Off The Cuff – Jacqueline Cioffa
That’s courage, baby
That’s the high cost and the low maintenance
And this is my honest-to-God get out of my face, in your face, brace yourself best shot
Be brave, be bold, be loud
Make some quiet noise
Maybe tomorrow I’ll post some cheery, colorful, feel good quote
Perhaps, maybe not
One never knows how hot she blows
How high the highs and low the lows
These unfashionable, sufferable modern ties burn crimson
Still, it’s nice to see pretty colors and happy faces sometimes
Smile at a stranger, turn up the tunes and dance man
Travelin’ down the good red road
“They don’t want you to think for yourself, they keep you preoccupied with electronics. They’re excited by the control concept, creating a nation of drones.
Soon enough we’ll all be wearing uniforms in stiff purple. Don’t do it. Walk, against the grain. In Fuchsia.”
– Jacqueline Cioffa
“You and I are only human, overwrought with emotion. We will be forever duking it out with the sassy sun and silly moon to stop running with scissors, for just one breath. There is beautiful stillness under a gray, cover-clouded downpour where the rain washes away the old footprints leaving room for a blank slate and tomorrow’s sunshine.” – Jacqueline Cioffa
I hate you, I despise you with the bitter guts and boiling blood that festers inside
It’s all a waking dream and I’m suffocating
Where, so where do I place the fear I carry so heavy too heavy to mind
I’m quite sure my heart will give out long before the scattered, tattered jumble paper mess memories dry brittle
I scribble fast the fury not to forget
The memories are disappearing fading fast wadded paper cedar trees, football field lengths between me and me
I’ve forgotten how it feels to hold you in high esteem and tempting melted milk chocolate covered tongues
Once upon a time I cried, screamed, howled
I believed wholly and eyes closed, the whipping wind white puffy fluffy sky free ride
Liars and petty thieves, humans
The sun doesn’t shine bright on my sullen skin anymore and I’m knee deep in muddled pride
I loved you once I surmise
I believed the silly unicorn light up the night notions
Feeding frenzied Coyotes circle dense fog forest grey days
Threaten tempting black empty nothing bliss
Ripping tearing shredding gutting smiling puppy dog faces
The lines blur
Are you awake, dead dreaming
Misconstrued misaligned misperception hazed out of focus
Are you real or are you dead
Well for fuck’s sake, what are you really?
Tell me, I’m screaming inside with knee jerk clenched fist death wish jumping jack out of my skin beanstalk
Shh, I can’t hear my own running in circle cries
Quiet now, hush now pretty pretty pretty
Three times not twice rules are made to be shattered glass smashed
So what am I
Tell me now before I sink deep and deeper
Losing quietly ever so gently lovingly my beautiful chaotic mind
Write it all down love, quickly and with a certain kind of steadfastness
Star stuff flurries go poof and disappear before your eyes
Questioning the knighted crown jeweled worthy existence
I’m not ready, fading, falling
It’s all a waking, mystical magical nightmare
Dreaming awake, I scream silent
I love you, I hate you
I hate you, I love you
I love to hate you, I hate to love you
Makes no difference under the veil
When buried behind a double blurred vision am eye
One Times Four
The Cove, there was no other place Georgia wanted to be. She loved summers at the beach with her pops. Georgia pulled the rocker close to her grandfather’s, almost touching. She needed to be near, reassured by the sounds of his breathing. Side by side, gliding back and forth. She had nowhere to go, nowhere she’d rather be. Mostly, she rocked while he nodded off. He was her most favorite person. She refused a life without him. Georgia knew what was coming. Maxine wasn’t the only one with a gift, she didn’t brag. Her grandmother was a fading memory, but Georgia could still recall the tight squeeze of her hand. How overtired giggly they got when she tucked her in. Harry whispered secrets in her ear.
“Don’t let anyone make fun of you carrot top, freckle face, how you are. Someday, they will see how dazzling and pretty you are. Stand your ground, find something to believe in and go for it. Don’t look back. Don’t apologize. Be nicer to your mother, she was a free spirit once. She plain forgot. Make her laugh when she gets too serious. Protect and cherish your sisters, they’re what you got. At some point, you will be disappointed by them, even hate one or all. They might despise you, too. It won’t matter, your sisters will pick your side every time. I promise, that’s what families do. Your family, our family is bound by deep love and tradition. We are not quitters; we are backwards optimists. Takes a little longer, we get there on our time. I love that shared trait. We believe in our truths, once we’ve ripped them apart and examined the guts with a loupe. I’m dying baby, I won’t spare you, hide the truth. You won’t have to wonder where the hell I went. I adore you too much to leave you questioning my invisible parts. I love you right now, in this room, on this bed. You’re my big girl, so smart. I will miss bedtime tuck-ins, our secrets. Don’t tell your mama, she won’t understand. You have your grandfather’s eyes, and my cautious curiosity. Close your tired eyes, tomorrow we’ll go to the beach. Hug your grandfather when he gets sad. He’ll need you Georgia Pine, when I go.
Georgia looks at Harry through the puzzled eyes of an eight year old. Hush don’t be afraid, life is about coming and going.”
–excerpt from the book GEORGIA PINE
I thought the words and thoughts escaped me, but the mind is perpetual movement and the physical change of space a welcome opportunity. Granted it’s a backwards return to an old familiar. A place filled with deep sorrow, craziness and rerun memories. It’s a half empty house that holds a far away happy and lost together times and sparse family. I’ll take it. It suits me better than isolation and the sad exhausted faces in the big city.
We are a people in search of a nation. We lost our tribe, our values, and our rhythm. I don’t want to be reminded of the labels stamped on our backs. I don’t care about the tube and the lies, the affairs and the misguided wannabe celebrity. I want authentic personality. I want Chagall and his torture and color and art. I want to be moved and inspired by individuality. Call me crazy. He makes me to want to walk away from the glamourous life. I am convinced I will not find my way out of the dark if I am not prepared to live for a time in the empty. I’ll squirm and slither, giving in to a forgotten town where nothing happens. It’s a stand still place where nature is your best bet for entertainment.
I say bring it on motherfuckers. Throw me more shit to swallow, give me the pills, I’ll take the drugs, hand me the rage and I’ll run with it. I’ll make a goddamn mish mashed masterpiece. I will not hurl things, I will shout through my fingers. This place, this twirling planet is unfit. Burn it, drown us, and wipe it out. Eradicate the greed, me included, the ego-driven and self-obsessed. Forgo the fast and over processed. It’s a bullshit new millennium.
I am going simple until something shifts.
I bury my distaste in the physical task of cutting back the hedges. Every whack of the saw loosens my muscles and frees my thinking. I trim the grass until the sordid is no longer. I work determined and with purpose, like my ancestors.
I want to dirty my knees and bury the hatchet. I will plant flowers and feel the dead working beside me. Today I will shed no tears, I will not cry out in despair. I will grit my teeth. I will find projects that need doing and complete them. I will listen to the wind and wait. I will thank the sun that I’m still here. There must be a bigger reason.
The repetition and tradition quiets the squalls and rough seas rolling around in my head. What is my purpose? Will I lead a life with meaning? Why doesn’t God hear me? Where are the motherfucking signs? What am I supposed to do? Will I survive these worst of times? Do I even want to?
I sit outside on this unusually balmy November afternoon shrugging my shoulders. I wonder if anyone out there feels this pain and doubt with me? I worry where have my dead gone and question why can’t I go to with them? Was there ever a point to the borrowed minutes and sweet nothings?
Turning the corner is a matter of opinion. I never made that choice. Everyone leave me the fuck alone please until I find what’s waiting. I want no part of this fast paced, over stimulating, hole- hollow, simply filling the borrowed time mad existence.
– excerpt from THE RED BENCH
Dairy Queen by Jacqueline Cioffa
I’ve devoured endless books, “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying,” “The Tao of Health,” “Sex & Longevity,” the Wilde’s, the Beckett’s and the Eliot’s searching. I’ve gazed at the stars to align my planets. I’ve burned white sage along the perimeters of my house to keep out the dark and unwanted. I’ve slept with amethyst under my pillow, seeking calm and center. I’ve grasped tight to pink quartz holding out for love. I’ve picked up a rune to map out my path. I’ve called on the dead to feel better in spirit. I’ve suffered the fool. I’ve been one. I’ve been all wrapped up in it, crazed, sane, rich, poor and famished in an instant.
But, I’ve never stayed the course. I’m resolute. I’m firm like desert dirt. No excuses, I want well living.
-excerpt from THE RED BENCH
Washboard Abs Jacqueline Cioffa
I want to dance alone in the dark. I want to hear the underlying music through the deafening mundane silence that is everyday life. I want to make snow angels in a Speedo. I want to smile again without feeling forced. I am going to free myself from the limitations wrapped tightly around my neck. I’m going to discard the heavy and not give it a second thought. I’m going to dance on paper and move mountains with thoughts clear in black and white.
The limbo of my life will become a discarded thing of the past. There will be happy, chocolate chip minutes and inviting, familiar scents wafting through stale air.
It will be comfortable.
There will be easy chores, taking out the garbage, doing the jumble, raking fall from the yard.
I will bask in delight. I want to live simple. I want orange and red leaves and high school football and small town life. I want to erase the days lived in the hollow and free my mind and body from the trickery of a fast life. I am throwing out the Gucci shoes and Prada bags and the heavy burden and the in crowd.
I will wash away big city, lonely isolation and surround myself with real life. I will turn my back on the superficial and freeze all my assets. I will gladly hand over my stuff and lose pounds in an instant.
I am violently thrashing about. Gently, I am closing a door and cracking open a window. – THE RED BENCH, Jacqueline Cioffa
She and I were star stuff symbiotic, dear, precious friends, old lovers who finished each other’s sentences. – Jacqueline Cioffa
“Her salt mine seas pacified the storms dwelling harmonious in one body. We’d spend a decade exploring, feeling the heat of the sun, flinching in the biting winter freeze, experiencing the mesmerizing, transitory alive moments in color and traversing the vast corners of the earth, boldly as one.
We’d chase big dreams, and conquer cracked filled pavements. I was happy. I was almost always happy, and happier than I’d been before. I smiled tears of sadness, and cried tidal pool oceans of joy. I was a beautiful contained palate of emotion, no longer insane, paranoid, turned-out, hallucinating, running, or screaming mad. I was okay. I was fine. I was in love. I was more me with her, than without. I never, ever, ever wanted to say good-bye.
Like a jilted, jealous lover quietly, methodically, slowly over time and all at once, growing spiteful and angry, Lithium began poisoning my exploding cells destroying my insides. Belly swollen, eye sockets burning, jaws clenched, muscles pinched, bones ached, feverish and ill. I was tail spinning, spiraling and insane. Even the holy, pure sacred womanly parts ignited.
The element lithium burns vivid crimson red.
Lithium crimson red flames imploding, screaming and demanding the quickest exit strategy. How could she break my vulnerable, trembling shattered heart, and peace of mind?
Did she grow tired of me, or did I?” – Jacqueline Cioffa
– #excerpt from
Courtesy of Feminine Collective on Bleeding Ink with Jacqueline Cioffa
SUBLIME FRAMEABLE ARTWORK: By the Haiku Queen, Witticisms Master, and pensive, and poignant writer, Ms. Dori Owen aka Diary of an Arizona Girl with Feminine Collective
– @jacquelinecioffa on Instagram
***DISCLAIMER: I AM ABSOLUTELY NOT encouraging ANYONE to go off of their prescribed psychiatric medicine. This is my story, my journey and trust me it was hell. Please remember that while enjoying these creative words.