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When UnGifted

“A gift is different from something you buy, possessed of meaning outside its material boundaries. You never dishonor the gift.” Robin Wall Kimmerer

A social gift,
a gift for compassionate verbal
and nonverbal communication,
a healing gift,
is different from personal cash investment,

Possessed,
sometimes haunting, gifts
with sacred meaning
timelessly transcending
secular
egocentered
anthrosupremacist
monopolistic double standards,
double gifted/ungifted boundaries.

Healthy inter-religious
interdependent
creolizing polycultures
societies
nation-states
restorative justice systems
regenerative green peace networks,
never dishonor whole-sum gifts as tools for
and not weapons against

Trashed as ballast
for Great Straight White Father’s
unfortunately necessary wars,
originally sinful threats,
collateral human resource damage
of the also-rans
ungifted
unpowerful
disposable

Justified despite thereby losing environmental health
and losing active hope
for resiliently gifted human peace.

It is harder for an unstraight
unwhite
unmale nonbinary child
to emerge from genderphobia
feeling sensually gifted
neurosystemically cherished
wanted as is
than it is for a gifted matriarch
to sing and dance
feeling cherished
(and not marketed)
in transcendent eyes
of a God-needled gatekeeper.

A wounded gift
is different from some Thing
we try to buy
because multicultural integrity
is too high a climate health price
for Patriarchal
Corporate RedRight Capitalists
to stop hoarding Earth’s
Cooperative BountyCircled
Multiculturally Valued Gifts.

A sacred Blue/Green non-binary child gift
asks something of us
not quite so RightRed dominant
mishanding healthier non-binary sway
toward bicamerally balancing intelligence

Taoistic
Zeroistic
WinWin Game Theoretic
and Organic Systems Therapeutic
nonviolently gifted communicators,
green EarthTribe full-sensory educators,
ecofeminist theologians,
poetically prophetic ecologians,
compassionately multiculturally proficient
as not not gifted Positive You

Tipping straight up
as down dipolar gift appointed
Me/SystemicWe
multiculturally therapeutic
co-empathic resonance

PolyCultural EarthJustice resilience gifts
have always 1/0 binary DNA spiraled
through YangStrength/YintegralFlow

Sun enlightening/Earth empowering,
LeftGreen/RightBlue seasoned
red sky boundary reasons
for morning mourning warning
while red sky at night
dimly follows,
sailor’s gifted delight

East yintegrally dawns
on each cooperative living system
throughout Her resilient emergence
to this YangNow/YinHere
Speaking/Deep Listening
bipartisan healing opportunity

To reconnect
and reverse monoculturing powers
spoken in Yang v Yin competitive sexualized dissonance
transposed to sensory LeftGreen/RightRed
ultraviolet neurosensory confluence

Panentheistic
synergetic goddess senses
for regenerative religious gifts
and resonantly co-empathic
sensory-sexual win/win shifts
communed through health-systemic trust
in cooperative
pay back Earth forward thriving democracy

Built
developed
gifted
in cooperative win/win ownership
alternative economies
ecologies wherein those thriving
with the most nutritional value
in autumn’s harvest Earth-gift season
are those most generously delighted
to share next spring’s seeds
and nuts,

Roots
and winter’s roosting eggs
as widely gifted
and deeply co-invested
as possible

To reassure each gifted Other
that our intended wealthy climate
and personal ego healthcare chances
are way win/win way
better together
than win/lose ungifted
unwanted
unlovely drifting apart

Toward Lose/Lose nihilism,
ecopolitical genocide,
militantly RedRight fascist dominant
Whole EarthSystemic ecocide.

But, at least
no one will ever force RedRight you
to reconsider queers
and transexuals
and ecofeminist women
as if, just perhaps,
also sacred gifts

Or, at least not reconsider giftedness
of anyone you know was,
or is…

You know…
that OTHER wounded
ungifted
ungraced
curiously displaced

In MotherEarth’s healthy
regenerating gifted
Wealthy Life is Love Revival.

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When CoEmpathic

When I feel compassion
with my positive needs
for love
health
trust
safety,

When I feel compassion
for my negative fears
wounds
negative fortress wants
to overpower perceived threats
against my egocentric compromises
with ruthless capitalism,
soulless patriarchalism,
strategic genocide,
extractive ecocide,
smug and heartless anthrosupremacy,
aggressively diseased LeftBrain dominance
inside my ruminating self
as schizophrenically viral
outside Those Evil People
voices
without kind choices,

When I feel compassion
with my healthy integral potential
and for my pathological capacity
to do more harm
to further wound EarthTribal consciousness
to militarize my fearmongering
and angry repressive words,

When I feel compassion
as the guy who loves listening
to friends and family
excited about our multigenerational attachments
to multicolored
and fabulously gay designed
and exotically sexy fragrant flowers

Is also the coempathizing guy
who shares DNA
and bicameral neurosystemic flow structures
with Vladimir Putin
and those who voted for him,
with Adolph Hitler
and those who voted for him,
Donald Trump
and those who voted for him,
Mitch McConnell
and those who voted for his Party,
and possibly even Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene,
and those Georgians who voted for her
bad blond self-image

Which is decidedly not Green
in any feminist compassionate
organically cooperative
and co-empathically engaged way,
and means to truth
and healthy resilient life

Maybe,
as I have sometimes whispered,
not-green Greene is a toxic infestment
machine
planted by an alien aryan planet

When I feel compassion
what do I need?
want?
crave?

CoEmpathic cooperation
and healthy co-investment,
experiences of win/win strategic game playing,
celebrating our resonant
positive
social neurological systems
for restorative health
for cooperative
long-term
EarthTribe safety.

When I feel compassion
for my engaged side
AND my dark and ominous potential
to fail in my own indigenous
humane
natural/spiritual development potential,

Then I can at least laugh
with my own creative conspiracy theories
and against my own tragic Earth-destructive
Mutually Assured Destruction,
MADness that might take out humanity

Or,
even worse,
eradicate Earth’s wild
and domesticated flowers.

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Touch the Earth, Reach the Sky

Touching Earth,
reaching sky.

I walk salt shores
where all Souls fly
over joy’s ocean,
under sad bad lands
my faith in quests
we could understand.

Touch this Earth
to feel our sky.

Wise fools ask
our reasons why,
In glad lives
our answers glow,
in sad love
we learn to grow

To heal our Earth
and teach this sky

We are born
while I shall die,
Life’s my time for in between,
to build you a star,
to chase our dream

Touching Earth
while feeling sky

Hugging laughter
feeds my cry,
May I see
what we can give
for future’s child
to sacred live

We touch this Earth
to reach light’s sky

Soaring courage,
healthy high,
All Souls joining
in Earth’s flight
to touch Her right
I reach through night
for love’s last
last
last splendid sight.

This variation on Grace Lewis-McLaren’s hymn  (#301, Singing the Living Tradition) is dedicated to All Souls-PlanetEarth, especially New London, on the occasion of our Great Return, September, 2021.

Gerald 0’Liver 

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Feeling Old and Lost

I noticed just yesterday
while glowering about something else
now already
once again
forgotten…

I seem to have lost my good-sensed humor
along my stumbling
isolating internal say

Toward this red STOP! sign
searching for a different way

To find a new Earth center
for healing active hope,

To sing new scales of joyful
sad sharp focus

Performed more locally
and possibly reformed less reflectively
mesmerized by fame’s monopolistic grope.

This new reselective time
Less silently reserved
Less anxiously depressed
Less repressively suppressed.

Each morning’s dawn warning
to worship at new altars

Renewing robust octaves of communion
encompassing organic green nutrition

To redesign all creatures here below
more positive above
good-humored love
with timeless passions
hilariously sensed together
yet tragically shoved
apart.

If I were not so sweet sixteen
prepared to restart home’s immigration scene
again for my first time,
what would I rechoose to do
becoming compassion’s singing rally
with rainbow hearted allies?

If I were thirty-three,
my age of messianic crossfire
for all to red angry
horrifying see,
what would I choose to resurrect again?

And why would this revoiced
rechoiced healthier community
support potentiating integrity
with more robust good humor
this well-timed passed over
and back around
on sacred wellbeing ground?

If I were twice
my god’s reflective age
revived,
what would we joyously choose
to re-member
as half-life good golden sense
for revolving salvation’s humor?

For this tragic comedy
of tumorous migration
anxiously anticipating
integrity’s full ZeroScores
restoring just right species

All together one predation
praying for exterior relations
more integral summations
than humorless,
silent rumorless
quiet aging absence
of eternal sad-paced mercy,

At least sufficient for noticing,
just yesteryear
while glowering about something else
now already strange sadly queer,
once again forgotten.

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Wisdom’s Healthy Passions

“We have an enemy within called the ego
who prevents us from using our mind intelligently.
It hides deep within our heart
and emerges with regularity
to challenge and consume our will.”
Rumi (M. Mafi, trans.)

We have a challenger wrestling within called our Ego
emerging with regularity
to confront and distort our deeper will
for more happy and healthy eco-normal,
eco-normic
economic
ecological bi-hemispheric resilience.

Not one of us believes in optimizing incarnate power
within ourselves,
without any Other
to laugh
and cry
and talk therapy together,

A State
or Nation,
Empire,
Earth
our Solar SystemicFueled Universe,
feel incompatible with a total vacuum of any power among,
without capacity for co-empowering exchange,
transactions
barter,
borrowing,
betting,
negotiating,
laughing with
and not against.

I find no faith in omnipotent power of love’s one-way intent,
without evidence of co-evolving
revolving peace-growing practice,
good humored
more than bad and sad maligned,

No omnipotent power of love
without all EarthTribe’s ecotherapeutic joyous practice.

While Earth evolves an orbiting planet
composed of diverse tribal species,
polyculturing forms,
healthy and eco-logical social functions,
rich octaved frequencies,

Earth is also one holistic cooperative
self-regenerating economy;
which rises and falls with surfing humor
surfacing analogical tipping point balance,
sad yet glad of ego-centric Yang’s smirking
with eco-flexic Yin’s prime double-binary quirking
regenerative
double-negative
binomial not not metric nomial
and/or symmetric polynomial
with logical equivalence.

Economics evolved from agrarian
and survival instinct origins
when our original transactional intent was to sustain
cooperative breath
and bicamerally balancing heartbeats
reciprocal
synchronous
polyphonic memory of self as interdependently identified
from and with healthy and happy-balanced Other,
to culturally understand patient Self
as parasitic indwelling humor
within a sometimes benignly balanced,
normative four-seasoned,
cooperative DNA-encrypting
light/dark predative habitual Host,

Co-arousingly displayed
by good and bad humored ego/ecosystems
of nutrition transactional residency,
healthy body,
happy home,
hilarious family,
hot tribe,
humorous species,

Exchanging
bartering
fore-giving
redeeming values healing economic faltering extensions
of eco-political
cooperative
systemic
warm-humoring development.

Stimulus-Response
as What comes comedy/tragedy around, goes around,
as GoldenRules and irritating IrrationalRatios
non-zero sum
where half-root of two is always one,
as nomials predict binomial distinctions,
as half of 1 Ego
is (0)Soul eco-centric,
fully empowered
when not humorless zeroed out.

What are we health becoming,
that commerce
and markets
and sustainable new economics
pause with unholy terror
and awed stagnant, flat-line silence,
horrific wonder about our erratic change
of climate’s rhythms
and patterns
without harmonics?

Belonging good humored with joy
as this TransMillennial Regeneration’s internal healthy happy climate
predicts scorchingly manic
tragic competition
laughing against our own understory
in hypothermic silos
of homicidal and suicidal depression,
a too-polypathic absorption
into sadly dying EarthTribe identification.

What would we be
if we could justly restore
multicultural economics of ecotherapy
applied within our without synergetic
well-humored landscape,
and within our without ego-empty
(0)-sum
not not eco-centric love?

Warnings against health interference
predict teachings for good-humored interdependence.

There are those who would conquer
everything and everyone.
Their Wins are our Losses

And make of us what they conceive
in unwise dishumored desire.

One cannot ultimately win
a win/lose tragic competition game
unless there are at least two comedic survivors
willing to finish-off
ZeroSum
mean humored play
at war.

This Solar-Interdependent System
is Earth’s own ego-humored
normal eco-logical Vessel

S/he cannot be made whole by human nature’s
ignorant humorless interference,
stumbling about like trumpeting elephants
uprooting tender grass.

Those who commodify eco-happy value
spoil it.
Those who hoard this nutritious well-being wealth
lose it.

For: Some yangs go happy forward,
as some yins follow therapeutically humored behind,
like surf surging in,
then teasing back out,

Some breathe out too hot,
so some breathe in to cool off;

Some are too badly strong,
so some are goodness wilting;

Some species have madly broken,
so all species may sadly fall.

Hence Wisdom eschews human nature’s anthro-centric hubris,
evolving aversive
toward extravagant power overing
Earth,
each transparently laughing Other
avoids egocentric pride,
dissonant with ecocentric
eco-normic
comprehensive comprehension
of Nature’s prime systemic wu wei humored consciousness

Of principal tipping point healthy balance
toward optimized
sustainable comedy/tragedy of all life
wherever it can be multiculturally planted,
languaged,
spoken,
sung,
healthed,
laughed.

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Presidential Comedians

I hear in the Ukraine
there’s a comedian
with no prior political experience
who may become their new President.

I wonder
they did not hear
we tried this model in the U.S.
a couple years ago

With predictable tragic/comedic results
not the least bit friendly
to public multicultural health
sold out
to support feudal monoculturing wealth
of not so funny kleptocrats.

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Don’t Tell Me Why We’re Waiting

My favorite radio show
is Wait…Wait, Don’t Tell Me!
on NPR near you.

But, it has bothered me,
over the years,
a snagging voice in sign-off background,
threatening the host will see me again next week,
as if that was the answer we had awaited,
and so hoped he would not tell us.

Why does he lie to me?
Deliberately or otherwise?
Did he not notice his is a radio show?
Isn’t the point that I don’t have to go anyplace
to be seen?
Nor need I look in his direction
to enjoy his show and tell.

This untruth could be like Ray Charles
telling his audience he will see them next time.
Either an embarrassing mistake
or a revolutionary news story
so dryly understated
it went almost without saying to his death.

Although at least he might truthfully say:
I will smell you with your money again next week,
or even hear you.
Although with Ray
I think my hearing point
would be the other way around.

Why not the truth?
We’ll be back again next week,
same time,
same station.

A little traditional.
Perhaps a twitch of self-promotion.
But, at least not an outright threatening misconception.

Which got me thinking
about how I kept hearing Trump’s campaign promises
as both personal and environmental threats
for way bad climates to continue
on all of these tired stations,

And whether he now has any idea
that each time he reminds us
of what a great job he and his beloved are doing
and please tune in again next week,
we continue hearing that as menacing reassurance
that he is insanely unattached,
detached in absence from,
unavailable for processing
how scary we find his anti-healthy outcome standards
for public sector administrative leadership performance,
usually more WinWin,
and considerably less about covering one’s own
Win some-Lose some
private bought and sectored butt.

I’m not so sure he’s doing such a good job
compared to,
well,
most any processor of information
of any multiculturing species
including those who claim they saw and actually listened to me
again last week
about how his comedic success both promises
and reassures us
of further tragic despair
as I think and feel what’s already not left of healthy wealth
for my own special needs and opportunities kids
trying to live in healthing climates,
and not quite so much pathologizing,
who may not reassure anyone
about what a great job they are doing
taking care of even themselves,
but that is honest;
this family is about and for transparent integrity.
At least we know when we’re sucked up
to by psycho-phantic
‘non-political’
moneychasing machines,
more mindful of badnews robotics
than goodnews gospel teachers.

We will also not be fooled into believing
we can be seen and heard by a public sector self-promoter
just because he threatens to come back again next week
to do this same monoculturing elitist thing again
that we know has only one-badway happened truthfully,
same time,
same sad and not quite true
yet still
kinda funny
spacetime NPR station

Playing
Wait Wait,
Don’t Tell Me
public sectors can’t really quite see private ears,
can you?
despite all our weeks
of mindfully listening
to our tragic comedy
threats as promises
together?

 

 

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The Ambiguous Apprentice

When does ambiguously free verse
also become emphatically political verse?

I was emphatically reading pieces,
ambiguously written
about my sons,
to my oldest son’s girlfriend.

The longer I read
the more she cried.

Now it had been my hope
and passion
to become the next Kurt Vonnegut
of PolyCulturing Healthy Outcome Design,
or at least John Irving
at his all ecopolitical lives matter, and not, satirical best,
and so I finally had to ask,
Are these tears of sadness?

Yes and no.
Sometimes, says she,
mostly happy that someone else
sees him as I do
when I am at my best,
but sadness too
that we live in your world
of our own re-creation
about what you write
is too often left unsaid
uncreated
or even thought about.

I thought this might be a compliment
and so I read bravely on
through her quiet tears
of sad happiness
until she asked me to stop.

Could you teach me to write
like you?

No.
I doubt I could even help you write
like you.
Why,
are you having trouble writing by and of yourself?

Yes.
I worry I have nothing to say,
no place to safely yet nakedly live.

About half the poets
and novelists
believe that is a prerequisite
to great literature
and becoming an authentically mature artiste.

Having nothing to say.

Yes. But saying whatever very well.
And the other half,
what they mainly have to say
is to have something to say
which you would be wiser through hearing
yourself say
what you just said.
And if they believed
as does the opposing mindless half
then they would not embarrass themselves
by writing any no thing at all.

Well, which is right,
do you think?

More to your point,
which is right
about your writing?
If you can trust each empty page
longs to fill with your good humor
and best wisdom,
then you might begin
by having nothing on your Left languaged mind
except some brief turn of lyrical phrase
or return of some event
devoid of context
which musefully incarnates as content
as your pen rolls along each shaping word
and returning phrase
and 4 dimensional as seasonal
reasonal harmonic lines
and sentences for joyful life,
not just lonely sad death.

Next thing you know
sad death cooperatively together
restores joyful life justice
where lived sad loves lived evilly alone
and you are editing in search of paragraphs
to create sufficient spaces
between maturing lines of thought
you heard as one compare/contrast before
you’ve always said
and hoped someday to read,
then editing through pages of ego/eco-logical content
about…
what?
We’re not sure
until we’re done.
———————————————————–

She was crying again.
So I found an old barely used notebook
and a fresh pen,
a nearly full box of gaily pure white tissue
and handed them to her,
Suggesting she might write about tears
of sad yet lovely joy.

Where might I best begin,
she wisely asks.

At the top,
either left or right
depending on which hemisphere you most speak,
I not so wisely answer.
And, the first principle of multicultural story telling
is to be sure your reader
continues to understand and appreciate
and feel gratitude for
your protagonist
inevitably our favorite underdog,
because life’s a joyful sad bitch
but what are we going to gratefully do
with it?
The pen and notebook?
In your left and right hands?

So, I just start at the top
and re-imagine us
whether protagonist-in with antagonist-out,
or potential future solution
within a vexing co-present problem,
ways we choose to fold and unfold
sad space
as also joyful time of opportunity?

Spoken as a true tragic-comedy loving physicist
pretending to become a metaphysical teller of history,
your story,
written as we speak together
in domesticating yet still wild imaginations,
political thought experiments,
narratives,
prose as also poetry.

Precisely as I see our sadly joyful situation too.
All we have are protagonist underdogs
and antagonist overlords,
and each lies both sadly and joyously
across each bicameral heart and mind
singing
When I fall in nondual co-arising love,
we will be forever,
Reading stories of favorite sons
to tearful joys of future daughters
for revolutionary story telling,
more cooperative
than my damnably antagonistic
overlording sons!

When did ambiguously free verse
also become emphatically democratic verse?

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The SpeechWriter

Not too many decades out of college
I finally landed my first full-time job,
as a White House speech writer.

I know,
you would expect
I would not start at the top
and then claw
and grab
and snatch my way to the less immoral bottom
of a Certified EcoTherapist career ladder,
but apparently the President preferred
to abuse and neglect someone with no more public sector experience
than he had accumulated to this sorry state
of deforesting a nation’s wealth,
and I was clearly the least experienced applicant
who bothered to desperately apply
for a patently thankless job.

I was broke
and I thought perhaps I might wrestle a Presidential Pardon
for my therapeutic student load of toxic debt.

My first assignment
was a ten minute stand up comedy piece
to be delivered to the Press Club
by the least good humored non-politician
I had yet to meet
in ludicrously self-incorporated personage.

To my amazement
he did not stray off teleprompter
more than on
and did acquiesce to my suggestion
he could only be funny,
rather than tragic,
as a cross-dresser
who had simply forgotten to change
before leaving his rompish bedroom,
thereby transposing
his deadly public sector lack
of comedic hopelessness experience.

He chose a pastel blue chiffon maid’s uniform,
a Big and Beautiful Girl’s minidress
with matronly white apron
all gathered at the waist,
or at least doing its best
under stressfilled circumstances.

Where he found the fishnet stockings
with seams intended to aim straight up and down
the back of his hairless white calves,
I should not say.
But his seams tended to wander off to his dominant right,
should there actually be such a lonely place
as a gratefully suppressed left
in the mercifully unseen forest
of his meaty thighs.

While I couldn’t see
his party platform pumps
on EarthTribe network coverage,
I later heard this was not by accident
and I should feel fortunate
to have avoided fascinated allegiance
to their ruby red,
scuffed white,
and sky smoky blueness.

After pandemonium subsided
he began:

Under-dressed ecofeminists
and junk-brained gentlemen
of the fake press,
thanks so much for this utterly predictable
and distressing invitation
to speak over your heads tonight
about the profound merits
of New Reactionary Republican
reproductive resonance
and replete regenesis
of religious right remains right,
although sometimes a bit tight
around my rapidly expanding middle.

Leftist liberal libertines
like to quote that notorious drug addict
Janis Joplin:
Freedom
is just another word
for nothing left to lose.

Reactionary Republicans
have some of our own definitions
for new economic and old political values.

Justice
is another merciless word
for no one left of Jews.

Speaking of which,
isn’t my son-in-law
doing a great job
of being a quality not all that Jewish Republican?
And possibly the only Republican Jew
east of the Mississippi
and north of the still contested Mason-Dixon Line.
Although he is now trying to steal his sister-in-law’s gentile inheritance.

Let’s see.
Oh yes,
Peace
is just another word
for being between wars.

Patriotism
is just another word
for nationalistic loyalty test jargon
where all the supremacist lyrics
rhyme with juicy jism,
like monoculturalism
and racism
and sexism
and currently trendy anti-democratic totalitarianism,
where once resided MotherLand Libertines
cynically quoting Janis Joplin.

Liberty
is just another word
for nothing left worth stealing,
and grabbing,
and snatching,
and rubbing up against,
and preferably eating, eventually.

Virtue
is just another word
for robbing integrity
from future generations because,
as my Elders taught me,
it’s better virtuous us
then plundered them.

And,
last and maybe least,
love
is just another word
for nothing left to hate
and monger fear about
at least until my next election,
another corporate raid on pubic sector treasures.

Thanks so much
and may God bless the sacred FatherLand.

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New Neighbors

I am just finishing my morning meditation when I hear my doorbell ring. It actually sounds more like that buzzing sound you hear if you fry a fat fly on one of those electronic bug swatters. On my way to the door I hope it’s not my new neighbor who just moved in the first floor apartment below me yesterday. Nobody wants a too friendly neighbor, right? I’m from the “fences make good compassionately mindful neighbors” school of thought about neighborly interdependence, much less intimacy.

I open the door to a 60-something blotchy, ashy, white-skinned man wearing grey polyblend sweatpants, slightly too short, over a pair of black Crocs, screaming “I gave up on myself years ago,” and a lighter grey zip up the front, grimy hoody with a ripped left pocket, sleeves pushed up over old-red-haired-man, possibly ex-athlete, thick  creepy hairy forearms.

Before I have a chance to let him know this feels invasive to me, or even say “Hello, who and why are you at my door during my meditation time?” the new downstairs neighbor starts flapping his jaws as if my ears were born to listen to his cheery wisdom.

“Hi, I’m Oliver. My two neurally challenged teenagers, Ivy’s the bratty girl, and Daquan is the perfect, but sometimes a little loud, sort of like a really ticked off roaring lion, but you’ll get used to it, son, and I are your new downstairs neighbors, and I wanted to meet you right away because I don’t want you to freak out and call 911 when you hear us yelling or screaming or crying or jumping endlessly hour after hour because Ivy is really hyper and because Daquan can’t speak but often seems to have a lot to bark and roar about what somtimes seems like its just gas and sometimes means he’s wet and is trying to tell me I need to put the novel down, or stop writing that dreadful sad poetry, or writing predictable lyrics for country-western songs, much less living them, and sometimes he’s just playing Tarzan, yodeling in his make-believe jungle. He’s legally blind and uses a wheelchair for school but at home he scoots and thumps around, surprisingly athletic, on his butt, kind of like an upside down inchworm if inchworms had feet and arms, if you know what I mean.”

I don’t have the first clue, actually, but we have no time, and apparently not the least commitment to discerning my own thoughts about Oliver’s communication and rationality skills, or lack thereof.

“My husband lives about a mile upriver in our cottage that we are trying to expand before the rest of us move in. He is tall, dark and handsome in an AfricanAmerican kind of way and is usually depressed, at least when he’s around us, which I can’t really blame him because Ivy is Oppositionally Ordered, I don’t know why they keep saying Fetal Alcohol kids have Oppositional Disorder because her capacity to oppose everything is most certainly not out of order, or in any way under-developed. She will pitch a fit if all you’re trying to do is get her up from her feeding trough to help her out of a poopy diaper. You would think that somebody was going to eat her food after she has already marked it with her drool. I have no idea why they would call that Oppositional Disorder. No one I have ever met has been more oppositionally wired synaptic than my daughter.”

“Anyway, Valentino, that’s my husband, he suffers from chronic depression which is too bad because he used to have this really nice soft sense of humor and romance, if you know what I mean, but now he’s just quiet and sad and afraid to retire because then he won’t have any friends that don’t drive him crazy like his family does, including me.”

“He complains that we’re too loud and the house is always filthy and my cooking is terrible but he likes to cook and clean so I don’t really get it why it’s not OK for me to not like to cook and clean, or do the laundry, or the dishes. Do you know what I mean? So, tell me about you.”

Finally, a question other than the parenthetical “do you know what I mean.”

“Ditto. Except mine are named, respectively, Poison, Tarzan, and Attila. Do you happen to like Ginseng tea with lots of honey?

 

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