your ultimate sacrifice never forgotten
your ultimate sacrifice never forgotten
before the flesh of another day fuses to your bones
in sleep you must remain awake planning your next move
a red glow from your electronic notebook frames the bedroom sill in hell
cool summer skies can’t suffocate thoughts of a burning future
what a forecast it is
unless you trap a white dream rabbit large enough
then whack off its giant foot to dangle around your neck
nothing good is coming your way
that’s how much luck you need
maybe the whole damn bunny strung around your life could do the trick
but there is no way this can work
you love animals better than people
maybe – up with bunny, down with people is part of the problem
stop fretting hell’s nightshade
and toying with giant white rabbits
stick your face beneath the sheet and try again tomorrow
dreamer take all
can you glide across marble
with my big feet tripping you
will you dance across scuffed inlay
while soaking in a swing band
if you know me at all
you’ll know why horn sections and maroon socks are perfect
will you sneer if an errant hair strand sticks to my shiny mouth
my lips are glossed ’cause I’m trying to look pretty
as you twirl me left
I can’t twirl right–that’s the side I always drop things on
will you know I never lived above an Italian deli but wanted to
or worked as a librarian
or sketched ponies in a hot air balloon
or need my bed sheets striped, otherwise I put them on the wrong way
will you know I dream all the time
too much all the time
something I was supposed to be held back a grade for
teacher voices never entering an ear
and out the other, only opera wishes and flying unicorns
will you judge me for drinking hot cocoa after red wine
will you know how I escaped
the someone once called me
and that I don’t ever want her to catch me again
all I need in this life
all I want anymore
is to dance all night as the swing band plays
with someone who doesn’t mind getting their feet stepped on
originally published last year, now edited and changed up a bit, finally in a verse place it belongs
art also previously published, gosh, I gotta get cranking in all directions
we hope our children view the world through rose-colored glasses
pray they live well, so their buckets won’t need lists
we’ll try to respect their deep-seated thoughts
and teach them to respect those who have gone before
they must always believe they’re more magical than mermaids
and understand playing dress-up is fabulous, as long as they remain young at heart
we’ll tell them it’s okay to think upside down
and they’re the apples of our eyes
and when the world gets too big, they can hide under a blanket
and that same big world is full of wonderment
we’ll let them sit in a red chair and do absolutely nothing
and tell them they don’t have to smile all the time
as long as they keep their heads above water
we’ll hope they love each other enough to hang out upside down
but above all that they’ve learned–
love simply means standing side by side
with Caroline attending college this fall, and Max a high school junior come September, I’ve been waxing nostalgic
I published this post last year but have been thinking about it lately
damn, time wearing his ankle wings and over-priced Nikes sure does fly
a play on words. the theatrical presentation of polyester tomboy life. a waking thought. sky diving into bedtime storyland. Peter Pan warns individualism must be shared. now, I don’t want to see my wings clipped by an elfin dude I could beat the crap out of, so I’m going to (begrudgingly) divulge a diary secret.
shh, I’m about to give up the hidden location of an idea place. before moving beyond this point you must have a dog (if you don’t, borrow one from a friend). for starters, you don’t have to wear the same pajamas like I do–fifteen years (going for a personal best).
we begin by focusing and moving backward to a place you weren’t born then go ‘well’ passed there. continue meandering as long as you can stand it. when you arrive at the small door in the fat tree, do not look for Alice the Golden, or a gleeful bear. you’re on your own. spirit around the bulky tree and the little door (if you went through that stumped portal, you must start over. hey, I didn’t even tell you to turn the knob).
the rest of you keep moving. up the six hills with the long grass that tickles you into forgetfulness. on the seventh hill where the black sun spreads across the white ground you should see a dilapidated well. climb to it. push the lopsided bucket aside. peer into that black hole. it is ungodly deep and satanically dark down there. throw yourself in.
that’s right (if you thought about how much it might hurt, were nervous about what could be lurking on the bottom or loathe falling upside down in confining lightless places–you’ll need to change your wet pajamas then go back to the beginning). those still with me we are presently falling. down, down, down. submerging into the red. crimson lightning splatters across the abyss walls (Mr. King likes this). if we remained calm, we’re floating in spectacular red. red for the reason all good things are. blood. pumping. boiling. lusting. bloody good. bloody fucking great. get those blood suckers. blood hounds. drink up as much life giving red as you possibly can. (hope you brought the dog I said you needed. luckily for us, all dogs are loyal so they followed) now, whistle for Lassie. she’ll find that silly Timmy whose only job is to follow plan b–get real help (let’s face it, Timmy is nothing but trouble and lacks coordination).
if your dog isn’t Lassie (sorry, I forgot to mention that little detail in the beginning), you’re not getting out of well red anytime soon. kick frantically if you must, but you’ll eventually drown. if this happens you’re definitely not getting out. just float on your back. think of where you aren’t and what might be going on there. is his head too big to fit through a little door? is her soul too small to fill a honey pot? did the insane tambourine player find his moldy hamburger? all good questions. continue emptying your mind of whatever it is you think you know.
then a black sun epiphany–
a way to climb out of well red.
hopping up one little springboard at a time ’til you reach the top
with a fistful of fresh inspiration in each hand
now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to get my wings polished.
art created last year for another post
walk ins welcome
read while gazing into a dirty vacant store window next to the pizza place. shit I’m gettin’ old. gotta get my groove on before I’m ungrooveable or I forget how to cha cha (don’t wanna brag but back in disco days I had a kickass pelvic thrust). so let’s get this going shall we. you and me. okay, pretend I’m standing so close my breath is clouding your bathroom mirror. we laugh. you’re nervous. I’m not – never am in these situations. shower steam has fogged up the whole damn room. I stare at your towel and say, “ let me walk inside you.” You must know before answering, I’d pin that silly sign–walk ins welcome–to my face if I could style hair. I can only grow it. Like everything else I do or get into, I grow overboard. Hair is hitting my belt loops, the weight always pulling. so I must ask you again, will you allow me passage into your deepest darkest places…
(here we go now)
I want to wander down where you hide things from everyone but me
up and down, in, around and down slippery Sherpa
let me lay my curves across your lines
see my roads take you places
places I whisper in wet blue
us, that would be so nice
I’m excited for me
you won’t believe how reserved I can be out of my place
that place I don’t dare go as it tongue ties and pen paralyzes me bad
I like caves and clouds and I can get you there
I’d like to play with you in water too
when you let me in
I think you might just love me
a tiny bit only a tiny bit
it was too long before I loved myself completely
so much has been and maybe still is rehearsal for my heart
the role play if you let me in
I’ll whisper from inside your ear like a raindrop on a windowsill
I’ll say things like, “your soul is precious”
I wouldn’t say that
precious is a word I’d use to describe a smiling goldfish that can juggle knives
I’ll think of words just for you, don’t worry
please don’t get mad
after you love me just a bit only a bit
you must let me leave
I must move on
I must find others
who will love me too
(here I go now)
There is a pool I go to early Thursday mornings with my mom. The pool is crystal. He is a beautiful blue like my mother in moonlight. We swim, jogging across the earth only wetter. Millie wears funny goggles not as large as Snoopy’s but funny just the same. The blue lenses match the water and when she goes beneath the surface half her face disappears. We had to make a no laughing rule, because I swallow too much water. She thinks I’ll sink like a stone if I suck up the entire pool out of happiness. And Rita swims to the right on mornings Millie and I don’t get a proper lane to share, because the dude who can do twenty butterflies across the pool and the flip thing at the end of each lap (I think he’s showing off for us old gals) grabs a lane early as does the gorgeous, petite Asian woman with the flawless skin. Rita, I adore. She wears a white bathing cap with flowers like Esther Williams and when she smiles, I swear the flowers change color and grow a little. Water is kind to Rita. To all the ladies. He’s a charming fellow gently embracing their bodies. He grants them a weightlessness that time steals once they ascend those metal steps. He is the lover. We love him. How kind, the pain floats away for awhile. Every brash sound in the world seems to disappear when he whispers bubble mumble into our ears. So we all will keep at loving him. And he will always remember when they wore deep red lipstick and used their mouths well. Now, his formal rectangle with proper scrubbed edges tends and respects our lady-ness like back in that day, when gents tipped their fedoras and newsboy caps to beautiful Millie and flower-capped Rita.
These words were inspired today while early swimming with my beautiful mother in a crystal blue pool. I was reflecting on my new age of 53 (technically not 53 until May 20th;)) and thinking how I don’t care much (can’t say completely because that would be a lie) mostly because I’m blessed to have Millie and Billy for as long as I can keep them. I hope to enjoy every precious perfect and imperfect moment with my parents. Thank you.
The art was created last year – hey, it was either the mermaid or a fish:)
My parents got to the hospital just in time for me to enter the world. I was born several minutes past midnight, deep inside the womb of Saint Mary’s. When my dad went to pay the bill, he was informed by a dulcet-faced nun, he owed not for one but two full days. He inquired about the additional charges.
The congenial nun responded, “According to our paperwork, your daughter was born on May 19th, not May 20th. Our records do not reflect daylight savings time.”
Vito didn’t like being taken advantage of even by elevated folks of the cloth. He argued with the administrative woman of God. But with wife and newborn held as good faith collateral, my father relented and paid the extra twenty dollars.
I retell this story every May 19th to remind anyone who might care – “It’s okay to give AnnMarie, 2 birthday presents.”
I eat each piece, tearing apart the lines, ramrodding through the verbiage to find the golden rabbit. Dissecting the words, vivisecting the pulp flesh to get at the blood.
He’s so popular and I’m at a loss to explain this to my heart. Clearly he’s dug into term universe, uncovered buried gems in the trove. My eyes follow along waiting for an aha moment which I believe imminent. I continue whooshing pages beneath my flippant index finger. I’ve even welcomed a paper cut to my writing hand, my sketching fingers and if that’s not love and appreciation I don’t know what is.
Have I become jaded here, to take from this writer his every success? To deny him entry to my pathos. All these heavy-lashed eyes who cut their hearts on their emotional skins find him not only aha but voilá too. Have I grown distant, out of touch with those in near circles, the ones I stand outside of but near enough to see shapes. Really a square is what I am, too old for the shit of jumping, thumping and humping. (let’s see if that catches on like chew and screw, or her whale tail is riding high). God, when did I become such a bummer.
Gratification the millisecond glazed eyes puncture letters and back lit brains string ‘em together to chow repurposed cinema kernels. It’s sugar free instant pudding with no pudding skin, what the hell, the floppy sugar skin is the entire delight. Lambasted with social medium, no large, just fucking medium and you have to hit that sweet spot. Like his words, the sweet spot, he’s got it covered with a giant manhole cover.
There are lines I read now, not his, but other minds. Mind you – was I to have the exact same words in a tumbler, I could never spill out what they gloriously let flow and have us swallow greedily in want of more steaming rum on frigid nights when we’re alone with our bored hands. These exquisite things to be viewed, fondled, touched then returned behind their velvet ropes.
I grabbed from the money shelf for pretty books. His is a very pretty one. Books I sometimes buy to impress others with my vertical color collection. The truth if I may be honest with you. I don’t always read them, only some, the pretty ones. I’ve placed his words on the pretty shelf because I want to remember what I don’t know. I want to recall my head falling into a tailspin. My bones neatly following in a jerking motion. My fingers in my mouth licking my wounds the paper cuts pretty books give me.
I must be honest with myself.
I must be honest with you.
I want to be honest with him.
There are words I will never write and thoughts I will never have.
There is genuine fakeness in so much.
Even Me. Even Me. Even Me.
I don’t like the words.
But still I am wishing
I were as creative.
Still I am wishing
I were him.
My time is drawing near, where I will be critiqued more than usual. I’ve never read much poetry before. Of late, it’s all I do read. There are so very many spectacular and amazing writers out there – mind blowing really. And on a rare occasion, there is one, I don’t quite grasp why their words resonate with the success they do. This leads me to believe and realize, it is me. I’m the one without my finger on the pulse. And I need to continue learning. Also, I must be ready to cry, because we are all entitled to our opinions. In my heart, it’s not about the popularity, it’s the staying power. It’s creating something that doesn’t pluck a chord but strings a harp when one needs to hear such music…
Big Foot drawn last year for illustrated project
apologies for the cussing, sometimes there are no more perfect words than the most worst imperfect kind;)
deformed putty pink
robbed of warm breath
contorted sweet necks
tar bubble eyes bulging
frail unfeathered waxy torn
foiled unsung tiny raptors
never will gush
broad kite wings against the wind
meander upon the thermals
before winter’s white bone chanced a kill
stuffed down bright spring’s dark bosom
strapped with dried fall grass
gentle summer kisses will not carry
overlapping notes sung in threes
new harmonies in pubescent throats
echoing from fresh limb to sailing cloud
undeveloped triplets all
small and quieted
in the driveway
sad little chicks
stilled baby birds
in her songs of silences
nature candidly reminds us
she is both
judge and jury
I wish this piece wasn’t here or anywhere else – but I hope it serves as a eulogy
for those baby birds – may they fly in eternal peace
art created last year for an illustrated project