Letters to 3 Friends

(3 Friend Poems, circa 1990s)


Michael’s Doilies, Revisited

“Don’t put a doily on my plate, please,” proclaims Michael, as he orders a slice of hot cinnamon-apple pie.

“No doily? And why not?” I muse, as Michael gingerly places two fingers on the piece of pie, testing warm-readiness.

Ah, yes, I now see the doilies slipped under the food served at this book-and-coffee shop. The (seemingly) innocuous, lacy, frilly, starched, white paper doilies Michael is so facinated-by-I-mean-adverse-to. Pontificating on the evils of doilies, he gesticulates wildly, jumping up, swinging his arms in great sweeping thrusts, grunting and sputtering and raging against doilism, which, by the way, is real and is a real threat against adoilism, which, by the way, is real…

Michael continues – that scourge heathen pox on the face of the Earth, prim, proper, Victorian, laced-boot, powdered-bosom symptom of all that is bound and gagged and constricted and placed just-so, and snooty-nosed and white-gloved and corseted with powdered bosoms shoved up and spilling-out-over-the-top heaving and jutting…

I imagine, as Michael deftly tears into the hot cinnamon-apple pie, ensnaring the lace filigree with the tines of his probing fork, ripping and rending the delicate paper, thrust and tally, flinging steaming forkfuls of pie in every direction.

I look at Michael – face flushed, chest heaving, eyes wide, ah, yes, I must excuse myself to compose…

To doily or not to doily?


Michael was uncharacteristically quiet after I read this to him.




outside your door

haggard hungry feral felines line

up waiting wanting your scrounged scraps

sacrificed fetus with placenta in return

wood worn smooth underfoot

bare stained feet

your foot propped up on Fool’s leg to grey water wash

fresh food-free at last dishes

over my head

lone chartreuse buzzard flaps

spins on beak

balanced on apex of my “hello kitty”

outside your door

larvaled caked compost to dote upon

sprouts green growing grains

oh the pain of it all


Teri didn’t seem to appreciate this one as much as I thought she would.




He appears before me at the bus station, materializes vivid and vibrating in the cold ice air smiling, gleaming, his face a network of scars and lines.

He seems so happy to see me.

He is a real life cartoon character hopping and shifting from foot to foot, pacing, sashaying on this season’s fix of choice.

“It was either jail, rehab, or the homeless shelter,” he quips, winking and bouncing. An overgrown bobblehead. So I’m staying at the mission,” he boasts.

I obligingly give him a wide-eyed nod. Silent.

A raggedy old man shuffles past. I see them exchange familiar glances.

“Do you like it?” I offer. Oblique.

He grins at my cliche.

“It beats the streets,” he chirps on cue.

A bus pulls up to the terminal, screeching and groaning.

“Will you ever stop?” I wonder. Aloud.

He squints over my shoulder and studies an imaginary locus on the terminal wall.

“No,” he casually throws over his shoulder as he boards the bus.


I never read this to Mark.



Dear Read-All-The-Way-Throughers-

I’m consumed with an upcoming move (for real this time) and a massive editing deadline, so this blog is on hiatus until NaNoWriMo (November 1).

Have a spooky fall, and a surreal Halloween!



Bag a Big Buck

* / * / * / * / * / * / * / * / * / *

Forty-eight hours. Finally some time all to myself to get some well-deserved R and R. No pesky neighbors inviting me to chat over Panda tea and caviar. No tiresome Long Island Ladies Club shopping and spa outings. No puffed-up husband needing to show me off at the country club. Just me, gourmet epicurean delights, the finest imported liqueurs, and classic literature to curl up with. And firewood. Stanley promised there’d be plenty of firewood. I’ll be able to catch up on my reading, and be inspired to write my own masterpiece. Stanley’s such a sweetheart. I know he’s got a thing for me. Why else would he give me his cabin for the weekend? I’ll write a thank-you note and spritz my perfume on it. He’ll go crazy, poor thing. He was fit to be tied when I married Gaylord.

Ah, here’s the cabin. And just in time, it’s starting to snow. The cabin’s smaller than I expected. But of course, I’m used to my sprawling estate. But it’s time for Abby Gluck to buck up and experience living without modern amenities. Time to rough it. This weekend will be good for my personal growth. Both my publicist and my style consultant said I should learn new skills. So this adventure will be the subject of the brilliant book I’ll write. Oh bother, now it’s snowing and sleeting.

At least there’s a carport. I bet Stanley had one built after I asked about using his cabin last month. He knows I have a phobia of bird doo-doo on my beautiful Bentley. And I will not mar my manicure brushing snow off my windshield. Stanley really is a sweetheart. I’ll put my cherry-red lip prints on the thank-you note. He wouldn’t dare tell my husband. And perhaps I’ll give hubby a call before I get out of my Bentley. He wanted me to call him the second I arrived. Maybe the snow will let up in the meantime. It looks so chilly and icky.

Damn. No service. No bother, I’ll just use the phone in the cabin. Stanley says it’s a rotary- whatever that is- but I’m sure I can figure it out.

Okay, here goes nothing. Surely I can fit my four bags on my pull cart. I don’t want to make two trips to the door in this nasty weather. I’ll have to start a fire ASAP to dry my suede coat, and – oh poo! My high heels are sinking into the ground! Will I even make it to the cabin? Double poo! Mud all over my heels. Some relaxing weekend this is turning out to be. Ah, there’s a note on the door.

“Dearest Abigail,

I hope you find the cabin to your satisfaction and that you have a restful weekend. Please help yourself to the fridge and liquor cabinet. There’s a power generator in the closet, but I’ve only had to use it once, during the blizzard of ’96. Call me if you need anything at all. My number is by the phone, and the key is under the doormat.

Yours truly,


Ha! What a flirt he is. Maybe I should call him just to give him a thrill. I’ll tell him I need a swizzle stick for my cocktail. But first, I need that key. Why on earth would he put it under the mat? He knows I have a phobia of creepy-crawlies. If I could just find a clean-looking stick, I could lift the mat and scoot out the key. No sticks near the door, and now I’m starting to freeze my fanny off. I’ll just have to use my heel- these shoes are ruined anyway. But if I see one of those giant centipedes, they’ll find me frozen on these steps, passed out from fright.

Hallelujah, no bugs. And the mat and the key are clean. Stanley always keeps things squeaky clean, I’ll give him credit for that. Now to flip the wall switch and peek inside. I will not have any spiders jump out at me. I’ll unstrap my bags here, and leave my pull cart and shoes outside. A Long Island Gluck does not track mud all over the floor.

Is that the phone ringing? Must be Stanley. Or Gaylord. Oh poo! My fingers are numb from the cold. I can’t get the prong out on my shoe buckle. This is the last time I buy Louboutins!

“Don’t hang up, don’t hang up, don’t hang up!”

Get off, damn shoe! Final-



My head.

The phone.

“Hello?.. What? Who is this?.. Can you hear me?.. Hello?”

Damn rotary. I’d swear on a stack of Neiman Marcus Christmas Books I heard some guy say, ‘I know it ain’t legal, but I’m gonna bang Abby Gluck tonight.’ And some other guy said, ‘I’m gonna bang Abby Gluck tonight too.’ I knew I had stalker trolls. But I didn’t think they’d stalk me here. They’re probably lurking outside right now. If that new girl Donacella talked to the press, I’ll have her deported!

But I’ll deal with her later. I’ve hit my head, and my ankle. And I bet this suede coat is as ruined as the Louboutins. If I can just kick the door shut with my other leg- there!

Now, what have I learned?

I’ve learned a Long Island Gluck is not suited for roughing it.

I’ll call 911.

“Hello? 911? This is Abigail Gluck, and I’m staying at Stanley Wicker’s cabin in Vermont. I don’t remember the address, I hit my head. But you can trace this call. Stanley Wicker of Long Island. He has a cabin in Vermont… Yes, this is an emergency! A couple sex-crazed forest trolls said they’re gonna bang me- Abigail Gluck! Perhaps you’ve heard of me?.. Yes? No? My husband is Gaylord Gluck. We’re the Long Island Glucks… Yes? No? I demand to speak to your supervisor… You are a public servant, and I’m giving you an order. I’m about to be banged by a couple of lurking nocturnal trolls! Is your supervisor available?.. Listen, I’ll have you know my husband pays your salary, and I- hello? Hello?”

Damn rotary.

I’ll call Gaylord.

“Hello, Donacella? This is your employer, Abigail Gluck, do you understand?.. Yes? No? My husband is Gaylord Gluck, and you’re our maid… Have I reached the Long Island Gluck estate?.. Can you tell me where you are? Yes? No? Can you speak English?.. I’m asking you a question. Hablar Inglés?.. Listen, I’ll have you know my husband pays your salary, and I- hello? Hello?”

Damn rotary.

I’ll call Stanley.

Oh poo! I can’t reach the number on the table with my ankle all bruised. I’ll call 411.

“Hello? Information? Yes, I’m trying to reach Stanley Wicker of Long Island… Yes, I know his number is unlisted, but I’m a close, personal friend of his. I’m Abigail Gluck, perhaps you’ve heard of me?.. Yes? No? My husband is Gaylord Gluck. We’re the Long Island Glucks… Yes? No? Are you from this country?.. I’m asking you a question- are you from this country?.. Listen, I’ll have you know my husband pays your salary, and I- hello? Hello?”

Damn rotary.

Poo. Forty-eight hours. All by myself at an address I don’t even remember. No neighbors. No ladies. No husband. Just me, food, liquor, and books. And firewood. Stanley promised there’d be plenty of firewood.

At least I remember my Cotillion Scouts training. I’ll start a fire. A big one. Big enough to ward off the sex-crazed nocturnal trolls.

* / * / * / * / * / * / * / * / * / *

Thanks to Joyce Juzwik of Flash Fiction Friday for this flash fiction prompt!

Butterfly Poem, cica 1990’s

Photo by Wibowo Djatmiko, a Wikipedia contributor.


tiny yellow butterfly left traces of itself on my windshield


tiny yellow butterfly

floating, flitting, fanning by

freely frolicks in the sun


against my windshield

yellow powder came undone

talcum on the glass window

powdered shield – I feel so low

yellow dust from tiny wings

tells a tale on speeding things

tempered glass and stainless steel

cruising in my death mobile