Saturday, February 28, 2009

Alice's Restaurant

I had decided to take a brief hiatus from blogging when I realized it was the one year anniversary of the Wordzzle. Thanks Raven for a year’s worth of wordy delight!!!

ThisWeek's Ten Word Challenge will be: Netflix, mortgage, skunk, flagrant, the New York Times, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, perpendicular, geometry, crabby, shoveling snow

Mini Challenge: pragmatic, crystal ball, laundry, safflower oil, Gregorian chants, skunk

If I had the pocket edition of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, where would I go? The thought was utterly capricious. It had no place in a purposeful day. But the more Barry Stern tried to extinguish it, the more it flared up like a trick candle on a birthday cake.

Why not just pretend, cajoled the Cat in the Hat. What if you could transport yourself anywhere in the universe? Like a mouse slinking through the period at the end of this sentence.

No cartilage. No need for Archimedes, geometry or perpendiculars. A tunnel to your dreams.

Barry had cultivated his pragmatic side so that his mortgage was on automatic pay, safflower oil was substituted for butter, and his whites were meticulously sorted from his darks on laundry day.

The hypnotic drone of the spin cycle helped to release Harry from all his tedious concerns. Well just for fun, then.

If I could go anywhere.

I would


swirling fine cognac at the Café Mandolin on the Adriatic

locking legs in a sinuous tango under Piazzollo’s embrazo

pin feathers tucked in a death defying peregrine dive

anemone swaying in the shallows of a sandbar in the Antilles

Casal’s quiver disturbing the strings

my five year old self riding the comet’s tail

But what good is all this reverie when I am stuck in Saskatchawan shoveling snow with trace of skunk in it? Enough to make one crabby and downright dejected if not for the Netflix movie and a Greygoose greyhound I have planned for this evening. While I don’t have a crystal ball, I do know that the Sunday edition of the New York Times will be sitting on my stoop tomorrow morning. And I will wake to fresh dark roast and Gregorian chants on the turntable. Antiphons, if not antipodes.

Still. If I could have one flagrant wish. I would go to Alice’s Restaurant where you can get anything you want. And I would order everything bathed in butter and draped with bacon.

Friday, February 13, 2009

In celebration of love

I am not a Hallmark girl

But I do like to celebrate

These posts we write

cross borders

alter geography

They are love letters

Off the richter scale.

In celebration of love. Here’s to you…

oh Yoko!

Antony - Everglades

Charmaine Nevelle

dance me to the end of love

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Fata Morgana

a giggle

gathers mirth

on its tumble

to full bodied laughter

winter rays

bend light

a blind kiss

in an unplowed lot

May bows to December

red rustles ancestral dreams

blue vibrates with bold pleasure

green inhales deep memory

yellow jiggles the holy yolk

December arcs to May

outside the visible spectrum

the marsh marigold

signals a prudent bee’s

dizzying descent

a common barn swallow

flares his chestnut collar

in an eternal dance

As May bends to December

and back again

light spreads

you mean to say

that fata morgana

is mirage?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Wordzzle – Week 48

Ten Word Challenge: snow and ice, vegetarian chili, pampered kitty, anthropology, do you own a home, coronation, you can change the world, hideous curtains, stammering, premonitions

Ten Word Challenge

Simple Pleasures

The Pampered Kitty has become a household name. If you google IRPP (Institute for the Recovery and Promotion of Pleasure), you will find that last year, its membership surpassed AARP’s. Applications for the Academy for the Cultivation of Bliss (ACB) have enjoyed nothing short of a meteoric trajectory.

Mimi Lemieux, the unlikely reigning queen of the thriving project, is scheduled to tell her story on Oprah next Monday. I had the good fortune to interview Ms. Lemieux in her Gainesville office today. What follows is the story of the humble beginnings of the Spreading Pleasure Moment by Moment movement. ( spread m&

One day Professor Lenore Hanes returned to her spartan studio after a particularly demoralizing department meeting. The relentless petty bickering had overwhelmed Ms. Hane’s legendary composure and reduced her to stammering incoherently in defense of the nobility of anthropology. In an uncharacteristic move, she exited abruptly, flipping her Dr. Scholl’s inserts at the fomenting factions.

Secure in the sanctity of her abode, Professor Lenore Hanes poured herself a drink and asked herself some hard questions. Do you own your own home? Do you really believe that you can change the world by digging for fossils? Don’t you think that it’s time for something more satisfying than vegetarian chili out of a can? She glanced at the hideous curtains which she had pledged to replace ten years ago upon signing the lease at Grand Vista Estates. All she could see was her dreams blowing in the wind.

Professor Hanes’ frustration had been percolating for years, but she had cultivated a threshold for pain. Today’s contentious session had truly taken her to the brink.

In the middle of a snow and ice storm, in the dead of winter, Lenore allowed herself to experience the warmth spreading in her chest. She watched as Solange luxuriously stretched to her full Abyssinian stature. Then placed an old bossa nova recording on the turntable and began gently swaying to Jobim’s lush harmonics. She found that the sinuous swing of her hips delivered a sweet sensation not unlike an accidental saunter in soft drizzle. Solange clairvoyantly began threading her silkiness through Lenore’s bare legs.

Ms. Hanes did not forget the delight she experienced on this momentous evening. In fact, she began to deliberately resurrect her forgotten sensuality on a daily basis. She dubbed the practice sacred tooth flossing.

Over time, what Lenore discovered was that when you say yes to pleasure, it spreads like contagion to every outpost of your being. Not unlike unearthing treasures of lost civilizations, Lenore Hanes would devote herself to exhuming buried desire. At the seasoned age of 62, Lenore Hanes had found her calling.

No Calvinist caution or insidious premonitions of failure could interfere with the unfolding of her vision: an invitation to pleasure, a revitalization of our sacred connections.

Over the course of her personal exploration, Mimi developed a ritual for dedicated initiates which she calls coronation. It involves anointing with chrism in a consecrated ceremony. But that is all she would disclose.

Mega Challenge

Ten Word Challenge: snow and ice, vegetarian chili, pampered kitty, anthropology, do you own a home, coronation, you can change the world, hideous curtains, stammering, premonitions

Mini Challenge: Is there a doctor in the house, blowing in the breeze, shadows, comedian, sleeping disorder

Is there a doctor in the house?

Chester Summers suffers from a syndrome which to this day remains a medical mystery. The cluster of symptoms does not fit any discrete diagnostic category. Mr. Summer’s malady incorporates certain familiar elements. For example, his nocturnal ramblings suggest some type of sleeping disorder. The serial convulsive episodes followed by incoherent stammering indicate an underlying neurological condition. His gnawing premonitions of global collapse infer a delusional disorder.

It all started innocently enough. The initial bout was precipitated by a bowl of vegetarian chili reluctantly ingested at a You Can Change the World conference in the summer of 2000. Chester retired to his hotel room after the day’s activities with an unpleasant sensation of queasiness and vertigo. The hotel’s décor had not been updated since the seventies. And the vibrant swirling patterns on the upholstery only amplified his vague feelings of discomfort. His eyes drifted lazily to the hideous curtains blowing in the breeze.

Exasperated with the turn of events, Chester turned on the tv for relief. Aimlessly flipping through the 1012 channels, he stumbled onto a program called Grand Rounds. Sounded promising. Maybe it would address his recently acquired affliction. Unfortunately for Chester, it turned out to be an interview with an eminent animal psychiatrist about her new book, How to Heal your Pampered Kitty. Next up, a show deceptively titled Do you own your own home was in fact an infomercial about how to buy distressed properties. Rotating through the vacuous world of cable, Chester encountered the full complement of amateur comics previewing their routines. And a bevy of fanatical preachers trying to save souls by breaking the sound barrier.

Because of his erratic sleep patterns, Chester was referred to do a sleep study. He became so agitated in his unfamiliar clinical surroundings that he bit through the electrodes attached to his scalp and escaped into the night with nothing but his gown. Needless to say, the findings were inconclusive.

A neurologist examined him for his epileptic episodes and recommended laugh therapy. He diligently viewed a retrospective of the Marx Brothers shenanigans. While Chester decided there was no comedian alive or dead who could rival the exhilarating wit of Groucho, he continued to be afflicted with his tics and tectonic troubles.

A thorough evaluation by to a psychiatrist resulted in a prescription for snow and ice therapy. This consisted of ritual dips in icy ponds followed by vigorous drumming. The only visible outcome was a lingering winter cold.

Because of persistent high levels of anxiety, Chester continued to have trouble sleeping. To distract himself, he watched tv into the wee hours. Invariably, he would be lulled by the whir of blenders or the soothing hiss of white noise.

Often, he would awaken stunned and disoriented in a cold sweat. One indelible night, he leapt off the couch, claiming to have seen shadows of his ancestors. It was a regal setting, a coronation. The courtiers were cautiously optimistic. But the emperor turned out to be an unschooled and indolent hooligan easily swayed by the counsel of a cabal of unscrupulous advisors. And his wife, a former librarian, knowing full well the power of words, banned poetry in the kingdom.

“Armageddon!!!” He would rail in the middle of the night. Peppering the slumbering suburb with apocalyptic prognostications. He paraded around the periphery of the cul de sacs with a neon placard plucked straight from The Wizard of Oz. “I would turn back if I were you”

Ultimately, he decided that the answers to today’s thorniest problems could be found in the past. He booked himself on an anthropological tour of the Incan Empire. Who was it who said: Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.