Marching Disorders   Saturday, May 24, 2014






My anthology this week is The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart, edited by Robert Bly, James Hillman, and Michael Meade. The book was published by Harper Collins in 1992.

Photos old again, revisited.

New and old poems, mine, old mostly better than new, and poets from my library.



Me
before I went insane

William Carlos Williams
Dance Russe

Me
on the Blanco River

Simon J. Ortiz
A Pretty Woman
Bony
Two Acoma Pictures
For Rainy's Book
A Deer Dinner
A Snowy Mountain Song

Me
about the best thing

James Joyce
A Flower Given to My Daughter

Me
about spellcheck and other random inequities

Joanna Klink
The Graves

Me
the beard regrets

Theodore Roethke
My Papa's Waltz

Me
warty-frog fat
I have no good word for crocodiles
it's a fine day today

Wendell Berry
 Let Us Pledge
On a Theme of Chaucer

Me
scent memories

Haki R. Madhubuti
Empty Warriors

Me
my ex-friend Buddha

Luis J. Rodriguez
Night Dancing: Watts  1975-1978

 Me
a wet day

Czeslaw Milosz
Faith

Me
the kind of poet I want to be

Ishle Yi Park
Miracle

Me
a while longer

Langston Hughes
Necessity

Me
my stupid tree, my stupid poem

Me
what God don't like

Me
a drive in the country

Me
           Doc says             








                                           





I wrote this about a month or so ago. Still think sometime of how lucky I was to get through it all.













before I went  insane

dreams
all night of a time
60 years past...

I was ten,
the last year before the insanity
of adolescence
set upon me...

and I did  it so well,
crazy as hell
doing  crazy things
just to show I could do it...

so  many people their trust abused,
it's hard to believe
I made it out
alive,
and  how often luck saved me
from finding my place in jail,
behind the bars its seemed
I so ardently
sought,
all for pride, for place,
for the benediction
of  any Judas priest...

so domesticated am I now...

who could ever imagine
the tangled  path
that  brought
me here

```

dreaming all night
about the year  before I  went
insane








                                                                      




My first  pick from this week's anthology is one of the wonders of 20th century poetry, the good Doctor, William Carlos Williams.














Dance Russe

If when my wife is sleeping
and the  baby and Kathleen
are sleeping,
and the sun is a flame-white disc
in silken mists
above shining trees, -
if I in my north room
dance naked, grotesquely
before my mirror
waving my shirt around my head
and singing softly to myself:
"I am so lonely, lonely,
I was born to be lonely,
I am best so!"
If I admire my arms, my face,
my shoulders, flanks, buttocks
against the yellow drawn shades, -

Who shall say I am not
the happy genius of my household?








                                              




Here' the first old poem of the week, June 2010.










on the Blanco River

i lived
on the banks
of the Blanco River
back in the late-sixties

me, with
several hippy-cowboy
neighbors,
and my dog Sam -

dead broke,
living on beans and cornbread
and meatless beef stew
and Lone Star beer...

after four years
of military service,
learning to be free
again

up all night
to seen the sunrise
on the river,
chopping trees

on the island
in the middle of the river
for a free month's
rent

me and Sam
crossing  to the island
in a tin rowboat
more laying under the trees

then chopping them down,
the two of us - Sam and me -
lying in the grass
watching the clouds and the sun

pass through the branches,
writing short stories
that never got any better
and poetry that did, a bit...

i remember watching Sam
run through the pasture
of high grass
chasing

rabbits, running through
the grass, jumping high
over the grass every few yards
to track the rabbits' paths

the poetry of Sam
running in such wild chase,
the speed of her running,
the grace of her slow jumps

like a French film i saw once
of horses in slow stampede,
better than any poem i would
write that day or since...








First from  my library this week, several  short poems by Simon J. Ortiz, from his book  Woven  Stone, published by The University of Arizona Press in 1992. Ortiz, born in 1941, is one of the most highly respected and widely read of Native American writers and one of the key figures in the second wave of the "Native American Renaissance."  His work exemplifies the simplicity and directness of the best poets of that movement, characteristics of poetry I most admire.




A Pretty Woman

We came to the edge
of the mesa
and looked below.

We could see
the shallow wash
snaking down
from the cut
between the two mesas,
all the way from Black Mountain;
and the cottonwoods
from that distance
looked like a string of turquoise,

and the land was a pretty woman
smiling at us
looking at her


Bony

My father brought that dog home
in a gunny sack.

The reason we called it Bony
was because it was skin and bones.

It was a congenital problem
or something that went way back
in its dog's history.

We loved it without question,
its history and ours.


 Two Acoma Pictures

  Little Wren I Need a Song

Little Wren,, this morning quickly
make me a song
made of sandstone  clefts,
a bit of yucca growing there

Quickly my friend, just a bit
of song which goes:
    cool morning shadow
    sandstone lodge mica glints
    sun will rise from Chuska horizon.


Two Women at the Northern Cistern

Tadpole says,
    Where were you last night
    I was waiting for you all night.
    I know you think I am still young.
    But I am getting bigger, watch

    Here, drink from my well.



For  Rainy's Book

 Poetry is
the silence
of Sun and Quuti.



A Deer Dinner

After you have gotten a deer,
a dinner is given for it.
Kudra quuya comes to the dinner,
and she acts like a silly old gal.
She teases with you
like you were her man, making promises.
And then she takes the eyes
out off the deer's head
which is boiling in a big pot.
And then she blesses you with prayer
for you virility and good luck
and not to disappoint her promises.


A Snowy Mountain Song

I like her like that,

a white scarf
tied to her head,
the lines of her face
are strong.

Look, the snowy mountain.









                                         



The next thing is from last week, maybe a follow-on to the one above from a month ago.















about the best thing

about the best thing
and there's not a lot of them,
about being 70 years old
is that probably at least  two-thirds
of the people who  remember
the stupid things
I did
when I was young
are dead

if hold out long
enough
it may be I'll be just more innocent
ash when the time
of my departure
comes,
all my elements
drifting
back into the universal mix
pure as the driven
snow

forgotten then.
all  the truth-speakers
gone
before me
as I now  begin to forget








                                         



Next from the anthology, James Joyce.








A Flower Given to My Daughter

Frail the white rose and frail  are
Her hands that gave
Whose soul is sere and paler
Than time's wan wave.

Rose frail and fair - yet frailest
A wonder wild
In gentle eyes though veil-est,
My blueveined child.









                                                                 

Another poem from June, 2010, back in the day when I could not only take a joke, I could make one (or two) too. The "religioso babosos" were several preachers who had breakfast at my restaurant one day a week. I used to overhear them talking and used them as a comic  foil until I began to feed about it because, in fact,  their conversations, theological and otherwise, were very interesting.









about spellcheck and other random inequities

my breakfast hangout
opens at 6 am, which is about as early
as i need anything
to open up
and i got here this
morning
as they were just turning
on the lights
so i've been here
almost an hour
and the first other
customer
just showed up

and the two of us
means a crowd is gathering
cause that's the way
a crowd always gathers
just two then three and so on
think Marx and Engles
just two that turned into a
pretty big crowd even if
it didn't turn out so well
except for Marx but not
poor Engles whose name
I don't even remember how to
spell and he's not in spellcheck
unlike Marx who though not known
for his pleasant disposition
was not Groucho just like Engles
was not Laura but she's an "I" Ingles
not an "E" Engles and she's not in
spellcheck either and i just noticed
and this is interesting if you think about it
"spellcheck" is in spellcheck even though
Frederick and Laura are not which makes
a twisted kind of sense especially
if you were the inventor of spellcheck
cause i know  if i had invented spellcheck
i would put spellcheck in it and i wonder
who invented spellcheck and if the inventor's
name is in spellcheck cause if i had invented
spellcheck my name would be in it along
with Frederick and Laura cause i'm for
the little guy and Frederick was surely
the little guy at least compared to the big guy
and Laura though not a guy certainly was little
cause her frontier dad on TV always called her
"Little Bit" which is a pretty good clue
that she was one off the little guys i'm for
like Harry Truman who was a little guy and
especially Martin Van Buren  who at five foot four
was the littlest  little guy to occupy the office a
whole foot plus littler than the big guy, Honest
Abe who was a big guy in feet and inches
and lots of other ways
too

and Martin by the way is not in spellcheck either
which makes four so far people, Frederick, Laura
Martin and Me who oughta be in spellcheck
but aren't and would be if i had invented spellcheck

and as to the business at hand
it being Monday
i thought i might be able to listen in
on the Religioso Babosos this morning
 but i was really early and they're getting later and
later and not nearly as interesting as they used to be
anyway

maybe that's why they're not in spellcheck
either








                                                                       


Next from my library. a poem by Joanna Klink. The poem is from her book,  Raptus, published by Penguin Books in 2010. The poet was born in  Iowa City, Iowa in 1969. She received  her B.F.A. in poetry at the Iowa Writers' Workshop and her Ph.D. in Humanity at Johns Hopkins University.









The Graves

What happened to us
happened because we could not

stop. Needing belief in un-
inhabited wilderness,

in the twelve hours of
thunder over these hills.

Hope is a place
held for the unknown,

where you are beyond
anything I can say. Like animals

who form a quiet lake in the grass
long before scattering.









                                                      




The new-poem vibe so far this week seems to be my misspent youth. I guess this fits right in.
















the beard regrets

something
red and runny at Olive Garden
with asparagus chicken and very large
noodles

should have stuck to soup  and
a salad...

prom night..

a whole table full of beautiful young girls
in fancy prom dresses
showing off tanned shoulders
and a bit (or better) of cleavage

only two guys with them
sitting
at the end of  the table

looking like the kind of safe guys
mothers and fathers pick
to watch over their daughters

keep them from getting too interested
in more interesting  guys
with hungry eyes
and tight
pants...

I  played that part before

little did her  parents know
the beard
who  picked the girl at their house,
smiled  reassuringly
at her parents
and delivered her to an older  guy,
horn dog guy,
the guy Fonzie
would have been if Fonzie had been
a creep with designs on Richie's girlfriend

pretty girl
blond slender  smart
17 years old and how I wished
I was picking her up for
me...








                                                    


From the anthology, another short poem, this one by Theodore Roethke.









My Papa's Waltz

The whiskey on your breath
Could make a small boy dizzy;
But I hung on like  death:
Such waltzing was not easy.

We romped until the pans
Slid from the kitchen shelf;
My mother's countenance
Could not unfrown itself.

The hand that held my wrist
Was battered on one knuckle;
At every step you missed
My right ear scraped a buckle.

You beat time on my head
With the palm caked hard by dirt,
Then waltzed me off to bed
Still clinging to your  shirt.









                                                 




Here are three of my shorter poems from June, 2010










warty-frog fat

big windows
all around, condensation
makes it like eating
breakfast in a cloud

oatmeal
in a cloud -
too much oatmeal in the cloud -
and i  sit in my booth like
a frog full of flies

warty-frog
fat

green
beyond my natural
green

and
it's not easy



I have no good word for crocodiles

i have no  good word
for crocodiles,

long scaly creatures
with great sharp teeth

who would eat me
if they could -

i say
save the sweet-eyed bossies

and eat  a croc
instead


it's a fine day today

it's a fine day
today

the sun shines
on all of us,  children
of the bright...

it's a fine day,
today

three pages
of dead people in the paper -
only five younger than me
and one of those
i think
was lying...

a fine day
today,
three pages of dead people
in the paper

and none of them was
me...








                                                                     



Next, I  have two  poems from Wendell Berry, a short and a super-short. The poems are from Berry's book Entries, published in paperback by Counterpoint in 1997. Originally published in 1994 by Pantheon Books.











Let Us Pledge

Let  us pledge allegiance to the flag
and to the national sacrifice areas
for which it stands, garbage dumps
and empty holes, sold out for a higher
spire on the rich church,  the safety
of voyagers in gold carts, the better mood
of the stock market. Let us feast
today,  though tomorrow we starve. Let us
gorge upon the body of the Lord, consuming
the earth for out greater joy in Heaven,
that fair Vacationland. Let  us wander forever
in the labyrinths  of our self-esteem.
Let  us evolve forever toward the higher
consciousness of  the machine.
The spool of our engine-driven fate
unwinds,  our history now out-speeding
thought,  and the heart is a beatable  tool.


On a Theme of Chaucer

I never have denied
What faith and scripture tell,
That Heaven's host is glad,
Or that there's pain in Hell.

But what I haven't tried
I'll not put up for sale.
No man has ever died
And lived to tell the tale.









                                        



Leaving my early day miss-deeds aside, here's something more recent from last week.
















scent memories

mid-way through my 5 am walk
the smell of baking bread,
wafting into this residential neighborhood
from I don't know where
and the neighborhood and the houses
all around but mine, dark,sleeper
sleeping, all quiet but for the birds
in the trees, rustling awake,
clearing  their throats
with tentative tweets, such and otherwise
silence even  the dogs do not
bark as we pass...

and not just bread, but
Mexican sweet bread, pan dulce,
or pan de dulce, depending
where you buy it, my favorite,
mojettes, or, conchas, because of the
sea shell pattern on  their top, depending
again where you buy them...

so light and soft when fresh, like roofing tile
if more than a couple of hours old, like the nan
of the mid-east and India (buying nan from a street
in Kabul - such a sweet and irrelevant
flash memory, a nostalgia strike, triggered
by a scent  drifting through a dark neighborhood
on an early morning)

a scent of love in the morning, for what is  more lovable
than the baking of bread, what more welcome
than the smell of it  in the oven, the taste
of it with breakfast...

a first-time ever experience
here in the neighborhood, but from where?

it must be the supermarket about a mile
away, a  large Texas chain that makes, here
in the mom and pop Mexican bakery capital
of the world, the best pan dulce in town, just
as it makes (how unexpected) the best sushi
in town...

the contradictions and curiosities of our modern
times, such they are,  just as are
these wonderful morning smells drifting
with the wind among all  my sleeping neighbors,
scent memories,  am I the only one who
smells it...












                                              


Next from the anthology,  a poet I've never read before,  Haki R. Madhubuti. Born Don Luther Lee in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1942, Madhubuti is a author, poet, and educator.









 Empty Warriors

the men.
occupying bedrooms and unemployment lines, on corners,,  in
    bars,
stranded between middle management and bankruptcy,
    caught in
warped mindsets of "success in america," the kind taught to
first generation immigrants at local trade schools and jr.
colleges, taught to people lost and unaware of history or
future,  ignorant  of middle  passages.

the men,
occupying space with men and motives, in prisons, in safe
houses,  shooting up with juice and junk, many with hairless
noses and needle-marked toes, searching for missing history,
searching for the when and how of "making it in america."

the men
escaped and taken, twice and three times absorbed in life and
    sharing,
absorbed in locating the mission and magic, the manner and
muscle,, the answer and aims, walking the borders between
smiles and outrage.








                                                            




From June, 2010, regarding the Facebook phenomena.










my ex-friend Buddha

in seeking to understand
the truth of existence,
the Buddha
sat under his
fig tree
for three days and three nights
not saying a word to anyone,
meditating
on the path to enlightenment,
before deciding
he had something
worth telling people
about

like,
awesome in his own way,
but totally
inadequate
as a Facebook
friend

totally








                                                        



Here, from my library, is a poem by Luis J. Rodriguez, from his book The Concrete River. The book was published in 1991 by Curbstone Press. The poet, author, novelist, journalist and critic has a life story I've tried to summarize here before but it's really too complicated to do justice to here. I  recommend Wikipedia to you as a source for that story.









Night Dancing: Watts 1975-1978

Nothing in Watts whispers.
Every open window is a shout,
a night dance to a driving
pulse that crashes through
the broken walls of a
Joardan Downs second-floor flat.

Conga sounds and synthesizers
compete against the drunken
laughter and angry talk
of young crips whose world
is bigger than this place
but never as important.

Here innocence and terror
are woven into he  summer
breeze as the cries of
"hood"k deliver sacrifices
of sound and flesh,
as a mother's milk flows,

and the heat hangs on you
like a wet  blanket.
All begins to  blend,come apart;
all is loving, destroying,
while homegirls dance a jig
to a repertoire of police sirens.








                                                           




It hasn't been enough to break the drought, but the rain has been wonderful.















a wet day

midnight
thunder shakes the  house
and rattles the  trees
while gushes of rain flood the creek
and the streets

later,
as pre-dawn light turns
the backyard from black to gray,
a single bird calls
in the mist, the lonely sound of a cold
dripping dawn

then  later again,
I sit with Bella on the covered
patio of my breakfast cafe,
the mist thickened
to rain,
not the rushing storm
of last night,
but real rain, glorious rain
soaking the parched throat
of the hills

the only thunder now
the commuter cars speeding
to wherever they must,
the slick and shinning
interstate roaring with their
passage...

a wet day coming,
all will soon be green and brightly waving...









                                                



 From the anthology here is a short poem by  Czeslaw Milosz.











Faith

The word Faith means when someone sees
A dew-drop or a floating leaf, and knows
That they are, because they have to be.
And even if you dreamed, or closed your eyes
And wished, the world would still be what it was,
And the leaf would still be carried down the river.

It means that when someone's foot is hurt
by a sharp rock, he also knows that rocks
Are here so they can hurt out feet.
Look, see the long shadow cast by the tree;
And flowers and people throw shadows on the earth:
What has no shadow has no strength to live.

(Translated by Robert Hass and Robert  Pinsky with Renata Goreczynski)








                                            



Another poem from June, 2010. The subject referenced a bit in my introduction to Simon Ortiz' poems.










the kind of poet I want to be

there are poets
who string together
all those fine and beautiful
and high sounding lines that,
upon examination,
don't say a damn thing

 such a frustration it is
to read
and think you're reading
something deep and great,
only to discover
along the way of reading
that you have wasted your time
on such a hollow shell -
promises
of  revelation
lost to the thud
of shallow cliche ,
poems written only
impress the careless reader

there are other poets
who like to give the reader
little puzzles
that only they know
how to solve, like
a four-page  poem
all about an event
in their life that happened
when they were in the third grade
in Gerald Ford elementary school
in Upper Slobodinsky,  Pennsylvania
and you can't possibly understand
their poem without knowing the secret
of what  they did in the little boys' room
on their second day of school
and in the whole four-page poem
they never tell you the secret
and so nothing in the poem makes sense
and you can hear them as they write,
laughing, ha,  ha, at their readers,
those dummies who confuse  being
confused with purpose and substance

and there are poets
who do the exact same thing,
except they do it in four words,
usually unrelated in any rational sense,
instead of four pages,  but the principle
is the same, marvel at my mystery
they seem to be saying, mistaking
incoherence for mystery

such are not my favorite poets

Bukowsky said,
write the way you like to  read

and since i don't like to rad
gibberish
or fake and empty eloquence,
i prefer other writers than  these,
the plain speakers,
who lay down in plain words
what they want the reader to see,
then get the fuck out of the way
so the reader can read and see it

that's the kind of poet
i want  to
be









                                                                     



Here's a poem by Korean-American poet  Ishle Yi Park. The poem is from her book, The Temperature of This Water.  The book was published by Kaya Press in 2004.












Miracle

Once a father who sold fish
discovered his son
was a Flushing gangster
who extorted restaurants,
robbed livery cabs
at knife-point,  and bought
cigarettes and pizza
for older gangsters.
sobbing he beat his son
for the first time,
each thud throbbing
like the long-dead planks
trembling under his boots.

The son ran away, slept
in pool halls
on burnt, uncovered
mattresses, had sex
with a prostitute,
felt aloneness
wrap around him
like a wool blanket.

He returned at Christmas
to help with the fish store
filled with hungry,
ticket-waving Italians.

He cashiered alone,
dozed in the  heated Nissan,
smoked  Marlboros,
wept  only once.

His father watched him,
wanting to tear the blond 
streaks out of his hair.
They moved in silence
through the freezer-cold stretches
packing orders,tying blue bags,
hauling them onto shelves,
ordering more salmons, more halibut,
more-cocktail shrimp.

The son,apron dirtied
and smelling like socks,
sat on top of a white  freezer box,
his worn boots
hanging over the  side.
He leaned into his fists,
cap over his eyes.

His father took a whisk
from a blue inhaler,
then knelt
on the black tile's
gleam and kneaded
his only son's legs,
from ankle  to knee,
slowly, slowly, through
the battered jeans.

Under the pale pool
of fluorescent light,
one bulb broken,
two dim,, the son let him,
the son let  him.









                                                      




I used to write funny poems, but it seems, at  least for a while now, I've lost my sense of humor and more often find myself in a kind of melancholia that comes and for a while doesn't go.














a while longer

I woke at midnight
in the dark of middle night
to  the memory of a day
long ago, crossing
a parking lot, holding hands  as we always
held hands when walking on a street, or,  like
this day, crossing a busy parking lot,
and suddenly his hand felt so large and it seemed
the years of holding his hand must be over,
that he was of an age when that tie
must be broken if he was to take his next step
into manhood...

so I took my hand from his
and draped my arm over his shoulder
and we walked that way
until the day when it seemed
time for another step had come...

 a sad memory, that moment  on that
parking lot, of another bittersweet
passage...

sad that I did not ignore
that impulse,
knowing
now how inevitable such breaks
and separations and how I wish I had pushed back
against the passage of time, how I  wish I had held on
to  his hand, even if only for a little while
longer...

learning  with age how the best moments in a life
come only once, so many of them I wish
I had held on to,  even  if  only for a little while
longer...

sol many moments lost in the years,
sad memories now in the darkest hours of night...








                                        




Last from the anthology this week, a short humorous poem by Langston Hughes.












Necessity

Work?
I don't have to work.
I don't have to do nothing
but eat, drink, stay black, and die.
This little old furnished room's
so small  I can't whip a cat
without getting fur in my mouth
and my landlady's so old
her features is all run together
and God knows she sure can overcharge -
Which is why I reckon I does
have to work after all.









                                                       



Another old poem, again from June, 2010.










my stupid tree, my stupid  poem

this is the part
where i  lower  my eyes
and mumble a humble response like

well
thanks
it was nothing

but of course it was
something -
it was a poem

and good or bad
it was an  effort  at creation
like the tree stump

in the back yard
i've cut with my father's day chain saw
leaving swoosh-like slashes

from top to bottom
that i've painted the primary colors
red, blue, yellow

to match the ceramic  thing
Dee made
a mirror framed in a mosaic

of red blue yellow
stones
that i put on  top of the stump

in a slot i cut
with my new 18-inch
chain saw which i'm finding very handy

and i'm not done yet
i'm thinking of little mirrors all around the tree
as soon as  i figure out

how to stick them so they'll stay
on  the whole a truly atrocious thing
to be stuck  i the middle of one's  back yard

but i don't care
because i believe it is the creative instinct
that should be honored

regardless of what it  produces
which may or may not be honored as a final
product

the human creative passion
i invested in my stupid tree is equal
to  any passion of Picasso

just as my stupid  poem
is equal in its creative passion
to  any poem ever written

it is the passion that counts
before all  else
it is what separates us

from the animals in the field
and the  fish in the sea
and  the birds who fly over it all








                                                           





Here's my last poem from my library, this one from my own book. (And yes, I have my own book in my library.)













 what God don't like

I was seeing this preacher fella on TV the other day
and he was saying that God don't like men fucking  men

I don't know how in the world he would know that,
except maybe he was talking to God
and just straight out ask him,  like, hey, God
what do you think about this men fucking men thing

I'd be afraid to do that, but maybe it's OK for preachers,
especially this particular preacher fella
since it seems  like he's pretty close to God and
like he must talk to him about all sorts of things
because he's all the time on TV
talking about what God likes and don't like
(mostly about what he don't like from what I've seen),
not just about fucking, but about all  sorts  of  things
God don't like, you know, treehuggers and feminazies
and Democrats and evolutionists and poor people
and those wussy-pussy perverts who think
we ought not to be killing raghead foreigners
without some kind of pretty good reason

but mostly what I get from listening to the TV fella
is that mainly what God most often don't like
are people who aren't exactly like the same TV fella

and  I'm thinking maybe I ought to study that fella real good
and try real hard to be as much like he is as I can

so maybe God won't  don't like me, too










Last from my old  poems, this piece written in June, 2010,  the beginning section of one of my travel  poems which I later  included in my book of travel poems,   Places and  Spaces, available wherever eBooks are sold. One of the difficulties of living in San Antonio near the geographic center of Texas is that it's 500 or so miles to get out of the state in just about any direction you go, unless you're going to  Mexico,  which is just a short jaunt of about 300 miles.








a drive in the country

558 miles
and one time zone

San Antonio
to El Paso

a  long day's drive
in the country


~~~

on the ridge
a line of dead trees
oak blight killing scrub oak
all around

reminding me of a picture
i once saw
of a lone tree,
bare and burned,
among the ruins at
Hiroshima

these trees like that,
bare limbs
black
reaching up, grasping
at the sky

in the pasture below
a mare ad her foal eat grass
generous and green

~~~

roadway
blasted through stony hills,
in the rock walls on either side
layers
of geologic time...

there,
near the top,
a woman and her man passed,
nearly human,
and down here, by my feet
a fish
struggled,
crawled awkwardly
from the sea

~~~

a large buck
lying
half in the grass
half in the  road

muscle and blood
and bone and heart
against
metal and plastic,
old times of safe and open graze
and new times of death on black tar

he, the
buck,
loser in a clash of  kinds

~~~

a diversion,
a  small back road
to  Fort  Lancaster ruins,
narrow  two-lane,
high  mesas
on either side

the bird,
zippity-flash
crosses the road
skinny little legs pumping,
thin  neck and head
high and proud

sharp
like an arrow passing

and fast

no coyote, no
can
catch little paisano

~~~

a cloud billows up
from the Chisos Mountains

like a white rose
opening to the sun

~~~

cane fields
afire
in Mexico

black smoke
billowing

trucks move in
behind
the fire
with cutters
to harvest the cane

to sweeten
your coffee

~~~

El Paso

long since outgrown
it's little desert-slash of river green

built now on wastelands

and it's  connecting ribbon
of interstate
at 5  pm
a raceway
of drivers from two  countries
and  three states
all hurrying  to be home
first
before the wasteland  shifts
and home
falls
between the cracks

~~~

558 miles
and one time zone

San Antonio
to El Paso

a hard day's drive
in the country

stone-wrapped hills
to long-stretched fingers
of pink Chihuahua Desert

blue sky, blue on blue
on deep ocean blue sky,
to jagged clouds
dark and sharply racing

and little  towns along
the way

Segovia Senora Saragosa
Serra  Blanca
Allamoore
Belhmora
and Van Horn

all pass

the miles and hours
of skies and hills
and deserts
and  all the little  towns

pass quickly

a roots CD mix
my son made for me -
Bela Fleck,  Loudon Wainwright III,
and a woman i  don't  know
that i could
and did
listen to for hours









                                                      





Here's my last poem for the week, written earlier in the month.















Doc says

quarterly visit
with my doc yesterday,
to check on the chances of my going-on
going on a little longer...

weight down,
blood pressure down
blood sugar down
bad cholesterol down
the good kind up
the heart beats
the lungs breath
the feet still attached
to the bottom of my legs
(good news  for us diabetics)
ears hear
eyes see (except for the one on the right side)
bald head glistening
with a sheen of good health

"good work," says the Doc,

"some of my best," she  says.

"I'd say you're good at least
for 70," she says

"but I'm already 70," I say

"see, I told you," she says











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, Oyster, Flipkart, and Kobo (and, through Kobo,  brick and mortar 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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