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Monday, September 29, 2008

Cool Like Newman... Reflections Upon an Icon

Rest In peace, Paul Newman

Paul Newman made his transition over the weekend. He was 83. When a legend passes, I’m sure it leaves many people who've followed their careers a bit sad or reflective. I feel some of that, but not knowing Mr. Newman personally, and having real loved ones pass in my family, it doesn’t feel quite the same on the human heart.

Paul Newman is dead, but his films will live on to inspire and entertain for many years to come. I remember watching his movies as a kid. A program called Million Dollar Movie played in the afternoons after school, and not being a kid who lived for cartoons, I’d view those old films. Newman starred in many of them. He soon became an iconic presence in my mind. He was lanky and cool, surly and smooth, and sometimes even a little rough around the edges. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Hud, The Hustler, these and others became staples in my filmic memory.

My personal favorite of all his films would have to be Cool Hand Luke. It was the essential Newman part, the classically handsome rogue, the smart-ass, authority-bucking anti-hero who becomes a real hero by displaying the size of his spirit and determination. But the end of the film, damn near every macho prisoner, and a couple of the guards nursed man-crushes on him and that “Luke smile.”


Yeah, Paul Newman made many great films and memorable, no doubt. Maybe that’s what most people will remember about him. But his biggest contribution to the world was not his features, his fabled blue eyes (which apparently were colorblind), or the fact that he raced cars when he was well into his early 80s.

Paul Newman had a wonderful heart. He used his fame beautifully. He understood the importance of capturing the world’s attention wasn’t purely about self-garnishment. He didn’t do the Hollywood thing. He lived modestly (only owned one suit) and remained with the same woman, the equally talented Joanne Woodward, for fifty years. He used his mind beautifully. Real Life always took priority over his career. At the height of his fame, when it could have jeopardized his career, he marched with Dr. King. He was a liberal and a proud one. He used his political savvy to show that he cared about the world around him. He used his wealth beautifully. His greatest achievement was in founding the organization called The Hole In The Wall Camps, and making his own products of Lemonade, Popcorn, Dressings and raised, to date, 250 million dollars for kids with cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

That’s huge. That’s bigger than any movie. He used his life as a true and shining example of what one man can accomplish with his time here.

So those who are old enough or aware enough to know who and what he was, you can grieve his passing if you must. But, I’m just glad such a man lived.

Rest In peace, Paul Newman.

One Love.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

About Motherfuckas, And Why They Are So Necessary

Recently, I experienced a great and profound disappointment in my life. Boo-hoo. Woe is me. Being a human being, I’m not exactly a newbie in the field of disappointment.

This particular one, it hurt me so much, I felt it down deep in my soul. When the soul hurts, it’s serious business.

Without going into great detail, I will say, I’d lost my trust in man, and in all humankind. I'd forgotten to Trust Only in God, as a rule. Man is full of bones, heart and bullshit parts, and thus, man is bound to bullshit you, and disappoint you, and lie to you, and smile in your face and stab you in the back with such cunning and swift precision, you won’t even feel the blade coming.

When someone does this to you, whether they be a man or a woman, it’s a Motherfucker’s Move.

In life, we need to be aware of the Motherfuckers. They are everywhere, yo! You can’t and you won’t always spot them right away. Why? Because Motherfuckers are shape-shifters, damn it! Act like you know! They can wear the face of a friend or your boss, your family, or even your lover. What makes them Motherfuckers is that they won’t really care enough about you to support you when you’re down, or have your back when that back is against the wall. When you’re hurt, when you’re struggling, when you’re trying to keep your head above water, that’s when the Motherfuckers will show you their True Face.

That’s when a Motherfucker will rise from the dens of their wretched Motherfucked-ness.

So, upon the Great Disappointment in my life, caused by another kind of Motherfucker entirely, I sought friendship, instead of stress. I sought understanding, instead of madness. I sought empathy, instead of selfishness. And I sought love from those who claimed to love me.

When you love someone, and they require space... you give them space.
When you love someone, and they ask for peace… you give them peace.
When you love someone, and they need to be alone… you give them their alone time.

But a Motherfucker won’t care about any of that shit.
A Motherfucker has his or her own agenda.

A Motherfucker will make demands upon you.
A Motherfucker will make erroneous accusations about you.
A Motherfucker will not give a shit about you or your feelings.
A Motherfucker will always find some new shit to bitch about.
A Motherfucker will say some shit with no other objective than to Piss. You. Off.

And yes, a Motherfucker is chronically insecure.

A Motherfucker will secretly smile at your misfortune.
A Motherfucker doesn’t care if there’s a death in your family.
A Motherfucker will only crave more attention.
A Motherfucker will drain you of your last once of energy.
And then that Motherfucker will still ask for more.
A Motherfucker can’t stand it when you tell them NO!

A Motherfucker truly believes they are the planet’s most important person.
And yet, that same Motherfucker needs constant emotional reinforcement.
A Motherfucker will try to make you doubt your own abilities.
A Motherfucker is truly a miserable human being.

But I want to give all The Real Motherfuckers their rightful due.

You Motherfuckers inspire me to be the best that I can be.

You Motherfuckers give me new confidence in myself.
You Motherfuckers make me realize the hero within me.
You Motherfuckers make something in me rise higher.
You Motherfuckers stoke my creativity’s fire.
You Motherfuckers are soooooo damn necessary.
You Motherfuckers make me stronger than I ever knew I could be.
You Motherfuckers force me to make a LIAR out of you.

So, thank you, Motherfuckers.

Even if you don’t know you’re a Motherfucker.

I know it now. I hope... No. I'm sure others recognize your Motherfucked-ness, too.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Your Sensuality

The size and

Degree of your


It sometimes almost

Frightens me. I feel




To know

This wealth

To receive

This gift

This prick of

Your nipples...

Like two pin-lights

Inside a cosmos

Of skin

As taut, tender, and

Tight as stars.

My God!

Your sensuality

Can almost

Frighten me.

Make me feel

Hard as Diamond

And Yet,


In The Universe

Of its Largeness…

It’s as if

Your legs

Would stretch

Into a chasm

Deep and Wide

And swallow

My secrets and

Swallow my


And gorge my



And I


That sex with

The Soul

Manifests and

Flows into

A slow and

Enduring song.

I believe


With the skin

Is a physical act

But sex within

The intimacy

Of the soul, unfolds

And floats upon

Erotic sheets of

Poetry… It’s all

Nin & Whitman

Maya & Kerouac and

Zane, Barrett-Browning

Shakespeare and shit!

But I am finally


To dip

My pen inside

Your whipping

Erotic tide.

But will I

Only drown

When I’m supposed to


I never learned

To perfect

That arc

In my dive. Never learned

To swim freely


A rushing tide.

Never learned the righteous

Way to go

Insane, and lose

My mind

Inside of you…

But I am


To embrace

This newfound


To close my eyes

And ride

Your wave

To wherever place

It leads…

And so

I go down

With grace

And I go down


Even though

The size and degree

Of your sensuality…

It sometimes


Frightens me.


By L.M. Ross