Always Loquacious, Always Interesting…

Welcome! Please scroll down for latest post. This blog has been a work in progress since early 2010. Nearly 30,000 overall views and counting. Here is a wonderful compliment from a friend and blog follower: “Your creative gifts, your activism, and your sharp intellect make this world a better, more transparent, more honest, beautiful place.”  You can read all about me  here. Contact me at jenneandrews2010@gmail.com, and I am on Facebook at Jenne R Andrews. Scroll down for current post.

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Please do not share any of the poetry and nonfiction on this blog in whole or in part without crediting Jenne’ R. Andrews as author and linking back to this blog–you can also share a post on Facebook or follow the blog via widgets on the right sidebar–thanks. I am especially happy to announce my first collection of poetry in some thirty years, an expanded chapbook from Finishing Line Press, Blackbirds Dance in the Empire of Love; the work in this collection is recent and has received many kudos from the toughest audience of all– my fellow poets. I am proud to say that endorsements from Jim Moore, collected and new poems Underground due out soon from Graywolf; Dawn Potter , Same Old Story, CavanKerry Press and Patricia Kirkpatrick, winner of the 2013 Minnesota Book Award for Odessa from Milkweed Editions,  grace the back cover, with cover art by John Sokol.

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Please check out my creative work freely offered to the literate public on line at La Parola Vivace,  A Tu Placer (literary erotica) and my highly praised memoir Nightfall in Verona– all twenty-two chapters.  See page links. Check back here for book reviews and political notes. Note: archives at bottom of page.

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Angels and Demons, December Notes

I am so tired I can’t remember whether or not I’ve blogged about my insomnia–a condition, my fellow night rovers know, made more tolerable by sending a missive out into the void.

In my case, the pattern of staying up most of the night and turning in at dawn, has been with me for some forty years and across those years, I’ve done many things to get it to go away. But it remains, and works on my energies and mood.

I read recently that losing lots of sleep leads to a cornucopia of mortal outcomes–heart attack, arthritis, etc etc. But in some fundamental sense to speak of it is to gain a bit of control over it–in the sense that naming generates truth and a measure of truth–self-honesty especially–is a measure of power.

No mystery here, awake and chronically over-tired because of being pulled in many directions– at any given moment to engage with my writing and painting and cooking– and then there is the delicious distraction of time with my husband, when we curl up together with coffee icecream and a movie and slumber from early evening until eleven or twelve. He goes off to bed, being blessed with a functioning body clock; I stay up and plunge head-first into doing rather than being, ignoring my body’s pleas to me to stay in the nest of down, in a darkened room..

Nothing is as frustrating as crawling into bed at 4 or 5 or 6 a.m. wondering if you’ll be able to drop off. Thinking of it all is antithetical to its happening–this pure and natural event that sustains us–to rest, to let go.

Because of my exhaustion and that it’s taking so long to address my various health issues and work up my courage to get my leg, (which has curved into something called “windswept deformity,”) worked on, to build up the necessary trust– what I want so badly to do–to make it to AWP in Mpls this spring, to fly to Manhattan where Katherine Rosen says she would love to take me to a performance at the Met– or to Sicily to meet up with the Italian poetessas I have the great good fortune to interact with nearly every day–all of that, out of the question.

And so, I try to focus on what I can do, rather than what I can’t. Despite my grueling sleep disorder, I have made and sold seven dolls since October, and I have new poems, one of which will be in a beautiful and brilliant new publication soon, by invitation! I have watched some fifteen movies in as many days and made love twice and subsequently, a banana cream pie for our Xmas dinner– cause and effect. Sweetness– light–even in the fog of exhaustion. A blessed holiday to all. xj

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Getting It Right and Keeping It Cool….

I continue to struggle with hurt feelings. Someone hassled me on Facebook, accusing me of being unclear when I had paid him a compliment! It was a small thing, to do with a rush to judgment, but he kept at it until I had to log off to avoid a minor meltdown.

No one in my family of origin ever kept their feelings in check. The emotional volume was always turned up. My mother could not ever let one small mistake go unnoticed and she would take people to task, reading into their comments and body language, profound persecution.

The older I get—now verging on 66, as many years old as the year I graduated from high school—the more I believe that we learn how to be in the world from the behavior of our parents. In essence, she taught me, imprinted upon me like a bantam hen upon her chick, or perhaps more like a timber wolf roughly instructing her pups–that you never let anyone off the hook.

It is indelibly difficult to change nearly anything about oneself. But I am determined….I see, ref. previous post, that when I let something get under my skin I am giving the Other the power to affect me, wound me, discombobulate and dys-regulate me.

I think about the time now nearly ten years ago when I was in the choir in St. Luke’s and the director, who had been given misinformation by another choir member, came down on me before a performance.

I so wish I had been able to take her rude jab at me in stride, without doing what I did— being crushed and devastated, leaving, throwing my music down in the parking lot like the enfant terrible I am…

I have been the worst offender when it comes to letting people be imperfect, letting them say or do something hurtful, rude, especially accuse me of something that I haven’t done. I know that I have harped on this ad nauseam but it is deeply important to me.

Many people have forgiven and overlooked my failings when I have been bitchy, overtired, or made a rush to judgment. And I regret to say that I am no good—yet—at not reacting.

O, the delicious power in not taking the bait, in letting someone hurt or offend me without falling into a reaction. If only we could bottle and sell forbearance.

Two months ago, I went to a new physician’s office for my second appointment with him. He had misinterpreted something I had said in a call, and he came in and sat down and began making angry accusations. He pointed to my chart on his laptop, showing me a log of phone calls I had made to his office in the course of straightening out confusion over my records and to try to get worked in earlier in the summer—something he had encouraged me to do.

Far from being the put-together kind, sharp young man he had been during my first visit, he coldly unloaded on me.

In fact, he made an immense issue out of my phone calls. I was stunned and humiliated and I reacted before I had a chance to catch myself. I interrupted him and told him that he was mistaken in an allegation he made.

The problem was that we each escalated our clash until he snarled, “I’m done!” at me, that he was dismissing me from his practice, and I had told him that I would report him if he didn’t renew my PTSD meds, which would mean physical withdrawal, and is irresponsible medicine.

It doesn’t matter now that before he said that, in my hurt I had said, “I can always get a different doctor.”

The whole thing triggered a tape in my brain; I was that little girl back in the Catholic private school with a nun dressing me down in front of the whole class. I had committed the actionable error of whistling in amazement at a profuse guppie-hatch.

“Miss Andrews!,” the nun had shouted. “Little girls don’t whistle!”

From that moment forward, and probably because my own mother had mortified and devastated me with her relentless criticism, the perfectionism with which she had me re-ironing my father’s shirts in the dank and dark basement, I have never handled it all well when someone finds fault with me.

An old friend once listened to my litany of woes on this subject and said, “But we all have to take criticism.”

I disagreed. And sometime later was to learn from a therapist, that when it comes to unsolicited feedback and commentary from others, we all have the right to say, “Thank you, but if I want your input, I will ask.”

As I spoke to in the previous post, it’s about the triggers—what gets triggered, and why. They say knowledge is power, but sometimes belated realization is useless.

Regarding the dear doctor, and despite my many resolutions not to react, I did what I do, when I am unhorsed and hurt. I invoked the ADA—the “direct threat” clause, which states that the only basis for termination of a disabled patient is if he or she is a direct threat to the health and safety of others. This provision was incorporated during the Aids epidemic, when physicians were refusing to treat HIV-positive patients who were desperate for care.

Predictably, the powers that be at this clinic have scoffed at my gauntlet. I can’t afford a lawyer and I am still drained by my efforts to get my former landlord to comply with the Fair Housing Act; I have many things to do and that I like to do, and I have scant appetite for going after this doctor. I have an appointment with someone else, in a few weeks and I am hopeful I’ll get there.

But wouldn’t it have been terrific, if I could have said suavely and with the utmost equanimity, “You are a real jerk, Dr. X. You are far afield of your Hippocratic Oath to do no harm. I needed you and I made myself vulnerable to you. Regarding holding your feet to the fire, it’s not worth my time and energy. See you around.”

And not to merely say this, but mean it and be o.k. with it, thereby bypassing any period of devastation at all.

I often think about the anecdotes about Jesus, that when the good people of Nazareth or wherever he lived and worked didn’t want his message, he went on to the next town. He simply moved on and waited for the right audience.

This is admirable and at this point completely out of reach for me. I believe that my PTSD is a form of rejection trauma, if that makes sense. Being sent the message that I am unwelcome as a tenant of someone’s property, or someone’s patient, lover, wife, daughter or friend is deeply painful to me, and I have experienced more of this than anyone I know.

But there isn’t any way to keep the world from hurting us, or even, ourselves from hurting others in retaliation or because we too are human and flawed. The only answer I can come up with is to increase my own tolerance for my own feelings. To ever be alert to the fact that I have a deep, deep wound in my solar plexus that goes back over sixty-five years…and to withhold reaction in the awareness that other human beings are very imperfect. To excuse myself from the setting and the moment and process my feelings. To wait out the pain—the hit, the implosion, the burn, the sear and then…the diminishment of the nearly visceral anguish. And then, ideally, I will respond rather than react, from a place of calm, my personal power and self-esteem intact.

It doesn’t work to lock myself away or to be at the mercy of my own reactions. I need community as much as anyone. But I am not especially good at forgiveness. And when we hurt others we are often unaware of what we have done or said, and vice versa. I am confident that those whom I allude to here are generally clueless over what set me off. There are so many variables here. I hope and pray—and I hope and pray for you, my reader as well if you identify with this struggle—that I will forfeit my personal power less and less often. That I will stop wearing my heart on my sleeve and vis a vis my interactions on and offline, keep my guard up to a great extent, and thereby be less vulnerable. .

At the end of the day, it’s about survival, isn’t it? And finding joy and meaning in our associations? Jack and I continue to stumble through Paradise. He is much better at biting his tongue than I, but perseverance sets us free…Happy Halloween, Friends and Readers all.

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Thoughts on “Losing It”…..

We aren’t table lamps, but we all have switches.

We know they’re there because someone flips one of them every day. Someone close to us forgets to do something we counted on or expected him to do. Or worse, someone hurts us, generally without meaning to, out of insensitivity or thoughtlessness, or in thinking only of themselves, not of us, at all.

The first person to flip my switch was my mother. She would lob some insult at me from her throne, an armchair in our study. Her caustic words would pierce me and enrage me and from the time I was in my early teens, I would launch myself at her.

We had terrible physical fights, hair pullings and punches and screeching of insults. We weren’t human anymore; we were two feral cats fighting for power and autonomy.

She couldn’t stand it when I was myself.

I always thought I was sticking up for myself during these times. To go mano a mano with one’s mother…many people are shocked by this. They can’t imagine becoming possessed of an animal rage.

I see now that I lived in utter desperation to get away from her and was a prisoner in our house until the day I left for college. Naturally I understand that remaining calm is important, that the Golden Rule is the best rule of thumb,  but who among us has perfected the art of equanimity when we are infuriated?

In Mafia movie scenes, we see gangsters blaze away at their enemies with implacable faces. Watch the cool cucumber Michael Corleone in The Godfather; with a dispassionate look he orders a hit on his own brother, after learning that he was behind an attempt to take him out as he slept.

Part of us, the part embedded still and encoded still with the animal nature, understands revenge. We crave it. Sometimes we wish we were back on the American Frontier when disputes were settled by throwing down the fringed glove and one’s life depended on being the fastest draw.

(If the West was ever really like that….)

The other night I watched The Macomber Affair, with Gregory Peck as the big game hunter and safari guide Wilson, played by Gregory Peck. Joan Bennet, these days considered as highly underrated, played Margot Macomber, wife of Francis Macomber, beautifully delineated by a very young Robert Preston.

As the masterful Hemingway story  (in my view ably brought to the screen) unfolds, we see the character Margot emotionally castrate her husband. She does it without so much as getting a hair out of place. We cringe. I cringe because I know how to do that and I’ve done it.

It’s not the end of the world to lose it at someone who has hurt or disappointed you. But consider the power we are giving another person—nothing less than the power to turn us into animals once again. And what sort of accomplishment is it, the art of bitchery?

Humanity has been climbing out of the primordial slough for millennia. But sometimes, as we watch whole cultures battle each other, it is clear that we haven’t come all that far from what must have been harrowing days when we lay in wait for an adversary like a wounded lion.

I often suffer with that woundedness and sometimes my husband and I get into it, the abysmal business of trading insults and barbs.

I used to think that if that happened, the relationship was terminally ill and needed to be euthanized. But I look back at days when we went at it, so invested in drama and drawing blood. We have come a long way together. A spate is just that; brief, intense and then we catch ourselves.

Our respective wounds have their roots in the earliest hurts of our lives. In an ideal universe I would be all sweetness and light when someone hurts me.

Let me know if there is some sort of cosmic sea change and we are in the prelapsarian garden once more.  I give myself props for a modicum of progress.

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Tempis Fugit; Ergo, Carpe Diem…

Thank God for a writing life.

At least, in a sea of sea changes, I am anchored to something that is mine and not dependent upon other people or rising and falling fortune.  The past few months have gone by crazily fast and suddenly we are facing the holidays—i.e. in three and a half weeks, Halloween and then…..;
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Tempus Fugit, as they say. I have only recently adjusted to being 65 and now here comes 66.  I am not at all adjusted to Jack’s turning 73 this February, but God/Fate/Furies willing, he will.  I am not adjusted to being part of a third thing, one half of a whole that is a relationship playing itself out every day.
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But here we are, fresh off a packed weekend culminating with the last few shows in a Breaking Bad marathon, the flow of information and small events in and out of our lives, the fluctuation of the weather, the permutations and amblings and ramblings of love, how it seems solid one minute and I am terrified the next minute that I have been confused with a mature person.
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Love terrifies me; yes, it does.  It means taking off the costumes and the armor and the reservations and letting myself be close to someone.  Someone who doesn’t seem to mind being kissed by someone who doesn’t have any upper teeth—with whom the fires of intimacy are stoked once a week to a good burn and then permitted to die down again so that rather than being locked into each other we navigate in a parallel manner, less of the time upstream, and more often, with the current.
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Trusting the current of life is a big deal.  I have seldom trusted anything or anyone.  I find myself compelled in too many directions, often—for a time working on the translation of an Italian woman poet’s work for my blog, then getting back to the casserole or pie in progress, then getting together for a break and a fake beer or a glass of our beloved Martinelli’s—back to my manuscripts or drafting something new, then to painting and checking my e-bay auctions…in short, living very much in the present and winging it, almost as if I were a normal aging poet and not any longer, she who feared the future and remained mired in the past..
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Now two people I know have had husbands die suddenly and I have felt the impact of absence through them….the suddenness of it and the relentless pain that comes even if we project such a loss.
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A loss that is as inevitable as the break of day.  We can’t know when this dark thing in the background will stop being an idea and become an earthquake in the very floor of our home.  To think that the warm, breathing man next to me can become inert, devoid of life, carted away—is too much.
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But I let myself think of it because I have to feel that when it happens, I have the same strengths within me as anyone to grieve and mend.  Perhaps I will be first.  We have a family member who is critically sick and must face the dark thing; we cannot face it for him.  But we can provide solace and love, as we do around one another’s issues.
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Whenever I have these dark thoughts and feel a churning in my stomach, I remind myself that we can and must live on as vividly and wholly as possible.  We must each give ourselves to life and devour our days.  We must let ourselves love life, be in love with the mystery of being.
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It doesn’t last forever, and it comes with dark times for everyone. Tempis Fugit et Carpe Diem.
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Please check out the gorgeous poetry by Italian women I am posting at La Parola Vivace; both the Italian— and English, my translation. Current:  a delicious and intense meditation on the ineffable by the poet Rosalba Di Vona.   Coming up: a beautiful elegy by the renowned Sicilian poet Rita Elia for a journalist killed by the Mafia as well as a lyric paean to the sea from a friend in beautiful Calabria–the fishing village Scilla/Scylla.  Thank you, my sisters in the muse, for entrusting your stunning work to me,  all of those who read and comment on my work, accepting me as I am, to Professor Marco Giuffrida for his exquisite translation of my poetry into Italian–these poems should be available soon; all of this, the English and Italian versions are posted at La Parola.   Xj

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Summer’s Bittersweet Leavetaking

In praise of the sweet spate that was summer, and compound names for things.

This summer, I had a personal Everest to assail. I may have mentioned this in a previous post; for the past five years I have undergone the breaking down and decay of my teeth. A medication I’ve been on since the nursing home is the culprit.  Every time I thought about going in to the local low/no income clinic, I froze, and piled on the poems to be written, the dolls to be crafted…love to be made, wherein I kept the terrible secrets in my mouth to myself, no mean feat.  But finally I took myself by the nape of the neck and managed to get to the clinic.

It was as I had feared;  all of my upper teeth were in ruin and had to come out.  Thankfully, the staff graciously granted my requests– that I be able to bring a nonalcoholic beer with me to settle my stomach; that the room be darkened, as florescent lighting does me in, that I be able to bring a doll or a bear to hold…ultimately these accommodations were all made for me and I am happy to tell you that I have undergone the extraction of fifteen teeth and the filling of a few others.  Next comes intensive cleaning and something to do with my gum-lines receding, and then four or five sessions in which I am fit for dentures.

Nearly all of this has been free thanks to Colorado Medicaid.  It has been pure bliss to be rid of this festering and depressing situation, but most of all, utterly enlightening:  I am far stronger than I thought I was.  I didn’t fall apart; nor did I bolt out the door with a half-extracted molar hanging by a thread.

I am emboldened now to think of having both knees replaced.  I have plenty of Medicare and Medicaid for that undertaking, thank goodness.

Around the extractions, the beautiful green warm days came and are now on the wane.  We had lovely talks on the deck and for the first time in recent memory, very few insects/wasps/crickets and so on in the house.

Also across the summer and never far from my mind: that I was a finalist for the 2014 Autumn House Poetry Prize.  I was one of twenty finalists chosen from five hundred entries.  Alas, I was not chosen by Alicia Ostriker; Ellery Akers received the prize. I am thankful that someone also in her sixties is the winner.

I was also invited, by one of Sicily’s top poets, Rita Elia, to participate in a contest.  I worked on translations of two poems to enter and finally decided I should let more time pass and continue to revive my Italian before entering any of the numerous  publication prize contests seemingly abundant throughout Italy.  Who knew?

I interact with a score of Italian and American writers a day, via Facebook–a rich and uplifting pastime.  I have started a new feature on my poetry blog—I will be posting a poem by one of my new Italian/Sicilian poet-friends, with my translation, once a week–Tuesdays.  Just now I have a beautiful poem up at La Parola Vivace by a Neopolitan “poetessa, ” one Maria Esposito.

Perhaps my prose is so disjointed and clumsy tonight I should stop for now.  But I wanted to share the blessings, as it were– thanks for stopping by, and stay tuned! Here we are, on one of the lush green days of early June….more soon.

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Jack, me…on the deck…..

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Jen takes a new literary direction in her work/aka new poem….

New Poem and still singin’ the mo’ is bettah blues…

She Prepares for Him a Meal of Truth

Tonight, after a candlelit hour of talk,
you go off to sleep, vanishing into the shadows
of the living room that borders my lair
and I wonder once more why I couldn’t
follow you, taking off the invisible chain-mail
the fear of love has forged and cloaked me in
for nearly a lifetime.

Now I picture you in the homely square of bed
at the far corner of the house,
window open to the south pasture, moon
crossing east to west the night long,
its soft feet skimming your face.

Was I ever unafraid of this, to bring myself
nearer, to melt against the warm curve
of your long back and count your breaths
until I too go under,
surrendered to the swift and deep
current between us?

You love to wake to light and I
darken my rooms in the long ritual
that grants me the illusion
that I am safe from the long-clawed
demons of the past,
those denizens of the spent years
that rake my dreams like ash, digging
for the edible,
that catch dream-fish in their mouths
standing bridged over a rainbowing waterfall,
as if it were ideal to be imposing.

I’ve said to myself it’s not trivial, it’s a good
strong love and it is and yet even when you leave
the door ajar, glancing back over your
shoulder—come in if you like, bring
a pillow–

I feel the mosquito netting of anxiety
drape itself over the furniture and pool
before me like a cloak of shadows,
a membrane of dust.
I pluck at it and try to fold or roll it up,
as if I could readily consign inner
trembling to a drawer-full
of dried wings.

I lift the lid and peruse the contents
of the jar of fermenting
moths and flowers
and kisses and startings over;

why aren’t we taught to love
when we are young, shepherded
by beaming mothers
before the gruff and imposing uncle
crouched in his study, made then
to stand stock-still for the roil of dread
that so militantly barks the order: run.

Some fears have no explanation
and this is one. I love how I love,
I repeat to myself again and again,
double entendre du jour,

and what you say to me in the deeps
of one of my sleepless nights:
You’re a wonderful person,
A brilliant and kind person.
It’s just an illusion
that you are losing yourself.

But I know the real story;
I am the mule deer doe
bolting from the copse,
she who flees in the manner of a small
plains tribe on the threshold of an early
winter, hefting up its cache of dried antelope
and fruit, the pliant tipi skins,
strapping sleepy and blanketed children
to the travois, whistling up a few scrappy dogs,
heading south before the storm,
head down and moving on.

Copyright Jenne’ R. Andrews 2014

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Recent Poem

Indigo

To the memory of Robin Williams

Tonight I thought I felt a shimmer of light
in the long uncut grass
of late summer, the untended lawn
bordering on the pastures—
untrammeled and open.

It felt as though there was a passing
through of a force, an intention,
an urgent and low singing at moonrise

and then I read of the great comedian,
his self-extinguishing;
I heard Transtromer’s line
“My friend, you drank some darkness”
and remembered one long day

when, bankrupt of hope and will
I drove up the interstate to the Day’s Inn
with a bottle of wine and an Rx of Valium;

how I then sat in that pale blue room for hours
at the desk, now and then getting up
to ponder the dust-mute bed
where I thought I would lie down
in the first scene of the drama
I had designed—

But I could see the mountains
and their cobalt blueness and my heart
reached for them as if I could dig my fingers
into their great round shoulders and pull myself
out of the rank slough where I lay weeping.

When death draws near it is quiet,
like a held breath; it is faceless,
odorless—an imminence swinging
like a vacant noose from a live oak bough,
waiting until after the fact to wreak
potent havoc, rain stones of grief.

I thought of my form struggling down
the rough-hewn stairs of Hades
half-sentient entity lost
to the animate world.

I knew then that someone within me
who had been singing her love to me
all the years
would jettison me from that room,

and it was so. I rose, and dressed
and found myself once more
in my pick-up, heading west
on Highway 14,
shaken and renewed
from my plunge into deepest
indigo waters.

Jenne’ R. Andrews

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Latest Victim of “Recovery” Perfectionism

Robin Williams, whom most Americans feel they knew personally, is dead at 63 by his own hand.  My belief is that he felt he couldn’t measure up to the ever less permeable gold sobriety standard set by AA in which the relapser is always shamed, despite general agreement that addiction is an illness and disease.

It makes me angry.  Many of us “struggle with depression” and kiss the balls of the tiger, finding ourselves drunk again, stoned again, “using” in one form or another again and beating the shit out of ourselves for it.

I hope that Robin died so that others like me who AA would view, if I let it near me ever again, as a chronic and hopeless human being, will stop the self-recrimination and atoning with our lives for being human..

It is not shameful to relapse; sometimes frequent relapse is the road to eventual recovery.  I hate it that all over the world sick lay people have set them up as AA big deals, as sobriety’s gods, and that people who for a host of good reasons have either learned to moderate their drinking, or determined that patriarchal theocracy is not for them, are viewed by programmed scions as reprobates.  I hate it that I too am prey to the guilt trip even though I hold my head up and keep living and writing.  I the abject moral failure and AA drop-out who daily takes oxycodone and hydrocodone, both prescribed, I too who struggle with depression, am a finalist for the 2014 Autumn House Poetry Prize, one of twenty out of 500 submissions.  

Jenne’ Andrews  Fort Collins, Colorado  

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Profiles in Avarice: Larimer County Commissioners Screw the Little Guy

For twenty-five years, Jack and I have had and lived on a six acre tract boundaried by a boarding stable, through which we have an easement, with one Duane Leach with forty acres to the northwest who hays his land. East of us across the creek running through the property is a commercially zoned tract of 20 acres and to the south, a family on fifteen or so acres.

In short this is a mixed use rural neighborhood, our part of it accessible via a little known lane cutting north on the north edge of Fort Collins.

Today Jack went before the Larimer County Commissioners to request that the County not approve Leach’s lease of four square acres nearest to us for solar farming.

We are pro-environment and all for solar energy. But the main selling point of this property has been the beautiful stretch from the prime building site to the northwest all the way across farmland to the bluffs and foothills. If the solar collectors go in they will stand twelve feet tall and from my front window and Jack’s study window, we will see them. Like a scene out of War of the Worlds, they will inhabit our view and mean that when we advertise in the next year or so, hoping to make a move to the Southwest, we will be advertising land sandwiched in by commercial enterprises on three sides.

As I read through the current commissioners’ profiles and think about today’s ruling, it is evident to me that the Board is about protecting local businesses and corporate franchises. They’re men mad about money. They could give a rat’s ass that our property values go down.

Meanwhile the asshole who has been our neighbor for twenty-five years, who has never been a very generous person, who always puts his own needs ahead of anyone else’s, doesn’t care that he’s protecting his view from his living room window and screwing us out of ours.

One of the Commissioners has nine kids and proudly states that he delivered seven of these at home. Really?

Another one used to be a vet in Loveland, and has his own little enterprises going. I won’t bore you with further details about these idiots.

This County wants to appear environmentally friendly, but those with any power are about money. How to capitalize in all scenarios affecting the residents of Larimer County. They’re bringing a Boulder company in here that will be paying Leach for the use of his land.

Folks: you all might have had a map in front of you today, but you’ve completely missed the lay of the land.

 

JRA

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Falling Rocks with Some Diamonds

Today I was struck as with a rolling pin between the kitchen and my desk.  I realized that it is the pain between another person and me that crests in me unbidden and when not appropriate, that gets triggered when there is the least misunderstanding or someone and I become “crosswise,” as my husband puts it.  

We had been discussing his vacuuming of the living room which was, naturally, not to my satisfaction, and I am tired and stressed, my health issues plaguing me and under pressure to get a new creation, one of my belcherubini, beautiful cherubs I craft with vinyl kits and acrylic paint, into the mail.

Such is the nature of epiphanies, to sneak up like marauding intruders, compromising one’s state of mind.

Of course it goes back for a long, long way, to the first times when my mother and I went at each other– and earlier, even, when she found fault with me and I was so devastated I would run and hide behind the overcoats in our foyer.  

AA’s Twelve Steps address resentment and fear, but what about the cache of pain in the solar plexus, the tears and hurts, the woundings and the dark hours when all was lost between oneself and another human being?  What about how this pain repeats itself forever more.  

The diamond is this:  now I see what it is that has me by the throat, and that I so often mask w/ my moments of ire.  It is a primal and gut-twisting anguish that sent me to my basement bedroom as a teenager, when love somehow morphed into a travesty so that it was made a mockery of:  she would annihilate me with an insult, when I adored and needed her.  Everything awry, and everyone, then, grabbing the nearest bottle of Dewar’s to numb mind and heart.

How do you rehabilitate a soul?  No wonder I surround myself with belcherubini.  No wonder I self-medicate however I can.

I believe that the only way out is through.  And there is a technique called “mindfulness” that trauma survivors are taught–to hang with terrible feelings and increase one’s “distress tolerance.”

But just a minute:  why should one tolerate distress?  Repeated, cyclical like the rain distress, with its furtive pallor?

What does it take to get free of that pain?  Is it even possible? 

I’ll be back when I have another epiphany.  Feel free to weigh in.  You my cyber friends, you who have seen the damage in me and been able to forgive me and remain my family and friends, thank you.  I love you.  

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