Saturday, January 8, 2011

Odds and Ends

...from my novelette entitled Infamy...
...And then they kiss. It is the sort of kiss souls remember for all their coming lives, and it is a kiss that makes onlookers gasp when they behold it. For it awakens the Platonic ideal of amorous, passionate love, and looking upon that vision, even the lonely do not become jealous. For it glows with divine light, and it fills the onlookers’ hearts with joy, pleasure, and bliss.

And, this is how they kiss—with tenderness and passion and love and purity and joy and all these together and all at once.

Some believe that we as mere mortals are subject to the cosmos. The star-crossed, such as the most infamous pair from Verona, have no path as lovers except for passionate embraces followed by death and misery. But sometimes a moment arises that puts the cosmos in their place. Sometimes a force will act that reaches our tiny hands into the night sky to move the stars into alignment. Sometimes the stars have no alternative than to obey. And their kiss, their spiritual expression of love, is enough to do even this.

...from my short story entitled Whiskeyless Fictions...
There is something about earning your knowledge. It makes you believe in it more. It makes you grab onto it tenaciously and never let it go, like a childhood dream of what might bring happiness when adulthood does finally arrive setting you free to make your own decisions. If life just hands you something to think, question it. Test it. Bend it around to discover its elasticity, yet, preferably, not its necessary sheering force. Earn its truth. And if you find it wrong, fix it; make it better. The truth needs you as much as you need it...

...from my still unfinished novel entitled Who Knew the Adventuress?...
Very few people on the island spoke English, so it was a slow process for her to determine what parts of island life were the results of immigration and what parts were inherent to the island itself. The horses, she learned, originally came from Chile. The Spanish brought them in the mid-19th century. The Germans brought the white nonos from Fiji during one of the World Wars. The goats came from Russians in the early 19th century, and the wild black boars came with the Polynesians in about 200 BCE. The French had brought the little pink pigs. But the chickens, cows, and sheep maintained their mystery.

There was an island once inhabited by humans that had been abandoned and became overrun with sheep and goats. She wondered if the quadrupeds there would form a society. She wondered if flocks would form in the separate valleys to war upon each other using fallen enemies for sacrifice, cannibalizing to appease their gods, and placing the skulls of their dead on the branches of banyan trees to be carried into the sky. She wondered if the islands made their inhabitants or if the living creatures were what made the islands.

...from my first poetry anthology...

There she stood
beaten and scraped
detail poured over every one
of her proto-cubist curves
the natives will drink
concoctions to her
with pounding rhythms
drummed into the earth
and the earth will
build a monument to her
towering stone
with luscious herbs
in every crag
and she will reign
bestowing life in light and darkness
a tribal craftsman's
image of a goddess

...from my still unfinished fairy tale...
Walking through the open desert, the sun is hot, the ground is hotter, and even the gentle breeze is cruel. Sooner in time than in experience, they come upon an oasis. The moment they set foot upon the soft patch of grass, though, they hear a booming voice from above them. The oasis is guarded by a Sphinx.

“Pardon me,” asks Terrell, “You startled us a little.”

The stern voice of above booms upon them again, “You must answer my riddle before you may drink.”

“What is your riddle, tall Sphinx?” Oola asks.

The Sphinx looks down on them and smiles, “You can have me but cannot hold me; gain me and quickly lose me. If treated with care I can be great, and if betrayed I will break. What am I?”

Terrell and Oola hold their baby close and whisper to each other. And what do they conclude? The parents hold their child, they hold each other’s hand, and they hold their voices in unison when they answer the riddle of their Sphinx...

...from my still unfinished family cookbook...
Broccoli Bread

This recipe is the result of many dietary restrictions. TyTy is a pesca-lacto-ovo-vegetarian. TanTan refuses to eat seafood of any form including freshwater fish; she wavers on duck. After all, ducks sometimes live on the water. TarTar, at the time of this recipe’s conception, was non-dairy and gluten-free, but her dietary restrictions have covered most everything at some point. All three of us had convened for Thanksgiving and wanted food we all could eat. “I know!” announced TanTan, “I’ll make vegetarian gluten-free pork buns!” So, pork buns without the pork or the bun were decided upon.

Please be warned that broccoli bread is absolutely disgusting. We do not recommend that you try this recipe at home. If you do try this recipe, try using real bread and real pork. That would be quite the improvement.

...from my first volume of memoirs...
We had just maneuvered out tourist selves behind the rope intended to keep every instance of human activity outside of the temple. We climbed up the stones, and at the top, amidst the columns, we found the Chac-mool.

“Do you have it?” I asked.

With one fluid movement my boyfriend unslung his backpack, a move he could only execute because he had worn backpacks over only one shoulder ever since the cool kids had started doing it in high school. From inside the backpack he produced his digital camera and (My heart was beating in my chest.) a Kermit doll.

That Kermit doll was mine. The tag dated it 1976-1978, copyright held by the Jim Henson Company. Where I had found it and the person I had stolen it from hadn’t been of consequence for years now. That doll had traveled everywhere from Prague to the Philippines, and we had pictures of it from Bourbon Street to Machu Picchu. We placed Kermit on the Chac-mool, and, digital camera in hand, we documented our trip to Chichen-Itza.

I was basking in the glory of one more major archeological site under Kermit’s green felt belt when a shrill whistle broke my reverie. I looked around. There was another shrill whistle. Two security guards on one bicycle were riding up to the Temple of the Warriors.

“Did you get it?” I asked.

“Got it!” My boyfriend replied.

We housed the doll and the camera again in the backpack and started climbing down the stones. The security officers were already waiting for us at the bottom.

Now, the idea of going to a Mexican jail really did not excite me, but my boyfriend, MY BOYFRIEND! My five-foot tall, 120-pound boyfriend! There was no way in hell I was letting him go off to a Mexican prison.

“Lo siento. Querimos ver el Chac-mool.” I muttered to the security guards, but I could not figure out whether Chac-mool took the feminine or masculine definite article. The security officers didn’t say a word as we ducked under the rope and ambled on our way...

...from my second volume of memoirs,..
One fine October evening after the autumnal zing had sprung up in my step, wisped round my hair, and stung my nose all day, I found myself standing outside the cafĂ© waiting for another opportune moment to walk in on “The Bicycle Thief” projected larger than life above the counter. I finally settled into one of the tables outside, not wanting to incur Italian Cinematic wrath. I cozied up with a book from the North Beach branch library and sipped my cup of coffee covertly procured from inside.

Shakespeare’s Edgar was walking his blind father, the former Duke of Gloucester to Dover, and the words were forcing tears. I pondered the audacity of Kurosawa telling the tale without daughters, as the Italian Neo-Realism wafted out the window passing me by, accosting the tourists heading back to their hotels at Fisherman’s Wharf, and making them stop and wonder how anyone could drink coffee so late at night. I went back inside for a nip of water.

I wondered to myself where Enzo Staiola might be today. He would be at least sixty years old but not quite seventy; which would be about ten to twenty years too young to scream at an encroaching hurricane after a middle daughter locked him out of her castle. I pondered going home and looking him up on the ether, but knowing me I would search for the little girl from Elvis’s “It Happened at the World’s Fair” instead. I heard once that she married the governor of Hawaii. But I digress...

...from my third volume of memoirs...
As I write this book, this third volume of my memoirs, I have no sense of privacy. I have no sense of physical safety even and especially in the places where I sleep. I am caught at a wanting level of self-awareness where the world is keeping secrets from me. And, just as I started this book actively seeking the truth, I know now that the truth seeks me. And someday, when I least expect it, the Truth shall have its way with me. Or, is it that I will have my way with the Truth?

...from the table of contents of my fourth volume of memoirs...
Chapter 1: The Laws They Broke

Section 1 -- Ordering a Pizza
(The truth was reaching no one.)

Section 2 -- Privacy Rights and Their Broadcasts

Section 3 -- Talking to Electronics

Section 4 -- Meeting Mr. Cuddlebunny

Section 5 -- I Drank What?
(from my last drink at Amante and my leopard print purse to the hot drink machine)

Section 6 -- A List of Libel

Section 7 -- Denied All Medical Care Especially When Hospitalized

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