A Bunny Ode to Ray Johnson

I googled, “when the going gets tough” today because the going is getting rough and I wondered what a search of this phrase might turn up. It came up with an article about matching and bonding rabbits and also with the lyrics to a song by Boyzone so I paraphrased some of my favorites sentences about the rabbits, interspersed with the lyrics, all apropos of nothing at first but then it made me think of a documentary I once watched about Ray Johnson called, “How to Draw a Bunny”.

I like Ray Johnson’s work so I liked the documentary mostly. So inevitably this post turned into an ode to Ray Johnson, and his New York Correspondence School. The going got rough for Ray Johnson. I think he’d actually like this *song*. I guess it’s almost like one of his collages.

NOTE: “A seminal Pop Art figure, Ray Johnson has been called the most significant “unknown artist” of the post-war period, a “collagist extraordinaire” who influenced both the Pop artists and a generation of contemporary artists besides. Until his suicide by drowning in January, 1995, he was known primarily to a close circle of friends, admirers, and collectors that included Jasper Johns, James Rosenquist, Andy Warhol, Christo and Jeanne Claude, Chuck Close, and Robert Rauschenberg. To the larger public Johnson remained a cipher, shunning publicity and refusing for the last 25 years of his life to exhibit his work. Since his death, however, he has been rediscovered – with a retrospective at the Wexner Center that traveled to the Whitney Museum of American Art, and over 40 solo and group shows in the US and abroad, including Paris, London, Oslo, and Budapest. Johnson has emerged not only as a key member of the 1960’s generation, but as one of the major artistic innovators of the second-half of the 20th century.”

and now – The Ode:

Ray Johnson - Bunny

When the going gets tough
The tough get going, tough,
tough, huh, huh, huh
When the going gets tough,
the tough gets ready
Yeah, ooooh, du da do da

“The rabbit psyche is mysterious, sometimes paradoxical.

I got something to tell you
I got something to say
I’m gonna put this dream in motion
Never let nothing stand in my way

All rabbits to be matched are spayed/neutered.

rayjohnson.gifI’m gonna get myself ‘cross the river
That’s the price I’m willing to pay
I’m gonna make you stand and deliver
And give me love in the old-fashioned way

All are healthy, have good appetites and enjoy hay, so the digestive system will keep working during the match.

Daaaaaaaaarlin’,
I’ll climb any mountain
Daaaaaaaaarlin’,
I’ll do anything

Introductions start with a 15-30 minute car ride. Introductions take place away from the home rabbit’s territory. The match is done slowly and carefully, building on positive bunny body language.raybombards.gif

Ooh, can I touch you (can I touch you)
And do the things that lovers do
Ooh, wanna hold you (wanna hold you)
I gotta get it through to you, oooh

The rabbits are supervised until bonding is complete.

I’m gonna buy me a one-way ticket
Nothing’s gonna hold me back
Your love’s like a slow train
coming (slow train coming)
And I feel it coming down the track (woah)

Unfortunately, however intimately you may live with one or all of the rabbits being matched, it is not easy to predict the sum of these personalities coming together.

When the going gets tough
(Going gets tough)
When the going gets rough er! er!
(Going gets rough) When
the going gets tough
(Going gets rough)
When the going gets rough er! er!
(Going gets rough)… [ to fade ]raybouvine.gif

Know bunny body language, and know what behavior is helpful to the match and what is not.

Daaaaaaaaaaarlin’,
I’ll climb any mountain
Daaaaaaaaaaarlin’,
I’ll swim any sea
Daaaaaaaaaaarlin’,
I’ll reach for the heavens
Daaaaaaaaaaarlin’,
With you lovin’ me
Oooh (oooh)

Watch for aggressive behaviors: tail up, ears back, growling, boxing, circling, chasing and biting.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Wooh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

A spray of water, aimed at the rabbits’ heads, may interrupt a fight about to happen but has no effect once anger is aroused. If a fight advances to a clench, use a towel to separate the rabbits. Or, pour water from a water bowl on them.

Daaaaaaaaarlin’,
I’ll climb any mountain
Daaaaaaaaarlin’,
I’ll do anything

The buns may go off to visit a friend, or we may have a slumber party right here.

When the going gets tough
(The tough gets going)
When the going gets rough
(The tough gets rough)
Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey
Ooooh baby

2 Responses to “A Bunny Ode to Ray Johnson”

  1. dontcallitpoetry Says:

    You have raised the art of the “Found Poem” to a whole new level. Brava :)

  2. Email this column to Huge Heifer

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