Saturday, January 30, 2016

Writers' Group Meets at B's Condo - My new poems: Surrealistic Pillow and Hillary for President

Beatriz is doing very well. She started her new cancer tx in December, 2015. She's been on the new drug for 8 weeks. Her doc called her with the results. She's doing great and continues to have more energy. She even made us coffee.... Maxwell House.

She mentioned that bald eagles are nesting again at Pennypack Trust.


Many folks in our group have difficulty eating certain foods. My friend Freda Samuels highly recommends Dr Charles Parker, whose website is here.

We drank outa beautiful bird cups.

Were so happy to see our Carly who can only come upon occasion due to her managerial duties at Gloria Dei Farms.

Her handsome son Eric dropped her off.

Her story MOVIES was so clever. At the Farms they have Monday Movie Night so she put lyrics from the films - Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa my Hair - into her very entertaining story.

The main characters were named Mr and Mrs.

In one voice, we loved what she'd written.

ALLAN read from his novella The Village of Blood and Stone. Gnomes have a nasty habit of dispensing of enemies with hatchets. Lots of bloodletting which Allan does very well.

What can I say about Marf's short story THE SCOTTISH MUG? The woman has an uncanny ability - from on high, she believes and who can quarrel with her? - to find cups that directly relate to her Scottish heritage.

She found a Miss Pen Pal who is a MacDonald, as is she. She writes in her story about Dumbarton, Scotland, a company town with cobblestone streets, a dye factory, and home ownership as long as you work - some might say are enslaved - by the company.

Find the town here.  Doesn't the River Clyde sound lovely?

She believes her MacDonald dad, born in 1908, is guiding her from the other side.

Image result for dumbarton scotland

Cost of the mug?  Seventy-five cents.

Her story reminded me of When Calls The Heart that I'm enjoying on Netflix. 

Linda Barrett brought us THE LAST ROSE, a science fiction story about the final effect of our misuse of the earth.

A scrawny 7-yo girl is dying. She's drying up bc there's no more water left.

What a mind she has. She also emailed us a poem about her mum.

Speaking of great minds, Rem read us Chapter Two of his book, most amusing!

You could do a lot worse, he writes, than live in a world where it was eternally 1976. Of course, you'd have to put up with smiley faces and pet rocks and a whole lot of cheesy disco.
Excuse me while I get up and dance.

To cap it off, the Pittsburgh Pirate capped Rem read one of his poems


Frank, he objects, shifting in his desk chair,
that's it, I've had enough of your stream of
O'Hara, he told us, met his death at age 40 at Fire Island, run over by a dune buggy.

Beatriz found a famous O'Hara poem online called Lana Turner Has Collapsed.

Carla mentioned that her dad met Lana. He had a cleaning establishment which cleaned a women's apparel company where lovely Lana was trying on clothes.

I think she's best known for the film The Postman Always Rings Twice with John Garfield

Image result for lana turner postman always rings twice

and her daughter Cheryl stabbing one of Lana's lovers to death.

Good, Cheryl is still alive, born in 1943.

C'est moi.

Here's my Maxwell House Coffee set atop B's coffee table. It flanks one of the best desserts I've ever had. Allan pretended to smoke one of these chocolate wafers. What a riot he is!

BTW, the moment I got home from B's, I rode to nowhere for 20 minutes on my stationery bike.

Sugar level is normal.... 97.

Carly does her own nails. She bought this ring somewhere in Peddler's Village, half price. $25.

She and a friend were driving down where she began seeing spots before her eyes and had a terrible headache.

What was it?

Ocular migraine, which a few of us, including me, have had.

It's not serious. But definitely frightening!

Image result for ocular migraine Amazing, all the things that can go wrong with our bodies.

I'm 70. Who knows what awaits me?

I presented the true short story Me and The Old Man about my relationship with a deceased neighbor.

Also wrote two poems I've gotta fix, but want to hurry to go see Scott.

More photos after my poems. 


The year I put in the tulips
not that long ago I entertained
myself with the entire
remastered CD of Surrealistic
Pillow, which boomed
over Cowbell, as I sat in
the dirt gloriously happy
and stoned.
On music.

Now Paul Kantner, 74,
has passed. Organ
failure from a heart
attack. What were
his final thoughts
as his life slipped
past, quick as
the draining of
his IV.

At Scott’s, I let
myself in. Music
booms. Surrealistic
Pillow. I stare from
the plastic-covered
couch from Gramma Yetta
at his smooth face, the
hairs on his goatee like
budding crocus
in spring, he looks
beautiful to me.

I lie myself down and
swivel my ears toward
the stereo, where the
Jefferson Airplane take
the stage in his vinyl

Eyes on his white ceiling
with not a cobweb in
sight, I find myself in
the Fillmore West
accepting a toke,
small and brown and
fragrant - the Vietnam
Vets smoked them too -
my hands upraised
in joy and ecstasy
as black-haired
Grace Slick
falls down her rabbit
hole, unaware of
future discontents,
alcoholism, rehab,
death of Paul Kanter, 
father of their child China.

All this on invisible
Side B of the vinyl
Who mourns for
the Starship now?

Not I. Snug in my
jeans I await
the coming of
planting time.


The Times has endorsed her.
Hardly a surprise. My friend
Ellen will move to Ireland if
hairswept Trump wins. The
vets last night were shocked
when he tried to embrace
them. Didn’t know how,
poor inept master of wealth.
Did his blond bangs
rub the angular faces of
the vets, taut with

The Times likes her
preparations. You’ve heard
of folks who know a little
about everything. The Hill
knows fathoms about
everything: the wars we wage,
how to make friends and influence
leaders, how to sit like a
lady in those pant suits
she prefers.

Women’s rights? She’ll
fight for us. Like me,
she’s a grandma to
little Charlotte
“Hey Char! Come to
your lovin’ Grammy!”

Safe driving, Hillary,
and no more falls with
concussions. America
is counting on you to
save us from the
beasts roaring all
around us. Be our
Saint George killing
all the dragons.
B's friend Lorraine took this photo of a Russian Orthodox church when she visited Russia.

Beatriz is stumped by Van Gogh's Starry Night jigsaw puzzle. All those blues!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Shhh! Ed's reading The Last Lawn Party - New Poems: Who's that blonde in the mirror - Wine from the Central Valley of Chile - The Blizzard and I - Wendy of the Rolling Hills of Vermont

David Kime, creator of Transcendent Visions - look! he's listed in Writers' Market - said he was getting ready to work on the 25th anniversary issue.

Send me some poems, he said.

I'm really busy David, I said, but I'll send them within the week.

Well, I have so many things to do, but I thought this would be easy, so I wrote three new poems and reworked a fourth.

It was far from easy. But I'm really happy with the results. I emailed one or two to Ed Quinn who pronounced them 'dark.'

I wrote back 'dark is good.'

Following the poetry are some pics you won't wanna miss!


Whoever she is, she looks a lot like her father
with the thin lips and the worry-crease upon
her brow.

Whoever she is, she leaves home and drives
to the nature center for a 10:30 nature
walk. Where is the leader? The tall man
with the beard? It is not unthinkable he
has turned into a strutting wild turkey
or a proud antlered deer, rubbing his
itching antlers on some unprotected
tree bark.

“I’m Ruth,” she says to a short
slightly bent-over woman with
fire in her eyes. “Judy” doesn’t
notice the resemblance to Ruth’s
father, who pre-deceased her
mother as phrased
in the obituary notices.

Judy knows her way around the
park. Where the trails split off
like a wishbone, she chooses
the one to the left. Wherever
thou goest, Judy!

They stop by the banks of
the rushing creek, stop to
hear the splash of the waters
upon the rocks, timeless as
a ray of sun.

Then they hear it. Squawking
that takes over the air.
Geese, Canada geese, come
down from Ontario,
Quebec, Nova Scotia, to
their summer home. What
a view: rushing waters,
huge boulders, tiny bullfrogs
with bulging eyes – and oh
the sounds the geese hear.

Birds of every variety – the cow bird,
the cuckoo, the scarlet tanager in
its bright Red Riding Hood

The two short women
one in Keds, the other in
hiking boots, are drawn
to the three-tiered wood fence
by the warlike sounds,
the raving bellicosity,

This early spring day
dawning with daffodils and
lesser celandine, the geese
play out the millennia-old
mating game.
The whole world turns
upon who mounts whom.
We look up at the sky
and soldier on.



Alan and Elaine’s gift of pinot noir
for my 70th birthday
sits unopened on the counter.

How can I drink the bones
of the good Doctor
Allende bespectacled president
of Chile? A bullet pierced
his brain, a man who dressed
each morning in suit and tie
after rinsing off his
eyeglasses. His country
not yet ready for justice and
fair distribution of land.

His family fled to Havana
leaving his bones shivering
and alone, unloved, uncared

At midnight one January
eve, I walk into my dark
kitchen, stars twinkling
out the window, and
grab the shapely
“made in Chile” bottle and
twist off the cap
with a satisfying clickl

I pour the chilled wine
into a small white
coffee cup, sniff it
then hold it in the
dark kitchen, near
the window bursting
with stars and cry out

“Doctor Allende! I am
here with you now. I will pour
your blood down my
throat, slowly, with
admiration, and you will
be lonesome
no more.”  


On the Blizzard poem below, I put David Bowie as I know David loves his music. My sister Ellen told me about the DOA guy who works at Bunn's in Southampton, I made up where he died. And I asked myself, should I put a third dead person and decided Yes.

Question:  What song is "And I asked myself...." from.


David Bowie will never see it
his cancer devoured him
nor will young Nicholas, the
round-faced young man
at the health food store. We
cried when we learned he
was DOA after a crash on
the turnpike. Neither did
did famed blind poet
David Simpson – I’ve
loved him forever
– but he flew away
on a golden cloud
of ALS.

I watched the flurries
come in slowly
like honey dripping
from the jar. I drank it
in from my living room window
which houses a menagerie
of dime-store objets-art
on the vast plain of
the windowsill.

Delicate porcelain coffee
cups, a ceramic bird house –
reds and flaming oranges –
it’s all I have left of my
dead brother David – and
my bottle collection – sexy
Coke bottles and a muddy
brown bottle of
Stout Beer.

My eyes lifted to watch the
tops of the bird houses
grow mounds of white hair
as a defeated wren sung
the blues, a refugee who
would find succor, unlike
the millions of displaced
and forgotten across the
sea, stranded, forgotten
by God.

I stand outside on my front
porch in polka-dot
pajamas that are
no match for a
blizzard. I shiver
remembering the
ride to Dachau.

With a moan, I
go back inside and
pour myself a
cup of tea,
Wondering, as I
often do, who I am
and what I’m
doing here.



(1945 – 2016)  

Flowers by wire on their way
A selection of violets
which will live long after you
my dying friend from Goddard
College in Vermont.

The trickle of blood
your own Winooski River
went unnoticed until
too late. The cancer
has spread through your
insides like blue plum jam.

Who knew your third floor
pad in Burlington would be
your tomb. “I should have
stayed in Maryland,” you sighed
over the phone, as memories
of your parents fill you with
longing, longing now that the world
grows small as a mattress
with a morphine pump
on the side. 

You beat me to age seventy
We were risk-taking teenagers
when we met, sun-bathing nude
in the cow pasture, wishing our
great unrequited loves could
ride over the hill to caress us, Lenny for
you, Frank for me.

I will ride the wild stallion when
you’re gone, galloping to the
high hill on Terwood Road
to tell you who came after Obama
and if they’re advancing in the
battle against Alzheimer’s
and dementia

Your shoulder-length hair
is gray. Like me, you stopped
coloring it. A slow concession
to time. I still remember your
articulate sentences you spoke
at Kilpatrick Dorm, while people
were screwing in their rooms.

What must that be like, I wondered.

Sip on that licorice tea I sent you
it might have healing properties.
Who decided to kill you off
Who planted that curare flask
in your womb that never bore

As we speak on the phone
you from your bed
me on the red couch
a cardinal appears at your
window. “He is there on
account of me,” I say.

“For sure,” you say in that
voice I can summon at will.
The two of us lying beneath
the stars awaiting the blackness
that will come when it will.


 My red amyrillis is growing nicely on the plain of my windowsill, as I said in a poem.

 So, I'm whizzing by the self checkout counter when I spot this cookie tin in the cart of an Indian fellow. I ask if they're good. Yes. Where are they, I ask.

Cookie aisle on the bottom.

And there they are. Really really good. I ate two, which you can see on the table. Now they're sleeping in the front seat of my car, for obvious reasons.
In the slo cooker I made this asparagus soup - quite good - with grated cheese on top.

Scott and I had been talking about how much we love lox and bagels. So I went over to Manhattan Bagel and bought this whipped cream with lox spread.

Very hard to stop eating em, but I did go on bike, while talking to Freda Rose. Told her I'd applied to several old age facilities but hadn't heard a thing.

I'm now gonna bow my head - am wearing my warm polka dot PJs - and say a silent prayer to get the job.

Feel free to join me.

Image result for jews praying