Winter Springs, Like A Caged Cat Suddenly Freed   Sunday, January 07, 2007




A new year has begun, with new adventures (not too exciting, I hope), new pictures to take and new poems to write.

I really enjoy going to zoos and watching the animals. I've been to very good zoos, like the very progressive Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas, and to some really threadbare, god-help-the-poor-animals zoos, like the zoo I went to in Kabul, Afganistan in 1968. I've been to the San Antonio Zoo many times, beginning when I was a child, but hadn't been for a number of years until last week. It's a traditional zoo, struggling lately, to become more modern in its approach by improving its habitats and general living conditions for the animals. I had been wanting to visit again for a long time, but was always waiting for the perfect zoo day, not to hot, not to cold and, definitely, not too crowded. There finally was a good day last week and I went to visit the animals.

Since my life on any given day is mostly about of whatever happened to me the week before, you can expect to see some effect of that visit in this Number II.1.2. issue of "Here and Now."







Beginning softly with "Lady Midnight"

There are 117 known Zi Ye poems from the third-fourth centuries. It is uncertain whether there was an individual named Zi Ye who wrote the poems or if the Zi Ye poems represent a tradition including works by a number of poets. If the poet was a single individual, the sensual nature and sexual frankness of her work has led to the belief that she was a courtesan. Either way, the poems are said to have had a direct effect on the later development of Chinese poetry.


Three Songs

1
At sundown I step out my front door
and see passing by - you,
your face so dazzling, hair mesmerizing,
perfume filling all the road.

2
Last night I didn't comb my hair.
Like silk it tangles down my shoulders
and curls up on my knees.
What part of me is not lovely?

3
The night is forever. I can't sleep.
The clear moon is so bright, so bright,
I almost think I hear a voice call me,
and to the empty sky, I say Yes?


Four Seasons Song: Spring

Spring forest flowers are so charming.
Spring birds pour out grief.
Spring winds come with exuberant love -
they lift up my silk skirt.


Four Seasons Song: Autumn

She opens the window and sees the autumn moon,
snuffs the candle, slips from her silk skirt.
With a smile she parts my bed curtains,
lifting up her body - an orchid scent swells.


(Translated by Tony Barnstone and Chou Ping)







I like elephants

And even though those you see at a zoo are more like elephant shadows than their real, wild brethren, the fact is the zoo is the only way most of us can see them and other magnificent, often endangered, animals of the wild.

And how much would we care about them and their endangerment if we couldn't see them, even at this remove. A "tiger" has as much reality as a "unicorn" until you actually see one, with its huge head and teeth and paws and sleekly muscled flanks and cold cat eyes.

This poem about elephants first appeared in The Muse Apprentice in 2004. I included it in my book in 2005.


let's go shoot a big fat capitalist

the flack for the Safari Club
defends the sporting ways
of his wealthy employers

look

he begins
with a nod that says listen up

you tree
hugging
elephant
kissing
liberal
commie
nitwits

there are thousands and thousands
of elephants in Africa

shooting a few is no threat to the species

in fact, he adds

shooting elephants
is good for elephants

thins the herd,
you know

reduces overgrazing

insures sufficient resources
for those that remain

we love these elephants
you see
and only do what we must
for the good of the herd

hmmmmmmm.....
I say

of course.....

all for the good of the herd








From Puerto Rico.....

The vivid imagery of Victor Hernandez Cruz.


Christianity

Christianity
sparkling from pentecostal
Rhythm
Coming as if a mouth
Up from
Calle San Lazaro del Medio
Timbal and maraca with
tambourine inviting San Pedro
Horse to gallop
Through Hair and flesh
Like needles of chill
Pulling down Jehovah
with a singsong
Those beautiful faces that
I saw bopping a wooden church
Gone was the whole place
With white dresses - guayaberas
of grace
Out towards doubtless space
I threw myself in with that
and kneeled next to a picture
of Maria with a child
In her arms
A maternal embrace
Taking care of you.








A poem that never figured out what is was

When I started this poem, I was thinking maybe some children's poetry market. The sexy girls walking kind of blew that possibility away. Trying to work out what kind of poem I ended up with and what its market might be, the best I could come up with is a poem for old letches in their second childhood.

The poem, whatever it is, was finally published in mitachondria in 2004.


locomotionally reflecting

  strong men walk
with a romp stomp grumble
like bears a-growl in the woods

  sly men walk
with a slip-slide wheedle
like shadows quickslipping away

  sexy girls walk
with a sashay sizzle
to fry the more prurient mind

  while librarians walk
with a shhhh-shhhh-hissle
and rustle of parchmented tomes

  on
   the
    other
     hand

  fish walk
seldom if ever
and never get sent to their bath








Good night

An anonymous poet of Old Babylonia (circa 1500 B.C. ) welcomes the night.


Prayer To The Gods Of The Night

The gates of the town are closed. The princes
Have gone to sleep. The chatter of voices

Has quieted down. Doorbolts are fastened.
Not until morning will they be opened.

The gods of the place, and the goddess,
Ishtar, Sin, Adad and Shamash,

Have gone into the quiet of the sky,
Making no judgments. Only

The voice of a lone wayfarer
Calls out the name of Shamash or Ishtar.

Now house and field are entirely silent.
The night is veiled. A sleepless client

In the still night waits for the morning.
Great Shamash has gone into the sleeping

Heaven; the father of he poor,
The judge has gone into his chamber.

May the gods of the night come forth - the Hunter
The Bows, the Wagon, the Yoke, the Viper,

Irra the valiant, the Goat, the Bison,
Girra the shining, the Seven, the Dragon -

May the stars come forth in the high heaven.

Establish the truth in the ritual omen;
In the offered lamb establish the truth.


(Translated by David Ferry)







Dan Flore is a poet I read on one of the poetry forums where I workshop my poems.

Dan says that he writes his poetry to release his inner traumas and to escape them. He leads poetry workshops for the mentally ill and eventually would like to become a certified poetry therapist.

He says that this poem was written for his grandfather who jokingly called him Donny. He decided to give him that name, too, when writing this poem about him.


Donny

Donny
your jewel
it stopped glistening
so long ago
I go so far
to find anything that shines
so it's like your glow
is all over my skin
again

your song's chorus
it's only a low hum now
but somewhere
the sopranos
are reaching your notes
I will go so far
to find your choir
hidden in the darkness
in memories that skip like children
and memories that slowly trickle
and sleep






Photo by John Strieb



Last week we introduced a young photographer, this week a.....well, a not so young photographer

John Strieb and I were colleagues, toiling in the vineyards of Texas state government, for a number of years, as well as friends during and since.

John is a real camera buff in that he not only takes good pictures but also enjoys working with the cameras that produce his images. No fancy digital cameras for him; he works with the real thing.

The picture above, for example, was taken in the park at Snoqualmie Falls in Washington in December, 2005, with a fifty year old Argus C-3. The photo took third place in the Argus Holiday Contest.

The pictures below were taken with a forty year old Argus C-3 I gave him. The camera sat, gathering dust, in a top shelf of one of my closets for more than thirty of those forty years. I put it on the shelf because it was, I thought, broken beyond repair. We moved four times during those years and with each move I almost tossed the camera in the trash. I had some good memories with it, though, and couldn't bring myself to throw it away.

Last year, knowing John was a collector of old cameras, I gave it to him, thinking, what the heck, let it sit on a shelf in his closet for a while.

Instead, John took the camera, fixed it and takes pictures with it that he sometimes sends to me so that I'll be reminded of my old camera that was "beyond repair." The pictures below were taken a few days ago, with my old camera and, of course, John's good eye for fine imagery.



Photo by John Strieb



Photo by John Strieb



Photo by John Strieb



Photo by John Strieb



Photo by John Strieb

We'll see more of John's work in future issues.







From the Six Dynasties Period

Second century poet Cao Cao was also founder of the Wei Kingdom. An important warlord, he carved his kingdom from fragments of the Han dynasty in northern China. His sons were also of literary bent and one, Cao Pi, upon the death of his father, accepted the abdication of the Han emperor and ruled as Emperor Wen, first emperor of the Wei dynasty.

Only twenty-two of his poems survive. Here is one.


Song of Bitter Cold

Going north up Taihang Mountain,
how rugged and tall is the road
twisting like goat intestines
and ruining the wagon wheels.
The trees are keening
as the north wind grieves.
A bear squats right in my path
and tigers and leopards growl to either side.
People are few in this valley
and the snow swirls down heavily.
Stretching my neck I utter a long sigh.
I miss many people on this long journey.
My heart is so low,
I wish I could just return to the east,
but the water is deep, the bridge broken,
and I pace back and forth midway,
confused, having lost my old road.
Dusk and I have no place to stay
as slowly the sun sails away.
Both horse and rider are hungry
as I shoulder my pack and gather firewood,
hack ice with an ax to make porridge,
thinking, as the song "East Mountain"
echoes, echoes in my grief.


(Translated by Tony Barnstone and Chou Ping)







A place by the fire

Bukowski, on being bad company.


displaced

burning in hell
this piece of me fits in nowhere
as other people find things
to do
with their time
places to go
with one another
things to say
to each other.

I am
burning in hell
some place north of Mexico,
flowers don't grow here.

I am not like
other people
other people are like
other people

they are all alike;
joining
grouping
huddling
they are both
gleeful and content
and I am
burning in hell.

my heart is a thousand years old.
I am not like other people.
I'd die on their picnic grounds
smothered by their flags
slugged by their songs
unloved by their soldiers
gored by their humor
murdered by their concern.

I am not like
other people
I am
burning in hell.

the hell of
myself.








They've got the jailhouse blues

An anonymous Hebrew poet (circa 530 B.C.) sings of captivity.


Psalm 137

By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept;
when we remembered thee, O Sion.

As for our harps, we hanged them up;
upon the trees that are therein.

For they that led us away captive
required of us then a song,
and melody of our heaviness;
Sing us one of the songs of Sion

How shall we sing the Lord's song;
in a strange land?

If I forget the, O Jerusalem;
let my right hand forget her cunning.

If I do not remember thee,
let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth;
yea, if I prefer not Jerusalem in my mirth.

Remember the children of Edom, O Lord,
in the day of Jerusalem;
how they said, down with it, down with it,
even to the ground.

O daughter of Babylon, wasted with misery;
yea, happy shall he be that rewardeth thee,
as thou has served us.

Blessed shall he be that taketh thy children;
and throweth them against the stones.


(Translated by Mike Coverdale)







The year of the pig

I wrote this a week or so ago in response to a challenge on one of the forums I use. This being the beginning of the Chinese Year of the Pig, the challenge was to write poems about pigs.


if pigs could fly

Bertha Blum
flies
soars
loops
the loop
slips
the surly bounds
and cleaves
the clouds
with the fine soft
edges
of her silk purse
ears.....

Bertha Blum
lies
in the captive muck
and dreams
of the smell
of clean
cool air
at 40,000
feet.....

Bretha Blum,
heroine
to all hog-
kind,
flies
and soars
and slips
the surly
bounds.....

Bertha
Blum
dreams.....








From India's earliest texts, The Rig Veda ( circa 1500-1200 B.C.)


Creation Hymn

No thing existed, nor did nothing exist:
there was no air-filled space, no sky beyond.
What held it all? And where? And who secured it?
Was water all there was, deep beyond measure?

There was no death, nor anything immortal -
no sign by which to mark off night and day.
Self-moved where no wind blew, one Being breathed:
other than it no thing had being then.

All was obscure at first, darkness in darkness,
and endless ocean - featureless, unlit:
there, at the heart of nothingness, the One
took on its being, born of an austere heat

Desire came over it in the beginning -
first seed of all, engendered by the mind,
Wise thinkers who had searched within their hearts
found where what is bound to what is not,

and stretched their measuring-cord across the void.
Did a "below" exist then, did an "above?"
There were seed-casters, there were primal forces -
power below, strong urgency above.

But who can know for certain, who proclaim it?
Who can explain the birth of this various world?
The gods themselves came into existence later -
who knows the source of this great tangled world?

How it all came about, or was created -
whether or not he fashioned it himself -
he who surveys it from the highest heaven,
he of all beings knows - or perhaps not.


(Translated by Frederick Morgan)







And now for something completely different

Completely different, at least, than anything we've seen before from Danish poet and friend Jane Roken.


While we're waiting for the news

While we're waiting for the news
and for the world to become a better place,
the earth's crust is cracking ever so quietly
under our feet,
scorching lava and seething magma
gushing up from the abyss,
devouring everything and laying the world waste.

Howling harpies are tearing
like raging tsunamis
along the empty shores,
the atmosphere's stripped, that's just as well,
or their mad screams
would drive us insane.

And while we're waiting
to get to hear the news,
nameless creatures are crawling about
on our bodies,
their sticky feet glowing
with heat from the earth's rumen.

Blind poison-gas bubbles float blackly
through space,
meeting no resistance anywhere,
spreading to the nearest galaxies,
everything is exploding, imploding,
shattering in colourless fireworks.

While we're waiting for the news,
unspeakable quantities of cosmic radiation
will flow into and out of our sinful heads.
Were we just the tiniest bit alert
we would hear it humming and crackling
and see strange lightning-flashes light up the heavens
in each other's eyes.

And we would break loose
and fling ourselves from mountaintops, lighthouses, towers
and fly away
and be profoundly changed
and be ourselves, at last,
and be free.

But as long as we're waiting
for the news,
we see nothing, hear nothing,
stay where we are
While we're waiting for the news
to finally arrive,
the earth's bowel contents are curdling,
creating new minerals,
moss and algae growing ever so quietly
across the chasms,
dead insects by the myriads
are forming fresh soil, and
the earth will be whole again,
likewise the nearest sixteen universes,
and no one will notice
that anything has happened
at all.

And yet
nothing,
nothing,
absolutely nothing!
is as before.


Wild, wild women

Don't fret, sweet neighbour, don't get snide
if we transgress your border;
us loony crones from the green hillside
don't care for law and order.

We grow our weeds, we sow our seeds
and flourish bright and gaudy;
we smoke our weeds, we munch our seeds,
our laughter's loud and bawdy.

We sing and play by night and day,
we lurk in murky copses,
we dance away the roundelay,
we'd love to blow your topses.

Guard well your menfolk, sisters dear,
from Grandpa to the tenderest swain-sprout;
should any of them venture near,
we may fuck his little brains out.

The reed-pipe drones in twilight zones
and makes you feel queerly restless;
the loony crones will rattle your bones,
leaving you hot and breathless.

So count your blessings, count your kills
on either side of your border;
us loony crones from the blazing hills
don't care a shit for law and order.








On a Saturday afternoon

Lawrence Ferlinghetti takes us into a cafe scene in San Francisco on a Saturday afternoon


The Heavy

There was this man, who was not myself, this shot, squat little man, this hunk of meat, this large toad of a man, sitting in the Triest Cafe in San Francisco this Saturday noon, in the crowd that comes every Saturday to hear the padrone and his son and their friends sing Italian arias, sometimes to jukebox accompaniment and sometimes with a guest guitarist or blind mandolin player, and this noon there is this heavy, silent man sitting by himself at one of the little round tables, you could tell he was alone even though the table was surrounded with sitting people, jammed in, listening to the singing, and he had nothing in particular to attract me to him, he was obviously not attractive, even to women, and he sat there taking it all in, taking long drags on his very long thin cigarillo, and every once in a while taking a very small sip of his cappuccino, and they were into "O Solo Mio" when I first noticed and they were joined in the second chorus by a slender very lovely pale blond woman of maybe thirty-five or a questionable forty, who had a beautiful voice that soared up and away above the young crowd most of which wasn't local but looked like they'd just come over for the morning on the Sausalito ferry, and this here heavy sitting there like a great hairy sloth or something, and drawing ever so slowly on his long cigarillo, holding the smoke so long it never came out anywhere and he so self-contained in the crowd, holding everything in, expressionless, yet watching the singers intently and listening with his large leaden ears which hung in straight black hair tinged with gray which looked like it might be glued to the bottom edge of his bright red felt fedora porkpie hat which he wore perfectly straight on his heavy head, this "hat" with a life of it own on this head, with a hatband made of small multi-colored feathers, as in a painting by Leonor Fini, and under the hat came the heavy lids over the heavy eyes behind the heavy lenses in the heavy horned-rims set on a soft-looking blunt nose, directly under which came the thick lips, on each side of which hung the heavy close-shaven jowls with black showing through the skin, and directly under the soft chin came a turtle throat, and then there was the button-in gut in a white leather vest under which were bright red mod pants, and I leaned over and peered for the feet - new bulldog shoes with button hooks! and I contemplated chasing a coin or a hardboiled egg under the table to get a better look at this unbelievable hook-up but the blond singer was into "La Spagnola" and the whole place was humming with pure joy even though life itself was still a tragedy if you lay down, or at least, a farce easily turned into a tragedy by sitting upon the ground, and "La Spagnola" proved it all, the sad sweet music pouring out of the lovely mouth of life itself, the parted lips of life, and one had the feeling that this heavy listener spent all his life sitting someplace watching everybody else's life go by, and that he would sit witnessing the most passionate acts of the most beautiful creatures, and show no reaction nor make the slightest gesture beyond the long dragging on his long cigarillo, and once could only wonder what bed or lover could possibly have borne him last night, and he was the Mafia godfather of Italian opera out on a scouting tour, and he was James Joyce's Artist, above, beyond, behind the scenes, indifferent, paring his fingernails and he was a character in a corner of an Egyptian cafe in Lawrence Durell's "Justine," and he was Proust's solitary diner, and he was Dr. Matthew O’Connor in drag in Djuna Barnes' "Nightwood" asking "Watchman, what of the Night?" and he was watching everyone in his Night which was their day, for he was forever an exile in this lighted life, until suddenly a final golden solo came to a glorious climax and everyone clapped and laughed and untangled themselves and spilled out of the cafe laughing and talking, and the goldenhaired soprano who could have been a contessa went straight to him and bent over him and kissed him so fully on the lips that he rose up with the lips, and that man and that woman so close they floated out, in the sunlight, together!








Aliens came here 10,000 years ago, and took the form of cats

Alan Addotto, aka the "Splinter" of the super-secret "Splinter Group," is back, this time with an update on his cat Pywacket.


Cat

Pywacket on the widow sill
knows quantum physics
One second on the floor,
the next watching the sparrows
and no jumping in between!
I don't understand how he does that
But then again I'm not a cat.

Cats....unlike dogs
don't but seldom wave their whole tail
I'm not sure if that is snobbery
or feline introversion
either way it's weird.

Pywacket is either white with orange splotches
or possibly the other way....
orange with his base coat showing through
I asked him once but he won't say...
I don't know why.
I’m not going to beg him for an answer
since he is both sly and stubborn to boot.

The other day Pywacket caught a mouse
did that cat thing...tortured it I mean
swatting/clawing it every now and then
in different parts of the house....
mostly in the kitchen
then he put it in the dog water basin
drowned the furry little bastard.
At least I think so,
didn't bother to do a mouse autopsy you know.

Cats will throw up just as dogs do
though no as much
I know this to be true
even though I didn't actually see Pywacket do it as such.
It had nothing but cat food pellets all through it.
Thank God he's learned to shit
in his cat litter box
in the bathroom on Bonnie's side of the bed
I wish to hell he'd gotten the thought
in some part of his feline head....
to go to that place before he barfed
so I wouldn't have had to clean it up.

Pywacket loves margarine
and mayonnaise spread on white bread
no whole wheat if you please
But he doesn't care too much for cheese
and instead usually leaves it for the dogs to eat.
That's weird to me.
Probably likes the greasy things
for intestinal lubricants. Or something?

Pywacket doesn't know how to do Meeee-oooooow
like other cats.
He doesn't.
When he tries it sounds like a rusty gate hinge
mixed with the sound of Velcro tabs being pulled apart.
Personally I believe it's due to his start....
to the fact that he is a rescued street cat
and never had a chance to learn how.
Sometimes he walks around at night making those sounds
talking to himself.
None of us pay attention to him and I think it pisses him off.








And what about Pywacket's larger cousin

William Blake (1757-1827) was not fooled by the aliens' disguise.


The Tiger

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?
Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?








Musical notes

We went to Big Bend Park this week for a couple of days (more about that next week) of quiet and escape from the world. No phone, no TV, no computer, except for one little corner where you can scrunch in for on-again/off-again WIFI, I can take it for two or three days at most, but those few days are wonderful.

Another thing you're without for most of the 850 mile round-trip is decent radio. Since I don't often get a chance to listen to my CD's, this is a treat for me. This trip, I got to listen to many of my favorites that I hadn't heard in a long time, including Willie and Lobo and a San Antonio group called Los Number 3 Dinners, some old-time rock and rollers in the San Antonio Westside rock and roll tradition.

But most special for me was listening to my Susannah McCorkle CD's. She was such a unique song stylist with such a clear, pure voice, whether singing standards or her Portuguese pieces (especially her signature song The Waters of March), that once you heard her sing a song, the song was hers and all other versions were forgotten.

She killed herself some years ago, in her mid-fifties, I think, by jumping out of her 5th floor apartment window. Despite her talents and previous successes, her musical career had slowed to next to nothing, a regular one night a week gig at a cafe, while she supported herself as a multi-lingual translator.

The thought of that voice and that sensibility and the seemingly shy and gentle person they represented crashing head first into the sidewalk haunts me when I hear her sing.







When it counts

Langston Hughes speaks to the one most important thing we all want in the end, friends who will mourn our passing.


Night Funeral in Harlem

          Night funeral
          In Harlem:

          (Where did they get
          Them two fine cars?)

Insurance man he did not pay -
His insurance lapsed the other day -
Yet they got a satin box
For his head to lay

          Night funeral
          In Harlem:

          (Who was it sent
          That wreath of flowers?)

Them flowers came
from that poor boy's friends -
They'll want flowers, too,
When they meet their ends.

          Night funeral
          In Harlem:

          (Who preached that
          Black boy to his grave?)

Old preacher man
Preached that boy away -
Charged Five Dollars
His girl friend had to pay.

          Night funeral
          In Harlem:

When it was all over
And the lid shut on his head
and the organ had done played
and the last prayers been said
and six pallbearers
Carried him out for dead
And off down Lenox Avenue
That long black hearse done sped,
          The street light
          At his corner
          Shined like a tear -
That boy they was mournin'
Was so dear, so dear
To them folks that bought the flowers
To the girl who paid the preacher man -
It was all their tears that made
          That poor boy's
          funeral grand.

          Night funeral
          In Harlem.








Poetry bites

Eighteenth century Chinese poet Yuan Mei, who came from a wealthy family, took his civil service examination while very young and was appointed to office when he was only twenty four. While still in office, he was condemned by some of his contemporaries for directing a school of women poets and encouraging young women writers. He retired from his important government position when only forty years of age and spent the rest of his life in literary and artistic pursuits.


A Scene

A cowherd riding on an ox,
his songs vibrating through woods.
He has an idea: I'll catch a cicada.
Suddenly he shuts his mouth and stands very still.


On the Twelfth Day of the Second Month

Red peach flowers have just unfurled and willow leaves are tender.
This March it's a cold spring and snow still swirls down.
Who except my daughter remembers,
"Today is the birthday of all flowers."


Sitting Still

By West Brook I sit still
as the white sun slants and spring wind
blows me mingled fragrances
from who knows what flowers.


Inscription for a Painting

Late on a sunny day by a village.
Fresh peach blossoms by the water.
Where is the cowherd going?
On the ox's back a gull is sleeping.


from Twenty-two Miscellaneous Poems on the Lake

The moon like bright water soaks the sands.
I carry my walking stick, sauntering along the bank.
There is no way my servant can find me -
I sit alone west of a broken bridge deep in night.


Mocking Myself for Planting Trees

At seventy I still plant trees,
but don't take me for an idiot.
Though death has always been inevitable,
I don't know the date!


(Translated by Tony Barnstone and Chou Ping)







Pigeons are smarter

I had pet pigeons when I was a kid, raised from chicks found nested in a palm tree that was being taken down. They did tricks and rested on my mother's shoulder while she hung out the wash. Flamingos, no matter how pretty, wouldn't do that.

This poem was written several years ago, in response, once again, to a challenge on a poetry forum. I don't remember the specifics of the challenge, but assume it had something to do with birds.


a fine morning for flamingos

flamingos stand one-legged
all around the dew-wet lawn,
that neon shade of pink
that makes the birds
look like Salvador Dally
got drunk with a Mary Kay vendor
on a Saturday night and,
while carousing together
on the breezy gulf beach
came up with the idea
for a feathery hood ornament
to match her pink sales-champ
chevrolet

flamingos,
turkeys of a different hue,
just as dumb and about as ugly,
once you get past the pink and black
color scheme that really looks better
from further away than up close,
but, god, how the tourists love them

but I'm the guy that has to feed them
and take care of them and put them
to bed at night and take them out
in the morning, but that's the way
it always is with me, Hank, my brother,
he gets to swim with the dolphins
while I'm here every morning
shoveling pink flamingo crap
out of pink flamingo cages

it's just not fair








So, that is about it for this week. Time to sit back, contemplate the fire and think deep thoughts. Well, I guess two out of three isn't too bad.

But can't leave without this reminder.





Next Friday, January 12th, is the second Friday of the month, which means the Casa Chiapas Poetry Table will be in session. Come if you want to read, come if you want to listen, come if you just want to talk. In what ever way you want to play, come join us at Casa Chiapas at 926 South Alamo, about half way on the block between Rosarios and Madhatter. We'll start about 7:30 or so.

Hasta canasta.

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