Sunday, February 3, 2013

Chimeras was My Friend Until She Bit My Belly - Rod McKuen (A guest blog by Paul Porter)

Remember our first kitty?" I asked Cynthia, my first wife. She had been an admirer of poet McKuen in her non-judgmental, impressionable teenage years.

Chimeras had been sleek, black, and slinky; as though she were dressed in a designer gown of black satin. We named her Chimeras, because we liked the sound of the word. Chimeras was the first in a long procession of cats that deigned to let us be their keepers.
But none of them ever bit my belly until Maka, the first cat we had after our move to Hawaii.
I was sitting in the family room by the doors to the lanai, the light from the doors illuminating my latest issue of "The New Yorker" magazine. Because of 3rd class mail delivery, my issue always runs about 3 weeks late, giving me the pleasure of reading reviews after the fact and being able to judge the veracity of the magazine's opinions against the popular response that has been chronicled in the entertainment media.
I had just finished an 'Annals of Communications' article by Ken Auletta about Mark Willes' remake of the L.A.Times. In the course of the article, the reporter had addressed the age-old dichotomy between the reporter as observer, and the reporter as participant, bringing to my mind the pioneering work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, a long-time favorite of mine.
As I sat basking in the multitude of pleasures those memories stirred in me, I continued on to a profile of David Mamet by John Lahr (Bert's son). The caption for the picture at the opening of the article - "Mamet at work: Writing, he says, "stills the need to be accepted and the need to be revenged." 
I'd heard the name Mamet before, and knew he was taken seriously by the critics, but I had never read anything by him. But his phrase that was quoted in the caption capsulized my reason for writing, and I thought "here's someone I want to know more about."
And then Maka bit my belly.

 - Paul Porter

 Ariel's Note:  Paul is "a peripatetic pilgrim...eclectic, didactic, but not pedantic...a walking contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction.  He began his journey on a dairy farm in Kansas, and now rests his head in Pele's fiery bosom on the Big Island of Hawaii.  He's always looking forward to tomorrow and the new things tomorrow will bring. "  

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