Yes, Said She

Yes, said she

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angela Carole Brown is the author of three published books, The Assassination of Gabriel Champion, The Kidney Journals: Memoirs of a Desperate Lifesaver, and Trading Fours, is a recipient of the Heritage/Soulword Magazine Award in poetry, and has produced several albums of music and a yoga/mindfulness CD.   Bindi Girl Chronicles is her writing blog.  Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube.

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The Daughter’s Sonnet (A Father’s Day Tribute)

 Old-Man-12

 

if by thy brow a simple sweat doth bleed

a countenance of noble toil hence laboured

then bounty borne god wouldst baptize the seed

to harvest rich the terra to be savoured

 

much have i pondered on the whole of thine

existence, footmen of the earth thou art

thou’st tilled the ground to ripeness, intertwining

labour and love for thy children’s start

 

the waxing of an oak from seed to tit’n

accords the span of seasons thou hast trod

through wars of men. thy battle doth enlight’n

a stalwart vigor ‘neath thy shield and rod

 

wisdom environs thine autumnal year

a gift i quest to conquer in my youth

but make myself a showy sonneteer

whilst thou with simpler words discourse in truth

 

yielding must be my grant, that i might learn

to recognize that wisdom is a page

from thy books i ought read, instead of spurn

the heart of thou who art the truest sage

 

o weary dotards, weak only in frame

thy wizened visage resting on the world

a yore of life abundant thy sole claim

whilst greater words ne’er from a mouth unfurled

 

growth and a shaping yet have i to mold

to learn from thee thy lessons, men of old

 

 

 

 

 
Angela Carole Brown is the author of three published books, The Assassination of Gabriel Champion, The Kidney Journals: Memoirs of a Desperate Lifesaver, and Trading Fours, is a recipient of the Heritage/Soulword Magazine Award in poetry, and has produced several albums of music and a yoga/mindfulness CD.   Bindi Girl Chronicles is her writing blog.

Van Gogh’s Ear

Abstract Banner

he stared at his blank canvas for hours.

frustrated.

couldn’t get a thing done.

finally he just doused his naked body with flat green house paint

and in a magic-mushroomed fog

threw himself against the elevator lift.

he picked himself up off the floor.

stepped back.  stared.  hmmm.

it was this perfectly contoured jade silhouette of his body

divided in sublime harmony and symmetry

right between two testicles by the parting of the

double steel doors.

from that day forth every time he yanked on the ropes and opened that thing to leave

he’d flash on the excruciating image of his

right nut soaring one way and his

left nut soaring the other.

was there a symbolic message somewhere in that image, he wondered?

that maybe castration was the true doorway to freedom?

as many women as there were who had messed with his head and therefore his art

he had to at least consider the possibility.

he got the hell outta there for the night and went to a neighborhood bar.

walked in and saw the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen.

kinda like an angel.

reminded him o’ that old joke :

 

man walks into a bar.  sees the beautiful woman.

tells her he wants to make sweet love to her.

Sorry i can’t, she quips, i’m on my blue period!

 

he downed a couple of quick shots of Old Forester.

slapped his money on the bar like a cowboy.

decided against approaching his beautiful woman.

and sulked on back home.

thought to himself :

 

why’d that damned Vincent have to go and cut his ear off,

and raise the bar of brilliant suffering for all the rest of us?

 

 

 

 

 

Angela Carole Brown is the author of three published books, The Assassination of Gabriel Champion, The Kidney Journals: Memoirs of a Desperate Lifesaver, and Trading Fours, and has produced several albums of music and a yoga/mindfulness CD.   Bindi Girl Chronicles is her writing blog.   Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube.

Morning-glory: A Reluctant Aubade

Morning Glory

 

That day one autumn long ago when snatched a glimpse did I

the break of morning and watched her from my window,

when through the nocturnal blinds I peeked, a dazzling hue arrested my eyes.

I saw her.

She crept upon the slumbering earth,

roving in quiet majesty beneath a starry heaven.

That day in autumn did I catch her blush and hold her secrets in my silence.

She danced before me in a grassland clearance and smiled.

And whereupon that smile stole my spirit, she looked on her offspring,

the vineyards and wheat beds,

and pondered the aftermath of the twilight storm.

Then quite in her glory morning knelt before her soil to spread forth

her caress.

Onward she crept like a feline thief as I watched her that day in autumn,

her tide almost in.

And conducted she the meeting of rays to rain on rooftops.

Morning bowed when she caught sight of the ground below

on which rested a wet leaf and a chilly worm.

Victim to the biting crisp was he, that worm, changing tempos of his journey,

slowing to decipher a warmer place.

And in her maternal clemency morning scooped him up in her palm and blew

a warming breath;

the tiniest of treasures for a journeyed worm.

And I wept for her gentleness and called her god.

I clung to sweet morning as the young cock crew, already bereft of her inevitable passing.

Would that she could live ever to keep me warm.

And morning sobbed.

Anointed she the soil on which I have walked a fair many seasons.

Loved her did I that day in autumn, but understood her not.

Only that madness would take me if not relieved of my pining,

and I gripped fast the hem of her garment lest she leave me

lost in the terrors of night.

Swallowed her I tried,

poured her over me to lose myself within her bosom and linger in her

diurnal greatness.

Yet morning spoke, and bade me fear not the illusory monsters of dark.

“They are but reflections of your fear.”

And morning called herself not god.

“Merely a tilling limb, night being the humble other.”

I would not listen.  Could not.

She passed across my heart, perched me on a high ridge that I might

watch her move through the trees and provoke them to dance.

Morning sprinkled her sun over the sea bed and me.

And out of her sun-drenched gourd drank I, and became like a drunkard.

Never quenching.  Never satisfied.  Always thirsting.

‘Til distorted she became and disappeared.

 

 

A vigiled quiet hung from airy ropes,

as I mourned my mistress’ demise,

and all on earth bowed in reverence,

falling to dreaming as was their custom.

The yellow river ceased its merrymaking and stilled itself to drowse,

where not far from its bank the whippoorwill sang, calling out to the dusky mystery.

Her sun was no more.

How like a tumor my heart did rupture,

for all that once did hide me from black gloom now

sold me like a bawd to night’s fondle.

And I felt morning’s treason and sat helpless.

So night stalked.

Beneath an eerie crescent I hovered and cursed morning’s betrayal,

seeking refuge amid frosted primrose and sleeping cypress.

Thus from the breathless clouds sauntered an infamous moon,

a hunter’s moon,

that rendered ghost stories for an audience perturbed.

And my fear alighted in anticipation of phantoms that walk the earth.

Of dragons and fallen angels that haunt the body and unrest the spirit.

Of skies so black as would harrow up the soul of Proserpine herself,

and make her a blind worshipper of the light.

And night strutted before me in exalted fervor,

as from the pores of earth bled an accompanying symphony of vainglory,

parading before me in a strange and frightening beauty.

Night caught me, a tangled fly.

While set ablaze the sky did he with trinkets of opal and ice.

And dazzled were my unbelieving eyes.

I watched night work in his regal splendor,

sucking up the fugue of day, to spit forth the grand suite of nightfall.

Glorious was the music of this eclipse.

A presence seeped within my flesh,

replacing fear with awe.

And heaven chanted.

Compelled was I to join the firmaments.

Before me night creatures frolicked and showed me his masterpiece.

Dancing fireflies who gave me the tease of light ornamented hickory and oak,

silhouetted against an indigo sky,

whose visions reminisced of Christmas pines.

Whereas the thunderous rumble of nature rang across the celestial roof,

night wrapped me in his lithe black cloak and caused me to fall in deep love.

There I indulged in the dark enigma of night,

drowned myself in his inky nectar to wear him on me,

and thought no more on her majesty the morning.

‘Til while in my reverie night’s tide began to fold,

and before my witness faded from his eminent power to a rueful grey.

My spirit caved as I prophesied a second betrayal.

When all at once the splinter of her dawn dashed out night’s heart and left him to falter.

(So left she my wrecked heart as well.)

And night closed his labored eyes, and nobly fell to his cycled quietus.

 

The fickle two!    Ahhhh, my heart.

 

Serenely did sigh a hummingbird sweet.

Softly did burst into the bloom the magnificent morning-glory.

And whereupon the inconstant night yielded to morning’s inconstant orb,

and I forced to endure the insufferable inconstancy,

once more did I weep.

For loved them both did I that day and night in autumn long ago,

and for the days and nights to come,

of every season.

And sorrowed yet surrendered

that seize them each my prisoner in selfish grip

I could not,

and call them my very own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angela Carole Brown is the author of three published books, The Assassination of Gabriel Champion, The Kidney Journals: Memoirs of a Desperate Lifesaver, and Trading Fours, and has produced several albums of music and a yoga/mindfulness CD.   Bindi Girl Chronicles is her writing blog.   Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube.

I Discover Treasures

CrosswalkBox

 

Newborn pups suckling from their mother
who is wary of the stranger stopping to take it all in.
As well she should be for her protection of her young is a wonderful thing to behold.

A lone bloom in a garden full of yet-grown flowers.

A couple on a street corner holding hands and kissing.
Perhaps a little too intimate for public view.
So deliciously meretricious.

A crosswalk box so layered in endless encounters with midnight taggers and their spray paint cans
that it has transcended its civic role and become art.

A fledgling on the pavement before me
whose little life has been lost from falling out of the nest too soon.
The scurrying ants upon it.

The windshield glass in the street shattered into snow and the splats of red upon it.
The ubiquitous yellow tape.
Remnants of a city tragedy that are merely an inevitable part in the tapestry.

A sky that radiates a marbled canvas of unspeakable magnificence.
Or the rolling dark angry eyes of a tempest creeping.

The tiniest thing is mine.

All mine.

To love.

To cherish.

To covet.

To reflect upon.

To mourn.

Perhaps a moment of silence and a bowed head.

Just another day on my morning walk.   A meditation.

Until it is someone else’s turn for a captivating discovery.

And then to be able to let it go.

To appreciate its impermanence.

To move on to the next wonder.

The next brush.

The next audacious interception with life in all of its astonishment.

I once opened a fortune cookie to a fortune that was meant for me:
You discover treasures where others see nothing unusual.

 

I DO discover treasures where others see nothing unusual.

It is my proudest trick.

I also brazenly plagiarize fortune cookies.

 

 

 

 

 

Angela Carole Brown is the author of three published books, The Assassination of Gabriel Champion, The Kidney Journals: Memoirs of a Desperate Lifesaver, and Trading Fours, and has produced several albums of music and a yoga/mindfulness CD.   Bindi Girl Chronicles is her writing blog.   Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube.

Four Points of a Twenty-three Day Odyssey

 

Abstract-Painting-Fluid-Acrylic

 

1.

. . . And he told them he didn’t do portraits.

They asked him why, and he said because

the last time he did a portrait he was

screamed at by the model who claimed

he didn’t capture the true her.

As if she might’ve had some clue

as to what that was.  See, when the work

gets too personal for anyone else besides him,

that’s when he always gets into trouble.

And there are all the little ulteriors that

hang in the balance, besides.

So he doesn’t do them.

But this family wouldn’t leave him alone.

And it’s not as if he doesn’t like to be begged.

Who doesn’t?

But these people were REALLY trying to

twist at his heartstrings.

They said the portrait was in memory of their dead mother.

Oh, boo hoo.

And when that didn’t work – sentimentality rarely does with him –

then they tried to yank on his empty pockets

with offers of ungodly amounts of money.

And that is where he fell.

It’s where he always falls.

Plus, they were able to convince him,

gullible fool that he can be,

that a dead woman could hardly

scream at him about a job not well done.

So they all shook hands, and the process began.

An impossible one, he would later come to find,

but then he’s always been of the opinion that

Creation is a job for someone with at least

a high school diploma or the equivalency.

And at all times requires a crash helmet.

 

 

 

 

2.

. . . How had he let himself fall for it again?

How do you paint someone you don’t know?

Because, you see, it isn’t just a face you paint.  It’s a spirit.

An energy.

So, faced with that puzzle, and since he didn’t know the dead woman personally,

he decided he would do everything he could think of to learn about her life.

He started gathering, collecting, rallying around him all the trinkets that spelled her life.

Anything her family could possibly dig up.

Photographs.  Letters.  A handkerchief bearing the scent of

lilacs and mothballs.  Very telling, that one.

Purses with lipsticks glued inside.

There was a pair of old nylons,

never worn, just packed neatly away in a rusted hope chest.

A brooch of black pearls and emeralds.

Most of the emeralds missing.

A very badly tarnished silver teething cup

with a name inscribed.  Hmmmm.  Laura.

Just like the movie.

A dead rose from Laura’s funeral, which someone had

flattened between the pages of

Psalms and Proverbs.

And an old, musty, floral-printed dress.

He placed every bauble and memory on tables and chairs all around him,

And just sat for days,

staring at the stained wallpaper,

feeling a bit like the irascible Raskolnikov.

He held in his hand the dead woman’s hair brush,

all ensconced in tangled and mangled

grey and black hairs.

Slowly he lifted it to his nose to smell.

Only hair.  Nothing special.

You know, what can you really get from hair?

Maybe a hint of old, stale Bergamot.

Just trying to get acquainted.

He felt like he was on a first date.

What the hell.  He popped a few Black Mollies and started.

But to his hallucinogenic dismay, his first stroke was weak –

ignorant – uncommitted – bullshit!

The color was wrong, the light was wrong, the intent was wrong.

So he threw it out, and sat three more days.

He had run through every canvas and every little tube of his oils

trying to express dead Laura.  Then he couldn’t even afford to

re-stock his supplies!

So in pure and pissed-off desperation, he thought to his huffing self,

I will slit my wrists if I have to,

and paint her on the walls with my own blood!

The truth is, it’s just too goddamned expensive to be a starving artist these days.

And a good dental plan certainly couldn’t hurt to make it a more sought-after position.

 

 

 

3.

. . . So he just sat.

For days upon days with the sights and smells of dead Laura.

Reading her letters, memorizing her penmanship, sleeping with her quilt draped over his legs.

He paced his flat for countless unbathed, sweaty days,

and went through several fifths and an easy carton of Marlboros.

He listened to the weeping timbre of Callas on an old turntable, because that voice was how he felt.

Until one day, out of the blue, after all of the madness,

for mad was what he had become,

he suddenly realized – he was wearing her.

Laura.

As one puts on a cloak and lavishes in its feel, so he wore her very life on his ripe body.

It hung from his limbs, perhaps a little snug in the arms,

but every part of her was now in his grasp.  Every little nuance.

He knew her better than he knew himself.

He was a bit awed and trembling, but needed to shake it off so that he could keep going

and actually get some paint to canvas.

He immediately hastened to the business of stretching a canvas on a 10 ft. x 10 ft. frame.

So huge and unmanageable was the thing that he had to literally lie on top of it.

He mixed paints with such a flurry that he stumbled clops of swirly color onto the canvas

before it had even been given the chance to be completely mixed,

so much faster did his head work than his hands.

He painted her with a fever by day, and with a pitch by night.

Hues of every conceivable shading and variation surfaced.

Thoughts toppled over one another to get to the canvas.

And a sort of unhinged randomness became his M.O.

For twenty-three haunted days of glorious, glorious madness

he pranced and flung paint to the round-the-clock screams of Fishbone

(he had long, by this point, abandoned Callas)

and a half pint of Old Forester.

And it was – a masterpiece.

Was he even allowed to feel that?

Somehow, he didn’t care.

He circled it for fear that he’d dreamt it.   But it was real.

And he breathed in the smell of her, which was beyond the pungent turpentine, stale bourbon, and cigarette smoke.

He stared at her until she bewitched him, and he would be so bewitched.

She was strong, yet sad and eloquent, just like her love letters.

And angry too, like that cracked hand-mirror that he could just see her

dashing against a wall.

Yet vulnerable, as in the melancholy eyes that graced every one of her photographs.

But most of all . . .

Well, look for yourself.

Is she not the most exquisite beauty you have ever seen?

It probably comes as no surprise by now that he had

fallen in love with Laura.

The minor detail that she was dead didn’t seem to stop that

ball from dropping, did it?

So the cliché IS true.  All artists do fall in love with their models.

Even the expired ones.

This career is definitely not for the faint of heart.

 

 

 

 

4.

. . . And then as if the laws of fate weren’t already

finding him the perfect punch line to a joke,

the family of dead Laura was not, as it turns out,

especially thrilled with his portrait after all.

Idiot!   (This was to him, not them)

He should know better.

How many times in the past had he already walked into this trap?

See, they wanted something they could put on their mantle like a holy shrine,

to decorate with flowers.

They weren’t interested in something they might have to ponder!

They wanted something they could readily identify.

Like a police sketch!

“It doesn’t even look like her.”

“It doesn’t look like her?  It is the very essence of her!”

They asked him how he would know that.

“How would I know that?  How would I know that?

HUMAN NATURE IS MY JOB!”

“Human nature? Human nature?  Is that what you call it?  Human nature?  Well, maybe buddy, but what do you know about our mother? What do you know about our mother? What do you know about our mother? Whatdoyouknowaboutourmother!!!”

They were mindless wind-up toys.

He could not stand the sound of their voices.

“We’ve lived with her all our lives.  What have you lived with?   A hair brush?  A broken mirror?”

He finally burst:   ” I’VE WORN THE PANTYHOSE!  CAN YOU SAY THE SAME!!!?”

What kind of fetishistic weirdo are we dealing with?  they must surely have been thinking.

He didn’t care.

The truth is, they’d’ve fared better taking her photo to a booth on Coney Island for a three-minute chalk portrait,

and he told them as much.

They called him a narcissistic dilettante.

He called them cretins.

And once again, between artist and the

rest of the conscious world, it seemed,

there lay the abyss.

And so the family of dead Laura stormed off

with all her trinkets and whatnots,

and he walked away with no money in his pockets,

but his own Laura right there on his wall,

where no one could ever touch her again.

She was his.  He was hers.

And as he sipped, not swigged this time, his shot of Old Forester,

he could not help but reflect on an Ingmar Bergman line:

I could always live in my art, but never in my life.

 

 

 

 

 

Angela Carole Brown is the author of three published books, The Assassination of Gabriel Champion, The Kidney Journals: Memoirs of a Desperate Lifesaver, and Trading Fours, and has produced several albums of music and a yoga/mindfulness CD.   Bindi Girl Chronicles is her writing blog.   Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube.