Saturday, November 22, 2014

Great Turnout at Coffeeshop Writers - My poem: December

Because we met late - 3:30 pm - after the New Directions' program on Dialectical Behavior Therapy - we were the proud recipients of a box of of goodies given to us by Cathy of the Beautiful Nails behind the counter. Likely, she loved our nails too and that's why she gave us

Each one of them a delicious sugary treat. Allan requested the Figure Eight. I would have chosen the one in the upper left. Or, no, gimme the one in the lower right. Wait a minute how about the ....

It was great seeing everyone since I was in NOLA last week. Really?

Today I debuted the painting of my Dr Scholl's shoes. Had to paint em cuz they remind me of my mother's orthopedic shoes

My granddaughter Grace, four, saw them at the Giant. She bent down and touched them.

"They're dry, Bubby," she said.

Beatriz's fascinating essay "Food Web in the Milkweed Patch" told how the plant protects itself by emitting several different poisons and playing 'cat and mouse' with those that would prey on it.

A particular kind of wasp spends its entire life cycle inside an oleander aphid, killing it and using it as food for its wasp babies. The aphid is turned into a "mummy."

Said Allan about the essay, "It imparts so much information w/o being pedantic." Yes, that's one of B's great gifts.

B/c she's from Argentina, I told her about an Argentine-made film I saw on Friday at the Huntingdon Valley Library:  The German Doctor - a true story about Josef Mengele who experimented on victims at Auschwitz. Read about this inhumane racist here. Born in 1911, he escaped from Nazi Germany before the end of the war and lived in South America until his death in 1979.

Allan presented an exciting flash fiction called "Silhouette" about homeless individuals in downtown Philadelphia. The narrator, an educated but not a very nice person, cannot stand these unfortunate individuals. "Get out of the way, you lousy panhandler!"

"Very entertaining," pronounced Floyd, "and I like the way you dropped hints" of who the narrator is. He is, of course, homeless himself, and kicked a man off a grate, so he could have it for himself.

Selfish man!

He wrote it a week ago.

Then, in a surprise, Allan read us his obituary and the epitaph on his tombstone. Also very enjoyable. People found it sad. I sure didn't. These are imaginary works of art.

Beatriz questioned the title "Silhouette." Allan said the homeless are shadows of their former selves, silhouettes.

We discussed the great oldies' song "Silhouettes." Carly was not familiar with it. I said I thought it was by The Diamonds. Let us see.

Here are The Rays - a doo-wop band - performing Silhouettes on the Shade.

But wait a minute! The Diamonds also performed it in a faster version, according to Wiki. Ach! I'm so proud of this ancient brain of mine.

Carly brought in "Do We Need More Automobiles?"

"At that magical age after blowing out the candles on the cake," the kid is ready to drive! From southern California, Carly learned to drive the freeways. Floyd added that people think nothing of driving 70 or 80 mph and tailgaiting. We'd all be terrified today!

Carly and Charlie's new SUV, the Chrysler Pacifica.

The two of them will spend Thanksgiving in NYC watching the Macy's Thanksgving Day Parade. In person and not on television.

Donna had a very emotional week and turned her feelings into a cathartic poem. Those of us who know her know who the source of her misery always is. And it is not her BF.

"The Mangled Mess," replete with assonance and alliteration - the former is vowels - the latter consonants (thanks for your help, Allan) tells of a woman

Matter that resembles seaweed is multiplying in my brain

She had great similes in the poem - a dumbwaiter cranking down. 

We can always expect something surprising from Martha.

GOD was the title of her short poem which traced the history of the word 'God.' In the Book of Genesis, the word was unknown. It was first used in the Germanic for "Good One."

When Moses asked The Burning Bush, it answered "I am what I am." The word for God was invented one to two thousand years ago. The Old Testament was written in the third century, BC.

The poem featured other names for gods such as Juno, Ares, Artemis, and my favorite Coyolxauhqui, a goddess, whose picture has been recorded 

This stele has been colorized - Ted Turner?

Martha ended the poem with Namaste, a Sanskrit word meaning, "I salute the god in you."

We noticed how dark it was outside. Carly, Donna and I stayed and chatted with one another for quite a while. Donna will be spending Thanksgiving with her son and his family, including grandkids John Dylan and Brittany. The baby-on-the-way will be called Brianna, also the name of Marf's granddaughter.

Donna usually reads a piece of hers at Thanksgiving. We laffed hysterically when she suggested she read "The Mangled Mess."

Oh, I read the start of my short story which I newly titled The House on Lincoln Avenue. I passed around the photo of the real house, which my sister Donna was interested in purchasing.

  Told the group that one of the seven books - egads! - I'm reading now is With Hemingway - about a young man who knocks on the door of EH's house in Key West and ends up being his best buddy.

EH, as Arnold Samuelson refers to him in the book, gave him a lot of advice about writing. They were all out on EH's yacht, for he had gotten rich from writing and having his books turned into films.

Poetry is easy, he said, referring to poet laureate Archie MacLeish, who was violently seasick on the boat and stayed inside his cabin. I can't remember a single MacLeish poem, so will look em up later. Maybe in ten years or so.

The best kind of fiction, he told Arnold Samuelson, who hailed from N Dakota - of Norwegian descent, is to not know what comes after the sentence you've just written.

Well, that's certainly me, with my new work. Since I'll probly stay home on Thanksgiving, weeping softly by the window, I can work on my story. I'm still coming off the 'high' of having "More Decaf Please" published.

Reason I wrote "December" is b/c I have a November I'm very pleased with. This, however, I am not pleased with. Que pense-tu?


Birth month
why must you be
so cruel?

Darkness come early
as when He lay
on the Cross

His rebellious
sobbing inside
the way all mankind
at that one clear moment
the truth

When will my time come?
Shall it be on a travel bus
toppling over, hearing screams,
smelling blood, as I pass from
here to there

The sun breaks through
the clouds and joy
reigns again
Gone are the nasty thoughts
I see my turquoise birthstone – huge -
on the ring of a man I admire

Did Jesus foresee the decimation
of his people of the buffalo
or those of The Rhineland?

Are we a despicable species?

Why they say God is good and just
is as opaque as a stone inside my shoe
Let me close my eyes to sleep
nearly certain I’ve got one more day
to celebrate the shimmer of life
and watch the red-headed woodpecker
who knows nothing of death
hammer on the bark of my
last remaining maple tree.  


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