who, why

thursday 30 june 2011              (new post)

I’ve written just in the last several days about the who. The name or names that Matthew would never give, still won’t give me. He told me that people wanted to hurt me, he told me I was being protected and by whom, but he never said any names of any family or families who are the ones from whom I need this so-called protection. This lack of names is a thing that, to my own mind, speaks to my sanity, to the fact that I’m not delusional. I do believe that if I were nutty, I would simply supply the names. I’d take them out of my memory of old news stories, or whatever, but as a delusional, I would have names. It would be the names that would be a salient feature of the delusion as a story, a story that included all the necessary names needed to complete the scenario. I’m sane, and so I have no names, except that one possible Greif. But that one didn’t come from Matthew. If it had, I would be certain of that name. No other name, except my own, oddly enough, has ever come up. The grandfather that Matthew told me was a mob man had the same last name that I do, so there’s that. I would have more details if this were a delusion.

Just as important to me, the purported object of a hunt, as the who, is the why. Why? Many bad therapists and many regular people have asked me this question over the last three years. Some psychiatrists too. Why do they want you? The response I have is flimsy: because I lived in a building with a very insane and substance-addicted woman who loathes me, and she’s connected to these people by marriage, and she asked them to hurt me. My answer doesn’t live up to the drama of the situation — other people’s drama, not mine. I didn’t ask to be told by a man that I was in this kind of trouble and this kind of protection. It happened to me. The drama of crime mobs and protectors and undercover crap belongs to the mobs and to the protectors, not to me. I didn’t dream it up, and I didn’t choose it. But when I talk to others about all of this, all the drama doesn’t, of course, escape them. And rather than allowing for the possibility that this has happened to me, they prefer to stay in their denial and decide that I either invented this drama because I love drama, or I imagined it.

I want the answer that isn’t flimsy, and have always wanted it. I’ve paced around Matthew’s livingroom floor, smoking, stepping around the day’s pile of clothes-code, with tears in my eyes and with my volume escalating: But what do they care about me? I’ve never witnessed any of their big crime-doings, I never stole any of the money or the drugs. I’m nothing to their world. I pause in my pacing and crying and near-yelling to look at him and see if he will speak. Sometimes he does, and spouts some of his idiot-shtik. Nothing real. Other times he just keeps quiet. I go on: So what if their little Judith hates me and asked them to hurt me. So what! Do these gangster types go around bumping off everyone little Judith hates? Do they really spend their time and their resources that way? Don’t they have better things to do, more important things to do? I hurl these questions at Matthew repeatedly over two months, and I never get the answer. On July 26 of 2008, when he tells me about my grandfather, I ask again: So what? Is this because of Judith and my grandfather? So what? Whatever my grandfather did that made them kill him, it was over sixty years ago. If they want to bump off people in my family as some kind of a vendetta, why haven’t they been doing it for the last sixty years? Why now? Why me?

I get no logical response. I get shtik. But while I am railing about sixty years ago and vendetta and all that, I suddenly remember the murder of my cousin, and a whole new area of question and of pain floods through me: my cousin. All those years ago. I’m sitting now. The pacing is fairly rare. I usually plant my butt on the futon and do my railing in minimal comfort. So I start telling Matthew all about cousin Billy, and I can see in his eyes that he already knows, but he chooses not to say so and lets me keep talking. This has happened before when I’ve told him certain things about myself or Judith or the landlady: he already knows. It’s there in his eyes. But he’s not going to admit that to me. So, as always, I pretend I don’t see what’s in his eyes, and I don’t say You already know, and I just keep telling my facts.

When I get only a few sentences into my facts about Billy, Matthew turns his face towards the window and keeps it there. Stares out the window while I talk. Will not look at me, not even once. As I go on, as I start to cry, the side of his face that I can see, the right side, gets red. His right eye gets red. Little slow tears begin falling from his right eye, but he won’t look at me, and he won’t speak. When I finish the facts about Billy, the facts as they were told to my family long ago, I start it up again: Did they kill Billy? Did they? I want to slap his face over and over until he answers me Yes or No, but I don’t. I just get louder, I cry more. I ask the questions again. And then this, not for the first time and not for the last: You’re not gonna tell me. Same old story, you’re not gonna tell me. I have a right to know. I’m the one in this situation and I have a right to know. But who the fuck cares about my rights. Not that psycho-landlady and not the DMH and not you and your people. And then I shut up and start smoking again.

This is yet another fact that I believe speaks to my sanity: If I were delusional or lying, I would have a Why. It would be there as part of the structure of the delusion, or it would be there as a fabrication. I don’t have, and have never had, a Why of substance.

I’ve waited a long time to be able to write the things I’ve been writing for the last week, the things I deliberately left out in 2008. And when I now write them, three years later, I am there in the room again with Matthew. I’m crying and pacing and smoking and questioning. Or planted on the futon, smoking, firing questions at him. I’m there in a room with a man who says that he and others are protecting me from me from some very nasty people. In the room with a protector who says he’s fallen in love with me. I’m there, thrown out into the streets and my animals disappeared, talking to a man who says he’s in love about criminals he says want to hurt me, and every single moment of my hours and days is that much-abused word, surreal. This is not MY life as I knew it for 55 years. These things should not have happened to me. I paid my rent. My eviction was illegal. The DMH was supposed to HELP me. I’m not in a crime mob, and never was. I never did anything to this crime mob. I should not be homeless at this moment. My animals should not be hidden from me, waiting for the lethal injection. I should not be in this room with this agent-type man hearing about these bizarre things, talking about these bizarre things. He shouldn’t be in love with me, nor I with him. We should never have met. None of this is MINE.

In retrospect, I see Matthew as my handler. No, it’s not just in retrospect. I did feel that three years ago, too, but would never allow myself to use that word, even in my thoughts. I have only ever heard of the criminals getting federal handlers, but just as my protection is not the normal kind, my role as target seems to have warranted other exceptions, too. I got a handler for a while. I’ve been hearing a lot about federal handlers lately, in the news stories about Whitey Bulger, and on radio shows that just happen to be interviewing retired agents who were undercover and were, at times, handlers.

Matthew my protector. My handler. My love. My rage and torment. All in the summer of 2008. But when I write it now with no holds barred, I’m there in that room again, wanting to slap him and slap him again, until he tells me what I deserve to know. I’m there in that room crying about one painful element of all that surreality, while layers and layers of other painful elements sit just beneath the surface that I give to Matthew and to the world. I’m trying to hold, always, the tsunami of grief and anger at bay. It escapes in spurts. In my tantrums that I throw on my blogs in 2008. In my occasional outbursts to Matthew. In the tantrums that I throw all alone in my rented bedroom. And in my many bouts of grief-tears for my animals, sometimes being spilled in the libraries unabashedly, while I sit and write about these souls who were the center of my world.

I want the Who. I want the Why of substance. I deserve them. I have paid in pain, and still pay, for the right to this Who and this Why. And I will never, ever get them.


read…  Don’t ask Mugsy’s book

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why do I live among these trolls?

sunday 27 feb 2011  tricky turners falls   (new post)

On my way to this blog just now, I saw a quote by the, apparently, very troubled Charlie Sheen. Here’s said quote:  “My motto now is you either love or hate and you must do so violently.”  I agree with this statement in its basic principle, but not in its every detail (just because Sheen seems to be flipping out at the moment, doesn’t mean that the intelligent man he used to be isn’t in there somewhere).  But I would alter the sentence to read: You love in some places, you hate in others, but you ought to do both with passion. And this belief actually has something to do with what I was planning to write about before I saw Mr. Sheen’s quote. At least tangentially.

Why do I live in this town among these despised trolls?  I’ve been asked this question, in various words, several times over the eleven months I’ve been living back in Turners again. All of the people, but one, who’ve asked it have done so in a snide way, the message being: You hate us so much, get the hell out of here. We hate you too. I have some readers, you see, among the Turners denizens, and they take great umbrage at what I say about them in my writing. My responses? 1.  Deal with it, shmuck. I’m telling real things about the way I’ve been treated by real Turners-ites over 25 real years. You can’t handle having your own disgusting behavior written about on the internet and tossed back into your face, well tough. 2. Show me you’re better than you’ve presented yourselves to me in the past. Apologize, for starters. After you do that, treat me well. What’s that old saw?… when hell freezes over.

The one person who asked me the question without being snide, did so on the library steps back in the summer. He was a man I’d never met before, but he’s lived in this town for decades. He looked at me with intense scrutiny and asked me how I was doing. I told him not very well. He said “This can be a hard town.” I told him that it has been for me. He wanted to know the name of the woman who had evicted me, and I told him. He said he and his wife don’t do any business with her, and I said I was glad of that.  And then he said “So why…” and he hesitated. I finished it for him: So why am I living here again? Yeah, he said. And I told him.

After our conversation he told me to take care. I haven’t seen him since, but I know he’s still around because he’s a long-term townie. He just happens to be one I never met before. And since we’d never met in any formal way, I can only conclude that he must have known things about me from my blogs, or from town gossip about my blogs.

In several posts scattered around my many blogs, I’ve written at least a sentence or two about why I came back to this crucible. Now I seem to have decided that the subject needs a post of its own.

I came back here because it was here that my animals were stolen from me and hidden from me in various other towns, where they were eventually killed. I came back to the scene of the crime, so to speak, to the scene of the worst trauma of my life, because I’m not capable of being anywhere else. I have a good friend out in the county where I spent the first 32 years of my life, and part of me longs to go back there and be near her. That same part of me misses the ocean more than I can say. And theoretically, I could go back. In a couple of months, having served my sentence in the ponystall, I will presumably be given movable rent subsidy that I can use anywhere in the state. I think about going back. I think about it a lot.

Every time I consider it, I know that I can’t, in spite of the very strong internal forces that want to pull me there. I can’t leave the scene of the crime. My heart’s not ready. It may never be ready. And before that crime was committed nearly three years ago, this town was the scene of the years and days and minutes and hours spent with my animals, spent as myself, to the extent that the landlords and fellow tenants of this burg let me be myself.

I need to be able to walk the river or the canal any hour of the day or night… and remember. I need to walk by the buildings that were once our homes any time the yearning comes… to remember. I feel closer to the stolen animals here, and to the person I was and the way of life I had before the crime. I cannot go.

It would be different if I had a car. Then I could live in Deerfield or Greenfield or Leverett, and come here to the places of my memories any hour I needed to. But lacking said car, leaving this town cuts me off from walks at five in the morning, or ten at night, or any other time when the grief is weighing a ton and that longing strikes.

The fact that I despise these trolls passionately is one of the reasons I experience misery here in this armpit. But the fact that I loved and love those animals, and every minute I had with them, with, as the cliché goes, every fiber of my being, is the reason I cannot leave. Love with passion, hate with passion. If someone deserves your contempt, if that’s what they have earned, then they deserve it one hundred percent. If an animal has engendered my love, then they deserve that love one hundred percent. My own belief.

I hope that I’ve cleared up the question for anyone who may have it, as to why I came back here to poison.


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aram and abel (me an crann marbh)

Page Seventy-six

sehnen posted on Jul 02, 2008 | views: 37 | Tags: the missing kittensx

tues 2 july 2008   Greenfield                       

sleepy, sleepy, but on with it…

It’s probably doing them an injustice, but I always think of Aram and Abel as a pair, whereas I don’t do this with the other set of brothers, Ziidjian and Chan. But Aram and Abel stuck to each other like glue for about the first five years of their lives, in a way that the other brothers didn’t, though the other two certainly had a bond. Chan and Ziidjian were my black brunette brothers, and Aram and Abel were the blondies, like their mother. Abel was tan (or “buff”, as some snooties once called it), and Aram orange. They both tended to bullyhood when they were feeling insecure, but Abel was much stronger in this role than his brother was. Aram was more of a people cuddler than Abel was, and liked  to kiss faces and make squeaky noises. Abel was invested in overseeing the household and making sure all animals were behaving themselves, as he himself defined behaving.

But get these boys outdoors, and they literally cried for their mama, namely me. They never even saw the outdoors until they were three years old, and they did not like it. They would stay out there reasonably happily if I stayed with them, but as soon as I went in, the howling and scratching at the door began. And I mean howling and scratching. As if someone were pulling out their fingernails. Such tough guys. They were odd cats in some ways, maybe not quite all there in some hard-to-define way, like their mother and their sister. Though their mother was very sweet and never bullied anyone, so they must have got that trait from the old man, whoever that was. The mating of their mother, Laxa, was not a deliberate one, but rather was due to my inadequate repair of a hole in a screen door. As birth time got nearer, I prepared her a nest box, but she wanted no part of it. Late that morning I left for about five hours of shopping and lunching and general social time with my friend. Laxa had been fine. Lying on a bed grooming herself. No sign of the onset of labor.

What a day of panic that was — a mother about to give birth had disappeared into thin air. I got home and could not find her. I feared she had whizzed out the door when I left and kittens were being born outdoors somewhere where I’d never find them. And yet I knew she hadn’t got out the door  —  I’d been very careful about that. But where the hell was she? At last Iwent into the largest bedroom, to check in there for the umpteenth time. There was Laxa sitting on a windowsill. She hadn’t been there any of the dozen other times I’d looked. She was no longer pregnant. The search for the mother over, now the hunt for the kittens began. When I finally found them more than an hour later, they were right beside that very windowsill, at the bottom of a pile of dirty laundry that was, I kid you not, ten feet high. The washing machine had broken, and I’d gotten very behind. I hauled the kittens out, examined and admired, put them into a wicker dog bed in the bathroom and shut their mother in there with them where I would know where they were. No more hours of bloody anxiety. Then I collapsed in exhaustion. Animals can always surprize; my decades of living among them and caring for them and sharing life with them certainly taught me that. In retrospect, this birth at the bottom of a tower of dirty clothes is funny; but it was not funny on that day. Tiny little Laxa’s three kids were about eleven hours shy of being summer solsice babies. That would have been nice. But they were safe, and beautiful, and brand new in the world.

June 2oth, just a couple of weeks ago, was their eighth birthday. Are they still alive? Are they still living in that smarmy priest’s garage full of crap, or has someone taken the time and trouble to catch them?  Here I sit, not allowed to visit them. Not allowed to help catch them, not allowed to know where and how they are today. As if I were some animal-abusing criminal whose animals had been seized, rather than the victim of an illegal eviction and an inept social service agency.

I can almost never dwell on thoughts of four of my cats living all alone in a stinking garage. No love, no family, no sense of home and of things being all right. Afraid of every person who opens that garage door and yells at them, or talks phoney sweet to them. I can’t bear these thoughts anymore. It hurts like the end of the world.

Update 24 July 09:  That birthday that those three cats had, the one I wrote about on this post last year, was my first without them. Their first without me and their family. This year they had their 9th birthday on June 20, if they are still alive anywhere. I’ve said before and will no doubt say again: in May last year I was told by two different people that these three cats and one other were living with the priest of the Polish church in Turners Falls, but I was never told that I could visit them, nor have I ever been told that since. Such visits would have meant so much to me, would have given my heart back a tiny fraction of what had been stolen. Are those cats still with that priest, or did he have them put to sleep after a while? No one in Turners Falls who knows — and there are those who know — will tell me. It’s more important for these people who claim to be christians to keep the ugly little community secrets than it is to be merciful. I’ve said before and will no doubt say again: I do not forgive them. I do not claim to be a christian. I am an atheist. One who believes in holding people accountable for their immoral behavior.

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(part of the book Stolen Stars)

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Page Seventy-two

(back to the copying from Soulcast)

sehnen posted on Jun 25, 2008 | views: 69 | Tags: whispers to mex

wed 25 june 2008    Greenfield

So…  Ziidjian. Today I return to the stolen animals. A few days ago I talked about Chan, his brother. Like Chan, Ziidjian (pron. zeejan) was slaughtered by the local “shelter” on 24 March of this year. Ziidjian and Chan were a lot alike, and a lot like their mostly-Siamese mother. Shy, aloof, etc. But Ziidjian had a lot more of the famous Siamese high-strung nature than the rest of his family. And he was extremely fearful of new people and strange animals.

In 2003, we were still in the home of my housemate who had died, and we had a bit of yard. Since Chan and Ziidjian had been indoor cats for a long time, I decided to take them to the great outdoors again. They were having a fine time. But Ziidjian had slipped into the abutting yard, and the next thing I heard was horrible yowling. A cat I hadn’t seen before was facing off with Ziidjian under a pine tree. I knew his nerves well enough to chase the other cat away, then wait for Ziidjian to calm down before trying to pick him up. I miscalculated. Picked him up too soon, while he was still in panic mode. Sank his fangs to the root into my hand. The pain was diabolical, but from many years with animals, I knew better than to pull my hand away, which would have resulted in the tearing of my flesh being added to the puncture wounds — and stitches. I waited. Eventually, when his fear was spent, Ziidjian removed his fangs. Within two hours, I knew I had blood poisoning, septicemia. I didn’t care. We were being evicted (a legal, above-board eviction after my housemate’s death), and had no place to go. As far as I could tell, we were all doomed anyway, and if I died of blood poisoning given to me by someone I loved as big as the sky, well, there were lots worse ways to die. And I would have my family around me when it happened (now that is ruined too). Over the next 48 hours the condition got much worse. I am stubborn (and I truly was hoping that I’d just die in my sleep of the infection). I loathe doctors, nurses and hospitals, a residue of my always-at-death’s-door childhood. I already had a doctor appointment set up for something else, so why not just hang on till then. If I didn’t make it, oh well. I waited the 48 hours till the appointment, and the doctor was not well pleased. He threatened me with the hospital and IV antibiotics. I said I would release myself if he did that. Bla bla bla.


                                       (10 mos. old; black cat, white rabbit)

I didn’t die. And that time, in 2003, my family and my life were not destroyed. Not until 2008. The scars from Ziidjian’s bite that day sit here on my hand and are dearer to me than I can say, now that he has been executed. I wish, I wish, that he had done the same thing to his killers. Sunk his fangs in to the root and infected them. I carry the marks of his intense fear, a fear as intense as my own, and a reminder not to get overconfident. I’ve been taking care of animals since I was about 4, and have learned a great deal by patient study and observation, and by reading books. But I say from time to time that animals can always surprise. Witness what happened to Steve Irwin, a one-off nut, a tireless and fearless animal person, and a hero of mine. And I believe that if Steve had been given a choice of his method of death, he would have chosen being killed by a frightened animal over anything else. He got that death.

I wasn’t so lucky. I survived the blood poisoning given to me by a frightened animal, by someone I loved deeply. When I think of my stolen and murdered Ziidjian, I think many things. Memories of a bossy kitten that I called King Z; memories of a grown-up cat who had a terror of strangers; of the little gurgling sounds in his throat when he ate something fresh I had cooked for the cats. The  serious, earnest look in his eyes when he would make a very high-pitched meow and ask me for something to eat. The way he would rub his slim body against me. And I look at my right hand where the one puncture scar remains, the only one of the five that was deep enough never to fill in, and I thank him for this scar to remember him by. I wish again that that infection had been the end. I much prefer it to the ending my animals and I did get.


Update 18 July 2009 A couple of the scars from the bite that gave me blood poisoning are still here (though one is now almost gone), but the dearly loved boy who gave them to me is long dead. How I always failed them by being an oddball, by being unacceptable to others, and those others would so often deliberately try to hurt me and bring me down. It’s because a landlady and a crime-connected tenant hated me that Ziidjian is dead, that others are dead, that I remain without a home. It’s also because of lazy and indifferent social workers who didn’t like me much either, and so did not do their jobs. I’m used to being disliked and found unacceptable, but what I’ve never understood is why so many who have disliked me have felt the burning desire to go for my jugular in some way, and have acted on that desire. If they don’t like me, why can’t they just leave me alone and let me be odd. Wrongly and cruelly done.

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                                           (part of the book Stolen Stars)

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Page Sixty-six

Tuesday 10 Aug 2010… new      Turners turned away

I’m being very slow about copying the original Sehnen posts from the now dead Soulcast website here onto WordPress. Slowly is the only way I get anything done. But I came across a soulcast post from Wed 8 Oct 2008 in some papers last night. Most of the post is no longer relevant, as I said some things about Turners in it that I no longer believe to be true.  On October 8 of 2008 I had just had my sleeping-in-the-laundromat privileges withdrawn, and had moved to camp on the canal for about a week and a half. I spent a lot of time in the library (and the women’s center, and the senior center) in order to be inside, and it was in the library that I wrote this poem. It was one of the last ones I have ever written.

Of course, how could anything else be true, it is for Lizzie, Canajoharie, and Tuuschi; For Brainse and Mishi; For Mandy, Judah and Shiloh; For Chailin, Ziidjian and Chan; For Aram, Abel and Chani. For those fourteen who were my children and friends and life companions, who were stolen and hidden from me, whose wereabouts were lied about, who were eventually killed. And none of those who have the answers about where and when and how they were killed will give them to me.


I am lost without you —
words used too much, by too many,
I suppose.
Heaven knows, though,
if heaven there is somewhere,
these words are true:                                                                                                                    
I am lost without you.


I walk blind without you.
I’m dancing too much, too frilly,
far too false.
Laughing false; shamed
to hear my throat to laugh
when this is true:
I walk blind without you.


Everything of me
that touched the stars
and met the moon
and melded with the water;
everything of me
that spoke of timelessness
and chainlessness
and why we walk this rock
was bound to you.


I sleep cold without you.
    (everything of me that touched the stars…)
I dream tears about you.
    (everything of me that met the moon…)
I walk blind without you.
    (love melded with the water…)
My share of timelessness
and chainlessness
and magical response
are carried off.
I am not fully I, or truly I,
or only I:
that I is lost without you.


I find us here in Turners, living outdoors, more every day, in the places I can get to without a car that were ours. I find us and cry, but despite all the pain, I am happy, happy, at the same time, to find us.

You suffer when someone you love suffers. No one at all, as far as I know, has suffered one moment for me in all these seven months, and therefore, there is no human who loves me. And the ones who did love me — the animals — what happened to them?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~     to the Poetry page



chan… a born spy

Page Sixty-one

sehnen posted on Jun 20, 2008 | views: 61 | Tags: but death is waitingx

fri 20 june 2008   Greenfield


Instead of going red from the flash, his eyes went martian. And I got rather distorted and otherworldly with this photo, but in a strange way I like it.

Chan was one of Judah’s six children. I kept three and gave three away to two of my friends. He was one of the three cats that the “shelter” slaughtered on 24 March because “he wasn’t very friendly” (and the people in this brain-dead community think that “shelter” is god’s gift to the world). This lack of friendliness implied to these yupies at the shelter, I guess, that he was maybe mean, which I never saw a trace of in twelve years. He was as shy and reclusive as his mother, but I myself — and my friends over the years — never saw a trace of meanness from him. And yet, I hope my boy broke his normal behavior patterns and was mean as a tiger to those yuppies in the days before they killed him. I hope he bit and scratched the hell out of them — cat scratch fever, blood poisoning, the works.

His name. I stop to mention this only because for the last week I have been seeing a connection to Chan’s name a whole lot. During the fifteen weeks of my new existence that is not my life, I had until recently seen this connection, this man, only a handful of times; but in the last week I have suddenly seen him a great deal. He’s a photographer, and I’m an amateur photographer myself, but that’s not how we met. We met a hundred years ago when our children were little in turners falls, and they were friendly for a couple of years. This man has a child named Chan, and I always liked that name. Several years later my child and I started naming lots of our mama cat’s family with ch-names, and when Judah’s litter came along, I named one boy Chan after this photographer’s child.

His nature. Shy, reclusive, never mean. But Chan was a born spy. He could be clandestine and sneaky better than many cats I’ve known. When Chan wanted something — and he was a very undemanding soul — but when he wanted something, he put on this spy act to get it. Usually it was a morsel of food he wanted, and he wanted it before any dog could find it (originally there were four dogs). So he would walk quietly around the edges of things, towards the food. And this was not fear. He wasn’t skulking and acting afraid to be caught, he was just proceeding incognito, so that no other cat or dog would notice what he was doing and get to the morsel before he did. This routine made me laugh for years. If I were watching, as I often was, he’d get to the food, fix me with a very intense look, as if to say “I went to all this damned trouble. Can I eat this?” And I, of course, would say: it’s all yours, Chan.

If three very disturbed, and controlling, and fairly unintelligent (not to mention insensitive) women had not decided to tear us apart, my Chan, born the day before my own birthday in 1996, would have lived out his life in his family, in his familiar milieu. He would have continued to be allowed to be shy, to be allowed to be quiet and “unfriendly,” without getting killed for it. He would have died with me touching him, as it should be, and he would have been well loved till the natural end of his life. If, if, if.

May the people who took part in killing him get the karma that all the karma-believing people say such acts earn. May they lose all that’s dear to them. May the ocean’s dogs devour them thrice.

Update 6 July 2009: I was very angry when I wrote this. A few months after Chan had been murdered, and that’s how I see it, I was still very angry. I’m angry now, but as I’ve said, the antidepressant makes one rather flat and dull. At least, that’s one of the things that it does to me. Last week my therapist said he was going to help me find out what happened to the rest of the animals. But he hasn’t brought it up again, and I haven’t, and I guess I’m going to have to keep at him about it.

and another update 7 March 2011:  That particular therapist gave me his word on three separate occasions between June 2009 and January 2010 that he was going to do everything he could to find how and when and where my animals had died. He agreed that I needed this “closure.” He did in fact, in six whole months, make two whole phone calls. One to the smarmy priest in turners, one to someone at the DMH. That’s when he told me that I had been “screwed by the system.” That there had indeed been a plan in 2008 to put me in a certain apartment with most of my animals, after a brief period of homelessness. He said he didn’t know what apartment, or why the plan had not happened. But in January 2010 he started to waffle on the subject of finding out about the animals. We wrangled until the middle of March, when he finally said he wasn’t going to do it. Said he didn’t “believe in it.”  That’s when I stopped seeing him. And I told him exactly why I was stopping: he had given me his word on this matter three different times, and had not kept it. He had shown me that I couldn’t trust his word, had demonstrated a failure of integrity. This guy works for ServiceNet, the same organization that runs the two Massachusetts shelters I stayed in. He thinks of himself as a cut above the usual social service robot, and I thought of him in that way too for a good while. But on the day I tell him why I’m not going to see him anymore, he whines in the tone of voice you’d expect from a five-year-old:  “Failure of integrity? That’s my daily bread. People are failing in their integrity all the time around here, but I keep workin’ here. It doesn’t have to be the end of us working together.” Well, it did for me. I have never stayed with a therapist, or a friend, or a doctor, whose word I couldn’t trust, who didn’t treat me in an honorable way. Once the trust is broken, once integrity has failed, especially with a therapist, I can’t go on.

Chan: your indestructible energy out there, around me somewhere. I love you as big as the sea.

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anne nakis in massachusetts

Page Fifty-two

sehnen posted on Jun 16, 2008 | views: 132 | Tags: life looks newx

mon 16 june 2008   Greenfield

                                   Bill in heaven at the white star… 

***  another private message. ignore. or, if you like bill, follow him around: one, two, three, four, five.


It’s time to go on, there are still more animals to tell about. What I write in this journal about each animal is so small, so unworthy of them, that I’m always unsatisfied with it. They were much more interesting and funny and brave and good than any two paragraphs can do justice to. And if I didn’t have the stories of all the human nightmares to tell, the story of how the humans put me and the innocent in the hell we’re in today, I could spend more time on the animals, whether anyone’s interested in reading about them or not. They interest me, and these journals are mine.

Always remember what brilliant, funny, monopolar depressive, true-hearted Kurt Vonnegut said:




Update 27 June 2009: It’s still the same a year later. Nothing I can say with inadequate words can do justice to what my 14 stolen ones were, or what they meant to me, or how intimately we shared our lives, or how deeply wounded I am from the theft of them. Nothing. And there is still way too much that has to be said about the humans who have ravaged me the last 15 months: The DMH; Matthew and his words about my life; if those words were true, then the fbi as well. There’s still too much to say to defend myself against the delusional label, which is not true, which I resent, which I find an insult to my sanity and my integrity. It looks like I ran out of time on the day I wrote this. I wanted to tell about another animal, and then didn’t. When the clock on the library computer is ready to shut you down, you got to go.

~~~~~~~~  website  ~~~~~~~~~~~~

judah — suite blue

Page Fifty-one

sehnen posted on Jun 14, 2008 | views: 121 | Tags: slaughtering sweetnessx

sat 14 june 2008   Greenfield

Steven Stills. Suite Judy Blue-Eyes. Referring to Judy Collins. I’m old. I know this tidbit, I remember that song. I remembered it when I was presented with a little Siamese-mix kitten in September 1994, my only cat ever with blue eyes. I believe it was my kid again, not me, who chose the name Judah. Once so named, and having blue eyes, I coudn’t resist using Suite Judy Blue-Eyes as one of her nicknames.

Judah was 13 and a half when she was taken from me on 12 March 2008. She was of the sealpoint type of Siamese, and had the color range in her hair from cream to a very dark brown. Aloofness, privateness was the only “typical” Siamese trait she had. While it’s typical for Siamese to be vocal, Judah was quiet in the extreme and rarely spoke. She was, in fact, so quiet, that often I’d go looking around the apartments when I hadn’t seen her for hours, hunting her out to make sure we still had her. She was neither demanding nor antsy, like many Siamese. 

                                    blue eyes with red camera-flash pupils

She came to us when she was five weeks old, dumped by someone into the back seat of my friend’s car. She still wanted and needed a mommy, and she found one in my old mama cat, who was the most motherly female cat I’ve ever known. She even mothered me, from day one. Ditto for baby Judah, and she loved it. Sadly, Maman only lived another month, and Judy kitten was left motherless again. She evaluated the other cats and eventually chose a grown-up to cuddle up with, but I’ve forgotten now who it was.

In late 1995 I mated Judah with one of Maman’s sons, but he belonged to someone else, so this mating had to be set up. We’d had several deaths in Maman’s family besides her, and I wanted more of them. Maman’s line was very, very special. It’s not looks I’m talking about. It was nature, it was sweetness. Anyway, four of the nine cats stolen from me in March were Maman’s grandchildren, and the “shelter” slaughtered three of them.

Judah never knew (or did she?) that her hubby and her children were also blood family to that old mama cat she’d loved when she first came to us. But I knew it. And whenever I looked at Judy’s kids through the years, I would think of how their mama would cuddle up as a tiny cat with their grandma, who was only a month from dying.

The last time I ever saw Judah, she was in her carrier in the oily garage of a very oily and unholy priest (may he rot in that hell he believes in). She was being very vocal that day. Crying to me to take her home and end all the anxiety, the strangeness. And crying out to her daughter,with whom she had remained very close over the years. The night before, the daughter and three other cats had been allowed — by two intellignce quotient 40 turners falls trolls — to escape into the adjacent garage, which was full of crap, and no one had yet caught them. Judah was crying on one side of the dividing wall, while her daughter cried on the other. The separation that had been brought about by the mental midgets the previous night turned out to be forever.

Update 26 June 2009: Judah. Supposedly put into a foster home with Mandy, but I was never told where or allowed to visit. Judah, whom I loved and took care of from her babyhood in 1994 until March 11, 2008. Judah, who was taken from me and hidden by the conniving and underhandedness of state employees who are paid to “help”. Is she still alive?

The bulk of my grief has been so delayed by all the upset last year created by the things Matthew told me about my life, and by the long-lasting shock the theft of the animals put me into, that I’m grieving now in the way I should have a year ago. I’m feeling the crushing totality of the loss that I should have felt a year ago.

I love you as big as the sky, Sweet Judy blue-eyes, and despise the humans who took you from me, among them that multiple-personality, delusional landlady. I didn’t get to see you to the end.

(part of the book Stolen Stars)

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Page Forty-seven                                                                                                                         

sehnen posted on Jun 10, 2008 | views: 101 | Tags: linger breathingx

tues 10 june 2008    Greenfield

Fourteen weeks homeless, lifeless, loveless today. Three months tomorrow. I wonder if anyone reading this would deem it a mean-spirited, insensitive, unkind thing to do to shadow and crowd a person who is reclusive, private, frightened, and maybe a bit autistic. Would anyone find that a nasty, juvenile thing to do?

So Tuuschi. I’ve talked about him before. Born October 1994, 13 and a half years old when he was stolen from me on March 12. He was one of a family of 6: his parents Toby and Tessie, his two older sisters Tari and Tiki, and his sister and mate, Tammi. All these trochaic names. But ever since I read long ago that animals like and respond better to trochaic names, I’ve almost always used them. Anyway, Tuuschi was the last of his family still alive, and had lived longer than any of the others. Born crippled, his way was never an easy one, and yet I took years of pleasure in his almost unceasing happiness. He didn’t seem to be the least bit disturbed by being crippled, by the fact that he had a disability and couldn’t do simple things in the same easy way that other birds could. Well, he didn’t know it, did he, that other birds’ legs were formed normally and that for them, every movement was easy. He had to devise alternate ways to do these same simple things. He would hang upside-down from the top of his cage with his less-crippled leg, and he thought that was a great trick. So did I. His whole family had hung upside-down, but most of them could use two legs to do it, and Tuuschi and his dad were the ones who did it the most and loved it the most. Lovebirds are by nature somehow more bubbly than most other birds. Something about the shape of their beaks and the light in their eyes makes them look like they’re always smiling, even in the moment of death. But Tuuschi was bubblier and happier even than most lovebirds, and a great, great treasure, as all purity is.

He loved his Tammi, until the day she died. His need and desire to bond was so great, that even after twelve years with Tammi, he was willing to make a new bond. Not all birds will. Some birds just fade away after a long-term bond ends. Things were very bad with the landlady and the crime-chick at the time that Tammi died, and I didn’t want to get another lovebird, a new animal to come to the garbage and uncertainty my poor animals and I were trying to get by in. Enter the parakeet, whom we already had. I put their cages side-by-side, very close, and eventually the friendship was formed. To a much greater degree than I’d dared to  hope for. They took a great delight in each other.

I’ve written on another blog about Tuuschi’s love of bells, so won’t do that again here. Of all the memories of my stolen Tuuschi that stir the pain, the grief, the anger, it is often remembering him with bells that evoke these emotions most forcefully.

Update 24 June 2009: I imagine Tuuschi has been dead for some while, he was so old. The last of his family, and I was not with him when he died, and I don’t know the date or the place of his death. Supposedly he was adopted by someone in that damned Polish church in Turners Falls, and I’ve never been allowed to know who, and I was never allowed to visit him, because these turnersites exhibit so much goddamned christian kindness. I was supposed to see him, to see all of them to the end of their lives. That was my duty as their friend, their human mother; a duty I loved and wanted to fulfill.

What I was writing about in the first paragraph of this post was the group of men who had been watching me and following me since I first came to Greenfield last year. They were all pretending to be loopy, and I could see in their eyes that they were sane and sober. Matthew was one of them. I thought the DMH was doing something ridiculous by having these men watch that I didn’t kill myself after having lost all my animals. I thought the DMH was trying to mop up the mess it had made by having a year to help me save at least some of my animals and doing almost nothing to that end. And where were they getting the money for this? This post was first written on June 10. It wouldn’t be until June 23rd that I would decide it was something criminal. And when in the next few days I asked Matthew about this, he said yes.


(part of the book Stolen Stars)

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2008-2011 by anne nakis. all rights reserved.


Page Forty-six

sehnen posted on Jun 09, 2008 | views: 131 | Tags: Ix, in company withx

mon 9 june 2008    Greenfield

Still another of the fourteen stolen, Lizzie was a Senegal parrot, and the only parrot I’ve ever had. She was three when I got her in 1991, and is now twenty, if she’s alive. And she had yellow eyes, which never ceased delighting me.

I’ve been told recently by two different humans that she’s living with that unholy, smarmy, lying priest in Turners Falls, but both of these people have lied to me before, so who knows? Senegals are not talkers, not in human style anyway, but she always spoke perfectly fine Senegal parrot. She learned cockatiel pretty well, and for several years spoke a very respectable cat. Lizzie was definitely an oddball, like me, and through the long years we had our adventures, especially when she decided to exit her cage without permission. Parrots are very prone to this, anyway. She gave me one excellent bite in January, not long before we were destroyed. Got infected and everything. Parrots are prone to biting, too. But over seventeen years Lizzie only bit me four times, and only badly that once. Maybe she knew we were finished, and wanted to give me one hell of a bite to remember her by. I remember it, Lizzie Bean. But I would have remembered you in any case, bite or no bite.

For all our shared years, there was the continuing and never-solved mystery of the top of Lizzie’s head. It was bare as a boiled egg when I got her, and for more than seventeen years I tried to get those damned things to grow in and stay in. They grew in scores of times. They were perfectly happy to grow in. They just never stayed for very long.

I tried everything. Things I read in my bird magazines, things I talked over with the pet shop owners, things other parrot-keepers told me. Everything. No, I didn’t take her to the vet, but I did ask vets about it when I had another animal in their exam rooms. My small amount of money had to stretch for a lot of animals, and I never could pay for vet visits that were for something harmless. The first theory for bald birds is always nutritional lack, but I offered Lizzie a huge variety of things. Most of them she declined to eat, being always an extremely finicky eater. Next I tried vitamins in the water. All of my birds got these for at least half of every year anyway, starting with spring molt. Second after nutrition is always the anxiety theory. Anxious birds often pull out their feathers. I gave Lizzie more time out of her cage, etc. I set her up so she had no other birds too close beside her, etc. And still her head would fill in and look nice, and then go bald again. I would occasionally catch her eating a feather she would hold in her little birdie hand, but it was almost never a head feather. Wing and tail were the kind she liked to munch on, and only when they were falling out anyway. She never yanked them out herself until they were already loose. Nor did I ever, in more than seventeen years, catch her pulling out a head feather, and I was home a great deal of the time.

I never solved the mystery. The day Lizzie was taken from me and hidden inside the sleazy priest’s house (I wasn’t allowed to go inside and see my birds), the top of her head was bald again. This priest, and some others he’s palsy with, started passing malicious and patently false gossip about me and my animals two days after the eviction; gossip relating to what “terrible condition” they were in and how I was “a hoarder who didn’t take care of them.” One hundred percent nasty, bullshit gossip, and very typical of the filth in this town. Lizzie’s head wasn’t one of the slander items brought back to me from Turners by the friend I was staying with in Greenfield, but I’m sure it must have been passed around as further evidence of my cruel neglect of my animals. May all who passed this stinking dirt rot in the fiery hell that they believe their made-up god will send them to if they sin. They sin.

If Lizzie (and supposedly four cats too) are really with this priest, why didn’t these people who were only too happy to tell me this, offer to take me to visit them? Because cruelty, taunting and teasing, are a whole lot more fun than mercy and kindness, it seems. Even to self-desribed christians.

once, in the care of morning
in the air was all belonging.
once, when that day was dawning,
I was with you.
once, as the night was leaving
into us our dreams were weaving.
once, all dreams were worth keeping,
I was with you.
once, when our hearts were singing
I was with you.    
~~~  roma ryan


Update 22 June 2009:  Is Lizzie dead? She would be 21 if she were still alive. Is she still with that priest? Was she ever? I was told so many things about my animals last year, some of them conflicting, that I still more than a year later don’t know what to believe. And if that priest truly did have Lizzie and four of my cats, why was I never granted the kindness of being allowed to visit them? There are people in Turners Falls who know the answers to these questions. Church-going “christians” who keep these secrets from me for over a year, despite the pain and grief for me. I want to know how christian that is.

The lyrics I wrote here on this post last year are something I can only glance at, they tear at me so. I was with you, since you were babies, and human cruelty tore it all apart.

(part of the book Stolen Stars)

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