Sophia’s Dress

Start story with ‘Impressive’
Include: ‘damned’ & ‘Jackson’


Impressive. What the mind of man can conceive and achieve. Towering thirty feet above street level in downtown Buffalo, New York: The oh so appropriately – if somewhat unimaginatively-named: ‘Skyway.’

Built on engineered columns thick and strong as the thousand-year-old residents of California’s Calaveras Big Tree State Park. It’s roadbed a compressed sandwich of rebar thick as a man’s forearm, steel and concrete. Impossibly dense and sturdy.

Yet equally soft and sinuous. Its curves gentle, but pronounced. Subtle, yet provocative. Embracing and enhancing the road as would a dress decorating the inimitable Sophia Loren. The tiniest breeze pressing it tighter and tighter , accenting her womanliness. A fine wine poured into and assuming the contours of an even yet finer glass. Thus, it’s nickname to the locals: Sophia’s Dress.

Her undulations being constantly traversed by semis packed with anything and everything from slinkys and gold-gilded Bibles to Action Jackson figures and ‘read this and forever be damned’ underground writings and ramblings.

Some of these, perhaps share a pinch of rationality. Some pure fictional mystery. Others yet, prophetic in their synchronicity: ‘How can this possibly be ?!’

Those who first experience a ride along Sophia’s Dress sense a mixed menagerie teasing and tickling their five senses. Such is the all-pervasiveness, the gloriously genteel tiniest-touch-of-a-fingertip ethos imbued in this otherwise mundane mixture of rebar, concrete and steel.

Impressive: What the mind of man can conceive and achieve.

Oftentimes, inexplicably yet so wonderfully augmented by The Universe .. in this case:

… the steady, repetitive dup dup / dup dup / dup dup unmistakable sound of a heartbeat generated as one’s vehicle passes over the slightly-raised expansion joints embedded in her on ramp …

Offering to you and me and all a gift equally esoteric in its beauty, mystery and serendipity.

The Taste of Forever


Begin story with: ‘Profundity’
Include: ‘Many’ & ‘Never’

Profundity: That rarest of rare ineffable exquisiteness which bestows itself on only a few, select moments in ones’ lifetime.

The heart-palpitating wild wonderment of your first kiss shared with the girl in high school you couldn’t imagine was but just another living, breathing person like you – her innate incredulity in your eyes lending her more the air and aloofness of Queen Nefertiti.

You & her. Together with a bottle of wine, two Ball canning jars and a cooler full of ice. Thoughts and feelings aligned as precisely and perfectly as the arrows on Orion’s belt. In your 1976 Pontiac Catalina at the drive-in movie show. “Supper’s Ready,” the magical, mystical soul-searching opus co-crafted by the English band, Genesis and God Himself playing over and over on your car’s state-of-the-art 8 track tape player.

Heaven has its angels. The Universe: its stars. The oceans: their layered depths of mystery decorated with otherworldly miracle upon miracle swimming .. floating .. cavorting .. exploring .. mating .

You … have her. She … has you. You’re both young. Healthy. Innocent. Searching. Yearning. Discovering. Strong, pink hearts measuring out the seconds .. the minutes .. the hours .. the lives the two of you have yet to immerse yourselves in.

Orion. The songs of the Whales. The furthest unseen planets circling the furthest unseen stars. As you take her hand in yours. Comforting her soul. Your heart nearly overdosing on the mix of sheer beauty and adrenaline as you feel her give your hand the slightest, barely perceptible squeeze in return.

No words. No thoughts. Just a plea to the Heavens: Please. Let us share this moment again and again and again. As many ‘agains’ as can fit into one lifetime.

You share a kiss.
Flavored with the taste of forever.

Hold on. Never let me go.

JFK and The Sun Kings


Parameters: Begin story with ‘Be.’
Include in body: ‘like.’ ‘November.’
Exactly 300 words.

BE. A. T. L. E. S. ARRIVE IN NEW YORK February 7, 1964

John. Paul. George. Ringo. Right? Isn’t that the order … the ‘accepted’ order, at that … most of us use when we refer to The Lads? It just kind of morphed into that over the years. Whether this particular order is intended to signify the level of innate talent each brought to the band or their names just roll off the tongue easier this way is up for debate.

First off Pan Am flight #101 was George. Following him down the stairs was John. Then Paul. And, lastly, Ringo. With George & Ringo essentially forming a set of symbolic parenthesis or quotation marks around the juggernaut that would become “Lennon-McCartney.”

Of course, maybe George happened to be sitting closest to the door. And Ringo, furthest. Thus, the order of disembarking. No mystery. No debate or deconstruction necessary. For some things are as innocent and straightforward as they appear.

Others are not.

November 22, 1963. JFK Assassinated.

A momentous event also captured live. The film of which – on a much deeper level – continues to provoke more questions than answers.

Regardless of whether it be JPGR / GJPR, the infectious enthusiasm of these 4 kids from across the pond was exactly what America needed at this exact time. For, although it had yet to be written, let alone released in 1964, She could be heard softly singing one of The Lads’ next hits : Help me if you can, I’m feeling down / And I do appreciate you being ’round / Help me get my feet back on the ground / Won’t you please, please help me?

America. JFK. The Beatles. Inexplicably. Inexorably Intertwined.

Which was most like the photograph? The photographer?

All. None. Either. Or.


A Sunny Day Rain


Begin story with: ‘America’
Include: ‘constructed’ & ‘killed’
Precisely: 300 words

America. Home of the free.
Home of the free to be anything you would want to be.
From sea to shining sea.
Fortunate and unfortunately.

Because some see this as ‘too much of a good thing.’
And would prefer to see Her hurt and hobbled.
Her people crippled, their hearts in a sling.

Men with black holes devouring their black souls
their pitiful lives as meaningful as flotsam and jetsam littering the shoals

Such as Amalgam Man – the once brave corporate slave who fought to break the chain.
And his sidekick, Suicide Sam – with a personality painted equal parts hate and pain.

Sharing their ugliness by car .. horse .. buggy … or train.
No one liked them. These big small short tall monster midgets whose aura incited a sunny day rain.

But we can’t have one or two bad apples spoil the bunch.
We must confer. Discuss. Can you swing by for lunch?

Our targets can’t hide. Nor out of our hands slip nor slide.
Because, whether dressed as a businessman or a back-alley bum
each stands in, each stands out like the proverbial sore thumb.

We’ll come up with a plan to deal with these men.
And once it’s constructed we’ll unleash it in the iniquities den.

Home again after their latest attack. Knife slices still bleeding from the ones who fought back.

Still, they both remained overtly thrilled. Witnessing the calamity left behind from all they had killed.

Regardless, they are nothing special. Just two of the few.
Intent on spreading mayhem, death and disgust like a fetid, succulent stew.

Turning innocent planes, trains & automobiles into midway mauling people reapers
As the poisonous doctrines in their heads once again reach a boil behind their crazed peepers

America the free. America the free to be.
Both fortunate.
And unfortunately.

Every One … Except This One

Begin story with ‘Become’
Include in body: ‘except’ & ‘possessed’
Become part of my stream of consciousness.  Where I share with you the thoughts which occur to me right this moment – while I simultaneously sit here and discover them myself.
That is, except for one or two of these random thoughts which might belie the overall construct I’ve created in my own head, I’m striving to capture THIS moment .. and THIS one .. and THIS one as well.
But, let there be no misunderstanding on this point: I decry the inference that I am
publicly attempting to proselytize, or pander to, or otherwise win readers over to share in THIS moment. OR THIS one. But, every other one. Which, come to think of it, is rather a conundrum of a sentence: “BUT, EVERY OTHER ONE.”
Does that imply that I am willing to capture EVERY thought and brainstorm which I
now find popping out the end of my fingers, including each and every one as they occur with the exception of THAT ONE THOUGHT that simply does not belong for one reason or the other?
OR is the sentence “BUT, EVERY OTHER ONE” meant to be taken literally? As in: “I will record EVERY OTHER THOUGHT.” As in, I will include ONLY my even-numbered thoughts? And exclude my odd-numbered thoughts?
I, myself, don’t even know the answer to that quagmire of a question. And, I’M THE
But you, dear reader, perhaps enjoy a closer relationship – albeit, from afar – into my inner psyche than I, myself, do. In which case – I humbly request: Please Do Share.
As I would find fascinating knowing what you believe you know. Truly. Honestly.
In the meantime, I remain seemingly possessed by the intricate give and take, ebb and flow, pureness of concept as it occurs.

A Tear Full of Miracle

Story must be exactly 300 words
Must begin with the word: ‘Rudyard’
And include: ‘poetics’ and ‘Wilde’ somewhere in the body.

Rudyard ?! “

Honey, I love you beyond words and back. You’re a brilliant, clever, wondrous man. The love of my life infinity.”

But … ‘Rudyard ?!’ “Really?” “Why not just name this glorious, growing seed, this son-of-ours-in-the-making ‘that geeky kid named after a long-deceased English poet?”

Better yet – why stop there? In for a line, in for a stanza … How about this: ‘Rudyard Wilde Lennon?’ This way we cover not one – not two – but a full three of the men you admire most?

Pretty funny there, love. But … may I?” asks hubby. “I mean, after all – I did have a little something to do with the onset of the subject of this conversation. Yes?”

Indeed you did. My toes have yet to fully uncurl. Please, go on.”

Just one of the many reasons I so love you, babe.” As he nestled his head on his wife’s tummy. “It’s not about the name, per se. It’s more what’s behind the name. Not simply the poetry. But the poetics. The je ne sais quoi which we can only hope and pray and dream will envelop in its mystery this half-you half-me miracle. Showering charm and beauty and love and humility on his every step every thought every heartbeat.”

Feeling the slightest movement against his face as he trailed off. Sobbing softly to himself, Rudyard’s entire life-to-be playing out behind daddy’s closed eyes. Feeling tears on his face. And falling gently on the top of his head as he releases his embrace on the two loves of his life. Grasping his wife’s hands. Rising up. Her quivering smile framed in tears.

Whispering … “God could not be everywhere, therefore He created Mothers.”

As he kissed her tears away one word one stanza one poem at a time.


The End

A Celebrity Wizard

Parameters: Begin story with the word “Everybody.” Include in body: ‘must’ & ‘celebrity.’ Story must be exactly 300  words. IT GOES LIKE THIS :

“Everybody is out to get me,” bemoaned Happiness in a somewhat unfitting twist to its usual goodhearted nature.

Bribes. Threats. Empty promises. Cajoling. Manipulating. Blackmailing. The ways people have devised to win me over are as infinite and meaningless as are a death row inmates pleas for clemency.

Good Looks has applied what equates to a swimming pool full of potions and lotions over the years. To stay young. To stay pretty. To stay in My favor.

Despite the age-old saying, Money built me a mansion. Parked a fancy custom gull winged sports car in the drive.

And Health? .. get this .. Health did .. seriously .. 1,000 push ups ‘In my honor,’ as he told me.

Oh, really? ‘In my honor?’ Not in an effort to win me over? For me to come visit & hopefully stay a while? Call me jaded, if you must. But somehow that just doesn’t ring true. For I am Happiness – that most coveted, amorphous and elusive of all states of beings. People don’t just ‘do things in My honor’ without expecting something in return.

Entire doctrines have been created to help the less-than-Me train their brains to cultivate my essence. Zen. Yoga. Meditation. And the new kid on the block: Mindfulness. They all have their upsides. And contain some positive messages. But as ‘THEE ANSWER’ to achieving the state of bliss for which I seem to be universally known?

They’re close. Real close. But it’s much more simple than that.

Are you listening? Now, I’m only going to say this once. So pay attention.

You already have everything you need to be ME:

All You Need Do Is To Be True To Your Own Self. Nothing more. Nothing less.

You’re Welcome.

Now … Go Be The Celebrity – The Wizard – You Were Meant To Be.