Friday, January 27, 2012

Hear ye, Hear ye

 Bob Dylan Official Website
Two iconic forces that have impacted the past half century -  Amnesty International and Bob Dylan –  are being saluted by 80 musicians in Chimes of Freedom.
Order "Chimes of Freedom", a four-CD collection of Bob Dylan songs, recorded by 80 artists in support of Amnesty International.

In January 1961, on a cold snowy evening in Greenwich Village, a twenty-year-old Bob Dylan, fresh out of Minnesota, began his professional career in earnest playing at a hole-in-the-wall coffee house. A few months later, the British lawyer Peter Benenson and some friends in London launched the campaign that became Amnesty International. 

It was a coincidence. Yet from the start, Dylan’s artistic work and Amnesty’s political work drew on a common sensibility that ultimately changed the world.
For half a century, Amnesty has pressed to secure the fundamental human rights of the persecuted and imprisoned across the globe. Over that same half century, Dylan’s art has explored and expressed the anguish and hope of the modern human condition. 

Read the complete liner notes by Sean Wilentz 
Chimes of Freedom is dedicated to people worldwide who are unjustly imprisoned or threatened for the peaceful expression of their beliefs.  Amnesty International encourages all those who are inspired by Dylan’s music to take action on behalf of people like:
  • Jabbar Savalan – Youth activist in Azerbaijan who was detained after using Facebook. Savalan was released on December 26th, 2011 after Amnesty International members took action on his case
  • Women of Zimbabwe Arise – Human rights defenders who have been repeatedly harassed, intimidated, beaten and jailed by authorities
  • Liu Xiaobo – Nobel Peace Prize laureate imprisoned in China for seeking political reforms
Learn more and take action on these individuals and others

(Just trying to help the cause by spreading the word - Leo)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wish Fish

Eudora Welty

Edi says we mustn’t eat the wish fish.  They’re for comp’ny.  Three little blue tins with gold letters  an’ a key t’ open ‘em up with when Edi is good an’ ready.   What comp’ny?  That’s what I’d like t’ know.  We haven’t had no comp’ny in ages an’ I don’t suppose any is comin’ in the near future now that the bridge is out an’ the only way t’ reach us is by swimmin’ the Muddy Viper.  Daddy says he’ll fix the bridge when we get a break in the weather, providin’ he can find his saw.  He’s always leavin’ his things all over tarnation,  an’ when he can’t find ‘em,  he accuses me or somebody else of snitchin’ ‘em; as if I would snitch a saw.  I scoured the woods yesterday, lookin’ high an’ low, an’ I couldn’t find that saw nowheres.  It aint in the shed, neither.   

Daddy says it’s very mysterious how his saw just up an’ disappeared an’ he’s not about t’ waste his precious time lookin’ for it when in all likelihood a no-good thief snuck onto our property an’ made off with it.  Edi rolled her eyes at that and said, “Really Franklin, why would anybody in their right mind swim that muddy crick an’ risk gettin’ bit by a Moccasin jus’ so they could swipe your rusty ol’ saw, ‘specially when there’s so much good stuff layin’ around?”

Daddy leaned back as far as he could in his rocker, an’ usin’ his hand t’ shield his eyes from the blazin’ sun, he scanned the property lookin’ for the good stuff Edie was talkin’ about.  “Like what?” he said.  “What good stuff?”

She looked aroun’ for somethin’ good t’ single out, but it was just her eyes that moved, unlike Daddy who moved his whole head real slow an’ looked over each one of his shoulders.   Edi stood straight as a poker with her arms folded across her chest.  She was standin’ on one leg an’ leanin’ up against the porch wall with her right knee bent an’ her right foot pressed flat against the wall t’ keep her balance.  Edi is always standin’ on one leg.  She seems t’ favor the left one over the right one most of the time.  Finally she spied her Schwinn bike layin’ on its side under the cedar trees.  Poke weed was growin’ up b’tween the spokes of the front wheel an’ the seat was chewed up by the goat.   “Like my Schwinn bicycle, that’s what,” she said.  “People steal bicycles all the time, yet mine ain’t been stolen even though it lays over their in broad daylight just beggin’ for it.”

We were all out on the front porch tryin’ t’ get a little bit of air cause it was so hot an’ stuffy inside.  We’ve been havin’ a real bad hot spell an’ all of us were cranky.  Daddy had his bare feet up on the old potbelly that we used before we got the new one.  We have plenty of rockin’ chairs, six of ‘em on the porch and more indoors, but Daddy won’t sit on none but his own cause his is rickety, and accordin’ to Daddy, a rickety old rocker is full of su’prises. Yuh never know when it’s goin’ ‘t give out.  “I like the element of su’prise.” he says, “ It keeps a man like me on his toes, waitin’ and wonderin’.  The best ride a rockin’ chair can ever give yuh is its last ride.  Jus’ before yer ass hits the floor, man,  …. yuh get such a rush, …. there ain’t nothin’ like it, not even at the carnival.” 

Daddy always has somethin’ in his mouth.  If it ain’t a cigarette, it’s a match , or a piece o’ straw, or a blade o’ grass.  Anything he can grip with his teeth, shift about with his tongue, roll back an’ forth b’tween his lips.  “Now, tell me somethin’ , Edi,” he said, twirlin’ a long splinter o’ porch wood b’tween his teeth.  “If you was a thief, an’ you was fixin’ t’ steal yerself  somethin’ o’ value, would it be that bicycle over there, with one wheel missin’ mind yuh, or would it be my saw, which by the way, happens t’ be one of a kind, an’ which, by the way, they jus’ don’t make no more, an’ which, by the way, would bring a real nice price if it fell into the hands o’ one o’ them  antique dealers like the one I saw snoopin’ aroun’ not too long ago over there on the other side o’ the crick?”

“Franklin, you mus’ think I’m some kind o’ a dumb cluck,”  said Edi.  “You went an’ hid that saw of yours on purpose, an’ I know it.  Yuh don’t want t’ fix that bridge ‘cause number one, yer lazy, an’ number two, yuh don’t want me t’ have no comp’ny.  Well, guess what, Franklin,” she said, before she stomped away, “I jus’ now forgot where I put my fryin’ pan, so I guess you won’t be havin’ no sautéed squirrel an’ poke weed, will yuh now?”

Daddy got a big kick out o’ that one an’ laughed so hard he choked on his cigarette smoke.  I took advantage of the situation, or tried to, by suggestin’ that since Edi wasn’t goin’ t’ fix dinner, it might be a good time t’ open up the wish fish.  Daddy said, “Go get ‘em, baby,” but Edi was too quick an’ beat me to it.  They weren’t on the kitchen shelf no more.  She must’ve hid ‘em, or took ‘em with her t’ wherever she went t’ steam an’ sulk. 

I boiled us some eggs, soft, an’ we ate ‘em out on the porch right out o’ their shells with a spoon.  Three a piece, an’ a plate o’ saltines along with ‘em.  Daddy burped good an’ loud when he was done, winked at me an’ said “Who needs Edi?”   I didn’t laugh ‘cause I knew he didn’t mean it, an’ he didn’t laugh neither.  I wished he did.  

I could never love Edi so there’s no sense in pretendin’.  I put up with her, that’s all.  She’s only ten years older ‘an me and sleepin’ with my father, an  even though her and Daddy both say it isn’t true, I know it’s Edi’s fault my mother went away.  I was only five years old, but I remember how good it was before she started hangin’ ‘round our place actin’ like she was my mother’s friend, askin’ my mother t’ teach her embroid’ry, crochetin’, all that fancy handwork my mother did so good.  As young as I was, I knew somethin’ wasn’t right.  Long before my mother knew, I knew. 

My mother’s name is Maria.  She’s been gone for three years.  I remember the day she left jus’ like it was yesterday.  It was the first of October, my seventh birthday, and it was a beautiful, sweet smellin’ Saturday.  She made me a chocolate cake with vanilla icing sprinkled all over with lots and lots of coconut.  I helped ‘er shred the coconut  an’ I skinned my finger up pretty good with the grater.  I cried ‘cause it stung so bad and it was bleedin’.  She washed it up under some cold water, an’ then she kissed it an’ put a band aid on it.  I was worried ‘cause some blood dripped int’ the bowl o’ coconut.  “Don’t worry, Baby Cakes,” she said, “a little bit o’ blood ain’t goin’ t’ kill nobody.”   I loved it when she called me Baby Cakes.  My real name is Lindabel.  Lindabel Ritter.  Anyway, after she fixed up my finger, we put seven pink candles on my cake an’ we sat on the porch steps drinkin’ root beer an’ waitin’ for Daddy t’ get home from town with my birthday present an’ strawberry ice cream. 

It was after dark when Daddy’s truck pulled up in the driveway next to the shed. He could hardly walk he was so drunk, an’ the ice cream was all melted. It was runnin’ down the seat an’ drippin’ on t’ the floor. I looked but I didn’t see no birthday present. My mother was mad as the dickens. They had a big fight with a whole lot o’ yellin’ and cussin’ an' throwin’ things all over the place. Finally, my mother said, “I’ve had it, Franklin," an' went to her room slammin’ the door behind her so hard that the Blessed Virgin Mary flew off the wall an’ smashed ont’ the floor. I swept up the glass int’ the dust pan an’dumped it int’ the trash can. A little piece o’ glass got int’ my big toe an’ I had t’ dig it out with a sewin’ needle. I lit a match an' burned the end of the needle first. That's what my mother always did.

Daddy fell asleep on the couch with a cigarette still burnin’ b’tween his fingers. I put it out in the ashtray an’ sat in the kitchen doin’ crosswords an’ waitin’ for him to wake up an’ her t’ come out o’ her room so we could light up my candles an’ cut my cake. After a while I tried t’ wake him up by shakin’ him and yellin’ in his ear, “Wake up! It’s my birthday!” He jus’ rolled over an’ put his head under the pillow. I went t’ my mother’ room. She was in bed but she wasn’t sleepin’. I asked her when we were goin' t' light my candles. She didn’t answer. She jus’ stared straight ahead like I wasn’t there. When I put my arms aroun’ her she pushed me away an’ said, “Let me be.” I got myself a pillow an’ a blanket an’ fell t' sleep on the floor next t’ her bed.

When I woke up the next morning my mother was gone. I haven’t seen ‘er since. My cake stayed on the kitchen table fer two weeks. I kept thinkin’ an’ hopin’ everyday that she would come home an’ we would light my candles an’ they would sing Happy Birthday t’ me an’ everything would be fine the way it used t’ be, but that never happened.  Finally one day I said, “I give up,” jus the way my mother said it, an' then I got a pack o’ matches an’ carried my cake down t’ the crick. I lit up my seven candles an’ threw that darned cake off the bridge an' int’ the muddy water. I don't remember makin' a wish. But if I did, I have a feelin' it was somethin’ awful. Whenever I think about that time all I remember is the sound o’ the cake hittin’ the water. But the strange thing is, in my mind it feels like I am the one hittin' the water an’ I am the one sinkin' t’ the very bottom.

As far as I’m concerned, the bridge can stay out forever.  There’s no place I want t’ go an’ no one I really want to see except my mother.  I guess Daddy feels the same way.  Ever since his truck broke down, right before the bridge did, we have been goin’ without a lot o’ things that most folks would call necessities.  Like real milk, for one thing, an’ butter.  Lucky for us though,we have a whole pantry full of canned goods ‘cause Daddy always did believe in storin’ up fer bad times.  Plus, he’s good with a shotgun so we always have some kind o’ game on the table.  As mean as I feel about Edi, I have t’ admit she has a way with squirrel.  She makes the best squirrel I ever tasted, an’ rabbit too.  I miss bacon an’ I miss ribs, an’ I sure wouldn’t mind dunking some oreo cookies in a big cold glass o’ milk.  But, all in all, I can’t say I’m bein’ deprived o’ nothin’ important, as far as food goes that is. 

When Edi gets her period she rants an’ raves an’ acts like it’s the end o’ the world cause she has t’ use rags instead of them kotex things.  She swears she’s goin’ t’ leave ev’ry month when it comes her time, but she never does no matter how hard I hope an’ pray.  Daddy thinks it’s funny when she carries on like that an’ offers to saddle up the pony for her.  We don’t have a pony.  She calls him all sorts o’ names an’ throws things at ‘im ‘til he can’t stand it no more an’ goes off t’ the woods with his shotgun.  I usually trail along behind him ‘cause there ain’t no way I’m goin’ t’ stay at home with Edi when she’s actin’ like a crazy person.  I don’t have t’ worry ‘bout that kotex stuff yet, an’ I’m glad of it.  An’ I’ll tell  y’ another thing, when it does come my time, no one’s goin’ t’ know ‘bout it but me, myself, an’ I.  I can’t see broadcastin’ that kind o’ stuff.  I suppose I might whisper it t’ my mother if I had one, if she ever decided t’ come back , which Daddy says ain’t likely t’ happen anytime soon. 

I will be eleven in two months.  Daddy says there’s a chance the truck will be fixed by then an’ we can take the back road int’ town, jus’ me an’ him, an’ go t’ a movie.  That sure would be nice.  He says soon as the heat lets up he will get some motivation.  Part o’ me believes him an’ part o’ me don’t.  Sometimes, when night  is jus’ startin’ t’ fall, like it is right now, an’ the two o’ us are  sittin’ on the porch doin’ nothin’, I look at him in his rickety old rocker an’ it seems t’ me that he will fall apart before it does.  That he’ll be the one t’ give out first, an’ the rocker ’ill keep on rockin’ without him.  Daddy won’t feel a thing an’ the rockin’ chair  ‘ill get that kick he sits there waitin’ for all the time.  Now that’s downright crazy, ain’t it?  I don’t know what makes me think such nutty stuff, but I do, an’ there’s no two ways about it.  It’s a darn good thing people can’t read my mind.

We got the wish fish from the Hungarians down in Sugar Hollow b’tween our mountain which is called Ritter, an’ the mountain Gramma lives on which is called Fry.  Daddy is a Ritter, of course, an’ Edi is a Fry.  Gramma used t’ be a Ritter, but now she’s a Fry.  That’s ‘cause she married Edi’s Uncle Butch Fry after Grampa died from a snake bite.  Daddy says the folks on Ritter got a lot more sense than the folks on Fry, who accordin’ to Daddy, are dumb as stumps ‘cause they got too much monkey business goin’ on over there.  What kind o’ monkey business I don’t know.  Daddy says I don’t need t’ know, all I need t’ do is thank my lucky stars God made me a Ritter instead o’ a Fry.  He don’t talk to Gramma no more ‘cause she married Butch. What I can’t figure out is this, if Daddy hates them Frys so much, why’d he go an’ get himself mixed up with Edi Fry?  I’m thinkin’ it must have somethin’ t’ do with monkey business.

My mother is a Romanelli who came from Philadelphia on a Grey Hound bus that broke down somewhere near here, I forget jus’ where at the moment.  If that bus didn’t break down I’d o’ never been born.   The bus was goin’ to California an’ my mother was goin’ to live there with her sister Rita in San Francisco, but she never got there ‘cause she met Daddy first an’ that was the end o’ that.  Daddy was workin’ as a handyman at the Clinton Arms hotel where  all the people on the  bus were put up ‘til the bus got fixed. My mother said it was love at first sight b’tween her and Daddy an’ that later on that night they took off on his motorcycle clear up to the tippity top of Ritter Mountain where they made me.  She was sixteen an’ Daddy was goin’ on twen’ny eight.  I am a love child.  That’s what my mother always said.

The Széchenyi Chain Bridge (Hungarian: Lánchíd) is a suspension bridge that spans the River DanubeBuda and Pest, the western and eastern sides of Budapest, the capital of Hungary. It was the first permanent bridge across the Danube in Budapest, and was opened in 1849 between

At the time of its construction, it was regarded as one of the modern world's engineering wonders. It has asserted an enormous significance in the country's economic, social and cultural life, much as the Brooklyn Bridge has in New York and America. Its decorations made of cast iron, and its construction, radiating calm dignity and balance, have elevated the Chain Bridge to a high stature in Europe. It became a symbol of advancement, national awakening, and the linkage between East and West.

I started tellin’ y’ ‘bout the Hungarians, Viktor n’ Rozsa.  They’re from Philadelphia too, but they were both born in Budapest.  Rozsa is from Buda an’ Viktor is from Pest.  They met on a bridge while he was walkin’ t’ Buda an’ she was walkin’ to Pest.   I like Rozsa a lot.  She’s got a statue o’ the Blessed Virgin Mary on her dresser an’ a crucifix on her bedroom wall.  The crucifix opens up an’ inside’s a little bottles o’ holy water an’ special oil an’ candles to light when somebody’s goin’ t’ die.  My mother is a Catholic an’ she wanted me t’ be one too.  Jus’ b’fore my seventh birthday she signed me up for classes so’ I could learn how t’ be a Catholic an’ make my First Holy Communion.  Then she left an’ that was the end of that.  My mother had a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary too, with a big snake under her feet an’ a golden crown on her head.  I guess she took it with her, back to Philadelphia, or wherever she went when she left Ritter Mountain.

Rozsa gave me a picture of Mary an’ some rosary beads.  Viktor gave me the wish fish which he brought back from Hungary the last time he went there for a visit. He said the wish fish came from the Duna River an’ he showed me where Hungary is on a map.  He also showed me a picture of the bridge where he met Rozsa.  It’s called the Freedom Bridge.  He doesn’t speak good English an’ I can hardly understand him, but I’m pretty sure he meant for each of us; me, Daddy an’ Edi, t’ have a tin o’ wish fish.  Rozsa said they’re a special kind o’ fish  that’re very rare an’ hard t’ find.  She said in Hungary, only rich people can afford ‘em.  I asked her if they were the same as sardines.  She said “Oh, no. Not like sardines, not at all.”  An’ then she said somethin’ to Viktor  in Hungarian talk an’ both o’ them laughed.  Viktor shook his head an’ said, “Wish Fish.  Wish Fish.  No sardines.  No.”  I really like the blue cans with the gold letters:  Boldog Születésnapot .  I can’t say it, but I guess it’s Hungarian for Wish Fish.

(by Leo)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Nasty Club Jewelry

Nasty Club Jewelry

Ravenue has split.  She’s on E Bock gonking the military.  I’m lucky to be rid of her.  Her and her Nasty Club jewelry.  This morning I found one of her bracelets under the bed.  It cut my hand pretty bad.  I had to get stitches.  If I was thinking straight, I’d have used a magnet to retrieve it, but my brain was a little cold and I grabbed it impulsively.  That’s how I got mixed up with Ravenue in the first place.  By impulse.

She was a dream manufactured on Clink Street.  Clink street, I shudder to think of it.  Don’t ask me how I got there.  All I can say is I found myself there after a three day sleep when my brain temperature was at an all time low.  Nobody goes to Clink Street on a cold brain and lives to tell about it.  I am an exception. 

It was in this cold brain state that I came upon Ravenue, all wound up and strutting her terrible stuff in front of the Nasty Club.  Instead of averting my eyes and hurrying by, as I would have if my brain were warm, I looked right at her, impulsively, and damned if she didn’t get into me.  In a few dizzy seconds she was mine.  I bought her; lock, stock, and barrel.  Strictly on impulse.

The next morning I woke up covered with cuts and bruises.  Ravenue was lying next to me on the floor by my bed.  “What the hell did you do to me?” I yelled. 

“It wasn’t me,” she said, “it was my jewelry.  You’re lucky I wasn’t wearing my good stuff.”  She pointed to a large metal tool box.  “That’s where I keep my best accouterments.”

I went over to get a better look.  It was padlocked and very heavy.  I could hardly budge it.  “How the hell did this get up here?” I asked. 

“Why, you carried it up,” she said, “with me on your shoulders.  Don’t you remember?”

I felt suddenly sick.  Doomed.  I asked her to leave.  She laughed.  It was a grinding, mechanical laugh that continued through toast and coffee.  I told her to knock it off several times, but that only threw her into high gear.  “You’re driving me crazy,” I said.  “I find you absolutely insufferable and quite ugly.  Please leave.”  She looked wounded.  Her mouth opened wide and vibrated rapidly, but nothing came out.  A sharp steady pain invaded my temples.  The neighborhood dogs all barked.  I begged her to stop.  “Please, please, I can’t stand it any more.”

Something in her steel composition took pity on me.  Her mouth stopped vibrating.  The pain in my head went away.  The barking stopped.  “Thank you,” I said, “that was very nice of you.  Now, if you will just go away.”  Her mouth opened wide again, as if to launch that hideous laughter.  “Never mind,” I said quickly, “I didn’t mean that.  You can stay as long as you like.”  I had to play her along.  Be careful not to wound her or make her angry.  Keep her at a safe distance until I got to work and talked to Phil.  Phil would know what to do.  Phil would make her go away.

She followed me all around the apartment, from kitchen to bathroom to bedroom.  She watched me pee, shower, and shave.  She watched me dress.  It got to be annoying.  “Cut it out,” I said.  “Quit following me around.”

“Say pretty please with a cherry on top,” she said.  I said it sarcastically as I pulled on my trousers.  “Say it nice or I’ll come over there and give you a big hug,” she said, tucking her hair in back of her ears so I could get a better look at her earrings.  Two Wilkinson Sword Blades dangled above her collarbones.  I said it again, as nice as I could.  “Can I pick out your tie?” she asked.”  How like a dream, I thought, to threaten your existence one minute, and help you pick out your tie the next.

“Sure,” I said, “why not.”  She picked out my favorite.  Red winged blackbirds on a white background.  Pure silk.  I told her she had good taste.  She beamed.  A little too brightly.  I grabbed my hat and said I would be home about five with company for dinner.  I had spots in front of my eyes and tripped a couple of times going down the stairs.

Phil was my law partner, but he also fixed dreams on the side.  He specialized in the bizarre and was considered by his dream-fixing colleagues to be the best in the field.  I told him about Ravenue and her terrible jewelry.  I showed him my cuts and bruises.  He shook his head and said it looked bad.  “What’s the matter with you, going to Clink Street on a cold brain?  I thought you had more sense than that.”

I told him the last thing I needed was a lecture.  “I need help, Phil, don’t give me a lecture.”  He said he couldn’t make any promises, but he would try.  There was a slight possibility he could get rid of her, with a strong emphasis on the slight.  It seemed like he was trying to persuade himself that he could do the job.  That’s the impression I got.  He said he was anxious to meet Ravenue, a little too anxious, I thought.  I rejected that though immediately though, on the grounds that my thinking at the time could not be trusted.  My brain was still a little on the cold side.  Phil was my best buddy.  Anything he thought, said or did, in connection with Ravenue, would surely be in my best interest. 

What was the matter with me?  There I was, stuck with a lethal dream like Ravenue, and at the same time, worrying that my best buddy wanted a piece of the action, might get a bigger bang out of her than I did.  Phil was much better looking than me, but, as stupid as it seemed, I didn’t want Ravenue to think so.  I didn’t want Ravenue to leave me for someone else, I just wanted her to leave me.  Actually, it was her jewelry that had to go.  She wouldn’t be so bad without her jewelry. 

“Phil, I just got a brainstorm.”

“What’s that?” he asked.

“Suppose we ask Ravenue to get rid of her jewelry?  I mean, it’s not like it’s worth a lot of money or anything.  I could always buy her some new stuff.  Rubies. Emeralds.  Nice dainty little jewelry that she could wear when … I mean if, I took her home to meet my mother.”

Phil put his hand on my forehead.  “Just what I figured,” he said, “Still cold as an icebox.”

“You don’t think it would work?”

“I know it won’t work.”

“Why’s that?”

“Because Ravenue is her jewelry, that’s why.  How could you not understand that?  It’s like saying if you take candy from a baby it won’t be a baby any more.  It’s the same principle.  Ravenue and her jewelry are a package deal.  You can’t have one without the other.  Now, make up your mind.  What’s it going to be?” 

“I guess she’s got to go,” I said, reluctantly.

“You guess?”

“She’s got to go, Phil.  She’s got to go.”

“That’s more like it,” he said.  “Now you’re talking sense, buddy.  And let me tell you something else.  You better keep your brain good and warm from now on.  If it drops one degree lower than it was when you picked her up on Clink Street, you’ll be coming home with her big sister.”

When Phil and I got home that night, Ravenue was in the kitchen taking a pineapple upside down cake out of the oven.  Phil poked me in the ribs and whispered, “Well, at least she can cook.”  Ravenue must have heard him.  She looked right at him and sneered.  She was wearing a gruesome looking spiked collar and hug, hideous rings on each finger.  Her arms, from her wrists to her elbows, were covered with bracelets that jutted, as did her rings, razor sharp projections of glass and steel.  Her good stuff.  She was trying to make an impression on Phil, I thought, jealously, and doing a good job of it if the expression on his face was any indication. 

There it was doing it again.  Getting jealous.  Worrying that Ravenue would leave me for Phil.  That she would get into him the way she got into me.  How utterly absurd.  I couldn’t help it, though.  She was devastatingly beautiful, especially with her face glistening and flushed from the heat of the oven.  And she was wearing the cutest little ruffled apron.  I wanted to protect her, yet I knew it was me who needed protection.  Again, I found myself thinking about the unpredictable nature of dreams.  The infinite inconsistencies.  The bliss that changes without warning into overwhelming fear.  The hope that turns it’s back and becomes despair.  The sorrow that cracks jokes.  The lust.  The bullshit.  The blatant, ever present bullshit.

“Ravenue, this is Phil,” I said, ever the gentleman.

“Of course,” she said, “Who else would it be?”

“Phil, meet Ravenue.”  The formality of such an introduction struck me as ludicrous.

“Uh-huh,” said Phil.  It sounded an awful lot like a compliment to me, like hubba hubba ding ding or something..  Ravenue extended her hand for him to shake.  He declined.  A smart move, I thought.  That wounded look came over her face again. 

After dinner, which was excellent; steak, O’Brien potatoes, corn on the cob, I told Ravenue that Phil and I had some business to discuss in the study.  She said, “Gee, you mean I get to do the dishes all by my lonesome?”  Phil and I laughed, like we were supposed to.  “Shall I bring you your cake and coffee?”

“Yeah,” I said, “In a little while.  That would be nice.”  She was going all out.  I wondered if she would do the same for me, for just us, if Phil wasn’t around for her to impress.  “So what do you think, Phil old boy,” I said when we got to my study.

“I think you’re in for a siege, that’s what I think, pal.”

“That bad,eh?”

“That bad,” he confirmed, with a repetitious nodding of his head.

“What about that slight possibility?” I asked.

He said it still existed, but it was getting even slighter, but that I shouldn’t give up hope.  That I should just go along with whatever he did.  I wanted to know what that was going to be.  What his plan was.  He said he didn’t have a plan yet, when he did he would let me know.  And then again, maybe he wouldn’t let me know.  It all depended, he said, on the circumstances.  I thought he was being evasive.  Deliberately shutting me out and I resented it.  After all, it was my dream, if he was going to get rid of it I was entitled to know how it was going to be done.  It was only fair and I told him so.  He asked me if I was into slam dancing.

“Of course not,” I said.

“How about voyeurism?  Are you into voyeurism, pal?”

“Absolutely not!” I said. 

He chuckled.  I didn’t like the sound of his chuckling.  It was totally out of place and completely inappropriate.  I told him so.  He told me to pull myself together.  He called me a wimp.  Me.  A wimp.  I couldn’t believe it.  I was the one who saved his ass when we were in the combat zone, and now, he was calling me a wimp?  “You’ve got a lot of nerve,” I said.  “You’ve got one hell of a lot of nerve!”

“You know what you’re problem is?” he asked.

“No, Phil.  What’s my problem?  You tell me.”

“You take everything too seriously, that’s your problem.”

“Damn right, “ I said.  “It’s my life that’s at stake here.  Excuse me for taking my life seriously.”  I was pissed.

“A little while ago you were talking about taking the little lady home to meet your mother, and now you’re all ears to hear the gory details of how I intend to go about getting rid of her.  Please.  Be consistent.  I mean, if you want to take your life seriously, fine, but do it consistently, that’s all I’m saying.”

He had a point.  I was a mass of inconsistencies.  I was beginning to understand his reluctance in letting me in on his plan for getting rid of Ravenue.  He sensed I was harboring an unconscious emotional attachment to her which kept cropping up in the form of jealousy and suspicion.  He wasn’t the best dream fixer around for nothing.  He was on the ball.  He knew what he was doing.  He had a plan alright, he wasn’t kidding anyone.  He had it all along but just didn’t want to risk his spotless reputation by giving me the opportunity to screw things up with my penchant for inconsistency and impulse. 

“You’re right, Phil.  I’m too involved in this dream to be rational.  I’m not thinking straight at all.  In fact, I think I’m going to pieces.  Look at my knee.  It won’t stop twitching.  But I’m not a wimp, Phil.  Don’t call me a wimp.”

“I know you’re not a wimp, buddy.  That was a tactical maneuver.  I was trying to warm your brain up a little.  Here, take a slug of this.”  He handed me the bottle of tequila.  I took a swig and rubbed a little on my temples.  “I want you at your best when the ball starts rolling,” he said.

I heard Ravenue approaching.  “Shhh,” I said, “Here she comes.”  The door to the study opened and Ravenue came in carrying a tray with our cake and coffee.  “Boy oh boy” I said, “that sure looks good.” 

“Sure does,“ said Phil.  Ravenue glowed and sat down on my leather sofa, a little too close to Phil, I thought.  He didn’t move away from her as I expected him to.  “Great cake!” he said.

“I’m glad you like it,” said Ravenue, “It’s only a box mix.”

Phil dropped his fork.  They both reached for it at the same time and Ravenue’s lethally adorned hand brushed against Phil’s, cutting a deep gash across three of his fingers.  I jumped from my chair.  “Christ almighty,” I said, “you better get some stitches in that quick!”

“Nah,” said Phil, “ wrapping his hand in a handkerchief, “ it’s only a flesh wound.”  He was smiling idiotically and licking the blood that ran down his arm.

Ravenue laughed.  “I’ll bet you were in the army, weren’t you, Phil?”

“Yeah,” he said.  “I spent a couple of years on E Block before it became fashionable.”

“I thought so,” said Ravenue, “What did you do on E Block?”

“I was on E Block too,” I said, before Phil had a chance to answer her.

“Um-hm,” she said, without taking her eyes off Phil.  “What were you about to say, Phil?”

“Excavation,” he said, “I was in charge of Excavation.”

“Oh, how interesting,” said Ravenue.  Their thighs were touching.  They were acting like I wasn’t there.  Phil asked for another piece of cake. 

“I’ll have some too,” I said.  Ravenue cut two pieces of cake.  A big piece for Phil and a dinky one for me.  The she had the audacity to take the cherry off my piece and put it on Phil’s so he could have two cherries while I had none.  “This stinks,” I said.  Phil told me to shut up.  Ravenue giggled.  Her bracelets were digging into my sofa.  “Watch what you’re doing to my sofa,” I said.  They continued to ignore me.

“So, tell me, Phil, what exactly did you excavate when you were on E Block?”

“Oh, this and that,” he said, and then “Can I have a little more whipped cream on this, please?”

“Not until you tell me what it was that you excavated over there,” she said, holding the whipped cream above his head like a tease.

“Well, if you must know,” said Phil, and then he leaned over and whispered something in her ear.

“I knew it!” she said, “I knew it!  I can spot one of you guys a mile away.”  Phil’s neck was bleeding badly from coming into contact with Ravenue’s spiked collar.  He didn’t seem to mind.  He just wanted his whipped cream.  She put gobs of it on his cake and then started squirting it into his mouth.  His white shirt was soaked with blood.

“Phil,” I screamed,” for God’s sake, man, your neck is bleeding and it’s bleeding bad!”

“Aw, why don’t you shut up and relax,” said Phil, “What’s a little blood between friends now and then?”

Ravenue giggled.  Phil giggled too.  “In about two minutes I’m going to throw both of you out of here,” I said, trying to gain control of the situation.

“You and who else,” said Ravenue.  I could tell by the glaze over Phil’s eyes that his brain temperature had dropped radically.  He was working on impulse, and impulse alone.  He wanted Ravenue the same way I wanted her the first time I saw her on Clink Street.  Phil was on Clink Street.  No doubt about it.  Ravenue had entered him and there was no way I could pull her out.

I asked Phil if he wanted me to call the SWAT team.  He said “O-nay.”

“How about the National Guard, Phil?” said Ravenue, “Do you want him to call the National Guard?”  They both giggled.  Phil told me to take a hike.

I left the room.  I left the house.  I took a long walk and sat in a diner for about two hours drinking coffee.  Finally, I went home.  The house was empty.  The study was in a shambles.  My leather sofa was torn to shreds.  There was a note on my desk from Ravenue.

Dear John,  I’m splitting.  You are a lousy bore.  I sent Phil to the ER in a taxi.  He was still breathing.  That guy has guts, let me tell you.  Before he passed out he begged me not to leave him.  What a trooper.  He knows how to handle a dream alright.  As for me, I’m going to E Block.  Phil says the guys over there would kill for a dream like me.  I’m ready to gonk, man.  I’m ready to gonk.

Phil’s cake was still on the coffee table.  Poor Phil, I thought, he never even got to eat his cherries.  And then, I figured what the hell, and popped them into my mouth.  Impulsively.  

(by Leocadia)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Chicken Hill

“Now, look here,” she said to her reflection, “you are not dead.  Cold maybe, but not dead.  Dead people do not root around in their drawers for something warm to wear.  Dead people do not scream bloody murder when they burn their fingers on the tea kettle.  Dead people rot and forfeit their zip code.  You’ve still got a zip code, don’t you?  Okay then.  Take it easy.  Everything’s fine as long as you’ve got a zip code.”

Yesterday the postman came to her door with a package.  He said, “Man alive, it’s cold as a son of a bitch out there, and it’s supposed to be even colder tomorrow.”  She offered him a shot of Ginger brandy and had one for herself.  They clinked their glasses together.  He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.  “Well,” he said, “if that don’t knock the ice out of my moustache, nothing will.”  The package was wrapped in a brown A&P bag cut down to size and tied up in yellow string.  Large red letters in the upper left corner said, “WE CARE”.  Inside was a three pound tin of tea biscuits in assorted shapes and sizes.  A note from her uncle Richard was taped to the lid.

Dear Lillian,
How’s every little thing?  I’m dying to see you.  Meet me at Grandma’s on the 6th.  Sorry I can’t give you a definite time.  The trains are running off schedule.  Somewhere around noon, I’d say.  Bring something to read just in case.  I know how you hate to wait. 
Love, Richard The Un (crazy) 
PS: It’s true.  I’m all better.  Honest Injun. 

She moved closer to the mirror.  Her nose appeared to be growing bulbous.  Her skin looked green and translucent.  She put on her cobalt glasses, lit up a cigarette, gave herself another pep talk. 

Order in the court.  This court will now come to order.  She whacked the dresser with her hair brush.  It has been brought to my attention that some people think they are dead.  I’m not going to mention any names.  You know who you are.  I am not wearing blue glasses because I have syphilis.  Trust me.  I have presided over cases like this before.  If you think you are dead you have been brainwashed.  There is a lot of propaganda floating around due to the energy crisis.  Pull yourself together.  If you want to be all better like Richard the Un, here’s what you’ve got to do.  First, get yourself a hat and pull it down over one eye.  If you don’t have a hat, don’t worry, it’s attitude that we are concerned with.  Imagine that you’ve got on a hat and it’s pulled own jover one eye.  That’s it.  Now, shove your fists into your poets and smoke smoke smoke that cigarette like everything is legit.  Terrific!  You could be nominated.  I can’t over stress the importance of infiltration.  Infiltration is the key as far as I’m concerned.  First you assume the attitude, then you infiltrate.  In other words, you develop a subterfuge, apply a camouflage.  Don’t worry, when no one is looking you can still use your bed for a trampoline.  We allow these little outbursts, very beneficial, as a matter of fact, great therapy.  Why of course, by all means.  What’s that?  I beg your pardon?  Come closer to the bench, I can’t hear you.  Can you still count your fingers and toes?  Of course you can count your fingers and toes.  Whenever you’re alone and feeling insecure, sit right down and count anything you like.  Okay Joe.  I think we’ve covered everything.  Grab your coat and get your hat, leave your worries on the doorstep, just direct your feet, to the sunny side of the street.  Whack, whack, whack.  Case closed.  Court dismissed. 

Grandma died a long time ago, one seizure too many.  Richard found her in the attic all wrapped up in toilet paper.  Two days after the funeral he had a breakdown, took the refrigerator apart for no good reason.  She’d stopped in to help him sort out old photographs and found him on the kitchen floor with a screwdriver clenched between his teeth.  He was crying.  The potato bin was in the sink, full of nuts and bolts; the wire egg basket in a corner, smashed to smithereens.  Grandma’s cat, Toby, was on top of the china cabinet covered with mustard.  When she removed the screwdriver from Richard’s mouth he said, “Welcome to New York City.  If you’re looking for the door, we had to put it in the attic.”  There was a cupcake on his head. 

She took the trolley to the end of the line.  It was hard work walking up the hill through the frozen snow.  Darby was deserted.  All of the shops on Chicken Hill were dark and locked.  They called it an energy crisis.  There was a dead dog on the sidewalk.  She walked around it and pulled her collar up.  The pain was like a bullet shooting through her head.  She should have worn a hat.  The second and third floor windows of Grandma’s house were boarded.  The porch was altogether gone.  She had to walk up a ramp made of cinder blocks and two by fours in order to reach the front door.  There was a sign on the stained glass window.  WELCOME TO THE MENTAL EQUILIBRIUM SOCIETY.  DON’T BOTHER TO KNOCK.  WE’VE BEEN EXPECTING YOU.  She knocked anyway.

“Can’t yuh read?” asked the old man who opened the door.  His voice was raspy and mechanical.  He wore two overcoats and a cap that said: Phillies.  There was no discernible bridge to his nose. His legs and feet were bare and decrepit, he had an odor of creosote.  “Well,” he said, “what’s it gonin’ tuh be?  Shit or get off the pot.”  Rudeness no longer surprised her.  It made her angry, but it didn’t surprise her.  She got a good grip on the doorjamb and pulled herself over the threshold.

The vestibule hadn’t changed.  Piano against the left wall, telephone table against the right.  Phony slate tile on the floor.  She was there the day Richard put it down.  Grandma had to go for a walk because the muck made her dizzy.  Richard rolled up a fat joint.  When Grandma got back he was sitting on the muck can singin' his head off.  Gonna sit right down and write myself a letter.  Later all three of them were in the kitchen drinking strawberry wine and eating bologna sandwiches.  Grandma opened the refrigerator to get some mustard.  She scratched her head and said, “This refrigerator sure is disorganized.”  Richard put a soda straw up his nose and said “So is New York City.”  Grandma laughed and said she was going to bop him one if he didn’t quit acting so goofy. 

The old man shuffled across the phony slate into the kitchen.  She was about to follow, but he said, “Stay put, and closed the door behind him.”  Another sign.  This one said that the kitchen was no longer the kitchen.  It was the “OFFICE” now.  She pulled out a cigarette, had trouble getting it lit.  Her fingers didn’t want to move.  No cooperation anywhere.  Her head began to thaw.  No tissues in her purse.  She used her coat sleeve.  After a bit, she knocked on the office door.  It was ten after eleven.  “Go away,” yelled the old man, “we don’t want any.”

The living room was packed.  All sorts of strange looking people craning their necks to gat a look at her.  If she made a left she would be in there with them.  She made a right, into the empty dining room.  “Bunch of goddamn lunatics,” she mumbled.  The shades were down and the bucket-a-day was glowing red.  She stood next to it, out of sight in the corner.  Someone left the vent wide open.  She fixed it the way Grandma showed her, so the house wouldn’t burn down.  “Bunch of lunatics,” she said, “trying to burn the house down.”

The old man returned and gave her hell for being in the dining room.  “I thought I told you to stay put,” he said, “Now slap this on and get in there with the others.”  It was a hat.  A brown felt hat with two pheasant feathers tacked to its side.  She bit her lip.  Didn’t budge.  He came after her, grabbed her by the coat sleeve and pulled her into the vestibule.  “Put it on,” he screamed, “put it on and get your ass in there.”  He pointed to the living room with a crooked yellow finger.

“There must be some mistake,” she said, “this isn’t my hat.  I wasn’t wearing a hat.”

He didn’t like that.  His face twisted and he threw his head back.  “Lady,” he said, “we don’t make no mistakes around here.  You just put that hat on your head and get movin’.  Hear?  No more backtalk.”

She didn’t want to put the hat on.  It could be full of lice.  It could be like making some kind of commitment.  Sealing the deal.  She looked at the door.  She wanted to leave, but what about Richard?  She hadn’t seen him in such a long time.  “I beg your pardon, Sir, but could you tell me if Richard Browne is in there?” 

“We ain’t got no Richards.  No Richards of any kind whatsoever.  Now quit foolin’ around and do what you’re told.”

She turned her head and looked over her shoulder at the gold knob on the front door.  The warning signals were beepin in her ears again.  She forgot how to breathe.  The hat fell to the floor.  She stood there in a frozen state.  No time now for an explosion.  One door knob became two doorknobs.  In and out, in and out.  Tap your boot on the tile. 

The last time she saw herself she was in a green cotton dress that matched the curtains, standing at the kitchen sink in her bate feet, washing dishes.  Her hair was down to her waist, she was singing.  “That’ll be the day.”  It was warm.  She disappeared right after that, but couldn’t remember the details, how or why.  Her head got lost, stopped working.  She was always cold, cold and angry.  She locked the angry up because it scared her.  She cut off her hair and threw it out the window.  It grew back, but was never the same.  She was gone. 

She opened her eyes for a minute, then closed them again to see six, seven, eight doorknobs.  It was hard to say because they were spinning around in such a frenzy.  It was eleven thirty, somewhere around noon.  No problem.  She was getting herself all bent out of shape for nothing.  In and out, in and out.  Open your eyes.  Stop looking for her.  She’s gone.  Out the kitchen window.  Tell your boot to knock it off.  She stood frozen, in her green dress, looking out the kitchen window at the Zinnias and Cosmos in the back yard. 

“Oh, I get it,” said the old man.  “Look, lady, just ‘cause you got such nice long hiar don’t mean you can get away with a bunch of monkey business.  Now, you remember that and things’ll go easy for yuh.”  They were laughing in the living room, with their hats on lop-sided, their faces like cottage cheese.  “And, just because I got such a big heart,” he continued, “I’m goin’ tuh do somethin’ we don’t usually do around here.”  He turned and winked at the lunatics, made the crazy sign with his crooked finger.  “Yep,” he said, “that’s exactly what I’m goin’ tuh do.”

He went into the office again, came back with a big box, threw it at her feet and said, “There yuh go.  Now yuh got a whole shitload to choose from.  Any kind o’ hat your little heart desires.”   

She poked around in the box, but only to humor him.  Did the silly bastard really think a different hat would make things right?   “I think I’ll keep the one I’ve got,” she said, “but thanks just the same for your trouble.”

“Son of a bitch,” he said, “bend over backwards and what do yuh get!”

She picked up the brown hat with the pheasant feathers, put it on, said, “Have you got a mirror?  A powder room, maybe?  I’d like to brush my hair before I go in,” pausing, swallowing, nodding her head in the direction of the living room, “there.”

“Lady,” he said, “I’ve had all I’m goin’ tuh take from you.  Move!”  He gave her a shove.  “Move you crazy bitch!” 

She wanted to strangle him.  She wanted to take off her boot and beat him over the head with it.  She wanted to bite off his crooked yellow finger and shove it up his nose.  Make a bridge for it.  He gave her another shove, a violent shove, and she was at once in the living room.  The lunatics squirmed in their folding chairs, snickered, rolled their eyes.  She took a seat on the end of an empty row.  There was clapping of hands, stamping of feet, one of them whistled.  She pulled a little orange book of poetry from her purse, Eleven Outlined Epitaphs by Bob Dylan, and then put her purse on the seat next to her, saving it for Richard.  He ought to be coming along any minute now, she thought. 

She hardly had the book opened to the first epitaph when a hand from the row in back of her lunged forward and snatched it away.  It was a ballerina in red chiffon with a rhinestone tiara who ran with the book into the vestibule.  She jumped up and ran after her.  The ballerina was waving the little orange book around under the old man’s nose and talking in pig latin.  “Ooklay atwhay hetay itchbay isay eadingray.”

“Well, well, well,” he said, “what have we got here?  Pornography, no doubt"  He rifled through the book looking for something dirty, stopping several times to point out a verse to his secretary and ask her opinion.  The secretary was dressed like a nurse; white dress, white stockings, white shoes, a stiff little white cap. 

“It all looks pretty Kosher to me,” she said.   

The old man sneered and sniggered.  “Yuh never know,” he said, winking at the nurse and the ballerina,“yuh got t’ be on your toes at all times around this bin.  He threw the book across the room.  The Ballerina got to it first and said “Nah nah nahnah nah.”

“Give me my book back,” she said.  The ballerina mimicked her words in a high pitched exaggerated whine and threw the book at her.  It hit her in the head and fell to the floor.  She picked it up, gave the ballerina about three minutes worth of the evil eye, during which time the ballerina backed up slowly and cowered in a corner, totally withered, her red chiffon wilted, sticking to her skin like artificial blood.

She returned to the living room, took her seat, and counted the lunatics.  Forty-two of them, all with their heads cropped, all looking as though they were waiting for some sort of show.  No one had better try that head cropping business with her, she’d gouge their eyes out.  She was beginning to remember now, why she had disappeared, why she threw her hair out the window.  All of the folding chairs were facing a podium.  In back of the podium, where Grandma’s sun room used to be, was a stage with the curtains drawn.  The curtains matched her green cotton dress.  A man with long black braids was serving a liquid refreshment.  It fizzed in paper cups.  She didn’t want any.  “No thank you,” she said.  He was wearing striped pajamas, motorcycle boots and a fireman’s hat.  Engine Company 609.  His thumbs were gone. 

 She bowed her head, covered her face with her hands and recited the twenty-third psalm, over and over and over.  Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil.  Thy rod and they staff they comfort me.  Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  Thou annointeth my head with oil.  She felt a presence, someone had taken the seat next to her.  My cup runneth over.  She noticed a faint odor of patchouli.  Surely goodness and mercy.  A man’s voice said “Lillian.”  Shall follow me.  “Lillian.”  Her hands dropped to her lap and she opened her eyes.  A man dressed in a black cassock was sitting next to her.  “Let me guess,” she said, “Ignatius Loyola.” 

He laughed and said, “Not by a long shot.”

She looked at him intently, with a slight beam of recognition.  “Did you used to say Mass in the hospital chapel?”

“Not that I know of,” he said, “but I could be mistaken.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?  You either did or you didn’t.  Oh Christ,” she said, “don’t tell me you’re part of this freak show.”

“Lillian,” he said again, “don’t you recognize me?” 

‘No,” she said, “I certainly do not.  Now get out of here.  I’m saving that seat for my uncle.”

“Lillian,” he said, “look at me.  It’s, Richard.  I’m Richard.  Did you ever see anyone else with a nose like this?”

“Richard?”  She was beginning to believe him.  “Oh God, Richard.  Is it really you?  Where have you been and why aren’t you old like me?” 

He threw back his head and laughed just like he did in the old days.  “Lillian,” he said, “you’re too much, still nutty as ever.  Sorry to keep you waiting.  My train was an hour late.  Why aren’t I old like you?  That’s a riot.”  He laughed hard and loud, slapped his leg a couple of times, had trouble pulling himself together.  “That’s a good one,” he said.  “That’s the best one I’ve heard in years.” 

There was a sudden succession of flashes as the overhead lights went on.  The Jesuit who claimed he was Richard kissed her hand, put it back in her lap and excused himself.  He had some business to take care of and would be back in a jiffy.  He motioned for Mother Superior to follow him.  She put her hands together like a church with no  people.  She opened the doors and closed the doors.  Someone in back of her leaned forward to look over her shoulder.  It was a policeman.  “Don’t you know how to make the people?” he asked.  She told him to mind his own business.  She broke the church apart, leaving one half in her lap while the other half reached into her pocket and pulled out the little orange book of epitaphs. 

The policeman leaned over her shoulder again and said, “Put it away, Lady.”  She told him to get lost.  He said, “I can have you locked up for that.”  She gave him an elbow in the throat.  He pulled her back by her hair until her chair was teetering on its two rear legs.  It slid out from under her but she was quick on her feet and was just about to give it to him good when the old man came running in and threw a blanket over her head.  He drug her out to the vestibule and held her down while nursie gave her a shot. 

“She’ll be countin’ doorknobs for a while,” he said.   

The ballerina was doing pirouettes in the dining room.  “Oh yeah,” said the old man, “I almost forgot.”  He reached into her pocket and pulled out the little orange book of epitaphs.  “Here yuh go, twinkle toes” he said, tossing it to the ballerina. 

“What am I supposed to do with this?” she asked. 

“Whatever your little heart desires,” he said.  

(By Leocadia)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Eatin' hog-eyed grease in hog-eyed town

Animus II 
by Leo

Ain't Talkin' ( Bob Dylan )

As I walked out tonight in the mystic garden
The wounded flowers were dangling from the vines
I was passing by yon cool and crystal fountain
Someone hit me from behind

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
Through this weary world of woe
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
No one on earth would ever know

They say prayer has the power to help
So pray from the mother
In the human heart an evil spirit can dwell
I'm trying to love my neighbor and do good unto others
But oh, mother, things ain't going well

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
I'll burn that bridge before you can cross
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
They'll be no mercy for you once you've lost

Now I'm all worn down by weepin'
My eyes are filled with tears, my lips are dry
If I catch my opponents ever sleepin'
I'll just slaughter them where they lie
Ain't talkin', just walkin'
Through the world mysterious and vague
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
Walking through the cities of the plague

The whole world is filled with speculation
The whole wide world which people say is round
They will tear your mind away from contemplation
They will jump on your misfortune when you're down

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
Eatin' hog-eyed grease in hog-eyed town
Heart burnin' – still yearnin'
Someday you'll be glad to have me around

They will crush you with wealth and power
Every waking moment you could crack
I'll make the most of one last extra hour
I'll avenge my father's death then I'll step back

Animus III 
by Leo

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
Hand me down my walkin' cane
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
Got to get you out of my miserable brain

All my loyal and much-loved companions
They approve of me and share my code
I practice a faith that's been long abandoned
Ain't no altars on this long and lonesome road

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
My mule is sick, my horse is blind
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
Thinkin' ‘bout that gal I left behind

It's bright in the heavens and the wheels are flying
Fame and honor never seem to fade
The fire's gone out but the light is never dying
Who says I can't get heavenly aid?

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
Carrying a dead man's shield
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
Walkin' with a toothache in my heel

The suffering is unending
Every nook and cranny has it's tears
I'm not playing, I'm not pretending
I'm not nursing any superfluous fears

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
Walkin' ever since the other night
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
Walkin' ‘til I'm clean out of sight

As I walked out in the mystic garden
On a hot summer day, hot summer lawn
Excuse me, ma'am I beg your pardon
There's no one here, the gardener is gone

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
Up the road around the bend
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
In the last outback, at the world's end

Copyright © 2006 by Special Rider Music

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mixed-Up Confusion

Fishwife (by Leo)

"The encounter with the shadow is the 'apprentice-piece' in the individual's development...that with the anima / animus is the 'masterpiece'" Carl Jung


 "What we women have to overcome in our relation to the animus is not pride but lack of  self-confidence and the resistance of inertia.  For us, it is not as though we had to demean ourselves, but as if we had to life ourselves."  Ema Jung
(Animus and Anima, Spring Publications, Dallas, Texas, 1978)

"Woman is compensated by a masculine element and therefore her unconscious has, so to speak, a masculine imprint. This results in a considerable psychological difference between men and women, and accordingly I have called the projection-making factor in women the animus, which means mind or spirit." Carl Jung
(From The Syzygy: Anima and Animus, Collected Works, 9ii, par. 28f.)

Notice I put Ema on top of her better known and more illustrious hubby.  Hey, we girls have to stick together. (wink)

Sorry Bob, But Brian's giving you a run for your honey on this one.  My animus is wide ranging and multi layered. wink wink

Let's Stick Together (Down in the Groove) Bob Dylan

Well, a young marriage vow, you know, it's very sacred
The man put us together, now, you wanna make it
Stick together
Come on, come on, stick together.

You know, you made a vow, not to leave one another, never
 Well, ya never miss you water till your well runs dry
Come one, baby, give our love a try, let's stick together
Come on, come on, stick together
We made a vow, not to leave one another, never.

Well, ya never miss your water till your well runs dry
Come one, baby, give our love a try, let's stick together
Come on, come on, stick together
You know, we made a vow, not to leave one another, never.

It might be tough for a while, but consider the child
Cannot be happy without his mom and his pappy
Let's stick together
Come on, come on, stick together
You know, we made a vow, not to leave one another, never.