Various Assorted Wildlife

In a house as old as ours, at this time of year, its sometimes difficult to distinguish between outside and in. Bugs think so – a good number of them cannot tell our kitchen, a place they do not belong, from our yard, a place they are essentially welcome to, there being eff-all I can do about it. We’re tracking in leaves and sticks. We’re dog-sitting for the weekend, so an animal is prowling the entirety of the premises at all hours. On it goes.

The eight cats who live next door consider our backyard their territory and the dog an interloper. When his back is literally turned, they slink along the wall, eyeing him imperiously, daring him out; the moment he whirls around, they disappear. Every now and again he catches the scent of one of them and becomes suddenly ferocious, following the smell everywhere, leaping in the air and snapping at nothing, enthralled with the imaginary chase.

Louisville is a nice place to grow up and our house is a magical place for small children. They are sure they know its secrets as grown people never will: a whole different family living in the attic we cannot access, a ghost in the basement, an archaeological dig site in the back. B’s nephews and niece played on the porch last time they came to visit and one of them summoned me. We turned left out of our the front door, where a narrow alley between our house and the one next to it leads to a low stone wall, to which he pointed.

“There used to be a cat there,” he told me with great authority. And there will be again. All creatures great and small come and go here as they please.

How Should a Show About Witches Be?

I wrote about witches and television for Bitch Flicks, and yes, I know every outlet I write for has the word bitch in the title. I am a child of the 90s, and it bothers me not at all.

I really appreciated the fine folks there letting me go totally off the rails with extraordinarily minimal editing. I love this piece.

Witches are in the very fabric and nature of gender and queerness and the margins we live in. So if “the season of the witch” just won’t end, how, exactly, should a show about witches be? How about this: Womyn-centric. Gender queering. Aware of race and ethnicity and faith and their role and lived reality in any particular time and space. Deeply intersectional and examining of those aforementioned spaces in the context of that intersectionality. And, without reservation and above all else: totally, joyfully bonkers.

How Should a Show About Witches Be?

The River Has Overflowed Its Banks.

Natural disasters must be ranked in several ways in order to determine their narrative usefulness. How much destruction they cause, and how long it takes them to cause it, for example. Hurricanes are excellent for sudden, violent, sweeping change. Snowstorms are about the slow grinding of hope into dust, and the re-emergence of love, and spring, when least expected.

And then, too, natural disasters and their associated adjectives must be measured by the phonetics, by the unquantifiable lyrical qualities that make mere vocabulary sing to the heart. Storms are cold. Tropical storms are humidity and power, a love affair trapped in a hotel room for days, building to a crescendo, only to open the door when the worst has passed and to find that outside, everything has been utterly destroyed in your absence. You will have to rebuild, after a tropical storm.

For the convergence of sheer grindingly aggravating reality and breathtakingly beautiful language, though, nothing will quite beat a flood. Just say the word. Flood. A quiet, paced destruction of everything you’ve known and loved. You are flooded with joy, flooded with grief, flooded with the knowledge of things past and of things yet to be. And the water – it flows, it over flows, it flows over. Over what? Its banks. The river has overflowed its banks. It has made its way into the city and past it, into basements and onto first floors, across low-lying farmland. It has stolen in, in the night, made off with fences and road signs and yes, the occasional car. In the morning when you awaken and the flood has receded, you are flooded with hope. Things can be suddenly untenable and then all at once better. You are flooded with peace. You can’t leave the house anyway. You sit on your once-porch, now lakefront property, and sip your coffee.

Of course, since the Ohio River has, in fact, overflowed its banks, one concern has gripped the city of Louisville, held tight to it, inspired fear and anxiety: how will this effect the NCAA championship games? What about parking? How early must one get downtown if one should have, say, tickets to a 4pm game? What if you’re hoping to buy one outside the Yum Center? Are the scalpers still out where they were last year, or have circumstances forced them to relocate? These are the chief concerns when the river floods a city south of the Mason-Dixon line in the month of March.

To the Ohio River’s terrorist flood. Long may it reign.