30 March 2014

TRUE storytelling

bluemaas.public.iastate.edu/chapter_four


Willard Albert William Maas was born 22 December 1919, a mama’s first child, a Monday’s child ---- just as I am also born on a Monday’s 22 December back in the day some several Winter Solstices later. 
Today on 30 March 2014, it happens to be the 22nd anniversary of Daddy’s suddenly, and literally, falling down.  Dead.  In 1992, on yet another Monday.  And still quite fair of face was he then, too.

This time of year ---- March and April ---- the springtime of 1974, the man was on his tractors most of these daytimes.  One particular late afternoon then I telephoned him from my Buchanan Hall dormitory room at Iowa State University.  Only inside the house because of coffee break with his wife, he took my call at the simple, black rotary – dial telephone nesting as it always did on its specific crook – in – the – wall platform between the massive farm kitchen and the domicile’s living room, “Daddy?”
“Yes, Kitty … …, why, hello there!”

“Hi, Daddy.  O, I’m okay.  I guess.  Yeah.  I’m okay.  I could be better.”
“O?  better, Kitty?”

“Yeah, Daddy.  Uh, well, ya’ know?  It’s been some eight years since I looked at a chemistry textbook.  Till this term, ya’ know.  And, ah, and well, tomorrow?  Tomorrow, Daddy, I have this quarter’s first organic chemistry examination.  8 o’clock.  Tomorrow morning.  Morrison and Boyd.  That’s the text.”
“O?  Yeah?”

 “And, ah, and well, I have no idea what I’m doing.  No idea.  Three weeks in to the course, Daddy.  I am just hookin’ carbons onto bonds here and there willy nilly ---- as many as looks good to me, Daddy.  Sometimes upwards of 17 or more.  Whatever.  And, well, ya’ know, doncha’, that that is soooo not gonna cut it, is it?!”
“I’m hanging up and heading to the car right now.  I’ll gas up and I’ll be there in 2 and a half hours’ time.  Just hang on, Kitty.”

And.  He was.  He drove straight up to Ames.  Right then and there.  And sat with me across my wee, two – seater table until midnight.  Then we both slept.  He on blankets on the floor of my single – person, graduate – / and international – student dorm room.  At 7:30am after he had made for me black coffee, a peanut butter sandwich and a peeled orange, I left for Gilman Hall’s gargantuan, slanted and sloped auditorium to sit there for this, my first ever, organic chem examination. 
One mighty tiny but so, so important instruction of Daddy’s to me from the night’s study before which no one else ---- no one, not even the course’s instructor Dav__ Lam___ then, had ever, ever taught, let alone, simply mentioned, say, even one time in class, “Just remember, Kitty:  the valence of carbon is four.   Remember that, and you’ll do fine.” 

Admission in to ISU’s College of Veterinary Medicine 40 years ago now, was gained by way of pre – veterinary grade point – average + in – person interview.  That same springtime then, the letter arrived into my Buchanan Hall mailbox.   769 formal applicants wanting admission for that next Fall 1974, 98 admissions granted for our first year ---- of which, for that upcoming autumn, 16 were women.  I was 26 years old and one of them.
*****

C.O.N.T.R.A.S.T. that fathering with this one:  re a daddee who in real life wanted, for big, big $, to tell / to sell a “family tale” not so t.r.u.e. at all !
from Chapter 4, “No Witnesses, But Hey, Still No Contact” of Book I:  I Think What I Will of the Mother – Fucking trilogy, p 12 – 14: 

“Straight up:  Dr. Herod Edinsmaier has tried – unsuccessfully – since Christmastime 1992, when the last state district court order fell down upon us, to strike a deal for his fable with the Hollywood – based – on – a – true – story industry. 
“I saw the contract, Ma.  It was for $100,000 plus 5% of somethin’.  What’s that mean, 5%?  It was really, really thick.  It has many, many pages,” Jesse recounted.

Zane’s voice lowered.  It seemed to trail away from my ear as, in that itty bitty park with one shelter and two picnic tables, he confirmed to me a day after I’d hooked up with Jesse, “Well, yeah, ya’ know, Ma, it would have made you out to look like the … murderer.”
I white – knuckled the steering wheel.  Jesse continued, “But you knew that, didn’t you, Ma?  ‘Cuz the movie company, they’ve been talkin’ to you about the deal, too, haven’t they, Ma?  You knew that ‘cuz it’s ‘cuz of you that the deal fell through, isn’t it, Ma?”

 That one ear that works was struck as if stoned.  What had he been up to now?  It was 08 April 1993.  I thought I could anticipate anything from him.  After all, he was so predictable, Herry was.  I thought there was nothing he could do, no trick he could pull, no lie he could tell – inside or out of a courtroom even – that I wouldn’t be prepared to learn of by now.
After all, every single evening six evenings a week for five years, I had practiced a meditative routine, Zen – like, at my mailbox.  A self – survival and protection thing Mehitable hadn’t taught me, that’s for sure.  I would drive up the street to my freezing and vacant icebox of a home and begin the deep, slow breathing to neutralize the epinephrine surge that would begin involuntarily and daily at the top of the turn.  After the 04 October 1988 knocking knell at the door and the William Conrad – sized, but surly, private detective, my first encounter with this genre of professional ever, had served me up the divorce papers jacketed in their cozy periwinkle cardstock instead of my just getting them thrown through the mail slot of the palatial 5221 Othello Drive family dwelling, this catch in my chest had swiftly gotten to be a Pavlovian response.  Swing onto Havencourt Drive – and it materialized. 

So my mind had taught itself to focus on something that would emanate warmth and light, like the western sky of the setting sun, as I continued up the block to the driveway.  And by the moment that I reached into the standard black - flap mailbox for the small bundle of envelopes there, I had then had sufficient time to prepare for and insulate myself from the ones with letterhead return addresses of the various lawyers and the various state district and appellate courts.  When there were such letters there, I had already by now mentally run through the worst – case scenario of what was on their pages and could detach my mind from the physical pain that would come from actually reading then what was on the inside of such envelopes when I finally got inside the house.  This ritual occurred daily.  It had to.  This was the way I could take on the hits.  Except on Sundays when, of course, the mail didn’t come.  Sundays were a reprieve day. 

*     *     *     *   
Here I was at last, 3½ years since Saturday, 13 October 1990, since the Boys’ judicially sanctioned abduction, here I was in Montclank, West Virginia, now, April 1994, risking it all.  Whatever the ‘it’ was that I might have even had.  I mean, when I can no longer have any contact whatsoever with my kids, what exactly is the ‘it’ I am risking now anyhow?  For one clandestine meeting with my own children. 

I was so overjoyed.  I had actually found one – Jesse – in training and practicing with other freshmen at the cinder track beside the high school in an adjoining burg, Grubtrop, West Virginia.  After practice we had driven over to some park he knew of and directed me to in nearby Montclank for secrecy. 
One tear silently tracked down my drawn cheek in Ol’ Black’s front seat packed to the hilt on its passenger side.  I looked through the rear – view mirror at Jesse sitting just right behind me and quietly stated out of the clear blue, “Before I die, Jesse, I am getting this down on paper.  I have to write this down.  I am not going to be dead an’ve had no way of leaving my Truth for you three to know.  All you know now is what the judges ordered and what Herry and Ms. Fannie Issicran McLive have told you.  So then … you don’t know.  I have to write a book, Jesse.”

 … to which, just as much out of that blue, Jesse replied, “ … Okay sure Ma, but the TV movie deal fell through ‘cuz of you, didn’t it?”
I didn’t think there existed a maneuver of Herry’s about which I wouldn’t be prepared to learn.  That is, until Jesse’s innocent, few – word revelation about some made – for – TV film contract. 

“Always prepared” now and without skipping a beat, I nonchalantly declared, while gripping the wheel to keep from shaking and showing it, “Well, ya’ know, Jesse, those movie contracts, they’re all pretty standard.  Nothing, ya’ know, unusual now really.”
Nothing unusual?  Nothing unusual?!  M’god, I had just learned that this man, Dr. Edinsmaier, had been trying to sell his soul and those of his three Boys and mine to the highest bidder!  And when I, in that very split second, realized that, it all made perfect sense.  Of course, he had been.  Of course, he had tried to do this.  Had tried to get more money into his life again.  First, by not having to pay out child support ‘cuz he’d gotten the kids, now a movie deal that paid fairly well.  Certainly well enough to recover any previous court and lawyer outlays.  With some profits left over to boot.  Of course, he had done such a thing. 

After all, this is the exact same individual who had gotten clean, slick away in an American courtroom in the third trial of this matter back in October 1992, WITHOUT CALLING ONE SINGLE WITNESS TO THE STAND to testify for his side or on his behalf.  NOT EVEN HIMSELF!  And yet had managed to maneuver ‘the court’ therefrom, the State of Iowa’s Second Judicial District Court, the far less than ‘honorable’ Judge Harley Butcher, which, of course, is the real name of ‘the Court’, to order that the Boys and I have ABSOLUTELY NO CONTACT WITH EACH OTHER.
Obviously, it doesn’t take too many witnesses to maneuver ‘the court’ when you are a white male bigwig pillar of a middle - class American community.  Precisely like the pillars that are that same community’s lawyers and judges.  Actually, it takes exactly zero witnesses.  Did you catch that?  Does the incredulity of that ‘finding of fact’ sink in to you, Reader, yet? 

Why, these pillars are masterful schmoozers on the golf greens, the racquetball courts and in the steam room Wednesday and Friday afternoons after allegedly smashing each other about first in morning sessions on those courts that are laid out inside little American county seats.  It’s their usual manner of declaring ‘respect’ for each others’ legal genius and prowess. 
More money in his life, too, because this feat involved no paying off whatsoever by Dr. Edinsmaier. 

He hadn’t even needed to consider doing that.  Besides being messy and risky, that just wasn’t necessary.  ‘The Court’, Judge Butcher, given the same set of Dr. Edinsmaier’s circumstances would have accomplished the same thing had he been the children’s father and been pissed off by such a pussy as obviously was the former wife of the good, good doctor’s, that piece of pussy cunt named Legion True. 
*    *    *    *
Absolutely no contact with each other.  Now that is unusual, you say?

Not really.  Not at all.  O, sure, it was a precedent.  A precedent, mind you!
But that didn’t stop a district court, a court of appeals or a supreme court.  They knew they had no need to explain away themselves and their rulings to a peon female with absolutely no money and … no attorney. 

What is she going to do?  Demand an explanation of how it is that they all can, in the State of Iowa, in any state of America, legally, let alone, morally nail her and her Boys?  Yeah, right.  Like, sure she is.  They just do it, no explaining, no need to. 

The good doctor wants her to have no contact?  The good judges, who look like they come from, which they ‘course do, the same Pendleton wool bolt that the good doctor comes from, order up what he wants them to.   What they would want him to order up if they were in his very white, white shirt, its collar trimmed and secured with the diamond – studded gold clip, and in his glove - snug Armani oxfords instead. 
No witnesses.  But, hey, still no contact Judge Butcher carved out.  And so ordered. 

“And you know better?” Detective Sunday queries the American Gigolo.
“Some people are above the law,” Julian Kay responds coolly.

“Well, how do these people know who they are?”
“They know.  They ask themselves.” 

Case closed. ”

from Chapter 29, “That Woman Deserves Her Revenge” of Book III:  the Opera:  We Were Mothers Once, and Young of the Mother – Fucking trilogy, pp 498 - 499:
Mirzah did come.  I don’t recall how –– not by bus and not by airplane, I am thinking, so it may have been by way of one of Herry’s many, many mooching roadtrips out from West Virginia to sponge off of his Midwest relatives, also an imposing behavior of his which old acquaintances and central Iowans who knew him (‘member Jury, Abby and Devin and their two little girls?) had experienced firsthand from Herod Edinsmaier multiple times in the past.  Freeloader Herry had been rather infamous for some time in regard to … his blatantly massive buggery of aprovechar – taking.  

It seems to me that the only way a person, to himself or to herself, could get away with this conduct over and over and for such a long, long time would have to be by simple self – justification; ya’ know –– denial.  Denial to yourself of who you truly are.  
 
But not in the case of the superior Dr. Herod Edinsmaier.   

Even though the justification to himself –– of why so much taking is mightily A – okay –– is the same as anyone else’s who has countenanced themselves in this narcissistic fashion year after adult year, that is by the self – centered egoism of, “My presence in your space is thanks enough from me!  If I deign to grace you with My Self, then that is my gratefulness to you aplenty, Cunt!”  Then Aprovechar – Herry would simply proceed to take:  food, lodging, another’s labors and preparations, fawning over, booze, O JYeah … lots and lots of others’ hooch back in the day when I’m – Entitled – to – Drive – Drunk Herod Edinsmaier still drank –– and, most especially, Vulvae – Sniffing Herry took for himself from any and all vulvae – harboring hostesses what he considers his kingly right of enslaving – DEhuman ownership, “DO for me, Pussy.  I AM The Exalted One.  Now you DO for ME.  Got that, Twat?”   

So … Herry knew!  Corrupt Herry always knew that he was taking; it was never a matter of his having to deny to himself his greed, his arrogance and that sicko sense of daMan’s total entitlement.  Dr. Herod Edinsmaier merely and quite consciously made it His Choice to take –– without reciprocal remuneration, without so much as the work of any thinking even given over to any reciprocity forthcoming from him –– just any ol’ friggin’ time that it pleased him to do so. 

No matter how wonderful for children Ames is –– including and, most especially, for teenagers –– and no matter how much Mirzah and Jesse wanted to be together again, Mirzah’s coming to live with me, Legion True, would not have happened anywhere unless Herry hadn’t, first, found in its occurrence something in it for himself.  After all, this, remember, is the same guy who along with Shyster Shindy Scheisser’s ‘legal aid’ less than just three to four years earlier, had taken it upon themselves to try to vengefully fling and flail ––  as well as to quite handsomely profit monetarily from flapping –– Herry’s side of the story out there to Hollywood in the form of that made – to – TV film which Violent, Violating, Passive Aggressor Herry had wanted to sell.  Jesse had actually seen, as you know Jury, the tentative contract with the television company and its producers, “ … for $100,000 plus 5% I saw, Ma,” Jesse had related to me.  “What’s the   ‘5 percent’ part mean, Mom?”   

Zane had seen it, too, the movie’s draft contract, “ … where you’re gonna be made out to be … ah, um, ya’ know, to look like ‘the murderer’ in it, Ma.  In the movie it’s gonna be you, Mama, who’ll be seen as … as … the bad guy, ya’ know.” 

“But you stopped it, didn’t ya’, Mama?  It didn’t happen cuz of you, right?  You wouldn’t sign with the film guys.  You wouldn’t even speak to ‘em, would ya’, Ma?” Jesse had been fishing from me –– as my knuckles gripped the wee white rental’s steering wheel back inside that 1993 April afternoon of the clandestine Montclank park to where Jesse and I had driven off –– to be safe while we talked.  To be away from any central West Virginia public who might get a notion that this concrete truck – driving Sam – ‘man’ … with Jesse … just didn’t quite act ‘right’ after all –– like a manly man, like a true fatherly dude.  That he was, instead, a she trying to disguise herself into looking like the teenaged kiddo’s daddy!

I hearkened back to the lesson, the one made more emphatic and memorable for me by his air – thumping gesturing during it, the lesson from my attorney of the Opera’s Act One, Mr. Jazzy Jinx, who had felt compelled to leave it with me:  In his experience by then of 20 years’ practicing general law including family matters, he had never –– not one time –– seen a father press for custody of children who had actually truly wanted … to parent them.  Daddee wanted legal custody for three reasons only, none of which reasons had been for exactly that –– that long, long effort of disciplining and sustained … woooork! 

Mostly daddee wanted (the nightmarish battling fights over) custody because of the vengeance of it all that his then having all control over her children afforded to him against the bitch.  Secondly, Mr. Jinx divulged, had been because of the money –– of course, the child support bucks.  That third reason, though, was a bit more elusive.  Daddee wanted the children in order to somehow flee the work of it all:  to get someone else in there, such as a barely fuckable and cuntly Ms. Fannie Issicran McLive, to do the routine, continual daily work of engagedly true parenting which that mean ol’ battleaxe – ex of his, the kiddos’ actual mama, had seemed to have to keep after him, their father, to do when they were married –– and that he soooo was not about to even start thinking on doing … after … the two of them had gotten divorced!   

“Fathers,” Mr. Jinx was certain in his tone, “just want to look good in front of the kids and the folks at work and around town.  Dad also wants to look good to the other people in his family who think that he should ‘want’ his kids.  But  but  but,” Mr. Jinx carefully pounded an invisible wall with his right palm and fingers fully extended with each ‘but’, “believe me, I’ve seen it a long, long time –– and it never changes.  He wants her to suffer –– sure; that is why he initially goes after custody, but he also doesn’t want the work of it –– ever!  So that’s why, if the judge ends up giving him custody, why, that’s why he marries!  Right away!  Or at least he gets himself coupled with somebody else, a surrogate mommy, a proxy … 

And right away.  Trust me!” 

In this specific divorcing father’s case then, the summer of 1995, and Jesse’s and Mirzah’s both coming back to me in Ames provided for Herry Edinsmaier –– finally in that former and flamboyant Family – Deconstruction Project of Herry’s more – or – less hatched to fruition back here in his house – of – cards’ bachelor pad on Ames’ Othello Drive ––  his very own … Escape From Accountability!  Cuz quite apparent by now, it was evidentiarily and testimonially a total certainty that the particular next ‘official’ Mrs. Herod Edinsmaier, Ninny Fannie Issicran McLive –– as the King – Daddee’s nanny –– was not at all turning out to be what she had initially cracked herself all up to be at succeeding in … the actual – work – of – parenting – His Majesty’s – descendents’ department! 

There had been then, right off, with Ninnie Nannie Fannie that grand and old, old patriarchal mawwiage thingy of “one flesh” wherein she, the woman of said mawwiage, stands as not a thing more really than a collection of additional organs of his, of the husband’s!  Of daMan’s!  And since Ms Fannie Issicran McLive’s functioning in such a union within the masquerade of a separate human – like structure for the purposes of procreation was soooo not needed, then her operating as a home – and – hearth keeper along with her handling of other incidentals such as the keeping aaaaaway of the Ex Pussy –– way away from King Herod as well as altogether away from his West Virginian Territory –– why, His Added Organs had performed at all of these matters quite dismally, quite diss – functionally!  Utterly abysmally!  Subsequently, King Herod, as such the prescribed owner of the “one flesh” and, thus, of her … had had for himself a most disturbed pattern to trying to live his androcentric adult life … as He, The Human Being, wished! 

Thus:  “ … the something in it for himself” finally became most clear:  The Last Fleshy, Organismic Mother – Fuck, Legion, can sooo be kept waaaay away along with that added, major bonus of the Slacker’s ‘sorta’ workload reality even more than halved! if … if …. if Mirzah and Jesse are simply sent away back –– to her!” 

25 March 2014

Ms Gloria's birthday today: what Ms Gloria means to me

“ Sometimes in a college lecture hall there would be thousands and thousands of people … and sometimes in smaller groups there would be a woman with a crying baby in the back of the room.

Gloria would say, ‘Would the woman with the crying baby please stay.’

And everybody applauded, and everybody got teary – eyed. It was an era when women were always told, ‘You can’t have your child misbehave’ ---- and she would have left the room.

[Gloria’s remark] exemplified the inclusive[ness], generosity and genuineness of Gloria that she always exhibited. ”

    — Ms Karin LippertMs promotion director, 1972 – 1981 // http://msmagazine.com/blog/2014/03/25/what-gloria-steinem-means-to-me

08 March 2014

on International Women's Day y2014: from Australia's Mz Jane Caro on Mz Parker and $

"" Ladies, don’t put all your eggs in one bastard. "" --- Mz Dorothy Parker

--- Mz Jane Caro:  " Dorothy Parker is one of my heroes. A woman of wit and wisdom, she had a way of cutting to the truth of things that makes you laugh and think. The line above is a brilliant way of warning women how risky it is to hitch your wagon to a bloke.

Having been born in 1957, I watched a great many of my contemporaries do exactly that. They did what they had been taught to do. They left school early – I actually had friends who were forced to leave in 4th year (now Year 10) by their fathers because they were ‘just’ girls and their husband would look after them. They went to secretarial school or got a job in a shop until a man proposed. Then they married, had kids and kept house. They were the good girls and they were made promises. They were told that their husband would love them and provide for them and that they would be protected from the harsh, unfeminine realities of earning their own living. In return, they promised to obey their husbands & worship them with their body. Hmmm.

Girls like me, who were ambitious and went to university, were called ‘career girls’ and were gently patronized. One day, it was assumed, we would see the error of our ways and fall in love with a nice man.

I don’t know a single one of my friends for whom any of those promises have been kept.

Sure, some of them (including me) are still with the same husband, but absolutely all of us have ended up in the workforce. Those who left school early and obeyed the prevailing views of what good girls ‘should’ do – namely, leave worrying about money to the men – have, without exception, ended up facing the very real prospect of a vulnerable and penurious old age. Even if they have gone back into the workforce, their lack of skills and long period away from paid work means they are generally in insecure, low paid jobs. A friend in this position was one of nine employees recently retrenched from the company she had worked for as a clerk for decades. You know what all nine workers who lost their jobs had in common? They were all women over 50. The chances of them getting another job are terrifyingly slim.

Indeed, economists and policy makers are becoming seriously concerned about the impact of a generation of poor old women, eking out an existence on the single pension currently at around $375.00 a week. Imagine trying to cover rent, food, utilities, phone, clothing and transport on that! And that’s without even mentioning one of the biggest financial burdens of aging – medical and pharmaceutical expenses. Unsurprisingly, given the above figures, the proportion of single women over 50 who are homeless is rising and rising rapidly. Tragically, this is apparently the reward many women of my vintage will get for being the good girls who did what society told them to. Remember, they just weren’t told they could expect to be protected by a man but they were also told that they should let their man take care of the money, their money.

Even women who went to work have been badly served by the way we divide up the money in our society. When compulsory superannuation was designed in the 80s, the male decision makers failed to take into account women’s very different working patterns and lives. Women routinely take time out to have children and then go back into part-time work. Not only that, the stubborn 17.5 % gender pay gap in fulltime earnings means they earn less than their male peers from day one.

Even if women work fulltime from school to retirement they will earn $1 million less than a man. Anne Summers calls that the million dollar penalty.

Women who do not work fulltime for 40 years – and that’s most of us – are even further behind, and that impacts severely on how much money we will have in our old age.

Remember my friend who was retrenched from her clerical job at the company she had been with for decades? She walked away with $50,000 in super and she is only 55. Given she can expect to live to be 81, that’s $1,923.00 a year. She won’t be eligible for the pension until she is 67.

For your own sake, don’t do what my generation of good girls did. Work, insist on being paid properly and make wise investments so you can enjoy – as you should – a comfortable and secure old age.

O, and Dorothy Parker? Sadly, it didn’t end well for her either. She died at 73, alone with her dogs in the Volney residential hotel in New York on her beam end. "  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Caro

24 February 2014

Big Waters

“ For many seasons, the men had given away more of the people’s hunting grounds, their fishing places, their settlement lands, while singing and drinking with the white ones, while making fools of themselves, dancing with broomsticks and with tin buckets on their heads.  At each session, Big Waters and the other women were expected to stand off along the wall, to wait to carry the goods, and to be quiet.  They had been silent so often that many children had died from hunger.  The next season, Big Waters simply stepped forward among the men at the long table at the fort and said, ‘ I would like to read that paper before these fools put their marks on it. ’

That was the end of her time among her people.

Though she’d saved her people from giving away another parcel of place, from agreeing to remain confined in a bare space with no animals or water, she’d insulted the men, her husband in particular, and he had declared her banished.

The next day, he had a new wife.  In the same way her mother had disappeared all those years before, Big Waters then walked into the tall grasses. 

Her children were directed to turn their backs to her as she left.  Her own children did this.

The one Big Waters had nursed until he could ride a horse.  The one she had tended to night and day for many months while he lay crying and recovering from burns suffered in foolish play, in dares of manhood made by one child to another.  Had he forgotten how she had held him in the cold river water day and night?  Or how she held her hand over his mouth so the other boys would not hear his crying and think him a coward?  Even her only girl, the one who was betrothed to a Spanish brute with a withered arm until Big Waters begged on her behalf to her father, saving her from the bad marriage, even she turned her back to Big Waters.  She from whom Big Waters later pulled the upside–down baby after three days of pain and delirium, saving both their lives, also turned her back.  She who had been stolen by the enemies for a slave and whose return Big Waters had negotiated by trading her own fine beadwork and tunics, she turned her back.  Even the two she had taken into her own heart as her own after their mother succumbed to disease.  The all turned their backs to her.  Never to call her mother again.

These were the events Big Waters could not speak of to anyone except the small baby in her arms, the one whose little ear was so near her lips.  She would be a good mother to Clement, and he would be an obedient son.

Big Waters introduced Clement to the finicky horse, left her by the girl who had birthed the twins.  The beast snorted at the baby’s scent.  The baby sneezed at the horse’s.  Big Waters let the animal sniff the child again, then laid Clement in the straw while she worked; but she didn’t take her eyes off that horse.  He showed her his teeth but didn’t try to bite her this time.  The warm, stewy air of the barn entered Clement’s lungs.  He breathed deeply in a way that swelled his chest, like a river about to overflow.  He slept soundly and snored.  When he woke, Big Waters mixed milk with molasses and sugar and let him suck.  She tried to make peace with the horse and offered it a bit of sugar too, but it snapped at her finger, and she kicked its leg.

This horse had a bad spirit.  Big Waters called him Hole–in–the–Day, after her husband.  But Hole–in–the–Day’s spirit wasn’t as bad as her husband’s.  Whereas his breath had smelled of throat fire and bile, the horse’s smelled mealy and grassy, and only occasionally of stomach odor.  Even then, its breath worked magic on Clement.  While the boy slept beneath the horse’s nose, he grew and strengthened.  The vapor healed whatever ailed the baby.”    
                 ----- pp 136 – 137, Stillwater by Mz Nicole Helget, y2014


14 February 2014

--- INVENTORY --- by Dorothy Parker ... ... ... ... on This Day


         .Inventory.


Four be the things I am wiser to know:
Idleness, sorrow, a friend, and a foe.

Four be the things I’d been better without:
Love, curiosity, freckles, and doubt.

Three be the things I shall never attain:
Envy, content, and sufficient champagne.

Three be the things I shall have till I die:
Laughter and reason and a sock in the eye.

22 December 2013

Bang the Drum Slowly –– by Ms Emmylou with Mr Guy Clark

Today is my 66th and what would have been Daddy’s 94th … … ! 
Had he not quite literally and far, far too soon … …  fallen down dead.

“ a good, strong pot of coffee” … … brewed and “balanced” inside that speckled, blue – enamel pot atop his own Mama Adeline’s corncob – burning cook stove … … How, at three and four and at five  years’ of age on my ( and his ) Solstice – birthdays of ours, I loved drinking that coffee of his … … sweetened with true, full – bore cow’s cream !  Taken by Daddy, as it had been, from that morning’s milking of Guernsey.

" I meant to ask you how to fix that car
I always meant to ask you about the war
And what you saw across a bridge too far
Did it leave a scar

Or how you navigated wings of fire and steel
Up where heaven had no more secrets to conceal
And still you found the ground beneath your wheels
How did it feel

Bang the drum slowly play the pipe lowly
To dust be returning from dust we begin
Bang the drum slowly I'll speak of things holy
Above and below me world without end

I meant to ask you how when everything seemed lost
And your fate was in a game of dice they tossed
There was still that line that you would never cross
At any cost


I meant to ask you how you lived what you believed
With nothing but your heart up your sleeve

And if you ever really were deceived
By the likes of me


Bang the drum slowly play the pipe lowly
To dust be returning from dust we begin
Bang the drum slowly I'll speak of things holy
Above and below me world without end

Gone now is the day and gone the sun
There is peace tonight all over Arlington
But the songs of my life will still be sung
By the light of the moon you hung


I meant to ask you how to plow that field
I meant to bring you water from the well
And be the one beside you when you fell
Could you tell


Bang the drum slowly play the pipe lowly
To dust be returning from dust we begin
Bang the drum slowly I'll speak of things holy

 
Above and below me world without end "