What You Gonna Do When the Lies Run Dry, Senor Manos de Barbie?   Wednesday, February 22, 2017

I was wondering, maybe you were as well.


it certainly explains a  lot

I  go
just about everywhere
these days
in my very small car
with two large
dogs
who leave my windows
an explosion
of nose prints like the most
avant of avant garde artists
might spend months in their
lonely studios,  sweating through
lonely nights, creating
in a frenzy of world-through-a-dog's-eyes
creativity,  with  the most avantish touch,
a collection of fur balls like a rolling
stone  might gather mounds of moss
in topsy-turvy opposite
world

and speaking of topsy-turvy worlds,
I have become convinced
that nestled
among
the fifty states of our proud union
there are alien enclaves of oppositity where
up is down, black is white, evil
is virtue, smart is  dumb, pockets where Christ
becomes the Anti-Christ and criminals
impersonate guardians of the
law - these topsy-turvy
worlds
inhabited by dumbstruck
cow-like creatures
superficially appearing 
like your normal  everyday
human beings, being instead
normal  human beings
taken over through  their bituminal gland
at the back  of their neck
right above their collars by
slimy, evil,  fox-faced alien monster
things (just like in that  movie)

a far fetched theory
I grant you,
but it certainly explains
a lot









Word stuff; photo stuff. Poems from my first eBook, Pushing Clouds Against the Wind. 

 In other words - regular stuff.


Me
it certainly explains a lot

Me
mistaken identity

Elisabeth Murawski
I smile at you
Henry at the Bridge

Me
a fair wind tonight

E. E. Cummings
II

Me
walking through the shadows of time

Jose Garcia Villa
94 - 96

Me
workingman blues

Alma Luz Villanueva
Sacred Warrior

Me
dark clouds, silver linings

Luci Tapahonso
Leda and the Cowboy

Me
blue
barku
post-it note (1)
post-it note (2)
yellow
tiny bites
lull
winter postcard

Catelem Schneeberger
Sympathy for the [ward]

Me
sitting in my ya ya

Leslie Ullman
Somehow

Me
I swear

Lalla
Four short  poems

Me
job one

Stephen Dunn
After Making Love

Me
jeez

Boris Pasternak
Venice

Me
at the supermarket   
    
            












Starting from way behind this week, illness and other distractions.











mistaken identity

so
I heard a piece on the classical station
featuring an English horn solo
which is actually not English, but German,
where it was named the angel horn, which
translated in German slang of the time as English
and it sounded okay, but not being familiar with the instrument,
I Googled it and discovered that it is not a horn, as I, former brass instrument
player (which I did poorly, but still) thin of a horn, more like a
woodwind,  kind of oboe-looking  thing, with a tiny oboe-sized reed on one end
and a  large bell on the other, except for those irregularities
it could pass as a clarinet to me...

this makes me think about the whole issue of being one thing
and being named another,  like, for example, the French horn, which,though
truly a horn,  is not French, in fact,  also being German in origin,  which makes me
try to remember instruments that are German both in origin and name
and all I can think of is the flugelhorn and the Sousaphone, even though  the second
is actually an American instrument which just happens to  be named after
 person with a German name...

not sure if that counts...

still  the issue of being named  on thing while  actually being another, like
for example, me, whose parents insisted on calling Allen Ray even though
it's clear my real name Rock Savage (years of questioning and my parents
never successfully explained to me how they could have made such a
mistake)...

and then of course there's the pig that many insist on calling  president..

that one's even harder to explain








I have two poems by Elisabeth Murawski, author of two books of poetry with work appearing frequently in many literary journals. With an MFA from George Mason University, Murawski lives in Alexandria and works for the Census Bureau.

The poems are from Gargoyle Magazine, 2013.










I smile at you

like a child
who has just learned to tie her shoe
or stay inside the lines

The light changes.
Your jet hair shines above
your black turtleneck.
The water comes without ice

and I tell you about
Michael on the east cost
whose finest poems strut
with street talk.

We say goodbye
on the street. The white-
washed walls of the restaurant
are dappled with goldenrod.

Your embrace is chaste,
 friend's. My hands fit
the curve of your back.
My thoughts are intemperate.

A blessing falls
on Cerrillos Road
like warm spattering rain
after a drought.


Henry at the Bridge

No wallet. Tareytons.
A crumpled check.
Glasses in his shoe.
Gray hotels shuddered

as he flew. Ghouls
will clock disaster

in his lines, red flags,
foreshadowings.

He had practiced
on balconies, ledges

narrow as his foot.
A sparrow lights

on the bridge, wet
chrysanthemum.

A shiver in the wake.
Fierce link. 









A poem from Pushing Clouds Against the Wind, my second book, first eBook.










a fair wind tonight

a fair wind
tonight,
bare tree limbs
clapping
like dominoes
on a wooden table,
and the rustling
of leaves blown
down the street,
and behind it all,
wind chimes
playing different
tunes
from backyard
patios
up and down the street

 quiet night
with  fair wind symphony
of neighborhood
sounds












Here's a little E. E. Cummings, before I call  it quits for the morning.

It's from is 5, published by Liveright in 1985.











II

if being mortised with a dream
myself speaks

(whispering,
suggesting that our souls
inhabit whatever is between them)
knowing my lips hands the way i move
my habits laughter

i say
you will perhaps pardon,
possibly you will comprehend.    and how
this has arrived your mind my guess

if at sunset

it should,leaning against me,smile;
or (between  dawn and  twilight)giving

your eyes,present me also
with the terror of shrines

which noone has suspected(but
wherein silently
always
are kneeling the various deaths
which are your lover lady: together with what keen
innumerable lives he has not lived.











The world, so much less substantial than it seems.

This thought from reading a favorite poet.











walking through the shadows of time

   As if seas had seethed only elsewhere
           "Moment"
          Wislawa Szymborska

at the bottom 
of Government Canyon
where a marshy creek once
slowly flowed
dinosaur footprints
preserved in the limestone,
mark of the great beasts
roaming here, feeding here
dying here
becoming forever stone
here  in suburban San Antonio...

and further west 
in the cactus and caliche,
walk the meadows and hills of Central Texas
when bluebonnets bloom,
find among the rocky rubble
beneath the fields of wild flowers,
sea-life fossils, flora and fauna
turned to stone in times
long ago, pushed back
beyond my understanding
to a time when great murky seas
covered all,
from the pastures and hills here
to hundreds of miles west,
to the higher mountains
that might have jutted above the seas
and the sandy dunes
that once were the seas' soft,
tide-stirred bottom

walk the pastures closer here,
climb the hills,
bend down and pick from beneath the blossoms
and hold in your hands
life, former life,
like Lot's wife turned to stone,
weigh the pieces in your hand,  imagine
the life that once was...

it's like walking through the shadows
of ever-lasting time








The next several poems are by Jose Garcia Villa, Philippine poet born in 1908 and  died in 1997. Renown for his lyricism and his constant experimentation, he was the best known of his country's poets.

The poems are from his book Selected Poems  and New, published in 1958 by McDowell,Obolensky with introduction by Dame Edith Sitwell, which might be an suggestion as to the extend of the poet's fame. Or maybe not, it just struck me as  strange.










94

Now that now
You are truer old
Time to learn to bow
Time to learn to hold

Self in homage.
Time to  know to burn
With paper rage
Time to  know the scorn

Unself in any place
In any when, in any with.
Time to unveil the face
Of the unknown pith:

Time to claim its grace
Time to confront this Face.

95

Does a mirror forget?
I believe it does not.
I believe the mirror will not forget
If you come to it superb.

Clear gaze of mirrors
Toward the gaze of God:
As the waters of Galilee
Unholding the superb Feet.


96

A wall is History.
I say, Illuminate this
To see Who hangs there.
Their Instantness never will cease.

Not to see is not to unsee them.
The not-seer cannot unmake.
Sweet, murdered stars
Upon the solid black stake

Drift history immortal ward.
Extension of the Wall
Is due in every Now.
Otherwise the fire will  fall.











Another piece from Pushing Clouds Against the Wind.










workingman blues

did some gainful
employment
today

i try to keep such
behavior
to a minimum
but do stumble
into it
now
and again
and though
i much prefer
pecking away
at this keyboard
ungainful
though it may be
there is a certain
soul
satisfaction
to it when
the stars are aligned
and it's just the thing
that ought to be  done
right now
right here
with
you











Next, I have a poem by Alma Luz Villanueva, from her  book Vida. The book was published by Wings Press of San Antonio in 2002.

Villanueva is a poet, short story writer and novelist born in California in 1944.










Sacred Warrior

I race to the other side
of the beach toward
rocks still warm from
day at sun set -

I  climb to the top, sit
and watch, then I see it.
Venus, bright star, why I
came - an older woman

walks her two dogs,leans
on a cane - I imagine her
two children, her  husbands
gone,  her children  on the

other side of the continent
or the other side of the
world - she is in this world
at sun set, leaning

on her can eat dusk as
teenagers begin to appear
carrying wood, food, illegal
beer, laughing - I remember

my four teenagers, how
I let them go  to life, and
I remember Venus, Sacred
Tara, Ixchel, as I watch her

walk with confidence into
darkness, Venus as our
witness - we are
warriors

of first blood,
of the candle,
of  last, wise blood,
of our worlds,the dusk,

and Venus. She
who  loves
to  lover her world.
The power. To  love

           To a stranger,
           Early August, 1999











I'm not much for sob stories.














dark clouds, silver linings

 questionnaire
on  Facebook,  whole  bunch of questions,
more questions than i  ever intended to answer
when I started, but before I quit
there was a question about
the last time I cried
which
made me think
about crying in a personal sense
and decided that the best I can remember
the last time I  cried was 60 years ago
when I was a young teenage...

I can remember the crying, deep howling sobs,
lying on the sofa, face buried
in the cushions,
but I have no memory at all  of what
I was crying about, except
it was something trivial in  retrospect,
the kind of thing that can break a pimple-faced teenager's
heart, stood up by girl, something like that...

in the meantime,
I  did not die when my father died,
nor when my mother died,
nor when my  brother died, nor
when any number of aunts and uncles 
died, though I did and do deeply mourn their passing
and think of them at some point most days
as they live on with me in my memories

nor have I cried from any of life's normal
disappointment,
of which I've had my share,
including some deeply disappointing,
life changing events
included...

which is kind of strange,,  maybe
a product of  a stoic nature,
or maybe because disappointments
are never a  surprise to  me, they
being a normal  part of life
to me, like spilt milk,
a silly exercise is crying over something like that,
that's the way I see it,  instead I hear
my father's voice,telling me, "just clean up the damn  milk"... 

it's more than just expecting  disappointment,
my wife,
for example,
always expects the worst, but cries  anyway
at even less than the worst, while I,
in a conscious decision based on logic
always expect the best, since expecting the worst
just means experiencing the worst multiple times over
before the worst does or does not  happen...

while I, contrarily expecting the best,
experience the joy of the best
even when the best fails me, leaving
me with spilt milk, dry-eyed, remembering
instead the pleasures of  ice  cold milk
on  a hot summer afternoon, cleaning
up the spill knowing that  spilling the milk
is a rare, if inevitable thing
while the joy of ice  cold milk on a hot summer day
can be a daily pleasure, the jolt of cold milk
on a hot throat, the cold condensation of the glass
pressed against my sweating forehead,
these wonderful things are available to me daily,
something not for crying, but to sing about
even while mourning the milk spilled and
therefore lost before it cold bring joy to my summer day,
sad, it's true,  but no  worth crying over...

maybe that's why I haven't cried in 60 years,
while I am never surprised when the worst happens,
expecting, as I do,  that life
will be sometimes cruel,
but never will it be forever  cruel,
that while storm clouds pass, the silver lining
of sunshine and blue skies are always there,
just waiting for the storm to pass, bringing joyful days
as  inevitable as clouds that will other times
bring darker days...








Next, I have this story by Luci Tapahonso from her book,  Saanii Dahataat - The Women Are Singing, published by The University of Arizona Press, in 1993.

Born in 1953 in New Mexico and educated at the University of New Mexico, Tapahonso is a Navajo poet and a lecturer in Native American Studies. She was first Poet Laureate of the Navajo Nation.







Leda and the Cowboy

A few months back, when  the night sky was darker
than Leda had ever seen,  she stepped through
the worn door frame of the Q lounge.
The suddenness of thick smoky air left her slightly faint.
After that it was easy enough, Leda saw him across
the damp just-wiped bar - she did nothing
but hold the glance a second too long.
Sure enough, as if  she had called out his name,
he walked over - a slight smile and straw hat.

Even then, as they dance,  the things he told her
were fleeting. Leda smiled and a strange desperation
engulfed him. "I have to leave," she said
remembering the clean,empty air outside.
He followed her, holding her shoulder lightly,
and outside, he bent over: his body an  arc in the street light,
and it was clear he didn't know the raw music she lived.

But for now, he is leaning across the table, smiling,
and telling Leda things: he  wants to take her on a picnic,
                                       it might rain tonight,
                                       and she can phone him any time.
 He thinks he is leaving for a rodeo  400 miles to  the north
in a few hours. His pickup is loaded with saddles, clothes,
and a huge ice  chest. Led notices  the parking lot outside
is stained with oil, twisted cigarettes, and small bits of
colored glass.  He leans toward her,  hat tilted,  and in that
low morning voice says he has been tracking her all night.

     In this desert city of half a million people, he drove
     over cooled asphalt  trails  searching smoky dance halls,
     small Indian bars, the good Mexican place that serves
     until 11, and when he found her at a table near
     the dance floor, she was laughing. But Leda saw his
     straw hat and half-smile as he watched from the bar.
     When they danced it was flawless.
     He thinks he has done this many times before.
     His shirt carried the scent of the hot night breezes outside.

East of here, above the dry fields of the Hoohookamki,
the stars are sparse, and as he follows Leda through
the stark beauty of the old stories,
                             
                                     he has already left his own life behind,










I did a whole series of little color things; this was my favorite (for blue.  anyway)









blue

blue eyes
under clear
skies
ice
on cut
crystal


The book also includes a number of little poems I call, barkus, poems short enough to fit on a bar napkin, limited to ten words on six lines.


barku

conversations
in twos
and threes
i listen
while
i write


And even smaller things i called "post it notes," poems short enough to fit on a little yellow Post-It Note slip.


post-it note (1)

crowd murmurs
in a large  room
hundreds
of stories
shattered
into random
word pieces


The thing above a bit to long to be a true "post-it note." This one closer.


post-it note (2)

i love
you
in little
yellow
flashes of
sticky note
passion


Also lot of other tiny poems in the book, just because I was into  writing tiny poems at the time.


yellow

lemons
overflow
a pewter
bowl
roll across the floor
crying
caution...caution


tiny bites

sea
roars
at a shell-white
beach
takes tiny
bites
spits them
back
with every
wave


I  actually wrote this in 1966, from a picture in a magazine.


lull

black man
with
your silver flute
sing us
soft
a song
to sleep


From a scene traveling though Colorado.


winter postcard

white horse
on a white field
enclosed by a white fence

i am blinded
by the
light










From Alehouse poetry journal, Number 4, 2010, this poem is by Caitelen Schneeberger.

I think I Googled  the right Caitelen, singer, song writer, worship leader, and poet, living in Sante Fe with her pastor husband.

I'm not certain about  the title of this piece; wondering if there might be a typo. Or maybe I must don't get it.







Sympathy for the [ward]
                                  
                             Words get tired
                                   - Stanley Kunitz


and sometimes I wonder if sleep ever wants to wake up
               or is it        like simile        spread too thin
like post-depression sop

but words        words        words        are spit out
              dripping from tongues
wringing like wet linens
like hands
             threadbare
hand-me     hand-me     hand-me
             down

silent is the sleepiest word        silent is the well
that is my mouth        that is my throat
               that is my un-silent belly

empty is drowning me
I am     choking on full
I am hungry
              hungry
['hang gre]











Sitting in your ya ya worked great back in the old day, depending lot of course on your ya ya.














sitting in my ya ya

sitting
in my ya ya
waiting for my 
la la
works great 
if your ya ya is a '57 Chevy,
candy-apple red,
lowered with fender skirts
and n 8-cylinder engine
with enough power to pull
a freight  train 

it's true,
guys with a ya ya
like that -
they could have a different
la la
for every day of the 
week...

but 
my ya ya,
a moving pile
of rust and bondo
officially listed as
a  '56 Plymouth
with six-cylinders
that could barely pull itself 
across a prairie
so flat that sunsets lasted
an hour and a half  longer 
than in the hills
attracted
not a single la la
despite my years of
waiting...

it's the  old story,
the rich
get richer,
and for the rest of us
in our beat-down ya yas
rarely a la la do
we
meet








The next poem from my library is by Leslie Ullman, from her Iowa Poetry Prize collection, Slow Walk Through Sand, published by the University of Iowa Press in 1998.

Born in Illinois, Ullman earned her MFA at the University of Iowa's Writers Workshop.








Somehow

The thin air of La Paz had been close with
smells - saltanas, urine, charcoal,
wet wool. Then we climbed into this brown
sea of a land, its cloud cover,
a few women in jolting pink shawls
driving cows into the wind. The Altiplano.
To high to nourish anything green,
it seemed flung across the top of the Andes
like discarded burlap or canvas.
Snow swam through the air, nothing
to hold it down. Even my head floated.
Then a few sod houses broke the horizon,
inseparable at first from cows.

Their people walked into the weather
without pleasure or dismay, moving
by rote  inside their bright wools.
Or they sat like stone in their doorways,
figures carved with ancient tools,
while the room behind them  seemed to offer
no broth, fire, or rest. How to explain
that they seemed to desire nothing?
They stared through us the way
the very old stare, at some point
only they could see. Their jaws
worked coca leaves over and over,
keeping the tinder inside them barely lit.

We drove to temple ruins nearby, three walls
of vast stones loosened and hauled
from their quarries before the wheel
was invented, then squared
and fitted without releasing light.
They had lost no edge to the grey wind.
They seemed to have swallowed
all substance from the air
and from me. So I understood my life
as accident, my hand raised briefly
against the weight of other lives. My hand
which even the eater dawn passes through.










This, again, from Pushing Clouds Against the Wind.

Sometimes it feels like I had a lot more fun  in the old days.










i swear

business suit,
charcoal gray,
pin
striped,
red necktie
on pristine white shirt
whispers to himself
as he picks
at his Blackberry
with his plastic stylus

i read his lips -

"beam me up, Scottie"

i  swear









Next, a couple of short poems by Lalla, a mystic of the Kashmiri Shaivite sect, born in 1320 and died in 1392. She wrote many mystical and devotional poems and is still an icon in Kashmir.

The selections are from Naked Song,  published by Maypop Books in 1992, translation by Coleman Barks.









***

Fame is water
carried in a basket.

Hold the wind in your fist,
or tie up an elephant
with one hair

These are accomplishments
that will make you famous.

***

Flowers, sesame seed, bowls of fresh water,
 tuft of kusa-grass, all this altar
paraphernalia is not needed
by someone who takes the teacher's words in
and honestly lives with them.

Full of longing in meditation,
one sinks into  joy that is free
of any impulse to act and will not
enter a human birth again.

***

It is God who yawns and sneezes
and coughs, and now laughs.

Look, it is God doing ablutions!
God deciding to fast, God going naked
from one New Year's Eve to the next.

Will you ever understand
how near God is
to you?


***

I exhausted myself, looking.
No one ever finds this by trying.

I melted in it and came home,
where ever jar is full,
but no one drinks.











Some days require a little more of us than others.

Didn't realize at the time that this day was the beginning of a session with the flu that put me down for most of a week.











job one

dreary days,
three in a row of them

fog
hanging until mid-day

overcast
the rest of the day

cold
by local standards

difference of two  degrees
between the night's low

and the day's high
and I feel

like the fog
has slipped  through

my ears and nose
and dimmed my brain

and mood
and passion for life

and all I want to d
is complain

job one -
done








This poem is by Stephen Dunn, from his book, Loosestrife, published by W W  Norton in 1996.

Born in 1939 in New York, Dunn has published 15 collections of poetry, winning the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2001 plus, among many other awards and honors, he won the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.







After Making Love

No one should  ask the other
"What were you thinking?"

No one, that is,
who doesn't want to hear about the past

and its inhabitants,
or the  strange loneliness of the present

filled, even as it is may be,, with pleasure,
or those snapshots

of the future, different heads
on different bodies.

Some people actually desire honesty.
They must never have broken

into their own solitary houses
after having misplaced the key,

never seen with an intruder's eyes
what is theirs.











More fun from Pushing Clouds Against the Wind.











jeez

okay
i'm getting
really really
bored  with myself
again

though about
getting rid of the beard
and shaving my head
but then i'd be
just another
bald, beardless bored guy

not much of an improvement
in that

thought about joining the Marines
but think  they might not want me now,
and back when i was of Marine age
I did everything I could to avoid
all Marinish ways
(except for drinking
and carousing
and i'm too old to do that  now
too)

thought about
driving  down to the cost
to take  sailing lessons
but i get  seasick
if i fill the bathtub too full
so my guess is
that won't work  either

could have a deep romantic affair
with a beautiful
dark-haired
woman
but already that once
and after 40 years, though it is
the joy
and comfort of my life
it is not the
wild
shoot-the-moon  adventure
that, by the blandness of my nature
i would most certainly
run
from
anyway

maybe
the beautiful
dark-haired
woman
and i
could have a romantic
interlude on a mountaintop
somewhere...

but wait,
i climbed a mountain
once
and it wasn't boring
but it scared the crap out of me
and scared crap-less
is even worse
than
bored

i could write
a truly great poem
i suppose
but it has come t me
as i edit my poems for my next book
that they are entirely about
me,
like transcripts from inside my heard,
which is to say,
is much like
being inside  the head
of the guy ahead of you in the grocery line,
preoccupied with what it is he's forgetting,
thinking,
jeez, i shoulda made a list

jeez...








Finishing up from my library, I have a poem by the great novelist, Boris Pasternak, from Selected Poems, published in 1983 by Penguin Books.

Although I think of Pasternak first and foremost as a novelist (Dr. Zhivago), his biography says that his first collection of poetry is one of the most influential in the Russian language. First winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1958, then turning it down. He claimed the decision was his alone, but there is not question he was under great pressure.

He was given the award anyway, in absentia since he wasn't allowed to leave the Soviet Union. He died in 1960, two years after the award.






Venice

The clatter of a cloudy pane
Awoke me in the small hours.
I hung in a gondola rank
And vacancy weighed on the oars.

The trident of hushed guitars
Was hanging like Scorpio's stars
Above a marine horizon
Untouched by the smoking sun.

In the domain of the zodiac
The chord was a lonely sound.
Untroubled below by the trident,
The port moved its mists around.

At some time the earth had split off,
Capsized palaces gone to wrack.
A fortress loomed up like a planet;
Like a planet, houses spun back.

And the secret of life without root
I understood as the day surfaced:
My dreams and my eyes had more room
To grope on their own through the mist.

and like the foam of mud blossom
And like the foam of rabid lips,
Among glimmering shadows broke loose
The chord that knew no fingertips.

                                               1914












Shadows in the parking lot.












at the supermarket

the deep laughter
of a large man somewhere
in the parking lot
amid the cacophony
of grackles
nesting,
thousands of them
hanging like black fruit
from the leafless winter trees
hanging on bare limbs,
a bumper crop of noisy, rotting fruit...

a man's rough laughter
and the sound of a woman
walking in high heels, clickety clack,
on the asphalt, sexy walking -
I  imagine
her long hair flowing,
hear her smile...

further down,
a man sits on low steps,
head down,
weeping

at the supermarket








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
 



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