“As an artist do I need constant flux to create? How will I find words in the woods surrounded by trees and rotten cornfields? How will I find anything besides dying, wet leaves?
I cannot escape the volume in my head, the constant churning. The Jesus fucking Christ, turn it down chatter. I have been told to be patient. Wait for the drugs, the quieting veil, and the lavender calm to smooth out the ringing. My mind is full of death and black spots I’m sure, much like a stroke patient after a spell.
“The chaos comes with you,” simply stated my friend. He was right. I am here, here am I. Sick and tired, tired and bullshit sick.
The blank paper waits and my hands navigate the keys and the thoughts go where they may.”
Roots and Wings
God isn’t looking for me
Lots of heartache going on
Too much trouble all around
People don’t see people can’t see people don’t wanna see people
My god have you seen the news?
I can’t believe what’s going on
Ain’t new ain’t nothing but old news
Still it’s an awful lot of hurt to swallow and go down
I’m no better
Than you and you and him and her and us
God can’t keep up with what’s happening
Best mind my business and do some digging
Get to the bottom of this
I’m going to lay down roots earth angels will do the rest
Carry the wings
When your troubles feel too heavy never you mind
He gave us roots and wings
Work your garden pull turn the soil wipe the sweat from your brow
God isn’t looking for me
But I’m looking for him
To know something beautiful grows
Where you can’t see it
You know it’s there you feel
I didn’t know not exactly, not until this moment.
I never believed brushing aside the possibility of happy.
Tomorrow, tomorrow and tomorrow I’ll embrace the quirks and eccentrities.
Funny time wasted. Not funny.
This end of April Sunday close to May, I stand at the fault line.
The compost pile is toppling from all the shit dumped over the years.
I don’t know about you, maybe you were born over-confident.
A chest puffer.
Never had to overthink it, actually liked spending time in your own company.
Didn’t fret about how you looked in a full length mirror, crap you never even owned one.
Happy, no worries. Happy, never mind the worries. Happy, because it feels better.
And maybe you weren’t born with a twelve pack but a Buddha belly and when you laughed it was honest from the gut, and your smile was fuchsia electric.
I’ve known people like that, really I have.
Well one that I can think of.
I wonder if Angelina Jolie is a brooder like me?
Angelina was the first perfect human that came to mind.
Let’s see, Buddha belly person is happy for realz, never asking, wanting or needing much of anything.
Seriously, just the jubilee of living and giving are enough.
I can’t speak for Angie but I wonder if she wears Crocs, doesn’t bother to shower or sits in the grass simply because she likes the way it feels against her unshaven, hairy-for-days legs.
I can’t help but wonder, curiosity careens through the wrinkles I now possess,
and the dirt under my fingernails from digging the earth.
I like how my back aches, moss green hands throb and sweat trickles down my neck.
I like that Jeff Buckley is blasting haunting, melodic melodies directly into my brain.
I like that this moment I am absolutely present just him and me, in fifty degrees that is neither scorching nor too cold uncomfortable but smack dab in the middle.
I like to use clichés, that make me happy no matter how incorrect or passe.
I like the physical task of creating something, something real.
That is the closest I’ve come to happy.
To loving myself.
On this end of April Sunday close to May, I stand at the fault line.
i remember this place. a traditional Italian family lived here. the smell of meatballs and homemade sauce overpowered your senses inviting you in. lace doilies adorned the kitchen table. plastic pride covered the furniture. linens hung on the clothesline signaling sweet smells of Spring. the barn was once a Soda Pop warehouse, Liberty Beverage. the family is gone now, mom and dad died packing up their stories for a different journey. kids moved out and away. the bank took the house many years ago, leaving it to rot and decay. once there was a neighborhood street, a welcoming family who were proud to call this forgotten dwelling a home. the horseshoe placed upwards over the barn door to hold in all the power it brings and good luck. i remember a happy home and her inviting smells. the cracks of neglect and decay, worn paint can’t take the horseshoe memories away.
A gorgeous 5 Star Review that describes in detail the beauty and complexity that is “Georgia Pine” The perfect synopsis, with a Kristin Hannah and Penny Vincenzi mention. This book’s author is in excellent company.
“Georgia Pine” – love the name, love the character, love the novel!
“For those of you who fell in love with Harry in “The Vast Landscape” and wanted the saga to continue, Jacqueline Cioffa has answered your call with her new novel, “Georgia Pine”. It continues the story of Harrison, Zack and their daughter Addie and her 4 girls – each one uniquely searching for her own happiness. Interwoven into this is the story of the narrator, who, after an accident that has left her permanently physically disabled, is able to escape her broken body into the vast landscape of her imagination. And in so doing unwittingly inspires a reader, who is walking a tightrope between living and dying, to opt for hope. Another great read from Ms. Cioffa! She continues to top my list, along with Kristin Hannah and Penny Vincenzi.”
They ask too much, expect more from me. To sit in a room with gut wrenching, broken, beaten down souls. There is too much pain, upon the blood, stained walls. I cannot, I will not. I refuse to spill my intimate, tragic, sad story. This fight is personal, entirely my own. Between God and me, she is not the enemy. I wonder, I do. I can’t help but be curious, where did the cracks begin? The precise second the dam opened, were the leaks there all along?
The words don’t betray me, they remain strong. I trust the visions, the intangible guide. As I work Georgia Pine., the sequel to The Vast Landscape, I am back there. The oh, so familiar place, I have not known. I have visited and revisited the soulful jungle, inside the hidden crevices of the mind. “Sweat trickling down her face. She envisions swampland, mossy bayou, a green so vibrant she cannot describe the magnificent beauty. Massive Cypress’, musk smell, painstakingly slow-moving, gator filled muddy waters.”
I am reminded I have dreamt Louisiana before, bluegrass bayou. Through the eyes and mouth of a wild, reckless, blond angel, with the devil tattoo on her bicep. I loved her tales, I will visit sometime. And dance the day into night overtaken, losing track of space, obligation and time.
I choose the write therapy, for today that is what I decide. The stories drift in and out of memory, always returning in due time. The words sacred, a safe place to call mine.
For Kathleen, Reckless Beauty -Milan ’95
Walking the streets
Wandering with no direction
Dancing in my negligee
The heat of the pavement tells
Tastes the warm rain possibility
New Orleans, swamp and rust hinges
The blues brings me up
I dreamt of you, again
Riding your bike and laughing
You were young, glorious and free
Sitting a pinch above my right shoulder
I reach out my arms
Hug the damp air
Take a breath
Smelling your skin
Everything will be
If I can only, get back
Thoughts of you, dead brother of mine
Spirits a’ plenty in the bayou
I’ll be back home, soon