My words are thrown like stones hitting a wall. They penetrate nothing. They fall to the ground in a pile of rubble. Not even the dust is able to rise around them.

Why do I continue to reach for another stone? Why can I not be released back into the lake of complacency where I was first ensnared? Why must the words be pulled like a child being ripped from a mother's womb? They breathe life and then they must be nursed. They are imperfect. They are demanding. They will ultimately control me.

Have mercy on me. I live in the abyss of mediocrity. This I know. And this I cannot endure.

I reach for another lovely stone...

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Isn't it strange how moonlight on snow creates a sense of loneliness, no matter how beautiful it may be....

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Falling Sideways....A Short Memoir

The snow falls sideways. It is beautiful, but it is not right. It is explainable, but it is not excused. The ground does not blanket properly as little white mounds scatter selfishly amid random patches of dingy, green grass struggling desperately to survive the onslaught.

I need the snow to fall in its proper order. I want the snow to stay focused. I reach my hands out into the disturbance. Pieces of white, so small they seem not to exist at all on their own, swirl briefly around my hands, their pattern broken and battered. I realize I might break up this sideways snow if only for a moment. I lift my arms into the air above me and hold my face up in brazenness to the apathetic sky.

It is cold and I become tired. My arms fall down by my side in resignation to my brief rebellion. The sideways snow does not stop.

A dusky gray light shadows the room as it creeps its way down between the tall, brick buildings, wrapping itself through the alleyway and into the one small window that faces another small window that I could never see into. The scarlet red walls lose their sensuality in the gray light, becoming a colorless darkness that fades into unending blankness. A tall, shabby dresser standing in the far corner mounts the only defense, its creamy wood looming boldly in ghost-like confidence.

I lay prone and still upon the bed, my blankets pushed and prodded away from my skeletal form like the delicate folds of a satin-draped casket. An ancient black phone with its long cord of tightly spiraled plastic sits on the table by the bed. The headset lies across my chest, over my heart, breathing my breaths. I weave the phone cord around each finger, over and over, the only movement in the room. I stare at the scarred ceiling.

There is such a quiet in the room, as if the gray light blocks sound as well. No impatient horns or rumbling engines from the street, no downstairs apartment doors slamming, not even the train has announced itself with clockwork vibrations of windowpanes and antiquated back door locks. There is only her. Her voice gravelly seeping out of the headset that breathes my breaths. Her voice speaking over hundreds o f miles into my world, breaching the gray light’s power.

I am confined, tightly encased in the flagellating pulse of her words. They echo through my blood as they have done from my conception. Trapped by the circling steps of the tigress, unsure and confused by her instinct, I question what the tigress is protecting. The teeth are bared toward her own.

There was a time when I would listen. When I would attempt an answer against the words of accusations, each one sealed in stone and hurled mercilessly at her target. She spoke of betrayal as if I alone was responsible for the men who had not loved her. She spoke of rejection when all I had done was begun my life outside of hers. She spoke of separation and retreat when she had begun that process on the day of my birth. Honor thy mother. I owed her that. But it was not right.

I listen for a break in the steady hum of her voice. A possible release. I want to scream, but I know that will not stop her. I remain silent, slowly turning my cheek side to side.

My friend who loves me walks by my door. She stops as she sees the familiar scene that she cannot understand. Her arms push angrily against the doorframe as she silently mouths the words, “Hang up the phone. Just hang it up.” I shake my head back and forth, tears sliding steadily down my temples. As the wetness puddles into the black curls lying like swirled ink stains on the white pillow, I am aware of a slight chill creeping across my skin. My friend drops her arms from the door in defeat and stands guard quietly for a few moments. When she finally turns to go, I feel the look of surrender in her eyes, as when seeing a crippled bird on the side of the road, knowing there is nothing you can do for the creature, knowing his weakness will eventually overcome him.

I turn to look out the small window, the voice droning on and on. I see an edge of the darkening sky between the tall buildings. That must be where the gray light steals its way into my room, I think. I see it has been snowing. It is a beautiful snow. But it is falling sideways

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


It is possible to see and yet be blind. To hear and not listen. But is it possible to speak and yet be silent? I am a mute. I can see the injustices but I cannot bellow my defense. I hear the cries of pain from the ones falling around me, but I cannot soothe their tears. My silence screams.

The surface of the sea is my world. The gentle rocking waves pour over my words, suppressing them with the weight of the water. Underneath the obvious lie violence, survival, beauty and mystery….

My silence screams.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


When I had to look up the word "hate" in the dictionary, I knew I had a problem.

It isn't that I don't have 'extreme hostility' towards drunk drivers, bad drivers and inconsiderate drivers. I certainly 'loathe' and 'detest' child molesters and murderers. Unreservedly, I possess a 'passionate dislike' to liver, income taxes and of course, the familiar fingernails on a chalkboard sound. But when it all comes down to having a 'feeling of dislike so strong that it demands action', I know I am a failure at the emotion of hate.

I searched and searched the center of my consciousness to come up with a hate directly succeeded by an action, to no avail. I only remember the proper parental response to those early traces of human rage as in "No, honey,we don't 'hate' anyone. We only dislike them for the moment." Or the teachers, Sunday School and all, trying their hardest to keep control, stating,"No,honey, we must love our neighbors as ourselves,." Or how about the 'make love, not war' banner? That one has filled me full of guilt since the sixties.,

No, I sit idly by as hate-filled jihadists behead my fellowman without cause. I say someone has to do something. Then I criticize the government for making me strip at airport security. I watch television shows that make whores out of women and say someone should stand up for our daughters. I don't turn the television off. I see children in other countries with fly-infested eyes and hunger-infested bellies and say someone needs to take care of them. I write a small check, drop it in the mail,and feel good about myself. I watch cancer take my best friend's femininity and then her life and I say someone needs to stop this from happening. I am still only crying.

I hate that I am unable to hate...


"Apparently those who are happy can only enjoy themselves because the unhappy bear their burdens in silence, and but for this silence, happiness would be impossible. It is a kind of universal hypnosis.

Anton Chekhov

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Dreams are no more than curses for me. I am not talking about the dreams of the night that spew out all the twisted banalities of our consciences, but those dreams that are woven with our eyes wide open, supposedly driving us to the front battle lines of hope. These dreams fly away almost as soon as I create them. I picture them desperately fluttering their wings to escape the pull of my reality. If they get caught in that current, then they are no more. No longer dreams.
What do they then become? Hope? Doubtful. More likely, disillusionment. Either way, they are no longer dreams. Its best to let them just fly and flutter away to that mysterious place in my soul where the mind and heart have made a pact to imprison the things that hurt me. A sort of dream cage with a little trap door braced for the capture of each and every one. They stay locked away there, safe. Safe from being free, but tormenting me all the same with their constant flapping-each beat of their wings reminding me of my failure to become, to accomplish, to possess-until they tire from the entrapment. Ultimately they lie still, weakening in the recesses.
They cannot hurt me there….