Another Page in the Continuing Story   Wednesday, October 08, 2014






My photos this week are from Spring, 2010, the best, most colorful spring we've had since. Most are roadside wildflowers, several are from the Lady Bird Wildflower Center in Austin,,  and a couple are from my back yard.

The anthology I went to this week is Burnt Sugar/Cana Quemada. It is a collection of contemporary Cuban poetry in English and Spanish. It was published in 2006 by Free Press.

I also have several  of my poet friends, poems from my library, and as also my own  stuff, old and new.

Here they (we) are:


 Me
hoping we can pretend  to agree

Jose Abreu Felippe
Rain

Me
time for decaf
study hall
story time

Helen V. Lundt
Mountain Valley Road

Me
the Hag knows

Augustin Acosta
I've Never Seen It Snow

Me
shift change
October sunset
Halloween, near midnight  

Gary Blankenship
Illinois

Me
a hole in time

Rafael Catala
Feet

Me
evolution sucks

Dan Cuddy
Georgia On My Mind But Later Ukraine, Iraq, Syria

Me
just a little story

Ruth Behar
Returning

Me
enter the dragon
game

Alex Stolis
S is for Spot, S is for Sally, S is for...
(flashback 1:15 -1:20 A.M.) Guess Who - (how to make time)
(12:14 A.M.) Fun with Dick and Jane

Me
ta-dah

Uva de Aragon
If You Press Me

Me
at last

Ishmael Reed  
Slather Town  Mystery

Me
another page in the continuing story of me

Virgil Suarez
Song to the Sugarcane

Me
watching a fat man sleep

Ana Castillo
Wyoming Crossing Thoughts

Me
early lunch

Arthur Rimbaud
Hunger (from Delirium)

Me
like Monk  








The daily poem regimen leads sometimes to desperate measures, such as writing a poem about how it is just not possible to write a poem today. Though it's been a while, I have been, many times in the past, guilty of that kind of poem. In fact, I have a whole section in my latest book of that kind of  poems.

That said, I  haven't been guilty in a while, but there was a day last week when I had nothing, so I resorted to this.








hoping we can pretend to  agree

it being Sunday
I have limited time
to do this before the church folk
come busting through the door, so I'm thinking,
let's get to it,
let's write this sucker,
let's pick this pumpkin  while it's  plump and firm
and Sunday morning orange and ready

but like Linus, or was it Charlie, I  sit, waiting
for the great Pumpkin of Inspiration
to appear and feed me
my lines,
and even as I wait, I hear  the thundering hooves
of the holy moly herd approaching,
hallelujah hallelujah
hosanna on the highest singing,
and I  know time is  short, shortening,
shortest, and I'm thinking
there has to be a fucking  poem here somewhere,
resorting to profanity and foul language in my desperation
as I usually do  when my desperation becomes
really desperate, like now, like how Linus, or maybe it was Charlie,
I  am deserted by the Great Pumpkin
again
sitting
again,, in this weedy, stinking pumpkin patch
as dawn breaks through the clouds, shining
on my bowed, defeated head,  no longer desperate,
beat instead, as the doors swing open
and the holy-moly herd pushes through,wielding
their walkers  like Viking broadswords,
swathing through the lolly gagging unholy-non-molies
like me, demanding their rightful place
where I am now
instead,
crowed,  defeated, overcome, overpowered, overwhelmed,
routed, crushed, and conquered
by the creaking curse of Sunday morning
holiest  and most hungry, hallelujah hosannas
on high, and multitudes of senior breakfast specials,
one egg over easy, biscuit and floppy bacon
that won't be  crispy and crunch
and get stuck under their
teeth
so
for better or worse
or  for worse or worser
or for worser or worsest, I guess  it's time
for me to
go

hoping
we can pretend to agree
that I have written my
poem for the
day








                                                                           

First from this week's anthology,  Burnt Sugar/Cana Quemada, a short poem by Jose Abreu Felippe, translated from Spanish by Lori M.Carlson.

A poet, storyteller and playwright,  Felippe was born in Havana in 1947, he was exiled from Cuba in 1983 and has lived in Madrid and Miami since.









Rain

Everything has overflowed
as if existence in the air were
a silent downpour,
this softening of walls
that everything descends, washes   away
or transfigures.
Days to come, however, and the air,
color, life  takes hold in me
gushing  in desire to keep going.







                                                                        




From October,  2007, three short coffee shop observationals.













time for decaf

she always seems
on the edge
of  panic

eyes bright
smile tight
hunched forward
as she  talks to you
as if ready to pounce

she  makes my coffee
at Starbucks

I think she's been tasting
too much of the
product



study hall

she
has brown
secret-keeping eyes
and perfect teeth
that flash white
when she
smiles

studying
with three  fellow students,
all boys
competing for her  attention,
with one well-arched brow,
she controls  the
agenda


story time

the girl
with the ruined
face,
eyes dancing
as she tells
a story

too low
for me to hear
but her
companion
leans forward
almost touching
listening
intently

I envy his
proximity
and the
air
he shares
with her
smile








These poems are by my poet friend Helen V.  Lundt, from her book  The Country Poet, published in 2007. At the time the book was published, Helen was dividing her time between upstate New York and Florida.

I've had the book for a couple of years and forgot I had it. Rediscovered again last week. I love Helen's simple and quiet reports on her life and the people in it. Helen lost her husband and love of her life, Bob, since this was published and continues to write movingly about her loss and her  life since.

Couldn't  find  an image of Helen or of her book, "The Country Poet,"  so I settled on an image of my own "country."








Mountain Valley Road

Down on the southern tier
where giant sycamores thrive,
tall mountains cuddle around.

Yellow forsythias dot valley homes,
stony creeks sparkle behind
sparse villages and curving roads.

The sight of great hillsides
with dark green pines
contrasts with the white branches below.

Many ribbons of new roads
are tied up with great trucks.
We exit north, toward home.


Daydreaming of Beauty

I hear my husband's western music
playing in the other room,
and looking past the deck,
in the field across the country road,
I  see the dark horse. He rears up, showing
his stuff with a loud whinny,
then races off into the valley below.

I see him, but in reality, he's not there.
He's only in my imagination.

What a beauty, I think he'd
make horses in the western movies
look like sick Greyhounds.
Shiny black, his tail flows behind
as he runs to the rest of the herd.
He stops, turns to look and I think
I see a sneer as he races away.
Good for him, I think, even a dream
horse belongs to his  own.

A glance upward and I know
I'll not see this image again.
Dark clouds open, rains pelt the ground
creating the sound of wild horses running.
Yes, I hear them, the pounding hooves
of a hundred and twenty wild beauties
who fly across the lower valley and vanish.

My husband's western music is still playing.








                                                                                                            


From last week, not my usual kettle of fish.











the Hag knows

"Don't make me  go,"
cries
the Summer Hag,
sobbing
on the floor in her tattered rags

"Be gone," I demand,
"make room for Autumn,  the sprite
of orange and gold, the maid of cool days
and star-rich nights.

the Hag surrenders,
slinks away
as I stand creation-naked in dawn's first light,
arms wide and welcoming
the pale horse of Fall
and her rider,
the Autumn Fairy
in all her multicolored finery

the Hag, from her corner of  exile,
bides her time, knowing the cold  frost
of Arctic Giants will  come soon enough,
followed by the brief promise
of  Spring's Child, her life sweet, but shortest  of all...

and then, the Hag knows,
it will be her time to crack the earth
again, her heavy bones
laid across the dry
and desiccated land
again -

the Hag knows
it is always she who wins
in the end








                                                                                 


The next poet from the anthology is Augustin Acosta. One of the most celebrated Cuban writers of the twentieth century,  he was born in 1886. Active in politics and the arts for most of his life, he moved to Miami in 1972 and died there in 1979.

The poem was translated from Spanish by Lori  M.Carlson.














I've Never Seen It  Snow

Love, I've never seen it snow. My poor peaks
love the sun. They are ignorant of frost and cold.
The blue sky makes a magic roof
and winters are translucent, brief.

I am a child of the tropics, and all my visions
are of clear auroras,  glittering sunsets.
My chain of dreams has no more links
and now I know my path's  direction.

I ignored your love of snow caps,
somber hours, withered roses,
and in a flickering night among the shadows I saw  you,

apart from the sweet  brilliance of my moonlight.
And upon you, a mountain yourself, dream-made, a
cosmic indifference  snowed. 








                                                                                                





Next, several autumn  poems from October, 2007












shift change

the change is here

dark
in the morning
cooler
a hint of damp
in the  air

leaves
yellowing
but not yet
fallen

still warm
in the afternoon
when deep
like an ocean
is the blue
overhead


October sunset

clouds
trimmed in pink
like the center
of  a peach

tangerine
on the horizon


Halloween, near midnight

and I
ain't
scared nobody
yet






BOO!!!!!!





how
'd
I
do
?








                                                                                                        
Next, here's a poem by Gary Blankenship, my poet friend from  Washington, on the Pacific where it has been known to rain. Gary has a new book, Poetic States and a drop of sunshine, available on Amazon. He is currently working on a new book of poems based on Walt Whitman's work.

This poem, from his book, is based on the death of a poet-friend. Though he first denied it, her boyfriend later confessed to her murder. The poem was written before the confession.










Illinois

A Breeze Dies in the City
           (for Lisa J, murdered)

geese land on Lake Michigan
never to fly again

did she notice the geese as they swooped by the Sears Tower?

paper blows along the El
never to land again

did  she notice the papers as they lay in State Street's gutters?

garlic no  longer  grows
along the  river

the Fox and Sauk no longer trap and trade
along the river

we can no longer hear the Black Shirts preach
of the black man they placed on a  cross

does she see the traps and let the beaver go free?


does she  hear Harrison's lies in  traffic to the airport?

smoke rises from barrels
never to heat again

the city moves on
less  one brick

the garden grows
less one flower

the words speak
less one voice

and we wish we could hear
could see what she does
as the hoop  moves on

as a breeze dies in the city







                                                                                                           




 Little things can trigger big  memories. From last  week.










a hole in time

all  these years  later,
there are moments when something,
some sight, some sound,
just something,
triggers the past, a hole in time and in the instant of an eye-blink,
I am back in it...

this morning,
passing a hotel in the dark,
a side  door, light burning, and
seen through the door a long hotel hallway,
blue carpet, hotel wallpaper color walls,
and I am standing outside such a door
in early morning dark thirty years ago,
waiting for the mayor so I can take
him into a meeting room
and introduce him to assembled out of town VIPs...

Luther Jones,
former army office,
former banker,
Mayor,
a lovely and beloved man who,  after his  political life was over,
would stop by every couple of weeks to talk
to the children at the elementary school
named after him, known
to everyone from his sparkling  city by the sea,
for me and many others,
a mentor and a champion over the years,
passed on in his 80s in 2001...

and  a funeral, large and crowded, full of friends and citizens,
but simple, like the man...

~~~

a hotel's bright-lit side door, a beacon to memory
this dark morning,  and I  am awash in  remembering
times and so many good men  passed...

sweet sadness begins my day...







                                                                                           
                                                                                           




The next poem is by Rafael Catala. The picture I have is of Rafael Catala, artist. I think the artist, born in 1929, is also the poet. The poem was translated from Spanish by Lori M.Carlson.













Feet

responsible are feet that walk knowingly
on tiled floors

loving are feet on the path  and
embankment  and sand

erotic are feet  in shoes and shoeless
under sheets rubbing against my thighs








                                                                                                   



Another from October, 2007.














evolution sucks

some years  ago
I was having some internal
maintenance
done and the doc and I
decided that, as he
was passing through the
neighborhood
he would pick up my
appendix
along the way

everything went fine
except after it was over
the doctor said he
didn't  take my appendix
because he couldn't find it

well,
since word was the appendix
didn't do anything anyway, a
"vestigial organ" they called  it,
I wasn't too upset, in fact
my apparent lack of appendix
supported the theory I had
that  I was of a higher
evolutionary
order the most of the people
I ran into in South Texas,
having evolved  past the need
for an organ that was supposed
to be in place so that ancient
man could digest tree bark
and I  was surely past that...

alas,
I learned today on NPR
that scientists  now think
they have  discovered a
reason for he existence
of this little sac glued
to the top of your  stomach

(it retains a cache of good bacteria
to  be  pumped into the system
if some event depletes
your gut's
normal supply of the
good bacteria
needed  to  maintain a
healthy
happy stomach)

such a fall from grace

one minute
an evolutionary marvel,
homo sapiens of the future,
and the next
a bacterially challenged
loser
missing essential
parts








                                                                                                      


Here's another poet friend, Dan Cuddy, from Baltimore. Dan joins us off and on at Blueline's poem-a-day forum, House of 30.











Georgia On My Mind But Later Ukraine, Iraq, Syria

men in suits,
which are impeccably custom-tailored,
smile or speak evenly,  reasonably,
no show of emotion,
above it all,
nod
for the invasion,
the bombs, the dit-dit-dit
of rapid fire,
crunch of tanks
on fallen branches, stones, bones,
the dust flying, hanging,
smoke acrid, yellow, white, black,
the sharp ache of  phantom limbs,
percussion of cannons,  tanks,
like scurrying of once proud people,
the crying of small children,
the dying of small children,
looting,
maybe rape, executions,
ragtag militias,
undisciplined thugs,
the pocked, broken, seared city,
the plumes of smoke,
the drift of rank death, charred rubber,
the noxious laugh or two

the invaders riding on tanks,
semi-automatic rifles in hand.







                                                                                                          




I saw this last week and was moved.











just a little story

the great yellow street-whale
stops,
releasing it's day's catch,
red  lights
flashing...

even though only a car length
from my own driveway
I stop too, so that the children
can exit safely

a boy gets out
carrying a backpack
and two crutches,
reaches back into the bus
and pulls out another
backpack,
then reaches into the bus again,
and brings out his
little brother, carries him out, and sets him
on the grass by the sidewalk...

as the bus leaves
the boys' mother comes from down the street

the older boy picks up  both backpacks
and the crutches; the mother sits on the curb
so that the younger boy can climb
on her back
and they set off down the street to home,
the older boy, hands full of backpacks
and crutches, the younger boy,
holding tight onto his mother's back, his
arms around her neck, his face buried
in her long black hair, they walk, bright trio,
after school, at the end of the day...

this  is just a little story -

but is it a poem?

some will say no, stomp their feet
and pull their hair,
cry to the poetic heavens

well,
I don't care

I known only that it is a story,
though  little,
completely told,
needing no more to be said...

a vision...

mother and child reunion








                                                                                 

From this week's anthology, here's a poem by Ruth Behar.

Born in 1956 in Havana to a Cuban/Jewish  family, she migrated at age four with her family when Fidel Castro came to power, part of the 94% of Cuban Jews who left the country at that time. She is an anthropologist and writer  who has published poetry, memoir and literary fiction.









Returning

I am going home.
I have the passport
with the four names
that once belonged to me
from the country we left

before I knew I had a country
before I knew I had  no country.
Kuba, the promised land of jews
Krazy to take a boat going anywhere
so long as it let them off in Amerika.

I cannot eat.
I am vomiting up  my heart.
I am hearing the voices
of long-dead relatives.
My own life scares me.

I am going home.
Mami has told me
I may not come back.
Papi has told me
not to  talk too much.

And there I am
again, in a small place
made  hue by fear and forgetting
the way shadows haunt
when you won't look at them.

I  see the two-bedroom  apartment
where I would have grown up
as  crowded as  we  did  in New  York.
I  return to streets that don't
remember  me, no matter how hard I step.








                                                                                                              




 Here are a couple of coffeehouse observationals from October, 2007.











enter the dragon

a little
guy,
looks like
Bruce Lee
when he was
young,
back when he was
Kato,
Green Hornet's
sidekick,
before he was the
Dragon...

must be a med student,
one of those who study here,
because it  looks like body parts
in the book
he's studying,, or
it could be serial
killer  school, one
or the other, some
doctors it's hard
to tell the difference...

intense
young man

seems ready
at any instant
to break  the table
in half with
one mighty
karate
chop


hiiiiiiiyahhhhhh



game

her chin
barely topping
the table
a serious
little girl
with hiccups
looks
with big brown
eyes through her bangs
at her chess
instructor

listens...

moves,
takes a bishop...

smiles








 Here's another poet friend, Alex Stolis, with three short poems from  his  chapbook, On the run with Dick and Jane, published in 2010 as part of the Pudding House Chapbook Series.

The poems in all of Alex's chapbooks are part of a chapbook narrative. Picking poems from his books are  a bit like plucking pages out of a novel. The quality of the poems justify the plucking, but you still need to read everything to get the full impact of the narrative.








S is for Spot,  S is for Sally, S is for...

Slant

how light hits concrete
breaks into desperation

Scattered

what the wind does to bits of poems
that refuse to lose their legs

Shamble

a way to walk with anticipation
in our back pockets

Sanguine

uncertainty that's been  mended
and propped up by hope

Sins

are possibilities that unfold
like a take out box


(flashback 1:15-1:20 A.M.)
Guess Who - (How to make  time)

take the silence between breaths
cut it into three equal pieces using the  sharp edge
of your memory

one piece

will feel light on  your skin, it will change color
with the phases of the moon

the second

is thin,  easily bent  to the shape
of your lips, go  to sleep
it is a promise waiting to be dreamt

the third

 is a seed, to be planted in loose dirt
no water is needed
your desire will be enough to make it grow


(2:14 A.M.) Fun  with Dick and Jane

last  night everything was closed and dark
the smooth blue of dawn is still  to many steps away
for us to plan our escape

I pretend to sleep and can almost hear
his thoughts -
Look.  Look Jane. Look
at me run

a lone car rumbles past, its lights flash
against pale wallpaper and he's bored  but not lonely
enough to call my name







                                                                                                                     

As a former  drunk, I always thought I could fall down with the best of them. Apparently I'm out of practice and may have to go back to drinking for my own self-protection.

This is from  last week.









ta-dah

took a header on the Riverwalk
by the pearl yesterday,
not actually a header,knees and knuckles
hitting the concrete, swollen,  bruised and scrapped,
but, fortunately, a  little strip of hay-like substance alongside
the sidewalk, just wide enough
to accommodate my face, buried my face
into the hay-like substance,
saving me, had my face fallen a couple of inches
to  the left, thus meeting the sidewalk
at sufficient velocity to insure plastic surgery,
getting instead a mouth full of hay-like substance...

this morning,
sore,
but otherwise undiminished,, I continue on to my daily
rendezvous with the immortal  muse
of poem-a-day personal history
disguised as poetry...

~~~

the hardest part of this adventure
was that people
were looking,requiring me to leap up,
throw wide my bloody hands
and ask if anyone
wanted to see my trick again...

ta, dah,
cried the clown,  deeply bowing
before fading back into
red-faced
obscurity, limping, but not as much
as he will be tomorrow, is
today








                                                                           

Next from the anthology, this short piece by Uva de Aragon, translated from Spanish by the anthology's editor, Lori M Carlson.

Born in Havana in 1944, de Aragon  has published a dozen  books of poetry, short stories, essays and a novel. Until she retired in 2011,  she was associate director of the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University.








If You Press Me

If you press  me
if you force me
if you come to take me from my timorous silence
I will tell you few tings matter
although those few things multiply
like an echo of endless possibilities.
I will think about the sun, the light, the fire.
I will think about the rain, the sea, the rivers.
I will speak of the wind, the breeze, the storms.
I will  tell you about the earth, the seed, the trees.
About man, death, hope.
I will look into your eyes. And I will tell you it is enough.









                                                                                                              





Can never get too many poems of the onset of autumn. Here's another from October, 2007.











at  last

Autumn snuck
in over
the weekend

shhhhh...

don't scare her
away

mid-seventies
high
mid-forties
low

blue skies
blue
skies blue
blueblueblue
skies

leave me
smiling
apeshit
in love
with the morning

Summer,
that
lowlife
sweatdripping
stinksmelling
son of a
bitch
is gone

tossed
out
on his ass
for a couple
of months
at least...

at last...








                                                                                                            



This poem from my library is by Ishmael Reed. It's taken from his book Ishmael Reed - New  and Collected  Poems, published by Atheneum in 1989.












Sather Tower Mystery

Seems there was this Professor
a member of what should be called
the Good German Department

Must have signed his name to
5.000 petitions in front of
the Co-Op on Cedar
and brought two tons of benefit
cookies
Blames Texas for the sorry
state of the oceans
Rode a Greyhound  bus "Civil
Rights," Alabama, 1960
Found the long yellow  war
"deplorable"
Believes John "Duke" Wayne's
values to be inferior to his

He said, "Ishmael, I'd
love to do the right thing
for as you know I'm all for
the right thing and against
the wrong thing, but
these plaster of paris busts
of deceased Europeans
Our secret way
Our sacred fears

"These books,  leather-bound
'copyright 1789'
All of these things, precious
to me, gleaming like the
stainless steel coffee urn in
the faculty club, an original
Maybeck, 1902

"I'd stand for Camelot
by golly, even if it meant
shooting all the infidels in
the world," he said
reaching into his desk drawer

"Why, I might even have to
shoot you, Ishmael"

Staring down the cold
tunnel of a hard .38
I thought

Most people are to the right
when it comes to  where they must
eat  and lay their heads!







                                                                                                              

So, some might ask, why should anyone be interested in the continuing story of me?

Well,  have you watched TV lately. I'm at least as interesting as most of that and a lot cheaper than cable.










another page in the continuing story of me

life's complications
intrude...

down to one car
as Dee's 2000 Solara finally gives up the ghost
at 200.000 miles,
resting serenely now at a local scrapyard,
waiting its turn  to be next year's
BBQ pit,
or grocery cart
or a girder of a tall building,
or plastic lawn chair

and in the meantime,
until she finds a satisfactory replacement
for the old car,
I am the source of all travel
for the two of us,
this morning particularly complicated,
with my normal breakfast, poetry, coffeehouse schedule
and Dee's need to get to work and to a doctor's  appointment
and back to work, just too damn complicated
for a seeker like me of the simple life

so, as  I often do when faced with complications
more than what a simple-seeker like me
wants to face  in an early morning

     (even though it was a beautiful early morn,
     autumn busting out all over, with a small breeze blowing
     across the yard and on my bare back as I stand, legs apart,
     arms resting on my hips, surveying the new   
     star-strewn, moonless night, okeedokee,okeedokee, I think,
     a personal best morning,  summer staggering  to  its overdue close,
     as I call Bella to follow me back into the
     house)

but wonderful  as this early morning is,
I know it is only a temporary respite as the very complicated day looms
and I respond as I said I always do when faced
with such a challenge as this day
promises
to be...

I go back to my bed and return to sleep...

so,
six hours after my normal get-up-and-go-get'um time,
I awake and arise when Dee returns from
her doctor appointment  to pick me up for lunch
which we have outside under a pecan tree and a beautiful blue sky
at Josephine Street Restaurant just a few blocks from my normal coffeehouse  retreat
which I return to after finishing lunch and dropping Dee off at her work,
ready to face this new and beautiful and simplified  day and write my poem of the day
and drink my coffee and, in general, return to my normal simplified self,
except when I  get to the coffeehouse and get my coffee I discover
the coffeehouse personal no longer puts cream in my coffee for me and that
I have to do it myself with a carafe requiring manual dexterity and a new degree
of complication of my coffee

and I'm thinking maybe I ought to go back to
bed...









                                                                                   

Virgil Suarez, from the anthology appears here frequently.

Born in 1962 in Havana, Suarez lived for four years on  Spain before moving to the U.S. in 1974. He attended high school in Los Angeles and received a bachelor's degree from California State University and an MFA from the University of Louisiana. He is both a poet and a novelist.










Song to  the Sugarcane

At Publix today with my daughters
I spotted the green stalks of sugarcane,

tucked under the boxed Holland tomatoes,
ninety-eight cents a stalk. I grabbed the three

left and brought them home. My daughters,
born in the United States, unlike me, stand

in the kitchen in awe as I take the serrated
knife and peel away the hard green layer

exposing the fibrous white, pure slices.
"Here," I say, "nothing is ever as  sweet as this."

We stand in the kitchen and chew slices
of sugarcane as I tell them this was my candy

when I was a kid growing up in Havana,
this was the only constant sweetness

in my childhood. This delicious sweet stalk.
You chew on a piece to remember how

to love what you can't have all the time.








                                                                




My coffeehouse on South St. Mary's (Casa Chiapas, R.I.P.) was good to me back then, October, 2007. Here's another from there and then.











watching a fat man sleep

several years older
than me,
five or so inches
shorter
and 100-150 pounds
heavier,
he's sitting at a table
in the coffee shop,
across the room
form me,
catty-corner
to  the chair,
legs wide apart,
belly
hanging between
them,
a little white slice
of skin
showing
between his tee-shirt
and his pants

waiting
for his wife
would be my guess,
he has that look,
eyelids droopy
until finally they close
and his breathing
settles and
slowly
ever so slowly
he begins to tilt
to  the side
until finally he's
very close
to that point
where gravity
will exercise its full
force,
but
just then
he wakes, blinks,
straightens in his chair
and just as quickly
his eyes begin to droop
again
and we're  in a race
between
his wife's need to shop
and that old devil
gravity...

I wait
for him to hit the floor
(and noticed I am not the only one)
but he gets a break
this time
and his wife shows up just as
gravity prepares to announce itself,
and she shakes him
impatiently
until his eyes
clear,  stuck wide open
like eyes do
when surprised or
when working very hard
not to close
and
together
they walk out the door










This poem from my library is by Ana Castillo, from her book  My Father Was a  Toltec. The book was published by W.W. Norton in 1995.










Wyoming Crossing Thoughts

i will never
in my life
marry
a Mexican man,
utter
with deep devotion
"Si, mi senor."

i will never
look into  his
fervent gaze
compared to the
sunrise.

i can  say this,
daughter of one,
sister of another,
mother of a son.
i can say this
and not care.

i will never hold
a Mexican lover
in my arms
tell him
i love him
and mean it.

i won't serve him
a plate of beans
stand by warming
the tortillas
on the comal.

Not i.
Not i.

I will desire him
my own way
give him
what  i please
meet him when
and where
no one else  sees,

drive an obsidian blade
through his heart,
lick up  the blood.








                                                                                        




Again, another beautiful day, October, 2007.












early lunch

I've been sitting
on my favorite
porch here in
Southtown
since nine this
morning,
sucking up
as much as I can
of blue skies
and air cool
and fresh
like clean white
sheets
when you first
slip under them
at night

I've done
the work I came
to do
but don't want
to go home
so I call Dee
for an early lunch,
maybe walk across
the street to
Madhatters
where we can  split
one of their good-
for-more-than-one
club sandwiches
or maybe walk
a block to Rosario's
for some high-end
Tex-Mex
or another block
to  the real McCoy
and newly famous
(featured in the Times
food section this week)
El Mirador for some
pollo en mole
or maybe a block
the other way
to Cascabel
for their little
Brazilian tacos
(not really tacos
but something like
tacos with a
Portuguese
accent)

any place
with a patio
so we can
eat outside,
ready to do
anything we have
to  do to avoid
indoors
on a day like
this, hell,  I 
might even
go home after
lunch
and mow the yard







                                                                                                                     


Last from my library this week, a longer piece by Arthur Rimbaud. The poem is from "A Season in Hell" from the book titled A Season in Hell and Illuminations. It was published J.M. Dent of London, in 1998. The translation from French is by Mark Treharne.

Truth is, I'm not  especially impress by Rimbaud, though very many are. Perhaps if I could read the original in French I would have a different opinion.










Hunger

         from Second  Delirium

What taste I have
Is for earth and stones.
I always feed  on air,
On rocks,on iron and coals.

Hungers, turn.  Hungers, feed
On fields of  gran.
Gather the bright poison
Of  concolvulus.

Eat the broken stones,
The old stone of churches;
Pebbles from ancient floods,
Bread sown in the grey valleys.

                    _______

Beneath the bushes howled the wolf
Spitting out fine feathers
from his feat of fowl:
And I,  likewise, devour myself.

Salads and  fruits
Are there for the picking:
But the hede spider
Will only eat the violets.

Let me sleep! let  me boil
On the altars of Solomon.
The broth spills over the rust
And flows into the Kedron.

     Finally - with what  a blissful sense of  reason! - I removed
from the sky the blue that is blackness, and I  lived as  a
golden spark of natural light. In my delight I adopted as
clownish and distraught a form of expression as possible:

Rediscovered once  more?
Ah yes! eternity:
The mingled light
Of sun and sea.

Observe your vow,
Eternal soul,
Despite the long night
And burning day.

Then  your are free
From human right
And common aim!
And so you fly...

- No hope  is left.
No orietur.
Knowledge,endurance,
Torment assured.

No coming  day,
Embers of silk,
Your heat alone
Is duty done.

Rediscovered once more?
Ah yes! eternity.
The mingled light
Of son and Sea.

     I became a fabulous opera: I saw that every being is fated to
seek happiness: action is not life but a way of ruining a source
of  strength, a restlessness of the nerves. Morality is the weakness
off the brain.
     To every being, it seemed to me, several other lives were due.
This gentleman doesn't know what he's doing:  he is an angel.
This family is a litter of dogs. In the presence of several men, I
conversed out loud with a moment of one of their other lives, -
That's how I came to love a pig.
     Not one of the  illogicalities of madness  - the sort of  madness
that gets locked up - I did overlook:  I could repeat every one  of
them, I know them backwards.
     My health became  endangered. Terror was imminent. I fell
into sleep for days at a time, and when I awoke the saddest
dreams persisted. I was ripe for death, and my weakness  led me
down dangerous paths to the ends of the earth, to the borders
of Cimmeria, the home of shadow and whirlwinds.
     I  was forced to travel, to dispel the enchantments of sitting on
my brain. Over the sea, which I  loved as the thing that would
wash me clean of defilement, I  saw the cross  of consolation rise.
I had been damned by the rainbow. Happiness was my fate, my
remorse, mu worm: my life would always far exceed a  devotion
to  strength and beauty.
     Happiness! Its bite,  sweet unto death, alerted me at cock
crow - ad matutinum, at the Christus venit, - in the darkest of
cities:

     Season,castles!
Where is a flawless soul?

I studied the magic
Of happiness no one  avoids.

I  greet it wherever
The Gallic cock  crows.

I shall never want again!
It has taken charge  of my life.

The spell has taken body and soul
And dispersed all effort

     Seasons, castles!

The evil day it disappears
Will be the day of death

     Seasons, castles!

All that is over. Today, I know what salutation beauty deserves  







                                                                                                              




Last for this post, this from last week.










like Monk

Monk  playing inside
the coffeehouse,
his keyboard concoctions,
chords no one ever heard
before, dissonance made beautiful

leaf-blower playing outside
breaks the morning,
breaks the spell, so much better
the sound of the scratching of a leaf rake
raking, so much better
a morning
of Monk uninterrupted

so much better
a day like this now - leaf-blower
exiled to blow his leaves
elsewhere, so much better this  cool, dim morning
of summer passing,
so much better than the hot and bright
of summer ascendant, traffic on Broadway
liquid in its transit, even  the ambulance,
flashing red like the umbrellas in front,
is muted in its moaningly passing,
like Monk, this morning in the universe of Monk,
flowing, fluid, like his  quiet-reaching
constructions

~~~

a day to wake up
and decide
to stay








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 to me



  As always, I am 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, Oyster, Flipkart, Ciando and Kobo (and, through Kobo,  brick and mortar retail booksellers all across America and abroad)



´╗┐Poetry
New Days & New Ways


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



3 Comments:
at 8:12 AM Anonymous Helen said...

Allen,

I enjoyed reading this blog, the pictures...oh, how beautiful the flowers, the perfect rose, the butterfly.

I wanted to thank you for including my poetry, for the nice intro...
for making the beginning of my day
better for having read it all.

Smiles,
Helen

at 1:35 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

texas has such fields of flowers- I an so glad to see something nice fr texas (which usually supplies me w news like ric perry, ebola, guns, abbott, ie execrable stuff

learned recently the Alamo was abt amurikan imperialism

of course Itz grt poet, Martinez grt artist

o lord here comes that crummy capcha (1 of the worst)

amurikans are too boosteristic- long live Robinson Jeffers

at 3:12 PM Blogger Here and Now said...

sending you a book, dave. kindle via email. will help you out with a history lesson

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