Monday, September 28, 2015

Highs and Lows - about diabetes - published - Poem: Bernice and the Lunar Eclipse

The Chicago-based lit mag Hektoen International just posted my creative nonfiction piece "Highs and Lows" about my kidney transplant and subsequent acquisition of insulin-dependent diabetes, due to my antirejection meds, Prograf and prednisone.

They asked me to substantially shorten it, which I did, after brewing a cup of coffee.

You know what, Dear Reader?

I kid you not. A good cup of coffee is just about my favorite thing in the world.

Read my true story here. 

You may think I'm on a roll having a few of my stories - and "Nazi Waters" at last - published. Indeed, I am very grateful and proud they've been published.

Yet, some of my best work has yet to be published.

My Jenny - On Good Days I Remember My Name - Uncle Benny's Stradivarius - have yet to find a home.

Just spoke to my friend Carolyn Constable who told me to send my eye doctor the poem "Seven Minutes in Hell" about my experience in the visual field machine.

"Visual field machine." It took me ages to remember that term. Kept getting it confused with "field of vision."

Oh no! I hope I don't forget it again.

This morning I emailed in my entries to Pentimento magazine, HQ'd in Lambertville, NJ, just across the Delaware River from New Hope.

My true story is called The Wrath of Diabetes. I submitted three poems, one of which I wrote this morning in about 45 minutes. It's printed below and is totally fanciful about last nite's lunar eclipse which really could not, in totality, be seen here on Cowbell Road. 

Image result for photos of lunar eclipse


Ninety-three now, her legs are gone,
so Steve slings her over his back
and carries her into his black
Cadillac with that gorgeous
emblem like the queen’s jewels
that proclaims I’m rich, and
settles her, as she laughs softly,
and thinks, What fun it is being carried by
a handsome muscular man,
reminding her of that wanderlust husband
of hers she lost a thousand years ago.

I get in the back
smelling the still-new interior
leather – oh no! a cow was
sacrificed – and gaze out
the front window. My sister
Ellen, Mom’s caretaker, slides
in next to me, still munching a brownie.

We drive to Woodlawn School
the highest point in the county
and park on the empty street.
It’s well before midnight and
a few people stand on their
sidewalks. Some have flashlights
that pass over their pajama-
clad children.

“Bernice,” says Stevie. “The
moon’s up there,” he points.
“I’m not blind,” says Mom, with
her flashing new front teeth
- expensive as real pearls -
the new dentist drilled in.

Everyone who sees the lunar
eclipse makes a Rorschach
of it. I see it as a round black head
with white ribbons curling all around.

“Let me out,” says Mom.
We look at one another.
“Do it!” I say to Steve and
we all exit onto the silent street.

He opens the huge heavy
door and we stand Mom
up on the sidewalk, a rag
doll, needing support.

“Harold!” she points at the
moon. “Harold, wait for me.
You’re the only man I ever

“Daddy,” I think. Yes, he was
a good man. And, were he still
among us, instead of rotting
underground in Cleveland, he
would have driven us here. Wonder
where his 1964 Country Squire
Station Wagon has gone.

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