Friday, June 24, 2016

Struggling! Poem: The Pine Wood Diner - Reminder: Your home should be a thing of beauty

Scott spent his two-week vacation doing yardwork and throwing things out! The Trashmen took it all.


I emailed Laura McKenna a letter of thanks for always championing ND. Sent her this pic of my bulletin board in my upstairs office.

And, yes, that's me, studying piano at Goddard College with Ray McIntyre, who now lives in California.

WHERE would you live, Dear Reader.

Personally, I might like to live in a squirrel nest, and be a baby squirrel once again.

Let's pretend!

 Am working on a Guest Column for the Intell. Sent it out for some comments before I submit it. Still have a lotta work to do.

The editor did not publish my last column so of course I'm worried he won't like this one!

Was feeling down about it. You've gotta be prepared for sad moments, as our guest speaker Jason Matlack told us. For his gift, I gave him a gift card from Rita's Water Ice, which I ate on Father's Day at the Rohrer's house in NJ. It was delicious!

So what did I do to cheer myself up? And I've gotta remember this.

I opened up a book.

Becoming Wise by Krista Tippitt. I read and read and read until I fell asleep.

All is well in the morning.

THE PINE WOOD DINER

There is no restaurant or diner
where I would rather eat -
sorry, Double R, from Twin Peaks-
than the Pine Wood Open Air Diner

There I rest my legs like the
dray horse they will become
today, and taste every bite
of an omelet where the hens -
speaking about dray horses -
will never see their chicks,
o sadness roll through me now,

And I can only honor them by
enjoying the flavor and creamy
texture of what could have been.

As I sip my Wild Berry Tea
the drosophilas whiz by
as do the birds. The female
cardinal, a dusky brown, and
the bluejay as aggressive as
General Stanley McChrystal

To all of us, I say holding
out my cup, and to you, most
of all, my friend Denis, whose
people hail from Lebanon, and
before that the sea-faring Phoenicians.

We laugh together on the phone.
Now Denis's body swims with
liquids. He can't get rid of
them. This man with the radio-
announcer voice, a voice like
God, is tethered to a
dialysis machine.

****

Which really means that God himself is also tethered to a dialysis machine. He experiences everything we do.

***
 Chris Trotter came over to pick up a recommendation I wrote for him. He wants to be a certified peer specialist.  His son, who just grad'd from The Air Force Academy, is in Rome, at the Vatican. About 500 young Catholic men were blessed by Pope Francis.


In the Krista Tippitt book about faith, she writes about many holy men and women. One thing they do is bathe others' feet.


Chris took this pic of me by the geranium plant that still blooms. I just didn't want to waste this photo.

***



 Kym Cohen is in our writers' group. Every now and again I send her a postcard. Here's Mailman Joe.

***

Today's film at the HV Library is Lady in a Van with Maggie Williams. It looked simply terrible!

***
Last night I ate at the Willow Grove Giant Cafe. What an awful place! The good energy is gone since they turned it into a bier garden. I know my friend Martha would agree.

As I lay in bed last nite I thought about Energy. The new Wawa and its gas station have energy.

Feng shui?

My house has energy.

Will eat my luncheon salad and then go upstairs and write in the hottest room in the house.

Image result for sauna


Just noticed this on the bottom of my fridge.

Off it goes and into the paper recyclables.

We were not among the chosen ones, Chaim Potok!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Keswick Theater Oldies but Goodies Show




 The dude in the red hat has written a book under his name Styxxx..... people are waiting for it, he said. He's met just about all the major bands in the country and wrin about them.
 Red Hat tole me that this guy is the lead singer of..... Three Dog Night?

Methinks he got outa the bus and went straight to the wheelchair.



I was wedged deeply into my seat and couldn't move.

Gary Puckett and the Union Gap were very good. He dedicated his music to the veterans who protect our country.



Image result for gary puckett


Image result for gary puckett  Then and now.

 I left at the intermission.
 Leave it to me to find an ice cream store.... The Weldon, which has been there for a year.
I got a chocolate peanut butter sundae with hot fudge sauce on top. Plenty of protein. Cain't rightly figger out why the photo didn't come out.

My, that ice cream was good. I ate it as I walked toward my car. Found someone's open trash can to toss it into as I neared my car.

 They wouldn't let me inside the theatre as I hadn't printed out my ticket correctly. Finally the WBTC printed it up.
Here's Mr Red Hat's book description of his book titled I Saw the Light. The title of course is from the famous song by......

Red Hat lives in Germantown.

I was just awakened by a great song.... Warren Zevon's Splendid Isolation.

Warren, we're so sorry you had to leave this planet so soon.

January 24, 1947 – September 7, 2003

What's his famous line? Enjoy every sandwich!

He says gbye on David Letterman.


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Starting the day with a good ole fashioned breakfast

Dressed to the nines, I drove over to Weis Market in Huntingdon Valley, only to learn they put out breakfast between 8 and 8 30.

In my clodhoppers, I walked over the parking lot and the grass to Stargazers, I mean, Starbucks, and ordered me a hot coffee

COFFEE AT STARBUCKS

A small hot coffee, I said
eschewing the grand terminology
of its millions of fans
all around the world

What flavor dyou suppose
God prefers? Assuming he
or she never sleeps I'd
imagine the twin virtues
of caffeine and sugar in
one of endlessly refittable
shiny carafes
they serve at the IHOP

I sip slowly under the
cloudless blue sky on
the Starbucks patio
made of brick, as someone
far far away huffs and puffs
and innocents all over
the world are struck down.

God sips slowly, his tears
falling into the toasted
bagel and cream cheese.

***

All the while I read my book by Steve Hamilton, who has won EVERY AWARD there ever was for crime fiction.

This book about a new character named Nick Mason is good enuf so I will indeed finish it.

Image result for steve hamilton books  Just don't ask me to remember the name.

Carrying my cuppa Starbucks into the Weis Market that used to be Superfresh that used to be Pathmark, I got a big heaping of eggs and one piece of French toast.

About four dollars.

I sat down, peppered the eggs and remembered after my first bite How awful they are! Last week the woman told me they're poured out of a big vat and scrambled.

Yuck! I ate every last bite. The French toast is quite good.

I had forgotten my needle so I injected 10 when I got home. And now another 10.

I did not have bacon, sausage, chipped beef, Scrapple or the yummy looking cinnamon rolls.

In the car I'm FINALLY listening to a good audio book. Enchantments by Kathryn Harrison.

Image result for enchantments book   Oh, apparently, the narrator is one of Rasputin's two daughters.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Writers' Group at B's - My story The Promise

Doubtless there are many pollinators on my front lawn, including dandelions. In Beatriz's short essay - The Buzz about Bees - she pondered whether or not to rid lawns of dandelions as they are a boon to pollinators, the many many species of bees who are dying off for many reasons.

The lawn of her condo is sprayed with noxious fumes. She said dandelion greens are delicious in salads.

She also told us - and I'd wondered about this - that we're losing our FIREFLIES!

What are we doing to our beautiful earth!

And, NO, Allan Heller, I am not intimidated to stop using my fave word, "delicious." Allan, btw, thought of the title for B's essay.

Got up early this morning and walked around the block. Before I started my short story I took a lil nap. Went on Netflix and found the soft-spoken artist Bob Ross, who could lull Jack the Giant Eater to sleep. Let's give it up for the late Bob Ross.

I'd set my timer for 20 minutes and was quite alarmed when it went off.

Fernando, Argentinian compatriot of B's, let us eat cake today. Hmm, I said about his zucchini bread, not too sweet. Later I learned he made it with Stevia.

Here's his banana bread. What? You don't like banana bread? Try this with nuts and figs. And very nice with the hot coffee Allan rustled up for us.

I must tell you I just got off my bike. With the fan trained on me I pedaled for 25 minutes while reading two books.

Sugar is a perfect 97.

More exciting chapters from Allan's The Village of Blood and Stone, which he read in his stentorian voice. C'mon already. Let's get out of the deadly forest.

Allan told us about various family members who lost their lives in World War II. His 90-yo uncle still doesn't want to talk about the Pandora's Box it would open.

Read this new story that considers PTSD a physical diz. From June 10.

Rem came straight from his half-day at the post office - see his insignia? - and read several chapters of his book. Much of it is autobiographical about his late wife Valerie, whose schizophrenia was downgraded into manic depression, tho she never got depressed.

Thanks, Rem, for burning me a copy of Golden Earring! I can't listen to it downstairs on the stereo my sister Donna gave me.

Mr. Flecks makes anudder appearance in his novel, as we knew he would. Linda Barrett was laffing hysterically and Allan also thought it quite funny, as did Donna K.

I certainly enjoyed it and marked up his copy with ****** asterisks to show I cared.

THE DREADED DISEASE was a terrific account of Donna's bout with cancer, done in poetry!

Very visual! She and B both described what it was like getting radiation therapy. For Donna, tho, the cancer wasn't the worst part of her diz.

It was her depression, which tops all diseases! I too will vouch for that.

Once, at New Directions, we had a man with cerebral palsy arrive in a wheelchair. His CP paled in comparison to his depression.

Donna drove over herself. Good for you!

Linda, wearing the Giant insignia, read her short story about the First Time she had sex. It was very well done.

See, many of us entered the competition, due June 30, about The First Time. Mine was about using mescaline at Goddard College for the first and last time.

Linda's written and rewrin this story many a time but must stick to the main point... The First Time.

You can do it, Linda!!!

I arrived slathered up in suntan lotion in case a big black vulture wants to come down and eat me. Let's find a photo of me somewhere.

Oh, this is my FB photo, taken at the kids' house in Glenside.

You gotta cover your bod with lotion if you're taking antirejection meds, which I do.

My story was called.... hmmmm.... Oh yes, The Promise.

Got the idea when I lived in San Fran and worked for a place called Cal/Ink. A lovely woman named Lenore had had a mastectomy and that's how I came up with the idea, which I just executed this morning.

Four pages. Martha, who wasn't there, found it "exciting and profound."

At B's house we talked about a new David Letterman interview. He now wears a beard. Like in the Roald Dahl short story THE TWITS.

Have a great evening, folks!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Fini - The Big Spoon - Fecund Fecund World - Was Marilyn Monroe murdered? - Poem: Walking Scott to the Train Station

Image result for prokofiev Am listening to Sergei Prokofiev's First String Quartet on YouTube.

So, I sent off THE BIG SPOON for final approval to a couple of my readers. It's about an obese woman trying to battle her eating addiction.

And, NO, it is not about me.

As I walked around the block this morning, the words Ah, fecund fecund world came to me

What kind of mind thinks up something like that?

Ah, fecund fecund world
I have just been out there
doing the fox trot round
the block, then planning
my visit with the man
from Sam's Club

Will he show and where
will I put him? What
will he bring? A Mason
Pearson hair brush for
my sister? Reams of
paper for me. And a
hat box full of - no, not of
creamy chocolates - but of

bird feathers, we do so
love our reds and blues
and yellers - and pop in
there, Mr Sam's Club, a
nice snakeskin for grandson
Max, a gift from his sandled
Bubby.

The guy from Sam's Club never showed up.

This orange slip of paper is very important.

Dad used to work at Majestic Specialties Inc in Cleveland. The 'boys' would send messages to one another... at the top it says Jersey City, Cleveland or New York. Later they'd have other branches.

These were very smart people. As I said at Mom's, where I was eating a salad I had brot, they could have been in Hollywood, discovering new talent and making movies.

Reminds me that last night I watched a docu about Marilyn Monroe, who was addicted to a number of pills, barbituates. And all her husbands, including the great playwright Arthur Miller, would follow her lead when she appeared before the photographers and would stand there and smile and wave.

The doc was a conspiracy theory that she was murdered by the Kennedys and others. She actually believed RFK was gonna divorce Ethel and marry her.

OH, the Sam's Club man just came. I re-sked the visit for Monday. Had told him I'm leaving home at 1:30, which I am..... the movie Son of Saul at the library.

My car doors are wide open waiting to take me in and not suffocate me with heat.

Image result for marilyn monroe

WALKING SCOTT TO THE TRAIN STATION

He's a fast walker in his steel-tip boots
and backpack carrying the dinner he'll eat
at 2 am. I keep up with him, walking eight
steps behind like the Indian women from Punjab

Davisville Road darkens. A chip of a
moon follows us on the left, so high
my neck cracked when I looked up at it
the same moon I watched from the Country
Squire back in Cleveland, Dad at
the wheel, cigarette dangling

Catastrophes as yet unknown, his death,
my kidney transplant, massacres of the
innocents we watch on huge living room
TVs while snacking on Doritos, our lips
burn with salt

A ramp is being constructed. Smell the
wood! But why? Whose legs have given
out? Oh, let us mourn for that pair
of legs - did diabetes have its way
with them - that damn autoimmunce disease?

I will sit with you a while, I say, until
the train comes. A squirrel scampers from
the trash can, as Scott and I touch knees
and talk about all the things we'll do
on his next vacation, as the train whistles
on down the line.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Research on my short story about Binge Eating - Two short stories published - Saving Charlotte and In Pursuit of Happiness


 Very difficult to eat this crowded hot dog. I eat it over the high grassy hill so the critters can get anything that falls.
I'm setting the short story in this house for sale. It's a real beaut and overlooks the DQ. To find a house I simply goggled Houses for Sale 19090.

 Here I am at the top of the hill, a steep walk up and down, Jack and Jill.


A Pecan Mudslide is one of the best things I've ever eaten.

That RED SPOON is so exciting looking! Maybe that's what I should call the story.

Ain't it great we're brainstorming together!

So I'm standing there with my plastic cup and thinkin, If I want, I can only eat HALF of the sundae and throw the rest away.

But WHY should I, it's so delicious.

I've written much of the story in my head.... loads of description.... and temptation for.... Babette?

Perhaps she shall be named

Wonderful!
Counselor!
The Mighty God!
The Everlasting Father! 
The Prince of Peace!

Oh, sorry, that's Christ from the Messiah. Listen here.

ANGELA..... how dyou like that name?

And, please, don't flood me with thousands of responses.

Page and Spine published two of my fave works, both fiction.

Saving Charlotte and In Pursuit of Happiness.

View em here

Here's the Doctor Nadler mentioned in the 'cat' story.

Monday, June 13, 2016

The latest assault rifle massacre - this time in Orlando FL - Poems: Fireflies - Morning Light - Little Daddy

 My sister Lynn Greene sent me these three photos, including one in New Hope, where she lives.

Click to enlarge. 
 How important it is for folks to come together to mourn and show support that we will survive against the forces of ignorance, hatred and evil.
As you know, I write a poem a day for FB and I alluded to this atrocity in today's poem.

MORNING LIGHT

It's not Venice
we're talking about
or the Island of Paros

It's the peek-a-boo
sunshine slanting
between angled
roof between tulip
tree between two-
door black pick-up

Slashing its merciless
way toward earth
burning burning
burning
beautiful despite
unspeakable
suffering and
wounds that won't heal.


FIREFLIES


They bide their time
enjoying the sounds
of the summer winds

Though in truth the
suspense and longing
are nearly unbearable

Like Lana and Garfield
in The Postman Always
Rings Twice

Finally unleashed and
floating from the
starting gate

Their marvelous flashes
sting the night sky
Who will love me?
Who will have me?
Who will bear my kin?

Dim your lights so
they may find one
another, planetary
lights dappling our
mad mad world.

Image result for fireflies

Ran out tonight to buy an iced coffee at Dunkin Donuts. I was the only one in there. I wanted something with flavor. I asked what a Coolata was.

The Indian woman kept saying $3.00.

What is it? I would ask.

I did this three times.

Then I went over to where her husband stood taking orders from a car.

Like slush, he said.

Oh, says I, I don't want it. Gimme an iced coffee with flavor in it. Finally I decided on hazelnut as it didn't have any extra carbs in it.

So that's what I'm sipping on right now.

*
My CNF piece My Friend Frankie was just accepted by Kaleidoscope magazine for publication sometime in 2017 or 2018. This is a paying market.

Kaleidoscope deals with disabilities.

Guidelines for Submission
The material chosen for Kaleidoscope challenges and overcomes stereotypical, patronizing, and sentimental attitudes about disability.
We accept the work of writers with and without disabilities; however the work of a writer without a disability must focus on some aspect of disability. The criteria for good writing apply: effective technique, thought-provoking subject matter, and in general, a mature grasp of the art of story-telling. Writers should avoid using offensive language and always put the person before the disability.

*

With an August deadline - two months hence - I've still gotta write them 6 poems AND a piece of fiction. That's why I bought coffee for tonite.

BUT, I'll submit em elsewhere as who wants to wait so long? They do accept work that's been published elsewhere. 

I love the freedom of running out of the house at any hour of the night.


Here's my dad. Before I ordered my iced coffee just now I ran into FedEx/Kinko's - they changed the name - and asked em about getting dad's photo enlarged. A 5 x 7 is about two dollars.

Will do dat.


LITTLE DADDY

The photo is briefly
on loan from Mom, who
in her waning years
did not recognize the
childhood portrait
of her man.

I did being a
lifelong fan
of "Daddy."

My sisters ascribe
various magical
powers to Dad. He
helps Lynn merge
onto super highways.

Donna feels his presence
every day.

Me, I don't think of
him much, except when
I look in the mirror and
whisper

To life! You'd be shocked
at what's become of me -
your soul is my soul
but Bloody Marys are
not my drink.
Dad, here's what your 70-yo daughter looks like.

Scott and I are eating a scallops dinner over a bed of brown rice and quinoa. Dad, it took me 15 minutes thother night to remember the word quinoa.