©Copyright 2009 by Doug Ordunio all rights reserved

tangled web

by

Doug Ordunio

©Copyright 2009 by Doug Ordunio ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

FOREWORD

by the author

The story contained within these pages actually happened. It is a story which ultimately reveals truths about men, women…and love. It is a story also about the internet which in this day constantly reveals its ubiquitous presence in our world, We use it to communicate, to learn, to laugh, to cry, and perhaps to call for help. Each time someone sends another person (known or unknown to them) an e-mail, it is similar to firing a rocket into space and hoping there will be an answer. We are always hopeful that the person who responds is the person we think they are. However, sometimes this is not the case, which is partly the subject of this tale.

It is not suggested that anyone else attempt this. Over the last thirty years I have expressed myself in writing. The events described here were the ultimate test of my abilities. Names and locations have been changed to protect the identities of the parties involved

Doug Ordunio

EPIPHANY

Enlightenment arrived

5:10 am—semi-darkness

The bodhi tree an unnecessary prop

A calm zephyr passed through my heart

A rueful autopsy were the words in memory

Nicholas Slonimsky had used to describe his autobiography

No surgical procedure

No saws, scalpels or forceps required

Calmness was the process

Self-observation in a literal sense

Discovery of an entire universe

Only now could I gain entrance to this world of dark and light

A cosmology uncovered in a fashion undraped by Kepler,

Einstein, Crick and Watson

This exhumation erupted

With the horrific first memory of existence

A nightmare permanently scarred into memory

An indelible etching

Of awakening on an operating table at the age of thirty months

A tonsillectomy—standard and simple

Explain that to a baby

Since that moment I alternate between swimming in the world’s ocean

And drowning

In the middle of the Pacific

Cast adrift

No life preserver

At times gigantic waves

Other moments—placid seas

On occasions I am Michael Phelps aglide

The next second—water threatens to fill my lungs

Lacking gills I may not survive

Ultimately the reason for the darkness of the last twenty-five years

The long periods of silence

A psychological buffer zone

Shades my being

Life always a thrill

An emotional roller coaster with headlong dives

High peaks of light

My first experience with Christianity—Sunday school

Age of four

My virginal spirit untainted

Encountered a female presence

Seemingly unsavory unholy

A sensation I had never known impinged upon my soul

Frightened me

Never returned to church until the age of twenty-one

When, through musicianly talents

My gifts welcomed remuneration

All women in my life archetypal

Powerful

Always profoundly touched me psychically

I was powerless in their presence

Hypnotized

Their beauty stunning

Some should stand in a garden

Others—pillars of the Parthenon

All bear an individual fragrance

Unlike any other woman

Remember two beautiful cousins from Texas

When I was a child I embarrassed them

Loved to smell their feet

Pheromones raping me

Succumbing to my own indulgences

Susan the evening engineer in radio

Worked in a closed environment

Every six or eight weeks

Her aroma invaded the workplace

I would tell her

She was unaware

No one else could detect it

Not menstruation

A special gift from her to me

Now I am surrounded by them

Bringing me meals

Ministering with drugs or care in the middle of the night

This is a paradise which I must escape

All of them continue as my personal obsessions

Most of their images persist

A mental gallery

I understand why Eve was responsible for the rejection from Eden

The forbidden fruit which she carried

Not an apple (as the Beatles showed on their record labels)

As the astute Germans would say

Pflaume (* meaning “plum”)

________________________________

HOT

Ursula unstable unsettled

volatile coseismal shaky precarious reactive

alluring beguiling seductive but watch out for her bad side in addition

radioactive hot molten in the worst way atomic pizza sticking to the roof of your mouth

I’m afraid that keloids will form on my hands face tongue fingers

anywhere I touched her secret marinades

they have a half-life of fifty years in the memory

like long-tipped steel darts errant flying needles arrows like those that impaled Sebastian

remain embedded lodged buried integrated interred with angled barbs

tearing the flesh, ripping the soul, disemboweling the viscera upon removal

disfigured in permanence displayed to the world

so that everyone will realize this ugliness

how long will it take for her residue to vanish? measured in betabecquerels? terabecquerels?

the results worse than an icy radium enema administered in a large uncomfortable syringe by a hatchet-faced nurse on a stormy night

will I be consumed by aplastic anemia just like Marie

no, Ursula is much worse than radium

hundreds and thousands of years may pass with inexorable slowness like a tortoise in low gear

images sensations pleasures tingling will remain coursing through my spine

similar to the Zahir of Borges, she is eternal, unforgettable

a beacon blindingly blasting through time

_______________________________

My Madeleine (as in the writing of Marcel Proust)

It began one brightened morning

As I sat struggling with coffee

An attempt to recall with precision

Details of a previous evening

The first sip I consumed of the thick black hot liquid

Invoked a vision of Evan

Yesterday evening’s dinner I wordlessly prepared

Filet of shark stuffed with a mousse of salmon and asparagus

Preceded by a French 75

Escargots baked inside a puff pastry

Accompanied by a rich Corton de Charlemagne

Grapes plucked from that tiny French vineyard

A gift from Aunt Beatrice, a woman of late 70s

Her treasured possession for four decades

A label slightly worn—turned slightly brown and gray

The appearance of being a venerable beverage

Opened it one hour in advance

To allow its fragrance to embody the room

The greatest white burgundy

As Evan arrived adorned in cravat

Thick coat tweed pants

Greeted by the dark spiciness contained in the bottle

Escaped as a turbaned genie adept in great magic

Who traveled on a flying carpet woven in Persia

A byzantine maze of color

Resembled the tender love we felt for each other

Our lives in imitation of the complex patterns

Our embrace a brief prelude

He lit the white candles to encompass this repast

Then grasped the vessel within a white towel

Administering it gently into crystal glasses

We sat without words

A European dinner

Tasted in silence

The aroma of the food

Chosen carefully

To remind Evan of what awaited

Beneath my long dress

What he once called a warm wet hand

Finally the meal ended abruptly

The span of time too long

There was urgency in our movements

The napkins tossed haphazardly

Forks and knives cast upon plates

Wine glasses half-empty

As though guests had abandoned their places

Rushing out to other domains

Grab your coat

Get your hat—Leave your worries on the doorstep

Gold dust at our feet

As a pair of smiles crept toward the canopied bed

The caress of flannel sheets

As bodies searched for each other

In partial darkness

Trembled with the expectancy

Of initial caresses

Begun in a fumbling desperate squeezing

Hands on shoulders

Hands on waist

Hands on thighs that trembled

My body opened as a flower to the morning sun

Dripping with dew

Evan was a plow

I desired longingly

Cleaving the soil of my South 40

Leaving furrows uncovered

Making me ripe for foods

Burst forth in plenty

Two finally one

The beast with two backs

An elegant fragile humping

A carnival of animals

Almost inter-species love

Tempo increases

Fear it might end

(But there is always a new beginning)

Strain to both arrive in the station

ETA? Simultaneous

My eyes plunge into Evan’s

Embrace his neck

I don’t care anymore

Out of control

Sweating like pigs

Covered in mud

Tails are curling

I curse like a sailor on shore leave

Anything to raise the electricity

Thundering flowing sparking

Bodies plugged into a 220 outlet

The aching eternity of my sex and his sex

Unity with God

Somewhere in space

Suddenly risen

We become star-children

A vast supernova

And then…the afterglow

Residual convulsions

Incandescent heat

Laughter and sheepish grins

We were such naughty children

Let’s do it again

And again…and again

Endless rapture

In eternal remembrance

An LP record playing for all time

This exotic erotic romantic ballad

________________________________

You are probably curious why this book begins with three poems. After all, the general way that a book is begun in the 21st century is to start with a “hook.” This is a very large hook that might have attracted a big fish.

I will try to explain what these three pieces mean to me and by implication, to you. The first piece, Epiphany, is a meditation upon some of the joys and agonies of my early life. I was blessed (or cursed you might think) with a crystalline memory. How else would a child of about 30 months be able to recall the horrifying experience of a tonsillectomy?

The second poem, HOT, focuses upon the lasting effect that a woman might have upon a man’s mind, something with resonances and echoes which last more than merely the fleeting moments (when one compares them to an entire life) of a casual but intense affair.

The third poem, My Madeleine (which by its title is an oblique reference to the famous recollection of the dipping of a madeleine {a French cookie} into a cup of tea)—alludes to an act which stimulates the recollections which form the major journey in Swann’s Way, the first volume of Remembrances of Lost Time by Marcel Proust.

These poems are a subtle way of pointing the direction of the rest of this rather provocative story, a story that begins at the end of September 2008, when an unfortunate accident changed my life.

I had suffered for the last few years with stasis dermatitis, a condition that can cause lesions to form on the calves and feet. One of the best treatments for it, which was actually working (slowly) for me, was to have my legs wrapped in compression bandages from my knee to my foot. This meant that I was unable to take showers because I couldn’t get the bandages wet. I was forced to “sponge bathe” thoroughly each morning. When I finally lost my job programming music for airlines in 2005, ostensibly because I was the second oldest employee of the department, (Had they fired the eldest, he could have sued for age discrimination), I lost my health insurance, meaning no trips to the podiatrist for bandages.

The accident was a simple one. When I was climbing the stairs in my apartment to go to bed one night, I arrived at the top step. Due to the weakness in my legs at that point, I fell backward and did a double somersault that put me down on the living room floor. I should have broken my neck or worse, but I survived, surprisingly without any broken bones. After spending eight days in the Glendale Adventist Medical Center (oddly enough the same hospital where I was born, when it was the Glendale Sanitarium), I was ignominiously discharged by the attending physician. I shook my head in disbelief and resigned myself to returning home. Everything was OK for the first day, but on the morning of the second day, I fell in the living room (not injuriously) and was unable to get up. Back to the hospital I went, spending about 5 hours in an examination room before I was sent to a nursing home.

I had never been in a hospital situation before, so this was a shock. The last 24 years of my life were spent in virtual isolation. The first couple of months in my new residence I was just stunned. Christmas came and went as did New Years. Watched endless movies on the AMC channel—at least 50 or 60, from “Hannibal” directed by Ridley Scott (at least 4 times) to the old Marilyn Monroe classic “Let’s Make Love.” Was taking pain killers in excessive amounts after the morning I woke up and felt like someone was sticking a knife into my knee. Got the laptop computer just at the beginning of 2009, and began to chronicle what seemed like an endless stay on January 24. Feverishly began to write poems in order to stay sane. Just before Valentine’s Day, I got a strange idea which I began to put into motion.

I wanted to see how good a writer I was. Since I was a member of a writer’s website, I asked myself if it were possible for me to create a female persona who could convincingly create poetry just for women. It was my plan to make it so that only women could read most of my creations. Men would be permitted to examine a select few. In essence then I was writing twice the number, so I could keep both creators current. I gave my female the name of Berenice Phillips, put up a graphic of a picture of actress Joan Crawford from back in the silent era when she starred in the haunting 1927 film, The Unknown (opposite Lon Chaney, Sr.).

Perhaps the thing which is most inexplicable to me (and the realization only hit me as I write these words) is that for a period of time I turned into a woman (obviously not in a physical sense, but) psychologically. There was a purity of heart with which I pursued this course. There was no intent to hurt anyone. What I discovered was a Pandora’s Box of emotion, and like the mythological woman, I found at the bottom of the box…hope.

My words spoke for themselves and, dare I say it, I have a strong sense that a number of the women enjoyed my writings. Were they solely attracted because they thought…I was a woman?

I began with a fairly conservative poem that would not ruffle any feathers.

Movements

What is my spirit’s direction?

Up

Down

Cartwheels

Ellipses

Parabolas

Circles

Heaven

Hell

Purgatory

Where is my equator?

Are my polar icecaps melting?

Am I a victim of global warming?

Will my beaches be flooded

Drowned

Immersed?

Will I be melted by the sun?

Frozen by the moon?

Perhaps a fugitive from the solar system…

Flying outward bound

To conquer new Universes

Or perhaps be swallowed

In a black hole

________________________

It posed some interesting questions, but otherwise was rather simple. A few days later, I put together something as my male self.

A Field of Flowers

long to lie

in this bed of flowers

where roses carnations and orchids

stand in abundance

their bouquets blended

in an intricate potpourri

mesmerizes the senses

leaves me stunned

glassy-eyed

heavy-lidded

drowning in fragrance

their collective effect

to cast me unattended

addled incoherent

in a veiled trance

from which i can only

emerge by learning to speak

as a child forms its initial

foray into language

lie here until I am sated

overcome

unconscious

barely breathing

do not revive me

abandon me to this floral evil

This one elicited an interesting comment from a woman who said that she never thought she would read a poem in which a man referred to “potpourri.” (???) After this came a piece written by Berenice which might appeal to someone who was overtly lesbian, although it could equally draw out the emotions of a woman who had not yet come out of the closet.

A Glow

I a little older

She a bit shy

I a tad bolder

She three years younger

I a few pounds heavier

She built like a young boy

I voluptuous

Her chest two rosebuds

My nipples grew long between her lips

She a young baby

I vibrated between my legs

She replaced her fingers with her mouth

I did the same

The glories of loving discovery

Two

Lying in fields of flowers

Summer sun

Golden bodies bathed in sweat

Baking in beauty

Holding hands

Aglow

I might not have been thinking too clearly since I had unconsciously repeated the phrase “field of flowers.” Then came a piece which, written once again by “Phillips” could be construed as a mixed message which could be taken as aimed at either persuasion.

A meeting

As the anonymous poet once wrote:

Four arms, two necks, one wreathing

Two pairs of lips, one breathing

Our tongues entwined

Salivas mixed

A thick heavenly cocktail

We shared

You who had savored me

Enjoyed my goodness

A gentle bite that entered the back of my skull

Searched into infinite space

I who had tasted you

Explored you at great length

An invitation to the clear liquids

That preceded your storm

Divine transport

For a few minutes

The blessed substance of dreams

_______________________________

Then came a poem which described what might have been a common experience of early adolescence.

High School Dance

Girls’ Gym

Saturday night

Very inappropriate place for

Cramming hundreds of teenagers

And fast music

Embarrassing armpits

BO

Walls were wet with sweat

Freezing outside (of course)

Run to his car

Hop in

Within five minutes

Windows are steamed

People passing by

Cannot observe the groping

Disrobing

My tits like moist baubles

A stiff prick at attention

His car has bad shocks

All that can be seen

The car bucking like a bronco

____________________________

Two poems came next which were unabashedly sexual in nature.

Mike Hunt

Always enjoyed Mike’s company

Friendly

Forgiving

A pleasure to know

Throughout my life

A constant friend

A peaceful sort generally

Sometimes demanding

Wanted my attention 24/7

Hated to ignore him

But sometimes other priorities

Invaded my life

School

Studies

Introduced him to several boyfriends

Immediately

They took to his way with words

His intelligence

The sound of his gentle voice

A juicy individual

At times they attended to him more

Than my attractive face

Shapely upper body

They liked to speak to him softly

In semi-darkness

Tell him secrets

That never caressed my ear

Quite a guy Mike

He helps me quite a bit

I love him

Treat him with respect

Buy him toys to enjoy

He’ll always love me back

__________________________

This poem was designed to appeal to both women who loved men as well as women who loved women.

Connie Lingus

Most times a man

Must be experienced

All I need is five seconds

To know if he can talk the talk

Can be helpful if he is bi-lingual

White man may speak with forked tongue

All the better

Wish he would utter sweet nothings to my innards

Perhaps handle me like a bowling ball

I’ll blow the pins out of my alley

Cause the wax on the lanes to curl

Spout out words like “Fuck” or “Shit”

May say anything when out of control

Women are a different matter

That determined look moves in waves

Over their countenance

Might bite her lower lip subtly

Smile before she begins

It will be a slow climb up a steep mountain

A steady acceleration

As she ascends the heights I’ll address her as “Baby”

“Sweetheart”, “Darling”

Urging her like a delicate and gentle mare

Want to help us reach the peak together

So we can stand at the summit in victory

____________________________________

Then, a poem which described in reverse an early love affair that occurred when I was 19, and she was 26.

Early Love

We started by going to a park

Late afternoon

Making out in my car

Then evenings parked on a dark street

Southwest of Wright’s Hollyhock house

Until 3 am

Front seat of a Triumph Herald

Small cramped uncomfortable

But there was still pleasure

Finally brave enough to take me home

Small apartment where he and his mother lived

He had the bedroom

She slept on the couch

His bedroom filled with his books, thousands of records

He was consumed by art

Evidently not consumed by me

For weeks he could not get it up

Tried and tried

Wanted to be understanding

Frustration reared its head

I loved him

Always performed my best

Finally felt completely fucked

Glorious

His cock plunged into me

As he walked about

I impaled

Often depart at 5:00 am

Descend the rickety wooden stairs

Ultimately he would not marry

I cried

It was for the best

I loved too much

He would go on to have many lovers

Many lessons learned

With a good teacher

In early love

_______________________________

Next came an ingenious piece in which a woman passes before a mirror in a dimly-lit room and observes that her naked body looks almost like a face.

FACE” OF A WOMAN

The fire white-hot

Flickered wavered in the dark

Alone in the house

Returning to bed

Bearing a glass of white wine

Rich buttery to the taste

Burnt toast and asparagus to the nose

A bizarre combo

My reflection in the full-length mirror

Could barely see it

A face on the front of my body

A secret visage

Never comprehended until now

Aureoles

Two eyes

Perhaps large and dark

Maybe pale and subtle

The nipples

Hardened they are two jutting pupils

Perhaps soft and inviting

The navel

A nose

Dark deep mysterious

Maybe an “outie”

Cute childlike

Eve never had one (if you thought about it)

Below a vertical mouth

A bearded clam?

Or perhaps it is sparkling clean

Showing lips that are hungry

On either side

Thighs

Two loving arms that might embrace

A back snugly

A head

Such is a woman’s other face

The one hidden by clothes

Secret

Only displayed to a few select

The chosen

The comments about that poem, coming from women, completely agreed with my hypothesis.

Then came two pieces which were not very sexual in nature, the first one not aimed specifically at one sex. The second engaged my continual interest in astronomy.

Journeys

Let us take a trip

On a Möbius strip

We may find divinity

In such infinity

Fly faster than sound

On a merry-go-round

Let us take a fling

Try to grab the brass ring

We might find each other

Or locate another

Experience bliss

When we meet in a kiss

Or find we’re the bearer

Of panic and terror

The sooner to part

When we can’t find a heart

We both might ask why

Does a tear fill the eye

When it suddenly seems

That we can’t fulfill dreams…

________________________________

Heavens and Depths

The orbs

Spin in perfect spheres

Burn with Elysian silence

Unheard by human ears

Revolving

With celestial magic

Advance in slow procession

Some explode with violence so tragic

The Crab

For over nine centuries

Expands outward

1500 kilometers per second

Yet inexorable snail-like

Encroaches on its surroundings

Does it move like its earthbound brethren?

Appearing to move backwards

But really forwards

It emulates humans throughout

Our brief existence

Two steps forward

One step backward

Eternally the same errors

By every society

Back and forth

To and fro

Positive and negative

The fish at the bottom of the Marianas Trench

Survivors who avoid

Contact topside

Blind deaf dumb

But alive…

____________________________

After this, I concocted an unusual poem that reflected one of my favorite films, the Charles Laughton version of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

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