Love a Good Fail, and Fiona Apple is my Liturgy this Morning by Lache S.

This made me cry & laugh & feel less alone in the world. Thank you.

I am falling in love with failure. At least I’m trying. It is time I have to.

We shouldn’t, lovely womyn, be short on our accomplishments. It doesn’t matter how slow going we’ve been, what we haven’t done yet, or what we haven’t quite obtained. We have to focus on the great strides we’ve made despite all the seeming nothings. If we fail, that means we put ourselves out there. When ever I submit a request or offer myself, the answer is silence, but other times the answer has been “yes.” I just haven’t heard many yesses because I don’t really try all that often. I’m timid, beat myself up, get down on myself, give up. Failure feels most like failure, the bad kind, when I’m indecisive and I don’t or can’t act. Not committing to something or deciding feels like a weight or blades inside. How can I love…

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The War of the Roaches

illustration war of the roaches

The War of the Roaches

It began on May 30th.  The Aggressor made a completely unprovoked attack using a 16‑oz. spray bottle of Professional Strength Roach Killer, which took many of the Roaches by surprise and weakened their forces considerably.  However, some survived and began planning their strategy.

The next move on the part of the Aggressor  was the purchase of roach motels late Monday night (June 1st).  These were strategically placed at many crucial roach strongholds.

The roaches decided it was time for outside aid. Roaches from neighboring apartments were duly contacted and a force of millipede mercenaries was also engaged.  The battle escalated the next day with the attacker’s purchase of boric acid  This was sprinkled carefully over many major transportation routes, forcing the development of alternate modes of roach army movement.

Feeling even more intense weaponry was needed, the Aggressor purchased (on the morning of June 3rd), additional roach motels.  The insect army was getting decimated quite rapidly, and the Aggressor noticed it was composed mainly of adolescent roaches.

Just when it seemed the tide was turning in favor of the Aggressor, reinforcement battalions from the apartment building next door arrived. These were adults, hardy and strong.  It was time for the ultimate weapon. It had been threatened many times before in hopes of negotiating a peaceful settlement.

Oscar Wildecat, Secretary of Defense for the Aggressor, had pleaded with many roaches individually to give up the fight and order a cease‑crawl, but to no avail. The roaches had been known to be fanatical in their beliefs, and it was proven time and time again.  With a heavy, saddened heart, the Aggressor purchased insecticide room foggers.

The cans were solemn black with the appropriate warnings lettered in red and white. The Aggressor knew this was a last resort and tried one last time for a victory using conventional weapons. A spoonful of crunchy peanut butter was put on the kitchen counter, and around it was sprinkled a circle of boric acid. If this did not succeed, the buttons would have to be pressed — releasing the familiar mushroom‑shaped clouds of insecticide and bringing with it the awful stench of death and destruction.

The Aggressor retired for the evening and hardly slept a wink. The Secretary of Defense was up all night, trying dutifully up to the last moment to settle the conflict peacefully.  It was to no avail. The fanatical roaches spit in the Secretary’s face, and not one fell for the peanut butter.

The buttons on the Aggressor’s foggers were pressed, and the she fled the apartment. In less than an hour, the last major roach strongholds were obliterated. With tears in her eyes and a handkerchief over her nose and mouth, the Aggressor relentlessly bombarded major cities and small villages. Roadways were destroyed, and innocent civilian moths and ants also fell in the wave of carnage that swept through apartment number Seven.

Although some isolated guerrilla roaches remained, there was no hope for what was once a mighty nation. There was a minor skirmish here and there, but the tide turned, and the Aggressor conquered vast amounts of territory.

Secretary of Defense Oscar Wildecat took a hard line against the pleas of remaining survivors. Some called him cold and merciless, but he had been humiliated many times by individual roaches and perhaps his actions were understandable, even defensible.

Victory was not without cost.  Vigorous sanctions were extended to the Aggressor by the UA (United Arthropods).  Butterflies no longer engaged in free trade with her petunia plants, and bees no longer pollinated her azalea bush.  Only time could heal the psychological scars suffered by both sides in the debilitating and awful conflict.

Valuable lessons were learned by all involved, however.  The Aggressor learned the merits of preventive negotiation.  She no longer left scraps of edible organic material lying about.  That was an unwarranted and needless provocation to the UA, and led to many misunderstandings as to possession of territory.  The UA, in turn, accepted the fact that their only legal place of residence was the great Outdoors ‑‑ and in abiding by established inter‑organism rules and customs, they were able to carry on perfectly normal and unaffected lives.  The Aggressor and the UA learned to coexist peacefully.

We must hope relations between other global entities will not go to such extreme lengths. We must learn not by trial and error, but by bringing our resources together to prevent conflicts before escalation to unmanageable levels.  Hope.  That was, and still is, the key word. If all of us believe in peace strongly enough ‑‑ if we don’t lose hope ‑‑ perhaps one day the world will live in peace.  Just like the Aggressor and the UA!

(Secretary of Defense Wildecat would like to add one word.)

Meow!

 

 

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To My Blood Sister

illustration two women sophia loren

When you drink, your voice thickens sweet &
lethal as syrup. I know that sweetness —
once I let it go all through me, I let it stay & stay.
I don’t know if we will cry together, like sisters,
my nose pressed against your neck, but for now
we can drink together from the same bottle &
descend as one into our true blue depths, united
by our sadness, our terrible failure to be loved
enough. I will not flinch from your bloodstained
towels, your green veins, your broken arms.
I understand why you weep for the dead —
though you never loved them. Still,
the yearning to save rises in you as bread rises,
doubling your volume, your capacity for pain.

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The Conundrum: Splitting The Baby) for Kimberly Mays Twigg

Kimberly Townsend Palmer

kimberly mays infant photoSwitched At Birth, www.silverimagephotoagency.com

I.

Sometimes, I ask myself why I didn’t give her back sooner.  Would it have been easier then, before I knew her personality, the sweet meaning of her every sound, every movement?  Already I loved her smell, the weight of her small head on my chest, already I’d soothed and fed and washed her forty days running.  That other mother gave life, I gave only touch, warmth, comfort.  I couldn’t help it; I fell in love, it happens like that, quickly, without thought.  I didn’t know how it felt to be someone’s mother.  When I couldn’t become pregnant, I cried for days.  My insides felt soft and hollow, like an empty purse.  This little girl loves me, I know she does.  She reflects a rainbow back to my eyes, in her smallest toe resides a perfect universe.  I lie next to her at night, breathing the rich, salty fragrance of her hair, feeling her body growing, expanding to meet mine, and over our private nest flows time, but for as long…

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Leslie Gaines, purported “filmmaker”

leslie the asshole

Leslie Gaines is a criminal, a con man and an artistic failure.  He stole business assets from me personally, to the tune of six figures.  Yes:  $$$,$$$  He has left a bloody trail of many other duped & broken former “partners” behind him.  I pity anyone who trusts him with their priceless time, credit rating, camera equipment, or vehicles.  In addition to those crimes, he invaded my home and physically assaulted me.  He is currently hiding out in Montana, plotting his next big con job.  Warning:  do not ever, under any circumstances, believe one word this man utters.

He is a pathological liar.  He never speaks truth.  He sheds crocodile tears.  He is a bad actor.  He is a bad “filmmaker.”  He is a hypocrite, a racist, and a descendant of General Gaines, one of the foremost murderers of native Americans in this country’s history.  He, himself, is quite literally cursed by the Seminole and the Miccosuccee tribes — they have judgments against him for millions:  $,$$$,$$$, and he will never be able to own property in his own name as long as he lives. I believe he is suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s, or some other form of dementia.  Or, just as likely, he has just rotted his brain with too much drinking & drugging.

He abuses women, uses & emotionally abuses everyone he meets, and continues to steal & abuse me emotionally by using my deceased brother’s name as a credit on his illegally obtained footage!  I pray that he doesn’t harm anyone else.  Look at his face and run from it, should you see him.  Forewarned is forearmed.  I owe the world this warning, both as a human being and a fourth generation attorney.

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18 responses to “Leslie Gaines, purported “filmmaker”

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  15. theyellowdaily

    A friend found your blog post shortly after this person contacted me and asked me to work on a project with him. Unfortunately, I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. Wish I had listened. He is a bully and a con man – tried to get me to sign a document that would give him 4 years of my hard work. And, give himself a lot of money for doing nothing. He wants me to pay him for things I never asked for or wanted and refuses to let me see the receipts. Something real wrong there – the constant emails, phone calls and messages – “we need to talk about…” but we had just talked about it three days before. Yes, I don’t think that the drugs or alcohol help him any but things seem more sinister than that. He makes me want to get in the shower and wash the filth away – to scrub and scrub. Anyone who is thinking about getting involved with this person really needs to pay attention to what has been said because this person will hurt you – in my opinion.

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    • He got away with $66,000 of mine shortly after I had brain surgery. He knew exactly what he was doing… we had been friends for nearly 15 years. He took advantage of my illness & our former friendship to squeeze me like a lemon. He forgot I am a writer, a lawyer, and an academic. He has forgotten what being honest is like. He has lost whatever it was that made him fully human. I can only pray that he gets it back & I get back what he stole from my children.

      Liked by you

      • theyellowdaily

        I don’t know how you keep looking at that face. It does not surprise me that he took advantage of a friend and won’t surprise me when we hear of more incidents in the future. I hope you get the money back but really doubt that would ever happen. He is no doubt onto scamming the next person now.

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the banishment window

Within A Forest Dark

Window by Akuppa John Wigham, flickr Window by John Akuppa Wigham, flickr

Say your prayers at the banishment window. Whisper your secrets to me at the banishment window. I will wait for your mornings, at dawn, at evenings, dusk, at the banishment window. I will hear your pleadings to join us, your proof of your reform, but the extent of your involvement will take place at the banishment window. On my side of the banishment window, there is a place for me to sit, but on your side, only rough wall, where you stand, where you will always stand when you see me until we bury you in the potter’s field.

You might wear our clothes, but the extent of our talk will be at the banishment window. You might secure our degrees but don’t think you can fancy talk your way past the banishment window. Have children if you like but they will stay with…

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The Iconoclast Says Goodbye, a short story

illustration the iconoclast says goodbye

The Iconoclast Says Goodbye, a short story

Dear Zarel:

It was 1977.  You’d majored in filmmaking at the same expensive, private school Stephen Spielberg went to.  You were 25, and stalled.  For entertainment, you drew a cartoon strip, Fred and Edna — they were strange four-eyed aliens, and of course all the humor was sexual.  You had another idea for a cartoon — pieces of meat talking to each other, perched on barstools.  We met at Mr. Pip’s discotheque.  I was 5’ 7” and weighed 130 pounds but thought I was fat.  Everybody was skinny then.

All that cocaine; cutting edge.  You asked me to dance, I forget whether you asked my friend first or me.  I would have been slightly offended.  I knocked your glasses off on the dance floor.  It charmed you somehow.  We were drinking, probably vodka gimlets, that was my idea.  We went off in your car, you parked at the beach.  You got my number and said you’d like it if you could be my first lover.  You cooked dinner for me at your parent’s — they were away for the weekend.  I was impressed with your cooking, the French antiques and the view of the bay.

We took a sauna in your parent’s bath.  We went upstairs; I was only slightly spooked by the huge oil painting of your mother in full jewelry regalia on the landing.  Out came your pack of Trojans; it was difficult, painful.  I can’t say I enjoyed it much the first time.  “It’s just… got… to open,” you kept saying.  My muscles were clamped tight as a vise.  You worked up such a sweat trying to impress me, later you revealed you’d slept with hundreds of women.  Over time, things improved for me in bed, but the closer you came to me emotionally, the faster I started to retreat.

I always dreamed and schemed for love then got strangely revolted when it appeared.  I thought you were too old because you were approaching thirty.  I felt typecast, imported from the sticks.  Your mother seethed, your father smiled benignly.  Every Sunday morning, you brought my mom the finest nova and bagels — but my grandmother cast a dour eye on our trysts.

For fun, we drag-raced on I-95 — always a tie.  You said I liked to dominate relationships — to me it didn’t feel like domination, only self-expression.  I didn’t want to be owned.  You weren’t romantic enough, and never romantic at the right time.  It could have been worse, for my first affair.  If only you’d given me a nicer present our first Christmas together, maybe we wouldn’t have broken up.

I just didn’t like the sugar dispenser.  Then there was your plan for my prom — you were going to wear a T-shirt printed with a tuxedo.  I was 17 — I wanted to be taken seriously.  One night, lying on my mom’s couch we discussed marriage and children — you wanted to name our first Bozo — but the next morning I knew it was over.  My heart was sheathed.

I liquefied in your arms, then dribbled away. You tried for months, told me how wonderful I was, how beautiful I was, but I didn’t believe you.  You said you were too busy for friendship.  It had to be all or nothing.  After we broke up I saw men who reminded me of you everywhere, and every time my stomach lurched.  I waffled, waffled, waffled.  I bought a plane ticket to see you, then came an attack of conscience, or memory, or both.  You wanted to be my alpha & omega.  Nice dream, love  love love.

Goodbye,

your Iconoclast

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