Thursday, June 28, 2007


My Friend the Bear—Jim Harrison (by way of a couple of people)

I’ve quoted Jim Harrison before—something my friend Thurber pointed out, a quote about God puking after looking around at the mess we’ve made here in America. We’ve fucking trashed it.

Somehow, there are still a few good things, though. Wild things. Like love and god and good.

I found this on Hunter Bear’s web site—a place I think more people should go:

My Friend the Bear

Jim Harrison

Down in the bone myth of the cellar
of this farmhouse, behind the empty fruit jars
the whole wall swings open to the room
where I keep the bear. There's a tunnel
to the outside on the far wall that emerges
in the lilac grove in the backyard
but she rarely uses it, knowing there's no room
around here for a freewheeling bear.
She's not a dainty eater so once a day
I shovel shit while she lopes in playful circles.
Privately she likes religion -- from the bedroom
I hear her incantatory moans and howls
below me -- and April 23rd, when I open
the car trunk and whistle at midnight
and she shoots up the tunnel, almost airborne
when she meets the night. We head north
and her growls are less friendly as she scents
the forest-above-the-road smell. I release
her where I found her as an orphan three
years ago, bawling against the dead carcass
of her mother. I let her go at the head
of the gully leading down to the swamp,
jumping free of her snarls and roars.
But each October 9th, one day before bear season
she reappears at the cabin frightening
the bird dogs. We embrace ear to ear,
her huge head on my shoulder,
her breathing like god's.

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