Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Poem: Sleeping in my Bedroom at Last

 Just finished eating a salad - injected 12 units, which bled a lot - while watching a silly movie with Dinah Shore called THE PUNKIN PATCH.

Here she is with Burt Reynolds. Both gone from view but not forgotten.

What an important day for me. Spoke to folks from my credit union who moved my millions into the correct account so I could pay my bills.

And guess who was here this morning.

The one and only Bob Walmsley.

We each wore masks when he came thru the front door.

He's a big guy with a friendly grin.

He looked at the PECO meter to see if it had been put back properly.

He thought so but will call PECO anyway.

Then we went up in my bedroom.

This is the first time, I said, I've slept in here since my house was overrun with winged ants and termites.

With my powerful Dust-Vac I had removed many ants on the window sill to the extreme left.

Bob suggested I open a window.

"You have to live, too," he said.

A nice breeze is coming in, now.

Walked around the block early this morning before it started to rain.

Watched one great program on Channel 12, PBS.

When artist Maleonn realizes that his father is suffering from Alzheimer's disease, he creates "Papa's Time Machine," a magical, autobiographical stage performance featuring life-size mechanical puppets.


The late Ron Abrams loved puppets. 

So, I lay on two pillows, and watched, transfixed.

Yom Kippur was over. I celebrate due to tradition. 

As I told Sarah Lynn over the phone, I still can't make up my mind if there's a God or not.

I had the most powerful tool in the world in my hand: The Remote Control.

And I slept. For awhile anyway.

Then I awoke and began reading REVENGE, by the brilliant Japanese writer Yoko Agowa, I think.

The new story made me gasp outloud. 

What the hell are you doing? What is going on.

Ya know what?

I'll finish it when I finish this blog.

A glass of water sat on my marble end table from Gramma Lily.

The water was brimming in a cup that read THE DAILY GRIND. Bought it at the Giant when I could roam freely from the house w/o fear of the coronavirus.

Sarah, Ethan and I are gonna beat it.

And there on my nightstand was a tall radio!

I turned it on and music came through.

Nah, I thought, I can fall asleep in the quiet.

Terrified, I actually did, and woke up at 7:12 am.

Hold on! Gonna look out the front window and see what's happening on the street.

Can't see a thing.

I run downstairs and here comes Mailman Dante.

Thanks, Dante, I say. 

Lousy mail.


Did Matisse sleep in his own bedroom?

Did Johnny Mathis or Ella Fitzgerald?

Were their rooms built in the middle of a pile of ants?


Brave I am not, but am forced to be

I shall simply lie there throughout the night

Which is long as a fortnight

And awake to the morning sounds

of birds. 

And now, if you'll excuse me, will read more of Revenge.

Love, RZD. 

Monday, September 28, 2020

Trump's Taxes Revealed - We Love it ! - My Black Lives Matter sign arrived and is on my Lawn now


My sister Lynn made this Break the Fast platter for her son, Miles.

I just came home from a twilight walk around the block. 

Walked very quickly as I wanted to see Scott before he left for work.

I went over his house where he was watching THE FOUNTAINHEAD with Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal. 

Clumb in bed next to him but he changed the channel at 6 pm to watch the PBS evening news.

Trump's taxes of course was the main story.

It looked SO COOL when you view the NY Times - the headlines are H U G E !

Made a great salad for dinner. I'm always so sad when I finish.

Yes I'm a glutton!


In shuls all over the country

Jews ask for forgiveness

Odd. We didn't cause people

to hate or avoid us. To ride

the trains to Auschwitz Birkenau

Reason is not the provenance of the Lord

Forgiveness is. 

Thanks to MHB for this band of Classical Indian Music.

They're called 

Aditya Prakash Ensemble and Rini

Yom Kippur - Poem for Yom Kippur

 Was out early this morning. 

Saw a super-cute dog.

He was a mini-labradoodle.

A ball of energy!

Ran into Bob Sanders, who came down his sloped driveway to say hello. I put up my hand and he said, I know, I know, I'm giving you safe distance. 

He enjoys his job in demolition. Didn't ask why he didn't have work today.

Yom Kippur?

I told him I was Jewish and this was a day of atonement. 

He liked that idea and said as I was leaving, Bye, Baby.

My old Kenmore washing machine is having a bath with vinegar, very old vinegar, which stinks!

Didn't sleep in my bedroom bc I discovered a huge cache of winged ants I've gotta get rid of today.

They're on the window sill to the extreme left.

I'd brought up a stack of books and the The Atlantic, of no clique or party are they.


Almighty, protect me from the

world destroyers, in my own house

ants and termites, in the world beyond

our own president, who learned to bully

at his military academy. I will do my best

on this somber day and pray my supplication

reaches you.

As children, we attended Temple on the Heights, B'nai Jeshurun. 

Sunday, September 27, 2020

A Little of This and That - Poem: A Good Man Has Died


Nothing is better than watching Eddie Muller on Sunday morning FILM NOIR on TCM.com.

"They Won't Believe me" is the title of this morning's film.

I fell asleep 2 minutes after it began.

Had woken up early and walked around the hilly neighborhood.

No one was about. 

Ate an enormous bowl of Oatmeal with peanut butter for protein and half a dozen frozen berries which were delicious.

Let's imagine, tho, where I might have eaten them, instead of at my laptop reading emails.

How about in a meadow?

Above picture is from my blog WHEN my camera worked.

Wanna send an email alert of the death of Henry van Ameringen, a gay philanthropist, who fought for the rights of the LGTQ community.

New Directions had received two grants from them as they also fund mental health.

I remember a woman named Eleonor Sypher said she'd like to meet us one day.

They hailed from New York.

Read about him here.

What a handsome man, and modest, too, the article said.


For 90 years this man was alive and roamed our world

those who knew him hung out with him, joked with him,

laughed with him, wrung their hands with him, until the time came

when death called.

It wasn't easy being gay back then, but he was brave as 

a mighty oak on the forest floor, whose acorns drop

today as tears.

After I awoke, I wrote down my goals.

The first was the hardest.


With my purple Dust-Vac I vacuumed the winged ants that were still left on the bed.

Then I spread the sheets out and the pillowcases.

Terribly hard work but I did finish.

Am gonna take some books and read on my back porch.

When life is good, it's stupendous!

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Starting off the day with a good movie - Poem: Rain

 Woke up to a rainy day.

Looked out the back window and sure enuf, there he was.

A large deer with antlers.

Brushed my teeth with the awful Baking Soda Toothpaste and then dressed for my walk.

Rain hat, snug grey trousers, Chico's sweatshirt and sneakers.

Yelled G morning to Lee and her  two white Pyranees dogs.

Filled my pill box - totally empty - and then slugged down my meds n vitamins (the most difficult) and prepared oatmeal.

This time the oat flakes were large as teardrops. 

Rested the hot cereal on the fan in living room as I finished up an excellent movie THE CONSPIRATOR produced by Robert Redford about the assassination of President Lincoln.

Very sensitively it showed the hangings of the guilty, including one Mary Surrat.

Her role was played by Robin Wright.

Will heat up the coffee Iris sent me yesterday and go upstairs to work on my short story, due at 2:30 pm. Yesterday Beatriz and I practiced Zooming but I was unable to do it.

I surprised myself at how good I could walk this morning with my bad leg - Scott says to put ice on it - which I haven't done yet.

Also last night I fell asleep to an excellent film called SHELTER, about drug addiction, love and the plight of the homeless.

Great acting and one of the best films about addiction I've watched. It reminded me of Panic in Needle Park by Joan Didion.


The sound, as I stand at open front door,

is lovely, soothing, as it falls, with syncopated

thunder that would frighten dogs, and myself

as a child, but now I love the humanity of it

the democracy, no one will die, except

the worms, who crawl out of their flooded

homes and lie solemn and beautiful

awaiting death. 

Friday, September 25, 2020

Sitting on my new back porch and reading - Poem: Clean-up

Fran Hazam and I discussed via email the need to have a funeral for Mark A Davis, a powerful presence in the field of gay rights. 

For unknown reasons, many people didn't find out about it. 

He was a great man.

Here is Mark with Fran Hazam

Fran, a leader in the DBSA, connects many groups together.


It was terribly hot on my new back porch.

I'd brought 3 things outside to read, including the new Atlantic, Peter Orner's MAGGIE BROWN AND OTHER SHORT STORIES, and REVENGE - 11 Dark Tales by Yoko Ogawa. 

Read the Ogawa book the entire time.

How clever that woman is. She loves to kill! And why not? It's her forte.

Brought out my new coffee - Red Velvet Cupcake - which I received this morning from Coach Iris.

View her website here

Great info. One of our members asked for a coach to help his son and one of the people I suggested was Iris.

My goal for today - and it's already 4:16 pm, is to clean up my messy living room.

It's scattered with pieces of mail. 

Will put on rousing music - is that Greg Whiteside on WRTI-FM - and will get the job done.

He has a warm mellow voice.


Should I have a strategy?

Yes, tiptoe about the living room

Pile everything together

Shuffle like a pack of cards

Joker and Ace of Spades

Once Gramma Lily and friends

played canasta at home

and the smell of coffee and kuchen

permeated our house.

Gert Gombassy is gone. So is Cel Shenkel. 

Gramma Lily died in an old age home of dementia, goddammit!

And Mom left us at 97

Where are they all now?

Thursday, September 24, 2020

My article published in the Times Chronicle today - Memoir from Pure Slush - Poem Messy Messy Living Room

View my article published in the Times Chronicle, today, Sept 24, 2020. 


This silent killer is stalking our nation, with nearly 200,000 deaths in the entire country.

I try to remain optimistic, but it’s not easy.

Due to my age and diagnosis of diabetes, I follow a routine every morning to keep myself strong and healthy.

After a breakfast of hot oatmeal, I set out to see the world. Swinging my arms, a blue mask in my pocket, I feel like a Zen Buddhist, noticing things I ordinarily would not.

What's that sound? Stopping, I listen.

Why it's crows! Did you know that according to scientific studies, crows are among the most intelligent of all animals. They have an uncanny ability to remember faces and teach their children who is out to harm them.

Who knew?

While I try to keep a clean house -- dust and cobwebs are everywhere! -- I have other priorities.

Netflix and YouTube.

"Away" is a current favorite. A team is headed for Mars. You think you have problems!

As founder/director of New Directions Support Group, it's important to keep track of what's going on with our members.

Diversity is our middle name.

Zoom has become a household word.

Since we no longer meet at Abington Presbyterian Church due to the coronavirus, a dozen of us Zoom.

One of our members had never experienced a support group before. Shy at first, she soon realized it was a wonderful way "to be comfortable and express myself." Best of all, she just found a job as a healthcare worker.

Rem Murphy, who works at the post office, dazzles us with all the books he reads. Great Expectations, Huck Finn, and the poems of W.H. Auden: "If equal affection cannot be/ Let the more loving one be me."

I learn so much from him.

Learning! Something we can all do in these quirky times.

How many times do we walk around the block?

Outside my front door, I hear the joyous sounds of children walking with their parents.

One little girl rides a pink, battery-operated "real car."

And there goes Frank with his tiny dog, Charlie.

Perhaps we should call our neighborhood “Dogsville.”

Bucolic it is with our towering trees, fulsome red crepe myrtle, and the last of the blue hydrangeas that came with the house when I moved here 30 years ago, with my two children in tow.

My daughter, Sarah, who lives with her husband in Brooklyn, has written a book called "Gravity," about her passion for boxing.

My married son, Daniel, works from home. He helps his daughter, Grace, 10, and Max, 8, with their homework.

Make that three jobs, helping Mom with her myriad questions.

"Mom," he just wrote me. "The $70 they're charging you for anti-virus services is a scam."


Have you spotted lantern flies?

Though attractive, they murder trees!

When I sit outside and read on my porch steps, a few come around and I've gotten into the habit of squashing them with my sneakers.

"Healthline" tells us that healthy habits may lead us to a happy old age.

These include drinking coffee or tea, exercising at least 20 minutes per day, and getting enough sleep.

Since I spend so much time indoors, I "prettify" my house.

Look at the wrapper of a tea bag. An artist designed it. Why throw it out?

Along the walls in my kitchen, I have an assortment of tea bags, a rainbow of colors.

Little miniature paintings.

Every day junk mail arrives.

If Mom were still alive -- at 97, she donated her body to science -- we would discuss the upcoming election. Since she walked with a walker, she would cast an absentee ballot.

Going “stir crazy” is a common feeling.

Close your eyes and breathe, I tell myself.

Did I mention the benefits of friendship?

Sure, we talk to folks on the telephone. The sound of a person's voice is a great comfort.

Every Saturday, we Zoom short stories and poetry at our "Beehive" writing group.

Gone are the days when we'd meet at Beatriz’s condo. We'd all bring healthy treats. Cashews and peanuts went down smooth.

Since Beatriz is downsizing, she has asked us to choose some of her colorful paintings.

Here in my upstairs office I have a still life of her pottery. In my bedroom, delectable mushrooms hover over one of my walls.

As a woman who lives alone - and loves it - I think nothing of talking to myself.

One morning about a month ago, I thought, "What am I doing living in this big house all by myself? Where are Mommy and Daddy?"

Mommy and Daddy will never return.

But as the late Mike Vaccaro, MD, my graduate adviser said, "They dwell within you and always will."


SO, I've begun my memoir from Pure Slush. Finished Chapter One which I call From the Halls of Montezuma. Dad was a Marine. 

Only two people read and edit it. Rem Murphy who knows his stuff AND my sister Lynn who is cognizant of our family life.

On my blog I don't curse. At one point when I wrote in Chapter One that Dad got cancer, I wrote Goddammit!  I changed it to Shit, which looked and sounded better.


This morning before I began the memoir, which is a fucking big deal, I napped a few minutes on Red Couch, and then began to read.

I sat in my hot pink chair in the corner of the living room, leaning against a wall hanging of a  llama from Ecuador and having never read there before, and wanting to be comfortable as if I were a Temple University Lit Professor, say, "Gilbert Schwartz, PhD" I propped up my feet on two huge pillows.

It worked. I read Peter Orner's - dear god, hopefully I've remembered his name - Maggie Brown and Other Stories. 

Fab and funny too.

Then, I thinks, look, the guy's written a memoir. Go read parts of it on Amazon. I does that and have found a model for mine own memoirs. 

More Triscuits please! 

Ah, thank you, Queen of France. Or should I have pretzels?

My bad shoulder is getting a lot better! I do shoulder exercises downstairs and when I go for my 100th walk around the block in one day, I pump my arms.

Now, believe it or not, this the worst part of the day. I still can't go up to my bedroom as I haven't cleaned off the entire bed from the g'dam dead winged ants.

So I've gotta lie here on Red Couch and figure out what to do.

Anudder scoop of Triscuits, please, and I'll write a poem. 


Little Miss Muffett sat on the Red Couch

noshing on Triscuits whilst all around her

on the carpeted floor

lay newspapers, advertisements, books

and the new Atlantic. All shapes are represented

well, whatever the shape of an envelope's called,

certainly not a rhomboid or tringle-trangle-triangle

but a rectangle, thank you Wiki.