Saturday, June 25, 2022

Charity Sunday: The Rosacea Foundation


Since I'm a contrary cuss, I'm gonna scare all y'all fuckers right outta the starting gate. The ugly mug above is mine. I always look like I'm about to cut a bitch in any selfie I take. My attitude when I took this hideous picture was actually neutral. I was thinking something like, "well, fuck, I got my entire massive pumpkin head in the shot and there isn't a booger hanging out of my nose or anything, so it'll do."

When I started getting rashes over my cheeks and nose, my initial thought was "shit, I have lupus on top of all my damn endocrine problems. Figures." However, the labs revealed I don't have lupus.

My PA initially thought I was having an eczema flare-up. In fairness, this was during the height of the pandemic and I was doing telehealth visits, so she wasn't seeing my face up close and in person. Once she saw me in person, she could see right away that I had rosacea rather than eczema.

I have the type 1 presentation of rosacea, which is a persistent centralized rash and flaking skin, although sometimes I have outbreaks of pustules, which are really fun. Unlike teenage acne, there's no popping these suckers, no matter how much one may wish to because they're damn painful. 

Many people think of rosacea as being a mild rash that goes away with the application of a little cream, but sometimes it causes skin thickening and can even affect the eyes. It's a crap disease and I hate it. It makes me feel even more self-conscious than I already do, what with all the people in the world who feel like it's their duty to point out that I don't check the "hottie" boxes. Do these fuckers think I'm incapable of looking in a mirror and seeing that I'm not young, thin, or pretty? Fuck the hell off.

Just in case anyone missed it, I'm also angry. And sweary. 

It would make me super gleeful if someone found a cure for rosacea. I don't expect one in my lifetime because I did something bad in one of my other lifetimes, so I don't get to have nice stuff. But because I'd like it if someone in the future didn't have to put up with this crap, I'm donating a dollar to the National Rosacea Society for every comment I receive on this darling little post.

As for writing, I took part in the competition in May and I wish I hadn't. It only served to remind me that my writing seriously lacks any semblance of commercial appeal, which I really don't give any fucks about most of the time. It's just that it would be nice to have something go my way for once. 

I titled the suite of poems I entered for the poetry side of the competition Secrets of the Soul. I'm thinking about giving these poems away to subscribers of my newsletter in July. 

I guess I'll share a poem now along with a critique I received from a Sixfold participant whom I'll call Davy Wavy.

I call this ornery little gem Opposing Forces.

Opposing Forces


Senior and Junior are the best at spending

Money that they have saved from others

By not paying what they owe

By duping the gullible

By stealing from children’s charities


On New Year's Day, Senior tries to French kiss a woman not his wife

Her grimace shows that she is flustered and disgusted

She stifles a caterwaul and summons a taxi


As the fireworks fill the air with rockets' red glare

Junior, drunk on champagne and sporting an unflattering mustache

Tenaciously tries to please Senior with his latest half-baked idea

Senior ignores his sycophant son

As he trolls the party for a new target for his unwanted affections

Davy had this to say about the poem.

This poem is too preachy and obvious. Instead of stereotypes, why not give your two principal “characters” some human complexity? 

I dunno, Davy. Maybe because the poem was meant to be obvious. Maybe because its characters are cartoonishly awful. Maybe because this is the way I've observed them to act in real life. It isn't on me to grant human complexity to a pair of entitled fuckfaces who conduct themselves without the smallest shred of human decency.

I wonder if Davy would like this cartoonist to give their subject some "human complexity" too.

As for Senior's spawn, I can't help it if they're walking caricatures with all the nuanced humanity of the Walking Dead. 

I suppose I shouldn't be lazy, though. I really could try harder to give them some human complexity.

Oh, fuck it. It's not my job.

I like this image. It looks a little bit something like me and has my attitude too.

Davy's entitled to his opinions on my poetry. I really don't give a fuck. I'm just angry right now.

On the other hand, I thought Brittany's observations:

I don't know if it is a choice to lack punctuation in your work but I think if you could tighten it up and add some punctuation it would actually add more power to your words.

and Melissa's suggestions:

Stolen Flight is a little melodramatic in word choice (e.g. the image of the raven reminds me of Edgar Allan Poe, and the word 'soul' is used more than once). I'd try playing around with different word choices for this poem.

Were useful. I like the Poe-esque quality of the poem in question, but she's right that consulting a thesaurus for an alternative to reusing "soul" would be helpful.

I haven't even been able to make myself look at what people thought of my story entry. Sometimes it's more important to just keep going. I want to hone my craft, but I'm not going to even work on my craft if I'm convinced that everything I write is crap. 

Somewhere there's this thing called "balance." 

I think I'm more likely to be abducted by aliens than to find this elusive "balance" thing.

~Ornery Owl Has Spoken~

"Klaatu barada nikto, Owl?"


  1. Balance? I am pretty certain it is a myth. Or something that can only be achieved for a micro second before the world shifts again.
    I am sorry that you have rosacea added to your already overflowing plate.

    1. Thanks. I always wonder "oh, hell, what's next?" Often while swallowing or injecting medication or putting drops in my eyes.

  2. Hi, Cie... Thanks for participating in today's Charity Sunday. Especially when the cause is so personal.

    And I liked your piece... satire does not have to be realistic.


    1. Hi Lisabet. Thanks for your comment. Mary Trump's biography of her uncle was completely realistic, and even though she was striving for a balanced approach and even managed sympathy for him, he still came off as strikingly two-dimensional. I think Davy's problem with my poem was the fact that it was realistic, just not nuanced. The setting was fictional, but Senior and Junior are both guilty of the faults I mention.
      One woman that Senior thrust his unwanted attentions—and pelvis—at was my aunt. She was working for a PR firm in NYC in the early 90s and attended one of his parties. He came up behind her and ground his pelvis against her buttocks while offering up lurid suggestions. Truly a disgusting man.

  3. I ended up with rosacea, too, but the less sever kind. When I first noticed it I thought, What the hell??? I didn't have a bad complexion when I was in my teens and NOW I get bad skin?? But as I said, mine was the easy sort. I'm sorry you're going through all of this now. As for writing, I think we all have to forget what others say about it and just do what makes us feel better and more complete. Hard to do, I know.

    1. Hi Dee. I fully agree about the writing. I've been trying too hard to please other people all year. I've really lost myself and am having trouble getting myself back.
      Fortunately, my affliction with rosacea has not caused skin thickening or affected my eyes. I didn't even know it could affect the eyes. Like, WTF?
      Thanks for stopping by.

  4. The problem is not with your poem. The problem is that there isn't a speck of "human complexity" in any of those wastes of skin, who are using up resources, like oxygen, that others could put to better use.

    Husband and I both have rosacea, though not as noticeable as yours. We control it with prescription creams. So I'm glad to help you donate to a charity I believe in.

    1. Hi Fiona. I use azelaic acid, but it doesn't help that much. Mine isn't even a particularly severe case on the scale of things. There's no skin thickening or eye issues. It may be exacerbated by the dryness I experience due to hypothyroidism and diabetes. Also the fact that I basically live in the desert, what with the extreme drought here in the West.
      I told my son I thought that Davy's critique of my poem was incorrect. If anything, I'm guilty of hyperbole, not stereotyping. It isn't stereotyping when someone points out the way a person actually behaves. Stereotyping would be me saying "like all white Republican males, tRump did this thing."
      Thanks for stopping by.


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