antithesis

i was captured and locked away

i am a prisoner of war

my reckless stupidity and naivety

grabs my hair sending me flying

i can feel the gypsum board crack

it reverberates through all of me

i feel hands squeezing my throat

squeezing tighter and tighter

like trying to get blood from a stone

my lips turning blue and a smile of respite

a reprieve, indefinite furlough

naked to all and defenseless

my body is my holding cell

chains and bondage are unnecessary

hide-outs, rendezvous points

awards, grids and toasts

are for the armies and the lackluster

as for me, i just endure, exist

survival is the only option i have

perhaps it’s stockholm syndrome

…..

patty hearst’s story is romantic

for a moment or year

maybe real, maybe fairytales

she burned with passion

but i was captured by me

and me alone

i have felt times of vibrant elation

i have been branded from birth

i cry rivers and scream in hysterics

my desire, my most coveted

is peace and love

beseeching, pleading, praying

my forehead forever on the ground

i am bleeding and it will never stop

there is nothing tantalizing in that

 

 

 

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the evolution of valentines day-a journey to love

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it’s valentine’s day!  this was one holiday that i was forced to participate in from an early age that always made me cringe!

i can remember being a little girl, maybe five or six, and buying those boxes of multi-picture cards, all different poses or whatever from a popular cartoon.  back then it was strawberry shortcake to the rescue, and i remember the cards were all scratch and sniff-that was huge back then!  the day before valentine’s day we would have to turn our white paper bag into the canvas for every symbol of love imaginable.  then we would go home, list of students in hand, and fill out the cards!

all they said was:

to:

from:

i would painstakingly, with the best penmanship i could manage, fill out those cards.  i would balk at the ones i had to give to the mean kids, the bullies, and usually the teacher.  on the big vday we would have the school’s idea of a party-cookies and fruit punch sitting at your desk and talking to the people around you-if you happened to be sitting next to the kid who kicked a dog in the street- tough, sucks to be you!  getting up roaming through the class to enjoy the company of your friends was not going down.  it was still school, “maintain some decorum and remember god is watching you!”  at this time we were living in a small town in texas that was populated solely by german immigrants and their offspring and offspring’s offspring.  we spoke german for the most part in town and in school.  everyone was catholic, that was the only church in town, and you better go or the entire population will begin to wonder if you are in cahoots with the big D himself.  3 times a week we walked from the school to the church about 15-20 feet from the school.  we would take the first part of the morning learning about the lord and savior, we would pray for the souls of the dearly departed,  then attend a mass.  so god watching you was pounded into my brain hardcore from birth.  nothing like catholic guilt!  the parties were lame, the valentines generic and those little hearts with the writing on them were disgusting but i ate at least half of the box every year because it had the word “candy” in it, and candy=good so maybe i was eating them wrong and i needed to do it differently somehow bc these were not delicious they were like licking a chalkboard-and yes i did that a couple of times.  we moved to a bigger town when i was 7, but really nothing changed except no one spoke german and there was a safeway grocery store and more people.  the valentines day party was just as horrible no matter what.  i mean we weren’t having to do work, which most of the kids liked, but for the most part i would just read or write or do word searches.  this continued until i reached the 6th grade.  by that time i was going to school high or drunk so really nothing was lame, it was all mostly funny, but i just kinda sat back and watched the others, participation wasn’t going to happen, not from this cowgirl!

by 6th grade i had also found the thrill of having a crush, and usually a much older boyfriend.  i spent the majority of my jr high days drunk and switching boyfriends almost as fast as i would switch my panties.  this phase lasted until at least the end of my freshman year and maybe a bit of my sophomore year.  mid first semester of sophomore year i added daily doses of  amphetamines and occasional hallucinates and cocaine use to my bag of tricks and kind of began to see the worth of who i was- i have no idea how that happened simultaneously, but it did. dating scum bag losers, while not completely off the table, slowed down rapidly.  at this tier of the tower, the mandatory bag decorating and forced valentines only existed in my memories-sometimes my brain would throw in a pinch or two of nostalgia to throw me off balance.  since i was never really down for maintaining girlfriend status, valentines day became just another day on the calendar.  for me it had as much credence as president’s day.  for me it was an overhyped compilation of needy clingy ass nonsense.  this was probably do to the fact that while i enjoyed sex i did not enjoy the people wanting to have me as property.

when ted and i got together my life changed pretty drastically.  i had stopped taking drugs for the most part a few weeks maybe 2 months before the beginning of our journey together, then apart then together than apart then friends and co-parents.  i remember the first valentine’s day we were together was the first time i had actually been happy and excited.  that day it stopped being overhyped bullshit, and it began to have some sort of meaning.  i was still extremely self-centered, but it was nice to do something for and with ted that day.  after that day valentines day morphed again into something else all together.

by feb of the next year i had a little baby named eli.  he was to me the most beautiful creature i had ever laid eyes on and i fell madly in love with him.  i do believe that eli was the first person in the world that i loved the way you are supposed to love.  the birth of that boy redefined what it meant to put someone first, before myself and to do so without thought or visions of some sort of self satisfaction or martyrdom inciting a manipulation and or forcing others to be malleable clay in my life.  he was perfect just as he was.  i never wanted compromise or surrender from my baby.  i found out how good it felt to no longer play the lead role in my one person play.  my life had become an amalgamation of raw emotions and beautiful prose.  i learned truth and purpose beyond my self.

within a few years my family had grown in leaps and bounds.  i had to more boys-jeffrey and samuel.  i loved them with as much fire as i had eli.  and with each day my loved grew and expanded in ways that were unfathomable to me the day before.  they each brought something new into my world.  the wonderment of these little people, the innocence of unhindered emotion, fear of them being hurt, watching them fall and have difficulties, holding their hand in a struggle of self-these were all concepts that before my children were injected into my life.  my love, my true unselfish love grew and soared creating new universes, adding dimensions never conjured before in the history of the world.

due to the lessons of love from my children, different ways of loving have been added to my jar of emotions.  it had opened doors that had been invisible until cast into view by my new understanding of how you should love.  i learned that love is not always beautiful or kind or clean or tamed at times it is a banshee screaming in the night, a siren unleashing hypnotic tunes, an orange moon behind the howl of a feral dog and the continuation of atomic big bangs an internal collapse and rebuilding, restructuring; love can be unjust but the capacity for forgiveness and acceptance in never in short supply.  i learned that i could love more than one sentient being at a time without taking from the others with the addition of new players.  i saw myself-the good, the beautiful, the bad and the ugly-through the lenses of others, learning how to see myself as a valid person capable of much more than i had ever been taught before.  compassion, compromise, restraint, internal emotional violence, friendship, true guilt for not listening to myself which was different than the guilt i had learned through the constant influx of negativity shown to me before.  before my love had been black and white, occasionally grey, but growing with and through my children introduced me to a spectrum, a rainbow of unbridled, unwavering and occasionally unforgiving life.  there were no defenses set up, there was offense necessary.  survival and companionship and comradery became the crux of my reality.

without these three people who started out as two completely different half cells that bound together through some magic, these people who grew and kicked and had fingernails living deep in the cavern of my body, i would still be circling the same tree confused as to why it all looked so familiar.

today on valentines day friday, feb 14, 2014, my idea of love is deeper and richer than ever before.  today i am basking in the love of friends and family.  today i have a bond with ted that is trusting, respectful and emotionally intimate. i have somehow found my partner amy who is more amazing. calm, balanced than anyone i have ever encountered before.  she is full of a beautiful light radiating from the center of her soul, so amazing that at times just the sight of her takes my breath away.  two of my children are no longer children.  eli and jeffrey have both crossed the line from adolescence into adulthood and samuel is not far behind.  they have become men full of strength, each compassionate in their own way, and capable of conquering feats beyond their assigned roles, they have dominated the hurtles set in front of them refusing to bow to the opinion and designation of those around them.  they are more than.  they are stronger than. they are smarter than.  they are all three kings of their lives deciding for themselves their beliefs, values, passions, futures.  they are capable, and are actively speeding forward leaving a fire in their wake.  eli has fallen in love with a beautiful intelligent wonderful girl  who inspires him to grab the golden ring taking away his fear and doubt.  he has been drug to hell and back again, trampled on and people have attempted to gouge away at his soul.  despite the negativity and alienation and attempted assassination of his person, strength and character, he has managed to prevail and accomplish without the aid of those who had promised to help him.  jeff has found happiness in cooking and music and friendships which we were told he would never have, he has taken his destiny and willed himself to be far more than the box they attempted to assign him.  according to society jeff was never supposed to survive much less thrive in many areas of life, but he has taken the rules of behavior assigned to him and conquered every one of the items on the list of “incapable”.  he has a strength most people can’t even begin to comprehend.  samuel is a social butterfly with friends and budding romantic relationships; he has set his goals and he will not concede to defeat.  he forces himself through life never bowing out or minimizing others to be the last one standing-that is not necessary he is empowered by himself through himself and stealing the life, ego, psyche, power, happiness of others only belittles him as a person, it is a false bravado that only veils insecurities.

valentines day now means i am able to bask in the love and companionship of those around me.  “happy valentines day”  it is no longer a pointless phrase only muttered with nothing but sounds to back it up.  today i can look around me, in my life and find a love and beauty that gives meaning to life and allows every moment to be a special occasion.

a window to see into myself from outside in

shattered glass in the hallway

a mirror with a story to tell

a fist to the face

of the person portrayed

millions of peices

covered in blood spatter

reflecting

the cieling

the face

the hall

the glass giving picture

of hidden

fury

hatred

disrespect

a blast heard

around the world

sparking self combustion

shards digging into the feet

only causing slight discomfort

justified punishment

footprints in blood

indecent and inaccessible

too many times

round and round

the mulberry bush

leaving all things

that were facing north

now facing south

tremendous burdens

terrible expectations

incapable of change

rigid and suspended

the scars deep

whelped and red

to hate the person

standing in the mirror

causing a split in character

despising the ongoing funhouse

warping

pulling

shrinking

disfigurement

creating the intimate and insecure

of the emotional/mental/cognative

reflecting it into the physical default

lines

scars

eyes of the dead

fear and dread

the basis of the foundation of life

bullying to get your way

bullying to get your way

i wish i could say to my children that bullying will end when they are adults, grown up, established in a job, have a family of their own, and all that jazz, but i have this weird moral compass that refuses to allow me to lie to ppl, especially my kids.

there is going to be someone that is jealous of them somewhere at all times.  and just bc you reach the magical age of reason and rationale does not mean that you are going to use those qualities to navigate through the world.  childhood bullies grow up to become adult bullies.  and usually children bully bc they are bullied at home, leaving them powerless in a great majority of their life, therefore they reach for validation in other areas by pushing other ppl around.  it is a cycle of abuse leaving millions of bodies in the wake of the torture.

one thing we have done here is to discuss it openly.  we talk about the underlying causes of bullying and the long term effects that it has not only on the victim but on the bully also.  i encourage my children to take a stand for those they see being hunted.  sweeping this problem under the rug and excusing behavior bc boys will be boys or that is just what girls do, is telling everyone this is ok, it’s acceptable, it’s expected, and stop your bellyachin!  this rite of passage leaves scars on bodies, forces hands down throats, slices wrists, leaves kids turning to any means of numbness.  it is not a viable option for health and prosperity.  it is in fact torture.

 

homelesness v holiness

ft sillarmy afghan

Homeless Veteran

in the town i live in we have a tremendous homeless population. the largest field artillery army base is the hub of commerce here, and we have ppl who are no longer able or willing to be soldiers living on the street. now not that i think a solider is a better person say than a dope fiend, i don’t have any illusions of that whatsoever. i do know that the stand the military takes on ptsd is way behind the times and they refuse to acknowledge the horrendous shit that ppl who have been to war experience. they excuse them from military duty, bc of physical and/or psychological issues that become too pervasive or bc of their way of dealing w the stuff they have seen or done. alcohol and drug addiction in the military is tremendous.
we also have a large portion of the homeless who are displaced ppls from the katrina hurricane. after losing all their belongings, family, homes, animals, jobs-the stuff we take for granted-they live huddled in blankets behind buildings. there is one woman i am friends w who lives at a bus stop. this last christmas she was attacked by ppl in a car who shot her over and over again with paintball pellets. nothing was done about that…she still wears the clothes w holes and paint from that night.  it was a running joke around town with the bruises on her skin as the punchline.

creative-and-funny-signs-of-homeless-people05
the homeless shelters here are horrible! understaffed, over populated and you can only get a bed a certain number of days in a row. if you are a queer person, a trans person, or a cis woman, you don’t go to the shelters-it is too dangerous.  queer youth who are kicked outta the family for being queer have very little hope of finding a family to take pity on them and going into the system leaves them at the mercy of the state to decide where they will live, the state that has outright called them “abominations”, so from my experience there is little urgency in the actions of bureaucrats when it comes to these kids.  hopefully they will have someone, anyone, to take them in.  when they don’t you see them in the park trying to make enough money to eat.  you see them walking into the library covered in bruises, you see the cops turn their back on the violence and sexual assaults that go down.
the common mis-belief that homeless ppl are less than adequate is one of the more damaging ideologies that we perpetrate in our mighty capitalist land. i have heard ppl scream at the homeless and hold money over their heads literally saying things that equal “now don’t you go and buy crack!!! you look like you smoke crack!!!!” well, if you lived in a bus stop, would you really hold sobriety as an important value in your life? if you had dreams about killing children do you think that finding a way, any way, to escape that is a moral deficiency? i personally expect the ppl i come into contact w to buy drugs and alcohol w the money they get. i think they have earned it: crawling through dumpsters to get cans to recycle, smoking cigarette butts that they find in public ashtrays, dealing w dicks hitting them or belittling them, not to mention they know ppl think they are bad, they themselves think they are bad, less than. so i try, when i can, to deliver hot food to ppl and i give them money to get whatever else they need to get. i try to take the young women tampons and pads. if i can scrounge money together i will get them socks.

homeless

when we lived in maine, the town we lived in had no homeless.  as a matter of fact you will see homeless ppl in the large cities but never in the rural communities.  the town we lived in, the citizens won’t let ppl go wo.   there is a couch or a space for anyone somewhere.  ppl help ppl bc they are ppl, we are connected, and turning your back on someone no matter who that someone is does something damaging to your soul.St-Mary-Catholic-Church-Indianapolis-Indiana

there are a few churches that will use feeding the homeless as an opportunity to minister to ppl.  i kinda have a problem with this.  for the most part, it’s not really a listen and agree or we will not give you food deal, so i mean that is cool, but if the homeless were to show up to sunday service i wonder how many parishioners would squirm in the pews.  for the most part it seems like instead of helping ppl for the sake of doing a good thing is an afterthought at best.  i see ppl/churches help ppl bc they want to be recognized for doing it, they advance their agenda or inflate their ego “LOOK AT ME OVER HERE HELPING THESE PITIFUL PPL OUT!!!!  GOD, I REALLY HOPE YOU ARE WATCHING!!!  I AM DOING SOME AMAZING SHIT RIGHT NOW!!!!  HEY!!!  LOOK I GAVE THIS GUY A DOLLAR…o yeah by the way, can i get a receipt for that?”

sticks and stones

juggling knives

that is some dangerous business

with the capacity of death

even worse, constant mutilation

getting caught in the muscles

tearing through the safety

tearing through the serenity

piercing flesh

knives screaming

whore, cunt, stupid

wretched unworthy bitch

sitting on the floor

pulsing and writhing

trying to push guts

back into an abdomen

sewing it back up

using teeth to tighten

the dental floss

trying to close the wound

maybe it should be heat

let it melt

let it swim back together

i see it in the mirror

behind the blue eyes

of the stranger

that lives in the glass

her scars remarkable

protruding from the flesh

i lie to her

she can’t handle truth

i tell her she is beautiful

she knows better

the lady all length and width

horizon and vertical

with no depth

i whisper to her

“you are worthy”

she screams back

“don’t quit your day job asshole!”

veins popping purple faced

exposing those times

when the knives fell

when she did it on purpose

pulling steel against the flesh

pushing it to the tilt

inside her guts

because that is what she is

that is all she knows

and still i lie to her

telling her she is going

one day to be ok

she can still be beautiful

we both know the line

we both see the scam

but speaking the truth

to her is too cruel

so we juggle knives

of words and actions

scarring the tissue

tearing the fiber

and chaining the soul

 

 

a slap to the face just outta the blue

my mom stopped by the house today.  she had not been invited and didn’t bother to call and say “hey i am on my way over…is now a good time?” nope, she just pulled up and came in.  it is so hard to be around her.

she does not approve of me, at all.  nothing about my lifestyle or my choices seem to fall in line w her philosophy of how ppl are supposed to be.  i am queer-that in and of itself is repulsive to her.  when she sees amy  and i she tells herself and everyone else that we are just best friends.  i am opposed to capitalism, therefore having a bunch of frilly fancy shit around my house isn’t going to happen.  all of my art and all of my books and all of my stuff was either made by us, made by friends, found in the trash, found in a second hand store or stolen-that is where most of our books came from, except the ones that our friends wrote or illustrated then they were gifts.  everything i have means something to me, i do not have random things just to have things.  and we live in a very colorful very creative household.  one of my prize possessions is an avocado tree named oliva that my friend who is 10 little weyodi gave to me.  she started it from a seed for me bc we are friends.  everytime my mom sees me she tells me i need to shave.  everytime she sees the kids there is something they are doing or are not doing that is just not right…cut your hair, don’t stand like that, what is that shirt all about…it’s negative and demeaning.  she is mean to ted.  flat out rude to him.  he shouldn’t be here that is just not what ppl do and blah blah blah!  but he makes me happy and he helps take care of me and he is the boys father-they need all of us!  it’s how i live.

my mom was brought up in an upper middle class family.  my grandmother, her mother, was the first female business owner in north texas.  my mom was a debutant.  but she grew up married a welder, became a drunk and a drug addict and for the better part of my life we lived wo a stable source of food, and our toilet held up with 2×4’s bc the floor was falling down around it.  but somehow she has always maintained that entitled attitude of a middle class white woman. she wouldn’t even pump her own gas until i was 20!

now days she lives in a house w my sister and my niece.  she took me over there today.  i really didn’t have a choice, and it gave me the opportunity to see my niece who i adore as though she was my very own baby.  this was the first time for me to see her new house, and it’s cute, it’s beige very beige but i mean it’s cute.  i am glad she is doing good.

when she was walking through my house she didn’t say a word.  she just looked.  i am an overly clean person.  my house is clean.  she commented on that. “well, it is very clean!” she said in her unmistakably north texas accent.  that and her commenting on a picture i have in the living room of her mom and dad and her when she was a little girl, that was all she said about our house.

amy tells me all the time to just stay away from her, i am always hurt when i see her and we have nothing in common.  that is really easy for someone who was raised by parents who gave a shit about them and have a wonderful family relationship with to say.  it’s not so easy when the relationship in itself is based on years and years of mental, emotional and spiritual abuse, when you were the only one cleaning the sick off your mother, and carrying her into a clinic bc she had major staph infections.  when the relationship is more about a clinging need than want is a sick and twisted thing, and breaking those roots is almost impossible.  

i grew up with this want of family.  i grew up with a desire to have a family of good ppl and support and love and opportunity.  i have that now.  my boys amy and ted and i are very close and we are always here for each other.  i would do anything for the boys.  i adore them.  that is what every kid deserves.  but everytime i see my mom it is just a punch to the ego.  and it takes so long to recover from it.