Thursday, December 25, 2014

Tired Of These Silver Gray Days

Another gray day just like yesterday
And the day before
Makes me wonder if it’s a sign of decay
If we’ll ever learn the way
Just like London
Everyday begins gloomy in the morning and
Later the sun comes out to play
Then by afternoon goes away
Everyday it rains like here in New York City
Watch silver skies and overcast
Stare out the plate glass window in dismay
While I sit and crochet
Imagine living in a chalet on Hudson Bay
Made of stone and glass,
Fine walnut cabinets with stained glass doors
Pull out drawers throughout
Sun streams through my sun porch
When it rains, I close the glass doors and watch
Fine sprays of rain descend
Dream I’m a millionaire – I’ve spent that much
Gypsies believe if you’ve spent a million you are one
A blue jay flies by in 45-degree December
My thoughts stray,
Want to defray the cost of living
Wonder how those worse off pay
Bills in a place so ill the rent’s
Three times higher than salary
Wealthy connive to create anarchy
Pray USA's working poor will survive

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Absence Of Love Yields Hate

Comingle on the corner doorstep
Fate sleeps late at the abyss
Rancid denial of Beelzebub
Waltzes through my brain
Rotting flesh of my bones
Insane in my tomb.
Cell phone rings abruptly
Disrupts me, tear open envelope
Desires, hurts, anger, fear, lust animates me.
She sent outdated information
On purpose to distract me
Life turned to dust
Parked on side streets
Lost causes, and dust
Doubt and drivel hammered in mistrust.
Places fraught, caught naked
Imagination outrun by freedom
cause reductions in usable space.
Distraught and overwrought
Enervated and prostrated
Freedom overrides me
Seek relief, use a cast iron weight
Knock some sense into my head
Whack me into oblivion
All the accusations are true
Guilty as charged
Agree there’s demise in society
Refuse to confess
Turn to empty unpaid banks
Paid in full with retribution
No balance left
Evil can not be undone
Love will not be outrun
Evil never lets go
Love cannot be undone
Evil cannot be out run
Love refuses to be undone
Questions answer questions
Driven to distraction
Sessions single suppressions
Deny any ism is my obsession
Denial analogous to confession
Love's absence insures hate's continuation

*  This time of year drives me to be sad and thoughtful. That combined with all the daily chores and bullshit makes me mad, because I freedom lives in my heart yet I remain prisoner to society too. 

You know how yelp and google are supposed to let you express yourself about any business? Well it's absolutely a farce. Google reviews censored my recent review of Candle Cafe West. Yelp censored my review of a outpatient mental health clinic. This is very disappointing. After Yelp removed my review - they removed all the other reviews of The Post Graduate Mental Health Clinic. 

What does this have to do with my poem? I don't know.

I do know the drive to be free drives me to write as it does to think, consider and design. I write and write and write. It is what writers do. I also do many other things to express myself. I design jewelry, designed my apartment makeover myself, I crochet hats (haven't done knitting in a while) paint, draw and take interesting photos plus, most importantly, I do my rants and raves and poetry. 

You know how yelp and google are supposed to let you express yourself about any business? Well it's absolutely a farce. Google reviews censored my recent review of Candle Cafe West. Yelp censored my review of a outpatient mental health clinic. 

Happy holidays and love to all 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Panic Attack!

People flow through my veins like unstoppable rivers, like tendered addictions stream through me, rush by me, take pieces of me as they come and go. An unstoppable deluge of unknowns, continue to care, can’t help myself; we get by with a little help from our friends. We want to try to change the inevitable course of romance, like a lifetime dance, we live in a trance.
There are no answers, only questions or issues to resolve. Now-a-days problems are called issues. Don’t ask me why. Like a problem is something demeaning you can’t be absolved of, but an issue evolve and dissolve.  Life is artificial. We play musical chairs, turning in place, exchanging our issues while we struggle to exist.
Haven’t given up hope that love will save me, transport me somewhere; the base overcomes me. I cry, tears run, no tissues. A constant observer, I long for magic, tender kisses, want my wishes materialized, want pain to disappear. Life is ethereal, all problems remedial, but life is too short to let anger stand in the way or miss life while we text our lives away, forgetting true connections. People we see everyday right next to us are ignored while we stay glued to iPhones and iPads.  
I want pain to disappear, issues to be clear, want to get my ass in gear and leave behind the fear that drives me. The consumerism blues take hold and a shopping mood strikes me. Eyes veiled, I only see what’s before me and I want to go where I can buy things.
I get on the train today and am terrified. Tall Blond White Lady turns to me, stares in my eyes. “Don’t push!” She screams in my face. 
For some reason this makes me recall a former lover who said it was nice to be crushed in a massive moving throng of people.
“I don’t want to push, but I am being pushed from behind,” I reply, the important unspoken words being, I’m as much victim as you are. “Anyway,” I say against her, “wouldn’t you rather me shoved against you than some slime guy?” I notice her ASPCA T-shirt. “It’s nice you help animals. I love animals too,” I say.
“I love my job!” she replies emphatically. Our hearts touch for a millisecond of time.
“I have poor balance though I know, there’s not much room to fall down. There’s no place to hold on to. Can I hold on to you or your coat if you prefer?”
“OK she agrees.” I hate rush hour with passion. If she hadn’t been sweet she may have attacked me. It happened before. It was a snowstorm in 2007 and I was on my way to work at 8:15. The train was gray slippery slush, ankle high. My stop is last one outdoors. I am trying my best to hold on to the hanging hooks, lucky in far enough to grab it. The train is crowded. I have a bag filled with papers on my shoulders, long coat and boots, definitely encumbered. Being short works against me, the hooks are up high. I hold on tight. The train lurches continuously, each stop and start, plus people get off and on each stop. I slip each time so hold on for dear life with two hands holding that one metal strap.  The straps are designed to be mobile so they rock forward and back at each stop and start.
Nice old Latina lady never says a word as my knees brush hers. Doesn’t totally acknowledge my apology.
Ms. Latina Meany yells, “What the fuck? Why are you all over this woman?” The lady next to her is an elderly Latina women. At each sudden lurch my knees brush hers.
“I can’t control it. I try my best. I excuse myself a dozen times to her.”
“Girl you better not touch her again. I’m warning you…”
“People are pushing me from behind. I can’t stop my knees bending forward.” Everyone watching the show, I clam up. Ms. Latina Meany stands up and lunges for me. The train lurches. I fall momentarily to the side. Standing Ms. Latina Meany misses me momentarily, but jabs her finger into my belly. I see my demise. “Please,” I beg, “I didn’t do anything.” Ms. Meany pokes me again.
“What the hell? Monday morning … Com’on! It is too early for this shit.” Mr. Handsome Asian guy, jumps in from nowhere, grabs her hand as she’s about to punch me in the face. I take note. Hey, he’s not much bigger than I – dressed with a lot of style, in suit, tie, cashmere topcoat and rubbers.  Stranger looks me in the eye. “Getting off here?” The train is almost in the 59th Street Station. I nod. Mr. Asian grabs Ms. Meany from behind, restraining her by holding his arms tightly around her, her arms held tight to her sides. She jumped up against him, trying to kick him and free herself, but he held her down. Mr. Handsome Savior Guy yelled, “Just go, … don’t look back, go. I walked; half assed ran on that slippery floor without falling.
Ms. Meany yelled, “Let me get th’ bitch! Let me at ‘er. Shit!” Her voice faded as the train pulled out, Mr. Savior still holding her. I remain terrified, forget scared. Scared shitless. Ever since that time, I’ve been gun shy. You understand why. No need to explain. Help me, I beg!
I’m afraid every time I board the train. Keep my eyes down, bury myself, read a story, and most of all, evade eye contact. You never know who will attack. It’s a scary world. I force myself out the door daily. I maintain hope in humanity. Probably I won’t get attacked again, or if I do someone will save me. Take me to the boondocks and let me live with you for a while, whoever you are.
I take trains. I get panic attacks near train tracks. I call my car the escape machine. Can you blame me?

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 road kill and strong moral demeanor. Skink will never be outdone or won! Hiaasen has done it again!

Hats off to Hiaasen!