Texas Touring   Wednesday, November 27, 2013

It was  my intention this week to do a little Texas series of photos. But it turns out the state is too big. What I ended up with is just a small portion of the photos I have from a strip of the state between San Antonio at the edge of the Hill Country (and most of them are within a couple of blocks from my house) and Corpus Christi on the Gulf of Mexico (where I lived for fifteen very happy years), only one picture from deep South Texas, where I grew up, no West Texas deserts and mountains, no East Texas pine forests, nothing from deep in the Hill Country, no (and there never will be, cause I hate them) Houston or Dallas, and no Panhandle (and never will be, cause I drove though once and it's way too much like Oklahoma to ever make me to want to go back to take pictures).

My anthology this week is American Poetry Since 1950, Innovators & Outsiders, published by Marsilio Publishers in 1993. Bunches and bunches of great poets who happen to be long-winded poets, which great as they are, don't work so well here. So, lots of excerpts this week.

Obviously this Texas series is going to take several posts, so get used to it.

Here is what you get this week, between bites of turkey.

Tokyo, call out your tiny armies

Ezra Pound 
Canto CXV

upon arrival of the first true norther of the year

Michael Karl Craig
The Bad Clown

having a bad day?

Lorine Niedecker
Who Was Mary Shelley

time out

David Eberhardt
About the boat in a dream: dedicated to the lads and shielas at Cairns Diving Center
To the Mayor of Aurora,Colorado

the gift of kindling

Kenneth Rexroth
Kings River Canyon

squirrel for sale, cheap

Naomi Guttman
Media with Weeds
Sudden Death
Thanksgiving / Yom Kippur


George Oppen
from Some San Francisco Poems

after Alice

Alex Stolis
from The hum of geometry. the music spheres

it'll be okay this time, not like before

Jack Spicer
from The Book of Music

watch a mason build a wall

Andrew M. Greeley

about time

Amiri Baraka
Study Peace

sweet dreams

Francisco X.  Alarcon
Chicomi-Coatle / Seven Snake

I had plans

Gustaf Sobin
from The Earth as Air: an Ars Poetica

eeeehawwwwww, we'd say

John N.  Morris

friends look out for friends 

It occurred to me about two thirds through putting this post together that I will publish it  the day before Thanksgiving. So, I'd like to say a special thank you and wish for a successful turkey to the three people who will read it

We all have moments,  hours,  days that we'd like to take back and stuff in a corner where neither we nor anyone else will ever think of it again.

This is one of my moments, the poem from last week.

Tokyo, call out your tiny armies

a couple of years ago
I had lunch with a woman, a  former
classmate I hadn't seen since
high school graduation nearly
50  years earlier, a highly intelligent, greatly
accomplished woman - and I was such an ass,
every thing I said, offensive or just plain
stupid, words pouring out
like I was 13 years old again, on a first date,
uncertain how to act or what to say,
so I just flip the "on" switch
to my mouth and the "off" switch
to my brain...

and I guess the problem is
in some circumstances, the 13-year-old
takes over and I'm the same
overcompensating jerk I was back then

and the woman and I have not
had lunch again

and this still bothers me
and I still sometimes think about it
even these several years

why do I still think about?

maybe because I know
a chance to renew a friendship
was lost over that lunch...

or maybe it's just I hate the evidence
of that 13-year-old jerk
still  residing somewhere inside me,
after all the years I've sent
digging deep  holes
I might bury him forever,
so I might never have to think again
of him that is lurking
in some subterranean part of me

sleeping deep in the ocean
until awakened
by a burst of radiation from the
that 13-year-old arisen


Tokyo, call out your tiny


First this week from the anthology, this by Ezra Pound.

from Canto CXV

The scientist are in terror
            and the European mind stops
Wyndham Lewis chose blindness
            rather than have his mind stop.
Night under wind mid garofani,
            the petals are almost still
Mozart, Linnaeus, Sulmona,
When one's friends hate each other
             how can there be peace in the world?
Their asperities diverted me in my green time.
The blow husk that is finished
             but the light sings eternal
a pale flare over marshes
             where the salt hay whispers to tide's change
Time, space,
             neither life nor death is the answer.
And of man seeking good,
                doing evil.
In meiner Heimat
                   where the dead walked
                                    and the living were made of cardboard.

This is an old poem from November, 2007, very appropriate for today because of the norther that blew in here at in the very early morning.

upon arrival of the first true norther of the year

the wind
is a cold steel
driven by the
through the night

gusts like
dark  knives
the night into
shatters of ice

where blood
by the heat of tropical suns

made  colder
and colder still


First from my library this week, Michael  Karl Craig, with several short poems from his book, Thin Kimono. The book was published in 2010 by Wave Books.

The Bad Clown

I was at the acupuncturist's.
It was my first time.
She put the needles in as I told jokes
to the ceiling.  She put more needles in.
I tensed up and let our a demented clown  laugh.
It made  her stop for  a second.
There was a gentle  gong-and-bell track
piped in via hidden speakers.
"The speakers are in the jade plant," she said.
I tensed up again. I was golden brown.
I felt like one of those bad clowns.
The kind that hide in the sewers.
The acupuncturist was trying to help me.


The man had surgery,
has splurged on some calf implants.
It is spring. The bluebirds are back.
Doctors put a white paper beak on the man's nose.
It will help him heal properly, they say.
People will stare at this beak instead of his calves, they say:
This will  let him golf in peace, they say.
And peace is what he needs, they say.


A man falls in a parking lot, he
has been out Christmas shopping.
His eye is right down there,
down there against the asphalt.
When he opens his eye he sees a crack.
A regular thin crack in the asphalt.
Cars go around him. He won't get up.
For it is Christmas.

He looks directly into the crack.
He does not shy away.
What he sees there even a poet could not pretend to translate.

The edges of the crack bend his eyelashes a bit.
It is cold out and the various shoppers
drive left and right, around him.

I hate those assholes who raise hell and are unforgivably rude to everyone around them, then try to get excused for their behavior because they're "having a bad day."

As if they're having a bad day is a good enough reason to make me have a bad day, too.

having a bad day?

having a bad
you say?

well, pray you have
a good friend somewhere

who will care
because nobody else does.

the seasons change, north winds blow,
bringing winter

to some places,
while around the world

the first song birds of spring

and the first buds of spring

and beyond ourselves
and our little round home

or rock and dirt
and vast and open seas

there are millions
of places like ours where life

could be birthing,
growing, becoming, the odds predict

and alternate creation, a creature
like me

in some similar
or grotesque form

a creature like you
having a bad

day and I don't care about
his bad day

anymore than he cares
about yours...

it's the universal way,
bad days come and bad days go

and nobody really cares unless
the bad day is theirs


Next from the anthology, I have this by Lorine Niedecker.

Who Was  Mary Shelley?

Who was Mary Shelley?
What was her name
before she married?

She eloped with this Shelley
she rode a donkey
till the donkey had to be carried.

Mary was Frankenstein's creator
his yellow eye
before her husband was to drown

Created the monster night
after Byron,Shelley
talked the candle down.

Who was Mary Shelley?
She read Greek, Italian
She bore a child

Who died
and yet another child
who died


Here's another poem from this time last year. It's the kind of weather we have this time of year that makes San Antonio the best place to be. Nothing bad lasts long enough for much notice.

time out

a black cloud

a scattering of
spot the red brick
like pennies
from a parade

and blue
sky are hidden

the cloud

dry and
this bright
November day
without further

Next, I have two poems by poet-friend David Eberhardt.

Dave, born in 1941, was a peace protester who served two years at Lewisburg Federal Prison for pouring blood on draft record. Serving with him for similar offenses were Father Philip Berrigan and two other protesters. In 2010, he retired after 33 years of service from the Baltimore City Jail. Three books of poetry and a memoir are available through Amazon. Google  David Eberhardt poetry and prose to access his website.

About the boat in a dream: dedicated to the lads and shielas at Cairns Diving Center

Cairns, Queensland,Australia

It rocks from side to side - "liveaboard"*:
Andaman sea, New Ireland, James Cook

Who "went further"? Sharks simply coincide,
So  pale they blend with water, that

In dream you join their lemon beauty...
Search southern seas! search galaxies..."

Until their arms distend,  like engines through the night
Humming-luminescent,  Open the envelope;

The Queen wrote: "go further south," mission
No less that - "Seek a southern continent" - and if

Its arms prove too cold,  or when the stars
"In icicles arise"**, "Turn Back!"

A  distant constellation will  arrive...
Andromeda sink through our "Milky Way", and yet

The space between  each star
Prevents collision - we will be  what we are.

A boat* accommodating divers and snorkeler

**George Chapman (Elizabethan  poet)

Dave is a committed activist regarding many progressive issues, including gun control. The following poem he wrote as a letter to the Mayor of Aurora, Colorado. The mayor responded, the response, which I do not include here, was basically, I agree but I have no more vote on the issue than you do. It is the state  legislature that makes gun laws for the State of Colorado. I do not include the letter because it does not seem fair to include him here without his permission.

I retitled the poem to reflect that.

To the Mayor of Aurora, Colorado

Rain fell  in Aurora, Colorado today,

It fell for the

Victims and

Executioner as well.

It smiled at  the dawn  reference

That news reporters made re the name,

 Although none of them made any;

It smiled at the

Lack of  reporting

On  Colorado gun  laws...

It forgave and forgave.

If  you listened closely you

Might have heard how it said:

forgive and forgive.

Seek no vengeance,work for peace.

It  said,  I  washed the blood off

Forever battlefields  and
I can wash this off.

Press  on, it said but it said it like this:

Ssssssh, ssss...


The next three poems from last week, share a similarity. They are poet poems, poems from a poet about writing poetry.

Not sure if of any interest to anyone else but to other poets who try to write a poem every day, every day a new poem to be found. Then, after so many days and poems (2,670 for me), looking ever day for the next poem, wondering every day if you're going to find it. Until the worry comes not that you're not going to find a poem (after so many days the poems come almost automatically when you sit down at the keyboard) but that you will not be able to think of something you didn't think of before and write better before.

As I said, this may not be of interest to anyone but another poet, but it's what I came up with on three consecutive days last week.


I believe that poems lie waiting
in every corner,

being the sharp-eyed searchers

who see past the gathered dust
to the gold that waits for the finding...

dull-eyed this morning,
I find only dust and debris,

the empty, blooded bed
of poems lost before they were found

poems still,
though gone to some other sphere

where they can rest
until recalled to another hiding/finding corner...

it is this faith that sustains me
on days like this one...

no poem is lost I am assured, just wandered away
into territories closed to me, due

to return in all its anticipated glory
some other day

while I, like Penelope spinning
will  be waiting


around campfires
beings not so unlike us
as we imagine, told stories
of the trials and victories of the day,
shared news of the hunt
with their clan brothers and cousins

many stories reached into the hearts of those who heard them
and were told again on other nights
around other campfires, passed on through generations
and geography...

traditions were born, expressed
in all the man languages of

and we
who call ourselves poets
bear the weight of that tradition
with every word we
write, a burden, but not heavy,
light instead
and full of promise

an invitation to join
kindred souls, to retell the old stories
and sometimes  our own new story,
so well told
its telling  sets a new spark 
rising in  the dark night,
brightly burning,
passing from our own campfire to others
we will never

keeping aglow
the ancient embers...

it is out job,
undertaken with the humility
of those who understand their place
in a long and vibrant

it is our joy,
however well or poorly
we do it

the gift of kindling

the fire burns
tremble,  gasp for life
in the dark

the fire withing me
the blaze
that used to be
for the gift of kindling


to be
the blaze that used to be


When I think of Kenneth Rexroth, I always think first of his translations. Here he is, from the anthology, with his own original work.

King's River Canyon

My sorrow is so wide
I cannot see across it:
And so deep I shall never
Reach the bottom of it.
The moon sinks through deep haze,
As though the Kings River Canyon
Were filled with fine, warm, deep  gauze.
Saturn gleams through the thick light
Like a gold, wet eye; nearby,
Antares glows faintly,
Without sparkle. Far overhead,
Stone shines darkly in the moonlight -
Lookout Point, where we lay
In another full moon, and first
Peered down into this canyon.
Here we camped, by still autumnal
Pools, all one warm October.
I  baked you a bannock birthday cake.
Here you did your best paintings -
Innocent, wondering landscapes.
Very few of them are left
Anywhere. You destroyed them
In the terrible trouble
Of your long sickness. Eighteen years
Have passed since that autumn.
There was no trail here then,
Only a few people knew
How to enter this canyon.
We were all alone, twenty
Miles from anybody;

A young husband and wife,
Closed in and wrapped about
IN the quiet autumn,
In the sound of quiet waters,
In the turning  and falling leaves,
In the wavering of innumerable
Bats from the caves, dripping
Over the odorous pools
Where the great trout drowsed in the evenings.


We have never come up with a satisfactory explanation of how this came about. The poem came about in November,, 2007.

squirrel for sale, cheap

there is a
in my kitchen

I saw him/her/it

in a corner
of the cabinet
in fear

I don't know how
got there but there

I also don't know
I'm going to get
the creature

Jimmy Carter's
killer rabbit
I'm hesitant
to  try to do it

but I can't find
in the yellow pages

Next from my library, several short poems by Naomi Guttman. The poems are from her book, Reasons for Winter, published by Brick Books of London, Ontario, in 1991.

Media with Weeds

The dandelions' pointillism fires
without mercy. Their yellow sway is just
the yellow of a child's pure rendition,
waking up the rarely green divide
between the thoroughfares.  But I know the grass
has grown too long and tomorrow
city mowing crews will make heads roll.

Wild herb springing up
unwanted: the definition of a weed.
I want to rip the chaos from my lie,
pull up the unruly with my hoe
but then there's the glamour of three-year-olds
in love with yellow flowers -
whose passion is to pick those gone  to seed and blow.

Sudden Death

Back from the  funeral,
my parents work the garden.
They stake peas, squatting, they
rake weeds, speak
in savage signs
of the man, the friend - why
and how it is hardly believable.

Only dance the dance off crouch
and bend. shells of their backs
against the summer breeze
down, up, unfolding against
and again the earth beneath them.

Thanksgiving / Yom Kippur

If we believed in God this would be
repentance-day, a day of fasting.
We'd  weigh transgressions, write  off
loses. Most importantly, make up
our differences.

If we believed in God and family
we might light a fire,
invite loved and lost ones
to eat definitely and well.

But we are alone and the forest
is  already eaten down to
a few  rusty leaves. Rain and fog
cover English colours -
So early the window's darkening!

This is new from a couple of weeks ago. It's about the charm of large windows, like right now, in my coffee house, warm, listening to good music, while outside  the wind  blows cold, cold north wind and traffic flows down Broadway,  looking like winter.


nothing moves here

and on the other side of the glass,
still as well, trees icy in their morning embrace,
of the new day - they do not move,
a green crew of morning
revelers, frozen,
arms raised, reaching for the fresh-lit sky,

clouds hanging white
and fluffed
over the quiet below

like looking through glass at another universe
just beyond the day-hungry trees,
the interstate, I-10, early morning traffic,
so many cars, even on an early  Sunday morning,
passing so fast

like looking through Captain Nemo's big observation
window, the quiet Victorian world  of Well's
Victorian imagination
inside the Nautilus, outside his imagination unleashed,
fish and men in bulky diving suits and sunken
treasure and giant squids, hungry, hostile, long, suction cup arms

a choice, every day, which universe to choose,
to stand quiet with the trees, join
their still morning dance,
or take a place in the interstate race,
dare the long arms of the squid
and swim  with Nemo, glide  with the Nautilus
twenty thousand leagues
below the comfort and quiet of the trees...

it is the prime directive...

the blood of our life flows
through the channels
our choices


The next poet from this week's anthology is George Oppen.

from Some San Francisco Poems

Anniversary Poem

              "the picturesque
common lot" the unwarranted light

Where everyone has been

The very ground of the path
And the litter grow ancient

A shovel's scratched edge
So like any other man's

We are troubled by incredulity
We are troubled by scratched things

Becoming familiar
Becoming extreme

Let grief
So it can be ours

Nor hide one's eyes
As tides drop along the beaches in the thin wash of

And so desert each other

- lest there be nothing

                      The Indian girl walking across the desert, the
sunfish under the boat

How shall we say how this happened, these stories, our

Scope, mere size, a kind off redemption

Exposed still and jagged on the San Francisco hills

Time and depth before us, paradise of the real, we
                   know what it is

To find now depth, not time, since we cannot, but depth

To come our safe,         to end well

We have begun to say good bye
To each other
And cannot say it


This next little piece of minimalism was inspired by the poem of a poet friend, Alice Folkart, who's work inspires me several times every week.

after Alice

dogs bark
slips between low clouds

morning mist
dreary day

as clouds
park, make way

with book,
miles away

bright wrapping paper
for  sale here

Here are several pieces from my poet-friend, Alex Stolis. Alex seems to  have a new on-line chapbook about every other  week which means that regular "Here and Now" readers are very familiar with his work.

These pieces are from his most recent collection.

from The hum of geometry, the music of the spheres

                                                            for the sum of us

What we know is not much. What we do not know is immense
                                                               -Pierre-Simon Laplace (1749 -1827)

Word Problems

1.  If 4/7of a tank can be filled in 2 minutes, how minutes
will it take to fill the whole tank?

We're drunk.  We're a drive-by shooting.We're free
verse and hiding behind everything we  don't  know.
The moon is the thinnest slice of crescent I've ever
seen. Your hand is sweaty cold and your voice cracks
like static electricity. Tell me, again, how your recollect
our future.Tell me again how we have changed from
reds and blues into greys; into slits  of light swallowed
whole by a ravenous light

2. It takes  4 men 6 hours to repair a road. How long will it take 7 men
to do the job f they work at the same rate?

The dead are very patient. They know even beauty
has to go someplace to die. We write them, praying
for a reprieve from the perennial burning and ache
of unknowing. We write-and hope and  dress the kids
for school.We wait, go to work, plan a next vacation
to Cinque Terra, Portugal or East Africa.We did earth
build fires.We write, we wait,  we fall in and then out
of love. We remember when others have forgotten.
We flicker with expectation as light fades, as leaves
turn green to yellow and still, the dead remain stoic.

3.  You have 20 ounces of  a 20% of salt solution,  how much salt  should
you add to make it a 25%  solution?

It's  easier to  end  things under hard light. Easier to spend your time
when you've got deep pockets.Wish I could just stay in bed with your
forever. Or at least until the last leaf falls to the ground. We're  spare
thin  lines on a map. We are frozen electricity. We wait for our bodies
to disappear, for wind and rain,  for thunder  and lightning. And all that
comes and all that remains  is the hollow sound of an owl that  echoes
off an empty sky.


I'm always amazed at the capacity of people, me included, for self-deception.

it'll  all be okay this time, not like before

I know  people
who own  houses
on  a barrier island, a long
split of sand  between the shore
and the restless sea,
two feet above high tide
and about as wide as you could  hit a golf ball

they are intelligent people,
educated people with an appreciation
of  science and scientific evidence

they understand global warming
is real
and caused by human-kind's rape of the world
they inherited from their betters

and they, being smart people, know that melting ice
on the poles will inevitably result
in rising sea  waters all across the world

they understand all that,
but, continuing to live two feet above the rising tide,
don't  believe it applies to them

so much the human they are,
like you and me,
counting on our exemption from the rules,
secure the knowing that all the disasters awaiting
the over-proud and unprepared wait not
for us...

we buy insurance,
but misunderstand its purpose,
assure of its preventive power to insulate us
from  all the tragedies that only befall
the uninsured,  assured that it is our monthly premium
that  redirects hurricanes away from us,
pushing it toward places where poor people
live, trusting in the hand of God
and the good hands of Allstate to keep away
the bad things and bad times
that plague the less insured
than us...

I mean,
people live in California
where any day them might fall into the ocean,
and Kansas where  they play Russian Roulette with tornadoes
six months  out of the year,
and Hawaii,  on an  island at the foot of an active volcano
which will give  no more  warning than was given to the  people of  Pompeii
sleeping through the first soft rumbles of hell awaking
before the big blow-out comes

while I, a diabetic
knowing what  that means
cannot put aside
my pecan pie and apple fritters,
as exempt, in my own mind,
of consequences as any one of the above...

living on the edge,
the human need for an edge that took us from the caves
and the plains where we  ran
from tigers,
to our sprawling cities
where new tigers that  hunt us still
will someday put us back in the trees
from whence we came


it is the human way
to  rise and fall,
this time with the great oceans
that surround us


Next from the anthology, this piece by Jack Spicer. It is from a multiple-part series around a common musical theme.

from A Book of Music

Ghost Song

 The in
           ability to love
The inability
                     to love
In love
            (like all the small animals went up the hill into the
             underbrush to escape from the goat and the bad tiger)
The inability
               (tell me why no white flame comes up from the earth
                when lightning strikes the twigs in the dry branches)
In love. In love. In love. The
                (as if there were nothing left on the mountains but
                 nobody wanted to escape from)

The old joke is, I love work - could watch it all day.

In fact, I do love to watch people workers, especially in the construction trades and among them, especially masons and bricklayers, the precision of their work as they tap each stone or brick into place.

That's where this poem came from, extending the idea a bit into other areas.

watch a mason build a wall

I have watched
a mason
build a wall,
straight and level,
stone on stone,
until empty space
becomes a room,
a house a place
of living,
a place of love
and despair,
all from space
by the hand of a man

I have watched
a mason
build a wall
like a teacher
shapes a mind,
by enclosing,
bringing discipline
to unruly
to  know

I have watched
a mason
build a wall
like a saint
a soul,
bringing order
through forgiveness,
fires that rage

take some time
from your day

watch a mason
build a

Next from my library, I have this poem by Andrew M.Greeley, from his book The Sense of Love, published by the Ashland Poetry Press in 1992.

Born in 1928, Father Greeley, was a Roman Catholic Priest, Professor of  Sociology at the University of Chicago and the University of Arizona, an author of a series of mystery novels in addition to his professional and theological writings. He died earlier this year.


On being trapped - willingly enough - at a summer dinner by three women with mostly unbuttoned blouses.

(For Gene  Cooper)

Red-peppered sauce, barolo in the glass,
Lightly buttoned matrons, my senses are entranced.
rounded charms, luring beneath sheer masks,
Distract  like  slave girls in a naked dance.

Vanilla ice cream clouds floating down the beach,
Their maternal shade inviting touch and taste.
So fresh and close, yet just beyond my reach,
Gut-twisted, pleasantly tormenting grace.

Not by accident your casual display
Of slender throat, smooth-skinned chest, bemusing lace.
Flaunting mystery and power, you play
Your game, seductive but discreetly chaste.

A line off low Irish hills  at twilight,
A promise not and magic in the mist
Of bittersweet, defying death's delight
From the many-colored lands in  the west.

Permanent only in the human ape,
Under frail  shoulders, surprise to attract
The uncertain male, so eager to escape,
Loving scheme of whoever planned the act.



about time

blows in, for a day or two
anyway, four thirty in the a.m.
cold, cold north wind...

I stand in it,
take it in, feel my body pucker
against the cold...

about time!


 Next, a piece from the anthology by Amiri Baraka (born, and for many years, published as Leroi Jones).

Study Peace

Out of he shadow, I am come in to you whole a black holy man
whole of the heavens in my hand in my head look out two years to ice
what does not belong in the universe of humanity and love. I am
the black magician you have heard of, you knew was on you in you now
my whole self, which is the star beneath the knower's arc, when the star it
self rose and its light illuminated the first prophet, the five pointed being
of love.
I have come through my senses
The five the six the fourteen
of them. And I am a fourteen point star
of the cosmic stage, spinning in my appointed orbit
giving orders to my dreams,, ordering my imagination
that the world it gives birth to is the beautiful qutanic vision

We are phantoms and visions ourselves
Some star's projection, some sun's growth beneath that holy star
And all the other words there are exist alive beneath their own
        beautiful fires

real and alive, just as we are
beings of the star's mind
images cast against the eternally shifting


Again, an old poem from November, 2007. Nothing like a nap on a cold, winter afternoon to take you drifting to far away worlds.

sweet dreams

a lot to do
this afternoon,
all planned
and prioritized,
but slept it through

three hours
of Sunday afternoon
the light
and happy kind
that make you want
to turn over
and pick them up
where you
left off,
but it never
they are like
clouds of sweet
in the air,
once the wind
of wakefulness
they are lost
and gone forever

Next, more from my library, this the very interesting collection, Snake  Poems, An Aztec Invocation, by Francisco X. Alarcon. There is a very interesting story behind these pieces translated and re-imagined or inspired by bits and pieces of Aztec  chant and poetry collected by a Spanish priest  in the new land during the very early Spanish occupation. But I've told  the story several times, so this time I'll let you readers look it up for yourself.


I sweep 
and clean
my house

I burn
the trans
get rid 
of obstacles

my house
now has
no walls
no anger
no sorrow

I am resting
my hamaca:
is a canoe
the Milky Way


at night
I see
by ear
by hand
by heart



a wondrous


"it's me"
I say
"it's us"
the rocks echo

Chicome-Coatl  / Seven Snake

corn stalks
are upright

corn ears
in the wind


drop of milk
on our mother's 


Betrayed by the lottery, a dream deferred,  perhaps forever.

I had plans

the vacant antique shop
on the corner, a large building
a block down from my coffeehouse,
is being remodeled to house
a church

too bad,
I had plans for the building...

it was my settled intention
to win the lottery
and invest some of my multi-million jackpot
into purchase of the building
to make an art gallery...

I know so many young artists
who hang their work
anyplace that will lend them a wall to use,
coffee shops, car-washes, cars sudsing  up behind he long glass wall
on one side, their work hanging on the other,
hoping someone will find their work
more interesting than cars soaping and rinsing and blow drying,
or even their neighbor's garage
it that's the best they can do,
inviting all their friends over
for cheap wine and cheese crackers
between the garage cans and the rusty tools
arranged on the wall and the gas-smelly
lawnmower and the little vacant wall space next to
the weed whacker and the muddy shovel
and hoe and rake and fertilizer
and last year's Christmas  tree ornaments
and whatever's in the mystery box
against the wall that everyone is afraid to open
since that old lady
from down the block went
a month ago...

not the greatest venue,
but young artists, like poets pushing their books,
are ready to take what they can get, ready
to go wherever they have to go, trying
to be known, to make a name,
a first step to art magazines
and shows in New York or Paris, and, well,
they don't expect to get rich
selling doodles
on cocktails napkins for six figures like Picasso,
but, if nothing else, a chance
to hold their head
high, to be when they gather with their friends


that's why I'm sorry to see that building
turned into a church...

I had plans for it,
just as soon as I won the lottery...

and besides, we have lots of churches,
too many by my estimation,
and not nearly enough galleries
where young artists
can show their work and take their first step
toward the immortality they hope is their due...

hoping for a chance to make their
mothers proud...

isn't that what we're all hoping


Here's the last poet from the week's anthology, Gustaf Sobin.

from The Earth As Air: an  Ars Poetica

neither the      lily's

the toad's shem's     nor shaun's all
our adored decoys of

(what language
had     seized, set
                           echoing, reflexive,
through the chambered
out words,

the bounced clowns of     history, one
          the suspended
to the     other; ever, our
                      alien     commensurates).

                      what rushes

                      twee them:
                      be -


                      spade, thumb
                      clay, in

                      a gust-

                      of "things

                      that are

                      air's but



                      a fusion
                      either's. the
                      ther's, the

                      flora of

                      dulled in

                      wisps, the
                      wires, the


                      from the

                      shells: the

                      of these


                      it happened!
                     that the

                     leap, and
                     the dark

                     issue be-

                     our tongue


My last old poem this week, written in early December,, 2007, about a time 40 years before when I was still tossing about some wild oats (and lucky to survive it)

eeehawwwww, we'd say

there was this place
out on the county line
where i used
to go drinking

- this was back
when i lived
in a dry county
which it wasn't called
on account of lack
of rainfall but
you couldn't buy
no liquor there
and you had to go
next door
to a wet county
if you wanted to buy
a beer or several
which i and many others
about midnightish
you'd have squadrons
of drunks on the road
driving home from
the county line
you was a deacon
in one of the many
Baptist churches
that controlled issues
like wet
or dry
and you, for sure,
didn't want someone
seeing your car out in
one of the honky-tonk
parking lots
so you'd get a couple
of your other Baptist
friends together
and maybe a Methodist
or two
and go out to the
county line
and buy a case
or two or three
and drive around
drinking on back roads
until it was  all drunk
which meant
even before midnightish
you'd have whole bunches
of drunks on the roads
except these was
Baptist or hard-shell
Methodist  drunks
and they'd be feeling
even as the was
swigging it down
and telling dirty
and there was
an artistic side
to the whole thing
like when it rained
and the bar  ditches
and all them beer
cans washed up on
the road
and you'd have
an aluminum highway
that shinned real pretty
in the
moonlight -

but i was talking about
drinking out at the
beer joints
on the
county line and how much
it was with the cowboy
music and Lone Star beer,
we'd say
when we was really
having fun
but it wasn't near
as much fun
as driving home
with the door open,
my head
hanging out over the
watching out
for that white
that ran
the middle of
the road


Last from my library this week, three short poems by John N. Morris. The poems are from his book Green Business, published by Atheneum in 1970.


Even the cattle do not like it,
This dirty quiet,
The air is bronze green.

The wind marches,
It smashes the grass,
That great man.

It is meant
This multitudinous intent.


I am a man in my mind.
A splendid performance!

The professors of patience do  not applaud.
They say: "These arrangements are temporary."

But I am a man in my mind.
Clap!  Clap! It was a splendid performance.


I am the ragged man
You meet in rude weather
Who sleeps up the raw lanes.
No tie, no tether.

Offered a Samaritan
Dime I turn surly;
Slope off among the trees
Cursing obscurely.

I am the ragged man,
Never to be mended;
by law and the good
Anciently offended.


Last for the week, this new  poem about the way we ought to live.

friends look out for friends

the leaves have begun to fall
and all the trees long roots are sucking up  sap
to save in their  dark sanctuary far under the
planning even now
for spring's warm breeze,
for the annual rendezvous  with new life
and  inherited purpose...

the seasons  are changing

and my dog's cat
has begun her annual beefing up,
storing fat to keep her warm
in the winter, insulation against the
cold-coming winds of the north

and at  this point she is so well insulated
she looks a sea lion with gray fur,
yellow  eyes and sharp, pointed ears on the top
of her head...

she has a hard time  keeping up with us
when we walk in the morning,
huffing and puffing,
not as you would,
but as fat cats do when they hurry...

but Bella waits patiently

(what else but  that  can one do for a friend
who lives outside and must prepare
for the hard cold days

every time I pull up in the drive way
the cat is expecting to be fed
which I do,
three or four times
a day
after all, if a fella can't  keep his dog's cat
fat and happy through the tough winter
what good is he?

...not to forget...

I attach this last, extra photo to demonstrate the intricacies of my method
for selecting photos for my continuing Texas Tour

In case anyone is interested...

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.

I mention it every week and it's  still true, 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)


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


at 8:34 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

at the end of my first poem- the boat used by divers and snorkerlers refers to "
live aboard" and should b an asterixked ftnote and in italics * thus as is the second ft note thus**

don't worry abt my spelling- i actaully come across stuff that way- (like on a beech)

thanx to allen the itxz (itch?) how do you get that wonderful photo patina- as if eacher a postcard or done by an old polaroid- it's wonderful

the sandy colors w the palm trees in a row- reminds me of a collectable bk (yes i collect) by the great russioan film director- tarkovski- taken entirly by polaroid

at 8:49 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

in same poem- andaman sea by dave eberharft (the f is close to the d) - "no less that should b "no less than"

allen itz rools
rick perry drools

capchas are too dificult- get another company

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