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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

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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.

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23 Jul

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