Happy 2020 and all that Jazz.

In reality: I said my goodbye a little bit prematurely, and I apologize. I definitely won’t be writing anymore for a while after this post, you’re just getting lucky to be able to read something one last time. We have OBR rehearsal tomorrow night, our last day off is Friday (last free night to do chores like laundry and such), then enter 10 days nonstop from Saturday-Sunday the following week, so I will literally be going straight from work to rehearsals/performances. I think we will get M,T,W off after a week then we do it all over again that weekend. Two weeks of that. I’ve already logged out of all my social accounts to prep me, and I’ve been getting a lot more done already, so yay! Anyway, I felt a little obligated–as any writer or blogger would be–to do a write up about the previous year and toast to the new one.

So….I can be a very fun person (I only say this because people have told me), but guess what? I was superbly boring yesterday for New Years Eve. My back was hurting to the nTH power so I took Tylenol then passed out… at around 8 or 9 and I completely missed entering 2020. Oh well. I even made a special trip to Publix for cheesecake and chocolate milk so I can toast in the new year. Maybe next year I’ll make it until midnight. I’m getting too old for that nonsense unless I’m out and about with people. It doesn’t really matter. I haven’t even watched the ball drop probably in ten years. My heart/soul/body/mind says my new year is in the fall–aligned with the Jewish New Year. That’s more important, anyway.

Here’s my write-up about 2019: fuck (almost) everything about 2019 except for…. my Jewish conversion, the events or classes I attended at CBI, working Corset Line / Next Fall / Summer One Acts and OBR (now) along with the few get togethers I got to have with friends. Everything else in 2019 was awful, awful, awful. 2019 was THE WORST year after having the best year I’ve ever had in 2018. I don’t even want to look back, except for my Jewish conversion. That portion of 2019 I love very much.

Now that I got that out of my system, I feel a little bit better.

If anything, I am hoping that 2020 will bring back jazz…as if it really ever went out of style or away. It never went away in my heart…I say that as one of my past lives was lived during that time. I was definitely a lesbian living on the DL… just like one of the characters in a jazzy play that I wrote that I haven’t had performed yet. I’m not quite sure what I did, but maybe I was a writer then too. In present day: I want to wear pearls every day, wear more red and black and glitter, find and wear both a flapper dress (feminine) and a tuxedo (masculine) … at different times, obviously. I will dream in jazz and MadMen colors covered in smoke from the bars. I will write about booze, cigars and cigarettes, but I will try to not to make those my vices. I will view magic, mood rings, psychics in a different way… I want to explore everything I can about the 20s so that I can write stories and poetry in an updated version. I already have so much that I can put into a book, so that might even happen. (Yes, it will. I’m starting to plan it.) I have a bunch of really fun short plays about jazz that I haven’t done anything with, either, so maybe it’s time. During these 20s, I will find and carve my way towards the upscale French life, jazz on the streets, and inspiration that is pouring from the atmosphere enough that I can write three hundred books… not entirely from my dreams, because I’m going to make it my reality. Now I’ve finally decided that’s where I want to go, I’m having a hard time deciding exactly when.

Either way, after I’ve taken my break and this musical is ovverrrrrr, you will be seeing a whole lot more 20s things from me. This is my era, and I’m going to own it.

Dec 2016 into Jan 2017 I was working Parfumerie, which was the 3rd play straight-in-a-row I helped with after getting involved for SOAs’16 for the first time. A couple of us that’s in OBR together was reminiscing. I’ve worked a ton of plays, so I’ve seen a lot of set designs, and I have to say that Parfumerie was one of the best–if not THE best. The set was painted pink. We had a poof seat, Christmas decorations, HP storefront, and so much more. The main attraction was (I think?) close to 200 perfume bottles. I remember going through all of the bottles and making the terrible mistake of sniffing them before filling each up with water. The majority of the scents stunk very badly and it took forever to get it out of our noses! Want to know a really cool fact? I have at least 3 of those round poof spritzer perfume bottles, a few small oddly shaped ones, and one of a woman’s bust. Those perfume bottles are some of my most favorite “play souvenirs” that I have.

During the era of Parfumerie, I was inspired so much by the colors and perfume bottles that I started writing a lot of jazz-based writings. Here’s pieces of the blog entry that I wrote back in 2017, as well as a poem. Enjoy – and for real – this is goodbye for now.

xoxoxo –

Now… flash back to the past….

PARFUMERIE – this piece originally written 1/22/17

At last, there will be no more Christmas music, no more mention of Christmas, and no more looking at Christmas anything (except for the fact that my tree is still up here at home). I will explain later why I am severely glad that part is over.

The cast/crew of Parfumerie are all beautiful people–made up of new faces, same faces from Summer One Acts, and ones I’ve just never met but everyone else knew. Everyone’s very talented and I am so happy to have been a part of it. OH and since this was my 3rd time to help backstage, I finally got my GP Tech shirt that I lovelovelovelovelove soooooooo much! 

The stage design–if I had a house–that is exactly how I would want at least my parlor to look like: pink, with a poof seat, shadow box, lots of glitter, perfume bottles, a chandelier, and the like. Perfection! Needless to say, I LOVED IT.

The story itself is a sweet story. Most people in the millennial age would know You’ve Got Mail to be the 2nd rendition of this story with Shop Around the Corner being right before that one. I’m glad I was introduced to Parfumerie in this way as a play. It has two overlying stories about the shop owner and then about two shop clerks but at the end it’s a love story. That’s as much as I want to say without giving it away.

If you had no idea about Parfumerie but you’ve seen You’ve Got Mail you would definitely pick it out at the end just like I did. I’m like, “I SEE IT. I TOTALLY SEE YOU’VE GOT MAIL!”

And now… is the part where I explain that this play just isn’t a play to me, it’s a little piece of life. 

It’s funny–that. This same weekend nine years ago I was still working at my first job in retail and we were completely closing the store down. I often referred to You’ve Got Mail — big bad Fox books large retailer taking over the mom&pop ‘shop around the corner’ — and I would look to this movie over and over for answers about my future… of where I was going to go, what I was going to do, and so on once our store closed.. and oddly enough, this same week THIS year, I have been asked that again in a different circumstance, and once again, I am so up in the air. None of this is by coincidence. It’s the universe sending signals of some sort, and I need to figure out out. I need to actually have answers this time. It’s all too funny that the same message comes back around nine years later but in a totally different way. 

The director of Parfumerie had a talk with everyone prior to opening show and he said that “everyone has a story”. I keep seeing that everywhere. It’s a sign. I need to run with this. It’s relative to what I’m trying to do in my life, and for my projects. Now, he was actually talking about the characters but it’s for real life too. When I think about our characters (customers) in this show, I remember my favorite customers when I worked at that job before I left, and what ever happened with them. There was this cute little Jewish couple that would come in late and try on shoes, there was a lady with long gray hair, there was another one that always wore skirts, there was one crazy lady that gave me her phone number, and the one guy that came in every.single.day to buy a shirt. There were several others but those memories have since faded. Some of our decorations in this play reminded me of our themed Christmas one year of “Shake Your Goodys” of which I still have some of the souvenirs at my parent’s house.

And, if anyone wondered what happened to me after our store officially closed, I got another retail job inside the mall and then left that for another job a few months later in the outdoor mall just down the street. I never had any regular customers after that, I never saw any of them again, and there was never another “staff like family” like there had been at my first job. At least I knew in my heart of all hearts that those were the good days and I took it all in before it was gone, but I also knew it was time to say goodbye.  

Premature Goodbye
by Karen Maeby © 1.26.17

she’s considering packing her belongings
in her 1920s suitcases
and leaving everything else behind.

she knows she belongs somewhere,
but doubts it’s here anymore.
a brand new start yet again
is probably what her heart needs
after being left alone and wondering
why he broke her so fucking hard–

and the world, her world
came crashing down like a beautiful
chandelier falling from the ceiling
during a tornado that randomly passed through
without warning.

he left her speechless, but full of words
as he gave her everything
and then took it all away!

she’s looking to the moon tonight
to give her a reason to stay
maybe he’ll come back to her one day.
‘god, i missed you so much’
they’ll say to one another
as they realized it was meant to be.

but she’s really leaving
is it really worth it to stay?
he doesn’t care one bit–he walks away.

she decided it’s best to pack her bags,
it’ll be soon she’ll say goodbye
and off on her merry little way. 

Gone Fishing

I only tried gefilte fish once 
at Passover with a million other dishes. 
I was later introduced to nova through nachos,
and then came the lox 
with bread: the addictive Hawaiian rolls or challah 
Cuz challahbackgirl…..it’s Shabbat!!! 
Nova and lox and lox and nova 
a simple yet complex Jewish staple. 
Enter all those fishes from my past 
yet none of them on my plate would ever last. 
Yummy. Blackened is my favorite way, 
Shabbat is my favorite day. 
I am trying to rhyme like Hemingway. 
“Gone fishing” is what my sign say, 
but it’s not what you think. 

I’m stuck in a realm of spoken text 
and music with lyrics 
I dream about it every single night—
Go to bed with one song 
wake up with another….
Over and over and over and over again.  
Back and fourth.
One song then the next.
Where is it taking me? What is the destination? 
The space station? 
The train. On a train. A rust-bucket train. 
So many lyrics inside my brain. 
The train. A train. What train? 
I’m stage managing a musical about a train and 
all these lyrics are stuck so far deep inside my brain. 
I write-I’ve gone fishing-
but not for nova or lox or gefilte fish. 
I’ve hung up my sign I’ve gone fishing,
due to responsibilities to do with a train. 

xoxo 

Happy New Year 2020, everyone! I hope you have a fabulous one and I’ll see you on the flip side. I need to start letting some things go so that I can solely focus on stage managing so I probably won’t be writing on this blog for a few weeks… check back every once in a while just in case… I might not even do the socials for a while. We’ll see. Oh and do yourself a favor and see Knives Out – it is a very delicious film of artistic value and a whole lot more.

Call, text or email if you absolutely need me. DO NOT rely on sending me messages on Facebook, FB messenger, Instagram or Twitter… I probably will not answer.

Until next time…..!

Lights, lights, lights

Tonight I am sitting on the porch with my menorah (mostly because it’s hot inside and I really don’t want to turn on the ac in December) watching the last few lit candles dance down in darkness to some unsung tune. I am admiring the way that the wax dripped down on the menorah creating some sort of untamed art. It’s very poetic. It’s also kinda cool seeing glitter on the table too… when I have no idea why there’s glitter on this table… except I guess everything is covered in glitter if it belongs to me?

she sings
as the last candle burns out
her soul is still dancing
and it stays lit
even when the town
turns down for the night.
the stars
twinkle, twinkle and glitter-glitter
in the night’s moonlight
and she wishes up on the brightest
as she calls out to G-d
to help her find her bashert.

With the secular year ending, I am hoping for some new and happier beginnings, as my first Jewish new year didn’t start out so hot (unfortunately)……but maybe if there were a lot more tacos involved, then maybe perhaps it would have been a lot better. But seriously, it is truly the year for change, and I am trying my very best to make things happen as early as possible so I can get a move on in my life and get to where I am needing to be going…..the path that is destined for me by G-d. Especially so that I can meet who I am supposed to meet in my life.

Earlier, I was listening to some of my records and cleaning a bit and I thought how much I love Judaism. How glad I am to have found it. I know I definitely wouldn’t have found as much meaning in life if I didn’t see the light the first night of Hanukkah in 2017. (And I still don’t know why I keep spelling it that way but I do.) Even now, I sit here and think how many wonderful things have come from my Jewish journey. That and returning to theatre were definitely two of the best things I ever did in my life. Both have enriched my life so very much in many, many ways.

I thought about the chai and Star of David necklaces that I never take off. The meaning of life, being Jewish and the journey of becoming Ahava. It’s all so important. Everything in my life has always been centered around the words: life, love, light. I’ve always known that love can’t be bought. Love exists within and you can’t truly love if hate/fear (also jealousy) are present. Be the light.. the one to help light the rest. Truly taking chances, living life before settling, taking risks and not being the hermit crab that doesn’t change homes…. G-d gave us a wide variety of choices to explore for a reason.

Next year for Chanuka (or right before), I want to get 8 children’s books that talk about the holiday and see what I can learn. In a way, I do feel like I have lost a lot by not growing up Jewish, however, I am just starting out so it is okay for those feelings and not knowing everything and understanding (if I don’t) and etc. Being Jewish means questioning everything and learning every single day. Both two things I really love to do. With the accounts I follow on Instagram, I’m constantly seeing so many Chanuka books and I kind of want to be/see that too. You know?

Going back to light. I have always loved candles. I have always loved Christmas lights. The last several years–before finding my way to Judaism–I knew Christmas wasn’t for me anymore. But I always found comfort in the colorful blinky lights, going through ornaments from family and years past, and the traditions that come with it. When my grandma was living (age 16 and younger), we went to Illinois or Indiana for the holidays. Doing the same thing mostly–family, opening presents the same way, the dinners, fun times. Then she died, and I told my mom it wasn’t going to be the same ever again. I knew. Even at a young age, I knew. When I still lived at home, we’d continue to go to Indiana then everyone started having families and moving all across the US and it just got too difficult to do anything. My aunt passed away in early 2018, and my mom said the same thing I said when grandma died.

Thank goodness I wanted to be a writer when I was younger because that’s all I have to rely on…. my writing. My memory is fading fast, but with rereading things I’ve written, I quickly remember… and that is all I have: memories. It just makes me wonder and think–why did G-d put me in this position? Is it because later on I was supposed to become Jewish but I had to go through the realms of losing the majority of my family (that kept to tradition) and all parts of that to really understand and appreciate my future as a Jew? The tradition? Family? Memories? But where is my Jewish family? The one that is supposed to help me embrace Judaism? I cry out to G-d for this, now.

(I swear…some of the things mom/dad does, it’s very Jewish. I really think it’s in my blood.)
This was one of the Hanukkah presents mom sent along.

Last night we had the Chinese dinner at CBI that I wouldn’t shut up about. It was delicious and I was very happy and refreshed after going. Put me in a lot better spirits than I had been all week. We had tiny presents on our table: dreidel and gelt…and fortune cookies!

It’s getting to be about that time where I’m going to have to stop all other activity (other than work) and solely focus on stage managing… because I’ll be going straight from work into rehearsals or performances and will be too exhausted to do anything else. So maybe one or two more entries over the next few days and that’s it for a bit. I’m sure I’ll fill up notebooks before the 2 weeks are over. Today the writer of the musical (he spends rehearsals with us) asked me what song was stuck in my head this morning. Ha ha. I think I seriously need to lay off the fireball right before bed because I have had nothing but weird and vivid dreams. And that is where I will end this entry…. here is a poem that I wrote earlier in the year. I am reposting it because of the light/candle subject and the dreams that I keep having.

7/9/2019 by Karen Maeby

part I

at night the candle dances
creating a song, expelling from her soul
and sent into her lover’s dreams

like a letter in the mail, sealed with a kiss.
she lies there awake
waiting for the moment for her destiny
to wake up… to hear her voice (again)
the one that sounds like an angel
and the arms that hold her so tightly
into the Universe, producing
a thousand melodies on a bed of roses.
their unconditional love is that beautiful.
will her lover hear her call? will she respond?
she prays to G-d with everything she’s got
that through the darkness of the night,
her lover will respond to the light.

part II

there was a moment she had her
cradled in her arms
lightly kissing her–saying it’s going to be okay–
to be brave, as she washes all of her fears away.
their eyes meet upon a darkened stage
and when the lights turn on
you can hear Phantom of the Opera’s
“All I Ask of You” playing to the tune of their hearts:

Let me be your shelter,
let me be your light;
you’re safe, no one will find you,
your fears are far behind you.

All I want is freedom,
a world with no more night;
and you, always beside me,
to hold me and to hide me.

Then say you’ll share with me one love, one lifetime;
let me lead you from your solitude.
Say you need me with you, here beside you,
anywhere you go, let me go too,
Christine, that’s all I ask of you

Say you’ll share with me one love, one lifetime;
say the word and I will follow you.

Part III

That lovely soulful song is played on the grand piano
and a rose is laid on top of the sheet music…
She plays it by heart, memorized, for the rest of her life
she closes her eyes
and she can’t get her lover’s eyes out of her mind.
Every night she goes to bed
and dreams, and dreams, and dreams–and asks–
will the other half of her soul hear her
through the dreams…that bring the light through the dark
?

She’s still waiting for a reply, a letter back, a remark…
She is hopeful inside and out–her heart and soul–
that she’ll hear something before the dancing candle
deep within the soul blows out and into the wind.
And, she closes her eyes… and prays to G-d..
will she get an answer? Will she ever get the call?

creds to Phantom of the Opera for “All I Ask of You” lyrics

The latest and greatest, update on the holidays and more!

Going backwards with the holidays:

On Xmas, I was invited to Neptune’s with a group of ladies (and a few men) and had a blast with one of my closest friends from GCP. I didn’t do the normal Jewish thing of Chinese on Xmas because I am eating Chinese food on Shabbat at CBI. One can only inhale so much Chinese food in a given week.

On Christmas Eve, something I ate the day before made me sick (I am not a carrier monkey, I swear), so I spent the day in bed watching The Office and just sleeping, thinking, Instagramming. Nothing too exciting.

Monday night (2nd night of Hanukkah), I had work and then had rehearsal.

Sunday night (1st night of Hanukkah): I went to CBI’s get together – ate latkes with both sour cream and applesauce, lit the menorah outside, the many inside, then went next door for the service. A funny thing happened. Three of us (from intro class) ended up in the wrong place when we were going to service but we found our way there (after attending yet another candle lighting) and we walked in late to the correct service. Whoopsies. I did not get enough latkes, need more before the holiday is over!

Friday night before Hanukkah: we had our work party. It was a blast. The guys gave me this really huge bottle of Fireball… I keep making that joke it’ll take me 3 years to finish it, but for real, though. It will. So after the party, that Saturday, is when I actually finished the play for one of my bosses and sent it to both of them and they loved it and thought it was very funny. I think I’m going to turn it in for SOAs next year. I also updated/worked on a few more plays but there’s something still missing out of those that I can’t seem to work out right now. Maybe it’s just not time.

Even though I couldn’t wait until Hanukkah, it’s like, I’m just not into celebrating anything this year. There’s the pure loneliness that kicks in and feeling of being completely alone, missing Eisenhower, probably drinking as much as I’ve been doing lately isn’t helping (which isn’t much at all, but still more than me drinking nothing), and etc. What I really want to do in the future is turn the loneliness into something positive… create some kind of get together for people who are alone, don’t have family or family near, etc. and have a potluck or something that lasts all day where people can come/go where we watch movies, play games, or even work/sit in solitude but around someone and meet new people. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve wanted to end my life around this time because of those feelings. I want to help prevent that in others…and myself. I think I also need to work in retail around this time of the year in the future. It was my favorite time when I worked retail…even though people went crazy and it was messy and etc. there was still a lot of spirit and helped being around color and shiny things and the smell of cinnamon. There was a certain energy that got caught.

I think I am just so burnt out with this year and everything that’s happened. I’m at the point where I just don’t want to do anything, even losing passion for the things I love dearly, even more than I had previously. I need to sit down and write everything out so that this next year I can work on everything and get back to a happier spot where the light glows within. Hanukkah just isn’t bringing it out in me…which makes me incredibly sad…because the point is to be the light and make it shine within others… but if your light is burnt out, you can’t help someone else. And mine is been burnt out for a while again, unfortunately.. However, I am trying to pull through by taking a few small steps towards some goals for the top of next year… and I have started on this!

I have to announce (if you didn’t already see on my Facebook) that I fixed the problem I was having with (the majority of) my technology. My computer is still 2 updates behind, but I don’t have time to update that right now nor am I on it long enough for it to matter at the moment. I did update my phone. Hanukkah Miracle (as it was one of the days of Hanukkah): everything that I needed to happen happened within the update… and I can see/find/etc my emails so much better than I did before. Now, on to fixing the contacts issue and everything else I was having. I was doing something on my phone the other day on this blog and accidentally deleted entire paragraphs worth of stuff. Of course, I don’t keep any backups if something is live…so..whoops.

I am also making some tiny changes in my life so I’m hoping that’ll get recognized that I’m making an effort to become better, despite all the stress I’ve been through this year that made me overreact or react in a way that I shouldn’t have. (The things I have not ever mentioned on here or to anyone, really.) Some changes I mention and some are silent so my actions will take over my words. I also got rid of my JewishMaeby Instagram handle and changed it to sheisahava. It just feels right using my Hebrew name. I’ve always been about love with me, even though I may smother the hell out of some people; I’m sorry, it’s all in good intentions and never for any other reason than that.

For those who love Bath & Body Works, I see their 75% sale is on again! Go, go before it’s gone, gone! It’s burrito Thursday at Tijuana Flats, so I am heading there after I finish a few things for rehearsal tonight.

Hell week starts very soon…..Nine days straight of rehearsals going into performances. I won’t be doing anything but work and theatre.

Until next time!

Hanukkah-Based Poems

Burning That Midnight Oil 
12/22/2019 by Karen Maeby


Joy, pure joy…that’s what I feel. 
I write–to heal–to share 
to keep my flame flickering longer. 
A writer’s gotta write. The constant need to inspire 
has my spirits running bright. 

Hanukah, Chanukah, Hanukkah
Two thousand spellings 
(well, maybe not that many) 
but enough that I feel like having a full-on discussion 
with Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain or say 
Scott Fitzgerald…. 
as we’re about to enter the roaring 20s again. 

Jazz and romance and glitter and all the glam 
I can just see it now…. 
I’m burning that midnight oil 
sitting here, day dreaming 
about being in a place like France 
where everything has flair and there’s some kind of 
decadence that isn’t where I’ve been before. 

Where there’s style and culture…
Where not everything is the same.. 
Where elegance is part of the vocabulary 
and proper suits and ballroom gowns 
seem kind of normal in this day and age. 
Where being modest isn’t called prude 
but embraced just like being practically nude. 

I can just taste it now: 
Breakfast at Tiffany’s 
black dresses and pearls 
red hair and glitter on all the girls. 
Top hats and pianos and radio voices 
adding up the day’s artistic value 
in a song that would later become famous. 

Oh Chanuka, embrace me tightly, 
the way you’ve always done with the days of eight… 
Throw the fuel to my flame 
and permanent joy within 
to get me through the rest of the year. 

Entanglement of the Soul  
12/22/2019 by Karen Maeby

chocolate rich and in love
the sun 
the moon 
the stars

and the candle that’s being lit 
that brightens up the world 
and lights up the soul 


a music box sings somewhere 
as all Jews pray 
to a new day 
to a new day 
to a new day 
latkes and gelt 
and dreidel playing too 
i like both sour cream and applesauce
what about you? 

the clock ticks and the candle burns out 
another night, another night 
we do this all again the next night…..
dreams and dreams, overnight dreams 
about being waking in the world of pure light 
and rescuing you from the darkness
of the entanglement of your own soul… 

i dream i dream i dream 
too much, it seems. 
to a new day, to a new night 
cheers to the candle light 
that’s saved many souls… 
let’s find the ones flickering in the night 
and put the flame back in their light. 

Mixed Feelings 
12/22/2019 by Karen Maeby


Sometimes… eight days is just not enough 
for the flame to keep flickering inside my soul
for the rest of the year. 

I resonate with the 1% battery example 
lasting for the 8 days, a true miracle, 
(the meme to explain how Hanukkah feels… 
to those who don’t know or celebrate) 
I only know, because I’ve been there before.

I have learned– 
we humans cannot survive like that. 
I am thankful we are given Shabbat each week 
to rest, recharge, unplug 
even though it’s sometimes hard to do so… 
it’s the only way to survive. 

I have learned 
that stretching myself so thin 
and running out of fuel before I even begin 
yet another project
without taking care of myself first
is a true injustice to G-d. 

I’ve been yearning for the first night 
for twenty days now: 
that same light that changed me two years ago. 
I was almost too exhausted soulfully to enjoy 
the lights being lit before me–the message– 
bringing me to realize a lot needs to change. 

Hanukkah 2018 Review & more!

The reason I’ve been so “GET HERE NOW” HANUKKAH is because last year it was Sunday, December 2 – Monday, December 10. This year, it isn’t until Sunday, December 22. A whole twenty day difference. It’s like waiting for Christmas or something. So here is a run down of what Hanukkah was like for me last year….

DAY ONE – 12/2/18
I had rehearsal but I don’t quite remember what for, so I missed the lightning of the menorah. After I was finished with rehearsal I went to my original spot from 2017 when I saw the light and grabbed a photo with me by the Hanukkah sign and of the menorah.

DAY TWO – 12/3/18
I went to Sundial and celebrated with Chabad. That was a whole lot of fun with music, dancing, games, etc. I ate my first latke with both applesauce and sour cream. Then, a miracle happened… I won 4 tickets for 4 shows. I ended up giving all of the tickets away to friends or strangers except one because all of the other nights I was having rehearsals.

DAY THREE – 12/4/18
I spent time with friends–out to eat, back for candle lighting, ate my first gelt.

DAY FOUR – 12/5/18
I went to my synagogue for service then watched episodes of Mrs. Maisel.

DAY FIVE – 12/6/18
I adopted Havali. We lit the menorah.

DAY SIX – 12/7/18
We had the Friday night JrS show, Coal. Did a really late lighting on my own at home.

DAY SEVEN – 12/8/18
Saturday evening was my last JrS that I stage managed. Did a really late lighting on my own at home.

DAY EIGHT – 12/9/18
Went to my synagogue for the final lighting and a get together inside. Ate all the appropriate things.

It’s kind of surreal when I say last year was the first year I truly celebrated but also the last year being non-Jewish.

I don’t know if I’ll get to write during Hanukkah but may have to be just a compacted entry like this one. I am hoping to at (the very least) post something on FB and Insta. I also want to participate in a Hanukkah challenge on Insta but don’t know if I’ll have the time. Either way, if you celebrate anything and everything… Happy Happy and Merry Merry. Choose love always.

Some Kind of Whisper Song (poem)

It’s already been a long week and it’s only Monday. Check my emails and work and rehearsal and I’ve gone insane. Need to write… poetry. Just a blurb. Just to spit out something. Thoughts.

12.16.2019

you light my candle
when you’re near
you whisper
sweet songs that i’ll never hear
i miss you
but how
you pushed me away
and away
and away
but it was only a dream
only a dream
you say
day after day after day
but how,
after that
am i to believe you
when you were after me
too
i drink
heavily
with lyrics on my mind
sleep heavy eyes
and i write a song
a few
a dozen more
i take a look at my history
and nothing ever compares
to the likes of you
i sip some white wine
and whine
and dine
all alone
until
you come back home
to me
destiny
where is she with you
where is she with me
at a crossroads
stoplight
the music blares
the horn honks
you are in a daze
and almost crazed
because
you don’t know what to do
when
your heart, your soul
or literally say:
you
miss
me
too
but you’ll never tell me
this
and i’ll go
away
away
away
until you want to find me one day
whenever that’ll be
if ever

Letter by the Bed by Karen Maeby, fictional piece originally posted 2/10/2012.

Letter By the Bed, a fictional piece
by Karen Maeby © 2/10/2012

A loud bang on the roof and then at my window startled me enough to wake me up from my slumber. My heart was jibber-jabbering from being awoken so suddenly and a jump nearly ten feet off the bed wasn’t that groovy, either. While rubbing my eyes trying to gain my eyesight to see what happened, I noticed I was not in a familiar room, nor was I in familiar clothing. 

If you could imagine early 1850s, you would be right. A stiffened bed with real feather pillows and feathers floating in the air above me. An old wooden chair and desk to my right, a large sized treasure chest directly ahead and a small nightstand to my left. The nighstand bore a candlestick. I was fully clothed from head to toe of ruffles, buttons and lace. I had the original bedclothes on! 

The air in the room smelt musty, I coughed. As I pulled on the off-white covers, an envelope with a letter bounced out from underneath it. I took a look at the envelope and glanced out the window. The sun beamed on the grass outside, trees swaying back and fourth and some wild animals running along the green pasture. I looked at the envelope again, almost hesitant to look at it. 

Finally, I opened the letter but to my discouragement… I couldn’t read it! The writing inside was in some language that I didn’t speak nor understand. Not knowing what to do because I didn’t know where I was at, I took a look around the room to find some day clothing. I found some and put them on then decided what to do about leaving the house to find someone to read the letter. 

Even though the letter was only a few sentences long, it had my name on it, and I needed to find out what it said. Walking nearer the window, I saw there was a ladder outside it. I opened the window, put the letter inside my coat pocket and simmered to the other side.

“One foot on the ladder, turn the other, almost down, made it!” I said to myself. 

I walked around the house and down the street in hopes to find some shop or something where I can get my letter in correct translation. In one shop, out the next, to the other and another. Finally, someone was able to read it. 

The letter said “Your time will come in May. Treasures there will be. Happy is your face, I know I’ll be able to see.”  

The guy behind the counter hands it back to me and says, “Well, you’re lucky May is tomorrow.” 

“I guess I am,” I reply back to him. 

I take the letter and walk back to the house, climb back up the ladder and sit on the bed dreading the next couple hours of wait for the treasure. 

“It’s still too early to go back to sleep.” I say to myself. I then get the urge to want to open up the treasure chest. I walk on over to it, give a look at the lock and fiddled with it enough to try to open. It wasn’t coming open without a hard budge. 

“What day is today?” I ask my friend, as we were making our way into a large known thrift store.

“March 1st.” She replies.

I stop dead in my tracks, trying to reason with the thoughts going through my head when we came across this gorgeous and old vintage treasure chest! “Wow, look at this thing. Where have I seen this before?” I ask myself out loud. I stand there trying to remember where I had seen it, deja vu all over again.

My friend just stares at me and then looks around while I am all kinds of occupied with this chest.

I walk near the treasure chest, bend down and opened it without issue! Lo and behold, it is full of everything I could ever want in my life. All kinds of treasures! From vintage books to maps to pins to just everything you could even remotely think about! Everything. It had everything. I lean over and look at the price tag. I scream out, “$1,000!? I can’t afford that!”

“Can I help you with anything?” The shop owner responds to my squeal.

“Maybe….”

“Eh? Eh?” He says in question.

“I don’t have the $1,000 but this treasure chest is perfect for me! Can we do some trade or something?”

“Are you —-?”

I look at him sideways, he said my name – he KNEW my name but didn’t know me! My friend nor I had mentioned my name while in that store.

“Yes…yes, I am.” I stutter.

He pulls out a letter from his coat pocket and gives to me. “Don’t worry about the treasure chest, it’s yours, and so is this letter.”

I didn’t say a word. I was speechless. My friend stood there idle, not knowing what to make of the situation that just happened.

The owner helps us put the treasure chest and I thank him a million times over. The car ride back to my house was so silent.

When I got back to my house, I struggle to get the treasure chest in my house and up the stairs to my room. After all was said and done, I went through the chest. One by one, I took out each item and carefully studied it.

In the very bottom of the chest, it had a map attached to it. I unfold it and there I am looking at my very own address marked on the map. It says “treasure – attic”.

I ran upstairs to the attic, following the rules of the turns and hidden places in there. Suddenly, I come to the very spot.

And, you would not believe this: there was a picture of someone who looked just like me, standing by the treasure chest, dated from the 1850s.

The Chorus Sings Praise by Karen Maeby for dversepoets, originally written/posted 11/29/2011.

The Chorus Sings Praise (poem/poet chat)
by Karen Maeby © 11/29/2011

fade away
into oblivion
i’m gone

let the chorus sing
praise
she’s gone

burn her –
crumble her up in dust
wipe her away

celebrate
celebrate the day away
unjust, frightful

her face shows
on the wall in the dark
she’s a ghost

she will haunt you
her words will taunt you
you can’t live without her any more

let the chorus sing
praise
she’s gone

she’s gone.

she’s gone.

sing hallelujah – she’s gone.

~

I wanted to cover some of the questions inside of DversePoets.com since I don’t think I’ve said much about poetry as a whole.

Who has the right to define poetry, beyond preference? How do you define poetry? Many have tried, perhaps in an effort to put poetry in a box, but feral animal that it is, it won’t stay caged long. Must it have meter? rhyme? metaphor? rhythm? any number of word tricks and tools? Must we lay it against a ruler and make it one more thing where we make excuses for size? Or is it heart that matters?

As we all discovered growing up, not any two people’s opinions are the same. Sure, there’s a right to define poetry to an extent but the definition of poetry should be kept secret. How so? Any poet writing poetry IS the definition of poetry. There’s no right or wrong answer, there’s no definite feelings. Poetry is like art – there are no boundaries.

Poetry by me will always be non-fictional packed with true emotional feelings. (So yes, I just pumped out that poem above – about me – when I had a sad moment a few minutes ago…)

Poetry flows with the flow of emotions (or whatever you are writing about). I write in free-verse a lot. I feel like it’s forced if every single one of your poems rhyme. Some are done on intention, but your feelings don’t rhyme. Certain poetry writing feelings usually make someone stabby, instead of wanting to write a sing-song with a jolly happy face on.

Almost everything that I do write often include a metaphor. I’m THE queen of metaphors and symbolism. I always like showing a comparison, two sides of the story. I like being complicated. I like people trying their best to figure me out but never doing so. I like mysterious. I like all of the “what the fuck is she saying? she’s crazy!” type of responses. THOSE are the marks of genius, or at least – in my opinion – it is.

Poetry, in the name of the universe, is undefined – but defined by each individual who writes it.

A poet’s job is to paint the picture – but with words. 

Thought Process poem by Karen Maeby for dversepoets, originally written/posted 4/21/2012

Today on dversepoets it’s all about paying debt. This is a great theme for me right at this moment, due to a decision I made a few hours earlier than dverse hour. Below the poem is where I’ve been and what possessed me to write…

Thought Process
by Karen Maeby © 4/21/12

I met my soul at the cash register:

I was unloading every single thought and every single
thing going on with me at the moment.
Pulling each one out and placing it on the belt.

Everyone was looking at me funny
as they watched each shape and size thought
be placed in front of them.

One, twenty, twenty one, fifty, fifty one –
we get to 1,000
and my soul stops the belt. No more incoming thoughts
—— can pass.

“You’ve run out of time,” my soul says.
I stand there, stunned. “But I still have more left to give..”
“Nope. You’re holding up the process.”

My soul stands there, not allowing me
to move on, to add any more thoughts, nothing.

“What’s my total?” I say, worried.
“You currently owe about a million dollars and one lifetime to yourself.”

I am nearly blown away by that amount.
And, I nearly pass out.

Was I alive, still?

Minutes later, a part of me hands me a journal
and an organizer. My Soul tells me that I need
to prioritize my life with work, what I really want
and what I really need to do. Stop with the
meaningless projects, and the things that will not
make a difference. You’re going to be paying
debt to me (your soul) if you don’t.
Finish something,
breathe, don’t take on too much, prioritize what
you take on.

Beads of sweat float down my body,
after the severe chills:
here comes the fever. Medication.

I need the medication
for I am really truly sick this time.

Now, I know what it means
to owe debt to my soul.

Let this spring cleaning happen.