Happy Birthday to my beautiful mother, 81 years young today
alone with people
lonely inside himself
it’s different today
there are those who are complete
with Barbie accessories
used to be days-of-the-week underwear
she’s dating herself
how fun it was back then to misplace Friday
nothing humorous about G-strings
unless you count the wedge itch
you can’t scratch in public
that’s the problem with this new crop of lovers
no sense of humor
‘cleverness’ is their wheelhouse
those pouting cell phone faces
hair calculatingly tousled
upper and lower bulges endlessly optimized
in faux snake scale
elegant mystery lost on past illusions
he covets one
a sense of humor
present when he’s not trying to be so hard
prancing around boldness
except on the dance floor
’80’s disco gloriously simplistic
they are alike
they are alone
in a world beset by shiny upstarts
they summon old-school dreams
and pray these fading thoughts will keep them company
when they are alone
slithered out of my head last night-thank you
I don’t ever know what I mean
I don’t ever mean what I say
does that help
if you know me
I miss knowing
not knowing what it was
I never knew
I hope you’re following
me right now
or is this too
this not knowing
makes me a bit blue
not stockings around the neck blue
just sad, quite sad
knowing you’re out there
makes things better in here
that’s what the hatted Jurassic Park hunter utters
before velociraptors enjoy their steak tartar
I’m tired of searching
I’m tired of marching forward
time does not play fair
can you follow this
I speak in tongues
no one can know
not even me
or are you as confused
as I am
’tis Fried Day and the brain has not escaped the frying pan fire this week – happy weekend – thank you
she likes curves as much as the next guy
your supple lips create a secret shadow
she dreams of hiding in
those amazing shoulders of yours
burst into perfect half-moons
she adores the curve of your back
how your lats run down into a sinewy v
on your well-formed biceps
she imagines suns rising and setting
on those glutes
ah, yes those magnificent rounded caps
leading to the sweeping arcs of your sculpted tendons
she visualizes your body thrusting into forward motion
with all those powerful curves
yes, my friends
the ladies like curves too
this fellow sketched last year at a wrestling match
You young ones lost down deep in the complexity of meaning, mired in eternal dark know this much, mind survival is a choice. Blackness is warranted due to the egregious and often unpredictable and intangible idea of “satisfaction.” Happiness is more difficult to achieve than faith which takes a lot of singing. We–the elder who’ve been at this shit a bit longer harbor insecurities too. We’re no different. Your words were our utterances decades ago before additional years laid claim over our judgement. Long term attachments to our thoughts and deeds stretched and there was definitely some snapping.
Life as a noun is what we all are granted for however long it is ours to have. There is no fairness in this gambler’s roll. We–all of us–planet props. She decides when to pull the curtains and poll the audience. Cut roses might land at our polished toes for a short while but our ashes will blow like everyone else’s in the end.
Life as a verb is where things get interesting. We may fuck up our own lives. We may fuck up other lives. We may “fuck” (that’s not really very nice-insert “make love” if it fits) and make more lives. It’s all off-the-cuff as none of us know what we’re doing. It’s guesswork mixed with feasible traditions, doable effort and the ability to look or sound convincing. Some of us jump from planes, some rule cleaning supply closets while others drive cars. There are people who kiss and hold hands. There are those who laugh at flesh. Build sandboxes or pyramids. Walk on water or fly on drugs. These lists are endless when life is a verb.
While in the active form–you are more than a prop. Call yourself a writer, a student, a lost soul, an accountant or weather reporter–whatever role that satisfies. If you take this action and pull down blackout curtains you shorten the showtime. If “life” meaning has eluded you or you don’t see the sincerity you believe should be available, perhaps you need to practice a bit longer. Maybe try a different accent. Stand a bit taller or crawl.
The distance between life and death is but a few feet down. The difference between love and hate is measured on the same surface. The reason for your life is closer to you than anything else.
call it comets or divine intervention or whatever term you’d like to ascribe–”life” rolled them off the craps table
dinos created using Adobe Illustrator about 20 years ago-that pains me to say;)
sorry for the cussing in this one
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.”
“I think women and seamen don’t mix.”–Marge Simpson as she was about to board a ship to Skull Island
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
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
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.”
if it’s a winged effigy you want
a dirge from beneath the dirt
who tried to be someone
she died attempting to leap
through Saturn’s hoops
but the man in the moon
was not the gentleman he was purported to be
that guy plays a tripping low lit thief
stealing each day a bit more
whenever the sun grows tired
placed with tearful lips
(you know how she feels about flowers)
odiferous funeral parlors
thorny squatters on her cold headstone
with the audacity to die on the already dead
blood crimson of their selected petals
slapping her corpse with hues no longer pumping
she is most certainly a shade of soft blue by now
like the daytime sky
even at night
if she had lived her life
as a someone
her body would have been preserved
and all this could have been avoided
bye, bye blackbird