Smells Like Sulfur

I can’t rant today, I feel too much to poet. My nieces and nephews are on my mind. But what I can do is let my art speak for me. 

As my voice, I offer an excerpt from my 2012 National Novel Writing Month novella, The Black Parade. It’s sequel, The American Manifesto, was completed during the 2014 National Novel Writing Month contest. In both, I explore the socio-economic collapse of the United States of America. Please enjoy the (very) rough draft of my chapter titled, “A New America.” Brace yourself for triggers…


“Four more years! Four more muhfuckin’ years! WOO!” The penthouse filled with the former Yale rugby star’s elation. “Send that monkey back to Newark, that stupid fuck! WOO HOO!” His crystalline blue eyes were ensnared by thick, red lines. A formidable cocktail of power drinks, prescription speed, and insomnia powered his body from one side of the room to the other, unabashedly shoving revelers and supporters aside. The results had been released four hours ago. The Wilcoxon Re-Election Team powered through the press junkets, complied with the requisite photo ops, and relayed messages of gratitude to the nation for keeping Archibald “Archie” Wilcoxon in office to continue the mission of A New America.
Andrew Huebner stopped in his charge to kiss an unsuspecting campaign volunteer on her mouth. “WOO!” He pushed her aside and continued to sprint, slacking his red, white and blue tie enough to wrap it around his head Animal House style. Nervous laughter inflated as he passed, coaxing him to unbutton his shirt and reveal his gym rat chest and arms, stopping in his tracks to wave it over his head. “That fucker is crawling back to Jersey tonight, yeah! See this? This is his white flag of defeat! WOO HOO!”
The blitzkrieged U.S. Senate intern wipes her mouth, leaning disapprovingly towards her employer. “What is he on?”
“Adrenaline,” Abelardo Contreras, Senator from the 11th District of Arizona, Andrew Huebner’s home state, replied.
“Has he been drinking?”
Abelardo Contreras shrugged.
Andrew Huebner screeched to a halt in front of his childhood friend, clasped him at each side, and pulled him to his bare chest. “We did it man, yeah! Four more years to set this fucked up country straight!”
Senator Contreras’ intern back stepped towards the kitchen to avoid another assault.
The sweaty, tanned, muscular man with jet black (dyed) hair contrasted the short, pale, balding and exhausted man he squeezed. Abelardo patted one of Andrew Huebner’s hands to request a release. “Calm it down, Andy. Yes, we won; that’s what we’re all celebrating,” Abelardo softened his voice, noticing Andy was heavily panting. “Andy, you’re at a ten. I need you at a two. Here, drink my water.” Andy clasped the bottle of water and chugged it as if shooting a fitness commercial. He slammed the emptied vessel to the ground and crushed it with his foot. “Them stupid fucks really thought they were gonna take this away from me, huh? Stupid…dickless…FUCKS!”
“Andy. Bring it down,” Abelardo pleaded.
The smell of victory was too intoxicating for him to relax. Andrew Huebner clasped his hands around his taut waist, leaned his head back and inhaled the ceiling. He closed his swollen eyelids, finally returning moisture to his overworked lenses. He dropped his head slowly, revealing a countenance of sincerity.
“You’re a good man, Abelardo. A good friend. We’re gonna start by getting S.B. 173 flying through Congress. And you,” Andrew slapped a hand down on Abelardo’s shoulder and squeezed it, Andy’s favorite intimidation tactic that always caused Abelardo grief since childhood, bringing Abelardo closer for emphasis. “You my friend will be Chairman of the committee. How ‘bout them apples?” Abelardo shook his head with consternation. “That’s the President’s decision to make, not yours.”
Andrew Huebner dropped his eyes to Abelardo Contreras’ level with incredulity. “What? That pussy? He’ll appoint who I tell him to appoint. Where is that fucker anyways?”
“You mean, where is the President-Elect Archie Wilcoxon, don’t you U.S. Attorney General Huebner? There are members of the press present. For God’s sake man, put your shirt back on.”

He read the inscription on the back of the watch his wife Katherine gifted him for tonight’s win. Always a winner, never a sinner. His famous catchphrase from his University of South Florida days, a Heisman trophy winning quarterback who forfeited a career in the National Football League to open his own consulting firm in Pinellas County, Florida. From the consulting firm to the state legislature. From Florida politics to national politics. His job-creating talent and All-American charm got him in the White House four years ago.
Mirroring the austerity measures the European Union exacted upon its nations in 2011, Wilcoxon was in danger of losing political favor. Sure, the middle class tanked, but with destruction comes reformation. He compared the event to the dismantling of the Berlin Wall. Rise from the rubble like a phoenix. Well, not really. Those who could afford to moved their investments elsewhere, starving the American financial systems. Under his presidency, three constitutional amendments were exacted. Tonight, after this election, Archie Wilcoxon knows he’s on the verge of managing a fourth invocation of Article V. The thought of losing one more state from the union ate at him. This was not supposed to happen. This was supposed to be a cake walk this time around. Get the money back. Stop milking the Federal Reserve. That gosh darn pipeline. Archie Wilcoxon paused his frantic thoughts for a quick prayer. “Dear gracious and holy Lord. Your beloved found me worthy to continue the difficult task of managing these United States, a task too great to bear without your unfaltering love and guidance. See me through the upcoming storm, help me build the ark that will sail this nation back to prosperity. In your name I humbly pray, Amen.”
Archie Wilcoxon stared at his watch deferentially. He blinked twice. It was nearly one in the morning.
Two knocks against the door raises his head. A necktie’d head pokes in. “What up, Coxie! How ya feelin’ man?”
“Come on in Andy.”
The President-Elect clasps his new watch, then reaches for his sweating glass of vodka. He looks up from his glass with weary eyes towards his attorney general, wearing a too tight “A New America” campaign shirt.
“Is the party over yet? I’m really tired Andy.”
Andrew Huebner folds his arms across his chest with mild difficulty. A wide smile draws across his face.
“I got you a present, boss.”
Archie Wilcoxon forces a smile. “You didn’t have to…”
Andy’s ice blue eyes glow.
“Flashback, Mr. President. Four years ago. Election Night. Tampa. You with me?”
“Yeap.”
“The after party at Joe Redner’s place…”
“Yeap.”
“…you had a favorite out of all his girls…”
“Yeah?”
“…she voted for you this year under the name of Leont’nae Price, but you know her as…”
The President-Elect leaned his head back. Andy swung his body towards the door, clasping the doorknob.
“You didn’t…?”
“Oh yeah I did!” the Attorney General shifts his voice into Strip Club Dee Jay. “Mr. President, performing exclusively for you, the owner and operator of Tampa Nights Cabaret…the award winning…Champagne!”
Archie Wilcoxon’s shoulders dropped. In strolled the most beautiful woman he ever knew, besides his wife, of course. Her almond shaped eyes, her bee stung lips, a sweet smile to compliment her sweet breasts. Champagne has natural, double D sized breasts. Katherine? Nothing.
She slowly stepped one high heeled foot in front of the other, rolling her round hips enough to reveal the juicy, tender ass they burden themselves to hold. Those long long legs. Katherine’s thighs seemed to thicken with every birth.
She wore a Beyonce wig this time. Champagne’s dress of the same color barely covered her crotch. Champagne stopped her pelvis in front of the President-Elect’s awestruck face.
“Congratulations on your re-election Mr. President. I want you to know I personally campaigned for you, and convinced all my dancers to vote for you.” Champagne bent at her hips, grazing her breasts against his face, softly kissing him on both cheeks. The President-Elect exhaled excitedly.
Champagne relocated his glass to the stand. She lowered her torso to the floor, widening her legs, revealing beautifully sculpted labia and a diamond pierced clitoris. She dragged her hands against each of his thighs.
“I have a present for you,” she whispered. Her hands began to decipher his belt and pants. Archie Wilcoxon began to fidget. Champagne smiled lovingly, lowering his boxers so she can get a handful of manhood. Archie felt heat grow around his neck.
“I’ll be gentle,” she assured.
“I know but…”
She applied gentle pressure to his shaft to arouse him.
“I remember last time, Mr. President. You’re safe with me.”
“I know but…”
“See? You’re getting hard. That’s a good sign.”
Beads of sweat formed against his scalp. He grasped the armrests with uncertainty, his anxiety growing as his head engorged.
Champagne kissed him. “It’s me, baby. Don’t think. Just feel.”
Her mouth encapsulated his eagerness. “Watch me. You’ll love it.”
Archie Wilcoxon fought to focus on her beautiful brown face in his lap, her reassuring eyes helping him fight the panic. For a moment, he did relax. He released his sphincter and fell into the pleasure of warm wetness against him. But his memories betrayed him. Archie is back in the shower room. Coach Bradbury is on his knees. Archie shuts his eyes. Champagne pops him out her mouth.
“No, Archie, watch me. Don’t think about…that. Watch what I’m doing.” She plunges deeper, making kissing noises at the base of his shaft.
The noises temporarily distract . Then her face contorts, and it’s him again. The wrinkle of the top of his bald head, his white hairs sticking up around the edges like cat whiskers. Moaning as he pumps Little Archie’s hips into his face. His coach had dry lips. They scratched his sensitive skin. Mom thought it was the detergent she used. Archie shudders defiantly.
“Stop! Get off me!”
Before she can comply, Archie Wilcoxon jerks his lap up, causing Champagne to scrape teeth against him. The President-Elect lets out a terrible wail, inciting the Secret Service to rush the room.
“What happened sir?”
“She…she bit me! My…she… bit me!” Archie Wilcoxon doubled onto the floor to cover his embarrassment and shame. Champagne is dragged into the hallway. “It was an accident! Ac-cid-ent! Don’t arrest me!” she pleaded. The agent’s voice carried away from his room towards the front door. “You assaulted the President of the United States, a federal offense…” Archie Wilcoxon could hear as his favorite woman in the world, besides his wife, of course, was likely being sent to the nearest correctional institution. All the powers of the presidency could not erase those damned memories. Faithful? Archie Wilcoxon didn’t have a choice. The guilt of both events washed over him.
“Mr. President, should I call the doctor?”
The President realized he was still on his hands and knees, with his security standing over him awaiting orders. Archie inspected himself, relieved to not see any breakage.
“No, Gus, I’m fine. I, uh, could use my sleeping pills.”
“They should be in the bathroom with the rest of your toiletries.”
“That’ll be all, then.”
“Good night, Mr. President. Congratulations once again, Mr. President.”

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Broadcasting the Divine Feminine in Sarasota

I was four years old, standing onstage with my dance mates at the Fort Hood Family Recreation Center, wearing a white frilly top with red satin inlay and matching red velour skirt. White opaque tights and shiny patent leather Mary Janes completed my outfit. My hair, curls freshly unfurled from pink sponge curlers, served as a mane. Mom had painted whiskers across my cheeks. While the costume was more holiday, the performance was animal. I was cast as a lion amongst lambs in a story about Jesus Christ’s birth. My dance was simple – a crouched position, a turn to the left, a turn to the right, then a full circle. Repeat. It was my first stage performance. After the applause and raising of the house lights, I knew it wouldn’t be my last.

Flash forward to the eve of 40. I sit across from show director Luke Rosebaro in the WSRQ Sarasota talk radio station at microphone #4. Andy Garrett sits to my left, and Frances Roberts-Reilly sits to my right. The three of us are promoting The Living Goddess Exhibit, a production I developed early 2016 that was showcased on November 11th. For Luke and his listening audience, we share poems featured in the exhibit as well as other sacred creations.

This was my first radio performance, and I delighted to share at a microphone that wasn’t propped on a stand on a stage in front of a live audience. Although I faced Luke, I knew my purpose for being there was to reach out to the listening audience – what message do I want to convey? All our poems were formed around the Dark Goddess in our daily living. What does she have to say?

To invoke goddess energy into my delivery, I took my favorite scarf – a gray sheer fabric adorned with black skulls – and draped it over my head and shoulders. Immediately I felt a tingle in the crown of my head, more to the right side. A sensation like an electrical current flowing between two points repeated across the area. I was tuned in.

Photos: Frances Roberts-Reilly

From my collection, I offered ArcAngel, Lady of Blazing Dominion, and Reed-Girl. The beautiful poetess Nidia Del Mar, who embodied Kali for The Living Goddess Exhibit, let me perform her two poems from the show. The Dark Goddess infused me, allowing the words to flow with a lion’s strength and a warrior’s passion.

I felt good sharing with Luke and his audience. I felt empowered, able to perform without the ego getting in the way. After a successful day sharing our art, we touched a bit on opportunities in the region before heading to Simon’s Coffee House for lunch. Our contributions will be aired on Saturday, December 24th and will be available online here.

Our visit to WSRQ was an opportunity to promote POP! The Poet Outreach Program I began to develop this year. The purpose of POP is to bring together artists of all styles, all levels of experience, to collaborate on unique projects and deliver community events across Tampa Bay. This grass-roots level approach embraces literary arts as a catalyst towards increased creativity in communities were artistic exposure may be lacking. Since we were in Sarasota I encouraged the listening audience to consider supporting POP! locally, and to contact our organization for networking opportunities across the Skyway Bridge.

Andy, Frances, and the rest of The Living Goddess Exhibit cast are eager to reprise our show on a local stage or setting in 2017. We hope our visit to WSRQ will stoke interest and draw supporters. Currently, we’re in need of funding to cover exhibit costs. Your generous, tax deductible donations to POP! can be made via PayPal to vsenterprisesfl@gmail.com.

Empowered By The Goddesses

Last night can’t be undone.

Magic happened to this scraping-by artist. Months of anxious planning and preparation, interrupted by life and health events, and here it was: my poetry exhibit. Performed beautifully by goddesses of their own caliber, embodying influential archetypes much needed in this post-election week. We gathered to share, we’re not scared. When challenged we have the greatest weapon – our divine sisterhood.

I hand picked artists of diverse creative influences with one common thread: a genuine respect for the power of goddess energy. Allowing them the freedom to choose their artistic interpretation made the project a communal experience. Everyone provided me input as to how they envisioned their deity within the story, based on the loose script I had provided. By the time I met with each woman, got to know her at her craft and on a personal level, and scripted her part, I had the complete story. Using a community-oriented approach to playwriting was a great experience.

And then, showtime. I was not nervous at all. My faith was so strong in these actors I knew I had nothing to worry about. Healthwise, my body had reacted well to new medication, so I didn’t have to concern myself with erratic movement or confusion. Mind, body and soul clear, I took to the stage like I take to my bed at night; cozily and comfortably! You know what? I felt redeemed. After a shitty Wednesday morning feeling tense and scared about my future, I have this moment of success that can’t be taken away. I achieved this, in America, as a disabled person, as a woman of color.  It took incredible fortitude to get here, and I championed that. I’ve arrived at the station I’m meant to visit.

My art has elevated my mood once again. I’m wrapped in the embrace of creativity, considering how to replicate the show for a wider audience. Or, shall I write another performance poetry exhibit? I love mashing music and poetry together, maybe a joint exhibit with live musicians, like how we incorporated a drummer into Pomba Gira’s performance? Wait, wait…let’s bask in the glow of success that was last night. We can do all of that battle planning later, Inanna 😉

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Me dressed as the warrior goddess Inanna
The Show:
 

Last night, the beautiful high priestess Enheduanna, troubled by her Moon Temple followers, found relief in the love, compassion, and commitment of her beloved goddesses. First, Persephone, Maiden of the Underworld, arrived as soon as Enheduanna begged for Death. She brought forward the Matron of the Crossroads, Pomba Gira, who offered the high priestess quite a wake-up call! Upon Pomba Gira’s departure, the Bringer of Light, Brigid, softly stepped into the high priestess’ chamber and blessed it with a light-welcoming poem. 

 
She brought forward Hecate, Great Crone, to call the powers of the four directions to Enheduanna. Her poetry reminds us of her all-knowing power. Relieved, Enheduanna takes a moment to relax, but is quickly interrupted by the powerful Kali, Governess of Time. The intimidating mother reminds the high priestess of her natural divinity and urges her to use it. Glamoured into a sleep state, the goddess Ix Chel visits Enheduanna’s dream. Her poem forecasts necessary change from disillusionment. 
 
When Enheduanna wakes, she is reverent, washed over in love and appreciation. To enhance those wonderful feelings, Yemoya emerges from the water to the high priestess, and they share a dance of divine feminine love. Finally, Enheduanna is entreated to the presence of her personal goddess, Inanna, who shares knowledge of the high priestess’ own written words. Inanna passes on her pure lance to the worthy high priestess, then sends her back to the moon ceremony with a poem of spiritual encouragement.

 

See Me Wednesday

NOTE: EVENT WAS CANCELED DUE TO TROPICAL STORM COLIN DAMAGE. THANKS ALWAYS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

1st gig since the back-to-back hospital stays. Admittedly a bit nervous, but the Bull in me says, ‘uh uh sister, time to get back on that saddle!’
So join me and my friends in merry Gulfport!

Just In Time For Halloween

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NEW Anthology available thru Thirteen o'clock Press

Inside this anthology you’ll find yours truly in both prose and poem form!

The story I submitted is from the perspective of a social predator locked in a holding facility, terrifying residents and staff alike. Oh and the evil person happens to be female 😉

There’s three poems dedicated to women in the throes of mania, circumstances varying but each known too well in modern society. I consider A Coterie of Diamonds a forewarning to readers…if you push a woman too far, prepare for major consequences!

Thanks be to Thirteen o’clock Press for publishing my art, my 2nd antho feature with this press. Support your favorite indie artist and many others by purchasing through Lulu.com 😀

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Instead of “Why Me?” Can We Do “What If?”

My mind is so bored. I wish to be inspired. Help me!

I’m having a hard time working through contemporary fiction novels as of late. Once the story gets going, I feel less involved and more talked down. Once the story reaches it’s epoch, I feel a, ‘yeah, so?’ instead of an investment. Endings leave me thinking, ‘and so…now what?’

These modern day stories are yawns. Where’s the wisdom? Why so much celebration of ‘why me’? Have we completely eradicated the fundamental purpose of storytelling, that is, to impart wisdom among our community then carry forward as knowledge-empowered people? It feels like that to me.

I won’t divulge which authors I have been reading nor titles, because that wanders into the role of “book reviewer.” I respect you are a person of intellect, capable of free will and imagination who can make decisions (such as whether a book is good or not) on your own. I will let you know these books are all modern setting (20th century to now), modern language, modern places, fictional stories, and have either received international acclaim or blockbuster movie status.

I feel it undeserved.

In every contemporary fiction work I’ve read lately, each author has demonstrated a promotion of the Why Me, and some successfully demonstrate some movement beyond the Why Me. To those writers I ask, could you teach us how to move beyond the Why Me? Just because you can voice it through character and exposition doesn’t mean you’ve provided a resolution. For me, I feel nothing is out there which is helping us move beyond the fears of our ancestors. Some writers attempt to move us forward but only within the afterward or in book release interviews. Never in the work!

When I digest a contemporary modern day fiction novel, I frame the question, “what does this author want me to know?” The award-winning, movie rights selling authors I just read want me to know:

  1. White people are scared of Black people
  2. Black people hate other Black people
  3. Women rather keep silent
  4. Men are afraid no one likes them
  5. Americans know there is a struggle and I have the right to say, “Oh yeah, I feel that way about that issue too!”
  6. Other nations hate Americans

The authors I despise most are those who write deeply on the cruelties of racism, as opposed to writing deeply on rising above racism. Within more than a few novels, I sensed the writer was at a pivotal arc during composition, leaned back in his/her writing chair, vigorously tapping the tip of a pen to his/her tightened mouth, plotting: “If we actually solve racism, then there can’t be any money made on racism, now can it? Why solve it when I can get rich exacerbating racism? Huzzah!” Then he/she takes off rabidly composing the next New York Times Bestseller. To me, if all you write about is racist activities, novel to novel to novel, then you must LOVE racism and want to keep it going! If you’re not a racist, can you demonstrate for the racist rest of us how to grow beyond it in modern times? No? Then stop writing about it. You’re not helping.

Okay, that was a slight rant.

Storytellers, I challenge you to promote the What If? If you wish to demonstrate strife, give us an experiential aspect, not your dream world aspect. I would like to experience writing in which the author has actually taken the time to do leg work, meaning, put yourself in the shit you want to write about. It’s clear with many of these contemporary works the writer did no more than conduct a few interviews and watched some classic movies. Get in there! Wanna write about prison life? Go to prison. Seriously. Go to prison. Don’t want to do that? Don’t write about it.

I guess my complaint is…I’m reading fiction suited for people who would rather live active lies then push beyond, excel and make better their surroundings, their community and the cultures they associate with. I’m reading works where I’ve been intentionally excluded as a member of the audience. Here is where I enter a plea for help. Help me locate contemporary/modern era novels which offer clear examples of how one can move past common hurdles and function in society. And please, oh sweet Venus please, leave the racism-celebrating volumes out. They bore me.

In the original picture, I'm posing with the #amreading novel. In protest of its content, I cropped it out. Unfortunately I appear more chipper than disgusted. Ah well.
In the original picture, I’m posing with the #amreading novel. In protest of its content, I cropped it out. Unfortunately I appear more chipper than disgusted. Ah well.

Timed Writing Prompt: “There’s A Shirtlessness To This Guy…”

Credit: funnyjunk.com
Credit: funnyjunk.com

What an accomplishment! Three miles on the treadmill and a half mile in the pool! I bike eight miles to Five Guys for my double cheeseburger reward.

The mass of moo-ey goodness is sweating liquid fat and spices, cheese, dripping off the sides with a come-hither shine, the grilled ‘shrooms and onions resting like Tiffany diamonds upon a New Money bust. “Here we go!” I proclaim as I mash the delectable lady to my face. Why I’ve anthropomorphized my food into a female is inexplicable, yet feels right. I sigh as I swallow then tilt my head back, eyes all aflutter, hearing the calories I just burned off pile back on with every gregarious lip smack.

Screw a napkin. I wipe her essence – spread over my nose, cheeks, mouth and chin – against my sweaty sleeve. As I drag lips towards my shoulder I catch a whiff of healthy odour. Hoooo weeee!

Right then, out the window, I catch a view of a couple sitting in their parked vehicle in the lot across from my table. She’s narrow-eyed and flitty-handed in the passenger seat, while he wears a glum, defeated face. She points with a pink talon towards my hallowed restaurant; in response he opens his door, exits the truck, and strolls into the Guys.

He fascinates me: spine and shoulders so straight despite his bent smile. His eyes are hidden under a ball cap, offering an air of sweet mystery. Sculpted calves and tanned thighs indicate Mr. Fuckable’s an athlete, maybe even, a model. Yes, there’s a shirtlessness to this guy. Perhaps a footballer or volleyballer…something having to do with big balls.

My soppy girl slips out my hands as I hear him order in practiced English with a Portuguese accent. I’m destined to see him naked, I am sure! I glare back to my competition, the expensive hamburger patty in the passenger seat duck-lipping several selfies, adjusting her pneumatic boobs after every angle. As if the gods so declared it, he sits next to me to wait on his meal. At that moment I wince knowing my cumragged arm faces him. My true love has to meet his queen in such form? Fiddlesticks!Ī

He smears an agitated hand from chin to forehead, tipping back his cap, revealing natural blonde hair and soft brown eyes. He. Is. Beautiful. A distinct plume of sandalwood escapes his cap as he fans it over his face before returning it home. Mmm, I smile to myself, letting the smell of our sex pheromones intertwine.

“Is it good?”

Yes, I exhale as we switch positions, now me on top.

“Is it…delicious…is the word?”

Our hips mash rhythmically, “Yasss!” I moan towards the ceiling.

“Is this the wrong word, ‘delicious’?”

Oh shit. So busy fucking pretend cock I ignore Real Cock talking to me!

His caramel body is facing mine, his shiny eyes are facing mine, his blonde wisps spike my way. The best I can manage is a “hermmuhhmyeahhh.”

The Guys call his order, he waves as he rises, grabs his bag then leaves.

I look down at my whore, all asplay against the table, laughing at me.

“Fiddlesticks!!!”

ĪWe were writing at Parkside Cafe. The booth behind us was full of Midwesterners trying to remember a restaurant’s name by CONSTANTLY repeating it to each other in question form: “Is it Fiddlesticks?” “Fiddlesticks maybe?” “It can’t be Fiddlesticks…is it?” Oh if only I had my mace…

Indie Artist? Time To Shine!

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