Undressing My Life

Undressing My Life

Shoes of propriety
the soles of society's vision
of what we are to be
we wear as our foundation

The animal lace lays against our root
flush to our most primal selves
capturing and holding our basic needs
in check

We pull color over our mobility
matching that which we are told
is perfection over the skin
and hose ourselves down
in prepared fashion

A bit of given style covers us
the image of culture's desire
as we button up our dreams
belt up our minds
zip up our goals
under the accepted individuality
of conformity

What if my foundation expands
and these soles become too small
Can I kick off my tight shoes
and feel the earth beneath

What if the style of my desire
demands a freer image
Can I pop the buttons at the beginnings of my dreams
unbuckle the confines of my brain
and rip into my goals

And this shade over my flesh must go
if I am to run without control

My needs go basic and beyond
and I will not be held
My root self will see the sun
and I will live unchecked

April 15, 2004  
Tressa Lee Breen

Death And Deliverance

Death And Deliverance

My womb aches with the emptiness
of the memories of those who never grew there
yet were attached above
to the walls of my heart

I labored through screams of joy with one
and shuddered with pains of fear for the other

The first born stretched and expanded
laughed and stood
the hints of ancient wisdom scrolled behind his eyes

A year later the youngest came
laying flat and tubed
as he held onto my finger and faded
never opening his eyes

Another turn of the wheel found the first born being given away
A warm house opened its arms to him
and his mother
seeing more than any of us could provide
let him go

My almost sons were taken from me
one by Death
the other by a better Life

I will bleed tears forever
with the cutting of those cords
and I know
even if they had been born of me
I would've handed each of them over without regret
for it is no one's place to stop another
from going home

April 12, 2004
Tressa Lee Breen

Am I Still Here

Am I Still Here

So, I've lost it again
that grip in my heart
that pull in my soul
that scope in my mind
that sees only
feels only
wants only

I had it once
long ago
when I cried through my
laughed through my
bled through my

Later, yet again,
when I danced on the
sang on the
became more on the

Once more, so close behind me,
when I was full as I
worked out my
climbed up to my
nurtured my

Now I am empty
I can't find my way back
not to the things that I craved
but to the act of desiring,
the sense of focusing
the passion

April 12, 2004
Tressa Lee Breen

In Your Shadow (revised)

In Your Shadow  (revised)

He held my hand
after I came into this life
First child of his child
and did not let go
till I held his hand
as he left this life for the next

I could feel his pulse still beating in my palm
when I saw your familiar face
in the land of make believe

I took comfort there
in the story you helped tell
and in mourning that you
I mourned him too

The tale touched many
and you won the prize for your part
mentioning the long departed parent of your parent
in gratitude

Then in thirty odd day your song
with its white stone mast marked Memorial
sailed through green grass
and set foot on my shore
and in those primal grunts of old but eternal sadness
I heard the echoes of Grandfathers

Now I grieve a little less
The loss is not as empty
for when I see you
I see both mine and yours
in your shadow

April 12, 2004
Tressa Lee Breen

A review of "The Trial Of Old Drum"

The Trial Of Old Drum    (2000)
Director:  Sean McNamara.
Starring: Scott Bakula (George Graham Vest), Bobby Edner (Charlie Jr), Aaron Fors (Donny), Kathy Garver (Katey), Alexis O'Keefe (Ann), Ron Perlman (Charles Sr), John Schuck (Lon), Alia Shawkat (Dee).
     This is a family movie set in 1950’s rural America about a boy whose Uncle presses sheep killing charges against his dog Drum, starting not only a family legal feud but community discord as their town begins to take sides.
     This is formula film that attempts to be very touching and sweet. Its biggest weakness is that the only people who could really act were Scott Bakula, Ron Perlman and the dog. (John Shuck and Kathy Garver, "Sissy" from the original "Family Affair," as the Uncle and his wife, were okay.) The children were not that good (basically they looked like they were acting) and that's a problem when the film really revolves around them (Aaron Fors, who plays the bully Donny makes me think of what the actor Russell Crowe must have looked liked as a child, only with no talent but a lot of ham). 
     Ron Perlman plays the widowed father of Drum’s young master. It was nice to 1) actually see him and not him with a lot of make up on and 2) see him not kill anyone for a change. He plays a strong, loving Dad and has some nice tender moments with his love interest (Alexis O’Keefe). 
     Favorite line (spoken by the Prosecutor after Scott Bakula's Defense closing trial speech): "We'll be lucky if they don't lynch us." 
     Favorite line spoken by Ron Perlman (after his son punches the bully): "Now making him your friend, that will be the hard part."
     Cute enough to rent/buy used. The Region 1 DVD has deleted scenes and an audio commentary with director Sean McNamara, producer David Brookwell and director of photography Mark Doering-Powell.
     First published in 2004 on "The Perlman Pages":