Thursday, December 18, 2008

I Sing The Blues For You Today ~ FIRST BLUETRY

I want to do poetry like Billy Holiday singing the blues
I want to do poetry like Ella Fitzgerald
I want to be me singing my holiday blues
Billie’s songs are poetry so fine it makes me think I’m her doing rhyme
Thoughts about Billie make me go off line, hook line & sinker; she puts me back in time
I sing to my lover, I want to make your poetry mine because you spout rhymes
Observing my life become an unending grocery list of things to get done
Your life or mine, yours is on my mind - the list of to dos keeps growing exponentially
Number 1, try out a mattress, 2, buy it, 3, buy new locks to keep someone out number 4, find someone to install it, make 10 million calls. Keep writing lists. What did you say? How many sessions, any lessons in storage? Will the Divine power of intervention help?
I don’t want to bore you with the details and derail you from my song.
Damn, wonder if I’ll ever see Willa Dean again– oh man, you know the women I mean
Kept her head wrapped up like an African Queen with her creamy coffee looking self.
Willa said the secret to good potato salad is to go heavy on the mayo
Willa Dean days, they’re all in a haze now. I was so high back then.
The memory lingers, listening & watching while she told stories. She’d whisper, her voice barely a breeze, tell me about her lovers, say, “I’m gonna get me some.” … I’d get confused & asked, did she mean her husband or lover. Willa’d have dinner waiting when her husband got tired of driving a cab & came home to rest. She’d show me wilted lettuce and bring it back to life telling me about her lovers, drugs, & children while making potato salad.
I thought - she’s a woman of many talents, a stoned cold junkie and a working mom combined
The nose that knows, her preference was coke, good moist coke at a good right price too on the upper - upper west side in Washington Heights, 162nd street to be exact
Willa was friends with a famous New York jazzman and his wife, a New York City teacher. Willa had class & style combined; she took me to dress models at the Ritz one time. Got paid for it too. It was such a pleasure to do. I even got a pair of designer gloves out of it.
People accepted Willa everywhere we went –
We were at jazzman’s apartment, small tight crowded living room upper west side 90’s.
Willa’s friend sat across from me staring at my big breasts. I can see how tight your muscles are.
Let me massage you she said aggressively
hurting me so bad physically we had an argument instead.
Passing through hundreds of lives so many colors
Let me take you back to what we share - strivings for love – wanting to go somewhere –
Wanting to discover who we really are ~
see ourselves through the eyes of others and – finally see who we really are.
Extend this power to the umpteenth degree. We still wonder who they think we are ~
Uncover recover to turn to return to who we want to be
Dreams are reality - stop thinking, dreams are the color of my true love’s hair
Beyond the color of my true love’s hair, his dreads caress my bare hands
A whole-years grocery list pressed into a foggy mist of autumn red
turns bright chartreuse before bleakly the list dissolves before my eyes
True colors make my heart sneeze amidst a perpetual mist of violet-blues
a dream more real than a memory

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Furrier and Me





















Tuesday I wore that small and pretty feathered hat
Kathy and later Judy asked, where did you
buy that hat? It was oblong, covering only
the top of my head in a thick four inch band
that curved cylindrically down to my ears

Rightly it seemed they should've asked, when
did you buy that hat, because it was nearly twenty
years ago and although I knew very clearly where
I had bought it, I didn't tell them. That store doesn't
even exist today, and I'm sure the old man
who sold it to me is no longer alive anymore
... I thought about all this and never said it

The old man must've been in his seventies, back then
Tall and slender, bent by time and hunched
he made an impression on me and helped
me realize seventy year old men
are as lecherous as young ones.

It was a small furrier shop on 27th Street
near Broadway in the New York furrier's district
The store looked deceptively small from the outside
with a plate glass window through which
I stared at the display of beautiful, furry things
inside that I wanted, such as big, red bushy
fox fur ear muffs so I rang the bell
resting near the lock on the iron gate

He buzzed me in and came out
of a metal cage to greet me
Over his left shoulder the view opened
to show a space - big, wide open, and deep
Everything fur you could imagine
coats, jackets, stoles, of all sizes
shapes and colors, and he told me how

now-a-days he sold some new furs
not so many as years gone by, now he
traded old for new, sold used and antique
He did a booming storage business

He asked how he could help me and when I
said I came in for the bushy red ear muffs,
he offered them for cheap or free if I
would only let him touch me, so I bought
a small ratty old sable stole for 15 dollars and paid
10 dollars more for the ear muffs and at that moment

I spied that golden auburn feathered cap
and put it on and it was mine
It fit so well, styled for another age
but looked as though it were made for me
which even the old man could see
He said you can have that for 10 dollars more
So I took that hat with me and have
worn it specially several times a year

That hat is the bargain of my lifetime
I'll use it, re-use it till one of us goes off -
I thought about that shop often but never
went inside again although I wanted to
and even passed by occasionally
but still I never did go in again
Now he's dead so long ago
I've lost my chance to ever get those
marvelous irreplaceable
bargains I'm sure I'll never see again

Now I'm sorry I didn't go back, take a
chance to see that crazy old coot again,
to bargain with him, put him in his place
... I know I didn't answer your question
- So in case you're still wondering -
... I never - ever - let him touch me

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

philosophical meanderings





Psychological warfare inside my head
Yeah I heard it before
Been there before - done that Mary Lou says I’m not interested
Sorry to admit I am, I’m not you I do my shit a different way
Interested or not what difference does it make if you brag to me you been down this road before and it didn’t get you anywhere

My option or yours
This road - that one - you have your choice I'll make mine
One road or another - not as much overhead as you suppose
You run a risk here or there
That fork in the road I finally get it’s not so much about you or what I do, in the end it’s about the struggle the good fight the light at the end of the tunnel

Don’t fuck with my feelings
I didn’t commit murder
I’m not meandering about your tender feelings

People keep telling me retirement is bliss
I’m thinking it’s same-o - same-o – day-to-day shit - can I get a witness - it's just different this shit than the before the day before this shit -
See! a new philosophy
Living means having problems

Friday, December 12, 2008

15 Minutes of Fame

A moment opens to eternity
Fastidious & attached to passing moments
I live in Warhol days
An open heart mends wounds
Are you for or against them?
What’s your political game?
Everyone's got his15-minutes of fame
Are you on their side or mine?
Is it them or is it us
Is there an us anymore
Who is us anymore anyway
Anywhere I’m supposed to know?
Did you know …
My headache keeps me awake to cover the worldwide news
An open wound
Nightly sound of the evening news
A bleeding ulcer seeking to be healed
Closer to home news too,
All news is bad news
Except the rescued puppy thrown in to control you
A news-forecast makes everything worse –
Ignore the news a week or two
Say your regards to Pluto
Ignore my bleak forecast of doom
All of us are doomed
As we all are doomed anyway
The more you do - the more gets done
When you stop doing there’s no more to get done
Another open wound
Always the dream remains of
Another go-round
Take care
Hope …
To see you there
If & when there is another go-round

GLIMMERS OF RAIN

A rainy evening, darkness dropping
like a black and heavy velvet curtain
on a theatre stage. Scents of mildew
fill the air. Seated safely behind
a glass pane window sipping coffee

Evening settling, rain changing
from a thick wet sheet
to a soft and fragrant mist
Green, lush rolling hills
wet and soft, magical

Bright and dark all at once
Leaves soaked and matted, rotting on
the red earthen floor, dead limbs mixed
with living. A mirror image of reality
Woods, wet and musty with life

From still reflected sun shining
through the incandescent veneer of rain
Diamonds glimmering
making brown earth red
and dead leaves gold

Dead and living, combined reflections of reality
Compare life to sitting watching woods
its smell so sweet, unsurpassed
Followed by a taste of bitter
Having both to share

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Does anyone know what I'm talking about?

I need to be needed. The more you need me the more I need you. It’s how we got to be from the start.
Let me help you she said, it’s so hard on you. I can relieve you from your pain. I need you to need me.
Why I can’t say.
I can’t help being me.
Is it because on some deeper lever you are the more attentive father I longed for and for you I represent the good mom you desire with parts of the bad & crazy mom you had. This time Mom meets your needs.
It’s not so simply absurd as that our subconscious feeds layer upon layer worse than the onion that makes your eyes smart.
Your need for me makes me see, makes me need you more the more you need me. Your need fills up my space my energy. Your need feeds my need.
You explain it to me then, I know you know as much as I know.
Your need for me provides solace and grace in a place I never saw before with glimpses of insanity mixed with lust say trust me I want to hear
Your need for me provides a human express train ride to & from sanity & hell I can be manipulated to grow, I need you to watch with me while flowers grow
I need you to affirm my sanity
I need you because stars set and rise above your head
Not like a god but because you need me I need you
It’s not a space or a place it’s a space inside myself where
If I only let myself when you need me loneliness abates

Go ahead – now say it!
Put that confessional shit to rest and get on with the list of to do’s
so many things to do I can’t rest
gotta keep doing till the doing gets done

I wont shan’t cant let you get away that fast – true there’s hospitals or a prison forms within me when you’re there I’m there when you need me

I’ll rest a minute then save the rest of the world, maybe the universe – I’m a hero

A child’s glory restored in the wilderness ahead about reminiscence never had

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

mind body medicine

Two years ago this coming January, I participated in a conference for mind body medicine training in New Orleans to help with the healing & rebuilding of New Orleans. All monies earned from the conference went to help with rebuilding. The leader of our group of 10 women called me "co-facilitator" because of my skills in helping the group progress. This poem was the result of my urging and was one of the rituals we used in ending our group besides a very big party where all the groups came together to celebrate the night before we left.

OUR POEM

I am a woman of heart, of mind
A woman with desire
Unafraid of secrets

I am a woman of inner wisdom and knowing
I see the light in pain

I am a woman full of love
A woman of color and vitality

I am a woman who will be this woman
As long as I am a woman

I am a woman who does
not let fear hold me back

I am a woman brimming with possibility
Greater than I know

I am a woman of wholeness and joy

I am a woman to be honored

I am you

I am the earth, the moon, the stars
Gaia, Stella and Luna

By Toni, Joy, Tracee, Amy, Shawna,
Denise, Marin, Susan, Carolyn, Rita & Sandra

Changes

A year ago I wouldn't have believed it if someone told me what I'd be doing now. Time keeps passing whether you stay where you are or keep moving. I had a general 5 year plan that I'd been faithfully following and for some part that stayed in place. The part that stayed in place included keeping up my retirement annuity and leaving my job. I didn't plan on the following things:
loving DubbleX & finding out he's crazy & staying with him
leaving my husband in spite of loving him
plus having other reasons to leave my husband & preferring not to be with him
adopting out Mocha, a rescued Siamese I'd had 5 years
Keeping 2 of Starr's babies
Losing 40 pounds without trying to & joining a gym
Spending $40,000 of my retirement money on various things and spending more money to pay off old debts
Living on my pension
Losing half of our combined savings from our marriage because of the economy & being more poor than I've been in years
being this active on facebook
keeping up blogs for 2

Wow!


P.S. Dubble-wow reading this again a year later and I'm glad to seem time and myself moving on - still trying to be and do the best that I can!!!!

Friday, December 05, 2008

A MARRIAGE OF SORTS

He lives with his x wife and he hasn’t got a life
He’s lonely, he’s hurt, on the edge of despair
waiting for love on the brink of nowhere
his x wife sleeps in the room next to his
she’s a survivor, a mother, his x lover, his cover

They lived apart for over ten years
Symbiosis renewed through dependency and fear
He’s scared she’ll die from the
breast cancer she survived
So he suffers her abuse, pays all the bills,

And claims he’s very fond of her
She eats his guilt like a gourmet queen
And she don’t think she’s being mean
He’s promised he’ll never leave her
between a stone and a hard rock

They are their parents reborn,
drowning in self defeating,
narcissistic attitudes
Their daughter left home a long time ago
gave up waiting for the promised abode

when mom moved in to dad’s home
claiming she wasn’t staying too long
It’s a marriage of sorts, you would agree
In spite of their self imposed celibacy
existing in the wastelands of mediocrity

Nourished by chronic dissatisfaction and
occasional knock down, drag out fights
where they they put each other down
But he still craves companionship,
a friend to share things with

Someone to reciprocate
Poor man’s worried it’s just too late
He tells me he’s lonely, he’s blue
he doesn’t know what he should do
He’s the man without a life who lives

With the woman who’s now his x wife
And his life collects nothing but strife
Disaster breathes down his neck
like spastic storm creating wreck
He’s imprisoned by guilt tying him
to obligations of household drudgery

Imprisoned by fear about being alone
he wants someone to hold, to put his arms around
Someone to see a movie and eat dinner with ...
And that’s not all, ... he told me to ask you
Are there any takers here for my friend
the man who hasn’t got a life?
Or better yet, just take his x-wife!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

ALIEN PLANET OF LESBIAN LOVERS


SHE lived under the delusion that SHE was the Queened Princess of an Alien Planet of Lesbian Lovers. All the rules SHE lived by and all her behavioral responses provided evidence of this. Much of my life centered on helping her live out this fantasy, painful as it was to me. Besides, my Catholic guilt forced me to accept the proposition that sacrifice nourishes and purifies our soul.

Still, I was not so locked in to my servitude that all other devotions were excluded. I met Sue May as I was attempting to crawl from the claws of the newly crowned Queen from the Planet of Lesbian Lovers. But I kept losing energy in my battle to escape. When I came upon a new route, the Queen would crack her whip, blocking me. I could not break through.

I was lost in the spheres locked between fear, time, and oblivion when I met Sue May on the F train. I was carrying my sports jacket, an attaché case and a shopping bag, while balancing a coke in one hand and my shades in the other. I sat down next to Sue May, also known as, The Speaker From The House of Discreet Charm, and proceeded to reorganize myself. My jacket slipped from my hands and I gripped it tightly to prevent its fall. As I grabbed it to crush it closer, I heard a highly toned, cultured voice, "exx, exxcuse me."

I turned and looked her in the eye, "God," I exclaimed, catching sight of my hand clutching her knee in my peripheral vision. "Sorry, I thought that was my jacket." SHE smiled the way Speakers from that House do, completely disarming me, compelling me to do her will. So I offered her an early dinner, as SHE was wont to do.

Sue Mai thought SHE was Speaker of the House of Representatives from a small mid-western state where manners meant everything. The Speakers from this house pretended to live in a time when discreet words and charm, and all behavioral nuances were aimed at serving the vast quantities of man's needs.

YES! But behind that sweetly beckoning smiling face, and in perfect rhythm, was the firm grasp of her delicate hand. It was hard to see that Sue Mai possessed the same determined sharp focusing of energy as the Queened Princess. And I realize now, both were bent on making the world, and especially me, think of nothing else, but meeting their needs. At the time I never realized this. I don't mean that the thought never entered my mind that I was allowing them to control me.

But of course now in retrospect, I realize that I have realized this many times. But then, I was just so much Under the Influence. I have always lived Under the Influence. It's that way because I have always loved women, holding them in the highest regard. And I kept searching for the one for me. Not just the one for me, you understand, but the one who would save me from the Queened Princess and serve my needs.

Now I had the Newly Crowned, Queen Princess from the Alien Planet of Lesbian lovers in conflict with Sweet Sue May, Speaker from the House on Discreet Charms befitting maidens from places like Kentucky and Tennessee. Sad to say, they couldn't get along at all. There was just too much conflict of interest. Both were invested in controlling my subconscious.

For the Lesbian Queen I preformed sacrifice upon sacrifice, submitting to her will, making her wish my command. I lived under her delusion that this would provide peace to her Alien Planet of Lesbian Lovers and to me.

Meanwhile my sweet and tame Sue May exerted her control by doling out her loving commands, their sole purpose to provide her pleasure. I devotedly applied myself to make her every wish my command.

All for naught. Between the two, there was no respite. The Queen and The Speaker hated each other. But the truth was, that didn't matter. What did matter was, that ultimately, between the two, I was left with no energy to serve myself.

so much to do

I've been thinking, there's tons of writing on my computer, some for years that I've never shared. I'd like to post some of that stuff too and will begin tonight with one piece.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

MORE ON JESUS ND BEING JEWISH

Am I proud to be jewish -
I am and I’m not,
I don’t know I guess

I’m proud of being jewish
because being jewish means
to be educated & literary
in certain circles,
you know what I mean
I know they had tough jews
my father sat on the cusp of that realm
on the outskirts of the jewish mafia

nd ... I suppose...I’m as liberated -
nd as free as one would want to be
or can imagine to be in this society
or any other, again, I suppose
But you asked me
Am I proud to be a jew

I am but when people make disparaging remarks
such as jews are cheap
or you killed jesus
jesus please forgive me;
I wasn’t born yet to suffer for ur sins

so I ask you; if jesus died for ur sins
then forgive me please
and if he died for mine
forgive me again please
but remember jesus is my forefather
and I do follow his path
being an upstart and all
runs in my family
saying what I mean, and doing what I say -
follows jesus also and is why he died for our sins
Isn’t it?

Jesus was an upstart and so am I
our big and honest mouths get us in trouble
So much time wasted arguing & fussing
when we’re all visitors here of our own demise.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

is the world going crazy or is it me

If you don’t stop asking so many questions
I could begin to think you’re a cop
I can’t think up the answers that fast,
Are you the prosecution or what
Do you want answers to your questions
Stop looking into my eyes so deep
What are you trying to see
I’m trying to see the I in you
It may be the same as the I in I
Can’t you see I’m trying to bring something to fruition
And it only takes some more preparation
I’m searching for direction
It’s making a huge impression on me
How many decisions did you say I have to make
No, I’m a grown woman I don’t need permission
I don’t care about your trepidation
I’m searching for liberation
Haven’t found it anywhere
It’s not as clear as it used to be
I thought I was so aware
It isn’t always fair either
Too many discussions
Deliberations on the same old themes
Wars & losses, poverty and gasoline prices
Dresses & designers, writers & artists
Vacations & lives, returning home again
Our time and space is limited,
We’re here on this earth to enjoy life do
What we can, our minds so full of clutter
the glimmer the shimmer outside
draws in to the glow
mostly it’s all show
sometimes we can’t see what’s right in front of us
I couldn’t see that book that’s clearly right
There on the bookshelf where you left it before
after we looked and looked;
neither of us could see that book right there on the shelf
right there on the shelf
looked once then twice we saw nothing
Looking through the glass pane window
Should I should go in or wait out here
Alone in the rain of my life
The drops glistening on my skin
Should I join the crowd inside
Watching diamonds in the rough
Watching is never enough
I’ma go rearrange the universe
give me a moment or two

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Freudian Slip ...

Do you suppose - it’s an accidentally on purpose mistake - a Freudian slip? Do you want to throw rocks or count sins, and then who’s will you count first, yours or mine?
Inadvertently 5 years of saved emails were erased. I can’t understand how these things happen in our cyber world lives. I use a convenient excuse. It happened as a side effect from my most recent software upgrade. These upgrades appear while I’m on the computer no matter what I’m doing. Soft grade available here for your computer. Click here for more information or to upgrade now - I’m instructed.
As the result of my last upgrade, my computer desktop divides itself into pretty little pixilated boxes, slowly disappearing as I click on various parts of a document, website or photos, so I can finally get my desktop back. You see how far this has progressed that the computer screen has become my virtual desktop and is where I store everything. As I click on the pixilated boxes, my document slowly appears like magic out of nowhere.
Now do you think it’s inadvertently or purposefully that I’ve deleted emails stretching back over 5 years. They have sublimely and subliminally disappeared forever, gone in a millimeter flash of one second, 5 years of stored memories. In my universe my mails have disappeared from society’s grip.
I want the solace of a moment of silence, a reprieve from the stampede of your judgments stalling my way. Do you think that’s why I tossed them coincidentally, transcendentally removing the spirit of lost words to whence they come?
Yo, it’s rough on a sister out here. My neighbor says to me as I pass her by, “Nice to see you. People don’t make their judgments of important life events on temporary situations.”
“Good to see you too,” I said. “I’m so glad it’s an existential society.”
“What?” she said, mouth agape.
“You know,” I said, “we have the power to recreate ourselves continuously.”
“Oh," she said, I don’t get it, your life is so unreal to me, like a story.”
“I know, I said, “I’m so blessed to be living it.”
“People were different back in my day,” she said authoritatively.
“So glad to have entertained you,” I said making my way back into my lonely apartment hiding space.
I am back to my original thesis; do you think I deleted 5 years of emails accidentally on purpose? I feel like I’ve erased 5 years of my prior life. And really, don’t tell me. Is it that easy? Don’t be offended now when you say to me don’t you remember and I tell you I no longer remember some long forgotten email I’d previously valued which is now destroyed and only exists in some alternate cyber universe.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

LET ME INVADE YOU

People grope at the shaman in me
My eyes mirror yours
I interpret your feelings into words
Words you can’t say emerge from me
Give me your hand to make the pain go away
Don’t get scared when you see what I do
Mostly I put me in your shoes
Your feelings resonate and jive with me
I absorb & neutralize your negativity
Filtered by a pure white light to glimpse the other side of a long winding tunnel
I seek out the gory of your story like a vampire devouring blood
Those in need find me
I’m there for the taking
I know your story instinctively
You pretend you’re hunky dory but I see you
Compulsively grasp your inner need
It’s all transitory anyway
Let me provide shelter from the storm
Peace, freedom from anxiety
Let me invade your dreams, your psyche
Relieve you from burning sensations, the flame inside
I can heal you … invade the space inside you ~ your solitude,
Heal your inner glow your flow
Make you drowsy, thirsty for my spell
You’ll be healed by my garden of secrets if you let me touch you
I will heal your wounds, the sound as
My energy courses through your veins
the holiness of the moment we embrace
Harmony fills the empty space
Replaces your resistance
Let me heal you with my inner light
Nuture your might to get it right
I can’t resist your grasp, your pull
I will help you…

Saturday, November 08, 2008

SPOT OF BLEACH

This dress is older than my son
5 years older, to be exact.
I bought it from the Indian shop
down by Columbia University,
made of light cotton muslin
nicely fitted about my waist
a bright fuchsia, opaque
my body outlined in the sun
falling gracefully from my hips,
down my big legs.

A spot of bleach fell on that dress today
leaving a white spot in its fuchsia wake
That dress reminds me of Sharon
who had more than I ever had
or ever needed, or could even dream existed
And I had been around, she less than me
But she was more widely traveled
in more fortunate circles than me

Still, I thought she was my friend
even when she said, “I can’t help it,
I’m jealous of you in that dress!”
“Why?” I said, “You have so much more
than I could ever hope for or dream of ...”

“It doesn’t make sense,” she responded,
“Somehow, you look prettier than I,
even though you’re not as slim,
as tall, as Anglo,
as cultured, as educated as I
I can’t figure out
why you look prettier than I”

Sharon, whose tarot cards I read,
two dark knights appearing ahead
one reversed, whose pursuits
I told her to reject

Sharon, whose need for company I met
at 3 a.m. while my husband coughed
bitterly in the room next to mine
when she refused to go home

Sharon, who told her tales of woe
about her latest love, her foes,
her rape when she left N.Y. for Florida
and returned to seek my solace
I thought she was my friend.

A spot of bleach fell on this dress today
Still I don’t wish to let it go
Perhaps a crocheted flower
will cover that bleached out spot
I could just throw that old dress out
I wish I could my memories
that cling like the smell of death

And I wonder if that’s how long
it takes to let go
Why even when we begin anew
the old never lets go ...
Miles of old lives travel within
our thin, threadbared own

Friday, November 07, 2008

I DONT' GET IT

If one was well enough to do everything that one needed to do to get the relief that one needed, then one wouldn’t need the help that one was attempting to get in the first place, would he?
Life is a Catch 22 of the universe.
He said, “I don’t understand why you keep on helping him.”
“I want to,” I said, “It’s a feeling I have to want to. What difference does it make to you?”
Meanwhile we waste time on bullshit. Suddenly it hits me how controlled our lives are. What served as warnings years ago has now come into play. We ignored the critics of our forefathers back in the day.
We’re tracked by GPS. Our cell phones and our credit cards are tracked. Their usage tallied and compiled daily. We’re forced to pay more than our share of taxes while the Masonry lead our government, their symbols lurking everywhere. Taxes were never meant for the small working class man like you and me, yet we pay our taxes every day, day after day.
Some refuse to see the small insidious ways we’re controlled by society and our jobs our families, our conscience which finally takes their place.
Now even Facebook and MySpace take charge and overwhelm me with enough rules to spin my head. Either I add too many or too little friends. They have trouble deciding. I’d think that adding friends would be a boon but Facebook and MySpace employees become dictators in another virtual reality.
It becomes more and more difficult to understand the world I’m living in.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

INFATUATION

He’s an infaturation
a soft warm breeze
blowing by and maybe
now my husband blurts out
you want to hear
everything he says

then continues in his
rapid staccato speech
maybe now it all
seems so interesting
an interruption
in the flow of your life

Later, my husband adds
on to his diatribe, and tells
me I will tire of all the new
things my new love confides
which now make me feel so good

After all, he said, you’re tired
of your best friend’s shit
and everyone else’s
I replied, yeah I guess so
So I’ll probably get tired
of him too after 30 years or so

You know what I mean
he says, smirking in
response to my smirk
you’d be happy too
if Billy Collins made
you his protege

Yes I would I said
But I’m not Billy Collins

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

TWO MINDS, ONE HEART by Joy & DubbleX

I don’t have my own mind I said
Whaddaya’ mean he asked
You inhabit my mind I said
That’s a really good line he said

You inhabit my mind
All the time Joy thought up this line
Joy thought up this line so I typed it in
This computer of mine

It’s not just a line I said
You inhabit the deeper regions inside my head
How do you say that word, hypothalamus
I’ll look it up in the dictionary

My thoughts of you are extraordinary
Because you’re extra-more than ordinary
I want to lick you like a strawberry
A love like this longs for poetry

Our love breaks the laws of humanity
Humility and sanity creating a whole
New meaning for the word boundaries
As we dance through our life in poetry

Your life is my idea I say
I show him my tits in play & say
This is performance poetry at its best
I’m here at your behest
This is only the beginning test
Our lives have become an unfinished poem
Put your worries to rest he replies
We’re here today as mother earth’s guests

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Not Everything Fits

We need a small plastic bin to fit all those loose wires in
The loose wires of our lives; how we live in sin
According to the laws of some men
Hey take ten, who made you fit to judge
I’m not in your league and your pledge to change humanity into fixed little square or round pegs doesn't slide with me
You can't make me fit your dimensions
I'm not an item of suspicion to be under investigation for a crime I didn't commit
One size for all, none fit me
I 'm not under your regulations
sorry I'm not part of those guidelines
I know who I am I am who I am I know who I am do you
I’m not bootleg, I'm for real
Don't try to make me fit one of your square or round pegs
I’m not under your domination
Seek another nomination to fit your criteria
Don’t pretend I’m inferior
I'm good, I'm good...
I know who I am who I am who I am

Monday, October 27, 2008

SPREADING WILDCAT FIRE

Caught on fire ~ sizzle with desire
Cause havoc when I prance cross city streets
Barely escape slaughter as I
suddenly appear out of nowhere,
the sun gleaming in my hair
You barely miss me as I spin past your fender
You smile and wave goodbye
And are glad for I
Suspend the silver gloom around you
Momentarily the
Sunshine of my heart beats
Scarlet on top purple beneath
My true colors
For you I throw in some sunset red
I tattoo myself on you
Winged fairy of time
Imprinted on your soul & memory
I raise your energy
The twitter stops
Nervous laughter
I speak my first line
Only fool falls asunder
Lightening strikes twice
And Jill came tumbling after
Jack fell down
It's beyond the fruits of my labor
She probably meant to save him
Either that or she wanted his crown
I surrender…
I learn to connect to unconnected to survive to live
In ways I couldn’t see how to before this

Saturday, October 25, 2008

STORM SEASON

I’m in the rainy season of my life
Each day storm clouds gather
threateningly in the dark sky above

Rainfall in light misting then heavy sheets fall,
Big snowflakes appear midair and disappear on the wet pavement
This is the beginning of my winter of content, I’m not sure yet

The sky simmers red in between imminent storms
then mingles with purple after sundown
Upheaval seems the norm today

Tomorrow brings warm southern winds
leaving again a shimmering steel gray sky
bringing calm in its wake as I begin the winter of my content

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Double Helix & Ira Lightman's public art works









Ira Lightman made an initial text art for a sheet of glass, then Dan Civico remade it as a wave of glass, and oak to get the 3D of it all. Dan took Ira's acetate printout, literally cut that up with scissors and made a much LESS symmetrical shape that Ira had then to rework the text into...

Turns out water in a river makes just this double-helix motion. Uncanny.

Photos by Eddie Galvin

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Lost Landscape by Nabina Das

Bamboo flutes
That my father had played once
The leather-jacketed book
That had always been a prop on my table
The Borgeets from the Namghar
In sticky caramel noons
My teacher’s voice across the blackboard
That death silenced and
My mother’s rosebushes of hope.
What remains when blue hills weep
Or the red river goes into hiding?
Even the goddess watches from the hilltop
Squirming at slow blood oozing from
Deep coves of deathliness that
Neelachal never for once has known.
What dies when new words are born?
Not the wounds, not the burning shame.
I wonder if I still should paint
Those paddy fields, peacocks and skies
With my brush of golden taint.


I don't usually post other people's stuff but for some reason felt like deviating from that pattern, so I did.
Dunno just did? Click on title will lead to more of Nabina Das' work.

Autumn Breezes


My eyes need to rest on soft colors of nature
Soothed by blues & purple flowers with green leaves
I need to see maple trees turning red,
Queen Anne’s Lace runs rampant round here

I’ve born enough fruit to stay violet for the rest of my life
My eyes need to rest on soft colors of nature
Larkspur, Baby Blue Eyes, Forget-Me-Nots & Borage
Orange Bird of Paradise flanks the entrance to the nearby park

Exhorts me to see
Flowers before the winter breeze steals them away
From my window all I see is the steel gray hardness
A light silver sky glinting so brightly it makes my eyes squint

The farmer from Iowa tells me the cornfields all brown now
Yet inside my head
I long for chartreuse & kelly green Iowa cornfields
Swaying in the breeze
I examine velvet blue bells in the grass as I tread them beneath my feet

I feel a poem coming on like an urge to eat something sweet
A craving to see something beyond these city streets
Simultaneously the sun breaks through the harsh steel gray sky
Beckoning me outside to greet New York City streets
So many flowers spring to life in fall

Fuchsia Shooting Stars along with Saint John’s Wort & Violets
Ah, finally my eyes rest as I fest them upon a flowering dogwood tree
Scarlet tipped leaves & white blossoms
A final hurrah before the white blossoms scatter the ground
Autumns’ last blooms before fall’s first freeze

all photos courtesy of Joy Leftow unless otherwise noted

Friday, October 17, 2008

FLOODLIGHT REFLECTION


Full moon, suspended
Dangling, florescent,
golden ball, I worship thee,
viewed in your entirety
You're like my loves
Scintillating,
while they last.

Wanting a love to endure
not wax and wane like moons
Disillusioned
by desires
for love to burn eternal.

My love and I bathing in
the golden glow of moonbeam
cast upon us like a floodlight
Lie in her circle of luminesque
our bodies still and in repose
naked, arms and legs intertwined.

Motionless bodies captured
in a circle of stagelight
like a fawn caught in flight and
suddenly stilled at twilight

one leg lifted,
ears cocked
lithe body poised
frozen,
like a still life.

Floodlight reflection
cool
hot
white

photo courtesy of DubbleX

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

TUPELO HONEY

JoAnne is one tough broad,
Italian Irish descent
from the Northeast Bronx
Through sacrifice and dedication
JoAnne is now a nurse at
Presbyterian Medical Center

This is her story
bout a methadone baby
born addicted
on JoAnne’s ward
This boy had tupelo
honey colored skin,
and hazel brown,
almond eyes
Birth mama’s blond and curly haired
A blue eyed Nuyorican
Daddy is a dark skinned African

Mama named the baby Shonequon
The nurses called him “Sweet”
Sweet’s a boarder baby who
lived on the ward
for 2 and a half months
BCW tryin to decide
what to do with that tiny
methadone addicted baby

Now me amiga esta sin ninos
she has no children
e quiere uno mucho
she wants one very badly
so she fell in love with Sweet
talked about him constantly

JoAnne said,
Sweet is cryin all the time
He holds his body rigid
his cryin is so fitful
Kindled by the pain
cause Sweet’s addicted to meth
and this is how he sounds
eeehhhhhh
eeeehhhhhh
eeeehhhhhh
eeehhhhhh

Sweet’s tiny fists
are always clenched
his spindly arms crossing
his scrawny chest
This baby can’t relax!
He’s got a monkey on his back
Sweet’s addicted to meth

The Doctor confides
he wishes he could
keep Sweet tranquilized
cause he’s screamin so fretfully
eeehhhhhh
eeehhhhhh
eeehhhhhh

JoAnne loves to nurture Sweet
She embraces him reverently
comforts him with
the rhythm of her heart
she whispers soothing sounds
cajolingly,

her voice falls like soft waves
caresses tender hollows
of his frail anatomy
her soft warm breath
glides down his velvet neck
Sweet responds with purring sounds

JoAnne’s gentle devotions
linger on
like a mango blossom’s scent
fragrant on a breeze
Sweet watches her giddily
clinging with his
tightly gripped fists

Yesterday Sweet smiled for the
very first time
JoAnne bragged
as though he were her own
Sweet, my boarder baby
is delayed in his response
and yesterday was the
first time
God graced me with his smile

Her eyes rimmed with blurring droplets
Dewdrops silhouette
I love him, she said
I want him to be mine
Even though he’s HIV
and surely won’t survive
I want him to be mine

Child Welfare lets his Mama visit
she hardly came at all
Daddy was there
mostly every day
but he was always drunk

Today they let her come and
take my Sweet away
Honey, JoAnne said,
This baby’s in a lot of pain
he suffers from anxiety

You don’t have to hold him
24 and 7,
but you need to let him
see your face
smiling, talking
into his

Sweet’s Mama answered
I know mucho more than you do
let me tell you somethin’
You don’t know what I been through
All my kids are born on meth
and that’s the way it’s always been


The baby started fussin’ then
his spindly arms
clenched across
his scrawny chest
eeehhhhhh
eeehhhhh
eeehhhhhh

Sweet opened up his eyes
and focused on JoAnne
reaching out his scrawny arms

But Mama reached the baby first
and took him from his crib
Esta te quieto, nino
she said as she rocked him
dispiritedly
to her methadone beat
Esta te quieto, nino

It’s gonna be okay Mama said
Grandma said she’s gonna help,
She’s carin’ for my other five
My oldest girl’s gonna be there too
And like I told ya,
All my kids are born on meth
And that’s the way it’s always been,
but we know how to get by.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bits & Pieces

Poetry is like life in that it develops its own processes & changes form over time recreating itself over & over again, like we do in our lives. I return to older works and either recycle or recreate using pieces, thus I create a new poem from old work.

I don’t know if it’s the physical mental or emotional anguish that’s worse. I’ve had all 3. Do you know which is worse? Does it matter if I have a preference or choice? Do I get to choose this time?


Ira Lightman's public works

Ira Lightman had a call out (on his facebook page) for people to read his 2 columned poetry. Ira is a surrealist dada-ist artist, his work encompassing these forms & more. He takes on a great many artistic & intellectual projects that become well known in UK & sometimes are spotlighted on the BBC news. You can turn off my auto player at the very bottom of this blog :~) & turn on his player here in this post to hear our voices.


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

LIVING THE POEM

I observe U creating the drama of your life
Playing people as though they were instruments
Instinctively knowing the keys to their rhythms
Examining each key hypnotically
Studying how each key responds to your touch
Philosophically reporting your observations & thoughts
I get caught up in watching myself watching the I & I
U stroke each note lyrically, responsively
Using that special touch while making me keeper of your rhythms
Your memories and words become stories
Tales to be told about the before and after we became I & I
Like a poem waiting to be written challenging the one already read
I watch U play the blues leaving the U I know behind
I wonder where Ur going and who U will be
You’re playing the game of living
Tuning the world to the rhythms of your life
Each chess move counters another chess move
Am I a pawn in Ur life or someone else’s
I don’t have time to analyze this
U fine-tune the guitar chords exhorting beats from my heart
Ecstasy runs thru my veins with each melody your hands produce
I watch the world thru your eyes
Isn’t that what poets philosophers & all artists do
Translate words images and ideas into thunder
Mimic & play with our world gone asunder
Turn ideas into screenplays, turn words into books
Turn words into hypotheses in our attempts to produce & create
A safer more productive world for humanity

Sunday, October 05, 2008

A rose by any other name...




What does a Siamese cat have to do with poetry & a book give away? Read on to find out!
Leave a comment in the blog to be put in a draw for 3 giveaways of my book, A Spot Of Bleach & Other Poems and Prose.
Folks I am not a traditional writer. Strangely enough DubbleX & I had the following conversation this morning.
DubbleX said about Cleo, my cat, "She's an unusual Siamese."
"She is," I agreed. "She's officially called an exotic oriental short hair."
"I don't understand," DubbleX said.
"The reason for that," I explained, "is because The Cat Fanciers' Association hasn't decided that flame point Siamese ought to be included in the designation Siamese. This in spite of the fact that the flame point has all the same points as every other Siamese cat. She has bright blue eyes with a pointy face and flame color shading on her back deepening as she matures. My cat is an outcast among her own kind. Born to a tortoise point Siamese mother bred to a exotic oriental flame point male. Thus flame point Cleo is not called a Siamese. "
"That's funny," DubbleX said.
"Funny how?" I asked.
"The way you tell the story," he says "plus it reminds me of your poetry."
"Explain," I say.
"Well," he says, "You said there are poets out there who criticize your narrative style & the way you write and they don't consider your work poetry."
"That's true," I said. "Because my poetry tells a story, and is not all about the metaphor."
"I like the way you write," DubbleX said. "Your words have an impact, they make me feel & experience things. They make me think too plus I understand them. I don't have to work hard to interpret what you're saying. I like the way each poem tells a story."
"Yes, the impact is what counts. Sometimes though the impact makes people so angry that they hate my work. You don't know how many times people have told me I'm not a poet."
"They're wrong," said DubbleX, "You are a poet. You have your own style with your own rhythm and energy. Not everyone can see. Your poetry combined with your energy reminds me of sitting, listening to the blues."
I thought about this conversation more as the day wore on. I thought about how this related to my entire life, I'm an outcast Jew, an outcast poet, and now I have a cat named Cleo who is an outcast Siamese flame point cat who is called an exotic oriental cat.




Blog Give Away

I woke DubbleX this morning with a Cinnabun paper bag in my outstretched hand. "Pick one," I directed, "it's for our blog give away". DubbleX picked Mr. Bernard Alain's name on a folded sticky note out of the bag.
Mr. Alain is the winner of last weeks blog give away. I will be contacting him directly!
Thanks to all who participated.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Tattoo me


Thought some of you might enjoy seeing my alter ego tattooed on my upper right shoulder. There are many symbols included in this tat. Take some time to examine the symbols. Myke Maldonado (friend & artist) from Dreamland.com & I combined our efforts to design this. It took 4 trips & approximately 12 hours to complete. Click on the photo for a larger pic.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Live & Let Live

I learned in my maturing process that it is the overcoming of obstacles that simultaneously causes me the most pain and pleasure. Sometimes when I’ve done what I feel I’m chosen to do, it causes problems for others around me. We cause disappointment and suffering to our proclaimed friends, our appointed guardians, our children, any of the people we know in our flow of life. Sometimes my words make people squirm. I’ve also discovered life has a flow with friends too. Sometimes there is a flow of everything I know. Various flows happen to me daily. Mostly I see, sometimes I don’t.
It is my nature to jump first and ask questions later. This life long habit has caused me problems but like most humans when I err it is on the side of trying to do the right thing. Very often in my leaps of faith I have helped other people. I’m not bragging about this; it is my nature to be helpful and I’ve always done it. I consider it my inborn talent and strength. It is this nature that made me become a social worker and writer. I accede that under most usual conditions most humans will try to do right thing. Spike Lee’s movie was his device to make us wonder what is the right thing to do?
When I decide I must do something my decision may cause someone near to me pleasure or pain. Likewise any choice I make may cause me pleasure or pain. I don’t make decisions in a vacuum. Neither is any choice going to give me one hundred percent pleasure or one hundred percent pain. So everything must be weighed out like a chore, a balance scale of life when I make choices. Most of all I am a survivor filled with hope and desires for my future.
When I progress, I feel pleasure in becoming unstuck. Think about this. What is the alternative to moving ahead? The answer that strikes me here is death. The primary obstacle to moving ahead is to remain the same with all your sorrows and regrets, or you move ahead with a different set of sorrows and regrets. Life contains all; pleasure, pain and hope. Hope keeps me going. Sometimes it’s not about wrong or write (please forgive the pun, I can’t help it.) and it’s not a matter of sorrows or regrets. Sometimes life is about moving ahead. Sometimes it’s about sorrows and regrets. Sometimes life is for living and not being still. Sometimes I meditate and like to be still. Sometimes I meditate and like to be in motion.
I write of a different type of movement, not a parallel movement but a movement that leaves old things behind to begin anew - using new building blogs (forgive another pun). New can strengthen my spirit when old ideas crumble. Spiritual nourishment is ideal.
Sometimes I meet someone and feel a special pull. I don’t know what the pull means and I must decide how to respond to that pull. I may decide this is meant to be but perhaps this decision is an excuse to move in the direction I want desire or need. Some people inspire, some people relate, some do both. I am still that jumper who is a known chance taker. Many people have told me I’m a blessing in their life. I assume they say this because it’s true. Seers have called me a reborn fallen angel. I strive constantly with my power and the talent I was born with. I’ve nurtured my powers (talents included) with love and dedication. My powers have grown. Making wrong or right choices can build my power too. I must live with my choices and always move forward. I value that place in my life and in your life where we strive towards betterment. It is this common striving and our connections to one another, that make us human and makes life worth living.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Blog Give Away


I've seen other people have giveaways on their blog & every time I've seen it I've thought, ooohhh that is so cool! I decided to do one too. If you sign in to my blog and leave a comment, I will take a scrap of paper - write your name on it, mix them all up & pick one out of the bag. I will then ship this beautiful -still-in-shrink-wrap-brand-new-book- to you. This will happen when there is a sufficient number of people to mix up several slips in a paper bag to keep it fair .

The Beautiful Struggle: Street attitude from South Africa's Townships (Hardcover) by Mlamli Figlan (Foreword), Per Englund (Photographer)

The book sells at Amazon for $22.76 & can be yours for the price of a blog check.

Enjoy!
Much love ~ Joy

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Friendship


The world continues to become more anonymous with online networking. I have an entire set of contacts on fb & elsewhere who I will probably never meet in person . Contacts I nurture to promote myself & DubbleX & sometimes other writers too. I give myself credit for this networking because before me DubbleX had never been published. He told me before I worked with him no one else had ever encouraged his writing. I have faith in his writing. I got his first poem published before we actually became a couple. D isn't the kind to bother with submitting or reading things. He works more on the creative instinctive side. Perhaps it is my personality that is better suited to networking combined with creative pursuits. D still insists he is happy to have me submit his things but he's already very busy. This makes my busy life even more busy. I try to manage my time to get everything done that needs doing. You'd be shocked if you knew all the shit I pack in one day without even mentioning daily vacuuming & cat littler cleaning plus all our other daily routines.
This morning when I opened my internet mail there was a letter from a woman who began as an internet contact. She was searching for a cat. I had recently rescued one so I invited her over to see the black and white beauty. At that time, over three years ago, when I met her she was going through a lot. When I took her home with her new cat it seemed like her apartment was in shambles. I worried that she didn't have food or the fortitude to care for an animal. I showed up several times with soup & bread I had made in addition to some cat food.
Surprisingly over the next few weeks my friend's condition improved. My friend, Niambi, began to clean up & throw out the unneeded garbage filling the small space in which she lived. She told me the cat helped her to rearrange the order in her life and that he'd actually guide her in what needed to be done.
Niambi, needless to say, is also an artist. We actually performed together in a show I put together called the The Art Stroll, which takes place up in my neck of the woods. Since Niambi lives in Harlem which is generally included in our area, I was able to include her. Niambi is primarily an actress and singer but she also writes. As proof of this I am including in today's blog the poem I received from her this morning which got me to do what she wanted. I called her immediately. I am sharing it here because it is a good poem & also to show how our lives get so complicated we forget how important keeping in touch is to those around us who care for us & depend on our contact.

GIVE ME SOME CONTACT by Niambi Steele

I just wanna know one thing-- do you ever speak on the telephone anymore
Or has that part of life become too much of a chore
Duly noted is the genius of your epitomes and metaphors
But jesus christ I wanna get back to the used to bes and gone befores
I know that isn't fair to your new found sense of discoveries and recoveries
But have a heart for us old farts that still live in our reveries and miseries
Some of us just want our friends to be a familiarity
Not a new design on a runway like a freaked out fashion week.
I want to be part of your joyous new discoveries
But it’s hard to imagine someone who remains such a mystery.
I've never even been introduced to the new man in your world
But every time I turn around I'm forced to meet him in the words he's learned to twirl.
I'd like to meet him at a gathering meant for more than just you two
I feel so out of place meeting him through you
The world I live in is populated and free
The world you live in seemingly has no place for me...
... and I feel it every time I get electronic, cyber sonic word windfalls
Instead of incoming, purposeful, personal phone calls.