Larry Brody’s Poetry: Dog And Cat

image via Youtube – Bengal Cat Grooms Poodle Pup by XYumekoX

by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB: 

Looking through The Return of the Navajo Dog, I saw this poem about the death of a cat I had sometime in the mid-1980s. I’m confused and a little embarrassed because although I remember the cat very well and loved her because she was so gentle with me and considerate of my cat allergies, I can’t for the life – or death – of me recall the dog I speak of – oh, crap, I just did. He was a wonderful dog, allowing for his need to hump everything in his path. And his path, like all of ours, was filled with twists and turns.


Dog And Cat

I had a cat that died suddenly one day.

She seemed to be fighting a great

Battle with spirits only her cat-eyes

Could see.

The battle exhausted the cat. She hid

Under a loveseat, and shuddered, and groaned.

I felt close to the cat as she went. There was a

Bond that hadn’t been between us before.

I was not what you’d call a good guy (at the

Time, the worst human being I’d ever met

Had just told me to, “Be a better person),

But it seemed as though the cat was doing

All this for me.

This morning, my dog woke me with his barking,

And when I went outside to yell I saw his eyes

Fixed on a nothingness in the middle of the yard.

The dog growled, and feinted, and attacked his

Invisible foe. He shook the air triumphantly,

Then grinned at me and circled back to sleep.

I don’t know if I’m a better person, but I suspect

The dog is nowhere near as good as the cat.

She died for my lack of virtue,

While he has killed for my sins.


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, “Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you lose your vision, and yourself.” She said it shorter, though, with just a snort.

Larry Brody’s Poetry: ‘I Live in a Haunted House’

by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB: 

I’ve decided to move on from Kid Hollywood and the Navajo Dog to the next, equally unsuccessful book in the series, called, not so oddly, The Return of the Navajo Dog. The picture above is, in fact, that dog, about halfway through the lifetime she spent with me.

We’re in Colorado there, and Dineh – the Navajo name for Navajo, which was the only name Dineh would respond to – had just growled the kind of growl that would terrify any being, alive or dead, sending a poor, out-meaned, full-blooded coyote slinking away from its kill.

The following poem is about events a bit earlier in our time together, and Dineh doesn’t figure into it. But she lived in the house I’m talking about, and I wish she lived in the one I’m sitting in now. 


I Live In A Haunted House

I live in a haunted house in New Mexico,

On the east side of Santa Fe.

It’s an adobe so old that none of

The old-timers in the neighborhood can’t remember

When it wasn’t here. The last structure

I heard of with that same

Timeless past was Tintagel, in Cornwall,

Although I don’t believe my house is in the

Same league. No Merlin to abduct no baby

Arthur here, although there is a story about

Billy the Kid. This house, I’m told, is where

He stayed when he came to meet with

The governor, Lew Wallace, for a pardon.

But Billy’s not my ghost. Why would Billy the Kid

Open locked windows, light candles, turn

Pictures, and move knickknacks around?

That takes a different kind of mind.

All my life I’ve been haunted, but not like

This, and while it has its picturesque side,

I miss my privacy. Ghosts know no boundaries,

No walls, no locked doors,

And no matter how much I open myself,

I keep finding there’s more to hide.

I live in a haunted house in Santa Fe.

What do you suppose my ghost

Will do when I move away?


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, “Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you lose your vision, and yourself.” She said it shorter, though, with just a snort.

Larry Brody’s Poetry: ‘Listen’

by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB: 

A short one today. Epiphanies are usually pretty epigrammatic anyway, right? And this is as close as I ever get to an epiphany.

Listen

There’s this voice, see, and it keeps speaking to me,

Sometimes at night, sometimes during the day.

Always it’s uncomfortable, with the tone of an

Instrument long unused. It’s awkward, too,

Shrill and urgent, like a car alarm, a klaxon,

Instead of a siren of old.

The way I look at it, a seduction would be much better,

More fun than an alarm.

Want me to do-right-be-right-feel-right?

Great, hey, no problem, make me an offer

I don’t want to refuse.

Be whispery, lispery, overbite-lickery.

Stroke my chest and tangle our limbs,

Nestle near as you can to my heart.

But these orders from within

And frantic Jiminy Cricketry

Just send me running.

They drive me away from the truth.


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, “Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you lose your vision, and yourself.” She said it shorter, though, with just a snort.

Larry Brody’s Poetry: ‘I Asked God A Question The Other Night’

by Larry Brody

kidhollywoodcovercoyotecaptureNOTE FROM LB: 

An honest poem about an honest issue and a question asked by a man who may or may not be honest, by whom I mean…me. Writing this never felt like a risk, but posting it here, ah…this is much tougher than I thought it would be. 

I Asked God A Question The Other Night

I asked God a question the other night.

I figured it was pretty important, so there

Was no point in messing with angels or

Emissaries or any of the other lowdown

Heavenly truck.

“God,” I said — I always call Him God. Yahweh

Seems kind of limiting. I mean, what if the

Buddhists, or the Mohammedans are right?

You wouldn’t like some guy calling you by your

Arch-rival’s name, would you? And since

We’re in God’s image…well, you know the drill.

“God,” I said, “I need the skinny. My

Whole life’s gonna be based on the results of

This conversation, so we’re talking the real

Deal, you hear? So, God,”

I said, “if I do what those who love me

Think I can, if I be who I really be — am who

I am — no cheating myself, no fakery, no

Personalities splitting off into lies,

If I do this, God, will I live?

Or will I die?”

See, I remember years ago, when we

Made this pact. Being fresh, and green,

And hopeful, I got God to agree to a bargain.

He wouldn’t take me until I’d achieved my

Purpose on earth, until I’d done

What I’d been born to do.

I figured that would give me plenty of

Time to work it all out,

But it’s been twenty-five years since

That particular talk, and my

Hair’s turning white, and my muscle tone

Is shot, and hard ons go even faster than they

Come, and I’ve avoided my purpose

With a will, and a wile, and a vengeance

That’s supposed to be His.

So if I were Yahweh, or Allah, or even

Zeus, as a matter of fact, I’d be pretty

Pissed off, and I’d follow the letter of my

Law. Which means the minute this lying

Coward I really am became who he was

Supposed to — wham, harder tack time,

Baby. Eternal sleep.

(So, anyway, and all that), I asked God the

Big Question, about the fate of Number One.

Should I get down to business? Was it safe?

Would I still have a few years

For my body and its parts to get softer still?

Now I don’t know about you, but generally

Speaking God answers me. No signs, or

Signals, no burning bushes or

Open-ended events, but the real thing,

Genuine auditory hallucinations, brought on

By a burning imagination, a feverish need,

A belief in a reality that hasn’t existed

Since the last year B.C.

“God,” I said, “if I am who I am, will I die?”

And God’s voice shook my bed,

Thunder and lightning clashed in my head.

“Stop being an asshole!” was what He said.


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, “Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you lose your vision, and yourself.” She said it shorter, though, with a snort.

Larry Brody’s Poetry: The Navajo Dog Teaches A Lesson

by Larry Brody

kidhollywoodcovercoyotecaptureNOTE FROM LB: 

This poem hurts too much for me to read now because, I think, I’ve learned the lesson my friend was trying to teach me. Haven’t fully absorbed it, oh no. But I’ve lived that lesson. And live it still. 

The Navajo Dog Teaches A Lesson

We were in Colorado, the Navajo dog and I.

I was showering in a hundred foot waterfall,

Body banging against the rocks,

Flesh not so much cleansed as torn,

While she lolled on the grass nearby.

“What was the best day of your life?”

Said the Navajo dog when, beaten and bruised,

I emerged. I flopped down beside her,

Exhausted, yet filled with the power of the

Running water, feeling more about energy

Than I ever could have known. “The best day of

My life was when my first child was born,” I said.

“I was Kid Hollywood then, but still broke, still

Striving. I remember when I saw her. All I could

Think of was that no one in the world was good

Enough for my girl. I remember my arms aching,

And feeling so empty until I held her. I remember driving

Home after the birth, getting on the freeway at

Santa Monica Boulevard. I remember believing it

Was the most beautiful freeway entrance I’d ever

Seen, wondering what they’d done to make it

So special.” As I said it, I relived the day, and

The water that covered me soared up,

And away, and left me desert dry.

The Navajo dog rolled onto her

Back, offered me her belly to scratch. She sighed.

“And the worst?” she said.

“What was your unhappiest day?”

“A few years later,” I told her, “I was the head

Writer of a very good television show. I wrote the

Best script of my life, and shepherded it through

All the perils of production. And believe me,

There were quite a few. At last came the night my

Episode was scheduled to go on the air. I sat

Back to watch it, and realized my name wasn’t

There. No “Written By,” no credit, no acknowledgment

At all. A great,

Great show, and no one in the universe would

Know it was mine.”

“What did you do?” said the Navajo dog.

“I cried.

And I sued. The studio didn’t pay very much,

But at least they apologized. Seems there was a

Dispute with the Executive Producer. They wanted

To make him angry enough to quit, so they had the

Film editor snip out his name. Unfortunately, he cut

Too much film, and also took mine.

Later, that episode won a big award. At the ceremony

A clip was to be shown. But the studio sent the

Wrong piece of film. There was nothing for me

To do but stand on that stage, frightened

And wordless the whole time.”

The Navajo dog sprang to her feet, flailing paws

Clawing me away. She went to the river and stood

In the waterfall’s spray. “The worst day of my life,”

She said, “was the day before I found you. I was

Five months old, and all I had for food was horse dung.

I found some popcorn, thrown away by a tourist,

But when I started to eat a cat claimed it for her

Own. She terrified me, that cat did, all claws

And hisses and puffed-up chest that she was.

I peed right there, and ran like hell for my

Mother. The bitch was nowhere to be found

That day. Later I learned she had been chasing

A young lamb, driving him around and around,

Until he almost died of exhaustion. That was when

The Indians decided our little family had to return to Mother

Earth. The sins of the mothers, that’s the Navajo way.”

She shook herself, spraying water almost as

Violently as the waterfall, came closer to me,

Shook again. Naked and unmindful, I laughed.

“And your best day?” I said.

“Here,” said the Navajo dog. “Now. Standing in

The water, lying in the grass. Breathing. Listening.

Watching. Picking up the scents of those

Who’ve been here before, or will be here

Tomorrow as well.

Here,” the Navajo dog said again, “now.

The best is always here and now, for a dog. Feeling

The sun as it warms me. Listening to you,

My only begotten son, and finding how far

You have come,

And still have to go.

You’re halfway home,” said the Navajo dog.

“You’ve gotten the joyful part right.

But the bad, oh no, it’s not real, or true,

Or even about you. Looks like I have to stick around.”

Now I sighed, and rolled in the grass,

Went to the bank, felt the wet. I shook myself,

As the dog had done, and took the sacred

Eagle feather from the pouch tied around

My waist. It was soaked, a mess, but had

Done its job, and kept the Navajo dog from knowing

I lied. Because the truth was that the worst

Hadn’t yet come. The worst day of my life

Would be when the Navajo dog

Knew her task was over. The worst day of my

Life would be when she went away.


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, “Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you lose your vision, and yourself.” She said it shorter, though, with a snort.