Beckett, Feminism and Horses, Oh My

 

Let's go

Okay, before we get started, an update. The dandelion wine bubbles away yet. Saturday could possibly be the day I will drain the flotsam, strain it and then seal it away in some somewhat clean jars. I cleaned out the pickle jar– it’s gallon-sized– for my wine endeavors. Grandpa!! I made some wine! My first sip is for you.

I have almost sixty pages written on a NEW PLAY. Ugh a bug in a elitist rug! Whee and whoopee and yippee skippee. What’s worse is how much I’m enjoying writing it. I should be dredging the burned French fry remains of my toxic soul and instead I’m skimming the airs around me as lightly as some lead-footed butterfly, giggling to myself, giggling foully to myself. O woe is me, O Israel, I am giggling. I was working on the Tales of Beastface Bay and kinda smacked up against a rock wall with a Christmas-ish tale. I’d written enough about that imaginary coastal region for a bad novel, anyway, hello!

I don’t know what the Honest Women could be classified as. It took a decidedly weird turn at the end of Act One. I wrote a rather conventional and staid little Act One ending, with no idea where this play is ‘going’. It has no BIG TRAJECTORY that will WIN IT PRIZES. But then again, people argue that Waiting for Godot...and right there I start screaming and throwing things, like a monkey with a crack baby on its back. Am I comparing myself to Beckett?? Oh the horror!! Is my arrogance at composing conversation infecting me like a French pox?? [I hope not. Shudder. French pox.] What it does have is FEMALE CHARACTERS. Lots of em. Heaps o’gals. So many gals! It’s an all-gal salad with all-gal dressing. I feel you pulling away, gentle raindrops.

 

What that has to do with my whimpering that Beckett’s plays resemble still life escapes me at the moment. [I just felt a disturbance in the force as Beckett fans got a throbbing headache because someone somewhere DOESN’T LIKE BECKETT. Excuse me, I have to backtrack and assure them, yes, Beckett was a fine playwright, it’s okay now, shhh, relax. Shhh. It’s okay. Godot’s not coming today, yes, it’s brilliant. Let mama make you some lemonade.] Oh!! Yeah. Because my play just tap dances instead of drudges through Swan Lake like a good little trouper. Um. It’s one of those splatter paintings instead of a landscape with every leaf painted on the patient willow trees. Better?

 

Yeah, so it will never get produced, probably. I did keep the bad words to a sickening minimum and I make fun of feminism, hell, and liberals. Sometimes all in one sentence. I also make fun of anti-feminists, heaven and conservatives! No one is sacred, no one is safe. A woman makes out with a suitcase. That’s how Act Two starts. My brain is still waiting for me to thank it, probably with a gift card to Yankee Candle.

 

Because is there a better-smelling store?? If I get to go anywhere after death, I’m hoping whatever deity adopts me lets me sniff candles in the afterlife candle stores or whatever’s out there. Maybe fill my worship hut with Midsummer’s Night, my favorite. I’ll sing all the hymns, in tune, if my worship hut smells like dark summer skies. I’ll just put that out into the universe. I’ll let you know how it works out, of course.

Play! The play is the thing. I’ve been writing rather kitchen sink plays lately– you know, stark gritty reality, ABC linear blah blurgh blah. Now, granted, this play is a bit linear, but it does bulge alarmingly into other territories. I feel so arty! I feel artistic and special! I’m breaking barriers and exploring NEW FORMS and talking about THE ISSUES OF THE DAY AND THE TERRORS THAT INFUSE THE VERY PLANET. Wow, don’t you now want to sit through my play?? Who doesn’t want a bunch of gals screeching about rights for three hours while barely moving and wearing high heels to show they don’t hate men? [Just kidding!]

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I really am taking the toxic [everything seems toxic right now. The entire world seems sick from a case of Toxic Shock Syndrome because the collective tampon got left in a bit too long. Eeeh, gross, she said tampon. That’s right, rabbit, I sure did.] sludge of talk, slurs, slings and arrows and forcing them to trot across my pages like good little ponies. If ponies were made of words, of course. They’re not, I checked. Oooh…I saw this short video today [stop, it does not contain cats or a racist rant from some half-drunk Wal-Mart shopper] on horses. Apparently, they’re treated better than 98% of the humans on this planet. They have their own barn and live ‘free’. As they’re not racing over the high desert hard pan as skinny as rails, well, they’re pampered lap dogs in actuality. Anyhoo!!

The horses, shock o shock, were shown FARTING AND SNORING. I know!! Horses fart and snore?? Yeah, there really wasn’t a giant revelation here. It was just these incredibly spoiled and shiny horses snoozing and letting out long, gurgling anus belches. It was funny and soothing. After hearing all day that the Tangerine Vader thought he had invented the phrase ‘prime the pump’ and that it had fired Comey over how Clinton had been treated…I needed some horse anus belches.

Which is probably why this play seems eager to leap almost whole from my fevered writhing brain.

If you’re a writer [isn’t everyone a fucking writer these days?? Everyone on the entire planet has one of these blog thingies. Hashtag WeAreAllBloggers] then you know those times when the words just gush. Maybe you don’t.

Maybe you’re one of those writers that writes five pages every day, no more, no less, like a writing machine. Those sorts of writers fill me with a whiny sort of “Mmm, okay, whatever, dude. I just found an entire season of Wonderfalls on youtube. I’m watching that instead of working on my Victorian era time traveling steampunk YA dino-human romance flash fiction attempt for this contest I found over on Craigslist.”

My brain seems stuck on overdrive. Which is a bit scary. As a crash is coming and it seems harder and harder to recover from those crashes. Enough of those serious thoughts! I wrote a post-American Empire feminist scream against the dying of the light! Wheee. Well, it’s mostly written. I plan to celebrate the Fin [see Beckett, bwha ha ha] of the Honest Women with a giant tumbler of, hopefully, drinkable and won’t send me to the ER, homemade dandelion wine. Viva la playwright!

Oh…an excerpt? Should I? Dare I? I dare, I dare! From my latest writing project, the HONEST WOMEN. This is first draft fun, my gentle readers!! 

LAURA
That is great advice for followers and sheep. And merpers. Merp merp.

IMA
Merp merp?

LAURA
Merp!
IMA
Merp?

ULVA
Shut. UP.
[ Silence. She goes to the table, takes up a magazine.]
I think we should try being honest. Women are never honest. We can’t be. Not even when we’re alone. It’s not safe.

MANDA
Safe? You’re worried about safe? Now?? They did something to the virgin and they dragged off the rebel. Stop being precious and concentrate on the here and now. We’ve got problems to solve!

LAURA
I think you should play along, Ulva. Or the Garbage Hags can come get you, too. Doesn’t it seem nicer with that trash dragged out of here, Manda? Why don’t you go into a monologue about the virtues of taking the trash out. Boom! And talk about the good ole days where no one cussed and no one did drugs. Where everyone went to church and loved the flag and ate pie. Make it a good one. Make it a barn burner. Make people burst into tears and send checks to politicians to make America great again.

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from the Horse. 

 

 

THE UPDATE NOBODY WANTED

 

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The actual dandelion wine bubblin’ away!

Oh my, the dandelion wine bubbles away on the top shelf!

Whee!! Now that THAT is out of the way, I can progress to something else. Like farts and bacon. Or bacon farts. Or how to include smelly intestinal expulsions into heart-breaking free verse about the end of society as we know it. Making up silly, grotesque verses about bacon-infused farts distracts me from actual world events, of course. I don’t have to pay any sort of attention to trends and patterns developing or that have developed already, say, in France, Poland, ‘murikkka…That scary rise of the authoritarian regime blah blah blah! Blah. Fart! Farts are funny! Fart fart fart!

If I stay distracted and concentrate my scattershot mind more or less on something other than the apparent political meltdown of the entire freaking planet, then maybe things will be okey-dokey. Maybe we won’t head down that road of Repeating History, Derp! with nary a glance at a history paragraph that says hey, don’t do this again.

This is just like the Weimar Republic! Oh fuck off, you snowflake, lol. You’re the snowflake, you idiot’s idiot! Oooh look at you, taking the high road, huh? You’re triggered, lol, snowflake cuck! You’ll be sorry; you know this will effect you as well? Do you think they won’t come for you, too? Triggered snowflake, look at the triggered snowflake, lol! Go fuck yourself, you troll.

That above, in the dazzling green versus orange daringness, seems to be the intelligent exchange of ideas these days. It seems those on opposing sides never get past first base. The two sides never get to home base to enjoy that afterglow ciggie where ideas have been thrashed out and explored, some sort of intellectual climax happened and the afterglow of a foe well met gets cuddled by both. As arguing and debating with someone who’s different than you can be a stimulating experience. [So I’ve been told. I think that was FAKE NEWS WAH] If you’re going to just engage with those just like you, then you might as well watch cat videos and label yourself queen of the universe, that you’re the smartiest smarty pants since ever. I bet you thought I was going to riff on some masturbation theme. Expectations subverted. I’m such a writer gal. Ah! Smiley face for me! :}

Love doesn’t rule the world. Fear does. Fear fear fear. And the love of fart jokes, of course. You can preach love and niceness until the cows amble home from some pastoral pasture, somewhere where those cows are pets and not used for meat or bred repeatedly to make their milk flow. People will nod and smile and get vague noble intentions floating through their heads for a bit until they discover a treasure trove of guys getting hit in the testicles by toddlers with various objects over on TesticleHit!.com. [I made that up. I really do hope that’s not an actual website. Sadly, I think I’m wrong about that. Guys getting bonged in the testicles, right up there with fart jokes. Can I get a smelly amen?] They’ll [peasants, the working man, good moms, etc. ] share videos the rest of the day with buddies and strangers alike on socialist media. Whoops, social media, social. Trigger word!! Argh! [Buzz words. Oh the buzz words, can I get another smelly, stinky amen from the bacon-eating set?]

However, if you preach/speak loudly/spew/whisper FEAR and scream-rant-preachify about ‘they’re’ coming for your– insert things ‘they’ are coming to get or take– and whoopsie daisy, people mobilize. [Mexicans are taking our jobs. Immigrants commit all the crimes. Liberals want to control you. You’re tingling right now to add to this list, ain’t ya??] They, the public, the unwashed masses, the tired and confused and angry, the lost and the botched and bungled, get ‘concerned’. They turn on those they find ‘not like them’. Blah blah, you know this one, I know this one, it’s as old as the, what now, hills, the hills.

 

And yet…we never seem to figure out that fear whips people up a lot faster and into actual killing squads than blubbering on about ‘love’ or ‘tolerance’ or ‘maybe we should try being nice to each other and not get all stirred up and blame entire groups for society’s ills’. That shit only sells when the economy is booming, when people are relatively secure they’re not going to lose everything the next day because they can’t pay their mountain of bills and…yeah. When times are ‘good’. When times are ‘bad’, FEAR IS THE ONLY SAVIOR. [Jesus can’t hold a candle to Fearus. None of the gods can. Fearus, let us embrace thee and do thy bidding.] Those talks of ‘it used to be’. Those speeches about the ‘good ole days’. Oh you’ve heard them, you hearing them now.  Someone right now is whipping up a ‘good ole days’ speech for tomorrow! You can replay these speeches on history sites and hear them on history channels. You can read them in history books. We never seem to catch on that those fear-smeared speeches that galvanize populations into turning on some marginalized ‘other’ all have the same beat that people can dance to. Dance here euphemistically refers to atrocities and bad stuff we read about or watch about and go, gosh, how was that allowed to happen?? Gosh!! Fart are funny! Farts farts farts!

Ah yes, those ‘good ole days’ of halcyon ages past!

 

When God was in school. When children didn’t talk back. When girls were girls and boys were boys. When we could speak our minds without fear. When immigrants stayed in their own countries. When women were content to be ladies, not vulgar vulgarians in pink pussy hats. When hard work got rewarded and nobody got trophies for breathing and waking up that day. When no one did drugs. When we didn’t have to lock our doors and no one tried to take our guns away. When we had actual freedom. When. When. When.

Oh there’s a bullet-point list here that dick-tater wannabes recite with a numbing malice, oh yes. We know this, as humans. That ‘good ole days’ speechifying is as old as the, what now, hills. And yet. And yet! Fart jokes are so flipping funny. Fart noises rock!

It’s like we humans have to experience, first hand, how bad it can get. And then that clawing climb back to some sort of pretend order where mostly such and such have such and such and all is well-ish. Until the actual kings and king wannabes start thrusting that big fearpenis back into the public’s face and…yep.

And then the peasants invent revolutions and rebellions after those same once-cheering peasants who voted for or backed up said kings and king wannabes suddenly ‘discover’ how fooled they were. They then go after the king wannabes and actual kings when ‘things get too bad to take’. When those who were ‘fooled’ by the hate and fear muffin baskets handed out en masse start choking on those same hate-and-fear muffin baskets. Oh my gosh, this affects me?? I’m suffering!! This stuff affects me?? What??!!! It’s not just “they” who are paying?? What kinda bullshit is this!! Take that, you rich cats! Houston, we have a problem. [That’s a reference to astronaut stuff. Yay!]

Yes, I just reduced complex human interactions between those in power and those who are told they are powerless until they’re not and then told how powerless they are until they’re not blah blah rinse and repeat…into a rambling cutesy ramble. #SorryNotSorry. Tee hee!

–Note, update, breaking newz, stuff from the world: Macron will become France’s new President. Rejoice or mourn as you see fit. Done?? Okay!! Back to the throbbing conclusion of this post–

Oh, yeah, that dandelion wine mixture seems to be doing well. There. Full circle, fellow babies. Full circle.

THE GREAT POETICAL ATTEMPT

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from Weebly

Well, after the blistering success of my last post, here’s another post.

There’s this monthly poetry challenge. [ I will not name it, that’s not the point of the following carefully designed and then wonderfully executed blog post here.] I attempt to meet that challenge, with decidedly ghastly results. I think I’m getting worse as a writer, not better. Every month, those at that site offer some artistic rendering for bloomed, blossoming and yet in the bud poets to try their talents on. It can be a photograph, a painting, blah blah. Something artsy. You, the poet, look at this offering and then try to get ‘inspired’.

Moi generally looks at the artsy offerings and explodes into hostile road rage-ish episodes. Is this all now a post-modern dystopian sparkly vampire world that I need to conform to??

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from Popsugar. S.M. Geller as Buffy.

God damn it! Fuck you and your shiny little nice artistic crap! Sit and spin, you grinning daisy-chomping cuntmuffin! [Cue:Sound of car crash, sirens, screaming.]

Right after, I try to yank words from my hostile brain and slap them into some sort of poetical form. Get over here, adjectives!! Get your ass on my page, verbs! I’ll blister your bottom, nouns! Yep, it actually is an Afterschool Special on How Not to Talk to Parts of Speech [imagine, if you will, that it’s an on-the-nose hour on Billy and his mean parents and his mean parents learning their mean tones can hurt Billy and make him steal stuff to get back at them which leads to Billy’s death because he also tried heroin and flung himself out a window. Yeah, ah, the good ole days. Ah.]

I’ve tried three or four times to vomit out something halfway decent I wouldn’t mind a poetical editor/chooser to snort over and reject resoundingly. Maybe I should send the one where I have lines about “I just want to win the cash here, I’m totally writing this poem to win the cash. Pick me.” Is a poet not supposed to be honest?? Shouldn’t I be rewarded for my honesty? [No, I am not sending a fifty line poem, where the bulk of it just says I am writing this for cash/pick me out of the usual trash. I’m not that far gone yet. Yet. Yet!]

Here, I know!! I’ll share some of my poetical ‘attempts’.

Number One attempt: Literal and pungent and fulsome, oh my–

I can only think of the spray paint
used to paint your bones.
How perhaps I will be arranged and posed
when I am dead
and smeared with Flower Power decals
for some grad student’s take
on the Sexy Sixties.
Protest rock will play
in the background
and my bony fingers will flash
peace on earth, good will to men
as she earnestly talks about
how she’s not a feminist
because that’s not needed now
and she’s not a victim.

Here’s number 2– the untitled answer to T.S. Eliot’s the Wasteland, of course…

It turns its head and we all laughed.
I laughed because everyone was laughing.
And I want to fit in and win prizes
because I get tired
of being flesh-covered ordinariness.
Make me an artsy number
murmuring sorts
murmur over.
Make me something those murmuring sorts
have to stop to discuss in low
important tones.
Look, that shade of rose bone,
how fragilely absurd,
how exquisite, how universal
and yet how esoteric
and extremely lonely
and yet friendly and nice and
full of air and shadows
and music’s grandest silence!
They will then move on
to the next display over
and murmur about space
being the new time.
And I will laugh when they laugh
because my bones itch
in the dry air
and I’ve heard
that laughing cures all itches.
It doesn’t.

Number 3 is me having a slight break with reality as we know it:

I’m supposed to be a poet, I said.
Well, be one, she replied. Be one.
Rip the flesh away, use a figurative spoon,
everyone has figurative spoons, use one,
and walk around in your ridiculous bones.
What sort of advice is that?
It’s my advice, she said.
What does it mean?
It means eat a lot of grapes.
Are you sure?

If you can’t glean meaning from a moldy bit of advice,
then yes, it means to eat grapes.
You can’t eat grapes if you’re dressed only in your bones.
Sure you can, she said.
You can mash those grapes against your ribs,
smear them on your cranium,
tuck them into your eye cavities
and pretend you have eyes.
I find I am out of whimsy these days.
I know, she said.
Maybe you should try being a poet.
I hear that helps.

There’s more but you, gentle readers, get the big picture window here, yes? Oooh, what’s that, current events newsie stuff??

I just saw where a woman got convicted for laughing at Jeff Sessions, our new Keebler Elf Grand Dragon-ish, KKK-lite Department of Justice whatever. Um, you’re gonna have to arrest most of us now, kiddos that run ‘murica. We’re all fucking laughing, like, super-hard. And writing bad poems. Really bad poems. Viva la laughter.

QUIT YER CRYIN’, DANDELION!

 

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Homemade bread and homemade dandelion wine. Yep, yours truly can bake a bit. I know!

I picked a passel of dandelion blossoms. The two dogs were understandably confused. Their noses tried to sniff each bloom as I plucked it and they kept trying to get me to go lift stuff up so they could hunt mice. They both also looked toward the gate, hoping I’d grow a heart and let them frolic in the organic onion field. As just last year, this delicate and cannot be touched by dog paws field held alfalfa and a lot of random weeds– and nobody cared what the dogs did to it. Don’t you feel a lot better about what your hamburgers eat now, dears? The fields about the house, actual stretches of tilled earth that solemn American farmers turn into plants they harvest and turn into pennies every so often, have been thoroughly plowed, smoothed, planted. A special drip irrigation system has been set up, too! As the rains here stay on the other side of the mountains; most of Eastern Oregon is in what’s called a rain shadow.

But the dogs, ah, they like to chase each other after digging giant holes  in that once-an alfalfa field, going after field mice or field gophers or phantom rodents of some kind. Bunnies have moved in but the dogs can’t outrun them, which the bunnies know. And yours truly draws the line at bunny slaughter. That’s my line in the volcanic dirt. [As this area once sported volcanoes, and we have several active volcanoes nearby, like Mt. Hood, Mt. Rainier, and yes, Mt. St. Helens. Bwha ha ha.]

I picked dandelion blooms for two whole days. I froze what I had picked, hoping they’d still work for, yes, homemade dandelion wine. Which seems absurdly easy on paper to make. Dandelion heads, some yeast, a shit-ton of sugar, an orange and a lemon, some water. Seal it all up for about two weeks, let it bubble. Strain it, then pour that liquid into jars, seal those jars up, let that sit for a week or so. Easy-peasy, easy breezy Cover Girl! I found this recipe, by the way, over on Allrecipes. As I am underemployed [to be so fucking coy it hurts others to brush against my coyness], I was looking for both a project and some cheap ass booze. Having an imaginary crack addiction is not what it’s cracked up to be. Ha ha. Ha. Okay, anyway! Also, I vaguely remember my mother trying to make this concoction. My mother actually did the whole home canning, pickle your own pickles thing you see in movies about heroic farm women from the Ukraine, dubbed into bad English. She wasn’t from the Ukraine, she was actually born here in America, but you get the vague point, yes? I still have her sweet pickle recipe, it’s actually in a Lutheran cook book

put out by my church…yes, yours truly actually has a church in her background. [That’s why so many of my characters are ALSO LUTHERANS. Amazeballs indeed. Now you know.] I have never attempted to turn cukes or cucumbers into actual pickles. Both my grandmothers also canned and froze produce and made it perform later on at the dinner table. There were canning jars involved and baggies usually full of partially cooked corn and pressure cookers and sugar and fresh dill and steam rising from pots of sliced up this or that.

Now, my boiled dandelion-infused water bubbles away on a top shelf, where it’s dark and cool. As per the instructions. The dark and cool part, not put said water turning into, hopefully, wine, being put on a top shelf. I figured that if the magic water were out of the way and sort of out of sight, no one would pour it out or knock it over or in any way, mess with it. It has to ferment until the bubbles stop. The recipe was vague about that, ten to fourteen days. A creationist would crow about how science ‘knows nothing but God knows all’. Which is a way of reminding myself that if you want to see something there, you will. Even if nothing is there to see. Patterns dominate the human mind. We want to see patterns, we want to make connections and tidily label everything. Perhaps I’m reading far too much into my pre-dandelion wine?

Alas, now it’s just a wait to see what happens. I’ve made wine before, accidentally, with some, yes, homemade grape juice and sugar. I simply put some, yes, homemade grape juice, as in my mother picked the grapes and turned them into juice, into a small bottle with a lot of sugar. And capped it tight. Did I mention I was a kid when I did this? I was a kid. So mentioned. The dark purple turned into a sort of electric-looking paler violet. Hello, science! I took the cap off, after X amount of time. As in I don’t remember precisely how long that grape juice and sugar had a violent, passionate affair in that small bottle. It doesn’t seem very long, as I was not a patient kid. I’m not a patient adult. Or I’m still a kid and my adultness has not yet set in. Anyhoo!!

I uncapped my experiment. Yep, I’d managed to make about the most potent little couple swallows of wine imaginable. My grandpa thought it tasted good– that’s some powerful stuff. Yes, I did taste it. Wowsers indeed, it tasted quite different than plain ole grape juice. Did I take up wine making as a hobby?

No. No, I didn’t.

But here I am, many many many years after that innocent little science experiment with homemade juice and sugar, waiting now to see what happens with my homemade dandelion juice and some sugar. The circle has come round again. The circle has no end and no beginning, because it’s a circle and if it had an end or beginning, it would be some other geometric structure. And then I wonder how many dead bugs are floating in my bubbling away magic water into, hopefully, drinkable wine mixture. Then consider that dead bugs also figure, a lot, in legitimate wine. Even the Boone’s Farm varieties. As bugs are everywhere. Everywhere. They are everywhere. I watched a giant daddy long-legs casually stroll across my books just above my desk. I blew air toward it and it scampered away, thoroughly embarrassed, I hope, at strolling about out in the open where I had to watch it.

But I will, of course, keep all you darlings and dears and lovebugs updated as to the progress of my weed wine. Oh– sorry, there’s no marijuana in it. I meant as in dandelion, not cannabis. Always be clear in even your vaguest, most innocuous blog posts!

Though, I do love the cheerful yellow flowers that dot the lawn, no matter what you do to them. Robert Fulghum, yes, I have read him, shhh…wrote about his love of dandelions. I, too, share that love. Even though I massacred quite a few dandelions and then boiled them alive. I’ve read that plants can send chemical signals to each other, warning each other about big attacks or stuff going on or plant gossip…I just sort read the headline and skimmed it, because I’m a modern woman who doesn’t bother reading the entire article. I just give a like if I like the headline. And then usually find out later I just liked a pro-Nazi article. Ugh!! Gag me with a spoon!! And then I have to backtrack, erase my like and go from there. The lesson gained from my pro-dandelion wine ramble is to always read the content before giving a like or a retweet or a thumbs up or assigning some emoji that indicates your positive take on said contents. Or just stick to animal rescue articles and videos. But there are pratfalls and traps there as well. Sigh. You can’t win. That’s why cat videos are so popular, in my opinion. As liking anything else garners you weird looks from relatives, impassioned comments from advocates, and general WTF is wrong with you from total strangers. Cats are funny. Everyone likes cats. We can all agree that a cat playing hide and seek in a box is generally amusing and non-controversial. Carnivores to vegans like to watch kittens playing with a feather duster. Cats, the universal internet safe choice. Cats.

Wow, danger noodle. Tangent. Quit yer cryin’, dandelion!

Bet you thought I couldn’t work that title in, huh?

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This one escaped the slaughter