When it comes to my home state of Texas, I'd be pleased to let Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma fight over every thing east of Austin and north of San Angelo. My Texas, my true Texas and the parts that reverberate in my memory are the central, south and western regions. As I consider the future of "Here and Now" I will be looking back this week and probably for several weeks to come to a mix of photos from those regions, mostly taken about the time I started "Here and Now" nine years ago last month.
I also expect to be concentrating, as I've done this week, more on my own work than on poets from my library.
San Antonio was lucky. We didn't get the tragedy and ruination of the storms that hit all around us over the Memorial Day weekend, but we did get the benefit of the rain that we so badly needed.
and the cold pounding fire
disaster for some,
relief for others
as behind the storm
like the tail of a
in the gentle winds
I found some poems in my document file that I think I may have never used.
The first little smidget was written in March, this year. Apparently it was not a good day.
a day like a ride
like a ride
in a Maytag washer
and I haven't gotten anywhere
and now they want to throw me
in the dryer
I may, like the bored repairman on TV,
take the rest of the day
This one also written in March, then apparently forgotten. Maybe on purpose. Judging from these two poems, it doesn't seem that the whole of March was much of a month.
dead, damp quiet
chokes the day
Chopin's light voice
like an angel
as if all has stopped
for a sign
to show the course
from frozen to whatever
is planned for
The first poet from my library this week is Sharan Strange
with a poem from her book, Ash
, published in 2001 by Beacon Press.
Strange grew up in South Carolina, was educated at Harvard and earned her MFA in poetry at Sarah Lawrence College. She teaches at Spelman College and has been writer-in-residence at a number of other colleges and universities.
February 19, 1994
In memory of Julia-Lucille Collie
We're all in a black like saying good-bye.
My brother, the oldest grandson, looks lost,
his red face buoyed by whiskey. He holds
our mother, shattered, but dignified,
the way we'd hoped she'd be.
Her black suit and hat are armor.
Tears move down her face like wax.
My aunts, svelte, New Yorkish,
taste a private, refined sorrow.
My sisters cling to each other. They are
on the verge of this world, seeing her gone.
We all are: family, friends,neighbors, church.
The choir wails over their hymnals
as the soloist's strident notes hover. The minister
raises the Bible, chants a prayer to
"send our Sister home." I clutch a book
of poems, turn to the one written for her,
and read over and over, each word.
Later, I'll sift through the box my mother
drags from beneath the bed, take
the flowered,,cotton dress, a safety pin
piercing its pocket. A keepsake
to soften grief,
folded and parceled
like a pillow.
The poems get thinner and thinner and I begin to think, maybe it's time to re-engage real life again.
just practice for now
I am sending today
an application for a very good job
that 15 years ago, after my first retirement,
would have seemed an almost impossibly exciting next step...
but it's not 15 years ago
and the job is in Chicago and even if by some mysterious
swirling in the tidal basin of fate I were to be offered the job
there is no way I would move to Chicago
at my age, a decision not so much different than deciding
I want to die in Chicago which I do not...
still, off goes the application, resume prepared
along with a cover letter outlining all the reasons
why, barring the return of Jesus Christ to the job market,
I should be their immediate and enthusiastic choice
to rescue their organization from whatever doldrums
it currently suffers...
just practice for now...
Sometimes it is necessary to take a stand against all the piddly problems that will puddle around our feet if we let them. This cry of revolution from 2007.
Who says I don't deal with the important issues of the day in my poetry - ha!
up the banner, up the flag
where does it say
the proper position of a toilet seat
it's not in the bible -
chapter and verse...
in the constitution,
the federalists papers
the Magna Carta,
or was it the Carta Blanca,
or in the political philosophy
of any seer,sage, savant
or political science crackpot
I can find in any of the learned journals,
so how do things like this
become law then,
when not precedentially established ?
me are taught from their earliest years
to check the target
before getting down to business..
if me, so often deemed insufficient,
can do this,why not also those persons
of the fem-alien persuasion
who so readily complain
when this law of toilet seat alignment
is disregarded by those brutes
when they piddle
from the evolutionarily advantageous upright position?
up the banner, up the flag,
let the toilet seat rebellion
This is mine, from the middle of last year, an example of the phony promises of rain that raised our hopes for five years, finally met (and then a little too much for some) last month.
just ask her yourself
one of the regulars comes in
tells me it's about to
so I run out real quick
to check, my windows half down
so Bella can get some air,sitting in the driver's seat
as usual, what's up? she asks
with raised eyebrows
false alarm, dry as a bone,
which I don't actually say since
any reference to bone
activates her salivary glands
which is a mess, so I euphemize,
tell her, never mind
go back to
which she does almost as well
as she salivates when "bone"
or its phonetic equivalent is heard
I thought I'd come back inside
and write this pitiful
for a morning poem
for the phantasmagorical rain
that isn't here
even though the regular guy
says it was
I think he was just giving me
an indirect hard time
for leaving my dog
in the car
I have to deal with this kind of buttinskie type
all the time
even though I've discussed the question
with the dog and she an emphatic preference
for sitting in the car waiting for me
than sitting at home
if you don't believe me, I tell the buttinskies,
ask her yourself
Continuing to consider change and how much of it I want, or don't want.
is this a man...
is a coefficient of death,
the product of challenge,
the creator of change,
a progeny of dreams,
an illusion of inaction
sunk in here and now and this day too again,
day to day, night to night,
the same sun rise
the same sun set
the same red horizons east and west,
does it have to be that way,
it end that way,
after some sun's rising or falling uncertain
is this a man
drowning, or is it
to swim again
Here's a breakfast observational from 2008.
the woman who reminds me of Gertrude Stein
the woman who reminds me
of Gertrude Stein
sits across from me
several tables away,
feet heavy on the floor,
planted in her chair
like a bull
on its own private pasture
she's a large woman
with a sharp beak of a nose
with an occasional sniff
on a fleshy face
that hints of sensuality
behind a domineering facade,
a look of secrets
The next poem is by Austin poet Frank Pool
, taken from his book Depth of Field
, published by Plain View Press in 2001.
Born in Wyoming in 1953, the poet grew up in Longview, Texas, graduating from Stephen F. Austin University in 1975 and earning a master's degree in philosophy, with a minor in Japanese literature, in 1980. He teaches Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement English in Austin and, since 1998, has been chairman of the Austin International Poetry Festival.
The Sound of Number
for Carl Sagan
The silent night will never hide
Its crying again. It is our ignorance
That makes us deaf - we hypothesize
Peace and calm, and there is no peace
Anywhere, even in the vacuum reaches
Of the Most Distant.
Violence and motion
And massive structures beyond all
Human language, yet sounding
In their own emitted tongues of flame
Translate as number.
For I heard the learned astronomer
Talking, saying the stars spoke
In decimals, roaring outbursts,
Stutters,whines and drones, groaning
Into our intellect, if we only listen
By counting frequencies, intervals,even
Collecting waves and protons one by
One, into a limited infinity, for the
Skies are not silently immense, but
Noisy with number; and I saw his eyes
Glowing, radiating black bodies of
Awe, speaking the figures, exponentials
And integers - for us congregated -
Reciting the Magnificence, the
Wonders, the Voice, in the
Language of Cosmos:
Light years, constants, billions.
As thoughts of change continue to work through my head, I think about the consequences.
Sunday in the sun at Starbucks
as i consider
the possibility of life change
I begin to think
of those things that will be lost
or changed or re-designed,
some big, major parts of my life
that will fall away,
and some small,
Sunday in the sun outside Starbucks
at Huebner Oaks, a place, until a couple
of months ago, I rarely visited
after the Borders Books & Music
next door closed down,
an old habit renewed now as a stop-over
after breakfast, a geographic time-killer, a place
with WIFI to wait until Dee gets out of church
and we meet and Barnes & Noble...
that hour at Barnes & Noble
becoming strangely important as one of the few places
we spend time together outside of the evening hours
at least at first,
Barnes & Noble just an air conditioned place
where I could read magazines without
paying for them and browse for new books
that I might want to steal for my
makes me feel bad,
but I've felt bad about worse things in my life
that I didn't stop doing, being a person whose guilty
conscience is easily manipulated by and opportunity to save
a buck or two
in which case, I am not so different
from so many in the world with well-oiled conscience-muffling
when it comes to advantage, however so small
it might be...
and there I go again, beginning a poem
that was supposed to be about consideration of change
and its consequence, ending with a poem about
those elements of humanity that never
even so, talented as I am in that other human
skill at excuse-making and
self-justification no matter how far the reach,
I note that
Amazon is now assessing state sales tax
on all purchases, which means that, even as
continue to screw Barnes & Noble, I am, at least
not stealing from The Great State of Texas
whose eyes are upon me all the live-long
including Sundays in the sun at Starbucks
Here's a little thing of not much account from 2009.
the back door
is the front door
show dawdle in
is the art
of what can i
get away with
never have to take
a whiz - part
of what makes them
the short man
has a tall hat, which
are your going to believe
the girls all look better
at closing time -
all seem wiser
in a panic
has crooked toes
pointing in all different
no matter which way
the girl with the sly smile
her tanned legs
repeatedly - she
knows i am
to be of service
three old men
read their newspapers
could'a told'em so
can light up
both night and day...
as i remember
enough of this
time to write a real
This is from 2007, asks the question, who can't jump when these guys start wailing.
Little Richard at the supermarket
one thing everybody
was Little Richard
or just a fancy dresser
like the old folks with Liberace,
the young folk didn't care,
because one thing they all knew
he was the devil's spawn
the devil's music
and that's why
we loved him
with any vestige of authority
hate him and all the rest
we burned up
our tinny little 45 record players
with his music, along with
and Chuck Berry
and all the other
not from our part of
we love these guys
because their music made us move
like Doris Day never did;
because we were sure
every crazy, wild-ass thing
we were afraid to do
they had already done;
because they scared
out of our parents
and anything that scared
out of our parents
must be the goddamn
there ever was
and while we bopped
and hopped in the gym
churches were having
tossing records into the fire
just like they had tossed
our comic books in the fire
a couple of years earlier...
now the comics are collectibles
and Little Richard rocks and rolls
through the sound systems
in supermarket aisles,
right over the denture cream,
and little liver pills
Good Golly, Miss Molly! -
we forget we won
Opportunities to be disrespected multiply as one gets older. It is important not to put up with it,, without of course, descending too far into codger-hood.
affirmation, of a sort
as a boy, likely
to swallow insult, not expecting
much from myself, not surprised
when others joined in my opinion, until
along the line of growing up, I faced the kind of challenges
that either grow a stronger self or reduce the self that's there
to an even dimmer shadow on the gray walls of every-
these days, perhaps, I expect too much
those around me to respect the me
I have become...
I was disrespected over the weekend,
such as I no longer take quietly -
so there will be noise this week
and maybe even
I will be the storm
I will, I
since no man ever leaves entirely behind
the boy, I will do it
This is from 2010, affirming the act of creation as a measure of humanity all it's own.
my stupid tree, my stupid poem
this is the part
where i lower my eyes
and mumble a humble response like
it was nothing
but of course it was
it was a poem
and good or bad
it was an effort at creation
like the tree stump
in the back yard
i've cut with my Father's Day chain saw
leaving swoosh-like slashes
from top to bottom
that i've painted primary colors
red, blue, yellow
to match the ceramic thing
a mirror framed in a mosaic
of red blue yellow
that i put on top of the stump
in a slot i cut
with my new 18-inch
chain saw which i'm finding very handy
and i'm not done yet
i'm thinking of little mirrors all around the tree
as soon as i figure out
how to stick them so they'll stay
on the whole a truly atrocious thing
to be stuck in the middle of one's back yard
but i don't care
because i believe it is the creative instinct
that should be honored
regardless of what it produces
which may or may not be honored as a final
the human creative passion
i invested in my stupid tree is equal
to any passion of Picasso
just as my stupid poem
is equal in its creative passion
to any poem ever written
it is the passion that counts
before all else
it is what separates us
from the animals in the field
and the fish in the sea
and the birds that fly over it all
Next from my library, a long piece (actually not so long by her standards) by Marina Tsvetaeva
, from the collection of her work, Poem of the End
, translated from the poets original Russian text by Nina Kossman
. The book was published in paperback by Ardis Publishers in 2004. It is a bilingual book, Russian and English on facing pages.
Born in 1892, Tsvetaeva was one of a generation of Russian poets, artists and intellectuals who came to prominence during the ending years of Imperial Russia, then had to survive the revolution and the new Communist Soviet Union. Some made it some did not. Tsvetaeva's story is a sad one, including the death of her daughter by starvation, execution of her husband by the state and her own suicide by despair in 1941. I'm not going to tell the story here, but I recommend it to readers.
Her work is considered some of the greatest in twentieth century Russian literature.
On a Red Steed
No Muse, no Muse
Sang over my shabby
Cradle, or took me by the hand.
No Muse warmed my cold hands in her own.
Or cooled my burning eyelids:
No Muse brushed the strands from my brow,
And led me into open fields
No Muse, no black braids, no beads,
No fables - just two wings of light hair,
Cut short over winged bows:
A man in armor.
A horsehair plume.
He did not bow towards my lips,
He did not bless me at bedtime.
He did not grieve with me
Over a broken doll.
He set all my birds free
Then - not sparing his spurs,
Rode a red steed - through the blue mountains
Of a thundering ice-flow.
Firemen! - A wide-mouthed shout!
A shout wide as a blaze!
Firemen! - A soul on fire!
Is that our house on fire?
The bell tolls ceaselessly.
Swing-toll your tongue,
Ceaseless bell! - The fire is
Vast. - A soul on fire!
Dancing from the terrible beauty,
Plaits of flame on red torches...
I clang - blare - clap,
I snarl, I shoot sparks.
Who carried me out? Who, through the rumble and fumes,
Like an eagle, carried me out? I can't come to!
A long gown hangs on me
And a string of beads.
The roaring fire, the clanging glass...
Instead of eyes, in each face -
Two flames.Featherbeds flying.
Fire! Fire! Fire!
Split open, thousand-year-old coffers!
Burn, hoarded wealth!
My house is lord over all,
I want for nothing.
Firemen! - Spread red-winged flame!
Shine on gilded foreheads
Let the fire never die, never die.
Let the pillars crash.
What - suddenly - what collapsed?
There was no pillar crashing.
A wild clasping of small hands
And a shout - up to the sky: "The doll!"
Who was it, from his plunging steed,
threw after me and imperious glance?
Who, leaping off his red steed,
Entered the red house?
A shout - and louder still
A shout. A thunder-clap.
Holding the doll aloft like armor,
He rises up like the Fire itself.
Kinglike, among fiery ripples,
He rises up, his brow knit
- I've saved it for you. Now break it!
Set your love free.
What - suddenly - what collapsed?
No, it's not the world collapsing.
Reaching after the horseman - the empty hands
Of the little girl with no doll.
February. Winding roads.
A snowstorm in the fields.
An alliance of winds
Sweeps the big roads.
Now galloping down the sloping hills,
Now mounting upwards.
The same road stretches
Behind the red horseman.
Here he is! Within reach!
How he teases: Touch me!
You stretch your hands widely,
But instead of the horse - snow.
Is that his shaggy horsehair plume
In his eyes - or some branch?
No rest for you matchmakers!
Sweep on, winds.
Sweep, pile up on the thresholds -
Higher than cliffs.
Let his swift-legged horse
The winds harken: moan
My horseback dream hastens
Are those his shaggy, upswept wings?
Or just some branch?
Lift up your brooms, trees!
Is that a boulder
Looming - or what?
As if the blizzard had built
A thousand-spired church.
At last the chase is crowned.
The fire of his horse's hooves
Licks my face; my hands
Touch the edge of his cloak.
Help, with thunder and sword,
Tsar of all armies!
But the steed stirs and like thunder
Bolts at the altar!
I spur on; behind me -
the whole horde of winds.
In the choir-loft the thunder of hooves
Has-not yet died down.
Like the rumble of Requiem,
The snowstorm revives.
The altar's upended. - Empty!
Vanished into the earth.
Weep, wail, wail!
Snowstorm, rage on!
The horse's foam dims
The radiance of chasubles.
the dome is trembling - Fall,
Hosts of might and glory.
And the body falls, its arms
Spread-eagled like a cross.
The rays of the icon-lamps
Scatter like great rainbows.
- Receive me,thou pure and sweet,
Crucified for us.
This - your feast, o jealous palm:
Receive the flame.
But who is that horseman from on high,
And what is that steed?
His armor is like the sun...
His flight, steep...
Onto my chest he places
His horse's hoof.
Is that thunder in the cranium - or
A crowbar to the skull?! - People! - People!
Grinding the dry pillow with my brow
To say, for the first time: He loves me not!
Loves me not! - I need no woman's tresses!
Loves me not! - I need no red beads!
Loves me not! - I will mount my steed!
Loves me not! - And rise up to - the sky!
Ancestral spirit, shake off your chains!
Rattle the primeval pines!
Ancestral spirit, Aeolus!
Tousle my golden mane.
Leading my regiments, on a white steed,
With a silvery thunder of hooves - forward!
We shall see how he does in battle,
That braggart on the red steed.
The sky has broken. A good sign:
Dawn bloodies my helmet!
Soldiers! It's one step from here to heaven:
By the law of the grain you go - into the ground!
Forward! - Over the trench! - Fallen?
Next row - Over the trench! - Fallen?
Again - Over the trench! - Fallen?
Dawn on the snow-white armor? Blood?
Soldiers! What enemy are we fighting?
A burning chill invades my breast.
And piercing, piercing my heart like a lance,
A ray of light.
He whispers: "I wanted you like this:"
And rumbles: "I chose you like this,
Child of passion - sister - brother - brother
My bride in armor of ice.
Mine and no other's - forever"
I, rising my arms: "Light."
"You shall be no other's. You swear this?"
I, stanching my wound: "Yes."
No Muse, no Muse - not the frail ties
Of kinship - No,not your bonds,
O friendship! That was no woman's hand - a fierce one
Drew this knot tight
A terrifying union. I lie
In the trench's darkness - while the dawn rises.
Oh,who suspended these
Two weightless wings
On my shoulders?
A silent spy
Of living storms
I lie - and I watch
Until I'm whirled
Off into the blue
On the red steed
By my genius!
It was a beautiful morning, but hesitant, as if uncertain it wanted to get started.
a full summer
against a timid
even the doves
still sing their
from the night
Here's another coffeehouse observational - this one from 2011.
the young woman who laughed so big
nice looking, short,
with a gargantuan laugh,
like an anti-aircraft barrage
rattling the windows,
from such a small
a full-bodied laugh,
like marsh grass in the face
of a mighty blowing wind,
head thrown back,
eyes half-closed, mouth open,
in a heavy rain, amazed
at the rain, drowning
as the rain pours
into their open mouth, too
dumb to close it, too
enthralled by the curiosity
of the rain
to shift their gaze
to the ground...
this happy young woman
if her caution-to-the-wind
didn't remind me
and if it wasn't
From my library, this poem is by Mark Scott
, from his book Tactile Values
. The book was published in 2000 by Western Michigan University.
Born in Denver, Scott studied at the University or Colorado, University College in London, and the Universita per Stranieri in Pertugia. He took his doctorate in literature at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey in 1992.
"To have a crush on someone" -
that's a schoolgirl's phrase,
the lexicographers say.
But I have a generalist's temperament
any aunt or schoolgirl can daunt and tether,
and I have had crushes all my life,
once on my aunt, my uncle's wife,
sometimes for many days together.
crescit sub pondere virtu:
What's so passing about it?
It's Byron's "Everything by turns
and nothing long,"
and you would have to have
Frank O'Hara's mental life
in Georg Simmel's metropolis
not to be ground up in its mills.
How pervious and flappable
can you afford to be?
"Marble does not laugh," said Diderot -
yes, but even marble twitches
As often happens, something in the now brings back such strong sense memories from long before.
Wonderland of the Americas Mall
to vote early,
runoff election for Mayor and my councilman
(and a pox on both their houses)
pass a boot store
and the sweet, dark smell of leather
and I am back, a
small, very blond child
at the Mercado
in Matamoros, across the border
from Brownsville, and everyone who passes
wants to rub my blond head
but it's not that so much
but the smell of leather
that thick smell of rubbed and polished
chaps for rider and horse
to ease passage through the thick
saddles, so beautiful,
and embossed with intricate
things real from a life
on the range
from the minds
for the little boy
entranced by heroes
leather bullwhips with which
he will practice
and never learn to crack
and so rich the
as Mexican shoppers
down the narrow
I vote under bright and modern light
at Wonderland of the Americas
in a memory haze
of sweet, rubbed soft
and polished to a shine
From 2010, this is an observational from an earlier coffee hangout.
the old guys
and the tattooed
fat lady is here
and the always neat
and clean homeless guy
with his tightly wrapped
foam bedroll, heavy looking backpack
and professorial look
behind little half-lens glasses
as he spends the day reading
in the air-conditioned
cool, and the mama
with her little blond girl trailing behind
baby-doll in one arm and pink little purse
on the other, and little plastic dangly
bracelets on both wrists
that she shakes as she passes, and
the young mother with two little girls
heading double-time for the bathroom
passing a new guy, a long-white-haired
Sam Elliot-looking guy in short pants
reading "Guns & Ammo" magazine,
and a couple of the medical student
regulars, and the short-haired cowboy guy
with the bad arm, and the two gay guys
that show up a couple of times a week
(and, okay, maybe they're not gay, but
they sure are sharp dressers),
and the middle-aged woman, a mid-life
student who always looks like she's mad
at me because I always get here first
and take the table by the door
next to an electric plug where she'd like to be,
and the dorky-looking guy and his dorky-looking wife
who come in and stare at each other and never
say a word the whole time they're here, and
the old guy with the thick glasses and magnifying
glass who writes tiny numbers in tiny columns
in a spiral notebook, eyes inches from the
magnifying glass inches from the paper,
and the table of law students, arguing
with each other like it was a Supreme Court
appearance, and the oriental guy reading
Shopenheimer haiku and the girl with the long auburn
hair and acne scared face, a cheeky girl
with a constant air of amused observation
and I'm thinking if she was 50 years older
she might share the joke with me, assuming
it's not me that's the joke, of course,
a possibility I do not discount...
all the familiar faces in this very familiar
place in a mostly typical Thursday
I wrote this in 2012 after reading a report that was attributing at least some of the earliest cave paintings to neanderthals, saying that, in fact, it was the neanderthals that taught the art of art to us, the newcomers.
what did we think?
did we think,
I wonder, when we were
as we roamed, straggled
with our hairless kind
across new landscapes
the always-new landscapes that
with every new sun, the roamers
who sleep every night
on new ground, under new trees...
what did we think,
our restless kind, when we met
the old-timers, the settled kind,
did we recognize
as distant kin
or were they just another beast
of prey, beasts of our racial
what did we think
when we met a stranger almost
like our self, so close
yet so different - a defective copy,
we think, black where I am white, short
where I am tall, squat where I am thin,
an almost me, but not me, an almost me
but close enough to me to be
incomplete, the spark of me missing,
close enough to me to be considered, not
close enough to me to be consequential
to my concern or conscience...
what did we think of these
inadequate versions of ourselves, these
beasts who lived in caves
and knew not
the arts of
and what did we
who had no art but survival
think when we took their caves
and found their souls
on the rock walls
This poem, the last from my library this week, is by Larissa Szporluk
. It's from her book Dark Sky Question
, published in 1998 by Beacon Press.
Raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Szporluk graduated from the University of Michigan, studied at the Iowa Writers' Workshop and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Virginia with an MFA. Her awards and honors including two Best American Poetry Awards, a Pushcart Prize, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, she currently teaches at Bowling Green State University.
He arrives and looks around
and doesn't know the word for wind,
and wind is the subject.
He finds a girl on a fence
hurting herself with a nail.
He pulls her away without speaking,
to her surprise, and wipes
the stuff from her hair that smells
like burning-out lights,
and suddenly it's not a burden
to be walking with her
in enemy land. When she tells him
"the best thing here is the moon,"
he feels happier than if he'd seen it
and remembers a parable
about a string that never meets
its ends, and she tells him then
about a warm place at the end
of a grove of horned trees.
If the night steadies, if it controls
their speed,they'll reach it
together, fusing in the meantime,
discarding all the nuance
that betrays them with disease.
Here's a ramble from last week.
settling for semi-naked ladies
I approach the new day's poem
as I approach the new
and a little unsure as to how
it's going to go...
a busy day ahead, things to do,
a drive to Austin, nothing interesting enough
to force into a poem...
and while I sit here
by my "failure to communicate"
(what a great movie)
creative self to sitting-in-my-chair-drinking-coffee
(and yes I know "dumbfounded" is a peculiar word
for use in this context, but I like it and it is my weakness
to use words I particularly like even if they don't
or at all
and I'm used to it and I expect to to be too
by this time)
even when inappropriate essential
to maintaining the hubris of putting words on paper
and expecting them to be read by other than close
friends and relatives who will tell you they read it even
if they didn't)
(let's face it - I mainline that stuff like a junkie on horse
on a fat man eating pecan pie - I have no other excuse)
communication between the ego and its alter
still mostly static and buzz (is is not obvious), I am
bombarded by images and moments and distractions, traffic
on Broadway, a fire truck, Chopin bumping keys overhead, two skinny
blond women having a meeting, too much gym time taking them past desirable
to hungry and ferocious and sharp-toothed predatory (middle-age, trying, always
to keep that debutant look without the wide-eyed innocence I never believed
anyway, but still probably nice people so I hate to criticize...) and, I swear to God,
sea gulls that turn out to be ring tones on one of the woman's cell phone
but it's already too late, I'm back at the beach dodging jelly fish
and nearly naked ladies...
and I'm tired of this hail Mary fake and dodge
what the hell, I
content to hang out
with the semi-naked
sand in my shorts
This is the last old poem of the week, from 2013.
random ponderables while dog pees on her favorite trees
and pretty girls smile
and makes old women
go coochie coo
a man dies
and I think of my dad,
dead going on 34 years
how could it be...
dead at 65
what a young age
that seems now
for a man to
in my own youth
were such a mystery,
from a different universe...
young women today
so lean and beautiful
and smart and strong,
I smile and I speak
the cute old man
at the coffee
how far I imagine I have
lust after young women
like Jimmy Carter did,
a little for their sex, mostly
for their youth
women have evolved
it seems to me
to be even better, to be even more mystical
and mysterious than they were before
I don't know about young men,
dull and seeming thick
I'm not impressed
at our drive-in
include dog biscuits
with receipts if they see
a dog in your car
is very smart
knows this, moves to the front seat
presses her head against the
to make sure she's seen
I am past the age
where I don't want to act my age
I see old men now
trying so hard to be the studly gents
they imagine they were in their
I'm quite happy
bring old and slow
and have no illusions
I was any more enhanced
in days long ago...
too long in my life
I have been a
- except sometimes,on
a slow day,
I am the hero of a mid-afternoon
dream, and the girl is
and she wants me to do
all manner of speak-able things
to her ripe and luscious
then I wake
and am only sometimes
and only temporarily
likes country music,
with banjo and fiddle
the best,but with always a soft spot
for Johnny Cash and Merle
she sings along in the car
on long afternoons, especially
when driving through the desert -
she's a Marty Robbins dog
in the desert
and Patsy Cline on fresh-scented
we share our taste in
I'm of better voice...
but what can I say, she's
still a darn good
Last for this post, this little bit of self-examination from last week.
the intricate interplay of certitude and doubt
reading about Pluto's moons
and how they all dance to their own tunes
while remaining in tune
with their fellow dancers
it's like the intricate interplay
of certitude and doubt
interrupted by doubt, like the Doctor's soda pop
at least three time times a day, ten, two and
four, the regimen of "can it really be true," how can we be sure of that,"
"maybe we should rethink the proposition, maybe sleep on it"...
all my life I've been a leap-when-it-feels-
type fella, not due to reckless lack of proper caution,
but because of great confidence in my judgment and,
if necessary, confidence that whatever I got myself into
I could also get myself out of, not a road map type when traveling,
preferring only a destination and a compass heading
to make my way...
these days, maybe it's age,
there are days of certainty and
days of doubt, my bulwark of certainty,
like Pluto's moonlets needing their tiny planet
to keep their cavorting orbits stable,
the self-assurance that kept me steady
through the years, self-confidence
my north star that set and maintained
my course, until now, my north star no longer
certain of its place in the sky,
rising and falling like the sun and moon but
on its own uncertain schedule...
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
As always, I am Allen Itz owner and producer of
this blog, and diligent seller of books, specifically these and
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)
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
Sonyador - The Dreamer