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

                 THE LEGEND OF HOLLYWOOD :
                        THE AMERICAN  DREAM
                             BY RAJ NANDY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                        HOLLYWOOD  OF  THE  1950s

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

DEMAND FOR NEW THEMES DURING THE 1950s :
The idealized portrayal of men and women since the Second World War,
Now failed to satisfy the youth who sought exciting symbols for rebellion.
So Hollywood responded with anti-heroes with stars like James Dean, Marlon Brando, and Paul Newman.
They replaced conventional actors like Tyron Power, Van Johnson, and Robert Taylor to a great extent, to meet the requirement of the age.
Anti-heroines included Ava Gardner, Kim Novak, and Marilyn Monroe with her vibrant *** appeal;
She provided excitement for the new generation with a change of scene.
Themes of rebellion against established authority was present in many Rock and Roll songs,
Including the 1954 Bill Hailey and His Comets’ ‘Rock Around the Clock’.
The era also saw rise to stardom of Elvis Presley the teen heartthrob.
Meeting the youthful aspirations with his songs like ‘Jailhouse Rock’!
I recall the lyrics of this 1957 film ‘Jailhouse Rock’ of my school days, which had featured the youth icon Elvis:
   “The Warden threw a party in the county jail,
     The prison band was there and they began to wail.
     The band was jumping and the joint began to sing,
     You should’ve heard them knocked-out jail bird sing.
     Let’s rock, everybody in the whole cell block……………
     Spider Murphy played the tenor saxophone,
     Little Joe was blowing the slide trombone.
     The drummer boy from Illinois went crash, boom, bang!
     The whole rhythm section was the Purple Gang,
      Let's rock,.................... (Lyrics of the song.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CONCLUDING HOLLYWOOD STORY  WITH STUDIOS OF THE 1950s

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

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

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


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

20th CENTURY FOX:
Cinema Scope became FOX’s most successful technological innovation
with its hit film ‘The Robe’. (1953)
Its Darryl Zanuck had observed during the early ‘50s, that audience  
were more interested in escapist entertainments mainly.
So he turned to FOX to musicals, comedies, and adventure stories.
Biggest stars of FOX were Gregory Peck & Susan Hayward; also
stars like Victor Mature, Anne Baxter, and Richard Wind Mark.
Not forgetting Marilyn Monroe in her Cinema Scope Box Office hit
movie - ‘How to Marry a Millionaire’, which was also shown on
prime time TV, as a romantic comedy film of 1953.

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

MINOR STUDIOS were mainly three, - United Artists, Columbia, and
The Universal.
They did not own any theatre chain, and specialized in low-budgeted
‘B’ Movies those days.
Now to cut a long story short it must be said, that Hollywood finally
did participate in the evolution of Television industry, which led to
their integration eventually.
Though strategies involving hardware development and ownership of
broadcast outlets remained unsuccessful unfortunately.
However, Hollywood did succeed through program supply like prime-
time series, and made-for-TV films for the growing TV market making
things more colorful!
Thus it could be said that the TV industry provided the film industry
with new opportunities,  laying the groundwork for its diversification
and concentration;
That characterized the entertainment industry during the latter half  
of our previous century.
I must now confess that I have not visited the movie theatre over the last
two decades!
I watch movies on my big screen TV and my Computer screen these days.
Old classical movies are all available on ‘You Tube’ for me, and I can watch
them any time whenever I am free!
Thanks for reading patiently, - Raj Nandy.
**ALL COPYRIGHTS ARE WITH THE AUTHOR RAJ NANDY OF NEW DELHI
Dave Bosworth Mar 2014
I would like to hold an Asda Memo pad in Fleet Street
I would like it if, in the process of being a low-priced tomato
I were stepped on
and really assured that the real-estate in which my squishing had occurred in - would grossly swell in value
Seen as my squashing had occurred.
howard brace Jan 2013
Despite repeatedly shaking her pincer... much as a sprightly pensioner might brandish a furled umbrella at a grappling contestant, currently being boo'd at in the red corner... the baby crab stamped her foot in annoyance as she glowered at every passing wave that rolled along the shoreline.  In absolving herself of any guilt she may have felt over her prolonged excursion, she had become, even further marooned by a failure to catch a succession of tides back home, an oversight she later confessed, to observe local tide-tables in 'Old More's Almanac...' on sale in all discerning book shops and selected High Street newsagents, priced 10/6d... for unless fluent in the Russian vernacular, it was just about as articulate to the little crab as a map of the Moscow Metro during a blackout, only to have the Rouble finally drop with a throat gagging 'Gaaargh...' clunk, that you were currently standing on the down-line platform, when you should've been stood on the up... as the last train lurched unsteadily out of the station whistling a jubilant entente cordiale... 'wish me luck as you wave me dasvidaniya'.

     Still stamping her foot, only now in strict rotation with the other seven, the baby crustacean peered out from beneath the shade of the large pebble, rearing its bulk out of the rockpool like a lollypop-lady's 'STOP'!!! sign, her beady eyes twitching independently, first this way, then the other, cut withering swathes through every cardinal point of the compass that didn't duck quite fast enough, was rapidly coming to the conclusion that the rock-pool in which she found herself tapping her foot in today, would be no less aquatic as any other rockpool that she may find herself still tapping a foot in tomorrow and that the best course of action was simply to stay-put and take the matter up with the local town council, then petition for additional fare-stages to be implemented... and with the cost of shoe leather at current prices... well, with eight legs to consider it would make savings that weren't to be sneezed at.  

     It wasn't everyday of the week that a young and upwardly mobile baby crustacean had occasion to move both up-market and down the beach, all in the same mouthful... and into what could only be regarded as a desirable, detached beachfront property, a rock-pool of distinction with all available mod-cons.  She felt relieved that apart from the occasional day-tripper, who invariably dropped litter wherever they went, that a baby crab of distinction such as herself, was certain to be accepted socially and hob-*** with a new and discerning circle of acquaintances... you only had to take that nice lady earlier in the week, they both seemed to have so much in common... then she would roll up her sleeves and really show the neighbourhood what knitting was all about...  

     With as much enthusiasm as that of a three year old screaming for an ice-cream in the middle of an heat-wave, Red marched up the beach and as far from his wife's waspish tongue as a lame excuse would carry him, heading back towards the growing crush of holidaymaking fathers who were only there presumably, for the sake of their own children, laying siege to the mobile vendor... only this time, having already stood in the same queue ten minutes earlier, now had a sufficiency of funds to purchase that which he'd unsuccessfully queued for the first time.

      After an unspecified time which by his wife's reckoning was grounds for divorce... Red, now laden down with the iced confectionary picked his way through the same throng of fathers who moments earlier had been happily chatting in the queue together, were now enjoying the same berating as the one Red was looking forward to as he made his way back towards the rock pool, juggling more ice-cream than two manly hands could intelligently control... while in a bid for freedom, the rapidly thawing confectionary were hatching plans of their own, ones quite independent from those intended as they embarked upon their meandering exodus, known only to iced creamy desserts on hot sunny days... and into the unknown, roaming across Red's hands and trusting their fate to a far higher authority.

     "Did I mention that I was on a diet" snapped his significant other, as she sat licking pistachios from the melting cornet... "don't you ever listen," secretly smiling to herself... "and you did remember to bring Sockeye's water this morning.. didn't you..!" she continued "someone with half as much sense would've stood it in the rockpool to keep cool, I'm sure the little crab wouldn't have objected..!"   At the mention of his name, Sockeye with ears far too free-lance to ever consider gainful employment of their own, needed no further persuasion and charged straight through the rock-pool to his mistress's side, walloping the thermos flask for a tail whopping six... bringing his personal batting average so far this holiday to a self congratulatory forty not out... and found the baby crab spluttering flat on her back and having second thoughts on any immediate savings in shoe leather were she to stay. 

     Generous to a fault, Sockeye now thought to shower everyone's ice cream with liberal helpings of the seashore as several parasitic irritations had Sockeye hard at work serving eviction notices on some of the more exotic zoology that only a patent Bob Martin's would dare to muscle up to... the local wildlife, by the look on his face were having the time of their lives bivouacked behind his left ear, throwing wild parties and disturbing the peace.  Cross-eyed, it was only while launching a double pronged assault on the latest settlement of interlopers that Sockeye finally succumbed to his injuries and surrendered to a neighbouring sandcastle... it really didn't do to mention a certain name too loudly at times like these, especially when you just happened to be on the receiving end.

     For some strange reason he was undoubtedly in the dog house... they'd shouted at him, which made him sad, all except his little master who had pushed him away... which left him bereft.  Sockeye sat down on dads beach-towel and had a long, thoughtful scratch... where had all the fuss gone? he searched for appreciation their faces... his tail gave one disheartened thump before it stopped... and all those little pieces of ice-cream dipped wafer, which up until now had always appeared as if by magic.  

     Catching sight of one such treat, undoubtedly forgotten by the rock pool, a marauding seagull pulled out of a rolling dive and swooped, at the same instant as two gaping jaws launched themselves skywards... canine jowls quivering bravely in the light sea airs... and not too dissimilar to a heat seeking missile, rose gracefully from the ground to meet it... 'well intercepted..!' as both ears applauded in mid-air... no aerial freeloader was about to skip town with Sockeye's ice cream wafer without paying... leaving one solitary wing flapping its willingness to pay up.

     At least it kept her husband in useful employment Tina decided... and mercifully out from under her feet, as she brushed a fragment of affectionate pistachio from her bikini top... she'd have to  make sure he went for the ices in future... and without the means to pay for them... a mischievous smile turned the corners of her mouth as she leant towards the beach-bag and invested herself with several more juicy grapes... that everyone who fell within her sphere of influence had been warned well away from... under threat of dire consequence... and it would take a brave man indeed, or a very foolish one... she gave her husband who was sitting well within arms reach a caustic glance... and Tina's particular variety of justice had a very long arm indeed.

                                                        ­           ...   ...   ...**

a work in progress.                                                        ­                                                                 ­  1297
Robert Ronnow Aug 2015
Should we invite the neighbors over for dinner?
Their politics so different from ours.
All the more reason. Combat anomie!
He's worried the town's losing population
but opposes immigration. I like immigrants
but hate passing people on my morning walk.

The whole mountainous western region of the state
is losing population at a rate of 1% per annum.
The young move out, the old stay put but
young artists priced out of big cities move in
looking for affordable studio space. How low
can the population go as long as rents stay low?

We did agree about the fire department expansion
being premature (him) or unnecessary (me).
He argued we should renovate the high school first
the roof is caving in and walls crumbling.
But you can teach under a spreading chestnut tree
or baobab and science needs the world for a laboratory.

I teach at the old 2nd St. jail in Pittsfield
a town that doesn't know if it's coming up or going down.
A few shootings last month, no deaths.
They're holding their breath but also trying to attract life
science businesses to the industrial park. The local bank's
expanding, buying smaller banks in neighboring civilizations.

Eventually our fire department got the vote they wanted,
just called another meeting and packed the auditorium.
The final winning argument was we can do the school,
the fire house and the police station all at once.
Don't accept defeat, limitations. Defeat anomie!
Anomie means lawlessness and purposeless in Greek

so that's not exactly what we're trying to defeat.
It's the mismatch between our aspirations and resources,
no, the dissonance between our tribe and nation,
no, the individual as ****** animal and intellectual,
no, the farmer and the banker, the loved one and the litter,
no, whatever happens to you after you die and belief in reincarnation.

For me, it always boils down to mortality
every conversation, which is why no one comes to dinner.
Whether the fire department buys an exorbitant parcel
at the expense of a future school renovation
in a town slightly losing population but still viable
with a college, bank, artists and a few working farms

is everything and nothing, as Borges says.
Deutsch says death ought to be curable.
The new high school or fire station, conditions like anomie
v. democracy, new life forms, self-conscious species
from the laboratory or the biome. How de body?
Today ok. Tomorrow I don't know. Potential

energy, lover, killer, anomie. Karl Popper
had such faith in the rational whereas Niebuhr
acknowledged man's ego is uncontrollable except
by force. Conflict is inevitable. But at dinner
we agree it doesn't always have to be violent or terminal.
We can do the fire department, police station, the school and anomie.
www.ronnowpoetry.com
i've sifted through all the youtube videos
of vloggers and...
i'm not sure why i don't go back to
listening to BBC radio 4...
it can be said: you either "move up" to talk radio
from having listened to classical music
or you "move down" and listen to jazz...

i only watched a snipped of:
sometimes always never - starring bill nighy...
and i wanted to watch more...
but... nothing came in the way...
i felt like sitting in the kitchen on a stool
drinking a san miguel beer and smoking
a cigarette: come night i've shot all the birds
dead... there's only me never wishing
to sigh... the vacuum and some wind...

how did i get drawn into vlogging...
i will never know... i listen like a patient
parent and it's still: knock-knock no one answers...
because... this isn't BBC Radio 4...
so a welcome return to... being my own d.j.

in and out of whims... today's whim...
grant green's: green blue...
when jazz is still somehow the blues...

it's not an urban myth...
when the ****** alcoholics became desperate
and there was a shortage of *****...
they'd filter a bottle of denaturant through
a slice of sour-crust bread...
yes... that fluorescent purple liquid...
methylated alcohol...
        and here's not me writing about going
to an irish catholic school where...
they would teach 10year olds about
the pit-falls of sniffing glue...
no mention of LSD mind you...

oh yeah... they would filter the denaturant
through a slice of sour-crust bread...
and then drink it...
otherwise i don't know how they ended
up a tier above drinking perfumes...

competition... competition...
is it always about competition?
what about jobs that are fixed... and do not
allow competition...
how there's a rigid schedule and what not...
i mean... a self-employed taxi driver
can compete... but it's hardly possible
for a bus driver to act like a taxi driver...
not everything is a hand in poker
or...               irregular plumbing...
and sure... i too would be jealous of
all the *** elsewhere...
if i weren't the piston and the sweat and...
the only joy i ever got from ***
was seeing her moan...
                      and that's... toothpicks compared
to when you can be walking through
a square mile of pines and only pines...
and pine needles...

- nonetheless i had to make sure...
is a haig club whiskey worth all that it's worth...
at 25 quid per 70cl?
if it wasn't on a discount... i wouldn't...
i'd stick to the reserve...
problem... well... you can sell beer in cans...
provided you have a glass to pour it in...
for the cushion of head of whipping cream
to sooth your lips on...
you can sell a beer in brown bottles you can
sell beer in green bottles...
you might get away with selling beer in
clear bottles: if it's a corona beer and -esque...
but you can't...
you simply can't get away with selling
whiskey in... purple tinged bottles...

the haig club is a ******: over-priced whiskey...
what's with the scots brewing everything
so smoky?! to begin with?
i get the smoked salmon... but no...
the irish at least allow their whiskey
to mellow... sweeten a bit...
you can drink an irish moon down and out
through and into a dipper of
the lips making plucking sounds befitting
a connoisseur...

but the gig is up when you over-price your
whiske... only because you're selling it
in purple glass bottles...
again: is it whiskey i'm drinking or is it
a perfume? i might as well be drinking perfume...
good that the "whiskey" was on a discount...

interlude: finally melville caught a goldfish
and all of his wishes were: let it be a whale,
let it be a whale, let it be a whale...
      
there's no way in hell getting away selling
over-priced whiskey...
just because the bottle looks "groovy"...
and it's all purple...
as i already mentioned...
    purple... purple reminds me of...
those desperado alcoholics from under
the iron curtain who would filter a bottle of
denaturant through a slice of sour-crust bread...

whiskey and purple... sorry... ms. amber...
and they're selling this over-priced ****
like it wasn't supposed to be equivalent to
a commoners' bells' whiskers 'n' scratches...

a girlfriend of the remains of a bottle...
if you see a tank parked... and it's not a warzone...
let me know... i'd love to gear it up
for a salvo for, no particular reason other than
to make up for straight-lines with a zigzag...

these four walls, this roof... this floor...
this irritated bladder...
this hope for an 8 hour kipper and for midnight
not having to be extended toward sunrise of
a 6am March...

off-the-cut when writing comes this...
spontaneously and lazily...
like it might be reading a proper fold-out
of a sunday newspaper in england...
a harem for each time i ****** off
and performed a genocide into a tissue
on the throne of thrones...
and subsequently took a shower having
simultaneously taken a ****...
and all things remained swan-esque:
monogamous: or waiting for her to come
to aged mid-life and in crisis...

what with: the children or the cats?
the cats or the grandchildren?
i have yet to come across a grave with
an epitaph...
                        again... some reading into:
marquis de sade: i'm waiting for my libido
to fizzle out... otherwise what shame
is there... when i'd need a harem...
a solo project doesn't even help the matters...
so what shame is there:
it's hardly going to turn a profit
if i plug in... **** please oh please
myself on cam in a sultry room...

last time i heard: all that's needed is a toilet
and a screaming ****...
there's no need to broadcast the whole affair...
then again... this was only going
to be a critique of the haig club whiskey...
sold in purple glass bottles...
over-priced...

in a love paralysis... esp. concerning
the "enchanted" periods of lapse of attention
to mind the and any details...

that the monolingual will play a game
of scrabble or solve a crossword puzzle
is his testament to not bothering to learn
a second language...
the bilingual schizoid debate...
or no debate...
                    
a bed fit for two... but then my shadow is
a glutton and a miser and a...
everything that's supposed to be scortched
under the sun...
melted from sand to somehow make glass...
coy fear: the music of...
leaving vacuums and absences...
and cringe...

                     if this was only ever easy...
i'd write this to later don a niqab...
         but lucky me there's a difference between
the french public intellectual...
and an english public intellectual...
of the latter: the public yet not aware of
media scorn... "free media"...
as free as tabloid papers come tomorrow...

a swift hand on democracy... a quick shuffle...
a bit like an iron grip in autocracy...
as long as there's no focus...
no trained eye... a mirage of a "passing of power"...

how overtly faux pas politico of moi...

                   lazily creeping toward golgotha...
and all those exhausted images...
a richard broutigan would call it:
slouching toward...
                       that others live the fullest
and their lovliest...
that they have teeth and grit and sandpaper's
worth of skin to itch a sketch with...
applause! applause!

jerks off every night...
but never makes a single buck from it...
as "others" might... doing it before a camera...
then again: *** is not exactly a flick
light switch either...
neurological patterns and what not...
the lost cinema - the everyday cinema -
the holy trinity of **** **** and *****...
the genocide of scrambled eggs with no yoke...

otherwise know as liberation
from not being circumcised...
                            and no other crescent motiff.

you don't sell whiskey in purple glass bottles!
over-priced, an apology to ms. amber,
outside the bedroom there's still the obvious chance
of keeping up with...
the queue at a supermarket cashier's...
there's the polka-dotted umbrella...
there's the luftwaffe precision pigeon
dropping a proper blitz "cranium" on
a bowler hat in trafalgar sq....
                     there's all this tsunami of the mundane
that keeps the clock a worthwhile
artefact to keep to mind the horizons and
pitfalls of a single day...

call it the heart of the house: a clock...
call it an itchy hand when the trouser pockets
are empty...
call it a *** note...
my god... a return to a formality of language
via a dear sir, letter...

       none of this is to be minded as:
yours sincerely / faithfully.
Meg B Jun 2014
There's a difference between looking and
seeing.

You can look at me,
but I wonder more
what you see.

Brown eyes,
brown hair,
barely more than
five feet tall;
my feet are small,
as are my hands;
my teeth are straight,
thanks to braces;
shoulders been broad
since I swam,
but my figure
is much less athletic
than it used to be.

I could look
at myself
and point out
a million flaws.
My forehead is much
too big for my liking,
my cheeks are too red,
my top lip is so
skinny it barely
exists,
and, if you ask me,
my waist line
could afford
to look a little more
like my upper lip.

My looks are far from perfect.
Not saying I'm hideous,
but I don't look
in the mirror
to find
America's Next Top Model,
or anything close,
at least not until
my face is perfectly painted,
flaws concealed under
a combination
of moderately priced makeup and
a rather crafty hand.

When I look,
physical imperfections
and inadequacies
stare back at me.
My overly expressive
light brown eyes
give me an
omnipotent glance,
and they beg me to
turn away,
to close them,
to put them to sleep
so that I can
see.

When I see,
it's like a whole new me.
I'm a human being
whose physical flaws
are diminished by
an overly giving, compassionate
heart,
a brain
filled of logic & curiosity,
a chest
swollen full of
endless giggles,
a throat
storing sarcastic words mixed in with
empathetic phrases;
down within me
I see
the woman
who still at times
looks and feels
more like the girl
whose heart has been broken
too many times to count
but still, despite her
womanly pessimism,
yearns optimistically
to love again.
Within me I see
a woman with confidence
and also insecurity,
ambition and fear,
tranquility and rage,
hope and despair;
I see dreams,
wishes,
prayers,
meditation;
I see a beautifully
complex soul
trapped in a world
that begs it for
simplicity and
conformity.

I guess when I look
I only get a glimpse
of the body
that feels the need
to be perfect,
to work out a little more,
to weigh a little less,
to fix her hair the right way,
and to dress in the right clothes.
The self-conscious me
who still fears being weird,
who cares what others think,
who worries if my parents are proud.

But when I see,
out comes the woman
who says
**** the status quo,
I can't be put in a box,
I'm beautiful the way I am,
and nothing stands
between
me
and achieving
my
dreams.


When I look,
I don't see,
but when I see,
I see me.

I feel the brim of my glasses graze my nose,
and I know,
even once I take 'em off,
my vision
is better
than ever.
Larry Potter Jul 2013
A cumulonimbus caused the gloom that day. It went shedding drops of rain that looked like bead of pearls glittering in the grey autumn sky, vanishing as they plunge on leafless laurel trees and solitary cypresses. He watched them dance to pitter-patter on every umbrella that opened towards the heavens, their colors of rich black calling out to such empathy. Finally, the drops kiss the graze of withered grasses and thirsty dandelions, reviving their foliage and greenness. Slowly, the rainfall collect to become one with soil and mud crawled down to the six feet depression where a coffin was laid. It was white like ivory and carved with elaborate insignias as a token of love and undying memories. Soon, it was all covered with crimson roses that carry the last parting words of the bereaved. The priest waved out his hands above with mournful eyes, lisping his beseeching of earnest favors while spades of loam filled up the burrow. He saw faces of despair around the pit, gasping for reprieve and sympathy. If only the rain could also bring back her life, he implored.

This, in his senses, was belongingness. This, in his heart, was death.

It had been two long weeks since Roxanne’s death and Vincent couldn’t get his feet back on the ground. He still couldn’t believe he had lost her and that their seemingly endless love has flown away from him for all eternity. He’d make believe that this was all just a dream and at some point of this nightmare he would finally be unchained and awakened. Days became niches of shackled memories that kept haunting his love-fletched soul and nights were nothing more than a requiem of lovelorn longings that still linger in his mind. He remembers it all, the feel of her name on his lips, the smell of her hair, and the sound of her laugh. Everything is still as fresh as the dewdrops of June and as vivid as the most cinematic imagery a mortal could immortalize. The ultimate fight of this melodramatic transition was to remain whole when all the strength Vincent has built up begins to crumble by a mere reminiscence of the tragedy that gets freeze-framed from beginning to end over and over again.

It was a rainy Friday evening on the 22nd of May and everyone’s feeling the smell of the weekend rush. Vincent was already at a friend's house party and called Roxanne that he’ll be waiting. Roxanne was driving the Lexus behind a small truck that seemed to plod toward the upcoming red light. She was a few minutes late on her way and watching these two people ahead of her jabber away in that truck was getting her out of her ecstatic  mood. The light turned green, but the truck too slowly moved forward. Roxanne became frustrated as the driver fixated to the right. He visibly gasped at what was just about to come into her view. A brand new grey-blue Chevy Silverado blazed through the opposing stop light to broadside his little truck. Roxanne tried to stop, but her car slid into the Chevy's rear side and went tossing down the highway to an explosion.

All these is what Vincent needs to drown himself to agony. It’s as if Atlas gave up the bearing of the world for him to endure. Wretched and perplexed was he, blaming the world for such a prejudiced conspiracy. How could an angel like Roxanne be bound to such an end? How could an invincible love become vulnerable on the visage of death? But then again, his heart starts to concoct a spell of phantasm, bringing back the most prized memories of him and her together, infiltrating his whole system and gaining power over the bitterness and pain. In this test of sensations, he himself wasn’t sure if this two-edged delusion is a boon or bane. But one thing was becoming clear to him-he cannot be like this for the rest of his life. If this nightmare must be proven real, he must find a way out. Whatever may lie ahead, he must keep going, recreate his own world and be able to break free from the fetters of this mishap that surely promises him nothing but living scars, frustrations and sorrow.

Two years have passed and the town of New Hope has undergone a lot of changes. New coffee shops and cafes run down a block away from the University premise as well as convenient stores and parlors. New establishments stood welcoming and billboards mushroomed the skyway. The streets are crowded with more and more busy people, indicative of a metropolitan evolution of lifestyle. Summer has ended and without a trace, the arid autumn and the frigid winter fluttered to oblivion.

The same is true for New Hope University which, in its current enrollment period, has its student population increased by two thousand. The institute’s remarkable performance rating in board examinations and national competitions attracted other towns to invest their education to the latter. It was nearly the start of class and everyone is busy catching up the enrollment pace. But not Vincent, who, in the first day of inception has already completed the enrollment process. He was ecstatic, more of curious how his life as a senior student could turn into this academic year. He met faces of different kinds-some familiar and some entirely strangers. Those he doesn’t recognize would just pause and pay a smile while others he knew jsut pass by and make him feel invisible. On a ledge in front of his course department’s office he sat. He in himself was New Hope town in human transfiguration- braver, brighter and better. He looked from afar, with eyes playing on the nimble of heads and shoulders of people passing through the corridor. He drenched himself to an illusion of how each head turns toward him with a infectious smile, that once in a while, happiness is sought even in the gallows of solitude. Solitude-it wasn’t a strange name to him anymore. It never was. He was entangled with it on that day the sickles of death took his love away. Somehow, through the passage of time, the wound that was scourged deep in his heart has mended and the thought of being alone became amusing that he has managed to laugh about it over the seasons. He is more human now, away from the devious portal of his mundane imagining.

The daydream was shattered when out of the blue a silhouette of a familiar figure took the stage. She was elegantly tall, with hair of pure ebony lolling on her shoulders. Each step enraptures, and each gentle sway of a hand is a compelling rhythm. She draws closer to where he was and he's left slack jawed. She entered the office and he was back to his senses. Maybe not. What he beheld was something farfetched, something that he cannot comprehend. Vincent saw it all coming back to him. A remnant of his long buried love has come to life. It was Roxanne and it is more certain than breathing. He couldn’t explain what he felt. It was a maelstrom of joy and surprise, of hope and fear. It was the face he yearned to see, so long that the yearning turned to hate and despair. But now that it came to pass, his humanity fell apart. Although he is a mere victim of his own circumstances, the serendipity took a shot straight to his heart and there is nothing he could do about it.

Perhaps there is, and he is now pretty preoccupied. He wanted to know her. He must unknot this puzzle that has challenged his whole conviction. He must find every answer and throw all of its questions behind. Whatever there is that the road has in store for him is not essential anymore. He couldn’t care less to fathom this enigma and once more, find something worth living. But now that he is hanging in midair, he planned to fall back. He jumped out of the ledge and headed out the campus, afraid that she might be at sight and all the strength in him shall subside. He was up all night, thinking of how he could get a chance to meet and talk to her. He had thoughts of crafting schemes, devising methods and inventing tricks.

And nothing of it worked.

The first day of class commenced. New Hope University is buzzing with ecstatic students. Vincent giggled with utmost excitement, carelessly bumping shoulders and brushing elbows with other students in the corridors.  He molested his tattered COR and skimmed for his first class. It is in room 101 scheduled 9:00. He reviewed through the digital clock and he hurried as it ticked to 8:58. Luckily, he is safe from prime tardiness, though he seemed to be the last comer. He seated at the back, knowing that after thirty minutes, he’d helplessly succumb to napping since it is his favorite subject-English 8, Technical Writing.

And so she happened.

It was her, Roxanne’s doppelganger who broke the charts. She was 15 minutes late and unforgivably beautiful with her sequined tee and skinny jeans. She realized what she has gotten into and apologized with the kindest gesture. The professor gave her a hand and led her to the seat beside Vincent. She felt awkward. He was worse. They both sat like lifeless puppets with the puppeteer gone until she broke the silence.

“I’m Katherine,” she muttered. “Katherine Evans, glad to be your block mate”. She took it off with a smile that sent Vincent to hyperventilation. He couldn’t shake her hands. They’re already shaking with butterflies. The poor guy mounted his strength. He could not afford to lose the chance. “Vincent, Vincent Smith”. That was all and a nod. It was rare for Vincent to survive the thirty-minute nap attack but he did this time, although the victory seemed unnoticed. They enjoyed the remaining hour sharing thoughts and ideas with Vincent succeeding in all his attempts to stint his best jokes. He has come to know who she is at the basics-a transferee from Dakota University, a cheerleader and an adventurist. He also looks forward to know more about her in the days to come- hoping that she likes cheese, watching live wrestling fights and attending Sunday mass.

Perhaps she doesn't.

Two weeks was enough a time for the two of them to get closer to each other. They were both open to let the affinity they share to grow and blossom. It was very apparent that the two knew where their relationship is going and they both seemed ready for it.

Months have passed and the two were no more than couples. But Vincent was too overwhelmed of what he had let enter his life. Katherine is no Roxanne. She doesn’t like cheese, wrestling or Sunday masses. She was more self-driven, conceited and unwelcoming. Sooner he realized that he isn’t in love with Katherine, nor will he ever be. He just created his Utopia by painting Roxanne’s memories on Katherine’s facade. He believed to have loved again and he believed in vain.

It was a candlelight dinner at Katherine's and it was all set. She suggested it herself. She would always do this, steering their affair on a one man tag and turning the tides whichever she likes it to be. She seemed obsessed about Vincent, about their friendship, about their bond. This was her biggest mistake: to let Vincent get drowned in her self-consumed devotion.

Vincent is on his way. To break her heart.

When he came, Katherine pranced in glee. She presented the menu. And the drinks too. She was on the midst of telling Vincent her summer getaway plans when he told her to stop and listen. He undid it to her gently by taking all the blames, that it was his butter fingered actions which led them both bruised and bleeding. It was a self-defeating battle preordained by the gods. A tear fell down from Katherine’s eyes, and she didn’t want to show him more. She fled her way out the dining room with a tormented soul, like Aphrodite torn by Adonis, and hurried to her room with the banging of the door. Vincent was left with only the deafening silence, keeping his severed heart together.

As he sat out there slowly losing substance, he began to notice a set of picture frames that showed two happy faces, one of them Vincent was able to recognize in just a matter of seconds. But what puzzled him most is the picture's relevance to Katherine. He thought of a reason to make his way out the riddle. He looked closer to the girl beside Roxanne and found a spot of mole that was identical to Katherine's.

Vincent stumbled to a discovery he wished he had never known.

On the night Roxanne met death, she was not alone. She was with company. The girl that happened to live is Vicky Duran, Roxanne’s best friend. She was secretly in love with Vincent. And she was prepared to change her entire life for a streak of a chance that she’ll have what she was living for.

And she almost succeeded.

Vincent, still staggered on how things turned out insane, went to Roxanne’s grave. He shattered from an implosion of mixed emotions and he cried out like a child who lost his treasured toy. He curled on the ground with so much pain and bearing contained inside him. He called out Roxanne’s name with pure longing, bringing back his old self and his memories of that grey autumn, of that unwanted Friday that took her life away.

Footsteps cracked from the ground and Vincent ceased his outburst of melancholy.

“Let me end your misery,” a trembling voice came from behind him. It was Vicky, whose face is neither Roxanne’s nor Katherine’s. It was a face of a hopeless woman, wretched and determined for something. She was wearing rugged clothes and she held a gun on her hand. To Vicky, living is no different from death. She has now understood why the very person she loves has turned away from her when she gave all that she never was. But the realization priced too much of her reality that she cannot anymore take back. She decided to **** him and then take her own life.

She pointed the gun towards Vincent. He jumped at her to take the gun away. They grappled on the ground, the weapon still on Vicky’s hands. Vincent managed to overpower her but she kicked him, tumbling back to the gravestone. A shot was heard from afar with a man’s cry.

It rained that day. Brown withered leaves of tall laurels hovered with the wind while branches of solitary Cypresses dance to every whirl. The breeze whispered to the clouds of grey, a mark of autumn’s return. Vincent crawled to Roxanne's grave. It was a weeping of a true love that echoed away. Raindrops keep descending from the heavens, washing away the blood that kept flowing to the ground of mud.  Perhaps, on the last moments of his life he found happiness, even from a love that was never his to keep.

 

- by Larry Potter
anastasiad Dec 2016
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http://www.passwordmanagers.net/ Password Manager
On the land molded by footsteps and ruled by obnoxiously bleached clowns,
Visited by swarms of neighborhood guttersnipes and the opulent from uptown.

Allured by the traditional Irish circus music and the grinding of rusted gears,
To arrive at dawn and to leave only when the night sky is tired of fireworks and flares.

Skittish and gleaming eyes would roll on the floor, struck by daze and lost in wonderment,
At the marvel of giant steel rides and god forsaken and socially foretoken genetic mutants.

The word of a woman with two faces and the boy with a tail would make any catholic priest run.
Amusing the rational ones, alongside the man with elastic skin and the girl with the forked tongue.

The opera lady with outlandish proportions and tumorous lips sings to break a piece of cheap glassware.
Little do people know,that the magician’s red gloves are actually stained with blood of rabbit that disappeared.

Their noses get caught in the medley of fragrances from the exotic perfumes shop,
Blended with the saccharine tang from the stall that sells candy floss and soda pops.

Indulging over the overly priced confectioneries at the stall of the baker with the forbidding grin.
Try it a hundred times,try it a thousand,you’ll never get the fifth one right in the game of rings.

People will come out screaming from the haunted house,only to laugh about it later,
Little do they know,that skeletons that drove them pale and white couldn't get any realer.

They’ll jostle and struggle to make their way through the crowd to various rides and attractions.
Hustling to navigate through the maze the carnival is, encountered by countless illusions.

And once your body wears out and senses give in,that’s when you've truly entered the carnival state of mind.
Your ears stinging ,nose stifled,tongue baffled, eyes exhausted,and your sense of judgment blinded.

That’s when my masked act begins,the most profitable act at the carnival,
Diving into the heart of the crowd,to draw an act of brilliance lasting an ephemeral.

Slithering across the crowd in a different disguise every hour,concealed by stealth.
Sneaking into every nook and corner and slipping my furtive hands into your pockets for a little bit of wealth.

Only to dine with the clowns and the carnival family at the haunted house at the end of the day.
**And of course, rabbits for dinner,if the baker may
Emily Jun 2010
Yes everything is half-priced
Twit
Do not make me repeat myself.

You can read, can't you?
Fool
It is on the sign.

Do not hold up something
Idiot
I'm not trying to trick you.
judy smith Nov 2016
While Walmart and Best Buy attract Black Friday shoppers nationwide, Fayetteville’s local businesses offer unique deals throughout the week on boutique clothing, gift-worthy items, outdoor accessories and Razorback apparel.

Southern Trend

Sale rack prices will range $5-15, and customers whose total reaches $50 or more will receive a free tote bag. Southern Trend clothing company offers Razorback apparel for men and women and other casual clothing that depicts Southern living. Their headquarters and closest retail location is at 614 W. Sycamore St.

The Mustache Goods & Wears

Saturday following Thanksgiving, The Mustache Goods & Wears will participate in Small Business Day with special deals throughout the store. The Mustache sells gift and novelty items and clothing, striving “to carry products you don’t normally find in Northwest Arkansas,” according to their website. The store is located on the Downtown Square at 15 S. Block Ave.

Lauren James

All regularly-priced items will be 25 percent off, and planners will be given to customers with a purchase of $65 or more. The Lauren James brand includes fashionable dresses, a line of women’s collegiate clothing, and other clothing and accessories with a Southern flare. One of three corporate locations in the country, the Fayetteville Lauren James shop is located just off campus at 623 W. Dickson St.

Houndstooth Clothing Company

Now until Thanksgiving day, all long sleeve and short sleeve tops are buy two, get one free with Black Friday deals to follow. The brand includes Razorback apparel and other casual clothing with outdoorsy designs. Houndstooth Clothing Company began in Fayetteville and now sells merchandise online and in stores across the state. The closest location to campus is just off the Downtown Square at 29 N. Block Ave.

Pack Rat Outdoor Center

Pack Rat Outdoor Center will sell featured Black Friday merchandise from The North Face brand. Saturday, Nov. 26, shoppers may enjoy food and drink at Customer Appreciation Day. Pack Rat sells clothing and accessories fit for an active and outdoor lifestyle, with products such as hammocks and hiking boots sold at their 209 West Sunbridge store.

Riffraff

All merchandise, except nine specially marked-down items, will be priced 30 percent off the original price tag during Black Friday, 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Just off the Downtown Square at 19 S. Block Ave., Riffraff boutique sells women’s clothes fit for everyday life to holiday parties, as well as gift and novelty items.

Campus Bookstore

The Campus Bookstore sells new and used textbooks, school supplies, Razorback gear and clothing. The store is located just outside of campus at 624 W. Dickson St.

Alumni Hall

Alumni Hall, located at 3417 N. College Ave., sells various brands of Razorback apparel as well as Razorback accessories and gifts.

Maude

Established in 2007 in Fayetteville, the racks of Maude boutique feature women’s clothing from sweaters to skirts with shoes and accessories also for sale. Maude in Fayetteville is located at 706 N. College Ave.

Savoir-Faire

A boutique local to Fayetteville at 1 E. Center St., Savoir-Faire offers casual and dressy clothing and accessories, including holiday fashions sold online and in-store.

Gatsby’s Boutique

Boasting a ‘20s fashion influence, Gatsby’s Boutique sells clothes and accessories at their shop located at 609 W. Dickson St.Read more at:http://www.marieaustralia.com/formal-dresses-sydney | www.marieaustralia.com/one-shoulder-formal-dresses
Londis Carpenter Sep 2010
My grandson came to live with us today.
It costs a lot to have an extra boy.
It costs so much for modern boys to play;
No longer such things as a dollar toy.
He eats enough for four and then eats more.
His high priced clothes must have a hole or tear.
His pants are low and dragging on the floor;
His cheeks covered only by underwear.
It seems my truck is always low on gas
I let him drive; I know life here seems dull.
And the dear boy is always out of cash*
He never fills the tank completely full.
In spite of all he’s really not a care
We’d rather have him here than have him there
*author is aware that lines 9 and 11 are a false rhyme, but I have chosen to keep it as for the integrity of the poem.

Copyright to Londis Carpenter; released to Public Domain 9/21/2010
RJP Aug 2018
Nina Simone, occupying ears singing about bed and dressers.
Sparsely populated
young couple
Interrupted by saying amusements.
Only two stops
I know where to get off

I knew to mind the gap
I'm a responsible citizen
Voter with a valid railcard
Only two stops
Purchased a ticket
Only two stops
I can not throw up in that time

I can not clear my system of over-priced beer
A niche in the market
Exploited in the name of money Making let's just raise them
let's charge extortionate rates for an autoimmune disease

Paying to support a normal drinking culture embedded into the narrative
Growing by in the western world Listening to Nina Simone
Only one stop now you'd never know what life would be like

Without loud pop charts entertaining a few leaving the others yearning the return of ABBA when times were simpler and people cared about Eurovision and illegal music was your own

“Tickets please”
He seems awfully jolly for a late night ****-shift on Arriva Trains Wales
Who's making him work and why's he So ******* happy about it
Real extra effort! Soul sapping in my opinion
Last stop gotta get off.
This is one's for any of the Welsh here.
Anastasiya L Jun 2013
What is money,
when we die?

What was the point of money
when our soul moves on?

Why are items loved,
and people objectified?

In true thought
an object can be priced
but a life can not.

Why are we focused
on the materialism?
The brainwash of the man
in the suit is what has made us.

But a body is a body
and a soul...
is a soul.
What is a body without a soul?
When the beauty lies within?
krissie Aug 2014
There's these big, loud men with their big, loud guns,
They take cash for a dealing and then look at us.
I was a little lost girl then but I learned to grow up,
As the outcome of design, freebase ******* and lust.
When all the blood runs dry and all the fluorescent lights die,
They tell us to jump and we tell them we're high.

If I look a little crazed on the blacktop streets,
I'm just trying to make sense of what it all means.
When happiness couldn't pour down street grates,
When love wasn't covered by the bed you'd made.
When the pain didn't rival the ruthless Southern heat.
When help was consistently more swift than defeat.
Now I'm on the corner selling half-priced dreams,
I'm in the alley selling cognac and other things.

More cautious eyes and wiser spirits would lead you to think me a fool,
Maybe I am--oh, I see it in their stares--but I face enough of the truth.
Life just gets crazy, you know, when you can't erase what you've seen.
Girls who once made better choices now lay fractured on the streets.
So if my beauty makes you weep, then I must be a star,
Be my guest and take a seat, the show's about to start.

I'm pillaging my own life; I'm biding my own time.
My choices still linger but I'm dying to survive.
When my senses are so high and my spirits are so low,
When my ink runs scarlet and I've got nowhere to go,
I look upward toward the sky and pretend like I'm home.

I hate what I've unbecome, I hate what I have, I hate what I've spoken.
The nights run too long and I feel too much in this life I've chosen.
All the sirens blare too loud and all the sanctums too broken.
My mind races a thousand paths and both my feet stay frozen.
I know this ain't a nice place, I know this ain't so pretty,
But I keep my eyes ******* the prize and my heart fast in the city.

As long as I'm still thinking, as long as I'm still breathing,
As long as I have something--something--left to believe in.
I sway among the infinite stars, I wear my American flag.
I sing my song a cappella and I just laugh... I just laugh.
I know all the greatest hearts may not shine in gilt.
I close my eyes and let my thoughts run still.
one of my longer pieces. let's see how this gets received.
If I could write my thoughts
You may not quite understand
For the words we are stapled with
Seem ridiculously bland

Music flows like colours to beat
Hypnotising my soul, sparking my senses
Controlling my body I'll jump to my feet
Unimportance of visuals like seeing through lenses

If emotionally moved why not be 'fantabulous'
Eyes closed I see clearer and all is so peachy
Bisto relates to Sunday but life is better gravy
Grey Monday's depress but not 'Grey..You get me?

Just separate your instincts of colours and such
Words are just letters You'll see in a bit
Brains installed with viral fake mush
Some never stray from the path of life's Pit

So blasphemy like '*******, **** and ****
Bad letters because swearing is ...wrong?
The four letter 'C' word the worst though admit
Cos **** is just letters made worse for too long

Sue is my name all over the world
Yet Mum can be Mom, Dad, Pa, Pere
If taught **** for Mum wisdom are not pearls
Red is not hot blue is not cold transparent unclear

So simply my mind see's what's gone so wrong
To un -train what's been taught like losing a limb
People are 'Crazy' to not follow and conform!
Don't get the page yet? read on its no sin

Fantabulously individually Humans
My DNA matches no others so why  march to the tip TOP beat
How beautiful we are 'ALL' Races of humans, Us
The recent power crazed gave racism a ******

****, Racism, diets, Religion
War, Rich, Poor, just made up words
Humans empathetic risers to imagine
No hate, selfishness, Malice in Humans that's Absurd!

Do we find Racial abuse amongst Dogs, Cats and such
So many species but a ***** is a ***** regardless of colour
Rabbits in the wild don't live in a hutch
Straying the point lets try to mull over

From born colour coded, numbered and named
Associated colours, Pink Girls, Blue Boys
Lemon and white if scans are waylaid
Colours are just preferences or visual noise

Taught to be the best you can be
Strive to the top, the higher, the best
Already are wedging the You and the Me
Hang on..Oh look.. I come from the 'West'

How hard to be taught to embrace our uniqueness
Respect, Love and cherish the short time we're here
Selflessly love, change this bare rotten bleakness
Humanity release this dark You enslave

No rich or poor just balanced and happy
Heinz not for me still love store brand
Caviare Hallooga Ballooga, Whatever, Really?
If not jisting my drift now... You're not of this land!?...


All I'm saying is we are all unique so live life to the full, embrace love and happiness, help others where you can, be selfless, respect costs nothing as does a smile, no need for fad dieting, embrace your unique self, let's strive to make Humans be the best we can be but embrace the journey together, life is not a competition or a race, beauty can not be visualised or bought, true beauty 'can' be the ugly ducling surrounded by selfish nasty swans.  Feel the love in all Humans globally.  The one's who lead us at the tippedy top have been hypnotised by some othre in-humane greedy, selfish sub species, who I shall name the darkness and unknown fear we only feel, because remember to visualise is irrelevant to our existence , it's through our feelings, fears and thoughts they attack first, causing panic amongst the trustworthy of our so called Governments.  If they all wanted the best for us then by al means pull together as ONE Government, but to diminish the value of money is just a way of controlling us, keeping the rich rich and richer and making the poor the lowest, ,maybe now homeless **** in society we all feel uncomfortable around?  If all houses cost the same, all wages paid the same rate and no unnecessary taxes to park a vehicle, drive the vehicle, toll costs when in the same country and no tax on wages...What they spending that **** on? We already pay tax on the area we live, yes roadworks, police, fire crews, New Homes even, street improvements have to be funded by tax to pay wages... fair enough.  No taxing us on our hard worked, underpaid jobs that we lose blood sweat and tears over and lets face it 3/4 of that goes back into the government with tv licence, overpriced food, tobacco, extortionate fuel companies conning you out ya money with standing charges and charging you more kw for the £ on the ever gracious £5-8 emergency they put on pre payment machines.  Then If your lucky enough to have worked and lived an average life you can buy your own house which you pay of untill your pension years.... god forbid you need residential care if u lose your mind or you can kiss your financial future for your kids cos that care don't come under the good old NHS.... and is soooooo over priced and understaffed by mostly aliens of society that the government take the house and money to pay for their care???? ******* rediculous.  And of course when U die you have to pay a % of the value of that house to the government.....for?? Yea what the **** for? My house? Go **** yourself!...The free bus pass don't cut it, the discount priced fish and chips DON'T cut it!!

You know the thing that grates me the most? TV Advertisements, e.g Washing powder ads.... 10 years ago it removed 'all' stains and made whites whiter than white... now 10 years on and Fantabulously new and improved with colour protection and stain, bomb, bullet proof...Yes you have guessed it, makes whites 'even' whiter! ha.. white is white it don't get whiter.....all scams for money....stick a trusted celebrity in the ad....and you could sell chocolate teapots to the masses...

My Motto..... Eat well, live life, embrace our imperfections cos perfection is unreachable, unachievable and installed into us to get more money, more power, more **** knows?  Don't be ruled by the soldiers and the puppets of society, believe in what you like and respect that others may not always agree with you but we are entitled to our opinion, not everyone is going to agree, that's what makes us different, never seen a war starting over country A likes coffee Country B likes Tea....lets go to war to battle it out....Make war against the law... would solve asylum seekers, ad that god dam racism word, bring back golly Wogs and baa baa black sheep...ridiculous...my childhood was when thatcher was in reign.... oh how the man 'o' species let 1 woman come into power and claim she ****** it..... anyway straying again...Wake up People Freedom is lost,  lets not let them take our souls too!!
b e mccomb Sep 2016
i'm picturing that
big blue house
off library street
and thinking

(also planning
on telling everyone
i've become catholic
if the need arises)


about the assorted
times i've spent there
assorted times i've
avoided spending there

(but maybe a different
religion would make
a better lie i've got
to keep it believable)


fully planning
on at least one
anxiety attack after
i get home

(maybe something like
buddhism or celtic polytheism
i'd say satinism for the laughs
but that's just too extreme)


maybe more
like a whole
half week of
anxiety

(oh wait no need
to plan for that
i've already built
my life counting on it)


religion
what a messy
situation when
you've got one
but you don't
believe in it

chaos
what a simple
chain of events
that follows an
internal denial of
right and wrong

(when all i wanted
was christianity
internally not
relationally or
socially or
judgmentally)


and what a dark
mentality that a
nice person has
light inside

(a mentality of
honesty is one
of many things
i try to hide)


on the other side
i don't believe or agree
with catholicism
but it sounds like
something i
could get into.

*(but if admission into
heaven were half priced
wouldn't there be scores
of folks and media masses
on the ground and in the air
reporting new religious traffic?)
Copyright 8/24/16 by B. E. McComb
It may be time to go away
Too many cookies are uneaten
And a few are only nibbled

I baked all night for many days
And used up all my spices
But few customers appeared

I laid them on my very best tray
And priced them as a bargain
Now most of them are growing stale

I think it’s time to close up shop
The other’s cakes were obviously better
Their customers waited in long lines

It will be hard for me to stop
My hands are white with flour
And my apron’s tied so tightly

Still, no farmer wants to plant a crop
That never will be eaten -
Are cookie bakers not the same

Perhaps my wafers were too plain
And lacking decoration
I thought that flavor was enough

But recognition brings me pain
I felt my recipes were special
But everyone had better ones

It seems that I cannot sustain
The dream of being Mrs. Fields
When It comes to writing cookies
               ljm
how i long for 40 hearts
Rangzeb Hussain Apr 2010
Freedom is premium priced,
At the casino of the world nations throw the dice,
The tables are rigged by the fat rats and mice,
Girls in curvaceous miniskirts on poles entice,
***** laced drinks and cancer sticks merrily fleece,
Fizzy burgers are served filled with crucified cheese,
Layers of salt and blood and veins congealing with grease
Are the fillings inside the consumed meat,
Come to the sale of the century and let your life be diseased,
Take whatever you want and still you will never be pleased,
Remember, one day all will be held to account, so all evil immediately cease,
Do not make the mistake to ******* the legend of glorious Hercules
Or pollute and sell the message of almighty God so cheaply.



©Rangzeb Hussain
This delusional concept of dressing up in your finest threads just to sit in some quiet, ridiculously-named, fancy establishment that has four walls and a few toilets and neatly-folded napkins, spotless silverware, and an overly-priced menu just to talk about some ******* that you pulled out of your *** when your arm was being stretched to the max trying to reach for the stack of crisp twenties that the ATM viciously spat at you is simply ****** up.

Yeah… that’s what I thought until I met her.

You know, “the one.”

The one that all the guys say you’re ***** whipped about.

That one.

She has her **** together. She is driven, goal-oriented, smart, funny, and **** in that hippie/bohemian kinda way, except that she wears deodorant and shaves her legs.

She even shaves….ha! I’ll stop. I’m just toying with ya. But she does shave.

She even has dimples, man.

Dimples.

And guess who the lucky ******* is that has the best table in the house sitting directly across from her, staring into those brown, puppy eyes??

My ***.

Then, without warning, this horrible, invasive, mood-altering, uncanny, uncouth, *******-of-a-question barges right in.  It asks, “How did you end up with her??”

Suddenly I find myself in a western movie, and this bow-legged ******* walks in asking for me.  The double doors behind him swing back and forth in rapid motion.  I don’t want to cause a ruckus, so I do what any real gentleman does: take it outside and settle it High Noon style.  I stare into his eyes (they’re brown too, but not like hers), and his eye lids begin to slightly twitch.  I draw my pistol from my hip and shoot him right between those eyes; blow the smoke away from the heated barrel; spin my pistol around a few times; and in the holster it goes.

Problem solved.

She and I start jawing after the waiter with the long rod lodged in his *** goes to fetch our excessively-priced wine.
I swear he said his name is Skip or Kip or… ah who cares?
I continue staring into the eyes of the most beautiful woman in the world.
She begins to tell me about her bittersweet day, so I cross my arms and lean in a little. All my focus is on her and of course her **** mouth too.
God, she has beautiful lips….
She’s telling me about her day at work – at the vet, that is.
She’s a veterinarian.
Anyway, there’s this little black-and-white, speckled miniature dachshund named Teagan that has been staying at the vet for a few months now, and it’s made a full recovery.
She’s telling me this story with such great passion and zeal, but she’s frowning.
This wealthy, elderly couple adopted it today, and Teagan is gone.
She grabs my hand and apologizes for being such a “downer”.

“I sorry,” she says in one of those baby voices.

Is that a pouty lip???

**** Me...

Did I really just witness a pouty lip form before my very eyes??

Did she actually just talk like a baby???

Plain and simple, I don’t stand for that cutesy, baby *******, that pathetic material pedaled by those chumps who pull that “good guys come last” crap.  

She’s awkwardly staring at me.

Before she can utter a single word, I bolt out of my chair, telling her that I’m suddenly feeling ill and need to use the restroom.

I whip around without looking and bump into our waiter who is bringing us our wine.  It spills all over his pearly, white jacket.

He grabs my arm to break his fall, but we both hit the ground hard, right on our backs too.  

All eyes are on me.

It’s dead, ******* silent. You could hear a mouse ****.

What do I say?  

I can’t just make a dash for the door without saying anything.

My mind is completely frozen, and I lie here, trembling.

Suddenly, my lips begin to part.

The words wiggle their way out of that tiny space between my lips.

“I sorry.”



. . .

.  .  .

.   .   .  

**** me.
Her name is Chang Champoo,
translated as ‘Elephant Pink.’
Met on the street in tourist Thailand.
9 years old.
6 months pregnant.
A beggar in an urban landscape.

Hungry,
grabbing sugar cane from my fingers.
Desperate for food.
Destined for an early grave.

“Where are you from?”
A question to her mahout,
in Thai hauled from fragments of memory.
“The border.”  
Seemingly obtuse but not really.
Only one nearby.
Burma.

Elephants,
born in captivity,
used in logging,
now unemployed.
Teak forests of old but a distant memory.

Did I only fuel her belly
buying over-priced sugar cane?
Or did I also fuel
rampant exploitation
of disadvantaged animals?

Not everything in life
Is black and white.
Sometimes it is grey,
This night it was Pink.
How could I refuse her sustenance
when confronted by those
mournful pachyderm eyes.

The question lingers…
©Jacqueline Le Sueur 2011 All Rights Reserved

(Written in Thailand several years ago in the hours after meeting Chang Champoo. Now, in 2011, the question still lingers.)
Meka Boyle Jun 2013
The rotting corpse of a dilapidated morning glory
Waxes poetic in the dry summer air-
Its wilted petals droop heavy
With the subtle presence of something
Close to the end, but of a different hue.
A sweet yet sickly scent
Engulfs the neglected shrubbery,
That so gracefully collapses onto
A rusted, barbed wire fence,
Caving in beneath the heavy traces of morning dew
Atop intricate spider webs and fallen leaves.
Its bitter laments of despair
Sound out to the iridescent moon,
Cursing god in all his putrid grace.
Somewhere in the night, the sad wail echoes
Tumbling off canyon walls and over priced gas stations,
Until all that's left is a hollow boom
And the faint whisper of the Holy Ghost.
The pagan wind  slowly creeps by,
Pushing the flowers further down,
Until their stems take on the silhouette
Of the stooped backs of apologetic sinners,
Face down at the altar, accepting their worthy penance.
Dawn waits beyond the bend,
Her seductive fingers trace the fragile outline
Of the sleeping buds, blushing a faint pink
The color of a newborn child-
Beauty is only real within the tender moments
Leading up to it's intricate destruction.
Is this how it feels to exist?
Beating up against forgiveness
With bloodied palms, imprinted with the
Wilted outline of an indifferent morning glory-
Too alive to ever experience eternity,
For, in accepting life,
All else perishes.
Joe Cole Oct 2015
Sailing over white fluffy clouds in an aluminum tube
The occasional glimpse of earth thirty thousand feet below
A muted roar as mighty engines drive us through sky
Just over a hundred years ago only birds could fly
But modern jet propulsion drives man to greater heights
Over soaring mountain peaks that man has yet to climb
Effortless we cruise through a world of space and time
The trolley dolly does her rounds with over priced plastic wrapped food
Later she'll be back again with over priced duty free goods
I study my fellow passenger, coming from every walk of life
Some are single, some are married, SOME with another mans wife
Crammed in shoulder to shoulder, strangers on every side
A typical budget airline holiday and a budget airline ride
Soon once more we'll touch the ground, with a hidden sigh of relief
But we all will do it yet again, in a year, a month, or maybe in a week
This typifies my flight to Malta earlier this year and every flight on my many trips there. And yes I'll do it again next year...
RAJ NANDY Aug 2017
Dear Readers, I have tried to cover the salient features of this True Story in free flowing verse mainly with end rhymes. If you read it loud, you can hear the chimes! Due to the short attention span of my readers I had to cut short this long story, and conclude with the
Golden Era of Hollywood by stretching it up to the 1950s only. When TV began to challenge the Big Screen Cinema seriously! I have used only a part of my notes here. Kindly read the
entire composition during your Spare Time dear Readers. I wish there was a provision for posting a few interesting photographs for you here. Best wishes, - Raj Nandy, New Delhi.  

                THE LEGEND OF HOLLYWOOD :
                      THE AMERICAN  DREAM
                              BY RAJ NANDY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Demand For New Themes During The 1950s :
The idealized portrayal of men and women since the Second World War,
Now failed to satisfy the youth who sought exciting symbols for rebellion.
So Hollywood responded with anti-heroes with stars like James Dean, Marlon Brando, and Paul Newman.
They replaced conventional actors like Tyron Power, Van Johnson, and Robert Taylor to a great extent, to meet the requirement of the age.
Anti-heroines included Ava Gardner, Kim Novak, and Marilyn Monroe with her vibrant *** appeal;
They provided excitement for the new generation with a change of scene.
Themes of rebellion against established authority was present in many Rock and Roll songs,
Including the 1954 Bill Hailey and His Comets’ ‘Rock Around the Clock’.
The era also saw rise to stardom of Elvis Presley the teen heartthrob!
Meeting the youthful aspirations with his songs like ‘Jailhouse Rock’!
I recall the lyrics of this 1957 film ‘Jailhouse Rock’ of my school days, which had featured the youth icon Elvis:
   “The Warden threw a party in the county jail,
     The prison band was there and they began to wail.
     The band was jumping and the joint began to sing,
     You should’ve heard them knocked-out jail bird sing.
     Let’s rock, everybody in the whole cell block……………
     Spider Murphy played the tenor saxophone,
     Little Joe was blowing the slide trombone.
     The drummer boy from Illinois went crash, boom, bang!
     The whole rhythm section was the Purple Gang, Let's rock...

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE GOLDEN GLOBE AWARD:
This award began in 1944 by the Foreign Correspondence Association at
Hal Loyd Denton Feb 2013
The day had entered the twilight time I heard an old train whistle I surrendered to the call of far
Away and I found myself back in time it was Saturday the family was going to town to the
Weeks shopping we parked in the alley past the feed store it was the way we started out we
Walked past the entry where we kids would go in on Easter to get the two free chicks then
You would go back to the bins and buy the fifty cent bag of pellets the fun involved the box with
The light the fruit jar that turned upside down with the lid fixed with indentations that as the
Chicks would drink and throw their heads back the water would bubble down like a water
Cooler little yellow fur ***** what a treat and delight but we would go in the big wide door that
Held the giant stand up scale with the great face and the smell of grain with a thin dust film on
Everything all of that and get your weight to how great was that back out in the sunlight dad
And I would go to Jims for a hair cut we all practiced cutting through stores you could go up the
Alley right beside Woolworths but what fun was best was parking behind Ben Franklins walking
In through the outer supply era and at the back of the store were the fiber barrels with the pink
And vanilla wafers they were a penny and I always got one of each at the barber shop the comic
Books were stacked high and the men were always having a talk fest and Jim whistled a tune
That was just as good as the theme of the Andy Griffith show we did a little bit of Mayberry all
Of us standing in the dark alley beside Rudow’s grocery waiting for them to do the weekly pony
Raffle I never won but I had access to the laker’s pony it was a good thing we had hard enough
Time feeding ourselves and the dog well we did have twenty seven at one time on the farm it
Was the A&P; for groceries run back home put them away and then go out across the drive set
In the shade as a family and eat A&P; Jane Parker Apple pie you would think it was desert at the
Green house restaurant on Market Street in Frisco where all the waiters wore tux’s know this
Was the time of grape Mogen David wine that was fairly priced in the family size jug but there
We set with a five gallon white plastic bucket with blackberries fermenting well dad must have
Already been tipsy that bucket had weeds other debris I won’t hazard a guess of what it was
But let me tell you the cloth on top didn’t help much I used to make a joke about espresso and
That strong Cuban coffee my complaint was it tasted like Wan and his mule was still inside well
This homemade wine hot long brown weeds I don’t care how country you are some things are
Better left alone like going out to our friends and have a meal they would put the milk in this
Big blue greenish half gallon right from the cow there would be lines moving around an oh yes
Don’t forget the snapping turtle we ran over and almost knocked me off my seat and those cars
Were heavy well quick as a country cook could do it turtle stew yum wants some excuse me
Folks As long as these people have a front yard full of grass I’m good you eat a while then chase
Lighting bugs now that’s what belongs in a jar and Like Dan Ackroad said in the movie and their
Butts light up well I didn’t have time to mention Tanners show uptown Sad Sack army show
With Jerry and Dean Gordon Scott as Tarzan they didn’t give the warning don’t try this at home
Or on the way home because in bums jungle where the bums all hang out between trains yes
There were vines on the trees but I don’t think Tarzan let go and rolled in the undergrowth that
Was filled with poison Ivy well Gordon never got to go from Tarzan to the mummy all white
With Copperas lay in the car across the street in the car like a dog with flees while your family
Is in the Home town café eating and the best part getting thrown out of the pool but I have a
Season pass well least climb a tree watch the fun and then a scene from the horror flicks of
The Day a little kid and his mother walk under the tree mommy mommy there is a monster in
the Tree and you wonder why I write I tore out of the tree like a cat possessed I ran over and
Hid in the big pavilion with the invisible man well that’s my home town how about yours
Beau Grey Apr 2016
A man and wife go to lunch.
Premium burgers, shakes and fries.
It's cheap and he can wear his sweatpants.
For every one couple,
there's twenty single fathers
with his children.
(a depressing ratio)
It must be custody weekend.
At the Heartbreak Hotel
tables for two occupy singles.
The men picked out their best shirts
and the women painted their lips.
Looking only for a conversation,
they leave with a bill
priced with another Sunday
of shattered hope.
Catrina Sparrow Nov 2012
an aerosol angel with college-ruled wings
and paint stained fingertips
stranded in a sea of pigmentation
lately, she's been feeling out of place
not all compasses point due north

a parrot in a sea of sharks
who's never learned to sail

they're selling tickets to the ****-show on the shore line
catch the half priced sunday matanee
save the date

a trapeze ******* with a choke hold on the universe's coat tails
tap dancing through star charts and love poems at the pace of lightning's strike
some failures just have to be public
if lessons are to be learned
the prettiest ballerinas aren't afraid to fall

she's learned the hard way to find beauty in skinned knees
strength in stubbed toes
and faith in a broken heart

no point in dressing up, honey
prince charming doesn't frequent freak shows

he's an arrogant flake, anyway
her best bet is a strong man
or a fire breather
when looking for a boy to bring home

one man to bare her burdens
and another to scortch the wreckage of what's left
careful what you wish for

butterflies the size of funnel cakes shake her rib cage to pieces
silver confetti on pitted pavement

he looked so handsome beneath the neon lights
horrified and ecstatic all at once
like a lost boy in neverland

scanning the crowd of strangers for any possible princess tiger lillie's

someone to ride alongside on the ferris wheel all night
untill the sheriff shines his flashlight down the path that points them home
alone

but handsome boys know little about matters other than themselves
so she's gotten good at feeling bad

it's time to find a man
someone who can build things instead of just break them
b e mccomb Sep 2016
c _ l _ e _ a _ n
d _ i _ s _ h _ e _ s

c _ l _ e _ a _ n
f _ l _ o _ o _ r _ s

something about
the lighting?

i haven't felt
right in days
a headache behind
the eyes and a
knot in my
stomach

(i know how
this one ends)


i'm the most
worst version
of me that i've
ever met

e _ v _ e _ r
m _ e _ t

m_ e _ e _ t _ m _ e
s _ o _ m _ e _ w _ h _ e _ r _ e _
e _ l _ s _ e

I WANT TO
GO BACK IN TIME
TELL MYSELF THAT
I WAS WRONG

W _ R _ O _ N _ G
S _ O __ W _ R _ O _ N _ G

(i'm stuck in my
own head again
can't get out can't shake
any of the thoughts loose)


BUT I CAN'T
THIS IS THE FUTURE
AND I'M JUST AN ECONOMY
PRICED PACK OF MISTAKES

m _ i _ s _ t _ a _ k _ e _ s

i want to hit
my head on every
solid surface in
the whole house

(wouldn't matter
it already hurts)


want to be
better
good enough so
people like me
so that i
like me

(but it's too late
and i'm not ready)


I HATE IT
THAT I'VE MADE
UP MY MIND
FOR ONCE

and if i will not
destruct
i may just turn
myself purple

(red and spotted
itchy and allergic)


BECAUSE I CAN'T
STAND BEING
ME FOR ANOTHER
SECOND LONGER
Copyright 8/20/16 by B. E. McComb
Ryan Bowdish May 2014
When lightning strikes a tree
Sap boils, cells explode, bark strips off into oblivion
And the tree melts, revealing a new form to the cool wind.
When you opened your eyes through the guise of a fading child,
I felt this happen to me.

My heart struck by your thunder, the leaves and ashes
Of my nerves
Blasted away
My DNA peeled away and there in its place lay a new man
Melted into the shape you pounded me into
With vicious eyes and stares that disintegrated injustice
Almost like a new world lived within our gaze.

Somehow, this universe has been opened
Time brought us to this moment. Gravity
Pulled us here. Revealed a blind spot in the folds
Between the atoms and the space from my mouth to yours.

We're like magnets
Like polar reversal
Hanging gardens of universal hope
And a lust for comfort
An insatiable hunger for simplicity
And solace

Uncompromisingly, we surpass the unnecessary and move straight into
The Moments We Wished For.

Closed blinds, wax and oil
Steam rising from the drain
Your hands entwined with my spine
Hair a maze for our fingers

You
Are
A mountain of passionate letters
From kids who thought no one would read them,
Sent through the ears of judges who never looked up at their victims

You were an undeveloped diamond
A sunset that someone polluted
With lies of impurity and worthlessness.

You wanted simply LOVE
A true hand to hold you and show you
That not everything in the world was so hopeless

Well your father may not have been the one to do his ******* job
And get right into all the reasons why you're beautiful so let me be the one
To pick up his slack and change you.

You're a raver with skylines in her eyes
An excuse to roll out of bed with a smile
Seventeen years of pent up compassion
Waiting to be released on some lucky bystander
Someone guilty of desiring you
Of telling you
You can do better.

You were always the one
Before we met
Before we did whatever we could to be in the same room for more
Than just a breath

You may be a dragon, a cougar,
A Jackson Pollack spattered with blood and ***
And anger and years of self-doubt

But I am your new canvas

And right now, I am empty.
And you are overflowing with colors.
I think I may actually be more into you than I thought.
Anonymous Jul 2014
3ws
Darling I can’t find a word to describe you…
But I can find three
Overpriced. Airport. Coffee.
You have an inflated self ego like the over priced liquid
Airports try to pass off as coffee
The brew tastes as watered down as your originality
And honey if I’m honest
I shouldn’t even compare you to coffee
Because that might be the greatest sin of all
An Irish judge recently commented that cyclists should pay insurance to protect people driving over priced cars.  

I suggest that idiots in powerful positions in the judiciary should pay insurance for the possible damage that they may cause to this country.

Cycling is the last vestige of the romantic, facilitating free movement with minimal dealings with capitalists, exploitative business people, bus drivers, and the self interested.
Sarah Writes Aug 2013
I. The Lie.

She said
The ugliest things become beautiful on my lips
She said
My whole body is a mouth
I think it’s because I was truthful
I think it’s because I was useful
She
Did not exist
But if she did, I would have tried to sell her myself
As a customizable pre-packaged parcel
Or some precious antique lost
To be discovered, under-priced, buried deep in that section of the second hand store that everyone ignores
Because god forbid you be seen shopping
For used underwear
But she would be discreet
And I would be a surprise
She would think
That I was some great gift of serendipity
That she’d always been looking for something just like me
Not knowing that her prize was just one thing stolen
From an entire house of antiques
A house so ******* full of things that it will never feel complete
A house where the potential buyer can never stand in doorways
For fear of what they might see
Where every room is replete with a full set of furnishings to give her the illusion that she might
Love me

II

I am a different person for everyone that I meet
And again on each day of the week
My love history is a researcher’s notebook, documenting anomalies
There is only one theme
I’ve always fallen for those people with faces that always seem smiling
I've gone about it quietly
Because, secretly, I’ve always felt that that they were better than me
I think it’s because they look like they know something I don’t
It makes me love them
It makes me forget how to speak, how to be
Any functional version of myself around them
Let alone create the perfect version
That might make them fall in love with me

III

But I have been loved I think
I have sold myself well
And been loved well, one dimension at a time
By all the wrong ones
And still, it’s always a surprise
I don’t do well with surprise
So, with the excuse that I was unprepared for company, I only show them that room of my house
Which I feel they will appreciate
The one I won’t have to explain
A brief overview of an interview with past lovers would reveal
That I am a house of many changeable rooms divided by false walls
That I am as many different people
As I have been loved by
And that just when each had finally felt that they’d started to know me
I'd leave
They'd say that everywhere you go in me, I am always burning sagebrush
Trying to smoke myself clean

IV. The Truth.

I am too concerned with being known to be anything but in love with
Myself
Through the imaginary eyes of someone else
And I am greedy
I want to see and feel and be everything
But the truthful way of saying that is just
That I always feel I should be more than what I am
And it consumes me
Loving me would be lonely
I have one of those faces that always looks a little sad
A little mad
And I think
That there is too much of me that would have to be looked over, or forgiven, or explained
For anyone to know all of me, it’s
Too much to ask
I make excuses like, who would want to do all that?
But really, I’m just too scared to trust anyone with the task
Of piecing together my smile, or loving the lines on my hands,
Or forgiving me
For all the things that I am
Or think that I
Should be
Fred Schrott Jul 2014
There’s a favorite culinary dish in town;
it’s known as the synapse shish kebab.
It’s high in protein as well as fat, and it comes
with a garlic-infused broccoli rabe,
available with a choice of couscous or rice.
The palate will most likely be enticed, just like
another common John who swears to us that he
again has done absolutely nothing wrong.
It pairs nicely with an eighties chenin blanc,
gray matter that’s grilled to sheer perfection,
smoked all day, and is guaranteed satisfaction,
seemingly like an old, rambling rolling stone.
The lights are on—but nobody’s buying homes.
An opera singer that is deaf to certain tones,
this is definitely not regal crumpets and tea—
“heart-healthy nutrition,” all our medics agree.
There’s a new critically acclaimed dish around;
it’s the slow-roasted synapse shish kebab,
moderately priced, and portions are family style—
passed-down secret recipes from west of the Nile,
and also numbers that won’t make your wallet sob
like a big, bad, dark, overly loaded cloud.
Give it a try, and then shout it out loud:
synapse shish kebab!
From, The Transitive Nightfall Of Diamonds, due out 8/14 from iUniverse books
Kendall Mallon Apr 2013
pigeons perch themselves preening
on marble fauns ambivalent to their
perch, while dark skinned men prowl;
seeking tourists (Americans) to sell
cheap novelty items, over priced, yet
bought to drive away the insistent
merchants; ignorant to the realization:
if you remain silent and don’t make eye
contact you will not forfeit your money...
merchants who ruin the peace and awe
of grand feats of sculpture—I know they
are human (on a base level)—craving
money to make a living, yet there are
many (more respectable) professions…
their presence  crowds the already
crowded (streets and) piazzas—aggregates
of language babble—old women and men
meandering along waiting to die—hoping
it is true: the slower you move the faster
time flows—if not: to hell with relativity!
(should have put chips on more than one table)
can math really explain all?—or
is life more than abstract objects?
while the din of crowds palpitates my heart
making way for anxious calculations,
C— and I hurry pass to find some area
to give the artefacts the respect they deserve
Edna Sweetlove Aug 2015
Another enchanting "Barry Hodges Memory" poem for you all!

O glorious Art Deco edifice, tucked away behind the 'Dilly!
In your near century of hospitality, how many millions of visitors
Must have thronged your rooms, meeting, greeting, eating, sleeping
And (need I specify the obvious?) ******* away the fleeting hours?
How sad it is to think that the dear Regent Palace has fallen victim
To the money-grabbing developers' philistine wrecking *****.

Rumour came to me in the Seventies that the ground floor cocktail bar
Had gained a somewhat , shall we say, *louche
reputation,
Being frequented by ladies of the night and part-time gigolos;
And that the hustle and bustle of the reception area meant that
Staff would hardly notice if guests invited a newly made friend upstairs
For some horizontal entertainment, be it on a cash or ex gratia basis.

Several evenings, perhaps after a night at the theatre, I paid a brief visit
To the dimly lit bar, with its sophisticated black pianist tinkling out a tune
In the very best Casablanca tradition, perhaps even crooning a little ditty.
One summer night I recall I dropped in, probably post-prandially
More in hope than serious expectation, ordered an over-priced G&T;
And settled down to assess the odds on some casual leg-over action.

Much to my surprise I was soon joined by a large middle-aged blonde
(to a naive young chappie, any woman over 35 is no spring chicken);
She was Icelandic and big with it in the mammary department,
But not fat I hasten to add, just sturdy, like a splendid Wagnerian Valkyrie;
Yea, I knew she was gagging for it when she confided that, only last week,
She had shared l'amour with a young stranger in the Wienerwald al fresco.

I cannot recall much of our no doubt fascinating intellectual conversation
And I certainly can't remember her name, but I do know I readily acquiesced
To her generous invitation to participate in a glug of her duty free allowance
Within the intimate privacy of her spartan little bedroom on the seventh floor.
Delightfully, to my mild pleasure, our upwards journey in the crowded lift
Enticed her to caress my eager testicles in a heart-warmingly experienced way.

Over a malt whisky and, following an extended exchange of warm saliva,
We ended up stark ******* naked in the rather narrow single bed;
Sadly, my recollections of our coupling have gone the way of all flesh
(but my well-preserved diary for that year notes I gave her the works thrice)
And I do vividly remember wondering what time the Underground started
on Sunday mornings as I was no longer enamoured of her tobacco breath.

Now, dear reader, we come to the ****** of my night of Nordic nookie:
Just as the dawn's early light was filtering through the ill-fitting curtains,
My partner in lust informed me that she desperately needed a squirt
(I fear I omitted to mention that the RPH didn't run to en suite facilities)
And that, rather than struggle down the corridor to the communal bogs,
She intended to void her bloated bladder in the waiting washbasin.

She enjoined me to be a gentleman and to refrain from watching her
As she performed her toilette and I assured her, with a covert smile,
That I would not breach her urinary modesty. Thus I slyly observed her
Waltz over to the window and, with the assistance of a handy little chair,
Hoist her ample buttocks up on the basin and let fly her steaming ****;
O, what a romantic sound it made as it splashed onto the porcelain!

As I lay there, entranced by the sight of my piddling blonde Brünnhilde,
An unexpected sound intruded over the splatter of her seething waters:
O Jesu! Suddenly, in the veritable twinkling of an eye, the basin's supports,
Unequal to the unscheduled weight of the female Goliath squatting thereon,
Gave way and what's-her-name fell to the economically carpeted floor,
Screaming in fear, spread-eagled in ****-drenched shattered chinaware.

To say I was beside myself with mirth would be an understatement but,
Gentlemanly as always, I managed to pass off my gargled giggles
As evidence of gallant concern. As soon as common decency permitted,
I made my excuses and left the disconcerted dear to tidy up a bit.
But I will confess to emitting a huge howl of uncontrolled laughter
As I raced off to the nearest toilet (I too was bursting for a huge slash).
HB Apr 2013
A bite of meat
I dare not eat.
I'll have some fruit instead.

No milk for me
Why, can't you see?
I'd rather have some bread.

Faces haunting
Proteins taunting..
I don't want it if it's meaty.

You like to eat entrails
and brains,
A bit like zombies--beastly!

Hormone laden,
Child-sacrifice
to make the thing called "Veal".

I can't believe what you go through
for your tasty high priced meal.

— The End —