Sunday, January 24, 2016

Hello from Blizzardland - New poems: Bloody Red Nail Polish or The Queen of Burgundy - The Blizzard - Putting Grace Catherine to Bed

Hadn't had coffee in a couple days, but chose my fave from my friend Iris.

Ellen R told me that coffee helps prevent Parkinson's which runs in her family. She drinks 3 cups a day.

Just spoke to my friend "Ronnie" who's in the psych ward at Abington Hospital. Her voice was very chipper. She was terrible when she went in.

Her two treatments of ECT have helped her. She'd had them in the past. I asked if she'd write about em for our upcoming Compass mag and she said Yes. I reminded her about our Arts Festival in April to give her something happy to think about.

She said "Stella" who also had ECT is doing better. My poem "Stella" will be published somewhere.

My friend Iris in CT sent me four absolutely stunning poems for The Compass.

Scott and Ed Quinn helped me with my 1600-word short story, The Psychiatrist Who Disappeared. Deadline to publish is March 31.

It's one of those websites - Hektoen International - where you must pay strict attention when you submit it.

Snowy view out my door. Dunno how to turn off the flash. Scott told me to look at the direx.

Bah humbug!

My neighbor Patrick Kiernan and his team of kids shoveled me out.

How much dyou want, I asked him.

Sixty bucks, he said. Forty for me and twenty for Scott.

I gave him a check and he said he'd pay the kids. They worked hard.

Scott's back went out again by shoveling, so we're hoping he can correct it by "icing it."

Last nite, I went over his house to watch TV with him. He was watching WW2 documentaries on YouTube which are excellent.

Walking over in the - what? - knee-deep and thigh-deep snow was quite an ordeal.

When I walked home, around 11 pm, in the deep snow, each foot sinking in deeply and then taking it out and sinking it into another deep hole, my heart was thumping like sparrow's. 

I was shocked. I can't die, I told myself. I'm too young and have no heart problems. Neither does my 93-yo mum.


Captured on my ten tiny fingers
is a tableau writ in paint the
color of a homegrown
orchid, burgundy

When I take my tea
they stun me with
their beauty. Quickly
I spot Snow White’s
jealous Queen

and feel for a crown
on my head that
isn’t there

But you are there
Patricia, the artist
who painted me, sitting
at your gleaming white
table, saying not a

At last like a bite from
a custard pie, she
begins to speak. Surinam in
South America is her
home. The conquering
Dutch claimed the lands
the same time as people
in the Jamestown colony
began to starve.

Her nose is wide, her
black hair tied back, a
blue doctor’s mask
across her mouth
against the deadly fumes

Tired, I lower myself
into bed at night. White light
from the blizzard filters
through the curtains.
Holding my nails before
my eyes, I feel safe.
Healed. Invincible. Nothing can
harm me. Not even
death. I am
The Queen.
The Queen of Burgundy.

Photo of the nails of The Queen of Burgundy. They were done at the Strawberry Nail Salon in Hatboro, the capital of nail salons in Pennsylvania. 

In a dream last nite, I was trying to photograph something very important. It was writing on a van that revealed some secret information.

As in real life, my Nikon "easy to use" new camera failed to snap a picture.


I pace back and forth
refrigerator full
hummus from the
yogurt with chocolate
and raspberry so I
won’t pass out from
a diabetes low.

I stare out the window
such whiteness
a fresh bridal gown
laced with moon beams.

Slipping on my clogs
I step onto the front
porch. At midnight
an otherworldly glow bathes
my skin a milky white.

Listen! Does snow
sound as it falls? Do
it click or tap or
make melancholy

Its tiny arrows fall
from the sky, piercing
the peach fuzz on my
warm pregnant
cheeks with
a cold ouch!

Barely protected
beneath my
polka-dot PJs
I land in Siberia
where the cold
killed the right arm,
yes, the frost did
it, to a newly anointed
painter name of
Stankowski, not young,

His brilliant reds,
the oranges, the
Rothko blacks, slashed with
poetry, reach out to
embrace me.

I’d like to have his
work hanging on my
wall. There tis:
a painting
Huge –
squares of white
white and more
feathery white

Hands on canvas
I take a deep yogi
breath, the paint
smells like snow
as I walk right in

I will stay awhile
If I sleep, do not
disturb. Wake me
when it’s over
a live mummy
with frosty-
white hair and
a body that glows.

I'd hang it over there so I can see it as I write. When I compose in earnest - hello hemingway - I go upstairs. 
Was at Dan n Nicole's the other nite to see them before the blizzard. I brought over Yin's dumplings which they heated up in the microwave. Also brought some salad.
Dan asked me if I wanted to put Grace to bed.
She won't let me, he said.
She will, he said. 


Her parents were eating Indian food
in front of the TV. We smelled it
upstairs in her bedroom and looked
up the country on the wall map
I'd given her.

Her little brother Max was asleep in
the other room, wearing brown Buddha beads
to protect him from harm.

Grace’s book shelf held a Harvard
classics library for children. Included
were Little Golden Books of Racine, Wisconsin,
binding aflame in the dim light. 

My favorite, as a kid, was a book on Baby Jesus
my mother bought for me on the twirly shelf
at Heinen's grocery store back in Cleveland,
Jews though we are.

In her pink PJs with feet, she brought the
desired book to bed, where I lay, my sneakers
tucked to the side.

Bubby, she said, get your shoes off
the bed. The book was modern day
fairy tales by modern princesses
Arielle, Belle and Tiana.

Handing it over, I began to read.
It’s not Tiara, she said, it’s Tiana.
Beignets with powdered sugar
made their appearance.

Her huge brown princess eyes stared
at the pictures. We’re in a
diner in New Orleans with Buford,
a cagy man. A cad with a long
Pinocchio nose.

I was in New Orleans once, I said.
Crawling over me, she slid out of
bed. What now! I thought. Kids never
wanna go to bed.

Where is it? she said from the map.
Just left of Florida, the finger-like thing
poking out in the water.

She returns and the reading continues.
She turns toward the window. Good!
She’s asleep.
I want Dad, she says. You’re
lying on his pillow.

Just the way I lay with
Dan and big sister Sarah.
May I kiss you good night? I ask,
as I slide off the bed,
take her small hand in mine and give it
a noisy kiss.

Mom, Sarah used to say,
you make so much noise
when you kiss me.

My lips have recently
turned seventy.
The better to kiss
you with. How come
we don’t kiss ourselves?

I run my new burgundy
nail polish across my lips.
Smooth as pudding. 

Be quiet, Bubby, she whispers.
Max is asleep.

Yes, boss, methinks.

Grace Catherine as a young lass.

She would love the story  "Cold" - " latter-day fairy story of ice princesses and sighing suitors." 

I listen to the audio book Elementals by A S Byatt. 

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