Thursday, September 29, 2016

The rains began today - Pumpkin Soup is darn good - Poem: At Long Last Rain AND Address Labels

Just watched this vid from the Times.21 minutes of a boat rescuing refugees who smugglers have insisted leave their home and they send them off, many of them end up in the water and the rescue boat attempts to bring em on board.

Very rainy out now. At the Giant, I rode in a motorized cart - hey maybe Giant can sponsor races - and I just took my time buying loads of things.

Image result for photo motorized cart for stores  When I got back in my car, it felt as if I was still riding the cart. Strange sensation.

A former client left me a message. Shall I upset myself and listen to the message? Am drinking hot tea now. Called in the morning. Luckily she didn't answer so I left a message.

Scott and I napped to a great film, ROPE, the first color film by Hitchcock. He slept thru most of it - was really exhausted, while I probly missed about 20 minutes, which I learned about when I watched the commentary at the end.

Probly the most interesting commentary I've ever watched.

I made the pumpkin chili for the neighbor family. Pete and his Christian Gilgal fellows had spent hours taming my back yard. Pete and wife Kim have four children, GREAT kids.

So they picked up the chili while I was writhing with tension watching ROPE at Scott's, based on the Leopold Loeb murders of Bobby Franks.... the perfect murder.

Was on FB and got involved in a brief discussion with Clevenger a family man from Ohio. We were on Lee Child's website and I mentioned that I couldn't get into Child's latest books for several yrs.... he seemed to have run out of ideas.

Then I mentioned to Clevenger about the film ROPE. What I should do is get into a film discussion group. Thing is, I'm not good with film history but I do know what I like about the film. Lemme find a better link for ROPE.

Just before hosting a dinner party, Philip Morgan (Farley Granger) and Brandon Shaw (John Dall) strangle a mutual friend to death with a piece of rope, purely as a Nietzsche-inspired philosophical exercise. Hiding the body in a chest upon which they then arrange a buffet dinner, the pair welcome their guests, including the victim's oblivious fiancée (Joan Chandler) and the college professor (James Stewart) whose lectures inadvertently inspired the killing.

Homosexual theme is represented but never mentioned. I learned that in the commentary.


With the leftover pumpkin filling, I made pumpkin soup. I had none of the ingredients so here's what I used

Two cartons Brown Cow Vanilla Yogurt
Big scoop of Almond Butter, bought by Sarah when she was here
Couple Tbls of Olive Oil from Tunisia

Then I looked in the sink where there were a couple scraps of spinach and bingo an idea came. I sprinkled sunflower seeds on top of the hot soup, which is in a huge cup Bruce Li had bought me.

Was too lazy to vacuum but did so today. Miss Bissell powered up nicely and we did the living room - where the neighbors would enter - and finally my bedroom.


I've flung open the front door
to watch the gentle rain
the day's still bright
and smells of worms
dead leaves and squirrels

How parched the earth's been
the bark on the sycamore
has a pink glow, honestly,
and I needn't tell you
how greedily the burnt
grass gulps it down

Everything is cleansed!
The bird crap on the walkway
the car and the lamp post

I wonder how the blue heron
is faring on Lake Galena.
The waves surely must rock

And blind little Marie-Clair
in the book I'm reading
would point her cane to
the skies and drink
the rain.
Was up till 4 in the morning writing and submitting. Marcy was very helpful! All three of my stories were rejected - Soulmates - Never Say You're Sorry - and something with Comeback in the title, which was my fave.

The editor states we'll get our work back in one day, which is true.

I went from being shocked to being pissed and then being sad. Are those the five stages of dying?

Image result for tis by frank mccourt   Finished this memoir, which I listened to in the kitchen. The narrator is a real jerk, unlikable, just like his mum. What was wrong with the two of them?  

Did I tell you I'm enjoying

Image result for julia cameron the artist's way She was married to Martin Scorsese for one whole year and they have a grown daughter.

Image result for julia cameron the artist's way

Unexpected inner power!

Am feeling it now.


They come in droves seeking
donations, pristine white
envelopes puckering with
calendars, greeting cards
and address labels making
me feel I will drown in
their funding hopes, as I toss
half into the junk mail
carton which will be used

to make park benches, and
the others, I shamefully
file in the bulging
desk drawer without paying
a cent to Aunt Selma and
the grandchildren, and knowing
the next day when I hear the
thud of the mailbox,
my guilt will runneth over,
as I press on a queer-looking
Star Trek stamp to Beverly and give
the famous Vulcan salute.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Dreamtime - Poem for Rich to get well - Poem: Suffering

Mom and Dad at Camp Lejeune, NC, where Little Ruthie was born in 1945.

Woke up in the middle of the night, probly after an unremembered dream, and thought about my Dad and his generation. Every one of em dead and gone, except for my mom and Aunt Selma, both in their 90s.

Evelyn and Eddie Garber, their brilliant son Donald Isaac, who lost his long battle with leukemia, same diz as Gramma Green had, and on and on.

It all seemed so real when I woke up.

At 9 am the phone rang. Oh dear, I thought. What if it's that psychiatrist - Langman - I asked to come and speak to us.

Boot and I ran downstairs, only to be greeted by yet anudder call by the unknown Ralph Varden.

The boot puts terrible pressure on my groin, so I removed the exterior of the boot and am now hopping around on the softer boot inside.

Made a cup of Maxwell House coffee this morning to help me get thru loading the October sked for New Directions, odious task that it is.

First, tho, it's necessary to do the blog.

Donna K from our writing group gave me the Maxwell House. I'd like to email her a Thanks, but then she'd answer me, and I'd never finish my odious task.

After that, I've gotta brew some Chili for my neighbors who cleaned up my backyard. Will listen in kitchen to Colson Whitehead's Underground Railway, poem about dat at bottom.

Late last nite, I pressed the wrong button on my i Phone and got Ada Fleisher. I could not turn the goddamn thing off.

Turns out Rich was in the hospital. Wrote this poem about him, then drove after Mailman Dante to give it to him to mail. Dante was sitting in his truck. I passed him. He should've honked, but didn't. Then I figgured it out and off went the card w poem.

Can it be true? Your appendix removed?
Ah, the relief, the surcease from pain.

Soon you'll walking again, your sneaks lined up in
the garage, reading the Times and following the
antics of one Donald Trump, as Saint Hillary
wows us in Red.

And most of all, Rich, you'll be husband again
to the gal whose beauty rivals the constellations
Ada Moss Fleisher, good catch, Riccardo!

This tea's for you both. Sip slowly, don't
burn your tongue, and ponder the eternal
mysteries of the world, sip by sip.

PS - Am listening to the audio book Underground
Railroad by Colson Whitehead.

Good coffee, Donna. Gotta get a refill, but not until blog's fini.

As you know I always write a poem every morning on FB.

As I sat down on at laptop in living room, I thought a moment. What's on my mind, I asked myself. Here's what I wrote. 


I take my breakfast
while listening to
Disk One of Colon
Whitehead's Under-
ground Railroad

The cruelty of the
Randall Brothers who own the
plantation is astounding

Under the lash and the
hatchet and the noose
go Cora, Michael, Caeser
while women - or 'property'
are penetrated on the floors
of their slave cabins,
families silent in bed

Suffering too are the
candidates for American
president, drawn and
quartered last night
in a Frontline

Donald, lacking the
qualities of human
feeling and empathy,
drawn to glitz, tits and

Hillary, an indentured
servant to the one man
who stole her life

Whomever will parade down
Pennsylvania Avenue next
January will have one
full day of happiness,
thereafter to quarrel,
disagree and burn.


On the Charlie Rose Show, a young man whose name I didn't catch interviewed a wonderful British writer Ian McEwan and I watched fascinated.

He talked about his own writing process.

He also mentioned how boring he found memoirs. He's gonna write one himself and has to figger out how to make it interesting.

Sarah and I are working on ours. It has an unusual format and is quite interesting.


I take my breakfast
while listening to
Disk One of Colon
Whitehead's Under-
ground Railroad

The cruelty of the
Randall Brothers who own the
plantation is astounding

Under the lash and the
hatchet and the noose
go Cora, Michael, Caeser
while women - or 'property'
are penetrated on the floors
of their slave cabins,
families silent in bed

Suffering too are the
candidates for American
president, drawn and
quartered last night
in a Frontline

Donald, lacking the
qualities of human
feeling and empathy,
drawn to glitz, tits and

Hillary, an indentured
servant to the one man
who stole her life

Whomever will parade down
Pennsylvania Avenue next
January will have one
full day of happiness,
thereafter to quarrel,
disagree and burn.

HAVE A GREAT DAY FOLKS. Sposed to rain quite a bit, but I ran outside with inner boot on, as I noticed the birds at bird bath were dipping their heads quite low.

Gotta take c/o our little friends the way they take c/o us!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

First debate between Hillary and Trump - Poem: Prayer for Saint Birgitta

Image result for hillary vs trumpShe likes Red and He wears an American flag pin.

If this were a boxing match, she punched him down so many times that he was punch-drunk at the end. His famous arrogance and confidence vanquished.

Began the day by waking up at 8:15, thinking a moment, and then screeching, OMG I've gotta be at the nursing home at 10:30.

I looked up activities for my group of maybe 10 individuals. I'd watched a YouTube video of elders competing over games.

Yes, I thought. We'll play games. I wrote out questions before I left. Then turned on my audio book Call the Midwife. Let's - all 9 of us - take at look at what The World Book - or Encyclopedia Brittanica - or
Diderot's Encyclopedia - says about Call the Midwife.

Call the midwife book cover.jpg  
I submitted to lit journals for hours and hours, sitting on my bun, listening to music to drown out sounds, as I composed, rewrote, and submitted, heart in mouth.

I wrote five short ficcione for Matchbook magazine. Walter - Darlene Come Back - The Duster - Cold - and Soulmates.

Submitted six newly composed poems to "Ink, Sweat and Tears" from London.

"Messages" is the theme. Can only remember a couple of poem names - one is about the train ride to Dachau, another about Dad dying of cancer.

You trim all the fat off the meat.

Will I ever fall asleep, that is the question. When I go downstairs, I hold the banister with both arms - please! not barrister! - banister - and I look straight ahead out the window.

Hey, the streets were shiny.


Gotta hop aboard the arc before it leaves. Just call me Jeanne.

You know what? I made up the name Saint Birgitta.


Holy Saint Bergitta,
Please protect me as I drive to work
Protect me from the idiots who, leaning
on their horns, scare the bejeezus
out of me.

Protect me from the morons
who ride my bumper as if they want to
come inside and make love to me.

Protect me from the audio book I
listen to - Call the Midwife -
to make sure I don't have a
breech pregnancy and drive
into a ditch.

Protect me from my job at
the nursing home. They are
old, with dementia, still
lovable, but for Chrissakes,
they're all gonna die. 


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Neighbor Pete and his Merry Men Tackle the Jungle of my Backyard - Poem: Taming my Overgrown Back Yard

Photos I took and put on FB.... and of course I wrote a poem, which I posted on FB

 Hello, my name is Luka, and his dad is Leo.
 Pete Lytle, who lives a couple doors down.
Luka's dad Leo. They live in Hatboro. Thother guy lives in Elkins Park.

 Hello Jeff! He came in a beautiful red car, a Toyota Versa, I believe.

 Four bags full for takeaway tomro, Monday.
They came for me!

I had a pitcher of cold water for them on the deck.

 You are terrific people, I said. One of Pete's friends is saving money to adopt a child from Africa so I wrote him a check for that.
Antique artifact.

The late Bill Sanders would occasionally cut my grass. Here's his unopened Busch Beer, caked in mud. Very nice man, thoughtful, considerate, could not stop drinking.


dedicated to Pete Lytle and The Gilgal Group

My backyard had turned
into a jungle. All it
lacked was Tarzan and
Jane and monkeys swinging
from the vines.

I sip on peppermint tea
as I hear the impossibly
beautiful songs in my
yard - buzz saws, hedge clippers
electric blowers

And men talk flowing all
around. Once they were
boys, making forts
and treehouses, looking
at the night sky,

counting the stars
and wondering, "Is there
a God?"

I hear snippets of
conversation - Pete's
quick laugh - "Glad
I could come, nothing
better to do on a Sunday" -

"Coming, Luka?" or a
black-haired man who's
gonna start a newchurch
in Norristown,
tools stolen from
the back of his truck.

The luck of the Irish -
or the Jews, was with me
when Neighbor Pete,
who has the energy
of the sun inside him,
volunteered to enlist his
buddies to get the job

It's like living in a park!
Wanna take a stroll with me?
C'mon over and knock on the door.
I'll have lemonade and cookies
waiting on the deck.

Writers Group meets at B's - Ruth, Donna, Marf, Linda and Beatriz - My poem: Movement in Seven Parts

Old photo of Donna's nails. She does em herself.

Am gonna put the text in here and then run downstairs to put in the new photos.

Hold on! Found this short video by writer Ian McEwan on love in writing fiction

Linda and I are always late as we complete our selection for the week.

Linda wrote a terrific poem for her nephew Graham called MY REASON FOR RUNNING. Good lines include "freshly washed sunlight... unrelenting grey rain... blinding light shock of rain."

He'll love it, we assured her. His mom does not appreciate Linda's poetry prowess. She also wrote two autumn poems, one about a Bonfire.

We're a little coterie of writers. We stay in our own world. My family is not interested in my work, with the exception of my sister Lynn, who is one of my "readers."

I also took a sultry photo of Donna

Beatriz wrote one of her essays on a pollinator we'd never heard of.
Image result for crab spider      The crab spider. She showed us many pix of this crafty fellow who camouflages himself like any good soldier would and then springs for his prey. His appetite is rapacious - what mean dat? - and he likes worms, which he divides up in segments, saving them for his little ones.

Donna's new poem BLACK MOON was brutally honest about her family members. Bc she has bipolar disorder, she will not be allowed to hold the new baby.

Cruel and misinformed.

She was just published in Twisted Sister. Look, you can read all her poems here, including Black Moon.

BRUSH WITH HEAVEN was Martha's piece about a close call with death. Dyou believe she had heart failure? Based on a kidney infection that affected her heart.

The Abington hospital docs and nurses were wonderful. And of course her late parents made an appearance. Dad told her Don't give these good people a hard time, while Mom said, It's not your time.

She also brought in a poem. 

  All booted up, I was the first to arrive. Brought Triscuits and Gouda cheese as a snack. B provided banana chips. The word chip referring to the possibility of it chipping your tooth OR continuing with a chip on your shoulder.

The idea for my new short story came while I was in the kitchen preparing my omelet and listening to TIS by the late Frank McCourt.

I would write about life in a nursing home, do it in several parts, before our hero Sean McNally goes to an assisted living home.

The words poured out of me nonstop. So far, it's only two pages. Part One and Part Two. People liked it, tho I haven't reviewed their comments which is important to do.

I'm reading the columns of one Colson Whitehead, author of the new book Underground Railroad. The writing in his columns is divine, but basically a waste of time. You don't learn anything, but he'll give you a good laff and upon occasion you'll learning, such as Get to the point, don't use five words, when one word will do.

Read him here.

 Image result for Colson Whitehead  Colson, I'm listening to Call the Midwife in the car. When I'm finished, your book is next. It's resting comfortably in a little pouch.

The night before our meeting, I was watching the Japanese News called NHK. Some news item showed a man bounding down the stairs. How gracefully he danced down.

Gotta write a poem about dat, I thinks. So for the writers group I wrote six movement poems, but then on the radio last night I heard something about swimming naked in the a lake in Breton. Wow, what a good topic I thought, so this morning I wrote my seventh movement poem.

Lemme know what you think. Now, I'll run downstairs, boot on but feeling better bc I put long pants over it, so it feels more normalized.



Adam, oh, we all like Adam
sits a’chair staring at computer screen
waiting to be interrupted
straightbacked and stiff,
as if there’s back trouble,
it’s only from being in the orchestra pit
of the librarian’s chair. 
“Whazzup?” he asks, a quick
smile lighting up his cheeks
like an apple best eaten slowly.



A far-off lens portrays a man
running down the stairs, outdoor
stairs in southern California, arms
swinging at his sides, as if he has
practiced for years, each leg bending
at the knee and thigh and ankle,
going faster, faster, faster, and
I shout Instant Replay but the
screen has turned black.


A southern belle, forced by her owner
to bloom up here, she caught a cold,
and stood lifeless in the front yard.

She twisted her infected branches and
looked up at the sky. Are ya done with
me? she asked. I've lived here five years
dancing in place to the Nutcracker Suite.

Cold showers from the hose bathed her
withered limbs, like Whitman did
the dying. More cold showers up
and down her once famously beautiful
body, the ballerina.

She was tough, she was resilient, she
refused to die. Her beauty's returned
the Belle of Cowbell Road.



How can anyone stand so straight?
How can anyone have hair like that?
White, all white, with a tiny ponytail
peacock-proud to ornament
the man in line.

Tall, he bent toward the aproned
barista. I’ll have Decaf, he
said. Here was a man who would
sleep well at night.

I’ll make a fresh cup, said she.
And I heard all, my head turning
as I waited for my pumpkin spice
latte, which I could barely pronounce.

Later, at table, I sat at a distance
my curiosity aroused like a calico
cat sniffing round the cake plate

Whatever was he reading, as his
white head dipped deep into the
paperback book. A man who
would rouse the stars to dream about.



The line wasn’t long.
I forgot that I don’t have
to be busy every minute
so I stopped reading
the book I would buy.

Real life is more important
than any history book you’ll
buy for your son’s fortieth.

A woman with gleaming white
hair, the color of the noonday
sun, was leaning over, laughing.

Good thing I have insomnia,
she said. There’s a million
cable channels and nothing is….

Yeah yeah. As I read in bed
last night, All the Light You Cannot
See, the Gloaming White was
somewhere in the area, reading
herself to sleep, as Dr Amen, Patrick
Stoner, and Patti Paige sang me
to sleep.



Spider skittered around the
slippery porcelain sink with
its bits of spinach and peanuts
the journey of his life, trying
to get free before more cold
water came pouring down
the spout.

A shroud covered his head,
with quivering posterior
he injected his venom to
no avail, and was thrown
down a high place, tumbling
tumbling, eight legs
a-tremble, no web to
carry him down.




She and he were seen from
the window swimming. The still
moon lit up each naked body.
Look at that slim white arm
curling from the water, up,
then splash, slender as a
ribbon. He was nearby, the
hair on his arms flattened down
like fleece, bubbles spitting
from his mouth. The watcher
goes back to bed, listening
to their splashes – they sound
like celebratory ducks – as
He and She embrace like
majesties, then head for the
locker room on shore.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Visit with the Demings - all 7 of them - Literary Yard publishes me - Mother would have liked you - and The Lottery Ticket

All booted up. Will tackle today's Writers Group later. I am bushed!

 A program where you can build anything called Minecraft.  Zowie!!!
Grace is building a railroad track for Max, who is so tired he's lying in his mama's arms. Grace and Nicole had a big day. Took the train downtown to the Walnut Street Theater where they saw a live play, Beauty and the Beast.

It was good, said Grace, but it wasn't my favorite. They strolled around Rittenhouse Park and enjoyed the downtown area, since they are both city girls.
Nicole is liking her substitute work with autistic and other challenged kids.

 Where's my iPad, Max asked rather frantically after dinner. Figures! It was in the living room on his train set.

Blank has huge green eyes. Old age has made him deaf. There was loudness in the family room and I thot Blank had heard it. But no. It was the vibration he heard.

 Max asked, Bubby how old are you.

I thought a moment, wondering if I should hold up a show of fingers.

70, I said.

And how old is Scott, he asked.

57, I said.

Why was this deep young boy interested in ages.

As a kid, I was fascinated with ages. Great minds think alike.

 Max was lying there and Nicole's feet were sticking out, so I massaged her feet and pretended they were Max's. I thought it was hilarious.

For dinner we had pizza and delicious BBQ chicken thighs and legs. The kids got the sauce EVERYWHERE.
 Who's this? Oh it's Half Cat Half Woman.
Dan got his first pair of Crocs. Good for the feet bc the toes are spread out. No cutting off the toes to make your feet fit, like in Perrault's Cinderella.

Image result for perrault cinderella   Quest-ce-cest?

 On the way home, a train came. Look at the pretty No Turn sign,

And then.... an ambulance sirened by. Max was reading me his Rescue Vehicle Book.

When I first arrived, I heard his barefeet padding to the door, with a new green backload in his hand with huge wheels.

Usually Onkar S publishes my work rather quickly. I began to panic when The Lottery Ticket wasn't published within two weeks.

I wrote to make sure he received my work. Finally he wrote back today, apologizing for all the work he had as he has an outside job. He lives in New Delhi and travels extensively.

Me? I travel to and from The Giant Supermarket and my Writing Group.

Click here to read The Lottery Ticket, which I think is rather unusual. I'd forgotten I named the main character Shana.

And my poem Mother Would Have Liked You.

It's about a former client of mine, who I call Evelyn, the toughest woman ever to get along with.

On PBS there's a show about oldies. Here's a couple pix I took.

 The great Debbie Reynolds sings TAMMY. Today, she's 84, born in 1932. View her auction here in 2014. Here's her bio.
Dorothy, Phyllis and Christine McGuire. When I was a kid I loved them and also their names. 
The Dairy Queen is open until 10 30.  I got up and got ready to leave.

What am I doing? I asked. I'm so tired I'm gonna collapse.

Give it up for Tommy Edwards and It's All in the Game. Hmm, he's dead, so I guess someone else is singing this.

Remember the song Lollipop by the Chordettes. Let's find it on YouTube.

Here they are, ladies and gentlemen!!!

I remember lying in bed and listening to my transistor radio. My heart would soar when I'd hear the Four Preps sing Twenty-Six Miles... 40 kilometers in a leaky old boat... Santa Catalina waits for me

And I would dream about this Santa Catalina... how beautiful it was. Listen here

One of the Preps is also in the band THE DIAMONDS of Little Darling fame.

 Pat Boone speaks to one of The Diamonds. Pat had just gotten out of that hot tub he advertises and looks really good. Let's take a peak at his life now,  a Christian. Oh, dear, he's a right-wing nut.  Born in 1932, 83 yrs old.
The Diamonds.

Gonna eat some watermelon now. Will post one of the songsters on FB. Maybe.