Saturday, December 3, 2016

An Unfinished Poem

On November 7th, I began writing a poem about a woman I met in a hospital waiting room that morning. Energetic, glad, and eighty-six, Nancy talked about great coffee, shelter dogs, and her son. I didn’t finish the poem that day because too many images and ideas about it were bouncing in my mind – Nancy’s snow white hair, the silver sequins on her blouse, a childhood prayer, and all that blue she was wearing. I needed to let the draft of the poem be a while and return to it another day. It is December 3rd and I have not looked at the poem. After November 8th, it is difficult for me to endow anything I write with a sense of joy and Nancy seemed to me to be all about joy.

Like many other Americans, I am in mourning for the country I thought I lived in. I have not watched television news since 2 am, November 9th when only four additional electoral votes were needed by the Republican nominee. Except for Maryland and Virginia, every southern state went to him. I live in a part of the South where people still preface a woman’s first name with “Miss” when they say it. Every time someone calls me “Miss Barbara” I feel I’ve been transported to the antebellum era or the set of an old Bette Davis movie but there is nothing nostalgic about an unfinished country.

It is difficult for me to write when friends and family members I thought I knew revealed through their vote for the Republican huckster who they really are. And I wonder how Nancy, dear Nancy voted.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Holiday Sale of Ebook Edition of Mirror Talk

Mirror Talk, my award-winning memoir is on sale now through January. Only $0.99 in the US. Click here to purchase a copy. And Happy Holidays!

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Uses of Enchantment

My poem "The Uses of Enchantment" was published today. To read the poem, scroll down a bit after you open this link The Greensilk Journal.

Note: The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales was written by the brilliant child psychologist Bruno Bettelheim. 


Halloween Parties and Poems

The following is an excerpt from my memoir Mirror Talk.

I am remembering that long ago Halloween party at my best friend Mary Sue’s home in Douglaston, Long Island. Second grade giggly girls, loved like candy. My mother bought my plastic costume in a Woolworth’s store. The whole shebang – cowgirl costume, including cowgirl hat and lasso, cost several dollars. I was thrilled until I arrived at Mary Sue’s. The door opened and I found myself surrounded by gusts of gossamer - petticoated princesses and bubbly ballerinas in creamy pastel gowns and child-size tiaras. I was the only cowgirl at the ball.
            What happened to the Halloween party, like the great Halloween parties my mother put together every year – skeleton and ghost costumes, my brothers and I biting floating apples in a tub of water or blindfolded, spun around and paper tail in hand, hesitating toward the big donkey picture on the wall. Where was the orange candy corn at Mary Sue’s party? Where were the candy apples on a stick? Even the candies at this party were the soft, muted colors the wealthy are so fond of. What do pastel colored candies have to do with witches, ghouls and goblins? At the party, a classmate named Peggy, asked me how much my father paid for our house and when told (yes, very young children overhear these things) reported gleefully her father paid five times that amount for their home in Douglaston. I didn’t care. I did remember being impressed at a sleepover at Peggy’s that her bedroom was the exactly same chartreuse as the Wicked Witch’s face in “The Wizard of Oz.”
            I loved our little ranch house in Little Neck, Long Island.  It was the first time I had my “very own” room and my mother said I kept it so nice we could charge people to see it. My brother Bob and I especially loved that our family moved into the house before landscaping for the whole area was completed.  We could play “King of the Mountain” on big hills of unleveled dirt. We could shout straight out and our voices would echo back. Before the lawns were laid down, I was the princess of play – without a gossamer gown.

The Rocking Chair and Ghost Girl, my two ghost poems, appear in the Halloween edition of Quail Bell Magazine.

Happy Halloween!

Image: © Ssylenko/