Tag Archives: love

w Chopin.

w Chopin

He smiled on you in his youth

So thin, pale, effeminate.

Blending in with your blanched and bleaching city.

But you remember him so well,

Dropping his name

When you drink at guest parties

Smiling or smirking

Your back straightens a bit.

You put his statue in your square,

Broader and straighter, I think, than he really was.

But that was how you saw him.

His songs were so quiet

You mention them so loud.

He left when you were free, and when you fell in bondage

He did not return to you.

Pari, Pari. There he drank wine

There he made love,

There he tasted the sordid, sweet delights you could not give.

(Pari is full of color,

And you are full of shade.)

You were Maria Wodzinska

Pari his George Sand.

Il ne jamais fait l’amour a vous.

Do you think his mind there was on you, Warsawa?

The prodigal son

Who never returned.

Warsawa, Warsawa,

Why do you cling to him

Who left you so young?

And you have nothing to claim

But his minuets.



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The Scarlett Letter

Is there any balm in Gilead? Tell me, truly, I implore.

Quoth the Raven, nevermore.


“Tomorrow will be a very special day.” Heather informed Penny as she tamed her unruly white curls. The reflection of mother and daughter flickered in the mirror, for Heather preferred light by candles, and the result was an atmosphere continually muted and dimmed.  “Tomorrow is your seventh birthday.”

“It isn’t!” cried Penny, her head quivering indignantly. “It is my four hundredth!”

Heather felt a slight shiver slide down her spine, but she brushed the feeling aside as she brushed Penny’s hair. “What a silly thing to say.” She murmured, her expression fixed and calm. “You were born seven years ago. I was present at your birth, after all.”

“You were not.” Insisted Penny, and her eyes snapped with quizzical excitement. “I sprang five hundred years ago from the blackest forest mud, as a daisy or a white, white rose; and you found me and keep me here for, I don’t know why.”

Heather tilted her head and considered what she ought next to say.

“And you are not my mother.” continued Penny curtly. “Vous n’etez pas ma mere. You also sprang from that black ground, and the dark man on the platform did also. For we are all made of the same dirt on the ground, and came from the same secluded spot, and we all have the same soul.” Penny turned her head round so she could find her mother’s eyes. “But your rose is not white. It is red.”

Heather sternly turned Penny’s head to face the mirror and continued fixing her hair.

“What a silly thing to say.” She murmered lightly, with no strain except in her eyes. “Are you Anaximander, to claim to spring spontaneously from the mud? When you speak such silliness, I doubt that you could be my daughter.”

Vous n’etez pas ma mere.” Penny insisted.

“Cannot you say “Tu n’es pas ma mere?” Heather questioned, giving her daughter a teasing tap. “At any rate, whether you are seven years old or four hundred, tomorrow I would like to play a game.

“We are always playing games.” Penny reminded her tiredly.

“Hush. This is what you must promise: you must be very quiet, well behaved and obedient; essentially entirely different from your normal self. No matter what happens, you must obey mother. The more obedient you are, the more points you receive, and if you get the most points, you will win. But if you are bad and mean and disobedient, you will get no points and you will lose the game miserably. Do you understand?”

Heather knew her daughter’s competitive spirit. Penny determined to win more points than her mother, and Heather knew that she would be well-behaved.

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Poem in High Society

There is no high-road

To the muses. -AU

I wish in front of others we could speak more clearly,

So, dear, you would know that I am laughing behind my serious expression too noble and true.

You do lose much of my meaning, seemingly because we must justly tip and sip our glasses

While boredom attacks our shackled brains. (Stains on reputations are horrid things to gain.)

Ways you cover for me: you smile not so sincerely, nearly as if you believe the lie

But your eyes are laughing because deep down

They know the truth.

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What We Can Learn, From Audrey and Liz.

Whenever I feel discontented in my life, I read Hollywood biographies.

Please don’t throw stones. They always make my life look so much better.

As I’ve escaped the semi-literacy imposed by Dewey and Huey on the American masses, I’ve cultivated a slightly satirical perspective.

For instance, I think it curious that actresses that manage to survive Hollywood sans suicide (such as Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn) suddenly cultivated  philanthropic tendencies in their aged years, after dedicating themselves making meaningless movies, money, and love throughout the decades of their cosmetically-prolonged youths.

I would hate to assume that such women, used to being seductive icons in their youths, found themselves finally flung from the interest of the media and resorted to any means to gain themselves some recognition, and found charities to be the best method of prolonged attention.

Let me be more generous. Perhaps these women, generally self-serving in youth, became reflective in old age and, sensing instinctively some approaching judgment, sought frantically to balance with later good deeds those afflicting affairs and abortions that dotted their youth.

Yet I have a challenge for my contemporaries.

Let us learn from the lives of those elevated and emulated actresses. Perhaps by focusing on others and not ourselves, remembering our Creator in the days of our youth, and cultivating our character and striving for the virtues of patience, dedication, and reflection; perhaps by denying ourselves and seeking to help others we can escape the divorces and suicide attempts and overdoses of the matriarchs of Hollywood and find meaning and purpose in life.

I’ve learned this the hard way. But we were created by a God of second chances.


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The Morning After

Was she thy god,

Superior, or but equal?

That to her thou didst

Resign thy manhood?

Paradise Lost

I wonder how Adam looked at Eve the morning after they became as gods.

Perhaps she slept passed him, turned, for the first time, from his face.

Perhaps she woke first, and had moved away, shaking determined mud from her drying hair.

Perhaps Adam thought of yesterday’s decision. perhaps with clouded eyes he remembered glossy tears glistening, grinding into his nerves,

Perhaps he remembered a flawless form, a frightful look fretting he would leave her,

That insistent whisper that he must have her, if in desolation,  in hell.

Now a rotting apple lay at his feet, a symbol of the birth of progress.

The decision was done,

The morning was come,

And with steady sternness he searched for that immeasurable elegance that determined his choice.

Now he could see the chips of her painted nails,

The smears of her painted face,

The roots of her painted hair.

When Eve returned, his eyes were closed, as if in sleep, but really in disguise, hiding disgust, or fright, or despair,

To find his perfect idol flawed and defected, to have sold his soul for a gilded goddess and to wake to receive a poked paper doll,

Leah’s veil removed,

And reflection without respite

For eternity.

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By the twitching of my thumbs,

Something wicked this way comes.


2. Cleopatra

Cleopatra, shining bright

Shiver, shiver in the light

Babalonic, touch your hair

Subtle goddess, supple sight.

Cleopatra, do they stare?

Crystal ball, dynamic pair.

Quelle a flickered in your eyes?

Dripping, drinking, drunk despair.

Cleopatra, do they sigh?

Moan and murmur, cut and cry?

Liver, lover, lashes cold

Twitching touches, lowered eyes.

Cleopatra, worship gold

Egypt’s blanket, baked and sold

Slipping silver, sell your soul

Faustus whispers, “never old.”

Cleopatra has the hole

Black and burning, dismal, dole

Ankles locking, fingers fold

Hollow love, complete and cold.

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Soul Mates

I think you’re crazy

Just like me.

Gnarles Barkley

My mother and I share a strange kinship, an uneven attachment that allows us to regard the world with a quiet condescension, a silent superiority. I could tell her; I felt she could understand my intricate struggles and intense perspectives.

Regarding the boys in my life, my analysis constantly ended in mock facetiousness. “So you do not think that we are soul mates?” I always concluded, with large eyes and a subdued smirk.

“And what do you mean by ‘soul mates’?”

“What does anyone ever mean by ‘soul mates’?”

And with an irritated determination to know myself understood, I pulled out Wuthering Heights and fingered distantly through its papiers.

I paused upon a passage, and read quietly “Surely you and everyone have a notion that there is or should be an existence of yours beyond you. What were the use of my creation, if I were entirely contained here? . . . My love for Heathcliffe resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliffe! He is always, always in my mind; not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself; but as my own being.”

I paused to glance at my mother’s quizzically lifted brows.

“You know how that relationship ended.”

“I’m providing the concept, Mother. You asked.”

“It hardly seems healthy.”

I re-opened my book to the forward by Charlotte Bronte.

“Whether it seems right or advisable to create beings like Heathcliffe . . . I scarcely think it is. But this I know . . . the writer who possesses the creative gift owns something of which he is not always master . . . there is little chance left but quiescent adoption.”

I closed the book and my mother smiled. “Try not to drown yourself in philosophical parallels, dear.” She had not answered my question.

I lay that night in my brother’s abandoned room, staring passively at his ceiling.

What concept of soul mates is so illusive?  My mom and I  have shared our great miseries and joys – she is always with me, not necessarily as a joy (for I inherited her few faults as well as her virtues), but at the cellular level.   Our bond is deep – when not beautiful, substantial. We can hurt; we can forgive. We are the rocks, the foundation.

Perhaps soul mates are less elusive, less rare than I had previously thought.

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