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"Go and talk to your son!". It seemed lately that every arrival at home, in the old section of Glasgow, began with "Go and talk to your son!". "Why?...what has he done this time"...answered Angus' dad. "What trouble did he get into now?". " far as I can figure" answered Mary, mother of the aforementioned Angus.

"Then why am I going to talk to him?". " He's not selling autographs again is he".
"No dear, he's should just go and have a wee chat with him...that's all."

"Alright, I will"...."will I need some hobnobs as ammunition, or should I be okay on me own?".
"You should be okay without them, but, then again, a wee plate of hobnobs never hurt anyone...least of all our Angus"

Dad, poured two glasses of cold milk, set six hobnobs on a plate and ventured up to himself's room. He knocked twice, just above the "No gurls alowd" sign that Angus had put up after last nights arguement with his Mum, over carrots. Angus refused to accept the arguement that carrots gave you better eyesight...while his Mum said they did. A snicker from Dad at Angus' response almost got him banished to the sofa for the night himself, with his own "No gurls alowd" sign going up in the living room. He remembered Angus standing up from his chair, and stating "If carrots give ye such good eyesight, how come so many rabbits get hit by cars at night?". Then he stormed off.

He knocked again, and Angus opened up the door. Angus was still in his blue school shirt and grey pants. "Can I come in?" asked his father. "I've brought milk...and hobnobs".
Angus stepped back and let his father enter the room. The walls were covered with posters, of cars, footballers, horses, bikes, cartoon much so, there was barely any space left for anything else.

"Yer mum said I should talk to you know why?" "Nope"...said Angus..."do you?" "That's why I'm asking you lad....she told me to come see you know why I'm here?"
Angus tilted his head and answered "because Mum told you too?".
It was clear they weren't getting anywhere with this, so Dad asked "How was school today?"

Angus was now in full time kindergarten at St. Martin's in The Fields Primary School in Glasgow. The school was old, dank, smelled of age and was one of the finest in all of Glasgow...for it's age. It was famous for having had two members of The Bay City Rollers as students, one for about three months and the other a little less. They never graduated from St. Martin's, but, it was something to hang their hat on.

"I got all my Christmas Cards taken away today Da." said Angus. "I was giving them out to everyone, and the teacher, Mr. McDonall came and took them away.".
"Why would he do that boy?"...."Where were you doing it?'
"I was outside before school started giving them out...." , Angus sniffed, "and he came over and grabbed them from me".
Dad, remembered Angus working away for the past two nights, printing everyone's name on the cards, as perfect as he could. It only took 43 cards to get the necessary 21 Angus needed for all of his young classmates.
"Why would he do that?"..."did he tell you why?". "No Dad" said Angus through the rapidly increasing flow of sniffles and snot that normally accompany a crying child.

"I didn't find out until I went to the office to see the Principal afterwards".
"You went to the office for handing out Christmas Cards?" . "That doesn't make any sense son, are you sure you weren't doing anything else?"
"I was just handing out cards Da, that's all", said Angus as he grabbed another hobnob, which he quickly stuffed under his pillow for later. He would get in trouble for that one, but, it would be worth it.

"The Principal said something about Christmas Cards that say Christmas on them, can't be given out at school anymore. They can only say Happy Holidays. If it doesn't say Christmas on it, how can it be a Christmas Card Dad?".

"I don't know boy"...."but I am **** sure gonna find out"....and "you'd better eat that hobnob under your pillow before Mum sees it"...smiled Dad.

The pair ventured downstairs for dinner, neither discussing what went on in the room where "No gurls were allowed". Dinner passed in silence, with Mum looking from one to the other to get some sort of reaction. Once, Angus started to talk, but it had nothing to do with what went on between Father and Son, so she continued eating. She would find out later after Angus went to bed.

After dinner, Angus went to the park with his friends for an hour to play football, and tag, and swing on the swings for a while. Mum, took this chance to corner Dad...and corner him she did...."What went on up there? What did you two talk about?" "He won't say anything to me...what did he do?"
"Nothing....he did nothing wrong at all, so as I see it....Angus didn't do anything wrong".
He kind of smiled at that, because normally after being told "Go talk to your son...", Angus had always done something wrong...this was The Principal.

"Tomorrow, I'm staying home in the morning and taking himself to school....I'm going to see The Principal". "What for?...if he didn't do anything wrong, why are you going to see the Principal?".
"Well, what time of the year is it?".....asked Dad. "It's Christmas silly, you know that...why?"
"Well, apparently it isn't Christmas at St. Martin's in The least not as far as himself's teacher and new Principal are concerned. It's now Holiday time....not Christmas Time, Holiday Time. Our wee Angus got in trouble for handing out Christmas cards at Christmas. Does that make any sense?"...said Dad.

The next morning at breakfast, Angus looked up and asked "Dad, shouldn't you be going to work? you'll miss your train.". "I'm taking you to school and going to see your Principal, son". "Why?" asked Angus. "Let's just say I'm going to give him a Christmas Card....have you seen my bible?".
"It's on the sideboard...but, why do you need that Da?"...asked the boy.
"Let's just make a point.".

Mum smiled as the two men, both wee and tall, walked together hand in hand down the drive towards the school. Upon arrival, Angus went off with his friends, while Dad, went into the old, intimidating looking institution. He could smell the old wood soap and mustiness as he waled down the hall, past the class pictures and the old trophies that get hauled out and cleaned every year for games day, only to be put back again after the awards presentations.

Upon arriving at the office, he announced "I'm here to see The Principal.....where is he?".
A pair of beady, spectacled eyes looked up from behind the front desk...and in a thin, reedy, voice asked..."And who might you be, come in without an appointment?".
"Ah'm flippin' Father Christmas, that's who I am....I am Angus' Mc Dougalls dad, and I am here to see the ****** Principal. Now where is he?"
"Without and appointment.." she started, quickly stopping when Dad, walked past the desk to the door marked M. Dingwall, Principal on it.

"You can't go in there"...screeched the reedy voice..."not without an.." "I know..." said Dad..."not without an appointment.....well, I've got mine right here, and right now..." he said, waving his bible in needle noses face. He continued in to M. Dingwall, Principal's office....and sat down.

M. Dingwall, Principal...looked up from the papers on his desk, which incidentally had 5, yes...5 Christmas Cards on it, and asked Dad..."and who are you to come into my office..."...."without and appointment"...finished Dad. " As I told your chihuahua out front, all bark and no bite by the way, I am frigging Father Christmas, who I see on 3 of the 5 cards you have on your desk. That's who I am, Father Christmas !!!"

"Well, Mr. Christmas, what can we do for you? " asked a clearly shaken M. Dingwall, Principal. "I'll tell you what you can do for can apologize to my son, for a start. My wee lad Angus, came here yesterday morning and was sent to see you for handing out Christmas Cards, at Christmas. What am I missing here?".

"I remember that....yes, he was disciplined and told no more Christmas Cards, it's against the policy of the school's a religious holiday, and we are not allowed, with all of the various religious groups represented within our walls to favour one over another. So, no more Christmas Cards in this school. That is the policy.", said M. Dingwall, Principal.

"That's nice...then what are those 5 cards on your desk....the ones that happen to have Christmas on them and Father Christmas and a nativity scene, which if I know the book I am holding here, is a religious representation, and the reason we have Christmas in the first place. "...asked Dad.

"Those are private, they were given to me by staff" said M. Dingwall, Principal. "I don't care if they came from Jesus Christ himself " yelled Dad, crossing himself in the process, "They don't fit in with the policy you gave my son a reprimand for yesterday."  He looked about the office, and saw a small, four foot tall tree in the corner as well. "Is that a Christmas tree or a holiday tree sir?, which is it?"

M. Dingwall looked up and said, "It's a Christmas Tree, of course, haven't you ever seen a..." and he stopped. He looked at the tree, and the cards, The eyeglasses out front went back to whatever it was she was doing before Father Christmas arrived. "I see....". "You see what sir,?" asked Angus' dad, looking at the tree, and the cards and ignoring the eyeglasses with the reedy voice out front.

"I see your point....It's Christmas, not holdaymas, or's Christmas, and I followed policy that I myself am not following myself. I will change that right now....imagine, it took a visit from Father Christmas to get me to see the light..." laughed M. Dingwall, Principal.

"My boy Angus, will be in class, expecting to be told that he can give out his cards to the rest of his friends as he was I understood M. Dingwall, Princinpal?" asked Dad.

"Yes sir, the mark will be stricken from the record and his cards will be returned....I appreciate you coming in to clear up this little misunderstanding...even if you didn't ..." "I know...have an appointment.". M Dingwall stood to shake Dad's hand as he left, and as Dad reached the door, he said "Merry Christmas". Dad thought a bit, smiled at what he had just accomplished and said to M. Dingwall, Principal...."and yes...It is A MERRY CHRISTMAS".
Andrew Parker May 2014
Condolence Cards Poem (Spoken Word)

Congratulations: On landing your dream job!
Congratulations: On buying your first house!
Congratulations: It's a beautiful baby you brought into this world!
Congratulations: Marriage is so monumental, see you at the wedding!

Can you measure the amount of acknowledgements we forfeit,
to cheap card stock and cheesy colorful cutouts?  
Like each event in life is a round in sports,
requiring an announcer to stand on the edge of the arena,
shouting the play by play.  

We play pretend that cards can say what we feel.  
But I feel like unless if those purple, blue, vanilla,
or pink for valentine's and mother's day envelopes
can enclose an entire paperback novel,
I know that my feelings can't possibly be enclosed inside.  
As if feelings could surmount to anything less than a lifetime of experience.  

For when has then phrase, "I love you" ever conveyed the entire message intended, but without the soft gestures accompanying it, or perhaps the longing gaze of eyes and 'I Do's' entrenched in one another.  
For when has the phrase, "I miss you" offered up the subtleties of staring out your window on rainy day, listening to piano symphonies sinking into the sofa sipping away sorrows on wine?
For when has the phrase, "I am sorry for your loss" ever actually meant sorry, as if it was you who were the perpetrator of a ****** and were seeking exoneration through a sorry excuse of a phrase uttered by people who just don't quite understand the meaning of the term 'sorry.'

I stare at the Hallmark Sea in front of me and I wonder.  Are life's memorable moments so easily categorized?  Into baby showers, bar-mitzvahs, and birthdays?
What about cards just for barbecues with random neighbors?
About cards just for breaking your precious vase?
Cards just for being a ***** the other day?
Just for breakfast you made me in bed?
For binge-ing on alcohol with me and not leaving me almost dead?
What about cards just for thanking you for buying me a stupid ******* card?

Tell me where is the corporate branding on cards for being broke?
On cards for broken homes?
On cards for being homeless?
On cards for getting cancer?
On cards for cutting?
On cards for self-loathing and depreciation?
What about cards for being in the moment or sharing a cup of coffee?
Instead what we get is the catch-all, Condolence Cards.

Condolences - an expression of sympathy with a person who is suffering sorrow, misfortune, or grief.  
Condolences - an expression of sympathy with a person who is suffering sorrow, misfortune, or grief.  
Condolences - an expression of sympathy
Condolences - a person who is suffering
Condolences - sorrow, misfortune, or grief.  

I didn't realize most people's sympathy being expressed equated to blank stares like paper on paper, means nothing but thin and flimsy papers, feelings forfeited, grounded up like big beautiful trees teeming with life, chalked up into tiny pieces of toilet paper for you to wipe your crap on, leaving behind a Hallmark - Condolence Card.
Wuji Aug 2011
The future to you, so foggy.
And you want to see right through.
Your eyes become so groggy,
That your mind has it's self a coup.

Just yesterday,
You knew what to do.
But now due to your silly cards,
New options seem to come to.

You put your destiny,
In these simple playing cards.
The cards aren't supposed to predict the future,
Or tell you who you are.

Seeing cards, seeing cards,
What do you see?
I see the future looking back at me,
As I add the card's stories in,
My life starts to be filled with sins.  

They are pictures on paper,
that tell a story.
The ideas on the cards are starting to **** her,
And it's making me worry.  

What we have is so great,
I wouldn't trade it for the world.
We seem to be soul mates,
Why must you make these feeling twirled?

Whenever you look at those cards,
You will always see,
Sharp sinister shards,
That'll try to keep you away from me.  

Seeing cards, seeing cards,
What do you see?
I see the future looking back at me,
As I add the card's stories in,
My life starts to be filled with sins.  

I ask you to look past these,
Seeing cards.
They'll plague your mind with disease,
And keep us away by yards.

Don't base your life,
On these cards.
Put destiny in your own hands,
Avoid the make believe guards.

Seeing cards, seeing cards,
What do you see?
I see the future looking back at me,
As I add the card's stories in,
My life starts to be filled with sins.

I ask you to discard,
Those so called Seeing Cards.
Your destiny is yours, no person or card should tell you otherwise.
Terry Collett Jan 2017
You liked card games with Bart liked to sit there and watch him and his emotions play out as they did when he thought he was losing the game even if it turned out afterwards he won you in your white dress-white for purity he jested- and straight mousey hair and the white shoes you wore which he said reminded him of that nurse in the nursing home he went to as a boy who used to touch him in bed at night when she did her rounds and the other children were asleep touched him in places he thought unusual and thinking about it later as utterly ****** it was getting late the sky was dark and stars and a moon shone and you had lit the candle to give light and Bart stood there by the table-he stood as he got anxious of losing- holding his cards in his hand his other hands on the table him staring at you then the cards in your hands watching as you dealt them or laid some on the table you smiled at him he didn't smile but stared at you you're cheating he said how am I cheating? you said I cheat never you replied smiling unable not to smile at him with that look on his face he had an odd face-much as you loved him- his brown hair with the widow's peak largish ears elfish and brown eyes that stared and stared you put a card on the table he gazed at you as you put the card down any good for you? You asked he shook his head looked at the card you stared at him at his red jumper-he liked red it was his bit of revolutionary stand his ideas of communism much his own-I suppose you have a good hand he said looking straight at you both are good hands you said smiling I meant your card hand he said moodily not bad you said holding your cards against your small breast he held his cards behind his back and walked over to the radio and turned it on a fuzz of noise erupted then it settled on a station of classic music-he loved Bach he was a Bach addict- the music was Mozart a piano piece he walked back to the table and sat down his cards against his chest he was a genius Bart said who was? You said Mozart he replied you laid down another card he took it quickly and put another down in its place he smiled that's better he said the music was not too loud so did not distract you watched him as you carried on with the game Duncan's wife's pregnant Bart said you gazed at him that's her fourth isn't it? You said yes it will be he said poor girl you said having him on her having it away so often Clare is up for it Bart said moodily-he hated you saying things about Duncan- as she a choice? You said putting another card on the table of course she does Bart said he stared at the card but didn't pick it up you took the card and replaced it with another a useless card to you you looked at your hand of cards it was better Duncan was a Scot a big Scot and Clare was a small girl and you found it difficult to image them having *** him pushing her into the bed and thrusting into her like some old steam train into a tunnel Bart and Duncan had been university friends and Clare had been a student of art she painted water colour-not much good- Bart stood up as stared at his cards his ears moving as they did when he got either annoyed or pleased he walked about the room what's up bad hand? You said he paused no not that he said just thinking about Duncan what about him? You said eyeing your cards taking a card from the pack on the table and laying it down on the table Bart looked at the card then looked away he's having an affair Bart said gazing at you wondering what you might say who's the stupid *****? You asked picking up the card and putting down another card in its place your card hand was getting real good no one you know Bart said how do you know whom I know I might know her you said doesn't matter you're not to tell Clare it would do her mind in if she found out Bart said so who is this bit on the side? You said Bart hesitated looked at you then at his cards her name's Julie he said works in his office typical you said is she blind or stupid or both? She's a secretary and he has know her sometime Bart said you held your cards close to your breast and where do they go to have it off? You said you make it out to be cheap Bart said he loves her and the fact Clare is pregnant complicates things the Mozart ends and a voice mutters on about the piece I bet it does you said poor Clare I bet she thinks the sun shines out of his big backside Bart laid his cards on the table with a flourish the cards spread out like a coloured fan beat that he said you gazed at his cards on the table and smiled and laid your cards beside his how's that? You said he closed his eyes you cheat I'm sure he said just skill and luck you replied a Schubert piano piece started up on the radio Bart looked at you then sat down his face sulky you're not to say anything to Clare he said she'd not take it well you gathered all the cards together and shuffled them up another game? You asked no I'm not in the mood he replied I'd not tell Clare you said let her find out the hard way you said she won't find out if you say nothing Bart said grimly she'd tell me if your were bonking someone else you said putting the cards back in the pack I wouldn't do that to you Bart said looking at you with his brown eyes I'm glad to hear it you said but Duncan's thing is different Bart said he's fallen in love it's not just about *** it's love he told me and does he love Clare any more? You asked he didn't say just said he loved this Julie and they had *** a few times where did they go? You asked how do I know? Bart said in the office after the others had left to go home did he have her over his desk or on the floor? Why do you have to cheapen things? Bart said it's love and it has a kind of beauty to it you stared at him sitting there there's no beauty in betrayal you said he said nothing to that but stared at his hands on the table his fingers moving as if the table was a piano say nothing to Clare Bart said his fingers following each other on the imaginary keyboard   I'll say nothing you said Bart stood up and turned off the radio the room became silent bedtime he said you blew out the candle and the room became dark lightened only by the moonlight Bart went out of the room and you followed closing the door behind you and followed him up the stairs looking at his light brown trousers and black shoes knowing it was going to be one of those nights with Bart wanting to have it away wanting his ****** rights.
alisha Oct 2018
Sometimes I wonder
If my home is just four walls,
And three broken hearts. a

Just like glass breaks into shards b
So easily, it falls apart. a

Like the empty spaces between a house of cards, b
Between the walls lays void. a

Takes one breath from the words you speak b
As if it were an asteroid a
That leaves it all bleak. b

The cards fall over and over a
Yet we build it again b
Although we know all of it is over a
Why do we build it again? b

the house of cards falls silently, a
Like the deafening silence on the dining table of grievers. b
But a house of screams and anxiety, a
Doesn’t feel good either. b

So worn out they’d tear apart, a
The cards of hearts fall.
We played a little too much with the hearts. a

Fall has arrived, a
The cards of spades fall, b
The leaves are dried. a

The wealth has perished a
The cards of clubs fall, b
These memories are all I have, to cherish. a

we’re breaking, it has begun to ache a
The cards of diamonds fall b
Although diamonds don’t break a

The cards are falling a
I am sick of picking them up b
The cards are sprawling a
Yet again we are building it up. b

It has fallen again a
Yet we pick up the cards b
because we like playing these games. a

Our house of cards a
Slit our skin with paper cuts, tearing it apart b
Leaving us scarred a
May Oct 2020
The cards... are stacked... against me.

I’m a young woman
who stands at just 4’8
I’ve been told not to self-deprecate
and that I should appreciate what I have
But it’s kinda hard to obfuscate that the cards are stacked against me

I was adopted from China when I was two,
I could barely name my colors, red, yellow and blue
but all too soon I knew
that the cards were stacked against me

So I pursue an education,
Looking for an overdue explanation,
Some form of information
as to who stacked all these cards against me?

And I find that the system,
That prides its rhyme and rhythm,
Well they hide a list of victims
and so they decided they’ll stack the cards against me

Being bi,
and being not-so-shy,
and seeing colors in vibrance, from the grass to the sky
I'm not so good at lying
but it won't make a difference,
it's enough of a hindrance,
that the cards are stacked against me

So I'll be careful to lock my car,
And not walk too far,
I'll sit pretty and eat saffron and caviar,
But I won't forget that I can’t even wish on a shooting star
To shift the tables
and abandoned the labels
because not even in Aesop's fables
is there a time when the cards aren’t stacked against me

My life like a delicate card house resting on a cable
I'm a little unstable
But now the cards are spread out on the table
I turn one over, and it’s an ace of spades
And it feels like all the barricades
That had locked me in this cage
For ages
slowly start to evaporate.
And I wonder if maybe I had exaggerated
And this mindset my mind had created
Had been stated the wrong way,
And I had hated myself for unrelated reasons
and weight could finally be lifted off my shoulders

These shoulders that had carried the world
All of its boulders and sticks and secret hidden pearls,
And it feels like maybe just being a girl
doesn’t mean I can’t value my own safety
And drive a Mercedes
and be a nice lady
until I'm old and achy
and even then ill will remember

That just because it feels like the cards are against you
Doesn’t mean you’re worries aren’t real or your feelings aren't valid
It’s not easy, this world that we live in
But given, that the cards are dealt randomly
A bad hand does not land you so deeply in the sand
That you shouldn't get up each day
and try to understand,
That the card dealers are people too

They have families and homes
and muscles and bones
They bleed the same blood
And need the same love
That all humans work for

And maybe they were born with a stack piled high
Or two’s and four's and jacks and nines
And maybe they felt like if they turned a blind eye
And became a card dealer,
they wouldn't have to deal with the fact that their pile is against them too

So the next time you feel like your life isn't good enough
Don't let your mind or the dealers lie or call you bluff,
Spread the cards on the table
and one by one you'll be able,
To turn them over and be a little more stable
Because the cards are stacked against all of us
until we remove the number and suit labels
The world isn't set up for me to have an easy life. But that just means the world is kind of messed up- it's not my fault at all.
The young boy wrote his Christmas Cards
Wrote his name as neatly as he knew
He put the ones aside to take to school
And in his bedroom he hid two
These cards were special for the boy
One for his Uncle, one for dad
He had to get them to them
And here's the plan he had..

He knew that mail to Santa Claus
Made it up to the North Pole
But, he wasn't sure just how he would
Get mail to his fathers soul
You see, the boys dad and his Uncle
were taken by an IED
They'd both been gone two years now
Since the young boy was only three

He visited the cenotaph
in the park, most every day
He'd stop and he'd salute it
And then he'd go and play
It was a gentle hi to both of them
For he knew that at this place
He could feel them staring down on him
Though he'd forgotten his dad's face

He took the cards down to the park
And he left them by a wreath
that was still there from November
He laid his two cards underneath
A man was walking past the boy
And he saw the boy salute
But, he also saw the Christmas cards
And he thought the whole thing cute

He waited for the boy to leave
And he opened one to read
It said  "Merry Christmas" , "Thank You"
"I miss you, yes indeed"
The man went to the nearest school
to ask about the lad
To find out if this one young boy
Was a student that they had

A teacher overheard his tale
And called the man in for a talk
At the end she sat there crying
She had to go out for a walk
She went to find his teacher
Told the tale of this young man
Then between them they sat down and
They both devised a plan

The next day when the class began
Christmas Cards they all would write
Each one was for a soldier
And to them this just seemed right
They would set up a class field trip
To see the vets up on the hill
In the special Veterans Hospital
to the kids, this was a thrill

The hospital was telephoned
And the vets were set to meet
Miss Johnson and Miss Watson's class
To get their Christmas treat
The kids were dressed in sunday best
Like they were a month ago
But, this time it was different
This time there would be snow

Each card said "Merry Christmas"
All said thank you, some were sad
To think this project started with
A card for a boys dad
After all was done and dusted
The kids continued on
They went down to the cenotaph
To give their cards to those now gone

The story made it through the school
And each day another class
Wrote Christmas cards to soldiers
And they delivered them en masse
By the action of a little boy
who wasn't locked to a computer
He started a tradition
this young boy, the saluter.
Please read "The Saluter", if you haven't already to get an idea of who this young boy in the poem is.
Ante, Shuffle, Deal me in
You should know that I came to win
Perfect smile, low cut dress
You'll reveal everything
Cut the deck and deal the cards
I cant win until this thing starts
We both know this is my last game

Place your bets, raises, calls
I bet my blind you're a queen of hearts
Pocket Aces, bluff and call
I'd chase the river from this start
No one wins until one of us ends
Play the slow game and stay your hand
There's no way I can lose this game
My chips are all in when you're playing with my heart

I chased my queen down the river
*** commited and I'm all in
Cashing in on my losings
Neither of us can ever win
We could run away together
We'd have to leave right now
Let them chase us for forever
And burn this card house down

Time to make a decision
This has gone on way too long
Stay, fold, or raise me
Cant hide behind your cards
When you gave me your heart, baby
You said it was safe to play
But my hearts set on arson
And you love this game

Burn the card, throw the flop
Every tell reveals what your chasing
Say the words, we can stop
Let my jack baby be your king
After this we wont be the same
I'm the wildcard you cant tame
If we'd both win I'd throw the game
I would.

Texas-hold my
broken heart
We were always meant to end like this
A game of chance,
a deck of cards
Our love staked on a
game -  of - risk
What the hell,
just roll the dice
Someone else could be just as nice
No more buy backs,
you cant re-buy-in
I'll burn this house down to ensure the house never wins

I'll chase my queen down the river
I committed and went all in
Now I'm cashing in on my losings
Cause its like I never win
We can run away together
We'd have to leave right now
We'll run until forever
And let them chase us down

Time to make a decision
We're both sick of playing games
Thought I'd win on the gamble
I wont buy your poker face
You've got a decision, baby
I've loved you from the start
Or is everything I've dreamed of
A bad hand of cards

(Your clever highness
usher out the bards
try to hide the bluff in
hide the bluff in your house of cards)

Time to make a decision
It'll never be the same
Thought I played a safe gamble
But you lit the flame

You decide if we chase the river
And if you'll lose this game
But if you're gonna chase that rabbit
This house - goes up - in flames

Chase me to the river
It'll cost you everything
Chase me for forever
But you know I'm all in

You've got to make a decision
I've loved you from the start
Or is everything I've played for
A bad hand of cards
A modified version of Taylor Swift's "Blank Space" adjusted to the heavier sound of I Prevail's cover. This is the same story as her's, from a jaded guy perspective.
A little girl found a deck of cards
On her daddy's poker table.

She always knew how to make a home
Out of a gambler.

Her hands were steady as they were small
She built a tower, stories tall.
When daddy returned, it never fell.
The boys bet his chips around it.

We built this family with a house of cards
Steady hands and racing hearts.
We built this family with a house of cards.
Queen of hearts, two of cups.

Daddys a fool, played his part
Just half a step into the dark
When A little girl found a deck of cards
Sitting on her mommys altar.

Her hands were steady as they were small
She watched her house of cards grow.
When mommy returned to Tarot.
The cards had found themselves
a different owner.

We built this family with a house of cards
A good read, a bad hand.
We built this family with a house of cards.
The fool, The queen of hearts

The dealer busts, we grow old
A little girl can build a home.
With nothin' but two decks of cards
Shuffled all together
Terry Collett Jun 2017
was a small kid
had wing nut ears
and bulgy eyes.

We played games
of football cards
against the wall
of the junior school
in morning break.

Usually I won
but I liked him
so let him
win games
so I could see
his smile
which would spread
from ear to ear.

One morning
Cogan came over
and took
Biggs's cards
from the ground
and held them
against his shirt.

You want em Biggs
you come get em
Cogan said.

Biggs's ear went red
and his eyes
bulged more.

Let him have
his cards back
I said.

What's it to you?
or I'll take yours
as well
he said.

I picked up
my cards
and said
is that your face
or are you breaking in
for a friend?

You talkin to me?
Cogan said.

I stuffed my cards
in the back pocket
of my trousers.

If you heard
what I said
why ask?
I said.

Cogan looked
past me at Biggs.

If you want
your cards
come get em
he said.

Biggs headbutted
Cogan's gut
and the cards flew
in the air.

There was a rumble
of bodies and fists
and legs.

I picked up
Biggs's cards
and held them
again my chest
and stared.

A teacher came
and broke them up
and took them inside
to see the head.

I pocketed
Biggs's cards
and walked ahead.

THAT is no country for old men.  The young
In one another's arms, birds in the trees
-- Those dying generations -- at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect.
An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.
O sages standing in God's holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.
Once out Of nature I shall never take
My ****** form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

WHAT shall I do with this absurdity --
O heart, O troubled heart -- this caricature,
Decrepit age that has been tied to me
As to a dog's tail?
Never had I more
Excited, passionate, fantastical
Imagination, nor an ear and eye
That more expected the impossible --
No, not in boyhood when with rod and fly,
Or the humbler worm, I climbed Ben Bulben's back
And had the livelong summer day to spend.
It seems that I must bid the Muse go pack,
Choose Plato and Plotinus for a friend
Until imagination, ear and eye,
Can be content with argument and deal
In abstract things; or be derided by
A sort of battered kettle at the heel.
I pace upon the battlements and stare
On the foundations of a house, or where
Tree, like a sooty finger, starts from the earth;
And send imagination forth
Under the day's declining beam, and call
Images and memories
From ruin or from ancient trees,
For I would ask a question of them all.
Beyond that ridge lived Mrs.  French, and once
When every silver candlestick or sconce
Lit up the dark mahogany and the wine.
A serving-man, that could divine
That most respected lady's every wish,
Ran and with the garden shears
Clipped an insolent farmer's ears
And brought them in a little covered dish.
Some few remembered still when I was young
A peasant girl commended by a Song,
Who'd lived somewhere upon that rocky place,
And praised the colour of her face,
And had the greater joy in praising her,
Remembering that, if walked she there,
Farmers jostled at the fair
So great a glory did the song confer.
And certain men, being maddened by those rhymes,
Or else by toasting her a score of times,
Rose from the table and declared it right
To test their fancy by their sight;
But they mistook the brightness of the moon
For the prosaic light of day --
Music had driven their wits astray --
And one was drowned in the great bog of Cloone.
Strange, but the man who made the song was blind;
Yet, now I have considered it, I find
That nothing strange; the tragedy began
With Homer that was a blind man,
And Helen has all living hearts betrayed.
O may the moon and sunlight seem
One inextricable beam,
For if I triumph I must make men mad.
And I myself created Hanrahan
And drove him drunk or sober through the dawn
From somewhere in the neighbouring cottages.
Caught by an old man's juggleries
He stumbled, tumbled, fumbled to and fro
And had but broken knees for hire
And horrible splendour of desire;
I thought it all out twenty years ago:
Good fellows shuffled cards in an old bawn;
And when that ancient ruffian's turn was on
He so bewitched the cards under his thumb
That all but the one card became
A pack of hounds and not a pack of cards,
And that he changed into a hare.
Hanrahan rose in frenzy there
And followed up those baying creatures towards --
O towards I have forgotten what -- enough!
I must recall a man that neither love
Nor music nor an enemy's clipped ear
Could, he was so harried, cheer;
A figure that has grown so fabulous
There's not a neighbour left to say
When he finished his dog's day:
An ancient bankrupt master of this house.
Before that ruin came, for centuries,
Rough men-at-arms, cross-gartered to the knees
Or shod in iron, climbed the narrow stairs,
And certain men-at-arms there were
Whose images, in the Great Memory stored,
Come with loud cry and panting breast
To break upon a sleeper's rest
While their great wooden dice beat on the board.
As I would question all, come all who can;
Come old, necessitous.  half-mounted man;
And bring beauty's blind rambling celebrant;
The red man the juggler sent
Through God-forsaken meadows; Mrs.  French,
Gifted with so fine an ear;
The man drowned in a bog's mire,
When mocking Muses chose the country *****.
Did all old men and women, rich and poor,
Who trod upon these rocks or passed this door,
Whether in public or in secret rage
As I do now against old age?
But I have found an answer in those eyes
That are impatient to be gone;
Go therefore; but leave Hanrahan,
For I need all his mighty memories.
Old lecher with a love on every wind,
Bring up out of that deep considering mind
All that you have discovered in the grave,
For it is certain that you have
Reckoned up every unforeknown, unseeing
plunge, lured by a softening eye,
Or by a touch or a sigh,
Into the labyrinth of another's being;
Does the imagination dwell the most
Upon a woman won or woman lost.?
If on the lost, admit you turned aside
From a great labyrinth out of pride,
Cowardice, some silly over-subtle thought
Or anything called conscience once;
And that if memory recur, the sun's
Under eclipse and the day blotted out.

It is time that I wrote my will;
I choose upstanding men
That climb the streams until
The fountain leap, and at dawn
Drop their cast at the side
Of dripping stone; I declare
They shall inherit my pride,
The pride of people that were
Bound neither to Cause nor to State.
Neither to slaves that were spat on,
Nor to the tyrants that spat,
The people of Burke and of Grattan
That gave, though free to refuse --
pride, like that of the morn,
When the headlong light is loose,
Or that of the fabulous horn,
Or that of the sudden shower
When all streams are dry,
Or that of the hour
When the swan must fix his eye
Upon a fading gleam,
Float out upon a long
Last reach of glittering stream
And there sing his last song.
And I declare my faith:
I mock plotinus' thought
And cry in plato's teeth,
Death and life were not
Till man made up the whole,
Made lock, stock and barrel
Out of his bitter soul,
Aye, sun and moon and star, all,
And further add to that
That, being dead, we rise,
Dream and so create
Translunar paradise.
I have prepared my peace
With learned Italian things
And the proud stones of Greece,
Poet's imaginings
And memories of love,
Memories of the words of women,
All those things whereof
Man makes a superhuman,
Mirror-resembling dream.
As at the loophole there
The daws chatter and scream,
And drop twigs layer upon layer.
When they have mounted up,
The mother bird will rest
On their hollow top,
And so warm her wild nest.
I leave both faith and pride
To young upstanding men
Climbing the mountain-side,
That under bursting dawn
They may drop a fly;
Being of that metal made
Till it was broken by
This sedentary trade.
Now shall I make my soul,
Compelling it to study
In a learned school
Till the wreck of body,
Slow decay of blood,
Testy delirium
Or dull decrepitude,
Or what worse evil come --
The death of friends, or death
Of every brilliant eye
That made a catch in the breath -- .
Seem but the clouds of the sky
When the horizon fades;
Or a bird's sleepy cry
Among the deepening shades.
HDRWHAT shall I do with this absurdity --
O heart, O troubled heart -- this caricature,
Decrepit age that has been tied to me
As to a dog's tail?
Never had I more
Excited, passionate, fantastical
Imagination, nor an ear and eye
That more expected the impossible --
No, not in boyhood when with rod and fly,
Or the humbler worm, I climbed Ben Bulben's back
And had the livelong summer day to spend.
It seems that I must bid the Muse go pack,
Choose Plato and Plotinus for a friend
Until imagination, ear and eye,
Can be content with argument and deal
In abstract things; or be derided by
A sort of battered kettle at the heel.
I pace upon the battlements and stare
On the foundations of a house, or where
Tree, like a sooty finger, starts from the earth;
And send imagination forth
Under the day's declining beam, and call
Images and memories
From ruin or from ancient trees,
For I would ask a question of them all.
Beyond that ridge lived Mrs.  French, and once
When every silver candlestick or sconce
Lit up the dark mahogany and the wine.
A serving-man, that could divine
That most respected lady's every wish,
Ran and with the garden shears
Clipped an insolent farmer's ears
And brought them in a little covered dish.
Some few remembered still when I was young
A peasant girl commended by a Song,
Who'd lived somewhere upon that rocky place,
And praised the colour of her face,
And had the greater joy in praising her,
Remembering that, if walked she there,
Farmers jostled at the fair
So great a glory did the song confer.
And certain men, being maddened by those rhymes,
Or else by toasting her a score of times,
Rose from the table and declared it right
To test their fancy by their sight;
But they mistook the brightness of the moon
For the prosaic light of day --
Music had driven their wits astray --
And one was drowned in the great bog of Cloone.
Strange, but the man who made the song was blind;
Yet, now I have considered it, I find
That nothing strange; the tragedy began
With Homer that was a blind man,
And Helen has all living hearts betrayed.
O may the moon and sunlight seem
One inextricable beam,
For if I triumph I must make men mad.
And I myself created Hanrahan
And drove him drunk or sober through the dawn
From somewhere in the neighbouring cottages.
Caught by an old man's juggleries
He stumbled, tumbled, fumbled to and fro
And had but broken knees for hire
And horrible splendour of desire;
I thought it all out twenty years ago:
Good fellows shuffled cards in an old bawn;
And when that ancient ruffian's turn was on
He so bewitched the cards under his thumb
That all but the one card became
A pack of hounds and not a pack of cards,
And that he changed into a hare.
Hanrahan rose in frenzy there
And followed up those baying creatures towards --
O towards I have forgotten what -- enough!
I must recall a man that neither love
Nor music nor an enemy's clipped ear
Could, he was so harried, cheer;
A figure that has grown so fabulous
There's not a neighbour left to say
When he finished his dog's day:
An ancient bankrupt master of this house.
Before that ruin came, for centuries,
Rough men-at-arms, cross-gartered to the knees
Or shod in iron, climbed the narrow stairs,
And certain men-at-arms there were
Whose images, in the Great Memory stored,
Come with loud cry and panting breast
To break upon a sleeper's rest
While their great wooden dice beat on the board.
As I would question all, come all who can;
Come old, necessitous.  half-mounted man;
And bring beauty's blind rambling celebrant;
The red man the juggler sent
Through God-forsaken meadows; Mrs.  French,
Gifted with so fine an ear;
The man drowned in a bog's mire,
When mocking Muses chose the country *****.
Did all old men and women, rich and poor,
Who trod upon these rocks or passed this door,
Whether in public or in secret rage
As I do now against old age?
But I have found an answer in those eyes
That are impatient to be gone;
Go therefore; but leave Hanrahan,
For I need all his mighty memories.
Old lecher with a love on every wind,
Bring up out of that deep considering mind
All that you have discovered in the grave,
For it is certain that you have
Reckoned up every unforeknown, unseeing
plunge, lured by a softening eye,
Or by a touch or a sigh,
Into the labyrinth of another's being;
Does the imagination dwell the most
Upon a woman won or woman lost.?
If on the lost, admit you turned aside
From a great labyrinth out of pride,
Cowardice, some silly over-subtle thought
Or anything called conscience once;
And that if memory recur, the sun's
Under eclipse and the day blotted out.
It is time that I wrote my will;
I choose upstanding men
That climb the streams until
The fountain leap, and at dawn
Drop their cast at the side
Of dripping stone; I declare
They shall inherit my pride,
The pride of people that were
Bound neither to Cause nor to State.
Neither to slaves that were spat on,
Nor to the tyrants that spat,
The people of Burke and of Grattan
That gave, though free to refuse --
pride, like that of the morn,
When the headlong light is loose,
Or that of the fabulous horn,
Or that of the sudden shower
When all streams are dry,
Or that of the hour
When the swan must fix his eye
Upon a fading gleam,
Float out upon a long
Last reach of glittering stream
And there sing his last song.
And I declare my faith:
I mock plotinus' thought
And cry in plato's teeth,
Death and life were not
Till man made up the whole,
Made lock, stock and barrel
Out of his bitter soul,
Aye, sun and moon and star, all,
And further add to that
That, being dead, we rise,
Dream and so create
Translunar paradise.
I have prepared my peace
With learned Italian things
And the proud stones of Greece,
Poet's imaginings
And memories of love,
Memories of the words of women,
All those things whereof
Man makes a superhuman,
Mirror-resembling dream.
As at the loophole there
The daws chatter and scream,
And drop twigs layer upon layer.
When they have mounted up,
The mother bird will rest
On their hollow top,
And so warm her wild nest.
I leave both faith and pride
To young upstanding men
Climbing the mountain-side,
That under bursting dawn
They may drop a fly;
Being of that metal made
Till it was broken by
This sedentary trade.
Now shall I make my soul,
Compelling it to study
In a learned school
Till the wreck of body,
Slow decay of blood,
Testy delirium
Or dull decrepitude,
Or what worse evil come --
The death of friends, or death
Of every brilliant eye
That made a catch in the breath -- .
Seem but the clouds of the sky
When the horizon fades;
Or a bird's sleepy cry
Among the deepening shades.
Samuel Jan 2012
There was a boy named Jack
who wanted to be an artist
but his parents wouldn't hear it
past their deluded visions of grandeur
doctors, lawyers, businessmen
it was in the cards for Jack
had been since he was born
and the cards don't change

Jack made it through each bleary day
mixing paints from eggshells he found
outside the window in the hill
only he knew about
and when a smile flickered on
his face, it wasn't staying long
at least until once he's alone and he
can be himself, as if
it was in the cards for Jack
had been since he was born
and the cards don't change

and while he grew he came to see
Jack as is would never free his
life-long dreams from in this cage
so Jack soon lost his hope to anger
within the pleasant walls because
it was in the cards for Jack
had been since he was born
and the cards don't change

then the day Jack found a gun
lying on his pillow with a note
from an angel to let him know
he's holding up the party
and six minutes later the
walls were painted red with
Jack's new-found freedom in
joyous ******* slashed
diagonally across the
flower print
it was in the cards for Jack
had been since he was born
and the cards don't change
Please comment and let me know your thoughts. Please.

This is my favorite time of year
The one thing I live for
Is getting my annual invitation
Hand delivered at the door
It says "Dear Occupant"
or sometimes "your name here"
"We would like this chance to ask you"
"to see what's new this year"
"Please come to this year's Psychic Fair"
"We hope you will attend"
"Please RSVP by Tuesday"
"We'll see you soon...our friend!"
Dear did they know
I'm unlisted in the book
My identity is secret
You can't find me if you look
I guess that's why they're psychics
They know exactly where I'm at
They know I'm waiting for my invite
They just KNOW....and that is that
Each year it's at the same place
Off the highway, past the mall
They always set up lots of tables
But, they never fill them all
This year's ad had promised
This year would be better than the last
So...I sent them back my rsvp
And I got it to them fast
I showed up in line on Friday
Not too early ....not too late
The fair began next morning
The ad said...doors open at eight
I sat outside and waited
Had my blanket, pillow too
I was there for oh....six hours
Before I saw occupant number two
"****" he said when he pulled in
"I was hoping to be first in line"
"Now, I'm gonna miss the real good stuff"
"I may as well have come at nine"
I sat there and ignored him
Knowing deep down that he was right
Then I settled down to sleep a bit
And help to pass the night
At seven ten I woke, all set
To get into the fair
I looked around and saw no one else
Just the two of us were there
I didn't mind, I what
I'm still the first one in
the others, just can eat my dust
Though the crowd, looked kind of thin
At eight o'clock the doors went click
The lock had been released
From somewhere in the building
By a switch inside the beast
We went inside and looked around
Two hundred tables on display
My heart was just on fire
This would be a special day
Tarot cards, divining rods
crystal ***** and magic wands
Harry Potter robes, more tarot cards
Crystal light strips for your ponds
Readings, Writings, images
Pictures written in the stars
They even had some dream catchers
You could hang up in your cars
I went up to the first booth
I met a psychic there named Joe
He asked me what I wanted
If he was real..then he would know
I saw comics, mind drinks
astrolgers, and saw lots of things to buy
But, every single psychic
Seemed a fraud to me...but why?
I picked up a blue crystal
Was told it would swing and show me things
It would help me to get centered
Good luck to'd bring
I held it and I chanted
It just hung there on my chest
I said "This thing's not full of magic"
He said "It's just having a rest"
I tried again, with thirty more
they all just hung there like dead weight
He said "they all were swinging yesterday"
"give them time....just wait"
An hour passed, my neck gave out
They all fell to the floor
He said "don't leave..I've got a special one"
"Please try this one rock more"
I said that I would try it
But this one would be the last
I'd noticed more folks coming in
And a lot of time had passed
Again, it just ...well, hung there
Nothing happened...but just then
I sneezed and yes guessed it
Nothing happened once again
I left and found a reader
One who said he'd tell me all
I just had to pay him twenty
He said the cards would make the call
A simple deck of tarot cards
All dented and all marked
Were laid out front before me
So in the seat I parked
He turned over the devil
Followed by the jester and the moon
I asked what these three cards meant
"He said, you might be dead by noon"
"or, they could mean something else"
"We'll let the cards decide
"they also might mean that you spent
Last night sleeping outside"
the next three cards turned over were
"A castle, queen and wreck"
He said that these tell me
"My kids have used my deck"
I left him there and moved along
I would give them one more chance
I tossed a coin to pick with who
I would dance the psychic dance
I made my choice and walked on to
A psychic known as Rosie
She was dressed in jeans, and tunic shirt
Just sitting kind of cozy
"I know just why you came to me"
she said as I sat down
"But, you don't have that much trust in me"
"You think I'm just a clown"
"Without belief the things I say"
"will not mean one **** thing"
"without belief you'll waste my time"
"and the knowledge that I bring"
I told her I would listen first
and make my mind up later
I liked the way she came across
I didn't want to hate her
She didn't ask to touch my hand
Didn't even ask my name
She said she picked up my vibrations
That way it wasn't just a game
She told me things I never knew
Some things I'd heard before
But when she told me about children
I then passed out and hit the floor
she told me I'd get married
that I was precise and very giving
She asked if I had teapots
in my house, where I was living
I told her yes I had some pots
and then I asked her why
She said each *** inside my house
Meant one child born for I
This is when I hit the floor
I got a bump that was quite large
I told her "I made tea pots"
"I have a kiln inside my garage"
I said "each *** is one new child"
she said yes that much is true
It was then that she passed out
I said my house held ninety two!!!
Terry Collett Jun 2016
Tolson taught you how to play
Cards, the wisdom of cards
And you always looked to
The cards for the answers,
The ways out, the ways in,
Even he didn’t know what
You knew in the end, even he
Was out played when the time
Came; and you played your
Cards next to your breast;
Kept all things at arms reach,
At fingers fine touch; never
Allowing the men to get too close,
Never too near your heart or head.

And as you sit up in bed placing
The cards out upon your knees,
Looking for fortunes made or lost,
Searching for signs of better thing
Or dangers across dark waters or
Gazing at queer Queens of Hearts
Or jumping Jacks of Spades or
***** Kings of Diamonds all lost,
You smile at the signs seen, all there
In the placed down cards, the signs
Read, the message taken on board,
Settled down, and outside a bird sings
Its song and all’s going to be all right,
Nothing to worry about, nothing’s wrong.
2009 POEM.
Damaged Aug 2013
It may seem like nothing to you,
but now I look at it different.
Most people would see a deck of cards as nothing special.
For most, it's just a simple way of entertainment.
But for me, I look at them differently now.
A deck of cards can almost resemble society.
There's different shapes and colors.
Different values.
Isn't that how we are in the world today?
You see the aces and face cards,
they're like gold.
They're high in value.
Everyone wants them.
They're simply perfect.
Then there's the number cards.
You know,
two though ten.
They're nothing too special.
Sure sometimes they can be helpful and useful,
but most of the time they just get overlooked don't they?
Then there's the jokers.
Many people don't need them.
They throw them out or throw them to the side.
Or people just simply laugh at Jokers.
They're useless right?

So now walking around, think about this.
Who are you?
Who do you make others feel like they are?
Do you smile at and be kind to everyone around you?
Treating them as those spotless ace and face cards?
Or do you just overlook people?
Is everyone a number card to you?
And I hate to ask, but are you the bully who makes everyone feel like a joker?
Do you tease, or ignore people?
Making them feel like the most unwanted people in the world?

So the next person you see, really stop and think;
how valuable is this person going to feel after an encounter with me?
A little rough, but I think my point has been made. My coach/history teacher did a little activity with us that was exactly what I said above. It really got me thinking.
Jamin Jan 2015
I'm sitting in the space of my eldest brother
Sorting water dameaged hockey cards
While I softly sing another
Song we grew up on
That nobody seems to like anymore
Not even the cards

This is what life is like
It seems less fair than it is
But I'm grateful for
The leftovers in my fridge

I'm the last one to come
And the last one to go
I'll be the last one
To say "I love you"
In a chapel
And I wouldn't have it faster

As long I'm dry
And as long I'm fed
As long as I'm breathing
I am at my best
I am at my best

I got in entranced by a girl I should have known better
The very same soul of whom I'd said "never"
And she is loved by my hearts brother
I'm going to a place we traveled together
But he's not with me
No, he isn't with me

We all have dreams

Some larger than others
Some oversized for my size 10 feet
These water damaged hockey cards
Are my only company
Nov 4, 2014
frankie crognale Apr 2014
life is nothing but a huge game of cards.  the drawing pile is a new chance, and the discard pile bunch of stale second chances that were once taken. the cards you have in your hand are what you currently posses, and you most likely are not happy with the order they've come to you in.  when someone asks for one of your cards, despite not enjoying yourself with it, you're hesitant to give away your card, as if you've grown attached to the way the cards laid out in front of you are arranged.  if you gave it away, everything would be a little bit off balance, and it might take you a while to readjust yourself to the new card. once you finally do give it away, you realize you made the wrong decision.  you figure that if you rearrange your set of cards completely, you could begin forming a new norm, and be on your way to winning the game.  you frantically begin giving your cards away to the other players and keep drawing cards from the pile of new chances. somewhere along the way you lost yourself in the game, and all your cards disappeared, and just like that, the game is over.
Don Moore Feb 2016
The Reaper who walks but one step behind you
And when you’re down he’ll come play cards with you
Win or lose he doesn’t care, he has time to spare
And the Reapers loss is very rare
He’ll knock you down and kick you in the groin
And just to make sure one in the head if he doesn’t get his coin

To him you are Chicken in the basket
And his only job is to get you in the casket
If he gets you down, he’ll pluck you cards from your still right hand
Leaving you cold and in a box with nothing more than your wedding band
One thing’s for sure, if you lose the fires of hell are waiting
And if you win, the Reaper will leave you hating
You’ll feel his dark weight on your shoulders for the rest of your days
And he will make the time you have left black until you do as he says

Die, Die, Die is what your are told
But it would seem you are too bold
But the wind of change is blowing for you
And life was fine until he kick it up a notch for you...

The Reapers hand of cards fills you with dread
As you know you have a chance of ending up dead
Fear, Fear, Fear throw the cards in the air
Cower in the dark and pull your hair

The Reaper who walks but one step behind you
And when you’re down he’ll come play cards with you
Win or lose he doesn’t care, he has time to spare
And the Reapers loss is very rare
He’ll knock you down and kick you in the groin
And just to make sure one in the head if he doesn’t get his coin
Duncan Brown Jul 2018
The golden rule never gives change.
And gamblers only drink champagne
Losers can’t afford it
Don’t play poker with medicine men
Doc Holliday's a sore loser
It goes with his obsession
He's a dentist by learning
A gambler by profession
An' a renaissance assassin
A Medici Faustian bargain
Playing the green baize table
Where ten’s the changing sign
The alchemist’s calling card
The card of transformation
A card of changing of beds
And a change of friends
They could even be enemies
Fortune changes for the worse
An’ losing is a winning gamble
When hands like feet change direction
Losing yourself is the smart play
Sooner’s so much better than later
In time the world loves a loser
But gamblers hate a debtor
I.O U’s don’t spell for less than A an’ E
They’re just vowels without provenance
Gambling cashes in on culture
Money is the 'lingua franca'
Of a very deadly silent economy
No really one talks about it
An’ you can’t keep your eyes off it
But sure as hell everyone
Listens to the silence
Ten’s the calling card of consequence
A very suitable number
In Fire Earth Air and Water
They can be quite soulfully pedestrian
You never know what’s in the elements
A good card to keep up your sleeve
But lose your shirt you lose everything
An’ it goes without saying a lot
Not a good card to be found naked with
Be careful with a nine in any colour
It’s the most deserving in the highest
Nines, sleeves and gambling
Are a triple tray of troubles
Heads have been known to be served
On a tray of trays
Nines can be very Trinitarian
And quite John the Baptist
A good card to lose in haste
But eternal if a friend,
There’s none better
Eights go on forever
The Via Dolorosa of numbers
They are a sacred journey
Only the compassionately beautiful
Gamble with an eight in their hands
Eight is a sacred mystery
In any suit it is never cut
And always woven
From a seamless gambled-for cloth
Eight never gambles in suits
Only in garments
Never gamble with an eight
Unless you’re gambling with redemption
Hand life and soul have been
Eternally lost or found on an eight
Truly a gamblers card
And sometimes a calling card
As every gambler knows
A card of consequence and karma
When it calls keep your eyes on the dealer
Sure as hell a deal's been done
An’ all the blue eyes are on you
Sevens like fives are a journey
Good cards for travellers
Wanderers and shape shifters
Seven seas and five continents
Suits those wandering souls among us
Two solitary prime numbers
Indivisible onto themselves
They can be quite pedestrian
Fives can be over confident over land
But they shouldn't try to be seven
Walking on water's a mistake
Unless you’re an avatar
Treading wine is better and safer
Fives and sevens are a journey
Good cards to keep in your shoes
Sixes are sixes by themselves
An’ they don’t go with sevens
They're the card of reflection
A scriptural card if ever there was one
A card dressed in a triple mirror
Vanity and vexation in the curves
A card to turn and turn
And turn your eyes again
The number of this card
Another Trinitarian consequence
Is reflected in the mirror
An image of ourselves
The card has an identity problem
Don’t knock it, you might need it
It’s your friend in need of friend
An’ with friends like that
It's just as well that any three
From any four sixes
Is the sign of a winning hand
In a loser’s smile
And the best part of a full house
A card of Jezebels, angels
And mirrors, on reflection
Don’t you just love sixes
Five is five and let’s not talk about it
It’s an assassin’s calling card
It goes with its own territory
A card that doesn’t take prisoners
Fours are strangers at the door
Every one with a Matthew birth mark
In the image of John
Like four seasons they arrive
Like pilgrims then are gone
To change themselves to be
The same again, another season
Another fall of leaving calls
A card for all weathers
And shelter in a storm
You are kind of pleased to see it
But you don’t know why
Also cards of mystery and obviousness
And only fools an’ fours
Can tell the difference
It’s the ‘maybe’ card
You never really know with fours
The proverbial knocking at your doors
But sure as hell
They’ll never ring a bell
A tidy card to send to acrobats
And other kinds of well-balanced people
That’s what fours are for
Commitments tailored to your needs
And the occasional highly wired friend
Don’t go out without them
You never know if you might need them
Threes are trinities and divinities
Fathers Sons an’ Holy Ghosts
And more usually the cause
Of a quick divorce
The world moves in threes
Sattwas Rajas and Tamas
The triune dance of the universe
Light, Action and Inertia
It even grows on trees
Every one’s a traveller
Some are even gypsies
A good card to keep in your shoes
They can be an invitation
Or a visitor from a distant place
They're the taxi cards of the pack
Call them when you wanna go
Somewhere, they'll arrive
They're the calling cards of falling friends
You'll never be lonely on journey
Of five and sevens with a three
They’re the crucifixion card
Unless it suits you otherwise
To be so amused
Deuces are twos, the mirror card
Duality’s their basic business
They really are a wolf card
Always travelling in packs
Not sufficient to be dangerous
An’ just enough to not be lonely
They really appreciate your company
It suits their reflective existence
To travel in togetherness
The faces are places searching for aces
Jacks in a pack never look back
If they can possibly look sideways
Concealing their knavish tendencies
They’re quite the well-tailored card
Fine raiment maketh a fool attractive
In very unfashionable circumstances
Treachery an’ deceit on each turning face
Sure as Clementine’s your long lost darling
An Ophelia never got her hand in time
A gambling Hamlet is a sight to see
Jealousy rage and a ferocious anger
Writ upon a countenance looking back
Beyond the cardboard eyes of the beholder
Dumb broads are never dumb
And seldom abroad
Sometimes they can be
A very home loving card
Two jokers live in every pack
One out front the other looks back
They’re the magpies in the deck
Less in sorrow than in joy
They cover every missing face
The hooded birds deserve their place
Their reputation precedes them
In black and white they are the night
In colours they’re magnificent sevens
And they’ve really got your number
In spades it suits their harlequin fashion
To be a veritable grave digging charmer
In jewels they ***** the precious deck
Two diamonds and they’re everybody’s
The vagrant royalty rules the roaming pack
Their world is another creature’s finery
Gamblers are such snazzy jazzy dressers
If you have to lose a shirt do it in style
Second hand clothes and second hand hands
Aren’t so much a misfortune more an affliction
Desperately seeking a lost occasion
Well-heeled fools engrave it on their heart
Better be dead in your gracious threads
Than kicking in rags of common comfort  
They’re the card that always looks back
The face in every hand smiling at you
Looking at them with cardboard eyes
Then there’s the precisely tailored box
The transient funeral parlour
In a good-looking box like that
You can die an’ dine anywhere
In reasonable style
If you’re tailed a toss head first
Into a losing situation
Cards never call they beckon
And if they speak it’s a good idea to listen.
Terry Collett Sep 2013
Dennis watched
as Miss Richie
slapped your face
and then stormed off

what was that for?
Dennis said
you rubbed your cheek
fire hot

I guess she didn't like
what I said
you replied
what did you say?

he asked
I asked her
if it was her face
or was she breaking it in

for an ape
you said
Dennis laughed
his green/blue eyes lit up

like pinball lights
what made you say that?
he said
because she would me up

and said I had a discarded look
you said
maybe you have
he said

maybe I have
but that's my face
not hers
you said

the bell rang
for morning break
and so you went down
the back stairs with him

and into the playground
and took out
your football player cards
and set down

by the far wall
and joined in the game
of flicking cards
nearest the wall

but Derek won
the first lot
and you lost
your favourite

and watched
as he handed them
into his winning pack
over in the other corner

plump Miss Richie was standing
arms folded
glaring at you
any more

for any more?
Derek said
count me in
you said

taking more cards
out of your jacket pocket
and along with Dennis
and Derek and Richard

you flicked your cards
and the game
was in play once more
Dennis's card won

and he collected the cards
on the ground
by the wall
that's me out of cards

you said
and wandered off
to where Ingrid
sat alone

by the playground steps
hair pinned back
with metal grips
her grey skirt stained

her cardigan holey
with missing buttons
her eyes brightened
when she saw you

saw you lost cards
she said
yes not my day
you said

not mine either
she said
what's up?
you said

I lost my dinner money
she said
and dad will **** me
when he finds out

where'd you lose it?
you said
don't know
I went to get it

from my bag
and it was gone
she said tearfully
you put your hand

in your trouser pocket
and took out a 2/6d coin
here have mine
you said

I can't
she said
what will you do
about your dinners?

I'll tell my mum
I lost it
you said
but she'll get angry

with you
Ingrid said
yes but she'll not **** me
or harm me

unlike your old man
you said
she took the coin
and put it

in her cardigan pocket
thank you
she said
no other boy

would do that for me
they don't like me
and call me names
she said

I like you
you said
and walked up
the stairs

to the boys' toilets
wondering how to tell
your mother
you'd lost your coin

on that Monday morning
on your way to school
as you opened the door
and entered the stall.
Mike Hauser May 2014
I use these cards to tell a story
I use them as a metaphor
The love of the heart, the riches in found in diamonds
All in this game of cards

I use the spades to uncover treasure
With the clubs I guard my score
And still I deal 52 in measure
Playing of the cards

As the Queen holds Suiter's in numbers
Fist clutching tight, Ace in the hole
As the King stands by in royal oblivion
The Joker laughs on

So guard your heart in all its glory
Diamonds does not riches make
No matter what they say a ***** is still a *****
Clubs only get in the way

I use these cards to tell a story
I use them as a metaphor
Have you seen yourself in the deal that I just dealt
Life's a lively game of cards
min Apr 2017
your plans are collapsing again
you try to consult them even if it drives you insane
with every collapse you get panicked even more
if you fail this time you can't pay your score
you see it's not working your hands are shaky
if this collapses again you know it will be achy
you can't go back, you need to work hard
this situation is so sensitive like a house of cards
only 2 cards left and your work is done
then you can say that you have won
with full of concentration you want to place the 2 cards
you are scared it might hurt like big sharp shards
one single mistake and it's all over
you realise how your once high chances become lower and lower
you begin to sweat and your heart beats faster
it reminds me of so many , especially a roller coaster
a roller coaster with many starts but no goal
you are still alonel in this pitch black hole
there doesn't exist something like   luck
but you are so deep in your thoughts
that you didn't notice it collapsing...

Your House Of Cards
Yesenia Acevedo Sep 2015
Matt had just finished reading the letter Eve wrote him. As always she said she loved him and forgave him among other things. Though he wasn't sure he believed her anymore about anything she said. Eve had asked him so many times why he had killed Sam. On September 17th, 2003 he decided if he just told her maybe she would finally hate him. He started to write the letter that would finally put an end to all of Eve's endless searching for answers that could never justify his actions. He began to stroke the tip of his pencil to the paper as the memory materialized claiming his mind leaving a simple fool behind with his empty eyes staring down at the prison floor.  

Eve sat on the couch that rested against the wall in the master bedroom that at the time had been Julie's room. Matt sat a few feet away from her in a folding chair babbling about anything he could to keep the conversation going with her. Eve invited Matt to accompany her outside to share a cigarette, with a smile of relief he agreed. Once finished they returned to the bedroom. This time they sat closer together with a small table between them. With a quick gesture he presented the deck of cards.

"Would you like me to tell you your future?"

he asked displaying a smile as cheesy as the idea that he could actually predict her future with playing cards.  His eyebrows shot up and down in a rhythm that prevented Eve from repressing the grin that surfaced mimicking  his own.

"You guys are ******* stupid."

The sound of Julie's voice penetrated the invisible bubble that had been cast by their foolish adolescence. Julie's laughter left their cheeks warm with embarrassment silencing their emotions. They both awkwardly searched the room unwilling to make eye contact. Matt combed through his hair with his hand resurrecting the nerve to look up at her with those lost eyes she enjoyed so much. When his nerve remained steady he spoke,

"Let's go to the living-room?"

She couldn't help but smile. Still flushed she eagerly agreed, happy to get away from Julie and the others in the bedroom. He carried the little table while she carried the folding chair following him to the living-room. They positioned the chair and table in front of the recliner where he sat across from her. He began to shuffle the cards telling her,

"I'm serious, i can read your future with these cards. Just ask me any question you wanna know about. Then pick a card from the deck and i'll answer it."

Knowing he was completely full of ****, once again, she smiled at him. He laid the cards out on the table spreading them out for her.

"Go on, ask. Pick one."

he said with a serious look that changed into a cocky grin. She leaned forward in her chair relaxing the muscles in her face. She brought her hand up allowing her chin to rest between her index finger and thumb then she squinted her eyes at the cards as she said,

"Hmmm... let me think.

When she knew what question to ask she spoke. While asking her question she released her chin pointing her index finger up towards the ceiling then at him. When she finished her sentence she placed her hand  on her lap.

Oh I know! Remember when I told you that I love to write?"

He swallowed hard and admitted,

"Yeah, I remember."

"Well, my question is, will i ever write a book?"

She folded her arms across her chest cocking her head to the side then lifting a brow at him waiting with anticipation for the answer to her question. His eyes widened and he inhaled deeply telling her in a flat tone,

"Pick a card".

She hovered her hand over the cards, scanning back and forth stopping in the center she pulled the card up handing it to him. He took it from her turning it over onto the table. He placed both arms on the table leaning down towards the table to studying the card. He then looked up at her with amazement and said,

"Oh this is interesting."

Her eyes brightened letting laughter fill the air around them.  

'Yeah? Tell me. What do you see?"

"Hold on. There's more."

He looked back down at the card. He began to tap his fingers on the table taking his time to respond.

"Okay, I think I got it all. You will write a book. As a matter of fact, you'll write more than one. You actually become quite good at writing. I can tell just by looking at this one card."

"Huh, is that right? And does the card tell you what i'm going to write about?"

"Yes, it does. But i think i'll let that be a mystery."

They both laughed. Matt crashed into reality as her laughter faded in his mind. He stared down at the blank piece of paper. Finally he began to write the letter he had been advised by his lawyer and his conscience not to write.


Hello. uh, ****. I thought about writing this letter so many times and now that it's time, I can't figure out what I should say. I guess I should start out apologizing, but i won't.  There's no point in me saying I'm sorry because no matter how many times I say it, it will never be enough. And you don't have to apologize for taking a long time to write because in my mind it is truly a blessing to have ever gotten a letter from you, given the circumstances.  And i won't be getting my high school diploma because I got kicked out of the program. They kicked me out for no reason. I'm out with the adults now which is cool. I haven't gone to my unit yet because I'm in the hole and i get out the day after tomorrow, Friday the 19th. Well, since you asked, I've been in here being a hell raising down *** ***** ***** trying to make it seem as though I'm not scared of being locked in a cage with the rest of these murderers, thief's, **** o's and other type of bad guys. But I guess I'm one of them now. I'm not really that scared anymore. I got some nice size arms from doing push ups and I'm an okay fighter. I'm a real troublesome inmate. I've spent like 10 months in the hole in total. But before I continue let me say what I got to say. You've asked me in county jail and many other times so here it is... o.k. you Julie, Amanda, Jeff and Jake left somewhere and I was in my room with Sam. Sam starts crying like hell and I finally get him to stop so me and him are chilling, thinking where the hell you are and Amanda pops her head in the door then leaves. Sam probably thought it was you and he starts screaming and then i started to think about how someone stole my money, my cigarettes, most of my beers, screaming, my mom accuses me of stealing gum, ritain pills, ****, and robbing Katie's house, screaming, you treat me like I'm for you to use when your feel like it, broke one of my speakers, Derek comes out of no where and you love him, screaming, I don't got no money, probation officer never leaves me alone, radio is ****** up, school *****, about to go juvie for a ***** U.A.  All of those thoughts came to me at once and the next thing i know I'm watching me lift Sam by his neck, throw him on the bed and start punching him in the chest. I tried to stop myself but I was moving in slow motion while I'm punching as hard and as fast as I can and then i stopped.

Matt stopped reading the letter unable to relive the memory any further. He folded it and placed it  in the already addressed envelope.
At the this point in the story Matt is in prison, so from now on he will only appear in Eve's point of view for a while. As for Jake he doesn't reappear for sometime. New characters will be added shortly.
Patrick Austin Sep 2018
Our Backgrounds before we met...

I'm an only child born in Montana in 1983, from a divided home. Parents divorced at seven, Mom was unstable and unfaithful. Dad obtained custody of me and we moved to Oregon Coast to live with my Grandma. I had unhealthy visits and relationship with Mom thereafter. My Grandma died at 12 and at 13 my Dad remarried an alcoholic woman, I had a strained relationship with them until adulthood when she stopped drinking. I had exposure to trauma; alcoholism, mental illness, verbal abuse and juvenile troubles. I rebelled by using drugs in my late teens and early twenties, I lived on my own for a few years after high school but had little direction.

My bride is the eldest with two little brothers, parents stayed in same area of Portland during childhood with lots of family support and her parents stayed married. They had Christian values but some anger and anxiety issues at home. She was sexually assaulted at 17 and never had good closure with this. She told me her parents didn't provide her enough help with things like this growing up. Status quo was the backbone of the family dynamic, challenging emotions were discouraged. She rebelled by being reckless with herself, financially and sexually. She decided to join the Navy at 19. She lived alone briefly, but mostly with Grandparents & Parents before our marriage.

I loved how we both grew up reading Archie comics. No other girl I had ever met had that in common with me. I think we wanted a surreal life like the one in Riverdale.


She and I were 19 when we first met in my home town on the coast at an arcade. We became friends and secretly liked each other. I was too nervous to ever make a move on her. We traveled together, she stayed with me, we used drugs together and drank at times. One night she drank too much and had *** with a guy I knew at a party. I was devastated by this. She was Navy bound and I didn't see a real future for us. The next morning she left and I didn't talk to her again for two years. I figured she would be gone with the Navy soon and that she must not have been interested in a relationship with me despite the time we spent together.


I was depressed about this rejection. I dated an older woman who was interested in me but was no substitute. I eventually moved to the Portland area to work and live. I still had few plans and was lonely, in or out of the few brief relationships I attempted. I never found someone that I felt safe with or had a true connection, let alone true love. She ended up not following through with the Navy and continued working her way up in her job at the call center. She attended community college and dated a few guys. She dated one guy for a couple of years who was not a good match for her but stayed with him off and on despite issues. His family was wealthy and treated her well. He slept around on her as did she. At one point he gave her an STD. She also had an ongoing affair with a married man in the military that she went to high school with. He had a child and a wife with mental health issues. She was still hurting a lot at times and not always doing well.


She reached out to me via email after two years of no contact. We emailed back and forth a couple times over the next few months. We talked about meeting up. We spoke on the phone and eventually met up in Portland. We had an amazing night getting to know each other again and work past the confusion of our earlier days of friendship. I realized that she did in fact like me before but since I was timid and trying to be proper and take things slowly she didn't understand my motives. She apologized for her actions at the party as well. She claimed she was in a really messed up place and was making bad choices at that time. Getting our feelings out in the open was good and she appreciated my attitude towards being slow to make moves on her when we first met. I was worried about falling for her based on our history but eventually I was determined to give it a shot. We soon after starting dating and being intimate. Our love was extremely powerful and beyond all others we had both experienced. She broke ties with other suitors and shortly after we talked about marriage and started planning a wedding for the next year.

I remember when we first held hands. We were so shakey and she was quivering on my couch as I had my arm around her. We felt so safe with each other. We could finally be ourselves and do what our hearts desired. We knew we were on to something new and so amazing. We were so patient with each other as we navigated our new love and emotional thresholds.

I remember when we saw Matisyahu in concert together. That was a once in a lifetime experience and a life-changing moment for us. I feel it set the tone for things to come in our future.

I remember how creative my proposal to her was, in the Arcade where we first met. I hid the ring in a prize container from one of those claw machines. Pretending I got the ring from inside by reaching into the machine on one knee I was so nervous and wasn't sure if I could pull it off before she caught on. She looked so shocked and surprised. I was so excited she said yes! We took pictures in the photo machine and had burgers afterwards, I'd do all of it all over again just to see her face in that moment.


We found an apartment for us in Portland. I moved in while she was still living back with her parents until the wedding. She had to change her number because the married man she was previously involved with kept calling her about changing her mind about marriage and continuing their relationship. She was offered a job in Denver and we decided to move away together after our sandy wedding in Cannon Beach. I still had a very hard time and was embarrassed with my past history with her. Many of my friends knew what had happened at 19 and how much it hurt me but I was so crazy about her I think I tried to pretend it didn't happen or that it was not a big deal because we were younger. We got married and moved to Colorado soon after. We made friends at a church, I became more active as a Christian and really loved being married. We were very involved in keeping spirituality in our marriage. I began to notice her poor financial decisions and practices more. This caused conflict but we always tried to communicate and work on things.

I remember when we went down to my folks for New Year's in 2005. We sipped tea in my Datsun as we drove to the coast over the snowy mountain pass. We told them of our engagement. We were all so blissful and excited. We never knew what was to come. We didn't even know about the opportunity in Denver yet. Our story is amazing!

I remember when I wanted to go see her in Portland and the roads were iced over. I left my car at a park and ride before I caused a wreck. I took the light rail across town then rode a bus to the Eastside shopping mall. The bus to her house was not running because it wasn't safe so I walked the rest of the 4 Miles sometimes having to crawl on my hands and knees to make it up hills in the ice and then I finally made it only to just spend a couple hours with her and fall asleep on her parents couch. Her Dad drove us back the next morning to my car so I could get to work. It was all worth it just to see her for that little extra time. I would have done anything for her.

I remember when she was interviewing for the new position in Denver? I drove all over Portland trying to find little toy cars to help with her illustration about how a team is like a car having all four wheels and how they work together to accomplish a goal. I was so proud of her for giving it her all and succeeding at earning that position. Now that I think of it, that car analogy applies to our family and us. We all need each other to be better and keep on track and be a team. I am so motivated by that and our boys. I lose my way without that and I want to be her reflection and motivation as she has been that for me. I truly thought we brought out the best in each other when we were together.

I remember when we were given tickets to see Fiona Apple. That was so spontaneous and a great way to kick off our time in Denver together. We always used to watch our same movies over and over again. Like the Friends DVDs and White Christmas every winter break and The Wedding Singer. We walked everywhere and lived simply. "I wanna be the guy, who grows old with you"

I remember in our first Denver apartment when we took baths together in our claw foot tub in the big bathroom. We put a board over the top and played cards. I liked playing Uno with her in bed too. She was so funny being slightly color blind and in the dark, mixing up the greens and blues. We played Uno in Breckenridge too at that cool bed and breakfast in the fall.


We had continued fun and adventure in our new home of Denver. She was doing well as a trainer for the bank and I started working in health foods. We went camping in New Mexico a couple times with friends and we both took individual trips to Oregon as well as one together for her uncle's wedding. We had marital spats on occasion but always bounced back. The issues we had seemed like part of a normal marriage and were far better than what I had grown up around. I realized that marriage was a lot of work but I was up for the task. She occasionally became aggressive throwing things at me or breaking things during conflict.  I believed I was the problem and tried to change for her in many ways. With two incomes we still had trouble making our bills at times. She had debts that I never knew about that started to catch up with us but I took care of getting them settled and we paid off her car and traded it for an older Volvo Wagon that we both loved, I even had it repainted her favorite color for a birthday gift. Overall things seemed like they were progressing in a positive way.

I remember when we saw Midnight in concert in Boulder. That was the peak of our hippy days. We were alive with pleasure in our healthy vegetarian diets and practices living in a time and place like no other. I want to be like that again. Reggae was our music. We had much in common.


We really fell into our roles in our marriage and the community; church and culture, friends etc. Things seemed very balanced and appropriate for us at that time and that age (24-25). We had separate bank accounts and jobs. I had money in savings. We started the process of buying a house so we could invest in something. She became pregnant shortly after. I embraced the challenge with positive energy but we were both in for a big change. We started having more fights. I didn't have many friends and would write to old friends via social media just so I could to catch up and tell them things were going great with being married to make myself feel better than I actually did. She hated the dawn of social media and also felt isolated I'm sure. She felt I should be doing more for her and I didn't know how to do what she needed but I failed to ask a lot of the time. After one argument, she left the house. My instinct told me to look at ******* and ******* as a retaliation. I had not done this much once we were married because she always met my needs but when things were difficult between us I felt more emotionally isolated. She walked in and realized what I had been doing. She was very upset, and because she was pregnant, thought I was not attracted to her. The truth is I found her even more beautiful and in fact when I looked at ******* I tried to look at women I found less attractive than her so that I feel good about what I have. I mostly fantasized about how these women were more submissive and loving than her. That is the part I needed to feel good about and feel better about myself with because I felt very dominated and controlled. She has never forgiven me for this and I will never stop feeling sorry to her for my brokenness. During one particular argument that year she was getting close to being violent towards me again and I pushed her away on the chest with my fingertips. She got very mad and said I hurt her. I immediately felt terrible and apologized. I never let something like that happen again. I have always avoided violence towards others especially women and of course her. I was defenseless against physical and emotional abuse.


Our eldest son was born at the beginning of the year, it was a traumatic birth for everyone. We wanted a natural birth with a midwife but we were transferred to a hospital and she ended up having an emergency C-section, nothing went as planned. We had a really hard time coping with the emotions of this experience. A lot of buried feelings and trauma from both of us started coming out. We moved a month later into our new home outside of town. No more walking or biking to places, we had to drive everywhere. This house was next to our friends from church. We thought this would make us feel less isolated but we didn’t really have the community with them that we had hoped for. They were upset that they didn't have a child of their own yet and being around us might have been hard for them. My wife stopped working and stayed home with our son. All these changes made for a very difficult time. I did my best to support them but this was the first time we shared a bank account and needed to follow a budget more than ever before. We had no debt at the beginning of the year with money in savings but then the hospital bills put us down about $7,000 and rising with new home and moving expenses and baby needs. My job could barely keep up. She and I had a hard time adjusting. We could not afford to travel home to Oregon and visit family as much and we felt more and more isolated. She started showing me more signs of instability, locking herself in the bathroom with kitchen knives and scraping her legs which continued off and on for years to come. Talks of divorce and suicide threats seemed to happen more than before. I felt responsible and tried to fix her ever changing issues with me.

I remember when herr ******* were full and swollen with milk. It is so beautiful the way she could feed our babies. I wanted her in every way, our bodies belonged to each other. I was there for her and our shared pleasure. I loved it when she told me that she was mine in the heat of passion. This spark could only be a bandage for so long but I didn't know that yet.


I tried to promote within my company but was not selected, they were cutting budgets and employment all around me. I felt worried about our future. I had always thought the military might be a good opportunity and could move us closer to family back home. My father-in-law encouraged me to look into the Coast Guard. I felt this would be a good way to get moved closer to Oregon.  I ended up joining the Navy because we found out we were pregnant again with our second son and that was the only way I could join a military branch. She worked off and on as a nanny and later in the year at a coffee house working nights. We barely spent time together and when we did it was a lot of hard conversations or arguments about finances with making up intimately in the middle of the night between times of caring for the baby. She once scratched my neck with her fingernails during an argument. People I worked with noticed. It was a hard time and we knew change was on the horizon with jobs and moving. We did visit Oregon that summer though and had a great vacation at the beach with a borrowed 4x4 and staying at a hotel and picnicking out of a cooler as well as going to her brothers wedding. I was 26 and about to join the Navy to provide better for my family at all costs sacrificing myself for their benefit because I would have rather died than look like I didn't try my best for them.

I remember when our babies would kick and move around inside her belly. I loved laying by her and feeling her tummy. I would hum to the baby and hear them move and squirm. I loved giving our boys baths when they were babies too. We had our little bundles of our love, wrapped in a towel in our hands, so tiny and vulnerable. I miss those days and want to remember them with her, aside from this state of melancholy.


The Navy recruiters would only take me if we rented out our home and had her stay with family during boot camp and training. We moved to a furnished apartment in Denver and put our things in storage. She was 5 months pregnant and our eldest was two. I shortly after was let go from my job. Our second son was born in April. I got a contract with the Navy at the last minute but didn't leave until August. We sold our beloved vehicles and lived off retirement funds for six months and moved down to Florida where her parents had just moved out of the blue for work, to stay with them until I left for boot camp. I applied for temporary work in Florida at a dozen places but had no luck in my three months there. I took care of our eldest a lot while she took care of the new baby. Being in Florida was a culture shock for us but we had our moments of romance and made the best of it. Eventually I left for boot camp in August. It was really hard and sad to be gone. She stayed in Florida and came to visit me with the baby at boot camp graduation in October. I then went to Connecticut for five months of training. It was also hard but at least I could call home every day and be in the same time zone. I visited Florida during the winter break and saw my boys and her. We went to Disney world and had a great time on her parents. We also made a romantic home movie I could enjoy while away from her. I flew back to Connecticut and tried to make the best of things. My roommate was very abusive of substances and I resisted the temptation for a long time but the threat of being submarine service bound and missing my family pushed me to drinking every weekend and getting messed up to escape before I left.

I remember when we drove to Key Largo, Florida and stopped at a crazy bird wildlife center. I remember our oldest was so amazed hearing a bird say hello back to us. It was so foreign and fun there. I am glad we all shared that experience together.

I remember our trip to the citrus grove in Florida. That was such a great day for our family. I always look back on that with really fond sentiment. I felt like I was in a beautiful family music video with them.


I finished Submarine Training and got orders back to the Northwest. The plan was all coming together. I arrived first and bought a car and got our items moved from storage in Denver to our townhouse rental in Washington. She and the boys joined me a month later. I didn't report to my Sub for another month as they were at sea. She became pregnant again with our third son right after arriving. We had just bought a small car and were not planning on another child. Towards the end of the year I was working a lot and having a really hard time, being bullied and treated poorly at work plus our financial situation was still very difficult. Adjusting to the military was hard among younger men being 28. I dreaded each day in that environment but I tried to endure it for my family. I went to sea for a couple months at the end of the year stopping in Hawaii and California. During this time She reached out to her ex married affair partner after six years of no contact. She didn't tell me until later. She said she needed closure with him, we were not in counseling yet but she decided this was appropriate. I flew home early from sea and wanted to surprise her. The stress and trauma of this quick transition home after being to sea for the first time (which was also traumatic) made me want to drink and get messed up before flying. I arrived home and surprised her but I seemed off to her which I was but didn’t explain why, I have never done that since. I got to be home for two months almost work free while we celebrated the holidays and prepared for the new baby to be born. She started getting more involved with a church and building a community for us which was great. Our financial struggles almost led us to foreclosure of our home back in Colorado but by the grace of God we got it sold with a short sale just in time.

I remember when I came back from Hawaii and brought her a beaded necklace and she wore it naked with her big beautiful pregnant goddess belly and we made passionate hippy love together. I want to grow out my beard again and spend my life making hippy love and feeling free again.


Our third son was born in January. It was a very positive birth experience and much less stressful than the other two. Shortly after I flew out to finish the other half of the deployment I had missed. I really focused on being positive and spiritually connected by reading my Bible at sea which was helpful. I called her when I arrived in Japan halfway through being gone. She was upset because she tested positive for an STD while trying to get on birth control. I became suspicious of her yet she was suspicious of me. We both got tested again and I was clean, she told me she had a false positive after all. This put a big strain on our trust, especially being so far away. This forced us to be honest with each other about some things such as her contact with her ex lover and my drinking to cope. We were both very upset until I returned home and we could start some counseling to work through things. Forgiveness seemed to be difficult for us. It brought up hurts of the past when we were 19. She also had severe postpartum depression that became worse after each birth. I was still having a hard time with work and the submarine environment. Our church friends tried to counsel us but it was not the most helpful. My submarine was scheduled for extended repairs and not going to sea for three years, I would be transferred before the end of that period. I used this time to bond with her and my boys. I wanted to get better involved in our community and do volunteer work and side jobs to earn extra money. Our boys were all given diagnosis's for autism which begun to fill our lives with appointments and challenges for years to come but we were a good team in dealing with all of it. It gave us something to work together on but took our focus away from working on our own personal issues and relationship with each other as much as we should have.


We had new years with both sides of our family in a snowy mountain setting in Oregon. It looked like it was going to be a great year until her Grandpa passed away suddenly. It ripped our entire family apart but especially her. He kept the family grounded and she was very close to him, he really loved all of us. She and I started going on dates again because we had Navy sponsored child care. It was the beginning of a really good thing for us. Tragically one night after a date we were dancing with the boys on the patio and I tried to pick her up and I lost my balance and fell on her, breaking her collar bone severely. She needed surgery and was very mad at me for years to come. She has a scar, a metal plate and numbness in her chest. We worked through it with our community from church but she still is very mad at me. I feel more terrible about this incident than she could ever know. I would lose a finger in place of that incident if I could. I continued having a really hard time in the Navy and I didn't want to stay in but She insisted our boys needed care only the Navy could offer. She also said she would divorce me if I ever left the Navy. I took this threat seriously even though she assured me later that she would never actually do that. Against my own convictions I reenlisted because I wanted to do the best thing for my family. We moved into base housing at the end of summer and didn’t go out to do things as much anymore. The house was nice but it ****** us in, we also had less community with people around our home. I started volunteering at church more and doing work with special needs people. I felt like I was doing good things and that I had purpose all around. I think she appreciated this about me.


We started seeing a professional counselor together and individually. It became a regular event. I worked on myself and she worked on herself. I had a lot of issues with my Mom and eventually broke off communication with her for my own well-being and the betterment of my family. I got past a lot of the bad feelings I had. She worked on her traumatic experiences and our relationship dynamics. Just when things were going well I got a new boss who made things hard for me and others at work and I started messing up more. I got in trouble for messing up a job at work and was given strike one on my record. She lost respect for me as a provider but I tried to stay strong showing her that I would continue to do my best.

I remember when we had an appointment in Tacoma and we had a brunch date together afterwards. She looked so beautiful that day, I took her picture and was so proud to enjoy  huevos rancheros and momosas with her. I remember going to the Tacoma Art Museum seeing the Georgia O’Keefe exhibit, we have a great time together doing new things and feeding each other's interests. I loved laughing with her too, sometimes we just bust up like nobody's around. I loved the sound of her laughter. I loved watching Portlandia with her, it is so funny to remember the funny place where we became close and be able to relate together.


I kept working hard and being involved with family and appointments for my boys and her. I still maintained my volunteer work and part time side jobs. I got strike two with the Navy for messing up again... I had just gained orders to leave the sub for local shore duty. I could not get out of the extended repair situation soon enough. She was very disappointed in me and not so understanding. I worked through this situation with our counselor as did she. He always told her I am a good man and that I do a lot for her and the boys. It's true, I care more than anything about them, I made mistakes and I feel bad especially when I cause my family stress. I left for shore duty in April. It was a hard time adjusting to the new routine but eventually we seemed to make it work. That summer we took a trip to visit Texas where her parents had just moved from Florida. We spent a great night together for our 10th anniversary in a hotel in Texas and went dancing. We had a lot more time together as my work schedule was less. The more people we had in our home working with our kids on issues the less useful my input seemed. I was not included as much in making family decisions because they all seemed to happen while I was at work, despite my objections. We tried to get our budget under control but she still had anxiety discussing spending. She continued to struggle with depression and was put on medication because she had still been harming herself. She was put on Prozac daily and anti anxiety medication as needed. He family members were not very supportive of medication which upset her but I always tried to be supportive in seeking help and continued care for both of us.


We had a busy routine of kids in school now and home school and preschool and appointments for all of us. She wanted to go to church less and less. I started drinking a couple beers at night almost every day. I tried to mask my stress from her mood swings. She decided not to go to church at all anymore and focused teaching the boys about Jewish traditions exclusively which was hard for me to adjust to and confusing for the boys. I loved her and wanted to be supportive. As usual I was submissive and removed myself from the Christian church and some friendships. I feel like we lost our community at that point. We searched for a good place to have a new community with Jewish people but it was like starting over. I felt like I converted to Christianity for her when we got together and now I had to convert again, either way I would have done it for her because I loved her that much. The kids were confused by this change. After trying and failing at many synagogues we finally found one that seemed right for us.


We finally had some money in savings because I kept it a secret and ended up planning a trip to visit her parents in Texas but it fell through due to lack of military flights. Instead we spent three nights away in a nice hotel resort as a family in February. We had three days of pure family time. Playing Battleship and other games in our room as a family, watching movies and eating at all the different restaurants and getting room service. Going swimming everyday in the foggy pool. I love our family and how we can have a great time together doing nothing but at the same time so much. That was so peaceful and relaxing. I wanted to keep doing things like that together as a family before our boys got too old. Shortly after this vacation she wanted to go back to school, then we bought a third vehicle so she could. Shortly after this she changed her mind about school and wanted to buy another house instead. I went along with it to please her and we practically killed ourselves trying to get the move accomplished with not much help or money. We had a good year over all. We got away for a romantic anniversary together in the summer. Just before the boys were going to start public school in the fall, her parents moved back to the area. She had anxiety with this and cut off contact with her parents and brothers for a while. Her Dad called me very upset and I tried to keep the peace until they reconciled. I was doing better with work and made up for lost progress as well as making arrangements to change jobs in the Navy to something more fitting. Since the boys started public school, I planned on leaving for Navy training in my new position after the beginning of the new year when they would be at a more settled place in their routine.

I remember when we went to the Olympic Club for our anniversary and we stayed there for a night away. We drove the long way through the countryside talking about new music that she wanted to share with me and she made notes of it on my phone notepad. We brought our own cooler and picnic that included Session Lagers and chocolate. We checked in to our room and made noisy bohemian love on the edge of the creaky bed in our small European room inches from the door. Then we went to the theater downstairs and watched the late showing of a really interesting Sci-fi movie "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets". We took showers and slept sweetly together. We made love again in the morning before we had a delicious brunch outside on the patio. We took the long way home and drove around on new roads and found our way out of cell phone reception. We figured out the road less traveled to get back to our home. We loved being alone and away together, just one night can make such a difference and mean so much.

I remember going to the Forest Theater to see Tarzan with our boys. That was such a great time. I would love to get our boys into theater and go see them someday. I wanted to keep our dreams and goals together alive and not lose opportunity and fall short by losing our partnership.

I loved going camping in Seabeck. Loading the truck with all our gear and getting away. Archer got sick from the cowboy caviar and I had to clean him and the tent up in the night. I was glad we had each other to be a team in our marriage in that situation as with all the other times. These sorts of things are what escape a person's mind when they are determined to get a divorce.


We had a lot less money than the year before, again buying a house took its toll on finances as did the boys school and after school activities. I stayed very involved taking the boys to appointments and sporting practices. We stopped going to synagogue but tried to practice Judaism at home as much as possible, which I was very supportive of and involved with. She was still depressed and talking about suicide at times. I encouraged her to get help as I always had. Eventually she was diagnosed as Bipolar 2 and manic depressive by a new provider. She started taking new medicine for this and was worried I would want to leave her. I assured her I would never leave her and that I always wanted to work on things with her and help her. I left for training in Mississippi February 8th. It was going to be hard but I thought it might be good to have some time apart from each other to miss one another and reflect on things as well as prepare for times when I would be away at sea. I got in trouble in Mississippi for giving junior personnel a ride and being negligent of people who might be underage and possibly drinking, this became strike three. I never thought this could happen. I became recommend for separation from the Navy shortly after and was stuck in Mississippi for six months instead of six weeks. She was supportive through most of it but seemed to fall into hopelessness. Money was spent by her that we didn't have without discussion. She quietly leased appliances and tires and purchased a vehicle as well as having a secret bank account and email address. I discovered through our insurance company that she wanted to leave our policy for divorce. I didn't know this and she had even told the boys she wanted a divorce before I even knew. I was caught off guard and confused. I kept trying to communicate and reason with her but she didn't want to talk. I refused to give up and wrote emails and a letter but it only seemed to push her away further. By the time I left Mississippi she had filed for divorce and a restraining order against me saying I was unstable and a threat. I couldn't return to my home. My whole life fell apart in just a couple months. I found out she had been talking to other men in the Navy and keeping more secrets. I assumed this was her way of taking control during a difficult situation. I really needed her support during this hard time of transition out of the military. I became homeless, jobless and without my family in a month. I prayed to God that given time things might change between us but it was of no use. Bipolar had consumed whatever was left of my bride and there was no turning back.

I felt that our love was not one to be cast away. Other people might not understand or agree but what we had was truly special. We may have surely needed some time and space to get counseling as well as reconfigure and repair our marriage but I didn't feel like our relationship was irretrievably broken. She was so important to me and I thought she was the love of my life and would always have my heart. I wanted to be her partner in love and life, watching our boys grow up and being there to support each other. Being that she is Bipolar I knew she will need a lot of help and I was more than willing to assist her in making sure she was taking care of herself and not throwing herself into harm's way, ensuring she sticks with a plan we agree to for consistency. I cared about her deeply and had much compassion for her. I didn't believe she was thinking this through or thinking about the future. I really wanted to look at the long and short game with her, neither seemed appealing to me if we progressed but here we are. Things are not going to be easier. She will still have to face her problems and deal with me on a regular basis for the rest of our lives no matter what happens. She can believe her lawyer when they promise she'll get the moon and stars out of this in the end but they only see half of the story. Above all they want our money. It would have been good for her to face me in person and tell me she wanted to divorce and we could have started talking about it with a counselor to figure out how that could even work. Instead she chose to avoid as much responsibility for her actions as possible by doing everything in my absence as if I am not a real person. I had to find out about it from our insurance company and was last to know.

Immediately after I hear the word divorce I looked into her cell usage history and find she has a new military boyfriend that she talks to 20-30 times a day. She felt she owed me no explanation for this and it was none of my business. A mature person would have let me know about this months before and I would have seen it coming but there was no sign until it was seemingly too late. She strayed down a dark path and never turned back.

Her proposed parenting plan was cruel and had no thought put into it. Two hours a week with supervision, no holidays but father's day? She said she’s not trying to keep me from the kids but this is the exact opposite of what she’s saying with the paperwork she filed. She seems very mixed up and still you continues to make rash and sudden choices. Like a completely bogus restraining order against me that contradicts so many facts she has stated herself on record during my Navy retention process. She was so bold as to want to change her identity and even put it in ink on the divorce paperwork as well to a whole new name. That is not the actions of a stable person. She has since changed her mind again on that just as quickly as everything else in her recent life choices. I can't trust that any decisions she is making right now are for the right reasons or that she is of sound mind. I have never seen her so conflicted and confused, grasping at straws and running scared from herself.

Using the legal system so carelessly and going back and forth makes me feel like she is not ready to be making big choices and changes for her and our family. It is very unfair that she can’t consider my feelings on things and what I wish for the boys as well. Very reckless behavior. She can’t anticipate that the day would come where she has to face me and talk to me like an adult. She wants to hide behind the legal system which only leaves much to be unresolved. Ghosting me is not really an option in a marriage of 13 years with children.

Having relationship conversations is too difficult for her at this time and she would rather avoid it and skip to divorce because she thinks that will somehow be easier. I suspect she knows she is making poor choices, possibly out of fear and lust for something new and less painful than the reality of things right now. Our marriage was nowhere close to divorce when I left. She was sad to see me leave and woke with me at 3:30 am to say goodbye, making me coffee and cookies for me to take with.

Our community and accountability seems to be gone due to the continued trend of isolation that she is drawn to. The God fearing loving committed wife I thought I had is gone or trapped inside a terrified shell of herself. She cut me off from her family members and I can't discuss my concerns about her with them either. She only seems to have community with those who are not going to discourage her from these destructive choices.

I understand we have had issues and struggles but we are no worse off than other couples during challenging times. I think that because we loved each other so much it just hurt more when things got hard. I can't accept or believe this is justified or the right choice based on the positive trend we were on before I left. This was the longest break we have ever had from each other and I think she just needed someone to be there more for her, no matter who it was. Time can heal all wounds and I hope that is true for our relationship as co-parents.

She still refuses to tell me about why she wanted a divorce or talk about anything beyond caring for the kids. I have fought the restraining and I can see my boys again but I am still not allowed to my home without her permission.

I have risen from the ashes in just a couple months. I rent a room from a nice couple from our old church and obtained a good paying job while I continue paying the household bills.

This is a really hard time, this difficult spell could have been a tool to better our relationship. I wanted to experience more beautiful memories with her. We had so many more beautiful memories and dreams left to create. This is what marriage looks like to me now as I lower the casket.
This is a timeline of the major events during my 13 year marriage. Amidst the reality, I injected all the lovely memories that refuse to leave my mind.
Life is like a deck of cards,
you never know what you will get.
After you get what you (have) received,
you do not know if you’ll be deceived.

You try your best to play it right,
but all the noise made your grip (excruciatingly) tight.
You look left and right to find the answer,
you were not aware of the need of a Savior.

Life is like a deck of cards,
there can’t be just one player — at least two,
winning and losing depended on skills,
(but) sometimes before you even know it –
you were killed.

Every second — a grim sombre anticipation,
Every minute — a twist of hope and sense of admiration,
you try to scrape through using persuasion,
but all in all we’re in delusion.

A delusion, A deck,
of cards.
Comments, feedback or constructive criticism are always appreciated! to see more: :)
Niklaus Jul 2017
God took a new set of cards from his shelves,
And he began to shuffle the it
He named it Andres,
The hand pulled out a card which etches
"Life" and placed it at the bottom,
Instantly, the man started to breathe.

He took another card and formed his appearance
Arranging everything from its external points to internal ones;
Once the God was contented with the patterns,
He placed him down the desk which he called it, "earth."
After he secured the last layers of the man,
God let the people take the cards in his newly shuffled ones,
And they placed their own behind.

Most of the cards were fine,
Some cards are were torn apart
Some were beautiful, filled with roses and it's shining,
Some were made of numbers,
Some has vandals of poetry and drawings
Some were made of mechanical parts,
A few ones were made of diamonds and gems,
But Andres noticed that he kept on giving his king of hearts to the Queens,
And none of them ever held it for long.

He then asked God,
"Why am I bad at love?"
And the highest took all the cards that were left behind,
He spread across the table
And explained,
"You can't have everything, Son."
Courtney Gaura Feb 2015
There's 52 cards in a deck
One hundred and four in two
We play BS and poker
Cribbage and black jack
We play games with no name
There's one we all play
It's the game of life
Taking one day at a time
There's no skipping turns
Some will fold forever
But we all have to keep playing
We will sometimes teach others
A strategy or two
New players are always welcome
Sometimes we bet too much
Often we miss our big break
Because of insecurities and fear
Sometimes I fold the good hand
To help a friend
Not that they will ever know
I don't have many chips left
But that's okay
Because my last wish is
Only that my fellow player keep
I like playing cards
With my friends
I've gotten good at a game
Called S-heads
I win some and I lose some
But I never give in
Playing cards
How could anyone relate it to life
They are not the same
When I fold for the last time
I'll give you my hand
Of cards
Hidden in my sleeves
Send me a message if you want to learn how to play S-Heads or tell me if you've played

One night at the Troubadour I spotted this extraordinary girl.

So I asked who she was.

‘A professional,’

That was my introduction that on a scale of one to ten

there were women who were fifteens—beautiful, bright, witty, and

oh, by the way, they worked.

Once I became aware,

I saw these women everywhere.

And I came to learn that most of them were connected to Alex


She had a printer engrave a calling card

that featured a bird of paradise

borrowed from a Tiffany silver pattern

under it,

Alex’s Aviary,

Beautiful and Exotic birds.

A few were women you’d see lunching at Le Dôme:

pampered arm pieces with expensive tastes

and a hint of a delicious but remote sexuality.

Many more were fresh-faced, athletic, tanned, freckled

the quintessential California girl

That you’d take for sorority queens or future BMW owners.


The mechanism of Alex’s sudden notoriety is byzantine,

as these things always are.

One of her girls took up with a rotter,

the couple had a fight,

he went to the police,

the police had an undercover detective visit

(who just happened to be an attractive woman)

and ask to work for her,

she all but embraced her

—and by April of 1988 the district attorney had enough evidence

to charge her with two counts of pandering

and one of pimping.

For Alex, who is fifty-six

and has a heart condition and diabetes,

the stakes may be high.

A conviction carries the guarantee of incarceration.

For the forces of law and order,

the stakes may be higher.

Alex has let it be known that she will subpoena

every cop she’s ever met to testify at her trial.

And the revelations this might produce

—perhaps that Alex compromised policemen

by making girls available to them,

—perhaps that Alex had a deal with the police to provide information

in exchange for their blind eye to her activities

—could be hugely embarrassing to the police and the district attorney.

For Alex’s socially correct clients and friends,

for the socially correct wives of her clients and friends

and for a handful of movie and television executives

who have no idea they are dating or

married to former Alex girls,

the stakes are highest of all.


Alex’s black book is said to be a catalogue of
Le Tout Los Angeles.

In her head are the ****** secrets

of many of the city’s most important men,

to say nothing of visiting businessmen and Arab princes.

If she decides to warble,

either at her trial or in a book,

her song will shatter more than glass.


A decade ago, I went to lunch at Ma Maison,

There were supposed to have been ten people there,

but only four came.

One of them was a short woman

who called me a few days later and invited me to lunch.

When I arrived, the table was set for two.

I didn’t know who Alex was or what she did,

but she knew the important facts of my situation:

I was getting divorced from a very wealthy man

and doing the legal work myself

to avail lawyers who wanted to get a big settlement for me.

Occasionally, she said, I get a call for a tall, dark-haired,

slender, flat-chested woman

—and I don’t have any.

It wouldn’t be a frequent thing.

There’d be weekends away, sometimes in Palm Springs,

sometimes in Europe.

The men will be elegant,

you’ll have your own room

—there would be no outward signs of impropriety.

And you’d get $10,000 to $20,000 for a weekend.


The tall, slender, flat-chested brunette

didn’t think it was right for her.

Alex handed her a business card

and suggested that she think about it.

To her surprise, she did

—for an entire week.

This was 1978, and $20,000 then

was like $40,000 now,

I knew it was hooking,

but Alex had never mentioned ***.

Our whole conversation seemed to be about something else.


I was born in Manila

to a Spanish-Filipina mother and German father,

and when I was twelve

a Japanese soldier came into our house

with his bayonet pointed at us,

ready to do us in.

He locked us in and set the house on fire.

I haven’t been scared by much since that.

My mother always struck me as goofy,

so I jumped on a bus and ran away,

I got off in Oakland,

saw a help-wanted sign on a parish house,

and went in.

I got $200 a month for taking care of four priests.

I spent all the money on pastries for the parish house.

But I didn’t care.

It felt safe.

And the priests sparked my interest in the domestic arts

—in linen, in crystal.

A new priest arrived.

He was unpleasant,

so on a vacation in Los Angeles I took a pedestrian job,

still a teenager,

married a scientist.

We separated eight years later,

he took our two sons to another state

threatened to keep them if I didn’t agree to a divorce.

Keep them I said and hung up.

It’s not that I don’t have a maternal instinct

—though I don’t,

I just hate to be manipulated.

My second husband,

an alcoholic,

had Frank Sinatra blue eyes, and possibly

—I never knew for sure—

had a big career in the underworld

as a contract killer.

Years before we got serious,

he was going out with a famous L.A. ******,

She and her friends were so elegant

that I started spending time with them in beauty salons.

They were so fancy,

so smart

—and they knew incredible people,

like the millionaire who sat in his suite all day

just writing $5,000 checks to girls.


I was a florist.

We got to talking.

She was a madam from England

who wanted to sell her book and go home.

I bought it for $5,000.

My husband thought it was cute.

Now you’re getting your feet wet.

Three months later,

he died.

After eleven years of marriage,

just like that.

And of the names in the book

it turned out

that half of the men were also dead.

When I began the men were old and the women were ugly.


It was like a lunch party you or I would give,

Great food Alex had cooked herself.

Major giggles with old pals.

And then,

instead of chocolate After Eight,

she served three women After Three

This man has seen a bit of life

beyond Los Angeles,

so I asked him how Alex’s stable

compared with that of Madam Claude,

the legendary Parisian procuress.

Oh, these aren’t at all like Claude’s girls,

A Claude girl was perfectly dressed and multilingual

—you could take her to the opera

and she’d understand it.

He told me that when she was 40

she looked at herself in the mirror

and said


People over 40

should not have ***.

But She Was Clear That She Never Liked It

even when she was young.

Besides, she saw all the street business

go to the tall,

beautiful girls.

She thought that she never had a chance

competing against them.


she would take their money by managing them.


Going to a ****** was not looked down upon then.

It was before the pill;

Girls weren’t giving it away.

Claude specialized in

failed models and actresses,

ones who just missed the cut.

But just because they failed

in those impossible professions

didn’t mean they weren’t beautiful,


Like Avis

in those days,

those girls tried harder.

Her place was off the Champs,

just above a branch of the Rothschild bank, where I had an account.

Once I met her,

I was constantly making withdrawals and heading upstairs.


We took the lift

and Claude greeted us at the door.

My impression was that of the director

of an haute couture house,

very subdued,

beige and gray, very little makeup.

She took us into a lounge and made us drinks,



There was no maid.

We made small talk for 15 minutes.

How was the weekend?

What’s the weather like in Deauville?

Then she made the segue. ‘I understand you’d like to see some jeunes filles?’

She always used ‘jeunes filles.’

This was Claude’s polite way of saying 18 to 25.

She left and soon returned

with two very tall

jeunes filles,

One was blonde.

This is Eva from Austria.

She’s here studying painting.

And a brunette,

very different,

but also very fine.

This is Claudia from Germany.

She’s a dancer.

She took the girls back into the apartment and returned by herself.

I gave my English guest first choice.

He picked the blonde.

And wasn’t disappointed.

Each bedroom had its own bidet.

There was some nice

polite conversation, and then

It was slightly formal,

but it was high-quality.

He paid Claude

200 francs,

not to the girls

In 1965, 200 francs was about $40.

Pretty girls on Rue Saint-Denis

could be had for 40 francs

so you can see the premium.

Still, it wasn’t out of reach for mere mortals.

You didn’t have to be J. Paul Getty.


A lot of them

were models at

Christian Dior

or other couture houses.

She liked Scandinavians.

That was the look then

—cold, tall, perfect.

It was cheap for the quality.

They all used her.

The best people wanted

the best women.

Elementary supply and demand.


She had a camp number tattooed on her wrist. I saw it.

She showed it to me and Rubi.

She was proud she had survived.

We talked about the camp for hours.

It was even more fascinating than the girls.

She was Jewish

I’m certain of that.

She was horrified at the Jewish collaborators

at the camp who herded

their fellow Jews

into the gas chambers.

That was the greatest betrayal in her life.


She was this sad,

lonely little woman.

Later, Patrick told me who she was.

I was bowled over.

It was like meeting Al Capone.

I met two of the girls

who worked for her.

One was what you would expect




But the other looked like a Rat

Then one night

she came out

all dressed up,

I didn’t even recognize her.

She was even better than the first girl.

Claude liked to transform women like that.

That was her art.

It was very odd,

my cousin told me.

There was not much furniture

and an awful lot of telephones.

“Allô oui,”


I had so many lunches

with Claude at Ma Maison

She was vicious.

One day,

Margaux Hemingway,

at the height of her beauty, walked by.

Une bonne

—the French for maid

was how Claude cut her dead.

She reduced

the entire world

to rich men wanting *** and

poor women wanting money.

She’d love to page through Vogue and see someone

and say,

When I met her

she was called


and she had a hideous nose

and now she’s a princess.

Or she’d see someone and say

Let’s see if she kisses me or not.

It was like

I made her,

and I can destroy her.

She was obsessed

with “fixing” people

—with Saint Laurent clothes,

with Cartier watches,

with Winston jewels,

with Vuitton luggage,

with plastic surgeons.


Her prison number was


which was good luck in China

but not in California.

‘Ocho ocho ocho,’ she liked to repeat

Even in jail, she was always working,

always recruiting stunning women.

She had a beautiful Mexican cellmate

and gave her Robert Evans’s number

as the first person she should call

when she was released.


Never have *** on the first date.


There will always be prostitution,

The prostitution of misery.

And the prostitution of bourgeois luxury.

They will both go on forever.

“Allô oui,”

It was so exciting to hear a millionaire

or a head of state ask,

in a little boy’s voice,

for the one thing

that only you could provide

It's not how beautiful you are, it's how you relate

--it's mostly dialogue.

She was tiny, blond, perfectly coiffed and Chanel-clad.

The French Woman: The Arab Prince, the Japanese Diplomat, the Greek Tycoon, the C.I.A. Bureau Chief — She Possessed Them All!


She was like a slave driver in the American South

Once she took a *******,

the makeover put the girl in debt,

because Claude paid all the bills to



to the hairdressers,

to the doctors,

and the girls had to work to pay them off.

It was ****** indentured servitude.

My Swans.

It reached the point

where if you walked into a room

in London

or Rome

as much as Paris

because the girls were transportable,

and saw a girl who was



and more distinguished than the others

you presumed

it was a girl from Claude.

It was, without doubt,

the finest *** operation ever run in the history of mankind.


The girl had to be

exactly what was needed

so I had to teach her everything she didn’t know.

I played a little the role of Pygmalion.

There were basic things that absolutely had to be done.

It consisted

at the start

of the physical aspect

“surgical intervention”

to give this way of being

that was different from other girls.

Often they had to be transformed

into dream creatures

because at the start

they were not at all

Often I had to teach them how to dress.

Often they needed help

to repair

what nature had given them

which was not so beautiful.

At first they had to be tall,

with pretty gestures,

good manners.

I had lots of noses done,




There was a lot to do.

Eight times out of ten

I had to teach them how to behave in society.

There were official dinners, suppers, weekends,

and they needed to have conversation.

I insisted they learn to speak English,


certain books.

I interrogated them on what they read.

It wasn’t easy.

Each time something wasn’t working,

I was obliged to say so.

You were very demanding?

I was ferocious.

It’s difficult

to teach a girl how to walk into Maxim’s

without looking

ill at ease

when they’ve never been there,

to go into an airport,

to go to the Ritz,

or the Crillon

or the Dorchester.

To find yourself

in front of a king,

three princes,

four ministers,

and five ambassadors at an official dinner.

There were the wives of those people!

Day after day

one had to explain,

explain again,

start again.

It took about two years.

There would always be a man

who would then say of her,

‘But she’s absolutely exceptional. What is that girl doing here?’ ”


A New York publisher who visited

the Palace Hotel

in Saint Moritz

in the early seventies told me,

I met a whole bunch of them there.

They were lovely.

The johns wanted everyone to know who they were.

I remember it being said

Giovanni’s Madame Claude girl is going to be there.

You asked them where they came from and they all said


Claude liked girls from good families.

More to the point she had invented their backgrounds.

I have known,

because of what I did,

some exceptional and fascinating men.

I’ve known some exceptional women too,

but that was less interesting

because I made them myself.

Ah, this question of the handbag.

You would be amazed by how much dust accumulates.

Or how often women’s shoe heels are scuffed.


She would examine their teeth and finally she would make them undress.

That was a difficult moment

When they arrived they were very shy,

a bit frightened.

At the beginning when I take a look,

it’s a question of seeing if the silhouette

and the gestures are pretty.

Then there was a disagreeable moment.

I said,

I’m sorry about this unpleasantness,

but I have to ask you to get undressed,

because I can’t talk about you unless I see you.

Believe me, I was embarrassed,

just as they were,

but it had to be done,

not out of voyeurism, not at all

—I don’t like les dames horizontales.

It was very funny

because there were always two reactions.

A young girl,

very sure of herself,

very beautiful,

très bien,

would say


Get up, and get undressed.

There was nothing to hide, everything was perfect.

There were those who

would start timidly

to take off their dress

and I would say

I knew already.

The rest is not sadism, but nearly.

I knew what I was going to find.

I would say,

Maybe you should take off your bra,

and I knew it wasn’t going to be


Because otherwise she would have taken it off easily.

No problem.

There were damages that could be mended.

There were some ******* that could be redone,

some not

Sometimes it can be deceptive,

you know,

you see a pretty girl,

a pretty face,

all elegant and slim,

well dressed,

and when you see her naked

it is a catastrophe.

I could judge their physical qualities,

I could judge if she was pretty, intelligent, and cultivated,

but I didn’t know how she was in bed.

So I had some boys,

good friends,

who told me exactly.

I would ring them up and say,

There’s a new one.

And afterwards they’d ring back and say,

Not bad,

Could be better, or



on the contrary,

She’s perfect.

And I would sometimes have to tell the girls

what they didn’t know.

A pleasant assignment?


They paid.


Often at the beginning

they had an ami de coeur

in other words,


a journalist, a photographer, a type like that,

someone in the cinema,

an actor, not very well known.

As time went by

It became difficult

because they didn’t have a lot of time for him.

The fact of physically changing,

becoming prettier,

changing mentally to live with millionaires,

produced a certain imbalance

between them

and the little boyfriend

who had not evolved

and had stayed in his milieu.

At the end of a certain time

she would say,

I’m so much better than him. Why am I with this boy?

And they would break up by themselves.


this was instant elevation.

For most of them it was a dream existence,

provided they liked the ***,

and those that didn’t never lasted long.

A lot of the clients were young,

and didn’t treat them like tarts but like someone from their own class.

They would buy you presents,

take you on trips.


For me, *** was something very accessoire

I think after a certain age

there are certain spectacles one should not give to others

Now I have a penchant for solitude.

Love, it’s a complete destroyer,

It’s impossible,

a horror,


It’s the only time in my life I was jealous.

I’m not a jealous person, but I was épouvantable.

He was jealous too.

We broke plates over each other’s heads;

we became jealous about each other’s pasts.

I said one day

It’s finished.

Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and say:

Break my legs,

give me scarlet fever,

an attack of TB, but never that.

Not that.


I called her into my office

Let us not exaggerate,

I sent her away.

She came back looking for employment,

but was fired again, this time for drugs.

She made menacing phone calls.

Then she arrived at the Rue de Boulainvilliers with a gun.

She shot three bullets

I was dressed in the fashion of Courrèges at this moment

He did very padded things.

I had a padded dress with a little jacket on top.

The bullet

—merci, Monsieur Courrèges

—stuck in the padding.

I was thrown forward onto the telephone.

I had one thought which went through my head:

I will die like Kennedy.

I turned round and put my hand up in a reflex.

The second bullet went through my hand.

I have two dead fingers.

It’s most useful for removing bottle tops.

In the corridor I was saved from the third bullet

because she was very tall

and I am quite petite, so it passed over my head.


There were men

who could decapitate,

****, and bomb their rivals

who would be frightened of me.

I would ask them how was the girl,

and they’d say

Not bad

and then

But I’m not complaining.

I was a little sadistic to them sometimes.

Some women have known powerful men because they’re their lover.

But I’ve known them all.

I had them all


She will take many state secrets with her.


I don’t like ugly people

probably because when I was young

I wasn’t beautiful at all.

I was ugly and I suffered for it,

although not to the point of obsession.

Now that I’m an old woman,

I’m not so bad.

And that’s why

I’ve always been surrounded by people




And the best way to have beautiful people around me

was to make them.

I made them very pretty.


I wouldn’t call what Alex gives you


She spares you Nothing.

She makes a list of what she wants done,

and she really gets into it

I mean, she wants you to get your arms waxed.

She gives you names of people who do good facials.

She tells you what to buy at Neiman Marcus.

She’s put off by anything flashy,

and if you don’t dress conservatively, she’s got no problem telling you,

in front of an audience,

You look like a cheap *****!

I used to wear what I wanted when I went out

then change in the car into a frumpy sweater

when I went to give her the money she’d always go,

Oh, you look beautiful!

Marry your boyfriend,

It’s better than going to prison.

When you go out with her,

she’ll buy you a present; she’s incredibly generous that way.

And she’ll always tell you to save money and get out.

It’s frustrating to her when girls call at the end of the month

and say they need rent money.

She wants to see you do well.

We had a schedule, with cards that indicated a client’s name,

what he liked,

the names of the girls he’d seen,

and how long he’d been with them.

And I only hired girls who had another career

—if my clients had a choice between drop-dead-gorgeous

and beautiful-and-interesting,

they’d tend to take beautiful-and-interesting.

These men wanted to talk.

If they spent two hours with a girl,

they usually spent only five or ten minutes in bed.

I get the feeling that in Los Angeles, men are more concerned with looks.


That was my big idea

Not to expand the book by aggressive marketing

but to make sure that nobody

mistook my girls for run-of-the-mill hookers.

And I kept my roster fresh.

This was not a business where you peddle your ***,

get exploited,

and then are cast off.

I screen clients. I’ve never sent girls to weirdos.

I let the men know:

no violence,

no costumes,

no fudge-packing.

And I talked to my girls. I’d tell them:

Two and a half years and you’re burned out.

Save your money.

This is like a hangar

—you come in, refuel, and take off.

It’s not a vacation, it’s not a goof.

This buys the singing lessons,

the dancing lessons,

the glossies.

This is to help you pay for what your parents couldn’t provide.

It’s an honorable way station—a lot of stars did this.


To say someone was a Claude girl is an honour, not a slur.

Une femme terrible.

She despised men and women alike.

Men were wallets. Women were holes.

By the 80s,

if you were a brunette,

the sky was the limit.

The Saudis

They’d call for half a dozen of Alex’s finest,

ignore them all evening while they



and played cards,

and then, around midnight,

take the women inside for a fast few minutes of ***.

They’d order women up like pizza.

Since my second husband died,

I only met one man who was right for me,

He was a sheikh.

I visited him in Europe

twenty-eight times

in the five years I knew him

and I never slept with him.

He’d say

I think you fly all the way here just to tease me,

but he introduced me

by phone

to all his powerful friends.

When I was in Los Angeles, he called me twice a day.

That’s why I never went out

he would have been disappointed.


Listen to me

This is a woman’s business.

When a woman does it, it’s fun

there’s a giggle in it

when a man’s involved,

he’s ******,

he’s a ****.

He may know how to keep girls in line,

and he may make money,

but he doesn’t know what I do.

I tell guys: You’re getting a nice girl.

She’s young,

She’s pleasant,

She can do things

she can certainly make love.

She’s not a rocket scientist, but she’s everything else.

The world’s richest and most powerful men, the announcer teased.

An income “in the millions,” said the arresting officer.

Pina Colapinto

A petite call girl,

who once slid between the sheets of royalty,

a green-eyed blonde helped the police get the indictment.

They really dolled her up

She looks great.


What I told her was: ‘Wash that ******.’


Madam Alex died at 7 p.m.

Saturday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center,

where she had been in intensive care after recent open heart surgery

We all held her hand when they took her off the life support

This was the passing of a legend.

Because she was the mother superior of prostitution.

She was one of the richest women on earth.

The world came to her.

She never had to leave the house.

She was like Hugh Hefner in that way.

It's like losing a friend

In all the years we played cat and mouse,

she never once tried to corrupt me.

We had a lot of fun.

To those who knew her

she was as constant

as she was colorful

always ready with a good tidbit of gossip

and a gourmet lunch for two.

She entertained, even after her conviction on pandering charges,

from the comfy depths of her blue four-poster bed at her home near Doheny Drive,

surrounded by knickknacks and meowing cats,

which she fed fresh shrimp from blue china plates.


She stole my business,

my books,

my girls,

my guys.

I had a good run.

My creatures.

Make Mommy happy

Oh! He is the most enchanting cat that I have ever known.

She was, how can I say it,


When she first hired me

she thought I was too young to take her case.

I was 43.

I'm going to give you some gray hairs by the time this is over.

She was right.


I was fond of Heidi

But she has a streak that is so vindictive.

If there is pure evil, it is Madame Alex.


I was born and raised in L.A.

My dad was a famous pediatrician.

When he died, they donated a bench to him at the Griffith Park Observatory.

I think that Heidi wanted to try her wings

pretty early,

and I think that she met some people

who sort of took all her potential

and gave it a sharp turn

She knew nothing.

She was like a little parrot who repeated what she was supposed to say.

Alex and I had a very intense relationship;

I was kind of like the daughter she loved and hated,

so she was abusive and loving at the same time.

Look, I know Madam Alex was great at what she did

but it's like this:

What took her years to build,

I built in one.

The high end is the high end,

and no one has a higher end than me.

In this business, no one steals clients.

There's just better service.


You were not allowed to have long hair

You were not allowed to be too pretty

You were not allowed to wear too much makeup or be too glamorous

Because someone would fall in love with you and take you away.

And then she loses the business


I was pursued because

come on

in our lifetime,

we will never see another girl of my age

who lived the way I did,

who did what I did so quickly,

I made so many enemies.

Some people had been in this line of business

for their whole lives, 30 or 40 years,

and I came in and cornered the market.

Men don't like that.

Women don't like that.

No one liked it.

I had this spiritual awakening watching an Oprah Winfrey video.

I was doing this 500-hour drug class

and one day the teacher showed us this video,

called something like Make It Happen.

Usually in class I would bring a notebook

and write a letter to my brother or my journal,

but all of a sudden this grabbed my attention

and I understood everything she said.

It hit me and it changed me a lot.

It made me feel,

Accept yourself for who you are.

I saw a deeper meaning in it

but who knows, I might have just been getting my period that day!


Hello, Gina!

You movie star!

Yes you are!

Gina G!

Hello my friend,

Hello my friend,

Hello my movie star,

Ruby! Ruby Boobie!


Except so many women say,

Come on, Heidi

you gotta do the brothel for us; don't let us down.

It would be kind of fun opening up an exclusive resort,

and I'll make it really nice,

like the Beverly Hills Hotel

It'll feel private; you'll have your own bungalow.

The only problem out here is the climate—it's so brutal.

Charles Manson was captured a half hour from Pahrump.

I said, Joe! What are you doing?

You gotta get, like,

a garter belt and encase it in something

and write,

This belonged to Suzette Whatever,

who entertained the Flying Tigers during World War II.

Get, like, some weird tools and write,

These were the first abortion tools in the brothel,

you know what I mean?

Just make some **** up!

So I came out here to do some research

And then I realized,

What am I doing?

I'm Heidi Fleiss. I don't need anyone.

I can do this.

When I was doing my research, in three months

I saw land go from 30 thousand an acre

to 50 thousand an acre,

and then it was going for 70K!

It's urban sprawl

—we're only one hour from Las Vegas.

Out here the casinos are only going to get bigger,

prostitution is legal, it's only getting better.


The truth is

deep down inside,

I just can't do business with him

He's the type of guy who buys Cup o' Noodles soup for three cents

and makes his hookers buy it back from him for $5.

It's not my style at all.

Who wants to be 75 and facing federal charges?

It was different at my age when I

at least...come on, I lived really well.

I was 22,

25 at the time?

It was fun then, but now I wouldn't want

to deal with all that *******

—the girls and blah blah blah.

But the money was really good.

I would've told someone they were out of their ******* mind

if they'd said in five years I'd be living with all these animals like this.

It's hard-core; how I live;

It's totally a nonfunctional atmosphere for me

It's hard to get anything done because

It’s so time-consuming.

I feel like they're good luck though....

I do feel that if I ever get rid of them,

I will be jinxed and cursed the rest of my life

and nothing I do will ever work again.

Guys kind of are a hindrance to me

Certainly I have no problem getting laid or anything.

But a man is not a priority in my life.

I mean, it's crazy, but I really have fun with my parrots.


I started a babysitting circle when I wasn't much older than 9

And soon all the parents in the neighborhood

wanted me to watch over their children.

Even then I had an innate business sense.

I started farming out my friends

to meet the demand.

My mother showered me with love and my father,

a pediatrician,

would ask me at the dinner table,

What did you learn today?

I ran my neighborhood.

I just pick up a hustle really easily,

I was a waitress and I met an older guy who looked like Santa Claus.

Alex was a 5' 3" bald-headed Filipina

in a transparent muu muu.

We hit it off.

I didn't know at the time that I was there to pay off the guy's gambling debt.

It's in and out,

over and out.

Do you think some big-time producer

or actor is going to go to the clubs and hustle?

Columbia Pictures executive says:

I haven’t done anything that should cause any concern.

Jeez, it's like the Nixon enemies list.

I hope I'm on it.

If I'm not, it means I must not be big enough

for people to gossip about me.

That's right ladies and gentlemen.

I am an alleged madam and that is a $25 *****!

If you live out here,

you've got to hate people.

You've got to be pretty antisocial

How you gonna come out here with only 86 people?

That's Fred.

He's digging to China.

You look good.

Yeah, you too.

It's coming along here.

Yeah, it is.

I wanted to buy that lot there, but I guess it's gone?

That's mine, man! That's all me.


I thought there was a lot between us.

No. We're neighbors.

He's a cute guy

He's entertaining.

See, I kind of did do something shady to him.

I thought my property went all the way back

and butted up against his.

But there was one lot between us right there.

He said he was buying it,

but I saw the 'For Sale' sign still up there,

So I went and called the broker and said,

I'm an all-cash buyer.

So I really bought it out from under him.

But he's got plenty of room, and I need the space for my parrots.

Pahrump will always be Pahrump, but Crystal is going to be nice

All you need are four or five fancy houses and it'll flush everyone out

and it'll be a nice area.

They're all kind of weird here, but these people will go.

Like this guy here,

someone needs to **** him.

I was just saying to my dad that these parrots are born to a really ******-up world

He goes, Heidi, no, no; the world is a beautiful garden.

It's just, people are destroying it.

I’m looking into green building options

I don't want anything polluting,

I want a huge auditorium,

but it'll be like a jungle where my birds can really fly!

Where they can really do what they're supposed to do.

There were over 300 birds in there!

That lady,

She ran the exotic-birds department for the Tropicana Hotel,

which is a huge job.

She called me once at 3:30 in the morning

Come over here and help me feed this baby!

Some baby parrot.

And I ran over there in my pajamas

—I knew there was something else wrong

and she was like

Get me my oxygen!

Get me this, get me that.

I called my dad; he was like,

I don't know, honey, you better call the paramedics.

They ended up getting a helicopter.

And they were taking her away

in the wind with her IV and blood and everything

and she goes, Heidi, you take care of my birds.

And she dies the next day.

She was just a super-duper person.


I relate to the lifestyle she had before,

Now, I'm just a citizen.

I'm clean,

I'm sober,

I'm married,

I work at Wal-Mart.

I'm proud to say I know her. I look into her eyes

and we relate.

I got out in 2000,

so I've been sending her money for seven years

She was…whatever.


Yeah, maybe.

But ***, I tried like two times,

and I'm just not gay.

She gets out in about eight or nine months

and I told her I would get her a house.

But nowhere near me.

I didn't touch her,

but I'd be, like...

a funny story:

I told her,

Don't you ever ******* think

about contacting me in the real world.

I'm not a lesbian.

Then about two years ago, I got an e-mail from her,

or she called me and said, 'Google my name.'

So I Googled her name,

and she has this huge company.


She won, like, Woman of the Year awards.

So I called her and I go,

Not bad.

She goes, 'Well, I did all that because you called me a loser.'

I go, '****, I should've called you more names

you probably would've found the cure for cancer by now.


No person shall be employed by the licensee

who has ever been convicted of

a felony involving moral turpitude

But I qualify,

I mean, big deal, so I'm a convicted felon.

Being in the *** industry, you can't be so squeaky-clean.

You've got to be hustling.

Nighttime is really enchanting here

It's like a whole 'nother world out here, it really is

I’m so far removed from my social life and old surroundings.

Who was it, Oscar Wilde, I think, who said

people can adjust to anything.

I was perfectly adjusted in the penitentiary,

and I was perfectly adjusted to living in a château in France.

We had done those drug addiction shows together

Dr. Drew.

Afterward we were friendly

and he'd call me every now and then.

He'd act like he had his stuff together.

But it was all a lie.

Everything is a lie.

I brought him to a Humane Society event at Paramount Studios last year.

He was just such a mess.

So out of it.

He stole money from my purse.

He's such a drug addict because he's so afraid of being fat.

He liked horse ****, though. He did like horse ****.

This one woman that would have *** with a horse on the internet,

He told me that’s his favorite actress.

Better than Meryl Streep.


The cops could see

why these women were taking over trade.

Girls with these looks charged upwards of $500 an hour.

The Russians had undercut them with a bargain rate of $150 an hour.

One thing they are not is lazy.

In the USSR

they grew up with no religion, no morality.

Prostitution is not considered a bad thing.

In fact, it’s considered a great way to make money.

That’s why it’s exploding here.

What we saw was just a tip of the iceberg.

These girls didn’t come over here expecting to be nannies.

They knew exactly what they wanted and what they were getting into.

The madam who organized this raid

was making $4 million a year,

laundered through Russian-owned banks in New York City

These are brutal people.

They are all backstabbers.

They’re entrepreneurs.

They’re looking at $10,000 a month for turning tricks.

For them, that’s the American dream.


If you’re not into something,

don’t be into it


if you want to take some whipped cream,

put it between your toes,

have your dog licking it up and,

at the same time,

have your girlfriend poke you in the eye,

then that’s fine.

That’s a little weird but we shouldn’t judge.

She was my best friend then

and I consider her one of my best friends now,

because when I was going through Riker’s

and everyone abandoned me,

including my boyfriend,

I was hysterical,


and she was the one that was there.

And, when somebody needed to step up to the plate,

that’s who did, and I have an immense amount of

loyalty, respect, and love for her.

And if she’s going to prison for eight years

—that’s what she’s sentenced for

—I’ll go there,

and I’ll go there every week,

for eight years.

That’s the type of person I am.
My mother's playing cards with my aunt,
Spite and Malice, the family pastime, the game
my grandmother taught all her daughters.

Midsummer: too hot to go out.
Today, my aunt's ahead; she's getting the good cards.
My mother's dragging, having trouble with her concentration.
She can't get used to her own bed this summer.
She had no trouble last summer,
getting used to the floor. She learned to sleep there
to be near my father.
He was dying; he got a special bed.

My aunt doesn't give an inch, doesn't make
allowance for my mother's weariness.
It's how they were raised: you show respect by fighting.
To let up insults the opponent.

Each player has one pile to the left, five cards in the hand.
It's good to stay inside on days like this,
to stay where it's cool.
And this is better than other games, better than solitaire.

My grandmother thought ahead; she prepared her daughters.
They have cards; they have each other.
They don't need any more companionship.

All afternoon the game goes on but the sun doesn't move.
It just keeps beating down, turning the grass yellow.
That's how it must seem to my mother.
And then, suddenly, something is over.

My aunt's been at it longer; maybe that's why she's playing better.
Her cards evaporate: that's what you want, that's the object: in the end,
the one who has nothing wins.
Ann M Johnson Dec 2013
I went to see my Mom with two of my brothers on thanksgiving
I gave her an early Christmas card I had made
She exclaimed when I told her I made her the card, You are a sweetie
Soon after we played cards with her Kings In The Corner
She normally has great luck with cards, but my brothers won
They seemed to be winning in a pattern
I messed it up a bit by winning once
My poor Mother exclaimed that her cards were cr*p!
I guess it was just not in the cards for her
Syzygy Feb 2015
Let's play a game,
Where all the stakes
are high
And the result
Is never
In our favor.

Here are the cards,
For this fun game.
Do you have any

Or are they out of your grasp
Like everything else in this world?

No, don't give up just yet.
Play with the cards you're dealt.

Oh, look at that,
We've made progress!
We still have a few cards left.
Let's keep playing!

Now, let's show our cards,
That decide our fate
In this godforsaken game.

Did you win?

...*Or lose?
Isaac Nov 2019
lay your cards down on the table
the other one picks theirs up and holds it
up against their face the back of the cards
shining and shimmering in the dim candlelight
you know what they’ll do
they know what you’ll do

the rounded edges of the cards
thank you for your perfect trimming
pricking your fingers trying to
make your way around the points and corners
snipping and snapping the scissors go
one by one cloaking them in softness and warmth

the curtains sway in the sharp wind
the fireplace crackling in the clacking cracks
of the damp and dark walls, leaning
to the freshly opened smells of the decks
as they clatter around as clutter, filling up
your senses, sending you into a slight delirium

they take one of their cards
and let it float back down to the wooden tabletop
landing beside the bouquet of blood roses
a picture of the perfect gift appears
wrapped in all its splendour and glory: a ring of
pure diamond, of pure gold, of pure love

you happily dish out a stack of gilded cards
with no care or concern; you let some flutter to
the ground for the others to pick while they
eye your paper money with delicate hungry
hands hanging around, silently slipping some
into their own deck as you smile

the candle flickers as they play another card,
a portrayal of a house, a quiet place to call home
with children, hundreds, dancing and skipping
and being children, and all you can and want to do
is let the cards stream out of your hand, your
laugh lines creasing your already weathered mirror

the game goes on, no qualms about stopping,
and neither do you, as your wrinkles take over
your face in a sweep, with them mirroring yours,
the wind getting wilder, your hair in a storm,
a stack of chaotic cards in the middle, spiralling
about the room in a frenzy as the candle goes out
and darkness ensues and you reach out for them
in the now growing mess of a restaurant and the
curtains blow past your face windows shattering
and all you can think about is them them them them them and when you finally reach the other side of the table and breathe

no one is there. the table flipped over
like a game long lost and forgotten
and all the cards lying dead and roses pooling on the floor and oh how you want to follow suit;
but this game is too fun and you go on to the next
round, sweeping card edges off your suit.
This is the third poem in the set of 8. Play the game, play it well.
Aaron LaLux Sep 2018
Gambling with Tarot cards,
got The Devil in the palm of my hands with the edges creased,
The Devils in the details and He knows me well,
holding 3 6’s plus card #15 The Mark of The Beast,

it’s when you’re the most up,
that they want you to leave the least,
it’s getting dangerous at the table,
I’ve got the whole pie and every guy wants a piece,

used to trade in seashells,
now we’ve got black cards and private tables for us VIPs,
and the lovely ladies know me well,
like a pizza pie or birthday cake everyone wants a piece,

it’s amazing what a few million will do,
and I’m confident so I don’t need a crew,
rolling solo till my cause of death reads “FOMO”,
I mean if you had these opportunities/risks you’d take them too,

which is why you can always find,
me at the table all in with my chips out,
no kids no wife no significant other,
so I’m spending it all on whichever chics has her **** out,

a conscious writer but still in a man’s body,
so how you like me now,
no Toby Keith or kobe beef,
just these og vegetables,

but I’m not what I eat,
I’m so much more,
and I’m not a meet and greet,
nor a mall because I’ve got much more in store,

so please pass the drinks por favor,

in Colombia with a straw and some Coca-Cola,
drinking so much I feel like the Drink King,
drinking like a Drink King,
listening to Drake sing his song “Controlla”,

in real life no real wife,
I mean I really know Drake,
but anyways I’m not here to get distracted,
so let me backtrack to the point I was trying to make,

which is that it’s tough to stay vicious,
when blessed with the gifts that so many wish to have,
which is sorta suspicious gift the fact that the 6 is,
a card that appears 6 times in the Tarot deck’s stack,

Six of Wands 6 of Swords,
Six of Cups Six of Pentacles,
6 to represent the card of The Lovers,
Tarot decks reflect my self we’re both collectibles,

only difference is with me there’s only one,
maybe that’s why they offer everything in exchange for only my time,
“Here take this money take these drugs take these luxuries!”,
“Take anything that will at least be a chance for me to call you mine!”,

says many Ones often but they are mistaken,
because I can’t be there’s I’m not even mine,
I am no one’s I am no thing,
I am only a part of The Whole which is The Divine,

and I know all this,
I know that I’ve been bestowed with all these blessings,
still I can’t help but fall victim to the sins within Man,
which is why I see you can find me at the table gambling things,

gambling with Tarot cards,
got The Devil in the palm of my hands with the edges creased,
The Devils in the details and He knows me well,
holding 3 6’s plus card #15 The Mark of The Beast…

∆ LaLux ∆
RAJ NANDY Jul 2017
Dear Readers, I have tried to cover the salient features of this True Story in free flowing verse mainly with end rhymes. If you read it loud, you can hear the chimes! Due to the short attention span of my readers I had to cut short this long story, and conclude with the
Golden Era of Hollywood by stretching it up to the 1950's only. When TV began to challenge the Big Screen Cinema seriously! I have used only a part of my notes here. Kindly read the entire poem and don't hesitate to know many interesting facts - which I also did not know! I wish there was a provision for posting a few interesting photographs for you here. Best wishes, - Raj Nandy, New Delhi.  

                 THE LEGEND OF HOLLYWOOD :
                        THE AMERICAN  DREAM
                             BY RAJ NANDY

Since the earliest days, optical toys, shadow shows, and ‘magic
lanterns’, had created the illusion of motion.
This concept was first described by Mark Roget in 1824 as  
the 'persistent of vision'.
Giving impetus to the development of big screen cinema with its
close-ups, capturing all controlled and subtle expressions!
The actors were no longer required to shout out their parts with
exaggerated actions as on the Elizabethan Stage.
Now even a single tear drop could get noticed easily by the entire
movie audience!
With the best scene being included and edited after a few retakes.
To Thomas Edison and his able assistant William Rogers we owe the invention of Kinetoscope, the first movie camera.
On the grounds of his West Orange, New Jersey laboratory, Edison
built his first movie studio called the ‘Black Maria’.   (1893)
He also purchased a string of patents related to motion picture
Camera; forming the Edison Trust, - a cartel that took control of
the Film Industry entire!

Fort Lee, New Jersey:
On a small borough on the opposite bank of the Hudson River lay
the deserted Fort Lee.
Here scores of film production crews descended armed with picture Cameras, on this isolated part of New Jersey!
In 1907 Edison’s company came there to shoot a short silent film –
‘Rescue From an Eagle’s Nest’,
Which featured for the first time the actor and director DW Griffith.
The independent Chaplin Film Company built the first permanent
movie studio in 1910 in Fort Lee.
While some of the biggest Hollywood studios like the Universal,
MGM, and 20th Century Fox, had their roots in Fort Lee.
Some of the famous stars of the silent movie era included ‘Fatty’
Arbuckle, Will Rogers, Mary Pickford, Dorothy and Lillian Gish,
Lionel Barrymore, Rudolph Valentine and Pearl White.
In those days there were no reflectors and electric arch lights.
So movies were made on rooftops to capture the bright sunlight!
During unpredictable bad weather days, filming had to be stopped
despite the revolving stage which was made, -
To rotate and capture the sunlight before the lights atarted to fade!

Shift from New Jersey to West Coast California:
Now Edison who held the patents for the bulb, phonograph, and the Camera, had exhibited a near monopoly;
On the production, distribution, and exhibition of the movies which made this budding industry to shift to California from
New Jersey!
California with its natural scenery, its open range, mountains, desert, and snow country, had the basic ingredients for the movie industry.
But most importantly, California had bright Sunshine for almost
365 days of the year!
While eight miles away from Hollywood lay the port city of Los Angeles with its cheap labour.

                        THE RISE  OF  HOLLYWOOD
It was a real estate tycoon Harvey Wilcox and his wife Daeida from
Kansas, who during the 1880s founded ‘Hollywood’ as a community for like-minded temperate followers.
It is generally said that Daeida gave the name Hollywood perhaps
due to the areas abundant red-berried shrubs also known as
California Holly.
Spring blossoms around and above the Hollywood Hills with its rich variety,  gave it a touch of paradise for all to see !
Hollywood was incorporated as a municipality in 1903, and during
1910 unified with the city of Los Angeles.
While a year later, the first film studio had moved in from New
Jersey, to escape Thomas Edison’s monopoly!    (1911)

In 1913 Cecil B. De Mille and Jesse Lasky, had leased a barn with
studio facilities.
And directed the first feature length film ‘Squaw Man’ in 1914.
Today this studio is home to Hollywood Heritage Museum as we get to see.
The timeless symbol of Hollywood film industry that famous sign on top of Mount Lee, was put up by a real estate developer in 1923.  
This sign had read as ‘’HOLLY WOOD LAND’’ initially.
Despite decades of run-ins with vandals and pranksters, it managed to hang on to its prime location near the summit of the Hollywood Hills.
The last restoration work was carried out in 1978 initiated by Hugh
Hefner of the ******* Magazine.
Those nine white letters 45 feet tall now read ‘HOLLYWOOD’, and has become a landmark and America’s cultural icon, and an evocative symbol for ambition, glamour, and dream.
Forever enticing aspiring actors to flock to Hollywood, hypnotised
by lure of the big screen!

                     GOLDEN AGE OF HOLLYWOOD
The Silent Movie Era which began in 1895, ended in 1935 with the
production of ‘Dance of Virgins’, filmed entirely in the island of Bali.
The first Sound film ‘The Jazz Singer’ by Warner Bros. was made with a Vitaphone sound-on-disc technology.  (October 1927)
Despite the Great Depression of the 1930s, this decade along with the 1940s have been regarded by some as Hollywood’s Golden Age.
However, I think that this Golden Age includes the decades of the
1940s and the 1950s instead.
When the advent of Television began to challenge the Film Industry
itself !

First Academy Award:
On 16th May 1929 in the Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard,
the First Academy Award presentation was held.
Around 270 people were in attendance, and tickets were priced at
$5 per head.
When the best films of 1927 & 1928 were honored by the Academy
of Motion Production and Sciences, or the AMPS.
Emil Jennings became the best actor, and Janet Gaynor the best actress.
Special Award went to Charlie Chaplin for his contribution to the
silent movie era and for his silent film ‘The Circus’.
While Warren Brothers was commended for making the first talking picture ‘The Jazz Singer’, - also receiving a Special Award!
Now, the origin of the term ‘OSCAR’ has remained disputed.
The Academy adopted this name from 1939 onwards it is stated.
OSCAR award has now become “the stuff dreams are made of”!
It is a gold-plated statuette of a knight 13.5 inches in height, weighing 8.5 pounds, was designed by MGM’s art director Cedric Gibbons.
Annually awarded for honouring and encouraging excellence in all
facets of motion picture production.

Movies During the Great Depression Era (1929-1941):
Musicals and dance movies starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers provided escapism and good entertainment during this age.
“Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did. She just did it
backwards and in high heels,” - the Critics had said.
This compatible pair entertained the viewers for almost one and
a half decade.
During the ‘30s, gangster movies were popular starring James Cagey, Humphrey Bogart, and Edward G. Robinson.
While family movies had their popular child artist Shirley Temple.
Swashbuckler films of the Golden Age saw the sword fighting scenes of Douglas Fairbanks and Errol Flynn.
Flynn got idolized playing ‘Robin Hood’, this film got released in
1938 on the big screen!
Story of the American Civil War got presented in the epic ‘Gone With The Wind’ (1939) with Clarke Gable and Vivian Leigh.
This movie received 8 Oscars including the award for the Best Film, - creating a landmark in motion picture’s history!
More serious movies like John Steinbeck’s ‘Grapes of Wrath’ and
John Ford’s  ‘How Green Was My Valley’, were released in 1940 and 1941 respectively.
While the viewers escaped that depressive age to the magical world
of  ‘Wizard of Oz’ with its actress Judy Garland most eagerly!
Let us not forget John Wayne the King of the Westerns, who began
his acting career in the 1930s with his movie ‘The Big Trail’;
He went on to complete 84 films before his career came to an end.
Beginning of the 40s also saw Bob Hope and the crooner Bing Crosby, who entertained the public and also the fighting troops.
For the Second World War (1939-45) had interrupted the Golden Age of Hollywood.
When actors like Henry Fonda, Clarke Gable, James Stewart and
Douglas Fairbanks joined the armed forces temporarily leaving
Few propaganda movies supporting the war efforts were also made.
While landmark movies like ‘Philadelphia Story’, ‘Casablanca’, ‘Citizen Kane’,
‘The Best Years of Our Lives’, were some of the most successful movies of that decade.  (The 1940s)
Now I come towards the end of my Hollywood Story with the decade  of the 1950s, thereby extending the period of Hollywood’s Golden Age.
Since having past the Great Depression and the Second World War,  the Hollywood movie industry truly matured and came of age.

                        HOLLYWOOD  OF  THE  1950s

The decade of the ‘50s was known for its post-war affluence and
choice of leisure time activities.
It was a decade of middle-class values, fast-food restaurants, and
drive-in- movies;
Of ‘baby-boom’, all-electric home, the first credit cards, and new fast moving cars like the Ford, Plymouth, Buick, Hudson, and Chevrolet.
But not forgetting the white racist terrorism in the Southern States!
This era saw the beginning of Cold War, with Eisenhower
succeeding Harry S. Truman as the American President.
But for the film industry, most importantly, what really mattered  
was the advent of the Domestic TV.
When the older viewers preferred to stay at home instead of going
out to the movies.
By 1950, 10.5 million US homes had a television set, and on the
30th December 1953, the first Color TV went on sale!
Film industries used techniques such as Cinemascope, Vista Vision,
and gimmicks like 3-D techniques,
To get back their former movie audience back on their seats!
However, the big scene spectacle films did retain its charm and
Since fantasy epics like ‘The Story of Robin Hood’, and Biblical epics like ‘The Robe’, ‘Quo Vadis’, ‘The Ten Commandments’ and ‘Ben-Hur’, did retain its big screen visual appeal.
‘The Robe’ released on 16th September 1953, was the first film shot
and projected in Cinema Scope;
In which special lenses were used to compress a wide image into a
standard frame and then expanded it again during projection;
Resulting in an image almost two and a half times as high and also as wide, - captivating the viewers imagination!

The idealized portrayal of men and women since the Second World War,
Now failed to satisfy the youth who sought exciting symbols for rebellion.
So Hollywood responded with anti-heroes with stars like James Dean, Marlon Brando, and Paul Newman.
They replaced conventional actors like Tyron Power, Van Johnson, and Robert Taylor to a great extent, to meet the requirement of the age.
Anti-heroines included Ava Gardner, Kim Novak, and Marilyn Monroe with her vibrant *** appeal;
She provided excitement for the new generation with a change of scene.
Themes of rebellion against established authority was present in many Rock and Roll songs,
Including the 1954 Bill Hailey and His Comets’ ‘Rock Around the Clock’.
The era also saw rise to stardom of Elvis Presley the teen heartthrob.
Meeting the youthful aspirations with his songs like ‘Jailhouse Rock’!
I recall the lyrics of this 1957 film ‘Jailhouse Rock’ of my school days, which had featured the youth icon Elvis:
   “The Warden threw a party in the county jail,
     The prison band was there and they began to wail.
     The band was jumping and the joint began to sing,
     You should’ve heard them knocked-out jail bird sing.
     Let’s rock, everybody in the whole cell block……………
     Spider Murphy played the tenor saxophone,
     Little Joe was blowing the slide trombone.
     The drummer boy from Illinois went crash, boom, bang!
     The whole rhythm section was the Purple Gang,
      Let's rock,.................... (Lyrics of the song.)

Rock and Roll music began to tear down color barriers, and Afro-
American musicians like Chuck Berry and Little Richard became
very popular!
Now I must caution my readers that thousands of feature films got  released during this eventful decade in Hollywood.
To cover them all within this limited space becomes an impossible
task, which may kindly be understood !
However, I shall try to do so in a summarized form as best as I could.

Top Ten Year-Wise hit films chronologically are: Cinderella (1950),
Quo Vadis, The Greatest Show on Earth, Peter Pan, Rear Window,
Lady and the *****, Ten Commandments, Bridge on the River
Kwai, South Pacific, and Ben-Hur of 1959.

However Taking The Entire Decade Of 1950s Collectively,
The Top Films Get Rated As Follows Respectively:
The Ten Commandments, followed by Lady and the *****, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, Bridge on the River Kwai, Around the World in Eighty Days, This is Cinerama, The Greatest Show on Earth, Rear Window, South Pacific, The Robe, Giant, Seven Wonders of the World, White Christmas, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Sayonara, Demetrius and the Gladiator, Peyton Place, Some Like It Hot, Quo Vadis, and Auntie Mame.

Film Debuts By Rising Stars During The 1950s :
The decade of the ‘50s saw a number of famous film stars making
their first appearance.
There was Peter Sellers in ‘The Black Rose’, Marlon Brando in
‘The Men’, and actress Sophia Loren in ‘Toto Tarzan’.
Following year saw Charles Bronson in ‘You Are in the Navy Now’,
Audrey Hepburn in ‘Our Wild Oats’, and Grace Kelly, the future
Princess of Monaco, in her first film ‘Fourteen Hours’. (1951)
While **** Brigitte Bardot appeared in 1952 movie ‘Crazy for Love’; and 1953 saw Steve Mc Queen in ‘******* The Run’.
Jack Lemon, Paul Newman, and Omar Sharif featured in films
during 1954.
The following year saw Clint Eastwood, Shirley Mc Lean, Walter
Matthau, and Jane Mansfield, all of whom the audience adored.
The British actor Michael Cain appeared in 1956; also Elvis Presley
the youth icon in ‘Love Me Tender’ and as the future Rock and Roll
In 1957 came Sean Connery, followed by Jack Nicholson, Christopher Plummer, and Vanessa Redgrave.
While the closing decade of the ‘50s saw James Coburn, along with
director, script writer, and producer Steven Spielberg, make their
debut appearance.

Deaths During The 1950s: This decade also saw the death of actors
like Humphrey Bogart, Tyron Power and Errol Flynn.
Including the death of producer and director of epic movies the
renowned Cecil B. De Mille!
Though I have conclude the Golden Age of Hollywood with the 50’s Decade,
The glitz and glamour of its Oscar Awards continue even to this day.
With its red carpet and lighted marquee appeal and fashion display!

From Fort Lee of New Jersey we have travelled west to Hollywood,
From the silent movie days to the first ‘talking picture’ with Warren
Bros’ film ‘The Jazz Singer’.  (06 Oct 1927)
On 31st July 1928 for the first time the audience heard the MGM’s
mascot Leo’s mighty roar!
While in July 1929 Warren Bros’ first all-talking and all- Technicolor
Film appeared titled - ‘On With The Show’.
Austrian born Hedy Lamarr shocked the audience appearing **** in a Czechoslovak film ‘Ecstasy’!  (1933)
She fled from her husband to join MGM, becoming a star of the
‘40s and the ‘50s.
The ‘Private Life of Henry VII’ became the first British film to win the  American Academy Award.  (1933)
On 11Dec 1934, FOX released ‘Bright Eyes’ with Shirley Temple,
who became the first Child artist to win this Award!
While in 1937 Walt Disney released the first full animated feature
film titled - ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarf ‘.
The British film director Alfred Hitchcock who came to
Hollywood later;
Between 1940 and 1947, made great thrillers like 'Rebecca', ‘Notorious’, ‘Rear Window’, and ‘Dial M for ******’.
But he never won an Oscar as a Director!

This award began in 1944 by the Foreign Correspondence Association at
the 20th Century Fox Studio.
To award critically acclaimed films and television shows, by awarding a
Scroll initially.
Later a Golden Globe was made on a pedestal, with a film strip around it.
In 1955 the Cecil B. De Mille Award was created, with De Mille as its first

In 1959 The National Academy of Recording and Sciences sponsored the
First Grammy Award for music recorded during 1958.
When Frank Sinatra won for his album cover ‘Only The Lonely’, but he
did not sing.
Among the 28 other categories there was Ella Fitzgerald, and Count Basie
for his musical Dance Band Performance.
There was Kingston Trio’s song ‘Tom Dooly’, and the ‘Chipmunk Song’,
which brings back nostalgic memories of my school days!


Challenge Faced by the Movie Industry:
Now the challenge before the Movie Industry was how to adjust to the
rapidly changing conditions created by the growing TV Industry.
Resulting in loss of revenue, with viewers getting addicted to
their Domestic TV screen most conveniently!

The late 1950s saw two studios REPUBLIC and the RKO go out of business!
REPUBLIC from 1935- ‘59 based in Los Angeles, developed the careers of
John Wayne and Roy Rogers, and specializing in the Westerns.
RKO was one of the Big Five Studios of Hollywood along with Paramount,
MGM, 20th Century Fox, and Warner Brothers in those days.

RKO Studio which begun with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the ‘30s,
included actress Katherine Hepburn who holds the record for four Oscars
even to this day;
And later had Robert Mitchum and Carry Grant under an agreement.
But in 1948, RKO Studio came under the control Howard Hughes the
temperamental Industrialist.
Soon the scandal drive and litigation prone RKO Studio closed, while
other Big Four Studios had managed to remain afloat!

Paramount Studio split into two separate companies in 1950.
Its Theatre chain later merged with ABC Radio & Television Network;
And they created an independent Production/Distribution Network.
Bing Crosby and Bob Hope had been Paramount’s two biggest stars.
Followed by actors like Alan Ladd, William Holden, Jerry Lewis, Dean
Martin, Charlton Heston, and Dorothy Lamour.
They also had the producer/director Cecil B. De Mille producing high-
grossing Epics like ‘Samson & Delilah’ and ‘The Ten Commandments’.
Also the movie maker Hal Wallis, who discovered Burt Lancaster and
Elvis Presley - two great talents!

Cinema Scope became FOX’s most successful technological innovation
with its hit film ‘The Robe’. (1953)
Its Darryl Zanuck had observed during the early ‘50s, that audience  
were more interested in escapist entertainments mainly.
So he turned to FOX to musicals, comedies, and adventure stories.
Biggest stars of FOX were Gregory Peck & Susan Hayward; also
stars like Victor Mature, Anne Baxter, and Richard Wind Mark.
Not forgetting Marilyn Monroe in her Cinema Scope Box Office hit
movie - ‘How to Marry a Millionaire’, which was also shown on
prime time TV, as a romantic comedy film of 1953.

During 1950 the studio was mainly a family managed company with
three brothers Harry, Albert, and Jack Warren.
To meet the challenges of that period, Warren Bros. released most of
its actors like James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Oliver de Havilland, -
Along with few others from their long-term contractual commitments;
Retaining only Errol Flynn, and Ronald Regan who went on to become
the future President.
Like 20th Century Fox, Warren Bros switched to musicals, comedies,
and adventure movies, with Doris Day as its biggest musical star.
The studio also entered into short term agreements with Gary Copper,
John Wayne, Gregory Peck, Patricia Neal, and Random Scott.
Warren Bros also became the first major studio to invest in 3-D
production of films, scoring a big hit with its 3-D  suspense thriller
‘House of Wax’ in 1953.

MINOR STUDIOS were mainly three, - United Artists, Columbia, and
The Universal.
They did not own any theatre chain, and specialized in low-budgeted
‘B’ Movies those days.
Now to cut a long story short it must be said, that Hollywood finally
did participate in the evolution of Television industry, which led to
their integration eventually.
Though strategies involving hardware development and ownership of
broadcast outlets remained unsuccessful unfortunately.
However, Hollywood did succeed through program supply like prime-
time series, and made-for-TV films for the growing TV market making
things more colorful!
Thus it could be said that the TV industry provided the film industry
with new opportunities,  laying the groundwork for its diversification
and concentration;
That characterized the entertainment industry during the latter half  
of our previous century.
I must now confess that I have not visited the movie theatre over the last
two decades!
I watch movies on my big screen TV and my Computer screen these days.
Old classical movies are all available on ‘You Tube’ for me, and I can watch
them any time whenever I am free!
Thanks for reading patiently, - Raj Nandy.
anon Oct 2018
i play my cards
by ear
no strategy
no plan
i just
play the cards
because of what
i hear

he says

i love you

so i play the
i love you
card right back

he says

i need you

but i don't have that card
so i play another
i love you
and hope he doesn't

he says

i care about you

and i want to play
but my cards
still say i

he says

you never listen

and i hear him
but my cards are blurry
through my tears
so i play
i love you
instead of sorry

he says

i don't believe you when you say you love me

but i've run out of cards to say i love you
so i finally play
i'm sorry

and he says i've wasted his time
and that he can't tell if i ever even cared
or loved

and i play an uno
+4 card
hoping he'll draw the
i love yous
i've discarded
and already played

but he draws
i hate you
i can't trust you
i've fallen out of love with you
i still want to care but i can't

and i'm crying again
and can't see my cards
so i play
i'm sorry
i'm sorry
i'm sorry
forgive me

and he looks at his hand and sighs
drawing a card
not knowing what to play
not knowing what to say
not even knowing who i am

and i draw too
i love you
from the deck
a cruel irony

he looks at me
waiting on my move
as i archive the card
and fold

he smiles weakly
and plays
i forgive you

but with my cards on the table
i'm forced to pay up
so i offer him
a final
i love you
as i walk away from the game
Shuffled deck; fetch me three of Seventy-Eight cards.

Queen of Swords
"This fine Sword of honest metal
is a more true an Ally
than many of Flesh indeed prove to be."

Much like Athena,
The Queen of Swords
is symbolic of progress;
always keen on new ideas;
though she is not One to leave herself defenseless,
her faithful Sword stands
always by her side.

Second of the three,
of the still Seventy-Seven:

Two of Swords
"Distracted by conflict
'twixt Heart and Mind,
I hold two Swords and bide my Time."

Two of Swords
stands between Moon and Water;
the Shadow and the Subconscious
the darkness and the unknown.

The Two of Swords
is blindfolded
and in her blissful ignorance
maintains her precarious balance,
for now.

The third of three random cards;
leaving Seventy-Five unturned:

Knight of Swords
"Feast your eyes upon this, my plan;
I wager thou hath, in all thy wretched days,
ne'er so beauteous a thing beheld!"

The Knight of Swords
is a keen poet and a fine musician;
though perhaps not romantically.

She dabbles for the sake of the intellect,
and seeks that those things be playthings thereof.
She is symbolic of progress through new ideas
and of the eloquence of a well-laid plan.

Being of the House of Swords,
she revels in the stimulation of intellect
and the effective use of wisdom.
She usually yields only to herself
and marches to the beat of her own convictions,
all the while
keeping her eyes
on the prize.

All of these Cards
are of the House of Swords.
There's about a 1 in 166 chance
of getting 3 of the 14 Swords
out of a random deck of 78 cards.

I got the Queen of Swords as my third card last time
and the first card this time;
There's 1 in approximately 676 chance
of getting the same card
in two consecutive sets of three cards
from a random 78 card deck.

(im)Probabilities aside:

The Suit of Swords is generally associated with:
one's ways of thinking, systems, ideas, and communication.

It has much to do with
what we chose to do with our Minds
and it also is symbolic of the power of
the stories we tell ourselves and each other.

The Swords are indeed double-edged in Tarot.

It has to do with the power of information
and with that comes delusion,
and, inexorably,

Patterns do exist, however.
Upon these patterns
foundations may be built,
the same is true within myself;
I can choose to use all these Swords
to cut through this cage of Shadow
and set free the Light once more
rather than allowing myself
to myself fall victim to the Swords
through inaction or misuse
though only if I tread lightly
and thoughtfully
and proceed with tact;
that much is clear.

Sword is the sign of Air;
perhaps the message here is simply
"Remember to breathe."
Second reading I've bothered to share and explicate on.

First is found here:

All three cards were of the house of Swords, which is sort of an omen of intellectual conflict within one's self. It can also be indicative of an imminent change that may take a minute to get one's head around. Whatever the case, it has been insightful for me, and I hope it has been at least interesting to you, as a reader!

Yes, I used my calculator to get those stats.
Basic probability and graphing calculators are wonderful things!

78 cards:
21 major
56 minor
in 4 suits
with 14 each,
drawing 3 cards
1 at a time;
interesting numbers arise.
Whiskurz Dec 2012
She got it a week before Christmas
Like every year before
A card written by her husband's hand
Who wasn't alive anymore

The card would wish her Christmas cheer
And told her of his love
He died in a accident on Christmas Eve
But it was her he's thinking of

For twenty-six years the cards would come
That's how long they were husband and wife
She never questioned why the the cards would come
They were written by the love of her life

He would write her a card for every year
And secretly tuck them aside
He gave a card to each of his friends
To mail long after he'd died

For twenty-six years the cards would come
Until she would pass away
They buried her beside her husband
With her cards on Christmas day
C Davis May 2015
Her birthday cards

All lined up on the mantle like

Happy paper people, waiting to give praise.

She placed her flowers just below

On the fireplace bricks like

A bouquet garden,

nurtured for ripe admiring.

It’s an impromptu display, in gentle notions reading:

“I am loved!”

Next to Grandpa’s old chair,

Where part of Grandma’s heart sleeps

At night.

What a beautiful home

She has kept

And keeps.

Memorabilia of a better time

When pride came from the simple things.

With a warm heart and keen eye,

Every adornment

In its proper home placed,

And atop the fireplace mantle

Is where you’ll find

The birthday cards.
My Grandmother's birthday is the 4th of May and falls just before Mother's Day each year. She recently suffered a heart attack, but, like the strong, courageous woman she is, it's hard to even tell she was ill at all. We spent the weekend at her home to celebrate Mother's Day and her birthday, and this poem is for her.

I love you, Grandma.

— The End —