AS SIMPLE AS THAT

 

AS SIMPLE AS THAT

my man is away
i am quiet
left behind
with coffee and the cats

i remember back
when i was young
left behind
with drama twisted sheets
an empty bed

like jane
the girl with one eye
and lopsided perspective
she is young
swimming in the pool
of sex
thinking
analyzing
determining
figuring
strategizing
preaching change
blaming
left behind
with the why of it all

she doesn’t know
what being young
is for, to dive
into drama
and love it

to feel the water
thick with scum
coat your skin
to digest
each swallow
each blow
each thrust
each wave
with conviction

i watch jane
kick flail
cry against the current

– move with it –
i say
-before him
i moved with it, let
it snap me about –
she isn’t listening

i don’t tell her
that i let the rock
smoke sex whatever
pull and push me
whenever
wherever

my man
he didn’t come
to me
the current
delivered me
right up
to the empty
barstool
to his right

i looked over
saw his hazel eyes
shaded
with thick black lash

i spoke
he answered
it was as simple as that

**This is a poem from my book, as simple as that

 

Breach

whale breach

One of the reasons whales burst out of the water, reach back, twist and splash back through the blue stained glass surface is to knock off dead barnacles from their skin. Cold water barnacles attach themselves to the whales in the waters of Alaska and die when the whales move through warmer seas.

 

I rise
like this whale.
I break through
twist, turn, flip,
towards sky.
I splash down
all white foam
and spray.
The ghosts
that have attached
themselves
to my back
like barnacles,
parasites that feed
on my soul,
finally
they fall
back into the sea.

May It Be Filled With…

tumblr_mxv8uaPgjK1r38aw0o1_500

Happy New Year

Love
Happiness
Joy
Passion

May you be
inspired
creative
free

May you be fearless

May you be
inspired
creative
free

May you be fearless

May you reach beyond
your wildest dreams

May it be easy
delightful
delicious

May you receive
all that you’ve wished for
and even more
…as if by magic

May you be silly
goofy
and laugh a lot

May you love
and be loved
a lot

May you feel into yourself
listen to your heart–
know

May you have fun
lots and lots
and lots
of fun

May you be surrounded
by those that inspire
that respect you
love you
that support you —
lift you up

May you burst at the seams
with joy
because you’ve received all that you desire
and more
because you know
because you see
because you are grateful

May you have a Happy New Year
Celebrate well
and
Love.

Write On,

Watched Pot

la rain

a rainy LA day

 

Last night after we made love Bill went outside to wait for the rain.

He stood on the flagstone patio,
hands in the pockets of his white terry robe,
watching the oncoming storm hover in the distance.

She was moving in her own time.

I opened the back door and leaned outside,
“A watched pot never boils.” I said.
But I knew, if watched long enough, it would boil.
Bill stood patient, planted, like a tree
whose roots are thirsty for wet.
“I felt a drop,” he said.

This morning the house is quiet,
except for the sounds of sleep and wind and rain.
Until I turn on the news–
pictures of splintered trees,
pictures of floating cars, flooded and stuck in muck,
pictures of sand bags and empty beaches and businesses shut down,
a flash of yellow earthmover slogging through mud
and inevitably dramatic coverage of a swift water rescue
from the quick rising LA River.

Later, I’ll dress for weather.
New winter boots
water resistant, lined with fur.
Ultramarine raincoat
that matches nothing.
I’ll walk, head down, to the car,
open the trunk and dig for the umbrella.

 

 

page67image5760

It seemed like a good day to share this poem I wrote last year.
This was published in The Los Angeles Review of Los Angeles in the June 2014 edition.

Submission Guidelines

 

“No poems about your morning coffee.”

But I love mine.

It’s organic,

French Roast,

expensive.

I prepare it the night before.

I think about how

the black liquid

will turn tan

when it mixes with the ½ and ½

on the bottom of my mug.

How I will stand at the kitchen sink,

look out the window

purse my lips

and sip.

 

Maybe that editorwoman-drinking-coffee_300

doesn’t understand

the hint of jasmine

on a spring evening,

the brush of your lover’s

finger on your thigh,

or the perfect cup

of coffee

kissing you full

smack on your lips

each morning.

LIP GLOSS

 

LIPGLOSS

My new year’s resolution this year is LIP GLOSS.

More shine
More sparkle
More glitter
More smooth
More softness
More satin and silk and suede
I love me some suede
More leather like butter
What the hell
More butter
Sweet creamy or salted
More open
More writing
More reading
More books
More of my words read by more and more and more people
More of my poems published
More of me published
More of my pieces published
More of my books sold
Even more love and joy and passion and happiness
Even More sex
More sex
What the hell
More sex
–You know it is the cure for the common everything
More grace
More gratitude
More appreciation
–Given and taken

 over exposed

So far, so good
We are three weeks
into 2014 and I leave the house
Lips Berry Beaming and Glossed
I’m Ginger Sensed and smiling Origins

My new years resolution this year is LIP GLOSS

What’s yours?

Dancin’ in the Dark

 

It was a September dance partylove shack - Version 2

In our vibrating Love Shack

last night

Queen, Bowie, Bee Gees,  Blondie

Kiss,

She Drives Me Crazy hair flying

arms embrace twirl push pull hips circle grind

knees bend and it’s loco-motion

as his hands Bust a Move

up and down my body

I Want You to Want Me eyes smiling wild

Footloose

and boogie down, bump d’ bump

seventh grade shuffle in our Brick House

we twisted and swirled and kicked and hustled

With New Attitude

Nasty Girl 

on an autumn night

Can’t Fake that Feeling

just Listen to the Music

and our spirits Super Freak

wanting to spread the love

we Beat It

Walking on Sunshine

down the street

What a Feeling

Stayin’ Alive laughing

hearts Play that Funky Music

mirrored disco blue

All Night Long

That’s the Way I Like it

and after these 10 fine years

let’s go ahead

and buy

that mirrored disco ball

 

 

 

In Memoriam–Roger M. Rothstein

 

My Mother, Barbara Rothstein, is a brilliant writer.  She wrote this and I am sharing it here.

 

This year marks the 25th death anniversary of my husband Roger.

 August 31, 1935 – September 12, 1988.  He was 53.

Roger: Fun-loving, caring, down to earth. Generous, colorful, smart. Loaded with common sense, great instincts, a spontaneous sense of humor and an innate goodness. He loved his two daughters, good company, good food, good things…especially cars and watches!  He loved the business of making films and working on the production of a film and making it happen. He was the go-to guy for making things happen. You wanted a car wrapped in cellophane with a big red bow on top?  Done…that afternoon!  You wanted a birthday care package delivered to your kid at camp overnight? Done…before anyone ever heard of Fed Ex! That was Roger.

The first film he worked on was Act One (1963).  There were to be 27 more as he worked his way up from 2nd Assistant Director to  production manager/line producer. He ultimately became the head of production management at Paramount Studios, the job he loved best of all.

His own funny, creative writing was amazing, and to this day, friends tell us they still have all of the letters Roger sent them! He loved to write. I can only imagine how he would’ve loved Facebook and Twitter. I know he would’ve thanked and acknowledged all the wonderful people in his life who helped him along the way, people he was always grateful for, people he never forgot, people he never stopped loving.

We’ve pieced together the titles of the films he actually worked on into a little narrative as our way of recognizing some of his accomplishments.

In Memory of Roger Michael Rothstein                       

 

September 12, 2013

Act One opens in The World Of Henry Orient where You Play It As It Lays.  That’s what Roger and Harvey Middleman, Fireman used to say every time there was Panic In Needle Park.  Me, Natalie knew that Serpico would figure out the reason for The Return of Max Dugan, even though they had Nothing In Common, except maybe Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams…maybe.  But sometimes life is nothing more than a Puzzle Of A Downfall Child, like when the Paper Lion predicted The Effect Of Gamma Rays On Man-In-The-Moon Marigolds.  But no one, not even Roger, our Hero At Large, could’ve predicted what would happen to Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.  Sadly, the Gamma rays worked like Pretty Poison and they turned into Stepford Wives! But that was before Chapter Two, The Turning Point.  After that, he met Amazing Grace And Chuck and then of course, The Sunshine Boys. To this day It Only Hurts When I Laugh to think of those two old guys hurling crazy insults at each other like “Don’t even think You Oughta Be In Pictures”, and “Don’t worry…the only thing I think of when I think of you is Murder By Death, better yet, by Stiletto!” They were Two Of A Kind alright.

It Seems Like Old Times just thinking about all this. Yet even though it’s been 25 years since September 12, 1988, some things never change:

Roses are still red,

Violets Are Blue,

Your Goodbye Girls

Will always love you.

Still wishing we could  Play It Again, Roger,

   Love always,  Barbara,  Carolyn & Leslie.

Man of Destiny

“Man of Destiny”

Hard at work

Hard At Work

Military Acadamy

Peekskill Military Academy Days

Earth Crisis

 

“It wasn’t butter it was earth crisis we were eating last night,” says the tall work-study. The work-study philosophizes about life. “The circle of giving keeps giving” he says.

We’re all philosophers.  Breathing into the dusted sepia pages of books, stacked from floor to ceiling in rooms scented with musk and memory.  Sunlight streams from skylights and neglected windows.  Cars whiz by on Laurel Canyon and Magnolia and the Pioneer Chicken on the corner will outlast us all.

I want to be outside but the cigarette smoker exhales feathers of tar toward saltwater.   The ocean cries and the wall of voodoo forms on the horizon, waiting to hug the cliffs and paint everyone in mist.

There is always a choice.  Today it’s between the all-saltwater-roll-your-own and the voices of those that live among the trees.  Voices that echo in canyons, Love me, free me, color me blue, violet, blood orange yellow and pink; a kaleidoscope of light that winds its way up the trunks of trees.

The trees.  The trees plant themselves into hillsides.  The trees push themselves from rock and stone.  The trees, older than the birds thatwhat of the trees perch themselves, wings spread ready to hunt, older than the iron, stone and wood structures built around them, older than the smoking man. And what of the rocks?

The earth shook and a piece of cliff set itself free.  Tumble, bounce, crumble crash.  Particles disperse and morph into another time.

The wind is hollow. The blue jay hunts for food.  I wait.

I don’t move.  I can’t spread my wings until I know I am home.

I can’t find a home and so I pick up my cup of tea, my crumpled packet of Truvia, my bent spoon, my pen, my new red cap and my bottle of Fiji.  Ten years ago I walked along a beach in Fiji. The Fijians have flat feet. They climb the palm trees and drop-thud the coconuts to the ground.  I thought about moving to Fiji.

I’ve moved before. I was young and splintered. I tread water for a long time.

We all tread water, burn ourselves into a blue flame until we suffocate or stroke.  I butterflied my way to a south-facing beach, crawled up on shore, my home strapped to my back.  Sloshed through thick wet sand. Why not let the sea push me into a dream where the sun sets in the North?

Glue me together.

And what of the dirt that I can’t seem to clean from the bottom of my feet?  Is that from a stone that fell hundreds of skies into my South facing ocean?  Lightning striking sand, melted it into long, thin tubes that sucked themselves toward the beginning.  Volcanoes erupted melted rocks. I am stained by my earth.

Today I stepped on a shard of glass.  I didn’t see it, but I felt it.  I had to stop, sit down and pull it out of my toe.  I am ground fine like glass. A window to peer through, a crystal to fill, to drink from and then place under my husband’s foot.   I have left behind pieces of myself, on pillows and in sheets and wrapped in the souls of those I have loved.

I Am 50

 

I woke up and the clock struck 50 today.

birthday roses

The Clock Struck….

The pink roses my neighbor brought over yesterday are opening.  I feel like one of those pink roses.

I am open.

Till, dig, cultivate the earth, offer worms, cut spent blossoms, thin out dead, diseased and damaged stems, pull weeds, fertilize and deep water.  I have done this. On my knees, hot sun beating down, sweat pooling, dripping, fingers earth-digging, clearing.

I planted seeds.

 

New friends.
New opportunities.
New ideas.

I am giftwrapped.
I root myself
Spread far
Vines spiral, reach, circle, stretch

I grow long
tall
thick branches
strong trunk
I am lush green
I blossom  pink, red, blue, purple and white
I burst
sprit lifts
I bend back
arch my back to the sky
I am a bough heavy with ruby fruit

I am 50