Sunday, June 28, 2009

Trash Cans:
An Excavation of Family as Midden Heap
(Part 5 - Elliott)

Elliott’s trash can sat in rumpled gray Dickies, flannel shirt, and horn-rimmed glasses with thick lenses. His lid was stuck. I yanked until it gave way with a sticky ripping sound. Mother’s marshmallow frosting! I knew I was never getting my fair share. Cached in the gooey mess were Dagwood sandwiches, Rocky Mountain oysters from the ranch where our brother-in-law was the foreman, school-yard bullies, USGA maps, a VW microbus filled with camping gear, the violin he crafted at the Dushkin School of Music, worn-out excuses, Heathkit components, short-wave radios, cameras, and developing baths. A sudden fissure in the marshmallow frosting revealed a girl with summer-blond hair waving goodbye out a car window as her family leaves the campground.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Costumes (Part 3)

We've lost our second Gypsy.

By that I don't mean to infer that I've misplaced either the first or the second. I know perfectly well where they are, it's just that family obligations in October will keep them from "singing, dancing, tending to the fire ablaze with mystery" along with the rest of us. The Pirate waits ever so patiently. So far.

I do have a lead on possible cast members for the three roles remaining open.

The morning after our second read-through of the script last Thursday night, I awakened knowing the script had developed a major flaw. The powerful promise of the opening was not matched by the ending. In fact, the show lacked an important connective thread throughout. I immediately went back to work while my insight remained fresh. Now to let it simmer for a while without me.

The Planetarium is out as a venue for us. I investigated the Elks Lodge last Friday. The space looked very workable, but as of this afternoon, the Elks and I are unable to coordinate appropriate dates for a production. Tied to Hallowe'en, the show has a limited time frame. It's still early in the game.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


When 19 good years had come to pass,
Melissa lived by the sea, did she,
in a quaint little house by the sea.

We all felt someone should visit the lass
and witness her life by the sea, thought we,
but who, pray tell, should it be?

As her mother I knew what I had to do
and flew to my child by the sea, just me,
to her quaint little house by the sea.

We danced and we sang, grew tipsy with brew
and walked hand-in-hand by the sea, did we,
in the moonlit sand by the sea.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Trash Cans:
An Excavation of Family as Midden Heap
(Part 4 - Mother)

Mother’s trash can graced the foot of the table wearing a royal blue silk dress, a string of graduated pearls, and Chanel No. 5. Her lid was warm to the touch. Black-capped chickadees flitted inside in the summer light, their two-note song evidence for her of holiness. Below were white sand beaches with sanderlings skirting the foaming surf, vases of yellow jonquils, bone china teacups, aprons for every occasion, floor-length satin gowns, Girl Scout newsletters, Robert’s Rules of Order, Rudolph Valentino, winning bridge hands, ballerina dreams, and the irrepressible heart of a Flapper. Embedded in a layer rich in buttermilk and graham crackers were the ashes of regret, shards of hope, points of insecurity.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Too Bad I've Never Been to Kampsville

What if I had lived in Horizon Nine
And you in Horizon Eight buried
Through charcoaled fragments of time,
Preserved through drought and flood
For future men-of-the-spade?

Would you have known that I existed
Compressed beneath your prayers and fires,
A captive audience while they burned?
Would you have cared that I existed,
Precursor of your fate?

Or perhaps when you arrived
You thought this site unoccupied.
So, unearthed, I am as new to you
As I am to these shovels and picks
And laboratory specialists.

No matter—we both lie exposed.
A few telltale bones and seeds
Proclaim our existence.
Betrayed by Carbon-14, we remain forever
Prisoners of our own horizons.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Trash Cans:
An Excavation of Family as Midden Heap
(Part 3 - Grandma)

Grandma’s trash can perched between her daughters in a rose-flowered housedress, rolled-down stockings, and sensible black shoes. I felt guilty opening her elder lid as she was always so discreet and proper. Hidden in mounds of glutinous peelings from the red-skinned potatoes she prepared every night for dinner, no matter what Mother was serving, were hairnets and tissues, croqueted afghans, Art Linkletter, African violets, pillow candies, widow hands that had washed and cooked to keep five children together, Lawrence Welk, Sergeant Schultz, and a fluttery syncopated heart. Deep in her Germanic core, a buried Mother Tongue choked on its diphthongs.