Archive for the ‘Memories’ Category

He asked me if I remembered the halcyon days of childhood,

where things were hard but simple.

Joy and knowledge gained through such pursuits as learning the Paschal Greeting in as many different languages as possible.

Writing it down,

it took time,

and effort,

a job well worth while,

True Spiritual outreach…

mostly now forgotten.

“Do you remember?” he asked, once again.

“Yes,” I replied.

Christ is risen!

Indeed, He is risen!





Hitler said that if you wanted a certain job done

you had to get the Latvians involved.

He spoke (it’s recorded)

in condescending tones

about how they would do the things

no one else could do,

implying the Latvians were scum,

more or less,

from an obvious analysis.

But really, with wisdom applied,

between the printed lines,

it’s apparent,

Hitler feared the Latvians.


And now, we forget…

Decadent deference,

histories swallowed,

and lost dichotomies of self-defence.


Her name was Arina.

She asked me if DDR meant

Deutsche Demokratische Republik


Das Dritte Reich.

“Hmmmm…” I said out loud,

“Since Königsberg became Kaliningrad,

is there any difference?”

At that point I felt a chill,

a whisper from the past,

a memory of intense cruelty,

of wanting to do unto others

as they have done unto you.

Sometimes wishful thinking,

sometimes real,

sometimes you don’t really want to,

but an order’s an order and,

when the Barrier Troops are behind you,

you do what you have to do.

I felt another chill,

looked down

and saw blood on the floor,

it was me,


such vivid red…


I had, I am sure,

an abnormal childhood and adolescence.

A product of who, when and where I am from,

external manipulations,

my sensitivities.

I saw the movie Grandview USA in 1993.

It was new to me.

I felt like I belonged, somehow.

From the opening credits, homely, inviting,

I felt at ease.

I wanted to be the girl in the bikini

with the Frisbee

(hard to believe?),



I hoped things hadn’t changed too much

in the almost decade

since the film had been made.


I wanted a home.

I could dream.



I open my wallet and remember,

something personal.



the me that was

and is

in memory

and actuality.

I liked the money with Karol Świerczewski on it.

It meant something to me.

The 50 złoty note, a historical bookmark most would prefer forgotten, a pan-Slavist idealistic remnant of the people’s republic, overcome by hopes and hopelessness, the European nightmare, democracy, capitalism, perceptions of freedom and the kind of work ethic that sends you to another country. Sigh. Yes, I prefer memory and sleep.


“Hey, little lady…” he started, condescending.

I stood up, unsmiling.

He stopped.

He handed me the case and walked away.

I held the videocassette in my hand, surprised at the weight, satisfied with the sheer bulk and sturdiness.

Comforting, somehow, such technology.

Involuntarily, I found myself caressing the cassette.

I smiled.

Remembering audiocassettes,

from back then,

often homemade and bootleg things.

Winding backwards and forwards, on my yellow Walkman, trying to find and replay the best parts of the tape, little precision and/or control, wearing the tape away, the recording getting fuzzier over time.

Happy memories.

Walking at night-time,

listening to the music,

happy to be alone,

happy in the moment,

tuned out.



And I was all too cognisant of the date.

The memories of perfidy, betrayal and sacrilege.

Never again would I be able to trust,

people (scum).

I found myself remembering a different time in my life. It should have been a golden time characterized by success, happiness and growth. But some things went wrong and life became a horror movie, with no remote control, no stop button.

Memories, inescapable. Like mammaries for a suckling child.

As my favored growling singing puts it: “Every minute of the future is a memory of the past.”

Memories … Sometimes obscured in the movements of the hustle, bustle of the here and now, sometimes obtrusively all-encompassing and bile-fomenting.


In-flight socks no longer provided,

no matter,

nation remains standing, divided.

The flight attendant looks at me askance.

He/she moves on.

I sit and stew,

sardine can.

In-flight socks.

I still have a pair from the ’90s,

a present from my grandparents.

While Yeltsin was snapping bra-straps,

they were jetting back and forth

and I was at home with a broken arm.

Happy Birthday, Manda.

Or, something like that.

In any case…

Something of a novelty.


Though they are gone,

the synthetic socks live on.


If you keep listening to Time, Forward! long enough,

you realize that it may actually be Time, Backwards

and that is not a bad thing.


You look at the photo and wince,

it’s you, in another life,

ten years since,

you look so young and happy,

you can’t remember it,

water under the bridge, so much shit.

So long,

come and gone.

Betrayal, hard luck,


It’s futile,

but you wonder,

which is the real you,

then or now?