Keepin’ It Local, Keepin’ It NaNo

Shouts to starrschaos, our wonderful Municipal Liaison for St. Petersburg, Florida! Thank you for my laptop badge! 😀

From top left: Taco Bus, Keep St. Pete Lit organization, NaNoWriMo 2014 badge, NaNoWriMo 2012 badge, NaNoWriMo 2013 badge, Community Cafe, my writers hangout.

Worte von ein gebrochenes Herz

Words From a Broken Heart

On our afternoon walk, Bobby and I came across a scattering of torn papers. Soaked from yesterday’s scattered showers, now dried by today’s warm lovely sun, I was intrigued to find the penwork on a few sheets still legible. I gathered them, and the edge of an envelope, and figured I’ll exercise a reactionary writer’s prompt: read each piece, and try to decipher what this message was all about. Kudos, by the way, to the person who tore this and the person who penned this, because I was convinced people did not correspond by mail anymore. So thanks to you torn lovers for keeping the fundementals going.

Let’s see, here’s piece #1:

Alright. Barring the abject misspellings of “stomach” and “juicy,” this clearly is a description of what this female misses about the male receiver. So I can determine a woman wrote to a man about a fantasy or a rememberance of the last time they connected in primal bliss. Or, this person is dictating what she observed in a film and is sending down recommendations to her lover. “Tooting it up”? Huh.

Piece 1

Here’s piece #2:

Interesting. Piece #2’s left side joins with Piece #1’s right side. Aww, now this is sweet. While she’s busily pouncing, she’s expressing her love for him. She puts in so much for him. How much she cares. How much she seeks his love and appreciation through her female viaduct. This is a very young, very naive woman.

Piece 2

On to piece #3:

She anticipates waking up and being able to continue in sexual congress with the reading male, good for her, she’s all about endurance. Hope she’s in shape for all of that. “Can’t wait till you” captures me. Is it hope that the sexual transaction leads to increased respect and love and his inevitable asking her to be exclusively his? Can’t wait until he proposes? Can’t wait until he leaves his wife? Can’t wait until he sees the baby you two made together and he never sees because he doesn’t plan to account for it? This sliver of desperation, I can roll on this forever.

Piece 3

This is piece #4:

Oh, I am experiencing her forlorn state. She misses him. He’s no fantasy; they’ve had a connection. They’re involved. Or they were involved. There’s “can’t wait till” again, so it makes me think they’ve got a distance and time between them, but these two will be physically in each other’s presence once more. Well, hmm. I did find this letter ripped up along a common trail. So she’s hopeful and optimistic, and he’s already moved on.

Piece 4

Piece #5 is simply the word “Muah.” Kisses. Optimistic kisses from another time zone, falling upon oblivious lips.

Piece 5

On to piece #6:

Wow. The way this was torn, it makes for a delightful little 7/5/2 structured poem! Too bad I can’t claim authorship. Powerful, in and of itself.

Piece 6

And finally, piece #7:

Ah. Piece #7’s right side aligns with Piece #4’s left. This makes things a little more clear. The heartsick girl works nights. She “thinking bout you all in my feelings.” Huh?? Here’s the intriguing line, “wishing you’ll just be there when I walk…door.” He left her. Ah. “But I know soon or later…” there’s that optimism again. I’m rooting for this chick, really. She might turn him around. Sure, he opened this letter on the way to his side of the lake, got frustrated because he actualized his feelings for her, all which are true and authentic. He misses her too. He wants to tell her he loves her back as she’s riding him, he wishes he didn’t leave. She wants to wake him out of his sleep and profess her love with an interpretive sexual interlude.

Piece 7

Give her a chance, mate! This woman’s committed to the game. And she even took the time to make the exclamation point a heart after the word Baby. That’s requited love, bar none.

Soothe that broken heart, fella. Life’s too short.

WE BE ARTY! (WARNING: Gratuitous Shower Scene)

dia de los muetros 012
Von. Artist. Swigger of Wine.

Hello, I am an artist. No, wait! Stay! Seriously, I’m cool. I’m an artist, and my arty name is Von Simeon. Because that’s what artists do; they give their creative persona a catchy name. Besides the naming convention, I also have arty tendencies to do arty things with other artfolk. We cruise events like we can afford the 26,000$ price tags, we sip pinot grigio by the gallon, and we try to outdo each other in explaining the slashes in our titles. We become fascinated by the works we behold, then turn grey with self-doubt. And we drink some more. Then someone pulls out the weed. And that’s pretty much a night out with the arties.

And so we did, we artists, we slash bearing title holders, we ventured over to Duncan McClellan Glass to enjoy a glassblowing demonstration by Rob Stern, and to marvel at the gallery’s other fine pieces by talented people. I gotta admit, I walked in there having no real knowledge of the art form, but ignorance be damned, I made sure to enjoy myself. And if I didn’t, well, I was surrounded by the coolest arties this side of the Mississippi (not validated, but I just like typing the word Mississippi. Try it. Yeah! Amirite? Mississippi.)

Let’s break down the stars of the evening. Starting with the Man With The Plan, the one who invited us to this event, Stone Handy. Stone’s slashes are poet/spoken word artist/percussionist/potter/designer/writer and Stone knows Duncan from working with him years ago, before the gallery owner even owned a gallery. So for us to be roaming around his friend’s success, it made me think, damn, I’m glad Stone is my friend!

The man I sidled up to most the evening was Johnny Roth. His slashes are musician/guitarist/composer/recording artist and he’s the most laid back dude I’ve ever had the honor of knowing. Seriously. You stand in his wake and immediately, life is grand, and you have no earthly idea why.

Then there’s Ian Tracy. Slashes are videographer/editor/director/writer and pretty sure more, that’s just what I’ve experienced thus far. The best part about Ian is he’s WAY taller than me, and can capture better shots than my 62 inches of fury. No, that’s not the best part of him. The best part of Ian is he’s the only guy I’ve met in Florida who doesn’t flinch at my lewd language.

And finally, the sprite of my life, Marie Chapin. Her slashes are chef/children’s book author/writer/wardrobe designer/caterer/comic book artist/painter who also has the glory (misery?) of being my writing partner and recently commissioned cover art designer for I Blew Up Juarez.

And now to the glass…

Rob Stern and his artistic team invited us in the audience to draw something, and they’d in turn make it into glass. Marie and I chomped at the bit for our chance to bring a random vision to life. She held the drawing tablet close as she moved the orange crayon with soft, brisk strokes, creating with minimal effort a Tyrannosaurus Rex. ‘You’re pretty good at that,’ I complimented. ‘Shit, better be. I’m drawing with kids all day!’ Oh yeah, other part of the slashes: nanny. That’s an artform. She passed the tablet to me and I flipped to a fresh page, where I jammed the orange into the sheet and with heavy pressure, ground crayon into the shape of a very volumptous animal. Rubenesque, is how Marie described it, and when everyone remarked I drew a horse, I blew their minds by extending a horn from betwixt its ears. A unicorn, gawddammit! Yes! Rob, make me a glass unicorn. Ian delivered our art to the team, to discover they will likely not be successful in replicating our non-existent creatures. Fooey.

S. Powell, Insatiable Sassy Gasp
S. Powell, Insatiable Sassy Gasp

Onward and upward, we enter the main exhibition room of the gallery and find these amazing, HUGE pieces of art. I’m immediately antsy, worried I’m going to knock something over with either my purse or my ass. My anxiety softened at the sight of one particular piece, Insatiable Sassy Gasp, by Stephen Powell. The lighting behind it made the red and magenta and purple of the glass seem to swim, colorful oily bubbles in an organized flow. Each one working alongside the other to embrace the light, to demonstrate the proletarian forces of detail and color and texture unified to be admired. Stone caught me adrift in adoration, making the right comment, ‘It’s alive, isn’t it.’ Yes, yes it’s alive. I was humbled. Glass was taking me to a whole ‘nother place.

We entered a back room with an impressive frosted glass impression of a sun against one wall, and several large pieces leading towards an outdoor deck. As we mingled, Ian noted ‘This is his shower.’ Everyone else figured it to be an artpiece, the design of a shower with glass doors. ‘No. Look, there’s his shampoo. It’s his shower.’ We all looked in, and, yep, this was a fully functioning shower. Duncan McClellan lives in his gallery. Of course! Sign of a dedicated artist. But why not take advantage, right? Be part of his daily living? To which, Marie entered the shower, and gave us a right show:

What's this?
What’s this?
Oh yeah!
Oh yeah!
There it is.
There it is.

The arty crew moved outside to the deck, designed with way more phallic pieces than I think the gallery was not aware of. And out came a cat! Fuckers were everywhere. Calm down, I like cats. I just don’t like them all of a sudden being there, in the way only cats and, well I, have mastered. My eyes stopped on this particular piece, because of a very familiar symbol. You 90s kids should notice it immediately:

Artist Formerly Known As Prince
Artist Formerly Known As Prince

Stone drummed against a large metalwork as he freestyled words to the beat, until Marie noted there was a suspended round piece inside it on the verge of falling out. Maybe we should keep it moving.

The group splintered into two cells, those who wanted to keep looking and those who wanted to stop moving. My old lady self needed to rest my arthritis, so we chillaxed against turquoise cushions under a blue-black sky. We were lucky that Duncan McClellan walked past us, and Stone asked him about the piece with the symbols on the patio. Duncan explained they were 14th century symbols used in alchemy. Awesome.

I no longer feel ignorant about glassblowing as an artform. I love this gallery, and I encourage anyone visiting Florida to fuck Disneyworld and come over my way. This art district is a-happenin’ and you should experience it for yourself. The whole point of the evening was to eventually hit the Downtown St. Pete ArtWalk, but we never made it. Marie ended up at ARTPool Gallery, while me and the fellas ended up at Everything Dolce, where I sighted this beautiful local artist piece:

For Sale By Artist At Everything Dolce, Central Ave., St. Pete
For Sale By Artist At Everything Dolce, Central Ave., St. Pete

What’s interesting about Everything Dolce is that it used to be Cafe Bohemia, which was the first place I visited once I moved to St. Pete to start writing. Now I’m blogging my ass off and you’ll be reading my book in a few months. Talk about full circle!

How To Spend A Hot Summer Day

Original Post Date July 03, 2013 at 10:29 AM

The author beats the heat by walking down memory lane. Two original poems included!

We are well in the throes of Summer, and for me, that means limited outside time. Which I kinda master. As a writer, I’m naturally inclined to be a shut-in.

One recent afternoon, while aiming a fan at me and setting the A/C to Ice Rink, I decided to visit my poetry archives. Ain’t cloud computing grand? The entire hard drive of my old laptop, without having to dust the old box off! Five hours later, I was still going through files, laughing at some, shaking my head at others, even offering an outburst of, ‘Dang! That’s good stuff!’

The rest of the evening was spent organizing what turned out to be eight years’ worth of unpublished musings. Pretty much all of the Naughties. I found one I had performed in 2005 for friends in Kalamazoo, Michigan. It’s better in spoken word than in print because of a routine that goes along with it. I’ll set it aside and find an open mic to re-introduce it at.

The ones that had me cracking up were the poems that were in reaction to relationships at the time. So much time has passed, and yet, in reading these passionate pieces, I remembered who it was dedicated to, even surprised I can remember some of their full names.

It’s significant to run into these “love” poems, as I’ve recently commenced dating again. But it’s nice to see where my head was at then, and perhaps, if the dating season deems successful, I’ll be writing love poems again. I can hear your “awwwww”…stop it!

It’s vacation time for lots of you, so I wish you safe and fun travels. Here’s a couple of original pieces from the archives for you to read, as you wait for the trolley to pick you up from the parking lot, and escort you to your theme park of delight:

(From the “I Hate You” Folder)

All Gone Wrong

I am so disenchanted by you



Not so long ago did I quiver at the thought of your name

And now…

You’ve proved yourself to be

the type of man I wish I never was attracted to

That I regret giving my body to

That I would never allow the hope of being a wife to

Thank you

Unsatisfying taste in my mouth

I liken you to lichen

Building thick and burdensome against the mighty pine

Be gone and

be a man and

by all means

Let me be. 



(From the “I Like You” Folder)

Forgive Me

Forgive me for being so forward
that night so long ago
when I asked you to lie down for a while
when your hand was wrapped around
the door knob
You see, all I wanted was an instance of
being a part of you
wrapped in your arms
and becoming one like
where we would be more than two individuals
in like of each other
we would be two individuals
in search for one another
We could be the two
that others boo at
that others sneer at
for being oblivious to our surroundings
as we grace ourselves in mutual
Forgive me for being so forward
but I needed that opportunity to know
that the emotions I felt between my lungs
between my eyes
and between my thighs
were even-keeled
with yours.