Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Lunch at Ben and Irv's Deli - Shopping at Village Consignment Store - Poem: Little Murders

For lunch, met with John Krzeminski and Sandy Leggieri. They're part of a nonprofit - Trimonk Associates - that helps other nonprofits, even small ones, like New Directions. Small but mighty, I think of us.

Told them I spent 90 minutes this morning uploading the new June schedule for our meetings and events.For these tedious work, I told them I brewed some peach tea and listened to rousing music - a CD of Tom Waites - don't you luv Waltzing Matilda? - oh, well, I guess everyone has their own musical taste. 

 Click to enlarge. 

Sandy and John are quite interesting. Told them it was a pleasure speaking with them, they made me feel very comfortable and relaxed. They appreciated hearing that.

Gee, I hope we can figure out a way to work together. If not, at least I got a free meal out of it.

Scuse me a sec. I've gotta dip into my chopped liver I brought home.

Afterward, on my way to the car, I discovered the Village Consignment Shop.
Jan was minding the store since the owner was out as her child had poison ivy.

Really nice clothes. Hold on, I'll like it on FB.

I do not like buying clothes, I told Jan while I was in the dressing room trying not to look at my fat bod.

I asked her if we could talk b/c it was so boring. So we did.

Hard to see but I bought $57 worth of great clothes, including a little black dress that fit perfectly.

Where in hell am I gonna wear a black dress? And I am NOT gonna save it for my funeral. Maybe I can garden in it.

One person in New Directions said no matter how horrible she felt, she always got out of bed and dressed for the day, even if she returned to the bed.

I told John and Sandy that we welcome observers. If they wish, they can come. We had two lovely student nurses from Roxborough Hospital who attended.

At first I thought, oh no, they're gonna hear all about suicidal ideation, manic spending sprees, inability to find work, etc., but then I thought, Well, that's what we're all about. And we help each other with our  goals.

At the end of the ND meeting, our group said to one of the nurses - thother was in a different group - you will make a GREAT nurse.

Susan Rogers of MHASP sent a weekly email announcing various events. Told her I'll share it with our group. We have about 200 subscribers.

Sometimes a person lodges a complaint with our email server,  AWeber.com. When that happens, the complainer is automatically removed.... we think AWeber sends them to the Gulag or Siberia.

Susan Rogers had a website to click onto if you're a writer. Click I did. Advice was to write the first thing in the morning EVEN if you don't feel like it.

I do dat!  I force myself to write a poem before I eat breakfast.

You sit there and think. Hmmm. What interesting thing has happened recently... or what have I read...


As I drift into sleep
a cool breeze caressing
my green nightgown I bought
when Simon moved in

I hear it. Bolting upright
I run to the back porch
horrible sounds
sustained yelping
a horror movie
playing in the
little woods
behind my house

It's gotta be the fox
who struts like a prince
up and down the streets
unafraid, scoping out
his prey

Returning to bed
I pull the sheet
up to my ears
and turn on the
radio so I don't
hear the little murders
taking place behind my house.

BTW, the title is also a play and film written by the late Jules Feiffer.

During the day, all is calm in the little woods behind my house. In the dark, it's a story by Stephen King.

Scott and his friend Mike Kramer cleaned out Scott's garage. Mike has no garage so he keeps his things here. We have a neighbor who totes metal away in his truck, so on garbage day, he'll take all these metal things and get a bit of money for them.

Scott and Mike used to own a striping biz, you know, where you put down stripes in various parking lots. Sadly, Mike's former wife, a drug addict, embezzled all the money. Scott has a great job now, as you know, at SEPTA.

As union members, they make good money and Scott hopes to retire in 6 yrs, as he sez, while his health is good.

He's on vaca for two weeks now.

One thing he must do is put fine mesh around our peach tree before the squirrels get to them. Look how big they are already. About two inches.

 The empty dove nest. Find it in the middle above the green telephone wire.
Hello blogsters, says the Dove.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Dinner with Ada and Rich and The 5-string Banjo - Poem: The Swim

Scott and I worked up an appetite after swimming in their pool, which Rich covers over every nite. Can I help, asked Scott.

No, said Rich, I've got a system.

 Wore this strapless dress over my swim suit. When I removed the swim suit I had to wiggle into the dress with my gorgeous wet body.
 Marinated flank steak. rare please, and the hugest baked potato you ever did see, on the grill for two hours, burnt on the outside, but I still managed to eat much of the skin. Lotsa butter.

As Rich strums away - and he played the happy b'day song for his grandson Alec - you can see the remainder of Ada's brownies. We had them with Trader Joe's ice cream... both coffee and vanilla. Simply fabulous.

Rich walks about two hours every morning to keep in shape. Stopped running a couple yrs ago. When we left Ada gave me two slices of her carrot pudding which I had for b'fast, along with my salad.

We stayed until 11:30 talking and talking. Discussion topics: Irresponsible Trump - they know people who will vote for him - I said, How can we stop him? - Hillary helping her rivals to defeat her (her personal emails and lying to her staff that she was given the OK to use it), people in New Directions we don't see anymore.

Went to bed early, a little after midnight, and slept in my bedroom, with the breeze coming thru the windows.

Scott and I just had our Memorial Day Dinner.

Freda gave me two huge hot dogs, which Scott cooked over the range. I eschewed the marbled rye bread and ate em with my sticky hands. Baked beans and potato salad from the Giant. When I said it had no flavor, I suggested using Scott's celery seed.

I am stuffed.

When I was walking home, I had a fantasy of being scooped up by a vulture, oh, never mind. I might write a horror poem/story about it.

In fact, I just submitted a flash fiction story called The Peach Tree, about our peach tree, where the dove family lived and apparently flew away for good. From the perspective of the Mama Dove.

Also composed three poems on the subject of tranquility, as was The Peach Tree.

Poems are

What She Saw from the Front Porch, based on an experience I had as a child on Marlindale Road in Cleveland


In the Canoe.

We'll see if Kind of a Hurricane will publish them.


Such clouds we saw
while driving to
the pool

Vast patches, big
as continents
in Rothko shades

of purple and grey
mixed with beamy
yellow sunshine

The pool shimmered
like a blue mirror
as I, clad in blue
and white swimsuit,

walked carefully down
the stairs, my legs
bathed at last in

the summer smell
of chlorine and

thrusting my body
like Gertrude Ederly
into the piss-warm

pool and swam across
like the champ I
never was.

Parquet Courts 2016 (2).jpg

While bloggin, I heard a terrific band called The Parquet Courts, formed in 2010 in NYC.

This just may work!

Bye - BYE for now.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

I was composing when......

I got an E from my sister Lynn that she, Jade and Matt would be over Mom's with Tanner's ice cream.

What person w diabetes could resist that?

Methinks this is a baby chickadee. I erroneously call them sparrows but sparrows are larger.

 Delicious pound cake with Tanner's chocolate raspberry ice cream.

Also there's a Lady Lochs, we used to call em when we got em at a bakery in Cleveland. My dad's fave and absolutely luscious, unlike the one above, which was too sweet. 
Brought Mom some flowers.... white rhododendrons from her front yard.

Jade and Matt are headed to a BBQ near where they live in Jersey. They're bringing some of their foraged food and spices.

 When Donna visited thother day, she opened my clothes closet in my messy middle room. Several really nice dresses in there I'd forgotten about.

Before I left for Mom's I slathered sun lotion all over. As I may have told you, my antirejection meds may cause skin cancer.
Nice to speak to Lynn, who is one of my most important Readers before I submit my prose.

What a handsome man was Emmanuel "Mano" Greenwold (changed from Gruenwald) and his wife, Minnie Newman.

Mano died young from pneumonia, but Grandma Green live till about 86. She died when I was living in California. Dad called to tell me. I cried and felt so terrible, esp. b/c she suffered terribly. She had broken her hip or pelvis and her son Marvin was told to 'walk her' around the hospital.

It was incredibly painful.

Am going back to composing now. Ready to read, Lynnie?

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Evie Braman comes to town - Poem: Is This My House? - Pray for Me Says the Pope

Hello Jerry Dimarzio, owner of Dimarzio's Willow Inn. When I got there I ordered an iced coffee. They made a fresh pot and it was delicious!

Evie (say EVVie) and I were to meet at 11:30 but not surprisingly she got lost. She called and spoke to Jerry who directed her from Hatboro.

A beautiful tall woman walked in. We hugged and took a seat in a booth.

What a storyteller she is! I could've sat and listened to her for hours but then she asked about me.

I recounted the days of my marriage, the birth of Sarah and Dan, the colleges I attended.

She's in town for a wedding. She has friends and relatives in Phila, including Tom Osher who I remember from elementary school. We're friends on FB.

As a kid, I couldn't believe she was adopted. I'd thought this only happened on television, but learned differently when I spoke to her mom on the phone. Later she got in touch with her bio parents. She sees them fairly often. They're in their 90s and doing well. They're Swedish-Americans.

Evie lived on South Woodland and we lived around the corner on Glenmore Road in Shaker. I forgot to tell her I had a crush on Dwight Johnson, a year ahead of me, in high school.

She ordered split pea and ham and put crackers in it. She also had a tuna fish salad and I ended up taking home the tuna and eating it with a salad.

I ordered eggplant parm and left room for dessert.

The waitress Donna said the carrot cake was the best dessert there.

Scott and I have been here many times and recognized Donna.

Oh, Evie, here's a photo of Scott.

We're at the Hula Grill in Ocean City NJ. He hadn't grown his goatee yet, which looks great. I also have a goatee but I get it waxed off.

Evie's tuna which was delish and my salad from the Giant.

She buys her clothes at Casual Corner, which is still there. Here are some memories we shared, people places and things.

Draeger's Ice Cream....The Rapid Transit and how quiet it was when Nancy Wolen and I rode home on it the day JFK was shot...
Image result for shaker rapid transit
Van Aken Blvd where Aunt Ethel lived

She was friends with Harriet Deane, who now lives in Boston. We also talked about Dick Rose who attended Carleton College. The Greenwolds - that's us - lived behind the Rose Family - Elaine and husband Earl - and kids Dick, Barbara and Nancy.

We used to play badminton with the Rose kids. My heart would thump when Dickie came out of the house. I was secretly in love with him. DO NOT TELL A SOUL. We discussed the late Judy Glicksberg who married a classmate, Laurie Schiffman, Barbara Schuler, Vicky Krumhanzl who lived across the 'island' in front of our house. I built a fort there and read Peyton Place inside it.

Stiflingly hot today. Turned on my A/C for the first time. Took a long long nap downstairs, reading and sleeping, reading and sleeping.

Finished this book and wrote a poem about it

Since today was my sister Ellen's b'day, I visited her and Mom as it was getting dark. Read passages of the Pope book to Mom. Gave Ellen a gift which I hope she uses. A fruit infuser.

Friday night when I came home from the Willow Grove Bible Church cabaret, I wrote a poem about it


In the pitch-black night
I rounded the bend of
Cowbell like a rodeo rider
and with longing eyes
looked for my house

Have I entered a time
warp? My house was all
lit up. What would
Gramma Lily say? Could
they be home again?
Sarah and Dan with
their friend Mike Essl?

Sipping beer or rum
in the kitchen? Alas
twas not to be, as I
walked through the
screen door and my
sister Donna yelled
Ruth, is that you?

Biting my tongue, I
wanted to say, No,
it's Mommy and (dead) Daddy.


And so I shall, Your Holiness,
And if I could, would bring
the light of your book to
every child around the world.

But I am small, not mighty,
and davan over each question
the children pose. I honor
your doubts, for I have them, too.

A boy from Canada asks, What did
God do before he made the world?
Your answer was as luscious as
icing on a carrot cake.

"Before creating anything,
God loved. That's what God
was doing. God was loving.God
always loves. God IS love."

Like you, Your Holiness, I
view each day as a miracle.
Waking up, I fling open my
lavender drapes and look out
upon the little spit of land
where I dwell. The birds
twitter and pick on one another
in the birdbath, or threaten
the baby sparrows who peek
from their nest.

Yet their joy is boundless, what
a tasty worm from MaMA, and the
warmth of her feathers and the
cacophenous melodies of the doves
the bluejays the cardinals and people
passing by.

Smiling, I think, is a good way
to show love. And asking questions
to your neighbor to show you care.

Image result for pope francis

Friday, May 27, 2016

Donna Donna Donna - My Garden - When Submitting to Online Lit Mags

Oof! Sorry for the blurry pic. As you know, I like to write at least a poem a day and post it to FB. Did this one minus a stanza.


What a surprise when her white SUV
parks on my street!
People will think I have friends!
She reports upstairs to my bed
where I hastily grab  my
book and reading glasses

In the morning she brews strong
Gevalia and we sit on opposable
red couches absorbed in chat

Her daughter has introduced
her to a new curseword I'd
never heard before

Her house is a "shit-show."

After I look in the mirror, I
ask, "I'm still cute, right?"
She agrees, and I "whew!" inside

She tells me she pulled out her
John Deere tractor from the
shed and rode around the acreage
in the gentle rain, a pint-sized
arboretum of
bearded iris, daylillies,
twin rosebushes, one thriving,
the other stillborn,
what's that about?

The day is perfect, clear,
she meets my family of birds,
the sparrow hovering atop
his house, and the flowers
that popped up from
last year, pansies whose
colors would make a marvelous
bedspread my cousin Mark could

Her leg's crossed,
with her odd-colored nail polish
a bluish-gray that gives her
toes an allure, rivaling her face.

 Lovely blue flowers from Pennypack. Will post this on FB for identification.
 Removed deadwood from this spot and replanted it with Sweet Woodruff, from my friend CC, that's a fast-growing and b'ful ground cover.
 In this empty spot I transplanted a - take a gander - heart, kidney, liver - or pansy.


 Bc it's summer - planting time - I've gotta wear sunscreen since I take antirejection meds. There's a chance of getting skin cancer, which could kill ya.

Bring dem outdoor flowers inside. Peony and purple rhododendrons from Scott's backyard. When I first moved in here in 1989, I planted rhodos, but they kept dying, so I gave up.

My dappled akubas stay green all year long. Very important during the harsh winters.

Image result for akuba

Am drinking lemon water. I squeeze the lemons for my salad and retire them to the water glass. Very refreshing.

My fridge lost the ability to make ice in its old age.  Donna liked my Joplin photo on my fridge. Everything you look upon in your home should be pleasing.


The Compass is a gorgeous magazine, put out by New Directions. This is last year's issue. People are proud to have their work published in it.

Not so of the many lit mags I've gotten published in.

Sometimes my work - whether prose or poetry - is hidden inside. The whole point of writing is to be seen, not to be invisible.

I create lists of mags to submit to. First, there must be no charge for the submission. Second, my story should be visible to the public.

Am gonna goggle my name - and tell you what comes up.

Here tis. It's a terrific short story published in Writing Disorder. The sad thing is they've rejected everything else I've wrin. 

This is why it's important to find new sources to publish in.

Oh, the neighbor Don is just walking around the block. He had some sort of operation and looks down when he walks. Memories of Jean Valjean in French class I won't go into here.

My poem Ole Man Blank was published in River Poets. I can't even find the damn thing.

Bella Online is very good. See them here. They're much more than a publisher. They have chats with their readers.

Do you think I wanna spend my entire day on my laptop when there's so much to do in the real world?

See ya later!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Lunch at Freda and Bernie's - Poem: My Morning Constitutional

Ugh! I hate to hear all that news about Hillary Clinton and Bill being above the law. She's back in the news again about using her Secretary of State email to send personal emails. Apparently she lied to her aides that it was okay to do it.

We said not a word about politix when I arrived for lunch in the blazing heat around 12:45. I don't like using my A/C in the car. It's a drain on the power.

When I leave home on a hot day, I wet my hair. Just wet it now having arrived home.

I had the most amazing things to eat - including chocolate cake from Costco's - injected 12 - and amazingly my sugar is normal. 110.

They always give me something to take home. Two fat hot dogs from Costco's that Scott and I will have on Memorial Day. We cook em at home and eat with baked beans.

Bernie makes his own hummus. Uses a can of garbanzo beans, garlic and other things, and grinds em up in a food processor.

Do I wanna try it? Told him I could use my 42-yo blender I bought to make Sarah's baby food.

We talked about many things, including stress. The most stressful thing I do, I said, is driving out here. I'd
forgotten to put on my driving glasses, and when I remembered, daren't look over to the passenger seat - I was speeding along - but at the light I found them and slipped em underneath my sunglasses.

Veggie plate. Marinated mushrooms, red peppers, pickles and artichokes from the Golden State of California. My friend Marcy thanked me for my postcard and is gonna make her own mushrooms for her nephew's 32nd b'day.

She's also gonna make Helene's carrot beet salad. 

Freda's eating the last of my matzoh ball soup I brought over. They liked the special ingredients I added, such as parm cheese and garlic.

Then we raved about Garlic. How many vampires have YOU fended off. For me, at least a dozen.

We drank hot cinnamon and spice tea that I'd brought them the last time I was there. While eating the soup, then the pickles and mushrooms, I began to coff. I was fine, but it worries everyone.

As I'm typing this, I'm not using my voice, but the child actor in the audio book Room, which I listen to in my car.

Oh, I must tell you that last night, before 'submitting' poems and short stories, I watched a HILARIOUS video by

Sebastian Maniscalco. I was sitting here laffing aloud.

The blue dishes were from Freda's beloved Aunt Minna, who had lovely things. 

The main dish, on the right, was Crab and Shrimp Salad.

Bernie has enuf food in the fridge to accommodate accidental company, like myself.

 Freda is a very beautiful woman of 90. That's not a baby bottle, it's her water drinker bottle.
 Chocolate cake from Costco, plus strawbs and blubberies.
She bought a gorgeous new caftan. Told me she has everything organized in case she gets sick or dies. Is not afraid to talk about these things.

 Freda has been meditating for about 27 yrs. She can go into an alpha state within a few seconds. I tried meditation for about six months but didn't find it helpful.

I can fall asleep any time I choose. Fortunately I don't have bad stress bc if I need to do something, I do it right away. Like, gotta call someone and recommend a shrink.

The A/C was on so I was nice n cool. Gotta move my fan into the living room to save $ on the A/C.

I took a brief nap on Aunt Minna's sofa in the living room. Freda tucked me in.

Then I drove home a faster way, with much less stress.


Before it climbs to
80, I don my sneakers
and saunter over to
the Kiernans to put
their green recyclable
cans and a dark one
for garbage on the little
spit of driveway and

then march down Sleighride
sweat trickling down my
back, passing dead man
Sanders' lonesome house

rounding the bend someone's
sidewalk is newly done
a striking white, block
after block of smooth
white cement, delicious
looking as coconut creme
pie, marred by a blob of
green chewing gum,
you Philistine!

You will not blow your
nose, I order myself, or
pull out a home-cut hankie
made from printed sheets that

Can Hugo from the art class
see me on Greyhorse? Two empty
houses on his street he told me
at the lecture on Rails to Trails

Was it Lillian, I ask?
A lovely old lady I spent
a fortune at her estate sale
and sip tea from her Starbucks
mug, stay alive as long as
you can, Lillian, and ply
yourself with strong dark
roast wherever you are.

Hard to see, but I bot a vase in the back and filled it with pretty cardboard strips instead of fleurs that will die.

My blanket closet in the hall.

Also bought the comforter on the bottom.