Monday, November 23, 2015

Reviewing Gabe's book - New poem: Tea Service for One

I am drinking some terrible coffee right now.


I brewed Instant Coffee in my coffeemaker.

Got a busy night ahead of me. Wanna work on Chapter 12 of my novel. And also send my newest short story HAPPY to an online lit mag to get published.

Here's an email I got thother day:
I see that you reviewed a book by Thich Nhat Hanh on Amazon before. I have written a book that is similar to that. Would you be willing to let me provide you with a copy of the book in hopes that you would consider reviewing my book as well?
Yes, I said, so the author Gabe Dee emailed me a 147-page book which I'm reading online.

Very hard to do.

I read the first 20 pages. He wants the reader to meditate on Death.

A few quotes from the book:

So the first thing is to realize the many ways you deny death.

You live as if you were immortal, but deep down you know that your days are counted.

This universal key is hidden in this book. It is called Death Awareness.The awareness of death is the ultimate motivation, and dying people change their thinking and their lives profoundly. They learn to value life once again, and they use the small amount of time left in the most meaningful way they can.

Immortology is the name of the mystery school I created that teaches the technique of Death Awareness and shows you the way to immortality.
He talks about letting-go of our earthly possessions.

The first thing that came to mind was

Two teacups I bought at the late Mr Jim's in Hatboro, PA. His family continues to run the shop.

Why are they so precious to me?

First of all, I chose them myself. When I was a kid my mom bought me everything -  my clothes, pocketbooks, and shoes. I had to do her bidding.

Gonna write a poem about the teacups right now. Then it's upstairs I go in my warm PJs on this cold night.

Tried to take a pic with my iPhone of the night sky.

Hmmm. Let's do a Rorschach on this.

What does it look like to you,,,, your first impression.... c'mon, Rob, c'mon Teresa.... c'mon Ruthie

I was watching a film on Netflix written and directed by the great William Shatner called Chaos on the Bridge. It's the history of Star Trek and was quite good.

That's priming me for the Rorschach, which looks like our space ship is about to land on the moon.


She views me on her white kitchen
shelf. An art-lover, she freed me from
the glass cage at Mister Jim's.

She looks me up and down ten times a day
I feel her love on my pearl-white hips
And crimson red lips.

Acquainted with beauty, she sees
me as a flouncing ball gown
in Gone with the Wind.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Howdy Paul, Elizabeth, Catherine, Atticus and Zali!!! Poem: I think I'll Take a Nap

 While playing a card game, we decided to call each other by our middle names.

Grace explained that her mom's middle name Elizabeth was named after her grandmother.

I said Zali was also the name of my great-grandmother.

And Dan's middle name "Paul" was named after a white van in Dr Cassidy's driveway - Martin Paul Interiors - or something like that - I knew I wanted Dan but needed a euphonious middle name to go with it.
 Hello Nudge.
Nicole made delicious turkey meat loaf in this silicone bakeware. Feels like rubber.

What'll they think of next?

 I put the meat loaf over a wad of mashed potatoes. Love em! Very high in carbs, but I injected 12. Let's take a look and see how I'm doing.

Otherwise, I'll go for a swim in Bill Adams pool next door. Oh, I forgot it's November already.

 Not to panic. Sugar is 118. Normal is between 80 and 120. I drank half a glass of delicious apple cider. Grace had never tasted it and didn't want any.

Brought a salad from home. Grace ate only the strawberries and blueberries.

After bath time, I sat next to Max on the couch.

I have two freckles, he said, pointing to - a freckle - on his arm. He couldn't find the second one. Then we found freckles on his mom's back.

For dessert she had a milk shake with Breyer's Frozen Dessert. We wondered why they weren't allowed to call it ice cream.

YOU figure it out. Do a simple Goggle search.
I attended a Job Fair the other day. Highlights were:  Five shopping bags including Home Depot. Pens Pens Pens. And Asplundh tiny mementos.

The Orange Hazard Cone, and the orange Hard Hat, and an Asplundh cherry picker truck above.

Was so excited to show em to Max. He showed the truck to this mom and said The ladder goes up. Not on this truck it doesn't. I told Grace to watch for the the orange Asplundh trucks when she goes to school tomro.

I take the bus, she said.

There's only about 6 kids on the bus, she said. 

For Grace I brought some Peanuts stickers from the library - she loved em - and a long turkey feather from Pennypack Trust.

 Grace likes pens, I was glad to hear. She wrote a Love Poem with the new pen at the kitchen table. Nicole said to Grace, I'm happy to see you writing full sentences. Mom would spell the words for her.

Max brings home HUGE LETTERS of the alphabet - he's 2.5. They hang high on the wall. He knows them all and on Monday, he'll make an "I"
Dan always wears interesting T-shirts. This said something like "Pitfall" on the front. All the cool people probly know what this means.
Ooops. Almost didn't see Max in his camouflage pants.

I also brought them one of those flimsy model airplanes made, if I'm correct, with balsa wood. I predict, I said to Dan, it'll break within 20 minutes.

Wrong. Make that 25. For some reason, Max twisted off one of the wings. He was very upset afterward. Guess the temptation to break it - and hear it crunch - was too hard to resist.

Am gonna write a spontaneous poem right now. First though I'll see what's going on in the world. Hold your breath while I check the Times for all the terrible news that's fit to print.

Interesting stories! Sent one about Lee Child, author of Jack Reacher novels, to Scott. The author is being shadowed by one of his readers.

The Times now features articles by its advertisers. They are so smart! Aetna wrote about sleep derivation. I think I'll write a poem about sleep.


Her rare gift allows Morpheus to cuddle beside her
and breathe to her breath.

Did you mark her today, lying on red couch, book in

Suddenly book drops on chest, feet dance in sneakered

Morpheus closes her eyes. The world goes black as
Technicolor dreams perform on the stage of her mind.

Image result for morpheus paintings

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Great turnout for Writers' Group - My poem: Adam's Novel Writing Group at the Library

As I often do, stopped at Mom's house for dinner. She loved my challah with the cream cheese spread. I brought my own salad and partook of her fabulous walnut sticks. Ellen made them and used less brown sugar than ever.

Fantastic, Ellen!

How bout this cuppa coffee in the photo. I even got the swirling steam. Used a cinnamon stick to enhance the flavor. I'd used it in my tomato veggie soup but it's got loads of flavor left. Comes all the way from Vietnam.

The Vietnamese are one of our most successful refugees.

Judy! Judy! Judy!

Wonderful true story, Judy, about a childhood adventure called Captain Hook. A friend insisted she play Captain Hook while the friend played Wendy.

Surprise surprise! In reality, Judy was really the woman who played Wendy and insisted Giggy -a  nickname -play Captain Hook.

Bob, the brother of Donna K, hand-wrote a story called "My Next Chapter." We already knew that Bob's best friend Joe moved to Ohio. Now we learn that Bob's son Brad has moved in with him.

When one door closes.

Donna is Bob's sister. Lovely in the royal color purple. My mom's wedding dress was purple. It's still upstairs in the closet. Perhaps at 93 she'll remarry.

Anyone want her? For sale to the top bidder.

I love my mom and kissed her goodbye but an hour ago.

Nice robe, I said. It's Eileen's, she said. And then opined that Eileen might still be alive if.....

I think it was Rem who commented that Donna addressed a difficult subject in her true story. Thoughts on her death bed. The story was called "A Posed Question," which her buddy Carly asked her.

She said - and I condense - she will not remember the horrible way her daughter/law treats her. I'm certain the woman can't stand anyone with bipolar disorder. The list of talented bipolar folks goes on and on.

Look at our compatriots here.

Dude, you can visit us any time you wish. My phone number is......

BTW, a woman in our novel-writing group this morning made a slur about bipolar folks. Natch I didn't let her get away with it. I should've given her my memoir Yes I Can.

Donna also mentioned in her story that she wants her BF Denny to remarry. Good for you, Donna.

I want Scott to throw himself into my grave and be buried with me.

Allan read a poem about Veterans Day which he read at the Hatboro Library and other places.

He also read the next chapter of his novel  "Village of Blood and Stone."  It's a fantasy novel which reminded us of.... of.... of...

Tolkien and C S Lewis.

We loved the names of his characters and places.

Older photo of Linda Barrett.

Her poem "Night Flight" began with "Drink a toast to the Big Dipper."

"Giant pearlship of the moon." 

Stunning imagery. " Hunt alongside Orion with his three-star belt."

Image result for orion

Never knew it's

Wiki - a prominent constellation located on the celestial equator and visible throughout the world. It is one of the most conspicuous and recognizable constellations in the night sky.

Excuse me a moment. I saw the pearlship of the moon and Orion, I believe. Soon I'll visit Scott, an amateur astronomer with his own telescope and we'll take a peek at the night sky.

Told Rem I almost emailed him b/c Michael McDonald -- ooh, said Judy - of the Dooby Brothers - was on the Tavis Smiley Show. Watch him here.

Like pulling teeth getting the man to say something interesting.

WATCHING THE DETECTIVES was Rem's poem with many great lines. He spoke about Dungeons and Dragons and The Rockford Files and Mannix, played by Mike Connors, piped up Judy Judy Judy.

Mary Brucker showed up with her guide dog Garland.

  She read an excellent poem called TIME. "How is it that half my life is gone. Time is a sneaky thing / a fleeting thing. I thought I held the bridle and reins... now add health and approaching retirement... will I have enough?"

I certainly identify with her. Especially b/c so many people I know have life-threatening illnesses or life-altering illnesses.

Here's a photo of me. I always print the photo even if it's lousy.

Look, the Giant is all dressed up for Christmas. The gas fireplace was on. The group thought I should send the poem to Adam, but I think not. I'd written a short story called "Suite 1003" - one of my best  - which concerned the library but knew enough not to send it.


Starbucks in red holiday cups
Careful not to spill, I wend my
painted sneaker self to the long
table, proud of the novel I’m
creating, whose characters I
write down on a Habitats for
Humanity tablet.

Marie and Nancy are back
plus a new woman whose
placard reads “Louise.” A million
ideas swirling in her head, she has
yet to write a word.

Marie tells us the title of her book.
Awful, I think. And tell her. Why not?
As my friend the late Stephen Weinstein
once told me: Friends help friends.

Last night I attended a social
at a nearby church. Plied
with coffee, I go home ready to write.
Quickly I fall into a dreamy sleep
while watching “Wings of Desire” a
pastiche of angels here on earth. None
can see them but they lay helping hands
on victims of the Holocaust or the trapeze
artist who thinks she’ll die from a fall.

Nancy, a teacher at Holy Family, creates
characters who constantly surprise her.
The unfaithful husband turns out to
be surprisingly deep. And why not?

Cats are deep. Why not men?
The founder of November is Novel-
Writing Month is a caffeine addict.
I follow in his footsteps, drinking free
cups whenever I can. Does it really
focus the mind and cause heightened

Nancy slurs bipolar folks. Will I sit
like a lump – as my Aunt Hy
once did when Jews were slammed –
or will I speak up?

Adam wears a striped sweater. Scott
asked me why I always wear stripes?
Louise wears a flowery top. So, we
have choices.

Stripes! My barnyard animals outside
my front door know me by my stripes.
Only this morning a squirrel sat atop
the birdbath looking shyly at me.

I thought he was a cat. Hello, I meowed.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A Day of Action and A Day of Rest - New poem: Happy Thanksgiving

Wild2014Poster.jpg  Just got home from watching Wild with Reese Witherspoon, who has a very flexible body, and played Cheryl Strayed who - from Wiki -

leaves Minneapolis, Minnesota, to hike 1,100 miles of the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail[6] on a journey of self-discovery and healing.

I'd give the movie a C+

There were only about 8 people in the audience. I didn't have time to eat a proper lunch and I knew there would be p/c there so I had three bowls of delicious salted popcorn.

Sure enuf when I got home my sugar was 198, so I went upstairs, set me timer for 20 mins and rode my black steed while finishing

Image result for creatures of a day yalom   

He quotes Marcus Aurelius and in fact the book title is from a work of this philosopher/Roman emperor who lived between 121 and 180.

Yalom finished the book with this quote

Pass, then, through this little space of time in harmony and end thy journey in contentment, just as an olive falls off is ripe, blessing nature who produced it, and thanking the true on which it grew.

The book is not yet finished. There's more to read as I pedal swiftly, going nowhere, but advancing in my book.

He's got an Afterword - oops! I almost said "Afterlife" - neither Irv nor I believe in one - and then he's got Acknowledgments. His son, Ben Yalom, edited the book, as did his wife, Marilyn, his toughest critic.

 Woke up, It Was a Chelsea Morning. Remember that song? It just popped into my noodle. Practically ran outa the house. Wanted to get loads of groceries and pick up Scott at the 8:22 a m train.

My goal was a hot veggie soup today.
 Bought this medium-sized coffee from Kathy. She gets up at 4:30 a m, which she doesn't like. Pollyanna me said You've got a good job and people like you! You make people happy.

Was gonna write a blog post called "My Social Hour at the Giant." I know so many people who work there and love to chat briefly with them.

This soup is totally finished now. The only seasoning is a cinnamon stick. Turmeric, where art thou?

While making the soup, I listened to the excellent

Image result for 12th imam bookJust learned this is the first book in a trilogy. Let's see who this Joel C Rosenberg is. Click here. You'd think he's Jewish but he's not. Very interesting man.

Bella Online Lit Journal emailed their writers saying a new issue will come out. Get your work in, said the editor.

I had to look up all the stories and poems she's rejected and submit new ones. I knew I would write a new poem.... great opportunity!

Goal was to submit em all before I went to the movies. In fact, Katie was just closing the door movie door when I got there.

To submit to Bella, she has you type your work into a space, single-file. This means you must re-type your work. Bit of trouble, Lisa, but hey we don't mind just so's you accept Curlicues, Ye Olde Revival Tent and Happy Thanksgiving, which thankfully Martha liked.

While cooking, I talked to Mom, who was resting in bed. Ellen went to the foot doctor. I like to engage Mom in experiences in the past. Some of your aunts, I said, had "hammer toes."

Aunt Ruthie, she said.

Image result for hammer toes
Mom was telling me all the people in the family she's worried about. She called Sarah to see if Ethan was in Paris - Sarah said don't worry so much, Gram - then she had Alex had been in Iceland and then traveled to Germany to meet his Nazi girlfriend. Just kidding, of course.

I mentioned Ada's 105-yo mother and Mom immediately said kona hora.

Don't say that I said. She's got no mind.

Does she know them?

Yes, I said.

My mom feels guilty for everything.

I told her Ada's mom eats ice cream every night before bed.

Mom said they have Breyer's Van, Choc, Strawberry.

Neopolitan, I shouted out. Can't believe I remembered the name.

Here's the soup with Colby Jack for protein.

Colby Jack was quite a cowboy in the Old West. I'm joshin' you here, Readers.


I don’t care much what other folks
think, but at my age – pushing
seven-oh, I still can’t believe

I own my own house and my own car.
Yawning, though engaged, during the
film Age of Adaline, my mind jumped

ship to that favorite thought. I – see
me jumping up and down? – own my
own house and my own car.

Own! The sweetest song in
America. Listen to its verses
Property owner. Homeowner.

Homeowner’s insurance. Buy
both car and home for a
“buyer’s discount.” I am doing

cartwheels on the carpeted floor.
Though I speak with the royal “we”
I live alone. Solicitor’s come by.

Before we slam the door in their faces – a red door
I painted myself – I put them through
paces. A black guy named Dwayne

sat on the red couch and listened to
my poetry. Two Jehovah’s Witnesses
dressed in black, heard a tirade about

The God of Israel. Sammy put in the
storm window on my side door. Please,
dear God, I pray, let me not think

who will live here when I’m gone.
Roasted, while dead, like next week’s
Thanksgiving turkey.