Paul Foster, 1956 – 2015

1956 - 2015

Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015

11:30 AM

Myopia, part 741



Thanks for the postcards.

The book, ‘AUSCHWITZ AND AFTER’ is great. (Charlotte Delbo)

I haven’t gotten all the way through it.

Sidetracked into ‘THE GREAT GATSBY.’

Sidetracked again into ‘LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING’ by Tolkien.

Got stuck on that, through 388 pages —3/4 of the book.

Intermediately: Bukowski, like a fresh hot pizza.

John just took off for MPC, the community college, to play on their library computers.

Last night I made boneless pork ribs, browned them and then stuck them in the oven with barbecue sauce, on low heat for hours, covered with aluminum foil to keep the moisture in. With rice. The guys liked it. 3 lbs. of meat gone.

I’m waiting for my computer to come back from Ohio or some place like that, wherever Toshiba lives. Paid thirty bucks for postage and the box. They said it would take maybe two weeks.

Can’t really eat too much since the recent surgery. My belly is all swollen up and it looks like a basketball stuck in the middle of a stick figure. When they took my intestines out, I don’t think this body liked that.

But I still enjoy cooking.

I ask John: “My baby is coming out soon, do you want a boy or a girl?”

John says: “It’s probably an alien.”

Refugees and migrants tramping across europe, drowning in rickety boats, running into fences and guns In Hungary, trying to make it to somewhere… They are really “Getting Out.”

Artichoke Bruschetta on totopos de maiz, hummus and Ritz crackers. Little pieces of this and that. A little at a time. Salad with baby spinach, leaf lettuce and tomatoes with a good vinegrette. Animal flesh. I cooked a large rib steak (1 1/3 pounds) for John burke the other day. It was the biggest and best steak I ever cooked. John Burke at it all. $18.00

Social Security gave me some money—

bless their little federal heart.

I took John out for fish and chips at The Crown and Anchor, a British pub. It was excellent. 50 bucks for the two of us.

I remember when fish and chips was $1.75 but that was thirty years ago. (Still tastes good)

Hummingbirds come and sit in the avocado trees outside the kitchen windows, their necks shining metallic ruby and green.

I don’t get out much.

If I get 3 blocks from home

it’s an adventure.

Mostly I go to the grocery store—




—Black pepper


—Ice cream (for John)

That’s my list for today.

hope you are doing well, I’m always grateful for you writing,


PAUL 1958 - 2015

*Good Morning—                                                  Thursday, Oct. 8 2015

It’s always morning somewhere,                         9:30 A.M. Sunshine

Sometime. It’s beautiful here                                on the kitchen table,

except for the guy with the blower                        zucchini, tomatoes,

doing the parking lot and alley next                      bananas, french

door. I just finished killing fruit flies.                    and rye bread,

a daily ritual. I smack them.                                       Corn tortillas.cookies,

I got 47, not all of them.                                               cornflakes, carrots,

I called mom this morning,                                          a can of “sprats”

she sounded good.                                                            some kind of fish

Washed and dried Amir’s dishes.                                 from Latvia.

He brought me dinner last night.                                  John Burke’s herb

On a tray: a bowl of rice                                                     collection. A box

a bowl of beans, some steak,                                            of See’s Candy.

some pickled green lemons or                                          A new book I

limes (with the peel still on)                                              bought yesterday

and pickled carrots and turnips.                                        for 1 dollar.

The pickled lemons are especially

good, strange and tasty.                                                      “Contemporary

John agreed to stay here today                                           FICTION – 50 Short

to help me clean the kitchen table,                                   Stories Since 1970.”

Organize everything, all the stuff                                      A bottle of

in boxes under the table, canned                                        Chardonnay from

food and boxes of food and who knows                             my neighbor

what else. Under my bed Alba put                                       Amir (from Egypt).

a whole bunch of boxes full of my stuff                              Jello. Earwax

while I was at the convalescent place.                                 removal aid.

I don’t know what’s in all those boxes.

(Carbamide peroxide.)

Today I’m going to pull them all out                                      Potato chips.

and find out what’s in there.                                                     Raisins.

John’s got a three o’clock appointment                                 Breton health

with Zacharia to take the plastic                                               food crackers.

bottles and aluminum cans up the hill.                            brushes + pencils…

What else?

13 large black plastic bags full.

Some lady is singing a Neil Young song on K-PIG. I am enjoying the Bukowski collection very much. My computer stopped working, I probably broke it somehow. I’ll call Anthony this evening and ask him about it. I had found a free internet connection at the laundromat when I was doing my laundry. It worked fine for two days, and then NOTHING. It won’t do anything now. Jackson Browne and Bonnie Rait singing “Kisses Sweeter than Wine.” The avacado trees have lost almost all their leaves outside the kitchen window, over where Debbie and I buried my cat.

Thanks for the postcards, I just got a new one yesterday.

Yesterday I went to the shopping center, turned in a medicine bottle for a refill, bought some artichoke bruschetta, something like a dip. It tastes really good. Then I ran into a shopping cart full of books outside the thrift store, anything for 1 dollar. I bought one and went to Subway for a pastrami sandwich that I ate in the quiet wooded patio behind the bank (with my new book). Then I went to the grocery store and bought John some hummus dip, that’s what he wanted. And some rock cod fillets that I’m gonna cook for lunch.

My cat would have gone crazy over that.

Hope you are doing well.

Thanks for the books.

I need to clean this place up.

What’s in all those piles?                                                                 Paul

[on the back of the envelope: –————————IMAGINE]



HEY SESSHU————                             TUESDAY MORNING SUNSHINE

OCTOBER 23, 2015


John Lennon’s voice is coming out of my new laptop.

John Slobodin is sleeping.

Yesterday two Jehovah’s Witnesses came to my door. I didn’t recognize them. One was Russian, one was black. That was a suprise. They asked me if I was a Slobodin. I said no. I told them I have a friend of theirs that comes and does bible studies with me once a week but Brent hasn’t shown up for two weeks. Hope he’s alright.

How are you? Are you alright?

I got to check out facebook a little bit this morning, I’m still learning how to work this machine.

Sending you a small token of my gratitude to you for all you’ve done. Next month I will be poor again and my carriage will turn into a pumpkin, my horses into mice.

At midnight.

Just want to say thank you while I still can.

No prince charming coming in my direction…

Hope you have a good day.

Hope you are writing.



paul & squirrel

Monday, October 5th

Hey Sesshu—

Thank you for the CHARLES BUKOWSKI book.

Went to the Bagel Bakery at noon today with Debbie, got a cup of coffee and asked for their internet password. (bakery PG)

It only works over there it seems.

Went to the laundrymat next door and asked the busy, impatient guy for his internet code. He typed it in for me. That one works at home in the kitchen. (At least for today.) The slumlord bitch lady Elizabeth called me today on the phone (She refuses to talk to John). to tell me she hadn’t received the rent for this month, and that we would have to pay a 50.00 late fee if she didn’t get it today. I told her John mailed it on the 2nd. She said it should have got to her but if it doesn’t by today we have to pay the fee. I’m going back to the laundromat to wash my clothes. It’s breezy and cool. Had a nice conversation with mom on the phone yesterday. “I’m slowing down,” she said, but she sounded good. Cooked Bul Goki and white rice for John & I with Kim chee and some for our neighbors downstairs, Zacharia y Selsa. Zach, has done us numerous favors but he won’t take any money (for his time, using his truck & gas) but I wanted to say thank you somehow. Checked out facebook— there were some nice photos of you and Alicia and Umeko.

Hope you are doing well.



soberanes foto by jimmy


(last week)



——-dead fruit fly blood (SMACK.)

thanks for the books.

i got to page 78 in “the Great Gatsby.”

it’s fun to read.

Nothing’s really happened in the book so far. affluent indulgence on the east coast, 1920s. John Burke said, “spoiler alert: nothing does happen.” But I like his style. Maybe Fitzgerald is just setting up the scenario. Rich people hanging out on the east coast in the 1920’s.

I’ve been making sure John gets breakfast and dinner. He left a little while ago to see his sister Katy in Watsonville, or maybe Castroville.  They have a big restaurant there called “The Great Artichoke.” They serve deep fried artichoke hearts, one of the best foods I’ve ever eaten.

I’m thinking about seeing a dentist.

I used to have a list of dentists my doctor gave me. I have to find one that accepts new MediCal patients. That will probably be in Salinas somewhere. That option is more limited than ever, although Obama finally got me MediCal coverage. And he got me a free phone. So I can’t say he didn’t do anything. He helped me out.

I’m working on a portrait of a 9 yr. old girl. Andrea. Been working on it for a week. Not Happy with the results yet. F. Scott Fitzgerald uses an amazing vocabulary, adjectives and stuff. It’s an interesting story of jaded life from back in those days. I hope he’s setting me up for a STORY.

Hope you are well.                                                                Paul


jimmy & paul


Got your postcard—Talked to mom for too long on the telephone and she hung up on me. Like Zeus sang “A bicycle is a mighty fine thing.”

Sesshu: an overcast Tuesday morning 10 AM breaking the heat wave of recent days— I was reading Dylan’s lyrics from the early days, I don’t have that music. Got up to “Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” and I closed the book.

Have to take a shower and wash the dishes and clean the bathroom sink and kitchen, the toilet: John Burke throws up in there a lot and doesn’t clean it up.

John Slobodin is supposed to come back today from the bay area after a week and a half. I bought some T-bone steaks to cook when he gets back. (We eat so much chicken.) Last night I was walking back from the grocery store, I came by Debbie’s apartment and a black cat ran up the stairs. He looked at me. “Hi Dylan,” I said. I knocked on Debbie’s door. She asked who was there. I said “It’s Paul, there’s a guy out here waiting for you.” (Dylan’s not supposed to be out.) She opened the door and he ran in. “Good night.”

I had bought some good pastrami sliced deli style and some french rolls. Made a sandwich, a fat one, ate it and went to bed.

The avacado trees—their brown leaves shiver in the breeze. Hope you are well!                                                                                                    Paul




When I was young (part two)

I was PUSHED OUT into this world.

I didn’t ask to come.

I didn’t choose my name, my body, my time or place.

I stumbled through Los Banos, Sebastopol.

I fell off a bridge and landed

stuck in a trash can in East L.A.

Always confused.

Always scared.

Hungry for love and acceptance.

I bought terrible clothes.

My uncle tore the shirt off my back.

He said it was a desecration of the

American flag.

I tried to fit in.

He kicked me out.

Sixto gave me a postage stamp.

“Write to me” he said.

I left my friends and family..

I was gone.

Years later I went back.

Uncle Bill said:

“I told you never come back.”

I said, “Uncle Bill—

it’s Christmas.”


3 at soberanes canyon


Thursday 8/8/15

(Marcia’s birthday)


It’s noon in Pacific Grove,

overcast with rainshowers

yesterday… full moon in the

western sky at 5 am…


How many roads must a man?

How do you barbecue a


How is Jimmy Lew?

How I love my new toy,

my laptop, that I spent

260.00 yesterday to get it

fixed by microsoft—

How is it that Windows sucks

when it is everywhere?

How the loquat trees bloom

outside the window!

How I miss not feeling pain!

How big and smiling Umeko looks!

How fast the time goes by!

How are you?


tick       tick      tick…







It’s very grey outside this morning.

No gulls. Small birds dart across the sky, chirping.

Yesterday I carried John’s 200 lb. suitcase downstairs, walked with him to the bus stop and watched him get on.

He’s gone to be with his sister in the bay area.

Anthony left me a big jar of kim chee so I’ve been eating kim chee and rice.

It’s quiet here. NPR: A new poet laureate for the United States, reading from a scrap of paper. The son of Mexican farmworkers.

Watching a movie John Burke gave me, “The Giver.” I think it was made for teenagers.

It reminds me of “The Maze Runner,” a series of books Alicia gave me while I was at the convalescent place. For young readers.

It was at my level, I could understand it.

I miss Charles Bukowski. Walt Whitman. Allen Ginsberg. You had a beautiful collection of Bukowski poems somebody bothered to bind in custom paper. When I read that, it felt like he was talking to me.

I woke up at 6 AM, took my medicine, went outside to smoke a cigarette.

I counted the lights in the apartment windows. Five people seemed to be up.

Maybe getting ready for work.

I listened to the birds.

Sat by the geranium blooming happily despite my constant neglect.

Hope You Are Doing Well!



“You believe what you want to believe…” —Tom Petty Song. A lot of people believe what is convenient for them. Something that doesn’t disturb the furniture of their mind. Things that don’t recall change, or action. The easy path, ignorance is bliss, but not really. 

paul self portrait



It’s Saturday morning— 8:30 AM

No gulls crying outside, a few songbirds—

John is sleeping, til noon perhaps.

John Burke has gone to work, my room still smelling of his tasty toast from trader Joe’s

Some kind of bread with every kind of grain and nut in it

Yesterday I cut up a bunch of vegetables, carrots onions celery zucchini and made friend vegetables, with some bulgogi beef from trader Joe’s.

Mimi and Anthony had come down from the south bay to visit us. Anthony took me shopping for a laptop, I got a good one I think, thanks to his computer expertise and shopping prowess. Mimi made way too many spaghetti noodles. “She always cooks too much,” Anthony said.

So I mixed the stir fried vegetables with pasta sauce to serve over spaghetti pasta. John’s going up to see his sister Jennifer in the bay area maybe tomorrow for a week and a half. Have to eat the pasta myself.

I’m supposed to draw a portrait of Andrea, the nine year old from downstairs. Maybe I’ll work on that while John is gone and the apartment is quiet.

John just woke up, breathing heavy, shuffling around the kitchen in his drool drenched pajamas, slamming the dishes around, putting them away. I listened to NPR—what’s happening with the migrants, the refugees from Syria? What did Obama say? What kind of shit did Donald Trump come up with now? How are you?


paul on the coast

Tuesday August 18, 2015

A List


—Walter Mosley talking ’bout the riots in Watts 50 years ago (he used to live there after moving from the south) on NPR.

—i lost my glasses so most things are blurry now, but i can still read. Living with eye-strain.

—the giant baby seagull cries incessantly for food from the flat top of the apartments across the street where it was probably born.

—i made pork and beans (first time) with pork and beans and ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, green hot sauce. The Johns liked it.

—Debbie came to visit me the other day, last time I sent to visit her at her apartment her husband came out and yelled “YOU’RE A PEST! A PEST!” So I haven’t gone back, I don’t want to bother him.

—The welfare dept. cut off my food stamps, so I’m learning to buy food with money. I send John to the store with a list. I always ask him, “what do you want to eat? I can put it on the list.” It’s interesting. He comes back with strange stuff.

—it’s been very warm lately. Sleep with the windows open at night, wake up with mosquito bites. Over a dozen wildfires burning in California now due to the drought and heat.

—John doesn’t believe in the drought, because it’s inconvenient for him. He says “It’s just a political scam.”

—Even the great sequoias are showing signs of stress (although the survivors have lived through hundreds of years of changing weather and fires)

—John went to St. Mary’s Church to get a bag of free food. They gave him a can of Spam, two cans of tuna fish, five unripe pears, canned vegetables, a bag of white rice and a box of spaghetti pasta. (I like cooking with rice and spaghetti pasta.)

—The environment Protection Agency released three million gallons of water laden with heavy metals into some river that heads into lake Powell.

—Our reservours are almost empty. Our water supply comes from local rainfall in the mountains above carmel. No big pipe like they have going into L.A. from far away.

—a cool breeze blows through the window over my bed coming in from over the ocean, cooling things off, cooling me off, this evening.

—hope you are writing and doing well,



paul's kitchen