This Week

Last night Alec and I saw a reenactment of Laura Ingalls at the Eldridge library which was informing and inspiring to think maybe my works will be passed down someday. Tonight alec and I will go to music club, sound reach and a local high school choir concert. Tomorrow night I'm meeting friends for Experimental Shorts at Rozz-Tox, short films from around the world. Thursday is my busy day to volunteer, then I'm meeting friends for an evening with poet laureates from Iowa. Friday night and Saturday day I'm doing canvassing. Sunday Alec and I are seeing Snow White adaption at junior theater in Davenport, then going to sled hockey. All of these events are free or nearly free.



A couple of fun, easy craft ideas for you and your daughter, or young girl in your life:

wooden spoon dolls: you paint on a face and buttons with each color representing a different type of character, they can be anything you want them to be, like yellow could be happy, green could be growing, blue could be smart, red could be brave. You can also glue on some things on your spoon, but if you want her to cook with it, just use acrylic paint, it won't come off when baking.

her name: cut out the letters of her name out of old greeting cards, I use Christmas greeting cards, and then I will punch one hole through the middle of each, and string (with yarn) fruit loops and painted pasta. You can hang it on the tree, or pin it to her ceiling.

ornaments: use your old stickers and old ornaments to make a personalized gift for grandmas, just cover the old ornaments with your stickers.

Pasta letters: use first initial of your families names, boiling thick fetticini pasta and rinse it with cold water, form the pasta into letters, and then cover it with glue and glitter.

Some of these things I used to do when I was a Girl Scouts leader.

Last Minute (a slam poem)

Last Minute by Sheri Grutz As if there was a breaking point, and we suddenly fell off from our plans like twigs from the pressure, broke off from another day into another way that released all that
was kept bending, bending, and finally now, breaking away, last minute, a decision to change course,
shocking and sudden as if to throw them off course, make them think differently,
last minute we ended up in bed instead,
or turning left instead of right,
or going for coffee instead of the meeting,
or reading all day instead of going to class,
anything to make the weight of the decision
drop off the shoulders like lead wings,
no strings, no burden of things
making the day uncommon and needing
explaining, but there is no reason, there
is no excuse, just a last minute fly away
into the wild blue yonder, sorry, but it
seems to happen like that, last minute
turnabout, knowing I will pay for this,
but not caring, just daring the completion
of an act to stand on its head, to fall from
grace the way day flips over night, bleeding
through the sky slowly soaking up all
the light, I must kiss you last minute,
I must tell you last minute
leaving something that will last,
but the last minute comes like
a gust of air, it comes like a
shooting star that won't make
anything brighter, faster, clearer
than this one moment, in the last
minute I turned around and went
somewhere I had always wanted,
wanting it like a craving that needs
to be put away into the box of my
mind and sent to you on this fine day,
another way of reaching you through
doing the unheard of, the unexpected,
the unaccounted for, me, nobody
making nobody's decisions and
living in a nobody world, going
and going suddenly last minute
not going, not completing, not
following through because it was
pressing on me to be free, to be
unhitched, out of control and into
the blue, eyes watching, I know,
I know, nothing stopping me but
the butterflies that haven't died yet,
this thought of you, floating, I am
floating and so scared to land.


Comments on me

I must be the hyper-confessional 'other' that Andrew Ridker is talking about, and it seems to be conjuring up a bad vibe all over again, the style of my writing, the content, this blog, the approach, that word confessional is as bad as liberal. I used to think all of it was done because I must give, give of myself, and my experiences, but it's not being received very well in certain circles, and its taboo by today's standards. I don't know what I'll do, continue on like it doesn't matter what they think, or give it up, or slowly fade off to nothing.


Candy Land (a board game poem)

Candy Land

by sheri grutz

King Kandy lost his key
and he couldn't get back
into Candy Castle,
and the searchers went
through Candy Cane Forest,
Gum Drop Mountain, even
got stuck in the Molasses Swamp,
but the searchers knew their colors
and they were on the trail,
and one of them said,
“I think I've found the key!”
And the other said,
“You have, where is it?”
But he just replied,
“The key is, limit your
sweets and eat lots of veggies.”
They found out that it was
the way to unlock the
secret to health and happiness.
And King Kandy changed his
name to King Karrot,
and all the searchers
changed into rabbits,
and the game ended
with a crunchy lunch.



By the first week of December I will have earned a certificate in Food, Health and Nutrition. That will be added to my two other certificates in Medication Manager, and Peer to Peer. These are accredited certificates that I can use on my resume.

I am still canvassing for the Democrats, and hope to make it up until the election. It also looks pretty good on a resume as well, and does introduce me to a level of sales jobs. After that, I would still like to get on with UPS, even though they did turn me down once already, but I may also apply at Bridgeview for a Peer Support specialist in my area going into the new year.

Sunday Alec and I are meeting Beth in Iowa City for Dance Gala, and I hope Alec does ok at this event. We will then get a quick bite to eat or shop somewhere, likely Ragstock.

Sled hockey is also going on right now through about mid-November. I am signed up to the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning, and help out the night before handing out packets. I think I am signed up to do the 4 mile run, but I would like to change it to the One-Mile run, hopefully I can. I am looking forward to using my automatic apple-peeler and corer this season that I got as a gift last year.

I am thankful for new friends I am making, and I am glad as always to get followers on my blog, thank you.


Wild (A 3 Piece Comparison) by Sheri Grutz

Wild Things in Captivity
by D.H. Lawrence

Wild things in captivity
while they keep their own wild purity
won't breed, they mope, they die.

All men are in captivity,
active with captive activity,
and the best won't breed, though they don't know why.

The great cage of our domesticity
kills sex in a man, the simplicity
of desire is distorted and twisted awry.

And so, with bitter perversity,
gritting against the great adversity,
they young ones copulate, hate it, and want to cry.

Sex is a state of grace.
In a cage it can't take place.
Break the cage then, start in and try.

In this poem, to be wild is to be free, and not feel the nagging persistence of being forced, coerced, watched or impeded upon. There is a hope at the end that a person can break the cage, but the mindset seems to find other ways of trapping itself, still good to try though. Compare this poem to a passage from Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison:

"You're botherin' me!" Hagar was shouting and digging her fingers in her hair. It was an ordinary gesture of frustration, but its awkwardness made Ruth know know that there was something truly askew in this girl. That here was the wilderness of Southside. Not the poverty or dirt or noise, not just extreme unregulated passion where even love found its way with an ice pick, but the absence of control. Here one lived knowing that at any time, anybody might do anything. Not wilderness where there was system, or the logic of lions, trees, toads, and birds, but wild wilderness where there was none.

It becomes essential for this wilderness to not have any control mechanisms, but for all to be in flux, with a kind of energy and sensation that only not knowing or not granting or not predicting can do for you and those around you, and it is most like this freedom that D.H. is talking about, a real kind of animal instinct. Compare his poem and her passage to another passage in the novel Wild by Cheryl Strayed:

I lay back and closed my eyes and let my head sink into the water until it covered my face. I got the feeling I used to get as a child when I'd done this very thing: as if the known world of the bathroom had disappeared and become, through the simple act of submersion, a foreign and mysterious place. Its ordinary sounds and sensations turned muted, distant, abstract, while other sounds and sensations not normally heard or registered emerged.

With this passage, wilderness is within, and the sounds and sensations you experience take you away from your actual setting, and put in a different place, and it is not like the poem above where the place you are in matters the most, or to be caged is to be nearly dead, but Cheryl's passage is similar to Toni's where there is no reasoning or no realism about your sudden experience of things, but to be wild is to not be certain.



One of the abilities sometimes good, sometimes bad from having schizophrenia is this way of reading into things that others don't have, assuming an inside knowledge of a situation that others can't. It can sometimes be wrong, directly or indirectly, but it becomes a truth for awhile that I may try to convince others of seeing and knowing. I have written poems about this knack, but really it appears to be much more of a curse than anything else, and it's hard to know when to act and when to overlook what appears to me. I appreciate that you follow my blog, whether you are totally convinced of what I have to say or not.


The Word Is (a 10-minute play)

The Word Is

by Sheri Grutz


LENNY (20's, wearing a Bears jacket and jeans)
MAN IN TRENCH COAT (older, mysterious)
WOMAN WITH A BABY (30's, athletic, holding doll)
CHILD WITH A YO-YO (10 years old, energetic, playing with yoyo)
PASSERBY (white T-shirt and jeans, man in his 30's)

Lights up on a backdrop of a city sidewalk with a large door closed in the middle of the stage where Lenny is standing guard. Passerby come from side of stage and walk some casually, some briskly across stage, some going around the door, looking curious at it and Lenny. Lenny nods his head at them or waves. Suddenly Man in a Trench coat wants to go through the door.

I'm sorry but this doorway is off limits.

There is no limit to the possibilities of this door, why it could help you to lose a year of your life! It could give you an escape from time and place! You could even enter into a new dimension! When you say off limits, you mean off the beaten path, right?

No, I'm afraid it is right on the path to success, that is, if you want to be successful. And who doesn't?

Indeed, why just yesterday I was saying I would start investing more than money, but time, and attention, but now why do these doors remain closed? (he points to the door in front of him) I'm not even a closed person. The city never closes. Even overnight, but you know, I'm not looking to be an overnight success anyway. Maybe I should turn back- (he starts to turn around)

Wait! There are stars in your eyes! There are clouds in your coffee! There are violins playing in your mind! Every door will open for you! Well, that is, when you can tell me the password.

The password, huh? And you are the keeper of secrets?

There is no secret to success, the password just assures that you are you. It has been set up for you.

So it's a set-up then, you know I have a chance of failing. Did you know that just last week I failed an eye exam? Imagine that, losing my vision, and I've always been a visionary, I can see for miles into the future. I can see everything getting ahead, moving to the top, you know, climbing the ladder.

This will be easy, do you remember your password?

Certainly not. I bet it has something to do with the '80's though, when there was money to be had.

Actually, it's just a word, and the word is?

The word is patience. It always has been, don't shoot yourself in the foot because then you can't walk the walk. And don't leave the cake out in the rain, even if it's a sponge cake, because then it will have to feel the big squeeze. Patience, my friend.

That's it! You may enter.

Both men smile, and Man in Trench coat slowly turns the door handle, and walks through. When he gets to the other side, he throws his coat off, and does a dance across the stage as he exits. No one sees him. Enter Woman with a baby. She stops at Lenny and the door.

What is this? Should I see who is home?

This is your home I take it, this city?

Yes, yes!

Well, this is just a front. I am the keeper. I've been keeping at it all day. You must want to go in? Yes?

Why yes, a little shelter would be nice, though don't think we lead sheltered lives or anything like that. And also don't think that I need to be in with the in crowd, oh no, I've been on the outside for so long, you know, out of sight out of mind. My sister taught me that, she just came out of the closet recently, but that is such an out thing to say, I'm out of touch.

It's ok, it's ok, Yes, you can go in, but first you have to tell me the password that you have chosen.

Seems like everything is chosen for us, are you sure I chose a password?

You did, a long time ago when you knew you might need it to get you places.

Let's see...the word is happy. Yes, happy wife, happy home. Happiness is so many things that make life interesting, like interesting stories, interesting recipes, interesting people. I'm always tuned in, rarely tuned off, especially the radio, it's going all day, we never quit!

That's it! Happy is your password, you may enter.

They both smile at each other, and she carefully enters through the door. When she gets to the other side, she sighs deeply and noticeably, and then swings doll around lightly, twirling off stage. No one sees her. More passersby come along. Enter Child with a yo-yo. He stops in front of Lenny and the door, but doesn't look up.

Hmm. (he stops playing and bends down to tie his shoe) Is this the doorway to heaven?

I came here on a whim and a prayer, so it just might be. But you have a long life ahead, maybe you are dreaming.

I had a dream one time that I was walking on water.

Huh, no surface tension or anything?

I did have this tension in my back actually, it was a board, that's what I was walking on, like walking on bodies, this body of water. (pause) What do I want with a door?

If you think this is going to get you to heaven, maybe you try it out, you know, a little trial run before you actually get good, and by good, I mean, get holy.

Yeah maybe. I could use a little help right now, my big sister is in the hospital, but she should be getting out tomorrow. “Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you tomorrow, you're only a day away...”

That's what everybody thinks, until they are standing at a door, and need to make a decision.

It doesn't look like a holy door. But I could still try it out- (he moves to try to open it but Lenny stops him)

Wait a second, I am the keeper here.

How much you want? I have some change. (digs into his pocket)
They all have change in their minds, something to pocket like saving up for a rainy day. What I need from you is a password.

A password? I think we played this game at school one time.

This is the game of life, though, it's something that you chose, easy to remember, that only you can use to get through this door. And the word is?

The word is peace. My sister just needs to find her peace of mind. I will go in there and make a way where there isn't one. Yes, peace is hard to come by, but it's a good thing that I came by today.

You are right! Peace.

Lenny waves him on. He slowly goes through the door. When he gets to the other side, he raises his eyebrows, and smiles real big, throwing his arms out, and skips off stage. More passersby come along.

Excuse me, (he says to Lenny) I feel the earth move under my feet.

Oh, they're selling tapestries just around the corner.

Thank you. I've heard of them. Classic.

Sold millions.

This is my favorite street.

I'm opening my door now, and going home. Anyone can enter, it's free!

Is this like a free download, man? I mean, are you going to give me the lowdown?

Yeah, it's going to the basement.

Store up your treasure, man.

Yes, good day.

Lenny opens the door, then turns and walks back away from the door to the other side of the stage where the passersby were coming from. Passerby is left standing watching him, then looking at the door. He walks around the side of the door and across the stage. Lights out. The end.


The Board Game: Clue (a poem)

by Sheri Grutz

There is no blood
or breath, no struggle
to confess, just a fancy
room that money buys,
eliminating some of
the guys, just a few
more revelations on
the objects, no force,
no attack, every game
is subject, refined with
getting the 3 parts of it
defined, t.v on, eating
an orange, getting it
before you do, chew,
chew, I'll show you
everything but that.


Board Games Poem (Scrabble)

Scrabble by Sheri

Used to be every smart move
was a dance move, moving to
the left was a 'q' for quiz you later,
moving up and down was a 'j' for
its a jungle out there, used to be
every smart move counted for double,
a double spoonful of alphabet soup,
but now the smart ones with their
small and rare words are winning
the spaces on this bored game,
the spaces in the heart might be
worth more, but even my father
had to win, had to meet the challenge,
had to pave the way across us with
what was harder than words,
and all the SAT was to me was
I sat all morning taking this test,
all the moves I wanted to make
were letters spelling out the
recess in my brain that builds
the words we never really use.