Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Day 9: Hamlet Whips Up a Smoothie

To blend, or not to blend, that is the question-
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to chop
The bananas and avocados of outrageous nutrition
Or to take arms against a sea of cashews,
And by opposing crush them? To pulse, to self-clean
No more; and by a sleep, to say we shred
The heart-ache, and the thousand natural whips
That flesh is heir to? 'Tis a consomee
devoutely to be creamed. To die, to liquefy,
To beat, perchance to dream; Aye, there's the kale,
For in that high or low speed what drinks may come,
When we have shut off this mortal switch,
Must give up pause. There's the soymilk
That makes calamity of so long life:
For who would bear the grates and grinds of time
The cherry's pit, the melon's rind,
The pangs of the pineapple's skin, the lime's puree,
The insolence of garlic, and the spurns
That patient merit of the spirulina takes,
When he himself might his quiets make
With a dull kitchen knife? Who would these fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary blender,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered mangosteen, from whose membrane
No traveler returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of.
Thus conscience does make smoothies of us all,
And thus the native hue of carrots
Is sicklied o'er, with the pale cast of parsnips,
And entreprises of great pitch and moment,
With this regard their currants too dry,
And lose the name of fruit. Soft you now,
The fair Ophelia. Nymph, in all thy orisons
be thou all my shakes remembered.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Day 8: Small Scenes From the Lives of the people Who Go On

"But then one winter's night an old beggar woman came to the castle and offered him a single rose in return for shelter from the bitter cold." beauty and the Beast

A Child

"the last petal fell," said the little girl, when the last petal fell,
with such a petal softness, a wavelength more than a breath,
vapor disappearing across the page of Beauty and the Beast.

A Wife

She crumbled, shattered before me.
All I could do was promise her - One day you will stop crumbling.
Sunrises will be glorious just before you remember your dead are gone.
Sunsets will be acid on your skin-
That might remain.

A Son

He hugged me with caution, with care,
so as not to wake the sleeping beast of his pain.
We admired his poster of Cher by the back door.
He smiled and let some leaves fall.
All I could say was I'm sorry. That and the thing about the crumbling.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Day 7: For R. and E.

Every desert twilight the woman hikes the hillside
and gathers the skins of the dead.
This is where the balloons land lightly,
having surrendered their last breath

She sprinkles a handful along the winding labyrinth
each skin a reminder of every child's hand which held on as long as it could
each a flower petal along the balloon pyre
the hot desert ground
the dreamcatcher

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Day 6: Loneless Awareness Month

I have all
but forgotten what
month that is-

Day 5: Nursery Rhyme

The bar stunk of people encrusted to their bar seats. Humpty
Hump sang something stupid and everyone began to bounce. A girl dumped tea
on her date because he wouldn't let her have another drink. I sat
on the edge of the pool table until someone said don't sit
on that. "I brought you here to teach you about life," my dad said in a
slurry mess. "Just have a look around. Read the lines on the wall."
The graffiti, he must have meant. I did. I didn't get it. Hum...pity
I never got my dad, either. Dumb pity
is all I had for him. But he was the only parent I had.
And the story goes he wasn't my real dad. He dated my mom when a
truck ran her down, and there was no one else around. A great
man, my teacher said, until my grades began to fall.
That's when we began home schooling. "All
you need to know about life is learned by living it. The
teachers know only what they were taught to teach you, but the kings
and queens of the world learned by living. School is for breaking horses.
This is your classroom." He opened his arms wide and
spun around the bar. "Everything is your classroom. All
the world. All the world's a stage. Remember? The
guy who said that? Elvis. He had no schooling and he was the king of kings.
And when it comes to men (I was fourteen)...when it comes to men-
You'll learn right here in the world what you couldn't
ever learn there, but that's for later. Right now put
your head on straight and your eyes on clear." Another Humpty
song came on and we danced together.
I'll never be this young again.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Day 3: Rand

Christmas Vacation, early 70's.
Father Randy gave communion in our garage. I knelt and look up into the easy smiling face of the angel priest, the keeper of secrets, the giver of kindness, the kindergartener.

Forgotten Month, early 70's.
Randy called. He was finally home from eye surgery. My deep chasm of loneliness overflowed with joy. It took nine seconds from hanging up the phone to knocking on his door - I counted. He stood in his pajamas and tender smile. His eye was so blood red it scared me. I made an excuse and took the long walk home and cried. I cried because I couldn't look at him.

Summer, mid 70's.
The day of his grandpa's funeral they brought him over to swim with me. He was at that age where he was too old to cry and too young for funerals. We swam, propped our elbows on the edge of the pool and talked, and swam some more. I asked him about Papu. He answered from the heart. I don't remember the words.

Summer, early 80's.
The four of us ruled the Mary Star Fiesta, as usual.

Summer, early 80's
Catalina. I was a hormonal mess. I shouted, "I don't want to have to babysit him the whole week!" THOSE words I remember. Why did it have to be those words? I have never forgiven myself.

Summer, mid 80's.
Fiesta time. I'm standing with his sister and two of mine. Randy introduces his girlfriend to everyone but me. Revenge is sweet. But I thought Randy was sweeter than that. Maybe he had just - - forgotten me.

Winter, early 2000's.
His dad died. I walk into the funeral home and feel a tap on my shoulder. I know that easy, thoughtful face. It breaks my heart. I open my arms for communion.

Spring, mid 2000's.
I see him at my parents' 50th anniversary dinner. We share awkward pauses and conversation. I miss our effortlessness. I have forgotten our words. I remember thinking: Tell him you love him and always will. Tell him you wish to spend time together, to not be forgotten. Invite him over. We don't have to talk. We can just dunk our heads and swim.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

NaPoWriMo 2014 Day 1: Ron


Just lacing the roller skates was foreboding. I took the strand of one lace and the shred of the other and tied them together and sealed them with spit. The metal wheels were dinged and nicked by the lives of the three sisters who wore them before me. They rattled my presence as I came barreling down the hill on eight wheels of death to Ron's house.

He stood on the hillside, wrapped in bougainvillea, listening for the perfect metal scraping sidewalk moment , and threw a baseball bat at my head.

I caught it! Miracle! And lifted it high in my upstretched arms like a rifle or a trophy. My eyes and mouth froze into huge O's. Ron cheered and clapped as I raced on down the hill, up his driveway, and crashed on his front lawn, still holding the bat high I don't know why.

"You caught it! You caught it!" He was leaning out over the edge hanging onto a vine of fuscia flowers.

"You threw a bat at my head! You coulda killed me!" I got my wheels back under me and dumped the bat on a pile of tears.

"Yeah but you caught it! That was righteous!"

There once was a boy who wrapped himself in bougainvillea for me. Together we were prickly, scratchy, and magnificent in the sunshine.

A year later I told him those flowers spoke to me, and he believed me. After my family moved away his dad cut them down to reveal a graveyard of lost balls forgotten by time. Our friendship is a deep root buried there.

On the map it's a straight skateable line from my house to his.
In reality there are so many canyons to cross.