Wednesday, April 24, 2019

ON YOUR BIRD, GET SET ...

EVERYONE should have a pigeon head, Quaker Oats, compression stockings, a comfy chair and Harley-wear on their birthday, I always say. Thanks to all for your visits and support of the art(s)!
El



Thursday, April 18, 2019

POETRY BREAK -- "The Comparison Study"




THE COMPARISON STUDY


How else could she say it with appropriate fuego?
Until their passions met,
she’d never loved and laughed so hard,
so soft, or felt so adored and amused.

But, yesterday he asked her:
"Do you love raisins as much as I do?"
That sent her into an existential tailspin,
wondering again if she could ever again
know another man’s love without comparing it
to what she’d put into
and taken out of her affairs with others.

She must allow it instead to float free,
without judgment.
The quiet and gentle, the passionate and sensual,
the tough and gnarly, the fun and exuberant.
That’s how she answered him.

But, today he hit her with another one:
“Is it hot in here, or is it me?” 

“It’s you,” she immediately replied,
sick of all his endless introspection,
and it wasn’t well-received.
Not the answer he’d wanted.
He’d wanted a flopsweat camaraderie.

She’ll now put it to her readers:
“Do you love raisins as much as I do?”
She can only hope you love poems
ending with grapes.

----
From "THE DIOECIANS -- His And Her Love". Copyright 2017 B. Elwin Sherman. Used here with permission. 




Monday, January 28, 2019

FUNNY AS CANCER

  
   Without researching it, I’ll bet that cancer in Colorado is no funnier than cancer in New Hampshire, but I can only speak for the Granite State and my lung tumor.

   Google reveals that no one living here has ever said: “as funny as cancer in New Hampshire.” That’s why I must say it now, living and writing as your native nurse humorist-tumorist.
    The ER doc unceremoniously said: “You have a mass on your lung.” With an inspired aplomb that only a New Englander would appreciate, I said: “I’m assuming you don’t mean Massachusetts.”
   Bang. Pow. Zoom. (I’m reserving exclamation points for the first finale of my second act, and that’s my first living with cancer in New Hampshire inside joke).
   When I heard my diagnosis, the words “Live Free or Die” shifted from the affairs of my state to my state of affairs, and immediately became my adopted up close and personal motto. I felt like a rock-tumbled Old Man of the Valley as an internal voice interrupted my shock: “Wait. Could you spare a minute for mortality?” Why, yes, I could but---
   Funny as cancer?
   My training and thirty-five-year career as a bedside care nurse taught me that humor is as essential to healing as not getting there is from here.
   I had cancer, so I did what only a New Hampshirite would do: started a wicked pissah cancer blog, made a Fluffernutter and washed it down with a frappe. Massachusettsans will claim the latter as theirs, but they do things like that.
   I then began searching my muse for the lighter side of what I knew would be hauling a heavy load down a long road.
   I’ve attended many patients with cancer, so I know the lie of its rugged landscape and many perils. But, when it’s MY trip as amateur pilot, not professional navigator? Funny as cancer? Here, in a state where freedom or death is a mandate?
   Yes. Especially here.
   First chore? Name my tumor. Men do this. We personalize our body parts and functions, errant and otherwise, and women will never understand it, beginning with the otherwise devoted wife lying next to me. She thinks it’s weird.
   I needed both radiation and chemotherapy, so I came up with “Rad Chemo.” Great moniker for a body-ambushing villain, and it kept with our New Hampshire tradition of seriously naming funny locales:
   My sympathies and apologies to the residents of Effingham, who undoubtedly live with a year-round tongue-in-cheek at the ready for any inquiring tourists. Effingham has always sounded to me like something expletively done to a ham.
   Or, when you think Kanca, is it suffixed with Mangus or Magus? Forever funny, and even we can’t decide.
   I was also inspired by other typically New Hampshire seriously funny things: Squirrel-proof birdfeeders (ha!), no-see-ums, wearing shorts with winter coats, and no-faultlessly driving unlicensed but self-designated road-legal snowmobiles, golf carts and riding mowers to the winter carnivals.
When I began my radiation, I found the spirit of our White Mountain State humor alive and free at Dartmouth-Hitchcock hospital, when they snugged me up and into my treatment table mold with Rad Chemo. I felt like a human skewer hosting a hitchhiking saboteur kabob on a stationary spit as the linear accelerator rotated around us.
   The “Radionettes” (the techs I’d so-dubbed because they knew my musical likes and dark sense of humor), played “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” through the overhead speakers.
 No, you can’t, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what we need.

----
Illustration by Brad Fitzpatrick. All rights reserved. Used here with permission.

This column is appearing in the February 2019 issue of New Hampshire Magazine.

Senior Wire News Service Syndicated Humor Columnist B. Elwin Sherman writes from Bethlehem, NH. He is an author, humorist, agony uncle columnist and poet. His latest book is “THE DIOECIANS – His and Her Love“. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved. Used here with permission.