Lady Gaga

“I don’t really make records for people to listen to and go, ‘Wow, she’s a genius.’ I’d really like you to order a drink, maybe kiss the person you came with that evening, or rediscover something about your past that makes you feel even more brave.”

– Lady Gaga

” PONZI SAUCE over Steamed Vegetables” by MC Lubow

I woke up steaming mad, sick and tired of my gastric juices being in distress,
sick and tired of starting a lovely sunny California day with
acid rain, the sour sauce burning up my insides from tum tum to sore
red throat, making it hurtful to talk, even to close friends. Yes, I’m sick and tired of being mad at myself, for my confusion, my
exhaustion, my emotional paralysis when it comes to sorting numbers, dividing up coins, and custom sofas, art, and fine china that once graced our holiday table.
I can divide all right, but I never wanted to be a number, or spend time
in check books, researching how I spent every dime and nickel in 2010, and coughing up dry facts, under penalty of perjury,
when my only crime is helping my family, I cop to that.
Like Hello…I am no diff than
folks everywhere who pray their loved ones have safe shelter, not live helter-skelter, on the sharp edge of poverty with its debilitating depressing aggressive dark pit of despair, with only starch in their shrinking pantry, instead of starch in their uniforms, for they have been injured, disabled, unable to work at their calling.

So I call myself on myself again and again…Hello…Am I a mad woman to not recognize the signs that my quarter century marriage was on a nickel and dime collision course with my dream recipe of lovability, stability, compatibility.
Was my fate to be that declarations of love would be replaced by court mandated Declarations of Income and Expense ? Man, oh man…

I came to the castle on the green tree hill. I sought refuge in cookbooks of sauces, while he cooked the books of our shared accounts and shredded financial records into spaghetti. At book club my gal friends shared gourmet tips. I came to grips
with the kitchen graters, whisks and sauce pots at TJ Maxx. I peeled off
layers of burnt potato skin denial and put my sweet meats on the back burner…
of our old Jenn-air. I sought fresh air along the sea paths of my soul. Is the air
we breath, tho petrol polluted, still free?

I churned away, my insides gurgling like a neglected garden hose…realizing
I was being spurned by the man I had pledged to love til kingdom come..I
looked in my vanity mirror. Wide eyed and wild, I stared, saw in the newly mined furrows of my face, that I could not mask my raw feelings.
I was and am furious, delirious, seriously
mad, mad, mad at my hub, a numbers whiz, who kinged himself, and whose favorite activity is being in his counting house, where he collects coins of every metal. I put my foot to the pedal of my chariot he now claims is his.

I am mad at the guy who had charmed me, disarmed me, but now alarms me. I thought of Savonarola and the Bonfire of the Vanities. I realized my days with my hubby were numbered. I couldn’t chance him burning my books. I was mad enough from getting myself into his Ponzi Sauce. Mad at Madoff and other Mad Men for their disregard regarding others. Mad at Madoff and other sociopaths for their seedy paths, despicable descent from a pyramid of trust to an obscene pyramid scheme. Madoff’s fall into the dead sea of greed, preying on human frailties of uncertain self esteem, those wanting into a Billionares’ club, the club where one could make out like a bandit, the stealth club that accepted Jews of wealth, where greed was no longer latent in their taste buds, but on their tongues, who shmoozed they had found the holy
Grail where one could not loose, the best
way to invest, earn high interest, but keep the deal close to one’s chest.

So I am not one for that club, but I do desire a life of modest comfort,
of returned love, of kindness. Call me crazy, if you must…I do not seek to be a bag of a lady hiding out on a secret street with The L. A. Times for a tent.
When I had a full pantry, I shared it.
Now that my share is being stolen from me, I cannot share what I do not have. This puts me in a pickle. turns me inside out, like a Frida Kahlo painting of my internal distress. So I try to tuck my guts back in; try to trust my gut more. I ask for clarity. I study body language. Read lips.
I hang out in bookstores and libraries,
instead of boutiques I once explored.
I will soon open the covers of my new cooking life story storybook,
wondering what mysteries, adventures and passions may be revealed. I pray for a page turner.

When I make Ponzu Sauce and steam veggies for my supper tonight, I’ll steam
broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, asparagus and garlic
in a collapsible steamer, but I will no longer collapse.
I will squeeze fresh lime and lemon juice,
but I will no longer be squeezed dry.
I will sprinkle my digits with delight, and I will not poke his voodoo eyes out.
I will stir in some nice rice vinegar and low sodium soy sauce. A little aqua, from the Owens Valley, if true be told. (My DWP bill is out of sight.)
I will shred a half knob of fresh ginger and a scallion, thrown in for dash,
but I will not throw in my monogrammed towel.
I will ride my own white stallion to the table and allow myself a Mona Lisa smile as
I gaze out the window and reflect on my survival.

MC Lubow

© 2011

“Courage” by Shirley Hakim



I find courage in the little things
The little boy who raises his hand
To ask the hard question despite of his fear
The first time he let go of his mom’s hand to face the world
Is like staring at a bear eye to eye in the pelted jungle
And continuing to walk onward
While the band plays the marching song
He tastes the bitter taste of falling from the cliff
And still holds his head up
He loves to be a drop of the ocean
He loves to be sugar mixed within the dark coffee

Shirley Hakim

L. K. Thayer’s Foto Fetish

© 2011

“Last Years Shadow” by Mitch Hicks


Last years shadow
Where do they go
Shadows and years
Tell me
Do they age
Will my shadow live on
I hope so
Years are like bad dreams
They haunt you
More than you think
My shadow looked on as I was being exhumed
For the first time I saw my death face
Yes it was a dream
Seeing my demise looking grey but at peace
Years are like death they happen and don’t return
Make friends of your shadow
Dance with the year
Embrace both showing not an ounce of fear

Poem & Snap by Mitch Hicks, U.K.

© 2011

Charles Bukowski “As The Sparrow”

To give life you must take life,
and as our grief falls flat and hollow
upon the billion-blooded sea
I pass upon serious inward-breaking shoals rimmed
with white-legged, white-bellied rotting creatures
lengthily dead and rioting against surrounding scenes.
Dear child, I only did to you what the sparrow
did to you; I am old when it is fashionable to be
young; I cry when it is fashionable to laugh.
I hated you when it would have taken less courage
to love.

Charles Bukowski

“The Corsage of Courage” by M.C. Lubow

It’s been a while since I wore a corsage.
How I loved the special feeling
that someone thought to honor me
with fragrant flowers.

Today I woke up crying.
Today I wear my courage
in a corsage on my chest.

I confront myself. I search within,
for multicolored petals of strength,
to face a Goliath, whose passion for deprivation,
seeks to conquer all my personal territory,
every inch of me.

Today I woke up crying.
Today I wear my corsage
of courage on my chest.

Shall I surrender yet again,
lacking resolve to stand on my own?
I enter my own garden at the home
I still love, because it is my shelter.
I diagramed all the sprinklers’ spray, observed
where holy water should be conserved.
I fired the gardener last week. He didn’t listen.

Today I woke up crying.
Today I wear my courage
in a corsage on my chest.

Am I listening to my own heartbeat,
or that of Goliath?
I tried to synchronize our rhythms
on Sunday,
but our breaths fall at different rates.

Today I woke up crying.
Today I wear my corsage
of courage on my chest.

M.C. Lubow

© 2010