Art, Poetry, books, novels

Friday, August 18, 2017

Eclipse Wind

world whir
fly in dreams
 eclipse wind drums
takes over left and right
out of skull ear ring mission bells
play the video to sing along the songs  
I'll face Neo Nazis and ISIS with cannons
while you're having al fresco picnic girlfriends
and keep turning lies switched and blink stage light
Life is brief yo yo flicks cold ground when sun disappears
Stop racist wrongs. Rides crash if daily maintenance ignores.


Caroline Gerardo copyright  © poem and images August 18 2917

Monday, August 7, 2017

Bad Surgery Center

Gators lurk in American Healthcare.
Doctors, drug companies and insurance all get big bite out of you.

Doctors attend years of schooling expect a three figure lifestyle. But physicians
don't all make huge salaries to payback those student loans.

Surgeons find a way to run surgi-centers that they own or own in partnerships
a means to make a half million dollars a year. C.E.O's make more than this. They don't
go to school for twenty two years and save lives.

Two of my family members experienced when greed fans the flames of surgeons hearts.
This story is about scam surgery centers.

My son's wisdom teeth needed removal.
The summer after his junior year of high school his
teeth ached and chewing gave him headaches. Dentist gave a recommendation.
I no longer go to that dentist because of what happened next. He's in on it.
We met with the surgeon in a high tech office. He reviewed the x-rays and staff
consulted with dental insurance which covers about five percent of the procedure.

An appointment was made for a month later. In the package of instructions was
information about no eating or liquids in advance, and a map for the surgi-center.

Appointment day we park at a different address, unaware the appointment is at a surgi center
where roving surgeons book procedures. Our Doctor didn't live in the area,
some mornings he travels a hundred miles to do ten procedures.
He made it appear he was local in the first meeting (books a city with 20 appointments then returns to perform 10 -15 surgeries in a day). This surgi center is owned by his group of Doctors.
Days after the surgery my son became seriously ill with high fever and lethargic. We called four times to get a call back. Doctor prescribed a second run of antibiotics. That night I helped my seventeen year old son who played Lacrosse and led an active and scholarly life to the emergency room. Diagnosis was: MRSA a virulent  bacterial infection that often doesn't respond to antibiotics.

After two days of total isolation the hospital sent him home with an IV cart and instructions for me
to sterilize everything and bleach his sheets and pillows daily. It took a year for my son to get his health back.  MRSA compromised his immune system,  now two years later the infection still flares up in his sinus. A frightening view of the muddy water into the cheap shortcuts of modern medicine.

My Mom just had bunion surgery. She's 85 and could barely walk with crippled toes. A surgeon came highly recommended by her Doctor. Mother is secretive about her care. She insists on being her own advocate. She went to the first office meeting alone. They pressured her into an appointment ten days after. I drove her to the surgical center. This is in Mission Viejo  (Orange County California). She thought the surgery was going to be at the hospital, but it's in a condo commercial office complex. the doctors who do surgeries here own the facility in a Corporate name.
"Mom are you sure you want to do this here?"
"Its fine, and I need to be able to walk better."
"But this place is a wreck," I whisper.
She pretends she can't hear me.
Grey carpet frayed, entry doors filthy and entry to the surgery prep and recovery rooms are dirty. The intake staff (not nurses) hustle men and women in and out. I'm allowed inside this center. There's a circle of fifteen beds with draw string curtains in between. The patients are cattle. Clothing goes in a plastic trash bag. Dignity not important. IV fed into your arm in seconds. Ports from used IV's are on the floor.

I've been to a hospital in Mumbai/Bombay in 1989 that was cleaner and state of the art compared to this mess.  I'm rushed out so the Doctors can roll them in for all the different surgeries of the eight o'clock shift. Then rolled back to the same bed to wake up and smell the coffee. It's muddy.

They hurry my Mom along to get her in the wheelchair to load her into my car. After the surgery she is unable to reach the doctor by telephone. One of the intake gals screens his calls, then refers the call if she deems it serious (she's not licensed nurse of any kind) to the nurse. Finally they tell her to call her own doctor who has her rush in for blood work... This form of medicine is broken.

A lot of people yell about the cost of Obamacare. Healthcare is hugely expensive. My son's wisdom teeth removal and subsequent care cost out of pocket $ 42,108. and I have great group healthcare. My mom has a supplement to her Medicare and so far her costs are not near what mine was but by the time we pay monthly premiums it's shocking. I worry that when my daughter turns 26 she won't have a job that offers decent low cost healthcare. I wonder what will happen to the generations who can't afford thousands in premiums or the cost of s life saving drug. I don't support free medicine for all, but the two hundred and ten dollar bedpan (which we couldn't keep because when you have MRSA everything a patient touches is treated as dangerous biological alligator) is an insane cost of a plastic bowl.

Doctors circumvent hospitals to increase their income. Neither of these surgi centers takes the promise of Obamacare to pay. IF you have Medi-CAL they only take cash up front.

The AMA (American Medical Association) bans any rating system of doctors. No entity seems responsible to inspect these surgi centers. I now know the huge amounts of blood and body fluids that are flung in a surgery. The crew who mops up is doing a shitty job.

 Below photos of Ogallala swamp with hundreds of gators

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Sunflowers Survive Poem

hide in plain sight 
A cloak field
saves masked 
chickens put 
young under wings
in dumbest
places on doorsteps
where evil enters
coming / going
straight feng shui 
fuck roosters don't
crow in tongues
nor I
the hens ate 
ten thousand 
 sunflower seeds 
planted in 
rows but in 
the end 
blooms came 
and spent
cluck and poke
the broody ones
are kind but
those that survive
jealous x girlfriends 
peck the life
and you have
seeds for 
next year but
sweet peas -
birds don't
care to eat
the young
we're not 
crazy people
that toss
shoes for
scorpions we
hide them in 
pairs neat in
plain sight
but step
with care

Caroline Gerardo copyright end of July 2017
all rights for poetry and images of my
garden held on penalty of your 
baby chicks under your wing on
Van Gogh doorsteps

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

President Banned

President Bans Hydrangeas

In the days before market open
Sign reads: no concealed weapon
contrite citizens show blowgun?

In the times of great freedom
Bleeding bouquet of reason
man/woman cross dress Eden?

Sensitive flower requires shade
Rollers grant body not remade
 God planted seeds as unafraid.

A man extinguishes cultivars
Sour dictators poison livers
in tainted tweeted vodka wars.

Ban the President

Caroline Gerardo copyright 7/26/2017 © poem and images

News re: Kristin Beck /  banning transgender persons from military 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Condemned Bridge Poem

Condemn Bridge 
Murder feral cats, 
drop them overboard
return to haunt. 

Thousand Sierra
Mountain prisoners,
burned feet hike
back home to taunt.

Ripe Persimmon
Marie lays beds,
not potato chips
twelve years of want.

Gauze Tahara
Magic endings,
not fairy tales
death after baptismal font.

Copyright poem and images © Caroline Gerardo 7/23/2017

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Take Care

Take care
good morning
I'm fine
bull we say

All good
a nice day
I'm fine
bull we say

          God bless
          zipper undone?
          I'm fine
          bloody nose

          Look  heart
          Touch hands
          hug long

Copyright Poem and images Caroline Gerardo 2017

Take Poet to Work

Call me I'll go to work with you
or share anything you ask
Wednesday July 19th
Take your Poet to Work Day

Oh my

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Heat Crashes Planes Poem

Heat crashes planes
happiness memory
Sister's wedding in backyard
nuptial, all present responsible.

Fog hides wrinkles
happiness memory
Son rides Christmas bike
down the road no trike.

Wind steals petals
happiness memory
Swim team relay win
vomit from the exertion.

 Storm fells trees
happiness memory
She poops on toilet
grainy no diaper smile.

Heat crashes planes

poem and images copyright Caroline Gerardo July 8, 2017

Monday, July 3, 2017

Kill Bill Church Road Trip

Road trip to the Kill Bill Church.
We loaded the car with cameras, a vegan picnic and water. Double check the coolant it's 100 degrees this morning in Lancaster. The owner has a website, tripadvisor, local bloggers post the address and there's a google page for the location which is no longer an active "church." 

What we didn't know is the owner has the website to get film companies to rent. There's a hostile element with locals who suffered in the 2008 downturn and abandoned property is vandalized, graffiti'ed, bones picked and sometimes burned to the ground for sport. There's a reason why houses out among Joshua Trees have bars on the windows - locals see visitors as roving  tranchulas.

A wildfire scarred and took a number of Joshua trees along the road. The black against blue sky and white heat is an eerie greeting to rural Lancaster. 

This abandoned garage across the street has an open door. It's an example of what happens when people leave a building. The windows are stolen. Old glazing is sought after for greenhouses in wetter, richer counties.

On the road was this adobe house. It stands open to the desert
I'm glad you read down this far because now here's the story. 

The Kill Bill Church has numerous No Trespassing signs. There's a wire and posts that remove to allow the frontage to appear empty when staging photographs but up as barrier to prevent visitors from parking close. The owner parks a open frame junk truck in front to block photographers. There are signs about no photography. When we arrive, we respectfully park down the street, not in front of houses and walk back in the heat across the street. We're interested in the garage directly across the street. Three people: two men and a woman are on the porch, inside the no trespassing signs. They are taking cell phone images and shouting. The woman messes with one of the posters tacked on the stucco. She's tugging on the paper to take as souvenir.
The building has motion detectors and cameras. Suddenly an old silver Mercedes speeds to the side of the building forming a dust devil.
A man jumps out and begins yelling at them to "get outta here, can't you read the signs?" 

The three some stand their ground with hands son hips. The behemoth black guy charges forward to the Mercedes guy, while the smaller man pulls out a 22 behind his back. Bravery comes from crowd numbers and a loaded gun.

Daughter and I run for our car, leaving a tripod across the street. Once in our vehicle, we watch the drama of small figures a block away unfold. I don't have any bars for cell service. This is the desert outside of Lancaster.
"If I call 911 will it go?" I ask.
"Leave it alone a minute, Mom."

The threesome backs down. They get into their Mazda and slowly drive south, honking and finally away from our viewpoint. We sit and wait. 

The Mercedes guy goes into the church. He's inspects, to see if they broke in.

We wait longer, while the tripod sits in front of the garage in the sun. I realize that on the ground also is a camera bag with film. I tell daughter, I'm turning the car around but she is to wait in the driver's seat and start beeping the horn if anything happens.

Knowing the Mercedes guy is inside and angry, I quietly walk back to pick up the tripod. A car passes. Wind blows as it slows in front to stop and take a picture of the #KillBillChurch as they say on Instagram. 

I fold the legs of the tripod. It makes a clicking sound; but no, it's the Mercedes guy with metal in his hands across the street. 

"Sir, we weren't with those people."

"You have to pay $500.00 to take pictures."

"I don't have that kind of money, I'm sorry." I bow my head and step backwards with the tripod in hands.

"I apologize those people weren't kind, but I don't know them."

He says nothing, turns his back to me. I grab the film bag and hustle, acting calm to the car.

Once inside the air conditioning I sigh. It's tough to live in the desert.

We drive on in silence and drink our bottled water.

Caroline Gerardo Copyright  © 7/3/2017 All rights reserved

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Goodbye Poem

Loaded car, didn't shed a tear.
Everything seems small.
Drove by our old house.
Ammie heals from bunion surgery.
Twenty four hour care costs dear.
Wheelchair doesn't fit the hall.
Taste of plaque in teeth clouds
memories, wish you lived near.

Cooler holds two days meals.
Everything seems small.
Fig jam in blue Kerr jars.
Jalapeno, rose lavender flavors 
in calico fabric bees wax seals.
Sauce you love with meatball
packed on ice for the drive. 
Waved bye to backs of wheels.

Everything seems small
Miss you, that's all.

Poem copyright 6/25/2017 Caroline Gerardo
photos Rodney Mississippi


Friday, June 23, 2017

Coming and Going

 Coming and going

Days in a high rise
Nights on the ranch
Before sun breaks fog
Before Big Red crows
There's melody dance

Ignore egg becomes toad
Salvation in an $18 cross
Before you fall to knees
Before you miss mother
There's bagpipes of loss

coming and going

Kitsch red rose 
Cliche emoji tear
Before step on crack
Before step over penny
There's grateful fear.

poem 6/23/2017 copyright Caroline Gerardo