Uncertain Prospects   Wednesday, March 05, 2014





I have a short post this week. Bad weather and illness left me short of time, bone-weary and ambition deficient.

I do have some good pictures taken last week during a drive around with my new camera. I like the camera, produces some really sharp pictures. Along with the pictures, I have poems from my library and some of my own, old and new, including a couple of rants that accurately reflect how I felt about just about everything last week.


Me
little green buds

John Guzlowski
Cattle Train to Magdelburg

Me
a surfeit of sour

David Eberhardt
Six pieces that might scare children

Me
going for gold

Linda Dove
Weather

Me
cat, like a big old Buick

Me
there, I've said it

G.E. Patterson
Words

Me
fellow in a blue denim shirt
fun at the PTA    

Keith Waldrop
Will to Will

Me
so, let this be a lesson to you  
sorry, the best I can do today

Thomas Rabbitt
Tortoise
Waterskiing Through Middle Age   

Me
anticipation

Carol Connolly
Lady Poet at Lunch
Fantasy

Me
god damn them all

Me
avoiding  the void

Me
like the Spartans

Rodney Jones
Dirty Blues

Me
perfect things    









My birthday was last week, my 70th, a milestone in my estimation. I've written about it before, prospectively. Was thinking I should address it directly, now that it's passed. As it happened, the day after the birthday was a drizzly, dreary, cold day, a last gasp cold front (turned out not last gasp, after all) which interrupted plans I had for a picture taking (with  my new camera) expedition into the hills. All of which led to a darker view that might have been on a better day.








little green buds

  first day
of my 71st year blows cold
and fierce

light rain,
but gusting at 35 miles per hour
it  stings like
a slap in the face

all this is, of course, not
a surprise to me - you live in South Texas
as long as I have and you know
that when the trees
start spitting
out their new green buds
the last cold front of the year is imminent,
fresh little buds,
tiny green assertions
of life returning, how they are annually
fooled by this banana-eel prank of our cruel Mother
come, She calls through the warm sunny
days of false spring,
come, show your face
my precious little buds, a new  day is dawning,
declare your victory...

false victory, as the Mother shows the mean truth
of Her pinched nature, there is not one
coming, She teaches, you must come and come again

even as you die on any cold day, the Mother demands
you must be born again
if you really want to live, reborn
again and again, ultimate survival
a long, tall hill that you, like Sisyphus,
must daily climb
again and
again

only in the end to die again...

it is the nature of new green buds
and you and me and all that seek to live and grow,
there are no favors given, the Mother
who favors life also hates it, for every life opportunity
equal place and occasion for death

each in its time, never of our choosing...

this is what I've learned
in my 70  years,
now looking forward with guarded hope
that in my 71st I might have at least one more budding
in me...








                                          

I've used the very moving work of John Guzlowski, before, including, I  think this specific poem. It's a great poem and I don't mind using it again, if that's what I'm doing. The poem is from the Winter/Spring 2007 issue of The Spoon River Poetry Review.

I first think of  this poem as "sad." But thinking more about, I'm not sure what it is, but it's not sad."











Cattle Train to Magdelburg

My mother still  remembers

The long rain to Magdelburg
the box cars
bleached gray
by Baltic winters

The rivers and the cities
she had never seen before
and would never see again:
and sacred Vistula
the smoke-haunted ruins of Warsaw
the Warta, where horse flesh
met steel and fell

The leather fists
of pale boys
boys her own age
perhaps seventeen
perhaps nineteen
but different
convinced of their godhood
by the cross they wore
different from the one
she knew in Lvov

The long twilight journey
to Magdelburg -

four days that became sixty

And always a train of box cars
bleached to Baltic gray.







                                                            



Apparently this time of the year is never good for me, as evidenced by this poem from early March, 2011. Sounds  like I just had a week back then a lot like the week I just had.







a surfeit of soul
trying
to  remember 
when something happened

that offered
even
a suggestion

that my life
might get better
as a result

and I can't...

is it the age
we live in or is it my own age
that leaves the horizon always dark?

it's hard for me
because optimism has been
my only religion, based on a

belief
that expectations
play a mighty role in outcome...

what happens to me
when I have no more expectations,
when each day

is just another exercise
in waiting
for the next dark  night and featureless
day?

I've never in my life
had much time
for people like I am today -

buck up,
I'd  say, find the "yes" in your life,
put aside the negatives

that only sour the day...

...good advice,
now if I could  convince
myself...








                                     
David  Eberhardt is one of several poet-friends Baltimore. He sees this series of short poems as horror stories for children. I haven't come to a conclusion on that yet, but his point that children love horror stories as a gateway to adulthood seems perfectly reasonable to me. Having dealt with Rumpelstiltskin as a child, who in later adult life could be more of a fright.









1.

Sometimes when I
shit  in the morning
I pee afterwards,
and it's so
um,
relaxing - it's like
a sunrise or sunset,
with the purples and reds
you see in some haiku


2.

They say that if you hurt an animal
You may grow into
A serial killer
Like BTK?

Remember the bone assemblages
He made in the woods?
Sort of hanging there
Like in one of
The chainsaw killer's rooms?

I collected different colored
Starfish, dried them, it was fun.
Skinning that mole - that
Might have been a bit much?
But it was dead.


3.

I have a mask I sometimes wear?
Makes me look like mom?
I keep it pretty well hidden.


4.

My mom's panties as a mask?
A sheeny round my widdle head?

I crept up on my sleeping sister with it,
But did not wake her, just waited there instead.
I pretended I was dead!


5

Sweet smell of death the adults
Do not talk about and yet,
I smell it on her tampons...smell
Them for the thrill I get.

I think I better stop this now - I've
Gone too far. It
Waits in the attic with pin head -
And builds itself by blood - my avatar!


6

From a  Scottish tombstone (adapted):

My child stop as you pass by.
As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now soon you will be
Prepare yourself to follow me.

A small ritual will be enough:
Just keep it gradual:
A cairn of sunlight, mask of shade;
As you prepare like me to fade.








                                     



It's a sign of our cynical age that seeing a beautiful, happy face only makes  us suspicious. 










going for the gold

   working on a poem
about something or other this morning,
haven't gotten far enough along in it to know about what
my thoughts interrupted by a young woman across the room
with the most happy face I've ever seen

can she really be this happy, I think...

or does she seethe inside, behind the wholesome smile,
remembering every day some true love
lost, some deep injustice that so wounded her
she can never forget, or is she a witch
or a woman, vain, demanding, abusing her children,
betraying her husband, cheating on her
taxes, tearing off mattress tags
and burying them in her backyard,
behind the prickly pear
cactus...

does she fold, spindle
and mutilate important correspondence
from the government, does she steal candy from babies,
or bones from dogs...

has she ever cut two inches
off one of the legs
of an old woman's walker?

is it possible I think,
for her to be as giddy good happy
as she appears,
or is she just fortunate to have her face
configured
in such a way that people can't look at her without feeling like
they've followed a rainbow to its long-hid
pot of gold

given a choice this morning I believe I'd prefer
to go for the gold








                                             


Next from my library, a poem by Linda Dove, from her book In Defense of Objects. Winner of the Dorthy Brunsman Poetry Prize, the book was published by Bear Star Press in 2007.











Weather

        i.


It starts with the burro,
eyes of black scarabs,
who stands on a corner of Mexico,
sudden blue rain weeding the sky,
who remembers juniper
and the soft pit of mother-skin
long ago in a place
that did not include pavement,
gringos, piss bags,  flash bulbs
or el jefe who hurries to cover
the saddle  in plastic.
Since the evidence of time is chaos
a broken teacup stays broken,
lightening splits a tree,
unringing it like a blown bell.


        ii.

Season turns on cue,
a curtain dropped
between the wings of a beetle,
which no longer flies
or hisses at the porch light
but wrestles with small stones
and reflects clouds
in its black back,
as polished as the leather satchel
carried by a doctor
to the house of a coughing patient,
who won't  again feel
the sun so hot it scrapes
inside lungs
like the private fire
of inhaled tobacco.


        iii.

Finally, there is the morning
that the sky marbles up
cold enough to roll pastry shells
across its veined surface,
and wind scurries stems
like swizzle sticks
in air that has been rinsed through
by the time
when no one watches stars anymore,
which move as coyotes do,
closer to doorways.








Here's another old poem from early 2011.

We nursed the cat along for another two years until she finally reached the point where she couldn't get anywhere on her own, and had to be carried to her food and water, her litter box and where ever else she wanted to go, which was usually my lap where she would have been pleased to spend all day and all night. Finally, about a year ago, she became so feeble and barely conscious that we had to put here down.







cat,  like a big old Buick

   the cat
woke me up this morning

the blind cat,
I mean,

mewing
in the hallway

outside my bedroom,
having given up

as she sometimes does
on finding her way...

she tries
going from room to room

feeling her way,
using her head  like some big old Buick

with curb finders,
antenna like things

that stuck out from the front
and back  of cars

to alert drivers,
usually old and stiff-necked

like me,
when they were about to bump into the curb

while trying
to parallel  park,

and so the cat bumps along,
wall to wall,

until she finally gets to where
she wants to go,

which is
at this point in her  life

one
of only four places -

her food bowl, her water dish,
her litter box or her  bed

     and depending on how long she's been looking
     almost anything soft will suffice

     as her bed,
     though lately she's been putting extra effort

     into finding Reba's bed,
     but that's  a whole different

     family
     dynamics thing

     not  at issue here 

but  sometimes,
and this is what happened this morning,

she just gets tired
of roaming and bumping

and
stops

where ever she is
and wails,

such a lost and lonely cry,
like a child in a dark and threatening wilderness,

one cannot help but respond,
like me,

this morning
at 5 a.m. brought up  from my bed

to find her in the hall,
stymied and mystified

as to how something like this
could happen to such a proud,self-sufficient cat

as herself,
but, still, she welcomes my touch

as  I pick her up
and hold her  close before laying  her down

in her bed
where she promptly goes back to sleep








                                                   



Okay, I admit it. I hate modern Christian music.











there, I've said it

   I don't want to be seen
as one of those evil warriors
in the war against Christianity
that so many Christians seem to think
is out there somewhere,
not one of those
liberal, socialist, jihadist
 they insist are out there
arrayed
against them and their faith...

but
I hate
modern Christian music

there
I've said it

insipid
repetitive wailing
that makes my ears burn
(perhaps a sign of my future,
but, damn,, if it's true I'm going to hell,
can I at least do it without this
atonal preview)

I'm not a Christian
but that doesn't mean I'm anti-Christian
or anti-Christian music...

but I hate the modern stuff
I love, instead that old-fashioned kind,
the old Negro spirituals, the music
that comforted slaves
with the promise that their chains would be broken,
promise off a better life ever-after
when their dismal live
as a slave was finally over and they would be the masters
in their heavenly home forever...

amazing grace, how sweet the sound
that save a wretch like me
I once was lost, bu now I'm found,
was blind but now I see"

 or the kind of hillbilly gospel
like the Carter Family and,
the praise meetings
three or four times a week,
joyous songs
echoing through the hills

 "on the wings of a snow white dove
God sends his pure sweet love,
a sign from above
on the wings of a dove"

 Or Johnny Cash, the deep baritone gravel  of his old man's voice
sternly warning that

"There's a man goin' round takin' names,
And he decides who to free and who to to blame.
Everybody won't be treated all the same,
There'll be a golden ladder reachin' down
When the man comes around"

 or even the music of my
childhood church
when God was a "mighty fortress"
and I was a Christian soldier
marching ever onward...

powerful songs asserting
faith, declaring the inevitability of victory
over sin and the devil and the suffocating grasp
of a difficult life, promising love
to the unloved and grace
to the unlovely

not whiny lyrics
written as if to a spoiled middle-school God
who delivers his message
on pink stationary
with little purple heats
dotting his every "I"

a snuggle bear god...

I'm not a believer
but if I was, I'm sure m god
would not be a snuggle bear god
like these modern people
are singing about...

so here,
I'll say it again...

I  just don't like that modern stuff
at all








                                      




The next poem is by G.E. Patterson. It's from his book, Tug, also in my library. The book was published by Graywolf Press in 1999.
                                         




Words

The voice of the woman I almost married
rings in my head. I hope you locked the door.
Did you? Even now I can't say yes quickly
enough to convince her, make her feel  safe.

In this way at least I'm honest. The life
we might have had; the weary question, slow
response, and doubt growing fatter each day
fattened on words. It would have been like that.

Another woman said it took a gun
to make her  feel  safe beside me at night.
The quiet unlit countryside - a harbor
for trouble, full of boogeymen and thieves.

I slept too soundly, and she couldn't sleep
without a pistol in her pillowcase,
pointing  toward my head. It didn't take
me very long to figure that one out.

There's a story for each woman, a reason
why it didn't or couldn't work. A story
about love that wouldn't last. A long story
going back years the way everything does.

The first girl, well, not the first, but the one
I squired to school dances and lakeside parties
said, in front of people. I was her lamb,
her cute, little lamb, innocent and sweet.

And it didn't matter that she was joking.
It ended there, then, I drove her home
in my dad's Ford, fuming, and also dreaming
of the next girl and the one after that
- the one who'd say what i wanted to hear.













Here are two observationals from March, 2011.









fellow in a blue denim shirt

   fellow
in the blue denim  shirt
sits
in his booth,  back straight,

eyes
ahead,
sips his coffee,
no other movement

but for ever so slight
rise and fall
of is chest, breathing,

sits,
sips his coffee
still as the dark side of  the moon,
eyes focused straight ahead -

a philosopher
lost in a new theory
of life and meaning;
a scientist

erecting
new theoretical blocks
on the structure of
the universe;

a mystic
engaged with the divine,
afloat
in a deeper sea of being;

or
just another blank mind
at the beginning
of another blank day -

I can't tell from
here


fun at the PTA

   watching
young people
with their babies

tattoos
studs
and a baby...

thinking
what'll baby think,
growing up with, like, you know,

circus freaks...

in the
meantime
kuchikoo-kuchikoo

it'll  be fun at the PTA
mommies and daddies
comparing tats








                                                           
From National Book  Award Winner Keith Waldrop, here's a poem from his book Transcendental Studies - A Trilogy, published by the University off California Press in 2009. The poem is from the second part of the trilogy, "Falling in Love Through a Description."







Will to Will

An interesting case, the progress of a bird.When
they move, they move quickly, a glittering
line, One's own performance can alter.

As a mere form or fold of the atmosphere, were
not organs sharp enough. I am, as
if I were not. Tendency to  telescope.

A thought vanishes and there, before
sunset, someone else is thinking it. a note in
music, as the ordinary accompaniment.

But again, I have this encouragement,
not to think all these thins utterly
impossible. Purchase new clothes, buy food.

Desperate attempt to escape perplexity. On the
surface too deeply absorbed to conceal
her ignorance. A cowboy leaves the ranch.

Four distinct things are to be borne in
mind: the square, a small body, free
air, the intensity. Went to town.

Mad. foolish. The sound of an
explosion is propagated as a wave. Nobody
knows him, he's so dressed up.

Not particularly striking.  The dog runs to him and
licks him.Reflected like light, refracted
like light, light light condensed by suitable lenses.

Stamp on the air the conditions of
motion. Sing a hymn in the passage, but
sing so  badly. Haunting tune, idea, phrase.

The dog barks at him when he comes out. He
sell the cow, shops for a wife, builds
a new barn, buys cows. The rest I'm forgetting.









I was  sick two days last  week. Not serious sick, just the kind of merciless head cold that clouds the brain and makes life miserable.

Despite feeling really bad, I have adhere the discipline of writing a poem a day every day and have hewed to that discipline for some 2,700 plus days. I was not prepared to break the series so I have done in similar occasions, I wrote two "duty" poems, stretching the definition of poetry to the limit, but still maintain the discipline.

Here are the two "poems."





so, let this be a lesson to you

   when it comes to pain,
I ain't no sissy,
can tolerate a lot, just
grin and bear it...

but the simple misery
of a head cold,
raw
d
r
i
p
p
y
nose
fever
mental confusion

makes me angry

not good to be
around

all civilizing compulsions
buried
in the backyard
with the last person
that bothered
 me

knocked on my door - sell some particular political candidate,
don't know which one,
don't care

he's fertilizing my petunias
right now,
and considering the level of bullshit 
he was tying to peddle
at my door
I'm sure
they'll grow tall and
glorious

so, let that be a lesson
to you - just
leave me the hell alone
and you might
survive
my sniffles

and that's
that


The piece above was my first sick day, some hope was still evident. Be the second day I wasn't  better than I had been, but worse.

Regardless, I did my duty (minimally defined).


sorry, the best I can do today

    damp wind
blows dreary -
   fever clouds cover the sun.

---

   dog wants to walk
I want to sleep -
   agree to let dog walk in my sleep.

---

   protein -
body craves the solid comfort of protein -
   rib-eye, driving to the supermarket.

---

    haiku masters
Issa, Buson, Basho relieved to be dead
   as I mangle their art form.








                                            


 From my library, two poems  by Thomas Rabbitt. The poems are  from his book, The Abandoned Country, published in 1988 by Carnegie Mellon University Press.










Tortoise

I guess today's another day among he days
When nothing ever happens well,
Another afternoon lost drinking, rocker
Jammed against the front porch wall.
Spring.  And it has just stopped raining. Two boys
Come loping up the muddy road.
The boys decide to stop, unload their load,
A turtle on the porch for me to praise,
Which I do, I do, box turtle, which they say
They found abandoned and alone
And nearly dead beside the road
And will I let them put it in my pond.
I will. I do. and when, just like a stone,
It sinks and does not rise again, I say,
Don't worry, turtles always sink this way.
The boys spend hours watching, and I sit back
To drink my  beer. The ducks raise hell. The sun
Setting lights up the water while the boys
Gaze out over the pond. They shake their heads
And take this as their loss. Yes, I can lie.
Yes, I will tell them what I do not know.


Waterskiing Through Middle Age

My boat surging away pulls you out and up.
In the cove behind us your lovely daughter Mary,
Tan, blonde and supple as a  perfect  lung, shouts.
She's sliding the long waterfall down to the beach.
Who knows what visitations we have missed?
You lift your left foot, drop the ski, balance
Everything. You list. You turn.  You spray
White water in an arc that shines and has to last.
Who says the lake is hard? Your best friends
Lie to you about your age.  You watch the rope
Quiver, a yellow line through August's long delay.
When you can, you turn back to her and wave.
The trees have blended, the steep shore dropped away.
Careful. Our small dark friends are going fast.














                                             


 Again, from March, 2011.







anticipation

   sunny day
 beaming down
sun glasses at 7 a.m.

just enough
rain
yesterday morning

to wash down
accumulated city grime
leave it all

shinning
in the morning bright
after a cold night...

trees
screaming early green
signs of anticipation spring up

everywhere
like the two old men
at the table next to me

talking
about movies
about that crazy

Angelina Jolie and all her tattoos
back when she and that guy
whatshisname

were carrying around
vials
of each other's blood

and
the one old guy talks about
a movie he saw last night, he doesn't

remember
the title  but it was pretty good
and the actress, whatshername, in her twenties 

now, she was pretty good too,
24 years old
the other guy says

did they show her naked?
he asked
pretty much the first old guy said...

trees
prematurely green
old men, perpetually

horny -
spring's got nothing
to do  with it








                                                     

 Here are two more poems from my library, these by Carol Connolly. The poem is from her book, Payments Due, Onstage Offstage, published in 1995 by Midwest Villages and Voices.

The first poem an excellent explanation of why I  avoid open-mike readings.,My quieter stuff buried between crap I'm expected to admire.









Lady Poet at Lunch 

At a small table of big-time poets,
leaning into their strong winds,
she politely waves the clean vowels,
the polished consonants of her smaller poems.
Unheard.
Contemplates a table knife through a heart,
a fork  plunged into an open hand,
knows the Irishman would see
the beginnings of stigmata,
wishes instead for paper pom-poms
to act the proper
cheerleader.
Pom-poms
to whish rah-rah,
as expected, and yet maintain
the required silence.
Rah-rah.
Silent sis-boom-bah.

Afterwards, safe in her kitchen,,
she waits
for her new skin to thicken,
says time spent with the big time
may be time misspent,
feels invisible,
and her son says, "Invisible?
But you look nice."


Fantasy

If my breasts were
as sharp and pointed
as the pyramids,
I would use them
to cut
red X's
in his face. 









Still battling a head cold and frustration when I wrote this rant  last week.

I don't dispute the good religious faith does for people who need that kind of reassurance. But that doesn't change my opinion that "religion" has brought much more evil into the world than good.

I should say that, even though it's included in the meme, I don't include Buddhism in this analysis, seeing it as a search for inner peace and fullness, one of the functions of good religion, but without all the religious hocus-pocus.






god damn them all

meme of the day:

Buddha was not a Buddhist;
Jesus was not a Christian;
Mohammed  was not a Muslim

and so much better off they were
for not being bound
by the strictures of the constructs
erected in their name
by those who came after, persons of lesser soul
with no capacity for creation, good only a redefining the souls
of others, making of their inspirations
less than them who
inspired them,
gatekeepers only, for scorekeeper gods...

look at what they've created,
a world in which avatars of love are enlisted
in the causes of hate, where peace
becomes only a prelude
to war, where justice is defined by the unjust,
where mercy is the province
of the merciless, where learning is denied
and ignorance exalted,, where books are allowed
only to those with the kerosene
to ignite them, where righteousness is found in screams
at the burning stake, where joy comes only
with martyrdom, and humor in the writhing of women stoned
and men murdered like rabid dogs...

such is the  world your gods have brought us,
centuries past and still now, cries of the innocent
echoing through the ages, reverberate through 24-hour news cycles,
lead stories of the moment
chanted by blow-dry prophets...

god damn all gods...

damn them all, each and every one









                                                                        


Finally, my last old poem for the week, March, 2011, again.










avoiding the void

   thinking
about going there
and getting there
and being there

thinking
about how  empty
being there is
without the experiences
of going there
and the joys of arriving there,
travel done,
the going done, the rituals of arrival,
stretching, reaching high for clouds as they pass,
the clouds,always going,
forming, passing,
fading, the rituals of arrival,
hugs, kisses, or just a hot shower
and an easy chair,
a cup of hot black coffee,
a different newspaper, the latest from a different  place,
the being there
earned
by the rigors of the road,
the being there meaningful
because off all the pieces of life
seen, absorbed along the
way,
pieces of other lives
joining you
on

the way,
the Tao, the good life,
the passages
that make us human
and humanly aware of the life
within
and outside self

it's
why
I don't fly -

because
there is no passage
just a being there
followed by a being there,
separated only by
void

and I am not made
for void

~~~

the squirrel
outside my window
chasing a leaf across the parking lot

the squirrel
outside my window
in constant-going-always-in-the-moment
of going

the squirrel
outside my window -

living the good
life
not knowing
where he goes, just going,

not knowing  what he sees,
just  seeing...


the unexamined life
just living









                               



 Speaking of battling hopeless causes.











like the Spartans

   out at 3 a.m.

my normal bare night-self
tasting the dark
morning
as a new cool  front blows in

not so cold,
just a cool hiccup
in the steady advance
of spring, leading, as we  all well remember,
to the misery of August

trees in front
(but not yet our here by the creek)
beginning to show their small new-rebirth buds,
new leaves to come,  if there's no new
freeze, very soon, within a week or two
green trees thick-leafed,, shading the street

each day I check for new growth,
especially in the back,
at the bottom of the hill where both winter and spring
come last

but some I know  will never roll back the rock,
will not return as, after an
unusual several years of warm winters,
they grew in unnatural ways - without
freeze-back for several winters they had grown
bushy way beyond their normal patterns,
grown to unusual fullness and
height...

the question now,
what will survive the past several weeks
of freezing cold...

I will wait, give everything a chance to recover
before I cut back eliminate everything that did not
survive, I have no mercy in this regard,
do not replace anything that cannot stand up to the elements,
eventually, I intend to have a Praetorian Guard of  gardens,
unbeatable, indestructible, able to survive
any challenge of South Texas weather, boiling hot to freezing cold,
drought-dust dry to mud-sloshing flood, the fittest surviving...

like the Spartans at Thermopylae, my garden
no place  for the puny or weakly
committed









                                    
My last poem this week from my library is by Rodney Jones, and is taken from his book Salvation Blues, One Hundred Poems, 1985-2005. The book was published by Houghton Mifflin in 2006.










Dirty Blues

This young living legend leaning
Over the sink of the washroom
Of the Maple Leaf Tavern
Was not twenty minutes ago
Blowing the steel bolts out of
The twelve bars of  "Stormy Monday."
Now I imagine he has
Come in from whatever
He kept briefly in the back seat
Of a buddy's parked car
To  wash the fresh sediment
Of the flooding of the river Venus
From the skin of his prepuce.
Or is he just now anointing
Himself for some mystical
Communion to commence
Shortly in the scented
Cathedral of a stranger's mouth?
In a minute he will return
For the last set, the songs
So much alike, the women
Dancing with the women,
And the men lighting joints
In the courtyard where
The poet is buried. Just now
The way he goes at it
Back to the shaft, I think
He might be a stockbroker
Wiping a crust off salt
From the pores of a pair
Of  expensive black wingtips
Before going in to purchase
Ten thousand shares
Of Microsoft. I know
It is none of my business
Where he comes or goes,
To  what perilous conference
In the mean streets
Of the erogenous zones,
But I will tell my friends
Who wait at he oak bar,
Who will still be laughing
When again his music
Begins to darken inwardly.
The song he plays now
Is nothing but the blues.









                              


 Good thing we had one nice, sunny afternoon last week for me to go wandering off into the hills. Else we wouldn't have the pictures this week, or this poem.











perfect things

   a golden, sunny afternoon
in Centerpoint, Texas, high in the hills,
where the men where ten gallon
hats and pretty ladies sashay
in tight jeans
and pointy cowboy boots,
a town two blocks long, 150-year-old
stone buildings on either side
of the street, all abandoned and in decay
but for the VFW hall...

on the edge of town
a little park on the Guadalupe River,
where a duck swims to me
at eye level
as I look over the concrete dam
at flat green water on the other side,
a waterfall further down the dam where water
spills over like
emeralds
from a jewel thief's heist,
a young girl sitting on a low tree branch
as it reaches toward the river,
fishing, red coat, red hood, red fishing reel,
(she flirts a little as I snap her picture)
wood boards nailed to another tree branch
leaning over  the water, homemade steps
to the top,  and at the top
a  swinging rope
that hangs all the way down a couple of feet
from the water, a tiny park and a river and a small lake
and a rope for swinging into it and a dam spilling water
like jewels, all perfect
for  a traveler passing on a sunny, chill day...

---

hamburger and curly fries
at HiHo Silver's
Last Chance  Cafe,
perfect shared lunch for a traveler and his dog
on a bright and blustery hill country
day




 












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)




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




























2 Comments:
at 8:08 PM Blogger John Guzlowski said...

My Mother Reads My Poem “Cattle Train to Magdeburg”

She looks at me and says,
“That’s not how it was.
I couldn’t see anything
except when they stopped
the boxcars and opened the doors

And I didn’t see
any of those rivers,
and if I did, I didn’t know
their names. No one said,
‘Look, look this river
is the Warta, and there
that’s the Vistula.’

What I remember
is the bodies being
pushed out—sometimes
women would kick them out
with their feet.

Now it sounds terrible.

You think we were bad women
but we weren’t. We were girls
taken from homes, alone.
Some had seen terrible things
done to their families.

Even though you’re a grown man
and a teacher, we saw things
I don’t want to tell you about.”



at 6:48 AM Blogger Here and Now said...

thanks, john, for commenting, with a new poem, too.

you probably haven't seen it yet, but my latest post, "Vamos al Mercado" includes a number of poets and poems from the anthology "Holocaust Poetry." very good work, very interesting poets.

allen

Post a Comment



Archives
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
January 2012
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
September 2012
October 2012
November 2012
December 2012
January 2013
February 2013
March 2013
April 2013
May 2013
June 2013
July 2013
August 2013
September 2013
October 2013
November 2013
December 2013
January 2014
February 2014
March 2014
April 2014
May 2014
June 2014
July 2014
August 2014
September 2014
October 2014
November 2014
December 2014
January 2015
February 2015
March 2015
April 2015
May 2015
June 2015
July 2015
August 2015
September 2015
October 2015
November 2015
December 2015
January 2016
February 2016
March 2016
April 2016
May 2016
June 2016
July 2016
August 2016
September 2016
October 2016
November 2016
December 2016
January 2017
February 2017
March 2017
April 2017
May 2017
June 2017
July 2017
August 2017
September 2017
October 2017
November 2017
Links
Loch Raven Review
Mindfire Renewed
Holy Groove Records
Tryst
Poems Niederngasse
BlazeVOX
Eclectica
Michaela Gabriel's In.Visible.Ink
zafusy
The Blogging Poet
Poetsarus.Com
Wild Poetry Forum
Blueline Poetry Forum
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