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Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Nonnie and Drago: Two Days After Christmas

That went well. Drago, the brother I live with, loved his iPod, especially after we got it out of the packaging, and I loved my classy black leather gloves and pashmina (now I need cold weather-my other brother and his wife sent me a cashmere scarf from Mongolia (!) in the world's best red. We usually get cold enough weather in the Florida panhandle to dress-for-winter for a week or two, sometimes more. If not, I'll just have to go somewhere, right?) We had breakfast across the street and they have children, who had toys (!), warm smiles, good food. We talked to Robert (he of the scarf) in Philadelphia and heard funny dog and grandson stories. Then Drago and I both napped; Drago because he'd gone to midnight mass (he's a Catholic-Buddhist) and had very little sleep, me because I always nap. My New York cousin Nancy called. She never forgets, even this year
when she has loved ones in hospitals in two states-yes,  on Christmas day. (I know-sickness and death are no respecters of holidays and all. But still.)
After chats and naps I cooked our turkey. Successfully! This is not a big deal for most people. It is, decidedly, for me, because I lack experience in big item preparation. I was single for a long time and while I tried to be a good kitchen helper, I didn't have many dinner parties of my own. Didn't have room or enough silverware anyway. (I'd specialized in low-income careers with panache of one kind or another.) Then I was married for awhile and got into the middle-class, but I never had to cook the big meat/poultry part of the meal. He did those on his super-duper rotisserie. (My mother, during her last year with us, ate a baloney sandwich rather than risk my turkey. The next day, after everyone's survival, she ate the turkey tettrazini I made.) Anyways. Our neighbors, Ralph and Barbara came over for dinner, bringing more for our "splendid table." I love that phrase, although I'm not foodie enough for the NPR show-and we had a fine time. No fancy sauces-plain, healthy food. I'm sure my plakky arteries were grateful since I'd been eating (in moderation, of course) the delicious, buttery cookies Drago's yoga students and the neighborhood children had sent over. Homemade fudge, even.

Boxing Day around here had it's trials. Two of Drago's yoga students got headaches from the scented candle-burner thingy he tried-quite possibly his first-ever complaints from any of them. We couldn't get the iPod connected to the internet; we had Ralph, who can generally fix anything, over helping, but he isn't a kid either, and apparently only kids can do this sort of thing without losing their cool, or in our cases, hard-won serenity. After supper (our friend Romona's wonderful soup) I was locked in to "Little Dorrit" on TCM, the 1988 version, Parts One and Two, so I was up very late. And then even later because there was a major thunderstorm and our dog, Blossom, would not be comforted until it ended at 3amish. She kept Drago awake, too. Maybe because I was watching Dickens in the porch room which has lots of big windows and rain pounds down much louder out there, but I didn't want to move because the tv might have kept my brother up, you see.

Anyways. Here we all are-between holidays again. I'm pretty much full of goodwill.  Really. Maybe because I haven't been watching the doings on news shows for a few days and the consequent lack of Trumpage, etc. Maybe because I had a dream where everyone was alive again and my cousin Renee came to visit with a herd of friendly animals. I've been around children lately, too, which can kick-start goodwill for me. The weather is the kind of shiny breezy day you can get after a big storm. Blossom is exhausted but calm. Sam, our cat, is, well, Sam's always calm. I have the new P.D.James on my Kindle. Drago's teaching, and possibly, possibly using his iPod. So, you know, we're keeping-up. Lucky cusses, we are. You know, some 7,000 clicks have hit on this blog. Lots of them are mistakes or trolls, I'm sure, but for those of you who are here on purpose, and I guess even if you aren't, my best wishes for 2012. May it be chockablock with whatever you wish.  xxoononnie


This doesn't have much to do with the holidays, but I like the picture of Sam
                                           

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


MARILYN'S SOLILOQUY

Idiots of living time signify nothing.
They merely paint my fall of hair,
mold my shapely legs to tempt
fools who’d be my familiars.
Time now to undo my estate
of lechers creeping in petty pace
to grasp, fondle, possess
a thousand recorded images
of my charmed, night-shrieking life.
I then was but a walking shadow,
my champagne flavored by fear.
My senses cooled, my candle out,
forty-nine years since flesh
met numbed and sodden death,
I have forgotten the taste of glamour,
and am alive in bloodless dignity-
safe from clamorous bells,
the fury of fame, needing you. 
Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow,
to the last syllable of recorded time,
players will rouse and stir to shadows
of Marilyn, who briefly strutted upon a stage.

     Macbeth, Act v,scene v

Wednesday, December 07, 2011


Enough, Trump.


We've had it my dear with your pink ties, your hairs, 
your swagger, towers, your plenty of monies,
your tempers, your honeys. How dared you propose 
that you lead in our name? Are you smart, fair, or fine? 
Do you even have time?


I don't speak for all, not at all, but for many who never 
did like your style or bile, your tenacious temerity,
your specious celebrity. I wonder, I do, who could help
you see through your haze, your self-blinded daze.
Have you read any poets, I wonder?


Some dignity, perhaps? Is it there, under-wraps?
Still...some listen to you. It must be your cash. 
I do hope you know that the time you steal bothers 
me, my brothers, and millions of others. 
Would you just go?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Seasonal Poem                        




I will write your mother's name
and your name on a list,
make a folder for your family,
put it with the other thirty-four.
We can go to fifty.
One morning in December,
your mother and maybe your father
will go to K-Mart and shop for your Christmas.
I'm glad I could do this for you, child.
This writing down names. This easy work.

I used to teach you (children much like you)
to count pennies, sing funny songs, move like an elephant,
line up when you hear the bell, speak one at a time.
Together we had Mother Goose, Beatrix Potter,
the old tales from the old countries,
Maurice Sendak, Ezra Jack Keats, Eric Carle.
Piglet had a high voice and Eeyore had a low one.
I'm no longer the adult on the playground with you-
on guard against trouble, giver of time-outs,
hugs, thumbs-ups, stickers. ( Could I even give hugs, today?)
I was always in awe of you. I was always exhausted.

Now, because I can, and want to, and should have done
something before but didn't because and because and because,
I've become a volunteer in a small office on Thomas Drive.
Everyone who helps out (we hook people up
with donated money) speaks in an inside voice,
tries to follow the rules, washes their hands and coffee mugs.
Seemed simple to me, at first, but it isn't.
Flimsy trailers are hell on electric bills.
I don't make decisions. I keep records, fill in forms,
and I work on the Christmas list.




Monday, November 07, 2011

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Nonnie Travels, Part 3


Nonnie Travels, Part 3

I never woulda done it on purpose, of course. My plan was to amble south and west from Black Mountain, North Carolina to some point in central Georgia for a night, and then, the next day, on to the Florida panhandle, where I live. I would drive along what I think of as "soft highways." I avoid Interstates to the best of my ability. As soon as I get on one I want off it-so there's little point in trying them. This has taken me many years to learn. I'm a good driver, I think, but I have issues-see Nonnie Travels, Part 2, if you're curious about those-it's right under this post. I did avoid the four-to-six lane, beat up, loud, unforgiving zoomers for the most part. I followed through on that part of my plan, anyway.

Self-navigating with my follow-roads-that-point-south-or-west-or-both rule, I ended up in the southern Appalachians, on two way roads with a hair-pin turn every two seconds. Nobody else around for long chunks of time. The roads had signs with numbers and "south" or "west" posted every now and then, but since I couldn't look at my maps,(I love maps and had lots of them with me) they weren't very helpful. I'd flash by the infrequent shoulders and pull-overs and think, "oh, there was one." Once on this path, I had to go on until I came out somewhere, turning around just didn't seem doable. Hell, I couldn't even think about changing the CD. My hands were too busy. Really, I felt like I was driving with my arms. My entire body. Still, early Tom Waits was rather good company for this drive. He and I had a blast.

Driving up and down and around mountains, in October, on the kind of day that deserves all the best weather words thrilled me and gave my six-year old Buick a happy shock, too. Okay, maybe I wouldn't recommend the sort of morning I had to fellow heart patients, but man, it was fun. I had red, yellow, gold and green trees, dappled sunlight, miles of dense forest and then panoramic views of somewhere (didn't much matter where at that point, did it?) and I was counting only on myself and my trusty car, with Tom for additional spirit. I never woulda done it on purpose, what with my issues, and my promises to be careful, but fate gave me a gift…and a boost. I'd even gone south and west after-all, albeit not very far south or west, mostly up and down. Sort of like swinging. Huh.

This is the Windsor Hotel, dressed up for Christmas, in Americus, Georgia.
I stayed here on my way up to Black Mountain, and again on my way home. Great place. No fooling.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Nonnie Travels, Part 2


Nonnie Travels, Part 2

When I signed up for the Road Scholar program, I did so because I needed to leave the house. I have a dicey heart and Myasthenia gravis and neither of my bugaboos waltz with the humid heat of the Florida panhandle in summer. I decided to go to the mountains in North Carolina in October. Book talk, Appalachian music and humor were on the schedule. Deciduous trees. Cool weather. Not a trip to Paris, maybe, but what with everything, maybe just right.

Indeed. My room at the Inn overlooked a small lake and a  mountain. The leaves came through and God, they were beautiful.
No phone. No TV. Great bathtub. Mornings we had Annie Hall (I know) and Nancy Lewis leading us from writer to writer-many thanks to both of you. Evenings we had Appalachian storytellers, musicians, each others' laughter. I rested most afternoons or took gentle walks around the lake. Oh, and I had to replace my cell phone. I'd lost the charger somewhere on the way up, and there weren't any chargers being made that fit my old phone, at least not in Black Mountain, and I ended up having to buy a whole new deal with a contract and…still, a couple of hours out of six days isn't bad, right?

I was surrounded by kindness. Struck by gentility. No phonies. If there were any hidden agendas, I didn't find them. I relaxed with this group. Mine was one cane among many. We were in our sixties, seventies, and well into our eighties, and we enlivened  each other. I got out of the house, got into the mountains, and got to know interesting people who've seen around the corner, who get the joke in the hapless pomposity of "Do you know who I used to be?" I learned to say Appalachia,"apple at ch'a," and that road trips like this are good for me. My next one (poets) is in the works.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Nonnie Travels, Part 1



Before leaving for my 10 day trip to North Carolina for a Road Scholar program, "Southern Writers and Banned Books":

I almost cancelled. (too much chest pain-too tired)

On the way to North Carolina from the Florida panhandle:

"Is this Bonifay?"
"Yes ma'am," the cashier said in a sad, sad voice.

Mamma horse and her colt running flat-out across a pasture,
cows, goats, peanuts, cotton, pecans, sod, brown dirt, red dirt, dirt for sale

Old mansions, (the new ones are around Atlanta I guess, but I didn't go there) gun-shot shacks, tidy small towns with town squares or circles and big churches with long names, railroad tracks with right and wrong sides, the Tricia Yearwood Parkway

yard sales everywhere (I mean, everywhere!)

"Where's everyone going?" I asked.
"The Fair!!!" she said, and handed me my change for a big-gulp  coffee.(Everyone in the Perry, GA. traffic snarl knew but me, and clearly I shoulda.)

front yard sign: "Jesus"

The Windsor Hotel in Americus, GA. Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter go there for dinner sometimes. William Jennings Bryan,  Al Capone, Robert Bly, and Stephen Colbert stayed there. Not bad for a small town hotel.
from a  balconey at the Windsor Hotel

Dining Room, Windsor Hotel











Lost in a mall-crazy loop around Athens, GA.  Lost in one-way streets in downtown Athens, GA.  (It's all true-what they say about the way Southerners give directions.)

Missing my brother Drago, who was home alone at night and didn't like it. Sam and Blossom, our cat and dog, were with him, of course. Excellent companions, the best, but they don't sit at the table with you or watch Chris Matthews.

Springhill Suites are decorated with lots of lime green. Dunno. Springy?

Mountains! (Those others weren't mountains. They were hills. These are mountains)

Montreat, N.C.
Assembly Inn, Montreat, N.C.
And then:

Finding Black Mountain, N.C., (home of Black Mountain College from 1933 to 1957-now there's a story) without a hitch, hardly, unloading my stuff, steering the fucking cart (sorry, but there are times it's the best word) loaded with my stuff to my room at the Assembly Inn at Montreat Conference Center.  Settling in. Dinner with people I liked right away. Feeling fine…and proud of myself.

(to be continued)






Wednesday, October 05, 2011

A Head Full of Flowers


A Head Full of Flowers

“Okay, Lilah, time to move on,” the young cop said to the bundle on the bench.
 
“I don’t feel so good,” it said in a weak voice.

“You gotta get off the bench, Lilah. It’s already 8 am. I can’t let you sleep here. This is the Upper East Side for chrissakes.”

“It’s a public park. I’m public. And park plants share.”

"Yeah, you're public. You eat in public. Sleep in public. Central Park's not your bedroom."

“Well I can't sleep in my own bedroom. I can't find it anyway." Lilah sat up and rubbed her eyes. She was hungry and sad. She slowly finger-braided her long dark blond hair. 
"They made me leave." She spoke to the dirt path, barely loud enough for Tom to hear. She never said a word to the other cops. This one didn’t scare her.

“Come on, Lilah. Get yourself together and move to some other guy’s beat. I don't have time to hear your life story."

“I’m remembering myself this morning. Most mornings I don’t, but today I remember that I used to teach third grade.”

“Right. And I used to be a Rockette.”

Lilah looked at Tom then and flashed him a smile. A blue foulard necktie belted her baggy yellow t-shirt and there was a pink and green flowered scarf around her neck. She wore black cotton pants that had faded to a greenish-gray. Red flip-flops dangled from her filthy feet.

“I was a teacher. But my Philodendron began to laugh at me, tease me, call me names. The English Ivy was growing too fast. It was going up the walls. You know? And then one day my Calla Lilies told me all the houseplants wanted my apartment to themselves and that I should go for a long walk. So, I did.” Lilah started coughing and pulled a man's whitish handkerchief out of her Macy’s shopping bag.

Tom looked at Lilah’s dirty face more closely. She’s young, he thought. Mid-twenties, maybe. She’s schizo-not a drunk. I’ll be damned.

“When did your lilies tell you to go for a walk, Lilah?”  Lilah?”

“Oh, I don’t know. There were Tulips here, near this bench. They’re dead. See? No Tulips. I'm trying to find my sister's place. She’ll know how I can get my apartment back from the plants.”

Lilah, carrying the Macy’s bag and another from an A&P supermarket, got up and walked alongside Tom. She liked the sound her flip-flops made if she swung her feet up before putting them down and flapped with every step.

“Where did you live, before you moved onto my beat?” Tom twisted to look at her.

“Around someplace. I’ve been looking, but I haven’t seen it again. Bye!” Tom stopped as Lilah abruptly turned to her left and headed into the park, walking quickly and without flapping.

***

Lilah patted her almost full belly. She never asked for money. It never occurred to her to do that, but a white-haired lady had given her five dollars so she’d bought two warm bagels from Sid, a vender she liked. He’d slapped cream cheese on them, because he said she needed dairy.

She hadn’t made it back to her bench until after dark. Today was her day to walk from E. 86th and Fifth Avenue to the river. Her sister, Haley, lived on one of these streets. Haley had houseplants, but Lilah wouldn’t have to go near them. If she ever found her sister’s building, she  would just wait on her stoop until Haley showed up.

Lilah’s brain was full of voices that rarely told her anything useful. She could’t concentrate with all that chattering. Begonias and Impatiens were arguing about how long they had until the first frost. Lilah curled up as tight as she could and tried to sleep.
***

"Okay, I get it. Cold is coming. We have to be inside someplace before the cold starts. Stop yelling at me!” Lilah pounded her feet on the ground. She was sick of the Purple Coleus nagging her to find Haley’s place. The morning was gray and cool. She wrapped her arms around herself and swayed side to side. Water. She needed water and every plant in her head was telling her they were thirsty. Lilah stood up and looked under the bench for her flip-flops. 
“Where are they? My shoes-they’re gone!”

“No, your shoes are right under that bush, Lilah,” Tom said.

Lilah straightened up and saw the nice cop pointing to a Boxwood in a hedge that bordered the Fifth Avenue sidewalk. She saw her shoes and laughed. She’d completely forgotten that last night the Begonias told her she’d better hide them before she went to sleep.

“ How ‘bout you come with me to a police station on the West Side?  I’ve got my car, you don’t have to walk. It’ll be okay.”  Tom said. He had a schizophrenic cousin and badly wanted to help this woman get off the streets. He didn’t think she’d been off the radar long and if she’d taught school, they’d have her prints. 
I don’t get this, Lilah thought. Is this bad? Don’t any of you stupid flowers know what I should do?

“Why aren’t you wearing your uniform? Where’s your gun?”

“I’m off today. We’ll go talk to a lady named Colleen. She looks for missing persons. You’ll like her.”
“No. I’m not missing. My apartment and my sister’s apartment are missing.”
Lilah heard Old Rose, who rarely spoke, say in a teacher-voice, “Go with him, Lilah. You need help.”

“Can you get me some orange juice?” Lilah ignored all the high-pitched voices saying bad things about orange juice. They wanted water, but she was clear about wanting cold, tasty, orange juice.

“I can do that. I’ll get you a big glass. But you have to come in my car with me, because the place I know with the juice is over near Colleen’s station.”

“I’m supposed to look for my sister’s on E. 87th today. I think. Maybe it’s 84th. Or 86th.”
Lilah was swaying from side to side and lightly stamping her still bare feet. She didn’t know what to do. She looked at Tom and noticed he had green eyes, like all the green in her head.

“It’s time, Lilah. You need to find your sister and this man will help you. You’re sick child, and you aren’t taking care of yourself. Go with him.” Rose’s voice cut through the chatter and Lilah stopped moving and stood still. Then she put out a scratched, dirty hand, and Tom took it. He picked up the A&P bag, and Lilah picked up her Macy’s bag. She got her flip-flops from under the Boxwood and flapped them loudly as they crossed Fifth Avenue, heading for Tom’s car, orange juice,  and maybe a chance.

first published in The Write Side Up (C.W.Smith)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Nonnie and Drago are Fine, Really


Nonnie and Drago are Fine, Really

The world had a rather bad week, of course. Well, parts of the world have only had a few good weeks, if that, in the last decades, but it seemed to us that what with weather disasters in the Far East, further diplomatic dust-ups in or about the Middle East (where is the Near East, again? I have trouble keeping my Easts straight, and who are they east of, exactly?) and the global economy's inability to hold onto global money, it's been a lousy week. The hiker's got out of Iran, though. I'm happy for them and I hope they don't do anything like that again.

Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Bill Maher pretty much covered Drago and my U.S. woes this week. Last night Bill and his panel even discussed Troy Davis and all of that, but it was a writer friend of mine, in Zoetrope, where we sometimes hang, who brought up lawyers and the gazillions in legal fees (not paid by the prisoner in question-I mean, when was the last time the U.S. executed a rich man?) that get racked up when people are in death row for, say, twenty-two years. If I ever have to be executed for something, I think I'd just as soon go the guillotine route and right after getting the bad news. I could pretend I was Ronald Colman at the end of A Tale of Two Cities. I don't want to be on death row, waiting, hoping, then getting whacked anyway, for even one year. Okay? Oh, and there was another Republican debate. So, that happened, and happened, and happened.

One of our neighborhood's best dogs died of digestive problems. A little guy named Ralphie. All the dogs and dog people loved him. And Daisy, a totally non-aggressive Yorkie, got bitten by a visiting dog who was OFF HIS LEASH! This morning our cat Sam fell in the pool. (Yeah. We have a pool. Dad put it in back when you could still be middle class.) Our dog Blossom looked more worried than guilty; we don't think she did it. Sam's okay, now, but he was very sad for awhile.

Drago saved a hummingbird whose beak got caught in a screen, though. That was an upful ting (I'm learning Jamaican slang.) Florida's weather is cooling off, sorta, and our Aunt Peggy sent us pictures of old times and places, people we've lost (on this plane, anyway) and people who are wonderfully alive and kickin'. Here's one of me when I graduated high school. Still shiny, you know?


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Heart and Souls



The Best

Oh, dogs. Dogs, dogs, dogs, dogs, dogs.
Here she is. There they were. 
Riding along, running along, alongside, 
At my feet, on their backs, in my lap,
Kisses, kisses, kisses, kisses.

Play, play, play, play, play, oh, play.
Bark, snort, growl, yip, yap, giggle
Brave, yes, ready, always, obey, meh.
Hurray for food, naps, pissing!
Damn all fireworks!


Love, love, love, oh love, love
Dogs…and cats. Of course. Cats.


And



The Lost Elizabeths

Dead, of course. Long dead. The documents tell me who these Elizabeths and Catherines married, and what children they birthed, raised, or lost, but not who they were before they changed their names to his and his. They kept their English, Irish, French, Austrian given names, so often showing up as some version of Catherine or Elizabeth. Kathleen, Katrine, Kate, Kay. Eliza, Elsie, Berta, Birdie.  Last night I found a new (old, so old) marriage record and finally, for Catherine Eulalie, there is a surname. Wonderful discovery, that. Eulalie, as she was called, lived twenty years before she married Charles, and maybe I can find out who her parents were, where they came from, where I come from. Maybe these women who contributed their DNA were harridans,  but I choose to think of these lost Elizabeths as gentle women and as, certainly, brave women.  I’m going to continue to search for them. It feels like I owe them that.    

Sunday, September 04, 2011

DOPPELGANGER



Doppelganger,
you’ve been in place,
just beyond reach 
since first memory-
my advocate, my judge.

Unlike Mr.Gray’s monstrous portrait,
you grew with me to womanhood
then stayed young, vigorous, unsullied.
Your arm beyond my arm rests along the couch.

When I move on,
you come quietly behind me
but will not take the lead.
Bright path or tunnel?
The choice never defaults to you.

I’ve tapped malevolent shoulders,
taken the candy, trusted the fox,
and you've stepped away
to a safer, frowning distance.

You’ve triumphed, cried,
laughed, made love,
courted heartbreak,
through me and in gentler tones.

When all I can do is lie gasping, you revive me with cool grace,
until I’m able to catch my breath and resume the dance.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Nonnie Wafts


Nonnie Wafts

waft |wäft, waft|
verb
pass or cause to pass easily or gently through or as if through the air


I’ve been too busy wafting to write lately. (Well, I also blew my wad on that last poem I posted.  I had to wait for a refill from Whoever distributes that kind of thing.  Writers of lesser works get fill-ups, too, you know. Maybe half a tank or maybe a trickle-I never know what to expect-and I damn sure don’t know when to expect it.) Anyways, back to wafting. One hot afternoon I up and started tracing my ancestry. As I’m pretty sure you know, it’s an easy thing to do these days, thanks to people like poor Steve Jobs-pancreatic cancer, jeez louise! 

genealogy |ˌjēnēˈäləjē, -ˈal-|
noun ( pl. genealogies )
a line of descent traced continuously from an ancestor: combing through the birth records and genealogies.
• the study and tracing of lines of descent or development.
• a plant's or animal's line of evolutionary development from earlier forms. 
DERIVATIVES
genealogist |-jist|noun,
genealogize |-ˌjīz|verb
ORIGIN Middle English: via Old French and late Latin from Greek genealogia, from genea ‘race, generation’ + -logia (see -logy) .


That’s what I’m doing, combing through, only I never suspected I’d find it to be such a warm, romantic, emotional experience. Take Joseph Kennedy, our Joseph Kennedy, who was born in 1840, in Athlone, Westmeath, Ireland, five years before the potato famine, “an Gortá Mór”, the “Great Hunger,” began. Then I learned that he moved to Liverpool and in 1860, or so, he married an English girl, Elizabeth Campbell.   In1882 his wife and two of his daughters took a ship to the US. I imagine Joseph died in Liverpool sometime before his wife got on the boat.  He was an iron turner and Elizabeth was a cotton weaver. The two Kennedy sisters married two Blum brothers five years after getting to New York.  My guess is those girls were pretty, with dimples like my Nana. 1840 is as far back as I’ve gotten with Joseph’s line-record keeping might not have been a priority for the likes of Irish iron-turners or English cotton-weavers in those days.

Now the French! They were serious about keeping track of people. I’ve gotten as far as 1600 with that bunch. I’m going to read about Samuel de Champlain’s settlement in Quebec City, because some of my ancestors were there. Pioneers! Tracing my mother’s father’s family had me wafting in France-Paris, even-and Canada for days.

For some time now it’s felt to me like my family’s been shrinking-I suppose a lot of people in my generation feel that way- what with their mom and dad, aunts and uncles gone, or in their old age. We know our “folk” are all over, some kindred spirits, some not so much, but still, there’s an emptiness above us we have to adjust to.

I feel bigger now.  After the little bit of looking back I’ve done, I’m beginning to sense how huge our family, hell, all our families are. I could be related to every single person that reads my maunderings.  (Yes, I know. “Maunder” is a verb, but if the talking heads can pounce on a perfectly good noun, “incentive,” use its awkward verb form and “incentivize” everything, I can make a noun out of “maunder.”. Well I think I can….er, obviously.) After I die and get to do some quality, bodiless, wafting, I want to meet these men, women, and oh! so many infants and children, about whose births, marriages,  deaths, and immigration records I’ve been dreamily reading. I want to have a good talk with the wood carver from Bavaria, the lady music teacher in Old New York, the French knight, the English farmer. I want to play with all those babies, (so carefully, beautifully named!) and listen to the stories the children have to tell. 

The Florida heat, too much talk by and about Republicans, the general wonkiness of my health and my fed-up-it-ness with feeling guilty that it isn’t better, were getting to me-I was coming down with crankiness and dare I say it out loud? feeling sorry for myself. But I don’t have time for all that nonsense now.  I want to see what I can find out about the Augustines from Trieste, and bring my brothers up to speed about Joseph and Elizabeth from Liverpool.


Monday, August 15, 2011

IN DEFENSE



IN DEFENSE

Let’s hear it for children who can’t make the grade,
men who do yoga and don't part their hair,
long flowery skirts, soft voices, sad smiles,
muddlers, ditherers, timid types who won’t pounce,
old poems, people, houses, and shops,
misfits, crazies, loose women, short men.

Let’s ease up on the plump, the pimpled, the silly, 
the worn-out, the defeated, the below average thinkers,
plodders, shufflers, stooges, and tinkers.

Though some of us triumph, remain certain, look good,
 I humbly submit-most would if we could.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Nonnie and Drago Help Out the Economy



Haven’t written for awhile, but I’ve been busy spending money. My brother Drago and I had most of the floors in our house done in cool ( I mean that literally-underfoot temperature is important to pets and people during Florida summers) porcelain tile. Now the floors are Italian villa, the furniture is a mix of our late Mom and Dad’s Yankee farmhouse aesthetic, Drago’s sleek, slightly Asian bent, and my re-creation of the New York apartment I lived in during a past life when I was buddies with Dorothy Parker and her ilk. So the new flooring cost a bundle, but we happily spent the money knowing we were helping out small business in America, and because the wall-to-wall carpeting had to go-people, pets, and 20some years had done their thing. Writing was off the table, naturally, what with all the discombobulation of our house during our infrastructure project.

The second excuse I have for not writing is because I needed to help out the economy even more by buying a new Apple computer.  Oh, I know they have more money than the Federal government, but I WANTED A MACBOOK AIR! ONLY WEIGHS TWO POUNDS! The computer, the Airport Extreme WiFi thingy, an external hard drive for transferring data from the old ‘puter to new because the Migration Assistant wouldn’t work with the new WiFi box, (Adam from Applecare helped me with that-it was frustrating for him, too), and the gift cards I had to buy for other stuff I needed that the State of Florida won’t let you-oh, never mind-I still don’t understand that part of the process-all came in separate deliveries. Drago and the UPS guy were trading one-liners by the end of the week. Blossom, our dog, was greeting him with a wagging tail and no barks. After phone calls with Madison, Cesar, Phillip, ( the only snooty one), Carla, and dear Adam, I am now transferred to the sleek, beautiful, new Apple, and Drago is using my MacBook, so it’s still part of the family.

Yesterday I finally left the house, after avoiding the heat for as long as I could, to pick up prescriptions and run, well walk, errands.  I also paid a sad visit to Borders, which was plastered with “Going Out of Business” signs.  While driving back to our beautifully tiled home, I had NPR going on the radio and the talkers mentioned the 600+ stock market drop. Drago was home when I got there, watching CNBC.  I asked him if we’d have to sell Mom’s collection of Wedgewood Christmas plates. He laughed, said no, and I decided to take a nap.  Blossom and Sam, our cat, joined me on my elegant bed. I forgot to mention I’d also helped out the economy by buying a new bedspread and pillow shams. Online.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summer and Money



SUMMER AND MONEY

If you had a lot of money in the bank,
you could buy a car that cools the seats
before you get in-- so your
thighs won't stick.
Hell yes, it’s true.
I saw it on T.V.

You wouldn’t have to rush around,
wilted, hold out for the weekend—
& its beer, big gulps, plastic chairs
on the patio, time off in the sun,
ultra violets or no ultra violets--
bake until done.

If you had a lot of money in the bank,
you could hire a cook who would toss
a cool green salad for you or dish up
coconut shrimp anytime you wanted.
You’d laze on your terrace, snack
on onion dip or paté de fois gras with chips.

You wouldn’t pull weeds, mulch,
pick Japanese beetles off your roses,
wonder if you had the right ph in your soil-
your gardener would do that 
and mow the lawn to boot.

If you had a lot of money in the bank,
you could have a place on the beach, or on a lake!
When you felt like a swim, Bob’s your uncle,
there’d you’d be, good to go. In a unisex
pareo you could sip frozen daiquiris.
Any kind your heart desired. Mango for God’s sake!

You’d accessorize, even guys.
Getting dressed might mean getting dressed.
Money will keep you running
whether you’ve got it or not. Funny, that.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Nonnie and Drago Envision

Nonnie and Drago Envision
        
“It’s much too big, of course.” Nonnie said.

Drago carefully chewed his bite of pork loin (he’d  survived throat cancer and always ate mindfully.)

“What’s too big?” Drago asked after he swallowed.

“The United States. The budget. Who understands trillions, really? The 2010 census counted 310,300 million of us. No wonder we don’t agree. The 1790 census counted 3,929,214 for the Founding Fathers and their ilk to deal with.”  

Drago ate some sweet potato, then said, “That 1790 number would probably have excluded women and had some nefarious way to count slaves. No Native Americans, of course.”

“Oh, right, but look, rounding off today’s population to 4 million, give or take, we’d come out with 77 ½ countries.”

“You’re just carrying these figures around in your head?”

“Well, no. They’re in my pocket. I’ve been thinking about this-doing some figuring. I’m fed up with having to share my country with so many fidiots.”

“What were fidiots, again?”

“Fucking idiots, but I know you’d rather we didn’t swear.”

“Doesn’t work for us, dear. Or maybe it’s a ‘what would Mother say?’ thing. So, what do you have in mind, actually?”

“De-uniting. Regrouping. Starting over in re-sorted ballparks.
Like, for instance, there could be a little country we could live in where education, healthcare, and military spending (not much, because we wouldn’t need it because we’d be in a little country) would get sensible support. Still a democracy and all, but billionaires would be frowned upon. Ostracized, even.” Nonnie dipped her last piece of pork into her applesauce. She always finished meals first. “No. Wait. I know. We could still have capitalism, but after an individual’s income reaches say, a couple of million, they’d have to stop accumulating and start giving. Details could be worked out by smart humanitarians and all, but there certainly wouldn’t be any need to put the mentally ill out on the streets, for example. It’d be great!
And, uh, the trickle-down types could live in one of the 77 ½ countries that just love billionaires! See how that works out for them.”

Drago, who was feeding Blossom bits from his plate by now, and who always gave his sister’s ideas a thoughtful hearing, said, “All these places would have to have names. There should probably be a rule that no one could pick ‘The United States of America,’ by the way. Nonnie, there are a lot of details to be ironed out.”

“Names, yeah, those might be tough.”

“Anything good on TV tonight?”

“Oh, you know. Doctors, crime scenes, housewives. Probably some vampires. Want to watch vampires?”








Monday, June 27, 2011

Nonnie in Albuquerque

That’s me, spring of ’77, on the day I moved out of my shot-gun apartment in Lesbian Nation. I moved many times during the six years I spent in Albuquerque, but that was one of my more dramatic moves. I came home from a performance tour and a teaching gig with the National Endowment for the Arts late one night to find all the little buildings around my apartment had been torn down.  My back porch was gone, too.  I’d been away for six weeks and sometime during the first week my landlord sold his tiny corner of the city.  Everyone else got a fairly timely eviction notice, but I didn’t see mine until the deal
was long done. I had two days to move out.  Bummer.
 
My boyfriend Ted helped me move down to my brother Ric and his wife’s place in the part of town we all called the South Valley.  My dog, Rousseau, all my stuff, and I only stayed one night because the very next day I found my best apartment ever, and we moved everything all over again.  Taking the apartment was a financial leap-from $80 a month to $150, but I was counting on our dance company getting a big grant from the state of New Mexico.  Actually the money, which came through, was federal, but distributed through state governments.  Things like that used to happen, you know? Money for the arts and all.

My new apartment was only two blocks from our dance studio-which was excellent, given my penchant for working at odd hours and the strange behavior of my car, a giant, bluey blue 1953 Cadillac.  The new apartment was marvelous.  It had four bay windows, wood floors, a big kitchen, a shady balcony, an extra bedroom, some funky mahogany furniture (and dreadful stuff I had to disguise) and it sat on top of an empty storefront which meant the place was quiet and private and good for parties

So, the move to 7th St. turned out well, despite the shock of finding Lesbian Nation (my name for the neighborhood) torn down.  It looked like a war zone.  I’d had a good year there, though. Except for a seldom seen married couple on my left, all my neighbors on that sunny corner were lesbians. This was just past the bra-burning days of the women’s movement, and my friends were proudly, brilliantly, “out.”  Mistakes were made, however.  My neighbors on the right, two University of New Mexico students, decided that one of the freedoms they would fight for was the freedom to go topless.  Men could, of course, and the idea was for things to be equal in every way.  Maryanne and Connie took their toplessness to their screened-in porch facing Mariposa Street.  The experiment only lasted a few nights.  My friends sat on their porch, with the ceiling light burning, and tried to ignore the fleets of rude men and boys who drove around our block, loudly commenting on Maryanne and Connie’s choices and honking their horns. That was a raucous, raunchy week; I was glad when they gave it up and put their shirts back on.

I keep coming up with corny things to write about being young during the 1970s in Albuquerque.  It really was something, though.  An era.  There were fearsome rough spots, but, man, I’m glad all that is with me, hanging out in the mystery of my brain.  I danced through that decade.  Pretty damn cool. 




Sunday, June 19, 2011

Bob and Ditty



I cut Dad’s hair today
He coached me.
This is still new for him-
needing so much help.

He was Special Ops during the War.
Solved the rape and murder 
of a French woman. The guilty 
U.S. soldiers shamed their uniforms.
Dad damn near killed a drunk in his own squad
whose stupidity nearly doomed them all,
but cooler heads prevailed, stopped the fight.

The war over, his fluent German
meant a year in an enemy town.
Billeted in a castle, he helped them 
rebuild and rid themselves of Nazis.

Mom didn’t know him when he rang 
the doorbell two years after he shipped out.
She held her toddler, Bobby, 
and said “Yes, can I help you?” 
when she opened the door.   
Dad was heavier, older, 
weary-not the smooth-cheeked,
scrawny tennis player she’d married.
That young man died in Europe.

They had three more babies. Two jobs for Dad.
Weekends he wore a gun again.  Patrolled
NYC docks for Jimmy Sullivan who moved
him from dock to lonely dock after Dad
caught thieves. Dangerous nights in the oily salt air 
lasted through the decade shocked with death.

A gentle Dad let me trim his wispy hair today.
Released from my ministrations, leaning on two metal
canes, he headed for my Mom, who was in bed, 
where she always is now.  Dad grinned 
like a boy- all spruced-up. 
Sparkling blue eyes said “look at me.”
Weak brown eyes saw her handsome husband,
and with a smile as fresh as twenty  
she said, “You look fine.”   
And I sat down to write a poem.

Nonnie Augustine
October 23, 2005

Mom died on May 5, 2006
Dad died on March 3, 2010






Sunday, June 12, 2011



One of the Ways We Were

Jealousy schooled her
with unrelenting lessons
which compelled my friend
to perceive false meaning
in spoken, written, imagined
words, gestures, departures,
growls, grunts, and smiles.

She and I would try
to outdrink her obsessions.
Enough Scotch would turn
us blowsy, irate, defiant,
heavy with bleak certainty
that all men should go to hell
and that we’d be dead by thirty.










Saturday, June 04, 2011

Nonnie and Drago’s Summer Bus Tour

Drago, my brother, and I have decided to take on this celebrity thing. We didn’t have big plans for the summer and I thought becoming famous might provide material for some blogs or poems or something. Maybe even a short story.  Not a novel.  I wrote one already and lost my temper over the whole “can’t get a publisher without an agent-and agents don’t want new clients unless they are celebrities or, or, well, celebrities.” I rarely lose my temper these days and I quite don’t like it. Besides, novels do go on, don’t they? I have this wonky heart, and I don’t want to spend writing time getting people from here to there. You don’t have to do that in a poem. Well, Longfellow did, but I think he and his ilk covered that sort of poem brilliantly. No need to do it again.

Which brings me back to this celebrity idea. Drago and I could get hold of a bus, somehow-we’ll have to look into that-spray paint the sides of it with our names and “POETRY!” “YOGA!” “HISTORY LESSONS!” in a giant, fun font, think up some dramatic, eye-catching pictures to stencil, (I’m fond of waterfalls myself, but maybe body parts would get more attention) let Blossom choose twenty or so of her favorite dog toys to take, (that will take forever) get a good bus-worthy kitty litter situation for Sam, and we’d be good to go. Or maybe we’d better...Drago is much better with details than I am; I’ll leave the fine-tuning to him.

There are lots of things we could do for people at our spontaneous, whimsical stops at tourist attractions.  I used to teach, and I’d be glad to give geography lessons as well as history, or a course in writing English for people in or out of school.  Drago can explain stuff to people. He’s patient and never makes you feel stupid; I know.  Then there would be his yoga sessions and I could give poetry readings. Oh, and listening activities. THAT would look good on the bus. LISTENING FOR AMERICANS!

After a few weeks of going around offering our talents, we could become famous, and then anything might happen. Maybe an appearance on Piers Morgan. There is one problem I can see in the attention attraction angle.  I get so bored driving on Interstates that we’d have to take back roads some of the time,  which might delay our famousness a bit and (another problem I just thought of) Drago would have to do all the driving-can’t see me driving a bus, can you?-so we’d have to stop enough, probably even where there weren’t crowds. What am I thinking? Of course we’d have to make frequent stops. Blossom has an overactive bladder. Not me.

So, that’s what we’re thinking about doing this summer-a carefree, casual, celebrity bus tour, on which Drago and I would do interesting things  for people, at least until we become famous enough to not have to do anything. We’d be content with national fame. Global name recognition seems a bit much to shoot for-being on a bus and all.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Nonnie Takes Pride on Memorial Day and So Should You


Nonnie Takes Pride on Memorial Day and So Should You

How brave we are!  Soldiers, too, of course, but I’ve never been in a firefight or disarmed a bomb, so I’m not the one to write about the world’s soldiers.  I’ve dealt with terrors, though, and so have you.  Most of us face them down, whether they are the first day on a new job, or the first few hours after a tornado hits.  We’re a brave bunch.

I have a vivid memory of waiting for my first day of school to start, and of feeling woefully unequipped.  I didn’t know anything and I was going to have to learn everything, maybe that very day!  The Principal, Sister Alice Elenita, stood in front of the doors to St. Paul’s Elementary School with a huge bell and a stern face while the other nuns and teachers sorted out the horde of children in the parking lot and directed us into straight lines.  I didn’t know anybody in my line!  I was too little for this, wasn’t I?  The girl (Debbie Sweeney, it turned out) in front of me was quietly, desperately, crying.  I offered to hold hands and we both felt better until our teacher, Sister Marion, told us we had to stand in line with our arms at out sides.  Then Principal Alice Elenita rang her bell and off we went, eyes front.  Not a single first grader turned back.

No one knew I was afraid of riding the subway by myself when I moved to New York City at 18.  I rode the bus to Juilliard the first few days, but it was pokey and the subway was obviously something I had to deal with, so I did, just like I dealt with driving on the Beltway around Washington, D.C., when that seeming impossibility presented itself.  The first time I tried I took a ramp on and immediately took the next ramp off, but, although I never got over my fear of speeding along in all those lanes of traffic, I did it, along with everyone else who lived around there.  I wonder how many of those drivers were scared, at least at first?

Maybe I could fill a book with the times in my life when courage came through for me.  I’m sure you could, too.  We need to give ourselves credit, you know?  We, most of us, are brimful of courage.  Not long ago I picked up a receipt that was left in the slot of an ATM.  It showed a withdrawal of $40.00 and a remaining balance of $14.62.  Odds are that unknown person was going to do what I somehow did the times I was no- kidding- around- poor. Deal with it- like first graders do going through those big doors without their moms or big brothers near-by.

I saw Too Big to Fail the other night and I’ve been thinking about those rich bankers.  I wonder how much courage it takes to get through a week with dignity when you have a couple of million, or billion, in your account.  Tornado?  Tsunami?  They can check into a Sofitel until things sort themselves out.  What scares billionaires, I wonder?  How does character develop when you’re sitting on a cushion that big? If I ever meet one of those guys, I’ll try to find out for you.  You know, if you’re interested.



Sunday, May 22, 2011

Simple Twists of Fate

 

Stone Poem

You stoop to select a stone
to toss down the lazy path.
It rolls, reaches level ground, stops,
stays in place when you pass.

Later that same day,
an angry walker
seizes that same rock,
flings it far into the woods
where it lands hard,
jostles a few pebbles,
and then the stone is home
for another thousand years.



THREE THINGS THAT DID NOT HAPPEN


I almost saw Nessie
lift her curious ancient head
above the black waters of Loch Ness.
Hey, that would have been something.

I almost won the jackpot
with triple double diamonds
in a colorful, clattering row.
Oh yes, that would have been something.

I almost had a child.
She was there in my womb
until chromosomes killed her.
My God, that would have been something.
That would have been something

Saturday, May 14, 2011

When Nonnie and Drago were Growing Up

We had it all. Down the street was Mr. Swann’s place. He was a farmer, but we didn’t mess much with the farm itself. On his property, safe from development, was a pond, a stream, near-by woods and further away, scarier woods, Jerry, an old, white, sway-backed horse, and bad-tempered Snow Geese that thought the pond belonged to them. There was a dirt road that led to the forbidden sand dunes-fantastic hills of sand and gravel that the grown-ups called a quarry. Rich People, the Piersals, had a big house on a hill.  You got there by a long, shady lane. All these places were grown-up free almost all the time. Dunno. That’s just the way it was then.

Our various mom’s took sightings of our crowd from kitchen and upstairs windows, and I suppose at least one of them had a good idea where we were most of the time. All the Ranch style and Split-Level houses had yards, of course, but playing in some kid’s yard was for days when one of us was in trouble or had to stay close to home because we were going someplace with our parents, or because we had a new toy that we weren’t allowed to take out of the yard. Our mothers had a relay system for calling us when we were out of range of their voices.  Sometimes we ignored the calls, but not often. An older brother or sister sent to find us, or, the worst, one of our parents showing up, meant we were going to “get it.”

We were a gang of maybe fifteen girls and boys. No babies and no big kids allowed. Crybabies and bullies didn’t last long. Unless the weather was really awful, we played outside. Winters were for skating on the frozen pond, sleigh-riding on Piersal’s hill, snow-fights from snow forts, and building whatever we wanted to try for on a particular day. One great winter our dad built two dinosaurs and a giant bear in the front yard. There was a lot of snow in North Jersey that year.

The three other seasons were for roaming our neighborhood and playing, usually without toys, or only a few. My brother Drago was our Cecil B. DeMille. He’d direct the games and dole out the parts. Tarzan was a good summer game because the pond turned into a swamp, and we could swing across the stream on this rope someone’s big brother hung from a tree branch. Every summer there’d be a group of us who’d try to build a pirate raft for floating across the pond. One time the boys actually built a raft that would hold about five kids without sinking right away. Mostly we just got “soakers-” slimy, muddy shoes and socks which meant trouble when we got home. Drago excelled at organizing Circus in the summer.  He’d be the Ringmaster, and we’d all pick skills to hone. My best tricks were fence-walking and doing hard stuff on these two metal poles our dad hung between two wood supports and put up next to the swing and sand-box he built, and built to last, in our back yard. They are probably still there, behind our brown Split-Level on Allen Ct.  When Drago felt we had trained enough, he’d organize a parade though the neighborhood to advertise our Circus. Seems to me things generally fell apart after the parade and we rarely got as far as the actual event. It was hard to get everyone together at an exact time in those days, even for the kids who could tell time.

“Indians” was a good fall game, played in the woods, of course. All-season games were Spaceship, (we had a great fallen tree trunk, split in two big sections) Robin Hood, Soldiers and Nurses, Peter Pan, Swiss Family Robinson, and of course, bike riding and races of all kinds, even plain running.  Piersal’s lane provided us with a world-class scary Halloween challenge, and they also held epic 4th of July parties every year.  The Piersals were great Rich People.

Eeek! Going way past my usual blog length here. Sorry. It’s just that living with Drago again brings childhood back, you know? It’s just that we live in a fairly safe, suburban neighborhood, but we don’t see many kids outside. We don’t hear moms hollering out their back doors. Cars, rather than kids, have the right-of-way on the streets around here. We didn’t know we lived in kid-heaven, but we did. Good old Allen Ct. Thanks Mom and Dad.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Seriously

When I was a junior in high school I ran for Secretary of my senior class.  I’d been elected to the student council each year and I thought I could do a good job taking minutes and all. I’m pretty sure I got on the student council, my entry into politics, my freshman year because I had two well-known, well-liked, handsome older brothers. They paved the way. Even though my personal ambitions were of the ballerina-kind, I was a good kid and listened to all the adult voices that claimed beefing up my list of extra-curricular activities was the way to go if I wanted to get in to a good college. I didn’t know then that Juilliard, the only college I wanted to attend, would not be impressed by my being elected Secretary of my senior class. I campaigned, (hung posters around the school) wrote a speech, and was, to my amazement, elected! No one knew what courage this whole business demanded. I was shy, did not have an approved wardrobe bought in the favored store in nearby Ridgewood, New Jersey, and, a very tricky bit for me, had a bilateral lisp. I dreaded giving my speech to the entire student body (about 400 kids.) But I did it and that was my political career. I have no idea why I won-possibly because I had fewer enemies than the other candidates; my trudge through high school hadn’t included much drama, if any. There was plenty of drama in my dance life, but I didn’t think that counted very heavily outside of various studios.

I’ve always been bowled over by national politicians. They are of another species.  They want to make decisions for other people. Lots of other people. They want to lead public lives and know that they will make enemies and that people will say mean things about them. How about that? Even when they are successful and their side wins an argument, they just wake up to a day filled with new battles.  It must be tremendously difficult to be in the public eye and yet stay out of trouble and easy as pie to slide into a quagmire of one kind or another. Yet these men and women run for office thoughout their lives, ever trying to keep their names on more and more lips, their pictures on more posters, and their speeches heard by bigger crowds. Holy cannoli! Not a life for me.

I’ve been a serious voter though. I do my best. Talk, read, listen; try to figure things out so that I can make educated choices. Not so easy.  I’ve been bamboozled a few times-and I’ve certainly gone with the losing side and had to live with people who I had no faith in being the boss of me, at least for a term or two.  But, you know, Obama is someone I trust. I think I have from the get-go. I like that he’s tall and has a great smile; I like his wife and kids; I like his background and think it’s cool that he’s of mixed race, and I trust him. I believe that he does his best, and I find that I’ve never had reason to question his choices as our President. So, with this, with the killing of an unarmed monster named Osama bin Laden, I’m not going to wrestle with something that until now I’ve not had to deal with. A murderer was murdered in my name and that’s all right with me. I didn’t dance in the streets about it, but I’m not surprised that many people did. If bin Laden had been shooting at the SEALS, I wouldn’t have had to re-organize, accommodate, think about this news at all. It’s just that I grew up believing it was wrong to shoot an un-armed man, and now I need to believe that in this case, in Osama bin Laden’s case, it was an okay thing to do.  And I’m going with that. I’ve stretched a little and that’s fine. I’m on board.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Nonnie, Donald, Drago, and Glee

Nonnie, Donald, Drago, and Glee

Yes, well, I am, after all a blogger, so I’m meant to have something to say about Donald Trump, I suppose.                              Nope. Don’t have a thing.  Wait! I know.  I can say he’s a fidiot. That’s a word I learned today. See, you take the “f” from f#$%ing with idiot and voilá,  Fidiot.  I google “slang” and get a new word every day. Once I settle on one, I put it up in my “private office,” at Zoetrope Virtual Studio, so other writer friends who might be a bit behind in their slang can learn it too. Zoetrope has a Writer’s building, and I’ve been hanging out there since 2004. It used to be a jumping place, but now, what with Facebook and all, there isn’t as much going on. Still, I’ve learned a lot there, and it doesn’t scare me like FB does. I don’t deal well with millions of this or that. Doesn’t matter what really-I don’t want stuff, even friends, well, especially not friends, in the millions. Way too many. Funny to think when I was a kid I dreamed of being famous.  I wanted to dance with Fred Astaire. Like all kids, I was confused about the timing. I mean he was grown-up and in the movies and I was six. How was that going to work out? Practical considerations do factor in daydreams when you’re six or so, but not so’d you’d notice. Donald Trump is like a six-year-old.  A six-year-old fidiot.

But, jeeze louise, why are so many of us giving him so much attention? He keeps acting-out, and we keep paying attention to him. See, I used to teach emotionally disturbed kids, and I knew, and practiced, the basics of behavior modification and a biggie was the first problem-solving step: Ignore Misbehavior. We should try that with him. That’s what I do about Palien, and so does the rest of my family. Others, too. In fact, happily, I’ve seen a distinct fading of her star-power. I don’t know if it will work with the Trumpet, though. It seems to me he’s been getting way too much attention for most of my adult life. And I’m old.

That should do it. I've blogged about Trump.

Tuesday night. Drago, my brother who I live with in case you don’t know, just asked me if there was anything on TV and I told him Glee.  He said he wasn’t gay enough for Glee with one of those airy hand swirls he does when he’s acting gay. I mean he is gay, but he can be especially funny when he acts gay.  I seem to be using a lot of italics tonight. Maybe by the time 2012 gets here, we will all be writing everything in italics. We’re already e-mailing each other in dashes and exclamation points. Pretty much.