The End Begins   Wednesday, March 29, 2017

There is a mighty temptation. This from 2011.


apathy

cartoon
in the paper today

a guy at a bar, talking
to the bartender, I used
to get really upset with the news,
he's saying,
until I discovered the wonders of
apathy

so I'm looking
to sip, myself at the chalice
of apathy's wonders - too much
of my brain has been cornered by
two subjects - 
unmitigated heat
and the politics of gullibility

I'd write a poem about it
but I just don't give a shit
anymore









In addition to my new  poems and poems from my library, I'm going to post some tiny short  stories from my book, Sonyador (The Dreamer), the second of my books to feature my son, Chris, on the cover.

The book is hard to take excerpts from. While each short (very short) story is intended to stand alone, it is also meant to be part of a sequence of short stories that tell a single extended story, in this case, the story of a boy who grows up in deep South Texas. I probably note that though the time and place of the story is familiar to me from my own growing up, the story itself is not autobiographical. In picking stories to post here I have to be careful not to be a spoiler.

Me
apathy

Me
movie making in the coffeehouse

Bharat Shekhar
Raw Footage

Me
The Price of Freedom (from Sonyador, The Dreamer)       

Rengetsu
Autumn  Retreat
Ancient Villa Flowers
Evening Cool by the Sea
Moon in the Summer Trees

Me
spring song

Semezdin Mehedinovic   
At the Edge of Town
Expulsion
Cisterns/Rainwater

Me
Playing War (from Sonyador, The Dreamer 

Charles Simic
The Street f Martyrs

Me
what's with all the Jacks, Jack?

Elizabeth Alexander
Float

Me
Home for New Years  (from Sonyador, The Dreamer)   

David Eberhardt
The Green Place (from Mad Max - Fury Road)
Untitled (from The Big Short)
For Seniors

Me
Johnny been good

Marilyn Hacker
A Note Downriver

Me
Going to the Drive-In Movie  (from Sonyador, The Dreamer)    

Ursula K. Le Guin
Seventy
Taking Courage

Me
flow

Janine Pommy Vega     
V. Ar Lingus (from The Ritual)

Me
A Kiss (from Sonyador, The Dreamer)    

Carmen Tafolla
La Malinche

Me
hard hats  
   

          









Here's the first for the week.

An on-scene report on the mysteries that consume us.








movie making  at the coffeehouse

a table laid end to end
with fruit and tiny sandwiches

two racks of costumes,
peppy duds for the two
stars. the costumer fluffs
the dresses, straightens
the shirt and pants, pulls
sales tags...

the hair dresser
does and does and does again
the star's  long brown air,
does her make-up...

light techs position their lights, 
camera operators  consult
with the director for
the positions he wants...

the set designer
dresses the table where
the action will unfold,
two coffee cups precisely
placed and a half-full carafe
of black coffee...

the script person ruffles her pages,
goes over lines
with the young star,
then lets him sit by himself
in a zone of his own...

(a first-timer I think, he
sits so straight on the
impromptu set,
seems unsure and 
a little frightened
at what comes next)

technicians and
crew (ten, at least for each  actor).
mostly middle-aged, bearded men
with sunglasses perched 
atop  their heads, the actors
the young woman and man,
both, let's face it, too pretty
and fussed with to be entirely
real...

four hours of preparation
and finally the principal
photographer straps on his 
steady-cam and after a last minute
conference with the actors,
the director says
let's do it, which is my
cue to leave, having no
interest in starting a new
career as an incidental actor
at this stage of my life...

(despite my blazing good
performance as the lead in  a
Tennessee Williams one-act
in a UIL competition 65 years
ago
and who knows
I might still have the chops

just saying...)

the director says
"action"
and I close the door
behind me, safely
and determinedly
anonymous











This poem is by my poet-friend Bharat Shekhar, a freelance writer living in New Delhi. He went to Mayo College, Ajmer, and studied, he says, tongue in cheek, "Advanced Malingering" at University of Delhi.










Raw Footage

Around the lake
in rowed boats,
on promenades
and mall roads
selfie-sticks sprout

Firmly ensconced
between
mobile cameras
and token scenery
tourists chase themselves
in a posse of poses,
setting out to capture
their own elusive selves












The place start Sonyador is with first story, introducing Sonyador,  the character whose ups and downs we follow to the end.











1. The Price of Freedom

     Little Sonyador knew what freedom was.

     He knew it was his bike, his stripped down jalopy of a bike, a hand-me-down from his older brother, repainted bright red to be new, to be his.

     The tires not like the skinny tires on the new bikes his friends rode, but fat and wide, balloon tires, not so fancy as those of his friends, but better for the dirt roads where he usually rode.

     That was part of the freedom, too, the dusty roads, the grassy banks on either side of the canals
where he learned to swim, the paths around the settling basin where thick, green water was brought in from the river, held until needed, then sent by the big pumps (bolts with nuts as big as hubcaps), pushed down canals throughout the irrigation district.

     And freedom also, the high levees along the arroyo, diversion channels from the river for when hurricanes came and brought floods, and the freedom of  trees and birds and ponds and frogs and water snakes, the turtles, the freedom of the monster garfish breaking the surface of the water in the settling basin, ugly, primordial fish that grew and grew and grew until they died and these were old fish in the basin, fish that lived and grew for years and years, six,  seven feet long with their great long-billed mouths, a foot-long row of teeth up on side and down the other, like a chain saw, and catfish, too, older than the boy, years behind them growing and growing.

     All this was freedom, too.

     A universe of freedom for a ten year old, but sometimes a universe too far.

     Because freedom has no sense of time, except for a certain sense of doom when time  caught and he  knew he was late.

     Freedom was sometimes late for dinner.

     Freedom has a price,  and, as he  pedaled home, the boy knew the price would be paid tonight.

     Little Sonyador knows what freedom is.Tonight he will learn again its cost.








Next from my library, Lotus Moon, the Poetry of Rengetsu, published by White Pines Press in 2005.

At the age of thirty-three, Otagaki Nobu (1791-1875), after the death of two husbands and three infant children, renounced the world and was ordained  a Buddhist nun, taking the name Rengetsu, meaning "Lotus Moon." In 1832, she  began to make pottery which she inscribed with her own Waka, which she sold to support herself. The combination of beautiful poetry, calligraphy and pottery were as highly prized in her  own time as they still are today.

The  poems in the book were translated by John Stevens.





Autumn Retreat

Deep in the mountains
A single branch of maple
Near  the eaves of my hut
Marks the beginning
Of the days of autumn.


Ancient Villa Flowers

The single memento of
A once great family:
Little sunflowers
Along the fence
Of the abandoned villa.


Evening cool by the Sea

Cooling off in a boat
That sways as if drunk -
In the bay breeze
The moon on the waves
Seems a bit  tipsy too!


Moon in the Summer Trees

What a delight -
Leaves hide my little hut
From the hot sun by day;
At night, the moonlight
Filters through the  trees


Summer Moon

The cool shadow
Of the bright moon
In open field
Makes you forget
All daytime worries.










And here's  another from last week.

It  is Spring and it must be  appreciated.










spring song

the air is clear
and cool, the coffee
thick and hot, the women
not so thick, but plenty
hot

hell yes,
it's by-god spring again

god a-mighty
spring
again








The next two pieces from my library are by Semezdin Mehmedinovic. They are taken from his book, Sarajevo Blues, published by City Lights Books (I read that today is Ferlinghetti's 98th birthday - Happy Birthday to Beat's last survivor) in 1998.

Born in 1960, Mehmedinovic is a Bosnian writer, filmmaker and magazine editor. He stayed in Sarajevo with his family during the days of the siege and, after the war, moved to the United States and currently lives in Virginia.

His book was translated from his original Bosnian by Ammiel Alcalay.

I read these this book before writing my last book of apocalyptic short fiction, Peace in Our Time, and think much of the early part of that book was informed by this one.






At the Edge of Town

At the edge of town you can s
a truck left over form the last war
getting smaller down between the poplars.
A prisoner with crumbs in his beard
is pulled out of a military jeep.
Piled up on the warehouse plank by plank
as neat as a sonnet.

At the very edge of town you can see
a biker at full tilt grab at the roof of a long
shake with VULCANIZER written across it.
And many other images rich in madness
to any objective, celestial gaze.
Like the roofs of the houses by the airport
painted in red and white checkerboard squares.


Expulsion

The Chetniks banished the mental patients from Jagomir to
the city. That day, one of them - holding the body of a dead
sparrow by its claws - came to someone walking alone
King Tomislav  Street and said: "You will be dead, too, when
my army gets here."


Cisterns / Rainwater

There's no  water: the few water trucks circling the city are
immediately assaulted as soon as they pull into a side street,
surrounded by a patchwork of canisters and people whose
idiosyncrasies have reached cosmic proportions. Not one
water truck passes without a fight. Real skirmishes develop,
with militant women entering the fray, like the old lady
standing off to the side without a canister and repeating:
"Brothers, Muslims,  what  are you doing?" Then the rain
comes down, as one calamity takes the place of another.
Rain drips throughout the house, like from a cistern: the
most astute cut their gutters to use as channels for gathering
water into basins. The rainwater has already filled the
craters blasted out  of the asphalt by grenades. The war is
entering its preposterous phase: the authorities simply won't
be able to deal with so much rainwater.












More of Sonyador's story.










3. Playing War

     Sonyador reads all the "Leatherneck" comics of his Korean War era, stories of square-jawed American soldiers firing machine guns and throwing grenades against yellow, slant-eyed Chinese
invaders, their fanatic hatred of everything good and American screaming  rage from their squinty eyes as they counter-attack.

     And Sonyador has nightmares about going to war, not about the killing and dying of war,frightened, even as a young boy, not by that, but by the extinguishing of self, the giving up of his self to generals and sergeants and the military machineries of war.

     He is often a lonely boy, comfortable  with going his own way in his head. He addresses the expectations of  1950s boyhood when pleases him or when he must, reading "Boy's Life," getting all his Cub Scout merit badges but shunning the smothering blanket of Boy Scout campfire camaraderie when he is old enough to transition. He hates the joining that is expected of him, the idea of being lost in a group. He has come to expect his alonness, to prefer it even, for the world outside his head does not always welcome him on his own not  always clearly understood terms.

     He is a peculiar little boy, Sonyador is, not always attuned to the cadences of most around him.

     "Go find someone to play with," his father says. But little Sonyador would rather play his own games.

     He plays at war with little mud soldiers he makes himself. In his games, he is always the hero,  standing apart, never one  of the mud soldiers.

     That is his nightmare - to be just another mud soldier.









Next from my library, Charles Simic, from his book Jackstraws, a Harvest Book published in 1999.

Born in Belgrade in 1938, Simic won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1990 and was a finalist for a second Pulitzer in 1998. He served as Poet Laureate of the United States in 2007.

I like his often quirky poems.










The Street  of Martyrs

Catherine,  whose neck was  broken
On a steering wheel of a Buick convertible
While milk gushed from her breasts.
Max the giant whose mouth is a black cavern
Since his tongue was amputated.
Barbara, whose father kept her in a closet
So no man could see her.
The All-American shortstop  whose coffin
He says will be a matchbox.

They stop strangers on the street
To warn them about  sick and injured bugs
They may be stepping on.
If they meet someone with very large ears,
They try to hand their crutches on them.
When it snows, they walk in circles
Making snowflakes sizzle of the tip of their tongues.










Sometimes the  stories just all come together.

And I do recommend the little  red pills.









what's with all the Jacks, Jack?

I was minding my own business,
drinking my evening coffee
at   the coffeehouse
when this very stout woman,
round as a butterball,
came rolling the aisle,
come along, Jack, she said
to her husband who lagged
behind, a grizzle-faced man with a
cowboy hat and a big TEXAS
belt buckle, very tall fella and thin
as a toothpick...

and I look around, half
expecting to see all the King's
men and all the King's horses,
crowding through the front 
door, arriving just in time
to  rescue to-quick Jackie
who stumbled and fell
on his candlestick, while
off in the corner an even
another Jack sat, eating 
his tacos and carne guisida
until along came a spider
who sat down beside  him
and asked, what's with all the
Jacks,  Jack?

~~~~~~~~~

just that kind of day, I
expect, they come up
now and again, especially
if you  rush off from home
in a hurry and forget to take
your little red pill
like the doctor
said...








Elizabeth Alexander is the next poet from my library. The poem is from her book, Body of Life, published by Tia Chucha Press in 1996.

Born in 1962 in Harlem, Alexander is a poet, essayist, and playwright. After teaching poetry and chairing the African American Studies department at Yale for 16 years, she moved to Columbia University in 2016.




Float

It is 1978 and I am floating
on a raft in a backyard swimming pool,
having been to the Prom the night before,
having stayed out through breakfast,
having worn a red dress  that is stained now
with blackberries, having kissed my face raw,
having touched,  having been finger-fucked. Washington
D.C. is hot in early June; the sun
is on my face and the Commodores
are on the radio singing  "Zoom."  I am jangled
with sleeplessness, amplified with lust, and lust
in a spirochete, a burrowing corkscrew of pleasure.
The Floaters sing "Float, Float On,"
which is how I am drifting on this raft,
metabolizing my father's rag,  which erupts
in Morse code burps: Empty
the garbage, sweep the deck, Dot Dot Dit,
anything but what he is upset about.
I have been bad.

I love how lust quickens nd quickens, not stopping,
the pace, the pitch, my clitoris a clock of fast motion,
hands spinning madly on an axis. I love how paper
pages tear away form calendars in the movies, love
that I remember everything. I am spinning
like that all the time now, or else  I am perfectly still.












Next in Sonyador's story.











5. Home  for New Years

     It's New Year's Eve, December 31,  1952, and Sonyador and mom and dad are at church,leaving behind the old year with prayers for the new one.

     He would like to stand up and tell the whole church that his big brother, Tug, is coming back from Korea tomorrow so there's no question 1953 is going to be a great year and they ought to quit worrying about it.

     But he won't because his mom and dad don't like to  draw attention to  themselves, even when they have great news like this.

     Sonyador used to get excited about New Years, back when he was a little kid. But even in the few years since then, he's noticed that the first new year day isn't so different from the last day of the old year. Dad still goes to work but gets no more money for it. Mom still works at the school cafeteria at lunch and he still walks the couple of blocks home for lunch so no one sees him seeing her there, and it's still a dirt road outside their house, rough as the back of a mule when it's dry and muddy as a frog pond when it rains, and his friend, Horacio, is still gone to pick beets and won't be back for months,
and Dad's car still rattles and shakes and doesn't run for doodle, just like all his other cars always did and the boy doesn't see nothing happening that's worth all the fuss.

     But this year will be different, a real new year, with his brother walking down the road toward home sometime tomorrow, home from the war, whistling, probably, just like he always used to do when he was walking home form school.

     And little Sonyador will be waiting, sitting by the road waiting, playing with his marbles, shooting holes, the marble on his pointer finger, his thumb cocked, just like Tug showed him, aiming right at the first hole.

     Maybe Tug will shoot marbles with him again when he gets home.









David Eberhardt, my poet-friend from Baltimore takes some tiny bites at experimentation.









The green place (from the movie Mad Max - Fury Road)

To  the west
Beyond the mountains


Untitled (from the movie The Big Short"
 
Truth is like poetry
And most people  hate fucking poetry


For Seniors
      Dedicated to Ted Kooser

Riding up and down
my stair lift
just for fun
american poetry line lengths:
as well content!

Whoopee do...










A teenager from the mid-fifties to early sixties, my icons fall one by one. Not so many left from the early years, Fats, Little Richard, the list doesn't go long from there.









Johnny been good

well,
Chuck's dead,
Johnny been good, but, at 90
no more...

adding to the long list
of icons of my youth who have
left me alone to face my inevitable
fate as they faced theirs...

I remember a movie, he
duckwalks across the stage
long, thin legs and long
feet in black shining shoes...

I wish I could have been there

fuck all the harps and saccharine
heavenly singing,
I want to join  Chuck and all the rest
in person,
jamming, going 90 miles an hour
in their flat-head ford...

Maybelline,
don't be too damn good...

I'm looking forward to
dancing with you
in the down 
below








Marilyn Hacker is my next poet, with a poem from her book, Winter Numbers. The book was published in 1994  by W. W. Norton.

Born in the Bronx in 1942, Hacker is a poet, translator, critic and Professor emeritus at the City College of New York.








A Note Downriver

Afternoon of hungover Sunday morning
earned by drinking win on an empty stomach
after I met Tom for a bomb on Broadway:
done worse; known better.

I feel muggy-headed and convalescent,
barely push a pen across blue-lined paper,
scowl at envelopes with another  country's
stamps, and your letter.

Hilltop house, a river to take you somewhere,
sandwiches at noon with a good companion:
summer's ghost  flickered ash from the front porch railing,
looked up, and listened.

I would grouse and growl at you if you called me.
I have made you chamomile tea and rye bread
toast, fixed us both orange juice laced with seltzer
similar mornings.

We'll most likely live in each other's houses
like I haunted yours last July, as long as
we hear rivers vacillate  downstream. They say
"always"; say "never."












Another bit of Sonyador's life. There are 31 stories in the book. I'm staying with the early ones to avoid giving away to much about where the story goes. I will say that, as in real life, Sonyador's life is not always as idyllic as the early stories suggest. The narrative gets darker as his life progresses.








6. Going to  the Drive-In Movie

     Sonyador's big brother, Tug, has been back from Korea for a couple of months. He shares a bedroom with Sonyador and little brother, Conch, sings sometimes with his guitar picking friend, Fumo,at a rock-a-billy radio station late at night, works construction during the day, has a slick-backed ducktail just like Elvis, a long, low, '52 Chevy fastback he bought when he came home, and lots of girlfriends. He mostly comes home late.

     Tug always had a nose for a good fight, came home bloody and black-eyed a couple of times, always said, like he said before he went into the army, "Well, you should'a seen the other guy, which was probably true since he liked to fight and had the nerve to see any fight to the end.

     He didn't stay around home much and some days, Sonyador would see so little of him it was almost like he hadn't really come home.

     But he did take Sonyador and Conch out fishing one Saturday, out on the settling basin in a little rowboat he borrowed from one of his friends and Sonyador and Conch liked that, even though they didn't catch nothing but a couple of little perch, and Tug took him goose-early one Sunday morning. Sonyador didn't like that much because it was very cold and there were no geese and he didn't even get to shoot the gun at anything.

     He also  took Sonyador to the drive-in movie once, a Saturday night. Conch  couldn't go because he couldn't stay up that late, but Sonyador could.

     They stopped on the way to the movie to pick up Tug's girlfriend and after Tug went into her house to get her Sonyador saw him through the bedroom window with the girl while she was  getting  dressed. The boy didn't know much about good girls and nothing at all about bad girls,  but he suspected this girl might not be one of the good ones.

     When they got to the drive-in, Tug gave him 50 cents to buy a coke and popcorn and told  him to go to the play area up by the screen and stay there. "Don't come back until the movie's over," he said.

     When the movie was over, Tug took Sonyador home and then left to take the girl home.

     Tug didn't gr home until really, really late that night.








Next from my library, Ursula K. Le Guin, a wonderful poet, but I will always think first of her for her fantasy and science fiction.

Her poem is from her book, Incredible Good Fortune, published by Shambhala in 2006.

 At 73, this is one of those poems that speaks to me, "making sense only to myself."







Seventy

I've lived the life of man,
the span, the seven decades.

Now my life is out of bounds
and doesn't keep the time.

I'd make sense only to myself,
but wear an old habit.

I'd take my rage unsweetened,
but see: I fall  to rhyme.

Oh, how am I  metered?


Taking Courage

I will build a hardiness
       of counted syllables,
asylum for the coward heart
       that stammers out my hours,

an armature of resonance,
       a scaffolding of spell,
where it can learn to keep the time
       and bid what comes come well.











I struggle to find that easy flow again.










flow

it's the flow
like a river flowing
the words words
words
cascading
down the traces

the stories
flowing like a river
the stories
the stories, stories
about all the
river
passes
all the lands
exotic
and plain
all the people
large and 
small
heroes
and cowards
powerful
and mewling weak
winners
and losers
lovers and
lovers
lost
or never found
all flowing
their stories
and all the words
with the river
flowing

so hard
to find those words
that flow
and the stories
that flow
like a river of 
ink
cascading
from pen to paper
so hard
I sometimes
wonder 
how I did it
before
and 
why
I can't do  it now

making the river
flow
with words and
stories
someday I hope
again









In her obituary in the New York Times, Janine Pommy Vega was described as "the restless poet."

Born in 1942 in New Jersey, Vega read "On the Road" when she was 16 years old and immediately moved to Manhattan to become a part of the Beat scene. Part of that scene for most of her life, she died in 2010.

Her poem is from her  book Mad Dogs of Triste,published by Black Sparrow Press in 2000.

The poem is part of a series titled The Ritual.





V Aer Lingus

Goodbye.
I won't come back waving
at your window,  or visit your house
the rooms, end to end, empty
the door ajar

I know as well as you
what I go to find
I carry inside
I am not blind to the uselessness
of travel

A dead board sits
where my heart should be
if you knock on it now
it echoes
I am going away

You're right
I should have been an actress
chosen a role with all the passionate
intensity that returns the day,obliterates
the past, brings the house  down

Snip snip snip the scrape of
garden shears out the window
cutting the sky in half
and we can never go back
to  where we were.

I am leaving in a black night
rigid heart and smog
covering my exit
you will not be at the table
when I return.

                       Ireland, August 1977









This is story 11 from the 31 in the book, Sonyador, the Dreamer.

Sonyador is a hard-working, conscientious, deeply lonely boy. As I read back on the book, this story is the point in Sonny's life where what he is begins the track to the man  he will be, like the boy, hard-working, conscientious, and deeply lonely.

This is the introduction of Sasha. Though she is very important to  Sonyador, this is her only appearance in his life until the second-to-last story in the book.









11. A Kiss

     Sonyador (or Sonny as he is called now) is thirteen years old and Sasha,  who left town about five years ago, is back. Her father is some kind of union welder and the family  travels all over the world for his work.

     She is at  the end of summer party, the first boy-girl party for Sonny, and everyone is dancing and horsing around until Janie's parents leave the kids alone and they start playing a spinning bottle game.

     And when it comes Sonny's turn to spin the bottle it turns and turns and ends up pointing right at Sasha, which means that Sonny and Sasha are supposed to go outside and walk around the house in the dark and somewhere  long the way, kiss each other.

     So they go outside and start walking around, through the big trees that are all around the yard, holding hands, not saying anything until they come to a part of the yard where it is very dark and Sonny was  thinking they should kiss.

     Actually, Sonny had thought they should do the kiss way before this but he wasn't sure how to get the kiss started. Should h just stop, turn her around and kiss her or should he wait for her to turn him around and kiss him, or what?

     And besides that, Sonny doesn't know about the kiss. The only women he's ever kissed are his mom and his aunts and his grandmas before they died and he is petty sure he shouldn't kiss Sasha like he kisses his mom and his aunts and his grandmas.

     He has  heard from some of the older guys about "French kissing" but it sounded like French kissing meant he should stick his tongue in Sasha's mouth while she sticks her tongue in his mouth and that sounds pretty disgusting, and besides that, what if Sasha doesn't want to be French kissed, maybe even prefers a mom or aunt-type kiss the first time, maybe she prefers to do that kind of kissing for a while and then work up to a French kiss after a year or so.

     So Sonny doesn't try to kiss Sasha until they get to the very dark part of the yard and Sasha says, "I guess we should do the kiss so we can go back in. They might be putting the cake and the punch out for us by now."

     So the kiss. And it is kind of  mom, aunt, grandma kiss but doesn't  feel at like a mom, aunt, grandma kiss, at least not to Sonny. He can't tell what Sasha thought about the kiss him back, kinda, but mostly now she's talking about getting back  inside before Johnny Buffomo eats all the cookies.

     Sasha lives little further out in the country than Sonny does, but on the same road as his  house. For two weeks after the party Sonny walks back and forth in front of her house, thinking maybe she might see him and come out on her porch to talk to him. But she never does.

     And  couple of months later her father got a job in Wyoming and they left town again.








San Antonio Poet Laureate for 2015 and Texas Poet Laureate for 2015-2016, Carmen Tafolla was born in 1951 and grew up in San Antonio's west side barrios. She graduated from the University of Texas in Austin with a Ph.D. in Bilingual and Foreign Education in 1981 and is one of the most heavily anthologized Chicana poets in the United States. She currently is Professor of Transformative Children's Literature at the University of Texas, San Antonio.

Author of numerous collections of poetry, this poem is from Sonnets and Salsa,  published in a revised and extended edition by Wings Press in 2004.

The poem is about Malintzin Tepenal, born of royal blood, given to Hernan Cortez as one of twenty slaves. Later mistress to Cortez, then his wife and mother of Martin, considered to be one of the first Mestizos (people of mixed European and Indigenous American ancestry). Sometimes considered by some as traitor because of her collaboration with Cortez and by others as mother of the Mexican "race."





La Malinche

Yo soy la Malinche

My people called me Malintzin Tpenal
The Spaniards called me Dona Marina

I came to be known as Malinche
                 and Malinche came to meant traitor.

The called me - chingada
                                           Chingada!

(Ha - Chingada! Screwed!)

Of noble ancestry, for whatever that means, I was sold
into slavery by MY ROYAL FAMILY -
so that my brother could get my inheritance.

....And  then the omens began - a god, a new civilization,
                                                   the downfall of our empire.

And you came.
          My dear Hernan Cortez, to share your "civilization" -
                                                                       to play a  god,

...and I began to dream...
                  I saw,
                         and I acted!

I saw our world
         And I saw yours
                 And I  saw -
                                      another.

And yes - I helped your -
                (against Emperor Moctezuma Xocoyotzin himself!)

I became Interpreter, Advisor, and lover.
     They could not imagine me dealing on your level with you -
             so they said I was raped, used,
                                                              chingagda
                                                                               Chingada!

But I saw our world
       and your world
              and another.
No one else could see!
                       Beyond one world, none existed.
               And you yourself cried the night
                the city burned,
                          and burned on your orders.
The  most beautiful city on earth
                                       in flames.
You cried broken tears the night you saw your destruction.
My homeland ached with me
                                      (but I saw another!)

Another world -
       a world yet to be born.
And our child was born...
       and I was immortalized Chingada!

Years later, you took away my child
(my sweet mestizo new world child)
          to raise hi in your world.
          You still didn't see
                  You still didn't see.
And history would call me
                                      chingada.

But Chingada I was not.
       Not tricked, not screwed, not traitor.
For I was not traitor to myself -
               I saw a dream
                      and I reached it.
                             Another world...
                                       
                                             La raza

                                                           la raaaaaaaa-zaaaaa.                                                                    










Large construction project across the river from my coffeehouse, gives a person like me who likes to watch other people work a steady diet of entertainment.










hard hats

cherry red hard hats bobbing
over the incomplete building like
red ants at their nest among the
sharp scatter of bull-head
thorns on sun-baked
ground

stir
the nest

watch it explode
with red, crawling fire

similar
to what happens across
the street
when the food truck arrives
with breakfast
tacos









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
 I welcome your comments below on this issue and the poetry and photography featured in it.

I welcome comments on "Hear and Now" and on the poems in this edition. Just click the "Comment" tab below.






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
September 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