Monday, September 22, 2014

Walk around the Block - Houses on Cowbell - Poem: Sorrow of the Falling Leaves

I keep my silverware on the kitchen table. The ceramic pot was given to me 40 years ago by Lynne Henrion of Houston, TX.

Image result for lynne henrion Lynne is a retired school teacher. We knew one another when my ex and I lived in TX. She knew baby Sarah. When Sarah was about two she slept over Lynne's house. Sarah was always quite independent.

The glass jar above is from my Goddard friend Iris Arenson-Fuller. When I was recovering from my kidney t plant three years ago, she sent me flowers from Kremp.

I kept the glass jar.

Iris is a personal transformation life coach and poet.  

Took two walks around hilly Cowbell Road today. With and w/o boyfriend Scott.

The second walk I did instead of injecting insulin.

Here are some things I saw upon stepping out the door. 

 Leaf on lower left is levitating..... on a spider web.

What dyou spose the mourning glories are mourning?

Dyou spose this praying mantis will go after the prey in the spider web? I'll check it later.

Forty years ago when my dad was dying of cancer, I saw a preying mantis on my mailbox.

I took it as a good omen he would live.

That's called "grasping at.... preying mantises."

The man who lived here, John Leonard, was 96 when he died. He had a magnificent backyard garden. Wrote a couple of poems about him. Never, said my son Dan, show people poems about them. Not sure why. Any ideas, kids?

 They're doing a nice job fixing up the abandoned house. Now there's a great idea for a poem since I know all the people who lived there. Shall I put it on my "Poem To Do List?"
At the top of Greyhorse Road are these huge pumpkins.

Scott, I said on our walk, we've GOT to make a scarecrow this year. It's something we've wanted to do.

Scott found some new backercises on YouTube we'll do together.

However, we won't nap together as Judy L is coming over at 4 and we'll go out for dinner, probly Asian cuisine.

 The realtor Norma Moore lives here, I believe. Once I found a twenty dollar bill outside on her sidewalk and gave it to her. She thanked me.
A man named Terry lives here. He uses cedar mulch in his garden.

See, I know all the important points about the houses. But I DO NOT KNOW the people.

 Recently seal-coated with exquisite brick path. Artificial fleurs in the upstairs flower boxes. I had to remove my flower boxes as squirrels procreated in there.
 Very steep hill up the drive. Scott and I are on level ground. C'mon over and see us some time.
I particularly like the "Belgian" blocks that line the driveway.

 John DeLuca, a retiree from SEPTA, lives with his aged mama here. I used the same company he did for his stone wall. I had a step put in at my front door b/c the one step was too high up for little five foot Ruthie.
 The Kiernan slant.
This is a magnificent tree, but I don't know the name.

Why is it important to know names? Tell me, if you know.

Brought these autumn leaves inside. My goal? Write a poem about them. Here it is:


They follow me as I
clamber up the hill
tulip   maple   oak   beech   and   dogwood
autumn leaves,
they clatter behind me like women
in heels
Like Orpheus, I dare not look back
but stoop instead and bring them
home. We will live together a while
following Corey’s “Every day nature
gives us gifts”
then, aging together, an inner glimmer
will mark their disappearance.
And mine.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Dr Robert L Sadoff talks about highlights of his career as a forensic psychiatrist

"Hi, Bob!" I said when I walked into the air-conditioned room. The little refrigerator in the corner was making its usual racket but we soon forgot about it.

Who wouldn't when you're hearing stories about the likes of George Banks now on Death Row at Graterford, but he's too psychotic to be executed.

Coincidentally, I went to the Upper Moreland Library after the talk and met my friend Alex Zachariah, a corrections officer at Graterford, who knows Mr. Banks.

Saving Mr. Banks? I don't think so. That's the movie about Walt Disney meeting the author of Mary Poppins.  

I'm an avid reader of crime novels - Lee Child's Jack Reacher character - John Sandford's Lucas Davenport - Philip Margolin - and I enjoy watching on Netflix any crime programs they have including Criminal Minds with the fab Mandy Patinkin.

My latest audio book "Son of Hamas" got too bloody - so many children and others were purposely killed by Hamas b/c they love to hate and they love to kill.

Wonder what diagnosis Dr Sadoff would give these sadists.

"A forensic psychiatrist," said Dr Sadoff, "is involved in legal matters." 

"Ethics is a very important part of what we do," he said.

You wouldn't believe all the unethical prosecutors and DA's he's met.

Sadoff wrote a book in 2011, Ethical Issues in Psychiatry: Minimizing Harm

Ethical Issues in Forensic Psychiatry: Minimizing Harm (0470670134) cover image

Find his three books here on Amazon. He's working on another.

Very important to have a mentor, he said. And to mentor other people.

Sadoff teaches at University of PA, which has one of the few forensic programs in the country for children and adolescents.

He went to law school with Lynne Abraham, Philadelphia prosecutor, who's now running for mayor. Not only do I love seeing women run for important offices, but older women as well. Born in 1941, she's 73.

Lynne has all her hair.

 We spent a lot of time discussing the famous case of Jeffrey R MacDonald, a Green Beret and Surgeon whose wife and children were murdered in their home in North Carolina.

     MacDonald is back in prison today in North Carolina.

He's remarried but there are no conjugal visits in prison.

He refuses to admit he was guilty.

Sadoff firmly believes he is innocent of killing his pregnant wife Colette  and two small children.

In collecting information about a patient, Sadoff interviews those closest to the person.

"You get collaborative data," he said.

Sadoff flew out to California to interview both MacDonald and the people he was working with in the ER in a Long Beach, CA hospital, as well as in his personal life.

He interviewed 20 people he worked with.

"They loved this guy. Not one negative comment."

MacDonald, an attractive charismatic man, had been unfaithful to his wife Colette. But that doesn't mean he killed her. Sadoff said the man is definitely not a psychopath, simply a narcissist.

He had two girlfriends, whom Sadoff interviewed. They said he was a fine, decent man. Not violent and no rough sex.

Sadoff brought a couple of books to show us including

Fatal Vision book.PNG  As a reporter, the former Phila Inquirer writer, McGinniss, told MacDonald he believed he was not guilty.

His book, however, stated that MacDonald was guilty.

MacDonald later sued the author and was awarded a $300,000 settlement, which he used to support his aged mother in a nursing home.

He also showed us another book in defense of MacDonald by filmmaker  Errol Morris.

Read about it here in The Atlantic.

The Innocence Project has also taken up the case.

MacDonald claimed that four people - three men and one woman in a blond wig - had killed his wife. Several of them confessed, but it was thrown out of court.

Motive? Drug-related. "Acid is groovy," was written on the wall.

MacDonald, in the Army, was on a drug addiction commission.

Dr Sadoff also said there are women who love killers. 

From Wiki below....
  • One of the most infamous examples of hybristophilia is the large number of women attracted to Ted Bundy after his arrest.[5] He often drew scores of women at the jammed courtrooms of his trials each day.[6] Bundy allegedly received hundreds of love letters from women while he was incarcerated.
  • Jeffrey Dahmer, a serial killer, is said to have had amorous women sending him letters, money, and other gifts during his time in prison.
  • Serial killer Richard Ramirez married a female groupie in prison who had written him over 75 letters. During his trial, dozens of women flocked to the courtroom to catch a glimpse of him.
Dr Sadoff would like to see mentally ill prisoners taken out of jails and put into forensic units in mental health facilities, such as Bldg 51 at Norristown State Hospital.

Most of the buildings are closed today. See the bars on the windows?

George Banks killed 13, including some of his children.

Hmmm, nice-looking guy. Surely someone wants to marry him. Don't look at me. I'm already taken and we just ate our Sunday nite pizza now.

George Banks cannot be executed as he's psychotic. You must know what you've done in order to be executed, and, said Dr Sadoff, so you can prepare yourself to meet your maker.

He also discussed The Gainsville, FL "ripper" Danny Rolling, who was executed in 2006 at age 52 for killing five college students. 

Good to know: 

The worst prison is "Parchman" in Mississippi.

Different types of sexual crimes.... one may be a stepping stone to another

"Aggressive" and "anonymous"

All involve "breaking into a forbidden place."

Peeping tom looks into forbidden windows

Frotteurs - touch women's body parts

Rapists enter a woman's body

Dr Sadoff once counseled an exhibitionist, who would open his raincoat on the subway.

Why? So women would see how well-hung he was and want to go to bed with him.

How many women have you exhibited yourself to, asked the doctor.

Hundreds, said the man.

And how many have you slept with?

None, said the man.

Dr Sadoff convinced him his strategy did not work.

We all thanked Dr Sadoff for his fascinating talk and gave him a gift of Stutz Chocolate

"I love Stutz," he said.

I was surprised he'd heard of it, but then he's a local guy. His office is in Jenkintown.

I won't tell you where Dr Sadoff lives b/c one guy who Sadoff's expert testimony helped put him in prison, threatened to kill him and a few others when he gets out.

Honestly, if the inmate wants to kill those responsible for getting him in there, he should point the gun at himself.

Thanks to Elyse Bonner of the Giant for setting up our room upstairs. Nonprofits can rent it for free.

After every meeting, we go downstairs to chew the fat.

My dear friend, Blanch Lipshutz, 88, drove over. I saved a copy of the Compass for her.

Was so happy to see Betsey Kirk, my Lake Galena pal.
Betsey Kirk is a peer specialist at Voice and Visions, HQd  in Warminster.

Both Ada and Rich Fleisher were at the program.

We had about 20 people there.

Here's my friend Teresa "Tree" Forstater. She's laffing b/c she had her arms behind her back and I said, Stick em out front, you look like an amputee.

She and Betsey exchanged E addesses, as they can help one another.

Don't you love when that happens?

Finally got to meet Bob Kline. We've spoken on the phone and emailed one another. Bob will drive me to my talk at the Wellness Center on Tuesday nite for my talk on Having a Great Life while managing bipolar d/o and depression.

Look at Bob's beautiful business card. Creativity incarnate!
My friend Carolyn Constable wrote this book about Peace Valley Nature Center in Chalfont, PA.

Carolyn Corey Jarin, the founder of Peace Valley, is on the cover. She's now in hospice at Chandler Hall. She's 87 and 88 and she saw the first copy printed of "Who Learns to Love," a quote from Henry Chapman Mercer of the Mercer Museum in Doylestown.

"Amazon Creates Space" was the publisher. It's full of beautiful color pictures. Each copy cost $15.

It's extremely well-written. My poem "A Short Life" about a dragonfly is in there.

Carolyn's entire family loves nature. Her dad was a nature lover.  Her son in Oregon works for the Oregon Fish and Wildlife.

Everyone in her family is really into nature.

Coffeeshop Writers Group sandwiched between a bar mitzvah - Poems: Baby Max Swings his Arms and Whales

My friend Judy Kroll and husband Barry had their son bar mitzvah'd at Shir Ami in Newtown, PA.

Indeed, the cantor sang and performed on the guitar.

The bar mitzvah boy, Max, had grown considerably since last I saw him when he was about seven. He's taller than Mom and catching up with dad.

I asked Max later if he enjoyed performing and he said, Yes. A young woman Alana was bat-mitzvahed on the same bema.

They do projects, much like Catholics do on their confirmation, Elyse Bonner told me this morning when I ran over to the Giant to set up the room for our one o'clock program with Dr Bob Sadoff.

Max played the piano in various nursing homes. He also remembered the death of a five-year-old Jewish boy in the Holocaust. When my daughter Sarah and I went to Paris last year, we saw a remembrance for the Jewish children from Paris killed by the Nazis in death camps. One was 21 days old.

The rabbi said something to the effect that we will always persevere against our enemies and try to bring about peace among nations.

What planet is he talking about?

When Scott and I drove home from the bar mitzvah, I told him I'd drive to the dinner, which was at 6:30 pm. He went right to sleep as this is his weekend of sleep, since he works by night.

 Some of us reviewed Floyd B Johnson's short story online. In "The Good Old Days" the narrator seeks out old "Pap," a ball player, whose baseball glove he has. Great story with great dialog and characters. That man is goooood!
Carly Brown read a speech she wrote for a presentation this Weds on what she's learned from her hypnosis class. Her goal is to control her eating and continue to lose weight.

We all found it inspiring!

This is a "stock photo" I have of Linda, who wrote the conclusion of her dystopian story "Mother of Society." Floyd commented on what an undertaking she had created.... an entire world of science fiction. The main characters are named Adam and Eve.

New guy Jack Mulcahy

made some good comments. Editors, he said, will stop reading the story when they hear the characters' names are Adam and Eve. Too obvious, he said.

Behind him on the photo are guys from the Computer Club which meets upstairs.

Jack wrote a "heroic fantasy" story called "Mikhaila's Final Mission." This 17-yo woman and her team are charged with ferreting out enemies but must go through a forest and not make any noise. It was well-wrin, exciting and suspenseful.

Welcome to our world of writing, re-writes, and differing opinions, Jack!

I got feedback for the conclusion of my short story "The Power of Love" or, as Floyd remarked, "The Power of Lust."

I've got a lot of work to do on it, including changing the profession of my main character, who just won a Terri Lynne Lokoff award. My friend Rob Lokoff, is the late woman's brother.

Scott and I drove to the beautiful Spring Mill Manor in Ivyland PA for the bar mitzvah dinner.

A truly beautiful place.

All the food was delicious. We enjoyed the appetizers. Since I have diabetes, I injected the maximum amount of insulin - 10 units - and enjoyed two potato latkes with applesauce on top

while Scott enjoyed knishes. We also sampled various fare on other tables in the appetizer room.

Had we known we would not stay for dinner, we would have eaten more.

I also drank half a glass of wine.

Then into the dark and freezing banquet room we went. I figured it would be cold, so I wore a warm pretty sweater that Ada had given me as a gift over my light blue dress that my sister Donna gave me.

Everyone was having a grand time - they finally turned on the lights - I enjoyed the slide show of Max and also the lifting up of chairs with Max and Judy and Barry - a great tradition.

Scott and I sat patiently at our tables waiting for the food to be brought in.

We were starving.

Fortunately, waiter Brian brought us a delicious Caesar salad. And when I asked him he brought me a glass of hot water to warm me up.

I didn't wanna ask for a heating pad.

Our tablemates were most unfriendly. You know, you meet someone's eyes and wait for them to talk. Of course, talk was impossible due to the loud throbbing music.

I went over and spoke to a man originally from Israel and told him I was listening to an audio tape Son of Hamas

He said nothing after that, but, again, how could he?

Finally, I turned to Scott.

You wanna leave, I asked.

He said, If I had driven here and had the keys, I would've left long ago.

Grrrr. Why hadn't he told me that sooner!

I was in a HORRIBLE mood that night. Simply horrible. I was so looking forward to a filet mignon dinner, not to mention dessert.

I feel fine today, having "vented" over the phone to my mom and Ellen - they went to my nephew Tyler's baby shower in Jersey, where he proposed to Kamilla, the mother of his baby - and also telling Elyse Bonner of the Giant.

Here's the two poems I presented in the writers' group


He doesn’t talk yet but listens.
His sharp eyes focus on
you and swallow you whole.

When he walks he swaggers
pumping his little white arms
with gusto
a gambler walking into a
saloon in Dodge.


Mariam from bombed-out
Beirut cooked with cinnamon
and spoke French. Husband
Julio – Whoo-lio! -  lapped her up
like a white lollipop with a
Tootsie Roll center.

Together they bore children
while she fixed hair and faces
and he drove taxicabs and limos
in New York
cheating his immigrant
customers. He still spoke
a Spanish English as they do
when born in Ecuador.

Finished with her
- she had grown fat on
her shish-ka-bobs and
baklava, her derriere protruding
like an extra-soft pillow you lie
on watching television at night
which they no longer did –
he left her.

Heartbroken, she begged and begged
but her phone never rang. She opened
her own hair salon and worked seven days
a week. Her grown children – Priscilla
Jacqueline and Little Julio - would visit
sitting in the twirling chairs with foot rests
inhaling the aromas of Redkin Shampoo,
silver nail polish, and a light hair spray
that never climbed the ozone.

Telling no one, she went on Internet Dating.
She and Robert went for coffee. Don’t they all?
She spilled her tea she was so nervous and he
patted the spots with a cloth napkin.
She did not tell him she could no longer fit into her
white bridal gown she’d bought at Bloomie’s as
she had gained one-hundred and thirty pounds.

Nor did he tell her he had lost eighty pounds from
a startling three hundred.

They both loved to eat.

The first kiss, on their second date,
was as soft as milkweed puffs blowing
in the wind

“He’s everything I ever wanted in a man,”
she told her friends.

Be careful, they advised. He may be a….

He was. A killer in the bedroom where they
lay down on the new Downy-soft lavender
sheets, but the mattress remained strong
four hundred pounds, like a newborn whale,
she didn’t even care if the neighbors heard
her scream.