Thursday, January 14, 2016

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Geriatric Redux by Stephanie Mesler

Photo taken after a
morning writing session.  
My company topped the NASDAQ nine years in a row.
I lived atop the city with the park sprawled out below.
I rode a corporate jet for free and took my meals at Sardis.
My assistant went to Holyoke; My friends were smart and arty.

I never had the time for marriage or for love.
It never once occurred to me to place a flame above
the needs of global enterprise, demands of greedy boards.
It never once occurred to me to dance among the hoards.

I sacrificed ambitions of the private sort.
The results were lonely birthdays and holidays cut short.
Then, one day my office door was locked and sealed to me.
My company had diversified and I had been “set free.”

No one there acknowledged ideas that were mine.
My emails, calls, and letters were quietly declined.
They didn’t want to pay me for the years that had been lost
My pension had been raided; I’d been double-crossed.

I hired a shark attorney and let her do her worst.
She made the bastards’ hearts quake: their fortune now was cursed.
Nineteen months and two weeks after treachery transpired,
they were forced to settle up.  Their conspiracy backfired.

At the age of seventy-seven, I found myself adrift.
I set on self-improvement, bought my face a lift.
I joined an urban commune to try and find myself,
but soon it was clear to me I’d die there on the shelf.

The city is for rich old men and pretty dye-job blondes.
Age and wisdom garnered naught but barely stifled yawns.
At first, I had no notion how to pass my time.
The generous parting check arrived in wintertime.

So I sold my top-floor condo and gave up all my suits,
traded boots for sandals, pulled up hearty roots.
A top-down yellow mustang became my closest friend.
I named her Zelda Daisy.  She’ll be with me ‘til the end.

We headed south on Monday without much of a plan,
only the intention of landing in the sand.
We drove out of the winter and then we drove some more
until Sunday found a cottage town along the salty shore.

Seniors Only, the sign there said.
No rooms for youngsters and don’t be wed.
Singles over 60, that’s the crowd we like.
The single-er the better.  Others, take a hike!

I moved right in that very day, paid six months in advance.
I figured I was old enough to finally take a chance
on doing things I should have done in decades long gone by.
I decided to give fun a raucously good try.

I took up dancing in a line and karaoke too.
I put some glitter on my cheeks and went to Grackle Blue.
The first night out, I was shy,
but soon found out there were guys

on the prowl for hot old gals to whirl across the splintered floor.
They bought my drinks, kissed my hands, tried valiantly to score,
but I was never interested in something easily had.
I threw my suitors back into an ocean of hungry shad.

The weeks went by, my hair grew long
I sang my songs to silver throngs
of geriatric bimbos and their stooping, blue pill swains.
They pecked and hunted all night long, making talk inane.

What was said mattered not.
No one planned to tie the knot.
Marriage is the last thing sought
when ripe old floozies are hot to trot.

Singing for my wasting fans,
I scanned the crowd and made a plan
to die alone in my feather bed,
blissfully free, superbly unwed.

Better my fantasies keep my big bed warm
than a codger as lively as chloroform.
I’d rather sleep solo, invest in some toys,
than settle for sex with one of these boys.

But then I saw him walk through the door,
the one I’d imagined for more than three score.
In youth, I had searched, but never could find
a man so handsome, so winsome, so plainly divine.

Through much of my life, I’d hoped he’d appear
and now here he was at The Grackle for beer.
His eyes locked with mine as I sang my last set
and I knew in my heart I’d found my true pet.

He was just over 30, which suited me fine,
he’d need lots of strength for what I had in mind.
Not a word passed before we were out on the floor,
twirling in circles ‘til minutes before

the clock shouted midnight. To Zelda’s backseat!
A deal there was cut and set in concrete.
There was no question of undying love.
I wanted no lies typical of

May and December, Winter and Spring.
We both understood this a practical thing.
We went to my place to gather my things.
Then off to a jeweler to buy golden rings.

Out on the beach, we exchanged honest vows
I promised my fortune and he to somehow
be faithful to me, his venerable wife,
who’d pay all his bills even after her life.

So now we reside in a luxury suite.
The sun never sets here and life is replete
with breakfasts in bed, afternoons when we shop,
and karaoke nights when we dance ‘til we drop.

He’s pampered and petted; I’m lively with lust.
We make a good team.  You can watch us combust
like paper to flame, we create a great spark.
Night after night, we light up the dark.

(c) Stephanie Mesler, 2016

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Welcoming 2016 With A Calendar And a List

I am very goal-oriented.  It's a trait I picked up in high school and college when I found that the only way to stay on top of term papers, exams, rehearsals, and performances was to set goal dates for completing every single task necessary to a given project.  It made me possibly not much fun to love with, but I graduated with high honors and made it through grad school, more or less, in one piece. It was when I started teaching that I began a love affair with calendars.  Those lovely black bound teacher planners were my salvation.  I owe them my sanity.  Sometime after becoming a mother, I began to cheat on Planners with Lists.  I started to wonder if my new flame would replace the old.  It didn't take long to realize I could be at my most productive by using both.  I introduced Lists to Planners and they got along splendidly.

Until this year.  That's when Reality kicked Planners in the privates and stole her lunch money.  I am here to tell you Reality can be a real (rhymes with) witch.  In 2015, I have completed far fewer projects than intended and felt time racing past me, like so many marathoners passing an injured tortoise at the side of the road.  Thank goodness for Lists.  Without her, I don't think I would even recall now, in the aftermath of a year run amok, what I had hoped to accomplish this time around the sun.  Luckily, Lists is still standing and able to remind me what my plans were and what I actually accomplished.  

Looking at my list of professional goals for 2015, I see that I did not achieve most of what I planned. I also see that I did accomplish a great deal.  In April, illustrations and editing for Escape From Pig Hill were completed.  This first book in The Ballad of Donny Granger was published in May. The poems and illustrations for GodSongs were completed in the early summer.  That collection was published in August. Earlier this month, illustrations for the third edition of Ermengarde The Expansive were completed and the book was published.  "Mothers Face In My Own Mirror," "Geriatric Bimbo," Nude Salutation," "If I Were Sara," "Ten Aspirations," "To An Old Bearded God," "Time Management," "It Wasn't For The Gold," "21st Century Sabine," "Rhea Silvia," and "May Day" are all poems completed in 2015.  "Basic Guided Meditation For Beginners" and "Meditation For A New Beginning" were completed in December.  

These are not insignificant accomplishments.  I find that I am actually pretty pleased with what was completed this year.  I also find that Lists is helpful in creating a plan for 2016.  I have always believed it is better to shoot high than to try to assure success by aiming low.  Idealistic as that sounds, I am aware that Reality is a powerful adversary and often has plans of her own.  So I present this goal list and time planner with a whole canister of salt.  

Steph's Professional Goals for 2016

  • Complete, illustrate and publish Ermengarde The Expansive And The Year of Long Light, a novella.  (Goal Date: May 1, 2016)
  • Complete, illustrate and publish The Road Home, next book in The Ballad of Donny Granger. (Goal Date: November 15, 2016)
  • Create 50 new poems.  (Goal Date: December 31, 2016)
  • Create 12 new Guided Meditations.  (Goal Date: December 15, 2016)
  • Create two new short stories, including "St. Francis' Feast," which is already begun.  (Goal Dates: January 15 and March 15, 2016)
  • Write a short drama about Guinevere, which is to be included in Out of The Frame, a play to be presented in 2016.    (Goal Date: June 15, 2016)
Remembering always that carving anything in stone just leads to hunting for a new rock, I think I am up to the professional challenges which lie ahead.  Happy New Year, one and All!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015