joannebest











{April 18, 2014}   This Hollow Space

hollow1
cover me in silence
keep away the light and leave me,
here,
stuck inside myself,
for the outside sounds are harsh
and i’m already broken, or
whisper to me, if you would,
a lullaby, just for me,
an epic story for the ages,
a ballad to restore my soul
for i have been abandoned,
join me in this hollow space
far beyond the visible,
unarmed and unprotected
for these fortress walls are strong
and we can keep each other safe,
although it’s been a very long time,
trust was once believable,
and i’m unsure if i can find my way back there,
so please, throw my name into the wind,
if i can grasp it in my hands,
or scent you in the air,
we can meet between the pauses,
where you can remind how the sun feels again
and i can remember how to breathe
hollow2



{April 17, 2014}   Happy Birthday Mom ~ RIP

mommy
It’s no secret I’ve always been a Mama’s girl.
Actually it’s something I’m proud of, because in my version of being a Mama’s girl, it just means that my Mom is my Best Friend.
Only now I have to say was.
Today would have been my Mom’s 85th Birthday. Last year we celebrated her Birthday in the hospital, this year we celebrate it in my heart.
I miss her so much.
But today I just want to say Happy Birthday Mommy, I love you always and I will see you again some day but until then, your blood will continue to flow through my veins, my heart will hold onto your spirit and, as I’ve been told, I will continue to become “more and more like your Mother”, to which I will always reply, “Thank you”.
mom1mom2
Mom cutting the cake at her bridal shower; Mom (on the right) with her sister Jeananne
mom3
Mom working on a float for a parade
mom4
Mom in Branch Brook Park with her youngest sister Judy

momandus
Mom, me (on the way to a dance recital), my brother Donald
momdad
Mom and Dad
momfriends
Mom 2nd from the right out on the town
mommy1
I love you Mom.
happy bday in heaven



{April 16, 2014}   Becoming Me ~ Only Sixteen

1moreofme
Confession: when I was sixteen years old I started to become me.
Becoming me didn’t come without a price, I was pretty much a pariah once my Faerie Godmothers got their hands on me and transformed me into a swan.
You know, if swans wore red lipstick and hung out at gay bars and underground dance clubs in NYC on a regular basis.
While the other girls in school were buying prom dresses and doing whatever other normal girlie things they did, I was being plucked and primped and made-over by my gay best friends. Transformed.
I was a quiet book-nerd with not a lot of girl friends, but for some reason I had a handful of really close boy friends who just happened to be gay. I may have been 16 but they were 17 and 18, not much of a difference really but in the later ’70′s, 17 and 18 came with drivers licenses and an entrance to brand new world, where I didn’t have to have fluffy hair and bouncy boobs but instead was embraced for me, all 100 pounds of me. And at five feet nine and a half inches there wasn’t much surplus weight for bouncy boobs. But I digress.
Sixteen years old. How can it seem so long ago yet just like yesterday?
I was so lucky.
Timing isn’t my strong suit but this was one time my timing was timely.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show was just beginning it’s weekend midnight ritual, I wish I kept count of how many times I saw it but I know it was move than 50. It showed every weekend half a block from Manny’s Den, a low key gay bar in New Brunswick, and if we weren’t there, we were at The Gallery in NYC, where the weird and wonderful went to dance.
The beauty of it all was I could tell my Parents where I was going, as long as I was with my gay friends I could go out at 10pm and come home at 9 the next morning (on weekends only, I may have forgotten to mention the times I ditched school to hang out in the city for a few hours).
I can’t do The Gallery justice. A members-only club, hidden amongst dismal surroundings by the Bowery, but inside was Heaven. Nicky Siano was a friend of my GBFF Steven and it was Nicky’s club. New York Magazine called The Gallery, “one of the five most visually breathtaking nightspots of our time” for a reason; it was amazing. Balloons everywhere, mannequins, artwork of all kinds, indescribable light shows and huge gigantic puffy pillows strewn everywhere. Oh yeah, all kinds of celebrities hung there too but that wasn’t a big deal to me.
It was the music.
It’s no secret I’m a Punk Rocker at heart but a good beat is a good beat and when I can feel the bass pumping through my veins and hundreds of people are dancing while the lights go wild, well, how can you not move?
And I gotta tell you, you haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen Grace Jones carried onto a stage like Cleopatra by all these muscle men before she belts out a song.
When we were at The Gallery, me just 16 years old, we were invincible. Monday mornings always brought reality check time with it and I was (usually) back in school, another ignored teenage misfit but inside? Inside I was smiling. I was engraving those memories onto my sixteen year old brain looking forward to making more. It was good armor for the desolation of being 16 and all the emotions that come with it.
~
Because I’m feeling nostalgic already on this very subject, I’m including 2 links for anyone who wants to bother, you can click and see some pictures of The Gallery. It just so happens that Nicky’s movie about The Gallery is coming out this week. It’s extra sad for me that I have to add that Frankie Knuckles narrates the movie and he passed away a few weeks ago. Frankie Knuckles is a legend himself, when I went to his birthday party a few years ago he let me touch his Grammy, which is supposed to be good luck, and when we went back to his living room Chaka Khan came in and sang Happy Birthday to him. RIP Frankie, a huge loss to the music world.
Also, the illustrations were drawn by one of my GBFF’s Robert Ambrose. We’d sit around his room and he’d sketch me and some of our adventures. He would have been a famous fashion designer but he died when he was 22 from brain cancer. I’ll never forget him and always love him. This was sketched after a night out. Yeah, I wore harem pants and platform shoes.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/only-sixteen/

1ofme

http://www.nickysiano.com/Bio.htm

http://www.groovescooter.com/catalogue/nickysianogallery.html



{April 14, 2014}   Me Waiting

waiting2
it’s all me,
somewhere inside this mess
is me,
choking on my swallowed words
intimidated into silence reluctant
while i simmer inside
trying,
that’s not a word, you tell me,
you don’t just try, you just do,
easy for you to say is what my brain whispers,
my mouth agrees out-loud,
hoping you can’t see for miles
because my eyes always give me away,
my voice does too, sometimes,
so i hide behind silence and laughter,
a strange couple perhaps
yet they keep me from screaming out loud,
now the roads are closing, at least for awhile,
and i’m unsure how to breathe
i don’t know where the safe-zone is
in this disconnected space,
no matter how much you say it’s ok,
see, i don’t believe in much but i believe in the inevitable,
inevitably i end up in the dark,
alone and waiting
and now, more than ever, i’m always waiting
waitingg



musee1
She slinks into the room like a cat on valium, not her usual style at all.
Usually she appears out of nowhere, either making a grand entrance or catching me off guard, but this time she’s slow, stumbling almost and she looks haggard, like she’s been through a war and barely made it out with her life.
My Muse is not very forthcoming with her adventures when she’s not here with me, she doesn’t like to share unless it benefits her in some way. Very human-like trait if you ask me.
“I didn’t ask you chica,” she snarls at me. “I have nothing in common with you filthy humans, nothing.”
She doesn’t look me in the eye. Something isn’t right with this whole picture.
“I thought you told me I might not be all human?” She hates when I question her, probably why I can’t stop myself from doing it.
“I said, I’m beginning to have my doubts about it, that’s all.” She slumps next to me on the bed, sighs, then folds one arm across her leather covered chest and throws the other across her forehead. I have no idea how she can move in that thing she’s wearing, it looks like liquid leather was painted over her body.
Gotta admit she wears it well though. Still, something is wrong.
Usually my Muse shows up when I’m sitting in front of my laptop writing. This is the first time she’s popped up while I’m lying in bed, considering throwing in the pen, so to speak. My attempts at writing had run into some stumbling blocks recently and I was so disillusioned with the mess I’d made of my life I wanted to crawl under the covers and do my best Sleeping Beauty impersonation times five. One hundred years wasn’t enough time to retreat into my shell.
“What wrong?” She stares at the ceiling as she speaks.
“What’s wrong?” I ask. “With me? You’re the one going all Sarah Bernhardt, not me. I’m just reading in bed minding my own business, is there something wrong with that? Besides,” I looked my Muse in the eye for the next part,” you disappeared as usual, as much as it pains me to say this, you know I can’t write without you.”
Her eyes flash an assortment of different shades of blue before they settle on the same shade of blue as mine.
She closes her eyes for a moment then looks up at me, a mixture of emotions playing across her face with one notable omission, there is no trace of anger.
Angry, condescending, superior, those were her usual looks my way.
I never saw what looked alarmingly close to, dare I say it, sad?
“You fucked up chica,” she says this softly, solemnly.
“What are you talking about?” She’s really starting to worry me. Even though she’s a pain in my ass I still have feelings for-
Bam.
Crash.
Boom.
And I find myself facedown on the floor, my precious laptop luckily saved by the tumble of blankets surrounding me but my Kindle took a hard hit. I’ll kill her if it’s broken.
Did I mention one of her spike-heeled boots was painfully planted against the small of my back?
“What the fuck?” I mumble into the bare floor. Is this what they mean by ‘eating dust’? I really do need to sweep underneath my bed a little more often.
“Get up.”
“You’re standing on my back.”
“Get. Up.” Her right hand reaches down yanking me off the floor by my hair. She uses her left hand to reach around and grab me by the chin, pulling my head back till I was staring into her eyes. I swear I was looking at two eyes filled with violent waves, stormy didn’t begin to describe the tsunami in her eyes.
I don’t know how I manage to get myself in trouble without doing anything.
“Ok, ok, stop yanking my hair already! That fucking hurts!”
“You don’t know the meaning of the word ‘hurt’ chica. Yet. Now sit.” She points to the bed she just yanked me out of.
“Huh? What game are you playing now because I don’t know the rules to this one.”
“That’s your problem little girl, you don’t know the rules period. Now sit your ass down and explain yourself.”
She towers over me, the way her eyes have me pinned in place suddenly makes me feel like an insect under a microscope.
“Oh you’re an insect alright,” her voice is full of hate. “You’re less than a bug and I can squash you in a snap.”
I jump as she snaps her fingers for emphasis. My hand scrapes against a sharp corner of an old wooden bookcase. The splinter embedded in my palm is deep enough to hurt bad and a smear of blood is left behind, to remind me I’m still alive perhaps?
“See what I mean?” She leans down, yanks me up then pushes me on the bed. “You’re all skittish and jumpy. You’re a wimp, that’s what you are.”
“A wimp? Do people even use that word anymore?” I ask sincerely.
She is not amused. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her so angry, at least not at me.
“Shut. Your. Mouth. And listen,” her voice is stern, fed-up, disgusted. Everything but pleased.
“I’m not in the mood to go through the whole hows and whys thing, so I’m gonna say this once and you’re gonna listen to me. You’re also gonna follow through. Capiche?”
I just nod my head in agreement, afraid to open my mouth yet.
“I may be your Muse but I’m more than that, much more. For now, all that matters is you can’t hide one single thought from me no matter how hard you try chica. That means I know exactly why you aren’t doing what you’re supposed to be doing. You signed up for it missy, if you think you can write anything while censuring yourself in case somebody might get offended or project themselves into something you write you may as well throw that laptop out the window. Because if that’s your plan, whatever you write is gonna suck.”
I just stare at her, mouth agape, speechless. Without words. No reply. No smartass remarks. Nothing.
Because I know she’s right.
Her mouth curls up into a Grinch-like smile and there’s a sparkling green glint in her eyes that wasn’t there before.
I don’t know if it’s a good sign or a bad sign.
“Chica, it’s time to let go of that bullshit in your brain, it’s doing neither one of us any good and if you’d pull your head out of your ass long enough to pay attention, we’re in the middle of a Djinn War with a capital W and you,” she looked down her nose at my still silent face and rolled her eyes before reaching out to place a finger under my chin to shut my still-open mouth. “You, for some unknown reason, are the only one able to get us out of this mess alive.”
While I tried to digest that little tidbit she turned from me and began to pace back and forth, distracted, as if she was involved in another conversation I wasn’t privy to.
“Time is running out chica,” she leaned into me again, her mouth so close to mine I wasn’t sure who’s breath was who’s.
“You know what you have to do. Do it. Now. Don’t try to do it, do it!!!”
She planted a kiss above my eyes. It smelled of reassurance and treachery both, then she disappeared, a thin haze of smoke the only remnant of her appearance.
That and the blood red lip-print on my forehead.
I look at my laptop and sighed.
smokeddd
to be continued…



{April 10, 2014}   Freeze Me

froze
freeze me now
before i melt away
for the fire burns
deep inside me
and i fear i will combust,
turn the key
double the locks
keep the light away and
dim the glow
cover the essence then question it’s absence,
as the show must go on
in case anyone is looking,
this icy shell, cobweb-covered as time steamrolls by
just another day and it all piles up,
layer upon layer thickens my skin
so heap it on me,
throw me down and hold me under,
the cold will control the sizzle
and keep me hidden till i can burn again
freezeme1



{April 9, 2014}   Hallelujah Moment

fire1
those hallelujah moments elude me now,
memories whisper
hazy, a forgotten melody i’m straining to hear
slips out of reach,
the trace of fingers, feather-light across my cheek,
gone,
crumbled ashes swept into a corner neglected
as everything dies eventually,
it crosses my mind too often,
the hopelessness,
pointless anticipation inevitably yanked away,
and the wonder,
was it all a dream?
imagined or real the scars cut as deep,
because there is no right or wrong,
some puzzles aren’t meant to be solved
answers don’t always match the hypothetical
but i will burn for my sins, real and imagined,
my sisyphean lot in life,
to throw myself on the fire
in search of another hallelujah moment
fire2



hacked3
Hacked.
Cyber-raped. Penetrated.
Ugh, I feel so violated.
It started on Friday when I found myself locked out of my own email account. Ok, thought I, just another bout of bad luck so I went thorough the motions and changed my password for the zillionth time.
Only this time, it didn’t end there.
This time, and don’t quote me but, this is my story and I’m sticking to it; this time my router got hacked too. I think. Because when I tried to go online I couldn’t, no way no how nada nothing. Locked out of my own world, or my “whole other life” as my attempts at writing have been called. Allegedly.
There were scans involved, rebooting, me having to do things in the correct order plus over four hours straight on the telephone with tech people I could barely understand because I don’t speak computer-ese.
Long three-day-story short, I got fucked in all the wrong ways and all I got was a lousy case of the blues with no outlet to, umm, let out my whining blues.
It’s kinda creepy, knowing there are people in the world who intentionally intrude into your life for no good reason. I can’t wrap my brain around it, why someone I don’t know goes all evil on me when I’m already in no mood.
Or as Queen Victoria said, we are not amused.
Not much amuses me these days.
But I digress.
My point: hacking bad, writing good.
My other point: now that I’ve been offline not-writing for eleventy two days I’ve become hesitant about writing anything. It’s not really writer’s block because I’ve got plenty of words swirling around this head of mine. It’s more like writer’s detour, or maybe writer’s rest-stop, like I’m sitting idle waiting to rev up my engine but the emergency brake is stuck in the on position so I can’t get moving. All of which keeps me static. Immobile. Nonmoving. Guilty.
After all is said and done, somehow, it’s my fault.
You know, because isn’t everything?
hacked



{April 4, 2014}   April Showers Bring Me Tears

momfriends My Mom is 2nd from the right, the hot redhead in green

Last night I dreamed of my Mother.
I’ve dreamed of her a few times since she died but I never saw her face in my dreams. It was always the back of her head, or just that dream-logic-knowledge that she was there with me in the dream. This was the first time I saw her face, looking back at me.
I woke up to a gray rainy day knowing I had a dentist appointment in a few hours, turned on the kettle and fed my meowing babies. As I plugged my phone into the charger I noticed there was a text message, it wasn’t until I began to read it that it hit me.
For those few minutes between waking and looking at my phone, I’d forgotten.
For those few minutes, I forgot my Mother was dead.
For the first time in nearly a year, I lost it. I broke down. Great heaving sobbing break down.
~
It’s no secret I’ve been in the dumps lately.
One of the little habits I have is writing everything down, little notes on a calendar like a mini shorthand diary.
So I knew the day before yesterday, April 2nd last year, she went to the hospital. Only now I am aware of the outcome.
Now I know the ups and downs, released to rehab perfectly fine, only to pass away less than 8 hours later.
~
I’m not wallowing in it, there are a lot of other reasons I’m not feeling up to par, but this, grief, it’s harder than I knew it would be and I don’t know how to do it right.
And I understand it’s different for everyone and we all deal in our own way but I don’t know my way.
I’m lost.
Alone.
Because aren’t we always alone? When you break it down, we are alone. Or maybe it’s just my tunnel vision right now.
I hope it’s my tunnel vision.
~
A few hours ago my Dad called me. My cousin Doreen, my Dad’s (deceased) only Sister’s daughter, died today. She had stage 4 lung cancer. She was in her 60′s and I can’t count all the times I spent at the house with Doreen watching me when I was a child.
I should channel my grief into writing, this I know to be true.
I fear I need a few hours to process, although truth be told, all I want to do is go to sleep and find my Mom again.
I could use a Mom-hug, because there is nothing better.
~
Before I went to sleep last night, I prayed as hard as I could, I begged “Mom, please, I need you, please come to me in my dream, I just need my Mother” and she did.
Is it a coincidence because she was on my mind when I fell asleep?
I choose to believe it was her, because even though it was only a brief period of time, for a little while, my Mom was with me again.
~
But deep in my heart, I know she lives on through me as her blood flows through my veins.
I am truly my Mother’s daughter and for that reason alone, I am blessed.
momdad My beautiful Mom, with my Dad looking at the woman he was lucky enough to marry.



{April 4, 2014}   St. Patrick’s Day, 2014

JoanneBest:

This is perfect and healing for me to read, roadsideweeds is my cohort in all things important, these words are about our journey to Cape May to scatter my Mom’s ashes, only roadside says it much better than I could ever hope to. Beautiful healing perfection <3

Originally posted on roadsideweeds:

Image

the night before,

an arctic breath came

to purify the land

and trim the rippled dunes

with a filigree

of snow

and whip it into fine streams,

white and ghostly channels

that meet the waves

and disappear

out on the rocks,

the sea pounds

cold and salty,

receives ashes,

and carries them

to the place

where the sea

touches heaven

for us,

eternity is the wreath of kelp

left by the tide,

snow decked and yearning

toward the sea

Image

View original



et cetera
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