In the Meantime   Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I post this week from Cloudcroft, New Mexico, high in the Sacramento Mountains. We left Sunday and have been traveling since.

Leaving me no time for my normal "Here and Now" post. In the meantime, I have this very short, stand-in post. It includes only the several poems I did during the days before we left San Antonio and a few old pictures (because I always have pictures).

Making my contents list easy - it's all about me.

These are my poems for this abbreviated post:

what a fool might have to say

communication, mis-communication, ex-communication

the rules of wax and wane

sleeping in

don't bother

morning briefs

coffee with a friend

new stories


I wrote this a couple of weeks ago; still waiting to find out how  it works out.

what the fool  might have to say

out of my comfort zone
next  week

I will make
or I will make a fool,
that  fool

how refreshing
to  face
such a challenge,
the ambitious
one says,
how noble should you
a fool for art,
to  win or to lose, to strive
unfamiliar lands,
to pass through the forests
of doubt

but ambition
is an unforgiving bitch

so perhaps
see  what the fool has to  say
about it
next week

This one was suggested by a friend who mentioned the trip she had planned.

communication, mis-communication, ex-communication

I know someone
who  is going  to  take  a trip
to England, Scotland, and Ireland...

sounds interesting,
but I prefer places  like
New Mexico and Colorado
where they have mountains
and speak

it's the reason
I don't go to Mississippi
or Alabama,
can't understand a word they say,
some version of  English
spoken through a mouthful
of  cornmeal

and Louisiana,
who  the hell  knows
what they're talking about
in Louisiana

but then I don't  understand
half of what my son says either,
some 25th century
that takes him four and a  half seconds
to  say what I might say
in four and a half  minutes

I think you need to be
a Spock-
trained mind-
to achieve  comprehensive

so 21st century
of me,
I don't have a  clue

I was watching a waning  moon late at  night and thought of how  universal is the cycles of rise and fall, wax and wane.

the rules of wax and wane
like the moon
in its orbit
the tides
as they rise and fall
like dark to light;
sunset to  dawn
like the bluebonnet,
seed to blue meadow
stirring to gentle spring
to  seed
all obey the rules
of wax and wane
all but
our kind struggling
against every natural rule
like a sun that  refuses
to set
or a moon that stops
in  mid-sky, halfway through
its east to west
struggle through
our waning
seek to deny the inevitability
of the natural
of all that is
it is  what makes us human
it  is what  makes us special
it is what makes us such a danger
to all that follow
the rules

I usually wake up  early. Sleeping, I found a whole new world.

sleeping in

slept  late
this morning,
felt like I had earned
an hour or
of extra time

walked my dog
and my cat
in daylight, a different world
than the dark
when we make our usual circuit

a quarter to eight,
cars rushing to work,
crowding East and West Rolling Ridge
on either side of Apache Creek

between the two streets,
the meadow that borders
the creek, lush green,
wildflowers, pink and white
and blue, all grown in the week
since the small rain,
less than half an inch
but enough to encourage
the life-force that lies
within us, and around us,
and  beneath  our feet where seeds
lie in wait for the moment
of opportunity
go grow, to flower...

but not  overpowering,
lying in small places
for its moment...

around here
you have to look for it

I had a bad day last week. Feeling bad and more than a little  grumpy, posted this so the world would know to stay away.

Won't deny I had  a little William Carlos  Williams in the back of my mind.

don't bother
this note
to announce
that I  feel like
and am abandoning
the human race
for  the remainder
of this day
don't bother
to knock, human,
for  I will not

Also from last week, operating on a short  string,  short  attention  span.

morning briefs
chirp and chatter,
morning sun breaks
the last surviving dark
stops to pee,
cat  loses interest,
goes home
lightning  blasted
still stands, hollowed  out,
supported by the force of habit
clatter at the VFW,
old soldiers never  die,
they just play moon
till the habit of life,

coffee with a friend
with a friend,
a chance meeting,
dull routine
passes  from behind
a cloud
lights the


new stories
this time tomorrow,
beginning our drive to  El  Paso,
500 miles plus some more,
mid-40 degrees when we leave,
low-80s when we get there
in late afternoon,
a long drive, often driven,
often told, to be told again
not today
the day after,
to Cloudcroft, New Mexico,
tiny village at
9,000 feet,
mountains and forests,
fresh clean air,
mid-40s when when leave El Paso
mid-50s mid-day when we reach
the village, new roads to
new stories to be told

One last piece before we take  to the road again.
9 a.m. - 
rolling,  rocky hills of central Texas
covered in oak and cedar,
then desert
and more desert
and more desert
sand and cactus
cactus and sand
El Paso
in the setting sun ahead,
the smoggy stink of diesel  buses
in Cuidad Juarez  settling  in the
orange glow of
bare mountain shadow
not the one,
not the other,
at once
we will sleep in the desert
between black

Short though this post might be, I still have books to sell.

And here's where I sell them:

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBookstore, Sony eBookstore, Kobo, Copia, Garner's, Baker & Taylor, eSentral, Scribd and eBookPie


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

Sonyador - The Dreamer



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The Dance   Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I have a short post this week and will probably have no post at all for two weeks after this one. I'll  be off for a mountain and forest fix beginning next Friday. Doubt I'll have time to do anything post-wise.

I'm featuring an  anthology this week that I didn't  even  know I had. It's Crossing the River, with poets of the western United States. Edited by Ray Gonzalez, it was published in 1987 by The Permanent Press of Sag Harbor, New York.

My photos are more of the "color splash" process at, featuring this week, various animals of the four and two-legged kind.

I'm looking forward to having actual new  pictures from my trip for my next post.

Here's who I  have this week:
the dance
Jack Heflin
angry birds
Shuntaro Tanikaway
The Ten Yen Coin
Twenty Million Light Years of Loneliness
Untitled  passage
my patient blond friend
Alan Chong Lau
cave painting
Brother Antonius/William Everson
The Impossible Choices
sometimes my guardian
Sandra Cisneros
No Mercy
jimmy crack corn
Ted Hughes
Crow on the Beach
Patricia Dubrava
What It's Like in Wyoming
on a scale of sliced bread, Cuban cigars and horseshoes
Zehra Cirak
Grandmother's Nods
Gyrdoir EliassonUnder a Spring Sun
fixing the language
Frank Stewart
The Backwater Poets
pleasant  greetings
Aleda  Shirley
The Yellow Point

Here's my first new piece for the week.

the dance

I am of the pagan  belief
that life is a dance,
joy and pleasure a gift
to the dancers

take a more sober view,
life as a test,
life as an earthly passage
of sorry
earning, in the end, a seat
in the gold and silver
palaces of
his heavenly abode...

these are the trudgers,
the scolds,
women  of high-topped
dresses, black,
the squawking ravens
that line the
of the world's every delight,
the dance for some uncertain
where their sublimated
will finally be released
in heavenly clouds  of  properly modulated

but I prefer my ecstasy
my seat at the feasting table
the soft beds of love
and lust
the dance 

for I expect my afterlife
will not  be
i some grand sky-palace
but as the questing part
of some grub.cleansing  the earth,
preparing it for the
that I will flow into,
breaking through this earth
to  reach for the clouds  above,
my essence still questing
for the stars
and my place in them,
with the ecstasy of life
dancing among the flames
of atomic life,  questing,
the next dance, anticipating...

another life  will always be,
that life will always be,
that life does not end
with me on this earth, that life
does not end in imaginary
gold and silver
palaces, that another
dance will always be there
form the immortal
flowing essences of me

My first poem from this week's anthology, Crossing the River, is by Jack Heflin.

Heflin graduated from the writing program at the University of Montana in Missoula. At the time the anthology was published, he was teaching at a small college in Monroe, Louisiana.


Near the tobacco barns
and red-graveled  roads
where my father grew up
in western Kentucky
the mules begin to lose their  teeth
and they gather around the rusted plows
and wait unharnessed. This morning
someone points at them from a car window
and disappears
down a country road
that leads to the trellised porches
where old relatives
squint across their jonquilled yards.

I am a long way from home.
I think I may be the man
who tugged at their halters
each morning before dawn.
If I call their names
they will know.

This is a poem for last year. Threats don't always come  in big packages. Sometimes  fierceness is enough.

angry birds

she is one angry
this  mama mockingbird
scaring the bejeezus
out of  grouchy old mama cat
sheltering herself
on the front porch
where the  winged  terror
cannot quite reach

this  old cat,
boss of the porch and the yard
and the neighborhood
cowers behind the rocking chair
the inmates made  for Dee
the first time she

the bird  perches  on the mail box
out front and watches,
(yes, this bird growls -
I heard her do  it),
and swoops like a dive bomber
at the cat
whenever she leaves the porch
for other shelter

such tiny little birds,
mockingbirds,with their  white-striped
wings and gray torso, pretty
even,  in their  shades
of  drab,
and fierce, too
when they spy a threat
to their offspring...

little things,
I could probably grab and crush it
with one hand when it swoops past me -
but I don't, thinking
I could draw back a nub...

I duck and run with the cat

Here are three short poems from another anthology. This one,  Pierced by a Ray of the Sun, was  published by HarperCollins in 1995. The book is subtitled "Poems About the Times We  Feel Alone."

The first two poems are by Shuntaro  Tanikaway. The only biographical information on the poets in the book is their birth date, in this case, 1931.

Both poems was translated from the Japanese by Harold Wright.

Ten Yen Coin

With his last ten yen coin
the boy wanted to make a phone call.
He wanted to talk to someone close
          in a rowdy language,
but none of his friends had  telephones.
The ten yen coin was wet in his palm
and smelled of metal.
(Why should I buy gum?
          This ten yen coin will be used
                    for something more important.)
The the boy saw the car,
a haughty car like a beautiful woman,
a fierce car like an unreachable happiness...
and before he knew it himself,
the boy, taking the ten yen coin in his hand,
          cut into the beautiful finish,
a long deep gash -
Then the boy threw the ten yen coin,
with all his might,
          into the city's congestion.

Twenty Billion Light Years of Loneliness

Mankind on a little globe
Sleeps, awakes and works
Wishing at  times  to  be  friends with Mars.

Martians on a little  globe
Are probably doing something;  I don't know what
(Maybe sleep-sleeping, wear-wearing, or fret-fretting)
While wishing at times to be friends with Earth

This  thing is called universal gravitation
Is the power of loneliness pulling together.

The universe is distorted
So all join in desire.

The universe  goes on expanding
So all feel uneasy.

At the loneliness of twenty billion light years
Without thinking, I sneezed.

The next little piece is by Rumi (1207-1273) and was translated from the Persian by Andrew Harvey.


I lost my world, my fame, my mind -
The Sun appeared, and all the shadows ran.
I ran after them, but vanished as I ran -
Light ran after me and hunted  me  down.

I did a couple of "best friend" poems last week,  here's the first one.

my patient blond friend

I have had my breakfast
and looking out the wide windows
of my restaurant
I can see my little SUV
in the parking lot and I can see
the back window of my
SUV and I can see
looking through the back window
my dog watching me
and I can see that she,
being more of a squirrel-chasing
dog than a  literary lion,
doesn't understand
what this what-ever-I'm-dong
has to do with squirrel
and though she is a most polite dog,
forgiving of my past
and present
inattention to the finer squirrel arts,
not to mention, of course,
her and the fine blond
on the top of head that begs
to be scratched
and the long blond fur
on her back that begs to be stroked
and the fine little hairs
on her belly
that begs
to be tickled...

I think,
she wants to pee

Next from this week's anthology, I have this  poem by Alan Chong  Lau. At the time the anthology was  published, Lau lived in Seattle.


by the river
they built huts
faces caked with mud
walking on hands and knees

pictures drawn in the earth
with fingers and toes
and the words were never wrong

they would nod by the  fire
cracking branches like music
tunes the mountain sent them

the eyes of wanderers
ears hung flappy
as fat mushrooms

lips uncomfortable
in just one place
would begin moving
seeds spread to wind

one morning nothing
only pieces of fingers lips
soft  chunks of lobes
threads of hair in the water

mere crumbs of ash
sprinkle the sand with birthmarks
snakes of smoke slither
thru tufts of grass

for the first time on  looks at  sky
expecting rain

the crows
dotting the shore
with slivers of noise

boys with slingshots
come down and kill
every single  one

the water is bitter
clouds sour at  the touch

barely scratching the mud
it runs in one thin trickle

the bodies of crows
mingle there
where it stops 
making a pile of feathery flowers

This is another old poem  from last year, considering the question - why do  i do  this? Because whatever the fun, it really is work.

cave painting
you watch
people die all  around you
and one  day realize
that  most  of the people
important to you in life
have  passed on
and more  pass every day
and you realize
death is not an aberration
but the natural  terminus of life,
where we go
when we finally grow  up,
when, unlike the young
who believe  death
is  a dark-robed creature
that jumps out of your closet
at  midnight, 
you understand
that all roads you might have  traveled
proceed to  the  same destination,
the depot
of all that passes
where dust meets dust,
where the great democracy
of death
asserts itself,
where we  learn that
high or low
it is the same dust  that made us all
and it is the  same dust
to which we will return,
to  this  place
where final payment
is collected
and passed on to the next
in this muddle
of creation and disengagement,
why do young poets
nothing yet to write  about
I decided,
and no need to leave
my mark on the world -
time for that,I thought,
in the years  ahead
I think of Baudelaire,
all this important  work  complete
while he was in his twenties,
the rest of his life
an exercise in routine,
then died in middle  age, poor
and bedridden
how sad to be remembered
only for what you were in your twenties,
so like an early death
to be  encased forever in your young
and  most callow years
life  as an anti-climax
I'm an old man  now, not as old
as I hope  to be  someday,  but
old enough to  look back  and realize
that  none of the  great things
I did left  a mark, that nothing I  did
for  three quarters of my life amounts
to any more than dust, sand
from  the Sahara, blown  by the wind
and gone...
but  one routine day
a hundred thousand years ago
a  human,  a creature of our kind,
painted a hunting trophy
on the wall  of his  cave,  this I  hunted,
the painted says, this I killed,  and
now  I live another day...
we do not  know  this  creature
but  we know he  was
so now in my later years
I  write  poems, and with those poems
I make books,  my treasures, my drawings on the walls
of my cave,  I was here, I say,
and my treasures  are  here, lying  beneath
the sands that blow and both cover
and uncover treasure
that someday

The next  poem is by Brother Antoninus,  born William Everson. I've told the poet's story several  times in the past  when using his  work. This  time, I'll let  readers do their own Google search.

The poem is from The Residual Years, Poems  1934-1948. The book was published by New Directions, first in 1948, with a number of reissues with additional poems since.

The Impossible Choices

No, not ever, in no time,
In none of the  brooding age  of the  breed,
Have the wings  of salvation
Enfolded in triumph  the living self.
There are those who cough up the rot of  their  lungs;
There are those strengthless divers of the sea,
Their  bleeding ears in the pressure;
Those leaned  to the lash;
Women split by the butting heads of their sons -
And all those webbed in their own  desire,
Dragged through the bleaches of ever sensation,
Who never attain, and who die forsaken.

Against the outer extreme or the inner compulsion
The  flesh crumbles and breaks.
The bone is not  strong.
The riotous nerves  drink their own death in the roiling air;
Or the endless North grins  against them its ready muzzle,
And reaps what it can.

One seeing his shadow
Thrown on the shape of  that double  doom
Looks to his method,
Sorting the chaos of  all endeavor
For the narrow moment between the  acts.
Fronting lust and revulsion
He painfully fashions the mode  of survival'
Between the intolerable  climaxes
The blossom flowers before you.

He  turns in the end to  a mean,  a measure,
The impossible choices hung at his hands,
And he  leans between them,
Breathing an equinoctial air,
And lives in the weather at  last.

Here's the other dog poem from last week.

sometimes my guardian
she wakes  me up
a coupled of times a night,
stands by the recliner
where I often sleep, stares
until the weight
of her eyes,  watching
wakes me
I think, she just wants to  check
on things, make sure I'm
still there
and that everything is alright
she wants to go outside
and pee
I never know which 
it is
until I get to the back door
and turn to find her
not  behind me,
but retired to her bed in my office
already back to sleep,
the soft, innocent sleep
of a dog, her duty to  see to things
in the dark of night done
my guardian, night and day,
sometimes just
a pat  on her  head for
and sometimes
just needs to
take a

Next from the Crossing the River anthology, I have this poem by Sandra Cisneros.

No Mercy

Your wives left
without a trace
both of them

they plucked
their  long  hair
from the kitchen sink
did not forget the ring
nor the  domestic combs
nor the stray stocking
did they leave

not  a fingerprint nor a subscription
to  a favorite magazine
they fled
gathered their feathers
and bobby pins and string
left nothing took their  towels
and their initials
one child
expensive shoes

and vamoosed

without a clue

you must've said
something cruel
you must've done
something mean
for women  to gather

all their things

It's  hot as hell here in the summer. I dress for it.

jimmy crack corn

out in the backyard
this afternoon
in my Tarzan pants
where city zoning requirements
prohibit immodest exposure of certain
never-to-be mentioned
body parts
so that,
while I partake of all
the cool spring breeze
I can, I must do so without
too much of my business,
to  which
I say,
well, hell, tell it to Tarzan
the backyard ape man
who will take every damn  bit
of this cool breeze that the law
allows, and jimmy crack corn
and I don't care if the sheriff's
on the way...

seriously  though, you know
I just may have to build a higher
fence before my nosey neighbor
next door has cardiac arrest
with her eye glued to knothole
and her tongue hanging
like an old hound dog eyeing
prime rib on a platter
of afternoon

the reason I was out
enjoying he sunny-breeze day
was to straighten
some pots that had got
all cock-eyed, tilting from one side,
following the tilt  of the yard
as it gets even steeper
with each heavy rain,
and picking up dead branches
blown down by the week's
heavy wind, and, doing so,
I was careful to observe city zoning
requirements, careful to bend
with my knees and not at
my waist so as to insure
my Tarzan pants
don't ride up  too far
in the posterior, presenting
a wide-load view to  the
nosey neighbour
who probably just couldn't
take the excitement
in good health
and I do  care about my neighbours
I mean I'll kill to enjoy
these fine spring
but only if I have to...

I  suppose
I'll get another nasty note
from her  tomorrow
but I put that down to
a  kind  of demented
courting ritual

jimmy crack corn
and I don't  care

This poem continues the story of "Crow," the hero created by Ted Hughes, in his book, Crow, the Life and Times of the Crow.  The book was published in 1972 by Faber and Faber.

Crow on the Beach

Hearing shingle  explode, seeing it skip,
Crow sucked his tongue.
Seeing sea-green mash  a mountain of itself
Crow tightened his goose-pimples.
Crow's toes gripped the wet pebbles.
When the smell  of the whale's den,  the gulping of the
     crab's last prayer.
Gimleted in his nostril
He grasped he was on earth.
                                            He knew he grasped
Something fleeting
Of the sea's ogreish outcry and confusion.
He knew he was the wrong listener unwanted
To understand or help -

His utmost gaping of brain in his  tiny skull
Was just enough to wonder, about the sea.

What could be hurting so much.

From last week, my first memory.

pretty yellow-haired
on a red tricycle
on an uneven
skinned knee
like her trike
my earliest memory
the red and yellow shadows
of the day

The next anthology poet is Patricia Dubrava. She has been a contributing editor of The Small Press Review since 1976 and has had several  plays produced in Denver where she lives.

What It's Like in Wyoming

The meadow lark sings in fenced pastures.
In the creek, three large brown trout
hold against the current,contemplating.
When a shadow touches the bank,
they double and disappear.
Mule  deer scatter among the cottonwoods,
ford the confluence of creeks
in three easy leaps,
gray coats melting into sage.

A truck's changing gears carry
half a mile  from the time it rounds
the mesa till it hits the fork
past the bridge.
The meadow lark stitches silence
back together under a sky heavy
with hope of rain.

Stone-ringed memories of encampment
fade on a high hilltop.
One could  raise the rubbed hide flap
of a tee pee,  look down
to box elder-fringed water,
up to the Big  Horns, slate blue and white.
One would see the valley without fences,
that ranch house gone,
the occasional whisper of tires gone,
the golden eagle climbing a spiral
in primordial air.
It would be like that.
It is like that sometimes still.

Self-evaluation is an important part of the self-aware life. That's my opinion, from last  year.

on a scale of sliced bread, Cuban cigars, and horseshoes
it's not that we,
our kind, that is,
not us, you and me
but the general
in our common
manifestation, it's
not, as i was saying
that the kind
that is us is the
since sliced bread
and Cuban
but we are,
ad we are what
we are and that's
worth something
in both the greater
and lesser scheme
of things
in the high-stakes
hold'em game
of life
now you and
are more than just
what  we  are
we are,
of course,
pretty darn
and if the
special kind
you and
was more representative
of  the kind
we all are,  then,
sure we'd be right up
with sliced bread
damn doubt
in my mind about
you and
we're fine;
it's  everyone else
of the human
that needs to
step up
and do better
it is
as Grandpa said,
that enough
but no cigar
only counts in

Next,  I have two poets from the Spring 1997 issue  of Exchanges. The journal was published by The Translation Laboratory  at The University of Iowa.

The first poet is Zehra Cirak. Born in Istanbul, the poet moved to Germany as an  infant in 1963. She is widely published in her native German in her own country.

Her poem was translated from the German by Elizabeth Oehlkers.

Grandmother's Nods

Is it  true?
Can  it be that in those  years lived long  ago
she had lips
that pressed like a hot iron
on Grandfather's mouth
till he glowed with her love?

Today Grandmother's face is lipless
since Grandfather's  beatification
she's drawn them within like her soft  word,
the folded  slit
which once so flattened Grandfather
rarely opens now

Today Grandmother will  be 99
and to all our begging and bothering
for her to tell stories from long ago
she nods without a word
sometimes she shakes her head
looks through us and smiles
as if she sees Grandfather
she blinks and still knows despite the distance
his sore lips

The next  two short poems from Exchanges are by Gyrdir Eliasson.

One of the best know contemporary Icelandic  poets, he has published twenty books since his 1983 debut at the age of 22.

His poems were translated from the Icelandic  by Asradkur Eysteinsson and Christopher Mattison.

Under a Spring Sun

I think I hear
the sharpening
of a scythe

But that's
unlikely this
early in

Even so, the steel
glimmers by
the blue house


The dark horses in the  field
tonight  where are they
rushing? The gate is open
and I can see them from the bed-
room window upstairs
heading south over the marsh -
so dark that,  for a moment,
I think I am dreaming

But I am not dreaming

The dark horses
sink and vanish
into the marsh
this late summer

Clouds tear
over the marsh

It's a dirty job, but some one's  got  to do it

fixing the language
exhausted now
my monthly quota
of  atrocitious
on the English
I surrender
to my aspirational urges
to  facilitate
to the other native
of this region
"Hola, que tal?"
I say, "como estas tu?"
"Muy bien
gracias," I
respond to my-
self, thinking  as  I did...
how  boring!
this Spanish
is as in need
of pepping up
as English,
I think...
what these Spanish
language arts
need is some imagination,
some better  sense
of how things
ought to be instead
of  fixating
on what the Spanish
Book of How By God
Things Must Be Said
for  example
if your head is your
why shouldn't you
butt be your
and most of all,
why does
a gringo like me
have to think  about
this stuff
Borges  when this kind
of stuff needs
to  be done,
where's Neruda,
where's Allende,
Garcia Marquez,
Paz, where was
(for this after all
not  a new  issue
to be resolved)
no wonder they lost
the Alamo

The last  poem this week from the Crossing the River anthology is by Frank Stewart. He co-edited Poetry Hawaii: A Contemporary Anthology published by the University of Hawaii and lives in Honolulu.

The Backwater Poets

                                                          for us all

Some look out and see  only fire trails disappearing,
ragged  forests, broken plains, a watery horizon.

Or flights of lonely mammals, the waterfowl
headed south,  arctic  plover on the summer trades.
And this Book of Nature almost speaks  aloud:
"You're a long ways from New York, aren't you,

Certainly there are no  cities to  speak  of. Forget  opera.
The Met, a decent Braque,a single Turner,  a Bonnard.
 But there are letters. Poems stuffed inside only a dozen
will ever read,the description of an  icy lake,
perhaps,ecstatic winter rain, a sad-eyed waitress
in upper Michigan a poet  could love, heartbreak
and darkness that link us better than print.

Only watercolor:  forget ambition. Some lines
like deer holding  for a moment in the headlights
befoer she  dives away, a needle in the memory
miles later. And no commerce. No commerce. Just  say
an  accord,  and a certain severity worn lightly.
Names writ in water - and bourbon and red wine.

Here's a final poem from last week.

pleasant greetings

"Pleasant greetings,
earth creature..."

it's  0-five hundred
and I went to bed at
0-1 thirty
and I had to take
the dog out to pee
three times between then
and now and I'm
and this sort of thing
always seems to happen
when I suffer insufficient
my normal snapcracklepop
morning displaced
by encounters of the very
third kind, strange folk,
green-skinned and scaly, smiling
with fearsome teeth,
twitchy orange eyes (all eight
of them flittering and jittering
like Mexican jumping beans
in a tea cup, tickling
the crawly backbone of the
great worm of tequila destiny)
and all I want is a cup of coffee,
a jack of joe-juice, and maybe
a danish, "Oh, I  love the Danish,"
says my green friend, eyes
twittering and flittering, "they are
so tasty, with smoked eel on rye,
worth the trip," he says
as he smiles
with his sharp little fearsome teeth,
twinkling in the morning light
twitching and switching
through the kitchen window,
and I would be  very frightened
if I wasn't sure I was still asleep
and dreaming and I swear I'm never
going to stay up past 0 ten hundred

and I hear, as the bedroom
door closes,
"Sleep pleasantly,
earth creature, it has been tasty
meeting you this morning."


next comes the commentary:

though usually well hidden
my poems almost always have
some meaning, some message,
some selection of jams and jellies
of deep philosophy,
some lesson to the world
for better  and more moral living...

but, of course,
that's bullshit, any lesson
or message of meaning in my poems
is completely inadvertent, this pitiful claim
of relevance merely an attempt
at this late moment
to obscure the fact that I can think
of no reason for this poem, can find
no message for anyone except maybe me,
a goad to myself
to recognize my limitations,
to swear a promise to myself
that I am never going
to  stay up past 0 nine hundred
no matter
how great the promise
of  a championship-level basketball game,
a big boy game,

Last from my library this week I have  a  poem from Dark Familiar, a collection by Aleda Shirley.

The Yellow  Point

The floor's  terrazzo, the store a deliberate maze;
after a while your eye seizes on sunlight
through distant doors,   silver & unreal. First,
the sweaters, stacks of them, butter-yellow

& green & violet.  I want them all,  I want the scarves
twisted  around fake trees & lipsticks lined up
in shining cases, the pale  turquoise sheets
with their million thread counts,

the delicate glasses shaped for this year's  drink.
At home  violet fills the middle  third of  the mirror.
On the bed are jackets, arms askew,
that go well with violet or don't - I no longer care.

Soap shaped like  shells, sandalwood & freesia,
tea bagged in delicate  silk. The kettle shrills.
I want the sweater I put on hold & the one
I didn't  find, black with long tight sleeves.

The one I  wear drips with tags  in three places. Outside
light rain, then sleet, clicking through  the  live oak.
I want to go home is not what I'm thinking
but it is something  like that. On television

there's a commercial about  someone who managed -
a taxi in the snow, bells the perfect distance ringing,
faces in the doorway. Then a voice over,  the soft sell.
Some is imprecise: eventually you're required to stop.

It  is easier to want nothing.  Easier to want everything
& keep going. If the doorbell rings it will be a delivery:
more  to open. Knife through  tape & on the bed
soft wads of tissue paper I make  smaller with my fists.

The best  thing about growing up in the 1950s was that nothing was complicated.  Simple-mindedness was the national pass time and it was  good enough.


it was a storm-waiting
and overcast,
still, not a twig
stirring, not a bird
singing  in the trees,
damp in the air,
waiting for  the thunderstorm
predicted for about now

that  was leading me to think
it might be a good
for another weather-poem
but now, an hour and a half  later,
the parking lot has a damp sheen
since early hours
and there is a flickering light,
either lightning in the east
or a soon-to-fail bulb
in the light hanging over my table
and either way
there is an aura of anticipation
to the hour, as if something,
maybe the predicted
is about to happen
and I don't want to jinx
the possibility
by writing about it
so I'm going  to write
about General Curtis LeMay

he's been on my mind  a lot lately

he of the "defoliate and pave"
to the Vietnam quagmire,
not a real  practical
but enticing then and

so much crap
we put up with today
truing to find complicated  solutions
to  complicated problems,
North Korea,
Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan,
the continuing Israeli-Palestinian
near-war, abortion,Tea Party numbnuts
and the whole crew
of  mental  defectives that are drawn to them,
the continued  arming of the insane all
across America,  the continuing
mis-education of our children
all  across America, rewarding the slugs of wealth
and starving the worthy all across
America, all of it,  the IRS,  tax day, just too fucking
complicated and senseless, all  of it
begging for the Curtis LeMay

defoliate and pave
all of it,
scorched earth,
drain the
pave  it  over
and  start

That's it for the week.

All the usual cautions apply. All material included in the post remains the property of those who created it. My stuff, though mine, is available for your use if you want it. My only stipulation, please give proper credit to me and to Here and Now.

My next book, New Days and New Ways, is being edited and proofed with an expected publication date of mid-summer. Thinking about an audiobook after that.

In the meantime, I still have these books to sell.

And here's where I sell them:

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBookstore, Sony eBookstore, Kobo, Copia, Garner's, Baker & Taylor, eSentral, Scribd and eBookPie


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

Sonyador - The Dreamer


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Loch Raven Review
Mindfire Renewed
Holy Groove Records
Poems Niederngasse
Michaela Gabriel's In.Visible.Ink
The Blogging Poet
Wild Poetry Forum
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The Writer's Block Poetry Forum
The Word Distillery Poetry Forum
Gary Blankenship
The Hiss Quarterly
Thunder In Winter, Snow In Summer
Lawrence Trujillo Artsite
Arlene Ang
The Comstock Review
Thane Zander
Pitching Pennies
The Rain In My Purse
Dave Ruslander
S. Thomas Summers
Clif Keller's Music
Vienna's Gallery
Shawn Nacona Stroud
Beau Blue
Downside up
Dan Cuddy
Christine Kiefer
David Anthony
Layman Lyric
Scott Acheson
Christopher George
James Lineberger
Joanna M. Weston
Desert Moon Review
Octopus Beak Inc.
Wrong Planet...Right Universe
Poetry and Poets in Rags
Teresa White
Camroc Press Review
The Angry Poet