loss

GYROSCOPE (song-in-progress)

I’m a wild gyro
Tilting and spinning
Nothing, no one
To tether me
Maintaining orientation
And angular velocity
No problem though
Locating the horizon
When the mist comes
Surprising to see
I’m lost but then
By sheer will power
I right my brain
Like an airline control tower

You yank my string
Send me turning
Churning, burning
This aging heart…

Old bones can learn
To do new tricks
Like dogs biting
Entrenched swamp ticks
But here I go
Once again
Back in my ’07
Honda C-RV
Driving crazily
Through shadowy back roads
Six crates of my crap
All I own in complete defeat
Slipping off the back seat
To the World Music CD drumbeat

You yank my string
Send me turning
Churning, burning
This aging heart…

After days of driving
Back where I started
Land of swamps and palms
But I’m like a handful
Of July 4th cherry bombs
Short fuse, loud noise
Ready to blast
Whatever I worked for
And thought I owned
Gone in a gust
Of anger and mistrust
So the engine ticks
As I get out and stare
Ready for more psychological warfare

You yank my string
Send me turning
Churning, burning
This aging heart…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja
IMAGE: Gyroscope with Baritone Ukulele

LUNAR CAUSTIC

Waiting-waiting-waiting
A Lunar Caustic
Photographic negative
Miss Havisham* clad in her
Black dress
Waiting-waiting-waiting
To be combusted
By the enhancing of
Silver Nitrate
Holding in her hand a
Destroyed chocolate cupcake
Looking negative-white
A tier of wedding cake
Waiting-waiting-waiting
Sun and Moon
Alchemically conjoined
Silver Nitrate
Cauterizing wounds
Creating a scab
To stop the bleeding
Of a torn heart
Waiting-waiting-waiting
For what…?

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Miss Havisham

*Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

COUNTERBALANCE

(song-in-progress DGBE tuning for Baritone Ukulele or Tenor Guitar)

D/You’re afraid of getting
G/What you want
Dm/So you push me Am/away

D/You grind your jaw
G/Like broken glass
Am/Leading my heart G/astray

chorus:
F/You’ve put me on a E7/tightrope
Am/Be careful what you G/say
F/Without a balancing E7/rod
C/I’ll hit the ground Am/one day

D/I don’t know how
G/To show you
Dm/We belong as Am/one

D/Why’re you so scared
G/Of love
Am/Arctic as the midnight G/sun

chorus:
F/You’ve put me on a E7/tightrope
Am/Be careful what you G/say
F/Without a balancing E7/rod
C/I’ll hit the ground Am/one day

D/Your words freeze
G/My heart
Dm/It drops down to my Am/knees

D/Losing my eloquence
G/Merely stiltiloquence
Am/Off the roller coaster G/please

chorus:
F/You’ve put me on a E7/tightrope
Am/Be careful what you G/say
F/Without a balancing E7/rod
C/I’ll hit the ground Am/one day
C/Hit the ground Am/one day
C/Slam right into it Am/one day…

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Flamingo Love in the Dirt

HALLWAY UKULELE (memoir)

Beloved but battered
Blah, blah, blah
Can’t say enough
Love it badly
Patiently waiting
In heat and humidity
For me to sling it over
My narrow shoulders
And make it sing
Remembering
New teenager me
Raging Chakiris* crush
As he sang
Roses and Lollipops
Lollipops and Roses
Oh, the garbage we moon over
When young
Believing in romance
And love
Old now, don’t like the lollipops
But still adore roses
Yet
Who knew I’d be banging away
On my hallway baritone
Singing songs about
Life’s disappointments
Yet
Yet
So much fun to strum
And on really bad days
Can raid my stash
In a clothes closet pocket
Peanut butter and chocolate
Almost as good as music
And truly superior
To two-timers I have known
In the realm of romance…

*Actor-singer-dancer George Chakiris (unable to find the video)

(c) 2019 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Red roses & baritone ukulele

CANOPUS & THEONOE

Will you weigh and measure
My love for you?
Desiccated heart
Faintly crying out
Inside the body
Seat of the soul
A belief by the ancients
Afterlife organs
Spilling out of
Canopic jars
Sons of Horus
Guarding breath, taste
The brain though
Carelessly tossed out
Considered useless
A belief by the ancients
I agree
Look at the troubled path
Down which it led me
So I ask you again
Although the answer I know
You weighed and measured
My love for you
And let me go
With a handful of
Empty jars…
(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Canopic Jars, British Museum/Wikipedia

FLUNKING GEOMETRY

Perpendicular grid
Reminds me of that
Old Geometry mnemonic:
X to the left, Y to the sky
Yes, you’ve zoomed up the matrix
Not reacting to the psi
While I struggle along
Fire-in-a-trench route
Round and round
We intersected, briefly
At the point of origin
Held my breath
Hoping you’d want to try
Being a coordinate pair
Before you floated into the air
But you never acknowledged me
We continued on
Relentless geometric graph
Never to say hello
Though I whispered goodbye…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE:AMULETS: Math, Travel & Music

COFFEEHOUSE ON NEW YORK AV

(ANOTHER PRE-CASINO, ATLANTIC CITY MEMOIR)

Troubadour in dark room
Singing and strumming
“Go away from my window…”
Thinks he can tell me
What I need
Coffee grinding ten steps away
Strings strangling a heart
Fibrillating to future rejections
“It ain’t me, babe” soaring through
The smoky room
Zinging in, trying to make me cry
With his lying eyes
So why’d he pursue me
Take me to his room and
Almost ruin me
Thinks he can croon
By the light of the
Not-yet-landed-upon-Moon
Me nervously twirling my spoon
Roiling the brew
To read a few escaped coffee grounds
What is my future
Another tall, dark stranger
I’ll love and lose?
Caffeine finally affects
The saddened brain
Venomously I think
He’s not even a quarter good as Dylan
Can’t help wondering, though
When I’ll be an adult
So to all you young girls,
Yeah, not really women
We’re fragile little girls
When it comes to secret chambers
Of the heart
Here to tell you
Lived despite the pain
But can’t say
I ever used the label
“Adult”
Because
For the very sensitive
Adulthood is merely in the
Eyes of children
And the memory comes through
When I’ve sipped a few
Double-shot espressos…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: kava3

ABSTRACT ARABESQUE

(song in progress)

Somewhere tapestried
Into time and space
Beat the hearts
Of an alternative place
Miniscule tweaking
As I envision the only night
We would be speaking
Because there, I am merely
A bit younger
Prettier
Thinner
Personable
We, together, are almost
Uncontrollable
Feeding each other
Mulberries
Branches triumphantly reaching
Into an alternative sky
Only a few changes and
My life would be as planned
Happy, full, secure
With love evermore
Instead, I gaze through
An intertwined tapestry
In this universe
Living the converse
No life in an ivory tower
Merely gutted
Like the sunflower
Under the unreachable mulberry tree…

(c) 2018 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
IMAGE: Gutted sunflower and mulberries

(working on chords for baritone ukulele and will repost)

gutted sunflower sm px

KORAKO (CROW)

(This blogetry was in a book I wrote in 2014. Adding it to WP although I was so sure it once was posted.  Not my best, just an emotional rant  😦  but I like to keep an online “diary” of my work.)

 

We Romani in both ancestral tribes
Kalderash and Sinti
Believe Korako (crow)
Is exceptionally wise and intelligent
Living 30 years
Bringing us signs that we must obey:
One korako is sorrow
Two korakos are joy
Korako in the road is a happy journey
Korako dead in the the road, turn around!

I cheered for the Raven in Poe’s poem
My life improved when a friend sent me
a 10-inch raven’s feather
Fluttering around New Mexican rocks
I love the swaggering tricksters
Their intense eye contact
The caw-caw-caw on the wind

What I did not know
(Because, unlike my Gran
Did not live on the road
Lived in the concrete forest
Missed a lot in my cultural education)
So what I did not know
Is the true meaning of the flock word
A “murder” of crows

Since age three, my first memory
Has been of birds
My aging pleasure is to sit in the yard
Sipping burning black coffee
While cardinals and finches
Woodpeckers and jays
Twitter away at the feeder
Sometimes korako will come
When the smaller birds are sated
And clean out the remaining seeds

A few weeks ago
I saw a crow
Sitting on the swamp’s dead oak
Korako caw-caw-cawed and four more
Joined the dark herald

Such a nervous clatter
As red and brown cardinals
Fluttered around, attacking them
When the sixth korako appeared
Dive bombing the mated couples
The other five flew into
The surrounding trees
Routing the rowdy teens
And finding the fledglings
No! Baby birds in merciless beaks!

Shocked. Electrified. Stunned.
A massacre with no warning
Stormtroopers raiding the homes
Ridding the homes of a new generation
We all know that birdsong
Is not always a carefree tune
But why now?
Summer is a time of abundance

Next day used the metal trash can lid
And a large branch
Percussion to drive away the returning five korakos
Persecution in the backyard not welcome
Decimation of propagation!

The dogs barked, korakos took heed and flew
To the next set of trees on another street
I thought of those little birds with guilt
But glad! Glad my birds were spared!

How do I welcome korako into my life now?
Is there a way to overlook the violence?
The Survival of the Fittest truism?
The meek not inheriting the earth?
The might makes right credo?
How can I ever look at korako with fondness again?

Perhaps it would be similar to those people,
Those soul-murderers, self-esteem scythers
Whom I have sometimes let back into my life
Remaining alert via an underlying lack of trust
Korako…Mardari…Murderer…

(c) 2014 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)
Poetry of Memory: Six Decades from the Space-Time Continuum
IMAGE: Crow Amulet