The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

July 22, 2010


frustration with shield-backed katydids

what is this? apologies for poor quality/repetition; the color's accurate,
size around 75 mm. found near dusk in a field in west jordan, utah. it's
definitely a shield-backed katydid, but isn't in any of the online id
sites that we've seen (as well as helfer's how to know the grasshoppers,
crickets, cockroaches and their allies). full-grown fairly docile male.
(not a mormon cricket by the way, not even here.)

http://www.alansondheim.org/sbkatydid1.jpg
http://www.alansondheim.org/sbkatydid2.jpg
http://www.alansondheim.org/sbkatydid3.jpg
http://www.alansondheim.org/sbkatydid4.jpg

(in west jordan, development is rampant, filling the valley. almost all
the birds have disappeared, including merlin and even starlings. we've
seen a few killdeer and robins, that's all. the bits of grassland left are
repeatedly tilled. the order of the day is green lawns and home owners'
associations - wasteland for the local flora and fauna. there's only one
park, heavily disturbed, in the area - no foxes, rabbits, and so forth,
which were present a few years ago. still, there are mantids, beetles,
wasps, and at least two bee species left in the grassland. development
continues to render the west close to uninhabitable; the human communities
are sterile, water-hungry, and plastic. the result is the butchering and
disappearance of local ecosystems, which, in the valley, might have been
unique.)

Tomei

sometimes a dream heralds, not the debris of the day, but the residue of
the future. this afternoon i had such, discordant with my life in the
narrowed interval of hours, weeks, months. my mother was in the back, by
the dresser in the bedroom; she said she's 84 or 85; dressed in a maroon
1940's outfit, sleek, she seemed about 40. before this my father, in his
brown bathrobe, was walking slowly through the kitchen, near the cabinets
on the left - he's 96 (my mother died at 80), there were french legion-
naires, in parade dress, surrounding him, emptying the cabinets, or
perhaps looking into the cabinets 'already swept clean.' and i had walked
down the hall to my mother, who said he was quite old, and near Tomei, or
the cliffs of Tomei (pronounced toe-my), and he might have been lear, or
shakespeare, and as for me, i was to flee the cliffs, the nubbed edge of
the harsh sea, for that were death. and i woke, because my greatest fear
is death, the thought of death terrifies and immobilizes me, i weep, out
of control, i cry out, i turn to panic. and when i woke, i looked up Tomei
on the net, and there were Tomeis in italy, seemingly without relevance,
and less for those in madagascar. but there was a Tomei tollroad running
near the sea in japan, and near tokyo and nagoya, and i followed it on the
maps as it entered and left a mountain tunnel which seemed quite long. and
i knew that something occurred in that tunnel, or would occur, or would
have occurred, had i not already witnessed the name, that would have
relevance for me. and now i am left with that, the name Tomei with no
relation to the actress who was in a play by shakespeare to be sure, the
name which so asserted itself as geographical, that i can only connect it
to the nerve of the tollroad, and the unsupported, presupposed, event,
already never happening, already lost, to me, already unaccountable.

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