Surf & Turf   Monday, July 25, 2016





Returning this week where I left off last week in "Part III: The Post  Classical World (A.D. 250-1200" in World Poetry, an Anthology of Verse from Antiquity to Our Time. As I  said last week, it's a huge book with over 1,200 pages of poetry.

Also, I have a few other poems from my library, plus my stuff, new from last week, and old, from my second eBook, Goes Around, Comes Around.

Photos are  from the Gulf coast around Corpus Christi, where we lived for fifteen years and then, moving north, from the Texas hills around San Antonio where we have lived since 1993..


Me
cue the music triumphant

Bharat Skekhar
Outside In - Inside Out

Me
circles

Rosmarie Waldrop
Between

Me
Thursday nights at Jimmy Bones

Wang Wei
Arriving at Ba Gorge  in the Morning  

Li Po  
Inscribed on the Wall of Hsu-Hsuan Ping's  Retreat

Me
naked rolling, parts rubbing

Reginald Gibbons
Enough

Me
riverside dreams

Lady Ise
Four Poems

Me
I wanted to write something outrageous today

Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales
from Yo  Soy Joaquin/I am Joaquin

Me
the great turkey coup

Abu Dhu'ayb Al-Hudhai
Lament  for the Loss of  Sons in a Plague

Me
somewhere  out there  

Wendy Barker
Liquid Poem
Practicality, Foam and Nighties

Me
what we might have investigated had we ever met 

Asonius
The Fields of Sorrow
I Used to Tell You 

Sulpicius Lupercus Seyasius
Untitled

Me
habits of mercy  

Linda Rodriguez
Three O'clock  in the Morning, Alone
Coyote at the Poetry Reading

Me
second coming on a half shell

Peter Abelard
I  am Constantly Wounded

Me
desertion











For all of you who have been waiting (yes, I mean both of you), here's my first new poem of the week.












cue the music triumphant

having
fixed the phantom glitch
that kept my photos from posting on Facebook
I am like the slope-bowed hunter
from time before my time
returning
home
to his cave, the hunt complete,
mastodon liver flung
over his shoulders,
bar-b-que
tonight,
dancing around the fire
celebrating his time,
however short,
for today 
the hunter made his mark
and his slope-browed wife and all this slope-browed children
will eat another day

cue 
the music
triumphant










My first library poem this week is not from my library but by poet-friend and freelance writer Bharat Shekhar.












Outside In - Inside Out

Lamp now
lampoon shadows
throwing no light
on substance
that casts them

Words too
scurry past
their meanings
to hide in
Xerox machines,
presentation templates
advertisement billboards,
political pamphlets
and daily doublespeak...
from where they re-emerge
banal photocopies of themselves,
or precast fabricated molds
that dull, obscure, hype up
play down aggrandize , falsify...

Inside flags,
there's a riot of colours
as the dominant hue
tries to rub others out,
or make them wear
its own shades.

And I ma chaos,
leading my wolves,
being led by them,
loaning them out,
(the good one or the bad)
to  the mood of  the moment,
which is their highest bidder












This piece is the first this week from my second eBook, Goes Around, Comes Around.

The book is a collection of 85  my favorite poems I wrote in 2010.


 













circles

a new year a
approaches,
just a few dawns

away -
one rotation ending
as another begins,

circles
within circles
within larger circles still

as our moon
circles,
bringing dark to light,

night skies
as our earth turns,
ringing day and night,

circling our sun,bringing
singing birds of spring, summer
meadow flowers, tangy taste

of autumn leaves,
chill winds that blow
in winter

even as our sun
and all its brother-sister stars
turn

on the universal axis
of everything
we can now, for now

but maybe not for always,
as we may someday
know of other circles, turns, 

rotations
there being now
that we cannot  see

and the All We Know
will grow again
and we, in our  knowing

will  grow again
even as we shrink ever
smaller in the everything there is - 

circles within circles
within
even larger circles still...

it seems we're just running in circles, we say,
and how true and grand 
that is










This poem from my library is by Rosmarie Waldrop, taken  from her book Another Language, published by Talisman Publishers in 1997.

A poet,  translator, and publisher, Waldrop was born in Germany in 1935 and has lived in the United States since 1958.











Between
      for Ingo

I'm  not quite at home
on either side of the Atlantic
I'm not irritated the fish
kept me
a home makes you forget
unaware
where you are
unless you  think you'd like
to be some other place
I can't think I'd like to be
some other place
places are much the same
aware
I'm nowhere
I stand securely in a liquid pane
touched on all sides
to change your country
doesn't make you
grow (a  German doll
into  an image of America?)
it doesn't make you change so much
you can't remember
I remember
things are much the same
so much the same the
differences are barbed
I try out living at a distance
watching from a window
immobile
not all here
or there
a creature  with gills and lungs
I live in shallow water
but
when it rains
I inherit the land












Here's another new, inspired as usual by olden days.













Thursday nights at Jimmy Bones

about
midnight
on a Thursday

sitting
at one of the
linoleum-top tables

at Jimmy Bones
Place
on Dearheart Blvd.

right down the street
from the Love's Dirty  Splendors
porno shop...

half-eaten
pickled egg,
my beer chaser

supper,
waiting for a better
idea

as drunks
some still drinking,
others asleep on their bar stools

Sally Slou
hacking away
on her accordion,
sounds like she's aiming

at a hip-hop take on
Dancing Matilda or Lady of Spain
or maybe Good Night Irene

either way
a questionable concept
unrealized...

she plays  every night,
mostly for free beer, sometime4s
a hand-job in the back

if she knows you well
and you have
a buck and a quarter...

just another
Thursday night at Jimmy Bones,
our usual last stop

before we  drop in
at the Chili Shack for a bowl
of "rocket hot" with Saltine crackers,

a good anti-hangover
 stomach-greasing
before we head off for a little sleep

before 5 a.m.
roll-call, for just another hot Friday
doing our Uncle's business








I ended last week with Number 1 of Part III with the "Golden Age of Courtly Verse in India." Next from there is the length title "China: Three Kingdoms Period Through the Tang Dynasty; Korea; Early Poetry in the Chinese Style."

And from that period in China, one of the greatest of the Chinese masters, Wang Wei (699-761).

The poem was translated by Tony Barnstone, Willis Barnstone and  Xu Haixin.












Arriving at Ba Gorge in the Morning

Daybreak in late spring, I embark at Ba Gorge,
already missing the emperor's city.
A solitary woman washes in the clear river
as many cocks crow into the morning sun.
Junks for a floating market in this land of waters.
A mountain bridge steps over the treetops.
Climbing high, I see thousands of wells
and two bright rivers far below.
Here  people use a strange dialect
but birds repeat the sound of my old home.
The sorrow at leaving my city fades
before the old joy of being in new mountains.



And from the same period, Li Po (701-762), said by many to be the greatest of all the Chinese masters, as translated by Elling O.Eide.


Inscribed on the Wall of  Hsu Hsuan Ping's Retreat

   I go  along chanting the way-house  poem
And come to visit the immortal's dwelling.
   His lofty tracks are lost on misty ranges,
The Great Void blocked by clouded forests.
I peer into the courtyard deserted and silent,
     I lean on a  column to dawdle in vain.
   No doubt turned to a far-flying crane,
   He'll be back in a thousand years of so.












Here's another from my book, Goes Around, Comes Around.















 naked rolling, parts rubbing

a slow Sunday
afternoon
and we were trying
to decide
what do do

and I suggested we get
naked 
and roll round in the grass
in the backyard,
rubbing
body parts together
fiercely

but there's a bit of a chill
in the air,
probably too much chill
to be rolling around outside
naked
no matter now fiercely we
rubbed together

so 
I was thinking
well, we could go down to
the art museum
and take a look at the 
impressionist
exhibition,
settle down naked
in front of the Monet
and give him an impression -
rolling around
on the carpet rubbing
body parts together
impressionistically -
that might make the old guy forget
all about water
lilies...

but they have these guards
down there,
that follow us around from room 
to room
and I don't know why
except
maybe they can read minds
and don't abide with
people rubbing naked parts
together
in front of the Monet -

maybe
if we moved over
in front  of the
Duchamp,
he did a lot of his own
naked parts rubbing, as I
understand it, and what's
that nude going to do after
descending the staircase
but some parts-rubbing, cause 
why else go downstairs
naked as a jaybird
if there weren't some parts-rubbing
intentions...

but the guards
are so guardedly attentive everywhere
that the museum is out,
and I was  thinking  we might take 
a drive
in the hill country - the way the
leaves are changing
in our backyard, there must be
piles
of orange and red and yellow and gold
lying on the ground
under one of those big hill country
oak trees, ripe for some  good old
rustic naked part-rubbing
and rolling around, but is
even colder in the hill country than it is here
so there's chill factor to consider,
plus all those rattlesnakes
who love to hide in the leaf piles
on these chilly days, or maybe
up in the trees - the do like to climb
oak trees to sleep through the winter
and I think they might not
welcome
naked in the leaves, rubbing parts
together with sylvan abandon,
despite
the fact it was a snake in a tree
that started all this naked, rolling about
and parts rubbing in the first
place...

or, we  might just do what we
always
do
on lazy Sunday afternoons, could
just take a Sunday afternoon
nap,
you in the easy chair
and me on the
couch

just 
like we always do








This poem  is by Reginald Gibbons. It's  taken  from his book Creatures of the Day, published by Louisiana  State University Press in 2008.

Born and Raised in  Houston, Gibbons  earned his BA in Spanish and Portuguese at Princeton University and his MA and Ph.D in comparative literature at Stanford.








Enough

                       Walking in  a small park,
I  ask myself  what to
                        think of Thebes, Leeds  Baghdad
Dacca, Lagos ,Lhasa,
                        Rome, Prague, Perth, La Paz, Guam,
Ho Chi  Minh, Pskov, Lodz, Durg,
                        Dresden, Elabuga.

-

Constant splashing of the
                         fountain - shapeless water
 thrown from iron birds,
                         tall  cranes, into all
ways yielding air, air strong
                          enough,though, to carry
on its bright back the scents
                           of yellow,  red, peach, pink
petals on this cloudy
                           morning of cool summer,
the white light  is wrong, it
                           is sifting down as  slow
as snow, church bells, nine times,
                          make a dull comforting
sound but cannot make sense .

-

Alone till now, I hear
                              others nearby, and led
into this flower park
                              by her  grandmother  comes
on tiptoe a pale small
                               girl  with straight red hair,  in
a fine blue  dress  and white
                               stockings and  shiny shoes,
they're red,  too, abruptly
                               she  pulls her  hand free,with
her own flourishing she
                               prances ahead on  the
as yet untrodden, art-
                               fully raked gravel walk,
she's enough for herself.

-

I  yield to her her place,
                               retreat to a bench that
says who it remembers,
                               as I'm always doing,
the little girl laughs with
                               joy at the cranes, joy's real,
the water and  cranes real,
                              among  these quieter streets,
in the midst of lucky
                              houses never  damaged.












This next, another military memory from San Angelo, Texas, pretty remote, only there for three months, but not a bad place.













riverside  dreams

San Angelo
is a dusty little town
in West Texas, pretty near
right over the edge of nowhere,
with a deep green strip
that follows a river
right through town, little
parks along the way,
and about in the middle
a small  Holiday Inn
with a quiet little bar
I  used to visit with a friend,
usually
early
before the wilding
started...

bartending -
a woman a couple of years 
older than us,
an Irish girl who
came 
to Texas with her boyfriend
stationed at the air base
on the edge of
town

until came the day
he left
and she stayed

serving beer,
green  beer to hotel  guests
and military folk
on St. Pat's day
and regular colored beer
on regular days...

a popular place,
especially for young military
guys like us, for the beer,
but mostly for the beer as served
by Mary O'Reilley, a fresh faced
farm-girl looking woman 
with great white breasts she wore
mostly uncovered
serving green
beer
on St. Pat's day
and regular  beer on   regular days
and every
day
hope to
lonely soldier boys
who drank their beer
imagining
nights that were never
going to happen











Still in the third part of the World Poetry anthology, I move into number 3, "Japan: From the Earliest Verse Though the Heian Period."

The ladies, as well as the men of the Court, we expected to learn the arts, including poetry. This series is by one of the most well known of them, Lady Ise (875?-(38?). Her poem was translated by Estuko Terasaki with Irma Brandeis.









Four Poems

1
Lightly forsaking
the Spring mist as it rises,
the wild geese are setting off.
Have they learned to live
in a flowerless country?

2
Because we suspected
the pillow could say "I know,"
we slept without it.
Nevertheless my name
is being bandied like dust.

3
A flower of waves
blossoms in  the distance
and ripples shoreward,
as though a breeze had quickened
the sea and set it blooming.

4
If it is you there
in the light boat  on  the pond,
I long to beg you
"Do not go; linger a while
among us here in this place."












Another from Goes Around, Comes Around.














I wanted to write something outrageous today...

but it's still too close
to the election
and my outrage gauge
is hung on
empty...

so I thought I'd write
something serious instead,
a serious consideration
of the nation's and the world's
condition
but that only ignites
panic
attacks
and howling hysterical
laughter

then I was thinking
I'd write about
sex
but I'm getting kind of
old and my memory isn't
as good as it used to be,
nor so stiffly resistant to the
lassitude
of time

so maybe I could write
about love,
o one's ever too old
for love, they say, but that's
the problem,
poets young and old
have been writing about love
for ten thousand years, longer
than  that if you believe the drawings
on the walls in the caves of
Poontanghia,
so how could I possibly
compete,
what new is there to be said
about love,
except that I caught it and unlike
a three-day flue, it has stayed with me,
fevers morning and night
for 40 years,
resistant through the liquid
flow of time
to all natural or supernatural
events
that might deny and
discourage
it...

or
I could write about my lover's legs
and the amazing way they
join at the hip
but I don't want to get too graphic
this morning
because that would be outrageous
in this august company
and I'm completely out of outrage
since the last
election








The next two pieces is from Yo Soy Joaquin/I am Joaquin, an epic poem, one of the earliest and most widely read of works associated with the Chicano movement of the 1960s. It is a bilingual book, in Spanish and English. The first piece is the first lines of the epic. The second is further on in the book.

The poet is Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales, born the son of a migrant worker  in Denver  in 1928. He was a professional boxer, packing house worker, lumberjack, farm worker, human  rights activist, publisher and businessman






from Yo Soy Joaquin/I Am Joaquin

I am Joaquin,
lost  in a world of confusion,
caught up in the whirl of a
               gringo  society,
confused by the rules,
scorned by attitudes,
suppressed by manipulation,
and destroyed by modern society.
My fathers
    lost the economic battle
and won
    the struggle of cultural survival
And now!
   I must choose
                         between
the paradox of
victory of the spirit
despite physical hunger,
                             or
   to  exist in the grasp
of American social neurosis,
sterilization of the soul
     and a full stomach...


~~~~~~~


I am  Cuauhtemoc,
proud and noble,
            leader of men,
king of an empire
civilized beyond the dreams
    of the gachupin Cortes,
who also is  the blood
    the image of myself.
I am the Mayan prince.
I am Nezahualcoyotl,
graet leader of the Chichimecas.
I am the sword and flame of Cortes
                                        the despot
                                                And
I am the eagle and serpent of
                       the Aztec civilization
I owned the land as far as the eye
could see under the crown of Spain,
and I toiled on my earth
and gave my Indian sweat and blood
           for the Spanish master
who ruled with tyranny over man and
beast and all the he could trample.
                                          but...
            THE GROUND WAS MINE.
I was both tyrant and slave.

As Christian church  took its place
    in God's good  name,
to take and use my virgin strength and
                                    trusting faith,
the priests,
           both good and bad,
                                           took -
but
     gave a lasting rruth that
             Spaniard
                     Indian
                             Mestizo
were all God's children.
And
      from these words grew men
                      who prayed and fought
                                                        for
their own worth as human beings,
                     for
                             that
               GOLDEN MOMENT
                              of
                      FREEDOM...












A little fun with  current events.













the great turkey coup

I read in the newspaper
this morning
about the great turkey coup

which reminds me...

I was once  told by a fella
who claimed to be a turkey farmer
that you can't leave your turkeys
out in the rain
because they're so stupid
 they'll walk around
with their heads straight up,  trying
to see where the water's
coming from
and
drown 

so
maybe I shouldn't be
surprised
it took the turkeys
so long
to mount a coup
though
I suppose I might have expected
it to happen
closer to November

but
I heard
it started to rain
right in the middle of the
coup,
and,
well...











Moving on now to section 4, "Arabia: From Pre-Islamic Verse Through the Eleventh Century", still from the third part of the World Poetry anthology.

There are mostly long poems in this section, but I did find this shorter one, a poem of mourning by Abu Dhu'ayb Al-Hudhali (died 649). The poem was translated by Omar S. Pound.










Lament for Loss of Five Sons in a Plague

Run down by fate's spite
my body hangs, a mantle on a broom;

with wealth enough to ease all pain
I turn at night from back to belly
side after side after side.

Who put pebbles on my couch when my sons died?

I tried but could not shield
them well enough from fate
whose talon-grip
turns amulet to toy.

Thorns tear out my eyes. I  lie,
a flagstone at the the feet of Time
all men wear me down
but even those my pain delights
envy that I cannot cringe
at fortune's spite.












Again, Goes Around, Comes Around.














somewhere out there

this is serious business -

somewhere
out there
interstellar star systems 
are colliding

somewhere
out there
an alien race
of Woozidoozits
is going extinct as their
methane atmosphere
is slowly replaced
by megaterlagon oxygen farts

somewhere
out there
 spaceship full of
Baptists
is approaching
the water-planet
Abosion XII
for  full immersion
baptism

somewhere
out there
Pat Boone is thinking about
a comeback tour

somewhere
out there
a Republican
is suffering from delusions
of competency


somewhere
out
there
a bunch of foreigners who don't
even speak English
are bouncing balls off their heads
and calling it
football...

I mean
this is no damn time
for jokes
and silly faces








These two poems are by Wendy Barker, taken from her book Way of Whiteness, published in 2000  by Wings Press.

Barker was born in 1942 in New Jersey, but grew up in Arizona. She earned her BA and Ma at the University of Arizona and her Ph.D at the University of California at Davis. She taught high school English in Arizona and Berkeley. She is currently Poet-in-Residence  and Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Texas - San Antonio where she has taught since 1982.







Liquid Poem

It is not true that water has no color.
Nor that milk is white.

During the years  I nursed out son,
sometimes when I  leaned over you in love

the milk let down and rained
warm over your chest, rippling you hir.

From how far inside it had come.
We could never describe its translucent

clarity, fluidity, digestible sweetness.
And the cologne in this bottle

is lighter than even  a petal of Jasmine,
easier to smooth

across  the inside of my elbow
than anything I know except your mouth


Practicality, Foam and Nighties

Not very practical, you said,, when I brought home
the satiny lace nightie, wont hold up. Funny:
made for water.Pale green foam

of ocean, pearl bubbles of white lace.
Sometimes when you're floating in the shallows
and a  wave folds in, pushes you under,
you gasp at such sudden immersion.

When a breast spills from a slipped strap,
when we sink down under the sheets,
sometimes  I would like (wickedly) to whisper
we are not being very practical.












From last week, a memory poem about  lost memories














what we  might have investigated had we ever met

she's a pretty young girl in a nurse's uniform,
nurse' cap proudly resting
on her dark hair, probably her  picture
from nurse school graduation

born the same day as me,
she died yesterday,
72 years each
of us...

I think of her  life
and mine,
never intersecting except
at some point
she left Wisconsin
and came to San Antonio
and I never knew 
her 
in either place

I wonder what she remembers
of her years
and if she has  blanks, like I do,
moments,
possible important at one time
but
inconsequential now...

for example,
after10 months in the military
on Pakistan's northwest frontier
I received my orders
to go home,
but I  remember nothing
of the several days
between
seeing my orders on the bulletin board
and my arrival in South Carolina..

I know I had to have been
transported through the restive downtown
to the airport
where I must have taken a fl9ight,
either commercial or military, I  don't
remember which, to Karachi,
with a stop overnight,
then an embassy flight to Madrid,
with a stop overnight, and
finally to Charleston,
none of the three days 
remembered now except
the beginning and the
end...

it's all still there,
say the brain scientist,
everything we've seen or heard
in our life is still there,
so it's not all lost,
just the connections that can bring it
from wherever it is nestled
to my conscious brain to remember,
frayed or clogged by excessive  use
or indifference

I've wondered about that sort of thing
many times 
for there are many such inconsequential
(I think)
blanks and I wondered about the nurse
who shared my birth date,
wondering
not so much about  the parts she
might  have remembered,
but, if she had them,
the blanks like mine
we could have investigated
together
had we ever met











Moving on now to section 5, "Medieval Latin Poetry, Fourth Through Twelfth Centuries," from Section III of the World Poetry anthology. From early in the period I have two poets, the first with two poems and the second with one.











The first poet is Asonius (c. 310-395). The first of his poems was translated by Helen Waddell; the second by Kenneth Rexroth.


The Fields of Sorrow

They wander in deep woods, in mournful light,
Amid long reeds and drowsy-headed poppies,
And lakes where no wave laps, and voiceless streams,
Upon whose banks in the dim light grow old
Flowers that were once bewailed names of kings.


I Used to Tell You

I used to tell you, "Frances,  we grow old.
The years fly by. Don't be so private
With those parts. A chaste maid is an old maid."
Unnoticed by your disdain, old age crept
Close to us. Those days are gone past recall.
And now you come, penitent and crying
Over your old lack of courage, over
Your present lack of beauty. It's all right.
Closed in your arms, we'll share our smashed delights.
It's give and take now. It's what I wanted.
If not what I want.


The second poet is Sulpicius Lupercus Servasius (c. 400). The poem was translated by Kenneth Rexroth.


Rivers level granite mountains
Rains wash the figures from the sundial,
The plowshare wears thin in the furrow;
And on the fingers of the mighty,
The gold of authority is bright
With the glitter of attrition.









Back to Goes Around, Comes Around

The book's cover photo, by the way, is a young fellow by the name of Thomas Costales. I met him at a  Border's Coffee Shop, saw some of his photos and used them here as  feature some years ago. I haven't seen him in at least ten years. Photography was his hobby; I hope it kept at it because he was very good, both his eye and his technicals.












habits of mercy

I was thinking this
morning
about what I want to do
with the rest of my
life

and decided
it's the same thing
I want to do
with the rest of
my day...

kiss
my wife at  least  once or twice

eat
some good food

write
some good poems

sleep
a nice nap

communicate
with my better nature

and forgive myself
for all recent sins,  known, as well as
secret,
even to me...

easier for some
than for
others, those

whit no true love
to  kiss

no food to
eat

no bed
to sleep in

no poetry
in their soul

those
with no key
to unlock  the door to self, their
true self as unknown to them as
a stranger passing dark
on the street

and most difficult of all for
those who  can't find withing
themselves
forgiveness of themselves

poor
miserable
ego-obsessed creatures that we are,
sinners almost from our first thoughts,
if we cannot forgive ourselves
how could we  ever learn to forgive
others

and if we cannot forgive  others,
how can we ever live
in this world
that needs cleansed hearts
as much as it needs clean air and water

habits of mercy
are what will save this world;
human sins
forgiven
by human sinners









Here are two poems by Linda Rodriguez, from her book, Heart's Migration, published by Tia Chucha Press in 2009.

Poet and mystery writer Rodriguez was born  in Kansas, but moved frequently throughout her  childhood due to her  father's  career in the  US Navy. She earned a BA and MA at the University of Missouri  - Kansas City.

I assume that the character/figure Coyote in these poem refers to a frequent  indigenous myth and fable. Coyote is a trickster, a flouter of rules and convention, and at the same time a very powerful, leader of all the animals.








Three O'clock in  the Morning, Alone

Coyote wails in the far field
beside his woods.
He runs yelping,
baying among the trees,
hot on your trail
across farms and highways,
down city streets to prowl
outside your triple-locked doors.

Coyote could splinter
that wood,  shatter
your windows, plunge
into your life, drag you
to his den.
He  will be civilized instead,
phone you in the morning, pretend
he has  left  a book behind.

Coyote moves back
into his woods,  voice
fading.
He dials your number
ow,  growls into your sleepy ear.


Coyote at the Poetry Reading

He walks i late,
of course,
and sits in the back row
even though he's on the program.
Coyote wraps a storm
around him like a  protective shield,
wears his leather like  armor,
stares the woman in business suit
and her partner  in high-style casual
into  dropping their  eyes. Coyote
makes everyone nervous.

Whispers circle the room.
Who asked him  to read?
"Must have been some woman,"
one bearded man says, with a sniff.
"A guy I would have known better."
"Probably thinks it's some kind of slam,"
one professor tells another.

When they call his name,
Coyote stalks to the podium
and growls into the microphone,
while,  around the room, the air
burns with after-lightning
ozone and smells of blood
and splintered bones.












I promised myself  I  wouldn't write another political poem until all  this business is finished. But who  can  watch a train wreck and not  talk about it? Not me.










second coming on a half shell

the fella
over there
looks like Ted Cruz'
crazy father

and speaking
of crazy
the Republican convention
started yesterday
but I'm not paying attention
because
I've seen "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"
three times
ad watching  very large collection
of lunatics shepherded by a good squad
of Nurse Ratchets
is not the way I want to spend 
any part of my life...

but
on the other hand
I am sorry I missed
The Lady Trump
doing Michelle Obama's 
speech from eight years ago,
I understand The Lady
really liked the Obama speech
and wanted to do it
naked
to give it some extra oomph!
but The Donald wouldn't let her,
demanding,
I heard,
if any emperor  is going to show off
his new  clothes around here,
it's going to be me,
so everyone,
even  me,
is really looking forward 
to the second day
of  the event

because
evn
though
I  promised myself
I wouldn't
write
another political poem,
it's like a train wreck
with bloody bodies
strewn about,
one can't not look
and 
like with every train wreck seen
comes the impossibility
of not talking
about it
and
let's face it
who wouldn't want to see
the second  coming
on a half shell
anyway











This is the last piece this week from the World Poetry anthology. It is from near the end of "Medieval Latin Poetry, Fourth Through Twelfth Centuries" part of the book.

The poet is Peter Abelard (d. 1142) and it was translated by Kenneth Rexroth.













I Am Constantly Wounded

I am constantly wounded
By the deadly gossip that adds
Insult to injury, that
Punishes me mercilessly
With the news of your latest
Scandal in my ears.Wherever
I gol the smirking fame of each
Fresh  despicable  infamy
Has run on ahead of me.
Can't you learn to be cautious
About your lecheries?
Hide your practices in darkness;
Keep  away from raised eyebrows.
If you must murder love, do  it
Covertly, with your candied
Prurience and murmured lewdness.

You were never the heroine
Of dirty stories in the days
when love sound us together.
Now those links are broken, desire
Is frozen, and you are free
To indulge every morbid lust,
And filthy jokes about your
Latest amour are the delight
Of every cocktail party.

Your boudoir is a brothel;
You salon is a saloon;
Even your sensibilities
And your depraved innocence
Are only special premiums.
Rewards of a shameful commerce.
O he heart breaking memory
Of days like flowers, and your
Eyes that shone like Venus the star
In our brief nights, and the soft bird
Flight of your love about me;
And now your eyes are as bitter
As a rattlesnake's dead eyes,
And your disdain as malignant.
Those who give off the smell of coin
You warm in bed; I  who have
Love to bring am  not even
Allowed to speak to you now.
You receive charlatans and fools;
I have only the swindling
Memory of poisoned honey.












This is a good poem to end the post, as I  desert the field  for another week.












desertion

the flyover lane
at  410 and Bandera
cuts the sunset
like a  back stripe
on the back
of an orange  cat
sleeping

the tops of the cars
as  they cross high overhead
like little black  animals
migrating
toward the sun
as night begins...

the dark, the
dark,
how we seek
to avoid night fall's
sinister 
grip...

running toward the sun
even as it sinks, deserting us,
it's children, to
embrace
the star-lit  velvet
of summer
night








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Poetry

New Days & New Ways


Places and Spaces
 




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