Saturday, May 24, 2008

Work, Not Play. Play, Not Work

Working, always working.
She sits there, typing with one hand and writing with the other
Ever stop? Does she ever stop? I should be bored, watching her.
But I’m not.

My foot nudges her. A frown, gone.
Concentration feels me blow over it.
And then that smile. I love that smile.
Oh god, did I say that? Did I?

Here. She rises, hand creeps across the table to me
Here. I need a break.
Clasping my hand, eyes lost behind some mist, she dazzles me.
Everything she does mesmerizes me.

Slides up my arms as she straddles me
around me, that mouth on mine, kisses me
sighs, face hidden in my neck, heat flows off her
Volcano, nova and I am caught in that wave

I cannot remember when I breathed this deep, this much
needed this much oxygen. Every inhale feels it.
I need a break sweeting deep throaty words tickle my ear
slow breath as she kisses the front of my neck, that hollow

Stretches on me, I swear I can feel her stretch on me
turns in my lap leans back leans way back
If you take them off oh god her fingers hooked through the top of my shorts
if you take them off I can’t move I can’t but I do

Raise myself enough to slide them off and she is on me
in her own world does she even know
or care
that it is me under her touching her holding her loving her?

Does she?

I know. I know every inch twinge twitch quirk
I know her. I am here, anchoring her
while she floats in her pleasure state
trusting me to keep her

Reach around, hold her. Feel her jump
Forget I was here, love? and I kiss that curve behind her ear
Moves on me, does not answer, not a word.
but I know that too. Her answer.

It’s okay, love, I’m here still ignores me, leans forward, moans
and all I want is to bury myself in her
and feel her pleasure on through because of me.’
She pretends she doesn’t hear or understand, but I know better.

Do you want to shower? Hmm? Half asleep on me
if I loosen my grip she’ll fall. Pull her tighter
Do you want to shower? Break’s over. Slumps on me, relaxed.
Stand, holding her, walk inside.

Laying next to her, straighten her clothes.
Stay. Holding a hand to me, her perfect wrists
lead to that hand, fingers thin exclamation points between mine.
Stay. I turn her hand over and kiss her pulse.

winter oceans

World of grey sky
horizon right at my feet, right here
not off in some middle distance.

Cold wants to pull me in, foam swirls,
up my pants to ankles, knees
salt heavy, pulling me down.

I see you, buckets and molds around you
piling the wet sand; a fortress, keeping you safe
from the draw of the sea

I do not care. It pulls me,
climbs higher, knees thighs waist
white caps over my head.

Too cold to blink, blood thick and slow,
floating in the silent
not thinking, too cold to think.

Roar of silence fills me,
flesh turned brittle, briny,
hands of the ocean clasping mine

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Cannibal King

It was more than time to replace the toilet. He had finished all the other work in the apartment and only the bathroom still needed doing. The sink and tub were no big deal if he didn’t finish tonight, this tenant could manage to stink for a day. But the toilet? People were not pleased when you messed with their toilet. And if you had to remove it, they really were not pleased. So replacing a toilet had to planned with great care and every consideration for the dignity of his tenants. Sandoval’s was the last one.

"So, Sandoval, I need to replace your toilet. Then I can install the new flooring. Tiling is already done. What day is good for you?"

"Yah man, Mr. David, every day is bad, bad, bad. I’m home now, all de time, Mr David. How you going to do this thing? Cause you leave a man wit no toilet..." Sandoval shook his head sadly, the beads on his ringlets and dreads clicking back and forth in sympathy.

"Look Sandoval, you name a time I can come by and do this. Because I really have to do this, there is going to be an inspection on the other work as well, before I seal up the openings. And I only have to take the toilet out for maybe an hour or so."

"An hour? Dat it?"

"Yeah, that’s all. Sandoval, you have a girlfriend, it shouldn’t require lot of persuasion on your part to get her to agree to you staying over for a bit. Hell, she’s a good spirit. She must be to have you hanging around. You go spend some time with her, I’ll do the work."

"Okay Mr David, you persuaded me, wit you fancy words and big ribbon on high. I gonna go to my girlfriend’s, I guess this afternoon, sah. Yeah..." Sandoval smiled. "Yeah Mr David, you just do whatever you got to do. I be goin’ to my girlfriend Maria’s house."

"I thought you were seeing Maritza.

"Oh Mr David, you just cannot keep up with my life, can you, Mr David? Maritza was two, tree week ago. Maria is the girl for me, now. How do you solve a problem like maria? You rub its tummy and a genie comes out!"

The two men nodded to each other, then each picked up his tools and prepared to leave. Mr David picked up a tote with plumbing supplies. Sandoval grabbed a pouch with the day’s ganga. He continued singing as he let the apartment door slam behind him and went down the steps to the sidwalk.

"Sandoval, I’m going to do this late afternoon, that’ll work today," Mr. David called to Sandoval’s back.

Sandoval waved and called back, "I see you tomorrow, sah! You have a good one!"

Mr David looked at Sandoval, now all the way down the block and shook his head. He picked up his tool box again and went downstairs. He needed some different tools and had to measure to make sure he got the right toilet. If the size was wrong, it would not fit the plumbing components. There were two toilets in the storage area in the basement, He hoped one of those would fit and save him the trouble of going to the store.

Later, he reentered the apartment and looked at the offending toilet. It works. It works fine. Still the powers that be had determined that old water guzzling tanks were to be no more. Since the rehap was extnsive enough to qualify as new construction certain aspects of the code had to be adhered to precisely to the letter. He bent down and pried the putty away, turned off the water line and flushed. He removed the now-empty tank from the base and looked down.

Using a putty knife, Mr. David broke up the seal around the base of the toilet, loosened it. Very carefully, removed the actual toilet and set it aside. There was a gaping hole. It smelled. Sewer fumes and gasses formed a ghost cloud over the toilet, a miniature typhoon. He shoved a rag in the opening to stop the stench from infiltrating the rest of the house. He measured the opening diameter and the distance between the wall and the pipe openings. There was one in the basement that should fit.

Mr. David returned with the new toilet and unboxed it. He set it into place. It was the wrong size. He sighed. This meant a trip to Lowes or HD or the local place, none of which seemed like a good option at 5:30 pm on a Tuesday. He would call first, make sure one of them had the size he needed in stock, before he started racing all over the world.

The local place and Lowes were out. HD had the right size, but that was a good forty minutes away. He sighed and went to the van. Gotta get it. No choice.
A flat. Perfect. A flat tire at six o’clock with rush hour traffic and then an hour of work ahead of him. Mr. David shook his head. Change the flat, get the toilet in the morning when HD opens at six a.m. He could have the toilet installed by 7, 7:30 the latest. Sandoval was spending the night with whoever anyway.

BRNG!BRNG! BRNG! It was five o’clock. Who calls at five o’clock?


"Mr. David, what you doing to me, man? What going on here?"


"Yes, Mr. David, dis be Sandoval! What you do man? What you do wit me toilet, man?"

"Um, I had the wrong size. I was on my way to get the right one. I thought you were spending the night at Maritza’s. I mean Maria’s."

"No, man, we have a little quarrel, man, I come home. And den, man, I got to use de toilet man. But there is NO TOILET! No! What cho do man?"

"Oh, Sandoval, I am so sorry. I took the old one out and I have to pick up the right size. I really am sorry."

"Oh man, you ruin me life! I come home, I had war wit me girl and den I had to shit in a pot like a cannibal man. Like a cannibal! I be telling you!" Sandoval almost squeaked as he talked he was so upset.

"Huh? Um Sandoval, I though cannibals ate people. I never read about them shitting in pots or anything at all like that."

"Well just cause you don’t read it don’t mean it ain’t so. Like a cannibal, I’m telling you! No bigger insult to a man than to have to shit in pot! Cannibals, Mr David!"

"Okay, Sandoval, the store opens soon, let me get the part and I’ll come right over."

"You do dat man. You do dat for me, Mr David. Yah." Mr David heard Sandoval’s beads clicking as he nodded his head and then a click! as Sandoval disconnected.

Mr. David stood there, looking at the phone in his hand. Cannibals shit in pots? He shook his head. This is New York. Why the hell shouldn’t the cannibals shit in pots if they want to? Who was going to tell them no?

Sunday, May 18, 2008



Robyn is a Brooklyn girl through and through. In fact, this wanna-be redhead reeks of the outer borough, when she isn't reeking of her usual BS. She has spent most of life racking up, oops, playing with numbers as a statistician and tax accountant, day jobs she admits to only under severe duress. After her move to Florida, she had a near-death experience which left her severely afflicted with hypergraphia. In addition to poetry and flash fiction, many samples of which can be found on her blog, Robyn writes a regular column on the arts for a Tampa newspaper in the vain hope of bringing an epiphany to that wasteland in the west. She will be reading a few chapters from Mastermind, a nasty, depraved mystery thriller co-written with Gene Hodes, due tobe released May 25. Which means she will be reading from a book not yet in print!

Orlando Poetry Group presents:
Third Wed of each month @ Austin's
Wednesday May 21,@ 8:30pm
Austin's Coffee and Film
929 W Fairbanks Ave.
Winter Park, Florida

emily speaks...

happy birthday luke

i love you babygirl.

Things You May or May Not Know About Me. And Even If You Do, Why Would You Care?

i wrote this a few months ago, never posted it. lately i have been writing things of too intimate or controversial a nature for me to post. so, dear readers, feel free to make comments on the veracity or falsehood of any statements you find below.

in honor of my birthday.....

my favorite color is purple. especially dark purple.
i have NEVER lied about my age. yeah, i know. 49 DOES sound like a lie but its not. i look forward to when i turn 50. 50 sounds real.
i carry my passport at all times.
i believe in sparkling lights and fireworks.
i ride a 21 speed bike but have no idea how to shift. Or why.
i am addicted to motorcycles and LOVE to ride shotgun.
I live behind a kawaskai dealership. coincidence? i don't think so!
when i have the spare time and cash, i AM going to get my motorcycle certs.
my three favorite evening dresses were bought in 1977, 1980 and 1986. black knit, gold/black crystal pleats, black suede. and they still fit.
the SHOES are real and go with each of my three favorite evening dresses, but they knew that before i brought them home.
i cry when i listen to music.
people cry when they hear me sing.
i am a terrible card player, but a very cheerful loser.
my favorite perfume is STILL obsession. for men and women both.
i have my first diary. it scared my girls when they read it,to see how screwed up their mom was at the age of 12 or 13. hasn't changed much, unfortunately.
i have aural ADD and can't process verbally transmitted instructions.
i have OCD and HATE IT when i have to shake hands. or when people breath near me. or touch my arm or shoulder or pat my head or try to give me polite kisses. or maybe its just that i'm from new york. i carry antibacterial waterless hand cleaner.
i wasn't given any painkillers when i birthed my girls. NOT EVEN A FUCKING TYLENOL. not even for my breech birth baby, who is STILL telling the world to "kiss her ass."
i have the doll Big Brother gave me for my first birthday and the stuffed dog my mom gave me when i was 5 and really sick.
i had my tonsils out the week president kennedy was assassinated.
i meet celebrities in odd places: on the subway, at seaworld, waiting for cabs.
i wake up when people die.
i can do every form of needlework but can't knit despite many hours of lessons.
i cannot read my own handwriting sometimes.
i have too many salt and sweet tastebuds and not enough of the others. i rely on 'mouth feel' texture more than taste to determine my enjoyment of a meal.
i dream in more advanced latin than i understand.
i speak french and sign language but only obscenities.
i don't like adverbs, especially 'obviously'. adjectives are an evil necessity which must be controlled so they don't take over the world. obviously.
one of the best gifts i ever got was a swiss army knife.
i have a black thumb. if i get too near plants, they die.
i never learned to 'inhale' and it upsets me that my girls smoke.
i have never taken illegal drugs.
i am addicted to public transportation even if, especially if, it goes nowhere.
i am more afraid of living than dying. much more.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

House is Not a Home Part IV

It is mine, all mine and only mine, the first bedroom to have been mine since I was a child. No one else has a say as to what I have or what I do in here.

My personal space.

Spotless, almost empty.

I moved from the master bedroom into this room three days after I moved into my apartment, just as I moved from the master bedroom into my studio back at HBK and for similar reasons. The people downstairs fight every night, vicious, ugly fighting which spills out into the street as one or the other picks up their little boy and threatens to leave. The screams and cries are too much for me. I cannot handle that, it sends me back to a place I cannot go, so I moved into the other bedroom and enjoy the silence. Time has passed and they moved a few days ago somewhere else to wake someone else's memories, be someone else's nightmare.

When she joined me, my daughter took that room. She shuts the door on her safe haven, her bed, computer, bath, a world inside with no one to pester her. We hope the new neighbors are peaceful or at least restrict their fighting to normal business hours and not to third shift.

The ducks and egrets sing, their voices alternating with the low blue whistle of the train, that train which passes at midnight, 3 am, 5 am, that train going anywhere but here. If I sleep, it wakes me 5 o'clock, telling me to call my daughter and remind her to go to school. The whistle sighs her name, Call L, tell L we love her, we will always love her.

At night, on my too high bed which is too far from the floor, on top of my quilt, white with a pattern of violets, of course violets, what other kind of flower would I tolerate, lace edged and my dark purple sheets, six pillows prop my back. I look out the window to the other side while I work. The vague glow of my laptop and the purple twinkling christmas lights which ring the room guide my hands. The blinds are open and across the retention pond I see the lights of the car wash, the boat dock and John Young Pkwy in the distance, bright enough to blot out the stars.

The purple framed shield shaped mirror hangs directly across from me so I can glance up at any time I chose and reassure myself that I am safe, sane and whole. Is it vanity to have a mirror reflecting my bed, reflecting me in all my moods and guises? Do I care? In the corner stands a ripple of mirror, a candy ribbon, from IKEA, forming the second part of an incomplete triptych. Will I finish it, get another mirror for the other corner or will I instead buy that striking floor lamp whose shape is the same as mine? I'll decide that another night. For a few days, I had a hydra headed floor lamp next to the bed, but moved it into the living room, shifting it from sofa to desk as needed, capricious, as I shift from one work area to another.

You can see into my room from the picnic table which sits in the grassy area between my building and the retention pond. Various and sundry hang out at that table, lighting up cigarettes, inhaling smoke and losing time. Carlos and Javier wave at me late at night. When I see Carlos the next day, he tells me that I shouldn't worry, he'll watch my back. Which makes me laugh as he seems so stoned I get this urge to transfuse his veins with chicken soup and bring him back to this planet's reality.

The only night table high enough for me is my dad's old folding table. It's all I have of my dad, this steel tray table. I have sofas from my brother, a matched pair of Victorian chaise lounges. They are lovely to look at and only to look at, the shape deliberately designed to discourage long visits. They live at HBK. Long visits are discouraged there, too. My mom left me fifty-one Canadian maple leafs but those are long gone and part of the reason I have this room of my own.

The night table is a tableau of magazines, books, (Douglas Hofstadter, I am a Strange Loop, which I read five to ten pages at a time, savoring his words) maps for work, the work I do for the paper, a bottle of water, a mug filled with pens and markers, custom made for me with my name spelled correctly, and an ankle brace although I cannot imagine what purpose it serves or remember why it is there. I leave it. It seems too much trouble to find a better place to store it.

On the door frame, 2/3 of the way up is the purple and silver leather mezzuzah which went up before I moved into this place, this place I am trying to make into a home, this place which while it does not speak to me, it does not make me cry.