Friday, January 27, 2023

What Writing - Feather

What writing - set two - day three. 90 seconds (edited).

Feather

Feather soft

stroking her chin.

Reminds her of lost family and friends,

childhood dreams,

hugs and love.

She saw it on the ground,

picked it up

and for a moment

relived the innocence 

of her childhood.

Happy, content.






Thursday, January 26, 2023

What Writing - Hair

Trying to write this one without using the word "I". Not sure I can do it.

What Writing - set two - day two


Haur

Morning hair, hat hair, windblown hair, wet hair.

Curls, brown, gray, white, red highlights.

No comb, no brush,

Fingers, leave in conditioner, and done.

The rest is left to nature and chance.

Individual hairs fall lightly to the floor,

hang onto clothes,

White against the black fleece vest.

Brown on the purple jacket.

Invisible in the rug.

Soft, so soft to the touch.

Thin, so thin.

It used to be thick. 

Long, then short.

Now it's to the shoulders.

Too thin for a pony tail or braids.

Long enough to get wet with sweat.

Short enough to not get too tangled.

It moves with the slightest wisp of air.

Bounces with gait.

Hair with personality, so they say.

Unruly, unpredictable, quirky.

Changes color in the light.

A small bald spot in the back,

Nothing like a man's bald spot,

but it's a bald spot nonetheless.

It bothers her.

So does the scalp visible at the center part. 

She tries a side part to let hair grow back.

It doesn't work.

Somehow, after a shower, her hair falls

back into a center part.

Hair that has a mind of its own,

like its owner.

Headstrong, even if it does randomly fall out.

Nothing rigid about the hair cut or the hair style.

The part isn't ramrod straight.

Sometimes there's a tightly coiled curl that falls

on her forehead.

Once there was girl who had a curl in the middle of her forehead

When she was good she was very very good

And when she was bad she was horrid.

The childhood refrain

chanted by her mother,

by other kids.

About her hair,

which was not at all horrible

no matter how unruly it was.






Wednesday, January 25, 2023

What writing - Umbrella

What Writing, set two, day one

Umbrella

Folding umbrella.

Convenient,

except when it is windy.

Then it becomes a struggle to hold it

tight against my shoulder,

Hoping, hoping, hoping,

the wind won't catch it just right,

and invert it,

snap the cheap metal,

and make it a useless piece of trash.

The rain rarely comes straight down.

My pants legs get wet,

from the knees down,

If I'm lucky, that is all that gets wet.


Folding umbrella.

Not designed for two people.

Not designed for wind.

Not designed for longevity.

But, oh, so convenient.

Fits in my backpack,

except when it is wet.

It lives on the floor of my car,

back seat, passenger side.

Sometimes it slips under the front seat

and I think I left it somewhere.

I once thought I left it in my grocery shopping cart

and bought a replacement,

Only to find it weeks later 

when I was cleaning out the floor of my car.

There it was

under the seat,

Hidden by an empty to go cup

and the summary of an oil change.

My umbrella.

Appreciated when it works.

Cursed when it doesn't.

Black.

My purple one bit the proverbial dust.





Tuesday, January 24, 2023

What writing - Day three

 What Writing - 90 seconds. I should have done this earlier in the day when I wasn't so tired.

Screwdriver

Phillips head or flat

Wide or thin

Yellow handles that hurt if you hold them too tight.

I prefer the rounded handles

Easier to hold

Easier to tighten the screw.

Repair, build, pry a battery container open.




What Writing - Day two

 "What Writing" - day two

Dentist

There's always an issue,

That's what happens when you have dry mouth.

Thank you sjogrens syndrome.

Dry, dry, dry.
Can barely gather enough saliva to spit.

Bacterial paradise, 

That's my mouth.

How did I discover the issue?
Went to the dentist and discovered

most of the enamel was gone.

Poof. In around six or so months between dental check ups

my dry mouth started and flared.

I guess I also knew something was wrong when I went for my birthday bike ride

Around 90 degrees out, and 50 miles.

I drank so much water

I got sick.

Worst bike ride ever,

including the one where I rode to the top of the Black Canyon of Gunnison

and it started snowing as I rode down,

and I thought I would die.

I was nearly crying when the sag truck pulled up.

And I wasn't the only one who almost froze.

Of course, several hours later it was sunny.

And, to clarify, it was nice on the ride up.
The storm started soon after I started down.

Back to the subject at hand, dentist.

I've liked most of them.

Hated my childhood dentist,

whose office was in his house.

Mainly I hated his son.

who laughed when I rode by on my bike

and their dog chased me.

He probably sicced him on me

and he didn't call him.

It was a busy road so I was on the sidewalk.

We did that back then,

rode our bikes on the sidewalk.

There weren't bike lanes.

And some roads you just knew better than to ride your bike on.

Anyway, once again I digressed from the dentist.

The sound of the drill,

The smells of antiseptic and peppermint,

The feel as the drill vibrated in my numb mouth,

The taste of the stuff they buffed my teeth with,

Minty but dull and pasty.

My lips getting sore the longer I had to keep my mouth open.

I didn't mind the dentist when I didn't have dry mouth problems.

It was even okay when I got a wisdom tooth pulled

at the young age of thirty. 

That's right, thirty.

New York CIty. 

Someone recommended a dentist to me.

She was amazed my wisdom tooth was erupting.

The other three were all still impacted and not a problem,

She was tiny, smaller than me.

She braced herself, one foot on a stool

And tugged.

And tugged.

Stubborn tooth had broken through but then decided it wasn't sure it wanted to come out.

She eventually got it.

Which relieved her and me.

That's all I remember of that.


[Timer went off. The rest was written after the ten minutes]

The dentist who didn't know I liked my front tooth that was missing a little piece

from when I was a kid

bouncing a super ball, one of those hard small ones,

in the street,

A car was coming

so I ran to the side of the road 

and the ball came up into my chin.

I felt a crunch

and spit out a small chip from my front tooth.

And didn't tell my friend or her mom.

I just said I needed to go home.

Agony.

Went to the house-office dentist and he all he did was buff it.

It wasn't until forty years later that a dentist

unwittingly fixed it, thinking he was doing me a favor.

I loved having a chipped front tooth.

It was different.

It was me.


Sunday, January 22, 2023

What Writing - day one

What writing - day one. Five minutes. Unedited except for punctuation.

Bathroom Mirror

I walk in, look at the mirror and see my face,

The lines look so deep.

I apply my night cream

but know 

in the morning

the lines will still be there.

Depending on how well i sleep

they may look deeper.

I hear the heat whoosh on,

pick up my toothbrush,

apply toothpaste,

and enjoy the minty taste

as I scrub my tongue and teeth.

Spit, rinse, mouthwash, look up.

Look into the mirror and see myself

run my fingers through my hair,

so thin.

A curl falls into the sink.

The mirror doesn't lie,

It shows me several times a day

what others see.

Dark circles under my eyes

even though I get 8 hours of sleep nearly every night.

They're in my DNA.

My mother had them.
Her mother had them.

It's a Schnitzer/Merer/Ostroff thing.

I wonder how far it goes back.

To Russia or eastern Europe?
Before there were mirrors,

Before there were creams to hide under?

Sometimes the mirror is my friend,

reassuring me that I look good,

maybe even hot,

for my age.





Saturday, January 21, 2023

Object Writing - Day Three

Object Writing - Day three

Lily Pad - 90 seconds


I don't see lily pads very often. Green. Slimy to the touch. Not sure what they smell like. Dew? Decay? Dirt? I don't plan on tasting one but if I did I guess it would be chewy. Pieces or threads might stick in my teeth or make me cough. They move with the flow of the water. Yp down. Side to side. Rising. Falling. Floating. 


Let's try it again without making it about me.


Lily pad - 90 seconds

Slimy to the touch. They appear to ooze. Floating in the water. Are they anchored where my eye can't see? The water talks as it pushes the lily pad side to side, up and down. The smell of dirt disappears into the water. The taste of dirt and leaves are imagined. But, for real, who would eat one?





Friday, January 20, 2023

Object writing - day two

Day Two - 10 minutes - Crash 

Crash

I don't think about it very often. No nightmares. Just a memory that sometimes surfaces. The Ford station wagon. My mom driving. I was in the passenger seat on the right. Not sure which brother was next to me. Pennsylvania Turnpike. Watching the white wooden guard rail. Trees. A curving road. It seemed to twist and turn forever. Looking at the map we could see that Pennsylvania was a wide state. I got bored and decided to play my guitar. I can't remember if I was holding it or playing. I remember hearing the turn signal. Instinctively turning my head to check the left lane. A habit. Something I still do. It's instinctive. Does it come from that day? No car in sight. Mom started to switch lanes. A flash. A whoosh. A crash. Soaring through the air. The car somersaulting once. Twice. Me yelling to everyone to bend over and cover their head. Somersault three ending with a crash. Landing upside down. I don't remember which door worked. I think mine was stuck. We crawled out. There was blood on my head. From my guitar. 

We survived. Everything in the car survived. We were dazed. Random people watched from the highway. Rescue workers came down and got us. Police, EMT's, I don't know. An ambulance, siren screeching. A hospital. Police interviewing my mother. A hotel room. The next day my grandfather arrived in his car. And made my mother drive us the rest of the way to New York. She screamed at him. He yelled at her. It went on and on until she climbed into the car and silently drove us. Trembling.


EDITED (not timed).I only edited the one thing I got wrong and added some detail I didn't have time for in ten minutes.

Crash

I don't think about it very often. No nightmares. Just a memory that sometimes surfaces. The Ford station wagon. My mom driving. I was in the passenger seat on the right. Not sure which brother was next to me. Pennsylvania Turnpike. Watching the white wooden guard rail. Trees. A curving road. It seemed to twist and turn forever. Looking at the map we could see that Pennsylvania was a wide state. I got bored and decided to play my guitar. I can't remember if I was holding it or playing. I remember hearing the turn signal. Instinctively turning my head to check the left lane. A habit. Something I still do. It's instinctive. Does it come from that day?

No car in sight. Mom started to switch lanes. A flash. Feeling the pull of the brakes. Being jerked against my seatbelt. A whoosh. Soaring through the air. The car somersaulting , sideways, once. Twice. Me yelling to everyone to bend over and cover their head. Somersault three ending in the air with a crash. The car falling to the ground. Landing upside down. I don't remember which door worked. I think mine was stuck. We crawled out. There was blood on my head. From my guitar. 

We survived. Everything in the car survived. We were dazed. Random people watched from the highway as rescue workers came down and walked us up the hill. Police, EMT's, I don't know. Witnesses saying the other car came out of nowhere. Didn't stop. An ambulance, siren screeching. A hospital. Stitches above my eye. Police interviewing my mother. A hotel room. The next day my grandfather arrived in his car. And made my mother drive us the rest of the way to New York. She screamed at him. He yelled at her. It went on and on until she climbed into the car and silently drove us. Trembling.

Later, we saw the small newspaper article in the local paper, declaring my mother's negligence. Adding insult to injury. Circa 1968, a mother driving her children alone cross country. Who do you think they would blame?



Thursday, January 19, 2023

Object Writing - Day one

Object writing

Day one.

Here goes.

Sky - five minutes

White clouds float

above the mountains.

Unmoving,

both the mountains and the clouds.

There must not be much wind today.

Yesterday the clouds left the mountains behind,

Today they are blotches on a blue sky.

Specks of snow on the mountain

amid the trees.

Pine, my nose itches as I remember

the smell.

How I wish I could still climb that high,

to where the snow doesn't melt until summer.

My feet slippng on the ice,

thighs burning from the climb,

worrying about how to get down

safely.

Listening to the wind,

It sounds different up there,

Sharper on my face.

Louder, a dull roar through my wool hat

stretched over my ears.


Monday, December 12, 2022

Not the Same

Like many people I get reflective and sometimes feel overwhelmed during December. Usually I write something long and laborious about religion, commercialization of holidays, being alone, and other negative stuff. This time I decided to be less negative and write about how it feels celebrating holidays when you miss someone.



Sunday, December 11, 2022

Christmas Cheer

I think this is becoming my annual tradition, writing about the Merry Christmas barrage I face each December.

Christmas Cheer

Merry Christmas if that's your holiday.

I don't presume to know

what holidays you celebrate,

if you care about religion.


Not everyone celebrates Christmas

Not everyone is Christian, Catholic, 

Protestant, Methodist, Baptist.

Not everyone worships Jesus as their savior.


Celebrate your holidays,

say your prayers and blessings,

read from your holy scripture

if that's what you want to do.


Go down on your knees,

Stand up, sit down.

Cross yourself,

Bow your head,

Cover your head,

Chant, sing, murmur,

Silently pray.

Maybe even try to follow 

  the commandments

  you have been given.


Cards and cheer

  smother us

  for one month of the year.

It's hard to escape the season,

  no matter what you believe in.

You're told Merry Christmas,

  a generic saying.

And asked if you're ready.

  a rhetorical question.