Disconnect   Thursday, September 10, 2009


IV.9.2.




As well as being short of time this week, I'm feeling particularly lazy (perhaps it's the signs of autumn approaching that have so mellowed me) and have not gone out looking for "friends poems" as I usually do. Accordingly there will be no poem from our friends this week, only poems from my library and those I wrote myself.

A complication to this plan is, though I continued my poem-a-day routine last week, all the poems suck. Rather than posting the sucky poems I wrote last week, I'm going to the archives to find some of my older poems, mostly from my book Seven Beats a Second, still available for sale, by the way, at my primary website, www.7beats.com. Or, if you are interested, you can email me (allen.itz@gmail.com) and I'll give you a better price than on-line. The book is 154 pages of poetry, with color art by Vincent Martinez on every page. A CD of improvisational music by the Ray-Guhn Show Choir is included with every book.Thus ends my annual sales pitch.

So this is what you get for your investment of time this week, a bunch of me and some good stuff as well. All together, this:


Me
eyes of Sister Jude
the cruelty of cats at play
while a bald man burns
life is


Yuan Hung-Tao
Leaving Po-hisiang at Dawn
On Receiving My Letter of Termination


Yuan Tsung-Tao
Things Seen on the road to Hsin-Yang

Yuan Chung-Tao
Snow at the River Pavilion of Wang Lung-Hsi

Me
before you were flesh

Julia Alvarez
from Homecoming

Me
lying in the sun with susan

Czeslaw Milosz
Far Away

Me
my kind of people

Lawson Fusao Inada
Charlie Parker
Bud Powell
Listening Images


Me
about sex

Shirley Kaufman
Snow in Jerusalem

Me
burning

Paul Monette
Here

Me
outtakes from the first day of the war









Here are several short pieces from my book Seven Beats a Second, which continues to take up far too much space in my closet.



eyes of Sister Jude

sharp eyes
like tempered blades
that cut clean through when angry

guarded eyes
that weigh and judge
and stand ever alert for betrayal

dark eyes, deep,
softened once for love,
then moistened by a long night's weeping

but only once
and it was long ago


the cruelty of cats at play

her black smile
cuts like a dagger through the dark
      unseen
      slicing cleanly to the heart
"I have something to tell you,"
      she whispers


while a bald man burns

three gulls circle
while
a bald man burns
in the fierce island sun
while
i trace gargoyles
in the sand
with my toe
while
you pretend to study
the book in your hand
while
three gulls circle
in the fierce island sun


life is

life
is like a duck hunt

every time
your really start to fly

some
asshole in the weeds

shoots
your feathered butt

right out of the sky









I start my library delving this week with several poems from Pilgrim of the Clouds - Poems and Essays from Ming Dynasty China. The anthology was published in 2005 by White Pine Press. All translations are by Jonathan Chaves.

The Ming Dynasty ruled China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the earlier Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty.


The poems in the book are by the brothers Yuan. The first below are by Yuan Hung-Tao, a poet of the late-Ming period. Born in 1568, he was the eldest brother, one of the major poets and essayists of the Ming Dynasty, and the most influential of the three. He died 1611, in the ending stages of Mind dynasty rule.

All three brothers take a common, open-eyed approach to their poetry, giving us, through their eyes, a compelling look at the China of their time, not Imperial China, but the China of villages and towns and common people.


Leaving Po-hisiang at Dawn

I get out of bed before sunrise
and, half asleep, climb into my carriage.
These official journeys are like food stuck in the teeth,
homesickness as unpalatable as spoiled water chestnuts!
A girl stands in front of an inn, her hair uncombed
a Buddhist monk boils water in a little hut.
Not intoxicated, but not sober either,
I listen as the morning drum sounds through the dust.


On Receiving My Letter of Termination

The time has come to devote myself to my hiker's stick;
I must have been a Buddhist monk in a former life!
Sick, I see returning home as a kind of pardon.
A stranger here - being fired is like being promoted.
In my cup, thick wind; I get crazy-drunk,
eat my fill, then stagger up the green mountain.
The southern sect, the northern sect, I've tried them all:
this hermit has his own school of Zen philosophy.


Next, from the book, I have a poem by Yuan Tsung-Tao, first brother of Yuan Hung-Tao.


Things Seen on the Road to Hsin-Yang

      1.

Sheer cliffs surround the rice paddies.
A little path lets through carriage and horse.
This, this is Peach blossom Spring;
why keep trying to find the way?

      2.

I look all around me - no road at all!
Driver, where are we going?
Suddenly I hear the whinny of a horse
that seems to come from empty sky.

      3.

Below the mountain, no signs of people.
On the mountain, no bird calls.
This leaves only the single wisp of cloud
to watch me ride through this place.


      4.

From the clouds unexpected barking and crowing?
Could it be the home of the immortal Liu An?
Looking more closely - blue smoke from the kitchens!
There is a village ahead on a mountain ridge.

      5.

The driver looks back, frightened:
"There's a tiger howling in the woods!"
but no, at the foot of the cliff
a mountain torrent roars against the rock.

      6.

Beyond the bridge, mountains piled high.
Along the bridge, rocks like bristling teeth.
They serve to gladden the traveler's heart,
But also to hurt the horses feet.


And, finally, a poem by the second brother, Yuan Chung-Tao.


Snow at the River Pavilion of Wang Lung-Hsi

      1.

The little building rests on rock,
roof tiles splashed by spray from the waves.
Traveler, don't lean against the railing:
that's the Yangtze River down below!

      2.

Biting cold - I stop arranging my books.
My face is still flushed from the morning wine.
I lean on the table, but can't fall asleep,
listening to the battle between water and rock.

      3.

Brilliant white, covering the whole bank,
and along the bank, a thousand masts.
I see no on in the boats,
only snow, on the boats.

      4.

The guests here - really happy.
The water and rocks - really mad.
At sunset, no boats on the river,
only a pair of white egrets.

      5.

Stick out your hand - a handful of river water!
Use it to wash the inkstone.
But move the wind jar away from the window:
the passing sailboats may knock it down.

      6.

The river is white in itself;
now brilliant snow fills sky and earth.
The river has a sound of its own;
now add the roar of a furious wind.








before you were flesh

before you were flesh
you were a spring blossom,
an amalgam of sun
and nurturing rain come softly
in the grace of night

before you were a blossom,
you were a fascination,
a free-floating design
in the all-reaching universe
of god's creative passion

before you were real
you were eternal

before you were one
you were all








Next, I have several of the diary-like poems by Julia Alvarez from her book, Homecoming, published by Grove Press in 1984, early in her career as a poet.

Alvarez was born in 1950 in New York City. When she was only three months old, her family moved to the Dominican Republic, where they would live for the next ten years. She grew up with her extended family in comfortable circumstances until 1960 when the family was forced to flee to the United States after her father participated in a failed plot to overthrow the island's military dictator, Rafael Leonidas Trujillo.

Her life in the Dominican Republic and her exile, as she saw it, back to the United States were the basis for one of the two novels for which she is most known, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents. The other of her best known works is the novel, In the Time of the Butterflies.

The last third of her book of poems, Homecoming is made up of short poems written as daily diary entrees. I like these little poems for their honest and personal look at a young woman finding her way.



~~~~

Sometimes I'll fall in love with the wrong man
because I want the valentine movie
so much I'll play it with whoever leads,
I don't care who since I never see him
anyhow for all my projections on
his John Doe face. A couple of times I've
wondered if he's all there is to love,
and love's hard work is turning visions off,
adjusting my sights to a real person,
who's in turn trying to be genuine
in spite of romance programs he was taught...
both of us waiting, till the movie stops,
to learn to love. Between reels, I listen
to someone so close by...I could touch him.

~~~~

I'm watching a romantic movie play
in Plato's cave; half of the time I don't
believe in it and put the management
down for its taste: Take that crap off! I say.
Other times I get so addicted, I'm
one of the mainliners, high on romance,
hallucinating that in truth a man's
body is one of the Absolute Forms.
I look around when the houselights come on
and see...no one! I wonder if they're gone
out in the sunlight for enlightenment,
each half with its matched other, holding hands,
while punished for my doubts, I'm tantalized
with movies of what's going on outside.

~~~~

Why do we love one man, not another?
Seems like the heart is a child who ignores
an expensive gift so as to explore
the box it came in...We fall for trifles.
For Bruce because when his marriage broke up,
he counted all the steps to his new house
with his daughter and felt relieved it was
a number he could count to without help.
For Jamie because the week he visited,
he carved me a whole set of Plato's forms
in wood: a square, globe, cube, pyramid, cone.
His last night we picked favorites, then he used
the globe to prop my bedroom window open
because it was the one I had chosen.

~~~~

For Gordon because he wasn't ashamed
to say he loved his wife, unlike husbands
who tell their mistresses they stay married
with the mothers because of the children.
For Clive because that morning at the Tate
those luminous canvases of ships moored
to keep me in London, and suddenly,
before I could say love, my heart flooded
with light. I saw on Clive's face all
losses past and to come, Julian, Jamie,
Gordon, Steven, Bruce, John. I embraced Clive
because it was too late to stop myself.

~~~~

There we were at the Tate before Turner's
Ships of Sea in hot embrace. Tourists passed
smiling, even the guards grinned, no one asked
us to move apart so they could see Turner's
Ships at Sea. I thought, if there was thinking
going on inside my head, Clive, let's get
out or we're going to be on the carpet
in a minute. The ships at sea sailed on.
The tourists boarded the buses, London
traffic cymbaled and clanged as we clung on
to what there was of Other that wasn't
Us, waves of lust rocked us, the honeyed sun
fell in sweet streams through the seablue skylights....
We spent a week in love, promised to write
as I boarded. The plane climbed into light.

~~~~

Clive, who are you with these days? The mailograms
tied with a rubber band are in a box
in my parent's garage. Or Julian
has your new true love bothered you with lots
of questions about how we were? Tell her
everything. Don't spare her with softened truths
the hard loving we did. Tell her lovers
always bring their ghostly crew of past loves,
they feel like arks in which all those we've loved
are set adrift with us. We lay our heads
where another forehead lay....It touches me
to touch so many persons in one...
which is why love does for religion.








Here's another from Seven Beats a Second.



lying in the sun with susan

quiet bay

no sound but the light rustle
of marsh grass in the gulf breeze

she
lies on the deck, legs spread,
as if to thrust herself
at the summer sun

sweat glistens
on the inside of her thigh
and my tongue aches
for the taste of her








Czeslaw Milosz, born in 1911 in central Lithuania (then part of Russian empire), was a Polish poet, prose writer and translator. From 1961 to 1998 he was a professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1980 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. He is widely considered one of the greatest poets of the 20th century.

The next poem is from the four-part poem Far Away. The poem is from the book Provinces, Poems 1987-1991, published by The Ecco Press in 1991. I originally intended to use only the first and last parts of the poem, but once I had done that, I went back and added the two middle parts. It's a long poem, but breaking it up just didn't seem right.

Milosz died in 2004 at his Krakow home.

The poems in the book were translated by the poet in cooperation with Robert Hass.



Far Away

Great love makes a great grief.
Skarga

I

The chronicler is breathing, his heart is beating.
This is rare among chroniclers, for they are usually dead.
He tries to describe the earth as he remembers it
I.e., to describe on that earth his first love,
A girl bearing some ordinary name
From whom he will never again receive a letter
And who astonishes him by her strong existence
So that she seems to dictate whet he writes.

It happened a long, long time ago.
In a city which was like an oratorio
Shooting with its ornate towers up to the sky
Into he white clouds, from among green hills.
We were growing there next to each other, unaware of it,
In the same legend: about a subterranean river
Nobody has ever seen, about a basilisk
Under a medieval tower, about a secret passage
Which led from the city to a remote island
With the ruins of a castle in the middle of the lake.
Every spring we took the same delight in the river:
Ice is breaking, it flows, and look, ferry boats
Painted in blue and green stripes,
And majestic raft trains drift to the sawmills.

In the sun of April we were walking in the crowd.
Expectation was timid, nameless.
And only now, when every "he loves me, loves me not"
is fulfilled, when ridicule and grief
Are alike and I am at one
With these girls and boys, saying farewell,
I realize how strong their love was for their city.
Though they were unaware, it was to last them a lifetime.
They were destined to live through the loss of their country,
To search for a souvenir, a sign, something that does not perish.
And had I to offer a gift to her, I would have choose this:
I would place her among the dreams of architecture,
There, where St. Ann and the Bernadins,
St. John and the Missionaries meet the sky.

2

In the scent of savory, there where the path
Winds down towards the alders and the rushes
Of a small lake, in the sun, beehives.
The unchanging bees of our forest country
Work, as always, on the day we perish.

She was quick. She shouted: "Now!
No time to lose!" - and they grabbed the children,
They ran that path, from the house, by the alders, into the
  swamp.
the soldiers came out of the birch grove, were surrounding
  the house,
They had left their truck in the woods, so as not to scare
  people away.
"They did not think to let the dog loose,
It would have certainly led them to us."
Thus our country was ending, still generously
Protective with its osiers, mosses, wild rosemaries.
Long trains were moving eastward, towards Asia,
With the laments of those who knew they would not return.

Bees fly, heavy, to their mead breweries,
White clouds drift slowly, reflected in the lake.
Our heritage will be handed to unknown people.
Will they respect the hives, nasturtiums by the porch,
Carefully weeded patches, the slanting apple trees?

3

But yes, the restaurant's name was "A Cozy Nook."
How could I have forgotten! does it mean
I did not want to remember? And the city was falling
Into its sleepy molting, into a long season
Of people I could not imagine. It hardly, hardly
Returns. Why in my poems is there so little
Autobiography? Where did it come from, the idea
To hide what is my own as if it were sick?
Then, in the "Cozy Nook" I was still one
Of the gentlemen students, and officers, before whom
Little Matthew's waiters would put a carafe
Of vodka straight from the ice, misty with dew,
And to be adult made you proud,
Just as you felt proud coming of good stock.
This took place in a Europe of swamps and pine forests,
Of horse carts creaking on sandy highways.
Little Matthew, obliging, circulated among the tables.
Was he to become an informer? Or has he gone
To a gulag on one of the Siberian rivers?

4

How stupid is the business of the State.
I should not write about it and yet, I do.
For, after all, one pities people.

Here where I live they buy and sell
Every hour of the day and night.
In halls sprinkled with bluish light they heap
Fruits brought from five continents,
Fish and meats from the East and West,
Snails and oysters summoned against the clock,
Liquors fermented in sultry valleys.
I have nothing against the Polynesias in shop windows,
Against a virgin nature at a modest price,
And if I object, I keep it to myself, it's simpler.

I am not from here. From a remote province,
from a remote continent
Where I had learned the nature of the State.

By a river in the evening, our choral singing.
We were living beyond marshes, beyond woods,
thirty kilometers from the nearest railway station,
In manors, yeomen's lodges, farmhouses, hamlets.
Our singing was about division: this here
Is ours, that over there is alien, here poverty, there wealth,
Here ploughing, there trading, here virtue, there sin,
Here faithfulness to the ancestors, there treason,
And the worst of all, if one should sell his forest.
The oaks stood there for ages, now they were falling
With thunderous echoes, so that the earth trembled.
And then the road to our parish church
Led no more through shade with songs of birds
But through empty and silent clearings,
And that was like a presage of every kind of loss.
We implored the protection of the Miraculous Virgin,
We accompanied organ music with Latin chants.
Generation after generation we lived against the State
Which would not overcome us either with threat or punishment.
Till a perfect State appeared on the earth.

The state is perfect if it takes away
From every man his name, sex, dress, and manner,
And carries them at dawn, insane with fear,
Where, no one knows, to steppes, deserts,
So that its power is revealed
And, wallowing in their filth,
Hungry, humiliated, men renounced their right.
What did we know of this? Nothing at all.
And later on there were none among us
Who would be able to tell the world about this new knowledge.
The age passes, memory passes. Nobody will find
Letters begging for help, graves without crosses.








And another one from my book.



my kind of people

fat girls
need not apply

no skinny
bucktoothed boys
who masturbate
while reading historical
romance novels

no crinkly, wrinkly
old people
drooly-chinned
babies
with foul smelling
diapers
no bankers
who count their money
in a dark little room
at midnight

no judges, no fire chiefs,
no social workers,
no grocery store clerks,
barbers, bakers,
or used car salesmen

also, no candlestick makers
if they're still around

none of them either

no blonds
with dimples
and no swarthy skinned
men with mustaches

no baldheaded men
with beards
nor women
with brittle hair
piled higher than
six and one half inches

none too short
none too tall
none too big
none too small

and none too
in between

no men in tangerine
bermuda shorts
and no women
in pedal pushers
(any color)

no arabs, no blacks
no wops or jews

no russians, maldavians,
limes, frogs, krauts
poles, czechs, hunkies
greeks, swedes
irish sots
nor tightfisted scots

they just need no apply

and no chinamen, either,
and none of their oriental
cousins

no africans,
no egyptians,
and damn sure no syrians,

no mexicans
peruvians, chileans,
panamanians,
pomeranians,
argentinians,
and canadians, too

and kansans, californians,
new yorkers, iowa
porkers, nevadans,
or any of the rest

all of them
just need not apply,
all the riffraff
just need not apply
cause now we're
getting down to
the right kind of people

my kind of people

me

and, maybe

you









Lawson Fusao Inada, born 1938 in California, has been Oregon poet laureate since 1966.

Inada is a third-generation Japanese American and at the age of 4, he and his family were interned for the duration of World War II at camps in Fresno, Arkansas, and Colorado.

Following the war, Inada became a bass jazz musician, following the work of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Billie Holiday, to whom he would later write tributes in his works. He studied writing at the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Oregon, and the University of Iowa and has taught poetry at Southern Oregon University since 1966.

The next three poems are from his book Legends from Camp, winner of the 1994 American Book Award, published by Coffee House Press. He has received several poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and also won the 1997 Stafford/Hall Award for Poetry.

Jazz, he has said, and his time in the camp have always been the greatest influences on his poetry. Here we see the jazz portion of that influence.



Charlie Parker

Yardbird. Bird. Yard.
Whatever he was called, whenever he played,
wherever we heard him wherever we are now,
Yardbird never left home.

On this corner, of 12 Street and Vine,
Pres and the Basie have just finished a set,
with the accomplished embellishments
of Mr. Pete Johnson.

This is Bird's place, and we hear it all.
Why leave this kind of yard?

People are downhome here, and in the know.
Sure, times may be tough,
but that don't excuse the music.
We're serious about it.
Go ahead, Bird, and blow!
If we can't follow you, we ain't worth it.

So there goes Bird deep down in the gutter,
passing the bottle around, taking it back.
So there goes Bird back in the alley
talking that trash, trashing the sack.

Go ahead, bird! We can dance to it.
If we can't dance, we can't use it.
We've cut off the sides of our shoes for you.

So there goes Bird all around the corner.
Mr. Preacherman Bird, going into a storefront
and coming out with a sanctified sermon.
Now here comes the whole congregation -
looking happy, feeling fancy, dancing!

Go ahead, Bird, Yardbird, Charlie!
Whomever he are, comes transportation:

come a taxi, come 52nd Street,
come Harlem, come New York city,
come Bud rubbing a glass piano,
come Monk meandering in the dark,
come Dizzy blowing the roof off,
come Klookamop, come Max making wax,
come Miles and miles of open sky,

come bebop and everybody else,
come the enhancement of anybody's life.

Come Yardbird right into your home.
Come Charlie beside you at the station.
Come Bird sneaking up with the blues.
Come Yard surprising from inside of you.

If you have blood, and pulse,
if you have heart - then there you are,
Welcome to the corner. You never left home.


Bud Powell

   "Parisian Thoroughfare"

Shops gleaming wares,
windows streaming with the streets of commerce as fragrance
from a nearby bakery fills and gilds the air
burgeoned to the brim with birds, butterflies, blossoms,
rising and falling
calls of children quickening the courtyards,
women whisking walks in the sunlit
briskness of rhythm
propelling, pulsing the entire populace, the entire
thoroughfare into action after the night's refreshing rain
promising spring thick with brilliance,
the surprising
turn of events where everything turns out happy...


("Hey, cut it, man!")



Listening Images

Lester Young

Yes, clouds do have
The smoothest sound.

Billie Holiday

Hold a microphone
Close to the moon.

Charlie Parker

Rapids to baptism
In one blue river.

Coleman Hawkins

A hawk for certain,
But as big as a man.

Ben Webster

Such fragile moss
In a massive tree.

Louis Armstrong

Just dip your years
And taste the sauce.

Roy Eldridge

Get in the car.
Start the engine.

Dizzy Gillespie

Gusts of gusto
Sweep the desert.

Miles Davis
3 valves, tubing...
How many feelings?

Clifford Brown

A fine congregation
This spring morning.

Art Tatum

Innumerable dew,
A splendid web.

Bud Powell

The eye, and then
the hurricane.

Thelonius Monk

Always old, always new,
Always deja vu.

Count Basie

Acorns on the roof -
Syncopated oakestra.

Duke Ellington

Stars, stripes, united
States of Ellington.

Gene Ammons
Chu Berry
Don Byas
Eddie Davis
Herschel Evans
Paul Gonsalves
Dexter Gordon
Wardell Gray
Rahsaan Kirk
Hank Mobley
Charlie Rouse
Sonny Stitt


Mountain mist,
Monumental totem.

John Coltrane

Sunrise golden
At the throat

Eric Dolphy

Coming across quick
Deer in the forest.

Delta blues

They broke bottles
Just to get the neck.

Son House

A lone man plucking
bolts of lightning.

Kansas City Shouters

Your baby leaves you on the train.
You stand and bring it back again.

Big Joe Turner

Big as laughter, big as rain,
Big as the big public domain.








And another one from my book, Seven Beats a Second.



about sex

sex
is about the heat
of rubbing parts together
passion
a function of finely calibrated
friction

some will say
it makes a big difference
which parts do what to who

bullshit
i say

it's a lot
like chicken nuggets

in the dark
parts is parts

you rub mine
and i'll rub yours
and we'll sort it out
in the morning








Born in 1923, Shirley Kaufman grew up in Seattle and lived in San Francisco for many years. She now makes her home in Jerusalem, where she has lived for a number of years. She has published four collections of her own poetry as well as a number of books of translation of Hebrew poetry. She also collaborated on a book of translation of poems by Dutch poet, Judith Herzbeg, which won a Columbia University translation prize.

The next poems is from her book Rivers of Salt, published by Copper Canyon Press in 1993.



Snow in Jerusalem

After it stops the air is still
whirling around our house and the pine trees
shake out their iced wings the way
dogs shed the sea from their bodies
after a swim, a white crust slides
like shingles down the backs of the branches,
soft clumps loosen themselves from
sills and ledges, fall past our window
with the swoosh of small birds
or of moths at night that beat themselves
senseless against the lamp until
we switch it off and reach for each other,
warm and slightly unraveled under
the worn nap, under the flannel
of the snow sky, under the overhanging
sorrow of the city listening to the
plop, plop, it's all coming clean now,
starting to thaw a little from the inside.








And, another one from my book.



burning

though
hot
i'm not

you truly set me burning
when you walked out those
swinging doors
in your skimpy white short-shorts

tight cheeks flexing against
the soft cotton
like two little monkeys
in a velvet bag

waving goodbye

seismic
is the word that comes to mind








The next poem is by Paul Monette from his book West of Yesterday, East of Summer, New and Selected Poems, 1973-1993, published by St. Martin's Press in 1994.

The poem is from a series of poems in the book titled Love Alone, 18 Elegies for Rog, elegies for his friend and life-partner Roger Horwitz who died of AIDS. Monette died, also of AIDS, in 1995.

In addition to his poetry and reviews, Monette wrote novelizations of films, including 1988 film Midnight Run, the 1979 film Nosferatu the Vampyre, the 1987 film Predator and 1983 film Scarface.



Here

everything extraneous has burned away
this is how burning feels in the fall
of the final year not like leaves in a blue
October but as if the skin were a paper lantern
full of tapped moths beating their fired wings
and yet I can lie on the hill just above you
a foot beside where I will lie myself
soon soon and for all the wrack and blubber
feel how we were warriors when the
merest morning sun in the garden was a
kingdom after Room 1010 war is not all
death it turns out war is what little
thing you hold on to refugeed and far from home
oh sweetie will you please forgive me this
that every time I opened a box of anytHing
Glad Bags One-A-Day KINGSIZE was
the worst I'd think will you still be here
when the box is empty Rog Rog who will
play boy with me now that I bucket with tears
through it all when I'd cling beside you sobbing
you'd shrug it off with the quietest I'm still
here
I have your watch in the top drawer
which I don't dare wear yet help me please
the boxes grocery home day after day
the junk that keeps men spotless but it doesn't
matter now how long they last or I
the day has taken you with it and all
there is now is burning dark the only green
is up by the grave and this little thing
of telling the hill I'm here oh I'm here








Now an old poem that was not in my book.

The posting date for this issue being September 11th, I take note of the event on that date in 2001 by posting the next poem. It is the only poem I wrote about the event, which, in fact, is not really so much about the event, but an attempt put into words and form the event as we saw on TV that day and played over and over again on the days that followed.

The poem was eventually published in 2004 in The Muse Apprentice, an on-line journal that was publishing a number of my poems at the time.

I've never used it anywhere else because the HTML is such a pain to deal with.



outtakes from the first day of the war

                                   nothing

leads to anything

                                                                      short bursts
                                                                    of thought

                                     smoke

                                billows grey

                                    
  down
                                        city
                                  streets

no          connections

broken

                                 gray streets awash
                                  in a gray tide

            dreams
            bro
               ken

smaller
smaller

      p     i
      e     c      s
               e

                                    graypeopleghosts
                                        gray ghosts

                                          running

            mind bro
            ken

smaller
smaller

p   i
e     c
   e   s

     crashing down
in silence
     flowing
         like water
         down

riverwide
 riverlong
  riverdeep
   riverstrong
    riverflows
     riverlives
      rivertakes
       rivergives

                              puddling gray
                            in concrete and steel

      t
      h
      r
      e
      a
      d

thread

         l
         i
         m
         p

          lick it
          so it stays
          straight

                                   lick it

so it doesn't
flop down
like and old man's

     d
      i
      c
      k

make it straight

                            s t r a i g h t

through
the eye

     pull     tight


in    and   out

                                                            push in

                                                                      push out

                                                                        push in

                                        push out

          through the weaving
                                   patterns
                                                                      of our lives

     bring the pieces
     together

                              smoke

                               ash

                              ghosts surfing
                              gray tide
                             eyes wide

eyes wide
red-rimmed
in a gray mask

eyes wide
          in

     dis
con     nect









And that's the end of that.

Come back new week for bunches more of poetry. In the meantime, please recall that all material in this blog remains the property of its creators

I produced the blog and I own the blog and any material in the blog created exclusively by me is available to anyone who might want to use it.

Credit is proper and appropriate in such usage. Just spell my name right...allen itz.

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