Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My Cousin Kenny Died (7/14/09)

1.used to peer with his big brown inquiring eyes into my big baby buggy and wake me up immediately.
2.used to scare me when he wore his brown horn-rimmed glasses because I thought he was a doctor.
3.used to come to our house in Sea Gate, open the refrigerator door, take nothing, close it and then leave (after dropping off his passenger).
4.used to point to his cheek if he wanted a kiss.
5.used to collect coins punctiliously in a long knitted sock/change purse.
6.had a laugh that started about 1w0 seconds before it actually started.
7.never said a bad word about anyone.
8.loved to listen to "Caprice Italiana" over and over again on his sparkling new spindle record player.
9.used to pick me up every winter and spring vacation, rescue me from 3723, warn me not to dare vomit in his perpetually new car, produce Dramamine just in case, and take me to the infinite delights of 120 Vermilyea Avenue.
10.used to share his bedroom with me during those vacations. He would come home from his late shift at the drug store very quietly; I would pretend to be asleep. One time he caught me peeking and started yelling that I was up too late. I got very scared at the time, but now I know it was just a pretend yell.
11.used to bring home unimaginables from his before-its-time-CVS-type drug store: PEZ machines, frog on a rubber string that squeaked when you squeezed the attached rubber ball, etc.
12.used to eat pretzel sticks while lying on his back on the floor (head on hassock) watching TV. I think they were Drake's.
12.found the love of his life, my "cousin" Helaine, whom he treated like a queen. (I remember how they both looked as they used to drive up Oceanic: beautiful Helaine with that red lipstick that could only look well on her; dashing Kenny, so much in love. (I believe that at one time he had a convertible.)

Rest in peace, dear Kenny. We miss you.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Poem by Anna Akhmatova, tr. Rivka Basya Blinova

I've learned to live simply and wisely,
Look at the sky and pray to G-d,
Before the evening walk and wander
To wear all worries from my heart.

When burdocks rustle in the ravine,
And rowanberry cluster dives,
I compose happy verses about
The futile, but beautiful life.

I'm returning back home. Fluffy cat,
Licking my palm is purring sweetly,
And bright fire's flaring ablaze
By the lake on the high saw-mill steeple.

Only occasionally silence is pierced
By the cry of a white stork in fear.
If you'll knock on my door, it now seems,
I might not even hear.

(Rivka Basya, where and how are you? Should you read this post, please email me at Thanks, Ms. Moser. Same goes for anyone who knows anything about Rivka's whereabouts, activities, etc.)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sweet Simples

The sweet simples of sanity:
My love,
when you went away, I doted on the dance
of dust in sunbeams; I lived by the placement
of spoons, the arrangement of rooms, the presence
of spools and needles and pins and thread that kept me
walking through days and space without you.

We were the simplest of simples:
blood reds, bone whites, mud browns.

Sweet solid simples! Grain of wood
on old tables, the tiny rims of thimbles,
melted-down candles,
jars of Indian head nickels.

O simple simple simples.