Faye

the skill is to find life in the routine she said i’ve stood at this counter for 30 years pumping the same bottles into the air and nobody cares she said

do you want some advice i could tell you that you’ll age if you don’t cover up your face in these narcotics made in Spain but it’s your body love it any way you want

ya’ see this scar above my perfectly lined brow fell off a tree in 1963 you have a lot of scars all over are you ok or are you one of those foster girls from down the block

i’m sorry listen that was harsh there’s this cream for $49.95 that can help heal those dark circles under your eyes it helped before my divorce hearing when Harry hit me

the freckles on your face and the bleaching out of your hair you really should try this salve from France you’re far too young to have this damage men like long soft chestnut hair like yours

oh my i didn’t see those tattoos i have a concealer for that but you should really get it removed and it’s a shame with your good bones naturally formed you’d be a good model but you’re too short

can you smile yes that’s it i think you could be on the cover of this magazine but you really have to clean up child you look like a dog town mop head skater boy

those nails you’ve chewed them to your shoulders look i have to take a break my boss might give me a raise but i feel that he just might leave his wife for me tomorrow

Grady, don’t tell your mom she’s my best friend and i think she would worry here’s her order and some make up for you we all have the demons jumping out of us and soon the scars of sin we carry in will come up to the surface

20190803_121443
Artwork by Kira

coronation

my eyes reflect time

my body hides the holy

secrets not known yet

civilizations

rise and fall below my feet

i am anointed

by the sky goddess

her crown she relinquishes

to me the new One

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“View” from the Daily Doodle

for Jim Morrison

tall

stoic

silently

looking at me

with tears in their eyes they prayed to my crow

she flew into the clouds to fetch a ray

of old wisdom

the sisters

smiling

at

me

waving

gold spirit

pointing to the

north to stars and wonders ancient mothers

tending to their flock of wild night children

wind through their veins

kisses blown

angels

swoop

down

kiva

thunder roars

inside their wombs

with holy flesh of nations born of fire

and love traveling to the paradise

the mothers are

in the wind

quiet

strong

Picture courtesy of Sue’s Daily Echo Thursday Photo Prompt

solo ella

me puedes cerrar llenarme de bardas

encarcelar a mis hijos

los trópicos de virtud

me puedes prohibir libertad

robarme el aire

puedes envenenar mis lagos

asesinar mis volcanes

destruir mis montanas

derramar todos mis mares

aprisionar mis nubes y las estrellas también

negarme a los dioses y santos

quemar mis veredas negarme el campo

podrás apagar mi sol y la luna

abortar a mis milagros y todas mis flores

cierta mente puedes herirme y terminar

con mis hijos enyerbar mis ojos

cortar mis venas y explotar mis riquezas

podrás negarme los secretos celestiales

y un simple trago de agua

pero nunca vencerás el amor de una madre


só ela

você pode me fechar me encher de cercas

aprisionar meus filhos

os trópicos da virtude

você pode me banir da liberdade

roubar minha respiração

você pode envenenar meus lagos

mate meus vulcões

destruir minhas montanhas

derrame todos os meus mares

aprisionar minhas nuvens

e as estrelas também

negar-me aos deuses e santos

queima minhas trilhas me negam

o campo você pode desligar meu sol

o lua abortar meus milagres

e todas as minhas flores

certamente você pode me machucar

e terminar com meus filhos

meus olhos cortar minhas veias

e explorar minhas riquezas

você pode me negar os segredos celestiais

e uma simples bebida de água

mas você nunca vai conquistar

o amor de uma mãe


only her

you can close me off with fences

imprison my children

the tropics of virtue

you can ban me from freedom

steal my breath

you can poison my lakes

kill my volcanoes

destroy my mountains

spill all of my seas

imprison my clouds and the stars too

deny me the gods and saints

burn my trails

deny me the field

you can turn off my sun and the moon

abort my miracles and all of my flowers

certainly you can hurt me

and finish off my children

cut my eyes cut my veins and exploit my riches

you can deny me the heavenly secrets

and a simple drink of water

but you will never conquer the love of a mother

Little Christmas at Maggie Rose Doyle’s

Margaret Rose Doyle was crying when I stayed with her on Sunday January 6, 1980; Little Christmas she called it. Her face was drenched in tears just as the brandy cakes on her kitchen counter were soaked with booze. The whites of her green eyes turned salmon pink and her porcelain cheeks boiled hot with sad emotion. Maggie’s breath fumed from the useless curses and the bitter whiskey. My tio Gjeo had admitted, again, to infidelity. She didn’t have to tell me, I had always known that face. It was a communal mask shared by the hapless women who entangled themselves with the rambling men of my family.

The revelation didn’t stop my Maggie from throwing herself and a bunch of surly biker mommas the biggest post-Christmas Day party in Silver Lake. As I understood it, Little Christmas was a party mostly for women and girls practiced in Ireland, Maggie’s homeland. On this date the three wise men allegedly reached baby Jesus and the epiphany that he was the Savior was proclaimed.

My 9 year old mind could not reconcile what Baby Jesus and biker women partying and getting drunk had to do with each other on account of what I had learned about Christianity from the kids’ show Davey and Goliath. Davey was a Lutheran. I liked the show because Davey, the boy, was always getting into some kind of moral dilemma with his big brown talking dog, Goliath. Davey hardly ever did the right thing, but he wasn’t cursed to Hell during the episode and usually got to learn an important life lesson instead. I liked the idea of going against the grain for a good cause and not being punished for it. Yes, that was my life at the time: talking Lutheran dogs, cheating men and drunken women. On this particular Little Christmas, I had a terrible dilemma.

My greatest joy during Maggie’s parties was to watch the women talk and laugh, particularly because the rest of the year they were raging or crying over guy problems. I’d serve them cocktails and sometimes would stick my tongue in their glasses to have a taste myself. Vodka became my favorite and by the ripe age of 9 and half I could drink about a cup and sleep fine through the night without throwing up and without waking up with bad breath. Vodka and I had a very nice relationship in my youth.

Through their essence of boisterous character and furious conversation I felt like I was part of something. They’d pet me, call me “China Doll” and call me stuff in Italian, like piccola signora (little lady). There were a few South American ladies too, with short tempers who’d always call me nina or preciosa. In their thick exotic accents, they would tell me stories of how they got the shiners on their faces. I knew they didn’t fight off a purse snatcher as they claimed. I knew my dad’s friends gave them those bruises. I felt helplessly sad for them, but I just smiled, refreshed their drinks and complimented their hair, make-up and jewelry. They really liked that kind of attention, but I didn’t understand why.

There was this golden, olive toned Italian lady, Carmela Clemente. She was a curvy woman with blonde hair and hazel eyes. She was known for dating a few of my uncle’s biker buddies. I liked Carmela because she was known as a cascavel, the rattle snake amongst the biker boys. I even think she went a few rounds with my dad in the love ring, but she mostly liked the sand blonde dudes from the San Fernando Valley. Carmela’s meaty hands spoke before her thick magenta lips did. She was as friendly as she was striking in her manner of not putting up with the guys’ poor treatment of the women they dated. Carmela hid blades in her hair which she showed me in the bathroom one time, because Los Angeles was molto pericoloso, very dangerous. I also heard stories of her cutting up guys’ break lines and their faces if she felt they weren’t treating her nicely. I thought it was funny she felt Los Angeles was dangerous to her. Nevertheless, I wanted to be bad ass like her when I grew up later that summer when I’d be 10.

Maggie and I got up around 5 that Little Christmas morning to clean up the house, but mainly to spend a little time together before the festivities started. I made her coffee and she fixed me a cup of Nescafe with lots of milk and a few tablespoons of Nestle Quick. “For your health, little one.” She cooed at me.

My uncle wasn’t home from Bakersfield yet. After we drank our coffee and talked about me going over to Gardner Elementary in West Hollywood next year, we went into the garage to get her giant, see through plastic bins to store away her Christmas Day decorations later on when her guests arrived as she traditionally got her guests to help her do. I could tell that Maggie was upset about something. She would walk in and out of the house, her face wasn’t made up, and she took quite a few shots of whiskey when she thought I wasn’t looking. But, being the little soldier that I was trained to be, I was always looking.

As I grew up, my love for Maggie was complicated. Often this love was sickly, full of stomach butterflies, confusion, and frustration. I didn’t like her drinking. Her longing for her country caused me to fear losing her, and my uncle’s cheating on her caused me to harbor conflicting feelings of anger toward him.

If you were female, living with a man from my family meant you had to be tough, loyal and with an incredibly open mind and closed mouth. Males were expected to work hard, party harder, make money and be loyal to each other. Maggie served my uncle with a subtle cognitive dissonance. She had to in order to keep her sanity intact. She struggled to keep her identity as a strong, intelligent, beautiful, deserving woman, so she drank and spent his money. She was loyal and faithful to my uncle in spite of his actions. Perhaps she felt indebted to him for giving her a home and for supporting her and her two then teen aged sons after arriving in New York way before I was born. Maggie and her sons were in America illegally after having had her husband murdered in Northern Ireland was what she’d tell her girlfriends.

Maggie encouraged me to learn all I could about science, Astronomy, history and anthropology and, as soon as I was walking, I faintly recall her move empty liquor bottles to the sink and the random slumbering biker from the party the night before from the kitchen counter to finish their sleep on the floor so that she could plop me on the counter instead. Then she’d read to me from National Geographic, the L.A. Times or her special books from the book case. She loved Dylan Thomas, Shakespeare and Dos Passos, although at that young time in my life I had no idea what impact any of them had made in the world. When I was a teen, she claimed that she’d seen Bukowski and a young girlfriend at Musso and Franks once.

My Maggie Rose also loved her whiskey, more than me sometimes. But for long periods of my life, she was my only mother figure. Maggie would fight both of my parents when she saw that they would abandon me. Maggie would feed and clothe me and made sure I went to school most of the time. Maggie taught me how to dress and groom myself and how to be a lady while eating at the table. And, it was from Maggie that I learned how to mask hurt, betrayal and anger with booze, smiles and laughter.

Tio walked through Maggie’s kitchen door at about ten that morning, his Rolling Stones tee shirt inside out and an aura of Channel perfume all around him. At the sink, I was babbling about cherry flavored candy canes while washing the dirty coffee cups when I saw Maggie and Gjeo locking eyes, his hands half way up trying to articulate an excuse out of the sugar cookie scented kitchen air.

There were no words expressed or exchanged. Maggie put on her communal mask of pain, and asked Gjeo to go into the garage with her. When they walked back into the kitchen, she was gracefully devastated. She smiled at me then him, she talked about the garden, about taking me to the movies and China Town and going to Sun Valley or Saugus to see the horses. The bigger her heart wound got, the bigger she’d smile and the tighter she clung to Gjeo’s neck to show me that everything was o.k. and then she’d poured gin and orange juice into a plastic, turquoise tumbler.

Gjeo cupped my face with his big hands dirty with betrayal. He didn’t look at me with his hazel gypsy boy eyes, but asked if I wanted to go to House of Pies for breakfast. I hugged his legs because my 9 year old self hurt for them both and I did not know how to fix them. I shook my head “no” with a lump in my throat and as I let go of his rock steady legs, I quickly flashed on how those same hands rescued me from my father, provided for me, and held me tight when I couldn’t sleep at night. Tio quietly went into his room to rest. I was very confused in my sense of loyalty and integrity: I loved them both, but even though my uncle was my blood, Maggie was a hurt human being. In my 9 year old heart, this wasn’t right and some kind of action on my behalf was required to set the universe of our house on balance again.

After meticulously winding up what seemed to be 40 acres of Christmas lights and entertaining Maggie’s leather and denim clad girls, I stole away to the back patio of the house and opted not to wait until I grew up in the summer. I decided to be like Carmela Clemente that afternoon. Taking out offerings of three C and H 5 pound sugar bags and one and a half bottles of Mrs. Butterworths syrup from a brown Safeway paper bag, I introduced the gifts into the tanks of my uncle’s 5 Harleys and 3 Ducatis. “Rompapapa-rompapapa that, tio!” I sighed with satisfaction in my mind. I was very unlike baby Jesus that day and I never watched Davey and Goliath again.