Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Freezing Morning Photos - Joe Dautcher's Farm Market - She will Never Walk Again - Cold - 13 Ways of Looking at the Morning Sun - When the Cornbread Fails to Rise - Impossible not to cry - My Drug Paraphernalia - Sorrow in the Morning - Her Son Pietro

 When I saw Matt Fuhrer at the Giant I told him about these shoes I bought at Faherty's in Southampton PA. Told him about the pads Nick F put on to make em fit well.

Custom-made, said Matt.

When I saw Matt at the Giant I raced after him and said, Were your eyelashes frozen like when you lived in Iowa.

I'd wrin an article about him for Patch and that was a quote.
 View of my windowsill this morning.

In the center is a mama stork and baby, given to me when Ralph Nelms was dying of ALS.
 I forced these forsythia from my backyard bush. The blooms fall into the sink looking like yellow stars.
 World map. Blindfold yourself, twirl around, and pick a spot. Then, go there.
 Frozen flower pot from Symphony Manor. It had rolled into the street, so when I left, I took it home, like a stray cat no one wanted.
 HP Laptop, which decides, each and every day, whether to work or not.
 Our writers and poets gave a reading at The Upper Moreland Library on Dec 9, 2018.
Took two hours of concentrated effort to clean out my upstairs office. It used to be my son Dan's bedroom and was painted blue.

Mom arranged for a friend of hers to paint the room yellow. She used to be so active!

To do list for today:

Write short story
Paint
Send Judy Diaz a note before Mailman Dante arrives.

Work on Compass

Am drinking Earl Grey Tea now.

I'm not particularly fond of it are you?

Thother night, I kept writing poetry. YOU, Dear Reader, are the first to read these!

UNCLE JOE DAUTCHER'S FARM MARKET

On my upstairs bulletin board
their business card. Ellen and I
stopped by one hot summer morning.

Hiring? I asked.
Sure, said a portly woman.
Can you cook?

You tell me what to do,
and I'll do it, said I,
mopping my brow.

I wasn't fast enough
and Dautcher's went under
the wrecking ball.

Not another condo
on smothered farm land.
The pumpkins were large
as tiny planets,
the tomatoes cuddly
as baby does,
and the cinnamon buns
were weighed on the scale
and packaged in boxes
white as the winter sky.

Sure, they made a fortune,
and now they have time
for themselves. Sitting now
on the rocking chairs
on the porch, with Uncle Joe
calling, "Babe, how bout
some of them cinnamon buns?"

Just a sec, she says, going
into the house. "Always wanted
to hire this woman."

Is that them calling now?

https://flashfictionmagazine.com/submissions/
1000  words
I'll submit my short story here


SHE WILL NEVER WALK AGAIN

At her retirement home
she's now confined to a wheel chair
what's left of her, anyway,
a marionette without a brain


Might it happen to you or me?
They say life is sacred.
Music will comfort her.
Play the Appassionata Sonata
loud and clear. Her mysterious
plaque-filled brain will shrink
some more until she's as hollow
as a pumpkin shell.


http://lynxhousepress.org/category/blue-lynx-prize/


Ariel Chart, Page & Spine, West Texas Literary Review, Oddball Magazine, The Paragon Journal, The Literary Hatchet, The Stray Branch, Trigger Fish Critical Review, Foliate Oak Review, Better Than Starbucks!, Anapest Journal, Mused, Apricity Magazine, The Write Launch, The Stray Branch, Scryptic Magazine, Ann Arbor Review, The McKinley Review.

The above is how a writer finds places to submit.


COLD

A celebratory air prevailed
on this coldest of nights
so far.
After snuffling down my
Tomaterkraut Soup
I paced the living room
imagining frozen pipes
bursting open
loud as firecrackers

Or my beloved lone maple
weeping and giving up the ghost
on my backyard porch.

The weather doesn't care
Squirrel or hopping toad
or trapped vagrant in the woods
Tumble from the forces
of the unforgiving Almighty.

THIRTEEN WAYS OF LOOKING AT THE MORNING SUN

Based on the Wallace Stevens poem Thirteen Ways of
Looking at a Blackbird

What's this! My eyes are blinded by the morning glare.
The sun's big as a cheese ball at a New Year's Eve soiree
No one's invited me to.

Visit the man next door who will open with great tenacity
and vigor a glass jar of sauerkraut. The morning glare
is reflected in his hazel eyes and glass door.

Stumble blindly home and give half-assed wave to the
Irishman up the street as he drives by.

Check in dining room mirror to see if I'm changed
in the twinkling of an eye from staring at the sun.

Will I go blind? Or will all go well? I look into Beatriz's
Australian Mate Tea, I've flooded with honey for flavor
and a natural cure for - not pleurisy, nor inflammation
of the bronchial tubes - but a tickle in the back
of my throat.

We cannot throw out the sun but we can water the
philodendron with Austrailian Mate Tea and the
desiccated orchid beside it.

One last look behooves me.
Icarus is falling, falling.
A huge waxen feather has
fallen in my front yard.

The thirteenth way of
looking at a blackbird.

***
WHEN THE CORNBREAD FAILS TO RISE

When I was first married, cooking became my passion.
The Joy of Cooking became my bible. In my stained copy
which resides on a cookbook shelf in the kitchen, you can
see all the things I've made over the years.

Cakes, not so much, but breads of all kind including
Anadama Bread which included Indian Head Cornmeal.

Mastering the art of kneading and proofing and baking
took longer than I thought and my disappointment ran
deep as The Mississippi.

Success finally as sweet as honey.

Whatever was wrong with this second batch of cornbread?
Tasty enough, but flat as The Flat Earth Society.

Took me two days and a dozen units of insulin
pumped into the best place on my body to inject
where it's riding on my bloodstream, red as
the cardinal chirping in my back yard.

IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO CRY

Best to cry while watching sad movies
or televised opera, brought to you by
The Toll Brothers family fortunes.

Hide your eyes when the starving children
with their chicken bone bodies appear
on the Nightly News.

Hide your eyes when the Imposter Presidente
like a cruel Chinese landlord from the Middle Dynasty
holds us all in thrall like dustbin serfs

Hide your eyes in your pillow and sob yourself
to sleep in this world filled with chaos and misery.



MY DRUG PARAPHERNALIA

On this moon-cold night
I tiptoe downstairs
in the dark
to get a refill of
pretzels and peanuts
and view that stunning
corner of my kitchen table

Keep it out of sight
shouted my sister Donna
it's not for public consumption

There it is
keeping me alive
presided over by a doctor
who keeps me alive
insulin
my precious insulin
more precious than
heroin or that new one
fentanyl

Come morning
I will shoot up
yet again
after a hot breakfast
of oatmeal and fruit
and gulps of views
out the window.

Hello again,
Ms. Cardinal
of the duller
fevvvers.



SORROW IN THE MORNING

Leave it to the NY Times
to show photos of The
Eagles of the Desert
paid men, neon green
vests, and water bottles,
who scour the borders
for immigrants who
have disappeared

"The desert is like a lion
stalking the strong and
the weak," remarked an
eagle, before they
found his dead brother.

"My brother disappeared
two months ago, seeking
to join his wife in
San Diego"

Hundreds have been found
in the six years of their
search, the workers
smell them, their decay,
the cries of
Agua Agua scorching
their ears

Cockroaches
roasting in the sun.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/07/13/us/california-border-deaths.html



HER SON PIETRO

The other five are fine
This one has that famous
condition bipolar disorder
The Famous own it
Virginia Woolf
Kay Redfield Jamison
Walter Cronkite's daughter
Kathy

She moans about her Pietro
His brain detonated before
kindy-garten. What's to be
done, she cries into her
pillow.

Should she pump medication
into his Diet Pepsi?

***
When I worked as a psychotherapist at the now defunct Bristol-Bensalem, my client Sheila had a sister w paranoid schizophrenia. Brilliant, as was the late Sheila. The sister's husband put an antipsychotic medication in her drinks.

Did the sister know? Your thoughts, Reader?

How bout a nice picture for you?

Mary Oliver Fans Remember Her Life And Work After Her Death At 83

The poet Mary Oliver, who died earlier this month at age 83.

As I've mentioned before, I read some poems on YouTube.

Read em here.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Uncle Joe Dautcher - Mary Oliver dies at 83 - Listen to interview with Krista Tippitt



UNCLE JOE DAUTCHER'S FARM MARKET

On my upstairs bulletin board
their business card. Ellen and I
stopped by one hot summer morning.

Hiring? I asked.
Sure, said a portly woman.
Can you cook?

You tell me what to do,
and I'll do it, said I,
mopping my brow.

I wasn't fast enough
and Dautcher's went under
the wrecking ball.

Not another condo
on smothered farm land.
The pumpkins were large
as tiny planets,
the tomatoes cuddly
as baby does,
and the cinnamon buns
were weighed on the scale
and packaged in boxes
white as the winter sky.

Sure, they made a fortune,
and now they have time
for themselves. Sitting now
on the rocking chairs
on the porch, with Uncle Joe
calling, "Babe, how bout
some of them cinnamon buns?"

Just a sec, she says, going
into the house. "Always wanted
to hire this woman."

Is that them calling now? 

***


Krista Tippitt interviews Mary Oliver.



Most famous poems include The Summer Day aka The Grasshopper Poem


and Wild Geese


THE POETRY HANDBOOK IS TERRIFIC, says my friend Lori.

I believe I can download the eBook.

First, tho, gonna give CLOSE a chance on Netflix.

Enjoyed SOLO, a Spanish film panned by the Times, but not by me, and The Last Laugh, with Chevy Chase, 75, and Richard Dreyfuss, 71.



Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Will the cornbread be the last stop on the Diabetes Train? - When the Cornbread Fails to Rise - Namaste Depok and Tanzi - Skin Tags

Hellooo Readers!

My Scottie got me back on my blog. As you know I've got some sort of virus - achoo! - on my despised HP Laptop.

Yesterday I was organizing my papers and found when I bought it - 4/23/18. Whew! I remembered the date until I got back in my seat.

Speaking of memory I invited University of PA to send out a memory expert. I'd asked Dr Foxhall for a recommendation.

They wanted money for a drive down here. No way. I suggested if they wanted to - they have many interns - they might write a story about memory for our 2019 Compass.

Never heard from them again.

Maybe I should invite Depak Chopra and his sidekick Dr Rudy Tanzi.

Read this fascinating interview about Depak in the HBR.



Am working on the Compass now. Doing the Editor's Corner.

And who's the Editor?  Little me, RZD.

Last night at our ND meeting, I became "low." 67.

Reached into my backpack and pulled out some glucose tabs.

They were not enuf.

Walked very quickly into Nelson's office and asked if I could chew on some peppermint candies.



That saved me. Today I stocked my backpack with an entire bottle of glucose tabs and a candy bar.

Scott and I talked about it. His grandfather was diabetic and died at 67.

He always carried a candy bar in his pocket.

I have a Hershey bar in my fridge and am trying not to think about it.

Hell, I'll just hurl it out the door.

Will not, either!

Pure Slush accepted my story JACK BEYOND THE GRAVE about Envy.

Scott and I emailed Matt Potter the release form, from my upstairs computer, an HP.

I'm feeling my neck now, where I have a huge lump of a wrinkle - quick! lemme buy some turtlenecks - and skin tags.

I'd wrin a fab poem about skin tags, rejected by Hektoen, who rejected everything I wrote.

Will run upstairs and see if I can find it.

I grew tired of all my uncaffeinated teas so I chose this tea to sip on while I wrote.

Coach Iris mailed it to me about three yrs ago.

PUMPKIN SPICED TEA

How I've missed you, Old Friend.
Pumpkins are certainly an odd fruit
Shaped like a planet with downward stripes

Hearty is the word, along with an indescribable
depth. Sip slowly, thoughtfully, and enjoy
the hotness on this chilly day.

***
Can't remember if I published this or not.

I believe I did. Irene Taylor, a cultured woman had never read the Wallace Stevens poem. I wonder if she and her husband Lou are still alive. I believe so.


THIRTEEN WAYS OF LOOKING AT THE MORNING SUN

Based on the Wallace Stevens poem Thirteen Ways of
Looking at a Blackbird

What's this! My eyes are blinded by the morning glare.
The sun's big as a cheese ball at a New Year's Eve soiree
No one's invited me to.

Visit the man next door who will open with great tenacity
and vigor a glass jar of sauerkraut. The morning glare
is reflected in his hazel eyes and glass door.

Stumble blindly home and give half-assed wave to the
Irishman up the street as he drives by.

Check in dining room mirror to see if I'm changed
in the twinkling of an eye from staring at the sun.

Will I go blind? Or will all go well? I look into Beatriz's
Australian Mate Tea, I've flooded with honey for flavor
and a natural cure for - not pleurisy, nor inflammation
of the bronchial tubes - but a tickle in the back
of my throat.

We cannot throw out the sun but we can water the
philodendron with Austrailian Mate Tea and the
desiccated orchid beside it.

One last look behooves me.
Icarus is falling, falling.
A huge waxen feather has
fallen in my front yard.

The thirteenth way of
looking at a blackbird.

***
WHEN THE CORNBREAD FAILS TO RISE

When I was first married, cooking became my passion.
The Joy of Cooking became my bible. In my stained copy
which resides on a cookbook shelf in the kitchen, you can
see all the things I've made over the years.

Cakes, not so much, but breads of all kind including
Anadama Bread which included Indian Head Cornmeal.

Mastering the art of kneading and proofing and baking
took longer than I thought and my disappointment ran
deep as The Mississippi.

Success finally as sweet as honey.

Whatever was wrong with this second batch of cornbread?
Tasty enough, but flat as The Flat Earth Society.

Took me two days and a dozen units of insulin
pumped into the best place on my body to inject
where it's riding on my bloodstream, red as
the cardinal chirping in my back yard.



Who was Phillis Wheatley?

What a story this is!

Click here.

Again, click here.

As my friend Carl Yeager says, What can I do with this?

SKIN TAGS

I run my hand over my neck
the way a man would feel a
day's growth of beard on his neck,
only I am not a man
and I am not feeling a beard.

Skin tags grow on my neck,
tiny invisible bumps that
proliferate as they please.
These little bastards
go by many names.

"Acrochordon's" the one I prefer
and imagine someone in the Alps
named Heidi in a low-cut
blouse playing the accordion
for customers in a bier garden.

I visit my dermatologist
once a year. She
helps me up on the
tissue-papered table
while I stare at drawings
her grandchildren have done.

On the Internet, Troy writes:
After a year or more of irritation
from a skin tag between neck and
chest, I finally got scissors
and cut that thing off. I felt a
pinch but that's it. Relief!

Good for you, Troy, says I.
But they often come back.
Lying in bed next to my
boyfriend, I say, "Scott,
feel my skin tags."

He does and tells me
"I don't feel nothing."

My doc has removed tags
from my muscular legs
an unsightly one beneath
my elbow on my freckled arm,
and two on my back.

I won't lie to you and
say it doesn't hurt.
It kills! Liquid nitrogen
that freezes them off like
the dead up on Mount Everest.

I'm still with her.
A regal-looking woman
who gives me free emoluments
when we finish and answers
every single question I have.
Yes, it’s okay if I pick them off.
No, there are no special foods
To prevent the little mothers
From returning.

All my bumps are analyzed
by the lab to see if they are
cancerous.

Have no fear, I tell myself,
as I rub Eucerin over my arms
while watching a new crime thriller
on Netflix.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Save some Scrapple for me... or maybe not

 For the Compass we're printing a poem by Tony Salvatore about Scrapple.

He had emailed me and many others a piece he wrote about his wife craving it when she was pregnant.

So I wrote this poem for him, after calling the Terminal Diner to check.

SCRAPPLE FOR ONE, PLEASE

There's a cozy little diner
in our town. Terminal Luncheonette.
Once it was the last bus on the
55 Line.

Now we go there for American breakfast fare.
I like to sit at the counter and read the newspaper till Ellen brings me my breakfast.

Is this seat taken? asks a gentleman wrapped in a warm jacket and scarf.
Go right ahead, I say.
My name's Tony, he says. Gotta warm up
my innards with a good hot breakfast.

You came to the right place, says I.

Two eggs over easy, he says, some hash browns and a brick of Scrapple.

The juke box plays a Jason Aldean tune
and the place starts jumpin.

Delicious smells come from the kitchen.
So that's a brick of Scrapple, I think.
Don't look too bad.

+++
Tony wrote me back that even HE couldn't eat an entire brick. That's cuz I dunno what a brick is. So I wrote, take it home for your dog.
+++

May I mention how frigging cold it is right now. Checked my thermostat to make sure the A/C isn't on erroneously.

Tiny pic of Tony below, scuse me, Anthony Salvatore from the MCES website.




Thursday, January 10, 2019

Egyptian Licorice Tea - Cinquan for the Creamers - Poem: Silence

Well, I just tucked two tea bags into an envelope, along with a ND brochure, and mailed off to The Creamers.

Also wrote them a cinquin, whose syllables are 2 - 4 - 6 - 8 - 2

Scuse me while I sip on the tea. Decaffeinated. I always test my memory in the morning and ask myself What did I watch last night?

I did invite folks from the memory unit at Penn to come speak to us.

They asked for reimbursement for the ride over. "I understand," I wrote. "But we've never paid guest speakers."

LET'S HAVE
Tea with Mary
and Tony while the cats
jump, snooze and leap through the kitchen
Mmm! Good!

MARK HYMAN was telling us his rules for eating well.

He told us what he had for every meal. How, I wondered, can he feel FULL?

BUT he spoke so fast it was really strange, he of the Cleveland Clinic, where a friend from our writing group in Lambertville, NJ, got a consultation about his heart. Sorry, Bob Muller, you're stone cold dead.

And they don't come back!

On my To-Do List is to write a poem called SILENCE.

That's me clearing my throat.

SILENCE

For once I'd like to sit on the living room couch
in silence.
Kalie, the little white dog across the street,
fur, soft as a man's mustache, gives a
perfunctory bark, This land is MY land,
you better step back.

The mailman approaches. Headphones hide
conversations and music on WDAS-FM,
a black station.

And HOWL goes the wind.
It howls for the death of
my cousin Chez Ray, feted,
they say, on Facebook.

What's it like, I wonder,
if you are dead.
Maybe you wear a bridal gown
or a crown of feathers.

A thousand ways to die
Only one way to be born
through the sliding board.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Food Stamps now come by using something like a credit card - Access, I think it's called - Poem: What Kind of Soup is this?

Emailed my support group earlier today to mention that due to the Govt Shutdown, Food stamps are no longer sent out.

That is truly horrible. Nothing - or very little to eat!

One of my former boyfriend Simon's sisters - Helen - worked in a soup kitchen.

Am not in touch with them. They were very odd people.

And now OLD people, probly dead.

I remember talking to Ron, Helen's husband and asked him about The Grand Canyon of PA. I think I first heard about it from Ron. Wrote a great poem about him. Have no idea where it is. Possibly in an old issue of The Compass.

He worked at a company that made Push Pins, wooden push pins.

When Simon's brother Eustace - Euey - died, Simon was not mentioned in the obit.

Just looked them up on Simon's obit notice. Click here.

The president of the United States gave a talk starting at 8 pm.

I couldn't bear to watch.

WHAT KIND OF SOUP IS THIS?

I waited for the perfect day.
It never came so I decided
THIS is the perfect day.

Into a huge pot I poured
a can of coconut milk
that looked like Crisco
from pie crusts of long ago.

Then I added chick peas, also
known as Garbanzo Beans from which
we make hummus. (My friend Ellen
likes hummus.)

Into the pot I clunked in baby carrots
minced garlic, and stirred with a
wooden spoon made in China.

My first taste
was sublime. Simply
scrumptious. It's
resting on the stove
covered over, until
my belly is starving,
but not really.

Here in America
unless you're in
dire poverty, we
don't know the meaning
of the word.

Monday nights I can never fall asleep

Is there any reason for not being able to sleep thru the night?

Was at Scott's where we watched the Eagles beat the Bears thru a fluke. Read here and cringe!!!

That night I attempted to read.

Lead book is The Library Book by Susan Orlean.




But, after promising myself not to watch TV to fall asleep, I watched Madame Butterfly.

View opera here.



Altho this isn't the opera version I watched, you can see the puppet named Trouble with his three puppet handlers.

Spectacular! It's impossible not to cry!

Left home early to get breakfast at Bonnet Lane Diner in Abington. For the first time I wore my new Clark Shoes. Am wearing them now.

As I was telling neighbor Carol, whom I just visited, I ate delicious blueberry waffles with two eggs with pepper on the side.

Am I hungry agayne? Spose so. Will make soup now. Nice n hot soup, but first I'll write a quick poem.

IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO CRY

Best to cry while watching sad movies
or televised opera, brought to you by
The Toll Brothers family fortunes.

Hide your eyes when the starving children
with their chicken bone bodies appear
on the Nightly News.

Hide your eyes when the Imposter Presidente
like a cruel Chinese landlord from the Middle Dynasty
holds us all in thrall like dustbin serfs

Hide your eyes in your pillow and sob yourself
to sleep in this world filled with chaos and disorder.

***
Garcon!  Please help me make my soup.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Scott attends the funeral of Carol Rohrer, his bro/law - Poem: Goodbye Carol

Here's Carol Rohrer's obit from the funeral home.


So Scott would have picked up his mother and driven her to the funeral home in NJ.

GOODBYE CAROL

At a little after 6 a.m. on January 7, 2019, I went downstairs, opened the front door and saw a planet 

shining in the still-dark sky. It was shining for Carol, Carol Rohrer, of that I’m sure. I didn’t know 

her very well. I always looked forward to our holiday get-togethers. Gone were the days when Carol, 

her husband Steve, and the many family members would gather in the den to laugh, share stories, 

check on the dog and cat, and simply have a grand old time.

After a while we’d go outside. Danny would have the grill going. Sometimes the wind blew and 

you’d have to hunker down the paper plates with salt and pepper shakers. My, that food was good. 

Steak, hot dogs, nice and brown, a real summer-day picnic.

Rita’s Water Ice, Watermelon, and something more delicious than anything I’ve ever tasted.

Carol would bring a special plastic carrying case, unaffected by the winds or the falling leaves, or 

Matt jumping on the trampoline. Whatever could it be?

Deviled eggs. Smooth, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth like chocolate pudding. Deviled eggs. Who, at 

the time, realized this was it. The last of Carol’s Deviled Eggs we would ever eat. Or the last of 

Carol Rohrer we’d ever see.


Eighty years old she was. And you can bet that those eggs are dancing around heaven, Carol 

Rohrer’s best deviled eggs, with tiny bits of relish. Shining on that small planet up in the sky. 

***
I'd been talking earlier today to Ellen Rosenberg - nice of you to call - and we were discussing phone calls. How boring they are bc all we do are talk about ourselves.

Right?

We were discussing Ellen's CRPS, I think it's called. View it here.     

***

I tell Ellen what I feel like eating, me, with my diabetes. But, I say, I don't want Scott to know about it so I've gotta leave before he gets home.... but it's such an ooky day, no greenery, so I'm not gonna leave home.

She tells me to go!

I do, sniffing freedom as I step outside on the front porch.

At the Starbux cafe at the Giant, I buy a small size Peppermint Latte with whipped cream. I cannot stop drinking it, it's so delicious!

I ask Valerie, the barista, if she thinks this is like an ice cream sundae.

She shrugs and says, I spose so.

Then I get a chicken leg and whipped sweet potato. Last night we were watching Kevin Belter ? a Louisiana cooking show and he makes sweet potatoes.

And there they were at our Giant.

Oo-ey, were they ever delicious.

Now it was freezing outside but I sipped on that cold drink all the way to my car.

***
When Scott got home he came right over and found me upstairs on my computer.

They loved your poem, he said. And asked me how my job was today. That's my volunteer job with the elderly.

First of all, I said, I drove over and found a parking space. That's the worst problem, but there was plenty of room.

Then I said there was a lot of commotion at the place, too many people, moving around of the chairs.

I got thru the Bingo fine. I played with 5 boards for someone who was wasn't feeling good, she has bronchitis and should not have been there.

***

Missing:  Has anyone seen my remote? 

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Eric arrives for cookies for his crew! Poem: My New Shoes for a LifeTime

 Thanks Eric for stopping in to give Lochel's Cookies to your crew!
 A nice assortment for you: gingerbread men, chocolate chips, peanut butter. Some have glitter on them.

Smart! You even advertise Caddick on the back of your sweat shirt.
 At last I found shoes that fit. Bought em at Faherty's Shoe Store in Southampton, PA.
I walk around all day in these sung fitting shoes.

Bart was my salesperson. My sister Ellen was my companion.

Each time he'd fix them I'd model my shoes to the entire store.

Help help! I'm the gingerbread man. I'm running away as fast as I can.

He did finally get caught. No, I didn't eat them. He dissolved in the jaws of a quick red fox.

Yikes!

Do not think of the film JAWS where Robert Shaw gets et!

Remember the music?

Be sure to read the comments!

"This is the song you listen to when your mother/in/law is in the drive."

Scott and I just returned from a walk around the block. I was wearing horrible shoes as I didn't wanna get mud on them.

Now, though, here's a poem about my new shoes. God bless ya, Ruthie, hope you can write one.

MY NEW SHOES FOR A LIFETIME

I have always been a lover of shoes
When I worked for my dad in New York
I wore a pair of Braun, yes, they still
make them. It felt like rain water was getting inside
so I put a piece of cardboard inside to staunch the flow.

Sneakers by Vasquez love my feet but watch out when the
mud coats the soles.
Soakage, the only way
out.

Nearly two hours I spent at Flaherty's
in Southampton, for their once a year
SALE that lasts the entire month
of January.

We have experts in everything!
Bug spray, hearing aids, trumpets
and tubas. Even the misshapen foot
and toes. Hammertoes my grandmother
had, where one toe takes it easy
and rests on the toe next door.

My toes have a simple problem.
One foot is Wide, the other one Reg.
Bart measured my feet.
Then began his work. An Olympian,
he charged into the Back Room
where the ingredients were stored
like at a fancy Italian restaurant.

Stretching, like on the rack
in Hunchback of Notre Dame,
comes first. I hear nothing but
the crunch of a pretzel rod
they offer up front.

Cotton pads, on, then off.
Double cotton pads, on, then off.

I walked around the store as if
modeling in the Miss America contest
Round and round goes I
on the NASCAR track.

She's won! She's won!
And here I am at home
tapping my feet to the sounds
of Psychedelic Furs. 




Turner Classic Films provides greatest opportunity ever for insomniacs - Poem: Kiernans' Christmas Tree

Something about sleeping next to Scott and watching a great film noir. Personally, I thought it was an awful film - so complicated you couldnt' understand it. Then Mueller says at the end, Isn't that a hilarious story about how the film was made?

No, Eddie, it was not hilarious. And the man who had the most to do with the film was:

Howard Hawks. Possibly his later-life quirks had to do with the coming of a brain disease. When you read about his life on Wiki, you'll see the many facets of the man. He loved aviation and had many aviator friends who all lived together.

He was willing to experiment on different styles and genres. His wives and lovers were many and he did have children.



Here's a poem I quickly wrote when I sent an email to my support group

THE KIERNANS' CHRISTMAS TREE LIES LONELY ON THE STREET

Gone the delicious smell of pine
The twinkly tinsel twirling in the dark
The new dog Sydney helping unwrap
the gifts from myriad relatives
and yet their blue house, catty-corner
from mine looks just the same.

***

Here's a great YouTube video for you to watch. Ending the Silence of Mental Illness is the topic.

Click here.

The more I listen, the more I learn. "Most people begin having symptoms by age 14!"

On Turner Classic Films this morning, Eddie Mueller promised us one of the best films ever. He may always say this.

Robert Mitchum and Jane Russell played lovers. In truth, they were best of friends.

Jane was a a believer in Christianity and quipped to someone, Doesn't mean we can't have big breasts.

Both Mitchum and Russell have departed to the Afterlife.

Both died from smoking too much. Remember those old films when everyone held a cigarette?



Friday, January 4, 2019

A Day in the Life of Mrs Dalloway aka Ruth Z Deming


A DAY IN THE LIFE OF MRS DALLOWAY
aka RUTH Z DEMING

Wake up
Look out bedroom window
to see if the
world's still there

Car in drive covered
in mist like spider's web

"Embrace flute and harpsichord
concertos of Telemann," says Maestro
Gregg Whiteside, morning
man on classical
music station

Drive to grocery store
remembering when Davisville Road
was nothing but greenery
moo-cows in the barn
with their heavy earthbound
smells

The farm girl in overalls
with her pitch fork
turning over straw
to feed the pigs and the one
baby piglet named Elmer
from Charlotte's Web

At home, lie on red couch
to read, but fall asleep
to Mrs. Dalloway, wondering
where she's gone to.

***

Just finished my delicious fruit-filled oatmeal I ate from a slightly cracked bowl.

"Out with ya" is my motto for cracked bowls unless twas given to me, filled with meatballs and spaghetti sauce by Bart's mother.

From a party I had once upon a time.

***
Land o Lakes! 

Gotta call Verizon now.

THE MOST ODIOUS TASK of em all.

***
Spoke to Chris from Virginia is for lovers.

He signed me up for automatic payments.

Whew! Now the rest of the day is mine!

***
Whoa, not so fast.

Am trying to change the messages on the New Directions account. Cannot figure out how.

Scott will help me when he wakes up from his nap.

At first Chris wanted to turn me over to their biz account, but I persuaded him it's not a biz account. Nice man. His wife, he said, takes good c/o him. They are healthy eaters.

Sister Donna was here as was Scott. They were making so much noise I had to go upstairs in my office and shut the door.


Thursday, January 3, 2019

Over an hour on the phone with Marcy and Gloria - Poem: A Bowl of Clothespins

The Belsh Family moved to southern California 15 yrs ago, after their house caught on fire. No one was home. Apparently it was the wiring of an appliance.

It was a lovely multi-story house with books and plants and a piano. Today Marcy takes piano lessons, unlike moi, who continues to procrastinate.

BUT at last I'm ready to work on The Compass. Brewed Starbucks Coffee - nice strong roast - and while chatting with my friends, I dunked - you better believe it - a chocolate croissant from The Giant Supermarket into it.



A quick aside:  There is nothing good on Netflix. Am watching a show with a lot of yelling and screaming called something like Bandersnatch.

The young protagonist goes to therapy, which is fun to watch.



Book Group today at Upper Moreland Library.

I kept falling asleep while reading Mrs Dalloway. Read it last night and most of today, leaving home at 2:20 and arriving late.

I had 100 pages to go. I certainly didn't mention it and I did read the last 10 pages. I loved the ending, which I mentioned to the very large group of praps 14 people, including some smarties which is a term my late friend Carolyn mentioned to me.

Her name is still listed in my green silk address book.

Speaking of Carolyn, I called another Carolyn today.  Hoped I dialed the right number and I did! We parted company a couple of years ago. She didn't recognize my voice. She's a great poet but said she hasn't been able to write anything. Stuck!

As soon as we got off the phone, I sent her a card, in which I said something like:

January 3, 2019

19 acorns sitting on my windowsill
19 hand-shaped leaves left on the maple tree
19 taps of the woodpecker on the bird house
19 library books waiting to be read

By hook or crook, I was gonna show off and tell her you can write about anything.

Now before I go a'Compassing am gonna ride my stationery bike. Am reading a fab book borrowed from Rich and Ada called THE LIBRARY by Susan Orlean. Every turn of phrase is extraordinary.




Yes, it's a lovely red.

Should I read this - or the Haruki Murakami book, which I've told you is exquisitly boring but I'm in no hurry when I read it.




POEM: A BOWL OF CLOTHESPINS

In my night-bright kitchen
a clear glass bowl sits modestly
as a toadstool, filled with
dozens of wooden clothespins.

Time to celebrate your usefulness,
your ordinariness, and the simple
joy you take in fulfilling your
duty.

It's all about springs! Well,
the modern kind anyway.

Good for stopping a sneeze
a bloody nose (my little Sarah
had those as a child) and perfect
for sharing with a grandson or daughter.

For me, like the late Sister Wendy Beckett,
I find a simple joy in their uncomplicated
well-constructed beauty.


Tuesday, January 1, 2019

The Kieper Belt - Poem

THE KIEPER BELT, THE FURTHEST REACHES OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM

The Kieper Belt is where all the leftover things reside from the formation of the Solar System



LES TROIS AND ULTIMA THULE

We sit on the front porch while the rain drizzles down.
Firecrackers boom in the background.
Grandbaby Max jumps like a scared puppy dog.
Neighbor George Schuler has purple patches on his once
clean-shaven cheeks, but that's what comes out of reassembling
yourself from the grave.

In my warm beret I point to the skies, licorice dark,
and exclaim, Here's the funny thing. The space ship's
been up there a decade. And now with folks at the Athens' Acropolis
the Seattle Needle, and London's Globe Theater, humankind will start anew.

Everything that's been written about has been writ.
Willie Shakespeare saw to that, killing folks off at
babydom, pubescence, or old age, kings and fools alike.

We'll say a silent prayer as the ship swoops by the mini land of
Ultima Thule, Not to bother with the name, in the time it takes to
crack open a peanut shell, the ship will settle down to investigate
like only a few of us can do.

Hey, Bubby, says five-year-old Max. I have news for y'all.
Life as we knows it, comes from that tub of rubble known as
Ultima Thule, flying in a space machine called Bright Horizons
Bright, with real acorns set down in Mom's ole fashioned ceramic
ash tray and at the exact moment, with a red second hand watch
the world comes to a stop.

And there it is, there it stands, a hiccup or two in time,
and a kiss of stubbly bearded Dad in his blue "Dad's" cupholder
but do it matter? Do it? Do it? Do it? like the color of
snuff and dromedaries in the desert and pitted dates.

I read the book and there ain't much more.

Where is Eric? Poem: Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Glaring Sun

Left a message at Caddick Construction in Ambler, PA, addressing it to Judy, who profusely thanked me for buying cookies from Lochel's Bakery in Hatboro, PA, for the men who put in the sewer mains and paved the streets.

I went to great lengths to buy those cookies, I said, and I'm really MAD that Eric wasn't here at noon to pick them up.

It's also good manners to write and say you'll be late or won't come at all.

Spoke to my dear friend Blanche Lipshutz who called to wish me Happy New Year.

Told her the tale of errant Eric.

She advised me to call, which I did.

Her daughter Judy is helping a friend move into Regency Towers.

YES, the Regency Towers where I met Walter Straus, born in 1920.

But that's another story.

Am sitting here on red couch watching all the cars drive by hoping, par example, that long low black car that looks like a limo was him.

Will take them to Mom's at 2 pm.

Blanche wanted to know answers to several questions.

Years ago, what med did I drive in the pouring rain to get from their house?

The side effect pill Cogentin.

Told her that today I can't drive in the dark.

Oh, she said, you're in that category of seniors.

You've gotta forgive yourself for getting older and not ...

Hmm, I wonder which cookie I'll eat first!

Watched a fab documentary this morning on the life of Margot Fontayn. Wanted to send it to Sarah's friend Julie Worden, a dancer with the Mark Morris Dance Group.

775.da.x491.jwordenlallegro.jpg

You think YOUR toes hurt?

Listen to what I did earlier today.

Unfriggingbelievable!

A huge branch fell off the tree in the front yard. Knowing it was slushy and muddy outside, I put on Helene's boots.

I stomped them on.

Then I had to get up from the floor.

I used my right hand to get up.

OUCH
OUCH
OUCH

I thought I'd broken my friggin hand!

Blanche is very literary minded so I thought I'd read her my new poem.

Have YOU read it?

THIRTEEN WAYS OF LOOKING AT THE MORNING SUN

Based on the Wallace Stevens poem Thirteen Ways of
Looking at a Blackbird

What's this! My eyes are blinded by the morning glare.
The sun's big as a cheese ball at a New Year's Eve soiree
No one's invited me to.

Visit the man next door who will open with great tenacity
and vigor a glass jar of sauerkraut. The morning glare
is reflected in his hazel eyes and glass door.

Stumble blindly home and give half-assed wave to the
Irishman up the street as he drives by.

Check in dining room mirror to see if I'm changed
in the twinkling of an eye from staring at the sun.

Will I go blind? Or will all go well. I look into Beatriz's
Australian Mate Tea, I've flooded with honey for flavor
and a natural cure for - not pleurisy, nor inflammation
of the bronchial tubes - but a tickle in the back
of my throat.

We cannot throw out the sun but we can water the
philodendron with Australian Mate Tea and the
desiccated orchid beside it.

One last look behooves me.
Icarus is falling, falling.
A huge waxen feather has
fallen in my front yard.

The thirteenth way of
looking at a blackbird.'

***
It's very good, she said. Who wrote it?

I brought another tea home from B's house. This was was very good. Am too lazy to look at the tea bag to see its name.

***
THE MIGHTY sent me an email. They wanted me to sign up for regular emails to help me keep my New Year's Resolutions.

Really wanted to, but the log back on did not work.

***
Wrote another poem based on something I read in the Times.

Let's do another blog post for dat!!!