Sunday, June 10, 2018

PART TWO More on Car Show - loose poems - What Happened to Me? Dialysis

Read about The STAIRCASE director's thoughts on his film.  His name is Jean-Xavier de Lestrade

At the end of this blog, I'll have published a poem. At the car show yesterday, I spoke to a woman whose friend is a dialysis nurse. She presided over the death of a 17-yo boy on dialysis. He died.

Bc I live alone and at night listen to blaring music, I have a tickling in the back of my mind that someone has let themselves into my house.

Was doing my feet exercises on one of the steps. How easy it would be, thinks I, to tumble backwards down the steps, and meet my maker.

Image result for david robertson pennypack


How shall I remember David?
The usuals, good-natured, kindly,
ready with an answer or if not,
a referral.

Who's that singing in the backyard?
A cardinal? A whippowill? A lonesome sparrow?

When the birds sing,
when they awaken me at dawn,
and I grouse at my early rising,
I won't be mad for long, knowing,
it's David. David Robertson.

And put a PhD after that. He earned
his keep.


A tanned freckled woman
sits alone waiting for
Ellen and Anthony in
the Giant Coffee Shop.

They'll be along soon to
meet her and to buy half-dozen
particularly delicious
lo-sodium soups.

"Pops" is a slim new volume
the woman has checked out of
her library. She is aghast!
One of the main characters,
only a kid, has discovered his "people"
in Paris at a fashion show.

She herself, has just finished a short story
about a young black man, who has
discovered the art of sewing menswear
with his Brother sewing machine.

In Pops, the little boy, dresses in men's clothes
and hats at his prep school, and accepts
the taunts and bullying of the other kids.

As we know, no matter how good a book is,
tiredness, or true exhaustion, can never
win, and she leans back in the chair,
removes her reading glasses and naps.

Next to her is a table where they
discuss meds for a psychiatric
condition. She wishes they'd
turn up the volume, the patient
seems to be at Belmont, and when
she glances over, a a nervous
grandmotherly type looks her way.

After the nap, the iPhone is pulled out.
Her fingers tremble as she calls her
answering machine at home. What the hell
is the number? These numbers on the
iPhone are in different places.

Like looking in your drawer for your
favorite sweater and finding you're
in your underwear and passport drawer.

Okay, they're not coming, but it was
worth reading a wonderful book -
please, she thinks, don't let it
fizzle out as she reads on -
and then she walks confidently
from the store. Tonight
is pizza night with the
cauliflower crust.

She hasn't spent a penny
at the million-dollar
super store.


Reading in bed
while the moon shines,
I fail to hear the first
of the bird songs.

How rude!
Like going to
the orchestra and
coming in late.

My bedroom window
lets in cold air.
Back in my winter PJs
this first week of June,
I stare at the blaring moon
and where the pipes are
buried in the middle
of the streets.

Hail the workmen in hard hats
who did a job well done
a few looked like half-men,
centaurs? deep in the ditch
shoveling blacktop.


People can surprise you
no doubt about that.

Although I live in a modest
split-level house in a
Philadelphia suburb

With mulberries sullying
the bricks at the side door

I've gained access through
the process of Imagination

of this yacht LUNA docking
in Dubai.

If Dubai's not on your
bucket list, take a chance
and join me.

Or not.

You may get sicksick or
fall overboard to your
death like Natalie Wood.

A stray iceberg that
killed many on the Titanic?

Who knows, now that our
government has shut
down rules on caring
for our environment

Our environment who
babied us in the loving
arms of Motherhood.


A quick 20-yard dash to the
green recyclable before they arrive
their hissing, lilting, stop-n-go
green trash truck we so love on

Shaped like a baby humpback whale
it stops in front of my house
and collects detritus from the week
- plastic salad containers, a coffee bottle,
cardboard pieces, birdseed bags -
and my last-ditch effort, as I run out
in my shorts and black tank top

Tom's Toothpaste. As I run, I squeeze
out the last precious drops onto my tongue
and will brush the moment I go in.

Then, standing at attention at my door,
I wave and thank them in their fine
day-glo yellow vests.

Wave! Wave!
And the stout one with the beard waves
As does the one with graying hair.

As I go back inside I think, maybe
I'll stop coloring my hair. His gray
looked so becoming.


Ages ago, when manic-depression
turned my brain into an up and
down escalator, I told my
psychiatrist, Alex Glijansky,
that I never felt important.

Do you? I asked.

Of course, he answered.

Today as I watered our crops,
enclosed in a deer-defying cage,
I felt important.

Sprinkling the tomatoes, the
cucumbers, the assorted raspberry plants
from the one and only Barry Bush, then onto
the blue hydrangea, hidden under mounds
of weeds, but resurrecting themselves
like Jesus,

I felt important.

What a feeling. Just don't
let other people know about it.

Also, chronic suicidal thoughts typically indicate that an unhealed wound needs healing, whether that wound arises from past trauma, mental illness, grave loss, or some other cause.


Glenn Gould playing Bach's Inventions
always raises the mood after reading
about yet another suicide, this time a chef,
Anthony Bourdain.

Strolling outside on the little piece
of land granted me by William Penn,
the Lenne Lenape, and a piece of paper

Small, silent activity crosses my path
The chicodee brings a piece of straw
into the green birdhouse. It sways
in approval.

Five ant hills decided to take up
residence at the bottom of my driveway.
Oh, for a child - a little Daniel or Sarah -
to bend down and examine it. Even an old
grandmother will do, but Gramma Green
has long since left this world, leaving
behind her prayer books and fasting ways.

Have I mentioned my delicious omelet
I ate standing on the porch? The plate
was once Helene's, confined now at
Rydal Park, a better chef you could
not find.

A squeak and a hiss marks the arrival of the
yellow school bus. As a kid I could walk
to Mercer School, so never rode the bus
unless I went home with Suzanne.

Where are you now? And what became of our
report on The Yangtze River?


Hoofs, no.
Paws, no.
Talons, no.

A commotion-causing
left foot, yes.

A painful commotion-causing
left foot, very much so.

A marathon is out of the question
A swim down the Pennypack Creek
twisting and turning with
the tide, is an imagined feat
I'm getting ready for right now.

Bathing suit on
Towel in hand
The creek is up
the street

How cool the water feels
How free I feel
Foot pain all gone
A bald eagle
soars overhead
his poop just missing me.

THE SENTIMENTS OF THE BELOW POEM, which I'll write in a moment, were brought out in the film Brian's Song. Brian was a football player who at a young age was dying of cancer.

Lemme find a photo of the guy I'm gonna write a poem about.

Image result for male blond teenager



I still drive the harbor-grey Sentra to the dialysis center
passing the Seven-Eleven with the Reese Bars and Slurpees
I used to buy with my paperboy money

Open up the heavy glass doors to the center, hear the humming
of a dozen machines like red wagons speeding down distant hills

Put my backpack and shoes in the locker reading M-1 and
walk to an empty machine

Been coming for 120 hours. That's not me in the mirror,
that's a perversion, a mockery, a blimp whose kidneys
can't spit out liquid any more

Am I fond of the machine? Do I greet it like when Uncle Jack
comes to visit with his Scrabble board?

Dunno what I think any more. Death is at the end of the
hallway, though the paperwork's in for a donor.

Shall I welcome death? Shall I go out like our lab retriever
heading for the Thanksgiving ham scraps under the table?

Or making faces at God for letting this happen to me.

You know what? He still loves me. I feel it when I drive
home and watch the trees sway and the piano music
chatters on the radio and I'm not dead yet.

No comments:

Post a Comment