Sunday, August 29, 2010

Cast of Characters: heroes, rogues and supporting roles

Source: United State Department of State Telephone Directory


Boulevard Maya Maya, Brazzaville

Phone: +242-06612-2000

Workweek: M-Thurs - 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m./Fridays 7:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.


Officer Name

AMB OMS and EEO Pamela Roxanne Aulton

MGT Rodney D. Cunningham / Formerly Lynn the Rogue

POL/ECON Jason Conroy

AMB Christopher W. Murray

CON Chris Mchone

PAO Shayna Cram

RSO Daley O'Neil

CLO Breton Boudreaux

FMO Robert Warner

IMO Joshua Kim

Fast Forward to January 2011

Enticingly Incorrigible: Dedicated to the Jamaican Gypsy in Brazzaville 2010

When Americans reside abroad- living their daily lives unrestrained by the confines of red, white, and blue social conventions governing stateside sexual conduct- odd and unpredictable activities in the human relationship department occur. I have observed antics of men and women turned loose in Brazzaville for the past five months, including myself, and shaped our performance into poetic form.

Behold a day in the life of Central Africa’s ex-patriot erotic playground.

I dedicate this poem to a man who asked me to be his dirty private secret in the bedroom while his true love, languishing on a distant continent, pined publicly for his return.

An internal struggle ensued after I heard his overture to my senses because emotions emanating from warm bodies are never as unambiguous as intellects would like. Could I exchange my sense of self-worth and my expectation to be acknowledged publicly by his friends for a shimmering fleshy promise of stimulation I was certain he could deliver to me time and time again? Although the clandestine perversion of hiding passion from the world’s gaze intrigued me at first bite- its addictive musk still floats in clouds through the air- my heart dissuaded me from accepting his gag order and cloak of invisibility. I knew his demands would eventually destroy me. Common sense told me that a relationship between a man and woman poisoned by deception, lies, and secrecy from its inception was trouble.

The explanation I present to the reader is quite cut and dried, but reality in Central Africa is neither simple nor painless. I was anything but unaffected by the intimacy we shared, which was both profound and putrid, as exposed bits and pieces of our lives blended and bled. He’s closed the door to communication with me now. No compassionate words and positive closure for us, so I am rearranging memories into a comfortable configuration all on my own.

...from a bruised place in my soul, sample a taste of something uncooked and raw.

Uncooked and Raw

Vulnerability is a sensitive issue.
Slight pressure transforms beige normalcy.
Thin-skinned and bruised sexuality-
black and blue for the world to see.
Pulsating with a sluggish rhythm.

Unleashing privileged information with abandon.
Giving clues to inner workings and
exposing more than just a favorite color: purple.

Panting in the humidity of rainy season.
Eating leftovers of another woman’s man.

Knowing he sleeps in the nude.
Asks you bluntly to air your dirty sexual laundry
for his physical gratification.
Fantasizes about the verb list
nudging, prodding, probing and finally poking


He knows
your mouth wants to open for him
at crotch level,
unzipping his fly with gentle teeth tugs.
Reaching in orally for the prize.

Remember to


when he recalls a Significant Other
from his time in Algiers, so certain of his sexual fidelity-
she waits chastely for his return
unaware he’s in the midst of a midlife crisis
busy text messaging girly friends
soft porn images on their cell phones
of hot bath dances.

Bruised inside and out
by vulnerability’s disfigurement
sleepless and wide eyed
between stained sheets in Brazzaville.

Unknown To Me

IRS Aziz Benbrahim (Resident In Paris)

CDC Dr. Gianluca Flamigni (Resident In Kinshasa, DRC)

HRO Theresa Everett (Resident In Kinshasa)

ICASS Chair Debra Townes

MLO/ODC COL Thomas A. Crowder

DAO LTC Charles O. Collins

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Battered and Fried

If Iowa were a main dish instead of a state, it would be battered, fried and served with Ranch dressing. Going out to dinner tonight left my clothes smelling like fried chicken and rancid vegetable oil.

Playing with my new camera outside of the restaurant resulted in this image of a rusting truck. Oh Iowa!

Monday, August 23, 2010

I Have No Secrets

Boys will be boys... and girls?

Excerpts from Hilary Thayer Hamann's novel Anthropology of an American Girl

Boys will be boys, that's what people say. No one ever mentions how girls have to be something other than themselves altogether. We are expected to stifle the same feelings that boys are encouraged to express. We are to use gossip as a means of policing ourselves. This way those who do succumb to the lure of sex but are not damaged by it are damaged instead by peer malice. We are to remain united in cruelty, ignorance, and aversion. We are to starve our flesh from our bones, penalizing the body for its nature, castigating ourselves for advances from men that we are powerless to prevent. We are to make false promises, then resist the attentions solicited. Basically we are to become expert liars.

Teary-Eyed Evolution: Crying Serves A Purpose

I began reading Hilary Thayer Hamann's novel Anthropology of an American Girl, and the main character's observations about life shook me into remembering how junior high and high school kids often stare unblinking, slicing through adult bullshit with their pupils, to uncover the naked decaying core at the center of many of life's situations.

Evie, a senior high school girl in the novel, described grief like this:

My eyes opened wide, admitting light from my mother's desk lamp. If you don't want to cry, you can stop yourself by looking into the light. It's better to keep grief inside. Grief inside works like bees or ants, building curious and perfect structures, complicating you. Grief outside means you want something from someone, and chances are good you won't get it (Hamann, p. 39).

As I was stirring to wakefulness this morning, I was dreaming of grief and loss [someone I trusted had stolen my favorite camera] and heard an NPR story about the evolution of human tears. Why do we cry? According to the story "Teary-Eyed Evolution: Crying Serves A Purpose," crying does serve a selfish human purpose.

From the story:

One theory is that crying may have evolved as a kind of signal — a signal that was valuable because it could only be picked up by those closest to us who could actually see our tears. Tears let our intimates in — people within a couple of feet of us, who would be more likely to help.

"Crying seems to elicit compassion and guilt, and that itself may be an evolved mechanism to save relationships in distress," said Jesse Bering, who directs the Institute of Cognition and Culture at Belfast University.

Tears can play an important role in communication, and the extraordinary thing is that tears don't just telegraph our state of mind to others — they can also evoke strong emotions in the people who witness them.

This illustrates another aspect of crying — whether it's intentional or unintentional, crying is a powerful way to get what you need or want.

Teary-Eyed Evolution: NPR

Friday, August 20, 2010

Inspiration Before Breakfast

[Thanks to my friend Yorlene for pointing me in the direction of this poem!]

The Invitation

Oriah Mountain - Dreamer, Canadian Teacher, and Author

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living

I want to know what you ache for

and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are

I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool

for love

for your dreams

for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon...

I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow

if you have been opened by life's betrayals

or have become shrivelled and closed

from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain

mine or your own

without moving to hide it

or fade it

or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy

mine or your own

if you can dance with wildness

and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes

without cautioning us to

be careful

be realistic

to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me

is true.

I want to know if you can

disappoint another

to be true to yourself.

If you can bear the accusation of betrayal

and not betray your own soul.

If you can be faithless

and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty

even when it is not pretty

every day.

And if you can source your own life

from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure

yours and mine

and still stand on the edge of the lake

and shout to the silver of the full moon,


It doesn't interest me

to know where you live or how much money you have.

I want to know if you can get up

after a night of grief and despair

weary and bruised to the bone

and do what needs to be done

to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know

or how you came to be here.

I want to know if you will stand

in the center of the fire

with me

and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom

you have studied.

I want to know what sustains you

from the inside

when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone

with yourself

and if you truly like the company you keep

in the empty moments.

© 1995 by Oriah House, From "Dreams Of Desire" Published by Mountain Dreaming, 300 Coxwell Avenue, Box 22546, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4L 2A0

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dreams To Remember: Reflux BEGONE

Dance On

Things that trigger acid reflux = taxes; taking my cat to the vet; a romantic relationship or contemplating one; too much orange or tomato juice; people I don't like; obsessive thoughts (which I am in training to slash and smite with my mental sword); assorted emotions and additional items not specified here.

Latch on to the positive and eliminate the negative. Simple and effective- yes, yes, yes, yes, yes...

Listening to Angelique Kidjo singing I've Got Dreams to Remember makes life beautiful.

Reminder: Lesson in Detachment

Reminder: Lesson in Detachment

I enjoy that place of clarity and deep, regular breathing renewing my body and spirit and allowing me to face the world with a balanced and grounded energy and outlook. Lessons in detachment are always valuable reminders to help me achieve this state of being.

… the key to reunification is learning to detach ourselves from the drama and outcome, and understand that polarization [or allowing emotion to control our minds] is a lesson in humility and total consciousness. Detachment means rising above the status quo [or current situation that causes shallow breathing and rising blood pressure], without passing judgment, and watching the drama unfold without becoming physically or emotionally involved.

That's peace!

From: Learning the Art of Detachment, 2002, Dawn Abel

Maya Mystery School

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Vajra Yogini

Seeing a lovely yogini peacefully meditating with patience and steadfastness moving through her posture at the Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C. last week reminded me how important visual representations of female spirituality, wisdom, leadership, and power are for me.

The venerable Vajrayogini is the female Buddha of wisdom and great bliss.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

on the water

Sailing Paradise

I note my desire to sail the world for at least 7 years for my next life, but I can take steps to realize the dream in this life. How else could I experience UNESCO's World Heritage site in Hawaii?

Friday, August 06, 2010

Oh Elvis

Woke up this morning in search of the news and found Elvis instead!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

The Butterfly Effect


It's curious how

a phone ringing-


as if on cue

or a phone call

replaced instead

by a nap,

a movie,

or some other

diversionary song and dance

can re-route

the direction

of an eager heart.

How many

promising propositions

failed to fornicate

because the wings of

a forgotten promise

closed the possibility?

Too Many Sighs

Le premier soupir de l’amour
Est le dernier de la sagesse.

- Antoine Bret—Ecole amoureuse. Sc. 7 - un écrivain et auteur dramatique français

When love’s well-timed ’tis not a fault to love;
The strong, the brave, the virtuous, and the wise,
Sink in the soft captivity together.

- Addison—Cato. Act III. Sc. 1 (speak to me of poorly-timed love)

The Masculine Dance

[The power and sway of men's hips as they dance is entrancing to the eye and highly sexual. More American men should consider dancing seriously to flaunt their virtues to the female of the species. Note: Saint Vitus is the patron saint of dancers.]

"My Soul is in My Pants" [by David McNamara]

My Soul Is in My Pants

Call me Rocco, the little brother of Saint Vitus.
I've got waxy eyelashes, a flexible pelvis

And can sort through the card catalog

Of all your mystical categories

With the power of my tango.

Are you surprised by my Latin thrusts?

Didn't you know you'd set off

These seismic rumbas

With your cocktail shaker

And mocha eyes?

Didn't you know you'd lose your balance,

You'd lose your breath

When my sacrum popped in want of you?

Doesn't it bore into your database

Like the worm wriggling at the bottom of a tequila bottle?

You looked and I danced.

You asked and I said yes.

That's not my phone. That's not my wallet.

That's my soul.

My soul is in my pants.

-- David McNamara

Source: The Best American Poetry

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

I Thought These Items Were Funny!

14 FAM EXHIBIT 723.2

This email is UNCLASSIFIED

Known items prohibited for dispatch by diplomatic pouch include, but are not limited to:

Human remains (e.g., cremains, organs);

Radioactive substances;

Weapons (e.g., knives, kitchen knives, swords, arrows);

Incendiary materials such as road flares, cigarette lighters, self starting charcoal, etc.; and

Any device that cannot be completely disabled from emitting any noise, signal, or vibration while in transit. Batteries must be removed or item must be completely unwound and locked in this position (such as clocks, watches, timers, alarms, radios, etc.).

[My father was cremated and his ashes are happily living with my sister, and I don't own any radioactive substances.]

Sunday, August 01, 2010

August 1, 2010: Iowa

Time Released

August garden smells the
perishable odor of winter
drooping daisies and downing hollyhocks.
Halitosis of the season.
Browned blossoms leave me
with a time released feeling.

[August 1 marks the end of true summer in Iowa, and I begin to mourn. Family business spins invisible threads of possession around my heart, but soon it will be time to go.]

Low Anthem: If you haven't heard them, LISTEN!

I would love to be attending the Newport Folk Festival 2010, but since I am in Iowa, NPR is treating me to the sounds. What would I do without public radio? Suffer!

Low Anthem is my band of the year!

About Me

My photo

What do I do? That’s a question with more depth than the deceiving three-word construction would lead us to believe.

I live on planet earth with other folks, and I’m involved in the field of education and learning. I’m a life-long learner with a passion for knowledge and the process of bending bits of ideas into new constructions of beauty.