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frank and fireworks

10th Street….

“Hurry, get Frank! She’s waving a pistol on some lady’s porch!”

“Where is he?”

“Just find him!’

“Honey, what’s wrong? Put the gun down and tell me?”

“Your son beat my boy and took his twenty dollars. I want it back.”

“Here, take my twenty dollars. I just want to squash this.”

“NO, I want his!”

“He’s not here.”

She starts wailing and swinging the gun around the lady’s front porch.

Grady Avenue…

“Sounds like someone’s shooting off some fireworks,” she smiles.

“Miss Mary”

“Miss Mary, today’s gonna be a good day.”

“Yes, it is a good day.”

“Miss Mary?”


“The sun feels so good.”

“Yes, it does.”

“Miss Mary- Oh My Lord! I gotta take that with my breath!”

“We’re gonna have to get you something to hide your eyes.”

“It’s just those girls are so pretty.”

“The sun is pretty too.”

“Miss Mary.”


“God loves you.”



In my spring, Charlottesville, I came to you, seventeen, trapped in a story of potential.


You smiled, knowing my same story before spun with hands drawn to applaud.


Deaf, I thought none came.


In my summer, Charlottesville,I returned to you, thirty, free from the ivory cage of others’ expectations, still lost of my own accord.


As you smiled again, I smile and clap for you.


It was always you. Happy Birthday!

Our Planetary Realignment Songs

Venus rises.

9:32 AM EST, Friday, January, 27, 2012

Charlottesville General District Court, 16th Judicial District of Virginia

The Honorable Judge D, presiding.

He asks, “Why naked?”

She answers, “Your honor…”

 It’s always dark in the beginning. 

Four, she felt solar plexus’ pain when Venus’ children submerged Margot in darkness. All, summer in a, day she (who knew the sun) traced the lutescent, Helios lines clinging to the shut door’s edge. Remembering.

He came to me comforting.

Dissociative identity disorder describes a condition in which a person displays multiple distinct identities, each with her own pattern of perceiving and interacting with her environment.

This is an emotional pathology. She is an emotional pathway.

She is sometimes I.

She is sometimes you.

She is sometimes Maya Angelou.

Good morning, heartache.


Staring at the ceiling’s brown clusters reminded her of an uneventful but riveting third grade class trip to Hayden Planetarium. She mentally recited the planets, then the constellations to relieve her embarrassment at exposing “that place.”

Does beginning at a relationship’s sunset ever conclude at another’s dawn?

What about beginning with a “routine” pap smear at student health?

Stirrups are tools of devil shame.

Sing unto me that secret song

Of kisses with futures blended

Stretching into happily ever after.

Repeat our part

When we were new,

And you brushed my closed, third eye

With your chapped lips

And smiled,

Seeing and opening my poetess soul.

Sing unto me that secret song.


My inner brown sugar momma ignites.

You, sassy girl! He looked married… guilty… and handsome! He did this before, but you were special. Borrowed, stolen, broken. Partners in crime. You are now abandoned, a criminal, alone. You, sorrow’s girl…

Soul shouts, “Cry girl!”

Venus. Venereal.

“Miss, you seem to have contracted-”

Brown clusters blur, constellation names flee, tears burn.

My love’s gone. My love’s remnants cling. My love stains. My closet’s full. My cleanliness’ chased away. My shame envelopes. My regret of tasting the lush passion fruit bruises.

A lavender stationery square bordered with forget-me-not… She composes.

Eros, I know I said last time would be the last time. But, I need to tell you something important to us.

A lavender stationery square torn and discarded.

Sing unto me that secret song

Of us.

Girl meets another girl’s boy.


False light.





It ached, how silent the cerebral monologue became when I recognized my ruination. I heard the blood throb in my ears, teaching me I could not die of shame or even faint from the weight of the grit of my vaginal and spiritual dirt.

A fling becomes a life long commitment, a death gift flung between Ramona’s web of pretending strangers.

An 8 X 11 piece of college ruled notebook paper… She composes.

Eros, I can’t find the words to tell you how much and how specifically you continue to hurt me.

A college ruled notebook paper folded and discarded.

Sing unto me that secret song

We never shared

About love,

About tenderness;

A song making miracle believers,

A song of fields

Beyond our extremes

Where love encrusts molecules

And is sighed in by all

Till everyone falls drunk with

Purity tinged with passion.

A song we didn’t know how to write

As we did everything but right.

Sing unto me that secret song.

Prescription, cold sweat, clutched and clutched again in her right, coat pocket. Two a day for seven days. Two and seven, twenty-seven. She thinks about Jimi dying in England and Janis dying in an unknown place, both, at twenty seven. Shaken, she remembers today is her eighteenth birthday. Her first day as a woman; her first day as a scarlet woman. So much for rising phenomenally.

Rage phenomenally.

A crumpled drugstore receipt…She composes.

Eros, You make me hate myself for loving you. Wasted love. I wish I could take it back! You are a killer of women! You are a killer of spirit! You.

A drugstore receipt masticated and digested.

How do I forgive myself for ever letting someone so vile fill me? How do I look into my eyes without repulsion? How do I begin?

Years and valleys later.

Good night, sweetheart.

“A woman is like a tea bag. She does not know what is in her until placed in boiling water.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

When the mean scarlet of my psychosis met the cool cerulean of the authorities, I boiled.

Another asylum’s tomb. Sweaty back to a padded wall. Trying not to kill.

Star gazing with medically glazed, half-closed eye lids, I trace the constellation phantasms arcing the blank, beige ceiling.

Brooding drool, mine, shames. Saliva baptism, mine, breaks.

I forget him. Laudnum selective memory grays then swallows his oil portrait.

I obliterate our secret song. The Holst’s engulfing, lullaby Venus’ hushed notes embitter then diminish.

Now, I hear my voice, fervently whispering my hatred of her: the bitch, the controller, the lazy.

Her. Her. Her.

The cop, the psych nurse, my mamma.

She is the cruelest thing.

A soft, still response, “So are you.”

Finally found, gasping at the answer I want to deny but know its truth. Truth, finally found.

The soft, still voice continues, “And, you are loved.”

A moment of silence. Tears of gratitude for and fathoming of a limitless grace I had not known.

I am never the same.

The naked lady’s dawn

i know why the caged bird sings.

it sings for me, mother-f…

my very educated mother just served us nuts.

embracing her drills,

she becomes.

she revolves around a tent city in a public park.

there, she finds her moon in the seventh house, jupiter aligned with mars. there, she reminds her community to love and to dare.

then, darkness permeates.

“occupy ousted: cops take naked lady.”

some call her anarchist, fat, indecent, molester, media whore, crazy, obscene, trash, con, meaningless.

she is naked.

“why naked?”

some call her angel, the light, baby, big momma, prophetess, aunty, love, an unscripted moment, by her name.

she is naked.

“why naked?”

sagging, stripping, rippling, undulating, reincarnating hottentot venus of willendorf.

she stands naked in high heeled, coal, mary janes and pink, floral head wrap.

she spans her catalytic butterfly wings spurring a madagascar typhoon.

she carries the world’s grievances on her tongue.

she refuses the media’s artificial suns.

she walks in beauty like the night.

she is naked.

“why naked?”

smiling her naked grin!

“You know your honor…”

William Hazlitt shared, “A gentle word, a kind look, a good natured smile can work wonders and accomplish miracles.”

belly laughing her naked story!

“You know your honor…”

Maya Angelou bragged, “My life has been one great big joke, a dance that’s walked, a song that’s spoke, I laugh so hard I almost choke when I think about myself.”

dancing her naked hula!

“You know your honor…”

Emma Goldman insisted, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.”

bellowing her naked, honorable truth

We shall feel like a no one. We are known.

We shall feel used up and ugly. We are boundless and beautiful.

We shall feel alone. We are beloved.

Rising, we dawn, naked.

“Why naked?”

Why make this so hard on yourself?

Why so in your face?

Why so radical?

Why so loud?

Why you?


“Why naked?”

“All nonsense questions are unanswerable.”

Rising, she dawns.

She is you.

She is I.

Universal Truths Brought to You By Ford

“A bore is a person who opens his mouth and puts his feats in it.” Henry Ford

Mr. Ford, or Hank as I like to call him, shared my lack of regard for self-reflective, epic autobiography. However, some stories must be told and retold sucking out their marrow meanings, stripping them down to our life’s paths.

“Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward.” Hank

Summertime in Zephyrhills, Florida gifts you with oppressive heat that bangs on the youth’s shoulders and stops the elderly’s hearts.

In the heat of the season and of my mental break down, death held a cool release. I looked to her for comfort. In her mystery, I found solace compared to the known hell called my everyday life. I thought I did all to the best of my ability, but I was always met with disability and failure. Short relationships, even shorter career paths, even shorter temper.

The only release I found from seeking death was sleeping in my banker blue Ford Mustang in the Walmart parking lot. As I pretended to go to work, church, friends’ homes, I slept in the driver seat sweating out dreams of Home and Garden Television Dream Drives and central air. Then, I would come home to the stifling, thirty year old, single wide with her.

Her with all her Diet Coke breath, Virginia Slims cigarette clouds, and Spam. Oh god the Spam!

You didn’t need to have my depressive thinking to realize I had got a raw deal.

“I believe God is managing affairs and that He doesn’t need any advice from me. With God in charge, I believe everything will work out for the best in the end. So what is there to worry about.” Hank

I hate you. I hate driving. I hate me. I hate traffic.

I sit and wait for the light to change.

I sit and decide to die or at least hurt myself, so I no longer have to witness my life’s stooping.

I release the brake, and lightly press the accelerator.

I plan to go merrily forward into the car in front of me.

My eyes lock on the bumper.

A voice hisses, “Focus!”

My light changes. My life changes.

I am filled with hope.

My eyes focus on the words directly above the bumper.

Ford Focus.

I slam on the car’s brake, and my life leaps forward.

“As we advance in life we learn the limits of our abilities.” Hank

Miles away and years later.

Charlottesville, Virginia Psychiatric Ward, 5 East, I sit constantly chilled and stare at the multilevel parking garage across the street.

I sit between two empty chairs too heavy to lift in a fit. Before the chair on my left is an abandoned, closed Bible. The old, black man with the raspy voice who likes to read the Psalms aloud is gone now. I am alone.

I notice there is one car on the highest level of the garage. It is red and alone.

A girl comes and sits to my right.

I don’t say hello.

I say, “Looking at that red car reminds me that I want a red Element someday.”

She looks at the car, then looks at me, then looks again at the car.

She says, “You know that’s a Ford Focus.”

I breathe in sharply.

You found me?

Losing interest, she walks away.

I look at the Bible again and hear the shuffling footsteps of its owner approaching.

“God, if he reads something that matters to me. I will learn more about you. I will follow you. I will–”

He sits, bends, and lifts his Bible to his lap. He clears his throat and pours over a few pages tracing the print.

Anticipation makes me hold my breath.

(For the rest of the story, please go to :))


My mind does somersaults when I ponder the back story of this writer’s experiences. It is obvious that Ms. Fitzhugh has wrestled with her demons and lived to tell the tale. “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” Franklin Roosevelt. That said, Ms. Fitzhugh’s story aptly illustrates that humor and spirituality are far more effective remedies for the paralysis of fear caused by ones own psychological prison! This short story reminds me that miracles happen to those who expect them!

teeroy4u, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA

“I can heartily relate to Veronica’s insights that caused states of hellish experiences into states of euphoric epiphanies. Fragments of a giant puzzle and fleeting thoughts that make the picture that much more clear . . .. Perhaps this means there is purpose and order in the universe.”

Grace M. Druzba, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA

“It can be tricky to find one’s way home even with the best of vehicles and GPS systems available. How then does one struggling with mental illness ever hope to get there? If this poem is any indication, Veronica Fitzhugh is moving in the right direction. The author uses humor and the events of everyday life to show us that we can find our way if we are open to the messages around us. This work is both poignant and funny, and allows the reader to experience a satori of her own.

I was moved and delighted by this piece. High praise for this upcoming young author, who is not afraid to embrace and share it all!”

Joan Cichon, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA

“This is craft of the highest order. I have never seen stream of consciousness done in this manner. It has clear narrative and brilliant control of what dialogue there is. You really enter the mind and exchange a fiction for a reality, the balance between the two, finite and sensitive. I was totally captivated by ‘Hank’ his quotes being used as live speech that glided into the mind in a complete naturalistic way. You show the chaos of a trouble mind as it struggles with daily life, again, in a way I have never witnessed before. The clarity of this disordered mind is breath taking and I marvelled at the wordsmith as I digested its structure. I mean all I say. I have never read anything like this before and you should be very proud. Thank you for letting me read it.”

David Alexander McCalden, Newport, South Wales, New Zealand

“I actually got chills when reading this. The depth of the written mind was amazing. Beyond wonderful!”

Pam DuVall, Cushing, Texas, USA

“‘Veronica, your last name brought to my mind Louise Fitzhugh, author of “Harriet the Spy.” How exquisite that you bring to the story a voice of an investigative researcher. Other readers might disagree with me, but just as you are taking on your mental health “projects,” the narrator in this story is investigating a lifetime through the lens of Ford, and through the crystal ball of time, ranging from Henry Ford’s words to the automotive innovations of today. I agree with other readers that it is an amazingly crafted stream of consciousness. Few writers have the capacity to write chaos so deliberately and deliver it with such a disciplined rigor and structure.”

Amy Hillgren Peterson, Fostoria, Iowa, USA

“It reached out and grabbed my heart, and it hasn’t let go yet. Wow! Veronica shares a gift of expressiveness that paints such a vivid and realistic picture in the reader’s heart. Looking forward to reading much more from this beautiful soul. :o)”

Linda “Be Love,” Virginia, USA


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