Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing all our friends, family and acquaintances a Happy Holiday season. This is a great time to remember to be thankful for all the good things in our lives. This is one of the most amazing and challenging times in all of history to be alive. As Jerry Springer says, "Take care of yourselves and each other."

Friday, November 21, 2014

Gabriel of Tikal - A Poem by Patty Mooney

Gabriel thrived in the humid Guatemalan cenote.
His suitcase skin blended with fallen Ceiba leaves.
His ecstatic eyes floated like beads on tepid water.
He cruised from end to end, hungry for meat.
The Mayans considered him a god and fed him

chickens, turkeys, coatamundis, and once a sleepy fisherman
surrendered a foot. But the day the toothy god snapped up
a child the croc's status was revoked, his head paraded high
on a stick for days and then fashioned into a ceremonial mask.

The godless reptile was once more revered,
imbued now with the ghost of the child.

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Night With Robin Williams, "The Hairy Comedian" - Photo and Story by Patty Mooney

Robin Williams at RIMAC Auditorium, UCSD

My husband and I saw Robin Williams about 30 years ago and at that time we laughed our butts off. Robin was so fast! You could just see the wheels in his head spinning at 150 rpm. Fast! We happened to have a couple of backstage passes which a friend had given me, so we got to meet him in person. It was just after his Mork and Mindy days, and his career was rocketing skyward. One very distinctive characteristic about him which I noticed was how HAIRY he was. Black hair, everywhere, even on his hands. Underneath his clothing he was sporting a gorilla suit!

I went to see him a few years ago with a girlfriend who had one extra ticket, so it was a girls' night out. We weren't in the "nose bleed" section, exactly, but Suzi was sorry she had not brought her binoculars. Good thing they had the two big projection screens so that we could fully enjoy Robin from our vantage point.

He was just as funny as ever, and still very fast. He jumped from topic to topic, from sex to drugs to politics, and then he would mix the three like a helium cocktail. There were a couple of women sitting nearby who were in stitches pretty much the whole time (an hour and a half) and they had infectious laughs. The three of us chortled like a pack of hyenas!

Robin totally delivered. After his stand-up, the audience rose to their feet and bestowed him with a standing ovation. His last series of jokes had me in tears. Imagine Christopher Walken as a porn star: I..... am IN you.... now.

Oh my! Thank you, (and RIP) Robin Williams, you hairy beast, you.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Dave "The Water Man" Ross, the Ghandi of the Ghetto - by Patty Mooney

Several months ago, my friend, David "The Water Man" Ross was stabbed again by a homeless person while giving out water to the homeless. (He was first stabbed several years ago.) He is a man I admire greatly, doing important work downtown with those who have less than nothing. He's fine; his arm is all bandaged and healing, but I worry about him, as many of the homeless who haunt our streets really need to be medically and/or psychologically treated, and are a danger to themselves and others.

I wanted to post an award-winning video we produced about a day in the life of San Diego homeless, featuring The Water Man, along with Rachel Jensen, Director of the Girls Think Tank. It's called "Small Acts of Kindness." And following that is a story I found online about Dave.  


By Fernando Romero, August 30, 2008

DOWNTOWN SAN DIEGO – They call him the Water Man. And with good reason. David Ross spends most of his day distributing free bottles of water among the homeless. Ross, who frequently addresses the San Diego City Council on behalf of the down-and-out, says the homeless people he sees every day suffer from physical problems and are malnourished. “So giving them water is essential, or else they would die.”
“I know there aren't many people out there who care, but people should know that water is not a privilege,” Ross said. “We all have a right to water. So why aren't we providing water fountains for them?”

Those who know him say Ross has earned the trust of those he's trying to help.

“He's got their confidence. He gives them lots of personal empathy. He gives them more than water – he gives them a human connection, respect, and what humans need the most, love,” said San Diego pastor Gerry Limpic. “He's reaching people I can't reach.”

Read the rest of this touching story at the San Diego Union Tribune site

Thursday, October 30, 2014

At the Mud Baths With Galway Kinnell

This is a poem I wrote in 1982 after a mud bath with Galway Kinnell in Calistoga, CA, after Mark and I met him at a poetry conference at Napa College. The poem had never felt "complete" until today, after I learned that Galway had passed away and I was able to finish it. (RIP Galway, one of America's finest poets)

At the Mud Baths With Galway Kinnell

Off a shallow valley of grapes Calistoga simmers-
home of Old Faithful, petrified woods,
hot springs and mud baths.
Not a volcanic peep for a billion years
but who knows what will spill over tomorrow?

Today all that matters is this hunger for mud pies,
this tug to a spot where the earth vows
to suck the poisons from out of us.
I am dunked in a pudding of peat moss and lava, hot water.
At first I cannot tell where my body ends and mulch begins.

It is something like sex. I’m suspended lawn-chair prone,
only my face out of the fudge, content enough to die.
You’re in the tub beside me; and across the room, a third tub
occupied by the great poet, Galway Kinnell
submerged into the sloppy wet earth, eyes closed, pondering.

We are each in our own world, cocooned in the poetry
of this moment, suspended in time until the grand rinse,
and a glass of excellent wine, just another stop
upon the slippery glimmer train of life.
Tomorrow a detail of dirt will remain in my hair.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Shark Crazy - A Poem by Patty Mooney

You and I hand-in-hand near Hervey Bay Marina,

aluminum masts jangling in the sweet salt air

when this guy closes in - stocky, sun-toasted, grizzle-

chinned, gets chatting about sharks. A Great White

chows on Aussies like Vegemite on toast.

That grey shadow moves like a battering ram to

shake loose a limb, wolf it back, gnash it down

to chum. In sea water blood seems black.

"Oz" is one big spot of land circled by Great

Whites, hammerheads, lemons, tigers, blues,

and they linger at Hervey. Vic pulls up

his T-shirt to show the mark of a shark whose jaw

caught the waist, a circle of gashes like Morse code.

"That son-of-a-bitch got away with the taste of my blood in him.

But I've killed plenty since to make up for it."

Vic's going hunting at dusk, got room for two.

I imagine leaning off the bow of his trawler,

like the one Robert Shaw manned in Jaws.

I think of the 20-foot White in formaldehyde

at the shark museum.

Vic points at a fourteen-foot skiff.

Your eyes catch mine.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Dragonfly - A Poem by Patty Mooney

A dragon of a dragonfly
beats his green wings
against the lightbulb outside the window.
He is behaving like two moths
who compete for the glow.
Being God, I switch off the lamp
and observe my kingdom
from inside the bright kitchen.
The dragon, shunned
lover, flings himself,
at the window screen
clinging quietly for a moment.
I speak gently:
"Who are you at my window?
What have you come to teach me?"
He is the most barrel-chested
of any dragonfly I have ever seen,
all emerald-green like Oz,
and in a perfect tizzy to impart something.
But what? What?

(*as appeared in Bent Pin Quarterly)