Rapidwrite - August 31, 2010 1:22 P.M.

What I'm Never, Ever, Going to Do:

I am never going to write about Fabio, even though technically, now that I've written his name, I have, so I might as well say that he just can't expect to be taken seriously as an actor, ever, especially after posing shirtless with that feigned furrowed brow and pursed lips, on the cover of countless romance novels.

I am never going to write a vampire story, unless it's about a vampire without health insurance, that is near-sighted and has terrible hearing, so that the majority of his activities consist of grumbling about how hearing aids and glasses are too expensive to purchase when one is self-employed, squinting and stumbling about, completely unaware of the screams and chaos, until he finds a peach tree and out of desperation, sucks all the fruit dry, only to discover that he is indeed, a fruit bat. On second thought, vampire satire could be funny.

I am never going to speak to Hobo Spider ever again. No, that is not the person's name, but it's what I have named this person so I won't get sued, (in the case the poisonous little arachnid crawls out of its lair and finds its way here). There are a lot of litigious people out there, and that little spider loves lawyers, (and incidentally, plastic surgeons, but that's another story).

I am never going to get any plastic surgery procedures done, unless I have a rhino horn grafted to my forehead. That's not very likely, so I'm going to go all old school and count each line and spot's arrival, and patiently wait and see just how long it takes for my face to fall off my skull.

I will never eat Skittles, especially the red ones since they remind me of the dentist. I mean this.

I am going to stop saying never because I always fall in to the same old "never" trap and do exactly what I say I will never do, (this does not apply to red Skittles).

to-do list by Sasha Cagen

Rapidwrite - August 27, 2010 1;04 P.M.

There is nothing more than this moment. Nothing more than this cloud-sheltered sky. This heat. The minutes ticking toward darkness. The piccato sound of fingers tapping keyboard as the ticker tape language spreads across the page.

More Than This - Roxy Music
Breakable - Fisher

Rapidwrite - August 25, 2010 1:22 P.M

The air presses like condensation trapped on the inside of a soup pot lid. It is an oppressive, heavy heat. A melting heat. The oscillating fan provides little relief. No clouds visible outside my office window. The sky holds the fire of an opal. In this room pencils scratch rapidly like quills across rice paper, thoughts like heavy cream spilling, catching fire.

Martha Stewart Living paint samples salt glaze, opal, spring melt, rice paper, heavy cream, bay leaf

Fifty Years of Marriage: Ann & Dan

Lawrence Raab

Years later they find themselves talking
about chances, moments when their lives
might have swerved off
for the smallest reason.
What if
I hadn’t phoned, he says, that morning?
What if you’d been out,
as you were when I tried three times
the night before?
Then she tells him a secret.
She’d been there all evening, and she knew
he was the one calling, which was why
she hadn’t answered.
Because she felt—
because she was certain—her life would change
if she picked up the phone, said hello,
said, I was just thinking
of you.
I was afraid,
she tells him. And in the morning
I also knew it was you, but I just
answered the phone
the way anyone
answers a phone when it starts to ring,
not thinking you have a choice.

You always have a choice. Just as my parents chose each other, and more importantly, chose to stay together for five decades, raise seven children and oversee a ever increasing brood of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

My parents have been married fifty years. Today is the launch of our family celebration and reunion, and tomorrow evening is their anniversary party for friends and community.

Half a century spent with another person, by choice, is an amazing accomplishment. Even more so when you still look forward to spending time with that person, when you still care enough to argue, when passion still stirs, when shared silence is comfortable.

I am so happy and grateful our family has the opportunity to share our parents' anniversary.

This Moment - 9:35 P.M. August 5, 2010

The dogs are barking at the ghost. He lives upstairs and is particularly good at opening closed doors and shutting them, sometimes to great effect, with a dramatic swoosh. It is a little funny that our ghost has a sense of humor. My dogs are never amused. Sometimes he walks loudly on the wood floors, as if he's wearing hard heeled dress shoes. Sometimes he talks while the dogs bark, and is silent the instant the barking ceases. I have decided he is here to help, and as long as he doesn't intrude, I suppose he's a good a guest as any.

End Days of Summer Reading List

I think it was Plato or Artistotle who said, Observe the child, know the man. Here's my version, Observe the bookshelf, know what's rolling around in the head.

Man and His Gods - Home W. Smith ~ foreward by Albert Einstien

Paris Times Eight: Finding Myself in The City of Dreams - Deirdre Kelly

The Portable Faulkner - edited by Malcolm Cowley

A Swift Pure Cry - Siobhan Dowd

The Annunciation of Francesca Dunn - Janis Hallowell

Queen of Your Own Life: The Grown-Up Woman's Guide to Claiming Happiness & Getting The Life You Deserve - Kathy Kinney and Cindy Ratzlaff

The Yiddish Policemen's Union - Michael Chabon

How to Tune Up Your Life: Magical Tools to Smooth Life's Often Bumpy Road - Murray Oxman

The Happiness Project - Gretchen Rubin

She: Understanding Feminine Psychology - Robert A. Johnson

A Room of One's Own - Virginia Woolf

True Notebooks - Mark Salzman

The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life - Julia Cameron

This Moment - 1:52 P.M. August 1, 2010

At this moment a plane is lifting from the ground, giving its heft and weight to the sky, its sharp needle dividing the blue. He slumbers in the belly of the metal bird, his nose whistling a sharp c-note on every exhale. A woman secreted in the belly of another time zone lights a match, throws it down, watches it grow, and says, "let it burn".

Poem Therapy at 8:12 A.M. August 1, 2010

Five Easy Prayers for Pagans
Philip Appleman

O Karma, Dharma, pudding & pie,
gimme a break before I die:
grant me wisdom, will, & wit,
purity, probity, pluck, & grit.
Trustworthy, helpful, friendly, kind,
gimme great abs and a steel-trap mind.
And forgive, Ye Gods, some humble advice -
these little blessings would suffice
to beget an earthly paradise:
make the bad people good
and the good people nice,
and before our world goes over the brink,
teach the believers how to think.

O Venus, Cupid, Aphrodite,
teach us Thy horsepower lingam, Thy firecracker yoni.
Show us Thy hundreds of sacred & tingling positions,
each orifice panting for every groping tumescence.
O lead us into the back rooms of silky temptation
and deliver us over to midnights of trembling desire.
But before all the nectar & honey leak out of this planet,
give us our passion in marble, commitment in granite.

O Shiva, relentless Spirit of Outrage:
in this vale of tearful True Believers,
teach us to repeat again and again:
No, your Reverences, we will not serve
your Gross National Voodoo, your Church
Militant – we will not flatter the double faces
of those who pray in the Temple of
Incendiary Salvation.
Gentle Preserver, preserve the pure irreverence
of our stubborn minds.
Target the priests, Implacable Destroyer –
and hire a lawyer.

O Mammon, Thou who art daily dissed
by everyone, yet boast more true disciples
than all other gods together,
Thou whose eerie sheen
gleameth from Corporate Headquarters
and Vatican Treasury alike, Thou
whose glittering eye impales us
in the X-ray vision of plastic surgeons,
the golden leer of televangelists,
the star-spangled gloat of politicos –
O Mammon, come down to us in the form
of Treasuries, Annuities, & High-Grade Bonds,
yield unto us those Benedict Arnold Funds,
those Quicksand Convertible Securities, even the wet
Judas Kiss of Futures Contracts – for
unto the least of these Thy supplicants
art Thou welcome in all Thy many forms. But
when Thou comest to say we’re finally in the gentry –
use the service entry.

O flaky Goddess of Fortune, we beseech Thee:
in the random thrust of Thy fluky favor, vector
the luminous lasers of Thy shifty eyes
down upon these, Thy needy & oh-so-deserving
petitioners. Bend down to us the sexy
curve of Thine indifferent ear, and hear
our passionate invocation: let Thy lovely,
lying lips murmur to us the news
of all our true-false guesses A-OK,
our firm & final offers come up rainbows,
our hangnails & hang-ups & hangovers suddenly zapped,
and then, O Goddess, give us your slippery word
that the faithless Lady Luck will hang around
in our faithful love, friendships less fickle than youth,
and a steady view of our world in its barefoot truth.

It's Sunday, day of rest and reverence, day of no purchasing, no swearing, no work other than making dinner and cleaning up the mess, day of prayer and reflection, day of paying tithing and homage to god, his son, his mother, all the saints, depending on which church you're sitting in, of course. I try very hard to not sit in a church, and the most part, suceed in my endeavor.

I grew up Mormon, and sat in a church for three excrutiating long hours every Sunday. I remember thinking that when it was legal, I was getting out. I really thought it was some kind of law that you had to stay until the age of 18, and in reality, although I left my religion behind somewhere in early adolescence, it was law, albiet, unwritten, to sit in that church as long as I lived in my parent's house. So I did. Once I left my parent's house, I left the religion, although it took some time shaking off the habit, a lot of soap box monologues and saber rattling, hours wasted looking out the corner of my eyes at anyone and everyone who sat in a church or tried to get me to sit with them, years trying on other religions only to find I had to lie down on the bed to get the zipper up, and years denying, pretending, ignoring, all the while adding to my staggering collection of religious icons and ephemera, until finally cobbling together my own belief system that didn't include a church, or systemized structure. Can I articulate this system? Not really.

Which leads me to my off and on quest to discover the first myth, and the invention of god. Sacrilege? To some. Am I grateful I don't live in the bloody Middle Ages, or bloody Reformation, or bloody Enlightenment, or bloody name your time period, etc..., and that I exist in the age of religious apathy, where zealots and lunatic fringes are for the most part, well, on the fringes? Of course. Do I understand there are no aetheists in foxholes? You better believe it, and every foxhole I've ever been in, guess who's ear I want. Does that make me a hypocrite? Probably, but get a stick and shake it and I bet you will discover, that so is everyone else, church sitters, or not. I'm not an aetheist. I've tried to be gnostic (I still like this), an animist (think trees & everything connected with spirit), a pagan (think total New Age b.s.), a Baptist (think big choirs, a band, lots of clapping and shouting, stand up, sit down, sing, dance a little, and you'll understand the draw), a Catholic (I am a sucker for icons and ritual, and strangely, anything chanted in Latin, but a cursory glance at the Inquisition, Crusades, Popes past & present, and the whole priest abuse scandal, well, let's just say I've been disabused of my inclination in that direction), and a few non Christian religions as well. Nothing stuck.

I like Einstien's belief that he watches the universe to understand his idea of god, the Old One.

I can sit in that church.