joannebest











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First it was Hurricane Irene. As some of you know, my Family house collapsed on August 28th 2011, followed a year later by Hurricane Sandy which coincidentally hit the exact same day my Parents moved back into their rebuilt home, October 29th, 2012. Luckily our rebuilt home was unaffected and living 16 days without power was the worst we had to deal with although oddly enough, the small apartment they lived in while the house was being repaired was flooded badly and in fact nearly the entire neighborhood was not only evacuated, but almost every house in that one particular section of Sayreville is being bought out by the Government and knocked down. Tragically, my Mom died unexpectedly April 19th, 2013, so she really didn’t get to enjoy the beautiful new kitchen of her dreams and I lost the best friend I ever had. The last few months have been the hardest months of my life as I try to adjust to my new normal.
It’s no exaggeration to say New Jersey has had a rough few years.
Yesterday, when the local news station broke into regular programming with the horrible news that there was a store on fire on the Southern end of the Seaside Boardwalk you could almost hear the collective gasp of the entire state of NJ.
For months we’ve all seen and heard the commercials boasting how we’re “stronger than the storm” and how we wouldn’t let a hurricane keep us down.
If you’re not familiar with New Jersey (and I beg of you, please don’t think that damn MTV Jersey Shore program has an ounce of reality in it; the actors on that show weren’t even from NJ, the only thing real was the town they filmed in, Seaside Heights), going down the shore is almost a rite of passage. I don’t personally know one person from NJ who hasn’t spent time down the shore and the Seaside Heights Boardwalk was without fail always on the agenda. My own Family would rent a bungalow the first two weeks of July every year in Chadwick Beach, just a walk away from the Seaside Boardwalk.
I’ve pulled many a splinter out of my bare feet from walking that Boardwalk.
Been on nearly every ride and ate my way from one end of the boards to the other.
Won all kinds of junk from plunking down coins as the wheel spun around and the music blasted from every direction.
A walk on the boardwalk was an all out assault on every one of your senses. And I loved it.
Someone out there has a pretty strange sense of humor because today was set to begin the celebration of the 100 year Anniversary of Seaside Heights Boardwalk.

We’ll rebuild, we’ll make it through this disaster as we’ve made it through every other disaster we’ve suffered through, but in all honesty, my heart has taken quite a bruising this year. Watching my childhood sink into the sea last year was devastating, to see the exact same place, just rebuilt in time for the summer, burning to the ground live on television, well as I’m sure you can imagine, has taken my level of devastation to new height. Or maybe I should say new depths.
I need to rebuild myself, just as my state will rebuild itself once more, and we will both succeed.
The following are some photos of the damage, including a video taken this morning by helicopter.
brdwk

boardwlkfire

boardwalkfire

http://www.necn.com/pages/video?PID=WegiNy7fmM586_IM3Ci2F5zLr7eFH29t

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{August 19, 2013}   Remaining Barefoot

dancing barefoot
it would be easier for me to ice you out first,
to shut down this heart of mine and let it freeze solid,
not a thump nor a beat to be heard,
bloodless and frigid,
this isn’t a warning but a statement of fact
based on my own scientific studies and the luck of my draw,
please don’t misunderstand though,
this heat between us rages constant
we both know i always melt,
it’s just that fear whispers with the wind sometimes,
future fallout nags at me and my shelter has been destroyed
consequently i don’t trust me or you or any of this,
one big gust and we all fall down,
i step cautiously as i wait for the other shoe to drop,
and that does nothing but keep me walking in circles,
so until further notice, i shall remain barefoot,
feel the fire beneath my flesh
burn like we were meant to burn
shake up the mainstream and set us ablaze
the way we’re intended to be
burningice



redlipstickchanelred
Two coats of Chanel Red and I could still taste James on my lips.
The streets were quiet on the walk home but my mind was noisy.
After I goaded James into kissing me he disappeared as usual. Not literally but damn close to it.
He infuriated me with his stupid logic and common sense.
He also tasted a little like warm honey and cinnamon. And that kind of thinking is what gets me in trouble.
But that’s the thing, it shouldn’t be trouble.

I thought back to the night James almost kissed me in my car, when the snow fell fast and hard, covering us and keeping the world outside. He was still torn about the idea of us as an ‘us’ and I knew he still felt guilty about the whole making-me-a-vampire thing.
It was freezing that night and it surprised me that we both shivered.
I didn’t realize that cold would bother vampires.
Huddled close together in front of the heater-vents we found our mouths just a breath away when there was a sharp rapping on the window.
We jumped apart, it was my drummer telling me the gig was cancelled because of the storm.
Just another convenient excuse for James to grab onto out of a misplaced sense of honor.
He thinks he’ll clip my wings before I fly or something equally as ridiculous.
Sometimes I think he’s just afraid to let himself have what he wants.
Of course if I told him that he’d just roll his eyes.

Tonight though, when his animal showed through and he kissed me exactly how I remembered, I saw a change in his eyes, a fire to equal mine.
I could see in his eyes that he knew there was no turning back.
I had passed that point long ago.
fireeyes



{May 9, 2013}   When We Are Invisible

ange;s
We sat alone that night
shivering from the cold
and the heat sparked fire right there in the dark
it’s a rare occasion
when we can talk and breathe
finally free from unkind eyes upon us
I can still feel your heart beating in time with mine
a symphony of desire mingled with fear
as we compared battle scars
and counted up the previous losses
there was a hesitation in your eyes
a reflection of my own
but the sparkle won out and we melted together
defying the odds
and keeping it down low for the most part
sometimes we fly when nobody’s watching
slipping through the shadows and ducking the spotlight
the details don’t matter at this point in time
we can duck and cover and wait it out
knowing with certainty
that everything comes out better in the wash



et cetera