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brandon nagley Aug 2015
Gary L, an honest man
Gary L, the best of friends;
Gary L, keepeth on
Gary L, forgiveth the hatred, sing thy song;
Gary L, spread thy genius
Gary L, overcometh hatred with silence
Gary L, Love is the key
Gary L, just be thy own seed
Gary L, poetic mate
Gary L, thou art free, so write amour high in moderate.
Gary L, fellow madman
Gary L, true lyricist, h.p sandman!!!!
Gary L.....
Loveth and forgiveth always, for love conquers all hatred....

©Brandon nagley
©Lonesome poets poetry
©Gary L dedication/ friendship poem..
Gary's having hard time right now with stuff going on he needs a boost everyone (:
Dorothy A Oct 2013
As Lewis walked up to the door, it strangely felt like he had been here before. But he hadn't. She had moved here three years ago, and he never saw the place. It smelled like Nina's home alright, though. The faint whiff of hydrangeas, of roses, and of other flowers caught he keen nose, and he breathed in deeply and smiled reassuringly to himself. The he became serious, as if he had no right to smile.

Was this the right thing to do? He hoped so. Time would tell. It felt as if it was almost yesterday, instead of six years ago, as he knocked on her door.

After a few knocks, a minute or two, Nina opened the door to her house. Someone had to be home, for there was a car in the driveway. As she looked upon him, Lewis expected her to slam the door shut in his face, but she also acted as if she had just seen him yesterday. And it seemed like no big deal to her.

Without much emotion on her face, she left the screen door shut, but she kept the inner door open. Walking away, it was like she expected him to follower her non-verbal lead. He did, hesitantly.

In the kitchen, Nina poured him a cup of coffee. "You hungry?" she asked him. "I am about to put some cinnamon roles into the oven. I'm going to open up a can from the fridge."


"Oh?" Lewis responded, trying to be nonchalant, trying to hid the nervousness in his voice. "Not from scratch?" His heart was practically beating out of his chest.

Nina's back was towards him. She was finishing some dishes in the sink. "Yeah, I know I was always Betty Crocker. But I'be learned to make short cuts, and it tastes just fine. Makes life easier to not do everything like Grandma did it."  

After she separated the rolls apart, and stuck them into the oven, she just kept going about her business. She started to open some mail and sorted the items into piles of importance and priority, and into a pile that could wait.

Lewis was shocked. He couldn't believe her composure. After a while, she turned around, leaned against the counter top, and she acted like she didn't have a care in the world. She didn't look one bit stressed, angry, sad, shocked, disgusted--or anything.

Finally, Lewis said, "Nina, I don't get it." He felt itchy, and tense, as if he could scratch his skin off, as if he was waiting for a bomb to drop. "Why aren't you telling me to get the hell out of her...to go ***** off...or call me every name in the book."

Nina just looked him up and down. He began to chuckle, nervously. "Come on, Nina! I am surprised you just don't grab that pan of hot rolls in the oven, and whack me in the head with them!"

In response, Nina still said nothing, acting as if nothing ever happened.

Becoming quite unsettled with her unexpected composure, he went on. "I mean...come on..scream at me. Cuss me out! Slap me! Punch me! Something, for God's sake!"

Nina raised an eyebrow, and tried to resist smiling. She was waiting patiently for him to explain himself, not to go on like this. "Is that what you want, Lewis? Is that why you came her? To beat you into oblivion with a pan of hot cinnamon rolls?" She didn't try to make him look foolish--he was doing a good job of that on his own.

Lewis turned red in embarrassment, and started to smirk. "Well...yeah...would make more sense to me."

The timer went off and the rolls were done. Putting her oven mitts on, Nina pulled them out of the oven and let them cool on top of the counter. The silence was eerie, awkward.

She poured him another cup of coffee, and finally addressed the elephant in the room. As he still looked up at her, dumbfounded by her, she said, "Lewis...if you have the ***** to come here...than I can certainly let you in and hear you out."

With that said, she filled a plate full of rolls, places them in the center of the table, pulled out a chair and sat down across from him at the table. "I'm listening", she said, her expressions still low-key. Yet Lewis thought that her eyes and mouth seemed ready to mock him, positioned to put him in his place. His guilt wouldn't allow him to think, otherwise.

Why would she serve him food and coffee? Why not just get it all into the open and demand that he spill his guts?

Lewis didn't want to beat around the bush any longer, but spoke plainly in his confession. "Nina, what can I say? I'm an ***." She didn't nod her head in agreement, nor say that he sure was an ***, yet a "look of  suspicion was growing upon her face.

"OK, OK", he went on. "I should never have left you--of all days! What a frickin' wimp! I should have manned-up and told you I wasn't ready to get married. Instead, I stood you up at the church...of all places...in front of your family...your friends. A complete no-show--I made a mockery of that day! It was supposed to be one of the best...and I made it the worst! Some in my family haven't really gotten past it or have forgiven me. Not fully. A few barely talk to me. My best friend, Steve, thinks I'm a *****--a dumb fool!"

Nina sighed with relief. This was what she wanted to hear. The tears started flowing.

Lewis told her, "So I just don't get it. I don't get why you are not furious with me! It just blows my mind!"

Lewis grabbed for another cinnamon role, and Nina handed him a napkin. She wasn't crying anymore, and he was glad. Why was she being so nice though? So hospitable? Did she have something up her sleeve? Did she mean to get back at him? Maybe poison in one of his roles? Lewis had to laugh at himself. Actually, that might alleviate some of his guilt right now.  

Picking at her role, Nina explained, first more sharply. Then she was soft in speech. "It's not all about you, ya know! Look, Lewis, don't think that for a moment that just because it is more OK now that it was OK back then! Well...I guess you already realize this. You see, I'm different now...changed...grown a lot since. I did a lot of soul searching, lots of growing."

"I can see that. It's wonderful."

"And I wondered what I did wrong...at first. Then I hated you, blamed you. I wished that I never said I would marry you. I did plenty of screaming at you--plenty. I bring things in a rage--mirrors, a clock, a dish or two--bruised my fists up pounding things."

She paused and continued, all the time looking at the intricate, lace doily on the center of the table, under a vase of fresh daisies. Finally, Lewis saw the gamut of emotions. In one moment, her face would pinch in frustration and anger. It would then evolve into a soft sadness, and other emotions within.

"Wasn't so composed about you back then, Lewis. Let's see...I swore at you. I wished you were dead. I ripped up every picture of you...put some in the shredder, wishing they were you, instead..prayed that you would die. Bitterness isn't event he word for it. I thought you were the worst thing that happened to me, that you ruined my life forever. I cursed you up and down, Lewis. I'm sure I even invented some new curse words."

That was enough said. She looked up at him and slightly smiled. Lewis smiled back, for at least she felt real to him now, quite natural. She admitted, But I think I cried far more than I hated you. I still loved you."

Lewis wanted to sit right next to her and hold her. "Oh, baby...I'm so sorry..."

Nina quickly interjected. "Honey, you weren't ready for marriage. We were both young, only in our mid twenties...we thought we had it so together. It took me a while, but I finally realized that you needed to find out who you really were, came to that conclusion for a while now. And, boy, did I need to get to know myself more, too!"

"No!", he insisted, emphatically. "Don't make excuses for me! I did not do right by you!"

Nina reached across the table and put her hand upon his. "It seemed like hell at the time, but I needed to learn about me, too! Crazy as it sounds....if it did not happen...I never would have..."

She stopped short. Lewis had tears in his eyes, and one began to roll down his cheek. "Met Gary", he said, finishing her sentence for her.

Surprise flashed across her face. "You did your homework!" Nina stated. She was quite impressed and smiled.

"I wanted to know what happened to you", Lewis responded. "You probably wonder why I didn't walk away for good. I intended to....but you deserve some answers, and I'm here to give them to you. Sure, I could have walked away, and stayed away. I could have saved myself the embarrassment of facing you, again. I could have pretended to have some dignity left."

"But you do have some dignity left", she insisted, sweetly. "It takes a lot of courage to do this. I'm glad you did."

"Are you happy now? I mean...I hope you are."

"Very."

Lewis didn't even have to ask. He could already tell. They sat in silence for a moment. Nina finally said, excitedly, "Gary's a great guy! We both love art. We both love nature, the outdoors, to travel.  He loves other cultures, and learning other things--like languages." Her face was beaming with pride. "Gary is trying to learn Portuguese and brush up on his Spanish. This year ,we are planning a trip to Portugal and Spain!"

Nina always did keep a nice home, and she decorated it with art that was acquired from different places. Where Lewis didn't have a sense of what looked good, she had a good sense of style. When they were both together, the talked of going to different places that they never traveled to--Africa, Asia, Australia--backpacking across Europe. They were big dreams.

Nina did not want Lewis to feel punished, but his agonizing expression of remorse would have been punishment enough. It already was for him, and it showed his sincerity.

"You know how I met Gary?"

Lewis shook his head. "A support group for divorced people! she admitted, gleefully, as if that was the most amazing thing to say.

Lewis looked embarrassed. Perhaps, he misunderstood her.  "What? For divorced people? You were never married before Gary, were you?"

Perhaps, there was something she wasn't telling him. Nina burst out laughing, seeming so carefree as she threw her head back and clapped her hands. Her laughter was beautifully contagious, and Lewis loved to hear it. "No, of course not!" she said. I have no secret past before I met you...or even now. It's just that a divorce support group was the closest support I could get. After all, there are no support groups for jilted brides and grooms!" She laughed even more.

They were talking so easily now, getting along so well. But why? It still seemed so surreal. Lewis laughed along with  her, as if this was just an encounter  to revisit the good, old times. When hearing of Gary, Lewis felt the pain of his loss, as well as some jealousy rise up. As if he had the right!  

He truly was an ***! He never deserved her!

Nina soon became serious, again. "So did you just come here to say you were sorry?" She was thinking he wanted something else from her, something else to say.

Lewis was once poised to take off in a real hurry. Now, he felt more at home. "Yeah...I came to say I was sorry to you...hoping to stop feeling sorry for myself... I guess. I'm wishing I could just turn back the clock. I swear I'd do it all again, differently."

"But the past cannot be change, and we both know it", Nina stated, resolutely.

He nodded in agreement. She didn't burst his bubble, for to think otherwise was a childish, fantasy.

"I don't know what else to say, Lewis". Nina's eyes reflected sorrow, not pity. "Life does really go on...if we let it. We have to let it, though." She now turned the conversation onto him. " So how about you? I hope you have some good news to tell me, something in your life."

He shrugged his shoulders. "I've had a few, short relationships", he admitted. Where there any displeasing looks on her face? Lewis didn't notice anything, now. "Not all that bad, I should say. But I just don't want to settle down until I finish my Masters in business. I'm nearly done."

"Good for you! That is great news!" Nina truly was glad for him, and it just showed him what a great woman she was. But then Lewis already knew this.

"Are you still teaching?" he asked, hoping she was, for she strove for the job, and loved it so much.

"Yes, I teach kindergarten, and Gary teaches science at Darland College."

"Well, what do you know? Both teachers. That sounds like a perfect match for you. And what about kids? None yet?"

"In time...sure. We just aren't ready right now."

She offered him more coffee, but Lewis declined. He was thinking he should go soon.  He said. "You know we used to talk about having a boy and a girl--and in that order, too!"

Nina rolled her eyes. "Yeah, boy oh boy. Like we had complete control over it".

They both laughed. It was fine to reminisce, and they did for a while, Lewis realizing that this would be the last time. He lived three hours away. And why should he come back? He did what he set out to do.

Nina would tell Gary about the visit after he came home from work. As husband and wife, there were not secrets between them. Nina was sure he would be surprised,f or his ex-wife never came to apologize for the pain she caused him.

"Gary's wife had an affair on him, and then left to marry that man", Nina revealed. "Thank God there were no children from that marriage."

"Wow, that is ******! Thank God I never did that to you!. I would have never cheated with another woman...or I might never have tried to face you. It would be easier to slink back into the ditch and stay there! This is hard enough as it is!"

"Maybe so, Lewis. Maybe so." Nina quickly added, "You aren't a bad man. I know this and I wholeheartedly mean this, so don't keep beating up on yourself. I've forgiven you for everything. I forgave you then, and I forgive you now. "

"Nina, that means everything to me!" He started to choke up, and more tears came.

Listen, Lewis. You need to forgive you, too."

He lowered his gaze, as Nina held his hand and gave it a squeeze. Never was Lewis so contrite before. Like many men, he never was overly emotional, and so this different side of him was a refreshing experience.

"Yeah,  it's time to move on", he stated, using a napkin as a tissue.

"Yes, it is. And I loved what you did. It was helpful for us both. It's the closure we need."

"Yep", he said, wiping away more tears.

"You are a guy with guts, Lewis. you do have courage, and more integrity than you think, and I hope you see it."

Nina offered him more coffee, and he accepted. Why couldn't they chat a little while longer? It was no harm, and it made the visit even more meaningful. Sitting and shooting the breeze more was not a bad thing.

The kitchen still held the fragrant smell of cinnamon, as they polished off more rolls and spoke more of good times.
I ASKED the Mayor of Gary about the 12-hour day and the 7-day week.
And the Mayor of Gary answered more workmen steal time on the job in Gary than any other place in the United States.
"Go into the plants and you will see men sitting around doing nothing-machinery does everything," said the Mayor of Gary when I asked him about the 12-hour day and the 7-day week.
And he wore cool cream pants, the Mayor of Gary, and white shoes, and a barber had fixed him up with a shampoo and a shave and he was easy and imperturbable though the government weather bureau thermometer said 96 and children were soaking their heads at bubbling fountains on the street corners.
And I said good-by to the Mayor of Gary and I went out from the city hall and turned the corner into Broadway.
And I saw workmen wearing leather shoes scruffed with fire and cinders, and pitted with little holes from running molten steel,
And some had bunches of specialized muscles around their shoulder blades hard as pig iron, muscles of their fore-arms were sheet steel and they looked to me like men who had been somewhere.Gary, Indiana, 1915.
Sometimes when I'm texting Kara
I lose faith in my own words
think it's a good idea to just keep pushing the suggested words button on my phone
Until it keeps repeating itself.

I enter a smiley Face
then let my phone, Lets call him Gary.
Let gary type his feelings out.

"Smiley face. **** sleep! I love you, you just don't need to make them hate you.
when you're done. I wouldn't recommend going home. You'll find that it's rather. . . . . . . ."

As you can imagine,
That did not help my case much.
in the context that this was 3am
she was angry.
And gary left a lot of explaining to do
Like who exactlly does she not need to make hate her?
Her homes rather what?
What the **** are you doing to Karas home Gary?

I'm not always texting Kara when I ride the suggested word generator to lazy random salvation though.

Sometimes I ask it for life advice.

I can just type it questions like
"why do i have toes?"
And it will come out with:
why do i have toes the same time as my grandma was dying and
I was losing my job so Tinder
has kind of been my way of escaping the darkness of my situation
my getting to meet new people and
having tons of awesome dates / adventures / and *** in my car
* glad you came - the wanted * During *** in my car
* glad you came - the wanted * During *** in my car
* glad you came - the wanted * During *** in my car.

And I can't help but assume that it's trying to tell me it understands me.
Or maybe that it's smarter than me.
And is predicting my future.
By warning about my past.

Sometimes friends ask Questions i haven't even answered for myself yet like:
how do I quit drinking coffee? or
how do i stop being an *******?
so I just go consult Gary.

How do you stop cheating on your girlfriend? I enter into garys think box

How do you stop cheating on your girlfriend?
I have a job for you. Men! Escort our guests.
the night pitch black
No moon in the sky.
few stars due to the city of the day?
What kind of music do you like?
what does your bedroom look like?
[ once you're confident in your hot button picture ]
And THAT'S really why you swiped right today, isn't it ( their name )?
[ Wait for response ] Right! So what days are you usually free?
[ Wait for response ] Right! So what days are you usually free?
[ Wait for response ] Right! So what days are you usually free?

I Think Gary just suggested that using tinder for men will stop the urge to cheat.
I have a strange feeling he gives bad advice.
Gary is in my head.
Gary is my head.
He is taking all of my own words
jumbling them all up
And spitting them back out at me

It's almost as if he were programed to do so.

Gary speaks for me when I lose faith in my own words.
Because i have faith in his ability to craft my old words into something laughable.
He does a good job.
I do a good job.
I have a job for you.
Old Gary Blue made lady's shoes,
from flats and pumps to stilettos.
In every size and many hues,
with lots of closed and open-toes.

He fell for Debra Derby, true,
the smith's daughter, with crimson hair.
He wooed her til she loved him, too,
and wed her in a Spring affair.

Her father, old  and stubborn soul,
had been a smith most of his life.
He had some  issues with control,
just ask his daughter and his wife.

For Debra Derby's dowry,
He had conditions to be met.
Gary's work was too flow'ry
for his daughter.  He was upset.

"Fire up the bellows, Gary Blue!
Now you'll forge a diff'rent course!
You'll never make another shoe,
unless it fits upon a horse!"

Poor Gary was despondent, now,
though love was bound to find a way.
He had to  pull this off somehow,
with his love and his art to stay.

Then GENIUS!  Inspiration struck!
and Gary knew just what to do.
Got paint and felt off his old truck,
and set off, every horse to shoe.

Now flats and pumps, stilettos too,
in pinks and violets, clad in felt,
donned every hoof that Gary knew.
Left many fillies looking svelte!
surfngrl0204 Sep 2014
To Mr Gary Matthew-
On and on hours roll,
We bring faith and hope
to your young soul.
Gary Matthew we love you.

This tragedy takes its toll,
Ever so slow the clock seems to go,
As we sit just down this hall.
Gary Matthew we love you.

Feel our love surround your room?
Each heart that has met yours,
Each bond will bloom.
Gary Matthew we love you.  

You are a special man brother,
Prayer and kind wishes working hard.
Strongest of all of course is our mother.
Gary Matthew we love you
9-22-14
Last night Gary Facebooked me:
11:03 PM
"Can I ask you to be crazy with me?"
Gary said he had been flirting with this girl, May
for six months.
She wanted to see him in person tonight,
And he needed a ride.
Gary and I met 11 days ago.
Strangers brought together in the streets of Freeport by pokemon GO.
he spotted me holding my phone out from a mile away.
"Team Instinct?
TEAM INSTINCT!"
Lightning cracked above us
as we cryed in harmony:
"THERE IS NO SHELTER FROM THE STORM!"

My knowledge of him consists of three things.

1. He works as a security guard
Is first responder for medical emergency
Tackles felons and escorts people with restraining orders.
plays it up like he's a security guard for something mysterious
He is a security guard for Wal-mart.

2. Gary buys peoples affection.
Throws his money aimlessly
Pointing at his trophies
Prooving he too is expensive

3. To Gary,
there is nothing better to do
from 12 - 5am
Than wander Looking for pikachu.
With me.
besides visiting this May.

"A taxi would be $80
but I'd rather pay that to you, Bro."

On the drive there,
He is Squeeing, Singing,
Flipping out.
"I've got knots in my stomach Bro."

Upon arrival,
He readily jumps from my car
"Go catch 'em Brock" I say.

When I get back to Freeport
he sends me a messege.
1:04 AM
"Dude.
I think she fell asleep waiting
I'm not inside yet."

I park my car in Freeport,
Finish catching a Weedle.
"I'm on my way, stay safe."

"Man I'm so down."
"She's not coming to the door Nick."
"I'm just gonna curl up on the ground and cry."
"I've called her 24 times"

He heavily thumps his backpack into my backseat
Slumps down into my car.

"There is"
"no shelter"
"From"
"the storm"
"In my heart."

We stare out the window.
At the two homeless men
With no teeth
That he didn't beat.
He's holding night vision binoculars
And a clean Knife.
"I'm sorry I got you involved, Nick
I asked you to be crazy with me."
"There is"
"No shelter"
"From"
"The storm"
"In my heart"
KRB Apr 2014
I must look like a train-wreck to everyone at this party. Emaciated-chic melting into the couch with shaky hands and sweaty palms has never looked good on anyone. I can’t tell if the bass pounding from the stereo has seeped through my skin or if my heart has turned into a battering ram, using all of its power to break through my sternum. You think I would have learned after all these years-- benzos and ***** are never a good combination. But I still have at least fifty bucks to make at this party off of over-privileged, toxin-craving youth. Besides, it’s a bearable feeling, and I can just sleep it off on the couch here tonight.
       I survey the room, attempting to remember where the stairs to the basement were located. After forcing my drooping eyelids to stay open, I watch a parade of lax bros make their way up the stairs and into the kitchen. They are a mess of scrawny limbs floating in pinnies and their air-filled heads are capped off with snapbacks. Their smugness is laughable and mostly, if not entirely, induced by massive amounts of *******. Please. The only reason people show up to this dump is because of the free ***** and the always-entertaining fight that is guaranteed to happen by the end of the party. Even then, the crowd is mostly freshmen, and they just don’t know any better.
       A booming yooooo crashes down the staircase and stumbles towards me. I refrain from rolling my eyes.
       “Hey, you!” I have no idea who this is.
       “Whatchyew got tonight?” asks the greasy manchild with a few scraggly hairs bursting out of his chin.
       “Depends on what you’re looking for,” I respond, wishing I had worn something other than an oversized sweater and leggings. You shouldn’t hide everything in your cleavage.
       “How much you want for the zannies?”
       Hoping to never see this scumbag again, I figure it wouldn’t hurt to scare him off by jumping the price to seven bucks a bar. But before I can even grab the plastic bag out of my bra, I’m momentarily blinded by piercing red and blue LEDs out the window.
       “Aw, shiiiit,” he says as he races toward the back door.
       I struggle out of the crevice in the couch and calmly follow the manchild, pushing my way through the crowd by the door. My car is waiting patiently for me in the cul de sac, and once I get past the herd of screaming freshmen, I’ll be in the clear. Anyone will move if you start throwing elbows directly into their ribs. It’s a nice party trick to use when the cops show up.
       I’m able to make it onto the back porch, but I can’t seem to find the strength that is located in my legs. My strong limbs have been replaced by jellyfish tentacles. I grab onto the railing of the steps, but I learn quickly that it’s not going to help. I trip over my feet, the stairs, the air, everything, until I am able to lean heavily on the driver’s side of my car.
       The booming yooooo reappears.
       ******* it. I can’t deal with this kid right now.
       “I just gotta text that the cops are on their way back here. Better get out.”
       ****. I face the car and begin to fumble with my keys. While I attempt to find the one that will open this machine, I listen to the wail of sirens a few streets down. I finally retrieve it, but I realize by the time I start the car and head towards home, the cops will be here, and I can’t ruin my spotless record. The knee-high hedges lining the circle would never be able to completely cover me, and every other house on this street looks unfamiliar. I press a small, blue button and hear a pop in the back. Normally at this time, my common sense would **** in and tell me that the trunk of a car isn’t exactly a good place to hide, but I’m starting to feel the cold through the numbness. And the last thing I want to deal with is explaining to my parents how their angel has taken herself off of her meds to make some extra cash.  Better get comfortable, I guess.
       I lumber into the trunk, thankful that there are at least some blankets left over from the last time I went camping with my family. Breathing heavily, I pull the lid behind me. From here, several familiar voices grow frantic and demanding: Dump that **** now... Get rid of it... I don’t care how much you spent, I’m not getting caught with it... I roll gently onto my side, careful not to shake the car, only to rediscover the plastic bag filled with Xanax.
       I freeze when I hear cars pull up nearby. The crash of heavy metal doors boom through the hectic sounds of the people trying their hardest to get out of the way. I listen to the rough growl of a sturdy boot as it kicks aside pieces of broken glass and plastic cups.
       “You think that after the fourth time we’ve busted this house, they would get the hint,” says a stern officer. I imagine him as they type with a faded buzz cut, bulging muscles, and aviator sunglasses even though it’s well past midnight.
       “Well, kids will be kids,” says a more seasoned member of the law. He sounds like my grandfather and has probably seen more terrifying images than an underage girl in skimpy clothing puking in a nearby flowerbed. It seems as though the stern officer is herding the party-goers towards the back of the patrol car.
       “That’s no excuse,” says Stern Cop.
       “So you’re telling me that you never went to a party or had a beer before you turned 21?”
       “Well, that’s different. I was in control.”
       Hearing your rights sounds much less dramatic in real life than it does on TV. For these underage drinkers, it’s a sped-up process that is muffled by their own sobs. The metallic clink of handcuffs echoes through the air and immediately hushes everyone. Soft Cop chuckles and gently closes the door, attempting not to startle the shaken-up criminals.
       I am finally able to exhale as a car drives away, but I don’t feel as if I’ve gotten away with anything. I shift onto my back and look up at the roof of the trunk, illuminated by the blue-green light of my cell phone. Glancing down at the screen, I see the time: 1:47 a.m. I’m going to have to venture out into the world eventually.
       As I gather my strength and roll towards the trunk release, I feel my keys in my pocket along with a tiny click. Immediately, my car begins to scream. I scramble for my keys, hoping that no one is here to witness the embarrassing mess I’ve made of myself. Once I finally get the car to calm down, I hear an intoxicating mix of chuckles and mild profanities strung together. It’s Soft Cop. He knows.
       “Is everything alright in there?” asks Soft Cop as he knocks on the trunk.
       What am I supposed to say? Yeah, everything’s fine. Just chillin’ out here. No worries.
       “Uh... yes, sir. Just give me a moment.”
       I unlock the trunk and start push it upwards, but Soft Cop has managed to get to it first. He is a tall, thick man with a glorious salt-and-pepper colored mustache. His soft eyes look tired like a basset hound’s. I see his name-tag–– G. Lewis. He looks like a Gary.
       “Didjya get a little stuck?” he asks.
       “Yeah.” I smile and try not to let my nervous laugh creep through.
       Gary looks around the cul de sac and back into the trunk, reaching his chubby fingers towards me. As he helps me out, I notice that he’s a lot stronger than he looks.
       “Sorry for breaking up the party tonight. Have fun?” he asks, tilting his head towards me, eyes curious and comforting.
       “For a little. I didn’t get to stay very long.”
       He nods his head towards my car. “If you don’t mind me asking,” he chuckles, “how’d you wind up in there?”
“I guess I just got scared. I didn’t want to get in trouble for being here.”
       Gary finds this amusing and swears that by now, every other cop has left the area. He explains that he’s been left to make sure nothing starts back up. He shoves his hands in his pockets and kicks around an empty Miller Lite can.
       “Listen, I can tell you’ve been drinking.” His voice has changed. I know this tone. This is the tone of Your Mother and I both love you very much, and we’re not mad. We’re just disappointed. He looks me straight in the eyes, concern written all over his face. “Correct?”
       There’s no point lying to him, but who wants to be the one throw themselves under the bus? I’m trying to put the words together, but all I can manage is incoherent babbling.
       “Don’t worry. You’re not in trouble,” he insists. “I just don’t want you driving away in this state. You seemed to have a hard time finding the steering wheel.” A smirk emerges on his face, eventually growing in size to a radiating smile. He’s proud of that one.
       “Yeah, I guess I could take a nap in the backseat.”
       “How about I just drop you off at your house. You can pick up your car in the morning. Sound like a plan?”
       “Yes, sir.”
       We look at each other for a second. No thank you is needed. No more words are necessary. I relax my shoulders and look up at the clear sky. I feel the wind blow, and I don’t seem to mind the biting December wind.
       “Didn’t bring a coat?” asks Gary.
       “Didn’t match my outfit.”
       “You sound just like my granddaughter.” He laughs. “You even have the same blonde hair and big green eyes. It’s uncanny.”
       He then stops and looks down on the ground, eyes growing wide and serious. I know what he’s looking at. I was hoping he wouldn’t see my stash that is now laying on the street: eight white pills in a plastic sandwich bag, sweaty from making a quick escape from under my sweater.
       Gary sighs and lets his lips purse, still looking at the bag. The salt-and-pepper mustache takes over his mouth. He gathers his hands on his hips, shoulders hunching forward. He stays like this as I avoid the opportunity to make eye contact. After drawing some air into his lungs, he finally has the courage to look up with sullen and wet eyes.
       “Well,” he says as he regains his composure. He kicks the bag into a nearby storm grate. “Let’s get you home.”
written for a fiction course i'm taking currently
RAJ NANDY Jul 2017
THE LEGEND OF HOLLYWOOD IN VERSE
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

           A SHORT  HISTORICAL  BACKGROUND
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
Hollywood.
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

BACKGROU­ND:
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
fantasy.
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!

DEMAND FOR NEW THEMES DURING THE 1950s :
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.

BOX OFFICE HITS YEAR-WISE FROM 1950 To 1959 :
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
King!
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!

CONTINUING THE HOLLYWOOD STORY WITH FEW TITBITS :
From Fort Lee of New Jersey we have travelled west to Hollywood,
California.
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!

THE GOLDEN GLOBE AWARD:
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
recipient.

THE GRAMMY AWARD:
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!

CONCLUDING HOLLYWOOD STORY  WITH STUDIOS OF THE 1950s

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:
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!

20th CENTURY FOX:
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.

WARREN BROTHERS:
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.
**ALL COPYRIGHTS ARE WITH THE AUTHOR RAJ NANDY OF NEW DELHI
Ashley Chapman Jun 2019
We start in Greek Street.
Not any old night,
But the end of an age,
A grand finale;
Last orders,
Before the corporate boyz move in,
To whitewash the Coach & Horses,
Where inky Boho Jeffrey Bernard drank …
Gary Dunnington, the actor, and his mates are out.

Meanwhile, a mom runs her hands,
Though my strands.
Tell me everything, she enthuses,
About your hair.
But there’s nothing to say:
I barely wash it,
Never brush it,
And only finger combe it.
But she carries on in my locks,
Then to dinner with her bloke

We head for 57, Trisha's,
A lively basement heaven,
In energy, in noise, in smoke.
I chat with Mark on a stool.
Got his heart broke:
It’s hard
When love ***** up,
To sever those traumatic bonds,
Thick as pillar posts,
Goodbye, the cocktail of toxicity,
That had you on a high for months,
The ***, the texts, the tenderness,
Ahhh, ****, the love.

Kass, a boxer musician, comes
And shakes our hands.
He’s in Armani,
And says,
His eyes dark little pressed raisins,
He prefers a poet over a bruiser.
I don’t fight no more,
If I did,
I’d **** ‘em, so I don’t bother.

In the corner,
Two girls with dreamy eyes:
I read ‘em love poems.

Then Jessica Appleby pops her head round the door.
We hug and then swap tales:
I’m all messed up, I tell her.
What not her, the one you wrote that poem for.
My man, she confides.
All crazy passion and wild *** for two months,
Then nothing.
Just fizzled out like it was never meant to be.

She exits.

You alright Gary?
Yeah, you?
Fine.
I don’t buy him a beer,
A bottle of Peroni is £5.
No, it’s £3, he says, if you pay cash.
Okay, I head for the bar.
Three times I explain it’s £3 cash to the barman.
Who told you that?
Gary.
Well, tell Gary, if he doesn’t shut the **** up,
He’ll be paying a fiver next time, too.

A young American artist, Kirsty, starts talking to me.
She’s trying to get ahead in art,
And says, that when she was a kid,
On a black Tuscany night filled with stars,
She walked out onto a stone balustrade balcony,
And knew in that moment,
She was no longer her mom and dad,
But herself, Kirsty.

The boxer musician shoves a tall fellow hard against a wall,
The altercation,
Is over before it starts.

Kass gives me a wolfish smile.
Mark buys me a drink.
Kirsty slips off to the toilet.
Mark goes home.
The corner girls have long since gone.

Everyone is cleared from the yard,
Just Gary and I linger with a feisty young bar lady,
Serving the Bohos of Soho.

Drinking in their pathos,
Exhaling in the shadows,
Mingling in their juices.
As my ****** up heart, beats,
With the Bohos of Soho.
Ahhh, the Bohos of Soho keep many hours.
The Bohos of Soho,
The Bohos of Soho,
The Bohos of Soho,
Have many lives,
The Bohos of Soho are a good seed.
You and I,
Out in Soho,
For last orders.
In a desperate attempt to  save hello  from near destruction the evil man ****** but yet charming in all togather strange way.
Elliot had a moment of true brillance   To get the anchors of hello togather  in a nice beach house.
Okay it  was a soon to be condemed rat trap hotel  on the Jersy shore and film it.

My worries were alerted already  for I was  really  wasnt up for making a **** .
Who am i kidding  sure i am.
But like when momma  gonzo told me that fat *****  in the red suit
wasnt really santa  just a child  molester.
I was wondering why santa  was  giving out candy in july
And why that candy cane was never in his pocket .
So the **** thing was off  it was to be a reallity show.

Freee ***** a chance to act up like a three year old hyped up on cookies    and crystal **** or whatever the kids were into these days.
They had me  sold so like a flock of segulls we ran   we ran so far away  eventhough  probation  said no my    gonzo sense said yes hey  lindsy lohan told me it sounded like  great idea  and who can argue with a crazy coke head.  

So we gathred in the bleek hope of saving hello from total boredom  and thoose hiku  writting nazis   from poetry soup.
Jack, Baths, Chris,Eileen,Gary,Paula,And that ***** Gonzo  
really  im so insecure  must just be that time of the month.

The rooms reminded me as a cross between the bates motel
and something outta the shining yes charming indeed.
We had the top floor  I always liked being on top but enough with the
forplay children.

The rooms  were picked  okay guys over there   girls come with me it was worth a try.  
The rooms were picked the honey moon suite  
going to me and Jack   ahh ****    there were strobe lights  stripper pole heart shapped  hot tub   jesus it was like  elton john had thrown  up in here  at least it smelled like it.

elliot had made it clear the bar tab was on us but knowing what a true sweetheart  he was he had somehow  left me his credit card
in my wallet maybe without knowing it.

One thing bout  are weird kinda umm  well  funny smelling digs  
there was a true blessing there  a bar   for what is a gonzo without his bar   much like a samuri  without his sword or a mean twig model without her cellphone  to throw  and finger to put down her throat to puke   memories   all alone in the moonlight dam you cats.

With some simple calls  the party was in full swing  and are shuttle bus slash   pinto had us at the hotest club slash retirement  home.
The music blasting so low as to not cause   bowel problems.
Me and Chris showing the old farts  how to play beer pong.
Missed shot  drink up grandma and please put your clothes on
****** you gravity.

Jack  kept the dance floor jumping  with his  fake mustache  little captians hat   and some other leather gear  once told me one thing that ****** was fahasion forward  you go girl.

Paula, Baths and Eileen   worked the newly  started  card game. You dont know how to gamble?  
Well are girls are happy to show ya gramps
Gary had disapeared  to the rest room  for some odd reason.
How he did put a smile on thoose  old ladies faces  seinor care
aint it grand they were were just glowing  what a odd place to be giving reading.

After we had hustled i mean  helped thoose old folks outta there life savings  it was time to party  really  they were almost dead  anyways
and a  funeral plot is overrated   just do what my  uncle did with his ex wife  tell everyone  one she went on vacation and bury her in backyard.

I'll never go tressure hunting again.
We hit the club like  like a hurricane that was laced with wild turkey   and   and a few rational thoughts.

The night was magic   for the money dissappeared   in seconds so like  any broke ***  writers  would do when facing  a fifteen thousand dollar bar tab.
We got the **** outta there.
Thank  god for a restroom window never mind me miss
im with security  and may i say you have a great rack.

The hotel reaked of mayhem and  a old winos ****  and maybe a dead
corpse or two.
HaAHahaha they'll never find you Drew.

It was like the cover of Sgt  Pepers lonley hearts club band  you know by   that classic group the backstreet boys.  
Yes drinking it doesnt effect the mind at all   now who the **** are you?

Dwarfs  junkies   men wearing sailors hats and **** straps did Jack have a dance  troupe?
Hookers drag queens  holy bat crap wonder woman   Lady Ga Ga.
Seems she had crashed into are pinto parked in the the street ******   Chris  i told you park it on the side walk  like me.

Jack  as  if  in a trance  was on stage with the  space alien ******
known as Ga Ga   it was a match made in a state   thats probaly filled with crazy people  like  Utah  or Canada.
Okay im kidding i love Canada  and i just learned it's a country
oh no wonder they hay have fences  I just thought they was a gated  community.  

Paula hit the floor after her third drink   and would probaly question   why somone  had written this space for rent  on her forehead
But like a true man that i was i would  blame that on Gary.

Chris and Eileen  danced laughed I had this odd feeling they were close   as Baths replied no **** sherlock  now pour me another  wine
befor i kick you in the *****   she is a charmer.

The crew fliming are madness  as togather we all danced apon the bar  but for some odd reason the ground had tilted and only effected me  dam UKs and there ninja abiltys and Garys knack for floating  on air.
I went down like a cheerleader on prom night hitting my head apon the floor.

Out like a stripper at a frat boys party after she had   beer and roofie
cocktail.
I was taken to a magical place  were  whiskey  flowed  like water
and you didnt have to pay for ***.

I awoke  in a hospital bed   head taped up  surrounded  by friends
the doctor asking many questions puzzled I made no sense.
Dear Lord this man has   brain dammage the doctor said.

The nurse leaned over  her  low cut top hey it's my write okay.
Brought a gleam to my devilish eyes   hey i mouthed   to Chris
I can see her *******.

Well  Gonzos fine  Chris replied.
As From the restroom there was a clatter
so i did turn my hungover head to see what  the **** was a matter.            

Jack appeared from the rest room Ga Ga in arm.
naked as bald eagle   void of feathers.

Gary.  Hey  i always herd  she was a .

Chris  Thats just ******* weird.

Paula. Who's the ***** who wrote on my forhead?  

Eileen.  it wasnt Chrisey poo.

Baths. Jesus  Gonzo your   long winded  crazy   and good looking
yeah i added that       hey don hit me i just had a near sober experience.
dam gaga is really a.

Jack  yeah and im in love my my my  poker face

FIN
The first season of the gonzo shore is now out on dvd   vhs   and eight track although that kinda *****.
Look for next season when we actully have film in the camera.

And if you were offended by my crazy semi sober crap then
balme it all on Gary cheers my friends
    STAY  CRAZY  

VIVA  LA  GONZO
John F McCullagh Dec 2011
Glory came early as did fame.
to Gary Speed there on the pitch.
Cheers he heard from adoring crowds
among the elite he found his niche.
With time’s passage he lost a step
even if he felt the same
but as he ran he thought he saw
an old man’s shadow
in a young man’s game.

He coached to stay around the game.
After the cheers for him had faded
A friendly face, a familiar name
but as he coached he thought he saw
an old man’s shadow
in a young man’s game.

For many, Gary was an icon,
a living legend of the game.
They failed to see the mortal man
with silence weighting on his frame
As he tied the rope he thought he saw
an old man’s shadow
in a young man’s game
Gary Speed, Coach of the Welsh national team and  soccer legend recently took his own life at age 42. It is after the cheering stops that the aging elite athlete often has trouble readjusting. As Joe DiMaggio, another Sports Icon, told writer Gay Talese; " I'm just a guy trying to find a way to survive."
Gary was a nudibranch
The apple of my eye
I bought him at the Reef Shop
For nineteen ninety five

I loved my little flatworm
He was slimy, he was blue
He'd speak to me of dreams he had
And where they'd lead him to

I told him not to worry
Or think about those things
I'd bought another nudibranch
That waited in the wings

But Gary wasn't interested
He'd better things to do
Than making baby nudibranchs
With thirty gallon views

He held me in his confidence
One dark and stormy night
When the filament of halogen
Burned out on his tank light

He'd never pleased his father
Causing him something to prove
So he'd gone and got his license
Beauty operator school!

And even though the customers
Came pouring in his shop
He felt he wasn't good enough
To ever measure up

And soon I saw my Gary
Turning angry and depressed
He started drinking gin, sleeping around,
He was a mess!

I felt really, really sorry
I felt really, really sad
It seemed like there was nothing
I could do or that I had

To make him feel much better
He was like a worn out shoe
When one day he took his life
Upon the intake filter tube


Written by Sara Fielder © Feb 2012
bleh Aug 2015
"I am matter trapped in reason"
           -scrawl on a restroom stall wall


1am


A couple blocks from the centre of town. The haze of rumbling sub-bass, the buzz of a hundred voices, the multifaceted shapes of flesh in heels and black dresses and puffer-jackets congregating outside nightclubs. Converging on the heart of the city, each voice becomes distinct, discernible from the background noise, a palpable aspect midst the otherwise nebulous air;

'We could just commit? I'd be so down for a chicken scorcher..'
'Ah man it's Gary! Gaary bro! bro! Gary!'
'I-it's okay, do you have your I.D on you? no, aah, no don't lean on the bank doors when vomiting, you might set off an alarm. h-hey, yeah you, sorry, do you have any water she could borrow?'
'Well you know, even though maccas is out of the way...'
'Aww mate gary! GARY! Aww yeah! Show us your ******! Gary!'


2am


A small gathering convenes on the lawn of a nondescript flat. the building next door is covered in scaffolding, a mess of pale grey illuminated orange parallel geometries hanging, droplets of mist swirling in light breeze.  indistinct chatter. Shuffling figures standing around packing herbs into a small metal cartridge. A flickering light. Coughing. Repeat.

On the other side, over a small fence and through a window, a figure stands in his kitchen naked, looking out, watching. An indeterminate expression.  

A voice of the circle calls out.

'Hey! Hey ****! what the ******* looking at?!'

the figure turns away.
'Ha, oh man, I bet he's gonna go get a shotgun. I beat he's gonna ******* **** us!'
(
'oh man this ****'s naasty')
'**** son, ******* look at him go, I think you're ******* right.'*
('dude, we should ******* maccas, are you keen? I'm keen.')
'Oh man! oh man, I'm so pumped. are you pumped? I'm so pumped. Aah, we're gonna die, I so ******* hope he does.'


3am


The streetlights have gone out a couple blocks down. Rather than the usual orange haze, the dumped cars and pavement are illuminated by the traffic lights alone, a universal filter flickering between crimson and lime.

A man approaches from across the street. Moment of apprehension. Mid twenties. Staggering. Broken nose, blood down front. Flash of switchblade in hand. Increasing apprehension.

'Oi, were you at that party? You with that ****** that ******* punched me?'
'N-nah, sorry, I wasn't there..'
'How do you know if you weren’t there?'
'Well.. which party? not that one over there?'
'No no, the one down that way'
'Where?'
'The one on high street.'
'High street? isn't that like.. somewhere in Mornington?'
'No, it’s.. the one we’re currently on.'
'...wait, really?'
'..yeah? I.. i think so?'
Both start looking around uncertainly, the man looses balance and tumbles rather dramatically into a fern.
'Um. Are you alright...?'
'Haha, yeah, just, rather drunk. and maybe concussed?'
..."/Cough/ ..Anyway, you seem all good ****, don't worry about it, sorry to have bothered you."
/awkwardly puts knife in pocket to shake hands/


4 am


Return to town. Humanities dilution and waning departure. Droves of seagulls dive in, assuming command of the area and the plastic bags. Only a couple handful of figures remain. Police cars and taxis patrol, dance in concentric circles. the last drunken remnants of raving students lie down in the street, clap their heels together

'Tell George to hurry the **** up or he’ll be left behind!'
'What?'
'I said hurry up! We're going for a Maccas mish!'
‘Who?’
'I said we’re going for a Maccas mish!'
‘Aww mate! I’m keen! Hold up.'

Swirling isolated points of light escape from street lamps caught in rows of trees, and a confetti of shadows swim along the sidewalk in motion with the gentle breeze. A twenty something in a hoody cargo shorts and sandals explains to a policeman in breaking drunken fevered tongues how,

     love, love, love, is the godhead and the godhead is love;
       within us reaching out, but also on the outside reaching in,
          it makes you whole by ripping you apart.

while vomiting on the officers car


5am


  A blanketing dampness sets in. not quite rain, but an omnipresent mist. A gentle fog slowly folds out, wavering among pale streetlights. While substanceless, it still holds form as an ambient covering poultice; drawing in the illumination surrounding into opaque convalescence, but then
     dispersing too,
                                    in turn.
-


                   (I am matter,
                                                              trapped in reason)
GL Thompson Feb 2019
Gary met Sally for some backseat bingo
because she’s the lucky one that razzed his berry.
The word from the bird is that she’s past her prime
The sort of girl whose personality is cheap chocolate and wine.

He greeted her with gimme some skin
She thought it was too formal of a way to begin.
Because sally still lives in the past
Sharing chain posts on facebook
To keep her from things in the dark
Sally’s a bit backwards but she’s well meaning at heart.

You’ve got to make it to this party it’s gonna be a gas
Sally said she’ll think about it, but really she just wanted to pass.
She’s got ice cream in the freezer and an appointment with the mad hatter
(with a special appearance from his twirling tip).

Gary looked rather gloomy, realising she looked quite different from her profile.
That, and he thought the way she chewed was vile.
Nevertheless he thought he’d place his bet on a submarine race.
He reckoned for the price of lunch and a bit of sweet talk, he’d be left with a smile on his face.

Sally was blind to Gary’s plan
She was off in training as a space cadet
Thinking this date was quickly becoming an experience she’d forget
But back on earth things started to pick up
Unlike Sally’s self esteem, which was left in a rut.

And to this day Gary and Sally are married, with a kid, a cat and a shared checking account.
here I have used a combination of out of fashion sayings with 21st century issues in order to convey a duality and a reflection upon today's society
Taylor St Onge Aug 2015
You were born in the cold black heart of the Cold War, under the fist of
Eisenhower, under the satellite eye of Mother Russia—1960 America.
Chinese Year of the Rat.  U-2 Pilot Gary Powers forgot to **** himself.

Space Race Baby looking up at stars she does not comprehend—the world is
big, the sky is bigger—Shhhhhhhhhhh: huddle under your desk in case a
big, black, bomb falls down and burns you so bad you feel nothing but cold  
                                                          ­                                                   cold         cold;

huddle inside yourself in case your plane is shot down over Soviet soil and
everything turns to red, turns to blood, turns to your fingers shaking and your eyes stinging,                                  and you think about that time when
your mother told you about the Year of the Rat being associated with white,

with the Chinese color of death.  You think: This is it.  There is where it ends,
but this is not it; this is not the end.  You will die in a hospital bed in 49 years,
                                                                ­      so just give it some time, alright?
Khrushchev and Eisenhower can play Tug-of-War and
                                   Vietnam can burn in the meantime.

Mother, when you were born you could not breathe.  Mother, when you died
it was because you could not breathe.  Mother, when you are not here I think
of Gary Powers not having time to press “Self-Destruct,” of the Year of the Rat
                                                                ­                                        choking to death on
                                                              ­                                          Lily  of  the  Valley,
­
of learning how to talk to the 58,286 dead Vietnam War soldiers. I want to
know what it is like to look up at the sky and fear a missile strike smack in
the middle of winter. I want to know how cold the Cold War felt to you in the
Chinese Year of the Rat, and what he felt when U-2 Pilot Gary Powers fell like
                                                                ­                                                    Lucifer
     ­                                                                 ­                                         into the arms
                                                                ­                                          of Mother Russia.
or “The Zodiac Symbol of the Dead”
written for my foundations of creative writing class. this is an experimental villanelle.
CK Baker Sep 2019
remember the melding
of gilmore and bing
the springfield gates
and desmond ring

remember the trojans
and fools in the pack
sea fair jeans
and corkscrew flat

remember the cabin
and *****’s garage
the gary point dunes
and moncton mirage

remember the warehouse
the water logged seats
tin foil caps
and simple retreats

remember the cave
and turn on the cut
emery’s mini
and hamilton’s hut

remember the burger
and shake in the air
bubs in the back
with little despair

remember the valley
and 66 ford
burgundy lips
and samworth’s chord

remember the plainsman
a 7 inch log
the ***** old frenchmen
and bore-*** hog

remember the javelin
and mushay’s wheels
beaumont’s baggie
and jennifer beals

remember tough charlie
tossing brad rand
the belyae roundhouse
and beer in the sand

remember park polo
and scaling of firs
sleeping in rafters
at 8 bucks per

remember the mayflower
and brothers von grant
the max air follies
and chivalrous rant

remember the flipper
the floyd and the clap
banana boat sunday
and pemberton trap

remember the purples
the rasp in the street
the oliver jokers
and shady retreat

remember the gators
and brick house café
a flash in the pan
and crib cult stay

remember the church
and talbs on the bridge
goofy’s memoirs
and cypress ridge

remember smaldino
whom perry cut short
***** and a ****
and moria’s port

remember the zuker
and gilligan’s isle
the pep chew bust
and 8 tooth smile

remember the action
at blundell and one
the nauseous fumes
and pump house run

remember the canyon
and rock on the cliff
a tourniquet bind
that kept us adrift

remember lake skaha
and jvc tunes
the j bain query
and peach fest goons

remember the irons
and broad entry beads
the alexander boys
we must pay heed

remember the gates
the 12 hole stare
the hospital bed
and ky affair

remember the farmhouse
an open air deck
the john deere tractor
and cowboy neck

remember the wheat field
and jimmy crack corn
the burlington plaza
and fraser street ****

remember the pincers
and wee ***** white
the concubine fractures
and strong overbite

remember the carving
portrayed at the scene
the billy goat battles
a young man’s dream

remember lord brezhnev
and moby the ****
the second beach sun
and paper bag trick

remember the screening
the silver light show
banshee boots
and phipps’s throw

remember the epic
and baby oil block
trash can brassieres
and window rock

remember the law
jack rabbit in may
an 8 track mix
on alpine way

remember the dunes
a pig on the spit
the underarm hair
and corn bull-****

remember old frankie
and bursey head post
the koa leaves
and tiki shore host

remember b taupin
the lyrics he left
cold muddy waters
an odd treble clef

remember street regent
the trips in the night
the trailer park cap
and lightheart fight

remember kits causeway
mortimer and beaks
jk's cabin
and muscle bound freaks

remember glen cheesy
and billy the less
the frozen puke patties
and borkum mess

remember the catfish
and pickerel rock
the emerald meadows
and rainbow dock

remember port dover
with fish on a stick
wayne in a bunker
holding his ****

remember the ironside
limes in a tree
the usc campus
came with a fee

remember the duster
an arrow in heart
the frog man bug
that would not start

remember the zimmer
the ram air hood
a family wagon
with panels of wood

remember peace portal
the 33 back
the power built drive
and dangerous tack

remember the reds
the blues and the greens
the furry point island
and country book scene

remember the springs
and i 95
a lone state trooper
with blood in his eye

remember may’s cabin
and stuff in between
the frame and the picture
and morning snow scene

remember the boss
with a 302 scoop
the diamond tuft console
and back seat coupe

remember ioco
the **** and the spit
the skid road race
and hurst floor kit

remember the shore
and tents in the park
a campfire roast
and kerosene bark

remember the hooger’s
kit kat club
the colvin’s and setter’s
a man called bub

remember the creature
with silk strand hair
and afternoon flask
with little despair

remember quilchena
and robbie the mac
the rice stead box
and tap on the back

remember miss williams
a pilgrim’s salute
the fairmont sister
with all of her loot

remember port ludlow
a scotman on dock
the everett street bridge
and single leg sock

remember the masters
and all of the roar
the faldo follies
at norman’s door

remember jeff samson
tied in a tree
the robertson fastback
with white leather seats

remember the balance
and pulling of 4's
the moncton warehouse
and hollywood ******

remember the hospice
with carter in wear
the power of gospel
and magic in prayer

remember the mini
counting the crows
aberdeen villa
where all of it grows

remember the ballroom
the battle of bands
the buccaneer bikers
and front row stands

remember the steely
and 50 odd pulls
the crook in the cranny
and pilsner bulls

remember the mustang
tb paul
the ****** shack sergeant
was missing a ball

remember dear kevin
head first in the pool
a sheik in a minefield
and ****** gas fool

remember the rumble
and bats in the night
an old lady screaming
to a young man’s delight

remember cliff olsen
that sick little ****
who will be in shackles
on lucifer’s truck

remember the bumpers
and cutting in line
the mice on the ****
and bo in the pine

remember the law
stabbing the corn
a bucket of ammo
and mekong horn

remember s boras
the piercing of yes
the color line paper
sikosie at rest

remember the pinto
and seven road plants
mother’s fine pizza
a trial lawyer’s rant

remember the kennedys
with ***** painted black
a pond in the shadows
where monty looked back

remember von husen
the sea to sky test
a farm hands daughter
was one of the best

remember mr pither
and mao sae tung
helena the cougar
and egg foo young

remember the cinder
and frances road bake
***** the whitehead
would make no mistake

remember the quan
and mental mix
the java hut sister
with pixy sticks

remember j rosie
banging his head
in a moment of dr
we thought he was dead

remember the hammer
discussions caught short
siddrich and roger
and monty’s abort

remember 6 nations
and KOA
the pool hall fight
when everyone stayed

remember the skinners
and tommy the med
the lost tough china
and bubs in the shed

remember the doobies
zeppelin and cars
floyd and the *****
and shankar’s sitar

remember old dustys
the blue and red chair
the cypress hill caves
and mullet cut hair

remember the promise
and vows that we made
on the 2 road stairs
in goodman’s brigade

remember those moments
and handle with care
for the garamond stamp
will always be there…
L B Apr 2018
Down the ******--
Adventures of Feral Children

If there has to be a gate, I suppose I have always had my own theory that “The ******” was one of those places through which God pulled Paradise inside out.  I was always wandering there, pretending-- playing sometimes or searching for something-- the exact moment that spring begins, or the place of my secret dwelling where I was in charge, where I was queen.  Always hoping for the constant surprise of beauty, a lady slipper-- stunning last year's leaves, a meadow of white violets-- May snow on green?  Or was the startle of of seeing my first scarlet tanager in the saplings-- still too cold for leaves?

To the uninitiated The ****** was nothing more than the meaning of its name, a bending tube of woods with a brook tracing along it-- like snake's spine.

Not a practical place for a housing development, it had an ether of history as some “Valentine Park” and playground, and I guess that was true, judging from the ruins of bridges, stone half-penny steps, and the overgrown lima-bean shaped pool.  Huge, stone block stairs had faced each other, lining the entrance of a spring-- a fountain once, covered now with moss.  It loomed at dusk like an ancient temple.  Even the course of the brook had been maintained by giant, redstone slabs-- long-since tumbled in the wake of hurricanes whose names I've forgotten....

...Like a snake's spine... always there for a thousand years, wearing its steep banks ever-deeper into the guts of city till oaks, hemlocks and white pines became sentinel giants, far taller and older than their genes had ever intended.  In the war for sunlight, they through up an unwitting wall against all-- but the most daring encroachments...

...Like say-- like say half-grown people, cigarette butts, broken bottles, and underground “forts” with their smells of stale beer and musty clothes, old mattresses-- echos of giggling, the aura of explored forbiddens.  To us who knew her, The ****** could outlive remembrance but not rumor.  Like an old graveyard or an abandoned house, it was the place to go with our bags of candy, pea-shooters, and fire crackers!  We'd go there to fake-smoke punks-- we either were or wanted to be--
  
Somebody's parents always leaving their lights around....

We came there to delve into our made-up mysteries, like the one about that antique car that had rusted in “The Swamp” for centuries!  ...that someone's dead cousin drove off The ******'s cliff side one night... drunk as a skunk!  ...right where The Diamond Match's got this big pipe that spews all that gray **** into the brook! ...right where we used to swim and play on the hottest days since we couldn't use the city's Paddle Pond (folks were scared of polio in those days), so we played at “The Pipe” --making “Indian pottery” with the neighbors,  Gary, Davy, Shelley, and Sandy.  Red clay cups and ashtrays on red hot afternoons-- making wild polluted Indians of Jew and Irish kids alike.

Now I almost forgot.... I was telling you about that antique car-- the one some cousin of Ross was supposed to 'ave driven right off the cliff into the swamp and died... Well... His ghost still lurks there! ...and goes into 'iz cousin's body-- Ross, that is....  Let me tell ya!  Ross could sure mess up an afternoon's good time by his appearance!
                                          __­__

  
But The ****** wasn't just for spooks-- not if you were into spraying girls with rusted cans of rotten Reddi Whip, kicking skunk cabbage (same effect), or finding frogs eggs under lily pads,  Gary even discovered those curious old Italians picking water cress barefoot in The Frog Pond.  Intensely curious, he was not afraid of their funny speech and ways.  He had gallon cans and pickle jars for raising pollywogs-- so he was on a mission.  But best of all, Gary had a backyard that overhung The ******'s swamp!  We could even view The Pipe hurling runoff ten feet out into the basin!  Our aberrant Niagara after a good storm.

Then there was the time that Tarzan swing just appeared!-- Like one of those convenient vines in the jungle movies!  It hung from a pine on one of The ******'s sheer sides, and was capable-- when wrapped around the trunk and given a running start, of providing one helluva-swooping-good ride-- out over the brook, into the sunlight and back-- with a thousand terrifying variations.  Took me a while to work-up my nerve-- a little longer to be really fine!

Tommy Gireaux fell and broke his arm.  Our swing was nothing but a stump of rope next day.  Twenty feet up, dangling fun, cut off and left-- to remembrance of times so real Tarzan made personal appearances!

______
Of course, there's more to this.  Our feral band of explorers discovers the soggy Playboys and gets sidetracked from their mission to find  "The Pine Cathedral" and where The ****** actually ends.  Ross shows up.

Not a fiction...not a fiction.

I am totally frustrated by my efforts to use and delete italics and bold print.  Why can't this site just post them as they appear in the writing???   How hard can that be?
Gary Brocks Aug 2018
At four, you took my hand and pulled me to your bed,                                                            
your small form cuddling, curling, you urgently said,
"Tell me… tell me a story! Story, make it long",
I began to tell the story, the story of when you were born.

Drums and bugles, bubbles and balloons,
somersaulting clowns and calliope tunes,
you came out to meet them, on the day that you were born,
and they were there to greet you, through a January storm.

Lions and gorillas marched to military airs,
snowmen and snowwomen danced without a spring time care,
somewhere in the harbor, a tugboat played a note,
and all the while you smiled a smile, upon a birthday float.

Just like a circus troupe, we formed a great parade,
and sauntered to the birthing bed where your mother lay,
she picked you up, she held you, as close as close can be,
her hand in mine, she softly said, “Now... we are three.”

Copyright © 2003 Gary Brocks
180827F

Children always want to know who their parents are; their thoughts, hopes, dreams, fears and actions at stages in their lives.
This poem, a poem in several parts (only the first part here), portrays a father for his child, through the manner in which the story of the child's birth is retold at various stages in their life together.
.that moment, when you realiße... "it's not yet another garry glitter song"... because quiet frankly... you still haven't seen Joker... you're stuffing raw dough into biscuit shapes in a make-shift Tibet... as a raw-treat... and your body is tombstone stiff... but your eyes are on fire and your soul is dancing... synonym parade... because gary glitter can be excused in the same way that: rob halford... rob halford isn't gay... isn't gay the metalheads would otherwise say... but because the song can exist per se... since... a glaring gary is no... jimmy 'the kid-fiddling dj' savile... and he's... no ian watkins... because... if you asked me... rock & roll part II is a gary glitter song? och! ouch! pinch-punch 1st of April is upon us recoil... hell no! i still read marquis de sade... only because by my standards... he's quiet decent... all he ever did wrong was use the imagery of a crucifix as a ***** when asking a ******* to peform the sado-masochistic act of ******* before him... otherwise his phallus was lost in the niqab of the bastille... his uncle though? ah! that's another matter! although: much aggrieved but somehow agreed... you could still buy marquis de sade's novella ****** in London, once upon a time... perhaps you still can... but does that even matter? i am about to get a primer about the Iranian inherent hate for h'america anytime soon... about how h'americans manage to bundle the Persians into the rag-ah-muffin crowd of camel-jockeys and easily replaced arab donors... and those poor iraqis... doing their bit...  who is to forget the phrase: turbanator? i.e. not referring to sikhs... no one besides moi... welcome to l'inglese... the modern lingua franca... and i do feel so sorry so very so very much for the natives that were beither born in Bratford or the rustbelt fly-over states of h'america... if joe biden says: learn to code! guess what i was but wasn't told being ***** from a ******* that was poland come the drop of the iron curtain of the 1990s... coming to the 2020s... me conjuring up the Silicon Curtain?! really? adverse to learn to code... learn a new language! and globalißation will "win"... internationalism already works on a bilingual basis... there's the established language of commerce... which is english... i'm sorry... i'll be kind... "you" will have to move... if not cognitively... then otherwise... i learned yours... learn mine! that's the motto... this is where linguistic nativism comes in... not borrowed time from places like h'america... not some emblem worship... just ol' lil' england... i hope this doesn't reach a wide audience... i am having to consider learning romanian... du-te dracului! that's a starter...

i've found out that, the only way to truly enjoy
a glass of red wine is...
to have also rolled your own tobacco...
and since we're talking the highest quality rolling
tobacco: golden virginia...
after rolling it... you gentle bask it in a lighter's flame
from top to bottom... to warm it up...
so you don't have to finish it off as if *******
through a straw...

that's of course if you're drinking red wine on its own...
but there's a reason why i hanged around
with a few spaniards in the past...
why i went to paris and met this two catalonian
hot-takes... who i later visited in Barcelona...
drank kalimotxo for a while getting ready
to hit the party scene...
was given my first joint in my life...
and... hello lullaby...

next day we toured the sights...
we never made it to the gothic quarter...
or the el reval...
we went into one of those shops
in a shopping mall that sell everything...
that's when i discovered portishead's debut:
dummy all by myself...
and then onto camp nou...
to be honest... throughout all this time...
i felt like a glove...
no really... i felt my company was being...
tested as to whether it could be well worn
and: worn out at a much later date...
i was, what, 19 then?

what will leave me well versed in travel,
jumping continents?
i should really add prague along the line somewhere...
the days when i would solo for a weekend
and never bother with any if at all: precautions...
i can't imagine the sort of trips
my "highschool friends" took...
en masse... and always to a resort -
say, in greece...

the joker scenes are out...
the scene where he's dancing on the stairs...
sounds good... mhmm...
oh... this is gary glitter?
the art has absolutely nothing to do with the artist...
it's not like gary glitter can get away with it...
but... i'm pretty sure he can get away
whereas... ian watkins?
in that crushing defeat of musical genres...
when emo wasn't quiet a thing...
and nu-metal didn't die out...

i'm a cheap ***: all the people are raving /
were raving about a film...
and i'm waiting for the delayed spectacle...
only recently... avengers: end game?
what a major ******...
this "self-aware" introspection into movie
franchises that explore time-travel...
here's an alternative: study chemistry
and get a hippo's ***** ready on the wet
dip... i'm guessing this is a period of time
when: the genre of science fiction will
slowly die off...
i don't see how science fiction can sustain
itself...

- which is always beside the point...
moving on... english... this acquired tongue of
mine...
if only i were so adamant as a czesław miłosz:
had i a translator's worth of shadow,
and baggage running around after me...
like a sacred cow of the Raj...
how did i learn to mitigate?
i don't know... what i do know is...
drinking and habits of listening to music...

it starts off with: listening to some
music using english...
it sooner or later gravitates toward
something in german...
after i tire myself of german lyrics...
i'm heading toward scandinavia...
chances are: i will visit "mother russia"...
but i'll probably sink into
visiting byzantine chants...
once i figured out a way to move
from scandinavian paganism...
work my way past german folk
from the medieval period...
and finally arrive at: αγνη παρθενε...
obviously i will have to stop over
some quasi-folk germanic songs...
northern crusades:
teutonic songs... or the templar songs:

da pacem domine...
pristine times! the drunk carol singers
has sung their bit... there was no rest
for the wicked...
the carol: god rest ye merry, gentlemen
was sang...
reality of the everyday happened
no day shy away from the "celebration"...
i find more comfort in songs
of the templars...
perhaps the gregorians with their calender...
but most certainly the byzantine choir...

of ancient greece and what is known...
what can stand out from byzantine greece?
except from: byzantine bureaucracy?
counting knots in the fish-net stocking
on a centipede crawling out of a harem?

my musical diet: when i drink...
i can't listen to music when english is involved:
for too long a "passing" of: enjoying it...
i grow a beard and satan mount
a throne of wood and amber...
fiddling with it like a mad maestro that
has been given 100 violins and no...
woodwinds... and this is my "orchestra"...
a beard... crux of central europe:
with the zenith on the border of the river
Oder...

i do wonder what this scenario would look like;
if the girl gambled otherwise...
the pretty-****-pick sent by my offspring...
or my full-crop of hair...
and a beard... ***** envy can hardly be
a social events on the pedestrian stage...
but cranium envy?

the diet for a session begins...
it has to begin in english...
but who knows where i'm otherwise willing
to lend an ear to?
i can't be stuck with music i can understand
lyrically...
if i can't understand how to compose music...
well i did once know how to play
the ***-ar... and worked a nightclub
for a mandolin: just to serenade a Fiona
from a window a maggie may by:
rod-it stuart in edinburgh... once...

how romantic of anyone...
hell... this is still in english?
why aren't i pulling the strings of a czesław miłosz
and not retaining my nativspreschen?
why? i love to tickle german...
i love to tickle deutsche more than i care
for speaking english, or... rather...
writing in it...
but unlike a czesław miłosz... i didn't bring
a linguistic ghetto with me...
i don't have a ****** ghetto to go to...
perhaps... if i mingled with enough
of my "fellow", "countrymen"...
much easier said than done: if you're Irish...
and the only THing you have to worry
about is... diacritical nuance...
the THing, the Θing... is an english:
what the irish consider to be a surd affair...
T'h'ING... it's a t'ing... not ******* F even
if you looked at it with a bollocking of
a microscope, either!

- and this once high-school "fwend" once suggested...
'maybe you should go and find your own
fellow countrymen'...
who the **** do i look like? paddy?
an arab, an iranian, an italian...
or some *****-cheeky-cheese-brigade of sorts?!
my, "fellow" and "countrymen"...
on foreign soil? em... allegience to who?
i have severed my ties with Poland...
i keep my ties with Poland on the basis that:
my grandfather and grandmother are still
alive... when i visit them...
i don't expect them to be into this whole:
post-nationalism: internationalism non-nationalism
globalisation gimmick of: at least,
at least the modern lingua franca:
which is the l'inglese....
because... quiet frankly? i have a stash of:
mutterzunge bubbling beneath what's being written,
with some mongrel-german and mongrel-russia
auxilliary...

ah... the natives of the english tongue...
well... it's quiet expansive...
it can go beyond encompassing merely england...
it can go so far as to tread over scottish gaelic...
somewhat irish gaelic too...
only zee Velsh... seem to be... W: whistling free
in their linguistic stand-off...
who the hell even bothers to hear
about any scottish gaelic?
there's only gaelic gaelic: irish gaelic...
and there's welsh...
scotch gaelic? huh? apart from: a wee this
and a wee that?
*******... tartan and god's **** *******
of beer and the side-trash-dish of the savior
of whiskey in a gulp of ms. amber's **** juices
from a...
one of those distilleries...
that served up a whiskey tokaj whiskey...
i still remember the picture...
a girl i was dating took the picture...
in front of her a belarusian jew cosmo...
to her left... a russian looking into the glass
of whiskey with some philosiphical insight
begging to come out...
to her right... a dog ****** with his nose
in the matter...

figures... the ****** will sniff **** out...
the russian will: peer into the glass
for some "magical" insight...
philosophy or what not...

as if insuating: concerning the "little" people
of europe...
unlike the portugese, the spanish,
the italians or the greeks: acronym: PIGS...
but i least i'm no czesław miłosz:
i don't need to move to cam'cam'h'america
with a language in tow:
for some sort of lesson of: preserving roots
for a tree...
my version is apparently:
the bad integration strategy...
esp. on paper...
why would i still retain my tongue...
on paper... in this medium...
citizen ist citizen:
bürger ist bürger ist mir!

heaven behold i have to use alt sächsisch vaterzunge
to speak to the grünschnabel...
i fear for the natives of this tongue:
esp. since hiding behind the stipend of:
the empire upon which the sun never sets...
to have to hide behind a cultural import
from h'america...
or australia... is what gives rise to these
pseudo-communist grey areas of Bratford...
or Islam-came-ah-knocking in
Rotherham...

even i have to escape this...
this l'inglese... this new frontier of...
no frontier at all: except for the skull moon...
and baggage of frohlicht!

is priti patel a civic nationalist?
well i'd be ******* sterile if i didn't say:
a babe with class any loser in
my vicinity said: a banger...
if priti patel is not a civic nationalist...
then i'm not in england...
i'm nowhere...
******* banging bunny... anyways...
and the first time i managed to ******
a black girl for a quickie...
it took just the right amount of cocktails and...
enough coccyx banging into my pelvis that...
i... almost wished for a 12" ****
and the "proper *****"...
no... really... imagine a black girl mixed with...
a stick insect... and you just so happen
to have served her up...
a genuis concoction of cocktails...
the coccyx is bound to appear...
alligned to your poor-pelvis plum-sore...
one time or another:
no ***** envy in sight...

hence my "wish"... give me the 12" cod...
and enough plump *** as that will allow...
otherwise: no...
i would still like to imagine being
circumcised via the orthodox methods:
of a rabbi... not via some over-*******...

why am i writing about this with such fondness?
em... 21... nearing 34...
i can count... how many times i've had ***...
using only my fingers...
that's beside counting the prostitutes...
which... when you forget to trim your ***** hair
and you just end up kissing for an hour...
kissing prostitutes: what a noble affair...
bumble, trumble, tumble, twitter, bitter...
grinder... tinder... don't know:
i can't remember having owned a smartphone...
or a mobile...
that ambition died when:
i was left with calls 10 minutes from a meeting
for a pint... on a bus...

that's... 34 - 21... 13 years with sporadic
casual *** patterns...
oh and that thai bisexual girl... woman...
boy... i picked up from a park bench...
we listened to some jazz... drank some beers...
"weaped"... then had a cigarette in the garden
and ****** while i was kept in suspence...
honestly: i didn't know what i was getting myself
into... it was a thai surprise moment...
sports bra... and... until i reached into
the nadir of the zenith did i find out...
phew... no pronoun debauchery...

13 years and the sort of *** life that could
be celebrated by a *******
harriet turtles of the islands of galapagos...
while, around me, in the vicinity:
kama surtras left right and center!
why would i drift toward...
scandinavian pagan songs...
byzantine chants... crusader anthems?
i don't know: it's hard to punctuate
ridicule into that sentence... ridicule and irony...
self-depreciating humor...

- 'music was terrible in the 2010s'...
perhaps... except of a ****** band: LAO CHE...
i will still be punching myself over
my sentiments...
and "they" can come and speak english
like it's "theirs"...
but at the same time... not be "english" at
the same time...
perhaps it's the north h'american conundrum
of patriotism with the old continent
sentiment "for" nationalism...
perhaps if we all speak this one
magical language...
we can still find ourselves
with unboxing cues in a bazar in Tehran...

and they were Persians before
the Arab camel-jockeys came...
and that spirit of poetry died
and the old antagonism with the Greeks:
too died...
arab camel-jockeys with their... sole book...
and enough time...
enough time to see them sitting on
an iceberg of dinosaur crude fuel...
that truly was and is a miracle...
i still don't see why the Ottomans wouldn't
want to treat the camel-jockeys as they
should have to have prospered:
since no Lawrence would ever come from
ottoman Istambul...

but oh oh: tuba büyüküstün the god-smacker
and the slow death of martyrs' promised: harems...
even a slow-to-understand man
can find his solomon and his queen of sheba...
somehow, "somewhere"...

so much for drinking some wine...
and: it's not like speaking the truth, drunk,
managed to get anyone into trouble...
perhaps the "kind" alternative?
nietzsche on barbiturates?

i sometimes wish i could be alligned
to a female sort of companionship...
without the immediate awe-struck beauty parallel
with: what's actually beneath being
awe-struck... but no...
i will have to do my best with dogs,
cats, the odd fox... and pyramids and pyramids
of stacked ms. amber bottles...

wine and the gods' anemia... or haemophilia...
i never which one it is...
i almost wish i could sentence myself
to the banal grey-ish merger of:
the everyday with a woman...
but... alas... i still have a mother...
and i'm still unsure about the times
when she's lying or telling the truth...
but, given, she's my mother...
i allow her the benefit of the doubt...
having a mother is enough to:

going down the river of keeping a woman
company: in company that precludes
having *** with her...
bad grammar or just the unnecessary word:
precludes...

it's enough to be in a company of a woman
you can't have *** with...
and quiet another...
to be in a company... you can have *** with...
this "can" will probably never
arrive at the sober conclusion of:
you "might" or... that you even "will"...
i guess the antithesis of gambling came
when prostitution wasn't allowed...
a man sought alternatives...
50p bet and all the thrills....
that... yep... 110 quid an hour would never give...
gambling and *******...
the siamese child of desolation of
Moloch and his bride: Ursula (usury)...

what's that "motto"? when the fun stops: stop?
here's a way to figure it out:
see a ***** before you start gambling...
and when you gamble...
bet for a quarter... less than but equal to / no more
than a pound...
i've started to bet on football results:
a win... and the other team also scores...
i managed to find a bet accumulator...
that would leave me off...
over 200K richer... from having bet a pound...

like i once mentioned...
the 3Ps of today's clinical "advice"...
there's the priest... n'ah...
there's the psychiatrist (you'll want to see him
first, seeing a psychologist is pointless...
he has no prescriptive authority...
he's no big pharma loved-up yuppy sort of...
gwy)...
or there's the *******...
priest, psychiatrist... *******...
i did the priestly bit when i visited
a monestary in France, Taize...
i was young and the hormones weren't kicking in,
just yet, and i would have stayed...
but i wasn't rich enough to buy myself
a place at that, kind of, prestigious "university"...

psychologists and psychiatrists...
what the tongue can't lick or taste:
a tongue can't heal...
talk talk talk... but no: suma summarum:
no oeuvre momentum...

prostitutes and betting habbits it was...
settled...
this one maroccan colt with his one maxim:
there's no water in a desert...
ever see more water than that in a puddle
in a concrete jungle?
and that's hoping for: evian...
tapeworm free water... ever?!

so much for tinder...
and so much for... ahem... adverts: ok cupid...
claustrophobic dating advice with no
spares...
if you can't pick them up fresh
from a park bench of uncertainty waiting
for that, that thai surprise?
so much for being a h'american...
and a *** tourist... in Odessa...
of Kiev... or getting milked for the bogus
*****-****-thrill of it:
to genesis the whole model escapade of:
dosh stashed in a porky inch-by-inch
leather itch of: spend spend spend!
Lawrence Hall Dec 2017
On an Inscription from Katya to Gary
in a Pushkin Anthology Found in a Used-Book Sale

Whatever happened to Katya and Gary?
Their names appear in an anthology
Of Pushkin in a nifty Everyman
Astray on a table of orphaned books

One hopes they read those sweet words each to each
Over Blue Mountain in a coffee shop
Forgetting to feed the parking meter
While planning lives of meaning, deep and rich

Or is each but a memory to the other -
Whatever happened to Katya and Gary?
Gary Brocks Aug 2018
Goats eat and **** the grass of ramparts,
stupefied cannons sit, garrisoned sentries
primed for nights of buccaneers,
seared by centuries of sun. Down shadowed
cobblestoned tunnels fortified shutters
covet rifle forend and barrel,

wresting rumored slave rebellions
from the locker of history,
while languid waves whisper indifferently
a roll call of human cargo,
chattel displaced, cast to the sea.

Here history sways to sounds
of brown skinned children
at play in breakers,
laughing, shrieking, thrashing,
buoyed by time to this vaulted brick
reverberating chamber,

here a window’s light is cast
beckoning vision past the beach,
to seek the horizon Icarus like,
to fly towards beauty in terror where
an azure sky conjoins a turquoise bay.


Copyright © 2003 Gary Brocks
160707F
lize kingston Aug 2013
Starlight shines from limousines
On the streets of Monte Carlo
But I'd prefer a cup of tea
In a caff with Gary Barlow.
He'd draw inspiration from
The drabness of the venue
And weave sweet melodies around
The items on the menu.
Spreading sounds of happiness
Around the greasy spoon.
He may be a chub-a-lub
But he sure can write a tune.
I could take him back to mine
To feast on milk and cookies.
Watching pirate DVDs
In my flat above the bookies.

I would part the curtains
So the jealous neighbourhood
Saw me ****** rewarding
The blond scribe of 'Back for Good'.
He could climb atop me
Like he mounted Kilimanjaro
Everything changes forever
Once you've tasted Gary Barlow.

Down to earth despite his millions
Cuddlier than Robbie Williams.
Looking pensive in a vest,
Gary Barlow is the best.
Susan Hunt Jul 2012
CHAPTER ONE: THE DEMISE OF A YOUNG GIRL SEPTEMBER 1975


I had not seen my father in over two years when he showed up at my mom and step dad's condo. He had a slick knack of disappearing when laws were broken and he was wanted for questioning. He had an even better ability to re-enter when the heat was off.

My father owned three nightclubs in Oklahoma City. His first was the Silver Sword, and then he opened The Red Slipper. After he met his second wife, they together, opened the Jade Club.

All were successful, but the Red Slipper had a reputation. On a rare occasion, my dad would take me with him to open up the place. At first, it scared me. It was so dark in there. But as the lights came on behind the bar, I fell in love with the atmosphere.

Bobby Orr’s hockey stick hung on the wall, along with an endearing note from F. Lee Bailey. At six years old, all I knew was that they were the objects that made my dad beam.

I learned to play pool by standing on a phone book. I watched the colorful smacking ***** bounce around the most beautiful color of green I had ever seen. Chalking the stick was a chore, but after nearly poking my eye out once, I soon caught on.

It was a struggle to climb up on a barstool, but it was worth the effort. I sat at the bar and had lunch: popcorn, pretzels, peanuts and Pepsi.

As I grew older, I saw less and less of him, until he became a stranger, drifting in every once in awhile.  Every few weeks or so, I would come home from school, and see his car in the driveway.

This always shot fear and excitement through me. The air of unpredictability always made me want to ***. Unfortunately, most of the time, we were locked out of the house for a few hours, so I would have to *** in the back yard or at the neighbors. We waited on the stairs for the front door to open. And it always did, by my mom. She usually looked satisfied and serene but other times, I saw dread and sadness on her face.

Ever since I could remember, my dad had been a string of disappointments for me with a few indescribable moments of pure enjoyment mixed in between He could be kind, funny and like a real dad sometimes, that was the dad I missed. I tried to hold onto those experiences, even though he was such a mean ******* most of the time. But mostly, I just didn't know him.

Their divorce became final around the summer of 1972, but that didn't stop my mom from loving him. I don't know why, but she chased him frequently, going out to bars with her friends, trying to get a glimpse of him, and maybe more.

The last time I’d seen my father had not been pleasant. When I was thirteen, he broke down the door to our apartment and went straight to my mother’s bedroom. The noises were terrifying. The screaming, and punching sounds were followed by my mother’s whimpering, begging, groveling.

"How dare you do this to me, Patsy!? And behind my back! You could have at least told me!"

My dad had bailed himself out of jail that night. She promised him she would never seek alimony or child support again. Her lawyer was wrong. It wasn’t worth getting killed over.  

Shortly after, he had to leave the state. It had something to do with a low-level mob deal involving an insurance fraud. Too bad, it involved burning a building with someone in it. My dad became nothing but a memory, which faded away over time.

**

Alcohol and tobacco were constants in my family, so when my older brother, Tim, started smoking at ten years old, I don't remember much protest from anyone. I was seven and when my sister Abby, turned ten the next year, she also started smoking.  All the older kids were smoking cigarettes. I wanted to be cool, so I puked and coughed as I practiced. By the time I was ten, I too, was inhaling properly.  Around that time, I was introduced to *** by my sister's boyfriend. It did help my mood, somewhat, but it wasn't enough.

By 1974, I was using drugs from my sister’s boyfriend. John was a true drugstore cowboy. At first, he committed burglaries, which were easy at the time. There were no sophisticated electronics to stop someone from cutting a hole in the roof of a pharmacy. It took only minutes to pry open the safe that contained the narcotics. Then it took maybe another minute to fill a pillowcase full of every variety of amphetamines, barbiturates, valiums, etc.

It wasn’t long before I graduated to using morphine, ******* and then overdosed on Demerol. My stepfather sent me to a treatment facility in Tulsa Oklahoma, about one hundred miles away from Oklahoma City. The Dillon treatment center didn’t accept clients under age of sixteen but made an exception with me. I was a walking-talking disastrous miracle...or a miraculously saved disaster.

They figured that since I was fourteen, the sooner the better to start my road to recovery. Apparently, they didn’t condone sneaking *** and valiums in to the facility. I was kicked out of Dillon after about a month.

I came back home and laid low. I went back to Hefner Jr. High and enrolled back into the ninth grade. I quietly picked up where I left off, going back into business with John. My job was to sell the safe stuff; valiums, seconols, white bennies, ***, etc.


Summer came; I turned fifteen and had developed a tendency to over test my wares. I overdosed and nearly died in the hospital several times, which had led to my current predicament. Nobody knew what to do with me.

In August, I entered the tenth grade...for two weeks. I was expelled, (you guessed it) for dealing drugs. I was on homebound teaching twice a week with little supervision. My mother worked, my step-dad, **** ,worked, and I was home all day. However, I was not just sitting idly around. I was into enterprise.

**

In September, I overdosed again. I was quickly killing myself and my mother didn’t know what to do to stop it. That is why what happened was not my mother’s fault. But it wasn’t my fault either.

I never figured out how he knew where we lived. My mother moved over at least fourteen times in between the time I was six and twelve years old. Yet, here he was, at our front door, with his undeniable ‘ah shucks’ charm. His modesty was convincing. His timing was incredible. My mother stood frozen, her mouth agape. **** took the lead. He placed himself between my mother and father.

“You must be Gary Don, my name is ****; I’m Patsy’s husband." **** had never met my dad, but he'd heard enough about him to surmise who was standing at the door.

"Um, yeah, I'm Gary Don, it's nice to meet you ****", he said; as he offered a friendly hand shake to ****.

"I hope I'm not interrupting you, I was just in Duncan with my parents and they suggested I stop by and talk with you before heading back west. It's about Susie....

"Yes, Patsy said you called yesterday. We weren't expecting you this soon, but it's no problem. Why don't you come in and tell us what your plans are? Patsy, honey, would you mind putting on a *** of coffee?”

This unfroze my mother and she scurried to the kitchen. I was still in shock at seeing my dad’s face. I retreated to the staircase, but poked my head around and caught him glance at me. I flew up to the landing. I could easily escape up the rest of the stairs to my bedroom.
I was small enough to remain hidden on the landing, and heard the conversation between my mother, my dad and ****. **** was the classiest, most even-tempered adult I had ever encountered. I wished I could stop hurting him and my mother.  

My mother sat down two cups of coffee on the dining room table where my dad and **** sat. As she retreated a few steps back into the kitchen, **** politely probed my dad. My dad had the right answer for every question.

He swore he was a completely different person. He had changed. He had no hard feelings, instead he was back to help. He was remorseful for being an absent father and he wanted to make things right. He was back for a reason. He had heard that I was in trouble with drugs and school and he felt guilty for that. He had the answer to my problems. He was so convincing, so….humble, almost shy.

As I listened, I began freaking out with fear and excitement. I always wanted my dad. The last time I tried to live with him, it didn’t work out; he sent me back to my mother’s after a month. Now my dad wanted me! He wanted to save me, take care of me!

He lived by himself now. He was the manager of The Palace Restaurant/Hotel in the little town of Raton, New Mexico. It was a refurbished hotel, built over a century ago The ground floor was an elegant bar and restaurant. He was making very good money, he paid no rent and he had an extra room for me.

With a population of 6000, it was not a place to continue a lucrative drug business. Also, he would enroll me into the little high school and I could get my diploma. I could work in the restaurant in the evenings where he would keep his eye on me. Then, there was the horse. He would buy me a horse. And on and on and on.

The logic and sincerity of his argument was convincing. So there it was. An hour later, my bags were packed. I was going to live with my father in New Mexico.

That’s how in September 1975, my father whisked me away from my home in Oklahoma City, under the guise of saving me from my own demise. I was stolen and held captive in Raton, New Mexico for what seemed like forever.

My dog, Baron was coming with me, I refused to go anywhere without him. He was a tiny black and tan Dachshund. I got him free when I was fourteen, when I got back from Tulsa. To me, he was priceless. He was my best friend. He couldn’t have weighed more than ten pounds, but his heart was huge.

I talked to him about everything and he consoled me by nodding, and licking me on the cheek non-stop…or he would admonish me through his expressions and demeanor. I had lived with Dachshunds since I was seven, so understood their language pretty well. Baron understood humans better. We developed a rare communication that worked well for both of us.
Herman, our older dachshund had greeted my dad cordially. Baron couldn’t figure this out, he expressed his apprehension. He looked at me and conveyed,

“Well, if Herman isn’t worried, I guess it’ll be Okay, right? Right, Susan?”

I was sorry I didn’t have an honest answer. I did my best to settle him.

“Sure, this’ll be fun, a whole new adventure!”

As we drove West, toward the Texas panhandle, Baron kept the conversation going by his curious interest expressed by wide eyes and attentive ears. My dad amazed him with his knowledge of history, geography, geology, astronomy, world geo-politics, weather, music on the radio, literature, mechanics, religion and countless other topics. I knew he was faking his fascination with my dad. He knew he was doing me a favor.

There was not a dead moment in the air. An occasional “really?” expressed by me was enough to keep my dad’s mouth running. I was thankful for that. It kept my attention away from my jangle of emotions. As we drove through the night, I was conflicted, scared, excited, happy and worried. I didn’t know where I was going, or who was driving me there.

My dad’s jovial demeanor comforted me. He made The Palace sound like the perfect place for his little princess.

When we arrived, it was late, after 10pm., Baron was exhausted. I stood on the corner and looked up. I gulped. The three-story building was like an old gothic castle. It was a huge rectangle with the front corner cut back with a fifth wall about ten feet wide. This provided the entrance with two giant oak doors. Baron was less than enthused by its foreboding appearance. I had to agree.

Dad ignored my hesitation. “Come on, you’re going to love this place!”

He pulled open one of the oak doors, which had to weigh at least five hundred pounds. I was hesitant, but thirsty. Baron’s squirming had started to annoy me. I went forward filled with adrenalin.

The initial entrance was a small round foyer with a domed ceiling of cut glass. It was about six feet round. As I stared up at the beautiful little pieces of color, I heard my dad chuckle.

“See? I told you, there’s no place like this!”

Then I saw the true entry to the bar, a set of small bat winged doors that swung back and forth. He pulled one of the doors back, beckoning me forward. He looked down at me with a tender expression.

“Welcome home, honey, this is home now.”

As we entered the bar, I was dumbstruck. Baron was not. I stepped back in time, to 1896, into The Palace Hotel.

The bar took up half of the first floor of the hotel. It was the most captivating centerpiece of the establishment. The mirror behind the bar was the longest continuous piece of reflection glass in all the states, the brochure proclaimed. A brass foot rail extended the length of the long cherry oak bar A few feet behind was a waist high railing just like the saloons in old John Wayne movies.

The carpet was a deep royal red interlaced with black swirly patterns. Bright golden paper covered the walls. It was smooth and shiny with raised curly designs made out of felt or maybe even velour. God, I just wanted to reach over and run my fingers across it!  

The wall opposite the bar had windows that were quizzically narrow and impossibly tall. Lush maroon velvet drapes adorned them, parted in the center to provide a view of the quaint town just beyond the sidewalk.

I looked up at the ornate ceiling, which seemed a mile above me. It was covered with tiles of little angels that all looked the same, yet different. The angels danced across the entire ceiling until it curved and met the wall. I got dizzy looking at them.

“You can’t find ceiling tiles like that anywhere! My dad grinned. “They’re covered in pure gold leaf!”

I didn’t know what pure gold leaf was, but the word ‘gold’ impressed me very much.

He introduced me to the staff. I l blushed when he said; “This is Susie, my favorite little girl!” I had never heard that before. The whole crew greeted me warmly, all smiles and friendliness.  

I always paid attention when Baron got nervous but I chose to ignore him. I jostled him in my arms. My stern look at him stopped his squiggling, but his look back conveyed that I was clueless.

I, however thought, Okay, I have died and gone to Heaven! I was enchanted. My fascination with this magical setting made me feel happy; I was in the neatest place I had ever seen. I’m going to love it here!

On the first night, my dad led me around the ground floor. The restaurant was as elegant as the bar. To the rear of the restaurant, there was a large commercial kitchen. Off the rear of the kitchen, he showed, me a short hallway to the back exit. To the right, a huge staircase led to the two upper floors of dilapidated hotel rooms. A manager’s apartment had been converted from several hotel rooms connected together on the second floor, just above the entrance to the hotel.

We ended up back in the bar and sat at a table for two. Crystal, the head bartender stayed on for a little while longer after the rest of the staff were allowed to go home.

Sitting at the table, he ordered Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry. I had never had Cream Sherry before, but it tasted like candy with nuts and I had no problem going through numerous rounds in a very short time. I was hungry but I was too nervous to eat.

Baron, however, was ravenous. My dad fed him little pieces filet mignon and French bread with real butter. He played cute for my dad, sitting up and begging. He jumped up, putting his paws on my dad’s leg, wagging his tail like crazy.

I was a little befuddled until I caught his sideways glance that said, “I do not like this guy, but I gotta eat, I’m starving. You’re the one falling into his into his trap, not me.”

Ouch. “Baron, sometimes I wish you would shut the hell up.”

After having his fill, he settled into a wary sleep on top of my feet. I never worried about losing Baron. Where I went, he went, period.

I wasn’t aware when the bartender left. The bottle was on the table before I knew it; he kept my glass full. I was five feet tall and weighed 106 pounds. I had a lethal level of alcohol pulsing threw my entire body…and I had my daddy.

I was in a haze. Actually, it was more of a daze than a haze. My vision was
Karen Hamilton Nov 2015
An adventure is what we hoped for,
A good story, a tale for life
But it pains me to say the ending
Wasn't the one we had in mind

We found you in the Blue Mountains,
Sleeping in a place named 'Sweet Dreams'.
So, sweet dreams are what I send to you;
Sweetest dreams for eternity

I won't lie my heart is aching
But Gary you have done us proud,
Proud of everything you've achieved;
Gary, you stood out from the crowd

I'll never forget your charisma,
Your kind heart, your love of life
I'll never forget your dancing,
Showing the pros how to style it right!!

I'll never forget the way you
Told your really terrible jokes,
A massive ball of energy;
I've not met a friendlier bloke

Gary we're going to miss you...
'Miss you' doesn't even come close
To the way we feel without you
It's the good ones you miss the most

So Gary you keep on dancing,
You keep on dancing way up high
And if we're ever feeling lonely
We'll know to look up to the sky

The star that shines the brightest,
Almost mistaken for the moon...
We'll know it's you up there young Gaz
Shining bright on all those you knew.





© Karen L Hamilton, 2013
To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die. -- Thomas Campbell

Written in Sep 2013 after 7 long weeks of the largest search to date in the Blue Mountains, Australia. RIP sweet Gary. X

Read at Garys funeral this is Part 2 of 2 - see part 1 of 2 'hope'
Victor Marques Feb 2012
To you dear Gary Lester


On the road we see the trees,
Friends are free.
Just remember how many times a day,
You feel happy, I can say.

I treasure all the moments that we spent together,
Like a gift today and ever.
Friends love you in victory and defeat,
All fears you can beat.

God will help you out,
Friends will talk about,
Because you always smile for free,
The arm sun you will see.

Big heart hug.
Victor Marques

— The End —