Saturday, December 25, 2010

Pickled Bats

Love this picture. They said the pump on the left is for gasoline. The pump on the right is for kerosene. This is a little while back. Somewhere in the south in the thirties I think, and the blacks are locals chewing the fat, while the caption said that the guy in the doorway was the storekeeper's brother. A particular afternoon...I always yearn to be a guy walking past or something with photos like this.

This particular music has received nearly 5.5 million hits. I offer it as counterpoint to the push of this season.

This is an intriguing poem. I don't know now what started it but I am very happy to call it mine. There is a truth in it I am not sure I can write any other way. I have strong memories of being haunted by the risk that I would discover some place in me, some truth of me, some darkness or entanglement or some other thing that would be bigger than me or otherwise more than I could handle. This was part of the trouble of psychedelics for me in my twenties but also their draw because I wanted to exorcise this demon, get past it. I saw me crippled in carrying my haunt. It was fucking my music for one. It was stopping me in other ways. And yet I knew approaching it straight on would destroy me. This haunt was left to me after I turned the corner and found a way to live after all. That victory came when I was twenty one. It was the culmination of the open struggle that began when I was nineteen. It was the fight that I began to fear coming when I was thirteen. So in October, 2009, very near the forty-third anniversary of that victory, all that was left was a pickled bat in a jar in the basement of my soul. It is still there, I think.

The Common Vampire Bat. I suppose it might as well be this one that is pickled and kept in the jar. Poor thing...looks like something chomped off a piece of its left ear. Look closely. I wonder if it was done with a hole punch as a scientific marker.

Pickled Bats

If I were to find
a jar with a pickled bat
inside it down in
the basement of my life
I don't know what I would do
about it, but I
know I'd remember,
take it personal enough
to have pickled dreams.

October 1, 2009 8:52 AM


  1. I used to be scared of bats, but now i think they are rather sweet.
    sweet pickles.

  2. Good lord! it appears you know about exit 161 and how to get to small towns through their back doors.



  3. Jozien, I feel the same except for one thing. Bats are often rabid. At least that's what I have been told. They carry but do not fall ill with rabies. So while I like bats and think them very special because of their radar sense, I also think I should keep my distance.

    I once lived in a condo that had a dark brown cork tile wall. We were also built into a hillside such that our downstairs was underground. Our place was attractive to bats and we kept the door to the deck open for the cats to go in and out. So we had bats a few times.

    Who, I am a back door man :D

  4. Wonderful Thirties photo! Much to explore within while exploring that exterior scene. I settled on this to work with: Under a dilapidated building is a hen in a pen, but the cage door has been left open…..wide open!

    The bat: That's a photo of a female bat - her ear was bitten by a male bat with whom she was neither smitten nor willin." :)

  5. Mizz E, That's an intriguing bat tale. The trouble with my interp. I am not sure how you track bats. They seem too small to wear devices.

    The trouble with your interp. The mark is not ragged enough. That apeears to be a nearly perfect part circle.

  6. Yes, I see your point, particularly given that bat teeth are very tiny. I'll now speculate that 'she/he' narrowly escaped being a predatory mammal's meal.

  7. I thought a paper punch because 1 the roundness is so perfect looking, 2 the clean picture almost certainly means a bat under someone's control and 3 once you have a bat in that position you often mark them so you can identify them later.

    But I am not an expert.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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