The Screen

I’ve re-written this poem since first posting
so I’ll post both versions.

This is the re-write:

The Screen

There is a screen between us, semi-opaque;
it filters our lives.

What you see is what I’m not and what I see
is not what you imagine.

Now you are the romantic, slipping into his
drugs, as I slither on your lap, flushed with
shame: for this, I win the crown.

We are a little Miss America, lost on her stroll
down the aisle.

We are the innocent little darling who forgets
to look harmless.

The first post:

The Screen

There is a screen between us, semi-opaque; it
filters our lives.

What you see is who I want to be and what I
see is not what you imagine.

Now you are the romantic; weeping into his drugs,
while I dance on the table, flushed with shame, for
this, I win a crown.

We are a little Miss America, lost on her stroll
down the aisle.

We are the little darling who forgot to
look harmless.

 

(c) Rob Goldstein 2016-2018 All Rights Reserved

 

A Flight of Ideas: The Coke Conspiracy

No. Judy doesn’t love me.  And I don’t love her.

Her job is to help me do my job and in that way
our jobs are secure.

Together we could climb a summit of immense
dimensions!

I lay on the mat in the seclusion room and
considered the War in Viet Nam.

Had the hippies ended it or was it economics?

I mean, had the peace movement become another
hot property, or was it a brand?

I mean, why would Coke want to teach the World
to sing?

How much money does Coke make if everyone
in the World buys everyone in the World one
Coke per day?

I quickly do the math: 7.2 billion people x $2.65
USD per can of coke = $19.08 billion USD!

Per day!

Why is a man who understands Coke’s conspiracy
to end World hunger in a seclusion room?

I called to tell Judy; she had to know my secret!

But she was washing broccoli out of her hair.

(c) Rob Goldstein 2017 All Rights Reserved.

Yet, I am still alive

A friend and collaborator took this picture as I got
into character to rehearse a theatrical piece.

My friend snapped this shot as I danced and spoke
my lines.

In fact, I was switching into character, though no one
in my circle of friends knew what that was.

It was a dark time in America, but one goes on with life.

This is a journal entry from the day of that shot:

July 16, 1987

It is July and I am still alive.

The AIDS epidemic is in its sixth year and those six years have passed slowly and cruelly. I had hoped that AIDS would fade like a fad, but it is still around and killing, and the fact that a reactionary movement has gained momentum by openly discussing it as a form of divine retribution sickens me to my core.

Thank God for Joni Mitchell.

I’ve lived so long without a future that the thought of having one terrifies me.

Yet, I am still alive.

And I intend to stay alive.

(c) Rob Goldstein 1987-2017

Switching Stations: Jeffery’s Messages


Warning: Adult themes and language ahead.

1.

Hey Jeff-reee! Wat up ese? Guess who I seen? I seen Kenny an I seen his new wrap an he got himself a new van where he can be sleepin’ in it.  He traded the Buick! But ese! Wouldnya rather have a Buick? Lissen-up ese: I gotta joke! You an’ your Mom got moren one thing in common. You both whores! Jeff-reee! Is the shit fresh!  Whaja doin? Wachin porn? You an Manuela de Palma? Why don’ja go out an getta job. Yo ese!– Getta freakin job!

 

 


2.

Jeffery? This is Sara. I need Robert’s tools. I have to go to Mom’s after work tonight. If you take them over to Mom’s, I’ll leave five dollars for the taxi. Please Jeffery. We have to have those tools so please bring them to Mom’s today! OK?

 


3.

Hey, hey bro. I know you ain’t amped out. I know its crank, dude. So hustle ur ass over here an bring me the merchandise. Yak at ja later.

 


4.

Jeffery? This is Sara! Please bring the tools to Mom’s. Please Jeffery!

 


 

5.

Hey Jeff. This is Bob. It’s 8:15.  I guess I’m calling to ask if you’re OK. I’m at the St. Francis doing some work if you catch my drift.  If you want to make the drop meet me on Ellis in two hours. Over by the construction site: be there.

Photograph of a young man who is standing in a squat listening to his messages
I’m at the St. Francis doing some work, if you catch my drift.

6.

Hey, man. I’m telling you man; you better call me dude. I’ve waited patiently for you to pay for that briefcase. Don’t make me go over there with my authorities. No BS, dude. I want my money.     


7.

Jeffery? This is Aunt Esther. You have Robert’s tools. Please bring them to your Mother’s.

 


 

8.

Jeffery! This is your Mother!  Aunt Esther wants you to bring Robert’s tools to my place. Where I live? OK? Call me! Bye!

 


9.

Yo Jeff-reee! It’s Bobby! I sold them tools an’ got a fifty! Rock an’ Roll, dude! I got the candy so’s I’ll catch up with you later!

Semi-surreal photograph of a young man who is listening to his message on a cell phone. A hand with a gun it it is seen on a television Monitor
Rock and Roll, Dude!

10.

Whadup, Jeffery? I know you know who the fuck this is. Check it: a client wants to sell you an MK 16. I know you like collecting that kinna shit: gimme a buzz.


11.

Jeffery? This is Sara! Did you get Moms message? Bring us those tools! They are essential to Robert’s work. You borrowed them without permission and we need them now!



12.

Heeeeyyy Jeff-reee! Ese! Pick up de phone. I know you’re there! Pobrecito mijo. Yankin’ his life away. Jeff-reee! Pendejo!!—You screwed up bad an’ now ur goin’ downdowndown. Crank brought ya down, ese!


13.

Jeffery. This is Sara. If you’re home pick up! How long is it going to take for us to get Robert’s tools back from you. I’ll give you a hundred if you bring them back. I guess I’m going to have to come over and get them.


 
14.

Hey, hey bro! 12:35 at night. Howcum you ain’t on the horse troll? You better have my dollars! Yeah! Big Daddy R Money!

Photograph of a young man who is listening to his message on a cell phone. A hand with a gun it it is seen on a television Monitor
Howcum you ain’t on the horse troll?

            

15.

8:22 in the morning and you missed another session. For a parolee that says he wants to get straight you stick too close to convicts. ’nuff sed. You know who this is. Call me.

 


16.

Jeffery? It’s your lawyer. It’s Tuesday, 10am. I hope you didn’t go out on another binge. We need you here at the Hall of Justice in two hours. I need you here to win!  Ok?

 


17.

1:45 PM and another parolee of mine is back to jail. He got two years. He wanted out on OR but no one will vouch for him. So to jail he went. Two years my friend. I see you guys sharing a cell. No one will vouch for you! ‘nuff sed.

 


18.

This is Sara.  Are you still in bed? Are you bringing Robert’s tools to Mom’s house? Aunt Esther said you better bring them! The tools. Robert’s tools? Do you even know what I’m talking about?


19.

OK,  Miss Thing. Your phone was just bizzy.  So I guess you gone in less than a minute? You gonna hang in that shitty dorm all day? It’s 3:10 on Tuesday in case
you ain’t
 oriented x 3. Call me sweetie. You said you would share.

 


 

20.

Double dealin’ Jeffery! It’s Randy ya messed up tweak! Ya didn’t come out yesterday! Ya was gonna buy me drinks or so ya said. So, uh, what up? Did it all go up in smoke? It’s 5:10 sos I’ll call back about 7:30.


21.

Hey Jeffery ya up in smoke fool! It’s Randy! We ain’t makin no deals cos you ain’t around! So howcum you don’t be around? I’m over at Jack in the Box tryina hustle a BLT. I’ll be here all night. The address is JACK-in-the-Box!
Laters dude.


22.

Jeffery! This is Sara! Get your ass out of bed and bring Robert’s tools to Mom’s house! NOW! And you better answer my calls too! Goodbye!

 



23.

Hey, man. I’m telling you man; you better call me dude. You think I’m letting you slide or something and I’m telling you homey don’t play that way. I’ll put out a ten thousand dollar contract your ass —so if you want your life you better give me a buzz.  2 Questions: What is John Wayne’s real name and what was his first movie that he starred in. If you know the answers, I’ll just bust a cap in your pretty white ass.

 

Photo of a young man in a squat listening to is messages-staged in Virtual Reality
I’m telling you homey don’t play that way


24.

Jeffery! This is Sara. Mom’s in the hospital. DO NOT CALL THE HOSPITAL! If you call her I’ll call the police and let them know who you are and where you live. I know there are warrants out for you. I don’t want you near Mom. I don’t want you near the hospital. If you have any questions, bring Robert’s tools to Mom’s house first.

 


25.

Hey Jeff-reee! Esaaaaaaay. You makin’ luuuuv now? Is it all luvy duvy in this land of screwed up druggies? Ain’t a damn thing funny, Jeffery! Get you a real woman, amigo! If you don’t get a real woman you’ll lose them shrinking pelotas! Dedee is chotito. A punk, bro! An’ you da punk-ee!

 



26.

Jeffery this is Mom. When you visit tonight sneak in a pack of cigarettes? I’ll give you fifty dollars. Don’t let the nurses catch you. It’s extremely important. I love you.

 


27.

Jeffrey this is Sara. Stop visiting Mom! If you don’t stay away from her I’ll have you arrested. How can you bring smokes to a woman that just had a stroke?

 



28.

Hey, man. I’m telling you man, this is the last message you’ll ever ignore. I know you got paid an’ you better have my crank or my dollars ’cause I just sent a shitload of trouble your way! If you got the answers to my questions about John Wayne they’ll make it quick—OK? Good-bye, Jeffery.

 

Photo of a young man in a squat listening to is messages-staged in Virtual Reality, I used a toy camera filter to give it a sense of tunnel vision
Good-bye, Jeffery

 

 



First posted in 2015, as Jeffery’s Messages

Jeffery’s Messages (c) Rob Goldstein 1992-2015-2017
Illustrations staged in Virtual Reality.
Gun textures found on shutter-stock and GIPHY

 

 

 

                      

January’s Featured Blogger: Hank the Hedgehog

I’ve never thought of Hedgehogs as pets until I ran into Hank over at Living a Beautiful Life. After I interviewed Danica, I researched Hedgehogs and decided to interview Hank the Hedgehog.

Hank the Hedgehog
Hank The Hedgehog

I sat down with Danica and Hank over a lunch of cold meal worms and
began our interview:

When did Hedgehogs start to become popular as pets?

Hank: Hedgehogs first became popular as pets in North America in 1980-90.

Are the hedgehogs kept as pets in the U.S. born in the U.S.

Hank: Yes, all hedgehogs kept as pets in the U.S. are born in the U.S.

How does Hank feel when Danica blogs about him?

Hank: When I first noticed Danica blogging about me I took over immediately    because I’m curious and like to explore new things.  Danica quickly realized that I prefer speaking for himself.  I’m small but I have a strong personality.

photograph og a hedgehog with stuffed animals
Stop with the stuffed animals already

What does Hank like best about Danica?

Danica: What Hank likes best about me is that I tells it like it is.  Whenever Hank announces that he’s going to live in the wild, I explain that he’d likely die within a week.  It would be 50-50 odds he’d wind up as dinner or as roadkill.

Hank: Danica means well but she’s wrong:  I have extraordinary survival skills.  I indulge her because she brings me meal-worms; but stop with the stuffed animals already.

While no pets should ever be released into the wild, I’m a special case.  I’m from the streets  and through a series of misadventures wound up on death row lock-up (i.e., the city pound).

Here’s my story:

I get these cravings for wild game!  I know it’s not PC but you can’t take the hedge out of the hog.  Danica does her best to prepare exotic gourmet meals for me — there’s this venison dish that’s quite tasty! — but I miss the everyday pleasures of my former life.  Ants, grasshoppers, flies, crickets.  I’ve left food out to attract ants and flies, but Danica is quick to clean up after me and she even picked up a couple of flyswatters.

What’s a wild-at-heart hog to do?  One day after she kissed me goodbye (she’s given up telling me to be good), I rounded up my boys:  Rabbit, Pig and Dog.  We flipped open the laptop near my crib and did some online shopping.  I ordered an ant farm and live fishing bait.  We clicked “next-day delivery”.  They couldn’t guarantee delivery time.  How could I make sure Danica wouldn’t be around?  Well, I couldn’t.  Then it hit us!  If you can’t get rid of them, distract them.  So, we added two dozen roses to the order!

Oh yeah, it played out like a bank heist.  She loved the flowers and the card really got her attention:  “All my love across the miles, from some dude who isn’t Kyle.”  LOL!  Oh man, it cracks me up every time I think of it.  She’s arranging the flowers trying to figure out, first, who is Kyle?  Second, who is this some dude?

We could almost see the wheels turning in her brain and she didn’t notice us bringing in the ants and live bait.  We managed to get the contraband rolled up in my new blanket — a pink blanket with flowers!  Bane of my existence.  That’s another story.

Anyway, what’s the lesson here?  Chicks dig flowers, man.  And secret admirers.  You’re welcome, bro.

Peace out.

Danica I’ve never thought of hunting.  I would like to learn how to fire weapons, outside of video games.  There aren’t any shooting ranges nearby so it hasn’t happened yet.  I’d like to fire rocket launchers and drive tanks too, but that may remain a distant dream.

Hedgehogs are carnivores and mostly hunt insects.  The domesticated hedgehogs that westerns love as pets are small, and to them insects are “wild game”.  Well, that’s that Hank calls them anyway.

Oh, and as for the “chicks” and “bro” references — Hank respects all orientations.  His experience using flowers to distract people is limited to chicks only, so he can’t speak to how it may or may not work on the bros out there.

Photograph of a hedgehog next to a potted plant
Hank the Hedgehog in the Wild

~ Hank the Hedgehog

All Material (c) Danica Piche 2018 All Rights Reserved

 

 

Mirage

A puddle evaporates on a black tar
highway

and a thousand puddles vanish before
we reach the boardwalk

where a toy store sells the inflatable
duck that goes flat in the water.

Arriving and departing seem endless:

we drop until the hand of some strong
god lifts us up and out of this moment

of

confabulation.

Image and poem (c) Rob Goldstein 2017

Switching Stations: Wilma Wants an Abortion

Warning: This post discusses adult themes in an admittedly childish way.

(Lights up. An Empty stage; enter Fred Flintstone)

Fred: When Wilma got pregnant, I worried. I wondered if we were ready for a kid so soon after Wilma’s ECT. I wondered if it wouldn’t be better to go to Frost Bite Falls for an abortion.

(Laugh Track)

Wilma: (off stage) Fred? Fred? Is that you?

Fred: Here, honey!

(Enter Wilma)

Wilma: Oh Fred! Why are you so late! (Wilma bursts into tears.)

(Laugh Track)

Fred: Gee honey, the boss kept me late.

Wilma: (sobs) I sometimes think I should have an abortion!

Fred: Oh honey; don’t talk like that. What would Betty think?

Wilma: Oh, who cares what Betty thinks! (sobs) She’s not under a
contract to have to have a baby!

(Laugh Track)

(The doorbell rings. Enter Mr. Ed)

Mr. Ed: I was just at a meetin’ wit da Mattel’s an deys wanna know if the kid’ll be baked by Christmas!

(Laugh Track)

Wilma: Who the fuck are you?

(Laugh Track)

Mr. Ed: (To Fred) You gotta live wid this?

(Laugh Track)

(Enter Betty Rubble)

Betty:  Hi Wilma? Fred? Who’s the Horse? Hubba, hubba!

Wilma:  Hi Betty. This horsey works for the Mattel’s!

Mr. Ed: (to Betty) Mr. Ed is my name an makin’ pretty ladies is my game!

Betty: Pleased t’ meetcha! I sure hope you folks can cash in with Bam-Bam!

(Laugh Track)

(Lights Out. We hear the voices of Batman and Robin)

Robin: Holy stegosaurus, Batman! Ya really think you smell trouble?

Batman: Think young friend: does a horse shit in a meadow?

(Lights up: Betty and Wilma are locked in a kiss

Robin: Tsk. I am so OVER gratuitous lesbianism; I mean the way the writers slip it into everything these days!

Batman: Oh, SPLACK!

Mr. Ed: Cool yer chops Batty boy!

Robin: (To Mr. Ed.)  And MUFF!

Mr. Ed: And tell lover bird to stop chirpin!

Batman: (Hands on hips) He’s NOT my lover!

Wilma: Oh, pish-posh!

Betty: That’s telling him, Wilma!

(Laugh Track)

(Enter Eva Gabor; she spots Mr. Ed and points with recognition)

Eva Gabor: I know you!

Batman: I bet you do, lady!

Eva Gabor: That’s precisely what I mean!

(Enter Eddy Albert)

Eddy Albert: What is you mean precisely?

Batman:  Precisely?

Eddy Albert: Precisely!

Eva Gabor: Why precisely do you ask, Olivah?

Betty: (To Wilma) Oh Wilma! Aren’t Heterosexuals the most boring! Let’s get outta here!

Wilma: I’m with you Betty! Let’s have an abortion!

Betty and Wilma in unison: Da-da da da de da! Charrrge it! (They exit)

Batman: Our work here is done, Robin.

Robin: Right, Batman! (They exit with a swish of their capes)

(Enter Fred Ziffel)

Fred Ziffel: Mr. Douglas! Arnold’s feelin’ mighty sick! I’d sure appreciate it if you’d come over and take a look at him!

Eddie Albert: I’m a lawyer, not a doctor.

Eva Gabor: You can help him make out his vill, dahling!

Eddie Albert: Oh, All Right! (Mr. Ziffel and Eva Gabor exit with Eddie Albert)

(Pause)

Fred Flintstone: (Looks at Mr. Ed and shrugs) I guess it’s time for me to take out the cat. (Fred Flintstone exits. Mr. Ed alone on the stage)

(Enter Wilber Post)

Wilber Post: There you are, Ed. I looked all over New York for you! I even called the police!

Mr. Ed: Well ya found me, Wilber. Ya got any of that hay left over from Thanksgiving?

Wilber Post: Sure Do!

(Wilbur post leads Mr. Ed off stage.  As the lights dim to black the laugh track builds to a roar)

An avatar that represents an alternate named the Narrator in front of street murals found on Valencia Street in San Francisco
Switching Stations

End

(c) Rob Goldstein 12/86 – 12/2017 All Graphics (c) Rob  Goldstein 2017 All Rights Reserved

Strange Dream #3

White blood cells die in a viral massacre.

I act as referee and check my sed rate.

An old man plays the piano, another me:
someone smelled but not seen.

“How long have you been like this?” I ask,
ever the concerned professional.

“Since I was an old woman,” I reply.

GREETINGS! THRILL SEEKERS!
HAVE WE GOT A SURPRISE FOR YOU!
SEND PERSONAL BITS NOW AND DON’T
FORGET YOUR ZIP CODE!

94117–

I fire off an email and do a dozen sit-ups.

I am a god and know I am.

Every hair on my leg is cosmic, just as Walt Whitman says it is.

“I’ve never had sex with a feminist,” says Whitman, “Who’s the
top and who’s the bottom?”

“Let’s do it sideways,” I reply. “That way we’re equal.”

 

Image and poem (c) Rob Goldstein 2015-January 2017

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ON MY WORD * Celebrating 3 Years Of Blogging • Share Your Link! #AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Help Authenticitee Speaks celebrate three years of blogging. Say hello and leave a link to your blog.

authenticitee speaks

When I uploaded my first post on WordPress three years ago today, I had no idea what I was getting into…

I’m certainly grateful for what blogging has taught me and (now) excited (again) about the potential it holds but “for real for real“? I’m still winging it.

See….Authenticitee Speaks has morphed into a public record of my journal, a clear declaration of my allegiance to Jesus who I believe is the Christ, a platform to interview and showcase those who inspire me, words of encouragement and some serious, sho nuff grown folks love poetry. Oh and one mo’ thang Honty – everyone is welcome!! What the what?! What do you do with that kinda gumbo?

Actually – I’m not quite sure. I mean do I have to do something about that? Isn’t that what makes my authenticity speak? Just being me? Heck. Until my friend Quiana…

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My Favorite Blogs For 2018

I’m honored to be on such a distinguished list of bloggers.

The Militant Negro™

There are a few….yes this is a few, blogs I must read whenever they post. Some I wish they’d post more often but my belief is if you don’t have anything to say, shut the hell up. These bloggers and their keep me Informed. Uplifted. Sane. Laughing. Focused. Coming back for more.

Check ’em out when you have time, but only if you want to find blogs worthy of your time.

The order these magnificent blogs/bloggers are listed in is simple…….I LISTED ‘EM AS I THOUGHT OF THEM OR AS I CAME ACROSS THEIR LATEST BLOG POST OR IF THEY COMMENTED TO ME IN MY BLOGS COMMENT SECTION. Thats how I listed ’em……NO FAVORITISM HERE!!!

Lets Get Started…………

But I Smile Anyway

A Voice Reclaimed

VIOLET’S VEGAN COMICS

boundlessblessingsblog

Blacker the Berry

Kalifornication X

Paul Militaru

a mindful traveller

D.E. HAGGERTY

The Chicago Files

Megha’s World

BrewNSpew

Princess Of The…

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Honor Society

from HarsH ReaLiTy

HarsH ReaLiTy

Twelfth grade was going ok. I was busy with college applications, I had a girlfriend at White Station, and we were having a winning soccer season! Everything was great… except for one thing.

Art class.

I walked into the art room and quickly found my way to my desk. The art room tables were situated in a circle that filled the entire room and it afforded us the opportunity to talk and observe each other’s work. Normally this would be a fun and stimulating atmosphere to be a part of. Normally.

Hey Chink,” a voice from my left side slid in to interrupt my peaceful thoughts. I knew the voice all too well. This same asshat had been tormenting me since the beginning of the school year and was determined to get under my skin. You know how adults love to claim that “if you just ignore it…

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