Reset, Replay   Wednesday, November 18, 2015

My photos this week are a wild card selection of photos from the last month revisited and re-imagined in black and white.

I'll have new poems again after skipping a couple of weeks and for old poems I decided to use November poems from 2007 to last month.

From my library I have a favorite anthology, Unsettling America, An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry. With 78 percent of this country, left and right, being scared of something (anything/everything) it's nice to hear from people who more recently joined the party.

The above written before the Paris atrocities. I am disgusted at the yellow-livered  response of some our "leaders," including Texas Governor Abbott who wants to ban all Syrian  refugees from the state. As a Texan and as an American I am ashamed of and pissed at such cowardice.

the variable  range of truths between diddly and doodly

Gregg Shapiro

the last
time out

days and nights on the frontier (V)

Afaa Michael Weaver
Blind Solo

still reeling

el dia de los muertos/la noche de los mariachis  

Marilyn Chin
We Are Americans Now, We Live in the Tundra  

I am a Chinese buffet

two young women

Pat Mora

chapter 67

morning after rain

Julia Lisella
Song of the Third Generation

path to enlightenment

the day proceeds

Amiri Baraka
Ka Ba'

signs, signs, everywhere are signs

feeling sorry for old Doc Carson

Naomi Shihab Nye
My Father and the Figtree

an ambulance passes, cabin lit
4 kinds

what a day like this is made for

Mary Tallmountain
The Last Wolf

who do you call

stupid human, she says

girl dancing


Sometimes there are mysteries  of science that only need a clear explanation to  make simple sense.

Like this.

the variable range of truths between diddly and doodly

I was listening on the radio
to some scientists
dark matter
and regular matter

- "regular" matter being matter
that matters to us
the scientist won't say
for certain
that dark matter doesn't also
matter to us
because, frankly, my dear,
they don't know diddly
doodly when it comes to this
dark matter stuff -

which leaves the field of discussion
open to us
who don't need to prove to anyone
any measure of knowing
about  doodly

thus free to express
my fully developed
ignorance I posit  the interesting
though unprovable theory that black matter
is the key to unlock the door
to alternate dimensions, dimensions
of every imaginable color, black, brown, white,
red, yellow, purple, chartreuse, maroon,
avocado and even hot pink and fuchsia
and whatever...

and that all those alternate dimensions,
are exactly like our dimension
that all the dimensions were born
during different stages of the
big bang,
thus time, which began with the
big bang,
runs on a different schedule
so that

in the very oldest dimension
it may be that
by now the big bang has run its course
and universal atrophy
has set in and the great contraction
will soon begin
leading in that dimension
to the great un-bang with all that is
no longer  being, only the vast
from which all came
for its brief exposure to
the experience of

while meanwhile in the youngest
dimension, stars are just now forming
as cosmic winds spew through all the vastness
the basic elements of matter, gasses,lumps of clay
that will become asteroids and planets and frogs
and dinosaurs and ultimately that dimension's
version of you and me...

and between those extremes, there are the times
of Plato and Aristotle and Alexander the Great
and Abraham Lincoln and Pinky Lee and Johnny Cash
and Wiley Coyote forever chasing his Roadrunner nemesis
and even you and me
except maybe we're just being born or just dying or
just getting to second base for the first time
in the soft cloth seat of our parents' Packard, and maybe
even almost  now, doing in one of the alternates
what we did yesterday, or maybe
in another what we will be doing tomorrow...

and time travel is just a step from one dimension
to another and I can't help but wonder
if in one or more of those alternate dimensions
that step has been taken

and it is possible you know
for when there are innumerable
possibilities how can  anything ever be

and that's what I think about

 The first poet from this week's multicultural anthology is Gregg Shapiro. Born in Chicago and raised in Skokie, Illinois, he is of Russian, Hungarian and Polish descent. One of the leading literary figures in Chicago's gay and lesbian community,  he is an influential critic of music and literary works.


My father won't talk about the numbers
3-7-8-2-5 between the wrist and elbow
blue as blood on his left forearm
Instead, he spreads himself over me
spilling his protection, like acid, until it burns
I wear him like a cloak, sweat under the weight

There were stories in the lines  on his face
the nervous blue flash in his eyes
his bone-crushing hugs
I am  drowning  in his silence
trying to stay  afloat on curiosity
Questions choke me and I swallow hard

We don't breathe the same air
speak the same language
live in the same universe
We are continents, worlds apart
I am sorry my life has remained unscathed
His scars still bleed, his bruises don't fade

If I could trade places with him
I would pad the rest of his days
wrap him in gauze and velvet
absorb the shocks and treat his wounds
I would scrub the numbers from is flesh
extinguish the fire and give him back his life

Here are three short poems from November 2007.

the last

fog on Apache
lost in overcast
streetlights like
splash and pool
on the path
walk alone
as if always
and forever

we are the


October blue
gives way
to  November

and you can
the tides
of an old

time out

a black cloud

a scattering of
spot the red  brick
like pennies
from a parade

and blue
sky are hidden

the cloud

dry and
this bright
November day
without further

This is the fifth part of a five part series. I posted the fourth part a couple of weeks ago, but never got to post the end of the series before.

days and nights on the frontier (V)

a Filipino rock and roll band
on the USO circuit
around Europe,
all dressed up in cowboy hats
and fringed shirts with shiny snaps,
playing rockabilly hits
from the 50s,
covers of the best from Sun Records,
Johnny Cash, Elvis, Jerry Lee
and all the rest

playing Christmas Eve
at the NCO Club in Darmstadt
down the road about 70 or so klicks
from Frankfurt,
and I had a date with the cousin of a friend,
a pretty girl with dark hair and dark eyes
and a bright, sunny smile, and
we danced and danced
bopping around the dance floor,
her  skirt swirling and
and it was a great Christmas eve
a long way from home...

the guys in Vietnam
had Hope
and Ann-Margaret
and the current Playboy Playmate of the Year...

in Germany we had
a Filipino rockabilly cover band,
but nobody complained...


a year and a half later
I saw them again,
the same Filipino cowboys,
same hats,
same fringe shirts with shiny snaps,
playing the same rockabilly
in the bar
atop the Spirizan Hotel
in Kabul...

everybody liked them,
even the Russians, big guys with stony stares
who didn't express appreciation for much of anything
but their vodka,
and I liked them too, the cowboys, not the Russians, drinking
my own Russian vodka, tapping my feet to the music,
no dance floor and no pretty girl
to  swing around it like
I remembered from Christmas Eve
in  Germany

and I couldn't help but feel a little sorry
for the guys, trying to play rock and roll
guitar licks to an international crowd of far from home
drunks in Afghanistan,
having, it must have been, the worst agent
in all of the Philippines...

Next from the anthology Afaa Michael Weaver (aka Michael S. Weaver).

Born in 1951 in Baltimore, Weaver is a poet, short story writer and editor. After attending the University of Maryland for two years, he  began to do factory work alongside his father and uncle. He  did this work for 15 years before graduating from  Excelsior  with a BA, and then an MA  from Brown University through a fellowship. As a Fulbright Scholar he taught at National Taiwan University and at the Taipei National University of the Arts.

Blind Solo
after A Love Supreme

A young poet comes to me
in the silence of my office,
a Jewish woman with brown hair
so thick it would roll in my fingers.
She tells me, leaning slightly,
"I like to  experiment." I rub
my head where I once had an Afro,
pull at the insurgent gray
that tears down the black wool
of youth. I worry myself back
to Saturday nights when I sprayed
and combed and puffed my hair.
In the sixties, listening to Motown,
I chased brown-black-yellow girls
with hair nappy as mine or straight.
I studied myself in mirrors, as
now I suspect  this poet wants
to know the bronze kinetic.
She whirls her hair back
in a fluff of  brown strands.
I can smell the whiff of air
in the midst of her whirling,
as if I am there, in her dream.
A single strand is on her tongue.
It reminds me of how my mother
pulled the hair back from the faces
of her customers in our basement.
WSID Radio  played morning gospels,
while she did the heads of old women
and young women, pressing Africa
until it was waxen and glossy.
She worked their hair into a lather
and dried it until it was like cotton.
She greased it and put the hot comb
to what America called "ugly."
They gossiped and smiled deep smiles
in front of me, this poet smiles
a curious smile, as if to wonder
what will he want to do with me?
I imagine one piece of fruit
between our lips as  we kiss in bed
where we are naked down to our ages.
I dram an affair with this young
poet. I am a predictable  mentor.
In the dream she presses her brown hair
to my chest, panting. We  caress.
Somewhere I remember the lie
of my glory, her glory. Our skin
reminds me of its  treatise. I awaken
from the daydream, see her blinking.
My back aches as I see her braces
on  her teeth, and I dismiss her, kindly.
She shuffles to the door with a backpack,
to take her beauty back into New York,
which has been listening to our silences
and understands we are prisoners of
what  we cannot say. Her eyes gleam, ask,
but I was beautiful, wasn't I?

Now this from November, 2008.

I do almost all my writing in public places, mostly in coffeehouses. I need to have life around me in order to find life in my writing. November, 2008, was a time of crisis - a favorite coffeehouse was closed, without warning, and I was stuck in the sterile corporate world of Starbucks.

still reeling

from the loss
of my morning hangout

i sit
in this sterile
corporate  replacement,
looking at this blank page

sterile myself
in the poetry-creation
department of human affairs

over the collapse
of my sheltered little
poetry-creation corner


i make life
and the process
of putting words and thoughts
on paper, or, in this case, computer screen

too  complicated


i should take the course
of my friend and furry companion, Reba,
who divides the natural and unnatural world


that which smells
that which does not

my current situation,
poetry-creation wise, stinks, which,
according to the criteria of my friend Reba,
means things must be going


i can only whimper
in gratitude

I wrote this after an event downtown, unrelated to, but on Halloween Eve. A couple of the pictures this week are from the event.

el dia de  los muertos/la noche de los mariachis

on Halloween
and ghosts and goblins and pirates
and princesses and leftover muertos viviente
roam the streets
and from Central Plaza, the original center
of colonial  San Antonio, the sound of San Antonio,
mariachis, specifically Mariachi Corazon de San Antonio,  echoing
from hotels and parking garages and on the west side of the Plaza,
San Fernando Cathedral,  construction begun by Spanish colonist and indigenous peoples
in 1738, the oldest continuously functioning sanctuary
in the whole United States, crypt
where lie the bones of Alamo defenders, died a hundred years
after the first stone was  laid, bodies rescued from the fire pit
where they were buried...

and in the plaza,
in an open courtyard between the trees and fountains,
the all-stars, the best young mariachis in the city, selected from
all the high schools in the city, play music of this city
as traditional folkloric dancers, the men in sombreros and tight pants
and the women in dresses that swirl and fly about them,
dance to the dances of their heritage remembered...

a few last notes, a single last song as the show wins down,
dark clouds  that have been gathering
and a light shower, cool rain
in the night,  dampens
no spirit
on this night of spirits
with gifts of  love and laughter

Marilyn Chin is the next poet from this week's anthology.

Born in Hong Kong in 1955, Chin was educated at the University of Iowa. She is a writer and poet, an activist and feminist, an editor and Professor of English.

We Are Americans Now, We  Live in the Tundra

Today in hazy San Francisco, I face seaward
Toward China, a giant begonia -

Pink, fragrant, bitten
by verdigris and insects. I sing her

A blues song; even a Chinese girl gets the blues,
Her reticence is black and blue.

Let's sing about the extinct
Bengal tigers, about the giant Pandas -

"Ling Ling loves Xing Xing...yet
we will not mate. We are

Not impotent, we are important.
We blame the environment, We blame the zoo!"

What shall we  plant for the future?
Bamboo, sassafras, coconut palms? No!

Legumes, wheat, maize, old swine
To milk the new.

We are Americans now, we live in the tundra
Of the logical, a sea of cities, a wood of cars.

Farewell my ancestors:
Hisute Taoists,  failed  scholars, farewell

My wet nurse who feared and loathed the Catholics,
Who called out:

            Now that the half-men have occupied China
            Hide your daughters, lock your doors! 

This from 2009 about as  good a definition of myself as a poet as I've ever expressed.

i am a Chinese buffet

i would like to be
a poet of
insight and emotion,
but the closest i've ever come
is deeply embarrassing

my most fiercely wrought thoughts
aren't original
and my original  thoughts
are shallow
as Matagorda mudflats
at low tide

i'm a light poet
if a poet at  all, not
and illuminating light,
only featherweight instead,
talking about all
the funny things that happen
during the course of a lightweight life

the poet as  a Chinese buffet -
take a bite and move on,
there's another one coming
and you won't remember it  either
past  the initial tasting

A vision on my way to the coffeehouse this morning.

two young women

cool November morning
under  yellow early sun
two young women
lean legs
white teeth
loose hair
red ribbons

across the intersection

school bell  ringing

And now, this poem from the anthology is by Pat Mora.

Born in El Paso in 1942, Mora is a graduate of Texas Western University after attending the University of Texas, El Paso and University of Texas, Austin. She is author of poetry, nonfiction and children's books


My Spanish isn't enough.
I remember how I'd smile
listening to my little ones,
understanding every word they'd say,
their jokes, their songs, their plots.
        Vamos a pedirle dulces a mama. Vamos.
But that was in Mexico.
Now my children go to American high schools.
They speak English. At night they sit around
the kitchen table, laugh with one another.
I stand by the stove and feel dumb, alone.
I bought a book to learn English.
My husband frowned, drank more beer.
My oldest said, "Mama, he doesn't want you
to be smarter than he is." I'm forty,
embarrassed at mispronouncing words,
embarrassed at the laughter of my children,
the grocer, the mailman. Sometimes I take
my English book and lock myself in the bathroom,
say the thick words softly,
for if I stop truing, I will be deaf
when my children need my help.

Now, from November, 2010. It  really is a great time of the year.

chapter  67

it's a great time
of year

when fog slips in early,

when party-favor
are blown
by north winds
down the street;

when the air,
fresh in the morning,
is mountain smelling
and sweet;

when my skin
all goosebumped
as I stroll my backyard
at midnight;

when the moon
is orange,
in a watermelon
between sweet cream clouds;

when dogs howl
at the chocolate shadows
of vanilla-light


it's a great
time of year
when the old year
and all the mistakes
and sins of its passages
are finally laid to
with all the desiccated leaves
of the season
as fodder
for another new beginning

a time
to turn the page
and find another,
clean and white, ready
for the  writing
of a new chapter
in the story of our lives


chapter 67
for me this year, such a longer
than I had imagined
it would be

Beautiful fall weather, cool and a little wet.

morning after rain

it is a soft
morning, rain pudding
every low place remnant
of  last night's midnight storm,
ripples reflecting baby blue sky,
robin's egg blue, the blue of blood pulsing
beneath a baby's soft  skin

and above the sky, the moon,
bright, near full, that glowing face with smudges
moon mountains
as the sight of it has  called through all the generations
of man, and pre-man, standing beside its terrestrial mountain,
leaning back, hairy hands reaching for the beauty
of the night passing and even further before,
one the giants stops its constant eating, lifts its long neck
and stares with yellow, lidless eyes and beholds the brilliance of the night

so  long  it has been there before gracing this morning,
my morning, under a softened sun, a robin's eggs sky, and the radiant orb,
the princess of all nights from the first to now
and I am so pleased and proud
to be alive under its beautiful, ancient face, embraced
by all that is this world and its guardian

This poem is by Julia Lisella.

Born in Queens, New  York, Lisella is a third-generation Italian  American. With a Ph.D. from Tufts University, she teaches U.S. literature, poetry-writing, women's literature and first year writing at Regis College. She previously taught history and literature at Harvard University.

Song of the Third Generation

I learned to read in the dark,
in the car, wherever the light
moved, shifted. My mother believed
I would burn my eyes out.
Between the breath and the text
my birth and hers kept happening
in the late night
in the daily horoscopes
in the 4:30 Movie
and the huge picture books filled with Hollywood stars.
My Ava Gardner died, my mother says.
My mother learned to read the text of a life
as her mother learned to translate Il Progresso:
by reading a little bit of headline,
any little bit.
They could both predict disasters - my mother's
in American English: divorce, drug addiction
and insane asylums. Nonna's in rich Calabrian dialect:
earthquakes, earthquakes and food shortages.
Somewhere between out mouths
and what we said is what we learned.
Somewhere in the old country
we breathed text
without knowing how to read.
I learned the old way too -
in a corner of the kitchen
watching my mother pour the batter
of flour and zucchini blossoms
into bright spattering oil,
or in the cool basement at the edge of the ironing board,
the lint speckling her  dark sweater,
at her elbow as she whipped the cloth
beneath the needle of her industrial Singer.
No other record, no other text
exists but the buzzing and this way of learning
in the old way, which is any way
that we can.

This is from November, 2011, captured in a moment of deep seriousity.

path to enlightenment

I intend
to  put my brain
on a leash this morning
because I'm thinking I want to be taken
as a poet and
adult human being
of the masculine persuasion
and nobody takes nobody serious
who's always running off at the brain
like I'm prone to do,
chasing every little bushy-tailed squirrel
that happens to cross my path
to enlightenment,
meaning making it hard to get to the end
of that path,
difficult to find the enlightenment
that one naturally expects
of a human being
of the masculine persuasion
and a poet to boot

even close

chasing squirrels

but, second -guessing myself,
something us chasing-every squirrel types
rarely do, and
never without good cause,
I'm reconsidering my decision
to adopt the leash-constrained
mode, thinking  to abandon
the chase for the mantle of  seriousity
expected of poets and adult human  beings
of the masculine persuasion
because there  are advantages
to  the chasing-every-squirrel
state of mind, like flushing out a bird
bath,  getting rid  of  all the  leaves and algae
and bird poop that collects in the presence
of birds and shallow water, giving a good  flush,
a good  scraping out, leaving behind  clear water,
water renown  for its clear thinking, water that knows
its own mind - and I'm thinking that is a clear advantage
for the chasing-every-squirrel  state of mind, because
how is one to find enlightenment when the path
is strewn with leaves and algae  and philosophical  bird

just won't work...

if you want to find  enlightenment
you have to clear the path, flush the pump,
like you flush a birdbath and that's what a chasing-
every-squirrel state of mind, freed from its leash
an on the chase, is good for,  stirring up such
a frenzy, a regular twister of misdirection
that blows all the extraneous crap
out of the way, leaving a
clear path, enlightenment
just over the next


Good days, bad days, they all make a life.

the day proceeds

the day proceeds
as days do, minute by minute,
hour by hour, but this one is different

a day of scrambled intentions

a morning of deep fog like a gray wall,
broken by patches of sunshine so bright
I crinkle my eyes

then back to the wall, the fog, thick
and deep and seeming substantial as
a grey-bound bank filled with
gray-bound bankers
from the sun's bright exposure
of misdeeds nefarious,
the bright  spotlight of disclosure
that chases them minute by minute
as the duck and cover in the fog as it bank examiners
had their spoor...

it's confusing...

a train passes, it's wailing as it overtakes
street after  street, calling
the dust-bound rise and shake
off the weight of too many days unmoved
and unaffected

and I don't want to be here

Next Amiri Baraka, formally Le Roi Jones. A writer of poetry, drama, fiction, essays and music criticism, Baraka was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1934 and died there in 2014.

Ka 'Ba

A closed window looks down
on a dirty courtyard, and black people
call across or scream across or walk  across
defying physics in the scream of their will

Our world is full of sound
Our world is more lovely than any one's
tho we suffer, and kill each other
and sometimes fail to walk the air

We are beautiful people
with African imaginations
full of masks and dance and swelling chants
with Africa eyes, and noses, and arms,
through we sprawl in gray chains in a place
full of winters, when what we want is sun.

We have been captured,
brothers. And we labor
to make our getaway, into
the ancient image, into a new

correspondence with ourselves
and our black family. We need magic
now  we need the spells, to raise up
return, destroy, and create. What will be

the sacred words?

This one is from November, 2012, searching for the sign. (With thanks to Five Man Electrical Band - 1971)

signs, signs, everywhere are signs

saw an early multi-legging
woolly caterpillar
crossing the side walk
this morning
while I was walking my dog...

a sign of something
but I don't remember what...

probably not a sign of the
though I know some  who would probably
interpret it that way, being
the kind of folk who stumble over ten to fifteen
signs of the apocalypse

but I don't want to make fun
of such folk...

(though actually I love making fun
of such folk, big fat  sillies
that they are)

but really, we should  all  be prepared
to read the signs
all around us,
like Davy Crockett could read the signs
of the big bar he killed
when he was only
and look how he turned out..

(well, actually,  he turned out dead
just a few blocks from where
I write)

maybe a better example would be
like Tonto read the signs
when surrounded by hostile
redskins, recognizing
the signs
as a prudent reminder
that he too
was of the redskin persuasion
and that  kimo sabe means "this dumb-ass white  guy
ain't with me..."

signs all around us
we just have to  pay attention to the important information
they provide us,like -

when the burly fella
at the end of the bar calls you a
sarsaparilla sucking sissy
it is almost a sure sign
that you're going to get your butt kicked
since any burly fella
at the end of the bar who calls you a
sarsaparilla sucking sissy
is probably not the kind
to listen to a thesis (however well presented)
on the evils of alcohol,
alcohol being just as bad for your
as  tobacco and chocolate bon bons

(all of which are likely important
to the burly fella's life style)

the one eating your lungs
and the other eating your heart
just like alcohol eats your
liver, but like I said,
the signs are that you're going to get
you butt well-kicked
before you get  even half way through
your informational, so best you read the signs
that suggest you find a back door and beat feet
most  posthastely...

there are lots of signs,
as I said, that can help  you in your daily
life travels,, some more important
than others, for example, high
on my top ten list of signs
to watch for
is the one

but I'm sure you have your own
just as important,
you just have to stay aware
if you want to benefit from their

for me,
I would just  like to thank
that multi-legged woolly caterpillar
for reminding me
about the importance of signs

I mean, really!

feeling sorry for old Doc Carson

I feel sorry for old Doc Carson
cause I know what it's like -
like the Doc, I too have many things
I remember that I can't say for sure
really happened
or not
and even a few things I remember
that I know never happened
but remembering  them
so  clearly
can I ever say
they didn't

it's the curse of the writer,
making things up, some of us  starting very early,
playing make-up games in our heads,  lots
of great memories made up
before we ever started writing them
down and I'm still at it today,
so that it's really hard sometimes to separate
the made-up story and the real life
as I lived it...

so being in a similar situation
I just have to feel sorry for the old  storytelling
Doc Carson, he's just a hell of  a
writer I think,
caught between the really true
world and the wonderful
world he's made up
as he went along...

he's got a couple of best-sellers
in him, for
and I can't help
but look forward to the memoir
he'll write about his first term
as President of these
very Disunited
especially the part about how
he wrestled a bear and Vladimir Putin
to the ground for a simultaneous 10-count
while putting Christ  back in Christmas
and escorting  buses of rampaging
secular humanists to their high security cells
at Gitmo...

Next from the anthology, San Antonio Poet Naomi Shihab Nye.

Born in 1952 in St. Louis, Missouri, daughter to an American mother and Lebanese father, Nye, a poet, editor and lecturer, was educated at Trinity University. A world traveler, she considers San Antonio to be her home.

My Father and the Figtree

For other fruits my father was indifferent.
He'd point at the cherry tree and say,
"See those? I wish they were figs."
In the evenings he sat by my bed
weaving folktales like vivid little scarves.
They always involved a figtree.
Even when it didn't fit, he'd stick it in.
Once Joha was walking down a road
and he saw a figtree.
Or, he tied his camel to a figtree
and went to sleep.
Or, later  when they caught and arrested him,
his pockets were full of figs.

At  age six I ate a dried fig and shrugged.
"That's not what I'm talking about!" he said.
"I'm talking about a fig straight from the earth -
gift of Allah! - on a branch so heave it touches the ground.
I"m talking about picking the largest fattest sweetest fig
in the world and putting it in my mouth."
(Here he'd stop and close his eyes.)

Years passed, we lived in many houses, none had figtrees.
We had lima beans, zucchini, parsley, beets,
"Plant one!" my mother said, but my father never did.
He tended garden half-hardheartedly, forgot to water,
let the okra get too big.
"What a dreamer he is. Look how many things he starts
and doesn't finish."

The last time he moved, I had a phone call,
my father, in Arabic, chanting a song I'd never heard.
"What's that?"
"Wait till you see!"

He took me out to the new yard.
There, in the middle of Dallas, Texas,
a tree with the largest, fattest, sweetest figs in the world.
"It's a figtree song!" he said,
plucking his fruits like ripe tokens,
emblems, assurance
of a world that was always is own.

November, 2013, a dark month in a dark time.

an ambulance  passes, patient cabin lit

old woman, white hair,
some lying across her forehead
like foam advancing
from an impatient tide,
cheeks sharp-edged, planed
like lava run on the side of a mountain,
asleep, blue
blanket  pulled to
her chin,  attendant quiet and still beside her,
no lights, no siren, unhurried
passage home,
far-traveled, trail-rider
nearing trail's

4 kinds


Mickie Dee's...

Affordable Care Act website...

Sophia Vergara...

4 kinds of bombs
I  am older

Gray days are memory days.

what a day like this is made for

looking back
is what a rainy winter day like this
is for, but it is such a boring thing,
feeling gray on a gray day,
the wind blowing cold shivers
and icy rain and toe-crinkling puddles
overflowing curbs...

I remember winter days
way south, the air still and thick
as black clouds pile against the horizon
before they on-rush, shaking the tall palms,
rattling the windows, temperature dropping
by the minute, dropping like a pelican with a rock
tied to its tail...I  remember that kind
of winter day...

and I remember winter days
way north, cresting a mountain
through snow up to my plumbers' crack,
and the  snow falling and the stopping
and sleeping nights on a snow bed
in a clearing circled by high pines
whispering, and waking in the morning,
melting snow  for coffee and freeze-dried
eggs, sitting on a rock
drinking black coffee, eating scrambled
eggs under a sky so blue and so close you feel
you could reach for a handful of the blue,
wrap yourself in the blue, not a cloud
to break the blue...I remember
that kind of winter day
as  well...

I remember  many winter days,
many rememberings
of many days

it is what  a day like this
is made

Mary Tallmountain is the last poet  from this week's anthology of multicultural poetry.

The poet, native Alaskan writer and elder, was born in 1918 to  a Koyukan/Athabaskan mother and a Scots/Irish father. Her mother died when she was young, leading her father to give her up to a non-Native couple who took her in and raised her, separating her from her culture and extended family.  Writing became her way to reclaim her ancestry and heritage and home and her own Native voice.

Tallmountain died in 1994.

The Last Wolf

the last wolf hurried toward me
through the ruined  city
and I heard  his baying echoes
down he steep smashed warrens
of Montgomery Street and pas
the few ruby-crowned high-rises
left standing
their lighted elevators useless

passing the flicker in red and green
of traffic signals
baying his way eastward
in the mystery of his long loping gait
closer the sounds in the deadly night
through the clutter and rubble of quiet blocks

I heard his voice ascending the hill
and at last his low whine as came
floor by empty floor to the room
where I sat
in my narrow bed looking west, waiting
I heard him snuffle at the door and
I watched
he trotted  across the floor

he laid his gray muzzle
on the spare white spread
and his eyes burned yellow
his small dotted eyebrows quivered

Yes, I said,
I know what they have done

November, 2014, apparently a busy time.

who do you call

let's  face
there will be
no poetry today
too much
piled on too much
Miss Muse
out of sight
with Phil
I never knew her
to be  so
possibly out of action
until Spring
leaving me with visions
of My Own Miss Muse  leaving me
I said
I just need some time
in a dark place
where all contrary visions
go  blind
but I'm still here
and she left
finding a new flame
with Phil
oh my god
do groundhogs have

oh my god
do we call?

Sometimes you just have to listen to the greater minds above us.

stupid human, she says

my dog s a highly intelligent
dog and she knows that our day starts
at five fifteen, she's certain of it

what she does not know is that
there is such a human thing
as Daylight Savings Time
and that under the Daylight Saving
Time's official regulations there are two parts
of the year, one such time-wrinkle is in the Spring
and another is in the Fall and that Fall time
adjustment is a "falling back" (so called
so that humans can know what to do on that
Sunday when time shifts)...

and my dog does not understand
any of it and whenever I try to explain
she looks at me like I'm making some kind
of a bad joke, stupid human, I can see in her
eyes, what a stupid joke...

not understanding any of the above
she naturally does not believe
that this so called time changing
business actually happens and that it
actually happened last Sunday,
so adhering to the natural order of things
she wakes me up every morning at
four fifteen and wants us to  get started
on the day as usual...

I roll over in bed and try to ignore
her which makes her even more insistent
until she finally gives up...

stupid human, she says
as she walks out the door

A November poem from my first eBook, Pushing Clouds Against the Wind. Nothing  much says November about this poem, except it seems likely that the day it was written was heavy with bad news as is this day in this November.

girl  dancing

across the stage
as she delivers
my order of decaf
and  a scone
then back again
still  dancing
still in the music

the abandon
of dance
and rhythm 
and music
and youth

a moment of life
to an old soul
with the news of the day

Sometimes I feel like the  "can you hear me now?" guy in the old telephone ad.


I hear people talking about
interesting things
and I would like to join them
but I have learned in various hard ways
that I am no long  assumed
by the younger kid to have anything
of value to contribute

and maybe they're right
to be honest, important  parts of my mind
are still  stuck in pre-Internet days
and 12-pound telephone

and how  can I be cogent
in this world of technological fiddle-fuddle
when what I know is human things
that don't fit on a bumper sticker, things
that can't be told in a

As usual, everything belongs to who made it. You're welcome to use my stuff, just, if you do, give appropriate credit to "Here and Now" and to me

Also usual, I am Allen Itz owner and producer of this blog, and diligent seller of books, specifically these and specifically here:

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBookstore, Sony eBookstore, Copia, Garner's, Baker & Taylor, eSentral, Scribd, Oyster, Flipkart, Ciando and Kobo (and, through Kobo,  brick and mortar retail booksellers all across America and abroad)

New Days & New Ways

Places and Spaces

Always to the Light

Goes Around Comes Around

Pushing Clouds Against the Wind

And, for those print-bent, available at Amazon and select coffeehouses in San Antonio

Seven Beats a Second


Sonyador - The Dreamer

Peace in Our Time

at 4:40 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

photos as usual phenomenal-
espcxillay the first zig zag one
yu will not listen to me-

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Loch Raven Review
Mindfire Renewed
Holy Groove Records
Poems Niederngasse
Michaela Gabriel's In.Visible.Ink
The Blogging Poet
Wild Poetry Forum
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Gary Blankenship
The Hiss Quarterly
Thunder In Winter, Snow In Summer
Lawrence Trujillo Artsite
Arlene Ang
The Comstock Review
Thane Zander
Pitching Pennies
The Rain In My Purse
Dave Ruslander
S. Thomas Summers
Clif Keller's Music
Vienna's Gallery
Shawn Nacona Stroud
Beau Blue
Downside up
Dan Cuddy
Christine Kiefer
David Anthony
Layman Lyric
Scott Acheson
Christopher George
James Lineberger
Joanna M. Weston
Desert Moon Review
Octopus Beak Inc.
Wrong Planet...Right Universe
Poetry and Poets in Rags
Teresa White
Camroc Press Review
The Angry Poet