Saturday, November 10, 2018

Noise In My Head

Play my heartstrings like a violin 
Sweet and bitter like a mandolin
Up and down the scale to my chagrin
Left with no more turns, try to find a way in
Your face in a stuporous grin
Walls of my heart broken down like walls of West Berlin
No answers, like holding me together with a body pin
Your pain tattooed on my heart like my car’s Vin
Feelings strewn in a bin, you complain 
About selling your brand new Schwinn
Feel like a fish caught in net, 
Alive while getting her fins skinned
Wouldn’t feel so much pain if my heart 
Wasn’t previously scarred by kin
Almost disappear, your thoughts and mind grow thin
Along with your body flesh
Made of flesh and blood, not of tin
Suffer with words create a fierce din 
My heads in a spin from all the noise
Desire a way to create a win
Search for what may have been
While time eludes us, realize 
I’m older to begin



Buy my book Tupelo Honey & other tales

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

THE WORLD IS A DANGER ZONE

Listen To the Poetry Queen, Violetwrites, Read  plus read while you listen 
- this is 2nd half - Below is 1st half of poem.


Fear to venture out
Afraid of myself 
Have to hide myself away of my own free will
Because I’m dangerous
Dangerous to my health and yours
So try to stay away from me
I’m fat so all these layers of fat are there to protect me from you, you, and you
I’m the you, the you – you never want to be, you even define yourself by the absence of affect which clearly puts me there at the center, and you look at me and say, “I will never be you! I would never be able to do what you did,” but walk a mile in everyone else’s shoes and somehow you find yourself there, in my shoes and me in yours
That’s what happens in interchangeable movies, right! We exchange the old for the young and young for the old. Then, somehow, when the young come back to old, who they really are, they all know what they thought they didn’t know, and after the interchange, and exchange, they recall, maintain and retain the change they knew and came back to
Where it all began and where we’ve been, what we learn, what we have to do
It counts if you went to the school of hard knocks
Please don’t send me back there
It’s how this all began, there, where I was born
No way to stop the clock, lost in this reverie 
Each day I’m more unhealthy to myself than the day before
A cycle of self hate, blame for who you are
Who I am who I say I’ll never be
Intentions matter say some
Others say only actions
I don’t know who to believe
Do I know where I am?
I don’t know anything 
Everyday that I live I know myself less each day I live
I try my best to know 
Yet what I know is I know less instead of more
What a dilemma!
I seek peace is hard to find
Peace
Peace to the planet
Peace to all who survive here
Where 
Here on our planet
Pray we humans all survive, animals, all inhabitants survive
Peace to all
Earth to all
Spread the Love and Peace to all
Om mani padme hum
Aooommmmmmmmm




Tuesday, August 14, 2018

A WALL OF POWER



The Western Wall, also called the Kotel is the last remains of the Second Temple of Jerusalem, which formed part of the enclosure of Herod’s temple, resulted in the encasement of a natural steep hill, that became the Temple Mount. The Kotel is holy due to it’s connection to the Temple Mount and is holy to Muslims, Jews, and Christians. This holy place was destroyed the Romans in 70 CE. 

Can a wall really wail or is that a fail-safe fallacy to inspire the fire inside
Does a wailing wall speak to inadequacy inside?
Can a wall 2000 years old wail sufficiently to quell my pain
Can a wall help me see the heartbreak between Abel and Caine?
Can this 2000 year-old Western wall help our world find peace?
Help nuclear energy threats cease
Pray for wars to decrease
Help humanity stay safe without regrets
Pray no one forgets the past
The result of making outcasts leads to a lambaste

Will this wall provide a safe space to do more than cry about what’s left?
I try to shrug free of my chains 
There’s no escaping the Western Wall’s remains
Power soars through my veins, the wall opens my reality
Feels like labor pains, I feel my soul strain to let go restraints
An African lady, dressed in high fashion speaks in tongues I can’t understand. 
She pounds her chest, pounds the wall with a closed fist, and screams “Jesus” 
The rest of the words are forecast
African Lady’s fist pounds her words into the wall’s veins
A religious Orthodox Jew rolls her eyes momentarily aghast 
Then returns to her private prayers
I try to imagine African Lady’s sorrows as the wall absorbs them
Overcome with waves of feeling, I struggle to see through my tears, fears appear,
I return my gaze to a wall I don’t know but somehow feel like I’ve been here before, 

Wailing inside, feel all aglow, wait for my soul to be lit by peace
I place my shred of paper with my prayers for our world to heal
The wailing western wall, a holy grail
My hand held steady against a small sweet spot of stone, mine momentarily,
Press my hand against ancient limestone
Can’t control the flow of my tears 
Hard to reach through all the bodies to press my hand through 
Other women clamor to touch the wall
Maybe think the wall will heal the
People from many lands and many religions, 
Lay our hands on together, on this sacred stonewall
All hope for love, relief, a better life, for everyone
The wall crowded with thousands of us praying together, 
People from many lands and many religions all here like one
Lay our hands on this sacred stonewall, ancient limestone 
Pray for family, pray for peace, 
Pray for a better world 
Pray humanity will survive, whatever befalls us
Pray for love, relief, a better life, for loved ones
For everyone, everywhere, humanity together, for once and for all…


Monday, July 23, 2018

Louisiana Catch Book Review By Sweta Srivastava Vikram

Louisiana Catch 

By Sweta Srivastava Vikram

265 pages

Modern History Press
Ann Arbor, MI 48105

April 2018 Fiction

ISBN 9781615993543 (ePub, PDF, Kindle, ebook)   $5.35
ISBN 9781615993529 (softcover, acid-free paper)      $21.95
ISBN 9781615993536 (hardcover, acid-free paper)    $30.09

Caught by surprise, reading about a young lady living and working in New Delhi, I wondered why was Louisiana Catch the title. This became clear later when Ahana visited New Orleans to be with family and to work.  I was glad to become reacquainted with New Orleans through Ahana’s eyes. Through the narrative, I came to know and understand Ahana. I didn’t always agree with Ahana, yet, I always liked her. Ahana comes from a very privileged family, yet that is not enough to protect her from marrying an abusive man, and attracting another man, who at first, she regards as a friend from an online therapy group. 

The subject is very timely with all the “Me Too” today in the news and everyday comes someone new with new accusations. Every day we see people who we thought we respected, arrested and going to jail. Men with money and power have always been keen to use their power to control the women in their professional and personal lives. This book is about women and the power we wield when we stand up for what is right and help others. It is about human rights and also about losing people we love, suffering and finding love. 

Ahana is likeable and a bit naïve. Broken, from a first abusive marriage, she allows herself to fall into paranoia, wondering if he is in touch with her ex-husband and that’s how he knows so much about her. At first, she takes his friendship as a gift and the more he demands and pounds at her emotionally, the more she makes excuses for him, and the more she cajoles him and becomes afraid to confront him, suspicious he may be following her. What woman who has escaped abusive relationships doesn’t know this feeling? Here, I see and say, “me too,” having gone though an abusive marriage myself. And like the “me too” movement shows, when we open ourselves up to the truth, we can finally let go of our fears and our history. 

I think the part of Ahana that needs healing is so wound up and traumatized that she is blind when she meets Jay at an online therapy group for members who have recently lost a parent, after her mother suddenly passes away. She simply takes Jay at his word, and accepts him for who he says he is, someone too who has suffered through a mother’s loss. Every time Ahana asks Jay about himself, no matter how simple, for example, is he dating or where he lives he rebukes her as to why, as his best friend, she is hassling him which results in her feeling guilty and unworthy. Ahana makes excuses for what he says and why, and centers the blame on herself. I assume that this is where the cycle of abuse comes in, and Ahana is unable to see that she is repeating history by letting Jay speak to her in ways that demean her. 

When her household cook and her cousin point out the inconsistencies in Jay’s behavior and more importantly, the negative effects on her, at first she is not ready to listen. Eventually she gets to the point where she clearly sees his game but by this time, she is fearful and paranoid that perhaps Jay knows her husband and has learned about her from him. 

At one point I wanted to yell at her, “Ahana, why are you giving this Jay guy so much importance in your life and why don’t you just cut him out?” At that point I totally identified with Ahana’s cousin, Naina. And why wouldn’t I, since Naina is a mental health professional like myself.

Throughout the novel, Ahana is fighting her demons and has left a high paying position to coordinate a women’s conference to raise awareness about violence and abuse of women, which is part of how she overcomes her own trauma. The other part of how she overcomes her trauma is through her relationship with Rohan Brady, who Ahana must work with on the conference, called NO EXCUSE.  I’m not sure how cell phone service works in India, however I do have an online poetry friend in India who has called me occasionally and he assures me when he calls me I don’t pay, and I never have! 

At one point, early on in the communication between Ahana and Rohan, when Ahana is still in New Delhi, Rohan calls Ahana, and Ahana says she has to hang up because she doesn’t want to pay international fees. There were also a few typos I hope they fixed in the final version. 

Ahana has misjudged Rohan as misogynist because of his online persona.  As for Jay, and his abusive and baiting behavior, it is well past the middle of the book when she finally begins to see through his gameplay, and after everyone around her and even two women in her online therapy group have warned her repeatedly about him. Ahana finally asks her cousin’s husband for help and since he is a police officer, it comes to light that Jay has criminal history. 

In all, the novel is very personal and readable, a quick reader for me, once I got into the details. I was also glad that there was a list of characters in the beginning for review since Indian names are foreign to me, this list made it easy to follow the characters in the beginning. I recommend this novel, to women especially, as this is book is about women and love, violence towards woman and clearly makes the point – that all violence and verbal abuse is always unacceptable. The other important insight is to always tell and not keep abuse a secret. This step is by far, the most important in overcoming tendency to allow abusers or toxic people into your life. Ahana makes this point very clearly in her work. 

Monday, June 18, 2018

ALL ABOUT THAT SEX

Yeah, you’re a lousy lay
OK you can get it up 
But learning how to satisfy me is 
too far out of your way
You’re probably afraid to get lost in fur
I’ve been with men who know how to do things to turn me on
Making a woman scream is how he gets off too
Naturally knows to do
It’s not mechanical, 

Some men just know how to do it
They know how to let go
When men let go of their senses 
They know how to make a woman cry
And laugh with pleasure
Where are the men who made me 
Cry out in ecstasy, 
Did they love me too?
Or was it the ones who didn’t possess skill
Who loved me the way I want you to do
Makes me wonder

Don’t believe that men learn it
It’s a charm they carry deep within themselves
Sweet charm where they let go 
Is it because that’s all a man got to give 
Men know what turns me on emotionally 
but when it comes to sex 
They don’t know how to
Satisfy my soul
I wonder if a man needs to opens his soul 
to make a woman come
Probably all in my mind
Easy to know how to enjoy

Your needs or mine, I know how to come 
All about my mind’s excited 
Can come and keep coming too
Part of it’s up to you because, yeah, I got my own controls
Yeah Yeah …
I do what I know how to 
to myself or to you
I can make my own feel – goods
What about you
Don’t you need and want your own feel –goods
It’s all about time
I need you to do it too
It’s like you forgot
Or never knew
I know the feel good in having my pussy be eat real good
I know the good in screaming and coming again and again
Because other men have done what you can’t do or refuse
To do
At this point it makes no difference if you know how to do 
Go down on a girl like you’ve never before
Some know what to do
Others never heard it
But I know what I had before
And you don’t know how to do
Like it was done to me before

Monday, June 11, 2018

Let’s Go, Let’s Go, Let’s Go

The stars, the sun and moon
Surround me –put me in a swoon
While I read runes
I want the world to know I’m one of you
so step aside and let me through,
Did you hear what I said,
I’m no different from you, you and you, 
Graduated the school of hard knocks
Just like you, came from the wrong side
Didn’t come up easy
Can’t you see
Who I am,
I said I’m one of you, some of what you are – what you are – 
Created in some image I create for myself and the stars in the sky,
I’m on the brink of expansion
An explosion of words going off in me
Words on the horizon
Words provide aspirations, a solution to our rotation 
Of bullshit politicians,
Anxiety spreads like a bloodstain
Feel another me emerging again
There’s a thrill up on the hill
Let’s go, Let’s go, Let’s go

In an explosive moment, puff of smoke at sunset,
Like the campfire built at sunset burns out at dusk all by itself
No one tells it hey fire, listen up, hear me, you’ve run your course, your hearse is on the horizon
My hearts locked inside straining to emerge, a collection of alternatives,
Add some trepidation, come to liberation, salvation is near, 
Not helping to flex, feel like a hex on me. 
Talk shit like it’s the next recourse, 
a force of nature to be reckoned with, no worries – 
Climate change is a no go…
Eastern sunlight rays in my skyline vision alive with the flow of color
Mesmerizes me
My heart skips a beat
A city girl fundamentally, nature claws me with her vibrations
Heartbreak hotel is still a go to
Zonked out on fresh brewed coffee
Feel another poem birthing inside me

Friday, May 11, 2018

I HATE MY FAT, I WANT TO GO BACK TO THINNER ME

I see you -hiding inside -under so many layers of fat, carefully placed and misplaced
Inside and outside, you gain and lose in a cycle of fat to thin again
I try to see it is me but I see someone else, she’s not me. 
That woman I see in the mirror, I deny she’s me. 
I want to stop eating, makes my life so complicated because everything seems to be about food while life becomes more sedentary against my will
I don’t know what to do, so many theories about emotions
I want to walk more but my feet hurt, sometimes my hips ache, time chimes
Reflects my image in a mirror, Caught in a web of suspense to see who I am today cause everyday when I awake I’m a new becoming me
Betrayed by my shell, I hide as much of me as I can inside armor
Keep crying help, keep on trucking doing what I do
My system runs amuck and a thunder – I wish I could control my mind
I’m addicted to food – hard to forego food
Eat falafel - fills me up so much, eat Baba -Ghanoush loaded on tons of salad, 
seems to not matter – no matter what I consume … I can’t say, no excuses
Digesting food takes up too much time – I feel like I’m part of organized crime defending sublime
Give me water, honey and lemon- I promise I’ll still survive
I question me– why am I doing this to myself
Yet I hide myself watching me, I see myself from the outside
Creep out from the inside
I yell free me so I can move with the flow
I creep back inside to hide me from myself 
you know where I’m going with this
From humiliation and aspirations all combined, tied with a big purple bow
Put in front of you I am me in front of me I see me and become afraid Of who I am that I made me who I am to you I am you in a wounded knee I see who we are 
Who – attempt to reject self loathing
I am me, wounded, beneath who you are
Hide in plain sight in an underground version of myself
I ride deep waves within myself, diving deeper I fear I’m forever lost
Who is the self I claim to be trapped inside me waiting for a way outside myself
No escape, like a trapped bull in china of life trying to escape from myself 
Caught in an endless loops of myrioscope kaleidoscope color
Endless blues persist as I judge who I am
I see a violet sky inside me
Exploding in years of pain
Abstaining from gain I constrain myself
I’m a bloodstain of pain from which I came
I hide from myself and ask how did I ever withstand myself
Caught on a continental shelf I conspire to divide myself, prove myself, 
I will be a band of oneself to expand and assert myself, 
I will be a prayer of despair 
More morbid in beware
Nothing works that worked before
Now I hear all in my head
If I eat properly and see myself thin I will be – really?
Compare healthcare 
Impaired, play side chair in the affair, arise out of nowhere, I exist, I am somewhere, here to defend
I am sightseer in my own life, like a replay game in surround sound, can’t understand fear is …
So lonely inside, longing for love, I seek, I cry, 
worth the weight, FATE of my soul, I inquire, FIRE up insights
GET TO BE SEE THE REAL ME

Friday, May 04, 2018

IN REVERIE




In reverie of poetry, permit me to say
I’ve put up with my fair share of despair and let me downs
 -some hard - some easier
It’s all the same, like disappointment about disparaging remarks about my pink hair
Hair’s faded from bright red I admit
Hearing insults from important poets known on the scene about my poetry not being “real” poetry 
My poetry’s not authentic; it’s eccentric
I don’t know how you can get more real than me
My poetry is me and then some more
It has room for me and you in store
You find yourselves in here, inside a poem
Be careful what you say round me
I will quote you
in a poem
It’s no good to say I should delay
You say and pray I won’t consider putting your words in a poem even though you know that’s what I do
Repeat after me – I forbid you to put this in a poem
So if it’s not goose for the gander stop feeding me
Give me some respect for what I do
I spill my blood and guts for you
I receive letters from people who read what I write
I received one today from a nice girl. She said she’s sorry for my life, she feels so sad for me, she’s just glad she’s not here where I am, she wouldn’t know what to do if she stood here where I stand in my shoes,
She doesn’t know anyone who’s had it this bad
She just don’t know how I manage to survive a life this sad
I told her, "Suicide’s a waste of time,
I’d rather spend my energy writing poetry."
She said, "You suck at poetry!
You can’t write “real” poetry anyway."
You think I’m pulling your leg?
Then whose leg am I pulling? ~
Mine?
Damn, if I had my legs pulled a little, maybe this hip pain wouldn’t hurt so bad
So I’m an old fool who writes poetry – 
What did you say you do?


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Good morning sunshine

Good morning sunshine
Today you look so fine
Look like you’re dressed to the nines
Good morning sunshine
I wish I could sing like Patsy Cline
Instead of like my tiny feline

Today I’m feeling turquoise, not quite blue because 
I’ve got some sunshine inside these cloudy dulls. 
I’m a scorcher flower who can bear the heat and not wilt today
Feeling turquoise, not quite blue, 
Kinda midway between a rose and a brunette 
Rose to face the glory of a new day, a day spiced with rosebuds, 
My little cinnamon boy, not a toy
Does the bluebird spell Rheingold – ill fit, sit a while, file me away – my mind strays
Like a stray branch on a tree, a lone bluebird sits alone, barking up the wrong tree, 
I see he jes can’t stop himself from falling in a heap under the magnolia tree

Because something got a hold a me I know it must be love
Good morning sunshine
My sweet bliss divine
Living on the incline
Thrown together on a lifeline

*Sunshine on a cloudy day – when it’s cold outside I want the month of may
I guess you’d say what can make me feel this way, My guy – my guy talking about my guy

Good morning sunshine
Today I don’t need any wine
To make me feel Dr. FeelGood
The sun is shining 
I’m a scorcher flower  
I won’t wilt today

Think it’s gonna rain today, sky a cloudy silver gray
Rain the same under these silver gray skies
Turquoise, feeling a yellow shade of blue
Sunshine peeking through my blinds
Good morning sunshine
Living on the sweet side 



*Temptations

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

A CHANGE IS GONNA COME SOMEDAY

Smell The Coffee
Something’s brewing out there
Not just brewing in my head
It’s not imagined, it’s real, I feel it

Feel it in the way the sun hides behind clouds
Feel it in the volatile change of weather
something’s brewing out here

Time goes by, eventually all life will be dead
Our sun’s holding on by a thread
Nothing will take its stead

Sun doesn’t come out for days
Destruction of our universe
Sun pokes through a moment or two
Clouds cover sun most days
can’t locate sun’s rays or recall sun’s warmth
Rare that sun shines through clouds
See sun less and less I wonder

Is it the ozone layer, fracking, animal waste run-off,
or the GMO’s combined with Roundup and Monsanto
Don’t know if the sun will shine once more in all her glory
Will she ever be like she used to be once more?
End of times, and I wonder when we’ll lose the grid

Chem trails surround us with the lies we’re fed
Electric grids fail, flooding, hurricanes and tsunami’s all around
Clear established patterns following blindly, eyes wide open yet blind
to seeing how quickly earth’s changing storms,  it all from A to Z
A new dawn brewing, a new storm brewing,

Day by day we passively follow like domesticated goats in the herd
with little bo-peep you don’t hear a peep
we get trampled underfoot wild herds of bucks passing by
crows squawking trying to read sense while humans
go about their business of leading the herd of humans
so unbearable they’ve conquered the earth that birthed us forth

The abuse starts up high and is the only trickled down thing
among us humans as we abuse our own kind
follow the same strategy all the way down the line
Something’s brewing out there
I smell change coming
A change is gonna come someday