In the Cold Light of January   Wednesday, January 05, 2011


VI.1.2.




Good news this week. I have as my featured poet my friend Joanna Weston with four poems.

Continuing to be unsuccessful in soliciting art for "Here and Now" I'm stuck again with my own photographs. These were taken New Year's Day while strolling on a less-commercial section of the Riverwalk. This was the day before the annual draining and cleaning of the river. (Actually, they don't drain the river, they divert its water from the downtown area through a flood-control tunnel system that allows regulation of the level of the water in that area. This week, it was time for all the mud festival activities. (San Antonio can find a reason to celebrate just about anything - one of the things I most like about the city.)

Next up, several weeks of rodeo. yyyyyyha!

Meanwhile, here's the whole package for this week.


Jorge Teilleir
Image
A Child in a Tree


Me
why is Monday the first day of the week

William D. Barney
Listening to the Screwdriver

Me
a slight reconsideration

Pablo Neruda
Love Song
A Statue in the Silence


Me
fog, like a deep dark sea

Eamon Grennen
Brother Mole

James Tate
Hotel of the Golden Dawn

Amir Or
Drowning, he breathes live water

Me
take three stooges and call me in the morning

Margaret Chula
Two haiku

John Bandu
Three haiku

Elizabeth Searle Lamb
Two haiku

Christopher Herold
Three haiku

Me
about the Gray Ghosts and other intimate relationships

Arthur Sze
The Negative

Joanna Weston
Oranges
The Eight Sides of Tom
Tall Julia
Eliza’s Dozen


William Heyen
The Machine that Collects Butterflies
The Machine that Mends Birds’ Nests


Me
this is for the dumb-asses who disturb my sleep

Luci Tapahonso
A Whispered Chant of Loneliness

Me
best friends forever

Demetria Martinez
Untitled
Before You
Sonogram


Me
the girl who wanted to learn about government









I begin this week with a couple of poems by Chilean poet Jorge Teillier, from the collection, In Order to Talk with the Dead, published by the University of Texas Press in 1993.

Teillier was born and reared in the rainy forests of Chile's La Frontera" region, which, a generation earlier, nurtured Pablo Neruda. One of Chile's most widely read poets and winner of numerous awards and honors, he has published eight volumes of poetry. He spent much of his adult life working as a reviewer and journalist for many of Chile's leading magazines and newspapers.

This is a bilingual book, with the original Spanish translated to English by Carolyn Wright. The book was the first appearance of Teillier's work in English in the United States.


Image

You recognize yourself
in that child who goes to buy bread
this morning of frost
and greets the milkman
whose whistle wakes up the streets.

You are that child
and the child who cuts across the field
to the neighbor's house
with a goose under his arm
under a moon monitored by rockets
in which no one will ever see again
the Virgin, Saint Joseph, and the Child.


To a Child in a Tree

You're the sole inhabitant
of an island only you know about,
surrounded by surging waves of wind
and silence barely grazed
by the barn owls wings.

You see a broken plow
and a thresher whose skeleton
lets pass a final gleam of sun.
You see summer turned into a scarecrow
whose nightmares torment the cropland.
You see the irrigation ditch in whose depths your vanished friend
takes hold of the paper ship you set afloat.

You see the town and the fields spread out
like the pages of the primer
where one day you'll know you've read
the history of joy.

The storekeeper comes out to close the shutters.
The farmer's daughters shoo in the chickens.
Eyes of strange fish
look down menacingly from the sky.
It's time to come back down to earth.
You dog bounds up to meet you.
Your island sinks into the sea of night.








It's curious how so many things we take for granted trace back to unexpected origins.



why is Monday the first day of the week?

looking for a toe-hole
to get me started this morning,
i latch onto the idea

that this is Monday,
the first day of the first full week
of the new year

and that leads me to thinking
why is Monday
the first day of the week?

and that’s obvious, it’s the old
“on the seventh day he rested” thing,
which means the eight day

was Monday, time for the Most High Commuter
to get back to work
overseeing all that he had created,

or did he slip off, instead, to do some
new creating
somewhere else

and why did he need a day of rest, anyway,
he being the all powerful Whosit and Whatsit,
you’d think all this creating

would be like a snap of his mighty finger,
once for the heavens and once for the earth,
then an all-purpose multi-snap for all the plants and creatures

the lions and tigers and bears, oh my,
and squash and cherries and trees
and porcupines

and the geese and hummingbirds
and crab grass and red, red roses and
dogs peeing in the park and

cats
sleeping and sleeping
and spiders and dung beetles

and maybe a single dedicated snap
to whip up a human being, a man
first, of course, and then a woman

- product
of left over
manly parts,-

and for both the he and the she,

- he invented
those words as well, for until then
there were no words to even imagine a he or a she -

making up arms and legs for both
and lungs and tongues
and noses and

toes
and forty-seven miles of intestines
and hearts that beat and break and blood

and piss and shit
and boogers, too, and
sexually-explicit play areas

and occasionally a brain,
an accident, probably
or maybe an oversight,

a worn-out, late afternoon, sixth-day goof,
creating a being capable of asking questions,
demanding answers,

and a mighty
pain-in-the- all-powerful-celestial-ass
every since

which begs the question, why,
do i, being a pretty mighty pain-in-the-ass
myself, continue to think of Monday

as the first day of the week - it’s time, i think,
in order to be true to my non-believing beliefs,
to designate Wednesday as the first day of the week

which makes it now this minute an early morning
middle of the week Monday, the day
the religiosos babosos meet here for breakfast

and i wish they’d hurry and get here
and i hope they have something interesting
to say this morning,

- not like the last couple of weeks
when all they’ve talked about was football -

a real deep and meaty conversation
that’ll give me something interesting to write about
because right now i can’t think of any darn thing

and that’s a dangerous situation,
because, lacking anything deep and meaty
to write about,

i’m not too proud
to bull-
shit








Next I have a poem by William D. Barney. The poem is from the book, A Cowtown Chronicle, published in 1999 by Browder Springs Books.

Barney, who was born in Oklahoma in 1916, was a former poet laureate of Texas who made his living as an employee of the U.S. Postal Service. He died in 2001.



Listening to the Screwdriver

Even with my dull ear I can detect
a grinding somewhere in that crossed complex
of wheels and pulleys. Metal complaining,
saying it won't put up with more neglect.
He listens a moment, and then asks
do I have a long screwdriver? While I go
to find one, I wonder: he wouldn't dare
stick a screwdriver in that whirring maze?
But he does. Gravely, with a physician's
    touch,
he sets the metal tip against a housing,
then bends down and puts his ear
to the wooden handle. Repeats the ritual
at another point. Tells me do the same.
Sure enough I can hear. Something here
smooth as a faucet. But under the
    screwdriver
the alternator curses, grinding away.

Never in all my life I've used a screwdriver
for a stethoscope. Where hid he learn this
    art?
Not from me,though this is my son,
who bears the name I bear. For I
with all of a bent toward words and sounds,
know little of motors, of mechanics.
Here's mastery I'm not versed in.
The skill has jumped a generation,
down from another father who could stretch
a web of steel - pull-rods and pumping jacks -
through pine and sassafras on red hills,
taking delight in harnessing power.

All of which tells me,if I'm not obtuse,
there are as many ways to grasp th;e world
as there are men. More subtleties
of hand, of eye, of ear, imagination,
than eye or ear can hope to record,
or hand, though it strive, ever set down.








Sometimes it's helpful to sit back and re-think.



a slight reconsideration

Dick is the tall one;
Jim, the short -

the middle-sized guy
came in late
and i didn’t get his name

he’s the one who speaks
very loudly;
the most intellectually exuberant,
though not, i think, the smartest

that would be Dick,
who sits, his gray above his great vertical length,
calm and patient
with Preacher Loud’s excited interruptions

the fourth is another guy whose name
i don’t know - he’s the shaven-headed bald one
who always comes, it appears, direct
from his morning run

i never truly trust shaven-headed bald guys,
always suspecting they are, in truth, fringe-haired
guys who shave their head so that everyone
will think they are bald on purpose

i meant to do that! they say

these are my “religioso babosos,”
four Christian preachers
who meet Monday mornings
for breakfast, usually at a table
next to mine, oft-
mentioned in my poems,
usually mockingly, though their conversations,
when not lost in the sport of the season,
are quite deep, thoughtful and displaying
knowledge and insight of many theologies
beyond just their own - my surreptitious eavesdropping
enticing me into some off my better poems

it is a weakness of us non-believers, the finding it
so hard to believe in the intelligence
of folk who believe so completely in things
we see as fairy tale farce, like building great temples
to worship Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny

but, hard as it is for us to understand, some folk
do have the capacity for intellectual exploration
and simultaneous blind, unreasoning belief
in the unbelievable - St. Augustine
may or may not have been a saint, but
he was surely one pretty sharp fellow

to those of us who dis-believe, it requires
a kind of alien, bifurcated brain to fit
these two seemingly opposite conceptual
poles, like the North Pole and the South Pole
meeting in Argentina, causing us to sometimes

wonder which side of the evolutionary ladder
we occupy - is the ability to contain both
reason and unfettered belief in a single mind,
an evolutionary precursor to a purely reasoning
creature, or are we, the reasoners, instead
a slip down the ladder, partially human, not yet
complete, lacking an an essential human element

was it faith that made us what we are, two-legged
survivors of a hostile world where all others
run on four legs, slither, swim or fly, or was it our reason
that allowed us to think our way out of the trees,
to run free on ancient plains - and which will it be,
faith or reason, that will help us save this world
we have captured and now hold hostage

i don’t know

but i am thinking i should be welcoming help
from wherever it comes








Speaking of Pablo Neruda, as I did a couple of poems back, here are a couple of his poems from the collection The Yellow Heart, a bilingual edition from Copper Canyon Press. The translation to English is by William O'Daly.

Much can be said of Neruda, including one thing for sure, the man could write a hell of a love poem.

And when talking about great lines and images, how about this:

when young golden girls roll
on the softness of the sand,


from the second poem below.


Love Song

I love you, I love you, is my song
and here my silliness begins.

I love you, I love you my lung,
I love you,I love you m wild grapevine,
and if love is like wine:
your are my predilection
from your hands to your feet:
you are the wineglass of hereafter
and my bottle of destiny.

I love you forwards and backwards,
and I don't have the tone or timbre
to sing you my song,
my endless song.

On my violin that sings out of tune
my violin declares,
I love you, I love you my double bass,
my sweet woman, dark and clear,
my heart, my teeth,
my light and my spoon,
my salt of the dim week,
my clear windowpane moon.


A Statue in the Silence

So much happens in the hubbub,
so many bells were heard to ring
whenever they loved or discovered
or when they decorated each other
that I didn't trust the uproar
and came to live, standing
in this zone of silence.

When a plum falls,
when a wave faints,
when young golden girls roll
on the softness of the sand,
or when in succession
immense birds guide me -
in my quiet exploration,
it doesn't ring or howl or thunder,
or whisper or murmur:
this is why I lie on
in the music of silence.

The air is still mute,
the automobiles skid
on invisible cotton balls
and the political crowds
with gloved gestures
occur in a hemisphere
where no flies buzz.

The most gossipy women
drowned in stone pools
or sail like swans,
like clouds in the sky,
and the summer trains roll
full of fruits and mouths
without a whistle or wheel
that creak, like cyclones
chained to silence.

The months are like curtains,
like quiet carpets:
here the seasons dance
until it falls asleep in the living room,
the immobile statue of winter.








A dark early morning fog gives rise rarely to happy thoughts.



fog, like a deep dark sea

school bus
lurking
yellow shadow
in the fog

school children
on corners
waiting whirl-a-wisps
in the murk

prey
to be gathered
into the maw of the great
yellow whale

~~~

sleek shark
in the night
streaming past

eyes
bright
probe
the dark

~~~

my bright
cave
at the bottom
of the sea

soft music
to bind my ears
tight
against the carnage

of the flowing
hungry sea
storms of quiet
desperation

shift deep
sands
rock relics
of earlier deaths








Next I have several poems from the anthology Poetry International - 2000, published by San Diego State University Press.



The first poem is by Eamon Grennan, poet, translator, and editor of Facing the Music: Irish Poetry in the 20th Century.


Brother Mole

Behold the mole
who has clawed himself
into a world of cubic centimeters
and stays there -
blind eyes on nothing, star-nose full of grit,
earth-smells he knows in his bones,
flash pink hands hard at it,
while outside
the big world goes about its business
which he's worked his way from
and won't look back,
believing only
that light is a sword
in the hand of uncertainty,
that his hot-wired nerves
glow in the dark,
that his heart is.



The next poem is by James Tate. I think this is the James Tate, born in 1943, who has taught poetry at the University of California at Berkeley, Columbia University, Emerson College, and the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.


Hotel of the Golden Dawn

 :    It was clear to us that the real owners
of the hotel were spiders. They were everywhere
but you had to look carefully. They had ingenious
ways to disguise themselves, except for the
clerk at the check-in desk. He was clearly a
spider, a pale pink translucent spider, a kindly
one. In fact, in my experience, all the spiders
in the hotel were benevolent. One stroked my
grow as I lay in bed trying to sleep. Another
kept flies off of my eggs in the morning.Many
of the guests I saw in the lobby seemed to me
in human, or at least toothless and drained of
their blood. It was a convention of some kind,
button makers, astronomers, comedians, florists,
prison guards, lamplighters, editors, whatever ,
and they were having a very good time. The desk-
spider and the door-spider eyed them proudly.


My last poem from the book is by Amir Or, an Israeli editor, translator and award-winning poet whose works have been published in more than 30 languages.

His poem was translated by Lisa Katz


Drowning, he breathes live water

My narcissus, in the end you got used to it,you grew gills
at the sides of your throat, and sliding down down

you stretched between reeds and water and the echo became a wave
and the reflection a place, and you looked and looked and looked

at the water's sky :    and jumped
out - back to me.

And the thunder turned back into silence, the water - into a screen,
and the eye to marble. You turned back to me.

The echo became a voice, and the reflection a face,
and you were relieved.

Come
Sit.








I have quarterly blood work done to make sure the stuff I take that's supposed to keep me alive isn't killing me. I'm a good bleeder (though my veins are getting kind of tough after 15 years of poking), so it's not a big deal. Except that I can't have coffee or anything else until it's done.

Never fun, though this morning it came close.



take three stooges and call me in the morning

early Thursday morning
(never a good sign)
and I wait at the doctor’s

office, sit in an uncomfortable
plastic chair with a roomful
of other old people -

aches and pains and moans
and groans abide, decrepitude
our common condition, the

final dark horizon
within sight of all of us,
the end for all -

clear and bright
and sure for some,
semi-shrouded in the mists

of uncertain end
and time for others,
like me,

who know how we’re going
to die,
(as if that made a difference)

while the more important
“when”
is hidden somewhere in the fog

~~~

early Thursday morning
(usually not a good sign)
at the doctor’s office

a roomful to old people
hoping to push back their
check-out time

smiling,
store-bought teeth
a-gleam in the florescent light

Three Stooges
on TV -
Larry, Moe and Shemp,

facing with brave farce
the insanities
of life ...

what matters death to them -

just
another pratfall
in the vaudeville of life








Though I'm not very good at writing them, I enjoy reading Haiku very much. Something about a tiny little poem that seems enclose the whole world in the palm of its hand.

Here are several Haiku by contemporary American poets, taken from The Unswept Path published in 2005 by White Pines Press.



First I have two pieces by Margaret Chula.

Chula lived in Japan for twelve years where she taught creative writing woodblock printing and ikebana.


waking in the morning
from troubled dreams
foxprints on new snow

~~

late into the night
we talk of revelations
moon through the pines


Next I have three poems by John Brandi. Bandi, a poet, writer, artist, and traveler, has published thirty-six books of poetry, essays and haiku.


all night
listening to the mountain
become water

~~

around the bell
blue sky
ringing

~~

daybreak
pollen rising
from the unswept path


Next, here are two poems by Elizabeth Searle Lamb, a founding member of the Haiku Society of America in 1968, serving as its president and, for many years, as editor of Frogpond, its magazine.


the sound
of rain on the sound
of waves

~~

silence -
the heart of the rose
after the wasp leaves


And, my last selections from the book, three pieces by Christopher Harold , editor of the international haiku journal, The Heron's Nest


dark dark night
a leaf strikes the pavement
stem first

~~

just a minnow
the granite mountain wobbles
on the lake

~~

a breeze...
again the neighbor's windchimes
belong to me








Born in 1944, I grew up in the 50's, an under-appreciated decade considering all that grew out of it, even, in many ways, a strange time.



about the Gray Ghost and other intimate relationships

“Hello mellow Jax,
little darling”
tra la

as a mellowed-out
observer
of popular culture

for many years,
and as a former Jax drinker
myself,

I remember that little
song
and so I can truthfully

testify
that we did
at one point in time

call our beer
“darling”
and called our cars

“baby”
and gave them names
like horses in a stable

- I,
for example,
drove the “Gray Ghost”

in my much younger
years,
so named because

it was a pile of junk
and should have been dead
years before

but
continued to putter along
anyway -

my mother never had
a dish washer -
except for me whom she named

early on -
but her washer and dryer
when she finally had both

were “Amos” and “Andy”
and her car, when I got to drive it,
was the “Rocket”…

all this naming
a sign of a generation
that grew up without a lot of

things, the
dearness of each new thing,
when it finally came,

demonstrated by its naming,
as if naming a family dog,
a part of the family,

a companion
dear
to all

~~~

today
we don’t keep anything
long enough to name them,

instead,
it’s my car, my
I-pad, my toy, my pogo

stick - all just possessions now,
and who in the world
wants an up-close and personal

relationship
with a possession,
however bright and shiny and new








Arthur Sze, born in New York City in 1950, is a second-generation Chinese-American poet. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate from the University of California at Berkeley, he is the author of six volumes of poetry. He has taught at Brown University, Bard College, and the Naropa Institute. At the time this book was published he lived in New Mexico and was a Professor of Creative Writing at the Institute of American Indian Arts.

The next poem is from his book The Redshifting Web - Poems 1970-1998. It was published by Copper Canyon Press in 1998.



The Negative

A man hauling coal in the street is stilled forever.
Inside, a temple, instead of light

a slow shutter lets the darkness in.
I see a rat turn a corner running from a man with a chair trying
    to smash it,

see people sleeping at midnight in a Wuhan street on bamboo
    beds,
a dead pig, floating, bloated, on water.

I see a photograph of a son smiling who two years ago fell off a
    cliff
and his photograph is in each room of the apartment.

I meet a woman who had smallpox as a child, was abandoned
    by her mother
but who lived, now has two daughters, a son, a son in law;

they live in three rooms and watch a color television.
I see a man in blue work clothes whose father was a peasant

who joined the Communist party early but by the time of the
    Cultural Revolution
had risen in rank and became a target of the Red Guards.

I see a woman who tried to kill herself with an acupuncture
    needle
but instead hit a vital point and cured her chronic asthma.

A Chinese poet argued that the fundamental difference between
    East and West
is that in the East an individual does not believe himself

in control of fate but yields to it.
As a negative reverses light and dark

these words are prose accounts of personal tragedy becoming
    metaphor
an emulsion of silver salts sensitive to light,

laughter in the underground bomb shelter converted into al
    movie theater,
lovers in the Summer Palace park.








My featured poet and friend, Joanna Weston has appeared on "Here and Now" many times now. She has had poetry, reviews, and short stories published in anthologies and journals for twenty five years. Her books include a middle-reader, Those Blue Shoes, published by Clarity House Press; and a collection of poetry, A Summer Father, published by Frontenac House of Calgary.

I have four new poems from her this week.



Oranges

winter comes at me
out of heavy clouds

that hang shoulder-height
and lean

ready to dump
cold white crystals

on the driveway
when I want

to buy oranges
to juggle against

the weight
of sky


The Eight Sides of Tom

the stage
his floodlit mirror

pedestal holds
a broken bronze head

three dimes circle
from his hands

eagle height -
boards under
sandaled feet

beer in his mouth
pulverizes speech

his hand tangles
random thoughts

behind the door
a shower of petals

shattered glass
ends the play


Tall Julia

small green
chair
angled to the sun

cat purrs
against
stroking fingers

yellow daisies
shine
in her eyes

she hangs upside
down
in a walnut tree

flies high
singing
high notes

blue bubble-gum
sticks
to the swing seat

her dog
barks
in brown and white

she sees fairies
leap
in rain splash

paint slides
cool and wet
down her leg

red
plus blue
makes seven

shoes laced
and a party
to go

bracelets
tangle
in her pocket

dreams
a red velvet dress
dancing

plays hide-
and-go-seek
one-two-three … surprise

chocolate drips
ice-cream
from her tongue

sleeps with teddy
and a red
giraffe


Eliza's Dozen

an apple-dried doll
in long skirts

precise
as the station clock

she walks
tip-tip-tap
on concrete

drinks strong coffee
black, no sugar

newspaper
folded to tight edges
in quarters

tooth-marks
on the pencils

reading her neighbors
with vinegar

steel girders
under navy serge

quaintly fair
elegance
in flower vases

hands grip
to steer tightly

breasts thin
under morning
in cotton bra

and her cat
meows in black








Next, I have two poems from Lord Dragonfly, Five Sequences by William Heyen. The book was published by Vangard Press in 1981.

The poems I've chosen are from the sequence titled "XVII Machines."


The Machine That Collects Butterflies

Today is a lepidopterist's delight:
monarchs, swallowtails, rare finchwings
flutter and gambol in the meadow like lambs;
zephyrs bend the long grasses to waves.

Moving on a soft rush of air,
following your eye that follows
the single elusive butterfly
you've been searching for so long,

the machine whispers a fine spray
that rainbows in the gold light,
brings your prize down to your feet
like a leaf: dead, beautiful

and perfect, even the dust on its wings
shining fr years in your glass box.


The Machine that Mends Birds' Nests

It's on its own, dispossessed,
day and night treads streets,
fields, corridors of buildings,
and the deep woods.

For somewhere a loose shoelace
threatens a child,, a beam rots,
broken bottles need sweeping,
ice cracks a sidewalk, a cat

cries from a closet, ivy chokes
saplings, or a circuit shorts.
It's on its own now, its metal heart
obsessed with perfection.

A nest endangers its eggs:
even the oblivious robins blink
as this machine reaches up to bend
to twig ere, to replace a grassblade, there.








Nothing like a good Saturday morning rant.



this is for the dumb-asses who disturb my sleep

that’s it!

I’m through trying to educate you

you
tea-party poo-poo head

you
over-heated, under-ventilated birther

you
death-panel devotee

you
Marxist cannibal

you
Capitalist cannibal

you
non-economic determinist cannibal

you
knobby knoll two-shooter theory crackpot

you
homophobic dickhead

you
Nazi feminist man-eating penis-envying witch
who thinks all me should be strung up by their balls
until they admit to the primal sin of manhood


you
victimhood addict at home on your farm in Kansas on 9-11
but still wanting special consideration for your trauma


you
you…you… you know who you are -

I’ve done with you

go shout your dumb-ass obsessions
at the wind

see if it cares
anymore
than I do








The next poem is by Luci Tapahonso, taken from her book. Saanii Dakhataal: The Women Are Singing. The book was published by the University of Arizona Press in 1993.

Tapahonso was born in 1953, to Eugene Tapahonso, Sr. , of the Bitter Water clan, and Lucille Deschenne Tapahonso of the Salt Water clan. Raised on the largest Indian reservation in the United States, Tapahonso learned English as a second language after her native tongue, Diná (Navajo). After attending Navajo Methodist School in Farmington, New Mexico, and Shiprock High School, Tapahonso entered the University of New Mexico. She received her B.A. in English in 1980, and her M.A. in creative writing and English in 1982. She subsequently taught at the University of New Mexico from 1982 to 1989 and at the University of Kansas.




A Whispered Chant of Loneliness

I awaken at 1:30 then sit on the dark living room.
Numbers click time on silent machines.
Everyone sleeps.
Down the street, music hums, someone laughs.
          It floats an unseen breath through the window screen.

     My father uses a cane and each day,
     he walks outside to sit in the southern sunlight.
     He reads the National Geographic, the Daily Times
     and the Gallup Independent.
     He remembers all this and minute details of my life.
     Sometimes he tells my children smiling.

     His voice is an old rhythm of my childhood.
     He read us stories of Goldilocks and The Three Bears
     and a pig named "Greased Lightning."
     He held us close, sang throaty songs,
     and danced Yei bicheii in the kitchen.

     His voice is a steady presence in my mothering.
     Some years ago, he handed me a cup of coffee
     and told me that sometimes leaving a relationship
     was an act of abiding strength.
     He told me that my children would not be sad always.

     Tonight I want to hear him speak to me.
     He thinks I look like my mother did at 38.
     Just last week I heard her laughter in my own.
     This winter, my life is a series of motions.
     Each morning, I get up and shower,
     have breakfast for my daughter,
     drink a cup of coffee, then warm the car for five minutes.

     I continue. My days: an undercurrent of fear,
                          an outpouring of love,
                          a whispered chang of loneliness









Life has consequences.



best friends forever


my wife
goes to church
on Sundays

I go to
breakfast
and think heretical
thoughts

the reason
why

most likely

she’ll be in
heaven

in the end

and I’ll be with
my best
friends
for-
ever








My last poems from my library this week are by Demetria Martinez, taken from her book Breathing Between the Lines, published by the University of Arizona Press in 1997.

Martinez was born in New Mexico in 1960. At the time the book was published, she was living in Arizona, involved with the Arizona Border Rights Project and writing a monthly column for the National Catholic Reporter.



Untitled

Mystical?
Too clinical.
God?
the name has been
smoked down
to a stub.

For sixteen years
I have ransacked
the universe,
unsealing files,
lifting lyrics,
looking for a way
to say how it was.

Because we have
no word for light
we live in shadows.


Before You

My poems hand no you
No eye
of a needle
to pass through
No hot
coals over
which to walk

Nine lives
Sacred heart
Red nails
Lips open
to the whys of the world

Before you, nothing

I pin these poems
on you like stars,
tattoo tears

Where you go, these words
go, forever
my suitcase ready at the door


Sonogram

            para Raquel Dolores

Little grasshopper
Heart popping like corn
Mexican jumping bean
Water drops sizzling on castiron of love and war
You immigrated from the cosmos
To this burning planet
Only to be detained by life
Your name written on greeting cards
And search warrants
Who's to say you will not grow up
Washing windshields, selling gum, eating fire
While a rich man's coffee cup lands on the table like a gavel?

Your birth will be one more cry severing the night

You are loved
You are the world's
You are not free








I didn't want to write the next poem,but I couldn't get my mind to move on to anything else until I did it.



the girl who wanted to learn about government


lies bloodied and dead on a sidewalk

9 years old
and already a casualty
of the political
wars

don’t tell me
it is nobody’s fault -
that it was just a crazy person
acting out the insanity
of his life

for there are crazy people
everywhere
always
acting out the insanity
of their lives
but they don’t shoot
20 people in a crowd
just any old time

it takes a special time
for that to happen,
a time when
a zeitgeist of hate and
violence
is like poison gas
in the air,
fogging the fog
already in the minds
of the insane -
providing direction
to them

so a little girl
who wanted to know more
about her government
lies bloodied and dead
on a sidewalk

it matter less
whose hand
held
the gun
whose finger
pulled the trigger - more it matters
who brought upon us
this special time
we live
in








That's it, again.

All material presented in this blog remains the property of its creators. You can borrow my stuff if you promise to properly credit me and "Here and Now."

I'm allen itz, it's a cold day in San Antonio, but i'm still owner and producer of this blog.

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