Captain: What we’ve got here is failure to communicate. Some men, you just can’t reach. So you get what we had here last week — which is the way he wants it. Well, he gets it.
October at the supermarket is another routine that brings to our home good cooking, comfort, and kitty treats.
Like most Tuesdays I hit my local Ralph’s for round sushi bowls, a slice of cheesecake and did I mention the kitty treats.
Something was off this morning. As I grabbed my old sturdy cotton Trader Joe’s bags, I saw a guy standing at the curve before the entrance to the market. He was not moving and standing there like a Praying Mantis on a rosemary branch.
I was near him now. Looking around I saw no cars crossing. I walked quietly past him.
As I grabbed my shopping cart, I looked up to see he was still there. Slightly bent to the right but focused forward.
I thought to myself,
“Maybe he thinks he is invisible or maybe he is waiting for someone?”
He was all alone by himself.
I then went into the market. As I walked down a few grocery lanes he slowly passed me by. He walked slowly without a cart. One time he stood in front of me. Still standing with a slight bend to the right side. I said,
He replied while looking down with the sweetest young voice,
“No please you go ahead.”
He had a t-shirt on with shorts and sported tattoos. I walked by him and as I passed a strange familiar desperate darkness was visible to me as I walked through it. I wanted to cry. I know that desperate feeling.
I walked forward and turned down the lane towards the front of the market. Then I saw some black boots and gazed upwards to see a guard standing about 6 feet 5 inches tall in front of me.
He was standing there transfixed on the lane ahead of me. His gun in holster.
I heard the movement of his leather belt and shoes as he walked. In slow motion. Moving as the other strange man moved.
I then realized he was following this man through the store as music danced from the PA and people walked around unaware.
It was as if I was watching two animals in nature. One the predator and one the victim.
I felt a wave of possible assault that I had avoided.
At the deli I thought to myself,
“Something does not feel right?”
Before this I did notice a strange orange bus van in front of the market to my sideways glance before entering the market.
After ordering some food. The darkness lifted and both men were gone. As I went outside the orange bus van was gone as well.
I was witness to something dark and frightening as well as desperate. As what could have happened but did not. A desperation of incarceration.
Maybe an unsuccessful escape? A prison guard targeting a bird like a cat would. I felt deep grief for this young man. As I drove safely home, I thought upon how the young man bent to the right side.
His quietness and subtle sweet voice touched me. I was stuck with grief again. I reflected on the film Cool Hand Luke.
As for stories Dad was the best at keeping us kids interested. He had the gift and I guess he learned this from his mother. Who he said left poems on the refrigerator door just for him. Later she had her poems published in the weekly Santa Monica newspaper back in the late 40s and early 1950s.
It was my mom who asked me to never stop writing and always supported my endeavors.
I even fought and wrestled with the Flipside Fanzine crew to get a Poetry Page in Los Angeles Flipside Fanzine. Pooch continued the poetry page after I left.
I love to write and especially love to write poetry. It is a time when magic happens. As human beings we naturally engage with memories, with the cosmos, and our feelings. Also, with those large uncontrollable metaphors like our professors tell us.
I was going through my notes and work and found this chapbook of poetry. I was surprised to see it was completed on the day September 17, 2018.
I will be talking this weekend. September 17, 2022. Telling stories with others. It feels great too to join in this narrative of speakers. At a cool pub. I can not think of a better place to talk. My youngest son told me this,
“Mom I just feel so comfortable in pubs, I dot know what it is but is just feels so good. I can just relax and have a pint. Listen to music and have fun.”
We could be talking about the pubs in the stories from Lord of The Rings to the history of William Blake’s’ family where the pub was so important in their freedom to speak and sing when the Church of England suppressed their views.
To the characters who linger, who come and go and grow from such a pub. Or simply to those who want to relax and hear a few stories.
~ Sabrina Fair (subtitled “A Woman of the World”) is a romantic comedy written by Samuel A. Taylor
I recently purchased a wind chime. Well, it is spiral plastic flowers and hummingbirds that hang on the larger arbor of a hanging tubular burgundy flower bush highlighting our back French doors. They are also solar lights at night that are magical to look at. The cats like to look at it and so do I.
I went for a short cool down swim close to the morning, I looked up to see the plastic colorful hummingbirds and flowers spiraling around in the soft cool breeze. It was going to be a hot day. The Plastic Hummingbird sounded like the nice name of a book.
I started to ponder what the book would be about. The many places we have to be. In nature listening. On the computer writing. Looking into a realm of social media or in our mind’s imagination and then the world of our feelings. We have many places to be or focus our attention.
The world of technology is rather new, but we have long lived in the world of architecture, science, and places of another human’s imagination. Films, books, and music are blending all of these realms.
There is also the intuitive realm or magic, faith, and synchronicity.
The computer being a kind of oracle. Build by codes among codes among coding… computer programming. A vast new realm of communication on all levels of consciousness by conscious humans or the ‘lack-off.’
Later I went for another quick swim to cool off and once out of the pool sitting on my chair under the cool harbor next to my plastic hummingbird, I hear the sound of a real hummingbird. Under the vining vines of tubular flowers and bush, I see hummingbird right before my gaze. Weaving a little back and forth beating wings of 10-15 times per second. I look at the plastic hummingbird and then the living one and realize the contrary nature of life, plastic, and nature. Quickly grasping those things made and invented by humankind and those made purely by nature.
I flash back to a 1954 film entitled Sabrina. Humphrey Bogart as Linus Larrabee is just discovering something called “plastics” in the film. SO much money, collaborating, thinking and creativity yet no sense of how what they created will affect the environment.
Oh, dear me back to the love story.
“Linus Larrabee: Listen, I work in the real world with real responsibilities.
Sabrina: I know you work in the real world and you’re very good at it. But that’s work. Where do you live, Linus?”
Upon the wall was a painting Simply framed of a Yucca plant My parents’ home enfolded it Hanging on the living room wall always smiling at me The artist’s hands painted it upon a wild hill I looked at it all my life From babe until the painting Was stolen away after my parents’ death. It had a constant white bloom. Curiously I looked at the flower many times I am sure it sung me to sleep. The Yucca is a wild plant Growing along The aromatic California coastal ranges further into the valley and hills Tall thin and tenuous boldly spread throughout valley canyons.
Yucca calls us to our nobility of character Yucca calls us to a wild uniqueness Singing if you listen quietly A hum older than we know.
“Most people were in bands, if not they did magazines, records, owned stores did artwork etc… it was a scene that begged to be contributed to, and ripe with contributors… X-8 and Tory were in Low Budget, who made their Hollywood debut playing over the Dils at the Whisky, Larry Lash was in a weird Quick sort of band, Pooch was in a progressive (!) band, and I was their friend, couldn’t play anything, but still wanted to be involved [Al Flipside].”
Los Angeles Flipside Fanzine Issue #1 August 28, 1977.
I am not a musician. Sure, as a kid I played my parents old player piano. I could hear a song and I then played it on that old lovely musical hardwood black upright piano. My mom got me an acoustic guitar when I turned 16. Along with it was a record to learn chords. I did not follow it through.
I appreciate the lyrics and the sound. I have a knack for listening to the song in a way that is so satisfying to me and as my life went on, I found others like myself. Journalists, fanzine writers and ‘scenesters’ who supported a growing musical world. I will leave the real musicians and their creative genius to themselves. I sure love to hear and feel their songs though.
My dream last night took me to a multilevel club. It had a front door and back door; it had a bar and an outdoor patio. It was very easy to access. I had booked a one-day event to perform. I had my old guitar with me at all times. A guitar a band member gave me, and we had cut out the “Quaker Maid” milk symbol from a large ‘sheet metal sign’ to place on the front of my guitar.
Why I pulled that old guitar I had from the 80s into my dream seems strange to me. I also had my old fender amp.
There was a small stage in the bar where I practiced. Realizing I did not have a clue what I was doing. Yet when I touched my sweet maid, it made a loud punk sound. I thought this to myself while dreaming,
“I am going to go on stage here and play for my friends. Not having a clue what I am doing, I will just improvise … like I always do,”
The first person who greeted me at the door was Shawn Stern. He was drinking a beer and seemed very happy. Then as I walked through the club. The club was peppered with many characters, and I thought to myself,
“I will play a chord from my sweet maid and then read something from an editorial from an old issue of Flipside. Maybe this can be a spoken word event with improvised guitar sounds?”
Outside on the patio I sat with a couple of gals who were talking about another show. I was cool with that and then walked in Cliff Roman.
“The guys at that show were wearing TUXEDOS.”
He had a upside down smile on his face when I smiled at him as I was holding my sweet maid. Cliff was wearing all black with a big oomphy black sweater.
I realized I was at a club without my mask on. It felt so good to be out and about again. No fear and happy to be hanging out at a club again with others.
Then I awoke. I don’t go out to events now. It seems like I still do in my dreams…