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Posts Tagged ‘Fred Garber’

Coyote in the Backyard

May 14, 2013 2 comments

by Frederick Garber

One time when I was going along I picked up the newspaper. It was on the table in the coffee shop.

I looked at the headlines. Something about a someone selling a war. I did not read the article. There was a foto of a happy cheerleader on the front page. Well, I was in a hurry. And I just scanned the pages. Looking for who lied. Looking for who died. Looking for who cried. Nobody that I knew.

Right there on page 7. The bottom of page 7. The lower right hand corner of page 7. Section B, I believe it was. Was a small article of great importance. A Mrs. Jones had called animal control. She had heard a noise in her backyard. An annoying disturbance, it was. So she had looked out the kitchen window. And she saw a coyote running around the backyard. He was trying to get out. He was digging.

Dirt was flying. The neighbor’s dogs were howling. Her backyard was fully fenced. Fully fenced with chain link. The kind that keeps critters in and out. So she was surprised to see a wild beast in her backyard. So she called animal control. Mrs. Jones has a small house in the Russian bottoms.

She lives near Saint Casimir’s Catholic Church. She lives just off of Gordon Drive. She is retired. She is a widow. Mr. Jones use to work as a meat cutter for Swift. She raised a big family. And now she lived alone. And now a coyote had invaded her yard. And now she has called animal control. Well the article on page 7 goes on to tell us what happened. Bob Larson from animal control had taken the call. He was there in ten minutes. He had come in the small white pickup. He was ready. He had a gun. He had a rope. He had a bag full of stuff. He walked to Mrs. Jones’s backyard. The coyote was gone. There was no hole under the fence. There was no way for the coyote to escape. Mrs. Jones was sure that she had seen him. The neighbor dogs were watching carefully. Bob Larson had to file his report. Report of coyote in backyard. No coyote in backyard. Page 8 had a notice to be on the lookout for a peddler.

A door to door peddler with a beard. A peddler with a strong smell. A peddler trying to sell empty bottles. Last seen near Gordon Drive. Do not open the door for him. Call the police right away. So I finished my espresso. And then I drove to work.


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Frederick Garber writes, “I am somewhat retired. My wife and I live in Mexicali, Baja del Norte, Mexico. Border city of a million or so people, twice as many pigeons, a fair amount of wild skinny dogs and over 300 Chinese restaurants. I won 4th place in a poetry contest maybe 15 years ago. Lucky for me only 4 people entered and my friend was the judge. Got a free pizza as a prize. I have also been published a few times in qarrtsiluni. Had a poem about dead pinatas published on Poets Against the War. Back in the 60s I knew someone who was studying at the Writer’s Workshop at the University of Iowa. I cannot recall his name. But he had some great parties.”

Categories: Animals in the City Tags:

The Cold Spot

August 28, 2006 7 comments

At night I reach over to your side of the bed – that cold spot with its frozen memories. The warmth of my hand brings them out of their icy suspension. I can almost feel your nipple growing hard between my fingers. Thawed memories and maybe flawed memories begin to mix in with my body’s involuntary muscle twitches and my random mental twitches – until your side of the bed freezes up again.

by Fred Garber of Factory Town

Categories: Short Shorts Tags:

Place of Sense

January 3, 2006 15 comments

When you live in a place
long enough you learn the smells.
The smoke from its factories.
The ammonia from the fertilizer plant.
The slaughter house blood and bone.
Garlic frying in the woks.

You get used to the sounds.
The honking of horns
and squealing of tires.
The sirens of cops
and the silence of robbers.
The helicopters flying overhead.
The family crying
at the young girl’s funeral.
The wild laughter
from the neighbor’s apartment.
The Corpus Christi
procession in the street.
Hip hop music from the cars.

You recognize others on the street
in this place where you live, where
you’ve learned the smells and the sounds.
You walk by people sometimes.
Sometimes they walk by you.
Some of them are bright-eyed,
alert to the world.
Some of them carry their fists
clenched, their jaws set.
You notice that some of them
keep their eyes downcast, averted.
Some never talk.
But the eyes are always
saying something.
Something about love and hate,
about life and death,
here where three rivers meet,
The Floyd, the Big Sioux and the Missouri.
Some of the eyes know you.
They remember you
and you remember them.

The dead girl had been
murdered by her ex-boyfriend
She was an only child.
I know the family.
The funeral was on
a Friday during Lent.
A cold rainy day.
The interment was
on a windy hill.
The notes of the mariachi band
were lost in the wind.
The violins got wet.
The ladies at the parish hall
forgot it was Friday and served
ham salad sandwiches.
I guess that funeral was
everyfuneral for everygirl
everywhere.

Sometimes people just walk by.
You nod your head.
And they nod theirs.
They are like the others.
They are not like the others.
It is always hard to tell.

Let me make this clear.
It has something to do with
the sense of place.
The place of sense.
And the spirit in you.
And the spirits beyond you.
You become part of a place
and the place becomes part of you.
And that is what I needed to say.

Written by Fred Garber, of Factory Town.

Categories: Finding Home Tags: