remember? Pharaoh kept caving

In, telling Moses, “Okay, you win.”

But then God would make him change his mind.

And why? Because if Moses won too easily

God wouldn’t be admired. He’d be no

Big Deal God at all. Wouldn’t need the whirling cyclone

Leading the Israelites out of Egypt. Wouldn’t need the

Grand finale at the Red Sea.

The whole thing was scripted, stage-managed, and

Produced by God Himself for His own personal

Glory. But what I want to know is what’s happened to

Him since. Is He retired? Resting on His laurels?

Showing His trophies to various angels and

Remembering the good old days? And what about

The triumphant comeback? Will He be making it soon?

Or is the show still going on, with no one watching,

No one getting what He’s trying to do?


Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. Although the book whose cover you see above is for sale on Kindle, he is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, “As the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out to me, ‘Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you compromise your artistic vision by trying to please those who are paying. If you don’t accept money, you can be yourself. Like your art, you too are free.’”

Who is the Navajo Dog? Keep coming back and you’ll see.

LB’s Poetry: “The World is Full of Dead Men”

by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB: 

The Navajo Dog is here! In this very poem. First one I ever wrote about her but didn’t get to her origin (well, she is a kind of superhero, after all) until much later.

But now you know she’s real, in the way that all poetry is real, and far beyond it as well. My teacher, my support system, back when I first went tracking the magic from Santa Fe to Monument Valley to Pine Ridge to Chaco Canyon, and uncountable (or unaccountable) points in between.

This is one of the first lessons the Navajo Dog ever taught me. And the wisdom and magic and pure, “Of course-ness” of it still keeps me going today.

The World Is Full Of Dead Men

The world is full of dead men.

I have this from the Navajo dog.

We were coming back from a walk

Along the arroyo, and it sounded to me like

She was bragging again. I asked her why,

If her people’s medicine was so mighty,

When it was them versus Kit Carson, they lost the war.

“It’s the dead men,” the dog said to me.

“They’re unbeatable. Law of nature, and all.” She

Stared after a passing rabbit. “Our medicine is the

Medicine of the soul,” she said. “It’s the spirit of the

Medicine worker versus the spirit of the evil he

Needs to drive out. Everything has a spirit,

Except the Kit Carsons of the world.

Their souls were eaten long ago.”

She eyed a low-flying crow.

“No soul means nothing to work on. Means

We lose our ass.”

“World’s worse now,” I said.

“More dead men,” said the Navajo dog. “Some are the cause, and

Some the effect.”

Another rabbit ran by. She gave chase, and bit off its head,

Said a prayer to beg its pardon.


Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. Although the book whose cover you see above is for sale on Kindle, he is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, “As the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out to me, ‘Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you compromise your artistic vision by trying to please those who are paying. If you don’t accept money, you can be yourself. Like your art, you too are free.’”

Who is the Navajo Dog? Keep coming back and you’ll see.

LB’s Poetry: “Dancing Stars”

by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB: 

I’ve been getting emails from readers growing impatient because they haven’t yet met the Navajo Dog of this collection of poetry. Chill, gang. I’m setting it – and you – up.

One of the most obnoxious things about writing for, you know, money, is that those who do the paying always tell us who do the writing to “speed things up,” and “Forget the beginning. Start at Act Two.” But no one’s paying me now.

Still, as the work below should show, we’re getting closer. I swear!

Dancing Stars

My friend the wild Indian

(See the feathers! Hear the bells!)

Points up at the night sky. Stars fixed

Like pinholes in black paper stare down,

Immobile, secure.

My friend the wild Indian

(See him dance! Hear him sing!)

Tells me of Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse,

His long-departed kin.

They are up there, he says, two out of the

Millions of points of pure light. But they are

Different. They live, says

My friend the wild Indian.

(See his frenzy! Hear his ghosts!)

I watch for the life, inhaling the sage and the

Sweetgrass that burn around the circle where

the Fancy Dancers whirled,

Where my friend shook his feathers and

Rang his bells, where he danced, sang,

And lived his frenzy, and became all his

Lost people’s ghosts.

I watch for the life, and I see it, two stars

Breaking away. They move slowly at

First, like the wheels of one of the

Steam locomotives that conquered this

Prairie before the engine has

Gathered enough steam. But then the

Stars whirl, capering and twisting,

Twirling around each other, moving in

Historical patterns, the same ones used by

The dancers earlier in the day.

They are speaking,

My friend the wild Indian

(See his story! Hear his past!)

Says. There is a great message here,

Of motion, of action, without distance although far.

Others join us, all watching, listening,

Children at the storytellers’ knees,

All the wild Indians

(See the feathers! Hear the bells!)

Left on the summer plains.

The story, the dance, the night life of the

Late, great Lakotas continues as hours

Sweep by. The sage and the sweetgrass

Burn down, yet the Dancing Stars’ message

Remains until Dawn. I thank

My friend the wild Indian,

(See the frenzy! Hear the past!)

But the honor is not without pain.

What will I do if I never

See the dance or hear the song

Of Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse again?


Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. Although the book whose cover you see above is for sale on Kindle, he is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, “As the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out to me, ‘Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you compromise your artistic vision by trying to please those who are paying. If you don’t accept money, you can be yourself. Like your art, you too are free.’”

Who is the Navajo Dog? Keep coming back and you’ll see.

LB’s Poetry: “Kid Hollywood is Born: June, 1968”

NOTE FROM LB: 

People always ask how I got started as a television writer, and I my best to give them the condensed, educational, “You-can-do-it-too” version. But the following poem doesn’t just state the facts, it faces how I felt at the time the beginning – um – began. And since the poem was written many years, there must might be a trace or two of how I felt while I was writing this as well:

Kid Hollywood Is Born: June, 1968;
I Want To Write About Dreams

I sold my soul the other day

At Cantor’s Deli, over on Fairfax.

I thought such an event should take place

In Beverly Hills, or at least on Sunset

Boulevard somewhere, but that’s how it goes.

I suppose.

The devil was a William Morris agent named

Sylvia, sixty years old if she was a day. Reminded

Me of my Grandmother, if anything had ever gone

Her way.

I love my Grandmother, but not Sylvia. Too fast,

Too sharp. Too lucky. But while Gramma has

Warmth, and a laugh that makes shadows flee;

Sylvia had the magic words. “You can get work

In this town as easy as anybody else,” that’s what

She said.

“As easy as anybody…

“As easy…

“…easy…”

That’s what I heard.

So I told her I’d sign. She’s got two years

To make me who I want to be. You know the

Guy—he exposes the world! He illuminates

All life! He’s the guy who gives

People dreams, lets them know the value

Of wanting, of craving, of needing, of

Demanding all life has to give.

And if he can do it in casual clothes

That cost more than a house, hey, why

Not? And if he can drive a Mercedes

And live in Bel Air, is that such a bad trick?

There were two or three of those guys

At Cantor’s that day, having

Pastrami and talking guarantees.

They knew Sylvia too.

Smiled. Waved.

We’re starting with TV. “Here Come the Brides.”

Never heard of it, but I’ll watch before the

Meeting.

Sylvia says, “Get rid of the sport coat. It’s

Too formal for out here.

Makes you look scared.”

Sport coat’s gone.

The devil paid the price that day,

Bought me a patty melt.

I want to write about dreams.


Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. Although the book whose cover you see above is for sale on Kindle, he is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, “As the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out to me, ‘Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you compromise your artistic vision by trying to please those who are paying. If you don’t accept money, you can be yourself. Like your art, you too are free.’”

Who is the Navajo Dog? Keep coming back and you’ll see.