Just Like Before, Only Different   Wednesday, September 04, 2013










My anthology this week is The Best American Poetry, 1994, published by Simon & Schuster, A. R. Ammons, Editor.














My new poems will  be, as usual, whatever I came up with in my
poem-a-day dance between the last post and this one.










I had intended something different for my old stuff this week - stories rather than poems - but events conspired the second week in a row and I'm short on time. So will dig out some of my old sort poems and use them instead.










My library poems will be,  according to my system,  whatever comes next in the bookcase.






Here's the line-up for this week:

Me
my garden

Allison Funk
After Dark

Me
about  sex

Jorie Graham
Spoken from  the Hedgerows

Me
we want to be  good

Maureen Owen
Them

Me
have I mentioned  yet I love you

Charles Bukowski
 junk

Me
my not-so-great-escape

Kevin Walker
My Talk With an Elegant Man    

Me
release

Alex  Stolis
Harlem Renaissance

Me
you'd think they'd know better

Cynthia Bond
What You Want Means What You Can Afford

Me
cowboy  movie

Federico Garcia Lorca 
Rider's Song
Farewell

Me
on the edge of sleep

Richard Wilbur
A Digression

Me
finding  religion at 3 am

Luci Tapahonso
Outside  a Small House

Me
calling it macaroni

John Hollander
Variations  on  a  Fragment by Trumbull Stickney

Me
fever

Hafiz
We Keep Each Other Happy 
Castrating  an Ego

Me
no sunrise today

Forrest  Hamer
Getting Happy

Me
so long I  have been waiting

Andrey Voznesensky
 Still Introductory

Me
coffeehouse shorts,six to  a cup 









Here's my first new poem for the week.

I'm conflicted, spending too much time dealing with the crazies  (left and right) on Facebook and it's showed in my poems for the last  little bit. I am trying very hard  to write my way out of my bad moods.

Almost made it this time.





my garden

I've been pretty
edgy
with my poetry
the past few days,
so I'm going to bring it  down
a notch, no

BANG!

like that Cajun Chef
guy...

create a garden of  my
delight,
with some peaceful and undemanding
flowers stirring
softly
in a tender breeze
smelling quietly of cinnamon and spice,
and multihued butterflies
flapping languorously
through gardens
where tinkle-fairies flit,
twinkling the tipsy dust a a sylvan afternoon
lounging
beneath leafy trees
where fuzzy-crowned caterpillars
spin cradles for their babies
to  grow
and become the best of  all
a worm can  ever be...

that's  my goal,
to cocoon myself in this garden,
to later emerge 
even better than the best
my brother-worms
can never be...

to be worthy of the garden
and make it
my own,  always
to share...

to build a fence,
a cell
bestunken with cesspool smell
where the sonsabitches
can  rot, knee-deep in the decay
of murdered flowers and  insects, once so  beautiful in their flitting
grace, and tinkle-fairies, the keepers-of-the-magic
that threatens the soulless
and therefore
must
die,
those garden-forever-despoilers
meeting their  deserved fate,
lying imprisoned
among he bodies of the ravaged and dead,
sinking in the mire of their
murderous handiwork...

how much better I feel now,
resting in my peaceful
garden
of vengeful delight









First from this week's anthology, The Best American Poetry, 1994, I have a poem by Allison Funk.

Currently living in Dallas, Funk was born in Princeton in 1951. She received an MBA from Columbia University and, at the time the anthology was published, was teaching writing and literature at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.








 After Dark

She is thinking of her delta
shimmering with tidal and fresh water urgings

as his hand opens on the flat
of  her breast bone. So much sediment

there, the  Mississippi argues its way
through the bayous, pausing for the ibis,

the tall-legged cypress, the heron
that cannot decide, walking backwards,

it seems while moving ahead.
A million years of water

in which sturgeon, carp and crustacean
sink and rise with the leaves

of the ancient willow,
half-dissolved root,  pungent bone.

In this ambiguous world, both fluid
and firm, she drifts between the blurry borders

of the current, and beyond,
through cottonwood nebulas, pollen, and siftings

of alluvial plain, admitting
love can exceed our intentions,

those levees built against flooding.
But mainly she is struck

by its patient persistent nature.
The constant nibbling of the river

like a fiddler crab
whose tiny legs (tickling like his beard)

weaken a soft bank until, thunder from afar,
it collapses into water.

(The poem originally appeared in "Poetry)








Here's my first short old poem. I wrote it in 2003. I shopped it around, and even  though I thought it was  a pretty sharp poem, nobody else wanted it, so I used it in Seven Beats a Second.

Good time for it now, with so many obsessing over who's doing what to who.






about sex

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

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

bullshit
I say

it's a lot
like chicken fingers

in the dark
parts is parts

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








                 


More this week from Overlord by Jorie Graham. Pushed for time last week, I  used one of  the very few short poem in the book. I return this week to give the book a little more of its due.









Spoken From the Hedgerows

I was Floyd West (1st Division) I was born in Portia Arkansas Feb 6
1919We went through Reykjavik Iceland though the North Atlantic through the
                                                                                                         wolf packs

That was 1942 I was Don  Whitsitt I flew a B-26 medium bomber
Number 131657 called the Mississippi Mudcat I was a member of

The 387th Bomb Group and then later the 559th Bomb
Squadron. Picked up the Mudcat in Mt. Clemens Michigan
Flew over our whole group four squadrons sixteen planes each
from Hunter Field at Savannah Georgia then to Langley Field at

Norfolk Virginia from there to Grenier field at  Manchester New Hampshire
In each place stayed a day or two
from Grenier went on to port of embarkation
which was Presque Isle, Maine, then started across, first to Goose Bay, Labrador,

then to Bluie West One, Greenland, then over the cap to
Mick's Field, Ireland. Made  landfall at Stornoway, Scotland from there
down to Prestwick, north London, finally station 162 at Chipping
Ongar. My name Dan, 392nd Squadron of the 368th Fighter Group

March 21 boarded the Duchess of Bedford in NY,
and old English freighter which had  been converted
to  bring over the load of German prisoners,, whom we replaced

going back to England.  Slept below decks in hammocks.
April 3rd arrived at Scotland and, following a beautiful trip through
the country, arrived at Stoney Cross, ten miles from the Channel -
its was a beautiful moonlit night. I was known as Bob. I was in
D Company. My number was 20364227 - I was born Feb 3,
1925, Bristol, Tennessee. We embarked on the HMS

Queen Mary, stripped,  painted dull gray, hammocks installed with
troops sleeping in shifts. the Queen was capable of making  twenty-eight knots
and therefore traveled unescorted, since it could outrun any

sub.Walter, given name, 29th Division. We crossed on the Queen Mary. The
swimming pool was covered over, that's where most of us slept.
My name was Alan, Alan Anderson, 467th Anti-Aircraft Artillery.  I was given

birth November 1, 1917, Winchester, Wisconsin. They took us  to
For Dix for England.  We took the northern route in the extreme rough sea of
January. It was thought this would confuse the

German subs. It didn't exactly work that way.
A convey ahead of us by a few days was hit, many ships sank.
I saw the bodies of many sailors and soldiers floating by us

with all the other debris an ice on the water. The name given me
was John, born September 13, '24, in Chattanooga, but raised
in Jacksonville. I was a person, graduated high school in '42,

crossed over on the Ile de France, a five-decker, ten thousand on board.
They loaded over twenty on the Queen Mary
there on the other side of the pier. My name was Ralph, Second Class Pharmacist's Mate,
July 4 received orders to Norfolk. There's no describing

crossing the Atlantic in winter. We couldn't stay in our bunks
without being strapped and fastened to metal pipes on
each side. We had one meal a day. My name, Robert, was put to me

in Atchison, Kansas, United States, August 15, 1916, year  of the

Lord we used to figure on, there,  149th Engineer Combat Battalion,
which arrived Liverpool, England, January 8 144. It rained every day.
From there we were taken to the town of Paignton. The authorities

would go down the road, and the truck would stop, and they'd say
"All right, three of you out here" and they'd march you to a house and say to
                                                                                                 the owner,
"all right, these  are your Americans. they are going to be staying with you." 









This is another new poem from last week. A I mentioned above, I have been concerned that my previous several poems were so sharp  and angry. (And  why not there being so much in the country these days that leaves me continually pissed off.) So,  having tried to lightened up, without success, I  wrote this.






we want to be good

I want to be
good, that's  what Dennis says
and I say it too,
but there is so much not  so good
to do,
how  can we resist
when we have our drums and trumpet
and each our own
Mr. Wilson
taking a nap; it's  true,
it really is,
we
want  to be
good
but the world offers so  many
other
fun
possibilities
and there's  always a  Mrs. Wilson
with cookies and cakes
who sees the best of  us, and a fat
old Mr.Wilson,
recumbent
on his  couch, trying to take a
nap

and me and Dennis,
we really
want  to be good...

but...









The next poem from this week's anthology, The Best American Poetry - 1994, is by Maureen Owen. Born in 1943 in Minnesota, Owen is a poet, editor and biographer.





Them

        "Only they know who  is them"

Their momentum was the point of having
successfully dicked someone over.

abnormal forces frequently produce,  structural distortions
they left a trail of bits of string cloth tiny chunks of
foam as  from a cushion       wood chips       & bark shreds as
f though they were losing        their stuffing as they walked

Like great islands they left the table
slowly they would lift their arms in the draperies
exposed the moon made donuts on their shoes
they rather understated a close to the ground charm
near to speech than being white or egg-shaped
ignored by all the stand-up comics and flowers

but that was the first thing
later they left a trail of elements
their dress sometimes died       from       effects.

(the poem first appeared in Poetry New York)









Here's another old poem, a different kind of love poem. Written in 2000, finally published in Hawkwind in 2004.








have I mentioned yet I love you

so
if i ain't the first
on your list
jist
forget about it

that's all i got
to say

you can park it
at the fleeeeee market
babe

cause
i ain't leasing

i'm buying
for life

so whatcha say
girl

friday at eight









 I haven't had my dose of Bukowski in a while. Here's a fix on that, taken from The Pleasures of the Dammed, Poems, 1951-1993. The book was published posthumously in 2007 by HarperCollins.







junk

sitting in a dark bedroom with 3 junkies,
female
brown paper bags filled with trash are
everywhere.
it is one-thirty in the afternoon.
they talk about madhouses,
hospitals.
they are waiting for a fix.
none of them work.
it's relief and food stamps and
Med-Cal.

men are usable objects
toward the fix

it is one-thirty in the afternoon
and outside small plants grow.
their children are still in school.
the females smoke cigarettes
and suck listlessly on beer and
tequila
which I have purchased.

I sit with them.
I wait for my fix.
I am a poetry junkie.

they pulled Ezra through the streets
in a wooden cage.
Blake was sure of God.
Villon was a mugger.
Lorca sucked cock.
T.S. Eliot worded a teller's cage.

most poet are swans,
egrets.
I sit with 3 junkies
at one-thirty in the afternoon.

the smoke pisses upward.

I wait.

death is a nothing jumbo.

one of the females says that she likes
my yellow shirt.

I believe in a simple violence.

that is
some of it.









The secret to achieving long-term goals is simple. As suggested in this poem from last week, you just have to manage to stay alive for as long as it takes.






my not-so-great-escape

I grew up
in a little town in way-south Texas,
maybe ten miles
from the Rio Grande River, the border
between Texas
and the state of  Tamaulipas, Mexico...

since my 18th year,
my goal has been to leave that little town behind...

now,
in my 70th year I have made it here,
only about 250 miles
from where I started my great
escape...

ending,
so far, right here
on the leading edge of the dry
rocky hills
of central Texas

and, I guess,
seeing that it was twenty years ago
that here I first arrived,
this is  where I'll be staying
a while...

but, even though time grows short
for further movement,
there is hope

for there  is a little town
named Comfort
about 30 miles
north
from here - two gas  stations
and a Dairy Queen
on the interstate, and,
further from the highway, greater Comfort,
a small  collection of 150-year-old buildings, restored
to  all their former stony
glory...

based
on  accrued progress
thus far
in my not-so-great-escape,
there might be a chance,
if I can live another fifteen  or twenty years,
to make it the remaining 30 miles and
finally die in
Greater Comfort








Next from this  week's anthology, a short poem by Kevin Walker.

Who would have thought  Google knew so  many poets  named Kevin Walker, not one of  them the one I was looking for. So,no picture, but according to the contributor listing in the back of the book says that he was born  in 1964 in New York and that he lives in Ann Arbor where he is on the staff of Foo Gathers, a non-profit hunger relief organization.



My Talk  With an Elegant Man

What's to tell?
I was born in a steel town
where steel is twenty years gone,
and I live  in a car tow
where the plants have shut.

"But only, perhaps, like the lilies to open again,"
intoned the man in the cocked hat.

No, I don't thinks so. Where are you from anyway?

"I? I come  from elsewhere, from a contented region
that resembles Provence. You  really must visit.

No, I don't think so. But thank you. Thank you.

(originally published in The Bridge)











This old poem written in 1999, very early in my second incarnation as a poet. It was published that same year in Alchemy.







release

in the summer grass
we sprawl
hands and feet touching

a butterfly
circles around us,
then lands lightly
on the soft slope
of your belly,
rising and falling
with your breathing

I cover it with my hand,
it's slowly flexing wings
brushing my palm,
then i release it
and bend
to kiss the spot
where it rested,
tasting the pollen
it  left behind

dusty sunbeams dance over us,
releasing us
to the tender flight
of mid-summer love











Next from my library (actually my eLibrary in this case) I have this piece by my friend Alex Stolis, from his on-line chapbook, John Berryman Is Dead, published by White Sky eBooks just a couple of months ago.







Harlem Renaissance

The moon is the size  of a dime, half  the night is gone, the other  forgotten;
she shrugs  off a shoulder strap,knows  she's a cliche but prefers  to believe
herself ironic. Once upon a childhood,miracles could change the direction
of the sun.There were chances to run. There were uneven  yellow fields,
a clear river  to wade  in up  to her thighs.Tall summer grass that told her
stories when the wind picked up from the east. She had secrets, plans.
Believed the star shaped birthmark on her ankle was a personal message
from  God. Spent days skimming stones, imaged herself in a well-lit room:
white light,  white walls and all the time she would ever need to  make
herself  over again and again









The youth movement, started sometime in the sixties, revolutionary kids. Now old folks still trying to be like kids. The boomers (I'm a little pre-boomer, myself) just can't figure  out how to get old, try to pretend they don't have to.







you'd think they'd know better

I always see a bunch
of middle-aged
to older
fellas
here in the morning in their cute little shirts
with alligators or some
such
and their cute little matching
short pants
and their sandals,
looking
like they're all dressed up by the mom
for a play date

I remember when men
were men
and dressed everyday in their Levis
(unless it was Sunday
or a funereal was in order)
and a utilitarian, uncute, no-play-date-expected
shirt and boots
or at least real shoes,
when middle-aged and older fellas
went forth in the morning
with a smile like a possum playing dead
and getting with it,
saying howdy to one and all
and no alligators
and no flap flapping in their flip flops
or squeak squeaking in their little leather sandals

and i'm thinking somebody ought to just
shoot me
before I get packed off
to a play date
in a cute little shirt
with
alligators
and matching cute little short pants
and cute little sandals
and my sunburned
toes
laid out for public
approbation

---

old men these  days,
you'd think
they'd know better
than to let their mama
dress them









Cynthia Bond, another poet whose face can't be found on the web, was born in Massachusetts in 1961. At the time the anthology was published she had recently graduated from Cornell Law School and was practicing law in Ithaca, New York. The following poem from the anthology is one she wrote during a period when she was writing a poem every day before leaving her office.




What You Want Means What You Can Afford

I'm sensitive to what the traffic will
allow to this convergence. If  the
wrong way's wended we'll end it off
an off ramp slack cul-de-sac. And
see I've got bends beyond that belief;
I mean to jam it up  to paralysis,
clip full seconds the take of a curve
and finagle a pass on the right just
past the last possible exit out the
respectable avenue. Needn't  wonder
feckless, maples; wander reckless
along a permanent, concrete
attachment. I'm talking here foundations
way long poured, civil  stuff gone native
under long duress. I'm driving a  literal
conversation.

     (first published in Ascent)









 As things work out, this piece, written in 1970, toward the end of my first efforts as a poet, was finally my first poem published after I returned to writing 30 years later, appearing in the January print issue of Maelstrom








cowboy movie

comecomecome
she said to me
in her low voice
and sighed
as I moved closer

comecomecome
she said to  me

jjjjjjjjesus

stuttersam
         crawled
into his corner
         and sighed
         and cried
in the shallow shadows
of his silver sombrero

comecomecome
she cried to  me








Next, I have two short poems from my library by Federico Garcia Lorca. The poems are from his book, In Search of Duende, first published by New Directions in 1998. Garcia Lorca, Spanish poet, dramatist, and theater director was born in 1898. After achieving international fame, he was executed in 1936 during the Spanish civil war by nationalist forces.





Rider's  Song

Cordoba.
Fast away and alone.

Black pony, big moon,
and olives in my saddlebag.
Although I know the roads
I'll never reach Cordoba.

through the plain, through the wind,
black pony, red moon..
Death is looking at e
from the towers of Cordoba.

Ay! How long the road1
Ay! My valiant pony!
Ay! That death should wait for me
before I reach Cordoba.

Cordoba.
Far away and alone.

               Translated by Stephen Spender and J.L. Gili


Farewell

If I die,
leave the balcony open.

The little boy is eating oranges.
(From my balcony I can see him.)

The reaper is harvesting the wheat.
(From my balcony I can hear him.)
If I die
leave the balcony open!

                    Translated by W.S. Merwin










  The poem-a-day poet nightmare, waking up with an empty mind.









on the edge of sleep

on the edge
of sleep, drifting like in the little boat
I used to have that year
I lived
on the Blanco River

drifting
             drifting
                         drifting

then fish jumping beside the boat
as I drifted,
lines
of a poem,
one after another,
leaping into my boat
until the poem was complete,
a wonderful
poem,
the best in a long,
long time
and
lying in the boat

softly
         slowly
                    drifting
downstream,
a voice comes as if
from the sky,
keep these fish
it  says,
get up, the voice commands,
go write this poem
this perfect
poem,
its lines
like jumping fish that want to be caught

get up
and write this poem

but I don't

I explain to the voice
that
surely
these fish,
this poem so wonderful
that it cannot be
forgot,
this wonderful poem
will not be forgot,
will be there waiting for me to write
when I wake up in the morning

I explain to the voice,
even half knowing
that I've drifted my boat
past here
before,
passing fish
better than these wonderful
fish,
poems
better even
than this wonderful
poem,
all past and forgotten,
never remembered in the morning,
and that poets who expect
otherwise
are always left not with the wonderful poem
but with a poem
just like this one,
like a fish
left to long on the dock
under summer
sun,
bones exposed,
shining in the hard ocean light,
rotten

stinking up the day

jumping 








The next poem from this week's anthology is by Richard Wilbur.

Born  in New York City in 1921 and a graduate of Amherst, he saw action with the army during the Second World War. He was appointed the second Poet  Laureate of the United States in 1987 and is a two time Pulitzer Prize winner (1957 and 1989).






A Digression

Having confided to the heavy-lipped
Mailbox his great synoptic manuscript,
He  sands, light-headed in the lingering clang.
How lightly, too, he feels his briefcase hang!

And no it swings beside his knees, as they
From  habit start him on his evening way,
Making him swerve into a street which for
Two decades he has managed to ignore.

What stops him in his tracks is that is soul,
Proposing nothing, innocent of goal,
Sees no perspective narrowing  between
Gold-numbered doors and frontages of green

But for the moment n obstructive storm
Of  specks and flashes that will take no form,
A roiled mosaic or a teeming scrim
That  seems to have no pertinence to him.

It is his purpose now as, turning round,
he takes his bearings and is homeward bound,
When he regarded it without intent.

    first published in The New Yorker










I wrote this next poem in 2000.  Avant Gard Times published it in 2001.








finding religion at 3 am

hanging my head over a dirty toilet
I wouldn't even piss in
on a better day,
gagging,
the smell of my own breath
and the taste in my mouth
setting off
another found of dry heaves

god
please don't make me sober
now









This poem from my library is by Luci Tapahonso. It is from her book, Saanii Dahataat - The Women are Singing, published by the University of Arizona Press in 1993.

Tapahonso is a Navajo poet and lecturer in Native American Studies. Born on the Navajo Reservation, she was raised, with 11 siblings in traditional way, speaking only Navajo at home and learning English as a second language. Since earning her MA, Tapahonso  has gone on to teach, first at New Mexico State, then at the University of Kansas and currently at the University of Arizona.





Outside a Small House

Somewhere in the north valley
outside a small house,
moths flutter powder wings
against the gleaming windows.
The windows: clear panes  of death.

Inside,  he paces back and forth
then slams his fist into the wall.
His buddies look up startled, the resume talking.
The are used to this: his days and nights
                                  are tireless blurs of stories and poetry,
                                  careful arrangements and rearrangements
                                  of words and pauses that erupt
                                  as full breathing memories.

No one has called me at  3 A.M. in the last ten years,
but tonight the phone rings and I am confused.

          "Can you talk?" he asks.
           He is trapped by and old loneliness -
           and old longing to hear a soft voice
           tell him stories he's never heard.
           I listen to his urgency and imagine his knuckles
           starting to bruise: first, a burning red, then light blue.
           By sunrise, dark purple circles of blood
           brimming beneath taut skin.
           I tell him the bruises will heal in about a week.
          The healing will  be a reversal of colors:
          purple, blue,dim red, finally yellow.
          Then there will be no traces.

But for now, the moths outside the windows fall slowly.
They will lie soft and silent in the dawn.









 Been having some pretty lousy days lately. This one from last  weeks started bad, but was  trending up by the end of the day.








calling it macaroni

late start
to
day
feeling bad
from the beginning
but
I figure if nothing hurts
how do you know
you're alive...

quarterly doctor visit
this morning;
all parts
continuing to function
as designed,
not as well as they might have in the past,
a few glitches here and there,
like the 49 Chevy that got me to school
for a year
even though only five pistons were firing,
but that's the way of things in the world, us
older models built for lasting
not for speed or
beauty

doc gave me some pills,
muscle relaxers,
for some hurts
been hurting for a couple of weeks
and I took 'em
and whenever I get back to ground level
thinking
I ought to write a poem
or
maybe
just stick a feather
in my cap
and call it macaroni,
which in revolutionary times
is what they called
men
who dressed up like dandies
and since I'm not
dressed at all,
though I'm well over my quota on dandy,
I guess I should call it something
else...

ahhh
my little pill is a good little  pill,
a fine little pill,
an extra-special darn fine little pill
and I'm feeling
less like Quasimodo every minute,
feeling dandy in face, thinking
about ringing the bells
and going back to macaroni

---

thinking about writing a poem
sometime

probably just call it
over








       
Next from the anthology,  here's a poem by John Hollander. Born in 19299, Hollander was a poet and  a critic. At the time of his death earlier this year  he was Professor  Emeritus of English  at Yale University. He had previously taught at Connecticut College, Hunter College and at the Graduate Center, CUNY.






Variations  on a Fragment by Trumbull Stickney

I hear a river thro' the valley wander
Whose  water runs, the song alone remaining
A rainbow stands, and summer passes under,

Flowing like silence in the light of wonder.
In the near distance it is still raining
Where now the valley fills again with thunder

Where now the river  in her wide  meander,
Losing at each loop what she had been gaining.
Moves into what  one might as  well call  yonder.

The way of the dark water is  to ponder
The way the light sings as of something  waning.
The far-off waterfall can sound asunder

Stillness  of distance, as  if in blunder,
Tumbling over the rain of all explaining.
Water proves nothing, but can only maunder.

Shadows show nothing, but can only launder
the lovely land that sunset had been staining,
Long fields of which the falling light grows fonder.

Here summer stands while all its songs pass under,
A riverbank still time runs by, remaining.
I will  remember rainbows as I wander.

      first published in The Paris Review








 

This is another old piece, one of those nightmares that won't let you wake up, written in 2000. Eclectica, used it in 2001.






 fever

I dream 
of  a glass house,
brightly lit,
a beacon amid
broad-trunked trees
in a dark forest,
velvet cushions
of brown and green
piled high
on all the floors

I am split in two,
one of me inside,
lounging
among the cushions
and the other outside
peering in

there is something
we must  tell ourselves,
we think, something
we must know

and we begin to shout
inside and out
but the glass is thick
and swallows all sound

frantic now

beware, we shout

beware!







From my library I have two poems by 14the century Persian poet Hafiz from book, The Subject Tonight is  Love, published by Penguin in 1996. The poems in the book were translated by Daniel Ladinsky.

Hafiz was  the pen name of Khweh Shams al Din Mohammad Hafez-e-Shiavazi. Hafiz is a term used by Moslems to refer to people who have memorized the Qur'an.




We Keep Each Other Happy

Like two  lovers who have become lost
In a winter  blizzard

And find a cozy, empty hut
In the forest,

I now huddle every where
With the Friend

God and I have built an immense fire
Together

We keep each other happy
And warm.



Castrating an Ego

The only problem with not castrating
A gigantic ego is

That it will surely become amorous
And father
A hundred screaming ideas and kids

Who will then all quickly grow up
And skillfully proceed

To run up every imaginable debt
And complication which your brain
Can conceive.

This would concern normal parents
And any seekers of freedom

And the local merchants nearby
As well.
They could very easily become forced
To disturb peace;

All those worries and bills would turn to
Wailing ghosts.

The only problem with  not lassoing
A runaway ego is

You won't have much desire to sing
In this sweet
World.








  

 I  wrote this yesterday, a dreary poem from a dreary poet on a dreary day.








no sunrise today

no sunrise today

instead
a slow transition from black to
gray,
like my gray cat
slipping with fat little  fur ball beet
from dark shadows,
herself
a shadow within shadows,
showing herself
like a dreary day rising
above the trees,
around the trees, then
around me, a gray cloak of a day,
a piece  of the night
clinging
to new day
dawning...

not a good  omen
day

and me with
so much
to  do







 

My last poem from the anthology this week  is by Forrest Hamer. Born in North Carolina in 1956,  Hamer earned an MA at Yale and a PhD at Berkeley. He is a poet, psychologist and psychiatrist.







Getting Happy

When the men got  happy in church,
          they shouted and jumped straight up.

But the women's trances
          made them dance with moaning;  so,

I dreaded Rev. Johnson's sermons
          hated their end, hated the trouble

he was causing inside
          the souls of women sweating

and beginning to breathe fast.
          One day, I worried, my mother

would let go and lose herself
          to him, become as giddy

as when my father was coming home
          on leave. Just as silly

Yet, when it finally happened,
          I felt only left behind.

Years later, another first time,
          I heard my moan echo inside

a girl's ear and recognized
          how woeful pleasure feels.

I then began to wonder
          if there weren't some joy still

to give in to, make me shout
          not as me do but as  a woman.

It troubles me.
          I do  not have a woman's body

but fear the moaning will betray
          this  want in me, or of another

to be like a woman. Mostly,
          I fear the moaning will uncover

the love for my mother that is still
          so deep that I want little more

than to be with her as closely as I can.

       first published in ZYZZYVA








      

Was just watching "Criminal Minds" on TV and it left me wanting to finish my old poems this week with something "creepy."This piece is probably among the creepiest I've ever written.

I wrote the poem in 2004. Could never get anyone interested in it.







so long I have been waiting

for tree months
I have  waited for you,
right here,
this place, this table,
but you have not come

for three  months
I've called you every night
but you do not answer

I know you love me

I could see it in your eyes
when I first saw you
at that table in the corner

      I followed you home that night,
      but still not sure you loved me,
      I was careful to stay out of sight

for three months I've waited for you
and for three months you have not come

now, I'll wait no more

you must be home,
alone
and waiting for me









 Next,  I have a poem by Russian  poet, Andrey Voznesensky, from the collection translated by Herbert Marshall and originally published by Hill and Wang in 1966. My version is from a fifth printing in 1968.
Born in 1933 Voznesensky was referred by Robert Lowell as one  the greatest living poets in any language. He was  one  of the  "children of the 60s", a group of young poets emboldened to write and speak more freely  during the era of "Khrushchev's thaw. Like most of the Soviet poets of that  period, he was  forced back into the shadows when the thaw iced up  again.  Before his death in 2010 at the age of 77, he regained his place among Russian  intellectuals and common people and was refereed to as a  "living classic."






Still Introductory

I adore
Your flaming floors, soaring to the gates of paradise found!
I am a greyhound
                            learning the chase at last, I am a greyound1
Under the street's fire hydrant my cars spin,
                                                                      like a merry-go-round,
Along gasoline-goaded,
                                      godless,
                                                   baseball
                                                                 America!

Coca-colaing, Carillons tolling!
It didn't come  that easy at all

Devilishly teasing, through mansions and backyards you bolt,
At women's eyes
                           flick to and fro like rifle-bolts!

Your cheap goods from shop windows were hung round my neck then.
But I searched for the soul,
                                           and forgetting good manners rejected them.
I dived into Broadway, as if in an aqualung dressed.
A flame of blues in a cellar
                                            come dancing your Negress!
I nearly caught up, but you coolly eluded pursuit.

Read and forgive,
                             if in the turmoil! I've not understood.
I'm on the roof, like a gnome, over New  York's  planning perched.

on my little finger
                             your sun glows like a lady-bird.







I'm out of new poems for this week,  so I'm  going to use a not new but not so  old poem from 2007.  




coffeehouse shorts,  six to a cup 

  1
 wouldn't it be cool
to read  the poems
the giants
chose to never write
and compare
them to min

mine
I bet
are  just as fine

2
the vastly
pregnant
woman
rubs her belly    
imagine
with her fingertips
the slight
vibration
of  a sigh

3
all the pretty girls
say
"hi"
to  me

good father
figures
I  guess
are hard
to find

4
the south Texas
girl
born and raised
wears a fur hat
and a fur coat
and fur boots
and though
it's  fifteen degrees
above  freezing
imagines
snowflakes
landing softly
on the open  palm
of her fur-lined
glove

5
a broad
broad
round 
woman  come  in
with a trim and handsome
young man
like from the cover
of  "GQ" or such

she laughs
in peals
like bright balloons
and all is explained

6
everyone 
has  a story
but rare
are those
I have  the skill
to tell

still
I keep looking
listening
searching
collecting
anyway

satisfied to find
just those few

     







As usual, everything belongs to who made it. You're welcome to use my stuff, just, if you do, give appropriate credit to "Here and Now" and me.
 

And I haven't mentioned it lately, but I'm allen itz owner and producer of this blog, and diligent seller of books, specifically these and specifically here:




Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBookstore, Sony eBookstore, Copia, Garner's, Baker & Taylor, eSentral, Scribd, eBookPie, and Kobo (and, through Kobo,retail booksellers all across America and abroad)





´╗┐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



Sonyador - The Dreamer




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