Thursday, June 30, 2016

As Corny As Kansas In August

As Corny As Kansas In August

I went grocery shopping yesterday.

At one time, I was a shopping list kind of guy. When I retired, I became a different kind of shopper. I am now an anarchist-never-mind-the-bollocks-shopper. No more lists. Instead, I now just sort of wing it, swirling and dodging my shopping cart around the aisles of the store like a man lost in time and space.

On a good day, I have no idea what I need, and I don't really care. For me, the grocery store is a welcome diversion, a social event, a cotillion, an adventure like no other. All the glistening fruit and vegetables, all the glitzy packaged items, all the super frozen, super-tightly-wrapped chunks of cows, pigs, and chickens, all just begging me to take them home. And when I get them home, I own them as my own. I stock my refrigerator and my pantry like a mini-grocery store. For a few moments at least, I am Joe the Grocer, Mr Hooper, and Cassie Checkout-Campbell. Yippee Ki Yay.

"Bing, bing, bing ..." goes the cash register. "Bing, bing, bing ..."

Oh, to me. it's like a slot machine rolling up the numbers. I watch and listen, almost expecting to see a row of three cherries dance across the checkout screen. I await the big payout, and I shudder when it's me making that big payout. So it goes ... obviously you don't win every time.

So, I went grocery shopping yesterday. There I am in the canned food aisle, and a large black woman was filling her cart with cans. Obviously, this immediately caught my attention. Something was afoot.

At this point, I must tell you that I am a sucker for sales. If something is on sale, I want it — whether or not I need it and even whether or not I'll eat it.

I blame this shopping obsession on my paternal grandmother. All the long summer days that I spent sitting with her, while she "booked" horse race bets on the telephone, she hammered into my head that there was another Great Depression just around the calendar-corner. Of course, it never really happened, at least not like the one through which she lived in the 1930's, but the possibility has remained in my consciousness throughout my life. Honestly, I still wake every morning and wonder, "Could this be the day?" If so, it is obviously important to be prepared. A full pantry is requisite to surviving the Second Coming of The Great Crash.

Yes, there I was in the canned food aisle, and this large black woman was filling her cart with cans. I stopped dead in my tracks. I nonchalantly eased my cart into her oversized derrière so that I could see what she was hoarding. Not surprisingly, she had discovered one of those In-Store Specials. No-Name Cream Corn @ 39¢/can. Unbelievable. The race was on.

I began yanking cans of No-Name Cream Corn off the shelf as fast as my little hands could manage.

The woman looked at me with eyes of sheer hatred, like I was stealing her children's next meal.

"Mister, I'm not finished here," she growled at me.

I said nothing.

"Mofo," she snarled, and her big hands, the size of tennis racquets, blurred as she slapped can after can into her cart.

I mauled the display with an increased ferocity.

Five, ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five, thirty, thirty-five, forty ... and suddenly the shelf was empty.

The sweat beaded on my brow, and my fingers were twisted and knotted.

I hadn't beaten her, but I had done my damndest. I had enough to move on to the cookie aisle with a certain amount of pride.

But, here's the thing. Who eats cream corn?

I mean, is cream corn even corn at all? A cob of corn is obviously corn on a stick. A can of kernel corn is a can of corn kernels. A can of cream corn is more like a mishmash of some kind of yellowy soup mixture with bits of yellow specks, resembling chunks of macrame, floating in the midst. I'm not sure it is corn in any sense of the word.

Don't get me wrong. I have, over my lifetime, had cream corn. I have seen it slopped on my plate from time to time, and I have spooned it up as best as I could. I'll even admit that it's not bad if you scoop the stuff over your mashed potatoes. It acts as a kind of salty dog gravy, giving the aforesaid mashed potatoes some kind of oomph. Apart from that, however, I should think cream corn is best served in a bowl, like gruel, like you were playing out the pivotal scene in Oliver Twist. God forbid, you might say, "Please sir, I want some more."

Well, undeterred by the logic of either nutrition or the obvious absence of cream corn in Good Housekeeping's Guide To Cooking, I did what I do. I wheeled those twenty tons of No-Name Cream Corn cans around the supermarket, and when it came time to checkout, I stood with a certain amount of pride and a smirk on my face, as the cashier rang in my harvest of the champagne of goopy tittle.

"Bing, bing, bing ..." goes the cash register. "Bing, bing, bing ..."

Oh, the folks in line behind me may have looked at me with a certain amount of curiosity and disdain, but it didn't matter. For those brief moments, I was as corny as Kansas in August. I was the King of Cream Corn.

So now, the cupboard is full. The world may be starving in places that I know nothing about, but here in my home, I am secure in the knowledge that when push comes to shove and the economy collapses, I have enough cream corn for forty days and forty nights.

I must add, however, that cream corn takes a strange journey through the human body. After having a can for lunch, I have discovered it comes out pretty much the same as it goes in. Just sayin' ...



Wednesday, June 29, 2016

in between ...

in between ...
in between the teardrops
there is still a sigh of hope
in between the angry words
there is still a waiting kiss
in between the darkest nights
there is still a dawn of light
in between the heartless accusations
there is still a voice of forgiveness
in between the hours of loneliness
there is still a cherished moment
in between the broken promises
there is still an unspoken vow
in between love and hate
there is still you and me

© Copyright Kennedy James. All rights reserved.



Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Bring On The Dancing Bear

Bring On The Dancing Bear

I suspect that the inventors of the computer never imagined that it would someday become a sexual partner for people around the world. Well, who knows? Maybe they did.

Most people have heard of "cybersex," in which two or more individuals are connected remotely via computer network for the purpose of sending each other sexually explicit messages describing a sexual experience. In one form, this fantasy sex is accomplished by the participants describing their actions and responding to their chat partners in a mostly written form designed to stimulate their own sexual feelings and fantasies. Cybersex usually includes real-time masturbation.

A webcam may be used to enhance the cybersex experience by providing nude images of one's partner, and the participants may watch each other masturbate in a streaming video format.

Now, a new technology, called teledildonics, may offer cybersex partners an extra toy with which to engage in remote sexual activity. Teledildonics offers participants a means of sending tactile sensations over a data link. In other words, if both participants have the software and the appropriate apparatus, then they can use that apparatus to stimulate their partner physically over the Internet. One receives the stimulation that the other provides, although the remote "touching" may also be simultaneous. In that respect, it's like a remote control dildo (artificial penis) or something like a fleshlight (artificial vagina), used to bring the other party the "feel" of real sexual activity.

Sound intriguing? Sound a little too robotic?

Well, nothing replaces the touch of a warm body beside you, but such an option might find favour in say, a couple in which one of the partners is separated by military service overseas.

So ... what are you wearing tonight?



Monday, June 27, 2016

her vacant heart ...

her vacant heart ...
she sits by the window
her hands pressed against the cold glass
her eyes downcast and half-closed
her shoulders crumbling
her body shivering
her vacant heart
reaching out to gather up
a hundred fragments of memory
the moments of a devotion
she struggles to recover
and prevent from slipping into lost-forever
so her thoughts wander
to the laughter and the joy
of another time
a just-before-yesterday
when he moaned with mock surprise
as she stepped from a shower of shadows
to be his
and only his
when his hands unfolded her
on the half-broken bed
like he was opening the petals of a rose
and scattering the fragrance of love
over all the world
seeding the passion of every hungry heart
with a promise
a promise so cruelly broken
on the day she watched him descend from the stairs
and step through the door
without so much as a backwards glance
leaving her with only a patchwork satchel of poems
words scribbled on scraps of paper
words just for her
words so eternally beautiful
that she believed his embrace
would be everlasting

she turns from the cold glass
and studies soft beads of light
pooling like tear-drops across the floor
and her sadness swells
as she reaches for him still
her clenched fists
grasping at hollow air
searching for
the firm flesh of his body
even as she knows
that her sweet remembrance
has already slipped away
into an empty tomorrow
she quiets her soul and
turns back to the window
where she sees her reflection
her features
diffused and distorted
by the leaded panes
and her heart stops when
she suddenly sees the ghost of him
crossing behind her
the sensation so real
she can almost see
the glimmer in his eyes
the glow of his cheeks
can almost feel
his strong arms
embracing her still
and warming her body
but in the next instant
the spectre is gone
the fantasy shattered
and the torment returns

she turns away again
a resolute expression
crossing her face
while she gathers up
a jumble of photographs
images of their smiling faces
when and where
then and there
happier days
now so sad to remember
and she spills them
with his poems
into the cold black fireplace
disowning this tumble
of cruel reminders
of what was
disavowing the plaintive
hope of what might
have been
and though a shiver
snakes its way
up the small of her back
though she feels as if
she is trapped
in some vague and dark
shadow of death
she lights a match
and flings it into the pile

her mind claws
through her feelings
ignoring her weakness
and forsaking her sentimentality
searching instead
for a full stop
a note of termination
as the tokens of her short
love affair
catch fire and burn up
in swirls of blue-grey smoke
and in that moment
she finds herself content
her lips parting
in a melancholy smile
as she whispers softly
and fills the desolate room
with the simplest of words
"I will remember you always"
until just as suddenly as
the flutter of her heart ceases
she hears a loud knock at the door
and a familiar voice
his voice
calling to her from the porch
his voice always so resonant
and now an overture to hopefulness
his voice cascading through her
in waves of crashing confusion
the ebb and flow of ambivalence
overpowering her
as the seconds build a bridge
back to him
but then a determination
an exploding certainty
that brings the bridge down in ruins
and leaves her illusions crumbling at her feet
her eyes are weeping
and a mixture of joy and dread
sweeps through her veins
filling her heart with longing
and still
she dares not move



Friday, June 24, 2016


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, places, or actual events is purely coincidental.

The room was dark and smoky. It smelt of gloom. A neon sign over the bar was buzzing, a monotone F, I think. Well, I'm sure actually.

Across the room, an attractive lady was sitting at a table by herself. She was chain smoking long cigarettes and drinking, something green. Not a grasshopper, though. At least I don't think so. A grasshopper is served in something like a martini glass. She was drinking from a tall tumbler, and the liquid looked thick, like nectar. For a moment, I wondered if she had ordered some kind of healthy concoction, like one of those "smoothies" that they serve in the gym.

The drink didn't matter. What mattered was the beehive hairdo she was wearing. It was piled on top of her head like a fleece of mottled black wool. Down along both sides, by her ears, there were little curls hanging like puffs of black rainclouds. I couldn't take my eyes off her.

Her face had a serene look about it. She seemed to know something the rest of us didn't. Some secret knowledge of something reckless, something that made her so out of place amidst the hustlers and the profanity. I'm not sure exactly when I fell in love with her, but something in me ached to be with her.

When she caught my stare, she smiled demurely. Her eyelids fluttered like translucent wings. Just once or twice, and then she looked away.

I was getting restless. I could feel sweat beading on my forehead. I wiped it away with the palm of my hand, but I knew my allergies to almost everything were kicking in. I could almost feel tiny welts beginning to bubble up under my skin. Then, the room started to become smaller and smaller. I knew I'd have to leave soon, if only to catch a breath of fresh air outside. So, I called over the waitress and asked her what my tab was. She pulled the ashtray away and dumped it on her tray. "Already looked after," she dead-panned. She glanced over her shoulder at the beehive lady and added, "Lady over there has you covered."

Her rooms were small, but neatly kept, everything slotted in hexagonal wicker baskets. On one wall, she had a montage of wooden flowers. Some were painted bright colours, mostly yellows and golds, often framed with green outlines. Others were charcoal black, as if they had been resurrected from a fire for display. One brandished what appeared to be a long stamen that curled almost obscenely upward.

I wondered what her obsession was. I drifted around the room, and my curiosity left me wondering if she didn't practise some kind of strange voodoo. My thoughts began to spin off into the catacombs of trepidation, when I felt her behind me. She spun me around, and her long thin fingers began unbuckling my pants. I relaxed. She pushed me onto a wispy grey couch, and I watched as her beehive of hair descended down and over me. I touched it gently, but it was like my fingers had sent a bolt of electricity through her body. She began to shudder, almost as if she were having convulsions, and she fell to the floor, her hands tearing her clothes off her thin body.

"Now," she said quietly, "right here and now."

Afterwards, the night came crashing in on me. I needed sleep, but she was mapping my body with her soft fingers.

"Too many scars," she whispered.

"Life," I murmured, "is full of scars."

"Mmmm," she buzzed, "you are a poet, I think."

"No," I said quietly, "I was once, but the words abandoned me long ago. I have not written for years."

"Will you write for me? Will you remember tonight in a poem?"

"I'm afraid all I could muster would be worthless clichés. To be a poet, you must be able to dream. I have lost my dreams."

"A poet is always a poet," she insisted, as she bent over to kiss me. Her long tongue flicked between my lips. There was a sweet sharpness to it.

Then, she suddenly pushed me away, stood up and walked across the room. I watched her closely, watched her naked body move through the air. She was like honey pouring through the cool air. Slow and sticky. I ached for her again.

When she reached the bathroom door, she turned and asked, "Do you want to take a shower?"

"With you?" I mumbled eagerly, somewhat surprised.

"No, I only bathe. My hair ..." her thought trailed off into emptiness.

"Your hair?" I wondered.

"Yes, I can't get my hair wet."

I looked at her with what must have been a stunned expression.

"Do you never wash your hair?" I blurted.

"No," she replied in a peevish voice. "No, it is sacred."

I was somewhat taken aback. For a moment, I was expecting the Looney Tunes characters to come barreling out of the television. Then, I began to laugh. For whatever reason, I laughed so hard that I lost my breath, and my laughter tumbled into a jazz-like fusion of snorts and wheezes.

Finally, I managed to gag out, "What makes it sacred?"

She walked over to me. She spun her lithe body around mine, her legs curling in behind my knees, as she lifted herself off the floor. She stared intensely into my eyes, and her green irises flared into a bright amber as if they had caught fire. Something deep inside her seared through me, as if she were looking directly into my soul. I became aroused. I pulled her over my body, as close as I could possibly have her.

"My hair is sacred," she whispered in my ear with a strange guttural click, "because it is full of bees."

In the next instant, a swarm of bees covered me. I could feel their sharp stings, could see them buzz over my face. In just seconds, a thick blanket of burning agony crisscrossed my body.

I threw her off me.

"What the fuck?" I yelled, my hands flailing at the teeming air.

"Exactly," she growled in a deep, dog-eared voice. "You have fucked their queen, and now, my sweet ambrosia lover... now ..."




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