Shadrak

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woman in a black dress 02


Saturday found me at the Shadrak,
a downstairs club that had it all.
A woman took the floor in glad rags.
I felt I was in for a fall.


She spied me lounging in the corner.
My eyes caressed her every move.
She beckoned me over to the dance floor,
sleazy blues held us in the groove.


She was a tall sleek woman with a class act,
slummin’ and feeling so high.
Knew this was wrong, her legs were so long,
dress was cut up to her thigh.
She had to be a wife or a girlfriend,
no man would let this woman slip by.


Soft fingers stole away my reason,
for her I’d do right or wrong.
Flash of a thigh, wink of an eye,
she played that dress just like a song.
Maybe her lips, or the sway of her hips,
she had my number all along.


The scene couldn’t have been sweeter,
‘till Johnny sauntered through that door.
Cursed us a while, said we were vile,
reputations trampled to the floor.
Should have walked away, that isn’t my way,
his accusations cut to my core.


No backing down for right or for wrong,
for her I had to settle the score.
Glint of a knife, the end of a life,
Johnny lay dying on the floor.


Built to tantalize, she knew she was a prize;
she was a tall sleek woman with a class act,
slummin’ and feeling so high.
Knew this was wrong, her legs were so long,
I couldn’t let this woman slip by.
I wouldn’t let this woman slip by.

The Hollies: https://buff.ly/2snWAzr
Image: http://ow.ly/TwlRS

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desperation drive

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a015a738f9dec4461cb4effe9492b679

 

I’m just kicking stones, chasing loneliness — nothing much to do;
In my dusty hat and western boots — soles are worn clear through.
I’m leaving heartache, going nowhere fast, more dead than alive.
At daybreak, feet are pointing to, Desperation Drive.

When you’re down and out, in a hard luck place, no stars shine at night;
I’ve been looking down, such a long, long time, just can’t see the light.
Haven’t got a cent, haven’t got a friend, no will to survive;
That’s the reason why, I’m heading for, Desperation Drive.

There was a woman — vowed she loved me, caught the midnight train;
She took my money, left my broken heart, drowning in the rain.
Got to leave this town, have to hitch a ride, out on highway five;
If they ask me where, I’m going I’ll say to, Desperation Drive.

I miss that woman, she’s still in mind, the breeze whispers her name;
She’s mean and evil, but my lonely heart, wants her just the same.
On the waterfront, I check the bars and every lowdown dive;
If she’s not there, I’ll find a place on, Desperation Drive.

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Fairies

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Autumn-Fairy-Cosplay-05

If you wander into the woods
stealthily peek behind the trees.
Fairies may be in hiding there;
they’ll vanish, quick as you please.

The fairies are a friendly folk,
at least, they may appear that way.
They’ll lure you with their fairy wiles;
siren like, they’ll lead you astray.

Timid, beautiful woodland nymphs
swathed in soft diaphanous gowns.
In subtle shades of nature’s hues
bright leafy greens and somber browns.

Whispers in the rustle of leaves
will lead you to their secret glade.
They’ll gently soothe away your cares.
Why would you need to be afraid?

Fairy maids will wine and dine you.
They’ll whisper that they love you so.
You’ll think that you’re in paradise.
They’ll never, ever let you go.

Weeks and months will pass unnoticed.
What seems a day may be a year.
The world outside continues on,
while you remain in limbo here.

Fairy mists will envelop you
so you can never see your way.
Memories are, but long lost dreams.
From Fairyland you cannot stray.

Image: http://ow.ly/U5zcU

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Fireplace

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fire3

I’ll put a fresh log in the fireplace
if you’ll pour us a glass of wine.
We’ll relax on overstuffed pillows,
smell the scent of burning pine.

Leave stress and hurry behind us.
It’s the time to let worries lie.
We’ll watch the constellations
appear in the darkening sky.

Magic, your eyes by the firelight.
Warm, your smile as you hold my hand.
Tell me your grandmother’s stories
of a nearby but distant land.

We communicate in silence,
My reflection is in your eyes.
Soft and gentle, your fingers.
Delightful, the sound of your sighs.

Stories of us to remember,
our stars melting gently above.
Never before have I felt such joy
as our presence together in love.

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Melting Stars

 

 

It was a soft October night —
quietly fell the snow,
flake by gentle flake —
making domes on fence posts,
on mailboxes,
tracing upturned branches
of waiting trees.

I know you heard me
on the porch
(you always do)
thought it was
a stirring of the breeze,
or moaning
of the boards

Drawn
to quiet times
knowing you are here,
I feel your peace
(alone)
and come to you.
You know I’m here,
can feel my warmth.

I see you smile.

Let us sit in silence.
Nestle
in my embrace.
Words
need not be spoken
as we watch the melting stars,
listen for the chorus
singing somewhere else.
This moment
all that matters —
quiet filled with you.

 

 

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frost

959 Jeff_Rowland_romantic_pictures (10)

 

 

a dove sits on a snowy bough,
her song cuts through my heart.
we both know how the lonely feel
when love is torn apart.

there never was an emptiness
the way i feel inside.
the ache is deep within my chest,
i have no place to hide.

was once a time my heart was full
when spring was in the air,
but Frost has draped me with her cloak,
my tears fall in despair.

the midnight train is leaving soon.
my bags are packed to go.
i shiver on the platform bare,
a specter, slinking low.

 

 

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First Snow Fall

 

snow

 

white flakes
(like eider-down)
flutter from heaven
collect on tree branches
hedges and shrubs

like your kisses
soft and sensuous
they caress my cheeks
brush my lips
burst on my tongue

they blanket all
leaving the path
an untouched virgin,
a wonderland
of mystery

all traces
of my coming
have disappeared
making me question
am i here
at all?

 

Image: http://ow.ly/TD9D8

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borderlands

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chair

i live in the borderlands,
between reality and imagination,
just this side of fantasy.

reality is okay.
i visit there
to check my mail,
earn a few dollars,
pay some bills,
buy groceries.

reality is an okay place to visit
but, i wouldn’t want to live there.

i’m happiest in my mind
where I filter my thoughts
like an answering machine.
i delete the negative,
dwell on the positive.

people may see me walking alone.
they don’t see the beautiful woman
at my side
with her hand in mine.

i may be seen sitting at a table, alone.
nobody sees the delicate hand,
with the magic fingers,
sliding up my thigh.

or, the passionate kiss
being planted on my throat,
the fingers running through my hair.

where i work
people see me smile.
they think I enjoy my job.
they don’t know me.

 

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Concrete Box

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bar

 

I work in a corporate, concrete box;
no windows, only a computer terminal
to link me to the outside world.
Only second-hand accounts
of weather, traffic,
whether it is day or night.

I sometimes go to work in darkness,
return in darkness.
I don’t know if the sun
remembered to rise at all.
Like the light in a refrigerator.
Does it really turn off
when I close the door?

At a keyboard, my fingers type numbers,
millions of numbers.
My mind wanders woodland paths.
I watch birds flitting from limb to limb,
chipmunks scurrying, stopping,
looking around, then scurrying again.

My mind plays tricks on me.
I imagine that just 26 floors down
I could exit on Beale or Bourbon Street.
Hear sounds of the South,
guitars, saxophones and raspy voices
that rule the rhythm of my body and soul.

Take me on a blues ride.
Let me wander with the lyrics
down Highway 61, “The Blues Highway”.
Let me smell the sweat and the booze,
the jostling at the bar,
the waitress who will smile for a tip.

Let me smell magnolia, bougainvillea,
where Spanish moss hangs below the branches,
see the darkest eyes and brightest smile,
hear that special whisper, “Come with me.”
We’ll walk for miles, be holding hands,
and never want for any more
than our window to a dream.

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Image: http://www.neworleans.com/nightlife/bourbon-heat/

Tennessee Honey

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DSC_4796

 

Thoughts drift south,
Jack Daniel’s country
where the weather
suits my mood.

On a barstool
I park my bones
Inhale the Jack, magnolia–
sweet, sweet surrender.

A woman alone
at a corner table–
darkest eyes,
brightest smile,
auburn hair
to her shoulders.

I think, Why not?
Our eyes meet,
I saunter towards her
and know, from the look she gives,
she’s heard it all before.

“Ma’am, It would give me
the greatest pleasure
to buy you a drink
and share your table for a while.
If I can’t keep you smilin’
I promise,
I’ll take my conversation elsewhere.”

She said with the utmost
southern grace, charm
and hospitality,
“You’ve got ten minutes.
I don’t like to be disappointed.”

I fell into her raven pools,
somewhere, I got lost there.
I don’t know my way too well
around these parts
but, I’d swear she lured me
with some kind of mojo.

My eyes refused to look away
from ruby lips (so sensual)
as they spoke words of love
in a voice
of the sweetest, southern honey,
words…dripping…
tantalizing.

The evening passed,
holding hands across the table.
I was enthralled and enchanted.
Where it went from there
I refuse to say
(gentleman’s code of honor).

Such beauty
I have never known.
It keeps coming back
to haunt me.

My thoughts
were only passing through
but, in my dreams I see
the darkest eyes,
brightest smile,
hear her voice–
Tennessee honey.

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The Silver Fox

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old-greek-men

old-man-giving-the-middle-finger

 

Slouching
in forgotten tap-rooms
dirty old men,
forgotten old men,
slop piss-colored beer
from, wet, dripping glasses.
The hollow din,
the retelling of “the good old days”,
echoes sadly
as life quickly passes.

“They used to call me ‘The Silver Fox’
What do you think of that?
They used to care.”

An empty glass crashes
to the muddy floor.

“I guess I’ll be hitting the street tonight.
Sleep in an alley tonight.
Nobody cares.”

Slouching
in forgotten tap-rooms
dirty old men,
forgotten old men,
slop piss-colored beer.
Nobody cares….

 

Image: http://ow.ly/RNSi3

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They call me Red…

https://rainn.org/

They Call Me Red

Dane Cross, he liked the sound of that, simple, direct, easy to spell, easy to remember, enigmatic. A life of deception can’t have too many complications or explanations. He was a man for hire, private investigation, bouncer, anything this side of legal. Trained as a black op in combat with a license as a Private Investigator he was equipped for many rolls, most of them quick and dirty. Always the guy from out of town. He had no recorded past, not even fingerprints. He’d traveled the back streets and alleys in the worst districts of the world. What he’s seen, no one should see, no one should take part. The reality was that crime exists everywhere. The removal of low life crooks was his obsession.

Registered in a nondescript hotel he headed down the dimly lit back street in search of a bar. He saw flashing pink and blue neon and followed his instincts. The Playmate came into focus, a strip bar, how convenient. For a single male stranger, new in town, the sources of entertainment are limited. Movie theatres, restaurants are visited mostly by couples. A single person stands out. That he didn’t want.

She’s a Brick House by the Commodores was blaring from the downstairs club:

Ow, she’s a brick house
She’s mighty-mighty, just lettin’ it all hang out
She’s a brick house
That lady’s stacked and that’s a fact
Ain’t holding nothing back

Inside, past the bouncer, the ticket booth and the compulsory coat check were the sights and sounds of lust paid for by the minute, also the scent of cherry. He took a seat at a circular, Formica topped table in a dimly lit back corner with a view of the entrance. The wooden chairs were worn but not shabby. The carpet was worn also, paths of high traffic led to to the bar, washrooms and to a stairway that led to the private upstairs VIP rooms. He thought to himself, All that’s required to become a VIP is to hand a stripper a wad of bills.

A scantily clad woman was immediately at his side. “I’m Amber,” she said in a breathy voice. “Drink?”

Again the scent of cherry. “Double shots of Jameson, neat.” It wasn’t that he particularly liked the taste of Irish whiskey, but it reminded him of his roots and The Troubles, also it slowed his drinking. He couldn’t afford to become drunk and conspicuous.

“Coming right up,” she said in a Barbie Doll voice. His drink came soon enough. “There you go,” she giggled.

He gulped it down and said, “Another.”

“You’re a man of few words. With your drink would you like a table dance, or I could take you upstairs to the V.I.P Room. We can be more intimate there.”

“Just the drink, thank you.” As she sashayed towards the bar for his drink he thought. What a lack of creativity.  With all the names in the world she chose — a fossilized tree resin, yellow in color. Why didn’t she just name herself Yellow?  A wave of relaxation spilled over his crusty mood. The liquid from his glass burned his throat in a comforting way. He remembered his father’s words, ‘If it don’t hurt, it ain’t no good. Don’ t go spendin’ money on fancy labels.’

Amber kept coming back, pressing her thigh against his, placing her hands on his shoulders and letting her breast touch the top of his head. He knew her situation — there was no money in selling drinks, only in table and lap dances.  He wasn’t in the mood for either so he walked to the bar.

He pulled up an end stool with his back to the dancers and his eye on the door to see who might come in. “Name your poison.” said the woman behind the bar. He couldn’t help but notice her small delicate hands, elegant fingers with fiery red nail polish to match her luscious lips. He named his usual. As she walked away he noticed her waves of red hair cascading down the sparkling green fabric of her short dress. She had to stretch for the Jameson bottle. Her legs were long and had a graceful shape, muscles undulating as she moved. She had a feline sureness about her as she set down his drink, collected empty glasses and gave the bar a quick wipe. He tossed it back and absentmindedly looked at the rows of colored bottles.

“Another?” she asked.

“Yeah, hit me again,” he replied, gazing into her golden-brown eyes. They had a quizzical, dangerous look about them.

As she placed the drink before him she said, “You’re not like the typical customer we get here.”

“Describe the typical customer?”

“Well,” she said, “you sat at the back, so you weren’t interested in a clear view of the stage. You turned down Amber for a table dance and a visit to the V.I.P Room. That’s not typical.”

“What? Can’t a guy just come to a bar for a drink?”

“Yes, but not usually to this bar. They call me Red. If you need anything just shout.” The honeyed tones of her voice had timbre and resonance even when she was speaking softly. She’s probably a damned fine singer.

Red, he thought, how original.

She came back shortly after and asked, “You’re not a cop are you?”

“And if I was, do you think I’d tell you?”

She lingered before she answered, “No, I suppose not, but we do occasionally have unpleasant incidents — fights, girls being assaulted. It would be comforting to know that we had one officer of the law to keep us safe.”

“I saw your bouncer at the door, I’m sure he can take care of himself and your staff. I also noticed the line of motorcycles out front and the full patches on vests and jackets. I didn’t recognize the name but, surely some of them would come to the aid of a damsel in distress.”

“Have you looked closely at their patches. The top rocker is Sons of Irony, the bottom is Middle Earth, the image is a prairie dog. My dad was a poet, he thought the name was as appropriate as any other. Anyway, bikers can be unpredictable and the bouncer can’t be everywhere or see everything.”

“Well, Red, as they call you, who works in a biker bar, you want to come to me for protection? I should be the one concerned about protection. I don’t like cops any more than you do. If a fight breaks out I’ll stay well away from it. If one of your girls is in trouble I’d have to think, what’s in it for me?”

“I can see that you’re a real gentleman.”

“I know that these places are euphemistically called gentlemen’s clubs, but I don’t see a gentleman in sight, including me. As for ladies, I’ll reserve judgment.”

“I have one question, a stripper friend of mine said that and I quote, ‘My anecdotal survey says 10% of dancers are strict lesbians, 40% are strictly heterosexual and the rest are somewhat bi, in that they’ll fool around with other women besides just for entertainment value for men.’ What do you say to that?” She replied, “I expected more class from you. Why do you ask such a puerile, callow, hebetudinous question? It’s not something that I ask during a job interview. Firstly, it’s illegal; Secondly, I don’t care; Thirdly, why would it make a difference? We get lots of women as patrons, sometimes they are interested in having a lap dance by a girl they admire on stage. At bachelor parties, we often have a group of nude dancers rubbing against each other and the bachelor. Are you turned on by lesbians or bi women? Strippers entertain, they flirt that’s what they’re paid for. If you’re aroused, they’ve done

fall in love with you even if you get that impression. Does that make you feel less of a man?” “Mea Culpa. I truly apologize, that was a crude, senseless and discriminatory thing to ask. Please forgive me. I don’t even know why I inquired, it must be the Jameson talking. I’m actually very respectful of people, all people. I even wrote a post about it:

UNIVERSAL EQUALITY

In the past year
I’ve had a lot of time to think
about important and unimportant things
(long story).
I have come to some very basic conclusions
as is my right and obligation.
They may seem obvious to some.

To others, they may seem inflammatory.
Deal with it —
say what you want on your own page.

I believe that as humans
we deserve:
UNIVERSAL EQUALITY IN ALL ASPECTS OF LIFE,
UNIVERSAL ACCESS: TO FOOD, WATER, SHELTER,
MEDICAL TREATMENT AND AVAILABILITY OF MEDICATION,
UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO EDUCATION,
UNIVERSAL FREEDOM OF CHOICE OVER OUR OWN BODIES,
UNIVERSAL FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT,
FREEDOM OF SPEECH,
DEMOCRACY.

These are big issues
that have repercussions in news events
around the world.
I haven’t worked out all the details, yet,
but I have seen a lot of headlines on television
in print media and on the internet.

On our planet
we must eradicate (as much is humanly possible,
as opposed to what is economically viable)
HUNGER
DISEASE
VIOLENCE
HOMELESSNESS
BIGOTRY
WAR
(and others too numerous
to mention).

My neighbors:
MUST NOT starve while I eat,
MUST NOT die of illness while I have access to a cure,
MUST NOT BE CONFINED BY NATIONAL BORDERS
if their lives, health, or opportunities
are at risk,

MUST HAVE universal access to the best education
in order to best express their natural abilities,
MUST HAVE equal access to meaningful, rewarding and satisfying employment,
MUST HAVE the freedom to make their own life choices;
these choices MUST NOT be dictated by GOVERNMENT
RELIGION, SOCIETY or self-proclaimed MAJORITIES.
LYNCH MOB DEMOCRACY MUST BE ELIMINATED.

In short, I AM my brother’s/sister’s keeper.
I WILL treat them as I would prefer to be treated.
I WILL NOT be the cause of abuse,
whether physical, verbal, mental or emotional.
I WILL live my life
according to the best of my potential.

‘NUFF SAID (for now)…


I support women’s rights, children’s rights, LGBTQ rights. I even walk in Pride parades.” “Now, you’re making excuses. Are you next going to tell me that you have a gay friend?” With that, she left me alone to enjoy my drink. Feeling somewhat sheepish, I pulled out a pocket notebook and jotted a few sentences. Sometimes the right amount of alcohol and the right atmosphere brings out the poet or novelist in me.

With that, she left me alone to enjoy my drink. I pulled out a pocket notebook and jotted a few sentences. Sometimes the right amount of alcohol and the right atmosphere brings out the poet or novelist in me.

“What are you writing? Anything about me?”

“I’m writing reflections, observations, impressions, word pictures. Maybe I’ll write about you. It relaxes me.”

“You a professional writer? Do you write for newspapers? Have you published any books, anything I may have come across?”

“You may have read some things that I’ve written, but then I don’t know your tastes in reading.”

“My tastes may surprise you, Rumi, Aristophanes, Baudelaire, Whitman, Gertrude Stein, Mary Oliver, Charles Bukowski, William Wantling…”

“You have eclectic tastes. I’m genuinely impressed and I don’t impress easily. I don’t recognize the last name you mentioned.”

“William Wantling? He was an American poet, novelist, ex-marine He said that at age 17 he was the youngest Marine Sergeant in Korea during the winter campaign of ’52-’53— he must have listed his age as 18. He’d been seriously wounded in combat. He’d been given morphine for his wounds and had subsequently become addicted.  In his own words ‘War injuries led to addiction led to prison and a lifetime of problems’. It’s been reported that ‘he got hit with a flamethrower.’ He served time at the California State Prison at San Quentin for forgery and narcotics. There he took creative writing classes and began to write poetry. After being released he attended university and graduated with a BA and an MA.  He became a college professor. He also hung out with Charles Bukowski. He’s considered one of the last beat poets.  A Wantling scholar Kevin E. Jones wrote that ‘Wantling lied, cheated, ripped off his friends, shat in their bathtubs.’ Another wrote,  ‘He was a long-tall- 229 storyteller trying to lift lying up to mythmaking.’ Here’s a copy of one of his poems:

 

POETRY

I’ve got to be honest. I can
make good word music and rhyme

at the right times and fit words
together to give people pleasure

and even sometimes take their breath away –
but it always

somehow turns out kind of phony.
Consonance and assonance and inner

rhyme won’t make up for the fact
that I can’t figure out how to get

down on real paper the real or the true
which we call life. Like the other

The other day I was walking
on the lower exercise yard here

at San Quentin and this cat called Turk
came up to a friend of mine

and said Ernie, I hear you’re
shooting on my kid. And Ernie

told him So what, punk? And Turk
pulled out his stuff and shanked

Ernie in the gut only Ernie had a
Metal tray in his shirt. Turk’s

shank bounced right off him and
Ernie pulled his stuff out and of

course Turk didn’t have a tray and
caught it dead in the chest, a bad

one, and the blood that came to his
lips was a bright pink, lung blood,

and he just laid down in the grass
and said Shit. Fuck it. Sheeit.

Fuck it. And he laughed a long
time, softly, until he died. Now

what could consonance or assonance or
even rhyme do to something like that?

“You may not find much. I certainly haven’t. He was never a New York Times bestseller, but he wrote reality, his reality, raw, violent, gritty, the life you’d find in prison.”

“That’s more what interests me. Cut the bullshit, tell it like it is, not just to glorify rich people like you see on tv, but for the families scraping to make a living, the people working for minimum wage or less with no pension to look forward to, the waitresses, janitors…”

“So is there a market for the kind of books you write?”

“People buy my books, but I’ll never be a bestseller. In some ways, it’s like this place. You don’t make money off the drinks, customers like me. You make money from sex: the sight of it, the touch, smell and whatever else goes on upstairs. The popularity of my books sometimes depends on the level of sex, violence — things I know about — just enough to get my point across.”

“What is your point?”

“My point is the human condition. I try to understand people, why they fall in love, why they hurt each other, why they kill each other. It’s a mystery, like you for instance. Why is a woman who reads Baudelaire and Aristophanes, serving drinks in a biker strip bar?”

“That would be a long story if I chose to tell it. I don’t just serve drinks. I own this place, inherited it from my father who was a biker. Even when I was underage he would bring me here off-hours if he needed to work on the books. I’d keep myself entertained with the pinball machines, pool table and sometimes Solitaire…”

“I take it that your mother wasn’t around?”

“You don’t pull punches, do you. She died when I was five. I don’t remember much about her. I was raised by my grandparents and my dad. He played a big part in my growing up, so did a lot of the other bikers in here. He was nuts about vintage Harleys. He loved the look of them, the feel and sound when he rode them. He’d go to swap meets, get to know other bikers, buy what looked like a wreck, take it all apart, then rebuild it. Soon other bikers came to him to repair their bikes or buy ones he’d restored. He’d tell me about panheads, knuckleheads, shovelheads, softails, hardtails. They formed a club. I was their mascot. They said I brought them luck. When I was older, Dad would pay me to sweep out the place, wipe tables, wash glasses and ashtrays, clean washrooms. When I was old enough I started serving behind the bar. What about you?”

“Nothing special. I grew up on a small farm. I like animals more than people. I never had much social life. Dad was getting weaker year by year, so I took on more of the farm work. Eventually, he passed on, Mom shortly after. I moved around a lot. Never in one place long enough to make any real friends. I was always the new kid, the guy from out of town. Attended college on a football scholarship. I have the aching joints to prove it. I did my military service after college. I liked the military but didn’t like taking orders, so now I’m what you would call a security contractor.”

As a security contractor, what do you actually work at?”

“I’m open to whatever a client wants me to do, as long as they can meet my price. I don’t come cheap.”

“You’re a mercenary!”

“That’s not a term I use to describe myself. Call me a Private Military Contractor. Mercenaries work for everybody, they’ll go for the highest bidder on either side. As a PMC I like to think that I’m working on the right side of the fence most of the time. The main difference is that a PMC’s role is to protect and escape, rather than engage and attack.

“I do a lot of investigative and surveillance work. It’s not as interesting as the private eye shows on television. One of my former partners did not like surveillance work. He described it as, ‘sitting around and doing fuck all.’ For me, it allows for time to think and occasionally write.”

“If I had a problem and met your price could I hire you?”

“I’d need details. Maybe we could work something out.”

She called out, “Amber, take the bar. I’m going to the back.”

In the back room were open cases of liquor, a large commercial dishwasher, laundry facilities, a door marked Dressing Room, a staff area for coffee and a glass-enclosed office. Red directed me to a client chair in front of her desk. She started by saying, “It’s discouraging the way things have changed. In the early ’90s, a strip club in Montreal started offering lap dances. I visited the club and the owner showed me a closed circuit tv monitor of what was happening in the private rooms. He said they needed the cameras for security in case a dancer was assaulted, also they wanted to make sure the girls didn’t go too far. Prostitution wasn’t allowed.

“I discussed the changes with my dancers and the opinions varied. I didn’t want to force anyone out of their comfort zone. A lot of girls left the business at that time. I didn’t blame them. Some saw it as a way of earning extra money. I decided to leave it up to them to decide whether or not they wanted to offer lap dances, but it’s the dancer who sets the limits. I run a clean club which means no prostitution or drugs. We no longer hire feature dancers. It used to be that we’d book some of the best in the world, real international cabaret stars There were regular tour circuits. Now the girls serve drinks then take turns on the stage. I don’t like what’s happening. I see it as demeaning.

“I worked a deal with a local jiu-jitsu and kickboxing club. The girls get a free membership to learn self-defense.  The membership of the club has seen a big boost in enrolment. The guys love seeing my girls training with them in singlets and short shorts.

“These girls, women, are like sisters to me, but more often I have to act like a mother. I hear all their problems. I have a calendar where I mark down when they’re having their period, so I know if they’re going to be grumpy or if they might phone in sick. If they thought they may be pregnant, because they were late, I could check the calendar and see if they’d missed the date or just forgot.

“People always ask me if I thought a lot of dancers had been abused as children. I always answer no to that question. Then follow it with, ‘not a lot of them, all of them.’ And I still believe that to this day. A woman can’t show her body to a man for money unless she’s lost something that once made her body special to her.

“When a girl is fifteen and has to leave home to get away from an abusive situation there aren’t a whole of opportunities out there for her. It’s pretty much stripping and hooking. The government makes it difficult for underage girls to strip, with their license requirements and all that. More of them are ending up as prostitutes instead…

“The club has a problem. A larger organization wants to take over…”

“If the larger organization is a one-percenter motorcycle club, you’ve got a big problem. I’d suggest you do what they say, take your losses and leave.”

“I agree, I don’t have a choice, but I don’t want to give this place away. These are my friends, this place is their livelihood, this is my home. I need a negotiator. It’s not like I can go to our local real estate agent. Do you have any backing?”

“Yes, I can bring in a private militia, as many men and guns as needed, if you want to start a war you can never finish.”

“I don’t want any violence. I want a fair price and protection for my staff during the transition. I want a show of force, not a war. A friend of mine who owned a club similar to this had a very unfortunate experience. He was contacted by a group of supposed buyers. He made an appointment to meet them early in the morning before the club was open. Four very large men were waiting for him at the entrance. He showed them the club. They offered him a lot of money, more than the club was worth. They said they’d drive him to their lawyer’s office. While in the car they threatened him with death if he tried anything. The guys stood around while the papers were signed. They pushed him back in the car. Before they dropped him back at the club one of the thugs grabbed the owner’s face in a large hand and squeezed firmly. He said, and I can still remember the words he used, ‘Welcome to the real world, you ain’t gettin’ nothin’.’

“Okay, work out your selling price, talk to other owners. My senior operatives are on call for immediate response. A local company can provide me with guards in a matter of hours. It’s the same situation with canine patrols and handlers. Those out of town will need to make travel arrangements. Set a date to meet the purchasers. Make sure the meeting takes place here. Tell them to come unarmed. Do you have metal detectors? If not get some. Also, have closed-circuit tv covering all areas of the club inside and out. We don’t want surprises. We’ll also need all areas bugged for sound. I’ll have some of my people bring in the equipment and install it. You can reach me at the hotel down the street. Do we have a deal?”

“I don’t know your price yet.”

“We’ll work it into the price of the sale. Let me get some figures and background on who we’re dealing with. Don’t discuss my involvement with anyone. I don’t want to be a target before it’s absolutely necessary. I’ll contact my crew.”

“Okay, I guess you’ve relieved some of my stress. Don’t let me down.”

“Cheers, Red.”

Two days later:

“Okay, Red, I have details of the audio and visual security. Everything seems to be in place and has been checked for reception.  Arrange a meeting with the prospective buyers as soon as possible.  Have your bouncer check them for weapons.  Take them back to the staff coffee area. My men and I will be out of sight in the dressing room.

Three bikers entered, one wearing a Vice President’s patch. After looking around the room they agreed to be searched electronically for weapons. They were young, muscular and huge.  Four men with grey hair and long beards wearing Sons of Irony patches were quietly playing cards at a nearby table.  The new arrivals wandered over to talk, ‘You guys look as old as the bikes parked out front. Are you against buying American or can’t you afford Harleys.”

One of the greybeards stood up and said, “I ride a ’41 flathead BMW R71, the one that Harley copied after World War Two since theirs wasn’t good enough for the American Army. Where do you think Harley got their engine  and transmission?”

Another of the older bikers said, “My ’73 Triumph Hurricane X75 is a classic.  This model set numerous speed and distance records at Daytona and Bonneville. I’ll agree that their market was taken over by rice rockets, but It still gets me where I want to go.  Harleys’ are overrated, overpriced and too noisy.”

The old man got up from the table and confronted the VP, “It’s not polite to disrespect your elders. I think an apology is in order.”

“You old coot, I’ll show you disrespect.” With that, he threw a right fist at the other’s jaw. The older man dodged and blocked the punch with his left wrist. His right hand came around the waist of his opponent finishing with a Hip Throw and standing Armbar. He said, “I can break this wrist, or let you walk away after I hear your apology.” The biker’s face was contorted in pain as his wrist was bent near to breaking. The other two bikers were ready to step in when they heard. “You may want to consider the two guns under the table about to blast away your manhood.”

The VP forced out the words. “I apologize. Let me up.”

The older man said, “You telegraphed your punch. You made it too easy.”

“What do you mean I telegraphed my punch?”

“I understand, in this electronic age telegraph is out of date. What I meant was, before you threw your punch you dipped your right shoulder. I knew exactly what you were going to do and counteracted appropriately. Now, do you want to try that again?”

The big man stood up. This time he tried a left hook. The older man defended with his hand to his right ear then attacked with his elbow, downing the biker again. “There, you did it again, you dropped your left.  If I hadn’t hit you with my elbow I could have chopped your neck, wrapped my arm around yours, hit you with my right then taken you down with my right leg behind yours. Do you want to try that again?”

“Some other time, old man. I got business to conduct.”

“It’ll make more sense if I demonstrate. Are you sure you don’t want to give it a try. You could learn something.”

“Later. old man.”

The bouncer shouted, “Red, your guests have arrived.” Red walked up as the man was rising from his knees.  She said, “Hey big boy, I appreciate respect, but I wasn’t expecting you to kneel. I see you’ve met Sensei Digger, my jiu-jitsu instructor. Would you mind following me to the back.”

They sat at the staff table, “I have some papers drawn up. you may want to have them checked by your lawyer. It’s being offered on the open market: twenty-five thousand square feet including a commercial kitchen, refrigeration, fixtures valued at four hundred seventy-five thousand and stock of twenty-five hundred. Included is the liquor consumption license with an estimated value of $175,000, and a municipal certificate of occupancy for adult entertainment. Sales revenue is four hundred thousand with a cash flow of eighty thousand.  Total asking price is nine hundred and ninety-five thousand. Any questions?”

“Look, Bitch, this isn’t the way we do business. We’ll tell you what we’ll pay and you’ll accept it, or else.”

Dane and twenty men wearing street clothes and balaclavas entered from the Dressing Room. They were armed with AR-15 type rifles with a bump or slide fire modification. Handguns were strapped to their thighs. Each had a snarling dog at his side.

Dane said, “You’re not calling the shots here, I am. You’ll play by my rules.”

The biker said, “Hey, dude, that’s some heavy fuckin’ duty security you got there. Is that for our sake? Are those guns loaded or just for show?”

Dane said, “We don’t want to scare the patrons and staff or have someone phone the police. To keep the noise down, Number Two, show the man what you can do.” With lightning speed, he pulled a knife from his sleeve and threw it across the room sticking it inches above the lead biker’s head. It was still quivering. “To answer your question, yes the guns are loaded if needed and the dogs do bite.

“These soldiers are used to fighting in the jungles and rainforests where the breaking of a twig can mean instant death. They’ve learned to fight like ghosts. Nobody sees them coming until it’s too late. The fact that they’re still alive attests to how good they are. Also, they’re international. There’s nowhere you can hide that you can’t be found.

“You may take these real estate papers to your President. After your church meeting phone me with your decision. I can be contacted on this cell phone.” He placed it on the table. There will be no negotiations. If you don’t want a bidding war, or if you’re fussy about your future neighbors we’ll need an answer as soon as possible. Your clubhouse is now surrounded by soldiers with rocket launchers, so don’t consider bringing reinforcements or any kind of retaliation. Your telecommunication and internet devices are being monitored by encryption specialists. We also have audio and video recordings of your skirmish at the front door where you were humiliated twice by an old man. That could go viral before the night is over if we so choose. I’m sure that your home chapter and your enemies would find it very entertaining. You may leave now to make your decision. Call me.”

Dane and Red showed the bikers to the exit.  The VP said, “I haven’t finished with you, Red.”

She confronted him and asked in a sweet as honey voice, “I don’t understand, whatever do you mean?”

The biker said with a smirk on his face, “I mean we have some unfinished business involving your legs draped over my shoulders. Your pussy could use a taste of my tongue.”

The smile still on her face she said, “You’re not man enough for my taste.” Her stilettoed foot came up with a right snap kick to his chin followed by a left roundhouse to the side of his head. He fell hard on his back with his legs spread.  She placed her shoe on his crotch and pressed, “You owe me an apology, or I’ll crush what little balls you have.” The remaining two bikers were about to come to his aid when they looked at the Sons of Irony at the card table, guns are drawn, smiles on their bearded faces. “I apologize.”

Red said to Dane, “I’m glad that’s over. These soldiers must cost a fortune and you mentioned encryption specialists. I don’t know how I can pay for all this.”

“I’ll take ten percent of the selling price. If costs run over that I’ll cover them.”

“That’s very generous.”

“Well, I don’t expect to need all of them for the full term. As long as our three friends are convinced we have them they’ve served their purpose. They’ll convince the other members of the gang that we’re not to be messed with.

“They’re are on call twenty-four hours a day. We also have access to any other military equipment we may need. If we need a tank to crash through their clubhouse we can do it. Now, we wait for their phone call. If this fails we can probably find legitimate buyers. It’s a fair price and good value.”

Red said with a smile on her face, “This calls for a drink. Will you have your usual?”

“Yes please, ma’am.”

“Don’t call me ma’am. That makes me sound like a grandmother.”

As they entered the bar area, Amber was on stage suspended from the dance pole by her legs. Her body arched back and her long dark hair touched the floor. She slid down to a handstand, then supporting her weight on her hands she came down to a headstand, returned to a handstand. She slowly pulled herself up to her former position, hung on to the pole with her hands and spiraled to the floor.

Dane watched with appreciation. “She’s really very good.”

“She’s a trained gymnast and ballerina. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many jobs that can make use of her skill set and grace. What you saw was a tabletop, going into a lean back, leading into a bridged handstand, back up to a plank stand, ending in a spinning straddle to the floor. She makes it look easy, but it takes an expert to avoid pole burn.”

“So, what’s in her future after you close here?”

“Probably another strip bar in another town. She’ll do alright as long as she stays clean. Drugs take a lot of dancers. It’s not a problem for her now, but so many girls fall into that lifestyle, especially when their age begins to show and they aren’t so pretty or so popular.”

“Do you have someplace where I can crash for the night? I don’t want to be out walking the streets alone. There could be a sniper waiting for me.”

“Are we really in a lot of danger?”

“That all depends on the bikers and the skill of my soldiers. They’ve been issued infrared glasses for night vision. I’ll post snipers on the roof in four-hour shifts. Your windows will be manned. Roving scouts will be patrolling the outlying area and I’ll have snipers in camouflaged blinds, similar to hunting blinds but underground. They’ll be completely invisible even in broad daylight.

Two days later Dane’s phone rang. The voice on the other end said, “Okay, we’re in. Where do we exchange the money and the sales papers?”

Dane answered, “We’ll take two-thirds of the purchase price now. Bundles of large bills will fit in the saddlebags of a single bike. We’ll sign the papers, and count the money in the middle of the parking lot.  In two weeks, after the premises have been vacated, we’ll accept the balance of payment and turn over the keys. After that, it’s all yours.”

The voice answered, “Okay,” then the line went dead.

“Okay,” said Dane to Red, “We’ve got the ball rolling. With luck,  in two weeks you’ll have the money in your hand and can start a new life.”

“I have a feeling it’s not going to be that easy. We’re not dealing with Mr. and Mrs. suburban couple. These guys are used to taking what they want, on their own terms.”

Dane said, “Then let them bring it on. We’re ready.”

A phone call from the lookout advised, “A group of thirty is suiting up and have mounted their bikes. What should we do?”

“If they turn left towards the strip club launch a mortar shell ahead of them to blow up the road. We’ll see what happens then.”

“They’ve turned right. It may be that they’re planning to circle around and come at you from the other side.”

“We’re ready for them. Hold your location.”

Spotters with telescopes saw small groups advancing from all directions. Dane ordered his men on the roof to fire several rounds of rubber bullets to let the bikers know they’ve been detected. “What’s the reaction?” he asked.

“They’re moving back, but they’re not leaving,” said a spokesman for the shooters.

“Launch a couple of mortars. Try not to kill anybody, but let them know we’re using live ammo. Can you see what kind of weapons they’re using?”

“I see the expected axe handles, chains, handguns, shotguns also assault rifles. I see some Remington Bushmasters, GPCs, Colt CQBRs, CM901s and a Robinson XCR, all American dating from 2004 to 2010. I don’t see any grenade, mortar or rocket launchers.”

“What’s happening now?”

“They’re retreating slowly. I think it’s a standoff.”

“Call out to our roving men and the ones in the blinds. See if they can single out stragglers and hit them with tranquilizer darts. Work from the back of the group to the front. It would be great if we could immobilize their leader.”

“We’ve hit a couple and the leader is walking directly towards one of the blinds. I don’t know if our man has been spotted or not. I don’t think so. I can see a slight movement in the leaves, the tip of a dart gun has emerged. The President is down. Let’s see what happens now.”

“I think a phone call to the VP would be in order.”

“I see him picking up his phone. He looks pissed.”

“Your President is down, so are a half dozen of your men. Do exactly as I say or the next round of bullets will be live and we’ll be shooting to kill. Order your men to drop their weapons immediately or your leader dies first, then you. Raise your arms. You’re surrounded.”

“Fuck you!” yelled the VP as he ran toward the building firing his submachine gun.

Dane said, “He doesn’t have a target, the only damage he’s doing is to the brick walls.  Shoot a tear gas cartridge in his path. That should slow him down. If he gets within thirty-five feet we can use a taser to stop him. It would be preferable if we can avoid killing anyone, on the other hand, we are under attack.”

“The tear gas seems to have worked. He’s holding his eyes and coughing. Bring the soldiers out of their blinds. They can approach from the rear. Keep using the tranquilizer darts. Fire more tear gas cartridges if anyone approaches. Bring out the dogs. What is the body count now?”

“There are about six still standing. They’ve dropped their weapons and have their hands above their heads.

“Round them up, use cuffs, herd them into the back room. Lock them in the beer cooler, with the exception of the President. He’ll be groggy, but if he wants this place he should be able to sign his name.”

The leader sat on a chair in the middle of the room, his hands cuffed behind his back. Red asked, “So what’s it going to be. Do you meet our price or do we offer it to another biker club?

“Uncuff my hands. I’ll sign. You’ll have the money tomorrow.”

Red said, “Send a lone biker to our parking lot. We’ll do a count and if we’re satisfied he’ll ride away unharmed.”

The President stood “I assume you’ll release my men now.”

“Yes,” said Red, “all but your VP. He can cool off here until the payment is settled.”

The bikers trooped out of the beer cooler, with the exception of the VP who was on his back with the boot of a soldier across his throat and a snarling dog straining against its leash. They left by the front door and walked the empty street towards their clubhouse.

Next day:

The financial transaction took place at noon in the parking lot. The VP was released, arrangement for the handover of keys was arranged for later that night and the bikers rode away.

“Thank you,” said Red to Dane, “I really couldn’t have done it without you.”

“You handle yourself well. If you don’t have any other offers I’m in need of a partner with your qualifications.”

“That sounds interesting. I could give it a try. Shall we discuss it over a drink.”

They walked back into the bar, sat at a corner table as Amber poured their usual drinks. “So Dane Cross,” said Red, “what is this job you’re offering me?”

“Don’t get too used to the name Dane Cross, it’s an alias. In my line of work, I don’t like to be tied down to any particular identity or background. I like to stay flexible and creative. I’m usually on the move, but I stay in luxury. We’d be equal partners, share in the decisions and the profits.

“You mentioned spending a lot of your childhood here. I grew up in pool halls as well. When my brother who was fifteen years older, was assigned to babysit me. He’d take me to a pool hall, prop me in a chair and keep me contented with comic books, chips and soft drinks. I was in heaven. He’d be hustling the tables. Things sometimes got ugly if there was a sore loser, but Jack was a fighter, so he could take care of himself.

They talked into the evening. Amber brought sandwiches from the kitchen. After the last of the patrons and staff left and locked the doors they continued their conversation. An hour later the sound of a motorcycle approached and stopped out front. Dane got out of his chair, stood behind the pool table, switched off the overhead light and picked up two balls. There was the sound of feet stomping down the concrete stairs and the crashing of the door as it was kicked in. A spray of bullets from a machine gun broke lights, broke chairs, mirrors followed by the biker. When the dust had cleared he saw Red sitting at a table. She said, “You could have rung the doorbell, but it’s your place now, do what you like to the furniture and fixtures.”

“It was you I came to see, Red. I said we weren’t finished yet.”

“Yes, I remember now, it involved my legs draped over your shoulders. Do I have that part right?  Then you indicated that my pussy could use a taste of your tongue. Are you up for that big boy? or was it all talk?”

Dane settled one of the balls into his right hand and pitched it at the biker hitting him between the eyes. The second followed in quick succession. He next picked up a pool cue and smashed the leaded handle on the other’s unprotected neck. The biker staggered but remained on his feet. Dane grabbed a fist full of his long hair with his left hand, jerked the biker’s head down as his left knee slammed into his chin.  From his loose right pocket Dane drew his go-to weapon of choice in tight quarters, his spring assisted knuckle or trench knife — brass knuckles combined with a double-edged switchblade. While still holding him by the hair he drove the knuckles into his the side of his opponent’s head, then reached under and jabbed the two-sided blade into his neck, pulled back and slit his throat from ear to ear.

Red said, “I guess now would be a good time to leave by the rear door. My car’s out back.”

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Woodland Spirit

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angel

 

Along a woodland path, I strolled
of nature’s beauty I extolled:
The dappled trail, a great horned owl,
infrequently, a gray wolf’s howl.

The gentle, scented lake-side breeze
had me completely at my ease.
The midnight hour had come and gone.
Toward a clearing, I was drawn.

Why I went, I’ll never know.
It was my destiny to go.
The Harvest Moon with mystic light
revealed an otherworldly sight.

A shimmering appeared, it seemed,
or, perhaps, I’d only dreamed.
I knelt in supplication to
a spirit who appeared in view.

In beauty, purity and grace,
with love-light shining from her face,
a halo, waves of raven hair.
I was in awe to see her there.

I kissed her hand and softly prayed.
The orchestra of nature played.
The scent of cedar on her skin
enveloped me with warmth within.

The blessing of her touch sublime,
in harmony, our souls entwined.
A world apart, together now —
no question as to where or how.

Conversation through the night.
Her wisdom helped me see the light.
In times of need, like little birds,
they come to me, her precious words.

To me, her message was of love
for man, for nature, God above.
To let me love beyond my fear.
To live in balance through the year.

Awakened at the break of dawn
I found the spirit to be gone.
Perhaps a dream — and then I found
a ring of stones placed on the ground.

I sometimes feel her doeskin dress
against my arm — a sweet caress.
Poetic gifts of love and grace,
soothe my heart, my soul embrace.

 
Notes: The stones represent: Learning, Respect, Acceptance, Spiritual Sight, Listening, Speaking, Love, Service, Relationship, Creativity, Dynamic Spirituality and Gratitude.

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They Call Me Red

They Call Me Red

Dear Readers of my Gotta Find a Home Series, thank you for the 101 ratings (4.33 avg) and 58 text reviews posted on Goodreads. These four books were fictional in that I changed names and locations in the interests of privacy; apart from that, they were as close to reality as I could remember.

I have written a new book entitled They Call Me Red, under the pseudonym Dane Connor, that I hope you will consider reading. This is in the Amazon category of Action & Adventure Erotica (Kindle Store). A print version will be released in the near future. This book contains fiction, research and life experiences. The protagonist, Dane Cross, is a retired military black op who, with his comrades in arms, wants to establish shelters around the world for those forced onto the streets due to homelessness, drug and alcohol addiction and medical conditions such as post-traumatic stress syndrome. He has many challenges along the way such as a run-in with an international outlaw motorcycle gang. Following is the description I wrote for Amazon:

Dane Cross, he liked the sound of that, simple, direct, easy to spell, easy to remember, enigmatic. A life of deception can’t have too many complications or explanations. He was a man for hire, private investigation, bouncer, anything this side of legal. Trained as a black op in combat with a license as a Private Investigator he was equipped for many rolls, most of them quick and dirty. Always the guy from out of town. He had no recorded past, not even fingerprints. He’d traveled the back streets and alleys in the worst districts of the world. What he’s seen, no one should see, no one should experience. The reality was that crime exists everywhere. The removal of low life crooks was his obsession.

So-called, Dane meets Red, owner of ‘The Playmate’ strip club who is also an expert in martial arts. She’s intelligent, creative, compassionate, beautiful and they share many of the same interests. After the club is attacked by an outlaw motorcycle gang and a biker is killed Dane and Red become equal partners. They realize that their photographs have been circulated internationally and their lives will always be clouded in danger. Gradually, the realization dawns on them that their mutual respect and admiration has turned to love and mind-blowing sex. Follow their journeys around the world as they take from the rich and give to the poor.

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First Kiss

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kiss

 

my first kiss
so long ago
(not yet in high school)
in the back seat of a ’51 Ford
at a drive-in theatre.
I’ll remember ’till I die
my nervousness,
perspiration,
her perfume
(Tigress by Faberge)
her warmth,
angora sweater set
(pastel yellow —
no buttons
to hinder progress)
the sweetness of her kiss.
She knew much more than I
about such things

another world
had opened to me
desire and heartache
go together —
there’s seldom one
without the other
but, would we want it
any other way?
would we want
a safe, yet loveless life
without the up
without the down?
or, take the ecstasy
and risk our hearts
being trampled
to the ground

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.

 

Burlesque

 

Take It Off!

Painting of international burlesque dancer, Dee Milo, 'Venus of Dance' by Dennis Cardiff fine art portrait painter specializing in portraits of burlesque dancers.

Hot lights,
hot music.
You’ve got it now;
but, soon you’ll lose it.
Perfumed skin,
leather and lace,
long blonde hair,
an angel’s face

Slow touch,
slow smile,
make me want
to stay awhile.
Take it off!
Give me an eyeful.
Lend me a dream
for the lonely night.

Tough life,
tough city
Take my money
Gotta make it pay.
Shake it slow,
take it easy.
Make it last
for another day.

Lonely crowds,
crowded minds.
I get my coat.
Dreams left behind.
Leaving alone,
leaving empty.
Night is cold
when I feel this way.

 

 

Introduction:

 

I was first introduced to burlesque in 1962 in my hometown of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan when Royal American Shows brought Leon Miller’s Club Lido show, ‘Follies des Femmes’, featuring Lucia Parks, stage name: Blaze Fury, ‘The Human Heat Wave’. She was known for twirling flaming tassels.

My portrait of Dee Milo, “Venus of Dance” was on display at the “Art of Burlesque”  brunch and exhibit on Sunday, May 30, 2004. This was part of  “Burlesk Goes North”, Canada’s first weekend-long Burlesque Festival at the 360 Club in Toronto. Exhibiting this portrait served as an introduction to a larger exhibition, “Celebrating Burlesque!”, that will be available to galleries in the near future.

Burlesque was one of the most popular forms of entertainment in American theatre from the 1930s until the late 1950s. It is currently experiencing a well-deserved revival. Traditionally it was a variety show characterized by broad ribald comedy, baggy pants comics, live music, dancing and striptease. The striptease involved extravagant costumes, fans and props, playful choreography, a powerful sense of humor, and more often than not, an exceptional gimmick. The emphasis was on artful tease and innuendo rather than nudity since the dancers were required by law to wear pasties and a g-string. Says Little Brooklyn, “I enjoy putting myself out there physically. It’s very wink-and-nod. It’s an escape from all the in-your-face sexuality that’s out there today. If you just want to see bare bodies, there are a lot of easier ways to do that – without fans and feathers blocking the view.”

My research has introduced me to many current and former burlesque performers. I asked exotic legend Satan’s Angel what it was like being one-woman roadshow, carrying five suitcases and a steamer trunk containing costumes and props by bus to isolated localities such as Whitehorse in the Yukon and Yellowknife in the North West Territories, where men hadn’t seen a woman for six months to a year? “What a blast!” she exclaimed, “I’ll never forget the love and generosity of the people in those two towns.”

Some burlesque dancers have gone on to be actresses, artists, authors, costume designers, poets, publishers, singers and entrepreneurs. Many have worked with the biggest names in Hollywood. I have found them to be some of the most generous, creative, industrious and intelligent people. The stories they have to tell are fascinating. These are truly living legends and national treasures. I am extremely proud and honored to have the opportunity to portray them to a wider audience.

 

 

Acknowledgements:

 

I wish to express my thanks to June Morrow of the Exotic Dancer’s Alliance, Don Cullen, Al Stencell, Sugar Bouche, Mary Taylor and Shirley Jean Measures for their assistance in researching this fascinating project.

Al Stencell is the author of the book Girl Show: Into the Canvas World of Bump and Grind, and his new release Seeing is Believing: America’s Side Shows, published by E.C.W. Press.

Shirley Jean Measures, originally Shirley Jean Rickert, started acting in movies at the age of three. She appeared in “Our Gang/The Little Rascals” and “Neath Arizona Skies” with John Wayne, She danced in many movies including “Singing in the Rain” with Gene Kelly.

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Universal Equality

In the past year
I’ve had a lot of time to think
about important and unimportant things
(long story).
I have come to some very basic conclusions
as is my right and obligation.
They may seem obvious to some.

To others, they may seem inflammatory.
Deal with it —
say what you want on your own page.

I believe that as humans
we deserve:
UNIVERSAL EQUALITY IN ALL ASPECTS OF LIFE,
UNIVERSAL ACCESS: TO FOOD, WATER, SHELTER,
MEDICAL TREATMENT AND AVAILABILITY OF MEDICATION,
UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO EDUCATION,
UNIVERSAL FREEDOM OF CHOICE OVER OUR OWN BODIES,
UNIVERSAL FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT,
FREEDOM OF SPEECH,
DEMOCRACY.

These are big issues
that have repercussions in news events
around the world.
I haven’t worked out all the details, yet,
but I have seen a lot of headlines on television
in print media and on the internet.

On our planet
we must eradicate (as much is humanly possible,
as opposed to what is economically viable)
HUNGER
DISEASE
VIOLENCE
HOMELESSNESS
BIGOTRY
WAR
(and others too numerous
to mention).

My neighbors:
MUST NOT starve while I eat,
MUST NOT die of illness while I have access to a cure,
MUST NOT BE CONFINED BY NATIONAL BORDERS
if their lives, health, or opportunities
are at risk,
MUST HAVE universal access to the best education
in order to best express their natural abilities,
MUST HAVE equal access to meaningful, rewarding and satisfying employment,
MUST HAVE the freedom to make their own life choices;
these choices MUST NOT be dictated by GOVERNMENT
RELIGION, SOCIETY or self-proclaimed MAJORITIES.
LYNCH MOB DEMOCRACY MUST BE ELIMINATED.

In short, I AM my brother’s/sister’s keeper.
I WILL treat them as I would prefer to be treated.
I WILL NOT be the cause of abuse,
whether physical, verbal, mental or emotional.
I WILL live my life
according to the best of my potential.

‘NUFF SAID (for now)…

 

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When She Starts in Walking

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woman

 

When she starts in walking, guys they stop their talking.
Their minds are on just what they want to do.
They can dream, scheme and taste it coming true.

She’s got their attention, nothing left to mention.
She knows their minds; she’ll use that on them too.
She’ll lead the way and they will follow through.

She knows what she’s doin’, may lead some to ruin —
casualties, but what’s a girl to do.
Oh, my dear, such a pity, what to do.

Always calculating, lots of time for waiting;
a chump will come along, they always do.
I’m sure one’s coming now, maybe it’s you.

She knows to set her hook; she’ll do it with a look.
She knows he’ll take the bait and then he’s through.
He’s hooked now and squirming in the queue.

She has him on his knees, all he can say is please.
He’ll do her bidding, thinks he’s got her too,
but she’s casting her hook for someone new.

She’s got what she’s after; all that’s left is laughter.
She’s cruel and conniving through and through.
You watch out now, she’s coming straight for you.

 

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Freedom – Holly Rene Hunter

“Memories, like the corners of my mind
Misty watercolor memories
Of the way we were”

Gladys Knight And The Pips – Way We Were Try To Remember

FREE VERSE REVOLUTION

In the sweet summer

below the rusty fasteners of

an old swing I pump the air

with the spindly legs of childhood,

dream my wide eyed dreams of whirling

pathways to the beckoning sun.

My heart leaps at the sight of a brilliant

rainbow and with small fingers I reach up

to swathe its colors over a bluepalette sky.

Now I know about life,the real truth of it.

Now I know the swing is just freedom.


(copyright H. Rene Hunter)

https://houseofheartweb.wordpress.com/

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a different kind of love

A beautiful poem about the magic of childhood, ‘wild, ruthless, and unafraid.’

House of Heart

Sometimes I see myself through

your eyes,   my pale  face so in  love,

aching  for  the caress of that

flaxen haired boy racing

through rolling wheat fields.

Suddenly serious your adventurous

eyes sent shivers through  me.

I longed for your touch anytime and

we kissed open mouthed without

permission.

I adored your mock anger when

chasing after me and  the awkward

way you looked down at your hands.

Soon Autumn threw its shadow on

sprouting wheat,  smooth and wet.

From the half closed door I hear the

whisper of your breathing and know

there are different kinds of love,

wild ,    ruthless,  and  unafraid.

Image result for Art by Rob Hefferan

art by Rob Hefferan

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Beach Girl

Beach girl
silhouetted
against the horizon.
Wild hair fluttering
flag of the evening breeze.

I sit
admiring
this distant beauty.
Heartfelt rhapsody
engulfed by remorseless night.

I see
small footprints
in the moist sand.
I know them as yours.
Would that I could take them home.

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Wish I didn’t know…


 

“Wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then” is a lyric from Against the Wind written by Bob Seger. This line has haunted me since I first heard it in 1980. I have made many choices that I later regretted. I’ve been offered opportunities that, with more courage or persistance I would have explored. In many past relationships I’ve felt betrayed. For years I avoided becoming emotionally attached to anyone.

What life choices have you regretted? What would you have done differently if given the opportunity? Would you have avoided that toxic relationship that led to abuse? I expect that many people looking back on their lives question, “What if…?

We make decisions based on the information we have at the present time. That information, like the stock market, can change in a minute. We also make decisions based on who we were at a certain time. Were we emotionally mature, were we acting on impulse, were we trying to impress someone? Regardless, we are victims of the choices we made and their consequences. 

There is still hope for our future. We can change. Perhaps, we need to forgive ourselves or someone else. We are not tied to, or defined by our past. Each new day is an opportunity to begin building a new me, a new you. It may take baby steps at first and we may need guidance from a professional but change is within our grasp. We may feel that we’re “still runnin against the wind”, but the exertion is worth our effort. 

Against the Wind – Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band  https://buff.ly/2Ezp6Bd

Professional Reader

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Voodoo Queen of New Orleans

latest

 

She was long and lovely from ‘way down south,
she had blood on her hands, blood on her mouth.
She’d got voodoo spells and incantations.
She lived on one of those big plantations.
Had she done something bad? Well, I don’t know.
She went by the name of Marie Laveau.

She had golden skin and curly black hair,
down near the bayou you could find her there,
with her big old snake wrapped ’round and ’round,
it was party time when the sun went down.
Cauldron would bubble and naked they’d dance,
potions concocted, ’round the fire she’d prance.

She had a mojo hand, a black cat bone —
wouldn’t want her to catch you all alone.
There were stories told of the men she’d hexed;
husband Jacques unaware that he’d be next,
he just disappeared, he never returned —
just ashes left and the incense she burned.

Stroll though the graveyard down near Bayou Street
upon St. John’s Eve when the spirits meet.
There on her tomb is perched a big black crow
masking the spirit of Marie Laveau.
She leads the rites and the ritual scene,
forever known as the the Voodoo Queen.

 

marie

Photo by Samantha Corfield
Tomb of Marie Laveau
St. Louis Cemetery #1
New Orleans

 

Marie Laveau lived from 1794 to 1881 on North Rampart Street, New Orleans. When requested, she used the Voodoo religion’s magical powers to control one’s enemies, lovers and acquaintances.

The type of music I have in mind for this has twanging guitars and a heavy drum beat reminiscent of the Creedence Clearwater Revival song, “Down on the Bayou” or the Colin James song “Voodoo Thing”

 

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Strange Fruit

Image result for billie holiday strange fruit images

Written for the Freedom Writers Contest, March, 2010, using the prompt ‘INSPIRATION’.Definition of Inspiration: “An agency, such as a person or work of art, that moves the intellect or emotions or prompts action or invention.” (Answers.com)

.

Southern trees bear a strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees

Pastoral scene of the gallant south
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth
Scent of magnolia sweet and fresh
And the sudden smell of burning flesh!

Here is a fruit for the crows to pluck
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck
For the sun to rot, for a tree to drop
Here is a strange and bitter crop.

“Strange Fruit” has been called the original protest song. It is deceptively simple and direct. The song depicts lynching in all of its brutality. The three short verses are all the more powerful for their understated and ironic language. The juxtaposition of the pastoral landscape with “The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth”, the smell of magnolias with that of burning flesh, the blossoms more typically associated with the Southern climate with the “strange fruit” produced by racial oppression — good ol’ boys by day; white robes, hoods and burning crosses by night.

The lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith In 1937 was photographed and appeared on a postcard that was seen by Abel Meeropol, a Jewish high-school teacher from the Bronx. This horrendous event took place in Marion, Indiana, August 7, 1930. Meerapol was haunted for days by Lawrence H. Beitler’s photograph of the incident, which sold by the thousands for fifty cents apiece. Strange Fruit was inspired by this horrific image and was published under the pseudonym, Lewis Allan.

Billie Holiday was performing at the club, Café Society, in New York City. After hearing her sing, Meeropol sent her “Strange Fruit”. Holiday had mixed feelings about performing the song. She presented it to her friend Milt Gabler whose Commodore label produced alternative jazz. She sang the song a cappella, and it moved Gabler so much that he wept. In 1939, Gabler agreed to record and distribute the song.

Barney Josephson, owner of Café Society, recognized the impact of the song and insisted that Holiday close all her shows with it. Just as the song was about to begin, waiters would stop serving, the lights in the club would be turned off, and a single pin spotlight would illuminate Holiday on stage. During the musical introduction, Holiday would stand with her eyes closed, as if she were evoking a prayer.

Billie’s grandfather was one of 17 children of a black Virginia slave and a white Irish plantation owner. Her father, Clarence Holiday, while touring the Southwest as a guitar player with the Don Redman big band caught a heavy cold on March 1st, 1937. He had served in France during the last year of WWI and had his lungs severely damaged by mustard gas, making him susceptible to any respiratory ailment. He delayed seeking medical attention, knowing the prevailing racial attitudes in Texas, at the time. He died of pneumonia in the local Veterans’ Hospital. He was 37.

Holiday reflected, “I have to keep singing it, not only because people ask for it but because twenty years after Pop died the things that killed him are still happening in the South.”2

Lynching ideology was directly connected with denial of political and social equality. Benjamin Tillman, 84th Governor of South Carolina from 1890 to 1894 and later a United States Senator from 1895 to 1918 stated forthrightly:

We of the South have never recognized the right of the negro to govern white men, and we never will. We have never believed him to be the equal of the white man, and we will not submit to his gratifying his lust on our wives and daughters without lynching him.

Mobs lynched 4,743 persons in the United States, between 1882 and 1968, according to the Center for Constitutional Rights. Over eighty-eight percent were African-Americans. Fewer than 1 percent of those arrested for lynching were ever convicted.

Abel Meerapol was all too familiar with the news reports describing the Holocaust that began in 1933 when Hitler came to power in Germany. It is estimated that 11 million people were killed during the Holocaust. Six million of these were Jews. In addition to Jews, the Nazis targeted Gypsies, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the disabled for persecution. The American Holocaust differed only in numbers and scope.

“Strange Fruit” undoubtedly contributed to the 1964 Civil Rights Act declaring discrimination based on race illegal. President Obama reinforced this position when he signed major civil rights legislation in October, 2009 entitled the Matthew Shepard & James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, named for Matthew Shepard, a gay Wyoming teenager who died after being kidnapped and severely beaten in October 1998, and James Byrd Jr., an African-American man dragged to death in Texas the same year.

“Strange Fruit” was counted among one of the “ten songs that actually changed the world” by Q, a British music publication, but “Most Provocative” or “Most Unsettling” might more accurately reflect the song’s artistic impact and true social standing. “Strange Fruit” is “a work of art, that has moved the intellect, emotions and has prompted action”. It, therefore, exemplifies Inspiration.

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Discrimination

11 February 2019

The world as I know it is in turmoil. I was probably naive in thinking that the lyrics of All You Need is Love by Lennon and McCartney would eventually come true:

“There’s nothing you can make that can’t be made
No one you can save that can’t be saved

Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time
It’s easy
All you need is love”

I was a hippy in the midst of Beatlemania, Woodstock and protests of the Kent State Massacre of 4 May 1970. I attended sit-ins, rallies and in my university classes I heard lectures by supporters of the Weather Underground Organization, known as the Weathermen, the Black Panthers and other groups who asked us,”Why are you just sitting here. Why aren’t you protesting or throwing a bomb?”

I didn’t throw a bomb. I mellowed out on Moroccan Gold, hash oil laced with opium and watched music from the stereo speakers assaulting my head in blinding waves. I became paranoid and was unable to walk down the stairs, I had to slide down one step at a time. I witnessed a beating on the sidewalk. A man had been pulled halfway out of the driver’s seat of his car and was being punched repeatedly to the head. A gang of youths surrounded the fight scene. One said, ‘You’re in a very dark neighbourhood.’ I was catatonic, in a state of mental stupor. My wife said, ‘He’s sick. Happy New Year.’ Seeing that I was not a threat, they let us pass and said, ‘Happy New Year.’ When we arrived at the Toronto subway I was afraid that I would be pushed in front of a speeding train.

I’m writing from the viewpoint of a Canadian. If you’ve done the math you will conclude that I am old. I don’t like to be labeled as old, nor do I like to be compartmentalized as a white, male, hetrosexual. I recognize that I experience ‘white male privilege’. I like to think that my ideas and beliefs extend beyond these limitations. I think the same of others. We are what we say and do, not how we look, our gender or gender preference.

In the 1970’s a Youth Revolution seemed inevitable. We didn’t trust anyone over the age of thirty. In The Greening of America by Charles A. Reich, required reading in my Humanities class taught:

“how a once-free America had become a Corporate State that made no one happy. And then it suggested a remedy.”

The way out? It wasn’t political change — for Reich, politics came last. The first and most important thing: Consciousness. As he saw it, America had outgrown “Consciousness I,” which had helped form a nation of free individuals. It had outgrown “Consciousness II,” which was corporate and heartless. Now it was time for “Consciousness III,” in which people would turn away from the quest for traditional success and forge a new, personal path to satisfaction.

In short: Change the way you think, help others do the same, and soon the system has to change.”

We saw and supported the black civil rights movement. Richard Nixon promised an honorable end to the Vietnam War. In January 1973, the Nixon administration negotiated a peace agreement with North Vietnamese leaders. Eighteen months later, facing certain impeachment by the Senate due to the Watergate scandal, Nixon became the first American President to ever resign on August 8, 1974. The Vietnam War ended on April 30th 1975 under the administration of President Gerald Ford.

With the ending of the Vietnam war I was under the impression that the world was becoming more civilized. I knew returning vets, one had been a driver for Jonathan Winters during his USO tour. I knew members of the Black Panthers and the Klan. While on a heavy equipment course in Charlotte, North Carolina I was drinking beer with a group in a local tavern. The conversation turned to the treatment of blacks in the Carolinas. Someone from another table said, ‘We treat blacks much better here than they do in Mississippi.’ Robert, a Klan member sitting next to me stood up and said to the speaker, ‘How would you like to see a cross burning in your front yard.’ Not another word was spoken. Half the tavern stood up and walked out.

I asked Robert about the Klan. He said that he had nothing against blacks. His uncle was Imperial Wizard of United Klans of America (UKA), a Ku Klux Klan group, so he grew up as a Klan member, not by choice, but as family. He wasn’t allowed to leave the Klan or the state without written permission. Robert was a likable, good looking fellow about twenty some years old from Asheville, Tennessee. He likened being a member of the Klan to being a member of the Boy Scouts. They wore uniforms, had meetings in the woods, but instead of campfires they burned churches.’ What did I know, a prairie boy from Saskatchewan barely of drinking age?

Speaking to a friend, an acknowledged Black Panther, I invited him to join me for a beer somewhere. Since I didn’t have a car I gave him the choice of locations. He said, ‘Thanks for the offer. I’d like to but the places I can go wouldn’t allow you in the door. The places you can go wouldn’t allow me.’

This was completely new territory for me. I was sitting in the front seat of a car driving around the back streets of Charlotte looking for a club. I heard a loud bang from the back seat. I turned around and saw a friend from Colorado pointing a handgun out the window towards a black man standing on the corner. He said, “Don’t worry. I wasn’t trying to shoot him. I just wanted to see him jump. Later he had a quick draw contest with a vet from Tennessee. Luckily nobody was injured.

“Dec 28, 2018 – The Senate passed a bill for the first time in its history that, if enacted, would make lynching a federal crime. More than 4,700 people were lynched in the U.S. from 1882 to 1968, according to one estimate, and over 70 percent of the victims were black.”

Twenty-seven countries around the world allow same sex marriage yet, as of December 2018, “in the United states marriage certificates are not issued to same-sex couples by eight counties in Alabama and one county in Texas. Those wishing to marry in these counties must travel to another county to obtain a license validly performed in other jurisdictions.” Where is Democracy if the majority is circumvented by an ignorant minority.

I am a feminist if that means that I support strong women in power who intend to unite the country and rescue it from the clutches of the pay for pray evangelists who hide behind their racism, bigotry, misogyny and homophobia. These evangelicals are the money changers who Jesus threw out of the temple:

“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.”

The women’s liberation movement “included campaigns in support of peace and disarmament, equality in education and employment, birth control and an end to violence against women.”  When Congress proposed the amendment in 1972, the resolution said it would become effective if approved by three-quarters of state legislatures. This seemed reasonable and long overdue. “At the time, ratification seemed a foregone conclusion; both parties had supported the ERA for nearly 20 years. But the nascent religious right mobilized to block it. Ratification stalled at 35 states—three short of the three-fourths majority required…  On January 15, 2019, the Virginia Senate voted to approve the ERA. The resolution now goes back to the House that rejected it 40 years ago.”

In December of 2010 my lungs ached, as frost hung in the bitterly cold morning air, making breathing difficult. I trudged in the falling snow toward the building where I work, in one of the city’s grey, concrete, office tower canyons. I dodged other pedestrians, also trying to get to work on time. I noticed a woman seated cross-legged on the sidewalk with her back against a building wall. A snow-covered Buddha, wrapped in a sleeping bag, shivering in the below freezing temperature. I guessed her to be in her forties. Everything about her seemed round. She had the most angelic face, sparkling blue eyes and a beautiful smile. A cap was upturned in front of her. She said ‘Good morning sir.’ I replied with “Good morning.’ I was intrigued by her and wondered why she wasn’t staying at a homeless shelter and eating at one of the churches that offer free meals. I thought, There but for the grace of God go I. Her smile and blue eyes haunted me all day.

The next morning when I saw her I asked, ‘Would you like a coffee and perhaps a breakfast sandwich?’ She replied, ‘A breakfast sandwich sounds good. I don’t drink coffee but I’d like a tea with three sugars. When I returned with her meal in a bag she said to me, “Thank you so much, sir. You’re so kind. Bless you.” I truly felt blessed. I asked if I might sit with her. She replied, ‘Certainly.’ I asked how long she had been on the streets. She hesitated for a moment then said, ‘I arrived from Toronto in ’97, so that would make it 13 years. I sleep behind the dumpster in back of Starbucks.’ Thus began a beautiful friendship.

Two years later I spoke to Joy about the possibility of writing a story about her and her friends. Several days later I saw a group people standing near the park. Some I recognized as being Joy’s friends, so I started talking to the ones I knew. Joy arrived and said to the group, ‘This is my friend, Dennis. If anything bad happens to him you’ll have me to answer to. He’s writing a book and would like to talk to some of you.’ I said, ‘My intention is to write a book from the point of view of homeless people.’ I asked them, ‘What would you guys like the general public to know about your situation? I won’t use your real names.’

A large man approached me. He said, ‘Get your notepad and pen out. I’ll talk to you.’ Darren [a college graduate and Gulf war veteran]. ‘First of all we aren’t you guys, we’re not a group, we’re individuals. We come from different places, different backgrounds, in some cases different tribes. Some of us don’t even like each other, but we congregate here to have a beer, smoke a joint, to be with others who don’t judge or verbally abuse us. We accept everyone.

‘As for me, I’m from New Brunswick. My ancestry is Mi’kmaq. My family lived in a small town where the priest made all the decisions. My mother and father were both alcoholic. I have a brother and a sister. It was the priest’s decision to send us to foster homes. I was sent to Boston, I don’t know where my brother and sister are located.’

When I’m with the homeless I don’t judge. I ask a minimum of questions, only enough to keep the conversation moving. I don’t interrogate or ask about their past. Mostly, I listen and try to understand. I am often asked why I am there. Although the reasons are deeper, I usually answer by saying, ‘The conversations here are more interesting than where I work.’ I visit them before work, and at noon hours, so I always have an excuse to leave.

What I have learned over the past nine years has changed my life. The people, who I consider my friends, are alcoholics, drug and other substance abusers. Some work as prostitutes, some have HIV/AIDS, most or all have served time in jail for various offences, including drug dealing, domestic violence and murder. All of them I would trust with my life. They have declared themselves my family. I am honored that they have welcomed me.

I have heard from them sickening stories of abuse as children and babies born with drug dependencies. Most have mental and physical illnesses, suffer beatings, broken bones, stabbings, and have a fear of abusive partners, or the police, or both. Authority in any form is seen negatively, as a means to control their lives. The homeless shelters are noisy, infested with bed bugs, the scene of fights, rape and a place where personal items are stolen. Most of these people prefer to sleep inside common areas such as bank foyers, outside under bridges, or behind dumpsters.

In the conversations I recall and write on the pages of my book, Gotta Find a Home, I try to be as truthful as possible. I leave out details that I think might incriminate, but generally I try to give an accurate picture of the conversations I have with my friends. These people need help, but they want it on their own terms. They don’t choose to be uneducated, unloved, mentally ill or addicted. Addiction is a disease and should be treated as such. They live on the streets because it’s the best choice they have and they do what is necessary to survive.

Sample my books for free — To date $1945.00 has been donated to the homeless:
Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People
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Icarus

.

there is a space

between musical notes

between words

between lines

(very important)

there is a space

between the mind

(that tends to seclude)

and the universe

(all-encompassing)

i travel this space

there is a space

between the breathing in

and the breathing out

between the fullness

and the emptiness

between ascending

to the sun with Icarus

and the inevitable

plummeting

to earth

Sample my books for free — To date $1945.00 has been donated to the homeless:
Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People
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http://buff.ly/1qLHptc ($2.99 Download)
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Frost

959 Jeff_Rowland_romantic_pictures (10)

 

a dove sits on a snowy bough,
her song cuts through my heart.
we both know how the lonely feels
when love is torn apart.

there never was an emptiness
the way i feel inside.
the ache is deep within my chest,
i have no place to hide.

was once a time my heart was full
when spring was in the air,
but Frost has draped me with her cloak,
my tears fall in despair.

the midnight train is leaving soon.
my bags are packed to go.
i shiver on the platform bare,
a spectre, slinking low.

Sample my books for free — To date $1995.00 has been donated to the homeless:
Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People
http://buff.ly/1SGzGCY ($.98 Download)
http://buff.ly/1qLHptc ($2.99 Download)
https://buff.ly/2lUfp6Q ($2.99 Download)
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Universal Equality

In the past two weeks
I’ve had a lot of time to think
about important and unimportant things
(long story).
I have come to some very basic conclusions
as is my right and obligation.
They may seem obvious to some.

To others they may seem inflammatory.
Deal with it —
say what you want on your own page.

I believe that as humans
we deserve:
UNIVERSAL EQUALITY IN ALL ASPECTS OF LIFE,
UNIVERSAL ACCESS: TO FOOD, WATER, SHELTER,
MEDICAL TREATMENT AND AVAILABILITY OF MEDICATION,
UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO EDUCATION,
UNIVERSAL FREEDOM OF CHOICE OVER OUR OWN BODIES,
UNIVERSAL FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT,
FREEDOM OF SPEECH,
DEMOCRACY.

These are big issues
that have repercussions in news events
around the world.
I haven’t worked out all the details, yet,
but I have seen a lot of headlines on television
in print media and on the internet.

On our planet
we must eradicate (as much is humanly possible,
as opposed to what is economically viable)
HUNGER
DISEASE
VIOLENCE
HOMELESSNESS
BIGOTRY
WAR
(and others too numerous
to mention).

My neighbors:
MUST NOT starve while I eat,
MUST NOT die of illness while I have access to a cure,
MUST NOT BE CONFINED BY NATIONAL BORDERS
if their lives, health, or opportunities
are at risk,
MUST HAVE universal access to the best education
in order to best express their natural abilities,
MUST HAVE equal access to meaningful, rewarding and satisfying employment,
MUST HAVE the freedom to make their own life choices;
these choices MUST NOT be dictated by GOVERNMENT
RELIGION, SOCIETY or self-proclaimed MAJORITIES.
LYNCH MOB DEMOCRACY MUST BE ELIMINATED.

In short, I AM my brother’s/sister’s keeper.
I WILL treat them as I would prefer to be treated.
I WILL NOT be the cause of abuse,
whether physical, verbal, mental or emotional.
I WILL live my life
according to the best of my potential.

‘NUFF SAID (for now)…

Sample my books for free — To date $1995.00 has been donated to the homeless:
Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People
http://buff.ly/1SGzGCY ($.98 Download)
http://buff.ly/1qLHptc ($2.99 Download)
https://buff.ly/2lUfp6Q ($2.99 Download)
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when buffalo roamed

I pray
there is a place
beyond the pain
where we will rise
in purity
above the cedars.

look down
our hearts have claimed
a rock ledge
to escape the rain,
a cathedral
among ancient pines.

stories
your grandma told
of a past
when buffalo roamed —
we were there,
we are still there
using different names.

Sample my books for free — To date $1995.00 has been donated to the homeless:
Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People
http://buff.ly/1SGzGCY ($.98 Download)
http://buff.ly/1qLHptc ($2.99 Download)
https://buff.ly/2lUfp6Q ($2.99 Download)
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Melting Stars

 

 

It was a soft October night —
quietly fell the snow,
flake by gentle flake —
making domes on fence posts,
on mailboxes,
tracing upturned branches
of waiting trees.

I know you heard me
on the porch
(you always do)
thought it was
a stirring of the breeze,
or moaning
of the boards

Drawn
to quiet times
knowing you are here,
I feel your peace
(alone)
and come to you.
You know I’m here,
can feel my warmth.

I see you smile.

Let us sit in silence.
Nestle
in my embrace.
Words
need not be spoken
as we watch the melting stars,
listen for the chorus
singing somewhere else.
This moment
all that matters —
quiet filled with you.

 


Sample my books for free — To date $1995.00 has been donated to the homeless:
Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People
http://buff.ly/1SGzGCY ($.98 Download)
http://buff.ly/1qLHptc ($2.99 Download)
https://buff.ly/2lUfp6Q ($2.99 Download)
https://buff.ly/2Gkoyxj ($2.99 Download)
Podcasts: http://buff.ly/1Pxlf9p
http://www.blunttalk.libsyn.com/
http://buff.ly/1XU368M
http://buff.ly/2iYvOE4