Swordfish Hotkiss Dusk

He hoists the hem of her skirt way up, like he does them sails when he’s anchored and angling;

Earnest is still on the hook for that swordfish, size of a canoe, but it will never be the same, she ain’t coming back, after the first time he lost her. You’ll recall the way he mentioned her wingspan, like he was breaking the spirit of an angel, not so much to hitch a ride to heaven as for a way to break out of hell.

He claims he isn’t tired, but he feels exhausted, won’t sleep because he might never wake up again,

and heads back to a place the beer is kept cold, served by the youngest daughter of an old man, living to brag on the conquests Earnest hauled to shore and passed around for free to keep his audience from starving.

The boys encourage him, sacrificing UNICEF school supplies to pitch in for his paper and pencils. “Say what happened, Cap.” They nudge.

He lets the boys pour saltwater over his refusals to let go, over his reeling wounded hands, worn out and torn like leather weather beaten gloves, barely able to hold them donated pencils, he apologizes, but they won’t take no for an answer.

When Earnest is good and ready he writes a letter; says he doesn’t blame his partner for the loss even though the wrong line was cut so that Earnest had nothing to show for it. He could tell his partner felt awful sorry and that was good enough for him, that he’d done all he could and it could happen to anybody under an unforgiving sun, where a feel for the water, doesn’t equal trust.

She yanks the hem of her skirt down, and her face reminds Earnest of where she’s been for the last twenty years. Not with him.

“Earnest Swordfish Hotkiss Dusk” mixed media by Katie-Rae Jean featured by Bitter Sweet Place, a Fleeting He(art) Gallery, July 2020
Provided by Universal Music Group Swordfish Hotkiss Night · Empire Of The Sun is being posted by BitterSweetPlace a Fleeting He(art) Gallery for NO Commercial Purpose. Walking On A Dream ℗ 2008 The Sleepy Jackson Pty Ltd and Nick Littlemore, under exclusive license to EMI Music Australia Pty Ltd. Producer, Associated Performer, Performer: Luke Steele Studio Personnel, Mixer, Associated Performer, Recorder: Peter Mayes Producer, Associated Performer, Performer: Nicholas Littlemore Studio Personnel, Mastering Engineer: Mike Marsh Composer: Luke Steele Composer: Nick Littlemore Composer: Peter Mayes

Sponsored Post Learn from the experts: Create a successful blog with our brand new courseThe WordPress.com Blog

WordPress.com is excited to announce our newest offering: a course just for beginning bloggers where you’ll learn everything you need to know about blogging from the most trusted experts in the industry. We have helped millions of blogs get up and running, we know what works, and we want you to to know everything we know. This course provides all the fundamental skills and inspiration you need to get your blog started, an interactive community forum, and content updated annually.

“The Mouth of a Sailor”

There was a calm before the storm 

and then being held in her eye. . .

“Mouth of a Sailor” (mixed media) by Katie-Rae Jean

Whale songs are not hushing       

                     lullabies for

                      your babes or  

                      good news 

                     gospels for      

your saints. They are survival shanties about missed harpoons and why whales only sing their blues among the nonchalance of drifters. . .  

Row Your Boat

Maybe next one’s gonna deal me a hangman and get me the hell outta this…

* * *

Third time’s a charm. Seeker in the ether.

  One of the argonauts.  The

  wildcard suspended from a   

 hawser; a  drunken


 disguised as

 the ferryman.  And wait…

 There’s a song churning on 

 the current.

Seen a man slightly dark for the work he done and the brim of his hat and his beard. Turbulent eyes glowed golden-green and amber-honey chestnut and then still got called hazel.

Kind of carmelized sugar girls go ga-ga for,

tumble into hungry and drown.

He brewed stormy until he smiled and light broke through his ominous cover of clouds.

“He used to be the Captain

he works the ferry now.” Reported a newspaper man.

“He’s still the Captain, but

he’s works the ferry for

now.” Said a crewman.

“He smelled of constant whiskey intake. Sweated it. Hurt for it.” Witnessed a barmaid.

He sang, “I will be an organ donor for the wind

and so forever breathe into you–” Reminisced a connoisseur…


Body and soul is an ark set to drift…

and I am the captain of my soul set to row…


O’ Captain! My Captain!

(the captain is dead on the deck)

 Then please-

 two coins

 for the ferryman

 and reward him for the show

 that guiding light

 through black and the fog

 the rudder hung up on bog

 The casting nets and

 this- a shelled Venus


 edible, pregnant

 with pearl;

 That grit

 that wound

 so polished well

 comforted into bead strung noose

 Hoist with Necklace Ahoy!

 Then Necklace Away!

 Garlands hung

 flesh into sails

 billowing eternal

 pushing forward the voyage…

“He’s a minstrel at heart.” Chimed a poet, “With high seas to embellish his story.

A tyrant’s command– when to swab or swoon and then he would have us weep.

Led over his tales of woe–

How we go, some little worried mothers.

And he he will play us all Home Sweet Home–

dancing on the Devil’s grave.”

So a soothsayer said, “Taking one– to know one.”

“How I died in his arms.” The poet lamented.

“Life boat to death shuttle–

There is a message in the bottle.” Sang the Argonaut disguised as a ferryman.

He took a swig of whiskey and belched. “Bring in the dancing girl and have you met my wife?”

“You in me now. Part of my DNA. Is that a website?” Screamed Hope.

There was this loneliness and this reaching out and this imagination and art became reckless when it showed off and admitted it’s voyeur and theft and it opened to be misinterpreted or reinterpreted and basically co-opted for communion. Is anybody out there? I love you. All to be rejected, at the expense of my chemicals, I love you.

The Bag Lady: “Face Time” #1, “Trail Head” #2,”Paper Cuts” #3, “Freedom” #4, “Ascension” #5, “Open Heart” #6 (mixed media) featured on Bitter Sweet Place a Fleeting He(art) Gallery by Katie-Rae Jean

“The Mariner’s Revenge Song” · by The Decemberists Picaresque ℗ Kill Rock Stars Released on: 2012-10-04 is being featured on Bitter Sweet Place, a Fleeting He(art) Gallery for No Commercial Purpose.

“Mama’s Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Dirt Bike Hotdogs”

Venus says when she tried on-line dating, she got sent so many dick picks, it was like their frankfurters would stretch from sea to shining sea—several times.

Each relished a woman with an appetite for dirt bike hotdogs

and truly wished to be the one

every one

would be

in love


She felt their vulnerability but regarded their casual exhibition as impersonal

and wondered, so just what’s in these wieners?

and took a quick look

at this “paste-like and batter-like poultry product”

by forcing bones, with attached edible tissue, through a sive or similar device under high pressure.

And to her surprise

the take-away

was inside

his haiku about how coots sound the same fighting as they do fucking.


by “advanced meat recovery machinery” separates the edibles from the inedibles without smashing the bone.


less than 10 percent water

and Corn syrup,


A common meat preservative

antimicrobial, capable of killing


harm full



stocks (a stockade)

(a want) ad

classifying his search for a bi-valve to tie his ball-gag


boiling water with parts of the carcass.

Found in chowder and instant hand warmers.

To help keep meat-based products pink.

He voyeurs back to back

episodes of the Gadget Girls, those money savvy tarts, showcasing

vibrating modern conveniences to fangirls who give good


Side effects, including dizziness, gastrointestinal issues, headaches and, if consumed in large quantities, kidney stones.

A filler or thickening agent.

Brewers also often use it in beer.

Uncontrollable bouts of laughter.

Resistance to his own measure

and mean streaks…

An increased risk of cancer.

Frequently found in fertilizers.

An increased shelf life…

he doesn’t want to end up like his father, a master of wood

a carpenter. 

Paid by some Hopi or Chinook to erect

a totem pole.

A pure-blood

Irish-Catholic.  Not a drop of American Indian

but at the EXPO

where his father’s booth proudly displayed his polished


mahogany Jesus bust

with a detached centerpiece of hands folded in prayer,

a Chief, no less, approached him

and praised him

for being a true visionary. 

They discussed wood grain and how to coax the spirits from the rings. 

His father had additionally provided a small demo of his skill at a wood block where he informatively described his blades and planes and proceeded to whittle a whistle in the shape of a dove and when he lifted his lips to blow through the hollow tail, a sweet perfect note in ‘C’ sang out the beak. 

His father designed and built the alter at their church and donated his oak banisters and handrails to senior centers and nursing homes and taught how to build his benches, picnic tables and bunkbeds to a Boy Scouts of America troop. 

Made his actual living on elaborate personalized coffins

King Tut woulda been so lucky to have been buried in a sarcophagus carved by his father.


He didn’t want to be like his mother who was a master glass blower. 

A mistress of the crystal ball.  Literally providing instruments of hocus pocus up and down the west coast. 

Mostly middle-aged women sporting her witch-balls (intended to ward off and or capture dark spirits) in their whimsical tea gardens,

several shingle-hanging psychics paying top dollar for table-top oracles elevated by silver-plated tripods. 

Wand knobs, divination pendulums, and ritual chalices sold like hotcakes. 

However, his mother raked in the most cash for her rearview mirror car ornaments, glass chillums, and elaborate water bongs.

He says he wants to be the cocktails they serve on trains… 

And the Trip Advisor requests a review which will garner points that look like stars and add up to a badge.

“Mama’s Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Dirt Bike Hotdogs” (mixed media) featured on Bitter Sweet Place, a Fleeting He(art) Gallery, by Katie-Rae Jean, March 2020
The Brooke Candy “Nasty” (Music Video) is being posted by Bitter Sweet Place, a Fleeting He(art) Gallery for not commercial purpose.
Brooke Candy
Licensed to YouTube by
SME (on behalf of RCA Records Label); CMRRA, UMPG Publishing, UNIAO BRASILEIRA DE EDITORAS DE MUSICA – UBEM, ASCAP, BMI – Broadcast Music Inc., LatinAutor – UMPG, LatinAutor, and 5 Music Rights Societies (c) 2016

“The Way the Cookie Crumbles…”

A new pair of shoes will do you a world of good” (Chinese Fortune Cookie) #2 mixed media by Katie-Rae Jean (March 2020)

Danny Boy says, “I was truly moved by her, when she said to me, ‘Heck yeah, I’m a functioning illiterate Doc Fancy Suit.  What Makes YOU think I wanna learn how to feel the way you do?  I’m not gonna read those books!  Them teachers think I can’t read, but I can read.  I been reading as long as I can remember, but I’m not telling any of them teachers at school I can do it.  If they know I can read, they’ll make me read their books.”

Dickey Boy asks, “Well, so you encountered an actual resistance to facts and information, huh Danny Boy?  So then what do you do?  How do you teach?”

Danny Boy says, “Dickey Boy, that’s an excellent question and I’m glad you asked me about it;  because I want to impress upon you, and I do not mean this in any kind of sentimental way, you know, like how one is supposed to feign humility, but you see… it really was this young woman who was teaching me and not the other way around.”

Dickey Boy nods and he says, “Uh, huh.  Uh, huh.  Okay and so how do you feel about parents or teachers who say to their children and students, ‘Stop reading those comic books…’?”

Danny Boy says, “Well Dickey Boy, if a boy wants to read a Playboy Magazine he should read what interests him, that’s what I’d tell them.  Because any boy who hasn’t read a Playboy Magazine isn’t in the world yet. Even MIT offers a course on Porn.”

Dickey Boy laughs.  “Heh, heh… I guess that’s true!”

Danny Boy says, “It’s true.  It’s true, Dickey Boy.  Mind you, Heff’s daughter took over the business after he croaked and the only thing left, are the articles! But the concept remains the same.”

Dickey Boy asks, “Are you saying a boy’s interest in porn can lead him to rocket science?”

Danny Boy says, “Well, the professor at MIT has taken a scientific approach to porn and happens to be a woman with a lotta healthy recommendations to female directors, which can be pretty confusing to a male teen, at least at first, but what’s more, we need to not give books to kids that tell them how to be like us.  We should give them books to read that reflect who they are so we can help them become them, not us.”

Dickey Boy asks, “Does that mean writing one bad short story is better than reading one well written novel?”

Danny Boy says, “Well Dickey Boy, not really, but there is a kernel of truth at least to what you are suggesting.”

Dickey Boy asks, “I mean do you think of reading as an idle activity in comparison to, oh say taking a walk?  That the physical experience of being in the world is more beneficial than reading about taking a walk?”

Danny Boy says, “Well yes and no Dickey Boy.  It’s our memories that set us apart from the other animals.  It’s our memories that make our animal unique.  And we capture those memories in books.  But of course, the physical experience of life is going to inform those books and this is where we discover our shared humanity.  That’s why I’m saying this student taught me more than I taught her.  She made me a better listener.  And she wasn’t wrong.  She knew who was telling her to be more white.  Who had the money.  She wanted the money; she just didn’t want the bullshit that came with it.”

Dickey Boy nods.  “What was the bullshit Danny Boy, that came with it?”

Danny Boy says, “In those books nobody believed a black girl would grow up to be a doctor.  It’s like how sometimes on airplanes when a passenger is having a medical problem and the white stewardess asks if there is a doctor on board and a proficient black doctor steps forward, but then the stewardess looks her up and down and hesitates.  Literally this passenger’s life is on the line and the stewardess asks for her credentials, only then to reject her for the white man who says he too is a doctor, but without asking to see his credentials.”

Dickey Boy nods.  “Wow.  Yeah.  I see what you mean Danny Boy.  I wouldn’t want to read those books either and I have been!”

Danny Boy laughs.  “Well there you are.”

Dickey Boy chuckles.  “Indeed.  Indeed.”  He says and he turns to the Elephant Man and asks, “So, what do you think about all of this?”

Elephant Man says, “Well, it’s true people laugh when I tell them I talk to the elephants and they talk to me and we have a true connection.”

Dickey Boy and Danny Boy laugh.

Elephant Man smiles like a shy but curious little boy.  He says, “They are a little mysterious the way they scatter and hide their bones all around the jungle.  They have a real sense of death.  And they are an extremely private group.”

Dickey Boy says, “Wait, you mean they told you that the elephant graveyard isn’t real?”

Elephant Man says, “That’s right Dickey Boy.  They are mums the word on why they do what they do, scattering and hiding the bones, but the elephant graveyard is a fantasy.”

Dickey Boy says, “That’s amazing.  You have a real way with them.”

Elephant Man says, “Well, that’s because I am an elephant.”

Dickey Boy and Danny Boy laugh.

Danny Boy leans over to pat Elephant Man’s knee.  He says, “You know what?  I believe you.”

Elephant Man smiles like a shy but curious little boy.  He says, “Do you want to know what the dumbest of the big animals is?”

Dickey Boy says, “Sure do.”

Elephant Man says, “The Rhino. He’s so transparent, you know, you can see his mind ticking… before he impulsively charges a bush.  For no reason at all he just goes off and attacks a bush!  And then he’ll actually throw himself onto his back like he’s having a tizzy fit.  A rhino boxes his own shadow and loses every time.”

Dickey Boy and Danny Boy laugh.

Dickey Boy says, “Well maybe the rhinos are harboring deep feelings against the Chinese.  Maybe it’s post traumatic stress because after all, the Chinese have been hunting them and sawing off their horns to grind them into what has been proven as false ‘medicine’ and so maybe the rhino species is energetically messed up now because of that long brutal history.”

Elephant Man appears pensive.  He says, “That’s deep.  I never would have thought of that.  Maybe you’re right Dickey Boy.”

Danny Boy says to Dickey Boy, “I believe it.  And who says we can’t use television to teach the children?  When my daughter was six years old she got bored with Sesame Street.  She knew when it became condescending to her.  She knew when she could out smart them and she made her own choice to move on.”

Dickey Boy says, “Well Danny Boy, I’m not going to argue with you there!”

Danny Boy and Dickey Boy share a laugh and Elephant Man smiles like a shy and curious little boy.

Danny Boy says, “You know that rhino-Chinese analogy is pretty much how my student explained Woody Allen to me.  She said Woody is a thief.  She said don’t trust that mutha fuckin’ Jew ‘cuz he be like all them Jews.  He jus’ gonna rob ya’ll and make ’you pay one way or ‘nother to watch him screw his adopted daughter.'”

Dickey Boy gasps.  “Wow!  I never thought of the movie biz as so all about Holly-Woodies before.  Your student had a point, didn’t she?”

Danny Boy nods.  “I couldn’t argue.  I wouldn’t argue.  There was nothing to argue.”

Elephant Man nods.  “Maybe rhinos aren’t dumb.  I never considered the body language as anything other than unproductive rage.  But it’s a signal to us.  Perhaps it’s their recorded memory.  Maybe they role model this to condition and steel and submit themselves for what the future holds.”

Danny Boy says, “I believe you’re on to something there, Elephant Man.”

Dickey Boy says to Danny Boy, “Which isn’t to say there is no hope?”

Danny Boy says, “Oh, no… of course there is hope.  Yes there is hope.  My student who didn’t want to read the books, went to college to become a nurse, and then she ended up a doctor.  People say to me, you must be so proud and gratified because she wouldn’t have done that if she hadn’t met me, but that’s not true.  She did that work by herself.  She did that for herself.  And she taught me how she could and would do it.  But me?  As a white man?  I didn’t have to sacrifice a thing.  I just had to listen and then I got to write a book about her and I got on television for it.  She gave me that. But only she could walk in her shoes.”

A new pair of shoes will do you a world of good” (Chinese Fortune Cookie) #4 mixed media by Katie-Rae Jean (March 2020)
The Tierra Whack “Whack World” (Music Video) is being featured by Bitter Sweet Place, a Fleeting He(art) Gallery for No Commercial Purpose. Music video by Tierra Whack performing Whack World. © 2018 Tierra Whack. 1.”Black Nails”2.”Bugs Life”3.”Flea Market”4.”Cable Guy”5.”4 Wings”6.”Hookers”7.”Hungry Hippo”8.”Pet Cemetery”9.”Fuck Off”10.”Silly Sam”11.”Fruit Salad”12.”Pretty Ugly”13.”Sore Loser”14.”Dr. Seuss”15.”Waze”
“A new pair of shoes will do you a world of good” (Chinese Fortune Cookie) #1 mixed media by Katie-Rae Jean (March 2020)

The Return of the Bad Penny

Argo always hid under his hats and hoodies in plain sight and he invented pseudonyms for his creative projects, he confided, because he couldn’t handle the anxiety that fame always brought him. Then he’d pass out (distribute) all of his published literary magazine poems and self-promoted band cd’s for free and say it was never about the money. And when he invited people to his shows, he’d keep them waiting, while he got too drunk to perform at all well, but drunk enough to think he had.

Sunk by DNA, he blamed, he believed himself to be a ghost that was cursed to watch his widow mourn,

witch (which)

often triggered his wife into a fit of cuss words that intimately described his failure to take out the trash,

so that eventually Argo only begged that she’d keep his cremated remains clean, if not his actual memory.

He wanted to bend the metal of a long saw to make it sing and found himself listening to men who could draw on such serrated blades to weep, with envy.

He could neither quite howl or croon like the dogs he emulated;

but he felt time was still worth (being wasted)

even as it was running out on him,

if he looked back at all the near misses and close calls as divine luck,

equivocating it with dumb luck, like that made him smarter than everyone else.

When Argo learned he could make his rhythm sticks sound like oinking pigs it felt like the impossible day where pigs could actually fly, and even though he was busting to let others know of his ability to bring home the bacon, he refused to point out how Pink Floyd had already been there done that, and waited to hear from anyone who had truly listened…

He didn’t expect feedback. He waited to be discovered.

Although he bragged that there were a few backstage whores who asked for his John Hancock, they ultimately made him feel sorry for them, so he refused to give them the time of day.

“Knit Dicks” LipWear (lipstick/chapstick holder) by Heather Forte and (Fuck You) Pom Knit Hat by Sourpuss Clothing from the Angry Young and Poor Collection featured by Bitter Sweet Place (a Fleeting) He(art) Gallery (February 2020)
The Coco Rosie “Restless” (Music Video) is being posted by Bitter Sweet Place, a Fleeting He (art) Gallery for No Commercial Purpose.
‘Restless’ – the new track from CocoRosie – taken from the upcoming album ‘Put The Shine On’, out March 13th 2020 on Marathon Artists. Pre-order the album ‘Put The Shine On’: https://ffm.to/puttheshineon.oyd Listen to ‘Restless’: https://cocorosie.lnk.to/RestlessID Follow CocoRosie: https://cocorosie.lnk.to/followID

Lyrics: Her heart is restless and ready to fight On a white horse all blue in the moonlight She rides with grace in the wrong place at the right time That’s how she found you But that’s how she lost you too She’s got her shoes fixed with glue, sole like brand new A stranger’s place, that’s where she takes her heartless rest Her restless soul fell asleep at the wheel counting sheep And dreaming of days out West With her rodeo clown, her man, her best She walks the streets with bloody feet preaching to birds She lost head, voices of angels calling her name Her loveless grace, the trial of her life, ready to burst her destiny ripe It took this long for him to be gone for her to say goodbye Dirty tricks, crucifix, had enough of this, life of cuts and nicks, ticks and fits Alchemist of light and dark, tried to keep that little spark Her love with blind, it shattered her mind And now she’s gone wild in the moonshine with no mother and no child She had to leave her old man behind A deadbeat dad, another clown sad Traded their love for cheap wine And now she hit the road without a Jack or a John And the story goes on, one day she’ll find her Don The trial of her life, ready to burst her destiny ripe Her love was blind, it shattered her mind It took this long to leave him behind She lost her way She lost her way She lost her way She lost her way And with no trace to find her way home The trial of her life, ready to burst her destiny ripe It took this long for him to be gone, for her to say goodbye She lost her way She lost her way She lost her way She lost her way She lost her way She lost her way She lost her way She lost her way And with no trace to find her way home

Overhead Baggage (Carrion Luggage)

His songs use to be filled with elbow rests and white knuckling and not enough Jack to tune out Cracklin’ Rosie which he swore made his ears bleed; and he’d sit there bleeding in his window seat, not wanting.

He felt full of holes and sensitive to any comments; every comment made about the condition of his clothes, or the way he carried moths around with him, proving to His self he was the flame if not the utilitarian wool that attracted them.

He had a wife that told him how he keeps an extra set of hands close to his mouth; and what he calls tusks are really just the arms he pulled off a baby-doll. He liked that about his wife, the way she cussed at him in private so he could sing about her in public and he told everybody they don’t have to respect how she takes her glasses off so she never looks at them directly, they just needed to accept it.

When a stewardess asked him if he’d like a pillow, he stopped jiggling his knee under the seat-tray. He ordered another jigger, no ice, and told her, he can’t sleep up in the air, or most nights, and that sometimes he thinks he can fly like a car lighter left in a parking lot, sparking on oil and paper and pigeons; something always sets him off and then he changes the subject. Maybe he’d write a song about her if she told him her name. . .

even though he could barely look her in the eye.

He confided to a stewardess, how people either saw him as a shipwreck or a monster, some giant octopus masking and camouflaging, while he hunted, appearing suddenly to spill his ink and wrap around the hull.

He lamented how they never did consider that he might actually be the ocean itself, all the sneaker waves and riptides, the whirlpools and tsunamis, swallowing the shore, and joining with fresh water rivers that inherently take the paths of least resistance by filling up every crevice and flowing on.

There were only ever a few sirens that got to him, he admitted, but he’d never remember them in the morning.

He peeked up to glimpse her reaction from behind the drink cart and the stewardess quickly pointed out all of the emergency exits.

Sea Shanty #2 (mixed media) by Katie-Rae Jean (February 2020)
The Heartless Bastards “Parted Ways” (music video) is being posted here for no commercial purposes.

Dragons Don’t Do Hotdogs. . .

LipWear-CookWear “hotdog pink” #1 (mixed media) by Katie-Rae Jean, January 2020

As she applied her brand new lipstick, it dawned on her that it was the same shade as hotdogs. . .

This made her frown which didn’t help the appearance of her mouth.

Her father named her Purity, but her mother never liked it, she finally confessed to her like it’d been pent up and pending on her bucket-list. So when Purity was old enough to know the truth and several years after the divorce, her mother said she had wanted to name her Susan, you know, after the the Lazy-Susan her grandparents kept on their dining-nook table, that spun circles of sweet pickle relish, cold butter and mustard within reach. Her mother said, “But your father wouldn’t let me. He had too many horror stories from the pickle factory.”

LipWear-CookWear “hotdog pink” #2 (mixed media) by Katie-Rae Jean, January 2020

Her father explained that he had wanted to name her Chipko when he found out about the tree-huggers and how “Chip” for short felt like a chip off the old block, but her mother drew the line. “You are your father’s daughter.” He told her, “And you’re braver than your brother. When he was a toddler he’d crawl on his hands and knees backwards down the stairs, but you just held the rail and took ’em in stride.”

At about age nine her father had given them a basic self-defense lesson. He said, Fight to win. Don’t be afraid to pick up a two-by-four and bollocks to honor. You wanna maim and run like hell. He then proceeded to show Purity the vulnerable points that would incapacitate a larger foe. The heel of the palm for instance, with a quick straight jab under the nose would theoretically shove the attacker’s delicate bone into the brain. A key between the knuckles, held flat inside the fist for grip, and a thunk to the larynx was another effective method. He said to take that one to heart being it was a tip for a latch-key kid. After a series of mock sparring bouts with an emphasis on sustained eye contact and accompanying poker-face, Purity’s father instructed them to come at him. They pretended to be bad guys and took turns failing to resist their headlocks.

Purity’s brother said, “Papa never did let us win.” He said, “We’d jab, he’d grab. And Lock. We’d stab, he’d grab. And Lock. We’d be bad, he’d grab. And Lock. We’d be mad, he’d grab. And Lock.”

Purity’s father’s move was literally called the Prison Cell Block.

She found herself busting into the pop ‘n lock as her brother’s cheeks flushed with red determination to free himself from his father’s grip and her father said, “Stop that and pay attention, Purity. These are battle tactics, not tap dance lessons.”

“um… I was using my arms, Pop. Not my feet.” Purity clarified.

Occasionally Purity and her brother would watch their father do sit-ups with a twenty-five pound weight on his chest. After his reps, he’d face them, suck in and tighten his abdomen and say, “Go ahead. Punch me as hard as you can in the gut.”

Her father said, “You see, culling is the instinct for basic symmetry, which is not the foundation, but the evolutionary cornerstone of all animal attraction. . .”

He said, “And that’s why you can Never truly trust hotdogs.”

The Billie Eilish “Bad Guy” (music video) is being posted for No Commercial Purpose.
© 2019 Darkroom/Interscope Records
“LipWear-CookWear hotdog pink-mustard mouth” (mixed media) by Katie-Rae Jean, January 2020
The Jim Croce “Bad Bad Leroy Brown” (music audio) is being posted on Bitter Sweet Place for no commercial purposes.

“Hot Wheels” (The Classic Story of How You Put Your Foot in Your Mouth…)

He is so enamored with a woman who can turn his faults into origami,

lend him a folding chair when at times the morale picnic has agreed to badminton birdies and all

he longs

to do is sit with his face in his hands, peaking through his shakes;

makes a church steeple with two index fingers

so she might


with cold water for his frogs.

Everything is croaking,

she says

and he nods,

troubled over 

which bridges have been washed out by rising water,

which words to use,

urgently. . . 

listens for mating songs; 

tuning out

the way 

she describes where the cremated remains will be scattered.

He insists there is a Hallmark Movie about Cleopatra,

the Roller Derby Queen,

and when she loses her glass slippers, she can’t help


head over heels

for all that glitters is gold.

The Chet Faker “Gold” (Music Video) is being posted featured by Bitter Sweet Place, a Fleeting He(art) Gallery for No Commercial Purpose. You can support The Artist (official music video for Gold, taken from Chet Faker‘s debut album ‘Built On Glass’) by Getting it now on iTunes: http://smarturl.it/BuiltOnGlass Director: Hiro Murai, Producer: Kimberly Stuckwisch, Executive Producer: Danielle Hinde, DP: Larkin Seiple, Production Designer: Maxwell Orgell, Stylist: Elise and Chris Velasco, Choreographer: Ryan Heffington, Skaters: Appleusa McGlynn, April Corley, Candice Heiden
“Hot Wheels (The classic story of how you put your foot in your mouth)” mixed media collage by Katie-Rae Jean featured by Bitter Sweet Place, a fleeting He(art) Gallery, January 2020.

See the Kitten Stuck in a Tree…

Queenie leans over the lavatory sink of the ladies room, stares woozy 

at the vanity

and applies lipstick. She puckers and smacks

after several rounds, blots and squints

to inspect her teeth,

rubs a squeaky fingertip over the two

in front and removes a maraschino-cherry red stain.

Queenie forces a smile,

that manifests more into a groan

grumbles aloud,

. . .Won’t be the color to save my life. . .

and briefly concentrates on

her reflection only

to sigh long and hard.

With sudden and great disappointment she throws the tube

ricochetting against the sides

and thunking to the bottom

of a garbage can,

its cylinder chrome further distorting her image as she scowls

at the swinging

metal plate slowing


to a neat


The ladies room door swings wide


“S’cuse me dear, you wouldn’t happen to have an assburn, would you?” Rosemary inquires,

inching up

next to Queenie,

setting her purse between the double sink basins, where Queenie calls it ‘cleavage’ and believes in an unspoken ladies room boundary

that should

never be


Queenie darts her green eyes over

to judge

the perfectly acceptable empty space

on the other side

of Rosemary’s faucet where Queenie knows Rosemary’s turf actually begins,

according to ladies room code.

“I’m battling a splitting headache.” Rosemary clarifies 

and she looks at Queenie painfully-pleasant but expectant.

Ass burn?!” Queenie hollers, “Hell no, Granny. My ass is feeling just fine!”

Stunned, Rosemary

wonders over social etiquette

like she’d dropped her notecards in her own mind and begins searching

for them,

to place them

in order or

at the very least


an affirmation among them, such as

keep your chin up‘ 

or ‘hang in there‘ 

fleeting recalls of her elementary school health room and posters of kittens

while she smiles dumb.

Stricken and unnerved, Rosemary bothers to pronounce, “Ass-Prin” 

as if she’s being more helpful

appearing less expectant

and rather more hopeful.

“What a great idea, Granny!” Queenie hollers

becoming suddenly animated,

“A Hester Prynne handbag!” 

Rosemary involuntarily winces.

Queenie chortles, “Bigger than that old pocketbook of yours!” She winks

and nods towards Rosemary’s purse,

sitting in navy blue like a pitched triangle tent, taught and erect with it’s straps standing straight as antennas

nestled on the counter cleavage of the two sink basins.

“That’s what ALL us girls need. A Hester Prynne Handbag. I can’t believe I never thought of it before.” Queenie beams.

Rosemary frowns,

like she’d absent-mindly forgotten to attend

THE awards ceremony;

the ONE for volunteering

where she’d be honored as the fastest


of church notes


She digs

almost frantic

inside her purse


until she apologizes.

“I’m helpless. I can’t seem to find a thing,” she confesses.

then removes a pocket-pack of kleenex tissues,

then sets aside a plastic rain kerchief,

then shakes her head at a small comb that should be ashamed of itself,

then comments on how a tube of chapstick isn’t it.

“I can’t for the life of me figure where it is.” Rosemary promises, “I use to have a very pretty pillbox. . .

It had roses which were red and

violets which were blue painted on the lid.”

“Sounds lovely.” Queenie interrupts, “But a Hester Prynne handbag should be designed with a little zipper pocket inside. Like mine.”

She reveals the practicality of her enormous shoulder bag to Rosemary

and with a quick zzzzzip… 

readily fishes out a tiny generic tin of aspirin,

clicking it open and holding it forward,

“Knock yourself out Granny,” she offers.

“Why thank you, dear.” Rosemary accepts, her voice full

of relief,

her trembling

fingers gingerly selective of just one,

she explains on account

of the high

milligram dosage and how she prefers

baby Ass-prin due to an esophagus that knows all 

too well,

by now,

acid reflux.

Rosemary cups her hand to receive the cool flow of faucet water into her mouth before the automated censor shuts off,

grimaces against the chalky wash of the pill

and straightens as much as her osteoporosis allows

some rush

past Queenie on a quest to alleviate

her current embarrassment

of a wet chin

only to become crestfallen

at a lack of paper towels

no matter how truly

scratchy, or nonabsorbent, or brown,

would still prove

at the very least

to be handy

since technology replaced their novelty with a push

button air dryer.

“I won’t nark on you, Granny. Just use your sleeve.” Queenie encourages her

and without thinking

Rosemary wipes her mouth across the cuff of her thin

navy blue and not very functional

nylon raincoat.

Queenie had stopped paying attention

to Rosemary and was again leaning over her sink basin to peer

into the the vanity

where she inspects

her hairdo, tilting and holding up

a face powder compact in order

to observe

the back,

one small mirror to another.

“Do you see any dried blood left in it, Granny?” Queenie asks.

Rosemary startles, “Blood?”

“In my hair, Granny. Do you see any I missed? Talk about headaches!”

“No dear.” Rosemary reports quietly and shoots a quick glance at the door.

“Dinner was ruined, needless to say.” Queenie informs Rosemary

and Rosemary appears at a loss

of comprehension,

of words,

of certain personal boundaries.

Queenie snaps

the compact shut,

tucks it inside her removable center

cosmetics pouch that remains fastened

to her shoulder bag as if by an umbilical cord,

and boasts,

“Never have to rummage! A Hester Prynne handbag should be so lucky.”

Whether to be or not

to be

teased, Rosemary is certain

she should remain composed

until a sign presents itself regarding proper conduct

and which course of action

she will follow.

“And see?” Queenie bursts with enthusiasm,

“If I just want a little tote,


The magic

of velcro!”

She peels apart the fastener straps,

prickling and

crackle-ripping apart

as a demonstration

for Rosemary to marvel at.

“Easy peasy.” Queenie winks, “And YOU know what they say. . .”

Rosemary shakes her head.

“If velcro’s good enough for Ass-tro-nauts it’s good enough for your Hester Prynne handbag!”

“Well now, isn’t that a well-equipt shoulder bag.” Rosemary agrees albeit sounding cautious.

“My hubby bought it for me.” Queenie announces,

lowers her voice, “Confidentially,

since he said I could pick out any one I wanted,

I went with the biggest,

most expensive one

in the whole

leather shop.”

“Well now, wasn’t that nice of him.” Rosemary agrees albeit sounding as a matter of politeness.

“He was feeling guilty.” Queenie corrects her, “I really need to practice slinging it over my shoulder,

for when and if

I ever need

to whack him in the head.”

“Oh dear…” Rosemary gasps.

“It’d serve him right.” Queenie insists.

Her eyes flashing


and hurt,

and betrayal, all at once;

Rosemary meeting her glare

with a wide expression

of fear,

and pity,

and effort; such great effort

to appear

positive if not entirely


and Queenie asks again,

“So you’re positive there’s no more blood in my hair?”

Rosemary’s tone effects cheerfulness when she offers her advice, 

“Well now dear, just remember how you must

 have loved him once and consider

the wedding vows 

you took.”

Queenie scoffs.  “Aw hell, he’s hubby number three, Granny.  

Don’t mean he qualifies as Mr. Right,

or Mr. Perfect,

not to mention anything close to my Prince Charming.”

Rosemary shines her brightest sequitur light bulb on the situation and argues, “But what about how the third time’s a charm? 

Certainly, that helps 

his case

as your Prince Charming.”

 “More like three strikes and I’m out, Granny.” Queenie admits in defeat.  

“So there’s no more blood?  For real?”

“I don’t see any.” Rosemary reassures her.  “But then, my eyes aren’t so good these days.”

“Hmmm. . .guess you’re not the best witness, huh Granny?”  

“No dear.  I guess I’m not.”  Rosemary contemplates.  

BigMouth Handbags” #1 & #2 (featured with LipWear Capris Pants & Gobstopper “Halter” Tops) from the LipWear Paper Doll Series by Katie-Rae Jean
The Smiths “Bigmouth Strikes Again” (music audio) is being posted on Bitter Sweet Place, a Fleeting (He)art Gallery for No Commercial Purpose.

Find more music by this artist here: The Smiths

“Bigmouth Strikes Again” written by Morrissey, Johnny Marr

WMG (on behalf of Warner Strategic Marketing UK); PEDL, UNIAO BRASILEIRA DE EDITORAS DE MUSICA – UBEM, UMPG Publishing, Warner Chappell, LatinAutor – UMPG, BMI – Broadcast Music Inc., LatinAutor, LatinAutor – Warner Chappell, UMPI, CMRRA, and 11 Music Rights Societies