Saturday, June 29, 2013

Coffeeshop Writers Group - Martha's "Call in the Night" - Happy Birthday to Me - More of Ruth's award-losing poems: The Giant Coffee Card Club - Of a Tuesday Evening in June - Driving Home on Lower York Road

Marf and Arlene. But I was really trying to photograph an 88-yo man you can barely see. He was standing next to me in the coffee line. He asked for a "senior coffee."

It was Martha and Carly's b'day this week. They each bot treats for the group from the Giant. Pardon my honesty, but the cookies and cupcakes looked barfingly unappetizing.


She thinks I'm old
daughter of the dinosuars
plodding along the downside of life's mountain
my mind disintegrating with every passing footfall
my oft recounted memories - mythological
She, smarter in her 13 years
than I in my 60s
for after all, her science teacher
taught them about the eventual death of brain cells.
She doesn't know that inside ever grandma
is an 18 year old beauty
replaying history on endless loop
hoping for a different outcome.
She pats my hand,
and shouts into ears that work just fine,
wondering as she says it,
how many more can there be
in one so old as I?
You'll understand why I wrote the following poem upon ordering a barfingly rich drink. It was scrumptious! When I got home my blood sugar was a disgraceful 279.

We call ourselves the Coffeeshop Writers Group
cuz that’s where we meet
I have written all manner of poems and short stories
entered them
in prestigious magazines
expecting rejection
receiving rejection
won’t stop me from trying
First thing I do when I get to the group
is get me a decaf
a small buzz is always nice
nothing dramatic like
a full-blown mania
but that was in the past
I’ve worked my way up
so that today the decaf
is free with my Club Card
what’ll it be on this last
Saturday in June?

None of the coffee’s any good
I doctor it with
cinnamon which floats on
the surface
like grease on the griddle
impossible to
I'll order a free cup of cold decaf
ice clinking on the bottom
I feel ashamed to enjoy it
while Alan dies of lung cancer
in Cleveland
Who knows?
maybe Cleveland Clinic
has a pilot program
to keep him alive
the only one his
crippled son
loves at Beth Israel

Ever feel helpless?
ever feel like standing
beneath the big ole moon
and craning your neck
and saying

Martha Hunter wrote:


She struggles up through a dream,
briefly wondering where she is
A coldness grips her stomach
Calls in the night rarely bring good news.
A voice gives her the message
no mother wants to hear.
She wonders,
is this a cruel joke?
She thinks to hang up in disgust
But her hand grips the phone too tightly
to let go.
She doesn't want to believe it's true.
Primal instinct holds off the force of the blow
An island of motherhood
in an ocean of tragedy.
She'll do what she needs to do
And collapse later.
Her son needs her now.

And now, gleaning from my stock photos....
Beatriz had a bout of exhaustion so she stayed home. I spoke to her and she was laffing about it. These episodic cycles have occurred since she was in her thirties. She will get tested again to see if it's a certain type of bug bite she got while living in Argentina, altho it never showed up.

Her son is exhibiting mild symptoms b/c it can be contracted in utero.

What was God thinking?

There's no treatment, said B, but at least she'd find out the cause.

Linda Barrett below. All these fotos are from my archives.

Linda and her 83-yo mom just joined LA FITNESS!!!

Linda shared a chapter of her sci-fi novel. Some idiot at a writer's group she goes to at B & N told her she could get sued for writing about the SEPTA transportation system.

He's probly jealous of her imagination.

Donna Krause was nervous about reading her new poem "Alone at Night."

Since she was widowed a year ago, she hates being alone esp at night, when she sees eerie shadows on the wall.

Everyone thought it was a wonderful poem.

Carly Brown .... Carlana

Carla and Donna have become good friends. They encourage one another and read their poems and other work to each other.

Donna asked Carly "What's happening with your story about Nails, the roofer?"

That gave Carly the incentive to get back to work on it.

Carly read an obit about the roofer  - nicknamed "Nails" - who died a natural death and transformed it into a suspenseful story about a roofer who falls off the roof.

We loved it and are looking f/w to reading more at our meeting next Saturday.

Auteur! Auteur! of the next poem. Oh, here she be, riding the NY subway with daughter Sarah Lynn:


it’s late
but the coffee’s hot
and I am reading
on my red couch
Remains of the Day
it’s taking off, finally,
is it the coffee that
makes it so?
I stop for a sip
and a “think”
the cup between
my legs
warming my
inner thighs
The back jacket
calls the novel
but like a
bad marriage
we quickly accept it
marveling at the
author’s roundabout
sentences so long
you hurry to
the finish line
So many stories
like my own,
the needle marks
I glance at casually
in the crook of my arm
made at the last blood draw
Don’t worry,
I’ll be around for a while

I lift my still-warm
but not hot cup
and bring it to my lips
how fresh it smells
I made it myself
Roasted Sumatra
When Stevens the butler
and star of the book
decides to alight
from his Ford
where he is motoring
about the famed
sloping green meadows
smooth as a tear
I insert the bookmark
switch off the light
and whirring fan
then open the door
for one last look
smell the misty rain
which wants
nothing to do with me
and hoping for a
crack of thunder
or something
exciting, since the
book is not
about to close
the door
see a giant
orange moon
plum over
the street light
and the sleeping
baby birds,
swallows, this time,
we think.  

This book by Kazuo Ishiguro, b. 1954, is on The Guardian's list of 100 Best Books. Kazuo was born in Japan but lives in London.  Sarah suggested I read it.


This is the kind of road I like
with vistas
green meadows
farmlands sown with corn
The Sox Lady
art galleries
and restaurants
the well-heeled “others” go to

The gray Ford pick-up is behind me
never saw his face
but it’s the kind of man
I’d choose were I looking
and I always am
I try to be a good
road companion
soaring well in front of him
then braking to show there’s
traffic up ahead

Meanwhile the erratic
Lexus, who should know better,
is holding up the fast lane
with the narcissism
we expect from the
nouveau riche

I am unconcerned
as I sip my Columbian Decaf
I bought back in Peddler’s Village
when I got off the bus from New York
I could be home on my
red couch
watching the birds out the window
but I’m in the front seat
sipping hot coffee
with my right hand
watching my man
in the rear view
and thinking of home.

The light is green
I take off at great speed
breaking off our brief affair
my car a steed racing toward home
I turn the radio off as I climb
my hilly street
so the neighbors
will think me sedate
and orderly.
Could my frontyard pink Buddha give me away? 

Friday, June 28, 2013

In and Out of New York - Brooklyn Museum - Adelaide's Top Drawer - Sarah and Ethan

Sarah met me at Gate 10 of the Port Authority.

Sarah asked an official which gate TransBridge buses meet at.

He told her and then said, "Has your mother seen your hair yet?" thinking she was younger than her 39 yrs.

It's a deep brown with bright RED stripes! Ethan can't see it all that well cuz he's 'color blind' by not being able to distinguish similar dark color contrasts.

We subwayed around town.

So many new skills I learned to master, like going thru the turnstiles and exiting.
Note how stylish everyone is, except the woman below - oh, for chrissakes, don't put yourself down - I was the only person in NY wearing white pants, but did I care?
On the subway, there were recorded voices telling you what stops were coming up.

These voices are very important, I said to Say. They have the power to affect your mood. Some of the voices were very chipper. If you're lonely and in NY, perhaps you can ride the trains just to hear the chipper voices, tho I wouldn't suggest it.

I'd suggest going to a food store, like below, and conversing with the friendly people behind the counter.
A Mideastern Food Shop. They do a massive catering biz. Sarah bot lunch for us: hummus, falafel, olives and pickles and cucumbers. Mon dieu!
Another stylish woman in line. AND people are slender. At least the slender ones are.
The new Barclay Center. They have a huge inflatable rat outside it now, protesting the lack of union workers. See them bikes on the left? They're part of a bike program where you pay a fee and then can borrow any of them bikes. Partly sponsored by CitiBank.

Barclay Center, built by Bruce Ratner, formerly of Cleveland, to host the Nets, is a boon to boxers, said Sarah. Music of all kinds now has a beautiful home.
Here's Ethan relaxing after our delicious lunch. He and his band will drive to Ottawa to play at a jazz fest. He was pleased to hear that the guy at the Mideastern food place recognized him as Ethan Iverson of The Bad Plus.

Here's my sweetie pie, who poured us a glass of delicious white wine. I took three sips since I'm not used to drinkin.
Here's my plate. New York: the best food in the world, tho I sure enjoyed my huge salad when I came home today.

And the people in NY are incredibly nice and friendly. A woman on the subway said she liked Sarah's hair. And Sarah complimented one of the dozens of people who got off at the Wall Street stop. They were a different breed than the other people. The men wore suits. The women look fabulous.

Sarah saw a woman's shoes which had little bunny's at the toes.

"Really cute," she said to the woman, who said she got em online.

What's this? Oh, we walked to the Bklyn Museum and Sarah said we should stop in the main Bklyn library b/c it's such a wonderful library and she knows how I love libraries.

Like the Princeton Library, where I went with Nancy Pollack, this one offers a cafe before you go into the library. So now both libraries are immortalized on my blog.

Prepare yourself! We are about to enter THE BROOKLYN MUSEUM and see wonders you have never beheld.

Below is a floor to ceiling sculpture. All his art is made with 'found objects.'
The next series of shots are from the new exhibit by El Anatsui, born in Ghana, but living now in Nigeria.

We went up real close so we could see the tin tops of milk containers, sorta like condensed milk, that poor people drank in parts of Africa, where Nelson Mandela lies dying now. 

Here's the master himself on a video. He was born in 1944, so he's a year older than me.
This reminded us of the exterior of the Barclays Center.
These were monumental in size - several of em - reminding me of the pyramids, each done by Africans. Where you live is instrumental in your perspective of life.

This looks like a shawl a giantess might throw over her on a cold night looking over Victoria Falls.
The photos below are from the John Singer Sergeant (1856 – 1925) Watercolor Show. An American, he lived in Europe.

Sarah and I were fainting away, they were so delicate, fresh, and moving.

THE CASHMERE SHAWL. His niece was his model.

Above is from his series on BEDOUINS. Ignore those women on the left. These fotos are from the internet cuz I got caught using my flash and I haven't learned how to turn it off yet.

Hey! It's not easy. It's not as if there's an On-Off switch.

Below is Medici Villa. He loved painting the varieties of the color white and how the light plays of the color.

Below is GOURDS.

Ethan wore this cape when performing a John Cage piece. He was afraid the audience might be bored so someone suggested he wear something outrageous.

Here's Adelaide Mestre, who is actually not as tiny as Thumbelina, performing in her one-woman show Top Drawer. The 100-seat dinner theatre was nearly sold out.

Adelaide told the true story of her family life. Her dad was a gay manic-depressive who ended up killing himself. Adelaide sings and dances. Incredibly talented!

I left this.....

with her BF, Eric, in the lobby.

Afterward, Sarah and I subwayed back to Park Slope to dine.

Thai food. My pad thai used papaya instead of noodles.

Coconut Ice Cream. Un-friggin-believable!

Farewell to NY from the bus.
Did a few things on the 2-hour bus ride home.

Made good progress in Remains of the Day.


Looked out the window.

I realized I had to choose whether or not to read or look out the window. What's the difference? Filling my head with beautiful images that are real.... or creating false images in my head as a result of the marvelous book.

Gotta finish it quick cuz I've got four others waiting to be read. I request em at the library and then they all come in at once.

Isn't that fascinating?
This was Flemington, NJ, home of outlet stores. When my dad was alive we used to drive there as a family. I remember buying a yellow two-cup coffee maker made by Stangl.

The Stangl company was originally in Flemington, but closed in 1996.

One of my boyfriends - Crazy Tom - broke it when we lived in the apartments.

The bus drops me off on Street Road in LaHaska.

I wrote a note to myself, which you can see above - "Behind House of Coffee."

Where the hell was the House of Coffee?

Took me arf an hour to find it.

Silly girl, you forgot it was on the other side of the street.

Above is the interior where I ordered a cup of strong Columbian Decaf and a breakfast sandwich of egg, mushrooms and leeks.