Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Willow Writers' Group - Hello Doug, Eiko, Craig, Carly and moi! - My poem: Waiting by Ha Jin

Five dedicated - and good! - writers met for the first time in the glassed-in conference room of the Upper Moreland Library.

Eiko read her story first. THIS HOUSE OF MINE is about her house in Abington. The essay made use of flashbacks. At one point it was a very sad place to live - that was 30 years ago - but today she loves it.

Oh, c'mon, Doug, cheer up! We all loved your story EQUINOX. In fact, it's published right here. Doug loves writing sci-fi, though this story is not. He's quite fond of the characters and wants to expand them into a novel.

You can do it, Doug!

Oh, no! Looking glum is contagious! Or, maybe she's mad at me. After all, I stole the idea of a 'butterly ring' in my short story from when I last saw Carly at the Willow Grove Giant Writers' Group.

Carly shared a poem about a palimpsest. These ancient tablets did not go to waste like in today's disposable society. After you wrote on it, you rubbed out your note, so it could be written on again.

And the notes, Carly imagined, were just like today's - a shopping list (make sure there's pecans on there for me), a love note between husband and wife, a note excusing a child from school.

My daughter, Sarah, who's 40, and donated her kidney to me three years ago yesterday, said she thot I was a great mom cuz I'd let her miss school when she didn't wanna go. One time I wrote a note saying, "Please excuse Sarah as we're home celebrating the Feast of Lights, Chanukah."

 Sarah and Mom, at home on Cowbell Road. Sarah and her husband Ethan Iverson live in Brooklyn.

Craig, an attorney by day, wrote a wonderful short story called Yellow. Oh, btw Craig, in looking at my notes now, you listed some colors and stuck in the words "respectively" at the end. You can omit that word.

He's been working on the story for over a year. Perhaps our group will give him the momentum to finish it off. He's also working on other short stories at the same time.

I loved the dramatic ending, tho Doug wanted him not to give away the ending, but leave it to our imagination, like in the famous short story I read as a kid - and probly no one knows today. THE LADY AND THE TIGER. 

 Grrr! This is my tiger, Richard Parker, from the most excellent book Life of Pi.

C'est moi in my new blond hair.

We meet from 6 to 8 pm and finished on time. Hopefully everyone will return in two weeks. I'll send email reminders.

I read the first part of "Uncle Benny's Stradivarius." In fact, my own Uncle Benny did have a violin labeled Stradivarius. This doesn't mean it's an original though.

I finished the book WAITING, by Ha Jin

Ha Jin is a pseudonym.

He got the idea for the novel from his wife who told him the story of an Army doctor she once knew in China.

I could not let go of the book. What could I do with it? Ah, write a poem. Here 'tis, with Doug's suggested omission.


Don’t end
don’t end

Let him repair
Let him see what
he does to those
who love him
the wife with bound feet
he finds ugly and stupid
the girlfriend he finally marries
when gray hairs grow
like silver ribbons
her passionate lovemaking
sickens him
“I waited twenty years
for this?” he thinks

It is a brave thing
Ha Jin does
writing about a
man, flawed as
a decaying watermelon

We wait
wishing with our
our hurried
page turnings
our undying wishes
to change the
Doctor’s ways
up until the last
page, we wait,
Will he change?
Will he love?

Even now, a day after
I finish and put the
red-covered book
on my sofa
I pray for the Doctor's redemption.

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