Apology to a Dog

When I realized the enormity
of your betrayals and treachery,
begun even before my own infancy,
as I was a child of Rape;
I disowned you,
after you disowned me first,
“as a proven evil-doer.” (Neruda)
Don't approach me.
Don't look at me.
Hands off.

I am a True Believer in the One and Only God,
Whose law is Thou Shalt Not
Put other gods before Me or beside Me,
for I am the One and Only True God and Creator
of all Beings, and there is no other. In Me resides the only Majesty, Sanctuary, and Peace,
In an abode of Absolute Silence, where all Eternity is still; a single, Eternal, Moment. 

I am here to honor my violated mother,
and my most-gracious and generous, sensible and blessed,
hardworking, artistic, and god-loving grandmother.
Gone to meet her Jesus at last;
but none of you others at all.

After a century of staring at the wall,
that you built for my prison,
and seeing it multicolored for the very first time,
long after you went blind from eating like a pig,
I realized at last the varied nuance of your crime
against me. For bastardy.
You made a bastard out of me.
You stupid backward idiots in the Lee family of Louisiana and Texas.
And my New York father had "date-raped" my seed into the world.

I do not forgive him for that act of violence
against a defenseless woman in sexual disguise;
against my lovely and one and only mother.
It just about ruined her life, having me.
"I nearly died," she told me several times over the years,
"and you almost died too";
my birth had been so difficult.
And get this, for understanding
the importance
of this
to my development as a human person:
I did not learn it until I was in my mid-forties,
and only from Mickey herself, who
finally could talk to me as an adult.
It explained early mysteries; it made me forgive her.

I do not forgive him for passing his conscienceless oversexed genes onto me;
and to mine. But how could he have known or suspected anything
about consequences, "farther on up the road?"

I do not forgive you for the life without family you left me to.
I do not forgive you for never calling or seeking me out.
I do not forgive you for not inquiring.
I do not forgive you for not answering my letters.
I do not forgive you for not returning my phone calls.
I do not forgive you for "staying out of it," when my sister
put me in solitary confinement for 18 months for grass and LSD.
I do not forgive you for not discussing, at least with me,
my very real grievances with my mom.
She drank too much.
She was an alcoholic in denial.
She deprived Sidney's children and myself with her selfish drinking,
and endangered their sweet lives by drunk driving.
She was unreasonable and spoke in deliberate non-sequiturs;
like Professor Irwin Corey.
When she needed it most, her brave Irish spirit flagged.
Nobody knew that alcoholism was a curable disease.
And you all knew she was alcoholic; but so were you.
But she was passionate enough to sustain it, do her work,
and keep her fresh Irish auburn-haired beauty.
She was charming and agreeable to her friends.
More intelligent than she let on, except to her best friends,
Sharon and Violet;
she was always ready to play the straight man or clown,
if it was proper and amusing to others.
Everybody except her jealous little sister liked her.
She was an efficient office manager and receptionist,
and she typed like a flash on those old machines
with even the best of the old hands;
at 120 wpm.

And if she ever made more of herself than she was,
as we all occasionally do,
it was by pointing out that she had been "the personal secretary"
of a certain Colonel Parsons at the Oak Ridge facility of the Manhattan Project--
"We called him Colonel Sargent," she said;
He armed the Bomb over Hiroshima,
setting the trigger at the last moment.

But she put me in jail for a week when my step dad had been dead only three months,
for "talking back."
Parents regularly did that with rebellious kids in the South back then.
She had turned me over to him, when I had rejoined her at 10,
and couldn't think of anything else to do,
when I said a forbidden word twice..

Her younger sister Jess was lean and savage by comparison;
a cruel little bitch with a wimp of a husband who,
at six feet and six inches,
could have taken on Mohammed Ali if he had any guts,
and strong as a chiropractor, because that's what he was;
(Ali would happily have whipped his white racist ass.)
But he wouldn't stop the nasty-tempered drunken racist bitch
from beating me with a belt buckle and kicking me in the stomach and head,
after dragging me upstairs by my hair, drunk as Caligula,
because I had said at her pasta dinner, cheerfully,
"Pass the cheese, please."
She was jealous because she was barren, and her sister got pregnant
from mere looks.

Sid had to drive the 140 mile trip to and from Lake Charles to Houston
for my retrieval; he was grim;
a mustang captain of combat engineers, he never lost control;
but would not let me even discuss it
as he drove like a barrel full of nails with not another word..
I was wrong and that was all there was to say about it,
"So just sit there and be quiet, Michael."
Later, I was surprised to learn that my older sister had gotten Bill off his ass to "do something!"
to stop the beating and my incessant screams.
Another stupid pompous professional overeducated too rich racist snob go-along,
who did more damage than he ever knew.

I do not forgive you for calling my mother a liar,
my once-dear Uncle Sherman,
while she laid lifeless under her concrete slab;
your own elder sister,
who loved you to death,
and would have defended you with her life,
when she protested that she had been made drunk and then raped
on the steps of the San Jacinto Monument,
 in November, 1940, after dinner on a "blind date,"
 with her best friend Sunny Brown;
who fared better weather,
moved to California,
and married a millionaire..

I was growing in her belly
like a regular consumer,
and then my
son of a bitch father
abandoned us in Chicago,
after taking us there
from New York's Upper West Side;
The White House in fact,
where she had followed him pregnant,
having wisely insisted on his address
in the unlikely event
that he would rape
or perhaps even kill her..
He just took us there and dumped us before I was a year old.
Like refuse.

She left me with a neighbor and fled home to Mama
and the little girl she had not seen for a year.
When she did not return,
The neighbor gave me to Chicago.
But my grandmother found and saved me,
becoming my legal guardian.

I finally found the son of a bitch in Las Vegas,
after casually scanning phone books for 40 years,
when he was in his 80s and too frail to come to the phone.
His protective daughter, younger than me, did not even suspect
that she was talking with her bastard half-brother.
She knew nothing about his life on the run from the FBI
for Draft Evasion;
 the fucking coward.
My mother finally confided that he
had tried to turn her into a whore.
I spent a whole day in the Plattsburg, NY, library
with the Town Historian,
that gave me a lead that I froze for years...
what difference would it make, anyway?

If you
are interested in seeing
the subtle intertwining,
and unlikely combinations
of safes that no one can crack,
without high explosives;
then just try to track
the genetic rivers and streamlets,
through vast vodka gimlets,
with flattered words spoken,
promises broken, whiskey glass broken,
and hard dicks always intruding,
and hands grabbing your ass,
eroding fate lines on your sad,
and dying, funny face;
Sid's favorite song for her was,
"My Funny Valentine."

Mickey was better than that two-bit nowhere cardboard town;
DeRidder, Louisiana, and DeQuincy, where she sprouted,
 she told me.
I can vouch that De Quincy is not worth a shit.
The guy who owns the only hardware store
doesn't really know
what a real paint brush is;
or what it does.
And he can't even cut glass.
Even his new hammers are rusted.

My mother Mickey Lee had class;
she liked to read and learn about things.
And she was still pretty in her coffin, dead at 60,
with her cancer-killed hair dyed an unnatural red,
her body donated to science
to pay for her funeral,
and her skin already harvested
by those little skin lawn mowers,
those living cell sowers,
rolled up like carpets of lawns for transplanting;
but her skeleton dressed well and padded;
and me not even suspecting
that even the skin that I knew her by,
the skin that was my own, the blood,
my own;
the smell of it,
the ruddy Irish blush of it,
my own;
the infrequent friendly brush of it,
was totally gone.

I am not a forgiving person,
despite my principled grandmother's wise advice;
unfortunately for us all.
And fortunately, I am not the violent person,
that you seem to fear I am; not a'tal.
Nor was I ever, though I was a marine four years and two months,
who was shot at only by his own officers.
I collected precious butterflies as a kid, and read books
that Mickey Lee bought for me.
She passed to me as a gift or curse
her own insatiable wanderlust.

I am like and now pity
the poor pit bull,
that would crunch
and tear my head off, 
if he only could;
Because I hurled big stones and sincere curses at him,
simply for boasting in the middle of the night,
every night,
all the tedious,
barking, thought-disrupting nights,
that he was a primo dog too,
with inalienable dog rights;
entitled to as much doggie-style
sex as the bitches,
that he smells from all over town,
all gettin' down
for the ritual of screwing
to propagate the race of dogs;
commanded to avoid extinction; all the fucking that they
could stand still for; and if the gang rapes had been not stopped short
by a kick ass pit bull like himself, the poor pregnant bitch,
still seeping hormones, well they would have fucked her to death;
the hot hungry dogs,
only there for the fucking and fighting,
and incidentally the food.
He would kick some ass to get some of that.
It was what he was made for.
But humans had anchored him like a statue.

And the respect as well,
from lesser males,
because he was Alpha,
and they all were pussies to him..
He could and would bite their sorry arses and hang on,
as he was designed to accomplish;
and so would his Line;
if only the people,
who liked him too much,
would simply unbind him from the damned tree--
his only sanctuary from the likes of me,
and maybe even from  thee.

This dog could drive you crazy.
He was an obnoxious aggressive and monotonous dog,
with a RUFF! RUFF! RUFF! RUFF! every six to 16 seconds
all the livelong blog-slog night.
Rarely a whole minute passed quietly,
when I tried to concentrate and write..
No, I would bark at myself too,
and vow eternal hatred
for the stupid old man,
who keeps pens in a can,
and, who didn't even see
that the book wasn't right;
the plan wasn't working;
the characters were grotesque in their perfection.
and that the dog
was meant to stop me;
to make me sort it out again and start over;
'Keeping hope alive'.

Thank you at least for that,
You mindless, horny, canine son of a bitch.
(It would have been a passable but bad first novel.)

So, I am sorry,
and humbly beg your pardon,

But the rest of you can go fuck yourselves.


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