Saturday, June 11, 2011

Poetry Night at Weinrich's plays to full house / Diabetes poem

I parked out front in the handicapped zone. Locked my car only b/c I'm afraid someone will steal my handicap placard. They can have Grace's sippee cup I drink out of and my 200 Dunkin' Donut napkins in the glove box.

When I walked into Weinrich's Coffeeshop I was absolutely shocked. The entire place was filled! A third of the people I'd never seen before.

First order of biz was to get something iced-cold so I ordered some mint iced tea.

Hi Stephen, I said to Stephen Weinrich, who organized the evening.

Bill Kulik is here, he said. Bill is a professor of English at Temple. Stephen had him for Eng Lit. Me and Nadia Lande had him at Cheltenham Evening School.

In deference to Bill and the art of poetry, I cut out the 'lard' from my poems and kept them sweetly short. No Odysseys or Iliads for me, tho, as you may know, Odysseus resides in my lower right abdomen, a gift from my daughter.

Seeing all those poets in one audience was like Drowning and seeing the best parts of your life swim to the surface.

What a thrill! Especially after being cooped up in the house all day, working on my next Patch article, and running over to a landscape supply company cuz I hadn't bought enuf lava rocks on my first trip.

Scott is landscaping a small patch of ground in the front yard.

Here are photos of the performers, who, to a person, were outstanding. I took photos and so did boyfriend Scott, who I accompanied today to Larmon's Photo in Abington, where he bought a new Nikon.

Yes, one of those fancy ones. When Scott walked in, Stephen W thought he was a professional photographer. Which reminds me, Gerry Dungan where the heck were you! He was gonna videotape us for

Carly Brown performed beautifully. She is one charming broad.

Carly brought her friend Joanne, who read a work by her niece.

 Claudia Beechman reads a poem before performing a couple of songs. She was born with a Voice!

Dancer Audrey Bookspan came to listen to Claudia.

Les Cooperman asked me, How dyou know Claudia? He and his wife were also there to hear her. As was her curly-haired husband Barry who had the sexiest eyeglasses of the evening.

From all these poetry events, I said. I orig. met her at Arthur Krasnow's Elkins Park Library poetry nite. For a couple of years, the two of us created Library Display Cases in honor of April is National Poetry Month.

An impish Stephen Weinrich. When I originally asked the audience to put their hands together to acknowledge our benefactor Stephen, I called him Stephen Weinstein by mistake, who's my politically savvy friend.

I emailed Weinstein a link to a comment I made in this morning's NY Times. I'm no. 74 here.

Stephen W not only organized this evening's gig but he paid for our first writer's journal "Icing on the Cake." Pretty darn generous.

Mary Brucker performed a few poems reading them in braille. Her guide dog Garland is at her side. I asked her to talk a bit about Garland, a black lab, who she said is extremely sensitive to her needs. If he thinks she's sad, he will get up to come over and comfort her.

He is a male, isn't he, Mary? (Mary's computer talks to her.) Blind poet David Simpson's guide dog was Willow. Dunno if that's a male or female. Perhaps they train all sexes. LGBT awareness!

I was super-fortunate to get renowned Philly poets from the Big Blue Marble Bookstore in Mt Airy. Riveting performer Mike Cohen is in background, while girlfriend Connie is up front. They live in Mt Airy.

I guess you're an artist, I said to Becky Cohen, Mike's daughter. Indeed she is and writes poetry too. Maybe next time she'll read something.

Steve Delia and Mike Cohen often team up together in readings. Steve and I were saying that the Blue Marble Poets wouldn't be here tonite if he and I hadn't erroneously attended Krasnow's Elkins Park Poetry Night on the wrong nite. We were the only two. I then invited him to this gig.

Just realized from the photo that he cut his hair. Looks great, dude! Also luv your psycho-Delia shirt.

Donna Krause read two strong poems, the first about the entrance of the hooded one - bipolar disorder - into her life.

When she finished reading it, I thanked her for her bravery in living thru bipolar d/o, and daring to combat stigma by writing about it.

Mariel was her second poem, about the loss of her beautiful daughter who loved to dress up but would never attend another prom. At 15, she lost her life to meningitis.

Honey-voiced Elijah Pringle III lost a niece to meningitis. He put her in a poem in which he had to tell his aged mother of the loss. She knew, by the sound of his voice.

Kym Cohen also read a poem about tragedy, this time a California earthquake that traumatized her. A great poem! We published it in the Compass.

Linda Barrett reads her poem about the GT Opal. Another one was a wedding poem to a relative in which she beseeched him to provide his bride with love and kindness rathan material possessions. Profound!

Always great seeing nature-lover Nadia Lande who read two poems including an old-favorite Bella.

Mike is a hilarious performer. Here he's enumerating all the things that can kill us. But we constantly escape until D-Day and then it's Curtains! The audience was in stitches.

The only problem w/photographing you head-on, sez I to Bill Kulik, is that I can't see your ponytail.

Gee, I wish Scott would grow a ponytail. See below. Standing in front of him is Teresa, who accompanied Mary to the show. Said Scott, "I guess people think you're important when you carry a camera around your neck."

My photo of Beatriz Moisset didn't come out but fortunately I have her at our last Coffeeshop Writer's Group, seated next to Mr Pringle.

Beatriz, a biologist, read her essay River of Birds, which begins with migrating birds and ends in her home of Argentina, where perhaps her relatives - or Evita? - will see them coming home and think of her.

Beatriz has an exhibition of her wonderful photos and paintings - who knew? - at Briar Bush Nature Center in Abington.

Scott n I saw it this morning. Dazzling! On the second floor. There was a small stuffed grizzly bear in the corner. I petted his soft fur and stuck my hand in his open mouth between his sharp teeth. Aren't I terribly brave, mommy?

Here's Claudia and I chatting at halftime. Scott took the photo. He said he was goggy-eyed from reading the manual of his new Nikon.

Yes, he is that kind of guy. He reads manuals. Me, I take my camera over to Authorized Camera Repair and ask Matt, How does dis work?

the parts i like are the novolog pen
that delivers insulin
and asking the pharmacist with the spiked hair
will you marry me?
i also like that
everything is made of plastic:
the novolog pen, the lantus pen, the meter that
shows my glucose levels.
i like twisting the orange measuring meter
to eight units or ten
- my nephrologist dr kung has prescribed these amounts
i like telling people dr shiang-cheng kung is my nephrologist -
best of all is
the clear crystalline drop that oozes
from the needle after shooting:
a silent tear for the poet
who cannot cry for herself
but must lie: it’s not so bad.
when the disease catches up with me
says kung, i’ll be ready to mount
the stairs to eternity,
with half closed sagging eyes and cloudy whites
- closeups in a saturday horror film -
by then, twenty years of research will yield
something more convenient, less hurtful:
a new white
plastic pancreas!
will i miss that crystalline teardrop on the needle?
and a certain smell that never will become parfum?
and a wild red rose
twisting on the vine.


  1. from one of the stephens in my life. in this case mr weinstein:

    Well, young lady, you continue to amaze me. I just read your blog about poetry night at Weinrich Bakery. The variety and quality of people that you attract, the resources that you bring together, the help that you make available to people in need qualifies you for my Readers Digest Award as one of the most unforgettable people I have ever met! I believe that by example you encourage people to want to be better (in accomplishment and/or in recovery). That is very special. I am proud to know you.

    Warm regards, Stephen

  2. I must have missed this. Great! Never saw a poem about diabetes before...

    the clear crystalline drop that oozes

    "from the needle after shooting:

    a silent tear for the poet

    who cannot cry for herself"

    BRILLIANT. The thing is you are raising our expectations ever higher..but that's ok.

  3. thanks, isis! sic. the sad thing is that i had diabetes 20 yrs ago which went away w/diet and exercise and i wrote one or two fantastic poems but can't find them.

    dunno if you this about me, but i'm always wondering if i've passed my prime as a poet. so comments like this are very encouraging.

    am looking f/w to reading your 'fixed' poem. believe me i know the importance of moving something offline until the poet is ready!

  4. Indeed! and as you said, he's a great performer!