Friday, October 29, 2010

If the locomotive... (parts two and three)

Last night I was so weary after a day of teaching and panel-participating that I ducked out of the evening reading here after the first reader was done: i'd like to have heard my two other colleagues read but I just couldn't attend to another thing. So I started walking up the hill to our room by myself in the dark, and just as my mountain lion fantasy began to assert itself, there in the darkness by the path was a jackrabbit, sitting up, elegantly lunar long ears alert. She was just sitting, and didn't budge till I walked over toward her and she scurried ahead a little. Then I realized why she wasn't darting away: a baby about the size of my hand was wandering around on the pine needles by my feet. This seemed a possible message from the night: you will not be eaten by a mountain lion, Mark, at least not tonight, but you might get to say hello to a mama jackrabbit.

And then tonight, after Terrance Hayes, John D'Agata and I read, Paul and I came walking back and took a different, higher path, so dark that we had to trust the gravel under our shoes to tell us we hadn't wandered astray, and over and behind the sound of some writers talking on the path below, we heard this high pitched concatenation of -- sirens? emergency vehicles? the whoops of cop cars when they want you to move over? Of course -- coyotes, in a grand yipping conclave, a wild-toned Bacchante pack. Wonderful, primal, disruptive, the delicious shiver of otherness in it.


Nancy Devine said...

rabbits pose a bit of a problem for me, because they are both adorable and destructive. still, we put hot dish and other treats under our front nanking cherry bushes in the winter in hopes the bunnies will mostly not gnaw on the cherry wood.

apprentice said...

Beautiful writing. I wish we still had some big predators beyond ourselves still around in the UK. The best we can muster is the fox. It might to us good to shiver at more than ourselves occasionally.


Here in the Ozarks of Missouri Mark, the primordial voices of coyotes can be heard on JUST ABOUT every night. They roam up along the winding way of the creek near to us. It is really quite a beautiful sound as long as your fav' pets and livestock have been put up in a safe place. Also,in a rare and wild night one can hear the scream of the panther. No doubt on this and it is hair-raising to say the least. Hope all is well and take care,(great blog)
Bobby in the Ozarks.