Wisdom

1 Aug

I was living, quite lively upon the East Coast,
A lifestyle free of conformity.
A great beauty I was and I do not boast.
My friends were all students at M-I-T.

I stopped for no man, took life by the reins;
Stamina was taken for granted.
Yes, good looks I had and also some brains,
But the pain in my roots had me planted.

Tufts University was where I would go,
So pleased to get such a sweet deal.
They’d pull all four teeth ,above and below
For less than the price of a meal.

A student, the dentist, and earnest she was.
Nitrous Oxide a tool that she flaunted.
She just had to wait while the instructor was paused,
Then she gave me as much as I wanted.

When I left that fine school I was feeling no pain,
A blustery blue day in Boston.
My troubles began when I entered the train,
By a small angry woman, accosted.

The train was packed tight with tourists, you see.
Pushed close I was to this fella.
The woman could not reach the steps easily,
So she’d struck me hard with her umbrella.

“Lady, please!” I said to the amusement of all,
Giggles and laughs all around me.
If she struck me again I’d take a great fall,
And sadly, she spoke only Punjabi.

I arrived at my stop with refreshment in mind.
To Burger Kings Hall I was headed.
“Chocolate shake” S’all I said after standing in line.
That’s a choice I have always regretted.

The aftercare plan I still had in my hand
As I entered the pharmacy’s maw.
Then I read the instructions; no, I hadn’t planned.
It read: DRINK NOTHING AT ALL THROUGH A STRAW.

Good God, what next? and I read it again.
Bless that quick clerk, face dark with alarm.
As I handed her a ‘script for twelve Percodan,
She said, “This stuff, it works like a charm!”

When I entered my house, my roommates were startled.
“You sure look like hell!” one did joke.
My face, it was now all swollen and mottled.
“Please shut up and give me a smoke!”

It was not tobacco I wished to inhale,
But an herb as sweet as September.
By the hookah I rested, so wan and so pale.
The instructions! Shit! Now I remember!

Do not smoke. “Well, fuck it!” said I to myself
As I stumbled upstairs to the bedroom
I placed those tablets right there on the shelf.
With Fritz, my man, I’d lie there ‘til next noon.

The door cracked open at quarter to ten.
A stranger’s new face was before me.
My man lay beside me, since I don’t know when.
I lay trapped in that water bed valley.

Try as I may I could not rise from that bed.
The stranger, he had switched the light on.
He was looking to rob us, and so with great dread,
I attempted to wake up my zoned man.

“Is Diane here?” the stranger ad-libbed.
“No! Now you get out of here you shit heel!”
He looked at me wide eyed ;(I knew that he’d fibbed).
He saw me swollen and bruised and unreal.

He exited then, and I cried out for help,
Jostling Fritz harder and harder.
He wouldn’t wake up, laying limp as some kelp,
While the thief headed towards the house larder!

“Help, Help!” I did cry, but still, stir he did not.
My voice was as weak as a kitten’s.
We were so boldly robbed as I lay in one spot,
While two partners, our booty, were splitting.

I lay there all night, until morning’s bright light,
Angry and hurting all over.
Our roomie’s dog barked, as all was not right.
Kris made several attempts just to hush her.

“No, Britta!” she’d said, as I lay on that bed.
Yet the dog owed it’s duty to master!
I’d now take a pill for this pain in my head,
Then I’d crawl out of there just to blast her!

From the porch ,the fine bicycles, gone from our sight.
“And my knife, my best knife! All my nickels!”
“Don’t call the police! It’s a wrong they can’t right”
“We’re just fucked, yeah; we’re all in a pickle!”

I heard them complaining at the top of the stairs,
While I felt all around for the bottle.
None there to be found; it just hung in the air-
God -damned Fritz, all my pills, he had swallowed!

2007

Poe in New Idria

28 Jul

Poe in New Idria

Vulture’s drilling claw,
hands as filthy as sin.
Sharp cinnabar hills.
The mine. Just an ugly maw.

From icy air, entropy.
Treasure! Swigging Old
Rabbit Brandy, our hero
Rules souls with mercury.

The shafting hole dark as hell
Alone he toils in landscape
Pitiful but for
Some dank weed’s whiskey smell.

Earth yields strong as clay
Then a rumble he might be imagining.
‘Quake country, this.
Unaware, he prays

His mind has now a stillness
From within or from
Without. He can not tell for
Certain if his mouth’s fullness

Can be likened to
A shout. His wishes are for
Naught. This fire storms
With unjustly spiteful blue

Pulls entrails. Twists them tight.
The heat quicksilver,
Unbearable deep inside.
A grave gives such light.

Hands ,eyes, lashes, tongue, his name!
Shoulders, throat ,ribs, lungs, scrotum,
A conflagration.
Yet no movement seen, nor flame.

Death not desire
This fantastic heat proclaims
A standing phantom looks down
Ghost hands to admire.

Poe’s dead eyes see betrayal
Purgatory still! he cries.
His fate to dig unending
Eternity hates a liar.

Obama Slips Into Afghanisan

28 Jul

Obama Slips Into Afghanistan

The details of the layout and floor plan of
Air Force One are secret. They do have fresh flowers on board.
Barack likes Daffodils and Alcatraz lilies. The housekeeping staff
also cleans the White House, so they know.
The mirrors have been polished.
He likes to check his hair
frequently. It grows fast and
it’s getting greyer. The ashtrays are Irish crystal.

Barrack kissed his wife and daughters and stepped onto the plane.
The plane landed at Agram Air Base.
GI s and Officers alike cheered wildly. There could have been
an air of arrogance, but none was present.
“The Afghan people are beautiful.” said a source
close to the White House
The language used by Obama and Karzai their private discussions was not disclosed.
It was civil, however. They did not swear at each other out loud.
Together they toured the palace at Kabul.
It remains heavily fortified.
Despite
that inconvenience it was well appointed.
Peonies and Poppies in vases were in almost every room.
Gilt mirrors without
the slightest patina of dust
were seen hanging.
“There is fear that Karzai could corrupt the English language.”
said a source close to the president.

After brunch they sat in satin
covered arm chairs on opposite sides of the room.
“Handsome and athletic.” said Karzai “No wonder the American people elected you!”
“You have what we call a solar sex panel, Mr. President.” said Obama.
More details of the conversation were not available by press

Another Unpublished Letter to the Editor

28 Jul

s for “(safeway)”.

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TarMar Lar
11/18/07
To: letters@pinnaclenews.com
Picture of TarMar Lar

Dear Editor,
John Coleman, a man who has delivered weather reports on TV since 1953, (mostly in San Diego), claims global warming is the biggest scam in history. I must disagree.
The biggest scam in history is the so-called “Round Earth” theory. Everyone can see that the Earth is flat! Any one who has ever been on a big boat in Monterey Bay can prove for them self that the earth is flat, just by looking at the way the ocean and the sky meet, then drop off with a sharp edge.
Ask any cartographer. Maps are flat. They can be folded and placed in the glove box of any late model SUV. Maps are not made by architects now, are they?
Those wacko- type scientists that brought us “pictures” of the Earth from “orbit”? Well those “pictures” are 2 dimensional! I’ve seen them on the TV.
By God, folks, think for yourselves and look around you? Do you reel and stumble as you walk down the aisles of Safeway? No! The floor is as flat as a pancake. The ground in my neighborhood is as flat as Kevin Cosner’s facial expressions. “Global warming” doesn’t exist, because the “Globe” itself is a scam.

Moly Heller

Zucchini Marmalade

28 Jul

Soak 5 oranges ,3 lbs of zucchini and 10 cups of sugar for 30 minutes in large pot ,in anticipation of the fact that once  you’ve soaked all for the recommended time, the sugar becomes scented with oranges,the zucchini pickle, and the sugar gets real heavy. You will then need to be boil, stir and skim for 60 minutes. Alone in a big house, the hours expand lightly and dust along the walls and up the staircase. The chunks in the zucchini marmalade seem over -large, even as the recipe called for coarsely ground.Decide to take the 6 or 7 minutes waiting for the rinse cycle doing jars to place the sugar mixture sans pectin in the vitamix. It’s easy.  Timing is everything. All you need is to be alone to write, and think. Everyone knows time slows down and speeds up at random

The color of the jelly is not what was expected . The first *POP* from the jars resting on rags spread across the kitchen island caused the canary to sing your favorite song. You must have put in the right kind of love! Outside,It’s actually getting dark already. Better ask some questions. The canary continues to sing. “What kind of bread for your jelly?” Flea market napkins on your lap on the front porch, did anyone follow directions and clean up all the cat hair there? Nope. It’s dusk; feel the April chill in the air?  A smarting breeze from the bay follows you around the yard.

Excuses need to be made. Sharp edges need to dull. It’s easy. Alone in this big house with everything the color of new grapes, a canary sings. Hot tea and toast with marmalade.

Sister Scorpion Breath

26 Jul

“Well, that’s what you always do! Up from behind your back and around your neck, a huge prick of a scorpion tail actually appears!”

The look on her face told me that it would come to blows before the night was over. Honestly not what I planned!

Spanish Night at Basement Ward, which took the entire quarterly budget, went off in the most comely cosmic way.  The Board looked appeased or pleased, hard to say. All the guests were just about gone when Buella and I met eye to eye for the first time since it got dark.

“All of our plans, month after dreary month, ass-reamed!” Couldn’t she hear the pleading in my voice? “Hey, you still have pancreatitis? ” I yelled, as I  picked up speed running down the peach carpeted corridor. I gave her a solid whollop in the solar plexus. She clocked me in the forehead with the Chianti bottle in her hand I failed to notice. I went down and took a little nap.

When I once again opened my eyes, it was sunny out and someone was smoking a cigarette. “Got a shiner, ass-wipe.” she said, with as little contempt as possible.
I pulled my rat -tail comb from under the bleach -scented sheet. Before I could shank her good she threw a pitcher of ice water in my face. I was out of bed and slamming her into the bathroom door. I heard it crack. I reached down and took off my shoe. I managed to nail her hand into the busted door with the spiked heel three times before her screams brought a nurse running.

The blood was still on the door three hours later when the Pitkin County sheriff showed up. I wasn’t asleep.I had to face the inevitable.I was depending on her, and she hurt me. Why was I so trusting, so loving? The deputy looked mildly board with my statement. I didn’t want her to get in trouble. I only wanted to hurt her the way she hurt me.

The little knock at the door woke me. “Mo! Maureen? are you awake fuck-stick? Say something!”

“Get in here, snatchface!” I whispered. She’d brought all the clothes I’d asked for ,and an expensive wig.  I grabbed her from behind and held the blade to her throat. I lifted her just off her feet and dragged her to the nurses station. “I’m jetting, you cunts! Just because she almost fucked up the most important party of my career, doesn’t mean I don’t love her! The Bardune Sisters stick together!”

She managed to choke out a respectable “yeah.”

Slow Drumming Under the Sycamores

8 Jul

If I was to come out and see you I would just show up. I’m like that. I’ve always been like that, even before 911, so fair warning. Now I may do this and I may, not. This old heart maybe can’t take it. I also have to tell you that. It was during that calamity with the nursing board that I found out I have valve issues. Dr. Fancy in Vanil and Kaiser have differing opinions. Chronically enlarged atria. Aortic Valve leakage. Small aortic aneurism, in a place that doesn’t explode often. Mitral valve prolapse has been agreed upon. Hole or two.where there should be none.
You can come and hang out with me. We could go to Monterey, Pacific Grove, Asilomar or Point Lobos. I once saw  bucks fighting in the surf at Asilomar. I haven’t told you that before, have I?
My offspring accuse me of telling a tale over and over. Let’s  believe some stories get better in the telling.

Trying to get Grunt to paint the barn red before he goes to Oregon.

My  first-born is a community fund-raiser/activist, which is what he’s always wanted to be.Permanently barred from posting on Daily Kos. Argumentative, angry and right, as in correct.In Boston, people don’t turn away as often if a street talker really has something to say

My daughter spends her days scavenging the central valley’s foreclosed  homes and ranches.It’s great to have a daughter. I have always felt sad for women with sons only. Sons tend to go where their wives want them to. As their own mothers age, they are not close by.

The wind is rustling the Sycamores so, it seems the season is about to change. Negatively charged ions of ozone make me feel on the cusp of having something reveled to me which I never even imagined could exist. Answers to questions never asked is how I imagine death. It ‘s a big surprise, and I just hope there is someone there to hold my hand.I do want to be surprised.

It is the only way I’ll go quietly,slow drumming be damned.

Charm City Imagined

3 Jul

Jesus drives a cab now.
He’ll race through Pigtown,
Knowing you’ve missed his silky -eyed gaze.
He grips the wheel tighter than calamity,
shoulders drooping like a Dad’s.
With dazzling thoughts he’ll speed past,
not recognizing you in that suit

Afternoon with sidewalks painted
gray as birch, shadows of gables
wary of colonial salt and birds,
Cant wait ’til full on dusk.
Parsimonious willows weep while
you walk along with a dozen
wily thoughts as companions.

Does the sky ever sleep?
Chocolate cut -outs are all that’s
left when you close your eyes.
Quarters where slaves swept.
Old as old bones,edges still sharp.
A horizon’s silhouetted
visibly near where you creep.
The inner harbor awake at 6am.
If you must go that far, go then.

Stay if you will, weaving harshly in
and out of my gallant or misguided
dreams. The city will embrace your
stenciled heart no matter how wild.
So sneer at the sky with your teeth,
and snap your fingers for joy.

High Lithotomy

2 Jul

She’s here for his respite.
“She likes zoom zoom.“, he tells me. “ Like oatmeal, with other stuff in it. It’s hard to find. The brand name is Kruz, Krus…”
“Crusty‘s?’ I ask. I try to keep my face neutral. I reckon the brand might sell more if  regular people could pronounce the name. (Krusteaz; get it? )
On the menu today.
I have neither the nerve nor the heart to tell him she will not spring back to normal just because she is hospitalized. Maybe she spent much or even most of his childhood locked up in a psychward not as accommodating as this one. His parents met there, even.
I try not to think about his unfortunate genetic loading, or his sad,soft face with it’s puppy eyes and hopeful smile, and instead stare at my patient as if this alone could reveal why something is not right today.
He goes off, probably to work. Maybe it’s his lunch clutched in the red and white Target bag. I tell Pauline I’m gonna get her dressed. Her turn to stare. One time she said, “ Oh! You have scars all over your face!”  Since then, I haven’t liked her. She is able to scoot, stand, bear weight.
In the bathroom, her diaper is dry. I slip the gait belt around her waist. We walk slowly to the day room. I fuss with the remote, and after a time I find Drew Cary holding a slender mike, in a toupee. I leave her there to go tell Cindy.
“I thinks Pauline’s retaining urine. I need your help to make an assessment.”
She shrugs. “Get the bladder scanner.”
The scanner is not where I think it should be, in biomed. I am told to call Terrace East, then Garden East, and finally Main East, it‘s home, to where it must be returned.
I put Pauline back to bed. The scanner tells me, magically, that she has 681 mls in her bladder. This is better than 861, but not as good as 168. Penny tells me to call Dr. Shoddy and get an order to cath the loquacious old dear.
I page Dr. Shoddy overhead. I am not allowed to do this, so I  actually have to call the PBX operator to page Dr. Shoddy overhead. They are real snotty if asked to page anyone not an MD. Today, who cares? Shoddy doesn’t respond. I call his office down at Ryebread Ranch and give a clear message to his girl, but he still doesn’t call back. An hour has gone by. Penny comes out of the med room with a catheter in one hand, and a kit in the other. She is mad. She is busy, and Shoddy has ordered IV Gentamycin. Pauline doesn’t even have a line in. She tells me to come with her so we can “at least cath the patient!”
Cindy says, “You know, I don’t have sterile gloves on; because…I don’t get how we can maintain a sterile field with every thing that’s DOWN THERE.”
I have no gloves on. I offer to raise the bed. I turn on the lights.Cindy is trying to get Pauline to open her legs. We pull her knees apart, but her thighs remain locked. There is not nor will there be anything resembling a sterile field for the next half an hour.
We need more help so we call in Lynn, who looks alarmed but does as she is asked. Cindy’s poured Betadine all over Pauline’s privates. Try as she may, she can’t insert the catheter, 14 French.
“Cindy. That’s her clit.” She again tries to insert the thing under the hood of Pauline’s clitoris. Pauline is squirming and lets out a howl. The sweat is pouring off me.
Break. I ask Lynn to go get a flash light. When she returns, I have on gloves. Clean, but not sterile. It is Cindy’s idea to hold Pauline’s legs high off the bed, as if she were in stirrups for childbirth. We do tell Pauline what we are going to do. This is cursory, as we are talking about her as if she isn’t there, and frankly, it could be argued that she IS NOT. I turn on the flashlight and leave it on the bed between her thighs. Penny and Lynn, both big girls, are holding the patient’s knees apart by grasping the back of her thighs just above the knee, swinging her hips wide while her lower legs are off the bed, toes pointed downward, a position known as high lithotomy, but without the stirrups. I spread her labia with my left hand, holding the catheter in my right. Thank god for the Betadine, which has seeped into anything that resembles a groove. Her urinary meatus is just above her vagina, as it should be. Her old labia has folded over the opening like dusty drapery in a haunted mansion. I attempt to plunge the catheter tip there, but the first two tries end it up in her vagina.
“Put your thumb in her vagina; that way you can’t miss.” says Cindy.
I never knew that trick! On the fifth pass, I hit urine. It trickles out slowly, onto the chux. The bedpan Cindy brought to the room is on the floor, I think. She decides we need to inflate the balloon and leave the catheter indwelling. I take the 30cc syringe of water and fasten it to the lumen of the balloon. A tug reveals it’s not going anywhere. Pauline is quiet. Maybe it IS the UTI that is her most pressing problem. Proteus. Not susceptible to the PO Levaquin that Shoddy had her on for the past several days. Urine continues to trickle out. But we have no collection bag!
I strip off my gloves and run. It is so much cooler out on the floor! I have to scan my badge to leave the unit, waiting for the beep. I scan into the CDU and ask the first person I see to get me a urine collection bag. It is Natasha, the RN from Moscow who once told me, on a visit home, she dared not tell anyone she was a nurse, or she would not have been able to leave again. She took a job walking ponies in a circus for a few months. She is getting fat.
“Maybe she’s pregnant,” I think, as I race back to Basement Ward with the collection bag.
Once back to Pauline’s room, I fasten the collection bag to the catheter, not bothering to put on gloves. There is urine all over my hands as I work the cone shaped tubing tip into the floppy flesh colored catheter. I uncoil the rest of the tubing and hang the bag on the bedrail.
I wash my hands.
When I come out of the bathroom there is almost 300 ccs in the bag. The urine is the color of Earl Grey.
***

Hot Cinema Buns

1 Jul

Grunt and I walked to the movies last night. It was the hottest day so far this month. It was not entirely unbearable. We were talking about that old tin barn on the corner of Hillcrest and  Mcready. Not so recently its vastness had housed a can recycling plant with a rotting carbohydrates and beer scent that we were now laughing about. The new owners have planted a dozen coastal redwoods in cement reinforced garden boxes along the gravel driveway perimeter. They all appeared alive with nothing amiss.
A baby bird was frying  in front of us. I realized it was alive.  I could not bear to even think of how unkind a death, how unnecessarily harsh a manifestation of Karma a side walk fry-up could turn out to be .Scooping it up I took it into the cinema with me,
I reckoned it would die quietly in my hands and I could dispose of it peacefully in a waste can at this very theater. During the movie with it’s TFF script, it did make its presence known to me. Both my hands fatigued as I cupped it. It stayed alive as we crossed streets home, wandered under some lights, lingering outside a bar with blues playing by Banana Tree Barbie and the IT’S ITS. The owners don’t really like our kind of outdoor- clothes- hanging commrades to linger around. So we went home and the bird was still alive.
Dug out a syringe from  the bottom of a drawer and gave the critter water. The ease of it surprised me. The bird began to chirp straight away. A baby house sparrow, sounding exactly like an adult House Sparrow. Twenty four hours have passed. I feed it Eukanuba chicken cat food for kittens. I like to tease Grunt about the jingle for that brand of cat food. He’s grown so tall. I wish he would eat more but it’s those Joe Camel Bottomfeeder cigarettes that have trapped his appetite. Sons can at times be as easy as birds.