Monday, February 29, 2016

Look! It's February 29 - Food I made for a guest who was a "No-Show" - Poem: Endless Days

My Coolpix Nikon camera wouldn't download photos so first I took it to Authorized Camera Repair. Tricky getting into the front door. But there he was, the man of the hour, Matt Fuehrer.

He was able to download photos onto his huge Apple computer. Knew not what the matter was with my camera.


 Went home and Scott and I went to Larmon Photo. Jeff figured it out.

Here's an early pic of Larmon photo.

 Jeff figured it out. Food in every nook n granny. Spritzed it out.

Good use of nail polish, he said, cuz the keys plum wore out.


Below is a test.

Which cup holds the most liquid?

The phone rang on Sunday, which was yesterday.
Yin Liu came to visit. Took her pic for the Compass to accompany her poem, an elegy to her late husband.

In the balmy weather, we walked around the block while I ate a German stollen she brought from church. A friend had invited her.

She showed me a pic of a huge tree branch that fell from her tall tree blocking her garage. Neighbors dragged it outa the way.

The luck she's had since she moved into the house!
Born under a bad sign, been down since I began to crawl
If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all

 My breakfast is flanked by the forced forsythia and Scott's cyclamen.
What's my kitchen doing on my blog?

Was sparring via email with a woman named Tiffany, who wanted to sell me something I didn't want. Told her I liked her name and sent her this pic of my fake Tiffany lamp.

In fact, when I was riding my bike for 20 mins, which didn't help my downing of 5 Thin Mints, I was watching Antique Roadshow.

A Tiffany sculpture, made in Mexico, went for something like 80 grand.

Scott fixed the small leak in the bird bath with GOOP.

He tested it out in his basement.

The deal is, Scott feeds the birds in his yard, then they fly over here to bathe, shave and put on their deodorant.

But, the birds haven't come yet. It takes em a couple of days before they trust the bird bath. This happened when I first bought it on Amazon.

 Have you ever seen such glorious colors?

Found a recipe for this roasted Butternut Squash-Purple Onion dish in this morning's Times. Bought the ingredients at the Giant and made it for my sister Donna and myself.
I added pecans for protein.

Donna calls from Mom's house.

Would you mind if I didn't come? she asks.

Do what's best for you, I say. I was a bit miffed but meant what I said.

What? You don't wanna see me? she asked.

Of course I do, I said, I really do, but .....

Okay, she said. I'll come tomro morning and we'll have coffee together.

Fine, I said. Just knock real loud bc I'll be asleep.

Sometimes it's fun to get up much earlier than you usually do. There was a TED Talk about this.

This morning on WXPN there was a fantastic song by Cream. So, late in the day, I wrote a poem about it.

First, tho, am gonna tell you what I told Ed Quinn. He's the guy who painted my bedroom Coastal Paradise. Aqua.

He's writing a book and has hundreds of pages of notes and is overwhelmed.

Ed, I said. Just write. Do not use your notes.

I called my friend Helene today to say hello.

How's your book coming, I asked her.

Oh, it's so confusing, I have pages and pages of notes.

Helene, I said. Just write. No notes.


In the early morn, I stretched,
pulled my aching bod with its sag of
breasts and chin from bed,
switched on the rad
and heard the Siren call of Cream,
Clapton "going down to The Crossroads,
asking the Lord for mercy,
Save me if you please."  

Jack Bruce, the first to go, was
craggy-faced at 71, thought by
many the best bassist
ever born.

I like the full orchestral
treatment of the band. Didn't we
think those days would never end?

The future, a dreamland when you're
young. The Holocaust behind us, but
we massacred millions in Vietnam.

My buddy Dave Moyer made it - Oh, those
foxhole stories he told - but not
one Martin Wilson who died last Friday.
Flashbacks searing the flesh from his
body like his fallen friends.

Let's make a toast! Raise high your
glass. We'll toast to the living and
the dead. To ourselves, most of all,
tiny little specks of pulsing mortality
with the power to kill, to
destroy the climate, to put eye to
telescope and view
the wonders of the world.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Why I was late to our Writers' Group - My new true story "Tucker and The Holocaust Survivor" - Poem: Zucchini

Well, first of all, I'm always late. Turns out, tho, they hadn't started.

Took my year-old purple camera to Authorized Camera Shop this morning. For some reason, it stopped uploading photos, so you won't see any new ones.

Matt, owner of the camera shop, did not know how to fix it. Don't worry, said Scott. He'll come over tomro and fix it.

Matt told me some amazing stories about people stealing from his house. He and Robert live on a huge property that looks like a park, so people pull in and park their cars.

A cop pulled in, took a nap in his car, and then left.

His stepson had a bike stolen from the back of his truck.

After that, Matt and Robert installed a surveillance camera and an electric gate.

Well worth it, he said. Now they catch robbers on their street.

Last night I attended the program at the Willow Grove Bible Church, 7 minutes away from home. David Wisnia, a 90-yo Holocaust Survivor was onstage singing - he was a cantor at a synagogue near his home in Levittown, PA.

Here's a story about him in the Jan 20 2015 Inquirer.

That great music I'm listening to on WXPN is the Blues Show. "Who's that riding? John the Revelator" by Blind Willie Johnson. Johnny Meister said that gravelly-voiced Tom Waits just made a recording of it.

Image result for beatriz moisset   Fetched Beatriz's photo off the Internet.

She had nice strong coffee for us, as she was feeling good.

She surprised us with a piece that was not about pollinators.

Image result for beatriz moisset

PROOFREADING was about proofing galleys for her doctor father. He was lucky enuf to have nine children and of course wanted to put out a perfect product.

Well, her Proofreading story was indeed perfect.

She also wrote


In the seventies I lived in Maine for three years. Once, I was returning from a trip to Texas by plane with a stop in Boston. Half way to Boston we were hit by a vicious storm. The “fasten seat belts” came up and it was to stay on for the rest of the trip. The plane shook and bucked like a wild horse.....

Why? It was hit by lightning and one of the engines died. The pilot's voice was shaking as they landed and he told the story.

Am trying to write this blog w/o using my notes.

Donna Krause presented - notes! where are you? - DANGER IN THE SKY. Yes, indeed, we did feel endangered when she read her story about our latest wind storm. She thought the house was hit by lightning and that was the end of her.

And wondered if this is what Death felt like.

The next poem was MARCH WINDS, using Personification. Rem said that one poet used the term Pathetic Fallacy insteada the term personification. He does have a masters in English.

Donna's poem had lotsa great lines including Visible Darkness.

John Milton used the line Darkness Visible. Read about it on this fascinating website from the UK that takes a while to upload.

Wm Styron also wrote "Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness."

It's about his suicidal depression, saved when he checked into a psych hospital.

Image result for william styron books

Readers, can you handle reading this w/o photos?

Or are you like a school kid?

Image result for trixie belden  Trixie Belden is a series of mysteries like Nancy Drew.

Allan Heller is thinking of getting a cat and naming her Trixie.

In his novel-in-progress he had to kill off Kargon.  Fortunately the survivors figured out how to bury him up there in the forest w/o attracting too much attention from enemies.

They built a funeral pyre with a special formula they had.

Image result for brunhilda legend   No no don't Brunhilda. Too late. She immolated herself with her beloved Siegfried.

Allan, thanks for reminding me in your below comment that you brought your friend Fernando, who I had the pleasure of sitting next to on the couch.

He and Beatriz were both speaking Spanish, as they're both from The Argentine, where Fernando was a chef.

Hmmm. How can we get him to cook a great meal for us?

Martha Hunter read another chapter from her book. It flowed beautifully and we wanted to read more. I asked how she thinks up great phrases like 'fat as a beefsteak' and she said she reads so many romance novels it just popped into her mind.

Jaz, the main character, is a journalist who's gonna have an affair with Mace!

Marf also wrote a terrific poem called Thrift Adventures. The things she finds at Impact Thrift! 

Am talking now to my poet friend Carolyn, who writes our magnificent Pursue the Wonderful column for the Compass.

A retired teacher-naturalist at Peace Valley Nature Center, she helped out today in their Maple Sugar Day.

They had over 500 people! Tough to park. Ran out of parking, maple syrup, waffles and ice cream.

Image result for sap running in maple trees

Image result for waffles and maple syrup   It takes 40 gallons of sap to boil down into 1 gallon of maple syrup.  It takes 18-24 hours to evaporate the sap.

The kids loved it!

I emailed her and many others my new true story called TUCKER AND THE HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR.

I got important helpful feedback from today's Writers Group.

Bob wrote a nice vivid essay called A Snapshot of My Life. Ever heard the Beatles' lyric She came in through the bathroom window by Lennon-McCartney? It's from Abbey Road.

That's where Bob looks out of his window onto the world.

He wrote about what it's like not having a car, something we rarely think about.

Just hung up with Carolyn or CC as I call her. We were discussing all the poets from our Lambertville NJ Group who have moved away or died.

Judith Lawrence, who's on FB, moved to Daytona Beach.

  Rem Murphy read a couple more chapters from his  book. Each chapter heading is from a song. Parts of it were about sexual arousal which I thought were great. And appearing naked in front of Richard Nixon.

So imaginative! He told us Nixon bombed the hell out of Vietnam, killing 3 million Vietnamese - men women and children - committing, in fact, genocide.

The war was almost averted in 1919. Read about it here.

This morning I chopped up a fresh zucchini to add to my omelet.

Image result for zucchiniIt was SO BEAUTIFUL I wanted to write a poem about it but did not have time.

Will I?

Not now. Gotta pay a visit to Scott. Dyou think he's asleep already? Remember, he works the night shift at SEPTA but has the weekend to catch up on his sleep and his cooking.

He made honey mustard salmon from Uncle Bernie's Kitchen, appearing in The Compass.

Sent it over to Rene and Boggs Printing in Hatboro, PA.


How best shall I serve thee?
I like the way you handle
my green outer
cloak, gently, with

You make me feel good,
wanted. You, among women,
do not turn me into a
bread, but prefer me

crisp, sauteed in fine
golden oil with my friends,
the mushroom and the onion
such a sizzle we make
joyfully dancing
in the frying pan
food for the gods!

then to be embraced and
smothered by two utterly
voluptuous eggs

this morning in the
chilly breeze you
brought the completed
browned pancake with
its overcoat of spinach

outside. You sat on
the stoop, digging in,
and watched the sun
rising over Charlie's
house wishing he
were still among
the living.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Verizon Phone Bill - The Continuing Saga

Sorry to eat my Giant salad in front of you, but it's lunchtime here.

Met Terry Livorsi at the salad bar again and briefly told him my New Directions phone service was cut off for nonpayment of a bill, which of course I paid.

Terry's company has rehab services in Florida. They have 20 Verizon members in treatment for substance abuse.

When people finish rehab their families are given Narcan, protection from overdosing on opiods.

I called Verizon around 9 am.

These are very unpleasant calls for me to make. Why? Because you're gonna talk to people who have no idea what you're talking about. I have to repeat myself several times.

Are they on drugs?

You must take notes, of course, and document everything they say.

This was Laura from Massachusetts about an email they sent me that I hadn't paid my bill, which of course I had. She was good...brilliant...a genius compared with the nitwits I spoke with today. 

Today's call was taken by Tima, pronounced Teee-ma in St Louis.

May I have permission to open your account, she asked.

My account was all wrong.

About a year ago I signed up for Verizon email and FIOS. It was no faster than my Comcast internet so I discontinued it.

Cost $$$$ to remove it all.

Well, Verizon still thinks I have this service.

I had to CONVINCE Tima - and I mean convince - that I no longer have it.

Then - glory be! - she did find that I had paid my last Verizon bill.

I had checked my bank statements online before calling Verizon to triple-check that I paid them.

The new system at AMFCU is terrible! Teeny tiny print you can barely read. Perfect if you're Thumbelina.

Image result for thumbelina

Hmm, wonder if Netflix has the 1994 film.

They do! I put it on my List.

This is the actual size of the "Bill Payer" section. When they first installed it, they received hundreds of calls. No one could understand how to pay a bill.

Tima finally said, Oh yes, I see you have a zero balance. I'm gonna transfer you to our billing department - per my request - to get it straightened out once and for all.

She said she'll "text" the people over there, explaining what's going on.

When I was transferred over to Stacey, she had no idea what was going on.

Listen, I said, I'm hanging up.

And I did.

Hmmm. What shall I have for dessert? Plum out of Girl Scout Cookies.

Image result for thin mints

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Last Night's Dinner, Eggs Carbonera - New poem: The Fall: Body Meets Concrete

Bernie, I asked, what are you making for dinner?

A simple dinner, he said. Spaghetti with garlic and mushrooms.

Yum! I said. I think I'll make the same thing. Except I'll add eggs.

It's called Eggs Carbonera. Remember the spelling - the carbon era.

I learned the recipe when my ex and I used to watch Romanogli's Table back in TX.

We're sitting at TV tables and eating. Sarah, you weren't born yet. She doesn't read my blogs. Does anyone?

We always watched Star Trek and The Evening News. Too bad he had to die. He was married to his second wife, Donna. Did I tell you I attended the funeral? She invited me out of politeness and didn't think I'd attend.

Life is for the living!

Delicious, though it raised my blood sugar quite a bit.

And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, on to my library movie Bridge of Spies.

After that, I promise to get back to the Compass.

Image result for bridge of spies  Great acting. The only one I know is Matt Damon, I mean Tom Hanks. If Hanks is in the film it's gotta be good. The guy in the middle plays a Russian spy.

Bridge of Spies is a 2015 American historical drama-thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg from a screenplay written by Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, and Joel Coen. The film stars Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Amy Ryan, and Alan Alda. Based on the 1960 U-2 incident during the Cold War


Why is it
that when
you fall
your brain
cries Trauma!

I've awoken
from sleep
my legs
like a
pair of scissors

Lack of control
perhaps, as my
knees and hands
meet unyielding
a hateful enemy
that refuses
to bend

The top step
of only three
big steps I'm
not used to

No excuse for a
former tennis
player who
rushed the net

Slowly slowly
I fell, outraged,
as I went down
like a toddler

Sat sulking through
the lecture of what
brought ME down, the
hell with Andrew

When the program was
all over, Elaine, the
emcee, limped to the

Good! I cried inside.