Monthly Archives: December 2010

His Answer

He uncupped his hands and left her right ear.
When he removed his face, there was a chill
Where his head was close to hers.
Her chest began to burn and soon her throat.
Her eyes remained blank, unseeing.
Her face was bleeding
Or maybe they were tears. . .

She didn’t dare shift her stare
As she pictured perfectly
His mouth opening and shutting
And the curl of his lips as they bared his teeth
When he said what he had to say,
Gentle and soft, then walked away.

She relived the moment again and again,
Standing still, grasping at the notes in his voice;
A small word, so many notes.
With a sing song melody he spoke,
As a favor to her, in a whisper
So she wouldn’t suffer the sound. . .

She asked if she meant anything to him
And he might as well have bellowed
Because all she could hear,
As her face glowed orange under the streetlamps,
And the wind made dancing circles
Of leaves around her feet,
Was the echo of a cruel and patronizing

“No.”

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KILLER

The silent crowd
Made a roaring stadium
Too fast to dodge:
A blur
He swung the bat:
A blow
Line drive

Innocent and undeserving
The catcher caught,
She prayed he’d miss

But the glass cracked
Cranberry juice spilled onto the floor
When it puddled the carpet bled
Bulbs flashed red
Mercury rose
Balloons exploded then
The lights went out

Spine
Crumb-
Led
To
The
Floor
(A lumberjack yells timber)
The earth quaked and the black hole swallowed

He was going to get away with it again. . .

She came to with a dizzy head
Stained, soaked crimson thighs
He said he’d get away with it

The stairs were the accused
There was no charge

It’s birthday was a funeral


Project Domestication: The Different Woman

For years my culinary resume consisted of the likes of grilled cheese, cereal, french toast and ramen. You better believe it: I could pour a mean bowl of cereal. I was never quite the chef in the kitchen as much as I was a glutton in the kitchen. Despite my protesting, my girlfriends who practically departed the womb adorned with aprons and bearing spatulas have continued to encourage me, persuade me, and beg me to tap into the domestic sphere of my brain for my own betterment. As I’ve come to realize, there are certain things I lack a solid grasp on. These subjects are: math, science and domesticity. My brain refuses to connect the dots when faced with projects of, or pertaining to, the above. Is it true that no righteous man would wed a woman lacking in these areas? Is there not more they can look to for confirmation that they have a competent and faithful wife? Must my cooking skills and cleaning abilities be equated with my intellect, strengths and faithfulness as a woman? In short, is there really a woman who perfectly embodies all the roles of housekeeper, career woman, mother and wife simultaneously? I dare say I don’t believe so. For some time, due to an unfortunate and unidentified chemical imbalance in my brain, I dated a man who was really a 3 year old trapped in the body of a 6’4, brutish caveman with stunted mental developments. In my vulnerable state, recovering from the aftermath of a 9.8 on the romance Richter, I blindly walked into this new relationship hoping that it would heal me and nurture my growth. I couldn’t have been more mistaken. But anyhow, in the interim, as I carried on blissfully ignorant to the landmines that lay ahead, I suddenly thought, why don’t I give this domestication gig a try? I had a guinea pig and as his weekly visits increased from 2 days a week to 4, he began depending on me for nourishment as well.

As he lumbered about my studio apartment, reminding me every minute of how oppressing this relationship was becoming, I began to distract myself from his insolence by experimenting on new dishes. I refused recipes emailed by my girlfriends and boycotted cookbooks. If I was going to try this I was going to do it on my own terms armed with imagination and gusto. I started with salads, then appetizers and graduated to a few pasta and fish entrees. Couscous concoctions were plated with stuffed avocado halves, I placed my own spin on baked tilapia, tested different marinades on grilled salmon, and even experimented with a few homemade sauces after I grew tired of several variations of sausage, peppers and onions. What I learned was that my creativity and innovation did in fact carry over into my culinary adventures. I viewed this endeavor as an experiment just as we did with science projects in grade school. I also learned that when executed under my own conditions, cooking became a past time with an enjoyable amount of challenge.

After a few weeks of this, realization began to creep. Dish washing began to feel laborious. The studio began to stink of oils, spices and grease. I began to feel like a plantation slave in front of the heat of the stove. It was clear: I had not needed cooking as a new hobby at all; I was only seeking refuge from the unavoidable. I needed out. I needed a new life, a new perspective and freedom from my rotting, dead end relationship. Not a distraction from it. And with that, it was over. I kicked him out of my apartment and threw some tupperware after him, packing up the last of the tuna salad I whipped up for the next day’s lunch. By crushing my spirit and nearly murdering the person I was inside, he forced me to channel my energy towards things that I felt I still could control. And with that, I sought structure, discipline and tradition which was what led me towards Project Domestication. With new life breathed into me and the rotten boyfriend and leftovers discarded, I got my mojo back.

Having closed the chapter on my brief detour into the world of condiments and basters, I wondered: have the women in my life been encouraging me to excel in one area of womanhood over others? Or were they instilling in me the need to become a “better” woman? If so, is there a standard of domesticity to be met which qualifies me as a successful woman? Why do they believe such things and furthermore, why don’t I? Am I defective because I don’t find baking a peaceful past time? Am I less intelligent because I don’t collect recipes? Though I’ve always been quite content with my hobbies of consistently sharpening my talents; nurturing my mind, body and soul; maintaining a stellar closet; and ensuring that my hair, skin and nails are always photo ready, I can’t help but wonder if these ‘other’ women believe that I am less of a female for not adhering to their planes of thought and not feeling enlightened by such a lifestyle. After surrendering with my defeated spirit and playing house for those miserable 10 months in what seemed like an alternate reality for me, I’ve concluded that unless you are a female with a self made empire who can come home from the office, enthusiastic to cook a five star meal, 7 days a week while dashing back and forth in Louboutins, still fully accessorized in your Chanel suit and be able to clean the house after your family is fed and wake up each morning with radiance glowing through your skin, then I do not envy or admire you nor do I find your perspective on the necessities of domestication to be substantial. However, if you are such a woman then I bow to you for your praise worthy skills in time management and your zest for life. What I am guessing is that women who look at me pitifully for not being eager to dream up a good meal to put on the table are also women who don’t dream big; beyond the motherhood and housewife career. I don’t have babies in cradles and cleaning products dancing around my daydream bubbles, I have dollar signs in bank accounts and my own personal freedom instead. Perhaps it is a difference in dreams then? Would life for my husband and children be any less comfortable if a chef were cooking and a housemaid were cleaning? No, I think life would be quite comfortable, if not more, if I were able to provide these services and ensure a golden lifestyle for my family. Hence why my dreams have always been to build a solid financial foundation rather than a domestic foundation. Maybe happiness cannot be bought but domestication sure can. And it’s quite simple actually: you exploit your freedom, tap into your resources, build your empire, make your profits, pay for the services to keep your household clean and you will live happily, beautifully, wealthily and teach your children the importance of chasing happiness, independence and wealth rather than the importance of being on your hands and knees scraping away mediocrity and unsupported perceptions of female normality.

I would not be opposed to revisiting my cutlery and assuming a position in the kitchen once again but, it would have to be during a period where I have the luxury of taking up a new art form, where I can view kitchen capers as a study of gastronomy rather than a chore to toil away at. It would never hurt to birth a new talent but, for the majority of the time I’d much rather be enjoying the secrets of gourmet dining than creating it. As the ultimate minority in this day and age, a minority within race, gender and thought spheres, I can say that I am, and forever will be, a proud individual. I know this because no matter what society demands, and what the world becomes, there are three things I will never be afraid to admit: my ethnicity, gender and opinion.

With a naturally competitive spirit (while I may never convert my perspectives on domesticity and the female’s role to that of the more traditional or stringent perspectives of other females) I am not against improving myself, nurturing and broadening my skills to new found areas. I believe that growth is necessary in all aspects of life and I also believe that domesticity is currently an uncharted land for me to discover. Once charted, I would be able to customize this arena to my liking with my own personal style. There may be intriguing sides to domestication to be found, such as personalities like my inner Martha Stewart but, not because I have to and not because it will make me any more of a woman than I already am. If my blog survives my maternity, I don’t doubt that there will be many more entries to be chronicled. Stay tuned and in the meantime, keep a clean home and nice smelling kitchen.


BREATHE

We were all in love
We all fell down
The white houses had black fences
Civil engineers and their reforms

Where are they, we wondered
As these Ones pass by
Where do they come from
Some secret village?
Surely not this city of demise

He stands outside, stating his case
No one hears him but I see
Him for his beauty, a painting,
A film; a silent film
Fleeting, because that’s what beauty is
I don’t know anything about him
And if I did, it’d disgrace us both

So we keep walking, into Avril 50
Where they sell foreign goods
Such as bonbons des framboises
And cloves
And we smoke them
Because oxygen simply isn’t potent enough

We talk and we talk
About cultural adaptation:
Who says humans are not adaptive?
I say we are
“We will be the first species on earth
to become extinct”, they argue against me
so be it; all things become extinct,
as if this weren’t obvious
it’s how quickly we evolve

I throw down the butt and grasp my chest,
Something worse than fiberglass-
I feel my lungs: charred
Cloves will be the cause of our extinction, I’m sure

Next Thursday we will plan our escape
Where to? We’re not sure
But people here are rotting
And the more we talk about the history of technology
The more worried I become
Because this has nothing to do with falling in love
Or how to get up when you fall down,
In, or out

We’re afraid to go though, next Thursday,
Because we’re so used to being boring, shallow, wasted
What if they have conversations where we’re going?
What if they talk about tomorrow?
What if they speak of things that are substantial?

It won’t be like it is here
Because here, the meters break
After you put your quarters in
Here, the beautiful people hide
The smog, the illusions, and excess
Chase them, their tattoos, their piercings, their long hair, away

So we want to escape to their sanctuary
It might not be safe their either
But it should be different
Perhaps they paint their houses blue
And have red fences
What will we say?
We won’t; we’ll just breathe in
And remember to breathe out.


Mermaids, Masochism and Happily Ever After. . .

Part of your world. . .

Falling For Her Captor

A lonely, longing Beast

Oh So Provincial Life

Someday I'll Be. . .

Sha la la la la, My oh my, You've got to kiss de girl. . .

So after lending an adequate amount of thought to this recently, I’ve concluded that my choice in Disney movies may have played a significant, though inconspicuous, role in what I now perceive through adulthood to be romance or sacrificial duties of the female in my personal modern day love tales:

Exhibit A:
After countless hours of watching and re-watching The Little Mermaid over and over and over and over and over again, while prancing about my home imagining a long, glistening fishtail instead of legs and propping myself strategically on piles of pillows to sing “Someday I’ll Be”, I had successfully envisioned myself as a 5 year old girl turned Mer-Creature in King Triton’s undersea kingdom. What this beloved cinematic piece of genius ingrained in me, as I watched in impressionable adulation, was the fact that this talented female mermaid, Ariel, need only sacrifice her god given body, her aquatic childhood Mer-kingdom, her entire Mer-Family and completely assume the cultural identity, mind, body and soul, (talk about a culture shock tri-fecta) of her heroic Prince Eric, a Prince who offers her nothing short of the world (of his human world) in order to live happily ever after with her one true love as a faithfully married, now bi-pedal couple in a world on land. Hence my pacifism in recent years when faced with the quandry of converting religions if it may make me a more qualified wife; a nose job if it may make a prettier wife; severe weight loss if it may make me a more desirable wife. Religious conversion, plastic surgery, stringent dietary regimens, what is the difference? Sacrifice is sacrifice unless it is sacrifice for love because then love is just love as love reigns supreme, no?

Exhibit B:
There was a certain intrigue in Belle‘s oh so provincial life as she fluttered throughout her village melting the hearts of the elderly and seizing the adoration of the ever arrogant and supremely macho Gaston. However, as fate would have it, Belle denies the advances of a man possessing the wherewithal to devour 12 raw eggs to impress her while bribing her affections with various feats of strength and astonishment and she ends up as a tormented captive in a bleak dungeoun, held against her will by a gruesome monster. Fragile against the size of this monster and bound by fear of his rage, she is shackled until her spirit surrenders to a docile and obedient prisoner dependent upon the Beast for health and wellbeing. Yet, she falls in love with him. In fact, she falls hopelessly in love with him because she, and only she, sees a glimmer in his eyes that suggest a twinkle of an upstanding gentleman behind her tormentor’s mask since it is only she who has come to know this tormentor so well. She is happy, thereafter, satiated by remaining his one and only captive, depending on him for all her spiritual and materialistic needs and wants. Possessed by him, they are now forever bound by the events that brought them together.

At thanksigiving dinner this year, my mother looks at me with pity in her eyes and says, “Oh god I pray for you. What man is going to love you with your fierceness?” Well Mom, anyone who portrays the unique qualities and complications of Prince Eric and the Beast of course. Because apparently, I am so well prepared and subconciously inclined to be fitted into the roles of Ariel and Belle that surely this match would be complete once they are able to possess me as described. And once possessed, I would fall into a certain dizzying love spell that only the two of us would understand. A sick and twisted love, the perfect dark fairy tale. And after all, the best kind of love is one that cannot be understood by the outside world. The irreplaceable kind. The kind that nobody else can see. A diamond in the rough is shinier than any other diamond out there because it’s glisten can be framed by the darkness against it. Any other females out there suffer from Disney inflictions?


The 6 Ave Local

 

"Brand New Leather Jacket"

For My Dear Friends,

To all of you who survive the daily commute of your 9-5 grind with strength and composure, whether by car, bus, trolley or train, if you do not have the opportunity (or misfortune) to commute via the New York City subway system, you have missed out on the following experiences that I, a faithful though bitter, daily customer of the MTA and its orange line have been able to witness first hand within the past 4 days:

MONDAY –
A strange looking, pale as vampire, tall, spindly, Caucasian man sprints to jump on my 8:16 train and consequently gets caught between the doors. Instead of trying to either retrieve himself or thrust himself forward so we may proceed, he HANGS THERE lifeless with his head down, one arm and one leg in the car and the other pair out. He looks up in despair, thrashes about for a minute like a trapped mouse and hangs again as we all watch in befuddlement.

Finally the doors release momentarily and he rushes in, collapses on his hands and knees, sighing, looking as if he had just orgasmed  or escaped a wild boar. He then begins to pace up and down the train car in front of me stumbling left and right from the turbulence as we all hold our knees in, wary that he’s just another nutcase with a contagious disease. Then he whips out a book and as the man next to me leaves, he settles aside me, breathing heavily but reading serenely. Now, whenever anyone reads ANYTHING next to me, I can’t help but read along with them (an annoying social habit of mine). So I glance over and realize…HE IS READING MANDARIN?? What the f*&ck?! Of course, due to what he mistakenly interprets as ‘socialization’ from me, he smiles and leans the book towards me as if encouraging we read together! I give him a ‘what is wrong with you?’ stare and look away, dignified.

THEN, it hits me – he IS a certified nutcase…the mandarin language is read from the back cover to the front cover, and from the right page to the left, the exact opposite of how the western hemisphere reads. And here this oddity was, probably off his medication for days, reading books in mandarin, most likely thinking it was written in Hieroglyphics, clearly ignorant to the fact that he has no idea what he’s reading and feeling morally glorified in sharing it with his oriental co-passenger. In his demented (albeit blissfully ignorant) microcosm, just another wonderful day in the neighborhood.

TUESDAY –
I am late. Again. My hair is wet and I’m dreading my miserable, mundane, hygienically criminal commute. I have my 2 week old trash bag in my hands, running down 5 flights of stairs because my elevator is surprisingly non-functional for the third time in two weeks. I’m flying down floors 5, 4 then. . .BAMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!. I opened the door to the stairwell on floor 3 and run smack dab into my 4″9, 325 lb, 65 yr old widowed neighbor. My trash bag flies out of my hand, leaking putrid-ness on the floor, my face is frozen in mutilated shock, embarrassment and DISGUST, and I creep along the wall praying that I can collect myself to get away fast enough, apologize to her, bend down to collect my bag of amoeba-fied waste and there…there it was…face to crotch…no pants, no panties, but a proudly worn geriatric diaper in XXXL to fit her 325 lb incontinent and presently naked lower half.

WEDNESDAY-
I caught the 8 am train. All is well. This means I arrive at the office at 8:37 so I can have an extra 20 minutes to continue “filing” my “documents” into the paper shredder. The train car is empty save for 3 other passengers. At the following stop a massive 640 lb obese child of god thunders his way in and since I am seated at the row closest to the door, although there are probably 67 empty seats through out the car, he rests his clogged arteries and polluted ventricular system next to me, taking up the remaining half of our bench. He then turns and looks at me, with eyelids just as fat his fingers and says, “That’s a very pretty dress you have on ma’am. Be careful not to open your legs on the train today.”

THURSDAY-
Same shit. Different day. The M train is 20 minutes behind schedule. I’ve been sweating like a pig and my feet are swollen bigger than a woman in her second trimester. Why? Because of my liver I suppose. My doctor attributes all my health issues to my liver. I still don’t know what this means. No seats left on the local train. We are all miserable and will violently assault when provoked. Time pities us and passes us by. We are brought to 53 and Lexington Ave. where a grown man, exceeding 6 feet in height, boards my car with his baseball cap, sunglasses secured around his neck, reading glasses on, and backpack strapped with a water bottle on the side. “Good morning fellow passengers!” he sings with a heavy tongue and lisp, “I’d like to go to Macy’s today…can someone come with me?” Silence, as we attempt to ignore his outrageous morning cheer delivered with speech impediments and gusto. He turns to a woman probably in her forties and says, “Will you come with me?”

“No” she says, “but I will tell u how to get there”.

“Ok.” And he smiles, with one wandering eyeball and a little bit of drool puddling at the corners of his mouth. “And then will YOU come with me? Because I like what you’re wearing,” he says as he turns to a business man in a full suit while eyeing his wardrobe in amazement.

“No, I’m sorry, I have to be at the office,” the businessman replies politely but staunchly. “Ok,” says this overgrown boy scout with a never waning smile, “Then I will borrow your book right?” he asks, as he turns to another woman reading. “Well, honey, you can borrow it as soon as I’m finished reading it,” she replies as the first person to return his smile and sincerity.

“OK GREAT!!!” he screams in excitement then, suddenly, his face falls, his eyes droop, and he reaches to fiddle with the sunglasses tied around his neck with his ‘easy reach’ cord. “B-b-but…when I get to Macy’s,” he stammers, “I, um, well …I- I just don’t know what to buy..what should I buy?” Silence again. And I suspiciously peer over my right shoulder, yanked from my position as the outside observer. All eyes were on me, and I realized: Crap. It’s my turn to respond to this day camper isn’t it? So I look him in the eye, drool now brimming over his bottom lip, sadness saturating his face, and I say to him, with as much sincere excitement as I can muster, and as big a smile as I can beam underground on this subway car, “How about a brand new leather jacket for the fall?”

“YEEAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” he screams, shaking from excitement, as a light bulb goes off in his head, and the life comes back to his eyes, and all is right in his world, right now, at 9:02 am this morning. And he is silenced for the duration of the ride, lost in the glory of what may come on his adventurous path towards Macy’s, with leather jackets and edible treats swimming around the daydream bubbles in his head as he stares off to one corner of the car, catatonic.

A sudden tranquility descends upon us commuters because, although our battle through the day has not yet started, it is still Thursday, 2 days before a long weekend, and on this day, we have all participated in the sheer, genuine happiness of one innocent little soul.

God bless.



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