Archive for June, 2009

The interview went terrifically

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

I so impressed with Karen Neurohr in how she conducted the interview with Bob. She came replete with state-of-the-art video & mike & whatnots. Her line of questions to Bob brought out the vintage performer he once was. She would request him to read some of the daughter of a dust bowl sharecropper poems. Karen did her homework. She found so much stuff on Bob’s relationship with this daughter Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel. Karen would ask Bob to interpet the poems he would read in the mike. Lo and behold! Right off the cuff, Bob, in a professorial and folksy vein, would extrapolate the poems with zest and insightfulness. He topped off this inteview reading his own poem to Wilma:

“Wilma, We Might Have Been


In overalls and straw hat,

chewing timothy, I’d amble

over. You’d fetch a jar of

frosty artesian well water

and draw me to the parlor

to hear new poems from your

five cent tablet, poems about

lovable (and not so lovable)

kith and kin. You were setting

up shooting gallery ducks–No,

that’s too facile: you embedded

folks in amber. Did you know

back then that poems were so

durable? Or that I loved you?”

After the interview ends, Karen begins to pack up her stuff and I offer her a slice of carrot cake.  Bob gets up from his seat, the warm blanket with two prideful lions printed on it that I covered his legs before the interview  falls on the floor, exposing his large catheter bag as he picks it up to go to the bathroom. It reminded me of the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy’s dog Toto knocks down the Wizard’s facade and his warts and all were revealed.   Karen never batted an eye. This morning inteview was an utter delight for me to witness the finesse between poet and journalist. This conducted oral history will be integrated on Wilma’s Web.

What does he remember about the “Okie” poet?

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Robert’s is going to be interviewed this morning, He doesn’t know it yet but he will when Karen Neurohr arrives here at ten o’clock. Karen is a Oklahoma State University Librarian who is coordinating a project over “Okie” poet Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel. Karen is going around conducting oral history interviews with folks who knew Wilma. Wilma and Robert had a great mash. Wilma especially would call Robert from time to time and rap about poetry or anything.

Wilma would send original poetry to him on gum wrappers, ripped brown paper bags or anything she could to write on. Most of these archives are housed away in Lawrence Kansas University unopened to the public scrutiny. There are some of these items at the Dr Seusss Library at the University of San Diego. Here is the website for Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel: Wilma’s web.  In one of Robert’s poetry books The Faimial Love and Other Misfortunes, he dedicates this book in the Prologue to Wilma. He’ll probably read that on tape today with the interview with Karen. I better get Robert all gussied up for the forthcoming event. I got to make sure he has his small catheter bag attached instead of his large one that drags on the floor. We must keep up appearances.

The Poet has to use a catheter for a week.

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

Robert had to get a biopsy from his urinary bladder. This was called minor surgery. The surgery went well but Robert had to go home with a catheter. Yes! It took him awhile to get used to it. To pee at anytime without going to the toilet was too liberating for Robert to assume. He was given two pairs of pee bags. One pair was one that would be suitable at night because it could carry more pee. The other pair were more portable. One can latch the bag on one’s thigh and meet your public. The problem with this portable bag is because it’s smaller, that one will have to subtly slide away into a public stall and furtively empty the bag. Robert and I have not gone out in public to give this a a twist in the wind. Perhaps we will before the end of the week before he goes back to Kaiser and gets the catheter removed. Now why did Kaiser give Robert two sets of bags? Courtesy my friends-courtesy. It never hurts to have a backup bag in case something botchy happens.

A poet’s genius slowly shaves away

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

I am Bob’s spouse and his caretaker. He has a form of dementia and he’s had for some time. He takes two memory pills a day. What do these pills do? In lay-person’s terms, they stop bad protein molecules from progressively destroying neurons. In Bob’s case these pills seem to do the job. Like most folks who are caretakers do more and more research so they can do what they can to help their beloveds with their type of dementia. I have a detached fascination of learning from Alzheimer’s literature that there are seventy definable forms of dementia. Alzheimer seems to be the most prevalent form of dementia. I will not use this forum to even name a few other forms because of the tagentry that might derive by doing so. I will say this much that many of the seventy definable forms of dementia deals with different locations of the brain and different types of bad protein molecules. Some forms of dementia may not deal with bad protein molecules because a person can get brain damage by so many other ways such as near drowning, auto accident, lack of oxygen to the brain etc. Bob’s form of dementia hasn’t really been definitively diagnosed by Kaiser Permanente. Our family members and friends too seem not to make of it of Bob’s short term memory deficit. It’s not completely shot.

Bob has the good fortune not to be bummed out by his short term memory lost. Occasionally he brings it up to me in a concerning manner but doesn’t dwell on it for long. He’s going on eighty-five so he does have aging syndromes such as stiff hips, very hard of hearing and other expected creaks. Some folks who have dementia, their personality turns to worse but Bob’s good natured personality has not done that. Believe me I’m not looking for the other shoe to drop. Meanwhile I try to relish every nanosecond I have with Bob. You see he’s still an extremely creative man. His editorial part of his brain in totally intact. He does spend many hours doing New York crosswords. We go to our local Scrabble clubs at least twice a week. His new CD Going Down the River in a Hayloft Coffin deals at the end of journey about his frailties. One of his poems Memory Loss In A Parking Lot speaks volumes of his poignant vulnerabilities.

Going Down a River in a Hayloft Coffin

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

low_res_cover_cd_robert_petersExciting news!    First time ever lovers of the Spoken Words accompanied by grand musical score will be able hear Poet Robert Peters read his latest works.   This piece of work is a sequential autobiography from early childhood to celebrating his eighty-fifth birthday.    Poet’s intonations comport true-blue bucolic and rustic rap.  This cd will be out in ten days.

Preview one of the tracks from the CD – images-2.jpg Cousin Albert