Art in the Universe, Down Home

When a certain Grandmother died what comforted me, a little and now in huge measure, were two gifts: her bone china coffee cups and a painting of her sweeping the flagstone path behind her house. I wasn’t supposed to get the painting. But when B and Eddie asked me what of hers I wanted, I mentioned the painting that I’d seen for years, hung around the house on various walls. That’s the beauty of living with an artist. Or being the niece of one. New images show up. Different things to ponder. The grandma painting popped up. Disappeared. Popped up. Disappeared.

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Butter in the Wild

I was supposed to be hibernating, officially, thanks to testing positive for Covid-19. Standing by, I thought to myself. Standing by, I kept saying day after long wrenching waiting day.

During this time the dog may or may not have chased one’s car down the hill in order to get a daily walk. Safe for people. A bad habit for him.

After an extended hibernation – to wait out the Director’s Covid illness – I went out to see what there was to see. In the winter, in a village that is dying commercially.

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On Stage, on the Page

But Not on My Tongue

These days everyone knows there is a certain trend among some people who experience a disruption in eating. Death is one such disruption. In a court of law, those experiencing the very mild cases of aforementioned trend may or may not find a pulling back on the quiet enjoyment of flavor. Food not tasting good or not tasting like anything at all.

Some people still have not had their ability to discern flavor flavour flaver come back.

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Dirty Laundry at the Bibliotech

I heard it cost less than 9 million, but more than 3 million dollars to build the boxcar, complete with high tech dragon scales on the exterior, behind the library. To make more room. To make way for more people. To motivate such people. To attend the library more frequently.

It’s a thing that created some hubub not that long ago. The librarians had springs in their steps. But the immense windows face a dumpster and a parking lot. The laundromat is within icy spitting distance, which is where I was reminded again that the town planners must be on the same intellectual level as that horrid movie Shakes the Clown. The pass-out drunk in a wig and makeup.

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Grandma’s birthday is today. She’s pictured here without the bathing cap (her sister is wearing the cap).

Here’s what I knew of her as a not young person sitting at a water hole located somewhere in Pennsylvania of the 1920s.

1) She took each of her grandkids to an adventure with her. Mine was hanging out with her in Europe with Auntie.

2) We had an unfortunate dinner experience in perhaps Liechtenstein where the food was supposedly to die for the restaurant itself was smothering, humid, and the maitre d’ was entirely too hot wearing a tux made out of the finest sheep’s wool (we were not in a sauna, mister). He spent the evening muttering to himself, almost crying, the entire time we were there. We were the only people there that evening. Grandma made fun of him, and then of us, reminding us that we, too, spoke several different languages.

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Before the Zombies Come

Captain Crunch’s Log, Soup du Jour

Two people in town wore masks over their faces now that Covid-19 has been more thoroughly digested.

Contrast from 3 days ago when I apologized to a friend with dog for touching his leash. Désolée, I kept saying. Huh, he said. Social distance, I said in English. My French in the best of times is bad. But apocalypse French? Non. Oh the virus, he said like a curiosity. I’m in a town in the Larrys where lots of people are senior citizens. I was shocked he wasn’t with the program yet.

Today it was -2, the Year of our Celcius, and sunny, therefore kind of warm.

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No, no, Submitted for YOUR Pleasure

I once scored a lucrative job from someone running a mysterious company that needed a creative writer. Creative is a term that, to me, involves humor. Which is why I’d submitted the following:

Water balloons prevent total, absolute slaughter of pumpkins

A school district in West Virginia of over 1,000 students began a mass slaughter of pumpkins in pursuit of science.

“Organizers say the goal of the event is not to make the squashes go splat, but rather to provide some pumpkin protection…” when dropped from 40 feet.

“It’s an applications process, it’s a physics process,” said one big wig where the demonstration was held.

The winners used a variety of materials. One group used “…milk cartons instead of cups” along with cardboard.

Another group of students found that water balloons, traditionally the weapon of choice for certain middle school and high school enthusiasts, provided adequate pumpkins protection.

Calls made to the Pumpkin Anti-Cruelty Society for a comment were not returned.

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Things To Do In Jamaica Plain – a reprieve

Please note: this is not journalism (exactly true per se), but rather a prose poem that I performed some in Boulder, Colorado in 1994-95…and then published in a magazine at Harvard University .

Things To Do In Jamaica Plain

Connie painted that mural on the wall of the fish market.  The one with the big happy multicultural family in JP.  Everyone buys her cards and T shirts and thinks they’re lucky to have such a great local artist.  She hates me.

These lesbians I forget their names want to be known as The Lesbians of JP.  They have synthesizers, televisions and cartons of cigarettes in their apartment. They inhale with their noses and mouths and talk about art like it’s a board game written in Portuguese.  They pretend to be characters from a Tarot deck and all I can do is cough from the smoke.  Therese slept with them all then moved to Cambridge.

Jane’s at the Art Mart.  She says,” I painted all the platforms red and now everyone’s coming in.  And I made new labels: the Our Lady of Lourdes Bath Salts, the San José love potions, the dog chains.  I swept the floor.  I even washed the damned windows.”

C. Shafton lives up to his name.  He’s a lawyer and everyone’s a victim except for the women who rent an apartment from him.  He once screamed Continue reading “Things To Do In Jamaica Plain – a reprieve”

How to Have a Baby

The first time I heard the phrase “mind like a steel trap” was when my father, PigPen, had a quiet sit-down with my siblings.  My mother was elsewhere. Likely still asleep in her bed.

“Mom’s been sick in the mornings lately. You’ve noticed, I’m sure,” he began.

We had only one bathroom back at the tiny house that had what my mother described as “cardboard walls”.  We nodded to PigPen, yes.

“So it’s only in the mornings.  And her appetite is weird. And she’s gaining weight. Sensitive about all that. Which means…” He waited.

“She’s pregnant,” I answered.

He pointed to me like I was a contestant on the Price is Right. “Mind like a steel trap,” he said. Continue reading “How to Have a Baby”