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Suspicion

3 Nov

“People who can’t write verse are paranoid and suspicious about things that rhyme.” – R. Sue

 

 

 

 

People who can’t write sentences are paranoid and suspicious about everything. – J@M

Nuevos palabras/New words

29 Oct

Knowledge – the way I learned to spell this word is by remembering the phrase “know the ledge” which I always pictured in my mind as something to stand at the edge of gazing down or out depending on my mood.

Somehow, just knowing the ledge made it perfectly acceptable to be there. I often enjoy the view.

Sometimes I wonder if it wouldn’t be better for everyone involved if no one ever got to know too much about anything, especially the ledge.

conocimiento
knowledge, awareness, knowing, consciousness, familiarity, cognizance

Sitting for the Master

14 Apr

Sometimes a painting is just a painting. Sometimes it’s more. Sometimes it speaks when you stop long enough to listen. Sometimes you recognize it in a crowd of strangers as a potential friend. Sometimes you meet and sit and after a while you realize you’ve found a life-long connection. That’s how it was with The Turnip and me.

The Turnip

The Turnip by  Seth Camm 

And that’s how it was sitting for Seth among the titanic greek columns of Mr. Santikos’ Palladium Theater/Bar where he is showing his art work and painting in the forward-thinking gallery spawned by the success of The Wonderland of America’s Bijou Theater, where his fiancée Rebecca Coffey is showing her art to movie goers who may or may not be intentionally seeking more from their entertainment than Hollywood has to offer. Can we just go to the movie now? Not yet, I’m still looking!

So, tell me how this works. What do I do?

Just sit there and look pretty.

Can I move? Look around?

Well, you can but not too fast or it’ll turn out blurry.

Hm. Easiest job I’ve done all week. Sure beats cleaning poo and rat guts on the snake farm.

But staring at the faces of the ones who came before, I somehow felt unworthy. Still I was giddy. At home now, I’m certain I was wearing that “shit eating grin” my dad used to call the look my face when they fought. The one I put on when they inevitably said, “Wipe that smile off your face.” The one that turned itself down at the edges so even though I felt like I was smiling, it didn’t offend anyone because I appeared to be just as unhappy as they were.

Break time!

And the first time I’ve ever seen what someone else sees when they see me.

Wow is all I can say. I know. I’m supposed to be a writer and all I’ve got is wow. To be fair, I’m in awe of this person before me. Of his talent. Of his grace. Of the way his eyes translate the world outside him to his hands in that esoteric language known only to trained artisans who practice attaining nothing less than perfection on a daily basis. Who continue with the daunting, joyful task of living and creating new things in absolute faith every single day of their lives for the pure joy of it. Because life would not be worth living without it and despite the fact that though they may reach seemingly unattainable heights they may be the only ones who recognize it and that has to be reward enough.

Can I get you anything?

A shot-gun, a twelve pack and a passing buffalo.

Would you settle for some chocolate?

I’m going to turn you blue now.

But wait! I’ve been blue for so long. I want to be a different color now. I want to wipe that shit eating grin off my face and glow.

I didn’t bring enough white to finish.

But I’m ready! I’m ready for my face to reflect how I feel inside. How rich, happy, loved and secure I am all by myself though it may not seem like it because I’m talking my head off like a teenager on three-way. I want to shine like the women on the wall. But are they really happy or does the master see something in all of us no one else can?

Someone enters the space. Someone who looks quite comfortable looking at art and in her own skin. Someone who doesn’t wait to be invited, is first to offer a smile and says, “I like your light.” Someone who means what she says in every way possible.

It was the best compliment I had ever heard given to an artist. It was a compliment not only to his work and his talent but his existence. Because the master uses light, needs light, reflects light and is light.

It may make a nice underpainting for something in the future.

In the shadowy outline on his canvas, I saw so much in me—so much potential for a finished piece. So much potential for a finished person—though we are all a work in progress. It was definitely me, or at the very least the me the people passing by could see as their eyes widened in disbelief. It reminded me of that fresh feeling you get when you step out of the shower and see yourself for the first time in the steamy mirror. You can’t see it yet, but you know you’re under there and all you have to do is sweep your hand across the cool glass to reveal it.

So many feelings in a glance. I had to look away. It was too beautiful. I practically ran outside to text everyone I know how awesome it was to be sitting for the master. The truth is I was afraid to see what he saw. I covered it up with small talk and giggles and he knew it too.

I lost the likeness of you.

I’m going down a path here that’s getting a bit steep, but sitting for the master always is isn’t it.

At home now, I realize I was afraid to see my own potential. But in that light, I felt that someday when I’m brave enough, I’ll look myself in the eyes and allow him to show me the beauty he sees. Until that day, I’m quite comfortable practicing my own perfection faithfully in perpetuity. I will continue with the daunting, joyful task of living and creating new things in absolute faith every single day of my life for the pure joy of it. Because life would not be worth living without it and despite the fact that though I may reach seemingly unattainable heights I may be the only one who recognizes it and that has to be reward enough.

Thanks for sitting for me tonight.

No thank you. It was an honor.

Overheard @ the Art Museum

2 Aug

She, the voluptuous one

With the violin lips

Satin mocha arms.

And he, the ardent one

Six-stringed and

Witty to boot.

And her, the silent one

The one paraded, coveted

By the rich, the old, the infirm

The newlywed’s gift

The dream of man

The promise of immortality

She sang through her eyes

And we listened

Intently

For a hint at that secret

Her clarinet shoulders

Cooed and babbled

And we took it as god’s grace.

She’s awake again.

It’s your turn.

No, it’s yours.

No, I took her last night.

You’re mistaken. That was me.

No, it wasn’t.

Please, I’m so tired.

But I worked all day.

And I didn’t?

You slaved.

Yes, I did.

I bore her.

Yes, you did.

Let’s go together.

Are you sure? No. I’ll go.

No, let it be me.

If you’re certain.

I am.

I want to.

For you.

Get some sleep.

I’ve got this.

You rest.

I’m going.

ARPAGGIO!

My darling, I am so sorry.

We need you.

I know.

Never Once

2 Aug

Today

I woke, I worked, I walked

and never once wondered

how it would be if

If only you were here.

Tonight

I write and wrestle with the thought

that I never once wondered.

 

 

July 21, 2008

Nutsack Girl

28 Jul

She carried a bag of nuts with her wherever she went. One day I asked her about them and this is what she told me. “These are not your ordinary nuts. These nuts are hard to crack. Some are shaped oddly, some have a thick outer shell, some are slippery and well, you get the point. The fact is that these nuts are a lot like people and I carry this bag around to remind me of that. You have to have just the right tool and just the right technique to crack these nuts. If you don’t do it right, you stand a good chance of getting hurt. Or worse, hurting the tender meat that is sustenance inside the shell.”

Then she lit up a joint and I knew our conversation, at least the part that made sense was now over. “So here’s how it works, sis. Every day I take out one of these nuts and study it just like this.” She slid her long arm bronzed from daily exposure into the small opening she had created by pushing two fingers of each hand into the tiny hole drawn tight by a double drawstring at the top of the bag and gently massaged it open as if she were pulling back the red velvet curtains of a tiny stage. She never looked inside. Letting her arm relax, I could see her wrist and hand begin to writhe inside the bag like arachnid acid. She was getting off on the feeling of the nuts passing between her fingers as she grasped a bunch and let them fall or just let her hand pass underneath them, through them; sensing this one and that with only the deft touch of her left hand. The sound was quite entrancing from my end but that was not her gig. She loved to touch and she was good at it. She continued on like this for some time, letting out a squeal when her hand, which now seemed separated from the rest of her, found some tactile treasure and felt it necessary to share that pleasure with the brain. Her brain was now in a fog so deep it would take hours for her to come back up. She could still register pleasure and pain without the tedious business of thought to bog the whole mechanism down and this is exactly where she sought to be when she got high.

She touched something she liked. I gauged this from her reaction. Her body never lied when she was in this state. She could hide nothing. The tone was lazy this time and more like a moan that she maintained at a lower octave than the others as if to say, oh now this is the one. Then, lazily she threw her head back and with it the hair that had been shielding her face like blinders on a Thoroughbred about to race the Dubai World Cup. Her perfect face now flushed with excitement over the tiny nut she would remove from the bag and attempt to crack. There was a moment of sheer silliness when she realized she had gripped the thing so tightly that her fist made it impossible for her to get her hand out of the hole she had created earlier. She wasn’t tender this time. She pulled the bottom of the bag with her right hand and without loosening her grip, yanked her left fist out of the top, leaving a red mark around the base of her hand where it met her wrist. Why she didn’t just let the drawstring go slack, I didn’t think to wonder about then.

It was a Brazil nut. Nigger toes as dad used to call them. It makes us both cringe to think that there are people related to us who still talk this way. We raise our eyes  simultaneously, but there is no one here to correct or to be embarrassed of. “Brazil nuts only grow in virgin rainforests you know,” I didn’t know. “Not only that but there is only one bee – the bombardier bee – you know the really big one? The one that looks like a B-52? It could just swoop down and bomb your little insect town at any moment.” I know she’s really gone when she starts mixing perspectives like her colossal fondness for WWII aircraft and irrelevant penchant for calling my mons a little insect town, but she’s my sister and I love her. She goes on to tell me about the great coiled hood of the Brazil nut tree’s yellow flower which contains a sweet nectar unlike anything ever tasted by man and that this bomber B-52 bee is the only one with a tongue strong enough to lift the hood and long enough to navigate the coils. Sounds like a legendary invasion my little insect town could hold a parade for or name a street after. Brazil Nut Bee Lane. Yes, lane. Boulevard sounds too spacious and street well, that’s just plain trampy. Lane it is. BNB Lane people would affectionately call it – home of the sweet nectar of the yellow-flowered-Brazilian goddess; a narrow two-laner, recently-paved, smooth and relatively quiet. You wouldn’t want to drive a Cadillac down there though – it’s definitely Not a Thru Street and the three point turn would be a bitch.

Protected: Just Another Tuesday

23 Jul

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Dream 06/22/2011

23 Jun

I’m in a convenience store like Circle K and I’m sure that I need to run away but the moment I realize this my body goes completely limp. Other customers see this and point and say look at that. I catch the attention of one man, I can barely talk but I manage to mouth the words, “Escape. Please. Help.” He senses the fear in my eyes and picks me up but the moment he does, he starts to become weak. He can’t hold me anymore. Soon he reluctantly puts me down and collapses on a pile of light blue soft water pellet bags stacked in the corner next to the sports drinks. Now we are both stuck in the store but I have some power back now and I tell him he can’t do that again for his own safety. Just touching me will drain his power and he just looks at me like how the hell did that little tiny thing just drain me of everything I have. He was a big, strong man too. Like Paul Bunyan big.

I still need a way to get out of there and it doesn’t matter where to, so I ask some people to lift me into a grocery cart thinking I can roll myself away. Whatever. It doesn’t matter how. Three young men pick me up and put me into the cart kind of laughing and thinking crazy white girl, she’s not going to get very far in a grocery cart but whatever. I have the use of my legs now and ask them to put a floor mat under me so it won’t hurt so bad going over the bumps. I stick my legs out the front under the handle where it hinges for storage and start pumping Flintstone style. It’s surprisingly easy and I make quick progress down the hill away from the store and the farther I get from it the stronger I am.

Soon, I am in one of my flying dreams. Taking off the first time is always the hardest part and this one is a low flyer. I spend most of my time about 5 ft. from the ground but occasionally gain 15-20 ft. enough to fly over telephone poles and see owls perched on top of roof tops. Inside peoples’ houses. Flocks of birds I identify in the dream are startled and scatter on my approach. HUGE owls. Pruning, flying, hunting, sitting.

One flies into a house through a tiny porthole and I follow it. It perches on a ladies wardrobe – five rows deep and 8 ft. long. It’s like a mini department store. I want to look at the owl so I sort of lay my body down on top of own of the shelves and feel myself become awkwardly big, not that I was small before I just FEEL my size now and I feel way too big to be in the place I’m at. I look back at the portal we came through. Did I come through there? Now I am so big feeling that I fall off the shelf. The lady hears me and comes into the room. Is that you? She says, talking to the owl like a mother talks to her baby. Oh, how I’ve missed you. You were gone for so long this time. Where are you my sweet? Come to me so I can see you. And then she sees me and her voice turns mean and she says, YOU! So you want to see MY owl do you?

I am afraid of being caught by her and hide behind a curtain but it is no cover. Somehow I end up at my aunt’s house and she is chastising me for breaking into her friends homes to look at birds. At first I am submissive and bow my head a little to her and then I realize she is reading from a list of addresses that SHE gave me to BREAK INTO AND IDENTIFY BIRDS. So I say that to her and she gets this really proud look on her face and smiles and I say, You ENCOURAGED me to break into your friends houses to identify birds and now you are PUNISHING me for it!

The end.

Ace of Cups

4 Mar

Have you ever been so thirsty that you dreamt about drinking a tall glass of whatever?

In Gestaltian dream analysis you are supposed to place yourself as each object or subject in the dream.

You are really thirsty. You go to the kitchen. You open the cabinet.

vasosdeagua

Even when we all get the same amount of something, some of us still need more to be full.

Now imagine you’re a glass. Specifically, a tumbler—the tall one. You can easily hold 6-8 ounces of whatever. You are sturdy and robust. You’re the biggest glass in the cabinet. The last glass anyone wants to break and the first one chosen for use unless of course you’re all in the dishwasher or on the night stands or left outside on the patio after last night’s double vodka and Pellegrino conversation turned you into a prop and then abandoned you as still life. You are the hero of summertime, yard work and soda pop. You are made for adult hands. People are careful with you. They take care not to drop you when you dew up and get sweaty from a hard day’s labor. You’re the working man’s glass. Literally, a tall drink of water and you know it. It feels good to be first. You get set out on coasters for dinner parties (unless they use the crystal – damn those crystal tumblers). No one ever goes thirsty in your presence. It doesn’t even matter how much the other glasses hold, it always looks like more in you.

Then there’s good ol’ half glass. Half glass is there in a pinch. Hero of cookies and milk. More of you get broken then the others even though you usually bounce when you inevitably get dropped. It’s a simple law of averages. Half glass is actually a misnomer since you can fill three quarters of a tumbler. You are well-respected but you know the tall one will always be first choice. That hurts. Sometimes they even call you short glass. Which is worse you can’t decide. Being stuck in the middle is trying to say the least. You wish people could see your capacity for whatever. You feel it must be your fault somehow that they don’t. You’re not a glass that gets decided upon much. Most of the time you’re just the default go to when all the talls go missing. You think the talls must really have it great down there on the bottom shelf where even the kids can reach. Maybe that’s the problem. Oh, who knows. You probably don’t deserve to be used any more than you are anyway. I mean, why raise your expectations only to get disappointed, right?

Now imagine you are the juice glass. Under used and under-appreciated, you rarely get taken from the top shelf unless there’s a shortage of both halves and talls. You think maybe people would use you more frequently if they didn’t have to stand on their toes to reach you. You never break though and you’re the only one still playing with a full set. You are silently revered as the sacred vessel of nectars and juices—the purest forms of liquid refreshment. Not so silently, you long to be appreciated for the jewel you are but somehow you never end up getting rinsed out and even the purest nectar leaves a ring way down deep where no one old enough to do the dishes can reach without a bottle brush and there haven’t been any of those around for years. You never feel quite as clean as the others. Good thing you know the etymology of “top shelf”. It keeps your spirits up. You fill exactly half of tumbler and three-quarters of short but no one seems to notice you’re easier to hold and drink from without ice spilling over or making milk mustaches.

Now imagine two glasses develop a relationship. Say one of the glasses is a tumbler and one is a short. If tall pours all it has into short what happens?

Does short drown in the excess of does he bask the over-abundance of whatever?

Does tall really want to pour her entire self into anything or should she save some whatever for herself?

Does half feel the need to fill tall to the rim?

Is a glass half full of another glass’s whatever every really satisfied?

Should juice glasses only mix with other juices? Shorts with shorts and talls with talls?

Does any of this matter if each glass is happy with whatever it holds?

1 Apr
The Secret Lives of Little Shoes

A day in the life of Jessica and Janaya's shoes

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