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V.25 No.50 | 12/15/2016

Creative Non-Fiction

Number 371

One time, I wrote to you from a provocatively celestial, windy night.

I.

Two dust-speckled birds lit on the mulberry tree across the street. The tree still had some dark green leaves on, it being the middle of November.

I heard a low and mournful whisper coming from the train yard. It weren't a ghost; just a locomotive breathing out its coarse diesel discourse into the obscure hours.

Before long, those two nightjars commenced their song; caliginous chirps and whistles followed. All of those sounds combined. And once entwined, they spirited themselves away into the upper atmosphere.

There was a buzzing sodium lamp burning nearby. The light it made caused nearby objects to appear yellow and sharp. Purple shadows blossomed beneath the cars and plants and cats located within the circle of its electric radiance.

I spied Polaris setting in one place, way up north. The rest of the stars and planets churned around it like the maelstroms that take unlucky boats down to Neptune's hidden garden. Seeing how that idea gave me an unfamiliar but welcome sense of ease and well being, I laid myself down and fell into a dream.

II.

It is naturally bright but the air is sullen at the same time. I let my old yellow Volkswagen—the one I bought from the fry cook at Fred's Bread—do the driving. That car carries me with all of the benevolence its chugging engine can muster, across empty mesas and up into foggy foothills.

The road gets hard to manage and has been flooded with paint the color of water so I climb out a side window. The city of Albuquerque is glowing beneath me. It looks just like I imagine a vast space station might, if I were an astronaut.

I tell the Volkswagen (whose name I cannot pronounce when awake) to wait while I investigate the geometry and nocturnal animal life in the mountains ahead.

A pack of coyotes is breathing out howling noises aimed at the moon and vinegaroon skitters through the arroyo, whipping its tail and snapping its black claws. Somewhere east of Supper Rock, I find a wooden door has been craftily installed into the face of a cliff I used to climb.

I pull it open to discover the Sandia Mountains are mostly hollow. A pale blue light seeps through from the other side. Inside, I notice that someone built a ramshackle fence—made from saplings and multi-colored telephone wire—around a great green meadow that seems to extend for miles. Sheep graze here and there. My old dog Arnold bounds up to say hello, wagging his tail. He starts carrying on about the beauty and serenity of nature

III.

The sun came up just about then, just as I began to notice the telephone wire fence was really constructed of lunar soil and leaden capacitors.

Yawning and shaking my head at the impossibility such things, I sat up in bed, activated my personal levitation device, floated into the kitchen and processed some coffee beans into a stimulating beverage. I swung the backdoor open in a gesture meant to reconcile myself with reality and did not bother to look for my shoes before deactivating the machine and stepping into November.

A cool breeze was wafting through the air. The whole place smelt of water and autumnal relief. Two fellows were working on the swamp cooler next door and cursing a clogged copper pipe while the neighbor's cat patrolled the fence tops, prowling for Inca doves.

I blinked my eyes and the radio came on as I tumbled back into the house. An announcer was telling about the war and how it might make things like miniaturized nuclear fuel cells scare, how growing one’s home victory garden ought to be balanced out with proper and diligent Geiger counter use.

The presidential show was coming up, the on-air voice continued, and it looked like Oprah was still in the lead because Justin Beiber might be pretty, but his foreign policy skills needed lots of work. 2024 would be a helluva year I thought to myself, even if I do have to learn to walk again.

IV.

The alarm went off at seven that morning and I jumped out of bed like my life depended on that simple act. Three cups of coffee and two bowls of Rice Chex later, I began my daily drive to work. I smiled broadly and had a good laugh when the oldies station played that one hit song Franz Ferdinand had when everyone in the rocanrol press really believed they were gonna be the next big thing after Radiohead was done conquering the earth.

V.25 No.36 | 09/08/2016

Tourist in her own Town

Another Weekend in Review

Revisiting Albuquerque like it was the first time
V.25 No.31 | 08/04/2016

The Daily Word in Birds, Tim Curry and Hate

The Daily Word

The Olympics are getting better, right? Right???

From the mouth of the Doctor himself, Tim Curry is going to be in the new Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Which came first, the corndog or death?

Donald Trump thinks he's not violent at all.

Do you really know what birds look like when they fly?

The last liberal newspaper in China is fighting for it's life.

Who do you hate, you dummy?

V.25 No.30 | 07/28/2016

Event Horizon

A Midsummer Night's Wings

Saturday, Aug 6: Summer Wings, A Festival of Flight

Bilingual, guided walks to learn about native animals. Watch a hummingbird capture, banding and release, an insect capture, indentification and release and learn about nature journaling.
V.25 No.16 | 04/21/2016

The Daily Word in Star Wars, Solar Power and Oddball Imagery

The Daily Word

Not all Internet-born relationships are doomed. If you're as lucky as this surreal pair of artists you'll find a brain as bizarre as yours. Love awaits in strange photo ops involving distortion and creepy props. Compatibility at its finest.

How does one accidentally run a half-marathon? Ask this 12-year-old.

Ever seen Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds? Fictional, right? That's what I thought, too, but don't be fooled. Behind the beady black eyes of ravens and crows are brains just as clever as chimpanzees'. I'm not saying they're planning an attack but be prepared.

One thing that Donald Trump is exceptionally good at? Playing the victim.

Thousands of animals lovers sign a petition to ban tourists riding elephants after one in Cambodia falls to his death.

A team of 5 and 6-year-olds takes home a trophy taller than themselves for winning a competitive chess competition.

I guess a bad economy (not, I don't know, slowly killing the planet) is justifiable reason for workers to quit pumping oil and switch to working with renewable resources.

Internet conspiracies are abuzz, but all we can do is wait. The only certainty: Star Wars Episode VIII is gonna be... different.

V.25 No.13 | 03/31/2016
Like this but instead of a cow, it's me (a human)
via compfight

Dream Blog #356

“Hi, Nana,” I say to a skeletal hummingbird that lands on my finger. It crawls up my arm extending extra legs that are spidery and long but retract back into the creature. I walk across a grassy hillside during the late morning as the creature walks back and forth between my shoulders. There's a tall, thick tree with many branches full of leaves at the top of the hill that I avoid; not because I don't want to touch it or it scares me or anything, it's just that I don't want to walk all the way to the top of the hill.

We reach a point on the hill and I decide to lay down and rest. Nana flutters above my head as I lay down and lands on my chest and falls asleep. I stay awake in the warm sun. There are no clouds in the sky.

I wake up.

V.25 No.13 | 3/31/2016

Gallery Preview

Art Appreciation 101

Varied gallery openings explore bird life, the human figure and more

Albuquerque's fine art galleries are exploring the confines and nuance of appreciation by showcasing thematic works that typify appreciation of a singular subject.
V.25 No.9 | 03/03/2016

nature

The Crows, Crows, Crows

One of the world's smartest animals is right overhead

What's almost as amazing as the fact that the crow is one of the world's smartest animals, is that they're so commonplace. But, when you think about it, it follows: Smart animals survive and proliferate.

These intrepid black birds (from their beaks to their feet) are part of the corvid family, which also includes that other close relative of the crow, the raven. Almost all species of corvid have been observed using tools, have well-studied languages, a demonstrable generational memory and frequently vocalize emotions like fear and happiness. Domesticated crows even have "names" for their owners, typified by a vocalization only used in the presence of a particular person. Further, they are able to recognize a number of faces.

Part of the crow's ability to endure is the fact that they eat such a variety of food, over 1,000 different documented items. Dedicated omnivores, they'll eat carrion or carry out. They even recognize logos. Sadly and amazingly, crows will always descend upon a McDonald's bag before they peak into a plain brown sack.

If you need a list of 19 more reasons to love crows and some baby pics that make it impossible not to, check out this Buzzfeed list.

And also consider the great imagery these big black birds provide. They show up time and again in popular media ... take a listen to the Mountain Goats' song "The Crow," my personal favorite song about these special birds.

V.25 No.5 | 2/4/2016
bird with seeds
J. Grisham

Pets

Feed the Monsters

A guide to backyard bird-feeding

You can have your birds and free them, too.
V.24 No.53 | 12/31/2015
morguefile.com

Literature

Poetic Saturdays

A Haiku for Cold Weather

When it's cold AF outside...

morguefile.com

Event Horizon

Winter's Feather Forecast

Saturday, Jan 9: Winter Bird and Bat Festival

A speaker program, guided bird and plant walks, live birds with Wildlife Rescue and others, and crafts for kids.
V.24 No.50 | 12/10/2015
morguefile.com

Event Horizon

Birdseed Made Beautiful

Sunday, Dec 20: Winter Solstice Mandala Creation

Join in creating a huge mandala made of seeds and grains which can be eaten by birds, composted or can quickly biodegrade.
V.24 No.45 | 11/05/2015
morguefile.com

Event Horizon

Welcome Back the Cranes

Saturday, Nov 14: 2015 Return of the Sandhill Crane Celebration

Welcome the cranes back to their winter habitat with art, films, origami, viewing scopes, tai chi, craneology 101, animal tales, music and more.
V.24 No.7 | 2/12/2015
You may need sunglasses for Saul Hoffman’s “Cerebral Highway.”
[click to enlarge]

Art Review

Retinal Burn

Scorch your eyeballs on these radiant exhibits

Bright beginnings

Saul Hoffman’s first solo show reveals the galactic possibilities of polymer clay, plus those freaky birds of paradise.
V.23 No.36 |

news

The Daily Word in Miley Cyrus' junk, Pablo Escobar's weird brother and Albuquerque's delicious tap water

The Daily Word

Members of a church in Alamogordo showed their distaste for Satan by burning the Devil in effigy.

Albuquerque has some of the tastiest water in the nation.

Mayor Berry and APD chief Eden are on a junket to Vegas for better policing ideas.

That controversial national police shooting competition is on for this weekend in Albuquerque.

Meet Pablo Escobar's eccentric brother Roberto!

Miley Cyrus is having her first art show featuring "a bunch of junk glued to stuff".

Nifty-neato collection of c. 1900 "lifeboat men" drawings.

Much to others' dismay, China is building it's own islands in the South China Sea.

Live coverage of today's iPhone 6 release.

Climate change will likely cause some species of birds to move or go extinct.

There's a longer video of Ray Rice knocking out his girlfriend in an elevator.

Today's Events

Aliento: Carnaval 2017 at National Hispanic Cultural Center

The musical group PANdemonium takes participants on a journey through the Carnaval traditions of Cuba, Trinidad, Brazil and New Orleans.

Captured! by Robots • rock • I Cum Drums • percussion apocalypse at Sister

Formal Cupping at Prosum Roasters

More Recommended Events ››
 

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