And I Wrote This Book.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Out of the Darkness for Suicide Prevention

  Here's my short article that was published in the Chico News and Review on 10/13/16:
    It took me nearly two decades to talk publicly about my brother’s death by suicide. He’d been diagnosed with schizophrenia and ended his life at age 20. The shame, guilt, and sense of secrecy I carried all those years poisoned an already indescribable pain.
    But I don’t need to describe that pain. You’ve likely lost loved ones to suicide. You’ve probably wrestled with your own suicidal feelings. Mental illness in the form of severe depression is the world’s No. 1 mental health crisis. A main risk factor for suicide is having lost loved ones to suicide. It’s a vicious cycle for which there’s no simple solution. But the more we break down the shame and secrecy, the more likely we are to keep ourselves and our loved ones alive and glad to be.
    . . . All proceeds benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Let’s come Out of the Darkness as a strong, compassionate, united community. And that we did (on Saturday, 10/15)! I didn't Chair this year's event, but I recited my poem for our closing ceremony.
Photo by Jodi Rives 
Please Believe
Please believe we know your pain
Your broken soul. That smile you feign.
You say "I'm fine," but that's a lie.
You dare not share your urge to die.
We know your rage, your hate, and shame.
We know the burn that set your heart aflame.
Consumed by grief - your life, a curse.
Cold lonely days; still
Nights are worse.
Please believe us when we say
Keep holding tight. You'll be okay.
Monstrous ills you cannot halt.
Go gentle now. 
Mental illness has no cure.
You're human with a heart that's pure.
We know not how. We know not when
You will reclaim your life again
Embrace a faith you never knew
You'll be so glad you wrestled through.
Please believe, and hold on tight
As strands of pain fade into light
And tender hues transform your sight.
You're not alone.
Please know it's true.
We're right here
Holding tight
With you.
-Robyn Alana Engel 2014

Please take gentle care and know that you're not alone.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1(800) 273-TALK
Text # 741741

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Halloween Erotica, the Original

Dear Sillies,

I hope you're embarking on a safe, uplifting Fall season. May those of you in or near the South Eastern US be readjusting after Matthew's scare. You are, yes? I saw several Facebook posts from friends who indicated they're safe - what a relief.

Otherwise, years ago, I began to write a playful Halloween poem. But my warped brain and lustful sweet tooth penetrated inappropriate terrain. So began my poetic erotica series. Accidentally. Don't blame me. Blame the dark and milky ones that I can't get enough of. Wink.


Monday, October 3, 2016

Super Bowl Ring Man, Final Score

The quiet roads lacked street lights, making for a long, dark drive to Viking Joe's home. "My shared custody thing is kinda crazy," he rambled. "You'll have ta come over for dinner this week to meet my kid. I'll fry up some fish. I get my license back soon. Can't wait to do more hunting. I'll call ya tomorrow..." Oy, how badly do I wanna see that Super Bowl ring? "That's my house behind these bushes right up here."

I pulled into the driveway of an unimpressive home.

"Wanna come in for a minute?"

"No, I'm going home now."

"Okay, but how about stepping out of the car so I can kiss you proper?"

Endeared, flattered, curious, and drunk on the thrill of an unexpectedly weird and exciting night, I agreed.

Viking Joe Kansas dropped to his knees when I approached him. He cupped my chin in his humongous palms. Next, a rather unnatural moment of kissing occurred. Imagine a minuscule meteor shard being swallowed up by a black hole, or Moby Dick attempting to woo a sardine, or Homer Simpson attacking a donut hole covered in pink sprinkles. But Joe Kansas didn't get handsy or slobbery or anything like that. We wished each other "Good night," and I returned home safely.$_35.JPG?set_id=880000500F

Sh*t! How do I reject him? The dude ripped a guy's face off.

 My phone rang at 10:30am. "I'm sorry I got carried away and started making plans for us," Joe said.

"That's nice. I appreciate it. Yeah, I'll be honest too. I just don't want to date you because of the size difference. I'd worry about my survivability." 

Viking Joe Kansas unleashed a curt joyous laugh. "This was a good talk. I'll catch up with you later."

Kinda strange, yet relieving. "Okay, great." That was easy. But I'd soon learn that football players aren't chosen for their intellect. They're also not chosen for their moral values.

End Zone notes:
Game highlights: Viking Joe Kansas continued to make plays for Robyn. Robyn continued to remind him that she doesn't want to date him. She also refused to give him rides (of any sort) thereafter. He eventually stopped making passes. They'd remain cordial.
Months passed. They exchanged friendly messages here and there. In July of this year, Viking Joe contacted Robyn to share his big news: He got married. Actually, he was already married. He never divorced his wife. She wanted him back, so he said "sure." Seems he was keeping two rings hidden from view. Well that was an unexpected move to end the game!
Final Score? Let's recap:
-Viking Joe played the field while married. Added to several counts of drunk driving, and an incident wherein he attempted to rip a guy's face off, there's nothing super about Super Bowl Ring Man.
-Robyn did not play it smart, but she maintained her survivability. Plus she scored good story. 

Smoke rises from the scoreboard. [It's confused.]

Coldplay rushes onto the field. Chris Martin looks lovingly at semi-conscious wife Gwyneth Paltrow and sings: "I will try to fix you!" She blows him a kiss. We cut to a Toyota commercial featuring the Prius.