solitary fish

She keeps her Siamese Fighting fish in a glass bowl
Gravel glimmering in aquatic blues and mermaid greens
A solitary fish might believe lake, or better yet, ocean
The pet store suggests Sammy live alone,
otherwise he might kill his friend
The red-orange Betta is fire under water
She is fire under water too
Her lavender room is a glass bowl
She and Sammy swim in tiny circles in small worlds
A wooden peace sign beneath her bed
Painted with glitter and all the paint jars within reach on the picnic table
Long wooden benches occupied with sweaty kids who whittled words into tiny canoes from two-by-four scraps
The wood, leftover construction from a nearby development
She swims in a luxurious new home
many rooms, many spaces, glass bubbles, no air
The peace sign is tacked behind Sammy’s bowl
It reminds her of summer camp, a happy temporary time
fair-weather friends
She grows into autumn alone
The seasons, solitary
A huge house and a small fishbowl
one mother
one daughter
one fish

Hair Hiding

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it is

well
it is
done
a book
mine
thin and monochromatic
beast and verse
love and madness
what we do to ourselves
what I’ve held
and continue
to store in my own heart
through personal trials
and gentle outward observations
it is
done
a book
for my children
something to hold in their hands
one day
when they need my heart nearby
I might be here
when they seek my heart
but if I’m not
it is

I’m of the old school belief if something is worthwhile eventually it will find its way, not a wonderful sales person for my own work, I must make an effort especially for my talented and generous friends and family who helped me realize this first publishing dream, so my friends, my very first illustrated book of free verse (some call them poems, my father believes poetry should rhyme – these verses do not) is available on my booksite – loveofthemonster.com
cover-image-jpegI thank you – how very exciting it is this morning to write this as the first white of winter presses against my studio door:)

winery night and bouncing balls

“…don’t you know that I gotta get outta here, ’cause New York’s not my home” –Jim Croce

mind not with me for quite some time
body went out though
knee-high grass parking
set back in dark pasture land, maybe once a cornfield
my nose like a basset hound’s
I catch grape bouquets
imagine sweet dark berry assortments to be offered
the tiny sample glasses make me feel more giant
this makes me giggle
got wedges on, I’m flirtin’ with six feet but not the moon
paper lights strung around blowing in the delicious breeze
yellow hair walking everywhere looks white in the fading light
bright spots like sparkles on the ocean
my friend–one of my best, we’re out for a chat and a drink
I’m thinking about a decadent red, only one
I’m designated this eve
we made a pledge to get together more often
and sample different places
what a blast driving the Explorer through the long grass faster than I should
sparkly sandals and tight white pants aplenty
relaxed postures not worried about making first impressions
most are comfortable in their own skin by now
love that benefit
this is a relaxed crowd
laughter filtering off wine bottles on wooden tables
it’s a gorgeous night
all night spots should be outdoors
you can look at the stars when you don’t want to look at faces
the band starts blowing
this is going to be thick brass
four horns at a winery
and there goes the music
these folks are jammin’ more than I thought they would
a giant ball bounces into the air
it takes out one of the stage microphones
that’s as rowdy as it gets
these types of cover bands usually play, Brown Eyed Girl
most caramel irises believe the song was written for them
it calls them in droves to the dirt floor dance area
not too many songs pine over brown, it’s usually crystal blue or sea green
but always red lips
the wine does not disappoint
we chuckle something fierce at the wide breadsticks
yes, sometimes we get a little dirty-minded
the indoor bar area has a copper surface
I can’t take my eyes off the gorgeous reflections
we get our wine to go, adult-size plastic for our walk back out
it was a wonderful night
I don’t have a pen but I’m punching phone buttons
all thumbs
so I remember this

winery“Well, things were spinning round me
And all my thoughts were cloudy
And I had begun to doubt all the things that were me
Been in so many places
You know I’ve run so many races
And looked into the empty faces of the people of the night
And something is just not right” –Jim Croce

our dreams

thoughts
let me stop
north and southbound trains
braking at red
or bust headlong
fly off the tracks
no riding the rails for free
I placed a penny there
good luck for my friends
thoughts
never stop writing
never stop reading
never stop wondering
I never do
there are things that break my heart
a train whistle echoing in the empty night
a ship horn crying beneath hazy moonlight
a lone wolf howling across the sleeping forest
Paris, in a dream
words that crack like dry clay
thoughts curving into chance
love poems left unsung
all these things
all our words

makes me wonder
if our dreams
are always fair

Red Wolf

Red Wolf

created last year-thank you

selfie-centered society

“Go back to the healing huts,” yarps an Avatar voice. Not watching, the big son is. Every once in awhile a neat phrase escapes cartoon lips. I hear these animated words while noting black crap on the kitchen floor. The college-bound daughter and gal pals went globetrotting last night in search of charcoal. Much to the chagrin of her perplexed mom who enjoys using charcoal for paper not flesh. Activated charcoal capsules, broken then mixed with Elmer’s glue make a fab face mask. Apparently, it’s a thing. Did you know? Try telling a precocious lass “non-toxic” labels occasionally list half-truths. And don’t put glue on your face, I don’t give a shit if it’s Elmer’s.

The real sticky stuff is in the why’s of putting Cow Stick on the face. Raised in positivity all-around, peppered with lessons in humanity, unfocused on exteriors, try as one might–THEY suck impressionable minds in like the BLOB–these harbingers of “beauty.” This from a woman who was boy-banished during her formative years. These young girls are not unpopular with opposites. Nonetheless, it doesn’t matter. Pretty pressure pushes hard and fast. Worrying about flawless skin, optimal eyebrow shape, plumped lips, over-blown chests and asses…it’s sometimes too much to ‘bare’ in today’s selfie-centered society.

We are fast becoming excessively outside people. Maybe we always were. Narcissism–the ancient Greeks lived it, called it, coined it. We are a brilliant, colorful society reducing ourselves–at all ages–to so much less than who we are. Scott Westerfeld smartly uses his young adult titles to demonstrate. The Uglies live in book one. The Pretties flap inside book two. The Specials or those with wide wallets get special billing can bump to book two if they’re willing to rain money. The Extras don’t make the cut through no fault of their own. Is this anyone’s fault or all of ours.

Looking back to my teens and twenties, I regret getting caught in the very same crap. Wasted too many hours trying to buy the word “pretty.” And feel “special” for that moment.
MM super close upthis is Marilyn, you might not know her;) -created with conté crayon on paper in 1983 to decorate an empty college wall (used talented photographer, Philippe Halsman’s image as ref)-over the years she has graced my garage wall, but I fear she will eventually die again there-she has many thumbtack holes in her corners, smudges and is torn in a few places (you can see a forehead tear in this pic detail)-at some point she is going on ebay (never tried to sell anything this way) -if she doesn’t sell-she will be rolled up and placed in storage or a time capsule, not a charcoal one though;) -oh, there is one other thing about this particular lady-this drawing is 7 feet tall and 3 1/2 feet wide-why I ever did this, I can’t recall…

Westerfeld’s YA series is a tantalizing read-I read quite a bit of YA a few years back while writing YA stories. Mr. Westerfeld’s stories are much more than the titles might have you believe. I used Mr. Westerfeld’s titles in my post above just for the ‘illustrative’ wording – the books are quite different – thank you

Odysseus would have been in serious trouble

Sometimes you just have to digress from yourself when getting too serious about “shit.” Today, I had a flash piece nearly written and planned on “tapping” the pub button later. This morning, a friend’s “quickie” email changed my direction. Over the last few months, I’ve been focusing on a hopeful self-publishing project, worrying about people in my life (many Italian, some elderly, but you won’t get me to say that) and getting a first born off to college.

In this catalyst email, my friend, a few years older and oh, so much wiser asked if I’d intended a “double-entendre” in my blog’s revised subhead: anntogether mashing art, writing and head. In my own “head,” it presented a humorous image. My skull smashing the wall when I–as so many of us do–am at a loss for an idea, completion of a thought or self-approval of a sketch. However, in my friend’s insightful message she mused the word “head” can mean so much more.

And you know, I’d forgotten. A plethora of lovely terms (thank God for the Urban Dictionary…) have additional meanings when painted with fodder color. “Head” is one of these words that had slipped off my risqué “radar.” I’m not sure when this happened as I often attempt to be so damn clever. Experimentally, I bounced my use of the word “head” off my fifteen-year-old son. Upon hearing the subhead, he excitedly exclaimed in his big-bicep teen voice, “Mom, are you  kidding? Change that right now!” Here I thought I was becoming a sophisticated writer in my use of spicy language and suggestive scenarios.

In closing: Odysseus would have been in serious trouble if I had been his mom. You are only as clever as you think your are. There should be listening devices planted in high schools. Employ at least one smart friend on your payroll. Laughing “hard” at yourself is “good medicine.” I am a “fucking” idiot sometimes. I laughed very “hard” this morning and “it felt really good.”

“The End”

“I think women and seamen don’t mix.”–Marge Simpson as she was about to board a ship to Skull Island

baby mask

I was thinking a baby mask hanging over fire might work here:)-created last year using pencil, marker and “head”;)-thank you for indulging me

friends from another side

Dearest Friend,

I have not forgotten you
have you forgotten me
it’s hard
keeping up with it all
isn’t it
you know what days and nights play at
life, now she can be a bitch
just as she can be a lover
whatever her mood
I embrace her
as I do thoughts of you
while in her arms
wishing like hell, they were yours

Voodoo Yellow Man/mixed media

and here is my original pal, hatched a few years back prior to earth tone clothes shopping

waiting to become fearless

I am not a fearless artist
I am not a fearless writer
I am not a fearless poet
I am not a fearless mother

I am a fearless friend
until you break my heart

and then

I must wait

to become fearless again
pukwidgiethis little guy was first created in purples back in 2007, since then we’ve become great pals and this past year we went clothes shopping;)

I was thinking this morning about how often I doubt my work and how important it is to be friends with yourself
so you can keep creating forward…thank you

so sorry, forgot it’s International Happy Day

My friends,
Please accept my humble apologies (typing this while broadly smiling ;)). This morning, I did not realize it is the International Day of Happiness. I’m sorry if this morning’s post made you blue. So presented here for your viewing pleasure, a goofy smiling fella.
am:)
fulcrum

i

I keep asking myself
who i is
why is my i so important
just a letter
a blip of time
every letter has a small space
to accumulate crap
then let it go
I want to leave something
for my kids
I want to make something
for my soul
while there is a head attached
confused
you bet
i hope I’m in good company

Erté homage

Erté homage

Though I’m quite Italian, I wish all who celebrate a Happy Saint Pat’s!