Watercolors   Wednesday, April 09, 2014

I finally got some wildflower pictures this week, a few at least. You can read my first poem for details.

I also have poems from the anthology, After Aztlan - Latino Poets of the Nineties, published by David R.Godine, Publisher, in 1992. I also have poets and poems from my library and a poem series from one of my several poet friends from Baltimore.

And of course, my own stuff.

And here are our  poets:

adventures of the intrepid wildflower hunter

Demetria Martinez
After a Reading in Arizona the Author is Detained by the U.S.  Border  Patrol  
in Las Cruces, New  Mexico

the deer are gone

Martin Espada
Jorge the Church Janitor Finally Quits

trivial pursuit

 Nicole Cooley
Letter from the Louisiana Women's  Prison

church folk jump the fence

Francsco Alarcon

thinking of resurrection

Daniel Berrigan
Show Me Your Face O God/Psalm 61
A Mercy/A Healing/Psalm 64

now I'll never  know

 Rebecca Gonzales
To the Newlyweds in the Barrio

dead is dead

David Eberhardt
Auschwitz Series

as I've grown  older

Victor Martinez
Some Things Left Unsaid   

third strike

 Aaron Silverberg
Winged Survivor

before the sun's soon-rising

Rita Magdaleno

mutually assured destruction

Naomi Quinonez

swimming the Facebook seas     


Like Hemingway, a report on my weekend safari.

adventures of the intrepid wildflower hunter

hunt on a dark, misty day

not as easy to find
as previous years, several
seasons of drought
and a hard winter has thinned the herd,
not as thick or as varied
as in years past, except
for bluebonnets - finding bluebonnets
in Lady Bird country like finding cats in a
widow woman's house, don't have to look hard,
just have to be  careful not to step on them...

slim pickings, maybe, but a good day's drive
on wet country roads, little roads,
some to interesting places, not
always knowing where, and
sometimes going nowhere at all, little  rutted roads ending
finally with a bull staring from the  pasture side of a barb wire fence,
saying,  with a bullish glare, that's it,
 such encounters always a chance when you're driving
little country roads...

and little country towns, Luling, no longer the smelliest
town in Texas, the rotten egg smell that permeated the whole town
gone with the gas wells finally, after a century exhausted,
and tiny Kingsbury and Stairtown,
eye-blink adventures, and pretty Prairie Lea,
big enough for three side streets, paved, with names,
and the elusive Blackankle, a side trip
ten miles down a narrow, rutted road
and never found it - getting late, maybe I just
missed it in the dark...

little towns with little people,
living quiet little town lives, looking forward to the weekend
for the forty mile drive to Lockhart, a movie, maybe, and
a double bacon cheeseburger at Whataburger
and spree-shopping at Walmart...

the folks along the way, ranchers in their muddy boots
and the cashier at the Quick Stop, lived there all her life
and only knows one road to get anywhere, and the young
woman at the Dairy Queen  with her little boy and girl,
so many treats to choose from, changing their minds three
times on the way to ordering, for me, a Dude (steak sandwich)
and an Orange Julius (haven't had one in years) and the woman
with the huge dogs who pointed me down the road, great patch
of flowers thataway, she said, ad she was right, that I had
no idea where I was  for the better part of an hour
not an issue, it's a big state, I'm thinking, but sooner or later
I'll run across something I know and I did and there
it was, where I had wanted to go all along...

so the afternoon goes, Bella running loose and wild
through high pastures, me following, shoes and pant legs
soaked to mid-calf, wanting to much to chase
the donkeys alongside the road until I held her back,
the donkeys coming to  the fence to great me,
thinking, I'm sure, I'm there to feed them, but, good natured beasts,
willing to settle for a muzzle scratch, then, me tired,
Bella too, heading home, donkey scent  on my hands,
didn't find the wildflowers I wanted but
as always on this kind of trek, the getting as good
as the got, even when it turns out a not got...

another lucky turn to end the day, finding
myself by chance on Hwy 130, the new 85 mph toll way
connecting Austin and San Antonio...

home in a jiffy...


 From my library this week, I have a poem from The Devil's Workshop, published by the Universe of Arizona Press. The book and the poem are by New Mexico poet Demetria Martinez, whose work appears here frequently.

After a Reading in Arizona, the Author Is Detained by the U.S. Border Patrol in Las Cruces, New Mexico

              for Roberto Rodriguez

They are doing exploratory surgery
On your car again - hubcaps

Gouged out again, canines
Sniff at empty sockets

Oh, but the trunk -books
Lined in boxes like bullet5s,

Pages of Chicano history
To roll and smoke,

Ballpoint pens so shoot
Up with, red and black

Ink ruining our youth.
Handcuffed, you ask for water

But the Big Dipper has run dry.
Even Orion has drawn

Shut his curtain of clouds.
Only Night, with her
Badge of a moon, weeps,
Helpless to hide midnight's children

El milagro

Sometimes when
I can't recall
An English word,
La palabra llega
En espanol.
It flies from
The crests of the
Sangre de Cristos,
Falls like roses
In winter from
Guadalupe's tilma
I mean how else
To  explain
This miracle
When you've
The story
Of the stork?


First new poem of the week.

the deer are gone

I used to see them early in the morning
grazing in the meadow  across the
road, a meadow by a small forest of oak trees,
all part of the massive campus of a large
insurance company that specializes insuring
military and former military personal
and their families...

the campus a large green island
in an urban landscape of tall buildings and commercial
complexes and hotels and restaurants, like the one
where I have my breakfast...

watching the deer used to relax
and inspire me in the early mornings,
watching nature as its natural work as I enjoyed
my bacon and biscuits and gravy and eggs
over easy and friendly smiles...

they graze;
I graze

not so  much difference between us,
and it reassures me, that likeness,
reminds me that life at  its best is about
the elemental things, sun and shade,  a meadow to graze,
even in the middle of all that is  unnatural  in my
life, finding a natural connection...

we grasp at straws to maintain our real  nature,
the animal that is still  at the center of us,
a small herd of  deer
on grass,  dew-damp, green and plentiful...



First from this week's anthology, I have this poem by Martin Espada. I've used the poet's work many times here, so will skip the bio rather than repeat it again.

Jorge the Church Janitor Finally Quits

     Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1989 

No one asks
where I am from.
I must be
from the country of janitors.
I have always mopped this floor.
Honduras, you are a squatter's camp
out the city
of their understanding.

No one can speak
my name.
I host the fiesta
of the bathroom,
stirring the toilet
like a punchbowl.
The Spanish music of my name
is lost
when the guests complain
about the toilet paper.

What they say
must be true:
I am smart
but I have a bad attitude.

No one knows
that I quit tonight,
maybe the mop
will push on without me,
sniffling along the floor
like a crazy squid
with stringy gray tentacles.
They will call it Jorge.


 This  poem is from April, 2010.

trivial pursuit

been feeling

the toughest

in a game
of Trivial

you know

the one
no one can ever

it truly
defines the 

of trivial -

not so much
i mind

just another late-life

(that's actually
of cool)

but i do recall
with some

of loss
those days before

in the morning

i put
a dent 
in it

days when
i could

a sentence
without being


then i saw
a beautiful woman

in spring

dark hair streaming

in the wind
arms outstretched

warm bright living
with joy

in the moment
and i think
if i could get someone

to truly see this
with me
i will take my place

in the game
of trivial pursuits

without misgiving

whatever place
is given me

and in the 

Next from my library is a poem by Nicole Cooley, from her book Resurrection.

The book was published by Louisiana State University in 1996. The poet, author of several books of poetry, grew up in New Orleans. She earned her BA from Brown University, her MFA at the Iowa Writer's Workshop and her PhD at Emory University. She is currently associate professor of English and Creative Writing at Queens College - City University of New York.

Letter from the Louisiana Women's Prison

It was done as quick and clean
as slipping a stone into water.
Don't you know I would take him
to the river? Past the levee,
to the uneven gravel edge.
I wanted the water turning
its back to us like you would,
the wind leading our voices
backward in separate direction.

You have to imagine this -
I pulled him down with me
to kneel by the rocks, touched his head
to the ground. River mud left a stain
above his eyes. I told him to walk into the water.
I told him I would follow,
then I pushed him down.
His hair like wet leaves
between my fingers. I wanted to say,
I wouldn't hold you if I could,
but I repeated his name three times
like a prayer. Your boy -
never any part of me.
Was I pretending it was you?

When I came  to show you
what I had done, I wanted to make
a gift to you,, a piece of hair
or the cut-off hands, fingers I pulled
out like tiny plants.

You got to come and get me now.
Nothing will rise between us.
Your hands can reach for me,
lock your body over mine.
Don't talk,
your mouth to my throat.
If you leave me now you know
you'll leave your own blood behind.


Here are some more  breakfast reflections from last week. Well, actually, since I write everything over breakfast,  I guess all my stuff is breakfast  reflections.

church folk jump the fence

light light blue
layer of clouds
still high in the sky

Sunday morning,
still quiet,
noisy church people
not out the gate

noisy church people,
piling in soon,
many even more
aged than me, assumed Catholic
since they almost always
have at least one
priest tagging
most often an older one,  small, thin,
skin stretched over his sharp-boned face
like onion paper, St. Francis, prim, starched,
ironed in all aspects, still eats animals
but doesn't  step  on

or sometimes an even older priest,
half-blind, pear-shaped, a tottering plop of
humanity, doesn't eat meat
but probably steps on
just to reassert God's natural order
of things...

both quiet islands,
rarely speaking, in a crowd of obeisant codgers
and codgetts, noisy people, trying to talk
to each other and the priests, on their best behavior,
hoping a good impression here will polish
their key
to heaven's gate, doing their best to earn
their place among the heavenly hosts,
but willing to jump the fence
if necessary...

must be the worst  part of being  a priest, having
to put up with such people just for the sake
of a free meal...

I could be a priest, I guess, for the free chow, but only in the
Church of Smiling Saints,  with congregations
of fun people, where priests are allowed to laugh
at the absurdities of life, a church of
whoopee cushions in every pew, clown shoes
required to walk the gold-pave streets
for weekly meetings of the
heavenly choir,
Weird Al conducting...

But then there's that whole GOD!! thing -

all that flooding and smiting and divine
jealousies and retributions and pillars of salt
and tossing good people
like me and my best friends
into the pits of hell,
not much in the way of good humor there

not enough for me anyway...


Next from the week's anthology, here's a poem by Francisco Alarcon. Again, I've used his poetry here often so won't repeat the bio.


I want a god
as my accomplish
who spends nights
in houses
of ill repute
and gets up late
on Saturdays

a god
who whistles
through the streets
and trembles
before the lips
of his lover

a god
who waits in line
at the entrance
of movie houses
and  likes to drink
cafe au lait

a go
who spits
blood from
and doesn't even have
enough for the bus

a god
by the billy club
of a policeman
at a demonstration

a god
who pisses
out of fear
before the flaring
of torture

a god
who hurts
to the last
and bites the air
in pain

a jobless god
a striking god
a hungry god
a fugitive god
an exiled god
an enraged god

a god who longs
from jail
for a change
in the order
of things

I want a
more godlike


Here's another from April, 2010.

thinking of resurrection

i was  reading
a religious scholar
the other day

who was saying
that for Christians

must mean resurrection
of the body
or it is meaningless

and i can understand that,
without the body
it just seems too Buddhist

for the church i went to
as a child, Lutheran theology
doesn't include

Zen masters
and over-souls permeating
the universal ether

but, as to the non-Zen
physical body

i have to say,
no offense intended,
when i think of

resurrection in the non-Zen
sense, my first thought
is of the sword-fighting skeletons

in the Sindbad  movies
of the sixties
or the last zombie movie

i saw and i don't  think
what they're thinking of -

but i understand
they have an ace up their sleeve
that resolves the zombie/skeletons problem

it's a tweaking
of the bodily resurrection deal
to include both resurrection and perfection
of the body

which essentially means

you die to be
eventually resurrected in the body
you always wanted and thought you deserved

when you were alive,
the ultimate make-over,
so to speak

which is why
a lot off  short, dumpy,
very ugly Christians can barely wait

for the
of  days to come


The next two short poems from my library are by Daniel Berrigan, priest, peace activist and poet. They are in his book And the Risen Bread - Selected Poems, 1957-1997, published by Fordham University Press in 1998.

Show Me Your Face O God/Psalm 61

At land's end, end of tether
     where the sea turns in sleep
               ponderous, menacing
                            and my spirit fails and runs
               landward, seaward, askelter

                       I pray you
                                make new
                      this hireling heart
                            turn your face to me
                      -  winged, majestic; angelic -

                                           a tide
                            my prayer goes up -
                        show me your face, O God!

A Mercy, A Healing/Psalm 64

I walk in your world,
a mercy, a healing -

Like a cooper of barrels
you bind the mountains with ribbing

your hands rest on rambunctious seas
they grow peaceful
                  the brow of a sleeping child

Autumn is a king's progress
              largess lies ripe on the land

up,down the furrow your Midas touch
rains gold;
                  rainbows are from your glance

Fall of rain, everfall, all all is blessing!



Here's another from last week, an incomplete Facebook encounter.

now I'll  never know

a woman, whose name vaguely stirs
like little peacock feathers
tickling my
whichever portion of my cortex
where upon lie memories
of names and such, this woman, this


woman who posted a message on my Facebook  last  night
that I didn't get to read because the long and
mighty arm of the Facebook overseers deleted
it because they said it was offensive

and so now
I'm stuck all day wondering
who the woman was
and what it was she said that
was offensive, meanwhile frustrated
because I lost my chance to be offended
and respond in bitter, sarcastic, caustic,doubly
offensive manner or maybe, thinking,  maybe
it wasn't offensive at all, just suggestive,
because, you know, sometimes Facebook
confuses sex stuff and offensive stuff, so maybe it was
the seventh grade girl under the hack berry tree
offering to renew our relationship, O,  a second kiss
when the first was so sweet and lingering
on my lips all these sixty years later,  O, how sad
should the first be the last, or maybe
she's  the cranky woman behind me in the supermarket,
all pissed and offensive because I went through
the ten-items-or-less line with eleven items
in my basket, or maybe she's just
another loser form the rodeo
thrown by every wild ride
like me...

thank you, Facebook,
I'll never know


Next from this week's anthology, Rebecca Gonzales, a poet I don't think I've ever read before,

The problem I have is I found the two Rebecca Gonzales, both poets and both pictured, on the web and couldn't find enough information to determine which of the two wrote these poems. According to the biographies in the back of the anthology, one of the two, in  addition to writing these two poems, teaches high school journalism in Garfield, Texas and is the author of Flesh and Blood, a book of poetry.


The tree moth in the garage was an omen.
so I killed the messenger.,
pulled off its velvet wings
and chewed them with a spiteful mouth.

A delicate crunch of the veins
and I heard nothing else.
My tongue grew thick with their moss.
I swallowed its wisdom with a vengeful mouth
and tasted my own fear.

To the Newlyweds in the Barrio

Subtract the size of the world
from an empty stomach
and oer the difference construct a roof.

Wall up hunger,
give it no room to spread
to the eyes, hands  and feet.

Later you'll be able to afford a TV
to bring you reports
of soldiers invading with their shadows.

But for the time
all you can afford is a radio
and guilt as you dance around in your home.


This old poem from April, 2010, written after reading from a book of "death poems" by the old Japanese masters (writing such a practice of their time).

dead is dead

Death poems
are mere delusion -

Death poem by
Japanese  haiku poet Toko 

intelligent minds
seek mystery always

so how can we not
think often

of death
for what is more mysterious

than the unraveling
of the intellect into the

cosmos - all its billion bits
of thought and emotion

and memory
scattered to far and dark

and even more
mysterious places than

we in our living
could ever imagine -

if there is a God,
the giant, tick-tocking

of the universe, we might join him

sit on his lap and watch the pieces move


but perhaps
that makes too much of us

this vision of us,
watchers from the lap of God -

perhaps that which we are
is only physics manifested in

a temporary illusion of flesh -

perhaps in the end

we make too much of it,

only a passing game of speculation
to  those of us still

on the bloody side of the veil,
truly important only to the dead,

whose mourners live on
and get over it

while those who die
do not


Next, I have a poem series from David Eberhardt, one of my poet friends from Baltimore and a committed activist for many and varied causes. I don't think he would object to  being called a  radical. In fact, I think he might cherish it.

The unusual photo is from Dave's visit to the Kafka Museum in Prague.

Auschwitz Series 

         after BBC documentary


"You need a better way of killing. Not for the victims...for the murderers.
Wall Street bail outs.


Krakau, Osweicm

These strange spellings,
You care not
To make the connections?

The faces  of t partiers,
Republicans, right wingers.
Draw the dots,

Faces of
The resistance subject to
The "hangnail torture"...

Here is an address: Megan Rice, Reg #88101-020
MDC Brooklyn

Protest against
Nuclear destruction and the state
Has its response:

Obama, the House/Senate,
Complicit in war crimes:
Drones;  water boarding, bs wars.

A slight difference
From Nazi state,
Your draw the lines.

Take the  steps of resistance.
Violence against women,
Voter suppression.

Become a partisan.
And if necessary...
In the woods.


To the Pacifists:

To kill and inmate
Who had eaten anther inmate's
Food? Easy!!!!!

(Watch your food
So no one  steals it!)
What is coming tomorrow?
(You have to survive).


To the Pacifists 2:

Hoss's barber: "I could have
Stuck my scissors in his neck and
What would that mean?
My death, my family's, half the camp?"


Starvation cells and
I pass by...
The indifference  is:
Today is your turn.
Tomorrow mine.


Huge German corporation -
I G Farben:
Lime and coal - and Auschwitz
An ideal location

As always
Capitalism is interested -
Slave labor expanded..
Into our century?


to German survivor involved in mass murder

What are you feeling
As you shoot?
Aim carefully...
My hatred for the Jews
Is that great!
They cheated me!"


The selection
Of disabled adults follows
"Children" - a center
Near Dresden...

"Tell them
To have a shower" Look  for these centers
when you hear the word "treatment"?
Do not believe it.


I can/will not
Be angry
At those who can/will not
Connect  the dots!

They have their reasons.


to the victims:

"When people are
Shocked you can
Do with them
What you will!"

Thur try not to be
Resist before
It happens.

Sniff out wall  St./republicans
Take appropriate action!


To kill the disabled? Too expensive to  ship.
Try such mass  murder alternatives
As drones, tweak the
Murder  alternatives:
Explosives Rusland
Prussic acid, Xyclon B.


Here's another new.

as I've grown older

I've learned to savor
those unexpected moments
when nothing hurts,
and the moments of peace, too,
in the early morning, when the day is new
and the trees stand dark against a shadow gray sky,
and the birds do not sing, not during the last dark moment,
waiting, drowsy in their nest until the sun breaks through the horizon...

the pain-free  moments
come and go
as the muscles and bones and nerves
reach a consensus, purely by happenstance and on their own.
to take a few moments off, relax, quite for a moment
their whining message to the brain about
this ache and that ache or this and that and whatever
they thing they've earned through years
of abuse of misspent youth
to complain

peace, on the other hand, nothing happenstance about it,
it must be sought if it is to be found,
it doesn't just drop by for a bottle of bathtub beer
on Saturday night, putting its feet up,
pretzels, with chili con queso
dripping yellow on its tattered undershirt, saying

it doesn't
work that way, peace must be earned,
like the aches and pains,
dues must be paid, prime among 5hem
and equal doses of acceptance and

peace be upon you, brother,
you can say, as day slips to night
and the peace of dreamless
wraps its quiet arms around you

Next from this week's anthology is this poem by Victory Martinez, poet, author, and winner of the 1996 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.

He was born in 1957 to migrant farm workers in the Central Valley of  California. Educated first at  California State University at Fresno, he later obtained a graduate degree at Stanford University. He supported himself as he worked on his novels and his poetry by working as a welder, truck driver, firefighter, office clerk and teacher.

Martinez died in 2011 of lung cancer.

 Some Things Left Unsaid

What can you say better than carcinoma?
Or the warty-eyed virus eating at the vocal cords?
The skies, the rivers, and forests a brain dreams
get cut away by the same scalpel
that cuts away a malignant tumor.

Look at the boy who can't walk, the lipless girl,
the half-lung man.
There are words, but they mostly go unsaid
in EKG results, in the echoes after a sonogram
has sounded, in the worried ghost of an x-ray.

Over and over, in tomography charts, in bloody washbasins,
or the grave histories of lint beside the vacuum cleaner
something is talked out, perhaps explained, analyzed
or trusted to God.

But how do you speak about diseased blood?
How do you say,
when cancer spreads  its arms inside your arms,
"I'm in love today," or "I'm going home."

But the sun passes over, or rather earth passes over the sun,
with its latest tally of diseases, bringing the light
that brailles another million new megabytes
on the computer disk of global massacres.
It's as if the horizon wants consistency above all,
above all a little consistency.

And so we are swept by the same wind that nourishes the leaves
for erasure.
But let our little children keep playing
and the tongue of beef keep burbling in the clay pot;
all of  creation just keeps spinning quietly on,
leaving everything unsaid.


Here's another new from April, 2010. It's reassuring to know I was struggling then as I struggle now.

third strike

this is my 3rd poem

the first was about
my dog

and the second
about that kiss-ass Lot

who did what the was told
when his God of Vengeance

told his home towns
were going up in fire and brimstone,

leaving only his wife
with human heart and soul  enough

to look back
to see and feel the human agony

of the fiery death of all her friends
and family and everything

she had ever known and valued

a pillar of salt -

that's what being human got you
from that God

who sees his human creations
as like disobedient bulldogs

fit only to be put down
should they ever demonstrate a will of their own


I threw both those poems

so crabbed and cramped
i felt nothing of them

nothing for them -

a poem
should swing naked

through the trees, roaring,
as Whitman taught us -

timid little verses

in argyle socks and
paisley jackets,

quietly and fearfully

along the jungle floor,

and without blood
there can be no passion

without passion
no blood

and that has been,
despite all my strained

ambition, my work this week,
shriveled little cardboard boxes,

flypaper caskets
for dead ideas, mouth-breathing


like the two i started today
 and tossed away, a practice

i might better have started
earlier in the week


These two short poems are the last for the week,  I think, from my library. They are by Aaron Silverberg, Seattle area life coach and poet and they are from his book Thoreau's Chair, published in 2001 by Off the Map Enterprises.

Winged Survivor

Under the cover of night
I flew back
to  a thin new dorestry.

I had give  up my two awkward legs
in a cold drawer
of shiny stainless steel.

No one stopped to sniff and eat me.

As they examined the carcass for clues
I poked in my feathers
for a familiar scent.

The stringy feel of cedar is good
under my talons' flex
but my eyes droop open and close
as I remember
the death screams and agony
of a human
who could not hear
the death screams and agony
of so many fallen creatures
that had fallen before.


I used to laugh at birds
their endless agitation.

I no longer do
since they looked back at mine.


Another new.

before the sun's soon-rising

a morning so quiet
the quiet seems a
solid thing,
a thin plastic wall
stretched across the premature day,
a no-sound barrier
against which my muffled footsteps
kick and kick, even the sound
of me sucked into the silent world,
the unnatural world
inside a sonic
as if the quiet eats the air
leaving me gasping
in a soundless vacuum,
breathless for something
to  be heard...

a neighbor's cock
three blocks over crows,
breaks the skin of still hush
and through it I crawl
back into the world of patio
chimes and birds and dogs
barking for no reason
but, like the cock,
to  celebrate
the sun's soon rising

Rita Magdaleno, from the anthology, was born Germany, the daughter of a German war bride and her father who was born in Mexico. She grew up on the south side of Phoenix, Arizona and works as a "poet in the schools" for  the Arizona Commission for the Arts and as adjunct faculty for Pima Community College. She is also a nurse.  


Crystal beads slide
from her hands  falling
forward and around
and round
            the silver
cross dangles
a small Christ
Sunday at St. Anthony's
hardwood pews
her fingers count
beads and fumble
through a strand
of decades to repeat
the mysteries and
recall the lush green
of Aguascalientes
where she bore
my father at sixteen
then rode the migrant
train to a mining town
where she dried
meat on a tin roof
for years
for children
              then wrapped
the last one
Pepita's twin
in a shoe box and
buried my grandfather
              in 1943
when he broke
inside a black pocket
of the Inspiration Mine
Sunday the same
ritual of prayers.


Here we go, a cat poem from 2010. The cat, our old calico, sadly long gone.

mutually assured destruction

my friend
just sent me

for feeding a pill
to a cat,
the process amazingly

to instructions i saw

for sticking your hand
into a meat-


my cat,
for example,
lazy old slug that she is,

taking little nips at my hand,
never breaking the skin

just takes
that little bit of skin
between thumb and pointer finger

and holds it with her teeth,
an oral fixation,

or it could be
a cat-kind expression
of affection -

that's what i like to think -
but probably not,
more likely, i'm guessing

just a polite little reminder
of what she could do
if i ever tried to stuff a pill down

her throat-
mutually assured
destruction is what we called it

when we played cold war games
with the Russians,
and it worked with the Russians

(we never dropped
atom bombs
on  each other, after all)

and it's worked with the cat and me:
never stuffed a pill down her throat

never chewed off my hand


Last from this week's anthology, Naomi Quinonez, Los Angeles born and raised poet, educator and scholar, is the author of two collections of poetry.


I laugh
a glass of wine
between my legs,
dark, intensely burgundy,
glows from the warmth of my thighs.

I stare
into the crystal glass,
wait for it to reveal
past and future.
A fortuneteller
staring into herself
and finding nothing

I feel
the tight vacuum of my womanhood
and kept between my legs
for no on to see,
for someone to anticipate,
for on one to see.

I am my own chastity belt,
and I laugh at the thought
into the dark red wine
that tells me nothing.

Before I grow confused
and crush the glass
with my thighs,
I laugh again,
I look again
bring the wine to my lips
and take a long drink.


This will be the last poem this week, I think, unless I find a lot of good pictures-somewhere.

swimming the Facebook seas

have you ever wondered
about those people
you meet on
Facebook, cranks for all seasons,
leftists, right-wingers,
paranoids, schizoids, one-worlders,
isolationists, faddists, food Nazis, conspiracy
mongers, commies-under-every-bed, fascists-
 behind-every-tree, Chavistas, fashionistas, Utopians,
vegan militants, Black-power militants, White-power militants,
anti-vanilla-Oreo militants,  peace-militants,
bomb-the-fuckers militants, carnivore constitutionalists,
nihilists, anarchists,  gun nuts, anti-gun nuts,
riders-upon-the-latest-againer-fads - anti-GMOists,
anti-pipeliners, anti-fat, anti-lean, anti-histamines -
whatever-the-Great-and-Wonderful-Oz deems next...

all taken to senseless  extremes,
so tiresome, Facebook like a little clubhouse
us kids had when I was one,  password required

how come I never run into these people
in real life?

is it that they never leave the clubhouse content
to stay in their cozy cubby, unthreatened
by the sense and reality real people
face in the real world?

or is that the regular  people I meet
are not so regular when no one is looking,
their secret life of Facebook rant and rave
hidden during the regular course of their regular day?

I'm  thinking they're all around me,  that I,in my own
regular life swim in seas of well-disguised Facebook  weirdos,
that they're everywhere, like a school of sharks
circling, waiting for the first slight taste
of blood to pounce, to try to sell me tickets on their particular train
of twenty-first century balderdash...

my God, what a dangerous world we live in, the time
I'm thinking, to gather the women and children,
to lower the lifeboats,
time, I'm  thinking, to break out the tin foil hats!

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


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