Monday, August 3, 2015

Uncle Ken, short story published AND The Swim Club - Poem: I Walked in Terror Around the Block

Read Uncle Ken here in Literary Yard.

It's one of my favorite stories. Takes place in Uganda. My neighbor, Pete Lytle, is a missionary who goes to Uganda. That's how I got the idea.

Was just napping at Scott's. When I got home, Mad Swirl wrote me:

Howdy, Ruth:
I've gotta say, joyful stories are something of a rarity at Mad Swirl.
I've also gotta say that I'm elated when they're submitted, too,
especially when they're as honest as "The Swim Club." 
Really, I was ready for something terrible--a drowning, a rape, a terrible head
injury--but I was treated with happiness. Someone found their bliss
after a struggle. That said, Mad Swirl would love to feature "The Swim
Club" today. 
OR click here 
 There's one one thing, now: we want more! More struggle, more bliss,
more living! So send us another story.


And look! They want more!

I think The Doctor in the Bikini may be too long. Gotta check the word count.

Am also not publishing this blog post until I've wrin a poem.

Scuse me, gonna run upstairs and write us a poem.


My friends "Stella and Greg" are very unhappy at their assisted living facility. Stella is forced to take medication that doesn't agree with her.

The female physician is intractable and will not change the med regimen.

So Stella, Greg and I met at a Wesley Enhanced Living home in Doylestown.

On the way to my car, I passed these black-eyed susans in my front yard, planted so I can see em from the red couch that I'm sitting on right now.

Why am I sweating? Just walked around the block. Slathered on the sunscreen.

Tiny kitchen. Some but not all have microwaves.
Tiny tiny rooms.

Rooms with a view, said E M Forster.
Glorious trees

WTF? Yes, we had to wear badges. Otherwise, we may have - what? - robbed, raped and pillaged? Stella does have legs, btw. 
Huge apt complex across the way.
The sales woman, Sharon M, was very good. She would say, "When you move in here...."

 Sitting in their seats, these people are "bowling" and playing other games on the computer.


Below is the huge dining area. At these places you pay for perhaps one meal a day. Imagine having to remember all this!

 Hey folks! Here's today's schedule. A lecture on The Teenage Brain. How fitting!
250 residents live here.

It's much larger than the one in Hatboro, where I visited Marion Lavery. Gotta remember to write about her.

Just dashed off the below poem and will revise it when I get my nerve. 


It is necessary to go by myself
to prove I can do it
shapely legs once walked
the hills of downtown San Francisco
her worst care a down payment she
had made on a purple velvet couch
she decided not to by

Never dreaming as men’s heads
turned and cars followed those
shapely legs and relaxed calm
body, life would turn mean

Manic-depression with its
imaginative highs that
turned her into Helen of Troy
or Christ Almighty circling
Lake Galena
and the great white abyss
where she looked down and
could not find the bottom
teetering on the edge, fearing
to fall inside

And now the terrors come again
as she bounds out the door of
her yellow house on a quiet
street, her black-eyed susans
squinting her way, the water
in the bird bath, a-shimmer

Out in the street she goes
sneakers snug on her feet
passes the house where the
Carr family lives, what’s left
of them anyway, walks around
the fallen green pine cones
when it comes

She calls it a spasm, but
shiver would be better, less
frightful, though frightful it
is. Her body contracts, contorts
like a baby robin falling from a tree,
then rights itself as she walks on
refusing to yield, the daughter
of a Marine, tough as nails he
would brag. She’d rather die
on the street than surrender
to the fret of her sugar diabetes.

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