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Diane Jul 2016
Dear Diary,
As of today, I am officially a registered Republican
Now before you freak out, let me explain…
It’s finally happened!
I am in love! In love!
I can’t stop thinking about her…her rich auburn hair
Sensuous lips, smooth, silky voice…
She is an ambrosial goddess
Ahhhh just to say her name
Michelle…Michelle…
It’s because of her, I have become a Republican
Michelle has opened my eyes to so many things!
For instance, this country really was founded on Christian values!
Separation of church and state…that’s just crazy talk
Oh, and climate change? Forget about it!
But most importantly, Michelle helped me see that ALL lives matter
Michelle is very involved in her community
Why, just yesterday, we handed out boxes
Full of bootstraps to the poor
I gave my Birkenstocks
To Bernie Sanders…
Michelle says that nothing turns her on more than a man who wears crocs
And I am embarrassed to admit this….
I would only tell you, Diary
But She’s really into **** ***,
Michelle says it’s not ****** if it’s a man and a woman
And with her husband’s gay conversion camps, she would know
Come to think of it,
Nothing is a sin for a Republican
As long as you don’t get caught
So, there you have it, I have abandoned my socialist and Jewish roots
Do I have regrets?
Well, maybe sometimes,  
When Michelle talks about cutting veterans benefits
For a fleeting moment I recall how it felt
To take care of each other and to love people unconditionally
But then I think I sound like ******* flake
Twirling crystals and prisms or some stupid ****
I do like the idea of legalizing marijuana, though
But my change of heart and this whole Donald Trump thing is not my fault,
There are a limited number of seats open on this love train
I mean…
let’s be real, ok? Americans want epic battles and
Dad never smites people anymore,
Whatever happened to a good old fashioned smiting?
The way I see it, as long as Michelle doesn’t figure out that I am not white,
She and I are golden.
Anyway, thanks for listening diary,
I gotta go…Michelle and I are getting matching Jesus fish tattoos
I know, the irony, right?
written for a "dear diary" poetry slam
My Michelle, you're my belle,
my Michelle, I love you well.

Chorus
Wherever I go, whatever I do,
I'm never far away from you,
cause I keep you always
right here in my heart
not tucked in the corner,
but the biggest part,
'cause I love you, love you, love you
my Michelle, you're my belle,
my Michelle,
my Michelle.
I love you well
my Michelle

Chorus:
Wherever I go. whatever I do
I'm never far away from you
'cause I keep you always here in my heart
not tucked in the corner, but the biggest part,
oh, I love you, love you, love you,
yes I do, oh, my Michelle
I love you true, I love you true,
yes I do, yes I do,
my Michelle.
In memoriam Michelle Collier - R.I.P.
Copyright 2019 by Michael S. Simpson.
All rights reserved by the author.
judy smith Nov 2015
WHEN Grace Gray uncovered her wedding dress from the back of the wardrobe, she knew exactly what to do with her something old – turn it into something new.

The doting gran gifted her much-loved satin gown to her daughter Michelle, so she could have it made into a christening robe for her baby Pippa.

And the beautiful wee girl was all smiles on her special day in her hand-me-down, upcycled gown.

Michelle, 32, said: “I always loved my mum’s wedding dress and never imagined it would become my daughter’s christening dress, but I’m so glad it did.

“For Pippa to be christened in such a special family dress made the day all the more amazing.”

Grace, 54, wore the pearl-encrusted ivory dress when she married husband William, 73, in Clydebank 18 years ago.

Michelle helped her mum to pick the dress and was a bridesmaid at the wedding.

She said: “I was quite young when my mum married my stepdad and I remember going shopping with her when she picked the dress.

“It had lots of pearls and diamantes and I just loved all the sparkle. She looked so beautiful.”

After her wedding, Grace packed away her dress in a box and kept it at the back of her wardrobe.

Michelle, who is looking forward to her own wedding to partner Frazer Ward, 29, next year, said: “It has been there ever since but she came across it when she was clearing out.

“It was her idea to have it turned into a christening dress for Pippa.”

The family took the dress to Fabricated Bridal Alterations in Glasgow, where the seamstresses made not only the christening dress but a head band for Pippa and a matching hair clip for her sister Tilly, four.

Michelle, who also lives in Clydebank, added: “I did feel a little bit anxious at the thought of mum’s

dress being cut up but the end result was so beautiful.

“Mum had a tear in her eye when she saw it.”

Grace said: “I can’t think of any better use of my wedding dress than seeing it given to my

granddaughter for her christening.

“I felt really honoured to share in her big day in such a special way. I was overwhelmed by how beautiful she looked.”

Andrina Greig, of Fabricated Bridal Alterations, said there was a rising trend for women to put their wedding dresses to good use.

She added: “We’ve had more and more women getting their wedding dresses made into a christening gown for their children – but this is the first time we have had a grandmother’s dress brought in to be made into a christening gown.

“Michelle’s mum’s dress was perfect for the transformation.

“It was in great condition and the beading, bow and button details were ideal for scaling down and keeping as a feature on the christening dress. We were thrilled with how beautiful Pippa’s gown looked.”

read more:www.marieaustralia.com/formal-dresses-adelaide

www.marieaustralia.com/red-carpet-celebrity-dresses
rhiannon Mar 2019
Once upon a time there was a brave girl called Alison Parker. She was on the way to see her mum Michelle Ramsbottom, when she decided to take a short cut through Wyre Forest.

It wasn’t long before Alison got lost. She looked around, but all she could see were trees. Nervously, she felt into her bag for her favourite toy, Bunny, but Bunny was nowhere to be found! Alison began to panic. She felt sure she had packed Bunny. To make matters worse, she was starting to feel hungry.

Unexpectedly, she saw a kind werewolf dressed in a black skirt disappearing into the trees.

“How odd!” thought Alison.

For the want of anything better to do, she decided to follow the peculiarly dressed werewolf. Perhaps it could tell him the way out of the forest.

Eventually, Alison reached a clearing. She found herself surrounded by houses made from different sorts of food. There was a house made from carrots, a house made from biscuits, a house made from cakes and a house made from pancakes.

Alison could feel her tummy rumbling. Looking at the houses did nothing to ease her hunger.

“Hello!” she called. “Is anybody there?”

Nobody replied.

Alison looked at the roof on the closest house and wondered if it would be rude to eat somebody else’s chimney. Obviously it would be impolite to eat a whole house, but perhaps it would be considered acceptable to nibble the odd fixture or lick the odd fitting, in a time of need.

A cackle broke through the air, giving Alison a fright. A witch jumped into the space in front of the houses. She was carrying a cage. In that cage was Bunny!

“Bunny!” shouted Alison. She turned to the witch. “That’s my toy!”

The witch just shrugged.

“Give Bunny back!” cried Alison.

“Not on your nelly!” said the witch.

“At least let Bunny out of that cage!”

Before she could reply, three kind werewolves rushed in from a footpath on the other side of the clearing. Alison recognised the one in the black skirt that she’d seen earlier. The witch seemed to recognise him too.

“Hello Big Werewolf,” said the witch.

“Good morning.” The werewolf noticed Bunny. “Who is this?”

“That’s Bunny,” explained the witch.

“Ooh! Bunny would look lovely in my house. Give it to me!” demanded the werewolf.

The witch shook her head. “Bunny is staying with me.”

“Um… Excuse me…” Alison interrupted. “Bunny lives with me! And not in a cage!”

Big Werewolf ignored her. “Is there nothing you’ll trade?” he asked the witch.

The witch thought for a moment, then said, “I do like to be entertained. I’ll release him to anybody who can eat a whole front door.”

Big Werewolf looked at the house made from pancakes and said, “No problem, I could eat an entire house made from pancakes if I wanted to.”

“That’s nothing,” said the next werewolf. “I could eat twohouses.”

“There’s no need to show off,” said the witch. Just eat one front door and I’ll let you have Bunny.”

Alison watched, feeling very worried. She didn’t want the witch to give Bunny to Big Werewolf. She didn’t think Bunny would like living with a kind werewolf, away from her house and all her other toys.

The other two werewolves watched while Big Werewolf put on his bib and withdrew a knife and fork from his pocket.

“I’ll eat this whole house,” said Big Werewolf. “Just you watch!”

Big Werewolf pulled off a corner of the front door of the house made from biscuits. He gulped it down smiling, and went back for more.

   And more.

      And more.

Eventually, Big Werewolf started to get bigger – just a little bit bigger at first. But after a few more fork-fulls of biscuits, he grew to the size of a large snowball – and he was every bit as round.

“Erm… I don’t feel too good,” said Big Werewolf.

Suddenly, he started to roll. He’d grown so round that he could no longer balance!

“Help!” he cried, as he rolled off down a ***** into the forest.

Big Werewolf never finished eating the front door made from biscuits and Bunny remained trapped in the witch’s cage.Average Werewolf stepped up, and approached the house made from cakes.

“I’ll eat this whole house,” said Average Werewolf. “Just you watch!”

Average Werewolf pulled off a corner of the front door of the house made from cakes. She gulped it down smiling, and went back for more.

   And more.

      And more.

After a while, Average Werewolf started to look a little queasy. She grew greener…

   …and greener.

A woodcutter walked into the clearing. “What’s this bush doing here?” he asked.

“I’m not a bush, I’m a werewolf!” said Average Werewolf.

“It talks!” exclaimed the woodcutter. “Those talking bushes are the worst kind. I’d better take it away before somebody gets hurt.”

“No! Wait!” cried Average Werewolf, as the woodcutter picked her up. But the woodcutter ignored her cries and carried the werewolf away under his arm.

Average Werewolf never finished eating the front door made from cakes and Bunny remained trapped in the witch’s cage.Little Werewolf stepped up, and approached the house made from pancakes.

“I’ll eat this whole house,” said Little Werewolf. “Just you watch!”

Little Werewolf pulled off a corner of the front door of the house made from pancakes. He gulped it down smiling, and went back for more.

   And more.

      And more.

After five or six platefuls, Little Werewolf started to fidget uncomfortably on the spot.

He stopped eating pancakes for a moment, then grabbed another forkful.

But before he could eat it, there came an almighty roar. A bottom burp louder than a rocket taking off, propelled Little Werewolf into the sky.

“Aggghhhhhh!” cried Little Werewolf. “I’m scared of heigh…”

Little Werewolf was never seen again.

Little Werewolf never finished eating the front door made from pancakes and Bunny remained trapped in the witch’s cage.

“That’s it,” said the witch. “I win. I get to keep Bunny.”

“Not so fast,” said Alison. “There is still one front door to go. The front door of the house made from carrots. And I haven’t had a turn yet.

“I don’t have to give you a turn!” laughed the witch. “My game. My rules.”

The woodcutter’s voice carried through the forest. “I think you should give her a chance. It’s only fair.”

“Fine,” said the witch. “But you saw what happened to the werewolves. She won’t last long.”

“I’ll be right back,” said Alison.

“What?” said the witch. “Where’s your sense of impatience? I thought you wanted Bunny back.”

Alison ignored the witch and gathered a hefty pile of sticks. She came back to the clearing and started a small camp fire. Carefully, she broke off a piece of the door of the house made from carrots and toasted it over the fire. Once it had cooked and cooled just a little, she took a bite. She quickly devoured the whole piece.

Alison sat down on a nearby log.

“You fail!” cackled the witch. “You were supposed to eat the whole door.”

“I haven’t finished,” explained Alison. “I am just waiting for my food to go down.”

When Alison’s food had digested, she broke off another piece of the door made from carrots. Once more, she toasted her food over the fire and waited for it to cool just a little. She ate it at a leisurely pace then waited for it to digest.

Eventually, after several sittings, Alison was down to the final piece of the door made from carrots. Carefully, she toasted it and allowed it to cool just a little. She finished her final course. Alison had eaten the entire front door of the house made from carrots.

The witch stamped her foot angrily. “You must have tricked me!” she said. “I don’t reward cheating!”

“I don’t think so!” said a voice. It was the woodcutter. He walked back into the clearing, carrying his axe. “This little girl won fair and square. Now hand over Bunny or I will chop your broomstick in half.”

The witch looked horrified. She grabbed her broomstick and placed it behind her. Then, huffing, she opened the door of the cage.

Alison hurried over and grabbed Bunny, checking that her favourite toy was all right. Fortunately, Bunny was unharmed.

Alison thanked the woodcutter, grabbed a quick souvenir, and hurried on to meet Michelle. It was starting to get dark.

When Alison got to Michelle’s house, her mum threw her arms around her.

“I was so worried!” cried Michelle. “You are very late.”

As Alison described her day, she could tell that Michelle didn’t believe her. So she grabbed a napkin from her pocket.

“What’s that?” asked Michelle.

Alison unwrapped a doorknob made from biscuits. “Pudding!” she said.

Michelle almost fell off her chair.

The End
Sky Nov 2012
Michelle,

do not cry for anyone except yourself

do not cry for the dumb boys

with their hands in their pants

and their heads in the clouds

do not cry for them

because they do not have eyes

that could cry for you

Michelle,

do not cry for anyone except yourself

do not cry for the lonely girls

dancing in their rooms

and drowning in their boy friend’s spit

do not cry for them

because they will be fine in the morning

and so will you

so just keep ******* your honey packets

and be careful to not let disdain trickle out of your beehives

because it keeps getting you stung

by the bumbling boys attracted to it

but do not cry for them Michelle

because you are beautiful and brave

and you scare them

because they are not

Michelle,

do not cry for anyone except yourself
Deb Jones Sep 2017
For personal reasons I don't have a deep faith, like most of you have, to wrap around myself like a mantle during a tragedy like this.

And I truly believe that Ashley's death is a tragedy.

I have wrote and rewrote this. Trying to find the right words to tell you how wonderful Ashley is. "Is" because she will live forever in our hearts. There is no "was"

And I finally realized I couldn't. It would take a lifetime. Or 22 years.

This started out to be my commemoration of Ash. Instead it has turned into something I probably won't share entirely.

Because I have lived a long life already, I know how the passing years eventually make grief bearable. How it knocks you to your knees and bends your back. But over time it becomes part of you and you learn to live in a new reality.

No one forgets a loved ones death. You just learn to live with the pain. We absorb it and carry the pain around with us forever.

My new reality is a life without Ashley in it. Where she never gets to grow older. But she also doesn't have to grow sicker. That gives me little solace. As I am selfishly wanting her back.

Type 1 Diabetes killed Ashley. It's an illness that is a battle every day. You fight to get through the day. To do the best you can and then get up the next day and fight the same battle all over again. You don't get a day off. Or a vacation from it. Because if you stop fighting for even one day you will have to fight 100 times harder to get back on track.

Ashley wanted to live a normal life. She wanted to do everything that her friends were doing. And her sister, made that possible. She watched over her, especially the last 2 years. They were together almost every day and night. I am proud of her. She grew into the adult she is by loving and treating Ash like a normal young woman. Adventuring with her.

Ashley lived with me from the time she was a toddler until she was 21. She was a daughter to my heart.

She was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes the very same day I was. She was 18. We learned how to live with it together.

She was doing so well. Only hospitalized a few times. While I was hospitalized monthly.

Her last hospitalization, I picked her up after her discharge. She was still vomiting a lot.

I called and made her an appointment with my Endocrinologist for the next morning.

I want to go back to that minute. The one right before I reached out to touch her shoulder to wake her for the appointment the next morning. The minute before I realized something was wrong.

She wouldn't wake up. I pulled her over, her eyes were open in a blank stare.

By doing chest compressions on her, arguably the scariest experience any loved one can go through, I saved Ashley.

A helicopter landed in one of my fields and flew her to the nearest Trauma Center.

So we could have almost 6 days to say goodbye to her. We are all forever grateful for that.

She was declared brain dead the first day she was in the hospital. But I already knew that.

I am so angry at Ashley's senseless death. Losing a beautiful young girl. One who tried to wrap everyone in a kindness that was her unique specialty.

But, I know Ashley was tired. So very tired. She went 16 days without eating. Only drinking water or juice she vomited back up.

I KNOW how she was just so tired. I know that kind of tiredness. Not only of your body, but of your spirit and soul. When you want to isolate yourself from everyone because it's too much to face. To deal with. There is no bravery or sacrifice. Just the silent chant of pleas. Pleas to make it stop. Pleas for solace. For surcease.

The hospital failed her. Looking at laboratory values versus a patient's physical self.

And I wasn't there to advocate for her. The family that was there with her were scared. And helpless to fix her. How do you hold a hospital accountable, with its anonymous staff, without holding me accountable too?

There are things I should have taught Ashley. How to ask for things she needed. How to demand. How to scream.

But I didn't. I talked with her about things she needed. But I didn't see the ramifications of her not using all avenues to get help. I didn't teach her how to scream.

Even though my screams are just as silent.

I knew she was severely brain damaged the morning I first saw her. But really...I was in denial too.

It helped to be the one all the information was funneled through. But the cost to me was denial. I could explain everything to everyone. Over and over again. To family groups. To individuals as they arrived at the hospital and I walked them down that long corridor to the intensive care.

Using that walk to prepare them. To stand beside so many that came to say goodbye to her. But still suppress my grief into a hot ball that I choked on every day she was on life support.

I could only really grieve the way I needed to once I was alone. My sobs were private. Thinking of Ashley when I went to sleep. And of her when I woke.

Every thing Ashley did during that 6 days she was on life support was talked about. And used to foster hope. The rare blinking of her eyelids. The few tears that coursed down her temples.

I knew they had pressure cuffs on her legs. To help keep her blood pressure up. Until I saw the damage to her legs...I still thought there was a chance. The chance I refused to say outloud. As if I challenged what I knew to be true with false hope.

I knew she had significant brain damage but I still thought there might be a chance she would recover, be a different Ashley than we were used to, an Ashley that would need rehabilitation. An outcome that would allow us to keep her here.

Then I saw her legs. I was alone and noticed the pressure cuffs were off. I lifted the blanket and saw her legs. They were blue and mottled with large sections of skin gone. I knew then that she really was not going to recover.

The surgeon even discussed taking one or both of her legs at the hip in order to save her from the infection. But he said she was too fragile and wouldn't make it through surgery. And even if they did the surgery it would not save her brain injury.

My family and I privately discussed ***** donation for Ash. We knew Ashley would have wanted that too. I called a friend of mine that works with the donor network and she said of course Ashley could be evaluated for any donation. I kept in contact with her while Ashley was in the hospital and asked when we could talk to the ***** donor advocate/liaison. That became a moot point when Ashley started spiking temperatures with the infections ravaging her body.

When she was finally completely off sedation she was unresponsive. That poor baby. That poor, poor baby.

Her brain damage was severe. And her legs were poisoning the rest of her body. She really just stayed for us. To give us a chance to say what we needed to say and what she needed to hear in her final moments. And we held her and told her we were walking with her into the sunlight.

Because I have many medical credentials, I was the one that talked for the family. And then talked for the physicians.

I asked all my family to come to a designated conference room. When I talked to my family about removing her life support there was anger. But as I continued to explain to them there was just a deep inconsolable sadness.

When 4 of the doctors came in I told them we didn't need a rundown of all the reasons to remove her from the ventilator. We had already made our decision.

When we turned the ventilator off she could breathe on her own for a little bit. I told my family that she would go fast. But seeing that she was breathing they all left the room. To smoke, to text, to make phone calls.

After they were gone about 4-5 minutes Ashley's breathing began to slow down. I was the only one in the room. I asked the nurses at the desk to call my family overhead.

They still didn't come back soon enough.

I climbed into the bed with Ash and pulled her into my arms. I rocked her and crooned to her. Told her how loved she was.

She took her last breath in my arms.

When my family funneled back into the room I heard over and over again how Ashley must have waited until they left the room to die so they wouldn't suffer more.

My heart cried. What about me? What about me.

I am supposed to tell people how loved she was. How she shined. I think they all know that already.

I keep trying to commemorate her. To write a speech detailing her life and how much she gave of herself to others. How she was the hub a lot of her family circled around. She was unceasingly happy. She was so loved.

You know what I want to do? I want to scream. I want to rant and rave about the unfairness. Point to other people, people I don't know and say why couldn't they have been taken instead? I don't love them like I do Ash. Point to myself also. Why wasn't I taken?

I will tell everyone what they already know. About how wonderful a person Ashley was and how much we love and miss her. How we will grieve the rest of our lives for her.

The night I came home after Ashley died I went right to my mother. I told her Ashley was gone. And she held me, in the dark, with my head in her lap while I cried. She didn't talk while I sobbed. Just made soothing noises.

And that was what I needed. What my heart craved.

I appreciate everyone that called me just to listen to me cry. Some would not even talk other than the first hello. Just soothing comforting sounds. I won't forget the gift you gave me of just listening to me sobbing.

I want to share something that was happening to me the first 2 months during the time she was on life support and the months after. I have never experienced hallucinations before. But I did during that period.  I would wake up with my arms out to people. In the middle of a conversation. Trying to soothe them. Help them. I don't understand why I needed certain things, like the way I woke while dragging dining chairs in my room. Arguing I needed them when my son tried to stop me. Or the way I would stop breathing in my sleep and knowingly maintain it as long as I could. Or the other private personal things I hallucinated.

I called a psychiatrist and talked to her about what I was experiencing. And she told me that it was normal. It stopped after about 2 months.

Part of me knows I was trying to carry the grief I knew my sister and her kids were trying to carry. If I could, I would take their grief and add it to mine. Just to give them some peace.

My niece, Ashley's sister had a little girl a month ago. Her name is Ashley Michelle.

There is no death, only a change of worlds. —NATIVE AMERICAN PROVERB
September 20 was the first Anniversary of Ashley's death day.
Keith Collard Oct 2012
Since thy first lady declare,
that we wageth war,,
and against obesity dare,
I will hunt the fat kid,
tho he affrights me,
the first lady did knight me,
and I succeeded in the grail,
and blood marked that trail,
but popcorn spilled from his pale,
gives my hounds the scent,
downhill like a wounded lazy dear he went,
The Behemoth,
who esteemeth my sword as straw,
to sip chocolate milk,
with burps defying Queen's law.
DAGGER against my spear of poplar
is ice-cream sandwich in hand of globular,
AND THAT SANDWICH DAGGER SHALL NOT REACH FAR
BEFORE SPEAR UNLEASHES HIS DYING ****.
but I must admit,
I fear the headlock in his sweaty pits,
I must keep a spears distance,
away from his buttery mits,
he has vanguished many knights into that hellish abyss,

My first lady biddeth,
I do not delay, I do not tarry,
to slay the fat kid,
and hire 12 commoners to carry.
The First Lady is Michelle Obama
Harriet Cleve Aug 2019
'Pull into this fuel station and top up, Harry'
I don't want us running out of juice on the highway at three a.m"

'I don't know Michelle, it's getting late and we are still away off from San Francisco'

'Just do it Harry, it will give the dogs a chance to stretch their legs'

'All right, I told you the dogs weren't able for long journeys though'

Pulling into the forecourt Harry looked around before letting the two pitbulls out.
Grateful for fresh air they scurried about excitedly.

He filled the van and noticed the garage had a coffee dock.

'Let's chill for ten minutes, Michelle
It's getting late, we need a breather
The dogs are fine in that enclosed field'

Entering the service station they were greeted by an old man with a weary face.

'What can we get ya?'

'Two coffees when you're ready please'

'Bit late to be out if you don't mind me saying' the old man said

'Well we hope to be hitting San Francisco soon'

'Them your dogs? '

'Yes, just giving them air is all'

'That there's an old grave yard son
Ain't right dogs running about in there digging and sniffing'

'Oh!  No disrespect intended. Didn't know or we wouldn't have cut them loose'

'No harm meant son, I know it'

'That field's an old Indian burial ground'
'Some  say it's cursed too'
Hair stood up on my neck many times the sounds I heard late at night'

You can call me an old fool but I believe that stuff about spirits taking revenge on desecration and disrespecting sacred bones'

Harry and Michelle drank their coffees.
'Let's get the hell out of here' Michelle whispered

This place is weird . The dogs were whimpering and nervous when I put them back in the van' she said

'One of them had a stock monkey in their mouth and wouldn't drop it'

Waving goodbye to the old man they made their way back to the highway.

'I feel uneasy, Harry' Got a bad sense of something dreadful but I can't describe it"

'That old man shocked you is all' said Harry

'Probably winding us up so relax'

They drove on for some time when Harry noticed the landscape looked out of place.

'Give me the map Michelle, think I took a wrong turn some where'

Pulling into the side of the dirt road he glanced at the map. His mind worked hard figuring out the route.

Suddenly the van shook violently and the dogs went beserk howling and barking.

'What in hells name is going on back there?'

Michelle looked at Harry.She was terrified and crying but couldn't say a word.

'Relax' I am going to check on the dogs

He grabbed his revolver which he had no permit for and was incapable of using.
It was a show of bravado for his friends to big him up in their eyes. Shaking as he got out the van he approached the back doors.

Inside he could hear terrible cries of whelping, anguish and terror coming from the dogs.

Quickly he pulled the doors open

'I've got a ******* gun!'Harry screamed

There facing him was a savage monstrous silver back gorilla. It had torn the pitfbulls asunder. It's teeth were blooded and bared as it lunged on top of Harry.

Michelle heard a gunshot.

Crying and shaking she got out of the van.

Her eyes were streaming and her heart raced when she saw Harry's lifeless body on the ground. Horribly mutilated with an expression of terror on his face.

She couldn't find it in herself to scream.

Total shock had set in. A guttural animal cry broke the moment. She felt steaming hot breath upon the back of her neck.

Turning slowly as her legs trembled violently she lost control of her bowels.

Facing her was a six foot silver back gorilla.
It grabbed her throat and ripped her to pieces. Feeding on her organs it devoured her in a ****** carnage.

At the scene the  next day a forensic detective examined her remains.

'Put that stock monkey in a bag.Might be something to it'

'Yes sir'

Later that night a car pulled into a filling station

An old man looked at the young couple

'What can I get ya?'

'A couple of coffees please'

'Them your dogs in that there field' said the old man...
first step

when he looks at a woman he searches for qualities that attract him because he wants to desire her yet this tendency creates an imbalance or disadvantage he is rendered weak to a woman’s beauty or whatever traits he idealizes self-realizing this propensity he looks away from women years of disappointment neglect change him he becomes afraid of women gynophobic

2

when she looks at a man she searches for qualities she is critical of because she wants to be impervious to his power she is suspicious of all men their upper body strength penchant to be in control misperception of women as property misogyny emotional immaturity neediness to be mommyed selfishness insensitivity or over-sensitivity depending she wants to be treated with equal respect a loving nurturing relationship she is suspicious of all people their alternate realities passive aggressive behavior co-dependence craziness

3

he sees her then looks away she suspiciously notices nothing happens they go back to their separate homes alone always home alone grown calm in resignation yet disbelieving of this destiny saddened by this fate both worry about future she looks at her face naked body in mirror her stomach churns feels sad sickening remembers time when she was more carefree he puts one foot in front of other then walks tries to remember who taught him to walk how many times did he fall who taught him to laugh where did his sense of humor go

4

he sees her thinks she is lovely resists the urge to turn away he smiles says hello she notices nervously smiles her shaky voice articulates louder than a whisper hi

Tucson 2-step

they are standing in line at a café on 4th avenue he is directly behind her she is lanky wearing white background faded colors patterned summer dress thin straps over bare shoulders long brown hair few gray strands small unfinished tattoo on left calf leather slip-ons 1 inch heals he is at a complete loss for words thinks to make remark about the weather decides not to overhead fan stirs hot humid July air barista girl asks what she would like her eyes scan blackboard menu behind counter she hesitates remarks help him i need an extra moment to decide he steps up to counter money in hand orders small to go Arnold Palmer half black current lays $3 on counter mentions change goes in tip jar thank you barista girl moves fast he lifts cup from counter glances at woman still deciding then at barista girl says have a wonderful day turns walks out door dawns on him woman grows hair under her arms his 2nd most compelling female physique adornment fetish oh god he thinks to himself should i wait for her to make up her mind then approach try to craft conversation at least find out her name no i’m too weak in this moment she is so lovely let her go

2

she orders double Americana in small cup to go room for soy milk thinks to herself he did greet her perhaps their paths will cross on street why did he run off so fast she glances toward front of café notices window seat changes her mind instructs barista ******* 2nd thought make it for here digs through purse realizes she left wallet in truck explains to barista girl she needs to run out to her vehicle to retrieve wallet forgotten under front seat the air on the street is heavy dense she smells her own perspiration looks north then south does not see him walks to truck feels exhausted appetiteless almost nauseous wishes she did not order a drink thinks to get behind wheel drive home go to sleep

Tucson 3-step tango

she feels disappointment by her recent writings as if she is reaching a more sophisticated audience and setting a higher standard for her work yet she is not living up to her ambitions her recent writings smell of her past writings too emotional the damaged woman wounded child she wants to write more introspectively with detached humor that only comes from keener intelligence she slams her laptop shut decides to go to Club Congress for a ****** mary or margarita but Club Congress is haunted with small town cretins losers wannabes she considers Maynard’s decides Maynard’s is too safe suburban yuppyish finally gives in to thought of glass of pinot noir at Plush next comes what to wear jeans in mid-July desert heat is unacceptable perhaps loose fitting thin cotton white summer dress thin leather belt ankle high indian moccasins hair in ponytail no pigtail braids no ponytail no makeup maybe little ylang ylang oil no she thinks about her recent writings

2

i am one breath away from crying in every moment one breath away from flying m.i.a. in every moment one breath away from destroying everything there is beauty in ugliness beauty in decrepitude disease beauty in harm hurt suffering beauty in greed injustice betrayal beauty in corruption contamination pollution beauty in hate cruelty ignorance beauty in death we spend our whole lives searching for a good death we spend our whole lives searching for eternal love this modern world is too much for me over my head the horrors of this place are beyond words unspeakable voice inside maybe mom yells quit your whining or dad hollers stop complaining i am trying to smile through tears one breath away from giving in one breath away from becoming stranger to myself winter spring winter spring there is beauty in nothingness we spend our whole lives searching for ourselves learning who we are not finding grasping secrets from dark paths light trails winter spring winter spring i am one breath away

3

she sits alone at bar at Plush glass of pinot noir glass of ice water in front of her 2 bearded older men eye her from other end of bar she ignores them glances at her wristwatch tries to look like she is waiting for someone music from speakers antiquated rock standard it is early friday hours from dusk moderate middle aged crowd mingle wait for local jazz trio to begin she thinks about her recent writings wonders is it too late for love considers lesbian affair from 5 different perspectives 5 woman’s voices each describing same lesbian affair in 5 opposing accounts hmmm she sips dark red wine from glass chases it with ice water she considers a story about a gang of female bikers who ride south to Mexico

4

the Americans came through here last night crossing border illegally climbing over our fences digging tunnels beneath our barrier walls littering along their trail they travel in packs of every skin color carry guns knives explosives wear leather boots some are shirtless tattoos dyed hair mischievously smiling conceitedly stealing when in question murdering they rob our homes slaughter our chickens ransack gardens loot our harvest you can still smell the stink of their fast food breaths

5

she swallows the last dark red wine from glass chases it with ice water local jazz trio begins to play as bar fills with more people she decides to walk home one foot in front of other wonders who taught her how to walk how many times did she fall she laughs to herself

Tucson square dance

TPD 10-18 unconfirmed data report

7 post-University of Arizona female graduates go to Cactus Moon for several drinks and dancing then drive to Bashful Bandit for more drinks and dancing 2 women get into scuffle victim Brittany Garner female 23 years of age race #5 (Native American, Eskimo, Middle -Eastern, Other) 5’ 2” long black hair cut-off blue jean shorts clingy light blue top falls hits head on side of bar dies of fatal blow to skull forensics report crushed occipital lobe assailant Stacy Won female 31 years of age race #4 (Asian) 5’6” black jeans black leather jacket red helmet Honda motorcycle still at large

witness accounts

Jess Delaney female 33 years of age race #2 (White) 6’ tight black pencil skirt white sleeveless undershirt no bra 3” heels blond ponytail “that squirting little **** deserves everything she got she lied told Stacy i’m a ***** i never cheated on Brittany i don’t understand we were all having a good time getting buzzed and dancing we should never have left Cactus Moon **** Kerrie thought some biker dude might be hanging around the Bandit hell maybe the Bandit was a biker bar once but now it’s just a college sink hole full of drunken frat boys when Monique flashed a little *** they went crazy cheering and buying us shots it just got out of hand never should have happened the way it happened Stacy didn’t mean to **** Brittany it’s ****** up i want to go home please let me go home”

Sabrina Starn female 29 years of age race #2 (White) 5’8” trendy corporate gray suit black pumps red shoulder length hair “i have to be at work at 8 AM Stacy was drunk out of control she gets crazy when she drinks Brittany was trash talking pushing all Stacy’s buttons then Stacy accused Brittany of sleeping with Monique and all hell broke loose i didn’t see what happened i was in the powder room it’s a terrible tragedy unfortunate accident can i please be released i need to sleep this is madness”

Kerrie Angeles female 27 years of age race #1 (Hispanic) 5’ 6” black pants white shirt black hair cut stylishly short silver crucifix around neck red fingernails “when we got to the Bashful Bandit i was ***** soaking between my legs thinking about a cowgirl at Cactus Moon ready to **** anyone i saw fantasized pulling a train with those frat boys Monique had been kind of quiet at Cactus Moon but when we got to the Bashful Bandit she lit up dancing wild unbuttoning her top jacket Sabrina went to the ladies room to snort coke with biker dude Kerrie wanted but he wasn’t into her then Brittany started saying crazy stuff accusing Stacy of stealing Monique from Jess Jessie goes through women heartlessly she doesn’t give a **** about Monique Jessie knows if she wants Monique back she can simply fiddle a finger my guess is Stacy is half way to Argentina she never meant to **** Brittany i’m going to miss her real bad she was a good kid”

Ann Skyler female 28 years of age race  #2 (White) 4’ 11’’ green white red Mexican peasant skirt black t-shirt black high-tops hair in messy bun “i’m confused i saw them dancing laughing grinding up against each other Rage Against the Machine came on then Nine Inch Nails the room felt quaking dizzy claustrophobic then they were pushing each other shoving yelling frat boys cheering the next thing i knew Brittany was supine on the floor blood pouring out maybe she just slipped hit her head i don’t know what to think i feel real sad confused sick to my stomach scared”

Monique Smithson female 24 years of age race # 3 (Black) 5’ 9” blue jeans jean jacket cowboy boots nose ring braided pigtails “Stacy had it in for Brittany from the start i saw it in her eyes at Cactus Moon she made several clever toxic remarks they snapped at each other i never thought it would escalate to ****** poor sweet Brittany was always so susceptible i was looking down adjusting my jeans over my boots when it happened i heard felt a big thump glanced up Brittany was lying there lifeless blood spilling everywhere Stacy ran out fast i heard her bike engine take off in a hurry”

Rodeo Drive Tucson

matt’s hats tom’s tools & tobacco lou’s liquors fred’s beds frank’s planks bill’s drills jane’s drains & panes chuck’s check cashing cheryl’s barrels hank’s tanks tina’s trucks & tractors walt’s asphalt sean’s pawn rick’s rifles mom’s guns terry’s tires charlie’s harleys rhonda’s hondas jim’s rims art’s parts gus’s gasoline mike’s bikes frank’s feed gwen’s pens ann’s cans nancy’s nursery joes‘s clothes jess’s dresses bert’s skirts steve’s sleeves paul’s shawls michelle’s shells & bells al’s pails & snails sam’s hams & jams patty’s pancakes phil’s chili don’s donuts betty’s spaghetti bob’s burgers alycia’s quiches jean’s beans jerry’s berries anna’s bananas andy’s candies cathy’s taffies tony’s ponies roy’s toys kim’s whims marty’s parties jill’s pills rick’s tricks alice’s palace debbie’s disposal dave’s graves

Quinta Waltz de Tucson

she is definitely displeased profoundly disappointed in her latest literary efforts she dreams aches to create deeper discourse higher insight more thoughtful philosophical inquiries about life’s challenges beauty a better world overpowering love inspiration instead she writes paperback television trash stupid inadequate answers to solemn questions she wonders if she is too scratched dented to find love her ******* are definitely changing she is deeply disturbed not ready for menopause too young for menopause she wants to remain a fertile woman with smooth skin wet ******

2

her neighbor Leslie awoke to horrible morning Leslie’s 6 chickens were assaulted overnight precious Mabel dragged off feathers everywhere trail down the street other hens cowering slumped together with wilted necks 3 of them with puncture wounds Leslie carried them one by one inside washed their wounds hugged them cried who did this terrible act a neglected abusive neighborhood cat or some desert predator why didn’t Leslie wake to sounds of savage marauding now this creature knows hen’s whereabouts when will it return for more massacre what modifications need to be enforced to ensure their coup before nightfall

3

she wants to remain a hen keep producing eggs does not want is not ready to enter the next **** stage of this **** existence it was fun being pretty for men inspiring them to say do whacky things she wants to remain a hen she is definitely displeased profoundly disappointed in her latest literary attempts “Tucson square dance” (self-referential) ****** bit about Americans came through here last night in “Tucson 3-step” ****** "Rodeo Drive" tepid perhaps the pinot noir lowered her standards everything is becoming nothing she cannot sleep tosses turns thrashes sheets in humid heat of her lonesome bed is she is too scratched dented to find love she worries for Leslie

4

tomorrow is another day they say the rain will come last year’s monsoon never came the baking sun smothered her garden died one by one sleepless she will miss tomorrow’s pilates class the infrequent delightful chatty breakfast afterwards she dreams aches of deeper discourse higher insight with detached humor that only comes from keener intelligence more thoughtful philosophical inquiries about life’s challenges beauty a better world overpowering love inspiration she crossed the line tonight her ******* are definitely changing

Tucson 666

he decides to shave eighth to quarter inch length salt and pepper beard a.k.a. unshaven look he has worn for years and grow full mustache the whiskers on his upper lip are darker with sparse gray at first no one notices after weeks the mustache gradually fills evoking many contrasting remarks several women loath it several men admire it girl at grocery store suggests he grow Fu Manchu so she can tug on it shopgirl says he looks like Charlie Chaplin downstairs neighbor from Turkey explains most Turkish men traditionally wear mustaches he read mustaches masculinize and empower men especially men in authoritative positions he thinks back to the 1960’s when many hippie males grew mustaches then in the 70’s gay men fashioned mustaches then in the 80’s cops adopted mustaches he wonders why a swatch of hair beneath nose is so provoking examines his visage in mirror discerns the mustache confers a Pepé le Pew quality or European accent to his appearance he remembers when he was young hippie with many amorous episodes how his mustache preserved the scent of a woman but there are no women in his life for many years do post-menopausal women possess scent? he feels indecisive whether to retain it or be rid of it

2

she observes her figure in mirror thinks to herself maybe her ******* are not changing perhaps it’s all in her head she inspects the little lines forming near her eyelids studies her features for signs of aging hardly any silver strands in long brown hair she examines neck ******* arms elbows fingers tummy hips pelvic region thighs knees shins calves ankles feet detects subtle changes thinks to herself my ******* are possibly slightly changing turned 40 in March married briefly in late teens no children a 15 year old dog beginning to suffer veterinarian promises to warn her when the time comes she wonders why it is so difficult finding fitting mate men sleep with her several times then move on maybe she is not such a great lover perhaps she would be better if one of them stuck around perhaps she is a lesbian the whole ide
Terry Collett Jan 2014
Michelle has
just made love
to Nesta

her lover
satiated
she lays back

on the bed
Nesta's head
on her *******

her right hand
on her hip
Michelle feels

all her nerves
tingle hot
electrified

from hair end
to small toes
Nesta breathes

Michelle’s *******
the softness
pink piggies

tiny tails
of brown dugs
recalls wet

hot kisses
body hugs
******

deep probing
warm juices
then she hears

from the hall
her deaf child
from her room

loudly call
and swiftly
leaves the *******

and sweet smells
to rescue
her deaf child

and bring her
back to bed
with Michelle

her lover
who always
gives kisses

all counting
none misses.
its a blue Monday
after Super Sunday
Americas 45th funday
yesterdays spectacle

the dip is done
the broken bones
of buffalo wings
fill giant glad bags

the ridged ripples
of broken Doritos
scattered on the floor
wait for a vacuums hum

dead soldiers rattle
a melodious cascade
the aroma of flat Bud
plunge into recycle bins

ribbed Trojans
dripping bagged ****
rim plastic trash cans
confirm an ****'s frenzy

the game forgotten
commercial reveries remain
seared into the briney mush
of compliant olfactories

collective hallucinations
successfully branded
a new and improved
global consciousness

Madmen Shamans
ebulliently channel
transactional zeitgeists
from the ripped boxes of
Best Buy plasma screens

Monday morning
water cool scuttlebutt
the planet is buzzing about...

Google's cool slap
of IPod clad automatons
the vanquishers of IBM's evil empire
Apple's brave new world is next
("meet the new boss,
same as the old boss?")

we all dug
rolling with Eminem
through the glitzy
streets of Motown

How cool is 8 Mile?
The hoods lookin good
angelic chorus lifts spirits
Swing Low Sweet Chrysler

The artistic types
faun over
the graphic beauty
illustrious aestheticism

moving story line
the epic journey
of the worlds
greatest brand

heroic product marketing pros
rival Jason and the Argonauts
sojourning trans-formative odysseys
of clever packaging and fat tail shelf life

holding precious real estate
of living imaginations
infecting hearts and minds
of future generations

realizing
everything
ends better
with coke

The State Farm Pre-Game
Jimmy Johnson's new coiff
jawed away with his old boss
rattlesnake booted Jerry Jones

A poignant embrace captured in
living color on grand jumbo trons
lording over a cavernous palace
a new stadium for Homeboys

Jimmy J asks Jerry J
"Why you overpaid
for The Boys New
Crib?"

"A billion 4,
a palace for the masses".
Jerry breaks some news
with an impish wink.
"No expense is spared
for the peeps."

"I always make out,
get a good return. I
make a profit. Ain't
America great."

This year Super Bowl
went Hollywood
and installed
a long red carpet.

Mike Strahan, collared
Harrison Ford.
Bagging his greatest sack
on a dazzling red rug.

"How many Super Bowls
is this for you?"
Strahan whistles
through his gaped teeth.

The aging Indiana Jones
came to promote his new flick,
"Cowboys and Aliens"
(I'm told an early Cannes
favorite. And it should be. Spoiler alert,
the movie is a moving story of an American tragedy.
Romo blows another one
throwing an interception in overtime.
The Aliens return it 95 yards for a touchdown.
Boy's lose again. America's Team vanquished by bubble headed Martians.
All of Texas weeps.)

Indy
coolly quips an answer
whipping with sarcasm,
"after today, one."
yuck yuck
lol

Strahan continues
to stalk Ford like a
scrambling quarterback,
"where will you be sitting?"

Ford shrugs
"dunno,
somewhere
up-there,
I guess",
he points to
the lofty
luxury boxes.
Royalty sits
next to God
in Jerry Jones
house of the
people.

Ford dons a green scarf.
He's down with the Pack.
Another sunshine *****
in the seat.

Michael Douglas and Zeta Jones
arrive in time to hear
Keith Urban sing
"Who Wouldn't Want to be Me?"

"He's alive
He's free
Who wouldn't
want to be me?"

Indeed who?

The parade
of heroes
continue.

The walking,talking
little S Corp, LLC's
dance their way
into the stadium
on resplendent
cushions of red.

Terrific brands
all earnestly
questing to
urgently
deliver
messages
to promote
themselves
and plug
shameful
products.

A Black Eye Peas
teaser
blinks onto
my giant
flat screen.

Will I Am
a black man
in a blacker mask
marches down the street
zapping people
with a ray gun.
(fascist culture is so cool, a
little light on liberation,
but **** does he look bad as all get out
in that leather rumble don't **** with me
outfit)

Jamie Foxx on the royal carpet leaks
that he yodeled three tunes
at a pregame party for Jerry's Kids;
T Boone and the Big W among them.

Quick cut
to Jamie's
new movie
Rio.
(I wonder if its
about Mexicano's
crossing the river?)

Wealth
Power
the perfect
image of ourselves
take a pill

I am Limitless
a new movie?
I've seen this one before.
I think I'm watching it now.

Just Go With It
Adam *******,
Jennifer Aniston
Americas sweetheart
teamed with Americas
kosher jokester.

He looks hot
in his droopy
pretend
don't give a ****
orange sweatshirt
and acid washed jeans.

Jennifer's ****, legs
what can you say
about America's sweetheart?
I think Brad Pitt
made a big mistake.

Bill O
is next.
Posturing,
arm wrestles
with the Prez,
shadow boxes
with the Big O.

"Muslim Brotherhoods
Rendition
Mubarack goes off the reservation
knows where the bodies are buried"
***!
***!

(Do we really need a dose of Fox Fear?
Is there no escape from the pernicious harangue?
Don't they know its Super Bowl Sunday?)

Bill O's drive by continues,
"Obamacare,
why do Americans hate you?"
Great journalism by this Fox ****.

Bill O is
haughty,
arrogant,
disrespectful
a despicable bully
and a self serving blow hard.

(My bladder is busting.
Its a great time to take a ****.)

We escape to
the freshness
of Owen Wilson's
smiling face,
playing two hand touch.

His bent nose
shining
he trots about
Jerry's field
carefree as a child.
(Is this a pitch, pass and punt
contest for A Listers?)

Other stars
join the light fun;
goose cheerleaders
give the cabana boys
hand-jobs
and themselves
a well earned blow-job.

Its an **** of photo ops
product placement
a sizzling collection
of dancing brands
prancing on the gridiron
of the New Cowboy field.

Ashton Kutcher
peeks over the shoulder
of a tweeting W.
I'm impressed
W knew
how to use
his thumbs.

Mrs. W's
permanent smile
was clearly visible
from the stadiums
cheapest seats.

Condie sat
way to the right
quietly stewing
lamenting
lost opportunities
of a gig as NFL
Commissioner.

On the stadiums floor
the frenetic dancing
of the
bumping
brands
fast
approaches
ecstatic elation.

Hollywood's version of
Whirling Dervishes; is
immediately stilled
as the solemn portion
of the program
commences.

The Declaration of Independence
is read by a bright galaxy of stars
accompanying armed service personnel
and other diligent American's.

"We hold these truths
to be self evident"

"United colonies
levee war,
dissolve bounds,
our day of allegiance
lives, fortunes and sacred honor
freedom is common sense,
free, equal, united"

CEO's
imprisoned
in Jerry's
luxury boxes
overcome
with
emotion
pound fists
on the glass
smearing
cocktail sauce
on the windows
of the suites.

Illegal
Chicano's
bravely
step forward
with rolls
of Bravo
and Windex
to wipe
it clean.

The focal point
of festivities
seismically
shifts like a
tectonic plate
almost as large
as Jerry's Stadium.

The stampede
of cheers
thunder like
canon shots,
the patriotic
ramparts of
militant
free market
capitalism
supplants the
shallow frivolity
of consumer slavery.

We are
compelled
to kneel
to celebrate a
Eucharist of
nationalism.

My partner explodes,
"Can't watch a football game
and view it for what it is,
a ******* football game."

The Fox
broadcasters
dedicate
this segment
of the show
to our military.

I squirm in my seat.
Sorry,
but the declaration is about
free people in free societies
not militarism.

Next up
dis old cowboy
Sam Elliot.
He knows
how to speak
the language
of real football fans.
Finally, a man of the people.

Sam introduced the cities.
He starts with Pittsburgh.

"Built on steel
a place where
terrible is good
these are the
enduring qualities
of this great American City."

The Steelers
make a timely entrance
onto the floor of the stadium,
as millionaires erupt
shaking their terrible towels.

Sam's
fuax
folkism
for
Fox Sports
continued.

"Green Bay is Title Town
the people never quit.
Crafty veterans are winners
exhorting all to greatness"

Images
of Lombardi's
toothy grin
fills my 72 inch screen.
A visitation by
America's Saint,
the sanctifier
of all competition
anoints the proceeding,
the quest to claim
the trophy named
for the games
very own
Archangel
of the
Gridiron.

The extended gig of
Lombardi's ghost
has haunted America
for over half a century;
has reportedly been seen
stalking the stage
on Broadway.

The anointed
Packers sprint
onto the field and
millionaire cheese heads
taking big bites out of life
erupt in cheers.

My hi def wide screen
made by Sharp reports
Battle of Los Angeles
opens 3/11/11.
The Chicago Code
premiers on Fox
sometime in March.

Walter Payton
Man of The Year Award
is presented
to an NFL Player
watching the game
with the troops
in Iraq.

The millionaires
don't cheer,
but the Fox announcers
are verklempt
overcome with patriotism.

Michelle Lee,
star
of Fox'***** show
Glee,
poses in front of a
sanitized choir
in blue uniforms to sing
America the Beautiful.

The beautiful song
is but an opening act
for the musical centerpiece
Star Spangled Banner.

The cameras cut
to a smiling W.
He can't get into Switzerland
but ******, he won't be turned out
of JJ's OK Corral.

Christina Aguilera
takes center stage.
She mounts
the silver football
crowning the
Holy Logo of the NFL
to sing the hallowed
Star Spangled Banner.

She fumbles her lines!
She forgot the rockets red glare!
The Steelers are crying.
The Packers are angry.
Ice melts from the stadiums roof.
The foundations of Jerry Jones
new stadium shakes.

A fly over of 4 fighters in formation
appears to be unaffected by the flub.
The planes do not crash.
They stay in formation.

The pilots spare Christina
a strafing and drone strike.
The republic remains
secure for now.

An unfamiliar announcer
addresses TV land.
He offers an apology to the fans
who cannot be seated.

The fire marshals
have revoked
Jerry's seating plan.
Greed got the better
of this man of the people.
Cowboy Stadium
is overbooked!

What is happening?
Is this America?
An ATT commercial
arrives just in time.

ATT has a new plan for America.
They encourage us to live social
with the new ATT AG.
Free market solutions
always work best.

Michael Douglas
reads another
patriotic exhortation.

"United we,
see the journey
of Acme Packers
as our journey."

"We see the resolve
of US Steel
as our resolve.
Big dreams
believe the best
journeys are
celebrated together."
(I'm down with that.
Whats good for Jerry Jones
is still good for me.
Right On! Check this stadium.
Power to the people!
It may not apply to the people who
will not be seated but tough nuggies.
This is America ******. Everybody
can't be seated at the table.
Even if they paid for their seat.
This ain't Red China.)

Neon Dion and other inductees
into the Football Hall of Fame
tosses the coin.
Steelers' call tails.
Heads it is.

At half time
The Black Eyed Peas
descend from
an upper Valhalla.

Still attired in
black fascist threads
The Righteous Peas
start wailing as
white metallic minions
dressed as
Imperial Storm Troopers
gallop to surround
their idols.

Precise formations
goose steppin bops
choreographic steps
the visceral *****
perfect counter-point
to swabbles of wiggling Peas.

Slash,
Guns and Roses
guitar hero
gunslinger
strode on stage
winging
this gal of mine
in choreographed
unison with
the leggy
Fergie.

Pumping it louder
the spectacle incites
the dancing
Imperial minions
quick steppin
and fetchin it
as Usher descends
in white unison
to leap and dance
over nasty
black peas.

The Gods
are descending
upon us.
Their words
have become
flesh.

The BEP's bleat
"kids are dying
wheres the love?"
Art does mirror life.

The neon hearts
of cheap
glow sticks
light up
the time
of our lives.

We are
cubed box heads
happily dancing along
the 50 yard line
answering China's
resounding drum
of frantic proletarians
bashing away
neocolonial disgrace
during the opening
ceremony of the worlds
greatest Olympian
display of
the pounding will
of an emerging nation
arriving on the world stage
with urgent insistence.

In America
we party on
every night
swiping
revoked
credit cards
for express lane
exits at the
local Walmart.

We are proud
highly personal
bar codes!

We refuse to be
marked down and flung
into discount bins at a
Tupelo Dollar Store.

Our light of life
flashes across screens
directing the trading pits
at the Chicago Board of Trade.

Each Super Bowl Sunday
souper bowl beggars
collect canned soup
for hungry Americans
at the local Shop and Drop

begging for larmen
boxes of Kraft
freeze dried noodles
and cans of Progresso
the feast of kings

A triumph
of the
Will I Am
BOOM BOOM
Says
Will I Am

I finish my bag of
Cool Ranch Doritos
and lick my partners
fingers clean.

Music Selection
Steve Miller,
Livin in the USA


2/7/11
Oakland
jbm
(WIP)
Jack Aylward Aug 2015
She lay next to me.
Her hair like sand
As it sifts through my hand.
The perfumes of her hair
Are coming from the sea
Out there;
Out there where the sun
Burns its ****** flame
And settles to rise
In the oceans of Michelle's eyes.
Undone
With lace and pearls she plays her little game
Teasing and taunting me with the beauty
Of her body; she embraces me with kisses as waves copulate on the sea.

©Jack Aylward
He woke this morning
Another night of her dreams

He glanced into the mirror
She’s not real it seems

Society unknowingly accepts
The image presented
Unaware of the damage
Being self-inflicted

He hides her for fear of rejection
She battles for her reflection.
______

Michelle Renee Milford
Nov. 2014
I was blessed to have this poem chosen by T.E.N.T. (Transgender Education Network Texas) for the Austin, Texas 2014 Transgender Day of Remembrance ceremony at City Hall. :) :) :)
Travis Green Jan 2019
The way she struts through the cityscape
amazes me in the brilliant ways, her
fashion style and sophistication is beyond
its time, seamless stances and elegant
smiles, she is a dazzling diamond inspiring
the various people around the world.
She is a beautiful mother of two wonderful
kids, Malia and Sasha.  She is a magnificent
wife and a blossoming rose rising in the
iridescent light.  She is married to the
distinguished gentleman, Barack Obama,
who is truly an inspiration to the masses.  She
is a very smart and intelligent woman who knows
her worth and what to stand for.  The way she
utilizes her words is gloriously breathtaking.
She has a bright personality and a stunning face,
a rhythm of great taste, remarkable depth and
a Courageous role model.  She is full of vivacity
and compassion, strength and sincerity, the worlds
First Lady to enter the White House.  She is the
astonishing author of the outstanding book entitled,
Becoming.  She is the extraordinary Michelle Obama,
who was born in Chicago and rose to the top.
tangshunzi Jul 2014
Una cosa so per certo : quando una squadra di talento di fornitori si riunisce per una giornata di ispirazione .è un magico .cosa magica .Pensate Angela Roy Newton .Michelle Lange ed Eventi ( + molti.molti di più ) di tutte le forze che uniscono Kat Eitner per realizzare una giornata in stile boho di abbastanza .E 'un ambiente lussureggiante soddisfa tutte le cose impressionante e si può vedere ogni all'ultimo momento stupendo proprio qui in piena galleria .


E un film dolce da Nayeem Vohra Films .Si prega di aggiornare il tuo

browserColorsSeasonsSummerSettingsInnStylesBohemianRomantic Da Michelle Lange .Come fotografo .uno dei nostri compiti è abiti da sposa 2014 quello di essere un passo avanti a tutti gli altri.I nostri clienti sono i palpiti delle nostre imprese .e le decisioni e le azioni relative alla funzione di quelle imprese dovrebbero sempre tenere a mente che il battito cardiaco .Fin dall'inizio della mia attività .** avuto un molto dettagliato piano ' se qualcosa mai accaduto ' .Entrambi i miei genitori .mio marito hanno il piano dettagliato .Alcuni dei miei amici fotografi più vicini sono consapevoli del fatto che essi sono elencati come i contatti .Mai in un milione di anni avrei pensato che questo piano avrebbe dovuto entrare in vigore .ma il giorno prima di questa ripresa ispirazione ( mesi previsti in anticipo) .lo ha fatto .E il mio cuore le imprese non saltare un po ' .Credo davvero che una forza superiore mi ha fatto richiede una appendicectomia d'emergenza in un momento in cui ** avuto una pausa nella stagione dei matrimoni .La cosa più importante .è che venendo a contatto con ciò che è descritto nel mio piano .come un backup fotografo di emergenza .Angela Roy Newton intensificato al piatto per fotografare questa ispirazione ripresa ero così entusiasta per mesi.Questo la dice lunga su quelli di carattere e l'industria nel suo complesso .L'industria del matrimonio .mentre competitivo.è guidata da persone che amano l'amore e credono nel lavoro di squadra .Mentre spero di avere mai mettere questo piano di emergenza in vigore di nuovo .mi conforta sapere di quale grande industria sono una parte di .

Da Kat Eitner Eventi .Questa ripresa ispirazione sviluppato da una visione di elementi bohemien



e nido d'ape .I mobili antichi nera da Trunk Vintage vacanze erano lo sfondo perfetto per i pops di corallo a Karma tavolo Fiori e design bouquet.Mostra arresto Marchesa e Reem Acra abiti di Elizabeth Giovanni.trapuntata runner e non convenzionale bella tavola disegno floreale aggiunti elementi di Boemia.Speriamo di abiti da sposa 2014 ispirare le coppie di incorporare accattivanti elementi.come il nido d'ape o pop di colore .tutto il loro grande giorno .Fotografia
: Angela Roy Newton | Fotografia : Michelle Lange | Fotografia: Nayeem Vohra Films | Pianificazione : Kat Eitner Eventi | Cake: Cake Fiction | Inviti : Poco signorina signora | Abiti da sposa : Elizabeth Giovanni | Lavagna Arte: Chalk It UpTo Love | Fiori \u0026 Event design: Karma Flowers | capelli: StylesOnB | Località : Raritan Inn | Trucco : Nicole Makeup Artistry Sievers | vestiti da sposa Favors Profumo : Anthropologie | Noleggio Mobili Vintage: Affitto Trunk VintageElizabeth Johns e Angela Roy Newton Fotografia sono membri del nostro Little Black Book .Scopri come i membri sono scelti visitando la nostra pagina delle FAQ .Elizabeth Johns vedi portfolio Angela Roy Newton Fotografia VIEW
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Bohemian Inspiration Spara_abiti da sposa on line
Morissa Schwartz Jul 2014
1

I sit in the back of Dad’s car, bopping my head to The Beatles’ Revolution and hum quietly while reading over my notes for today’s math test.

2

Lunch with Val, Eugene, Michelle, Kayla, Chris, and Nick, talking about our favorite movie, Forrest Gump, until Val interrupts with how nervous she is about applying to high school.  We finish lunch in silence.

3

Let f(x) = -2X2 + 4X + 6…That is the question that has plagued me all day.  On my math test, I made the answer positive instead of negative, the minor mistake that will cost me my A.

4

On this beautiful, unseasonably warm afternoon, I am glad to be outside reading my favorite Matheson stories on the wooden cutout in the giant oak by the dining room window, but worries that I may not be accepted to The Academy interrupt my leisure.

5

For Christmas, my friends and I exchange gifts.  Val gives me a stuffed flamingo. I put right it right next to the unicorn on the lace covered brown bench that oversees my room.

6

We have received your application for admission testing to The Academy for Allied Health and Biomedical Sciences. Your test will be on January 28, 2008.

7

In gym class, Val holds her hand as if she is in pain, but she refuses to show it to anyone, not even me, her best friend.

8

Val has a circular scar on her hand that looks like a burn mark.  She insists that she is just clumsy and she fell.

9

This kid next to me at The Academy admission testing is breathing so loudly I can’t concentrate.

10



I glide my paintbrush through the orange paint and onto the canvas.  I don’t know what I’m painting, but I know I need to paint.

11

Math class is miserable.  Not only did I get an 86 on the test that I thought I aced, but Val started crying hysterically, until Ms. Endolf sent her to the school counselor.

12

Michelle and Kayla are mad at Val for acting so strangely.  They refuse to speak to our friend.  I refuse to join their charade.  I know she’s acting strangely for a reason.

13

I come home to find my mother crying…happy tears.  She tells me that I passed my admission test with a proud ear-to-ear grin on her face. The next step in the admission process is an interview with The Academy on March 1.

14

I bead a few bracelets before going to sleep.  I feel guilty, like I should be studying or preparing for my interview, but I just don’t want to.

15

Val pulls me into the coat cubby during homeroom, the dark circles under her eyes barely visible from the faint light in the  dimly lit room.  She tells me how her father has abused her and her sisters this past year and swears me to secrecy

16

How can I help my best friend and her sisters? Can I help my best friend and her sisters?  Can I help my best friend?

17

I go to the veteran’s home where I’d been volunteering for a while and see my favorite veteran, Ray.  He tells me not to get old.

18

“Why do you want to go to The Academy?”  Ms. Ferris, my Academy interviewer, asks.  I stare at her blankly for a moment before responding.

19

When Val comes to school with more bruises, I break my promise and tell my parents.

20

I slowly open my report card to reveal a B in math…my first B ever.  I take a puff of my inhaler.

21

The old home phone rings; I assume it will be the Academy with an admission decision. “Help me, Morissa!”  Val screams into the phone.  I gesture to my mother who grabs the car keys, as we race to the door.

22

Spring break.  My family and I go to Hershey Park in Pennsylvania to celebrate my being one of forty students admitted to The Academy.

23

DYFS goes to Val’s house after her older sister tries to commit suicide by overdosing on pain pills.

24

Lunch is so quiet with Eugene, Michelle, Kayla, Chris, and Nick.

25

I got an 84 on my math test today.  I smile.

26

Val returns to school but sits at a different lunch table.  She has no more bruises, but her eyes are still red.

27

My gown flows as I march down the church aisle to receive my certificate of completion from St. John Vianney.

28

I stare at the screen of the my new HP computer as I scratch the back of the $15 iTunes card my grandparents gifted to me. As I begin to type in OKGO’s Here It Goes Again, as the first song I purchase, I change my mind and type in The Beatles’ Revolution.

29

I relax outside alternating between reading Stephen King and beading on my twirling chair as I now do every relaxing summer day.

30

Went to the shore.  Won a giant yellow bee stuffed animal.  I am the skeeball champion!

31

This is so embarrassing.  I don’t know how to open my locker.  In all my years of private school, home school, and Catholic school, I’ve never had a locker until entering The Academy.  Mrs. Bow laughs as she teaches me how to operate a locker.

32

Holding a brain is a lot different than I thought it would be.  It is mushier and lighter than I imagined.

33

“Ever see Forrest Gump?” my new friend, Ruchir, asks at lunch, as I mush the jelly on my sandwich.

34

I walk down the street pulling my ****-tzu and Maltese in my wagon.  Lester almost jumps out when he sees a terrier twice his size, but I catch him just in time.  It is the scariest moment I have had in a long time.

35

At the veteran’s home, I see Ray and tell him how much I love The Academy.  He smiles and asks if I’d like to sing with him.

36

The phone rings.  It’s my new friend Shannon.  She needs help with our Biomedical Sciences homework.

37

I spend Columbus Day at The Carpet Maven, my parent’s carpet store.  St. John Vianney never gave days off for “made up holidays.”

38

Solve for x in the equation Ln(x)=8…I haven’t been able to get that problem out of my head all day.  That is the problem that earned me the Best in Class Award on my first marking period report card.

39

It’s Sunday.  I walk down Main Street to pick up bagels for my family.  The smiley, bright-eyed girl behind the counter at the bagel shop is Val.  She is a student at Mother Superior High School. She asks if my unicorn is being nice to my flamingo.

40

I look at the flamingo and unicorn on my bench.  They’re fine. I’m okay.  Everybody ‘s alright.   Everything’s good.
This poem reflects the struggles of transitioning from middle school to high school.
Joshua Haines Nov 2014
Dear reader,


It won't be long before they electrocute the trees with candy colored Christmas lights. Soon everything will be gone: memories, glances, the year. Every thing will dissolve into nostalgia and our lives will become more patchwork and less hopeful. Soul-crushingly sweet our smiles will be, as we watch that disguised meteorite crash into our existence.

Her name was Reno. Her dad joked he named her so because she was the result of a gamble gone wrong.

I could see the stitching around her eyes start to falter, as tears slipped out like a young nineteen year-old girl, running out of the back of a double-wide. Away. Away from it all. Leaving her father, the mechanic who could only fix things with his hands. Running through a field as shimmering as her nails, touching the tall grass with her short fingers.

"I'm not trailer trash," she said, "I've just had it rough."

Reno could see things others couldn't see. Frequently she painted wrecked cars, and I asked why, to which she explained, "Some accidents are allowed to be beautiful."

I fell for her the way her jaw drops after one of my inappropriate jokes: quickly and with such joy.

She had the same answer to when I asked if she liked movies and if she missed her mom.

"Of course I do, Josh," she looked at me and smiled, "Hey buck, have you ever seen True Romance?"

A woman after my own heart.

We watched Christian Slater shoot Drexl, and, like a bullet to the chest, she placed her hand over my heart.

"My, oh my, are you sure that rib cage is big enough for that thing, Mr. Haines?"

She looked a little like Patricia Arquette, but identical to Michelle Williams.

"Are you aware that you look like Michelle Williams?"

Reno ran her hands up my legs, across my torso, and held her hands at my jaw,"Are you aware of how good of a person you are, John Mayer?"

"Ah, yeah. I've gotten that since high school."

She smiled, looked down and up at me,"No, the part about you being a good person? ...You're the drawing on my wall."

I didn't know what that meant.

"I had this drawing-so terrible-it was of the sunset on our hill in Welling Valley," she looked into me and down, while smiling,"Anyway, the sun would kiss the grass every evening, and one day I thought I'd draw it and keep it in my room. When every thing got ugly with my daddy's drinking, and when he beat me something awful, I wanted something to remind me that the light sometimes goes away but will always be back another day. You're my light, Josh. You're the next day after nineteen years of cussing and drinking."

We made love on my bed, as, through the window, the sun bathed our bodies. Her body was a sculpture and her voice was as soft as her lips. I was terrified.

Pulling her hair back, she stood at the foot of my bed, naked,"Are you scared of little ole' me? You look as white as a ghost."

"No, I've never felt so alive... You're so ******* beautiful."

Reno and I lain in bed while Parks and Rec played on the television. Her index and ******* walked across my chest and stopped as she asked, "Josh, have you ever been in love?"

I touched my fingers on hers, studying them with my eyes, and then I looked at her, "Yes, once."

"What was it like?"

I thought I'd feel pain but instead I smiled, "Fantastic, fleeting, and always a little out of reach."

She cooed, "I can't wait until I think I love you like nobody else."

"Me too."



Sincerely,


Joshua Haines
Francie Lynch Dec 2014
Once upon a time
It was unique to see
The President or First Lady
On TV.
Now, Michelle
Does push-ups on Degeneres,
And Barack
Does stand-up on Colbert.
Oh Camelot,
We miss thee.
One Canadian's perspective.
brian has a knife to his neck



today is a horrible day for brian, well, not that horrible, well he went to

the baseball, with cath and michelle from his work, and they all went for

the local team which was the canberra cavalry, and every time the cavalry

scored a home run, brian, cath and michelle would cheer very loudly,

cavalry clap clap clap, cavalry clap clap clap, cavalry clap clap clap

and the cavalry didn’t disappoint their supporters in this match, and

then the hit a beautiful home run and cath caught it, what a absolute whopper

and she said, that she will give it to her 12 year old son, and then daniel sat near

brian and said you are too woosey to be a man like this, how about we leave now

so i can hold a knife to your neck, i don’t want to harm you, i just want to have

a piece of you with each of us, brian said, no, i am watching the baseball, can’t

you understand this, and daniel said, no, i can’t understand why you can’t come

with me, you are too woosey to be a family person anyway, buddy, and brian just sat there

and then young micheal sat next to brian, and he had a little pocket knife, with him

and mate, he was very inexperienced with knives, like he often put a knife at people’s

necks, as if it was a special game or something, and after the game was over, brian

said goodbye to cath and michelle and ran off towards the bus, and daniel followed him

with his pocket knife, if brian stopped, the knife would go straight through his neck, and

as usual, brian was scared that daniel was going to **** him, and ran home saying

leave me alone leave me alone, i am a cool kid, i went out with people from my work

and i don’t deserve what you are doing to me, and brian got home and locked his door

and daniel yelled through his door, saying open up little woosey, you aren’t like the adults,

open up little woosey, you aren’t like adults, and brian went to bed, and the next morning

brian got up and went to work and micheal was in the front, playing with his pocket knife

while daniel was in the back, playing with his pocket knife, and brian hates the idea

of dying, but every time daniel picked up his pocket knife, he would hold it to brian’s neck and

say, come on little woosey, allow me to stab you, man, allow me to stab you, and brian’s mate

from 1989  was screaming through houses,,saying shut up, every time brian tried to be a family

person, despite not really meaning to do that, he just did that to make the other young dudes to like him

and brian massaged nicheals neck, and micheal said, stop it, or i will get this knife, and put it right to

your neck and then daniel jumped into the back seat and said, come on little woosey, except me

as i am holding this knife to ya, i want to scare you off from being a family person, cause youy

are too woosey to be a family person anyway, brian, and daniel picked up the pocket knife and

said, i will stab you woosey, brian said, i am a famous family person, and daniel said, yeah, a

family person to a ****, yeah and famous only to your mothers eyes, only, if you try and be like us, brian

i will get this knife and stab you in the neck, cause you are a little trouble making woosey, and

brian said, leave me alone, i am reformed, i haven’t done a crime for years, and this person

said, no you are not reformed buddy, be like us buddy, your not reformed brian, brian said

i am reformed, it’s daniel and micheal that need to be reformed, and you need to be reformed

too, and then daniel held a knife to brian’s neck and said you ain’t a man, your too woosey

to be a man, your not reformed brian, and brian said, i am so reformed, i don’t need this

awful treatment i am getting from you, you see micheal was playing with his pocket knife

he looked like bart simpson, and daniel kept on holding the knife to brian’s head saying

no your not, you ain’t reformed, buddy, you are a little woosey, and brian screamed out

I AM NOT A LITTLE WOOSEY, I AM FAMILY PERSON, WOULD YOU STOP TREATING ME

LIKE A HOOLIGAN, I HATE HAVING A POCKET KNIFE TO MY HEAD, IT’S NOT A FUCKEN PRISON

brian was horrified that daniel was going to **** him, and micheal wasn’t that gentle with his pocket knife either

and brian said, it’s not a prison, and then said, please don’t treat me like a little woosey, for i am a family person

and then brian jumped out of the window, saying, I AM REFORMED, please leave me the **** alone, and

then brian took off through the paddock, back to his house, and never saw daniel and micheal again,

good riddens to bad ******* thought brian, as brian sat in his house watching foxtel thinking about how stupid micheal and

daniel are, the end
Jude kyrie Dec 2015
Losing Michelle
A Poem
By
Jude Kyrie

*I found you in the sunshine
On an island painted white
You looked once in a lifetime
You took me home that night.

It was in a field of jasmine
Its fragrance in our head
I forgot all that had been
When you took me to your bed

All I did was breathe you
As I filled you in my lungs
But I always needed something new
When I was almost young

You gave me back my freedom
But I wore it like a shroud
You gave me stormy grey skies
When I needed just a cloud

You tell me not to worry
You will always be my home
it doesn't bring me comfort
I feel so ****** alone

You tell me you've  moved on now
And once more changed your name
I look up to the heavens.
And wash my tears in falling rain.

I know it was all my fault
You were all thats good Michelle
You deserve your happy life
And I deserve my hell.
inspired by l Cohen works
Jenneve Micaela Mar 2014
Gender is just an invention by society
I'm a strong independent black woman and I don't need no man
Oprah
Michelle Obama
Yoga Pants
Hilary Clinton
Breast Milk
LJW Feb 2014
I've given poetry readings where less than a handful of people were present. It's a humbling experience. It’s also a deeply familiar experience.

"Poetry is useless," poet Geoffrey ****** said in a 2013 interview, "but it is useless the way the soul is useless—it is unnecessary, but we would not be what we are without it."

I was raised a Roman Catholic, and though I don’t go to Mass regularly anymore, I still remember early mornings during Advent when I went to liturgies at my parochial school. It was part of my offering—the sacrifice I made to honor the impending birth of the Savior—along with giving up candy at Lent. So few people attended at that hour that the priest turned on only a few lights near the altar. Approaching the front of the church, my plastic book bag rustling against my winter coat, I felt as if I were nearing the seashore at sunrise: the silhouettes of old widows on their kneelers at low tide, waiting for the priest to come in, starting the ritual in plain, unsung vernacular. No organist to blast us into reverence. No procession.

Every day, all over the world, these sparsely attended ceremonies still happen. Masses are said. Poetry is read. Poems are written on screens and scraps of paper. When I retire for the day, I move into a meditative, solitary, poetic space. These are the central filaments burning through my life, and the longer I live, the more they seem to be fused together.

Poetry is marginal, thankless, untethered from fame and fortune; it's also gut level, urgent, private yet yearning for connection. In all these ways, it's like prayer for me. I’m a not-quite-lapsed Catholic with Zen leanings, but I’ll always pray—and I’ll always write poems. Writing hasn’t brought me the Poetry Jackpot I once pursued, but it draws on the same inner wiring that flickers when I pray.        

• • •

In the 2012 collection A God in the House: Poets Talk About Faith, nineteen contemporary American poets, from Buddhist to Wiccan to Christian, discuss how their artistic and spiritual lives inform one another. Kazim Ali, who was raised a Shia Muslim, observes in his essay “Doubt and Seeking”:

[Prayer is] speaking to someone you know is not going to be able to speak back, so you're allowed to be the most honest that you can be. In prayer you're allowed to be as purely selfish as you like. You can ask for something completely irrational. I have written that prayer is a form of panic, because in prayer you don't really think you're going to be answered. You'll either get what you want or you won't.

You could replace the word "prayer" with "poetry" with little or no loss of meaning. I'd even go so far as to say that submitting my work to a journal often feels like this, too. Sometimes, when I get an answer in the form of an acceptance, I'm stunned.

"I never think of a possible God reading my poems, although the gods used to love the arts,” writes ***** Howe in her essay "Footsteps over Ground." She adds:

Poetry could be spoken into a well, of course, and drop like a penny into the black water. Sometimes I think that there is a heaven for poems and novels and music and dance and paintings, but they might only be hard-worked sparks off a great mill, which may add up to a whole-cloth in the infinite.

And here, you could easily replace the word "poetry" with "prayer." The penny falling to the bottom of a well is more often what we experience. But both poetry and prayer are things humans have learned to do in order to go on. Doubt is a given, but we do get to choose what it is we doubt.

A God in the House Book Cover
Quite a few authors in A God in the House (Howe, Gerald Stern, Jane Hirschfield, Christian Wiman) invoke the spiritual writing of Simone Weil, including her assertion that "absolutely unmixed attention is prayer." This sounds like the Zen concept of mindfulness. And it broadens the possibility for poetry as prayer, regardless of content, since writing poetry is an act of acute mindfulness. We mostly use words in the practical world to persuade or communicate, but prayers in various religious traditions can be lamentations of great sorrow. Help me, save me, take this pain away—I am in agony. In a church or a temple or a mosque, such prayerful lamentation is viewed as a form of expression for its own good, even when it doesn't lead immediately to a change of emotional state.

Perhaps the unmixed attention Weil wrote of is a unity of intention and utterance that’s far too rare in our own lives. We seldom match what we think or feel with what we actually say. When it happens spontaneously in poetry or prayer—Allen Ginsberg's "First thought, best thought" ideal —it feels like a miracle, as do all the moments when I manage to get out of my own way as a poet.

Many people who pray don’t envision a clear image of whom or what they’re praying to. But poets often have some sense of their potential readers. There are authorities whose approval I've tried to win or simply people I've tried to please: teachers, fellow writers, editors, contest judges—even my uncle, who actually reads my poems when they appear in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where he used to work.

And yet, my most immersed writing is not done with those real faces in mind. I write to the same general entity to which I pray. It's as if the dome of my skull extends to the ceiling of the room I'm in, then to the dome of the sky and outward. It’s like the musings I had as a child lying awake at night, when my imagination took me to the farthest reaches of the galaxy. But then I emerge from this wide-open state and begin thinking about possible readers—and the faces appear.

This might also be where the magic ends.

• • •

I write poetry because it’s what I do, just as frogs croak and mathematicians ponder numbers. Poetry draws on something in me that has persisted over time, even as I’ve distracted myself with other goals, demands, and purposes; even as I’ve been forced by circumstance to strip writing poetry of certain expectations.

"Life on a Lily Pad" © Michelle Tribe
"Life on a Lily Pad"
© Michelle Tribe
At 21, I was sure I’d publish my first book before I was 25. I’m past my forties now and have yet to find a publisher for a book-length collection, though I've published more than a hundred individual poems and two chapbooks. So, if a “real” book is the equivalent of receiving indisputable evidence that your prayers are being answered, I’m still waiting.

It hasn’t been easy to shed the bitter urgency I’ve felt on learning that one of my manuscripts was a finalist in this or that contest, but was not the winner. Writing in order to attain external success can be as tainted and brittle as saying a prayer that, in truth, is more like a command: (Please), God, let me get through this difficulty (or else)—

Or else what? It’s a false threat, if there’s little else left to do but pray. When my partner is in the ICU, his lungs full of fluid backed up from a defective aortic valve; when my nephew is deployed to Afghanistan; when an ex is drowning in his addiction; when I hit a dead end in my job and don’t think I can do it one more day—every effort to imagine that these things might be gotten through is a kind of prayer that helps me weather a life over which I have little control.

Repeated disappointment in my quest to hit the Poetry Jackpot has taught me to recast the jackpot in the lowercase—locating it not in the outcome but in the act of writing itself, sorting out the healthy from the unhealthy intentions for doing it. Of course, this shift in perspective was not as neat as the preceding sentence makes it seem. There were years of thrashing about, of turning over stones and even throwing them, then moments of exhaustion when I just barely heard the message from within:

This is too fragile and fraught to be something that guides your whole life.

I didn't hear those words, exactly—and this is important. For decades, I’ve made my living as a writer. But I can't manipulate or edit total gut realizations. I can throw words at them, but it would be like shaking a water bottle at a forest fire; at best, I can chase the feeling with metaphors: It's like this—no, like this—or like this.

So, odd as this sounds for a poet, I now seek wordlessness. When I meditate, I intercept hundreds of times the impulse to shape a perception into words. Reduced to basics, the challenge facing any writer is knowing what to say—and what not to.

• • •

To read or listen to poetry requires unmixed attention just as writing it does. And when a poem is read aloud, there's a communal, at times ritualistic, element that can make a reading feel like collective prayer, even if there are only a few listeners in the audience or I’m listening by myself.

"Allen Ginsberg" © MDCArchives
Allen Ginsberg
© MDCArchives
When I want to feel moved and enlarged, all I have to do is play Patti Smith's rendition of Ginsberg's "Footnote to Howl." His long list poem from 1955 gathers people, places, objects, and abstractions onto a single exuberant altar. It’s certainly a prayer, one that opens this way:

Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy!

The world is holy! The soul is holy! The skin is holy! The nose is holy! The tongue and **** and hand and ******* holy!

Everything is holy! everybody’s holy! everywhere is holy! everyday is in eternity! Everyman’s an angel!

Some parts of Ginsberg's list ("forgiveness! charity! faith! bodies! suffering! magnanimity!") belong in any conventional catalogue of what a prayer celebrates as sacred. Other profane elements ("the ***** of the grandfathers of Kansas!") gain admission because they are swept up into his ritualistic roll call.

I can easily parody Ginsberg's litany: Holy the Dairy Queen, holy the barns of the Amish where cheese is releasing its ambitious stench, holy the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Internet. But reading the poem aloud feels to me the way putting on ritual garments must to a shaman or rabbi or priest. Watching Patti Smith perform the poem (various versions are available on YouTube), I get shivers seeing how it transforms her, and it's clear why she titled her treatment of the poem "Spell."

A parody can't do that. It can't manifest as the palpable unity of intention and utterance. It can't do what Emily Dickinson famously said that poetry did to her:

If I read a book [and] it makes my whole body so cold no fire ever can warm me I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only [ways] I know it. Is there any other way.

Like the process of prayer—to God, to a better and bigger self, to the atmosphere—writing can be a step toward unifying heart, mind, body, universe. Ginsberg's frenzied catalogue ends on "brilliant intelligent kindness of the soul"; Eliot's The Waste Land on "shantih," or "the peace that surpasseth understanding." Neither bang nor whimper, endings like these are at once humble and tenacious. They say "Amen" and step aside so that a greater wordlessness can work its magic.
From the website http://talkingwriting.com/poetry-prayer
judy smith Apr 2015
Getting the fashion industry excited about an event is no plum task. And yet season after season, Anna Sui does it with her thoughtful and fun runway shows. Blame it on her ability to transport her audiences deep into her world full of references that range from Pre-Raphaelites to Diaghilev to disco. (Of course, the retro soundtracks and top models don’t hurt, either.)

Lately, Sui’s been sharing her passion for fashion history with a wider audience by taking on many collabs, the latest of which is with O’Neill, in stores now. Just in time for summer, the designer crafted a selection of swimwear and cover-ups that echo the bohemian mood of her main collection but also target a new kind of customer. We caught up with Sui at her Soho store to reflect on her career, her favorite muses, and texting with Anita Pallenberg.

You’ve been doing more collaborations in general lately—why is it important to you to diversify into these arenas?

Well, there are certain limitations that we have as far as production for what we’re able to do. A great way to overcome that is to work with somebody who has the expertise in that product. So working with Frye, they make the coolest, sturdiest boot that you can imagine, and so I think this is my third time collaborating with them. They’re just dreams to work with. It takes you to another place. And also you learn so much, because we’re so limited as far as resources now that it opens up new avenues. I did the same with the Coach bags and with the luggage with Tumi and now this collection with O’Neill.

How did you get involved with O’Neill?

Our sales manager knew somebody at O’Neill, and she started thinking that it would be such a great pair-up between O’Neill and Anna Sui because O’Neill is very much our girl. They’re very print-oriented and known for their surfer style, but we wanted to incorporate our bohemian style with it. I think that we’ve blended it so well. The clothes are just so dreamy; we were all just oohing and ahhing over these lace pieces.

That perfect white lace dress is a very necessary summer item.

It’s so true. I remember one summer I was looking at Naomi [Campbell] pictures on a yacht on Daily Mail or something, and every day she had the most beautiful, little white baby-doll dress. I thought, Where did she find all those?! But she can just zero in on something, too. That’s always been my dream, to have all those gorgeous white baby-doll dresses.

You have the best references season after season—who was the beachy surfer girl that you looked to for this collab?

We wanted to capture that true bohemian feeling of the ladies of Laurel Canyon: Joni Mitchell, Michelle Phillips, all those girls you put pictures on the wall and are like, “I hope I grow up and look like this.” So what we tried to capture was that dream.

I think fashion in general is really swinging toward the Anna Sui vibe, very bohemian.

It’s exciting. It’s kind of like a new beginning again. We’ve had so much reaction from all the stores and press—it’s like when I first started. It’s got that same feeling. It’s wonderful.

How do you define who your customer is and continue to change and grow with her over the years?

I think that somewhere I never grew up, and it’s still that same dream as when I was looking at the pictures of Michelle Phillips. It’s still always that same thing, and no matter where I go with the collection, Vikings or Pre-Raphaelites, there’s still that bohemian girl there. That was always my ideal. As much as I try to veer away from it, there are always a couple of those Michelle Phillips and Joni Mitchells in the collection. Through every collection you can find them.

So what’s the secret to staying young forever then?

I think loving what you do. You can’t ask for more. This is what I wanted to do since I was 4 years old, and just the fact that I’m able to do it and do it globally—I work in Japan and I work in Europe and I work in New York—it’s kind of a dream. It’s a lot of hard work and I’m very, very dedicated to it. I do a lot of sacrificing of other things, but it’s what I’ve always wanted.

As someone who’s been in the business for so long, how do you stay inspired and not get worn out or jaded?

One of the things that I love the most is research—learning new things and exploring new things. That’s what I do when I work on a collection: I find something that sparks my interest and then I’m obsessed with and I just go into it. It’s like going into the rabbit hole. Then all of a sudden you find out all these other things because one thing leads to another. Like when I did the Ballets Russes collection [Fall 2011], I saw that beautiful Diaghilev exhibit at the V&A; and I thought, OK, now I can be inspired by those Léon Bakst drawings. I remember one of the Ormsby Gore sisters was telling me that the way they started wearing vintage was because of a sale of the Ballets Russes costumes in, like, 1968. They couldn’t afford the principal costumes, but they could afford the costumes of the Sugar Plum Fairies, all these crushed velvets. So they started wearing them on the street, and all of a sudden the Beatles and the Stones and everybody else started following what they were doing. Well, don’t you know, in the Diaghilev exhibit, there was a film of that auction. I was just like, “Oh, my God.” That’s what sparked that whole thing where everyone was looking romantic and medieval. I love finding that connection. That makes my day—that makes my season when I find that out.

Do you feel like it’s harder or easier today to communicate that to your customer? I feel like with the pressures to make Instagrammable moments, it’s become very hard to get people excited about the history of fashion.

There are so many levels in what I do. Somebody like Tim [Blanks] will get the really intricate things, but then the obvious things will be the things that people talk about the most. I always try to bring it all back, make it current, and tie it in to something that’s happening in our pop culture, like the Viking thing. It’s really true—I was watching [the History channel TV series] and I got that idea. It wasn’t an intellectual idea, but that’s really how it happened. I think that you have to put it on different levels.

Is there one specific era or muse you feel like is the most Anna Sui?

My biggest idols are Anita Pallenberg and Keith Richards. So at the end of the day, it’s always like: Is there something that Anita would wear? Is there something that Keith would wear? Is it cool enough for them? And then I usually send Anita an image and say, “This is the outfit that I did for you.”Read more here:marieaustralia.com | www.marieaustralia.com/evening-dresses
David Ehrgott Jul 2015
Gothic on the sidewalk
lying in Graffiti
girl in a suntan
leaning 'gainst a tree
in Bikini

girl in blue jeans
dancing down the steps
pretty blue bikini
lying on the beach

***** on a railtrack
Making kissie-fish face
evening moods abound in leather
and in shades of tiffany [red]

a seaworthy lassie
Warning ***** words
looks like it's bedtime
six point five of her

******* a bear rug
Who is behind the mask?
Posing for perfection
Eyes that smile back

Serious posing
Oh No!  Modeling
runaway train strong
fairy-tale Queen

Babe on the beach
Looking so sweet
Look at her at sunset
What a treat

— The End —