Society & Culture:Personal Journals
This week we have Diana Rosen. She reads several poems Bus Stop Story and Nectarines from her book High Stakes & Expectations. We discuss her journey from a journalist, and non-fiction writer to her current poetry book. Listen in to this great story.
DIANA ROSEN is an essayist, poet, and flash writer with credits in online and print journals here in the U.S., Australia, U.K., Canada, and India, including Existere, Ariel Chart, Rattle, and As It Ought to Be Magazine. She is also the author of ten nonfiction books and co-author of three others. She currently contributes content on food and beverage to various websites, and just released her first full-length poetry, "High Stakes & Expectations" from The Tiny Publisher. Diana lives in Los Angeles where her backyard is the 4000+ acre Griffith Park, The largest urban green space in the country. To read more of her work, visit www.authory.com/dianarosen. To purchase her book visit www.thetinypublisher.com/shop.
Bus Stop Story
The first thing I notice is the fine line of beard outlining his strong chin up to the side of his shiny bald pate. He walks restlessly, rubbing a forefinger along his left temple. Next to me another man poses the usual bus stop questions: Has the Number 50 come? You been waiting long? You work around here? The sound! The sound! Searing right through me it starts like a hum then goes higher, louder, from ah ah ah ah to AYE AYE AYE AYE, the man with the fine line beard flails his arms like a bird ready to soar, whirls and whirls then falls into the street like a boulder tumbling down the side of a mountain. The questioner and I rush to him. Still flailing, his right hand clenches my left wrist like a crushing vise. We turn them over on their sides now, the questioner says calmly, his cigarette dangling from his matter-of-fact mouth, no more putting sticks in their mouths to hold down the tongue. As we roll the man onto his side, his hand drops heavily from mine, his huge shaking body becomes quiet. I’ve called the paramedics someone else says, they’ll be here soon, and with that, the chartreuse truck rolls up and medics step out, into their official roles. The Number 50 arrives and I climb aboard. The questioner remains with the epileptic. I can’t shake the sound or the feel of his grip. A few weeks later, the man with the fine line beard is back at my stop. I rub my left wrist. Our eyes do not meet.
NECTARINES IT’S A HECKUVA FRUIT!
Juicy warm, broiled with goat cheese and honey,
a must to bring my dad just to hear him laugh,
recite again from his favorite Carl-Reiner-Mel Brooks
recording, with the 2000-year-old man, velvet caped
and gravelly voiced, who reveals he once dated
Joan of Arc, married hundreds of times, had 42,000
children and not one came to visit!
I don’t care. But they could send a note, write, “Howya, Pop!
True, Dad didn’t date Joan of Arc, but he did date
Pearl, his memories kept in the thick album
Of Kodak black and whites with curvy edges slotted
Into triangle black corner holders pasted on dull
Cream pages, captioned, “Me and Pearl!” or, “Pearl
And Me” or, my favorite, “Guess Who?”
That Mom had no compunction about this totem
Of his life before us said a lot about their marriage
‘til death did part them. My stepmother helped Dad
buy a new suit and tie to meet Pearl and her husband
for lunch following her surprise call. You know what
happened. Civil conversation. The ride home longer
than to the restaurant, the scrapbook returned
to the shelf. Dad didn’t even reach a century much
less two millennia yet to the end, smiled to see another
fuzz-less peach, sweet nectar of summer, its smooth
skin not unlike Dad’s with its signature blush of red.
I still miss our calls.
What’s the secret to your long life? Reiner asks.
Nectarines! I love that fruit. It’s a heckuva fruit!
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