Another artist in my life is my step mom, Jill. I remember some of the first pieces she created and humbly hung in their house. I also remember trying to connect her persona to that of an artist (sort of like I do my Auntie's foul mouth to the daintiness of her home decor). But it was a marvelous surprise and to see that my step mom's art had form and shape and figures and I could actually see things and people and to make a little sense of it was a trip.
Just before moving back to Texas from California where I had a 12 year affair with the beach state, my Dad’s family had a huge Texas style family reunion--a tribute to honor my Dad's life and family. My sister, brother and I were so proud and fortunate to have adorned this beautiful piece of artwork across our chests on T-shirts Jill had made especially for the occasion. She titles it Monkey Wrench. I do know enough about the work to say it’s abstract. The history behind why she painted it and why the unusual name is only for her to tell. It's not my story.
The male is my father; the female is my paternal great grandmother who surprisingly to me had Jewish ancestry.
Like Audre Lorde’s little protagonist in “The Fourth of July,” my Dad too looked at his grandmother when he was a little boy and could not piece together the attitudes and differences between races---because his grandmother looked like everyone. A little story he shared with me some time ago.
My step mom’s artwork is always a surprise to me. I have not seen anything of late or new; it’s been a while, but I’m sure whatever she’s up to and in between her travels, the birth of a great piece of art will follow.
It's May 2012 and nothing has changed since November.11. I am all smiles at my relationship and myself. My honey and I continue to amaze each other on a daily basis. We're still ever so 'in' with each other. I completed my MA in literature last May and I'm teaching four college English courses to really smart students. I am hopeful to enter a doctorate program soon. This way, I can run out.All is scary good.
upon hearing your voice life again expands like moon crest like pomegranates swell to the sun and you are patient because god calls
when he came for you this morning you were bent into the flower bed singing black hymns so he left you alone until this third afternoon but even then he found you elbow deep in jewel weed with a mouthful of figs from a nearby tree again he waited because each time seemed to him an inconvenience and a wrong moment
and it was your persistent humming that drove him up and back until he could get his timing perfect he waited another day or so until
your gardening tools rest into porch corners your paring knife shines deeply into a drawer your hair comb lies slanted in a shoebox your wedding band hides in the mattress your fishing rod stays stolen
the sound of your voice desires to sing or hum but this time is perfect he has covered you like lavender-colored silence but he has also added streaks of olive green and pink because this is what the other soul-folk has told him to do and he has become tired in the process and therefore begins to rush sonances of your body he finds you the least complex when you are not outdoors digging in that garden, humming hymns and thriving and for a moment he questions his own timing its perfection and everything goes accordingly until he finds you have buried fruit peels and wandering jew petals underneath your back this does not anger him but it tilts his agility to deliver you and in his own questioning and presence of smells that he cannot privilege all this over powers his choice all this reels his otherwise perfection into letting you go
when i see you sitting in the plush squares of limitless St. Augustine your eyes are lit like crystal warmed soil releases from each of your hands
how did i get to this point this point of knowing you for you are nearly a century old