Sunday, February 14, 2016

St Valentine's Day - two meanings for me - Poem: Purple Nail Polish - Potbellies Storm the IHOP published

Picture of my sister Donna Cartagena before she moved across the river to Clarksboro, New Jersey.

She called me around noon today.

"Weren't you and I riding in a police car on Valentine's Day?"

I thought a moment.

What was she talking about?

"OMG," I said, "I totally forgot."

In 1984, when I was 38 yrs old, I was 302'd - forced into the hospital - for my first manic-psychotic episode. I rode in the back of an Upper Moreland police car with barred windows. Donna rode up front with the cop.

Can you imagine my forgetting such a thing?

Anyway, I told her I had to get off the phone, as Scott and I were going for our St Valentine's meal.

I'd passed this three-story rest. many a time on my way to my bank.

Look I even took a pic of it when we got there in the 12 degree weather.

The place was mobbed!

We had reservations and he put us in a corner, he did

Little Jack Horner

By Mother Goose
Little Jack Horner
Sat in the corner,
Eating a Christmas pie;
He put in his thumb,
And pulled out a plum,
And said, "What a good boy am I!"
You had two choices.... the brunch in the other room... or the regular menu, which Scott chose, while I walked far away to the huge brunch room.
They had so much space, plus an upstairs.
The rest. has been here for 8 years, the chef told me. They have another place in Doylestown and amazingly they bought Cafe LaFontana, gutted it, and it shall be named

The King of Kings

Oh, sorry, that's from the Messiah.

The new name is something like 28 Main Street.

Here's what I looked like when we left for the rest. I was wearing my warmest clothes.
The rest. was nice and warm.
 From the brunch room I got

prime rib with gravy, honeydew and can't elope, broiled veggies served cold, and lox with tomato and a delicious green - arugala? I put it on a piece of Italian bread..... my my my it was good.
 Everything was so colorful. Loved the bread plate with the holes in it. Scott got a nice mound of Spinach Ravioli, which he said was delicious. I asked him to give me a taste. Instead of putting it in my waiting mouth, he plopped it onto the horseradish I got for the prime rib.

We all cleared out at the same time.

 Scott turned over the side dish. "Never heard of this, made in Germany," he said.

Oh, it's Villeroy and Boch, I said. My mom's got a lot of these. There's an outlet somewhere in Jersey we've been to.
 La piece de resistance. Two cakes, made right here at Buena Via by Chef David. I chose the carrot and the rum. Yum yum yum.

Just got off my stationery bike. Was on there chatting on the phone for 25 minutes. Blood sugar still very high when I got off... 198, so I injected 6.

Be careful, said Scott. Make sure you don't go too low. 
Hello Chef David Marques. Name is Portuguese. I asked him an important Q. There used to be a pastry chef down the street. Gerald. I went in there once and the dessert - and I'm an expert taster - was to die for! Yeah, esp if you have insulin-dependent diabetes.

Next time I drive by, the place is gone. Disappeared. David knew nothing about it but his sous-chef - I'm just making that up, his buddy - knew all about him. Then David remembered. Yes, he said, he used to work for me but he decided to go out on his own.

Read this picture book this morning and brought it back to the library. My libe send me WOWBRARY once a week. You order what books you want.

So what happens? Seven of em come in at once!

I actually checked out a bio of Doris Day by A E Hotchner, the guy who wrote about Papa Hemingway. The real life of Doris Day was the exact opposite of the one portrayed in movies. A truly horrid life.

Just got off the phone with my friend Denis Hazam, who's b'day is on Jan 30. Two great men born on the same day. Thother is F D R.

Denis, who reads when he goes to dialysis, is reading a book about Napolean and also about the Holy Roman Empire. 

When I got home from the rest. and hopped on my stationery bike,  I called my sister Donna.

"Thanks," I said, huffing and puffing, "for driving me home from the hospital."

Norristown State. The three worst days of my life. You could pay me all the riches in the world but I'd never undergo that experience again.

However, I would get my nails painted again.

Scott bought me this light pink cyclamen at Kremp's. One of their busiest days, of course. The busiest is Mother's Day.

This morning I got a welcome surprise. I'd submitted three poems to Jellyfish Whisper. When the editor Amy something emailed me this morning, I thought, Oh no! Another rejection.

She accepted all three. One was about the cyclamen.

So, Dear Reader, if you don't mind, two poems in a row!

Holy cow! Just went to fetch the cyclamen poem online.

Salamander lit mag wrote me rejecting all my poems.

And Yellow Mama wrote that one of my poems has been published. Read The Potbellies Storm the IHOP.


Walking into the
Asian salon a thousand
aromas flood me
the glorious smell of
red purple yellow blue
polish and its
antidote, the funky remover

Some of the girls wear
masks to protect
their porcelain-white

While I, wearing my
daughter's kidney in
my belly, settle into
a chair, and am
served a styrofoam
cup of green tea
steam swirling in the air

Maggie tests the purple
on a couple of my fingers.
Hers are steady, plain,
the hands of a mom.

Looks good, I say, though
inside I whoop like a rodeo rider
on horseback. Later, lying
alone in my bed I hold my purple
nails up to the light

Years ago at Mom's house,
blooming with purple rhododendrons
I arrived with bearded Christopher,
the love of my life. My sister Amy
was married, as Christopher sank in

Next morning he called me. I was
beautiful then, with shoulder-
length salt and pepper hair.
"I'm breaking up with you,"
he said.

I feared we made too much noise
for the lonesome only child, as
I fell sobbing to the kitchen floor.

The late Chris Ray was such an inspiration to me I wrote several poems about him and a short story called The Psychic that was published by Ray's Road Review.



You, darling, whose name I can never remember,
you, darling, whose green heart-shaped
leaves are every bit as
lovely as your upturned faces,

Your species, like ours, has drifted from
the Mediterranean over the Atlantic
to be sold for a pittance at the grocery store.

I buy you as a gift for others. As I was
leaving the store, you called out from your
table. I heard you as I approached my car.

You reside now with me.

At home you delight me in the kitchen as
I sip my coffee, your dappled blossoms
a satiny blend of purples – I love you
with my eyes, with the gentle water
I pour over you, and touching your
queenly faces, cold to the touch
these wintry morns.

If all goes well, you tubers should
live a long while. Mayhap till the end of
my days.

This is why you greet me first
thing every morning. Beauty,
like God, has a way of reaching
our inner spirit we’re unaware of
and floating us onward
‘til the end of our days.

Plethora of flora on the window sill. Click to enlarge.

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