In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"


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I am

I am. 

Soh hahm.

Not affirmation.

Confirmation.

Truth.

I shed my skin slowly.

Infinitely slow.

But I discard it nevertheless.

For it serves no longer any purpose.

I change my clothes.

And no one sees me new.

Yet I emerge from the dressing door clothed.

Different shoes than when I went in.

Eternal womb.

Pixabay: butterfly


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Coffee Trees


“I wanted to grow into a tree when I was five because the trees around my house looked like they all had arms that reached to the sky or really high places like rooftops, and my arms were so short I could not even reach the counter to steal back contraband my mom confiscated: cookies, silly putty my brother and I fought over, and fake clip-on earrings snuck from my mother’s jewelry box.”

I stare at her perfectly halved hard boiled egg chin as she speaks, mesmerized by its perfect oval shape.

“The Wizard of Oz kinds of trees all bramble and sparsely leafed. Not because they moved or were threatening but because they looked like outstretched arms. I wanted arms to heaven.”

I laugh. “Sounds like you’re going to break into song or start a book Elizabeth Gilbert might write. You know transformation…arms to the heavens…that sort of thing.”

“No, I’m serious,” she counters. “I wanted to grow up to be a tree, a coffee tree. That’s what they were in my mind, for some strange reason. I have no idea what a coffee tree is, but that’s what they were. And for the longest time I could not shake that dream, had literal dreams of being a tree like some Greek goddess. Who was it, Diana? No, Daphne, escaping Apollo, only I wasn’t running from anyone into tree hood. It felt natural, like I would evolve organically into a tree, starting with my fingertips elongating into thin spikes with wispy leaves drooping from the tiniest reaches of the branches that my arms would become. I could almost feel it then…even now, a little. I can summon up that feeling.”

“How curious, specific and lovely,” I silently acknowledged. “I wish I had imagined that as a five year old. But I was too busy wondering if God could wipe out nightmares for me or if I could somehow fly without wings or nun’s habits like the flying nun did.”

 
Credit: fineartandyou.com


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Level and Plumb

  

When the leaves blow

and coffee spills, cup atilt,

slosh goggle floored, splayed 

legs out wide like a downed 

ballerina, stunningly embarrassed, 

pictures hang askew, traffic piles

up, coincidental clash meetings

arise, and all goes awry, topsy

spinning turvy, electrified.
 

But if you plant your feet firmly,

tilt your head just so, right the

angle (forget the level and the 

plumb), bend to slanting, twist 

around dead center, steady and

strong, new perspective threatens

comfort yet tickles a notion clear–

if you let the turning in–

that all you held confirmed,

earth bound solid, statically 

removed, churns, burns and grinds

a new plateau, status quo evenly

spread, awaiting dissipation and 

drip-lye transformation. 

Change. 


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David Bowie

No doubt music marks our days, sometimes quick phases, oftentimes longer, a decade or a lifetime. Bowie marks a near lifetime for me. Not too many artists have kept me listening as I pass through the decades with morphing styles and tastes befitting the ages, mine and the world’s.

I first heard Bowie in late 75, Ziggy Stardust most prominently but all of his early albums. I remember his young scratchy nasal voice (“Oh cacti find a home…”) that blossomed into that deep sonorous sometimes bass trilled at the edges full of flair and drama. My sister adored him and played his albums continuously in the basement room we shared back in Long Island. And when she slipped off the edge a bit, Bowie seeped into her paranoid delusions. She saw prophecy in him. Even in her mania, she appeared to capture the essence of him–enigmatic and forging.

We saw him, my sister and I, in the late 70’s, maybe early 80’s, if my poor memory serves me (and it rarely does), at the Forum in LA during the Low tour (or maybe the early 80’s Serious Moonlight tour–or both). He had already abandoned Ziggy and the thin white duke by then. I remember feeling nostalgic every year or two when he changed his style yet again, transformed into someone else, some other alien, sliding into the latest (industrial/Eno influenced) or setting the trend himself (Ziggy).

Some might characterize him as a chameleon or a dragon of sorts with his commanding fire burning everyone and everything up in frenzied delight or disintegrated fury if you read the stories of his professional and personal life, a long list of gone-throughs. But there is no doubt that the music world has been much influenced like a meteor scar on the earth, the crater of his prolific creative output over several media–music, art, film, drama–ever communing with the stars he brought our eyes to time and again.

Up to his probable scripted death by the seemingly indomitable cancer yesterday, he was in charge. He made the trends, first had us look gender fluidity in the eyes on such a grand scale. And glam rock, I believe, would not have come to the fore with its serious spark without him (okay Queen was pretty cool too).

Of course I am no music historian nor critic, just a listener, appreciator and star gazer. But as a fan, I know I will sorely miss the years’ passings without a Bowie change-up around the corner (just when you think he’s resting comfortably…). He seems to have synchronized my days, kept me abreast of the new, the old-new, the new-new and the new-old. But just as I said it as I watched his Lazarus video from his just-released BlackStar, “amazing”, as I’ve exclaimed it so many times before when he sent chills down my spine with some profound lyric, performance and/or song.

Peace, bro. I will miss the latest and greatest you sorely.