Wascally Wabbits   Wednesday, May 18, 2016

I went long for a couple of weeks, so I'm going short this week, with just a few new poems from me and poets from the anthology The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry, over 600 pages of Beat poets and poetry. The book was published by Thunder's Mouth Press, 1999.

Included in the photos this  week are pre-digital pics I took at the Grand Canyon in the late 80s.

And a reminder, again,  there is a comment tab at  the end of the post. I would enjoy hearing from you.

and somewhere a church bell rings

Walt Whitman
from Song of the Open Road

white trash

Rudolfo Anaya
Walt Whitman strides the Llano of New Mexico

the Ball at first  light

Eric Brown
Billy and Satchmo or, You Fucking Cunt II
You Fucking Cunt

the Pioneer Breakfast I can't have and other disappointments

Bonnie Finberg

Tsaurah Litzky
Dead Louis

Ron Kolm
Factory Still Life

Mike Golden
Write a fucking poem

Bukowski nights

David Lerner
Mein Kampf

not remembered, never forgot

Henry Miller
Advice to a Young Writer

on the River Moldau

Norman Mailer
The Shortest Novel of Them All

ghosts shared my bed last night

Joan Jobe Smith
Aboard the Bounty

  an old man and his dog

Have to start somewhere, might as well be here.

and somewhere a church bell rings

to the memory
of diving into cold, clear water

the morning bell ringing
at the Chapel of the Little Flower
and across the street
Mr. Shipley
selling is donuts and bear claws
and ham and cheese kolaches
and little donut holes
for us who sin in small increments

and I wake to a dream
of cool water, bubbles streaming
from my fingers
as I hit the water and dive, dive, dive
to the hard concrete bottom, green, smooth
sloping to the deep end
where I fear to

and church bells ring
and old  ladies in black kneel,
eat the holy communion donut

and cool, clear  water  rushes 
against my eyes
and I feel the hair I never had
billowing in golden streams
behind me

and the church bells ring
and the morning begins again
and again

and water splashes
the mirror  
as I shake my
head again
and again
a church bell  rings
salvation sounding
but not for

Where better place to start from an anthology of outlaw poets than with Walt Whitman, the inventor of American poetry and himself the first and most revered of the outlaws who followed.

from Song  of the Open Road

Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road.
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose

Henceforth, I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,
Henceforth I whimper no more,  postpone no more, need
Dance with indoor complaints,  libraries, querulous criticisms,
Strong and content  I travel eh open road.

The earth, that is sufficient,
I do not want the constellations any nearer,
I know they are very well where they are,
I know they suffice for those who belong to them.

(Still here I carry my old delicious burdens,
I carry them, men and women, I carry them with me wherever
                             I go,
I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them,
I am fill'd with them; and I will fill them in return.)

You road I enter upon and look around, I believe you are not
                            all that is here,
I believe  that much  unseen is also here.

Here the profound lesson of reception, not preference not
The black with his woolly head, the felon, the diseas'd, the
                            illiterate person, are not denied;
The birth, the hasting  after the physician, the beggar's tramp,
                           the drunkard's stagger, the laughing party of
The escaped youth, the rich person's carriage, the fop, the
                           eloping couple,
The early market-man, the hearse, the moving of furniture
                           into the town, the return back from the town,
They pass, I also pass, any thing passes, none can be inter-
None but are accepted, none but shall be dear to me.

 If you want to know about people, you have to leave room in yourself to be surprised.

white trash

cursed with the kind of
flat-planed face and shallow eyes that suggests
dimness of wit,
under a gimme cap that looks too large
for his head, the cap's too-long bill cocked
to one side, his appearance
Appalachian hills and hollows,
whispers in sophisticated soirees,
white trash...

sits behind me at the diner,
engages in lively discussion
with his booth-mate
the Wittenstein-Popper
of 1946
over the question
are there or are there not
philosophical problems
to be resolved through philosophical

the discussion erudite,
the young man with the crooked cap
particularly articulate,
as is often the case with those
whose learning comes from books
and not from discussion,
his pronunciation
of many common terms
was hit and miss... 

what an interesting
I thought, thinking
of the sophisticated soirees 
where such conversations
are rarely as intelligent and never
as interesting

Beginning from  the anthology with Whitman, I  need  go only one page further in the anthology to find this homage to the great poet by Rudolfo Anaya.

Born in 1937 and educated at Albuquerque High School and the University of New Mexico, Anaya is considered one of the founders of the canon of contemporary Chicano literature.

It's nice to find someone who shares my love for Whitman.

Walt Whitman  Strides the Llano  of New Mexico

I met Walt,  kind old father, on the llano,
          that expanse of land  of eagle and cactus
Where the Mexicano met the Indio, and both
          met the tejano, along the Rio Pecos, out
          River of blood, River of Billy the Kid,
          River of Fort Sumner where the Dine suffered,
          River of the golden Carp, god of my gods.

He came striding across the open plain,
          There where the owl calls me to
                     the shrine of my birth,
          There where Ultima buried my soul-cord, the
                     blood, the afterbirth, my destiny.

His beard, coarse, scraggly, war, filled with sunlight,
          like llano grass filled with grasshoppers, grillos,
          protection for lizards and jackrabbits,
          rattlesnakes, coyotes, and childhood fears.

"Buenos dias, don Walt!" I called. "I have been
          waiting for you. I knew you would one day leap
                    across the Mississippi!
         Leap from the Manhattas! Leap over Brooklyn Bridge!
                   leap over slavery!
         Leap over the technocrats!
                   Leap over atomic waste!
         Leap over the violence! Madonna!
                  Dead end rappers!
                            Peter Jennings and ungodly nightly news!
         Leap over your own sex! Leap to embrace la gente
                   de Nuevo Mexico! Leap to miracles!"

I always knew that. I dreamed that.

I knew you would one day find he Mexicanos of my land,
          the Nuevo Mexicans who kicked ass with our
          Indian ancestors, kicked ass with the tejanos.
          And finally got their ass kicked by the politicians!
          I knew you would find us Chicanos, en la pobreza,'
          always needing change for a ride or a pint,
          Pero ricos en el alma! Ricos en nuestra cultura!
          Ricos con suenos y memoria!

I kept  the faith don Walt, because always knew
          you could leap over continents! Leap over the squalor!
          Leap over pain and suffering, and the ash heap  we
          Make of our Earth! Leap into my arms.

Let me nestle  in you bigote, don Walt, as I once
          nestled in my abuelo's bigote, don Liborio,
          Patriarch of the mares clan, padre de mi mama,
          Farmer from Puerto de Luna, mestizo de Espana y
          Mexico, Catolico y Judio, Moro y indio, frances
          y mountain man, hombre  de la tierra!

Let me nestle in your bigote,, don Walt, like I once
          nestled in the grass of the llano, on summer days,
          a child lost in the wide expanse, brother to lagarto,
          jackrabbit, rattlesnake, vulture and hawk.
          I lay sleeping in the grama grass, feeling
          the groan of the Earth beneath me, tierra sagrada!
          Around me, grasshoppers chuffing, mockingbird calling,
          meadowlark singing, owl warning, rabbit humping,
          flies buzzing, worms turning, vulture and hawk
          riding air currents, brujo spirits moving across
          my back and raising the hair of my neck,
          golden fish  of my pods tempting me to believe
          in the gods of the earth, water, air and fire.
          Oriente, poniente, norte, sur, y yo!
          Dark earth groaning beneath me, sperm flowing,
          sky turning orange and red, nighthawks dart, bats
          flitter, the mourning call of La Llorona filling the
          night wind as the presence of  the river stirred, called my
          name: "Hijo! Hiiiii-jo!"

And I fled for the safety of my mother's arms.

You know the locura of childhood, don Walt -
         That's why I welcome you to the llano, my llano.
         My Nuevo Mexico! Tierra sagrada! Tierra sangrada!

Hold me in the safety of your arms, wise poet, old poet,
          Abuelo de todos. Your fingers stir my memory.

The high school teachers didn't believe in the magic
          of the Chicano heart.  They fed me palabras sin sabor
          when it was your flesh I yearned for. Your soul.
          They teased me with "Oh, Capitan, My Capitan!"
          Read silently so as to arouse no passion, no tears,
          no erections, no bubbling love for poetry.

Que desgracia! What a disgrace! To give my soul only
         one poem in four years when you were universal!

Que desgracia! To give us only your name when you were
          Cosmos, and our brown faces yearned for
          the safety of your bigote, your arms!

Que desgracia! That you have to leap from your grave,
          Now, in this begetting time, to kick ass with
          this country which is so slow to learn that
          we are the magic in the soul! We are the dream
          of Aztlan!

Aue desgracia! That my parents didn't even know your name!
         Didn't know that in your Leaves of Grass there was
          salvation for the child.
          I hear my mother's lament: "They gave me no education!"
          I understand my father's stupor: "They took me honor, mi
          orgullo,  mi palabra."

Pobreza de mi gente! I strike back now! I bring you
          don Walt to help gird our loins!
          Este viejo es guerrillero por le gente!
          Guerrillero por los pobres! Los de abajo!

Save you children now! I shout. Put Leaves of Grass in their
          lunchboxes! In the tacos and tamales!
          Let them call him Abuelo! As I call him Abuelo!

Chicano poets of the revolution! Let him fly with you
          As your squadrons of words fill the air over
          Aztlan! Mujeres chicanas! Pull his bigote as you
          Would tug at a friendly abuelo! His manhood is outs!
          Together we are One!

Pobreza! Child wandering the streets of Albuque! Broken
          by the splash of water, elm seed ghost, lost and by winds
                    of spring mourned, by La  Llorona of the Rio Grande
          mourned, outcast, soul-seed, blasted by the wind
                    of the universe, soul-wind,scorched by the
          Grandfather Sun, Lady Luna, insanity, grubs scratching
                    at broken limbs, fragmented soul.

I died and was buried and years later I  awoke from
          the dead and limped to the hill where your
                    Leaves of Grass lay buried in library stacks.

"Chicano Child Enters University!" the papers cried.
         Miracle child! Strange child! Dark child!
                   Speaks Spanish Child! Has Accent Child!
         Needs  Lots of Help Child! Has No Money Child!
                    Needs a Job Child! Barrio Child!
          Poor People's Child! Gente Child! Drop  Out Child!"
"I'll show you." I sobbed, entering the labyrinth of loneliness,
         dark shadows of library, cold white classrooms.

You saved me don Walt, you and my familia which held
          Me up, like a crutch holding he one-leg Man,
                      Like Amor holding the lover,
                                Like kiss holding the flame of Love.

You spoke to me of your Manhattas, working men and women,
          miracle of democracy, freedom of the soul, the suffering
          of the Great War, the death of Lincoln, the lilacs' last
          bloom, the pantheism of the Cosmos, the miracle of Word.

Your words caressed my soul, soul meeting soul,
          You opened my mouth and forced me to speak!
           Like a cricket placed on dumb tongue,
           Like the curandera's healing herbs and
          Touch which taught me to see beauty,
          Your fingers poked and found my words!
          You drew my stories out.
          You believed in the Child of the Llano.

I fell asleep on Leaves of Grass,  covering myself with
          Your bigote, dreaming my ancestors, my healers,
          the cuentos of their pas, dreams and memories.

I fell  asleep in your  love,  and woke to my mother's
          tortillas on the comal,  my father's cough, my
          familia's way to work, the vast love which was
          an ocean in a small house.

I woke to write my Leaves of Grass,the cuentos
          of the llano,tierra sagrada! I think the wise
          teacher who said "Dark Child, read this book!
          You are grass and to grass you shall return."

Gracias, don Walt! Enjoy your stay. Come again. Come
          Every day. Our ninos need you, as the need
          Our own poets. Maybe you'll write a poem in Spanish,
          I'll write one in Chinese. All of poetry is one.

This is one of my morning poems - I had a week of pretty good ones.

the Ball at first light

8 a.m.
on a busy Wednesday morning,
at a stop light.
traffic in five directions,
three always moving, 
always at the same time

on the radio
Khachaturian's waltz
form the play "Masquerade,"
the Ball where the plot thickens
where things for our hero and heroine
began to go awry - all of course to come together
in the end

in my here and now world
traffic dances to the music, intricate
interplay of color and movement
and the music and the morning traffic
come together in a vibrant
urgent swirl...

an asphalt ballroom
for a commuter's

The next outlaw poet from the anthology is Eric Brown. Publishing frequently in journals and anthologies, along  with a number of chapbooks, he is one of the founders/editors of Rats w/Keys, a part of the underground scene for over 10 years.

Billie and Satchmo or, You Fucking Cunt II

"Good Morning" said the black-eyed wife to  the black-eyed husband and he
replied the same. "Pleasant dreams? asked the man of the woman and she replied oh yes.

The agreed that the  dreams  could be realized, and entered into  a phase of
prelapsarian beatitude, kissing with morning muck-mouth, immune to stresses
implied by the job, impending war, or economic collapse.

They taught sonnets to their parrot, walked together at midnight on hills over-
looking the urban turmoil, and did away with pitiless coping mechanisms.

She sang to him in the voice of Billie Holiday: "Your cock, is a non-stop cock-
a-doodle-do;" he responded in the voice of Sachmo Armstrong: "I feel at
home in your hen house."

All  was well in Denmark and they even began to consider a child. A child. The
conclusive yes I said yes I will yes,  the trophy of the existential insanathon, a
gob of spit in the face of an unloving god.

But the world laughed at them. The world flung shit at them. And they with-
stood it for a while.

But like products guaranteed to last  a lifetime, they broke.
to avoid incarceration in a rubber Motel Six, to unbrave to steal the right from
the aforementioned unlover and take the brave way out, too  weak to withstand
the reproach of plagiarizing the Montague and Capulet kids, the reverted to
their old ways -

She drove home fast from work, as did he, and as the front ends of their cars
collided at the mouth of their driveway, the leaned on their horns, zipped down
the power windows and screamed: "Hello, you fucking cunt!"

Although I didn't plan to post both of these, the above II is already posted and doesn't make a lot of sense without the first.

You Fucking Cunt

They kept the relationship fresh by greeting each other with "Hello, you fucking
cunt." Each morning she would  tape notes to his windshield saying that he was
the product of a rape and so was his mother and both her parents. He would
wrap her parrot in kite string, stick it in a  bowl of  guacamole up to its neck and
teach it to say, "Is that your nipple or a scab?" and "Your dreams are paltry

The idea was that this hostility would eradicate the frustrations of living in this
large smelly rectum that surrounds us, and that one day they would embrace,
untie in serene bliss,  juices and bloods relocating, salivary glands glancing,with
a music box shaped like love sitting on the night table playing "Raindrops  Keep
Falling on My Head."

And the rain did come; it came in torrents, drenching their lawn and dripping
through the leaky roof while they called each other fucking cunts.

The abuse gave them confidence and a sense that they weren't like everyone
else, that they would not fit in any demographical survey, they couldn't be de-
scribed in any intersection of  columns.

He would send Hare Krishnas and Jehovah's Witnesses over when her favorite
television program was  on;  she wrote  his work  phone number on toilet  seats
frequented by the S&M bondage crowd.

For twenty years they diligently thought up new  ways to belittle in sickness and
in health, then one day they got into a battle and knocked each other out,
peacefully crumpled unconscious and bruised on the the floor, dreaming of  the
morning when kindness would be the only thing  left to give.

Another breakfast at the diner

the Pioneer Breakfast I can't have and other  disappointments

little girl smiling,
in her seat
like a little girl
ought to smile, like
a little girl
ought  to  bounce

old man
head  in his hands
as old men often do

old woman
at  the window seat, watches
the old man with his head in his hands,
pushes her liver onion special
in little circles on her plate

cops in the corner
talk basketball as their radio
crackle beside

the waitress
after long years of mid-shift standing
bends her  knee,
flexes her ankles, rotates her feet,
long night ending
never too

pretty Latina
and her  mohawked boyfriend 
sit close,
so close, like
amoeba in mid-meld,
she leaning
against his shoulder,
her low-cut dress revealing
the rise of her cinnamon breasts
and the tattoo on her chest,
little red flowers
in a field of

skinny young fella
reads a comic book as he overwhelms
his Pioneer Breakfast

two  eggs
biscuits and sausage gravy
hash browns
and refried beans

like the marines
Dog Tag hill

like a boy and a girl
a drive-in movie
the lust of a summer night

in my usual place
I envy the mohawked boyfriend
and his  pretty girl sitting
so  close together

even more
I envy the skinny kid
with his Pioneer Breakfast

but pleased at  least
I'm not yet the old man
with his head in his

Next from the outlaw  anthology, four short poems by four different poets.

The first poet is Bonny Finberg. Her biography in the book in its entirety says she is a member of the "Unbearables" - according to Wikipedia is "a loose collective of noir humorists, beer mystics, anarchists, neophobes, and passionate  debunkers.


Young sexy women, an eternal fount of
sleek skin, alabaster and onyx,
honeyed eyes, yielding mouths.
But I prefer the avatars of elemental things.
Jill, baby faced irony and iron ass to boot.
Dangerous Diane, ineluctable eyes
that pierce the crust of bullshit.
Alice, in the wedding night blizzard of '93,
short moon faced rascal  in mink coat
and plastic rain hat,likes her vodka.
Suzie the floozy, stripper  turned chef,
kept the neighborhood kids full of
jello and homemade pizza.
Linda, weighted down with cheap pearls, and
expensive taste, in paint smeared jeans,
a fallen arches history of pick up porn.
I  will gladly lounge with them when poachers
come to pick our bones and steal the tusks
we brandished in our cool resolve.

The next poet in this series of four is Tsaurah Litzsky, another member of the "Unbearables."

Dead Louis

No more rhumba,
No bright blue robins' egg.
No abracadabra.

Number three  from this little series is by Ron Kolm, yet another "Unbearable"

Factory Still Life

Eduardo, my night shift partner,
Shovels another load
Into the blazing furnace.

He cups his nuts
As the flames spew out
And circle around his face.

His eyes glow
As he tells me a dirty joke
That goes on approximately forever.

And finally, the last "Unbearable," for this week anyway, Mike Golden. I couldn't find a picture of the poet but I didn't an eZine "Smoke Signals" he has apparently been associated with since the 80s. This is the URL - http://smokesignalsmag.com/7/

As a poem-a-day poet, this seems to me pretty good advice.

 Write a fucking poem

every fucking time
you don't know what to do.
You'll have a body of work
despite yourself.

This is an  old story from a night long ago, possibly even true.

Bukowski nights

this might be an old story,
I'm not sure,
after a certain age all your stories
are old stories
as  I  was saying
and may have said


it was an event last night
that reminded me of a time in 1965
when I was driving a taxi cab,
working a 2 p.m. to 2 a.m shift

most of that shift was taking
little old  ladies
to the grocery story or picking up people
at the airport

the worst part of the day was the last hour,
when the bars closed down
and the drunks were tossed off their bar  stools
and put out on the street to face
the life they'd been hiding from in the liquid, neon
dark at the end of the bar,  a  gruesome hour,
drunks, usually
way past the fun of the first  twelve
drinks,  men all beat up, men on the way to getting
beat up, men and women  (former lovers
too long married, too long  drinking together, 
another night on the town, again,  gone  sour, like they always
did, fighting in the back  of my cab), the last chance whores,
midnight predators too long on the  hunt,
twenty dollar hookers when the night started,
trying to sneak a five dollar blow job in the back
if I would let  them and if she could find a trick  sober enough
to make it to the cab...

the little old grocery-shopping lady  of the afternoon
looked pretty good in comparison to the hour of the  bars'
closing, even though I never got  more than  a nickel tip
out of any of them...


then there was the night a  drunk got into  my cab
and  pulled a knife and tried to rob me,
but he was just too pathetically drunk
to get the job done, so  drunk he
dropped his knife and while he was crawling
around in back trying to find it, I got  out of the car,
opened the back door and tosses  him out on the sidewalk

I would rather  have tossed him out into the street, but
he was too  heavy to throw that far...

I did keep his knife though, sold it another driver
for a  buck fifty...

a real Bukowski night, that one,among 
a year  of Bukowski 

Next from the Outlaw anthology, this poem is by David Lerner.

Very active in the Beat movement, Lerner was born in 1951 and died of a heroin overdose in 1972.

Mein Kampf

                 Gary Snyder lives in the country. He wakes up in t he morning
                 listens to birds. We live in the city.
                                                                              - Kathleen Wood

all I want to do
is make poetry famous

all I want to do is
burn my initials in the sun

all I want to do is
read poetry in the middle of a
burning building

standing in the fast lane of the
falling from the top of the
Empire State Building

the literary world
sucks dead dog dick

I'd rather be Richard Speck
than Gary Snyder
I'd  rather be riding a rocketship to hell
than a Volvo to Bolinas

I'd rather
sell arms to the Martians
than  wait sullenly for a
letter from some diseased clown with a
three-piece mind
telling me I've won a
bullet-proof  pair of rose-colored glasses
form  my poem "Autumn in the Spring"

I want to bee
by everyone who teaches for a living

I want people to hear my poetry and
get headaches
I want people to hear my poetry and

I want people to hear my poetry and
weep, scream, disappear, start bleeding,
eat their television sets, beat each other to death with
swords an

go out and get riotously drunk on
someone else's money

this ain't no party
this ain't no disco
this ain't foolin' a
grab-bag of
clever wordplay and sensitive thoughts and
gracious theories about

how many ambiguities can dance on the head of a
machine gun

this ain't no
genteel evening over
cappuccino and bullshit

this ain't no life-affirming
our days have meaning
as  we watch the flowers breath through our soul and
fall desperately in love

this ain't no letter-press, hand-me-down
wimpy beatnik festival of bitching about
the broken rainbow

it is a carnival of dread

it is a savage sideshow
about to move on to the main arena

it is terror and wild beauty
walking hand in hand down a bombed-out road
as missiles scream, while a
sky the color of arterial blood
blinks on and off
like the lights on Broadway
after the last junkie's dead of AIDS

I come not to bury poetry
but to blow it up
not to dandle it on my knee
like a retarded child with
beautiful eyes

throw it off a cliff into
icy seas and
see if the motherfucker can
swim for its life

because love is an excellent thing
surely we need it

there is so much to hate These Days
that hatred is just love with a chip on its shoulder
a chip  as big as the Ritz
and  heavier than
all the bills  I'll never pay

because they're after us

they're selling  radioactive charm bracelets
and breakfast  cereals that
lower you IQ by 50 points per mouthful
we  got politicians who think
starting World War III
would be a good career move
we got beautiful women
with eyes like wet  stones
peering out at us from the pages of
glossy magazines
promising  that they'll
fuck us till we shoot blood

if we'll just buy one of these beautiful switchblade knives

I've got mine

I watch and I see and this is what I saw at the supermarket last week.

not remembered, never forgot

the boy is eight or nine,
maybe a small-for-his-age ten,
and he reads a Little Golden Book
to his brother, about a year or so old,
still sitting in the grocery cart's child seat
and as the older brother reads
about how the little engine
tried and tried and finally could
the little brother in the grocery basket
laughs and laughs and claps his hands and
rocks in his seat...

their mother, in line at the pharmacy,
smiles and blows a kiss
and this small moment passes, the way
such moments come and go in the blink of an eye,
and though the mother will remember
all her years, there will be no constant memory
of it in the minds of the brothers,
though, even as I watch, the tides turn that will
govern the rest of their lives, forming
in the worlds of their future lives, memories
never remembered, but always
felt in those small moments
when lights dim for the

Here's some advice for young writers by Henry Miller.

Advice to a Young Writer

All  piffle & twaddle - influence of Bottom  Dog man.
For real "decadents" read Husmans & other French authors.
Diarrhea of words - stew of classic allusions.
Fuck  Artemis et alia!
Don't put intellect in your prick!
Write honestly even if poorly.
Humor is weak - immature.
Try drugs and compare two kinds of writing.
Try using only Anglo-Saxon words.
Throw you dictionary away!
Don't mix realism with poetics!
If you can't make words fuck, don't masturbate them!
When you speak of Cunt put hair on it!
Try to forget everything you learned in college.
Try talking like an ignoramus - or an Igaroti.
Read, for emetic, "Palm Wine Drunkard."
You will learn to write only when you stop trying to write.
A line without effort is worth a chapter of push and pull.
First ask yourself if you have anything to say.
Don't draw the pen  unless you are  ready to kill!
If you don't get rid of the Classics you'll die of constipation.
Never show anyone what you've written until a year or two later.
Use the axe to your 1st draft and not the fine comb.
the latter is for lice.

Sick of the news, I been listening to our classical music station in the morning drive downtown instead.

on the River Moldau

not prepared this early
to begin a new week with NPR news
I hide away in the classics,
sail downtown
on the River Moldau instead,
bask in the power and serenity
of the rolling musical waves...

my destination
I enjoy a driveway moment,
bid adieu for now to Mr. Smetana 
and settle back in my seat
for a short interlude with Miles and his Sketches
of Spain...

how wonderful is  public radio
and how wonderful grand music
and how  wonderful this bright, astonishing
morning sanctuary
for me, for you,  for all of us
with eyes and ears 
and the ability to smell such fresh,
virgin air, made for us
made to succor us,
to start us on another day
in the life, a new day
by the stink and sins of

This is a quirky little piece from the anthology by Norman Mailer.

The Shortest Novel of Them All

At first she thought she could kill him in three days.
She did nearly. His heart proved nearly unequal to her compliments.
Then she thought it would take three weeks. But he survived.
So she revised her tables and calculated three months.
After three years,he was still alive. So they got married.
Now they've been married for thirty years. People speak warmly of them.
             They are known as the best  marriage in town.
It's just that their children keep dying.

I wrote this a couple of weeks ago after a restless night.

ghosts  shared my bed last night

ghosts shared my bed
last night

the long-dead
who long favored my life

remembered now
in the darkest sections of night

we meet under the sheets
with polite phantasmal bows

discuss or far-gone trespasses
and agree

I will forgive them
if they will forgive me

Last this week from The Outlaw Bible of America  Poetry, I have this poem by Joan Jobe Smith.

Born in Paris, Texas, Smith moved to Southern California where she worked as a go-go  dancer for seven years. She  received a BA from University of California Long Beach and attended one year of law  school before receiving an MFA in writing. In 1974 she became founding editor  Pearl which continues to publish and later Bukowski Review.

Aboard the Bounty

Onto the bar I walked, my first day on the job,
a go-go girl in the raw, onto the bar from the
dressing room where I'd shakily painted my face
with pink and gloss, combed my hair high and
brown, straightened my black stockings smooth,
onto the bar from the dressing room from my
apartment where I'd kissed my kids goodbye,
showed the nanny how to warm the baby's formula,
onto the bar from the dressing room from my
apartment the week after  my husband left me,
the rent two weeks past due and I looked around
the bar at the en drinking beer and laughing
and smoking cigars and cigarettes and watching
Robin whose name I didn't know yet dance some
dance. I didn't know how to dance yet to the
Rolling Stones singing a song about a stupid girl
on the jukebox playing as loud as it would go
and a man waved to me to  come here, he wanted
some beer, so I went to him ad he pointed up
at Robin,  Robin whom I yet did not know, did not
know her stepfather raped her, one of her kids'd
been born brain damaged and the drunken man
pointed up at Robin's crotch and asked me, the
first thing a drunken man in a beerbar ever asked me
my first day on the job, a go-go girl in the raw:
Is that chick up there on the rag or is she really
a fag with her balls tied up in a jock?

Last for the week, subjects close to my heart, old men and dogs.

an old man and his dog

the old man
sits at his usual table
and beside him his dog
on his personal pillow, sleeping
and alert, the ancient ancestral ability
that lets dogs live in two universes
at once...

I say hello to the old man as I pass,
mainly because it gives me an excuse
to say hello to the dog and scratch his head,
a morning greeting to which he  smiles
and the old man smiles as well because he likes
the way his dog smiles at me...

the dog has her own tiny table beside
the old man's regular table,
and a small bowl with a few pieces of kibble
the old man drops in as a reward
for the friendly morning

the  old man's white hair matches
the brilliant white of the dog's coat, nova-burst white,
both, in the morning  sun-bright of the diner
focusing all that bright on the man's  yellow vest
covered with little  pictures
of every comic dog  ever  drawn, while
the dog, except for the yellow bandana
(to match the man's dog-illustrated vest) is unclothed,
which is a surprise since she isn't  wearing the usual
service dog vest even though I assume she is a service dog,
patient,  friendly and alert to the old man's every move...

the man has no obvious disability, and I puzzle over that
until I decide it must be a deep and abiding need
for the the near and constant presence
of a dog

and, looking out the window  now at my dog, Bella,watching
form the front seat of my car
every move,  ever blink of my eye, ever twitch
of my fingers on this keyboard, I think I understand
the old man's ailment

thinking maybe I have a little bit of that

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 a not so 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


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