Friday, February 28, 2014

Why, indeed?

Helene Johnson

Why indeed, Helene?  There was an advertisement on television years ago, Orson Welles if memory serves...

"I shall have no wine, before it's time."  It was a proclamation, what with his authoritative voice, so fully loaded with meaning beyond shilling shitty vino, yet there was no point of reference for me.  Now?  I do prefer the ripening of the fruit.

In others, particularly women, God save me...

In myself, because I wouldn't want to go through youth again.  Even with my accumulated knowledge it's a fair bet that it would be the same idiocy and self-defeating action...

In life in general.  It's not that things can't become bitter with age and sometimes even more distasteful than what comes out of unripe fruit.  Properly tended, however...

Properly tended...

Union Square 2-27-14

Not so bad at night...


via Witchoria

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sonnet ~ Elizabeth Bishop

Elizabeth Bishop

And with this it's not quite 7:30 a.m. and I am done.

Weeping just a little bit now, because I can't find my song this morning and it makes me feel so, so alone.  Even as I read this and I know from her words that she understood as others would too, but they're not here, are they?  I can't find my song this morning and there isn't enough coffee in the free world to make up for that.  There isn't that one rhythm that will break through that other rhythm that rather than carry me along, hits me like hammer blows from the side.

Like crossing against traffic and getting slammed broadside.

T-boned by a rhythmic truck and driven scraping down the pavement.

God damn how I know this sense of weary and it's so funny, or maybe one of those 'there are no coincidences' coincidences, that I find this Sonnet this morning.

Rock The Casbah

Trending in Tehran: Iranian Street Style


Freddie experienced the sort of abysmal soul-sadness which afflicts one of Tolstoy’s Russian peasants when, after putting in a heavy day’s work strangling his father, beating his wife, and dropping the baby into the city’s reservoir, he turns to the cupboards, only to find the vodka bottle empty. ~ P.G. Wodehouse

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Elroy Klee

Contents of 20 years of diaries

To-do lists finished (not so many)
To-do lists half checked off (or less... quite a few)
Grandiose proclamations
Schemes (un-realized)
Dreams (over-analyzed)
Painstaking examination of what went wrong in relationships
Painstaking examination of new relationships
Blank pages
To-do lists re-started from last month
Grocery lists (completely checked off)
Notes on new diet and exercise regimens
Do-overs of notes on new diet and exercise regimens
Ponderous analysis of human nature (other people)
Mental masturbation
Essays on why God certainly cannot exist
Prayers of the foxhole variety
Negotiating with God
More lists...

Content Analysis of the Memoir? Oh dear...

You're all just jealous of my jetpack

We're all stars now, in the dope show.

Too cool to do drugs...

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Past tense now...

Otherwise, pretty accurate.

Friday, February 14, 2014

When You Are Old

William Butler Yeats

Self love?

And on the offhand you need a visual aid, go right to it.  Modern Science says it's good for you!

Happy Valentines Day

via Newmanology

It probably won't fit on my sleeve, but it's the thought that counts, I suppose.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

And I've felt torture, I've felt pain

Just like that film with Michael Caine!

Like clockwork, back in the big, black car.

"Come lay 'pon me belly, Bigga."

Not a command so much.

An invitation.

Seeyum ting!  As she might say in one of her more playful, argumentative moods.

"I should get going, though.  Stuff do do."  The words came out of my mouth, but I already knew I wasn't leaving.  Not yet.  There was no place to go anyway, but it felt like time to be somewhere else.  Itchy heels.  An allergic reaction, if you will, to not wanting to continue a conversation.

"Stop da nonsense, Bigga.  Ya nah gawn inny-weer!"  She smiled because she knew.


"Stop wit da white bwoy boool-shit.  Ya hear wha' I see.  Come lay 'pon me belly, are dinna get cold."

There was no arguing and who would anyway?  Had I ever said no to her?  Of course not, so across the bed on my hands and knees, one, two, three, four and the smell of coconut and sandalwood, and of soft things as my nose grazed her belly on the way up to her smile.

"Theer we are, Bigga.  We gwan mek it a likkle bit bettah far ya head out."

And she put her arms around my shoulders and neck and pulled me in for a kiss, never closing her eyes, and her heels locked behind my knees and we settled into the motions, slow and sweet.  Touching in so many places at once and every place blazing hot and buzzing electric.  So many times we've done this.  So many times right here like this.  Her hips rising to meet mine.  Like opening up the back of an expensive watch, and you see we were made to do this.  This part fits that part.  This gear turns that gear.  That gear turns the next gear, and the next and the next, and nothing is amiss, and all the parts moving as they should, keeping perfect time.  So many, many times and it's still always a surprise when she comes.  Her eyes open wide and her mouth opens, 'OH' like something just caught her off-guard.  And I'm surprised by her strength.  She's not a big woman at all, but her back arches and she lifts my full weight and I press back to meet the swell, and I'm right there with her.  


But not routine.

Not boring.  

Never boring.  Too intense for boring.  

And then when she has settled into sleep, and I'm drifting back into now and looking around the room. The sun is coming in hard through the sheers.  It's so rare to be there in the daylight, but when the call comes, you answer.  I answer.  I always do.  I haven't said no yet.  It's a big room with a high ceiling and tall windows, and I've been right in this place so many times.  Always on the same side of the bed, near the tall, bamboo cage with the big, African Gray Parrot.  Quiet for a parrot.  One day it would begin to speak and Natalie and I would be proper fucked.  It had seen so much.  Still in the post-come blur, the only thought coming to me was, "How long do these motherfuckers live?"  It had always been there right in that corner, the only witness to our games, and gratefully a silent witness.

So far.

So the slow drift back to cogent.  I would swear my IQ drops 40 points immediately following an orgasm.  Natalie would argue that it plummeted at the mere mention of sex.

Whatever, Nat.


Cogent meant reflection.  Reflection meant reflecting on the conversation we'd been having over breakfast in her kitchen.  It was, as I said, rare to be there during daylight hours.  She called early, just wrapping up a double shift at Kings County in the ER.  She called.  I called a car.  That's how it works.  I washed her hair while she sat in the tub.  I massaged her feet with oil and pampered her and we padded into the kitchen and made breakfast.

And we talked.

Or rather, she talked some.  It was one of those what are we going to be when we grow up talks.  Not what am I going to do career-wise.  Not what she might be planning.  It was an us talk.  Years and years and it never came up, but now?  A regular theme.  Was this about growing older?  Was it something she's always thought about but was waiting for the right time?  It made no sense at all.  It made all the sense in the world.  And then none at all again.  Want to know which side of the fence I'm on?  Look at your watch.  What time is it?

How do I explain it when I can't get my head around it?  You know a woman for years.  You've had your mouth on her most intimate places.  And hers on yours, yes.  You know how to take each other right there.  You know how to make each other wait.  Make it last.  Damn it, and when I go down on her and her whole body strains upwards and her back arches and she's kicking at my sides and coming that she's not going to let me stop.  She's going to hold me tightly right there and we'll keep up like that until she just can't.  And I know that a little while later when it seems impossible we'll do it again.

And when we're done, it will occur to me that I know no more about her now then I did before.  A year ago.  Five years ago.  Longer.  It's like I said.  We have this thing that we do.  And there is this thing we don't do.  Or haven't done, or whatever.  There is a distance that we have always protected.  So what are these conversations about now?

Or maybe what bothers me more is that despite everything we do, or have done and whatnot, what does she really know about me?  I mean, I can get all poetic and sometimes I do and I ask her about her childhood and what she was like as a little girl, and where she is from... do I even know her favorite color?  What does that mean?  I mean, I know she came from Jamaica relatively young.  She married for a greencard, became a nurse, and had a son.

William.  I met him once when he was very small, and his father had recently left.  Then when I was off being married he became a teenager, and well, it's never been like he was part of this thing we do.

And then there's this thing we do.

But back to me.  What does she really know of me?  Or is she suggesting she get to know me? Maybe that's the part that squirreled me that much closer to my shoes and the front door.  Sure, she's seen some.  But how long is she (or anyone) going to stick around once she knows... more?  Best to leave well enough alone, right?  Let sleeping dogs lie?  And that's the way my brain spins it out.  That once she knows my deepest and darkest, it's done.

But doesn't she know already?  She's been through some shit with me.  She's seen me in action, and my phone still rings.  The text messages come up.  There is still this thing... And my brain drifts back into the craziness.

"Well, that escalated pretty quickly, didn't it?"  And I'm back in that moment after a dust-up.

"You have a talent, Big Man.  You make things escalate."  And the last word drawn out.  She sucks her teeth and sort of smiles.  That half-smile that kills me.

"What do you mean?"  I'm playing dumb.  Feigning indignation.  No, maybe I am dumb.

"Ya tell a man ye cut him open and fuck the wound, tings e s c a l a t e, Bigga!"  And she laughs and shakes her head and I laugh.  Am I embarrassed?  I should be.

Should have been.  I don't remember.  But she knows more than most, and still I'm pretty certain that if she had any clue at all what goes through my head, she would be gone.  That other stuff?  The tip of the iceberg.  Why not leave well enough alone.  What we have?  Isn't it... enough?  Because we've only just shared this thing we have between us, and it's so good and again like the last time and the time before that she's drifted off with a half-smile and she's holding me down there the way she does, like it will run away.  This is good.  Let's not press it.

And a little while later I realize I've drifted off and she's waking me up, soft kisses on my forehead and eyes and fingers tangled in the hair on my chest, pulling just a bit.

"Big Man," and her lips pressed against my ear and neck. "Time to go, Big Man, 'fore the boy comes home and we have to have a talk about his new daddy."

Jesus Christ, she makes me laugh, but I'm up and stumbling about, fucking about with my trousers and pulling on my socks.  The idiot, and still thankfully mute bird has crossed is perch and is looking sideways at me while I fall over onto the carpet.  Natalie is lying back on her pillows and laughing, shaking her head.

"Quit the clowning and g'way... 'fore I ask ya to stee-ay."

"Going, going!  I'm going.  Go mind yeh pickney, gal" 

"And you mind your business! And give some thought to what I say"

And we're both laughing and it's good and then I'm back in the black, Lincoln Towncar and it occurs to me that my world, right or wrong, and for better or worse, is divided into two distinct groups.  There are the civilians, and there are my people.  Those others, I can walk among them and look like them and talk like them, but there's this history.  There are things they are not going to understand.  And I realize I would love for them to understand, but there are things that if they knew...

But that's not me anymore, right?  Shouldn't there come a point where I get a pass?  Where I don't have to play dress-up when I leave the house?  When I'm not afraid of people finding out?

Or does anyone even care?  What is it they say?  The people that matter don't care, and the people that care don't matter?  And, it's none of my business what people think of me... But it is really, isn't it?  God, I'm just too old for all these changes.  I'd love to pack all this in a bag and drop it into the Gowanus and be done.  So yah, I'm thinking about what you said, Natalie, but all these thoughts get sort of washed into other senses.  I smell her on me.  All over me.  Through me.  I can feel the rise and fall, sort of like that sensation you get when you've been on a boat all day and you lay down to sleep.  You can feel the swells.  Maybe she's right.  Maybe there will come a day when the mind makes a promise that the body can't fill and we can no longer do this thing we do.  That we've been doing.  Maybe it's time to think about that time, but it seems so distant, age notwithstanding.

I just can't get my head around it.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Technology conspires against me.

My mobile, iPad, laptop and coffee machine seem to be in different time zones.  That can't be good.