Monday, April 23, 2018

She gasped. So did I

Just my luck! It was too late to prepare myself now, because two things happened at once: first, I spotted the slender outline of a girl up there in the window, combing her long, red hair. And second, the front door opened, letting out her Mama. 
Somehow I managed to bring the car to a stop. She took one look at me and with menace in her eyes, set her hands on her hips. 
I fumbled to pull up the brakes. “Hello,” I said. 
And she muttered, “Not you again.”
The woman was wearing a square-shouldered jacket, in the style that became popular recently, which also featured narrow hips and skirts that ended just below the knee. With so many men leaving for military service, magazines and pattern companies advised women on how to remake their suits into smart outfits. The alteration idea must have appealed to Mrs. Horowitz, because her husband, the famous conductor Benjamin Horowitz, had passed away only a few months ago, and the cloth would otherwise sit unused. Looking rather substantial in it, she plodded heavily forward, overtaking the milkman and heading in my direction.
I turned off the ignition and leapt dashingly out of the open-air convertible, which was the moment her expression changed. I could tell, by the way her jaw fell open, that the impression I made—or rather, the impression the vehicle made—was the best I could possibly hope for.
“Mrs. Horowitz,” I said. “How are you this fine morning?”
To which she said, “It’s already noon.”
I went around the car to the passenger side and from there, took out the bouquet I had bought earlier. Red roses. 
Opposite me Mrs. Horowitz leaned over the driver-side door, perhaps to examine the plush leather interior. It was then, in the face of her curiosity, that a question suddenly occurred to me. I asked myself, did I—or did I not—turn the front wheels towards the curb, to make sure the car won’t roll? 
And before I could make up my mind either way, I heard a low rumble as something gave way. The brakes must have become disengaged, which sent the car rolling downhill, letting a single red petal fly out of the passenger seat and swirl into the air.
I took a step back. So did Mrs. Horowitz. 
She gasped. So did I.
Stumped by not knowing what to do with the bouquet I was holding, I shoved it into her arms. 
“For Natasha,” I said, and took off running after the car.

Lenny in The Music of Us


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"Words can be melodic, and author Uvi Poznansky's book at times reads like a symphony. This is the music of love, elegantly written with an essence of bittersweet romance. It is a celebration of the wonderful feelings people experience during the early days of getting to know each other, written in the heartbreak and shadows of later years." 
A. Reader,TOP 100 REVIEWER

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Poznansky takes a risk and delivers

Pamela Fagan Hutchins is the YA author of the What Doesn't Kill You romantic mysteries, and (possibly) hilarious nonfiction. She is passionate about hiking with her hunky husband and pack of rescue dogs (and an occasional goat and donkey), riding her gigantic horses, experimenting with her Keurig, and traveling in the Bookmobile. I am honored that she read and my Women's Fiction novel, My Own Voice, and posted this review:


on April 20, 2018
I had a feeling I'd enjoy Uvi Poznansky and My Own Voice, but by about halfway through it, I was tugging on my husband's sleeve. "This woman can flat-out tell a story!" (imagine that said in my surprised voice--because I don't say that very often). Uvi took a risk in writing this protagonist as well, because the woman's voice is not polished. It's jarring at first. But the theme of the novel (without any plot spoilers here) turned out to be about her accepting herself (and her speech). I found My Own Voice to be very original—think of it as women's fiction, family drama—and I will definitely pick up another one of Uvi's novels.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Don’t Open Your Eyes

Don’t open your eyes
Try not to see
Things are no longer
Where things ought to be

That voice—is it her?
Behind a closed door
She calls you a stranger
Your mother no more

Breathe through the moment 
Turn, turn your eyes
The past you imagined 
Was all lies, lies, lies

Things are no longer 
Where things ought to be
Who is this stranger
Is it still me?

This is my mixed media painting, titled The Door to My Childhood
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"This radiant book is an exploration of the bond between a daughter and father and the book overflows with some of the most eloquent poetic moments in print. HOME is an invitation, a very personal one, and should not be passed over." 
Grady Harp, Hall of Fame Reviewer

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Didn’t you tell her there’s a war going on?

“Didn’t you tell her there’s a war going on?”
“I said it only a million times! I told her over and over: it’s a long journey across the Atlantic, and ships are being sunk every day. But what good did it do me? She won’t listen!”
“I can’t believe it,” I said, exasperated.
“Neither can I,” said Mrs. Horowitz. “Trust me, I didn’t give her my blessing, not even my permission to do this, but some organization—I think it’s called USO—did.”
“What’s that?”
“From what I hear, their mission is to provide morale-lifting services to U.S. soldiers wherever they serve, ‘Until Every One Comes Home.’ Somehow they decided to do it at my expense, I mean at the expense of putting my daughter in harm’s way, just so she can play music to entertain the troops. Oy, Lenny,” she said, her voice trembling in-between sobs, “I’m so afraid, so terrified that something bad will happen to Natashinka, that I can’t think straight.” 
Meanwhile pips started to sound and I knew that a few seconds later, the line would go dead unless more money was fed in. I checked my pocket, fumbling to find more coins, but no luck: it was empty. 
“Which ship?” I asked, at full tilt, knowing that the call might end at any second now. “Which port, when—”
“Well,” said Mrs. Horowitz, and in the background, those bedsprings under her came alive again, giving another moan. She must have stretched in bed, perhaps to get a handkerchief. I imagined her arms, with wings of flesh hanging flabbily down, flapping all about. To the sound of her blowing her nose into it, I wondered: did she even pay attention to what I asked? Was I going to get an answer? 
“Well,” she said at last, “Natasha is supposed to board ship in a few hours, and she told me it’s about to set sail at noon, just as soon as they finish loading some cargo and stuff, so I’m going to go there to pull her off, whether she likes it or not, so as not to allow her to get too comfortable in that pitifully small cabin, because by hook or by crook such is my duty, and when it’s all over I know what to expect, because a mother’s work a thankless job.”

Lenny in Dancing with Air


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Aaron Paul Lazar, Author

Monday, April 9, 2018

I am a woman seeking a name for herself

And before I know it, I can hear myself saying, “I see the fallen angels here—what remains after them—but where are the rest? I mean, where are the demons?” 
Satan leers at me, and his voice resonates deeply, suddenly penetrating the depth of my soul. 
“Where else?” he says. “Inside.”
Then he walks down the path, not before waving his hand with an elegant, courteous gesture, which I take to mean, Come now! Come with me!
Which I do—even though with each step, my feet get more and more scalded by the boiling earth. But I don’t give a damn, this pain cannot stop me, nothing can, because somehow I know there is a purpose to this journey. In life or death, I am—and perhaps always will be—a woman seeking a name for herself. 
A woman on a quest.
We are traveling together in the direction of my village. Well, the copy of it. As close as can be. 
Home. 

Ghost in Twisted


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Friday, April 6, 2018

Get off the phone. I’m trying to call you

And so we embarked on an exchange of letters, which started slowly. Then, over time, the intervals between one letter and the next grew shorter. 
First she told me about changes affected by the war effort:

Mama read in the magazine: “Rationing has been introduced not to deprive you of your real needs, but to make more certain that you get your share of the country's goods, to get fair shares with everybody else. When the shops re-open you will be able to buy cloth, clothes, footwear and knitting wool only if you bring your food ration book with you. The shopkeeper will detach the required number of coupons from the unused page... You will have a total of 66 coupons to last you a year; so go sparingly. You can buy where you like and when you like without registering.”

By Valentine’s Day, her voice became warmer and a bit more confident. She began to trust me with little things, little stories about her life, stories that showed her to me not only as a pianist but as a sixteen-year-old kid.
She wrote,

Mama tells me to put on my roller skates and go to several neighborhood groceries because they’ve received a shipment of sugar, flour, butter or some other rationed items, and she’s given me some ration coupons that can be redeemed for the items. Every once in a while there may be Nylon Stockings that Ma would want me to try to get. If I can’t find any, she might have to get them on the black market.

I asked for her phone number. She gave it to me with a warning, saying that she liked chatting with her friends for long periods of time, so getting through to her would be tough. It would be next to impossible. 

This was true. After trying repeatedly to call her for three hours straight I finally got tired of it and resorted to send her a telegram, which I knew would be delivered at once by a young man riding a bicycle in a Western Union uniform and a cap, which is sure to get her attention. The telegram said, “Get off the phone. I’m trying to call you.”

Lenny in The Music of Us


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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Whispers have a way of penetrating me

I have no idea how much time has passed since I closed myself in this place. From time to time the door starts screeching on its hinges, as someone comes in. He brings in food, which I know because the plate rattles against the surface of the floor, before his footfalls fade away. Whoever he is I grant him nothing, not even as much as a glance, and I leave the food untouched.
Yet even as I want to be left alone, I find myself dreading my loneliness.

My heart pounds, my strength fails me. 
Even the light has gone from my eyes. 
My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds. 
My neighbors stay far away.

Then, somehow, I know that it is morning. I hear my troops coming back, passing through the inner and outer gate, directly below this room. Some are moaning because of their wounds. Others are laughing, happy to be alive. Many of them ask why I am not out there to congratulate them for such an unexpected triumph. 
Someone, perhaps the gate keeper, must be pressing a finger to his lips to hush them, because at once they lower their voices. And I know that for the whole army, the victory this day is turned into mourning, because of me. They steal into the city this day as men steal in who are ashamed when they flee from battle.
I can block loud talk, but whispers have a way of penetrating me. I wish I could forget words. I do not want to hear what happened. Let someone else listen. Let someone else write about it.



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