Sunday, March 30, 2014

Mountainside NJ

Children's Country Home

Glimpsed, set back from the road on several acres, this became the large Children's Specialized Hospital system, main campus in News Brunswick with other service locations throughout Jersey. But this hospital, in the Fifties & probably well into the Sixties,  treated long-term care polio sufferers in iron lungs. Which of course gave it a foreboding air despite the pleasant  surroundings,. It remains a long-care treatment facility. 

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

No Snow, hopefully no mo'

Was a possibility for a dusting of snow tonight. The storm passed over South Jersey - they may have had five plus wet inches down there, edge of snow about 30 miles south of Elizabeth,  storm moved out to sea, expected to batter Boston & produce blizzard conditions from coastal Maine up through Nova Scotia & Newfoundland.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Velma, Chapter Two

for Liz French

 I poked at Velma's smoldering cigarette butt in the ashtray
 with the point of a pencil. Why do women always do that?
Velma crossed her shapely left leg over her right,
then  changed to her right over her left. I didn't pretend not to look.

 "Well?" asked Velma.

 I said, "Velma, what part of 'I don't do divorce work'
 don't you understand?"

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Reviewing albums for fun & no profit

I read a review of a new Beck album by a young friend, a very good writer, she linked in Facebook.   She gave the album three stars, but it was for me a four star review. It's titled "An Ethereal Collection Of Honest Tracks."  She wrote "Morning Phase is a delightfully multi-layered album that flows wonderfully..." This got me thinking. I pointed out I thought it was a four star review. Separately, on my own FB page, I posted this:
When I was writing oodles of mostly brief Amazon reviews 14 years ago (Amazon was much smaller than now), fans of a band or artist disliked my three star reviews. Three stars meant an LP was competent, a few really worthwhile songs, probably nothing outright awful, but probably nothing that would interest someone not already a fan of the group or artist, or a "completist" for versions of a classical work. You'd feel the lack of enthusiasm in my writing. Neil Young, whom I love even in his weirdest failures, got some three star reviews from me. Four Stars was an LP I liked, worth having if I were a fan, might interest others, more than half good, a few exceptional cuts or a praiseworthy concept sincerely attempted, lower your expectations a little & you won't be disappointed. I couldn't give half-stars, so if I had any doubts at all about five stars, it became four. Four was a good review. I only wanted people to stop & think before they spent their money. That is the bottom line: Who should or should not spend their money! Sometimes it's difficult to draw that line, but it's the only way you do the reader a real favor.

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Atlantic City NJ

The 500 Club

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014


First the money please thank you.

This figure who rarely speaks her thoughts
prefers the old Christmas tree lights
& the routine of closing the blinds
when the sun shines through
at a slightly different time
each afternoon. 

She believes that what is best
is best left implied or unsaid.

Ancient, ancient her religion,
but no more heretical for that;
when one such as her has visions
she will always collect her emotions,
think of something else to do,
like sifting through her junk mail
or sweeping the floor, the most
ordinary meditations.

Here we see her after her bath
standing wet & naked
behind a closed door.

The image on this card
may be interpreted to mean
that you pretend to keep secrets
when you have none to keep.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day

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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Van Morrison - She Gives Me Religion

The one giving the most may be the one practicing the least.


Rio Grande NJ

Polly's Motel
(On the mainland across from Wildwood)

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Ballet School Receptionist

A face behind the glass
I stared at her

Tiny girls in leotards
walked in & out
of her tiny office
A shy child needing her
to sew a tear - she closed the door

Mothers gossiping
who got the best parts
in The Nutcracker

Shifting my weight
from foot to foot
pretending to read an old magazine
was my dance

Twice I went out for air
then returned to wonder
at her rice flour face
& when she walked down the hall
I admired her ass

I had heard she had a boyfriend
but was unhappy with his abuses
I wondered if she ever danced away
from those men

I was tired of dancing -
I wanted to fill envelopes
with words about the moon -
hand them out as my resume 

When the ballet class ended
my niece stage-whispered
 “Did you talk to her?”

1991. 17 year relationship with Chtistine over; intense, unpleasant rebound affair shortly afterward (woman snatched at a poetry reading from another poet, who wasn't acting fast \enough - he never forgave me); .nearly a one night stand with  a  (married)  friend visiting from out of town - encouraged by mutual friends. I went to work at Pearl Arts Supply in Woodbridge. I did meet a woman there eventually, together three years.  Dabbled in local  newspaper relationships  wanted to no satisfaction. This was not how I met women. I hadn't "dated" since high school. All my other significant relationships were meet somewhere, hang out usually with friends, then go off & hang out on out own.

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Monday, March 10, 2014

Irish Women

Whenever his wife cracks her knuckles
five minutes later her sister phones from Pittsburgh.


Sunday, March 09, 2014

Cape May City NJ

Miniature golf on Beach Dr.

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Thursday, March 06, 2014

Buddy Cole - Cheek to Cheek

From the album "Ingenuity in Sound" (1962). Buddy Cole on dual Hammond Organs.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2014

take it to the boss

Landlord came last Thursday with Louie, his all-purpose assistant, to check on my new electric switch box & assure me the wall will be plastered, which I could care less about. The visit gave me a chance remind that the drain pipe in the wall behind the kitchen sink has to be rootered, I have someone else's sink wastewater backing up into my sink. This has happened before. Also I need a new deadbolt lock. That did bother the landlord. He knows the kinds of people he sometimes rents to here. I complimented Louie in front of his boss for shoveling snow at 8 pm.

 Friday the wall around the breaker box was spackled, my deadbolt lock repaired, & the pipe unclogged. Lesson: Take it to the top. I got hit with a large, unexpected  rent increase due to a cutback in subsidies for rental assistance. Percentage of monthly income has always been capped at around 30%. This increase takes 38% of my income. Of course, the landlord gets the full amount. He had a small rent increase. The problem with rental assistance is the recipients tend to treat their apartments based of what they pay rather than what the landlord receives. Yes, I've been guilty of this. But some in this building, I'm certain, pay nearly nothing for their apartment. Well, the rent pinches me now, & I'm expecting better, faster attention to problems.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2014

A good break

On Friday a major snowstorm was forecast for Sunday Night into Monday, 6+ inches followed by more deep freeze. But the storm was downgraded starting Saturday, we got less than an inch here, the heavy snow in South Jersey. Temps are still below average for early March. Some years we have crocuses & robins by now.

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Sunday, March 02, 2014

Mount Ephraim NJ

Bo-Bet Motel and Coffee Shop

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"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

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