Saturday, November 28, 2015

Writers' Group - The Mighty Five - Poem: Fare Thee Well, My Old Pennsylvania Home

 Martha couldn't resist buying Allan a book of Puns. True to form, he was his witty best.

He read Chapter 7 from his novel "The Village of Blood and Stone." Lots of violence. As Rem said, It's tough describing violence - and there was lots of blood shed - but Allan did a great job.

Might he actually be a killer in disguise?

Shhhh! Don't tell a soul.

A friend of his played a terrible practical joke on Allan. When Allan's head was turned, he salted his peanut and butter sandwich. Just loaded on the salt.

Allan knew what he had done and with a straight face he ate every last bite.

His friend asked him if he noticed anything different about his sandwich.

Not a thing, said Allan. Though later on, they howled with laffter.

Martha, my Dear, told us she wrote a silly poem. Twas far from silly. LOOKING OUT MY WINDOW was about the new picture window installed last week. The old window was held in "by prayer and rubber sealers."

The installation men got it in "without so much as a stumble."

We all loved her use of the word "effluvia."
 Judy went to synagogue this morning. An elderly rabbit officiated. Look! I accidentally wrote Elderly Rabbit.

Image result for rabbit standing up

Rabbi Peter spoke to the congregation about all the types of prayer the Jews have for different occasions.

Prayers begin with Blessed Art Thou O Lord, Our God. There are blessings for everything:  for seeing a rainbow, for seeing trees in bloom for the first time in spring, for bad news, for good news, for seeing a person of abnormal appearance.

Told the group I'd send them a video I watched about a man whose body is filled with hair. "Larry Gomez was born with hypertrichosis, which results in abnormal hair growth all over the body, including the face. Here, he speaks candidly about what living with this condition is like."

Earlier, I had written a poem about little Stef who works at the Giant. I jumped up from the table when I saw her.

Did you like it, I asked.

She did. Here's Stef.
She's a blue-eyed girl
a behind-the-counter girl
who recognizes me by
my hand-painted backpack
of red and gold autumn
leaves, that never leave
my back. On her feet
all day, I wish she could
fly away to the Hilton,
there to soak in the pink
Jacuzzi, its jets like tiny
sparrows rubbing their
softness across her as
he sweeps her off her feet.  
She calls in sick, while they
vacation in Oahu, lying on
her tummy, he oils her back –
it smells so sweet – but she
surprises herself by being
homesick, by missing the
Pharmacy, the Produce Aisle,
the white plastic bags. “You’re
the best,” she kisses his cheek
and returns next day to her
beat at the Giant Supermarket.

Getting back to Judy's poem I asked her if I might convert to Judaism.

She'll check with Peter Rabbit. Luckily I remembered in the nick o time that I'm already a Jew.

Rem was operating on very little sleep.

That's what my story is about, I said.

He was up until 4 and had to report for work at the PO at 5, I believe.

He wrote a poem in the third person - that's how I get distance on it, he said - about his 12 years in Catholic school. One nun he described as "granite hearted." She was finally transferred from the Philly school to one in Virginia.

She fell down dead in front of her class.

Lord have mercy!!!!

A favorite teacher of his was Sister Boniface.

Scuse me, but why would you name a female after a male saint? I don't 'get' these Catholics.

Rem read in an alumni mag that she had passed away, this woman "who was always there with a smile," no matter how the teenagers mocked her.

At Thanksgiving dinner, my nephew Miles Greene called my scarf "an ascot." 
Image result for ascot Why not?

I had a dickens of a time writing a story for today's group. Sarah and Ethan were here until 10 am. Then they drove off in their gray rented Toyota Camry to Poughkeepsie NY to meet The Pinkwaters.

Last night we ate out with their friends Tony and Mary at Mica in Chestnut Hill. Talk about a taste sensation! 

We met Roman, below, the chef. We had wine, bottled water, and Ethan and Sarah had the boar. I had scallops, sweet potato ravioli. We had complimentary soups.

Image result for mica restaurant

Of course we had dessert. Coffee cake and doughnuts filled with cream cheese or ricotta. I requested a large enough cup of coffee so I could dunk the doughnuts. I was glad to see them spelled correctly.

Sarah insisted they were doughnut holes, which they were. One time when I dunked, the entire doughnut fell into the cup.

My, it was delicious when I fished it out.

Went to the libe this morning for the novel-writing group. Got a good foot-hold on Chapter 13. Then I had to write something for the writing group.

Started a story. Worked on it for 10-15 minutes and could not stand it!

Deleted it and wrote about Thanksgiving Dinner at Nikki and Steve's in Clarksboro, N J.

The group liked it. Liked the details I used. As usual, though, I've gotta fix the tenses.... present, pluperfect, etc.

Stuck a poem in the true story. I told my sister Donna at Thanksgiving Dinner, rather than explain what I saw, I'll write a poem.

Judy L said she liked the poem stuck in there.

See what YOU think of the poem.  However, this blog ain't over. Read what cometh after the poem.


She, Harold and Bernice’s second girl, mother of
Nikki and Doctor Mel, moved to One Drummer’s
Way, where she dwelt alone. The creek was lovely.
Opening her sliding glass doors, she said hello to it every morn,
loved when the light made it sparkle, the sun come
down to earth.

Dennis bore a window into the red brick,
built her a stainless steel sink that reflected
his sad blue eyes and white undershirt.

One of her favorites, Dennis died alone,
liver ravaged as if a hurricane tore it
into tiny raggedy pieces. Hers was fine.
Quiet and calm, causing no problems.
Can we say that about her? Be nice and
she’ll get you whatever kind of Starbucks you want.
Make mine Columbian.

On Thanksgiving morn, I drive through town. Nothing
open. A ghost town like Sacramento when men
scrambled to become rich. It never works. A new
store is going up where Café LaFontana went down.
Drab boards hide its interior.

Donna is nothing if not a lover of beauty.

Whatever street comes after Daddypops, I turn
down and snake my way over to Drummer’s Way.
Look at the houses! Tiny, neighborly, porches full
of rocking chairs and left over pumpkins.

I see it! Orange. Huge as a two-storey house. A
long tentacle sticks out with a grabber attached.
And a seat enclosed in a glass tower. For the
operator. No one will throw themselves on the
ground in silent protest.

Except for her. In tight black pants, leather
jacket, and knee-high boots. She arranges her
long black hair and stares up at the autumn sky.

Last night was the Mourning Moon, the last full
moon – did you mark it rising huge and Yellow behind
the high school? She loves the winter. The whiffs of
cold air remind her of her childhood

The Beatles Basement, putting hair up in rollers, Mrs
Kultti, Uncle Donny, the Turnocks. Many gone to
their graves.

The operator lowers himself down from the platform.
Rise up, young lady, he says, offering her his arm.
Church bells sound in the distance.
Together they dance the cha cha cha
and she blows him a kiss goodbye, then
climbing into the borrowed black Cadillac
she turns up the music and drives to
her new home across the river.

Tears plop down her freckled cheeks
as she remembers Dennis.
And Daddy.


Was feeling terrible b/c two of my great prose works were rejected.

Curlicues and The Revival Tent.

Then I get an email from "East Jasmine Review." I don't even remember submitting to them.

All right, I think, I'll get it over with. I steel myself. I open the email.

Lordy Lordy, they liked two of my poems but wanna change the name of one of them. I have a choice and I choose Escape. They also wanna fix one of the lines.

They're right to do so.

 Okay, get along little dogies and enjoy your night!

Over the River and Through the Woods to Nikki and Steve's we Go

Clarence, come out from hiding!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Reviewing Gabe's book - New poem: Tea Service for One

I am drinking some terrible coffee right now.


I brewed Instant Coffee in my coffeemaker.

Got a busy night ahead of me. Wanna work on Chapter 12 of my novel. And also send my newest short story HAPPY to an online lit mag to get published.

Here's an email I got thother day:
I see that you reviewed a book by Thich Nhat Hanh on Amazon before. I have written a book that is similar to that. Would you be willing to let me provide you with a copy of the book in hopes that you would consider reviewing my book as well?
Yes, I said, so the author Gabe Dee emailed me a 147-page book which I'm reading online.

Very hard to do.

I read the first 20 pages. He wants the reader to meditate on Death.

A few quotes from the book:

So the first thing is to realize the many ways you deny death.

You live as if you were immortal, but deep down you know that your days are counted.

This universal key is hidden in this book. It is called Death Awareness.The awareness of death is the ultimate motivation, and dying people change their thinking and their lives profoundly. They learn to value life once again, and they use the small amount of time left in the most meaningful way they can.

Immortology is the name of the mystery school I created that teaches the technique of Death Awareness and shows you the way to immortality.
He talks about letting-go of our earthly possessions.

The first thing that came to mind was

Two teacups I bought at the late Mr Jim's in Hatboro, PA. His family continues to run the shop.

Why are they so precious to me?

First of all, I chose them myself. When I was a kid my mom bought me everything -  my clothes, pocketbooks, and shoes. I had to do her bidding.

Gonna write a poem about the teacups right now. Then it's upstairs I go in my warm PJs on this cold night.

Tried to take a pic with my iPhone of the night sky.

Hmmm. Let's do a Rorschach on this.

What does it look like to you,,,, your first impression.... c'mon, Rob, c'mon Teresa.... c'mon Ruthie

I was watching a film on Netflix written and directed by the great William Shatner called Chaos on the Bridge. It's the history of Star Trek and was quite good.

That's priming me for the Rorschach, which looks like our space ship is about to land on the moon.


She views me on her white kitchen
shelf. An art-lover, she freed me from
the glass cage at Mister Jim's.

She looks me up and down ten times a day
I feel her love on my pearl-white hips
And crimson red lips.

Acquainted with beauty, she sees
me as a flouncing ball gown
in Gone with the Wind.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Howdy Paul, Elizabeth, Catherine, Atticus and Zali!!! Poem: I think I'll Take a Nap

 While playing a card game, we decided to call each other by our middle names.

Grace explained that her mom's middle name Elizabeth was named after her grandmother.

I said Zali was also the name of my great-grandmother.

And Dan's middle name "Paul" was named after a white van in Dr Cassidy's driveway - Martin Paul Interiors - or something like that - I knew I wanted Dan but needed a euphonious middle name to go with it.
 Hello Nudge.
Nicole made delicious turkey meat loaf in this silicone bakeware. Feels like rubber.

What'll they think of next?

 I put the meat loaf over a wad of mashed potatoes. Love em! Very high in carbs, but I injected 12. Let's take a look and see how I'm doing.

Otherwise, I'll go for a swim in Bill Adams pool next door. Oh, I forgot it's November already.

 Not to panic. Sugar is 118. Normal is between 80 and 120. I drank half a glass of delicious apple cider. Grace had never tasted it and didn't want any.

Brought a salad from home. Grace ate only the strawberries and blueberries.

After bath time, I sat next to Max on the couch.

I have two freckles, he said, pointing to - a freckle - on his arm. He couldn't find the second one. Then we found freckles on his mom's back.

For dessert she had a milk shake with Breyer's Frozen Dessert. We wondered why they weren't allowed to call it ice cream.

YOU figure it out. Do a simple Goggle search.
I attended a Job Fair the other day. Highlights were:  Five shopping bags including Home Depot. Pens Pens Pens. And Asplundh tiny mementos.

The Orange Hazard Cone, and the orange Hard Hat, and an Asplundh cherry picker truck above.

Was so excited to show em to Max. He showed the truck to this mom and said The ladder goes up. Not on this truck it doesn't. I told Grace to watch for the the orange Asplundh trucks when she goes to school tomro.

I take the bus, she said.

There's only about 6 kids on the bus, she said. 

For Grace I brought some Peanuts stickers from the library - she loved em - and a long turkey feather from Pennypack Trust.

 Grace likes pens, I was glad to hear. She wrote a Love Poem with the new pen at the kitchen table. Nicole said to Grace, I'm happy to see you writing full sentences. Mom would spell the words for her.

Max brings home HUGE LETTERS of the alphabet - he's 2.5. They hang high on the wall. He knows them all and on Monday, he'll make an "I"
Dan always wears interesting T-shirts. This said something like "Pitfall" on the front. All the cool people probly know what this means.
Ooops. Almost didn't see Max in his camouflage pants.

I also brought them one of those flimsy model airplanes made, if I'm correct, with balsa wood. I predict, I said to Dan, it'll break within 20 minutes.

Wrong. Make that 25. For some reason, Max twisted off one of the wings. He was very upset afterward. Guess the temptation to break it - and hear it crunch - was too hard to resist.

Am gonna write a spontaneous poem right now. First though I'll see what's going on in the world. Hold your breath while I check the Times for all the terrible news that's fit to print.

Interesting stories! Sent one about Lee Child, author of Jack Reacher novels, to Scott. The author is being shadowed by one of his readers.

The Times now features articles by its advertisers. They are so smart! Aetna wrote about sleep derivation. I think I'll write a poem about sleep.


Her rare gift allows Morpheus to cuddle beside her
and breathe to her breath.

Did you mark her today, lying on red couch, book in

Suddenly book drops on chest, feet dance in sneakered

Morpheus closes her eyes. The world goes black as
Technicolor dreams perform on the stage of her mind.

Image result for morpheus paintings

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Great turnout for Writers' Group - My poem: Adam's Novel Writing Group at the Library

As I often do, stopped at Mom's house for dinner. She loved my challah with the cream cheese spread. I brought my own salad and partook of her fabulous walnut sticks. Ellen made them and used less brown sugar than ever.

Fantastic, Ellen!

How bout this cuppa coffee in the photo. I even got the swirling steam. Used a cinnamon stick to enhance the flavor. I'd used it in my tomato veggie soup but it's got loads of flavor left. Comes all the way from Vietnam.

The Vietnamese are one of our most successful refugees.

Judy! Judy! Judy!

Wonderful true story, Judy, about a childhood adventure called Captain Hook. A friend insisted she play Captain Hook while the friend played Wendy.

Surprise surprise! In reality, Judy was really the woman who played Wendy and insisted Giggy -a  nickname -play Captain Hook.

Bob, the brother of Donna K, hand-wrote a story called "My Next Chapter." We already knew that Bob's best friend Joe moved to Ohio. Now we learn that Bob's son Brad has moved in with him.

When one door closes.

Donna is Bob's sister. Lovely in the royal color purple. My mom's wedding dress was purple. It's still upstairs in the closet. Perhaps at 93 she'll remarry.

Anyone want her? For sale to the top bidder.

I love my mom and kissed her goodbye but an hour ago.

Nice robe, I said. It's Eileen's, she said. And then opined that Eileen might still be alive if.....

I think it was Rem who commented that Donna addressed a difficult subject in her true story. Thoughts on her death bed. The story was called "A Posed Question," which her buddy Carly asked her.

She said - and I condense - she will not remember the horrible way her daughter/law treats her. I'm certain the woman can't stand anyone with bipolar disorder. The list of talented bipolar folks goes on and on.

Look at our compatriots here.

Dude, you can visit us any time you wish. My phone number is......

BTW, a woman in our novel-writing group this morning made a slur about bipolar folks. Natch I didn't let her get away with it. I should've given her my memoir Yes I Can.

Donna also mentioned in her story that she wants her BF Denny to remarry. Good for you, Donna.

I want Scott to throw himself into my grave and be buried with me.

Allan read a poem about Veterans Day which he read at the Hatboro Library and other places.

He also read the next chapter of his novel  "Village of Blood and Stone."  It's a fantasy novel which reminded us of.... of.... of...

Tolkien and C S Lewis.

We loved the names of his characters and places.

Older photo of Linda Barrett.

Her poem "Night Flight" began with "Drink a toast to the Big Dipper."

"Giant pearlship of the moon." 

Stunning imagery. " Hunt alongside Orion with his three-star belt."

Image result for orion

Never knew it's

Wiki - a prominent constellation located on the celestial equator and visible throughout the world. It is one of the most conspicuous and recognizable constellations in the night sky.

Excuse me a moment. I saw the pearlship of the moon and Orion, I believe. Soon I'll visit Scott, an amateur astronomer with his own telescope and we'll take a peek at the night sky.

Told Rem I almost emailed him b/c Michael McDonald -- ooh, said Judy - of the Dooby Brothers - was on the Tavis Smiley Show. Watch him here.

Like pulling teeth getting the man to say something interesting.

WATCHING THE DETECTIVES was Rem's poem with many great lines. He spoke about Dungeons and Dragons and The Rockford Files and Mannix, played by Mike Connors, piped up Judy Judy Judy.

Mary Brucker showed up with her guide dog Garland.

  She read an excellent poem called TIME. "How is it that half my life is gone. Time is a sneaky thing / a fleeting thing. I thought I held the bridle and reins... now add health and approaching retirement... will I have enough?"

I certainly identify with her. Especially b/c so many people I know have life-threatening illnesses or life-altering illnesses.

Here's a photo of me. I always print the photo even if it's lousy.

Look, the Giant is all dressed up for Christmas. The gas fireplace was on. The group thought I should send the poem to Adam, but I think not. I'd written a short story called "Suite 1003" - one of my best  - which concerned the library but knew enough not to send it.


Starbucks in red holiday cups
Careful not to spill, I wend my
painted sneaker self to the long
table, proud of the novel I’m
creating, whose characters I
write down on a Habitats for
Humanity tablet.

Marie and Nancy are back
plus a new woman whose
placard reads “Louise.” A million
ideas swirling in her head, she has
yet to write a word.

Marie tells us the title of her book.
Awful, I think. And tell her. Why not?
As my friend the late Stephen Weinstein
once told me: Friends help friends.

Last night I attended a social
at a nearby church. Plied
with coffee, I go home ready to write.
Quickly I fall into a dreamy sleep
while watching “Wings of Desire” a
pastiche of angels here on earth. None
can see them but they lay helping hands
on victims of the Holocaust or the trapeze
artist who thinks she’ll die from a fall.

Nancy, a teacher at Holy Family, creates
characters who constantly surprise her.
The unfaithful husband turns out to
be surprisingly deep. And why not?

Cats are deep. Why not men?
The founder of November is Novel-
Writing Month is a caffeine addict.
I follow in his footsteps, drinking free
cups whenever I can. Does it really
focus the mind and cause heightened

Nancy slurs bipolar folks. Will I sit
like a lump – as my Aunt Hy
once did when Jews were slammed –
or will I speak up?

Adam wears a striped sweater. Scott
asked me why I always wear stripes?
Louise wears a flowery top. So, we
have choices.

Stripes! My barnyard animals outside
my front door know me by my stripes.
Only this morning a squirrel sat atop
the birdbath looking shyly at me.

I thought he was a cat. Hello, I meowed.