The Paradox of Our Age & a Beatbox

The Paradox of Our Age and a Beatbox

By Jacqueline Cioffa

photo-1453974336165-b5c58464f1ed

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 

12743697_1696648020614614_553124942842554026_n

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Hands Off

*Trigger Warning*

Hands Off by Jacqueline Cioffa

I am not a patient person, no I am not. I bide my time, and busy myself with stuff. I should be writing, working, playing, struggling, worrying, and I am. I’m also waiting which is never good for an over active mind.

Yet here I am, hurtling forward going nowhere. Jumping ahead to anticipate the future. The past sneaks in, memories I cannot escape. They stick to me like a parasite drawing blood all around and everywhere I turn.

Can a five-year-old understand the meaning of true love?

I believed magic lived inside my daddy’s big, round, jovial belly instead of plain old spaghetti and meatballs. The sparkling lights on the Christmas tree, snowflakes stuck to the window, felt warm and fuzzy. Childlike wonder, tossing and turning the night excitedly awaiting the dawn and Santa. The yellow kick and go with the humongous red bow sat under the tree, brought raised electric hair of emotion. Spring couldn’t come fast enough, I’d be seven by then. A big girl, big enough to hit the streets. The alarm clock with the FM radio and ice cream cake at thirteen made me feel special. I believed that was L.O.V.E.

Seventeen came with an attitude, and a too expensive, fancy pink and white crepe silk al la ‘Dynasty’ dress complete with 80’s shoulder pads.

On to the first, real honest-to-God date. He was ‘hot-shit’ about town a decade older and he liked me. I had to beg, cry and cajole my parents to give in. They caved, eventually. High school was miserable. I left slivers of happy go star dust lucky  behind, the lights flickered and dimmed. When the date with the man-boy got too steamy, I was the scared little girl way out of her comfort zone. I panicked, jumped, slithered, smoothed out the bougie fuchsia floral wrinkles and called home. My daddy was there in minutes, at 2:00 a.m. to scoop me up. No questions asked. It was easy to leave another piece behind.

By twenty I was a smart mouth grownup living on my own. I met a guy who said all the right things, bought roses, sweet treats and diamond rings. He promised to take care of me. I shrugged my shoulders, and believed the hype.

Until he punched me in the ribs full fist, split my lip and blackened my eye. Yeah it was real easy to let go of love, for good. Again. And again.

To discard myself like some frivolous afterthought, no good soiled trash. To give away yet another piece of my damaged soul. To give in, to give up, to give way.

What did I do instead?

I married the tick infested nuisance, to silence the noise despising every single thing about him. Stupid girl, you can’t wiggle your way out of white orchid floral arrangements, church bells, and silk crepe clouded visions against the skin. Too late to turn back.

The only good, kind, sweet, solid, funny man who never judged me walked down the aisle squeezing my trembling hand in his steadied way and whispered, “I love you.”

I let go.

How? Why? When?

I simply let go of his hand. I let go of his hand shaking and unsteady. I let go of his hand and mine entwined, for all the wrong reasons.

I plain forgot. I shut down, shut off leaving a trail of stale rice dreams behind. Crummy crummy, unholy crumbs for the birds. I let go of love, and walked towards compromise. The capacity, belief and desire to give away the sparkly pixie dust parts died with each passing step.

Thirty came and went, the dizzying panicked blur of regret. Poof. Dissipated, time wasted, more and more wasted time. Eyes closed, heart closed, mind closed, brick walls crushing down heavy on my iron clad lung and cement filled suffocation.

Of course I made feeble, wobbly attempts to come and go.

Weak, strong, strong, weak, nauseating and top spinning heartbroken. Time clouded by shrouded veil, dense fog illusion, and stowed away dollhouse dreams. Denial, muddied, muddled, shredded eight foot faded ivory train-wreck and vows long forgotten.

Pummel my face as hard as you can, I don’t care. The wet, warm blood feels warm and soothing dribbling down my chin and tastes oh so sweet, so much better than numb nothing.

I am alive and bleeding crimson red.

 

I can no longer want, ask, believe nor care about little girl dreams. I must pull up my big girl boy shorts and act like a man. The five dollar frivolous, white horse prince saviors, and romantic cowboy brass buckles, burr boot straps dead and buried inside little house on the prairie garish fantasies.

Ride along, move along, mosey along this is my dime store fantasy flick. I have no idle minutes left for regret, I’m riding shotgun.

Who needs some hot-shot, horseshoe, horse-shit, five o’clock stubble smooth talker on a Harley to whisk you away? Take the keys, turn the ignition, and drive. Don’t look back, don’t look over you shoulder, don’t ask and don’t give yourself away. Keep self-esteem in check, and your holy womanhood held high. Little girls, do not give your heart away. Keep it, share it, love it, dance around and around in twirly girly pretty sparkly shimmery circles. Your heart is not a bargain basement sale, it’s gold glitter and swirls of magic. The key to your heart should be kept close and cherished inside your tiny, innocent, girlie hands and extended, graceful feminine forever curious fingers. The lines and maps etched on your palms are forever yours to reach further, hold tighter and aim higher. The hands, funny face little one are yours to reach for the heavens, feel the tickle from a blade of grass, and massage away the rough, coarse granite experiences and, to understand.

To love with your fingers outstretched and wipe the tears from your eyes.

Your fragile, pretty girl pink hands were never meant to cover your face and hide, in shame.

There is something else, something better, something bigger, something precious.
There is something tangible to hold onto when you close your eyes and dare to dream.
There is something mysterious pulsating inside, that never lies.

Do not ever forget how safe the world felt holding the right, kind gentleman’s hand. And do not ever let go of the love.

Don’t forget to love the hands attached to the arms and a direct line to your heart. Love comes in many beguiling and bewitching forms, unloved is something different, something not whole.

Sometimes love is a jovial round belly filled with spaghetti and meatballs. Others, it’s quieting, stoic, stubborn, and unwavering. A mother’s illogical love that does not give up on you, and your trembling hands. Maybe, it lives inside the gasp of an unexpected hiccup or giggle, or the perfect timing of a handwritten note from a friend in the post with three simple words imbibed, thinking of you.

Sometimes, it’s finding your way home.

Sometimes it’s finding your way back home.

And sometimes it’s finding your own way back home.

To love.

That five-year old was wise.

She understood she held the key in her hands, never too tight and always close to her heart.

“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance” – Oscar Wilde

Drowning Above Water

photo-1430597707232-ce4d5b386a2a

Turbulent waters soothe the gypsy, calming and evoking blue myth mystery. The maudlin, tumultuous sea, her wishing wells of fragile glass trinkets, forgotten treasure, and pools of sunken love, long discarded. The ocean and her black ink mystery whisper in tongue, tales only I can decipher. The beach house perched precariously on a bluff, is blurred and out of focus. Drifting farther and farther from reach, I am flailing and kicking. I scream sea bubbles trying desperately not to be pulled under. My weary eyes close, muscles go limp, as I surrender to the serene beauty. I am weightless. Drowning, I am finally free to listen to the sounds of quiet. Chimes dance and sway in the wind, calling me home. I know this place; I have been here before. She beckons. I am not unready, the flesh is not willing. I know I cannot stay here in the darkest, sublime solitude corners of the mind. With sea legs unsteady, I kick hard, resolute. I must embrace the riptides of imagination inside the forbidden, profound Mariana Trench depths of the mind I cannot fully comprehend. The sea is bound blue, white and grey urchin green, hauntingly transparent, and overly persistent.

I must stay, here, for now. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Drowning above water.