Monday, October 27, 2014

Hello again Helene! The homeless woman and her dachsund


Helene and I sat next to each other for lunch today.

She expected me to be late, which I was not. She saved an old pic of me up in her apartment in Brookside Bldg, where I walked up six flights of stairs to get there.

The photo was taken on Bauman Drive in Maple Glen, where she used to live. The white spot on my nose is Eucerine cream which I applied in the car when we were stopped by flagmen/women.

I brought over my recent paintings which she really liked.

 Donna's Copper Watering Can

I wanted to paint something shapely. Donna thought she was gonna move in w/me, so she brot over a lot of her things.

Doubt she will.
 Purple Hubcaps
 Roses for Frankie, about a friend of mine who took his own life at age 45, a combination of intractable pain and a mental illness. It was not his first attempt, as is common.

I do love the coffee at Rydal Park. I just call it Egbert's. I always choose Decaf. That word alone conjures up the ability to do good work.

Helene told me about a radio show she listened to called RadioLab. The voices of Mel Blanc were on there. Mel was the voice of Bugs Bunny and numerous other characters. 

We sat next to a hard/hearing woman named Sarah and her aide.

Sarah agreed with Helene that the food was none too good. Sarah said her carrot soup was delicious.

Since I have diabetes, I only order and Salad and

oops!  Pecan Pie. The reason I did was b/c in my last short story - Moses, The Making of a Man - Moses eats some pecan pie - with ReddiWhip - with a small spoon.

I injected the maximum - 10 units - and will probly have to ride my bike for five hours to lower my sugar.

In the long hallways of Rydal Park are paintings by both residents and other artists. These pears are by Diana, whom we met on Helene's floor. We held the elevator open for her as she walked with a cane.

The woman in charge of choosing the paintings is a resident there named Perky Cohen. Guess who I'm gonna call up?

*

So, New Directions gets a call. It's from a Diana M, who's staying at a Motel 6 in King of Prussia.

She'd never heard of us.

She's 67 yo, has insulin-dependent diabetes, a history of 2 strokes, and has a 14-yo Dachsund who's she's never gonna abandon.

  I'll tell ya, Wikipedia has the best photos! When they email me, which they did last year, I'll make a donation. The NY Times admitted they have reliable info about Ebola.

I called Abington Memorial Hospital to ask about Diana and her insulin problem. She told me she lost her insulin pens in one of her moves. She's a New York resident but decided to move down here to be near her cousin, who wants nothing to do with her.

The nurse said she definitely needs her insulin, even though Diana has no food whatsoever. I didn't ask Diana how she is paying for her room, and she will not go to the hospital as she doesn't wanna leave Doxy alone. He does have food.

I'll tell you, if I were starving I'd certainly eat dog food.

So we do not know what to do with this woman! I asked two members of New Directions to look in on her. Will they?


Helene told me she was traumatized when she moved out of her house in Maple Glen. I told her I had gone to hear Mark Padmore at The Kimmel Center.

"We used to go there," she said.

"I remember you did. You and Aaron."

"No, it wasn't Aaron I went with."

So who did she go with? Possibly her nephew Gerry.

Image result for mark padmore

In fact, I wrote Mark Padmore and his wife Vicki Mortimor a note today, thanking him for hosting Sarah and myself at the Kimmel Center.



I used three thin Barnum and Bailey stamps.

Whatever 44 x three is, that's how much it costs to go to England. If you're a greeting card.

On my way out, I asked Solomon, a couple of questions, but first I said....

Solomon Grundy born on Monday
christened on Tuesday

He'd never heard of it.

You'll never guess where he's from.....

Liberia! His mom is there.

I also learned that my friend Betty Williams, who lived there, had died.  She was 93. When she moved, reluctantly, into Rydal at the behest of her late husband, she gave me a few very nice things I still have.

She was a terrific gardener.

These tiny saucers are from Morocco. She and Bill toured the world. She was also a painter.

On my way home. I was mad I had forgotten to bring Helene two sweet potatoes I had baked this morning. We were gonna eat them for lunch.

I drove all the way back and left them at the front desk for her.

  Helene said these were the sweetest sweet potatoes she has ever tasted!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Coffeeshop Writers' Group - Good turnout - Good nail polish - My two new poems: Caroline's Spoon and Division in the Darkness

Linda and I attended The Willow Grove Bible Church last nite - see my poem below - where every other Friday they host a band and an art project. For $10 we each painted an acrylic painting under the tutelage of Abbie, whose studio is in Hulmeville, PA.

Neither Linda nor I followed directions - which was fine with Abbie - and we each did our own thing.

Linda painted a Christian ship of hope.

Her poem, which we all liked was titled The Last Atomic Holocaust Movie Supper. 

"I dreamed a dream," it began. She dreamt it on a Wednesday and poetated on a Friday.

Solomon Grundy was born on Monday, christened on Tuesday.

Handsomely hatted Floyd liked the poem, esp since it contained lines about his fave movie, Dr Strangelove.

He told us about Trinity, the nickname for the first atomic bomb, which was detonated in Alamagordo, New Mexico.


Twould be nice if this were a bicycle helmet, but it's the Trinity Bomb. 

Beatriz wrote an essay about what happened to her at the Willow Grove Post Office.

She's quite weak from her chemo and when she walked in the door, she didn't notice that a "well-dressed black woman" was behind her.

The woman yelled at her for not holding open the door.

Beatriz, a kind soul, told her she didn't see her but the woman insisted on making a fuss.

In the story, Beatriz yelled at her, telling her she was an old lady and the woman had obviously been "snubbed" and was taking it out on her.

The entire post office applauded and the woman apologized.

Photo of Carly from my 'stock photos.'

Her Metamorphosis is about a dream trip she and Charlie want to take. They've been talking about it for years.

Floyd knows a couple who are doing it right now. They go "where the climate suits my clothes" - lines from the Grateful Dead. Their mailing address is in South Dakota, where cars do not have to be inspected, and neither do the cars in Maryland.

Floyd knows his music. He emailed us a rhythmic piece of his thoughts as he was listening to Led Zeppelin's "Dazed and Confused."

Listen up, right here. 

Stand up and take a bow, Floyd!

Allan Heller will give a performance of his work next week at the Hatboro library. It's on my calendar. He's investigating the possibility of having brain surgery for his Parkinson's. A woman in his support group said she's 70 percent better after having the surgery.

Use your imagination and see what you think Carly is doing here..... eating watermelon? biting her nails?

Am listening to the Blues Show on WXPN. Sadly, Jack Bruce of Cream passed away today. He's considered one of the greatest bass players of all time. He ruined his liver with drug abuse and had a transplant years ago, but died of liver failure. 
Wiki - Bruce died on 25 October 2014 from liver disease in Suffolk, England, aged 71.[20] His publicist Claire Singers said: "He died today at his home in Suffolk surrounded by his family."
 

While blogging, I lost the entire contents of my blog, but decided to do it all over again.


 Donna's poem was about A Perfect Day. She and her daughter Danielle went shopping together. Donna bought some boots with buttons down the side and her daughter bought a sexy and elegant dress for her upcoming trip to London with her future in-laws and fiance.

Three people remained to read my newest short story, "Moses The Man." Thanks to Carly and Donna for reading my lengthy short story.

I had absolutely no idea what was gonna happen in the story. Let it percolate overnite but that didn't help a bit.

Am pretty happy with it.





DIVISION IN THE DARKNESS

My car knows the way
to the small lit-up church
where I go on Friday nights
to drink coffee and listen
to music but it is the
getting there, the driving over,
down the dark streets with
porch lights calling out like
beacons leading lost soldiers
home from the wars.

I am searching for Division Avenue
Off on the left
a huge grassy field
hosts thousands
of feet who play soccer
and baseball
under a blazing sun
and hidden stars

I looked at a house
overlooking the playing fields
how I wanted it
to cheer my depressions
when the mood was upon me
but the rooms were like
small caskets 
cheerless and gray

The small lit-up church
appears before me
A sign announces
Fresh Ground Coffee House
where the Decaf is free and so are
the pastries my pitiful pancreas
won’t let me eat.

The Decaf will do. 
I am there only an hour and come
home with a painting filled with
concentric circles, dots and dashes
an encoded message I fail to
comprehend, and a hot cup of
Decaf I sip on in the car.

I find my way back home
Division is empty, not a single
car down this lonesome road,
so I turn up the volume and
sing out of tune.

At home, I flood the upstairs
typing room with light that
blazes out into the darkness,
piercing spikes that a careful
astronaut may notice as
she circles the only planet
we know that has life.

Even the pens and markers
in my blue Walt Disney cup
burst with life and bright colors
and the cup feels cold as
I stroke it with my hand.
 
CAROLINE’S SPOON

In memory of Caroline 
November 28, 1922 – July 17, 2014


Meaningless now
spoon stamped
“stainless Japan
the cellar”
on sale in one of the grand
old buildings in Cleveland
our ancestral home
hers too
her mother a
gray-haired sylph
in topknot
sold furs
at Higbee’s
dead at one hundred
and three

Caroline married for
love not furs
Irv admired these
spoons as they dined
on matzo ball soup
with soft carrots and
translucent onions

“Easy to hold with
their flat bottoms!”
he laughed. Their
mirth spread across
the kitchen thinking of
their own fat bottoms.

Brian, by now, was
a late-night teen,
like the spoon,
he was adopted,
a misfit
miserable with
downturned mouth.

They tried everything
before juvenile
detention gave him
confidence
his life was over.

“So let him join the
carnival!” said Caroline
in that husky voice
bursting, I swear,
with love.

His seed impregnated
a lovely woman
Holly saw something
in that boy’s eyes,
his own mother may have
seen it when she offered
him up

Caroline was Mom’s best friend.
They met at the distribution warehouse
on St. Clair where the smell of sweat and men in
undershirts and crushed cigarettes
trailed them back home

Their friendship never expired.
When we moved next door to
Pennsylvania they laughed
over the phone, and when I answered
she’d say, “Ruthie! How are you?”

We worry about Brian
now that she’s gone
he did not visit
during the waning days
but lays in bed now
picking his lips
till they bleed
asking for
forgiveness.




Hello Miami Beach Cousin, Carolyn Robbins Manley

Gathering in Mom's kitchen and eating her delicious food. Carolyn is one of two kids from mom's Uncle Benny and his wife Aunt Clover. He was a riot. And did magic tricks, pulling a quarter out of your ear.

We all grew up in the suburbs of Cleveland. And are as scattered now as the stars in the sky.

Carolyn was in Camden, NJ, attending a function of her company, which specializes in mock jury trials and jury selection.  

Very poised, she's been on television numerous times. Plus she's a lovely person. We'd be friends, I told her, if you lived around here.

Her two children are Marissa and Benjamin. Altho her husband Patrick is not Jewish, he's a mellow guy and was fine with her raising their kids Jewish.

Wonder if they have a mezuzah on their door post and

a preying mantis on their mailbox.

That's a Matisse cut-out I'm mailing to Aunt Selma in Cleveland.

 Mom looked terrific.
Patrick kept busy playing games.

Happy half-birthday to sister Donna.

We're all in our sixties - where does the time go? - except Amy who's but a kid at 59.

I'll be 69 in December since I share a birthday with


This dude needs no introduction. 

Faith sustains many people.

Mom, I said, please give Carolyn some of your stuff.

Thousands upon thousands of objects - okay, objets d'art - make it impossible for my mom to move out. No wonder she has water in the basement. The house weighs a ton.

These bookends of German Shepherds belonged to Gramma Zali. Zali was the mother of Uncle Benny, my Grandma Lily and 9 others, plus baby Gertrude who died before she was a year old.

My middle name is Zali (rhymes with Polly). 

Carolyn knew our great-Aunt Ruthie, who worked for the Miami Herald. She didn't know that our aunt suffered from one of the most painful conditions on earth:  tic de la roux or trigeminal neuralgia.

She took the antiseizure drug Tegretol for a while but finally had facial surgery that relieved the intense agony.  Her face was partially paralyzed, but the pain was gone.

Carolyn is now on her way to the Philadelphia airport in her rented Chevrolet.

Mom loaded her down with Ellen's award-winning white meringue cookies studded with chocolate chips.



While there, I feasted on salmon loaf, roasted asparagus and blubbery crunch.




Can you see me waving at the plane up in the air? Bye bye Carolyn, come back soon.