Thursday, April 9, 2015

Lunch with Abby Grasso of Brooke Glen - Larry Kirschner videotapes The Belle - Poem: Three Short Poems on Who Am I?

Abby Grasso studying the menu at Colonial Quy Bau in Willow Grove.

She's a truly wonderful person, mother of Kennedy, 9, and Gavin, 7, both of whom attend Catholic school.

Abby is the marketing director at Brooke Glen, behavioral hospital in Fort Washington. She's also a licensed social worker.

When I was getting my MGPGP degree, I interned at the facility when it was called Northwestern Institute. They had a Women's Unit, which was run by the late Louisa Lance, MD. They also had a unit for Adopted Children.

Abby told me Brooke Glen was selected from numerous area hospitals to have an Acute Unit where patients can stay as long as necessary in order to get better.

Imagine! Not going home after 3 or 4 days as in most hospitals. And usually feeling awful.

Brooke Glen is sponsoring a visual arts exhibit. One woman in New Directions sent in some artwork.

I brought Abby three of my many paintings. The ones I gave her were

Moonlight Phone, the second prizewinner, from my acrylics class

Roses for Frankie, in memory of my late friend Frank K Wolfe and

one other painting I can't remember.

While she and I were talking, Abby got the idea of videotaping people from New Directions. I will be there!

I ordered chicken with noodles, shitake mushrooms and Chinese broccoli. I tried to avoid the nodules and learned that you only eat the tips of the broccoli as the stems are tough.

Cough cough cough. Yes, some of it was too spicy, which Abby also found out.

Looks beautiful, doesn't it?

Bring on the water to soothe our aching throats.

You know me and desserts.... creme de brulee.... with coffee.

We're gonna start a Weight Loss Group at the Giant Supermarket today at 12:15. It's 12:04, so I'll leave in a few.

Last nite was the final Acrylics Class. I painted these two. I work on two at a time b/c one is drying. I didn't follow Jane Behrend's directions, b/c I didn't want to paint what she was teaching us.

I brought in a small bag with objects I wanted to put in a still life. Can you tell what they are?

Was happy to learn my short story "A Picnic at His Grave" will be published in May by River Poets. Judith Lawrence is the editor. We used to meet in Lambertville, NJ, but when her BF Pat died, she moved to Florida to be with her family. 

That's where I met my friend Carolyn Constable, and the late Elaine Restifo, whose poetry journal was called "River Poets."

Carolyn or CC, as I call her, writes the "Pursue the Wonderful" column for the Compass. This year she wrote about visiting her favorite place: Alaska. Her poem in the Compass was called "Divorce Woes." Her daughter/law told her son, "I just don't wanna be married any more."

Carolyn and I attended Elaine's funeral.

Larry Kirschner came over at 10 am to do a YouTube video of me reading some of my poems.

Larry is already playing softball... in the 40 degree weather. He also plays piano at nursing homes for the elderly. We were discussing a new Weight Loss Program we're hosting at the Willow Grove Giant Supermarket. He's doing some taping for a play at Chestnut Hill College and he said half of the young women in the play - they're in the early twenties - are heavy.

Mon dieu! We were all skinny when we were in our twenties. Of course none of us planned on taking psych meds later in life. I was 38 when I went on kidney-killer lithium and ballooned up.

Tho I no longer have manic-depression and take no meds that make me fat - only that give me insulin-dependent diabetes - I need to lose 10 to 20 pounds.

Scott is worried. "You'll fade away into nothing," he said. "I like you how you are, kid."

When Larry was here I put a sign on the door for my painters, "Ed, we're taping. Will let you know when to come in."

So when Mailman Ken delivered my junk mail, I said, "Thanks, Ed."

He stood on the step and stared at me.

Image result for goddard college I was disappointed that Judith Lawrence didn't accept my "Three Poems on Who I Am." The last of the three features Goddard College, above. I wrote these poems very quickly and thought they were terrific.

For you, Marcy, I will post em at the end.

 Water damage in my bedroom. Ed put an adhesive net over the pitted wall and retired firefighter John is plastering over it.

Why dyou wear gloves?" I asked him.

"B/c I'm a sissy," he joked.

Actually when he retired, he was sick of having dirty hands. This way, he said, if his wife calls, he can slip off the gloves and answer her calls. "Are you ever coming home? You're spending every waking hour at that woman's house!"
 Ed said I'll be able to sleep in my own bed tonight.
The paint has a pleasant smell. My windows are slightly open.

Before Larry came to videotape me, I hastily stuck this still life on the wall. It didn't make the cut, though, since I sat on thother side of the couch.

My poem "Turquoise Nail Polish" was accepted for publication in some lit mag and they wanted an 'audio clip' of it, so this is why I asked Larry if he'd do it.

Last night while watching a program about autism - my late brother David had autism -  I realized my nails looked like they were polka-dotted red. Ran downstairs where I keep pink nail polish and brought it to bed with me.

I've never polished my own nails, but did it while watching TV. What do I use the polish for? I paint things so I can see them, like the keyboard of my Dell computer, where the N, M, comma and period have worn off. 

Another poem "Black Friday" was accepted in another journal, so I figured I'd read that as well.

I moved my gorgeous Tulips from Kremp Florist into the house. At some point in my reading, I experienced brief hoarseness which I thought may have been from the tulips.

In fact, today at our Weight Loss Group, Drew Kremp and his bro Chad were sitting at the table behind me and I told him I bought four of them. They'd been on special for $10 apiece.

Image result for kremp tulips

I was in my upstairs office choosing poems to read. And printing em out. I printed em out on 'backs.' One back was in living color and I couldn't see the poem.

So, yeah, it took some doing.



We know she likes stripes
and pants that press her
floppy thighs
but did you know
she parts the drapes
each morning to
see if the world
is still there?


A has-been
trying to right herself
like an overturned


When she interviewed to
get into Goddard College
in the swollen green hills
of Vermont
Phil, the admissions man
who looked like an FBI agent
shocked her.
“Ruth,” he said swiveling
in his orange chair.
“Who are you?”

Should she send him an
email fifty-one years later
and tell him
“a retired manic-
depressive with
grey threads 
in her hair."

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