Emergency Back Up Files

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Someone has mirrored my computer and because they knew I was computer ignorant, they kept a file of all of my stories, poems, essays and pretty much everything I had on this iMac desktop. For no reason I understand, whoever it was just gave it back. So I am storing it here for safekeeping.

Siege

Current mood: artistic

Category: Blogging

 

Siege

 

Alexandros III Philippou Makedonon - Karnak King, this one is for you.

 

Alexander III of Macedon and his magnificent army worked assiduously, in exhausting and trying conditions, for seven months in order to win the protracted siege of the island City of Tyre in July, 332 B.C.  A vigorous, wily, inventive and patient military commander and King, Alexander always achieved his objectives, no matter how long it took him.  Since the people of Tyre furiously resisted to the agonizing end, and thus depleted Alexander's stores of men, weapons and gold, he ordered his army to raze the city to the ground and enslave every surviving woman and child, in all -- 30,000.  8,000 were killed in the siege. Men who were of fit age to serve in an army were crucified for miles along the coast.

 

Alexander was an elegant, refined savage, a divine Monster.

 

This conclusion was not his original intention. He had hoped Tyre would submit without resistance. Because of its naval power and location, Tyre had to be under Alexander's control while he waged his war against Darius II, King of Persia. Despite the rumors of Tyre's impregnable fortress, the Macedonian King proved once again he was invincible and could not be stopped.

 

I have been working on a small painting of him for 60 days now.  An 11" X 14" canvas of a head/shoulders portrait should take me, at max., about three weeks.

 

And yet I have labored, six hours per day, for almost two months. I have no living model, no photograph, as cameras and cam/corders and videophones did not exist in his day. All I have at my disposal are several ancient statues which are believed to be adequate copies of contemporary originals, created by his court sculpture, Lysippus.

 

Suddenly, today, perhaps due to a fortuitous stroke of serendipity and slight of mind, his face loomed out at me at last. Formed of at least a dozen attempts, skittish, recalcitrant paint, broken brush tips, overtaxed canvas, slips and near misses, the King of All Asia presented himself while I was intrepidly concentrated, still hunting the nuances of human expression among shadows and light, line and shape, scraping and sifting through a palimpsest of layer upon layer of oils, accidents, spills, smears. Alexander has been characteristically obstinant, at war with me, his most devoted Priestess. Odd, because he loved to have his portrait painted or hacked out of marble. A vain man, he learned young the power of propaganda, and how to use it to sustain the Myth he needed to believe about himself. The carefully painted Myth he still wants us all to believe.

 

By today's standards, he would not be considered handsome, I suppose. He inherited his father's wide jawbone, mandible and chin, broad cheekbones, over which his large, luminous eyes tilted down at the corners like a classic basset hound's. Then there's the incongruously small mouth, tucked under that wonderfully classical, high-arched nose, on a face so masculine in dimension – a pouty, full-lipped Grecian, nearly feminine mouth I rarely observe in males. The tousled blonde curls, which fell side to side of a natural middle part, the gray-blue eyes and that delicate mouth almost certainly were courtesy of his dramatic and beautiful mother, Olympias.

 

His face is a striking blend of both masculine and feminine features, but the thick muscular neck, wide skull and upper chest speak to me of heavy lead and bronze helmets, sword fighting and shield wielding.  Since he was so pale-skinned, Alexander suffered perpetual sunburn on his cheeks and upper body. Most challenging of all for his artists, Alexander held his head at an odd angle at all times, tilted back and cocked slightly to the side. There is a theory he suffered from Brown's Syndrome, a shortened muscle in one eye which requires the person to rotate their head at an angle in order to see properly.  It must've been uncomfortable. I've known two men in my life who were dx'd with Brown's and indeed, they held their heads in just the same manner. Alexander's men, all the way to the newest recruits, often tilted their heads like their King, in a flattering imitation of his genetic aberration.

 

I worked so HARD on this portrait. I feel I owe The New Achilles some sort of reasonable likeness, since I admire him, since so many admire him for all of his achievements, brilliance, courage, and perhaps most of all because of his peculiar, singular complex personality. This was a leader of men, in a time when men did not take kindly to leaders; in fact, kings were killed off as a sort of court sport.  Alexander routinely asked his soldiers to perform the impossible, and his devoted, loyal army achieved the impossible for him over and over and over again. Any other warrior-king would have been slaughtered in a massive mutiny. He stands as the finest example I can cite of a true Cult of Personality. The man who would be King even managed to convince the dubious and disgusted Athens Council to proclaim him a living son of Zeus, in effect, the son of God. Although such a request was outright blasphemy in their eyes, rather than face his war machine and his wrath, they decided Alexander could be the son of Zeus, and "the son of Poseidon, too, if he would like it."

 

His confidence, temper, ingenuity and generosity were legendary. I had to instill that androgynous face with these well-known traits, and cozen the viewer to believe.  Anything less is an insult to this famous hero of antiquity. It is a responsibility hard to endure. How can one invest such a titanic and monumental legend into an 11" X 14" portrait? It is impossible. But like his men, I seek to do the impossible for him, in his honor. As long as I have lived I have never found even a single man of his mettle – not even a pale simulacrum homunculus.  I cannot even suggest that they "just don't make men like Alexander any more," as if it were someone's fault. There was no one of his stature born before OR after him. Someone extraordinary died in 323 B.C., in Nebuchadrezzar's palace in Babylon, at the height of a burning Iraqi summer. The legendary general and orator expired on a simple army cot, silenced by paralysis; nature or Zeus has never been able produce even a half-hearted facsimile of this mighty warlord since.

 

Any man's face may be replicated, if not the man. I'm attempting to portray one of those rara avis one-shot geniuses, and it has been Hades for me. My back and arms ache from the strain of hunching over my easel as the clock tsk-tsks at my lamentable efforts. My eyes burn all the time, my brain fizzles from the toxic fumes. The lead in the Flake White oil paint has probably poisoned my liver and all my other bodily organs, as well. I detect the gamy odor of horses, camels, elephants, cask upon cask of spilled and slobbered wine, sweating starving, freezing, dehydrated soldiers, olive oil on the crusty slabs of bread, cheese in the teeth. I hear the sharp shriek of metal upon metal, hard metal through hardened flesh, the clang of shields, the whirrrrrshhh of arrows and the dull thud and spurt as they find their marks. I bite my tongue and taste copper. The air is malodorous with grief, honor, glory, blood, mold, rot, the stink of deteriorating armor, suppurations and secretions easily vented by war. Battle yells rocket up from the miasma of dust, sand, mud, rank water. I hear guttering death rattles, shouts of triumph, bellows of pain, the crack of fire, yodeling trumpets, the whisssk of the 9 feet long sarissa as the Macedonian phalanx orchestrates them into position against yet another enemy on the battlefield.

 

The brush quivers in my hand. Maybe it is only turpentine, Liquin, mineral spirits, oils and insufficiency I smell.

 

Still, for him, I am willing to be sacrificed. I am willing to suffer, willing to be listless for days, sleepless at night, no matter what the cost to my health. I am willing to perform this creative honor for my King, just as I perform the honors for him every single morning – the incense, the candles, the libation, the spoken prayers, the sacrifices.

 

Why not, when he wanted the divine honors so greatly he was willing to suffer ridicule for them?  It's my pleasure to give Alexander his heart's desire.

 

What unique quality about this man inspired thousands of men to die for his vision? I must identify this spark and my painting must resonate with it.

 

Meanwhile I can only offer meager substitutes for talent. I fell over my desk and sobbed my heart out when that face configured itself from my palette, my emotions of many colors.  I realized the years and years of heavy drinking were already beginning to show in his features, the vaguest hint of a double-chin, puffiness around the eyes, the drooping corners of his mouth. Gravity and alcoholic excess, nine severe wounds in ten years; these conspired to drain the youth out of his rugged cupid face. Alexander was hurting, emotionally, physically, the last year before he died.  His best friend and lover had passed away mysteriously only 8 months before his Alexander's own death at 32. The pain is seared on this face, and the resolution, the arrogance, the craziness and visions, the terror and the tragedy, hope and yes - even in the eyes of the son of Zeus, I behold that humanity he could not escape in the end.

 

If I could be transported back in time, I would take his death in an instant, in order to save his life. Now, all I can do is crudely render him on canvas.

 

You drug gangs, you weapons dealers, you martial pretenders, you armed criminals, you violent offenders, you imagine yourselves to be so dangerous, so threatening, so intimidating.  How you swagger in your Bling and designer duds, your do-rags and diamond earrings, threats, curses, tawdry, empty slang, brandishing your blades and guns, all pussy-show and pseudo-power.  A true warrior King knows how to kill and to lead by example, to delegate, orchestrate, administrate, and survive situations and circumstances which would drop you to your leather knees.

 

You are not good enough to carry his little sandals.

 

I dipped my brush in my eyes, soaked up the tears, slipped it through the flesh-white and painted his eyes.  They shine with my affection and the finest Liquin and lead-white money can buy. I slit my left index finger and soaked my 00 brush with my own blood, mixed it with Cadmium Red Light and painted those famous, slightly seductive, petulant lips.

 

"A tomb now suffices him, for whom the whole world was not enough."

 

He has conquered and consumed my entire life, both waking and asleep. He so pervades my conscious and unconscious I think of him every day.  Alexander has reigned inside my head and over my soul for 25 years. Although I respect and am in awe of many men and woman, there is only this one man who has yanked me out of my autistic, hermetic, isolated inner spin and forced, yes, forced, me to love him.  A man dead over 2300 years continues to amaze, and seduces me to fight for his image.

 

And now, my blood and my tears for you, Alexander.  Generations will look upon this painting, my fragile and hard won victory over your unknowable, fragile history, mind and legend. Like so many of your devoted warriors, I have shed them for you and you did not even have to ask me.

 

Alexander was not about the money. The wealthiest man in the known world used to love to lavish gifts and gold upon his friends. When they protested, saying, "I would never ask you for all of this. It is too much."

 

He responded, "For you to ask, but not for me to give."

 

Generous Alexander, my old blood, tears and love are far too much for one, dead King to ask.

 

But not for me to give.

 

 

 

 

~After the Successful Siege of Tyre Alexander traveled across the desert to the Oracle of Siwa, in Libya, and was there proclaimed the true son of Zeus.

 

 

 

 

Skittering

Current mood: chipper

Category: Blogging

 

My Good and Fair Peeps,

 

Howdee do?

 

I realize I have been AWOL for quite a few moons.

 

Many diversions have occupied my so-called mind, not the least has been my Manfriend, the illustrious McShitty. More about him, later.

 

This morning my brain, the aforementioned so-called mind, has been skittering. That's the term I employ to describe the giddy baboon hopping from Thought Tree to Thought Tree, in which it engages when it does not, for whatever reason, get enough of its chosen Crazy Med.

 

I take an anticonvulsant drug called Lamictal (Lamotrigine) as my one and ONLY Crazy Med. Shrinks go ga-ga with fear when they discover I am not on five-plus psychiatric drugs for my rampant alleged "Bipolar Disorder." That is because shrinks like to keep all psycho clients stoned and drooling, lest we actually attempt to have a life and thereby injure someone in the process.

 

Kinda funny. I don't know any abusers on Crazy Meds. No one worries about THEM.

 

Anyhoot, my brain really likes Lamotrigine, a drug designed for the treatment of epilepsy. Everyone likes Lamotrigine, except those poor souls who develop a fatal skin disease from the med, and they aren't around to complain. (Not kidding about that.)

 

Lamotrigine, along with Wellbutrin, may be the ONLY psych med which does NOT cause King Kong-sized weight gain. It still befuddles me, ten years after my Major Meltdown, how shrinks can go on and ON and ON about the superior effects these agents have on our "mood disorder," while porking us into the Lard Zone and rotting out our teeth and causing us to stare vacantly, stagger when we attempt to ambulate and other side effects too horrific to detail. Yeah, that really does a LOT to improve MY mood.

 

In seven separate studies of the effects of Lamotrigine on Depressed Mood, the drug was found to be no better than Placebo in six of those tests.  LOL

 

Which says a great deal more than you might presume about psych meds.

 

The drug works well for me – aside from its lamentable performance in the clinical trials. That is because "Bipolar Disorder" is actually a form of sub-syndromal epilepsy. Shrinks will NEVER EVER admit this to clients, as we would then fall into the province of neurologists, people who are legitimate and competent medical professionals.  The shrinks would then be left to "treat" people with schizophrenia like my Mad Madre and brother Whale. Let's not go there.

 

Lately, the Lamotrigine is not working effectively, and my brain has taken full advantage of this lapse in efficacy. The result is profound, murky, paralyzing depression, or the opposite result: skittering.

 

You will now be exposed to a skittering mind in action.  You may find this aberration amusing. Most people like it.

 

McShitty is The Man. We call him McShitty because he is Irish, AND, no matter what is going on, he just doesn't Give A Shit. This is good. Someday he will find out I am crazy and swim back to Ireland and I would really miss that black, Catholic Stick Up Hair and Windex-blue eyes and HIS never-ceasing rambling.  Lots of men find me appealing, and would even like to date me. But they're terrified of the woman who has been married four times, and has reliably and deliberately bred her children for perfection like some kind of Nazi Geneticist, and who is upfront and honest about her inherent insanity. McShitty, to his everlasting credit, just doesn't give a shit.

 

He truly finds me hysterical. Sometimes he just starts laughing as soon as he sees me. The Man also believes I am the Smartest Woman in the World.

 

Many persons say this to me. "You are the smartest human I have ever met."  Therapists and shrinks even announce this opinion, often in a resentful tone, as if my intelligence should never be discovered in a person with Certifiable Cred.  <- Crazy.>

 

McShitty thinks I am brilliant only because he is Guinness-impaired, in a persistent Guinnesstative state.   Seriously. He is routinely too blotto to know WHO he is dating. And thank the makers of Guinness for that. I bless them. I kiss their barley fields.

 

The Man is 38 years old, and also unGODLY handsome; he could surely have any female he desired. And yet, and yet, he has latched onto your skitter-minded Blogger, Madame Alexander. (Not to be confused with the Doll Maker of the same name.)

 

Sometimes McShitty, after finishing his ninth Guinness upends the empty bottle and peers around the room, like it's a periscope.  He calls this the Guinness Perspective.

 

I dare not ask, as long as he sees Madonna when he looks at me.

 

I don't like Guinness beer. It smells like, tastes like, and looks like, 40 weight Motor Oil. How do I know this? Don't ask.

 

I told you I was Certified Crazy.

 

McShit, I know you will read this. I love you, Dood. You are a big-hearted Schmoo and big everywhere else, too.

 

I was also ruminating this morning on such disparate topics as Space-Time and artificial insemination, adoption, stem cell research, virgin births, Alexander The Great (you know he had to be in there, somewhere!), pregnancy in dwarves and the future of mankind, in general. Oh, yes, and how greatly I loathe psychiatrists. Rally, rally, I detest most of them. Lately I am pissed and skittering due to the fact that our local mental health clinic INSISTS you see one of their therapists as often as the therapist thinks you should make an appointment. If you do not comply, then you cannot see the shrink. The shrink is the Drug Dealer, so without the drugs, our minds skitter or expire. There is something of the Malpractice/Blackmailing Aspect about these terms. This not only insures that the organization controls, absolutely, your mental health, they also make a pocket full jingle off our genetic misfortune.

 

I am sick unto puking of therapists and I refuse to see one. Thus, the shrink will not give me the meds I require for sanity. I have to BEG them off my Primary.  If therapists cannot suggest real-world solutions to my multitudinous conundrums, then I might as well drink Guinness. And they never provide any enlightening solutions. Instead they want to talk about my poverty and how a job would considerably improve my sitch. That's pretty funny! Would you hire a skittering fool like ME as an air traffic controller or butcher, fer instance? I can't work. Like Bartleby The Scrivener, I prefer not to. My latest therapist (an excellent counselor, in fact) kept encouraging me to sell my artwork online – especially notecards and posters created from my original drawings/paintings.  There is no way in HELL.  I made it clear from Appointment One I am a Socialist and the very word SELL makes me want to heave into my sleeve, so help me. COPIES of my original works? Ummm, no.

 

My daughter wants me to write columns for newspapers and mags, online, offline.  Yeahhhh, I'll get to that, right after I cure cancer.

 

The moment you add PROFIT to my Muse, I can no longer produce art. It's as simple as that. I HATE advertising/commercial art; it was the only art class I ever FAILED. This is from a Straight A student. I'm a purist, so sue me. Oh, shit! You won't get a cent from me – I am destitute, remember? LOL

 

Onward into the Spiral:

 

My instinctive reaction to such medical miracles such as cloning, artificial insemination, egg'n'sperm freezing, fertility drugs and so on, is that some aspect of these technologies seems terribly, terribly unnatural in a truly Apocalyptic way. Alas, I care very much if people are unhappy, so I have to accept that the procedures are used. I have enormous sympathy for people who want a child and cannot, for whatever reason, conceive. I got preggers with stupefying ease. I even got knocked up whilst on birth control. While not exactly a Virgin Birth, it is at least a mystifying miracle to me.

 

I'm not as enthusiastic about supporting cloning of animals, vegetables or minerals. That is really tempting Nature to produce a counterintuitive even more virulent and destructive than Marburg Virus.

 

Should we one day locate the mummified remains of my Great Alexander, would I support the cloning of Hizzonnah? I would not.

 

It is said we shall never see his tomb, again. I, otoh, know precisely where he is.  Like Howard Carter (King Tut's Locator), who issued the same claim, I will never reveal the coordinates of Alexander's grave. You can't even torture it out of me.  (If I receive even ONE email from someone's anthropologist pal, or Historian pal, or archeologist pal, I will deny I ever wrote this. And I still won't tell, not even under threat of Guinness.)

 

As for artificial insemination, there is a part of me which believes that, if you cannot get pregnant, perhaps there is a compelling reason why that is so. I don't like to fuck with Nature. Risky, very risky. Be that as it may, if Nature or God did not want us to tinker with the Program, It'He should never have given us superior brains and the ability to sympathize with our less fecund fellow beings.

 

Even brains, which SKITTER at the drop of blood levels.

 

For those who concur that Madame Alexander is, indeed, a Mensan, let me offer the following example of my astounding intelligence:

 

Recently I picked up my telephone, only to discover the line was dead.  This happens frequently and has something to do with not paying VERIZON its monthly tithe. No worries, I hate the telephone, also. Only ten people have my number and I don't want to hear from THEM, either.  1-800 and 1-888 numbers are always solicitors and VERIZON telling me that they will cut off my service if I don't pay the bill. I never pick up THOSE calls.

 

For several days, I emailed my friends and family and let them know I was now unplugged – VERIZON had stopped working for me.

 

Two of my daughters were concerned I may have done a Sylvia Plath, and sent my sane brother Juanito over to check on my whereabouts and mental fitness.

 

He walked in, and there I was, wearing Polar Bear pajamas and reading "SPOOK" by Mary Roach. (You MUST read this book. Trust me. You must.)

 

I esssplained to my attorney bro' that I failed to pay the phone bill because I was fresh out of scratch. This occurs routinely and may be related to my twenty-seven bookshelves and massive (and I mean MASSIVE) jewelry collection. Then again, pregnant dwarves may have robbed me as I lay not-sleeping. Manic-depressives almost never sleep, except when we sleep, for like, centuries.)

 

By the by, did you all read that risible article about how the revelation of coinage from Cleopatra's reign reveals her to be . . . dog ugly? Yes, we are talking legitimate Dog.

 

How ugly was she?

 

Where is Rodney Dangerfield when you need him? I loved that guy!

 

My ex Geo was a Genius Comedian. I begged that mofo to perform at the local Comedy Club. I swear, Geo is the funniest man ALIVE. He would never do it. I hope his second wife can talk him into such a venture.

 

He would've gestured toward his buttocks and said, "Ugly? Did you ask 'How Ugly Was She?'  You are familiar with the hairs on my ass?  The hairs on my ass! You are familiar with them? UGLIER THAN THAT."

 

Man, he was a RIOT.

 

One time we went out on the town with Geo's boss and the boss's wife.  Strangely, we discovered a standing air freshener, of the type one usually sees poised near a cat box or incense burner. Not the sort which dangles from the rearview mirror.

 

There it was, in all of its blue glory, sitting in the middle of the sidewalk. We made the usual jokes about how it was taking a stroll and got lost.  Perhaps it had drunk too much Guinness at the local bar for air fresheners.

 

The boss's wife picked it up and said, "Oh, it's not an Air Wick!"

 

To which Geo quipped, "Then it's a Gener-Wick."

 

I swear to Rodney Dangerfield, Geo was hysterical.

 

Anyway:

 

Everyone is amazed by the discovery that the Queen Cleo was uglier than Geo's ass hairs . . . I, however, am not.

 

Cleopatra the VII was not Egyptian. She was of PURE Macedonian Blood. A Direct Descendent of Ptolemy the First, who was a dear childhood friend and general-elect of my Great Alexander III of Macedon. After Alexander either died of disease or poison, Ptolemy staked his claim on Egypt. (Alexander was, in truth, the Pharaoh of Egypt, too.) To make sure the Ptolemy Dynasty continued to hold power over Egypt, all the Ptolemy Spawn married their own sisters. Yep, continuously. Cleopatra was, in fact, married to her brother. Her father was her uncle, etc. It's a wonder our famous Cleo Queen did not have four heads and a snake growing out of her crown.

 

Oh, wait. She did!

 

At any rate, with all that Incest Is Best stuff going on, it's no real surprise that Cleo was not exactly Miss Egypt material. The article proceeds to dis Marc Antony, as well. The author specifically pointed out that Marc Antony had "a large neck."

 

This sort of history-making ignorance is to laugh. Why don't YOU don a 10+ pound helmet and go battle a pack of incoming, I ask you? Let's see how thick your neck is THEN, you fucktarded thick-headed dipshit. Clearly you are not drinking enough Guinness.

 

Back to the irregularly scheduled Rant:

 

My brother arrived to check up on me, and when I told him about the phone, he exclaimed, "Hey! I've been leaving you messages! Your service can't be cut off!"

 

A quick examination of the phone revealed . . .

 

The jack had fallen out of the wall, probably while I was engaged in my yearly vacuuming.

 

Yep, I am the Queen of I.Q. and don't ya'll forget it.

 

I'd like to continue this barrage of meaningless drivel, however McShitty wants eggs for breakfast and I don't mean ova. Remind me about Space-Time and pregnant dwarves. Space-Time really does not exist. I promise. And I will reveal how I know this is so, when next I approach the computer.

 

If the plug has not fallen out of the wall.

 

~Alexander the Fifth of Whisky.

 

My Dear Friends,

 

Greets out to all and a fine Sunday to you!

 

I thought it might be appropriate to update you good peeps, as to why I have not been Blogging or posting comments on YOUR Blogs.

 

All apologies, Friends.

 

There are three compelling reasons why I have not, to wit:

 

1) It occurred to me that Blogging, while a truly wonderful means for the author to vent, opine, muse, ruminate and share knowledge and creative endeavors, is also a means for unscrupulous, unethical persons to snare great ideas and import these for their own use. If you think I am being unnecessarily paranoid, guess again. I have seen opinion pieces of mine, posted on other websites, used as column pieces in our local newspaper. ANYTHING you post can be seen by bazillions of people, at any time, all over the world. Some creepy kid in India might copy/paste a poem which took you YEARS to refine, and either rework it, or use the contents wholesale, as his contribution to an English class assignment. Do not suppose I am being petty; think about how much of yourself, your memories, your unique feelings and emotions are invested in your intellectual and creative output. Writers are thieves by nature, cannibalizing their own lives and everyone else's lives for the sake of their art. Even I would sell out my own Grandmother for a good story plot. If I were a Capitalist, that is, which I am not.

 

I love it that anyone can post anything, damn near, on the Internet and open their minds to the reading world. Why should writers, artists, or anyone else be reduced to groveling for publication from established venues in the publishing trade? Publishers are not even what they used to be, and certainly they are not at all open to the work of new writers. They've been reduced to low man on the media totem pole; they no longer have the moolah in reserve to risk on the marketing of a new author's work. And poetry, alas, has never sold well. Frankly, the audience for poets is comprised mostly of other poets.

 

The Internet has freed many an imagination, and given Creators the liberality and audiences they deserve.  Alas, there will always be brigands, pirates and artless dodgers, and the Internet is one, large pool of highly exciting material, free for the taking.

 

I will soon begin work on my Magnum Opus, which will, naturally, entail deep and disturbing inner psychic labor. If I am to slit my wrists over the keyboard, composing and organizing all the monstrous, heretofore private details of my extraordinary life, you can bet your sweet badongas I am NOT posting one word of it on this Blog, or anywhere else on the Internet.

 

It is all just too delicious. I've endured enough invasions of my private life, thanks to the Jerry Springer-addicted bohunk who feels, wrongly, that their curiosity is justification for sticking their proboscis in my biz.

 

In addition, a lame Wench from my church read my Blog, and blabbed the info regarding my name change to every person in my weekly Bible Class. I don't mind telling YOU ALL about this uplifting event – it is highly important to me, as you can well imagine. You all do not know me, or my real name, and therefore cannot cause me grief in the real world. After what my ex did to me, why should his asswipe name be on my tombstone? What irks me to the 100th candle power is how quickly this fucktard opened her fat mouth to people without regard for my feelings and privacy. She's a truckload of Dyke, and I can't stand even to LOOK at her, much less put up with this kind of shite.

 

Hence, I will no longer be feeding HER any data via this MySpace page. And she knew she was wrong to gossip; or she would have said something to ME about this revelation. Instead, I walked in on her while she was appraising the other members of my upcoming name adjustment.

 

You cannot imagine my fury. NO, you really CANNOT.

 

2) I have met this insane Irish-American Dood and have been dating him for the last six weeks or so. You can bet no one at my church knows anything about HIM. LOL The man takes up a LOT of my time, savvy?

 

McShitty, if you are reading this, you know you're the Man.

 

3) I am working on two paintings and they are wearing me the fuck OUT. I am TARD.

 

4) My eldest child and I are discussing purchasing a house together. This will provide me with the opportunity to remove myself from this hellish environ in which I unwittingly found myself. The sale of my abode will permit me to do some really nice thangs for your humble Scribe, and to pay off all of my outstanding bills, etc. I see a mint condition gold Alexander Stater in my futre. *LOL*

 

McShitty will have to drive a bit farther to see me, but hey, I'm worth it in a big way. HA HA HA!

 

Thus, I am over-busy and no longer enamored of MySpace, other than to read the work of people I admire, such as your Esteemed Selves. I WILL and I DO read your postings, although often I am just too ragged to comment upon them. I hope to complete these paintings shortly and then I will have more tick-tock in my Time Pocket in which to enjoy your Muse-born labors.

 

Within the next three weeks, I WILL legally be Alexander. And within the next six months, maybe sooner, I will be OUT OF THIS Gawdforsaken Baltimore Shitty and living like God in France.

 

My best regards and fondness to you, My Most Talented and Loyal Buds and Buddettas.

 

The Other Alexander

 

 

 

A MENSA Christmas Party???

Current mood: angry

Category: Blogging

 

Dear Friends,

 

I thought you might find the following letter of interest. I am a thirty-year member of AMERICAN MENSA, an organization whose only membership requirement is an I.Q. is the top 2%, as measured by the standard I.Q. Tests. The dues are $45 per year. I rarely attend meetings or scheduled activities, as I am disabled and isolated, often without reliable transportation.

 

I understand that rude, obnoxious, poisonous personalities are to be found anywhere, at any time. I just did NOT need this shit tonight . . . you know whudda mean?

 

The woman in question was corpulent, pig-faced snot who was loud and abrasive. And she was not by far the only one.  The Mensans are, as they were years ago when I was more involved, a motley crew of combative, competitive, socially inept jerk-offs. And yet month after month they beg us to bring guests and to encourage others to join, in order to increase membership.

 

Now why in the name of Einstein would I want to do THAT?

 

Btw, yes, I could have confronted her, however she was surrounded by her buddies; I did not know ANYONE, and I have learned to keep my trap shut until I know who is who and who is screwing who and what the effects of my retaliation might be. By the end of the evenng I concluded I would not attend any more gatherings.

 

For a description of the incident in question, Read on - email sent to the LocSec this very evening:

 

Dear Sir,

 

I wish to report that I am extremely distressed over an incident which occurred at the Mensa Christmas Party at the **** Church this evening.

 

After taking care of an 84 year friend most of the day, I thought I would reach out in my isolation and attend a Mensa function, a rare pleasure, as I am often ill myself.

 

I am on Disability. So that I could participate in the Gift Swap (a fun event, it was promised) I brought along a brand new, hard-back book on LINCOLN, which was costly for someone who is attempting to live alone on a severely limited income.  I mean, imagine it - one would think Mensans read and would enjoy such a fine book (which it is).

 

Instead, I was seated behind the recipient of my offering to the Gift Swap and was forced to listen (repeatedly) to negative, cruel and outright hostile commentary about said book the entire evening. I am terribly sorry I do not have the funds to purchase attractive, expensive gifts; I did my best with what I had available. The book price fell within the requested $15-$20 price range. Obviously others are more financially blessed.

 

The woman who chose my gift did not cease her constant attempts to insult the book and to try and foist it on others, attended by other nasty observations.  When she was given the chance to pick an unwrapped gift at the end, she loudly (LOUDLY) announced, "Give it to me. I'll take it sight unseen." She acted like my book was infested with plague, and no, I am not exaggerating one iota.  Another lady kindly asked for the book, and the charming former recipient then announced, "At least I didn't get stuck with the book!" She snared a Fractal Calendar instead. How happy I am for her. Did this individual ever stop for one moment and wonder if the person who contributed the book on Lincoln might be seated in her vicinity? Apparently boxes of chocolate, bottles of wine and stuffed animals are considered far more worthy offerings. And this from a membership which defines itself by its intellectual superiority!

 

You can well imagine my face was bright red with embarrassment and shame. I came to meet people, enjoy the ONLY holiday party I will be able to attend this year, and to de-stress after a difficult day caring for my dear friend. Instead, for two hours I was treated to thoughtless comments (well over 15; I stopped counting after that) when I genuinely believed such a book would be considered fascinating to people who stake their entire reputation on their high intelligence. I hastened to gather up my belongings and exit that party as fast as I was able to manage it.

 

This is Mensa, then? While I realize one cannot expect intellectually gifted persons to always possess insight and decent manners, one would really hope that the "rules of the game" might also include a warning to keep snide and dissatisfied comments to oneself - as the person who brought along the gift might be seated nearby. Which I WAS.

 

I cried all the way home. 51 years old and I end up weeping like a fool when all I desired were some diversions, snacks and company. Frankly, the spirit of Christmas seems to be lacking in such an interaction.

 

I daresay I came very close to confronting that woman, but public redress is not my style.  Nevertheless, you may be sure I will report this incident to the head of Mensa, Org. And I most certainly will NOT attend any more Maryland Mensa functions in the future.

 

I'm sorry, but there simply is NO excuse for callous rudeness such as that woman exhibited. She was not the only one, either. Both Mary and Gary chimed in with their mocking references to my gift book, the subject of which was one of the most respected Presidents elected in this country.

 

Frankly, I'm appalled. Thank God for your designated greeter and her husband - they were welcoming and delightful. You may wish to recompose the rules for this game in the future . . . though I may be poor and disabled, I have feelings as well as a 155 I.Q.

 

 

Help - The Paranormal Event

Current mood: hopeful

Category: Blogging

 

Dear Friends,

 

All apologies for being off the Internet Radar for the last several weeks. I've been painting, writing, reading and essentially stress-walking all over the map.

 

Now I require some assistance. If reading about, thinking about or discussing the paranormal freaks you out, do not continue reading.

 

To be truthful, were it not for the (puny) four paranormal experiences in my life, and the UTTERLY BIZARRE paranormal event of three weeks ago, I would have said I did not lend much credence to the idea of mediumship/ghostly apparitions, etc., etc.

 

My four episodes occurred years ago, and there were witnesses for three out of the four experiences. Two of those people still think I am eerie and they fear me. Which is ridiculous and insulting, btw. There was NO premonition or advance notice to prepare me for ANY of these instances. They simply happened. I do not sit around, wearing a white gown, burning candles and incense and chanting incantations in an effort to contact the dead or to foretell the future.

 

Three of the four events involved warnings, which is, as I understand it, par for the paranormal course. And in the last event, about 11 years ago, the warning saved my life. There were no witnesses other than myself, however there was tangible proof my claim was legit.

 

Frankly, I know for a fact ALL of my experiences were legit.  Believe it or nay, I am a reasonable, rational, even skeptical person. My nick in High School was Spock, and my many 'net friends still call me The Borg.

 

Take note: While not being a person with a true cosmic gift for clairvoyance, I have never been one to say Never, Horatio.

 

Perversely, I DO believe in demons, angels, all the gods and goddesses of Old. No conflict there, no reason to argue or debate me. I simply BELIEVE and feel no need to justify my POV in the matter.

 

Now, issuing sudden, extemporaneous warnings to loved ones (quite common, it is averred) is one thing. Calling out to a long dead individual whilst in emotional agony and having that individual respond and appear, is another thang altogether.

 

And yet, this happened to ME, three or so weeks ago. I will not get into any details. I was not one iota afraid at the time, and that alone freaked ME out the next day. Normally, when such unexpected, odd and weird events occur, people are generally rather frightened. According to my readings of late, for visitations such as mine, the lack of fear is a true hallmark of legitimacy.

 

Now, then. I will only say that in a fit of desperation and sorrow, love and admiration, I did call upon this person.  I asked for something specific. Not even for ONE moment did I EVER anticipate that I would receive what I requested. NEVER in a million, dillion years did I even THINK the paranormal would come upon me, again.  I was sitting in my bed, late at night, reading a book. I don't drink, do drugs or smoke strange substances. Carlos Castenada I am NOT.

 

I have been sitting with this for some time, attempting to digest it emotionally.  I told a few people and swore them to silence. Clearly someone opened their big cake-hole, as several people have casually come up to me and mentioned experiences of their own. These are some of the MOST laid-back, non-hysterical, rational (even dull) persons known to me.  They seemed less affected by their visitations than I am by my own.

 

I NEED someone experienced in these matters to interpret this situation for me. For a horror writer I am completely ignorant on the topic of ghosts, haints, apparitions, etc.  I write about vampires and murderers and such. Not one ghost story has ever whistled out of THIS head.

 

I don't want a ghost hunter or a fake-y palm reader or pseudo-medium.  I am NOT a medium. I am NOT a ghost hunter. I am most definitely NOT a person who "sees dead people." NOT.  I want an expert in the paranormal, who will take my testimony seriously and advise me.  Because believe you me, this is far from over.

 

So, if you know of such a person, contact me and tell me how I can contact THEM. I want to know what happened, why, and what I do NOW.

 

How I wish I were kidding. This is life-transforming stuff.  All manner of prior beliefs are called into question.

 

Thank you for ANY help, any suggestions.

 

Did you all know that in Ancient Greece one could not be an Oracle unless you were a female OVER 50 years of age?

 

I am 51 years old and whaddya know – here I am!

 

Alexander

Howdah, Peeps!

 

I wanted to greet you good, fellow Bloggers and ask you all to pardon my sporadic attendance on this page.

 

I'm still laboring on Alexander, and he is realllly starting to POP. I am a super-realist, typically, so every last detail must be painted.  I want this baby cut like a diamond . . . no impressionism for ME.  N.C. Wyeth and Norman Rockwell are some of my most beloved illustrators.

 

And now I am working on Bucephalus, Alexander's great warhorse.  While admiring the exquisite design of horses, I must admit they are not my fav animal to render on canvas. I can DO it, but I'd rather do glass; that's how difficult it is to render horses realistically!

 

The bridle now awaits me, and it is a challenge.  I want this painting SO completed by Sunday, so my horseback-riding friend can check out Bucephalus and make sure he looks like a horse. *Grin*

 

On another front, tomorrow at 7 .am. sharp, I am supposed to report for six hours of testing, carried out by NIH's HANDL program. People 'round these parts consider themselves very fortunate to be part of the HANDL study . . .but yanno what?  After my lenghty interview with one of their reps., in which I had to recall every last bite of comestible I plugged into my cakehole in the previous 24, and the endless paperwork . . . I find I just don't WANT to do this. The tests are non-invasive . . . and I would have received $150 cash.  $2500.00 worth of tests, free to me.

 

All the same, there are three issues: If I know I have to go somewhere early in the morning, I won't sleep. Nope. There is NO drug produced by Man nor the gods which can knock me out. NONE.

 

Furthermore, I'm a major, major NIGHT EATER. I get up at least once, often twice, STARVING out of my head. I have to quickly snarf on a protein, or I won't be able to fall asleep again. If I am treated to an Insomniac Special, I cannot even function the next day. Unlike other, more normal humans, I "don't just feel tired," nor can I "push through it."  I've had this argument with mental health pros, friends and family for YEARS.  And the HANDL people insist I cannot eat for 12 hours prior to pick-up . . . only after they draw blood may I eat. They provide breakfast and lunch.

 

They don't get the big pic - my brain won't run on fumes. It just won't.

 

Secondly, I have the highest blood pressure in our galaxy. No lie. Every time some clod doc takes my BP, he sends me straight to the ER. I don't want to go to the ER. This is inherited familial hypertension. All the available drugs have been tried; they ruin my life. My concentration, balance and energy level go KAPUT within days of trying the medication.

 

I'd rather keel from a stroke, and I mean that, sincerely. I'm a quality of life person, not a live-at-all-costs person.  So - whenver I see a doc of one variety of another, I REFUSE to let them take my BP.

 

Well, the HANDL reps are going to want to take it - and they insist upon it, and before you can say STROKE CITY, I will be flat on my back in the ER, pumped full of Clonodine.  NOPE. Not doing it.

 

If I am extremely pissed or frightened, my BP hits 240/120 without a hitch. All of my uncles, one cousin and my father (all males!) suffer from the same condition. All of my relatives live into their 90s, treated or untreated. My Fadder just started taking BP medication THIS year, and he is 84 years of age!

 

No, I am not going to go.  I need the moolah, but the shock and awe at my blood pressure reading is not on my menu of exciting thangs to do this week.

 

I want to paint and do my NaNoWriMo writing.

 

In addition, one of my cats, a $500 furbeast named Tallulah, has now decided my laundry basket is HER private pewpatorium. And last night, my monstrously large Calico "Heffie" (named for Alexander's lover Hephaestion, but she turned out to be female!), fell asleep on my keyboard. I tell you, this bitch is MASSIVE. She knocked the mouse on the floor and caused the computer to go DINGDINGDINGDING endlessly. I was downstairs enjoying "Walk The Line" and wondered what the HELL was making that odd sound.

 

So I stomped upstairs and found the Heifer snoring - yes, really - on my keyboard.

 

Every night I clean my paint brushes carefully and thoroughly.  I even treat the tips with conditioner, before letting them dry. Then I store my brushes on top of my computer desk, near my easel.

 

Heffie had PUKED - man, seriously, and the broad managed to ONLY puke on the BRUSH TIPS, not the handles. I had to clean them ALL OVER AGAIN. Meanwhile, she snored away in blissful ignorance of her terrorist act.

 

When I entered my kitchen, I found a PORK CHOP on the floor, gnawed to bits.

 

Round up the Usual Suspects! This is per usual in a house heavy laden with spoiled cats!

 

I set out a bowl of banana and orange slices this morning, for my mid-day snack. After I picked up the mail, I noted that SOME FUR BABY had consumed most of the bananas. Have you ever in your LIFE heard of a feline who eats bananas??

 

Why me, Oh, Bast?  Well, onward to the bridle of this horse.  I bid you all a great day.

 

Alexander Lives and Reigns!

 

 

A Letter

Current mood: artistic

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

My Friends,

 

I'd like to introduce you to the work of my dear pal, Clark Jones, a poet of magnificence. This is one of my fav poems of all time.  It is also completely true; I weep every time I read it.  Clark is an amazing individual. Thank you for reading and please leave comments for him, if you like.

 

Take it away, Jones:

 

**************

 

 

 

A LETTER

 

 

To you whose brain is a blunt fist

pushed deep inside your skull.

Whose eyes are empty bullets.

Whose mouth is a stone more speechless

than the bottoms of rivers.

Who lives in a shrunken world

where nothing blooms

and no promise is ever kept.

 

To you whose face I never saw

but now see everywhere

the rest of my life.

 

You don't know where she hid her buttons.

Arranged in families by color or size

tissue wrapped in a cigar box.

How she told her fish goodnight, sleep tight

and never felt ashamed.

You don't know her favorite word

and I won't tell you.

You don't have her last grocery list

taped to your refrigerator.

Red for coupons, blue for not.

You don't know she cried once

looking at a lobster tank.

She said they were too beautiful to eat.

I'm sure you never thought of that.

I'm sure nothing is too beautiful for you to eat.

 

You have no idea what our last words

were to one another.

How terribly casual they were

because I thought she was just going

to save a child. She would be back later.

I was cooking her dinner

while twenty miles away an impossible darkness

rose up around her.

Taking her away.

 

What can I wish you in return?

I was thinking knives and pistols.

High voltages searing off your nerves.

I was wishing you could lose your own life.

Bit by bit, finger by toe

and know what my house is like.

How many doors I still will have to open.

 

Maybe worse would be for you to love something

and have it snatched up.

Sifted out of your sight for no reason.

A flurry of angels recalled to heaven.

Then see how you sit

and move and remember.

How you sleep at night.

 

My letter to you, does it matter?

Of all the letters passing through

all the hands of the people on earth

the only one that matters is the one

you can neither receive

nor send.

 

 

Copyright, C. Jones

11/98

 

 

War Games

Current mood: angry

Category: Blogging

 

:::splutter:::

 

My GOD, is there no end to the HELL of my existence? Who or What malevolent entity hath created this monstrous, meaningless Society, into which I have, through no wish of MY own, been birthed??

 

For twenty-six years I labored FULL time, sometimes working TWO jobs, in order to provide for my children. I never attended college; I was rarely paid well in my various office jobs. The childrens' fathers did not give me SQUAT in child support.  I still dressed properly, and behaved with decency and integrity, whenever and wherever possible.

 

Despite my rather lackluster performance in the matrimonial department, I DO believe in marriage, not as an "Institution," but as an important, human union for those who feel moved to make a public statement about their devotion and love for one another.

 

I love children, and would have bore ten of them, if the right man (read: responsible) had come along.

 

My beloved Princess just called – she is stuck in some stupifyingly congested traffic mess – another exciting and mentally taxing side effect of commuting in California.  She's been on the road over an hour, just to drive 15 miles.

 

The Brat Princess possesses a magnificent work ethic. She labors 12-14 hours per day and is a perfectionist, in thought, word and deed.

 

Her roommates, alas, are a different story.

 

One of them is college-educated, seemingly an Asian "Emperor" Only Child, who is capable of high earnings in the computer science field.

 

When he works, that is -- which is never.

 

So one must assume Mommy and Daddy are paying his way in the world, or he saved up a LOT of money from his high school days working at Mickey D's. His rent is approximately a grand a month, more than my entire disability check. And how does this lofty snob-intellect entertain himself?

 

By playing some computer game called "World of Warcraft" four hours per day, five days per week. He has sequestered his lazy tuchas in his paid-for accommodations for months, deeply intent and totally focussed on this GAME.

 

No matter how much you all may find this avocation mesmerizing or important, it is STILL JUST A TOY. It is a GAME. For this his parents paid how much money to send him through college??  He has no girlfriend, rarely socializes.

 

Just sits there in his dirty satori, pounding away at the keyboard.

 

Whatta life.

 

Now, I do NOT suggest that the only acceptable life choice embraces marriage and children.  People should be free to pursue whatever seems important to them. However, IMHO, a 27 year old man needs to find work or study which enlivens and informs him, not taptaptaptap all damn day at a computer, playing FANTASY games!!!

 

The other roommate is preggers by some wanker schmo she had recently dumped. She mopes about, glazed and confused – neither productive or proactive. SOME mother-material SHE is. And the man, who was sooo desperate to regain her favors, has now split for Pluto or Betelgeuse, or whatever address he could locate as far away from her and their unborn DNA project as possible.

 

Lovely. These are NOT children! They are young persons in their late twenties!

 

I had three children by the time I was 27 years old!!!!

 

The last roommate is a pig/slob/slacker who is just as useless as the rest of these loafers.  He has not the least idea how to clean up after himself! WHO RAISED THESE KIDS??

 

Ahhh, I know them, after all. These are the spoiled spawn of the dullards who accuse me of having too many books!

 

I reminded my dahlink daughter with a haughty sniff , that Alexander was Lord of All ASIA by the time he was 25 years of AGE.

 

Damn it.  The leader and commander of a massive army, thank you verah, verrrah much.

 

My kids says, "Yeah, well, MOOOOTHHHERRR, I don't have the Macedonian Army at my disposal."

 

Heh!  It looks like she was listening to my Alexander lectures, after all!

 

Whodda thunkit??  (Don't you feel sorry for my children? Then again, I wasn't screaming at them because I couldn't hear my soaps over their blaring CD players.)

 

But is IS true!  What happened to . . . yanno, GLORY as a motive for concentrated effort and achievement?  How about PRIDE, or DUTY, or COURAGE, one of those old-fashioned values which provoked Mankind to personal fulfillment or maximum performance?  Not necessarily monetary/fiscal booty, but stature and maturity and wisdom and adventure – means to grow one's soul, enlarge one's world view???  Does no one care how future generations will perceive our culture's accomplishments, or lack of them?  There was the Stone Age, the Iron Age – are we to be the ‘Tupperware people,’ ‘The Cellphone Suckers,’ the 'Net-Addicted Slacker People’??  Are there no higher ideals toward which they might strive, than to brag that they are a Level Who-Gives-A-Shit in some online game???

 

My GOTT IN HIMMEL, what a case for retroactive abortion.

 

Did I just say that??

 

Cowards. I tell you, this is an example of an unearthly cowardice which pervades this society.  (Yes, I sound like my own Dutch grandmother, who frequently lamented that our beloved country had "gone to Hell in a handbasket." We thought she was a dreadful, clueless bore.)

 

I mean, realllly, peeps . . . do they call this LIVING?  Did these entitled Generation Whatevers believe that the receipt of their college sheepskin marked the conclusion of their education??? Have they NO desire to improve themselves, to challenge themselves, to contribute to the community, to serve their fellows?  To overreach, to dream, to imagine? STRIVING. Howz about striving for something more than the ability to get knocked up?

 

Do not feel compelled to advise me that War Worlds (or whatever the fandango it is) is a creative game. It is NOT WAR. IT IS NOT ART. War is a damned bloody business . . . and the men and women who fight in them are worthy, heroic, honorable people. And any genuine creative artist can verify that doing battle with the Muse is a bloody enterprise, which we accept in order to produce eternal ART.  Like Wallace Stevens said, so rightly, poetry "can kill a man."  Creation is imbued with powerful mojo; it is not an idle GAME for lame minds.

 

Warriors and poets are not playing a damned GAME, curled up at their computer, in an unseemly pair of boxer shorts, eating their daily quota of Cheese Nips and smoking the occasional joint.  Yeah, what a MAN.

 

I have had it. Every person in that age group who is opting out of marriage and children must enlist in our military or the martial arts. Character building is what they need!

 

Yes, Yes, I am joking . . . your Madame G has many other projects commanding HER attention, rather than focussing on the plethora of ills from which our Society suffers. People can do whatever they WANT to do – that's called freedom, right?

 

Men DIED so we could have the freedom to twitter and fritter and piss our lives away.

 

I feel ill. Please pass me a Cheese Nip.

 

You want to play war games? Get your over-educated AZZ on the battlefield, then!

 

This very day I bored my 72 year old Church Lady Friend to DEATH by rhapsodizing and theorizing about Alexander's noble victory at Gaugemela. On and on I burbled and babbled: troops, battle lines, strategy, odds, cavalry, foot soldiers, weight of armor, weapons utilized.

 

I'm sure she was praying to the Lord I would seize and drop dead and spare her this dull recitation of ancient trivia.

 

But do consider the odds, m'friends. Alexander was not fighting on HIS ground; he was in a foreign country. He had (give or take) 40,000 men, against anywhere from (sources differ) 250,000 to one million soldiers in King Darius II's vast army.  And though grossly outnumbered, ballsy Alexander won that battle, at age 25.

 

He was, btw, OUT FRONT, leading his Companion Cavalry, and not parked behind a regal desk in an oval orifice, somewhere in ANOTHER country, issuing drastic and ill-informed orders, which orders affect the lives of our young people. Or, as Odysseus says in the movie “Troy” (with Brad Pitt), “War is Old Men Talking and Young Men Dying.”

 

Please do not tell moi that we NEED Prez George here in THIS country to run the government. You MUST be jivin' me.  He's a puppet president and everyone knows it. When he gets his elected azz in the front lines and shows that he has, in fact, deserved and earned the title of Commander-in-Chief, THEN you may chastise me.

 

Pick up a 25 year old in certain areas around Baltimore Shitty and he or she is likely to be doing absolutely nothing, except smoking on the street corners, engaging in gang wars, drug use, prostitution, drug dealing, car-jacking, boosting vehicles, doing the wild thang sans Trojans, texting, texting, texting, texting, etc. You think I'm joking? Yes, we have numerous, productive, caring, decent young people. I rarely see them, though. They must be AT WORK.

 

And we are also near the bloody top spot of the Murder Capital scale again.  75% or more of our homicides are drug-related.

 

We don't have husbands and wives; we have "that's my baby's daddy," or "that's my baby's Momma."

 

And I promise you this is a fact: I recently had the opportunity to appear at a party liberally attended by a phalanx of local youth. To the last babe, EVERY young lady (ages 20-27) was not just heavy, not merely "big-boned," but MORBIDLY OBESE. I have never in my life seen anything like it.  Do not tell me it is a "disease" or a "glandular disorder." Not when every young woman in my neighborhood is topping over 200 pounds!

 

I swear I am going to load up each one of them with 75 pounds of armor and weapons and force march them around Baltimore Shitty every day for four hours a day. There will be NO computer games or cheese nips or pizza on the daily menu, either.

 

And I will predict to you that in the space of six months they will have lost sixty pounds or more.

 

Yes, I am joking. But not completely.

 

Yes, I DO think the world is going . . . you-know-where in you-know-what.

 

We mock at the Greeks and Romans and their gods and goddesses. (Christians do, anyway.) How quaint, how silly, how over-dramatic, how ancient they were, with their risible notions of glory and honor.

 

Yeah, well, better dead in pursuit of true glory than a meaningless, pointless rating on a pathetic computer pastime. What a waste of human potential.

 

I'll shaddup, now. I realize I'm ranting.

 

One day, my kid will walk into her roomie's den, only to find a skeleton perched on his stool, surrounded by empty potato chip bags and cups of congealed Starbucks mocha coffee, still taptaptapping away with his bony fingers, winning a war which never existed except in his dead, desiccated little mind.

 

A. Guinevere OUT

 

 

11:23 PM - 16 Comments - 12 Kudos - Add Comment - Edit - Remove

 

Saturday, October 28, 2006

 

Morning In October

Current mood: busy

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

Morning In October

 

By AnnaBelle Lee

Copyright, A. Lee, 1985

 

Rust, bronze, magenta, pumpkin.

Stained leaves relinquish

The trees, offering

Themselves to the breeze

In mute congress.

Dawn-chill frosts the

Panes with star-prints.

Horizon-rimmed in steely

Pallor, the dome of the sun's scalp

Rises. Intangible dreams

Recede to my peripheral

Sub-conscious. I keep delighted

Vigil

By my window. Fraternal

Witness, barefoot, in

Rose-sprigged nightie,

Dancing a winter welcome

Dance

On the icy floor.

 

 

2:43 PM - 6 Comments - 10 Kudos - Add Comment - Edit - Remove

 

Poem By Edgar Poe's Cat

Current mood: chipper

 

***  I did not compose this poem. I wish I knew who did, for it cracks me UP every time I read it!

 

AnnaBelle Lee

 

 

The End of the Raven by Edgar Allen Poe's Cat

 

On a night quite unenchanting, when the rain was downward slanting,

I awakened to the ranting of the man I catch mice for.

Tipsy and a bit unshaven, in a tone I found quite craven,

Poe was talking to a Raven perched above the chamber door.

"Raven's very tasty," thought I, as I tiptoed o'er the floor,

"There is nothing I like more"

 

Soft upon the rug I treaded, calm and careful as I headed

Towards his roost atop that dreaded bust of Pallas I deplore.

While the bard and birdie chattered, I made sure that nothing clattered,

Creaked, or snapped, or fell, or shattered, as I crossed the corridor;

For his house is crammed with trinkets, curios and wierd decor -

Bric-a-brac and junk galore.

 

Still the Raven never fluttered, standing stock-still as he uttered,

In a voice that shrieked and sputtered, his two cents' worth -

"Nevermore."

 

While this dirge the birdbrain kept up, oh, so silently I crept up,

Then I crouched and quickly lept up, pouncing on the feathered bore.

Soon he was a heap of plumage, and a little blood and gore -

Only this and not much more.

 

"Oooo!" my pickled poet cried out, "Pussycat, it's time I dried out!

Never sat I in my hideout talking to a bird before;

How I've wallowed in self-pity, while my gallant, valiant kitty

Put an end to that d*mn@d ditty" - then I heard him start to snore.

Back atop the door I clambered, eyed that statue I abhor,

Jumped - and smashed it on the floor.

 

Based on an unoriginal Laugh Of The Day, August 1996.

 

9:15 AM - 4 Comments - 8 Kudos - Add Comment - Edit - Remove

 

Strange Poem About Ink

Current mood: chipper

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

**I found an odd statement inked into my drafting table at work. I responded, and the next day, my mysterious partner-in-poetry crime had added a new line. This carried on for a few days.  I never found out who it was - perhaps my boss or one of the surveyors.

 

I loved the result.

 

Nibs

By AnnaBelle and the Mystery Poet

 

My ink pens

are so delicious.

 

And I love the taste

of your indelible words

in my mouth.

 

Oh, Calligraphy Calliope,

Particularly

Tickles my taste buds,

All hooks and tricks

Like a man.

 

Twenty strokes

Roman Gothic Style

(By my nature).

 

 

9:03 AM - 7 Comments - 10 Kudos - Add Comment - Edit - Remove

 

Friday, October 27, 2006

 

Jack The Ripper Vs. Albert DeSalvo Murders

Current mood: calm

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

 

"A PERFECT SAVAGE"

 

Modern Forensic Techniques as Applied to the Cold Cases of "Jack the Ripper" and "The Boston Strangler."

 

By AnnaBelle Lee

 

 

"Be strong, saith my heart, I am a soldier;

I have seen worse sights than this."

~Odysseus "The Iliad of Homer"

 

> > > As a preface to my discussion of the cold cases known as the "Jack the Ripper murders" or "The Whitechapel Murders," and the sex slayings attributed to Albert DeSalvo A/K/A "The Boston Strangler," I will provide a brief summary of the forensic science techniques available to law enforcement and other investigative agencies today. Criminalists also use sophisticated lab equipment to assist them in analyzing crime scene evidence. Each of these techniques and the associated equipment can provide criminalists, and law enforcement, with details and information on crimes where were not possible to discover/uncover even 25 years ago.

A modern crime laboratory boasts many types of equipment, including x-ray and spectrographic devices, microscopes of varying sizes and capabilities, as well as microphotography, chromatography and X-ray crystallography. The latest useful technique is neutron activation analysis, which is a sensitive method for checking samples for the elements in their composition.

Comparison microscopes assist in the identification of firearms. Criminalists have used the spectrograph and spectrographic analysis for many years to identify minerals and other organic compounds. In brief, the object is set aflame by spark, fire or arc and the pattern emitted in the form of radiation is recorded photographically. Evidence samples are usually composites. Each element emits a certain, recognizable pattern of wavelengths or spectrum when set aflame. The radiation from the incandescent gas or vapor produces these patterns. The spectrograph has a narrow slit through which the radiation passes, a prism or grating distributes the radiation, which then produces a wavelength pattern. A series of lenses focuses these patterns onto a photographic plate. These appear as short lines, widths and positions on the spectrum. The Criminalist then analyzes the distribution of these lines in order to determine the identity of the tested compound (Weston & Lushbaugh, 2003).

Gas chromatographs are also utilized when attempting to separate compounds in order to identify the individual components and the compounds themselves. The evidence sample is injected into a columnar device and moved along by a carrier gas. The different components of the sample separate, and emerge at varying times, then fed into a recorder. This recorder produces a trace, which shows the peaks and positions on a time axis (the retention time). These traces identify each component of the sample. Gas chromatographs are particularly useful when evaluating gasoline, fuel oil, perfumes, hair oils and paint thinners. Even the smallest samples of complex compositions can often be identified by this method, and therefore Gas chromatography is a valuable tool for Criminalists to employ.

X-ray crystallography assists the lab technicians and forensic scientists in analyzing and identifying any sort of crystalline solid or compound from which a crystalline sold derivative can be produced. Additionally, X-ray diffraction can process very tiny samples, in examining samples with impurities of a non-crystalline type, and identifying inorganic and mineral substances. The method is similar to or based upon X-ray diffraction devices, which test and record x-ray spectra and diffraction patterns (Weston & Lushbaugh, 2003).

Criminalists can now call upon the aid of a nuclear reactor (smaller and simpler than the large nuclear power reactors) for nuclear neutron activation analyses (NAA). This technique, although expensive, can process samples one hundred times smaller than those analyzed by ordinary spectrographic methods.

An intense field of neutrons bombards the samples. This causes the individual elements in the tested sample to become radioactive. It is then possible to identify the separate radioactive elements and determine the quantity of each element. These elements emit radiation at different energy levels and decay at certain rates. A gamma ray spectrometer is then used to measure the distinct gamma radiation emitted. At that point, the forensic scientist can identify the elements from which the rays originated.

The NAA technique has found favor as a means of identifying gunshots residues, after the old paraffin test was deemed to produce inaccuracies due to the fact that it reacts with urine and other substances. Paraffin kits are now used on suspect's hands, and the NAA used to search for the presence of antimony and barium, two common gunshot residues. A new trace metal detection technique (TMDT) is used in identifying signature patterns of handguns, tools and other metal objects. The subjects are treated with a test solution and the results examined under ultraviolet light (Weston & Lushbaugh, 2003).

Argon-ion or copper-vapor lasers are another device used by forensic scientists to assist in identifying fingerprints, and can reveal data which cannot be garnered by conventional non-destructive technologies.

Investigators should try to stay abreast of any new technologies used by Criminalists, so they can take advantage of the latest services provided by the Crime Lab.

Investigators, with the aid of Criminalists, can build an ironclad case against suspects, using any or all of these technologies.

Criminalists (forensic scientists) perform most of their tests and scientific techniques in specially equipped crime laboratories. Depending upon funding and availability of trained, educated personnel, crime labs may offer a partial or full range of services. A list of the most frequently offered services include: the Physical Sciences Unit, the Biology Unit, the Firearms Unit, the Document Examination Unit, the Photography Unit, the Toxicology Unit, the latent Fingerprint Unit, the Polygraph Unit, the Voiceprint Analysis Unit and the Evidence Collection Unit (Saferstein, 2004).

As I will present in this paper, some or all of these services and forensic techniques might very well have led the London Metropolitan police to the man responsible for "The Whitechapel Murders," the (possibly) self-styled "Jack the Ripper."

DNA analysis, which will be discussed later in this paper, is one of the most important techniques used to solve cold cases today, would have assisted the police and the prosecutor's office in making a full and proven case against Albert DeSalvo, "The Boston Strangler." Although DeSalvo confessed to the 13 murders attributed to him, there was not enough physical evidence to bring his case to trial. He was convicted of unrelated sex crimes and sentenced to life in prison.

Today, relatives of both Albert DeSalvo and his alleged final victim, Mary Sullivan, claim they have forensic evidence which proves DeSalvo was not The Strangler, and therefore could not have killed Mary Sullivan (LeBlanc, 2000). DNA evidence may ultimately be used to decide this matter one way or another. It is my personal belief that the examinations of the physical evidence which remains, using DNA analysis and other forensic testing, will prove DeSalvo was, in fact, the infamous "Strangler."

 

A PERFECT SAVAGE -- EXAMINATION OF THE 'JACK THE RIPPER' AND 'BOSTON STRANGLER' CASES

 

In order to examine how modern forensic techniques could have been utilized in the infamous "Jack the Ripper Murders," we begin by first providing the reader with a snapshot of each victim, as well as a depiction of Victorian London's seamy East End, in which the Ripper lived, moved and killed.

The man who may, or may not have provided himself with the sobriquet "Jack the Ripper" has been deemed a "sexual serial killer." During the months of early August, though early November, in the year 1888, he strangled, murdered and grossly mutilated a number of East End prostitutes. The exact number of his victims is not known. As Philip Sugden phrased it, in his excellent book "The Complete History of Jack the Ripper:" "So how many women did Jack the Ripper strike down? There is no simple answer. In a sentence: at least four, probably six, just possibly eight."

Jack the Ripper's true identity was never discovered. For a serial killer, he was tame when compared to other more famous serials, such as Pedro Alonzo Lopez, the "Monster of the Andes," who, by his own count, slaughtered over 300 people between the years of 1970-1980. Henry Lee Lucas, and his psychotic, necrophiliac sidekick, Ottis Toole, probably killed over 200 people during their forays hitchhiking across the United States (Chitolie, 1997).

However, Jack the Ripper was certainly the most well known serial murderer of his time and remains so today. The images in the modern mind of fog-bound, grimy cobblestone back streets, the diffuse illumination provided by gaslights, and a blood-hungry butcher wearing a top hat and carrying a doctor bag full of slicing instruments are all too appealing for those who enjoy their thrillers romantic and mysterious. The fact that the elusive and clever Jack, whoever he may have been, got away with his barbaric acts only adds to the myth and fascination.

Who was Jack the Ripper? What were his motives? Why prostitutes? And why didn't the Metropolitan and London police force apprehend him, when he served up his ghastly handiwork in the public streets for all to discover?

The first question may never be answered to anyone's satisfaction. His motives and reasons for choosing Whitechapel whores might yet be speculated. And the two police forces in fact committed their forces fully and spent an enormous amount of time and money in pursuit of the man who had terrorized the entire city.

Jack, like other serial killers – Gary Ridgeway, the "Green River Killer" comes to mind – probably selected prostitutes because they were usually out and about in the dark of night, physically vulnerable, powerless, poor and in desperate need of money. They were easy targets. The victims themselves may very well have led him to the their final destinations; most of the areas where their bodies were found were commonly used by streetwalkers seeking privacy.

Jack may not have had a motive in the accepted sense of the word. Certainly robbery was not his objective. The victims were the poorest of the poor. Serial killers of a certain kind often murder when the opportunity presents itself. They strike at random. Most importantly, they kill because they like to kill, they need to kill. As Philip Sugden (2003) notes, "At present there is nothing to indicate that Jack the Ripper was anything but that most elusive of criminals, the murderer of strangers."

Charles Dickens could have aptly rendered the milieu in which the Ripper committed his sadistic acts of violence. His victims were all killed within a one-mile radius – clearly his comfort zone. Whitechapel was a seething catacomb-like slum consisting of dark passages, countless gloomy alleyways and plenty of secluded hiding places. The populace struggled in their cycles of poverty, the usual victims of substandard or complete lack of housing, unemployment, poor medical care and social strife. Those who made an effort at providing for their families through gainful employ found it difficult to force their paycheck to last until the next one. Constant rain and poor water and sewage systems left the streets a damp and muddy traverse for every sort of riff-raff, con man, street hawker, juggler, bootblack, thief, sailor, street musicians and magicians, pickpockets and itinerant preachers bellowing out their fire and brimstone sermons.

Whitechapel Road, the main drag, was, at least, better lighted and offered even the most pathetic of paupers some variety of leisure and relief. East Enders were adroit at "wringing wit from want,' and often remained positive despite the most mean circumstances (Hood & Joyce, 1999). The locals met for beer and conversation at the ubiquitous pubs, packed the raucous gin-palaces, wept through the melodramas, partied at the music halls and dancing saloons. Streets served as store fronts for the hawker of cheap goods, the sidewalks lined with fruit and meat stalls, flower sellers, rehabbed shoes and boots, furniture, fabrics, cutlery, clothes, carpets and every inexpensive trifle or novelty item (Rich, 1979).

In brief, the East End, while populated by some members of the middle class, and multitudes of working poor, was also home to a vile and lawless underground. Many people lived on the precarious last rung, eking out their meager livelihoods with or without legal sanction.

Among those particularly bereft were the Whitechapel prostitutes. Most were divorcees, or widows, without supportive families. Many suffered from chronic illnesses rife in the peasant classes due to inadequate medical care and poor nutrition: tuberculosis, anemia, infections, broken bones from ruinous beatings, parasites, venereal disease and other untreated conditions. Among the streetwalker clan, alcoholism was a frequent issue.

Women without male protection faired poorly (Sugden, 2003). In order to pay for one night's bed in one of the dreary, Spartan "doss houses" these women often turned to trading their laps for a few coins. In search of enough money to pay for a grim room in a lodging house, or a piece of potato, or a broken bit of bread, the hookers of Whitechapel trudged the streets, scanned the pubwalkers for clientele and retired to the darkened passageways, backyards and abandoned courts with their customers.

In such an atmosphere and ambience of neglect, need and desperation, the Ripper found his victims, and one by one, he murdered them.

All of his victims were females who were, or had at one time, turned to selling their sex for a pittance. Each of these women, with the exception of Mary Jane Kelly, were in their late thirties to late forties. All were suffering from alcoholism and various health concerns; their clothes were old and dirty, their hearts despairing. Martha Tabram, Mary Ann (Polly) Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catharine Eddowes, and Mary Jane (Marie Jeanette) Kelly were East End social cripples whose lives had been defined by loss, abuse, poverty.

The Ripper's modus operandi remained fairly standard for each of his victims. While some experts in the character and behavior of serial killers suggest that the Ripper was becoming bolder and more sadistic with each murder, the truth may be that he spent more time hacking and slicing his victims if the time were available. If time were not available, as in the case of Elizabeth Stride (he was apparently interrupted), then he saved his energies for a more suitable circumstance.

He must have approached each of his victims in order to solicit their services. Once the couple had relocated to an area sure to provide privacy, such as a darkened section of Mitre Square (Catharine Eddowes) or the back yard of a local business woman (Anne Chapman), he quickly strangled the woman, probably as she lifted up her skirts and therefore was defenseless (Sugden, 2003).

There seems no doubt that he throttled or strangled his victims first, then carefully lowered them to the ground once she had ceased breathing. Each woman was autopsied and there were no signs of bruising or wounds to the back of their heads.

Once the victim was supine, he knelt behind their right shoulder, facing their feet, and, using a sharp knife with a pointed six or seven-inch blade, slit their throats from left to right. In most cases the Ripper carved into the victim's neck so violently, and with such force, he nearly severed the head from the body.

His choice of position was wisely chosen, for his victim's arterial blood would've sprayed to the left of her body, and to the front, thereby keeping himself unsoiled. Once the woman was dead, he probably knelt between her legs, or worked from her right side, in order to perform his brutal surgeries. The blood loss after death would be minimal; the veins would no longer be pressurized. For this reason, the Ripper was not as bloodstained as one might suppose, and would not have attracted undue attention as he fled the scene (Ryder, 2003).

In the attack upon Martha Tabram, considered by many to be his first victim in George Yard, the victim sustained over 39 stab wounds. She did not show the abdominal injuries which would later characterize the Ripper's handiwork. Yet, even the building superintendent, who lived twelve feet from the spot where the body was discovered, heard nothing at all (Sugden, 2003). The police were mystified; once the victim was identified, they could find no motive, no clues, and no evidence. People were horrified at the ferocity evident in the manner of murder. George Collier, the deputy coroner, opined, "The man must have been a perfect savage to inflict such a number of wounds on a defenseless woman in such a way" (Sugden, 2003).

Even in a city accustomed to midnight cries of "Murder!" where assault, maimings, knifings, fistfights and bodily injury were part and parcel of Whitechapel life, Martha Tabram's murder shocked the populace and confounded the police.

His next target, Mary Ann Nichols (43 years of age) was murdered on August 31st, 1888. She received multiple abdominal stabs, some wounds and incisions imparted across the stomach area, some downwards, toward the pubes. Her throat had been cut with such fierceness the Ripper nearly decapitated her. Annie Chapman's (42 years of age) throat was "dissevered deeply" (Ryder, 2003) when the Ripper got hold of her on September 8th of that same year. Her face was bruised, swollen from strangulation. The Ripper had eviscerated her and placed her intestines over her shoulder. For his trophy, a common signature in a serial murder, he took her uterus and part of her bladder with "one sweep of the knife" (Ryder, 2003). The coroner stated that such a surgery would have taken him the "better part of an hour" (Ryder, 2003). The Ripper accomplished it, and bore away his female trophy, in a little under fifteen minutes.

The Ripper was back at his dastardly work by the 30th of September. This time his victim was 45 year old Elizabeth Stride, a Swedish prostitute who had been living in Whitechapel. Obviously interrupted at his horrific labors, he only managed to strangle her and just slice her throat before he had to set her down in an alley behind the International Worker's Educational House. The approach of a jewelry salesman, Louis Diemschutz, driving his cart and pony into Dutfield's Yard, forced the Ripper to flee (Sugden, 2003).

He must have then walked to Mitre Square, and met Catharine Eddowes on his way there. In a crepuscular corner of the square, in full view of several potential witnesses, and in between the rounds of two different patrolling officers, the Ripper strangled and carved up Miss Eddowes' face and body, after which savage attentions he relieved her of her kidney and her womb. Amazingly, it is believed that the murderer completed his fatal ministrations upon Catharine Eddowe's body in about ten minutes!

This time the Ripper left one piece of evidence, albeit not at the scene of the crime. He had sliced off a piece of Catharine Eddowes' apron and used it to wipe his knife. PC Alfred Long found the apron fragment not far away on Goulston Street. It contained blood and fecal matter. At this very site the Ripper left his famous graffito on the open archway for all to see: a chalked message, the meaning of which has never been deciphered. He wrote, "The Juwes are The Men who will not be blamed for nothing." Sadly, the Police Commissioner, Sir Charles Warren, decided that the writing must be washed away. In that very year the Jewish residents were vilified and resented by the general populace. "Irrational fears and hatred festering in the minds of the slum dweller," as [the author of] the East End Record article of 1979 wrote. Sir Charles feared a race riot, with the resultant violence and social instability, which would arise, should the public view the Ripper's message as proof that he was a Jew.

If only the graffito could have been photographed, a handwriting analysis might have revealed some new clue about the Ripper's identity or personality. In the opinion of this author, the Ripper's lower class "cold blooded murder of the English tongue" (Lerner & Loewe, 1953). says clearly, "Don't blame the Jews for this."

After this occult message, the Ripper sent one more communication, which I believe to be authentic. The CID received literally hundreds of letters claiming to be authored by the Ripper, including the well-known "Dear Boss" missives (Ryder, 2003). The authorship of any of these communications cannot be proved. However it has been claimed that an enterprising journalist penned the "Dear Boss" letters. Many still believe them to be the genuine work of the Ripper.

While disturbing and interesting, the Dear Boss letters were composed in a steady hand and displayed excellent penmanship. The message is clear and cogent, not marred by many misspellings or ink splotches.

It is the equally infamous "From Hell" document that I find to be worthy of consideration. Without even a modicum of doubt, I believe the Ripper was the author of a letter received by George Lusk, chairman of the Mile End Vigilance Committee. This committee was formed by persons willing to put money and time into patrolling the Whitechapel area and were even offering financial rewards to anyone who could give the Ripper a name (Sugden, 2003).

Mr. Lusk received a small parcel, about 3 ½ inches square, on Tuesday, October 16th. Catharine Eddowes had been butchered by the Ripper in Mitre Square approximately two weeks before.

Inside the package, Lusk found a grisly trophy from the man so ardently sought by his Vigilance Committee – half of a left kidney and a letter, which read thus:

 

from Hell

Mr Lusk

Sor

I send you half the Kidne (sic) I took from one women prasarved it for you tother piece I fried and ate it was very nise I may send you the bloody knif that took it out if you only wate a whil longer

Signed

Catch me when you can Mishter Lusk (Sugden, 2003)

 

According to Police Surgeon Dr. Gordon Brown, Catharine Eddowes had suffered from Bright's Disease. He determined this by examining the right kidney, which was still in her corpse. The portion of the left kidney mailed to Mr. Lusk also showed the signs of Bright Disease, a disorder of the kidney marked by the presence of albumin in the urine. While the absolute proof of his examinations is cannot be provided, it is frustrating to know that with today's DNA profiling it would only take several hours to prove the left kidney in fact came from Catharine Eddowes' body. And, if so, the murderer was most likely the author of this letter.

Police, using the postmark, believed the package had been posted from the East Central Division post office. They soon obtained a possible lead from one Emily Marsh, a young woman who worked for her father's leather shop on Jubilee Street, Mile End Road. She contacted the police to report a stranger, fully six feet tall, dark beard, dark eyes and sallow of skin, had entered her shop and asked for the address of Mr. George Lusk. Even though she advised him that a man thirty yards away could provide the stranger with the exact address, the stranger refused to go there. Emily then offered him a newspaper, in which Mr. Lusk's address was printed. The stranger asked her to "read it out." While she did so, he penned the address into a little book, thanked her and left (Sugden, 2003).

Emily Marsh was unnerved by the man's furtive manner and sent her shop boy, John Cormack, after him. The boy intersected with the stranger outside the shop and provided with police with a description of him (Sugden, 2003).

Despite a number of eyewitness accounts of the various incidents and the men seen in the company of the victims, only this man speaks to me as the Ripper.

The Ripper's last murder of the so-called five Canonical Victims occurred on November 9th, 1888. Her name was Mary Jane Kelly, a 25-year-old prostitute born in Ireland and raised in Wales. At the time of her murder, she was a beautiful young woman, ample of figure, with long blonde hair, blue eyes and a lively personality. She rented a ground floor room facing Dorset Street in Miller's Court. Although it was "the most public habitation in Miller's Court" the Ripper nevertheless was not intimidated (Sugden, 2003). Upon Mary Jane's nearly naked body he unleashed the most virulent expressions of his homicidal rage, hacking her apart like some raging beast and making off with her heart.

Unless one wants to consider the later murders of Alice McKenzie and Frances Coles (and some do), it is safe to say the Ripper's reign of terror over the citizen's of Whitechapel was over by December, 1888. As Philip Sugden (2003) states, "There were no Ripper-style murders after 1891." The Metropolitan police force officially closed the files in 1892.

One can well understand that, due to the heinous nature of these crimes, the citizens of the East End were deeply distressed and sore afraid. For months, women in particular were afraid to go out after dark. Each newsboy's cry of "Murder! Murder!" set the public into a panic. And, as is so often the case, there were the usual copycat murders. For years any unsolved murders were attributed to the Ripper (Sugden, 2003).

The Metropolitan and City Police Departments were under assault in the court of public opinion. Many East Enders, confused and frightened, accused the police of negligence and grossly poor detective work. They were vilified in the press. Numerous individuals used the police department's inability to apprehend this facile and stealthy killer by distorting the truth to enable their own political agendas. And the inspectors and police constables involved in the Ripper investigation (there were many) went to their graves regretting that they did not catch the Ripper (Sugden, 2003).

To their everlasting credit, the two police agencies in fact dedicated their energies and attention on the Ripper case to the highest degree possible. Chief Inspector Frank Abberline worked himself to the point of exhaustion, often walking the streets past midnight, after his shift ended.

This was an age in which the police actually possessed very little in the way of forensics. They had no modern fingerprint collection techniques, DNA profiling, massive databases full of information helpful in crime detection. Criminal profiling did not exist. Other than patrolling the streets, performing door-to-door canvassing, offering rewards and pardons, interviewing witnesses and informants, the police had no other resources available to them. In Victorian London a criminal nearly had to be caught in flagrante delecto. Providing proof that a person committed a specific crime was an impossible task (Sugden, 2003).

It would have behooved Scotland Yard to be more creative in their methods of criminal investigation. Photography was in its infancy, but it could have been utilized in these cases if for no other reason than to preserve a testament of the crime scenes. Only Mary Jane Kelly's corpse was photographed in situ. Philip Sugden (2003) makes the excellent point that any competent artist could have been enlisted to assist witnesses in bringing their memories to realization in a sketch. Fingerprinting as a technology has been around for a decade (Sugden, 2003). Yet, even though the Dear Boss letter contained a bloody thumbprint, Scotland Yard failed to pursue that lead. Even the services of the highly reliable Bloodhounds were not put to practical use.

Most importantly, in my view, the Metropolitan police and Scotland Yard probably should have made use of a Reward lure. Surely anyone who had some sort of information would have been coaxed out of anonymity with the promise of a large monetary reward. While it is possible the Ripper had never stirred up even a moment of doubt or consideration in the minds of those who knew him, I think it is much more likely that someone, somewhere, entertained their suspicions. My one proviso on the issuing of rewards is that the reward not be given until an arrest and conviction is secured. The Victorian Police learned that the offer of substantial funds for information brought out unscrupulous liars and pretenders by the score. Since the police were obligated to investigate every lead, and interview every informant, their limited resources and manpower would have been tied up in what might very well have proven to be a futile exercise. The public outcry against the supposed incompetence of the police demanded that they focus their energies on more reliable means of gleaning information.

It is easy to speak from the 21st century about the would have/should have aspects of Victorian detective procedures. The gentlemen connected with the Ripper investigation did in fact show enormous dedication and professionalism (Sugden, 2003).

Throughout the years authors and armchair detectives have performed their own investigations, even though the majority of the police case files were destroyed in the Blitz. These enterprising persons have resurrected interest in this most complex killer and each author possessed his or her strong opinion as to the identity of the Ripper.

Certainly the continued interest in him is in part propelled by the fact that we still have no idea who the Ripper really was. All of the players, including the Ripper himself, are long since dead, the Grim Reaper being the final murderer. Souvenir hunters have liberated important files of essential data. What is left of the Ripper can only be gleaned from the remaining files, newspaper and magazine reports (notoriously slanted to suit the needs of these publications), eyewitness and coroner reports and the various biographies or life histories penned by the officers involved in the investigation.

What remains of the Ripper are a very few, slim guesses, as follows: like many serial killers, the Ripper probably lived near, or in, the one square mile radius in which he committed his crimes. A local man would be familiar with the avenues of escape. He almost certainly held down a regular job, as all of his known victims were killed on weekends or holidays. He may, according to the physicians who examined his handiwork, have possessed some medical or anatomical knowledge. He did manage to remove several uteri and one kidney in near total darkness, not to mention the other mutilations, in under fifteen minutes (Sugden, 2003).

To speculate further, one might suppose he had in common other traits with the majority of serial killers, viz., he was a loner, quiet, diligent in his work, perhaps even sociable and well-liked by his coworkers and loved by his family members. One may continue to pursue the matter forth and suggest the Ripper had his issues with women; that he enjoyed butchering them is clear. If he were a garden-variety serial killer, he would not have chosen only women to meet death at his hands. Possibly he had contracted a venereal disease from an encounter with a prostitute, and sought revenge. I do not consider this likely. Unlike most sexual serial killers, the Ripper did not, as far as can be ascertained, engage in sexual "connextion," to use a classic Victorian term, with his victims. There is often a sexual thrill for the serial killer; he is so excited by his killing he may even fantasize and masturbate over the "trophies" he has borne away from the crime scene. Often such reliving of the acts can hold the slayer back from committing another murder for quite some time.

Jack the Ripper almost certainly had killed before and probably tortured animals as a child. An alcoholic or drug-addicted mother may have abused him. His father may have been absent by choice, or dead. If he grew up in the East End, it is a good bet he was a victim of some class of privation and want.

As has been pointed out in this paper elsewhere, serial killers do not require a motive, per se. Instead they respond to a deep, uncontrolled and uncontrollable urge to slaughter other human beings. They relish confounding the police. It is not unusual for a serial killer to taunt the investigators by communicating with the press or sending the department letters directly. In my opinion the Ripper announced his presence in this manner only once, when he sent what could have been Catharine Eddowes kidney to Charles Lusk.

And to this day, he taunts us still, mired in the lost past, swathed in myth and sensationalistic stories. There is no dearth of suspects. Each investigator has his pet suspicion. None of those suspicions could be proven correct at this time. I believe none of the suspects popularly discussed was the Ripper. As Sugden (2003) states, "And there is every possibility that the man the Victorians called 'the master murderer of the age' was in reality a complete nobody whose name never found its way into the police file . . . "

The Ripper Murders have become the cause celebre of cold cases. But even with today's advanced investigation and forensic techniques, he still may have eluded detection. Nevertheless I shall now review some of the important articles of evidence, and how we might analyze them today.

First and foremost, today's skilled and trained crime scene investigators and evidence collectors follow a strict protocol when processing crime scenes. Access to the scene is severely restricted, less the all-important physical evidence be compromised or contaminated. The Victorian public, on the other hand, gathered around the Whitechapel and Spitalsfield victims, touching and trampling and contaminating potential evidence with abandon. Victims were quickly evaluated by a physician and then carried straight away to a local ad hoc mortuary, often located in a workhouse. In several cases, the victims were undressed and washed in preparation for the coroner's exam!

Part of establishing the Ripper's identity involves ruling out those who would be Ripper. The bloody thumbprint found on the Dear Boss letter could be subjected to fingerprint analyses, the print run through IAFIS (Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System) and the red substance tested to make certain it was truly was blood. The forensic investigator or crime scene technician might use a presumptive test for blood, such as leucomalachite green, phenolphthalin, ortho-tolidine or tetramethaulbenzideine (Fisher, 2003). Only a tiny dab of blood is required to run a DNA test, because of the ability of criminalists and scientists to produce millions of copies of DNA through the polymerase chain reaction (Saferstein, 2004).

By these methods, a criminalist might very well ascertain the identity of the person who composed the Dear Boss letters, by using the Federal Bureau of Investigation's massive CODIS database (Combined DNA Index System), or through IAFIS. Latent prints on any of the supposed Ripper documents might be lifted and run through IAFIS, to see if any of the authors had committed other crimes. They could be photographed, lifted and submitted to processing by ninhydrin solution, a technique which reacts to amino acids to reveal fingerprints in "Rhuemann's Purple" (Fisher, 2003).

In the event that the Ripper touched his victims, and the bruises on their necks indicate that he did, it is possible to lift latent and visible prints from cadaver skin, using a product called "Kromekote lift technique." It seems highly likely the Ripper got some blood spatter on his clothing, although it admittedly might not have been a great quantity. The police on patrol did stop and question many people who were out walking in the areas of the murders. Suspicious persons, or even viable suspects could be instructed to turn over articles of clothing for DNA bloodstain analysis. Bloodstains were found on the backs and necks all of the Ripper's victims' clothing. And, of course, Mary Jane Kelly's entire bed and floor were soaked with blood. If the Ripper accidentally cut himself on any of these occasions, his own blood may have spattered on his garments. Bloodstains found on any article can be culled and linked to the suspect's blood.

With any luck at all, trace evidence would have been discovered on all of the Ripper victims, and especially in Mary Ann Kelly's tiny room, where he had to work in very close quarters. Fibers from his clothes, saliva, sweat, hairs, footprints, all of these items of evidentiary interest could have been collected and subjected to analysis. If any of his victims managed to yank out some of his hair, or scratch him, evidence might have been found under the victim's nails or the hair wound in their fingers. Hair pulled out by force often includes a follicular tag, the small glossy tissue adhering to the root which contains a rich source of DNA (Fisher, 2003). Hair can be individualized to a single person is some circumstances.

Cross transfer of fibers during close contact can provide suggestive evidence that killer and victim had intersected at some point in time. As Barry A. J. Fisher (2003) states, "Regardless of where or under what conditions fibers are discovered, their ultimate value as forensic evidence will depend upon the criminalist's ability to narrow their origin to a limited number of sources or even to a single source." Two fibers may be examined under a comparison microscope to determine if they could have come from the same source. A microspectrophotometer is often used to compare colors in questioned and standard/reference samples. For a detailed examination of the dyes used in the fabric, chromatographic separation of the dye constituents can be performed (Saferstein, 2004).

While it is not believed that the Ripper engaged in sexual relations with his victims, a forensic examination of semen stains, should they have been found, would have yielded a sample of his DNA. Even if CODIS could not identify a match to his specific DNA, his sample DNA would still be in the system from that time forth. In this manner, he could be positively linked to the other four victims (should semen be present) or he could be connected to other rapes.

Even cell phone technology would have been useful in catching quick photos of the various suspects reported by the eyewitnesses. People today take pictures routinely, using their picture phones, and then email the resultant photograph or post it on the 'net!

Cell phones provide customers with instant communication, anytime, anywhere. If the Victorian police had even been outfitted with radios, important information could have been relayed quickly and accurately. A photograph is "worth a thousand words." The witnesses who observed men talking to the victims would not have had to rely upon their fragile human memories, but instead could have provided the police with a rock-solid image of the men in the flesh.

Security cameras are located in abundance in many public places, especially in major cities. The Ripper could have been filmed, without his knowledge, and the resultant film used to identify him.

The Ripper was a man of infinite cunning. But he could not have escaped detection for so long, had the Metropolitan and City police been the fortunate users of the new forensic techniques. Forensic psychiatrists might have given new insights into the nature and character of the Whitechapel killer, which would have assisted the police in their search. While the Ripper is lauded for the fact that he apparently never left a single clue behind, Edmond Locard states otherwise, in his Locard's Exchange Principle: the exchange of materials between two objects which come into contract with one another (Saferstein, 2004).

In other words, when a person intersects with another person or place, information is exchanged. The person walks away from the scene, taking a small, perhaps even microscopic testimonial that he or she has been there. And she or he deposited some sort of trace evidence at the scene, or on another person involved. There is always some evidence left behind at a crime scene. The challenge is in locating it, collecting it and packaging it correctly, so that the crime lab can analyze the submitted evidence.

The Ripper left some trace on or around his victims. Even his footprints, or shoeprints could have been lifted, using dental stone or other technique. There exists a database, which provides investigators with myriad shoe prints, so that a comparison can be made.

His crimes were brutal insults to the sanctity of life. Few of the East End residents blamed the prostitutes for their occupation. Instead they showed the greatest concern and pity for these women. The police did not delay or dilute their investigation because the victims were common whores; indeed, they energized themselves to the task with remarkable fortitude and professionalism.

Yet, he escaped Justice.

And now we turn our attention to another case, a strangler of a different sort who nevertheless had much in common with Jack the Ripper: Albert DeSalvo, the so-called "Boston Strangler."

From June, 1962 to January, 1963, thirteen women were raped and strangled in Boston, Massachusetts. The killer often raped his victims after tying them to a bed, or chair, and the strangled his victim to death, usually with a piece of her own clothing (Bailey, 1973). The Strangler seemed especially enamored of stockings, which he would use to strangle the woman, after which he would tie the garment under her chin in a precise, girlish bow. This particular idiosyncrasy of the Strangler's modus operandi would prove to find its origins in the bow DeSalvo used to tie up his daughter Judy's special pelvic harness, part of her treatment plan (Bailey, 1964).

It is suggestive that DeSalvo had just been released from prison for indecent assault only two months before the first victim of the Strangler, 55 year old Anna Slesers, was discovered. It is also suggestive that the Strangler killings ceased after DeSalvo was arrested for yet another incarnation of the Strangler, The Green Man rapes.

Albert DeSalvo was born to Frank DeSalvo and Charlotte DeSalvo, in Chelsea, Massachusetts, on the 3rd of September, 1931. His father Frank, a petty thief and con artist, was a cold and callous drunkard who frequently assaulted his wife and young children. When Albert was nine years old, his father sold him and his two sisters to a local farmer for $9.00 (Bailey, 1973). As soon as he was able to leave his mean circumstances, he joined the army and served from 1948-1956. While stationed in Germany, DeSalvo met his wife, Irmgard Beck (Bailey, 1973).

Albert and Irmgard had two children. The first child, Judy, was born with a congenital pelvic disease. Her disability resonated deeply with DeSalvo, who labored with love and attention to provide Judy with the appropriate medical treatment. His wife, Irmgard, traumatized by the fact that she had borne a child with a physical handicap, avoided sexual relations with her husband. DeSalvo was known to possess a voracious sexual appetite, which may have figured prominently in his first incarnation of the Strangler, "The Measuring Man" (Bailey, 1973).

"The Boston Strangler's" (Albert De Salvo's) victims were: Anna Slesers (aged 55), Mary Mullen (85), Nina Nichols (aged 68), Helen Blake (aged 65), Jane Sullivan (aged 67), Sophie Clark (aged 20), Patricia Bissette (aged 23), Mary Brown (aged 69), Beverly Samans (aged 23), Evelyn Corbin (aged 58), Joann Graff (aged 23), and possibly Mary Sullivan (aged 19).

De Salvo, although he freely confessed to committing these wretched crimes, was never convicted of the murders of his female victims. Indeed, recent speculation that De Salvo was not the Boston Strangler has surfaced. All of his victims were female and lived alone. He usually staked out, raped and strangled his target; in some cases he bit, stabbed and beat his chosen victim. To completely eradicate the dignity of the murdered woman, he then would position their molested bodies in grotesque and vulgar positions. Finally, he set the horror stage for the person who discovered the body by placing the deceased where the sight of his violence would be viewed immediately. This he did for maximum shock value.

DeSalvo's friends, family and coworkers could not bring themselves to accept or believe that the tender husband, loving father and reliable employee was the sexual serial killer who had terrorized the women of Boston for two years. And yet his criminal history shows a man who could be charming, disarming, clever and adroit at conning his victims into permitting him entry to their apartments. As "The Green Man" and "The Measuring Man," he perfected his technique of stalking, gaining entry to, overpowering and raping vulnerable single women. While in his Strangler phase, he went so far as to murder them.

Albert De Salvo confessed to the Strangler murders, however no substantial evidence existed to verify his claims and he was never tried for those crimes. Instead he was convicted of various robberies and sexual offences, convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 1967. In 1973, De Salvo was stabbed through the heart while in under guard in the prison infirmary. At the time of his death, he had been desperately trying to contact his attorney, mr. Robey by phone. Allegedly DeSalvo wanted to talk to him about the Strangler murders. It has been reported that the families of Albert DeSalvo and Mary Sullivan, the Strangler's last victim, asked that a DNA sample of a semen-like substance found on Sullivan's body be compared to DNA culled from the exhumed body of Albert DeSalvo. There was no match, according to James Starrs, Professor of Forensic Science at George Washington University, who supervised the DNA analysis. "We have found evidence, and the evidence does not and cannot be associated with Albert DeSalvo," said James Starrs. "I, as a juror, would acquit him with no questions asked" (Lavoie, 2001).

Starrs' results cannot be discounted. In fact, he found samples of two stains on the body of Mary Sullivan, and neither came from DeSalvo (Lavoie, 2001). The DNA evidence is conclusive and proves absolutely Albert DeSalvo did not sexually assault Mary Sullivan. And if he was not the rapist, certainly he was not the murderer. However to some involved, this new revelation signifies that he was not the Strangler, at all.

DeSalvo confessed to all of the eleven known Strangler killings, and two cases which the police had not associated with the others. However, it is true that at the time of the crimes, there was not found one single item of evidence to implicate him in any of the murders (Summers, n.d.).

Was Albert DeSalvo the Boston Strangler? First we will enumerate the circumstantial evidence, which is considerable. Then modern forensic techniques can help resolve the confusion and the question.

On October 27th, 1964, DeSalvo knocked on the door of a young woman. He gained entry by telling her he was a detective. Once inside her apartment, he lashed her to her bed and raped her. Quite suddenly, he left, muttering, "I'm sorry." The woman contacted the police and offered a description of her attacker. When shown a photo of Albert DeSalvo, she immediately recognized him. DeSalvo admitted to this sexual assault (Chitolie, 1997).

He was identified absolutely by an eyewitness. He did not deny that he perpetrated this sexual assault. In fact, DeSalvo had a history of attempted and completed rapes.

Before the Boston Strangler crimes, a series of sexual assaults arose in the Cambridge, Massachusetts area. A young man in his late twenties would knock on the door of an apartment. If a woman answered, DeSalvo "would introduce himself, 'My name is Johnson and I work for a modeling agency. Your name was given to us by someone who thought you would make a good model'" (Bardsley, n.d.).

DeSalvo informed these ladies that the pay would be $40 per hour, and no nude modeling would be required. He then asked if he could take their measurements. In a stunning display of naivete and trust, many of these women permitted DeSalvo access and allowed him to take out his measuring tape and take their vital statistics. When they were not contacted by a modeling agency, some of the victims became suspicious and reported "Mr. Johnson" to the police.

On March 17th, 1961, some Cambridge police officers caught a man attempting to break into a house. The man admitted to the breaking and entering, and also confessed to being the Measuring Man (Bardsley, n.d.). His was identified as 29 year old Albert DeSalvo, a press operator in a rubber factory. He had a long rap sheet for breaking and entering and assorted robbery charges. The judge, mindful that DeSalvo was the sole support of a wife and two small children, gave The Measuring Man an 18-month jail sentence.

Two months after his release from prison for the Measuring Man crimes, the Strangler murders began.

After the murder of Mary Sullivan, the last "official" Strangler assault (now proven to have been committed by someone other than DeSalvo), Albert DeSalvo embarked upon his incarnation as "The Green Man." Wearing green trousers – hence the moniker – DeSalvo sexually assaulted women in the states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Hampshire. After tying the women to their beds at knifepoint, he would rape them. He confessed to approximately three hundred sexual assaults (Chitolie, 1997).

DeSalvo's attorney, F. Lee Bailey, used the Boston Strangler murders as proof of DeSalvo's paranoid schizophrenia, and asked the court to find him not guilty by reason of insanity. He felt DeSalvo should be kept alive so that the medico-psychiatric community could study the mind of a serial killer. DeSalvo was found guilty of the Green Man sex offenses and sentenced to life in prison. He was, as mentioned, never tried for the Strangler killings. Yet his criminal history displays similar modus operandi for all three sets of crimes.

Beginning with the first recorded Strangler killing, it is noted that the victim, Anna E. Slesers, was found by her son, Juris, lying in her bathroom, throttled by the belt of her own bathrobe. Modern day forensics might very well have found DNA from Albert DeSalvo's fingers on the ligature. DNA has been detected on items used to strangle victims before. If this evidence still exists, it should be tested. If any semen samples remain for any of the Strangler murders, these samples should all be compared against DeSalvo's DNA, which was extracted after DeSalvo's body was exhumed in 2000 (Lavoie, 2001).

Any extant samples of semen, sweat stains, bloodstains or hair collected at the various crime scenes should be tested to see if Albert DeSalvo's DNA matches the DNA culled from these articles. This would provide concrete proof that DeSalvo was, in fact, the Strangler.

DeSalvo, an experienced thief, would also ransack the rooms of some of his victims. He hoped to deceive the police into thinking his true intent was robbery. Drawers were emptied, clothes and articles flung around the room, letters examined; he'd rifle through the contents of trashcans. Ultimately, the police caught on, as the victims' valuables were seldom touched.

Yet here were many cases in which DeSalvo had the opportunity to leave his fingerprints in a multitude of locations. DeSalvo liked to brag that the police would not be able to find a trace of him at any of the crime scenes (Bailey, 1973). This appears to be true. Yet, modern methods of crime scene investigation would almost certainly turned up some class of physical evidence, a hair, a fingerprint, a fiber. His fingerprints could have been lifted from the corpses of his victims. If semen samples had been collected from the body of Mary Sullivan, then surely semen specimens were collected from all the other victims of DeSalvo's sexual assaults.

When DeSalvo tossed the apartment of his next victim, Helen Blake, he used a tool while trying to open a strongbox and footlocker. Toolmarks can be examined, photographed and often identified. In fact, DeSalvo had been proven to be the Green Man. During those burglary sprees he jimmied or conned his way into his victims' apartments. Molds can be taken of tool marks, or entire doorframes removed, so that the police can compare a suspect tool to the mark.

When the Strangler murdered Jane Sullivan in Dorchester, blood was found on the floors. If footprints were found, these could be identified and compared to shoes owned by DeSalvo at the time of the murder. Bloodstains were discovered on the handle of a broom; if DeSalvo touched the handle, fingerprints or perspiration samples might have been collected. DNA can be extracted from sweat samples.

The fingernails of the victims must have been examined and scraped. The material collected should be analyzed. Sophie Clark, a twenty-one year old student at the Carnegie Institute of Medical Technology struggled with her slayer. If he touched her, then trace evidence or, less likely, fingerprints may have been found. DeSalvo even bit 55 year old Evelyn Corbin on her cheek. Not only would his saliva be available for collection, but also his DNA could be culled from the saliva sample. Bite mark evidence can be compelling and many a jury has accepted such testimony as accurate. If those bite mark photographs or impressions still exist, then a forensic dentist might be able to make a comparison with DeSalvo's dental records (if any exist). Spermatozoa were found in Ms. Corbin's mouth – sperm is a rich source of DNA.

DeSalvo must have left fingerprints at some of the crime scenes, if not all of them. One small fiber could be suggestive, if found to come from his clothing.

When questioned about the murders, DeSalvo could describe minute and even trivial details about the apartments of his victims and how he killed them, details only the killer could have known. He drew accurate sketches of their apartments (Chitolie, 1997). He even mentioned an abortive attempt on a Danish young woman. After realizing what he was doing, DeSalvo wept, begged her to forgive him and not to call the police. She did not, but she remembered DeSalvo quite well when the police interviewed her after his stunning confession (Bardsley, n.d.).

He bragged about his sexual prowess, his ability to dominate women. According to Police Commissioner Edmund McNamara, "DeSalvo's a blowhard" (Bardsley, n.d.).

This is quite at odds with the opinions expressed by his family, friends and coworkers at the American Biltrite Rubber company, who considered him a good worker and a tender, considerate husband. Yet, DeSalvo could be deceptive.

One of his would-be victims told police that DeSalvo had initially been affable and approachable when he first knocked on her door. When she raised her finger to her lips, to indicate that he should lower his voice, DeSalvo became enraged – a complete shift of mood, which startled her. Once he heard that she was not alone, DeSalvo muttered something and left (Bailey, 1973).

As in the Jack the Ripper murders, the Boston Police came under fire in the press. Two reporters for the Record-American were diligent about publishing notice of every police error, citing the department for extreme inefficiency (Chitolie, 1997). The women in Boston were terrified. Just as the women in London's East End, they were fearful of going out alone. They triple-locked their doors, placed iron bars on their windows, bought guard dogs for protection and purchased weapons. A media hotline was established. The police interviewed numerous sex offenders and investigated false confessions. The award for information related to the Strangler killings was increased to $10,000.

In January, 1964, the Strangler killings ceased.

Later that year, in October, a man claiming to be a detective gained entry into a young woman's home. The stranger tied the victim to her bed and raped her. After threatening to kill her if she made a sound, he suddenly apologized and left (Chitolie, 1997).

The victim immediately notified the police and offered a complete description. The police identified her rapist as Albert DeSalvo. DeSalvo was interviewed, and at that time, confessed to a slew of housebreaking and sexual assaults (Chitolie, 1997).

This particular victim was one of approximately 300 sexual assaults carried out by DeSalvo as "The Green Man," so named because he usually wore green work pants. On November 6th, 1964, DeSalvo was arrested for The Green Man crimes and sent to Bridgewater State Hospital for observation. Not long after this he was transferred to Cambridge Prison, before he began to exhibit signs of advanced mental illness and was readmitted to Bridgewater (Bailey, 1973). While there, DeSalvo received treatment for a condition known as paranoid schizophrenia, a serious dementing neurological disease involving disorders of thought, emotions and characterized by psychotic events such as hallucinations and delusions. He met a man named George Nassar, a violent murderer. DeSalvo confessed to Nassar that he was the Boston Strangler. Nassar then arranged for DeSalvo to meet Nassar's defense attorney, F. Lee Bailey (Bailey, 1973).

Some persons believe that Nassau was in fact the person responsible for the Strangler murders, and he fed DeSalvo all of the details associated with the Strangler killings. It has been proposed that DeSalvo wanted to split the reward money with Nassar, and while in prison cash in on lucrative book and movie deals in an effort to earn enough to support his family. DeSalvo expressed a desire to be found insane and committed to a mental institution, thus escaping prison time. A simple DNA connection would prove once and for all that DeSalvo did commit these perverse crimes.

DeSalvo, it was observed, did have a phenomenal memory (Bailey, 1973). He could recall small, seemingly trivial details about any event. Attorney Bailey believed DeSalvo was indeed the Strangler, tape recorded their conversations, and turned that tape over to Detective Lieutenant Donovan. Lieutenant Donovan was convinced enough to contact the Attorney General's office (Bailey, 1973). Despite his obvious mental impairments, DeSalvo was found competent to stand trial by Judge Horace Cahill. The jury heard the evidence presented, including the details of the Strangler killings, and the psychiatrist's testimony regarding DeSalvo's mental illness. In three hours and forty-five minutes, they found DeSalvo guilty of 10 counts of indecent assault and armed robbery in the Green Man crimes. He was sentenced to life in prison at Bridgewater.

Their killers deprived all these women of their humanity; they were physically assaulted and murdered in vile fashion. In the case of Jack the Ripper, their throats were parted at the collar line, and their bodies subjected to most horrible mutilations. In the case of Mary Kelly, quite possibly Jack's last victim, she was savagely slashed and violated almost beyond recognition.

Computerized technology figures prominently in providing connections between seemingly random crimes. Massive databases like CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) permits crime lab personnel to compare DNA culled from crime scenes to the DNA files of convicted criminals. The FBI's CODIS software contains DNA profiles from convicts, unsolved crime scene evidence, and missing persons profiles.

IBIS (Integrated Bullet Identification System) was created for the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives). This program contains microscopic images of striations and other identifying characteristics on bullets and spent cartridge casings. Later, in 1999, the NIBIN program (National Integrated Ballistic Information Network), which has proven useful to federal, state and local crime labs by offering guidelines to those agencies wishing to employ an automated search system.

Police departments and laboratories have heavy backlogs of cold cases. The practical application of modern forensic techniques, especially DNA profiling, could help solve these cases and bring closure and resolution for the families and loved one of the victims.

Each of the Ripper and Strangler victims possessed a natural right to life, no matter the experience, negative or positive, of that life. Despite their personal circumstances, they did not deserve a brutal, heartless, miserable death at the hands of a sexual sadist serial killer. A murderer, as the Asian philosophy states, is guilty of not one murder, but many in connection with that one slaying. Some of these women had given birth; others may have given birth in the future. The Strangler and The Ripper are guilty of the deaths of those future descendents. They are guilty of a crime against Society, against Nature, against Humanity. Murder is nearly a value judgment professed by the killer's act of taking of life, as if they believed they have the right to decide issues of life and death, that they are entitled to live, while stealing the life force of their victim.

All the forensic facilities and capabilities of our modern age must be brought to bear in the evaluation and examination of cold cases. No one "pays" for the crime of murder, because one cannot ascribe a retributive dollar value to Life. Instead, the offenders are punished, by a prison sentence or death. It is our duty to see to it the deaths of these victims are recognized as high crimes, their right to life honored, and their killer brought to justice.

To misquote the Bard, "Their offense is rank; it stinks to Heaven."

SEEKING FOR JUSTICE IN COLD CASES TODAY

According to a National Institute of Justice article (2002), "Every law enforcement department throughout the country has unsolved cases that could be solved through recent advances in DNA technology."

How might the processing of cold cases be improved? The essential issues can be summed up thus: 1) cooperation and communication between law enforcement, the forensic crime laboratory and the prosecutor's office must be encouraged and maintained, 2) colleges and universities should offer Crime Scene Technician courses, 3) police officers and investigators must be kept up to date on not only the latest technologies (DNA) and computer database systems, but understand the science behind the analytical techniques used to process criminal evidence, 4) statutes of limitations on crime should be extended, or eliminated, 5) current databases must be expanded, 6) formalized "cold case squads" must be created to address the backlog of existing cold cases, 7) "John Doe Warrants" should now be filed using suspect DNA as the identifier, 8) crime laboratories need additional funding to increase lab space, purchase the top of the line equipment and pay for as-needed training for personnel, 9) advertisements on TV and other media promoting the value and importance of law enforcement service to encourage young people to pursue this fine career, and 10) liberal use of rewards used as a means to gain valuable new information about cold cases (NIJ, 2002).

Crime scene technicians and other involved in crime scene investigation must understand the value and science behind DNA technology, and where DNA and other biological evidence may be found at the crime scene. Proper photographing, sketching, collecting, labeling, packaging and transportation of evidence is of paramount importance. It is increasingly vital to juries that they see physical evidence. Everyone understands that, after a certain number of years, eyewitness testimony may fade and lack credibility. It has been proven that people do not recall accurately the details of traumatic, or emotionally charged ***

 

Still working on formatting!  Thanks to Loree, I may just get this correct!

 

 

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

 

Petition

Current mood: bouncy

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

 

 

Howdah, Good Friends,

 

Well, I filed the petition this morning, after stuffing four bucks into a cold, hard yellow machine at the parking garage. It promised to give me a reciept, but it did not. So I dashed off to the courthouse rather than ask for assistance. Baltimore at lunchtime is a study in pack and squash.

 

Of course, I schlepped over to the wrong courthouse - actually two different municipal buildings, neither one of them was the correct address. I rarely traipse around the inner City - thus I have no clue where I am at any given point in time.

 

Finally a kind guard offered me directions, and I made it to the court building  after slogging up two city blocks. I am not accustomed to walking for an hour - heavy laden with books and water bottle and purse and legal file. By the time I arrived I was sweating mucho.  Everyone else was garbed in leather coats, wool coats, thick winter coats, scarves, hats, gloves. Your AnnaBellion turns Cad Red after walking for two minutes, so I had to remove my gigantic fur and carry that, as well. (Fake fur, please.)

 

 

My dragon blades made it through security without a hitch. All the security guard told me was to close the top of my purse, since we were not permitted to bring FOOD into the court house.

 

Dragon blades, yet. Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches, no.

 

Heh!

 

I marched up to the counter and presented 17 pages of applications and documentation. I asked for a waiver of the application fee - and I WELL qualify for the waiver. The lady behind the desk, all decked out in a swift black suit and tiger's eye jewelry, looked me over, and LITERALLY rolled her eyes at me. "You want a WAIVER??" she asked, incredulous.

 

I am wearing an outfit which I either bought at Sallie Ann's or got for free at the church's Clothes Closet. The only item I am wearing which was purchased at full cost is my black boots.  Jacket was free, blouse was free, skirt came from the Salvation Army.

 

This is the LOOK POOR prejudice I lamented in an earlier blog. Oh, and btw, people are crazy about my winter coat - and it was FREE, also.

 

So I told her, yes, I want the damned waiver. I qualify for it! Who has $100 lying around?? I ask you. Not me.

 

I downloaded that entire petition packet from Legal Aid and filled it all out myself. She told me I had not made a SINGLE error. And thank GOD - she would've sent me away if I had not done so. My brother told me it used to cost $600 or more to change your name.

 

It is done. Now I wait and wait and wait. I have to place a notice in the newspaper, but my bro' says no one ever protests name changes except creditors. If someone DOES protest, he will go after them like the Feds after Dillinger. Don't mess with my attorney bro'!

 

I have not told anyone except my best friend and you all.

 

But go 'head - call me . . .

 

Alexander

 

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

 

Subscriber's ONLY - What's In A Name?

Current mood: chipper

Category: Blogging

 

SUBSCRIBERS ONLY, PLEASE.

 

Because THIS is serious biz.

 

NO arguments, just give me YOUR opinion. I cannot discuss this with my children, as I have talked to them about it before, and they did NOT like it.

 

I am going to change my name legally. One reason is because, even though I do like my ex's last name, he left me for a younger, better-educated and more attractive woman.  I don't WANT, I FORBID his surname to be on my tombstone. No, no, no I will not be cremated. Those instructions are in my WILL; that's how strongly I feel about the matter.

 

I changed my name after each divorce, for exactly that reason: I don't want their freaking name on my tombstone, my mausoleum.

 

I planned to change my name last year, and then medical issues popped up and I had to pay for expensive treatments. NOW I have the money, and besides, my brother da shyster told me I can ask for a fee waiver due to poverty.

 

Therefore, I am changing my first name to (yes, you guessed it) Alexander. I HATE my middle name, as it is the name of my detested mother. Furthermore, my parents gifted me with first and middle names which are ANCIENT in derivation.  I do NOT like them. So I will change all three – first, middle and last. Our family patronym was misspelled in an early document in the 1700s. I am restoring my last name to its original spelling. I am SURE of this spelling – our genealogy goes back reliably four hundred years.

 

My current last name (the ex's) and my family's last name are both German. I just want my father's family name back.

 

My middle name will be changed to the original name from which my current first name is derived.

 

And my first name will be, well, that's the problem . . .

 

Anyway, I am doing this to honor my main HERO. No man in his right mind will ever marry me again, so I can have ALEXANDER on my damned tombstone, thank ya very, very mucho. Alas, Alexander is the Latin version of his Greek name, which was (I think) Alexandros.  SO – which do I use?  Alexandros is GREEK, and I ain't Greek.  I'm sure there's a German pronunciation for Alexander, but I don't want to go there – the farther away from A-L-E-X-A-N-D-E-R I get, the less I like it.

 

I am ALSO doing this NOW, because my ex and his charming wife are preggers with twins.  And naturally they're boys – and naturally, just to PISS ME OFF, he is naming one of them Alexander. He did not give a rip for my Macedonian Majesty until he met ME and my obsession. LOL While he may indeed be using this name to honor the King, he is also getting a thrill out of doing it to irk me. You don't know him – trust me, that is part of the reason for his choice of this name.

 

He will absolutely go APESHIT when he finds out I have ditched his last name – just APESHIT. He gets a kick out of referring to me as his "second wife" so he can annoy his current spouse, the poor dear woman. In fact, he often calls me by my (his) last name.

 

I must excise this name from my life. Emotionally, it is important I do so.

 

Alexander or Alexandros???? WHICH?

 

My friends and family can still call me by my current first name, for all I care, as my new middle name is the original from which my name is derived. They don't even have to know.

 

You can change your name, btw, by "Usage." Seriously. Just change it, as long as you are not posing as a living celebrity. But – your LEGAL name will still be the name on your Social Security card, and that will go on your TOMBSTONE.

 

THIS lady is going out with Alexander.

 

Now help me out.  Don't tell me I can't use a man's name. Tough tamales, I am DOING IT. I am filing papers tomorrow, so move it on this one!

 

I came VERY close to changing my middle name to AnnaBelle Lee. HEH!

 

Anna Soon To Be . . .

 

 

 

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

 

Any Oil Painters Here?

Current mood: aggravated

Category: Art and Photography

 

Dear Friends,

 

I am soooo fatigued.  I've been working on Alexander's sleeve - yes, just the sleeve of his armor - for three days.

 

The problem is that his tunic is this difficult color to recreate (for ME, anyway) and I normally can cook up ANY color.

 

It's sort of beige, sort of raw umber/lead white, with pale pink and yellow ochre highlights. Worse yet, he's in a desert, so there's a darker beige background. The tunic is made of LINEN, about twenty layers of linen, to be precise. You know how linen sags and droops and wrinkles after it has been worn a while? Artists HATE folds - man, what a task.

 

Yeah, a dirty beige. It took me three days to capture that hue. I thought I would go mad and Alexander was laughing at me from the Afterturf.

 

Now here's the issue at hand - his tunic is beige, his "cape" (himation) is beige, the sand is darker beige. Bucephalus is burnt sienna, burnt umber and ivory black. (He was probably black/brown in reality.) The piece which covers the chest (corselet) is probably leather and bronze. Sword scabbard - burnt sienna leather.  You're getting this pic? The entire painting is essentally earthtones, save Alexander's flesh. Despite the fact that he was Macedonian/Greek, he was very pale-skinned, with a tendency to develop blotchy red patches on his cheeks and chest when he was highly irate, which was often.

 

I'm thinking of making the cape scarlet-red, since as far as I know, he often wore such a garment. This painting NEEDS color, badly. Howsumever, that bright red isn't really going to fit in with the beige-y color scheme - and the sky behind him is pale gray-blue. I can't change the color of the sand or the sky - I have a photo taken of the area by a geologist friend, and those colors are consistent and true.

 

AUUUGHH. I'm afraid to alter the color of this cape . . . it won't WORK. But without that change, this is a study in BEIGE.

 

The painting otherwise is on the move - I'm estimating about two more weeks of intensive labor. There are no other challenges save that stupid LINEN shirt. *LOL* You wouldn't think twenty layers of linen would deflect a sword, but it can and it did.

 

And I tell you what, good peeps, I've painted Alexander on Bucephalus before, and horses are NOT EASY creatures to render in oils!

 

HELP. By Hera, the man is KILLING me. *LOL*

 

AnnaBelle

 

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

 

NaNoWriMo 2006

Current mood: uncomfortable

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

Dear Friends,

 

Every year, for the past three years, I have entered the NaNoWriMo challenge.

 

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month.

 

http://www.nanowrimo.org/

 

Please check it out - 30 days, 50,000 words, from November 1st through November 30th.

 

It's free; no one will read what you've written - it can be absolute trash - the purpose of NaNoWriMo is to get you stalled and blocked writers off your hiney and back to the keyboard. Repeat: NO ONE WILL READ WHAT YOU HAVE WRITTEN. A computer counts the words in your file at the end of the month, that's it.

 

You MUST try to keep up your word count for the day, as to run behind is to double the work you must do the next day.

 

I have found NaNoWriMo extremely valuable for simply getting back into the discipline of writing every day. What I produced was not by any means coherent or worthy, however I got MANY new ideas for plots, dialog, etc., just by the very act of creating SOMETHING every day. At the very best, you'll wind up with a semi-recognizable piece of literature.

 

HINT: NaNoWriMo is ALL about the word count. Use adjectives, adverbs and the words, AND, BUT, THEN, etc. until your fingers fall off. Feel free to write run-on sentences which would cause your English professor to keel over in a dead faint. Just write, write, write.

 

This is NOT an easy challenge - getting your word count done and entering it each day on the NaNo website will take up the entire month of November. Which is WHY I do it - otherwise I suffer serious depression in the winter. November is one of my worst months due to the low light and short days.  Every time I do NaNoWriMo, I don't even know what day or month it is. I never get depressed.  Stressed, yes, but not depressed.

 

Check out the website and the rules of the challenge, and see if it's for you.

 

AnnaBelle Lee

 

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

 

Books & Shit Deals

Current mood: artistic

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

BOOKS & SHIT DEALS

By AnnaBelle Lee

Copyright, A. Lee, 2006

 

 

Every damn time someone, or multiple someones, visit(s) my home, I hear the inevitable question or comment: "Man, you have a lot of those collectible things. Why do you need all that? It looks cluttered in here.  Why do you have so many books? You need to pare down all the junk."

 

Seriously, I hear that ALL THE TIME, and I have been treated to this invasive opinion, no matter where I make my home in this country.

 

A priceless observation came from my second ex-father-in-law, who passed away some years ago. I admired the man; he quit school in fourth grade in order to work and help support his family. Even in his 50s he was built like a truck and quite the handsome gent, for a country fellow. But, let's face it, the poor soul couldn't read. I suppose he was genuinely unable to figure out a suitable, useful purpose for books.

 

He looked at my ex (his son) and said, "Stevie, somethin' wrong with a woman reads that many books."

 

Something wrong, Indeed.

 

HA HA HA!

 

My ex repeatedly instructed me to take my books over to the used bookstore, which would give you one book for every two you brought in.

 

Yeahhh . . . that'll happen. IN HELL.

 

What is wrong with people? I will never quit my castle of books. With my eidetiker memory I remember everything I've read. I NEED to be able to call upon my collection when the mood strikes me to reread a novel, or seek out a poem, or just draw succor from reading a particularly well-turned paragraph, like sneaking a piece of Tiramisu or a Sarotti Chocolate for the mind.

 

And I have a superb collection of books. At present, about 20 bookshelves packed to the walls, double books rows on every shelf.

 

I am a Bibliophile, so sue me.

 

As the great H. L. Mencken used to say (he knew from books): "Some men are drunk on books like other men are drunk on whisky."

 

Well said, H. L., well said.

 

My books are not malicious; they are not seedy criminals; they do not bother anyone; they do not social-climb, they do not reveal my darkest secrets; they are loyal; they are entertaining, instructive, fascinating, life-changing, think-making, influential, surprising, eternal, everlasting founts of knowledge and revelation. I'm not a devotee of that Harlequin Romance drek, but I'll read just about any other genre. 'Cause I love books, ya see.

 

So people arrive at Chez AnnaBelle and are confronted with miles und miles of bookshelves and they are disgusted, as if my bound babies were living paper testimony of my inherent insanity.

 

I try to explain to these individuals that I was raised to respect and build a LIBRARY. A well-ordered, complete household possessed a distinctive LIBRARY. What is so difficult to understand? Back in the day, before radios, TVs, VCRs, DVD Players, iPods, CDs, Records, Gameboys, Nintendo, Playstations, and other assorted, high tech diversions, people actually Read for ENTERTAINMENT. And I have read letters, written by my grandparents, composed when they were in what passed for Middle School in those days, which essays exceed tenfold the drivel tapped out by today's kids, in tone, in command of the language, in style, in grammar, in handwriting.

 

Back then, you were expected to speak and write with accuracy, proficiency, imagination and command of the language. Our language, the manner and means in which we communicate with one another. There were no smiley faces and other icons and avatars and whatever the hell, thank the God of Literature. I do not even want to discuss our new methods of corresponding with one another. Text-messaging? What is that?  Please pass the gas pipe. What are those snippets and symbols and abbreviated word bites, fractures of speech, reduced to shorthand for Dummies? No, Please. Non, merci, Merci Non.

 

When explaining the need for a library to my eldest daughter, I noted her eyes glazed over after the first sentence uttered by her over-articulate mother. "That's nice, Mom," she sniffed with sarcasm, as if I had just begged her understanding as to why I was compelled to shoot heroin in my veins every day.

 

She is horrified by my knick-knacks, bibelots, tchotckes, statues, souvenirs, trinkets, baubles, whatnots and collectibles. "Mother, anything which collects dust goes in the trash."

 

That is the reason she is NOT NOT NOT my Personal Representative upon my death. I picture her, mountain of Glad Bags (lawn size) in hand, gaily tossing out all of my precioussss. A Lladro figurine to her is naught more than a residence for dust and dirt and grimy cobwebs.

 

I have traveled our spinning world, and in each locality I picked up a clever, attractive, representative souvenir to bring back home with me. How these can possibly offend people, I have no idea. Except maybe the tacky, little gewgaws constructed of micro shells. ;)

 

Ah, yes. The seashells. I collect them, too. There are bowls full of these ingenious gifts from Nature all over my abode. They sit, humming their private tales of ocean life, minding their own damn biz, occasionally wondering about their former residents, and why they are now encased in Lenox bowls and arrayed on shelves.

 

I have never observed one single seashell, knickknack or book using my carpet for a pewpatorium (like the cats do), gossiping about me, knocking over vases or telephones or CD players, stealing my food or writing on the walls. They don't need to be fed; they don't even need to be read.

 

They do, however, require dusting once in a while, lest my visitors suffer seizures at the very sight of my obvious loss to the God Chaos.

 

Every time I gaze upon one of my crystal figurines, or china dolls or porcelain cats, thimbles, teacups, baby shoes, carved wood Jesuses, bells, angels and jewelry boxes, glass flowers, photographs, shot glasses (from numerous countries), miniature pictures, tea sets, scrimshaw, clay pots from Indian Rez or Madrid, or Italy or Mexico, Japanese figures created before WWII, rocks, shells, painted Russian Icons, Hummels, candles, sake sets, deer horns, stone boxes, alabaster goats, and model ships, ships, ships and more ships, I am instantly in touch with those experiences. I recall where I bought them, why I bought them and when. They're little keepsakes and doors of memory, opening my brain, resisting the arrow of time and sending me back to those edifying adventures by virtue of a glance or touch.

 

Besides, I am 51 years old and I'll collect anything I damned well want to collect.

 

But people don't like my shit deals, as my ex-sister-in-law referred to them.  They think they are clutter, dust-magnets, stuffage which makes my house seem over-wrought and extravagant with junk.

 

Recently I viewed the movie, "V For Vendetta."  "V" the Terrorist-at-large, had a bedroom so thronged with books, manuscripts and papers they spilled forth from the bookshelves and were piled in unsteady stacks on the floor. Ahhh, may my humble boudoir soon reach that high state of literary proliferation. As it is, I do boast at least seven towers of books, papers, notebooks and magazines, in and around and on my bed. I feel like an ancient, buried Egyptian Queen Tut, kept company by my artful statues, glittering jewels, pots, utensils, silks and gold -- a treasure room, all attending my satin-bound remains and waiting to permeate this veil of experience on my way to the Other Side.  (Where, one hopes, the libraries are cosmic and inexhaustible in scope.) All I require now are those Canopic pots, in which to store my quirky liver, burning stomach, wheezy lungs and broken heart.

 

I suspect people behold those vast monadnucks of  books and feel revolted, and yes, afraid. The contents of those books are ALL in this head. I have read almost every one of them. What is IN that brain? they wonder. And then they think (oh, yes, they do), "What a waste of time."

 

I've also shown my aghast guests engravings from the Victorian Ages, which depict women in their sumptuously appointed bedrooms, heavy with drape and congested with paintings, books, mirrors, candles -- positively rebellious with trifles and jewels. The walls cannot bear one more work of art; her vanity cannot sustain one more strand of glimmery pearls.  They are, as I am, ornamental, encrusted with bows, lace, froth, frippery and finery. There is not a space on their hair confections where one might pin one final ribbon.

 

We like it like that.  Savvy?

 

You can have your Zen spacious nothingness, your lonesome twin candles on a bureau, your clean and tidy and pristine living spaces – so appealingly simple and refined. I even met a man who did not have one SINGLE book or magazine in his orderly, organized place of residence. Does anyone really LIVE in that oasis of Blank? Does anyone THINK or ponder or wonder in that house? Where is the evidence that he has traveled, witnessed, learned, savored, was impressed by the highly detailed, incredible, magnificent world in which he breathes air? I suspect that, if I dusted for human fingerprints I would find not a one.

 

An investigation of his brush would reveal not a hair.

 

A viewing of his brain would no doubt shock ME, with its emptiness and stock market numbers, latest football scores, and thoughts of sex every seven seconds.

 

Give me a box of chocolate, a warm blanket and a bottle of good Scotch and I'll happily live in the Alexandrian Library. (City named for – yes, you guessed it, Alexander the Great, who laid out the city plan in the sand with his foot, and is probably buried there.)

 

WHY are people SO offended by my collections?  What primal reaction galls them into remarking snidely upon my repository of wisdom and beauty?

 

You have too many cats, too many books, too many paintings, too many shit deals, too much SHIT, they say.

 

After I expire, my children will dash in here, two paces ahead of my greedy, ex. Woo Hoo, they will say and they tussle and haggle over my vast jewelry collections. Woo HOO, they will shout as they snatch and quibble over my paintings. All the rest, my four closets of clothes, acres of books, avalanches of goodies, will be sold off in a massive yard sale.  The local pedestrian riff-raff will come and sniff at the uselessness of my personal treasures and cart off my hard-bound, leather-encased, gold-edged books for 50 cents per so they can burn them in their backyard in the light of the cold, barren moon. Perhaps they could even create a funeral pyre of my library and set my corpse aflame atop all the authors' writings who have made me who and what I am.

 

This was the detritus of a woman on fire with words, who had no faith in simplicity, conventionality, spic-and-span sensibilities.  Here lies a woman who did not lead a simple life, with simple joys, and could not tolerate simpletons who had never read a book in their ghastly, uncluttered little lives.

 

 

 

Painting Alexander

Current mood: cheerful

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

This week I am painting another portrait of Alexander the Great.

 

What a surprise.

 

I don't know why I torture myself like this – I cry every time I paint the greatest field marshal of all time.  I sob and sob and sob, my maudlin sympathetic vibration the result of some strange frisson of connection I feel with this ancient conqueror, I suppose.

 

He would have LOVED it, that I am painting him. He often commissioned his portrait from various artists.  Alas, none are extant, and in one case, it is probably for the best that the overwrought work disappeared. LOL

 

Once, while a well-known painter was slaving on his portrait, Alexander sat in his kingly chair and rambled on and on about his own theories of painting and what serves as eternal art and so on.  The artist bluntly told Alexander it might be a good idea to change the subject, since he clearly had no idea what he was talking about.  In fact, even the boys who ground the paint were in hysterics, while their hyperbolic, choleric, megalomaniacal Monarch was waxing forth.

 

He would've grumbled, then he would've changed the topic. I'm pretty sure about that. He liked it when people challenged him and gave him guff.

 

So here I am, a middle-aged madwoman (Alexander was Bipolar, too), sitting on my cheezy, Salvation Army chair, pretending I can paint. It's sizzling with chilled rain outside and all the cats are asnooze in various parts of my ramshackle estate.

 

And I'm still crazy about the Man from Macedon, after all these years. I wear a 2,300-year-old silver Alexander Tetradrachm around my neck, minted during his reign. I never remove it, and I want this necklace buried with me. My jeweler had a helluva time getting a coin-frame around this elliptical tribute, but he did a fantastic job.  Damn thing weighs a great deal – every time I hop up and down doing aerobics Alex's coin keeps whacking me in the face. *LOL Poor Alexander's noble visage is slowly wearing away, since when I am nervous I rub the coinface fervently with my finger tips.  I stroke him and he smacks me in the kisser.  That would be about right. LOL Probably I should put this baby in a safe.

 

Please, don't bore me with comments about his alleged homosexuality or remind me that he was a savage brute, a sadistic bully and a polygamist. I am well aware of his many, mostly conflicting characteristics. Most people assume I have a hot rock in my crotch for him, when the real truth is that AnnaBelle always loves the bad boys, and he was the baddest bad-ass of them all. I adore the military and enjoy studying military strategy. (A waste of time, if my chess-playing is any evidence of my strategy skills I suck at Chess.)  Geez, if I were going to get all lusty about a historical figure, I think Albrecht Durer would be more my type.

 

I still want the archeologists, who have been searching for Alexander for so long, to finally locate his body during my lifetime. This is the one and ONLY instance in which I would consent to human cloning. LOL

 

He never lost a single war – ever, and he was always front and center when he led his army into battle. Can we say the same of any other leader of men?

 

"This tomb now suffices him, for whom the whole world was not enough."

~Alexander's epitaph

 

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

 

Shhhh! The Controversial AnnaBelle Lee

Current mood: artistic

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

 

 

SHHHHHHHH!

 

If you want to see AnnaBelle's controversial life-sized painting, "Lithium Weight" you can find it in my pics until MySpace deletes it.  My art instructer called it, "A major work and a great self-portrait."

 

The . . . uh, palette thang was absolutely NOT done on purpose. I only painted what I saw in the mirror. There are FAR more explict photos on MySpace and this is ART.  (Hair dyed brown, at the time.)

 

Oil.

 

AnnaBelle Lee, That's Me1

 

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

 

Democratic Socialism

Current mood: aggravated

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

Democratic Socialism

By AnnaBelle Lee

Copyright, A. Lee, 2006

 

 

Uh ohhh . . . I did use the "S" word, didn't I?   The proponents of Capitalism are conjuring up all manner of retaliatory missile epistles to fire at me.  And for those not well acquainted with the various forms of government, perhaps the word "Socialism" makes you think of higher taxes and loss of property ownership and undesirable thoughts of slaving away in a potato field in order to feed all of the members of the Collective, while wearing ill-fitting rubber shoes in the wrong size, for which you had to wait eight hours in a long line outside the factory.

 

That's a different breed of Socialism, and it has been proven not to work well for the People.  You may rest assured your AnnaBelle will never support ANY form of government which wrests private property away from tax-paying citizens. And frankly, I don't trust the members of the Collective to do their best job of picking turnips or making shoddy shoes if there is no incentive for them to do so – like wages.

 

My last Ex, as I have mentioned, was raised in the Federal Republic of Germany, under a political system known as Democratic Socialism.  Sure, he paid more taxes than your average American did in order to receive all of the marvelous benefits which were at his disposal.

 

Or, did he?

 

Let's review what services were available to EVERY (repeat: EVERY) German citizen:

 

1) Erection to Resurrection Medical coverage, Dental coverage, Vision coverage. ALL PAID FOR.  When he came to this country, he could not understand why people had to carry around insurance cards. If one is sick, one goes to the doctor and is treated. This care is available to EVERY German citizen, without charge. They never have to worry about suffering anguish and pain because they cannot afford to have their conditions evaluated and treated by a medical professional.

 

I hope I need not remind you how many Americans suffer needlessly in this country because Health Care is financially out of their reach. When I was a single parent, my children were NEVER covered by any insurance, of any kind. I could not afford family coverage.  The prices for such coverage today are beyond the pale. No one can afford decent, quality care except for the very wealthy.  As soon as the physician or dentist hears that you have no insurance, it is cash up front or goom-bye.  Profit uber alles, my friends. There seem to be NO doctors or dentists left who can show mercy or charity to needy souls. Yes, I understand most Emergency Rooms must treat a patient requiring assistance. That's why the ERs are overloaded with illegals and poor people and minorities.  And that patient will be billed, and if they cannot pay, the bill goes to a credit-reporting agency and ruins the patient's credit.

 

Because in a capitalist country, it is ALL about the money.  It's no secret how much it costs to keep a COBRA policy after your enterprising boss lays you off without cause: upwards of $400 per month. COBRA is a joke. I lost my job – my boss laid me off two weeks before I was due to deliver my second child – unemployment ($800 per month) did not even cover my mortgage payments! Never mind essentials like food, car insurance, electricity, etc. And if I had paid for COBRA coverage, I would've had $400 remaining by which to support my children. I came very close to losing my home, and the consequent instability was a stress which nearly undid me. If I had not pursued every last program available to me to keep me in that house, my children and I would have been in the local shelter. Have you ever lived in a shelter? I have, and you don't want to know, okay? Trust me, Hell must provide better meals and furnishings, not to mention the danger factor.

 

Do you know who steals the most often from the destitute? Other poor people. It was a nightmare I will not ever forget. I had been working full time since I was eighteen years old, and had been employed part time since the legal age of sixteen.  All of my taxes duly paid, every year. And what was available to me when I was in need of help?

 

NADA.  My boss did not want to pay for Maternity Leave or any medical care for my unborn child, so he laid me off to get rid of the burden on his profits.

 

Which leads me to point number two:

 

We all know how many Boomers are being laid off or outright fired today. Our economy is NOT healthy or improving when people are being laid off every day in great numbers. Major corporations are sending their work overseas to maximize profits, so that the working, blue-collar class find less and less jobs at their disposal. Look at the big players in the car manufacturer's arena: layoffs, layoffs and more layoffs.  Who benefits? Cui bono? Not the American people, that's for sure. Oh, and in case you did not notice, pensions and retirement plans, once guaranteed to provide some sort of security and decent standard of living for the retirees, are being abolished and have gone the way of the dinosaur.  Yep, this government realllly cares about you and your welfare. NOT.

 

In Germany, your boss CANNOT fire you, unless there is a very, very good reason to do so, like rape, murder, extortion, stealing from the company funds. They can't lay off their workers, because the government believes if they hired you in the first place, they should intend upon keeping you as an employee until you decide to leave.  The government does not want citizens begging in the street and applying for the generous services provided for those who have been without employment. YOUR BOSS CANNOT FIRE YOU WITHOUT JUST CAUSE. And you can appeal, just in case management wants to fabricate some "reason" for letting you go.

 

Three: how many of you work and have young children? I can tell you this: I worked when my children were small, and my "sick leave" was gone after the first round of colds or flu.  Since I no longer had sick leave (often only one day per month) I had to dip into my generous [rolls eyes] vacation leave when my children became ill. God forbid I actually get sick – I can't tell you how many times I went to work, snotty and feverish and sick to my stomach, because after three months there was no sick leave or vacation leave left. All it takes is a major illness in any family member and the parents are left declaring bankruptcy.

 

You may have already surmised what I am about to tell you: in Germany there is NO SUCH THING as "sick leave." When you are sick, you take off work and you go to the doctor and recuperate at home. When my former father-in-law (rest his soul) suffered some serious cardiac problems, his physician sent him to a glamorous Spa, and oh, yeah, the entire family got to go along with him – for six weeks. All paid for by the German government. The health of their citizens matters to them.

 

Four: how many people could not get a college education, practically a necessity these days if you want to make more than minimum wage, because you did not have enough money and could not qualify for a loan? Get this: I couldn't get a loan because my father was a millionaire. Alas, he refused to pay for my college education – he thought women did not really NEED one.

 

How many families take out a second mortgage on their primary residence, or one or both parents take on a second job, so they can afford to send their children to college? What a life that is – working around the clock until you don't even know what day it is any longer!

 

Guess whaaaat?  Yes, it's true! In Germany education is your right and the government's obligation.  My ex earned a Ph.D. in Physics and never paid a pfenning. In fact, the German government gave him a stipend every month so he could rent an apartment and live on his own.  Free education, for all.

 

German workers receive some of the highest wages in the world and work close to the least hours per week.

 

That's great – they also get six weeks vacation, even from the start of their very first job. If you aren't out of Germany for the month of August, people think there is something wrong with you and your value system. You should be taking time to relax and spend time with your family. SIX WEEKS. And that is only the beginning of the benefits their workers receive.

 

Are you sickened, yet? Envious? The German government gives parents a stipend every month to help the parents care for the children until they are eighteen years of age. Daycare is free, also.  They even gave us money for MY children, who are not the ex's natural spawn and were living in THIS country during our marriage.

 

Additionally, the German government sets aside money for each citizen so that they can buy a solidly built (believe you me, these dwellings are solidly built) home when you get ready to marry and settle down.

 

This is true: Germans are so pleased with their benefits they rarely even file for tax returns.  They have never heard of retail therapy; stores are closed by six in the evening, and are only open on Saturdays until noon.  Kids don't hang around at Malls, spending their parents' money on useless crap.

 

No wonder Germans have an attitude of entitlement – and they do.

 

I wound up in Shelters multiple times. All it takes is one major illness, loss of job and a lack of family support.  Many Americans are one paycheck away from disaster.  We are forced to put up with all manner of office shit just to hang on to our jobs, and the employers know it. This is THEIR market, not ours.

 

Single parents in Germany do NOT wind up in the streets, begging. They do NOT get evicted because they cannot pay the rent. They cannot be fired from their jobs when the boss decides their insurance needs are a liability.

 

I tell this story over and over in this country. People immediately respond with: "But the Germans don't have our large, black underclass who will eat up all the benefits and will refuse to work. We'll have to pay for them to sit home and do nothing."

 

The African-Americans in this country encounter prejudice, even now, on a routine basis. Their ancestors were hijacked to this country, in appalling conditions, in order to serve as cheap labor, to be slaves. They were forbidden to receive schooling; they watched their children and spouses and family members sold in public markets like pigs.  Their culture and language were stripped from them, so some white American Massah could make a PROFIT. It is an OUTRAGE, second in place only to the outrage committed upon the Native American people. This is racism, at its very worse.

 

If the African American people were provided with all of the social support the German citizens receive, it might take several generations for them to rally and be able to contribute.  Is it really fair, is it JUST, that they must live in drug-saturated, violence-ridden ghettos? How often do you imagine Black persons were refused jobs due to their skin color, due to racism in this country? Sure, there have been advancements. Certainly the NAACP and other groups have worked hard to improve the lot of their fellows in America. But if you think the prejudice and maltreatment of Black People is History, spend some time on the Craig's List boards for Baltimore City and read the atrocious commentary posted there on a daily basis.

 

Americans think you have to work your tail off in order to "succeed." Is working 80+ hours a week "success" to you?  I met a German woman in Mexico City who told me she had never heard of a person taking pride in car ownership until she met an American who bragged about his expensive vehicle. What sort of values does Capitalism impart to our citizens? That fiscal achievement is the only thing which matters. Or was that "winning isn't everything; it's the only thing."

 

As a single parent, I was ostracized by ignoramus neighbors who feared the sexual appeal of a lone woman – their men might show up on my doorstep! I was treated horribly by people. You've heard my justified complaints about so-called "Social Services." There were no social services. On $5 per hour, in the (at the time) wealthiest city in American (Rockville) I was not entitled to social services b/c I "made too much money." No child support, no alimony, living hand to mouth – and constantly the victim of men who thought I Might be willing to trade my lap for financial assistance . . . what a wonderful life – after years and years of paying taxes. That was my reward. I was not given Aid to Dependent Children (welfare payments), Medicaid or food stamps. I qualified for NADA, in their eyes.

 

It's in the German Constitution that the village really DOES have to assist every mother who is raising children. It's called Compassion, Caring, supporting your fellow citizen to raise good, decent, contributing members of Society.

 

And, oh, yes, you can't curse out a person in public in Germany. Your loathsome, ill-mannered self will be fined or sent to prison.

 

You only want to know how much tax you will be required to pay. It's about 33% of your salary, your generous salary, btw.  Are you willing to give up that amount of money to see every one of your fellow Americans treated with dignity and respect, instead of living like we are still back in the "Independent" pioneer days when it was all about survival of the fittest? We need to start thinking in terms of social support and concern for ALL Americans, and stop acting like we're the bomb because we own a gas-guzzling SUV.

 

Cooperation. What a concept. Do you really know to where your tax dollars go? In Germany, every citizen can TELL you.

 

It's time for a Revolution.  What say you, People? Power to the People, again. The only reason wealthy, well-connected, profit mongers stay in power is because we vote for them. We outnumber the politicians. They are supposed to work for US. Do you really believe they give one hell for your welfare and the needs of your family?

 

Soon I will compose a Blog illuminating for the uninitiated what it is like to be poor in America, even when you are working full time and paying your due taxes.  A lot of Americans have family support and social connections, but not all of us are so fortunate. Why should it be up to good fortune whether or not we survive?  Don't tell me about your self-made, entrepreneur great-grandfather, who worked 80+ hours per week to take care of his family.

 

Do you understand he should never have had to slave like that in the first place??

 

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

 

Down Inside Me I'm A Real Man

Current mood: chipper

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

Down Inside Me I'm A Real Man

By AnnaBelle Lee

Copyright A. Lee, 2006

 

"I created my own Reality"

~Frida Kahlo

 

 

When I first endeavored to translate the library of stories inside my demented head to paper, I possessed only a battered old typewriter at my disposal.  I was quite attached to that old clunker . . . and fought the emerging technology, this intimidating computer business, even when my last ex assiduously attempted to explain to me how much easier it would be to use a Word program. I cursed Bill Gates with every typo, every FILE NOT FOUND, every FATAL ERROR.

 

My ex-husband was correct, however – and now the earnest Luddites will have to pry my cold, dead fingers off my marvelous, interactive machine.

 

And then AOL arrived on the social scene, a perky little package in the mail with occult power to connect my mind to the minds of human beings around our spinning Rock.  Except when the service was down for maintenance or seized up in the computer version of a hissy fit.  My daughter very much wanted us to join this parade into the digital future.  Her friends were already using it; she encouraged us to hop onto the latest trend so she could chatter and brabble all day to her cohorts, rather than be strapped to something so old-fashioned as a pager and dial-tone phone. I understand people role-play and engage in computer games with fellow gamers around the world in real time. Will wonders never cease? I hope not.

 

Being computer illiterate and generally lame in the brain, I resisted. I did not understand what AOL was, how it worked. I could not conceive of such a device, and that it would, my friends, serve as the entry point into an entirely novel experience which was, and remains, one of the most transforming and mystical experiments of my life.

 

I told my friends and family the day would never arrive when I would purchase clothing or other goods online.  How ignorant and narrow-minded! On any given day I now secure all of my purchases from online enterprises!  eBay was another stunning appearance and altered forever the prices of goods and the manner by which we acquire them.

 

Of course, we installed the AOL program and my spawnette went happily off into the mysterious ether of cyberspace.  After reading William Gibson's superb book, "Neuromancer," I decided that merging my frontal lobes with the matrix might be an exciting, illuminating adventure. At times I wished I could plug in two electrodes, attach them to my temples, and give myself homemade shock treatments. I mean, think of it – it's always a kick to imagine new, profitable methods of utilizing the machinery invented in the mind of Man. And what a powerful resource in which I could indulge my eternal seeking of Knowledge, being an Info Junkie from the moment I first emerged from the womb. To be able to access data on a grand scale, at any hour of the day, turned Sci-Fi myth into Legend. This became my ultimate playground. I embraced my good fortune – I was living large in the Information Age.  Better than the invention of automobiles, of which my grandfather was a notable player, to the understanding and usage of the atom bomb, a superlative, albeit dangerous invention. The killing power of this weapon was witnessed by my own father. The advances in Medicine instill in me an awe of the ingenuity and inventiveness of our species.

 

But nothing, absolutely nothing, can beat the computer for sheer ingeniousness.

 

Being curious, courageous and profoundly obtuse, over the course of my late teens and 20s I once enjoyed engaging in what I termed, "Social Experiments."  As I reflect on these forays into forceful entries through Huxley's "doors of perception" I realize I had unwittingly fallen down the psychiatric rabbit hole, instead. What I discovered, about women, about men, about gender roles and society's perception of same, blew my perception doors off, if you will.

 

My imagined "social experiments" in our real world were actually living theater, explorations in shape-shifting, and the fragile nature of Identity, all in homage to my evolving idea of Self. I wanted to know whether or not our concepts of our own personality, the elements of our character, are permeable, set on genetic stone or created of the accretion of our life experiences.  Some people bury their consciousness in a lot of religious or philosophy tomes in an effort to approach that timeless query, "Who am I?"

 

I thought it infinitely more intriguing to live this investigation.  Over a long period of time, I lived the tumbleweed existence, moving frequently, changing my name, appearance, reinventing my personality.  With every jump into a new city, new environs, I conjured up details out of an entire diverse file of invented personal histories, flicking out bona fides as unimpeachable as any malefactor on record.  If there were aspects of Self which had been generated by my white-bread, WASP childhood crucible, I sought to sear it all away, down to the very core of my psyche. Then to overlay, like a palimpsest of attributes, features of personality and even physical trapping, a reconstituted Self with each fresh address, each new place of employ. Improvement was never my aim; I wanted to push all the limits, invade every boundary, shock my soul into revealing its very heart.

 

My capacity for inventing original and believable personae seemed without borders. Mistress of Masks and Pretense, I spun my way through living fictions to rival even those of the famed Sheherezade.  Being autistic, deep connections and relationships with PEOPLE just did not command my attention or respect.  I did not much care what passed through the minds and hearts of those I left behind, like stage scenery no longer of consequence. The moment my fellows made gestures of interest, love or just a general desire to befriend me, I packed up my bags, changed my appellation once more and jetted off to another locality in the middle of the night. No notice, no quarter would be given. "All the world was my stage," to misquote the Bard of Stratford-Upon-Avon.

 

Yes, I do realize many criminals are adroit at such extreme, cunning makeovers for malevolent intent. But my purposes were not those of a scofflaw; it was my honest need to know, to seek, to understand.  I contemplated, at a very young age, what sort of person I might have been if I'd been the descendent of different parents.  My father and mother, locked in their psycho fois a deux, embarrassed me. I was horrified by, and ashamed of them. What more efficient and bewitching way to escape my bitter past and create my circumstances anew?

 

What if I had been born in France, in Romania, in China, in South America, even if still the natural or unnatural child of my current progenitors?  Even the adaptation to a foreign language alters the facial muscles, and therefore the minute expressions of the human visage. I'll bet you never noticed that fascinating fact. Not "Who am I?" but "Who Could I Have Been?" and "Who Could I Become?" were the questions prone to startle me awake in the bleak realm of a soul-examining night.

 

I simply did not need people or human interaction to wrest happiness and pleasure from Life. I did revel in observing, and thrilled to be the Universal Distant Examiner, like a Visitor from outer space, for whom our world and variable species were mysterious substances to uncover, study and absorb. Acute observation and revelation concerning Self as opposed to Others, is one of the most instructive requirements of many writers.

 

I must confess, it was a bit disappointing to discover that people treated me with far more attention and admiration if they believed I had earned an advanced degree or was heiress to a fantastic fortune in African blood diamonds.  In fact, the wealthier they believed me to be, the stock of my friendship rose in parallel.

 

One tends to lose faith in one's fellow beings, so transparent are they, so mercenary and conspicuous in their need to improve their lot, by whatever means.  Their main goals seemed to be finding out who I was, and how I could help them move up in the world. Males and lesbians were also interested in what sexual pleasure I might offer them. The attempts to exploit the position they understood me to possess would leave me either laughing at their blatant venality or retching in disgust.  This is the child of capitalism, my friends – how can I maximize my profits out of knowing this person?  "I love what you do for me."  Activating my art of misdirection and thespian craft, I noted all the myriad ways people define us even as we in turn define them.

 

You will accuse me of being a calculating liar, a deceiver, even a monster. True, I told more untruths than the Devil on a good Slayer day.  True, I hoodwinked, outsmarted, falsified and deftly, without remorse, misrepresented myself in numberless ways, in countless cities.  But it was not lying for profit, pathological lying or the deception in which many engage in order to impress others. I wanted merely to shake my Self loose from my familiar moorings in order to . . . yes, Know Thyself.  If others were impediments to this path to self-discovery and were consequently harmed psychologically, I perceived it as the price of personal science. They were collateral damage, if one may term it so. After all, what they loved and wished to know was an illusion. We are all guilty of this crime, anyway; most of us routinely project onto others what we ourselves desire to be, wish to possess, need to believe. We are all, especially writers, deeply invested in our own fantasies.

 

Man, I sincerely found out that my drama background and uncanny ear for dialect and personal transformation evolved into a useful enterprise and aid in answering that question, "What CAN I Become?"

 

One of the first things I noted about these ubiquitous 'Chat Rooms' was the tendency of lascivious males to target people with female "screen names."  Later the venue became a convenient means to insinuate viruses or advertise porn sites. Imagine my shock at the quantity and ahhhh, quality of these lewd IMs and seducing emails hitting on my email box.  I, of course, had no idea what an IM was, either.  Without my daughter's teen wisdom, your AnnaBelle would truly have been lost in space.

 

An interesting term, Screen Name, implying not only the computer screen, but the veil behind which we are all free to hide our identity, purposes and physical appearance.  Those photos on my MySpace pic section, might, for example, might be photographs of my second cousin, twice removed. Or even an outright digital fiction created in a Photoshop program.

 

After being subjected to the cyber version of sleazy assaults upon my dignity on multiple occasions, I decided I would have to change my Screen Name to that of a male personage. In addition, this alteration required an invented history and all which attends such a gender reinvention. In innocence, and to provide myself with a hassle-free way to enjoy the conversational interface with others, I cooked up a male persona. I wanted to protect myself, my children, my privacy.

 

It is averred by psychiatrists and therapist that those who are labeled with a diagnosis of DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder, formally Multiple Personality Disorder) are actually clever and resourceful persons who were forced to devise a way to endure severe childhood abuse. I concur. Let it be understood I do not suffer from DID, although I can well understand how the development of multiple personalities could be achieved and utilized in order to preserve the life of a tormented individual. In the case of genuine DID, a diagnosis not honored by some psychiatrists, the afflicted client is not usually aware when they are "switching" from one persona to another. They suffer from black outs, and often cannot recall where they were or what they were doing when their brain decided it was time for Side B, C or D to take over. Some harbor dozens of "personalities" within their psyche.

 

Be advised, I am not subject to black outs and I knew exactly what I was doing, at all times. While those poor creatures suffer unbearably from a true disorder, I am a plain, unflavored deviant.

 

Since I'm a writer and a former actress, this deception was easier than applying stage make-up and transforming myself into Helen Keller, or Queen Anne or Lucy of Charlie Brown fame. I created the sort of man I admired and desired, however I took care to make him as outrageous and unbelievable as possible, since it seems impossible for me to engage in any class of occupation without injecting my own, private stamp of dark humor upon my art.

 

Once again, I entered the Chat Rooms I had formerly invaded as a female, and this time, not one man approached or harassed me.

 

It did not take long for me to apprehend the potential of such a covert disguise. But to make it authentic and successful, it was imperative that I become a man. It was necessary for me to wholeheartedly assume a male persona and male mindset and male manner of personal interaction. Men communicate very differently from women. Their priorities/goals/hopes and desires are usually far removed from those of their earthly sisters.

 

Cloaked in my fabricated masculine Image, created not by God, but by the convenience of the computer world, I typed my way into History. According to one social scientist who made gender-bending one of her prime areas of interest, I successfully played a male character online longer than anyone known to her, save one woman who navigated this new sea of identity for three years. I managed to immerse myself in this novel role for over two years, four hours or more a day, 365 days a year – until the assumption of this man's mind divided my mind and warped my sense of self and all reality. I no longer played a man, I was a man, in thought and word, in consciousness, in belief.

 

This is not a game, people. To role-play continuously for so long a space of time is an invitation for your brain to go kaput in a spectacular way. I have related this story to a number of online friends, who immediately set out to pass my mark, to prove they, too, could exchange one gender for another with aplomb.  They found it far more than they could stomach or maintain for any length of time.  You are welcome to attempt it.

 

Of course, 99% of those who gender-bend are out for the thrill of mutant, anonymous cyber sex. Books galore have been written about the experiences of such people. If you think you are going to be treated to my insights and an exposure to such sexual escapades, then you have reached the wrong Blog Number.  I never felt anything for my victims – and they were victims; certainly I never felt inclined to enter into their sexual fantasies about me and play along.  Asexual as Leonardo da Vinci and Albrecht Durer before me, I simply don't give a rip about the sexual needs of other people. Most of adult humanity seems obsessed and controlled by sexual desire. The Internet gave them one more venue in which to connect with other like-minded experimenters. Unfortunately, it also gave pedophiles a means to lure young, innocents into their vulgar nets.

 

If people get off on consensual, adult woohoo by words, alone, fine by me. Sex is mostly mental, anyway. Whatever tickles their pickle.  As far as I am concerned, the Internet provided me with an option denied me in the real world – to live as a man, to enrobe myself in a male character and play him until my brain exploded from the effort.  And I would do it again, and again, and again. No regrets. What I learned cannot be gathered in any other fashion.

 

There are some authenticated accounts, even recent publications, of and by women who actually lived as men in RL.  Often, they are lesbians.  Some have even distinguished themselves in business and battle, their true sex discovered only upon the autopsy table.

 

I could never pass as a Man.  In fact, I am frilly and feminine to the extreme.

 

Sexual Identity is a flexible and permeable entity, though. I was accused by one therapist as being sexually unclear. This is risible.  I've read numerous books on human sexuality. My gay friends insist there is no such animal as Bisexuality. As attested by others, it seems clear some people see both genders as potential partners.  What do I care? As for me, it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that schhhwing, if you garner my innuendo.

 

What I wanted, what many women crave, is the power and authority naturally assumed by men. This is a closed privilege few females can access. I did access it, and it is a heady breed of control and dominance over others. I had the will and the facility and the bald-faced chutzpah to pull it off.  How well, you ask?  I taught creative writing online, ran a business as a man, and exchanged hundreds of emails, with both men and women, and never once, not once, did anyone question my identity.  They believed I was a man, and related to me as a man.

 

I tell you, I never much liked my sister beings. After this experiment, I suggest to you there is no more deceptive, manipulative, unethical, competitive, disloyal creature in our living world to match the female homo sapiens sapien.  Perhaps the Patriarchy has left us nothing else to use as survival tactics; I cannot say. Trust me, the men are far more congenial, kind, loyal – they make the best friends, and earned my devotion forever. In no instance did any man ever speak evil of his wife or girlfriend. Men do not ever present their chosen woman as undesirable. To do so, in their minds, reflects upon their taste and judgment. Women, on the other hand, demonize and criticize and slander their men if there is something to be gained by such treason.

 

Only once did I discuss my adventure and consequent discoveries about my true nature and my understanding of gender roles to a psychiatrist. He immediately told me, "That was where the psychosis began.  The nightmares you suffer are the result of the sins of the past."

 

Some sinner!  I neither smoke, nor drink, not cat around, nor indulge in drugs. I do not cheat or abuse or use other people to my own ends, this experiment being the one exception. I tell no tales, and keep all secrets. In fact, perhaps I am a Sinner in search of a Sin, and found one.

 

The most astounding and revealing quest of my entire existence he instantly labels as a manifestation of psychosis.  So appalled was I by his quick dismissal of the finer revelations of my social experiment I walked out of his dull office and never returned.

 

Psychotic?  Maybe I was, at times. What the Normal do not understand that some faces of psychosis are alluring, even seductive. The proponents of Mental Health want us to believe that psychosis and schism of personality that attends some forms of brain dysfunction (such as the Manic phase of Bipolar Disorder) are equally detrimental and require a massive infusion of toxic drugs. Yet in some religions on the Ivory Coast, adherents wander about in a state of constant hallucination, and none dare call it Mental Illness.

 

Well, they can inject me with all the chemicals in their impressive arsenal, but I shall still be on my deathbed at the conclusion of my life, chuckling my head off at what I attempted, succeeded and learned in my digital wonderland.  In the end, my Fantasy Construct sacked my mind, body and spirit – and it was an incredible, magical, life-altering abduction. I was the inventor, author, disseminator and improviser of my own madness. Even so, for a time, I got to be a Man, to know a Man. No one can take this extraordinary experience from me. You may object, and say you could find better uses for your time.  "I would never have the energy," confided a dear friend.  Well, I did.  And meanwhile I was painting and writing novels and studying TaeKwonDo, my chosen martial art. I read five books per week and newspapers and magazines, attended plays, movies, concerts. I was busy in other pursuits, all the time.

 

I have in my files hundreds of love letters from women, dozens of emails from admiring, friendly men, who valued my opinion and sought my advice and camaraderie. I lashed my reviews and critiques upon both men and women, yet none dared challenge my views. I discovered unknown aquifers of confidence and conviction, which previously eluded my self-evaluations.  I learned to believe in my own power. No one defied or questioned my certain authority.

 

Later, under a female guise, I attempted, with the identical verve and je ne sais quoi, to give voice to my considered and educated opinions on a number of topics. Many men, in particular, reacted rudely, in a hostile manner, because I was not a strapping, virile, choleric Master, but a mere upstart Woman who had the temerity and confidence to speak her mind. Suddenly, my input was without merit, without value. Only when I introduced my opinions in carefully phrased prose were my sentiments welcomed and accepted.

 

Yes, there were women – some of them communicated with my strange male persona for years.  They professed love and devotion, despite the fact they had never even seen a photo of my Invention. At least half of them were married. In the beginning of our budding relationships, they spoke well of their men. The moment they entered into my attraction zone, their partners assumed some most undesirable traits.  Immediately they were willing, even eager, to betray their spouses' trust. They begged for cyber-sex, for my phone number, address, real name.  It's no secret many a marriage has been sabotaged by online romances.  Be warned, you cannot replace one person with another; each comes with an entirely new set of issues, some worst than the last partner's foibles and idiosyncrasies.

 

No, I did not "lead them on." I made it my policy NOT to flirt or incite or seduce. By the sheer power of language, I intrigued and inspired and attracted them. You may suppose these ladies were of the Life's Little Losers variety, or lacked self-esteem, or were homely or lonely or deranged. In fact, there were none of those perjoratives.  They simply fell for the man I myself adored and created for adoration.  The details of his physical appearance must remain my secret, lest I be identified, even now.  My ex was both jealous of my Man and envious of his majestic influence over the thinking of others. My ex had never received hundreds of love letters in his life.  He told me I ought to be teaching seminars, to instruct men how to win over the females of their choice.  There is no desire in me to do so.

 

And nope, I never once forgot one iota, one single detail of my character's complicated personal biography. It pays to have a phenomenal memory.

 

Sad to report, or perhaps I'm glad to report, that I suspect most females were drawn to my character because of his sheer, unadulterated, unapologetic masculinity. I won the most respect when I was the least fawning and conciliatory.  Women desire Colin Farrell, not Albert Einstein. The more I strutted and cock-walked around the various groups, the more women were entranced and enchanted by my persona. It is claimed that a majority of women love a bad boy – I am here to proclaim this is absolutely true, if my admittedly short-lived experience is any indication. Of course, my test group did consist of women savvy enough to use the Internet and bright enough to communicate effectively in the English language. I would not have corresponded with them, if they were not.

 

Every author falls in love with his or her own characters. We must become them, or they will not read authentic to our readers. All writers understand what I imply – that we are not one person, but a repository of all the characters we can invent and have invented. On his deathbed, Balzac cried out for a physician character he had created for one of his novels. "Nothing is real but what is not," said Shakespeare, a truer statement I have never read.

 

I believe we are capable of extraordinary mental and emotional growth, by whatever means. In this way, we are divine, we are all-powerful, in our ability to create new selves.  Writers comprehend the seduction of being the God of our innovated realities.  There is no experience quite like it. And, we have all been the victim of characters who leave our direction and develop their own minds and defy our orders to stick to the plot.  We are closer to the archetype of Man than any other person alive; we live there; we refresh ourselves in the rivers of possibilities, the fertile center of the soul.  The subconscious is our playground, and can be our undoing. As it was in my case.

 

Yes, I stopped playing Him, and it nearly killed me. It was murder most foul, murder of an important and vital aspect of my personality.  I regret ending his life, however transitory and ephemeral.

 

But that is another story, for another time.

 

 

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Get Off My Blog - And You Know Who You Are

Current mood: angry

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

Dear Friends -

 

If you are on my Subscriber List, I am NOT directing this fury at you.

 

There is an UNWANTED person reading my Blog - for which she deliberately searched and has been obviously reading. This Human Wreckage was heave-hoed from my life for a number of very good reasons. I am not talking to anyone else who likes to pop in and read my jive. You are WELCOME to be here.

 

Just YOU. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. You nosy skunky harlot, shame on you.  At your age you ought to learn how to live an independent life and mind your own damned business.  And spare me the "I'm a curious person" crap - your ready excuse to be invasive and rude and peer into the pixel portal of others, in order to satisfy your need to know.

 

Get off my Blog. Don't call my house again. You know how I am about privacy and YOU are invading it, once again.  If you don't get off my space on MySpace, I will deep six this page and start up another one which you will not be able to find.

 

Get off my BLOG, sister. I mean it, Beeyotch - STEP OFF.  How dare you, you pathetic low-life. Your audacity shocks even the un-shockable AnnaBelle Lee.

 

AnnaBelle Lee

 

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

 

Unrequited

Current mood: anxious

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

 

My dear Readers -

 

This will not be exciting or illuminating for my male readers, so feel free to take a pass on this one.

 

But I NEED support, Ladies - this is kinda HUGE with me, atm.

 

There's this guy, see (you knew it had to be About A Man, right?) - my professor.  Last year I was in his class for the entire year, and tumbled totally, completely (and foolishly) in SMOOCH with him.  I'd spent some time with him at a party, and it seemed to AnnaBelle, who has been and is admittedly, OUT of the dating loop for years, mind you, that he was as infatuated with me as I was with him.

 

Alas, no date request was forthcoming. At least, I don't THINK he was fishing for interest. AnnaBelle is an ASPIE and sometimes social blind. I don't read social signals well AT ALL, in other words. He wanted to drive me home after the partayyyy, even though I had a car. I refused because he was BLOTTO, not due to any lack of interest in him.  I don't get in motor vehicles with the Highly Inebriated, if you understand my meaning.

 

Anyway, my friends all felt he was smitten with this kitten, but it is very difficult (or so I believed) for him to ask me out in front of a room full of people. The next class begins two minutes after our class concludes!

 

So, my buddettes talked me into asking HIM out for a drink, or two. Trust me, he DRINKS. *LOL*  Also trust me that AnnaBelle was accustomed to being pursued by most members of the member-bearing community over 16 and under Death, and had never, ever asked out a male person in my life!

 

When I say I was totally blown away by this dude, I was not joking one iota. I've never seen ANY man like this man. This no YIN in him, and I am deeply attracted to uber masculine males.

 

Okay, so the very night, the VERY night, I planned to ask him to join me for an evening in the City, he invites the Bitter Blonde out for dinner - right in front of the entire class!  You have all read about Bitter Blonde before, I presume, in an earlier blog. She is about thirty years of age, and a real stunner.  Very Teutonic and just gorgeous.  Amusingly, she is a snarly, surly, petulant lady who eschews attractive dress and slouches around like Atlas's weight is upon her comely shoulders.

 

I don't know what happened on that date, but he wouldn't even call on her in class after that. I think she snarled him into submission.

 

I really like that chick, so I can't even be pissed at her.  Ha!

 

I miss everyone in the class, so I signed up for another year, and tonight is the FIRST class of the second year. I will have to see HIM again, and I STILL think of that man every so often.

 

He's German (a real German, that is), and that is part of the attraction. He's loud and arrogant and brilliant and comedic and altogether a Drama King. James Dean in a Euro suit. I love the rough 'tude and charisma - which he exudes like expensive cologne. Every student in the class is mesmerized by his teaching - we feel privileged to be there!  Believeth thou me, I am also prone to falling bouffant over ballet slippers over Drama Kings. *LOL*

 

I realize now that he bore no reciprocal attraction for your AnnaBelle. Silly me, I just never give up, after all, so I am going to dress to the nines and go back in there and try again. My ex is behind me on this 100%.  He is also German, and thinks this guy needs a push, that's all. But what does my ex know? He dumped me! *LOL*

 

My instructor is about . . . 38?? I realize he is too young for me, but pllllllezzzz.  Who cares?  We are talking drinks and conversation (and whatever else he desires ) NOT marriage. I am absolutely certain he WAS intrigued by me last year. He is sarcastic and bullying with the other students - except for me. He can't bring himself to bellow at me, even though I am the biggest dolt in the room. *LOL*  He looks at me very affectionately, all the time. One night -- ha ha ha! -- he decided to dig through my purse (risky, eh, ladies?) in front of everyone, and kept asking me if I had a business card. He never, ever touches the other students and would NEVER touch one of their personal items of property. He keeps a nice, safe distance from the rest of them.

 

Ladies, please pray that I can get to this man - if you could see him in action, you'd be under his spell as well.

 

SIGH.  In four years I have not met anyone -- and this IS the man I want. Help, chant, pray, dance to the God of Germany, whatever. Just send those positive vibes my way. I am a nervous WRECK.

 

And AnnaBelle is not a hideous woman, yanno. What the fuggers is UP with him?

 

Love, AnnaBelle Lee

 

 

 

7:56 AM - 19 Comments - 12 Kudos - Add Comment - Edit - Remove

 

Monday, October 02, 2006

 

Boobs

Current mood: amused

 

Boobs

By AnnaBelle Lee

Copyright, A. Lee  October, 2006

 

 

Now THAT got your attention allll fired up, dinnit?

 

Well, I am flat out bummed, my Friends, about the mammary quandary in which I continue to find myself today.

 

You see, before my nervous breakdown in '97, and the toxic, freaking psycho meds (legendary fat packers of all time) the docs crammed down my unwilling gullet, I was a fairly flat-chested, petite, slender chick of about 115 pounds.  After five years of the martial arts discipline TaeKwonDo, the AnnaBelle muscles were sufficiently carved. Woe of concupiscent woes, most of my men/spouses often commented on my sad Lack of Rack.  And forget the gams. I was cursed with the Helvetican, R. Crumb babe's stocky legs, and, believe it or nay, triple-ankles.  Yes, odd as it sounds, I have three ankles above each foot, which bony abnormality provides me with a far wider rotation than your average hooman bean's pod, just so I can climb Swiss mountain ranges without sliding down backwards like a billy goat on 'ludes. Although, at this point, the counter-balancing weight of my knockers might render my peregrinations a study in hysterics.

 

But if you ask me, a woman who sucked at all sports except TaeKwonDo, gymnastics, jogging and aerobics, boobs were items I really preferred to be hanging off other women's chest walls. In sportish pursuits, monster bazoobahs just get in the way. Trust me, they so do.  They're everywhere I want to be.

 

Because, alas, thanks to the hormone altering effects of the psych meds, I now have large, annoying tatties and I detest them.  Accustomed to being pear-shaped – with a major bee-stung butt, thin waist and itty-bitty titties -- I miraculously, at the age of 42, lost my abundant derriere and gained a rather pronounced Upper Story. As if these encumbrances decided to trade places, just for the Big of it.

 

Once, I pranced about, jumped and spun and hopped my way through Cindy Crawford's workout video and had no need of an Over-The-Shoulder-Boulder-Holder. I was one of those bra burners back in the day who was only too grateful to lose those uncomfortable, underwire, and padded, miserable articles of delicate lingerie.  My third husband bullied me into wearing one every day, control freak that he was.  My fourth ex told me I was free to toss them all into the nearest dumpster, which I did. There is something to say for the European idea of physical freedom. Just don't ask me to stop shaving my legs. My Liberalism has limits; Cave Woman 'pits, calves and shins are disgusting, as far as I am concerned.

 

My daughter assures me I need a bra, now. Preferably one which makes my boobs resemble two melons on a platter, ready to be served up to the lascivious gaze of males.  I hear they "lift and separate" these days. You good peeps have seen my photos. Why don't the shrinks just hand me a colorful, low-cut, Bavarian costume and six mugs of St. Paulie Girl brewskis and send me to the nearest Oktoberfest biergarten? Not for me the Red Carpet fashionistas who slither and saunter around in their slinky finery, breasts popping out for all to behold.

 

I can't begin to illume for you, my dear Readers, how dreadfully much I loathe brasseries.  I suspect the Marquis de Sade invented these torturous devices, in addition to whalebone corsets and garter belts. They itch; they pinch; they scratch; they drive me half-whack with their constrictive structure. Instead of a sprightly Ganymede, I have become womanly. Ack, so not me. This is offensive on a grand scale, not to mention expensive, since my former stockpile of lacey panties no longer fit my new, miniscule butt and my dresses could not contain these beastly breasts. I don't want to be Sophia Loren (lovely as she is); I yearn to be a stick figure like Kate Moss.  Praying nightly to the Goddess of Flat Terrain has produced no results, whatsoever.

 

And you ought to see me jogging NOW, ample bosoms bouncing all over the Universe under my shirt, like two planets battling it out over stellar space.  If you forgo the sports bra, the pain after exertion is beyond description – words fail even moi, the woman whose sesquipedalian English vocabulary is impressive, indeed.

 

They tell me women even PAY money, lots and lots o'jingle, to own boobs such as I managed, against my will, to acquire for the price of mind-numbing medication.  Ye GODS.  How could any woman WANT this torso torment on a permanent basis? Someone give me a rocket launcher and a Maidenform SAM, because some sunnuvabeeyotch shrink is going to DIE.  LOL

 

I did not desire any adjustments to my physiognomy, thank you. All I ask is the ability to do a cartwheel without the Earth moving under my feet.

 

Yes, I am aware that many males find such a curvy, concupiscent figure sexy (whatever THAT is) and desirable. Well, I am convinced such an opinion is due to the fact that you all don't have to WEAR them, on a daily basis, like a suit of Madonna bullet armor you can never remove, even after the Sickle-wielding, Caped Crusader of Demise comes to claim your lush life.  Prolly everyone will be staring at them, even as I am laid out in my glorious, mahogany coffin in my Victorian Funeral Parlor. I plan on asking my spawnettes to cover ME entirely with red roses, never mind my casket.

 

What is a full-figured gal to do? I try to don attire, loose, large and concealing. But the men are never deceived.  They are boob-seeking missiles, with Superman x-ray eyes, like those fake-y pinwheel glasses they used to advertise in the back of Magician magazines. (See through clothes!) There ain't no hiding these.

 

I cannot even enjoy a convo with a resident man without his eyes moving (rather speedily) from my eerie green eyes and Red Jagger Lips, to my cleavage.  He continues to feign interest in AnnaBelle's stimulating orations, but I know what he's really thinking: how fast can I remove her baggy, Donnie Darko T-Shirt?

 

Just to demonstrate HOW furious I am at my pdocs and their Boob-enhancing drugs, I painted a very large nude portrait of myself. I have displayed it in several art shows, and you ought to hear the (if you'll pardon the expression) tittering and commentary which goes on when the art loving crowd "crushes in to see" your AnnaBellion in the buff. Of course, modest me holds my palette strategically over my lower regions, if you will.

 

Or, even if you won't.

 

"My GOD," stammered my former Boss after viewing the show, "You're STACKED. Why do hide that behind those ugly, fat sweaters? Let me buy you some hot dresses with low necklines."

 

Yeahhh, Buddy – that'll happen. In HELL.

 

I also rebelled by purchasing only TWO bras, at the Salvation Army, no less. Oh, yes, one of my children gave me a costly PINK bra for Christmas one year, said bra encrusted with artful lace and perky, little bows. I only wear these on Sundays, the day of Rest, after all. I even received instructions, via a women's magazine, on how one should seek out and purchase a proper-fitting bra. The description of how we are to apply these undergarments makes me want to hurl.  You don't want to know. Really.  I don't have to measure SQUAT to see that these mammary glands are around the 36 C range.

 

It is mortifying, I tell you, mortifying.

 

I nursed three babies with my infinitesimal tits -- no problems at all. Worse yet, no medical person can explain to me why this tragedy has now afflicted me.  The limpid-brained Romance novels don't help one whit, with their references to "heaving bosoms" and "ample cleavage."

 

They're heavy, too. Did I mention that?  They're heavy and my back aches from trying to hoist them aloft. When I lean over to do the forward fold in Yoga, I FALL over. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but not much of one.

 

The concept of Materialism, "what my senses reveal to me through touch and feel is most real; all else is less real," and the Cartesian philosophy of Dualism: "I am me, in here, and everything else is "out there," both apply to my twin sources of human nourishment. Men want to touch and feel and these bobbling boobies are really out there.

 

Heave THIS.

 

 

 

9:59 AM - 8 Comments - 7 Kudos - Add Comment - Edit - Remove

 

You've Been Tagged!

Current mood: chipper

 

Now I've Been Tagged--Your Turn!

 

Greetings dear poets, writers, friends. I've been tagged by

Juliaflame.

 

Here are the rules of the game:

 

1. Grab the nearest book.

2. Open the book to page 123.

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the text of the next 4 sentences on your MySpace Blog along with these instructions.

5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.

6. Tag five people.

 

"Such waterfowls as Canada geese, wigeons, pintails, shovelers, and black ducks around Deal Island. Contact the Maryland Department of Natural Resources for information about fishing and hunting licenses (see for your information box).

The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Trail (the C&O)  -- a 184 mile route Cumberland and the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. – caters to anyone who enjoys bicycling."

 

~From the AAA Mid-Atlantic TourBook

 

****  Tag List

(I don't know how to send photos to my Blog.)

 

CameraCat - my middle kid.

Ayla - my youngest kid.

Dave Aragon - of "Pimp My Ride"

Charles - Superartist

Will - Super Poet

 

8:13 AM - 10 Comments - 0 Kudos - Add Comment - Edit - Remove

 

Saturday, September 30, 2006

 

Asylum *The Dialect of Eyes

Current mood: blah

 

ASYLUM

*The Dialect Of Eyes

 

His violence hooks and rattles,

Like that snake of diamond pattern,

Behind the pale, flat stones

Of his desert eyes.  His mouth

 

Invites your friendship, a cave

Warm with innocuous campfire words.

Look closer, toxic venom

Dried unspoken on his bitten lip.

 

In my parched and orphan past

I learned the dialect of eyes.

I heard a Misogynist hiss, saw

Fangs grown for his mother.

 

One moccasin tread too near,

I'd meet his death of slow digestion.

Prey lured by coiled rhetoric.

Learn the dialect of eyes.

 

~AnnaBelle Lee

copyright  '86

 

7:24 PM - 7 Comments - 8 Kudos - Add Comment - Edit - Remove

 

Image of the Icons

Current mood: drained

 

All true . . .

 

IMAGE OF THE ICONS

By AnnaBelle Lee

 

 

Inhale and smell the vapors

Of lemon wax, mold and mothballs

Tart and pungent.

 

Buxom, blowzy, she wore a

Shapeless patterned housedress

And apron. Plodding porcine,

 

She shuffled in her worn, torn slippers

Feet never losing contact

With the floor.

 

I remember that mouth, a clown frown

Peeled purple grape lips slathering,

Champing fried chicken,

Small club in her meaty grip.

 

Everything was deep-fat fried

Even her conversation.

Their useless fans shuffled air

Warm and stale as elderly breath.

 

She once told me she numbered

108 bobbie pins after plucking them from

That shapeless bun

Crowning her hoary head.

 

He wore worm-gray suits

And his face: fish-belly white.

He gummed vanilla wafers

Because cancer took his teeth.

 

Freeze-frame that trembling marble hand

Dropping peanuts over the balcony

To delirious squirrels.

 

His friends called him "The Doctor".

He was usually blotto,

Carrying on philosophical conversations

With the elm trees on the Boulevard.

 

They had a toy wood-pecker on the bureau.

Its beak pierced the surface

Of the water in the cup

On which it perched.

 

And it dipped

And dipped

And dipped.

 

Its stupid glass eyes

Vapid and staring, seeing nothing

But its own reflection,

Close, now far

But never completely clear.

 

Like my memories of them,

Two ancient objects

Smelling of time in decline.

 

He used to tease me,

Speaking through the long vacuum cleaner tube.

I can still hear his voice

As through a wind tunnel.

 

She often said it was a shame

I was such an ugly grandchild.

Two of her three children went insane.

 

One morning she awakened early

And rose to fix his grits.

Discovered him dead in bed

Still wearing his dapper vest.

 

This March they found her

Reeking, eyes fixed glassily

The wood-pecker nodding on the dresser.

I grew to be a beauty.

 

~Copyright 1984

 

 

 

The Frida Photos - Part II

Current mood: bitchy

 

Dear Friends,

 

As you may recall, I was supposed to have some professional photos taken of me in Frida Kahlo costume, replete with cigar.

 

The best laid plans of mice and models . . .

 

I went to the studio, and guess what? No photographer. Being a cynical mystic, I also brought my digital (which is broken), a tiny, 100K pixel gift camera and my disposable 35mm camera.  Another woman used both the 100K digital and the 35mm and attempted to take photos just for the grins of it all. I was NOT happy about any of this - it took an hour to get the Frida hair correct.

 

Be that as it may, the little, cheezy digital cannot, and did not, take very good pics - they are lo resolution and appear more like paintings than photos. My local Walgreens told me they can't turn the 35mm photos into a CD, because those cameras use FILM.

 

The photog. called me this morning, all apologies, and offered to take the photos this weekend - which I will. Which means I must recreate the Frida Hair again - dozens of bobby pnis and four huge mums. *LOL*

 

Ah, well, that's how it goes in AnnaBelle's Hell. The photog "forgot" about our appointment. I must not be too memorable, eh? Like the architect who hired me and then, when I showed up at his office at the appointed hour, was not present; his office was closed, and he did not return my calls for weeks. In the end he told someone else that he had decided to hire a very young man who would not "cost as much."

 

No one seems to use their ubiquitious cell phones to call people and TELL them why they can't make an agreed upon appointment. Manners have gone the way of the Elephant Bird, damn it all.

 

I will try to upload some of the cheap, furry photos -- but I warn you, you can't see much.

 

Pissed off AnnaBelle

 

9:35 AM - 6 Comments - 6 Kudos - Add Comment - Edit - Remove

 

Sunday, September 24, 2006

 

Andy Won't Give Me His Turtle

Current mood: awake

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

ANDY WON'T GIVE ME HIS TURTLE

By AnnaBelle Lee

Copyright, A. Lee, 1982

 

Shell.  With its smooth ossified surface,

An archeologist's dug-up specimen

Of a pygmy skull-plate - that's how it looks.

The turtle is gone, where turtles go,

Into some larger critter's mouth, so

Are the ways of Ecology's feeding chain.

Anyway, the shell has sat, peeling, in the back

Of Andrew's yellow Volkswagen, full of ashes,

An enterprising young smoker tapped into the

Hollow dome of the poor turtle's former home.

It's a fair thing the turtle is dead.

He wouldn't like knowing what has become

Of the home he was born to, and into

And supported proudly, in dangerous times

Seeking its shelter, caved behind its mosaic door.

A neat spiny ridge runs like a barrier

Between the inside left and right. I liked that.

I liked the porous fossil look of the shell, but

Andrew won't let me have it. He says

He's going to paint it, but I know he won't.

He is going to forget all about it, and the shell

Will keep company with all the rest of Andrew's

Junk. Which would be okay, except that shell

Was someone's home, Andy.  Some kinda dignity

Should be afforded it. If not a curator's museum,

The sure appreciation of a genius's brush

And shellacked respect - never to fade. That is art,

Kiddo. Persistence of the life-shape

Reminders of the heartbeat, even after the essence

Has been cracked from the case, and has flown.

 

8:07 AM - 5 Comments - 8 Kudos - Add Comment - Edit - Remove

 

Saturday, September 23, 2006

 

Data Bank

Current mood: chipper

 

Data-Bank

By AnnaBelle Lee

Copyright, A. Lee  2005

 

I

 

There should be a place to store

Vague connections between

Established realities which

Suddenly, we become aware of,

Wherever we find them:

 

II

 

A pocket, a bank book,

A glove compartment,

My knick-knack nook.

Your book, a parchment.

Under the white Fridge,

Beneath the rug,

In Constellation formations,

In a child's bright hug.

In the cup's dredges

Of green tea leaves.

With the stroke of twelve,

In the feet of thieves.

In the heat of sound,

A stamping wind,

By Tarot's chants,

And the quark's quick spin.

 

My consummate Devil,

The caress of your pens,

Around my mind,

Walking widdershins.

In a curl of smoke,

In the back of your knee,

In an X-ray's ghost,

See the Yawp of me.

Through the faith of fight,

And the Engine's wail,

In a snake's swift stab,

And His Holy Nail.

Thighs crossed in dark,

In a throng of doves,

What's that aardvark

Thinking of?

In a plang of guitars,

On a riptide's rush,

His tongue of Moonlight

My Dawn of Musk.

The gift of Art,

Your breath of pain,

Our noise of tremble,

Is our neighbor's bane.

By betrayal's waste,

And a newborn's scream,

How can I tell,

What all these mean?

 

 

III

 

A place, like Grandma's

Odd button box,

For the Turquoise Random Notion

A Fading Pink Link

Black Inklings,

Tortoiseshell Suspicions,

Red Epiphanies,

Blue illusions.

Covert realizations we find,

Cowering in the folds

Of our easychair minds.

They should be plucked up

Dusted off, puzzled over,

Examined.

Shape, size, hue, meaning

Power, relevance, nuance, threat.

After a brave reshuffling

Of cushioned beliefs,

Validated, accepted,

Filed into our heart.

 

1:37 AM - 6 Comments - 8 Kudos - Add Comment - Edit - Remove

 

Kid and Night War

Current mood: cheerful

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

KID

 

By AnnaBelle Lee

Copyright, A. Lee  1985

 

For Sharra

 

Oh, eye, oh eye, oh so

Abundantly lashed.

Centered in the dark

Liquid, a pupil vortex

Contracts. Light strikes

Black pool, drains,

Drains to the brain

All it beholds.

Recording.

Recording.

Everything.

 

 

 

NIGHT WAR

 

By AnnaBelle Lee

Copyright A. Lee, 195

 

It was a night mooring

Of ye olde warring

Soul-feelings.

Punctured sea-eidelons

Leaking their stale air,

Decaying complaints jettison

Outward in a rage-spray.

Daylight they cave-fold,

Their sails like Vampires,

Troubling me not.

Yet as I sleep, they

Pound the pier,

Filling my ear

Canals with bitter

Saltwater. Morning finds

Tears in my eyes.

 

 

10:53 AM - 1 Comments - 2 Kudos - Add Comment - Edit - Remove

 

Thursday, September 21, 2006

 

Tumor Scare

Current mood: frustrated

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

Dear Friends/Subscribers:

 

I regret to say that I am in the middle of a sudden health crisis. I WILL be reading your Blogs, as usual, but may not comment due to the panic and fear and fatigue related to this bad report.

 

I tend to "grow things" and a tumor was removed four months ago. Well, they found ANOTHER one - and I am smack dab in the middle of the horror ride of doctor's appointments, test after test and the gawdawful waiting. In the end, I will have to undergo more surgery, and you can imagine I am wholly sick of it all.

 

The only good news is that my tumors have always been found to be BENIGN.  The is no reason to think otherwise in this case.

 

I hope to be back on the Blogs, participating, asap.

 

Fond regards,

AnnaBelle Lee

 

10:58 AM - 5 Comments - 6 Kudos - Add Comment - Edit - Remove

 

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

 

Stupid Shrink Tricks

Current mood: chipper

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

STUPID SHRINK TRICKS

 

How about the female psychiatrist, who has spent the last 25 years treating ONLY people with affective disorders?  Bipolar Illness is her specialty.  As an expert, she's considered one of the best pdocs in town, and she charges *large* for the pleasure of her services.  She has a professional and confident manner; she assured me she could assist me with my two ambitions: to get off Klonopin, and to reconnect with my imaginative faculties, which had been effectively destroyed by psychiatric drugs.  (This is a common complaint amongst Bipolar artists.)

 

Hoo ahhh.

 

She started right out telling me that I MUST be Bipolar, and my manias were actually dysphoric mania.  I had told her I was tired of being "treated" as though I were about to bust out in fulminant mania any minute, when in fact my entire "illness" has been characterized by a complete and total lack of energy and feelings of dispair.  Please note: I described the features of my illness right up front.  Get me some damn energy or punt.

 

She placed me on Tegretol, and commenced to systematically raise the dose while dropping the Klonopin.  She very definitely weaned me off the Big K with very little withdrawal symptoms. However, I did suffer muscle spasms, pretty impressive muscle spasms in the wee hours of the morn, I may add, and some nausea and dizziness.

 

I should have KNOWN what Shrink Star under which she was born when she said, "Oh, no, that's not the Klonopin.  No, something else is going on with you."

 

Excuse me?  SUCH AS???? Klonopin withdrawal is known to be absolute HELL. Doesn't she read the literature?

 

Ah, but she wasn't finished with me, yet. I found out she was yet another Doctor Drug Defender. To the point of losing all credibility with me. After I told her how much better I felt, now free of the delirious and dismal effects of the Klon, she asked, anxiously: "Are you sure you're not feeling a little TOO good, AnnaBelle??"

 

WHAT?  Was this woman not listening to me on the occasion of our first session, when I told her, weeping, that I had not experienced but a handful of even "normal energy" days in the last three years??  Even if I had been stark, neon Manic you'd think she'd have been GLAD for me!  I mean, seriously, what the HELL???  I say it once again, if you are draggin' arse Depressed, can't work, can't think, and have gained enough weight to look like a human dirigible, that does not seem to nuzzle their nuggies one iota. Ach!  But just tell them you are feeling a tad more animated and KERziiiiiiip! -- faster than a speeding Zyprexa they are ready to yank your plug and lock you up!  I was absolutely shocked at this "expert".

 

I said, "No, actually I am very slow and terribly tired. But I feel a bit better, mood-wise."

 

At that very moment she was opening up the results from my blood tests, and announced: "My! You're very anemic!"

 

Then she goes back to questioning me, trying to find out how hypomanic I am.

 

::banging head on desk::

 

Ah, but that was not the end of my sorry revelation re: this femdoc.

 

Incidentally, I have run a 9 Hemoglobin for 25 years; that's 3/5 of normal – my internist refuses to give me an Iron Dextran injection, and then the shrinks wonder why I am slow and depressed.

 

I explained to her, in detail, the sad story of my breakdown, including, but not limited to, the worst phase -- when my first psychiatrist, not knowing WHAT the hell to do with me and my wacko symptoms, decided to put me on Imipramine. You all know the outcome: I went psycho-manic. The world, and its inhabitants, its flora, and its fauna, looked like a Japanese Anime cartoon. I am not exaggerating for effect now (although I've been know to engage in that narrative privilege ) -- I have NEVER been more frightened, more out of touch, more psychotic, more depressed, or more frenzied, in my life -- EVER.   My symptoms were NOTHING like those of my breakdown (mostly tiredness and severe insomnia), the symptoms he was attempting to "treat" with his drug.  Without question, and with the testimony of an ER doc, what I experienced was a drug reaction. In fact, for women my age, who are a certain type of Bipolar, a *perfectly predictable* reaction.  He *worsened the course of my illness* FOR LIFE.  Please note that, also. NONE of that lamentable escapade was in any way my fault.  I suffer from a P-450 isoenzyme deficiency, which causes me to drug sensitive to the extreme; I had begged that joker not to force me to take his rotgut drug, and in the end, I was right, and I get to be more mentally ill than I was when I first walked into his office. Oh, but he got PAID, dears – for causing me to become even more disabled.  Quite a lot of PAID, if you catch my drift.

 

I was recently told by my new, sympathetic, ethical shrink that Imipramine Hydrochloride is a terrible drug, created in the 1950s for patients with TB - and no one even prescribes it any longer.  Well, we're only talking nine years ago when it was prescribed (aggressively) for ME!

 

Now then -- After sharing this data with my new (at the time) pdoc, she fixes me with a determined look, and says, "Oh! I'd have you on 10mgs Zyprexa per day, for at least a year.  No question, no excuses.  One year at minimum!  Besides, the Imipramine didn't do that to you. Something else must've been going on with you."

 

That's right.  She'd slap me upside the head with a potent neuroleptic, one which has the potential to cause the irreversible and embarrassing condition Tardive Dyskinesia, FOR ONE YEAR.  I mean, how does she figure?? (Never mind that the imipramine most certainly DID do that to me!) I have taken 10mgs of Zyprexa before, in fact, once I entered that psychotic rabbit hole adventure, the docs down at the local ward PUT me on 10mgs for a couple of months because I could no longer sleep at all.  I can tell you right now -- I cannot FUNCTION on that much Zyprexa. I cannot drive. I can barely walk. I had NO CLUE who I was, no clue. It is truly a marvelous drug for hallucinations and such -- I don't deny it. But to ruin my life for ONE YEAR after a medical professional's serious mistake????  He's lucky I did not try to sue him for MALPRACTICE!

 

I decided she wasn't really the doc for me.  But I needed to finish the transition to Tegretol, so I continued seeing her for pharmacotherapy.

 

When I complained about the (well known) cognitive side effects of lithium, she said "Aren't you one of those Mensan people?  People with High I.Q.s are quite often very arrogant.  I mean, do you really think you need your entire I.Q. for the everyday challenges of life? You need to concentrate on your relationships, and not worry about the loss of 25-30 I.Q. points.  You need to learn humility."

 

Now this is just the sort of propaganda that drives me truly nuts.  Damn near.  This is a moral/value judgement, just a personal opinion, which is NOT her job.  She does not give a flip if I am arrogant or not; she just wants to talk me into continuing drug therapy. That's what *really* gets me.  That is why, no matter what hideous side effects I must endure, the drugs "didn't do it".  There are (who wants to guess??) multitudes of arrogant people in the world, but they don't have to go into "therapy" and have some pretentious soul-less faux-scientist tell them that they need to be more warm and fuzzy.  I have never been warm and fuzzy. I don't WANT to be warm and fuzzy.  Yes, I have a high I.Q., or, at least I DID, before the drug parade walked over my genius loci. And if I don't like people maybe I have a damn good reason for my POV.  Outside a shrink's office, people might call me "irascible", or "choleric", or "supercilious" or some such pejorative.  But a shrink has some power -- they can lock you up if they feel inclined -- so they play the tiger act and start telling you to revamp your entire personality 'cause they say so.   They wave around their DSM classifications like ninja shuriken.

 

Like THAT will eliminate so much as ONE episode of mania or depression or whatever the hell I have ailing me in mah coconut.

 

I'm 51 years old.  Yet she spoke to me as though I were a child, and told me things so blatantly false it was an insult to my so-called intelligence.  She told me she'd never had a patient whom she "allowed" to get by on such a low dose of meds. She told me I am NOT suffering from Asperger's Syndrome, and that ALL of my phobic symptoms were due to my Bipolar Illness. It did not matter WHAT my therapist had dx'd, ALL of it was covered under "Bipolar Illness".  I've been terrified to get in a car unless *I* am the driver; I have been that phobic and panicky ALL OF MY LIFE.  She insisted that my panic only occurred when I was "switching" from one mood state to another -- as if all I did all day was gently swish through all the various affective states -- lalalala!  I said, "No, umm.  I don't *ever* let anyone drive me. I don't care what day, time, year, feast of the virgin it is."

 

She then argued with me.  I KNOW I have Asperger's Syndrome. My ex-husband had been saying it for years; I've been dx'd by an expert in the condition. But this broad wasn't going to allow it -- because I might try to claim I'm really Asperger's instead of Bipolar. In fact, the combination occurs fairly often.  We take the same drugs -- what the fuggers is her *problem*?  Panic Disorder, with which I have been diagnosed *many* times, can co-exist with Bipolar Illness -- what the fat is her main malfunction??

 

I can't believe THAT woman is an "expert" in the treatment of our disorder.  She proudly told me she did a lot of "advocate work for the mentally ill" -- which is scary, man!  I mean, whoaaaaa!

 

When my car caught fire months ago, whilst I was tooling down the main interstate?  I was rescued by a trucker and his wife, who had pulled over in the hopes that I would recognize my Toyota was aflame and steer my buggy right behind them. The gent yanked me out of the car and immediately opened the bubbling hood and started to spray his fire extinguisher all over my sizzling engine. His wife took me over to the shoulder of the road, handed me her cell phone and waited with me until the fire department and police had arrived. They were a gift from G*d, as far as I'm concerned.  When related this story to the shrink later that week, I called them "angels unawares" (a Southern expression).  She snorted at me, and said, unctuously: "Oh, no. They just happened to be there. There are a lot of truckers on I-95. They're required to carry fire extinguishers.  There's nothing magical about it.  You have to try and understand that."

 

GRRRRRR!  Now, you see, any other person would've agreed with me -- that their presence was fortuitous and wonderful and "God was looking out for you."  I have heard the expression thousands of times in my life. But now I am not allowed to view this incident in that manner, because, according to literature, Bipolars tend to be "overly mystical, engaging in magical thinking, and too much fantasy."

 

That is precisely WHY that pdoc wench said those things to me!  GOD FORBID!  I might have been getting Hyper-religious!  A symptom of my "illness."  It is outrageous!  :::wheeze!:::

 

Finally she informed me she did not approve of our local live support group (run by DRADA, one of JHU's satellite orgs., and highly reputable) because they did not "have a psychiatrist present."   Sheesh!  That's the main reason I LIKED that group!  That told me all I needed to know about her -- she thinks we "mentally ill" cannot even be trusted to conduct a support meeting alone.  I mean, get real.  Advocate This!

 

I hated her. I couldn't wait to dump her sanctimonious tussah.  I went straight back to my longtime psychopharm., who said, "Oh, you shouldn't say those things. She's so nice. We always sit together at the APA meetings."

 

Then she found out that my recently dumped shrink wanted $50.00 for my medical records.  My old psychopharm. was like, "How unprofessional of her!"

 

Yeah. And ya know what?  I don't sit around all day watching Jerry Springer. I paint, and I write, and it is HARD WORK. I need every blasted one of my I.Q. points, thank ya verah, verah much!

 

 

 

8:05 AM - 6 Comments - 6 Kudos - Add Comment - Edit - Remove

 

Monday, September 18, 2006

 

Infernal Medicine - AnnaBelle Takes On Tom Cruise

Current mood: amused

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

Good'day, M'Friends.

 

Someone forwarded me this Blog, by some guy named Neal Fox. I do not know, have not read Neal Fox's Blog.  I am not a doctor of ANY sort. I have ZILCH medical training. I am merely a person who has been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and variant Bipolar Disorder.

 

Mr. Fox has plenty to impart about the validity of Tom Cruise's hatred of, and disbelief in, the tenets of Psychiatry. He believes Psychiatry is a "pseudoscience" and the psychiatric drugs are useless, profit-making, dangerous medications with no proven efficacy in the treatment of mental disorders. I can respond to his attestations, though, and will now so do. Mr. Fox is free to rebut me at any time. Often, as you will read, I agree with him.

 

Big dif – I know what I'm talking about. No one can deny me my experiences.  I will embed most of my responses within the text of Mr. Fox's Blog.  Look for my comments – you can't miss them. Wake up and smell the AnnaBellion venom and wit.  LOL

 

I will first mention a few observations offered by my friend, who sent me this Blog excerpt:

 

My friend said:

 

<< I agree with a lot of this. >>

 

I don't always, and here's why:

 

<< Psychotics divorced from reality though are real enough, schitzofrenia (sp) sufferers etc. >>

 

The problem with this statement is as follows: the "real" truth about so-called "psychosis" is merely this, that the brain has become HIGHLY dysfunctional and unstable. It's "mental illness PLUS" – that's all. In fact, there is really nothing MENTAL about "mental illness." Chronically mentally ill people have been, and can be, highly functional.  Scores of them have been world leaders, conquerors, scientists, artists, poets, painters, sculptors, composers – you'd be surprised at how many famous creative people have been diagnosed as suffering from a "mental illness."  Depending on the mental illness, the person's thought processes and ability to reason may Not be affected one iota.

 

No matter WHAT the symptoms may be, no matter HOW they are expressed, all you should deduce from the observation of those symptoms is that the person's brain is no longer functioning normally.  A skilled torturer can make most people psychotic just by depriving them of sleep.  You take enough of just about ANY drug, and you will wind up in a psychotic place and you will NOT like it there.  My liver hates drugs, and refused to metabolize any drug which induces or enhances the p-450 isoenzyme path.  I go toxic, therefore, on very small amounts of many drugs. It took YEARS for shrinks to listen to me. They insisted the drugs were not the cause of my new symptoms. They were wrong.  The fact that they were wrong ruined years and years of my experience of living.

 

 

I am in a moral quandary about composing this essay. While admitting there exist mental disorders which require treatment, no matter how questionable the means, I really despise psychiatrists.  With good reason, may I add.  See Above.

 

Some persons with mental illness can function admirably well. I am one of those fortunate victims. Schizophrenics can, and do, drive motor vehicles with no problem, for instance. While their thought processes and interpretation of the data around them is seriously skewed, they STILL can be coherent and rational at times.

Schizophrenia is a BRAIN DISORDER, a disease.  As the great Dr. Candace Pert once said, "The brain is a physical thing."  (Google Dr. Candace Pert. She's amazing.)

 

I just don't get it. People will accept any damned accursed affliction of the human bod, but not a brain disease.

 

As Ross Perot would say: PAY ATTENTION!!

 

YOUR BRAIN IS AN ORGAN AND IS SUSEPTIBLE TO DISEASE AND DEFECT.

 

It isn't unique and you get no special dispensation. "Depression" can happen to anyone, at ANY time.

 

It galls me to the teeth when people try to convince me that the brain is something else entirely, separate from the rest of the human body and somehow inviolate, insulated from disease.  How can they suggest that so-called "mental illness" is not a genuine MEDICAL illness, when those same bootstrappers are quick to admit Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Epilepsy are perfectly legit medical illnesses.  These disorders take place IN THE BRAIN.

 

Huhhh? Earth to Earthlings??? This makes no sense and is indicative of willful suspension of disbelief. The assertion that "mental illness" isn't "real" and does not require drug treatment (at times) is akin to insisting the world is flat. The statement is without merit; it is nonsensical.  The belief is a myth.  People used to believe persons suffering from severe mental disorders were sinners, cursed or tormented by the Christian Devil.

 

In a way, not much has changed.

 

Do you know why Tom Cruise is so vehement about his attestation that mental illness is a sham, a fabricated concept invited by psychiatry? Because he has never awakened one fine, day, after years and years of relatively normal life, to hear voices or see terrifying hallucinations.  If he did, he'd change his tune in a nanosecond.  He'd be pounding back Thorazine like mad.

 

Therefore my first question to the Naysayers is: Are you Experienced?

 

Because I am. Nothing makes a believer out of one faster than Experience. How would Mr. Cruise cure my afflictions? With vitamins? Oooops, sorry, been taking high-power supplements all me life, mate.  I think NOT.  Fish Oil, otoh, has shown to be a very useful and powerful add-on treatment for depression/manic-depression.

 

And my friend sez: << So depression and kids on drugs are one thing and very sick folks with lab reproducible disorders are another. >>

 

Depression is a MEDICAL disorder.  Let go of the term "depression."  Instead, think of the brain as stuck in low gear (because it feels exactly like that) – try imaging what that is like for the person so afflicted.  And, by the by, when the brain doesn't work, not much else does, either. When severely depressed, I can't even walk. That inability to walk or keep my balance was one reason why my regular physician first (incorrectly) diagnosed me with MS.

 

Forget the label "Depression" and understand that persons who are "depressed" actually are struggling to function with a malfunctioning, "Broken" brain. The fact that psychiatrists and clinicians cannot show precisely that a "chemical imbalance" is the cause of the dysfunction is neither here nor there.  I don't need to know the chemical composition of the meteor which has just blasted the shit out of my section of the neighborhood. I DO have to deal with the aftermath and long term affects of said violation of my peace.

 

The brain is no longer functioning normally – and anyone who has suffered from real, clinical depression knows exactly what I mean, and that my statement is true.  You can develop depression for NO REASON AT ALL.  Which goes to show there is an organic component to the affliction.

 

People are afraid of psychiatrists and have, generally, a low opinion of them. That reserve and distrust is deserved.  Some of the most artful, incredulous, deceptive and cruel people known to me are psychiatrists.  The general public has no truck with words like "depression," or "chemical imbalance."

 

And they do not trust the aggressively advertised and promoted drugs, often prohibitively expensive, and they fear the hideous side effects these drugs can produce.  As well they should, for even the best drug for psychiatric treatment only works to relieve symptoms satisfactorily in 60% of subjects.  That drug, not really a drug at all, is Lithium Carbonate, a naturally occurring salt and the lightest element. It is wonderfully cheap and works wonderfully well for a lot of folks.

 

Most antidepressants work in 40% (or fewer) persons in clinical trials. There are MANY embarrassing clinical trials on record, which show that PLACEBO can work just as efficiently, or better, than an established psychiatric medication.  As one honest psydoc once told me, "Placebo Effect is a HUGE issue in Psychiatry."  Prozac, which can produce some nightmarish side effects in SOME people, had a six-week clinical trial before the FDA approved it.

 

Scary, eh?  Six weeks.

 

Worst yet, the newer SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) and SSNRIs (Selective Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors) antidepressants might only work partially, and even if they are effective at relieving the symptoms of depression, they often "poop out' after several years, necessitating a dosage increase. More often, the patient is switched to a new antidepressant, or the pdoc adds a new AD to the existing pooped out drug, doubling the side effects. This "switching" is almost always so unpleasant it is nearly unbearable. SSRI withdrawal is akin to drug withdrawal. People speak of "brain zaps," "electric feelings in the brain," "airplanes in the head," trembling, shaking, nausea, dizziness.  The Shrinky-Dinks don't want to frighten the paying consumers, so they white-wash this nasty experience with the pseudo-term "discontinuation syndrome!"

 

What a laugh. Like we're idgits, or something. It is withdrawal and it is HELL. The sooner they come clean about this reality, the sooner they will begin to repair their badly damaged cred with their patients.

 

Youuuu bet your booty.  And as I said, most of these drugs are costly, cutting deeeeep into a patient's financial reserves, people who are incapacitated by their symptoms and cannot work are the most affected. They cannot even afford their own medications!

 

The most disturbing statement about these psychiatric drugs can be found in the inserts and the Physician's Desk Reference, to wit: "The mechanism of action of this drug is unknown."  Look 'em up – you'll see that disclaimer everywhere.

 

You will see this proviso on just about every psychiatric drug on the market. It means, "we have no clue why or how this drug works, and we don't care; just TAKE it because we told you so."

 

So this is the situation: persons suffering (and I mean they SUFFER) from "mental illness" really have a brain disorder. These disorders probably have a genetic and/or environmental cause. The disorders are Not (NOT, NOT, NOT) their fault, are legitimate and real, and praying or taking vitamins, or doing Yoga or jogging or "thinking positive' is NOT going to cure the disorder (although all of the above CAN provide some temporary relief). The drugs CANNOT cure the disorder. NOTHING known to Man, at THIS time, can cure these disorders. Are we CLEAR?

 

We are doomed to battle the effects of a malfunctioning brain for the rest of our unnatural lives.  Until you have lived, felt and endured the symptoms of a brain disorder, you are NOT QUALIFIED to speak about them or their supposed causes or treatments. Which is one (of many) reasons I loath psychiatrists. Most psychiatrists in my experience will prescribe drugs about which they know absolutely nothing. When queried about the medication, its side effects, its half-life, its clinical trials, most of them have to reach for the same, red, Physician's Desk Reference I have slumbering on my shelf. Most psychiatrists don't even do talk therapy – they were never trained; they don't know HOW to do any class of therapy.  Because therapists and psychiatric social workers and other "mental health professionals" are so territorial, psychiatrist have been reduced to exactly what they are: drug dealers. A therapist is a "talk dealer." In most cases, you will PAY DEARLY for their services. What really IRKED me was hearing from a therapist: "Oh, we have to kiss the ass of any psychiatrist we can get – they're so much in demand and they're such Princesses."  GAH!

 

Is Psychiatry a "pseudo-science?"   YES – until all questions about these myriad brain diseases have been answered and proven, by scientific methods, Psychiatry is no kind of science. At best it is a "scientific art" and a bad one, at that. It is fast being replaced by Neuropsychiatry, which, at least has some interesting MRI, CAT scans and PET scan date to back up its claims as to origin of some of the symptoms of "mental illness."

 

Have psychiatrists "invented" mental disorders? YES. One psychiatrist told me if you use the DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the Psychiatric Bible) as your guide to diagnosis, "then 90% of the American population is mentally ill." How very convenient when you charge upwards of $160 per hours to "treat" these disorders.

 

Of course, she may be right about the 90%.

 

Continuing with the Blog by Neal Fox, August 1, 2006

 

<< Tom Cruise is right. Psychiatry is a pseudoscience. There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance in the brain. And psychiatric drugs are very harmful. The proof is easy to come by. >>

 

Tom Cruise holds no doctorate in Any subject and knows nothing of value about brain disorders if he truly believes vitamins and exercise will cure Post Partum Depression. I have seen a woman (a lovely, usually rational, competent attorney) with active PPD and it was an experience I will never forget. Her husband told me she gets like that after EVERY birth, so their doctor told them the last child was the LAST child they were going to have.

 

Every day in the ward she would use a different name to introduce herself.

 

"Hello, I'm Patsy. What's your name?'

 

"Hello, I'm Andromeda. What's your name."

 

Etc.

 

She used to escape the shower area and run and down the halls stark naked. This other gal and I had to wait with towels so we could chase her around until we managed to cover her up. She had ZERO idea who she was, or where she was. She also refused to eat, so getting Boost or a can of Ensure was the big task of the day.  Poor lassie was terrified of everything. One day she whispered to me that "my in-laws took my babies away because I'm not well enough to take care of them."

 

I said, "That's all right, hon. You'll get well and your babies will be returned to you."

 

And she did and they were. Does Tom Cruise has Ward Experience? You bet your bottle of Luvox he doesn't. You wouldn't even recognize the recovered woman from the anorexic bag of nerves I observed in a hospital setting. She recalls nothing of her own experience. Her brain was out of whack and now it is back IN whack.

 

Psychiatric drugs, in the main, can be harmful. Very. Pick up this years "The Pill Book" and look up a drug called EFFEXOR and read the loooong list of side effects.  A pity, too, as Effexor actually works well for many sufferers. Just don't try to QUIT that drug. (See comments re: discontinuation syndrome.)

 

These drugs also can produce beneficial effects in those suffering from brain disorders. It is a devil's bargain. How well can you bear your symptoms?  If you don't mind walking around with Beethoven's Fifth or a chorus of charnel Hell voices breathing and blasting in your head (sans iPod or DVD player) and you are not discomforted by hideous, horrifying and highly realistic distortions of perception of the Peter Max Variety, then FINE BY ME – don't take the meds. You probably used to do a lot acid, too, right? I don't give a rip.  When you become aggressive and hostile and threaten people, I am going to try to have you committed against your will.  It won't work, but I will try.

 

Is there "such a thing" as "chemical imbalances in the brain?"  There is no definitive proof. The evidence is suggestive. At present, imnsho, the treatment of brain disorders is akin to performing brain surgery with an axe.  They turn off every light in the house just to change one bulb – and most of the time they fail at that.

 

<< The fact that he's getting slammed by the press and talk show hosts also proves something. It proves that the multibillion-dollar brainwashing campaign put forth by the drug companies and the APA (American Psychiatric Association) has been successful. >>

 

Yes, the man is on the beam. Plenty of unethical people are making millions off the sale of psychiatric drugs for brain disorders. Are you surprised? Wake up and smell the Capitalistic Society into which you all were born! The bottom line is the SOLE concern of most people in business, and Psychiatry and Pharmaceutical companies are in business to make money! What appalls me is that they are doing it off the sickest and most vulnerable, helpless members of Society. Let me ram your veins full of Haldol and see how well you can defend yourself against people who were trained in how best to manipulate patients.

 

One well-known (and lauded) shrink told me that, "the bad dreams you are having on the Melatonin are caused by the Sins of your past."

 

Realllll scientific, that.

 

What Master Fox is missing here is the absolute fact that, despite their very real, and often devastating side effects, some of these drugs allow quite seriously ill people to "sort of" function, whereas before, they were not functioning at all. I hate the APA, btw. They tote the party line and resist hearing anything about how corrupt and profit-minded they are.

 

 

<< And the average person watching this overt lie doesn't get it. They're also not told that Zoloft and all the other psychiatric drugs can cause depression, suicide and mania, to mention just a few side effects. (Many psychiatric patients experience these things when taking the drugs. The doctors tell them that they always had these mental disorders and that the drug is just bringing them out. Another lie.) >>

 

Well, hmmm. No, that is not always correct. It IS true that some psychiatrist have told me that a certain drug has "stimulated" an already existing problem. Yeahhh, right.  He's just trying to avoid being SUED. People experience a broad range of side effects from psychiatric (and other) drugs. I've become psychotic from taking a common sleeping pill.  When I told the psychiatrist what was happening to me (and believe me I was out of mind with FEAR), he told me, "No, the drug doesn't do that. The drug never does that. No patient has ever told me that. Something else is going on with you."

 

(You will hear "something else is going on with you" rather a lot. Anything, anything but to admit it is their precious toxic drugs.)

 

The drug was Ambien, which has now been proven to cause sleep-walking, sleep-eating, sleep-driving and an unholy host of negative side effects, including, but not limited to psychosis.

 

Psychiatrists lie, all the time, especially about side effects.  Would you like to know why?  Good. I'll tell you. Because when you go to a doctor for HELP, you actually believe he (or she) is there to help YOU. In the case of "mental diseases" they are far more concerned, or equally concerned, about social control. They don't want you running wild through the streets, naked and screaming, "George Bush is a war-mongering, illiterate, crony-istic ASS."  ;)  Even more importantly, they don't want you to commit suicide, because then your family might SUE them. They fail to admit the fact that many psychiatric drugs CAUSE depression and suicidal impulse in some people, so much so that now most anti depressants carry black box warnings to that effect.

 

<< Out of the millions of people, who have been told by their doctors that they have a chemical imbalance in their brain, not one of them can show you their lab test report. >>

 

Ooops!  It so happens they CAN produce a lot of neurological tests which DO show the damage and destruction wrought by some of these diseases – PRE-medication. Manic-depressives often have what is termed "hyperintensities" in the brain, large white areas. If I am not mistaken, persons-with-schizophrenia show greatly reduced size of their hypothalamus.  I'll have to look that up.

 

<< Why? Because there are no lab tests for chemical imbalances in the brain. In fact, no one knows exactly what the chemical balance of the brain should be. What we do know for sure is that drugs cause a chemical imbalance in the body. The diagnosis, like all psychiatric diagnosis is completely subjective. But, you say, They are the experts in the field of the mind. Surely, if they say I'm crazy I must be crazy! >>

 

"Crazy" is an archaic word, which hails back to the primitive era when mankind believed the brain disordered were sinners, evil, marked by the devil. It has no relevance in our modern understanding of neurological disease.  No psychiatrist worth mentioning ever uses that word, which is about the best comment I can offer about psychiatrists.  The word Crazy stimulates the Normals to view the Damaged as dangerous and unpredictable. Sometimes, certain unmedicated individuals ARE dangerous and unpredictable. Most of the time, they are hurting, frightened, confused, dizzy, nauseous, exhausted and in psychic pain.

 

You'd have to be there.

 

Yes, the psychiatrist's entire career is invested in his or her ability to convince you that you are mentally ill and need THEIR treatment. He is right about that point.

 

Psychiatrists aren't experts in anything but the diagnosis of some mental disorders – and they are often WRONG more often than they are correct. The con is that we are told they are "medical doctors." That is NOT TRUE. Not one shrink in my experience could even take my blood pressure, and in my particular case, that turned out to be dangerous indeed.  (I have familial hypertension. I run 235/130 when I am pissed off, like right now.)

 

I was diagnosed erroneously seven times before one pdoc got it right.  Each time I was told, by various "mental health professionals," in a truculent, disrespectful manner, "You are in DENIAL!  You have MENTAL ILLNESS.  ACCEPT THE DIAGNOSIS! YOU HAVE TO ACCEPT THE DIAGNOSIS!"

 

I finally asked one of these wadheads WHICH diagnosis, exactly, she would like me to accept. One thing they really detest is a wise-ass mental patient. She suggested I needed an antipsychotic, which I most definitely did Not need.  That's how they handle troublesome patients at times – just like you saw in the movie "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest." I am well familiar with Nurse Ratched. Believe you me. She exists.  In the main, however, I'd rather be treated by a psychiatric nurse anytime, rather than a shrink.

 

 

<< Well, exactly how expert are they? In her book, Whores of the Court, Dr. Margaret Hagen points out that child psychological professionals are worse than chance at determining when kids are lying. That in almost two out of three cases psych professionals incorrectly predict which criminals will repeat their offenses. And that therapy for convicted sex offenders and batterers doesn't work. >>

 

This is all true. One of Maryland's top child psychologists (often asked to testify in court) was a lame-arsed, greedy, immature man who suggested I was a latent lesbian because I "sat like a man."  He misdiagnosed me, wasted nine months of my life and cost me a fortune -- money I could ill afford to pay since I was single parent (no child support) at the time. He was later cited in a court case, when his ex-wife drugged herself and her children and drove her car off an embankment in order to protect them from HIM.  In fact, he never mentioned to me that he was divorced and in the middle of his own custody battle, and there he was, trying to tell me HOW to "get the kids away from your husband."  We can all see this was conflict of interest sitch and he should of recommended I seek another therapist. Unethical bastard.

 

I've got therapist stories you REALLY would NOT believe.

 

<

Is psychiatry a pseudoscience? >>

 

Shrinks do have a high rate of suicide. I THINK Dentists lead the list. Certainly doctors are in the top three, as well. Many people who take up mental health as a profession are troubled and ill and want to diagnose themselves.

 

<< Psychology and psychiatry went wrong 100 years ago when they decided to use a medical model for mental and spiritual problems. Claiming that man was nothing more than a stimulus-response animal with no soul, all mental problems became medical problems with the brain. This meant they were forced to look for physical solutions to all mental and spiritual problems (drugs, lobotomies, shock treatment). >>

 

This is a nutty statement.  The BRAIN is a physical organ. It exists. It is not spiritual.  What is spiritual in human beings may not even be centered in the brain, for all we know. There IS a "physical solution" to spiritual "problems," however. You give enough of an antipsychotic to any individual and they will stop believing in God or anything else, and sit on their couch and drool and look pathetic.  Lobotomies are not done as often, and should never have been done at all. There were/are some shrinks who still find value in lobotomy and are not afraid to voice their opinion to that effect. These "doctors" should be lobotomized.

 

Sometimes "shock treatment' (ECT – electro-convulsive therapy) can make severely depressed people feel better. That does not mean they ARE better – but to a person who has been muck-paralyzed with "depression" the difference is irrelevant.  There are often memory issues with ECT, in fact, I know a psychiatric nurse who kept a log of her difficulties after each ROUND of ECT treatments. (She was dx'd Bipolar, the same as Manic-depressive).  She said after the first three treatments, she couldn't remember where she left her car keys. After the sixth treatment, she could not recall her address. She stopped right then and there.  Often, the memories return.  Rarely, they do not. The memory loss can be So pervasive and severe the person cannot even recognize their own family members or the details of how to perform at their places of employment.  I would only consider ECT in the rarest of occasions, but it can be a lifesaver for some. Modern ECT has NOTHING in common with its depiction in "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest," but it still is no day in the park.

 

One woman online kept a record of her ECT experiences and she is an excellent writer.  Search, and ye shall find.

 

<< No matter how hard mental practitioners try to prove mental illness is physical, their studies are always disproved. All scientists go through a process where they develop a theory then do experiments to prove or disprove the theory. Once they have success they write it up in their journals so other scientists can independently test the theory to see if they get the same results. Only after its been proven this way does it get broadly published to the public as a new discovery. >>

 

Oh, pleeez, you BOZO. Do you have a brain disorder? Then CHUT . . . UP!

 

Oh, how immature of me. I must be crazy to type like that. ;)

 

Brain disorders are PHYSICAL illnesses, just like all the other physical illnesses which can afflict humanity. Is he suggesting schizophrenia is a crisis of the Spirit? Ask one of us who actually lived/s and/or were raised in close confines with a schizophrenic.  In fact, many schizophrenics think they ARE God.

 

All together now: MENTAL ILLNESSES ARE PHYSICAL. THE BRAIN IS A PHYSICAL THING.

 

Man, you all learn fast! Your brains must work quite well! ;)

 

<< Psychs, on the other hand, develop a theory, do some experiments, then write a book and go on talk shows. The public hears these studies and assumes they're scientific. The public never hears that the theory was disproved, even by other psychs! So the flawed theory gets into the public mind as fact. >>

 

The public does not give a SHIT what shrinks think.  Probably one of the most credible and honest psychiatrists I know, Dr. Peter Breggin, wrote many books (read "Toxic Psychiatry") and went on talk shows to discuss his theories/practices. I don't always agree with Peter, and he would certainly disagree with ME, but he is STILL the only genuinely caring psychiatrist I've ever met. He is a superb therapist. He CARES. Trust me, I know.

 

<< A while ago I was watching a congressional hearing on the over-drugging of children. The first psychiatrist, an APA man, had very impressive full color charts showing how kids with ADHD had a ten percent shrinkage in their brains. Very impressive. Physical proof that ADHD exists. Until another psychiatrist showed that it was actually Ritalin that caused the brain shrinkage. >>

 

Welllllll . . . all right.  My daughters were dx'd ADHD and ADD. I chose NOT to drug them, which is the parent's choice, after all. You don't HAVE to cram drugs down the throats of your innocent children. I read the research and I elected not to do it. Children's nervous systems are not developed, and the brain is not fully operational;) until they are, like, 24 years of age. I did not want any drugs in their systems, causing problems which would only later manifest themselves.  Back in the day, we called such children "hyperactive." I noticed that sugar made their symptoms MUCH worse, so I tried to avoid giving them foodstuffs pumped full of sugar.

 

Howsumever, one elementary school teacher told me that SOME ADD kids' learning, concentration and ability to hold still improved immensely on Ritalin or Cylert, while others deteriorated markedly.  It's a gamble I did not care to make.  I asked my (paranoid, raving, hallucinating, unmedicated schizophrenic) mother if I had been a hyperactive child. She laughed hysterically. "Oh, YES, definitely," she said. I guess she let me gorge too much candy (she did) and the tendency to be high strung, lack the ability to pay attention for more than five seconds, and be extraordinarily active and energetic runs in families. The jury is still out on ADD and ADHD for me.

 

 

<< Another fact the public isn't privy to, ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) was voted into existence. There is no physical proof for ADHD or any of the other almost 400 so-called mental disorders. (See Making Us CrazyDSM: The Psychiatric Bible and the Creation of Mental Disorders, by Herb Kutchins and Stuart Kirk.)

 

You might be reading this and thinking, But I know a kid who was totally uncontrollable until he took Ritalin. There must be truth in what the doctors say. Sorry, what you're looking at is a kid with a problem. It could be any number of things: bored out of his mind, allergies, too much sugar, discipline or study related problems. But a problem is not a disease. Taking Ritalin, or Prozac or whatever, does not cure anything. It just shuts you up. If you take an aspirin you haven't cured your headache. The aspirin just desensitized your nervous system so you couldn't feel the headache. But the headache is still there. And what's causing the headache is still there. >>

 

Ummm, aspirin and other NSAIDS (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) relieve inflammation, some better than others. Sometimes an inflammation IS causing the headache. Otherwise, he is probably barking in the right park here.

 

<< The psychs claim taking Prozac is comparable to a diabetic taking insulin. >>

 

They sure do! And it is a faulty comparison!  If you don't take your insulin, you ARE gonna die from diabetes. If one don't take one's psych meds, one most likely still live – what price is quality of life and how important is quality of life to you? That, Hamlet, IS the question in the end.  Maybe you like thinking the Venutians are taking over Los Angeles or Station WRBZ is broadcasting out of the mercury-laden filling in your back molar.  I don't.

 

<< But diabetes is not a problem. It's a physical thing that can be seen in a lab. Depression is not. >>

 

Yes, it is. Yes, it IS. Yes it IS. And soon enough, the scientists and neuroscientists will be able to prove it. And thank GOD, so I won't have to listen to this line of debate any longer. DEPRESSION is . . .

 

  A PHYSICAL ILLNESS.

 

Sheeesh!

 

<< The psych drugs dont cure anything. They just desensitize your emotions. Good and bad ones. And when the drug wears off the problem is still there. >>

 

All true, except the "problem" is a brain disorder and that is why it is STILL there. That being said, persons with Manic-Depression can go years without any symptoms at all.  Depression often remits on its own. The drugs do not cure, because there IS no cure.  Most shrinks will cop to that, if you knock them in the head with the DSM.

 

<< It takes courage to put your career on the line and say something that goes against the majority belief. The powers-that-be are trying to crucify Tom and divert our attention from finding the truth. And the truth is: the new religion of the day is psychiatry. Try to criticize them and you've got a mental disorder. Sound crazy? Then you never heard of Non Compliance with Treatment disorder. No, IM not making this up. Disagree with your doctor and you've got a mental disorder! Talk about a Catch-22. >>

 

Tom Cruise knows ZERO about neuropsychiatry or he wouldn't be babbling about taking vitamins to cure a brain disorder. He would be using Oprah's couch as a trampoline, either, just because he's got that forty-year old's classic hots for a young piece of ASS.  He's manic 90% of the time and a little lithium wouldn't hurt him.

 

Or maybe a LOT of Lithium. He exhibits all the classic signs of Manic-Depression. Google, and ye shall find.

 

You might want to read Dr. Peter Breggin's "Toxic Psychiatry" and "The War Against Children."  For the flip side, try Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison's marvelous "An Unquiet Mind," and "Touched With Fire – Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament."  Dr. Jamison is Professor of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as well as Honorary Professor of English at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland – and a Bipolar sufferer.

 

< So is psychiatry a pseudoscience? Chances are your grandmother was more effective in handling life than your shrink. >>

 

She was.   Yes, Psychiatry is a pseudoscience. But that has NAUGHT to do with the fact that brain disorders exist and are the cause of more misery than I could ever hope to outline for you.   Volcanoes and hurricanes exist, too, and we even have experts who can tell you allll about them, but in the end, they can't do much to control THEM, either. Surely, they cannot cure them or do much to prevent their ruinous effects upon our lives.

 

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Premature

Current mood: chipper

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

Premature

By AnnaBelle Lee

Copyright A. Lee, 1986

 

One obsidian night,

A poem

Wrested me upright,

Out of my morphic dreams

And snarled Disney sheets,

Demanding

I give it rapt attention.

Like a baby bleating nightlong

Dressing the air with its need-song,

It would not permit me rest,

'Til rocked, mused and expressed,

I lay it down to paper,

Cribbed in titled language,

Arranged, blanketed,

Warm as the blood spent,

Waiting for fruition.

The rain silvered my window,

As I dozed, fitfully wrung out,

My mind, journeying swift as sound,

To the hothouse of limbic

Origin bound,

Cradle of mankind's mind.

All the way back,

I prayed it would live.

 

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Late Again

Current mood: chipper

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

LATE AGAIN

By AnnaBelle Lee

 

An elephant of a Monday,

Squats upon my chest,

Oppressive and grey as Stonehenge.

The accordion trunk tightening

Mercilessly around my lungs.

I can't breathe.

Tusks of the new week gleam whitely,

With Pepsodent fervor.

The wet eyes blink,

Hard-green, red-veined like bloodstone.

"You're not going to work today,"

Intones this Teflon-wattle-necked

Depression. Darkness unclasps

The light; it falls to my window.

I see this, but I can't feel it.

I never debate with elephants,

Pre-conscious or otherwise.

It pops out my reason like a peanut

And lefts, curving a wide arc,

To its snail mouth,

Chuckling,

Herding me back to a menagerie

Of dreams, spackled with white-out

And recomposed.

There I can feel.

There I can write a new morning.

One where I frisk from the bed,

As in the Serta Mattress commercial,

Make-up miraculously applied and

I'm smiling.

 

 

Copyright '88

 

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Sunday, September 17, 2006

 

Rom

Current mood: busy

 

ROM

By AnnaBelle Liee

 

Settled delicate, this urge to root and quit

Camping the fields, in orbit like the moon.

Here, silverpoint prayers etched in snowfall

Tether to flanneled arms, alight my hair.

 

Embers flash in the fire, gasp and crackle,

As I rewrap my rag of a foot in the last town's news.

County fathers read my fortune: move on, Gypsy

Or die.  Deep my need to stake the tent, but left.

 

Over this village, clouds nose into harbor

And bless with frosty exhale, bless . . . bless.

Backdropped by a dove sky, a steeple spire

Hones Heaven, urging its naked cross

 

Higher, still higher! Gold-painted pinnacle seeker

And I, the horizon-hunter, seem the only quick

This twilight. Fields, flesh, feather, fire

Essentials of life - snow stuffs in its white bag.

 

No need for gypsies has this place of worshippers

Or palm-readers, tarot cards or visions.

You confess no belief in Magic?  Religion?

To no land loyal I wandered, cart and fiddle,

 

Ethics, culture, costume,

Odd as a comet from a dark address.

To discover this cross and I are burning brothers

Courting a cold town draped in ermine,

 

Amused and scoffing at us both, Gypsy and God.

We speak the same arcane tongue, and trick with faith.

The will alone enables faith. Hear my voice, I, Rom!

Will free my donkey's heels, sweat muscle, work

 

To finally own warm shoes! No more sallow, sneaking thief

If ever I was, I had to eat.  Blue-nailed, snow-bearded

I'll dwell through winter's atonement.  The townsfolk

Will of me know nothing 'til Spring winds rumor

 

My violin's voice over their wall. I scorch

All these foul cards . . . the wheel! The crystal!

Shall root my foot to rock, dream strong of building,

And unpack my life, this wagon, for the last time . . .

Last time!

 

~Copyright 1986

 

 

 

Fire Escape

Current mood: busy

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

FIRE ESCAPE

By AnnaBelle Lee

 

To Geo, remember?

 

 

Enter the wall hole your axe rent.

Hotface!  Hotface! Gawwd, flame

Zippers up the wall in a vertical tide.

An Ionic curve of purple smoke

Plumes against the ceiling

In a slow-mo roll,

Barks in your lungs.

A thin wail through an altar of heat

Back room!  A child!

Hunker down, belly to tile

Hip-slide, hip-slide - grope and gasp,

Glove-tips are feelers, eyelids burn,

Air tank is the twin weight of

Duty on your spine.  Blisters

Pock your neck-back, there'll be

Bad scarring.  Is this ----?

Carpet! To the right hall ---

The young one cries.  Keep suckin' air

And moving.  Fire is so loud.

The voice of fire has an accidental

Beauty.  Ahead . . . combustion streaks

Pulse behind smoke veils, and a

Shut door is on your left.

Strain vertically you left arm . . .

A knob!

Turn, drop, roll in, and buddy

Kick that door shut!

The crib - a kid

(two-teeth   knuckle pale)

The walls seem to breathe and sigh

Tusks of char. Red T-shirted baby

Sweats on his domed head, he's

In a terror, sniffled hoarse.

To him you're a fire monster. But today

Bucko, you're a savior

In a melting helmet and grimy turnout coat.

Pluck him up because for a moment

He is your son, your baby.

He owes the rest of his threescore and ten

To a fire-man . . . now

 

BREAKOUT!

 

~Copyright '89

 

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

 

The Ball Ballad of the Adonis Adoration

Current mood: blah

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

From the Marlowe Manifesto. Unedited . . . yes, it needs editing. It's a full chapter from the novel, and therefore VERY long.

 

This piece will certainly be offensive to some readers.  It is erotic in places - I think . . . I'm never sure about such things. And I hasten to assure you, these characters were cannibalized from my own life. This is ALL true.

 

Names have been changed to protect me from the guilty.

 

AnnaBelle Lee

 

****************************

 

excerpt from:  SKY WISH -- the Marlowe Manifesto

-by Marlowe Fraser-

 

Men -- The Ball Ballad of the Adonis Adoration

 

"I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man who would know me: refuge failed me and no man cared for my soul."

-Psalm 142:4-

 

Praise:

Men!  Ahhh-men.  Oh my, oh XY!!  God but I adore you.  I love male gods, too.  Of course I know I shouldn't, but I do.  This old coquette has aged beyond the flirt zone now and how I miss your fox whistles, your pinch fingers, your unsubtle hints and smarmy invitations.  The calendar of my face forbids your interest now.  But I still want you men, I do, I do, I do.  To have and to hold, until I've grown too old . . . How  many times have I said that?  To how many of you men?  I've had a few . . .

I've had a few too many men, Barkeep.  Can somebody give me a chilled kiss or a ride home?  Officer, I admit that I've had a few too many . . . Okay, you've got me, your honor, I've had a lot of men.  You understand what I mean by "had" don't you?  I cupped them deep within my body, I drank what they had to offer.  I was the chalice ever thirsty for their lips, the Hellcrotch ever ravenous for their souls.

Oh, Nature!  It's your fault I was tempted to unnatural and unpenitent wickedness.  How could you create males so gloriously savage, so serpent-mouthed, pistil-tongued, rain-haired and unicorn-vain and then actually expect me to be satisfied with just one?

Men, men, you scourge of my gender, my erotic dream deities, twisting my sleep.  I'm perennially hunk-drunk, a fascinated captive of your cute glutes.  Your sweet devotions have debauched me and I'll never go into remission.  Hear my psalm, my hymn for him!  My shedonistic paean in praise of men!  I even wail my jeremiad over all the dead and future males, the unknown lovers outside my span, those anonymous avenues of unrequited lust.  From Adam to Omega, I wish I could love you all.

Homunculus, your image is wrought always in my eye, no amount of blinking will ever banish you.  Your eyes, of every hue from pitch to blue, provoke me to the dance.  I want to be dishonorable; I want to give your hands permission to trace your eye's lascivious path.  Dismiss the space between us, cancel inhibition, let me invite you one and all to my exhibition!  I have a willing entrance men, come here to me.  Don't heed the limbic warnings, walk away from your friends' advice.  Dismiss all objects holy and profane, they cannot pleasure you.  Behold me, Marlowe! and love me, love me, fear me not.  (Although it's true that I'm the advocate of sin.)  Instead taste fully of our tragic skin drama/kiss-comedy.  Where your mouth alights, my flesh laughs; where your teeth snare, welts rise to meet your passion.  There will be elaborate howlings ascending to the ceiling, there will be our shadow's testimony.  Ignore these sin emissions and feed, feed recklessly.  And don't be afraid, my mattress keeps its secrets.  Take me to the place where we're not We and feed, feed recklessly.  I love it when you turn ecstasy inside out and eat it's heart, it excites me!  I like to covet, and to maim,

I liked stealing your rib.

Crush me with your weight, rebuild me by oblivion, for climax deconstructs its participants.  Without you men, I am just a bottled jinn.  You let me out, when I let you in.  And in your absence, my unplugged body weeps itself barren.  The roses you had brought to please me rust rigid as desert sand-flowers.  Where where then, is your fertile flattery, when you opened my legs like a book and read romance?  Where is the man who stoked the womb so expertly, he of the admirable words, he of the adventurous maneuvers?  I lie awake at night and pray for fire.  But what the heart no longer sees, it summons repeatedly and I am a fool who craves your gentle lies.  Yet all known prayers written and pronounced never seem to bring you back.  Tree-like, I'm used to sucking up the sap, now I am dying.  I enlarge myself with rings and rings of pain, till some new god arrives and tenderly inhabits me or hacks me down.

Oh, men of my species -- you've been my lovers, my husbands, my son, my father, uncles and grandfathers, and most enjoyably for me, although I'm sure equally frustrating for you, you've been my confidants, my most dependable friends.  That is, except for the times you took advantage of our friendship and tried to seduce me.  But I forgive you, because you're men and those impulses are and always have been nature's difficult gift.  I took it as a compliment, really.

And I still love you.

I can never recover from the way you look undressed.  Nothing hotwires my fever like a naked man, all those muscles prowling under your flesh, those jungle echoes.  I lie like plundered prey beneath your rough firmament of sinew and brawn -- and ah, you make me sweat.  Those lion thighs and taut butts and tense cocks, always on the verge of twitch.  I think I . . . no, I know I love you.  Your voices have muscle and authority to dominate, like the deep notes of the sea ordering waves.  You have called me in that voice and my body of water heeds you like the moon.

You all smell so damn enchanting to me.  Some like fields, some like snowfall, others like musk or lemons or gin with a twist.  I even fall in love with statues of men and they don't smell like anything, except maybe dust.  Just grant me one day to spend in the company of Alexander the Great or Ben Franklin.  Now those were intriguing men!  I'll even accept a date with their dust, if that's the mystic best that can be done.  If I know men, and I think I do, the dust and I will find a way. . .

I see men downtown all the time and I follow them around, just to watch them walk.  Every male possesses his own walk watermark.  I mean, it's really wild.  Whether you guys are strutting or sidling or skidding or swaggering, you all move with a confidence that I rarely observe in women.  I don't need to hold you up to the light, it's as legible as your own reflection.

 

I drink your watermarks in the dark.

 

Lamentations:

I love you, despite the fact that you were often cruel to me.  It was funny the way you'd find yourself inflamed with me initially, and then when the new-woman novelty wore off you suddenly discovered that I bore faults and foibles like any other human being.  Then you'd start to distance yourself from me and usually you'd try to achieve that distance in a number of methods both transparent and barbarous.  For instance: your much maligned ex-girlfriend or ex-wife would suddenly develop previously unmentioned traits of virtue and perfection.  I would then be forced to listen to a litany of their grand abilities in bed and how feminine and charming they were and how awful sorry you were that you'd broken it off with them.  Before I knew it,  you'd be right back living with her . . . the very same girl on whom you'd spent arc loads of energy ridiculing and reviling when you first started dating me.  Like I really needed to know that you all of a sudden noticed that I have crooked front teeth and by the way, your old-girlfriend?  the one that you made fun of because she couldn't come unless you massaged her earlobes while you were making love to her?---you now think that her idiosyncrasy was sort of cute and you miss her.  Great.  That was just great to hear.  Thanks guys.

Let me offer you a perfect example of what I'm talking about.  About ten years ago I dated this male ballerina when he was dancing in a New York ballet troupe.  Gorgeous man, looked like a young Nureyev, all deep-set eyes, serious brow and drawing room demeanor.  He gave me the willy-chills when he walked into a room.  Of course he immediately claimed to be enthralled with my very presence, and since my living arrangements at the time were only temporary at best, I decided what the hell? and moved in with Donny the Dancer.  He provided me with a rent free roach-infested haven whilst proving himself to be a man of quizzical, if not outright bizarre personal habits.  Believe me -- you don't want to know, but I'll give you just one hint.  One of the ways he lit his sexual pilot light was to give himself very soapy enemas.  I told you that you didn't want to know.  Anyway, this guy did make a good stout cup of cappuccino and his cooking wasn't too atrocious if you don't mind box-grub prepared in a microwave or oatmeal with a lot of molasses swirled around in it.  And his apartment was spacious enough, or maybe it just seemed so because he didn't have any furniture to speak of.  He and his long time flame had just split up and she took most the household goods with her.  Naturally he told me that he now abhorred the whore, who's name was Delia (Donna and Delia -- don't you just want to puke?) and he ranted on and on for the first three weeks that we lived together about what an stuck-up, untalented, mean-spirited, gold digger she was and how he was never, ever going to speak to her again.  One evening when he was out on the town with his homosexual pals I snooped around in his closet and found at least eighty letters that Delia had written to him over the course of their nine year romance.  He had kept them wrapped in white tissue and neatly filed in a pink Danskin leotard box.  I kid you not.  Anyway, I sat down on the floor and read about thirty of those letters and I mean to tell you, I nearly laughed myself into the state of hysteria.  The lady was thirty years old and functionally illiterate.  And naive.  For a grown woman who taught dance at the local university, Delia was an incredible simpleton.  Donny loved to boast about his distinguished lineage, his master's degree from a prestigious college.  And he sure as hell wasn't above a curt snide correction if I inadvertently mispronounced or misspelled a word.  "You must be more careful," he'd warn with a lofty flip of his long black hair, "people in the know will see that you're . . . uneducated.  It's so obvious Marlowe, you just don't know any better but that won't excuse you in sophisticated company."  Ha!  And there I sat, reading letters that could have been composed by a dyslexic six year old.  Now will someone please explain to me why a man who would criticize my occasional errors in pronunciation would suddenly, for no reason, begin to weep into his salty oatmeal over a thirty year old woman who used to wear Laura Ashley kid dresses and color in a children's coloring book to entertain herself?  A woman, by his own admission, who continually suffered from a lamentably low libido, and in fact, had no interest in physical love at all?

But, of course, no matter what kind of a juvenile, air-head ditz princess Delia had proven herself to be, Donny and I had only been living together for about a month before he began to loudly mourn her absence.  Not too long after that I was shocked to find several love-letters-in-progress hidden in one of his sketch books.

"Delia, my precious one" Donny had written in his left-handed slant, "how long has it been since we have tried to speak? I think of you everyday and I awaken in the morning expecting to see your sweet face lying on the pillow next to mine but you're not there and my heart shuts its eyes and dies."

It was pathetic, his little teardrops were splattered all over the page, like wet Judas kisses.  Now excuse the hell out of me, but I saw photographs of Dearest Delia and not only was she a typical skeletal ballerina but her face definitely had something in common with a near-sighted anteater.  She had a blade-long nose and pit bull black eyes and I'm sorry but the woman wasn't even qualified as beautiful.  But that seemed to be a fact unrecognized by Donny the Dancer.  He'd gaze longingly at her pictures and say softly under his breath, "Ah, beauty incarnate.  My love for ten years.  There will never be another love like that love."  It was enough to make you heave into your sleeve, I swear to God.  And you can imagine how that darling little comment made me feel.  I had always heard love is blind but I never thought it meant a willful and irresponsible denial of obvious reality.  I should have known better, look at my father.

I realized that day there was something mysterious going on between people which had nothing to do with logic and reason.  Nothing at all.  I've seen noble and decent men shit on, abused, lied to, shammed, slammed and damned by some woman they've had the hots for, and to hear those men talk that very same woman was nothing less than a deity transfused straight from the veins of Helen of Troy and Mother Theresa.  I'd usually end up finally meet these apotheosized broads and collectively they didn't possess one unique character trait to spare them from the memory guillotine.  Seemed to me that the only thing those bitches had in common was a disinterest in the man.  I began to suspect that maybe that's what you men want -- the challenge of rejection.  I still wonder when or if any of you ever figure it out.  After she's duped you with her hunter and prey game and is sitting there in the expensive house with your three costly kids, driving around all fucking day in the SUV/ Land Rover she insisted she had to have because of the three sniveling little brats -- like, do you ever come home bone-ass exhausted and look at your wife's suburban queen existence and recognize that you've been used, bubba?  Somehow she convinced you that her twat was eighteen karat gold.  You thought you really got yourself someone really special when you finally turned her rejection into acceptance.  Now look at you!  Bills up the ass, belly-aching, demanding, selfish kids up the ass, stress and storms and fatigue up the ass, all because you fell for the same old tired Sucker ruse that women have been using to ensnare men since forever.

In my opinion, you all need to learn to evaluate female behavior through a more critical and judicious lens.  In  other words, you should seek a mate who boasts more substantial qualifications than a prodigious bust measurement or physical attractivity in general.  And that woman who plays hard to get?  If she plays at all, she isn't worth your efforts to attract her attention.  Just because someone acts as though they're exceptional doesn't meant they are; it merely suggests they're egotistical or bluffing like the devil.  There's not a person on this earth who has any more of a right to be here than you do.  No individual is more worthy of love than any other of us poor human creatures stumbling around trying to find some genuine affection.  And try to keep this whole daring and mating thing in some kind of perspective, would you please?  We all have a date with the grave and we're lying there alone.  Trust me.  Ah, but you won't.  I know that as soon as you see those 36-24-36's coming your way, everything that I've just told you will vanish like ghosts in the light.

That's just what Donny the Dancer did to me.  We'd be sitting on our third world dining table, (as he liked to call the yellow-flowered sheet we used to sit on while we consumed our vegetarian meals), and halfway through his falafel he'd start talking about Delia and their life together in the most simpering, over-theatrical way.  I'd catch him staring at me, his full lower lip all aquiver, and when I asked him what on earth his problem was he'd close his eyes, tilt his head back and whisper in a drifty melodramatic voice.  "I've been such a fool.  Why didn't I listen to my heart?  My mother's been trying to tell me all along that I've made a dreadful mistake, letting you move in here."  He glanced at me again, his dark eyes welling with soppy tears.  "Mom knows me better than I know myself.  She told me I should just explain to you that I'm . . . emotionally unavailable.  It's not your fault, of course," he informed me, holding one limp hand to his forehead, "I had hoped that we might give one another comfort, but it's no use.  I'm still so much in love with . . . someone else."

Just in case you were wondering, I'm not exaggerating this exchange one iota.  The important thing to note here, is that Delia had up and deserted him over a year before.  She routinely rejected all of his letters and phone calls.  Donny's own mother had told him that Delia was planning to marry a Wall Street stock broker within the next six months.  I'd say that such behavior signified a total lack of interest in resuscitating her romance with Donny.  But somehow he performed an emotional blip over that fact, which surprised me, because Donny was not some pre-teen suffering from a terminal case of puppy love.  He was thirty-three years old, okay?  I mean, get real.  At least I can tell when I've been banished from someone's sphere of preferred people.  But not old Donny boy.  Oh, no.  He remained convinced that Delia was still smitten with him, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

Once he had shit his confession on me, he felt clean and pure, as if he'd just exited a sweat lodge.  Guess what he said when I expressed my outrage at having been lured into providing him with a month of commitment free sex?  After I told him his lofty dismissal of my feelings showed him to be heartless and calculating, and that his persistent attachment to the departed Delia was clear-cut evidence of an immature and personal apocalypse of reason?  He just sniffed at me disdainfully and said, "Marlowe, ah, Marlowe.  I feel such pity for you.  You'll never understand true love.  I didn't mean to hurt you, but now that I've spoken the truth I'm free to feel good about myself again.  You'll have to move out.  I realize that you're . . . destitute, but I just can't continue to live with a lie."

What lie? I wondered.  The lie that Delia still loved him?  Or the lie that he hadn't meant to hurt me?  To my knowledge I had done nothing to deserve being spoken to the way he addressed me, as if I were not a real person with my own emotional needs.  What was my fault in this pitiful drama, what precisely was my sin?  Simple to deduce, of course.  I wasn't Delia.  The saddest thing about it all, was that not even Delia was Delia, the phantom woman elevated to divinity status by virtue of her persistent absence.

And I must admit, Donny was right about one thing.  I have no idea what constitutes genuine love.  I know none of its features, that I might recognize it, nor of its boundaries or depth or height, color, latitude or dimension.  I have heard countless people rhapsodize about the history they once shared with this or that ex-lover. I've witnessed them being horribly mistreated by some alleged loved one, and I watched them sit there and take the crap, all because of what they described to me as "a deep bonding, a profound mixture of pity, fear and love" for the other person.  I've seen men desert their forty year old wives and their dependent children, with whom they've spent twenty years building a stable and secure life -- and sashay off with a balloon-breasted twenty year old, offering the excuse that "she makes me feel young again," or because "she worships me and my wife doesn't and besides, the sex is phenomenal" (like what self-respecting person needs to be worshiped, I ask you?  Isn't that kind of tedious?)  or some other such self-indulgent bull.

I have a very dear friend, I swear to you a kinder gentleman never lived.  My buddy Thomas was the arresting fusion of Da Vinci and Bruno the Wrestler.  Brilliant engineer, inspired artist.  His wife Allison had to be the most obtuse, dizzy female I have ever met.  However her native stupidly didn't prevent the bitch from figuring out how to exploit her husband for all he was worth.  Allison resolutely refused to work for a living, and then proceeded to set herself up as the twentieth century's most prolific infant mint.  She squeezed out five kids in five years, practically sending Thomas to the poorhouse.  And nothing he provided was good enough for Miss Majesty.  She insisted upon living in a four-bedroom house, and it was imperative said house be located right down the street from her mother.  She credit-charged her already beleaguered husband into bankruptcy and then embarrassed Thomas by begging her Daddy to bail them out.  Her father then had the gall to threaten Thomas, advising him in no uncertain terms that he'd better take proper care of his darling daughter or else.  Thomas used to commute for an hour and fifteen minutes just to get to work so that his wife could continue to be within whining distance of her family.  When he got home Allison and the brats were never there, nor was there any supper prepared.  She'd be down at her Mamma's house, smoking and watching the soaps on TV.

Tom and I were sitting in the company lunch room, at one of those kitsch-ugly little Formica tables and talking. When Thomas informed me of Allison's latest prima donna act, I felt like somebody needed to get ahold of her and give her a righteous good flogging somewhere in the region of her frontal lobes.  Instead I serenely took a bite of my apple and said, "Excuse me, Thomas, my good friend, but I believe it's time to get a divorce."  Well, Thomas just about fell apart crying.  "Marlowe, you just don't understand," he whimpered.  I'm thinking, Here it comes.  The same old sissy masochistic shit I always hear.   You just don't understand, Marlowe, old girl.  You just don't understand.

He looked at me pityingly and tried to explain.  "I'm the only man she's ever slept with.  When I was away at college working towards my degree in engineering she used to steal her family car and drive all the way over to Virginia just to see me.  I'd fuck her in the back of her father's car, just to spite that old bastard, because he said I wasn't good enough for Allison."  He squeezed my hand, practically begging for my sympathy.  "I just couldn't stand it if Allie and I broke up.  I'd kill myself if she ever went to bed with someone else.  I was her first.  She was a good Catholic girl and she gave up her virginity just for me.  I can't betray her sacrifice!  In fact it was a condition of our marriage that I convert to the Catholic Church.  You know that they don't allow divorce, Allie would be forbidden to receive communion.  I could never do that to her, she's my darling little girl with the puppy dog eyes."

I wanted to die, when Thomas said that.  I suppose it's fairly obvious I was genuinely fond of the man.  I was prettier, smarter, more mature and far more talented and educated than his wife.  As long as I had known the two of them I had never seen the least little sign that Allison had either the intelligence or the humor necessary to appreciate her husband.  I wanted him to want me, but he never even noticed I was a woman, much less in love with him. I'm pretty sure about that.  My extraordinary qualities, which are so screamingly apparent to any man with half a neuron were of virtually no interest to him.  All Thomas desired, obviously, was to be a forty hour wage slave for the duration of his pointless life, the better to fund the meretricious ambitions of money-spending baby-making Allie.  So I'm thinking to myself, If Allison Sayres is so fucking Hail Mary religious, how come she conveniently got pregnant one month after Thomas received his college degree and had started seeing a woman he'd met on campus?  Sounded a hellova lot like the old Baby Hook technique to me.  For a dedicated Papist, Old Saint Allison certainly was capable of communing with Hell's Overlord whenever it served her purposes.  She had every wide-eyed excuse in the world when she did something stupid, too.  Last year, Thomas finally insisted that Allison get some birth control pills because they couldn't afford any more children.  One week later he called in sick from the emergency room because the youngest child, Betsy, had found the pill-pack on the sink in the bathroom and swallowed every last one.  Allie then claimed excitedly that this was a sign from God and refused to use any more birth control of any kind.  She was pregnant with their sixth kid when Thomas and I had this lunch room discussion.

Childish and stupid as Allie may have been she could still be as conniving as a hen house fox when she wanted her way.  I attempted to tactfully mention this observation to Thomas and he became furious with me.  Didn't speak to me the rest of the afternoon.  "Marlowe, you just don't understand," he said angrily.  "I love Allison.  She needs me. She's the baby of a family of nine kids and I made a promise to her father that if I was lucky enough to make her my wife then I would take good care of her.  We've got five kids, for christ's sakes!  Don't you see how much having Allie raise my kids in their own home means to me?  Where is your son right now, Marlowe?  Right.  In a day care center.  That's the end result of divorce, the kids wind up in a day care center.  Well it isn't going to happen to Allie and me.  I don't care  if she drives me back into debt and gives birth to ten more kids.  I consider myself damn lucky to have a stay-at-home woman who's family oriented.  So what if she talks all day to her mother on the phone?  It's not long distance.  She loves her parents and that shows that she's a loyal, loving woman herself.  Look at you and your parents.  The things you say about them!  Sometimes I wonder what you did to make them abandon you when you went through your divorce."

Well, it wasn't like I didn't hear that all the time from people, but I didn't usually satisfy their curiosity.  However Thomas was a friend, and I felt obligated to try to exonerate myself.

"I didn't do anything except try to force my father to get help for my mother and my sister," I said. "He didn't want to accept what was going on so he threw me out of the house.  They're crazy, Thomas, not me."  I couldn't resist a stab at his precious little wife.  "I wonder just how great little Allie's life would have been if her mother had been singing in the choir of good old Minister Mad.  And Thomas," I said, "at least I stand up to the people who try to take advantage of me!  I've always worked for a living and taken care of my own.  I don't need my fucking parents to do a fucking thing for me.  Your wife is a spoiled and self-centered brat!  She couldn't care less how much stress you're under, Thomas, and she wouldn't understand even if you tried to explain it, because she's never worked a day in her life!"

Needless to say, that marked the end of my friendship with Thomas.  He has seven children now and works three jobs in order to feed and clothe and dress them in concordance with Allie's upper class pretensions.  She doesn't do a damn thing except help run her daughter's girl scout troop, which Thomas speaks of very proudly, as if she discovered radium or something.  Well, I still say she crucified him.  Crucified with seven nails and a crown of her thorny affection.  When I run into them at the Mall Allie is always giggling and wearing pigtails like an ingenuous school kid, merrily dragging her snot-nosed children around behind her like a gene train.  Thomas usually looks like he's ready for a coronary vacation.  Help me, Lord and spare me, too.  If that is love, and every day I see evidence that many persons think that this is so, then truly, I don't comprehend it.  Don't want to feel like that for another person.  Not ever.

But that doesn't mean that I'm not a woman dressed in sensitive flesh.  I still crave sexual union, I still adore you men.  But over and over you choose other women, women who are somehow shallow and diminished when compared to me.  Does the sham of love mean so much to you my brothers, that you refuse to be appalled by the ancient female ruses employed to capture and abuse you?  I had wit and spirit and sensuality to offer and yet, no takers who wanted to go the distance with me.  What do you want, oh men?  Does that elementary bonding sustain and satisfy you so intensely that you are willing to overlook the false faces of your women?  Could it be that you prefer the taxing and dreary company of sub-bozo titty-philic females like Allie, like Twinky, like Aimee?  You think you have the upper hand in the romance when a woman is that dumb.  I assure you, you do not.  There has never on this earth been created a creature more duplicitous and unprincipled than a homo sapiens female.  I can't tolerate them myself.  And as much as I am endlessly fond of you, men, I hate you for loving such women.

I suppose I can't understand the attraction because I personally could never get along with my own sex.  Never craved the legendary sisterly closeness that can spring up between females, not I.  I never experienced any special rapport with my own sister, Thea for that matter.  And anyway, the fortress of her madness kept me out rather effectively.  I wouldn't mind sharing the random bit of gossip with my sister, you understand, but that irascible looniness of hers . . . no thank you, no.  No thank you.  Even my own mother, if I may offer an uncharitable impression, appeared to view herself as a man.  She studied chemistry and wore men's clothing back when it was unthinkable to do so.  Drove a hearse in college, she did, and engaged in all of the very aggressive body contact sports as if she was some kind of retro-Amazon.  The woman still exudes dick aura.  What can I tell you?  I never in my life had a genuine feminine role model.  Camille Paglia, maybe.  Evita Peron, maybe.  Madonna?  Yeah, I honestly admire her.  I can only hope that she finds someone who'll appreciate her chutzpa and charisma.

It isn't fair.  Only men accomplish, only men kill and fuck and feast and build and destroy.  Women flirt, gossip, whine, gestate, nurse, bleed and occasionally one or two of my gender will do something bold and significant with her life.

But rarely.  Very rarely.

Did I ever tell you about this one guy I lived with?  Graham the Guitar Player?  Worked two jobs, one as an English teacher at the local high school and the other as a musician in a coffee house band.  Handsome? I hope to tell you.  And that son of a bitch sure could perform in other ways.  Got me in the family condition and wouldn't even hang around for the abortion.  I guess having my baby was a piece he didn't think he could play and it sure as hell wasn't a subject he could teach with any authority.

Or this one computer hacker, the red-headed, freckle-faced Lane Olgesby.  Dated me for a while after my second divorce but wound up complaining that I was too impoverished and dependent-natured to suit him.  "What I want," he charged, "is a woman in control of her own life.  You're not in control, Marlowe.  Every other month you get run out of your apartment for non-payment of rent and you're not providing Jax with any stability."

"Well," I said to defend myself, "His father doesn't pay any child support and the price of rents is always based off of a two-income family wage.  There really isn't any place I can afford to rent on my salary."

He gave me a look that said, Spare me, will you?  "Well, frankly, that's not my problem.  And to be honest, I'm tired of helping you move from one rat hole to the another," he declared.  "It's not my responsibility.  I come to your apartment and I see your empty refrigerator and I feel like I'm obligated to buy you some groceries just because I'm sleeping with you.  I'm not interested in playing Daddy to your son anyway.  You should've stayed married to your husband if you can't afford to live alone."

That assessment of my situation really took me aback. "He, uh . . . he was screwing his secretary, Lane,"I stammered.  "He was living with her and stopping by our home just long enough to drop off the minimum amount of cash so that I could buy food and clothes for the kids.  What was I supposed to do, sit there and take it?"

"You couldn't afford to leave and you left anyhow!  It was your bad decision!  You put you and your son in jeopardy because of your stupid ego!" he shouted.  We had been lying in his water bed, but now he jumped up and started putting on his robe.  "I really can't understand that kind of pointless pride," he announced.  "And I think it's best if we both start seeing other people."

Seeing other people is what you men say when you want to get rid of me.  I understand that very well, since I've heard it about thirty times in my life.  That's just about the same number of occasions in which I've heard you say "you're so very be-yootiful, Marlowe," said statement would usually neatly intersect at the point of your hand's insertion into my bra or my underpants.

Well, I'd had enough of Lane's comfortable (for him) waterbed moralizing, so I got up and put on my clothes and left.  I knew better than to argue.  He was just basically bored with fucking me and my single parent situation was thus appropriated to serve as a handy excuse to back out of our relationship.  He never said good-bye, thank you, fuck you or eat my shorts.  I heard about six months later that he had married Jane, the secretary of our division.  I remember her quite well.  She was eighteen, thin, gaunt, spiritually over-cooked and walked like she had a jousting stick up her wazoo. Thought she was too good for looking.  The ironic thing was, she stood about as far away from Independent as a woman can get.  She'd been living at home with Mommy and Daddy until thirty year old Mr. Lane Oglesby rode in on his magic slide rule and whisked her off to the altar.  Now she's sitting at home, raising their two toddlers and guess what?  She's dependent on him for everything.  His income just isn't enough to enable them to buy two vehicles so Lane has to take off work all the time and drive her or the kids to the pediatrician, the dentist, the grocery store, the Laundromat.

But of course, that's all okay, because he loves her and those are his kids.

I think it's fair to say now that etiquette is effectively kaput in this culture, only love remains as the benchmark by which we determine how we must conduct ourselves towards our fellow beings, and if you don't love a particular person, then you can treat them any foul way you please.  Loves provides mercy, love excuses, love justifies, validates and love most especially elevates, all the way to sainthood and beyond.

Seeing as how I'm Marlowe the Unbeloved Bitchbrat, you can imagine how I get treated.

Yes, I'm bitter-brewed, hate-tainted, but that's not to say that there weren't some males who cared for me.  I cherish a few selects over all the rest.  Embarrassing as it is for an intellectual like myself to admit, the one for whom I had the greatest affection was by far the superior lover.  His brain activity wasn't too shabby, but I couldn't have cared one way or the other.  Top of the scrotum pole, he was.  Massive, raw, hairy and quaintly tender-hearted with hands that knew their way around downtown.  Muscles clotted all over like barnacles.  Hemp thick reddish-blonde hair down to his shoulders and a face like an aggravated angel.  Dusty blue eyes with a yellow corona, grabbed you like gravity, you had to surrender again and again.  Looked scrumptious clothed, even better unpeeled.  He used to stare at me in bed as if I were a goddess about to deliver an oracle orgasm.  You can shake up the whole alphabet but you'll never create a word to describe how that made me feel.  The son of a bitch just loved to be with me.  But going out to dinner with him was always an ego-destroying experience.  I told him I'd have to start carrying a can of waitress repellant.  Damn women never could leave him alone.  One gal actually took his order and forgot all about me.  Ever feel eclipsed?  I had to give him up, because a man like that belongs to all women.  But you know Michael, I love you still.

My son is now a man.  Jax is seventeen years old, difficult though it be for me to accept  sometimes.  To me he'll always be a little boy with rose-red curls and a dimply face who shouted for me to come and cuddle him and sing him to sleep.  When he got to be a bit older, say nine or ten, he insisted that I read horror or adventure stories to him before he went to bed.  I was afraid that such fare might be too stimulating for nighttime entertainment, but Jax went right off to snoozeville after I'd been reading for about an hour.  That was about the age when I was grimly requested to dispense with the good night hug and kiss.  Too mushy for a guy like him.  After the age of twelve Jax seemed to have developed an armadillo exterior against overt displays of emotion.  I attribute that to all the Dickensian bleak times we went through whenever I was in between jobs or marriages.  Social ostracism, food stamp shame, cold-water flats and sleeping bag shelter beds, Jax bore all the side affects of destitution with a scary kind of Spartan valor.  I must admit it, the kid had grit.  Now he's a surly uncooperative teen with weed on the brain, condoms in his wallet and a smart ass mouth full of ready lies for Momma should I ever make the mistake of asking horrid intrusive questions such as where are you going, and when are you coming home?  He knows the lyrics to every heavy metal song but he can't remember what his homework assignment was.  There's a grisly furze of unidentified lifeforms sprouting under his laundry pile that might qualify for heavy scientific funding and posters all over his wall so sleazy they defy the rating categories.  It's not very often that I'm permitted to tread within the sacred landfill . . . er, I mean, bedroom, so I couldn't say what's hanging on the walls at the moment.  He speaks in a short hand druggie dialect meant to obscure the teenage thought processes.  Sometimes I can understand what he's saying because I once communicated in a  similar patois.  We're still close, I guess.  I wonder about that Oedipus complex stuff, because I've been the only constant presence in his life, but it just doesn't seem to be there.  All I feel for my son is all I've ever felt when I looked at him, whether he was uttering those adorable bubbly baby noises in his crib or puffing expletives around his cigarette while he hauls out the weekly trash -- I am amazed, astonished, speechless, that any male so magnificent could have issued forth from my womb.  I feel that no woman will ever be good enough for him, not even me.

But as for most of you men, I have to say that I feel terribly misunderstood.  I can't fathom why none of my relationships with you ever lasted more than four years.  If I had been a trust fund legatee or had won the lottery or gone to college and gotten a better paying job, I'm thinking now that I'd probably never had gotten married at all.  That's not to say that I wouldn't have created children.  I love children, all that economy-sized potential just waiting for the catalyst of love to ignite into success.

I always thought it would be evolutionarily sound behavior to produce three or four children by different fathers.  I used to breed rats and hamsters and mice when I was a kid and it was greatly amusing to see how the offspring of various experimental matings would turn out.  There's no valid reason why the same thing can't be done with homo sapiens, is there?  I mean, as long as the B-mother is capable of providing for all of the resultant progeny.  The men could hang around and share in their upbringing or not, whatever they liked . . . as long as they never tried to interfere with my artistic endeavors.  That's one of the things that usually was the point of discord with all of my relationships. For whatever reason most of my men were grossly threatened by my avocations: writing, reading and drawing.  Such resistance made no sense to me at all, and it still doesn't.  My first husband shredded several of my creations because he came home at noon and found me drawing instead of setting his lunch on the table.  My second husband used to stand in the corner of our living room and watch me sketching away on something totally pure and innocuous like a bridal portrait, and then I'd hear him kvetching loudly, "Why cain't Ah draw lahk that?  It ain't fair." instead of praising or encouraging me.

Now we aren't talking inflammatory subject matter here, either.  No pseudo-genitals or gore-bespattered war corpses, no people caught in the act of performing delicate bodily functions, no surreal political caricatures, nothing like that.  Other than a few nudes I pretty much stuck to drawing the human face.  I fail to see how intimidating some woman's innocent little artistic past-time could be . . . it's not as though I made a lot of money from my work.  I drew because it was something I did well, that's all.  I invested all of my emotions in my craft, be it manipulating words or clay or paint, and for my divine labor I was rewarded with a momentary connection to Power and Beauty.  A great vaulting across the space dividing imagination from achievement, I live for that.  I wouldn't want remuneration for my fusion with the Muse, even if someone offered it to me.  When I was growing up I thought husbands and wives stood up for one another and supported one another's dreams, no matter how ludicrous or preposterous.  I couldn't fathom why my men were so brassbound bull-headed when it came to what I considered my harmless hobbies.  But they were.  Somehow my art was pushed to the corner to stand there alone and demeaned like the classroom dunce.  If I reached for the paint brush, the journal or the computer suddenly there was some vital task that had to be done around the house.  How transparent you all were!  You possess your own talents in abundance; you played softball and racquet ball and hunted game and hung around the men's clubs, but I was never permitted to explore the full range of my abilities.  What universal impulse is this on the part of men, to want to destroy my communion with Art, the only meaningful relationship I've ever had?  It must have been rooted in jealousy and its middle name must be fear.  "Art is nothing but a warped representation of reality," my third husband announced.  Well, Marlowe submits to you that there is nothing that is 'real' one second after it flickers into our present time and space.  After that it is but memory -- a recollection, or it is a photograph -- a reproduction, or it is recorded in language, a description --- and all are distortions.  Of these, only the artistic medium involves a direct ecstatic communication and a translation through the Muse.  You suspect I'm unstable?  Then yes, the truth is I am.  There is no such thing as a solid state for artists.  We must be volatile and flux-friendly.  All of the marvels, impressions, memories, and fragments of experience will dazzle and flash through my tormented brain until I gather and stabilize them into a cohesive unified revelation -- a novel work of invention, a clarification of transcendental truths.

 

Revelation:

Did it ever occur to you men that a feminine prodigy is deserving of your attention and respect?  Why did I always get the feeling that what stood between our love was the monstrous manifestation of my genius, as if there were a third party involved whom you just didn't like very much?  I sensed your discomfort, and I tried to imprison my artistic will; I tried to prevent it from responding when the Muse would beckon.  But my creative intellect and the Muse are enmeshed in a love affair far more potent and enduring than any of you mortal men could ever hope to offer.  Perhaps one cannot even refer to it as love, for love is an emotion and sometimes I wonder if what these two forces share is above the divine senses and deaf to definition.  But one thing I can tell you for sure.  It is an attraction that will not be dissolved or destroyed until you murder me.  For I am the source and the sanctuary of that which the Muse has come to desire.  And when she speaks, I must answer, or the genius within me will seize me with raptures and terrors and I shall go mad.  How can I deal with you men, who crave a union, a communication, a cooperation, when there is an aspect of me which will never be yours, and which I cannot share with you because it is not mine to share.  This part of me, like an incandescent spiritual calling, throbs and glows and blinds me to your needs.  It insists I go where I have no yearning to go and to open my ears to enormities I have no gallantry to hear.

Please forgive my seeming arrogance, oh men.  For this state of affairs do count me blameless.  I think the Muse infused me long before I was born in the body, as if my brain had been implanted with a device that puppeteers my entire life at the whim of its creator.  I can only say that I suspect that the Artistic Muse doesn't like you men at all, not your minds, nor your delectable bodies, not your manipulations or your incantations.  Nor does she appreciate the strains and constraints you place upon me in retaliation for my mindless subservience to Her will.  Cry War! upon her if you must, but don't beat me, don't bruise my body, scorch my sensibilities, hammer down my heart and mock my ambitions.  The genius within will never feel your fist nor cringe before your aggression.  And if I do not pay homage to it, it will annihilate me far more efficiently than you can and far more completely.  If I permit you men to shatter my life, I know you will not mourn.  I will be no longer threatening, and you will bury me and be at peace.  If I defy the Muse and she effects my death, She will not mourn me.  But I will be worse than dead, and less than dust.  Therefore I ally my heart with the Goddess Art, so that even if you manage to destroy this corpus Marlowe, She will make my name Immortal.

 

 

 

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Friday, September 08, 2006

 

Information Request

Current mood: calm

Category: Blogging

 

Friends,

 

Without going into a lot of dull detail, I am going to HAVE To move. My situation has gone from Hell to Hades' basement.

 

After long, careful deliberation, I have chosen to move to Australia. ANYONE who has ANY information about how to effect such a move smoothly, please let me know. Anyone who has moved cross country or become an ex-pat, let me know. If you know any Aussies who are willing to talk to me, let me know.

 

Believe me, this move will be a new beginning, which I deserve and desire.

 

My thanks,

AnnaBelle Lee

 

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

 

AnnaBelle Revisits Hamlet

Current mood: bouncy

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

This is not meant to be disrespectful to the Almighty Bard. I composed it as a joke for my kids, and those friends who just 'can't get into Shakespeare.'

 

Pauleen sez, "It took me years to find out the famous to be or not to be speech was about suicide." >>

 

This extraordinary lament, (which Mel delivered beautifully) isn't solely about suicide, hon.

 

It's more a cri d' Coeur about Hamlet's mother's disloyalty to his father and how pissed off he is about it.

 

Here, for your pleasure, is the "To be, or not to be" speech reinterpreted for you. The ** shows the literal translation, and the *** the vernacular

translation.

 

Shakespeare spoke YOUR English, dear! Just an older model of it!

 

HAMLET

 

O, that this too too solid flesh would melt

Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!

 

** I wish my flesh would melt and turn into dew.

*** I wish I were dead.

 

Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd

His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!

 

** Or that God did not forbid suicide.

*** Or that God didn't tell us we couldn't off ourselves.

 

How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,

Seem to me all the uses of this world!

 

** How boring and useless the world is to me!

*** I can't dig on this world on anything in it.

 

Fie on't! ah fie! 'tis an unweeded garden,

That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature

 

** Damn it, damn it. It is a neglected garden

Which is rotting away; things stinking and grotesque

 

*** Fuck it! Fuck it! The world sucks.

And it's rotten, too, man.

 

Possess it merely. That it should come to this!

But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two:

 

** possess it. How could this happen!

But two months dead. That it should come to this!

 

*** That's what it is! What the hell?

Two months dead. This shit just sucks.

 

 

So excellent a king; that was, to this,

Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother

That he might not beteem the winds of heaven

Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth! >>

 

** He was an excellent king, and this king

Is a devil compared to the excellence of my father

He was so loving toward my mother

That he asked the winds not blow too hard against her face

Heaven and Earth!

 

*** My father was a rad King, who was, compared

To this jackass, a God to a freakin' Devil,

He was wild about my old lady

And he didn't want even the wind

To fuck with her facial. Fuck it!

 

 

Must I remember? why, she would hang on him,

As if increase of appetite had grown

By what it fed on: and yet, within a month--

Let me not think on't--Frailty, thy name is woman!-- >>

 

**Why do I have to remember all this painful stuff?

Why, she would hang on my father

As if her hunger increased by

The love it ate. And yet, within a month-

No, I can't stand to think about it.

Woman, you are weak!

 

*** Why the hell do I have to even think about this crap?

Man, my old lady would hang on my old man

As if she couldn't get enough of his ass.

And still in a month -

No, I can't stand to even think about that shit

Woman, you're a lame-ass wuzz.

 

A little month, or ere those shoes were old

With which she follow'd my poor father's body,

Like Niobe, all tears:--why she, even she--

O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason, >>

 

**One month. Even before her shoes were worn out

Which she wore when following my father's corpse

Like Niobe, sobbing continually, why, she -

O, God! A beast who is irrational,

 

*** One freaking Month, or, before her Dr. Marten kicks

Were played, which she was wore in my

Dad's funeral gig. Like some Greek hottie, she

Oh, MAN! A dumb animal,

 

**Would have mourn'd longer--married with my uncle,

My father's brother, but no more like my father

Than I to Hercules: within a month:

Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears

Had left the flushing in her galled eyes, >>

 

**Would have mourned the loss of her husband longer, married my uncle

My father's brother, but no more like my father

Than I am Hercules: within a month

Before her salty tears

Had dried up in her red eyes

 

***Would have been bummed out longer, hooked up with my uncle

My father's bro', but that cat is no more my old man

Than I'm Hercules: and within a month

Before the babe had even quit cryin'

 

 

She married. O, most wicked speed, to post

With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!

It is not nor it cannot come to good:

But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue. >>

 

** She married. Oh, with great speed, to dash

Easily to his incestuous bed!

It is not, nor it cannot come to good,

But my heart must break, for I can't talk about this.

 

*** She married that sunuvvabitch, and faster

than a speeding huzzy crawled into my uncle's creepy

crib. This is some nasty shit, Dewd.

But I am bummed out, even though I can't rap about that shit in public.

 

 

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

 

Capes & Cowls Board Game

Current mood: amused

Category: Games

 

Hey, All!

 

My friend's new board game will be available soon - this one is truly unique! Please check it out! The guy is a True Genius.

 

 

Thanks to public demos sponsored by the publisher, the game/book is already getting a fair amount of buzz on the enormous boardgamegeek.com.  If you'd like to take a pick, here's the URL:

 

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/20731

 

More colorful (and accurate) Capes & Cowls tidbits can be found at the following:

 

http://www.houseofnine.com/capesandcowls.html

 

AnnaBelle Lee

 

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Monday, September 04, 2006

 

My Lyre Is Turned To Mourning

Current mood: blank

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

MY LYRE HAS TURNED TO MOURNING

(Job 30-31)

 

By AnnaBelle Lee

Copyright A. Lee 1986

 

 

What shall be my metaphor of sorrow?

The venom packed in Cleopatra's snake?

Sunlight striking her vain, mute cymbals

Upon the frosted windowpane?

The cyanide foment in Rasputin's tea?

The spiny ice

On Himalaya's roof, which knows no kiss

Of flesh, not ever?

Babe, I am the ruby in Buddha's eye

Weeping its red loneliness

All the infidel night

For your return.

I am the goddess of sad, black notes

The composer forbears, lest

His symphony sound unduly melancholy.

Listen, Jester!

I am wailing,

In the granite halls of your soul

Where last you led me.

I have become Sister

To gamy nightbeasts

Who petition the haughty moon

To illuminate them, to grant

Their topaz eyes a body, a validity.

They howl, bereft.

My topaz eyes are full of storms.

 

~copyright 1986

 

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Monday, September 04, 2006

 

My Lyre Has Turned To Mourning

Current mood: depressed

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

MY LYRE HAS TURNED TO MOURNING

(Job 30-31)

 

By AnnaBelle Lee

Copyright A. Lee 1986

 

 

What shall be my metaphor of sorrow?

The venom packed in Cleopatra's snake?

Sunlight striking her vain, mute cymbals

Upon the frosted windowpane?

The cyanide foment in Rasputin's tea?

The spiny ice

On Himalaya's roof, which knows no kiss

Of flesh, not ever?

Babe, I am the ruby in Buddha's eye

Weeping its red loneliness

All the infidel night

For your return.

I am the goddess of sad, black notes

The composer forbears, lest

His symphony sound unduly melancholy.

Listen, Jester!

I am wailing,

In the granite halls of your soul

Where last you led me.

I have become Sister

To gamy nightbeasts

Who petition the haughty moon

To illuminate them, to grant

Their topaz eyes a body, a validity.

They howl, bereft.

My topaz eyes are full of storms.

 

~copyright 1986

 

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Monday, September 04, 2006

 

Vampire Novel Excerpt

Current mood: blank

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

This excerpt (a chapter, really) is QUITE lengthy. Just warning you all.

Man, do I ever detest psychiatrists and psychologists.  This is what happens when a writer frees the beast within . . .

 

*********************

Wolf, who recollected exactly how fine Carol-Beth was in bed, had to concentrate extraordinarily hard on refocusing his attention upon his meeting with Dr. Brennen.  He did not know exactly why he arranged the appointment, other than a fond sense of obligation to Dr. Dozzi, whom Wolf liked, despite the doctors obvious distrust and fear of him.  At least Dr. Dozzi did not contest Wolf's very existence, and that was a step in the right direction.  Still, he would have much preferred to follow the delectable Carol-Beth---

The street pared away from the artificial lighting provided by the intermittent street lamps and settled into the darkness as Wolf departed the commercial zone and invaded the residential peace of Somerside Hills.

Dr. Brennen agreed to treat Wolf in his private residence, as Wolf had mentioned his navigational difficulties during the daylight hours and the reason for such inconvenience.  The doctor seemed sympathetic but opined that he'd prefer to see Wolf in his home rather than in his usual office in downtown Banesville, especially at the late hour upon which both had agreed.  He saw other patients in his home, he confided, and Wolf's odd request was not so peculiar as he may have supposed.

Wolf located the doctor's gracious address easily, one of dozens of stately homes, four and five bedroom pseudo swiss chalets with double and triple garages jutting from one side or the other.  Mature landscaping provided a dense hood of foliage over the long curved driveway, as the wind rushed through the oaks a spray of leaves cascaded across Wolf's path.

The front door was shielded by an ornate wrought-iron guard door and stoutly locked, so that Wolf was unable to knock and announce his presence.  He found a door bell, so he pressed that. It made a curious whirring noise, like a pigeon strutting the sidewalk.  He examined the wrought iron, stroking its arabesque design with his fingers and then he licked one curly-cue, the tang of metal lingered in his mouth.

The inner door swung open as the stoop light switched on, flooding him with harsh light. He couldn't see who stood in the doorway, still recessed in the darkness.  He heard the iron door being unlocked and stepped aside to allow it to swing outward.

"You're Mr. O'bellod, I presume," he heard someone say.

"Yes.  But, please, let me in, I cannot see, my eyes---" he started to explain, then a hand took his arm and led him into the foyer where his vision adjusted readily.

The gentleman who greeted him at the door was taller than Wolf, with eyes dark as carob.  He shook Wolf's hand warmly, bobbing slightly to accommodate their difference in height.  His sandy hair was a trifle long, in the manner of academic's; it hung over his brows in a thick fringe, sideburns trimmed to the edges of his prominent ears.  When he smiled he showed a narrow gap between his front teeth, to match the cleft in his chisel chin.  He wore the traditional yellow Oxford shirt, its impotence broken by a rather scandalously pink tie.  His grip was strong, Wolf took note, and he looked to be fit, if not over-lean, his bony wrists protruding from his shirt cuffs.

Dr. Brennen scrutinized Wolf's singular appearance without being overtly obvious, a standard trick of his profession.  Wolf imagined he could almost hear the doctor making mental notations.

"Come in, Mr. O'bellod.  After our brief but intriguing conversation I've been eagerly awaiting our first appointment.  Come into my study.  I find that my patients greatly prefer it to an office setting.  My couch is comfortable and frees the tongue."

"Interesting couch attribute," Wolf muttered, following the doctor down a short hallway bedizened with etchings of London's famous tourist attractions.  The Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Picadilly Circus. The walls were painted off-white, bisected horizontally by dark-wood wainscoting.  A library table boasted a bust of Julius Caesar.  Wolf nodded automatically in its direction.  The psychotherapist did not notice the obeisance, as he preceded Wolf, chatting almost to himself, the sort of aimless fraternal small talk therapists employ to put their patients at ease, or to get them to abandon their natural defenses.

Wolf smiled at the doctors gangly physiognomy, his bow-legged stride reminiscent of Texas rodeo riders.  Dr. Brennen paused at the doorway to his study, sweeping wide his arm and proclaiming, "After you, sir," to which invitation Wolf responded by entering the room and seizing the comfortable arm chair by the fireplace.

It was a masculine, casual room, containing the requisite leather couch, several wide, soft armchairs in a muted plaid.  A Dutch braided rug in scarlet and navy tones covered most of the floor.  A high pine bookcase, filled to capacity with expensive, leather bound classics and scholarly periodicals lay against one wall.  Along the opposite wall stood an immense tank, alive with intensely colored salt-water fish.  They undulated back and forth across the six foot long enclosure with more energy than Wolf would have been able to muster if forced to exercise within such narrow confines.  They cared not at all apparently, threading the same aquatic plants, through and around the pink ceramic castle nestled in the variegated colored gravel.

Dr. Brennen, in consideration for his client's disabled eyes, kept the lighting to a minimum, but the fish tank's lid lamp continued to grow eerily lime-green.  The tank hummed, a dull, monotonic sound.

"They are attractively hued," Wolf commented, nodding at the fish as he sat down and squirmed in his chair among the small seat cushions.

Dr. Brennen positioned himself to Wolf's right on the couch, clipboard in hand.  He had already begun making notes, the pencil tapped against the back board.  He crossed his legs like a woman, a patch of sandy haired leg showed as his corduroy pants hiked up.

Wolf's legs were splayed out in front of him; he nestled lower into the chair, thinking of Carol-Beth.  He couldn't stop remembering the feather touch of her tiny hands on his chest as she combed out his hair.  Her petite body made him feel huge and masculine and virile---

That did it . . . tonight he would go and visit her again and this time he would reveal his true nature to her and pray for her acceptance.  He could almost taste her blood in his mouth. Involuntarily he made a sound.

Dr. Brennen kept his head down, but looked up at Wolf, a rim of white crescent below each brown eye.  His gaze was intense, as if Wolf's comments were dreadfully revealing and should be discussed for decades.

"So, you like the fish, do you?"

Wolf plopped a pillow over his stomach and laced his hands over it, appeared to be giving the question serious thought, then responded with a hard edge to his voice, "I cannot say. We have not been introduced."

Dr. Brennen lifted one sandy eyebrow.  His pencil went scratch, scratch scratch on the clipboard.  "What insurance do you have?" he asked finally.

"I shall pay you cash, in full, after each appointment."

To that remark the doctor sat up straighter on the couch, uncrossed his legs, crossed them again.  "Oh," he said.

"Is legitimate currency unsuitable for business transactions?" Wolf asked, amused at the doctor's apparent confusion.

"Oh, of course," he waved his pencil in a dizzy loop around his left ear.  "It's just unusual for patients to pay cash and to hassle with receipts when they can file directly with their insurance companies.  You could charge your therapy, you know.  Do you have VISA, MasterCard?" he queried hopefully.

"C-A-S-H," spelled Wolf and yawned.

"So be it," said Dr. Brennen and noted something briefly on his paper.  "So, guy, what's up with you?  What can I help you with?"

"With what may I help you," Wolf corrected.  "I cannot say for certain.  Someone suggested that I needed help, so I thought it might be interesting to experience the psychanalytical process."

Dr. Brennen barely disguised his irritation with Wolf's evasive answer.  "Come now, I've made special arrangements to assist you.  What's the deal?  What does your friend say you need help with?"

Wolf frowned at the slang syntax.  "I suppose you would have to ask him.  He believes I exhibit classic signs of depression."

"Ah," said Dr. Brennen, pleased to be presented with a familiar label, his confidence restored.   "Well, you're not alone."

"Well, yes, as a matter of fact, I am alone."

"I see," said the therapist.   Scratch, scratch.   "Where are your parents?  How is their health?"

"I have none," Wolf replied without explanation.

"Dead, are they?"

"Metaphorically speaking."

Dr. Brennen tapped the metal loop at the top of the clipboard with the pencil point.  "I'm not sure what you mean."

"Neither am I.  I have no parents.   Might we retire that line of questioning?"

"Perhaps we'll come back to that later.  Mr. O'bellod, where are you from?  Do I detect an accent?"

"I am Italian."

"Ah.  I've been to Rome, extraordinary city."

"The most beautiful in all the earth," Wolf declared with passion.

"Yes, perhaps it is," Dr. Brennen agreed.  "If so, what brings you to Banesville?"

"I found myself in a quandary with someone.   I needed to separate myself from him."

Dr. Brennen picked up on the sudden hesitancy in Wolf's voice, the otherworldly drift of someone who speaks, but is not altogether present.  His red eyes had become distant with recollection.

"Someone you love?" Dr. Brennen whispered, anxious not to excite his patient, casting for information easily reeled from a fish gone headlong into the deep sea of repressed experience. "Yes," Wolf answered.  Tears slipped over his high cheekbones, still he seemed to cast his vision elsewhere, unaware he'd begun weeping.

"Perhaps this person misses you, and you feel guilty about that," Dr. Brennen suggested, writing without taking his eyes from Wolf's face.

"Yes, he is suffering terribly.   I can feel his anguish, all these many miles.  And I feel guilt, much guilt for leaving him."

"Why don't you call and let this person know that you're all right?"

"Because that would not be enough, he would want me to return, and I cannot," Wolf sobbed huskily.   He put the pillow over his eyes to hide the tears.

"Who loves you so much, that he suffers when you're gone?"

"My brother."

The therapist seemed taken aback.  "Why does he need you so desperately, is he disabled?"

Wolf put the pillow behind his head, wiped his eyes and sighed before he answered.  "In a sense," he said at last.  "Not physically, no, but somehow, not whole unless I am with him."

"Your brother apparently has quite an emotional attachment to you," Dr. Brennen said. "We are twins, you see.  We are leaders of a tribe, a fraternity.  In the end I disagreed with his ideology, his expectations of me.  I disagreed with everything he did!"

"Such as?"

"His homosexual liaisons, his narrow and prosaic view of the world, his appetites, his furors, his deviant frame of reference.  I could not bear his company any longer.   I would have become like him, had I stayed."

His words rushed out, he was bent over now, weeping and snatching breaths between sob and story.

Dr. Brennen wrote many, many more notations for his records.

"Your brother sounds to me as though he needs help himself," Dr. Brennen said after a few minutes.  "Has he ever seen a competent therapist?"

Wolf laughed harshly.  "That is, in my opinion, an oxymoron."

"Don't be insulting!  You're hurtin', boy and I'm trying to help you.  Now, do I understand you correctly, your brother is homosexual?"

"Omnisexual.  He claims he is bored with ordinary sex.  He even wants to engage with me, the perverted knave," Wolf answered bitterly.  "I cannot return to him.  I renounced my leadership.  I want to be free to experience my own life and my own death."

"But, but -- now you are talking incest," Dr. Brennen said gently.  "That's kind of unusual among men your age.  When you were younger, did he force relations on you?  Is that what troubles you?"

"No, no!  I never submitted to his spell, not after . . . Oh my faith.  I cannot believe I am talking about this."

Dr. Brennen smiled reassuringly.  "But it's good for you to talk about it.  None of this is unfamiliar to me.  I hear variations on the theme all the time.  How about friends?  Any buddies in whom you could confide?

"I have no friends."

"Oh, come now.  Every man needs friends.  No wonder you're so depressed.  Don't you miss the company of your pals?"

"Yes, very much, yes.   But they are loyal to my brother.  We are unique and fragile.  They must adhere to one another, remain devoted. They are all so afraid of my brother.  He is powerful, brutal, without conscience."

"Say, this isn't some kind of strange cult, is it?  Ah.  I suppose it is, the way you looked at me just now.  Perhaps it was very wise of you to extricate yourself from them.  Has it a primitive ideology, something Celtic, or something like Satanism?"

 

Wolf ceased his tearful confession, looked deep into the doctor's eyes.  "The most primitive of all," he said somberly.  He sighed.  "You will never understand."

"Why wouldn't I, Wolf?"

"Because you are human."

"Oh, Wolf," he said.  "You're also human.  It's possible that your albinism has restricted your socialization which increased the chances of you feeling outcast and alone.  And it's true that you are unique in your affliction, but you are human, please believe me."

"Please believe me, I am not."

"Ah, but you are.  And a bright and attractive one at that.  What of women?  You claim your brother's sexuality is deviant.  But what of yours?  Have you ever been married?"

Wolf was silent for a moment before he answered.  "Yes.  Once I spoke the vows."

"Ah," the therapist exclaimed cheerfully.  "There you go!  What happened?  I gather you're not together any longer."

"Correct.  I left her."

"Why?"

Wolf fidgeted with the ends of his hair.  "I . . . her devotion frightened me.  My brother wanted to share her, and she wanted me to embrace that manner of love.  When I abandoned my brother, I left her as well."

"I see," Dr. Brennen said.  "Your wife wanted to have sex with you and your brother?  That's -- ah, interesting.  I mean, I can understand why you're upset.  We need to talk about this."  Dr. Brennen completely forgot about his note-taking.  The clipboard fell from his lap and landed on the floor by his feet.

"I doubt she thought so.  She considered the invitation an honor.  It was a trick of my brother's to cozen me into his bed, using the woman I loved as decoy.  She had sworn to obey him, she could not do otherwise."

"Your brother wanted whatever you possessed, didn't he?" the psychologist marvelled.  "A pathological competition between twins.  Now I think I get the big picture."

"Si," Wolf nodded.  "He covets all that I claim as my own.   And he wants me."

"Yes," said Dr. Brennen thoughtfully.  "I see it.  This is rather unconventional.  Your brother interests me colleagues very much.  But I'm here to help you and so we'll put him aside for the moment.  Now when you were married, was your sex life satisfying?"

Wolf grimaced.  "Must we speak of my private acts?"

Dr. Brennen's eyes glowed with prurient interest.  He leaned forward, panting slightly.  "Yes, if they reveal the nature of your private development, your feelings, your emotions.  There's no one here to listen in, no one to hear you.  What are you afraid of?"  He noticed the fallen clipboard and picked it up, balancing it on his knee.

"You are wrong to suppose that my brother cannot overhear.  He might be in this very room."

"Mr. O'bellod, that is a paranoid statement."

"That is truth."

"Nonsense! You're a little paranoid as regards your brother, although that's understandable, I guess.  Do you feel like people are after you?"

Wolf squirmed in the chair.  "People are after me, as you phrase it."

"Mr. O'bellod.  Who's after you?  Let us reason this out together."

Wolf began counting on his fingers and naming his pursuers, "One, my brother.  Two, my former wife.  Three, the police.  Four, Pack O'Brien.  Five, five thousand Bloodfellows, give or take a few hundred who love me for who I am.  That's approximately five thousand and fifty five."

Dr. Brennen clicked his tongue against the roof of his mouth.  "The police are after you? Why?  Did you break the law?"

"The law.  The big law."

"Which?"

"I do not abide by human law, nor biblical, only by my own law."

"You haven't answered me."

"Perhaps I care not to answer you."

"I won't violate your trust, Mr. O'bellod.  But your story is getting more bizarre by the minute.  I can't keep silent about murder, for instance.  I'm required to report a confession of that nature."  He paused.  "Oh, young fellow, you haven't killed someone, have you?"

"Bloodfellow.  I broke your law, 'Thou shalt not kill.'"

"Dear God!"

"He has not been so dear to me, Dr. Brennen."

"Now look.  This is fantastically serious.  Who did you kill?"

Wolf rose from his chair and crossed the space between them in the half-beat of his heart.  He jerked the clipboard from Dr. Brennen's lap and tossed it on the couch.  Dr. Brennen cringed, a look of fear crept across his face, he licked his lips several times and prayed for the couch to swallow him.  He did not like the black-leathered thug with the long white hair and muscular biceps, but he was pretty certain Wolf didn't murder anyone.  Clearly Wolf was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, arising out of the incestuous abuse he endured at the hands of his brother.

Wolf reached out and took hold of the doctor's hot pink tie and tugged gently.

"Now, now.  Relax, Mr. O'bellod. I'm trying to help.  You came to see me, remember?  I'm sure you meant that you murdered the relationship between you and your brother by leaving.  Or you meant it metaphorically in some other way."

Wolf tightened his grip on the tie.  Dr. Brennen's adam's apple warbled over the knot as he swallowed nervously.  "Young man, don't do what I think you're going to do."

"I have killed," intoned Wolf O'bellod, "one person every night for the last five thousand years.  I did not do it with metaphors.  I sucked the very life from their veins, I filled my heart with their living blood.  And I loved doing it.  Do you hear me?"

"All right. Okay," the therapist wheezed. "Just...gasp...trying to help...cough...you."

"You are interested in my sex life?" Wolf asked with a wicked smile.  He gave the tie another tug.  "Are you, in your own way, as septic-minded as my brother?  I will tell you of my sex life, since you ache to know."  He ignored the doctor's frantic hand waving, indicating that he would dispense with any such questions, wasn't interested, didn't want to know.

"I made love to my wife and all the other women as often as I could cajole them to open their thighs for me.  I have made love to women in the shadow of the Giza and on the banks of the Seine, by the Neckar in Germany and over Bangkok, a most fitting name, in a balloon.  In papyrus boats and canoes and across the back of a Jaguar, once.  The animal, not the car, he was stuffed at the time."

He laughed, enjoying the doctor's discomfort enormously.  "Where else? Ah, at night, on the lap of the Sahara, gloriously naked and covered with sand in the hot winds.  In a Russian church and on a medieval drawbridge.  Inside the sacred ring of Stonehenge, on the misty dirge of a Scottish moor and the drafty, salt sea air of southern Wales, when it was in Roman hands. "In ruins and in cathedrals, in the casemates of Luxembourg and Madrid's central square, in a Mayan temple and on a Mayan pallet, lost in the rain forest.  In Japan, many times in China, blanketed by the broad moon, serenaded by wind chimes, I shot my ecstasy into a petite Chinese woman with bound lotus-blossom feet encased in gold silk slippers, she held them over my head like two jewels.  I made love to an Indian woman who tortured me with impossible anatomical postures, her scented hands and her mouth liquid heat on my skin.  Oh, have you heard what you wished to hear, Dr. Brennen?  Have I satisfied you as I have satisfied so many nameless women?"

He released the tie, leaving the doctor to catch his breath.  Dr. Brennen wheezed and sniffled, inserted two fingers between his adam's apple and the neat windsor knot.

"Damn you," he cursed at  Wolf, who still stood over him.

"Yes, damn me," Wolf agreed.  "I trust I answered your question."

Dr. Brennen shook his head violently side to side as if there was water lodged in his ears.   He finally leaned back in the couch and cleared his throat.  "Son, what do you want?"

"I want to know why you wish to invade my privacy with overcurious questions."

"For the love of Pete!  How else am I supposed to get to know you so that I can get to the bottom of whatever making you so depressed?  As it is, I can't help you.  You've attacked me, for Christ's sake.  You've admitted to murder and you're talking a lot of nonsense."

"I am not."

"Yes, you are!  You need to be on an anti-psychotic medication.  I'm not a psychiatrist, I can't prescribe them for you, but I can recommend a good doctor.  Believe me, you show every sign of a very complex and intractable mental illness.  Delusions, illusions, fears of persecution, feelings of isolation, outbursts of rage, irrational logic.  Your depression is only a symptom of a greater disorder and it isn't going to get better by itself."

"By what term do you refer to my condition?" Wolf asked.

Dr. Brennen sighed. He did not think Wolf was ready to hear his diagnosis but he had asked and Dr. Brennen did not want to lie to him.  "We, of the psychiatric profession, call your affliction schizophrenia."

"Ah, fine.  Now I have a modern name for my glory, my phantasmagoria."

"Don't misunderstand me, there's nothing grand about it," the psychologist scolded.  "You are very, very sick.  You need assistance to combat this disease."

Wolf collapsed back into his soft recliner.  "I would not dream to part with it!  Have you considered, Dr. Brennen, that you are in the presence of a paramount being, enhanced with senses exquisitely more sensitive than are yours, for whom the world reveals itself in an entirely different manner?  Or are you like the droll bulk of humanity, a true believer in different equals dangerous?  You cannot see what I see, Dr. Brennen."

"You should hear yourself talk!  Many schizophrenics speak of other 'humans' as though they felt exempt from our species!  I attribute this reaction to your deep feelings of alienation.  Mr. O'bellod, you need to be in a hospital.  You're liable to hurt yourself or someone else.  Have you ever considered committing suicide?"

"Every day."

"That's terrible!  Don't you realize what you're saying?"

Wolf stretched and yawned, then scooted to the edge of the chair and looked the therapist directly in the face.  Dr. Brennen felt a sick thrill gazing into the vampire's red eyes, set so deeply into Wolf's stark face.  He had never seen a person with albinism before this night. Wolf's unusual coloring was disconcerting at best and repulsive at worst.  The thought occurred to Brennen that Wolf had ample reason to be a few boards shy of a full house.

"I am saying I would like to die," Wolf was saying.  "I have lived long enough, doctor.  Far too long.  I have seen all I desire to see of the world.  I have, as I just described to you, made love to many thousands of women---"

"That's a slight exaggeration, isn't it?"

"I do not think so," Wolf said quietly.  He lifted his chin and stared at, or through, the ceiling, his deep voice stroking the stars with his eternal jeremiad.

"Oh, Life!  My courtesan.  Earth has produced no woman capable of exciting me as well as you have done.  You and your fabulous body of knowledge!  And I was deceived by your lures and promises, I was incensed with my passion for you.  But you never had anything new to show me under your ruffles and jewels no matter how often you led me panting to your bed for more of your perfidious instruction.  I have witnessed all of your sleights of flesh with my jaded, ailing vision and I have exhausted my emotional coinage in payment to you.  But you continue to beguile me with clever fraud and the bright tincture of your laughter.  Yet I still know nothing at all.

The secrets I wanted you to whisper in my ear are still captives of your capricious will and I suspect that you shall always refuse to enlighten me, no matter how long I live!  I must conclude that only upon my death will you share your wisdom.  I must shed this fleshly caparison for one final fusion with you."

He lowered his head and stared at the his boots with the look of a man lost in a trance.  And then the vampire spoke again, addressing his thoughts to Dr. Brennen with a pathetic kind of urgency.

"I have discovered that existence offers not a succession of novel discoveries which assemble towards some exalted understanding of life, but instead afflicts us all with the identical experience over and over again in various guises.  Only the costumes and the players change, Dr. Brennen, but never the script.  I cannot live through yet another pathetic rendition of the mildewed program, even though each new generation of human participants finds it all quite original and exciting.  The fact that they do not notice reality's cobwebs saddens me all the more.  You have no idea how badly I want to cease living."

Dr. Brennen clasped his hands as if he were praying.  He spoke very softly.  "Wolf, I can't allow you to leave here after such an eloquent cry for help.  You've relayed your suicidal urges to me and I'm professionally bound to prevent you, even hospitalize you if need be and I think that wouldn't be an imprudent move.  Please come with me to the hospital and voluntarily commit yourself for treatment.  I promise to look in on you and follow your progress.

"Now please.  I don't want to have to call the police and drag you down there.  There's no dignity in that and you strike me as a dignified man."

"Hospitalize!  What an atrocious word.  I do not think I will locate such a neologism in my dictionary.  Therapize, digitize, analyze, criminalize.  To force a thing to act, the prize is ize!"

"Schizophrenics frequently play with language as you are now doing."

"It might not be that I like to police expressions for criminal distortions of good grammar?"

"Wolf, don't deviate.  Will you accompany me to the hospital?"

"Spare me such affiliations!" Wolf retorted.  "I was outlaw made and outlaw die, alienated to my very marrow and proud to be so, and as much like a human as Pluto is a sand crab.  If you favor ascribing schizophrenia to me, whatever that may be, I confess I do love my mental anarchy.  If we be so joined then my madness is closer to me than a lover.  Tear us not asunder, flesh of my flesh, neuro-chemical of my neurochemistry, I do not wish to be disabused of an aspect of my entirety!"

His conviction and passion was evident in his high color, his posture, his voice's timber.

"Somehow I don't doubt that, Wolf.  But where are you now, alone with your lover, craziness?  Don't you miss your wife, your home, your friends?"

"They may be of my blood, but they are none of my flesh. At least my insanity is part of me.  But you don't care about what I need.  And you will not be content until I have run weeping back into their arms, begging for reconciliation.  You are like my brother, you think I cannot be separate and still remain strong."

Dr. Brennen sighed.  "No one can stand alone and stay sane, Wolf.  It will certainly be my goal to reunite you with your family.  It's what you want, too.  You just can't admit it to yourself yet.  We'll both work hard in therapy until you can.  I accept that your brother is mad as the proverbial hatter but must you be stabbed by the hat pin too?  Care about yourself!"

"There are far crazier in this town."

"No doubt.  But it is you I'm conversing with, and you I care about.  I can't believe you hurt anyone."

"Not intentionally."

"Excuse me?  It's getting late.  Shouldn't we drive to the hospital, now?" Dr. Brennen asked in a patronizing tone.

Wolf let his gaze sweep the room with deliberate pause upon each of Dr. Brennen's costly furnishings.  The long, chocolate-brown leather couch.  The Chinese Kossu robe of gold and silver gilt threads in the mahogany and glass display case.  The polished silver candlesticks on the marble fireplace.  They stood on each side of a fabulous example of a Federal pillar and scroll clock, circa 1825.

Fine possessions.  Wolf adored antiques himself and could not begrudge another's appreciation.  But he doubted the doctor gleaned their precious meaning, their testimony of a past grown dear by extinction.  Their artisans long dead, these matchless treasures the only witness to their genius.  Survivors of an age, representatives of their centuries, their value not stemming from merely their rareness, but born of their singular and irreplaceable beauty.

He walked to the fireplace mantel and scrutinized the clock.  "You are paid well for your labors," he commented.

"And you are resisting the very therapy you pay me to give, Mr. O'bellod.  That alone is enough evidence that you need to be committed.  I think you should stop denying that you have serious problems, and stop blaming everybody else.  Believe me, I can force you to get the help you need.  You won't get better on your own, you know," he offered slyly.  "I'd only be doing you a favor."

"How interesting," Wolf mused.  He turned and resumed his stroll of the psychologist's lair.  "You are, I speak of your brothers and sisters in the psychiatribe, the only persons privy to sacred acquaintance with the subject of Psychology, and, armed with your Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, you hold the power, (and that is what we are really discussing here, power) to effectively destroy a person's reputation and sense of pride.  I know of not one person who was honored to have been assigned one of your stigmatizing diagnosis.  At one time or another you claim that fully eighty percent of the population suffers from two or three of your mental diseases.  How convenient for you all!  That quite guarantees that you shall be able to keep yourselves in Porsches and antiques, now does it not?  Because, by the by, you are also the only persons available and qualified (according to Yourselves) able to treat this awesome pantheon of afflictions!  I see a comparison, between the members of your profession and the witch doctors and soothsayers of old, who by claiming to be elitist keepers of mystic knowledge, intimidated the ordinary man to serve and revere them.  But you and yours are far more insidious and evil.  They at least had the excuse of their own incogitancy.  You are learned men.  And do you know what else perturbs me?"

"Do tell," Dr. Brennen said, rolling his eyes to indicate his utter dismissal of this spurious collection of opinion.

"It annoys me that the shrink brigade, despite this nation's just-say-no propaganda, continues to prescribe toxic, chemical panaceas with impunity.

"Feel depressed?  UnAmerican.  Get back to work.  Take this tranquilizer for anxiety, this anti-depressant for your sorrow, this anti-psychotic for your visions, your voices, your addiction to fantasy.  Cannot decide if you are artistic or depressive or manic or mad?  Swallow lithium.  Why, pharmapsychology threatens to shove the Freudian analysts out of business.  I read dozens of articles on this very subject last night at the library.  I found it quite fascinating.  You therapists plead empathy for the suffering masses, the drugs are a speedy palliative, you submit, relieving their patient's symptoms and expediting the therapeutic process.  The poor unwashed are much more amenable to therapy after several months of medication.  I should suggest that they become placid and defenseless if I were sarcastic, and I am, and so I shall say it!  Trusting, confused, exploited by modern flim-flam architects eager to milk the epidemic of fear you have generated in modern man."

"You're out of your mind," Dr. Brennen said evenly, pointing a long, thin finger at him.  "Out of your fucking sane suit.  There are some very desperate, sick people out there.  I've had many of them as my patients.  They tour the countryside naked on stolen bicycles.  They quit longstanding careers and run off with burlesque queens."

"So?" said Wolf.  "That hardly qualifies them as mad, and possibly, yes, quite possibly implies a personal apocalypse, towards the end of liberating themselves from the routine grind of American life."

"Oh, hoho!  Look who's an authority on American life!  An man sexually used by his brother. A man who, by his own admission, pulled anchor and left his own contemporaries to forage for themselves, a man flummoxed by depression, manacled by a melanin deficiency and, more to the point, a man who is socially inept and ethically sterile.  Aren't you just a prize person to criticize others."  Dr. Brennen huffed, pleased with his counter-attack.

"That was not very supportive of you.  You might do irreparable injury to my ego." Wolf thumbed one of the leather-bound books in the doctor's shelves.  The gilt-edged pages were fuzzy with dust.  "Do you ever read these?" he asked.

Dr. Brennen turned around and squinted in the dim light to ascertain which book Wolf had in his hand.  "Of course I read them," he said derisively.  "I don't know what book you've got, I can't say whether or not I've read that particular one."

"Daniel Defoe's Journal Of The Plague Year.  I strongly recommend you read it, if you haven't.  His observations and suggestions are timely in light of your AIDS crisis."

"Will you please put that away?  I think I've taken all I'm going to take from you, Mr. O'bellod.  I shall dismiss your ramblings about my profession as symptoms of your derangement.  I intend to notify the police and have you forcibly removed to the psychiatric wing of Banesville Hospital for evaluation.  If you can stand a little truth in the wake of your pyroclastic flow of paranoid ravings, you need to be on an anti-psychotic and the sooner, the better."

He faced the coffee table again, his back to Wolf, who entertained himself by sniffing the book covers and pausing occasionally to draw out a volume and flip through the pages, speed-reading.

Without warning the vampire suddenly moved to the back of the sofa, and cupped his laced hands over the doctor's mouth.  Dr. Brennen started to lurch forward, hoping to dislodge Wolf's grip but instead felt himself jerked back by the chin.  He struggled, making a gargling sound as Wolf used his right hand to apply pressure to the doctor's throat.

"Sit back," Wolf ordered quietly. The Federal clock ticked with metronome like precision, the fish-tank hummed.  These sounds amplified in the doctor's ears as his heart raced and his temples pounded the terror drum.  He felt Wolf's sheer cheek against his own and the vampire's cool tongue licking his earlobe.  He tried to protest, but Wolf stilled his words with a thumb upon his Adam's apple.

"You say you have taken all you wish to take from me," Wolf stated gravely.  "But I have not taken all I wish to take from you.  You are a wealthy man, rich off of the lamentable sorrows of others. Perhaps you are correct when you cite my incompetency with regard to lambasting the American way.  Perhaps I am unfit to judge you, because, in truth, I am a murderer.  But," he continued, rotating the Doctor's face so that they were eye to eye, "I have never charged a fee for my critiques.  And thanks to my five thousand year old perspective I am infinitely more erudite and informed on the subject of human needs and human travails than a common modern man such as yourself.

Do not try to speak!  I have not invented a mythology of disease by which I intimidate my own kind.  In my opinion what ails your citizens is a pervasive cultural nihilism and the dissolution of tribes.  What depresses your patients is the ossifying straitjacket of the American life-style.  Only one endowment is available for the ordinary host of America.  It involves the forty hour work week, and the concomitant vehicle and mortgage dependency. The expensive beasts of transportation are a poor investment, however necessary, as your motor vehicles begin to depreciate at the very moment of purchase.  But be it mule or horse or carriage or car, man has always paid dearly to improve upon the speed of his own legs.  These cars of yours deteriorate quickly and the repairs required are expensive, cutting deeper into one's finances.  These vehicles must be insured, another costly requirement, said insurance being quite limited in its usefulness, for after a claim the insurance company will fabricate an excuse to cancel one's policy.  The pollutant gasoline, which is necessary for the function of these cars, keeps your country the whore of Arabia.

`Ah, you wish me to release you?  I am not finished yet.  The American employee is further conscripted by the number of hours he or she must labor, the only respite from this exhausting routine being a paltry two weeks of vacation, while many other countries offer a minimum of six weeks leave and yet still manage to out-produce the typical American worker. And so Dr. Therapist, I would say your people are not mad so much as they are tired and poor and tired of being poor, their money siphoned away by utility monopolies and the plastic orgasm: credit cards with outrageous interest rates.  Oh, and the humans require a place to live since natural caves and homemade huts have been out of fashion for centuries.  Therefore your benevolent system allows its people to become indebted to the lending institutions, with their home conveniently paid off just as they are too old to need such a large dwelling.  At which point their loving children will ensconce them in a nursing home funded by the sale of the house their parents worked all of their lives to acquire.  I have read of the monetary value of even the meanest real estate, which perception teaches Americans to view their house as an investment instead of a sanctuary!  I would sooner sleep in a comfortable cave or communal boarding house than swell the bank's coffers with exorbitant interests, as if it were the counting house of an ancient greedy king.  In fact, democracy is a sham, is it not, Dr. Brennen?  There is no democracy here.  There are kings and serfs and glorified slavery, the labor sacrifice of the ignorant and impoverished multitude to enlarge the fortunes of a powerful few.

Your people are depressed because they are exhausted, Dr. Brennen, because they mistake status for stature, wealth with aristocracy, entertainment with creativity, sex with physical satiation.  And these skewed values they have learned spending their evening hours cabled to the electric life-by-proxy: television.  Your people are indeed crazy, as crazy as I am.  They are dying for meaning, longing for adventure, seeking spirituality and woefully ignorant of the incalculable profit one accrues by intellectual pursuits.  Though I must admit I sometimes curse my intelligence and my curiosity, for this last week I have learned more about America than I can bear to know.  And so it seems my brother Abaddon was correct in his assessment of humanity.  I had hoped to observe a country founded on principles of equality and truth before I die.  I had dared to hope that at last mankind had found a just system of government but I should have heeded the overwhelming index of man's historic past."

He uttered an angry exhalation.  "I cannot go on, it all sickens me so.  I cannot fathom why I care.  In another one hundred and twenty years every human on this earth will be dead and I will have to witness the same tragic theater all over again."

During this protracted monologue the therapist had swooned, his eyes shut against the ghastly intensity of Wolf's diatribe, the angry rash blazing from the vampire's eyes and the fury evident in his harsh words.

"Open your eyes, infidel!  I have one final prognostication.  The day will arrive when your pseudo-science, Psychology, will be as condemned as pre-historic brain surgery and as ridiculed.   Hear me?"

Dr. Brennen nodded.  He sat stiffly in the center of the sofa, leaning slightly to the left, against a large burgundy pillow.  Wolf freed him, and Dr. Brennen rubbed his chin, wincing.  He looked at Wolf as if to say, "What do you want me to do about it?" and slowly shook his head.

"You're wrong," he said in a shaky alto.  "You're unfamiliar with our customs and our culture."

"Simply labeling something a culture does not legitimize its native stupidity," snorted the vampire.  "Do you remember Roman history, Doctor?"

"Yes, I read some in college.  Chiefly I remember that Rome fell."

"Your nation is now in equal distress, as was Rome before its fateful dissolution.  I advise you to think on that."

"Who do you think you are?" Dr. Brennen chided softly.  "To evaluate and criticize this country?   You were not in Rome at that time in history and neither was I.  That is very specious reasoning."

Wolf began to unbutton his shirt.  His expression became dreamy, as though a time-released drug had finally seized control of his nervous system.  His lids hung heavily.  "I was in Rome when she declined," he corrected in a languorous voice.  "I am in a position to analyze the state of your civilization by virtue of my centuries old perspective.  I am brilliance personified, prodigy rampant, myth made flesh and my reasoning is divine.  You may accept it as gospel."

Dr. Brennen smirked and said smugly, "Delusions of grandeur," as if that explained everything.   As if the phrase meant something.

"And what do you say of Oscar Wilde's announcement to U.S. Customs that he had nothing to declare but his genius?" Wolf asked, loosening his shirt cuffs.

"Delusions of grandeur," snapped the therapist, watching Wolf fling off his white tee shirt and toss it next to him on his couch.

"You know, when you insult Oscar Wilde, you are really exceeding the limits of my patience," Wolf breathed, unbuckling his belt and sliding his belt through the loops of his jeans with a sibilant slap...slap...slap.  He shucked off the pants and discarded his aqua-colored bikini underwear before standing proudly naked before the doctor's astonished eyes.  What in blazes was this nutcase going to do now?  He thought this boy needed a thorazine I.V. in a major way.

"Any particular reason that you removed your clothing, Mr. O'bellod?" he asked, shrinking back into the cushions as Wolf approached.

Wolf placed an arm on either side of the doctor's head, pleased that Dr. Brennen's bravado had mysteriously deflated at the sight of Wolf's dangling member.  He sat on the therapist's lap gingerly and leaned towards his neck.

"What what -- what in hell are you doing?"

Wolf lifted his eyes lazily and gave him a giddy grin, "I am hungry, I am tired and I am dirty.   It is time I had a good, hot bloodbath."

"Now, wait!  Wait just a second!" Dr. Brennen shrieked.  This session had gone all wrong.  Something unprecedented was going on.  He had heard of therapists attacked by their patients, but it had never happened to him.  Not to him!

"A second?" purred the Wolf.  He yawned dramatically. "You want time in which to appeal to my sense of justice before I send you on your way to limbo and then to judgement where no doubt you shall encounter a jury of your former patients," he cackled with mirth while Dr. Brennen closed his eyes and recited the Lord's Prayer and in doing so discovered that he couldn't remember any of the words.

"Where was I?" Wolf asked.  "Ah, si, si.  Waiting patiently to convict you for your foolish addiction to the fantasy of psychology.  Wait a second, I know, I know!  You might inaugurate your little begging ceremony with an admission that I am, in fact, all that I assert myself to be and that you have made a foul error in adjudging me to be mad.  Then you may humbly ask me for forgiveness.  Come now!  I have waited thirty seconds already and you have not said a word.  Do not think me unduly brusque, Dr. Brennen but I grow ever more hungry by the second!  My homicidal impulse is playing havoc with my more congenial sensibilities and I fear the outcome of this little war between my base and noble inclinations will result in a dreadful schism of personality.  And we do not want that, do we?"

Dr. Wagner Brennen opened his mouth to reiterate his diagnosis of Wolf's mental state and to again encourage him to voluntarily admit himself into the psychiatric wing of Banesville Hospital.  He got no farther than the first few words for the deranged albino had, before Dr. Brennen's incredulous eyes, already begun to express physically the fractured nature of his mind.

The therapist cried out at the top of his lungs.  For the first time in his career as an alleged expert of mankind's mind, Dr. Brennen experienced the advent of genuine madness.  He, who had spent years chastising others for their visions and voices.  Years spent wrestling with his patients' childhood haints in the hopes of disabling the reception of those torturing hallucinations without once understanding their addictive beauty.  Now it was he who hallucinated -- for how else to describe this feeling of being simultaneously frozen and scalded?  His mind was as numb as a dead tooth while exotic images stormed forth, liberated from his abysmal subconscious.

Every demon ever described to him by his haunted patients now gyrated and capered in his field of vision, even as he whispered to himself that they didn't really exist and were, at most, only symbols of some unresolved conflict or the result of sublimated sexual desires.  He repeated his psycho-dogma over and over again like a safe's secret combination but the creatures seemed so terrifyingly authentic he finally covered his face and screamed for mercy.

Wolf flexed his protean muscles, borrowing his impersonations from Dr. Brennen's mental clearinghouse of psychic ghouls, glorying in his shape-shifting nature and warming to the molecular exercise this display of his powers provided him.  He folded and refolded so fast the images blurred one into the other.  Some of his incarnations oozed and others radiated and still others spun their colorful appendages around like windmills, even Dr. Brennen's salt-water fish clustered at the glass walls of their tank in order to watch Wolf's torrential array of creatures born, not of earth or sea but in the fecund imagination of demented men and women.

Since each of the creatures, like any viable offspring, still contained traces of the original minds that conceived them, Wolf suffered a sting of disorienting madness with each transformation.  He intuited the appalling circumstances which had caused the basal insanity for every one of those piteous souls.  And then he was howling with their accumulated agonies as Dr. Brennen kept screaming at the cathartic manifestations unfurling in the middle of his living room.  The walls reverberated with their mingled shouts of horror.

Dr. Brennen could not understand how a person could ever function normally after witnessing such aberrations inside one's own head.  He knew he never would be able to excise these visions.  He tore at his hair and clawed at his eyes, helpless in his fear, hunting safety in blindness, hoping to mask his stricken emotions with pain.  He barely felt the vampire's cool fingers as Wolf pried Dr. Brennen's hands away from his face.  Wolf's breath whistled in and out as he reached down and pulled the therapist to his feet.  He noticed with satisfaction that Brennen had soiled his neat khaki pants.

"Good evening," he sneered into Brennen's face.  "Welcome to my Psycho-Babylon.  I am Wolf O'bellod, king of the vampire and I'm pleased to meet your madness.  How do you like seeing it, face to faces?"

Dr. Brennen yelped and, with a burst of adrenaline energy, thrust Wolf aside and raced from the room and down the hall towards the foyer.  The stairs leading to his upper floor were blurred by the tears streaming from his eyes but he grasped at the handrail and leaped up the steps two by two until he reached the landing and then he headed for his study.  He had no other thought but to put distance between himself and the crazy Wolf but even as he focussed on that directive he despaired, knowing he could never outrun the incarnate fiends he had seen with Wolf's assistance.  Nothing in his studies of Psychology had prepared him for them.

With a wheezy intake of air he tumbled through the door of his study and shut the door behind him.  His hands were shaking violently, still he managed to lock the door and then, his back against the wall,  he sunk to the floor, removed his glasses and wept.

Wolf materialized in front of him seconds later.  Dr. Brennen did not seem quite so surprised this time.  He looked up briefly at the vampire and then hung his head.

"I don't suppose you could just leave," Dr. Brennen choked out.  "I don't suppose you could just blink out of here and. . . and let me get over this hideous nightmare."

Wolf settled himself in front of the therapist and crossed his legs.  "I could," Wolf said.  "If I were a vampire, I could do such a thing.  So what say you, Dr. Brennen?  Am I vampire or not?"

"Look," Dr. Brennen struggled, "you're . . . you're something.  I don't know what and I don't want to ever know.  I feel like I'm losing my mind and I wish you would just go the hell away.  My grandfather used to say to me, 'Sonny there ain't no free lunch and there ain't no ghosts.  But who knows?  And frankly, who cares?  Just leave, will you?  Just go!"

"But do you not teach your patients to love themselves and to recognize their own validity and self worth?"

Dr. Brennen sighed, reached into his pant's pocket for his handkerchief and blew his nose.  "Yes," he sighed again.  "I do try to instill a sense of their own value into them.  What on earth has that got to do---"

"Then you must credit me with my own identity," Wolf said archly.  When Dr. Brennen, ever the smug professional, looked at him dubiously, Wolf snarled.  "You pompous quack, basing your entire fleet of beliefs upon a handful of tomes written by men no more keen or wiser than yourself.  How foolish you seem to me, congratulating one another for your mutually invented reality."

The therapist had the grace to look ashamed but Wolf hungered for more than humility.

"As you would say to your patients, face the truth, Dr. Brennen.  Before you sits the vampire, a very peevish and thirsty vampire I might add, and if you do not at least admit my existence I will restructure your reality with a very painful lesson.

"No, no.  Do not even think about invoking some Freudian nonsense about oral fixations and sadistic tendencies and all that patent rot.  I do not want to hear it.  You are a vile and odious man.  I could kill you without a twist of guilt.  But your gall affronts me.  I want your complete acknowledgement of my being.  Admit that I am a vampire."

"Okay, you're a vampire.  Now get out of my house," Dr. Brennen barked.

"With more conviction you snake's gonad!  Do not patronize me, I shall maul you to death if you do not comply.  Some of my incarnations are carnivorous, you know.  Would you care to see---"

"No, thank you, I wouldn't,"  Dr. Brennen said hastily.

He first had to admit to himself that this homicidal creature squatting next to him was exactly what he claimed to be.  Dr. Brennen did not see how he could possibly convince his rational mind that this was so.  From his long years of training and study he knew there were such phenomenon as collective hallucinations and Svengali-like abductions of individual will and so forth.  It was likely Wolf had somehow mesmerized or drugged him into seeing that carnival of nightmares he had witnessed in his den.  Still, the fact remained that Wolf O'bellod's rather solid and very naked person had found its way into Dr. Brennen's locked study and looked as though it was not about to leave any time soon, in any form.

Could it be? Dr. Brennen thought silently.  Could it really be that a warped harmonic of mankind had vibrated out of his native realm and sought professional help for the internal disturbances to which we all fall prey?  He did not doubt that Wolf's testimony concerning his brother Abaddon was largely true.  Even on short acquaintance Dr. Brennen had observed that Wolf talked like a man abused, and his feelings of alienation were well corroborated by the countless testimonials of intellectually gifted beings.  Certainly Wolf was lonely, crazy, brilliant.  But was he a vampire, a creature who feasted on human blood?  That entailed a leap of faith too high for Dr. Brennen.

It seemed far more likely that Wolf was a card-carrying member of the Gothic underground, a perverse sect that drank blood and engaged in necrophilic practices and continued the bohemian practice of wearing dark garments and even darker attitudes.  And yet if he did not convince Wolf that he believed his story, however much it was a lie, Dr. Brennen feared he would be killed.  The albino sported a well-developed pair of canine teeth and there were murderers aplenty who bit their victims and even consumed the shredded flesh.  This madman standing before him was surely the agent of his karmic return.  He would have to find a way to pacify Wolf.  It would be a pity to have the blight of sensationalistic death connected with his family's good name.  Dr. Brennen, while unmarried, had relatives living in Banesville that he wanted spared the task of finding his mutilated body -- if anyone discovered his corpse at all.

Taking a deep breath he decided to go for it.  "Okay, Mr. O'bellod, you win.  I'm convinced you're not human.  If it is your pleasure to call yourself a vampire, then so be it."  He gave Wolf a hopeful smile.

The room was very dark but Dr. Brennen could see Wolf's ivory face very well with the assistance of the moonlight filtering through the window to his right.  Wolf did not return the smile

"I have lived five thousand years and I have never heard a worse liar," he said disparagingly.  "They say there are some people who will not believe by faith alone.  Such scientific types require proof.  Henceforth I am prepared to provide it."  He smiled this time, evilly.  "When your beloved Dr. Freud was stunning the world with his new religion I was laboring as a sheepherder in Australia.  Did I tell you that?"

At Dr. Brennen's negative response Wolf went on.  "It has always been my practice to shun the rabid nihilism of the cities and search for truth in solitude.  I read the treatises of the dear doctor and I laughed myself feeble.  He expended a great deal of mental energy and cocaine coming to his rather sophistical conclusions about the human psyche.  As for me, I learned all I needed to know on the farm about men such as yourselves."

He moved in close to Dr. Brennen, listening to the rapid contractions of the therapist's heart, smelling the scent of his fear.

Dr. Brennen tried to swallow but all that emitted was a dry click sound.  Even his saliva had turned tail and run.

"I learned that under the fancy wool there is always an animal," Wolf snarled, "and I love to skin them alive."  The vampire opened his red mouth and cocked his head, then swooped in predator-like, sinking his teeth into the therapist's carotid artery.  Blood frothed up into Wolf's face and groomed his naked body in scarlet.  Dr. Brennen collapsed shrieking and then thrashed madly side to side when the vampire's champing lips fastened to his throat.

Within minutes Dr. Brennen knew he had no hope of recovery.  He did not have even the strength to fight.  Wolf had finished feeding and lay next to him on his back, as if they were paramours who had just finished making love and then had flung apart panting.  Actually Wolf was panting.  He had swilled far too much blood for a second course and his stomach rebelled. He sat up and hiccuped, blood bubbles foaming over his chin.  Brennen's study truly resembled a slaughterhouse, swashes of rich blood saturating the floor, the carpet, the walls.  Wolf struggled to his knees, holding his swollen stomach and wishing for death.

But it was Dr. Brennen for whom death was coming.  He fastened his eyes on the vampire, his mouth working soundlessly.  Wolf stared back at him, his face a mask of blood-spattered stone.

The therapist's spirit was rising like a yeasty ectoplasm above his body.  Still he clung to life even as it seeped away.  His jaws yawned wide and he croaked something unintelligible.

"What?" Wolf asked.

"Get . . . help---"

"To hell with that!  Make haste and die, will you?"

"Vam . . . pire," Dr. Brennen said with his next to last breath.  His dark brown eyes had dimmed in the presence of the imminent light, his muscles already locked into the death bearing.  He saw Wolf's life, the five millennia, streaking by like shooting stars in the endless, woven galaxy of space-time and he beheld Wolf's future as of it were a hieroglyph that had not yet yielded its meaning to history.  He saw Wolf in his hundreds of former guises and Wolf in his final embodiment and he was astounded at what he saw.  "Get . . . help--" he repeated and then he began to choke on his own fluids.

"So sorry," Wolf said cruelly.  "No help is available for you, I fear.  You might wish to concentrate on what personal diagnosis and psychiatric treatment will best increase your chances of surviving Judgement."  Brennen's soul had almost fully emerged, Wolf noted.  A puny, unsubstantial wisp of two-dimensional nothing, like a silver sea nettle, its diaphanous skin blooming in the air.

"Get help, indeed," Wolf snorted to himself.

"No' for me," Brennen slurred through deadened lips.  "For you.  You."

 

11:09 AM - 1 Comments - 2 Kudos - Add Comment - Edit - Remove

 

Farewell To The Great Croc Hunter

Current mood: crushed

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

Man, I am SO distraught. I LOVED this guy. Seriously. If I could've picked a Living Man . . . he'd have been the One.  I can't stop crying.

 

His poor wife and kids.

 

Most people don't know what kind of risks this guy took, and what a strange life he led.  Hell, he was my Idol.  Heartbreaker. Alas, alack, I knew he'd never live to be an old man. A stinger right in the heart . . . what Kismet. If it had been anywhere else on his body, he probably would've lived . . .

 

Steve, this poem is for you.

 

Poem from 'Four Weddings and a Funeral'

 

 

Taken from 'Twelve Songs' by W H Auden

 

 

 

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,

 

Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,

 

Silence the pianos and with muffled drum

 

Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

 

 

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead

 

Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,

 

Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,

 

Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

 

 

He was my North, my South, my East and West,

 

My working week and my Sunday rest,

 

My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;

 

I thought that love would last for ever : I was wrong.

 

 

The stars are not wanted now : put out every one;

 

Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;

 

Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.

 

For nothing now can ever come to any good.

 

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Saturday, September 02, 2006

 

Honeysuckle

Current mood: artistic

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

HONEYSUCKLE

By AnnaBelle Lee

 

Tidal surge,

Over crumbling wall stones,

Voiceless trumpets,

Sacrificial white, yellowed ivory

Or the patina of aged scrimshaw,

But crinkly, delicate as eyelids.

Jubilant open throats

Beckon, an invitation of tongues.

To pinch off

The green bulb

Extract the wand

Of flower sex and its

Chrism of ambrosia,

Is art , or a sacrement.

Greedy, I strip mine

The lot of them, Quick!

To the tongue-tip - again, again, again!

Intense labor for a brief sweetness,

A piracy of nectar,

A blessing of ecstacy.

Amid the heady smells of sun

And honeysuckle. A neighbor woman

Fed fat on gin and doughnuts,

Stumbles by -- powdery, fermenting.

I clutch my natural vine

Like an article of faith.

There is treason

In loving booze and junk food

While passing by this

Temporary gift of season.

Be excessive with the ephemeral:

The rare enchantment,

Like sudden sex, like finding the poem

Inside a flower,

Like a divine revelation,

Like devouring honeysuckle,

Quick, quick,

Quick!

 

~copyright  1989

 

 

My Domain

Current mood: calm

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

MY DOMAIN

By AnnaBelle Lee

Copyright A. Lee December 30th, 1984

 

I was loony,

Popeyed loony tooney,

Spinach couldnt cure me.

I was a one-dimensional cartoon,

A shifting character, buffoon,

In multi-plot, trying to find

The prime time slot.

I couldnt stop

Attempting to connect the dots.

Paralyzed between the Pointillist screen

And all the things which used to mean

Something. A Rubiks Cube complex

Of concepts spinning, plastic

Day-Glo cubics hooking

A pitch-black jungle gym,

The nexus missing

The binding caulk of Caring.

Jigsawed, outlawed, lost my bearing!

Colorform crisp and flat as a wall,

Cut clean OUT like a paper doll.

Lifted aloft on a Scherherazade ride.

Socket-eyed, like Annie, all

Wobbly, an origami plane,

Too far away to feel my pain.

 

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Candy Striper In Four Acts

Current mood: calm

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

CANDY STRIPER IN FOUR ACTS

By AnnaBelle Lee

 

I

Peppermint and Snow-White stripes --

Volunteer uniform.  Starchy apron/starchy smile.

Disposition: Terminally cheery.

I took the job in the Nursing Home.

 

II

Shock: 7:00 a.m. orange juice glass

Mourns alone on tray.  Mrs. Peters passed

Away yesterday. No one told the kitchen.

I used to serve it to her - snip by quivering

Sip.  "Let 'er come get it from Heaven,"

Jokes the Head Nurse, snorting.

 

III

The florid, fat teacher with Muscular Dystrophy

Slips from the Physical Therapy table straps,

And thuds to the floor, a frantic knot of limbs.

I can't hoist her heavy unusable muscles - she weeps.

Doctor rescues, then pinches my elbow HARD.

Tensely whispers: "Don't you dare tell anyone this happened!"

 

IV

Venerable crone - 99 years. Graphite scrub of hair

Defiant eyes. I work each cinched knuckle

Easing her arthritis.  Psychiatrist bustles in,

Peers into her rheumy eyes, and asks: "How do

You feel about geriatric sex?"  (Pause)

She hawks a stream of phlegm onto his

Dangling pink silk tie - grins wickedly.

 

~~Copyright 1969

 

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Friday, September 01, 2006

 

Schizo Bro' Speaks

Current mood: chipper

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

When my father forces me to speak with my brother on the phone, I grab a pen and paper and try to catch his every utterance - verbatim.  He bellows and yammers at a high rate of speed, and much of what he says appears to be non-sensical. As you can read in the finished product, there IS some class of sense to his madness. I think.

 

For those who don't know, my bro' is a 43 year old, unmedicated schizophrenic.  My wealthy father supports him and spoils him to the point of Sickening. But HEY, his brabble is great for images!

 

Here you go, folks, my bro' -- oh, btw, he has only worked one job in his entire life and he's never even been on a date. No wife, no kids.

 

**************

The Rozen Garden

 

By my schizophrenic bro Rockwell Lee

 

Howard Hughes had a camera for traveling in November.  I met Howard Hughes in LA, in his electronic Rozen Garden.  There was electricity connected to movie projectors.  You know?  You know? Like a cast-iron engine, like you used to have in your Capri.

 

One piece of metal connects us to every last thing made in the water cycle. At the bottom of the ocean is a machine, a wheel spinning. The Scottish and Jupitrons made the wheel. Scottish people have special metal in their veins; thats why theyre so strong. The machine is metrical and dolphins swim around it.

 

It waters the Rozen Garden.

 

Hughes was a November engineer. He acts like a Squirrelly Scorpio. Someone has to use a car or a boat to get there. African humans are also typed as water humans; the sun's real strong in LA. You can find usually some shade in the Rozen Garden.

 

Minimum wage isnt ¼ of what you need for rent or mortgage. Even the President is talking about minimum wage.  LA is the home-base for the Venutians.  They like the atmosphere of the Rozen Garden, too.  Everyone I met when I was living in your basement had heard of the Rozen Gardens.

 

I've had trouble with the horsheins.  A Scorpio woman stuck her horn in my spinal column when I was in High School, and I've had trouble ever since.  My head is a garden, a rose garden, a uterus. I hear the voices from the past, present and future.

 

I am a spy, a rock star. When I'm on stage, I talk for three hours its a performance.  No one else can talk. I'm a secret agent.  No one is supposed to know. A guy sticking his tongue into a girl's mouth, he will ruin his metricals. Any human I see on land is not working -- every single human on the planet looks pitiful.  They don't give me a job or money, because I have a wife or children.  They won't cut me a check the game is over as soon as they hear I have a family.  No one works. No one can find work.

 

You might as well sit in the Rozen Garden and watch the electrical projector with Howard Hughes. He was rich.

 

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A Vampire Acquaints Himself With A Rose

Current mood: artistic

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

A Vampire Acquaints Himself With A Rose

By AnnaBelle Lee

 

Perilous blossom!

An abundance of these

Enfeebles my species.

Cross, spice and stake combined

In fervor, seals me to

A dark continuum.

Nevertheless, I am curious,

You attract me, Red Genesis:

Elmshorn, Beautyhead, Frenshaw

Tiffany, Pascali and Oberon.

A hundred names for fragrant Death!

Petals, flesh-fragile, but not

Like flesh, crushed to my

Shadowed cheek, marble and

Hotfire!  Damp with growth

This garden stills my spirit.

Yes, Rose, I possess one

As do you. And like you

Bred centuries perfect.

Realizing I have certained

Your demise, by snapping

This bud from nourishing bush,

Causes a peculiar tightening

In my chest. My eyes ache strangely,

Dark dew trails my face.  Can

It sustain you, just a life longer?

Never presuming life

An entitled pleasure, as humans

Do, I remember them patterned

In blue tattoo, reeking of wood

Smoke and talisman hung.

They still've not evolved

As we have. It does not distress

Me to join them with cessation.

Centuries peel away like petals

In the wind's turn; I respect

Only the strength of my fear

Of this,

So small a thorned maiden.

A tribe of her breed,

Could peruse me to dust.

 

~copyright 1986

 

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Creepy MIshap in Pere Lachaise

Current mood: amused

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

Once again, Loved Readers, this is truly ghastly. Alas, it is also completely true.

 

This is an excerpt from one of my legendary, lengthy, over-wrought letters to my Baby Cousin.

 

WARNING!  Men, you will NOT enjoy reading this piece.  It will disgust you no end.  Just pass it by, please.

 

Ladies, you'll either giggle or be grossed out.  But HEY, it's true - why can't I tell it?

 

**********************

Dear Baby Cousin,

 

I promised you an eerie story and here it is.  Very simply, Paul and I availed ourselves of the underground subway and headed for Pere-Lachaise, the renowned "City of the Dead." Located on 105 acres twenty minutes east of the center of Paris, it is the elite final resting place of many of the City of Lights' esteemed artists, writers, poets, actors, thieves and patriots.  Id read an article about this cemetery approximately eight years ago in GEO magazine and was mesmerized by the photographs of the Gothic sarcophagi and stately mausoleums as tall as guard stations, built side by side, bounded by a grid of old cobblestone streets, ivy-covered walls  -- all shaded by large, spreading sycamore trees.  Most, if not all, of the tombs could certainly be called works of art.  The carvings, the mosaic work, the sculptures, even the hundreds of porcelain flowers left in remembrance on the slabs are meticulously designed.  From the moment you enter, there is a palpable aura, an atmosphere that I am bereft of words to describe.  You are first aware of the smell...musty dust and wet stone, the hard bite of damp wrought iron and the clean leaf odor of the trees reminded me of Grandpa's attic over the garage. Corruption, old, yellowed books, stale, fusty drawers . . . something like that.  The tombs, most of which average three feet wide by twelve feet tall, were literally erected side by side, some were still well-tended and festooned by flowers and other memento mori, others obviously long neglected, their foundation cracked, the mausoleum door sagging on its hinges, exposing the carved dark inner walls and the mouldy stone floor opening into the crypt below.  As one walks along the narrow paths, which is rather testy if one haven't worn good, sturdy walking shoes, one becomes immediately aware that this cemetery is mammoth, as far as one can see, rising higher and higher into the distance, it is a necromantic landscape.  It is quiet save for the trills of birds and the hollow echoes of far-off footsteps, most of which, we discovered, were headed the same place we were headed -- the grave of the Doors' Jim Morrison, whose grave site is nicely indicated on the map I purchased at the Flower Shop for 10 francs.

Having found Master Morrison and paid my respects, Paul and I ambled off down another cobblestone path to have a look at some of the other famous graves.  Balzac, Chopin, Bernhardt, Gertrude Stein, the mystic Allan Kardec, Oscar Wilde, Maria Callas. It had started to drizzle and we had not expected rain and were therefore unprepared.  We had lamented that it had seemed a little cloudy that morning and then, there we were in the middle of the cemetery, the clouds clustered together over our heads like a rising bruise and the fat drops splattering down faster and faster.  I had not been feeling well and was suffering from the monthly gyno-purge with the accompanying cramps and headache.  Since it had been very hot and humid in Paris I had worn my lace underwear and a short skirt, thinking myself to be most shrewd in my plot to keep cool.  The rainfall became more intense and in the distance we heard the low grumblings of thunder.  Other visitors were rushing past us with back-packs and newspapers arched over their heads but we had nothing, no umbrella, nada.  I don't mind the rain at all, usually, but Paul wears glasses and within seconds he can't see a thing so he was getting pretty vexed and before I knew it he had yanked me under the archway of one of those upright tombs. I refused to stand inside of it, even though the door was open.  We stood just inside the doorframe, a heavy affair with a twisted Iron Cross carved in it and watched the thunderstorm pick up speed and fury.  It smelled awful in that crypt -- just awful.  Greasy dust and cobwebs matted the walls and floor and water was seeping through a hole in the ceiling and ugh! I saw a fat spider hustle across the stone shelf/altar protruding from the back wall.  Paul was grousing about the weather and I hated to tell him, but I had to go to the bathroom big time, my bladder disease always picking the most inauspicious times to afflict me.  He advised me that I would just have to 'ride out the storm', as Big Jim Morrison might have said and left it at that. The rain was just pouring down like a waterfall so heavily that you could barely see across the path.  My cramps were giving me Holy Hannah and my bladder was starting to go into spasms.  Suddenly I felt a dampness on my leg and I thought, Oh no! I peed myself and I didn't even know it, it's time for the funny farm, little lady.  Then I looked down and saw blood scrolling down my right leg and I just about screamed, "Paul! Paul!  Something horrible has happened!  I'm bleeding!  I'm bleed-ing!  Help me!" and then I realized that somehow, very very unfortunately, my pad had slipped and I was bleeding right through my lace underwear and since I had a skirt on, the blood, attracted by gravity, went zipping down my gam, and I don't wish to gross you out, Roz, but it was a lot of blood.  I didn't know what to do, I was so upset.  Paul looked halfway bemused and halfway disgusted and asked if I had any back-up supplies, so to speak, and I said, yes, in my green bag, and he said, "Well, I suggest that you go inside and clean yourself up as best you can."  So I retreated deep into the vault and Paul shut the door on me, leaving me alone with the interred bones of one Colonel Brizard et al, and boy, do I hope the Colonel once possessed a sense of humor.  It was so dark in there I could barely see but I fumbled around and dug out our bottled Evian water and several napkins that I had fortuitiously snitched from the restaurant the night before and employed them in cleaning the blood off of my leg.  Meanwhile Paul says, "There's blood all over the steps in front of the crypt!" and I'm thinking, well, at the rate the rain is coming down there soon won't be . . . and then, if you can believe it, some damn tourist walks up to Paul, in the rain, and asks him if he knows how to locate some division of the cemetery, simultaneously trying to sneak a peek through the open iron work of the door.  If he had angled himself properly so that he could see over Paul's shoulder, this stupid bozo would have been able to observe me, a modern day grave-borrower, changing my underwear and my pad in the gloom of the stone vault.  Fortunately for me, he got tired of standing in the downpour and left. Words cannot describe how revolted I felt, how embarrassed, how utterly macabre, standing there in this dead guy's narrow house, trying to change my underwear and Modess pad.  I hate to admit this, but I think I left some of the stained napkins and other detritus behind but it was too dark to see.  Paul started laughing about the whole ludicrous scene: Vampire Writer Repairs Menstrual Mishap Inside Tomb Of Decorated Soldier but at the time I still had to pee horrifically badly and I was also very concerned that there might be bloodstains on my skirt or shoes and that someone walking by might see me leaving the open crypt in such a besmirched condition and be stricken with horror.  Not to mention that they might very well report me to the many guards strolling about the place, who might then cite me for desecration of graves or something equally ghastly.  When Paul saw that the coast was clear he opened the door and we both bolted into the rain, which had slowed down slightly, in order to seek shelter and a bathroom, before I relieved myself in the Colonel's ad hoc changing room/tomb/bathroom facility.  Needless to say, we haven't told a soul about this calamitous adventure but I swear every word is true!  The next day Podwick and I returned to the cemetery so that she could have her photograph taken while she lay flowers on Morrison's grave and  afterwards I took her over to the Colonel's crypt and she took a photo of me in front of (Not in) it.  As soon as we have it printed I'll be sure to send you a copy!   Can you believe it?  Can you f'ing believe that this shit happens to me?  Bleeding to death inside a tomb!  Only me!!  Paul says I should be glad it didn't happen someplace really embarrassing, like an expensive French restaurant for instance.  I suppose he's right, but I mean, how long have I been having periods and I still don't know how to keep a stupid pad in place?  May I remind you that my so-called I.Q. is considered relatively high when compared to the majority of the great unwashed?  Bleeding copiously inside a crypt?  This, my friends, is genius?  Go figure!

I pray Colonel Brizard forgives me my rude intrusion into his sacred rest.

 

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Dull Story

Current mood: amused

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

Okay, M'Friends, here's one which is so dumb it's sort of funny.

 

Sort of. I mean, I thought it was amusing at the time.

 

**************

 

Dull Story

By AnnaBelle Lee

Copyright 11-'85

 

My friends tell me that I'm getting dull.  I know what they're saying but I don't know what to do about it, exactly.  Stuff that sets me on edge just won't roll off my side like it used to.  I find that I can't get into anything anymore, you know what I mean?  I miss those sensations.  The getting into a thing . . . exposing the meat of it, the paring away of dross and fanfare, reveling in the bone bare underneath truth.  I've got a razor cold, accurate touch, that's what every one used to say.  Now contact with me is blunt and chill, like a frostbitten finger.  I can't feel anything and I can't make anyone feel enough to open up for me.  I wonder where I went wrong, why this is happening.

I remember when I first noticed that something was amiss.  The guys and I were just hanging around after a particularly active dinner.  Joe Steak was laying back and grinning with those shark teeth of his.  I said how about that tomato, Joe my man?  Was she lush or what?  And Joe said, A lot you care about her.  Look how you treated her, you bastard.

I said, What do you mean, Joe? And he said, Mac, you fucked up.  There was nothing left to her for any of the rest of us to enjoy.  She said she hated the way you touched her and now she's afraid we're all going to mangle her like that.  It'll take years to restore her confidence.  What the hell's wrong with you, anyway?  You know better than to let the excitement get the better of you until it ripens into violence.  You've got to stroke a tomato, warm her up first, be subtle, be gentle.  I hate to say it, Mac, but you've gotten dull.

It really scared me when he said that.  And the way he said it, smiling but not smiling.  All those shining teeth and no humor.  I got the hell out of there, I can tell you.  When Joe gets started he can flay the skin from your soul.  I didn't want to be his next victim.

I've noticed that it takes me a lot longer to perform my job; I get exhausted pretty easily now and I don't get asked to assist much anymore.  And I used to be the first choice!  I tried to do a little woodwork to keep busy now I've all this free time. You know, what dudes in decline always do, whittling, carving -- a bit of this and that.  Biting into the pine, the oak, the maple; it's a great feeling, coaxing out the design and nature hidden in the flesh of the tree.  But my inspiration failed me.  Yesterday I couldn't even cut the fishing line and that big ass rainbow trout managed to escape.  This is getting serious.  I asked a good friend about it and he told me that he's heard of lots of guys with my condition.  He claims that the cure is more painful than the disease.  I didn't need to hear that.

It's no picnic being dull.  I don't get asked to parties any longer either, not after that affair with the tomato.  I feel honestly mortified about that.  But what about me?  Sympathy for me?  My sharp wit, my vital purpose, taken from me like fire from a candle and now what am I?  What am I?  Did I tell you about my family?  A legendary lot.  I've got a brother, Swiss Army.  He took the smart road, joining up.  He says, Lookit me, you dope.  I've got multi-purpose training to back me up in the event that one of my talents goes on the blink.  You can't put all your eggs into one basket!  How many times did Dad tell you that?

He's right.  Dad was forever reminding me to diversify in order to survive but I was young and gifted in one specialized area and I thought, nothing's ever going to happen to me.  Yeah, right.  Sharp dressed, bright mind, good parents, but when axe came to grind it didn't make a difference in the end.  Two years in service and I'm a dull agent already.  And Dad?  You'll find him down at Forensic, bringing up the secrets of the dead.  Long years of reliable duty.  But of course that's a government job.  They take good care of him there.

Mom is the real success story.  She wasn't much when she started but you ought to see her today.  Martial arts made her a house-hold name.  Twirling, spinning, whizzing through the air like a silver-haired supergirl, that's my old lady.  Last time I saw Mom she had been hoisted into the air, covered with ribbons and was about to be carried into the house of some major movie star.  He probably showed her off for hours to an admiring cadre of wannabees.  But once again, he'll baby her now that he's decided to keep her.  Mom's not cheap and she demands a lot of attention.  Still, that movie guy is proud of her, from what I hear.  You won't hear about her going dull.  There's just no way.  I get my sleek physique from her side of the family. My penetrating aura? My hearty handshake?  That's all Dad.  I'm just like him that way.  You remember our grip long after we're gone.  Dad could be a tad too intimidating at times, though.  A lot of people complained that he looks so scary it was down right painful running into him.  But the deceased don't complain.  I'd say he's got the perfect job after all.

I don't know what the hell to do about my problem.  Soon everybody will notice and the harassment will start.  Hah-haw-haw . . . you're dull, dumb, boring, useless.  I don't think I'll be able to stand that.  I can't retire, I'm way too young.  But to live off of my parents . . . there's too much shame attached.  They'll call me a leech, a parasite, a bum, unable to carve a niche for myself in the world and make it work.

I can't even hang out with the other guys, anymore. I miss them, too. We were a tough bunch, always in the middle of the bar fights, handing out the hurt. The only time we'd turn tail and run is when the guns showed up. We may have been bad, but we weren't stupid. I took especial pride in being quick and merciful. But that's all over now. Dudes on the cutting edge don't want a dullster like me bringing down the quality of the kill.

Why me? I can't understand it!  I haven't ever done anything wrong that I can recall. I can't live like this any longer, that much I can say for sure. I guess I'm going to have to go under the blade, no matter how painful it's reputed to be.  God, I can't even bear to think of it. The scraping, the burning, the grinding.  The sound alone will drive me insane. And I won't be the same afterwards, never again. I'll be less. But at least I'll be less dull, too. The hell of it is, I've got no choice.

I heard from the survival guys out in Montana this morning. Now that's a sharp bunch of honchos. They said I can join forces with them after the operation. I might like hunting the wild game, gutting a few moose, a few deer. I can't say. I've always been pretty much a vegetarian myself. That, and a bite of man now and again used to keep me satisfied. But if they're willing to take me, I'm willin' to go.

They say the sky is big and blue out West, as big as your imagination. That the moon hangs so full-bellied silver it looks like a stunned cloud. The tawny wheat grows higher than a man's head. There's still cowboys out there who live off the land and ride like the devil. They hunt animals and do neat tricks with ropes. They don't like bullshit and they love to cut things down to their lowest common denominator.

Men like that might be pleased to have a knife like me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thursday, August 31, 2006

 

Time Tiger

Current mood: blah

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

TIME TIGER

By AnnaBelle Lee

 

This one is for Sylvia --  time has justified your sacrifice and he is in his grave.

 

Time-tiger,

Time

Tiger, he

Prowls the beat, the mete,

Of every timorous breath.

Bright Torch -- scorched

Obsidian suspenders,

Enamel eyes glowering

Smoldering embers.

Tincture of Treachery vaults him on

The aged aroma of old debts due.

He stalks the prey, the newborn Day

Scissors its skull and

Gnaws clean through.

Days, weeks, years,

Residual smears,

Repasts that mollified the maw.

Claws like cleats gouge out his mark

The facial scar left by the Paw.

You knew

You knew he visited you.

 

Even poets age, when you were young

Violent and spun

Your spleen upon the printed page,

You tuned your ear insensitive

And barely heard the cracklings

As he passed parallel.

No cognizant query on the words,

Which gave you pause, ah well,

You thought, the tiger does not make

His feast of robust men. The end --

The end rears high his tawny head,

You've bled, he's on your trail.

His fetid blood-breath has assailed

Your nostrils, and you know . . .

You see his muscles churning

Gilt eyes burning, doesn't he

Look like me?

Look like me?

How familiar, that undulating gait,

The cicatrix upon the cheek, the bait.

Spired spokes which rim the red abyss

Its depths, its depths, are cavernous.

Guilty of the sin of simony,

Your face reflects disharmony.

It will not be long.

Your nemesis sprints on.

 

I am so pleased, so pleased to view

The killing I could never do.

I fell before the tiger, now you, too,

Succumb, succumb --

To time's carnivorous curse,

Glutting love to sightless orbs,

Battered bone and scattered verse.

 

~copyright '84

 

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

 

Working A Character Sketch

Current mood: amused

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

"Hannah" (copyright A. Lee, 2005)

 

I've been trawling my sub-conscious today, seeking characters from my past to feed my literature.  Hannah burbled up from the murk -- ahhh, what a precious personality . . . worthy of being indicted, cruelly, and accurately, in my prose . . .

 

This turned into a mini-rant on conflicts of opinion re: proper housekeeping technique, but I thought it interesting reading nonetheless.  This is how I develop characters; I simply start writing about them in a casual way -- no particular goal of creating a full sketch, just a random collection of notes and observations . . . unrefined and unfettered free association here, folks . . .

 

 

Narcissistic Hannah (not her real name. Picture her with a black bar across the dusty-blue eyes) was tall, whippet-thin, wore a waist-long column of carotene-red hair, was a recessed-chested ballet dancer, third-class/born into privileged upper-class family -- arrogant, striking, but not especially pretty, drinker, drug-dabbler, living the elitist, ersatz-enlightened life in a middle-class single-family home in tony Chevy Chase with her boyfriend "Jake" and my boyfriend "Riddle", rent-free, courtesy of adoring parents. Notoriously cruel to her boyfriend, she worked as secretary part-time and pretended to dance when she was not polishing the tip of her barbed tongue on someone's tender sensibilities.  A MAJOR Georgetown nightclubbing poseur, not charming, not in the least friendly, in fact it seemed to me her only attraction for men was related to her spare figure and her air of unattainability -- she thought herself so rare, so removed and sharpened her communications with the axe of intimidation.

 

Hannah fancied herself to be dramatic, and had good comedic sense for someone so bereft of humor. I never would've chosen her for a room-mate, though, and as such, I did not last long as a tenant of her inherited domain. For one thing, she snootily informed me that my two year old daughter was not welcome in her home. Hannah had once dated my boyfriend; which may have accounted for some of her amorphic and ever-present asperity toward me.  She prided herself on being a "Neatnik" -- which she claimed was her moniker in college. A nickname to be venerated, to be sure.  I personally aspire to one day being christened a neatnik. Yeah, you bet.  An artist and a "neatnik" have about as much in common the White House pastry chef and the keeper of the zen gardens.  Or, more correctly, one could say we have highly separate views of what constitutes beauty.  Once our POV collided, it was Spark City.

 

In any case, after my first divorce I had moved into my boyfriend's ample quarters in the attic of this 30s style Cape Cod, and Hannah wasted no time in asserting her authority.  One was never allowed to think one had made any decisions regarding any matter whatsoever -- Hannah always contorted the truth until all creative ideas appeared to have originated with HER. I've never before and never since met a person so convinced of her superiority.  She did not just dominate conversations, she *Sacked* them, like a Rome-seeking Visigoth.  She simultaneously fascinated and terrified me.  What a pity she never wanted to get to know me; she'd have learned that I have a freezer-burn grip of a memory, and as a writer, I seek my revenge on the printed stage.

 

She berated me one cloying August afternoon whilst I was ironing, striding hellcat into the room and snapping: "You must have grown up in one of those MODERN houses. You can't use electricity whenever you please in THIS house -- you'll overload the circuits while the air-conditioning is on!"

 

Then there was the wonderful, early morning breakfast with a number of our local friends, in which Hannah announced loudly, "Riddle, I only heard your bed squeak 21 times last night. I *counted*. You and AnnaBelle need to read the Kama Sutra."

 

Uh huh. Like SHE was a mattress mistress. I don't THINK so.

 

Although I only stayed about two weeks, I paid her the going rate for a month long stay in a private room. She flicked the check out of my hand and said, "I was going to demand this if you didn't give it to me. Sorry, but a fourth person drives up the utility bills and I'm not putting up with you using me."

 

I had nothing to DO with her.  She was seldom home, being either hooked to her office phone umbilicus or toe-dancing her way across some amateur stage on the south side of Unknown.

 

I will never forget, because it is not the first time something of this nature had happened to me, when Hannah slinked into the kitchen while I was washing my dinner dishes.  This consisted of two plates, forks, knives and spoons, those utilized by my boyfriend and myself.  She stood right by my side and hawk-watched my every move. (I think the fact that I'd been married both interested and disgusted her; she was anxious to prove I was no way superior to her despite my domestic experience).  Naturally, there was NO electric dishwasher.  Now, my Dutch uncles and aunts engage in this bizarre behavior as well. My Senior relatives in Pa. wouldn't hesitate to yank an offending utensil out of the dish drainer and order me to rinse it again.  I think it the very height of rudeness, and is yet another example of how people need to get a life.  I'm an artist; I make messes of necessity, and I don't get exercised about keeping my home sterile and hygienic.  There's simply no damn point in that kind of ambition.  That's so inHUMAN, if you ask me.  All of my spare time is spent creating art of whatever variety, and I take exactly ZERO pride in gleaming Kmart Karma-patterned plebeware, thank you very, very much.  You did not find the prehistoric, hairy-legged, prognathous-jawed AnnaBelle scrubbing the walls of her cave with a dead boar, I'll guarantee ya. I was down by the edge of the fire, rendering my grunting partner's face out of the ashes.

 

Well, so, Hannah kept her eyes focussed on my dish-cleaning technique, and I knew exactly what kind of anal-neatfreak she was, so I poured lava hot water over everything. I considered flinging the boiling dishrag at her pinched, persnickety face, but dignity forbade me.  Finally, as I am wiping dry the last spoon, she says, "Well, I suppose you can clean dishes competently. I figured you for a sloppy housewife of the doubleknit set, and I don't put up with suburban slackers.  When I was college everyone called me a neatnik. You don't fuck up MY living space."

 

With that, she sauntered off, her long red ponytail twitching with satisfaction.

 

Does anyone else loathe that kind of person? I mean, like, who in their life told them they were the shit? They strive to snag control of a situation which does NOT concern them, and secure every opportunity to aggrandize themselves to no purpose. I don't give a fat fanola how neat she is, or what her friends called her in college. I didn't get to go to college, because my psychotic mother was sure to murder me if I did not make my escape when the moment presented itself. I hit the street at 17 years of age, with two boxes of art supplies, two suitcases fulla clothes and that was it. No car, no flatware, no bed, nada. Like MY parents would ever offer ME a single family house in which to dwell -- rent free. Yeah, right, when Satan shops for solid silver ice tongs, maybe.

 

Women like Hannah make me deeply desirous of death.  Everyone is telling them how foxy-fine they are, when the truth is, they're just fortunate to be born into a family which supports and adores them.  Depression is not sucking the marrow out of their bones every day, never mind poverty, and so they have all the energy in the world to get wrought up about how one does the fucking dishes.  Could someone please hand me the barf bag? And what's so laughable is that Hannah and her entire social class and local gang of self-bloated bohemians considered themselves *artists*, and lovers of art.  I wonder what they would've thought of Bacon's kitchen? I'll bet it was so far beyond sewage even the rats wouldn't risk the decaying victuals.  Anyway, from what I hear, he just had a lot of vodka bottles lying around.  Or Picasso -- his house was quaintly decorated, but it sure wasn't antiseptic. How many times have you seen Andy Warhol down and dirty with a sponge and some Lysol -- huh?   Okay, never mind Andy; he looked like a neo-neatfreak, anyway.

 

Every single one of my mothers-in-law had something to say about my tendency to overlook encroaching contamination.  They went on and on and on about it.  They never gave up.  When I divorced my second husband, I actually gave a party just to celebrate the fact that I'd never have to hear his Medusa Mother criticizing and excoriating me for my defiant sloth.  I kept telling her that if I tried to keep the house according to her standards, I would have no time to myself and solitary was very important to me.  She was horrified. I should not have TIME FOR SOLITARY, I had to take care of HER grandchild, and furthermore, if there was no time for art, there was no time for art. You had to keep up your house, that was your task and your gift.

 

Of course, 100 years after I'm boxed and burned, who in the hell is going to care if my house was featured once upon a cosmetic time in Glistening Homes and Gagging Gardens?  Seriously?  Why don't people GET IT???  Only art endures. Ars longa, vita brevis.  Maybe my exe's daft mothers want "She Was The Perfect Housekeeper" engraved on their tombstones but I have other epitaphs in mind.  Stick your pampered nose under MY bed, and you'll find, as The New Yorker cartoon has it, "a dust ball as big as Tibet".

 

I've had men make the nastiest comments to me simply because I did not perform some meaningless little domestic ritual exactly the way their mother did it. As if!  I never gave a shit about their mothers.  *Their* gold-plated Uteri never worked full time while trying to raise children on their own.  MOST of my childhood friends' parents employed full time *maids*, are you serious?  Have men never heard the expression, "There are only 24 hours in a DAY?"  Was I supposed to tell my horse-faced boss, "Excuse me, I must run home for lunch, yank the lizard out of the toilet and clean that porcelain chamber pot until I can see my own reflection??

 

But you see, I was *living* with these guys, and they were supposed to LOVE me.  I thought love covered a multitude of sins.  Why is it okay to fling the foul at me, talk to me like I was dirt in the creases of their Nikes, just because, for example, I did not wing the dinner dishes to the sink one nanosecond after the last bite has been consumed? So the crusty leftovers sit there until tomorrow, so what?  The cockroach is the most evolutionarily enduring critter known to man; you will never outsmart 'em, so you might as well let 'em help you clean the plates.

 

Of course, I told these jerk offs to bite me, or to do the tasks Mommy's sacred way THEMSELVES. Then I'd get castigated for being "unladylike", "disagreeable" or (unbelievably!) "rude".  What is the big freaking DEAL with people? Didn't their Madonna Mommas teach them to express their disagreements with others in a mannerly way?  No, I do NOT clean out the refrigerator every damn day just like MOMMY did! I don't care at'all what sort of radioactive dayglo green ooga booga is e'en now snarfin' down on the runny, rotten cucumber in the vegetable bin! I . . . Don't . . . Care. You guys may think I'm imploding without official permission -- man, you don't know how often this subject has been introduced into my life . . . and I still don't understand why men don't just DO the job themselves if they don't like my act.

 

And Hannah was just another one of those pseudo-houseproud people, whose closets bore more bones than clothes.  On my last day of residency in her noble estate, she barged into my room as I was packing up my few personal effects and muttered, apropos of nothing: "You're good-looking. You're always going to get what you want in Life," and stalked off before I had the opportunity to respond.  I considered her comment utterly non-sensical, but then again, Hannah was an inscrutable gal. After Riddle and I moved into our new apartment, I only saw Hannah once -- when she and Jake showed up unexpectedly to take Riddle on a motorcycle tour of St. Michael's.  She pointedly let it be known that I was not invited on this little expedition, as Hannah did not want to put up with my daughters.  Imperiously, she strode away into my Past, arm in arm with her two best buddies, her firetail ponytail swishing back and forth across her perfect, new, shiny, black leather jacket.

 

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The Reckoning (From The Dying of Max O'Brian)

Current mood: chipper

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

This is horror, truly grisly stuff - do not read this chapter slice if horror fiction offends you. This is copyrighted work and I will protect my copyrights vigorously.

 

I was surprised how easily I became this character. What THAT says about my demented psyche, I shall not speculate.

 

 

*************

 

18

 

Frustration gnaws at the raw bones of my days.  I can not, could not, no matter how strenuously and persuasively I presented my arguments -- induce in, or extract from, any measure of understanding of my person from those fleshy vats of chemicals and hormones with whom I share the rude confines of this planet.  They would bluster into flames, should I deign to touch a match to their desiccated, oblivious souls.  Shallow charlatans.   A pity I am stuck rotating around the earth with them; but at least I did not accept their form, or their human nature.

Smoked. Smoked.  Let them all be smoked, trial by conflagration.  Will they be found righteous enough to serve me as messengers?

I rather fancy the odor of smoked human meat.  How I wish I could even take a pinch, just a pinch of flesh, mind you, wedge it into a pipe and smoke it!  To saturate my alveoli with the scent of man's outer layer, his largest organ. Perhaps I will try it, by and by.

My family disowned me, I fear; I am no longer bone of their bone, or even leg of their leg, not body of their bodies.   Soon all that shall remain of my remains is my body of text.

After my every honest gesture of reconciliation, I was rebutted with counter talk of doctors, hospitals, therapy and drugs.  They refuse confabulation with me, now.  I am "toxic," "dangerous," "unpredictable," which can be translated to mean, "We fear you. You might cause us harm. You confound us. Go away. Don't come back."

Is it the script inscribed upon my brow? My arms?  My bloated belly? I am like a love letter someone did not bother to continue on the other side.

My back is blank.

And, of a truth, I am capable of harm. Indeed, I am.  Immense harm.  Seizures, cyclones, tsunamis, radioactive, florescent and coruscating Nova bursts of rages send me thrashing, frothing to the floor, twisting on the spit of insanity.  These spells come as they will. I do naught to summon them. Whether they are gifts from a god of electric creativity, or the frantic, hectic combustion of unstable brain tissue, or even a mean and brief exposure to the life the Devil leads, I can not tell.

I do feel I am well able to communicate in a rational, reasonable manner.  But no person, no editor, no publisher wants to listen to, or read, my novels, my stories, my words, much less offer me approval in a monetary sense.  All I asked is for one person, one human being, to validate what I know is true about my skills and my proficiency in story-telling.

They advise me that some writers tack upon the wall each and every Rejection Slip mailed to them, although such rejections frequently arrive, like insidious viruses, via E-mail now.

Well, I don't blasphemy my walls with their negative vetoes and rebuffs.  All their "We're sorry, buts," and "Just not right for our publication," and "Sorry, not interested."

 

I eat them. Page by page I cut their rejections into the tiny pieces of trash they are, and chew upon their words, lather their words with spit and swallow them, and let my innards rewrite my innermost gut reactions to their hasty dismissal of me and my work.

Too ghastly, too bloody, too formal in my prose, too politically incorrect, too lame, juvenile, presumptuous, too coy. Not relevant, not edgy enough, lacks polish.

Never once a publication. Not even a poem.  And I am told I resemble the good Welshman Dylan Thomas. I will concede he doth exceed me in the poetic arts.

Rather a shame, is it not?

Once one is perceived as menacing, others do a blip over any word offerings or verbalisms one places on the altar of Language.  Say what they will, I excel in two areas: the facile and novel use of language, and murder. And, if I say so myself, I am tastefully adroit at amputation.  Those editors are no different, slashing and scribbling and striking with their red pens, obliterating entire paragraphs, entire chapters with the flick of a felt tip! Do they imagine their red chisel does not cause pain?

I will no longer countenance such impudence. Never have I put so much as a comma out of place. Who are they to sit in judgment of my work?

Every so often one of them inquires as to the state of my mental health.  Quite familiar I am with those psychotropic drugs they want to choke down my throat, while I howl at the white, milky underbelly of the moon. She nursed me at her very own satellite tits, thus I evolve and revolve into a moon man, a spaced-out man from outer space when I swallow the Thorazine, the Haldol, the Zyprexa, the Risperdal, the Seroquel, the Abilify -- the little Deities Of Artificial Comas.  When I consent to the ingestion of those foul elixirs and potions, these anti psychotics, my Muse abandons me at a great velocity, out of sheer disgust with me. She simply refuses to work with a disabled brain, and I cannot say I blame her. It's like trying to compose with a bone saw.

And in my inner spaces, where the drugs were designed to dampen, to dull, to subdue -- the magma, the lava, the larvae resist all pharmaceutical means to arrest and subdue them.  These black, boiling humors seethe and wait, to sear and roast and consume all those who would dismiss me, or invade my  brilliant and maggoty mind.

Deep in the core -- Inferno.  The surface, one cool customer.  Not one of those bogus shaman psychiatrists ever displayed even cursory regret that I had been disengaged from my creativity.  To the contrary, this repression and zombification was being done "for my own good."  Why did they not simply ram a shiv into my aorta, or blast a hot damn bullet into the creative core of my brain?

When, ultimately, I get my hands on a psychiatrist, I shall excavate his head, sever his Ego, eviscerate his Id, and amputate his Superego, and that is before I take my bone saw to his lying, wretched, sanctimonious throat.  I can take off a leg in less than ten minutes. I do it while listening to Don Giovanni.  Civil War field surgeons accomplished it routinely. The heads take a bit longer, quite a bit longer, actually.

I served some time in med school. It is obvious to you vat-bags, is it not?  I can keep a living creature alive long after it begs and wishes and craves the peace of death.  It is not a question of torture. To my way of thinking, it's a conversion, a moment of sculptural epiphany, when they realize they can live without a limb, or two, or even three.  That they, their essences, are not in any fashion part and parcel of their bodies. Flesh means nothing; it is of no consequence, if all that is written on the body are the marks of age, the striations of pregnancy, the scars of operations, the orange freckles and black moles of inheritance, the black, brown, red erratically shaped melanomas, the wrinkles, the goiters, the flaccid chins, the wattle necks, the messy eyebrows and pubic thatch-where is the music in such an organic composition?  These blemishes are not ornaments. No peacock loveliness in the wreckage and variegated markings on the flesh.

Tattoos, at it were, have some aesthetic value.  Then the body is a canvas, a tabula rasa, waiting for the sting needle and the colors of the Master to conform skin into art.

When I bring to mind the murderous efforts of Jeffrey Dahlmer, and his "collection" of human parts, all I can think of is: what a waste of paper.

I hate the human body.  I tell you, I loathe it and have felt so since my youth.  The stenches and reeks of it; the vaginal oozings and lubricants and cycles of shedding endometrium.  How disgusting, the splatterings of jism, the leaking milk from lactating breasts, the coils of offal slipping from the anal aperture, the nasal snot, the saliva, the ear wax, the naval lint, the toe jam, the sweat-is there nothing sacrosanct in the mind's understanding of the body human, that reels in revulsion at these suppurations, these fluids and organic substances which seem to encrust and exude like vile crusts on the surface of the earth before sloughing off and new substances and excretions form in due course?

My legs, in particular, were appalling in my eyes and did not belong to me. How they came to attach themselves to my person I cannot divine.  I don't need legs. I did not want legs. Every time I appraised my image in the mirror, those damned gams were a blight upon my otherwise exquisitely fine appearance.

Knives of all sizes, hacksaws, chain saws, bone saws; I availed myself of their severing abilities until I managed to quit myself of these accursed appendages which caused me to be deformed, malignant, incomplete, out of sync with what I know to be my true and natural configuration.   I did consult with surgeons, many, many surgeons. My pleas were rejected. I was referred to psychiatry.  Psychiatry concerns itself with the mind, the brain, not the legs.

The legs were the issue, you see.

Naturally there was the blood. Yes, floods of blood.  But my medical training, you do recall I mentioned it?  I kept my pulse going until the ambulance arrived.  When the ER doctors noted the condition of my legs, there was no remaining option for them; they were forced to amputate in order to save my wretched life.

When I awakened and realized I was then the compact and the proper shape according to my destiny, I could've crawled on my belly to kiss the surgeon's feet.  Yes, I did have to do a stint in the ward after that exploit.  How do you imagine I came to be so intimate with those anti-creativity drugs?

When I espy a concupiscent lass undulating down the street (I can still make my way around), the first thought which forms in my suspect mind is how much more luscious she would be without those cumbersome gams, those bone-based stalks which protrude from her pelvis like slabs of sausage.  I've always been partial to the armless Venus in the Louvre.

No, I don't partake of the body parts I have excised from their owners. I might eat paper, but cannibalism is going a bit wonkers.  Why ask, when you have seen for what use I save and smoke them?  I put these useless dangling masses of flesh and bone to noble use, blessing the skin with the majesty of our English language, the mysteries and illuminations of my brain.  My writings, so quickly rejected by publisher after publisher, will survive intact, wherever the purloined limbs are buried.

The Baltimore Post has, you may have noted, been publishing my precious literature with due haste. And the majority of the proletarian, pedestrian vat-bags adore my gift.  I find it infinitely amusing, how the vox populi cry out for more of my wisdom and vision.  Publishers want me to develop a fan base.  Therefore, see? I have done so.  They plead for every installment.

I wonder if any of those slags, hags, road kill hacks of human waste understand what is required of a writer who desires to furnish our lamentable culture with lasting, immortal, eternal creative prose?  Stories which teach, electrify, stun, amaze, amuse, excite, provoke, reveal-these are the novels which endure Time's bone saw.  Do they suppose we simply bestow our chairs with our jaunty buttocks, strike up the computer or typewriter, twist a key in the Muse's back and just tap forth with zest and ease whatever stellar stories She elects to dictate to us?

And the criticisms! For the shame of my holy toes, now gone of course, how is one supposed to bear the endless, vociferous criticisms of one's very thoughts, one's original and maverick and vanguard stories?  Easy it is to condemn and dismiss the arduous, toilsome, private, isolated labor of Genius, when one cannot even read the TV Guide without assistance.  I care no more for the opinions of buffoons, bourgeoisie, blackguards, ignoramuses, dimwits and dullards as I do for the rat I found waddling around in my kitchen the other day. I removed his legs with poultry shears, quite neatly, I must confess.  I'm rather fast for a man with stumps.

I ignore those condemnations as easily as I ignore the blubbering bleats and screams of my victims. They never comprehend what an honor I am bestowing upon them.  To serve me as parchment, as writing paper, as bearer of my tales.  Some people tell stories, others transport and deliver them on the papyrus of their skin.  I've discovered a novel means by which I relay my tales to the people.  Tales told my way, without editorial intrusions and desecrations.

I hack off the red edits of the various self-righteous publishers as effortlessly as I hacked off my own legs.

Family?  Friends?  Support System, you ask?

Recreants, perfidious, treacherous beasts of no relation to me.  If they could find me they would chain me like Prometheus and let the Vulturous Law peck out my liver day after day, for all eternity.

I have taken to the wearing of a bright, green hat while I undertake my labors. The hat keeps my head warm, keeps me company, and utters no words of confliction or censure of indictment of my activities.

I did mention the copious flow of blood, did I not? Gobbets of it.  Gushes, sprays, torrents, globules, droplets, scrolling blood, angry blood, gouts of blood, cascades, bubbles and founts of blood.  I am in awe of such color in the otherwise dull rote of amputation.

Such a mesmerizing red. I consulted my thesaurus to do the color justice.  Was it carmine, rose, brick red, scarlet, poppy, Geranium, iron, Cherry, like my old mustang back in Med School?  Perchance maroon, garnet, sable, russet, sorrel, vermilion?

Nay, I tell you. Nay. Blood is Blood Red.  There is no other term to accurately relay the hue.  I ought to know. I am a sort of Blood Fellow, if I feel inclined to include myself in any fraternity.  I could care less about the corpus, ah, but the blood!  a fluid from the ocean we still carry within us-a life-giving sap from the sea!

I wanted to ink my chronicles in the fresh blood of my surgeries, but alas, it is not practical. Dried blood flakes and crumbles and turns colors. So many variable colors. One would never have attributed such creativity to blood. I have seen it do so, on a number of occasions.

You want to know my name. But what import does a mere name contain? William Shakespeare has already taught you that this is so.  Or do you prefer Nintendo to the Mighty Bard?

You can not even name all the matter which fills our Universe, and even if you applied yourself to such a task, you'd be no closer to understanding its mysteries than you are right now.  Like me, all you would be doing is creating fiction.

Your life is a fiction. Your image of yourself is a fiction. Your personal history, as related by you, is a fiction.  Photographs, paintings, television shows, commercials, the confidences of others, the observations of the learned and the unlearned, all fiction. Your reflection in the mirror-fiction.  The reality you hold so dear-fiction.  All art is distortion of the absolutely real.  Even my fiction is, sad to say, fiction.

And whatever you do manage to interpret about me will be mostly fiction.

The police will not apprehend me alive.  My work is secure.  I've arranged for my entire oeuvre to be published post mortem, from a source which cannot be found.

But perhaps, first, one more hostage.  It enthralls me to examine and try out new instruments. You can buy just about any object or implement you wish on eBay or the back alley Black Market Man.

You quibble about names when I am already sharpening my pen and my scalpel.  I have streams of words, torrents of words, gobs of words, gouts of words, scrolls of words, glorious words, majestic words, words full of Heaven, words swelling of Hell, words born in every dictionary ever printed in the English language, embedded in my every cell, climbing the very helixes of my DNA, waiting to expel themselves upon the public. Language is my Life. Language is my blood; it flows from my veins straight to the page.  Revenge is my mission, as well.  Hell is my mission: Hell.

What is it like on the Other Side? I shall show him.

Know this:

I am Regal, Prodigal, the descendant of Kings.  I undress in order to redress.  I rend in order to render whole.  For all the ills occasioned upon me:

 

Behold Vat-bags, The Reckoning.

 

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

 

Exoflesh - Reminders of Identity

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

I composed this one years and years ago.  I meant it to be amusing, now it seems rather silly - but still fun!  It was published; some editor must've liked the poem..

 

EXOFLESH

Reminders of Identity

By AnnaBelle Lee

 

These are my terribly expensive shoes.

I can see my reflection

In their polished surfaces.

Everyone is wearing this style.

They are the shoes of choice.

My shoes are me.

 

Have you gawked lately

At my engagement ring?

It is stamped pure 18kt gold

And engraved with my initials.

It cost a fortune.

I can see my image

(Though rather distorted)

In my flat and shiny wedding band,

Like a fun-house mirror.

 

This ring is an external symbol

Of my husband's devotion

Which shall never die.

He's on a business trip at this time,

I don't know where.  I haven't

Heard from him for several weeks.

My wedding ring is me.

 

Mrs. Mrs. Mrs.

I have never reflected

On that stupid mid-life question

All my silly friends keep asking:

"Who am I?  Who am I?"

I need only to glance around myself

For the answer.

 

My children regard me.

I see myself in their eyes.

They look like me.

Even the license plate

On my Ferrari is monogrammed,

My towels, my cigarette case, my wallet.

My driver's license photo is marvelous, luv

It shows my Riviera tan to advantage.

Sad to see my face encased in plastic,

Yet it rests, my picture pressed

Against my American Express card

(Which bears my name).

 

My name, my name, pre-printed on my checks

Chiseled in the flecks

Of marble on my pre-purchased tombstone.

Of course, I personally will never die.

I beg your pardon?

Social consciousness?

I am very conscious of my social position,

Thank you! People starving across the water?

You don't say. I have no acquaintances

Who are starving.  Our accountant takes care

Of such matters as donations. I mean, after all

It isn't me.

 

You must excuse-moi, what did you say

Your name was, sir?

What do you mean, you have lots of names?

Just call you Lucifer?  Odd name . . .

I say, Luke, old chum,

I've had a few too many Bloody Marys.

You knew her, did you say?

I have truly had too many . . .

I must take a swim in

Our indoor pool to sober up.

Only in the shallow areas.

No, I cannot swim at all.

Daddy always carried me through

The deep water.

 

My husband often warned me to

Stay away from the deep end.

He needn't fear; I shan't fall in.

I simply wish to lean over

Far enough to see how I look

In my new swimsuit.  A tear (!)

Has made my reflection wavery

And unclear. You are right, Luke,

I must get closer . . . closer . . .

The better to see myself.

(Sir, you have no reflection).

The better to see myself.

 

~~Copyright 1985

 

 

 

sday, August 29, 2006

 

Diorama - Colony at the Mall

Current mood: awake

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

Diorama (Colony At The Mall)

By AnnaBelle Lee

 

Observe: the Mall is aswarm with humans.

Take note: it is the center of social life.

Lured here by their desires, those

Anxious drones - flexing their wings

And working hard at looking hot.

See how they move in clusters,

Shifting and weaving, an awesome

Assemblage. Metamorphosing

Continually. Some branch off

To enter stores. The cells expel

Others to merge - yes one could feel

If one stood still, like the eye

In this hurricane of flesh, a

Great drawing and pulling force,

Compelling against reason, against will.

The sounds of their voices

Blend and fuse into meaningless

Cacophony, yet - it is still a

Special kind of music humans generate.

The crackling of bags, smacking sneakers,

Teens migrate in waves

Engulfed in their giggles.

Everyone's legs pump purposefully.

Where are they all going?

Purchasing ardently the things

Which can be purchased. Oblivious

To their contribution to the economy

To the strength of the hive,

They suck merchandize like nectar

And spread gold like pollen.

Hear their vocals rising to

The pocketed ceiling which

Collects sounds and clings to them

Tenderly, like flowers. This bouquet

Of human essence sparks the arteries

Of aisles flowing. United they are

The Queen of this comb, of

One hundred stores - the door's mouths

Enticing them in, exhaling them out.

After closing time, it's just benign,

A vacant bi-level honeycomb

Exhausted of its power.

A lifeless hive, bereft of the

Bees, and their honey: money.

 

~Copyright  1985

 

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Saturday, August 26, 2006

 

Sand Sculptor At Jones Beach

Current mood: cranky

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

Sand Sculptor At Jones Beach

 

By AnnaBelle Lee

 

 

 

Creation, for her, is a sanctified insanity,

 

Confined this day by a thick, tempera sky.

 

Clouds stutter across the blue walls --

 

Desultory attempts to block light.

 

 

 

She prefers a chaotic world. Expression

 

Provokes her mind's gray abeyance. It

 

Unlooses ideas singly. They fragment, dislodge

 

And ascend to her conscious, fragile as seaweed.

 

 

 

Some of earth's elements resist the rational,

 

And like the mad, are suffused with

 

Clairvoyance. She kneels upon a buffed

 

Scab of beach. "Notice," it whispers to her,

 

 

 

"See - form is locked within. A shape

 

Unresurrected, requiring human touch

 

For the mergence with Real." Oh, hubris!

 

Carving sand to sensory instructions,

 

 

 

She has become Deity. To her right

 

The baptismal font of ocean crimps lips

 

To white froth, spreading a watery scarf

 

Over the shoreline. "Doesn't that woman,

 

 

 

It murmurs, "have anything constructive to do?"

 

Hauling back the tide, stone-nicked

 

Tattered. It hates this Thinker, altering

 

Set states to random Art. Green-skinned

 

 

 

Bowel of Oceanid greedily digests

 

The shore's border, ruminates absently

 

On foam, refuse, bellied up fish

 

Husks, gum wrappers, punctured rafts.

 

 

 

Shark hungry, a mouth loving to eat and

 

Sanely obeying ancient orders.

 

It attempts to devour the echoing

 

Images clouds lay over the waves,

 

 

 

Where gull reflections bobble, like a white

 

Mobile. Strung together by unseen

 

Hand, by silent agreement

 

Hoving to the pattern planned.

 

 

 

Overhead, sun irons the sculptor's back.

 

Crouched, she sweats to a sheen.

 

Her sensitive fingers live diving rods,

 

Ferret out shell-shards, wood-chips, coke-caps, debris.

 

 

 

Hunting outline, sifting for the face,

 

Sand abrades her knees, scratches

 

Inside her wet suit, grist under

 

Nails. Licking her lips, she tastes salt.

 

 

 

A noble profile occurs. Cupping

 

The sand-face like a cherished

 

Child, her knuckles chisel cheekbones

 

Side of pinky finger lids an eye.

 

 

 

Cupid curls overlap, layer

 

Upon layer, calyx-like. Drawing

 

Out of the sand like a poultice

 

The contours of a man.

 

 

 

She's surrounded by the accents of New York

 

They snarl in the breeze and drift upwards,

 

Let go like a child's balloon. People

 

Regard her idly, toe-tapping

 

 

 

To the clashing strains of boom boxes,

 

Greased and posed in a move-still

 

Alignment, unfocussed by the haze.

 

Sunlight warps their gold adornments.

 

 

 

Into winking fiends. She observes

 

The ray's way of abstracting a discarded

 

Beer can into a chalice, hammered in

 

Silver, so can the craftsman render

 

 

 

Distinction from the mundane.

 

To her competent violence, the sand

 

Yields shoulders, torso, legs arms,

 

Achieving, its own unique persona.

 

 

 

Sculpture and artisan are equal and valid now,

 

Like God in the finger-press with Adam.

 

Time suspends, impotent, for this one moment

 

Incapable of harm. Yet the Cosmos

 

 

 

Thunders incisors in wait. Smug and

 

Assured that art and all men must

 

Succumb to the spin that forces birth

 

And forces death. Forces birth

 

 

 

And forces death. Revolving tentacles

 

Hooking everything in with the

 

Undertow (subconscious of the sea)

 

Where it can mull, mull, mull

 

 

 

Over the remnants of an existence,

 

Eagerly disassembling lives for scrutiny,

 

For Time has no life of its own. Already

 

Her hand-cast man gives in

 

 

 

To the chipping wind, relinquishing

 

Fingers, top-of-nose, toes a soccer ball

 

Smacks claggy sand, effaces a knee.

 

Eden unending, a madman's dream, she thinks.

 

 

 

Dying promotes the savoring,

 

Flesh will breed, while the artist

 

Bleeds, creates, resists the merciless

 

Tug of tides. "You are crazy, kid,"

 

 

 

Insisted her parents, the night she asked,

 

"Do the hills catch fire when the sun sets

 

Behind them?" She always saw things

 

Differently. Her parents gave no answer,

 

 

 

Smiling to each other over her head.

 

Instead, they molded her mind and body

 

Of the sand of tradition, and without

 

Apparent gift for craft, practiced

 

Love upon the frail, blanched body.

 

 

 

It made no difference; she would unmold

 

The edges blur; she would not, could not

 

Be as the others. Questions clotted

 

With her blood, seeking solution.

 

 

 

It is ripening dusk at Jones Beach.

 

She watches the sun jewel the waves,

 

Watches shadows work dark lace

 

Over the surface of the water.

 

 

 

Normalcy sets like a lord there.

 

She has nothing to show of her

 

Rebellious spell of madness. The sun

 

Becomes a red wink over her shoulder

 

 

 

As she turns toward home.

 

She does not see it flickering

 

In its descent on the night face

 

Over the mountains. She does not see --

 

 

 

("Everything is sane") hushes the sea.

 

("Everything is sane and in its proper

 

Order") She does not see (weeping)

 

That as the sun sets behind them

 

The hills catch fire.

 

~copyright 1985

 

3:04 PM - 4 Comments - 4 Kudos - Add Comment - Edit - Remove

 

Ramifications

Current mood: restless

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

RAMIFICATIONS

 

By AnnaBelle Lee

 

 

 

On this lake's south shore

 

A frog experiences the murmur

 

Of a skipped pebble's gossip

 

As it stitches and perturbs

 

The water's thoughtful face.

 

The frog shudders and springs.

 

A lace of lilypads undulate

 

Their reedy tentacles.

 

Dragonflies alight the green open

 

Palms, veined wings strain, wink.

 

The young pebble tosser squints,

 

Searching for her stone's final

 

Contact and submersion, which occurs

 

With a dull Klopponk! sound,

 

Unheard in the girl's pearl ear.

 

Neither does she witness

 

The frog's gesture of surprise,

 

The agitation of lilypads,

 

The dragonflies' fascination.

 

For her, none of these happenings

 

Relate to her happy action

 

Of stone skipping.

 

Therefore their importance diminishes.

 

Plucking sand nestled

 

In the legs of her orange sunsuit,

 

She hums a little girl song

 

And pads home. The lake smiles.

 

Light waves bend. Below the rock

 

Smirks in the murk.

 

Fish admire it.

 

 

 

Copyright '87

 

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

 

Hating Dating At 51

Current mood: bitchy

Category: Writing and Poetry

 

My dear Readers and Friends,

 

I'd like to talk to you all today about several pressing issues.

 

I feel Rants in my pants and they have to come OUT.

 

As you may have read in previous expressions of High Dungeon, I am 51 years old, and altogether new to the "modern" dating scene.

 

Is that what it is? Because it sure seems like selfishness, shallowness and rudeness to me.

 

I thought I'd share with you all my dating diatribes. Any insights/thoughts/recommendations/observations are always welcome. Not kidding! If you care to interpret the men's behavior, please do so!

 

First of all, I did not want to be divorced at age 48. My ex had been boinking his Russian collegue's 28 year old post doc, and finally decided he just HAD to marry her. He wouldve gotten rid of me sooner, if only he could've found out how to do that CHEAPLY. He was 48 -- can we say mid-life Crisis, anyone? Yes, he even bought the new, snazzy red car, but guess whos driving it now?

 

After an episode of his physical violence, I broke decorum and blistered his sanctimonious (and he is, quite sanctimonious) ass with a barrage of high-octane fury. He'd been psychologically cruel to me for years. He's sort of a sadist, anyway. I'm not by far the ONLY person to endure his wrath and disdain.

 

Since he won't tolerate any person screaming at him, or calling a Dick a dick, he told me I had thirty days to get OUT. He bullied and threatened me after he returned home from work each day -- he started right in, belittling and castigating me, because I had not, as yet, found suitable quarters.

 

Mind you, he came to this country on a fellowship that would've only allowed him to stay in the United States for about one year, possibly two. Since he married ME, he was able to get a Green Card, and the U.S. citizenship. When I became too ill to work, he quit paying my mortgage (the house was in MY name) and saved up his checks for a year. He neatly forced moi into bankruptcy, and then bought a much larger detached, single family home and put it in HIS name, alone. Since he now has American Citizenship, btw, his Russian wife now has a Green Card. And, oy yea, oy yea, he got her a job at his prestigious medical research center. She came over here with virtually NOTHING but her son. And THEY (and they way they treat ME, when I am the injured party) are a story for another day. Just giving you the background.

 

Okay. We were married for 12 years, dating a year or so before we entered into a state of unholy matrimony. I can still proclaim some positive statements about this guy but nevermind him. He had his honey alllll lined up and married her before our divorce papers were dry. She thinks she is the BOMB, criticizes the huge, 5-bedroom home I picked out and in general acts like she is too good for him or anyone. He is out of his mind in LUST with her; the ex, when all is said and done, is a socially awkward, entitlist, spoiled geek; it goes without saying he couldn't get an American woman interested in him after I left. Now he has a hot bebe on his arm and he just cannot get over himself. She has a Ph.D., as does he oh, and mind you, in THEIR respective countries, education is FREE. They paid not one dime for their sheepskins, then they make the big bucks over HERE, maligning Americans with every breath. Youd puke to hear them.

 

And she truly enrages me, because she acts like nothing is superior enough for her, when the facts are she was a single parent, living with her attentive and supportive mother (gee, whats THAT like?) in a Moscow apartment. Excuse me? And she earned the equivalent of about 50 bucks per month. Yet to hear her talk that was soooo superior to what she has now. Gimme a break, sister. The very first paper she wrote in this country? Yeahhh . . . on my rare, liver disorder. Wonder who gave her the idea? Let's scalp medical issues off my poor, sick ex-wife, dahlink, whaddya say, Comrade? Get real!

 

So I am unceremoniously booted out, forced to move my OWN furniture and goods, (and I do mean, ALONE) while he was squiring her around Southern France, where his family owns a gorgeous (and very valuable) piece of property. You can't tell me Mizz Moscow wasn't after the money, folks.

 

I was in shock for a very, very long time. His vehemence, his terrorizing, his verbal threat to "ruin" me if I asked for alimony or in any way prevented him from having "his family" was all too horrid for me to comprehend or absorb. I had been his family. My daughters had been his family. WHAT was he blithering about? Such mistreatment and abuse causes a lot of women to become fearful of men, and I am no exception.

 

While they were dashing over the planet every three months for a yet another long, glamorous vacation, I was attempting to deal with the difficult features of my illness, and come to gripes with what had happened to me.

 

An ex-boyfriend showed up after about five months; he'd heard from mutual friends that I was now divorced. I had loved him dearly; the dewd was so handsome women would stare at him wherever we wandered. I'd known him on and off for twenty years.

 

I thought, "Great. The perfect guy to help me ease into dating, again. Hell never hurt me. He's such a nice person."

 

Well, I dont know what had twisted that phucker's phallus, but he was no sooner through my door than he wanted to hear the particulars of my divorce, wanted to see the divorce papers, then condemned my home, told me I was "stupid for giving up" my former abode for the one in which I now lived. (As if I had ANY control over any of this. Mind you, I was extremely ill for a long time and for much of that dark period I was unaware of WHAT my ex was doing.)

 

Which leads me to remind naysayers and disbeliveers and bootstrappers people can become severely ill AT ANY AGE. I was 41.

 

You find out who your friends really are. Oh, yeah, no one.

 

Everybody scattered. And I mean, everybody.

 

There I am, living at 666 Hell Street and this clown is criticizing me for my "bad choices." It became immediately clear that I no longer looked as thin and attractive as he remembered, and thus he was not at all interested in dating me, AND, he still wanted to know what I was worth, since his own financial situation was shit-on-a-bankruptcy.

 

Peoples meretriciousness, veniality and cruelty never fail to shock and appall me.

 

He walked in talking sex right and left, until he managed to get a good gaze at me through his weed haze, and then it was alllll about the money. He determined I just did not make enough to satisfy him. This man was 38 years old. Alas, he's the spoiled baby of the family, and, as my ex and I often observed, the baby is never as accomplished, educated, motivated or successful as the older sibs. In this guys case, I know that is true; I know his family well enough.

 

I wish I could say I kicked him to the curb and that was the fini to that shallow fuckwipe. Of course, it was not. He decided he was madly in love with one of my daughters, and started calling HER and begging HER to go out with his perverse self. I was so horrified at his conduct, I gave him the arse-chomping of the decade. He told me I was "immature," and that he figured "we could all be adults about this."

 

Whuuuuut? Where do people get these cockamamie ideas?

 

One thing a person just does not want to do is piss off my daughter. She is FEARSOME when she is in anger mode. She got on the phone when he called and steamed his sorry ego for him. When she was done, he mumbled something lame, hung up, and NEVER called our house, again.

 

He deserved every word of her lava onslaught. It was not the first, nor was it the final time we would have to deal with some over-arduous male who was dying to phuck both Mother and Daughter, like they earn some gold stars in Playboy Heaven if they manage that menage.

 

You see, even my ex was infatuated with her that is to say, OBSSESSED, in the sickest manner possible. I had ZERO regrets divorcing him; what I object to is being left middle-aged, ill, poor and alone . . . otherwise, that is another Perv I was only too pleased to leave. And yes, he was so sexually obsessed with his OWN step-daughter, whom he RAISED, that he still can't ask about her without his lust becoming obvious in about two nanoseconds.

 

Sick, man, I am telling you. No to mention how that made ME feel. Sometimes when his Russian wench is sneering her insults at me, it is all I can do not to scream, "You ignoramous! Do you realize he was over here every night when my daughter lived with me, while YOU were waiting in Moscow for the divorce to be finalized? We had to dump buckets of ice water on his head like he was a randy buffalo to get him to leave!"

 

And then my ex-boyfriend shows up, and its all about my daughter, once again. He told me he wanted children (funny, he never wanted them when WE were dating) and my daughter was young enough to provide said progeny for him. He was 38 and she was 23 and on her way to a great career! Like my kid was to be the world's most prolific infant mint, for this potheaded Loser! In an ironic twist -- my life is heavy loaded with them -- he used to insist I give my daughter back to her father so WE could have a relationship! Yeahhh, like any mother would DO that!

 

Dating Experience Number Two: (NOT a date): I had not been in my house six months when it snowed like a mother round Bawlmer and vicinity. And we can get five feet tall snow drifts, no problem. I am too weak to shovel, so I asked a local HOOD to do it, for pay. Sorry, but he was the only person around who would shovel walks. He was reliable and he was FAST. A cute kid, about fourteen. He took care of the snowfall several times for me, and the third time around he asked if he could come in out of the cold while I got my purse to pay him.

 

Oh, come on, GUESS what happened.

 

Suddenly, this freaky kid is running around my house, checking out every room, faster than a greased amp. Ive never seen anything like it. He jumped on my computer and was downloading and checking files so rapidly . . . and hey, I'd been ill for years, had ZERO strength, and once again, was SO naïve I was in total denial that something this bizarre was actually happening to me.

 

I did, of course, scream at him to STOP, GET OUT, QUIT IT, GET OUT OF MY HOUSE! all to no result. And I wanted to be verrrrry careful how I handled this cock-eyed delinquent, because he lived only two doors down and his Daddy is the local, fat-slobbering alkie from West Virginia. That man would kill me and LIKE it, right before he reached for seconds of his opossum stew.

 

Meanwhile, the ex and his true love are in Hawaii.

 

The insane teen tells me (this is true): "I don't care WHAT you say, I ain't leavin."

 

He began to dash around my house, fixing this and that, and talking a red streak. I kept trying to grab the phone. He was on to that, and snagged the cordless, carrying it around in his pocket and threatening me, "Dont even THINK youre gonna call the cops on me."

 

I have NO clue why he did any of this. I cant understand it to this DAY.

 

Finally, while he was rummaging through my dresser drawers, I galloped down the stairs, and out the front door. I bolted down the street and told his father what was going on in terms he could understand, since he is an atavistic, shirtless, bay window-gut kind of slob, and man, when he barged into my house bugle-ing for his son I was trembling scalp to sole. He dragged that brat out, kicking, screaming and threatening the devil. His father beat him so badly I did not see that kid for WEEKS.

 

Naturally, I called the police. By the time they arrived, that kid And his father were long gone some alkie grandpa was sitting in his arm chair, hooked up to oxygen, smoking (Yep, that's what the officer said) and drinking Jim Beam. He told the cops that the boys lived with their mother in West Virg