Perhaps You Are Wondering Why I Asked You Here   Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Welcome to the 3rd issue of "Here and Now".

First, attaway me.

The latest of Tryst issue has two of my poems, do you take this bird... and and it's another fine day when nothing happens.

The issue also includes this mini-review of Seven Beats a Second by the editor:

Allen Itz's Seven Beats a Second is the bomb! I had so much fun reading this book, listening to the music CD, "The Ray -Guhn Show Choir" that accompanies the book and let me shout this, I am so proud of Allen for putting together this book. In collaboration with Vincent Martinez who provided the artwork for Allen's book, everything about this book is special. Allen's unique sense of humor and outlook on life comes through vibrantly and clearly. I don't know that I've laughed so hard over a book of poetry ever in my life, but what a treat and a nice surprise it was. Thank you, Allen for this tremendous gift, truly.

A full review is promised at a later date. Needless to say, I am looking forward to it.

Finally, a word about the journal, itself. Not only does it showcase excellent talent (ahem, ahem), its presentation also gets more beautiful and well-put-together with every issue.

A link to Tryst is in the link section on the right side of the page.

Also, attaway Vince.

Vincent Martinez, in addition to his painting, also does rap poetry. In the picture above, he is shown performing his work at the Seven Beats a Second book release reception October.

The editor of Zafusy was looking through the 7beats website and ran across and liked Vince's art. He has included, Barbacoa, one of Vince's pieces that appears both on the website and in the book, Seven Beats a Second, in his latest issue.

Zafusy is a journal of experimental poetry and art. A link to the journal is in the link section on the right. Barbacoa is on page 7. Other good stuff is everywhere else.

A place I like

Popingo Videos is a place I like to go to rent my movies. I do not like the big chains.

Blockbuster I do not like because its size and market share is such that it has become an influence on which and how movies are made. especially now that theaters have been taken over mostly by "big" movies and other movies depend so much on the rental market to be seen.

Hollywood Video I do not like because, though it lacks the excessive market clout of Blockbuster, it shares the same "who the hell are you" approach to customer service. My last encounter with Hollywood Video was when a young rental clerk (too much picayune power to someone with not nearly enough experience to learn humility) who I have rented at least 100 movies from refused to rent a movie to me unless I went out to my car to get my drivers license.Let's face it, I'm 6 feet tall and, at 245 pounds, with a white beard and long, mostly white hair, I do not, exactly blend into the crowd. Either he did not recognize me, even though he should have, or he just decided to give me a hard time because he could. Either way, I am out the door and will not be back.

Popingo staff, on the other hand, recognize me every time I go in, no matter when I go in. They know enough about what I like to be able to recommend movies to me and I know them well enough to general take their recommendations. It is true, they do not have 750 copies of every popular movie, but they will hold one of their four or five copies for me if I call. Plus, if I hear of a movie I want that they don't have, they will usually order it for me. The thing is, the movies are the same everywhere. The difference is customer service and customer service is what Popingo does.

For those in the area, Popingo Video is located at 3655 Fredricksburg Road

Seven reasons I wish my son was 5 years old again

Yertle the Turtle
The Big Brag
Cat in the Hat
Green Eggs and Ham
One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
Fox in Sox

A note for writers

Telltale Tics and Tremors
Harlen Ellison
from The Complete Ellison, a Thirty Five Year Retrospective
Originally a 1977 column in Unearth Magazine,

Check it out somewhere if you can find it.

Warning Rant Beast Ahead

This might surprise people who know me, but there was a time when I had some affection for Republicans. In those days, the Republican Party and Republicans in general demonstrated healthy doses of common sense and a persistent libertarian inclination, both values/traits I support and admire.

Of course their hearts were usually as hard and a lump of anthracite coal, but that was ok, you just knew not to expect anything from Republicans on issues requiring empathy or human decency.

But now, with hearts no softer than they ever were, they seem to have lost all capacity for common sense. To demonstrate that, much could be said, but only one word is necessary. Iraq. If Iraq does not prove the complete disintegration of all Republican intelligence, then such people as are not convinced are obviously Republicans and not subject to the good sense that used to be a hallmark of their party,

Gone with their common sense is also any impulse to private liberty. Proof of that is their recent action on the so-called defense of marriage amendment.

Some of those involved seem sincere in their belief that same-sex marriage threatens the viability of marriage between men and women. This is based on their abhorrence of the sex acts likely to be committed in same-sex marriage. That, in itself, is not wrong. Abhorrence is in the eye of the beholder. But some go beyond that, to a belief that they have the right to stop such acts from happening through any means necessary, including a constitutional amendment which for the first time (excluding the 19th amendment, of course, which the country quickly ditched as soon as it came to its senses) reduces the freedom of individuals to live their lives unmolested by the intrusive hand of government rather than enhancing such freedom. That is wrong. Such people are closet Fascists (they have the inclination, but are still working on the salute). But you still have give them some credit for acting on true belief rather than political calculation.

Those others, those who do not really believe that Larry and Harry would threaten the institution of marriage by getting hitched, but, are none the less eager to demonize Larry and Harry for political advantage, are beneath contempt, where ever they live and where ever they serve .

This particular rant was brought on by news last week that one of the two or three most decent people I have ever known died some months ago of AIDS. For the entire twenty five years I knew this man, he was in a committed same-sex relationship with the same partner. The idea that he and his partner were, in any way, a threat to anyone else's marriage is, there is no other word, stupid. On the contrary, the fact that half of all heterosexual marriages today end up in divorce, suggests pretty plainly that legalizing the long-term same sex-relationships of such men and women as my friend would, in fact, strengthen the institution of marriage, not weaken it.

(I was originally thinking of a rant concerning Ann Coulter. but, considering the slime trail she leaves behind where ever she goes, I was concerned I would have to wash my blog out with soap afterward, which I am not technically up to at this point.)

Another poet I like

In addition to her work as a web designer (she created this site) and teacher (she taught me how to do some of the simpler things I wanted to do with the 7beats website), Michaela Gabriel is an excellent poet.

Michi lives in Vienna, Austria and, though she has published her poetry in her first language, German, as well as in Italian and Polish, she says she prefers to write in English. She is sometimes a deeply romantic poet, but also has a stark, powerful side, as shown in this poem from her website.


Gloved hands take her from me
in a room with silent walls.
clusters of screams hang in corners,
scarlet and fierce.

A violent artificial sun
burns all hope to pale cinders,
dries up each drop of milk,
eclipses the fish's face inside me.

I awake from dreamless sleep
to the coldness of everything white;
walls, blankets, the women like corpses
on deathbeds not their own

A nurse urges me to talk;
her red lipstick offends me.
I crave dark colors, a weeping
winter sky, a black cat's pelt.

Clutching my bundle of clothes,
I watch blood trickle
from my empty body
and fail to understand

More information on Michi's chapbook, apples for adam, is available from Foothills Publishing at this address:


A link to her website, ekleipsis is in the link section on the right,

I like Michi's work a lot and think you might also. If the publishing company hasn't already sold all of her chapbooks, I recommend it to you.

Some old music I liked (but not too old)

Digging through some stuff the other day, I found a CD from a local ska band called The Alloys. It was their only CD.

My son, Chris, joined the band when he was a junior in high school and played with them until they broke up a couple of years later. It was a six piece band, with drums, guitar, bass guitar and three trombones, including Chris. It was happy music that could blow the doors off any place they played.

They played lots of different venues, punk and reggae clubs, straight out bars that none of them were old enough to go into except as performers, and a variety of special events, including a dusty little corner of VVan'sWarped Tour when it was in San Antonio. Where ever they played, they usually had people dancing by ten bars into their first song. They wrote most of their own music, but one piece that became identified with them was their own ska cover of the 1950's song, Dream, by, I think, the Everly Brothers.

The picture is from the largest gig they played, and also one of the last. They had played the big downtown San Antonio New Year's Eve celebration the year before but that had been on a side stage. This time, December 31, 2002, they were on the main stage, playing for thousands of New Year's revelers.

Though the band is long gone and everyone in it has moved on to other things, I still remember the excitement of their live performance and miss the chance to go hear them play a couple of times a month.

Lame joke of the week

Two guys are out at sea in a small boat. The boat is sinking.

The first guy says, "The boat's sinking. I think we're going to die."

The second guy says, "I think so, too."

The first guy says, "I'd like to pray, but I'm not a religious person and I don't know how to do it."

The second guy says, "Yeah, me too. But I lived next to a Catholic Church for years and could hear them pray often. Maybe I can pray like them."

"Well, let's do it, then," the first guy says, "maybe it'll make us feel better."

"OK," the second guy says. So they kneel down together and the second guy begins,

"N, 27......"

Oh, drat!!

Imagine my chagrin (it's brown, fuzzy and about the size of a small dog, if that helps) when I discovered that my monitor has been lying to me. I have learned that the beautiful, vivid photos I have posted only appear that way on my monitor. On every other computer monitor in the world they appear drab, lifeless, washed out and ugly. I think I have fixed them. If they still appear washed out and overexposed to you, please let me know.

That's about it for this time around, I think. Have to save something for next week.

Book release reception photos by John Strieb
All oher photos by Allen Itz

at 12:10 PM Blogger michi said...

allen, you are too kind. thank you so much. congrats again on the two poems in tryst! :)) i am in terrific company!

Post a Comment

May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
January 2012
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
September 2012
October 2012
November 2012
December 2012
January 2013
February 2013
March 2013
April 2013
May 2013
June 2013
July 2013
August 2013
September 2013
October 2013
November 2013
December 2013
January 2014
February 2014
March 2014
April 2014
May 2014
June 2014
July 2014
August 2014
September 2014
October 2014
November 2014
December 2014
January 2015
February 2015
March 2015
April 2015
May 2015
June 2015
July 2015
August 2015
September 2015
October 2015
November 2015
December 2015
January 2016
February 2016
March 2016
April 2016
May 2016
June 2016
July 2016
August 2016
September 2016
October 2016
November 2016
December 2016
January 2017
February 2017
March 2017
April 2017
May 2017
June 2017
July 2017
August 2017
September 2017
October 2017
November 2017
December 2017
January 2018
February 2018
March 2018
April 2018
May 2018
June 2018
July 2018
August 2018
September 2018
October 2018
November 2018
December 2018
January 2019
February 2019
March 2019
April 2019
May 2019
June 2019
July 2019
August 2019
September 2019
October 2019
November 2019
December 2019
January 2020
February 2020
March 2020
April 2020
May 2020
June 2020
July 2020
August 2020
September 2020
Loch Raven Review
Mindfire Renewed
Holy Groove Records
Poems Niederngasse
Michaela Gabriel's In.Visible.Ink
The Blogging Poet
Wild Poetry Forum
Blueline Poetry Forum
The Writer's Block Poetry Forum
The Word Distillery Poetry Forum
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