Denise R. Weuve

Ink Damage and Other Permanent Stains

Archive for the month “March, 2013”

Prince Rama would Disapprove

On occasion I tutor; mostly when summer shows up and my paycheck does not.  I have found that, in my district, Indian parents are the most diligent in having their children tutored, and therefore I have had several Indian families at my home for tutoring.  The parents find a connection with me because of my vegetarianism, and we exchange recipes; my Italian ones for their Indian.

Prince Rama

Last July a friend had spent the evening, and I forgot that I had tutoring the next morning.  I asked him to stay in my bedroom until they left, a simple hour.  He had a TV, bathroom, snacks and no need to be seen by my tutoree and her mother.  However birds of vanity like making their presence known.  In the middle of the session he sauntered out into the kitchen, grabbed a water from the fridge, winked at me, and went back into the room.  And I was left  slightly red, looking over to the sofa where the mom seemed to be glaring in no one’s direction.  I apologized, assuming she was not impressed by the fact that a man was in my home.  She, of course, said there was no problem but in my heart I felt like I broke a morals code.  The daughter leaned over and quietly whispered, “He’s hot, for an Indian.”  Inside I giggled, wondering if she recalled she was also Indian. “My mom doesn’t like him.”

The mother said nothing that weekend, but there was a next weekend.  She came upstairs to my condo, and immediately sent her daughter back down for her purse which she left in the car.  Like a good mother she gently placed her hand on my shoulder and earnestly spoke, “Denise, You know I like you?”  I nodded. “I tell you as an Indian woman, He’s no good.”  She needn’t tell me who, I was sure who she spoke about. “Indian men use women.  They cannot marry a white woman. He will hurt you.”  What was I to say?  “Our men cheat.  They lie to their wives, and find women like you, who believe the lies their wives’ won’t.  You deserve better.”  She said more, and also told me to take anything he gave me with my left hand as anything I took with my right hand would fall away.

I don’t know if her classification of all Indian men as “dogs” is accurate.  I don’t know if her assessment was correct in general or in total.  I do know that the last two Indian men I dated, do nothing to prove her wrong.  One was cheating the entire time with a woman he claimed was an old friend just visiting from San Diego, and the second was married.  As he explained it – a prison, a trap, the reason 16 hour work days were more favorable then his own house in Glendale.  Even after pulling into the garage he would sit in his Mercedes GL-550 sometimes past  an hour pretending that when he would finally walk into his home she would have returned to India, with her mother in tow.  Both had decided they had no reason to be in America.  Then his white whore would be allowed into his home, and maybe his heart.

But the indictment of Indian men can easily be levied against any man.  Men Lie.  Lies to hide who they are.  Lies they claim, to save you from hurt.  Lies to keep what they want, but do not deserve.  Men simply lie.  They either lie to you, or they lie to themselves.  Whichever it takes to get through another day.

Carnival + Museum + Poetry = PUBLISHED

In November of 2011 I enjoyed an evening at the Museum of Latin American Art with a friend.  It was an insane evening.  He made me wait 2 hours.  Actually an hour and forty-five minutes, after telling me earlier in the day that we could not have out normal marathon outings.  It was to be the museum and only the museum.  When he finally picked me up in his Navigator, that had no air conditioning, we headed towards 2nd street, slightly out-of-the-way, because he had to run an errand and he said, “this must tell you how much I trust you.  I wouldn’t just do this with anyone.”   I had trained him to know that anything he wanted I would say yes to, even though he had no idea that I wanted to ask him to stop seeing me at work and outside of work for that matter.  The games, the uncertainty, the “let’s play it by ear”, the yes’s and no’s of it all had taken its toll.  And this day was not changing my mind.

At the corner of Pacific Coast Hwy and 2nd street as we waited to make a right a bicyclist came up to the my side of the car window and asked for a donation.  She was doing a charity ride as a fundraiser.  He had me look in the center cubby for dollars but there was none so he grabbed a $5 bill and told me to hand it to her.  As I took the five from his hand and gave it to the woman I knew I wouldn’t say a damn word to him.  

I never ever say no to a person asking for alms, due to Walt Whitman “Give alms to all who ask”.  A person who does not when they can, is an immediate goodbye to me.  He had linked into a value that I believe defines the core of a man. and when she handed me back a crochetted AIDS ribbon magnet her mother made it simple confirmed everything I planned to say,  I would continue to not say.  And I even knew that would mean he was noe allowed to continue destroying me.  Slowly, in nibble sized pieces.

At the museum there was a work that had a woman who was disconnected at the joints.  the writing that outlined her shaped said, “Aquella mujer bella que un loco por odio destruyo” and he translated it for me.  The irony stunned me.  So he took a picture and sent it to me, and I wrote, as I always do, “Out of Hate“.  As the cycle goes, I now have the great privledge to see this poem up on the Carnival Literary Magazine Website as part of their Sneek Peek for their next issue.  You really should follow Carnival on facebook.  The work on this site is always amazing.

image

So that day gave me a ribbon, a poem, & him. He stays in my life, because I want it.  Some days more damagingly than others, but my choice.

Picture 2

Second place means you lost

I often find myself trying to convince a friend how important it is to win.  To have the feeling that you were the best; that when it mattered most you had the extra.  His lectures fall out of his mouth like practice runs for when his future son disappoints him with a silver medal at the three leg race.

He, of course, has known winning so often that a lost here and there is meaningless. If only we were all so lucky, but apparently there must always be losers so people like him can win.

Recently a student came in second in an essay contest, I was crushed for her but she smiled like she won first.  Right now I have a fifth period class that has gone militant in their effort to win a donation drive, Pennies for Patients.  They must compete against all the other fifth period classes on campus to win a pasta lunch from olive garden.  This simply started with me saying you are doing this for more than a pasta lunch and the satisfaction of beating Zamora’s class you are doing this for the people who can’t afford their medical care; you are doing this for because they could not afford  the classmate who just watched his father battle cancer, and lose this past weekend.  the class mate whose grandfather died because they could not afford his medication.  Me, who am so in debt due to my kidney disease that I have months where I have to decide which credit card gets paid.  On that day the students came up with nearly $250  in less than 5 minutes.  Somewhere in this all, it has morphed into winning.  I can’t begin to explain how hard these students have worked, and how mush it became a mission.  In a way this mission began to take over both them and me.  I have to say I would take it personally hard if they do not win.

This becomes problematic, just like the student that I worried about how she took coming in second, how bad it would hurt just to watch her smile more completely than the first place winner.  The need to win stems from me.  It’s my issue with coming in second.  I hate being second.  I have spent my life coming in second. learning over and over, that if the winner should die or be unable to fulfill their duties I would be called on to step in.

If my students do not find out that they won this contest next week, they will be crushed, and broke, but move on, and so will I.  But today – waiting to know, waiting for the final count, waiting to be called a winner. . .today feels good.

Today my students are the hardest working fourteen-fifteen year olds I’ve ever met, and I’m proud.

******They won, with $2025.00 raised for Pennies for Patients.******

The Disposable and Pit Bulls

Earlier today a friend mentioned an ill pit bull.  The owner, is beside herself, I am sure, as my assumption is that she loves her pit bull.  I assume many people love their animals, but it made me think about a pit bull that was not quite as loved.  Or maybe the owner loved his pit bull, Brooke, but the trade off was better.

Brooke was a beautiful blonde pit bull with a perfect stature, and strong as one can imagine from a well kept and often groomed pedigree.  She was also the happiest and kindest dog I have met.  I, of course, am not foolish enough to think she would not have defended her owner to her death, and anyone who had the audacity to harm him would have fallen into her perilous situation.  Even so, she would run down the hallway pulling her owner, Mike, along just to jump up on me and lick my face.  It was her goal in life to squash the stereotypes that plague her breed, correctly or not.

About the same time Brooke was bought by her owner, I got my cat, Batty.  Mike and I would discuss the joys of raising our “children”, and how we feared we were spoiling them (we were-she had a rhinestone encrusted pink collar, and batty had his name spelled out in rhinestones on his red collar).  We would let them play.  Yes, Brooke played with my huge black cat and never once did I worry about his safety as she was always gentle, even allowing Batty the dellusion of winning.

Five years ago, Mike informed me that he was moving from the condo as he girlfriend became pregnant and was now going to be his fiance. I was happy for him and Brooke, though I admit I would have missed her greetings far more than him.  Mike then continued that he would have no choice but to put Brooke down, the soon to be wife feared her child’s safety.  I was outraged, I wanted to take Brooke, save her from this fate, but there was no way I could, as at the time I was on dialysis.  Even if I had, the poor dog would have spent her whole life knowing that she had given her all to someone who just used her as a place holder.  She was there  only until he found better to love.  It must be the way an ex-wife feels when she sees her former husband marry the coed he was banging on the side while she  worked two jobs to get him through law school.

True the dismissal of loved ones comes to humans as often as animals, and as much as I would like to say I have not seen it or felt it, I can list far too many examples.  The adopted daughter a mother begged for forgotten when she learns she is pregnant two years later; an eldest son thrown out when he comes out for the father to shift his attention to the youngest; the lover who learns she was just filling the night as he  moved between the one he did love to the one he does love.. Yet this dogs betrayal stings a bit more painfully than others. Perhaps it’s that the dog, would never know she did nothing wrong.  Or that the dog’s willingness to give its life for her owner wasn’t enough.  Truly one of the only creatures that would have never turned on him.  Yes, he made the choice to follow his heart and go with his fiance and future child, but I often wonder if he regrets his decision.  Does he ever think back to Brooke when the wife is bitching about bills, and the child coloring on the walls.  Does he cringe inside when he remembers taking her to the vet and leading her into the back room, but never bringing her home.  Has anyone or anything every looked at him with such trust and unconditional love?  Will anything ever do so again?  Did he bother to keep her pink collar?

 

 

And now the cutest pit bull picture ever from tumblr

Picture 1

 

Insomnia, My Love

What writers do when they cannot sleep

Sunflower

I know sadness

it is the willow tree unable to weep
the Sycamore unable to molt

the sunflower unable to turn its head toward God
dew frozen mid drip as it was escaping the leaf

It is this bed, tonight

While the rest of you are in Boston

While AWP attracts writers, editors, and word enthusiast to Boston, I sit here feeling not like much of a writer these days.  Or a damn poor writer who questions how she will so much as think about submitting as her laptop dies a slow and painful death in front of her daily.  I can hear its motor muffling its coughs the way a sick man uses a handkerchief attempting to hide how the truth from his daughter.  The specks of blood surface in the crumple handkerchief make it clear he is hiding nothing.  The daughter knows his days are number just as surely as he does.  So I am sad that when I can’t pull together the cash for a laptop, even after a tax return, that does more to mock me than help me, there is simply no way to find the money let alone time to make it to Boston.

San Pedro River Review

However as if San Pedro River Review knew I  would be sad and blue through this week, they sent me a copy of the Spring 2012 magazine.  Suddenly I’m not such a bad poet.  How could I be if  Jeffrey Alfier and  Tobi Cogswell saw it fit to include my poem, Abel, in their wonderful magazine.  I am so grateful.  Then to read the other poets and be awwed and impressed repetitively makes it all the better.  It is truly nie to be included  in a magazine with Ricki Mandeville, who I have spoken to at more than a few poetry readings, and truly admire.

At any rate.  Thank you so much Jeff and Tobi.

Here is where you can all get a copy of the magazine.

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