Take a Picture, or Not

Take a Picture, or Not

By Jacqueline Cioffa

IMG_8825

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.

picture2kue

These Modern Ties

These Modern Ties

By Jacqueline Cioffa

woman-641528_640

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.

 

 

 

In His Boots

In His Boots 

unsplash_52cee67a5c618_1

The mementos we hold on to, heirlooms we choose not to discard and throw away.

All the traditional, routine ways we try to live inside the memory of someone, some one precious,  beloved. To feel them near in the physical awhile longer can seem foolish and nonsensical.

It’s ridiculous to think an oversized, outdated, uncomfortable pair of black boots with fleece lining and thick rubber soles hold any value, and yet.

I wear my father’s boots when I head out to walk the dog. It’s crazy, they’re too big and my heels slip and slide trying to find solid footing on shaky ground. It doesn’t matter. I’m not trying to be practical, or looking for some mystical answer or hidden treasure. The cold air smashes against my ankles and makes my toes curl. I don’t care; I like the deep freeze against my skin. The winter frost reminds me I am indeed breathing as snow creeps in and drips down my exposed limb. I suppose I could double up woolen socks, try to fill the void. Why would I? I tried that once, my feet felt cramped and uncomfortable screaming for some space and air.

To feel the empty, sit in the hollow spaces he once filled effortlessly makes perfect sense.

I don’t want to box up the boots, stow them in a back closet or even gift them away. I want to remove the black boots with zippers on both sides from the shelf each winter, and grin. Another season to make new memories together, him and me.

I will carefully set them aside for when the inevitable seasons change again, and wait for spring. I want something to look forward to.

His smile fades as time and distance creates a vacuum, the gaping, fuzzy recollection plays tricks on the mind.

Was it a false memory?

Did I pile into the back of his rusted, pickup truck for Blackberry ice cream on many a summer’s eve? Did we giggle and laugh until we peed our pants from the smell of horseshit? Did he lift me up on his shoulders every chance he got? Did his eyes beam each time he looked at me?

Did I hear the snores while he slept on the floor beside me when I was fevered? Did he count laps as I swam lifting my head from the water peeking to make sure he was exactly where I left him? I still do that sometimes, turn my head to the side expecting to see him instead of an empty chair. My reflexes and muscle memory are still intact.

Were there tears in his eyes the first time I left home and the last time we said goodbye? Goodbye for now, not forever.

Did he love me?

That, I don’t doubt. I don’t need a faded memory to feel his love in my bones and smiling under my skin. His grin is the brightest, fondest memory I hold. My heart and his are forever entwined.
Still, doesn’t make the missing any easier.

I wear his boots and trip sometimes.

That makes me smile, on the inside.

 

To The Orbs by Jacqueline Cioffa

 

photo-1445443385222-53ca40599f15To The Orbs 

Duty, responsibility, obligation and drudge

I run around making false promises lying to myself

I must end this cycle of debt, hush-hush niceties and learn to live it

 

This life

 

Starring me

The oddity full of venom and regret

Regret for harsh words hurled in the face of others living in the continuum

The vortex seasonal cycle of disgust and disappointment

Passing judgment upon judgment and hanging no mirrors in my house

I am unable to see the pretty person’s reflection in glass

Wake up child and move on

Go, get, get on and get the hell out from under

The relentless abuse you swallow the misbegotten forgotten soul

The core is damaged from unwanted vocabulary, an unpleasant learned space and skin scratch uncomfortable place

Molestations and accusations what are these words?

I am innocence tossed in the trash long discarded

I have no choice but to make amends

To say, I’m sorry

Simple, two simple impossible words do not roll off the tongue

I’m sorry for so much wasted time

I’m sorry for doubting my perfectly imperfect being

I’m sorry for forever cursing and cussing the bright light burnt stars

I am after all worthy of love

A life filled with some resemblance of happy

I’m not asking for false pretenses or avoidance

Gut punch sharp zinger pain is necessary for growth

A second act?

To right a whole bunch of fall in formation wrongs

I shudder at the possibility of abundance where olfactory senses delight and grandiose dreams are free from jagged edge worries and boundaries

If I can’t be this plain and simple unruly self, who then?

Some other pleasing needing false misrepresentation?

And so, I make amends

And so, I choose to forgive my horrendously ugly fuckups, mishaps and misfortunes

And so, I will learn from the past and the present

Goodbye, old friend

I’ll meet you in the heavens where the orbs are light dancing and colliding transparent

A buoyancy and freedom of physical weight your human form has never known

The torrential, unrelenting downpours of distraught

The hell you experienced?

Dissipated, forgiven and forgotten in less than an instant

Time is not measured in increments

A myriad of wondrous, cheery, crazy beautiful light bright color streams encapsulate and flash brilliant

Hues and the most superfluous elegant words paint the world you left behind

In the orbs there is only purity and lightness of being

You can’t possibly see it, dream it or feel it 

Human

The weight disappears and floats upwards 

Hope floats forever unbound

 

 

photo-1444703686981-a3abbc4d4fe3

 

Do I know with complete certainty there is an afterlife waiting for me?

Of course, I don’t. This I cannot say.

 I want my bubble to be filled with words floating by in a lighthearted stream of consciousness in no particular order.

Being human is hard and excruciating at times, I expel the pain onto the page and wait for cathartic transparency to come back around my way.

To the orbs, I place words with meaning in no varying array. My black and white truths become a grey concept and fade away. The dark cannot shine without the light.

 Family, love, rape, anguish, hope, faith, purpose, death, life, home, heartbreak, birth, joy

The words lose their hold and I am set free

To Sleep, but Not to Slumber ~ A Christmas Wish for the Brokenhearted

91656487

Someone asked me the other day when exactly did I begin to hate Christmas?

I couldn’t quite place the precise date when the cheery, bubbly, naive child stopped believing in the magic

Five, seven, ten?

Who’s to say?

It happened all at once, the snow globe blown out of proportion and super-sized colored lightbulbs scorch and burn

I try but the sadness, maudlin and sorrow I am born
Lives in these bones, where marrow sits and blood oxygen flows

The neighborhood streets I stroll at night twinkle warmly while vanilla, clove and chocolate aroma fills the lungs I breathe deep

Are they happy I wonder? Are they okay? Are they loved?

Am I?

I am at times
It’s not all Maloja Snake dense grey mist and menacing cloud banks creeping and winding under the skin
I know this to be true beyond the sleigh bells and frivolous gifts I’ll tuck away in some drawer for a later date soon forgotten 
Later dates rarely come or never right on time
The sadness and tears well up in my eyes before I can manage a pretend smile
Half my heart belongs on the other side you see, and that I cannot fix
Time is moving too rapidly, I want to smash the clock

I greedily want to hurry past Christmas Day and the sad memories missing the magic pieces I can’t reclaim even seconds gone by

I am not afraid of death, not really
I welcome the quieting freedom and serenity of my orbs, the peace she’ll bring
Living with a serious mental illness there is no room for false niceties, unrealistic dreams, Santa Claus frosted cookies and cold milk in a crystal glass left on an end table
Who drinks the milk anyway, does it get tossed?

I die each time I lose my mind, bits and pieces gone forever, and missing memories I shan’t recover

The spirit gets discouraged, wants to quit, to scream fuck it

What exactly are you hoping for when the future is not a guarantee?

Being alive scares the shit out of me, it’s the goiter in my throat and sugar overload tummy ache

I am terrified of being alone

I am terrified of losing my Christmas people and the only ones I have needed

I am terrified peering through the white light wreathes, red ribbon bow glass panes filled with pretty, fresh linen tablecloth settings, red poinsettias, little ones smiling and dancing in plaid flannel PJs
I am terrified of shiny new-new families while I grow old

I hate Christmas

There, I said it

I hate Christmas because it’s the in your face reminder of the incredible luck I have been blessed with and the over-abundant love and over-bearing souls

A mother who cannot stay here forever, with me, a brother who challenges my every word and makes me fight hard, harder

For them, I am more than nobody

I am worthy

I’ve always been worth it no matter the mad hatter, nuttier than a fruit-bread, fruit-loaf, fruitcake (gross), or some idiot’s ignorant punchline I bear
 
There’s a tiny, rundown white house up the street where an elderly man lives.
 
His name is Ed, he doesn’t have any lights or decorations, or any visitors cars parked outside his door
 
Ed fell last winter, it was 10 degrees and I stayed with him, helped get him back into his car and to safety
 
He stopped me recently
I’d forgotten all about it and said, “hey, are you that Cioffa girl who helped last winter?”

I nodded and smiled, “no big deal.”

I am that Cioffa girl I thought to myself smiling proud 

“I’m Ed.”
“Hi Ed.”
I don’t think Ed has anyone, and he really is HOME ALONE on Christmas.
 
When I’m presented with difficult, challenging, scary and uncomfortable situations which is often,
I always ask what would my father do?
 
I didn’t try to fight or hold back the river of tears because missing him and the crucial piece of my heart he holds, is misery.

I hate Christmas because nothing stays the same, and life moves forward exactly as it should

I cry, weep and let it spill onto the pillowcase as I close my weary eyes

I can see his beautiful smile, feel his goodness and understand he is here with me despite my doubts

Encompassing me in a safety bubble of the most spectacular pretty, plentiful colorful Christmas magic

“Go on you silly girl, you have everything
You do
Bring Ed some cookies, your mother might get mad
But, it’s only pretend mad”
 
And that’s what we do in my home on the Eve of Christmas

We pretend smile and suddenly a baby’s giggles are infectious, and tiny flannel feet pitter-patter makes life less heavy and more manageable

Makes the magic real

I love the twinkle and sparkle of the lights, I will keep the starlight and the afterglow 

As the reminder the magic lives in the light-hearted
 
 
orbs
 
To believe in the memories because they are timeless
No one can take away or live the miracles, they are yours good and bad
The miracle of Christmas is the the star stuff dust you are already

 

Christmas, I hate you a little more and a little less

 

This is my Christmas wish to the brokenhearted

I hope your slumber is serene and the day’s beating heart comes tender, sweet and steady

I hope the joy finds its way inside your heart, hearth and home

THE BOOK: RAW & UNFILTERED Vol 1 by Feminine Collective

To find like-minded women, (and men) who encourage, support and uplift by sharing the most difficult conversations with no judgement or shame is a rarity and a gift. Writing my column “Bleeding Ink” with Feminine Collective, and being applauded for telling my deepest, dark and not always pretty truths has been an honor and privilege. 

Feminine Collective, and founders, Julie Anderson and Marla Carlton are making magic and changing the literary landscape with real, raw and brave humanistic essays and poems. – Jacqueline Cioffa

“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.” ― Rebecca West, Young Rebecca: Writings, 1911-1917

I am thrilled to announce: RAW & UNFILTERED Vol 1: Selected Essays and Poems on Relationships with Self and Others.

Raw and Unfiltered

 


 

For Immediate Release

December 15, 2015

Los Angeles, CA – December 15, 2015: In their first bold venture into publishing, the masthead of Feminine Collective has pulled together an edgy, raw collection of essays and poems by women (and a few men) in Feminine Collective: RAW & UNFILTERED Vol 1: Selected Essays and Poems on Relationships with Self and Others. These unfiltered essays from the best of FeminineCollective.com are touchpoints on popular culture, and span topics from self-awareness to bold revelations, from stories of empowerment to witty perspectives on working life and culture today.

RAW & UNFILTERED Vol 1 is the passion project of Feminine Collective founders, international supermodel Julie Anderson, and art director Marla J. Carlton, as a celebration of women’s achievements. The collection gives readers intimate insight into the brilliant minds of top emerging writers.

Agapi Stassinopoulos, author of Unbinding the Heart, said, “In the pages of this book you will hear your deeper voice and touch the raw places of yourself where angels fear to tread and as you read them watch out because you might you just might become fearless and unbound.”

Actor and musician John Stamos said this about Feminine Collective, “When I need to tap into my feminine side, I run to FeminineCollective.com and now this book. It’s really smart.”

This astonishing book is divided into four sections, each highlighting both masculine and feminine perspectives that give us a glimpse into the often insane world of others. A collection of 44 writers in 376 pages—some published for the first time—converge to paint a portrait of the journey of the female mind in a dazzling spectrum that is an unrivaled compendium on raw, unfiltered voices including a poem by street artist Jules Muck. Famous for her green goddesses, as well as her green version of Gloria Steinem, Muck’s work has been featured in numerous exhibitions including the Bronx Museum of Art and can be seen on the book’s cover.

The foreword by Rachel Hunter, supermodel, actor and creator of DocuSeries Tour of Beauty describes Feminine Collective’s book as an experience “Where men and women can glimpse into the world of others … understanding the vulnerable, exquisite, powerful place of being a woman.”

Released December 11, 2015, Feminine Collective: RAW & Unfiltered: Vol 1 is available to purchase on Amazon.com. For the launch of this book, Feminine Collective has partnered with Women’s Center of LA. Now through March 31, 2016, Feminine Collective will donate 50% of the net proceeds from the book sales to Women’s Center of Los Angeles (WCLA). WCLA is a community of dedicated women with the shared goal of guiding, educating and supporting women and girls to attain the knowledge, confidence and courage for a life of personal success. On January 28, 2016, Feminine Collective will host a book launch party and fundraiser for WCLA in Los Angeles, open to the press.

About Feminine Collective

Feminine Collective is a platform devoted to raw, unfiltered stories and poems of emerging writers. They focus on nonfiction stories of interpersonal relationships, published four to six times per week, including essays, poems, and short fiction. While they avoid breaking news, they have been known to publish opinion pieces on current events. The provocative voices on Feminine Collective are unlike any found in mainstream media today—storytellers who openly share raw accounts of abuse, emotional and mental health issues, parenting, love, and self-image that empower, elevate, enlighten, and entertain. Each writer expresses a vulnerability yet unseen that impacts the lives of Feminine Collective’s rapidly growing readership. Feminine Collective was launched in January 2014 by creator Julie Anderson and co-founder Marla J. Carlton. Julie Anderson has enjoyed a two-decade long career as a supermodel—where she has been the face of influential luxury brands and cover girl on international editions of Vogue, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar. Marla J. Carlton, a former international model, founded the award-winning Los Angeles based design firm, Specto Design in 2002, where she works as an art director and writer.

About Feminine Collective Foundation
Feminine Collective formed Feminine Collective Foundation in December 2015 with the sole mission to raise money to donate to charities that are dedicated to helping women and children in need, including victims of domestic violence, child abuse, drug abuse, rape, human trafficking, at-risk teens and women who suffer from mental health issues.

I support #TheLoveEffect film – ‪#‎SuicideAwareness‬ ‪

IMG_0041

As an Advocate, Buddha Collector, Spiritual Seeker, Author, Being, and Human how could I not stand up in support of #theloveeffect film?

Living with mental illness, suicide and the dark are the all too familiar unwelcome visitors, and close companions.

Experiencing the personal devastating loss of someone precious, brilliant and beautiful to suicide is unbearable, impossible to comprehend. And, yet somehow we manage to go on.

Not without help, none of us can do life alone.

I use my voice. Everyday. Every single day I make a promise to write the hard unspeakable truths, insurmountable pains and blinding bliss. To choose hope, not fear.

To always seek out the light.

I support #theloveeffect because the film shares uncomfortable truths, ones that matter.

Every life matters. Suicide and depression are real, they aren’t going away.

The time to #StartTheConversation is now without shame, only courage and joy.

The sea, sun, and the elements make soothing, stunning backdrops in #theloveeffect trailer.

The perfect setting to vital, important topics.

One love.

Kickstarter: THE LOVE EFFECT – Film Launch!

by Drue Metz

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/druegrit/the-love-effect-film-launch

“SUICIDE AWARENESS – A CALL TO ACTION

• Over 1,000,000 people die by suicide every year.

• There is one death by suicide in the world every 40 seconds.

• Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide.

• Suicide is the second leading cause of death for 15 – 24 year olds.

Why aren’t we discussing this? As filmmakers, we have an opportunity to be fearless, vulnerable and open by sharing a story that’s both universal, dramatic and ever so poignant.

THEME

A film dealing with suicide and pain is never easy. Especially when it hits so close to home for so many of us. With the support of many celebrities, organization groups and people around the world, we have decided to take this head on – connecting our own struggles and pain with suicide, loss and depression to make a film that poetically expresses the importance of LOVE and its EFFECT. Short films are a difficult thing to create, however with suicide being such a relevant topic, we feel this story is a voice that needs to be heard.”

Frostbite Nation

Frostbite Nation by Jacqueline Cioffa

There are few things I know. I have never seen or imagined some better, happier version of me from the future.

No matter how hard I squeeze my eyes tight, I’m blindsided. I can’t map it out.

I visualize serenity, the modern beach home, transparent, quiet and clean. Made of clear glass to see the silly sun rise in the mornings, and mourning moon smiling back at me.

Perched high on a bluff, roiling waves crash below in a somber rich rhythm that soothes the wild child’s soul. The sun’s restorative warmth cuts right through the glass hitting my cheek just so, the wide open invitation to rest tired weary bones, and rejuvenate the mind freeze.

A four pegged, barebones desk and an antiqued typewriter sit off in a corner facing the north star, clean, clutter-free and cozy. White, oversized sofas are inviting and available for lounging. Lazy day Sundays are not the pre-requisite or prescheduled, they are the norm and everyday order routine.

The expansive ocean is warm and inviting, and the sea breeze feels like home. Almost, exactly like being at home safe inside the bubble of four walls and imagination. The skin feels wet from the ever present rising mist, dewy and reminiscent of salt.

Vegetables in varying colors and shapes decorate a wooden bowl. Plentiful, there is no hunger in my home.

The night sky is almost black not quite a midnight blue. Silver stars and a happy harvest moon fill me with, hope.

Dare I say. Hope. How dare I?

SplitShire-6661

I see things differently eyes closed than how they appear. How can the world look so ugly, be so bloodied, hateful and cruel. Have we not learned anything after all these one trillion years?

How not to treat others kindly, how not to forget words like hate, greed, murder and rape.

Have we not raped each other’s souls?

Where do we go from hate to hate to hate?

It’s an evolutionary unevolved spin cycle, I suppose.

Take the word human, humane out of the equation. Throw it out to sea, it returns with with the tide pools, washes back to shore. Little itty bitty children play by the rocks, build sand castle dreams right there on the shores of our beaches and homes. Our children play on the same soil, the same good earth we call home.

Where are the pretty words like want, kindness, serenity, empathy, beauty and a sense of purpose.
     

Where did the plain, flowery words go?

Did they get lost inside the coarse sand granules, kicked aside, buried so deep under the Marianas Trench we can no longer reach them with small fingers and outstretched hands? They slip and slide out of reach, and our grasp gets harder to hold on to.

To hope.
Follow the rules they say.
Rules learned as children, yet cruel fate intervenes.
Are we meant to be only unhappy, bound and determined to be defiant?

Life is beginning and end.

End of what? Massacres, more blood, sweat and tears?

End of what? Massacres, more blood, sweat and tears? No, No, No.

End of what? Massacres, more blood, sweat and tears? No, No, No. Say it isn’t so.

There is too much pain, too much suffering in this place, too much hate.
The karmic scales are way off kilter.

Are dreams so far and away from reality I shutter to think, my fingers and toes numb from lack of heat.

As I sit in my newly warmed comfortable dream home, I cannot help but worry.

About the less fortunate, left out in the cold.

What future might they possibly see?

Do not send me some fucking quote, “how happy, enlightened you’ll be if only you practice A, B and C, when we’re already way past Z.’’

The future doesn’t exist, plain and simple. This second is it. This one tangible second and then poof its annihalated.

So I dream of nothing, and everything. A new world order where bloodshed is not on the menu.

Come what may, I will be gone before May.

The future and past moments already given away freely and without want. I expect less than nothing but hope to see flora bloom wondrous in late May.

I can’t help but wonder if fate has a different future in mind.