Dancing to the Platters, break dancin’
No pitter patter, no pity for me, no thank you
No matter, no familiar patterns…now
Drum roll, if you please…
I have a full plate, I resonate
I pack a day, come what may,
Jivin’ to the moment
Even the Washington Monument quaked, cracked
but remains intact.
I’ve got the dishes
No longer a plain Jane dishcloth
No longer a washup
No longer his right hand
Do I wish to be a Mrs…..
again, again and again?
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.
What is the shelf life of a valentine second wife?
I’m about to find out after 24 years of my life.
Will I be sufficiently reserved, sufficiently preserved,
to go back into the super market
for the salad bar, of round number three?
What is the shelf life of a valentine first wife?
After 25 years of joy and strife,
I know the answer to that one.
With Numero Uno, I had three blue eyed sons.
Where I live, the state I live in,
ten, just ten, only ten years marks a long marriage.
It’s the law, baby…
Well, then, Mom & Dad in the sky with the glimmer
of the big and little dipper
and with Orion’s sparkling starry belt,
no need to cry that your first born baby is less than.
Not a failure, or two time loser, after all.
Should I wear the diamond as proof
of your little girl’s success? Am I a mess…no or yes?
My story may be boring…
But how can I be labeled failure
when I have two, yes two, count that:
two 20 year marriages
to draw from
with my whimsical writer’s wand?
Mom, Dad, toss me two gold stars
for my good behavior chart
and a Valentine prayer.
Let’s pray that numero tres will be the charm.
I’ll no longer be candy on El Segundo’s arm.
I am out of black ink,
so this page is full of white space
I should be feeling free, rosy pink
Instead I lack a sense of place
on Thursday he yelled
“Get out, get out, get out…”
I surprised myself and said
“This home is mine,
As much as yours.
I’ve lived here eleven years with you”
Let him put that in his ivory white pipe
And dark smoke it.
Second hand smoke swirls around me.
But I am no longer second hand Rose.
Now that I am full of life again
No longer Stepford wife
He wants to put me out
like his last cigarette.
I mean that’s the way it was it seemed because
I started going to movies at the age of three it
Was better than babysitters or so my parents
Decided and it wasn’t too surprising when I
Began to indemnify unreasonable realities
With a whole lot of infantile identifications
And when I looked at my uncle’s 2nd wife for
The last time through a window on the Illinois
Central she was like a 1945 Laura portrait blue
Hat with fishnet veil and how she’d blink back
Tears on the night train and how I waved kind
Of flexing my fingers……unsteady as triggers.
From his book “The Demented Chauffeur”
(for my mom ‘Gini’)
we didn’t know
when daddy walked
out the door
holding my 6 mo. old
brother in her arms
her two girls
in the other room
sang & twirled to
on the phonograph
her heart skipped
the door slammed
she lay my brother
down to sleep
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A song of love is a sad song, Hi-Lili, Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo
A song of love is a song of woe
Don’t ask me how I know
A song of love is a sad song
For I have loved and it’s so
I sit at the window and watch the rain, Hi-Lili, Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo
Tomorrow I’ll probably love again, Hi-Lili, Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo.
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Almost every minute of it
Was bad for me
The ambivalence the anxiety
Just a shift in blankets
Or where the moonlight fell
It was a
Trudging on eggshell hell
That went on for miles
Cutting my feet
Shutting down my heart
Slicing out years and vitality
Choking from a noose of isolation
Parched from disregard and neglect
Demeaned by harsh words
Into a shadow
Of the self I might have been
My arms twisted
I was ordered about
My knees bending and buckling
I was dominated
And broken by the struggle
But for you
I smiled and hid the darkness
‘Til you were on to me
And pushed and prodded
My breaking free
Now I am recovering the loss
The beauty and the passion
That glows within me
And no one
Will ever trick me again
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I like to see
I like to
what it would’ve
L. K. Thayer
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