Xuela & Eva — Misanthropic Maternal Monsters?

Eva & Xuela – Misanthropic Maternal Monsters?


“We Need to Talk about Kevin” by Lionel Shriver is sadistic, sarcastic, sardonic, yet riveting.  Are there bad mothers or are some children just born evil. Kevin is Damien in the movie The Omen to the Nth degree.  If Kevin’s head were shaved would 666 be engraved into his skull?


Lionel Shriver strips away the blither and blather of ideal mother/child bond relationships to get at the gritty core of a malformed twisted dance between two beings who intrinsically hate each other from conception and birth.


Ms. Shriver is an excellent storyteller and I’m enjoying the novel.  It is written in the form of letters from Kevin’s mother, Eva to her ex-husband, Franklin. I’m captivated.


This book will have you hooked. It shows the psychology of the parents and of the son who went on a “Columbine” in his school.  This book really digs deep and brings up a number of parent/child issues most of us would like to ignore.  I call it the ugly side of mother hood.  What happens to the young white upscale people in the novel is only six degrees away from a poor Black or Hispanic woman living in the inner city.


The mother Eva is writing her ex-spouse Franklin about her feelings about their marriage relationship and what lead to their son Kevin turning into a mass murderer at his school ala Columbine.  To say that Eva is the antithesis of what is a mother is an understatement.  Eva is the living breathing definition of a woman who can get pregnant, give birth yet not be a mother.  She is woman who on the surface seems to have no maternal instincts whatsoever, yet with the birth of her second child a girl we see a change in Eva.  Eva is a sociopath who has merely reproduced one of her own kind. For her having son Kevin was a disastrous experiment gone awry.


Like many couples from all walks of life and economic levels they do not count the cost of having a child. Eva and Franklin based their decision to have Kevin as a requirement, duty and human/marital obligation. However as one delves deeper into the book Kevin is not a sympathetic creature.  In fact as we delve further and further into Kevin’s psyche via his mother’s letters we find him to be incorrigible from infancy right up until the time of the massacre.

Children as they are to discover are neither an accessory nor a fun hobby.  They demand time, attention and they have their own unique personalities. Children also innately know whether or not their parents or caretakers love them, which causes them to respond, react, cling unnaturally or lash out at family, friends, teachers & schoolmates.


It also brings up the issue as to whether a child can born without the ability to empathize with or care about other human beings even for the parents who brought them into the world.


A few months ago I read The Autobiography of My Mother by Jamaica Kincaid about a woman who is emotionally disconnected on many levels from nearly all the humans she encounters.  A comparison between the two novels and the two alienated characters, one seen the other grappling with a ghost.


A common thread running through Xuela and Eva is how they view children, not as a desired blessing but as possessive alien beings or unwelcome parasites.  Children in their minds are an interference with normal life.  Xuela chooses to extinguish any life form within her even before gestation has begun.  Eva transmits her resentment and disgust to Kevin from the time she discovers she is pregnant.


Eva is haunted by a imp she has given birth to whereas Xuela is haunted by the mother she never knew, yet still feels responsible for her early death.


Xuela and Eva did not lose the capacity to love children; it was never within them in the first place.  Both women represent types of women as non maternal figures, something that frightens and challenges the status quo in societies that have predefined places for women.  How can women be sexually functional yet negate the very qualities that should be inherent to the female species.  The hypothesis being if you lay down with me, you should not only want my seed but the child that results from that seed.  Xuela represents an extreme nonconformist type as she not only rejects the seed but rejects the man and the notion of male superiority.  The men who become involved with her sexually somehow know this on a subconscious level.  Those men might possess her body but not her soul.  Xuela’s only focus and secret torment is the mother she never met, yet sees in her dreams.  It is significant that Xuela only sees her mother’s back and feet as she descends down a ladder.  Many psychological theories can be read into this however I believe each reader should come to a conclusion of the dreams meaning on their own.  Xuela unlike Eva is also in a fight to keep her identity in a world, place and time in which women were seen exclusively as sex objects and breeders.


Neither book has a tidy ending much like life and relationships in reality.




The Autobiography of My Mother by Jamaica Kincaid


The key to great writing is great story telling and Jamaica Kincaid is a great storyteller.  Her prose is beautiful, spare, blunt, compact and to the point. Her writing cuts you to the heart. Of course I’m biased because I love Jamaica Kincaid. She is one of the best raconteurs ever!  So engrossed am I in her storyline that even though I’m eager for the next development I’m saddened by the ever expanding vignettes because I know that the book will end and my foray with the characters will end.

The title itself is intriguing since an autobiography by definition is an account written by him or herself since the mother in the story is deceased everything is seen through the eyes of the daughter, Xuela.

This immediately sets the story on its head providing an inverse tale of a mother/daughter relationship without the mother being physically able to tell her story.  This novel introspection of a woman haunted through a lifetime by her own guilt at perhaps killing her only opportunity to have experienced true love.

Xuela continues to search for love always via the mother she never knew, the mother whom though she never directly comes out and says so, Xuela believes she killed just by being born.

Xuela experiences a dichotomy of self. Surrounded by others, in the midst of a sea of humanity and even during intimate relations with various lovers she is disconnected from other humans in a way unfathomable for most of us.

Basically unloved and unwanted by an indifferent father Xuela disassociates from every other man in her life.  Xuela never developed the ability to experience love fully with soul as well as body, even with men who become her “lovers”.  Her lovers and the people she interacts with are like ghost figures, much like the mother she envisions in her dreams, never quite fully accessible to Xuela’s heart.

Ms. Kincaid explores the many levels of Xuela’s dissonance with her fellow humans through the race and gender restrictions of the time period. In fact she rather struck me as having a sociopathic personality. Xuela appears incapable of having any positive human emotions towards others around her except when doing so might seem to benefit her.  A hidden barely reveled guilt surfaces in these two women causing them shame in what might have been


Annie John

Ms. Kincaid’s books deal with many mother/daughter issues.  The always seems to be that undercurrent of sadness, pain, and displeasure in the midst of island paradise.  The Autobiography of My Mother is a narrative on the mother the daughter never knew and Annie John, the novel I’m currently reading is a tale of the deteriorating relationship between a mother and daughter who know each other perhaps all too well.

Both protagonists in The Autobiography of My Mother and Annie John are women whose lives are rhapsodies with discordant notes and chords.  Both novels are in-depth psychological studies of young women on the edge.


Unicorn Black Reaper
Unicorn Black Reaper



Writer, Educator, Researcher, avid book reader and Tattoo enthusiast

Pinky: “Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?”
The Brain: “The same thing we do every night, Pinky—try to take over the world!”


Random Dream Space Thoughts transmitted via Inception

Random Dream Space Thoughts via Gaps in the Universe

Origin & Inception

Inception had a bit too many layers which made it difficult to follow but overall I enjoyed the movie very much.  What baffled me was the idea that the same person could occupy different spaces and time zones depending on whose dreams they were in.  The film definitely plays with the idea of reality as a perception as opposed to a given fact.

Leonardo DiCaprio is a great actor.  His body of work is excellent.  I loved him in “Who’s Eating Gilbert Grape.  If you really want to be thrown for a loop check out DiCaprio in Shelter Island.  That movie is scary, disturbing and unnerving.

Dreams have been defined as successions of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations occurring involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep.  Dreams are populated by subconscious thoughts and wishes.  Often my dreams are a hodgepodge of things that happened during the course of the day, past childhood and my secret desires.  A good night’s sleep can help clear the stress and pressure of the day.  For me I often discover the answer to complex problems via dreams or receive reassurance and comfort from my parents.  Sleep can bring regeneration, healing and inspiration.

The dream space is physical as well as mental.  Can those dreams, thoughts and ideas exist after death?  Specifically do the dreams of the dead influence the living.  Can messages be given across time, space and eternity via one’s dreams?  If on my deathbed I had a dream in my heart and a vision in my soul and I kissed that person on the mouth would my soul transfer into that person’s soul?

One idea not fully touched upon can parents or grandparents transmit their dreams, thoughts and ideas after death via DNA.  Also can children inherit or remember the memories of their parents and grandparents?  Is it possible for any person to recall the memories or their ancestors?  Supposition: Aunts & Uncles would be let out of the picture because they are offshoots, not a direct lineage.  Or like in Kindred the possibility of being pulled back in time to assist that ancestor with some pressing problem becomes alarmingly real.  At night does my spirit travel the astral plane searching for answers, solutions, explanations’ for my physical plane?  And what would happen if the silver umbilical attaching me to my body were cut?  How would I reconnect to myself?  Whether in the body or out of the body I know not, yet still receiving the revelation of God.

My quarks and leptons become baryons synthesize into hyper-force exploding into the universe.  Fermions and bosons are no longer constrained by the complexities of theories but burst into being.  Spun higher and higher faster and faster developing from antimatter into mater.  I become the superconductive dreamscape able to transcend all and become all.

In my mind during times of slumber my astral body goes to meet the beloved and is comforted in his arms.  Is the dream only a desired illusion?  Yet it feels so real, so for now I luxuriate in his touch and together we enter the dream space capsule.

It is an interesting hypothesis that memories could be extracted from another person’s mind, but dreams are not linear because the mind is a labyrinth.  The laws of physics do not apply within a dream.  Because there are many little rooms residing within each individuals psyche, dreams can be manipulated via brain injury or the use of sedative-hypnotics like Ambien.  I can attest to the fact that misuse or overuse of Ambien will cause sleepwalking and sleeptalking.  Portals in my mind were opened that should have remained closed.  Even though I still take Ambien I’m very careful with my dosage.  Another side effect of Ambien is hallucinations.  Hallucinations are an alter state of being that I never want to experience.  It is interesting to note that Ambien is used as a treatment for persons in a catatonic state.  Think “Awakenings” with actor Robin Williams only back in the 1920s the drug of use was dopamine.  Many cultures have a history of taking mind altering drugs to stimulate and/or induce visions but if you can’t control the vision you might be getting more than you bargained for.  Personally I want to be awake for all my visions.

A frightening aspect about jumping into another person’s subconscious is that you can’t control what goes on in someone else’s mind.  If that person had escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane you could find yourself within the dreams or memories of Freddy Kruger!


Dream Space
Dream Space

Dissonance as a Creative Art Form

Dissonance as a Creative Art Form

Koyaanisqatsi – Life out of Balance, Crazy Life, Life disintegrating.

Ah yes deliberate dissonance, discordant tones and harmonies that somehow weave themselves together to create a beautiful sensory tapestry.

I’ve seen this done in dance with Twyla Tharpe and in a recent performance by the Shen Wei Dance Artists at the Met and also in music with composer Philip Glass who can be a bit extreme.� I think that is also what appeals to me in photo collage, taking things that seem to have no relationship and making one or items that have a logical relationship and changing the way the viewer sees them.

Dissonance strikes its own particular cadence making sense only to the viewers who are tuned it. In fact it strikes out at the viewer engaging him in a seemingly one side fight. I bring together those elements innocuous in and of themselves but joined together create a whole art form.  Dissonance is taking the everyday mundane fashion an entire new creation.

It all flows together.  It rattles.  It shakes.  It demands to be heard.

Hit the note on key, then threaded, spread it, flip it and bounce it off the wall a few times.  They bob, weave and pirouette.

All together in one tiny room they create a cacophony of what appears to the layman’s ear noise but is actually a symphony of everyday items and the sounds they emit.

Life is woozy with interconnectedness.  Word Dance and images assault the five senses fighting for dominion.

It is a cacophony reaching the very core of the brain’s cerebral cortex arriving at a level of distortion where all becomes clear and melts into one.  It is the kinetic frenzy of acoustic violinist Lorenzo LaRoc.

How can one in a place of seeming quiet reflection experience the luxurious of a racing mind with images and sound vie for dominance with our core senses?  How can we filter the stream and use it to our advantage?

Let the mind wander through the galleries independent from the body and see what happens.

Normal is the mutually created state between self and Goddess whereby you repeatedly step out of one state of being into a personal universe of goals, dreams and fantasies without having a complete psychotic break with the reality at hand. Living inside ones head with the ability to return to the Three dimensional worlds for discourse with earthly flesh and blood. Some forays take you over to the dark side but one must always have a plan or a way of escape or you will be consigned to dwell in the nether regions ruled by the Tormentor and populated murderers, sadistic rapists, and demented of the worst sort. I’m fortunate in that my ancestral angels have not only pulled me back but accompanied me, overshadowing my being with a golden celestial aura.

Anytime I’m dissatisfied with the present reality I retreat to my “Happy Place” π a parallel universe populated by created forces over which I have total control or at least most of the time. Occasionally the inhabitants may get out of hand but my fellows are allowed to stray from their appointed pathway only in the greater scheme of further ends I’ve already predestined for them. π Sometimes the Angels assigned to guide have me morph into alternate beings, with the ability to inhabit the glories of past and future worlds both terrestrial and celestial.

Each chamber of my mind has a doorway that opens to Flights of Fantasy Realms with many alter-egos and avatars each vying to pilot the “Dream Ship Taijhena “!

These dreams and fantasies become my true normal. Normal is the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt coupling with Flappers of 1920s America producing a race of superhuman beings and biomorphic forms who populate the fourth dimension world of Modern Art. The dissolute household, Isis, Ishtar, Nzingha, Makeda, Storm, the Borg Queen Lilith, Juan de Pareja, phantasms from the paintings of Tanguy and Carrington, the Wizard of OZ, Star Wars, all  meet  in a Great Celebration!

Visiones de Juan de Pareja

Juan de Pareja plays ethereal music upon a 17th Century Italian Harpsichord accompanied by musical voices that have taken the form of African drums, old Negro Spirituals, Baptist Hymns, Native American, Gregorian and Buddhist chants.

Juan’s soul once held captive within the painting is now free and he romances a young African American Woman transporting her through the portals of time into his world, making all her dreams of romance and adventure come true.  The Lover has come to claim his Beloved undaunted and undeterred by the passage of time across centuries and continents.  Taijhena became his model, his muse, his lover.  Her reward; his full Moorish lips joined to hers.  Her slender fingers reweaving the tangle of his thick, knappy, kinky curly hair.

The Kaleidoscope Turns

Dwellers from the off center worlds of Yves Tanguy and Lenora Carrington dance a ghostly minuet strangely in time with the aforementioned harmonies. Umberto Boccioni mechanical cubist forms shape shift as each civilization raises its songs of praise to their nation’s way of life. Rumi and Hafiz recite poetry in Old Persian. Surreal images of Magritte and villagers from Chagall mix and mingle in a charged atmosphere.  

From shattered bits and broken pieces I recreate Eden.  A forest populate with animals, plants, perpetual sunshine; all manner of jewels and precious stones.  In the middle a clearing there is a slow moving stream, its banks alternately sandy with smooth rocks dotting the coastline.  Looking across I see Beloved transitioned family, friends, even pets from long ago childhood.  My suffering now over, Our reunion begins.

All happily exchange and converse within the Stream, that unconscious subtle system of verbal and non-verbal communication. Empaths guided by cues, pheromones, and inner thoughts, dreams and visions.

Always remember, “A Unicorn seldom this way comes to a locked Garden.”

Yes! Normal is the reality I create for myself!

Excuse me but my Creator Mistress signals me to re-enter the story from which I was summoned.  π

Contrary to popular belief sensory deprivation rather than sensory overload may be the root cause of alienation.  Not enough intellectual stimulation to the cerebellum causes the thought processes to wither and die much like a paralytic who no longer has use of his limbs.  On the surface chaos is the semblance of order.  Chaos is the first order of discipline.

Life as a collection of items, things, pieces of a whole, separate they are in conflict together they

Hallucinate baby Hallucinate because the world you once thought was real has been challenged by the authentic.  I am one with the mad woman who lives inside me.

Unicorn emerging from the Rain

{Experiments’ in Dissonance}

Suddenly We have a new murder here and it’s wasting along the page.
The make dissonant movements damning the reader or the writer to make any sense of the dialogue. As in Jazz the worlds bob and weave along the page, not necessarily making any sense.  Suddenly I’m fight with a perfectly black keyboard. tHIS IS A VIOLENT NEIGHBORHOOD.  jUST GOT HIT oVER THE hEA[D WITH a cLEF NOTE.

Pitted where it should have been potted.  keys at irregular lines and angles.The keys are diving in hollowing out, making messages peck as peck can.  Someone follow J and tell me where he goes.  You know that J cannot b trusted. And K, well K is all over the streets timing every Hookah House we know and some we don’t know.

Trouble nothing but trouble just like Q.  Not enough known about Q.  He’s the fakir in the group.
Hell’s Bells Messers ipad, ipod and laptop we still have to take the all in the questioning.
Found M laying out on the courtyard floor.  Was it booze or nose candy?  S came by in a sexy outfit hoping to distract the other two B & Y can talk business in the rather mode cyberspace combination of bar mixed drinks complete with Merry Go Round.  Suddenly B, Y found R who in the interim met up with P.  P left the car idling waiting for us to get in, while we all pondered could we even fit in that rebuilt British MG Midgit.

Y&R&P settled the debate by plying into an old VW bug.  We’re leaving here whether you want us to or not and we’re taking the stash with us.  B highly upset by this change of plans refused to fix the aerobiplane or the ramshackle ships our only two hope of getting off the island.

Black Unicorn from Rain River
Black Unicorn Spirit Animal


Deborah A. Palmer
E-mail: Deborah.palmer280@gmail.com


Senior Security Officer 1/2008 to present
Metropolitan Museum of Art

• Protect Artwork and ensure the safety of galleries and visitors.
• Assist visitors and staff with directions to specific galleries and art objects
• Enforce rules and regulations of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Research Manager 7/1994 to 12/2006
United Way of New York City

• Developed short and long term research strategies and objectives in collaboration with staff, offering input to sources of data and the development of program timelines.
• Assisted with the development of grant proposals and reports.
• Provided comprehensive—industry, individual and corporate profiles and research data.
• Identified prospects for special giving initiatives and events.
• Ensured that research data is properly maintained in the Andar Fund Management application.
• Developed and maintain standardized formats for presentation of customized research outcomes to the requestors.
• Evaluated supplementary research resources and applications.

Information Specialist
United Way of New York City

• Market and promote the CARES (Community Access to Resources) database by conducting product demonstrations for both internal and external constituents.
• Conduct CARES Trainings at Human Resources Administration Job Sites.
• Prepare specialized reports and label requests for both in-house and external clients, utilizing CARES, the Internet and LexisNexis research databases.
• Conduct Internet training for United Way staff development.
• Responsible for the creation and updating of an Internet/Netscape Navigator guidebook for staff use.

President 10 /93 to 7/94
A Word In Season, Inc.
• Word-processing and Desktop Publishing business, meeting the administrative and computer needs of cultural and community based institutions and organizations.
• Co-partner with DND (Dreams Never Die) to provide computer software instruction.

Marketing Associate Assistant 1/90 to 10/93
• Responsible for marketing and sales presentation support for Marketing, Fixed Income and Equity departments.
• Administrator of the ClienTrak Database Sales Support System.
• Responsible for creating and updating graphs used in the Quarterly Reports to clients and for interoffice use.
Promotions Assistant/List Coordinator 1/82 to 12/89
Reader’s Digest
• Consolidated and centralized the subscription list by converting manual data to a computerized format.
• Generated printouts for staff research; reports and labels for the Advertising department. Oversaw the maintenance of the Subscription List.
• Worked with three copywriters in the preparation and management of special monthly sections for the magazine including: Food Digest, Carolyn Davis Buy-Words, and the Cleaning Section.
• Served as alternate Typographer utilizing the Agfa Compugraphic MCS/PowerView 10.

BA – Marymount Manhattan College – Major: English
GPA: 3.7
Armed Service
US Army – November 1977 to November 1981
Honorable Discharge

Japan Rain

Japan Rain

Mystical Animal Avatar

Rain–Once Mother Nature’s friend.

Sends Acid Rain.

Burning our delicate skins.

Layers peeling, revealing eons of hurt and anguish, once suppressed in eruptive tectonic plates shifting. Now Earth’s anger has been released upon the innocents.

It is said that death comes in threes. Thrice damaged, will our sweet Islands nation survive or will she vanish into the sea from whence she was birthed.

Nay, Japan shall arise like the Phoenix from the ashes loudly proclaiming, “She is still the Land of the Rising Sun!”

Rain is God’s Tears

Watering the Earth

Sweet Anointing pouring over His people.

Washing away internal and external poisons.

Let there be rebirth in the realm of the Samurai.

So shall it be saith the Lord!

And as for I, my faith is restored within the heavens.

Within my internal cosmos.


Black Unicorn as Phoenix