This Is 38.

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Birthday Cake Milkshake, Steak N Shake, St Pete Florida

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Art Therapy For Violent People

Today I feel like shoving my thumbs into every face I meet. I can, and I will, apply pressure until an eyeball is resting in each palm, until each ocular cavity is crushed in by my fists. Then, and only then, will I feel human again.

If this activity seems rational and purposeful, we need to take a breather. 

1) Time to get away from people. Take a day off from work. Get someone to watch the kids. Tell the spouse it can’t be about him or her today.

2) Choose an activity which doesn’t require batteries or an electrical outlet. We’re trying to release energy, not create more. I chose to color.  

3) Turn off all electronic devices. Phone, remove the battery. Tablet, turn off and leave off charger. Notebook, switch off and pull battery. No TV. No gaming console. NO DISTRACTIONS.

4) Talk it out to get it out and use mouth words to do it. Yell if necessary as you fulfill your project. You’ll find this awkward activity actually enhances your artistry! Follow these panels to the finished product as an example:

Getting quiet, getting alone, getting time allocated for yourself is revelatory. Making practice of these instances is healing. Making habits of these activities help make this miserable life a touch tolerable.

Take it easy. You are not alone.

National Poetry Month 2015! Horror Poetry

Happy Friday and good news…it’s still National Poetry Month! Hope you’ve enjoyed my contributions thus far. 😀

For our last NPM15 entry, I’m giving you a sneak preview of A Coterie of Diamonds.

The excerpt below, The Dreamer, is a segment of my surreal narrative poem; the full piece will be featured in Thirteen o’Clock Press‘s upcoming anthology highlighting female horror writers. Very excited!

vsenterprises_thedreamer
Copyright 2015 VS Enterprises

National Poetry Month 2015! Erotic Poetry

houstonpress_natldonutday
Credit: Houston Press

Every Friday this April, I am going to feature an original work here for your reading pleasure. Throw rotted fruit, sing praises, lemme know you just don’t get it, but do, please, have an experience. If you borrow the work, be polite and cite!

This is a work-in-progress poem. Dog-eared for publication, but it’s only the second revision. It’s very intimate. Passionate. Worshipful. The reader submits instantaneously.

As a former obese woman, fried dough is my enemy! But there is something rather sexy about the forbidden, que no? Once a month I allow myself an indulgence. And when I do…

Copyright VS Enterprises

I Made My Book A Soundtrack

My buddy The Vibe Muse put me on to my new obsession, SoundCloud! What..? I can make playlists out of any theme I come up with in my head space? AWESOME!

But really, what a handy vision-free tool. I’m a writer of sounds, which is why I like writing action stories, because I get to use furious, loud words, and I use all kinds of music to influence plot tempo. As such, every novel I’ve composed in the last five years, within margins and notes, includes the makings of a soundtrack.

So here’s my first extraction! I give you, loves of my life, I Blew Up Juarez: The Playlist

An entire novel in under 58 minutes. Enjoy!

Highlights From Afternoon Tea at Sawgrass

Many thanks to Susan Bridges, owner and operator of Sawgrass Bar, for another successful literary-fueled event! She hosted an afternoon tea with a vegan cuisine tasting last Saturday and man, was that spread fantastic.


I enjoyed a warm, honeyed white tea, a decaf version of a minty, spicy oolong, and the party rocker itself, a kava ginger peach smoothie. Kava has the same effect on me as a crippy hydroponic: muscle relaxing, tension relieving, ooo-la-la feeling from eyebrows to toes.


I read from I Blew Up Juarez, Chapter 21, where Johnny meets the surly, enigmatic Jossara Urestoguei (pron. urr-est-oh-gay). This was a fusion of two burgeoning concepts: how to get two women who fundamentally hate each other to get along, and, how to educate someone too affixed to the tangible about how time and space really works.

As I read the section aloud, I recognized my ex-publisher’s writing style (she had a nasty habit of re-writing segments without my approval), and my growing inner irritation ended up voiced into the work. So, if anyone noticed a sear of animosity during the reading, you’re pretty empathic! Congrats.
Next time, I’ll stick to the parts I know are my original, approved, compositions!

I feel her event was a great concept. We need more heroes like Susan in the Tampa Bay area; supporters of the arts as well as small business ventures!

Galleries credit: Susan Bridges, Sawgrass Bar. Friend and Like on Facebook for more event photos

My World Bipolar Day Contribution: “Bipolar Is The New Gay”

~Reposting this from February, a peek into the challenges of this disorder. Here’s more information on World Bipolar Day.~

Today we’ll move the pin down one.

The hammies were complaining during the stationary bike warm-up, and now on the leg curls, they don’t wanna move.

“rrrrr…”

I can do this.

“rrr…rrrrrr…”

Look left. Look right. All alone in the gym.

“RAAAAAAA!!!”

There it goes!

Fluid, don’t smack against the arse. Smooth, smooth, smooth…

Ironically, the song I have set for this week’s Turn It Up Tuesday comes on. Fitting, as we’re moving now to the quads.

I growl through upper body presses, then sigh towards the padded stand.

Lower ab leg curls.

As I stabilize my position to bang out crunches, a heavily obese woman enters the gym. She’s got proper gym clothes on, her water bottle is filled, and she’s motioning towards the cardio machines.

I’m so proud of her, showing the lazy skinny punks how to self-care. Her arrival encourages me to push through side crunches, to the point of making my injured right hip sing.

We did it.

I take my time giving Bobby his weekly bath, and suddenly I remember, I HAVE THERAPY TODAY.

I rush him so I can shower. He’s visibly relieved.

As I happen to swipe my smartphone screen, I notice the misread: two thirty not twelve thirty.

Oh.

Ah!

We’ve got time for pancakes!

2:36PM I arrive at the therapist’s office.

“I left the house an hour ago, I swear! Time always works against me…”

We shuffle into the room.

I remove a copy of Night Walkers from my purse. “You might recognize someone in there.”

She chuckles, then proceeds to read my short story, Tokyo Rose.

She looks up. “Metaphorically, what am I examining with this first page?”

“Consider it…the event horizon of a suicide.”

She laughs at the right parts, marvels at the word play, notes my editorializing. I’m pleased that she gets it.

After she’s done, I review with the therapist how this work stems from the memory of my last suicide attempt, now four years ago.

“What does this mean for you now?” Alluding to fame, fortune, popularity.

“It’s me confessing my truths. I put the work out there, because, mainly, I’m not long for this world.”

She mentions Stevie Smith and Nick Drake. I mention Michael Angelakos.

“So it seems that…knowing you’re not long for this world, helps you be part of it?”

“Right.”

I tell the therapist I’m visiting with a spiritualist to understand further the metaphysical dynamic of my existence. As we speak, I’m thumbing through a copy of the DSM-V. She encourages my interest in the science behind psychosis, but reminds me, the DSM is a tome put together by psychiatrists under the influence of pharmaceutical companies.

I mention the show happening tomorrow. She’s visibly proud, but sees I’m not.

I then recall the last time I had a grand event occur involving my art, I ended up in the HPU.

Knowing this, we design a skeletal plan of approach: “How are you going to keep safe?” I offer my initial strategy. The therapist approves of my suggestions. “Give yourself permission to refuse anything that you know will upset you. Allow yourself to be emotional, if you have a reaction.”

“Just remember…you can express yourself, just don’t touch anybody.”

“Right.”

Boo Radley, To Kill A Mockingbird
Boo Radley, To Kill A Mockingbird

I flip to Bipolar Disorder. “I wish We weren’t the new bogeymen.”

“Boo Radley.”

“Yeah.”

I smirk. “Bipolar is the new gay.”

“We should start making T-shirts. ‘Bipolar Is The New Gay’!”

“Yes.” I clasp my hands, “We just want to belong.”

She laughs. “You’re going to be alright.”

Sigh. “I know.”

Time’s up.

I can do this.

Von, Master of Hip Hop

(read time 7m22s)

I found Trish and settled in the seat to her right. She scored us an ideal location, perfect line of sight to the podium, a couple rows back. The aisle was two seats away, good. There’s the door. Got my noise cancellers around my neck, check. I’m fully prepped to endure crowd anxiety for this momentous occasion: an evening with my teacher, Chuck D of Public Enemy. I open my Darth Vader notebook and prepare to shorthand whatever lessons I can gather today.

I noted my inflammed joints and stiff hip from a week of unusually low temperatures, and imagined what it’d be like now to kick up into a one-handed handstand from a flattened cardboard box. My seven year old hands clapping along to the beat, sidestepping to the tempo, watching my brother attempt to breakdance. As I entered into the obligatory, “Go ‘head, go ‘head…” with the other block rockers, I thought, yo that kid is WACK! Hours spent in my room, duplicating what I observed on the cardboard then snapping it tight. My brother wouldn’t let me join his crew, but I figured, one day I’ll have my own, so I better be ready.

A group of three slide from the left into the row in front of us, and I see the muscular man in a blue t-shirt intends to take the seat in front of me. As I scrutinize his eyes and nose, I feel certain I know him. Personally? Historically..? Been a lot of places/seen a lot of faces… My mental Rolodex is spinning wild. He sits down, and I’m relieved his sculpted shoulder doesn’t impede my view of the podium.

We’ve just finished playing Masters of the Universe and my brother has a swell idea: let’s be DJ s! He orders me, as is his right as the elder, to pick some vinyl records from our parents’ collection. Tina Turner’s Break Every Rule? no… Michael Jackson’s Thriller? no… Commodores..? Hmm. Nah. So I grab Kenny Rogers’ 1983 Greatest Hits. That one’s mom’s. She won’t miss it.

I watch my brother and his friends pull the vinyl back and forth, three fingertips along the grooves, making the now iconic rip rip rawr a la Jam Master Jay of Run DMC. We giggled once the record was left to play, only to interrupt his vocals:

You picked a fine time to leave me Lucille/ rip rip a fine time/ rip a fine time/ rip rip

We didn’t know scratching the record might actually cause scratches to the record, and once mommy told daddy, our DJ days were squashed!

A thought fills my head: what if you get a chance to speak to him? Mr. D..? Mr. Chuck? Can’t just call him Chuck, he’s not your friend. Consummate confusion of mine; how to formally address an emcee. Madame Lyte? Mr. Cool J? I never could come up with a cool MC name. Heck, I wasn’t even a good emcee to begin. Middle school lunch room, two rows decide to enter into freestyle rapping. Me, the closet poet and at the time, theater kid, went up against my best friend. Oh I got her, I was sure, she don’t know about rap! So I busted out something so generic: My name is Vonnie, and I’m here to say… surprised that wasn’t followed by a round of boos. She stands up, smug faced, and I immediately realize I have failed. I still hear the smackdown clear in my ears: C to da A to da R-OL-I-N-E/Sweet/Ahh!/Like caramel candy…

Grimace. Melt. Never battle rhymed again.


The poetic political enemy takes to the podium and I grin big, taking in the fitted cap, the wide stance, then eagerly press pen to paper. Chuck’s voice has a signature resonance, and everytime I hear it, I’m called to listen; I the faithful, he the muezzin. Listening to Public Enemy, these “radicals” telling you to question authority and call out injustices, conflicted with daddy’s job, and the environment we lived in. As hip hop flourished into a global movement, hitting the Armed Forces Network radio airwaves and featured on MTV Europe, daddy was adamant in keeping those sounds and influences out of the home. Disobedience meant repercussions:

Playing Salt ‘N’ Pepa too loud from my little red boom box smack!

Dad home early from work, caught wearing sneakers with no shoelaces twack!

To no affect, of course. I’m still pissing people off with my principles to this day.

My teachers – musicians, storytellers, poetic prophets – provided examples of how to protect my mind, gave me fodder for philosophy, reminded me bruises may break my skin but never my soul. It dawned on me as Chuck D reminded the collegians how valuable intelligence is, Hip Hop saved me from abandoning my wits. The movement, not just the music, fortified in me that my art is just as powerful a weapon as a machine gun, that I could equally call for change or kill a man simply by placing the right set of words together. My teacher lamented that we remain a society too caught up in SocMed to truly understand our reality for what it is: too much individualism, too little discourse, too few moments when information technology doesn’t intercede in decision making. Oh my gosh, I realize, I attack those very issues every day, on this blog, in my prose, and in my freestyle poems. Good job MC Von, you paid attention. 

@CoachDTalks @eckerdcollege What I enjoyed was @MrChuckD reminding us to question authority as a collective and hold fast to intelligence 🙂 — Von Simeon (@VonSimeon) February 27, 2015

As he entered into the original days of hip hop and the struggle for equal air play, Chuck pointed out, “The Cold Crush Brothers were selling out shows, never blew up, never got their fair share of airplay…” Ah yes, nodding in my seat, I remember the Cold Crush crew, and then Chuck D extends his right arm my direction and says, “Charlie Chase is sitting right there, he can tell you…”

Rolodex stops at Cold Crush Brothers. The DJ. DJ Chase. DJ CHASE IS SITTING RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME.

Don’t. Explode,” My inner sargent-at-arms instructs. I shudder with pure excitement, then chuckle a bit. My big bro can suck it!!

I wanted to pull DJ Chase towards me and exult, “You know, I used to DJ my friends’ house parties? I love music! I love youuu!”

Phone is ringin/oh my god Get it together..


I still dance but I’m afraid if I start popping I won’t be able to push my bones back into their joints! I may not have vinyl to scratch, but I’ve got eclectic playlists out the wazoo, and I share what’s new to me every week on Turn It Up Tuesday. While my spoken word sucks, my written word is vicious, and now, available in book form.

Knowing there are few moments in life when you can credit people who’ve positively influenced you, after the presentation I quickly, timidly tapped Charlie Chase on his shoulder. He was slow to turn then presented a warm smile once he saw me. I fought the tremors to tell him, “I just wanted to shake your hand and let you know because of you I wanted to be a DJ.” He was kind enough to shake my hand tightly, then asked, “What’s your name?”

What’s my muthafuckin’ naame..?

My name is Von Simeon. I’m a local artist. Thank you for your time.” Zoom! Towards the door.

You handled that very well,” Trish complimented. I could feel the tremors building up. There’s no way I can approach Chuck D in this state, so I’ll just follow him on Twitter, @MrChuckD.

Oh. So it is the full emcee name after Mister or Madam. Good to know.

chuckdtwitter

😀

“Bipolar Is The New Gay”

Today we’ll move the pin down one.

The hammies were complaining during the stationary bike warm-up, and now on the leg curls, they don’t wanna move.

“rrrrr…”

I can do this.

“rrr…rrrrrr…”

Look left. Look right. All alone in the gym.

“RAAAAAAA!!!”

There it goes!

Fluid, don’t smack against the arse. Smooth, smooth, smooth…

Ironically, the song I have set for this week’s Turn It Up Tuesday comes on. Fitting, as we’re moving now to the quads.

I growl through upper body presses, then sigh towards the padded stand.

Lower ab leg curls.

As I stabilize my position to bang out crunches, a heavily obese woman enters the gym. She’s got proper gym clothes on, her water bottle is filled, and she’s motioning towards the cardio machines.

I’m so proud of her, showing the lazy skinny punks how to self-care. Her arrival encourages me to push through side crunches, to the point of making my injured right hip sing.

We did it.

I take my time giving Bobby his weekly bath, and suddenly I remember, I HAVE THERAPY TODAY.

I rush him so I can shower. He’s visibly relieved.

As I happen to swipe my smartphone screen, I notice the misread: two thirty not twelve thirty.

Oh.

Ah!

We’ve got time for pancakes!

2:36PM I arrive at the therapist’s office.

“I left the house an hour ago, I swear! Time always works against me…”

We shuffle into the room.

I remove a copy of Night Walkers from my purse. “You might recognize someone in there.”

She chuckles, then proceeds to read my short story, Tokyo Rose.

She looks up. “Metaphorically, what am I examining with this first page?”

“Consider it…the event horizon of a suicide.”

She laughs at the right parts, marvels at the word play, notes my editorializing. I’m pleased that she gets it.

After she’s done, I review with the therapist how this work stems from the memory of my last suicide attempt, now four years ago.

“What does this mean for you now?” Alluding to fame, fortune, popularity.

“It’s me confessing my truths. I put the work out there, because, mainly, I’m not long for this world.”

She mentions Stevie Smith and Nick Drake. I mention Michael Angelakos.

“So it seems that…knowing you’re not long for this world, helps you be part of it?”

“Right.”

I tell the therapist I’m visiting with a spiritualist to understand further the metaphysical dynamic of my existence. As we speak, I’m thumbing through a copy of the DSM-V. She encourages my interest in the science behind psychosis, but reminds me, the DSM is a tome put together by psychiatrists under the influence of pharmaceutical companies.

I mention the show happening tomorrow. She’s visibly proud, but sees I’m not.

I then recall the last time I had a grand event occur involving my art, I ended up in the HPU.

Knowing this, we design a skeletal plan of approach: “How are you going to keep safe?” I offer my initial strategy. The therapist approves of my suggestions. “Give yourself permission to refuse anything that you know will upset you. Allow yourself to be emotional, if you have a reaction.”

“Just remember…you can express yourself, just don’t touch anybody.”

“Right.”

I flip to Bipolar Disorder. “I wish We weren’t the new bogeymen.”

“Boo Radley.”

“Yeah.”

I smirk. “Bipolar is the new gay.”

“We should start making T-shirts. ‘Bipolar Is The New Gay’!”

“Yes.” I clasp my hands, “We just want to belong.”

She laughs. “You’re going to be alright.”

Sigh. “I know.”

Time’s up.

I can do this.