Time, As It Passes, Brushes All With Its Unforgiving Hand   Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Time for "Here and Now" number I.x.

The Morning After

Guest blogger Christina Hymes

Christina is a young poet from Florida who started writing at 17. She is also a professional photographer. For this issue of "Here and Now," Christina allows us to present the photo above (The Morning After) and two poems, black beans and the breath in me is vanishing.

Visit Christina's website at www.freewebs.com/cubangi4l to see more of her photos and poems.

black beans

Black beans are like rabbit droppings,
tiny specks deposited in soil,
nutrients, countries of organisms
bound together, mixed, clumped,
suffocating together with stingy aroma,
backstabbers, like onions peeled,
soaking in broth in the kettle,
simmering, rushing around
to see who will be the softest bean.

the breath in me is vanishing

Sometimes I feel as though part of me is missing,
the very breath of life is vanishing slowly
like the water that seeps through the earth's
roots; dripping like tears from my cheeks
and my heart forever beating but so
fast the earth evaporates
and roots shrivel up
my life

Given time,

can someday be

Isn't that just
the most amazing thing?

Are you hep to the jive?

For me, listening to Cab Calloway and his jazz big band is like when I was a kid going into a playground and seeing all the swings and slides and seesaws and whirley things that made me dizzy as I could possibly want to play with. It's just plain, flat fun.

Come to think of it, I guess I started having fun with Calloway about the same time I was having fun on playgrounds. It was the early fifties, I was maybe eight to ten years old and television was just making it down to the far south tip of Texas where I grew up. There was only one station. Network programming started at 7 in the evening and everything shut down and went to test pattern at midnight. Everythinig during the day was local programming, which, after the farm and ranch show first thing in the morning, was mainly old movies that the station bought probably for not much more than a dozen for a dollar. I remember mostly three kinds of movies. Charlie Chan movies, old cowboy movies (Hoppie, Hoot, Lash LaRue, Whip Wilson, and the rest of the B-movie gang) and movies made in the thirties about society people who spent their evenings at nightclubs saying smart things and drinking from long stemmed glasses. The nightclubs always had bands and more often than not the band was Cab Calloway's. I never figured out what the society people were doing at the nightclub, but I knew what Cab Calloway was doing. He was making music, a carnival of music, music a hell'uv a lot more fun than Roy and Dale ever came up with in the Saturday afternoon double-feature movies.

So was born an eight year old closet hepcat, a subliminal influence that I think stayed with me the rest of my life.

What brought these memories back today was that I happening to think of and then listen to a Cab Calloway compilation release from Columbia. The CD, released 1994, is titled Are You Hep To The Jive. It is from Columbia's Legacy Rhythm and Soul Series. It features 22 cuts, including these:

Are You All Reet?
Hey Now, Hey Now
Everybody Eats When They Come To My House
Are You Hep To The Jive
The Calloway Boogie
Papa's In Bed With His Britches On
What's Buzzin’ Cousin
The Jungle King
Don't Falter at the Altar
A Chicken Ain't Nothing But A Bird
Minnie The Moocher

and more.

Want to have a good time? Check it out.

Walt Whitman, from The Wound Dresser

Among the wonders of the earth is the springing upon us, as if from nowhere, such genius as Walt Whitman.

The Wound Dresser


An old man bending I come among new faces,
Years looking backward resuming in answer to
Come tell us old man, as from young men and
maidens that love me.
(Arous'd and angry, I'd thought to beat the alarum,
and urge relentless war,
But soon my fingers fail'd me, my face droop'd and I
I resigned myself,
To sit by the wounded and soothe them, or silently
watch the dead;)
Years hence of these scenes, of these furious passions,
these chances
Of unsurpass'd heroes (was one side so brave? the
the other was equally brave;)
Now be witness again, paint the mightiest armies of
Of those armies so rapid so wondrous what saw you to
tell us?
What stays with you latest and deepest? of curious
of hard-fought engagements or sieges tremendous what
deepest remains?


On, on I go, (open doors of time! open hospital
The crush'd head I dress, (poor crazed hand tear not
the bandage away,)
The neck of the calvary-man with the bullet through
and through I examine,
Hard the breathing rattles, quite glazed already the eye,
yet life struggles hard,
(Come sweet death! be persuaded O beautiful death!
in mercy come quickly

From the stump of the arm, the amputated hand,
I undo the clotted lint, remove the slough, wash off
the matter and blood,
Back on his pillow the soldier bends with curv'd neck
and side falling head,
His eyes are closed, his face is pale, he dares not look
at the bloody stump,
I dress a wound on the side, deep, deep,
But a day or two more, for see the frame all wasted
and sinking,
And the yellow-blue countenance see.

I dress the perforated shoulder, the foot with the
bullet wound,
Cleanse the one with a gnawing and putrid gangrene,
so sickening, so offensive,
While the attendant stands behind aside me holding the
tray and pail.

I am faithful, I do not give out,
The fractur'd thigh, the knee, the wound in the
These and more I dress with impassive hand, (yet deep
in my breast, a fire, a burning flame.)


Thus in silence in dreams' projections,
Returning, resuming, I thread my way through the
The hurt and wounded I pacify with soothing hand,
I sit by the restless all the dark night, some are so
Some suffer so much, I recall the experience sweet and
(Many a soldier's loving arms about this neck have
cross'd and rested.
Many a soldier's kiss dwells on these bearded lips.)

And, finally, one more from Whitman.


Word over all, as beautiful as the sky,
Beautiful that war and all its deeds of carnage must
in time be utterly lost,
That the hands of the sisters Death and Night
incessantly softly wash again, and ever again, this
soiled world;
For my enemy is dead, a man divine as myself if dead,
I look where he lies white-faced and still in the coffin
- I draw near,
Bend down and touch lightly with my lips the white
face in the coffin.

Radio stations I like

I don't listen to commercial radio because they all play the same thing over and over and most of the stuff they're playing over and over again I don't like.

Instead, I usually split my time between four non-commercial stations, two are standard public stations and the other two are college radio stations.

One of the public stations is a classical station. Their library is limited, so I don't listen that much.

The other public station is all NPR, PRI and BBC. I listen to that station a lot. I read the local newspaper and the New York Times in the morning and listen to this station off and on throughout the day and finish in the evening with as much information about what's going on around me as I want to deal with, plus some fun on the sided.

One of the college stations is affiliated with Trinity University and the other with San Antonio College campus of the Alamo Community College District.

KRTU, the Trinity University station, broadcasts jazz in all varieties from 6 in the morning until ten at night. Their schedule includes jazz knowledgable DJ's, live, in studio performances, and feeds from national jazz programming. KRTU is credited with reviving jazz performance in San Antonio, sponsoring appearances by big ticket jazz performers and local established and beginner groups at jazz clubs throughout the city.

KSYM, from San Antonio College, has a more eclectic mix. Their schedule on any given week ranges from hillbilly to hip-hop, third coast to world, funk, metal, soul, reggae, cojunto, alternate rock, alternate country, and even a little jazz, none of it ever likely to show up on the play list of any of the commercial stations.

Both stations webcast. Locally, KRTU is at 91.7 and KSYM is at 90.1. Both receive funds from their parent institution and from public support.

(Yes, they have fund drives, just like the other guys, but never at the same time, so there's always something to listen to.)

On the 26th anniversary of my father's death, an old poem*

does he still dream

his body survives, dependent
for every beat and breath
on the machines that surround him

his conscious mind is blank,
but what of dreams

we never forget our dreams,
from the very earliest sloshing
in the universe of our mother's belly
to the very last, as we die, riffling
one last time through the book of dreams
we made page by page over our lifetime

so, if this derelict can dream, if this scrap
of man who used to laugh and love,
this shrunken giant who would carry me,
enfold me in his arms, hold me close
in the worst of storms, this declining

remnant of son and lover who slept
at the breast of both his mother and mine,

this fallen hero leaving the world as he
entered it, head reaching for his knees

this frail ghost of my father

if he has yet the final gift of dreams,
if, in some part of his mind we can
neither see nor measure, he still drifts
through dreams fading, like the shadows
of a fire banked and growing colder....

*from Seven Beats a Second poems by Allen Itz and Art by Vincent Martinez

A shot of Bukowski, straight, no chaser

first poem back

64 days and nights in that
place, chemotherapy,
antibiotics, blood running into
the catheter.
who, me?
at age 72 I had this foolish thought that
I'd just die peacefully in my sleep
the gods want it their way.
I sit at this machine, shattered,
half alive,
still seeking the Muse,
but I am back for the moment only,
while nothing seems the same,
I am not reborn, only
a few more days, a few more nights,

A little attaway

I had a very short poem published this week in zafusy at www.zafusy.com/ten.htm. zafusy tends toward the contemporary and avant garde in its poetry. This poem is an old one, about 40 years old, written when I was a student at the air force language training institute at Indiana University. It was inspired by a photo in, I think, Downbeat magazine.

And, you're right. I never throw anything away.

Well, that's about it for this time out, darker, sometimes, than usual, but that will pass. Come back next week when we will welcome guest blogger, from Southern California, wife, mother of two small children and poet, Michelle Beth Cronk. She will be presenting us with a little piece that I like, and I think you will, too.

A last word to remind all that "Here and Now" is just one part of the 7beats website, I mention that because, for the first time in a while, I've added several new poems to the "Latest Poems" page. Also, sometime within the next couple of days I"ll be changing photos on the "Photos" page. The new series will be from a stroll down the San Antonio Riverwalk.

Photo "The Morning After" by Christina Hymes
Vintage photos by Nina Itz (long, long ago and now very far away)
Mustachioed skinny airman photo by ??????
Remaining photos by Allen Itz

at 11:23 PM Blogger Tina hymes said...

I hope you know, I do still think about you. ;) thanks for posting my work. I am glad you like it enough to do so. I feel honored. And my photo, which might i add is trivial to what i normally do.

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