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I Want To Tell You A Story

I want to tell you a story.

I don’t know what that story is

But I know what I want it to do.

I want it to snag you out of your every day

I want it to make you pause, and wonder

I want it to transport so thoroughly you forget where you left your coffee

I want it to have characters so true and fascinating and flawed

That you want to hang out with them even once the story is done.

I want it to make your heart pound with fear and excitement

I want it to catch your breath and not give it back

I want it to raise your blood pressure, make your skin itchy and your hair stand on end,

I want it to say something important, but not preachy or pretentious

But I also want it to change the world

By which I mean, I want it to change you and me.

I want to tell you a story.

And I still don’t what that story is,

But I most certainly know what I want it to do.

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SO Hollywood…sigh

Sigh.  I apologize, I know I rant about this often.  I know I write about it almost every single Writober at some point, if not multiple times.  But honestly it’s only because of the amount of bullshit that gets slung at my city.  Look I get it.  LA/Hollywood is an industry town and that industry involves obscene amounts of money.  Money makes people weird.  The potential for money makes people weird.  Fame makes people weird.  The potential for fame makes people weird.  But I get really tired of the relentless claims that “Hollywood is SO shallow”, “You know everyone there is SO Hollywood”, “He’s a great guy, not Hollywood at all”, “You can’t even have a conversation with her she’s just WAY too Hollywood”…and on and on.  Hollywood is where my friend Sienna grew up.  Living in a sweet neighborhood on a street above Franklin Blvd. just a little west of Western.  Hollywood is where my friend Stacy grew up.  Living on Franklin Blvd. a bit west of Vermont.  She went to high school at Immaculate Heart on Los Feliz Blvd.  Hollywood is where my friend Alix lives in a sweet two bedroom apartment in what used to be a predominantly Jewish neighborhood.  She’s lived there for almost two decades now.  She shops at the local supermarket.  She has dinner at the restaurants a couple of blocks from her street.  She has a great Halloween party every year that we always try to attend.  Hollywood is where I lived in my early 20’s and I lovedlovedlovedloved it.  I played pool at one of the oldest pool halls in Los Angeles which was just one block down and one block over from my apartment.  I walked to the Baskin and Robbins ice cream shop on the corner of my street.  On nights at the beginning of spring I would walk along Franklin Blvd. following the scent of pink jasmine floating through the air until I met up with my friend at Birds, a bar that had decent coffee along with the usual bar drinks.  Hollywood is a place where people live and work and love and play and fuck up and hate.  But it’s just a city, a city that some people grow up in, they go to elementary school there, they are in the PTA, they open their shops in the morning and hope they do enough business to pay their rent, they go to jobs working for the MTA and Ralph’s and law firms and hospitals and Veterinary offices.  Yeah some of them work in the entertainment industry, even a lot of them do…but for those of us who have lived in Los Angeles our whole lives it’s such a slap in the face to dismiss all the other people who live and work and make this city such a wonder to live in.  Hollywood is so much more than one industry and so much less than most people’s dreams. 

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Inspired by a song…

Song: Before The Eyes of Storytelling Girls by Anais Mitchell

We are here in the midst of this chaos we did not create, we do not condone and we can’t seem to contain.  We have tried, over and over, in all the different ways at our disposal.  We teach with fairy tales and metaphors, we show through the example of how we treat others, we comfort and guide and still it never seems to be enough to change the path.  We have been gentle, we have been fierce, we have laid down our bodies and our souls, we resisted, we surrendered, we have raged and been serene, we picked up weapons and we have walked as pacifists through the battles and still, over and over, we find ourselves here.  I guess no matter what the center will not hold and eventually everything falls, leaving only fragments of our fairy tales, broken pieces of cell phones and a glass bead or two.

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Writober 2018

Photo by from Pexels

So it’s almost time for yet another Writober.  I’ve been revisiting some old Writobers and I have to say it’s been quite funny.  Over the years there have been, at times, only a couple of us writing and other times quite a few of us from all over the world writing.  There are a few of us who have been doing this for many years now.  If you don’t know, Writober is a group writing exercise in a way.  We agree to write something, anything really, three times a week and send it to everyone on the email list.  The goal is to simply write with some regularity in the company of others who are doing the same thing.  

I have written complete nonsense.  I have written things I had no idea I was going to write.  I have surprised myself with what I have written.  I have felt irrationally irritated that I have to write something but I try to do it anyway.  I have totally forgotten to write.  I have been obsessed with an idea and been unable to get it written.  I have been just blithering something out because it’s a Monday or Wednesday or Friday and suddenly it turns into something enchanting.  No matter what, Writober always does exactly what I hoped it would do when I first started it…it gets me to write words.  What happens from there is always surprising.

So I hope that all who join me this Writober get some words written and I wish us all some surprising, irritating, and enchanting writing at the end of it.

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A Poem by the Amazing Sandra Cisneros

I need some poetry right now.  I need some art and music and dance and all that reminds me the human spirit is powerful and we rise above our failures and character defects and smallness even in the darkest of times.  I need some poetry right now and thought you might too.
xoxo Miss Bliss
Loose Woman – Poem by Sandra Cisneros

They say I’m a beast.
And feast on it. When all along
I thought that’s what a woman was.

They say I’m a bitch.
Or witch. I’ve claimed
the same and never winced.

They say I’m a macha, hell on wheels,
viva-la-vulva, fire and brimstone,
man-hating, devastating,
boogey-woman lesbian.
Not necessarily,
but I like the compliment.

The mob arrives with stones and sticks
to maim and lame and do me in.
All the same, when I open my mouth,
they wobble like gin.

Diamonds and pearls
tumble from my tongue.
Or toads and serpents.
Depending on the mood I’m in.

I like the itch I provoke.
The rustle of rumor
like crinoline.

I am the woman of myth and bullshit.
(True. I authored some of it.)
I built my little house of ill repute.
Brick by brick. Labored,
loved and masoned it.

I live like so.
Heart as sail, ballast, rudder, bow.
Rowdy. Indulgent to excess.
My sin and success-
I think of me to gluttony.

By all accounts I am
a danger to society.
I’m Pancha Villa.
I break laws,
upset the natural order,
anguish the Pope and make fathers cry.
I am beyond the jaw of law.
I’m la desperada, most-wanted public enemy.
My happy picture grinning from the wall.

I strike terror among the men.
I can’t be bothered what they think.
¡Que se vayan a la ching chang chong!
For this, the cross, the calvary.
In other words, I’m anarchy.

I’m an aim-well,
sh arp-thinking,
woman-on-the-loo se
loose woman.
Beware, honey.

I’m Bitch. Beast. Macha.
Ping! Ping! Ping!
I break things.

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The Power and Responsibility of Art

This is poetry…and whether you like it or not, whether you agree with its point of view or not, it is doing what art should always be doing…it confronts and it declares and it should make you think and think hard. Because none of us knows every truth and if you want me to see another point of view, maybe your point of view, show me a poem as passionate and courageous as this one.

Revenge by Elisa Chavez

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Entering Week 2 of Upper Respiratory Plague.

There won’t be much here until I can stop coughing.

Carry on.

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