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Palms, Olives and Thorns

Holy Thursday made a pilgrimage back to L.A,

where the grains of mustard seeds 

grow as large as the kingdom of heaven,

orange poppies border the highway,

citrus blossoms and jasmine perfume the car,

palm trees line the streets the same 

as they do out here in the desert —

out here where everything seems so foreign

Jeff bought me one of those apps to identify 

plants so I might get more familiar —

more comfortable with my surroundings.

Out here, besides the palm trees, 

date, jelly and more, I’ve identified 

the Honey Mesquite, the Mexican Palo Verde, 

aka the Jerusalem Thorn, the olive 

trees and plants also conducive 

to the Middle East, to the Garden 

of Gethsemane where Judas betrayed Jesus 

who sweats blood today, Good Friday,

agonizing over his mortality, losing faith 

in the kingdom of heaven if only for a moment

I am familiar with these tales 

I’ve found a home in the desert.

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HOLY COVID19 SATURDAY!

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Rodrigo Rodriguez

I see the light through the long, dark antechamber.

Some believe Jesus has passed over to be with his Father in heaven.

This, what I remember from my teachings at Catholic school.

So now what am I to believe as the sun

shines brightly on this ‘dark’ Saturday.

I want to rejoice even if I was taught to

“believe in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit…

As it was in the beginning, is now and ever

shall be world without end, Amen.”

Oh but I’ve mixed up the Apostle’s Creed with the Gloria Patri.

And that’s just what the church did to me – mix me up.

But still, world without end is a comforting thought.

And just what is meant by the ‘world’?

The earth, the globe, the planet, the biosphere.

Mankind, humankind -we are the world

We are the world. We are the children

*  “There comes a time
When we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
Oh, and it’s time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all.”

As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be

World without end, so Sunday stay the fuck home. Amen.

* Michael Jackson, Lionel Ritchie

Quitter Athletes

Me on my head surrounded by little sisters and a neighbor. Permission granted.

All this news about the athletes quitting and I’m thinking “seriously, quitters?” What’s going on? And then a memory is triggered. 

I’m back at Troy High School on the gymnastic team. At seventeen, a perfectionist, almost 5’8”, 125 pounds [oh to be at least 135 pounds (and thinking this way remains a problem)], I am still quite limber and flexible, managing a sequence of handsprings and round-offs on the floor, but I suck at kips on the parallel bars and am quite unbalanced — on the balance beam. Nonetheless, with enough deductions, I do manage to win one competition.

It’s the afternoon after another loss to the Lowell High School team and our coach, a short fireplug of a woman, gathers us in the locker room to tell us the reason we keep losing is that we’re all fat. She shames us into losing weight to be more like Olga Korbut or Nadia Comaneci (like I can shrink to 4’11”?). Coach Newman even tapes a butcher block paper chart onto the gym wall to track our progress, or rather regression, for all to see. Game on! So after only a month, I take the gold in the weight loss competition having lost 30 pounds. 

Ninety-five pounds now but I can’t manage a single cartwheel, much less take any steps (I’ve stuck a landing) to my classes without having to stop and rest. I grow depressed, lose my period, my boobs, some friends and am released from the team. I quit school (I’d actually earned enough units to graduate early ahead of my class — Winning!) and have to figure out a new routine for the rest of my life.

Oh, where was Naomi Osaka or Simone Biles (or any dependable adult) to show me the way?

I Need a New Purse Like a Hole in The Head

https://successiblelife.com/tag/bags-series/
I don’t feel like writing today
I laze in bed thinking 
I want to go shopping 
I need to go shopping
For a new purse.

Christmas before Covid19 
I was gifted a card to Nordstrom.
Buy what you like, he said.
But I waited too long. 
We sheltered in place.
Now more than a year has ticked by. 
I don’t want to shop online. Not today.
I want to bring a Chanel to my nose and sniff the leather. 
I want to run my fingers across the skin soft as butter.
See the new styles for Coach or Fendi or Dooney & Burke.

Sure, I've gotten by with my dirty little Bohemian Sak,
Stained now with coffee, full of loose change,
An old tube of Mac lipstick, an old French fry,
My grandson’s plastic toy from McDonald’s  -- last year.
And not that I’ve been anywhere fancy enough for
A Gucci, a Kate Spade or a Luis Vutton
But it’s March. I’ve had my two shots of Pfizer
And things are opening up and I must be ready
For the Spring fashion show or a runway 
Off to someplace where I’d need a Burberry.

I get up, pour myself a cup of coffee and 
Here I am at my computer so near 
The finish line of a first draft – after a year, 
I can almost see those rejections lining up 
Like grounded airplanes on the tarmac
Like last year’s purses piled onto a clearance bin.
Ah! Procrastination and sweat pants 
Would look so much more stylish 
Carrying a new Salvatore Ferragamo.

A GOOD TABERNERO LISTENS

What a way to start out 2021, especially on the eve of transition! Ecstatic and honored to have “A Good Tabernero Listens” (an excerpt from my forthcoming novel “Agave Blues” Touchpoint Press) featured along with other wonderful writers in this month’s issue of SHARK REEF, A Literary Magazine. Please check us all out. Thank you to all the staff at SHARK REEF, and especially Stephanie Barbé Hammer.

Trick or Treat Bonanza. Enter to win a prize! #Curse of the Ninth#

Still time to get your treat on!

Ruthie Marlenée

Based on real events and a haunted character whose birth occurred on Halloween, October 31, 1930. It’s got just enough sweetness and enough of a thrill to keep your heart pumping.Check out this spooktacular novel excerpt from “Curse of the Ninth” and enter to win a prize. https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/post/curse-of-the-ninth-totbb

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Trick or Treat Bonanza. Enter to win a prize! #Curse of the Ninth#

Based on real events and a haunted character whose birth occurred on Halloween, October 31, 1930. It’s got just enough sweetness and enough of a thrill to keep your heart pumping.Check out this spooktacular novel excerpt from “Curse of the Ninth” and enter to win a prize. https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/post/curse-of-the-ninth-totbb

“Curse of the Ninth” Part of Binge-Worthy Book Festival Enter to Win

What makes this featured book a binge-worthy read?

“Curse of the Ninth” with its beautiful description and engaging author writing style, is a supernatural mystery, unlike anything you’ve read before. A compelling read with a strange mixture of the occult, historical reference, and poetic prose, it’s a haunting read you won’t want to put down.” https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/post/curse-of-the-ninth-bwbf

 

Author Interview for “CURSE OF THE NINTH”

Click the link below to check out this Author Interview of me for my novel “Curse of the Ninth” by the fabulous Amanja Lambert #Amanjareads. You can also visit her website to read other honest reviews by her. https://amanjareads.com/2020/08/24/author-interview-ruthie-marlenee-curse-of-the-ninth/?fbclid=IwAR0Vl4XH02jVaN1ZRK1KebJet_ekBHiBUW8msASyLLEGdUHkNJ165sdlfHQ

#AmanjaReads #CurseoftheNinth