Tuesday, May 31, 2011

STAND-IN/ Short Story Slam 2

Short Story Slam- Week 2


The first time I met John Wayne was at a seance.  Every Monday night my ex-husband's Aunt Tilda James and Uncle Brice James held a seance in the dim great room of their house in the Hollywood Hills.  That house has since slid into oblivion.  It happened many years ago, during one of the hugely violent mudslides that sealed the fate of most houses built on the precipice.

Uncle Brice was John Wayne's stand-in.  The above photo of stalwart, heroic John Wayne, was the last seen of him in that particular take.  He dismounted for a smoke, Uncle Brice rode off into the sunset, camera's on him.  Then shot in the back.  So it went.  Most of the time it was Uncle Brice who took it on the chin.

Ex and I had just arrived in L.A.  We checked into a motel, were young enough to to make plans for Disneyland.  And visit Jake's assorted relatives in the movie business.  A historical oddity, they were in Hollywood for ages, panning for the gold of stardom.  The highest the men got was as pals to the star, or stand-ins.  The women worked as receptionists.  Only Aunt Tilda James was used for her resemblance to Barbara Stanwyck.  It was those eyes.

They bought a haunted house on purpose.  For its connections to the other world, and its view, no matter how precipitous.  Aunt Tilda said she saw something very sensitive in me, and I would be an asset at a seance that night.  My only familiarity with ghosts was Casper.  I was quick in wanting out, already feeling creepy crawlies up my spine from the darkness in the afternoon and the creaking floors.  And then Uncle Brice mentioned that John Wayne would be there, a big fan of the netherworld shenanigans that were bound to surface.

Still haven't washed that spot on my cheek(ha ha) where John Wayne kissed me.  Anyway, after the initial summoning of spirits, I saw a shape shifter fly across the room, my Ex kept giggling and John Wayne fell asleep.

copyright/ all rights reserved/ 2011


Sunday, May 29, 2011

STORM/ Poetry Potluck #37

FOR THIS WEEK'S  Poetry Potluck #37. ...Thunderstorms, Floods and Water Fury.  All around us...nature runs amok.  Heartfelt sympathy to those who've lost so much.


On the shelf of the world
sits a cup of tears,
an ark in an endless flood.
It overflows
with a never-ending stream.

Two by two
build a bridge of sighs,
crying out
from alpha to omega.

Across the sky
an electric flare quivers
in the hand of fury.

Shadowy thunder
echoes an agreement
in operatic blasts,
always the handmaiden
of lightning.

We still greet each dawn
with hope,
while falling from grace
since a minute after Eden.

copyright/ all rights reserved/ 2011

Saturday, May 28, 2011

YELLOW/ Monday Photo Prompt

                            photo/ Eric Alder/ BifocalUnivision Monday's Photo Prompt


Breath born seeds of time,
carrying the secrecy
of perfect yellow.

copyright/ all rights reserved/ 2011

Thank you, Eric Alder, for letting me know about Monday's Photo Prompt..so happy to jump in!!


Thursday, May 26, 2011


I LIKE THE PROMPTS put out by Poet's and Writer's Magazine.  Today...browse through your collection of photos, choose an image and write a poem inspired by it.  Being an Aries, to me that means, "NOW"!  And finish it immediately.  My DNA demands it.  Why not try it?


Remember when I was more
than a silhouette,
not yet a specter?
You'd call my name
and I'd come to you.

Suddenly there'd be heat in the room,
we knew where it was going.

The walls
accompanied our sighs
with a drumbeat,

a hit song once again, perfect.

From that wired dimension
I danced along the divides,

enclosed by trickery,
not suspicious
that I had started to sift,

so unaware that my home
had always been an hourglass.

copyright/all rights reserved/ 2011


Monday, May 23, 2011

MAGPIE/ Prompt #67

                                                     Nicolas Tournier/ Magpie Tales

LUNCH BREAK/ Spoiler Alert!

National Enquirer has the first pics of the stars during a lunch break, on the set of the blockbuster Dreamworks 3D version of "Romeo and Juliet..and Dracula".

"No matter how hard they try...they will never die".  Already the catch phrase of the year!

Lady Gaga, a pale and virginal Juliet, passes the publicity shots to Russell Crowe,(a hefty Friar Laurence), who checks them, gets gravy on half of them.

As the undead Count Paris,(Daniel Day Lewis, left, flirting with vampire extra), in a daring portrayal, leaps, dances, seduces and sucks.

The Count gets a grip on Nurse,(Helen Mirren), who then enters Juliet's chamber to dress her for the ball.  Juliet likes the touch of ruby red on Nurse's lips.  Soon enough...

In a dreamlike sequence, Montagues and Capulets chase each other and blood happens.  Juliet is caught in a deadly embrace by a masked man.  Fatal kisses are blown and caught.  Capulet cries out, "My kingdom for a stake".

The entire original score, (by Lady Gaga), is played on a single Lute, by the gifted hands of the not yet dead Romeo, Ashton Kutcher,(seen rehearsing).

The stars can't wait to complete work on this lavish film, where the stakes are very high indeed!

Thanks, Tess, for the opportunity to play with this wonderful painting!

copyright/all rights reserved/ 2011


Sunday, May 22, 2011

THE SKETCH/ Poetry Potluck #36

                                                            Edgar Degas

This week's Poetry Potluck #36, brought to mind a time gone by, when I used to go to Greenwich Village with my friends, and just hang out.  We liked the art exhibits and one day an artist asked me to pose for him.  For free..so people would stop, admire his work, and want a sketch. 
I was about 15 at the time and it sounded like a good deal to me, because I got to keep the sketch.


The wind blew dust from the sidewalk
in little whirlpools,
picked up a smudge of blue
that flaked from the pastel crayon.

It lodged in the corner of my eye.
I squinted, as the artist
sketched my face one Sunday afternoon.
I sat for him in the shifting glare
and shadow of a chiaroscura day.

Placing a chair beside the Arch
in Washington Square,
I posed as the Little Dancer at rest.

The artist appraised the pose,
moved my hand to my chin.

A beret tilted over his windswept hair.
Tourists stopped, stared at me.

Sketched with hints of Degas,
a dot of chalk blue
appeared as a tear in my eye.

copyright/ all rights reserved/2011


Friday, May 20, 2011

NOODLE SALAD/ Peanut Sauce

LOW FAT AND DELICIOUS!!  Who can resist those words.. This is just your basic Cold Noodle Salad...maybe with a couple of new twists.  On the hottest day,(or for me, any day...mmmmmgood) this is fast, easy, yummy!


1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tsps. grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic
red pepper flakes to taste
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. sesame oil
8 oz. dry spaghetti
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 seedless cucumber, julienned
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions

1.  Combine peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, water and sesame oil, in blender or food processor.  Puree until smooth.  Add more water if needed.  Set aside.

2.  Cook spaghetti according to directions, drain and cool.

3.  In large bowl, add spaghetti, chicken, carrots, cucumbers, red peppers and scallions.  Pour half of sauce over mix.  Toss to coat, adding more if necessary.

4.  Serve with remaining sauce on the side.  Serves 4.

For vegetarian version, omit chicken or use tofu instead.

Based on a recipe in iVillage.


Monday, May 16, 2011

MAGPIE/ Prompt #66

                                                    photo/ tess kincaid/ magpie tales

I WROTE THIS POEM about a week before MAG 66 was posted.  I somehow knew there would be a match up, and soon, I hoped.  Tess, thanks for the wave length...


There is an authentic place
for all of us,
where we pull
the blanket of comfort
up to our chin,
and dream through
a universe of wonder
and discovery.

A genius, a prodigy
may have that
one true blessing,
that who am I?
handed to them on silver.

Most of us are not that lucky.
I was a tourist in my life
till a minute ago.

That's when I started
to assemble the blocks,
the alphabet,
and noticed that some
called this writing.

I finally arrived,
opened that door,
was able to yell out,
"Honey, I'm home".

copyright/ all rights reserved/ 2011


Sunday, May 15, 2011

POWER/ Poetry Potluck #35

                                                                  Bodiam Castle

I WAS CHARMED by the idea of this week's Poetry Potluck #35Fortresses, Castles, Palaces and Royal Houses!  Bound to be intriguing...


You are a fortress.
The mighty build a deep moat,
but I am the Sun.

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Short Story Slam #1...

                                                           photo/ short story slam

GREAT IDEA...a Short Story Slam!!  An inspirational photo, and off we go...

Paulie dear, I do give you full credit for coming up with that super name, "WE'VE GOT AIRS".  Balloons..air..why didn't I think of it?  By the way, babe, I'd like to know why the Department of Hot Air Balloons has sent a Man in Black to snoop around.  Seems they're looking for some guy, Doyle.  Disappeared.  Like I would know? 

Sit down and listen to me Paulie.  I sort of remember, way way back, some guy named Doyle was with the Balloon Goons, the Spy Division.  I only heard in passing.  He fooled around before the Satellites.  So I heard.  Skimming the rooftops of Moscow.  That's all I know.  They say he was the first to test the invisibility factor.  Never got caught.  He thought he was invisible.  Maybe he still is.  That's why nobody can find him now.

I don't know why you think that this frou frou wedding cake of a balloon is an espionage balloon.  I don't care what they whisper about me. This is my business.  I deliver Happy Birthday surprises.  Like the six strippers we just dropped off at the Playboy Mansion.  Guess they needed one more babe in that joint.  That's what I do Paulie, pick 'em up and drop'em off.  Surprise!

So funny that you think I might have anything to do with this I Spy nonsense.  Do you think the Heffner drop was a mission?  Did I leave my cloak and dagger lying around?

What do you mean you think you saw him lurking around here.  You can't know what he looks like.  I didn't think you'd ever heard of him.  I surely never saw him.  Never.  I was kidding about a Spy Division.  Comic book stuff.  Not for real. 

But if the Guy in Black asks you if you saw Doyle, it's best to say, Doyle, who's Doyle? 

copyright/all rights reserved/ 2011

Monday, May 9, 2011

MAGPIE/ Prompt #65

                                                    photo/ Tess Kincaid/ Magpie Tales

WHAT A POWERFUL IMAGE for this week's Magpie Tales.  A favorite saint, lead me on....


I will be a saint one day too,
threading a needle of hope
and genuflected to.

Martyrs haven't owned this title yet,
the Patron Saint of Worker Bees
and Violins.

For the amber flow
of honey
in a hexagon geometry,
pray to me.

If you play a Stradivari,
do the same.

Saints give up their skeletons,
I pluck a string
with a sliver of mine.

My world is a reliquary,
I have holy bones too,
and bless the honeyed tea.

*Mandolira...a musical instrument.

copyright/ all rights reserved/ 2011


Sunday, May 8, 2011

ARC OF THE RAINBOW/ Poetry Potluck #34

WHO CAN RESIST this week's Poetry Potluck #34 ?
Color, Spring, and RainbowCount me in...


I stood in the green arc
of the rainbow,
the other colors hovering,
waiting to absorb me,
make me red or yellow.

But blue, itself heavenly,
lifted me upwards
towards the sky.

All pooled into white,
a light turned on,

the beckoning path,
where familiar faces
looked my way,
hands waving me on.

But I decided to go back,
carrying a pot of gold,
hoping to spend it well.

copyright/all rights reserved/ 2011


Monday, May 2, 2011

MAGPIE/ Prompt #64


                                      Clarence Holbrook Carter    1904-2000

This week's Magpie Tales caught my eye with this strong and maternal painting, "Smoldering Fires".  For me it highlights the inate protectiveness of motherhood, an apt thought with Mother's Day just around the corner.  May all Mothers be surrounded by love and joy.


You baked, flour sprinkling on the linoleum,
as I stole a sweet bit of dough,
a lucky charm when a raisin was tucked inside,
and I couldn't wait for the cake
and a sip of your coffee.

Your cheeks went rosy, Mom,
without a touch of the makeup you loved,
the Maybelline mascara tucked behind
the Tangee in that messy drawer,
where I learned to pinch a moment of stardom.

And that was what we did best,
going to the movies.
Collecting a free china plate
on Wednesday afternoons
and looking ahead
to the triumph of the complete set
by the end of the year,
when we could finally eat dinner
like Katherine and Cary.

We worshiped at the palace
of Loew's Paradise,
where adulation came easily,
falling in love with Robin Hood,
swaying with Ginger in the arms of Fred.

We went home and I slipped
into your red wedgies,
prancing while you kneaded the dough,
till you promised to take me
to dancing school
where I might find a Fred of my own.

Copyright/All rights reserved/ 2011


Sunday, May 1, 2011

OUT OF THE BLUE/ Poetry Potluck #33

THIS WEEK'S Poetry Potluck #33, presents us with the opportunity to deal with our Doubts, Fears, Inhibitions and Hesitations.  What weighs me down the most?  I hesitate to tell you...


A friend schedules a seance.
I'm the ghost.
I come through
but it's Greek to me.

That makes two of us
who wonder
what my spirit is up to.

I fear my soul
may have
a separate language,
and it's one
I do not speak.

Out of the blue
I start scattering
revealing secrets,

and everyone
gets the message
but me,

because I still
haven't learned
the true
heart to heart
of Heaven.

copyright/ all rights reserved/ 2011



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