a poem for father’s day, many years after it mattered…

dadPICT0367.JPGMy father went to Art Center I was told.  He always did take the most gorgeous stills.  He started off shooting surfing films, and bullfight films before he became one of the biggest pornographers in Hollywood.

This has left me with indelible scars I think.

Ones that can only be accessed through poetry or stories.

I loved him very, very much and he passed away in 1999.  I had just gotten my graduate degree in Depth Psychology.

My mother always said he was the only man she ever really loved, although there were plenty of men that came after him.

So today I have these pictures, of him — and of the two of them, and of myself.

How do we live down our parents mistakes?

I don’t know.

They are ghosts now.

Filaments of the past, in silver.

When my mother passed in 2002, I began to write in earnest, and maybe write all kinds of things I never said aloud.

At any rate, today I felt somehow that, after my short story “Hands” was incredibly attacked onlist at ERWA, and it is a great short story and quite erotic, and after I got several emails from other writers telling me, “don’t stop” it was so wonderful for us to hear, and since I write primarily for a male audience as it is ~ at least today I feel like posting the poem before I go out and get Mexican food because I am starved.

I grew up around film.

I was telling that to Walter Halsey Davis at the Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference which ended two days ago.

He told me two things about writing, well many but, this:

“Structure is like the house, and dialogue is paint.”

I used things he taught us in class in that story “Hands,” about crafting character.  I think I learned more this last Conference than all the others I attended.  Writing comes more easily to some than others.  So do tears.  Another thing he said was that sometimes he had shed them when talking about a pitch.

I loved that.

It meant he was human, and that he had a heart.

For my father and mother


pornographer’s daughter

by valentine bonnaire c. June 16/2013 valentine@valentinebonnaire.com

dad, why weren’t you there with corsages?
checking out the boys who ranged in droves
your absent hand could have guided?

you of the long languid pussyfields
mother wasn’t enough, I suppose
san francisco studio sets I never saw

pink conchcunts, splayed
while she fucked one writer after another
she liked those new york types
glasses dangling on tennis whites, maroon and navy stripes

she said they were all impotent at 50
how about you?
how about those hot stage lights?

I’m tired of making up excuses
when you should have been my coach
you left me to myself at 9

when she screamed her strongness loudest
the cool green lime of her gimlets curling
the boys I never could let mess with me
in a fumbled tumble on some backseat, dodge
boys my age I might have married
I think of all those cunts where you must have tarried

what was I going to say about you?
on all those nights you weren’t there to open the door
for dates she’d never let me go on
at 13, in gunne sax, in velvet — teen
my best friend’s father’s leer
15, ferocious, feminist, 17
years ticking toward twenty
19, you should have stopped him

you should have walked me down an aisle
I only cried a little
over the dress I didn’t wear, your arm

over and over and one by one
my brother and I without you
whole strings of broken hearts
in the wakes, into the pitch

why didn’t the two of you patch it up
for the two of us
you, who always slid your hand along mommy’s hips

she couldn’t stand what you’d become
why did we have to pay for your stench of constant cunt?
floodlights, cocks, discoballs and white lines
I heard you sniffed
with the best of men

your north beach nights
fighting for my rights

writing into your sights
under the floodgates
these nights


I wish my Dad hadn’t not been my father.  I wish he had been my father, and been by my side when I married in a white dress and that he had met all the boys I liked as a girl in High School and that I could have gone on normal dates, but that isn’t what happened.  Anyway, here is my Dad’s resume, post all the surfing films he did.

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