A found poem; a tale of a hero
praise God from whom all blessings flow
on a motorbike
what seemed an ordinary question
"Are you going to school?"
then he pulled her burka
from her head
and sprayed her face
with burning acid
17 years old
and bravely back in school,
"They want us to be stupid
(New York Times, Front Page
January 14, 2009
in all his cruel and hideous
I got involved in trying to do another extended flash-fiction narrative this past week and didn't do as many poems as usual. So the lot of my poems this week won't be new, but from my book of travel poems, Places and Spaces
, a collection of extended poems from various travels.
The flash-fiction narrative thing stalled for now.
praise God from whom all blessings flow
filling new pages
Carol Coffee Reposa
(from "Places and Spaces")
days in Central Texas
(from "Places and Spaces")
Silver City and Beyond"
Ancestors of Japan
obsolence is a point off view
Under the Skin
In Moments of Piety
(from "Places and Spaces")
Sleeping with Andy Devin
The Reverse Side
(from "The Poems of Catullus)
Numbers 47, 49, 53, 54
(from "Places and Spaces")
To the Rockies
Jose Emilio Pacheco
On a Piece of Tapstry
(from "Places and Spaces)
On the Cusp of Confederate Winter
crowds that feed me
Dee and I took a little three day drive through the hill country a couple of weeks ago, a time to ourselves to celebrate my birthday (73) and our wedding anniversary (40).
I hesitate to call this a poem, more like a travel journal.
filling new pages
between Johnson City and
Fredericksburg on Hwy 290 is,
according to the desk clerk at our hotel
in Johnson City, 32 miles, or
this was of interest to Dee,
who enjoys wine tastings,
but not so to me
last encounter with wine
was at age 16 when I, with
the help of a couple of friends,
consumed on a hot summer afternoon
a half gallon of Strawberry Hill
and a quart of white lightning corn whiskey
and I have had no interest
in either wine
or corn whiskey in the 50 plus years since...
but it is a kind of interesting thing to learn,
central Texas wine country now produces nearly
one vineyard and winery per mile...
and what good is a weekend of travel
if you don't learn something
visiting LBJ Ranch and ranch house
near Stonewall, Texas, I learned
that Lady Bird Johnson, a very cultivated lady
with two college degrees (History and Journalism),
both from the University of Texas, was not happy
at first, living so far out of the city and especially
on a ranch, which she also did not like, for, among
other things, sh did not like the cows, an
essential feature of ranching, that leave
ranches and ranchers living with an unpleasant
and, in her view, unhealthy smell, disliking
them to such an extent that, within
just few weeks of Lyndon's death she sold
the entire herd, since replaced, following her death,
with their genetic offspring. who today graze beautifully
in the ranches green fields...
what purpose if travel not for the
opportunity to learn interesting things,
like for example a side trip to Marble Falls,
a very nice little town and arts haven, primarily
for the purpose of taking pictures of the water
falling over the marble, learning when we got there
that the falls were flooded with the creation
of Lake LBJ and can no longer be seen, a disappointment
alleviating somewhat by the art lining the meridian
of town's historic district main street...
learning new things sometimes mean
learning new, disappointing things - a chance
you take when you set out to learn new
which was the point of our weekend hill country
adventure, a strange way to spend a 40th anniversary
weekend, some might sat, out together alone
all new things in our relatively near
neighborhood, a chance to learn new and interesting
addendum, unknown things and therefore
mysterious things, a chance while learning those things
to learn together new and interesting things
about each other, even after 40 years together,
to fill, together, new pages to our own book
of mysteries and marvels...
First from my library this week is this poem by San Antonio poet Carol Coffee Reposa
. The poem is from her book, Underground Musicians
, published in 2013 by Lamar University Press.
Reposa earned a BA and an MA from the University of Texas. She also did post-graduate work at UT, Trinity University in San Antonio, and the University of Texas at San Antonio. She teaches at San Antonio College, one of a number of branches of a very good local community college system.
Clouds sprawl across late afternoon
Like a harem
In Strawberry cream
And languishing toward dusk,
That Rubens might have heaped
Onto his canvas every night,
Those voluptuous arms
Just behind the neck
Taking a moment
To arrange the strands
Of red gold hair
Before he found his brush
And painted them
Into the the heavens,
Streaming light, across the evening,
Dripping colors on the floor.
I began and ended, Places and Spaces
, my book of travel poems, with these two bookends. The person pictured is my son, Chris. This is the first of two of my book covers where he appears.
dark as the devil's black eyes
as we race to clear skies
there is pleasure
in routine and the everyday
second table from the rear,
by the window,
back to the river,
looking out on the corner
San Antonio, Texas
in the slow lane,
for a poem
in all the old familiar places
Next from my library, poet Eric Greinke
, from his book Wild Strawberries
. The book was published by Presa :S:
Press in 2008.
Greinke is author of several books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. He has a Masters degree in Social Work and has 25 years of experience working with disturbed and disabled children. He has also taught creative writing in alternate high school and worked in the Michigan Poets int the Schools program
If you live on
A river or stream,
You must float
In place. You will need
A good anchor.
In the northwest.
The stars above
The curved edge
Of the Horizon
Match the stars
In front of you.
Bundle up & go outside.
The sky will look bigger
Than it does on paper.
Here's some more from our long weekend in the Texas hill country.
The cow pictured is from the LBJ Ranch where the livestock seemed as interested in studying the tourists as the tourists were the cows.
days in Central Texas
days in Central Texas,
the reason people
despite the fields of stone
and snakes slumbering
on flat rocks
along the slow-moving
a land of half my ancestors,
tough people, farmers, ranchers,
shepherds who built
their homes and fences
from their rocky fields, making
pasture and open meadows
for grazing and farming...
today, climate like parts of Africa,
exotic wild life replacing
the sheep and goats
and moody cattle
today, climate like parts
of southern Europe, fields and meadows
replaced by vineyards and the creation of
but a few of the peach orchards
remain, such a finicky business
this peach growing, seems every year
too much rain, too little rain, winter too
warm, winter too cold,wine
a much better deal, wine tasting tending
to cloud judgement in a way a jar of peaches
my cousin who I don't know, some many times
removed, still sells his peaches downtown
when he has them, but also pickled jalapenos,
okra, gherkins and dills, accommodation to realities...
it's why the early ones cleared stony fields
to build their stony houses, their barns and fences, it's why
they, refugees from the strife-torn baronies of Germany,
made the first ever peace treaty with the Comanche,
why they died to free the slaves...
a beautiful, blue-sky weekend
in the hills where I spent part of every summer
of my youth, a chance to remember
the stories of that time...
I mentioned that the cover for my eBook, Places and Spaces
, includes a picture of my son, Chris. It was taken during one of his many hiking and camping trips, at Guadalupe National Park on the border of Texas and New Mexico.
The park is for heavy duty hikers and campers only, with access only on foot and only primitive camp sites. I decided to post here several pictures Chris took on one of his visits. (Including another picture of him taken by his hiking companion.
Places and Spaces
consists of five long poems (plus the two bookend poems). The structure of the poems is prose poems that move the story alone broken up by more poetic (hopefully) pieces that describe a mood or a scene.
These bits are from the last poem in the book, "Silver City and Beyond."
From the initial part of the journey, San Antonio to El Paso (558 miles), and then on into New Mexico and back.
to long-stretched fingers
of pink Chihuahua Desert
blue sky, blue on blue
on deep ocean blue sky,
to jagged clouds
dark and sharply racing
on the ridge
a line of dead trees,
oak blight killing scrub oak
reminding me of a picture
I once saw
of a lone tree,
bare and burned,
among the ruins at
these trees like that,
reaching up, grasping
at the sky
in the pasture below
a mare and her foal eat grass
generous and green
layers of geologic time...
near the top,
a woman and a man passed,
and down by my feet
from the sea
a cloud billows up
from the Chisos Basin
like a white rose
opening to the sun
a green pasture,
up to their knees
in single file
one after the other
like carousel horses
with somewhere to go
a very large buck
and 25 to 30 doe and fawns,
fluffy white and brown stub tails
in the wind,
all together as a group
coming down the mountain
in great bounds, over the road
then back up the other side
who, through fate or folly
lost their wings
but still try to fly, almost
with each great leap
is the next poet from my library. His poem is from his book, Break the Mirror
, published by North Point Press in 1987.
Born in 1923, Sakaki died in 2008. With no formal education after the age of twelve, as a draftee in the military, he used his spare time to educate himself in the great western philosophers. Widely varied in his artistic endeavors, he taught himself English while following primitive art and collaborating with a wood sculptor. Leaving that art behind, he took up literature and poetry, living with a fellow poet, following the practice of never sleeping in the same place twice.
Coming to the attention of Gary Snyder, he came to the United States where he stayed for ten years, primarily in San Francisco and Taos where he gathered his own following that became known as "the tribe."
At the time of his death, he was back in Japan, living with friends in the mountains of Nagano prefecture.
Ancestors of Japanese
September night. Almost full moon.
In a clean kitchen, certainly no cockroach -
A drunkard, all naked except necktie, shouts,
"Our ancestor is the Ainu."
No, absolutely not!
Neither Ainu nor American
but cockroach is the real ancestor of Japanese.
Here in Hokkaido, part of prosperous Japan
There is a community which wants to eat
The garbage of nuclear power plants
"for better homes and gardens."
There are government officials
who want to cut down everybody's woods
called National Forests.
Living in a flower garden of fossil fuel and plastics
they import from Korea thirty-three million dollars a year
of Matsutake mushrooms as a delicacy.
And from China they buy
ten million Mamushi vipers as an aphrodisiac.
There are now one hundred million middle class
cockroaches in Japan they say.
The Japanese cockroach is also gulping down
The Amazonian rain forest for toilet paper.
For future generations,
they work vigorously and joyously
laving the soil full of agrichemicals,
leaving rivers and lakes terribly polluted
leaving graveyards of coral reefs.
In honor of the glorious Constitution of Japan
"toward the happy and cultural life"
they ask for more Koalas and missiles
In an old forest of yeddo spruces
a grizzly bear watches the full moon.
Reading this, I have the terrible sense I'm reading future-America after the last election.
A poem from last week.
obsolence is a point of view
in the pre-first light
of mornings dark,
by his obsolence
in the human world
of alarm clocks
and digital geegaws
for the human world
is the ladies in the henhouse
he seeks to impress
The next three short poems are by Iva Kortla
, from, at the time, Czechoslovak Socialist Republic - since split into two countries, Czech Republic and Slovakia. The poem is from the anthology, Spirits of the Age - Poets of Conscience
, published in Quarry Press in 1989.
Kortla was a dissident and was banned during the days of Communist Czechoslovakia. Mother of five children, she was harassed and called for interrogation by the government for offenses related to her poetry only a few weeks after the birth of her fifth child. While still in hospital, her home was searched and all of her writing since 1966 was confiscated.
In the picture, the woman on the left is the poet. It wasn't clear in poor translation who the man on her right was, but the young woman next to his was his niece.
Under the Skin
like books laid on top of another
in a second-hand bookshop
So I think of love
partly through your eyes
What will you tell me
when you are alone
The moon was motionless
reminding me of desire
That is no sin there are others
which have name
In Moments of Piety
That lonely cross on Golgotha -
through which the Earth observes us.
Out of the dust
we're dust shedding tears
In adult unhappiness
when the Son in the arms of his
is the only password
opening the gates of Paradise...
In the years
when the secret police
took down our faces
as we left the church
we reached out
into our dreams
adulthood came, with a lamp,
to our bedside,
quietly drew aside the curtains
and spoke to us
gently, like a mother
The fourth of the five long poems in Places and Spaces
is titled "Sleeping with Andy Devine," named from the night (in Las Vegas I think) when my hotel was on Andy Devine Street.
This trip was from San Antonio to Lake Tahoe and back.
In New Mexico
on the right
a Rio Grande river delta valley,
green and cultivated
yellow school buses
on two lane
hanging over all this
dead in the middle of the road,
of flying too low
flying too slow
a single wing
like a flag stands
above the mess
meat and bone
brown and white feathers
in the wind
I reach snow level,
mostly in shadowed areas
where the day's sun
could not reach
then more and more,
until the desert is covered in white,
a thin layer,
little individual sprigs
of desert grass poke though
here and there,
with a really bad haircut
through the high desert,
as far as you can see
on the horizon,north and west
whip across the road
in front of me,
chasing the wind,
never catching it
I've known people like this,
I see a buffalo
in its shaggy brown
eating green sprouts
between giant red boulders
over mountain peaks
on both sides off me
over hot cornbread
dusts desert stones
with points of silvery
the snow falls
and soon they all
they all disappear
under the white sea
a herd of horses,
twenty or thirty of them,
chase and play
in the field of snow
In Lake Tahoe.
from my tenth floor window
I watch snow clouds
cross the north mountains,
then begin a slow
drift across the water
the "little cat feet"
over cold water
Walking my dog along the lake.
we are not the first
to break the snow, little
duck tracks, triangles
divided by a line
from point to base,
and tracks of some bird
of a larger sort, tridents
in the snow
a white sailboat sits
half hidden in the
Heading home via California, I-10.
of western California
and the car-choked
of Los Angeles
to the dry brown
hills of north Arizona
flowers, brush and thick,
climb the hills like
the rising drab and dreary
The next poem is by Stephen Dunn
. It's taken from his Pulitzer Prize winning book, Different Hours
, published by W.W. Norton in 2000. Born in 1939, Dunn is recipient of many awards an honors and has taught at several universities.
The Reverse Side
The reverse side also has a revers side
- a Japanese Proverb
It's why when we speak a truth
some of us instantly feel foolish
as if a deck inside us has been shuffled
and there it is - the opposite
of what we said.
And perhaps whey as we fall in love
we're already falling out of it.
It's why the terrified and the simple
latch onto one story,
just one version of the great mystery.
Image & after image, oh even
the open-minded yearn for a fiction
to rein things in -
the snapshot, the lie of a frame.
How do we not go crazy,
we who have found ourselves compelled
to live with the circle, the ellipsis, the word
not yet written.
First new poem of March.
over a blooming rose
of red taillights
of the herd
its steady advance,
ending the time for day dreams,
opening the closet
of night dreams never
a soft bed
the silent secrets
, born 84 and died 54 B.C., was a Roman poet and wit best remembered as the spearhead of a new poetic movement in the days of the late Roman Republic. A master of colloquial language with astute psychological perception, his direct language often cloaked a complex personality.
In addition to his lyric poetry, I like his short and pithy insult poetry. In our day h would have been King of Facebook and Twitter, a Don Rickles for his time.
These poems are from The Poems of Catullus
, published in 1966 by Penguin Books. The poems are translated by Peter Whigham
(from the book)
Lucius Calpurnius Piso Casonius
one circumcised Piapus of a proconsul
apparently prefers the company
of a couple of society-mongers
Porcius & Socration
his own mangy hirelings
to that of my dearest Veraniolus
my own dear Fabullus,
they dining well at the best places
you forced to hang about the street-corners
angling for invitations.
(from the book)
Silver-tongued among the sons of Rome
the dead, the living & the yet unborn,
Catullus, least of poets, sends
Marcus Tullius his warmest thanks:
- as much the least of poets
as he a prince of lawyers.
(from the book)
I laughed, Calvus, I laughed today
when someone in the courtroom crowd,hearing
your quite brilliant expose of
the Vatinian affair,lifted his hands up
in proper amazement, and cried suddenly:
"A cock that size...and it spouts!
I laughed Calvus, I laughed.
(from the book)
If not by all that his friends boast,
at least by pin-headed Otto's unattractive pate
by loutish Erius's half-washed legs
by Libo's smooth & judicious farts
by Suffico's old man's lust turned green
may great Cesar be duly revolted. Once more
my naive iambics strike home...
These little pieces are from the third poem in Places and Spaces,
"To the Rockies."
From the first, long day's drive, San Antonio to El Paso.
with twin colts -
on a green field
of buzzards, fifteen, at last,
on a little hill on the side of the road
to see them together like this
with no carrion
formed by wind and rain
for thousands of years
to resemble a breast
complete with erect nipple
by the blue West Texas sky
little twisters cross brown fields
on both sides of the highway,
most throwing up clouds of dust
that move with the wind,
a smaller one, forms a perfect funnel
about five feet across, keeping
its shape up to a hundred or more
feet above the ground
a tumbleweed the size of a beach ball
blows in front of me,
seems to pace the car for several seconds,
then crosses the road
as we cross into Colorado,
the winter grass is almost white,
the almost white
of sand on gulf beaches,
broken here and there by red barns
like red umbrellas
on a vast beach that has no sea
as I approach Colorado Springs
I see black storm clouds
pouring over mountain crests
I enter the front of the storm
rain, sleet, snow and fog
all at once
and in alternating bursts
looking out my window
I can see, about a mile away,
the tall buildings of downtown
fade in and out of view
as rain and snow clouds
rise and fall
from the coffeeshop window
I see a small boy
climb into the back seat
of his family's sedan
closes his door
a conversation with his mother
in the front seat
a moment passes -
the car does not move
the boy's door opens again
and a snowball drops from the car
the sun rises
awakens a blue crystal sky
the Rockies covered in snow
from foothills to peaks, blinding
in their white
Leaving the city, starting home.
in a line across a snowy slope,
each following the tail of the other
at the head of this strung out regiment a bull,
knows where to go
and when to go there...
and two or three miles down the road,
elk scattered among a stand of pines, pushing
aside the snow and pine needles
at ten thousand feet
the melt sloshes down the rocky
mountain in a torrent
at eleven thousand,
thick icicles, long, long as a tall man
hang for overhangs on the canyon walls,
at the crest
a big horn sheep
stands by the road
and watches me pass
Back in Texas, El Paso.
deep desert blue
through the black night sky
the air is desert chilled
a pin thread on the east horizon
suggests the coming of a rising sun
the pink thread widens -
a shadowing light spreads-
from the north foothills
Next, I have three short poems by Jose Emilio Pacheco
, from his book City of Memory and other poems
. The book was published in 1997 by City Lights. It is a bilingual book, Spanish and English on facing pages.
Pacheco was a Mexican poet, essayist, novelist, and short story writer, born in Mexico City in 1939 and died there in 2014. Considered one of the major Mexican poets of the second half of the 20th century, he taught in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
The poems in the book were translated from Spanish by Cynthia Steele
and David Lauer
A raindrop quivered on the vine.
All of night was caught in the damp darkness
by the moon.
amid the yellow ivy.
turns to night
in the ash trees.
For one moment
the tempest of history
Floating down from the air,
a moment's peace,
for which I give thanks.
(I wish so much that I could write a poem like this one.)
You never could stand operations
in the movies or on TV. And now you, too,
will be a lump of bleeding fish.
Maybe one more dead man among the dead.
How the tyranny of anesthesia
has humbled you as it enters your being.
But first you comprehend
in that lucid instant before the darkness,
why we commit Evil, why we seek
the omnipotence that breeds hatred.
We are the defenseless sinking into
the unbidden light.
Time did not pass by:
Here it is.
We passed by.
Only we are the past.
Migrating birds that passed overhead
little by little,
are passing away.
Here's another from early March.
orange and purple
the clear morning sky,
like the deepest ocean
doesn't even slow..
the wonders of a beautiful morning
of workers hostage to the economic
miracles of capitalism,
eating the soul even as
it fills the belly
"look at the sky,"
I want to south, "drink in the beauty
of this day before you drown in the
time-clock murk of your own
of your own making"
Here's a short poem by George Santayana
, from Poems of George Santayana
, published by Dover Publications in 1970.
On a Piece of Tapestry
Hold high the woof, dear friends, that we may see
The cunning mixture of its colors rare.
Nothing in nature purposely is fair, -
Her beauties in their freedom disagree;
But here all vivid dyes that garish be,
To that mellowed which the sense will bear,
Glow, and not wound the eye that, resting there,
Lingers to feed its gentle ecstasy.
Crimson and purple and all hues of wine,
Saffron and russet,brown and sober green
Are rich the shadowy depths of blue between;
While silver threads with golden intertwine,
To catch the glimmer of a fickle sheen, -
All the long labor of some captive queen.
The first travel poem in Places and Spaces
is "On the Cusp of Confederate Winter" This was a trip through the South to Virginia and the Blue Ridge Parkway, then a different route through the South and home. It was a long drive of several thousand miles. The second poem, which I'm not including here, was about a shorter trip to Ruidoso, New Mexico and back. Not that much fun.
This was one of the few trips we've made where we went East instead of West, leaving Texas through Dallas rather than El Paso or Fort Stockton - Pecos/
a pick-up pulling a horse trailer,
alone in the back, one horse, a palomino,
golden mane and tail and eyelashes
flaring in the wind,
brown eyes watching as I pass
slips slowly from the air
to land on a fence post, watches,
sees all with yellow eyes
that view all that moves as
East Texas, on the way to Arkansas.
the mist through a forest
of orange leaves
lakes and ponds and waterfowl
a crane passes over the road,
low, long neck outstretched,
wings spread ,
a dark shadow against
a nearly dark sky
red sky in my rear view,
the road like a tunnel through the dark,
tall, thick forest on either side
Reba asleep in her little bed in the corner,
11 hours on the road and I would join her
but for the woman singing badly
in the next room over
Tennessee. Expressing my disappoint at being unable to find a national newspaper since leaving Texas.
I wanted to write about the forest,
the colors,gold and yellow,
and the red-brown color the Crayola people
used Indian Red or Indian Brown
or something like that,
and in the middle of all the gold and yellow
and red-brown Indian whatever, some low brush
that's bright flaming red scattered among the trees
like little fires
burning in the woods...
and I wanted to write
about the flock of ducks that flew over
in perfect V formation, near enough to the ground
so that each duck could could be seen and counted
as an individual, close enough to the ground
that I could hear the flapping of their wings and
the mutter-quacks among the ranks
and I wanted to write about the hills, reminding me
of the hill country of home, soft hills, none of the
hard face of caliche and cactus and mesquite, just soft
forest hills, trunks climbing close together
I wanted to write about the sun this morning
and how it lit the colors of the trees and covered the sky
from mid-afternoon, bringing shadow and mystery
and darker color of the night
the forest colors have changed,
the yellows gone as we have traveled further north
and the gold is starting to fall as well,
a shower of golden leaves around me
as I stand by the river...
the colors now are mostly shades of red
on a hill
surrounded on four sides by forest
a horse enjoys a pasture all his own
in a dell
green as spring, a small church,
white clapboard with a white wooden steeple
rising twice the height of the church.
rows of tombstone in rank and file
climbing the hillside like steps to an afterlife that,
if we are lucky, would look exactly like
this little green dell and this little white church
I stop at a park just across the state line
so Reba can walk and pee
just across the highway, three cows
line ridge, dark cut-outs against the sky
the road rises in front of me,
bordered as always by red and brown forests,
at the top, a silver-dollar moon on a pale blue sky
gray and overcast again,
rain handing back like the work
that gets caught on the tip of your tongue,
there, but not there
waiting in the wings,
waiting for its cue to bring on the storm
a white house on a hill
surrounded by leaf-bare trees,
and behind them,
showing bits and pieces through fog
on the road, short, thick-foliaged pines stand ,
crowded side by side, like spectators
standing shoulder to shoulder, watching
a passing parade
or, I think of the hundreds of clay soldiers
lined in rank after rank
buried with the Chinese emperor
of their time
fog drifts around them,
and in that shifting fog, the soldiers,
seem to move, coming alive while their emperor
still lies as dust
Jefferson's other plantation.
from his grand veranda, Jefferson
could look down on the nearest
of his 4,000 plus acres
large poplar trees, yellow leaves
still holding on despite the lateness
of the season
a gently slope of close-cut grass;
a creek running fast;
another pasture, tobacco fields
in Jefferson's time, a crop he despised
but planted anyway because he need the cash
brought in; a forest of poplar trees, broken
by a winding crushed-shell drive
around the side and in the back, slave quarters,
not for the cultivated eyes of the gentlemen
and ladies of the Commonwealth of Virginia
slavery, a vile practice in his eyes, despoiling
the country he helped to created, but, like tobacco,
economically dependent on them
never freed a slave until his death, and then
only his own slave family
Last from my library this week, this poem by Francisco X. Alarcon
. The poem is from a small hardbound book (only 16 poems) of poetry and illustrations by the artist Ray Rice. The book is De Amor Oscuro/Of Dark Love
, published by Moving Parts Press. It is a bilingual book, Spanish and English on facing pages.
(From the book)
asleep you become a continent -
long, mysterious, undiscovered,
the mountain ranges of your legs
encircle valleys and ravines
night slips past your eyelids,
your breath the swaying of the sea,
you stretch out so tenderly on the bed
like a dolphin beached on a shore
your mouth the mouth of a resting volcano,
o fragrant timber, what fire burns you?
you are so are, nd yet so far
as you doze like a lily at my side,
I undo myself and invoke the moon:
now I am this dog watching over your sleep
Like a lot of writers I know, I can't work at home. A coffeehouse writer, I need the crowds to light the fuse.
crowds that feed me
why don't you write at home?
you have a nice little office,
why don't you write there?
why can you only write in a crowd?
sh does not understand that for me
and it is the tension of a crowd
that feeds me, the psychic energy
of conversation flowing
like a river
listening to them,
the soft, muted love stories,
the anger of love gone wrong,
the pain of lost friends,
the businessmen making deals,
the crisply dressed women
in high heel and gym-bodies
in their own business circles,
sharing a cinnamon milk shake
with the small bit of future
left to him...
a crowd of humanity
with all of humanities' grace and strength
and wiles and low ambitions,
stories that make poems chattering
all around me, so many stories, if you listen,
they almost write themselves...
that's why I can only write in crowds
home is where the tensions ease,
where creativity rests up,
prepares for the next day coming,
the next day's creations...
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
Also as usual, I am Allen Itz owner and producer of
this blog, and a not so diligent seller of books, specifically these and
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
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