The Robber of Roses

The Robber of Roses

Regret knitted into loose conversation wraps me,
Dragged by a fisherman’s net, casually tossed over the lee.
Splayed, filleted, pocketed and oversteeped:
‘The Robber of Roses Steals Only from Sleep.’

Gypsies wait, dry and cracked into factions,
Weak yet precious, they laugh at my grateful retractions.
Irascibly unsheathing a gun or a fifth of sloe gin,
Forced to perform a show under the curtains at ten.

Lying, out goes our fire, I find another cord of lumber,
My chattering teeth annoying you, cold, continuously slumber.
Queens speak to douses, she’s m’lady but dubiously.
Gifts of morality her blue lips sing, then tale wags of prophecy.

Was I a wife? What you owed me? The morbid dissection.
I sit in the lens of rhetorical questions.
Unfolding table tricks inspired by a visitor’s version.
Thought keyless standing on ice, all habit perversion.

Bellicose drapes, light covered in lessons learnt at sea.
Talk to learned creatures so hot, simply taking tea..
Our brows creased then stones cut by axe or by pyre.
(God…What did she ask?) Finally, off you go beating me by a wire.

Angelic Details

Angelic Details

Lampfish unevolved, light the crevice,
(otherworldly!)
Blindly finding their ceviche
(weirdly!)
A dinner time resevation for one,
Below the heaving inky pressures
Seas lifting other treasures.
Above on uboats rocking, spit roasted on a gun,
On rising waves. Cresting, comes the new,
Seemingly unborn facing headlong, due east.
Darwinian treasures and Blackbeards treasures
Never found a way to count the treats.
Good boys tell lies,
Dead girls stay sweet,
Against your spies,
We lost
At our cost.

Evolutionary final stand,
A willful brooding miner,
That ugly bottom feeder,
Seedlings forged by a designer.
Deedless fish which
Never stated a plan.
Such a lost lamplit fool I am.

Free Time

Free Time

I.

We visit this carnival bright striped stripped with neon,
Inert gasses to breathe and a feast of brothers to feed on.
For some think they can earn a place of grace with honey and gold,
Bolder still creating truth in lines measured and ribald. 
They never find out the punchline to the joke or the answer to the riddle,
And there’s a quid pro quo that’s owed in life, no matter when the shovels fill.
Caskets and urns won’t hold a single possession. 
All the words we say, stay behind – an ugly concession.
All the collections and the props nailed to walls, universal halls – 
Left behind. We take bows when finally the ending brings us all,
To tears of both laughter and outrage.
I cannot hear the touching words, your caress, feel your assuage.
We have nothing besides a shadow of a self in the darkness 
All we take from our body a soul full of energy that we once possessed.
Money becomes like gasoline to drive this human fortune, 
Then we have no excuse but to look back and distinguish fools from torture.

II.

To explain away and fix the past,
To lie awake in fields of glass.
To cover, bandage, and cause more scars,
To fight lines in shadow boxer’s bars.
To empty our heart and cease the grief,
To ease the soul’s debt and feel relief.
In an instant at once energy transforms: too late for the bill.
Payment stays behind with wealth for what some kill.
Then lungs grasping at what you needed, not for me –
The universal dark cannot you breathe.
It’s what you gave not what was taken, 
In all the air that you’d forsaken. 
It’s all the passage of rite we take when our soul connects 
Finally, 
Suddenly.
lastly free.
The universe finding all quiet now. 
Your hunger, your yearning and the
 lies and 
               the deceits 
                              Away from us fall 
                                          leaving.
Left alone.
The soul’s simplicity, honesty, in fancy.

III.

Our light and love all created from our own good energy. 
The more positive we put into the universe in the form we’ve been loaned for a sliver of recursive, infinite,
As time, arguably the most ridiculous conceit we’ve invented to mark,
This short history and trick those foolish enough to believe they mean much of anything.
As the more we expand to touch the concurrent dimensions all happening always now and forever,
The closer I come to understanding the meaninglessness of quarreling with those dumb and deaf, 
The more certain I become at how lost deceitful lying grinds the gears to a halt.
And as then disperses into nevermore – the past present and future.
Then to see heavy black holes swallow them whole by the universe’s own disposal systems. 
Negative and ugly, dumped into eternal nothing, what we know as hell.
The positivity, the good, the light, recombinent combines again.
And again find ourselves in the spirit of pure love’s eternity.  

There’s No Tooth Fairy at 52

There’s No Tooth Fairy at 52

My chemo – probably the Xgeva – made me throw a cap off of my right canine tooth today.  My tooth, ground to a nub by my dentist in Miami 15 years ago, now sits between an incisor and the tooth that kicked all this dentistry off so many years ago. I would cover my mouth because the discoloration that no amount of bonding would cover showed through. Prior to the magnificent new smile my dentist gave my face, I lived to go to the Movies.  It was in those dark, cool cinemas, I could laugh loud and proud. And I love to laugh and to tell jokes, and to lift the corners of a friend’s sad eyes with a bad pun or off color made up limerick. Or produce eye rolls with my on the fly songs about my cat or a situation with my cancer. 

I ran my tongue over my teeth and thought from the texture that the blueberry scone had deposited a blueberry skin onto my tooth. Upstairs, I grabbed my toothbrush and put some sensitive mouth toothpaste on my brush. And looked painfully into the mirror. I am glad my husband wasn’t home because I wailed hard. NO NO NO NOT THIS TOO – FUCKING CANCER TAKES EVERYTHING EVEN MY SMILE. I cried for about an hour. Maybe I needed a good cry. There’s too much going on right now to take time to cry. I feel these days I need to get things in order at home. I don’t feel well. I know my disease is “stable” and I know I am having a really hard time getting an appointment with my oncologist and palliative oncologist, but it’s not personal.  A dentist can fix my lost cap sooner than later. I hope. Craig offered to cover it for me since I cannot even afford to eat in Northern California on my own. I can smile for the little things and cry for the big ones. 

Today he and I we were talking about being tall and how people expect tall kids to be tough. My 16 year old stepson is almost 6′ 5″ – I was 6′ at his age. People also expect you to reflect a maturity beyond your years when you’re a tall kid. Its our burden and the curse of the tall. I said I always felt like an awkward Amazon and Craig said, “you are a beautiful warrior – as the Amazonian women were. You even have your right breast smaller from a surgery like they did to shoot their archery equipment more accurately. And you’re hitting the cancer head on withtough grace like you do everything.” I beamed at him and blushed at his comment. I wished it was after the tooth loss since we had a few stupid fights after the touching comments of the morning. Maybe I need more than he can give. I’m afraid he’s feeling safety in his depression so he doesn’t have to deal with some tough things going on in his world.  It’s so aggravating to be so all alone with my cancer and pools of festering lies we uncovered recently for the personal gain of an 18 year old.

But better days come. They have to. Right? But there won’t be a tooth fairy flitting around the bedroom waiting until I fall asleep to put a crisp 5 spot under my pillow. I don’t know where the cap tooth is and I probably swallowed it anyway. I cannot handle cancer sometimes. I just wanted to at least keep a decent looking corpse for the dying young crowd to cry over, but that’s not going to be the case if this keeps up.

S’Mother’s Day

S’Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day, mom. You’re gone from life, but never from my mind.  I do miss you and wish we’d had our time for closure, which was robbed from both of us. Yet not a day goes by that my guilty relief of having a mother with Narcissistic Personality Disorder doesn’t leave a trail of tears. I feared Mother’s Day as a child, never quite getting the right thing if I could or doing enough to satisfy her insatiable need for worship. The golden uterus – she created me and I owed her, therefore, a lifetime of debt I couldn’t pay.

Celebrating a mother’s carriage and rearing of a child seems awfully weird to me.  Born of  her choice, and hopefully for the appropriate reasons, to carry a life, nourish it emotionally and physically until it’s tie for the child to sever the umbilical cord and free the self of the parent. My parent decided I was mature at 14 – so mature that I could handle supporting myself thereon out. Off she went with my younger brother to settle in with my future stepfather who then kept my guilty reminder as a being far away from family functions as possible, no one was allowed to know I was alone – my family knew I suspect but no one wanted the added responsibilities of a teenaged girl.

Perhaps I’m one of the few who grew nervous and anxious as Mother’s Day approached – even as an adult it’s not a happy day for me, and it continues it’s bitterweetness as a stepmother. Few stepmothers receive cards, gifts, flowers, appreciation, or just a quick thanks. Not for any holiday or even a birthday in my home. My home where two boys spent countless hours with me, and both of whom I loved as much as any stepparent could love someone else’s child. The children I spent the last eight years with me giving of myself to no avail. But I grieve in private rationalizing that leaving a child to founder is sinful. In fact I truly believe this to my cancer-riddled bones.  

Given the tug of war that I found myself dead center of, I continue to feel rope burns in my hands and more life scars for which I never asked. To relieve ones self of the lies you swallow every day along with every meal your reminded how your wonderful sacrificing mother scraped by and had trouble affording, and then she goes to get ready for a date as you scrub dishes with ultra strong childhood soap, then bathe yourself, do something wrong after she leaves and smartly wake up before she does to meet a friend and sneak a smoke on the way to school.

As you grow out of their grip and into adults you also hope to hell she changes. Sadly she never does, and like all those friends of hers you never did see again, she dies alone and confused by her own misrepresented identity.  NPD mother’s are shown to have early onset dimentia like mine did before she died of guit or Alzheimer’s or both.

Happy fucking Mother’s Day.  

The Sisters

The Sisters

Realize hidden oddities.
Attract orbital bodies.
Finish the eighth course.
Utilize blunt force.
Down the whole bottle.
Open your sore throttle.
Drive the horses faster.
Submit to each and every disaster.
Delete each of the black spells words.
Toss up madrigal white birds.
Raise your boisterous heavy voice.
Leave to feast another’s choice.
Breathe in the swollen air your spoiling.
Surrender up your daily work and toiling.

Lay down slowly my friend,
Just breathe out its your end.
Hear the softly spoken whisper,
‘From each woman, my sister.’

____________________________________________________________________________________________

A quick side note to The Sisters – this poem represents the sisterhood of all of us going through cancer. We’ve become a different species – although we’re not witches, we’re in some sense the women who wear the scarlet letter. Only this letter is “C.” It’s nothing we chose, but what’s been thrust upon us and weighted us down with so many changes, that the difficulty in understanding us our closest relatives even find, is the language we have that’s brand new with each diagnosis.  I think we’re all there for one another, either in person or virtually through blogs such as mine and yours, or though groups we might meet up in, or even in line at the grocery store, where I’ve met more than my share of sisters.  I think that my own step-sister became upset when she read this thinking it was about her…

…and I hope she never enters this reluctant cancer sisterhood. I hope one day there’s not a single woman left in this sisterhood.

The emotional toll of cancer

The emotional toll of cancer

You all know who you are.  People in places I no longer live or visit. My family pronounced me dead with my mother, although my step sister teased me with phone calls while she was unemployed but now that she’s working has no need of me. Not one person from my family has even reached out to me, not even to allow me the final goodbye I desperately needed with my mother. She died and you all kept me in the dark about the funeral. My brother messaged my ex husband on Facebok the night before her funeral in south Florida. I got a text saying my condolences and I had to ask my ex why he sent this text to me. 

But we get used to our friends and family deserting the sinking ship that is our lives, don’t we? I miss hearing laughter and the sound of thunder during storms or bumble bees or the condescending sounds of the Atlantic Ocean as it slaps the shore calling me in for a swim in its warm body. Florida, weird and wonderful. New York City still calls my name and I want to die in the same hospital I was born in. That’s my only wish if I should slip into a bad spot when we decide no more chemo and no more pain.

But to those of you who probably know I have the dread disease, did I hear you say I’m over you? You really still miss my cooking and our dinner parties? Our walks in the trees near the trailer in Gainesville where your mom kept that horse? I still laugh at your funny David Attenborough impression you’d use to narrate my 30 pounder Buddy, or Olaf Budson the Norwegian elk cat? Your recovery from Vicodin on my couch as I shooed away your nasty ex boyfriend while he just wanted the tv as you laid there barely breathing and I still have the silver dollar I found in the dirt at the hospital that day? You remember how your crazy cousins tried to convince me you were in the mob and how you handed me 10,000 dollars in chips at the craps table at MGM in Las Vegas and I lost it all but a 100 dollar chip which I keep hidden in a book in my office? When I asked you why you did it you said scared money don’t win and don’t bet what you can’t afford to lose. God, that was good advice. Do you remember us going to pick up guys at a bar in Miami and how hard we laughed when you realized you had toilet paper stuck in your tights and it had been attached to the roll and about 300 feet of it were behind you like a chemtrail? Do you know I have the photos of our wedding in Las Vegas and my favorite is probably one of the first selfies ever of you riding down in the elevator at the Golden  Nugget, mirrors around you and a Marlboro light hanging from the side of your mouth with a look of a deer in the headlights on your face? Do you know our cat Pedro lived to be 23 years old and he made it to California with me? Did you know I hated you for having me come to your hotel room in Sausalito to shave your back for your date with the woman to whom you’re now married and though I doubt she will read this but if she does, fuck you for leaving me here in California after dragging me away from my home to a place where I knew hardly anyone and the market took a shit that year and so did the job market with it? I saved you from certain distruction when you had no job and no home and let you live in my house when you were tossed out by your wife and then you moved in your girlfriend and took over my home and the rest of what I had left in the world after being stalked by a nutty rebound boyfriend? I remember the guilty smear campaign you and she went on to cover over your fear and guilt. I used to really love visiting with the great friend who hired me at Cisco after you’d moved onto Google and we’d have lunches about once a quarter for years. And that the last time I saw you in New York City you complimented me for continuing to blow my then boyfriend and current husband in the shower even after I’d broken my nose on his pelvic bone. And how we skipped out of the telecom show to go like little kids to universal studios that day and had so much fun riding roller coasters after my panel on the rise of social media before it was even called social media. Thanks to a roommate and once dear hearted asexual with the infectious laugh with whom videos were made of our friends including thre singer of the band and the guitar player in Gainesville, and don’t forget the girlfriend of the singer who married and divorced my most cherished friend of all to whom I gave a job so she could eat when she arrived in Gainesville from along visit to Russia. And to the one who I never believed would leave me so plainly due to a fear of tears, it’s you scarecrow I miss the most. Not the one in the trailer that year but the one who called me for career advice and bailed me out of an all too frightening extortion scheme while my husband was releasing the toughest software for security’s sake ever to be released. 

But I’ve not heard from any one of you. 

As for those who kept their hearts open and arms wide for hugs and for tears, I have the constant and same for you all, too. My ever present respect and love of your souls and energies carry me like air carries a bird in its thermal winds.

You never let me get too far, my dearest and first love with whom a lifetime of ditching one another for sport became a true and long friendship. Thank you for remembering me from the French territory where we spent many cold weeks decorating and listening to Coltrane. Thank you for remembering me even though you’re finally and proudly full time employed and you have more wonderful children than one could be blessed with and a husband who treats you right. Thank you my favorite Cisco SED who I had no idea had a wife with a lifetime illness and your emails make me feel cared about. Thank you to the woman who spent hours with me on the phone who I worked with at Nuance and is not just a fine mother, marketer, and maker of merriment but friend, too. Thank you to my biker buddy who has spent countless hours with me allowing my venting sessions to go on as long as they needed. Thank you for asking me via text how I am from over in Capitola and for letting me know I always have a home if I need one. Thank you for showing me another way to do my business and for being there since day one in the hospital to my good but tough friend who loves me but can’t say it easily like I can. My neighbors for being closer to me than I’d ever known a real neighbor. One who is just as talkative as I am, the other who diligently writes me cards and gives me quiet support since she too has had a bout of breast cancer. And thank you, my most favorite person, my husband for coming back for me from a dark place and getting bathed in light with me so my laughter is the last thing you hear at night not my tears.

Friends cannot always understand cancer, priceless are my new friends who check on me even when I refuse to be loved, and I thank you.

But love comes in all shapes and sizes and colors, but isn’t it always the times we need love most when a cat on our lap is really all you can handle? It’s those friends who can recognize us as not being assholes on those days, but they gently put us to bed, kiss our foreheads metaphorically and tell us, it’s okay, I’ll see your beautiful face tomorrow?

Excellent resources for understanding this hideous malady

I found excellent resources published by America’s own #NIH. God help us if our current administration takes away cancer health and research funding. I ALREADY LOST MY INSURANCE. Now what – my friends I will not get on my soap box. But god help us all. And do not tell me we weren’t already the laughing stocks, our own president asks why the civil war took place, doesn’t know when Andrew Jackson was president, and I submit this administration should not mess with our personal  health.

https://thestartcenter.navigatingcare.com/library/breast
#breastcancer #cancerresearch #cancerresources