Friday, October 20, 2017

What if your loved one died in the military? - LSD issue of Life Mag - Towels


Beautiful photo of a tragedy. Her husband  Sgt La David Terrence Johnson was an American service member killed in action in West Africa.

From the Washington Post - But to his family and his community in Miami Gardens, Fla., Johnson was also known as “Wheelie King,” a nickname he earned for riding his bicycle on one wheel. He rode a lot, usually on his way to work, when he was still a civilian.


“You go slow, though. Make sure you keep your balance,” Johnson told ABC affiliate WPLG in 2013, the year before he enlisted in the Army. “Once you feel that you are comfortable, you could just ride all day.”


Johnson and three other American soldiers were killed in an ambush in Niger on Oct. 4.


He left behind a wife who is six months pregnant and two children, a 2-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl. Now, two weeks after the 25-year-old Special Forces soldier’s death, his name is entangled in a controversy involving President Trump, who has been accused of making insensitive remarks to Johnson’s young widow.


(He didn't know the soldier's name and kept calling him "Your guy" and also insisted, Well, this is what he signed up for.)


From the Times on Thursday - The White House chief of staff, John F. Kelly, defended President Trump’s call to the widow of a slain soldier and described the trauma of learning about his own son’s death in Afghanistan during a news briefing on Thursday.

Have I told you my short story WHEN DAD COMES HOME FROM THE WAR was published? 
Read it here.

***

LIFE MAGAZINE
MARCH 25, 1966
35 cents

In my frenzy of downsizing
I came across their
LSD issue.

The mag once belonged to
a Mrs C of Philadelphia
which I bought at a yard sale.

Mrs C must have been
horrified to read about
lysergic acid diethylamide

Little did she know that her
husband, Mr C and his mistress
a young woman we'll call Lolita

had been using the drug on
weekends when he was supposed
to be working overtime - wink wink -

If you'd gone to the Holiday Inn
on Market Street you would have
heard from Room 101

Quacks like a duck, hee-haws
like a donkey - their riotous laughter
and jumping about the room
like the Ballet Russe on drugs.

And now, the so-called experts
are drumming up new ways to use
the substance. Read the Internet.

Me, I'll stick with my morning tea.
I told my sister Donna I don't like
the Tetley Organic Green Tea
- it tastes like leftover rain water -
and she suggested I put in several bags
which I did, and who knows?

Maybe someone will slug me and I
can put them over my sore eye? 

***

I had to remove the post on Organized Approach, the column on throwing things away, but I am still in hot pursuit of downsizing!

Most of my books are gone, given to Upper Moreland Library to be resold.

La Pedrera I've kept - the glorious apartment complex in Barcelona - which I took to Mom's. We read it after our quiche lunch Ellen made us before she left for PAFA.

The other day I went to my linen closet to find a fresh towel. When I opened it, I noticed what was inside FOR THE FIRST TIME!

The towels came spilling out! How many towels does one person need?!

This morning, in fact, I went to the drop box across from the Giant - Planet Aid - and plopped a white trash bag full of towels inside.

Of course I felt sad! Until I drove over.

The other day I stopped off at the Upper Moreland Police office and placed my old painkillers - some 10 to 15 yrs old - into their drop box.

Why was I keeping them?

This is a good place for a poem and I think we'll call it TOWELS.


TOWELS

A leaning tower of old towels
tilted this morning on my purple chair
and ottoman. I had been collecting
them since the day I moved in
some 27 years ago.

They had a pleasant smell about them
from whatever cheapest laundry
detergent I'd used on them
all these years.

Some were gifts. Some I took
when I was leaving home from
Mom's. Do you believe I have never
bought myself a single towel, yet
have given them as gifts.

The place where I took them
will send them on. May I allow
myself to believe that some
are going to San Juan?

Can you see little Jose
and Natalia  using them
to dry off after their bath?

This faraway woman wishes
you and your family todo lo mejor
all the best and a return to
the way it was.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Ready for some poetry? Midnight Walk - Tarragon Abuse - Aunt Sylvie and Uncle Maury

A couple of Facebook poems


MIDNIGHT WALK

My house has neither a track
nor swimming pool, the
stationery bike is
sedentary

So what's a girl to do
when she wants to relax
after doing some
heavy thinking

Out into the neighborhood
I go. No one's about.
Feels good to stretch
my scrunched up
writers' legs
as I briskly pass
the darkened houses

Should I round the bend
and take the difficult hill?
I don't know but my legs
won't stop.

What if a coyote approaches?
Ken Ivins said he saw one.
Or a kidnapper, a Richard Widmark
type, as seen in Kiss of Death?

Every house is dark. Closed up.
No use in screaming.
Consider me dead.

***

TARRAGON ABUSE
also known as
Product Code 0 523531

I use tarragon
in my soups and
on my morning eggs

I even got Rem Murphy
to use it, and he's
a tough guy in his
Philly's cap and
fine postal clerk manners

Is it my imagination or
is the beautiful word
"tarragon" - say it slowly
and dramatically with the
lovely "Tuh" in the lead

becoming popular all around
the country? Tarragon Community College
Tarragon Consolidation of Loans
Tarragon School of Dog Training
Tarragon Bar and Grille

And now, if you'll excuse me
gonna drive over to the
Bar and Grille and see if
I can catch some action there.

But if they've got a big screen
and are watching the news, I'm gone.

Will go home and make some mushroom
soup flavored with the licorice-tasting
oh-so-tangy Tarragon and savor it
a small sip at a time.

What? You don't like it? What dyou
know anyway?

***

Am reading a remarkable book called AUTUMN

Just read the review of this book and previous books he had done which caused a sensation in Norway.




Karl Ove Knausgaard

Before I read the back story on him, I was enjoying the short chapters with titles like Teeth, Frogs, Petrol and Porpoises. The next one is called Piss.

He makes you think about things like never before.

Born 1968 in Oslo, so he's 48.

Lemme write a quick poem now. But what shall it be about?

AUNT SYLVIE AND UNCLE MAURY

Who might these people be?
Mom has given me a B&W
photo which lies on the couch.
Once they were my kin.
They lived in Daytona Beach
and swam with the waves
loved in their bed
and cuddled before
Ozzie and Harriet.

He died first, as men often do,
she lived on, devastated for a
while, I imagine hearing her
weep while looking at her
garden out the window, but
then another man came along.

Many wealthy people live in
Florida and this widower,
Nat, was one of them. They
fell in love and for the
first time in her life
Aunt Sylvie had funds.

What did she do with them?
She divvied them up among
her family and bought us
stocks and bonds.

Nat passed away and Aunt Sylvie
moved into a nursing home. My
mom flew down to visit. Very
few people remember Sylvie
or Maury or Nat.

What happens to their bones?

Sunday, October 15, 2017

So many things to talk about! Really? Yes. Detective Colombo had a wife


Let's see, today is Sunday. The Beehive met here yesterday b/c Queen B had company buzzing around her hive.

I wrote a short story called The Gift. It took place in the Shenandoah Valley. It contained so much erroneous information I'm rewriting it now and moving it to Vermont.

Hold on while I freshen my cup of tea.

Oh, thank you Eddie, I appreciate that.

Image result for eddie muller tcm
Eddie Muller is host of Noir Alley.

YOGURT
A NEW APPRECIATION
OF WHOLE MILK
PLAIN YOGURT

In Bible Days
our herdsmen milked
their animals and
carried the creamy
whitish product
in their saddlebag,
made from the animal's
stomach, and found as if
by magic, the liquid
had changed.

Pudding like and delicious
though the days were long
and hot, the yogurt remained
sweet, not sour like today's
lemon drops.

Yoplait? Chobani? Fage? Siggi's?

Dannon was the first to be produced.
Barcelona, ole! Year of 1919.
First called Danone, named for his
little son, Daniel, it finally
became Dannon.

The first factory was in the
The Bronx. Could it still be
there or did it slowly decay,
the bricks spattered with
pigeon crap,its windows smashed,
the home, perhaps, of a massive
new Stephen King novel.

Do comparison tests as my friend
Helene used to do. Why you do like
this? The thickness? The loosesness.

I am still making up my mind.

Dyou think bare-chested Putin
eats yogurt? My guess is he
does, to get in shape for
his voracious march to
take over the world.

***

Image result for john p creveling   John P Creveling and wife Christina Robertson

Diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, his life has taken on a new meaning.

Read story about him here.    Here's anudder one.

He asked me to review his book that's being published.

John P. Creveling is one of the wisest men I know. When he ran his Career Resources Management he helped many folks find jobs. Then, in 2009, the unthinkable happened. He was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. With the saucy redhead by his side - his wife Christina Robertson - he began a new life. He became a visual artist with gorgeous explosions of colors. With his new book "More than What You see" his artistic legacy expands. He's a poet, who writes his odyssey of the new life he's fashioned for himself. Run, don't walk, to buy this remarkable, inspirational tour de force.

***

I keep copies, if possible, of all the newspaper stories I've written, or my own writing. I was talking to my friend Rem who loves Columbo and has the entire series, including a few with Columbo's. I dunno what that's about as she was always a mystery and used as a foil - Oh, my wife would love that.

Anyway here's my article about Columbo when I worked at Patch.

Reruns are on COZI-TV, peppered with long commercials.

Rem has the entire series of Colombo and writes about his wife:

Mrs. Colombo works for a local newspaper, so her press badge allows her access to crimes, which she solves. You never see Mr. Colombo, but you see the young daughter, the cigars in the ashtray, and the basset hound, which is the one thing you will also see in Colombo. I watched the last Colombo episode from season five (1975-76), which was good but strange with a lot of abrupt cuts and you didn't know who did it until the end, which is atypical for the show.

It was directed by Peter Falk's buddy Patrick McGoohan, who also wrote for the show, starred as the murderer in two episodes, and won two Emmy's for his work in Colombo. I'm a big McGoohan fan by the way. Born in NYC, raised in the U.K., he can play an American or a Brit, and of course had his own shows, Secret Agent and the Prisoner.

Like Falk, he likes cigars and hates guns, you will never see him use a gun in Secret Agent or the Prisoner, and out of respect for his wife you will not see him womanizing or even kissing, was offered the Bond role in Live and Let Die, I mean they offered it to him, but he refused because he thought Bond was too immoral, who does that?--Rem 

***

I was fixing my blog archive and saw, as I do many times, that one of the links was broken. When I attempted to fix it I saw that the Father of Transplantation, Thomas E Starzl, had died.

I wrote Dr Stalin Campos of this, who said he was just showing a pic of my transplant to someone, and then I sent him my poem.

PIONEERING LIVER SURGEON DIES
WRITES THE NEW YORK TIMES
1926 - 2017

Born in March, died in March
Thomas E Starzl, surrounded
by his family, his wife and
soulmate, Joy, and others who
flew to be by his side

His work here on earth finished.

But never really finished.

The man had an obsession
the livers of dogs
a liver? Yes, a gorgeous
pinkish organ, when healthy.

Huge, with many parts like
states of the USA, each
part responsible for
digesting and processing food.

Say, they're picnicking today in
Tennessee, the little bits of
celery in the potato salad
are macerated by the right or
the left lobe.

God thought of every little thing
when designing this master organ.

And so I celebrate you, give thanks
for you, Thomas E Starzl, for making
it possible for me to be alive on this
rainy morning in Willow Grove.

My transplanted kidney pulses with
joy since my daughter, Sarah Lynn Deming,
donated her kidney to me and
surgeons Radi Zaki and Stalin Campos
fitted it in, just so.

It's great to be alive, n'est-ce pas?


***



Thursday, October 12, 2017

Getting Bettah All the Time


Look at what the human body can do, when challenged.

FROM WHYY --Morgan Hurd walked through her gym Wednesday wearing two large shining medals that swung heavily against her small frame.

Her braces glistening, the 16-year-old gymnast smiled ear to ear as young girls cheered, waved American flags and greeted her with hugs.

Morgan has just returned from Montreal, where she became the first Delawarean to win a world championship title in gymnastics. The Middletown resident is only the 8th American woman to win gold in the all-around event at worlds — where she also won a silver medal for balance beam.
“I felt incredible, I was so happy, I started crying, actually,” she said.

What you can't see in the picture is that Morgan is wearing eyeglasses.

Not only has Morgan received attention for her quick rise to the top, but also for her bubbly personality, and for wearing glasses during competition.

She wears a strap that hooks to the back of her glasses and wraps around her head so it stays in place. Morgan tried contact lenses, but sometimes chalk would get in them, and she’d waste her practice time trying to clean them out.

“I’ve gotten [attention for my glasses] ever since I started competing, because there’s really only been one other known gymnast, Kami Moore, that competed in glasses,” she said. “It’s just such an uncommon thing, because people think they can’t do it, because they’re afraid they’re going to break or something.”

Read more here and watch video

***

More on Scott's renovation. The Walmsey Guys put in the bathtub today. Scott couldn't leave home since they needed to ask him questions.

I viewed it but you can't really see it.

Scott, let's take a walk in the Pennypack. We drove over, said hello to Lauren, David had already left. These are the last precious seconds for Lauren who is on vacation.

Twas certainly good to see the place again. My left leg was hurting tho so we couldn't go as far as we would have liked.

Prior to that I went to Mom's house where my nephew Alex Pomper was visiting.  Can we get a shot of this photographer off the Net?

Image result for alexander pomper   Tyler picked him up at the airport, with his wife Kamelia and son David. All in a tiny little car like the many clowns who come piling out.

Siri... please send in the clowns

Image result for clowns coming out of a car

Before we walked at the Pennypack, we stopped at the police station.

Hi, I said, where do I drop off my drugs.

In the green box, ma'am.

And so I did. Many were over 10 yrs old

Percodans, Percosetts, Oxycontin....several bottles of each.

How do I feel now that I did it?

Pause.

The same.

Gonna go watch Sherlock Holmes videos at Scott's. They came from the East Cheltenham Library.

He said we like those British names, Basil and Nigel.

Visit with Dr Foxhall - U T I - Driving to the Birthday Boys Before it Got Dark

I was pretty sure I had a U T I, so I drove over to his office at the Schilling Campus of AMH. Quite a few people in the Waiting Room, including kids, with their moms trying to shush them.

This one family had two little boys, maybe 3 and 4, and they each had their own bottle of water. The kids were reading from the kids' shelf of books.

Finally they were called back while I waited in misery. My problem was that if I had peed at home, I wouldn't have enuf to pee now. But if I hadn't peed at home, I might have too much and would pee all over the floor.

This is what happened to me for the first time with my new U T I.

As soon as I was taken in back, I was made to pee. The teeniest amount came out but fortunately they had enuf.

My urine was loaded with bacteria. From both bladder and urinary tract. This is not good if you've had a kidney transplant.

I entered Dr Foxhall's examining room. He's tall and very handsome. He got a giant pair of glasses.

Image result for james foxhall md pa  Brazen me, took this a couple of years ago.

Image result for big black glassesThe moment I awake this morning, I ran downstairs to take my Cipro pill. One in the a m, one 12 hours later.

He told me to keep my blood sugar down. When you're sick it goes high. But I'm feeling much better. AND I've gotta run The Daytime Meeting. I better get the name tags out. Hold on.

As I listened to Gregg Whiteside on WRTI I wondered, How can he do this day by day?

I'd love to do something different. Here come the Trash Men in their mighty green trucks. Should they give residents a chance to do the job? I'm so weak now I can barely lift two books at once to take up to bed.

Alex Glijanski had written me a thank-you about my World Mental Health Day. I credited him for getting me back on my feet again. He's slowly retiring.

"Mindhunter" will be on Netflix soon. And the Basil Rathbone version of Sherlock is waiting for Scott and me at the library.

And I do have several ideas for short stories.

When I was at Dan's last night - he did not like my books - Grace would say, Tell me about your day. They seem to favor their mother, who surprised them all by going with her friend to a free concert.

For dinner, Nicole bought burritos. Briskit burritos. I've got one in the fridge, wondering how I'll dispose of it.

On WRTI Daniel Behrenbaum is playing what sounds like a Bach Fugue.

So yesterday, Zeke knocked, walked in, and removed a bunch of magnets from my fridge. I said nuffin and he replaced em when he left.

What? You're having egg salad for dinner?

I usually bring my dinner to the Demings.

Zeke is fascinated by everything I do.

And how was your day?

At Dan's Nicole had picked up some burritos.

Altho I finished me egg salad, Dan gave me the remainder of his briscuit of beef burrito!

Then Nicole surprised us by saying she and her friend were going to a free concert!

Max was on the couch falling asleep.

Grace was playing a game with tiny action figures.

I gave Dan two of the hard backs I'd bought for his 41st b'day.

Alan Dershowitz - I'll pass, said he.

World's Best Detective Stories from England and America - I'll pass, said he.

Of course I was hurt.

Guess why I'm leaving now, I announced.

Cuz you don't wanna drive in the dark, said Max. 



Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Poem: Smile - Poem: Photo ID


Hello, my 22 faithful readers!

First I'll beguile you with my poem Smile below.

SMILE

Anyone smiling out there?
As I rowed home from Hatboro
where Mark made me 50 copies
of my Guest Editorial

Gregg Whiteside of WRTI
said Jack Moore was
not smiling.

What? A little rain's
gonna make you glum?
Make you wanna mount
The Ark?

I was all gussied up when I
entered the grocery store,
red earrings, a revealing blue
tank top, and a perfect smile
for when I went to the Photo ID
place.

Closed today, Veterans Day.

Drink up the falling rain
my spacious yard that doth
not flood.

I'll go on my screened in
back porch, wear my rain hat
from the Baltimore Aquarium
and sail along on Pearl of the Lake
munching pistachios and reading
Terrorist by John Updike while
shucking off the world like
an umbrella collapsing.



***

When I arrived at the Photo ID place in Huntingdon Valley, I waited about 45 minutes before they called my number, which I believe was A 706.

With all those numbers flashing on and off I couldn't remember my number, so I kept looking up at the panel of three numbers.

GETTING MY PICTURE TAKEN AT THE PHOTO ID PLACE

Some people say, It's only a picture. A photo ID.
I walked in like Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard
Red earrings swinging like a sweet cuppa tea

Took my seat in the back of the room, rather like a
concert, and saw the most marvelous people.

France Nuyen stopped in, we'll always remember her in South Pacific.
And Ruth Bader Ginsburg  with her lace collar like Rembrandt's Buergers

Perhaps you think I was enjoying myself. Using my imagination like
a POW or Mary Queen o Scots up in the Tower, praying to her God

Then my number flashed on one of three screens
In my shorts and tank top, I fled to the front, as if I
were a refugee making the final cut

Formalities were mentioned -are you a citizen, do you speak
English, are you an organ donor?

Blonde Leslie took my photo. Very nice. Friendly.
Every four years we take these, she said.

My hopes ran high for a picture suitable for framing.

Overexposed. Had I come in the afternoon when the sun
was shining over the fitness center, things would be
different.

My photo looks like Icarus flying too near the sun
and fell into the Icarian Sea.

O hubris. You made such a fool of me.

Some people say it's only a picture.
A photo ID. 

***

http://ruthzdeming.blogspot.com/2017/10/poem-smile-poem-photo-id.html


LANCE  cHAREN!



Sunday, October 8, 2017

Reading - Poems: Preparing to Go to Mom's House for a Sunday Visit - The Library Book Shelf by the Back Window

Lynn brings all these goodies. I ate generous portions of bagels and cream cheese, cut in quarters. Mom has a voracious appetite, I kid you not.

Image result for bagels and cream cheese


I was super angry she canceled her appt at Costco so she won't be getting hearing aides just yet.

Made sure I sat near her and yelled so she could hear me.

FB poem about her

PREPARING TO GO TO
MOM'S HOUSE FOR A
SUNDAY VISIT

Thanks to my sister Lynn
we often visit Mom on
Sundays.

I've loaded the car
with things to show
the family

Thunder Paws, the book
I bought by Bill Hess,
pantaloon jeans I
bought and can't stand

Ritz Crackers too sweet
and tempting, they beckon
from upstairs

What's that rollicking sound?
The washer downstairs. Dyou
separate the white from the
darks?

My clothes are never quite
clean, but I walk in a perpetual swirl
of gray.

Don't laff. I'm a responsible
adult, with no one to tell
me what to do.

The best!  

***

Just got home from the Upper Moreland Library. Tomro is Dan's 41st b'day. Thank god he loves his life, job, wife, kids.

I always get him books for his b'day.

From the library, I paid THREE DOLLARS for the following books:

GREAT DETECTIVES by David Willis McCullough

Entire short novels are published like The Chill by Ross McDonald

Image result for great detectives by david willis mccullough

CHUTZPAH by Alan M Dershowitz - A Bold Call for a New Attitude by and toward American Jews

Image result for chutzpah alan dershowitz

ALL TOO HUMAN: A Political Education by George Stephanopoulos

Image result for a political education by george stephanopoulos

DARWIN'S ATHLETES:  How Sport has damaged Black America and preserved the Myth of Race  by John Hoberman



Image result for darwin's athletes

Dr. Hoberman in class  Professor Hoberman

Dr. John Milton Hoberman is a Professor of Germanic languages within the Department of Germanic Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of numerous books and articles on sports, specifically on their cultural impact, their relationship with race, and the issue of doping.
He is a European cultural and intellectual historian, who has interests in Sportwissenschaft and the history of racial ideas. He has published nearly one hundred sports articles and books in American newspapers and magazines and in Der Spiegel.

Then I got mhy own books out. Rem and I had been emailing about how much we both love John Updike, so I borrowed Licks of Love and Terrorist. I sat on a rolling step-stool and read the end of terrorist.

I told new Dorothy that I had never seen such good books in the last stack of the library, where I sat and read. Updike also wrote Gertrude and Claudius, but I thought it would be too difficult with the olde languages.

So now I've gotta write a poem. Hold on, gotta get something to eat.

***
Our fresh cherry tomatoes and Feta cheese Ellen gave me.

***

THE LIBRARY BOOK SHELF BY THE BACK WINDOW

The light streamed in but I was oblivious
caught as I was in a world of R's and T's, U's and V's

Updike. I'd read Pigeon Feathers while babysitting
at the Schonbergs in Cleveland.

His Rabbit Books I bought at a garage sale
and couldn't get off the first page

Stuck in a small town in Pennsylvania,
Rabbit's playing basketball with neighborhood

Kids who refuse to trust him. I trust you,
Rabbit, and remember the worn, yellow

Paperback pages, perfectly. What's this
Updike? You've written a book called

"Terrorist?" Adjusting my eyeglasses
I sit on the small stepstool, and read

The last pages. Really? I think.
Really? And set it aside in my

burgeoning pile. "Lucky Licks"-
a book I never heard of.

Affairs in suburbia. Who does
he think he is?  Cheever?

"Sex without love," I read.
And toss it into my pile.

Driving home, I imagine
lying on a blanket in my

Backyard, the sun slanting
against the fence

And reading, just reading,
till dark. After a snack

Of apple and cheese,
I go up to bed

And read all thru the night
some jazz playing on the radio

Until morning comes.