Jacqui (jacqui) wrote,

The Anniversary of My Dad's Death & Beau's Poetry Reading At The Midnight Special

Today is the third anniversary of my Dad's death. I can't believe three years have passed since he died. I miss him, I love him. I'll always love you Dad. Send me a sign that you're out there listening will you, come visit me in my dreams or send me another hummingbird maybe?

I delivered a neighborhood bulletin about the nearby Federal Building's proposed remodel and expansion, to all of my neighbor's today, even though I don't agree with their position on this issue. I think if the people who work in the Federal Building feel the need to expand that they should be allowed to, they have plenty of land. I love that we have an active neighborhood organization, but I don't like that the member's of the board are always so vehemently opposed to change. I don't like being a thorn in the greater community's side, but maybe I'm not informed enough on this subject. The board's position is that the remodel, which would take place in two phases over a period of ten years, would cause traffic congestion in an already overlycongested area, and would make a mighty attractive target for terrorists. It's already an attractive target for terrorists, a bigger building isn't going to endanger our neighborhood any more than the current one does.

I learned today that the reason why HGTV's Country Style didn't include a link to my site is because I occasionally work for Kitty Bartholomew and posted a little bit about her show being canceled here. Kitty's show was a long running HGTV program that was canceled : ( That's okay, she'll come roaring back, she's full of plans and projects. Ebb and flow.

Tomorrow I'm taking five or six of our pets to the vet; Twinkle, who has been in and out of the hospital lately and is looking thin and pale, Mini Leon who has been sneezing and has raspy breathing, Curly Girl who threw up, Cio Cio who has been losing weight and is also wheezing, Lulu who is snuffly and sneezy but who, as a Boston Terrier with a smushy face, this may be completely normal for, and if we can we're going to sneak Buki, who is elderly and has a bad heart, in for a recheck. Of course this is super scary for me, not only because I live in this constant state of anxiety that shouts dire warnings in my ears like, "They're all gonna die! They've got FIP, you'll see, this will be a feline disaster the likes of which no one has ever seen!" I have a very active imagination when it comes to my animals and their health. I'll get right on that whole positive visualization thing. Nothing makes me happier than cuddling up with my cats. I love them all so.

Oh yeay, one of my favorite episodes of Will and Grace is on. I do a dynamite impression of Karen Walker. The cats think so too, they come up to me when I do it and smell my breath. They don't seem to understand what I'm doing or why I sound so different, I think the high pitch bothers them.

You love Lamar right, and you love him no matter what right?
Well, honey of course I do.
Yeah well, Lamar is like me Karen.
Not allowed to come within a hundred feet of Kevin Bacon?
No, Karen, our horse is gay.
Oh you think everything is gay. First Canada, now a horse.
You mean our studs a dud?

I don't care who he sleeps with. He's my boy and I love him. I love my big gay horse.

I've said that big gay horse line more times than I can count. I don't know why but it just sounds so funny in her voice.

This was a post I wrote last night but fell asleep before remembering to post it.

I just got back from watching Beau and other kids from his school who were selected to participate in a reading of their poetry at The Midnight Special Bookstore in Santa Monica. I'm so proud of him. This was his first time standing in front of a group and reading something he had written. He was a little shy and read too quickly but he did it and I felt like the proudest mom on the planet.

He was disappointed because of all the poems that he wrote and submitted they chose his least favorite and the shortest. Here it is;

The Shadowed
by Beau Carrillo

There is a race, a race of men that do not fit in to this world.
A race that cannot stay still,
Must be known,
Must be feared.
They will destroy kith and kin.
They roam the world, not known but in shadows.
But they have a curse,
A curse so that if they are seen by light they will vanish in the air
like smoke,
But they are a lost legion.

When he gives me the other poems that he wrote I'll put them up here. They're all pretty heavy and dark like this, but I'm happily surprised that he has learned to express himself like this, in poetry. I loooove poetry!

There were about twenty kids who read and they were all so brave, expressive and so sweet. My favorite poem was by Beau's friend Jake. I asked him for a copy so I could share it with you, but he didn't have a spare. It was a rant against the government and it had some terrific lines in it. I can't believe he wrote this. I can almost remember them, some of them were so good, but I'd rather wait and write the whole thing down for you.

I don't know why, because I remember being young, but I was amazed at the depth of feeling these young people could express through their poetry. There was a tiny sixth grade girl with a light little voice who wrote a poem dedicated to Edgar Allen Poe. The most heart wrenching piece came from a ninth grade African American boy with dreads who wrote about a nurse who had forced him to cut his dreads by accusing him of having lice when he didn't. He said that having been forced to cut his hair, which had been inextricably linked with his sense of identity, was so hurtful to him as to make him feel negated as a person. He felt that it was an act of prejudice and read that he was forever changed by this experience. In his poem he explored the rage he felt towards this woman, going so far as to consider taking revenge upon her like Uma Thurman in Kill Bill, but in the end, after visiting the nurse who is now an old woman, he decided to spare her saying, "that's always been my problem, I have too much sympathy for devils." I spoke to him afterwards. I asked him if this had really happened to him and he said yes. I told him how moved I had been and how sorry I was that this had happened to him. I wanted to hug him but it might have scared him so I didn't.

I also felt a greater sense of respect and admiration for Beau's school, that they would support this freedom of expression among the kids in ways that other schools might choose to censor meant a lot to me and solidified something inside me that had been unsure of whether this was the right place for Beau. Here was a seventeen year old girl writing about the powerful sexual experience she was having with her partner, and wrote about her vagina in this very intimate mature way. The kids were free to express whatever they wanted, they wrote about the war, Bush, Cheney, politics, being in love, making love, fighting, feeling ostracized, missing parents who've died, the challenges of growing up, the beauty of nature. It was wonderful.

Halfway through the evening these three really adorable high school kids got up and sang a song in honor of the book store -- to thank them for having provided this venue for the school, and to say good-bye because after more than twenty years they're being forced to close. The band's name was Joe Fleck and the Butterflies and I loved that the boys who were the butterflies introduced themselves as such saying, "Hi, I'm a butterfly," and "I'm the other butterfly." You won't find this kind of sweet irony at any of our local public schools. The song they sung, that they invited the audience to sing along with, was appropriately enough, CCR's The Midnight Special. It was really fun and moving singing along with them. I love to sing but I hardly ever do it any more : (

The Midnight Special is an important independent book store, a wonderful unique bookstore that provided space for poets, writers, musicians, artists and film makers to share their work that sadly, after a long struggle, including an eight month closing, a move, and a reopening, will finally be forced to close it's doors for good at the beginning of next month. I could spend a lot of time here extolling it's virtues, sharing details about how often I enjoyed wandering the aisles, reading local poets self published efforts, browsing, chatting with other customers, or stopping and listening to whatever happened to be going on in the community performance space at the back of the store, but I am too sad having just learned this, and am so weary and worn out. I just want to say that it will be a great loss to the community. I cannot stand seeing one after another of our few remaining independent bookstores closing their doors because big corporate chain stores move in and steal their business.

Here's a link to a Viggo Mortensen Midnight Special reading and book signing for any Viggo or LOTR fans.

On a much lighter note, I can't believe I am actually enjoying this parody of American Idol, The WB's Superstar USA. The twist is that the good singers get booted and the really bad ones get lied to, told they're amazing, and then move up a level, with a chance of winning the $100,000.00. prize.

The really good singers get responses like,
"Knock Knock?"
"Who's there?"
"You! You suck!"

And when one girl with a powerful singing voice, who I thought was terrific, sang two of the judges got up and left halfway through her song, leaving the one remaining judge to say, "Ummm maybe the best thing for you to do would be to just like leave, yeah just leave."

The painfully bad singers got responses like,
"You put the uberstar in superstar!" and
"That was sick man. You are a sweaty, glistening, rock God!"
And like William Hung they are/were so deluded about their level of talent that they believed the judges.

I feel guilty for enjoying and watching shows like this because they're mean and they dupe people. I know that programming like say Frontier House and Colonial House are better food for the mind, and I do watch them and enjoy them, but I still like to kick back and take in a bit of mind candy from time to time.

Here are the lyrics to the song
Midnight Special
Creedence Clearwater Revival

Well you wake up in the mornin´ you hear the work bell ring
And they march you to the table to see the same old thing.
Ain´t no food upon the table and no pork up in the pan.
But you better not complain boy you get in trouble with the man.

Let the Midnight Special shine a light on me
Let the Midnight Special shine a light on me
Let the Midnight Special shine a light on me
Let the Midnight Special shine a everlovin´ light on me.

Yonder come miss Rosie, how in the world did you know?
By the way she wears her apron, and the clothes she wore.
Umbrella on her shoulder, piece of paper in her hand;
She come to see the gov´nor, she wants to free her man.

Let the Midnight Special shine a light on me,
Let the Midnight Special shine a light on me,
Let the Midnight Special shine a light on me,
Let the Midnight Special shine a everlovin´ light on me.

If you´re ever in Houston, well, you better do right;
You better not gamble and you better not fight at all
You know the sheriff he'll grab ya and the boys will bring you
The next thing you know, boy, Oh! You´re prison bound.

Let the Midnight Special shine a light on me,
Let the Midnight Special shine a light on me,
Let the Midnight Special shine a light on me,
Let the Midnight Special shine a everlovin´ light on me.

Let the Midnight Special shine a light on me,
Let the Midnight Special shine a light on me,
Let the Midnight Special shine a light on me,
Let the Midnight Special shine a everlovin´ light on me.

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