Friday, May 1, 2015

Poetry Part One - Poetry Night at the Huntingdon Valley Library starring Lynn Levin and special Guest Dan Simpson

Judy Diaz of Niwot, Colorado called while I was at the Poetry Reading.We both were THRILLED that the six brutal police officers who killed Freddie Gray are being charged with murder. Read it here in the Times.

Here's one of the 1581 comments:

Baltimore has just become, with Marilyn Mosby's courageous actions, a leader in seeking justice for all African-Americans who have suffered at the hands of the police. An historic and surprising news conference that goes to the heart of illegal police behavior and it's devastating consequences. Hopefully, other cities will take note and learn from this remarkable woman's stand on behalf of the truth.

Judy told me that her former husband, Andy Diaz liked to talk to police officers. This is when they lived in Washington, DC. They told Andy how they hated African-Americans and liked beating them up.

"We'll never get caught," they said to Andy.


What a busy day I had. May is Mental Health Month. I wrote Alan Kerr, the editorial page editor of the Doylestown-based Intelligencer and asked if I could write a guest column.

No, he said, b/c I have a column coming out on Mother's Day. But, he said, you can write a Letter to the Editor, 300 words max.

That's even better, I wrote, and mailed it in around noon, before I wrote the three poems for tonight's reading.


I told Lynn Levin that I lost my desire for creative writing b/c for two days I was filling out odious paperwork to get my yearly Chronic Renal Discount. The medication is hugely expensive.

This morning I shopped at the Giant Supermarket and asked nutritionist Mary Ann Moylan a question.

See the clementines on the right. How many carbs are they, I asked.

About 10, she said, b/c they're small. Figure that any small fruit has about 10 carbs.

Great news!


The bird bath in my back yard keeps tipping over. Went to the little woods behind my house, searching for a good-size rock and plopped in the bird bath.

So, where are the birds?


We profusely thanked Lynn Levin for organizing this event at the Huntingdon Valley Library, after we took three Sonnet-appreciation classes. She teaches poetry at Drexel University and University of Pennsylvania.

The class was free so we saved $750, I'm guessing, if we'd taken her class at one of the universities.

Image result for university of pennsylvania fredental sculpture  Sculpture on Penn campus by Robinson Fredenthal, who I interviewed for Art Matters. He died in 2009 of complications from Parkinson's.


Now comes the hard work of reading the notes I took at the reading.

Without exception, every poem was outstanding.

Lynn Levin has written six books! Recently she received rave reviews for

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Birds on the Kiswar Tree.

She read selections from that book which she had translated from Spanish.

A couple of lines:

about a concubine.... I shall not hang myself with my long braids.

The chatter of the parrots transforms me.

Author Odi Gonzales wrote about churches in the high Andes, the city of Cusco.

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Oh dear, it reminds me of Nepal and the dreadful earthquake that killed 6,000 with thousands unaccounted for.

My friend Ellen Rosenberg was in Cusco for six weeks teaching English at an orphanage.

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Everything is on the Internet, except me sitting on my red couch in my plaid pajamas.

Wait a minute! I just figured it out.

The Internet is God Almighty!

Lynn Levin read from her book Miss Plastique, at various stages in her life.

Image result for miss plastique  No matter what, she always gets dressed and puts on her make-up.

She also writes about ordinary things such as the importance of buying cage-free eggs. If you look in my fridge above, you'll see I do the same.

She refers to the other kinds of eggs from chickens in "high-rise jails" with "the poop" of the ones above falling on their heads.

In "Small Change" she talks about "touching" the check-out clerks hand when she puts the change into the palms of their hands.

And the importance of buying produce from the "marked down" cart.

"I think of them as little brains on the tree" - "more than anything I hate waste and think of all the time I have wasted."

In her poem on snakes, she writes "the unbearable vigilance of living." 

Brenda who attends Old York Road Temple Beth Am wrote a gorgeous poem dedicated to Sherri, who "I honor as the moon honors the night."

There's a special celebration called Rosh Chodesh, for women only.The participants choose a woman to honor.

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Image result for golda meir
Image result for golda meir movieAwesome movie staring Ingrid Bergman, her last film. She was dying of cancer.

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