LE DEJEUNER SUR L’HERBE

sprawled figures basking in the impressionist sun
shooting through a break in the clouds

he said
you are forest thick brush strokes of my outdoors

a window opening on landscapes devoid of human presence
my lack of sharpness, my fine edges

he said
you are my fleeting glimpse of forgotten languages

an ephemeral moment
lived without a straight jacket

he spoke of water lilies and japanese bridges
imprisoned in an imperfect symmetry

and a dream he had of a cuckoo
pardoned by time

your heart is river shaped
he said

your winds intensely colored and homeless
howl through my trees

i was his mother’s womb
he said

throwing his elongated shadow
on my walls as

I flung off my everything to expose
my naked body to the firing squad


 

* Originally published at Morality Park

I MADE UP MY MIND TO HATE THE WORLD TODAY

today I hate people with exuberant smiles
and a lighthearted disposition
people lavish in their praise and profuse in thanks
today I don’t accept apologies
I don’t need analogies
today I hate full pages of your lives in technicolor
abundantly illustrated with exclamation marks
today I hate your priceless
memories, porcelain compliments and
your time flying like space rockets
today I hate your plastic Jesus on the mantelpiece
I hate your starry skies and
wave height forecasts in the Pacific
today I hate your piquant dreams and spotless family values
your impenetrable woods and busty secretaries
with an aging obsession
today I hate ha-ha anecdotes and phrases
degenerating to clichés
today I hate cut-and-dried dialogues and
unnecessary fireworks
today I hate obvious truths
today I hate myself
(remind me why you love me today)


 

* Originally published at Morality Park

DÉJÀ-VU

people are busy doing chores and doing harm
running into and over
vacuuming and sweeping their lives
under the carpet
devouring the world’s resources and
their prey in one bite
hurting their children
losing their sense of duty, weight and battles
dragging their voids like wounded animals
diving in the shallow waters
raping my brain
wasting my time
again

I have been here before
I have seen
I have done
I know this man, his cat, his wife’s lover, their neighbor’s gun.
I know this life. This world. This moment. Frozen in time.
This overlapping of events. Repetition of sounds.
I am already gone
empty spaces echo with my shouts.


 

* Originally published at Morality Park

JOURNAL OF A MOM – RESTLESS HEARTED

In my previous post about my son B, I talked about our bad sides: having a short fuse, chronic impatience, stubbornness and ways of dealing with frustration. Now comes the good part. Maybe. You be the judge.

There are things the two of us absolutely adore and habitually put into practice, whenever.

We love puppies and often play with them. Though we don’t have one of our own, we’ll always find a victim in the street or parks we go to. Dogs over cats, of course! (Sorry cat lovers), whether they lick us, bark, howl, snarl or wag their fluffy tails.

We find Chopin soothing. There’s no better music to lull you to sleep, except in the evening when ‘Goodnight to you, goodnight to me’ will just do.

We are crazy about sand, and water. Leave us there and get lost. Don’t come back.

Our favorite pastime in the playground, besides playing in the sandpit, is the slide, and the swing (swinging at least 40 min till we fall asleep). While there, we might steal other kids’ toys (especially dumping cars, balls or sand toys) and flee the scene of a crime without being noticed and/or getting caught.

We have a soft spot for clocks and every time we see one, we’ll make sure everyone sees it by pointing it out and saying ‘clo…’ (k’s are so outdated anyway). Yes, we love pointing. Sue us! This includes planes and choppers, screaming aka aka, as well as trains. We’re completely nuts about trains (and elevators, riding up and down and pressing call buttons,…and cranes…and buses…and trucks, especially garbage ones. We’ve even been offered a position in solid waste management). FTR, we know all subway stations in the neighborhood and can unmistakably go to the nearest one from home (willingly) and back (reluctantly).

Our favorite places in the apartment are kitchen (foodies is right) and bathroom (loooove bubble baths, both alone or with mom or dad).

We love the sound of the rain on our bedroom window and could watch and listen to it for hours on end while mom sings: ‘Rain rain, go away.’

We enjoy brushing teeth together, swaying and singing: ‘Brush your teeth up and down,’ as well as toy theater with mom as the only/best actress.

 

When it comes to more abstract things, we’d say we value independence and unconventionality.

We go with the flow of life and are comfortable with ourselves.

We don’t profess to be free-spirited. We ARE free-spirited (and fun-loving, however impulsive).

restless.PNG

We like things our way and are fiercely unapologetic, as people often describe us.

We are not restricted by other people’s opinions and always have one of our own.

We’re allergic to bullshit. We have to speak our mind, one way or the other. It’s not that we don’t want to, we are simply not able to hold our tongue if we find something unappealing, untrue, stupid or boring (read: not in accordance with our standards). So we say directly what we think, that is, mommy does, while I (until I begin to say it loud and clear) will slap your face, pull your hair, take your toys, slam the doors, cry, scream at the top of my lungs, run around, run away, roll on the floor/ground, make a scene, stomp my feet, throw things around or break them down.

We don’t (can’t) pretend and are not trying to be mysterious. You see how we feel on our faces. Remember Meg Ryan in French Kiss? Happy, smile! Sad, frown! Use the corresponding face with the corresponding emotion!

When we don’t feel like doing something, however much we like it, we don’t do it. It’s ok not to be in the mood. Did we say we’re moody?

When we have nothing smart to say, we don’t say anything. We’ll start talking…one day. Don’t push us. We love doing things at our own pace.

Don’t underestimate us. We can do it and we will. In case we don’t or can’t, you will. Don’t overestimate us. This is stupid anyway. Besides, it’s your job. No objections, please.

OK, OK, we’ll say it. We are dominant and oftentimes order people around. That is, most of the time….OK, all the time. Jesus, didn’t we say not to push us?!

Don’t try to contradict us. We’re right. All. The. Time.

Last but not least, NO means NO. We won’t change our mind. If we ever do, it’ll be on a full stomach. Our demands are nonnegotiable. Period.

BUMMER!

Bummer you lost touch
Bummer you know too much
Bummer I came here
Bummer I went back there
Bummer your wife’s in love
with a barman
overworked and underpaid
Bummer for you, man!

Bummer, another body without a name
Bummer, no one’s to blame
Bummer, sexual abuse in the hall of fame
Bummer, you have a black curl
Bummer, it’s a girl
Bummer, swearing goes on air, breakfast’s ready
Bummer, pharmacy and deadly viruses going steady
Bummer, I can’t say a Negro and a fag
without someone seeing red
Bummer, I call both Mom
Bummer, they came to my prom
Bummer, you’re jobless
and healthless
wifeless
homeless
lifeless
(Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?)

Bummer! Pope Francis blesses a pedophile priest
Bummer! Tabloid journalism is a starving beast
Bummer! Sensationalism in presidential elections
Bummer! Politics is no place for political correctness
Highbrowed literary critics
buried one more poem today
out-of-touch elitists, pseudo-intellectuals
and pretentious jerks cheered YAY!!!
leaning over the coffin
Wow, what a bummer!

Bummer, fake news on a nuclear war while
I fucked myself on all fours
I need to get laid
Bummer, you’re a whore!


 

* Originally published at Morality Park

50 SHADES OF RAIN

A dull sky. Rain falling down in perfect vertical lines
uninterrupted by celebratory gunfire shooting vertically into the air
Cold-blooded rain of bullets falling to earth short of kinetic energy
during the liturgy read from the prayer-book by a clergyman.
People killed in the Philippines by falling bullets in the rain.
The body and blood of Christ in the mouths
commemorating the Last Supper.

Dad pounds back a few beers after work. Home, he
pounds on the kitchen table cos dinner’s not served
before beckoning to his wife. Hey, you!
Speculating.
You’re begging to be pounded, aren’t you?
Penetrating.
As she screams into a pillow.
Suffocating.
The little girl’s heart pounds while she stares at warm summer rain
pounding on the window pane.

Envious rain watching us arch and writhe, eavesdropping
pelting rain glistening like lips when I spread for you.
Rain under the sheets grabbed with both hands, dripping.
Thoughts of a sudden burst of vivid sunshine.

Patchy drizzle pregnant with hope. 3,000 per day, they bray,
flee to conquer the sea
Callous rain falling mercilessly on conflicts, persecutions and poverty.
Fat raindrops stinging like mosquitoes. That’s sure bad news,
utters a spokesperson somberly
with the iPhone X in his hand.
Threatening rain whipping asylum seekers in wooden vessels
with pebbles in their pockets. 14 deaths per day
they (almost sadly) say.
Boats wrecked off the coast of Lampedusa, a slaughter of innocents
Europe’s welcoming scorn poured on Les Misérables, a slaughter of survivors.
Indifferent rain hammering relentlessly everywhere they go.

Dark-hued rain stalking
a child suicide bomber, waist encircled by an explosive belt,
and his big brother who never smelled
a pussy. Virgins in his head,
waiting.

A single sunbeam breaking through a thick cloud.
A messenger. So-called.
Text me.
Oh shoot, I forgot my cell again. Age-old
forgetfulness.

Fidgety rain sitting impatiently on a cloud watching a funeral procession for
murder victims
of another school shooting.
Don’t sweat it, shouts Big Daddy. We won’t forget it.
I’m no vulture. But why don’t we celebrate our gun culture a wee bit more
for it’s like horticulture and agriculture.
Substituting, instituting, executing.

A man given a restraining order for punching his wife,
mother of his newborn, in rain-drenched Munich
Savage rain sadistically falling on a prostitute on Bourbon Street
beaten by a pimp with the resurrection cocktail in his hand.

A nonchalant rain of fluffy dandelion seeds along the Danube
blown away high. Make a wish.
I saw dead fish
floating with plastic bottles in a fountain by the Louvre.

Drops of wind-driven water falling from the sky
after a rear-end collision on Highway 17 near Lexington Parkway.
The driver of the fifth ejected from his car. Motionless.
Multiple insurance carriers determining fault.
A boy hit by the thunderbolt
in central Laos when he
saw her dancing barefoot in the torrential rain.
Thunderstorms strike southern England overnight
selfies under the sky dropping icy stones
the size of grapes interrupted by a bolt of lightning. A lucky escape.
Occasional gusts of wind expected in days to come.

Driving through the car wash
splashing and squelching our way through
a sudden downpour of kisses.

An autistic child kicked off a commercial flight
in Belgrade and Portland. A threat in sight followed by a frantic rain of insults.
Mary Poppins forgot her umbrella.

A war veteran soaked to the skin
in a country that doesn’t even begin
to deal with anything, let alone him, soaked to the skin.

The intoxicating earthly scent when rain falls on dry soil.
Stone and fluid flowing in the veins of Greek gods
rain-smelling air, much needed rain in
African and Australian droughts.

Praise rained down on recent grads in
a transition economy changing from central planning
to a free market. Promising rain.
The daunting future, fear moms and dads
waving proudly at their grads.
Rain’s thudding. Hopelessly.

Rain falling on her head like falling in love.
A tap left running.
Rain in my heart. Rain running down my cheeks
on a wet winter’s day when
I thought I lost us.


 

* Originally published at Morality Park

JOURNAL OF A MOM – WILD IS THE WIND

It’s almost 9 AM and my son B. is still in bed (read: we’ll be late for our fruit smoothie, we’ll have late breakfast, we’ll drink milk later than usual, we’ll go for a shorter walk so as not to be too late with the afternoon nap, we’ll have late lunch, a late afternoon milkshake, late dinner and finally we’ll all go to bed late). Once a proper routine is set, everything’s easier. I’m waking him up, whether he likes it or not. I’m tickling his feet, touching his fingers, his knees and tummy (he’s rolling over onto his stomach), kneading his calves and shins, massaging his arms and his back, blowing air into his ear, whispering, and calling out his name in a low voice. No reaction whatsoever. A change of tactics—reducing the comfort. I’m shaking him gently, asking him to wake up. I’m uncovering him. B. is anything but pleased. He’s yawning and rubbing his eyes. He opens them briefly (they look fatigued), then closes them again. Step two—making some noise: opening and closing the drawers, drumming my fingers on the window sill (rat-a-tat), moving the closet door and rustling the laundry basket. I’m tapping on the window, touching the big dry leaves hanging along the bamboo roll up blinds, making a soft crackling sound. Ring, ring, ring. Honeybun (slightly raising my voice), it’s for you! Didn’t you hear the phone? Pick it up. Mom wants to talk to you.

Still nothing?! Next step—removing the key from the keyhole, putting the key in the keyhole, turning the key. Shake, rattle and bang. Rise and shine, baby! Mmmmmm. He’s pissed off. I see him move his limbs and stretch out. Mmmmmm. More sleep distractions?! Singing. Love me, love me, love me, say you do…Singing on a high tone. Let me fly away with you. He’s on his back. I’m rubbing my nose against his and touching his face with my hair. It tickles him. Love me, love me, love me…He’s smiling, his eyes closed. Still yawning. I’m removing the blanket. May I have your attention please? (talking though my nose) Will the real Slim Shady please stand up? I repeat, will the real Slim Shady please stand up? We’re going to have a problem here.

He’s looking at me and blinking. I stand up, turning my back as if to leave. Several seconds later, B. is up and about. What a remarkable turnaround. He’s staring at the world through a conveniently low window, smiling at the birds, and the trees, pointing at the passersby, mommies and daddies taking their kids to kindergarten, cyclists, postmen doing their rounds on yellow bicycles, cars being parked, cars driving past. While he’s busy watching in amazement, I’m putting on his sleepers and sweatshirt.

B. slips off my lap nervously, heads for the door and dashes into the kitchen. There’s nobody there. He’s used to having his daddy wait for him with the bottle. He’s looking for him everywhere, in the living room, the bathroom, the bedroom. But, daddy’s not there. He throws himself on the floor with a sob of despair. I kneel down, take him in my arms and hold him tight. Daddy’s gone to work, but look what he made us (I’m shaking his bottle). The smoothie is impatiently waiting to be drunk and in a split second, B. forgets about all the sorrows of the world, living joyfully in the moment.

Without further ado, he leaves the kitchen once he’s done and heads for the living room. I turn on the radio: A new cyclone is approaching northwestern Europe; it will cause gale to storm force winds in parts of Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium over the next 24 hours. After looking around for a few seconds, B. notices the balcony door is ajar. He pulls the door toward himself, and steps out. It smells of rain. He immediately spots his Mickey Mouse pinwheel, a gift from my mom, stuck in a flower pot. He knows it spins when blown by the wind or when you move the wheel so he wants me to lift him so that he can touch the curls, that is bang them. He gets a kick out of it. What he seems to have forgotten is that Mickey is hurt. The wind came and took the pin away, so he can’t move his hands now.

pinwheel.JPG

B. wants to come closer. He sees something is not right. He’s confusedly staring at me, expecting me to fix it. I’m holding him tight, saying Mickey got a bit tired of spinning in the wind, and thought he might chill out for a change. I let him take him, making sure he doesn’t grab the stick to which the curls are attached. I slowly put him down. Normally, he’d continue his pursuit for a solution (read: my pursuit for his solution) but not this time. With Mickey in one hand, he walks around, touching the tiles, the flower pots, the mat, my flip-flops, the parasol, the drain, the wall, the table and the chairs.

B. is inside again. I step in too and close the door behind me. He’s not thrilled but doesn’t object much. He’s rubbing his eyes. How come? It’s not nap time yet. He grabs my hand and drags me to the kitchen, pointing at his pot. I warm up some milk. We enter the bedroom holding hands. I sit down, putting him in my arms. He drinks it up in the blink of an eye and next thing you know he’s fast asleep. I lay him in his bed and listen to him breathe for a few seconds. I go back to the living room, plop into the armchair, and take a deep breath as I close my eyes. The wind pushes the balcony door open. I get up to shut it for real this time. It’s pouring with rain.