Harnessing the Madness – Jacqueline Cioffa

Harnessing the Madness is Proudly Featured under ‘Poets’ under The Lithium Chronicles

 

Harnessing the Madness

By Jacqueline Cioffa

Don’t worry Hush, little mama

Dry your acrid, bittersweet, woeful tears

Don’t you cry, pretty mama

Your darling, happy, freckle-face baby is struggling, fevered, and

deliriously HOT

Oh, okay, go on then

Go ahead and cry, little mama

Cry those real, big-old-salty tears

Enough to fill an ocean

Squash the fire under mountains of regret, and molten lava erupting

Don’t worry, hush lullaby mama

Your baby girl is a strong, solid swimmer

You taught her that

You and her, submersed

Her JOY full love of water

Bouncy, giggly, freedom submerged while cemented together hand in

hand

She was fearless in your arms

Unafraid of stormy seas, tsunamis and heavenly floods

Little girl’s flapping her arms now, mama

Crazed, and kicking hard to swim to the top

Oh hush now, pretty mama,

don’t worry your fraught, exhausted mind or fret

Water trumps fire, and this girl

Your darling baby

She

Is

Harnessing the madness

Submersed, safe and sound in the Marianas Trench

Her screaming, gurgling lungs breathe better

In utero

Go on now, mama, gather your salty tear filled buckets and buckets and buckets

Pour them right over her head

Fire burns out, smoldering wet

The melody is haunting and heartbeat sweet, familiar

And sigh so lovely, lovely, lovely

Your baby feels all the feels, smells in color and vibrates clickety-clack

sounds underwater

Hush, now child, don’t you cry, too

Together in tandem

Your mama is there, she’s right there

Feet firmly rooted by rocks, wood and earth on solid ground

Smiling down

Harnessing the madness with her bleeding, thumping, overflowing

bursting heart

In two-time rhythm

Same heart, hers and yours

Keeping time together

She tosses a life jacket attached to an unbreakable umbilical cord, made

from solid oak, and knotty pine twine

The rope plays shadow games on the surface, as the water sways to

and fro

Under the prettiest, blinding white sunlight

Bubbles of air and H2O

Oxygen

Hush now, mama, keep pouring those frozen buckets of ice-cold-doubt

Over your girl’s scorching, sizzling brain on fire head

Hush mama, your little dolly is just a girl, and not a funny fish

She’s going to be A-OK, alright?

Hush mama, her head’s on fire, and lungs are all wet

But, she’s paddling hard and fast towards the surface

Flailing and searching for your firm grip, and steady resolve

Inside her shaky, trembling fingers

Oh, sweet heartbeat

The birds chip, and an indigo blue, clear sky, sunshine lights up the dark,

murky, clouded depths

Blue is the loveliest color

Pretty, strong, and powerful

Little mama is calling her name

Right there, oh, there she is

Mama’s shadow, bounce-back light and love reflection

Makes circle formations, bubble distress calls, and H2O air

Oxygen

Right above the surface,

Mama stands tall, barefoot on the green grass

Beside her baby girl, all along

Mama, your dolphin lung baby is gasping for air underwater, squashing the flames, and surrendering

Floating freely, buoyant, as the salt tides push her to the surface, and the scorching sun’s beautiful, intoxicating light feels warm and inviting

She sees her mama’s pretty face for the first time, smiling and kind

Aged

Bound forever by love, and heaven on earth

Little girl remembers, hope floats

Her one and only, mama’s fierce motherly love waits, prays and watches

Her all-grown-up girl

The gyspy, free-flying, Mustang wild spirit, good, mad woman

Grow roots, and quiet her wings

Thank you, dear mama

Yours, and only yours

L.o.V.e.

Anchors the soul

 

 

 

FORTITUDE – Jacqueline Cioffa

FORTITUDE

FORTITUDE. @jacquelinecioffa

The essence continues because you do. Harrison leaves the door open a crack. I seize the opportunity to revisit my whole, healthy self a bit longer, live in the mystic beach home I adore, dream eyes open. Hope is our greatest asset. To choose hope against the worst possible odds is the true measure of life. – Georgia Pine by Jacqueline Cioffa

The Body Beautiful

The Body Beautiful

By Jacqueline Cioffa

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As a former model and makeup artist who worked with Ashley Graham I can assure you she is not ‘fat,’ she is perfectly portioned. The average dress size for a woman in U.S. is 12 – 14. The modeling industry, fashion, and celebrity promote unhealthy and unrealistic skinny body standards for all women. This disturbs me on so many levels having witnessed firsthand the detriment to low self-esteem, eating disorders and unattainable weight issues has on young models that starved themselves to fit into a size zero.

Please don’t ever body shame anyone. I blame our culture hungry for gossip, entertainment television, the media, and fashion magazines for feeding the beast and creating a world where negativity and bullying of every kind are acceptable behavior. Social media bombards unrealistic images of skinny models, actresses and actors because Hollywood glam sells magazines and fuels the vicious, negative news cycle for girls, and boys who grow up with unrealistic and unhealthy body ideals.

As for Ms. Cheryl Tiegs I’m certain she is a victim of the media spins, twisting her comments into negative comments for a profit. Her words misconstrued, chewed up and spit out to make a dollar.

Don’t believe everything you read in a magazine or see on the tube I promise you the pictures have been trimmed, tucked and photoshopped.

Let’s celebrate and lift women up, be positive role models for young persons of every size.

Size should be measured by moral character, self-confidence, support, authenticity and kindness.

They are beautiful traits in women. Malala is beautiful, Ashley Graham is beautiful, Cheryl Tiegs is beautiful.

So is every non-famous, nameless woman who wakes at 5:00 AM, applies gloss, hops on a bus, goes to work, fights for a cause with a smile, and returns home to fix dinner. The every woman who tucks her kids if she chooses to have them, or perhaps decides to run for President.

To the woman who stands tall and puts her best, prettiest, healthiest face forward every day and wakes up to do it all over again, for me she is most beautiful.

I’m older and wiser today with a few more pounds on my frame, life experience and measure my weight by a new and more accurate scale.

I’m human. I’m a girl. I’m healthy, and I’m doing my best to fit in the skin I live in.

Same as you, and same as me.

 

 

Never Judge a Book

Never Judge a Book

By Jacqueline Cioffa

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Here’s the thing about writing.

When someone risks pencil to paper and is fortunate enough to convey an emotion about the unique way they view the world well that’s art, magic and creative expression.
I am not a brand.

God, I hate that word.

Although, I have been.

Modeling, acting and all the various exhausting pretend faces I’ve worn just to fit in.

I have gifted away most of my words and that is life as it should be. The day I become calculated, contrived, or worried about how many books I’ve sold, or how filthy rich I am, or if the comma is misplaced, or if you like and hate the person more than the page will be the day the words no longer belong to me.

Funny, I was a rich model once and that means very little if next to nothing today.

Except for a whole bunch of potential storytelling catalogued in the brain.
Write because you love it, you can’t breathe without it, and because the words don’t require a two-way mirror.

Only contemplation, beautiful sunshine redemption, and bounce back reflection.

Never, ever judge a book by its cover.

Crack the spine and see for yourself.

Me?

I am writing

For the love of possibility behind the broken glass.

 

The Paradox of Our Age & a Beatbox

The Paradox of Our Age and a Beatbox

By Jacqueline Cioffa

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I’m not going to spin the crooked ways the world disgusts me, fueled by greed, and selfie look-at-me affliction. I’m not going to ask why the hell we’re celebrating, glorifying, mystifying, ridiculing, opinionating, posturizing, and Glam-O-Rizing Reality TV wannabe Celebrity with million dollar ‘99 problems but the bitch ain’t one’ bad behavior? I’m not going to rant and rave graphic, go on and on and on and on and on about fabricated circus ponies, farce bullshit, false niceties, lies and innuendo. Bad, bad PoliticO’s.

Rappin’ box beats…

Nope, nah, forget it man.

This bullshit, twisted, wake-up-people rant ain’t about greed, ain’t about you, ain’t about me.

Shit, Player, I’m a foul-mouthed-fool checking myself, too.

I’m gonna spin this prophetic, profound, and wax poetic

To a true, old school melodic moment of gangsta’ rap radio wave silence.



THE PARADOX OF OUR AGE 

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We have bigger houses but smaller families;
more conveniences, but less time.
We have more degrees but less sense;
more knowledge but less judgment;
more experts, but more problems;
more medicines but less healthiness.
We’ve been all the way to the moon and back,
but have trouble in crossing the street to meet our new neighbor.
We built more computers to hold more copies than ever,
but have less real communication;
We have become long on quantity,
but short on quality.
These are times of fast foods but slow digestion;
Tall men but short characters;
Steep profits but shallow relationships.
It’s a time when there is much in the window but nothing in the room. —The 14th Dalai Lama

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take a Picture, or Not

Take a Picture, or Not

By Jacqueline Cioffa

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This face.

This face has been scrunched and smothered by new new talc scented infant kisses

This face has been covered in mud, dirt, blood, open-wounded, stitched, patched and put back together

This face has been brave, kind and stubborn pout five-year-old defiant

This face has been bullied and attacked by mean girl high school drama and self-important syndrome

This face has been pummeled, scarred and attacked vicious

This face has been glorified, mystified, beautified, and plastered on billboards

This face has worn one million types and varying hues of chalky sultry makeup

This face has known privilege, spoiled riches and possible envy

This face has rested her cheek against a sterile cement floor curled in fetal position lying beside the hospital bed where her father has died

This face has been on the receiving line of sweet, melodic nighttime sexy soft forehead kisses from momentary star-crossed lovers fleeting and delicious

This face has felt rejuvenated immersed in sea salt and sunshine encapsulating and inviting Miami oceans in wintertime

This face has burrowed deep under a pillow dark, terrified, tears and snot escaping all orifices

This face has been bronzed and sunny

Filled with Angel kisses and brown spotted freckles

This face has been the recipient of 450 V currents sent to an exploding brain through wires attached to her scalp, voltage dialed up to maximum

This face has been overly expressive, exuberant, surprised and giggly

This face has been grey, pallid, aged and wrinkled

This face has been acid burned to obliterate Squamous cell carcinoma riddled blotches

This face.

“The camera is a save button for the mind’s eye.” — Rodger Kingston

This face is tired, exhausted, despondent, devoid of Vitamin D and defeated

This face is not the who, how, or where

This face is not the who, how, where, or when

This face is not the who, how, where, when or why parts of me

It’s cellular skin alive, hazel eyes, pointy nose, scarred forehead, potty mouth lips and cheeky cheekbones

This face cannot carry the weight of a life nor mask the beauty

It’s just a face like all others

It’s mine though, this face

Raw and unfiltered

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” Ansel Adams

 

Take a Picture, Or Not 2015 © Jacqueline Cioffa

Originally featured on Paperbacks and Wine

 

 

If the shoe fits

In line at the grocery store I couldn’t help but check out the pretty, cool chick in front of me and her wooden clogs. They had heels. I thought maybe she’s from NYC, she’s not from here (most sensible people wear boots). And, she’s going to fall on her butt outside. The sidewalks are sheets of ice.

I had just fallen on my ass.

A disabled man one counter over was having trouble paying and checking out. The cool chick was there in two seconds, “I’ve got this. Let me pay for this.” Well, the man could not have been happier…she made his day, the cashier and mine.

Moral of the story…if the shoe fits.

Thank you, cool lady with the funky shoes.

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These Modern Ties

These Modern Ties

By Jacqueline Cioffa

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You know what I despise sometimes?

Visualize your best life,’ social media posts. If only you meditated longer, dreamt bigger, brighter and better… a gulf stream, rolls royce and diamond solitaire would magically appear via Amazon. All your grandiose desires, jubilee shrieks and pixie dust sparkle whims before you and not behind. If I were a blonde, bombshell genie in a magic bottle… I’d obliterate global warming, nukes, little girls with shredded self- esteem, cancer, homelessness, poverty. Name it. Go ahead…make your wish. I’d stomp out every single injustice; I’d balance the scales.

Christ I hate when someone writes, living their best life.’

It’s preposterous, deluded, and downright denial.

At times.

We are granted breadcrumbs of serenity; uncatchable, unmatchable, untouchable moments when life feels happy and snug. Calm and wonder overflow, and JOY is easily accessible. Perhaps. Yes, a few lucky upturned frowns sounds about right.  

Time is spent de-cluterizing, looking back and leaping ahead. Humans are predictable. They prefer to skip past the hard questions. Me? I can’t seem to stop the verbal diarrhea, pondering, squirming and searching. Why don’t the scales even out? Why does the too young, too beautiful, sticky sweet new mother die? Her babes left to fend for themselves. Why do gray cover clouds mask the sun? Why is it mother knows best not to ask unanswerable, stupid, preposterous philosophical questions?

It’ll make you go bonkers, Crackle Barrel, cuckoo clock nuts.

I bet she that mom visualized her perfect baby bump life in pastel hues, fluffy white lambs and nursery rhymes. Dead dreams don’t exist, silly me.

Why? I sure as hell don’t know, but I’d like to. There are no answers when newborns know their mothers in passing, through birth canals, photographs and hand me downs. Someone’s misplaced, jumbled, embellished memories reminisced in haste.

Do not post some inspirational, bullshit quote without asking first.

Am I aware of the planetary spins, people hovering and circling around me? Did I attempt one kind thing today; did I go out of my way for a stranger? Did I do something good, something considerate without telling a soul? Did I do something for the JOY or the pain without running to boast on Facebook, Instagram, and the Twitter? Did I live behind a screen, inside the screen, was I that blind? Did I venture out to inhale the oxygen, to forget what felt safe and comfortable? Did I take risks beyond the pre-determined edges, color outside the lines, feel the rain and the sun on the inside? Well, did I? 

Well, have you?

Have I been lucky? Damn straight. Have I been unlucky? That too. Do not say think positive; I might punch you. I fight to breath, to stay, to be alive. It’s hysterical; a dramedy. This life is not about me, and yet I take it personal. I’m a blip, a speck obliterated before the wind blows. I’m not complaining, but wait…  hell yes I am. I not a Debbie Downer most of the time or even full fledged pessimist. I’m a realist, I’d surmise.

Close your eyes and listen if you’d really like to know about me.

To understand how excruciating and uncomfortable it feels to bleed under the skin. To smile through tears and forget the bad times…To declutter, debunk, and destroy the pain that comes from a chaotic, misfiring, and free-floating mind. 

Do not suggest I try harder, or swallow my pride. Hey you, over there…look at the sunny side. What the fuck do you know? Tiny moments of happy are best lived inside the heart and eyes open wide.

The scales?

I’m tossing them out the attic window. Since the beginning of time until tomorrow they’ll be teetering, tottering, balancing and unbalancing. 

That’s life.

That’s pain. That’s JOY. That’s the high cost and the low maintenance.

And this is my honest-to-God get out of my face, in your face, best potluck shot.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll post a cheery, colorful, feel good quote.

Perhaps, maybe not. 

One never knows. 

How high the highs and low the lows.

These unfashionable, sufferable modern ties.

Disconnected

Still, it’s nice to see pretty colors and happy faces sometimes.