Whatzitgotcha   Tuesday, December 20, 2016

It is time (to protect the Constitution)

it's time to begin

electors
have
elected

time 
to begin 
the 
impeachment







No new poems, but a bunch of old ones and ten  anthologies.Sounds like fun.


Me
barrel racing


Titjana Gomaca
 I Like It  When You Come Around with Your Friends

Me
sexy

Li-Young Lee
One Heart

Me
road sign

Tracie Morris
Project Princess

Me
scenes from an Italian restaurant

Dulce Maria Loynaz
Love Is...

Me
pictures from an American lynching

John  Hollander
Under Cancer

Me
the cruelty of cats  at play
Sonya
so sorry
storm warning
sunset

Gladys Cardiff
Tsa'lagi Council Tree

Me 
sunrise from 6-E

Bertold Brecht 
Homecoming
When in My Room at the Charite  

 Me
slow dancing on a rainy day

Adrian C. Louis
Nevada Red Blues

Me
north wind on a southern  beach
before the estate sale
beacon
Baby Stuff
alone
Again!
on the corner  of Filmore & Grand   
once in Mississippi
oh!
obsession

Cecil Bodker
Calendar     
                  

Me
flavor straight off the farm
first frost
fever
explaining  it all to my dog Reba
dusk
dreams of early frost
dinner plate  moon
departures
conversations at  the end of day
cat dance    
 











Here's my first poem for the week. I wrote this in 2000; it was published in Hawkwind a year later.












barrel racing

it's about
grace,
agility, communion
between horse and rider,
the fluid movement
of two as one,
each alternately
controlling, anticipating,
becoming a single creature,
two together, dancing through
the dust

that's the way of barrel racing,
best done when horse and rider
are evenly matched...

I had a horse once
who always threw me
on the second barrel
and a long-time lover
who did the same

both
just a little better
at the game
than me...

that's the way
of barrel racing
and that's the way
of love








My first anthology this week is New European Poets, published by Graywolf Press in 2008.

The poem I selected from the book is by Croatian poet Tatjana Gromaca. Born in 1971, Gromaca is a poet and fiction writer who works for Feral Tribune, a weekly magazine known for its political satire. Her first book of poems, Something Wrong, Maybe, was received favorably by critics and was subsequently translated into German and Polish.

The poem's title makes me think of Cab Calloway's Everybody Eats When They Come to My House.



I like It When You Come Around with Your Friends

I like it when you come around with your friends after soccer
And I cook some apple pie ad cheesecake

Afterward we drink wine and schnapps from the refrigerator
And we talk loudly, without being wonky.

The radio is on
And the neon light above the sink.

We talk  about war criminals,
about possible options for our future
and about anything that suggests
there is no life  in this country.

It is summer and all the windows are open.
The people some floors below us
Can clearly hear our voices.
Sitting at the dining table,  they may
Get  an objective impression  of the situation
And see  what all this is turning into.

        Translated from  Croatian by Andrew Wachtel











Here's another, this one written in 2004, never published, that late, probably never sent it out because that's about the time I quit doing that.










sexy

bellies are sexy
and
backs
down low,
that place where
the waist tapers to its thinnest
and the flare of the hip begin, and
right there, a tattoo,
a rose, or a butterfly
that shows for just a flash
with each shift of a soft
jersey with every step,
every routing
movement
of a tight body
unaware
of its power

bellies and backs
and pretty toes
painted
bright
for dancing
on a a beach around
a driftwood fire, pretty
toes on packed sand
dancing
on a starlit
summer night,
wood smoke like clouds
across the moon







The next anthology is Under the Rock Umbrella, Contemporary American Poets from 1951-1977. The book  was published by Mercer University Press in 2006.

The poem I selected is by Li-Young Lee. Born in 1957 in Jakarta, Indonesia, he fled Indonesia with the rest of his family and lived in Hong Kong, Macau, and Japan before settling in the United States in 1964. The author of three collections of poetry, his work has won him numerous awards and grants. He attended the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Arizona and the state university of New York and he has taught at several universities, including Northwestern and the University of Iowa.





One  Heart

Look at the birds. Even flying
is born

out of nothing. The first sky
is inside you, open

at either end of day.
The work of wings

was always freedom, fastening
one heart to every falling thing.











I wrote this one in 2001. There's no indication I ever sent it anywhere.












road sign

blue sky

red cacophony
flashing
on black asphalt

yellow sheet
unfurled
like a flag
in  the wind

lowered slowly
over the still
form

red
on
black

blue sky
yellow flag







The next poem is by Tracie Morris,  taken from the anthology, The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry, published by Thunder's Mouth Press in 1999.

Morris is a poet, vocalist, page-based writer (?), critic, scholar, band leader, actor, multi-media performer originally from Brooklyn.








Project Princess

Teeny feet rock layered double socks
Popping side piping of
many colored loose lace-ups
Racing toe, keeps up with fancy free  gear,
slick  slide, just pressed, recently weaved hair.

Jeans oversized belay her hip, back, thighs, have made guys sigh
for milleni-year

Topped by an attractive jacket
her  suit's not for flacking, flunkies, junkies, or punk homies on the stroll.

Hands the mobile thrones of today's urban goddess
Clinking rings link dragon fingers no need to be modest.

One or two gap teeth coolin'
sport gold initials
Doubt you get to  her name
Check from the side,
please chill.

Multidimensional shrimp earrings
frame her cinnamon face

Crimson with a compliment if a
comment hits the right place

Don't step to the plate with datelines from '88
Spare your simple, fragile feelings  with the same  sense that you came

Color woman variation reworks the french twist
Crinkle-cut platinum frosted bangs from  a spray can's mist

Never dissed, she insists: "No you can't touch this."
And, if pissed,  bedecked fist stops boys who must persist.

She's the one. Give her some. Under fire. Smoking gun. Of which songs
    are sung, raps are spun, bells are rung, rocked,  pistols cocked,
    unwanted advances, blocked, swell-stacked, she's  jock. It's all about you
    girl. You go on. Don't you dare stop.








I wrote this in 2000 in response to a bag word challenge. A bag word challenge  is a game where  you're given a "bag" with a certain number of words and you're supposed to write a poem using all the words. In this case if was five words. The level of the challenge can vary depending on the words in the bag. (Everyone who has ever posted on an online poetry forum has played this challenge game. I always had fun with it.)

I have no idea which five words generated this piece.







 scenes from an Italian restaurant

the scene is set
candlelight reflected
in glittering crystal,
your face shaded
in flickering shadows.

the extras are in their
places.

your lip curls,
trembles,
and your eyes
look away.

how beautiful you were
on the night
you said goodbye










The next anthology is Twentieth-Century Latin American Poets, published in 2011 by Farrar, Strauss and Giroux.

The poem I selected from the book is by Cuban poet Dulce Maria Loynaz. Daughter of a Cuban Liberation Army hero, the poet was born in 1902 in Havana and died there in 1997. She lived a privileged life, traveling around the world and obtaining a Doctor of Civil Law  degree at the University of Havana in 1927 though she practiced rarely.

After the revolution she stopped writing,even, according to friends, for her own pleasure. But after  more than 25 years of internals exile she was rediscovered  by her countrymen in the 1980s and her work was treated with wide acclaim.




Love Is...


To love the delicate grace
of the blue swan and he pink rose;
to  love the light of dawn
and the stars opening up
and the smiles prolonging themselves...
To love the tree's plenitude,
to love the music of water
and the sweetness of  fruit
and the sweetness of sweet
souls...to love what's lovable isn't love:
love is to turn oneself into a pillow
for the tiredness of every day;
to put the living sun in the anxious,
blind seed that lost its path
searching for light, imprisoned
in its soil,, defeated... Love is to untangle spiderwebs
of roads in darkness:
Love is this loving of what pains us,
what makes us  bleed
inside...
It is to enter the heart
of night and guess
which is the star in gestation... The star's
hope!...To love is loving from the black root.
Love is to forgive, and more than
to forgive, to understand...
Love is holding tight to the cross, and nailing
oneself to the cross,
and dying and resurrecting...

Love is to resurrect!

         Translated from Spanish by Ilan Stavans








I also wrote this next piece in 2000. It was inspired by a traveling exhibit of photographs of lynchings I read about. What especially struck me about the photographs were the people watching, so normal looking, as if visiting a county fair.

I the title came from thinking about Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition as musical accompaniment  to viewing the photos.

I sent the poem around, but never found anyone interested in publishing it.







pictures from an american lynching

it's not the hanging black bodies
that chill me;
it's the smiling white faces below.

so familiar,  these faces.

the white man standing
under the swinging body
of the young black girl,
smiling,
beer in his hand, hat cocked to one side
like he was a movie  star.

the two pretty girls
arm in arm beneath the carnage,
smiling,
posing for the camera
like for a picture at the county fair.

the child
in dusty overalls
standing at his mother's side,
wide-eyed,
holding on to her dress
with one hand,
pointing
with the other
to the bare feet of the black man
dangling over his head.

so familiar, these faces.

like from the family albums
I looked at  as a child,
seeking among the pictures there
the story of how I came to be.

so damn familiar!









This poem by John Hollander is taken from The Norton Anthology of Modern American Poetry (Vol. 2 Contemporary Poetry. The anthology was published by Norton and Norton in 2001.

Hollander was a poet and literary critic. At the time of his death in 2013, he was Sterling Professor  Emeritus at Yale University.








Under Cancer

On the Memorial building's
Terrace the sun has been buzzing
Unbearably, all the while
The white baking happens
To the shadow of the table's
White-painted iron. It darkens,
Meaning that the sun is stronger,
That I am invisible darkening
Too, the while I whiten.
And only after the stretching
And getting up, still sweating
My shirt striped like an awning
Drawn on over airlessness;
After the cool shades
(As if of  a long arcade
Where footsteps echo gravely)
Have devoured the light;
Only after the cold of
Plunge and shower, the pale
Scent of deodorant stick
Smelling like gin and limes,
And another stripy shirt
Can come,  homing in at lase,
The buzzing of having been burnt.
Only then, intimations
Of tossing, hot in the dark
Night,  where all the long while
Silently,  along edges,
There is flaking away.

In this short while of light
My shadow darkens without
Lengthening ever, ever.

          1971












Next, several shorter poems.











the cruelty of cats at play

her black smile
cut like a dagger through the dark,
     unseen
     slicing cleanly to the heart

"I have something to tell you,"
     she whispered.

          2000


Sonya

S
o
n
y
a


so small
and thin
and happy-eyed
you dance
soquick
across
the floor
and backtome

who do you tell of your child
and scars and tired  feet

S
o
n
y
a

         1969

 (Published in The Poet's Canvas, 2001) 


so sorry

so sorry to hear
you've been ill

and
so sorry to hear
you're going to hell
from the illness
that is god's punishment
for the sin
that is sending you to hell
when you die
from this illness

so,
sorry,
but don't get to close

         2003


storm warning

gray and white gulls
swirl overhead
thick
like a cloud
blown in the wind
like smoke
from a cane field fire

the shipyard
across the bay
is hidden
by black clouds
of rain
lying across the water
like crepe on a coffin

lightning
arcs between the clouds
and thunder echoes
against the bluff

I hear you in the driveway
slamming the car door
with a crack
like a rifle in the dark

          2003
          (Published in The Horsethief's Journal in 2003)


sunset

sun lies low
behind gangly scrub oak branches

yellow jigsaw

puzzles
at end of day

         2004








Harper's Anthology of  20th Century Native American Poetry, published in 1998, has been around a while, but it's still the best collection of these  poets I know.

I like a good story and the Native American writers and poets I've read are great story-tellers, as with this poet, Gladys Cardiff. Born in 1942, Cardiff is Irish and Welsh on her mother's side and of the Eastern Band of Cherokee on her father's. Recipient of many awards and  honors,  she is associate professor at Oakland University.





Tsa'lagi  Council Tree

This is a story my father told me
when I was a girl.

Hilahi', long ago,
before the whites,
hilahi'yu, long, long ago
in  buckskin days,
the old men and women of the people
met at the place of the Principle  Wood.
The elders held  council,
some  sitting in the branches
of  this u'tanu ata'a.

They smoked the old tobacco
in a whitestone pipe.
The pipe had seven bores, one for each.
They spoke of many mysteries
and matters of law
words that  were pleasing to all
who heard them.
Here, trails form every direction met.
Tsa' nadiska, they say
the rustling leaves sang green enchantments,
red and yellow songs,
reminding always to honor ela e'ladi,
the earth below, the place of  roots.

Now we burn the wood of oak trees,
and do not  believe that bugle weed
will necessarily make our children
eloquent. But this is what the old man
said to him when he was a boy,
hilahi, hilahi' yu, long ago












I wrote this in 2002. Never found anyone interested in it, probably because there's nothing special about it but to me as a vivid memory.












sunrise from 6-E

the sun is a red-orange smudge
on the horizon,  rising
over bay waters black with night,
waters shifting
with the hint of daylight
to a dark blue
that will come and go in minutes
before washing out in full sun
to a light,  frothy green,
like watercolor mixed too thin...

around the crescent shoreline,
hotel lights line the far side of the bay,
beacons to the gulf, showing the way
to the high arch of Harbor Bridge lights
that frame the narrow channel...

sailboats rest in their berths
while bay shrimpers begin
their working day, the lights of both
swaying with the soft waves
of the protected marina, pinpricks
in the fading cloth of night










Next, two short poems by Bertolt Brecht from one of the most interesting anthologies in  my library, German Poetry in Transition, 1945-1990. The book was published by University Press of New England in 1999. It's a bilingual book, the poets' original German and English translation on facing pages.





















Homecoming

My native city, however  shall I find her!
Following the swarms of bombers
I come home.
Well, where is she? Where the colossal
Mountains of smoke  stand.
That thing among the fires
Is her.

My native city, how will she receive me?
Before me go the bombers. Deadly swarms
Announce my homecoming to you. Conflagrations
Precede your  son.

         Translated by Derek Bowman


When in My White Room at the Charite

When in my white room at the Charite
I woke up towards morning
And heard the blackbird, I understood
Better. Already for some time
I had lost all fear of death. For nothing
Can go  wrong with me if I myself
Am nothing. Now
I managed to enjoy
The song of the blackbird after me too.

          Translated by Ralph Mannheim








This is a long piece. I wrote the original version of it with the most advanced technology available to me at the time (i.e. #2 pencil and a legal pad) in 1966 in the library at Indiana University.

Fifty years later I still bump into it from time to and want to "fix" it.

During the course of those years I've tried ever sort of thing, including at various times, a short story version and, even at one point, a short play.

I recognize it's not worth the effort I've put into it, so the last time I looked at it I decided to leave it as it began, some kind of bastard prose/poetry thing.

Some foreshadowing that included a hint of motivation would have make it better, but I still think it's a pretty good, creepy story.






slow dancing on a rainy day


1.

I awoke
to her slow breathing
beside me, then
turned on my side
to watch her sleep.

a study in brown on a gray day.

a brown dress I had seen her wear
a hundred time, small for her,
high-necked and tight
to the waist where it flared out
to end above her knees,

the color a match to her  hair
and a shaded contrast
to her tanned skin and her
yellow-flecked eyes
closed
now in sleep.

I brushed a wisp of hair
from her forehead,
traced the path of her eyebrow
and ran my finger down
the line of her nose,

passed my fingertips
over her lips and chin and
down the curve of her neck,
then back to the pale whispers
of down on her upper lip.

she laughed in her sleep
and ran her tongue over her lips,
 her teeth a flash of white
in the bedroom shadows.

I cupped her chin
and kissed her lightly.

her eyelids fluttered
and opened her eyes,
bright in the tangled dimness
of our bed.

she raised her hand to me
an stated to speak,
but I stopped her, kissing
her palm, her eyes,
sealing her lips.

laying back beside her
I  closed my eyes, felt the bed
move as she go up.

I heard the bathroom door close,
then open, felt
her beside me again.

I turned and opened my arms to her.

the rain came louder,
tapping the tin roof as I pulled her close.

2.

it was still raining when I woke
in the late afternoon.

I  walked to the window,
opened it, pressed my face
against the wet screen, drew in
the cool, damp air.

fine droplets of rain
passed through the screen
and I opened my mouth
catching a few drops
with my tongue,
passing my tongue
over the screen, swallowing
the rusty rain.

I turned my back to the window
and looked to her,
asleep again atop the covers,
watched the rise and fall
of her small breasts,
passed my hand over them,
over the war rise of her belly,
then back again to the tiny freckles
that ran across her chest
and up her throat.

I held my hands around her throat,
tighter and tighter, wondering what
it would be like, deciding,
tighter and tighter...

outside the rain stopped.

and for a moment the room was bright
with a glare of light beaming through the window.

but it passed.

with a faint rumbling of thunder in the distance
the rain began again, soft and slow,
like lovers consumed
by passion on a rainy afternoon.








Another interesting anthology from my  library is Atomic Ghost - Poets Respond to the Nuclear Age, published by Coffee House Press in 1995.

From the book, this poem is by Adrian C. Louis. Born in 1946, Louis is a Lovelock Paiute author from Nevada now living on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Educated at Brown University, he has taught at Oglala Lakota University.





Nevada Red Blues

Where live fire began to inhabit you
- Pablo Neruda

We live under
slot machine
stars
that jackpot
into the black
velvet
backdrop
and
mirror the greed
of the creatures who soiled our land.

Numa,
it was 
not 
enough 
for
Taibo
to make
our sacred land
a living
though
pustulous
whore.

He
had
to  drop
hydrogen bombs
where
thousands
of years
of our blood
spirits lie











Six poems posted for  no reason except there they were.












north wind on a southern beach

a north wind blows strong
against the incoming tide
and all across the bay
whitecaps flash in the sun
like handkerchiefs
fluttering across a field
of salty-sea green...

a beachcomber,
dressed for the day
in a silver windbreaker,
walks the beach barefoot,
shoes tied by their strings
to hang around his neck...

he throws bread to gulls,
greedy birds, swooping,  fighting
each other and the wind
for every crumb

         2002


new world

the first words of Adam to Eve
were like a fresh-born pup
nuzzling its wet nose
against the warm belly
of its mother

blindly groping, afraid,
but no longer alone

          2004


neon rain

neon rain
on neon streets
where the neon bitch
of busted odds runs the game

can't quit when she is with me;
can't quit when she is gone

can only stand here wet and waiting
for the kiss of the neon hustler
with the breath of neon despair

          2004


looking good

you come into the  room
with your new lover
like Ken and Barbie,
a perfectly matched set
of glowing grace and beauty,
so self-confidently
so put-togetherly
gorgeous
that all light in the room
seems to gather in your present

did I look that good
with you on my arm -

and if I  did
how did you ever leave me...

          2000


Mission San Juan

Swirling whirlwinds dance
across the chapel plaza,
tossing clouds of caliche dust
into the simmering air,
little diablitos, skipping
across the sun-backed ground
como los muchachitos al jugar,
untamed by the afternoon mass
and the pieties of the parish priest.

The first shadows of summer dusk
edge slowly across the grassy camposanato
and up the crumbling convento walls.

The cool of the river wood
spreads like the falling sun
through the shaded waters
and thickening shadows
of pecan and oak, willow, and cypress
that surround the mission grounds.

A fresh evening breeze
breaks the afternoon heat as the
long summer day slips away.

Under the yellow rising
of the solstice moon,
the silence of centuries past
falls across the broken stones.

          2000


is this a table? no, this is a poem

this is not a table,  no great feasts
of delicacies sweet are laid upon it,
no  melons,  no honey, no rich, dark bread
spread thick with golden butter,
no tender roasted essence of beast or fowl,
no fish from the sea or fruit from the tree,
no  sweet wines crushed
from the fullness of sun-fed grapes.

no,  this is not a table
laid out to feed our fleshy needs,
it is a poem, set full with nourishment
for every weary spirit, sustenance spread
wide with joy for every questing heart.

it is a poem, fully-laden for our feasting,
a banquet set out for all who wish to join
a celebration  of the richness of our kind.

          2003








Next, a poem by Martin Espada from Unsettling America, An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry. The book was published in 1994 by Penguin Books.

Espada, born in Brooklyn in 1957 is winner of a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and a National Book Circle Critics Award for Poetry. He was educated at Northeastern University School of Law and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He teaches poetry at the University of Massachusetts.






From an Island You Cannot Name

Thirty Years ago,
your linen-gowned father stood
in the dayroom of the VA hospital,
grabbing at the plastic
identification bracelet
marked Negro,
shouting, "I'm not!
Take it off!
I'm Other!"

The army photograph
pinned to your mirror
says he was,
black, Negro,
dark as West Indian rum.

And this morning,
daughter of a man
from an island you cannot  name,
you gasp tears
trying to explain
that you're Other,
that you're not.












Another poem pile.












blackout at the oasis

listen now...

it's quiet

the sound of a thousand air conditioners suddenly stilled
and our island is one with the desert-blowing night

        1969
(Published Hawkwind, 2002)


before the estate sale

quiet walk
through
a dead man's house

soft steps
echo
in this husk
of a life

seashells
whisper
of a falling tide

end
of the end 
beginning

        2004


beacon

crescent moon
hangs white
against the midnight sky,
it's gentle arc
a beacon
to the wear
and day-worn

         2004


Baby Stuff

I remember the day,
late March, early spring,
sunshine and a sky scrubbed blue
by a brisk bay breeze.

Our families came from all directions,
arriving in a rush at the last minute,
everything unexpected and unplanned.

We had been called the day before,
barely a week after they told us
to expect a wait of six months to a year.

The call at mid-afternoon,
he'll be ready by noon tomorrow, they said,
and he'll come with only the diaper he wears.

Unprepared, we panicked, rushing to  K-Mart,
pushing a squeaky cart from aisle to aisle.

What does a baby need, we asked each other.

Bottles, a bottle warmer, diapers, or Lord...
What else? Clothes, bassinet, a stroller...

No, that's later - a  car seat...

Oh lord, oh lord,what else?

We fell together in the middle
of the baby stuff section,
holding on to each other,
laughing.

          1999
          (Published by The Green Tricycle, 2000)


alone

old man
head down
alone
in an empty church
shopping bag at your feet

where
were
you
when 
you saw 
the time?

      1971
(Published by Hawkwind 2002


Again!

 Spring Again!
                       and the earth
                            throws off green
                     like popcorn
                         exploding from
                         a circus-lighted
                            popcorn  machine

Spring Again!
                          and girl brown
                                     themselves in summer
                         dresses and sun
                     light walking

Spring Again!
                   godamighty
                  spring again 

          1970


on the corner of Filmore & Grand

it's  another Friday night at
La Cantina de los Gatos Negros
and me and my sancha are tilting
at the windmills of love.

      que chula,  I say,
      as I brush a wisp  of brown hair
      from her eye, then bend
      and kiss her cheek. 

we  press closer
in the garish barroom light.

      que macho, she says,
      whispering in my ear.

and the night slows to a crawl
of hot anticipation.

          2001


once in Mississippi

once, in
Mississippi,
I saw a cotton field.

pretty 
I  thought
until I had to  
pick it.

        1999


oh!

oh!
my little
sad-eyed whore,
flat on your back
kinky little pubescence a curl
in the garish yellow light

I too
would make it  beautiful
if only I could

         1999


obsession

late night coffee
sidewalk cafe

all chairs but ours
turned up on the tables

lost till  now
in mutual obsession

we are
last to leave

       2004 








Now, from my last anthology for the week, Women Poets from Antiquity to Now,  published in 1992 by Schocken Books, Inc., a poem by Danish poet, Cecil Bodker.

Born in 1927, Bodker was trained as a silversmith. In addition to  four volumes of poetry, she has written  several  novels and won the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for her children's stories.








Calendar

One year there were too many
frogs
- and maybe mosquitoes.

People talked about the soil's
increased aqauasity
and had it noted
in the calendar.

Last year it was the snails.

And the year before
roving
foxes.

Thing  will work out, people said:
they'll die off by themselves.
And people talked about mange
and prolonged sickness
starvation
stress
rabies -
it will  all come to an end.

Just look at the foxes, people said.

One year there were many
the next year there were none.
That was proof.

This year it is children.

People talk about the soil's
lack or aquasity
an the blighted grain
people talk about responsibility
and lack of responsibility
people talk -

For things  will surely work out
by themselves.
Just look at the foxes
Just look at the mice -
it goes into the calendar.

Next year it will be flies.

        Translated by Nadia Christensen and Alexander Taylor









I'm finishing  the week with another  pile of poems. I'm enjoying the poetry pile-up since most of  these poems I haven't looked at in a long time.

Some of these were published, some not. I didn't feel like going to the trouble of verifying which is which.









flavor straight off the farm

Sadie's kisses,
sweet, like tomatoes
just pulled from the vine;

her skin against my cheek
like the whisper of soft furn
on a kitten's belly;

her breasts rounded and ripe,
nipples like little river pebbles,
hard between my lips;

her ass, snug
in her jeans, inviting
as the soft hills of home;

and between her legs,
the glory
of  new morning,

wet, like dew on the
pink heart of a rose,
salty on my tongue

          2004


first frost

first frost
and leaves fall
soft and slow
like red and yellow
snowflakes
drifting in the sun

          2003


fever

I dream
of a glass house,
brightly lit,
a beacon amid
broad-trunked trees
in a dark forest,
velvet cushions
of brown and green
piled high
on all the floors

I am split in two,
one of me inside,
lounging
among the cushions,
and the other outside
peering in...

there is something
we must tell our self,
we think, something
we must know

and we begin to shout
inside and out,
but the glass is thick
and swallows all sound

frantic now...

beware, we shout

beware!

          2000


explaining it all to my dog Reba

she stares

rapt

big brown eyes
wide, unblinking

hanging on every word
like it was God's own true
revelation she was hearing

and I'm thinking,
Christ,
I'm really on a roll tonight

submerging myself
in the techniques of instruction,
overwhelming myself
with my own higher-being brilliance

          2004


dusk

the mid-summer lake
heaves and rustles
like some great animal
shuttering
in the gathering dark

under pins of
white and yellow light
crickets chip
the soft stone of night

smoke and scents
of campfires rise

quiet
falls with the sun

          1999


dreams of early frost

I remember stepping onto the tarmac in Dhahran
after a long cool flight  from Charleston
into dry Saudi heat that seemed alive
with purpose and premeditation,
like an animal,  a desert predator
with sandy breath blowing red hot
from the furnace innards of a coal-fired soul...

it's been like that here this summer.

first the dust storms,
blown in from Africa by high winds aloft,
leaving a coat of Kalahari grit over everything
stationary, from mission walls to mall parking lots
to the restaurant umbrellas lining the Riverwalk.

then the wind stopped and the skies cleared
and Central Texas heat flared down  like fire
from above, like the brimstone of prophecy,
and there is no relief, even at night,
when the parched hills and brown meadows
radiate back into the black  open night
heat stored through the fifteen hour day and, just
as it begins to cool, the sun rises again.

         2001


dinner plate moon

dinner plate moon
rising luminous
in the April  sky,
spreading pale blush
across the hills and valleys
of our Central Texas home,
casting faint shadows
in groves of oak and pecan
that surround us...

we watch the stars flicker n
as night advances,
appearing one by one -
we see it all,
the moon above
and all the soft night's stars
ageless and unchanged
while our own time passes,
their glow ever-bright
while our own light dims.

          2004


The next poem is very important to me, marking the closing out of the most important time of my life, a time that that began the process of turning me into the person I turned out to be.

departures

snow pelts the parking lot
with cotton ball ferocity,
muffling street and city noises,
cloaking the bustle of early evening
in a mantle of winter white...

from behind our frosted
plate glass curtain,
we watch and draw closer
in sympathetic chill

softly,
simultaneously,
we join  each other in quiet carols...

spring is the proper time
for  leaving friends and old lovers,
when the earth and a reborning universe
demand there be new ones to comfort us -

but Christmas...

Christmas is a sad time
for long, likely final
departures

          1964


conversation at the end of day

old man
in a tan stetson hat
sits on the steps in front of his house
at the end off a hot summer day

stroking his cat

black
with a white stripe
running from chest to belly,
the cat lies on its side
and stretches as cats do,
back arched,
back and fore paws extended
sharp can nails out clawing the air

the man runs his fingers softly
through the soft belly fur
and I see his lips move

talking to his cat...

and I wonder
about the conversation
of an old man and his cat
at the end of a long summer day

         2002


cat dance

cat dances brightly through yellow
alley shadows of early afternoon

     meow
     she murmurs

     she crouches
     she leaps

death prances lightly through languid
alley shadows of yellow afternoon







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





Poetry

New Days & New Ways


Places and Spaces
 




Always to the Light




Goes Around Comes Around



Pushing Clouds Against the Wind





And, for those print-bent, available at Amazon and select coffeehouses in San Antonio




Seven Beats a Second





Fiction


Sonyador - The Dreamer




                                                            

  Peace in Our Time
 

0 Comments:

Post a Comment



Archives
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
January 2012
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
September 2012
October 2012
November 2012
December 2012
January 2013
February 2013
March 2013
April 2013
May 2013
June 2013
July 2013
August 2013
September 2013
October 2013
November 2013
December 2013
January 2014
February 2014
March 2014
April 2014
May 2014
June 2014
July 2014
August 2014
September 2014
October 2014
November 2014
December 2014
January 2015
February 2015
March 2015
April 2015
May 2015
June 2015
July 2015
August 2015
September 2015
October 2015
November 2015
December 2015
January 2016
February 2016
March 2016
April 2016
May 2016
June 2016
July 2016
August 2016
September 2016
October 2016
November 2016
December 2016
January 2017
February 2017
March 2017
April 2017
May 2017
June 2017
July 2017
August 2017
Links
Loch Raven Review
Mindfire Renewed
Holy Groove Records
Tryst
Poems Niederngasse
BlazeVOX
Eclectica
Michaela Gabriel's In.Visible.Ink
zafusy
The Blogging Poet
Poetsarus.Com
Wild Poetry Forum
Blueline Poetry Forum
The Writer's Block Poetry Forum
The Word Distillery Poetry Forum
Gary Blankenship
The Hiss Quarterly
Thunder In Winter, Snow In Summer
Lawrence Trujillo Artsite
Arlene Ang
The Comstock Review
Thane Zander
Pitching Pennies
The Rain In My Purse
Dave Ruslander
S. Thomas Summers
Clif Keller's Music
Vienna's Gallery
Shawn Nacona Stroud
Beau Blue
Downside up
Dan Cuddy
Christine Kiefer
David Anthony
Layman Lyric
Scott Acheson
Christopher George
James Lineberger
Joanna M. Weston
Desert Moon Review
Octopus Beak Inc.
Wrong Planet...Right Universe
Poetry and Poets in Rags
Teresa White
Camroc Press Review
The Angry Poet