Pumpkin Fritters   Wednesday, November 12, 2014




My photos this week, experiments that, as all good experiments should, sometime went  awry. But  some didn't.

The anthology I selected for the week is Women Poets - From Antiquity to Now. The book was originally published in 1980, my (very large) paperback reprint in 1992 by Schocken  Books Inc.

Here's what I have this week.

Me
the dark  is  especially bright this morning

Me
peas in our time

Gary Blankenship
Illuminate, Air Show  
Sun-kissed, Squeeze
Sunscreen Memories
Sunbonnet,Meeting
Sun Dance, Betrothal

Me
those same dreams

Edith Bruck
Birth

Me
6X6X10

from The Manyoshu
Poems 27 through30

Me
circle

(Le Ch'ing-chao?)
Anonymous Courtesan

Me
an atheist's prayer

Lowell Jaeger
Nhu's Barbecue

Me
another day of the evil dead, walking

Ruth Domino
A Sparrow in the Dust

Me
behind bars
I might just do it
pooped

Arthur Munoz
The Old Breed
Extra
On F Street

Me
changing  times

Andal
To Krishna Haunting the Hills

Me
pusillanimous prevaricator

Raul Salinas
To My Woman
A Glimpse of Lore (ca)

Me
a slow day at the flapjack emporium

Mary Crow
After a Certain Number of Years, the Light Changes

Me
winter slips in at  midnight

Me
next  time a democrat chicken or no chicken at all     
      






                                                                           




I  start with this piece from last week.












the dark is especially bright this morning

the dark
is especially bright this morning

low-hanging clouds cloaking the neighborhood
with insinuations of wet,
reflecting the never-dark shadows
of big city luminance back to
earth, my backyard like a sun-shiny day
on one of the outer planets, light measured
in unnaturally active lightning bug units...

it will rain today
they say,
hard, heavy thunderstorms
flash flooding the creeks, sometime
during the afternoon,
right now the insolence of not yet,
suggestions of rain with the don't-give-a-shit attitude
of teenage boys smoking Marlboros
on a broken-lamp lit
street corner...

right now,
just a succession of in-between moments,
like a movie where the hero
drives from here to there
and  drives and drives, the camera watching him
drive and drive, the promise of  something  happening  soon
draining from the screen like milk from a leaky
bucket...

I  guess I'll just wait, I mean
that's what we do isn't it? wait and wait
for the big moment, like we planned on when we were thirteen
years old, our face like Vesuvius erupting, and certain
a big moment was coming and riding to the rescue
was the certain outcome, and the pretty girl
so grateful and eager for an extravaganza of explosive  sex
as we could best imagine it in our pimple-plagued
adolescent brain...

moments like that -

and we wait and we wait
and we  wait some
more...

any day now,
that moment when we become
what we are sure we were always meant
to be







                                                                       





Here's a poem from about this time of the year, 2009.













peas in our time

dinner
last night
at Grisinis'

Italian
penne pasta
with some kind
of orangish sauce

tiny pieces of ham
mushrooms
&  peas

&
the peas
did it for me
since peas are
my second favorite
vegetable -
peas & corn
being my favorite

&
someone mentioned
that it was strange, my
liking peas so much,
since no one was
eating
peas
anymore

&
that's hardly
a surprise to me
since the world slips
further
into decline
with every passing day








My first library  poem this week is by my poet-friend Gary Blankenship.  The poem is from his most  recent book, The Poetic States and a drop of sunshine. The book  was published by Writers and Lovers Studio earlier this year. More information on the book  and how to purchase a copy is  available at www.writers-and-lovers.com.

In the book, the poet alternates between poems about the various states and small  poems, the little drops of sunshine referred to in the title. I'm concentrating this week on the sunshine drops.

Gary is presently working on a new collection of  poems inspired by Walt Whitman. Whitman being my favorite poet and the granddaddy of all us modern poets, I am looking forward to the book when it is finally published and available.






Illuminate, Air Show

The damselfly brightens the morning sky
as it flits among balloons descending
unbidden on newly harvested fields -
smell wrong for blossoms so full of color.


Sun-kissed, Squeeze

Deep blush like a maiden's first  stolen kiss,
fruit bruised by autumn's  sun and early frost
gathered for the season's first fresh pressing -
cider for the kids, applejack for us.


Sunscreen, Memories

Frost on the windshield catches the  first light;
frozen,  the fish shack welcomes the morning.
We huddle 'round the stove, sipping hot drinks,
summer suntans and lotion remembered.


Sunbonnet, Meeting

Broad wings of calico  hide her plain face,
the bill of ragged cap hides his  eyes.
rough hands browned from years under Tombstone sun
touch a bow  holding sheaves of flaxen hair.


Sun Dance, Betrothal

Beneath eagle's flight, above Gila toad,
their feet a zephyr, their hands  quick k prayer;
up sacred canyons,, beyond common ken ,
celebrating clouds and rain, the tribe's life.







                                                                          




Finally, some rain, in the  form of thunderstorms in the very early morning, which I  enjoyed with my dog.











those same dreams

beginning
about 4:15, heavy rain and thunder bouncing
from the dark morning  sky,
crashing on rooftops
and streets and hungry trees
that sway in the wind...

the dog wants out
so I open the patio door,
leave it open
and lay on the couch in the sun room
and listen to it rain, the dog
stands at the door, watches it rain,
evaluates need against elements, finally
goes out, pees on the run, back inside in four seconds,
gets it done almost without getting  wet...

I  stay on the couch,
doze a little, letting rain and thunder seep into my thirsty dreams,
dog lying beside me, sleeping too,
(I can hear her snore)
dreaming, too,
no doubt how rabbits and squirrels might run
tomorrow, when, rain gone, the crisp morning November air
will carry the sweet smell of today's rain
and  the rustle  of dry and brittle grass and plants filling up, sucking up
from the ground the new store of life,
and how wonderful it will be for all creatures,
furred and not,  and how well will all dance together
in new day and new life and new  season...

~~~

she dreams, I know
because I dream with her,
those same dreams
of chasing the sun and the moon
and all the creatures below
them, reborn to the new
and annual return
of cool sun and bright
nights







                                                                
The first poet from this week's anthology is Edith Bruck.

Born in a Hungarian village in  1932, Bruck is a holocaust survivor whose adopted home is Italy. Born to a poor Jewish family, she and her parents, a sister, and two bothers were deported to Auschwitz in 1944. In the end, only she and her sister survived until the end of the war and liberation.

The poem was  translated by Ruth Feldman and Brian Swann.





Birth

Feeling the urge my mother
made for the privy at the far end of the courtyard
and strained strained with all her might
plagued by her painful constipation.
"It's like giving birth," she kept saying to herself
and strained and strained harder
broad forehead dripping sweat
bluegreen eyes full of tears
veins swollen on the white neck
untouched by real or imitation jewels.
The kerchief slipped off
showing her dark hair;
with both hands she held onto the swollen belly with me inside.
To readjust her head-covering
like a good Orthodox Jew she let go of  her belly
and kept straining.
The next thing was a cry a long-drown-out wail:
my head almost grazed the pit full of excrement.
A busy neighbor woman
ran to her aid and that's how I was born.
According to the gypsies a lucky  future was in store of me;
for my father I was another mouth to feed
for my mother an unavoidable calamity
that befalls poor religious couples who make love
as a gesture of peace after months of quarrels
for my five not  seven brothers
(luckily two died young)
a real  toy that squealed
sucked at the wrinkled nipples
clung to the skin of mama's empty breasts
a mother undernourished like the mothers
of Asia Africa India South
or North America of yesterday today and tomorrow...







                                                                                 




 Next from November, 2009, six examples of  a poetry form I came up  with which I call 'barku," ten words on six lines, about the right size to fit on a bar napkin.












6X6X10

thin girl
sweeps
dark hair
curls
across  shy
brown shoulders

~~~

dreams lost
remembered
as a dread
feel
lurking
in shadows

~~~

soft
slope
of the singer's
ass
rises
above
her jeans

~~~

old lady -
small grocery
bag
held tight -
crosses the
street

~~~

blue sky
sliced
into electric
corridors
by crackling wires
overhead

~~~

my red car
soaks in
autumn
sun
a transitory
fireball







                                                                      


Next from my library, I have several short poems from the Japanese tradition, translated by Harold Wright. The book is Ten Thousand Leaves, Love Poems from the Manyoshu, published by The Overlook Press in 1988. Compiled in its final form during the 8th century, the entire collection contains 4,516 poems arranged in twenty volumes. The work is the product of over four hundred known contributors as well as  many anonymous poets.

The title Manyoshu  can be literally translated as "ten thousand leaves."







#27

Even the  wild duck
     that swims along the shores
          of Lake Karu
Does not  have to sleep alone
     on a stretch of drifting moss


#28

The wind from the sea
      blew strongly towards the shore.
            but to please my love
My sleeves become soaking wet
      cutting seaweed for her  sake


#29

It was in a dream
      that I saw a long straight sword
            lying at my side
I wonder  what has been foretold
       perhaps you will visit me


#30

Going out to sea
     and sailing along the coast
           I hope to please you
By catching from the seaweed
     a carp of sword-handle size







                                                                                  




I wrote this last  week. It seems a bit overwritten to me, but others suggest not. I'll read it some more before I decide.











circle

something about a cold morning
that tightens the circle
of our life

the dark sky
draws near around us,
the stars
closer and brighter,
familiars, not like summer nights
when their reach far exceeds
or grasp

the air
so clear and crisp
fills us, expands our boundaries,
pushes us to the near, silent edge
of fading night

like a balloon
slipped from the grasp
of a small child,
we float into the morning
even as day breaks the soft shell
of our effervescence...

all of all expanding again
and as the sky rushes
away and the stars
shrink,
and we too are small again
in the bright light
of day

the dark comforter
of winter night
put away
until the day
completes its arc
and folds again into its
red western bed







                                                                   


The next poem from the anthology is attributed to an "Anonymous Courtesan," but, but according to the book's editors, is widely thought to be the work of
Li Ch'ing-chao, an antiquarian, book collector and calligrapher. Of her six original volumes of poems, only 50 poems remain. The poet was born in 1081 and died in1141.











After  kicking on the swing,
Lasciviously, I get up and  rouge my palms.
Thick dew on a frail flower,
Perspiration soaks my thin dress.
A new guest enters.
My stockings come down
And my hairpins fall out.
Embarrassed,  I run away,
And lean flirtatiously against the door,
Tasting a green plum.



The poem was translated by Kenneth Rexroth  and Ling Chang.







                                                                




From November, 2009, I think maybe I've used it here before. I've done a lot  of versions of this, so if I haven't used it, I've probably used something like it.













an atheist's prayer

send me to the fire
naked
as the day i came

sear
from me this corrupting flesh

release me
into the sky, pale smoke of me
drifting
where the winds
might blow, letting me fall
on some rocky field
where i might become a part
of something new,
bits of  me
and someday you
and all creation that comes,
then goes, the cycle of me and you
and all the rest
repeated
again and again and again
unto the end
amen







                                                                           




From my library, this poem is by Lowell Jaeger, from his book War on War, published by Utah State University Press in 1988. Jaeger, is founding editor of Many Voices Press and has published four volumes of poetry. He teaches creative writing at Flathead Community College in Montana.










Nhu's Barbecue

     "Let them burn and we  shall clap our hands."
                                                      - Madame Nhu

From where I was filing to grow up
in the back row of Current Events,
it was easy to mock  anything
Doc Johnson  wanted us to believe.
We were reeling drunk on new hormones
and Doc  Johnson was too  sober, to burnt
out not to crave kicking the shit from us
once before he retired and passed us on
to the world he knew was doomed
to be our own.
                         One Monday I made light
of the  clipping he held up and shocked me
when his brow thawed, his shoulders fell
and he room turned silent as a tomb.
His heels strode slowly to face me.
This is yours, he said, I'll give you time 
enough on Thursday to show us what you know.
He smoothed the news in front of me, yellowed
fingers quaking, and without further explanation
the best of the day slipped by.

In my father's basement that night I unfolded
foreign reports of the grandfatherly Buddhist,
Quang Duc, the photo speaking tongues
any fool could read: a monk splashed his robes
in gasoline  and set himself ablaze on a rush-
hour intersection in downtown Saigon, decrying
lawlessness of the Diem regime and the fascist whims
of Madame Nhu.  All I could  ffiure in flames
gulping the little man lotus legged and hands
joined in prayer, was something by God
going down Quant Duc was willing to die for.
My older brother wouldn't speak of it
by my father confessed we were heading for war.

I hardly know how to tell you this,
began the day I held up Quang Duc's death
as evidence we'd better be done fooling around.
I got laughed at. I couldn't close my eyes
long nights afterwards, without my bare feet scorching
on the pavement where Quang Duc's torch
lit my way, his molten face shifting brows and jaws,
bones into my father's, my brother's  then mine.
And whether we heeded Doc Johnson or not,
Nhu's barbecues already flamed on our front page,
smoldering over the course of our lives.








                                                                                     




Rants go stale so fast, I thought I needed to post this this week, written the day after the elections.











another day of the  evil dead,  walking

I am paying no attention to the news this morning...

not reading, not watching, not listening...

paying no attention
because I already know that after yesterday
the forces of the ignorant
and indecent
and unjust are ascendant,
even my blue island
lapped by the angry red tide,
and I don't want to hear anymore about it
just now...

the money-changers
have taken the temple;
fear-mongers, liars and thieves
commandeered the pulpit; traitors
captured the flag...

my country
taken
from
me
and
I will  think  about it
tomorrow,
today,
my mind is fixed only on the idea of arming myself
before they find me, reaching  their scabby
arms through the sharded windows of truth and honor
to grab me and bind me
with cant before
eating
my brains...

I just don't want to hear anymore about it
right now...








                                                                                             

Next from the anthology, Ruth Domino. Born in 1908 of a Jewish mother in Berlin, the poet obtained her Ph.D. in Vienna. She was a refugee in Paris, then came to the United States during World War II. Later she lived in Lausanne, Brussels and London and eventually settled in Italy with an Italian husband. She published her first book of poetry in 1976, composed of poems she had written over the previous twelve years.

Her poem was published by Daniel Hoffman and Jerre Mongione.









 A Sparrow in the Dust

Every morning, in the dust
I chased a sparrow with my broom.
In the four corners
I found four feathers.

Every night my sparrow flew,
every night
from my breast he plucked
four beads of sleep.

Chasing him, I never saw him,
nor in the night when he came flying,
when he plucked four beads of sleep.
He was so quick!

I tried to spin his feathers of the morning
to comer me at night.
Feathers, you were too few
and the broom  was breaking.

Now in the  four corners
I hear  his feathers  rustling,
his beak knocks
for four beads of sleep,

knocks at  my breast all night
until the bone will break.








                                                             





Here are several short poems from November,  2009.













behind bars

sunlight
heavy with early dew
rushes
through the widow
horizontal blinds
throwing shadow bars
across the floor

a prisoner
of morning light,
i  bask
in my confinement


I might just do it

working
on next week's blog
at my current favorite
coffeehouse
i  was interrupted
by a fuzzy-bearded
young student from
the college down the
road -

had just read my book
he said
and thought it was great,
a combination of Whitman
and Bukowski, he said

and i could have kissed
him
peach-fuzzy beard
and all

in fact
if he comes back by
i might just do it


pooped

varying
degrees of sick
for four days now
and i'm tired, beat,
whomped,  pooped,
petered out,
dissipated,
de-generated
and past the line
of humanish
endurance and
i don't
wanna
do nothing
so  i'm
not







                                                                       
Arthur Munoz, born in Los Angeles in 1924,  served in the Marine Corps in two  wars (WWII and Korea).  He moved to Texas with his family and completed high school on the coast in Corpus Christi, later attending Texas A&I University and, briefly, St Mary's Law School. He served in the San Antonio Police Department for nearly 23 years, as a patrol officer, investigator, and homicide detective. Beginning in 1976, he worked as an investigator for the Texas Department of Human Resources. At the time his book was published he was Poet in Schools with the San Antonio Independent School District.

My poem this week is from his book, From a Cop's Journal & other poems, published in 1984 by Corona Publishing Company.







The Old Breed

You can read America
in their faces
and when they talk
there's sand
in their throats
from both shores.

Their hands have know love
but now only whisper caresses
because they're bent and tired
from years of picking and weeding.

But in their eyes
there's laughter
that can't be silenced;
it's what got them
through the Texas valley,
110 degrees in Indio,
and the dirt of Idaho.

Today they can be found
with friends
on the side of the barrio store,
or down at the square
recalling the Saturday dances
in Fresno.


Extra

What little difference
in yesterday's paper
and a beaten man
when you see both
at the mercy of the wind,
crumpled in a  doorway.


On F Street

On the old bed
lies a woman,
her hand
on  her tired thighs.

Haloed by the neon  flashing
coming  through the window
from the street,
she waits.

He leaves.

She places the money she has earned
on the dresser -
less some change, set aside
to buy candles in the morning
for  the Lady of Sorrows
whose image hang  on the wall -
the sighs
and goes to sleep.







                                                                            




Here, from last week, another response to events of  the  day.












changing times

times change...

it's not the big stuff
that bothers
me

like never getting
to buy an
Edsel
before they quit
making them

(but I did see one
once,
brand new, parked
on our little main street,
banker bought it,
a precursor banker to those
who almost wrecked
our economy
in 2008)

(I've also seen  several
in the years
since,
hiding out on country roads,
all dust covered
in precipitously leaning farm sheds,
some farmer
optimistic,
as farm folk must be,
certain that his old Edsel's day
will come again,
a resurrection as grand and glorious
and unexpected by the rest of the world
as that of the Christ)

so  I'll never  own an Edsel,
or  a Cord or a Hudson Hornet
or a 1948 Mercury,
time's past  for any of  that
I know
but I can adapt...

and time's past
for my old dog, Missy,
the fat,saggy-teated  mother of many pups
who accompanied me through much of my childhood,
dying finally of old age
in the corner of our kitchen near where my mother worked
on the three meals every day for the five of us,

"let her sleep, son," she told me
as I worried over my dog, "let her pass on
in dreams of all her good days."

and I cried
but I let her sleep and dream as she died...

it  was a very sad time,
and I remember it well,
but I have accepted
and moved on many time in my 70  years,
as have we all accepted and moved on
through our lives of changing
times - how hard it would be to live
through it all without the gift of acceptance...

it's the big things, as I said,
I can deal with,
but the little ones, those nagging little things
that come, the little changes
that come and go and disrupt the orderly transitions
of our lives...

the little things that come and go,
like daylight savings
twice a year, falling back or leaping forward,
either one and both, disturbing my rhythms,
and just as my shiska-shiska-shiska snare drums catch the rhythm,
here it comes again, falling back or  leaping forward,
doing the opposite  of what we did last
time, like today, falling
back,
even though my body saying it didn't fall anywhere,
the rest of the world falls back
and I'm left
trying to adjust my body to the new artificial reality,
falling back,
which putting my moon-and-sun cycling  body
on hold while the rest of the world
(except for Arizona and Hawaii)
catches up...

I have learned to do without my Edsel
or my Cord or Hudson Hornet
or '48 Mercury,
but still struggle twice a year
with the time disruption of daylight savings,
especially the falling back part,
like today
which amounts on an annual  basis
to another hour of dead time
when there are already so few hours to
spare







                                                                      
This next short poem from the week's anthology is by Andal, considered a saint in  the Tamil region of  India. Although details change depending on source, the basic story remains the same. The daughter of a priest, Andal is said to have developed an intense love for the god Krishna. According to legend, on reaching the age of marriage she became the wife of Krishna.

Some say that Andal was not a real person, but, instead, a literary creation. Others  strongly deny that.

Her poem was translated by Willis Barnstone.





To Krishna Haunting the Hills

Is it true that black birds infinitely dispersed
wake the dawn,
sing to the god
and welcome the sun?
They sing words of the great god whose bed
is the banyan leaf,
who lives on hills robed with the jungle.








                                                                     




A memory, actually, a couple of them. I hate to slip back into election mode, but I think of what we did in my youth and wonder, after the last election day, what in the world happened to all that promise.












pusillanimous prevaricator

just such an
invective
was included in the lines
of  a character i played
in a high school play

it got the biggest
laugh
in the whole three-act play

possibly due
to my most actorly reading of the line
or,  possibly
because it was a most hilarious
joining of words
for typical adolescent teenagers
of my time

despite that
we did, in fact,
win the cold war,
enacted much landmark legislation
guaranteeing  civil rights for everyone,
and sent a number of humans
to the moon
and back safely

it was the English language
and overactive
libidos
that always got us in
trouble







                                                                                        
A measure of the scope and diversity of poetry, an poet earlier in this post who was a professional police office followed now by a poet who spent a good part of his life in prison.

Raul Salinas, born in San  Antonio and raised in Austin, spent  the years from 1959 to 1971 incarcerated for a variety of drug charges. During that time he became known for his prison poetry and his work with fellow inmates regarding literature and arts. A life-long human rights and social justice activist, from 1981 until his death in 2004 he ran the Resistencia Bookshop and social gathering place in Austin, as  well as Red Salmon  Arts, a literary venue and small press. He was active in the American Indian Movement and taught writing clinics in juvenile detention centers. He also taught at St. Edwards University in Austin.

I have two poems this week from his book Un Trip through the Mind Jail y Otras Excursions, published in 1999 by Arts Publico. Described as one of the seminal works of the Chicano literary movement, was first published in 1980.



To My Woman

Tonight:
i know you are lonely,
though you've not within my view;
for loneliness  is that suffering
which you've been subjected to.

Lonely nights of burning thirst
your ravaged soul must bear,
and its sole consolation
will come from one lone tear.

But do not  weep, O'  lonely woman,
for surely you have known
that in my darkest hour,
i too, am alone.
                                         Soledad 7/13/59


A Glimpse of Lore(ca)

 Upon gazing at these plastered walls
they do not seem white washed to me.
Instead,
they are yellow and dirty
crumbling with Times.

Silently i listen to the winds.

Sounds of Gypsy Guitars
possessed by the clouds overhead
convey in the form of sunbeams
natural folk-songs to cling to my ears.

Yes, Federico,
your presence is near me this day.
So near that i can see
your glowing eyes and radiant face;
unlike that puzzled youth of old,
who endlessly wandered 'til he got lost
in a sickening jungle of concrete and steel.

It is no different today, my friend.
the scenes are the same as  you felt them.
Nothing has changed. Garcia Lorca. Oh, yes!
                     they are more revolting.
The skins of tigress now come in two shades:
                     purple and green
with contrasting stripes off blue and brown.
i vomit at the sight of the tigers in pink.

The rivers are told when to flow
the blue skies have-now turned grey...
they burn the eyes.
You are better off dead.
Flash!
pistol shots ring in the humid & still afternoon,
dying Lorca
the jungle once before us floods in pools of blood,
jackal jackboots crush
          tender poetic countenance
Federico Garcia Lorca;
and it is late in my afternoon.
                                              Soledad 7-(18-19)- 59 







                                                                              




Another early morning from last week.











a slow day at the flapjack emporium

slow day
at the flapjack emporium

just me
and a couple of nurses
and the tiny blond police officer
with her partner

outside
the day shrouded
in a dim curtain of premature light

and I'm thinking -
a busy week,
sitting here eating my 387th biscuit with gravy,
writing my 2,99-something poem of the day,
finishing work later today
on my 400 and something weekly blog,
preparing for a reading late in the week, squeezing a few fair poems
into 30 minutes of entertainment for family
and friends, maybe selling a book,
maybe selling a photograph,
but probably not,  payment, almost certainly, in fun
or no payment at all

thinking,
what is it I am doing, what is my purpose,  what is my
meaning...

a slip of truth now...

I'm not thinking any of that,
quit thinking about that kind of stuff
long ago, understanding
that my life's purpose is and will forever  be, or at least until it's too late
to make a difference, unknown to anyone including me,
and the meaning of what I'm doing
is that what I'm doing all these same  dame days
is filling a chest of me that will come to rest, dusty and forgotten
in an attic until someday more room is needed
in its storage  space and it is put our on the curb on trash collection day,
until,by chance, it is  rescued by an otherwise disinterested
passe-by and taken home, all the scraps of me
dumped in the recycle bin and the chest itself repainted pain or blue
and plastered with decals of cartoon figures of the time,
turned into a toy box
for a child who will forever have to be reminded to put his or her toys
in it instead of scattered on the floor room to room...

and, at first, this saddens me,  to think of  all those slips of me
scattered while the chest of me becomes  a toy box
for forgotten toys,
and then I  think, well, is that not so  appropriate,
this  chest of me, always a toy box, filled daily by me
with my toy of the day,  so many by the time it's over,
things I  played with and forgot, just as
this toy also will be soon
forgot...







                                                                          



The last piece from my library this week is by Mary Crow, widely published and honored poet, translator, professor and current poet laureate of the state of Colorado.

The poem is from her book Borders, published in 1989 by BOA Editions, LTD.










After a Certain Number of Years, the Light Changes

Abstraction growing bones,
landscape built up
grain by grain,sand
cut by the thin line
of a river, pelvis

and flower in the changing
light, and I am here.
All afternoon  wind
around the  house;
tips of the willow

yellow as summer
writhe before my window.
What was my first  poem?
Myth of the Ghostly Lover?
A decorated landscape?

One thing I know:
I am rooted in the landscape.
In the year of the   horse,
I am starting again.

How do I get back?
Under the current  thought,
a thought, and under that,
bare bones, bare bones,
the light changes.

This is the dream world,
the earth of the body.
In  the year of my poem,
the mote in the light
is a minute horse flying.







                                                                      





This is a day in November, 2009, very much like the last several days this year. And how exhilarating it is!












winter slips in at midnight

 a cold, damp
day
and people

are out in
the streets
with their
polar bear

coats
braving
the elements

most people
would say
it's not really

that cold
but we're not
used to it

and usually
overreact
when the first

cold snap
slips  in
at midnight

and
it makes for
and exciting morning

everybody
hugging themselves
under their dead-of-winter

hats, stomping
their feet
on street corners

how 'bout
this weather
they say

as the north wind blows
leaves finally give
evidence

of losing
their grip on the trees
and by tomorrow

gone
leaving stark branch
shadows

on the sidewalks
under tomorrow's
winter sun

meanwhile
everyone wants to drink their coffee by the window,
watch this cold-slow day as it  passes







                                                                                    





My last political poem, for at  least a couple of days.











next time a democrat chicken or no chicken at all

so Monday
'bout midnight
I cast the bones
and studied carefully
the innards
of the chicken from whom
the bones were extracted, and it was clear
from my reading, 100% scientifically determined,
that one of two things was going to happen on Tuesday...

either Democrats were going to sweep the election, or
I was going to win the Mega Million lottery,  $154 cash option million

well, you know what happened (or  didn't)

it's  what  happens  when you count on some lying  son-of-a-bitch
Republican  chicken...

next time it's a Democrat chicken or I'm switching
to frogs, or beavers, or otters, or squirrels,
or platypi, or koala bears or a trout or a weasel
(no  wait, the weasels  are all republican and not to be trusted)
or some other appropriate
creature
(but definitely not a weasel)
of a democrat disposition









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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




4 Comments:
at 1:24 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...


since there are so few comment- LOOK AT THIS (and i am some one itz has dissed)

how few poets can take any criticism? (i have a friend who defines friendship as being able to tell a person that "you're full of shit!"

a lot of these posing-as-pomes could just as well b prose



Me
the dark is especially bright this morning

Me
peas in our time

Gary Blankenship
Illuminate, Air Show
Sun-kissed, Squeeze
Sunscreen Memories
Sunbonnet,Meeting
Sun Dance, Betrothal

Me
those same dreams

Edith Bruck
Birth

Me
6X6X10

from The Manyoshu
Poems 27 through30

Me
circle

(Le Ch'ing-chao?)
Anonymous Courtesan

Me
an atheist's prayer

Lowell Jaeger
Nhu's Barbecue

Me
another day of the evil dead, walking

Ruth Domino
A Sparrow in the Dust

Me
behind bars
I might just do it
pooped

Arthur Munoz
The Old Breed
Extra
On F Street

Me
changing times

Andal
To Krishna Haunting the Hills

Me
pusillanimous prevaricator

Raul Salinas
To My Woman
A Glimpse of Lore (ca)

Me
a slow day at the flapjack emporium

Mary Crow
After a Certain Number of Years, the Light Changes

Me
winter slips in at midnight

Me
next time a democrat chicken or no chicken at all












I start with this piece from last week.












the dark is especially bright this morning

the dark
is especially bright this morning

low-hanging clouds cloaking the neighborhood
with insinuations of wet,
reflecting the never-dark shadows
of big city luminance back to
earth, my backyard like a sun-shiny day
on one of the outer planets, light measured
in unnaturally active lightning bug units...

it will rain today
they say,
hard, heavy thunderstorms
flash flooding the creeks, sometime
during the afternoon,
right now the insolence of not yet,
suggestions of rain with the don't-give-a-shit attitude
of teenage boys smoking Marlboros
on a broken-lamp lit
street corner...

right now,
just a succession of in-between moments,
like a movie where the hero
drives from here to there
and drives and drives, the camera watching him
drive and drive, the promise of something happening soon
draining from the screen like milk from a leaky
bucket...

I guess I'll just wait, I mean
that's what we do isn't it? wait and wait
for the big moment, like we planned on when we were thirteen
years old, our face like Vesuvius erupting, and certain
a big moment was coming and riding to the rescue
was the certain outcome, and the pretty girl
so grateful and eager for an extravaganza of explosive sex
as we could best imagine it in our pimple-plagued
adolescent brain...

moments like that -

and we wait and we wait
and we wait some
more...

any day now,
that moment when we become
what we are sure we were always meant
to be













Here's a poem from about this time of the year, 2009.













peas in our time

dinner
last night
at Grisinis'

Italian
penne pasta
with some kind
of orangish sauce

tiny pieces of ham
mushrooms
& peas

&
the peas
did it for me
since peas are
my second favorite
vegetable -
peas & corn
being my favorite

at 1:38 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

less itz- more bitz

itz ain't gonna like too much
critz
ism

the endless photos of yu r particularly annoying

and watch how many amurican poets r self critical (THY ARE'NT)

at 11:27 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

do people read this? but they don't want to comment? poetry as an art form is lonlier than an armadillo at a road kill restaurant (i'll have the road runner pleez)

i'd like to see amurican poets wirte abt sex or ego or money- but they won't - becuz they are dainty ass fu k heds

by the way- get a new capcha- seniors cannot see it

at 11:47 AM Blogger Here and Now said...

lost my own comment in response to the comment above.

first, Here and Now gets between 6,000 and 9,000 page views a month, varying month to month for reasons i have never figured out. not a lot in the larger scheme of things, but not so bad for a poetry site like this.

second, by allowing comments i am inviting commenters into my house. you're welcome to come in and say what you want, but don't crap on my carpet. keep your language suitable for the wide variety of Here and Now readers. in poetry i allow poets to say what they want to say the way they want to say it. that does not apply to comment. every comment has to be approved by me before it's published. i rarely disapproved, usually when it's one kind of spam or another. but as owner and publisher of the blog i reserve the right to disallow anything i don't want to appear here for any reason i want. so, keep it clean or don't post your comment.

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