Coming Undone at the Tangerine Seams

Tangerine Seams (photograph) by Kay Jay (Stitched in Stone) August 2021
Where we meet to share 
sections of succulent tangerines, 
opening juicy surprises; secrets of sweetness
or delicious shuddering sourness, 
We  burst and pucker up
to be undone by our own kisses.

Right foot dance step-quilt square #8 (Interweaving Footsteps) by Kay Jay (stitched in stone) August 2021
Provided to YouTube by DistroKid Tangerine Dream · Maya Delilah Tangerine Dream ℗ Maya Delilah Released on: 2020-01-10

Not Everybody Gets Cold Feet . . .

“Not Everybody Gets Cold Feet”
Left Foot (dance step quilt square) #7 by Kay Jay, June 2021

I don’t know if when we took our vows I understood much about ‘in health and in sickness’ or what would be ‘for better’ or what could be ‘worse’ for the wear as if I’d need to promise I wouldn’t run away at the first sign of trouble or stick around for the last of it, I just knew it was gonna always be you and me, together, the way sometimes you feel like a lone tiger, fiercely able to fend for yourself and willing to roam, and the way sometimes I feel like a hermit, chasing trespassers and their offspring, those baby strollers and toddlers tethered with domesticated canines; miniature chihuahuas, elongated dachshunds, stubby corgis, and a lunk-headed pit-bull away from my tomato plants and petunias. . . How we both slip the old Ukrainian a little cash when he asks for our empties to add up nickel after nickel, his broken english growling, Putin is bad, rolling his R’s, he points to his chest and simply says, Andre 

and Sorry. . .

and he wants to kiss our hands regardless of Corona Virus and he repeats over and over, God Bless You

And it isn’t that spring passed us by, it arrived late, barely enough time to sow last seasons sunflower seeds, and more aphids than roses bloomed early, and then our lawnmower broke.

I do know when we sat in the emergency room, waiting for the weak-kneed technician who sounded like the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz to take your blood pressure, he asked, did we want to hear a joke and he said it’s okay to say no, when we hesitated,

You said, ok sure, the way you get put on the spot and act polite but unconvinced, and so we listened to him practice the same bad joke, a technique employed to bring people joy, he explained, on the next patient and the next and the next, from behind thin closed doors and partitioned walls, we listened to him only making things worse, 

so when your eyes met my eyes, without words, we agreed.

I do know when the Specialist finally came in on her day off. . . 

after five hours and five different Registered Nurses wrangled with your body as if you weren’t even there, fondling and groping and poking you in places not even I had explored in all our years, I felt crushed as they crushed you, stretching you to the limit, I watched each one fail at the same procedure, and how they let you keep your socks on so you wouldn’t get cold feet, a hospital crucifix hung above your head, Jesus staring his own pain outwardly, as if to say he had enough problems of his own and wasn’t going to carry your water,

. . .she whisked in, smacked her enormous blue leather purse among hygienically packaged medical supplies, and asked me directly if I was going to be okay, as in, was I the type who faints, was I going to be in the way. . . squeezed between the small sink and the gurney and her purse, and your feet, I thought, if there’s room for a purse that big, there’s room enough for me in this/her walk-in closet, make-shift as it is and I replied about the time I volunteered for Red Cross carrying warm blood packs with my own two hands to the cool ice chests after student bodies Gave, yes I’ll be ok, and Jeremy, her clumsy but kind assistant, validated how I’d been here with you the whole time. . .

And I’m not leaving, no one could ever make me leave. And then I told you to breathe. And you did. So did they. The specialist doctor and the registered nurse. All at once. You all exhaled like one great big breath. And the air in the middle of the room opened up so much, it actually changed the light.

Best Of You (feat. Elle King)
Andy Grammer
Licensed to YouTube by
[Merlin] Liberation Music, WMG (on behalf of Liberator Music); ASCAP, UMPI, UNIAO BRASILEIRA DE EDITORAS DE MUSICA – UBEM, ARESA, Pulse Recording (music publishing), LatinAutor, CMRRA, SOLAR Music Rights Management, AMRA, BMI – Broadcast Music Inc., BMG Rights Management (US), LLC, LatinAutor – PeerMusic, LatinAutorPerf, Kobalt Music Publishing, and 15 Music Rights Societies


Barefoot in the Kitchen…

“Barefoot in the Kitchen” Right Foot (dance step quilt square) #4 by Kay Jay (Stitched in Stone) January 2021

I know a man who fell in love with a woman with a Snow Shovel. She told him, music to her ears is a Senate hearing roll call, Knowing when to shut up and eat Piping hot cornbread and real maple syrup is an intimate conversation; So beautiful~ the shape of green bananas, they make her cry. And what is it about a Lily with a loaded pistil in it’s mouth that makes her remember grandma’s nursing home run by that awful woman named Hope?

When she takes her boots off, she ends up barefoot in the kitchen.

“White Rose Magenta Lily” (photo) By Kay Jay, November 2020
Dresses “Painting Roses” (Music Video) is being posted here for no commercial purpose.

Pine Needle…Bed Rock… Paper Cut… Ranunculus

“Needlepoint and Paper-Cuts” #1 (Ranunculus) mixed media by Kay Jay, March 2020
“Ranunculus” #1 (photograph) by Kay Jay, March 2020

My Love… is paper scissors bedrock, the potential of blank paper.

Same as knowing what it feels like to be a lodgepole pine and stand still in forests, while lovers carve hearts and initials

into me.

The trunk that forms a swollen burl after repeated shocks,

protective in the evidence of how obvious how innocent how intentional how sensitive

and adaptive

in the face of,

in light of… those arabesques

our pronouncement

and commitment

expressed through lucid but deep cuts

until I become your sweet cambium peels…

and sappy;

Reaching a perfect pitch requiring fire and heat to release…

upon a floor, blanketed in a cushion

of soft and sharp needles, patient

dripping sticky

sugar water; the same nutrition and poultice that eases you

more useful than firewood

I am revolving doorways and bay windows with bench seats that secretly open into chests full of books, the eaves and the rafters and the beams, and fences to climb over and railroad ties;

you chewing on my most succulent insides

each disturbance of habitat

sending sudden and bursting new




self aware and


our roots; connected intertwined traveling

to and away, tethered and anchored,

from the rising and expanding


of seeing

of witnessing everything


while Matisse acquires many paper cuts to float above his quilts.

He makes his choice of pink table cloths and lemons, goldfish swimming like tangerine crescents, caresses his favorite dove, never mentioning turnip country again,

or her flatness,

or her darkness,

or her wetness.

Instead he hands each intimate shape to Lydia and points, “There.”

She places his silhouettes, like she does her feet according to his dance steps,

a choreography set to the plunking piano keys as played

by elbows




in bold colors.

Notes as crushing on

as charmed by

as composed and spontaneous as ranunculus

that speak easy underground same as do

victorian tea gardens.

He listens to how

his fingers fit like a glove into a pair of scissors no thanks and in part due to the industrial revolution

and dozes off,


into dreams, a future

where your radio jazz

accompanies a bouquet

that throws confetti from my lap

in order to stop what I am doing to set them in water.

The Thelonious Monk “I love You” (Sweetheart of All My Dreams) music audio is being posted on Stitched in Stone for No Commercial Purposes. (Expanded Edition) ℗ Originally released 1964. All rights reserved by Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment Released on: 2002-08-19 Composer, Lyricist: Arthur Fitch Producer: Teo Macero Drums: Ben Riley Composer, Lyricist: Kay Fitch Composer, Lyricist: Herbert Lowe Bass: Larry Gales Tenor Saxophone: Charlie Rouse

My Kind of Wonderful. . .

Right Foot (dance step quilt square) #6 by Kay Jay (Stitched in Stone) November 2019.jpg
Right Foot “The First Step, The Last Step, Every Step I Take” (dance step-quilt square) #6 by Kay Jay, November 2019

I’m waiting for the right words

when he comes dancing in from the cold

careful of my feet

wraps his arms around me

pulls heat from my body until I shiver

and kisses me with tangerines on his breath

covering a hint of tobacco.

We have fifteen minutes, love

to pour the grounds into the filter, a tiny dark mound

some loose across the counter, spreading out

some on the floor, slipping


some clinging to the soles of his work boots.

Pour the water to the top line

after fetching it from the faucet, splashing the sink board

some running down the cupboards

some on the floor, puddling around the soles of his work boots.

“Read out loud to me?”

I ask him, avoiding eye contact with the broom

while it’s brewing

ignoring the dust pan

the percolating and chugging and sucking in

the belching bursts of hot steam

never mind the dish cloth

when he lowers his voice


swear to god he sounds just like Barry White,

no matter the headline

it’s good news

when he rolls smooth and booms

until I laugh.

The Barry White “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything” (music audio) is being posted on Stitched in Stone for no commercial purpose.

Provided to YouTube by Universal Music Group You’re The First, The Last, My Everything · Barry White Can’t Get Enough ℗ A Mercury Records Release; ℗ 1974 UMG Recordings, Inc. Producer, Associated Performer, Recording Arranger, Vocals: Barry White Associated Performer, Recording Arranger: Gene Page Studio Personnel, Engineer: Frank Kejmar Studio Personnel, Engineer: Paul Elmore Composer Lyricist: Peter Sterling Radcliffe Composer Lyricist: Tony Sepe Composer Lyricist: Barry White

Such Sweet Thunder…

Left foot “Such Sweet Thunder” (dance step-quilt square) #3 by Kay Jay, July 2019

We live thru the thunderstorms,

the darkening skies,

the illumination of every strike and boom and all the crashing and the rolling,

and the down~


We live thru the full Buck moon;

We live thru the rise~

in humidity,

the record heat,

the barometric pressure of tossing and turning,

sleepless nights, kicking off the covers with our feet

and sweating the sheets


to the encompassing sound

and whirling air

of fan blades.

We live thru the tension in the air,

what is tight and withholding and impending…

And the explosive cycles

of delicate rose


and blossoming,

all the blushing

and the hips.

“Blushing” Rose #1 (photograph by Kay Jay, July 2019)
The Duke Ellington and his Orchestra “Such Sweet Thunder” (audio) is being featured on Stitched in Stone for no commercial purpose. (*note: The track list to the full album is provided below as it was originally featured here. Unfortunately it can no longer be listened to for free. But I whole heartedly recommend ya’ll buy it for your home collection, be it on Vinyl, CD, or thru your favorite listening mode. It’s fabu!)

Such Sweet Thunder is a Duke Ellington album, released in 1957. The record is a twelve part suite based on the work of William Shakespeare.

  1. “Such Sweet Thunder” (Ellington, Strayhorn) – 3:22
  2. “Sonnet for Caesar” (Ellington, Strayhorn) – 3:00
  3. “Sonnet to Hank Cinq” (Ellington, Strayhorn) – 1:24
  4. “Lady Mac” (Ellington, Strayhorn) – 3:41
  5. “Sonnet in Search of a Moor” (Ellington, Strayhorn) – 2:22
  6. “The Telecasters” (Ellington, Strayhorn) – 3:05
  7. “Up and Down, Up and Down (I Will Lead Them Up and Down)” (Ellington, Strayhorn) – 3:09
  8. “Sonnet for Sister Kate” (Ellington, Strayhorn) – 2:24
  9. “The Star-Crossed Lovers” (Ellington, Strayhorn) – 4:00
  10. “Madness in Great Ones” (Ellington, Strayhorn) – 3:26
  11. “Half the Fun” (Also known as “Lately”) (Ellington, Strayhorn) – 4:19
  12. “Circle of Fourths” (Ellington, Strayhorn) – 1:45

Head Over Heels (Doin’ the Hokey Pokey)

“Left Foot Crunge” (dance step-quilt square #2) by Kay Jay, June 2019

Head Over Heels (Doin’ the Hokey Pokey)

You say, hey sweetie, I want you to listen to this song, it reminds me of you,

and you sing those lines to me before you gently place needle against vinyl,

…and when she walks she walks

and when she talks she talks…

You say, hey sweetie, you remember the walks along the delta bed we took to the wood bridge?

Past the almond tree?

Where the jackrabbit took his chances in the fields and the sparrow hawk took his dives?

How the sun forced us to stare at our footsteps,

light was louder than sound

and we gushed about the colors of stones dancing with their own shadows?

Of course I do, I say, You held my hand until you had to share with the wildflowers I picked for your Pop

I set the daisies and clover blossoms, the Queen Anne’s lace and foxglove in a jar next to his chessboard,

and I asked you to teach me about seeing three moves ahead

to protect my king.

You smile your big beautiful smile and say, hey sweetie, you’re the only one that can do the Crunge

and nobodies business can follow your


when you put your whole self in

and shake it all about...

Jill Scott “A Long Walk” (audio) is being posted here for No Commercial Purpose