Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Freezing Morning Photos - Joe Dautcher's Farm Market - She will Never Walk Again - Cold - 13 Ways of Looking at the Morning Sun - When the Cornbread Fails to Rise - Impossible not to cry - My Drug Paraphernalia - Sorrow in the Morning - Her Son Pietro

 When I saw Matt Fuhrer at the Giant I told him about these shoes I bought at Faherty's in Southampton PA. Told him about the pads Nick F put on to make em fit well.

Custom-made, said Matt.

When I saw Matt at the Giant I raced after him and said, Were your eyelashes frozen like when you lived in Iowa.

I'd wrin an article about him for Patch and that was a quote.
 View of my windowsill this morning.

In the center is a mama stork and baby, given to me when Ralph Nelms was dying of ALS.
 I forced these forsythia from my backyard bush. The blooms fall into the sink looking like yellow stars.
 World map. Blindfold yourself, twirl around, and pick a spot. Then, go there.
 Frozen flower pot from Symphony Manor. It had rolled into the street, so when I left, I took it home, like a stray cat no one wanted.
 HP Laptop, which decides, each and every day, whether to work or not.
 Our writers and poets gave a reading at The Upper Moreland Library on Dec 9, 2018.
Took two hours of concentrated effort to clean out my upstairs office. It used to be my son Dan's bedroom and was painted blue.

Mom arranged for a friend of hers to paint the room yellow. She used to be so active!

To do list for today:

Write short story
Paint
Send Judy Diaz a note before Mailman Dante arrives.

Work on Compass

Am drinking Earl Grey Tea now.

I'm not particularly fond of it are you?

Thother night, I kept writing poetry. YOU, Dear Reader, are the first to read these!

UNCLE JOE DAUTCHER'S FARM MARKET

On my upstairs bulletin board
their business card. Ellen and I
stopped by one hot summer morning.

Hiring? I asked.
Sure, said a portly woman.
Can you cook?

You tell me what to do,
and I'll do it, said I,
mopping my brow.

I wasn't fast enough
and Dautcher's went under
the wrecking ball.

Not another condo
on smothered farm land.
The pumpkins were large
as tiny planets,
the tomatoes cuddly
as baby does,
and the cinnamon buns
were weighed on the scale
and packaged in boxes
white as the winter sky.

Sure, they made a fortune,
and now they have time
for themselves. Sitting now
on the rocking chairs
on the porch, with Uncle Joe
calling, "Babe, how bout
some of them cinnamon buns?"

Just a sec, she says, going
into the house. "Always wanted
to hire this woman."

Is that them calling now?

https://flashfictionmagazine.com/submissions/
1000  words
I'll submit my short story here


SHE WILL NEVER WALK AGAIN

At her retirement home
she's now confined to a wheel chair
what's left of her, anyway,
a marionette without a brain


Might it happen to you or me?
They say life is sacred.
Music will comfort her.
Play the Appassionata Sonata
loud and clear. Her mysterious
plaque-filled brain will shrink
some more until she's as hollow
as a pumpkin shell.


http://lynxhousepress.org/category/blue-lynx-prize/


Ariel Chart, Page & Spine, West Texas Literary Review, Oddball Magazine, The Paragon Journal, The Literary Hatchet, The Stray Branch, Trigger Fish Critical Review, Foliate Oak Review, Better Than Starbucks!, Anapest Journal, Mused, Apricity Magazine, The Write Launch, The Stray Branch, Scryptic Magazine, Ann Arbor Review, The McKinley Review.

The above is how a writer finds places to submit.


COLD

A celebratory air prevailed
on this coldest of nights
so far.
After snuffling down my
Tomaterkraut Soup
I paced the living room
imagining frozen pipes
bursting open
loud as firecrackers

Or my beloved lone maple
weeping and giving up the ghost
on my backyard porch.

The weather doesn't care
Squirrel or hopping toad
or trapped vagrant in the woods
Tumble from the forces
of the unforgiving Almighty.

THIRTEEN WAYS OF LOOKING AT THE MORNING SUN

Based on the Wallace Stevens poem Thirteen Ways of
Looking at a Blackbird

What's this! My eyes are blinded by the morning glare.
The sun's big as a cheese ball at a New Year's Eve soiree
No one's invited me to.

Visit the man next door who will open with great tenacity
and vigor a glass jar of sauerkraut. The morning glare
is reflected in his hazel eyes and glass door.

Stumble blindly home and give half-assed wave to the
Irishman up the street as he drives by.

Check in dining room mirror to see if I'm changed
in the twinkling of an eye from staring at the sun.

Will I go blind? Or will all go well? I look into Beatriz's
Australian Mate Tea, I've flooded with honey for flavor
and a natural cure for - not pleurisy, nor inflammation
of the bronchial tubes - but a tickle in the back
of my throat.

We cannot throw out the sun but we can water the
philodendron with Austrailian Mate Tea and the
desiccated orchid beside it.

One last look behooves me.
Icarus is falling, falling.
A huge waxen feather has
fallen in my front yard.

The thirteenth way of
looking at a blackbird.

***
WHEN THE CORNBREAD FAILS TO RISE

When I was first married, cooking became my passion.
The Joy of Cooking became my bible. In my stained copy
which resides on a cookbook shelf in the kitchen, you can
see all the things I've made over the years.

Cakes, not so much, but breads of all kind including
Anadama Bread which included Indian Head Cornmeal.

Mastering the art of kneading and proofing and baking
took longer than I thought and my disappointment ran
deep as The Mississippi.

Success finally as sweet as honey.

Whatever was wrong with this second batch of cornbread?
Tasty enough, but flat as The Flat Earth Society.

Took me two days and a dozen units of insulin
pumped into the best place on my body to inject
where it's riding on my bloodstream, red as
the cardinal chirping in my back yard.

IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO CRY

Best to cry while watching sad movies
or televised opera, brought to you by
The Toll Brothers family fortunes.

Hide your eyes when the starving children
with their chicken bone bodies appear
on the Nightly News.

Hide your eyes when the Imposter Presidente
like a cruel Chinese landlord from the Middle Dynasty
holds us all in thrall like dustbin serfs

Hide your eyes in your pillow and sob yourself
to sleep in this world filled with chaos and misery.



MY DRUG PARAPHERNALIA

On this moon-cold night
I tiptoe downstairs
in the dark
to get a refill of
pretzels and peanuts
and view that stunning
corner of my kitchen table

Keep it out of sight
shouted my sister Donna
it's not for public consumption

There it is
keeping me alive
presided over by a doctor
who keeps me alive
insulin
my precious insulin
more precious than
heroin or that new one
fentanyl

Come morning
I will shoot up
yet again
after a hot breakfast
of oatmeal and fruit
and gulps of views
out the window.

Hello again,
Ms. Cardinal
of the duller
fevvvers.



SORROW IN THE MORNING

Leave it to the NY Times
to show photos of The
Eagles of the Desert
paid men, neon green
vests, and water bottles,
who scour the borders
for immigrants who
have disappeared

"The desert is like a lion
stalking the strong and
the weak," remarked an
eagle, before they
found his dead brother.

"My brother disappeared
two months ago, seeking
to join his wife in
San Diego"

Hundreds have been found
in the six years of their
search, the workers
smell them, their decay,
the cries of
Agua Agua scorching
their ears

Cockroaches
roasting in the sun.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/07/13/us/california-border-deaths.html



HER SON PIETRO

The other five are fine
This one has that famous
condition bipolar disorder
The Famous own it
Virginia Woolf
Kay Redfield Jamison
Walter Cronkite's daughter
Kathy

She moans about her Pietro
His brain detonated before
kindy-garten. What's to be
done, she cries into her
pillow.

Should she pump medication
into his Diet Pepsi?

***
When I worked as a psychotherapist at the now defunct Bristol-Bensalem, my client Sheila had a sister w paranoid schizophrenia. Brilliant, as was the late Sheila. The sister's husband put an antipsychotic medication in her drinks.

Did the sister know? Your thoughts, Reader?

How bout a nice picture for you?

Mary Oliver Fans Remember Her Life And Work After Her Death At 83

The poet Mary Oliver, who died earlier this month at age 83.

As I've mentioned before, I read some poems on YouTube.

Read em here.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Uncle Joe Dautcher - Mary Oliver dies at 83 - Listen to interview with Krista Tippitt



UNCLE JOE DAUTCHER'S FARM MARKET

On my upstairs bulletin board
their business card. Ellen and I
stopped by one hot summer morning.

Hiring? I asked.
Sure, said a portly woman.
Can you cook?

You tell me what to do,
and I'll do it, said I,
mopping my brow.

I wasn't fast enough
and Dautcher's went under
the wrecking ball.

Not another condo
on smothered farm land.
The pumpkins were large
as tiny planets,
the tomatoes cuddly
as baby does,
and the cinnamon buns
were weighed on the scale
and packaged in boxes
white as the winter sky.

Sure, they made a fortune,
and now they have time
for themselves. Sitting now
on the rocking chairs
on the porch, with Uncle Joe
calling, "Babe, how bout
some of them cinnamon buns?"

Just a sec, she says, going
into the house. "Always wanted
to hire this woman."

Is that them calling now? 

***


Krista Tippitt interviews Mary Oliver.



Most famous poems include The Summer Day aka The Grasshopper Poem


and Wild Geese


THE POETRY HANDBOOK IS TERRIFIC, says my friend Lori.

I believe I can download the eBook.

First, tho, gonna give CLOSE a chance on Netflix.

Enjoyed SOLO, a Spanish film panned by the Times, but not by me, and The Last Laugh, with Chevy Chase, 75, and Richard Dreyfuss, 71.



Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Will the cornbread be the last stop on the Diabetes Train? - When the Cornbread Fails to Rise - Namaste Depok and Tanzi - Skin Tags

Hellooo Readers!

My Scottie got me back on my blog. As you know I've got some sort of virus - achoo! - on my despised HP Laptop.

Yesterday I was organizing my papers and found when I bought it - 4/23/18. Whew! I remembered the date until I got back in my seat.

Speaking of memory I invited University of PA to send out a memory expert. I'd asked Dr Foxhall for a recommendation.

They wanted money for a drive down here. No way. I suggested if they wanted to - they have many interns - they might write a story about memory for our 2019 Compass.

Never heard from them again.

Maybe I should invite Depak Chopra and his sidekick Dr Rudy Tanzi.

Read this fascinating interview about Depak in the HBR.



Am working on the Compass now. Doing the Editor's Corner.

And who's the Editor?  Little me, RZD.

Last night at our ND meeting, I became "low." 67.

Reached into my backpack and pulled out some glucose tabs.

They were not enuf.

Walked very quickly into Nelson's office and asked if I could chew on some peppermint candies.



That saved me. Today I stocked my backpack with an entire bottle of glucose tabs and a candy bar.

Scott and I talked about it. His grandfather was diabetic and died at 67.

He always carried a candy bar in his pocket.

I have a Hershey bar in my fridge and am trying not to think about it.

Hell, I'll just hurl it out the door.

Will not, either!

Pure Slush accepted my story JACK BEYOND THE GRAVE about Envy.

Scott and I emailed Matt Potter the release form, from my upstairs computer, an HP.

I'm feeling my neck now, where I have a huge lump of a wrinkle - quick! lemme buy some turtlenecks - and skin tags.

I'd wrin a fab poem about skin tags, rejected by Hektoen, who rejected everything I wrote.

Will run upstairs and see if I can find it.

I grew tired of all my uncaffeinated teas so I chose this tea to sip on while I wrote.

Coach Iris mailed it to me about three yrs ago.

PUMPKIN SPICED TEA

How I've missed you, Old Friend.
Pumpkins are certainly an odd fruit
Shaped like a planet with downward stripes

Hearty is the word, along with an indescribable
depth. Sip slowly, thoughtfully, and enjoy
the hotness on this chilly day.

***
Can't remember if I published this or not.

I believe I did. Irene Taylor, a cultured woman had never read the Wallace Stevens poem. I wonder if she and her husband Lou are still alive. I believe so.


THIRTEEN WAYS OF LOOKING AT THE MORNING SUN

Based on the Wallace Stevens poem Thirteen Ways of
Looking at a Blackbird

What's this! My eyes are blinded by the morning glare.
The sun's big as a cheese ball at a New Year's Eve soiree
No one's invited me to.

Visit the man next door who will open with great tenacity
and vigor a glass jar of sauerkraut. The morning glare
is reflected in his hazel eyes and glass door.

Stumble blindly home and give half-assed wave to the
Irishman up the street as he drives by.

Check in dining room mirror to see if I'm changed
in the twinkling of an eye from staring at the sun.

Will I go blind? Or will all go well? I look into Beatriz's
Australian Mate Tea, I've flooded with honey for flavor
and a natural cure for - not pleurisy, nor inflammation
of the bronchial tubes - but a tickle in the back
of my throat.

We cannot throw out the sun but we can water the
philodendron with Austrailian Mate Tea and the
desiccated orchid beside it.

One last look behooves me.
Icarus is falling, falling.
A huge waxen feather has
fallen in my front yard.

The thirteenth way of
looking at a blackbird.

***
WHEN THE CORNBREAD FAILS TO RISE

When I was first married, cooking became my passion.
The Joy of Cooking became my bible. In my stained copy
which resides on a cookbook shelf in the kitchen, you can
see all the things I've made over the years.

Cakes, not so much, but breads of all kind including
Anadama Bread which included Indian Head Cornmeal.

Mastering the art of kneading and proofing and baking
took longer than I thought and my disappointment ran
deep as The Mississippi.

Success finally as sweet as honey.

Whatever was wrong with this second batch of cornbread?
Tasty enough, but flat as The Flat Earth Society.

Took me two days and a dozen units of insulin
pumped into the best place on my body to inject
where it's riding on my bloodstream, red as
the cardinal chirping in my back yard.



Who was Phillis Wheatley?

What a story this is!

Click here.

Again, click here.

As my friend Carl Yeager says, What can I do with this?

SKIN TAGS

I run my hand over my neck
the way a man would feel a
day's growth of beard on his neck,
only I am not a man
and I am not feeling a beard.

Skin tags grow on my neck,
tiny invisible bumps that
proliferate as they please.
These little bastards
go by many names.

"Acrochordon's" the one I prefer
and imagine someone in the Alps
named Heidi in a low-cut
blouse playing the accordion
for customers in a bier garden.

I visit my dermatologist
once a year. She
helps me up on the
tissue-papered table
while I stare at drawings
her grandchildren have done.

On the Internet, Troy writes:
After a year or more of irritation
from a skin tag between neck and
chest, I finally got scissors
and cut that thing off. I felt a
pinch but that's it. Relief!

Good for you, Troy, says I.
But they often come back.
Lying in bed next to my
boyfriend, I say, "Scott,
feel my skin tags."

He does and tells me
"I don't feel nothing."

My doc has removed tags
from my muscular legs
an unsightly one beneath
my elbow on my freckled arm,
and two on my back.

I won't lie to you and
say it doesn't hurt.
It kills! Liquid nitrogen
that freezes them off like
the dead up on Mount Everest.

I'm still with her.
A regal-looking woman
who gives me free emoluments
when we finish and answers
every single question I have.
Yes, it’s okay if I pick them off.
No, there are no special foods
To prevent the little mothers
From returning.

All my bumps are analyzed
by the lab to see if they are
cancerous.

Have no fear, I tell myself,
as I rub Eucerin over my arms
while watching a new crime thriller
on Netflix.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Save some Scrapple for me... or maybe not

 For the Compass we're printing a poem by Tony Salvatore about Scrapple.

He had emailed me and many others a piece he wrote about his wife craving it when she was pregnant.

So I wrote this poem for him, after calling the Terminal Diner to check.

SCRAPPLE FOR ONE, PLEASE

There's a cozy little diner
in our town. Terminal Luncheonette.
Once it was the last bus on the
55 Line.

Now we go there for American breakfast fare.
I like to sit at the counter and read the newspaper till Ellen brings me my breakfast.

Is this seat taken? asks a gentleman wrapped in a warm jacket and scarf.
Go right ahead, I say.
My name's Tony, he says. Gotta warm up
my innards with a good hot breakfast.

You came to the right place, says I.

Two eggs over easy, he says, some hash browns and a brick of Scrapple.

The juke box plays a Jason Aldean tune
and the place starts jumpin.

Delicious smells come from the kitchen.
So that's a brick of Scrapple, I think.
Don't look too bad.

+++
Tony wrote me back that even HE couldn't eat an entire brick. That's cuz I dunno what a brick is. So I wrote, take it home for your dog.
+++

May I mention how frigging cold it is right now. Checked my thermostat to make sure the A/C isn't on erroneously.

Tiny pic of Tony below, scuse me, Anthony Salvatore from the MCES website.




Thursday, January 10, 2019

Egyptian Licorice Tea - Cinquan for the Creamers - Poem: Silence

Well, I just tucked two tea bags into an envelope, along with a ND brochure, and mailed off to The Creamers.

Also wrote them a cinquin, whose syllables are 2 - 4 - 6 - 8 - 2

Scuse me while I sip on the tea. Decaffeinated. I always test my memory in the morning and ask myself What did I watch last night?

I did invite folks from the memory unit at Penn to come speak to us.

They asked for reimbursement for the ride over. "I understand," I wrote. "But we've never paid guest speakers."

LET'S HAVE
Tea with Mary
and Tony while the cats
jump, snooze and leap through the kitchen
Mmm! Good!

MARK HYMAN was telling us his rules for eating well.

He told us what he had for every meal. How, I wondered, can he feel FULL?

BUT he spoke so fast it was really strange, he of the Cleveland Clinic, where a friend from our writing group in Lambertville, NJ, got a consultation about his heart. Sorry, Bob Muller, you're stone cold dead.

And they don't come back!

On my To-Do List is to write a poem called SILENCE.

That's me clearing my throat.

SILENCE

For once I'd like to sit on the living room couch
in silence.
Kalie, the little white dog across the street,
fur, soft as a man's mustache, gives a
perfunctory bark, This land is MY land,
you better step back.

The mailman approaches. Headphones hide
conversations and music on WDAS-FM,
a black station.

And HOWL goes the wind.
It howls for the death of
my cousin Chez Ray, feted,
they say, on Facebook.

What's it like, I wonder,
if you are dead.
Maybe you wear a bridal gown
or a crown of feathers.

A thousand ways to die
Only one way to be born
through the sliding board.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Food Stamps now come by using something like a credit card - Access, I think it's called - Poem: What Kind of Soup is this?

Emailed my support group earlier today to mention that due to the Govt Shutdown, Food stamps are no longer sent out.

That is truly horrible. Nothing - or very little to eat!

One of my former boyfriend Simon's sisters - Helen - worked in a soup kitchen.

Am not in touch with them. They were very odd people.

And now OLD people, probly dead.

I remember talking to Ron, Helen's husband and asked him about The Grand Canyon of PA. I think I first heard about it from Ron. Wrote a great poem about him. Have no idea where it is. Possibly in an old issue of The Compass.

He worked at a company that made Push Pins, wooden push pins.

When Simon's brother Eustace - Euey - died, Simon was not mentioned in the obit.

Just looked them up on Simon's obit notice. Click here.

The president of the United States gave a talk starting at 8 pm.

I couldn't bear to watch.

WHAT KIND OF SOUP IS THIS?

I waited for the perfect day.
It never came so I decided
THIS is the perfect day.

Into a huge pot I poured
a can of coconut milk
that looked like Crisco
from pie crusts of long ago.

Then I added chick peas, also
known as Garbanzo Beans from which
we make hummus. (My friend Ellen
likes hummus.)

Into the pot I clunked in baby carrots
minced garlic, and stirred with a
wooden spoon made in China.

My first taste
was sublime. Simply
scrumptious. It's
resting on the stove
covered over, until
my belly is starving,
but not really.

Here in America
unless you're in
dire poverty, we
don't know the meaning
of the word.

Monday nights I can never fall asleep

Is there any reason for not being able to sleep thru the night?

Was at Scott's where we watched the Eagles beat the Bears thru a fluke. Read here and cringe!!!

That night I attempted to read.

Lead book is The Library Book by Susan Orlean.




But, after promising myself not to watch TV to fall asleep, I watched Madame Butterfly.

View opera here.



Altho this isn't the opera version I watched, you can see the puppet named Trouble with his three puppet handlers.

Spectacular! It's impossible not to cry!

Left home early to get breakfast at Bonnet Lane Diner in Abington. For the first time I wore my new Clark Shoes. Am wearing them now.

As I was telling neighbor Carol, whom I just visited, I ate delicious blueberry waffles with two eggs with pepper on the side.

Am I hungry agayne? Spose so. Will make soup now. Nice n hot soup, but first I'll write a quick poem.

IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO CRY

Best to cry while watching sad movies
or televised opera, brought to you by
The Toll Brothers family fortunes.

Hide your eyes when the starving children
with their chicken bone bodies appear
on the Nightly News.

Hide your eyes when the Imposter Presidente
like a cruel Chinese landlord from the Middle Dynasty
holds us all in thrall like dustbin serfs

Hide your eyes in your pillow and sob yourself
to sleep in this world filled with chaos and disorder.

***
Garcon!  Please help me make my soup.