Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Nadia Aug 2019
In a moment of defeat and despair,
we begged, “What will you eat?!”
"Noodles!" She declared.
"Noodles," we agreed, "noodles are fine."

And so noodles upon noodles upon
noodles we’ve tried: noodles boiled,
steamed and fried; strings, tubes and
swirls; noodles shaped like bunnies,
unicorns and dinosaurs; in sauces
and soups, in cheesious goops;

noodles with veggies (until veggies
were banned); noodles with
mushrooms (only from a can);
noodles made of wheat, lentils, rice or
corn - noodles made of everything
noodles could suborn.

Noodles for lunch and for dinner -
noodles again and again and again
- and what then? How many times
can one noodle? How many noodles
until brains begin to spill onto plates
in a braineous-noodle-ous state?

Noodles for breakfast - can’t do it.
Noodles for lunch - can’t get thru it.
Noodles are banned! Noodles are
not welcome near here - never again!
At least not today anyway.

Ok, fine...


NCL August 2019
Kewayne Wadley Jun 2018
She told me that she never had real spaghetti before.
Of course she's had spaghetti before but not in the sense that made it worthwhile.
When I asked why she replied that it didn't feel real.
That in a sense it was pasta.
She always broke the noodles when she made it.
She developed a fear that everything would boil over and catch fire.
That part of the noodles would be too crunchy.
All of it would never fit in the ***.
Her mother always broke the noodles so it just became habit.
In the same breath.
She told me at least once,
That she'd like to twirl the noodles around the fork.
The complete taste and feel of what makes it spaghetti.
The cheese blending into the sauce.
The big ball of noodles just wrapping around the fork waiting to be bit.
When I asked about the meatballs she laughed,
She was vegetarian
Aerinlia Dec 2017
There are boiled noodles
There are fried noodles
There are instant noodles
There are non-instant noodles
There is ramen
There is pasta
All of them can be tasty or not
Depend on the eaters

Poems are like noodles
There are so many kinds of poems
All of them can be good or bad
Depend on the readers

And I am hungry.
Krysel Anson Sep 2018
I am half-Chinese and a half Filipino-Spanish.
I have only learnt to speak Filipino my whole life.

The best advises I have received is that there is no right or wrong,
that labels does not always help.
That no matter what, I should just go
and "Live my life", or "Sing in Full Voice, Until Then".

Attentive to a fault to the work or person at hand.
Because of routine and living demands, sometimes I
only pay attention to what is available or given to me.

Like the quest for the Spices of the East, I could no longer live the same way when the time came. I had to learn preservation and other flavors.

In a Asian Food Show, someone shares
How some later generation Chinese had to study their own native language in secret between 1966 to 1998.  
Stories of how their migrant or refugee heritage have made them scapegoats of many local tensions.
And varieties of words and ingredients also native to Chinese and later generations that lived offshore.

Many of us now in the thrash of our collective songs
towards healing and full living as humanity, continuing
refugees and wanderers in our own ways.

Where we see our indigenous-selves and our oppressor-selves,
is not as difficult as we are usually made to,
in a world of artificial
demands and surpluses.

One old song gently reminds me
in many languages singing,
as another bowl of handmade noodles
breaks open into countless random pieces:

We are only passing through earth.
Made to experience, and let go of our fears
and limitations.To gather our remains so that
it is inanimate buildings and objects that are used
by the living instead, and nothing is left behind.
To not leave a trace. To learn how to love.#
Mateuš Conrad May 2017
i'm pretty **** sure you'd gobble this like i did, wolfish;
it's a reinvention of the original: sweet & sour...
but this is                            sweet & salty.
  mmm...
                          rice noodles! rice nnn! that almost see-through
squids of tangles...
                       not egg noodles! not egg noodles!
rice! rice noodles!
          and then we fry some bacon,
                              add a bit of mushrooms...
                                          a few pinches of paprika...
         and then the magic happens...
                                honey....
                                 followed up by some soy sauce...
mmm, keep frying...
                            some pepper...
                                       then nicely cut cherry tomatoes
to break apart the sweet from the salty with some
                                                                                 acidity,
and then some parsley to garnish.
                                                                    woof!
went down like a storm, it probably took me less time to
down the bowl of noodles than i took to cook it...
           but what an ingenious concept, rather than the classic
sweet & sour...             sweet & salty...
                                     comrade mao would have approved:
just think how simple it sounds...
                 it's not exactly, hoisin sauce,
        honey
                                soy sauce
                                                             cherry tomatoes:
oh **** me... you need a buffer zone...
                       some sort of acidity...
                          if you were going to bottle it i'm sure citric salt
would do the job... but in real time? when you're actually
conjuring such a recipe?     cherry tomatoes...
          and no... egg noodles won't do... they're too heavy,
they won't soak up the juices...           so you need the squid-like
tentacles of rice noodles...          and yes, fry the concoction
        in some chili infused olive oil.
a microcosmos in under 15 minutes...
              the universe disappears... and the idea of a polyverse
                is but a ****; and a burp half an hour later.
zebra Jul 2018
like cellophane wraps hard candy
like ink loves to dry
like hot sauce drenches noodles
like sunrise casts shadows
like band-aids sooth cut flesh
like irons crease linens
like origami folds paper
like water floats boats
like a tempest loves a teapot
like syrup and bananas drench waffles
like spoons love soup
like cats love fish
like french fries love ketchup
like wild girls dance
like a crow loves road ****
like eyes love beauty
like a circle loves a square
like buttered buns fit a bikini
like a kissed mouth hungers for wet lips
like moths love a flame
like dogs love *******
and like ******* hug butts

like howling ******* pulse hearts
like vampires love blood and castles
like dark grapes ferment in bubbling cauldrons
like white loves rice
like madness loves a straight jacket
like a ***** loves a ****
and music gets you dancing

like suns fall through cobalt night all smashing diamonds
  
that's
how i love you
love
Harly Coward Oct 2014
Bundled up in my big blue blanket,
Holding my heavenly hot cocoa,
Simmering as I'm sipping,
Nibbling on my noodles,

I gaze out the window,
Rain, rain, rain,
Grey clouds canvassing the sky,
Water falling creating rivers in the street,

The only thing I vow to accomplish today at all
Is finish season seven of Supernatural.
Ramonez Ramirez Feb 2011
Dusk’s last breath puff up the curtains
in a flash of the post traumatic kind.
A crocheted-cliché, peach-purple duvet
drape the mountains in war paint;
redwood generals’ shadows on attention,
disorderly pine infantrymen struggle
against the wind,
some broken,
most wounded,
shattered limbs on display.

The war hero sighs into the bowels
of an instant noodles cup; dumplings shiver
((uncooked liver)) when he whistle-whispers
untold stories of courage,
guts served on blood-soaked battlegrounds;
no-one listens,
save spiders
with hairy legs
that hang on his every word.
Robert Ronnow Aug 2015
Yogurt.
"I begin the day buying yogurt in a small favorite grocery store."
Not pizza, nor gatorade.

Bananas
although they are imported from afar and grown in monocultures.
Attract fruit flies in August.

Peaches
locally grown with rainwater. I ate all the farmer's peaches alone
stacking them by the railroad tracks.

Water --
rainwater, tap water, distilled water, carbonated water, spring water –--
deep gulps, infinite sips.

Nuts
in moderation, or not, unsalted, raw, replacing chips. His bowl
of filberts, almonds, walnuts quiet weekday mornings.

Edible plant parts --
roots, leaves, stems, flowers, fruit, buds. In olive oil
or butter.

Potatoes --
look online how best to prepare. Baked or fried. With a little
fish or meat.

Tea and honey,
play and prayer. Swimming and running,
talking quietly.

Bread?
Bread's possible as the Bible. Each is liable
to bloat your thoughts.

Wine and dandelions.
Dandelion wine's Ray Bradbury's story. Cans in a pantry, books on a
      shelf
to the end of time.

Pasta
we used to call spaghetti, never noodles. I wonder if I can remember
      how to make
grandma's sauce.

Tomatoes --
cherry, grape. Grab God's eye
going by.
www.ronnowpoetry.com
SWB Sep 2012
Fish intestine and egg sac soup-
do yourself a favor
and call it noodles and beans,
but still try it!
4 and 20 form poem from dinner
Mark Parker Aug 2016
Absent of thought,
I wait for the meal
that we know too well.
I know the noodles
will seem undone,
the flavor will remind
of times past where I knew
nothing better than easy food,
but I brought it anyways.
I don't want a photo
of my childhood,
I just want lunch.
Bethany Davis Jul 2015
There is no smell in all the world,
None in the North or South,
None in the East or West,
None in the lowest places,
None on the highest peaks,
Like that smell filling the air,
Filling the house,
Filling my senses,
That smell of spaghetti frying,
Frying in the morning light,
The smell so different from when it was first cooked,
Moving the senses,
Moving the mind,
Anticipation in scent,
The sauce sizzling,
Changing,
Changing in the frying pan,
As the noodles turn crisper,
Crisper,
Crisp,
With that crispness like no other,
The noodles,
No longer white,
Made yellow,
Yellow from the sauce,
Fried onto them,
One with them,
Flavours seeping in,
And the sauce,
Orange now,
Red orange but clearly orange,
No longer the bright red it was when it entered the pan,
And as the sauce and noodles change,
Reach that perfect point,
The smell just right,
The colour just right,
The texture just right,
The sizzling reaching the perfect crescendo,
Then, and only then,
The spaghetti no longer stirring,
Evened out,
Temperature lowered,
And carefully,
Slowly,
To keep them on the top,
The eggs break,
White running among the noodles,
Filling the gaps,
Turning from clear to white as they hit the hot pan,
Yolks floating on top where they should be,
The perfect drop,
And the odours as the white changes,
Filling the air with new scents,
Mingling with the ones already present,
And then the salt, disappearing on the surface,
The black pepper,
Black flects,
Scattered evenly,
Perfectly,
The smell of pepper joining the egg and spaghetti,
And a splash of Tobacco Sauce across the whole,
That hot smell,
That bright red colour,
And the silver lid slips on,
Over the top,
Hiding,
Protecting,
Cooking the whole,
Until it is done,
And the lid set aside,
The whole onto a plate,
Perfect to the senses,
The smell,
The colours,
The texture,
Perfect,
And the first bight,
Heavenly,
Like nothing else on earth,
Almost sweet,
But still savoury,
Strange to those knowing bowled pasta,
Strange to those knowing simmered sauce,
Strange to those knowing fried eggs,
But the tastes,
Perfect,
Blended,
Strange but familiar,
Many memories,
Images,
Experiences,
All coming together like the different parts of the fried spaghetti,
And the fork through the yoke,
As it runs down,
Bright yellow into orange and red and black and white,
Perfect,
Amazing,
Done.

~The Smell of Fried Spaghetti by Bethany Davis, June 19, 2015
There's a Polar Bear
In our Frigidaire--
He likes it 'cause it's cold in there.
With his seat in the meat
And his face in the fish
And his big hairy paws
In the buttery dish,
He's nibbling the noodles,
He's munching the rice,
He's slurping the soda,
He's licking the ice.
And he lets out a roar
If you open the door.
And it gives me a scare
To know he's in there--
That Polary Bear
In our Fridgitydaire.
When his Gillette slices the Cake you give
And your Ribbon shows what a Prune he was
It's time to kick his Sorry *** and Live
Then realise he is below your Class
The School Council has met; and Verdict's sent
To advise the Nerds which Athletes are bane
But if you give an Artist a worth-time's spent
He will give the Cherriest Mood insane
Try to open your Doors, dear Fruitful One
For once, know that Other Hearts do exist
If you can sing where the Hill's Grass grow some
Then you know which Plate is worthy to fix.
Now in this Picnic my Noodles grow full
From this Prune-Cake made and sliced from his Soul.
I.

One night at the Troubadour I spotted this extraordinary girl.

So I asked who she was.

‘A professional,’

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

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

oh, by the way, they worked.

Once I became aware,

I saw these women everywhere.

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



II.

She had a printer engrave a calling card

that featured a bird of paradise

borrowed from a Tiffany silver pattern

and,
under it,

Alex’s Aviary,

Beautiful and Exotic birds.



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

pampered arm pieces with expensive tastes

and a hint of a delicious but remote sexuality.

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

the quintessential California girl

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





III.

The mechanism of Alex’s sudden notoriety is byzantine,

as these things always are.

One of her girls took up with a rotter,

the couple had a fight,

he went to the police,

the police had an undercover detective visit

(who just happened to be an attractive woman)

and ask to work for her,

she all but embraced her

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

to charge her with two counts of pandering

and one of pimping.

For Alex, who is fifty-six

and has a heart condition and diabetes,

the stakes may be high.

A conviction carries the guarantee of incarceration.

For the forces of law and order,

the stakes may be higher.

Alex has let it be known that she will subpoena

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

And the revelations this might produce

—perhaps that Alex compromised policemen

by making girls available to them,

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

in exchange for their blind eye to her activities

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

For Alex’s socially correct clients and friends,

for the socially correct wives of her clients and friends

and for a handful of movie and television executives

who have no idea they are dating or

married to former Alex girls,

the stakes are highest of all.



IV.

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

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

of many of the city’s most important men,

to say nothing of visiting businessmen and Arab princes.

If she decides to warble,

either at her trial or in a book,

her song will shatter more than glass.





V.

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

There were supposed to have been ten people there,

but only four came.

One of them was a short woman

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

When I arrived, the table was set for two.

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

but she knew the important facts of my situation:

I was getting divorced from a very wealthy man

and doing the legal work myself

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


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

slender, flat-chested woman

—and I don’t have any.

It wouldn’t be a frequent thing.

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

sometimes in Europe.

The men will be elegant,

you’ll have your own room

—there would be no outward signs of impropriety.

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





VI.

The tall, slender, flat-chested brunette

didn’t think it was right for her.

Alex handed her a business card

and suggested that she think about it.

To her surprise, she did

—for an entire week.

This was 1978, and $20,000 then

was like $40,000 now,

I knew it was hooking,

but Alex had never mentioned ***.



Our whole conversation seemed to be about something else.



VII.

I was born in Manila

to a Spanish-Filipina mother and German father,

and when I was twelve

a Japanese soldier came into our house

with his bayonet pointed at us,

ready to do us in.

He locked us in and set the house on fire.

I haven’t been scared by much since that.



My mother always struck me as goofy,

so I jumped on a bus and ran away,

I got off in Oakland,

saw a help-wanted sign on a parish house,

and went in.

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

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

But I didn’t care.

It felt safe.

And the priests sparked my interest in the domestic arts

—in linen, in crystal.



A new priest arrived.

He was unpleasant,

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

still a teenager,

married a scientist.

We separated eight years later,

he took our two sons to another state

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

Keep them I said and hung up.

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

—though I don’t,

I just hate to be manipulated.



My second husband,

an alcoholic,

had Frank Sinatra blue eyes, and possibly

—I never knew for sure—

had a big career in the underworld

as a contract killer.

Years before we got serious,

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

She and her friends were so elegant

that I started spending time with them in beauty salons.

They were so fancy,

so smart

—and they knew incredible people,

like the millionaire who sat in his suite all day

just writing $5,000 checks to girls.



VIII.

I was a florist.

We got to talking.

She was a madam from England

who wanted to sell her book and go home.

I bought it for $5,000.

My husband thought it was cute.

Now you’re getting your feet wet.

Three months later,

he died.

After eleven years of marriage,

just like that.

And of the names in the book

it turned out

that half of the men were also dead.

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



IX.

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

Great food Alex had cooked herself.

Major giggles with old pals.

And then,

instead of chocolate After Eight,

she served three women After Three



This man has seen a bit of life

beyond Los Angeles,

so I asked him how Alex’s stable

compared with that of Madam Claude,

the legendary Parisian procuress.

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

A Claude girl was perfectly dressed and multilingual

—you could take her to the opera

and she’d understand it.





He told me that when she was 40

she looked at herself in the mirror

and said

Disgusting.

People over 40

should not have ***.

But She Was Clear That She Never Liked It

even when she was young.

Besides, she saw all the street business

go to the tall,

beautiful girls.

She thought that she never had a chance

competing against them.

Instead,

she would take their money by managing them.





X.

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

It was before the pill;

Girls weren’t giving it away.

Claude specialized in

failed models and actresses,

ones who just missed the cut.

But just because they failed

in those impossible professions

didn’t mean they weren’t beautiful,

fabulous.



Like Avis

in those days,

those girls tried harder.

Her place was off the Champs,

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

Once I met her,

I was constantly making withdrawals and heading upstairs.





XI.

We took the lift

and Claude greeted us at the door.

My impression was that of the director

of an haute couture house,

very subdued,

beige and gray, very little makeup.

She took us into a lounge and made us drinks,

Whiskey,

Cognac.

There was no maid.

We made small talk for 15 minutes.

How was the weekend?

What’s the weather like in Deauville?

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

She always used ‘jeunes filles.’

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

She left and soon returned

with two very tall

jeunes filles,

One was blonde.

This is Eva from Austria.

She’s here studying painting.

And a brunette,

very different,

but also very fine.

This is Claudia from Germany.

She’s a dancer.

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

I gave my English guest first choice.

He picked the blonde.

And wasn’t disappointed.

Each bedroom had its own bidet.

There was some nice

polite conversation, and then



It was slightly formal,

but it was high-quality.

He paid Claude

200 francs,

not to the girls

In 1965, 200 francs was about $40.

Pretty girls on Rue Saint-Denis

could be had for 40 francs

so you can see the premium.

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

You didn’t have to be J. Paul Getty.





XII.

A lot of them

were models at

Christian Dior

or other couture houses.

She liked Scandinavians.

That was the look then

—cold, tall, perfect.

It was cheap for the quality.

They all used her.

The best people wanted

the best women.

Elementary supply and demand.



XIII.

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

She showed it to me and Rubi.

She was proud she had survived.

We talked about the camp for hours.

It was even more fascinating than the girls.



She was Jewish

I’m certain of that.

She was horrified at the Jewish collaborators

at the camp who herded

their fellow Jews

into the gas chambers.

That was the greatest betrayal in her life.



XIV.

She was this sad,

lonely little woman.

Later, Patrick told me who she was.

I was bowled over.

It was like meeting Al Capone.

I met two of the girls

who worked for her.

One was what you would expect

Tall

Blonde

Model.

But the other looked like a Rat

Then one night

she came out

all dressed up,

I didn’t even recognize her.

She was even better than the first girl.

Claude liked to transform women like that.

That was her art.

It was very odd,

my cousin told me.

There was not much furniture

and an awful lot of telephones.

“Allô oui,”



XV.

I had so many lunches

with Claude at Ma Maison

She was vicious.

One day,

Margaux Hemingway,

at the height of her beauty, walked by.

Une bonne

—the French for maid

was how Claude cut her dead.

She reduced

the entire world

to rich men wanting *** and

poor women wanting money.

She’d love to page through Vogue and see someone

and say,

When I met her

she was called

Marlene

and she had a hideous nose

and now she’s a princess.

Or she’d see someone and say

Let’s see if she kisses me or not.

It was like

I made her,

and I can destroy her.

She was obsessed

with “fixing” people

—with Saint Laurent clothes,

with Cartier watches,

with Winston jewels,

with Vuitton luggage,

with plastic surgeons.



XVI.

Her prison number was

888

which was good luck in China

but not in California.

‘Ocho ocho ocho,’ she liked to repeat

Even in jail, she was always working,

always recruiting stunning women.

She had a beautiful Mexican cellmate

and gave her Robert Evans’s number

as the first person she should call

when she was released.



XVII.

Never have *** on the first date.



XVIII.

There will always be prostitution,

The prostitution of misery.

And the prostitution of bourgeois luxury.

They will both go on forever.



“Allô oui,”



It was so exciting to hear a millionaire

or a head of state ask,

in a little boy’s voice,

for the one thing

that only you could provide

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

--it's mostly dialogue.



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

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



XIX.

She was like a slave driver in the American South

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

the makeover put the girl in debt,

because Claude paid all the bills to

Dior,

Vuitton,

to the hairdressers,

to the doctors,

and the girls had to work to pay them off.

It was ****** indentured servitude.



My Swans.



It reached the point

where if you walked into a room

in London

or Rome

as much as Paris

because the girls were transportable,

and saw a girl who was

better-dressed,

better-looking,

and more distinguished than the others

you presumed

it was a girl from Claude.

It was, without doubt,

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



**.

The girl had to be

exactly what was needed

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

I played a little the role of Pygmalion.

There were basic things that absolutely had to be done.

It consisted

at the start

of the physical aspect

“surgical intervention”

to give this way of being

that was different from other girls.

Often they had to be transformed

into dream creatures

because at the start

they were not at all



Often I had to teach them how to dress.

Often they needed help

to repair

what nature had given them

which was not so beautiful.

At first they had to be tall,

with pretty gestures,

good manners.

I had lots of noses done,

chins,

teeth,

*******.

There was a lot to do.



Eight times out of ten

I had to teach them how to behave in society.

There were official dinners, suppers, weekends,

and they needed to have conversation.

I insisted they learn to speak English,

read

certain books.

I interrogated them on what they read.

It wasn’t easy.

Each time something wasn’t working,

I was obliged to say so.



You were very demanding?

I was ferocious.



It’s difficult

to teach a girl how to walk into Maxim’s

without looking

ill at ease

when they’ve never been there,

to go into an airport,

to go to the Ritz,

or the Crillon

or the Dorchester.

To find yourself

in front of a king,

three princes,

four ministers,

and five ambassadors at an official dinner.

There were the wives of those people!

Day after day

one had to explain,

explain again,

start again.

It took about two years.

There would always be a man

who would then say of her,

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





XXI.

A New York publisher who visited

the Palace Hotel

in Saint Moritz

in the early seventies told me,

I met a whole bunch of them there.

They were lovely.

The johns wanted everyone to know who they were.

I remember it being said

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

You asked them where they came from and they all said

Neuilly.

Claude liked girls from good families.

More to the point she had invented their backgrounds.



I have known,

because of what I did,

some exceptional and fascinating men.

I’ve known some exceptional women too,

but that was less interesting

because I made them myself.



Ah, this question of the handbag.

You would be amazed by how much dust accumulates.

Or how often women’s shoe heels are scuffed.





XXII.

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



That was a difficult moment

When they arrived they were very shy,

a bit frightened.

At the beginning when I take a look,

it’s a question of seeing if the silhouette

and the gestures are pretty.

Then there was a disagreeable moment.

I said,

I’m sorry about this unpleasantness,

but I have to ask you to get undressed,

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

Believe me, I was embarrassed,

just as they were,

but it had to be done,

not out of voyeurism, not at all

—I don’t like les dames horizontales.



It was very funny

because there were always two reactions.

A young girl,

very sure of herself,

very beautiful,

très bien,

would say

Yes,

Get up, and get undressed.

There was nothing to hide, everything was perfect.



There were those who

would start timidly

to take off their dress

and I would say

I knew already.

The rest is not sadism, but nearly.

I knew what I was going to find.

I would say,

Maybe you should take off your bra,

and I knew it wasn’t going to be

beautiful.

Because otherwise she would have taken it off easily.

No problem.

There were damages that could be mended.

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

some not

Sometimes it can be deceptive,

you know,

you see a pretty girl,

a pretty face,

all elegant and slim,

well dressed,

and when you see her naked

it is a catastrophe.



I could judge their physical qualities,

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

but I didn’t know how she was in bed.

So I had some boys,

good friends,

who told me exactly.

I would ring them up and say,

There’s a new one.

And afterwards they’d ring back and say,

Not bad,

Could be better, or

Nulle.



Or,

on the contrary,

She’s perfect.

And I would sometimes have to tell the girls

what they didn’t know.

A pleasant assignment?

No.

They paid.



XXIII.

Often at the beginning

they had an ami de coeur

in other words,

oh,

a journalist, a photographer, a type like that,

someone in the cinema,

an actor, not very well known.

As time went by

It became difficult

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

The fact of physically changing,

becoming prettier,

changing mentally to live with millionaires,

produced a certain imbalance

between them

and the little boyfriend

who had not evolved

and had stayed in his milieu.

At the end of a certain time

she would say,

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

And they would break up by themselves.



Remember,

this was instant elevation.

For most of them it was a dream existence,

provided they liked the ***,

and those that didn’t never lasted long.

A lot of the clients were young,

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

They would buy you presents,

take you on trips.



XXIV.

For me, *** was something very accessoire

I think after a certain age

there are certain spectacles one should not give to others

Now I have a penchant for solitude.

Love, it’s a complete destroyer,

It’s impossible,

a horror,

l’angoisse.

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

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

He was jealous too.

We broke plates over each other’s heads;

we became jealous about each other’s pasts.

I said one day

It’s finished.

Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and say:

Break my legs,

give me scarlet fever,

an attack of TB, but never that.

Not that.



XXV.

I called her into my office

Let us not exaggerate,

I sent her away.

She came back looking for employment,

but was fired again, this time for drugs.

She made menacing phone calls.

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

She shot three bullets

I was dressed in the fashion of Courrèges at this moment

He did very padded things.

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

The bullet

—merci, Monsieur Courrèges

—stuck in the padding.

I was thrown forward onto the telephone.

I had one thought which went through my head:

I will die like Kennedy.

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

The second bullet went through my hand.

I have two dead fingers.

It’s most useful for removing bottle tops.

In the corridor I was saved from the third bullet

because she was very tall

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



XXVI.

There were men

who could decapitate,

****, and bomb their rivals

who would be frightened of me.

I would ask them how was the girl,

and they’d say

Not bad

and then

But I’m not complaining.

I was a little sadistic to them sometimes.

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

But I’ve known them all.

I had them all

here.



She will take many state secrets with her.



XXVI.

I don’t like ugly people

probably because when I was young

I wasn’t beautiful at all.

I was ugly and I suffered for it,

although not to the point of obsession.

Now that I’m an old woman,

I’m not so bad.

And that’s why

I’ve always been surrounded by people

Who

were

beautiful.

And the best way to have beautiful people around me

was to make them.

I made them very pretty.





XXVII.

I wouldn’t call what Alex gives you

‘advice,’

She spares you Nothing.

She makes a list of what she wants done,

and she really gets into it

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

She gives you names of people who do good facials.

She tells you what to buy at Neiman Marcus.

She’s put off by anything flashy,

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

in front of an audience,

You look like a cheap *****!

I used to wear what I wanted when I went out

then change in the car into a frumpy sweater

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

Oh, you look beautiful!



Marry your boyfriend,

It’s better than going to prison.

When you go out with her,

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

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

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

and say they need rent money.

She wants to see you do well.





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

what he liked,

the names of the girls he’d seen,

and how long he’d been with them.

And I only hired girls who had another career

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

and beautiful-and-interesting,

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

These men wanted to talk.

If they spent two hours with a girl,

they usually spent only five or ten minutes in bed.



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



XXVIII.

That was my big idea

Not to expand the book by aggressive marketing

but to make sure that nobody

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

And I kept my roster fresh.

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

get exploited,

and then are cast off.

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

I let the men know:

no violence,

no costumes,

no fudge-packing.

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

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

Save your money.

This is like a hangar

—you come in, refuel, and take off.

It’s not a vacation, it’s not a goof.

This buys the singing lessons,

the dancing lessons,

the glossies.

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

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



XXIX.

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



Une femme terrible.

She despised men and women alike.

Men were wallets. Women were holes.



By the 80s,

if you were a brunette,

the sky was the limit.

The Saudis

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

ignore them all evening while they

chatted,

ate,

and played cards,

and then, around midnight,

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



They’d order women up like pizza.



Since my second husband died,

I only met one man who was right for me,

He was a sheikh.

I visited him in Europe

twenty-eight times

in the five years I knew him

and I never slept with him.

He’d say

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

but he introduced me

by phone

to all his powerful friends.

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

That’s why I never went out

he would have been disappointed.



***.

Listen to me

This is a woman’s business.

When a woman does it, it’s fun

there’s a giggle in it

when a man’s involved,

he’s ******,

he’s a ****.

He may know how to keep girls in line,

and he may make money,

but he doesn’t know what I do.

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

She’s young,

She’s pleasant,

She can do things

she can certainly make love.

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



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

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

Pina Colapinto

A petite call girl,

who once slid between the sheets of royalty,

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

They really dolled her up

She looks great.

Never!

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





XXXI.

Madam Alex died at 7 p.m.

Saturday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center,

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

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

This was the passing of a legend.

Because she was the mother superior of prostitution.

She was one of the richest women on earth.

The world came to her.

She never had to leave the house.

She was like Hugh Hefner in that way.


It's like losing a friend

In all the years we played cat and mouse,

she never once tried to corrupt me.

We had a lot of fun.


To those who knew her

she was as constant

as she was colorful

always ready with a good tidbit of gossip

and a gourmet lunch for two.

She entertained, even after her conviction on pandering charges,

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

surrounded by knickknacks and meowing cats,

which she fed fresh shrimp from blue china plates.



XXXII.

She stole my business,

my books,

my girls,

my guys.

I had a good run.

My creatures.

Make Mommy happy

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



She was, how can I say it,

classy.

When she first hired me

she thought I was too young to take her case.

I was 43.

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

She was right.





XXXIII.

I was fond of Heidi

But she has a streak that is so vindictive.



If there is pure evil, it is Madame Alex.





XXXIV.

I was born and raised in L.A.

My dad was a famous pediatrician.

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



I think that Heidi wanted to try her wings

pretty early,

and I think that she met some people

who sort of took all her potential

and gave it a sharp turn



She knew nothing.

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



Alex and I had a very intense relationship;

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

so she was abusive and loving at the same time.



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

but it's like this:

What took her years to build,

I built in one.

The high end is the high end,

and no one has a higher end than me.

In this business, no one steals clients.

There's just better service.



XXXV.

You were not allowed to have long hair

You were not allowed to be too pretty

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

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

And then she loses the business



XXXVI.

I was pursued because

come on

in our lifetime,

we will never see another girl of my age

who lived the way I did,

who did what I did so quickly,

I made so many enemies.

Some people had been in this line of business

for their whole lives, 30 or 40 years,

and I came in and cornered the market.

Men don't like that.

Women don't like that.

No one liked it.



I had this spiritual awakening watching an Oprah Winfrey video.

I was doing this 500-hour drug class

and one day the teacher showed us this video,

called something like Make It Happen.

Usually in class I would bring a notebook

and write a letter to my brother or my journal,

but all of a sudden this grabbed my attention

and I understood everything she said.

It hit me and it changed me a lot.

It made me feel,

Accept yourself for who you are.

I saw a deeper meaning in it

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



XXXVII.

Hello, Gina!

You movie star!

Yes you are!

Gina G!

Hello my friend,

Hello my friend,

Hello my movie star,

Ruby! Ruby Boobie!

Braaawk!

Except so many women say,

Come on, Heidi

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

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

and I'll make it really nice,

like the Beverly Hills Hotel

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

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

Charles Manson was captured a half hour from Pahrump.



I said, Joe! What are you doing?

You gotta get, like,

a garter belt and encase it in something

and write,

This belonged to Suzette Whatever,

who entertained the Flying Tigers during World War II.

Get, like, some weird tools and write,

These were the first abortion tools in the brothel,

you know what I mean?

Just make some **** up!

So I came out here to do some research

And then I realized,

What am I doing?

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

I can do this.

When I was doing my research, in three months

I saw land go from 30 thousand an acre

to 50 thousand an acre,

and then it was going for 70K!

It's urban sprawl

—we're only one hour from Las Vegas.

Out here the casinos are only going to get bigger,

prostitution is legal, it's only getting better.





XXXVIII.

The truth is

deep down inside,

I just can't do business with him

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

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

It's not my style at all.

Who wants to be 75 and facing federal charges?

It was different at my age when I

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

I was 22,

25 at the time?

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

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

—the girls and blah blah blah.

But the money was really good.



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

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

It's hard-core; how I live;

It's totally a nonfunctional atmosphere for me

It's hard to get anything done because

It’s so time-consuming.

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

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

I will be jinxed and cursed the rest of my life

and nothing I do will ever work again.



Guys kind of are a hindrance to me

Certainly I have no problem getting laid or anything.

But a man is not a priority in my life.

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



XXXIX.

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

And soon all the parents in the neighborhood

wanted me to watch over their children.

Even then I had an innate business sense.

I started farming out my friends

to meet the demand.

My mother showered me with love and my father,

a pediatrician,

would ask me at the dinner table,

What did you learn today?

I ran my neighborhood.

I just pick up a hustle really easily,

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



Alex was a 5' 3" bald-headed Filipina

in a transparent muu muu.

We hit it off.

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

It's in and out,

over and out.

Do you think some big-time producer

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



Columbia Pictures executive says:

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

Jeez, it's like the Nixon enemies list.

I hope I'm on it.

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

for people to gossip about me.



That's right ladies and gentlemen.

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

If you live out here,

you've got to hate people.

You've got to be pretty antisocial

How you gonna come out here with only 86 people?

That's Fred.

He's digging to China.

You look good.

Yeah, you too.

It's coming along here.

Yeah, it is.

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

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

Really?

I thought there was a lot between us.

No. We're neighbors.



He's a cute guy

He's entertaining.

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

I thought my property went all the way back

and butted up against his.

But there was one lot between us right there.

He said he was buying it,

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

So I went and called the broker and said,

I'm an all-cash buyer.

So I really bought it out from under him.

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

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

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

and it'll be a nice area.

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

Like this guy here,

someone needs to **** him.

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

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

It's just, people are destroying it.

I’m looking into green building options

I don't want anything polluting,

I want a huge auditorium,

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

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

There were over 300 birds in there!

That lady,

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

which is a huge job.

She called me once at 3:30 in the morning

Come over here and help me feed this baby!

Some baby parrot.

And I ran over there in my pajamas

—I knew there was something else wrong

and she was like

Get me my oxygen!

Get me this, get me that.

I called my dad; he was like,

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

They ended up getting a helicopter.

And they were taking her away

in the wind with her IV and blood and everything

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

And she dies the next day.

She was just a super-duper person.



XL.

I relate to the lifestyle she had before,

Now, I'm just a citizen.

I'm clean,

I'm sober,

I'm married,

I work at Wal-Mart.

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

and we relate.





I got out in 2000,

so I've been sending her money for seven years

She was…whatever.

Girlfriend?

Yeah, maybe.

But ***, I tried like two times,

and I'm just not gay.

She gets out in about eight or nine months

and I told her I would get her a house.

But nowhere near me.

I didn't touch her,

but I'd be, like...

a funny story:

I told her,

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

about contacting me in the real world.

I'm not a lesbian.

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

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

So I Googled her name,

and she has this huge company.

Huge!

She won, like, Woman of the Year awards.

So I called her and I go,

Not bad.

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

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

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



XLI.

No person shall be employed by the licensee

who has ever been convicted of

a felony involving moral turpitude

But I qualify,

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

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

You've got to be hustling.

Nighttime is really enchanting here

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

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

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

people can adjust to anything.

I was perfectly adjusted in the penitentiary,

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



We had done those drug addiction shows together

Dr. Drew.

Afterward we were friendly

and he'd call me every now and then.

He'd act like he had his stuff together.

But it was all a lie.

Everything is a lie.

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

He was just such a mess.

So out of it.

He stole money from my purse.

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

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

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

He told me that’s his favorite actress.

Better than Meryl Streep.



XLII.

The cops could see

why these women were taking over trade.

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

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

One thing they are not is lazy.

In the USSR

they grew up with no religion, no morality.

Prostitution is not considered a bad thing.

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

That’s why it’s exploding here.

What we saw was just a tip of the iceberg.

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

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

The madam who organized this raid

was making $4 million a year,

laundered through Russian-owned banks in New York City

These are brutal people.

They are all backstabbers.

They’re entrepreneurs.

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

For them, that’s the American dream.



XLIII.

If you’re not into something,

don’t be into it

But,

if you want to take some whipped cream,

put it between your toes,

have your dog licking it up and,

at the same time,

have your girlfriend poke you in the eye,

then that’s fine.

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



She was my best friend then

and I consider her one of my best friends now,

because when I was going through Riker’s

and everyone abandoned me,

including my boyfriend,

I was hysterical,

crying,

and she was the one that was there.

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

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

loyalty, respect, and love for her.

And if she’s going to prison for eight years

—that’s what she’s sentenced for

—I’ll go there,

and I’ll go there every week,

for eight years.

That’s the type of person I am.
Ironatmosphere Nov 2014
If I would have cried
It wouldn’t have shown

I sat on the floor
of the bathroom
trying to warm myself
from the cold

Believing as always
that when you are warm
you feel less alone

I comforted myself
with the fact that
noodles and chocolate
tastes better on the way up
than down

As I thought about that
long look you gave me
when you took your hammer to my heart

If I would have cried
It wouldn’t have shown

I only cry on the inside
There is no use getting your face wet if you are all alone
i don't know why i am posting this
Waverly Nov 2011
Who Am I?

Well,
I must be
that ******,
the one
in the black hoodie
***** sweatpants
and an uncombed eye,
that's always wooly
scratchy,
bloodshot
with searching for
my stash spot,
that ******
in your peripherals
that you keep your eye on
because he's
not
in a polo
looking nice,
talking
"well-spoken"
and
not
a threat
to your beautiful
lily-white daughter.


Because I grew up
fixing myself
ramen noodles
and
lifting the welcome mat
after school,
I must also be
that ******
whose father wasn't
in the same house
until he was age 13,
and when I tell you that,
you weren't expecting it
because "you're not a racist."
but
you weren't surprised.


You see,
I must be
that ******,
a stand-in
for all other *******.
I must be that ******
who represents
all *******,
not because you are racist,
but because I'm the only
******
you've met
who doesn't talk like
dis, y'know whatmsayin,
and i talk like
this, do you know what I'm saying?
I must be that ******.

In order for you
to feel okay
being around me
I must be that ******
who goes to college
does the right
thing
the white thing
and gets a job
a nice little house,
a nice black wife
with a nice
new england
clear
dialect,
(what I was
trying to get at
earlier
is that ****** dialects,
by their mere intonation,
denote stupidity,
right?)
and doesn't say a word
when his white friends
make ****** jokes
or talk in a ****** dialect
mocking some Aunt Jemima
they heard at Walmart.

But,
I also must be that ******
who doesn't step out of line
and say
"WHY IS IT
THAT IN EVERY SINGLE
ENGLISH CLASS
WE READ
ONLY
TWO
BLACK AUTHORS
A SEMESTER,
AND THAT'S
ENOUGH,
JUST ENOUGH
TO KEEP THE
****** PARENTS
HAPPY."

And If I happen to be a ******,
I,
by all means,
must not be that ******
who had a white girlfriend,
and
this girlfriend
after dating
a ******,
tried to date a white guy
she liked,
and when she told him
that she had dated,
loved,
and yes,
******
a ******,
he had said back:
"I can't believe
you ****** a ******."

Then again,
I must be that ******
with the big swinging ****
able to destroy
a white girl's ******
with its pulverizing
power.

And,
please,
If I am going to be a ******
don't be the one
who writes a poem
about
having to be
that ******,
because those
kinds of *******
are being
over-sensitive,
those dashiki-wearing-*******
who think
"Da white man dis."
and "Da white man dat."

Because
I am not one of those *******
descended from the first people on earth,
your brother,

not in the ****** way,

but the familial,
species way.

Why am I even writing
this, ****** isn't a main operative
word anymore.

Search and find "******"
and
replace with
"Black Guy." That way it becomes
a joke.
Nora Agha May 2012
Pinstriped suit
Black briefcase
clink of heels
On marble floors
imposing glass walls
Emails coming in
Emails coming in

Slacks and a tshirt
Powderblue backpack
Red hightops
on gravel
lockers on walls
Students coming in
Students coming in

Oak desk
Open door
Client comes in
Check the emails
"I want a divorce"
turn to the client
turn to the client

Blackboard
Open door
Students stream through
Smile in greeting
"Recess 'aint long enough"
Open up textbooks
Open up textbooks

Client cries
Keep professional poise
nod in understanding
Show no weakness
"He won't sign the papers"
Just nod
Just nod

Students protest
explain over the noise
try to make them love it
show no weakness
"who cares abour 1945?!"
I care
I care

Go home
Collapse onto the
Black leather sofa
in front of
the plasma screen TV
Instant noodles for dinner
Instant noodles for dinner

Go home
Collapse onto the
stained, worn-out fouton
the kids badger
for some television time
Put the roast in the oven
Put the roast in the oven

The neighbors open
their doors
turn to watch yours
remian tight shut
Noone to expect
Noone to come home to
Noone to come home to

The key turns
in the lock
turn to see
him walk in
bag of groceries in hand
Dinner's almost ready
Dinner's almost ready

TV programs over
Noodles devoured
papers signed
emails replied to
slip into bed
In bed alone
In bed alone

Children fed and bathed
television switched off
homework assistance provided
papers graded
husband made love to
Someone to hold on to
Someone to hold on to

Bathtub full of
Cranberry scented foam
Water's cold now
Body's cold now
Cold blade on Cold marble floor
So much blood
So much blood

Alarm goes off
Wake the children
Pack the lunches
Make the breakfast
Read the paper
Such a sad sad suicide
Such a sad sad suicide

Bathtub full of
Cranberry scented foam
Water's cold now
Body's cold now
Cold blade on cold marble floor
So much blood
So much blood

Hold him close
So much warmth
Hold the kids tight
Transfer body heat
Why did she die?
She had it all
She had it all

Nobody to inheret
The condo with a view
The money in the bank
The diamond earrings
the workload
Nobody to miss
Nobody to miss

Hold him close
So much warmth
Hold the kids tight
Tarnsfer body heat
Why did she die?
She had nothing
She had nothing
Larry Potter Sep 2013
They say, in the wheel of life, you'll spend half your years rising to the top and the other half tumbling to the bottom. I guess they got it all wrong. I believe life is a crooked tire that can never roll up and down. Pretty sure, it is nailed to the ground where weeds could grow to entangle it forever. Until now, what they keep trying to say remains a puzzle to me. Perhaps I can never understand what they mean. Or maybe I just won’t. Why? Because from the moment our eyes opened for the world, we’re already stuck down below and I’m afraid we’re trapped here in this limbo for all eternity.

We’re just simple people living an ordinary life. Like every family who seeks refuge from the storm, we do have a place we call home although it’s not much of an architectural delight. However, for some reasons, I find our roof appealing like a real work of art. Patches of cardboard embellish the underside while a combination of tarpaulin and ad posters works in harmony to provide an extended shelter. On bright mornings, we’ll wake from the sunbeams piercing through its many gaps. On rainy days, however, the sound of raindrops falling from the gaps down to our water containers serves as our wake up call.

To jumpstart ourselves for another day’s challenge, we could either eat breakfast (if there were any), or just sing our skipping meals away and spend the rest of the day with sacks of scraps and rubbishes on our back hoping to make a good deal with Mr. Gomez, the junk shop proprietor. He reminded me so much of my father but without the alcohol problem and violence, though. During nighttime, we bring with us our drum to sing carols on the lonely streets. If our feet become too weary to walk, that’s the time we head home. We rush all together, eager to count the coins we’ve collected that night. We make sure to put a plastic cap underneath two of our table’s feet so that it won’t lean uncontrollably and spill the tiers of ten, five and one peso coins we’ve dedicatedly piled over. Then the next part does the trick. A portion of our collection for the night goes straight down a big jar and joins in the many others which fill more than half of the container. The remaining part is used to buy supper to save our hungry tummies from
shrinking again. However, during slack nights when drivers and busy people decided to become miserly, we’re fortunate enough to have a pack of noodles for supper. But if we ran out of luck, we just set our untidy beds ready and drown our raging stomachs to sleep. I know there’s not pretty much but this is where our lives revolve. And as they say, life must go on no matter what.

Together with the three most important persons of my life, I continue the journey for a better living. Along the way, we try to search for the good things out of life’s bitter truths. We never let misery **** our hopes and dreams. Instead, we work harder and tougher. Take Islay, for example. She’s cheerful,
clever, aggressive, talented, a model of hard work. She’s got most of everything. Well, except for height, probably. I wanted to be a doctor so I could help the needy. Islay dreams of becoming an elementary teacher. She said she really likes kids and teaching them would surely be a more exciting thing to do.

Then there’s Nova. Her looks may require you a little more time to think and consider, but she has a good heart. However, she gets a little, uhhm, what term do we use for an unsociable person? That’s it! She’s a bit of a Killjoy!

Islay and Nova caroled a store swarmed with drunkards. It was always Islay who’ll find every creative idea and propose it convincingly to Nova, who in turn hesitates and rejects it but then ultimately respects it in the end. Islay always has the winning edge. Maybe that’s one of her abilities. Her convincing power deserves a credit to the list.

The two didn’t mind the ***** that welcomed them. Inside her mind, Nova asked herself how many people could waste their money on a doze of liquid or spirit that can poison their mind and bring them to imminent danger. If only they have given it to the poor and needy, they could have saved a lot of lives instead of ruining their own.

But Aling Nena, the wicked storeowner, unleashed her witchy wrath to the two. She looked at them with eyes of contempt, of prejudice and disgust. She accused the two as jinxes and blamed them for the
store’s unprofitable end. If only she could look at herself and discover a chest of shimmering blame, she might shrink into shame. Islay and Nova ran off not because they were afraid of Aling Nena or the drunken men but because of what Aling Nena said to them. They cannot defend themselves from such
an attack. How could they when they were surrounded with eyes of ridicule?

And of course, there’s my dearest sister, Juaning. We’ve only got each other since our mother’s death. It has been months already. Juaning was still 15 when mama left us. She’s 16 now. It’s been quite a while and I know she misses mama a lot like I do.

And so they fought life’s bitter realities. They begged and implored to the unconcerned passers-by, almost falling to their weak knees for one very important thing - to live. But even if the three of them were sitting, lying, and rolling down the cold pavement, these people with more graces just pass by without even sparing a glance of concern. Wouldn’t it be happier if they shared their God-given blessings? But as the day continues, they have to endure the hunger, the contempt. Because other than filling their
hungry stomach, they have a sibling, a friend to support.

That’s my part of the story. It has been months now since I caught a serious illness which bound me
to this bed, flat on one’s back, weak, inutile, and useless. Every time they come home, I wish I was with them to taste the sweet and feel the pain, not just a good listener to their stories of survival and moments of friendship. Someday, I’ll become strong again, and this curse of a disease shall be gone.

I woke up to the longing for water. I’ve never been this thirsty before. I called out their names but my voice just echoed deep in the four dark walls of our crooked house. With no one to help me, I summoned my strength and decided to get a glass of water by myself. But my legs aren’t as strong as my will. And as I attempted to stand, they betrayed me. I collapsed and plodded down the floor. Luckily Islay came and helped me get back to bed. She scolded me for being careless. I cried. I can’t help it. I pitied myself all
over again.

The cold evening wasn’t a problem for Islay. Seeing me cry like that crushes her heart. I know, as a friend and a part of our family, she wishes the best for me. And that’s why she’s still out there in the middle of the night, working late to earn more for our better future. She ignored the chills and the exasperation. She knows she has to work harder and she’s more than determined for it.

But something happened to me while she’s away from home. I cannot move my body, not even my mouth. Tears just fell from my weary eyes. And before it’s too late, Juaning caught me unresponsive and paralyzed. My sister cried for help. Nova sprinted to get the jar. Juaning told her what to do. And wasting no time, Nova rushed to the nearby pharmacy to get me some medicine, and most probably to save my life.

But Nova’s effort was in vain. Prescription drugs cannot be bought that easily. The pharmacist closed down the only lining of hope for me. The security guard felt pity on Nova and he suggested her an alternative decision that will change our lives forever.

Islay was still busy serenading the busy streets with her chants of joy and sweet hums. But the clouds become unwelcoming. And by the sound of the thunder, big droplets of rain started pouring down the highway. She ran as fast as she could and sat on a corner where she thought of something deeply. She hugged the drum that she was carrying for five hours or so and tried to remain calm in the presence of the bad weather.

After half an hour, Nova came back with a pouch of medicine on her shaking hand. She handed it carefully to Juaning whose faith and hope were hanging to the tiny bottle of miracle.

Days gone by and my condition wasn’t going any better. It turned out that my medicine was consumed to the last drop. Still I remained immobile and my hands are going number by the days. Slowly I was losing hope. I wish they weren’t mad at me. I’m trying my best to live on. That’s why I’m still here. But Nova shared something worth listening to. She revealed how and where she got the medicine.

It was from a quack doctor on a stall put up on the corner of Rizal Avenue. She said he was well versed and very convincing. And that she spent all of our savings for a bottle of deception. But we can do nothing about it. We did not have formal education. We were fortunate enough to meet kind children on
the streets who would try to teach us something they have learned from school. We would attempt to read newspapers and the description in the carton boxes we spread beneath the Badelles overpass.

Nova cried in guilt and shame. Islay was still angry at her, and it can be understood. My sister, Juaning, comforted Nova with a promise that everything will get better in time.

December 27. It was my birthday. And more than anything else, what I wish is for the four of us to be happy. Nothing in this life is more important than seeing everyone you love smile with absolute
happiness. Juaning never forgot her job and that’s to buy me a cake. Every year, they will try to surprise me with every creative possible way. But that’s how their surprises become predictable with my age.

They sang me a birthday song. But this time, they were the ones waiting for a surprise. As my sister was about to hand me the cake waiting for me to blow the candle, she noticed something she was least expecting for. My lips are pale and my eyes are shut from the light of the world. I caught my last breath and before I gave it away, I left a smile on my face that can never be changed forever. That is how I want them to remember me. Not that heck of a frown clown whose audiences are stricken with sadness.

They say, in the wheel of life, sometimes, you'll spend half of your years rising to the top and the other half tumbling to the
bottom. Maybe they were right. It was then that I’ve come to understand what they were trying to say.

Our life’s wheel revolves around things way beyond just money, food, and shelter. It is about the moments you spend with your loved ones, friends and family that will be forever carved in your heart. We can never know when our life here on earth will be over. So let us cherish every bit of it. And for me, even if we skip breakfasts and eat only noodles for supper, I have realized in these last fleeting moments that my life has always
been on the top of the wheel after all.
SexySloth Jun 2013
I write stories with my tongue
They come twirling out like noodles,
deliciously served on a plate.

I hope you enjoy this meal. Don't forget
       to drink down a bottle of
fi z zy   o   range

afterwards.
Rob Urban Jun 2012
Lost in the dim
streets of the
Marunouchi district
I describe
this wounded city in an
  unending internal
monologue as I follow
the signs to Tokyo Station and
descend into the
underground passages
  of the metro,
seeking life and anything bright
in this half-lit, humid midnight.

I find the train finally
to Shibuya, the Piccadilly
and Times Square of Japan,
and even there the lights
are dimmer and the neon
  that does remain
  is all the more garish by
contrast.
I cross the street
near a sign that says
  "Baby Dolls" in English
over a business that turns
out to be a pet
  shop, of all things.

Like
the Japanese, I sometimes feel I live
in reduced circumstances, forced to proceed with caution:
A poorly chosen
adjective, a
mangled metaphor
could so easily trigger the
tsunami that
    sweeps away the containment
             facilities that
                   protect us
                        from ourselves
                                                            and others.
  
The next night at dinner, the sweltering room
     suddenly rocks and
        conversation stops
                  as the building sways and the
candles flicker.

'Felt like a 4, maybe a 5,'
says one of my tablemates,
a friend from years ago
in the States.

'At least a five-and-a-half,'
says another, gesturing
at the still-moving shadows
on the wall. And I think
     of other sweaty, dimly lit rooms,
      bodies in slow, restrained motion,       all
          in a moment that falls
                         between
                                     tremors.

         Then the swaying stops and we return
to our dinner. The shock, or aftershock,
isn't mentioned again,
though we do return, repeatedly, to the
big one,
         and the tidal wave that
                           swept so much away.

En route to the monsoon
I go east to come west,
   clouds gathering slowly
     in the vicinity of my chest.

Next day in Shanghai, the sun's glare reflects
  off skyscrapers,
and the streets teem
with determined shoppers
and sightseers
wielding credit cards and iPhone cameras, clad
in T-shirts with English words and phrases.
I fall
          in step
             beside a young woman on
                 the outdoor escalator whose
shirt, white on black,
reads, 'I am very, very happy.' I smile
and then notice, coming
down the other side,
another woman
wearing
        exactly the same
       message, only
                        in neon pink. So many
                                  very,
                                          very
                                                 happy people!
Yet the ATMs sometimes dispense
counterfeit 100 yuan notes and
elsewhere in the realm
      police fire on
      protestors seeking
                more than consumer goods,
while officials fret
about American credit
and the security of their investments, and
     the government executes mayors for taking
                       bribes from real estate developers.
    
    A drizzle greets me in Hong Kong,
a tablecloth of fog draped over the peaks
   that turns into a rain shower.
I find my way to work after many twists and turns
through shopping malls and building lobbies and endless
turning halls of luxury retail.
               At dinner I have a century egg and think
of Chinese mothers
urging their children,
'Eat! Eat your green, gooey treat.
On the street afterwards, a
near-naked girl grabs my arm,
pulls me toward a doorway marked by a 'Live Girls’
sign. 'No kidding,’ I think as I pull myself carefully
free, and cross the street.

On the flight to Bombay, I doze
   under a sweaty airline blanket, and
       dream that I am already there and the rains
         have come in earnest as I sit with the presumably
           semi-fictional Didier of Shantaram in the real but as-yet-unseen
            Leopold's Café, drinking Kingfishers,
              and he is telling me,  confidentially,
                     exactly where to find what I’ve lost as I wake
with the screech and grip of wheels on runway.
            

     Next day on the street outside the real Leopold's,
bullet holes preserved in the walls from the last terrorist attack,
I am trailed through the Colaba district
by a mother and children,  'Please sir, buy us milk, sir, buy us some rice,
I will show you the store.'
    A man approaches, offering a drum,
                        another a large balloon (What would I do with that?)
A shoeshine guy offers
                                           to shine my sneakers, then shares
the story of his arrival and struggle in Bombay.
     And I buy
             the milk and the rice and some
                      small cakes and in a second
                          the crowd of children swells
                               into the street
               and I sense
                     the danger of the crazy traffic to the crowd
                         that I have created, and I
think, what do I do?
           I flee, get into a taxi and head
                             to the Gateway of India, feeling
                                                                                  that I have failed a test.

                                       My last night in Mumbai, the rains come, flooding
     streets and drenching pavement dwellers and washing
the humid filth from the air. When it ends
           after two hours, the air is cool and fresh
                                  and I take a stroll at midnight
          in the street outside my hotel and enter the slum
   from which each morning I have watched
the residents emerge,  perfectly coiffed. I buy
some trinkets at a tiny stand and talk briefly
      with a boy who approaches, curious about a foreigner out for a walk.

A couple of days after that, in
the foothills of the Himalayas,  monks' robes flutter
on a clothesline like scarlet prayer flags behind the
Dalai Lama's temple.
I trek to 11,000 feet along a
narrow rocky path through thick
monsoon mist,
   stopping every 10 steps
to
   catch
        my  breath,
              testing each rock before placing my weight.
Sometimes
    the surface is slick and I nearly fall,
sometimes
    the stones
        themselves shift. I learn slowly, like some
             newborn foal, or just another
                clumsy city boy,
                   that in certain terrains the
       smallest misstep
                            can end with a slide
                                             into the abyss.
                  At the peak there's a chai shop that sells drinks and cigarettes
                                of all things and I order a coffee and noodles for lunch.
While I eat,
      perched on a rock in a silence that is both ex- and
      in-ternal,
the clouds in front of me slowly part to reveal
a glacier that takes up three-quarters of the sky, craggy and white and
beautiful. I snap a few shots,
quickly,
before the cloud curtain closes
again,
obscuring the mountain.
                                                
                                     --Rob Urban: Tokyo, Shanghai, Mumbai, Delhi, Dharamshala
                                        7/13/11-7/30/11
John Stevens Jul 2010
When Mom died in June of 1991 Dad was rather lost,
like the rest of us. I started writing little letters in
big print so he could read them. He would not talk on
the phone so this was the only way to make contact.
I found out later that he carried them around in his
bib overall pocket and pulled them out from time to time.
Occasionally they would get washed and when Sharon
let me know I would run off another copy and mail it.
It became a means for me to remember the past and help
Dad at the same time. My kids loved to hear stories of
when I was a kid so I would recycle the stories between
the kids and Dad. Now as I read them it is a reminder of
things that have become a little fuzzy over the years,
also a reminder that I need to fill in the gaps of the stories
and leave them for my kids before it is too late. So here it is,
such as it is, if you are interested.

=======================================

    Letter­s to Dad

    Nov. 14, 1991

    Dear Dad,
    Your grandkiddies, as you call them,
    send you a big hug from Idaho. Sara is
    five and in Kindergarten this year and
    doing very well. Kristen is in the forth
    grade and made the Honor Roll list the
    first quarter of the year. We are very
    proud of both of our girls.

    Do you remember when toward late
    afternoon you and I would get in the car
    and “Drive around the block” as you
    always said? We would go up to Cliff’s
    and go east for a mile then down past
    Cleo Mae house and on back home. I
    remember you would stop at the junk
    piles and I would find neat stuff, like
    wheels from old toys, that I could make
    into my toys. I think of those times often.
    It was very enjoyable.

    I will be writing to you in the BIG PRINT
    so you can read it easier.

    It is snowing lightly here today. Supposed
    to be nasty weather for a while.

    Bye for now.

    John

    ——————————————————–

    Dec. 3, 1991

    Dear Dad,

    Just a note to say we love you. I miss very
    much talking to Mom on the phone and
    having you play Red Wing on your harmonica.

    I remember quite often when I was very
    young, 4 or 5, and we would go out to the
    field to change the water or something.
    The sand burrs would be so thick and you
    would pick me up on your back. I would
    put my feet into your back pockets and
    away we would go.

    These are the things childhood memories
    are supposed to be made of. Kristen and
    Sara love to hear the stories about when I
    was a kid and what you and I did
    together. I try with them to build the
    memories that they can tell their kids.
    Thanks Dad for a good childhood.

    Bye for now.
    Kristen and Sara send you a kiss and a
    hug.

    Your son, John

    —————————————————–

    Jan. 12, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    We went to Oregon for Christmas and
    had very good traveling weather. Do you
    remember when you and Mom went with
    us once to Oregon at Christmas and
    there were apples still hanging on the
    tree by the Williams house? We made
    apple pie from the apples that you
    picked. Turned out to be pretty good pie.
    There weren’t any apple on the tree this
    year. I thought of you picking the apples
    and bringing them into the kitchen in
    your hat if I remember right.

    We have had some pretty good times
    together. I was thinking the other day
    about a picture that I took of you about
    12 years ago. It captured you as I will
    always remember you. If I can locate it in
    all the stuff, I would like to get it blown
    up and submit it to the art section at the
    Twin Falls County Fair this year.

    I hope this finds you feeling well. I love
    you Dad. Kristen and Sara send you a
    kiss and a hug.

    Oh yes, I would like for you and Tracy to
    sit down sometime and talk about when
    you were a kid and record it on tape. I
    would like to put your remembrances
    down on paper.

    Bye for now.

    Your son, John

    ———————————————————

    Feb. 11, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    Happy Valentine’s Day!!

    Spring is on the way and soon you will be
    85. Just a spring chicken, right? I hope I
    can get around as well as you do by the
    time I am 85.

    Thanks for the letter. I will keep it for a
    very long time. It is the first letter I have
    received from my Father in 48 years.

    Talked to Ed the other day. He said he
    talked to you on the phone and that you
    were wearing your hearing aids and
    glasses. Great! Mom would be proud of
    you.

    Talked to a guy last week who is
    president of the John Deer tractor group
    here. He invited me to bring my “M”
    John Deer to the County Fair and
    participate in the tractor pull contest.
    Might just do that.

    Well the page is filling up using these big
    letters but if it makes it easier to read it is
    worth it.

    Bye for now Dad, I love you. Pennye,
    Kristen and Sara send their love too.

    Your son, John
    —————————————————-
    April 13, 1992

    Dad

    Though the years have past and you are now
    85, you are still the same as when I was a
    child. The memories of going with you to the
    field, when you were “riding the ditch”,
    surveying in a lateral, loading up the turkeys
    in the old Ford truck and taking them to the
    “Hoppers” - is just as if it were yesterday. I
    think of you playing Red Wing on the harp. I
    remember when during the looong cold
    winters we would play checkers. You would
    always beat me. I learned to play a good game.

    Not much has changed except we are both
    much older now. The values you did not speak
    but lived out in front of me has helped make
    me what I am today. I pray that I will be a
    good example before my children to help them
    on their way through life.

    On your 85th birthday, I want to wish you a
    Happy Birthday and thank you for being my
    Father.

    Love
    John

    April 13, 1992

    ————————————————–

    June 10, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    I hope this finds you well. The Stevens
    family in Twin Falls Idaho is having a
    busy summer. Kristen just finished the
    fourth grade and was on the Honor Roll
    for the entire year. Sara will now be a
    big First Grader next year.

    The other day we went out to eat and
    Kristen had chicken and noodles. She
    said, “This tastes just like Grandma
    Nellie’s noodles.” I hope they can keep
    these memories fresh and remember all
    the good times we had back in Nebraska.
    It is difficult to accept that things have
    changed and will never be the same again.
    We miss the weekly phone calls to Nebraska.

    It is clouding up and we might get rain
    this week. It is very dry around here.
    Some of the canals will be cut off in July.

    Bye for now.

    Your Son John

    Love you Dad. I think of you often.

    —————————————————-

    June 22, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    Hope you had a good “HAPPY PAPPY”
    day. This note is to wish you a late
    “HAPPY PAPPY” day.

    I was thinking the other day about the
    times you would take me roller skating
    out at the fair ground on Sunday
    afternoons. I really enjoyed those times. I
    remember how you could give a little hop
    and skate backwards. For me staying on
    my feet was a challenge.

    Sara will be 6 years old June 29. Seems
    like yesterday when she was born. Time
    has a way of passing very quickly.

    Love you lots Dad. The family sends their
    love too.

    Bye for now.
    John

    —————————————————

    Aug. 11, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    Just a note to let you know that your
    Idaho family love you. It was good to talk
    to you for a minute or two the other day.
    I miss the harmonica playing you would
    do over the phone.

    We are all well even though the place
    was covered with smoke from all the
    forest fires last week. It got a little hard
    on the lungs at times but the smoke has
    moved on now. Probably went over
    Nebraska.

    Talked to brother Ed the other day. He
    had just returned from from Nebraska.
    Ed said you looked good for 85.

    Bye for now.

    John

    —————————————————–

    Sept. 10, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    I am sending a copy of what Mom sent
    me a few years ago of what she
    remembered about growing up. I wish I
    had more. How about sitting down with
    Tracy and Sharon and telling them some
    of the things you remember about
    growing up? They can record it and I will
    put it on paper. I would really like that.

    We are ok here in Idaho. Summer had
    disappeared and it is school time again.
    Kristen is in the 5th grade and Sara is in
    the 1st grade. The family went to the
    County Fair today for the second time.
    One day is enough for me.

    I think of you often and love you Dad.
    Thinking of the good times we had
    together while I was growing up always
    makes me happy. You and Mom raised
    four pretty good kids.
    God Bless you Dad. We love you from
    Idaho.

    Bye for now.

    John

    —————————————————–

    Oct. 11, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    We are fine out in Idaho. We are having
    beautiful fall weather. It has not frozen
    enough to get our tomato plants yet.

    Kristen and Sara are doing very well in
    school. They brought home their mid
    term report cards and are getting A’s
    and a B or two.

    Remember when we would go out in the
    corn field and pick the corn by hand? I
    would drive the tractor and you and Ed
    and Wayne picked the corn and threw it
    in the trailer. You guys kept warm from
    the work and I was freezing on the
    tractor. Before that we used the horses
    named Brownie and - was it Blackie?
    The one that kept getting out up north by
    the ditch was Brownie. He figured out
    how to open the gate.

    I remember the times that you were
    hauling cane or sorghum from the field
    east of Mercers and I would ride behind
    the wagon on my sled.

    I had a very good childhood really.
    Thanks for being my Dad.

    God Bless you Dad. We love you from
    Idaho.

    Bye for now.

    John

    ——————————————————-

    Nov. 10, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    It is snowy here and cold. I have a hole in
    the back of the house I must get sealed up
    to keep the cold out. We are redoing this
    part for the kitchen.

    Kristen and Sara made the Honor Roll
    this quarter in school. Kristen’s teacher
    said he wished he had a whole room full
    of Kristens to teach.

    Sorry the phone connection was so bad
    when I called the other day. It was good
    to here you say “hello hello….” any way.
    Glad you are feeling better.

    Your account in the credit union is about
    $34,000 now.

    I was just thinking back when we were
    cultivating corn with that “crazy wheel
    cultivator”. The one that you drove the
    tractor and I rode on the cultivator and
    used the foot pedals to steer it down the
    rows. I remember sometimes it cleaned
    out some of the corn row. Cultivator
    blight, right? It was kind of hard to keep
    straight. Those were the days.

    I keep remembering little bits of things
    while growing up. Sometime I will put
    them all together for my kids to read
    about the “good ole days”.

    God Bless you Dad. We love you from
    Idaho.

    Bye for now.

    John

    ————————————————
    Dec. 17, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    The snow has fallen and the kids stayed
    home from school today. The wind is now
    blowing so it will begin drifting the road
    shut. Besides that the whole family is sick
    with a cold.

    We are putting together a Christmas gift
    to you but it won’t be ready for
    Christmas. It is something that you can
    watch over and over if you want. So
    Merry Christmas for now.

    Last night was the kids’ school Christmas
    program. Kristen started playing the
    flute this fall and played with a group for
    the first time this week. She did very well
    and I got it on video.

    Time to get this in the mail. Love you
    Dad.
    Bye for now.

    Kristen and Sara send you a kiss and a
    hug.
    Your son, John

    ——————————————————

    Jan. 11, 1993

    Dear Dad,

    We have a lot of snow on the ground
    now. I was telling the family about the
    winter of 49 where the snow covered the
    door and you had to scoop the snow into
    the house to dig a tunnel out then haul
    the snow out through the tunnel. That
    was a 15 foot drift wasn’t it? It sure
    looked big to this 6 year old. Then the
    plane flew over the house for a few days
    until we could get out and signal an OK.
    Those were the days! What I do not
    remember is how you took care of the
    cows and stuff during this time. I
    remember being sick and Wayne took the
    horse and rode into Broadwater to get
    oranges and something else. The big
    white dog we had went along and was hit
    by a car. Wayne had to use a fence post
    to finish him off. I remember feeling very
    sad about the old dog.
    We haven’t had this much snow in 8
    years.

    I trust you are feeling well. Our prayers
    are with you all.
    Bye for now. Love you Dad
    The family send a BIG Hi!!!!

    Your son, John

    —————————————————-

    Feb. 9, 1993

    Dear Dad,

    When the kids go to bed they say “Tell us
    a story about when you were a kid on the
    farm”. So I tell them things that I write
    to you and a LOT that I don’t write to
    you. The other day going to school we
    were talking about one of the first snow
    falls we had this year. I spun the van
    around in circles in the parking lot and
    they thought that was GREAT fun. Then
    I told them about the time that their
    Grandpa cut some circles in the Kelly
    School yard and hit a pole with the back
    fender. Do you remember that? I
    remember Mom bringing it up every now
    and then. Then there was the time you
    got a little close to the guard posts along
    the highway just west of Broadwater and
    ripped the spare tire and bracket off the
    old Jeep. Of course none of US ever did
    anything like that. HA.

    It is good to remember back and tell the
    kids about the things we did “in the old
    days”. They find it hard to believe there
    was no TV and I walked through rattle
    snake country to go to the neighbors to
    play. It WAS a good time for me and I
    had a GOOD Dad to help me grow up.
    Thanks again Dad. You and Mom did a
    very good job on us four kids. Sometimes
    we don’t show it often enough but I for
    one thank you and LOVE you.

    Soon you will have another birthday.
    Before you know it you will be 90. I
    should be so lucky.

    I trust you are feeling well. Our prayers
    are with you all. Bye for now. Love you
    Dad
    The family send a BIG Hi!!!!

    Your son, John

    —————————————————–

    Mar. 9, 1993

    Dear Dad,
    Time has a way of disappearing so
    rapidly. I was going to write you a note
    two weeks ago and now here we are.

    It looks like spring is just about to arrive.
    I am ready for it. I’ll bet you are ready to
    get out side and do something. Do you
    miss not farming? I think often about the
    farm and the things we used to do. The
    kids always ask for stories about being on
    the farm. I tell them about raising a
    garden, rattlesnakes, floods, the BIG
    ONE in 49, anything that comes to mind.

    The family went to Sun Valley about 70
    miles north of here Sat. with Kristen’s
    Girl Scout troop for a day of ice skating.
    Pennye used the VCR and played back
    their falls and no falls. It reminded me of
    the times you would get your old clamp-
    on skates on a cut a figure on the ice. I
    never was very good at it. You could hop
    up and turn around. I couldn’t stay of
    my back side and head. I still have a big
    dent in the back of my head from the last
    time I tried. Nearly killed me. So much
    for that.

    Next month you will have another
    birthday. 86 years! Before you know it
    you will be 90.

    I paid your insurance for another year
    I trust you are feeling well. Our prayers
    are w
Emma Liang Mar 2012
I bounce a volleyball as I walk to my dorm
just to hear that delightful sound, that satisfying, clean thud off the cement.

look up, see you in that grey hoodie that gives me bad dreams
and curse under my breath, eyes darting like a cornered fox,
            there is nowhere to hide.
we almost exchange eye contact, I almost taste blood in my mouth
            I hate how familiar you are.
you look down, cough;
I murmur a dusty hello-goodbye into the ground, hold my volleyball tighter
against my chest –
and hurry on, court sneakers straining on the pavement, trying too hard to forget your cracked smiles.

--

I remember how we used to pass for hours
no sound but the volleyball slapping against our forearms,
brushing off our fingertips,
echoing through that Choate gymnasium, that cold spring;

My head had barely reached the middle of the net,
but you were tall and brave and handsome, my Prince Charming, and
I was a freshman girl with her heart on her sleeve, who
hugged a warm volleyball to her heart and smiled,

thinking herself lucky.

--

Spring thawed your heart, eventually,
and you let me hold your hand;
you had long fingers, cold to the touch.
you taught me how to set, complimented my hands,
trained me to cradle the ball with my thumbs like it was made of glass,
your hands around mine.

I was braver than you were,
because everything felt fresh and exciting to me, like the
smell of crushed pine needles in the air;
you kissed me (I kissed you?) on that night
and I leaned forward, curious and eager, and wrapped my arms
around your neck.

--

The days melted into one another,
and we became
like chalk drawings blurring after rain,
like floor burns from sliding to save a falling ball –
but missing it, all the effort gone to waste;
the burns will still burn and still scar, for nothing.

May to June, June to July,
I hugged you and laughed, but my eyes
were cold; you said I love you
And I tried to say it back, but I couldn’t without
sticking a used to before the love –
            the honey words stuck in my throat.

Our kisses were routine, stale
like the crackers I left out the night before;
I tapped my foot and
tossed the volleyball quickly behind my back with nimble fingers
and counted the seconds before it was acceptable to pull back;
I had homework and volleyball practice and quizzes to study for, you know – I tried to smile but
it felt so wrong, I stopped –
you asked what was wrong, I shook my head, there are no answers for some questions.

--

It’s been four years since we’ve spoken,
shared secret moments under solemn oak trees, behind library bookshelves
that promised to keep us away from prying eyes,
smiled into each other’s lips,
blinked stories into each other’s eyes.
It’s been four years since people have teased you for not
hitting the ball when we passed – you gentleman, you –

I will not say I miss you, because I refuse to lie for your sake;
but sometimes as I set a ball perfectly to a hitter
I think of you for a split second, wonder where you are and if you remember as much
as I do, which is, honestly
not very much.

--

she writes letters to him and then burns them all, the smell of smoke fills the room.
It’s as if she is stealing the fury of the sun, which is cooling down, melting into lava at the horizon –
it will be another cold winter, there is already frost in the grass, the air smells chilly.

Dear you,

I broke up with you as nicely as I could –
there was no reason I fell out of love, the same way
there is no reason people fall in love.

you have no right ******* me out on the internet the way you did.
Every time I hit a volleyball I imagine your face on my palm, and I hit harder.
I will never forgive you for the things you wrote,
and I don’t know if I ever loved you at all,
because you are despicable.

Goodbye,
the girl of your dreams.


--

it’s the beginning of the end of July, everything is so hot.
the pavement is baking, the volleyballs are flat,
her arms feel weak and limp like overcooked noodles.

it’s hard to think straight. She can hardly remember
her own name before remembering that she has a boyfriend.
He calls, he says I love you and she tries to choke out that well-rehearsed lie –
what was it again? something like I love you too?

But it’s too hot, and she
can’t do it anymore –

she swallows hard and grips her volleyball tighter,
her hands sweating against the weathered sphere that has been through so much with her
as she prepares to say goodbye.
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)
Tyrus Jun 2017
Oh Ramen, Sweet as sugar
You shall fill my stomach with a myriad of tastes.
I am like putty because you’re my ******
Your enchanting dance at an unstoppable rate

Sip, slurp, and swallow
Everywhere you go I follow
I can’t help but be the cooker
Since you’re an amazing looker

You’re the heart inside my soul
seeing you every day is my goal
It is my heart that you stole.
I really like noodles in a cup; what better way to express my love? Write a poem
Creep Dec 2014
She's adorable. With her golden eyes and that cute laugh... If only she loved me back... If she'll come, maybe.
"Holy Rome!! ^^"
"Italy!"
She came!
"Holy Rome, what did you invite to this flower field for?"
"I just wanted to... enjoy the beautiful sight with you... build our alliance..."
"That sounds wonderful!" She picked flowers and sat down next to me.
"I picked you some flowers! Aren't they nice?"
"Yeah... They are pretty. Thank you."
She smiled in excitement and ran around the field. After a while, she got tired and sat down.
"Holy Rome! Look! The sunset!" She pointed at the sky.
The sky was orange and pink and we watched as it quickly set under the horizon.
After the sunset, Italy went home and left me all alone on the flower field, her flowers still in my hands. Another opportunity missed. To tell her I love her. To share my thoughts and feelings for her. For that romantic kiss during the sunset I was planning. Maybe next week.
---
I trudged home quickly and quietly, I just missed my moment to tell HRE how much I really love him... when i skipped through the vibrant field he brought me to, all i could think about was how he brought me here anyhow he was watching me the whole time... i could feel the red blood rushing to my cheeks, even now on the porch of austria as i sweep, just from thinking about HRE...

I sigh and continue to sweep, back and forth, back and forth, scampering all around the house, in a hazy daydream of HRE and me... oh how i love his tender smile... and the way he takes power and shows strength to all the other countries... I'm glad he and i are making an alliance... it gives me another excuse to see him :)

suddenly, i hear a crash.

"hey... italy..." a drunken austria walks into the room and staggers over to me. i look at him, frightened, as he leans down onto me, leaning on my shoulder and his mouth by my ear... he whispers "i love you italy..." he laughs a haggard laugh at my shocked face, his drunken alcoholic stench engulfing my nose with its smell and staggers back out the door where he came from.
I am left standing there with my broom to support me as i stare at the door, still so surprised, my mind whirring with so many thoughts....

---
Today I saw her again.
I volunteered to help her with her chores.
(at first I typed chairs ^^")
"Italy, um... do you need help... today?"
"Not right now Holy Rome, but maybe later."
**** IT. I lost my chance again.
"Are you sure?"
"Now that you mention it, where do you keep the vacuum?"
"Oh, follow me."
I showed her the way to the closet and gave her the vacuum. "Here, this is what you wanted, right?"
"Yes thank you."

I watch her vacuum as I stand to the side out of the way. The way she sings while working, the silent vacuum makes it much easier to hear her. Her occasional smile at me makes me blush every time. The way she stops and pants, it's just... adorable.

"Holy Rome?"
I snapped out of my thoughts. "Huh?"
"Can you help me put this away?"
"Oh, sure."
"Okay! Thank you!"

She surprisingly has manners. If only she could teach some people those manners, because then this life would be a whole lot easier! But, after I helped her put the vacuum away, she turned around and KISSED me! She kissed me, **** it! She told me she was leaving soon to another country.
"But, you can't!" I said. I was so upset I couldn't handle it.
"I'm sorry... I have no choice." She looked as if she was about to cry.
"Hey, Italy. Even if we don't see each other again, just remember that I love you..."
"Okay, I will."
---
I gathered my items into a suitcase and left that day.
I miss him already... i left him with that confused and tearful face of his... oh how sad... i didn't tell him i love you... how could i forget? DX but i gave him the kiss... maybe he'll understand my true feelings for him....

with these jumbled thoughts, i leave for vienna... where i shall stay with austria, he has offered me work in his summerhouse, in exchange i get to stay in his house to sleep... hopefully i can become stronger in a new country, and be like HRE.. i sigh and shake away my dreamy, starry eyes.

---

After the trip, i finally arrive to austria's house. he greets me at the front door, with what i think was an attempt at a **** smile? I'm not sure what he has in mind, after the stun he pulled the other day when he was drunk. i push the thought away and focus on preparing the lavish dinner he has put me up to, with glazed duck confit, salads, soups, everything.

i set up the table and serve all the food in the main dining room table. he sits on one end and on the other end of the long table, theres an empty chair. he simply says, "Go get changed into something presentable, then come down here and join me for dinner."
I look at him in shock, quickly recover, and run up to my room to follow his orders.

---
I went home, seriously depressed and beaten. Why? She's so sweet and nice that it's just too sad to think about. Oh, Italy...

Wait, she said something about going to Austria's... that must mean forever! I was pretty sure that maybe she could come back one day. But I guess not now that I know exactly where she's going... she might not come back. I won't ever see her again. Our "goodbye" wasn't even long enough for a goodbye that meaningful... I wish I could say goodbye at least one more time.

I walk into my home and sit on the couch. I'm too depressed to do anything. I don't want to eat, I don't want to walk, I don't want to breathe but I have to...
---
I rush down to the dining room, with the finest tux that i own and sit down in the chair across from Austria. He looks at me with a new look i havent seen before... im not sure what it is but it seems... familiar.. in the creepiest way. i shyly look up at him as i tuck the tissue into my shirt. he watches me even more closely this time and i look away.

"why dont you have some pasta, italy?"

i greedily take some pasta, pour the heavenly marinara over the perfectly cooked noodles. it is divine, and i slurp up the noodles with a fervor so unmannered, i blush at my rudeness, but im too hungry to stop.

i can still feel his stare.

is it what i think it is...?
lust? 0~0

---
Now you have to eat, Holy Rome!
But I don't want to.
You have to!
I don't want to!!!!!!!
Fine. Just watch the plate of perfectly made pasta you made yourself right in front of you go to waste, then!

I sigh as I catch myself fighting with myself. "Had to be pasta, didn't it? HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE! YOU ARE SUCH A BAKA!" I yell at myself. I suddenly start remembering all the fun we had together. At the Neko Festival, where we dressed as cats and danced together. In the flower field a few days before.

I started humming "Draw A Circle" to cheer myself up. But then it just makes me remember when Italy and I made a duet of our own...

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pk9nQzW30bI )

After I think about how much fun we've had together in the past, I think about her twin brother, Southern Italy. I've never met him before, but from what I hear from Austria, he sounds like a ****. I'm kind of glad that Italy doesn't have some of her childhood with him.

Wait a minute.

If Southern Italy is ruled by Austria and Italy is too...

I have to save her!

I have to force myself to stand.

STAND HRE!

I finally stand up and quickly run out the door. Italy! I have to save her! Please let her be safe! Safe from Southern Italy! PLEASE!
---
I blush and look down at my food. it can't be...

"how r u liking ur food, italy?" he asked with a weird smile and a strange tone to his voice...
i tentatively replied, "pasta is always good. um.... may i be excused? i have some work to get done?" he stared at me with a bit of disappointed, replying quietly, "whatever you need to do, my dear." i quickly left, all the while feeling his strong stare on my back. i shudder and hurry up the stairs and slam the door quickly, locking it as well.

well that was creepy. i wish HRE was here, he'd protect me and id be able to confide in him on what i think austria is up to.

I settle down on to my bed after i brush my teeth and change.
mmmm.... so soft.....

right before i settle off to sleep, i hear a sudden noise, a crash. i rush outside my room and quickly head to austrias room to see if he is ok.

"... mmmm oh italy is so cute.... i just want to kiss him sometimes.... and his cooking... simply marvelous..." muffled noises are heard from the room. i back up hesitantly, unsure what to do as i can see a faint outline of him holding a picture... of me. i back away slowly, completely freaked out. i try to escape his notice as quietly as possible.

too late.

"italy? is that you i hear, my dear?"
I stop, unsure what to do. austria comes out the room, still clutching the picture of me and wraps his arms around me. I stand stiff, incapable of moving.
"you look so **** in those pajamas of yours..." he whispers eerily into my ear. i turn red, and try to get out of his grasp,but he is too strong... he pulls me closer towards him and begins to kiss my neck...i gasp and squirm trying to get him too stop, but he just pushes me against the wall and pins me there. he starts tugging at my shirt and I struggle to break free.

suddenly a loud bang explodes through the hallway.
austria doesnt stop, he starts to take my shirt of, bit by bit, trailing a line of kisses and moans down to my now bare chest.

he whispers... "i see southern italy has arrived to help me..." he looks up, and gives me over to southern italy.
No! why?
I close my eyes shut, too scared too look.

Suddenly, another bang.
"who's this?" austria asks southern italy as southern italy continues to caress my pale, heaving chest, him moaning every so often.

"ITALY!" HRE yells as he comes to the rescue.

I open my eyes to see him charge at Austria.

---
I headbutted him. I kicked him. I scratched him. I did as much as I could to get him off of Italy. I pulled him away finally. Why the hell is Southern Italy here too?
"Southern Italy?!"
"What is it you *******?"
"Why are you here?"
"Because I feel like it!"
(All of this was happening as Austria is passed out on the floor!!!!)
Italy was standing there, her shirt off- WHAT?! I blocked my eyes so I could help put her shirt on without seeing anything.
"Why are you being so cautious?" Southern Italy asked/
"Huh? What do you mean?"
"You don't have to block your eyes..." Italy said. "Austria told me what was happening..."
"What?!"
Southern Italy sighed and said, "You idiotic *******! Italy is a guy!"
I froze. What? How? I couldn't move. I couldn't breathe. I looked at Italy with he- um... HIS shirt off, it's true... She's a boy.
I started to cry without warning and ran away. I couldn't bare it. I kissed him, I hugged him, I LOVED him! A guy! It's official...
:D hope you enjoy ^^ its a hetalia axis powers fan fiction with Ashley Mae Renton. she's awesome, check her out :D
thanks so much for keeping up with my craziness, Ashley ;) ^^
(italics is ashley, I'm bold)
Bruce Gil Sep 2015
bawat segundoy ako'y pinagmamasdan
para bang ayaw muna kong lubayan
bawat minuto ika'y takam na takam
sa lamang kong napakalinamnam

bakit ba ang tigas ng yong ulo
ang nakalagay ay tatlong minuto
ilang beses ka ba inere ng nanay mo
para matikmaan ang nasa loob ko

pagkaraan ng tatlong minuto
ako'y iyong binuksan
nilagay sa platitong pinatong sa pinggan
at dahan dahang hinihigup ang laman

sa bawat lunok na ginagawa
ika'y biglang napaluha
nakangiti at napatulala
binuhay ko ang katawang **** lupa

sa ating sandaling pagsasama
ika'y aking pinaligaya
at ngayo'y ika'y tapos na
hiling ko'y itapon mo ako ng tama
sophiaaa May 2013
chinese chow-mian
little brown worms
wriggling past soya sauce
skinny dipping into sizzling sauté stew
lavished with molten eggs
strangled by wooden chopsticks silently
heavenly.
Iris Rebry Apr 2014
Sitting on my bed eating noodles
And thinking of when
People didn't like rap in their poetry
After all, it is not rap
That makes a poem beautiful,
But the passion, emotion
And the creation of the soft, silky
Syllables as they slide out of
Your mind and onto the page.
Where is the rap in that?
Why is my poetry to be squished
Underfoot,
My heart trampled on
My pearls before the swine
Because it contains no rap
Nor rhyme
Does a poem need these things
To be beautiful?
According to those who
Judge it so narrowly
They cannot see the beauty
To them words coming
Out of my mouth
Must be in order
A straight line
But where is the beauty in that?
Art is not made from straight
Lines but from curved ones.
Poetry is not made
From rap and rhyme scheme
But from the strings and emotions
Of the heart,
When plucked,
Made a mellifluous melody.
There is beauty in that.
Robin Carretti Aug 2018
It's like the movie
part of me*
It tells me where I should
go and want to be
Please note that I will say
Not a dark place
inside my suitcase

"Robin Red Breasted" suit
Peck and nip and tuck in place
The rainbow iridescent
Suiting her taste wet rain tents
Everyone was Green with envy
Robin/ Rainbow event lets hear
it for our Army so many
troops

He was sitting politely
Like a salesman of suitcases
on her stoop
She was mesmerized
Living out of a tour suitcase
She wanted daisies she was
ready for fantasies
Of him in her suitcase

Tumbling through
Another time Postman
Singing birds to ring twice
Birds all in groups
Computer laptops she wanted
to be surprised so mysterious
But ready for love ingenious

He laughed not losing sight
Robin eats like a bird
so hilarious
She packed her sunshine
yellow ribbons
she was ready to feed
Those Brooklyn pigeons

Packed suitcase ready for
the love of God
Going frenzy from her fruit loops
Robin Birdie born traveler scoop
Well nested flying South
fully invested
Rocking her flight cradle

Wherever I go or whatever I do
Traveling packs meet
Mr. Ramen noodles
Getting silly splashing puddles

The Spiritual Zen
traveling boots over a shower
He kissed them high up (Eiffel Tower)
Rome Italy wines in love cahoots

The call I'm ready "Amazon" wild
Let us go, child, another story
But the wildcard fresh air
Oh! Dear
The  lightness easy does it
feathering wings the clues fit
Packing my suitcase
Love is a drug of "Europe"
Perfectly fine wine
Always hope with cantaloupe
I just felt to write something about a trip maybe I should have my head flipped but this is what I came up with imaginative being ready holding my heart steady being selective and being ready for anything the birds fly Robin red breast putting her to the test
Maggie Emmett Nov 2014
Fragrant hot laksa
thick wriggling yellow noodles
creamy coconut
green coriander and lime
eaten with hot chilli you
Non-traditional Tanka for two!
Fah May 2014
I just tasted a memory. BANG . slapped me on the tongue like a freight train out of a rip in space and time,

of garlic and peppercorn chicken with jasmine rice , a clear broth and fresh cucumbers, a wedge of lime and chrysanthemum tea.

oh .. my mouth  , how could you spring this on me .. when i'm so far from the motherland...

then they come thick and fast -

thai iced tea , thai iced coco , thai iced coffee , thai lime soda ..

papaya salad with sticky rice , Mango and coconut sticky rice , Roti with condensed milk and banana , coconut ice cream in a white bread bun with coconut sticky rice and peanuts, fresh fruits of rambutan and mangosteen for 30 baht a kilo......oh.....oh...who could forget the fried flat noodles , or the fried pastry's called explosion *****..... oh... oh my

heart..... my heart...... my stomach... calls out to you , oh glorious green curry with roti , morning congee with little pork ***** and soy sauce..... come to me my dumpling and noodles let me lick the chillies and sugar off my lips , may i taste once more

the conception of such marvelous treats , unfathomable to the western palate , little sweet corn and flour discs cooked on a special cooker over a real fire...dried squid sold on the back of a bicycle , fried garlic with sticky rice , a pink soup !

I just had a taste memory
****.
ponny jo May 2014
i've a predisposition to pretty prose,
i look in your eyes, and stronger it grows,
you are sways from branching willows,
you are songs that nobody knows,
your scent is enchanting, like earth over-grown.
you walk with such grace, your poetry shows.
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 coif
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.

You Tube Music Video:
Black Eyed Peas
Joints and Jam

2/7/11
Oakland
jbm
(WIP)
Dada Olowo Eyo Nov 2013
And she smiled,
Aglow, thoroughly satisfied,
She eased up, reclined,
Sated, she belched but refined.
Timothy Brown Apr 2014
She wanders with a ponderance
of an unfulfilling existence .
It's like she missed the instance
when life was handing out
purpose. She became subverted
by her own thoughts.
Self-image contorted
like spaghetti noodles or dreadlocks.
The simplicity of existing has become brutal.
She keeps the gold within
vaulted like Fort Knox.
That protection is like an island
preventing her journey's beginning.
A short introduction to Sweet Memory  You can find other parts of the story in my poems entitled Sweet Memory left with Bad Taste. ©April 7th, 2014 by Timothy Brown. All rights reserved.  P.S Thanks Letty for the inspiration

— The End —