Saturday, March 15, 2014

Coffeeshop Writers' Group - Oops! I got Drunk - Two poems: Uneven Pavement and When the Library Closes

I'd hoped to wear my new purple-striped shirt from Kohl's but when I tried it on at home, it was too small. Bought it with an $80 gift card b/c they wouldn't give me my money back on my Bissell vacuum. I bought the wrong kind and ordered the right kind, which is being shipped now from Best Buy online.

Also bought a new remember-me-foam rug I keep under my tootsies in my upstairs office. As you see, the two purchases have become fast friends.

I began writing my two poems and beginning of a short story at 12 noon this morning. I slept until 10:30 a.m., enjoying a deep slumber with unremembered dreams.

When I got to the Giant for our meeting today, I felt invincible and ordered their special coffee blend - Breakfast Coffee - with caffeine. After ten minutes, I got "high" and it affected my thinking. I told the group I used to get high naturally, when I had bipolar d/o and would get psychotic or out of reality.

Let me digress a moment or two. One of the reasons I woke up so late was I read until two or three in the morning. I'm fascinated with the Jeffery MacDonald murder story and had read an online interview with forensic psychiatrist Robert Sadoff, MD, saying that MacDonald, a former Green Beret and a physician himself, was incapable of murder.

The interview was fascinating. I printed it out and read every word of the 20 or so pages. Bob Sadoff, one of the leading forensic doctors in the country, was fairly certain MacDonald did not kill his wife and two children.

Why, then, has he been sentenced to prison until he is 120 yrs old. Answer: he probly killed them - and inflicted a harmless wound in his lung - altho we really do not know.

His father-in-law reopened the case. MacDonald remarried for the second time. Creeepy for the wife!

Below is author Joe McGinniss who wrote MacDonald's story "Fatal Vision."

McGinniss died of complications of prostate cancer on March 11, 2014, at age 71. He often used unscrupulous means in his journalistic career.

My daughter Sarah told me she read a wonderful book of ethics written by New Yorker staff writer, Janet Malcolm (b. 1934) called The Journalist and The Murderer. 

And then there were four. Marf left early - after dropping off another of her Biblical works - as did Donna. Linda Barrett was at work.

Carly wrote "The One I Love," an excellent draft about our teachers when we grow up. Our first teachers are, of course, our parents. We're stuck with them. Carly was always a questioner and didn't necessarily believe everything her mom told her. Good for you, Carlana!

My Grandma Lily, who lived with us, told us not to flick the lights on and off, a fun thing for kids to do.

"It'll cause a fire and burn the house down," she said.

Beatriz, orig from Argentina - where all her relatives still live and have survived the vicissitudes of the various governments there - continued her odyssey of the honeybee. Their crisis condition continues as their population diminishes.

Once, beehives were prized for their honey and wax, but not for their important pollinator work. Charles Darwin - yes, Charlie himself - knew about it, but few people listened, until agriculture finally got the message.

Utah, "The Beehive State," erroneously believed the honeybee was responsible for the blight on alfalfa. Alfalfa is an important crop as this is what cattle feed on. They prohibited the import of honeybees to pollinate various crops.

Today over a million and a half beehives are trucked to states to help pollinate Blueberries in Maine and New Jersey; almonds in The Central Valley of California and alfalfa in the Midwest.

    Bees, said Beatriz, are aboard these semi's, as we say in the business, for three or four days, buzzing away in their dark colony, with nowhere to fly to, and needing to evacuate themselves, which they refuse to do.

File:Bee migration 9045.JPGBetter photo from Bea the Bee Lady

Allan M Heller read three rhyming poems. He said it's difficult to make poems rhyme but that's what he likes to do.

He wrote a poem called "Springtime" and sang "Springtime for Hitler" to his wife Tati. She had never heard it before. It's from the Mel Brooks' 1967 musical "The Producers." Watch a clip here.

In the poem he wrote about the hated ice and snow.

"Solitude" was written in the "lai meter." And told about the way most of us write.... alone in our quiet place. "To get in the zone/ I must be alone."

"Scrooge in the City" was about beggars in downtown Philadelphia and how demanding they are.

Blondie offered up two poems plus the first page of a short story.

Got the idea for the story when I was driving home from the Samuels' house in Warminster and put on my left blinker. I wondered what it would be like if you had no idea how much pressure to put on the signal indicator. I spose Jeffrey MacDonald, in his blind rage, would've broken the damn thing.

Also coming home from Freda and Bernie's, I saw a sign that read "Uneven Pavement." At the stop light, I grabbed a piece of paper and a pen and wrote down those words, knowing I'd write a poem about it on the day of our meeting.

Last nite, while eating my dinner in the living room, which is where I always eat - nice view out the front window -
Here's my window sill now, with my late brother David's birdhouse - I looked at the clock and saw it was nearing 9 o'clock, the time the Upper Moreland Library closes.

That, I knew, would be the subject of another poem.

I will rewrite the library poem right now, as I blog it. The group gave me excellent feedback.


The universal mantra “Have a great weekend”
does not apply
Weekends, the library closes early
And at nine o’clock during the week
My sadness overtakes me
at closing time
my red couch assumes a
black veil
the magenta cyclamen
droops with
long dog ears
on the window sill
and my tiny chrome
anniversary clock
tolls for me.

Why is it so?
Long ago,
Mom and I
walked to the
Lee Road Library
where I entered
new worlds
more thrilling
than my own

Ah, to be lost
in a book!
The travails
of the world
drift away
and there are many
in the headlines today -
Crimea, Lost Boeing over the ocean
Cellphones with Ears

Books are The Red Cross
of a thousand stories.
They comfort me as no one can.

All asleep by the library curfew
Or so we think.
As I walk by
one moonless night
I hear a fracas inside
language never before
heard inside:
laughing, screaming, cursing,
the language of the books
come alive behind
locked doors.  

Two new hubcaps I added to my outdoor collection. I found em when I was delivering the Compass to the Mental Health Center of Bucks County in Southampton.
We discussed what we write in our poems. Sitting in my upstairs office as I began "Uneven Pavement," the words "founding fathers" came to me quickly, w/o even thinking. I love discussing the process of writing.


Our founding fathers

visionaries who

guarded against

violations of the

have been succeeded
by thoughtful procurers
of the common good
who create large yellow
signs warning us of
every danger on the road.

"Beware of Aggressive Drivers!"
shouts a sign in Warminster
as I drive by and
remember the thrillseeker
who zigzagged amongst us
like a carnival ride.

Now, on this slightly rainy day
in March, as my wipers toss away
the pretty little drops
a new sign beseeches us
“Beware of Uneven Pavement.”

How can I not laugh?
How can I not remember the flat tires
my friends have had
or the shiny hubcaps
I collect from the side of the road?

Is it my imagination
as I double-brake
past the sign
and am catapulted upward
- a rodeo rider -
but instead of landing
in the dirt
my car
a passive compliant
shows me
what she can do.

Turning north,
we swim across
Bradford Lake
plopping softly
on the newly-breaking ice
my windows shut tight
and feeling nary a drop.

Next we visit the beekeeper
she waits in the drive while I buy
a jar of thick wildflower honey,
then lick a taste
as I turn on the engine.

Wildflower honey, gray Nissan
and I drive home
as I thank the car
for a splendid ride.

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