Chase Seis   Wednesday, June 25, 2014







I had planned to go out on  a photo safari this week,  but overcome by busy-busy, am returning to old pictures (tickled into new realms of inspirational beauty) instead. At first unintentional, then by design, the photos all hew to a water theme this week.

I do have an anthology this week, Spirits of the Are: Poets of Conscience, published  by Quarry Press in 1989.

I have old poems, I have new poems, I have library poems, and I guess that's it.


Me 
a plan

Kim Kwangsop
Having Died
Summer Mornings after Rain
Evening 

Me
aii! Neda

Charles Bukowski
At the Edge

Me
was and will be

Roque Dalton
untitled

Me
and that's it

Pablo Lopez  del Castillo
Love is Like This

Me
number 5 for the good guys

Mauricio Rodoles
The Future Will  Return

Me
dreams of wet

Susan Griffin
The Woman  

Me
the best I can do

Mykola Rudenko
from Enlightenment

Me
Gabriel

Erica Funkhouser
Scraps

Me
life on the streets

Meem Atash
You are the Singer

Me
Dushanbe

Julia B. Levine
On Whatever Form the Past Assumes Waiting for Us to Enter

Me
missing the displaced workers

Adbellatif Laabi
They Came Looking for You
Heresy

Me
fugitive from the poem police

Leroy V. Quintana
Poem for Marilyn Monroe 
Poem for Rod Serling

Me
just not in my nature


And, of course,I certainly don't want my San Antonio area friends to forget I'll be reading from my latest book, New Days & New Ways, at the IAMA coffeehouse on the corner of Broadway and Pearl, Thursday, July 10th, beginning at 7PM. Music will be included in the evening's entertainment.








                                                          




 Here 's a little new piece to start the week.











a plan

grey veil
covers the day

yellow
across the yellow moon
high in the west
still as large and queenly
round as yesterday

a day
with a plan
still untold to us,
hidden behind the misty morning
sky









The first poet from this week's anthology is Kim Kwangsop, from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Born in 1905 in what is now the northeastern part of North Korea, He attended Waseda University in Tokyo and graduated from the English Department. After returning to Seoul and teaching at a high school there for several years, he was arrested in 1941 and imprisoned for three years by the Japanese who administered Korea from 1910 to 1945. He died in 1977.

As I suspect will be the case for many of the poets from this anthology, I could find no picture of Kim and will use a picture of the book's cover instead. (This, by the way, is not the cover of the edition I bought at the second-hand  bookstore, but  it is the cover used on Amazon.)









Having Died

The General becomes a sword
The sovereign becomes a mausoleum
The rich become a fence
the poor become stones and sand.

I would become a cloud,
in the arms of a favoring wind
travel a thousand miles,
rain on the grasses burning
on a tomb.


Summer Mornings After Rain

On days after rain
when the clear sky descends into the pond
and makes a summer morning,
green shadows become paper
and goldfish write poems.


Evening

From so many, one
star looks down at me.
From this many, one
person  looks at that star.

As night descends
the star disappears into light
and I disappear  into darkness.

Drawn this close
one and one, you and I
become something
that we may meet again.

(Translations by David R. McCann)









                                                        


I wonder if anyone remembers this young woman, murdered by police during the demonstrations in Iran in June, 2009. We all saw it on TV, how could we forget? But I'm afraid for the most part, we have.










aii! Neda

aii!
Neda
I watched you die

beautiful in life
your eyes

in this frantic moment
blank and unseeing

your blood
a crimson flood

on the thug-
strewn streets
of your oppressor

aii!
Neda
I watched you die

one of many

seeing your damaged face
I see them all







                                                                    



It's been a while since I've turned to Charles Bukowski, which is kind of strange considering the number of his books that I have in my library. This poem is from his book  New Poems - Book 2, published by Virgin Books in 2003.









At the Edge

a smoky room at the edge, it's always
been a smoky room at the
edge.
the edge never goes away.
sometimes you understand it
better.
sometimes you even talk to it, you might
say, "hello, old friend."
but it has no sense of humor, it slams you in the
gut, says,
"this is serious business, I'm here to
kill you or drive you mad."
"all right," you reply, "I under-
stand."

tonight this room is smoky
and I am alone
listening to the silence.
I am tired of  waiting on life,
it was so slow to arrive and quick to
leave.
the streets and the cities are
empty,
love is on the damned cross
and death laughs in the black
room.

at the edge, the edge, the edge.

it's so  sad: the flowers are still trying
to please me,
the sun shouts my name,
but my courage fails
as the animals look on with large
eyes.

this smoky room.
a stained rug.
a few  books.
a painting or two.
a broken chair.
an empty pair of shoes.
a tired old man.

subordinated debt.









                                            



Another new poem, this one from fathers' day.











was and will be

late arriving
in my life, so many stories
to tell since

and I think I've told
most
in these little morning musings

what's to say now
but how the pleasure has enriched me,
watching the future develop
from the first day, a month old,
arriving with only 24 hours notice after
being told the week before
to expect to wait maybe as long as a year,
panic in the baby section at Target
the night before, knowing our baby would come
with only a single diaper, searching the shelves
trying to identify all the things
we thought he would need
the next day, that day, picking
him up at the agency, he cries and cries
and only his new grandmother can
sooth him, taking him home, surrounded by family,
his family now...

and then they leave, back to their own cities
and their own homes,
and we are alone, a new mother and a new father
and a new baby, come
to stay...

thirty-one years later, the past, each of those years
always present, the future, too, always
present, for us for the time we have
and for him, far beyond our own
time, the world he will share with us
only in his memories, as I share with my own
mother and father only the memories
of lives lived together
and  gone...

it is the way...

my father was a father
and is still a father as long as I remember him,
just as I am a father
and will remain a father as long as he remembers
me









                                              



Next from the anthology, I have this piece by  Roque Dalton from the Republic of El Salvador. Born 1933, Dalton studied law and anthropology. He was persecuted and imprisoned in his own country and later lived in exile in Guatemala, Mexico, Czechoslovakia and Cuba for many years. He was murdered in 1975 after returning to help organize the guerrilla struggle. Several years later his two sons were "disappeared."








   

     Jail again, dark fruit.
     In the streets and rooms of men, someone at this moment
will be moaning in love, will be making music or reading news
of a battle happening under the Asian night. In the rivers,  fishes
will sing of their disbelief in the sea, impossible dream, too
good to be true. (I speak of those fish, in reality blue, called
Lily-Blacks, from whose spines violent and swift men extract
perfumes off great durability.)
     And, in whatever place, the least of sunken or nailed down
things will be less prisoner than I.
     (True, my having a piece of pencil and paper - and poetry
- proves that some puffed-up universal concept, born to be
written in capitals - Truth, God,  The Unknown, flooded
me one happy day and that I have not fallen - fallen into this
dark well - but into the hands of opportunity in order to give
proper evidence of it  before mankind.
     Nevertheless, I would prefer to walk in the country.
     Even  without a dog.)

(Translated by Tim Reynolds)








                                                              




From June, 2009, one of those days when a poet begins to question the whole poem-a-day idea.










and that's it

it is Sunday
morning
and I am
where
I usually am
on Sunday
morning
just a couple
of hours later
than I usually
am
due  to a con
fluence of
events
which may
or may
not
be fodder
for a poem
a question
I am pursuing
at this very mo
ment as I
typidy
type
ty
p
e
hoping for the
best
but you know
we always
hope
for the best
even know
ing we'd hap
pily settle
for not so
bad
and even
not  so bad
may be much
to  ask for
today
as I feel like
crap
having 3 drinks
last night
tequila collins
if you must
know
which is
like
three months
of drinking
for
me
since I stumb
led on the
path of the
straight
and narrow
some 30
years ago
and that's
really all
I have to say
about it  so may
be I should just
stop
and let you
bet back
to your sausage
and biscuits
until
tom
mor
ow
&
that's
it








The next poem is by Pablo Lopez del Castillo. It is taken from his book Memorial del Viento/Wind Memorial, published in Spanish and English format by Orchard Press of St. Mary's University in San Antonio in 2005. Well known in Mexico as a stage actor who travels  his country using his favorite poets to create dramatic monologues. Although he has published  a couple of dozen books, this is the first to appear in the United States. Considering how well-known he is in Mexico, it seems strange I can't find a picture of him, or even a picture of the book. It is available at Amazon, but no photo is included in the listing.




Love is Like This

We are cosmic animals
perfectly designed

I understood that love
was to contemplate
the sun with different eyes.
And yet as soon as you arrived
you were already forgetting me.

But what can be said
about the suffering that teaches us
after such an event
to recover our life?
Perhaps that is
the key the suicidal one lost.

The story in which one lives
nourishes itself from the love
in which it perishes.

Yet I will love you again.
It is a mandate we both received
and which you
as always
will easily forget.

Love is like this.
It is received in full
or returned complete.

We are cosmic animals
perfectly designed.









                                                          



The NBA championship, the San Antonio Spurs, a team made not bought, champions for the fifth time. Old Man Riverwalk, Tim Duncan, 38 years old, there for all five, won over three different decades. 








number 5 for the good guys

not feeling well
I don't watch, go to bed instead...

but I know how it  turned out
as I am awakened
by the honking of car horns on
Callaghan,the closest cross street
to where I live

all the freeway exits to downtown
are closed by the police,
no room for any more cars, any more people,
cars parked, scattered wherever like toys
on a playground, deserted where they stopped, drivers
waving flags, dancing in the streets, a city of a million and a half fans,
half of them it seems downtown,the other half wanting
to be there too...

such a sweet victory for the good guys,
and their fans as well, made even sweeter by memories
of last year's crushing last-second loss...

I am tempted to join the crush, but feeling bad
and overcome by unwelcome good sense,
I just go outside and honk my car horn
instead...

nobody cares,
since they're honking tool









                                                       

From the anthology,  here's a poem by   Mauricio Redoles from the Republic of Chile. Born in 1953, Redoles is a poet, singer-songwriter and musician. Formerly  a law student, he was detained and tortured by the Chilean Naval Secret Police after the 1973 coup. After twenty-two months he was exiled to the United Kingdom where he lived for ten years. He returned to Chile in 1985.








The Future Will Return

The future will return
with a certainty of fire and stone
with a precision of spiders and rain

Leading sailor Ernesto Zuniga
will  again run half-naked from his cell
towards the showers
in Valparaiso Public Jail

Alicia Rios will again turn a corner
close to Finsbury Park, London, N.4

before dying blown to pieces
on a street in Santiago

the future will return
stubborn as a root, as bone
immaculate as the entire Earth

The future will return
with the death of its young
vanquished through its surprise

restored to its plain
vulgarity it will travel by our side

when the future returns

sharp as a cricket singing

accurate

in the silence/in the night of light

(Translated by John Lyons)







                                                                    


I know some poets  write all alone in solitary rooms. I don't know how they do it, how they write with no one to look at nothing to hear. This is an observational poem from June, 2009, sitting, as I usually do at a coffeehouse.








dreams  of wet

the
woman
with very large feet
orders a latte,
flexes her  long
red-tipped
toes
in her flip-flops
as she waits, hums

tall
with the lean, rangy body of an  athlete,
blond hair with a look of chlorine burn
hangs down her back in a pony tail

a swimmer
is my guess, very active in her sport,
maybe professional,
the look of a fish
out of water
good swimmers get when forced
to make their way on dry land
amidst us dirt people

I can tell she  is one of those

dreams
of wet whenever
dry








                                                                        


Next from my library, a poem by Susan Griffin. The poem is from her  book Like  the Iris of an Eye, published by Harper & Row in 1976. Griffin was born in Los Angeles in 1943 and has lived in California since. Recipient of many awards and honors, she is described as an "eco-feminist."










The Woman

The woman
with teeth like a horse
moves swiftly
her jaw silhouetted against
life the carriage, a
passing
green curve
the fall bushes
shiver in the
mild white sun, a face
passing over the face of the earth,
a young colt
is reflected in her teeth
his tendons gleaming we are
growing old
and hold
each smell inside
and see the sky though
the smell of your sperm
and our sweat, one could die
to look at your long
irregular toes
we sitting on the ground
your hand
in the wetness
between my arm and my
breast, the wet, the
brush,
your white shirt
smiles at me
saying this is  a
moment, now,right now
a terrible moment
a colt is being born
in my mind covered with
his mother's blood
she licks  off
in my skull
the old horse
hooves are sticky
limps among weeds
your shirt
smiles at me
and I feel
my heart
pumping
blood and
turning
my face red.









                                           




From last week.










the best I can do

a dim morning,
overcast,  light breeze, cool

but making no promise
that a merciless sun will not
break through the clouds to fry
the streets and sidewalks and dry cracked earth
and heads and shoulders of all who
venture out, and a turn in the breeze
from dry northerly to a humid coastal blow
wilting all that is not fried

it is summer and we are forewarned
it will be the way it will
and we can either accept or move
to cooler drier climes

old-timers like me don't move
because we know the summer, long as it will be ,
will end and the beautiful blue skies
of fall and winter and spring will return,
our pleasure, our reward for sticking it out,
worth the wait and sweltering pain
of these months when the sun takes vengeance
on us for our sins and slights and it does not bother
to explain...

meanwhile, I have work to do outside
this afternoon, a new expression of yard art,
glass bricks planted in semi-random
pattern in the ground, an illusion of water
I seek, where wet seldom is, tiny
lakes to mock the hard dry
ground

it is the best I can do...

that's my prescription for summer and for life,
do the best you can and,
recognizing our limitations,
hope
for something better
in return








                                                                
The next piece, taken from his long poem Enlightenment, is by Mykola Rudenko, from the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Born in 1920, Rudenko was a Ukrainian poet, writer, philosopher, Soviet dissident and human rights activist. He was twice arrested for his dissidence and human rights activities, the last time serving five years in a labor camp where he was forced to work despite physical disabilities received as a result of wounds in the battle of Leningrad. Following that, he and his wife spent three  years in internal before immigrating first to Germany, then to the United States where he worked for the Voice of America. In 1990 he was finally allowed  to return to  Kiev, fully rehabilitated with his citizenship restored.






from Enlightenment

It's  so easy: just recant
And restore you right to live.
A dozen words or maybe phrases
And yesterday will  suddenly be brought back:
The trees and flowers in shimmering dew,
And children's voices outside the window;
The fish in the lake and birds in the sky,
And the taste of a kiss on your lips
As proof of love and goodness that exists...
Only you no  longer will  be the same.
Hunched and grown pale from illness,
just an empty shell without a soul.
Try on the old suit once more,
And get the most  out of your study-haven.
Tramp up and down the garden path -
But you won't retrieve the soul you've lost.
Just a dozen words forced out while half-awake
And you are not more,
Just emptiness -
A dungeon concealed in a man.









                                                          




Speaking of observationals, here's another one, also June, 2009.










 Gabriel

a very tall man
walks in,
a very old man
moving
very slowly, his shorts
reveal knees crisscrossed
with scars

and above it all,
a large, rectangular head,
like an Easter Island
head, but with rock-hard grace
to  his face,
a "visage" one might better say
to describe a continence
of  such strength
and character

a white thatch of hair
combed back,
white  eyebrows
above deep-set eyes,
and a neat, white mustache
covering a broad upper lip

a face from Bergman,
the face of Death playing chess

a face from Fellini,
the face of Quinn's strongman

a face from Scorsese,
el capo de  tutti capi, boss
of all the bosses

such a face
to face
in a bookstore
at 10 in the morning

I look around for the cameras
and, finding none,
think  I might have seen the face
of   a fallen angel,
an aged Gabriel,  stripped
of his youth and light,
humanity showing through
the bones
of his former glory

then
from nowhere,
another face, a mother enters
with her young son,blond
with liquid eyes, the saddest  eyes
I have ever  seen

Gabriel, again,
returned to childhood,  though still with
the memories
of all the sadness he has ever seen









                                                                        



Here's a poem by  Erica Funkhouser, from her book Earthly, published in 2008 by Houghton Mifflin. Apparently the book got lost in my library after I bought it some time ago because I don't think I've ever used it here, nor have I ever read the poet before. The poet graduated from Vassar College with a BA and Stanford University with an MA. She teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.








 Scraps

Sappho's poems had to wait
in the mouths of mummified
crocodiles for centuries
before someone cracked
the sarcophagi.

On strips of papyrus they waited,
lyrical sighs and hymns of praise
the color of squashed insects.
In the crypts of Egypt,
in disintegrating Greek,
ink sinking into reed,
reed splintering to powder,
they held their breath.

Flames beneath the skin.
Volcanic apples
between the teeth.
Desire will scrape and save its cavity.

You can almost hear time pacing,
not pacing, pacing again,
as the brittle bundles are separated
from their long and delicate jaws.

Then it's out of one mouth
into another,
everything beginning again,
as the scholar in white linen
reads aloud.

"Seeing nothing,
hearing only my own ears
drumming, I drip
with sweat."









                                                




Another from last week.











life on the streets

pigeons
peck at the pavement
capturing bits of food so tiny
only their beady little eyes can see it,
bread crumbs, minuscule bugs, who knows,
whatever it is I can't see it so it is only through faith
that I can assume the pigeons are not delusional
and are actually eating something, faith,
and the small but seemingly conclusive evidence
that I've never seen a skinny pigeon, never seen a pigeon
dead of starvation, all I've ever seen are like
those plumpers out on the parking
lot, proud little prancers, dancing the pigeon
hustle, two steps forward, one step back, peck, peck,
pecking at the asphalt, sighing their quiet pigeon coo, coo, coo,
ain't it grand, this life on the street...

doesn't seem like such a bad life, minimal grocery bills
at the supermarket,  important for us social security types, except maybe
for the laying egg part, which, I don't know, even though
they're little bitty eggs, sounds
painful








                                                           




Next, from the Islamic Republic of Iran, a poem  by Meem  Atash. A poet and former school teacher, Atash was purged in 1980. At the time the anthology was published (1989) he was in hiding in Iran, possibly the reason I couldn't find a picture, nor could I find any information on what might have happened to him after 1989.












You Are the Singer

Do not ask me for a new song.
They have taken my voice away;
I am now only an ex-singer.
Do not ask me for a new poem.
They have stolen my rhymes and metres;
I am now only an ex-poet.
Do not ask me for a new tale.
My people are now all in prison;
I am now only an ex-story-teller.
Do not ask me for a new  lesson.
They have driven me out of my school-house
Turning it into a sordid temple
In honor of their resurgent Baal.
Today, I am an ex-teacher.
You who are fighting on the side of life
By retrieving our yesterdays
And imagining our tomorrows -
Today,  you are the one who sings the song,
Teaches the lesson that we all need
To be singers, poets, writers
And teachers of freedom.

(Translated by Amir Taheri)









From June, 2009, a strange memory poem. In 1969 I was in the United States Air Force, stationed on the Pakistani frontier, listening in on the Soviet air force, watching for signs of the next world war approaching. The area that is now Tajikistan was part of the much larger area that we  listened in on. Dushanbe was an important center for the Soviet air  force and one of the significant air gates in  that part of the Soviet Union. I  had not  thought of  that  for years, until a picture of a mountain scene from the  city of Dushanbe, a picture of a place that had never been more to me than  a place-name I heard on the radio. brought it back to me. What a strange feeling  to see an image of the actual place.





Dushanbe

Dushanbe -
a city
important to me for  a time
in 1969
and never since

a significant cog
in the military machine
of the Union of  Soviet Socialist Republics
in those days, the capital
of the nation of  Tajikistan  today

Originally named Dyushambe, Persian
for "Monday," reflecting its function
as a Monday marketplace
for the sparsely populated region around it,
Stalinbad for the years of terror
before soviet De-Stalinization renamed it

Dushanbe -
a word exotic and mysterious to me,
all I know
is  a single picture of
snow-capped mountains to the north
and a cityscape wreathed in green 
and between the green
and the mountains,
I imagine wide plains, farmlands
over-flown by military transports
I listened to from my air conditioned cell,
and crop dusters
whose chatter
brought lightness to my afternoons

I would like to see the crop dusters
today,
I'll bet  they still fly
their  circling, swooping rounds

Dushanbe -
a city with a short
and mostly uneventful  history,
but beautiful in my imagination, one
more place I would like to visit
but almost certainly
never will








                                                      

The next  poem from my library is by Julia B. Levine, from her book, Ditch-tender. The book was published in 2007 by the University of Tampa Press. Though having received many honors for her poetry, the poet  received a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, and currently lives and works in Davis, California.









On Whatever Form the Past Assumes Waiting for Us to Enter

Each evening the pond draws in its breath of koi

and lets it out as stars and streetlights.
Memory pools in the yard's dark fjords,

while beyond us the tractors stand in fields
like sentries, waiting for deep night
to come alive.

The corn splits and shreds into silk.

My father calls from across the country
to catalogue the towns, the friends,
he is losing to the past.

A hunger not unlike hurt
gathers the fabled bodies, stony and patient

as statuary as the delicate hands
that braid an hour into a life

here,
in the blackest halls of shrubbery,

all those mythic ears pricked to water,
the youngest child stepping outside before bed
certain she has seen something

beneath the five cypresses, everything
suddenly poured into stillness, everything

listening.








                                                                 






And yet even another from last  week.










missing the displaced workers

the meadow across the road
is green from recent
rain, grazing fodder a-plenty

but the deer I used to see grazing
early every morning, coming
from a copse of trees  to eat in the open,
have not been seen  for nearly a year

the pasture is part
of the very large campus
of a national insurance company,
a huge building stretching
for several blocks surrounded by green fields
and grove of large pecan and oak trees

I'm guessing the deer were part
of a managed herd that for some reason
became redundant to the insurance
needs of America, laid off, like workers
all across the country,  left to survive on their
wits, grazing sparse patches of grass
around the unemployment
office...

I'm hoping for an  economic rebound  soon,
so that once again I may have the pleasure of  watching them
have their green breakfast as  I sit here,
having mine...

such a pleasant,sylvan way to start the day
in the scurrying  middle of this sprawling
city









                                                       
Here's my last two bits from the anthology. It is by  Abdellatif Laabi from the Kingdom of Morocco. Born in 1942, Laabi is one of the best known Moroccan poets. Imprisoned, tortured, and sentenced to ten years in prison for "crimes of opinion." He served eight years of that sentence until being exiled to France in 1985.






They Came Looking  for You

One day
they came looking for you
for you too
They couldn't forgive you
for being the companion
of a rebel  poet
for loving an outcast
and for sustaining him with your own
resistance
You knew
the night of the blindfold
the underworld of the Question
you heard those voices
beyond humanity
shouting words of menace and sarcasm
you felt before you
those tatty men (so little like men)
whom you knew  were torturers and assassins
you felt near you
other men  (a  little more than ordinary men)
scarred by electrodes and whips
but with unwavering hearts
And so
there is nothing left to hide from you


Heresy

Have you heard about
my latest heresy
You won't believe me
but it is that
I sing of the happiness of love

(Translations by Ariel Daigre)








                                                



 Here's  another of my rambles, last poem of the week  from June, 2009.










 fugitive  from the poem police

being less than
satisfied
with my recent output
I decide
today is the  day I'll unleash
that  deathless poem
I've been  holding in reserve...

now
if I can just remember
where I left it...

meanwhile
I need to clear my head
of the book  I was reading
before I went to bed last night...

happens to me
all  the time

I stay up  late
reading a book
then go to bed and dream
a continuation
of the story I was reading
so that when I return to the book
in the morning
I can't remember what  plot
and character  development
I read
and what I dreamed

and it's always a disappointment
when I sort things out
and realize
what I dreamed
is better than what I read
and since I can't go back to bed
and pick  up the dream
I'm stuck
with the story I'm reading,
not nearly as clever
as the one I dreamed...

and talk about  discouraging,
I was just beginning a new line
to  continue this poem
and I did it without looking
the keyboard,
distracted as I was,
by a young woman and man
who  just came in and immediately went
all  snuggle huggly
together on one of the faux leather chairs
they have by the window
and if I was her father I'd be saying
"watch out" because this guy looks a little hinky
to  me and maybe she ought to put off the
snuggle huggly
until we know a little more about him
probably sells drugs
is what I'm thinking
because he has the look
or maybe some kind of terrorist
he  has  that  look

scraggly-looking goddamn
terrorist, pervert, drug  dealer
chump...

but as I was saying, I was distracted
by all the questionable snuggly huggly
on the faux leather chair
and wasn't paying attention
as I typed the first two characters
of whatever the next line  was supposed to be
and then I looked down
and saw that I had  typed
"BS."
just like that,  in capital letters,
and decided this was my sub-conscious
talking to me
telling me something my conscious
wasn't ready to accept
that being
basically that this is another BS poem
and I  ought to quit
while the quittin's  good

before the poem
police
catch up with me
again








                                                                     





For the last work from my library, I have two poems by Leroy V.  Quintana. The poems are from the poet's book The Great Whirl of Exile,  published by Curbstone Press in 1999. Quintana is another of my favorite poets and I've used his poems here frequently.











Poem for Marilyn Monroe

Proof is what mathematicians' wives contend with.
The more proof you require the better the whiskey.

Therefore, if there is a storm, or say
your minimum wage pays for three weeks and a couple of days
out of the month and electricity turns its back on you,
you need only pull three socks out of five
from your dresser drawer to find a match.

The owner agrees; he posed the question,
but no matter what brand of truth you offer,
the chap next in line for the best fish and chips
in Albuquerque, or New Mexico, in other words, the world,
is harder to convince than an enraged tax collector.

It's an easy world; all that needs to be done to be considered
an adult is to lift the plastic sheet over that picture
of hers on the calendar, and her clothes come off. Easy.
Nobody has to worry about what thirteen-year-olds
have to say or what miracles they pray for.


Poem for Rod Serling

You make a wrong turn one day,
you think you know why.
It's the same town, nothing's
changed though you were last
here eighteen years ago, the same
town you were raised in,
the same town even though you're lost.

You've seen the great cities of the world,
but never the groomed avenues, two-story
houses; you've stepped into
one of the Currier and Ives prints
that came inside those fabulous boxes
of Raisin bran you collected long ago
when you lived in that green house
by the unpaved road, on the opposite
edge of the universe.








                                                      




Here my last new from last week. An  affirmation, maybe not much of  a poem, but a statement of self every once in a while bucks up the spirit.








just not in my nature

I was a quiet kid
except for a few hormonal years,
accustomed to finding
my own
way

still do, mostly

an amateur at most things,
facing each day as if it never happened before,
no tolerance
for  reading directions or following rules,
don't like boxes, don't  like walls
that confine and suppress
my natural wayward
ways

like this poem,
an amateur thing
written by an amateur  poet...

who  in the world
who knew what  they were doing
would bother

but
then
why in the world should I
bother to
care?

just not in my nature
and too old  to change
even  if I wanted
to










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, Ciando and Kobo (and, through Kobo,  brick and mortar retail booksellers all across America and abroad)



´╗┐Poetry
(First the Newbie)
 New Days and New Ways

(Then the Rest) 

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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