Chico the dog before Mohawk.
Blog not so much “blog” (on this occasion) as journal entry for handy reference. Exploring the uses of a multi-useful form, i.e., blog. Scarcely writing in my “journal” these days, more and more writing energy—and writing time—going into the blog.
Hence a little scribbling on plane returning from visit to K. (my daughter) in Austin, Texas. How “one woman to another,” how they see what is obvious, how they are tougher, franker, more fun than men, so it seems to me. How and what happens when I don’t need or don’t wish to speak as a father, simply don’t need to be “right,” whatever “right” is. How to listen to a daughter as another woman might listen. So I’ve written this poem, Woman to Woman.
How the woman K. is renting to has a little dog, Chico, who prefers K’s house to her own. Shaved and virtually hairless, little pooch has two-inch eyelashes, white or gray or blonde, and, dear God, I swear it’s true, a Mohawk. Almost hairless, but the dog has a Mohawk.
What crazy person did this to him? I think Chico’s a him. “He’s revolting,” says my daughter’s boyfriend. And the little dog goes into their bedroom at 2 am and knocks his head against the bed and rings its little collar bell to wake her up.
“I’m saying what I’m saying,” I say to my daughter, “and I don’t need to be right.” She’s obsessing about some dope (not the current) she’d be better off without. So I’m working on a poem and the poem has an agenda, but I’m writing what I’m writing, just as I say what I say to my daughter, without the need to be right, without any need at all—other than to convince her to drop the jerk. So the agenda’s up front. But poems or stories with agendas usually stink. The agenda gets in the way of the poem.
Am I, like Chico the dog, knocking my head against some solid object and doing so in vain? Still, the little bell is ringing, Wake Up Wake Up…