This is Helen! By Maggie Scratch


Helen Gosch

A Poet? A Potter? A Candlestick Maker?

She’s busy everywhere!

She’ll be there if you need her,

that’s what a friend is for.

Helen, today you are the

“coy mistress.”

I quote from a poem you wrote,

Pulled into the World.

“I can imagine the awe felt

In the hands of all that is warm and beautiful.”

I can imagine it too.



The written word for you is not enough.

You love to get your hands in all kinds of stuff.

You pulled this woman into the world—

you created her on a tray!

Helen of Tray!

The coy mistress…

This must be you!




The Author of Maggie Scratch in Ibiza

Boots of Spanish Leather


I wish I could find those cowboy boots. They were my favorite boots of all time. I wore them every day and they just got better and better, Spanish leather. Boots of Spanish Leather. What a great song. I’m sitting in front of a wild daisy patch and those are the Benimussa Hills and an olive tree. I can’t go back in time. Or can I? If I look at this picture long enough, I’m there with little Myshkin on that chair, rooted, planted, a transplanted soul. I can smell the rosemary and the wild sage on the hills, I can smell the earth and the sun and the sea, Memory! I am what I was, I’m what I was still, I’m still what I always have been.

On the Road With Maggie Scratch and The Man Who Washed His Cup in Ibiza

the man who

Does anyone know this man?

He was a friend in Ibiza in the seventies. I can’t find him anywhere on the internet. He inspired the character in my novel, Maggie Scratch, the man who washed his cup. He was from Madrid. His name was Javier de Muns and his sister was Sandra and she worked in TV. Below is the passage from the book… where he appears…and disappeared.


Before I started writing this book, a couple sat in my kitchen. The man was reading a National Geographic and the woman was drinking wine, they were in the process of separating. They are still in the process. Today, the man, tall, tan, and thinner than ever, came over for lunch. He says he can’t sleep, he can’t eat, he drank five cups of coffee and then he washed his cup. I ate his pâté. The woman who was drinking the wine is living with her children now. No, that’s not exactly true. She might be living with them, after she is released from the hospital. She ate forty Valium. The man who washed his cup says he loves this woman but he will not live with her children, he does not love her children, he does not even like them. From what I can gather, the feeling is mutual. But. He would like to have his own child someday. The father of the woman’s children never wanted to become a father, so, after their second child, he convinced the woman to have her tubes tied. This woman has to make a choice. It’s either her children or the man who washed his cup. If she leaves her children and lives with him, when he’s ready to have a child, he might leave her. The man who washed his cup says she ate the Valium because she can’t choose. She knows that if she chooses him, one day she might end up with nobody. The man who washed his cup has been traveling. He returned to the island to sell his car but he has no future plans other than to call the woman in the hospital tomorrow. Before he left, he picked up the cup he had washed and poured himself a beer. Before he drank it he said: “All the people I meet, everyone. We talk, we have a drink together. Nothing. I feel nothing from anyone. No one seems to know what they’re doing. They’re just doing it.”

Then he drank his beer and washed his cup.

Maggie Scratch