you were everything
I didn't like
(but then I got this crazy idea...that maybe I could learn to like you).
so I decided to ask you on a date.
(it was a crazy, stupid idea...but now I might be falling in love with you).
I stand upon a glass-topped lake
obscured by grayscale fog
as February's sun awakes
to usher in the dawn.
A fissure snaps my crystal view-
streaks white across the ink-
then branches outward, lines askew,
unsound; I'm on the brink.
Green Mountains' muffled sighs seep in
and penetrate my shroud
as feeble rays dilute the dinge
to warm up snowy grounds.
A fissure snaps my crystal view-
streaks white across the ink-
then branches outward, lines askew,
unsound; I'm on the brink.
Suspended fleetingly in space
between the void and home,
I must decide to sink or face
these flaws to reach the stones.
I fondly bid the cracks adieu,
retreating from the brink,
as icy water froths and spews
between the deadly chinks.
Adieu, foul brink...
and deadly chinks.
People are scared of the unknown.
They fear what they do not understand and what they cannot control.
A problem is that control,
doesn’t really exist,
is a construct,
of our minds.
Can we not,
choose what we are,
and are not,
Would we choose
Does fearless mean
Might it mean
How do we make the ends meet,
of fear and control,
of power and responsibility,
of responsibility and anxiety,
of comfort and pleasure,
The moon grows larger for its lunar phases by eating clouds.
It shrinks by farting them back out.
The sun sleeps in the ocean every night,
When it is pulled down by tiny people of the ocean
By their ropes and anchors.
It sizzles to rest.
Or Was It?
I tore my hair in clumps leaving raw skin and drops of blood which began
to course down my worry-creased forehead in a stream of wetness. I was tortured by visions of Patsy Cline’s song “Crazy” in which she laments being left for someone new and being crazy for crying. I had been wailing for so long and so many hours that my face looked like a balloon twisted in a caricature of what I vaguely remembered. I was amazed that I was still in one piece because I felt utterly unglued but at the same time, I felt as if I were in a straightjacket crushing my innards. Why oh why did he leave me? I had always been there for him – soothing his brow, listening to his problems, romping in bed with him for hours, lending him money – the list goes on.
His new girlfriend was plump and simpering and had a brain of mush. She must have given him something that I could not, I reasoned when I was being coherent, which was not often the last few days. I felt like a psycho, consumed by my feelings of lost passion and bereft at his lack of honesty. I knew that I had to get hold of myself before I went down the path of dementia into an abyss I couldn’t escape. Deranged, crazed, bonkers, unzipped - was this who I was becoming?
When I stopped my sobbing for a breath of air, I realized that this was not who I was. It would be more positive to channel my unbalanced persona in a different direction. It was payback time! He was picking up the rest of his clothes and his mattress next week. I forced a smile when I remembered how narcissistic he was about his expensive collection of designer shoes. I began to skip in rising glee toward the closet, gathering his shoes and carrying them into the kitchen. I just had the craziest idea!
I laughed wickedly, as I opened the cans of tuna fish, draining the juice into a large bowl. (I’d save the tuna to eat later) Opening the cupboard, I saw the pastry brush which was an enormous part of my plan. I dipped the brush into the tuna juice and basted the insoles of his shoes copiously with generous amounts of the liquid. I was on a roll! Why stop here? I went into the bedroom that we once had shared and split the seams slightly on the underside of the mattress. I drizzled the remainder of the tuna fish juice into the cottony insides and sewed the opening shut. My endeavors had plenty of time to ripen before he arrived.
Next week came and I could see that he was shocked to see how happy I looked. He had so thoroughly torn me apart that he couldn’t believe that I would ever heal. But I was feeling wonderful, knowing what was in store for him. He didn’t notice the smell which was beginning to intensify. He gathered his clothes and dragged his mattress to his car to take back to his new apartment and his new lover.
A month later, I received a distressed call from my ex. The new flavor of the month had left him and he wanted me back. He lamented, “She said she couldn’t stand the smell of my feet and the stench of me on the mattress. She kept buying me soap, deodorants and detergents but she claimed it didn’t work. You don’t think I have a foul odor, do you?
“I think you stink in many ways,” I answered with a smug smile on my face, “and I will never allow your foulness in my life again.”
Revenge was sweet as I savored the outcome of my crazy idea. Or was it?
Solar Hydro Pow’r
Tristan: (sighs) Not again.
Gail: What’s wrong?
Tristan: I forgot to fill up on gas early in the morning.
Gail: That’s okay.
Gail: I have an idea that will change the way your car functions.
Tristan: (chuckles) Okay.
Gail: I call it the solar~hydro mechanism.
Tristan: How does it work?
Gail: The main point for this mechanism is to power your car using a solar panel, and also have an alternate power source using a component that will help produce hydro-electric power.
Tristan: Hmm. That sounds like a great idea.
Gail: Well, I just have to use your car to make some modifications.
Tristan: Uh, nope. Now that’s not a good idea.
Gail: (smiles) Please. I promise not to make too many alterations.
Tristan: (shakes his head) The things I do for love.
Gail: If it doesn’t work today, then I’ll try again tomorrow.
Tristan: (smiles) Why can’t you use your car?
Gail: Er, I would....but it’s at the auto repair shop right now. It needed some work done and re~modeling.
Tristan: Let me guess...your car is going to have the solar~hydro parts put into it.
Gail: (nods her head) Yeah.
Tristan: (folds his arms) Well, I hope it works. It might be something that Elon Musk would want to invest in.
JEAN of PARK
Yes, as a teenager in the year 1429 Joan of Arc did divinely lead an Army of French grown men to an extraordinary victory in the Hundred Years’ War. But I wonder, if there was no battle to fight, or if she had been born in another century, would we know of her name?
History meant as much to me when I was a teenager as the calculus I never studied. Insignificant a name as it may be, my sister, Jean of Park, in my eyes was every bit as courageous, strong, intelligent, and creative as Joan of Arc. Given the opportunity, I surmise she too could have led an army of French men to victory.
Perhaps you have heard the story of a mother that lifted a 4000 pound car up off the road to save her child; no doubt child’s play for my sister. I can imagine Mt. Everest in all its glory and the first woman about to climb it. My sister would not just climb it, she would move it for an optimal view, and when she was done she would leave it to settle, walking away buffing breathe on her fingernails, wiping them on her shirt sleeve announcing, “That was easy!”
My sister took me places without ever leaving our beds. We went to France, we went to Disney World, we traveled with Santa, and we rode wild horses bare back into the sunset. She was my fearless leader; I was her faithful protege and our bond was as tight as two woven French braids on the same head.
“What happens next?” I would ask.
And she would answer, “Follow me.” And I always did, and so it was meant to be on one momentous Park Fireman’s Day.
In Park, we liked to honor our firemen, and our firemen liked to party like they went to Rome and did it like the Romans. Fireman’s Day would always kick off at 9am on the first Saturday in August with a fanfare parade through Main Street, and would not end till the whole town dropped like hibernating big brown bats 36 hours later on Sunday night. Kids of all ages were invited from 9 months to 90 and although alcohol was a main ingredient, it never seemed to spoil the broth. Kegs were primed, fireworks readied and tubas and trumpets prepped to be blared non stop while hot dog vendors and Good Humor men anticipated lining their pockets.
At 15, two years my senior, Jean of Park had decided she and I were now old enough to last the whole 36 hours. One problem. Our mother begged to differ. Our mother would be one of the few in town not to participate in Park fun, as it seemed happiness and fun were words she kept in her closet unworn.The previous year when we asked if we could stay late, she squashed our desire with a stomp of her ornery left foot. “NO!”
Jean of Park would occasionally call me a baby, or Miss Goodie Two Shoes. Not often, but the night before this particular Fireman’s Day she did when I told her I had asked our mother if we could stay out all night with the big kids.
“Mommy said we can’t stay out past dark this year again, period end of sentence.”
“Why did you ask her permission baby baby stick your head in gravy? Dont worry about it. It doesn’t matter. We are going to stay out all night. Period end of sentence. I’ll come up with a plan.”
Was I worried? No. I was not worried. Jean of Park did the worrying for the both of us.
It wasn’t until late in the day after the festivities were in full swing that I was informed of the plan. J O P took me behind the huge maple at the edge of the town square to give me my orders. It was hard to hear her over the oompah-pah’s nearby, but I grasped the plan and memorized it A-stat.
“Here’s what we are going to do. We will go home before dark, just like Mommy told us to do. We will say good night to her and march right up to bed. You know she is always passed out cold by 9:30. At 9:31 stuff your bed with one of the old comforters in your closet. And then put your Thumbelina doll on your pillow with just the head sticking out.”
I raised my hand above my head as if I was in school with a query. “I see where you are going with this, but are you forgetting something? How are we going to get back out? You know she always deadbolts the door from the inside and keeps the key in her room.”
“Haven’t I told you numerous times to let me finish explaining before you interrupt me? I’ve got it all figured out. Listen up. We are going to climb out the window.”
“But the alarm?”
“There you go again Baby Buttinsky. The alarm is only wired on the downstairs windows.”
“Yeah….and so does that mean we are risking our lives by jumping out of a second story window?”
“Don’t be a jerk. Trust me. Your window connects to the den and the roof up there is flat. I’ll scoot out first, by using a sheet to lower myself and all you have to do is jump. I’ll catch you. We’ll be fine. Got it?”
“Got it.” If J O P said jump, I said how high. In this case, it was how low. In the grand scheme, just semantics.
It might have looked more than crazy if a neighbor looked out their window at 9:32 when I dropped from the roof, but they were all uptown a sheet or two to the wind as my sister effortlessly caught me right after she expediently tossed the get away sheet securely under the Rhododendron.
When we were running back up town full speed ahead, gleefully perspiring, J O P said, ”Giddyup” once or twice and I heard the thunder of the hooves beneath us pounding the pavement. Without a doubt we had the best night of our lives, with clean noses, if the penalty of disobedience was left out of the equation.
About 6:30 am the next morning, I was so tired but having way too much fun to ask my sister how and when we planned to go home. Besides, the plan was not my concern, at least it wasn't until we got caught red handed. As we were diagonally crossing Main with a clustered group of our friends, approaching slowly, like a patrol car was my mother’s 66 Dodge Dart. Of course I was the first one spotted. My sister did a quick Hudini disappearance act by diving behind a bank of garbage cans and then stealthily ran from the scene of the crime.
For an hour while my mother chastised me, she refused to give up circling every surrounding street in the neighborhood until my sister, exhausted, finally surrendered, only because she knew she had to sleep somewhere and she figured it might as well be her own bed.
We were grounded for a month but we didn’t care. While we were in captivity we would just travel to some new exotic place we could see from our beds and laugh conspiratorially about the look we didn’t get to see on our mother’s face when she tried to wake up our dolls.
It could have been worse. At least we weren’t burned at the stake.
the craziest idea
i treat myself nicely
i let my hair grow
i buy myself flowers
i breathe through my nose
i smile with the stars
i dance all alone
i never shed a tear
i never leave home
stuff i’ve definitely recently asked my boyfriend
what if we fell in love?
is that a crazy idea?
I already look at you like you are a planet
and I am your moon.
you give me light and I give you admiration
in this vast sky we navigate by happenstance.
what if we took a trip?
tomorrow? are you free?
no? how about next week?
it'll take hours to get there. I'll show you around.
we can drink wine by the pool and share
our deepest darkest secrets to each other.
what if we got a cat?
I want to love something like I adore you
something for which I can care
fulfill my motherly instinct
create an ecosystem of comfort and responsibility
an outlet for an age old desire.
what if we robbed a bank?
we look like a pair who could pull it off,
like bonnie and clyde or some other infamous couple
we could be them if we wanted to
we could be anything
you and me
I know it's impulsive but...
is it a crazy idea?
The Thoughts That Keep You Awake.
“What if I chased my dreams?” he whispers in the night. Half hoping she is asleep and he won’t deal with the question. The other half hoping that she is awake and will challenge him to go after them.
The silence mocks him for daring to state that idea out loud.
Her hand trails up his chest. Her breathing is calm and slow so he knows she is still asleep. Even unconscious, her little act bolsters his courage to delve deeper in his secret.
"What if I quit living up to people's expectations and did a little living for myself? Did all those things I was so sure I would do when I thought I was limitless and I was encouraged to dream as large as I could. Did my dreams get too large for me? Am I now a little lost inside them?"
She turns to face away from him. As though to tell him that he needs more detail than wishful thinking if he is to share his plan out loud.
"I know," he sighs, "There are more potholes and bumps than there are smooth roads. I’d have to leave the job I hate. And you should know...I hate it. I feel suffocated whenever I put on that tie. Like it’s choking me. Risk financial instability for a while. I’d have to bear with society’s judgemental eyes till I make it. That’s provided I make it. And what if I don’t make? Can I ever recover from that? But I know I can’t live without finding out." he laughs coldly, "I mean of course I can. I have lived most of my life pushing them into the background. I guess...I just don't want to. Anymore that is..."
The words start to pour out, now that he has a silent audience and now that he has opened the dams. "I could start with lessons." he smiles ruefully, "I've been out of practise for so long so of course I need the lessons, probably find a mentor too. See how they do things. Maybe it takes more from me before I can see any tangible rewards. Of course it does, everything worth doing always does. But I think I'm ready to make those sacrifices. This is not about the fame that is always so enticing. I could work in obscurity as long as my mind was at peace. There may not be any upturns for years too. We could consider it an investment. A long term investment."
She turns to face him again, now that the plan is coming together. She bumps her very pregnant belly against him.
“I know it’s a gamble that you didn’t sign up for." He cradles her bulging tummy. "Or maybe you did. You said for better or worse. And I know that’s a little guilt tripping, to hold you to something I’m intentionally going to put you through. Is it selfish of me to want to find a place I feel was handcrafted for me?"
She lets out a groan in her sleep. Is she sleeping comfortably, he wonders fleetingly. Or is she unhappy with this train of thought that seems to be going round in circles? Is she trying to look out for him, warning him that chasing after dreams is to deal only in heartbreaks?
“Yes I know, I’ll get hurt. In more ways than I could imagine because my heart will be on the line. It's definitely a lot to think about and we need more time to explore all of it. But I’ve been hurt settling for mediocrity, doing everything that seems appropriate to the world. Working hard to keep up with the rat race and losing myself in the mix."
He frames her beautiful face with his hand and whispers with so much conviction, "And what if...what if, Babe, what if I don't get hurt and my dreams reward my diligence by coming true?"
The alarm goes off and he quickly turns it off before it can wake her. "I know," he speaks to the world now as he gets out of bed, "It's just a crazy idea."
He dresses up in his work suit and strangles his dreams with a black tie. He kisses his wife and walks out.