the soft spot

photo of my beautiful mom with my kiddies many moons ago…

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leave it to a cartoon pig

trying to get at something
I can’t quite reach from the ground
there is no sleeping in slumber
no resting for the restless
hurriedly living to stamp personal honors on crowded individuality
some methodically hiding to avoid the same
embracing or effacing, the certain weightlessness of our heavy conclusion
this finite fact of our infinite fiction
depending on where the cord has been cut
a lifeline, a noose, a kite string
we enter
we exit

“…that’s all folks”
(leave it to a cartoon pig to shame us into reality)

Peppermint Pigs

Peppermint Pigs

 

private island

on the small island where you try laying claim
breathing transports the flesh to and from the coast
you journey without compass of starlight
high spirited purpose often billowing canvas
effortlessly forward across wilding seas
spinning as she does
paths disappear in your wake
water eventually erodes the edges 
no sanctuary exists for you in these pounding crests
settling upon an abandoned shell
placing it to your wrinkled lobe
you close your eyes, inhaling the ocean

 once more seeking out the peace of those crashing island waves
first ocean

jeremiad

it’s unsettled, this thing in our chest
delicate as the velvet underside of lamb’s ear
bellwether of change
preparing to die
in the dark
in the cold
as winter shoves her fingers down its sleepy throat
dormant into the dirt
winter steals beyond the plant
she will claim our hearts with frigid hands 

I am sorry I have no answers
experienced in living
neophyte in death
parse these words gently
it’s unsettled this thing in our chest
delicate as the velvet underside of lamb’s ear

I do apologize for this lamentation
this jeremiad from dust
to dust

oatmeal walls

oatmeal walls

sketched last year-no one died for the writing of this piece-all is well

to flourish and decide and dream

Max frown/acrylic

Max/acrylic

sixteen today
time, is his friend
an entire life
to flourish and decide and dream
he was born
with an old soul
warm and caring
those eyes of his
speak in softness
two more years
then he will fly
all that resides in him
all that is good
all that is still mystery
for now
he’s thinking pediatrician
a tender spot for babies
cares about children
while looking in the mirror
trying to see the man
he will one day become
max copy
Max portrait painted about twelve years ago
15-years-old in detail photo above (at his sister’s 2016 high school graduation)

well red or where to find her secret

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.

Angel Cone

art created last year for another post

pooling around with Millie

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.

Mermaid Girl

Mermaid Girl

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:)

songs of silences

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

dead
before
winter’s white bone chanced a kill
stuffed down bright 
spring’s dark bosom

stalks cradled
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

delicate melodies
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
warblerI 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

of something more

this has to be something more than the dish
serving the meat my mother so tenderly cooked for us
after being on her feet all day
something more than my dad telling us his ice truck story
and how he began work at seven when he believed Staten Island was Italy
this has to be something more than my daughter
not yet realizing just how beautiful she is
or my son who embodies the compassion of a soul lived
much older than his fifteen years
or a husband who supports my artistic demons
this has to be something more than collecting these memories
like paperclips in a box and storing them
this has to be something more than an appreciation
of life
this has to be love and living each moment
of that expression

Max and Caroline

Max and Caroline

I hope you all had a wondrous weekend

how to stop missing you

How to stop missing you
I’ve no idea
Don’t want to keep thinking
how much
We are here
then we’re not
The concept makes complete sense
practical really
My head wraps around the saneness
of the notion
Not enough room for everyone
Sustainability is not possible
Resources will crumble

We must be but a bit of space
a snippet of time
It’s universal law
It’s worldly wisdom
And all that shit
Logical
Practical formality
We are here
then we’re not
That’s all there is to it
Seize the moment
Grip your lover
Hug your child

How to stop missing you
I’ve no idea

I am here
but
you are not
for all its logic
I cannot stop crying

Dancing Flames

Dancing Flames

dancing flames published before, fire for cold is warm for life