The World Goes On, Even When Maybe It Shouldn't   Wednesday, December 19, 2012




This has been the week of the slaughter of innocents. I tried to keep my rage from taking over the post, maybe I did  it.

The pictures are old and I'm not ever  trying to hide it anymore. I need to do  some serious  photo excursions. Since I'm taking next week off, maybe I'll have time to  do that.

Here's what I have for you this  week.


Me
luck  of  the draw
 
Chiyo-ni
haiku from  Women Haiku Master
 
Me
my turn
 
Dan Cuddy
Not a Rock Star
 
Me
guns and poses
the purpose is clear
 
Mary Crow
In the House of Flowers
Coming Home After a Speech on Revolution
 
Me
from  where  I  sit
 
Wislawa Szymborska
A Few Words for the Soul
 
Me
naming  names
 
Lawrence  Ferlinghetti
from A Cony Island  of  the  Mind - #'s 12 & 14
 
Me
scary Unitarians
 
 
LeRoy  Searle
Sheep
 
Me
highways
 
Gary Soto
Russian Pork, 1962
 
Me
big news in the astrophysical  world
 
Tony Hoagland
Honda Pavarotti
 
Me
I'm  just goddamn tired of  it
 
Monica Youn
Semper Ignatz
The Death of Ignatz
Ignatz in Furs
 
Me
sorting out another sunrise
 
John Ashbery
Posture of Unease
Becalmed on Strange Waters
 
Me
second base
 
Me
companions
fat man dancing
attack of the 50-foot woman
 
Me
3 X 10 in 6









This is a new poem from last week.



luck of the draw

having
not  a hint
of what I'm going to write about
this morning,
I content myself with looking out the window
as the sky slowly lights
to start the day...

it's 7:09 - death-race
time on the expressway, I10,
if you're one of the lucky ones,
you'll make it to work,
alive...

if you're one  of the really
lucky ones,
you'll make it all the way to El  Paso,
land of the stink of cheap gas
powering he buses
on the Mexican side of the river,
and on this side, even  worse traffic
than here...

if you're one of the really, really,
really lucky one,
you'll make it through El  Paso
with your skin intact
and travel on to the mountains,
high, like sharp-faced markers
in the desert - Sangre  de Christo,
Sandias, Manzanas, which I hiked
across  about this time of the year, 1964,
knee-deep  in snow and appreciation
of the quiet of forest and, crossing  the crest,
the beauty of the near,  blue sky, sleeping the night
of million stars, waking to coffee
brewed over an open  fire and freeze-dried scrambled eggs,
and C-ration tin-can biscuits, how good was  it all
on  that bright morning -

that's 
when I was really, really, incredibly lucky...

meantime, I  sit  here, lost  in other mornings,
watching the day,
fresh-bright and shiny,
and the cars, harassed along by drivers
driving  on this new  day to fulfil their purpose, varied, lucky or not,
their destiny, hustled along on Interstate -10...

and me, sitting here,doing my job, watching...

thinking I  might have written
a poem today








Here are several haiku by Chiyo-ni, from the collection, Chiyo-ni -  Woman Haiku Master, published in 1998 by Tuttle Publishing.

Living from 1703 to 1775, Chio-ni, known as Kaga no Chiyo,  was a painter and Buddhist nun and   Japan's most celebrated female haiku poet at a time when haiku was mainly a man's domain. She studied under two of Basho's disciples.

The poems in the book were translated by Patricia Donegan and Yoshie Ishibashi.



flying of cranes
as high as the clouds -
first sunrise

___

one mountain after another
unveiled -
the first mists

___

under New Year's sky
holding Mount Fuji's
smile

___

first dream -
even after awakening
the flower's  heart  the same

___

the butterfly
is standing on tiptoes
at the ebb tide

___

squatting
the frog observes
the clouds

___

among a field
of horsetail weeds -
temple ruins

___

clear water
no  front
no back

___

clear water is cool
fireflies vanish -
there's nothing more

___

anyway
leave it to the wind -
dry pampas  grass

___

becoming flowers
becoming water drops -
this morning's snow








This poem is from my book, Always to the Light, which I published last year.



my turn
 
it is a cold
sloppy wet day
 
a glorious
day
 
a touch
of winter
 
finally in  mid-March
 
evidence
 
you'll get
what you want
 
if you'll just
wait long enough
 
___
 
meanwhile
 
on South Padre
beaches
 
all the little
bunny-bumps
 
are freezing
their little cherry butts
 
not what they wanted,
but I don't care
 
they're young
and haven't waited
 
long
enough











I had a  poem from my poet-friend Dan Cuddy, a couple of weeks ago.

Here's another one.



Not a Rock Star

I'm not a rock star
no gravel or fire in my voice
and the grunting is arrhythmic
social, not clinical
a set of drums knocked into
toppled
one small drum a wheel
rolling out of the room, down the hall

*

I am a basement guitar player
whipping my reed of a voice
onto  the  back of neighbors' ears
and all the Three Dog Nighting
or the Twisted Sister bravado
just clashes
with the shy guy who never  sings in public
can't carry a tune
expects nothing less than less in life
and whose revelry is some backstage
somewhere on the studio lot
of his own  imagination

*

I can't read music
can't naturally get into a tune
doesn't play well with others
all  harmony gone to hell
in a solo career
whooping like a cough
or growling like Roy Orbison
with laryngitis

*

and the lyrics are too  excessive
the drums too loud
the Mick Jagger strut
too much like Meatball
on steroids
but
of course
nobody sees my fantasies
the magic of air guitar

*

and
man, I wanted to  wow the girls
to  get a little after each concert
backseat  boogie

*

too old too late too responsible
just an adolescent with a cane
just a white Muddy Waters in the heart
but outside
just an old fart
picking up sticks
laying down pipe
doing the hoochy coo
like the scrape of a hasp

*

okay Elvis HAS left the building

*

dreams stay around like dropped  confetti
I  lean on the mop
I'm somewhere but not here





 





I wrote the first piece here last week, after the latest mall shooting. The second piece I wrote a few day later after the elementary school shooting that killed 20 children (kinder to 4th grade) and six of their teachers.

Most are saddened by the news of these horrific events. But I cannot be sad until  I get over being angry, furious, pissed-off at my friends and relatives who carry their guns cradled like babies in their arms, at the gutless politicians of all types and political creeds who cannot find it in themselves to  face down the NRA, at supreme court justices who live such a pampered life that they cannot imagine anything more  important than  their ideologies, and at the NRA who does all the bloody work for the gun manufacturers.

I cannot be sad until  I've gathered all this human excrement and  we stand together in the bloody pools on the floor of a first grade classroom. When they are finally ashamed,  then I will be ready to  write a sad poem.



guns and poses

they are quite funny,
posing with their guns
like posing  with a pretty girl
all dollied up for the prom,
or  posting photos off their  favorites
on Facebook, silvered desire,
murder in a shiny box...

there can be great beauty
in a gun,
I'll admit  that,  but unlike some,
I never  confuse them
with my
dick


the  purpose  is clear

made for  only that
purpose,
it is an instrument
of murder,
stalking our streets,
searching
for the hands of the murderer
it was made for

so many guns;
so  many such hands out there,
waiting
for the inevitable meeting
that will complete their
purpose









Now, two poems by Mary Crow. The poems are  from her book, Borders, published by Boa Editions  in 1989. Poet laureate of Colorado, Crow has  published nine books, five or  her  own  works and four books of translation.



In the House  of  Flowers

We were the serpent's people
tracing his spring length
into  stone,

beating goats
into their stalls
i the evening; barefoot

among cactus and anthills,
we had always come
to this place

to thank the sun,
carrying bundles
of casachica on our backs

up those stony paths to him.
Among tiny blue
and yellow

flowers, we
stopped high on the hill,
hailing the dawn's  face of fire

on our distant lake.
Then we  descended,
but part way,

and we came
into the old ball court,
that fatal game. Later,

we  left the palace, dropped down
to our thatched huts, brats,
sugar  cane,

mangy dogs
yapping at our heels
as we dreamed of athletes,  stone

circles. The rules of the game
We had our chores, too,
almost as

fatal -
hoeing corn under
the sun, chasing hawks

from carcasses, carrying
water for others'  baths.
The babies crying

was our star.
What did the sun care?
Broken columns, fallen walls,

stone tumbled on stone,  wasp nests,
anthills,  and the dust
of stones.


Coming Home After a Speech on Revolution

We pass a tree  among  trees,
its limbs a convention of crows,
and we  think sickness,death.
Final thoughts! Suicide notes!
Is everything beyond repair?

The sun twists and twists from that tree;
you say:  I will bring the rivers back to you.
You do not have to pass from door to door,
polishing the blue figures of conjecture
like old metal, selling yourself.

This will be the ideal revolution:
Everyone will join this time.
All  the doors will fly open
and victims love thieves.
Sons  will  follow their mothers into battles.

Dusk starts to sweep up scraps of words
as I try to hold onto  ideal!
onto everyone!, onto doors!,  onto rivers!
Crows fly up cawing and the hanged
sun is lowered from the tree.










Here's another poem from Always to the Light.



from where I sit
 
from where I sit
I can see past
a small grove of
winter-bare red oak
to Interstate-10, east
& west
routes, the one to
Houston
and, through
Houston, Louisiana
and points east and
north beyond
 
the other route
followed westerly
600 miles through
hill  country
& high desert to El
Paso
and 4 states beyond,
the orange setting sun
reflected
on Pacific waters
 
most  of
the people I see
passing
are not going so far,
most know
the furthest you
travel
the closer you get to
home,
so why not stay
there,
untraveled
but satisfied,
right where you and
your life
belong
 
for
myself
I don't know that I've
ever
been at home
so I'm always  pulled
between
leave and stay
 
today,
under a cold,
overcast sky
I think I want  to
stay
 
tomorrow...
 
that's   why
we have  night and
day,
night a curtain that 
comes
down
between old and new,
a sign to  us as it rises
every morning,
that new things are
possible
 
after all, what use a
curtain if nothing
changes
between acts










Here's a favorite poet, Wislawa Szymborska, from her book Monologue of a Dog. The book was published in 2002 by Harcourt. It's a bilingual book, in Polish, with English translation by Clare  Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak.

A Polish poet and winner of the 1996 Nobel Prize for Literature,Szymborska died in February of this year.



A Few Words on the Soul

We have a soul at times.
No one's got it nonstop,
for keeps.

Day after day,
year after year
may pass without it.

Sometimes
it will settle for a while
only in childhood fears  and raptures.
Sometimes only in astonishment
that we are old.

It rarely lends a hand
in uphill tasks,
like moving furniture,
or  lifting luggage,
or going miles in shoes that pinch.

It usually steps out
whenever meat needs chopping
or forms have to be filled.
For every thousand conversations
it participates in one,
if even that,
since it  prefers silence.

Just when our body goes from ache to pain,
it slips  off duty.

It's picky:
it doesn't like seeing us in crowds,
our hustling for a dubious advantage
and creaky machinations  make  it sick.

Joy and sorrow
aren't  two different feelings for it.
It attends us
only when the two are joined.

We can count on it
when we're  sure of nothing
and curious about everything.

Among the material objects
it favors clocks without pendulums
and mirrors, which keep  on working
even when no one is looking.

It  won't  say where it comes from
or when it's taking off again,
though it's clearly expecting such questions.

We need it
but apparently
it needs us
for some reason  too.











This, again, from last week.

I'm very bad with the  names  of  people and things. I'd worry about Alzheimer's, if  I  hadn't had  the problem  most of my life.



 
naming names
 
I am into
the sight, smell,
feel, and taste off  things
not  into the naming
of them
 
even so, I know the slim crescent
hanging low over my neighbor's fence,
yellow as fresh cream,
is the moon,
and that bright star beside it
is not really a star, burning bright,
but a planet,reflecting,like the moon,
the  sun, giving it's light at this  hour
to my planetary neighbors
on the other side of my  life,
well,  not actually, the other side, but at this hour,
just a ways down the planetary road
to  the east of me, I  will get my share of the shining
shortly...
 
but that planet,
my son when he was six or  so probably
knew which planet it was,
but I  don't,
Jupiter  would be my wild guess,
but that would be a guess like guessing
the number of beans in a a jar,
except  that  there aren't  so many planets as beans
in the jar, which means  it is a statistical
likelihood that I have a better chance of guessing
the correct  planet than landing in a mental dive
on the correct number of beans...
 
but, beyond that, I don't know
beans
about the names of most anything...
 
like  you...
 
I don't know  your name, but that isn't
stopping me
from talking to you in  this missive
as if I did...
 
faking it, as I do by addressing you
as if I know you,
is a very important  part of successful
and productive living
 
and 
I'm very good at it...

so, Dear Reader,
it's been a pleasure
speaking with
you

(Dear Reader,
the only name  I need
for you,
Dear Moon,
around whom my poetry planet
revolves...

no name is required
beyond that
beyond knowing,
Dear Sun,
around whom
my pale and precious
midnight mirror of the day to  come
circumnavigates the black sparkling sky
with me,
illuminating  all shadows,
as I seek with my own dark and poetic circles
those  things most important to me.)
 

 














 
 
 
 
Next, I have two of his shorter poems by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. The poems are from his book, A Coney Island of the Mind. Published by New Directions in 1958.
 
My story of this book  is that I  bought a copy from it's original publication, which over years of  moving, I lost. A couple of years ago, I found it at a second-hand book store and  bought it, paying triple the price of the one I bought fifty years ago. Like fine wine, it seems a fine beat poet increases value with age.
 
The poems in the book are not titled, but numbered instead.
 
 
12
 
"One of those  paintings that  would not die"
       its warring image
                                      once conceived
           would not leave
                                         the leaded ground
no matter how  many times
                                                    he hounded it
                                                                              into oblivion
 
Painting over it did no good
              It kept on coming through 
                                                              the wood and canvas
    and as it cried at him
                                         the terrible bedtime song
           wherein each bed a grave
                                                          mined with unearthly alarm clocks
                                hollered horribly
                                                              for lovers and sleepers
 
 
14
 
Don't let that horse
                                   eat that violin
    cried Chagall's mother
                                            But he
                       kept right  on
                                              painting
 
And became famous
 
And kept on painting
                                      The Horse With Violin In Mouth
And when he finally finished it
he jumped up upon the horse
                                                      and rode away
                      waving the violin
 
And then with a low bow gave it
to the first naked nude he ran across
 
And there were  no strings
                                                attached      




 
 
 
 
Again, a poem from my book of two years ago,  Always to the Light.



scary Unitarians

I see them
just about every Saturday morning...

a couple,
both tall and thin,
he, bald,
she, with very short blond hair

two
weak  chins
between them

they
look so straight...
so white...
so clean...
you know they have to be
serial-killer-wife-swappers,
torture chamber
in the cellar
and not a mattress tag untorn
anywhere in the house,
perfect portraits
of the people the neighbors always
describe as
soooo nice, such good neighbors,
who would have guessed they
could have

(...insert the atrocity of your choice
here...)

those kind of people,
bad seeds
no one suspects
until the bloody harvest comes...

several years
ago
I read for a group
of Unitarians -
a room full of people who looked
just like
these two,
nice folks, it turned out,
they liked my poems,
which excuses
a lot





 
 
 
 
 
Next, I have a poem from the February, 1973, issue of Poetry. The poet  is Leroy Searle.



Sheep

As they would come
the lit up the distance
like rocks at dusk;
the low bagpipe
of their voices
filling the afternoon,
flowing over its brim
into the center
of the field.

Sheep, with a common failing,
they knew each other
and that was all:
perfect victims
that the dogs
could  tease,
as helpless, one
by one, as clouds.

Seeing them there at sundown,
tight against each other
like some freezing
artic infantry,
they move,
a single beast, looking
foolish as they
plunge against the dark,
against the imperfect
scent of wolves,
whipping them to  run.

They seem  demented
in their following,
slaves to a law
invisible to  all but them,
going over waterfalls
in its service,
dead in canyons
at the foot of cliffs.

Dead sheep: voiceless,
inexplicable
to men who  never
saw their  priesthood
and devotions;
saw how passionate
dumb beasts can be,
saving the appearances,
fearing the teeth and claws
of  the active, silent
blank.









I've done a lot of driving on  West  Texas and other deserts. I enjoy stopping sometime just to look, such unexpected beauty all around.



Highways

I've driven
many long ad lonely
desert highways...

seen the hawks
circle
and vultures crowd

the roadside,
some creature, a snake,
a deer, a wild hog -

survivors
from the great ark
face down  modern times

and lose,
while  the fierce
who kill

and those who  feed on the lost
ad rotting dead
win...

true for all time










Here's a poem by National Book Award finalist Gary Soto. It's from his book, A Simple Plan, published by Chronicle Books in 2007.

I paid nearly $8 for it  at the used book store, a sure sign he's a favorite.



Russian Port, 1962

The Russians sent up sputnik,
Then sent over a team to film a  family in the Fresno projects,
The Morenos,  all tidy and sitting down
To a a typical dinner - macaroni with weenies,
Tumblers of Kool-Aid,  a  salad that resembled
The grass plucked from our hair at  day's  end.
Loud as pirates, they ate as if with hammer and sickle
From  mismatched bowls close to their faces.  Mr. Moreno
Bald as Comrade Khrushchev, turned an eye to the camera.
He hammered his fist on the the table. "We don't go  to  church
But when we do,  we're Catholic!" The family all pounded
With their hammers and sickles, and whooped.
Bobby chewed open-mouthed
For the camera, and asked for seconds, then thirds,
More Kool-Aid. Then he had  to e hung upside down
By his dad - Bobby had been chewing gum
With his macaroni-and-cheese.

I swear  this is true, sputnik did go up
And the Russians arrived in large black cars.
These men in dark sits opened and closed
Every door in the house, as if spying
On a low-class  American family. What were
These Russians trying to learn from the Morenos?
The secret of survival in the atomic age?
After all, a father couldn't always there
To pound gum and macaroni-and-cheese from a child's throat.

I swear the cameras rolled, the men wore black.
We kids, pigeon-chested and bare footed,
Stood at the front windows, breathing on the glass,
Fogging up  the family's revelry in dessert.
We waited for them to crush those sputnik jawbreakers,
The candy of our time, and for the family of nine
to  come out. We wanted their autographs,
These movie stars, these unkillable, project  kids





 






And another from Always to the Light. A pretty good book, I think, hoping as I do that I've gotten a little better with each outing. This was my last general poetry book before the book of travel poems which was before my last book, the book of short stories.



big news in the astrophysical  world

big  news
in the astrophysical world
is the massive explosion some
12.2 billion light years
from our little howdydoody home
from whence
we oft-times claim a place
as big-time-Charlies
in  the heavenly order of things,
even  though being only
8 light minues from our own star
we call the sun
and 12  light minutes from the
furthermost
named object to  circle that sun
with us, it is a very small neighborhood
we live in, a  very small
neighborhood
where, with all our searching and
seeking,
we have yet to reach
even our  own
front
gate

Columbus sailed the ocean blue
and thought he  had circled the
planet,
such ignorance is to us denied and
we
are better for it,
for it
lets us see
our true place, tiny bits of carbon
base
in a  vastness we can quantify
but not imagine,
little carbon dandies
important only in our doings
with our little carbon
fellows

frankly,
my dear
the rest of all that is
doesn't give a
damn




 





Next, I have a poem by Tony Hoagland, winner of the 1997 James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets. The poem is from his book, Donkey Gospel, published by Graywolf Press in 1998.



Honda Pavarotti

I'm driving on the dark highway
when the opera singer on the radio
opens his great mouth
and the whole car plunges down the canyon of his throat,

So the night becomes an aria of stars and exit signs
as I steer  through the galleries
of one dilated Italian syllable
after another.  I love the passage in which

the rich flood of the baritone
strains out against the walls of the esophagus,
and I love the pauses
in which I hear  the tenor's flesh labor to inhale

enough oxygen to take the next plummet
up into the chasm of the violins.
In part of the song, it  sounds as if the singer
is being squeezed by and enormous pair of tongs

while  his head and legs keep kicking.
In part of the song, it sounds as  if he is
standing in the middle  of a coliseum,
swinging a 300-pound lion by the tail,

the empire of gravity
conquered  by the empire of aerodynamics,
the citadel of pride in flames
and the citizens of weakness
celebrating their defeat in chorus,

joy and suffering made one at last,
joined in everything a marriage is alleged to be,
though I know the woman he's is singing for
is  dead in a foreign language on the stage beside him,

though I know his chain mail is made of silver-painted plastic
and his mismanagement of money is legendary,
as I know I have squandered
most  of my own  life

in a haze of trivial distractions,
and that I will continue to waste it.
But wherever I  was going, I don't care anymore,
because no  place I could arrive at

is good enough  for this, this thing made out of experience
but to which experience will never measure up.
And that dark and soaring fact
is enough to make me renounce the whole world

or fall in love with it forever.





 




Written last  week, several days after the school shooting. It is time for everyone who objects to murdered children to get really pissed. Grieve later.



I am just goddamn tired of it

I am very angry still
and must express it now
because if I don't, if I grieve first,
people will hear the anger
later
and wonder, as they have after all the other
atrocities,
"what's that all about?"
as all but the most directly affec5ed
by the obscenity will set it aside, file it away,
move on, "we have to move on," they'll say,
"you can't nurse this anger," they'll say,
"It's not healthy"

but I am angry
now
and I will not "move on"...

angry at the news commentators
who say, "h, my oh my,"
and move on to the latest exploits
of the latest Kadashian;
angry at the lapdog politicians
and their supporters
who hide behind a second amendment
they have perverted, hide behind silly bumper stickers
("guns don't kill  people;  people kill people" - such sophomoric
stupidity); disgusted by the lack of any semblance  of moral comprehension;
fed up  with moral idiots who hide behind ideologies
that smother their capacity for  even the simplest  reasoning
and moral judgement;
infuriated by pampered judges who live in a world
where adherence to their philosophie3s
trumps the blood-splatter
of children...

all these people we indulge because they cannot feel
complete without the heat of a gun
in their pocket, these mentally deficient
perverts to  whom we have giver our homes
and our streets
and, now,  our elementary schools
where we send our children to play and learn,
not to lie dead in pools of their own  blood
and the blood of  their playmates...

I am just goddamn tired of it












Here are a couple of poems by Monica Youn, another National Book Award finalist, from her  very strange (oops,  I meant interesting) book, Ignatz. The book  was published in 2010 by Four  Way Books.

The book re-imagines villainous mouse, Ignatz, from the comic strip, Krazy Kat.



Semper Ignatz

How could it have  been other

than abrupt
when as ever

in medias Ignatz remarked,

Sometimes                  I don't                     like

fucking.                     Whoosh!                  A billow

of white cambric sheets the scene,
through which her nipple glow  dully,

taillights                in snow.  


The Death of Ignatz

The mesas
sink  to their knees

and let the snickering dunes
crawl over them


Ignataz in Furs

her  head
reared  back

in an animal
posture -

Ignatz
as always

obliged.

              *

Miss May           more modest
still in her          stockings

              *

Ignats thought again of

              "the wild carnation,"

of the equable nature
his friend had described

               that rainy night.

              *

Question: What is that you're testing?

Question: Is there a white spot at which you will bend?









This piece also from Always to the Light.

It wasn't more than about a few days after this that we had to put the cat down, and about six months later, the dog, often mentioned in my poems, Reba who had been with us nearly 20 years.



sorting out another sunrise
 
night so bright,
strange  this morning
to see only the barest
crescent moon
 
 
---
 
heavy set
man
at the booth
next up from me, bends,
with hand  on blond,
balding forehead,
and studies his breakfast
as if seeking secret
messages,
runes,
advice from the snow-
sheltered graves
of his  Nordic
ancestors
 
---
 
sun sneaks up
from behind the building
I'm in, stretching
shadows
outside my window,
still dark,
but dim decreasing
 
so announced,
the new day
will not catch us
by surprise
 
---
 
this early time
yesterday,
I was here as usual,
looking out on the new day
creeping around the corners
of dark, expecting
to put down
my cat before the day's end
 
old, declined,
barely able to walk
or lift her head,
seeming facing the final
passage...
it was a mercy,
a last service I was
prepared to
provide
as I had done
for others...
but after two days
at the vet, revived
at least enough to get
a few more days, or more,
at home, this early morning
asleep in her chair,, where
I had not expected
to ever see her again...
 
all my life,
knowing with each new
dog or cat
that I would see them die,
knowing  that I might sometime
help them die
if they lived an otherwise
safe and healthy life...
 
thinking of a new kitten
to replace Kitty
when her time soon comes,
I realize that this time, for the first 
time, I will be bringing
under my protection
a creature who will
someday
see me gone and
buried
instead
 
---
 
sun
now bright enough
to turn the black sky
blue
 
while the small crescent moon
fades to
black








Here are a couple of poems by John Ashbery, from his book April Galleons. The book was published by Penguin Books in 1987.



Posture of Unease

It all seems  like dirt now.
There is a film of dust on the lucid morning
Of an autumn landscape, that must be worse
Where its tightening  up,
Where not everything has its own two feet to stand on.

It gets more and more simplistic:
Good and bad, evil and bad; what else do we  know?
Flavors that keep us from caring too long.

But there was that  train of thought
That satisfied one nicely: how one was going to climb down
Out of here,  hopefully
To arrive on a  perfectly flat spit of sand
Level with the water.

And everything would look new and worn again.
Suddenly, a shout, a convincing one.
People in twos and threes turn up, and
There's more to  it than that.

But for all you I
Have neglected,ignored,
Left to stew in your own juices,
Not  between  that  friend that  is approaching,
I ask forgiveness, a song new like rain.
Please sing it to me.


Becalmed on Strange Waters

In the presence  of both, each mistook
The other's sincerity for an elaborate  plot.
And perhaps something liket hat  did occur - who  knows?
There was  some hostility, hostility
In the way they talked together
As the drops of warm liquor went down.

In the sky's sensual pout, the crazy kindness
Of statues,  the scraps of leaves still blowing around
Self-importantly after winter was well under  way;
In the closed greeting, the firm handclasp,
Was matter enough for one or more dreams,
Even  bad ones, but certainly some getting grim
Around the edges. We smile at these,

Thinking them matter for  a child's euphuistic
Tale of what  goes on in  the morning,
After everyone but the cat has left. But can you
See otherwise? O  ecstatic
Receiver of what's there  to be received,
How we belabor thee, how  much better
To wait and to prepare our waiting
For the grand rush, the mass  of detail
Still compacted in the excitement  that lies,  ahead,
Like a Japanese paper flower.









Here's a little lighter piece I  wrote last week.



second base

age and disease
has left me less interested
in sex
than in years past...

but
whatever you  call it,
the touch and smell and taste
of a woman's skin, the fine tiny hairs on their arms,
the dip and slope of a woman's body,
nipples hard as marbles
against  my
palm -
for  that,
nothing has changed
and I doubt it ever  will...

as,
most times  now,
second base, 
with maybe a steal
to third,
is good enough for
me










Here are a last couple of poems from Always to the Light.



companions

ten years ago
I would have said
I'm old today

but
today
it's the old ones
at the table by the wall
I'd call old

three old women
and a man,
a good ten years on me,
each,
playing cards

hearts, I
think,
they bid and trump and fuss
and he counting score at the end
of each hand taking longer
than the hand itself

it's the man
who does the score-keeping,
naturally,
producing a result
in each case subject to intense
mathematical
scrutiny
and eventual compromise

companions
of the game, bloodthirsty
in a benign sort of way, the man
at each hand's conclusion
dissecting
the mistakes of the women,
the women
accepting it, ignoring it

almost
like having a husband
again
they think -
but better,
since you don't have to take this one
home
with you


fat  man dancing
 
fat man
dancing throwing
his  arms to the
cool
clear
sky...
 
the kind
of bright autumn
day
when
that sort of thing
happens
 
 
attack of the 50-foot  woman
 
enjoyed
the movie
and, being 14 years old,
the idea
of the scarily magical girls
I knew
growing up to 50-feet
wasn't something I could
rule out -
but the  idea that their clothes
would grow with them
did not seem
reasonable to me,
imagining
in my festering
little mind,
how it would e
such a much better,
more realistic, movie
if they did not











I finish off the week with three barku.



3 X 10 in 6

sun
rises -
western sky
colored like  a
peach's
pale heart

___

great oak
forked -
one branch
faces
rising sun,
other sleeps

___

new sun -
waking world
scrunches
its eyes in
Eastwood
squint










That's it  for  now.

It  all belongs to who done it.

You can have  my stuff - just say where you got it.

I'm allen itz, owner and producer  of this blog and seller of fine books here:


Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBookstore, Sony eBookstore, Kobo, Copia, Garner's, Baker & Taylor, and eBookPie
 
reputable places all

 
Poetry
 
Places and Spaces

 
Always to the Light

 
Goes Around Comes Around

 
Pushing Clouds Against the Wind

 
And, for those print-bent, available at Amazon and select coffeehouses in San Antonio

 
Seven Beats a Second

 
Short Stories
Salvador - The Dreamer




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