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(All languish in, sane, his palaces of lore
where truth floats stills by memory’s rigid lane
)

Indisciplined, he seeks
hot anguish to defeat?
His upswelled heart
burns charcoal at the core!

“You must,” he says,
“my fallacies endure;
feel me everything
then hand me
all your more.”

Moby

She’ll do anything for emoji
Each tap of phrase, a shameless chase
His sweet reply, her saving grace
Cracks a smile at the fine glass ceiling;
one goal she’s had with textual healing

Cast far and wide, Explorer Class
Heat seeking thrills, two types shall pass
and once you’re in, you’ll see her face
unCatholic in blank disgrace
Now steaming live, let’s start the show
(It’s this marquee just so you know)

MOBY
Lap dances with Calypso
in floral closets 
on wine soaked Sundays 
after noon

Wine-no!

Wine bottles on a Tuesday night.
Not only was I taking all types of prescription medicine on this particular evening, the chef made me sit in front of these bottles so I could stare at them. You should have seen the wicked smile on his face. Then he photobombed my iPad grab, twice. Do you understand what I have to deal with? I’m so happy I decided to go out. x SB

Thriving as a normal, friend type

Whenever I hear a woman cursing a man, I try to find out what kind of relationship they had. At one point, I placed some of the responsibility on women who have cultivated unrealistic expectations via  Ego Butter Barbie. Later, I objected to men using S/M bedroom games as an excuse to physically torture women.

Since then, I have come to understand that quite a few women have a high tolerance for mistreatment from intimate partners. One label does not fit every woman, but it is my understanding that they get a high from retelling the worst moments of their relationships.

I will never advocate for a woman to stay in a relationship with a man who mistreats her. Hearing such stories causes me a great deal of stress, so for me, there’s a fine line between unburdening to a friend and forcing that person to experience abuse vicariously.

Specifically, I would like to discuss when this unburdening happens after it is clear what an entanglement is all about: Banana milk. When milking is over, some women say they deserve a huge helping of chocolate and cry because it was not offered to them. They refuse to see the man’s passive aggressive attempt to extract himself from the situation. “Hey, I don’t like you. See, I’m treating you like garbage. Get it? I’m politely ignoring you. Take a hint, go away.”

There’s a difference between feeling let down and failing to respect the other’s right to choose to be in a relationship. When the latter happens, I feel that some women offer up dignity and sanity, hoping to bribe chocolate out of a cow that can only provide banana milk.

Take my batchmate in university, for example. She had a fling with a fellow dorm resident, who was engaged to a law student residing in the UK. My closest friend and I sat her down. She was in love and imagined that he was, too. We told her that if he has a girlfriend and they’re engaged, that’s a non starter. His love was only in her imagination.

He graduated at the end of the semester, cut off all communication and got married in London two weeks after that. I agreed to give her my telephone number, thinking that she was a normal, friend type. On the phone, she sighed these words over and over: “I miss him. He dumped me, you know. But I miss him. I love him. I miss him so much. I love him so much. I really miss him. I really love him. He left me. I miss him.” She was talking to herself and I was obliged to overhear.

In person, she would ask how my day was going. I only said it was okay because on cue, she would continue from the middle of the thought I interrupted with my presence. Out of context, she’d continue with, “After the trip there he said he was going to do that thing we talked about.” He, we. There, that. She was not content with driving herself bonkers. If she had her way, I was headed there, too.

Broken hearts feel bad. I was nursing a breakup, myself.  Fortunately, I saw that past the point of helping her to unburden so she could move on, I was enabling her unhealthy choices. The fix was easy. I gradually spent less time listening to her. Today, I smile because I realise that she might have burnt through several potential friends in this way.

Thriving, in the context of emotional health, is a complex set of conscious decisions. But to begin, we feel that something is not right and do something to mitigate a negative spiral. I thrive when I’m around self confident people, even if they don’t feel great at the moment.

Professionally trained listeners are paid to witness hand wringing and repeated retells. They may say that this is a healthy way to recover. They might object to my method of thriving after a breakup, calling it love on the rebound. On the contrary, I prefer to remember, while my batchmate was strumming her pain, I was happy recovering with the delectable coach of the water polo team.

Echeveria

Echeveria
Gouache on glossy paper.

This was a photograph of a rose echeveria pulled out of a copy of Bazaar. I’d used a Copic brush tip to write a poem on the petals but that didn’t turn out right. I’m glad I didn’t throw it away. x SB

 

Jagged ends (18 + only)

I might use florid language and possess a vivid imagination but I am bashful when it comes to all matters romantic. I grew up hearing soca music on the radio. Those people do not mess around. I mean, when a song tells you to “Ride the big truck” or “Come dig it,” just imagine the lyrical carnage involved. I also did not dare go outdoors during Carnival weekend.


Jamaica Carnival revellers. Photo credit: Lahwego

I cannot write erotica, so I appreciate poets like English Delicacy, who’s agreed to let me share excerpts from her work with you. I understand the point of romantic gestures, like poetry, but I am practical to a fault, so please make me a table or shovel snow. I don’t know how I would manage a traditional wedding ceremony because slowly walking an aisle while holding a bouquet of flowers is a cannot do. Also, never do this:

 
Public proposal. Mortifying. Photo credit: Getty Images via the BBC.

Romantic poetry is fascinating even though I’m pathologically squeamish. However, what I find is that I get completely put off at the end of some poems. They all start out with promise. From Kiss (Redux),

Stubble grazes skin, soft lips clustered
Background fades into itself, time stops
Held tight, strong, unyielding touch

In the middle, most poems subtly invite readers to follow along in their imagination. From Natural Feel,

How you talk, and how I listen.
The way that your voice glides over me,
Winding and flowing around us,
Binding us like a charm.

Great so far, and I feel that most poets know what to do with their hands. However, after this point, quite a few poems get jagged. I wrote the following lines to illustrate how endings sometimes sound to me:

He slips swell dagger out of sheath
And belts her roughly underneath
Then with fell and merciless wrath
Chris jams lancet…
up Anastaath

Exactly. It is scary and quite sudden. If someone writes me a poem that ends like a scene from the 50SOG film, I’ll switch into battle mode. And the only reason I’d entertain him after, is to see if he’ll say that again to my face.

 Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil : Retribution
via UniFrance.

My preferred ending for a poem resembles a luxurious helping of chocolate powder over a generous mound of whipped mascarpone. That way, when I’m having my tiramisu, I’ll take a few extra seconds to lick my spoon. At the end, I should be Distracted:

Can’t keep my mind on anything.
Ain’t it grand?

Enjoy more spoon licking poetry at English Delicacy’s blog.

Leaving Melancholia

Bingo! A failed attempt, first time ever
Is it a great night if it hadn’t put you in melancholia?
No alternative in your mind
Guess I was delusional but we see
Vodka wasn’t helpful in childhood
Tequila ain’t into you, boss
Scotch really made me smile, at last
Not feeling egotistical
I am too lazy to evolve
But let me know a good reason
Still need some solid part of you to hate

Notes 5/3

There are no rules for blogging and I bear this in mind when visiting blogs. Even though I understand and respect this difference, I need to get something off my chest, so please bear with me. Basically, these notes highlight some things bloggers do to lose readers and alienate supporters.

After printing, reading and rereading (as well as completing an abstract painting inspired by) a lengthy fiction story, the author has not responded to my comment. It’s still sitting there on his blog. I had to defend myself the last time someone got on my case about no feedback. As you can imagine, this is a really frustrating situation to be in. I can’t win, no matter what I do.

One aspect of hygiene I’d hinted at was that at times, authors and supporters might feel that a reader’s attention is romantically motivated.


If I visit a blog, do I want to make out with the author and do stuff, provided they’re over the age of 21, even though we’ve never met in person, have never spent any quality time together and I only know them as aliases? Go ahead, ask me.

But let me comment on the sense making of having a public blog, with tags that are visible in reader, leaving the comments open and like buttons active, expecting people to read, being proud of our work and mislabeling support. If someone supports us, there is no need to rush down what I call the fantasy rabbit hole.

The blogs affected by fantasy rabbit activity have a comparatively low subscriber count; low support per post compared to other bloggers with the same subscriber count; and limited variety in reader interactions. In other words, it is natural that bloggers will avoid hostility. Common sense, you say.


Prude close up
… support from “bras” (as opposed to “bros”) from Prude.

But don’t take my word for it, please experience Interview with Demandire yourself while getting ready for work on a Saturday morning.  What is gained, in actual fact? Approval: One like per him, per post, if he remembers.

Here’s one more way to chase readers from a blog with interesting content, decrease peer support and reduce interactivity. Once, a blogger warned me about his wife because I typed xo at the end of a comment. Misunderstandings are common, but that was taking it a bit too far. I did NOT want to sloppy wet x and o him while moaning.

Another example? I read posts before and after publishing and imagine what readers might think I am saying. Otherwise, if I don’t know what I said, when responding to a comment, I might sound like Tarzan:

Tarzan 2

To me, every reader’s eyeball on my Gravatar is a 25 carat conflict free pink diamond, offered with no strings attached. Continued support is the polished stone, set in white gold.

At this point, I ask myself: What would a professional do?

Landscape

image
Gouache on collage

After ruining two paintings in one week (the collage under this being the second), I had an epiphany. In Chapter 5, the Princess climbs to the top of the mountain to get a clear view of the landscape. However, she realises that she cannot, on her own, ever get to the bottom of it. I decided to paint that.

50SOC

image

On Tue, 6/9/15, 11:06 AM, She <luv_luv_v@craycray.com> wrote:

Bodies taut and tumbled
Clothes mangled in the day
Oh what a sight we were, dear
For tourists on the bay

On Tue, 6/9/15, 11:09 AM, He <whatev_v@man.com> wrote:

So drenched we were in water
Just fiery hot like toast
Now must you run along, dear
The boss might rump your roast

On Tue, 6/9/15, 11:11 AM, She <luv_luv_v@craycray.com> wrote:

If only eyes could see us
If ears could hear as well
We’d rumple wrinkly socks off
Let’s write a kiss and tell

On Tue, 6/9/15, 11:42 AM, He <whatev_v@man.com> wrote:

That’s all my time for now dear
My schedule’s got a bloat
Don’t call me back again here
I’ll toss you in the moat

If people heard you talking
Those red flags they would say
She might be lost without him?
Or fifty shades of cray!

 

Prude

Prude

Collage, one Saturday morning

x (∿°○°)∿ ︵ ǝʌol
Love is free and I am an equal opportunity ego butterer.
x (。♥‿♥。) 1000%  ( ⋆•ิ ᴈ-ิ(ᵕ❥ ᵕ⁎ ॢ) x
Sabiscuit

… continued in Notes 5/3 

Zoolander

image
For you, Zoolanders, for gracing the cover of your own LIFE.
Thank you for your support and have a fabulous weekend.

Gelato

image

One of the best things about having friends who run a patisserie is that when you walk in with a certain face they know exactly what you need to have. I had a “you need a chocolate and hazelnut parfait with strawberries in it” face.

I’d never had gelato there before so it was a marvel they called it correctly. Chef hid behind a column to announce he’d had no time to make macarons. Of course, I had a mini wail (sorry, Lola, no video) and then I decided to replace the hazelnut with pistachio.

Those chocolate truffles, though. Palm rolled. Parfait.

Envy, as seen from the Halcyon Pond

Guest post by Nadia
Reflections on Halcyon Pond & The World Beyond Halcyon Pond
Remarks on Envy™, The Food Drink of Glampions

Envy is the sin that “looks with grudging hatred upon other men’s gifts and good fortune, taking every opportunity to run them down or deprive them of their happiness. (Dorothy Sayers Purgatory, Notes on Canto XIII)

It is an impoverished soul who seeks to deprive others of their happiness. It’s bad enough that any soul would want to diminish others. The end result should bring them pleasure, but it rarely does.

The soul’s poverty can be so deep that it cannot be filled, at least not from outside sources. They take from others but with no positive returns, the result is a net negative. And that is what I appreciated about your post. First, envy is poisonous and second, it is fed by people’s “twisted opinion of themselves”.

I know sin isn’t everyone’s thing, but I went back to Dante’s work because envy is among the seven cardinal sins. I believe we have lost sight of just how poisonous it is. It took me a long time to understand that much of what others say in conversation is actually a reflection of what they’re saying to themselves. And so much of what a person sees of another is distorted by their image of themselves.

You wrote of the triad of Envy : Insecurity : Defensiveness. There was podcast on This American Life recently that brought this into astonishing focus for me. A female comic was being asked about the comments posted by trolls on her site. The producer found the person posting some of the worst comments. There is a brilliant section where the troll is being interviewed and asked about his motivations. And it all came back to his self-hatred. He was chastened when he realized what he was doing.

I could go on further about this, but it’s the second half of the post that I’m especially drawn to. I think you move off the subject of envy and on to something even more important, and that is shining our own light. I’m going to interpret very loosely here and say it’s about courage.

The courage to try not knowing if you’ll succeed. No, that’s not it. It’s the courage to try, without even having a measure of what success might be. To not even take an accounting of success or failure.

I’ve spent hours in the Picasso Museum (Picasso fascinates me), which has an exhaustive collection of his works. Much of what’s hanging on the walls is awful. But when you walk through and study all his work, you can see how each phase of his art built on the phases before and how he extended himself from an expert representational artist to the crazy, wonderful artist he became by exploring step-by-step without fear and certainly without giving a damn what anyone thought of what he produced.

May I suggest that you consider reposting the second half of this piece focusing on shining our own lights without being distracted by “two dimensional tokens of achievement.” I, like you, “want to thrive in a world of talented, bright shining stars.” For creativity to thrive there is no failure, just trials along the path of discovery. And each trial is a stepping-stone to the next thing to try, to the next idea.

Gift me Heaven (Fleurs de Sade)

 

I’m standing in a crater, boyo
Feel like reading it before
wine skins bookmark my Bible
like conversations with my soul

Our world must have been
spinning out of control
Inner ground shifts
evolving patches of earth

We become addicted to the stillness:
Thoughtful searching for John Lennon
makes me want to booze
I think Jesus was like that

His Lordship has been
kind of amazing to watch
We misunderstood your Master Map, boyo
Cover that heart of you, young boy
Master, lord, master, boyo, master

God morphs in our beautiful retail therapy caves
Dirt happens when you’re making plans
We shall need awe and a little of
that attitude with the grapes, Master Vintner

Sex in the bottle answered those same questions
so we don’t have to deal with them truthfully
Kindred spirits knocked at the wrong sunrise
Breathe fear
Sorry
Smile
Submit reply
unless of course, there’s no audio

Image updated 2020/08/24: Angels by Luigi Boccardo via Unsplash