Tuesday, May 31, 2016

first poem each day is by ian wilder, second by david kirschenbaum

5/1/16 IW

Unlike my wife who likes to playfully shock people by proclaiming that she was born in Plain View
I am not a native Long Islander

My family moved to Copiague right before my third birthday from my birthplace of Springfield, Massachusetts
the home of Friendly's Ice Cream and Milton Bradley
both of which were staples of my Long Island childhood

For a dinner out
or a celebration
my parents would take my brother and I out to the now-gone Lindenhurst Friendly’s
for a meal and ice cream
I loved that they served their burgers on toast and always ordered some version of chocolate ice cream for dessert
the dark chocolate ice cream is particularly god
or their so thick the straw stands up chocolate milkshake
a Fribble

My brother’s teenage sons now ask to go to Friendly’s after a soccer game, school concert, or robotics competition
our now-gone Dad
their grandfather
would have loved the robotics competition
and our Mother
the school concerts

5/1/16 DAK

The first time i went to long island was in 4th grade,
lisabeth laiken's 8th or 9th birthday party,
we all piled into a van in Flatbush
and napped the 40 minutes away to the second Nathan's,
in Oceanside, Long Island,
the town where we'd move a year later,
the relocated Oceanside Nathan's where my dad and I ate last night.

5/2/16 IW

My other birthstone
Milton Bradley games
were waiting for me on Long Island to shape much of my childhood play
Chutes and Ladders
Hungry, Hungry Hippos
Connect Four
The Game of Life

It turns out that Milton Bradley himself also shaped my early education
In the 1860s he became supporter of the kindergarten movement
almost driving his company into bankruptcy giving away free supplies
He eventually turned around his fortunes by selling the six basic color education supplies such as geometric block, multiplication sticks, toy money, and clock dials that I learned from a century later

5/2/16 DAK

we were more a card playing house
solitaire, concentration,
counting to 500 with gin rummy,
my parents beating us,
encouraging us.

in junior high i had a regular friday night poker game
at richie schiller’s,
i don’t recall his parents being present.

5/3/16 IW

if games were being played while I was in Copiague jr. high
now Copiague middle school
I certainly didn’t understand the rules or even the name of the game

i was  a classic target
small and thin and bookish
changing for gym was a time to be pushed around and walking through the halls my books knocked down

and suddenly my classmates notices I was Jewish
an identity that did not seem to matter in elementary school though it was just as foreign in my neighborhood
asked since all Jewish people are wealthy why wasn’t in private school

yet a jr high English teacher who wield a red pen to put “blood across the page” became the first in my chorus of internal editors
especially after his scowl turned to a smile to ask me privately why I did not let him know I had been sick with Crohn’s disease

5/3/16 DAK

my first school in long island
oak school three
i was one of the few jews in my fifth grade class,
in the school,
when it was time to move up to sixth grade and
walter s. boardman junior high school,
because the house i grew up in was zoned for it,
a few of us kids took a bus to visit it one day,
all of us jewish.

in seventh grade i had a crush on linda kagan
she was moving
and so i bought her the new andy gibb album, shadow dancing,,
but i never did give it to her.

5/4/16 IW

don’t remember having a crush until high school
and over 3 decades later
i don’t think i am ready to name who it was
in touch with too many old high school friends on facebook to go there
i was excited when she kissed me on the cheek after high school graduation as our families coincidentally were waiting on line to get into the now-gone Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor at the Sunrise Mall to celebrate

no, wait
that incident peck reminded me of a kiss that never happened with another classmate
much, much younger
attending Babylon Town Summer Camp at Tanner Park
trying to wander off into the dune grass to steal a kiss
called back by the camp counselor

5/4/16 DAK

freshman at hofstra
i led tours of high school seniors
around the campus
i was a bit smitten by one,
sara algase,
and a week or so later
i picked her up at a fancy upper west side apartment building
a few blocks from my sister's place.
i can't remember our exact date,
maybe laser floyd or laser zeppelin at the hayden planetarium,
followed by dinner at pizzeria uno,
and then a walk back to her dad’s building, to her door,
and then a kiss, my first i think,
near the stairs in the hall,
all 6 foot 3 of me stooped to her five foot nothingness.

remember the lip sync contest they had at hofstra,
what the hell was the name? damn.
the one year i went
i sat in the balcony
as someone lip synched to prince's kiss,
and this woman named eileen feliciano,
clad in skintight black,
danced along.
every so often i google search
"eileen feliciano" hot.
no luck.

5/5/16 IW

i can’t blame the other 3 guys for backing out
but at least the one who was going to wear the military uniform upfront loaned it to me instead

billed as “Oliver North and the NSC”
I stood on the Hofstra stage at a lead singer microphone stand upfront
three empty backup singer microphone stands behind me

the intro was a piece of a Bob Goldthwait monologue on bombing, I think, Libya
it was obvious that I had not rehearsed

Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap
Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap
Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap
Dirty deeds and they're done dirt cheap
Dirty deeds and they're done dirt cheap

a well-earned silence from the audience

i wonder if that is when they opened my FBI file

5/5/16 DAK

you always told me that once you request your fbi file
is when you get your fbi file.
i’ve never requested mine,
but i did put in a freedom of information act request on emmett grogan,
so maybe then,
so much blacked out,
other than protecting agents,

i’ve known you more than half your life,
more than half my life,
and on occasion your previous memories,
become my memories,
and that’s nice.

5/6/16 IW

three decades ago or so
i remember the legend well but am shaky on the details.

i had recently graduated Hofstra
you were still there
we were both living at home

you had an internship the The Village Voice
you were working on what would be your only byline piece
it was about Timothy Leary
and headlined “Back on the Bus”

any type of computer equipment was rare
we stayed up all night while you used the equipment at the now-gone campus alternative newspaper
the New Voice
to write the story

we drove into the city at dawn to file your story
both of us zonked from the all-nighter
somewhere along the way a car was backing down an exit ramp toward

we found out we had no money on us
when we got to the toll booth
between scrounging around the car for change and begging
we got through

5/6/16 DAK

(oh, it wasn't my only byline piece)

i'm snacking on pringle's tonight with my dad,
way more than 30 years now

5/7/16 IW

though my mom bought Pringles
for my brother and I
I don’t remember my dad ever eating one

and I can’t ask him if he did

5/7/16 DAK

i liked your dad
i mean, for reals,
not just because what would i say that i hated your dad,
but if i ever needed to say that
it would only be in support of you,
and i think you would be supportive of that if you hated your dad,
but, i really liked your dad,
a sweetheart of a man who always spoke the truth,
no matter how brutal.

5/8/16 IW

yes, i remember the time he was really tough on you because he was worried about your health

Kimberly and I refer to him as the Buddha

I knew about one of my friends that after his job disappeared, my dad helped him to get the education he needed and the interview for a new well-paying career.  He tells me how thankful he is every time he sees me.

After my dad’s death, I heard more stories.  The woman who works behind the counter in Copiague Post Office told me how my dad gave her advice that helped guide her son’s education.

5/8/16 DAK

when I go to the oceanside post office,
site of boog's second p.o. box, about 20 years ago,
there are still some of the same employees there
and we recognize one another,
one asking me what happened to a long dead relationship.

I don't think the postal workers in
albany, calverton, park slope in brooklyn, and chelsea in manhattan would know me.

5/9/16 IW

it took me a long time to move away from Copiague
even after going to law school in DC
i moved back home to Copiague

and after I got married
our first apartment was in Amity Harbor
which is really people in Copiague
trying to pretend they are not

I expanded my safe zone to Babylon town when we moved to the co-op in North Babylon

and finally we moved to Riverhead which is much more our speed

but I still stop in the Copiague Albert’s for a slice whenever I can get to that end of the county

5/9/16 DAK

i'm not sure if i went to pizzeria uno before you
i just know that when i think of pizzeria uno
i think of you.

5/10/16 IW

i forget and remember now-gone Pizzeria Uno in the Sunrise Mall parking lot
i miss the sausage deep dish

i always picture us eating at the now-gone Roy Rogers at the edge of Hofstra campus
looking back in amazement at eating the greasy
and for you non-kosher

5/10/16 DAK

last night,
on ocean parkway home from mom in rehab center,
her recovering from a broken right hip,
about the time when one of us says,
"what do you want to do for dinner?"
my dad says,
"wanna go to the lido deli?"
and we go,
and share fried chicken,
kosher fried chicken.

5/11/16 IW

i like eating at the Touro Law School cafeteria
not because I ever think I will become kosher
but it make me feel closer to my mother who was raised kosher and my father who claimed he was

5/11/16 DAK

those moments when i think,
"wouldn't it be nice
to be able to choose anything off of a diner menu,"
i think of my grandfathers who i never met,
and their kosher homes
and choose something dairy.

5/12/16 IW

Having been raised by a Jewish mother that made the best chicken parmigiana (and pot roast) that I ever tasted
I feel perfectly comfortable ordering a pizza burger at a diner

Though as I get older I find myself more often ordering one of my father’s favorites
a western omelette

I still haven’t developed a taste for martinis or shrimp with lobster sauce
can’t stand the peas

reading over my shoulder says
“I can’t stand the war.”
walking away
“I guess I’m better than you.”

5/12/16 DAK

my dad just replaced the toilet in the main bathroom,
my sister's worried he got jobbed on the deal,
i'm still plenty confident in all his abilities,
85 years of age be damned.

5/13/16 IW

shortly after kimberly and I bought the North Babylon co-op
we needed to replace the kitchen ceiling fan

my mother gave us a new boxed ceiling fan that she and my father had bought for their house but he never got to install

Kimberly’s father
a retired mechanic
came over to install the ceiling fan

after he left
Kimberly commented how lucky we are that her father is so handy
and generous

i immediately thought of how my father
  a Brooklyn Tech grad
  WWII radio officer
  who started out teaching high school shop class
could have also installed the fan for us

for the first time since his funeral
i broke down crying

5/13/16 DAK

when my folks and i watch hallmark movies
there's always a point in the last few minutes,
when the storytellers manipulate you to cry,
it's at that moment when i look over at my dad,
who's beginning to tear,
and i say, "mary."
to which he looks back at me,
and says, "mary,"
as i tear along.

5/14/16 IW

I would hear singer-songwriter records playing in my brother’s room
along with Cheech and Chong
He is responsible for my love of Gordon Lightfoot, John Denver, America, and Long Island’s Harry Chapin

I saw Chapin play a few times including 2 years in a row at the Huntington Arts Festival that he headlined to raise money for the Art Council.  
I found out decades later that he even started a local songwriters group that was open to anyone who had a song to share for critique.

When I was 14
my parents took me to a free Harry Chapin concert that Nassau County was putting on in Eisenhower Park

It was a pleasant July car trip

When we arrived at the gate of Eisenhower Park
a policeman told my parents to go home
they asked why
he was surprised they had a not heard the news
Harry Chapin had just been killed on the LIE

I cried on the way home

Later I heard that his fans had stayed in the amphitheater and sang his songs in tribute
I regret that the policeman had not let us in

5/14/16 DAK

driving with my dad everyday,
between my folks' house
and my mom in rehab
for her broken right hip
i was basically in charge of the radio.
i'd rotate between five fm stations,
or second sports choice,
and three music stations,
oldies station, wcbs,
and classic rock stations wbab and waxq.
rotating among the music stations,
i'd land on songs like
boston's more than a feeling
or queen's we are the champions   
and tell my dad
i first learned of these songs from the record collection in the den,
attributing the boston and queen to my older brother,
and the beatles compilations,
love songs and 1967-1970,
to my eldest sibling, my sister.

5/15/16 IW

which broadcasts from the semi-eponymous Babylon town
is known for it’s upside-down logo and as the station of
Billy And Bruce

In the 1990’s
the station was bought by a radio conglomerate
that limited the playlist to the size of a top 40 radio
There were days where I would turn off the car radio when arriving at work at 9am and hear the same song playing when I got into the car at 12 noon for lunch

Immediately after 9/11
WBAB went commercial-free for two days and just opened up its airwaves to its listeners on a 24 hour basis
acting as a clearinghouse for information about local needs and letting Long Islanders just talk

that was great radio

5/15/16 DAK

listening to the same three classic rock radio stations
each trip each way to mom in hip rehab
i heard certain artists repeatedly,
the stones, paul simon, pearl jam, pat benatar among them,
but the biggest offender always had me telling my dad,
"you know who that is?"
and dad knew the answer,
"billy joel."
"yes, billy fuckin' joel.
I mean he's great,
but G-ddammit, billy fuckin' joel."

5/16/16 IW

there are certain activities that are iconic to living on Long Island
swimming at Jones Beach
visiting the Montauk Lighthouse
having seen the Islander play hockey at the now-gone Nassau Coliseum
and having seen a Billy Joel concert there

Senior year at Hofstra
around October or November
I win tickets to a December Billy Joel concert from a radio station’
yeah I think it was BAB
by filling in the rest of a lyric from one of his songs
something a Long Islander knows like the ABCs

best seats I ever had
third row
on the floor
I was so close
at one point I could see the fly that was buzzing around Billy

at this point I don’t remember who I took or what his set list was
but I know I had a great time

Joel spotted a banner about his former wife Christie Brinkley and smilingly admonished the audience to be respectful because she is the mother of his daughter

afterward I heard the story of the Santa who went into nosebleed seats and gave away front row tickets
yup Billy himself

on the other end of the spectrum is sighting of Billy just living life
a friend’s brother living out east seeing Billy leaving the pediatrician's office
another working at a park catching Billy and Christie running into the building to avoid a sudden shower
a third busking on the streets of Huntington looks up from playing Piano Man on his guitar to see Billy give him a head nod as he walks past on the opposite side of the street

5/16/16 DAK

in junior high i played street hockey
with a bunch of islanders mad friends
during the team's early eighties stanley cup championship run
(having grown up in brooklyn i was a rangers fan,
and wore my number three barry beck replica jersey proudly)

the biggest kid,
six feet tall in my early teens,
i'd play goalie.
my folks bought me a goalie stick
and a white mask I painted parts red and blue,
to be like the one rangers' goalie john davidson's wore,
leg pads were prohibitively expensive,
so they were a no go,
so were the goalie's glove and waffle or blocker,
but dad lent me the ken "hawk" harrelson family first baseman's mitt,
so goalie's glove down.
that left the waffle,
a large rectangle the goalie wears
on their stickhandling hand
to help block the puck away.

the waffle cost over a hundred bucks,
so that was a nonstarter.
but then dad took some cardboard from the garage,
shaped it in a rectangle and nice and thick,
with heavy duty tape all around it,
then took one of his old work gloves,
adhered it to the back,
and, yes, I now had my very own waffle.

5/17/16 IW

(and I forgot my artist/folk musician friend who was friends with Joel as a child and has a picture of them together at Joel’s 6th birthday party)

there were many celebrations of the bicentennial in New York
one was called OpSail
tall sailing ships from all over the world sailed along Long Island’s South Shore and converged in New York harbor

my mother packed my brother and I up in the car before dawn one morning and drove us out to the barrier beaches
probably Jones Beach
don’t remember exactly which beach much less which field

my mother was a great cook
chicken parmigiana
pot roast
pepper steak
all restaurant quality

i don’t know why she brought a hibachi to make us pancakes at the beach as the sun rose
the pancakes were badly formed and burnt
the worst she ever made
we nibbled on them

it was foggy on the water that morning
even with the binoculars she brought
we could barely see the outline of a ship

5/17/16 DAK

my brother's aluminum row boat
on peconic lake
off his calverton backyard
me and judy
searching for frogs.

5/18/16 IW

Kimberly and I were winding down in the kitchen having our nightly cup of tea
the lights are off in the rest of our Riverhead house
she looks through the doorway into the livingroom where the stairs down from the second floor end in a corner
she sees moving in the shadows what looks like the largest bug she has ever seen in the house
it is always my job to investigate bugs
confused about how to get out of the corner is a small frog
i gently scoop it up and take it outside

5/18/16 DAK

last meals i’d want from my mom's kitchen
chicken cutlets and matzoh meal latkes, meatloaf, and meatballs and meat sauce.

i'm told her brisket's her best,
but i'm not really a big brisket fan.

5/19/16 IW

No one would mistake me for a sports fan
i couldn’t even tell you where to find local sports radio much less about the teams
but I love a live game
any live game
so I never turn down a chance to go

I have seen the Islanders at the Coliseum
the Mets at Shea and Citi Field
the Yankees at the House that Ruth Built
and the New York Liberty at Garden

the most ironic effect of my enthusiasm for a live game  is that I helped turn my eldest nephew (and maybe his younger brothers vicariously) into an Islanders fan by taking him to a few games with free tickets from my best friend’s sister

even more so since my brother and his wife never watch hockey

5/19/16 DAK

i was always most impressed by yr taking yr eldest nephew
to a minor league hockey game
in connecticut no less,
a big trip for a sports fan
an even bigger trip for a non-sports fan.
a whole lot of uncle love there.


and a young alan iverson versus the knicks at madison square garden

5/20/16 IW

though I have to admit that the trip to Connecticut had a bit of my Mom in it
when you buy the round trip tickets on the Port Jefferson Ferry
they give you the Bridgeport Sound Tigers tickets for free

the day ended up being what my Dad used to call an adventure
it is a cold mile walk down to the stadium from the ferry with a few twists and turn to get there
theoretically there is a shuttle but all we found was the van with the engine running and no driver
well my nephew is a boy scout
eagle scout actually
so we walked it

all the terrible for you food that I always buy at a game was a lot cheaper than the Coliseum
and the seats were great
the action was great

and unlike most of the Islanders games that we saw
the Tigers won

5/20/16 DAK

i took my niece melissa to a long island ducks game,
the unaffiliated local minor league baseball team.
she was seven or eight
and it was just the two of us.
i did what my dad taught me from about the same age,
bring all of your own food and drink for the game,
so you don't get jobbed by the ballpark prices.

we got to the gate
and the woman at our entry
told me "the ballpark doesn't allow any outside food or drink."
"you see her? i'm broke.
if i can't bring in my food and drink she won't be able to eat or drink."
she looks down at melissa and her big brown eyes,
"go ahead."

5/21/16 IW

oh yeah
I forgot going to Ducks games also
I’ve gone to a number with my nephews’ Scout Troop

One time I got free tickets through work and took my brother’s youngest
he was excited and brought his mitt

the seat were perfect
second level
behind home plate
the whole field laid out before us
my nephew was disappointed

there is a huge net in front of our whole section
to prevent us from unexpectedly being hit by a ball that pops up
and prevents my nephew from even possibly catching a game ball

we bought him a souvenir ball at the gift shop

5/21/16 DAK

my friend philip and i
were just talking the other day
about how it's been a long time since we played catch.
we used to play on east 19th street
in front of the weisberg's house
on fourth of july barbecue days,
ending up with sore shoulders
due to overactivity after inactivity.

5/22/16 IW

standing on the lawn of my brother’s Coram house with Kimberly and our 2 year old nephew
we play catch with him with a large white plastic ball
he throws it directly to us
we lob the same ball to him which he hits with the large yellow plastic bat
we know he will be the only athlete in any generation of the Wilder clan

thirteen years later i take him to play soccer when his parents are working
he plays goalie because the team lost one
his team wins

5/22/16 DAK

i played goalie for my high school soccer team,
partially because i was the tallest one in my high school,
the same reason i played center for the basketball team, catcher in baseball, and goalie in street hockey,
not my athleticism or anything like that.

5/23/16 IW

i grew up what they would call today free range
if you could call it that on our suburban street
after coming home from school i would be outside playing with friends until my mother called me in for dinner

in high school i spent most of my free time curled up in a chair reading

5/23/16 DAK

i don't read much anymore,
i mean i read articles online all the time,
always the ny daily news and sports illustrated's extra mustard site,
plus a ton of others,
and all of the boog city issues

i mean i don't read books much anymore,
mainly because i'm out of work,
and there's no subway to work reading
or reading at lunch.

now my only book reading
is done on the long island railroad
on trips out to my folks,
though I do strategically place books i've been meaning to read or continue to read around my apartment
to guilt some book reading out of me.

5/24/16 IW

I don’t have as much time to read books as I’d like
yes I read lots of articles but not enough books to keep me happy

most of my diet consists of books on CD while driving between my home in Riverhead and my work in Bohemia
Ulysses which under-impressed me (I know I will pay for that)
then Moby Dick which I fell in love with
then The New Jim Crow and This Changes Everything back to back which sent me into a state of depression

that said I still follow my dad’s pattern of having several real books open at once and reading the one that suits my mood
I have The New American Poetry 1945 - 1960 which Dave recommended I buy when the publisher had a sale
it is captures a generation of monumental poets
Ashberry Corso Creeley Ferlinghetti Ginsberg Jones Kerouac Koch Levertov O’Hara Snyder
but has captured my attention less than it should

and All the King’s Men which I just started is much grittier than I expected
that I am reading because the Riverhead Library has a political book discussion on it coming up
and I always look for an excuse to talk myself into reading nonfiction that I should have read years ago

5/24/16 DAK

ginsberg was always good to me, to boog, to us,
In the summer of '94,
naropa's 20th anniversary summer,
the summer with the dedication of the allen ginsberg library and holding of so many things allen,
I took a job in the naropa computer library
and took my 50 or so bucks of weekly earnings
and put it to photocopying an issue of boog's zine ManAlive! for each of the five weeks, giving them away free each saturday.
I'd always make sure that each week allen would get a copy.
a few saturdays in i handed allen a copy of that week's issue.
"another one? wow!"
so simple,
but it gives me chills even now.

5/25/16 IW

I only saw Ginsberg read once
it was the late 1980s or the early 90s
he was at Adelphi University in Garden City where my father taught Education for decades though my father did not go to the reading
surprising since my father was a Kerouac fan and in the 1950s he frequented the same places in Greenwich Village that the Beats did
we even have a large original impressionistic painting by one of my father’s friends at the time of San Remo restaurant where the Beats hung out
again this reading is something that Dave talked me into doing though I think he could not get there because it was snowing

Ginsberg was only in a classroom and I don’t even think the room was full

I am ashamed to say that I don’t remember what he read but I remember a story he told

Ginsberg was mugged
thrown to the ground and his briefcase ripped from his hands
the men yanked the case open and looked inside
and they threw the bag back at him and left

the bag had original copies of his poems
he was thankful to get them back

5/25/16 DAK

i ever tell you how that briefcase you and risa gave me when I got my master's,
the kinda hippy one,
tan leather, with multi-colored thread sewn in a panel across the main side,
how that briefcase was, well, a chick magnet.
once i was waiting for the l from bedford ave in williamsburg back to my place in chelsea,
and i spotted a beautiful brunette,,
and i angled the briefcase her way,
and soon conversation about the briefcase led to conversation about each other led to exchanging information,
before she got her l further into brooklyn.

5/26/16 IW

which is funny since Kimberly jokes that one of the reasons that she married me was because of my “cool friend in the city” with the small press who knows all the poets

5/26/16 DAK

the first rule of being cool
is not saying you're cool,
even when people say you're cool.
the second rule of being cool
is do what makes you happy
as long as it doesn't hurt anybody else.
that's cool.

5/27/16 IW

I care more about being warm than being cool
During a biting New York winter day I am perfectly happy wearing my ugly bulky unstylish warm coat

5/27/16 DAK

i've got an olive green windbreaker
wore it on a doubledecker bus touring london
me and dad outside, mom keeping warm underneath,
wore it to a sleater-kinney show at irving plaza,
i got a gum stain that day,
i look upon it pretty fondly.

5/28/16 IW

I think Dave comes in second for the person I have seen the most concerts with
though I have seen more “commercial” concerts with him than anyone else
including Sleater-Kinney, Elliott Smith (twice), and Mary Lou Lord
none of whom I was cool enough to like

and I have seen many more folk/local performers with Kimberly
in fact we even met at the local folk society who had Vance Gilbert playing

of course there are many cross-overs
most notably I took Dave to see the local band Moxie who he loved and became closer friends with that I did
and Kimberly and I spent one summer seeing Phish, the Other Ones (the Dead after Jerry died), and the Fleadh Festival

most notably in our personal mythology
the three of us went to many Arlo Carnegie Hall concerts
filling a box with our friends

5/28/16 DAK

i thank judy, my first girlfriend, for arlo guthrie,
me besmitten at her knowing every last word of the 18-minute classic alice’s restaurant,
and us going to see him perform at carnegie hall for the first time,
and eventually you and kimberly and i
would on consecutive post-thanksgiving saturdays see arlo and sometimes pete seeger and sometimes their families perform
but it was more than that.
it was the high stools covered in red velvet cushions,
the box containing eight of those stools behind a locked door,
and inside us three and different combinations of our friends
would arrive a bit early after a nearby preshow dinner,
wait for the usher to close our box shut,
and then break out our smuggled in food and drink,
kara brought nutella,
jim triple sec shots,
the wilders something sweet but good for you,
and me some candy from cvs,
today from where I scored a slew of arnold palmer zero half iced tea half lemonade
at half a cent shy of half off.

5/29/16 IW

Kimberly and I went to the Cherry Blossom Festival at the Wang Center at SUNY Stony Brook to see a program on Haikus and Shaitsu flute
two of Kimberly’s favorite things
it was good that we went for an indoor event because it was hard to appreciate the titular trees in the day-long rain

we arrived very early at the room for the music and poetry event only to find ourselves in the middle of a tea ceremony
among the ideas that Kimberly carried away from the lesson is that you appreciate the beauty of the image on the cup but turn it away from you when you drink so not to mar it

i carried away the idea that any time you have tea with someone
it is a tea ceremony even without the formalities they presented

almost every night when Kimberly and I sit down for a cup of tea before bed to wind down from the day and talk about the next

5/29/16 DAK

there was trouble with my sister-in-law
she was at stony brook hospital prepared to give birth to baby number two
and I needed to be
with my family
yes that's just where I needed to be
right there with my family.

but i had no money for the bus,
and no one to ask for any either
except my ex, recently cheated on me ex,
and i needed to bus to my family,
so i guess I had to turn to judy,
and i knew she couldn't turn me down,
to bus down to my sister-in-law debbie, down to baby melissa,
be right there with my family.

5/30/16 IW

Dave knows that I am not anywhere as near as good as him at remembering dates and places

on May 18, 2001 i remember having dinner at the 56th Fighter Squadron with my parents and Kimberly
it was my dad’s favorite restaurant to go to for his birthday
the period decor and vehicles littering the grounds reminded him of his service in WWII and I think the friends he lost there
that it was on the grounds of an airport after he finally got his pilot's license added to the attraction
i mostly remember that I didn’t care for the food and that they were known for their beer cheese soup

my dad was the only one with a cell phone
fifteen years was before smart phones so we didn’t know who was calling

it was my brother on the phone
we had to leave dinner and go watch their 2 older boys
dad didn’t mind because he was getting the best present possible
we had no idea that it would be the last birthday dinner with my dad

5/30/16 DAK

i'm feeling a kinda survivor's guilt,
a my parents are alive
some of my best friends' moms or dads or both are not,
so sometimes i withhold mom and dad stories,
or cringe a bit when I don't,
but am happy i can share still.

5/31/16 IW

the father of my former boss was larger than life
his energy always filled a room
some said he reminded them of an italian Kenny Rogers

He got sick on a family vacation and passed away in two weeks from a form of leukemia

his family was in shock

my boss confided to me that at first he was angry but then he looked at me and realized that my father had also passed and that it was part of life


almost all of my family vacations growing up in the mid-seventies were car vacations,
with my dad doing all of the driving,
and barry manilow, barbra streisand, liza minelli providing the soundtrack on our 8 track.
we'd hit hershey park,
where a little tram ride through a bit of chocolate history,
ended us at a wonka-esque vat of chocolate,
we saw angela lansbury in gypsy at the kennedy center in washington d.c,
and seven-year-old me not leaving my seat in hopes of seeing it all over again,
and amish country, and colonial williamsburg, and howe caverns,
and cooperstown, the baseball hall of fame.
my folks have always been amazing at putting my love of sports above their love of everything,
i still remember our first trip to the bay area to visit our family in the summer of '75,
my folks wanted to go to wine country,
i wanted to see the orioles play at the three-time defending world series champion oakland a's,
on reggie jackson t-shirt day,
we went to the ball game,
always the ball game.