Alarm Set, Door Locked, Porch Light On   Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Just to note that I'm taking some time off for a little travel so this will be my  last post for a week or two.

The post includes more random photos, new and old poems from me, poems from a couple of poet friends and poems from the anthology New European Poets, published  by Graywolf Press in 2008.

I refuse

Mustafa Ziyalan

a weather note - blue

Gary Blankenship
Song of Myself #1. Contralto
Song of Myself  #2. Carpenter

I absolutely will not write another poem today  

Rose Alice Branco
Mornings on the Ground


David Eberhardt
found in the movie Mad Max - Fury road
a poem for seniors, dedicated to ted kooser     

I didn't expect to have a poem today

Simon Armitage

Joseph's coat   

Kurt Aebli
An Old Gaping Wound Wheedling Out an Unmasked Smile    

all god's children rejoice (and others as  well)

Alexandru Vakulovski   
Bessaarabia go home

la mujer de la marea

Neringa Abrutkyte
The Beginning


Jean-Baptiste Para


Leevi Lehto
The Sliced Guitar

three red deck chairs           


Here it is, first  new poem from last week. A little joke - doing exactly what I was proclaiming I was refusing to  do.

I  refuse

to write another

Here's my first poem from this week's anthology, New European Poets. The poet is Mustafa Ziyalan, a writer and poet born in 1959 in Zonguldak, Turkey. He graduated from University of Istanbul Medical School and, in  addition to his writing, he has worked as a general practitioner and coroner in a rural area of Turkey. Also trained as a psychiatrist, at the time the book was published, he worked in New York, treating torture victims, prison inmates with AIDS and development disorders, and children abusing drugs, with a special interest in schizophrenia treatment.


Gigi, the angel of  invisible meetings
we did so well making angels listen to music
kids are now embarrassed, of their big ears
angels are sleeping in the meadows Gigi
bored, they are weighing bird seeds
but not  selling them  to birds Gigi,
I'm getting  by in dust and shit,
who is attempting to  remind birds
that they eat seeds,
who is laboring in the meadows Gigi,
tailors for fairy tales?

I'll croak like an idiot  Gigi
like an idiot hiding my love from you
I'll seal you inside a wall Gigi
you'll be invisible but people will  see you
they are onto what I saw Gigi
your wish, a broken doll in the garden
wishing me to trip and fall
don't reveal the places  I've seen Gigi

     Translated form Turkish by Murat Nemet-Nejat

My old poems  this week from 2010. Here's the first  of them.

a weather note - blue

a norther
they call'em

blue cold

cold  blue sky

These poem is by my poet friend Gary Blankenship, from his book, The Whitman Poems: of Leaves and Songs, Walt and Me, publication pending. These poems are Gary's re-imagining the characters of Whitman's "Song of Myself."

 Song of Myself #1. Contralto

1. The Pure contralto sings in the organ loft

the wind chases a sycamore leaf
the river flows past abandoned battle fields
the reverend seeks different verse for his Sunday sermon

ravens gather on the steeple
badgers under the porch
the soprano joins in

a hallelujah chorus
sunflowers seed a fence line
rye ripples in the shadow of headstones

Song of  Myself #2 - Carpenter

The carpenter dresses his plank .... the tongue of his foreplane whistles its  wild 
ascending lisp

curls for pews thrown off by my plane
gathered in my daughter's skirt

sawdust thrown off by my saw
swept into bags

red curls adorn my daughter's hair
cedar sawdust fills eggshell white sacks

her hope chest empty
she elopes with a poet who stutters

hope fulfilled
she runs off with a tin whistle drummer

Continuing with the thought started in my first poem.

I absolutely will not write another poem today

will not write another poem

I declare it 

3,600 and something poems
since I started

that  ought to be enough
to satisfy even the
very strongest

but then...

oh, hell,
a thought is introduced 
by a fellow 
while my attention

bemoan not
the housefly that interrupts
your meditation

it instead
as a companion in your

I'm still not going to write
a poem about it!

the addict is resolute..

of course
I will,
making it 3,600 something
plus one...

as my old boss at the newspaper
used to say

"a dollar a day
and in a million years
you'll be rich"

applies equally
to the poem-a-day practice...

except for the rich

This poem from the new European posts anthology is by Portuguese poet Rose Alice Branco.

Very limited information on the poet at the Portuguese Wikipedia beyond her birth date  (1950) and an extensive list of publications beginning in 1988.

Mornings on the Ground

To accept the day.What will  come.
To pass through more streets than houses,
more people than streets. To pass through
skin to the other side. While I make
and unmake the day. Your heart
sleeps with me. It wraps me up at night
and the mornings are cold when I  get up.
And I'm always asking where you are and why
the streets are no longer rivers. At times
a drop of water falls to the ground
as it it  were a tear. At time
there isn't enough ground to soak it up.

          Translated from Portuguese by Alexis Levitin

Here's the next from 2010.


I had
a passport  picture
taken today

a good, double-duty
after the border agents
take a look at the picture
and arrest me as
a terrorist
the very same picture
can be used
when they book me into
that Cuba place,
or whatever

Dee took me down
to Walmart
and  set me down  on
the passport picture taking
stool and I don't  even know
why I need a passport
but I guess she'll tell me
when we get wherever we're going

and I don't really care,
as long as  it's a civilized country
with coffeehouses and
Internet and dependable WIFI
so that  being there won't  interrupt
my life, which I enjoy,
by the way, too much
to be running off to  weird
places like Upper Slobania
or Botswanna or some
place in South  America,
and I don't care how tasty their
bananas are cause
I  don't  even like bananas
except with Corn Flakes
and I expect nobody in those
banafanafofana countries
has Corn Flakes
except maybe the  president
and most  of those guys
would probably rather  shoot you
than share their Corn Flakes,
so where would that leave me, well,
with bananas and no Corn Flakes,
that's where

and the dude just cannot abide
such a tilt-a-wheel
existence as

The next two poems are from my poet friend David Eberhardt.

found in the movie "Mad Max - Fury Road"

Title  optional: the green place

To  the west

Beyond the mountains

A poem for seniors - dedicated to ted kooser

Riding up and down

on  my stair lift

just for fun

american  poetry line lengths:

as well  content!

Whoopee do...

Here's another from last week.

didn't expect to have a poem today

a late night
at a birthday party,
with loud pounding music,
all the women dancing
with each other
the men won't

and the music,
loud, the beat like a one-armed drummer

and I was sure I wouldn't have
a poem today,
but last week's first day of autumn
finally manifested itself today, and
I couldn't help but take note
of it, cool and
dark, rain in the air 
on the cusp of pounding the ground
(my kind of pounding)
and the birds
hold their
through clenched tight
beaks, holding their song
until they can
sing in the
like Gene Kelly
in the movies,  except
they won't be dancing with the singing
like Kelly, since
birds, as a rule
even worse

Next from the anthology, English poet Simon Armitage. Born in 1963, Armitage is a poet, playwright and novelist. He is a  professor at the University of Sheffield.


Batman, big shot, when you gave the order
to grow up,  then let me loose to wander
leeward, freely through the wild blue yonder
as you liked to say, or ditched me, rather,
in the gutter...well, I turned the corner.
Now I've scorched that "he was like a father
to me" rumor, sacked it,  blown the cover
on that "he was like an elder brother"
story, let the cat out on that caper
with the married woman, how you took her
downtown on expenses in the motor.
Holy robin-redbreast-nest-egg-shocker!
Holy roll-me-over-in-the-clover,
I'm not playing ball boy any longer
Batman, ow I've doffed that  off-the-shoulder
Sherwood-Forest-green and scarlet number
for  a pair of jeans and crew-neck jumper;
now I'm taller, harder,stronger,older.
Batman, it  makes a marvelous picture:
you without a shadow,  stewing over
chicken  giblets in the pressure cooker,
next to nothing in the walk-in-larder,
punching the palm of  your  hand all winter,
you baby, now I'm the real boy wonder.

This poem is from 2010, demonstrating that I paid attention in Sunday School and providing further evidence that the a good religious education makes for the best atheists.

Joseph's  Coat

a dim day,
sun hidden
on the top side
of unbroken cloud cover

 a  gray fading
like dusk,
not  like dawning
of  a new day
but like the close
of an old one,
a worn-out,done and over
like a fading memory

I'm  planning a drive
in the hill country
a wild-flower hunt -
for color sowed
across pastures
and up and down hill-side slopes
after a  wet winter and
since we've had a true
wildflower spring
ad I'm  hoping
got more sun
for pictures
as the day moves on...

it is the elixir
of spring,,  this  hope
for bright new life, this hunt
for color
as dark winter days
of wind and rain
turn to sun
ad lazy wandering
on warm afternoons

when a day
of many colors,
like Joseph's coat laid across
the last col frost
off winter,
is a promise
that life will in the end
be with us

Next from the  library, this poem by Swiss poet Kurt Aebli. A writer of short prose and poetry, Aebli, graduated from the University of Basel in Germany. After living for extended periods in Vienna and Paris, he now lives in Zurich.

An Old Gaping Wound Wheedling Out an Unmasked Smile


tied up into bundles
newspapers grace the sidewalk.
the bright peopled
the for-weariness-upright-remaining
hand of his  clock  face.
the characterization figure applies to him.
the characterization motionless sea even.
His words followed by


The sole to-be-taken-seriously inhabitants of the city
brought home the money,  cursed and
and demanded of life chewing gun.


A gigantic loudspeaker system exhaled vapors of
Police cordons  drove off
the mourners.
On the esplanade  of the cathedral everything wet
with a few well-aimed short according to plan.


The sun a postscript, the sky
an anomaly, the ocean
genuine blood.


Pure excuse was  approaching the greatest significance.
Misfortune was tired of waiting for him.
The entire surroundings seemed
                                                       with a tone of friendship


He  slept overnight in his coat.
In the morning a new generation woke him.
The day began without day.
The beast that invented the noise,
the supersonic speed.
Between-the-houses stood for a time,  without a house.

          Translated from the German by Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright

Monday last week was a terrible day. But Tuesday made up for it.


Interstate 35
4:30 a.m.
running late, no time
for even coffee
to start the

very heavy storms
with up to six inches
of collected rain
80 miles to
go at  45 miles per

an excellent day
to skip
the daily poem
if ever there was

what would there be
to keep me

all god's children rejoice (and others as well)

a wonderful day,,
cool,  with a brisk north breeze...

not much sun
but it's not like people in these parts
are sun deprived and likely to get upset
when it takes a day off
behind the clouds

and the trees all stand tall
and the streets and the very air
we're breathing
clean and bright
by 6 inches of rain yesterday

and all god's  creatures,
including us not so closely associated
with him alive in this

who knows that  on a day like this
a long walk in the park
is an almost-for-certain, dog and cats
and birds ad all the other most
pure of creatures know the king of day
this is
and, with me, are

Romanian poet Alexandru Vakulovski is the next poet from the new European poets anthology. Born in 1978, Vakulovski is a poet, blogger,  essayist, literary critic, journalist, novelist and translator.

For reference, Bessarabia is an historical region in Eastern Europe.

Bessarabia go home

yes,that's better
the last time we  saw
each other you were sad  that I was  leaving
but you still left first
I waved to you
when the bus took off
I pulled the posters of Jim
off the wall
I packed
and thought of you
nibbles on your ear
scratches on your back
I drank and promised you
that I wouldn't  smoke grass
I promised that  everything
would be great how great it would be
if I could take care of you
you said
yes and wen went  down
the stairs and on  the wall
saw Bessarabia go home
and I swore and punched the wall
and I said
I'll be back

          Translated from the Romanian by Sean Cotter

This is another from  2010.

la mujer de la marea

gulf winds
push strong and stubborn
from the southeast

and the sound of their
and the sound of surf

chasing down the
sea wall

is a low moan
like an old woman
crying in her  sleep...

an old woman
far from home, remembering
when she sang of lost love

and drew sailors to their death
on the jagged rocks
of her unrequited desire

From this week's anthology, this poem is by Lithuanian  poet Neringa Abrutyte. Born in 1972, the poet is also a novelist and translator.

The Beginning

the beginning can be like this: your  shoes new
for two hundred litas, your coat without a lining,
your face peeling, your head full of dandruff, and
your love old, boring, you stop alongside such a beginning,
move a little from home to the library, from there to cafe:
I yearn for someone to shake me up, forcefully make me move,
the beginning can also be there - you'd want it there, where there are
unknown places, unfamiliar people and even language -
the beginning can be speech: you learn to  speak, words -
for now only a melody, the beginning can even be different:
you go somewhere, not knowing where, who you'll meet,  what you'll  do -
a tower  appears, flies - a  crow on your roof,, you hold on
with your last strength - you want to jump and struggle to  save yourself -
the beginning is bad: it could be better - sometimes
the beginning: nonsense and daydreams,
the beginning which you cannot have.

         Translated from Lithuanian by Jonas Zdanys

From last week, from a science story on NPR.


the big bang
was the creator of
our expanding universe,
a continuing construction of new space,
and new realities, including new time, each
expansion of time
creating a new now

now being the only element 
of time, cascading seconds of now
creating the future
which doesn't exist until
its now arrives, then being
not the future but just
the latest disappearing 

think of all the billions of now
that exist simultaneously,
a unique one for every
sentient creature

the now of the now
of the television in the den
playing recording in their own 
now showing a succession of  now past
and otherwise forgotten
except for the fact of being

these two now facets going on
you're  in the kitchen
with your own now, making
a ham sandwich from a creature
whose now ended upon its slaughter
to  create your ham sandwich

unlike the rules of your own  now
your DVR allows you to stop
the television's now, freeze it, make
it go  backwards, or advance  it at multiple
times the normal  passage of now

so why can't we be like the DVR,
freeze our now on a morning when the sun rise
is  particularly beautiful or  ever reverse
our now to a time particularly
a now that  came and went
and left us bereft
at its loss...

one scientist
theorizes that the mysterious antimatter
in our universe is simply a manifestation
of normal matter and its  flowing now
in reverse, space and time running
a phenomena where expansion  
has become contraction, a black  counter-force
to  the otherwise constant expansion
of space and  time

a dark space
where  all our dearest memories
can  be real again,  lived

something to think about
in these fading moment  of  
this particular now

From this week's anthology, this poem is by French poet Jean-Baptiste Para. Born in 1956, in addition to his work as a poet, Para is also a translator and art critic.


For days on end
I give my heart to silence
and if I close my eyes I see
a white cypress near a spring
peacocks walking on sandy earth
a handkerchief moistened with spit
the silhouettes of saints
on the icon's gold ground
and your face standing out
against the light of your name.

When I open my eyes
the shape of it all
is still intact.

          Translated from French by Olivia McCannon

 Part of my philosophy as a writer, from 2010.


I resist
the idea of "forbidden" words
I think words are words
and as a writer
if I decide that a particular
word is the right word
then I want to use it
because, as writers know,
finding the truly right word
is a glorious ting
in a world
where the word is most often
the nearly right word
or maybe the wrong  word

once found,
the right word
should be used fearlessly
but that doesn't mean
all  words
are equal  in their suitability

for example
almost never
use words  like cunt
or motherfucker
or spic
or nigger-lover
or any such
because I almost never
write poems
where those words
are the right words, though
some do write such  poems
that are good poems
that use these words perfectly
and I applaud
both the excellence of the poems
and the fierceness of the poets
who  commit to the requirements
of the truth of their art

for I  believe
is the first obligation
of the artist
and a word, if
used  as it should be used,
is a form of truth
truth should never be
or rendered

every word
is  a construct of centuries,
a mark of a specific,
and meaning that can only
be approximated
no matter how comprehensive
your thesaurus

an idea
of something
carried from some dim past
to our own  world
and time...

to forbid a word
is to forbid not just the richness
of our language
but reach and richness of our kind
as well

Here's this week's last  poem from the New European Poets anthology. The poem is by Finnish  poet Leevi Lehto. Born in 1951, he has published six collections of poetry in addition to his work as a translator and programmer.

A Sliced Guitar

On the restaurant's table the prayer meeting of the
Windsor chairs, overturned, legs toward heaven,

a house-sized pen which in the city of sleep
writes on my retina;

a crack between the thighs of the moon, the chafing shoe
of midnight, the hepatomas of words,

life-long verses. The cuticle of thinking.
The hairs of memory. The window's knife thrust,

a  brief history of sleep,the tooth decay of Time and
the brass  rail of inevitability,

death's customer discount, a sliced guitar and
the eyelashes of light

          Translated from Finnish by C. B. Hall in cooperation with the author

Here's my last new poem for the week.

three red deck chairs

red deck chairs
under seven small  oaks
for the return of familiar bottoms
to take their place
under the cool bright sun
of autumn's second


open your countenance 
to the splendors
of this life

throw wide your arms
and rejoice!

your chair
and the morning
and the beauty of our turning
star-child await

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

at 8:43 AM Blogger davideberhardt said...

fr eberhardt

thanx- shld b poem (singular) for seniors

photos liked going down- 1,3,8,12,13,14,15, 20

liked the lemony lamps in the restaurant (suprise!) 2 cows, 2 trees the coast shot looks like Big Sur

at 10:04 AM Blogger Here and Now said...


"poems" fixed

at 2:33 PM Blogger davideberhardt said...

the cover of "Always to the Light"- why can't we see the bottom half?

at 12:24 PM Blogger davideberhardt said...

Your "Weather note"- you can guess I liked- immediacy- hemingway- brevity- as i age i'm stripping down- zen, gary snyder
i read writers almanac, poem a day, etc-
they seem garrulous
not to mention juvenile, prosy, opportunistic with no sense of what poetry is- no sense of past great works
but, asw Vergil said: "There are tears for misfortune"
these daily sites seem shills for the university writing programs
maybe i'm just undressing for death, i don't know

at 12:16 PM Blogger davideberhardt said...

4th photo from bottom- blk and white- nice composition- mtns in distance- flat sliding surface to left

at 12:17 PM Blogger davideberhardt said...

the coast w the lite hse- where?

at 1:24 PM Blogger Here and Now said...

lighthouse on the California coast. the mountains are in Colorado from Red Rocks

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