In Between Porcelain Thrones


There is no money in poetry. There is no poetry in money either but that provides little solace when it’s time to pay the rent.

Seven toilet day! Six too many. Perhaps seven. First cleaning job/condo had four, two on the second floor, then one on each of the other floors. Is this really necessary I’m thinking as I scrub away? Second condo had three, one on each floor. The worst thing about bathrooms is their size. Or lack of space, crammed with fixtures the way they are.

I’m trying to find a way to get through this work, a way not to feel miserable because I have to work. Pay the bills. Survive. Listening to music-when I can-helps a bit. Mostly I daydream. Plot, scheme. Feel like Cinderella. Feel trapped. I’m glad that I’m able to earn a living, be my own boss-blah, blah, blah-grateful that these beat up old hands, body still function but I am seriously weary of it all and really hoping that a well-earned vacation will provide some perspective, help me to feel better, even rejuvenated. Dare I hope?

Interesting how many times my fortunes have turned. Along with the men in my life? Screw Prince Charming. I was happiest living alone, working at the LA Weekly. Unfortunately that didn’t last. Fortunately I can adapt. I was also happy living with a partner as part of a family. I love child rearing, being a mother. It’s just time to return to myself. Be the artist I fought so hard to become. I have been called pretentious but my art is the most important thing in the world, after my son. One of my most talented friends refuses to write unless he’s being paid. Oh it would be lovely to be a professional again but I have to write regardless of circumstances. It’s in me to do. Who I am. So, I write in between jobs. Toilets. Sadly, along with more than a few former journalists.

C’est la vie though the Catholic in me suspects I’m being punished for my sins. The illustration above is by dear friend Victor Bonderoff, for a poem I wrote long ago called Where Sins are More Sinful. My mother used to hide her beer from her brothers in the toilet tank. What is this affinity with the porcelain throne? In any case, I miss collaborating too.  Mark Neys AKA Swoon Bildos of Belgium adapted it to video and Roderick Shoolbraid composed the music.



A river flows down to the Atlantic-

the Matapédia-

Irish and cathedral

on one side,

Québécois and cathedral

on the other.

They all know sin.


Jeanette walked to the pier

every day to buy a lobster,

hid the quarts of beer

from brothers Ed and Reggie

in the toilet tank.

Hung a rosary there,

to atone for the bastard

she nourished

with lobster and beer.


Tiny filligree iron cross

laced with lines of rust.


4 thoughts on “In Between Porcelain Thrones

  1. A poem that says what it is doing just as it does it. Spare and clean yet takes the reader into a bigger place. What all short lyric poetry should do but rarely does.

  2. You may not remember me, but once we shared our time in space with Candye around our 21st birthdays. I think I have a pic or two. Those were fun times back when the continental club was alive. .Genos etc. .,lol

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