To the Dark Side   Wednesday, April 16, 2014




Lots of color in my photos for the past couple of weeks, so I decided to return to the dark side, a fairly random selection of photos that appeared they might be susceptible to a application of a little noir.

My anthology for the week is American Diaspora, Poetry of Displacement. The book was published by the University of Iowa Press in 2001.

And with the anthology poems, poems from my library and my own things, old and new.

Here they are:


Me
misty morning in the hill country

Paul Guest
Loyalty Oath

Me
phat or phalt busted
fat lady with a parasol passes

Randall Mann
Dust and Broughtonia  

Michael Bugeja 
Two Sounds

Me
you just have to listen

Thom Gunn
Old Meg
Yellow Pitcher Plant

Me
if I had an alternate universe in my closet

Vivian Shipley
Digging Up Peonies

Me
morning moments, in no particular order

Tom Seibles 
A Jitterbug for Spring 
Almost

Me
Adam, before Eve

Mary Crow
A Change of Place

Me
about that potential ax-murdering serial killer across the room

Joan McBreen
The Night
The Straw Hat

Me
I blame it on something I ate

Maria Mazziotti Gillan
Public School No. 18, Paterson, New Jersey  

Me
across the gastronomical divide

Coleman Barks
 Fixing the Door
An Up Till Now Uncelebrated Joy

Me
the Spurs lost their first game in the finals

Richard Howard
Disclaimers

Me
and I by god mean it

Joshua Clover
Ouro Preto
Orchid

Me
this or that   






                              





My first new poem for the week, a hold  over from last week's wildflower hunt.











misty morning in the hill country

misty morning
in the hill  country,
streets slick and shiny,
silver ribbons
across the hills

---

wildflower
hunting this afternoon

if timing is right,
oak bordered pastures
alive with all the colors of spring

---

wildflower colors
streaking in the rain,
a reminder
of a time when working
on the coast,
mid-day, corner
office, glass on two sides,
a wet spring day,
colors of the afternoon running
down the windows
in rain-blown streaks, a scene
from one of the great impressionists

---

mist
turns to rain

streets run
with liquid chrome

gutters
bubble like an alchemist's
boiling pot

---

the new day warns it will be
interesting,
too interesting to sleep  through
as would be my normal rainy day
passion

it unfolds around
me







                                      

Next  from my library I  have a funny poem by Paul Guest from his often funny collection, My Index of Slightly Horrifying Knowledge, published in 2008 by Harper Collins.








Loyalty Oath

Solemnly do  swear and affirm and affix
many foil seals with arcane symbols
to the lividly carcinogenic spirit
of Senator Joseph Raymond McCarthy
of Wisconsin, a state I like
for letting Matt live there in happiness
with his wife, for being the only place of birth
Kerri is likely to have. and further
do I tiresomely swear with my face
mad up in moral gravity that in most ways
I am fucking awesome
and not a subversive person interested in
or committed to the overthrow of governments
by violence, disobedience or denial
of gym membership. I sweat
upon many stacks of leather bound Bibles
the Gideons leave in hotel rooms
where I often went with lovers
to roll around for entire weekends
in sheets we fouled with ourselves and Chinese takeout.
I swear on your mother's grave
and the fresh one aside her
where your father lies beneath new  sod.
On my children screaming inside me
to hurry up and create them
with a foolish but lovely woman.
On her body's every curve
by which I know how not to grow lost
when all there is to see by
is the moon tumbling from the sky
and the alarm clock's red math.
I swear this and avow that
and sometime I promise
to promise to never violate
the Geneva Convention in all its charming quaintness.
I depose and declare
and many other verbs
which sound wondrously stern.
I lay down with my heart
and my hand above it
and both are filled with blood
and every breath swears its false oath so help me God.







                                        




Here are a couple of short poems from 2011.












phat or phlat busted

I need
to do some 
purposeful cogitation,
plumb
and peruse
the potential possibility
of plenitude
if I win the lottery
tonight

it's a phact
phat I would be

but phat
or phlat-busted
it is, I'd never be a phony

still just a phriend
to all
who are phriendly
to me


fat lady with a parasol passes

ambulance

then firetruck

then another ambulance

morning rush
becomes morning parking lot
four lanes across

crash  on the interstate
going west

---

fat lady
with a parasol
passes
fat feet pumping
on the petals

singing

so I guess it's over
 for someone






                                
 First from this week's anthology, two short poems.


The first poem is by Randall Mann. Born in Provo, Utah, in 1972, Mann was earned a Masters Degree at the University of Florida and currently lives in San Francisco. Author of several poetry collections, his work often describes Florida, San Francisco and contemporary gay life.










Dust and Broughtonia

And I, wishing to be back in Cuba,
wandered a room rich with rocking chairs.
Alone on the nightstand,

The Count of Monte Cristo, bound in leather
and dust. Dust from the window.
I smudged the panes with my right cuff:

greenhouses of madder crimson Broughtonia;
barbed fences dripping with bougainvillea;
wild flowers by the roadside, deeper than dye -

but I saw only Broghtonia,
purple cousins of these displaced ones,
purpling only the mountains of Cuba.




The second poem is byMichael Bugeja.

I had a problem with Bugeja. I found two on the web. One director of the Journalism program at the University of Iowa and the other a poet. Though I suspect they are the same, I could find nothing on the web to connect the one to the other. The photo is of the poet Bugeja who may or may not be the journalism professor Bugeja.








Two Sounds

           - for my son

Grandmother came here in the cargo hold
Of a great vessel and loved the tap of rain
On roofs, the  ocean never in her ears,
Grooved cornucopias that echo still
In this empty shell like a wavelength.
Can you hear the soothing rattle-tap-tap
Gutter-drip, her fingertip on your pane?
You, too, will lose and find me in this hymn

At 40, dreading another dawn. Listen
then to the arias of robin and starling
On her lawn, happy to wake up to the warbling,
As we wait now, sleepless but together.
I have loaned you these legacies of sound
to outlast the apparitions of light
Which always fade, as I will, in the night.







                                               




A new poem, about, among other things, one of today's many lost arts.











you just have to listen

some people say
dogs are just dumb animals
because, as with other foreigners,
they speak a language we do not
understand,
whereas
I know Bella talks
to me all the time with woofs
and tail wags  and nose sniffs and
ear twitches and that penetrating stare
that tells me an inattentive squirrel
has been sighted, ripe prey,
if I would just unleash her for a good
morning chase

and since she's talking to me all the time
it seems only polite that I talk back

I understand this because
I grew up on an English-speaking island
in an ocean of Spanish speakers and in the summer
spent weeks in my father's hometown
where German and English flowed
together seamlessly

GerTex - the hill country version
of South Texas TexMex

this followed by a 38 year marriage
with in-laws whose English
is as limited as my
Spanish

but, though I lack any
language facility
beyond basic TexEng, and having proven
inability to go beyond that
limitation, we get along anyway,
nods and winks and smiles, sufficient
as it has been all my life, to  get along in a world
where I am an out-lander

you just have to pay attention,
is what I've learned, just as I pay attention
to Bella, even as I might not be sure
what she's saying and with the sneaking suspicion
that she is smart enough to understand
more of me than I am smart enough
to understand of her...

swimming in a sea of  uncertainty,
and accepting it...

the story of my life








Next, two short poems from my library by Thom Gunn. The poem are from his book, The Man With Night Sweats, published by the Noonday Press in 1992.

Born in 1929, the poet died in 2004. The last time I used one of his poems from an anthology(just a couple of weeks  ago), I used a photo from later days. This time I used a photo, taken in 1972, of Gunn as a younger man, because, let's face it, I couldn't pass over this shirt twice in a row.

A piece of luck in my life was that, in the early 70s I was too poor to buy any of the clothes in style at the time. Had to stick to my old Levis and a tee shirts and my old Air Force fatigue jacket in the winter, clothes from the sixties, with the hair and beard to match.






Old Meg

dark as a gypsy, berry-
brown with dirt
sticks to the laundromats
in cold weather
                         in the sun
sit near her on the bus-bench
and you'll smell something
of dog, something of mold

I've seen her beaming
at concrete 'You didn't make sense
at first I couldn't have known
who you were' Extraterrestrial
friends no doubt
                          but to me
venturing once to greet her
she responded with
                               'Blood on you!'



Yellow Pitcher Plant

flowering stomach

scroll of leaf

covered with small honeyed
warts by which the seely fly
is lured to sloping
pastures at the trumpet's lip

still grazing downhill
the fly finds the underbrush
of hairs casually pushed through
has closed behind -
a thicket of lances - sharkteeth-
trap
                       oh, alas!
it stumbles on, falling
from chamber to chamber
within the green turret
making each loud
with the buzz of its grief
and finally slipping into
the oubliette itself
- pool that digests protein -
to become mere
chitinous exoskeleton,
leftovers

of a sated petal

an enzyme's cruelty







                                   




Free to be me - from April, 2011.














if  had an alternate universe  in my closet

I'm thinking
I'd like to have
an alternate universe
in my closet

a place where I could go
to let my denied impulses
pulse
with the life of a caged bird

freed -
nothing illegal,
just
a place where I could say and do

things
I thought but never did
because of fear or embarrassment
or over-blown concern for consequences

ties that bound me
when arms loosed to the open sky
might have made a difference
to me and to others

words not  spoke
to the face of ignorance and bigotry;
kisses
never kissed;

fights not  fought;
apologies not spoken
before time sealed the breach
like a wound covered but never healed;

friends
I might have made
by speaking a few words of
friendship;

enemies
I should have made
but didn't
because I lacked the character...

such a better
more complete  person
I would be
if only I had an alternate universe in my closet

a place to exercise my better
instincts
and make them strong
for that universe and this

a place
to straighten
the  spine of my soul, a place
to practice being  the person I should have been

would like to be







                                   



From the anthology next, this poem by Vivian Shipley, author of seven chapbooks and five full collections of her poetry.













Digging Up Peonies

Overcoming fear of stalks that are too close
I remind myself it's Lexington, that mist

on fields means rattlesnakes curled in rows
of corn would be cold, sluggish. Like prig

our potatoes with my fingers, I dig up tubers
as if I could life my father, seeded with cancer,

if only for a day from gravity, from ground.
My parents know what I know - this the end;

they will return to this house my father built.
No refugee in Kosovo, wheelbarrowing

his grandmother to safety, I will bring as much
of Kentucky, of their dirt as I can carry with me

on our flight to Connecticut. A bride, moving
to New Have over thirty years ago, I have

not taken root. I cannot explain this urge
to go to creekstone fences my father stacked,

dig up box after box of peonies I will bank
into granite piled along my side garden

so my father can see  pink, fuchsia blossoming
from his bed. Is this what revision is, change

of location, spreading, to  tell my story
another time, in another soil? Unable  to untie

what binds me to Kentucky, to bones of all
those who in my bones, I will save what

I can of my mother, my father from this earth,
from the dissolution that binds us after all.







                                  





 Back to the early mornings where I'm at my best.











morning moments, in no particular order

brisk and chill

an early morning wind
blows last season's dead leaves
down the street, clattering
like bamboo rustle

like rain on hard rock
in the  desert

---

the dogs bark
as  we pass, as they bark
ever morning, as they bark
365 mornings a year

like politicians,
loud and stupid, they bark
and other dogs down the street
bark with them

---

we cross the bridge
at Apache Creek

the sharp rocks below covered last  week
with gravel

the sound of the creek
rippling over sharp rocks
now buried, rippling beneath
the gravel, unheard

---

we stop in the middle
of the bridge,
Bella listens, her head cocked,
missing the cat
who walked with us so many
mornings

---

birds
clench their feet tight
around swaying tree branches,
holding on against the wind

no time for singing,
even though the falling moon
calls

---

Bella
squats and poops
on the street-side grass  by the driveway

she knows she's not to poop
where people walk

close call this morning

---

Chris visits
for the day and spends the night

Bella's cousin, Ayla,comes with him,
a lanky Australian something, still a pup,
juvenile stage, but big and
clumsy

Bella,  usually frantic to walk in the morning,
won't  go until she eats her  dog food

wants to eat it all before we leave, so clunky
cousin can't get it

---

April

South Texas

no need for a jacket

outside two minutes,
back inside, the wind  cold and cutting,

jacket 









Next I have poet Tim Seibles, with two poems from his book, Hurdy Gurdy, published in 1992 by Cleveland State University Poetry Center.

Seibles  was born in Philadelphia in1955 and attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas where he stayed for ten years teaching high school English. He earned his MFA at Vermont College at Norwich University in 1990,  the same year he received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2012 he was a nominee for a National Book Award.








A Jitterbug for Spring

All along the lake the larks
send their sweet scat through the air.
It's April. New weather jazzes the leaves.
The late sun - a long not blown
across the water. Near shore
a tadpole itching for legs.



Almost

No wind    Whole days go by
and I don't remember

Under the tree pile the acorns
and their brown caps

Where is it now

I mark down what I can
for this    Heat ripe enough

to sit like a peach
on my shoulder    Sometime
I almost see how it was

And faces of people I've loved

appear where just before
I saw glass scattered in the street
Where is it now

When I was a boy I would

blow  on my hand and watch very closely

to see if I could see the air







                                               




Call of the wild, from April, 2011.














Adam, before Eve

up late last night,
enjoying the night air
blowing tender and cool -

goose-bump breeze
of a mild sort,
not like the ice-shard winds

of a couple of weeks ago,
winter wind
clawing mean from the north...

spring
has brought foliage again
to the trees between me and condominiums

on the other side of the creek; our locations
on opposing hillsides
baring the trees and me to the scrutiny

of people who, during leafless winter
learn more about men
than I ever  want to know about them...

but not tonight,
as I luxuriate in the full-leave cocoon
of my backyard,

the night overcast, clouds
reflecting back to the ground all the city light,

making it bright as day in my midnight nest -

trees
dark shadows
against the bright sky, limbs shifting slow

against the sky
as the night winds blow, until
now and  then, the sky beaks open

to show a star,
a sliver moon, a nighthawk
flying from tree to tree...

I pee on the back fence,
a moment of nature in the night,
Adam, before Eve,
alone still after a busy day,
enjoying now, a peaceful prelude
to a well-slept night







                                 


Next from the anthology, a poem by Mary Crow.

Raised in Ohio and educated at Wooster College, University of  Indiana and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Crow came west to begin a creative writing and teaching career at the Colorado State University.









A Change of  Place

Shrapnel of  morning:
sword-like leaves of the house plant,

forks, knives,  scissors.
Light shatters through the window

bags, cans of  food, boots,
bits and pieces makeup.

I am here, not here.
Gray cough of cars rises,

red  tiles undulate
green hills undulate:

shimmer of garbage burning.
Counting out the minutes,

I am here, not here.
This year, next  year, anytime.

Never.  The machine
of my routing is broken.

I want to go home again,
put it together again.







                                   




About profiling.











about that potential  ax-murdering serial  killer across the room

shaven-headed guy,
swarthy guy
with a black van dyke beard,
dark eye,
intense, black as a void
in the pit of your stomach, like
volcanic rock, so black,
looking-right-through-you eyes,
bomb tick-tocking
eyes...

it's those eyes that make his scary,
I'm guessing because
I'm another shaven-headed guy
with a van dyke beard
and I don't scare anyone
so far as I've
noticed...

two
little girls,
the oldest,  four or five,
pretty,
be-ribboned & bowed,
alight in morning
glow,  each
holding on to a hand
of the scary guy and they don't seem scared
at all as they skip along
beside him...

I don't  know, maybe
he's not an ax-murdering
serial killer after
all...








                                   


Next, from her  book, The Wind Beyond the Wall, two poem by Joan McBreen. The book was published by Story Line Press in 1990.

McBreen is an Irish poet who received her MA at University College, Dublin, in 1997. She is widely published and has lectured extensively in the the United States.










The Night

When the light
filtered
through

and the half slept
night was
over

my silence
survived
you.

The day had
its usual
order.

Downstairs
the door banged hard
after you

and I lifted
my pile of clothes
from the floor.



The Straw Hat

Some things insist on becoming lost,
like the be-ribboned straw hat
the girl waved over the bridge
to me.

How ridiculous it looked,
floating on the water
between two swans
who were coaxing
one another to love.

Although I tried to reach it,
it was swept away.
"Sit still in the boat, you fool,"
she called, "sit still
or you'll fall into the river."








                              




Again, April, 2011. A comforting thought, kind of.














I blame it on something I ate

I blame it
on something I ate -
this queasy stomach and watery eyes,
like looking through
a water-streaked shower curtain

disassociation,
that's the word for the way I feel right now,
what it's going to feel like
when I die, assuming
I'm not going to die in some screaming,
crushing, meat-grinder of a car accident, which
I'm thinking would be association with pain and the world
at its most extreme, the opposite of
disassociation...

instead
I'm thinking of how it might be
to die in my sleep,
one moment dreaming, the next moment
becoming  the dream
itself separates
from its carrier, like stockings
slipped smoothly from a shapely woman's legs

a fading,
the transition
to the next  form, a new pebble
dropped into an old lake, rising and falling
with a slow and steady tide

and,
strangely,
thinking of that end
makes me feel better today







I think I've posted this next poem from the anthology before.

It's by Maria Mazziotti Gillan and it reminds me of the time I was  growing up when kids who started  school with no English and were spanked if they spoke Spanish, even on the playground. Today it's called the immersion approach to learning a new language and for some, like the poet, it worked very well, paving the way for success for the remainder of their life. For others it was the death of school. 

But it was not a new approach. My father almost a hundred years ago grew up in the Texas hill country in an almost totally German-speaking environment, started school in an English-only environment. He was fortunate that his grandmother who lived with the family, required that he and his two sisters speak English at home, even though she could not speak English herself. Many of this friends did not have this advantage and struggled in school, as did many Mexican kids many generations later.



Public School No. 18, Paterson, New Jersey

Miss Wilson's eyes, opaque
as blue glass, fix on me:
"We must speak English.
We're in America now."
I want to say, "I am American."
but the evidence is stacked against  me.

My mother   scrubs my scalp raw, wraps
my shining hair in white rags
to make it curl. Miss Wilson
drags me to the window, checks my hair
for lice. My face wants to hide.

At home, my words smooth in my mouth,
I  chatter and am proud. In school,
I am silent, grope for the right English
words, fear the Italian word
will sprout from my mouth, like a rose,

fear the progression of teachers
in their sprigged dresses,
their Anglo-Saxon dresses.

Without words,  they tell me
to be ashamed.
I am.
I deny that booted country
even from myself,
want to be still
and untouchable
as  these women
who teach me to hate myself.

Years later, in a white
Kansas City house,
the Psychology professor tells me
I remind him of the Mafia leader
on the cover of time magazine.

My anger spits
venomous from  my mouth:

I am proud of my mother,
dressed all in black,

proud of my father
with his broken tongue,
proud of the laughter
and noise of our house.

Remember me,  Ladies,
the silent one?
I have found my voice
and my rage will blow
your house down.








                             





Progeny - always find a way to surprise you.











across  the gastronomical divide

so I went grocery shopping
with my son

some-time amateur, some-time
professional chef,  we left with $150
worth of groceries, nothing
in the basket that came in a can

a contrast to my own
grocery shopping when I leave the store,
the  rarity, anything
that doesn't come in a can...

I'm sure there's some  kind of social,
cultural or generational message in this,
some deep meaning suitable for extended
contemplation,
but I'll be damned if I know
what it is

but I don know Chris is an excellent cook,
everything fresh, everything from
scratch

I'm a good cook  to

long as the can opener doesn't
burn up
or otherwise break down
from excessive
use







Until a couple of years ago, I thought of Coleman Barks as a translator. It wasn't until I bought this book, Gourd Seed, that I realized he was a well-known and highly respected poet on his own. The next two poems are from that book, published by Maypop Books in 1993.

Once again,  I am defined by my ignorance.








Fixing the Door

Fixing he bathroom door would require
taking it off and planing two sides
the floodwater has swollen so that
it will close only with a definite
effort and sometimes springs open
to reveal a sweetheart shitting
or myself to whoever's standing
by the refrigerator looking in the way
we will when we're not hungry for anything,
just checking as we do when any door
opens of its own volition. First,
I'd have to buy a plane.


An Up Till Now Uncelebrated Joy

There's one book, a 1988 volume,
and it's here, never been checked out,
and flipping through, I sniff the carefulness,
the guarded assertions this Oxford guy
spent twelve years considering, so that now
I can have the rest of a Spring afternoon
finding out what's been known and what
will remain secret a while longer
about the Sixth Dali Lama.

Good scholarship  gives me such delight that I kiss
the book alone in the stacks, and I almost kiss
the checkout girl, and I savor the length
of the Bibliography walking through
the self-opening double doors, and I skip
going back to my truck, because Michael
has sustained his interest in the Tibetan mystics,
and I want to kiss the bald pate of research
like a ne'er-do-well daughter going out on a date,
who before leaving, thoughtfully brings
some green tea for a little break.







                                


Not this year.

This year, with the best record in the NBA. I'm predicting they'll go all the way again, to championship number 5.


(go  Spurs)








the Spurs lost their first game in the finals

the Spurs
lost theirs first game
in the finals
so I'm not  reading
any
sports news this week

because
I'm a true-blue American patriot
and like all true-blue American
patriots
I am certain that, if I just
close my eyes tight enough,
I mean really really
squeeze
them shut really really tight
bad news will go poof
and disappear
and the Spurs will win
the first game of the finals
and retreating glaciers
will freeze and advance again
through the rocky canyons of ages
and petunias
will bloom again in the desert

and if that doesn't work
and it turns out
that nothing goes poof
and the glaciers don freeze
and the petunias don't  bloom
and the Spurs
still
lost the first game
of the finals,
I will, as a true-blue American
wing nut
blame it on the Jewish bankers
and their minions, socialist, community-organizing
Kenyans
and Democratic party bosses
in smoke-filled rooms where freedom
is dissected and put in alcohol  jars
like frogs in 10th grade biology labs

and that will certainly
make bad stuff go  poof
and disappear
including the unfair, un-American
loss by the Spurs
of the first game in the finals

and
if that doesn't work
I  will moan and groan
and cry and  go to church
and pray
for deliverance
and tell God to wake up
and smell the roses
and eradicate
from the universal accounting
off-time
those 48 minutes
when Satan overran the basketball courts
and the the unthinkable
loss by the Spurs
of the first game  of the NBA finals

and if that
doesn't work
and it turns out the Spurs
still
lost the first game of the finals
I'll denounce God,
declare him dead, and join a Devil-worshiping
coven
of witches and disenchanted Presbyterians
and kill a goat
and drink its blood
and  perform incantations
and chants
while naked, circling
a pentagram
until
in a frenzy
I will howl and pluck
the flower of her virginity
form a near-sided librarian
and
if that doesn't work
I'll  do it again,
at least the near-sighted librarian
part
and, if that doesn't work...

I'll blame  it on the refs
and have a  silent, somber beer
(or two)
with others in the depths
of our co-misery

wait
till next game
we'll say to each other,
just wait, just
wait...

and
then
we'll have
another beer
and blow smoke rings
from smelly
cigars...

wait
till next time -
works on almost
anything








Next a poem by Richard Howard a poem I used here twice before, but it is so damn funny I'm using it again. The poem is from Howard's book Trappings. Sooner or later,  I suppose I'll have to use something else from the book, but not, probably, until I've used this a couple more times and have quit laughing at it.







 Disclaimers

The text of Bach's  St. John Passion, performed tonight unabridged,
is largely derived from the Gospels, portions of which are alleged
(by some) to be antisemitic. Such passages may well disclose
historical attitudes fastened (by Bach himself) to the Jews,
but must  not be taken as having (for that very reason) expressed
convictions or even opinions of the Management or the cast.

---

The Rape  of the Sabine Women, which the artist painted in Rome,
articulates Ruben's treatment of a favorite classical theme.
Proud as we are to display this example of Flemish finesse,
the policy of the Museum is not to be taken amiss:
we oppose all forms of harassment, and just because we have
   shown
this canvas in no way endorses the actions committed therein.

---

Ensconced in the Upper Rotunda alongside a fossil musk-ox,
the giant Tyrannosaurus (which the public has nicknamed "Rex"),
though show in the act of devouring its still living prey implies
no favor by public officials to zoophagour public displays;
carnivorous Life-Styles are clearly inappropriate to a State
which has already outlawed tobacco and may soon prohibit meat.







                                


Here's the deal.

I've about had it with the up and down, in and out,  now you see it,  now you don't seasons thing here this year.











and I by god mean it

I refuse to wear
my hat today, even thought
it's 45 degrees and my ears hang
on the side of my head
unprotected
and my nipples sting
inside my thin red and green and blue and yellow
Hawaiian shirt like
little bees
biting at my chest
and my newly shaved head
is all a'pucker with goosebumps
because it's by god
spring
and I don't wear hats
in the spring, nor summer, nor
fall and if this by god pushy winter
won't let go it'll just have
to deal with me
and my goose-bump puckered
head and falling-off  ears and nipple-stinging
and Hawaiian shirt of many colors
because it's my by god right
to protest the travesty of
recalcitrant seasons
who won't
fold their tents and
go away until next year
like they're supposed to

and that's the by god truth
of it
and I don't care who
the by god truth
don't like
it...








                            

Last from my library this week, two more short poems, these by Joshua Clover, from his book Madonna anno domini, winner of the 1996 Walt Whitman Award of The Academy of American Poets. The book was published by the Louisiana State University Press.










Ouro Preto

A woman in a blue shirt, resinous cafezinho, low sandstone building
   circling the plaza:
form this a whole country can be unfolded.
Eliz, is a model of no extra blah-blah.
The losing of art isn't hard too, and it's all there is:
Lota de Macedo Soares, the day opens out like a tiny atlas-flower!



Orchid

Seen in the south of the country near the wavefront of total
war: indolent orchid, windowbox auto-da-fe, the year's acedia, The
flower was not about anything & nobody in the house to watch - not
the simplest thing, 12 hours of sun, summer's cool closure. I see you are
curious to let me tell you it was not a museum but a house. Flower in
the flowerbox, ear in the air's cyan arc, mantic green wire. Almost fall
& cool between the mountains & the master war - walking, walking....
Because I am not history I can return "at will to the house like a
museum - the clothed idea of it, each of us passing, minds delinquent
panic-bulbs, the flower about nothing (we were not attached to the
beginning or to the end, divining nothing, the autumn out there beyond
the museum-house still we could not come  to the boundary of the funny
war, secret heliotropes, orchid in the orchid-box, God in abeyance -








                                 


Last poem for the week.

Some days, it's been proven, just going back to sleep is the best plan.










this or that

I can be this
or I can be that,
but I can never be this and that...

I can be an atheist
or I can be a dancing-in-the-aisle, singing-his-praises
believer, but never an agnostic,
maybe there is, maybe there isn't indecision,
too wish-washy,  too little commitment
for me...

I can eat steak
or I can eat tofu
but I could never eat
steak-shaped tofu...

I mean
who
are they trying to  fool!!

I can be a friend
or a  foe,
but never a  frenemy

that just seems too
complicated...

I've got a good side
and I've got a bad side
and it's never hard to tell
the one from the
other...

I'm a country boy
in the city
and I can run naked and wild
in the woods
or walk the darkest city streets,
finding friends
in the sharp-teeth shadows
of  black-heart midnight

but
I can't ride a beaver
in the armistice day parade...

RIDE A BEAVER
IN THE ARMISTICE  DAY PARADE???!!!

demonstration
that the problem with even the most disciplined
one-track mind
is that when it jumps the track
it has no place  else
to go...

except...

I can be awake
or I can be asleep, but
I can't write a poem when I'm
half-asleep

but here it is anyway...

a half-asleep poem
like a dream that should have stayed
forgot








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




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