Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Redux

It's now 9:03 pm. Am gonna see how long it takes to blog. When I was a kid my dad used to ask me to do him favors. "Dad," I'd complain. "I'm busy." "Well, then, Ruthie, I'll time you."

He'd take out his pocket watch & I'd run like a loon around the house trying to be fast.

Most of the Thanksgiving party guests got drunk. My favorite food was my mother's jello. Fruit jello with nuts and chopped celery. It was atonal. Dissonant. Thoroughly surprising and tasty.

Omigod, I kept saying to Sarah & her husband Ethan, I'm so friggin intellectually starved & now I'm making up for it being with you two. How did I get to such a point in life that I hang out mostly with duds? Of course I refuse to go 17 minutes out of Willow Grove so it's entirely my fault.

The family we spend the holiday with has been saddled with the ungodly name of The Roches. "The Roches are coming!" Steve is the head of the household. A mild-mannered fun-lovin drunk who keeps his head at all times. He commandeered Ethan & chained him to the piano. Ethan didn't mind.

What followed was a song medley. We'd name a song & Ethan would play it. Steve's bro Jake would print out the lyrics at the computer in Steve's home-office where McCain For Prez was still stuck on the door. We absolutely cannot figger out why a young man like Steve .... never mind. And when we asked why he liked Palin he said, "She's hot." He wasn't even drunk when he said it, just had that certain required macho mentality of the up n coming Republican bullshitter.

You can't help but like Steve. Charismatic. Has symbols of Christ all over the house. I went upstairs to use the bathroom & there wasn't any toilet. Jesus, I said, coming down the stairs, where's a toilet in this house? There was one toilet for their family of 5. The top floor bathroom is under construction. Steve owns his own construction company & has his own white truck w/Roche Corporation painted on. He does beautiful bldgs.

Now, my legs just can't help dancing & my mouth can't help but singing. Our biggest number - Steven & wife Nikki & my niece Melissa - was something by U-2. I can't keep the songs straight. They all sound the same.

So we're all parading around the living room, mouths open, I like to bounce up n down when I sing, and we are really having the time of our lives. I didn't know the words so I made up this trill with my tongue & cheek that made me sound like the white female Bobby McFarren. I was very proud of myself but then when you're around great people you yourself become great.... your talents expand.

Ethan was playing his heart out on the white upright piano on wheels. We all gave ourselves a rousing round of applause. Steve's brother Jake high-fived me.

Ethan had earlier revealed an absolutely astonishing fact. The many songs he played for us - the Beatles, folk songs, other tunes - he had never played them in his entire life. He just figgered em out as he went along. I did ask him to play Lucky Old Sun but he never heard of it. I emailed him the YouTube link this a.m.

Ya know why my boyfriend Scott didn't attend the 20-some gala? Well, someone's got to mind the SEPTA trains in case they break. My boyfriend, who has small, powerful hands, fixes the trains. I take those hands in mine & I say, Wow, these are sure some hands. He uses special soap to get em clean.

Him n me went to the movies last nite. I like to hold hands for about 10 seconds during the movies but this movie we saw last nite was just too tense for that. Most modern movies, like the new James Bond I saw the previous nite, are so bad I never go to the movies. Why then did I see this? Because Walter recommended it. And I trust Walter.

The movie is based on the 1928 Wineville, California, Chicken Coop Murders. I explained the plot to Sister Donna (no, for godssakes she's not a nun, it's just the way I tell you who she is). I forget her reason for not wanting to see it. The plot was very gruesome but Clint Eastwood kept the bloodshed to a minimum. You actually didn't know if the blood was the chickens or the victims, well, at first you didn't, that's cuz you were fooling yourself but then you sadly knew.

I do massive research before I waste my time at a movie theatre. I'd rather waste my time at home instead of in public. Okay, it's 9:27, I basically haven't stopped typing for a sec.

I'm trying to be consistent by blogging regularly so I can remember how to work this blog. I'm not too technologically sound. Oh! I had a real scare this afternoon. I goggled my name to check on something & the entire contents of my laptop showed up! Like, the personal letters I write, probly the entirety of my novel had I checked further, & I could not believe it. I quickly called Dan who comforted me by saying no one but me could read it. Really? It had the entire contents of my computer! That's scary.

No one can read it, Mom, he said.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Here's my newest poem. I worked on it in 3 big chunks till I got it right. The rototiller itself is right behind me here in the dining room. Where else are you sposed to keep a rescued rototiller? When Dan came over today, he saw it and absolutely fell in love with it. We always love our family & friends to love what we do, so I was very happy about this. He can't be bothered to read the damn poem. Who can? I try to keep them short. I'm not Robert Browning, after all, my duchess.


at first they put out
the commode
seat up
to let it sink in

it sat on the grass
while kids passed by
what would they know of
rosebushes out front
or the hospice nurse
green dodge
parked under the carport
or about you, john leonard,
a man of ninety-five
in house slippers and morphine
visiting your garden out back

a week ago on garbage night
the invisible hand
lined up some broken rakes
and tumbledown shelves
I let them lie
seeking perfection

after your hip went last spring
you took me hobbling
through your backyard
Where did you learn to garden like that?
lilyponds with real frogs
birdhouses nailed to the pines
tarps to keep the benches dry

yesterday they put out a
I took it at dusk
felt the length of the wood
for splinters or other irregularities
felt the rusty blades with my thumb
tamped it on the sidewalk

out fell the autumn leaves
from the previous fall
not this one
for you were no longer
protector of your lawn

I rolled it
on the sidewalk
this way and that
hefted it over my head
victorious at last
and stabbed it bloodless
in the soft of my hand.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

Greed at Walmart kills.

Scuse me while I get a drink of water. That was a really thirsty dinner we had at Ooka's Japanese restaurant. They don't serve alcohol so Sarah volunteered to run across the street to buy saki. "I think I'll go with you to help you cross the street," I said. "The cars go real fast." Ethan assured me that Sarah would be fine.

We studied the menu. "Dan would you mind ordering for me?" I asked my son. What a relief it was not to tax my brain with all these unknown words ending in the letter i. I tried not to think about Sarah out in the dark nite crossing the street with motorists as fierce and raging (yes!) as Roman charioteers.

Soon enough My Little Darling arrived back at the table with a thick paper bag in her arms. "You're right, Mom," she said. "I almost got killed." Her own private James Bond movie. We'd just seen the new one - what's it called? - Quinona Solace or something like that. Reminded me of a very loud TV show you'd watch while reading a good book.

Let's toast our glasses of plum wine (could there be a more b'ful word?) to Ethan, Sarah & Dan who helped me set up this blog. Isn't the word plum such a lyrical delight? One of my very favorite poems is this 'un.