marian mcpartland


wandering a little in music-land…

on tuesday 20 august, at the age of 95, the jazz world lost one of its brightest: the composer and pianist marian mcpartland. truly I don’t give a figgy about the jazz world, as in general I don’t like jazz.

marian had a public radio show for over thirty years, only stopping, I believe, in 2009, when she was 91. it was called, simply, piano jazz. I listened to it for one of those thirty years, from 2004 to 2005, back in my own life. before the personal holocaust and psychotic women banding together to ruin me and my animals, and all that other sick jazz. I didn’t really want to listen to it at first, but it was sandwiched in on sunday evenings (on WAMC in albany) between two shows I did want to hear, and I am usually too lazy to turn off the radio for one lousy hour. so I listened. now that it’s gone for good, I wish I’d hung in with it longer. I stopped listening because most of the guests were so full of themselves (as are a great many musicians, actors and writers). if the show had been marian all alone playing her compositions and her arrangements of other people’s material, I would have stayed with her until my life was destroyed.

I would have stayed for several years more because she herself, marian, fascinated me. I always perceived an enormous gentleness from this woman, and gentleness is another one of those things I’ve always craved in my life. one of the things I always get from animals, but almost never from humans. and as a student of language, her idiolect engaged me. I could pick out england in her speech, but also the bronx or brooklyn. it’s a very unusual combination that I’ve never heard in the speech of anyone else, ever, and it mesmerized me. eventually she did say on the show that she was born in england and only came to america as an adult, after marrying jimmy. and they settled in new york. she verified for me the dialects I was hearing in her speech. her speech which has never ceased to intrigue me.

I would have stayed… though I don’t like jazz. only marian’s jazz. she would no doubt  be horrified to read these words, but to me, her jazz didn’t  sound like jazz. it sounded much more like what they call new-age, and ambient, and things of that nature. I loved it whenever she played one of her own compositions, which wasn’t nearly often enough to suit me. and even when she does some typical jazz chord progressions that I normally cannot abide, I can get through them with only a minimum of irritation when marian is playing them. there is a magic for me when she touches the keys. the same gentleness I felt over the radio from her as a person, I felt, and feel, when I hear her play. there is no bombast there, no showmanship, just a completely loving relationship with the instrument and the sounds it produces, or so it comes across to my ears and to my soul. her touch and relationship with the piano are to me so deeply reverent and charming that I could listen to her for hours, even if she were playing things like chopsticks and three blind mice. if I had ever been really good at the piano (and there were years of lessons), I would like to have played it just the way marian did, minus the jazz.

public radio aired an excellent tribute to her last week, which sadly was much too short. I heard that great idiolect a couple of times, way too briefly. I heard a couple of solos, marian and the piano all by themselves, the way I like her best. and the very first piece they played was a solo she composed called threnody. this took me aback. partly because I almost never hear anyone use that word, and partly because, three years ago, I myself wrote a short piece of music on my lap-harp which I called threnody.  and I have a poem on my poetry blog with the same title, written at the same time as the music was, though the two don’t go together. synchronicities are always uncanny, but some are unusually so, and I was rather shocked when the first piece in the tribute show turned out to have that name.

marian and I will never know each other, and would never have met even if she’d lived yet another 95 years. but it pleases me at the level of heart and soul to know that if we had nothing else at all in common (and perhaps we didn’t), we each, unbeknownst to the other, wrote a piece of music called threnody.

they played another version of it at the end of the show, rightly pointing out that now there are threnodies for marian herself. all over the jazz world, these threnodies, and here in turners trolls in the heart of one anne nakis, who doesn’t like jazz, but who loved marian and her piano-art from afar; loved them to no small degree.

this page, from me, a small threnody for a genuine artist I could meet only over the radio.


read…   scealta liatha (poetry)…     shadowpoems

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ashes and flames

Page One hundred twenty-two


monday 25 february 2013

hello, small, stalwart clutch of readers…

I come, sorry to say, with no good news.

I am supposed to be in mourning now. I am in mourning, but not so much for the matter people (even you) expect  me to be grieving for.

less than twelve hours ago, I learned that one of my siblings is dead, and has been dead for some days. the youngest of us. and all will agree that I’m supposed to be mourning this loss. please remember that I am not average, or even normal, as people are constantly telling me. please also remember that I have asperger’s, which produces in me an outlook skewed off from the common neurotypical.

phone call by phone call I learned new pieces. the first phone call only told me death, as the date of death was not yet known. said date seems to have been tuesday 19 february. I wonder will that info change.

…(so many years I’ve been wandering a-stagger among the ugly, damaging, high-flown dramas created by my blood relations. every time I decide we are all too old for anymore such nightmares to be engendered, voilá… someone makes a new one. or, more rarely, the stinking randomness of living makes one)

since I’m a dogged devotee of truth, be it ugly, pretty or betwixt, I might as well cut to the chase and say that I no longer feel any love for this sibling. not for years. not in the psychological and behavioral configuration that this sibling adopted fifteen or so years ago. and phone call by call, I was given more reasons last night to resent and rage at this individual, now no longer alive.

this person had an alcohol problem for many years. alcohol costs money in large quantities, and is bad for the health. there was also a long-standing gambling issue, which costs money. and gourmandising on only the best restaurant food (another lifelong pursuit). there was apparently yet another finance-draining addiction that I never knew about, and that I’m too disgusted and ashamed to name. and since this person was in possession of our family home, they had the power to squander money on addictions, get very sick and unable to work, fail to keep up mortgage and make more than one refinancing arrangement, and fail to keep up payments, and lose our family home. this happened ten months ago, but I was only told last night. they never would have told me if the sibling had lived, because they are a right gaggle of cowards, and always have been. they knew my pain and my anger would be great, and they were too sissified to face it. this also rankles, as I’ve had to put up with temper and insanity and lies and all manner of other ugliness from blood relations all my days, but they can’t put up with my grief, or anger, or anything else.

my father’s house, which he wanted to have stay in the family, the very boards and bricks of which are imbued with his decades of labor at them, is gone to booze, bets, belly, and even more shameful addiction number three. my father’s house, which was taken away from me and my daughter in favor of this other sibling, which I desperately wanted to see stay in the family, is gone to the selfish, hedonistic obsessions of a liar and con-artist. and this person, in the days when we still spoke, was quite proud of being able to con people. and that’s only reason number one that I do not grieve the death overmuch.

on the other hand, I grieve greatly and in fury the loss of our family home, my dad’s house. purchased in 1958 by a young married couple with a very sick child (me, of course) who had to be got away from the dampness of the lakeside house we had, and foreclosed on because of an addict in 2012. I grieve. I rage. I deplore.

if there is a sibling to mourn, it is a long-lost configuration that existed for no more than thirty or so years… out of the fifty-five years and three months that this person lived.

… to assign the nightmares, the flames of drama that yield the ashes that yield yet another set of flames until, I guess, the moment of my own death… to assign the newest nightmares to their categories: the loss of the house one of the myriad high, ugly dramas created in my life by one of my blood relations; the death itself, and the fact that it was not discovered for some five days, might belong to the beastly randomness of living category. it might.

I look now at what I know about this person’s entire life (and I don’t know all of it, to be sure), and over and over again I think on a phone conversation between us in the mid-90’s. this person had the unmitigated nerve (always had this) to hold forth with a speech to the effect that they had always expected me, with my “talent and brains and education,” to do something really significant with my life, to succeed greatly, to be the “flagship” of the nakis family. and what a “disappointment” it was that I had got sick and ended up on disability (the implication was: such a failure). but I did not fail, financially or otherwise, because of booze and bets and belly (and the nameless thing). I failed because of physical illness, and I think, because of asperger’s, because of never fitting in anywhere. and the other thing? the other thing is that my siblings have easily as much quantifiable IQ as do I, and an equal share of talent to mine, if in some different directions. so why did this troll lay it on me alone to be the great success, to be the family’s “flagship?” why wasn’t it equally lain on the other siblings themselves? why was I yet again singled out for the blame and the shame? I compare our two failed lives and state: my failures were made in good faith, in spite of many strenuous efforts, and I have striven to live as clean, decent and honorable a life as possible (according to my personal definitions of such things), even if weird, even if asperger-oddball. I can’t say the same for the lost one, the proud con artist.

if you think me horrible for these emotions, lack of other emotions, for telling such a type of truth, then that’s what you think.



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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2009-2013 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.

de profundis in extremis

wednesday 24 march 2012

destruction day. family-stealing day. the day of the phony police chief. that’s what today is. the anniversary thereof, that is.

these are some of the names, but by no means all, that I have for the second wednesday in march of 2008, the worst day of my life, bar none. and now here it is again: the second wednesday in march.

have I mentioned, in my hundreds of pages of internet writing, that I loathe the human species? I’m very sure I have — at least once or twice. as a person with Asperger’s, I  never had a great fondness for humankind to begin with, since way back in toddlerhood. but since this day four years ago, I can say that extreme trauma has exacerbated my natural autistic tendencies not to understand or particularly admire homo sapiens to a pinnacle of disgust, mistrust, and resentment. these are facts. if post-modern, new-age drifty readers don’t want to read words of this kind of truth, then they’d best get out of this blog right now.

what names would you give such a day, if such a day should happen to you? a day on which you lost your way of life as you had always known it, and on which every single being that you loved was torn from you… what names would you call it? and if this great disaster had not been brought about by a fire, a flood or an earthquake, but rather by the viciousness and malice aforethought of other human beings, what might you feel?

maybe the answers to those questions wouldn’t contain any let’s-stay-positive-and-let’s-forgive new-age fluff. or maybe they would. if your answers would contain such drivel, then you should definitely get out of this blog. I have little tolerance or mercy for such attitudes on an ordinary day, but I reach absolute zero today: family-stealing day; destruction day.


read…   Extemporaneana…   Being toward death

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2009-2012 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.

how many scars

monday 12 march 2012

a real apartment after four years of confinement. not an unmitigated relief, as I said tuesday.

after four years, I’m slowly retrieving the belongings that were mine, that were ours. it’s a huge relief to have one’s own things back again. at the same time, every object — from the tiniest pewter fairy to the largest bookshelf or the bed or the loveseat — is imbued with the loss of those who used to share these things with me. emanating absence, emanating rage at those humans who brought this all about, breathing loneliness and empty places.

I don’t know if objects have the same weight for most people that they have for me. they do for some few at least, I know, but perhaps not for most. it has very little to do with  how much the object cost, and much, much more to do with its history and the history of those of us living beings who shared those belongings, for whom they were part of the fabric of daily life.

the things slowly return to me. the fourteen living animals, never. murdered and gone. but the things, as they come, bring back stories of the life that was my own, and the stolen family that was my own, and the self I was and the way I lived before the most severe trauma of all my decades on this planet. the things carry the history, carry memories, carry richness and remembrance and rage. breathe love and loss.


read…   Extemporaneana…   Being toward death

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all photos, graphics poems and text copyright 2009-2012 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.

four years

tuesday 6 march 2012

on goes the drifting. that’s truly what being alive is for me now, since march four years ago. sometimes the drifting has a certain amount of direction to it, but there are now so few directions that matter in any deep way that this small amount of direction rarely carries with it an imperative.

there is a real apartment now, for the first time in four years, and I live in it. since february first. naturally the guinea-pig princess, her royal highness Shiloh-Chailín, lives there with me. we are no longer just a pair. we have become a family.

on the ninth of february, two parakeets came to live with us. they were still too young to sex at that time, perhaps five weeks old, but now, a month later, it looks as though one is a boy and the other a girl. I had hoped for two of the same sex, but things have turned out a different way.

there is a family again. this lightens the burden of the last four years to a certain degree. so does having a real apartment after four years, after a totally illegal and brutal eviction. things that belonged to me are slowly being brought from the storage unit, and this, too, restores a certain element of the past: of the way I lived for fifty-five years before psychotics took over my life and ripped it to rags.

but no apartment will ever be a pre-devastation apartment, as I learn each day that I live in this new one. no family will ever be the one that was stolen and killed. the darkness dumped on my soul by the actions and words of deceitful, disturbed individuals can never be completely lifted. holes can be poked into it, and through those holes some light can pass. a real apartment again is such a hole. the two birds and the pig are such holes. the belongings retrieved are such holes. piercings in a dark black cloth where the sun injects itself in narrow beams.

I’m grateful for the holes, for what else would I have of meaning, of value, of purpose, without them. at the same time it weighs heavily that nothing that used to bring joy can bring quite that same level of joy ever again. what is dulled, what is darkened, is damaged for all the days remaining. how many is that, I wonder.

the sound of birds is within my walls again. seed hulls scatter on the floor, and I have to sweep them. I had birds for nineteen years. the joys and sorrows of bird-keeping were well-known to me, threads in the fabric of everyday, normal (for me) life. how familiar and second-nature it feels to do it all again, and at the very same time how foreign and unbelievable.

this dichotomy exists in the apartment as well. for fifty-five years I lived in houses and apartments. I lived in spaces that are considered in this country to be what a person should have for living space. and then four years of deprivation, of being trapped in small spaces and deprived of things like a kitchen. going back to normal now feels, on some days, exactly right: this is the way I always lived, and this is the way it should be. on other days, the space feels overwhelming, and it feels wrong. I get a fleeting, panicky need to flee the space and get back into confinement, as if confinement were somehow right. it is not right. but I’ve been conditioned by four years of claustrophobia and mental cruelty, and there are moments now when my psyche seems not to know what to do with personal space.

I wander on. wander through the space I now have. wander, as ever, through the memories of life before psychopaths. wade through the grief, the rage, bitterness, with a princess of a guinea pig and two ebullient parakeets by my side. we are seeking our cat. when we have her, that will be the limit of the family I am currently allowed to have. when you don’t own your own home, others dictate to you. one of the many ugly warts of being a renter. a renter is always walking among the warts.

greetings from down the street to Shiloh-Chailín, Canarie and Cerulie. take care of each other. I’ll be back soon.


read…   Spite and malice…   All my stars

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wandering after bill

Page Eighty-four

Thursday 8 July 2010       Turners turning off

on kuuma, on kuuma  ~~~~~  website  ~~~~~~   Share  

In 2008, when I began writing journals on line, I didn’t want to keep living. It was my goal to end my life,  and before I did this, I wanted to leave some messages on my blog for a specific person, who has remained unnamed. I haven’t yet been able to the thing I wish I could do, but maybe nature will do it for me. My health is never very good, and I smoke, and I eat mostly sugar and fat, etc. Anyway, the person for whom I’ve left these messages might possibly, upon my demise, get curious about what I wrote all this time. If so, the messages will be here.

They are a sort of code that only very few on the planet would understand, and since I was drowning in the code of Matthew and his colleagues for so many months, I didn’t see why I shouldn’t have one or two of my own. Nxonfu is another one of my codes, though one I did not invent myself, and I have some pages of that one too.

The code in these messages centers around a character called Bill, and as I’ve been wandering through my past posts, I’ve found more Bill messages than I thought there were.  It deserves a post of its own now, this Bill-code, especially since I might well write more such messages in future. So if you’re the type that likes to drive yourself nuts reading things you don’t understand, you can follow Bill around from here.

one         two                  three

       four          five                      six

seven     eight          nine (s-l-o-w)


eleven                            twelve                 thirteen

                fourteen                         fifteen                       sixteen                                                                    seventeen


(sandcastle at, clip art sun)


a desk, a cat, and dolls

Page Fifty-nine

Thursday 4 March 2010      Turners Fell

Early this morning my mind was wandering over various memories of my own life (as always), and I landed on dolls. I’ve always loved dolls of many different kinds, and when I was 10 or 12 I started a doll collection for myself. The dolls came from some youth catalog I used to get. They were plastic, the size of a Barbie doll, all the faces were the same, and they cost $3 or something like that. I was dazzled by them. They came in cheap but flashy costumes from all over the world. I’d save my allowance and buy myself one every now and then. Maybe I accumulated 5 all together before I got on to a new interest for my money.

So, years pass, and I’m 33 years old, living in Turners for slightly over a year. One weekend when my mother comes to visit, she has with her an inexpensive ($20) porcelain doll. The doll is all dressed for winter in a red

velvet coat and cape, a white fur muff and hat, and white fur trim on her coat.  My mother announces that this is the first doll in the doll collection she’s going to give me, since she couldn’t afford one when I was younger. I thought it was one of the nicest things my mother had ever done for me, and it was her own idea, nothing that I’d asked for. But I didn’t say this to her. I was a very locked-in person for many years, and didn’t talk much about things in my heart. Was this because of Asperger’s, or because of the often explosive nature of my family life? I don’t know for sure what caused it, but I’ve often wondered whether those seeds of destruction that were always in my human family might not have grown into such bitter weeds if I had managed to unlock myself many years before I did. Would it have made a difference in what happened to my family later? I don’t know for sure, of course, but I wonder. And probably one person all alone (even if I had been able to unlock myself earlier) cannot save a family.

So the dolls kept coming. Every Christmas at first. Then every Christmas and every birthday. Eventually Easter was added. They came from 1986 through 1996, and there were 18-20 of them. They also  became a good deal more expensive. I bought one or two myself along the way.

At Christmas 1997 I was living with my parents again briefly, and found a psychological horror show there in that house that I’d never expected, even in light of knowing my family’s foibles all my life. Part of my mother’s attack on me at that time was not to give the Christmas doll. It was going to be the one and only bright spot to a Yule that was blacker than any I’d ever had to that point, and it didn’t come. And though I’d had a whole lot of other messages from my mother to say that I had become a loathed creature in her eyes, the failure of the doll to come at Christmas was the thing that finally got that message across to me one hundred percent.

I no longer have them. Three of those many dolls are in my storage unit, and that’s it.  All but those three had had to be left behind when I moved back here to Turners in 1998. Almost everything I owned was left behind. I escaped with little more than my animals, and they, of course, were the most important thing.

The photo is my cat Chan at age 11 months, who loved to get up and sit on that desk with that group of dolls (there were more dolls in other rooms). It was late 1996. We lived at Six N Street in Turners. My mother hadn’t totally crashed and burned yet, and I still had a human family in a certain fragile way. The dolls are gone. The desk is gone.  That apartment is gone. And Chan was one of the animals taken from me on 12 March 2008, and executed two weeks later at the local animal “shelter” when he was 12 years old. They killed him, they told me, because he “wasn’t very friendly.” You can click here to the Stolen Animals page of my website to see another photo of Chan. Here to read more about my human family. Not light reading, to be sure.


Postscript:  Even the desk the dolls and the cat are sitting on was something I wanted to keep my life long. The bedroom furniture that my siblings and I had had always been used items that my father would paint to match each other. But when we were pre-teenish, Mum got a better job and suddenly decided to buy us each some furniture that was brand new and that matched. I got the French provincial. A chair and desk and dresser that matched. It was another of my mother’s rare ideas that she came to all on her own without any of us asking for it. I was thrilled with that furniture, and was still using it in my forties, when this picture was taken. I still miss it. It’s all old and careworn now, drawers sticking, etc. But I love it because it was a surprise, and it was my mother’s own idea for her children, and because it came from the heart. Will I ever see it again?


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friday 16 october 2009

Page Thirty-three


I’ve been wandering on my most recent entries through my lifetime with animals, and recording the birth and death dates that are still in my memory. Many, especially from my first 25 years, are no longer in those memory banks at all. I wish they were. I wish I had in younger times been the record-keeper I became later.

I went to Turners haunting again today. I go every weekday that I can, as there are no buses on the weekends. I can’t get through the days any other way.

Yesterday on I wrote about the recent suicide of my daughter’s father. We were never married, and he never wanted anything to do with her. But while he raised other children, he failed to adopt them and he died without a will, so now this child he didn’t want – my daughter –  will inherit 50% of his estate. Isn’t it ironic.

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Page Thirty-0ne

Friday 25 Sept 2009

Greenfield…. though I’ve already been to Turners Falls today and come back


tá mé cailte gan thú, gan do ghrá. grá agat i gconai.                                                                                                                                          


blue candles were burned once, for your safe return

~~~~~~~  website  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


friday 14 august 2009

Page Seventeen


So many songs and lyricless pieces of music wander through my mind, and they are in my memory note for note. But I don’t let them stay too long before pushing them away. I can hardly bear them appearing in my mind, much less to listen to them on radio or CD. Years’ and years’ worth of music learned in my own life, when I had animals and homes. Folk music, classical, new age, popular, all unable now to be faced because my 55 years of having homes and animals are gone, gone, for 17 months now.

Love is sacred. That’s a corny thing to say I suppose, but it is. The death of one you love is sacred. I first began to learn about the sacredness of love and death with animals, as a little girl. I was much, much slower with that learning when it came to people.

Matthew hasn’t learned it yet, and maybe never will. For him the job is sacred, and he could never move beyond that to make love sacred. If you want to know who Matthew is, well, he’s spread around this website and appears, I think, on each of the nine blogs. If you come back again, no doubt you’ll find him sometime.

And I, in this new existence that is not my life, and having been caught up for a long time with bizarre and distressing things that Matthew told me, have to return to what’s sacred for me. It’s extremely painful, because returning to it is full of grief and loss and anger. But all the trips to Turners Falls are about wandering around in what is, and was, sacred for me.

~~~~~  website  ~~~~~~~~~~~

(r.monti sculpture at

 all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2009-2011 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.


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