Larry Brody’s Poetry: ‘The Navajo Dog And The Coyotes

by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB:

Time now for a tale of the Navajo Dog herself. Listening to her words in my mind the way I once listened to them with my ears always makes me happy…just as it always makes me cry.


The Navajo Dog And The Coyotes

Only one thing there is

Scares the Navajo Dog.

“Coyotes! I hate ’em!” she said to me one day.

That night, when the coyotes outside came howling,

The dog stayed on the front porch, and barked

Back. But she shook with fear, and came in

Immediately when I opened the door.

She saw the look on my face, and growled.

“They have powers,” she said, and

When I pressed her wouldn’t say more.

A week or so later, I was driving past a neighboring

Ranch, and I saw what she meant. Standing

In front of the ranch house, bristling and bold,

Was the rancher’s German Shepherd dog, and about

A hundred yards away, in the other direction, was a coyote.

The coyote strolled closer, and the dog continued

To stand guard, but still it looked the wrong way.

At last, the coyote stood right before the dog,

Stopped,

Waited.

The dog turned its head until it faced the

Coyote directly, then sat down, and

Scratched itself.

It had seen nothing,

Smelled nothing,

Heard nothing,

No coyote at all.

The next morning, I meant to tell the

Navajo Dog all about it, and hear what

She had to say. When I looked outside

The Navajo Dog was lying on the porch, chewing

At the head of a coyote that could have

Been the very one I’d seen. The head

Was bigger than her whole body, but

She was ripping out its esophagus

With the kind of gusto she shows for

Everything, no matter how large or

How small. The Navajo Dog glanced up at me.

“Mine,” she said. “Go get your own

Breakfast if you’re hungry.”

I asked her how she’d gotten this snack,

And she chewed awhile, then

Stopped,

Waited,

Looked back up. “I am the

Navajo Dog,” she said with a shake of

The coyote’s head, and her eyes showed

Her disdain. “I have powers too.”

As she worked on this delicacy, I remembered

What it was like to be Kid Hollywood.

I wondered what would have happened

If she’d been around while

I was letting the Beverly Hills

Coyotes eat me.


Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. He is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, as the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out, “Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you lose your vision, and yourself.” She said it shorter, though, with just a snort.

Larry Brody’s Poetry: ‘Lunching With The Dragon’

by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB:

Meetings are the not only of writers but of everyone in showbiz who actually wants to get something accomplished…which means anyone but executives because whenever they do what it is they do they’re taking the risk of having the result backfire and kicking them out of a job. The following poem, however, is about a meeting I had where I truly learned something from a great man. Ah, those were the days!


 Lunching With The Dragon

“This isn’t real, you know.” We sit in a Japanese

Restaurant in Brentwood, and the producer taps

The table between us. I’ve just presented my

Idea to him, and await an answer that

Means paying my mortgage or no.

“This isn’t really a table,” he says.

“And the walls aren’t really walls.

This isn’t really a Japanese Restaurant,

And you and I aren’t even people.

We’re just energy, is all.”

The producer leans forward with his sake.

“We perceive reality the way we want to.

We make ourselves physical,

And give things meaningless names.”

Chopsticked noodles vanish into

His mouth. “If you and I were to refuse to believe”

In this table,” he announces, “it would vanish in a

Shot. So would my yakisoba,

And your tonkatsu, and our rice.”

The producer leans back. “I go along with it,”

He says proudly, “Only because of the effort

It would take to fight. Besides, rocking the

Boat is something we both know is wrong.”

The producer downs the rest if his sake,

Washes it away with Green tea.

I never hear from him about my idea

Or anything else again. It’s okay.

I know I’ve had lunch with a great and powerful

Dragon. That’s the reality to me.

I used to be the warrior on the right here. Now I try to be the dragon on the left.


Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. He is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, as the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out, “Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you lose your vision, and yourself.” She said it shorter, though, with just a snort.

Larry Brody’s Poetry: ‘TV Writing Success in a Nutshell’

“Isn’t she lovely? Isn’t she wonderful?”

TV Writing Success In A Nutshell

by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB: 

Recently rediscovered this little epic written many years ago as I tried to put myself into the head of a writer-producer I used to work for, a man who continually surrounded himself with the latest symbols of his elevated estate. I wanted to know what the fact that he was at the time undisputably the most successful TV series creator in history really meant to him. The result taught me an important lesson: “Stay out of other people’s heads!”


TV Writing Success In A Nutshell

The limo driver hates me. He pulls

Away while I’m still on the street

Bending to slide inside the car. When he realizes

His mistake, he stops and glares, then

Makes himself apologize while he

Waits for me to get in.

The limo driver hates me, but I love the limo anyway.

Longer than a jet. And plush, with big seats facing

Front and rear, television, a bar with crystal glasses,

Champagne on ice, two different telephone lines, and a Fax.

A better stereo than in any home. Windows of

Tinted glass that let me peer out while no one else

Can look in.

I love the limo because it works so well.

The greatest construction tool a man’s ego can know,

It digs an unbridgeable chasm between roots and

Blossoms, past and future, success and failure,

I and thou.

“I Am That I am,” said the Lord, and know what? The

Limo says it too. “I am that I am,” and “Fuck you.”

My limo driver hates me, but I love my limo anyway.

It salves my tormented psyche, and keeps the

Undeniable away.


Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. He is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, as the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out, “Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you lose your vision, and yourself.” She said it shorter, though, with just a snort.

Larry Brody’s Poetry: 2 Short Poems

For reals! Custom made armor at http://dragoonslaircosplay.deviantart.com/

by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB: 

2 poems today because I got a deal on them. (That short introduction was based on an old joke about why Moses came down from the mountain with two stone tablets instead of one.) Truth is that coming up with two poems instead of one is no bargain brain move by a longshot. For their creator, it’s double the feelings in at least double the time. Hope you enjoy:


If We Prepared For Life As We Prepare For War

If we prepared for life as we prepare for war,

What wonders would we miss,

Blocked out by our armor?

What strategies would protect our souls?

If we prepared for war as we prepare for life,

What victories would be lost

While our hearts were won?


You Don’t Die Unless You Want To

You don’t die unless you want to.

Anyone who’s come close knows it’s true.

You don’t die unless you want to,

And have nothing else to do.
You can’t live unless you want to.

Those who’ve come close know it’s true.

You can’t live unless you want to,

Or are damned to be one of a sad, sad few.

Larry Brody’s Poetry: ‘We Played The Game Of Who Loves Who More’

No, this isn’t a love poem to a dog. But some feelings are too intense for me to expose as anything but metaphor.

by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB: 

As a TV writer, I once worked for a studio head who absolutely forbade the verbal expression of positive emotion (although he loved people shouting “I hate you!”). As a poet, I have no such boundaries:


We Played The Game Of Who Loves Who More

We played the game of who loves who more.

I vowed eternal troth.

She countered with her complete devotion.

I parried with memories of a life together long ago.

She went right to total admiration

For not only my looks but my brain.

I told her she had my adoration, and

That I loved when we talked even more than

When we made love.

At this she paused, and smiled the smile

I loved more than my life.

“Prove it,” she said, and that smile so widened

I knew it would be better to lose.


Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. The poem above is from his second book of poetry, The Return of the Navajo Dog, which is available…well, nowhere but on this blog, actually, because it’s long out of print. LB is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, as the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out, “Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you lose your vision, and yourself.” She said it shorter, though, with just a snort.

Larry Brody’s Poetry: ‘Of Dreams, And Treasures, And Needs

by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB: 

It’s recurring dream time! We all have them. All I’ll say about this one is that over a great many years and a great many illuminating night visions, it has proved to be the most powerful of them all.


Of Dreams, And Treasures, And Needs

Last night I dreamed the treasure trove dream,

You know the one. Usually, I’m walking some

Exotic street, filled with spiced smells and fringed gowns.

Then I spy a little shop off the road, dark, maybe even

Closed. I peer through the window, and gasp, because all

That I want is waiting for me inside.

In the usual dream, I bang on the door ’til a strange

Man or woman arrives. He or she grumbles, and pouts,

But my urgency speaks, and soon I’m grazing

The shelves. Secrets untold! Mysteries solved! Puzzles

With explanations galore! Judge Crater’s lostabouts

Found, the Kennedys’ killers, and more. Why is there

Evil, why is there good, is God or ain’t He—all there.

I gather my treasures, go to the counter, find my wallet

Is bare.

But last night was different. Last night was unique, the

Blue Plate Special of dreams. I was home, in my

Living room, sitting amid the mundane souvenirs of

The day, Time Magazine, TV GUIDE, People, the

Literature of my parents and friends. Then, on the

Arm of the couch there it was. A small book, and

Old, worn from a thousand hands, and eyes, and

Years, title gone from its burnished brown cover,

Glue worn from the crumbling spine. I opened the

Book, and discovered my life’s quarry, the Answers

To all that was, is, and will be. No shop, no

Man or woman, no shelves, no need for my wallet,

This was between the slim volume and me.

I put the book back between Sports Illustrated and

Newsweek, told myself I’d have to catch up on my

Reading some time. The joy is the walk, and

The gasp, even the failure, not in the knowledge

In mind.


Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. Although the book whose cover you see above is for sale on Kindle, he is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, as the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out, “Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you lose your vision, and yourself.” She said it shorter, though, with just a snort.

Larry Brody’s Poetry: ‘Kid Hollywood Returns To The Scene Of The Crime’

The real Mulholland Drive

by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB: 

After over two decades of taking – and giving – abuse as a television writer and producer, I left my Hollywood life behind and trekked (by SUV, of course) to the Southwest, tracking the magic I’d long believed in but never been part of. Thanks to the Navajo Dog, I found a path that was good and true. But sometimes a man needs a break, you know? The following happened during a short visit to – well, the title tells it all:


Kid Hollywood Returns To The Scene Of The Crime

Three of us drove up toward Mulholland that night,

My friend the wild Indian, the Hopi elder, and I.

It was just before dusk, and we were going to

See a TV writer whose career I had started

Some years ago. We wanted dinner, and a place

To sleep. A spigot would have been nice. We

Needed neither of those things, because by then

Even I had learned to fend for myself, and sneaking

A meal, or three into a motel room for one was

Something we all could accomplish with ease.

As we reached Mulholland, my friend the wild

Indian pointed, and shouted out. A deer was

Clambering up from the side of the hill, followed

By a full dozen more. I stopped as bucks and does

And fawns circled our borrowed car. My friend the

Wild Indian and the Hopi elder gazed at the deer

Intently, their bodies seeming to vibrate with

Concentration, and a full ten minutes passed

In the most natural silence. Then the first deer turned and

Ran back out of sight down the slope, the others

Following quickly. In mere seconds, it was as if the

Deer had never been with us. The Hopi elder turned

To me. “Did you hear them?” he asked.

I shook my head.

“But you know they were speaking?” the elder said,

And I nodded. “There was power here,” said my

Friend the wild Indian, Hopi and Lakota sharing the

Strength. “They were sent as messengers to speak

For the Great Spirit, to offer their counsel and their

Advice.”

“I heard nothing,” I admitted.

“But you felt?” they both said.

“Oh,” I said, feeling it again, “I felt.”

The elder and the wild Indian nodded,

And were silent the rest of the

Way. After dinner with the TV writer and his

TV producer wife, I told them about the deer

Appearing in the middle of the Valley like ghosts

from the city’s long-forgotten past.

“There’s a preserve about half a mile away,” the

TV Producer wife said, “and when they’re

Hungry the deer come over here at sunset

And nibble on people’s bushes.” It was all very

Mundane, and unimportant, and about as real

As the blacktop they’d just put on their driveway.

My friend the wild Indian looked at the Hopi Elder
,
and the two of them shrugged. I did the same.

Magic is where you find it,

Even in the concrete canyons of L.A.


Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. Although the book whose cover you see above is for sale on Kindle, he is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, as the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out, “Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you lose your vision, and yourself.” She said it shorter, though, with just a snort.