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What would you do if you fought for your children - to pass down from generation to generation for freedom - and all the sacrifices you've endured just taken away in an instance by our now government - corrupt deceit evil jerks - only in it for themselves - what would you do? tell me...
Open up your eyes - see what's around you - halt conformity - be yourself and recognize the messed up world you live in - do i look fat, do i look too skinny - forget this nonsense you call issues - emerge from within and from this messed up world you live in...

Ode to a tree

Don’t you just love big trees? When we moved here almost five years ago, we had two pretty soft maple trees in our back yard. My husband hung a porch swing from the big one. Our grandson and the neighbor boys and I spent a lot of time in that swing. Our grandson’s favorite game was to play that the swing was a pirate ship, he was the captain, and I was his “Mate”. We are bird lovers, and the trees encouraged them to visit our yard.
After a couple years we noticed that the big one was dying. Then last year the little one died. We called a nursery and found that …

There will be a time in your life, and you won't know quite why, but you, I am quite sure, will want to pick up some sort of artistic utensil and spread sunshine and butterflies (or anger and despair, take your pick) to the rest of the world.

I'm addicted, but not to anything conventional or especially controversial. I'm addicted to color.

At roughly three years old, I was coloring on my wall with magic markers. I suppose I felt that it needed spice.

At four, I was dressing my baby brother up in shiny green and purple princess dress-up clothes (plus a very lovely Ariel tiara, complete with sparkly silver fuzz around the edge), and putting stick-on earrings and my …

This is the first chapter of my memoir-in-progress, about relationships between mothers and daughters from both sides of the divide. It is tentatively titled "How Little We Know."

Chapter One: Click


My mother habitually flipped her dentures in and out of place with her tongue, most energetically when she was reading.

Click click. Click click.

It was the only sound in our cramped Bronx kitchen as she read her book or magazine those occasional evenings my father didn’t come home for dinner. She sat with my sister and me, out of a sense of duty I suppose, without actually eating. Her attention was riveted on the …

My insomnia was getting the best of me. I didn’t feel well. I was having trouble concentrating on even the smallest tasks. My brother dropped me at the doctor’s office – a visit with our family doctor whom I had known nearly all my life.

“Your dad’s collapsed. They aren’t exactly sure what’s wrong. He’s at Benedictine Hospital and your mom is with him.”

“Okay,” I said, completely devoid of any emotion.

By that time I think I had been made numb to news like this. My father always had something wrong. His drinking had plagued any sense of peace in my family for as long as I could remember. Everyday I went home from school, every morning I woke …

I went to an Orthodox Jewish preschool where I was raised on the idea that eating pig was trashy. My mother wasn’t Orthodox so when she went to the market, she was always afraid that a fellow mother
from the preschool would find out that we ate pig every Sunday for breakfast at exactly 10 am. How they would find out? I don’t know. I went to this preschool mostly because of proximity. A temple was right across the street from us and when my mother saw the entire community gather in that brick building every Saturday morning, she thought that that was something to be a part of. The irony was that she knew nothing about God or …

To make a long story short, my 95 year old mother was suffering from cancer. I lost my job in September, 2007 and started going over to take care of my mom and keep her home clean. That went on for almost 3 weeks and then the craziness happened. It was the day after Thanksgiving, 2007. Two of my brothers had been in town to see her and have Thanksgiving dinner with us. They left on the Friday after Thanksgiving, to my mom’s disappointment. That Friday evening we went over to get her ready for bed. We walked into a house that was 52 degrees and no mom in sight. Then I hear a weak …

I write micro-fiction or flash or whatever you want to call them, these very short stories that must mean I'm clever. It's like being a producer, like Pet Sounds or something, bits and pieces and layers, one easy thing at a time all steady and manic. Grace stays up with me and sometimes I think it's strange that I have a relationship with something that can walk across my mantle and fit behind the hutch. My dog's name is Scout for his long Spaniel fringes and we fall asleep to the Beach Boys every night before The Sloop John B.

I'm a fraud, a sham even. I'm a confusing recipe with way too many ingredients but I have to trust that the chef knows what he's doing. Basically I'm an American-faker. I don't belong here, in southern Memphis Tennessee, but fate has kicked my life all over the globe and someone in the heavens decided I belonged here... thus is life, right? But if I were to try to sort through the disarray I would probably start in Italy, when I spent my seven year old summers breathing freedom, tasting sweat, "ouch"ing bee stings, and running on bare feet. That's where my life started, it's where my foundation was laid, and I have to remember. I have to remember because someone needs to know it …

“Street Lamps and the Four of Us”

I will always remember the way she woke me up that night. My mother kneeled beside my bed, and brushed the hair off my forehead. She whispered into my ear, her breath was heavy and smelled like menthol cigarettes and sugar, “Sammy, wake up honey. We are going in the car for a little bit.” I must have turned over in resistance, or squeezed my eyes shut, trying to keep the yellow glow of the hallway light out of my eyes, because she started to beg. “Come on Sammy, please, the car is nice and warm and you can keep your pjs on.” I couldn’t open my eyes; they just fluttered between the yellow light and …

A man named Cookie walked into city hall the other day. It was in a nice, upscale, liberal part of town. Big, old oak trees line the streets, kids ride their bikes.

It’s safe.

So safe, there aren’t any metal detectors on the premises. So Cookie walked right into city hall, and set off no alarms. Then he went to the town meeting, pulled out his gun and started shooting.

With one shot, he was an assailant. With the next, a killer. By the time he was finished, Cookie was a mass murderer.

It was a horrible tragedy.

Death never sits well with me, I admit it. Bambi’s mom, Old Yeller, all the roadside bombing victims I hear about …

I am only fourteen with a life left to live and yet I have done so much already.

I get lost. I get lost a lot. Two days ago, I spent over an hour walking around the same four blocks in my neighborhood, trying to find the nail salon that I had been to at least half a dozen times before. I have no real visual memory. Often, I get off the subway in New York, and feel, for a moment, that I am in the most foreign of places, no matter how many times I have gotten off at that same subway stop. If someone saw me walking around the same four square blocks over and over again, they would think there was something wrong with me. They would be right. For those who have never seen me walk in …

Day 21.


My best friend is a real asshole. He used to be a pack-a-day smoker. I can’t recall how many cigarettes he bummed from me over the years. For more than 10 years, we were brothers in arms.

Then one year he decided to give it up for lent.

Now, let me take a moment to point out that my pal is only religious during Christmas, Lent and Easter. He’s your average Occasional-Catholic.

What I’m saying is, he didn’t give up smoking because Jesus spent 40 days in the desert.

He did it to piss me off. He just…stopped. Bam. Non-smoker, just like that.

He quit specifically to show me how easily he could quit.
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I was taking a bubble bath when my dad told me about sex. Without any sort of warning he hunkered right down on the toilet across from the tub and began hurling words like "vagina" and stimulation" my way as my bubble cover quickly evaporated, leaving me naked and pruny in tepid water. The awkwardness of this sex talk pretty much set the stage for our relationship on that subject. Like most every other teenager since the dawn of time, I did not talk sex with my dad much. Not that he didn't want to. It was he who tossed a box of condoms in my lap one rainy afternoon after picking me up at school. "I can teach …

When I woke up the other morning I had no idea what I was truly in store for that day. It was, of course a school day and I needed to get to work on time.
As the morning moved along and the kids got ready for school it became noticeable that my little guy, Jacob, was not feeling well. I had heard him during the night with a few croupy coughs and praying he wouldn’t wake up, listened to see if it continued. It didn’t and we both went back to sleep. But at seven o’clock a.m. it was obvious that Jake was not going to school. He was coughing, felt warm, and his eyes look glazed. Better to keep him home than to …

I should have seen it coming.

I should have noticed the increase of down time between projects. Suddenly I had time to download 400 MP3s a day and waste time on websites like MySpace ( But this didn’t tip me off. Neither did the hiring of a new designer, fresh from college, for about $10,000 less a year than me. Somehow I managed to stay blissfully ignorant. The day they let me go, however, I had an overwhelming feeling of doom from the time I woke up. I rolled into work with a travel mug of coffee and a mild case of heartburn. When I got into the office, the smiles from my superiors seemed just a tad bit too polite. I felt kind …

We had a blizzard yesterday.

At least, that’s what the news channels were calling it. Bottom line, it snowed…a lot. They warned us. By 9:am, the world was covered in a blanket of soft fluffy snow.

Schools were smart; they closed. The public education system is required by law to care about the general well-being of the student body.

Safety concerns, apparently, are something we grow out of as we hit adulthood. It goes hand in hand with giving up a rousing game of kick ball at recess and the afternoon nap.

And believe me, I miss those naps.

So while children were nestled safely at home, enjoying the miracles of nature, I was at work…

Instead of sending …

Sick in the Head
By Tom Nawrocki

I would wake up in the dark of the night, feeling like a steel claw had attached itself to the front of my brain, and look to the clock the only thing that might save me. If it were only 1:00 a.m. or so, I still had time to go back to sleep and hope that sufficient sleep would forestall the nascent headache. If it were closer to 4:30 or 5:00, I was doomed: I had another couple of hours of fitful rest ahead of me, then I would have to get out of bed and go to school with a raging migraine.

My mother would come into my room around 7:00 and tell …



It was one of those mornings where I woke up confused and disoriented…devoid of coordination, motor skills and rational thought.

I missed a step on the way down to the kitchen. I then proceeded to spill my coffee all over the counter.

I also over-sugared, and I’m sweet enough as it is.

Crap on a hockey stick.

The shower decided to play evil mind games with me, giving me two options: scalding hot or freezing cold. Lord knows I could usually use a cold shower, but that’s more a figurative thing.

I opted for flesh burning hot.

Piece of monkey shit.

I left the house late, forgot my cell phone and spent an hour …
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