Dawn Pisturino's Blog

My Writing Journey

a pinko commie under every bush

Patty Hearst

Yes! I admit it!

When I was fifteen years old, I read The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx.

In an era when hordes of university students were toting around copies of Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book, this wasn’t anything unusual.

Who, after all, could ignore these glorious words?

“The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains.

“They have a world to win.

WORKING MEN OF ALL COUNTRIES, UNITE!

Can’t you hear the fist-pounding and finger-pointing in those words? Can’t you hear the stampeding hordes and gunfire behind those phrases?

ALL GLORY TO THE REVOLUTION!

We already had the Women’s Liberation Movement, La Raza, the Black Panthers, the Civil Rights Movement, the Gay and Lesbian Movement, Earth Day, peace-loving Hippies, the Free Speech Movement, Timothy Leary, the Sexual Liberation Movement, and the Anti-Vietnam War Movement. Tune out, drop out. Question authority. Don’t trust anyone over 30. If it feels good, do it!!

The anti-establishment revolution. Black is beautiful. All Power to the People!

“The history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggles . . .”

The rich get richer and the poor get poorer,

The government becomes a little bit bolder

And a little bit colder

And you know that we told her it would happen.

The Left of the Right began to struggle with all its might

And decided to declare a revolution.

It’s the only solution to the capitalist institution,

And you know we’ve got to do it for our own evolution.

written spring 1971

a pinko commie under every bush

ring out the old, bring in the new

the clash of two opposing ideas morphs into Hegel’s dialectic

Cold War, a flash of nuclear destruction

and death.

Copyright 2012 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

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Lessons from Lewis Carroll

Have you ever felt like Alice falling down the rabbit hole? It wasn’t until she hit rock bottom that she found the tools to cope with her environment.

Or what about the White Rabbit? His obsession with time makes him sound like a classic Type A personality.

We all know people who act as if they are running a marathon race against Time. The most familiar thing out of their mouths is, “I’m busy. I don’t have time. Not right now. Good grief, I have to be somewhere in five minutes!”

Like the Red Queen, they are always running in place and getting nowhere fast. And no matter how hard they try to catch up, they never will. And no matter how much we try to convince them to slow down, they never will—until they suffer a heart attack or some other misfortune.

Appearing and disappearing like the Cheshire cat, they smile smugly and proudly tell us how terribly important they are; but they may as well be saying, “We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”

“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.

“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

Alice had many curious adventures in Wonderland, but even she had her limits. When she finally got tired of the Queen of Hearts screaming, “Off with their heads!” and all the other zany, madcap characters, she stood up and cried, “I can’t stand this any longer!”

And with one pull of the tablecloth, she was back home again with her beloved kitten Dinah.

The wacky world of Lewis Carroll can be seen as a reflection of our own crazy world. And, just like Alice, we sometimes have to pull ourselves in many directions to adapt to our environment. But when we can no longer tolerate living in this way, it’s time to stand up and shout, “Enough is enough!”

Dawn Pisturino

Published in The Kingman Daily Miner, September 11, 2007.

Copyright 2012 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

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Young Love, Undying Love

Young Love, Undying Love

When I was fourteen years old, I fell in love with my algebra teacher. Teaching silly high school students earned him a living. His real goal? To complete his PhD. in physics.

His curly dark hair shimmered with dandruff, detracting from his coffee-stink breath. He wore wrinkled blue seersucker suits in warm weather and corduroy jackets with patched elbows in cold. Nervous and shy, his hands and voice trembled when he stood in front of the blackboard explaining algebraic formulas to a bunch of disinterested teenagers.

He seemed young and old at the same time. And he had violet eyes—I kid you not! The most beautiful eyes I had ever seen behind a pair of dark-rimmed glasses.

My heart burned with love for this nervous nerd. I adored him throughout algebra and again during Life Sciences. I worshipped the ground he walked, waiting expectantly to catch glimpses of him between classes and after school.

I even wrote him a poem.  I forgot it for many years, and suddenly, one day, I remembered part of it.

Bitter Fragment of a Beautiful Dream

My love, thou hast hearkened to my sorrows

Ere the night as ere the day;

Among the grasses of these meadows

Hast thou hearkened to my laughter

Clearly echoing the joy bound in thine heart.

Beyond the hill hath mine hand wept in thine:

Thou wip-ed away the tears.

Beside the stream—how sweetly flows the rivulet wine!—

Thou rejoiced as mine;

We wept for the years,

Since-parted, we knew each other not.

Belov-ed, thou hast planted deep the seed of love,

And how it grows!—

Reaching, reaching for the height of its passion,

But endlessly reaching—

I love thee.

My sweet, thou hast made pure of me a lover.

A burning fire scorches the flesh and tendons of my soul,

Melting fast the waxen candle:—

I love thee as myself,

For I love thee as thyself,

And as one should we destine,

Striving for the highest and deepest aspirations

Of Life!—

Or Death . . .

(Beginning of poem written Spring, 1970 for R.B, remembered Spring, 1986)

You see here, of course, the influences of the great Romantic poets, with whom I was obsessed: Shelley, Keats, Tennyson, Byron, and especially, Elizabeth Barrett Browning. How the world burned with love, passion, and death! For love had to end in a tragic, prolonged death. Young love, undying love. Romeo and Juliet. Catherine and Heathcliff.

I found a photo of R.B. in an old high school yearbook. Examining the greasy hair, weak chin, thin body, I could only exclaim: WHAT WAS I THINKING BACK THEN? Romeo and Juliet? Hardly. Catherine and Heathcliff? No way!

I often wonder if he achieved his goal. Is he a Doctor of Philosophy now in Physics? Does he still teach? And I still remember his deep, soul-sinking violet eyes. But not my cup of tea. No, definitely not! But he was my love, my very first love, and I treasure that memory. Always.

Copyright 2012 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

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