Malaga in Summer

Malaga in Summer

(C) Ted Kouretas 2018

El Toro was next to me

As the crowd got loud

Awestruck

No applause

El Toro stopped smiling

Fists opened

Shoulders terse

It was a sanctimonious afternoon at least

____________________

“Muerte. Muerte” was heard in the background

Young Catalans feeling a victory over their oppressors

Their savage dictators

The people attacked the lads

“I’ll show you who’s dead, fuckers”

_____________________

Eating my spare ribs, I chuckled

I never thought I’d be able to say, in Malaga

“There was death in the afternoon”

Hemingway’s Death in the Afternoon

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Iconoclast Effigy

Iconoclast Effigy

(C) Ted Kouretas 2018

The sand burns

Hot to the touch

Like all the sculptures of me and you

All the neophyte eulogies preaching selflessness

Political correctness, neoliberalism, and the like

You know…

A politically correct image

Of myself

Not of something sexier to look at

Or something a bit cuter

Of someone a bit happier in their naivete

Blessed be the young at heart

For mine is an old soul, deserving of an effigy

The picture will still be there

But my soul will be gone

More than it already is

It will go beyond nocturnal affiliations

Political realms

Naked bodies sinning

It will go beyond the hedonistic

It will be destroyed and lose its iconoclastic status

But it will mummify into the perverse

Black dripping orchids will surround it

With dungeon shouts

And finally, a semblance of normality

Defy

Recreate

Replenish

Multiply

Anthony Writes to Nate

Hi Nate:

I know, it’s been almost a decade since I wrote an actual paper letter to you. Remember those days when we still insisted on paper letters even though there was the ease of email? Sort of like the way we use email now instead of texting or skyping. Those were different days. Not because of the apparent ease of communication technology, but rather because we were young.

I remember back. Way back. Remember when we had to sit and drink our cold coffee and actually talk? We coukd easily pick out the shy ones then. There was no hiding. There was no secret text flirting. No. We flirted with our fucking eyes. Oh, my dear friend Nate. I miss those days.

I saw Amelia finally got married and had a baby as well. I saw it on Facebook the other day. Then I thought of my original letter about her. She was a terrific girl. But that slut image did her in. It saddens me still–knowing she actually gave in to fodder. But fodder can be strong. She was a beautiful girl. In so many ways. And so intelligent for her age. She was barely in her 20s yet she knew so much. Maybe it was her haughty upbringing. But it served her well. Lost souls like us turn out better without having the extra burden of money to worry about. Too bad that didn’t continue between her and me. I know I was over 10 years older, but u coukd imagine myself in an office overlooking the big city. As long as I toed the line and ident cheat on her. Yiu know, like an imprisonment sans creativity. But it would have righted wrongs, Nate. I would have fixed myself and then righted wrongs. And I’d have assurance. Insurance. I’d have reassurance. And financial backing.

Oh my God! What do I sound like? And now I capitalize ‘God’. Don’t worry. I’m still the same old me. That’s why I’m writing you, my friend. I’m more me than ever. I’ve delved moderately into my subconscious mind and come out with thoughts that explain so much. I know why I have suffered so often with my thoughts. With conflict. I know why I’ve gone astray. And I also know why I get sick and nothing wrong is found. But don’t let that fool you. If it continues, this pain and suffering of the body, they will one day find the menace. And they won’t at all understand what’s wrong except for what the diagram shows them. They will diagnose, hopefully something curable, and blame it on some ‘logical’ cause. Even stress needs to be questioned in terms of ‘why’.

I was molested by a female family member. There, I said it Nate. It’s easier that way. I just stumbled upon it during a discussion. The thought of her using me for her pleasure just played through like a stage play. Anyway, that’s past me now. But she is the reason for all those mood swings I was guilty of. And she may even be responsible for me subconsciously pushing Amelia away and becoming a sex addict. You knkw the rest. But do you know what it’s like to find this out when most of your life is over?

I had to share this with you because I can’t share it with anyone else. You know how the family would react. You caan imagine how difficult it is living with this. Thanks for reading it. It means so much.

Nate, if only we can alter our pasts. If we can keep all the beneficial events and get rid of the destructive ones. Fools bring up fools, as we’d already discussed. Imagine a negative thought now bringing about painful physical symptoms. Imagine npt being believed by elitist ignoramus doctors. They try to keep you well by not giving you the adequate drugs you need. And they blame it on the opiate crisis that they’ve invented. It’s like Greece being the global scapegoat for greedy bourgeois capitalists.

But you know, Nate, I’ll go out and get my opiate tonight. There’s a pub down the street. I don’t drink. I watch foos drink. They look so stupid. Then I pick a so-called ‘victim’. I talk to her. Say the right things. You know…. They are overtaken by my gallantry, charm, and potential for power. So I go through the rounds. Even if it bores me, I need that rush to keep my sanity.

It should ain’t no office in a skyscraper.

Warm regards,

Anthony

Gordon Downie — Canadian Icon

 The song above, “Poets”, seemed to me the most fitting for today’s occasion.

Here’s the Washington Post article.

VICE article pre-mortem

Tribute pre-mortem
Last night, Gord Downie died and a country was devastated by the news, released this morning by his family. Gord represented Canada like no one else. Along with The Tragically Hip, we were taken from coast to coast to coast after over 22 years of what became our Canadian identity through sensitive and poetic lyrics and talented bluesy rock music. There was something for everyone. We all have that tune in our head today. 

Read:Gord Downie 2016 Person of the Year

Gord united the country. Athletes, politicians, entertainers, and journalists, along with us regular folk, celebrated Gord’s life and mourned his death. We know he’s in a “Gift Shop” somewhere up there. Probably spewing witticisms while making sure all the hard work is being done. For whom else has a Prime Minister cried? 

The biggest gift we received from Gord was the result of forgiveness, wherewithal, and courage. Namely, we received unity from coast to coast to coast. He was observed and celebrated by the first nations people, the very ones who needed reconciliation from what was done to them by Gord’s ancestors.

Gord, thank you. From all Canadians. And rest in peace.

Once in a While, When I Believe in God 

Miracles once trite

Fortunes forgotten 

Tundra’s melting 

Yet you need your dreams

Your oases in the panic

———— 

Sight and fury

Blood and seals 

Hell hath no harmony

Bareboned our soul walks

———— 

Take on the burden

Heal the pain

Dry her tear

Take her away

You gotta believe

It’ll come someday

You gotta believe 

Beyond the frozen rain

———– 

Love at first sight repels

Quells 

Muddies the toiled ground

Emits murderous rage

Hardens the heart

———— 

How else can I bear the pain

Lick her tears away

She’s off

High and away

You gotta believe 

Believe in miracles 

In love

In you 

You and her

Together

You gotta believe you’ll be together

There’s no other way

It heals the pain 

———— 

Through the dark forest

Your hate subsides 

You kneel

Arms reaching for the sky

You quell the pain 

Beyond the frozen rain 

You go longer need to believe in miracles 

For you are 

Finally 

In your miracle 

The miracle of love

That separates night and day 

The word I use once in a while 

When fleetingly believing in a God of some sort
Copyright Ted Kouretas 2016

Pittsburgh Scenes and General Observations 

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is one of those unobtrusive, benign cities,  known more for its sports teams than anything else. On a couple of layovers there,  I realized that it was a smaller version of most cities in the rust belt. 

It has a cute skyline and some cool neighbourhoods. It is not somewhat bohemian place if you stick to certain areas near the middle of the city. 

Then you’ve got beautiful old neighbourhoods. Sometimes you’re in the middle of an adorable time warp. But you need to be careful of the ‘hood on the next left turn. 

This is a quaint cafe next to a slum. 

This is one of my favourite pics. It reminds me of a poor man’s San Francisco. 

Yes, those are slums. 

This is a very nice place to walk around in the day. 

This is a Trump voter, apparently fearing for her safety. She may also be frustrated with her family’s economic state. So much for the Steel City. 

Let’s not forget. Pittsburgh is a great sports city. 

Love the funky bridge. 

This looks like Albany’s industrial doomsday chic. 

Here’s a girl getting ready for Sunday afternoon football.

And here’s one on the lookout. Tattoos courtesy of Pittsburgh Tattoo Studio, as per the young pretty lady. 

Molested by an Unwitting Predator

From victim Joe Private:

I remember watching “The Graduate” for my “The Sociology of Sexuality” class in college. I must have just turned 18 and, although I had seen the film before,  I just couldn’t help but get this tingling feeling in my stomach. It wasn’t one of excitement. It was one of anxiety of the unknown. I felt hollowness and control. Controlled and in control at the same time. 

I  couldn’t recall the incident that made me feel this way until a few years later. I had hidden it somewhere in the subconscious recesses of my mind. The shot in the film of the bed scene above saddened me. Maybe because it was me who had the woman’s facial expression and vice versa. It was a time of turmoil in my life. This female I knew very well, and the one helping me the most, was the one who “ruined” me. I was 15 and she was 23. I was learning to combat my anxiety. 

She decided to ask me over to sleep. We watched a movie — I don’t remember which one — and then listened to some of her favourite songs. She was cool, I thought. I’d never seen her be this loose. I’d never heard her use the word  “fuck”. I was happy, smiling more than I had in a long time.  I was always able to get along better with women. I hated the teen machismo that took place in the teen years. But perhaps it was normal. So I kept the males for sports talk and girl talk. I remember those tall claims and I wondered how true they were. I’d kissed 2 girls at that point. As usual even till now, I was attracted to the cute, innocent, thin,  and somewhat problematic female. This young lady was different. She was older and independent. She was sure of herself. But she told me not to talk to my filthy male friends about her. 

It was time to go to sleep. I took a shower and changed in the bathroom. So did she. She then asked me if I minded if she slept naked,  because she always slept that way. I said it was her house and turned around. She told me I could turn around because she was under the covers. It must have been November. 

I fell asleep with her arm around my neck, as we were both sleeping on our left sides. It was a double bed. She said sorry if she woke me up but she was cold. She stuck her body to my back. I felt her nudity. So forgive me,  I was excited. I knew my feelings were normal, yet the situation wasn’t. She noticed my excitement and got up and knelt on the bed. She had the sheet around her body and then said the words that, for some reason, still haunt me today — “do you wanna see my tits?”— more than anything that I’ve ever witnessed or heard. They haunt me more than memories of my epileptic seizures. More even than the bullying I had endured before this moment. But most of all, they numb my mind. 

I have,  to this day, no memory of what happened between the moment she uttered those words till I woke up the next morning with her mouth between my legs. She complimented me on my “cute little teenage orgasms” , got up, got dressed, and gave me her spare pair of keys. 

I believe,  hopefully, that I’ve gotten over this. Most idiots would think that I lived out a fantasy. Truth is, this turned more and more into a troubling nightmare that,  at the time, stunted my emotional growth. I thankfully got over these feelings with limited pain.

Please,  include men in the equation. Men are victims too. And you can imagine the difficulty of coming out with this in our society. This was my Harvey Weinstein moment. If I could describe it in one word,  one adjective,  I’d have to say it was “harmful”. These actions are devastating. They numb you and make you feel like someone’s thrill. Like a plaything. They make you feel “owned” or “controlled”. But mostly, they render you helpless when face to face with the oppressor. She always uses the words “just smile sweetie”. Seeing the pic above when researching for another article, I thought I needed some catharsis. 

To look is human. Even New York city’s finest do it. But don’t leer. Look. Respectfully. Respect others as you’d like someone to respect your sister. Or brother. 

Droplets of Sanity 

From “A Fine Line “

Feigned death has curious company

All with ice cream cones

And green tea sorbet on them

————

Feigned life is quite different

Everyone’s there

From waking up

To falling asleep

You see them

All the dumb

Naive, iignorant perhaps

They go about their routine

Their chores

Responsibilities

Then you realise

Suddenly sadly

That you’re one of them

Part of the tribe of stupid

And you panic

Take a pill

Rest

And build up your strength

To become dumb again

Copyright Ted Kouretas 2016

In the Rain 

Girl hurrying off the beach. Lightning can be dangerous. A bit of time at the bar lounge. A colada or two. A flirt or three. These tropical storms must be normal on day 5 of 7. Ahhh……it’s fresh again. 

Weekend coffee ruined. Back to the Wi-Fi inside. Pitter patter….like an old movie on a reel. Dim. People speak lower and less often. The place seems darker. But the warmth is felt. Irritation is absent. 

Urban cleansing. Leaves drowning. In the background, cars driving in the slush. People caught in t-shirts and no umbrellas. The last salvageable Indian summer day comes to an end. 

Stylish in the rain. Stunning foliage pics can wait for another day.  I need to take advantage of my creative juices. 

So here I am……

Thanksgiving — Gratitude and Shame

A First Nations take on Thanksgiving: ‘You’re Welcome Weekend’

http://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/a-first-nations-take-on-thanksgiving-you-re-welcome-weekend-1.2795186

Canadian Thanksgiving is based on its American counterpart. Americans faithful to England brought the holiday here and celebrate for the same reason , “being thankful for the harvest “. The above article gives a balanced view on how many deal with it today. We cannot blame today’s generation for what went wrong hundreds of years ago. But we can’t ignore the inaction since then. And for that, all contributing to the lack of recognition of what happened are very much to blame. Not only was it the biggest genocide committed on American and Canadian soil, but it gets overlooked. 

Native Americans have recognized Thanksgiving as a National Day of Mourning

As you bite into your unhealthy turkey dinner, think about the genocide and be thankful no one is trying to prevent you from existing.