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Archive for November, 2010

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Yeah, yeah … I know hearts are all a pitty-pat and thighs a’quaking for the new Hawaii Five-0 guys, and that Daniel Radcliffe has grown up enough to be considered luscious these days … but REALLY! … is anyone in today’s world anywhere near as flat-out hot, as sweat-inducingly titillating, as compellingly arousing as Julian Assange?

Not in my book, Babes! And not in yours, either, if your gauge of wanna-slather-him-in-custard-and-slurp-up-sumdat-spotted-dick runs anywhere near where mine takes its turn around the dial.

Okay, he doesn’t have Jason Statham’s body and I’m pretty sure he can’t pitch like Brian Wiison. He’s got no full dark mane, but is rather sparsely coiffed and gray in that premature-cute-as-a-bug sort of way, looks like he’d lobster up after fifteen minutes on my beach, isn’t particularly tall and probably can’t play a mean guitar, but … ooooooooh! does he do it for me!

Assange advocates a “transparent” and “scientific” approach to journalism, saying that “you can’t publish a paper on physics without the full experimental data and results; that should be the standard in journalism.” In 2006, CounterPunch called him Australia’s most infamous former computer hacker. The Age has called him “one of the most intriguing people in the world” and “internet’s freedom fighter.” Assange has called himself “extremely cynical.” The Personal Democracy Forum said that as a teenager he was “Australia’s most famous ethical computer hacker.” He has been described as thriving on intellectual battle.

Pant. Pant.

That he’s smart certainly appeals, and he is whiplash smart. An international man of mystery? Well, duh! The guy is harder to nail down than the Scarlet Pimpernel, a reluctant star, a man long disinclined to step into the slimelight he would rather focus than hog. He is also brave, irreverent, cocky, demanding, uncompromising … and looks enough like Bill Maher to set me aching down under. (Yeah … right … that’s a reference to him being Australian … )

The fact that he is all about transparency ups my longing exponentially, as susceptibility for bullshit doing any sweeping off the feet has ebbed while fondness for exposure, and exposure of stuff that’s hard to come by — as opposed to easy (sure … that’s what I meant) — can set me to sway in breeze factor zero.

Although some accuse Julian of over-exaggeration when it comes to threats and dangers to his adorable person, the idea there could very well be a “manhunt” on for him fits and brings out the come-Sweetie-I’ll-take-care womanly stuff in me that wants to hold him to my breast and soothe his worried brow.

Whew … pass that towel over, will ya, please …

So … Mr. Assange … Julian … Jules …

If some time on a tropical island where no one … but me … will have the foggiest who the hell you are appeals, there’s an amazing view from my bed.

Oh … and bring wine.

One more thing … I don’t cook, so you’ll be doing that, too.

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Sounds almost pleasant, doesn’t it? It’s not. Oxymoronic in its essence, free-floating anxiety sees the anxious bit hijacking anything that might be considered free and the sucker floats like a anvil.

Anxiety that lacks a definite focus or content.

And that, folks, comes before the first cup of tea.

I have always lived with demons … depression being the biggest bugger with the fiercest bite … but anxiety is rather new to me. Sure, I’m a worrier. What woman isn’t, especially living alone and having kids to raise? But it’s not often my worries cause me to lose sleep.

In fact, I usually sleep fairly well; I drop off without effort, and if disturbed have little to no trouble drifting back into slumber. Yes, my sleep is dream-plagued/blessed and often not as restful as I’d like, but I do sleep and for the allotted hours.

No, it’s not the sleeping that’s my issue, my demon … whatever … but the waking.

Before my eyes open I now realize I’ve shifted from sleep to awake by the sudden onset of that free-floating anxiety thing. It takes a bit of time to recognize and even more to run it through the filters: I’m late; I’m early; I’m breathing; kids are okay; nothing horrible happened in the night; scan the list of what’s on for the day; yes, I’m here alone. Check. Check. Check.

So, why am I shaking and where is this panic over a new day coming from? Am I sixth-sensing portents of doom? Has a shit asteroid been plummeting toward me in the night? Why is every drop of sadness in my body rushing in to welcome another twenty-four hours of the same old crap? Is the day now tainted? Have I contaminated the glass of opportunity by dropping in a dollop of shite with my quaking hands? Will these backed-up tears cloud my vision? Or drown me?

Tea. I need tea.

And thus begins my day.

It’s not every day that starts this way. Thankfully, I do go through periods where I wake up like a normal person, slowy and with a lovely touch of fog misting my corners. On those mornings my eyes open, the view presents itself in all its glory and potential rolls out in front of me. Those occasions take a second cup of tea to bring recognition of and appreciation for the ease of sliding into what had been tomorrow.

More often than not, however, it’s choking sad and shaking panic that form my salute to the sun.

I can trace the roots of this relatively new … what? … affliction? … waking nightmare? … free-floating anxiety … yeah, that’s it.

Close to eighteen months ago my waking moments changed drastically with the 6-am-ish phone call that told me my son was dead. And although this will not only sound trite, but obvious, I’ve not been the same since.

It’s a fact of life that the older we get, the longer our loss list grows. Over the past few years I’ve lost a lot … a son, a husband, a great love, all semblance of security, the last vestiges of youth, a load of nerve, hopes, dreams, wishes … even, from time to time, the will to live. (Yes, I have a list of gains, too, but I’ve just passed a week being thankful and that’s not what this is about this morning.)

I can deal with each and every loss … one-by-one, please … but first thing in the morning and before I’m fully awake? Not so well. Not at all, actually, since dealing isn’t what happens when I’m trembling and feeling the sting of tears before my eyes even open.

The result, of course, of this free-floating shit is an effort to flail a lasso about and pull it close enough to examine just what the fuck it might be. That sure pulls out the list, and as my mind leaps like a frog across sinking lily pads I am forced to recollect most every crappy thing that has happened, may happen or will happen. And I haven’t even peed yet …

At least I get words out of it, heh? Here are a few from this morning:

Good Morning, Sword

Within my realm I awaken each day
to a view of the sea and bird song
It is in my power to make what I may
But the first works I utter are:
What’s wrong?

I don’t see the sword hanging over my head
but I know that it’s there and suspended
by something no stronger than one single hair
if should break means the world is
upended …

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I woke this morning doing the backstroke in a mire of melancholy, the blue funk that too often drains the color from my days, and with the mental image of a disembodied monkey’s paw reaching toward me; a consiliatory gesture, I suppose, that started me thinking of all I have wished for and what I would wish for now if I had wishes left.

After spending much of the past week paying careful attention to the many blessings in my life and processing the appropriate gratitude, I’m not surprised by this equal and opposite reaction today; Newton was, after all, a pretty bright guy, and he called it in that third law of his.

Over-thinking, as I do, I can’t just eat turkey thankfully … and I was SO thankful! Nope. The initial cranberry joy-burst must be followed by digestion, and although not a ruminant I do know the flavor of cud: It tastes of fear. It tastes of grief. Today it tastes of my mother who is not well and thousands of miles away, of Jaren, of lonliness and anxiety over whatthefuckhappensnext.

It also tastes of tired … tired of wishes.

Years ago I wrote a story I called “Beggars Would Ride”, a tale about a wish coming true. There was no talisman required, just a simple dedication to repeating the wish often and believing for a very long time it would be granted.

Although it involved no consequence as dire as as the horror of The Monkey’s Paw, it did speak to the futility of wishes made casually and persued without insight.

I don’t want to think in terms of a paw, but if I had a magic wand to wave would I? And if I had the nerve to give it a swish, what would I wish?

Of course, I wish for my children to live long and happily prosper, but know too well how little a wish, no matter how fervent, controls events. I could wish some things that happened hadn’t and others that hadn’t had, but where’s the good in that?

“Seek not that the things which happen should happen as you wish; but wish the things which happen to be as they are, and you will have a tranquil flow of life.”

~ Epictetus

Sure. I can do that … I wish I had a cup of tea. Viola! I wish my dog would stop scratching. TaaDaa!

Easy enough, heh? Right up to, “I wish my mother wasn’t so miserable … “, and, “I wish I could be around to see Sam and Cj grown … “, or even simply, “I wish we were going to Mexico for Christmas …”.

It seems a wish is nothing more than jingling keys meant to draw attention toward the camera … say “cheese” … a bit of shiny fluff.

In some ways that’s fine, I guess. What’s the harm in, say, fantasizing about a world created by your own wish? How many hours are pleasantly spun out globally by people imagining a future after winning the lottery? A waste of time? You bet, but not without value to bleak lives.

For me today, though, it would take more energy than I would choose to muster for something so useless. Instead, I’ll work. Rather than wish this book I’m writing done, I will come closer to making it so.

I’ll also do what I can to arrange for tomorrow to be a better day. Wish me luck …

“Beggars Would Ride” is included in my book, “Papaya … and other seeds”, and was adapted for a short film called simply, “Wish” …

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Perched on an emotional ledge as I have been for the past while, I find myself using my fingers to hang on to the cliff face with the hope the persistent ache resulting reminds me to keep the grip and not slide … plummet? … leap? … cavort? … into the abyss, or whateverthefuck it is, below.

The crag I cling to is QWERTY-shaped, and like velcro needs multiple connections doing a little dance to keep the stickiness happening.

Some shards pulled away by the friction between the rock and the hard place the other day got a comment that’s kept me busy lately while I hang around:

Have you ever considered writing poetry about anger? I read these yesterday, couldn’t sleep last night, don’t know why poetry about anger kept swirling around my thoughts.

So, thanks to Amy, it’s anger raising its fiery, swollen head and keeping me clenching …

Pissed off. What’s a Girl to Do?

To spew my anger ‘cross a page
would mean acknowledging my rage
It seems I was raised way too girly-ous
to allow such blatant show of furious

An emphasis on contemplation …
consider each and every view …
and be no reason for vexation:
The mandate for a girl’s milieu

Not that some don’t infuriate
when what they should do is placate,
but I have faced consequences dire
when releasing my indignant ire

It’s not that I don’t have a temper
I do, but somethings can be learned:
There’s no need to just sit and whimper’
but formulate through each slow burn …

It’s helpful oft’ times to rattle a cage
and channel off more than a bit of outrage
through get-backs oh-so-very terse
in fits of pique disguised as verse.

Unfortunately, the season doesn’t help much …

The First Noel

The first Noel I hear
as we come toward the end of the year
will convey no festive tingling
but could earn a testes jingling
and a very hearty round of “Fuck you, Dear”.

And … of course, the usual angst that confounds and confuses …

Man: Optional?

I’m perpetually disappointed by
the sex that feels anointed by
the fact they sport a penis,
or it they

Although seemingly unfettered
and somehow strangely flattered
by a mass secreting phlegm
along the way,

they find their bits impressive
even when the thing is restive
and can’t ever keep their hands
too far away

There’s no doubt that cock’s amusing
and I’m very fond of using
the appendage on ’bout any
given day,

but if suddenly to find it
hanging ’round there, I would bind it,
not assuming special powers
in its sway

Since I wasn’t born with boy bling,
that male Lincoln Log-like toy thing,
it’s not possible to ‘get’ that
need to play

with it inside things or outdoors,
(little pickiness between whores)
just ’bout any hole will do it
So they pray:

Fall down to your knees in full praise …
or upon your back with legs raised …
just give some place for to aim and
shout “Hooray”

for the penis now he rises …
no, no need to think in sizes …
just appreciate the sight of
that beauTAY!

If the thing could only speak it
would hardly need the geek it
uses to transport it ’round
each day

Truly, women are from Venus
and we’ll never have a penis
other than the ones we borrow.
That’s okay

There’re no shortages of offers
from those pleased to fill our coffers
and occasionally the man attached
will stay

round long enough to carry
a few burdens, even marry,
giving more than just their penis
and a lay

But …

I’m perpetually disappointed by
the sex that feels anointed by
the fact they sport a penis …
or it they

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Today’s post is an exercise prompted by this article by “performance improvement consultant” Russell Bishop, and no doubt tied into the febrile state I’ve been experiencing for the last few days, the goal being to examine my list of want as this year rounds out and another approaches.

As 2010 comes to a close and we move through the holidays on our way to a new year with new resolutions and new goals, it occurs to me that we might all benefit from taking some time now to take stock of what we truly want out of life as opposed to what we seem to be settling for.

Want. Instead of ‘settle for’. Hm.

I clearly recall this time last year when top of my Want Parade was to have 2010 be a better year than was 2009; not too tough an agenda as long as no child of mine dies in that twelve-month span. (So far, so great!)

Of course, that wasn’t the only parameter I set for gauging “better”, just the most vital. I also wanted happiness, security, a bit of fun, some interesting work, few conflicts, a dearth of of incoming shit … stuff like that … most of which had a specific focus at the time.

Well … the year is about over now, so how did I do?

I had some happiness, occasionally felt secure, laughed a lot, worked a lot, had a few conflicts and some incoming shit, but nothing I needed to build a monument out of. Comme ci, comme ça, heh?

It occurs to me this morning that one want for the day is for Cj to get over her fever and for mine to abate, as well. If either or both of those things happen, I get what I want. Cool.

And isn’t that how want happens? It is in my world, since long-range wantings are too often smacked out of the reality ballpark by batters I can’t see swinging, so what’s the point of keeping my eye on those balls?

When I was seven I wanted two things more than anything I’d wanted before: a bike and a horse. I wanted a horse so badly that my Catholic-trained mind did hefty bargaining over it and left me questioning the whole point of prayer, but the bike was waiting under the Christmas tree.

I loved that bike right up to the point months later it proved the cause for a leg-mangling I bear the scars from to this day, but the joy of that Christmas morning scores high on my memory chart.

The point of the article, however, is ‘life goals’, which should ride a different scale than childhood lustings after toys, right?

In the course of my life’s work, I have asked literally thousands of people some version of the what-do-you-want question. For the most part, people tend to list all kinds of things they want. Cars, houses, money, and toys of all sorts frequently come to mind for most individuals. All pretty understandable, really.

Really.

Although my list has included a car that runs, and selling my house will be great when it happens … a holiday would be nice, too … I don’t consider these ‘life goals’. Next Year goals, sure, but like the bike, once gained, Want done.

Okay, this guy apparently makes his living helping people move up executive ladders where a car is a rung, a house is a rung, a holiday is a rung, and he does make that point:

If your focus on what you want is more on physical possessions, then at least you have some guidance about how to choose: which fork is more likely to lead to the job, house, car, or money? However, if what you truly want is found more in the quality of experience than the quantity of possessions, then you need to make certain that you are thinking about the experiences you seek and not just the possessions you could accumulate.

There is little doubt that the ‘quality of experience’ can be made much more attainable with a roof over the head, a car that starts when it’s supposed to, food enough, and all of what some of us are lucky enough to consider basics.

In the grand scheme I want: world peace; an end to hunger; corruption, stupidity and greed to fall by some wayside and rot; that beamy-uppy thing from Star Trek; non-fat sugarless Butter Pecan ice cream; and for me and those I love, happily ever after.

In the less-grand scheme, I want to finish the book I’m working on, my land to sell so I can live closer to town and a date for New Years Eve.

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You know how it is …

Some people see life as a roller coaster; they thrill with anticipation on the way up, love the gut-lurch at the top, then piss themselves out of fear on the way down and spend the rest of the time embarrassed about the wet mark.

Some see life as a banquet; gorging themselves on the richness of the spread, they pass on nothing tasty, but often end up vomiting all as a consequence of their indulgence.

I see life as a convoluted tale … or tail, perhaps, as if it’s the ass-end appendage of a lumbering beast, which is a good explanation for why shit happens … so I don’t wet myself or puke, but follow and pay attention, and what erupts or leaks or spews from me as a result is verse.

Unlike the professional work I am paid to produce … unless for a very good cause or a lover who gives me a good deal in trade … poems aren’t written for anyone, not even me. They are just written, as a convoluted tale must be. If any sense can be made of twists and turns and whorls, crafting them into letters/words/phrases is the way I deal with confusing complexities.

Although it often seems poems pop out of me, the actual process is more like a slow ooze. Yes, a first line or a phrase can surprise me, but a suppuration process must happen before any actual popping happens.

I never know where I’ll end up when starting on a verse-strewn path and don’t set out with any destination in mind, but as a metaphor for life it simply follows the convolutions and ends where it ends.

In answer to some who’ve asked, I usually work a poem for quite a while, tweaking and fiddling until the wrong words are gone and the right words are where they belong. I have no way of explaining the process. Yes, studying the intricacies of meter, rhyme and stanzaic structure is as important a foundation as learning correct punctuation is to writing in general, and any cavalier rejection of the need for rules results in way too much crap writing in the world. But composing anything must be more about what happens in the soul than what can be taught if it’s to reflect more than someone else’s idea of correct.

Because the tail I ride has been whipping around way too much lately, I’ve been splattered with shit that’s prompted efforts to transform random excrement into something a bit less messy. What follows are a few of the sculptures I have managed to fashion as armour …

Mr. Moon

The full face of the moon
looks upon me tonight
and I can’t hide away from his gaze
He says: ’twill be soon
you will turn off the light
but you’ll never escape from the maze
you have woven so tightly
you must face it nightly
whether I’m dark or I’m bright
In fear or so hopeful
with a love or alone, full
my presence can make it all right.
Goodnight …

Input Reaction

I need to stop reading the news
and not just cuz it gives me the blues
So much is just stumpin’
it sets my head thumpin’
I should just settle down for a snooze …
or some booze …

I’m wondering what I’ve got to lose
if I really gave up on the news
I’d for sure miss the fodder
but in some ways I’d oughter
be grateful to say, ‘please excuse’ …
pass the booze …

Say What?

What? Now?
They’re sneaking up again
those damned emotions
make me spin
Oft times I think I’m doing fine
then … BAM! … it all goes
outta line.
Through each and every thin
and thickness
I find myself the only witness
A mess it is this puddling
and bloody fucking muddling
Tis simpler to see things done
And, sure as shit,
this isn’t fun
They come with every chat on Skype
a plea for words,
a bit more hype,
late night IMs into my phone.
No wonder I am still alone.
Oh, yes
they’re sneaking up again
those damned emotions
make me spin
What now?

Cheep Bitch

I feel a finger on my switch
but, dammit all
ain’t life a bitch
It’s not the button
makes me cheep
but just the one
puts me to sleep …

Never Quite Done

I can’t turn love on and love off like a tap
In my world, it just doesn’t happen like that
It may come on quickly
but no matter how sickly
it ends up
I’m stuck with the sap

The depths of my heart are at least what’s at stake
when I stand on that cliff deciding to take
that leap into faithful
no matter the fate, full
of glass shards
I’m left with the break

I’m never quite done with a love I have known
and through all the pain I’m aware that I’ve grown
accustomed to heartache
but, though it’s an art, take
the bit that I own.

I treasure the leavings of love that is past
all some of my future that’s coming too fast
there’s tenderness in it
I hope I can spin it
to something that lasts.

Ack! x 2 = WTF?

There’s nothing quite so maudlin
as a man who do come daudlin
with his ego on a string around his neck.
A sack of “I am great, me”
and a plaque that reads “Come mate me”
is nothing but a warning, read:
Train wreck.

****

That light of the end of the tunnel is not
the end of an era, some happiness bought.
A new narcissist git
with a slim chance to hit
on a woman too heavily fraught.

Moon Shine Supine

Moonbathing
supine on the Equator
Midnight
Cool argent light
dims the Leonids
Silver breath whispers
my skin deciphers:
You are one with all,
luminous

Moonburnt
supine on the Equator
Midnight
No shadow falls between
cool argent light
nor interrupts silver whispers
my heart deciphers:
You are one,
solus

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I’ve spent no little time taking on men in a WTF-is-with-them-anywhoo? sort of way over the past months, so it’s time I set my blaster on stun and turned it toward my own gender.

As this article suggests, as it is, “Holding Up a Mirror Along with the Bullhorn: Why Women Can’t Lay All the Blame Elsewhere”.

When we consider issues of gender in this country, we tend to assess the progress and prospects of the American woman through an amorphous sort of “look how far we’ve come” or “look how far we haven’t come” analysis, eyes trained on the Man and related cultural influences that have historically beaten us back. It’s a legitimate exercise. And yet, as we do this, I think it’s also valid to consider a related, if more elusive and controversial, component to the contemporary female experience, one we’d much prefer to sweep under the rug. And that’s the degree to which girls and women are — or are not — nurturing each other’s ascent.

To be fair, it’s not a one-side thing, this accusing.

In passing, also, I would like to say that the first time Adam had a chance he laid the blame on woman. ~Nancy Astor

But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t rise above, does it, Girls?

Yes, Madeleine Albright got it right when she said, “There is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women”, but another woman who made it big in the man’s world that is politics, Bella Abzug, references another issue …

I prefer the word homemaker, because housewife always implies that there may be a wife someplace else.

Ay, there’s the rub.

So much of my yammering on the duplicitous nature of men has rather ignored the huge part played in those dramas by women only too happy to bounce on someone else’s trampoline.

Although it’s sometimes merely circumstance that leads women into a dally with another’s dolly, there are those who prefer to play with a Ken who has a Barbie:

The hooked and booked man is like a forbidden temptation. That’s what makes him irresistibly attractive to a woman. He stirs a challenge in her. She feels a sense of power in attracting a man who is already taken. What makes him the catch for her is his confidence, experience and authority. The excitement stems from the fact that he’s already taken.

Having seen infidelity from every angle … yes, I admit to taking a wander over posted ground where “No Trespassing” was writ large a few times … I have first-hand experience on both sides of the fence. Although I never set out with an intention to encroach, it happens, and since the end results vary between a shrug, a sly and secret smile and nuclear holocaust I’m not recommending a hop into that pasture to anyone.

Of course, an intentional invasion is a declaration of war and there are none-to-few who quite happily lob a grenade into a mine field, sit back and wait for the massive explosions one would expect from such a provocative act. Sometimes the earth settles and they plow it for a while, but they’re always on the lookout for new incoming that can rip apart their tidy furrows.

Truth be told, women don’t like women much, and trust them even less. Sure, we have girlfriends … and FFS! we do need and treasure them … but women in general? Not so much. If to men we are the sugar and spice of life, to each other we are arsenic; in controlled amounts helpful and healing, but otherwise poison.

Divide et impera, hey, Ladies? That is the result the lack of sisterhood leaves us with. Playing into the hands of men … in any old way … has done us little good as a gender, and it’s only when we make the effort to join hands and hearts and minds that we have any luck at all in climbing ladders or breaking ceilings or gaining control of such basics as our own bodies.

So … Girls … maybe it’s time we developed a new perspective. I suggest this thought: You wouldn’t think of using another woman’s douche bag, so why in hell would you use another woman’s douche bag?

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