Archive for February, 2015

pre-lyric ramble . . .
Over the past few months several new “followers” have begun following Honey & Quinine. I don’t know why. But I thank  EVERYONE for following this blog. I have tried to learn more about the followers by trying to view their profiles, but this crazy AVATAR business has prevented me from connecting with most of you. I have begun following only one other blog in recent week. It is “Okay, You’re Right” and I can tell you the author is fascinating, clearly a world thinker who knows how to write engagingly. If you can find her, read her. You will be glad you did.  I am; that’s for sure.  🙂

I’ve fallen behind posting at H&Q, and I’m wondering if my very (ULTRA, even) minor stroke last December left more of a mark on me than I first thought. I’m a mite hobbled by my belief that yammering about what’s going to happen, including news media analysis of speeches the day before they’re uttered,  isn’t news; it’s cheap cereal filler to insert between real news (HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED and MARK YOUR CALENDERS FOR. . . ), advertising and fund-raising drives for public radio stations. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been wanting to share the news that I would be having operations to vaporize my cataracts in March. There will be two operations, one per eye, spaced a little more than a week apart, but before that I must have a pre-operations physical examination by a physician “or nurse practitioner” (can you BELIEVE that? I sure couldn’t, not that there’s anything wrong with nurse practitioners) March 3 and if I get the green light, surgery follows. While the fact I’m finally “in the stream” for this treatment, which is about two years past due, seem “it’s going to happen” irrelevant to NEWS, my  success in navigating a series of impediments that included my employer being almost criminally negligent in not responding to my repeated requests for information (not money, you understand; just information about what I’ve earned) until he did and my own laxity in expediting after I had what I needed from him IS NEWS to people previously aware of this ongoing distress. The nuttiness is that when I’m disappointed, I’m also depressed. When I’m depressed, I feel there is no point to life, and therefore there is no reason to sustain life by “doing what needs to be done” <– thank you Garrison K.. I’ve not been suicidal. I’ve just been frozen in near-catatonia. This has affected my work all around: the book about a local Springfieldian (John Thornton Walker) I’ve promised and want very much to complete, work at the aviation museum; even activity at home: letting the clutter and disarray build until I straighten up things, put things away. I did today. The point of this ramble is my recent understanding of how even ULTRA minor strokes affect those they visit as I was visited December 4, 2014. A few days ago I read the material given to me by the hospital when I was released. So there is my latest self-serving rationale for doing darn-near nothing with life for almost two frikking months.

On the other hand, it may be just the winter weather.

The poem is one of four I’ve written on occasions where I’ve been invited to play guitar and sing at visual arts gallery receptions. My smartest visual artist friends understood it at first listen. I am confident YOU will understand it at first read . . .

by Job Conger

Red pretauge on canvas white,
Streaks of saffron center-right.
From left corner sprouts a plem:
Floral posti quodeum.
Kladar races neck-and-neck
With the banyae bisolek.
Orange discs in motion glurge,
Toward the fading dree converge.

Lift your eyes and voices too
To the mellow illusdrew.
We shall cloy mo talikong:
Celebrate an abstract song.

Hut in shadow on a rise,
Fucia nordank mystifies,
Over deep cerulean blue:
Stolden pax kalam pocue.
Creatures dance hodaigren lape
While the natives flir kanape.
Volpan is the chanter king,
Verdant, wise and breysaling.


Joined in warm melodic hues:
Catholics, Protestants, Jews
Celebrate in sweet delight
Wonders of the Shenegite.
We’ll connect to what we can
Through the palette’s laudigan.
Symbols can be what ye will:
Cat upon the window sill.

(chorus which I sing twice, the second time after inviting the audience to sing along with me. By that time they are with me in this song. It’s incred-amazing!)

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Representative abstract paintings inspired me to write this song. It was my goal to place understandable phrases with those which are not understood at first listen and may not be understood at all. That’s okay. I hope you liked it.

Live long . . . . . and proper.


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pre-poem ramble: I visited the local drug store to renew my monthly (slight) stroke medications for the second time. POP QUIZ: How many times have I BOUGHT my prescriptions there? Too many people I know will answer “twice” . . . because they don’t know the difference between buying and buying again. The answer, of course, is three. . . but I digressed.

When I purchased and renewed the first time, I purchased the PRESCRIPTION baby aspirin, noted on the typed label. Today I asked the pharmacist if there was a difference between the baby aspirin he would soon count (30) into a prescription jar from behind the well-secured counter and the baby aspirin I could purchase from the publicly accessible shelf 10 feet behind me. He said “No difference at all. In fact, when we run out of them back here, we refill our supply from the bottles you saw on the shelves. ” I asked if the prescription baby aspirin would cost me more than the over the counter equivalent behind me. He said, “I don’t know. Let’s go see.”

He courteously came out from behind the preparation area to the shelves with me where we found a 120 low dose, safety coated aspirin for $6.49. It was not Bayer; it was the “drug store brand.”

The total for today’s medication was $170.13, including the 120 tab OTC baby aspirin. Total for my first refill January 5 was $169.24, including 30 baby aspirin. For 89 cents more, I took home 90 more aspirin, and the next two prescription-only refills (since I’ll already have the aspirin) will cost $163.58.  There is a reason I twice paid prescription price for a medication I could have purchased OTC if the thought had come to me. The reason is that BIG PHARMA is the health care provider’s FRIEND. My ignorance was BIG PHARMA’s bliss. I’m not mad over this. I’m better informed. I’m healthy, and as they used to sing in the TV comedy “The Jeffersons” theme song . . . “There ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.”  🙂

Here is a poem I wrote the morning after. Since that occasion, I published it in my third book of poems Bear’ sKin but have not shared it once, with or without voice, since. What can I say, but THIS IS YOUR LUCKY DAY!  🙂

From a Cup of Coffee, Neat
by Job Conger — 7:45 am, January 18, 2001

Panoply of darkly hues
a see of animated anti-freeze
the sweet cacophony of talk
in warm retreat from blustery winter freeze

Embracing choices like a song
behind the counter, temptingly
“My advice is chicken and not the tuna
salad, but you didn’t hear it from me.”

Seen backwards, window sign reads
something like SLEGAB SYBXIB
reflected  reads BIXBYS BAGELS
Take my word, I wouldn’t fib.

Tenuous, ragged telegraphed syllables of words
off high-strung lines: “da dit dada dit-dit-dit”
abandoning rhythms, lost to the sense of time
hurling the dis engagingrag gedflow of it.

Still-in-utero thoughts remembered:
chaos outside; inside merry
Buxby’s Cafe Open Mic Night, seven
teenth of January.


Live long . . . . . . . and proper.

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