Tuesday, May 16, 2017
One day in May 1954, my father staggered under a sharp, stabbing, incapacitating throb on the right side of his face. He felt like someone had smacked him with a hot poker.
The local doctor sent Dad to Mayo Clinic. "Tic douloureux is one of the most unbearable nerve disorders known to humans," the Mayo doctor said, "certainly more painful than a migraine headache, even more painful than childbirth." He set a date for surgery.
Dad returned to his top-floor hotel room in Rochester, Minnesota, to wait. He walked to the window. As he stared down at the street, he thought about jumping.
It wasn't just his tic douloureux. It was the Teamsters.
True, Jimmy had not bothered him for several years, but Dad watched the little guy creep closer and closer to Nebraska. Along with Jimmy moved his gangsters.
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
I was still fifteen that May 1953 when the Harlan County Dam halted the Republican River and created a huge lake almost seven miles long.
Dad and I had looked forward to this day. Together we'd built a big wooden boat from a kit. I started hundreds of screws, and he finished them.
At last we launched the big boat. Out across the huge Harlan County Reservoir we spun!
I took my turn with my sisters riding on the flat surfboard Dad towed behind the boat.
How I loved the speed and the spray!
"Faster, faster," I screamed, and Dad would rev his big engine up, watch me fly across the glimmering water.
Then he cut the engine and grinned as my surfboard slowly submerged, and I fought immersion.
THAT PUNK JIMMY HOFFA!
Coffey's Transfer at War with the Teamsters
A Daughter's Memoir
by Marilyn June Coffey
Publication Date: July 30
the date Hoffa "disappeared"
written for: a JoLt of CoFFeY
An Intermittent Newsletter
by Marilyn June Coffey
The author of:
A Cretan Cycle: "A single, sharp, funny story in verse" retells the Minotaur's myth
Great Plains Patchwork: A lyric tale of the "wondrous strange" great plains
JackJack & JuneBug: A steamy, poignant love story (with Jack Loscutoff)
Mail-Order Kid: A popular biography of Teresa Martin, an orphan train rider
Marcella: A controversial, internationally published coming-of-age novel
Mas - tur - ba - tion: A rollicking tract on a "quite inexhaustible" subject
Pricksongs: A libidinous collection of tart poems from the turbulent sixties
That Punk Jimmy Hoffa: A memoir depicts how Coffey's father beat Hoffa
The Battle of Orleans: A documentary about a hotly disputed Marcella reading
Thieves, Rascals & Sore Losers: Details the dirty deals that helped settle Nebraska
& publisher of Jack Loscutoff's latest books:
Aunt Gussie's Socks: A Russian-American based memoir (in fact and fiction)
A Line of Shorts: The breezy short stories and holy satires of an awesome wordsmith
Buy Coffey's & Loscutoff's books:
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Thursday, April 27, 2017
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
I don't know whether I should brag or complain about this: the Nebraska Poetry: A Sesquicentennial Anthology, described as "broadly inclusive" and "diverse," has excluded my poetry from its pages. My poems are not among the more than 180 poems by 80-some Nebraska poets in the book.
Shall I brag or complain?
I think I'll brag. That's more fun than complaining.
So, why did Daniel A. Simon, editor, choose not to include me?
It can't be that I'm not from Nebraska. I was born and raised here, graduated from the University of Nebraska where I wrote my first poems in Wilbur Gaffney's creative writing class. True, I lived in New York for thirty years, but I've been back in Nebraska since 2004.
It can't be that I'm not a poet. I've written some 600 poems and given fifty poetry readings in Iowa, Kansas, Illinois, Louisiana, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and, of course, Nebraska.
Maybe my poems aren't good enough?
But eighty have been published and several won awards: four Newark [NJ] Public Library poetry contests, one Feminist Writing Guild award at a Chicago printers' fair, and one the national Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses.
So what was it that led Simon to choose to exclude me, and two other well-known Omaha-Lincoln poets, from his broadly inclusive and diverse book?
I give up.
You tell me.