Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Broken Record

living one long continuous groove
we put the needle on the record
and play the music
jubilant, discordant, meditative
reflecting, enhancing the dance of life at 33 ½ rpm
microgrooves allowing sometimes
pre-echoes of the bigger booms to follow
in time, the record can become scratched by wear
we put the needle on the record
moving to our life-soundtracks
a minor scratch can cause the needle to jump
to the previous groove
and then jump again
causing a continuous loop of sound
a repetition of the dance
a gentle touch on the needle
can nudge it forward, past the scratch
and the dance continues
yet deep scratches can interrupt the tune altogether
and the needle jumps
further this time
backwards or ahead
completely out of the groove
unable to find it’s way back
and what was once a lovely recording
becomes a broken record
never playing the same
never finishing the song

and the dance ends

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

99 Haiku-Lives

For my THWF friends (give it a minute to load)

Try HERE if you can't see the video

And if you STILL can't see it:
Sung to the tune of 99 LUFTBALLOONS

Here we are in our happy spot
Putting ideas out with the words we’ve got
set them free every Wednesday
(or any day, the ‘no rules’ way!)

Fiasco, our thoughts laid bare
Knowing always Leah’s out there
with her watchful, loving eyes
99 Haiku-lives revive

99 Haiku-lives
reoccur, they never die
Underwear, TLPD
and poo-flinging flying monkeys

Once they’re out we can’t renege
opens up another segue
like visits from the cable guy
99 Haiku-lives revive

99 good points are moot
99 means of tribute
from backin’, backin’, backin’ up
to sexy thoughts from coffee cups

Billy Idol and Igor
What color’s your underwear?
Mr. Banderas, he’s so fine
and 99 Haiku-lives revive

99 brain cells erased
Michael Douglas eats cupcakes
Everyone’s a silly jerk
Everyone’s Kurt Vonnegut

Angst can be a bitter pill; Anna straight from Somerville
Knowing there’s no reason why
99 Haiku-lives revive
99 Haiku-lives revive

99 types of earworm
many things we can’t unlearn
left with visuals we can’t un-see
50 Shades of imagery

If I could count on my fingers
the syllables to put to verse
in three lines, my feelings true
It’d be for you, Wednesday’s Haiku

Monday, June 24, 2013

All Senses Go

Smell the promise
See the future
Remember the secrets
Listen to the wind
Hear the music
Taste the power
Speak the knowledge
Feel the magic
Touch the future

Love the All

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

Dad and I have always had quite the…relationship.  (See, “Bully For You, Dad”).  We've had many (many)…differences of opinion. But there is more to that, as well.  I consider him one of the strongest (he was certainly the most forceful!) influences in my life. Yes, that is both good and bad.  It’s one thing to look in the mirror one day and see your mother, but it is quite another thing to think something and hear your father!  (At least for me!)  My brother (who bears an extremely strong resemblance to Dad) is well aware of the fact that every time he makes a face that looks like a ‘Dad face’ I want to slap him!
He was one of the two ‘scary’ dads in our neighborhood growing up.  In spite of that, all the kids still came to our parties.  I remember one in particular (I think my sisters and I were maybe 16, 15 and 14) where all of us were dancing to the jukebox in the living room (see “I(Re)Write the Songs”) and my father comes out of the bedroom and there is a drink spilled on the floor and one cupcake has fallen off the counter, leaving a smeared trail of frosting on the side of the cabinet.  Dad walked right up to the jukebox and shut it down, mid-song.  Then, in his best drill-instructor voice, barked at us how we were NOT to trash the place and gave us five minutes to take care of business or else “the party was over!”  You've never seen almost 40 kids rush to clean up two little spills that fast in your life!

He gave the best lectures (and so many!).  There was a specific way to do everything (the toilet paper roll gets put on with the loose end ON TOP), and there were specific reasons why (it puts it more within reach).  He always took the time to explain why in great detail. We didn't walk around on the rugs barefoot because the oils from your skin make the rug dirtier than with your shoes or socks, therefore making it harder to clean (and THAT was the reason you never drew pictures in the fog on car windows!).

Punishment was manual labor and public humiliation.  I got a D on my report card and had to build a landscaping wall in front of the house with cinder blocks  Dad told everyone, “My daughter loves me SO much that she spelled DAD on her report card!”

A particularly fun argument came about when my mother’s answer to a problem was “I guess that’s my cross to bear,” and Dad responded with, “If you stepped in shit would you scrape it off or leave it there and say, ‘I guess that’s my cross to bear.’”?  (He has a way with words, don’t’cha think?)

His favorite lecture had to do with making sure you got a good education so that you didn't end up working at McDonald’s for the rest of your life. After my parents’ divorced and we moved out of the neighborhood, my father was out mowing the lawn and two of my friends made the mistake of stopping to talk to him and asking how I was.  I got a call from one of them later saying he kept them there for two hours and that the “moral of the story” was “Hold the pickles”!  Yup, that’s my Dad.
I get my warped sense of humor from him (you can all thank him now).  When I was a teenager and had started to look a little more mature (I said “look”) I walked into a crowded restaurant with him and he yelled “Oh, no! There’s my wife!” and ducked behind me.  Then there was the time my new stepbrother and stepsister met him for one of the first times and he decided to break the ice over dinner by shoving his face in my stepbrother’s plate and inhaling the food.
He had a habit of answering the phone in that DI voice of his.  I would notice that his voice grew softer and friendlier if the call was for him, but it would NEVER change if it was one of MY friends.  I questioned him on this and his answer was, “That’s because I want your Hero-friends to know that they will NOT pull the same shit with me that they pull with their own parents!”  He called all of us “Heroes”. I’m not sure that was a good thing. Ha!
All that aside, I have many, many wonderful memories with him (and hopefully that many more to come), and I've learned so many valuable things from him. 
I posted this on Facebook today: “I have a very visual image in my head of when I was younger and we lived in Cambridge. I was 3 and/or 4 (it happened many nights). I'd wake up in the middle of the night (SEE? I've always been a night owl!) and go out in the parlor. Dad would be there, sitting in the middle of the floor with a record player on the floor in front of him, 45's strewn all around him. After yelling, "WATCH YOUR STEP!" he would let me make my way VERY CAREFULLY to the couch and listen to the music with him. I loved those nights.
Those nights were the best.  He would talk to me about the music, as if I were older.  I loved sharing music with him.  As a family any car trip involved music and singing, and we would all try to out-do each other.  Any song with one strong, high or loud note sung in it was the most fun (“She’s Gone”, “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”, etc.) He even took us out in his ’67 Oldsmobile 442 for a few “night cruises” and we’d listen to music. (That’s where I get that from!)  And he would take us out to a special record store in Dedham and we’d each be able to pick out a few 45’s.  I remember how much he loved Rock Me, Amadeus”.  We tortured him with that one!
I try to make sure I call him and tell him every time I realize he was right about something.  That happened a lot more after I became a parent!  Here’s something I haven’t told him yet, and it comes to me a lot.  One “silly” little lesson he taught me was awareness.  And it came out in the simplest of lessons, on the simplest of subjects:  He told us when approaching any corner (and he was talking initially about when we were walking down a street, or in a store, or running) to keep in mind that somebody could be coming from that direction.  How simple is that? And how huge is that? To be aware of other people.  Yes, when I’m walking down a sidewalk I now slow down and keep a wide berth at corners and intersections, and when I’m driving it helps keep me defensive (not offensive—that happens when I see someone driving who is unaware!), but it goes so much further than that. Think about it.  Awareness of other people. I won’t get all preachy about it, but think how many “collisions” could be avoided if we were more aware of each other.
Thank you for that, Dad.  Happy Father’s Day! I love you.
(N.B.  I can also thank him for my perfect driving record, because we three girls were given “car classes” and had to learn how a car worked before we were even allowed behind the wheel and because “HIS daughters would NOT be “women drivers”!)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Of the Cereal Box Variety: Musical 'Ku - How Many Songs Can You Identify?

There are 86 different songs referenced/alluded to/quoted/outright labelled in these Musical Haiku. Can you find them all?

Fly above the clouds
Everyone knows it’s Windy
Capture the moment
Waiting a long time
For Saturday, in the park
Can you dig it? Yes.
Well, Eli’s coming..
Better better hide your heart
Never get away
Are you using me
Touch me but don’t take me down
How can I be sure
Little pretty one
You gonna give me some time
My my Sha-ro-na
Brother or mother
Ah Ah Ah stayin’ alive
Dancin’ man, can’t lose
Mr. Tanner was
baritone. Sang from his soul
It just made him whole
clever little boys
musically inventive
we ready? Ok Go
Mayday! I’m sinking!
I’m sinking,  “Iche liebe dich…”
…sinking, “I Love You”
Tell me your secret
himitsu wo shiri tai
Mr. Roboto
you spin me right round
you look like you’re lots of fun
like a record, babe
you spin my head right
round, right round when you go down
like a record, babe
Boogie with suitcase
You’re living in a disco
Forget the rat race
Been working to hard
We can do it take your time
Do it right, tonight
So lost without you
Come back and carry me home
What are you thinking
Make your mind up fast
Here it is come and get it
Hurry it’s goin’ fast
Feelings. Nothing more than.
For all my life I’ll feel it.
Again in my arms.
Long road, winding turn
I am strong, we will get there
He is not heavy
I’ll go on shining
But I must be moving on
Will we meet again
In mighty jungle
Wimoweh, ee  um a weh
Tonight lions sleep
Clowns, jokers abound
Stuck in the middle with you
This is where I am
sweet disposition
act like no one’s watching you
I’ll be coming over

reckless abandon
a moment, love, dream aloud
kiss, cry, our rights, wrongs

stay—I’ll be coming
while our blood’s still young, it runs
never surrender
I promise. I’ll wait.
Wait for me. I’ll make you fall.
Promise you I will
Talk ‘bout Pop Muzik
Double Dutch Bus comin’ down-
Walk the Dinosaur
Pass the Dutchie left side and
Gag me with a spoon
If I sing off-key?
Would you walk away from me?
Friends help me get by
Talkin’ bout hey now
Iko iko an nay
-haiku? Gesundheit!
Good night, sleep tight and
Pleasant dreams to you. And now
Til we meet again…
And we all are still
Asking that question over
Just how soon is now?
When I’m alone with
You, you make me feel like I
I am home again
People are people
Why should it be you and I
Should get along bad?
Something happens and
I’m head over heels don’t break
My heart, throw it away
You saw me standing
Lights flashing on windowsill
Don’t say a prayer now
Catch the blue train to
Places never been before
You will find me…there
Go- olly jeepers
where did you get those eye-eyes
Don’t leave me standing
Alone in a world so cold
Demanding? Too bold?
Her smile seems to me
A reminder of mem’ries
Oh sweet child O’ mine
Cops in donuts shops
Walk like Egyptians
Too ra loo ra aye
We are far too young, clever
Ah come on Eileen
We can dance, leave friends
If they don’t, not friends of mine
Kajagoogoo winks
Hey girl, move a li’l closer
Too shy. Eye to eye
The real tough cookie
Breaks hearts. Lets see how you do
Give it your best shot
Watch out. You’ll get it
Cool…strange but not a stranger
Burning down the house
Tommy Tutone liked
Jenny. What was her number?
867- something?
My first name ain’t “Baby”
It is Janet-Miss Jackson
If you are nasty
Deception with tact
One thing leads to another
One’s lying to me
Everybody Say
Hear it, get it underway
Wave your hands in air

Do your dance for me
Come on tell me what’s the word
Pretty babe, Word Up
When you’re Down Under
Eat a Vegamite Sandwish
It’s Just Overkill
But I like candy
When it’s wrapped in a sweater
Candy all the time
Everybody talks
Why don’t they just let me live
My prerogative
Asked if I love you
What could I say? You know I
do. Oh hold me now.
Good Goody Two Shoes
Don’t drink don’t smoke. What to do?
There must be something
Where were they going
Without e’er knowing the way?
No cares, happy there                                    
We said goodbye ere hello
Wanted someone to dance with
Black jeans don’t matter

Goodbye…pray for me
Too much wine and too much song
How’d we get along

Goodbye, trusted friend
Known each other since nine or ten
Skinned hearts and skinned knees
Hop inside my car
Love ya, need, want ya
You know I love you
They HAVE to say that?
" Have a happy period"
Alice cooper knows.
It’s so groovy now
reach out in the darkness and
you will find your way
papa oom mow mow
p-papa ooma mow mow
papa oom mow mow
‘Cuz I get my kicks
above the waistline, Sunshine
Murray’s in Bangkok
A fool such as I
Fooled around and fell in love
A fool in the rain

The fool on the hill keeps still
You’re foolin’ yourself

Strange and beautiful
I will put a spell on you
Screamin' Jay knows, too
which road should I choose?
what is the an-answer to
the question of U
goodbye to the ghost
make a casket for my tears
gather the splinters
that live in my haunted head
and I will always love you
No time to regret
You kept your same old safe bet
I’ll go back to black
Since the garden walk,
I’ve re-written James’ song
to “Allergy Eyes”
Every breath you take
One way or another

Like a butterfly
I’ll collect and capture you
I will find a way
Some were spellbound, some
Were hellbound, some they fell down
Get up! Fight meltdown!
change changing places
root yourself to the ground one         
word can bring you round
try not to hate

The answer is yes
We have to take our clothes off
To have a good time

Adele with the pipes
she’s wrong. Not “someone like you”
someone much better
take me out tonight
take me anywhere, for the
light never goes out

smiths- ku
Struttin’ her stuff. Hi,
Joe, wanna give it a go?
He started to freak

What’s your fantasy
Like the way you receive me
I’m comin’ on strong
Clouds in my coffee
Carly Simon had it right
We know what you think


Sunday, June 9, 2013



gentle at first,

the breeze slowly slips thru the strands of my hair in a lover's caress
I step on the gas
as the speed builds the caress turns into a forceful demand
pulling my hair in a frenzy

frantically it swirls around my face and shoulders--

and I laugh out loud, giddy, feeling one with the wind

--May 24, 2012  (Re-posted from THWF)

I love my car. No.  I LOVE my car!  And I LOVE driving.  To me, driving is another form of therapy, enjoyment…FREEDOM.  I think in my car (mayhaps I should spend more time there?).  I play music very loud in my car (I’m the idiot dancing behind the wheel on the highway, arms flailing all over the place, head bobbing in time).  It relaxes me and keeps me sane (a relative term).

When we were little, Dad used to take us “cruising” at night in his ’67 Oldsmobile 442 (his baby); that’s where it all started for me- the driving, the music.  I have to say it was very generous of him, taking his kids.  I know how much I enjoy being ALONE when I’m out at night!

–then again, there’s something to be said about ‘company’! (Expect odes to THAT later!)

Outdoor Concerts (Re-posted from THWF)

"Outdoor Concert" - May 27, 2012

No matter the music,
they are all the same
I could just listen and watch
I close my eyes
- and feel 
(the music)
the heavy rhythm pulsing in my chest
- stronger from nearby speakers-- it consumes me
(the music)
the desire to move my body along with it
(the music)
the balmy night air
(the music)
the flood of triggered memories
(the music)
the music
the music

“Outdoor concert 2” - Aug. 5, 2012

The music blares through large speakers
Heavy bass gives the ground a heartbeat.
Five girls happily dance
while a policeman searches their bags.
A man lies with his head on his girlfriend's stomach,
his head turned towards her breasts as they talk over the music.
Little girls barely into single-digit shoe sizes scream and swoon
over a singer their mother drooled over in junior high.
Narcissistic joggers in tight shorts stretch and pose
in an area selected to give maximum viewing pleasure.
Two teenagers play 'frisbee' with a flip-flop,
giggling as if they invented a new sport.
Elderly couples sit in folding chairs tapping their feet
to whatever music they are hearing, even if it's not what is playing.
The combined scents of fried foods from the vendor carts, insect repellent sprayed intermittently, 
the heavy cologne of eager young boys (and some old enough to know better) who underestimate the value of a shower,
and the smell of the grass, both the kind underfoot and the kind inhaled-unless-you're-a-president,
waft through the crowd, wind permitting.
And then there's me...just soaking it all in.

Re-posted from THWF

Saturday, June 8, 2013


there is something so very sexy
about the way he tips his glass to his lips
first breathing deeply of the bouquet
before he sips, slow to swallow
savoring that first taste
and each taste thereafter
making you wish his hands were holding you
instead of the glass
and that the scent he inhaled
the taste he savored
-each and every taste

was you…

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

It Only Takes a Moment

What is a moment?  Many dictionaries explain the word using different variations of time. Time is relative, right?  The most common definition is an instant, less than a second, an indefinitely short period of time.  A person of any age would agree.  However, a younger man in his 20’s would have a hard time fully grasping the idea of a ‘moment’ described by a man in his 80’s, when that moment covers a span of many years.  Relative.  Depends on perspective.

To me a moment is so much more than just time.  It is an event, events or series of events (I’m in my 40’s; moments can last longer than just an instant). We all have our moments, right?  Good moments, bad moments, blonde moments, senior moments. I like to think of a moment as: A significant event or events in/of indefinite time that alter in some way what comes next. A juncture, a turning point, a tipping point.  Life is full of such moments.

Today was an anniversary of such a moment.  This moment was of the generic type, as in “instant”.  A moment that changed the next six months of my life directly, and forever after indirectly.  A year ago today I went out for a cup of coffee with a friend.  We had already been friends online and in a writing group, but this was the first time we’d been face to face. That first second of eye contact when he walked into the coffee shop was a moment. It lasted an instant, with an impact that will last forever.  He looked at me and smiled, and I knew.  I’m not talking about chemistry. I’m talking about an intense connection of some sort of familiarity. I knew him, and he knew me; my first thought was along the lines of “Finally!”  An instant space of recognition that challenges linear-time beliefs. I always knew him.   

It has been almost eight months since he passed away, and now I look at the six months we had as another ‘moment’.  One moment in time.  Not quite an instant, but a short enough time period to qualify, for me, as a moment.  The time since he passed is now longer than the time we spent physically together.  That brief moment.

Two “moments.” Two different definitions. Relative to perspective.

Our lifetimes consist of moments strung together linearly, as we measure time in the here and now.  Each event, happening, situation in our lives, both good and bad and even the ones we consider insignificant directly affect the moment after (again, linearly speaking).  The movie “Sliding Doors” explains this perfectly, showing two storylines side by side of the same woman determined by whether or not she missed her train or did not miss her train.  Dominoes. We knock this one down, it knocks the next one down, and so on.  We are all familiar with this concept of how one event can significantly change our lives. The time we did not get on a plane that crashed, and the reason we didn’t (even if we thought at the time of not making the flight was a bad thing); the car accident we narrowly avoided, or the car accident we were involved in that for a second looked like it was going to be worse than it was; the near-death experiences; sickness, injury, loss of a job, death of a loved one or friend…  Moments.

I guess an important thing to consider first of all, is that every moment we have is significant in some way to us because of the very fact that it affects the next.  And, realizing that, we should also celebrate our moments, our every breaths, because some of them--or at some point in our linear time, all of them--will be gone.

I went back to that coffee shop today to celebrate that first moment.  (Of course, it wasn’t all celebration.)  For the next few months I’m sure I will be re-living many other moments, and I may be sad at times, especially nearing the date that he passed.  I’m learning (SLOWLY) to appreciate all of my moments. --No. That’s not quite right. Let me rephrase: I do know how special they were, I appreciate the moments themselves, but I get angry sometimes that they were “taken away”—so I guess I’m learning not to appreciate just the moments so much but to also appreciate that I got them at all.  I know many people who feel their bad moments outweigh their good moments.  This has been a (rather hard) lesson in appreciating all of my moments, in all of my lifetime up to this point.  Even the bad ones, because I would not be able to see any good if there wasn’t the contrast of what I consider “not good” (the two endings of the movie “Sliding Doors” also emphasize this point—but I won’t give it away).

Hey, I know what I mean.

For whatever reason, I have always been an optimist.  I can’t take credit for this, because it’s always been that way; I never tried to be.  My glass has always been at least half full.  I will never be the person who feels the good in her life has been out-shadowed by bad.  I consider myself fortunate, generally speaking (even if I have something new to bitch about daily!).  But there is always room for improvement.  Not only will I try to celebrate my individual moments, but I will try to appreciate that I had the opportunity for them, both good and what I perceive to be not-so-good.  Then, if I choose to look back, I can still smile at all of them.

And, because I’m totally corny, and because something always reminds me of a song: It Only Takes a Moment (Hello Dolly)

Monday, June 3, 2013

A Little Night Music

The air is still when the first soft tone whispers into the room, 
the slightest breeze breathes in through the open window and the curtains billow with each exhale 
I lay quietly as the air begins to dance around me, blending with the music washing over my body 
fingertips of rhythm trail softly along my spine…tickling, teasing a response 
my skin reacts and I shiver while every nerve stands on end 
straining to feel the loving caress of each and every note 
cooler than the sheets, the melody wraps itself around me 
helpless against the swell of emotion rising in my chest 
I am held, comforted, loved 
so thoroughly, so unconditionally there is no need or desire to resist 
and I surrender fully into it 
allowing myself to be carried upward to dizzying heights of feeling 
before being lowered gently back down 
I drift off to sleep as the final notes fade into the darkness 
and the air is still once again