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I’ve spent the past week at my father’s side in ICU. Each day he made tiny amounts of progress, and over the weekend, I felt it was time to get back to work. I would have preferred to stay there another week, but all my sibs are there now, and I was worried that there were too many, and too much stimulation for my father to be comfortable. It was difficult to tell whether he was asleep or awake, and some of us were having conversations over the top of him, which he may or may not have heard.

I don’t want to be a part of that.

Yesterday, he was conscious a significant portion of the day. He is struggling to clear mucus from his lungs, but I think that is improving. He is also having trouble speaking, but that might be due to the fact that he lost several teeth when he was intubated.

Back to more mundane things. I had written a RM episode before I left, but it just wasn’t good enough. I had a dream a couple of nights ago that fueled a major revision, which I posted today. I also wrote a haiku inspired by my father’s week, which was mostly spent asleep: Time flies.

I may post an EJO if I can finish it in the next 45 minutes or so.

I don’t know what to think

I should be working on lessons for tomorrow’s and Wednesday’s classes, but I started working on ‘RM. Three sentences in, I received a text from my sister saying my father had fallen and hit his head. I don’t have a lot of information, but the fact that my mother was giving him chest compressions suggests that his heart stopped.

It is going again, but he hasn’t regained consciousness, and he is on a ventilator. They are moving him to another hospital (nearby) to see a neurologist.

I’m waiting for word from my sister as to whether I should get in the car and make the 5-hour drive over there.

I’m worried. If I’m silent for a while, you know where I am.

Only the nose knows


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Today, well yes, today, I …

Remember that I said I was writing all my ‘Round Midnight episodes twice? Although that isn’t always the case, today was one such delivery. I wrote a rather boring episode and let it sit overnight.

So what if I rewrote it all in iambic pentameter, except, of course for the quoted lyrics and poem?

… so I did just that, transforming the humdrum into something much more challenging to write and read. I hope it works for you: ‘Round Midnight (29. The Scarlet Letter). The plan was to quote some of the Nathaniel Hawthorne, but then I stole part of a line from Whitman and had to put in more of it later. There wasn’t really logic to quote prose.

I’m starting to find a little of a groove again, with some poetry last night (It doesn’t come), a Hot Tub episode, as it was really stream of consciousness at first. Then I played with it a bit. I’m not sure that’s the best order of the last three lines. Haiku is still a no go area. I’m not finished with the genre, but my concentration is elsewhere now. If you want some, there are nearly two hundred there to choose from.

What next? Only the nose knows.


I feel like the weather today. A little rainy, but neither warm nor cold.


I’m working out again. Not running, but cardio on the elliptical machine and some weights. I’ve been having a problem with my ankle for almost a year now. Off, but mostly on.

I spoke to Pops today, and he sounds stronger, but he is coughing a lot. He’s moving around, and there is some nursing help twice a week. They start looking at assisted living places on Monday.


Sis sounds frustrated. Mom and Pop are bickering a lot. Growing old isn’t easy and they need to start making allowances for each other.

I’m trying to work myself up to writing something other than ‘Round Midnight. Cassie is losing weight, and I’m trying to decide if it is just overwork and stress or if there is something bigger. I don’t think I want to turn this into a tragedy.

I don’t want to bore you with this, so I’ll stop here, and see if I can write something interesting.


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I’ve been neglecting this space. I’ve become obsessed with ‘Round Midnight, working on it when I should be preparing to teach the next day’s classes, or practicing.

No poetry.

Not now. I’m trying to treat RM as poetry. Some episodes are better than others in that respect. Today’s wasn’t so poetic.

Family update. My ill sib is improving, but not out of the woods yet. She may have reached the next stage of treatment finally, but we won’t know until her next scan. Pops is very ill. I’m worried. Very worried. I may have to go visit him soon.

I just can’t shed distractions right now, and I have to go to a seminar now. Bye.

Mixed Feelings


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It’s time to go home. I’m selling the UK flat, and I need to let go.

It was real, hun.

Spring semester is coming on much too quickly. I’m not ready for my two new classes. I’ve don’t a very rough syllabus, but there may be some JIT teaching this time around. I never know quite how fast to go with new classes anyway.

I’m nearly packed up now, just the last boxes to go tomorrow, drop the keys with the Estate Agent, and head to Brummy airport. I may not be able to go straight home, though. Pops is in the hospital again. They won’t let him go home until they have figured out what is wrong. He’s been in for a week now.

I thought I had solved Cassie’s problem in ‘Round Midnight, but her solution has come back to haunt her. Maybe she needs to go on tour. That would throw the cat among the pigeons. I don’t know. I have a few days to think about it while I’m traveling.

Time to use up the last of the food. I had hoped to go out for my last Indian meal at our local. I will miss them. We’ve had a good natter each time I’ve been in this holiday. I’ve missed my chance to say goodbye.

OK. I’m going to cook now. Yes, I am.

Tangled words


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I was going to take the day off from writing, but I didn’t. A new episode of ‘Round Midnight on TCoA and a new Hot Tub on EJO stole my afternoon.

I don’t know where that came from. More tangled words, thanks in part to Peter Gabriel, whose song wafted through my head like a warm breeze.

I didn’t sleep well last night. I was pondering RM, and started thinking that I’m writing myself into a hole. I would doze off, then a weird dream would wake me, something about eating a huge bug that didn’t taste very good, except for one part, which was like parsnip soup, but it did strange things like turn me into a … well I don’t know what I was going to turn into, because I woke up, and was rewriting RM again, or thinking of taking a break from it. I’m losing focus. I don’t want it to go where it is trying to go.

This ship is listing, Cap’n!

Cassie’s in a forbidden love with someone she really likes. It’s a non-relationship that really needs to stick to friendship. (The perils of being the only SWF in a gay bar’s house band.) Did you hear me?

I’m looking at you Cassandra. Get your shit together.

I need to get back to Shakespeare. Maybe I’ll write an episode in Iambic Pentameter. Did you catch my poem on EJO a couple of days ago? A Thrill Forever Found. I’ve been having thoughts of writing a gibberish poem in that style. How tough can that be?

Be sploog a ding retoid verschploom getrug
a noika brig deloon atonga shlem
renoilate sliega took gegrieka fass
geprickle, tickle junkadeeter link

Methinks dear Shakespeare rolls in grave so deep.