Saturday, November 22, 2014

Published At New York Observer online

My very long comment (basically my entire piece below) is published under the article about Gabriela Rosa at New York Observer at this link:


My Comment

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Joy's Ranting Again ... Gabriela Rosa

Those of you who are familiar with my blog know I do several things here; present poetry, reviews, photos, original art and my rants. If I am touched by something someone else has done and my editors don’t particularly love it for The Cartier Magazine, or if they do like but feel it is not a good fit, I put it here in my blog. I’ve been blogging steadily for several years now. You don’t get to be #1 at Facebook Networked Blogs in a particular subject by doing nothing! So today I am going to blog about Gabriela Rosa, who I’ve been upset about ever since I heard she was arrested. 
I met Rosa for the first time when she rang my bell and asked me to vote for her for the position as Assemblywoman. I don’t give my vote easily. For starters, I wanted to know her views on abortion and education. I liked her talk and I liked her. Rosa is forthright, outspoken intelligent and thoughtful.
We talked for more than a half hour. Rosa returned the following day, asking me to campaign for her and to first help her to get on the ballot. I live in a building with 202 families, so campaigning in my building alone would win her a great many votes. She told me she chose me because she saw I hadn’t missed voting in one election for over 15 years.
Rosa was a new incumbent running for a seat currently occupied by Guillermo Linares, who has been in public office in various positions since the early 1980’s when he was parent advocate on the school board. This is a rant for another day. I recently made my peace with Linares when I told him my issue with him and why I’d campaigned for Rosa for District 72, where I reside. I worked hard for her. I had no money to give but I had my flyers and voice with me everywhere I went. I talked her up to everyone I know and don’t know. I am a very good talker. I was proud to be part of her campaign and ecstatic to see her in office. Basically Rosa did the almost impossible. In November 2012, she unseated Linares! In January 2013, Rosa was sworn into office.
Gabriela Rosa has always been industrious and a hard worker. Assemblyman Herman Farrell came to bat for her. She worked as legislative assistant for Farrell for over a dozen years. Rosa was a go-getter in our community; pursuing values important to our community and helping to effect social changes. This job qualified her for a seat in the assembly. Rosa is the first Dominican woman to gain a seat in the assembly. I researched politics today and read it is almost impossible to unseat an incumbent, which Linares was. The fact that she succeeded in an uphill battle is a tribute to her dedication and to the stamina of her campaigners; others like me who wanted her to win. 
Rosa was arrested for two reasons, a sham marriage to get her citizenship and filing for bankruptcy and not counting husbands income. I read the court documents. They are available online. Rosa came to this county in 1993 at the age of 27 earning her degrees in Dominican Republic. She is 47 now. She was arrested for a crime she committed over 20 years ago to “pursue the American Dream,” and paying $8000 for the sham marriage. She divorced him in 1999. Rosa was naturalized in 2005. Ms. Rosa filed for bankruptcy in September 2009. In her arrest petition, it says she perjured herself by omitting her cooperative apartment that she’d recently acquired. I happen to live in the same type building. Matter of fact, her building is called our sister building since they were built at the same time in 1950, are both run by DHCR and are Mitchel-Lama coops, meaning they are not regular co-ops; they are state run. In the court documents, they claim she spent tens of thousands of dollars to get her co-op.  I am almost positive that her co-op - if it is a 2-bedroom cost no more than fifteen to twenty thousand dollars.
What is really bothering me is who is behind this and who has the most to gain from uprooting her and imprisoning her? Perhaps Linares has friends in powerful places that wanted her out. Gabriela Rosa is a scapegoat, pure and simple. I mean really, please. Starting with Watergate, then Whitegate, and Travelgate. Really, look up all the political gates. Did you know every single witness to Hilary Clinton’s Travelgate died either accidentally or mysteriously? Oh don’t get me started! Reagan had Alzheimer’s and basically Nancy Reagan was running the country with astrologers and Chief Of Staff. Ollie North took the fall for Reagan’s Nicaraguan initiatives with drug runners and CIA involvement. So much crazy stuff! They tried to unseat local politician Rangel (I felt terrible about this and he still gets my vote) because they claimed he used monies for personal travel. On and on, but Gabriela has to take the fall. Come on! We all know about politicians and their shenanigans.
Rosa knows the area. She knows the people. She was supported by many of the politicians in our area, such as Ydanis Rodriguez, Adriano Espaillat, Assembly Members Herman Farrell Jr.and Dan Quart, Borough President Gale Brewer, and State Senator Ruben Diaz. Wouldn’t our community be better served if she were permitted to do community service for our area for free instead of going to jail? Wouldn’t our community be better off to get her free help and she gets time served. Oh, not only does she have to serve a year and a day in jail with seasoned criminals, but she also had to sign documents forbidding her to ever hold public office again. I really want to know why she was targeted and by who. Her seat was due to expire on December 31, 2014. Someone had it in for her. By the way, Linares ran for his assembly seat unencumbered and uncontested– no one ran against him. He won – whoopee – and we lost a great intelligent compassionate person who really cared for us.
How stupid! I am angry, upset and disillusioned.


Below are links to learn more and to read the original court documents. Also someone should write her up at Wikipedia. Why isn’t she already there?











Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Skink No Surrender: I love Carl Hiaasen!

I love Carl Hiaasen so much that I eagerly await each new book on tiptoes. I have read all of his books, even his children’s books. So of course I had to read Skink, No Surrender. I even love his news feature writings and all of his Florida articles. Hiaasen is well known for his love for Florida and dislike for impingements and destruction of Florida wildlife. Hiaasen’s writing is quirky and it is obvious he truly understands all his characters, from the very strange, to the crazy and gifted. All his characters have substance and well developed traits.

Being a completist, once I decide I truly love an author, and I love love love Hiaasen! I read everything he writes. Hiaasen has many causes, many of which I also hold dear, such as protecting our earth and our planet by stopping all harmful practices to it. These include, but are not limited to: oil drilling, oil spills, fracking, overfishing, factory farming, causing wildlife to disappear by building more condominiums and tourist traps. This is a subject I put last because building and destroying natural habitat has so many consequences it deserves more than the paltry words I write here.

I love his writings for several reasons: I love to laugh, I love all of his characters and especially Skink, (who I am certain is a small part of Hiaasen), I love the way he twists and builds a story, and I love to be informed about wildlife destruction by someone who passionately cares. I love reading Hiaasen because he expands me as a writer.

Skink is a reappearing hero in many of Hiaasen’s novels. Skink AKA Clinton Tyree is the ex-governor of Florida, a decorated Vietnam vet with sparkling white teeth and probably the only honest man to hold office. He gave passionate speeches and gained national recognition is his attempts to discourage tourism and further development. Also reappearing is his best friend Jim Tile, an African American State Trooper and former chief bodyguard for the former governor who now continues to watch out for and help Tyree. These two have a long complex history that few in the story really know the depth of.

The built in conflict is Hiaasen loves his land, he even loves his country –obvious in the ways he discusses wrongs done to land and peoples, but he cannot and will not tolerate all the wrongs and this theme is consistent in all his novels, stories and writings. Plus he is outright funny. I love to read him because I always laugh out loud.

The point is Hiaasen writes about what he is passionate about. Although he always writes about quirky strange characters, these are also people he understands. Sometimes life is stranger than fiction, if you consider for example, the bizarre yet true characters displayed in the movie, “No Pain, No Gain,” directed by Michael Bay, starring Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson. This story is based on a true life story about what a group of bodybuilders working for Sun Gym actually did. At one point in the film, the director stops the film and informs the watcher, “Wait! This actually happened!” to show the extreme absurdity of how far a criminal mind will go to get what they want. Don’t want to get off the mark but I find out that Marky Mark AKA Mark Wahlberg has a shady past. Wahlberg makes amends by his sincere effort to prevent others from doing what he did and he puts his money where his mouth is. I’ll go back topic here to Hiaasen, after delightfully diverting myself – but my point is - Hiaasen is the mastermind when it comes to developing these nutsy type characters who are either good, evil, smart, stupid or somewhere in between totally crazy or weird. It is probably true and strange that these are the type people Hiaasen as a journalist observed over the years. Journalists always are the best reporters because they know who to report what they see with no judgments aside from the report that this is what happened. How the movie relates to Hiaasen is that it shows that indeed, truth is often stranger than fiction so although Hiaasen digs these characters out of his head and creates them, strange crazy people like this really exist. 

The biggest lesson learned from Skink is that you can’t best a system but you can work within a system to manipulate it. This is the lesson to be learned from Skink, our infamous hero. Skink permanently left public office, frustrated with being governor. Skink left being governor behind, seeing it is easier to accomplish more in the good against evil battle from outside the system, using various wiles at his disposal and sometimes combined with other illegal procedures. Sometimes you have to work outside a system to effect change within it. Skink’s been suspected of murder, but he is so elusive, he always manages to get away.

Skink works in and outside law like when he decides to take our boy hero, Richard under his protection. Suddenly, Jim Tile appears, Skink’s best friend and law enforcement official and gives Richard a driver’s license. Skink meets Richard on a beach when searching to find his cousin Malley, who has run away to avoid boarding school in Massachusetts. Skink is working to protect some protected turtles and is burying himself to discover who is stealing the eggs which are marked by sticks and flags when discovered. Richard finds the straw and uncovers him. Skink and Richard take off on a mission to rescue Malley.

I feel a kinship with Skink because of my consistent need to help others do right and get what is coming to them, be it good or bad. All get what they deserve with Skink, who is a force of nature akin to a hurricane or windstorm. There’s no stopping Skink. The only thing missing in this book is any kind of profanity or swearing. Hiaasen's timing is exquisite and he provides comic relief. If you want to be entertained and laugh read him. The story is super exciting and moves fast. I finished the book in a day. I highly recommend this book to young teens and can guarantee its enjoyment. I recommend this for any child who reads for enjoyment, even if they are younger than pre-teen. For example if my 7-year old grandson wanted to read this and was able to read it, I’d let him. Maybe even 6, or earlier. I think reading should always be encouraged unless it requires parental controls. There are always limits. If my 6 year old grandson wanted this read to him, I’d do it.  I believe children are often good judges of their capabilities.

Goodwill Hunting and Hats off to Skink, with his roadkill and strong moral demeanor. Skink will never be outdone or won! Hiaasen has done it again!

Hats off to Hiaasen!




Thursday, October 09, 2014

Felix: A Tribute Part I

Sweet almond shaped soft brown stared me in the eyes, naked desire written all over him, his stance, and his gestalt. I became more curious the clearer it became that he was intent on conquering me although I couldn’t understand why.
Felix was beautiful to look at; five feet nine, lithe, strong sinewy muscles, small frame but extremely well formed. Curvy at the waist and hips, I could see muscled physique under his T-shirt. Felix had beautiful golden skin with curly black hair almost too his shoulders, a little less curly than a Jewish Afro. I watched the sunlight through his hair and my curiosity turned to admiration.
I have never felt beautiful excepting a few rare occasions. My flabby body always made me feel inadequate and it seemed no matter how hard I exercised I could only lessen the plight that plagued my self esteem.
He stood there staring at me, he tossed his head, his black curly changed through sun streams, sienna autumn hair strands bathed in color, sparkling eyes have golden light.
He told me later he envisioned us together bathing naked in a river, me suntanned becoming more beautiful, such a delight. He said that was the moment he knew he wanted me to be his wife.
I stared back, being defiant and sure I can do too what he is doing.
“Your eyes are beautiful, the color keeps changing while I’m looking at you.”
“Really, but I could use a new body if you know what a mean.”
Surprised by his compliment, I took a moment. I was used to men wanting sex with me for apparently no other reason than to have sex, so I was burned and wary of going any route near that. Such disappointments not to find love the way I wanted.
He grinned widely. “What’s your name? I’m Felix. I want to be with you.”
“Really,” I drawled sarcastically in my nasal New Yawk voice. “Any other requests at this time? I’m taking them by the bushel tonight. You’re the fifth to want to be with me tonight.”
In my peripheral vision I saw other people watching us and other women staring at him in a way that embarrassed me. Two guys looked my way and quickly turned away to watch the gals who were watching Felix. The dudes were impervious; they didn’t see that the gals were busy. I recall the girl’s bodies, with the little butts peeking out from beneath their short shorts. Felix didn’t glance their way. Passersby looking to avail themselves on someone other than me did stop to look at peek-a-boo butts. I had become accustomed to the daily assholes seeking a place to deep six their dicks. It makes me tired.
Felix laughed, “Wow, a woman who seeks her mind. Just what I’ve always wanted. …Come over here and talk to me. I don’t bite.”
His desire burned me. My face felt hot, I knew I colored scarlet. My mouth spoke for me. “You come here, why should I go there.”
He grinned and came closer, holding out his hand. “Com’on shake hands at least.”
I put out my hand, and he kissed it. “I don’t want you for tonight,” he said, “I want you forever.”
I felt like we’d turned invisible. Our eyes entered a locked embrace. People pretended not to see us.
He whispered in my ear, bringing his mouth close to my ear, his breath making me shiver.
“Let them all go and we’ll go for a walk alone.”
I was paralyzed, and sat down while he stood watch over me. “Let’s go,” he said, offering me his hand. When I gave it to him he kissed it softly his lips pressing. I wondered if he done some tongue, it felt so wet it tickled. He gave a pull and we walked out together, eyes locked the entire time. Time stood still while I fell in love.
Our eyes slowly parted as if we were saying goodbye to another life.
I laughed, glowing with his desire for me. Not that I didn’t desire him. I was definitely turned on. I had no place to take him.  
My uterus felt like it was throbbing. The heat made my stomach churn, my body impassioned.
 We sat watching the sunset at Fort Tryon Park. He held my hand and gazed into my eyes. “I’ve never met anyone with eyes like the sea to get lost in. You’re beautiful!” His eyes held a moonlit gaze bathing me in praise. His words made my uterus spasm as though his dick was inside me.
Listening to him speak, his words flowing over me like soft warm water, I lost my balance and got carried away in a flood of romantic banter.
He let go of my hand and put his arm around my shoulders. We sat quietly watching. He leaned over and pushed my head to his shoulder. “That’s better, maybe now I can hear your thoughts.”
After this hot introduction would you believe it was two months before we had sex? Felix came every night to see me after work. Where ever we went we went together. I always made him laugh. It was either that or he became angry, no in between for him. Frustration made him angry and he didn’t like to be talked back to in spite of our first meeting. I am not sure if this is how he meant to conquer me or if he gave it any thought at all and was totally always in a form of reaction. My desire steamed like lava on a mountain running downhill.  
I always felt like it was Déjà Vu except when he was angry. He exploded often. Our first fight occurred when I asked, “Just curious, what are you.” He stared at me blankly, his eyes narrowing.
“What do you mean? I’m a citizen of the world he said.”
“Well that’s some bullshit,” I quickly retorted. I know you’re from Santo Domingo.”
“I don’t associate myself with other Dominicans and if you know where I’m from, then what are you asking?”
The words stuck on my tongue. “Race, I wonder what color you are. You have such beautiful skin color and I wonder what you are.”
“I’m not going to answer that! You’re prejudiced or you wouldn’t ask that question.”
“I’m more curious than prejudiced,” I explained. “Your skin is so golden tan, I just figure you have more race than white.”
“I told you I’m a citizen of the world.”
“Maybe you don’t know and that’s why you won’t reply?”
“Don’t keep going there, or I’m out of here.”
I let it go and ended up crying feeling very misunderstood. I had never been accused of racism before because I was one of the few people in my neighborhood to always hang out with all the minorities. Seemed like I couldn’t make friends with my own kind. Sometime later I saw his Dominican passport and his race was listed as Indio. I figured that was what they called it when they had no clue and the person looked like they were dipped in light gold with caramel shadows. Felix was lovely to look at, and seemed perfect. I couldn’t know or fooled myself about all the indicators of something off as I always do when I am falling in love or in love.
Later he confessed he’d loved me at from the first moment we met. Felix would gaze into my eyes, and my breasts ached, my nipples longed to be elongated by sucking and his touch. Imagine the letdown when we finally had sex and I realized he had no experience, plus he was very inhibited, all that on top of ejaculating within three minutes. Sex improved with comfort, taking time, lying entwined in each other and talking for hours like new lovers do.
I struggle to recall wrongs and rights. Our visions of love were different but we were both wrong and right. We were two wounded birds. It’s as though others similarly afflicted could smell my wounds from far they’d flock my way. Neither of us had ever experience true love where someone will sacrifice himself for you. We only knew what we’d seen before and we didn’t know how to create something new either.
My hormones raged for compensation wanting more than thrills. When he entered me, my uterus skipped a beat. He moved in my vagina to a beat only we heard. I saw it in his mouth, the curve of his lips, that feeling of condescension that he knew he could have me and I was his. I had no choice in this young foolish love that can’t find its way on a slow snaked day where it rains all day, and when day is about to end, finally the sun shines once more. Déjà Vu all over again.




*My son's father, Felix, passed away two years ago today.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

WICKEDNESS LIVES

I want to kill the bastard who did this to you
Hunt him down like the animal he is
First I want to flay away 
his skin like back in the day,
Slowly peel the layers of skin in fine strips 
Translucent like onion but much thinner
Watch his face; enjoy his screams
For mercy, enjoy misery I create

I want to torture him for you
Torture him like he did to you
Make him feel the pain he caused you
Instead he got away scot-free,
I would have made him pay
Hurt him like he hurt you

He should’ve been jailed at the very least
Inmates hate child abusers in jail
They would shiv him
In jail he’d get nailed
Your mother let him get away with this

Mom allowed your stepdad to abuse you too
No one wanted your Dad to pay the piper
Your uncle wanted to kill him
Beloved grandma urged him to let it go,
So uncle shoved it under his hat

Your father doesn’t deserve to survive
Only if he lives in great pain
You paid the price for their sins

Monday, September 15, 2014

Dream A Dream For Me Lover

I dreamed this two weeks ago.
I am with Missy, my young grad school buddy.  She’s with a new boyfriend, someone I never met before. I recognize this as strange in my dream, knowing she's now married with children. Bob, my boyfriend, Missy, and my son, Joey are all there together. Bob is with us yet seconds later is rapping to some chick about 15 feet away. I walk towards them, but when I get there, Bob’s disappeared into thin air. 
“Where's Bob?"  I ask.
Joey says, “In the store, buying beer.”
         Missy and I are walking together downtown on Broadway alone. We’re on our way to visit my Dad down on 162nd street. It’s a long walk from Sickle Street (Close to Dykeman Street) in Washington Heights.
This is before Washington Heights became Hudson Heights, before gentrification. For me it will always be The Heights.
Missy and I are strolling slowly, talking, taking our time.  We run into Alan Abel, the big 'Get Even' Scam Man Prankster, Bob had introduced me to.
I say, “Hi Alan, how are you?”
Alan says, “Hey, how’re ya’? You’re the woman involved with Bob, that young English fellow I met you with in Oxford?” Alan is speaking while pulling out all these clothes from somewhere. I can’t figure out where they’re coming from. 
Missy says excitedly, “Lets share everything.”
“Excellent,” I agree, forgetting my concern about where the stuff is coming from.
I pull out a tight colorful skirt. I feel Missy’s eyes on it. I say, “Oh Missy, that wouldn't fit you, you're too big.” I realize I spoke without thinking. Missy's not big anymore plus I'm worried I hurt her feelings. I quickly say, “Oh you're not big anymore.” Too late, the words are spoken.
         Missy, Alan and I wind up in my apartment’s home office. Alan is using my fax to make copies. I remember Bob putting cellophane wrappers on the roller that holds the fax paper. Later he refills with paper. I can't remember why Bob was using cellophane but suddenly realize Bob’s trying to trap me into doing something sexual with Alan. He is using cellophane to create a tracking record on fax.
Alan continues to make copies using the fax machine.
Alan says, “I really appreciate you letting me use your machine this way.”
I smell something funny burning inside the fax.  Suddenly the copy button pops up and out of the machine.
I say, “Oh shit Bob warned me about how careful I have to be with this fax.  He gave me this long list of do's and don'ts. Repeated over and over, ‘don't use white out, no scotch tape either, don’t touch buttons,’ and truth is I’m guilty and he’ll say I broke the fax.”
         Alan focuses on me. Alan says, “How much do you care about this Bob guy?”
“I'm crazy about him and can’t understand why he makes me unhappy. I wonder if any man can give me what I want or need.”
         Missy cuts in, “Do you both feel the same about faithfulness?”
 Alan tells Missy, 'No, the real problem is she has not found anyone to meet her needs or make her happy.”        
Alan turns to include me, “But, why aren't you faithful?” 
“You mean unfaithful because I'm hanging out with you here?' 
Right beside me suddenly is some guy standing there who wasn't there a second before. Someone I’ve never seen before.
I defend myself, “Oh, we don't have sex. And although I've been unfaithful, I'd much rather be faithful, but somehow, when I get unhappy I also get unfaithful."  I pause and take a breath. 
         "Is that it?" Alan said. He smiled slightly, added in his strong pretend English accent, "Well, that's all right then, some people are unfaithful just for the hell of it."
         "No," Missy said, "There's more to it than that.”
Alan has his mind made up. He starts making lists of the pros and cons about my relationship with Bob. Instead of reading the lists, I watch him feeding the lists through the fax to make copies. I see he's taped relevant and matching stuff together to better organize themes. I get worried about the fax.  
“Alan” I say, “you will break the fax putting paper through with tape.”
         Scene switches again. Alan and I are sitting together on rocks at an outdoor garden. We are completely alone and isolated. Alan moves closer behind me. The waterfall, rocky, slippery, with lush wild flowers, granite rocks glinting, mesmerizes me. Beautiful, and wild, yet tended to. I want to climb down but it's about a five-foot drop. I worry if I can’t get down I won't be able to climb back up without help. I stand there enjoying a familiar rapture, Alan’s powerful energy combined with the moment’s tranquility. I am enraptured yet captive.
         I feel Alan’s body pressing against mine. His growing erection presses against my butt. “I want you to be mine,” he said. "Even though I’m crazy beyond what you’ve ever known before, I believe we can make it.” He leaned in, bent his head.
         Dizziness overcame me, hunger clawed at me. My stomach lurched with fear of getting involved and let down again, and still I raised my lips to greet his.
         Eyes wide open, gazing deep inside mine, hurt inside the hunger’s so deep, I feel my womb throb with desire.

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