CAPTAIN SCARLET

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-193

 I wrote the poem below for my mentor and dear friend Colin Smith. He had just turned fifty the time. I wanted to honor this milestone in some way. You see Colin has changed my world for the better. His guidance and support have been invaluable. He has taught me to see the sublime in the ridiculous, to slow down, to breathe, to be at peace with the world. (The world is easy; it’s me, I still struggle with). Mr. Lovely has been instrumental in awakening my rebel spirit, a spirit that no longer sits meekly and quietly in the background, paralyzed by fear and insecurities. I have found my voice and purpose in life. .We are not meant to be stagnant. We are meant to move, to be, and to give back. We can change the world for the better (Tosha 2016. Rock the vote).. I’ve grown and blossomed so much through my interactions with this soulful Brit. Colin will always have my undying gratitude and affection. He’s a bit of a paradox, a punk rocker and an academic Ph.D. in one hand, guitar in the other, Professor and hellion. This poem attempts to chronicle his journey it’s not my best bit of poetry. I warned you. It may not be a work of art, but it was a labor of love.
Note- the quoted lines are lyrics from Colin’s songs.

5610_1097078906679_1217814536_30270654_6549854_n

CAPTAIN SCARLET
ByTosha Michelle

I

“Every since I was a child all my dreams been running wild”

A baby is born with the heart of a warrior.
A restless spirit, a soul full of magic
In need of a place to call his own.
Into his life walks a beautiful woman.
Singing to him her sweet motherly song.
He will be her son now, and she will be his protection and hope.
These are the days of security and peace.
A blessed refuge and reprieve, but alas not meant to be.

II
“Hate is like a battle, love is like a war”

A little boy grows feeling lost and alone.
Clinging to his mother, she alone is his home.
Escaping from his father who is militant and mean,
Berated and bullied it’s always a scene.
He loses himself in rockets and dreams.
These are the days of fear and survival,
Where contempt and abuse are his arch rivals.

III
“My adolescent dreams are nightmares in the streams.”

A teenager he becomes, defiance his mantra,
He’s out on the streets, looking for peace.
Drugs and needles he seeks. Hedonism and Dionysus he meets.
A life on the brink Chaos and havoc he reaps.
These are the days of excess and rebellion
A manic season of an outlaw and hellion.

IV
“We’re the kids from the block we know how to rock.”

Adulthood finds him a punk rocker with the band.
Girls and guitars, he’s pissing on czars.
His future looks grand. A rebel is taking a stand.
JJ, The Cardinal, -The Blood is the plan.
These are the days of desires and extremes,
Fighting the establishment and rocking sweet, sultry things.

V
“Loving you religiously is doing in my brain.”

A man full grown now at 25 he’s half-way to today.
The girl of his dreams, a bonnie lass is she,
He takes as his bride and a life of passion they lead.
In a few years, a daughter comes along.
Filling her daddy’s heart with song
These are the days of stability and chaos,
Anguish and bliss, and love not without risks.

VI
” I don’t want fortune. I don’t want fame. I want a piece of history.”

A time of changes comes on strong with 30’s drumbeat marching on.
His mind begins yearning as he develops a hunger for learning,
His thoughts, they are a turning, his soul burning.
Off to college, he goes. The seeds of knowledge sown.
These are the days of highs and lows,
Of books and enlightenment and he grows.

VII
“The bouquet of insanity left me a wreck, but I won’t forget.”

The 40”s find him on his own; his family gone.
Somehow, somewhere, someway it all went wrong,
Some things in life are not meant to be.
Sorrow is all he sees, but time moves on.
Through adversity, he finds his strength.
The depth of his spirit, humanity is his link.
Finding his Magna Charta, he realized his purpose.
Justice and liberty become his new song,
A magnum opus for us all.
These are the days of devotion and emotions,
His soul for humanity is causing a commotion.

VIII
“The road less traveled, it’s the one I’m own”

At 50 now what will be will be.
He has miles to go before he sleeps; He cannot rest life is still a test,
But his future is anything but bleak, His spirit far from weak.
Riding out the highs and lows, Tempering the desires and extremes,
Ordering security and chaos, Challenging the unchallengeable dream.
Understanding from experience, he fights the true outlaws and hellions
Humanity his devotion.. Lost in emotions

These will be the days of Renewal and Survival. Rebirth and Revival
A rebel causing a commotion, a life in full motion.

l_58010b6e3dc4465a9ef4be117954161c

Midnight in the Garden of My Mind. (someone get the weed whacker)

Random  thought of the day- If Lady Gaga and The Goo Dolls went on the road together; would they call it the Gaga Goo Goo Tour? By the way, why does Gaga live for the bear claws?

But, seriously….
Introspective thought of the day.- I have come to realizes that; I’ll always be a square peg, just trying to fit in, one foot in this world, the other, God knows where. Hopefully not in Crocs. UGH! Although, happiness is within and surrounds me, there will always be an undertone of sadness and melancholy that resides and resonant to my core. I welcome these emotions with open arms because I am a masochist. I also have a lady boner for that old sod, Heathcliff (the moors, the angst, etc) Did I just type lady boner?

In addition to being maudlin,  I am a restless spirit, a spirit who has pieces and shards of interest splayed out in every possible creative direction. But to each its ultimate standard of expertise I can’t seem to reach fully.. Sometimes, I feel like my heart is flying in over my head, bouncing off the walls, the ceilings, yet confined within a certain room. Striving to break free and soar.

I believe I can fly.
Still trying to find my wings.
While I look, grab a pacifier and blankie. Give a listen.

60013_583955981620348_12724097_n

Dear Men (this one’s for you)

Dear Men,

It’s been awhile since I wrote. In my last letter, I praised you, criticized you, and gave you a few pointers. This note will be no different. See the list that follows.

Tips and dips. You’re welcome.

1.   Love us for our hearts and minds, and we’ll rock you with our bodies.
2.   Tears are not a sign of weakness. It’s OK to be sensitive (unless you’re crying because you have nothing to wear, or you missed a real housewives episode)
3.   There are two places tighty whities belong, on babies, or in the trash.
4.   The vacuum cleaner and mop will not bite you.  Go ahead, try them on for size. I dare you.
5.   Sometimes all we need to hear is “No, honey, let me do it.”
6.   Cologne is sexy, but no need to bathe in it.
7.   A kiss on the hand at the right time can be quite lovely, at the wrong time, equally as creepy.
8.   By all means be the man in the relationship when it comes to killing bugs, or opening jars. We don’t mind.
9.   However, never tell us what to do. EVER!
10.  We want to be your muses but not in a sleazy photographer kind of way. We long to bring out your inner Shakespeare, not Larry Flynt
11.  Withhold nothing. We need to know where all the carbon go, and why prime numbers remain a mystery. I’m looking at you, Riemann hypothesis.  Why is it all so weird? Oh and everyone you have ever dated, and what you had for lunch, and how your day was, and what your brother said on the phone. Etc.
12.  Your mother was right, manners matter. Prove to us chivalry is not dead.
13.  Please don’t tell us to calm down. You calm down!
14.  I mentioned this last time but felt the need to reiterate, no, we do not want to see a picture of the little engine that could.
15.    Just because your friends might find us appealing, doesn’t mean we want to to be with them. (unless your friends are Timothy Olyphant or Jon Stewart)
16.  Please talk about your feelings. We want to know what’s going on in those heads of yours. However, we don’t have to have a come to Jesus meeting  or an Oprah moment.
17.  Douchebaggerty is never a winning look. Wear compassion and humanity instead.
18.  There’s nothing hotter than a man with tools, unless, it’s a man with a book.
19.  We like wearing your old college sweatshirt or sleeping in your t-shirt. Prepare to share. It makes us feel close to you.
20.  All we need is affection, attention, love, chocolate  and a guy with a big…………………………………………………………….

brain.

Until, next time gents,

Fondly,

T.

PS. This guy is sexy.

men-feminism-e1372102217532

As an aside, I’m obsessed with this song. Yes, I am channeling my inner 16 year old. No judgement, please.

Taylor Swift “Wildest Dreams” lyrics

He said let’s get out of this town
Drive out of the city
Away from the crowds
I thought heaven can’t help me now
Nothing lasts forever
But this is gonna take me down
He’s so tall, and handsome as hell
He’s so bad but he does it so well
I can see the end as it begins my one condition is

Say you’ll remember me
Standing in a nice dress, staring at the sun set babe
Red lips and rosy cheeks
Say you’ll see me again even if it’s just in your wildest dreams
Wildest dreams

I say no one has to know what we do
His hands are in my hair, his clothes are in my room
And his voice is a familiar sound, nothing lasts forever
But this is getting good now
He’s so tall, and handsome as hell
He’s so bad but he does it so well
And when we’ve had our very last kiss
But my last request is

Say you’ll remember me
Standing in a nice dress, staring at the sun set babe
Red lips and rosy cheeks
Say you’ll see me again even if it’s just in your wildest dreams
Wildest dreams

You see me in hindsight
Tangled up with you all night
Burn it down
Some day when you leave me
I bet these memories hunt you around
You see me in hindsight
Tangled up with you all night
Burn it down
Some day when you leave me
I bet these memories follow you around

Say you’ll remember me
Standing in a nice dress, staring at the sun set babe
Red lips and rosy cheeks
Say you’ll see me again even if it’s just pretend

Say you’ll remember me
Standing in a nice dress, staring at the sun set babe
Red lips and rosy cheeks
Say you’ll see me again even if it’s just in your wildest dreams
Wildest dreams
Even if it’s just in your wildest dreams
In your wildest dreams

Confessions of a Reformed Southern Belle. (Cover reveal)

I’ve always loved poetry, even from a young age; there’s something magical that comes from the reading and recitation of a lyrical poem. Poetry magnetizes both light and darkness., depth and possibilities. I’ll be publishing my first book of poems soon. I’m putting myself out there at the request of my family and friends. Below is the cover.  It’s a risk. I’m excited and a bit scared. My poems are deeply personal and a reflection of me. A poet laureate, I am not.  I’m still very much a neophyte. I simply write to know myself better. It’s a way to make the unknown, known, the unseen, visible, to make the intangible, tangible. When I write, I don’t feel the need to temper or water down my emotions. I can give voice to my insecurities, my passions and my inner melancholy beast.. Poetry is my freedom.

Writing for me is cathartic and healing. I believe art should be a force for good.  It is my hope that my humble verses will strike a chord with humanity that something in my words with resonant, that you will find a little of yourself in my musings.

BookCoverPreview.do

Twenty Random Questions with Children of the Canyon’s Author-David Kukoff

  1. If you were Alice, would you rather stay in Wonderland on the other side of the mirror, or come back to the real world to tell your story?

NO BRAINER – COME BACK AND TELL MY STORY. UNLESS THE MAD HATTER SERVED TACOS BY LEO (MY FAVORITE LA TACO TRUCK) AS HIS DAILY TEA SNACK; THEN IT’D BE A TOSS-UP.

  1. Do you sing in the shower?

YES – AND ON KEY.

  1. What childhood fear do you still have as an adult?

HEIGHTS.

  1. An author with whom you would like to have lunch?

TIM O’BRIEN.

  1. Do you wake up at night to read or write?

ONLY WHEN MY DREAMS ARE BORING ME.

  1. Do you feel anxious or excited when you start to write?

DEPENDS ON HOW PREPARED I AM. WHEN I’VE ALREADY WORKED OUT IN MY HEAD WHAT I’M GOING TO WRITE, I’M EXCITED TO WRASSLE WITH THE MOTHER TONGUE.

  1. Does darkness soothe you or frighten you?

NEITHER – IT’S WHERE I LIVE, BABY. THINK WATER :: FISH.

  1. If you ruled your own country, who would you get to write your national anthem?

JONI MITCHELL.

  1. What makes you nostalgic?

MY KIDS.

  1. Does love dry up your creative juices or make them flow faster?

DRIES ‘EM UP. ANYONE WHO SAYS OTHERWISE ISN’T REALLY IN LOVE.

  1. Do you remember your dreams?

SOMETIMES – SEE ANSWER TO #5.

  1. What’s your favorite color?

TOO MANY ANSWERS, BUT HERE ARE A FEW SAMPLES: TO WEAR, BLACK. TO DRIVE, GREENISH KHAKI. TO DATE, THE FULL RAINBOW COALITION.

  1. What’s your favorite season?

ANYTHING THAT’S NOT WINTER.

  1. Does pressure motivate you?

IF IT COMES IN THE FORM OF A DEADLINE, YES.

  1. Would you rather live to write or write to live?

I’VE DONE THE LATTER, AND IT MAKES YOU A HELL OF A LOT MORE GRATEFUL FOR THE FORMER. CAN YOU DO BOTH? I’M ON THE VERGE OF PULLING THAT ONE OFF NOW, I THINK.

  1. What published book do you secretly wish you had written?

WHITE NOISE. AND NOT SECRETLY, EITHER.

  1. Are you the paranoid type or calm, cool and collected?

NEITHER, REALLY.

  1. What would qualify as the afternoon of your dreams?

DRIVING MY CONVERTIBLE AROUND ALL MY FAVORITE NEIGHBORHOODS IN LOS ANGELES, ENDING ON THE BEACH.

  1. Are you more like the sun or the moon?

DESPITE MY GLIB ANSWER TO #7, THE SUN. I’M ACTUALLY A PRETTY UPBEAT PERSON.

  1. Do you hear voices?

EVERY WRITER SHOULD, AT TIMES. RIGHT?

 

I’d like to thank David for taking time out of his busy life to participate in this blog post. I do have to wonder why he felt the need to yell at us. (Kidding) Here’s a little more about David and his poignant coming age novel Children of The Canyon.

 

About David:
“I put every syllable of a novel through the wringer hundreds of times to measure everything from connotation to rhythm.”

“A native Angeleno and graduate of Columbia University and UCLA Film School, David Kukoff has eleven produced film and television credits to his name (including the hit Disney movies “Model Behavior” with Justin Timberlake and Kathie Lee Gifford and “Switching Goals” with the Olsen Twins). Following a spec screenplay sale that made the front page of Variety, he went on to write for every studio and network in Hollywood, publish two books on film and television writing, and be the subject of numerous features in Variety, Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, and KCET’s award-winning “Life And Times Tonight.”

Mr. Kukoff has also taught writing at Northwestern (where he was elected to the university’s Faculty Honor Roll in his first year), UCLA, and NYU, served as a guest editor for UK academic publisher Palgrave MacMillan, and been featured as a guest lecturer at UCLA’s Faculty Lecture Series at Lake Arrowhead.”

Children Of The Canyon

Children of the Canyon tells the story of David, a boy growing up in LA’s fabled Laurel Canyon neighborhood as the 1960s counterculture is coming to an end.

David’s record producer father works with the reclusive former leader of a surf music band on an album that promises to elevate the legacies of both men to immortal status. His distant, peripatetic mother rides the waves of activism and feminism in and out of David’s life. The elusive Topanga, named for the city’s last remaining Eden, whom David meets on the beach the night of his parents’ separation continues to elude his futile attempts to reconnect with her throughout the decade.

Through David’s eyes, we bear witness to the fallout from the California Dream’s malfunction: the ruined families, failed revolutionaries, curdled musical idealism, and, ultimately, the rise of the conservatism that put the country on its present path.

408ab27e35dd74a629fa2676debcfa87

Beauty and the Self Conscious Beast.

Imperfection and flaws are beautiful no matter how strange or dysfunctional they may be. We all strive for perfection, but it is an unattainable, elusive dream. OK, unless you are Timothy Olyphant! Hubba, friggin hubba.

390_1timothy_olyphant_2

But I digress….

We all have things we would like to change about ourselves. Learning to accept that we are perfectly imperfect is the key to peace of mind and giving our mirrors a much-needed reprieve.  Let’s own our flaws and make them fabulous. Idiosyncrasies should be embraced. How boring life would be without them?
We women especially put so much effort, into our hair, makeup and dress, setting such a high standard by comparing ourselves to others when we should just learn to love ourselves for who we are, flaws and all. Those flaws are what make us uniquely us. Let’s learn to be confident in our insecurities. Our fears do not define our worth, nor naysayers out to cast their stones. Let’s declare our independence from self-doubt.  Remember, under all those gorgeous dresses, lovely hats, and winning smile, even Kate Middleton probably has a few quirky qualities about her, like drinking milk straight from the cartoon, or something deranged like that.
563556_417601488255799_245705443_n

Free Verse.

Dear Time.

When did you turn into such a self absorbed, relentless jerk?

Remember when you use to stand still?

Now you wait for no one. You refuse to slow down.

How can you be so essential but preferential?

You’re where we are. Where we we long to be.

What we missed, our biggest fear, relative,, sacred,, profane.

All we have, yet so little.

-Tosha Michelle

Rome_Palatine_Hill

Museum

Life is a museum.
A thousand pictures display.
Of those who have come and gone away.
Some are seasonal.
An array of color.
Evocative, flashing, irresistible.
Seasons change.
Today tree limb’s snow exhibits a glistening arrangement.
Tomorrow fiasco
Water.
Forever paintings.
Purpose revealed in time.
Curiously congruent
Constantly accessible
Naturalistic seasonally unaffected.
These are the painting that illuminate every room.
They are few.
Museum.

-Tosha Michelle

index