Saturday, October 25, 2014

Coffeeshop Writers' Group - Good turnout - Good nail polish - My two new poems: Caroline's Spoon and Division in the Darkness

Linda and I attended The Willow Grove Bible Church last nite - see my poem below - where every other Friday they host a band and an art project. For $10 we each painted an acrylic painting under the tutelage of Abbie, whose studio is in Hulmeville, PA.

Neither Linda nor I followed directions - which was fine with Abbie - and we each did our own thing.

Linda painted a Christian ship of hope.

Her poem, which we all liked was titled The Last Atomic Holocaust Movie Supper. 

"I dreamed a dream," it began. She dreamt it on a Wednesday and poetated on a Friday.

Solomon Grundy was born on Monday, christened on Tuesday.

Handsomely hatted Floyd liked the poem, esp since it contained lines about his fave movie, Dr Strangelove.

He told us about Trinity, the nickname for the first atomic bomb, which was detonated in Alamagordo, New Mexico.

Twould be nice if this were a bicycle helmet, but it's the Trinity Bomb. 

Beatriz wrote an essay about what happened to her at the Willow Grove Post Office.

She's quite weak from her chemo and when she walked in the door, she didn't notice that a "well-dressed black woman" was behind her.

The woman yelled at her for not holding open the door.

Beatriz, a kind soul, told her she didn't see her but the woman insisted on making a fuss.

In the story, Beatriz yelled at her, telling her she was an old lady and the woman had obviously been "snubbed" and was taking it out on her.

The entire post office applauded and the woman apologized.

Photo of Carly from my 'stock photos.'

Her Metamorphosis is about a dream trip she and Charlie want to take. They've been talking about it for years.

Floyd knows a couple who are doing it right now. They go "where the climate suits my clothes" - lines from the Grateful Dead. Their mailing address is in South Dakota, where cars do not have to be inspected, and neither do the cars in Maryland.

Floyd knows his music. He emailed us a rhythmic piece of his thoughts as he was listening to Led Zeppelin's "Dazed and Confused."

Listen up, right here. 

Stand up and take a bow, Floyd!

Allan Heller will give a performance of his work next week at the Hatboro library. It's on my calendar. He's investigating the possibility of having brain surgery for his Parkinson's. A woman in his support group said she's 70 percent better after having the surgery.

Use your imagination and see what you think Carly is doing here..... eating watermelon? biting her nails?

Am listening to the Blues Show on WXPN. Sadly, Jack Bruce of Cream passed away today. He's considered one of the greatest bass players of all time. He ruined his liver with drug abuse and had a transplant years ago, but died of liver failure. 
Wiki - Bruce died on 25 October 2014 from liver disease in Suffolk, England, aged 71.[20] His publicist Claire Singers said: "He died today at his home in Suffolk surrounded by his family."

While blogging, I lost the entire contents of my blog, but decided to do it all over again.

 Donna's poem was about A Perfect Day. She and her daughter Danielle went shopping together. Donna bought some boots with buttons down the side and her daughter bought a sexy and elegant dress for her upcoming trip to London with her future in-laws and fiance.

Three people remained to read my newest short story, "Moses The Man." Thanks to Carly and Donna for reading my lengthy short story.

I had absolutely no idea what was gonna happen in the story. Let it percolate overnite but that didn't help a bit.

Am pretty happy with it.


My car knows the way
to the small lit-up church
where I go on Friday nights
to drink coffee and listen
to music but it is the
getting there, the driving over,
down the dark streets with
porch lights calling out like
beacons leading lost soldiers
home from the wars.

I am searching for Division Avenue
Off on the left
a huge grassy field
hosts thousands
of feet who play soccer
and baseball
under a blazing sun
and hidden stars

I looked at a house
overlooking the playing fields
how I wanted it
to cheer my depressions
when the mood was upon me
but the rooms were like
small caskets
every one of them

The small lit-up church
appears before me
A sign announces
Fresh Ground Coffee House
where the Decaf is free and so are
the pastries my pitiful pancreas
won’t let me eat.

The Decaf will do. 
I am there only an hour and come
home with a painting filled with
concentric circles and dots and dashes
an encoded message I fail to
comprehend, and a hot cup of
Decaf I sip on in the car.

I find my way back home
Division is empty, not a single
car down this lonesome road,
so I turn up the volume and
sing out of tune.

At home, I flood the upstairs
typing room with lights that
blaze out into the darkness,
piercing spikes that a careful
astronaut may notice as
she circles the only planet
we know that has life.

Even the pens and markers
in my blue Walt Disney cup
burst with life and bright colors
and the cup feels cold as
I stroke it with my hand.


In memory of Caroline
November 28, 1922 – July 17, 2014

Meaningless now
spoon stamped
“stainless Japan
the cellar”
on sale in one of the grand
old buildings in Cleveland
our ancestral home
hers too
her mother a
gray-haired sylph
in topknot
sold furs
at Higbee’s
dead at one hundred
and three

Caroline married for
love not furs
Irv admired these
spoons as they dined
on matzo ball soup
with soft carrots and
translucent onions

“Easy to hold with
their flat bottoms!”
he laughed. Their
mirth spread across
the room thinking of
their own fat bottoms.

Brian, by now, was
a late-night teen,
like the spoon,
he was adopted,
a misfit
miserable with
downturned mouth.

They tried everything
before juvenile
detention gave him
his life was over.

“So let him join the
carnival!” said Caroline
in that husky voice
bursting, I swear,
with love.

His seed impregnated
a lovely woman
Holly saw something
in that boy’s eyes,
his own mother may have
seen it when she offered
him up

Caroline was Mom’s best friend.
They met at the distribution warehouse
on St. Clair where the smell of sweat and men in
undershirts and crushed cigarettes
trailed them back home

Their friendship never expired.
When we moved next door to
Pennsylvania they laughed
over the phone, and when I answered
she’d say, “Ruthie! How are you?”

We worry about Brian
now that she’s gone
he did not visit
during the waning days
but lays in bed now
picking his lips
till they bleed
asking for

Hello Miami Beach Cousin, Carolyn Robbins Manley

Gathering in Mom's kitchen and eating her delicious food. Carolyn is one of two kids from mom's Uncle Benny and his wife Aunt Clover. He was a riot. And did magic tricks, pulling a quarter out of your ear.

We all grew up in the suburbs of Cleveland. And are as scattered now as the stars in the sky.

Carolyn was in Camden, NJ, attending a function of her company, which specializes in mock jury trials and jury selection.  

Very poised, she's been on television numerous times. Plus she's a lovely person. We'd be friends, I told her, if you lived around here.

Her two children are Marissa and Benjamin. Altho her husband Patrick is not Jewish, he's a mellow guy and was fine with her raising their kids Jewish.

Wonder if they have a mezuzah on their door post and

a preying mantis on their mailbox.

That's a Matisse cut-out I'm mailing to Aunt Selma in Cleveland.

 Mom looked terrific.
Patrick kept busy playing games.

Happy half-birthday to sister Donna.

We're all in our sixties - where does the time go? - except Amy who's but a kid at 59.

I'll be 69 in December since I share a birthday with

This dude needs no introduction. 

Faith sustains many people.

Mom, I said, please give Carolyn some of your stuff.

Thousands upon thousands of objects - okay, objets d'art - make it impossible for my mom to move out. No wonder she has water in the basement. The house weighs a ton.

These bookends of German Shepherds belonged to Gramma Zali. Zali was the mother of Uncle Benny, my Grandma Lily and 9 others, plus baby Gertrude who died before she was a year old.

My middle name is Zali (rhymes with Polly). 

Carolyn knew our great-Aunt Ruthie, who worked for the Miami Herald. She didn't know that our aunt suffered from one of the most painful conditions on earth:  tic de la roux or trigeminal neuralgia.

She took the antiseizure drug Tegretol for a while but finally had facial surgery that relieved the intense agony.  Her face was partially paralyzed, but the pain was gone.

Carolyn is now on her way to the Philadelphia airport in her rented Chevrolet.

Mom loaded her down with Ellen's award-winning white meringue cookies studded with chocolate chips.

While there, I feasted on salmon loaf, roasted asparagus and blubbery crunch.

Can you see me waving at the plane up in the air? Bye bye Carolyn, come back soon.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Diabetes Rules my Life - New Poem - What Short Story for the morrow? - Poem: Fourth of July

I injected more than enuf insulin for dinner - a huge salad! - and then drove five minutes away to the Friday nite festivities at the

  First thing I did, after saying hello to Linda Barrett,

was to pour me a cuppa Decaf.

Then I took a painting class with Abbie. Her studio is in Hulmeville, PA. Used to work as a therapist at the now-defunct Bristol Bensalem Human Services and would eat at the Hulmeville Inn.

  Jackie, I'd say, I'll have a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato and a cup of Decaf.

Now, of course, I have diabetes and rarely eat bread. High carb count!

When I go to the Friday nite Coffee Grounds - and it's always mobbed - I leave my wallet hidden in my unlocked car. So I paid $10 for the painting class when I was ready to leave.

 Seven people sat around the table. We all painted the same painting, so Abbie could guide us.

I followed direx for a while, but didn't want to paint a TREBLE CLEF,

so I did my own design, as did Lynn Sinclair, who sat next to me.

A woman with perfect teeth, she looked so familiar. She was my diabetes educator and was a very good one. She, also, deviated from the treble clef.

I shared with her that I was 'low' today.... a 44.  Normal is 80 to 120. Lynn was very concerned. Asked me why.

I had simply miscalculated how many units to inject for my cream of asparagus soup.

I simply ate 8 whole-grain pretzels and then some peanuts.

  I know how to take c/o myself!

How did I know I was low?

I was in the baffroom and I couldn't remember where my bedroom was.

Sometimes you can't think properly when this happens. Calmly, I walked downstairs, took my blood sugar, and then ate the pretzels.

At the church tonite, there was no food for a person with diabetes. Usually they have cheese n crackers, but Kim checked and said there was none, so I was anxious to get home and eat my pretzels b/c I had overinjected.


Since tomro is our Writers' Group - bye bye Bob Klein - I wanted to finish my short story.

Couldn't find it. Goggled "Moses," the name of the main character and found it. Will work on it tonite, until, oh..... about 3 am, while listening to my new CD

  I love Bodhisatva.  

 This is the snack I ate tonite to avert a 'low.'

Say hello to my new friend Gregory Godfrey. He stopped by to give me a packet of info he teaches to his students at Abington Junior H.S. The info was about Depression.

What a great guy! Good to know you, son.

 Mom's best friend was Caroline Berkman. She died in July. The above was her spoon. I wrote a poem about it.

Below is a fork from Horn and Hardart. I found it on the street.

All these new words - automat, laundromat, cafeteria, rifle range.

WXPN is having their countdown of the hundred best songs. One of my fave songs is I Only Have Eyes for You, sung by the Flamingos.

Written in 1934, here's the version by the Flamingos of Chicago. 

They're still performing.

Am listening to a terrific audio book in the kitchen. Dunno the name but the author is Nicholas Evans, the Brit author of Horse Whisperer.

When I Wiki'd him, here's what I found..... and then, Dear Reader, I will let you go.

Evans is married to singer/songwriter Charlotte Gordon Cumming.

Evans, Cumming, and several of their relatives were poisoned in September 2008 after consuming Deadly webcap mushrooms that they gathered on holiday.

They all had to undergo kidney dialysis,[2] and Evans underwent a transplant in 2011 using a kidney donated by his daughter.

Years ago, I wrote a poem about The Hulmeville Inn. 


I have come to this peaceful cafe
to rest my legs and drink from
the bottomless pot of coffee
the waitress has set before me.

I am jittery and can barely pour
the cream without creating a splash.
This is to be expected on a day like today, a
red white and blue day that
proclaims the coming of the holiday.

The waitress glides by.
A swan on a ripply pond.
She has people to serve
in the other room,
the dark room,
the room with the bar.

The waitress stops by.
Does she want to talk?
I watch the smoothness
of her neck for a signal.

Her devotion is total,
like an abbess to her flock,
bound to her plates and soup bowls,
her pitchers of iced tea floating with lemon wheels.

Just the coffee, I tell her.
The cream goes in with a splash.

Against the wall, a legion of
tiny American flags
proclaim their clean, laundered loyalty
— to what, I am not sure —
bringing to mind the
music of Charles Ives
I have listened to in my bedroom
long ago.  Where is he now, I wonder,
that daredevil cockatoo!