Ellen and Dorothy prevail, again.
By Roland Angell on May 5, 2015
Hardcover Verified Purchase (Amazon Books)
Dorothy Parker Drank Here had high expectations to meet, not only the enormous shadow of Dorothy Parker, but the impact of Farewell Dorothy Parker prequel. I was thoroughly interested in how Ellen Meister would handle the situation and as usual was impressed that she ignored it and allowed the public to designate the second book as the prequel to the first, if necessary. This wonderfully opened the possibility that we may savor the possibility of more stories leaking from the Algonquin Hotel and possibly more of Norah and Dorothy.
As I have come to expect from Ms. Meister, the book was a quick paced page turner with such impact that I found myself pausing to digest the part of the story I had just read. Also, I found myself pausing to go back and reread passages; not because they were unclear, but because they were just worth repeating.
It was with sadness that I read the last chapter. It is not often that I feel the end of a book is the loss of a friend, but I feel this way about the characters of Dorothy Parker Drank Here. And I anticipate Ellen Meister’s next gift to her reading public because her characters seem to take on a life of their own and touch us in a way we remember.
An additional gift I perceive is that Ms. Meister teaches writing for Hofstra University and I can not help wondering what future genius she may be shaping.
Zombies – table 3®
….tonight is a very busy night at Zombies. Everyone that I know is here, both drumming and reading poetry.
Dragon Dancer plays slowly as I read
You came breezing into my life one fair afternoon
Gypsy costume and the essence of your spirit all aglow
Announced your marriage the week before
Yet that did not stop my love for you to grow.
Our spirits bonded and intertwined
As our chosen pathways joined for a journey to distant stars
Love so strong and pure
That eternal friendship was already ours.
Although your physical beauty is immense
It is dwarfed by your spiritual allure.
My very soul celebrates your being
by dancing the universe’s contour.
Come my love, my friend
Let our spirits forever intertwine
While physically we are only friends
Our spirits form the sacred vine.
and then I continue with
When you first walk upon the floor, your beauty is all they know
Then as you begin to move to the music, to set your spirit free
They become awed by your form, your creativity
Dance Gypsy, dance beauty for all to see.
As you move about the floor, dance memories of long ago,
Your sad song brings tears to the eyes, for the pain you know.
Our hearts break with pain and torture of a past life
Dance Gypsy, dance your grief and your strife.
Your story now changes to happier times of beauty and of love
Billowing green oceans below, azure skies above.
Tall mountains, fertile valleys, pleasant beaches of glistening sand
Dance Gypsy, dance the beauty and happiness of a wealthy land.
Tall ships come to carry you to deserts wide,
Hot glaring beaches never kissed by a cooling tide
Majestic halls around an oasis, palatial tents on shifting sands
Dance Gypsy, dance slaves transported by wandering caravans.
Taken to strange lands with no roots
You travel the land seeking new pursuits
Blown across the land like autumn leaves
Dance Gypsy, dance Gypsies, tramps and thieves.
The world is gripped with recession
Economy and the people caught in deep depression.
You travel the world in hated bands
Dance Gypsy, dance of hard times and starving lands.
Lands raped and eroded
Carnival shows where you are cursed and goaded
Surviving by your many enterprises
Dance Gypsy, dance of being one that everyone despises.
As times change and wealth becomes abundant
Your travels appear to many as redundant
Many are the times that for safety you must flee
Dance Gypsy, dance of a struggle to remain free.
As a new millennium approaches
We dream of life free from fundamentalist reproaches
Where everyone walks in. freedom
Dance Gypsy, dance the better times to come.
Dragon is happy because she knows and approves of the love I feel for JJ, my Gypsy queen and then her smile really beams I begin to read my closing poem
Dance Dragon, Dance
Reveal the mysteries of the universe
Rise from your grave
and dance the essence of your spirit
Ingrain into our hearts the agony of your death
Refresh our minds with the joy of your rebirth.
Dance Dragon, Dance
Reveal the magick of life
Rise from your lair
and dance the essence of your spirit
Bless our hearts with the beauty of living and of
Giving ourselves in the service of the Earth.
Revive our desires to live each day just for the joy of living.
Dance Dragon, Dance
Reveal the promise of death
Return to your grave
and dance the essence of your spirit
Ease our minds with the promise of rest and the
Anticipation of re-birth
Refresh our memory of the cycles of the wheel.
Dance Dragon, Dance.
I choose the African talking drum to help accentuate the lines of heartfelt emotions and merry wit of the readers that signed to read after my predictable thirteenth reader spot. Tonight number thirteen has landed me to be opening reader, the fruit of being a creature of habit.
But this is okay by me, I am hot tonight. Dragon’s drumming, the crowd appreciated my selections and this was surely one of my profound reading nights. The second reader has a hot act to follow and I have set a tough gage for all that follow.
The drummers and readers are finding a sync and each art is magnified by the accompaniment of the other. The combined session has proven to be a very popular success and Dragon is trying very hard to avoid being spoiled by all accolades being heaped on her for planning and conducting the celebration.
Word must be spreading about the special event, there is a constant crowd of people standing to watch and listen to the artists perform. Most are new faces and all seem to be caught in the magick of the moment.
There is a break in the readings and I find myself on the stage with three young womyn from the gathering crowd dancing to the quickening beat of the drummers. I have come prepared, but the womyn caught up in the magick are not. I am adorned in my usual drumming attire, ankle and wrist bracelets of bells and chimes and tonight my nails are painted with silver sparkle polish to honor the Moon Goddess.
After helping themselves to the contents of my drumming bag, the four of us are now adorned with ample bells and rattles and to the accompaniment of Dragon Dancer and the drummers we create a mixture of belly dancing, fire dancing and kung fu fighting.
This is a night that I wish would last forever, here at Zombies with all my friends.
ångel©june 24, 2001
I want to proclaim that there was no conflict before there were at least two humans on Earth; but I often find myself in conflict with my own personal opinions and desires. And it is daily occurrence to encounter brief conflicts in nature; merely requires two creatures. And it is not rare to hear a blue jay scolding itself or a dog chasing its tail. While it is less noticeable the conflict extends to the world of flora. Life itself is the art of existing within conflict.
The steps of society are supposed to be conflict handling and social politics and we as humans like to observe ourselves as above the animals. A delusion, but yet a lofty goal, that allows us to seek peace, love and harmony within our politics.
Flags mean all things to all people; I was born in the Deep South three quarters century ago and loved my heritage and the stars and bars; I continued to do so until those stars and bars became the symbol of hate and persecution. And sadly today both the stars and bars and the stars and stripes have lost their luster; each has been claimed by fanatics that place the nation, the world even, above the welfare and rights of the population. I was born and live in the United States of America, but I am a citizen of the Earth and I pledge mu allegiance to Her. And as a citizen of the World, I pledge allegiance to the rainbow flag, a flag that links all people; every race, creed, religion, and sexual presence.
My personal family tree contains Scottish, Irish, Native American, African American, Spanish American, Japanese, and those are just the ones I am sure of. Basically, I would have to say that I am a representative of my family because I discovered early in life that people are very easy to dislike, but for personal reasons, not racial reasons and that the people you think you dislike most, often become the ones you like or love most. I have found it impossible to love everyone, but even harder to hate everyone.
As long as there are borders, we will pledge allegiance to various flags, but my flag is the rainbow flag that includes everyone.
On the newspaper cheers and jeers page
it caught my eye,
“Jeers to the old curmudgeon
that shakes his fist” as she drives by.
She avers that she
drives within limits of the maximum posted speed,
but the pulse of the neighborhood
can she read
and that just perhaps
the seconds she will save
can mean parents a lifetime
of mourning by a child’s grave.
Does she think it a capital crime
for a child to stray into the street,
is this a sentence
she is prepared to mete?
Be it known to all
that my neighborhood intrude,
you will find me in the street
and sometimes quite rude.
I will force you to slow
and that my street is filled with children
I will make you know,
and if this journey
you will have to contend
with the ogre in the street.
Now if you think
that I am in the wrong,
heed the lyrics
from the police patrolman’s song.
Each has asked
that I continue this quest,
for happy playing children
are what policemen love best
and they would much prefer
to answer a few angry calls
than clean the mess from the streets
when the next child falls.
Please remember when driving neighborhood streets
that a posted maximum speed gives us no right
to place a few seconds saved
over the safety of a child that could be just out of sight.
Desolate cavern of unused space
a place for everything, but nothing in place.
Crevices where dreams once resided,
now void and undecided.
The past frayed and faded,
the future uninvaded.
But alas, now empty and bare,
no glimmer or shimmer dancing there.
Where have the dreams and creativity fled?
Are there more just ahead?
Fears and doubts churn,
as to impenetrable darkness, I turn.
Where have all the creative ideas gone?
Dreams and plans absent, all alone
I look out unto an empty void landscape.
Barren gray, no color the monotony to break.
Through misty gray land and water with faded gray sky above,
desperately searching for anything to give my spirit a shove
from this paralyzing daze
shrouded in a dull mind-numbing haze,
but with open or closed eyes
it is her face that I visualize.
How does one feast on cheese and bread,
once that on Ambrosia they have fed?
Life with her was happiness beyond compare,
but what about years without her to share?
No, she was not Heaven or the Earth below,
just the sun and moon that made them glow.
No honey could ever be so sweet
as the nectar of her lips or the whisper of her approaching feet.
Silence and emptiness now fill the space
that once sparkled with her grace.
of melodious Faery refrains.
She has not gone,
I am never alone.
Her presence is all around,
in every scene, in each sound.
The music of her laughter fills the air,
the gentle breeze carries the fragrance of her hair.
The grandeur of nature’s grace
is the very same beauty that I saw in her face.
Yes, there are lonely moments and empty arms,
a sadness of the loss of her physical charms,
the realization that death
stilled her body, took her breath.
These moments are filled with terrible pain
that saddens the heart, paralyzes the brain,
and if there too long I dwell,
I am drawn into a depressed spell.
And yet, most any common sight
can bring flooding memories to fill me with delight,
make me realize
that such a love never dies.
Eternity is ours to share,
Dragon Dancer will always be there,
our essences meshed as one,
our union, never to be undone.
Merely growing pains to open my heart,
the richness of my life to impart.
- Tags:darkness, death, doubt, enchantment, expectation, happiness, lady, life, pagan, poetry, romance, witch
I know not how it received the name,
but I do know of its instant fame
with the child, almost three,
Trivial Pursuit Millennium, but “grown-up things” it shall forever be.
Throughout the afternoon and the evening meal,
the wait for him was torture, sharp and real,
but at last the table was clear,
the time to play “grown-up things” was near.
Small hands clutched and cast the die
answered a question on his very first try,
then cast the die for all the rest
and fidgeted while each tried their best
to answer questions and play the game
until finally once more his turn came.
About four circles of the table and he was through
there were other things to do
and soon he was absorbed in play
through with “grown-up things” for the day.
in a tiny kingdom, two foot by four
he rules on his knees on the patio floor,
mighty fleets of trucks and cars
space ships that explore the stars
boats and ships upon the sea,
all side by side in the kingdom of his majesty.
traffic jams of awesome proportions
of match box cars and ships of the oceans
journeys to far off lands
all directed by tiny hands.
first a witness to this magical scene,
then drawn across the span between
the adult, tested and tried
to the innocent child inside
I become a participant in this magical land
located in a two foot by four box of sand.
If Dorothy Parker had written fiction about herself,
it may have been this, her final farewell.
In a shift strange enough to be life itself, it was Dorothy Parker that introduced me to Ellen Meister. I have been a Parker fan since the middle of the Twentieth Century and was thrilled to find a Facebook page dedicated to her sharp tongue and acid wit. I very quickly became a fan of the dedicated person breathing life into my beloved sage and discovered the literary work of the fascinating Ms. Meister.
Farewell Dorothy Parker impressed me as union of Ms. Meister and Ms. Parker working in unison to relate a very feasible fantasy, an enthralling story of a multifaceted love story. The story was filled with tears of joy, and tears of despair with chuckles and smiles sprinkled intermittingly throughout the book. And though I was anxious to know everything would be okay, I would pause in reading just to savor the impact of the storytelling, like a fine wine or a great brandy this was a book to be sipped, not gulped down.
Bill Angell, May 4, 2015
When I look upon the Goddess, five faces I see,
Grace, beauty, transition that cannot be characterized by three.
Virgin Goddess Artemis, chaste and pure
her freedom from the rigors of sexual strife, she made Zeus assure.
Goddess of animals and feminine innocence,
personification of Nature in the purest tense,
represents that part of our spirit that is free and unladen,
Artemis the Maiden.
With childlike innocence lost, but mature sophistication not yet attained
Persephanie exemplifies that misty, uncertain domain
that lies hidden in between
the chaste Maiden and the Mother Queen.
The childlike devotion to Demeter threatened with the strains
of the desires fanned by Hades’ passionate refrains.
Caught in the need to choose one over the other,
Maiden in transition to Mother.
Golden haired Bridgit, the Three Mothers, Goddess of love,
poet and Goddess of poets , voice of the dove,
teacher of every motherly art,
portrays all the values that purifies the mother’s heart.
And yet when the Mother comes to mind,
Isis, Danu, Astarte, Inanna, Gaia, Ala and so many more can we find
that possess the attributes and skills
to measure to the image that Mother instills.
Morrigan, Goddess of Death, heralded Battle Queen
Goddess of birth, Goddess of death and all that lies between
teaches that one cannot know of life’s sweet breath
until we learn the secrets of death.
She stands with me in battle, guiding my courage to fight
and warms my spirit during the cold winter night.
Mother, lover, bearer of Death’s chilling drone,
guide into the darkness, Morrigan the Crone.
Yet, beyond the wisdom of the Crone, lies Death’s deep dark,
the destination of our Earthly journeys from life’s first spark.
Our path is guided by Maid, Mother and Crone,
but it is the Dark Mother and Crone that assures we are never alone
as we flee this life we value above all Earthly things
and guides us from the cold grasp of winter , into the warm embrace that is Spring’s.
Kali, Mother of Karma, Singer of Life, Dancer of Death,
the three three stages of life, with us from birth until our last breath,
walks our last journey so that we are never alone.
Kali Ma, the Dark Crone.
From birth to death to rebirth we are always in her graces,
the Goddess with five beautiful faces.
I was slowly making me way home
‘neath the large summer moon,
the magnificent orb of splendor
known well by lovers in the merry month of June.
More than a few hours had been passed
with stories of truths spiced with a wee touch of a lie
and now Paddy’s Social Rest
has long faded into the morning sky.
I was making me way
without thoughts of hurry or haste
and doing quiet well now that time spent trying to stand,
I ceased to waste.
An unsteady crawl
transgressed the span of the roadside ditch,
I made me way homeward
with barely a hitch.
The hour was quiet late,
or early I presume
that it would depend
on the mindset that you assume.
But just as I thought
that I would reach home without a fright,
sounds of arguing
drew my eyes to a rather rare sight.
I shall not try to tell
of the appearance or of the scene
as Judge Pincher
sent the wobbly black bug
off to jail.
There was begging
and many excuses
with threats and abuses.
by time it were o’er,
the scene was gone
I saw no more.
But then and there
a new leaf I turned
and I crawled back to Paddy’s
as my poor stomach ached and churned.
I woke Paddy from his sleep,
quaffed a few rounds
then rushed off, a promise to keep.
Somewhere in this deep and dark infernal ditch
a black bug sits in a lonely cell,
but we will share a pint
as soon as I get my friend out of jail.
ångell ©june 12, 2001