A Conversation

“When are you getting your Christmas bonus?”

“This week, like I told you.”

“Do you know which day this week?”

“Can you give me break?!! I’m sick and you’re pressuring me for money!”

“I asked a reasonable question. You need to get a grip. Just say you don’t know if you don’t.”

Dialogues go like this sometimes in long-term relationships. And it is hard to imagine that the speakers still love each other. “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate,” Strother Martin says in Cool Hand Luke.

Lurking behind this simple conversation lies fear, frustration and comfort. The backstory is the whole story because the front story makes little sense. One world colliding with another, each orbiting a separate sun. 

HE awoke sick at a time far too stressful to be sick, the holidays. And SHE asked a simple question at the wrong time, when HE was off to work feeling like shit. SHE asks, unsuspecting of the pending attack awaiting a target, for what gives him a great deal of stress and frustration: not enough money earned from working a demanding job HE detests when so sick. 

Her voice–after so many, many years–triggers both irritation and security, a safety net landing when all of the rest of it, everything else dissatisfies, falls down or short. SHE provides both acceptance and provocation. HE depends on her loving him warts and all. And so HE abuses with abandon with cutting words never sliced into another human being. And SHE abides, knowing that tests far greater than this one have passed, their history too deep. Until SHE turns tables on him.


The Pain of Acrobatic (Non) Reason


I want to help her. She needs me. Burrowing in a hole will not make the world disappear, the majority of it anyhow, exclusive of a select few pieces to which she clings dearly, obsessively, as if these things–broken pieces of jewelry, ash, cookie boxes and wood shavings–were life itself.

She makes me love in a circle: the start lost in the end of caring, hurting and discarding. I give up and then cannot let her go. But she must be severed. She demands it, not so much in words as in self-destruction, persistent non-choices that astound anyone with a will to live. Slow suicide.

And yet, instincts hard as granite kick in, mindless protection that deny her death. The inversions and subterfuge she contorts herself to, no yogi or circus acrobat of the soul could compete.

The darkness under the bridge comforts her, dims the white light of panic, the incessant static of electrified fear. Those who love her may only bear witness, cannot be the net to her fall. She of scissor mind makes it impossible.

And yet, she is my very own hunger artist, living on trapezes, flying from dumpster to dumpster’s refuse treasure. She refuses a hand. She believes she has her own, enough for her. But her hands shake and hold nothing but fairy tales of embroidered delusion.

And though she drives me to pound my head on the wall to relieve the pain of reason, the crisis of choice and chaos and cold winter nights, I love her still.


credit: mentalfloss.com

Wet Thoughts


And so I sit before you, father-mother missing moon sheltered from the rain above the clouds, intuiting the vacant stare observant.

Though core-less we two, you cold, me warm, a higher vantage point edges your sight supreme at such a remove.

Like you, I borrowed neighboring light lent unwittingly, beneficial excess of the mindlessly ebullient glow of splashing smiles.

Sprayed sunshine at the concert last night in a stranger eye-lock and motionless high five link, praise to musical gods enchanting.

Leaked light of courtesy in rote rhythm of seasonal cheer upon all us retailers and commerce night keepers: “Happy holidays!”

And idle conversation in endless express lines as I count the water meat drops in frosty plastic packages while checkers chat up customers.

Reflect now, we two lunatic hollow grims of burnt out starry stories–so many–whirring past like molten lead dripping burnt passion burst.

For we watch the rain the same, you above, me below, cool companions invisible neon in the night, filtering nothing, just bouncing rays.



Funereal Funk for a Friend


And the farewell letter went something like this:

I started the day with an affirmation, a term resoundingly kitsch in an age of everything packaged for the spiritualist or recovering something or other in all of us. I could call it an intention, a wish or a note to self to suit my more cynical needs. I will not call it a resolution. First, it is too early for resolutions, the new year still a couple of weeks away, and second, I am not waiting two weeks to act. I have already decided in whole or in part this goal in action.

Soon I will disappear. My aim for today and tomorrow until fully accomplished, is to become invisible. The process started a couple of years ago when I toppled from the pinnacle of respectability only to land flat on my ass on the untouchables’ cement floor of society’s seething underclass. Thereafter, they started slowly, one by one by two and more, to forget me, the people who wanted to be near me before the fall, those self-proclaimed humanists. Turns out selective humanists crave less unsavory humans.

It only took a bit of ignoring and then some looking away for me to begin to disappear. From there, my reflex to shun the shunners lightened my shades of skin, hair, bone and eyes even more. But then the nose grind to recovery, the working endless hours with my head bent over my body, over my computer, over myself, kept me from seeing the rest of them, the strangers and people never met in person nor online, the unfriending and closing up shop, prevented me from knowing anyone existed but my inner circle.

And finally, to date, my love affair with those discreet few who have refused my refusal, love me despite the growing imperfections wrinkling with age–like me–and worn for use and abuse, as well as my continued affair with the word, a lifetime infatuation, the one true love that has never waned, never left and never judged, has nearly obliterated my presence among the living. Seclusion, surrendered suction into the recesses of imagination and thought, a comfortable den, affirms by the ease with which I slip ever more into that n’other world that I will one day be invisible. And I am glad. So I affirm to continue as I am, ever strengthening inside my own germinating vine climbing the walled off society I peer at occasionally from over the ledge.



Gemini’s bloom, neither starry aster nor royal poinsettia

seasons too late for the rose of summer skies.

One dies brightly, late fall’s supernova, while another paints icy lips ruby.

Your velvet blush pairs story-eyed girls with breathless boys re-enacting everlasting joy;

unrevealed how your Bristly Roseslug Cladius difformis and red spider mite underside,

 laced and aching,   

cache closes the thin divine like children threading hearts to paper clips in kinder class.

Honored sister, pour your swooning sorrow into my hands and let your brave face die.

No man, beast or garden silk delivered so much to so many for so long. 

Release the weight of your beatific crown, heavy with curved care, and sink.

Another June will call your name in vein-flow some day soon.

credit: flikr.com

Sleep Per Chance: a Tuesday Thought

Watching you sleep, I see defenselessness, frozen worry pocketed momentarily, far from the muscles in your face that folds into the linen encased pillow. Your eyes roam the darkness inside you. When you awaken, you’ll reach for me, close me into your warmth, your body heat rising as you battle weariness in slumber’s imaginarium fraught with curiosity and care.
Easy. Sleep devours some while teases others, a little here and there, never on command. Always an uneasy relationship with sleep, I could write a book on the cruelty and charity of insomnia. After all, some mysteries solve under the light of the moon where the sun smashes them to smithereens, overexposed and heated.
“Mommy, what happens when you sleep?” The same kind of question like “How does your eye work?” that left me stumbling when my daughter, then 6, asked me. I did not know what the question meant or how to answer something so ordinary, so taken for granted and so available in the age of the internet. But how to explain it so she would understand was the mystifying assault on my usual ready to inform mode.
What happens to anyone in sleep–that great world divider between hope and despair? Death. Death to the waking world, the one we make sense of daily, and birth to the enigmatic world of weirdness and worry. Dream-works piqued wonder to others way before Freud. Prophecies preistesses told by dreams as hypnotic spells. And sleep, so much more than eye rolls, rapid eye movement and rest, reveals time’s illusion. Though the clock handles spin unceasingly while we play dead for so many hours, we have no recollection of its passage and do not experience it as we do awake time. The numbers do not lie, only our consciousness creates bent experiential time.
We travel in sleep, we fly, we problem solve and hit all kinds of brain receptors ranging from the pleasurable to the terrifying. As if the horrors of daily grinds, near missed vital truths and fatal accidents, deep abiding love attained and lost, rational solutions and indecipherable chaos, cannot affirm living human sufficiently. We need another look, another more creative, spatial-emotive glance at life’s curious condition to assure ourselves that it is better to live than die: God’s inserted micro chip in each of us. Otherwise, who would be there to entertain IT so thoroughly? Not all the others swaddled in space, far more advanced yet far less amusing than we.
credit: flickr.com

Sex Pots and Sex Bots

“The number of sexual acts and lovemaking positions commonly practised between humans will be extended, as robots teach us more than is in all of the world’s published sex manuals combined.”

Sexbots, teledildonics, cybersatisfaction…the time has come for customized cyborg sex, something I once dreamed right here on this blog in “Dream of a Mistress Sex Cyborg,” according to an article in the Guardian today entitled, “Sex, Love, and Robots: Is this the end of intimacy?” Sex toys on steroids, it seems, Realldoll team, makers of sex dolls, is on the verge of  producing sex bots, programmable to be responsive to the user’s whims, apparently, and more life like than…well, life, more accommodating, I would think.

The writer of the Guardian article, Eva Wiseman, does a bang up job of pulling in all the strands of the theme, interviewing the key parties, such as David Levy, author of Love and Sex with Robots, with whom she dances around the obvious ethical concerns about replacing the human, addiction and, of course, pedaphilia. Levy is a bit cavalier with his response about pedophiles, in particular: better acting out with a bot than on a child. He also doffs off the intimacy drain or addiction by alluding to vibrator use now. Levy is not the first to ponder the extent of the post-humanist possibilities. Biologist and academic Donna Haraway in her Cyborg Manifesto did so before him and many others, academics and popularists alike.

Just a couple of weeks ago, in a class discussion of Roe v. Wade and the future of abortion in America, I noted the Supreme Court’s critical consideration of a fetus’ viability (survival outside a womb) at some point after 3 months at which time the weighing of a state’s interests in health of the mother and potential beings against the mother’s right to privacy shifts away from the mother. I mentioned not only the medico-technological developments since that 1973 case that have pushed back viability to 3 months or earlier, but also the possibility of synthetic wombs, baby generator/gestators, like test tubes for conception, and how such a cyborg or mechanical device would change the abortion debate.

The practicality of a mechanical womb would alleviate much of the discomfort in the Roe decision, such as the inability to define a fetus as a person at law (though corporations are persons now) and the state’s intrusion into the private health care decisions a woman makes with her physician. Neat idea, which may even exist or be in the works. Then again, I’m still stoked about the remote control vibrator.

Dali’s Weirdness

dali milk

Shit Dali’s pulled like “Fountain of Milk Spreading Itself Uselessly on Three Shoes” causes me to question this surrealist’s proclaimed self-realized insanity. This one appears wacky for wacky’s sake, something like capitalizing on shock value for mere attention-getting.

So, the viewer is assaulted with not so subtle symbols: a voluptuous lactating nude on a pedestal while an emaciated man, contorted, almost seductively gazes on her while nearly disappearing into the barren landscape (but only where they strike this symbolic pose). Beyond this enclave of irony, there appears an apparent thriving village.

Of course the discordant nourishment of sprayed milk useless to the malnourished land it presumably moistens before the starving man suggests the irony of keeping “man” needs–woman, fertility, amplitude, sexuality–at a distance, out of reach, in virtuous unattainable desire, on a pedestal.

Even if the three shoes of the title presented themselves to the canvas (the missing recipients of the outpouring), that too would be as useless and incomprehensible as the spilled milk in the face of hunger. The absence of the shoes, two of them at least if that rock-looking thing is a shoe, emphasizes the disconnection and inanity. Spilled milk a’plenty to produce nothing, all for naught, and all so sterile.

Somehow the critique is not so much feminist as more generally an undifferentiated angst over the nonsense of the world resounding, I suspect. Although, I did read somewhere that the painting suggests the ongoing absence of recognized female surreal painters in the art world. Merely an ordinary art admirer with limited art or art history background, I do not really know. My shallow impression is all I offer.

What I do know is the painting gives pause, one canvas not likely to be bypassed with a quick look and assenting nod (think Chevy Chase hurriedly acknowledging the Grand Canyon in the movie Vacation) before moving on to the next frame hanging on the museum wall. For most, the intellect will be piqued before the aesthetic appreciation, like I know there’s something to this painting, some statement, only I am not sure. There could also be nothing. That’s the weirdness that is Dali.

(Thanks, Frank, for the inspiration).





Curbside Patties

Where wander childhood sensations abandoned at the adult door?

Where hides the hood in childhood–buried where, by whom?

Who animates ghost crumb trails lost to fingers of leafy time

casts art’s poetry, memoir or history’s smokey sincerity.

But the curiously cured shank of hooded time stored in dark canals,

in brain crevices seeping imagery flattened and folded fit for life,

ages salty sweet in half notions nestled inside enormous desire,

full fledged and bloated with expectation un-dampened:

A six-year old, hair a twiggy tangle, growing to the wind, sitting

curbside, forming perfect patties from the meaty pliant mud,

shapes the real from earth and imagination aligned just so,

when nature taught her no bounds to science, only hands.