River-Talk   Wednesday, April 22, 2015






I missed an anniversary last week. It was the 450th posted issue of  "Here and Now." My first post was in May, 2006, nine years ago next month. A lot poems under the bridge since  then.

The event duly noted, back  to this week, number451.

 After three weeks of poems from the same  anthology, there's no  featured anthology this  week. Instead just work from individual poets in my library.

Photos, again old, but juiced up a little with color splash.

And all  of this.


Me
extraordinary concurrence of extraordinary events

Haiku by
Issa
Buson
Basho
Takarai Kikaku
Tan Taigi

Charles Bukowski
life dance
the bells
full moon

Me
study the face of Abraham Lincoln

Cornelius Eady
My Face

Me
zits and zats

Kathryn Stripling Byer 
Empty Glass
Sour Pot

Me
bright bird
morning rain

Kerrin McCadden
At the Wellsboro/Johnsoton Airport
Say Sing

Me
the incomplete evolution of God

Hanshan
Four short poems

Me
and he won't know why  

Andrew Hudgins
Dead  Christ
Lamentation over the Dead Christ

Me
real life

Walt Whitman
Spirit that Form'd this Scene

Gary Snyder
 Mid-August at Sourdough Mountain Lookout

Me
a  cold wind  blows
sunshine flows

Rienzi Crusz
Prayer
Never Discuss God with Your Granddaughter   

Me
don't expect any hot-diggity dancing

Ku Sang
Shame
Eros I
  
Me
who will play with me?   

Laura Kasichke
May

Me
boy, was  I surprised!   
        
           









 From last week, for better or worse, my poems are the life I'm living.










extraordinary concurrence of extraordinary events

Friday,
thunderstorms roiling the
sky,crashing,  rolling
across the drought-parched  city,
the same expected all
weekend...

meanwhile,
adjusting to my new cast,
trying to navigate around puddles
so as to keep it dry...

my jeans cut off at my leg yesterday
in order to take them off,
short pants today,
knees knobbing  before the world
for the first time since
6th grade

an extraordinary concurrence of
extraordinary
events
and I'm not sure which
will require the greater adjustment
to my psyche

the storms,
the cast, or the
short pants...

not to mention my toes sticking out
of the cast
like a hobo with un-darned
socks












I begin from my library with a selection of haiku from a book my wife bought for me for Valentine's Day. The book, Haiku Inspirations, was published in 2013 by Chartwell Books.












To begin,  Issa, the gently giant of haiku.


Red moon up there
who does it belong to,
children

~~

Don't swat that fly
it wrings its hands
it wrings its feet

~~

Come  to me:
let's play
little sparrow orphan!


Now two form the second of the three masters, Buson.


Coming to view cherry blossom,
I lie beneath the flowering branches
and sleep

~~

The pear tree is in blossom
in the moonlight
a woman reads a letter


Now, one from the last of the trio of greatest haiku masters Basho.


How art begins:
a rice-planting song
in the deep interior


And finally, two of the lesser  known haiku artists.


Takarai Kikaku

A young woman
planting seedlings
plants toward her crying baby

 ~~

Twilight
In the middle of the town.
A single butterfly


Tan Taigi

The moon is cold.
The bridge echoes
As  I cross alone.









Next from my library, three  poems by a mellower than usual Charles Bukowski. Both are from the collection What Matters Most Is How Well You Walk Through the Fire. The book was published in 1999 by Ecco, the Harper Collins imprint.









lifedance

the are dividing the brain and the soul
is affected in many ways by
experience -
some lose all mind and become soul:
insane.
some lose all soul and become mind:
intellectual.
some lose both and become:
accepted.


the bells

soon after Kennedy was shot
I heard this ringing of bells
and electrically charged ringing of bells
and I though, it can't be the church
on the corner
too many people there
hated Kennedy

I like him
and walked to the window
thinking, well, maybe everybody is tired of
cowardly gunmen,
maybe the Russian Orthodox Church
up the street
is saying this
with their bells?
but the sound gets nearer and nearer
and approached very slowly,
and I though, what is it?
it was coming right up to my window
and then I saw it:
a small square vehicle
powered by a tiny motor
coming 2 m.p.h.
up the street:

KNIVES  SHARPENED
was scrawled in red crayon
on the plywood sides
and inside sat an old man
looking straight ahead.
the ladies did not come out with their knives
the ladies were liberated and sharpened their own
knives.
the plywood box
crept down the lonely street
and with much seeming agony
managed turn right  at Normandie Blvd.
and vanish.

my own knives were dull
and I was not liberated
and there certainly would be more
cowardly gunmen.

much later I thought
I could still hear the
bells.


full moon

red flower of love
cut at the stem
passion has sits own
way
and hatred too.
the curtain blows open
and the sky is black
out there tonight.
across the way
a man and a woman
standing up against a darkened
wall,
the red moon
whirls,
a mouse runs along
the windowsill
changing colors.
I am alone in torn Levis
and a white sweat shirt.
she's with her man now
in the shadow on that wall
and as he enters her
I draw upon my
cigarette.












Last week being the 150th anniversary of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, this poem, from 2008 seems appropriate.










study the face of Abraham Lincoln

study
the face
of Abraham Lincoln

his direct gaze,
they eyes of one far-seeing,
his generous lips
half-turned to smile,
and below
that hint of a smile,
broad shoulders that bore
the weight of a nation
in spasms of attempted self-destruction

two months
before his death,
he is like a great, proud eagle,
a creature of the highest peaks,
fatigued
but
alive
in the sad aftermath of bloody victory,
still
savior of his nest








Next from  my library, this poem by Cornelius Eady. The Poem is from his book, Brutal Imagination, published in 2001 by G.P. Putnam's Sons.

Eady was born in 1954 in New York. He is the author of seven collections of poetry, his work often centering on jazz, the blues, family life, violence and social problems and matters of race. He teaches at the University of Missouri.







My Face

If you are caught
In my part of town
After dark,
You are not lost;
You are abandoned.

All  that the neighbors will tell
Your kin
Is that you should
Have known better.

All they will do
Is nod their heads.
They will feel sorry
For you.

But rules are rules,
And when you were
Of a certain age
someone pointed
A finger
In the wrong direction

And I said:
All they do
Is fuck and drink
All they're good for
Ain't worth a shit.

You recall me now
To the police artist.
It wasn't really my face
That stared back that day,
But it was the look.












Another Sunday morning, 2009, looking out the windows of my breakfast restaurant.











zits and zats

staring out the window

the cars
on the interstate
like the electronic
zits and zats
of bedside
monitors
on TV doctor  shows

zit zat zit

they cross the monitor screen

discrete phenomena
though each  like the other

signifying
life continues

story ends

Dr. House  has left the building

how
mundane -
even  for a Sunday morning
hallucination








Here from  my library are two poems from Wildwood Flower, a collection of poems by Kathryn Stripling Byer that was the 1992 Lamont Poetry Selection by The Academy of American Poets. It was published by Louisiana State University Press. Born in 1944, Byer was the fifth named Poet Laureate of  North Carolina from 2005 to 2009 and was the first woman to receive that honor. She has taught at several universities and has published six collections of her poetry.

The poems in this book are written in the fictional voice of a mountain woman named Alma who lived in the Blue Ridge wilderness  around the turn of the century.





Empty Glass

Last night I stood ringing
my empty glass under
the black empty sky and beginning, of  all

things,  to sing.
The mountains paid no attention.
The cruel ice did not melt.
But just for a moment the hoot owl grew silent.
And somewhere the wolves hiding out
in their dens opened cold, sober  eyes.

Here's to you
I sang, meaning
the midnight
the dark moon
the empty well,

meaning myself
upon whom the snow  fell
without any apology.


Sour Pot

I stir it and think
of the garden plowed under,
the rats in the barn gnawing
all I have harvested,

what I must do
every day, boil this bone
until nothing is left,
neither marrow nor
sinew, and supper is water
I've hauled up the hillside,
a little salt added for flavor,
a  little dried parsley.

This is the year the worst happens.
How well I have learned to imagine it,
as if already my hands twist the goat's empty teat
or  reach down into dust at the bottom of sacks.
Let the men argue what bark
grown thick as axe handle prophesies.
I have my own thoughts,
these meat scraps and bone chips.

I stir them
and stir them.









Missing sleep last week, my attention span not at its best. The result, short poems that didn't  require me to stay on track for very long.

Here's a couple of them.









bright bird

shrouded moon
between dark trees
bright bird
who  sings not
as day creeps
from behind the neighbor's 
fence

nodding acquaintances
at a time of passing
for one
as the other
rises



morning rain

rain in the early morn
tree limbs hanging
low
weeping
with the joy of the long
denied








Here are  two poems by Kerrin McCadden, taken from her book, Landscape with Plywood Silhouettes. The book was published last year by Western Michigan Press.

Currently a teacher of  English and Creative Writing at Montpelier High School, she is previous recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, support from the Vermont Arts Endowment Fund and the Vermont  Studio Center. She is currently a degree candidate in the MFA program at Warren Wilson College.








At the Wellsboro/Johnston Airport

Yesterday we drove so  far from home
even the grass was strange. All day I sat,
a frozen road warrior, past abandoned homes,
past the Lobster Shack/Hotel whose sign offered
Gurls, Wed Night, a landscape of eternal promise.
All day I wished I had taken a picture of that sign
and  thought about just about everything, as the lines
of the road droned like the airplane engine you were headed
to fix when it finally got going, the Johnstons  watching
from their golf cart - the flying team from the fifties -
for  whom the airport was named, these  two
now calling each other mother and father,
watching you prime the radial engine until it makes
its low growl,  so low it is almost only a thumping
inside our ribs, your  trick of coaxing an engine
to life - the engine that, once in the air,
though it may pump  and thud like a heart,
the small plane actually does not need
to bring itself safely to the ground.
This  is what I tell myself weeks later
when I hear that Mr. Johnston has died,
that his wife  sits on the concrete porch
by herself in the evenings, swatting  flies.


Say Sing

 This is my one life. Say you know.
Say this means many tings, say snowy owl,
say three feet of snow, say kestrel. My one
life is here at the table, next to me.  Say you know,
say fine night for soup,glad to have you,
how was your  drive. Say there is only one ridge line
worth knowing , one swale between three hills.

Wonder why the mountains are named
Lord's Hill, Devil's Hill and Burnt Mountain.
Say we should go there sometimes, when we are lonely
like this, stand in the  center, gear shouldered and
wonder where to camp. Say bear claws and hawk
circles,  say grass chewed low.Say here,
One Life, settle in with us. Here is fire.
Say here is a warm stone. Say sing.












Watch out, from 2010, deep think coming.











the incomplete evolution of God

first
there was
the god of the sky

distant
and remote
from the affairs of man

the cause
of all effects, but capricious
when it came to those effects -

doing what they did
as all gods do
as they do, with little regard

when their incidental creations  were roiled
in their wake,
being only byproducts, after all

of the supreme ego
at play,
toys left scattered on the floor

until time to play
again...

and man was not pleased
with such indifference and thought
how much better it would be

if the gods were more like me,
they thought, they would love man and provide
for him because they were like him

and they created such gods
and demigods
and gave them all names

and domains
and power over all the different aspects
of the world

and soon learned
that gods like them
were  too  much like them

with all of a god's power
and all of a man's weakness
and the value off a distant

and disinterested god,
totally unlike man,
was clear to them again

and some men decided that
given their choices, we were better off
with no gods at all









Hanshan,  which translates to "Cold Mountain," was the pseudonym of an unknown hermit poet in China over 1,200 years ago. His poems  were translated into English in this book by Peter Hobson, who was an authority on world religions with a particular interest in archaic Chinese poetry. He translated the poems  primarily for his own enjoyment, publishing in his lifetime only three of his translations. The book includes more than one hundred of Hobson's translations, almost all of which  are published for the first time in this book.

T. H. Barrett, Professor of  East Asian History, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, who gathered these poems for publication, emphasizes in his introduction that, Hobson,  translating for his own satisfaction, sought to  preserve the intent and spirit of the poems without making a fetish of literal accuracy, producing versions of freshness and immediacy.






Alas!
now poor, now ill,
destined
to cut all ties
with family and friends,  no
cooked rice
in the pot, the
kettle
full of dust, thatched
hovel not
impermeable to rain, a
lumpy bed
hardly
conducive to a good night's sleep
- no wonder
things have come to this;  too
many sorrows
dissipate a man.


```

All day
and day by day
it's like I'm drunk -
the rolling years
all flow away;
to let me lie
beneath the cemetery weeds;
what a dull, dark dawn I'll see!
My flesh and bones
will crumble, soul
and vital spirit
just about evaporate;
and when my mouth
is biting the iron dust
I'll be too sick
to recite the Classic
of old Lao-tze

```

Whether there is
                          or is not
an individual subject,
and whether this
                          is I or not I?
and so on and so forth...
                                      I sink
into speculative reverie
                                     almost
out of time
                 as I sit
leaning  against the crag
until the green grass
sprouts between my feet,
and on my head
the red dust settles;
suddenly I perceive
the village people come
and offer  wine and cakes
to  my departed ghost.

```

The people of our time
are trying to track out
a path to the clouds
but the cloud-path is trackless -
high mountains
with many an abyss,
broad valleys
with little enough light,
blue peaks
with neither near nor far,
white clouds
of neither east nor west.
You wish to know
where that pathway lies
It lies in utter emptiness. 












 A little autobiography that stirs a memory.












and he won't know why

with my new  cast
and, for the week before,
the boot I was wearing, I am asked often
by people I know what in the world
I did to myself
and most who ask are incredulous
when I tell them I don't know

and the truth is, I don't
know...

though reformed now for many
years, I joke that, as an old drunk,
like most old drunks, I
became a master of the tuck
and roll, an expert at falling down and getting back
up and forgetting about it...

even long sober, I have not lost the skill
and it is not unusual, especially when walking
my dog who is quite strong and impatient
with my slower gait, to  twist my ankle or trip over a curb
and, as in the old days, shake it off and remember the
incident...

which reminds me of the old drunk who must be
the world champ in the category of tuck
and roll...

I saw him one evening hit by a car,  stepping in front of a car
at an intersection, and thrown, even though the car was going quite slow,
for a full, in the air, loop the loop,
facing north when he left the ground and still facing north
when he landed again,
the stub of a cigarette
between the fingers of his right hand when he started the loop
and still between  his fingers when he landed...

the fella, drunk as a melancholy skunk pining  for his lost  skunkette lover,
declined assistance and walked away, as best he could in his condition,
cigarette  stub  still wedged  between the fingers of his
right hand...

my thought, as he weaved on  down the sidewalk, based on my own long ago
experience, that he was going to wake up in the morning
sore
over every part of his body

and he won't know why...










Next, from Andrew Hudgins, winner of the 1988 Poet's Prize, here are two poems from his book The Never Ending, published in 1991 by Houghton  Mifflin Company.

Born in 1951 in Killeen, Texas, Hudgins earned his MFA at the University of Iowa. Author of numerous collections of poetry and essays, he is currently Distinguished Professor of English at Ohio State University.









Dead Christ

There seems no reason he should've died. His hands
are  pierced by holes too tidy to have held,
untorn, hard muscles as they writhed on spikes.
And on the pink, scrubbed  bottom of each foot
a bee-stung lip pouts daintily.
No reason he should die - and yet, and yet
Christ's eyes are swollen with it, his mouth
hangs slack with it, his belly taut with it,
his long hair lank with it, and damp;
and underneath the clinging funeral cloth
his manhood's huge and useless with it: Death

One blood-drop tickles toward his wrist. Somehow
the grieving women  missed it when they washed,
today, the empty corpse. Most Christs return.
But this one's flesh. He isn't coming back.


Lamentation over the Dead Christ

Dis miss the body bent so awkwardly
across his mother's  lap: there's no god in it.
Dismiss the saint holding the nails, the thorns.
Remember  only Marys: Salome,
Cleophas, Magdalene -
and Mary, fainted virgin, her body huge,
distended,  bulging, because she suffers more
than anyone can grieve until she loosens
her human shape, becomes impossible.
And Saint John's arm elongates eerily
because he cannot comfort her or ease
her body back to what it was.
The other Marys, too, contort. Their muscles
twist and their bodies bend
until they're radiant with suffering.

And though  she wouldn't want you to,
remember Magdalene. She's hunchbacked, wrenched
by dark, misshaping sorrow.
Her first eyes  glittered with hatred, rage.
But in her grief she cried to Botticelli,
Erase my eyes! Instead, he's hidden them
behind two raw, enormous hands. She'd begged,
and Botticelli, unlike God, said yes.














Ahhh, from 2011, the meaning of life in all its absurdities.















real life

I don't like
where I am in my life

says the middle-aged
man

but I don't like where I'd be
if I wasn't where I am

either -
choice without consequence

isn't that what everyone wants?
life without cost

without
dues to be paid...

the generation
that came, officially,

months
after my own

the "boomers" -
born to be forever young

forever vital
forever in charge of their  own destiny,

forever foolish -

never planned
on getting old; never

planned
on getting tired;

never planned
on the bite of  consequence;

never planned
on seeing death around the corner;

never
planned on the whole of their life

summed
up in a three paragraph obituary...

real life
begins, and then

it ends












 From  Across State Lines, a collection of poems of the fifty states by various poets, I have selected two. The book was published by Dover Publications in 2003.












The first poem is about the state of Colorado and it was written  by Walt Whitman,


Spirit that Form'd this Scene

Written in Platte Canon, Colorado

Spirit  that form'd this scene,
These tumbled rock-piles  grim and red,
These reckless heaven-ambitious peaks,
These gorges, turbulent-clean streams, this naked freshness,

These formless wild arrays, for reasons of their own,
I know thee, savage  spirit - we have communed together,
Mine too such wild arrays, for reasons of their own;
Was't charged against my chants they had forgotten art?
To fuse within themselves its rules precise and delicatesse?
the lyrist's measur'd beat, the wrought-out temple's
     grace - column and polish'd arch forgot/
But thou that revelest here - spirit that form'd this scene,
They have remembered thee.


The next state is Washington; its poem is by Gary Snyder.


Mid-August at Sourdough Mountain Lookout

Down  valley a smoke haze
Three days heat, after five days rain
Pitch glows on the fir-cones
Across rocks and meadows
Swarms of new  flies.

I cannot remember things I once read
A few friends, but they are in cities.
Drinking cold snow-water from a tin cup
Looking down  for miles
through high still air.











A couple more short ones from last week.










a cold wind blows

a cold wind blows
in mid-April
welcomed  by those
who understand
the demands
of summer

trees
wave their limbs
in appreciation, cats
curl in corners
sleeping,
dogs
stand still in open fields,
noses twitching
at the smell
of a day
different from the one
before

an old man
waves
his white Panama hat,
his dancing 
feet
kick the dust
celebrate the cloud
he  raises



sunshine flows

sunshine
flowing  like poured
from a bucket
of liquid
light
leaves
old
Broadway
paved in gold

a dog walker
takes deep morning breaths,
sucking in the radiance
until like a translucent shadow
he follows
his skipping, sniffing
charge









Now, two poems from my library by Rienzi Crusz. The poem is from his book Gambolling With  the Divine,  published in 2003 by TSAR Publications.

Born in 1925 in Ceylon (now Sri  Lanka), Crusz, at the age of 40 he immigrated to Toronto in 1965, became a Canadian citizen and immediately began  publishing poetry. He is best known for his poems that illustrate his experience with immigration, migrancy and the alienation of exile.










Prayer

One season, Lord, only one:
the white slope, skimming, skidding skis,
torches, stars, brandy in the hot chocolate;
for me, a demon spirit,pivot,speed,
a descent acrobatic, ether on my face,
for her, a smooth curving ride on angel thighs.

No sky with God's fiery head,
rotting fruit, no whirling of leaves,
the maple's stripping tease,
no birthing  time, no green  mould.

Give me only
the white slope, silent and waiting
for  the new architecture of hooves,
the hot fog round my madcap mouth.


Never Discuss God With Your  Granddaughter

Talking about elephants,
how  they could communicate with each other
though miles apart, a decibel range
way below the human ear,
my granddaughter interrupts:
Can an elephant turn itself into God?
Well, can he?
No,
but God can become an elephant,
is and elephant
is the elephant.

Sure. Sure.
Then my turtle, Happy, is God,
and so is Jen's black  rabbit, Terminator.
Giggling, she turns
to bury her head in the couch,
and I cannot  see the mischief
in her dark laughing eyes,  only
sense the shards of my theology
digging into my sweating palms.










Born  in South  Texas and lived there most  of  my life, and I'm still adjusting to the cultural norms.












don't expect any hot-diggity dancing

three young women,
friends,
greet each other
with squeals
and smiles and hugs
and little hot-diggity
dances...

used to be
when I was a kid,
men didn't hug,
even if they were related
and never ever squealed
or  did hot-diggity
dances

nowadays
men in San Antonio
hug
upon both greeting
and leaving,
except they don't call it
a hug, they call it an abrazo
which is Spanish
for hug me  and pound me
on the back and go hardy-har-
har with a big smile in your
mustaches

(but no squealing, ever
and no hot-diggity dances
unless there is a sombrero
underfoot)

younger men
have taken to hugs,
modified abrazos,  without mustaches
and with less vigorous back-pounding

(but still no squealing
or hot-diggity  dancing)

and it seems
to be catching on - just yesterday
I saw two younger men, pin-striped business squires
engage  in the act  right outside the coffee
shop as they departed from a business
meeting, but that may be a false  reading 
since it may be  only pin-striped business squires
who have their business meetings at coffee  shops
instead  of the conference room on the 37th floor
who go in for hugging and pounding, but
I've always been one for coffee shop meetings
myself and  feel no persistent urge
to hug and pound, though I did  hug my father-
in-law a couple of weeks ago when he was leaving
after a couple of days visiting, so maybe I'm slipping
into the hug and pound culture (or full-bore  abrazo
in his case since he is Mexican and has a mustache
or, maybe not, since I personally look  silly,
a bit Ichabod Craneish,  in fact,
with a mustache,  and prefer not
to present myself in that manner, so the furthest
I'll ever go with non-fathers-in-law is
a quasi-abrazo where upper lip
entanglements
are not de rigueur,  and a fifteen second, minimal  pounding
hug qualifies as having done one's  humanistic
duty to be  open and welcoming to  one's fellow
humanity,
but it may take  a while since to this date
I do not recall ever hugging  a non-relative human
of the male spectrum, but I have hugged
the other kind who don't have
mustaches
(not  counting Aunt Tildy)
and don't take well to pounding,
so maybe I could ease into hugging
men, starting, at first, doing it just like I hugged
Aunt Tildy, with vigorous pounding added to the mix...

so I'll see how it works out
and if I should happen to see you and you are male
and I hug you, please know that I mean nothing
of an untoward nature to it, I'm just  trying
to adapt to  the cultural shifts and the developing
ethos of the new male in the feminist society
and have no desire to demonstrate
ninnyhamristic
tendencies
by my clumsy attempt
at with-it-ness.

just don't expect any hot-diggity
dancing

(and by the way, ninnyhammer
is an entirely new word for me and I wanted
to use it even though it doesn't exactly
fit
but I'm used to that)








Ku Sang was born into a Catholic family in Seoul, grew up in what is now North Korea, studied in Japan and later fled to the south before the Korean war. He has the honorable distinction of having been oppressed and imprisoned for his promotion of democracy and condemnation of  the corruption of power in both North and South Korea. Born in 1919, he died in 2004.

Here are two poems from his book Wastelands of Fire, published by Forest Books in 1989. The poems in the book were translated from Korean by Anthony Teague.










Shame

In the zoo,
peering between bars and netting,
I search for an animal
that knows what shame is.

I say, keeper!
Might there just possibly be
in those monkey's red  posteriors
at least some trace of  it?

What of the bear's paw, perpetually licked?
Or the seals' whiskers,
or maybe the parrot's beak?

Is there really no trace of  it there?

Since shame has vanished
from the people of this city,
I've come to the zoo to look  for it.


Eros I

A torso like a ripe peach.

A butterfly fallen
drunk in ecstasy on a flowery tomb.

A tongue with the perfume of melons.

A seagull plunging
into blue waves that flash white teeth.

In a gaze fixed on the distant  horizon.

A roe deer
drinking at  a secret spring in a virgin forest.

Abyss of Eros,
beauty of original sin.










 Even when I feel bad, it's hard for me to stay down, feeling like time is short and slipping away.












who will play with me?

trying to decide
on this cold wet morning
if going  out in it offers any reward
and as usual, my nature rules,
that part of my nature that
always pushes me on, the go, go, go
that requires my participation
in whatever day offers
or warns

this lack of ease
it is my weakness...

but what good is a cold
wet
morning
if you're not out in it;
what good a newborn day
if you hide away from it;
what good this magnificent
turning,  twirling, twisting
universe
if you don't go out and play in it?

so
here I am
waiting again for some
who wants to come out and play
with me...








Last this week from my library, this poem by Laura Kasischke, from her book Lilies Without. The book was published Ausable Press in 2007.

Born  in Michigan1961, Kasischke is both a fiction writer and a poet. She is currently Allen Seager Collegiate Professor of English Literature and of the Residential College of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Her novel The Life Before Her Eyes was the basis for the film of the same  name starring Uma Thurman and Evan Rachel Wood. She is particularly popular in France in translation, including one novel on that country's best seller list.





May

Kindergarten.  There was

a cherry-tree planted outside the classroom, a little brass plaque

in dirt, In
May, it shrieked into blossom, and I thought "We've

planted this tree in his memory" meant

that although this child who'd come before us
had already been dead for years, there

was still  somehow a final tree
they'd managed to place
forever in his head.

In May, it burst into pastel
flames, or the tips of the fingers  of a resurrected child: 1947-1953,
We've

planted this tree
in his memory.

O, what would it be  like, I wondered then,

to have that thing explode
each year for a week into blossom in your head
so long after your were dead?

And now,
each May,  when I
close my eyes, and see
all of them again

file out of darkness

in their black clothes

into  sun poured all over a parking lot radiant with chrome, like

a branch of involuntary,  perennial, screaming
light in my memory,  I know.










 I finish off my new pieces for the week with this little memory of small town growing up.












boy, was I surprised!

I grew up
in a little country town
where nothing was secret
except the secrets everybody
knew

I knew some of  those secrets
but not as many as I thought I knew...

turned out
there were other secrets only the grown-ups knew

boy,
was I surprised
when I was old enough
to know them
too









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








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