Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Went to B's for lunch - Poem: Dairy Queen

Brought the remainder of my veggie soup to Beatriz's.

  Old foto of veggie soup.

Also brought Triscuits and chive cream cheese.

Like me, she eats in the living room.

Wait a minute, she said, and raised up her coffee table, so it came up to my waist so I could eat.

She got it at Gamburg's, which is still there after all these years. It's in Hatboro.

Image result for gamburgs furniture store  

 B's son Steven came downstairs to use the microwave. His cat Simba came down with him. What a beautiful cat. Blue eyes. Very delicate.

B gave me some cat nip to feed him. Told me how to do it.

You'll be friends for life, she said.

BTW, I've gotta stay up for hours and hours submitting to a lit mag called GLINT. Due in two days. Well, it's not like I'm writing a dissertation.

Last night on TV was a program about having trials for men responsible for genocide. This is the first time these men have ever been brought to trial. One of the judges was none other than Benjamin Ferenz, who presided at the Nuremburg Trials.

He is one well-spoken seeker of justice. Let's applaud this 95-yo man whose parents had the foresight to leave Romania when they first started rounding up the Jews.

 Benjamin Ferencz - Chief Prosecutor in 1947 Einsatzgruppen Trial - In Courtroom 600 Where Nuremberg Trials Were Held - Palace of Justice - Nuremberg-Nurnberg - Germany - 02.jpg
Even though I don't know the man, I feel like called him Uncle Benny.

Fell fast asleep at Scott's while watching the news. You know what the NY Times motto is:  All the sh*t that's fit to print.

The news was pretty disgusting. I always wonder what Fashionista Judy Woodruff will be wearing.

Image result for judy woodruff   She was interviewing two people about the Supreme Court nominee Neal Nonesuch. (Can't remember his real name). Looks like he'll be confirmed. One of the panelists, a curly-haired black woman kept talking about Obama's appointee, Merick Garland, if that indeed was his name.

C'mon, curly-head, you're wasting our time. Let's move forward.

When I got home from Scott's I took my sugar. LOW.

Stuffed myself. Then drove Scott to the train and I drove off to the Dairy Queen.

Finished my drink when I got home and I also had SAUERKRAUT on my dangling reading glasses. What's a girl to do but lick it off and then wash em off.


I order "the usual,"
Mocha Iced coffee, the
chocolate fresh as a
Hershey Kiss dropped
straight from the
coffee tree

Ice that delights and
swirls around my mouth
spinning like Nureyev
in all the right places.

The chili hot dog was gooood.
I sat on my usual bench, fresh
winds blowing in my face. A treat
from the gulag.

The Toyota Family piled inside
their high-born carriage.
Dad was drinking Snapple. Remember
the various flavors? Raspberry
tea was my favorite.
Mom steadies her sundae as
she claims the front seat,
looking with her blonde bouncy
curls like a kid. The two
boys race into the back seat.
"Ever see pink ice cream like
this?" one says to his brother.

Enjoy these days of your childhood!
I, too, was once young. Rock in the
cradle of the love of your families.
Listen to what each one has to say
and state your own mind. Be heard!
Kneel down and say your vespers
before bed like Christopher Robin
and dream yourself to sleep.

Dyou believe I haven't ridden my bike yet?

Upstairs I go to read a new book I bought at the Abington Library.

You'll be the first to know when I remember the name. It's quite good.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Poems: Sitting in the Dead Man's Chair - Sixth Kidneyversity on April 1 - Poem: When the Fog Comes Rolling in - Story: Pals

Image result for vampire drawing blood


I'm sure someone who's sat
in the chair has died, not
me yet!

At Quest, I pull up the
gray sweater I have worn
for nearly a week

It's become part of my skin
and I'm not ready yet to take
it off

Jane tries a spot on my
left arm. That damn needle
pokes around looking for a
nice big vein. I sit there
in suspense.
Have you found it yet, Jane?

Now we try the right arm. Jane
finds the gray-green upraised
bruise, high as a pitcher's
mound, where she poked me
last week.

Did you have surgery, she asks.
Jane, I laugh, you did that to
me last week.

Now she pokes me in a new place.
Virgin territory. Staring in
wonder, I ask, is it coming out?

Yes, but it's in no hurry, as it
takes its time filling the empty
vial, but only half way.

The moral, the mantra, the message?
Relax and take it slow. What's the
hurry? Your appointment in Samarra
will come when it will.


Ellen is doing some family geneology on my mom's side and discovered this:

BERNICE BEGIS, you are...
Ashkenazi Jewish
Middle Eastern
 Ellen CCd the results to The Sisters and I wrote back to Donna and Ellen:

Daddy will explain what the Iberian part means or else Donny Garber.

Both have passed away. 


Helen and Larry Kirschner saw The Bad Plus at Bucknell University on Sat, Feb 18, 2017 at 7:30 pm. Helen gave me the poster, which is posted below and is also on the bulletin board just to my left. They brought friends and family members who are now fans.

Image result for the bad plus poster weis center    I've been listening, while I compose, to TBP plus Joshua Redman here on YouTube.

My little sweetie pie called.

You know what's happening on Saturday, she said.

Uh, yeah, I said. Our sixth Kidneyversity!

Sarah will find a nice restaurant downtown and I'll take the train in to celebrate!

For dinner, I took myself over to the Willow Grove Giant. Needed to make some soup so got all the ingredients. It's bubbling away in the crock pot now.

The salad bar was closed, darn, so I bought one shrimp egg roll for $2.00 and a half pint of fresh orange juice for $2.00

Man, that OJ was tasty! Egg roll good too.

Image result for fresh o j

Very high in carbs.

Then I sat and read Illumination Night by Alice Hoffman for about 15 minutes before driving home in the pitch black dark.

Tyler was working the Beer and Wine Dept. He has no idea he's a main character in my short story PALS.

While still chomping on my egg roll, I got up and asked him, Can a person drink a bottle of wine in here?

Startled, he answered, No it's too big.

Just a question, Tyler, wasn't gonna do it.

But why not? 

When I got home from my high-carb snack, w/o checking my sugar, I walked around the hilly block. It was very dark out. Did not see a soul except for cars passing by. Hi Patrick's house. Hi dead man Luke's house.

Then I return home and know I must exercise more to lower my sugar. Watch PBS for 20 minutes while riding National Velvet with Elizabeth violet-eyed Taylor and then go downstairs to check my sugar. It's a perfect 81.

But you gotta eat cuz it's gonna go low.

My new fave food is

Image result for apple rice cakes
I spread two with peanut butter. Fantastic!!!

Just ate anudder one so I'll hop on my pony shortly and ride like the wind.

Took the liberty of sending Sarah Lynn three poems to read. Am gonna submit them to Proud to Be: American Warriors.

Southeast Missouri State University.

She really liked Poem for my Father, which had a couple parts. She said it was very emotional.

The Napoleon one? Eh....nice try.

And she really liked Memories of Vietnam. Liked the new rhythms and short stanzas. My friend CC did not like that one atall!

Are YOU as tired as I am?

This is the first Monday I have not worked at Symphony Manor. They fired me last week for lack of funding.

I would joke with Scott yesterday.  Gotta choose my two songs now!

Here's a poem I posted this morning on FB.


Greg Whiteside, the first voice
I hear in the morning, told us
the fog lay dense in the
Philadelphia area.

I put down my book - Whistleblowing
in the Age of Snowden - and walked
to the bedroom window.
Where was all the fog? In these days
of celebrations on the deeds of women,
I walked downstairs and onto my
front porch.
Standing in my warm polka-dot pajamas,
I inhaled through my nose as if meditating
and then blew out through puffed cheeks.
Thick fog enveloped our street and
Mailman Dante, driving his truck,

They "liked" it which made my serotonin blink on and off, on and off!

It's reminiscent of the great children's book The Five Chinese Brothers.

Five chinese brothers.jpg

Thursday, March 23, 2017

What's that DING on my laptop - Bella Online Spring Issue published!

Was in the kitchen eating my Leg O Lamb when I heard the familiar PING, meaning a new email had just come in.

Don't look, I said, it's nothing important.

Lemme tell you first about the tragedy of my Leg o Lamb, which is filled with fat. I was about to carry my bowl into the living room. It had a soup spoon in it. As I started to walk - I've been wearing PJs all day - the g'dam spoon acted like a cantilever and my Leg o Lamb spattered all over! Twas on the kitchen table, the floor, between the slats of my chair.

It must be cleaned up fast or it would congeal and stink.

I decided to peek at what had come in. Was very pleased it was the 2017 Spring Edition of Bella Online, in which I got lotsa stuff published. I knew that already as Lisa O'Shea had written everyone about their work, asking us to make sure everything was correct.

Click here.

I emailed folks in our Writing Group about Linda Barrett's GREAT poem, Morning Conversations. 

Read it here.

Wrote this poem this morning and posted it on my home page plus a poetry page that my friend Iris Arenson Fuller created on World Poetry Month.

Image result for white orchid kremp


With its floppy
green leaves that
look like dog ears,
my new white orchid
likes its home
on the coffee table
A slant of winter
light breaking
silently through
the windows caresses
it far from its
home near the Panama Canal.
Transplants. Immigrants.
All of us. Movement is
the universal condition
of life. The earth
moves beneath our feet.
Hush! And you may feel it.

You may wonder if I ever go to sleep.

Had a huge nap around noon. I was exhausted. As I slept I felt the presence of someone in my room. Probably a man.

HELP  HELP!  I called, very frightened. Then I woke up, heart pounding.

When I told Scott, he said, that's not a dream, it's a nightmare.

Wanna get a start on a short story I plan to present to a Thursday Evening Poetry Group at the home of Linda Jones on nearby Fern Avenue.

It's about a young boy's experience of his dad going off to war. His dad will be a Marine, like mine own father.

Where should the family live?

Am reading a spectacular novel SOUTH OF BROAD by Pat Conroy. Should I set it in Charleston, SC? Of course not!

Then it came to me.

Why not in Trevose PA, home of Symphony Manor.

Image result for symphony manor    Perfect, I thought. On Buck Road, where it's located, there are lovely homes plus a swim club.

Image result for dolphin swim club  Dolphin Swim Club. Great name!

Then I thought, No, the family should live in a trailer park!

So, if you'll excuse me, gonna make a start on the story now. Gotta get up early and get a blood test for 

Image result for tacrolimus

PS - Am terrified to start my story. I have no idea what I'll do.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Feels terrible getting fired! Poem: We Love Ya, But We Don't Want Ya! - Poem: Silence

 Oh darn! I got fired from one of my favorite jobs I ever had. To be fair, tho, my boss, Josh Mason, said I may be called back in a month or so.

Frankly, my dear, I don't believe it.

Image result for symphony manor trevose

Read this poem I wrote about it. The room above is where I ran my last group - The Now and Then Group.


Stayed up till two
typing up lyrics to
"Johhny B Goode" and
"The Way You Do the
Things You Do."

How they love to sing!
Open mouths like Christmas
choralers standing outside
the castle, breath ascending
to the Heavens.

My people! John in his
wheelchair saying Trump
is our last hope, white-
haired Mary waking from
her ocean-deep sleep
to belt out the songs,
Elaine the delightful
curmudgeon in warm sweater
and pearls, saying "I know
that song!" at 92.

During Johnny B Goode
we put each woman's
name in... Hattie, then
Ethel, then Patti,never
learned to read or
write too well, but
she could play the
guitar like ringing
a bell

My job for one whole hour
is to bring people joy
in their final home.
Wrenched they were
from moving into
their tiny bedrooms
with family photos
reminding them
of what life used
to be!

Scott drove me to
whole Foods to
comfort me when
Josh told me it
was my last day.

Budget cuts demanded
Fire all the entertainers.

I bought a leg of lamb
which is roasting overnight
in the slo-cooker and
two Hamantaschen, one
poppy, one apricot.

When I fall asleep
tonight their faces
will float past me,
Elaine, most of all,
every time I take
a breath from reading
Whistleblowers in
the Age of Edward


Mad Swirl, an online lit mag, had written me a note saying they missed my work. I stopped submitting to them b/c they rejected me and also b/c they take forever to respond.

Was quite surprised they published this poem that I totally forgot about


Be silent
Be silent when you wake up
in the morning light drizzling
thru your lavender drapes

Listen to the sounds of the world
whether the cars splashing up the
street – oh, so it rained last night! – or
the mournful whistle of the passenger train

Are you afraid to hear the
whispers in your own mind?
Give them room
Give them space
They have a right to be heard!

There’s that squirrel again
outside on the back porch
the same one I saw last week
Peering at me as he nibbles
an acorn – or is it a dreidl? –
as the world enfolds us both, unconcerned.


I see, reading the last line, my existential view of the world, shows the very neutral nature of the world.

  Jean-Paul Sartre, author of the play No Exit - what a despairing name -and Being and Nothingness, his chef-d'oevre.

  He and Simone de Beauvoir had an open relationship. Here they are in Beijing. Photo from Wiki. What? You think I was there with my Polaroid?