Imagining Tracks in the Snow   Wednesday, February 03, 2016

I always include the  following reminder at the  end of  every post - thinking now it might be good to  post it up front every once in a while.

So, here it is. Everything here belongs to whoever created it. This includes my stuff - poems, photos and extraneous comments. I occasionally sell some of my poems and photos but I'm not a fanatic about it. If you see something, either a  poem or a photo, you like and  would like to have, you're welcome to it. Like most people, I appreciate being appreciated,  but if you do  anything with anything you take, please remember to properly credit both Here and  Now and me.

All of my library poems this week are from the anthology Poetry Nation, subtitled "The North American Anthology of Fusion Poetry." The book was published in 1998 by Vehicule Press.

the thing most worth thinking about 

Barbara Tran
Love and Rice

 notes from slower regions of the universe

Cindy Goff
Appalachian Flood
The First Sober Morning  

the promise of a winter day in South  Texas  

Marcella Durand
City of Ports 2

throw in a hole in the ground   

Mark Cochrane

kicking the can

Paul Beatty
Stall Me Out

my ex-friend Buddha

Steven Ross Smith
Bren Gun Girl 1941


Timothy Liu
The Size of It   

morning on the coast

Wayne Keon

once you learn the trick to it

Melody Jordan
Everything is Cream

the liberal godless socialist media will never tell you this...

Micki Siegal
Skin Tones

dirty jokes

Donald McGrath
The Stable

bones-jumping blonds and their place in poetry

Sky Gilbert
 Romantic Possibilities of the Telephone

a 72-year-old fat man

Guillermo Castro
Balloons from Hell
Fascist Manifesto


Mark Bibbins
Your Shirt

      moving my business      


From last week, the first for this  week.

the thing most worth thinking about

to begin, the scientists
who study the science of  way-old
things have named the "Iceman" - the mummy
discovered in a melting glacier in the Alps,
as possessing the earliest known

dead over 5,000 years and preserved
in the ice, it seems he was  a hunter-warrior
suffering from many of the same physical ailments as me,
except that he died in his thirties, while I'm still
hanging on in my seventies...

also he has some obvious war-wounds that  I have
avoided and  he also has tattoos
I have also avoided -

the tattoos,  five on his lower legs and ankle and one
on his wrist, all at bone joints and possibly
a very early attempt at  relieving pain -
something like the  practice of acupuncture invented
by the Chinese  three  thousand years after the Iceman
and two thousand years before our own time -

this notice, leading,  in the article I read, to  an intense
discussion about the effectiveness  of acupuncture
as a medical procedure, some declaring reports of
its effectiveness to be  poppycock (this being a scholarly
article  - such technical  language is not unusual) and
others responding by declaring that anything
people do for two  thousand years must be  effective,
which doesn't strike me as a particularly effective
argument to me since the Iceman had  war wounds
and five  thousand years later we still have warriors
with war  wounds  and I don't see how that proves
the effectiveness of war as a  a  prescription for health
and wealth...

but that's  a whole other argument that I don't  find
so interesting, nor to I  find the whole
business of tattoos

what  is interesting is the  wonder of finding
a five thousand-year-old corpse
sufficiently preserved
to allow for medical investigation

and the other thing, the big kabunna
the fact that the glacier that  for five thousand
years preserved the body is

it seems to me  that's the thing about the story
most worth thinking about...

The first poem from the week's  anthology is by Barabara Tran. Born in New York City, Tran earned a BA at New York University and an MFA at Columbia.

Love and Rice

He jumped from the water buffalo and I  knew we'd be married.
He turned it easily, pushing its head to the side.
the orange diep  trees were like blazes of sun
just hanging in the air below the clouds.
Untainted masses spread across the sky.

I told Mother that night he was my lover.
He knew nothing of it.

I thought of nothing else as  I wrung the sheets.
That  he  was  my cousin didn't matter,
there was no room for shame.
Grandmother wold notice the sun setting
and know her  clock needed winding,
know she had missed her bananas and rice.

The first time I touched him, I thought of nothing  but fruit.
There was no electricity then; night came early.
I took a long  bath pouring water
gently over my body, watching it drip
between the wooden slats.
Soon, I'll be carrying
a weight inside me.

This is an old poem, from my  second  eBook, Goes Around, Comes Around, published in 2008-2009. I was looking through the book for  poems to  read at this week's spoken word night and found it.

Kind of a love poem, which  I don't do often.

notes from  slower regions of the universe

the first time
we made love
I carried you like

a leaf in the tide
to my bed


Sunday afternoon
in the apartment on Santa Fe,

lying in bed
watching it rain
through a damp
window screen

watching the rain
in soft sheets
across  the gray waters
of the bay


the house
on "G" Street

open ceiling

rain on the roof pattering

banana plants  by the window
green patterns
in the wind

like sleeping in the rain


the first night home
from the agency

crib  at the foot
of our bed

we sleep lightly

listen in our  sleep
for his


we slip into sleep
flesh to flesh,
skin on  soft skin

my rough hands  cupping 
your breasts


my leg between  yours,
your  arm across my chest

the fires banked
the embers still glow

Next from the anthology, two poems by Cindy Goff.

Originally from Virginia, Goff earned her MFA in English at George Mason University and taught English and Writing at several  universities. She has also worked in graphic design and published her own literary journal for some time. The first poem below is the title poem from her first book published in 2009.

Appalachian Flood

Rats scramble vertically on bricks.
A limp  fox turning over and over
floats by clothing
caught in young dogwoods.

Windows are still windows
but with unrestricted access.
A wedding gown and a water  snake
curl around a chandelier.

Beneath the water, objects move
but don't float: dictionaries, brass beds,
trampolines, tractors.

Beneath the flood, the earth is full
like it never had a backbone.

The First Sober Morning

No one is awake in the campgrounds
of the dismantled carnival. The hermaphrodite sleeps
with the levers of her roller coaster.
the nymphomaniac is curled up in a Ferris wheel seat.
the fat lady sleeps sitting up in front of a carousel mirror.
And the young college student, who just wanted to earn money
for Europe, is middle-aged now. She snores on a straw bed
in the geek pit.
I'm so afraid of telling them
we will not e moving to a  new town.

Another from last week.

the promise of a winter day in South Texas

the morning fog has lifted
and the sun is out,
brightly burning from the  day
every trace of damp  ambiguity, the clarity
of the morning exposing sharp colors
the  world as it has always been
behind the veil,  like  lifting the cover
of a veiled woman to expose
unexpected beauty...

the hillside exposed by leaf-stripped trees,
revealing in high branches  bird's nests
swaying with morning  breezes
in the arms of their leafless anchors

life  signs exposed,  always present but
unseen under the green cover
of spring and summer...

clarity,clarity, clarity!

how we crave it in the muddle of
life,  how  we welcome
suggestions  of it  in our  customary states
of confusion...

clarity in a South  Texas morning,
seeing the lot of it all the  way down to where it ends
and to where we  see the  promise
of beginning

that promise,
seen in the clear and bright,
our daily comfort
in the bewilderments that surround

Next from the anthology, Marcella Durand.

At the time of publication Durand was director of the St. Mark's Poetry Project, and co-coordinator the Sunday Reading series at Biblio's cafe in New York City.

City of Ports 2

Motionless  billows of icy water vapor chill
in the upper atmosphere of greater dispersal;

tendrils cross the radiometric ether and spark
in blue tendons, the cartilage of air, over

the border of Canada seen in a slim line
of old growth forest and clouds of black flies.

We reached this far.  An oval lake shiny
in the taillights of a car  traveling

day and night over sea level bridges from
one key to the next, a string of towns and

a giant white cross blur to an imploding star
against a Connecticut navy sky and the stark forests

of an in-between state. In the process of euphoric metal
stress. Cosmopolitan.  And with no warning the highway

strikes with overbearing rivets, hooded, then
diamond-like bends  to cross  a field of water.

It is a tunnel closed at both ends. It runs
        halfway in granite, and half
                in liquid shifting sand.

Something else from Goes Around, Comes Around.

throw in a hole in the ground

thinking about all the people
who don't know their  ass from a  hole

in the ground and thinking how I'd  like
to write a poem that wasn't about

that and thinking about
how I don't know how

to do  that, don't know how  to write
a brain-free poem...

maybe start with random phrases
and images

throw in the kitchen sink;
throw in a cat in the kitchen

sink; throw in a wet  cat
in the kitchen  sink;

throw in
a pissed-off wet cat

fully extended claws

scratching at the porcelain;
throw in a porcelain

(why the hell not - gets

me away from the
pissed-off cat);

throw in a porcelain

in a bus station restroom;
throw in a bus station lobby,

people sleeping, people talking,
babies, old men coughing,

spitting, farting in plastic chairs,
pin ball machine clattering

and whistling and  clanging
and pinballing

kathunka kathunka kathunka
pinballs bounding off the rubbers

thacka thacka thacka
pinballs scoring

whanga,  whanga, whanga
thunk - free game

off concrete walls

echoes echoes  echoes;
stone wall echoes

throw  in a rock band
guitars and drums echoing

in a tiny room
of sweaty people jumping

Saturday night
on 6th street; throw in sweaty people

on the 4th of July, walking

dancing,  jumping,
a little drunk some,  mostly

drunk others, having a
good time mostly not remembered

but why the hell not

there'll be another tomorrow
after tomorrow

for most of us,
odds are for  you and me,

me anyway, but who knows -

throw  in a box;
throw me  in the box

throw in a hole in the ground;
throw in people who don't know

their  ass
from my hole in the ground

and  I'm back  where
I started - great!

The next piece from the anthology is by Mark Cochrane.

Cochrane  lives in Vancouver,  practices law and teaches English at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University


Paint my lips. Airbrush my jawbone with talcum,  my
jawbone is shaven raw-blue. Blush me, rouge me,
feather my scrolled  wings of hair. I say to my wife.
I say, make me over like Mapplethorpe, lips open &
vulnerable. I say, a man, like one idea of a woman.
Make me that. Later let me  preen in leather, tough,
the same angle, but for now I pout into your f-stop.
Don't stop. Do me like that, yeah, like Mapplethorpe.
Closer now, cheeks lavender & brows blue, garish as
our ancestors, faces of baboons. come to me with eyes
lined,  lashes black,  your road gorgeous shoulders,
your freckled muscular neck. Let a man & a woman kiss
a man & a woman. Two  palettes, & smudge, pigments
& oils: a diptych. There is gender  all over our faces,
mixed and blended over all of our faces & boy, boy
am I, am I ever, boy am I ever in love.

Another from last week.

kicking the can

the loud woman
is here,
wheeling and dealing,
"know what I mean"
every sentence


I'd write a short poem
about the brightness of the  sun
but lost it in the glare



on Broadway

I wave poems at them
but no one notices

too busy
for stray street corner
too  proud to hoist
a cardboard


the light is red...

everyone stops

the light is green...
everyone goes

the sign-slinger
in the intersection

as there is no time for poets
no time either for terpsichorean


close enough
sufficient for  these latter days
being exceedingly
of myself for coming close enough
in the spelling
of  terpsichorean
for "spellcheck" to correct it,
I rest on my laurels
for the day


like kicking a can
down the road, not important
where you kick it,
just the kicking of it
perfectly good

Here from the anthology is a poem by poet and novelist Paul Beatty.

With a MFA from Brooklyn College and an MA in psychology from Boston University, Beatty was the first ever Grand Poetry Slam champion at the Nuyorican Poet's Cafe.

You can hear the "spoken word" rhythm in the piece - makes me wish I could hear  him read it.

Stall Me  Out

why you          no rhythm

afraid of women asexual pseudo intellectual
bald mt. fuji shaped head

              no booty havin         big nose

    size 13 feet         pigeon toed crook footed

taco bell burrito supreme eating
                  day dreaming

                                               no jump shot       bank dunk

comic book  readin
nutrition needin

knock kneed sap sucker
non drivin

                                                 anti fashion
                 constantly depressed  clumsy no money mutherfucker
                                                        take your week ass poems
                                                        and go back to los angeles

Here again, from my second eBook, Goes Around, Comes Around, like all of my eBooks available wherever eBooks are sold.

my ex-friend Buddha

in seeking to understand
the truth of existence,
sat under his
fig tree

for three days and three nights
not saying a word to anyone,
on the path to enlightenment,
before deciding
he had something
worth telling people

awesome in his own way,
but totally
as a Facebook

Next, Steven Ross  Smith.

Born in 1945, Smith is a Canadian poet, sound poet, fiction writer, arts journalist and arts activist best known for his "fluttertongue" poems published in six volumes.

I have no idea what  a fluttertongue poem is.

Bren Gun Girl. 1941

                 she is
assembling a weapon
                 stroking smooth metal
she is independent
she thinks of soldiers
                  left hand on the gun barrel

a cigarette in her right hand
smoke drifts beside her face
past bandanna-held  hair
                     she is
in the factory / standing
                      behind the boys at war

                       she is flesh and blood
she is quality control
                        she is an image
industrial &
                       a prop optioned
                      for propaganda

she is code that speaks
more than intended
code dispatched
to foreshadow
the other breaking war

We poets are supposed to tell the truth of things. But what if the truth of things is too terrible or too hopeless to know.


the radio  tells
of babies
desperately fleeing
in frigid waters
tiny frozen
bundles on frozen beaches

what's to say?

their hopelessness
leaving me
in a world of which
I have no

And here from the anthology is Timothy Liu.

Born of Chinese immigrants in California in 1965, Liu graduated with a BA from  Brigham  Young and an MA from the University of Houston. Author of numerous poetry collections, he was nominated for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Men's Poetry.

The Size of It

 I knew the length of an average penis
          was  five to seven inches, a fact
I learned upstairs in the stacks marked 610
          or Q, not down in the basement
where I knelt behind a toilet stall, waiting
          for eight-and-a-half inches or more
to fill my mouth with a deeper truth. The heart
          grows smaller,like a cut rose drying
in the sun. Back then I was only fourteen,
          with four-and-three-quarters inches
at full erection. I began equating
          Asian with inadequate, unable
to compete with the others in the locker room
          after and icy swim (a shriveled
bud between my fingers as I tried to shake
          some semblance of life back into it).
Three times a  day I jacked off faithfully, yet
          nothing would enlarge my future, not
ads for vacuum pumps, nor ancient hers. Other
          men had to compensate, one billion
Chinese measured against  what? Some said my cock
          had a classical shape, and I longed
for the ruins of Greece. Others took it up
          the ass, reassuring in their way,
yet nothing helped me much on my knees at  night
          praying one more inch would make me whole.

Here's a memory from  years living on the Texas coast. Like the other old poems this week, from Goes Around, Comes  Around

morning on the coast

like running w's
against the peach
of early dawn

two  pelicans,
great wings spread
great heads arrow-straight ahead,
such ridiculous looking
on the ground
or sitting grey-eyed on a harbor pier,
their power and grace and beauty
only seen when they're
aloft, wings, with great slow strokes
carrying them inches
above the water

the water,
the bay,
placid and still
with the moon's rise
last evening
awakened now
and roughed
by the rising sun

slapping hard
the beach

This poem  is by author and poet Wayne Keon.

Born in 1946, Keon  is  a Canadian poet and a member of  Nipissing First Nation, an Ojibway tribe. He graduated with a Business Administration degree in 1969 and has a background as  a financial analyst. Since 1976 he has  worked for the largest mining  corporation in the world and in that job has traveled much of the world. His employer encouraged his writing and  gave copies of  his books to their South American employees studying English.

To Teotihuacan

in  teotihuacan
there's a

for praying

where you wore
a plume  and
a gown

made of quetzal
all  bronze

and  silver

with red on your
mouth and at

there's moonlight
fastened to

there's sun
on the breath
of your
and you walk by
the pillar and

where  jaguar

i've staggered
the procession

and followed you
all that i

to teotihuacan


dragging my heart
in the

to a temple
of conch'

and petals

to the temple
where you

to lie down

where the sun
and the moon


where gods
and love

to  die

where gods and
your love
had to

 Back to last week. A night out, watch out,he's on the  prowl.

once you learn the trick to it

the music was great
and I had a couple (2) beers

(Sir Williams Dark Ale 
and if I ever start drinking again
Sir Williams is going to be my best friend)

and I  hardly ever drink, having done
enough of that in my previous lifestyle
of the poor and infamous, but I think I already said this,
the music was  great and a great been and good music just go
together,  so I surrendered
to the impulse and and a couple (2)...

now folks who know me from the days following the years
of my previous poor and infamous lifestyle never
see me with a beer in my hand, so I could hear the whisper
when I got my second, Allen got another beer, I heard, which
I thought was kind of funny, almost  encouraging me to go  for  a third
but it was a whole hour and a half past my 8 pm bedtime so I thought
better of it and went home, expressions as I left, heart warming I must say,
to be safe on my way home,  as if there was considered a distinct possibility
that I might run down a night-owl nun on a health-seeking  pilgrimage jog
or maybe a group of marauding  first graders out on their nightly
search for Waldo, or, you know, generally something stupid -  well
I told them not to worry because I was in full control of my
faculties and they never having experienced the lifestyle themselves
of the poor and infamous, did not understand that being
a former drunk is very much like being a former
trick bicyclist - once you learn the trick to it,
you hardly ever forget...

Next poet up, Melody Jordan.

According to the limited information on her in the book, Jordan is a spoken word  poet from the  Pacific Northwest and a regular performer in Portland's cabaret community.

This quote from the bio, ("She's a red-headed Rimbaud") is interesting because the only Melody Jordan I can find of the web is a red headed porn star. Probably not the same Melody Jordan so I'm not taking a chance and posting her photo. Instead, I took  an  image of the  cover of the anthology.

Everything is Ice Cream
(and the world is a very hot place)

Everyone is given one ice cream cone.
Every other hour -
Everyone is given one flavor of ice cream.
Throughout his/her existence
Some people are given two scoops  of ice  cream
We do not know why
But we laugh at  them when it melts in there hands.

You scream
I scream
Everything is ice cream.
(and the world is a very hot place)
So hot in fact,
that if we do not eat the ice cream immediately it will melt.
There are a lot of ice cream headaches because of this...

                 (I'm thinking of this now...)

A little bit of fun from Goes Around, Comes  Around.

the liberal godless socialist media will never tell you this...

the liberal godless socialist media
will never tell you
this, but...

Barack Obama was born in a hospital
and has five toes
on each

Nancy Pelosi
brushes her teeth with

Harry Reed
grew in a Nevada desert
with sand
in his underpants;

Hillary Clinton
was a Presbyterian
in her youth and while
in the White House
was very close to a number of

many Democrats
are white me who can't

many other Democrats
are black people in possession of natural
and great recipes for sweet potato  pie;

some Democrat women
wear underpants and some
do not - unlike Harry Reed, none
of the Democrat women
who  wear underpants have  sand
in them;

Ted Kennedy was
mortal - unlike Ronald
Reagan who will live forever
in the right-thinking minds of our viewers
who know that we, here at the
Squirrel Network,
report all the news, including
the important  secret  stuff
the regular
socialist media
will never let you  know

So now are two short poems by Micki Siegel.

The best I can come up with on the poet is her obituary which says she was born in St. Louis in 1945 and died in 2005. The balance of  the obituary was devoted to personal recollections of  her friends.

Again, the only photo I could find was from the obituary and I couldn't get it to download.

Skin Tones

your skin is warm gold
mine pale pink
what do we look like
lying together
on the blue sheets
still and quiet after love
arms and legs entwined
like a statue
so finely sculpted
it is impossible
to find the seam
between the two figures


You make love to my words
my words are dreamings
through a hole in the sky

Back to new  stuff.

dirty jokes

four middle-aged women
(that's how they would say it)
at a booth across the restaurant
from me telling dirty jokes

(I can tell by the way they
laugh, sneaky little snickers
except for the one with a
booming laugh who, I'm
surmising enjoyed hubby Phil
at his finest last night,
such recent release leaving her
especially jolly this morning - the
snickering ladies casting jealous
glances at her  as she laughs)

I always wondered about dirty
joke telling, some are great  at
it, some not, I'm not,  always
get embarrassed and fumble
the punch line...

which reminds me of Harold,
the parent who  drove the
band bus, the one that
carried all the instruments
and just a couple of us guys
to load and unload, a pillar
of the community and a deacon
in his church, how he loved
telling dirty jokes to the
couple of fellas on the bus -
even at sixteen I suspected
some psychological issue, but
he was damn good at it (except
he didn't like cussing, dirty
was fine, but no cussing,if
one of us said damn or the like
he'd clam up for the rest
of the drive so we didn't cuss
since he  was so damn good at it
- could have been on one of those
dirty joke records like Redd Fox
or Moms Mabley, except for sure
he'd change his name to Wiggly
Waggler or such cause he surely
wouldn't want folks in town or at
his church to know he knew
so  many dirty jokes,  but
he probably wouldn't do it
anyway, probably cause I think
he mostly liked telling his jokes
to boys on the bus
like me...


most of the fellas my age
back then were like e,
not really so good at telling
dirty jokes mainly because
they mostly didn't understand
the jokes, even they knew the
words, which made it pretty hard
to tell them good....

except for Emilio, who
could sing a bunch
of funny songs, usually based
on tunes everyone knew
which is what makes it funny,
the new words to old songs, clean
ones like the one about the
spaghetti meatballs that kept
rolling off the table, and my personal
favorite  of which after these sixty
or so years later I can remember
the first lines...

I'm looking under
a dress of wonder
that I overlooked

that wasn't so dirty, but it surely was

The next poem from the anthology is by Donald McGrath.

Again the anthology offers no biographical information (some they do and some they don't and I can't figure out how they decide which). But from the  web, I learn McGrath was born in 1954 and is a native of Newfoundland. Educated at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, he had come to prefer writing by time he graduated, going on to a successful writing career.

The Stable

As the door creaks in,the sun
glides off  its edge like water off a paddle.
The stable is one great cathedral
of gloom pierced by a blond plank of light,
a Milky Way of whirling motes.

Poking from the ropy,  frayed walls
of a slime-green toolbox under a freckled window,
a glossy hammer handle with the initials JM,
rust-caked pipe ends
of the watery, jaundiced eye of a spirit level
are drenched in a lunar glow.
A curtain of hay is crosshatched in gold.
At its base lie the wrestling magazines.

Postage stamps scanned by the beam,
up close they reveal
scraggy, blood-matted hair, black leather
hoods and harnesses rivalling the arsenal
of tackling hanging in the horse's stall.
There's the liquid flip flip of pages, deep
reds and blues of summer clothes in shade.
Stripped down to underwear, rolled and tucked
beneath the belly and between the buttocks,
boys rub their bodies together, straddle
warm backs, lie in the hay practicing holds.
Rough straw arrows their skin, agile air
whips across it.
Someone keeps watch at the window.

From Goes Around, Comes Around.

bones-jumping blonds and their place in poetry

like I have some
to write a poem today

I swore on a stack of bibles
I would write a poem

like the powers of poetry
are holding hostage my first born
and my collection of Batman  comics,
to shred the one
and trade the other
for tattered and smudged Archies
unless I write a poem right now
this very minute

there's a bomb
tick-tocking under the Tower of London
and set to go off if I don't release a poem
into the atmosphere
within 45 minutes

the president
is being held hostage
by a band of killer Republican literary super-agents
demanding an immediate poem from me -
or else

not like
someone's going to give me a bunch of money
if I that poem written
and that wouldn't work anyway
as a true poet
I know not much of money or other material reward
for the scribbling and dribblings of my soul on paper

the horror the horror
of poets bound by the chains of materialism)

and it's also no  like
some blond with generous cures and giggly breath
is going to jump my bones
if I write a poem, right now - though
that does seem like a damn good reason to write a poem right now

in fact,
I'm going to try real hard
right now,
really, really hard
to write a poem
just in case there's a blond
 in the neighborhood eager to jump a poet's bones

there it is,
the dirty secret of creativity

one third perspiration
one third dedication
and three thirds bones-jumping
with generous curves...

I await now,
bones a-tremble

Next, Sky Gilbert, born in 1952, a Canadian writer, actor, playwright, academic, drag performer and gay activist. He received his PhD at the University of Toronto and holds the University Chair in Creative Writing and Theater Studies at the University of Guelph.

Romantic Possibilities of the Telephone

If you think I ever went and put your on speed-dial
you are sadly mistaken
A boy has to last longer than three months
and suck my dick really well
which you didn't
Boy am I glad I put your name at the back of my phonebook
It's EASILY erasable
there beside guys from Wisconsin and San Francisco who I haven't called for
and it doesn't take up too much space
(thank god)
I might not even erase it!
The fact that you were able to find fifteen minutes on your
fucking break
to call and break up
was not lost on me
I tried to hurry
Wouldn't  want you to waste some half baked croissant
and there's nothing like cold coffee
Did you put down the phone and sigh
"Oh my God he's SO neurotic!"
to one of your co-workers
at that fucking telemarketing place?
They're all a  bunch of drunks and has-beens who work there anyways
I didn't enjoy being invited to their stupid parties
I only pretended that vulgar woman  was exciting
No, telemarketers are not fascinating
contrary to your twenty-three year old pseudo-artistic romanticization of
And there's only one fucking thing I will miss
one fucking thing
and it will take awhile
to get over
Turning the phone off at night
will not be easy
There is perhaps nothing sadder
after all
than a phone you expect nothing of
There it sits
still as vinegar
I guess I'll watch a late movie
Who is Betty Hutton anyway?

This fella don't text. And don't mind saying so.

a 72-year old fat man

I'm a 72 year-old fat man

...but wait,
poetry is about truth and beauty
and while there is little beauty in a 72 year-old fat man,
truth is still important and the truth is, though
I am already a fat man, I'm not as fat a man
as I used to be and I will not be 72 for a
couple more weeks...

abiding by the poetic requirement for truth
it should be ore correctly said that I am
an almost 72 year-old , not-as-fat-as-he-used-to-be
man and the further truth is like so many in my contingent
I hate change and mostly I hate change
(and making that perfectly clear is the primary purpose of this rant)
because change means I'm going to have to learn new stuff
and I believe,  fervently even, that at the age of almost
72, fat, skinny, r perfectly formed, such a man
should already know what he needs to know to  live
an adequate almost 72 year-old life...

I mean, like many in my regiment,  I always like
to read new stuff about stars and galaxies
and dinosaurs and ancient tribes of ancient peoples,
and various other oddities and monstrosities of life
unknown before this time, but I only like to  learn such stuff
as long as  I don't have to learn too  much about it, in fact,
I prefer to know just a little bit, just enough to know enough
to set my imagination churning
it is a fact my imagination churning produces
more interesting stuff to know
anything I would know by actually knowing
real stuff...

and that works great for me since I read
science news and other such stuff just looking for
stuff to fill me up like an over-ripe melon with pseudo-science
and interesting fantasy that I might expound upon here
and at other venues where actually knowing stuff
is not strictly

but other than  that kind of  stuff,
the stuff I don't want to learn is the stuff
most  sixteen year-olds already know and I figure
if a sixteen year-old already knows it why in the world should
an almost 72 year-old, not-as-fat-as before man bother with knowing it too,
because it just seems to me that such a man ought to know
just about everything he actually needs to know to make it through
his day...

as the the rest, well,
take my computer, so old, it's almost steam-powered,
but old as it is, it is my faithful friend
and like any of the other friends
I've buried or expect to bury within the next few years,
I dread the time when its time is up
and I have to go looking for a new computer  friend,
it is just like I hate  the idea of going out and find new regular
friends when the old ones
bite the dust...

it's oh so much more complicated

like Baby Ruth, now there's a constant in my life, but I'm finding them
harder to find in the candy aisle...

is that the next indignity, Baby Ruth becoming another historical oddity
confined to glass display cabinets in museums of the latest antiquities,
leaving me to learn all the particularity rules and wherefores
and whereupon of a Snickers or Mars Bar?

wouldn't surprise me...

but then to this a not-as-fat-as-he-used-to-be fat man with almost 72 years upon this twirleybird
planet, not much does...

Next, to poems by Guillermo Castro.

I found a lot of Castro's work on the web, but nothing like a bio. The limited information at the back of the anthology says only that "his poems cover the immigrant struggle and exile, juxtaposing the Manhattan landscape with this Argentinian collapsing in the hands of fascism."

Balloons from Hell

rubber-masked demons get  themselves
invited to any party
blue-green children burst in mid-air
accidents bring no compassion
weeping mothers, Lloronas, go away!
you are not needed here

for I will sweep  the floor myself
collect fallen faces twisting

like eels
like whips

sew the pieces together
disguise seams as smiles

fatten their emptiness
watch them rise

horrible suns
bound to a fanged sky

Fascist Manifesto
           after Stephen Dobyns 

The fascist midget within me
wants either sex on top or to get  blown
and will come in seconds.
the fascist midget within me
lives for the Spanish Inquisition
with improved torture devices.
You have way too many books.
Burn them. And those dirty movies as well.
My fascist midget wants you,
tall, right people, to  put out
your cigarettes in your neighbor's cheek,
wants you to eat one meal a day
in damp houses, only after prayers.
The fascist midget cheats
the unemployed, the homeless, the meek,
the badly dressed into submission and,
if fitting, back to their countries of origin.
It's more tanks we need, nor more "thanks,"
My fascist midget yaps
in the fascist midget meeting
where we all goose step around the room.
We need the dead quieter
and the living even more so.

If you're going to steal,  steal from the best. Like here, from Goes Around, Comes Around.


I lie
with Whitman
in the grass
under afternoon sun

and with him
find glory in the sun
and in the grass
and in the body that lies
in glorious sun and grass

and celebrate
the sun and grass
and the body,in all its blood and bone
and intricate mysteries of flesh,
from manly parts
to beating heart,
my shelter,
standing for me,
my conveyance through
all my life
and, even now
as it falters, my representative
in the natural world
of biology and physics,
chemistry and mechanics

and I find it
appropriately celebratory
in all its aspects
and no matte what
some might say, I see no shame
in its sight
or its shape
or its natural functions
or conditions

for it is me
and I am not shameful

And last (finally!) from the anthology, two poems by Mark Bibbins.

Born in 1968 in Albany, New York, Bibbins earned his MFA from The New School and teaches in the graduate writing  program at The New School and at Columbia. He is a winner of the Lambda Literary Award and a 2005 poetry fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Your Shirt

maintains its shape
on the hanger
regardless of you.

It can't remember
the warm touch
of your living

flesh against it,
and does not know
or care where you are.
It does not need
to wrap its own
arms around itself

in the dark
and imagine they belong
to you.


How swift we had been,
when you died, to change
your answering machine message:
The dead shouldn't
speak unless spoken to.

Your voice had become another
of so many photographs,
pairs of shoes, souvenirs
left for us to decide
whether or not to keep.

Now three years later,
I am startled at finding
just a second of a message
you had left on my machine,

a tiny mass of ions adrift
on a narrow stream of tape,
floating like a paper boat
the child runs beside
before it sails out of sight

The last this week from last week.

moving my business

I moved yesterday from
my reserved "Resident Poet" table
near the back, by the music studios
where,  while writing I could hear the
students getting their  music lessons,
a  wonderful experience often, but not

I often wonder if it is  possible to
learn violin without scaring
all the cats off fences for several
blocks around for the first
year of learning the tricks of it -

my experience suggests not

so this  morning  I'm up front
in the big  room, giant windows
surrounding me on two sides,
providing clear views this
bright sunny Friday morning, the sight
and whoosh  and rumble of  traffic on
Broadway, cars and trucks gallivanting
like herds of wild horses released
from long time corral-restriction

and the young students of the new
apartment complexes all around me,
riding  their bicycles with  their
silly hats and tight stretch pants, or
walking their dogs - driving Bella mad,
all those four-legged interlopers oh her

and I'm hoping  some interesting
people will come by, sitting in the bright
outside at the tables on the patio, people with
stories I can invent or embellish - those
are the  people I need, live story
generators, cause you can only write
about the weather for so long (there just
isn't enough of it, at least not

so far - just a very dirty homeless guy,
encrusted with, god knows, all that
can't be just dirt, and I don't want
to write about him,cause you know,
just another sad song of the mean
streets and, of course, there is
probably a back  story I could make
up about  the guy - drugs, alcohol, crime,
insanity,  tragedy of one sort  or other -
it's all pretty much the same, no
new story, nothing Shakespearean
for sure, (we used to quarantine these  people,
kept them fed and safe, now we just put  them
out on the street  wander until they freeze
to death some dark winter night, each one
just another waste product of this life,
this culture, these times and I've done
my time with them and find no  compassion
left in me  beyond a few morose lines of
bad  poetry, ah, the  horror, the horror!
I wold say and feel satisfied that by
doing so I have done my part

just one sad-sack homeless guy, but
it's not even 10 yet, I'm sure more
satisfying subjects will begin to amble
by very soon...

if  not, well it is a bright beautiful day,
sitting outside in  the sun day,
cloudless sky with  temps in the
50s to 70s for the next week and see
if all else fails I can always go back to writing
a poem about the weather

cause I can see it perfect
from here...

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

Also as usual, 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)


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

  Peace in Our Time

at 8:56 AM Blogger davideberhardt said...

best to me- the tree w the shed- shadows, composition
the highway- color
I think color more difficult than black and white- more complex-
Your lone tree "sticks" out- and yet seems too ob vious; I notice the best colorists are subtle; Eliot Porter is not, but then- he got there first- he is entitled. Ansel Adams is not subtel- but then he doesn't do color.
I have to say it- photography beets poetry any time.
I'm off to Palau (underwater photography). There the colors WILL B E FRESH!!!!!!!!

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