Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ramblings From a Mad Woman (just kidding....)

Ok, this is one of those top of the mind, semi-rambling posts. I much prefer the posts that are inspired by some wicked flash of an idea and find themselves speedily transformed from brain to screen. Those posts usually end up as one of two types:

  • Creative writing in the form of mostly poetry, sometimes short stories
  • Opinion pieces, well really empathy pieces to the Nth degree, in which a story I hear about in the "other" media realm touches my heart and I just have to write about it
The former type is usually inspired by intense feelings stemming from personal relationships and extrapolated out in the form of fiction. The latter type is equally inspired by intense feelings, but those borne from brushing for a moment against a stranger's life. Sometimes these opinion pieces find themselves transformed into a work of short story fiction. I imagine the challenging situation from the vantage point of the person who experienced it and write as if it had happened to me. I have been told that I have the gift of connecting to the inner core of another. Here is an example of a story that I wrote based on the news account several years ago of the illegal aliens crossing the border in a large truck and being abandoned to die in the hot Texas sun while still locked inside; their money long gone with the drivers who swindled them out of their life savings for the freedom ride. Take a peak here and decide for yourself if you feel like I was there when you read it:

Anyway, just realized I spent so much time explaining what I usually post that it has morphed into a post of its own. So I will do the only smart and sane thing any other writer who faces a post-midnight clock and is beginning to sport a funky chest cold (hmmmn, I never, ever, ever get sick, so WTH is up with that- DO NOT even mention Swine Flu Pandemic- lvl 6- we are at lvl 5 and holding! - still it's strange to be getting a cold in the spring.........) I am going to bed!!!

Bon Soir Baby!

Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Op-Ed Columnist - To Tweet or Not to Tweet -

Op-Ed Columnist - To Tweet or Not to Tweet -

Posted using ShareThis

Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, did a great job deflecting the negative (hopefully tongue-in-cheek) questions about Twitter that New York Times columnist, Maureen Dowd kept slinging his way in a recent interview. Gotta love the humor!

Monday, April 20, 2009


So you are back, returning in smooth motion
Just like you had never left
Amazing tweak of nature that our shared history
Allows such breadth and audacity of insider knowledge

A silent listener would be left all but clueless
To the meaning of our back and forth banter
How easily we flit from music, to poetry, to novels
Our voices blending and separating smoothly

You write a review on a book that has 100 pages left unread
Yet demand to know how I can insert Roberto Bolano in my writing
When I have never laid eyes on his work
“It is what it is,” I say, knowing full well that you are the Bolano expert

We both worship words, those of others and our own
Words brought us together initially,
Sustaining our daily lives
Words buoyed our life force through many tribulations

But Words kept our friendship broken for a time
They turned into tiny glass fragments that created fissures
That pierced our psyches
Until there was only Silence-

Silence so deafening and seemingly final that
The words seemed to be lost for all eternity
Until that winter-swept night when you called my name
And I heard it from hundreds of miles away

Tentative at first, we danced around the pain and hurt
Apologies extended, hearts and pride mending
Slowly we began to rebuild what had been
The most amazing friendship in the history of the universe

An incredible feeling to know that the connection remains….

Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin 2009

THERE YOU ARE........From 2005

There you are, standing still in the doorway of time

Your figure is shrouded in thick fog

And a light emanates from your form like an aura

You beckon with one finger

A smile softly playing upon your lips

Do I reach out and trust?

Do I let the fog of the unknown envelop my soul?

I extend my hand and you firmly grasp my fingers and pull me through

I have crossed the threshold into another world

A world of fantasy where anything can happen and

Everything usually does

A world of Technicolor brightness, where night ceases to exist

And death is only a temporary hindrance

Where people are timeless and hours pass like minutes

Where the most important person in the world is you

In fact, the real world stops in your presence

And only the here and now actually exists for me

It’s as if there are only two people left in the world,

All else is just white noise screaming through the bright night

The sweet sound of souls colliding

And words being knit into the fabric of a life

As hearts beat an ancient rhythm that keeps

Life blood flowing up and outwards

Sustaining a life for an eternity

There is no more fear; no more remorse

Self-doubt has been obliterated

Only the joy that intense emotion births

Exists deep within your soul

Peace flows through your veins

You are safe, you are home

Securely moored in a life that will last forever.

11/14/05 Michelle

Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin 2009

Sunday, April 19, 2009

True Love is a Soul Connection

I travel through the familiar green canopied forest
Hearing the sons of the song birds from long ago
The brook still gurgles and calls me back to that place in time
When you captured my heart
When you claimed me as your own

Lying in the spring grass, we debated the poetry of Roberto Bolano,
contrasting him against the powerful words of the American, Robert Frost
Taking time to breathe in the mountain air
To watch the clouds float by as they periodically blotted out the sun
Closing our eyes and feeling the presence of each other
Our only music: the natural sounds of the forest

How could I know that our discussions on fate and destiny
Were in reality preparation for walking the path alone
For being without my friend, my confidante, my soul connection?

I feel your presence at every turn of the trail
My feet carry me along, guided by memories
Your voice resurrects itself inside my mind
I can recall each word from your lips:

These feelings that I feel are far too powerful for words.
I can't describe this as love, because it is so much more.
It is contentment, passion, love and caring; but most of all,
it's a deep spiritual connection that has no name.
Gabrielle, you complete me.

"Wishing so badly that you were here....",
I whisper into the wind, but I know that
You are gone forever,
Your essence mixing with the universe,
sustaining new life forces

I know that somewhere you are smiling down on me
I feel it in my heart and
I know that I will find you again someday.

It's a fact that Soul-mates last forever....

Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin 2009

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Missing you

Wishing I could talk to you

Hear your voice

Debate Plath

Veto your YouTube videos

It feels like you have vanished

Into thin air

But I know you are hiding

Within the pages of another life

Let me know when you find yourself……….

Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin 2009

Saturday, April 11, 2009


So very tired...............Just finished watching the first half of Mel Gibson's The Passion of The Christ which always leaves me feeling like this huge obsidian abyss is taking over my insides. So much suffering- to see Christ in the garden of Gethsemane with Satan and demonstratively taking on the sin of the world as his body shakes under its weight and sweat mixed with blood pours down his face, just leaves me feeling incredibly unworthy.

My thought was to pull up something I had written previously and post it tonight, just to keep the posting going. For some reason, probably my state of mind, this is what I pulled out of the hat known as past pieces:

My Friend Died Today

Until this past fall, I was feeling very good about my life, my accomplishments, fulfilling my dreams, etc. I really felt that if I were to die tomorrow, I would be ok with this knowledge since I had lived such a full life. Now things have changed. I don’t know where this fear is coming from. In the back of my mind I return to that strange dream I had maybe 8 years ago or so, where I stood on one of those penny weight machines that dispenses a fortune along with your weight. My fortune stated that I would die somewhere around 40 years of age. I remember feeling a great heaviness and sadness knowing that this news was inevitable; totally unavoidable.

With a fall season full of vibrant 40 year olds suddenly losing their lives (heart attacks, cancer, accidents) and children who grow more fascinating and needy in terms of moral values and ethics I feel utter terror. Cancer strikes so randomly. How do we ever truly know if we have these little renegade cells multiplying in our systems?

We have two close neighbors that have been battling cancer. Both with young children. We have had 3 teenage deaths in Anderson over the past year- two suicides and one tragic gymnastics accident. The random stuff doesn’t bother me. I will have no control over a bus running me over, it’s the silent slow killers like cancer that terrify me.

Why am I purging all of this stuff now? Simply because I received an email this afternoon from my long-time friend, Maureen that our high school classmate, Janette Kane just died after battling cancer for two and half years. She leaves behind a husband and two children. She is just 40 years old. I can see her brown eyes and smiling face in my mind’s eye. I can’t believe that she is now gone. Gone forever. She no longer exists, except within our minds and her family’s heart.


It's almost 1:00 a.m. post Good Friday and unfortunately this vibrant, usually full of energy and excitment extrovert is now offically in a FUNK......

Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin 2009

Monday, April 6, 2009


Great quote from a Lacrosse Coach on the topic of defense:

Success does not happen
with one event
It happens as a result
of many small steps
one takes to achieve
their desired outcome.
Every day take one small step
and watch the magic happen.


Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin 2009

CONVERSATION: A Litany of Literature

And so the conversation begins
Not in the usual manner of topics but launching into
Favorite authors of ours:
Sylvia Plath, Edgar Allen Poe, T.S. Elliot, Richard Wright, the list is endless

The question “Have you read…..?” always ending in the affirmative
How is it that we have similar tastes in literature, music and
Openess to the differences in people that exist in the world,
Yet come from two completely opposite upbringings and vantage points?

We’ve gotten past the past
As you say to me often, “It is what it is”
Both having grown from the experience of being completely submerged
Into consciousness of the other

Today you can read my thoughts, and I can read your moods
Just from the sound of your voice
You tell me like it is and have the guts to say it to my face
Whether I want to hear the truth or not
I give you guidance on the path that I have already walked
Whether you want to hear my words or not

Today we debate, yesterday we battled
Although not often, the discussions were thunderous and left us emotionally raw
It seems like we have finally morphed into the friendship that should have been
Once upon a time and a long time ago

You inspire me and I goad you into action.
Despite other happenings in our private lives
We seem to always come back together for conversation
Something about that special connection
That draws us in, no matter how far apart we have drifted

The soul connection remains intact
Raise a glass to friendship
And some Poe mixed in with a bit of James Joyce by the fire
Who needs the bear skin rug anyway?
We have mastered the art of conversation.

Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin 2009

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


A lesson in living occurred last night on the way to an AAU girls’ basketball game with two 12 yr olds in tow. We were headed to the far side of Cincinnati for what proved to be an intensely competitive and aggressive basketball game. I pulled onto the highway exit from I-275 and standing there at the light, by the side of the road, stood a girl with a home-made cardboard sign. In big black letters, impossible to miss, were the words: “HOMELESS. NEED MONEY FOR FOOD. PLEASE HELP!!!” She was a petite, red-head with trendy clips in her hair and neatly dressed; her backpack and another satchel lying in the dirt by her feet. So strange to be out in the northern most suburbs (Colerain Township) and to see a girl somewhere between 18 and 25, ok, maybe I should identify her as a young woman, appealing to motorists for help. I was in the farthest lane from where she stood, but I could see that the cars in the other two lanes completely ignored her plight.

The 12 year old girls in my car took a long look at her and had absolutely no sympathy for her situation, which shocked me. Their reasoning: the labels on her clothing and back pack! They recognized the North Face Label on her jacket and pack and that her boots had an expensive designer label. The girls reasoned that if she was that down and out on her luck, she would have sold her possessions. The fact that she looked like any other college student: neat, well-scrubbed, etc., also seemed to factor into their belief systems: she just didn’t look needy to them.

Their previous experience of homelessness consisted of seeing raggedy people on downtown street corners looking vastly different than the young woman standing before them.

The sad reality that is beyond comprehension for kids such as these 12 year old girls is that as a nation we are facing the worst economic crisis that most of us have ever seen. People at all economic levels are losing their jobs, their homes, their futures, their……..hope. The new image of homelessness is far removed from the bedraggled, weary, dirt-smeared older person of yesteryear huddled on a downtown street corner under a pile of ragged blankets. Today’s homeless person could be you or me.

On the one hand, I am almost embarrassed at the lack of empathy that the girls had for this homeless young woman, but on the other hand it shows that they are still living a life of innocence, free from the harsh realities that swirl around them. I think given both sides of the knowledge coin, I prefer to have them be young, care-free and naïve a little longer. The harsh realities of life will set in soon enough.

I pray that the young woman standing on the Colerain Avenue Exit from I-275 at 5:30 p.m. last night was able to find refuge at a local shelter and that her life will turn around soon. My hope is that the nightmare that is homelessness finds a swift solution for all who find themselves caught in its downturn.

Copyright Michelle Beckham-Corbin 2009