SOME OF YOU may have already seen my announcement on Facebook. For those that have not, my memoir CRADLE OF CRIME- A Daughter’s Tribute, is now available on Amazon in the USA, Canada, and the UK.
I began writing my way home in 1996.
If you choose to read I’d love to hear back from you!
I’m reminding myself to write more poetry.
DOUBLE VISION 1996. I was empty pocketed then.
Neckties choking thin men with beepers
I want to strip the needles pricking inside their ambition
Stone the waxed smiles spitting false promises
Shatter the pointed arrogance
Wrapped in crisp bills
Inside brand wallets
Strapped on trendy trousers
Driven by rovers and jeeps
Never been on life’s edge
Save the Artist
Who wears his life holy
Waiting for the moments to create
Starved from meat and wine
Sits on a ray of light
As Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel’s best friend and business partner from 1937 until his death in 1947, Dad acclaimed Ben Siegel. “He was the best friend I ever had.”
Dad sat inches from Ben the night he was murdered. Why did he survive? He ducked! After convincing Meyer Lansky and Frank Costello he would not accept immunity from deportation, and five counts of claiming false citizenship, the Mob honored and protected him.
Faced with an identity meltdown ten years after Dad died I implored his friends, associates, historians, the Freedom of Information & Privacy Act, the Immigration and Naturalization Services, and the Archives of the Department of Justice, to build the branches of my family tree. Along this irreversible journey I suffered disgrace, rage, and Dad’s ghostly disapproval as I delved into the FBI files and discovered the family secrets. Most startling was not his gambling addiction, criminal activities, or imprisonment. I learned my father’s attempt at reformation was thwarted by the FBI. A vendetta by Hoover for not cooperating as an informant. I expose what I’ve learned because I’ve made the family history mine.
Incorporated within stories of discovery are government surveillance records, newspaper articles, court testimony, and criminal activities that defamed his reputation and our family. As the discoveries occur the reader is taken inside the transformation of my identity. Once liberated from Dad’s paranormal disapproval of my investigation, the book was written.
This is a startling, yet inspirational look inside the struggle of a gangster’s daughter to understand her father’s allegiance to the Mob.
There are reasons to quit and more reasons not to. The one reason that hovers above all is that everything we do in life needs revision. We are never through evolving into more thoughtful, loving, or wise human beings. Every day there is an opportunity to revise your valor and conviction.
Revising the position you sit, walk, talk, judge, form opinions, contribute to your home, friends, partners, and discovering what you’ve learned, dreamed, and mastered, is your novel. How to write a chapter when you feel caught; trapped by decisions that are outdated. Antiquities of a former persona.
Changes in life are like photographic images. Looking at old photographs and what I see is someone else. Some are recalled with approval and others are works that led me astray. I’m not alone. Life is a runaway that we have to catch for ourselves.
The puzzle is how to live, where to live, and for whom. It is the same with manuscripts; they improve with each revision.
1998 WAS ALL RIGHT
AWAKENING ON THE ROADRUNNER SHUTTLE as we chugged up the steep grade highway, the red skin of Taos peeled back the imposing medieval Gorge crack. The cavity unzipped and five thousand feet below was the Rio Grande. I felt the altitude filling my lungs, and my eyes twitching from one scenic masterpiece to another. Everyone in the shuttle was giving me a history lesson about Taos. Before I knew it, the shuttle door opened, and the driver yelled, ‘Smiley.”
At the end of a two-mile dirt road the shuttle dropped me off and I was shouldered on either side by melting banks of snow. It was April. Unexpected snow storms arrived the same week.
The FBI boxes I’d shipped were in front of my casita. Darting from room to room, thoroughly satisfied with a two-story loft, floor to ceiling windows, and sunlight in all the right spots. I unpacked in the seductive silence. Was I all alone out here? A few other casitas were on the property but they looked vacant. A pang of anxiety seized and then I realized, I had a cell phone, a credit card, and cash. I could always call a cab right. It was winter in April; the first time I’d lived in falling
snow. In the dining room, I unpacked the boxes and arranged them in a circle around the circumference of the table. It was a heavy southwestern oak table, twelve feet along, and to the right was sliding glass doors allowing the light to stream across the black and white print. I was left to unravel two thousand more pages on Dad’s criminal life.
The trip was extended to two months. I read all the files and left Taos a different woman.
If we experience disappointment our inner oars, the ones that carry us over the tidal waves, must be accessible, we must pick them up and bash the waves. If you are at a red light in life-like me, get a tune-up and then floor it!