Friday, July 31, 2015

New Directions Site Down - Obama in my Living Room - Poem: Poor Miss Bissell

First of all, what's this great jazz on WRTI-FM?

"Mosaic" with Art Blakey on drums. Listen to the Jazz Messengers here. 

Here's a note I got from Obama. If you called The White House at 6 pm, you'd hear him talk about the proposed Iran Nuclear Deal.

I dialed the number - 1-866-254-5934 - and was told to hold on, which I did, during which time I reserved two movies at the Upper Moreland Library.

For some reason, I thought the president would be prompt, but it took about 13 minutes before he got on. I had my headphones on and was trying to concentrate.

Meantime, the mother and father chickadee were feeding their open-mouthed babies in the bird house just outside my window.

Here's photo where you can barely make out the open beak of the more aggressive bird, who actually hung outside. Scott said one of the birds was cleaning the nest, taking out the bird doo.

Here's some notes I took while Obama was speaking.

- As big a bully pulpit as I have, it's not enough. [Great word, Mr Prez]

- I want everybody on the phone - you mean, little Ruthie Deming, Mr. President? - to get in touch with their members of Congress. The opponents of the bill are flooding members of Congress. [And they have a lot of money.]

- If we have any rich friends, we should ask for their donations. Wonder if Mommy has any money left? 

- You have to counteract their arguments with facts. [I couldn't write fast enough to get down the facts.]

- Iran is a brutal theocracy that hates Israel, supports terrorism (Hamas, for one) and is a Holocaust-denier. [When he said "brutal theocracy" I thought What a great way of telling the truth about Iran.]

- Thanks for putting up with such a long conference call [I was on the phone for 36.45 minutes]. As citizens, you have a chance to be part of history.

When he said about being part of history, I jumped up on my red couch and began singing "God bless America." He was quite the inspirational speaker.

- Hope you're having a good summer and keeping cool. [Why, he's just a regular guy! The most powerful man in the entire world.]


It takes me two hours to load the new monthly sked of New Directions. Our site was down. I called, our host, at around 11 am, they kept me waiting 20 minutes, so I hung up. Then around dinner time, I reached John in CT who did indeed help me.

He said "Go to Google and type in "IP number." 

Sure enuf, the 10-digit number came up.

Here's what he wrote me:

Hello Ruth,

Thank you for contacting OLM! The details of our phone conversation are outlined below. If you have any additional questions please reply to this message for more assistance or you can also contact our support staff by phone at the following number: 1-877-265-6638. Please be sure when calling to reference this ticket number.

Ticket Creator: John B

Server name: Red

IP Address: I should keep this to myself, right? 

Domain name:

Reason for Call: Unable to access to update site?

Response: Found your public IP address blocked and unblocked it. You were then able to update the site successfully.

Thank you again for contacting OLM!


Just what I need! My Bissell carpet sweeper broke. You know what? I knew I was gonna write a poem about it.

Went to Walmart on Jacksonville Road to buy anudder one, but the prices were too high.

Then I went to Best Buy and Ashleigh helped me purchase an Electrolux for $105. I told Mom about it since she's used her ancient Electrolux for many a year.... since Moses crossed the Red Sea, I believe.

Before I sign off, I found two movies that I'll fall asleep to. One is called "Hitler's Children" and is a documentary.  Thother is "Suddenly" a 1954 film starring Frank Sinatra. This film was highlighted for me. They know my taste.


There was no warning at all
The moment the hired help
turned on the machine
she knew something was wrong

Barely a sound!
Were the bristles spinning?
Yes, but ‘twas more like
sputtering, like the last
gasps of a victim of

Miss Bissell was not a
fancy woman, plain as
pound cake, with a
shapely long leg and
a see-through mouth
like the baleen whale
that showed dirt from
different feet: crinkled-up
leaves from the lawn,
kernels of salted cheddar popcorn,
pink dental floss twined
in her bristles
and oh, those cashews
and pecan crumbs.
She gulped them up
in her prime, proud to
show herself off.

Miss Bissell’s martyrdom –
a hated word – she was not
a Christian – born though she
was in Grand Rapids, Calvinist
country, made itself known
as she hurtled her dying body
under the bed, only to hear
her own death rattle

She looked up at the hired help
and nodded. They both knew it
was time. But, how, they wondered,
to give her a proper burial. They
would sleep on it, and perhaps
the answer would arrive next
morning in a
Technicolor dream.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Found our next guest speaker today - Poem: Freda Samuels Wrote a Book

I realized today that when I talk on the phone, I often begin the conversation by saying, "So...."

On the Terry Gross Fresh Air Show there was a segment about "women's voices" and how they've changed over the years.

Terry said that prior to working at WHYY-FM, she worked at another radio station where the microphone made the letter "S" sound sibilant, which is unpleasant for the listening. However, as soon as she moved here, the mic didn't do dat.

What she didn't mention was that her diction totally changed. Me and my friend Helene both noticed it. In my opinion she took elocution lessons, though she didn't mention it on the show. Of course I only listened to 15 minutes of it.

After I drove Rosemary home from the Crestmont Pool for a measly $10 - Scott said I should've been firmer - I went to the most exclusive restaurant in the area.

The Willow Grove Giant. Got a salad and some delicious grilled zucchini from the Hot Bar. Plus some Nature's Harvest Popcorn.

I ate half the bag and tried to inject 10 units in my arm. I could only inject 6. Afterwards, I marched over and saw Erich the pharmacist to ask vat happened.

Defective needle. He replaced it and it's fine. Remember, I keep an extra Novolog pen in my purse in case I wanna go out to eat and haven't brot my supplies.

Brian sat down next to me. He's a certified peer specialist and loves to talk. He ate a healthy meal, as did his client Herb, who I always want to call "Erb" - we've been seeing one another for months now.

My line is, "It must be Wednesday!" That's when Brian drives Erb over.

He told me something amazing about Medicare fraud.

When I sit at the Giant, I never wanna leave, esp. on a 95-degree day. But, you know what? I love the heat. That's my new mantra.

Finally pried myself away from the cool cafe, giving Brian the bag of p/corn, with two-thirds left.

At home my sugar was a whopping 324, which then played itself out by my injecting 10 units - the most I ever do - and then going "low" and wolfing down carbs.

So, I'm watching Netflix - the X-Files - and Scott comes over to say g'bye. He's leaving for work. 8 pm.

I stand up and say, "Oh no! I'm low."

Sugar was 28. That's the lowest it's ever been.

Oh, the delicious foods I stuffed down like a force-fed goose.

I'm so glad I could share my 28 with my readers.

I have a compulsion to tell.

So, it's now 10:48 pm. I estimate that I can finish "The Doctor in the Bikini" in four hours or less.


The world has been kind to this woman
Who shines like the North Star to
everyone she meets.
She sought me out after reading
about me in the paper
Something Samuel Goldwyn Meyer
might do finding his starlets in what
is now the parched land of California.

Everything changes, as we learn in her book
“My Name is Fredarose: A Memoir.” 
She has the acceptance of a Buddhist monk
The loss of her Lenny, her Herbie, her
glider on Chincoteague with the little
white ponies in the distance.

Where did this grand spirit learn to
grapple with life’s sorrows and say
with laughter, “This, too, shall pass?”

Who are we? is the unanswerable question.
How do she and I continue to exist
in the same orbit for our brief
earthly existence?

And where beyond that? The glittering stars?
The dark side of the moon? Perhaps our
spirits will be sprinkled like powdered sugar
onto everyone we meet. 

In 242 pages, she chronicles a life that
she and the world have knitted together
Best, though, to visit her on North
Settler’s Court, where Lucy no longer
barks at your entrance. Instead, her
beloved Bernie, master chef,
sits in his easy chair. One
day he knocked on her door in Elkins Park
and made sure he never left.

Their home, with high ceilings, and furniture
suitable for visiting dignitaries is one
of acceptance and love. I tell them
everything, read them my poetry, and
return home like I’ve paid obeisance
to My Father who art in Heaven.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Eggplant Salad - New poem: Wendy of the Green Hills of Vermont

That lively jazz you hear in the background is The Dan Nimmer Trio Live. Listen here.

My assignment today was to write three poems. Just finished the Wendy poem. Thanks to Martha and Marcy for reading them.

 Needed a few doses of my Thinking Elixir. Placebo or not, it helps you believe you can do anything after drinking coffee.

Black coffee should not be bitter. This was a Starbucks that had an excellent taste.

The first poem is called FREDA SAMUELS WROTE A BOOK.


Donna Krause from our Writers' Group painted my nails, so I thanked her with a poem. After these two women give me permission, I'll print the poems.

I mailed off les deux at the Hatboro Post Office, where I bought b'ful new stamps.

Summer Harvest and Water Lillies.

You may wonder why I just left my Red Couch Office. Here's why.

Scott prepared a delicious dinner. He roasted the eggplant given to me by Kim Ruby and made an eggplant, roasted red pepper salad. He added hard boiled eggs and cheddar cheese.

Recipe idea from Burt Plaster over at Willow Grove Bible Church. 

I couldn't finish since I pigged out writing the poems on a new kind of popcorn that was excellent.

Nearly Naked

Nearly Naked Popcorn is popped in canola and olive oil, with added salt. Quite good.

Yesterday, our family was sposed to go see relatives at a rented house in Mantoloking, NJ. We hired a livery cab who would've driven us for around $325 including tips. Not bad at all.

Mom, however, was feeling terrible. And she felt awful about disappointing everyone. I went over to visit her to see how she's doing. Much better. She was in bed, sorting her papers.

Afterward, I drove over to see "the kids" and here's a few pix I took.

This is actually a video that Dan took.

See if it works. It doesn't work but look at Max's face. It changed since last I saw him.

Grace decided to swing on a tree limb. Max copies everything she does.

Grace is a riot. She has tiny warts on her hand like her dad used to get. He had one huge one on his knee. Grace told me they're removed with freezing cold liquid.

She also said that she was gonna test herself to see if she's allergic to poison ivy. Her mom is one of the lucky ones who is not.

Told Grace I had a little patch of PI from when I walked Scott through our back yard to the train station.

I'm gonna mail Wendy a few photos of me and the kids.

I asked her if she wanted me to visit her in Burlington, but she said no.

After seeing the kids, I drove to Masons Mill Park to see the featured Sunday Night Band, a women's trio called "Full Circle."  They were really good.

The place was mobbed! I brought a big towel and sat down on it under a tree. After a while I wanted to lie down and view the layers and layers of leaves on the tree. I did. And kept thinking of Wendy.

At the man-made pond where people fish there was a blue heron standing perfectly still. Then he flapped his wings and flew away, a huge bird. A father and son were looking on.

Didn't realize I published this already. I'm removing The Pope b/c I wrote a better one.

I eat many meals in this lawn chair.


Flowers by wire on their way
A selection of violets
which will live long after you
my dying friend from Goddard
College in Vermont

The trickle of blood
your own Winooski River
went unnoticed until
too late. The cancer
has spread through your
insides like blue plum jam.

Who knew your third floor
pad in Burlington would be
your final home. “I should have
stayed in Maryland,” you sighed
over the phone, as memories
of your parents fill you with
longing, longing now that the world
grows small as a mattress
with a morphine pump
on the side.  

You beat me to age seventy
We were risk-taking teenagers
when we met, sun-bathing nude
in the cow pasture, wishing our
great unrequited loves could
ride over the hill to caress us, Lenny for
you, Frank for me.

I will ride the wild stallion when
you’re gone, galloping to the
high hill on Terwood Road
to tell you who came after Obama
and if they’re advancing in
Alzheimer’ and dementia

Your shoulder-length hair
is gray. Like me, you stopped
coloring it. A slow concession
to time. I still remember your
articulate sentences you spoke
at Kilpatrick Dorm, while people
were screwing in their rooms.

What must that be like, I wondered.

Sip on that licorice tea I sent you
it might have healing properties
Who decided to kill you off
Who planted that curare flask
in your womb that never bore

As we speak on the phone
you from your bed
me on the red couch
a cardinal appears at your
window. “He is there on
account of me,” I say.

“For sure,” you say in that
voice I can summon at will.
The two of us lying beneath
the stars awaiting the blackness
that will come when it will.

Monday, July 20, 2015

This is one hot Monday - New poem: Coffee: The Eighth Wonder of the World

Scott and I had a delicious Scallop dinner. Scallops were on sale - $4 off per pound - at the Giant, so I bought extras so I could have another meal for lunch the morrow.

Then we went for a walk around our hilly neighborhood, sweating profusely. But you know what? It feels great to sweat. When I was on lithium, I know, I know, I've probly told you this a million times, I barely sweated atall, probly indicating kidney ruination.

Told Scott, who's off tonite, we'd eat at 6 pm. But, no, I was in my upstairs office, with the fan blasting on my hot body, working on a poem about coffee I promised myself I'd write.

Watched a film on Netflix today called An Amish Murder. Full of nice surprises and gory female bodies that weren't too sickening. It starred Neve Campbell, a famous actress, who I've never heard of.

I posted the Coffee Poem on FB and haven't gotten a single comment. Hold on! Lemme go check. My life is held in the balance.

Ah, thank you Patrick Cox!

You know what? I'm too scared to read my coffee poem.

YOU read it and tell me what you think. Okay, Ezra.... Sapphos.... and Emily?

COFFEE:  The Eighth Wonder of the World

Time buries all good things
The Great Pyramid of Giza
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
The Colossus of Rhodes
The Seven Wonders of
The Western World

Once we celebrated these
marvels, saddling ourselves
on the camel or sailing in
colorful ships to stand
faces aloft before the
Colossus of Rhodes, the
Sun God, who saved our
fair city from the pillage
of the barbarian.

I have beseeched the
gods, and I am only here
for a little while, to add an
Eighth Wonder, an elixir
called by various names.

The vehicle of my epoch is
called “car.” Those who
drive them are often seen
drinking plastic bottles
filled with water or
paper cups of coffee
held in the hand, sipping
from a tiny blow hole,
the earthen-brown liquid
shimmering inside.

I drive through town
sipping from a tall
blue china mug with
a fleur-de-lis
pattern, it is warm
in my hand, as I take
tiny hot sips and
then it begins.

The red light glows
like fresh cherries
swaying on the tree,
the man smoking in the car next
to me is a film noir idol,
escaping the Nazis. I
wish him godspeed.

And I, the girl in the
mirror with the Hungarian
eyes, have fallen in love
with the world, one sweet
bite at a time.