Posted in Almost Dorothy

A Prayer for a Red Room

Red Velvet | Photo by Neil de la Flor
Red Velvet | Photo by Neil de la Flor

1. I had my money on him like I have money like I’m sick of him trying to get to me like Jesus.

2. He walks through my red living room to the other red room wearing a jockstrap and high-heel boots.

3. He carries white roses in case it’s Christmas.

4. He is not a jock or Christ-like, but his chin is sanctified.

5. The strap pulls strangely around his cheeks looking like the jowl of a skinny pitbull.

6. He sits on the sofa and the sofa is surrounded by candles that are lit and not lit and he is lit and I’m unaware that he is.

7. He is positive yoga will solve history. And dance. And cartography.

8. Life is interesting, I say, when you become interested in life.

9. He is in the corner of the room kicking at the demons and blames me for leaving the mattress alone.

10. He shaves his or her hair and Lakshmi doesn’t want anymore children because Shiva has turned blue and cold even though he is dancing.

11. Always dancing.

12. He reads the illustrated Holy Bible in my red red room and the red room reads with him. The red velvet curtains seal the red room as the incense from New Mexico burns on the fireplace lined with paper dolls—

13. of Jesus & Mary, of all the saints & all the apostles, of the one true God–as the archangels swoop down and set fire to them.

14. An effigy of the burning boy burns in the red room of paper dolls.

Posted in Almost Dorothy, The Mother

14 things ma resolves to do for 2013 in alphabetical order

Chicks | Neil de la Flor
Chicks | Neil de la Flor

1. Ma resolves to solve the unresolved issues that plague her nanosphere with grace and humility as she tiptoes across the front yard barefoot wearing her pink biking shorts and “I Had Sex With Jesus” tee shirt.

2. Ma resolves to brush her teeth on first and second dates.

3. Ma resolves to have sex at least twice a week (with humans).

4. Ma resolves to have sex at least twice a week with the windows closed with at least 2 humans in the same room at the same time with or without sneakers and resolves to have each client come back for seconds so the neighbors don’t think she’s only into one-night stands. One-day stands don’t count, she says.

5. Ma resolves to stop reading self-help books with titles that suggest she’s half of this or half of that.

6. Ma resolves to hurl herself into the delta quadrant and kick species 8472’s ass.

7. Ma resolves to use protection even when the men of her dreams offer protection with their super powers and magic tricks. A condom, she says, is more important that the Second Coming.

8. Ma resolves to Kool-Aid.

9. Ma resolves to hug and kiss me twice a day even when she feels like punching me in the face.

10. Ma resolves to wipe from front to back (at least 3 times a week).

11. Ma resolves to be intelligent, competent, reliable, responsible, honorable, trustworthy, centered, grounded, coherent, sympathetic, empathetic, less pathetic and soulful; and she resolves to live by the code of justice even if it means wearing underwear in the most obvious places.

12. Ma resolves to fill her half-empty heart with ginger and jasmine while she drains the other half of Tabasco sauce and curry; and she resolves to stop buying into the scheme that a heart can be half of this or half of that because if it weren’t full 24/7 she’d be dead. Only the non-living, she says, believe in this symbolic bullshit.

13. Ma resolves to make fun of angels and everything holy because nothing is sanctified.

14. Ma resolves to celibacy, but I think she really meant sobriety.

14.5 Ma resolves to reveal what’s inside.


Posted in Almost Dorothy

14 things I resolve to do for 2013 in no particular disorder

Saint Louis  Cemetery 1 | Photo by Neil de la Flor
Saint Louis Cemetery 1 | Photo by Neil de la Flor

1. I resolve to love ma more and everyone more even when I’m all monsters because when the room becomes a spectacle of neon madness hugs work like magic.

2. I resolve to have sex before my 14th birthday so that I will know for certain the meaning of sex and I resolve to determine my sex.

3. I resolve to set fire to the rain and prove that Adele ain’t all that.

4. I resolve to disorder the cosmos and create quantum singularities in specific locations around the universe so that no one, not even god or his gay disciples, will lose sight of the importance of quantum pluralities.

5. I resolve to rename Buddha, Ganesha and Shiva…Ernie, Bert and Oscar.

6. I resolve to get a full time job manufacturing light and laser beams.

7. I resolve to resolve things in my solemn prayers and to keep my mouth shut and slalom.

8. I resolve to lie more or less.

9. I resolve to be one with the universe and ma’s purse.

10. I resolve to be one with humanity; one with the plants & the animals; cars & trucks; shoes & socks; tears & laughter; the trees & the rocks; ghosts & ghouls; archangels & demons; vampires & thieves; doctors & shaman; nurses & gay men; the gods & one true(ish) God who stumbles across the cosmos in high heels and leggings in our (dis)honor. I swear.

11. I resolve to (dis)honor.

12. I resolve crash & burn & dance & sing & levitate in my most ridiculous elf outfit.

13. I resolve to be one with you and one with me so that there is no one and no thing left in the universe but us—that elusive cosmetic singularity where TWO will enfold into one embrace and never ever be alone again. Amen.

14. I resolve to prophecy.

Posted in Almost Dorothy

14 things I learned this year

Tomb Has a Heart | Photo by Neil de la Flor
Every Tomb Has a Heart | Photo by
Neil de la Flor

Mozart is not a form of art. Mozart creates art out of music which
are squiggles and lines that punctuate the night as ma conjures up
the songs of stars while eating potato chips. In bed.

2. Love is a sin. Sex is a
gift from God.

Sometimes Mozart wears a wig as a boy and sometimes I wear a wig as

4. The magic
flute isn’t a ride at Disney World but every ride is a form of

5. Never say
bad things. Never have a sense of humor. Never use incense to cast
out ghosts and ghouls unless you’re a psychic vampire. Or naked. In
the backyard. Beneath the full moon and the twinkling

Psychic vampires don’t exist except as tools to dehumanize the
humans who try to heal the human wounds of the world through any
and every means necessary, even through acrobatics and mind
melding, as the real vampires of the world play a game of dice as a
tool to reveal the two sides of the wound. In your room.

7. The devil on your back is
there for a reason.

8. Every tomb had a heart and every
heart has a wound.

9. Photographs are faster than the
speed of kissing.

10. I have an obsessive personality
disorder activated by karma and guilt, kitsch and chaos.

11. I avoid electrical socks
and rush hour traffic.

12. Trauma can be

There are no secrets, just blindfolds that lead us to secret

Humans cry for positive things to happen that have already

A few more things I
learned but they’re not so important

15. I joined a cult, not a culture

16. The
coolest person in the world sleeps in my bed and barks.

17. We are bound by our silly
nature—not by Ganesha or Shiva, God or some Divine Diva, astral
projections or numerological aspirations—no matter how hard we

Sometimes the “Smallest of Things” are bigger than the “Biggest of

19. Even if
we die nameless, we always live in shame unless we laugh at our
slips and falls.

I am the two sides of the wound.

21. I may or may not be

Posted in Almost Dorothy, Angel, The Mother

Ma: The Healer & The Destroyer

Sometimes ma is glowing in her fruity apron. Sometimes she is sad and sometimes she is a glowing lizard on a bed of velvet roses. Sometimes she is angry and sometimes she is awake when she is asleep. Sometimes she sleeps when she is alive and dead.

Sometimes ma is aware of her biceps and that she is the anti-Christ. Sometimes she is aware she is a vampire annihilating the anti-bodies that enter her canvas. Sometimes she is the quotient and the quadrangle triangulating the quadraphonic sound of blue whales. Sometimes she is a whale and the woman between me and her and sometimes she is the man between me and him. Sometimes she’s a clown.

Sometimes I know what makes ma unhappy and filled with darkness because it’s the same thing that makes me unhappy and filled with darkness. Sometimes I curse the healers who enter our home and try to destroy us with their crystals and incense. Sometimes I destroy the curses that heal us after the healers who have come to destroy us heal the room of wounds. Sometimes I curse the curses who heal the hell out of us for the hell of it because they don’t know what the hell they’re talking about when ma’s heart goes boom boom boom.

Sometimes I walk silently through the house of healers and destroyers, ma and me, and tell each room “I’m sorry” for our trespasses and transience. In sequence. In solemnity and solace. In slippers. In every room, a ghost wants to say “I’m sorry”, but the ghosts are rouses.

Sometimes I walk silently where angel once roamed the surface of the house where ma fears to tread even in her best Jacqueline Smith dress. Sometimes I am too much for ma and she is too much for me just like she was too much for angel and his medicine chest of chests. Sometimes I am too much and never enough even though I know I am a button and ma is a shoe.

Sometimes the knowledge of this differential is enough to heal the equations of the world, the wounds in the room of curses and moans. Sometimes the knowledge of this is forgiveness and sometimes it’s not. Sometimes this knowledge is just knowledge to note the difference between two unknowns. Between healing and destroying. Between practice and partition. Between ma and me. Freud and Jung. The curses between us were promises.

Posted in Almost Dorothy, Angel

Angel: The Schopenhauer Slap

“One need only look at a woman’s shape to discover that she is not intended for either too much mental or too much physical work. She pays the debt of life not by what she does but by what she suffers—by the pains of child-bearing, care for the child, and by subjection to man, to whom she should be a patient and cheerful companion.”

—Arthur Schopenhauer



When Angel threatened to slap me, ma said. I rationalized his anger and lost my brain stem.

That’s what ma said in her sleep just before she woke up at 5AM, ripped her giant t-shirt and fishnet stockings off and smashed the mirror with the mighty force of fifty gorillas. Dramatic and stunningly cinematic, ma stared at her shape all wild and wide and hairy. Bobo the Mutt shook and shivered as he presided over the shape of revelations to come.

I was his patient and cheerful companion, ma screamed holding her brain in place. I fucked it up. He was hurt by someone else—(and himself, I cut in)—and I could tell by the way he never looked me in the eyes. I promised to take care of him, she cried, but he was too much. He promised to take care of himself, I screamed at ma with bits of glass in her hair—but with the click of a mouse and send of a text he chose them instead of us.

It’s complicated, ma said. But so is quantum physics. His words burnt every plank on the ancient bridge between us, she said. But, I couldn’t fall back. I faced him face to face and asked him to get a job to help us out so we could buy rice and beans, chips and salsa. So we could move from co-dependence to mutual connection. I also wanted him to get his wings off the ground and free himself from the spiraling labyrinth. But, his anti-self turned his back on me, she said, and walked out of the room. He felt betrayed cause I promised to take care of him. Things change, I told ma, and the promise was not transubstantial—it was to lift him up, not weigh you down.

Even if it was a vague threat of violence, I deserved it, ma said. Even that’s a dangerous rationalization. It was a threat of violence, I told ma. I know, she said. But I felt responsible for his anger—for his health, raging depression and erratic behavior. I was the only one taking care of him. Like a good mother, I said. No one helped us. No therapist. No counselor. No friends. No family. Especially, no family, Angel said. No guru or godsend helped us through his life changing diagnosis. Once, he visited a crystal rock specialist, but came back more depressed. I remember, I told ma. But he didn’t want anyone else in, she said, even in the bleakest moments all I could do was hug him and pray God would take care. I wanna keep it between you and me, Angel told ma. I wish to remain nameless, she said he said. And live without shame is what he really meant.

Taking care, I told ma, is when you asked him for a fair exchange of energy. Besides, I said, he spent 20 hour days on the virtual reality machine re-manufacturing worlds within worlds and looking for answers to fit the narrative of his manufactured self-image.

Angel gave ma his answer that last day: You are not my family and you’ll see who I AM when I turn my back on you and fly.

“It is because women’s reasoning powers are weaker that they show more sympathy for the unfortunate than men, and consequently take a kindlier interest in them. On the other hand, women are inferior to men in matters of justice, honesty, and conscientiousness.”

—Arthur Schopenhauer

Ma’s first boyfriend, who turned out to be a socio-pathetic bag of almonds, went to jail for assault and batteries. Ma found his real arrest record on the virtual reality machine and showed it to Angel two weeks before they split. After ma dumped her ex, her ex tried to stab his new girlfriend with a kitchen knife. This occurred just a few years after ma’s ex slapped ma when they were in a relationship. He used his foot and fists too, but always missed. He did this when ma asked him to step up. To pitch in. I’ve been here before, ma said. And it was fresh in my head when Angel made his casual threat. Needless to say, ma doesn’t react well to threats. Not any more. Despite her women’s reasoning. Not even if the threat is just a fleeting suggestion.

Ma believes in the power of suggestion. The threat of violence is violence, she said. She doesn’t blame Angel, but she doesn’t blame herself either, so that leaves us with a paradox that leads us to an illogical conclusion that places blame on both of them or on the universe—or worse, God’s benign hand. We are responsible for our actions and threats of action, I said. Threats are manifestations of Schopenhauer’s deep-seated hatred of the feminine—and of our other half—and of women’s superior understanding of justice, honesty, and conscientiousness.

“The greatest sorrows and joys or great exhibition of strength are not assigned to her; her life should flow more quietly, more gently, and less obtrusively than man’s, without her being essentially happier or unhappier.”

—Arthur Schopenhauer

I lost my brain, ma said. I let him down even though I tried to lift him up over and over again. He didn’t want to get up, I told ma, you gave him an open home and a big heart and he collapsed in your head. And anchored himself between what he wanted to be free of and what freedom is. I lost my brain, ma repeated again as she stared at the reflection of the silly wild wide beast self in the shattered mirror. Your brain is right there, I said pointing at the dimple between ma’s breast implants. She fake-smiled as she held glass chips in her hands. It’s what makes you ma, I said. Ma, she said looking into the shattered mirror, is an illusion at best.

An ideal at best, I said. Human at worst.

Ma, what have you learned? I asked.

Not to break the mirror, she said, with my monkey fists. And that the only thing worth beginning is the end of Schopenhauer’s world of course.

Read “On Women” by Arthur Schopenhauer here

Posted in Almost Dorothy

Angel Wings

Angel | Photo by Neil de la Flor

Sometimes angels are grounded. Bound by gravity. Bound by their desire to fly out of black spaces. Sometimes angel wings are just versions of wings. Versions of what they want their arms to be. Stretched beyond human limbs. Angels light the cosmos with possibilities. Their palms red from so much trying.

Posted in Type-1

Dr. Wasid

The blue circle symbol used to represent diabetes.
Image via Wikipedia

Mommy and daddy took me to a doctor today who knows a lot about Diabetes Type 1. Mommy says he’s a “specialist” and that means he knows how to make me better. I asked her if he’s going to take the diabetes away but she says, maybe one day, but not today. The office was in very tall building with many offices inside. I was nervous.

The doctor’s name was “Dr. Wasid” or something like that. He was tall, very tall, and his skin was brown.  His breath stunk real bad like eggs. He wasn’t very nice. He told me I was very fat and that because I’m fat my diabetes wasn’t going to get any better. He told mommy and daddy that I need to stop eating as much as I am eating right now. I wanted to tell him that I’m not eating as much as he thinks, at least not what I like to eat and that it was not fair. But I didn’t say anything because my parents were talking to him, and mommy says that I can’t interrupt grown ups when they’re talking because that’s bad manners.

Dr. Wasid held my arm, and grabbed the fatty part around my wrist “When this goes away, you may eat the candies you want,” he said. I just looked at him, and held my daddy’s hand very hard. He also told my parents about how much insulin I have to get every time I have breakfast and dinner and that they have to keep a log where they have to write down how much sugar I have. He told them a bunch of other things, but I didn’t pay attention, because I was to busy thinking about the ice-cream man who I saw downstairs. I don’t know why, but all I want to do is eat and eat and eat everything I can’t.

When we got out of the doctor’s office daddy asked me if I liked the doctor. I told him I didn’t because he called me fat and he needs to brush his teeth because his mouth smelled really gross. Daddy said he didn’t like him either, but doctors are like that. He says that even if he’s not nice, he will help me. I just have to listen and do what he says.

Mommy didn’t say anything on our way back home. I know she’s worried about me still. She hates needles as much as I do. That’s why daddy is the one who has to pinch me. Every time it is time for me to get my insulin, she goes away. I don’t now if it’s because she hates needles for real, or she just can’t see how much it hurts me ever time daddy stabs my shoulders. I wish I could be better. I feel that because of me, mommy cries every night. I told daddy I was very sorry for getting sick like this, but he says I didn’t do anything, that this happened because it was meant to be.

I really don’t know what “meant to be” means, but if daddy said so, I guessed it ws okay. I also told him that I’ve been praying to God, so that he will take away my diabetes and that way we will all be happy again. But daddy didn’t say anything back. He just hugged me and said “I love you”. I love you too daddy, I thought, I love you too.

Posted in Almost Dorothy, Type-1

My Pancreas is Broken by Paloma Gensollen

Paloma Gensollen

I know mommy knows something is wrong with me. I know it too. Every time I eat something, I start getting really thirsty, and I don’t see well that much. Everything is blurry lately, and it itches down there a lot. I don’t want to go to the doctor anymore. It’s scary and I hate the needles they poke me with.

“Paloma I need to talk to you”, mommy says very seriously. I know she’s been crying. I see her hugging daddy and asking him, “why her?”.

Why me? I don’t know what she means with that.

Now she’s kneeling in front of me, holding my hands.

“Do you remember when I took you to the laboratory to get some blood?”
“Yes, mommy, I don’t want to go there ever again. It was very scary.”

Mommy has rain in her eyes. She is sad and I think it’s my fault. I don’t want to make mommy sad or upset. I like it when she smiles and is happy. I even like it better when she’s upset than when she’s sad. When her heart is breaking and tears are falling down her cheeks, my hearts brakes too.

Mommy is hugging me one more time. She’s trying to tell me something, but the words are stuck in her throat with crazy glue and they can’t get out. She’s trying to hold back her tears, but they just burst like a waterfall.

“You have Diabetes type 1, Paloma. From now on you can’t eat any candies, ice-cream, chocolates, nothing sweet, ok?”

Mommy is not looking me in the eyes. She can’t. That’s why she’s hugging me very tightly while she is saying I have something she calls “Diabetes Type 1”. I think she’s is confused. I don’t have such thing as Diabetes Type 1. I don’t even know how it looks like, or what it is. I just know that sometimes I get parched and I pee in my pants without noticing. But I promise her I will go to the bathroom before I do.

“What’s that mommy? And, why can’t I eat candies? I haven’t done anything this time.”
“Diabetes is a disease. You know when you get a cold and you have to drink some medicine to get better?”
“Well, this time is not a cold. Inside your body there’s something called a “Pancreas”, which is the one who gives you “Insulin”, the liquid daddy gives you when he pinches you. Somehow it’s not working anymore.”
“Why? Did I do something wrong?”
“No mi amor, you haven’t done anything wrong. “You just can’t eat anything sweet and you have to pinch your fingers every time you eat, and before breakfast and dinner daddy has to pinch you, to give you some insulin, ok?”

Mommy is hugging me again. Lately all she does is hug me and cry. I feel guilty and I want to cry, too. I don’t know what mommy is saying. I don’t understand. I didn’t say anything because I don’t know what’s happening. I don’t want to stop eating chocolates! I LOVE chocolate, and candies, and ice cream, and sugar! Why can’t I can be like any other kid? Why do I have to pinch my fingers every time I eat. Why? I haven’t thrown any toys down the toilet this time, or cut off the hairs of my sister’s dolls! I’ve been a good girl! I don’t want my daddy to stick needles in my arms! I’m scared! I’m so scared of what mommy said. God, why did mommy say that? Why did my pancreas stop working? I promise you that I will be always good if you make me better again. I promise I will pray every night and not fall asleep before I do. I promise you I will never break my sister’s toys ever again, or play with mommy’s things!

“I promise you God, just make my pancreas work again. I’ll be a good girl, but please, take the diabetes out of me…please.”

–Paloma Gensollen

Posted in Almost Dorothy, Squinny

Almost Dorothy Sits On Poems

My BFF Squinny made me real. Not sure how but she did. Not sure why but she said don’t ask cause I won’t tell. Not sure if I’ll last but she said nothing lasts forever. Not even Santa or our relationship, she said, will last forever ever. I figulated that since Squinny rose from the dead she must be smart and can probably make me real. I imagine anything is possible when I’m with Squinny. That’s why I enrolled in a literature class instead of the Fashion Police Academy. Watch out Joan Rivers. I’m gonna learn how to dungeon dragon you like Nicki Minaj.

Almost Dorothy | First Day of School | Photo by Neil de la Flor

Ma told me we’re going to therapy but she dumped me off at school instead. I was pissed because I’m in love with my therapist. He’s gay. Anyway, on the first day of class my teacher asked us a stupid question. What is a poem? I told her, “I am a poem.” She called me a jerk and told me God would punish me. In the meantime, she said, sit here. So I did.

What is a poem? | Photo by Neil de la Flor

My teacher said that Jericho Brown said “words manipulated into music make a poem.” Then she said Sandra Simonds said “a song is where every beat is perfectly measured—a poem that is perfectly timed and counted like clockwork—this is not for me because I am already aware of time—I am already running but I don’t want to let it run me.” I told the teacher that Simonds and Brown must be high or hijinkers or meat heads or liars. I am a poem, I said, again. Enough said.

Almost Dorothy |Essay | Photo by Neil de la Flor

The teacher said we had to write an essay. The guy behind me was like WTF is up with my horns. I told her I had to pee super hard and was about to wet my skirt. She gave me permission and said I could go. So I did. I sat on the sink and tried to pee real hard. But I don’t have any plumbing. Not even a hole.

Almost Dorothy | Sink | Photo by Neil de la Flor

When I got back to class, everyone was quiet and writing like mad crack head matters. They wrote as if their life depends on poetry. Wrote as if the words they put down would save them from something super supernatural. I just sat at watched the other students write. Write and write. I watched the big boys and girls manipulate words into music. Sonoic boom. I watched them write essays where every beat is perfectly measured—every sentence perfectly timed and counted. I counted their strokes like clockwork oranges. I watched them run their hands across the page like deranged tarantulas.

Almost Dorothy | Sits on Poetry| Photo by Neil de la Flor

This is not for me, I thought, because I am already aware of time, of the orange clock ticking. Tock. Tock. I am already running but I don’t want to let it run me anymore. So I sat on my ass and let the bullet trains run on time.