What Makes America Great?

 

Our mighty multicultural voice makes America great. It is the sunrise and the sunset, breathtaking in its ever-changing composition.

 

 

 

© Jan Joe and Born in the year of the dog, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jan Joe and Born in the year of the dog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Sunset

“As they ran, the sun projected its final scene across their metallic skin, a moving screen of muscle.”

 

 

 

 

 

 


© Jan Joe and Born in the year of the dog, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jan Joe and Born in the year of the dog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

A Minute Of Silence

The deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling are a stinging reminder of duplicity within the American justice system and American culture.


 

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.

When privilege rings

Naming. It’s the thing human’s do. We name to identify. We name to acknowledge ownership. We name something to claim a position, or ourselves and who we are.

This reminds me of the time I’d just come out of a pet store, the large warehouse type. My cart was filled with one forty pound bag of dog food, and the coupon I used barely put a dent in the price. My mood was as grey as the afternoon sky because money was tight again. On occasion, I paid some of my bills on alternate months to stretch our paychecks out. This was one of those months. Building has always been a tough business.

I looked round to find my husband’s truck and saw her. She leaned on a cart filled with her belongings as she drew up next to me. She couldn’t have been much older than me, but her slow shuffle and the dark circles under her eyes told a story much different than mine. We talked for a while. She was looking for a nearby shelter and she was hungry.

At first, I felt awkward. It’s always been moments like those that I’ve felt the confining nature of unjust societal norms. It’s the white version, the diluted side of American social pressures. That’s the moment in which she and I came together. That’s the moment my privilege reared its ugly head and made itself known. Not because some injustice had been forced on me, but because I felt uncomfortable knowing that the woman standing in front of me had great injustices forced on her from the moment she was born. That’s the moment I wanted to beat my privilege with a bat!

Eventually, we said our goodbyes. I gave her the remaining cash in my wallet. I wanted it to be more. I wanted it to come with good fortune and the 400 plus years of advantages and power that have allowed me to walk down many streets without fear, unmolested and unnoticed like a tree in a protected forest.

Just before we parted she said, “My name is Dominique.”

I returned the social grace, and began to wonder just exactly who I was.

 

 

© Jan Joe and Born in the year of the dog, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jan Joe and Born in the year of the dog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Orbiting The Question

A couple of things kept me from writing blog posts over the last few weeks. One is my DNA test. I had it done through Ancestry.com, after a lot of thought. Actually, what I really did was purchase the test then let it sit in a drawer for almost a year. And not because I forgot it. I just didn’t want to find out that my mom and stepfather were wrong.

When I was fifteen and feeling pretty smug about who I was, my folks broke the news that my biological cocktail wasn’t made in-house. They were in the middle of a nasty divorce, and I’m pretty sure my brother and I were being asked to choose sides. I chose my father’s side (and I use that term loosely) because we’d always been closer. He’d spent more time with me and accepted my emerging personality of follower and worshiper. It was many years later when I truly acknowledged the costs associated with that relationship. That is another story.

My mother did offer to name my biological father. She did offer a bridge over the chasm of reserve and divorce, but I was angry at the time and unwilling to allow a newcomer into my tiny circle of chaos. We left that subject behind us, like a condemned building, and never returned.

Continue reading “Orbiting The Question”

Memory, dream or deja vu?

Memories come in so many different shapes, sizes and flavors. I’ve had a few extra recently. I’m not sure why. Could it be that I’m growing older? Even though I’m not that old, yet. I do plan on making plenty of memories still. And it’s not the first time that my memories have come in waves. I can’t anticipate them. Anything could set them off, the smell of bread baking, the view of my home from a hillside or the sound of a bus as it brakes at a stop. In their own way, I think memories recreate a new moment. Something between a dream and deja vu.

1-w Prog_FilesSome days memories roll over me like ocean waves. These are calm moments brought on by echoes of laughter that cross my face with a smile. Minutes may pass before I come up for air and realize that I am floating.

On occasion, I’m caught in a wave’s curl. In those intense moments my muscles tighten as I fight against the pull of violent events. Aware of my surroundings, I grasp for air. Minutes may pass before I’m thrown on the safety of the shore.

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© Jan Joe and Born in the year of the dog, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jan Joe and Born in the year of the dog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Beast

Miss So and So plays, and

notes pirouette from the piano keys—

graces mary’s little lambs.  But,

ocean printrapture eludes the triangle

in a world of circles

who watch the ocean roar an opera.

 

 

From where incongruity sits, the beast growls

a spasm of bass, a float of discord.

 

Mr. high and mighty sermonizes

in high octane, delivering…

peals of solace that sway and

slip over pews, and puddle on the floor

as congregations of hymns

flock to see the breaching mass.

 

She blossoms with guilt

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Wednesday’s child observed the constellation Orion from the ship’s deck and couldn’t pinpoint the exact location of evasion. It seemed to weave and bob like ocean swells. Once, she thought she caught a Glimpse, but on closer inspection found it was a Glimmer. While listening to old sea chanteys, she wondered aloud, “How is it that ideals, while jumping through hoops, form braces of fear?”

 

 

 

© Jan Joe and Born in the year of the dog, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jan Joe and Born in the year of the dog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

As I Walk Out of the Light

As I walk out of the light, the dark swallows me whole, and the earth pats my barefoot soul hello.

My feet return the greeting.  Faster, along the path, pretending to gallop, I divine my way.  As the night air takes me in its arms, I push against her soil, and give a whoop.  Somewhere down the road, a howl is returned, and a train wreck of barking bursts and bangs on windows.  I push again and pluck the stars as disturbed night owls flutter.  They’ve got nothing on me.  I’m too big to carry off, and devour.  Battle weary blades of grass, heroic defenders of mole fortresses, brush against my ankles.  Flickers of light through fences send their warnings like lighthouse calls.  And I race on, for there are no breakers here, no reefs to crash upon.  Here, in the shadows, only the sighs of eddies trail behind me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Jan Joe and Born in the year of the dog, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jan Joe and Born in the year of the dog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The probabilities that make a story

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Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t. – Mark Twain.

As a fiction writer, I read a lot of fiction. I also read a lot of current nonfiction material.
Continue reading “The probabilities that make a story”