Saturday, February 28, 2009

Oh, Tiger

How could you do this to us?
How could you let us down this way?
Accenture has just dropped you like a
moldy bag of garbage
tossed out on the curb for pick-up.

And pick up you did.
Cocktail waitresses, for crying out loud.
Hostesses at private clubs,
Buxom porn stars,
Paid escorts,
Pancake house waitresses.
The bad news keeps on coming.

You’re still number one on the internet:
most frequently googled celebrity
currently mired in scandal.
Child protection investigators beating
on your door.
Sightings of Elin gassing up her SUV,
minus her wedding ring.
Rumors of divorce, pay-offs, and pre-nups.

Hell hath no fury, brother.
Didn’t you know that?
Didn’t anyone ever tell you not to put in writing
what you don’t want the whole world to see?

The world watches in bewildered amazement
as one mistress after another steps forward,
as if on cue,
to reveal shameful secrets while
grabbing their fifteen minutes of fame.

Why can’t we look away?
After all the tweeters and bloggers
and TV talking heads
and late night comedians
and pop psychologists and
sports broadcasters
and talk show hosts
have weighed in,
we stare, transfixed,
as a national treasure self-destructs.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Taxi Ride in San Miguel

The dinged up green taxi does an abrupt U-turn
in response to my hand-in-the-air signal.
The dark eyed, dark haired driver flashes
his perfect smile directly at me.

I muddle through my directions, in less
than perfect Spanish. He nods, understanding.
I settle myself in the backseat
and peer out the window. The taxi bounces

along on the narrow cobblestone streets,
dodging pedestrians, stray dogs, and other motorists.
Never meant for auto traffic, these winding passageways
thread relentlessly skyward toward the Parroquia.

We pass Parque Juarez, in all its formal splendor. Vendors
from the countryside have filled the park with flowers today.
The Candelaria Festival is underway, a partly Christian, partly pagan
holiday commemorating Christ’s birth and the fertility of seeds.

I spy a flower vendor, a young Mexican girl,
her hands full of white calla lilies.
I pinch myself. Can this be real?
Or am I staring at a Diego Rivera painting?

I pass a storefront, open to the street,
filled with roasting chickens on spits.
Thirty or more birds spiral in space
above a black, cast iron grill. I am suddenly starving.

We drive past the Buen Café, with its magnificent garden courtyard
and delectable cuisine. I am tempted
to stop to savor a glass of Aqua de Jamaica,
Mexico’s ruby red hibiscus flowers.

We are nearing the Parroquia, San Miguel’s most famous landmark.
This magnificent church, with its pink cantera stone façade,
rises to the heavens like a gothic, Disneyland castle.
A statue of Juan de San Miguel stands vigil out front.

I exit the cab, hand over 25 pesos, and look around. The well-
manicured Jardin stands directly before me.
Vendors approach with trinkets in their hands.
I suspect that most of these are made in China.

“No, gracias,” I say to those who approach me.
It’s hardest to ignore the children. They stare with imploring eyes.
Their mothers, dressed in sherbert-colored aprons, watch
and wait. How privileged I must appear to them.

In the garden a Mariachi band is playing.
Vendors selling corn on the cob and fruit cups
compete with ice cream sellers, scooping up
flavors like mango, avocado, and papaya.

Couples stroll through the square, holding hands.
I wonder where their chaperones have gone.
An artifact of an earlier age, perhaps. Pretty girls
with black, shiny hair link arms as they pass

me by. School age children, wearing matching green warm-up suits,
file through the square, accompanied by their teachers.
Mothers carrying babies are everywhere.
They all seem to own the same fleece blanket.

I wander through the Mercado.
Fresh fruits and vegetables tempt me to buy.
I linger at the stalls selling Talavera pottery.
I purchase a hand-woven rug, made in Oaxaca.

Time to leave; I know my way home.
I decide to walk, despite the cobble stones.
I head down Calle Jesus toward Parque Juarez.
I walk through the park so I can smell the gardenias.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


I slather a thick layer of molding paste
on 140 pound hot pressed paper and
dig into it
with golf tees, combs, Afro picks
and my fingers.

Aboriginal marks, petroglyphs, ancient symbols
from the collective unconscious
come pouring out .
Pouring out of me.
Pouring onto the paper.

I tease apart some cheesecloth,
decoupling warp from woof,
to create whispy filaments
embedded in a strata
of heavy matte medium.

My spackling knife smears stripes of
alizerin crimson, transparent pyrole orange and cerulean blue.
Wild, frenzied colors evoking
jungle drums
and monkey screams.

Seed beads add sparkle.
I drop them into the gel medium
and watch them settle.
Then I shred and tear my fabrics and foils,
glue them to the surface,
add layers of leafing,
copper, silver, and gold.

A thin wash of interference gold paint
obscures the black gesso lurking underneath.
Mocking all physical laws, the reflected light
levitates off the surface of the sheet and
spirals into space.

Underlying silver leaf flashes like a
pogie near the pier.
Its submerged silhouette reveals itself
only if the light happens to catch it.

I have no preconceived plan,
no predetermined destination.
I charge down the path alone but
have no idea where it will lead me.
Nor will I be certain when I have arrived.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hello, Bombshell

That’s what the ad said
so I figured why not?
Why not me?

It’s four days before Christmas.
Kierland Commons is infested with
desperate shoppers.
I find a parking spot.
I walk into Victoria’s Secret.

The store is stuffed.
I look around.
Victoria looks a lot like
Frederick’s of Hollywood these days.

”Sexy little no-shows for less”
taunts one table.
“Fun and flirty underthings”
shrieks another.
I saunter over to the Sleepwear Section.

I fondle a few of the babydoll nighties
hanging on the rack.
I glance at a red satin bustier.
A leopard skin teddy lures me over.
I wonder who will buy the lace slip with garters.

On to the panty tables.
There are bikinis, boyshorts, briefs,
cheekies, hip huggers, thongs,
V-strings, garters and no lines.

The panty names are beyond fabulous:
Cheeky curved Hem Hipster, Jeweled V-string,
Peek-a-boo Garter Thong, Brazilian String Bikini,
Nicki the Magical Knicker,
and Fishnet Lace-up Cheeky Panty.

But I didn’t come here to buy panties.
It’s bras I’m after. Bombshell bras.
I’m here to find the new miraculous TM
push-up bra that adds two full cup sizes
for maximum cleavage.

I charge over to the bra counter.
As I wait for assistance,
I glance into a glass case labeled
Shapewear and Adhesives.
In the case are clear, gelatinous pouches
of …… what?
Saltwater? Silly putty? Jello?
There are shaping inserts, invisible uplift shapers,
invisible demi-bras, gel inserts, and
gel petals.

Collectively known as “chicken cutlets,” these
little marvels have been used by super models
for years. Now, at last,
they are available to the rest of us.

A frantic sales associate puffs over to me.
“How can I help?” she asks.
“I’m here to try on the new Miraculous Push-up Bra,”
I retort. “The one with twinned adjustable straps that
can also be worn halter or racerback. The bra that
sports underwire cups and is padded for ultimate lift:
Level 5.”

In the privacy of the dressing room,
I gaze at myself in the mirror.
A low whistle of appreciation escapes my lips.
“Hello, Bombshell.”