So Here I Am Again   Wednesday, June 28, 2017

so here I am again

so here I am again
this morning,
trying to make a place
for myself in the void,
that deep space between the stars,
or,
depending on how the morning goes,
the deep space between my ears

I have been at this place-making
labor for years now, nearly twenty
and though I've come close some time
in the end it seems clear
that stars are not for 
me,
even such
a minor one as
Kirk-Spockaries 123...

but what of it
I say...

beats the hell out of
yard work or other more gainful
employment in the South Texas
summer sun

so just pardon me -

no time to talk
chit chat or other such
wool-gathering diversions
from the destiny
just lying there waiting
for me
like the carousal's golden ring,
seeming with ever revolution
so near, always almost
within reach...

it is 
morning now and I
have to get to making
my daily lunge at the ring, thinking
maybe this is
is the time I
reach
it





So here I am again, looking for an easy to do this.

Not too impressed with my new stuff and too lazy to be digging around through my library this week, decided to stick to old poems this week, all, except the one above, from 2008.

All me:

so here I am again

I set out to write a poem

the woman who reminds me of Gertrude Stein

children's crusade
   After Claudia Alarez' series, Machine Gun, Choking, Boygun - watercolor on paper

a little bitty woman

secrets revealed

downsizing

national report

calling Dr. Strangelove

watching a squirrel hide his nut

no papers

el dia de los muertos

on reading "Cow" by Federico Garcia Lorca

clarification

black hole boogie
   After Lisa Sanditz' - Pearl Farm Underwater - acrylic with pearl on canvas

she pretends
   After K. K. Kozik's Late"- oil on linen

OK, so you're telling me the Malthusian theory of population growth and the inevitability of catastrophic overpopulation wasn't, strictly speaking, my idea

this is what I remember this Mother's Day

along the way

liar, liar

rainbow shoes

"Appaloosa"











First from way back then, January, 2008.








I set out to write a poem

I set out
to write a poem
right now,
the first
for the new year,
but
it's a bright
and beautiful day
and I'm as sleepy
as a dog
in a patch of winter sun
so literary ambitions
must be set away

dream-time calls.
and a mistress
not to be
denied
is
she











Again, 2008. This from February.








the woman who reminds me of Gertrude Stein

the woman who reminds me
of Gertrude stein
sits across from me
several tables away,
feet heavy on the floor,
wide bottom
planted in her chair
like a bull
in its own private pasture...

she's a large woman
with a sharp beak of a nose
centered
with an occasional sniff
of dissatisfaction
on a fleshy face
that hints at sensuality
behind a domineering facade,
a look of secrets
behind
small,
quick
eyes










2008, March.













children's  crusade
After Claudia Alvarez' series "Machine Gun,"  "Choking,"  Boygun" - watercolor on paper

even as Abraham
sought to buy
his god's
favor
by the
murder
of his son...

so, still
today
children are sent to fight
to suffer
to die
for the ambition
of new false gods,
builders
of empire
on the bones of slaughter,
blood suckers
drinking the essence
of innocence...

children
at war,
sacrificed still
when
they should be playing
baseball
going to school
dreaming

instead
they kill and they die

if there is a hell
we will all
be meeting
there












April, 2008.









a little bitty woman

a little bitty woman,
short
and trim,
gray hair,
sky blue eyes
magnified
by round rimless glasses

she walks the halls
with a loose
sliding gait that reminds me
of a 50s hipster,
to cool to actual put foot
to floor, a little bit of float
and glide, and she cocks
her head to the side
when she talks to you,
reminding me
of a sparrow
eyeing a particularly
fat and tasty
looking
worm

with a little hint of hunger
in those sky
blue eyes
watching
as you speak













May, 2008.











secrets revealed

for some days now
I have been reading
essays by 8th graders from a state that shall
remain nameless

on the subject
of "Freedom,
And Why It Is Important
to Americans"
many grand and noble
sentiments
were writ, sometimes
with great and refreshing
eloquence,
as well as, sadly,
evidence that for some
eloquence
will always be a mighty
reach


there is excitement
like a burst of fresh air
sweeping the crowded room
when,
from the pen of a 12-year-old
beautiful,
powerful prose
erupts

and, for the readers,
excitement
as well when hidden knowledge
is revealed
as when a student tells us
that
among the reasons
America's founders fought
the British
was the promise in the
Declaration of Independence
of "Life,
Liberty, and
the Prostitute of Happiness"
or
when a student reminds us
to support our soldiers fighting
for our freedom in
"Elfganistan,"
letting slip the mystery
that has puzzled scholars
for then thousand years -
i.e. the hitherto secret location
of the homeland
of the Elves...

jeez,
I hope the little guys
don't get hurt,
trapped
as they are
in the middle of all that
fighting










And the middle of the year, June, 2008.









downsizing

the horizon
narrows
as the dark
closes in

marking the hour
to sort out
the truth
of the time remaining

time
to free myself
of the baggage

of goals
unmet

dreams
foreclosed

time to set a course
tat recognizes
the reality
of time

time
to downsize
to fit the days

between
the horizon
and the final dark













Now, July, the worst month in South Texas except for August. 2008, my mid-year state of the union









national report

New Hampshire

storm carve swath
of death, destruction

God is blamed,
along with newly elected
politicians and Greek sailors
on leave -
God makes no
comment,
newly elected
politicians
unleash swath
of meaningless
politipoop,
Greek sailors'
comment, one word,
"What?"
after lengthy discussion
among themselves
in a foreign language
which a panel of experts
said, when consulted,
might be Greek

Arizona

community college
shooting injures 3

incident blamed on
God
and newly elected members
of the Arizona House o
Prevaricators
and Albanian parachutists -
all refused comment
except the ghost of Barry
Goldwater 
who, when consulted, said
bullshit

Alaska

bear attack leaves
woman in bad shape

close associates report
woman
bent in at least three
places, also suffering
bad case of
bear 
breath
hangover


District of Columbia

US Airways fires pilot
whose gun discharged

pilot
fires back


Louisiana

river oil spill cleanup
could take weeks

if not months
or possibly years -
former governor Edwin
Edwards reports from his cell
that he could fix it in hours
if everyone in Louisiana
would send him three
dollars
and forty-seven cents


District of Columbia

foreign AIDS aid
legislation approved

former Senator Jesse
Helms signals approval
from his grave, as long
as, the recently deceased
Senator
adds,
none of the money goes to
queers


California

Charges against Marine dismissed

safer court martial panel determined
that the killing of the two Syrians
was provoked by their wearing
of long beards, open toed sandals,
and otherwise appearing
Arabic


Elsewhere in the Universe

President George W. Bush

assured by the 
Vice-President
and Karl Rove
that his swing would
improve
with just a little more practice,
returned to his game
of golf, handing of
the nuclear
"football"
to Jenna
in the interim
so she'd
have something to play with
while on honeymoon










August, 2008. I have August.

As worried as I was in 2008, I'm multiple times more worried now, with a president who is driven by ego with no apparent concept of consequence, this time might be the scariest time since October, 1962, more scary, in fact, because of the factors I talk about in the poem.









calling Dr. Strangelove

the past week
has taken me back
to October, 1962,
missiles in Cuba,
American warships
interdicting
Russian ships
carrying more
missiles, turning
them back, threats
and counter threats,
nuclear forces
on both sides on edge
at the ready, war talk

18 years old, my first
semester of college,
afraid, but, somehow
not, the nuclear threats
somehow reassuring.
the madness of mutual
assured destruction
somehow reassuring,
the certainty that the
madness
would be contained
in the end
by the realization
on both sides that
there is no winning side
to a nuclear war

the problem
that worries me
now is that,
without the rattling
of nuclear sabers,
war might come
to seem to some
rational
in a way it never
would in 1962,
that nationalistic ambitions
might lead to new calculations
of risk and reward, that,
without the threat of annihilation
of hundreds of millions,
the death of hundreds
of thousands might become
an acceptable cost
for fulfillment of the ancient
dreams of the czars

most of my youth
was lived
in the shadow of the
bomb,
a horror
whose absence
is not reassuring
in a day when ambition
is testing new and dangerous
boundaries












September, 2008, back to school and crowded highways.










watching a squirrel hide his nut

it's 9:30,
still cool and breezy
on the porch at Casa Chiapas...

I was thinking about my morning poem,
something about Dave Brubeck
who I saw last week at Travis Park

when a squirrel
walked by with a very large
pecan in his mouth...

he stopped very quickly
as squirrels do
looked at me then went on

again
very quickly
as squirrels do

to a little patch of grass
by the sidewalk,
did some sniffing

a little tentative
digging
then on to more sniffing

and more tentative digging
looking
obviously

for a suitable place
to hide his
nut

on his fifth try
he stood up straight,
looking out for spies

who might raid his cache
if they see
where he buries it

then bends back down
and places his nut
gently

into the little hole
he had scratched in the dirt,
stood up straight again

checked once more
for spies
then scampered across the street

as squirrels scamper
looking very disjointed
legs going every which a way

but moving very fast
never the less,
jumping

on the picket fence
in front of the bright red roses
in the garden

of the little limestone house
across the
street...

perhaps
there is something of Brubeck
in this poem after all

the unique scamper
of the squirrel
like the unique way Brubeck

played
with time signatures,
5/4, 6/4, 7/4

even 9/8
in Blue Rondo a la Turk,
stuff

that like the scampering squirrel
seems like it ought not work
but does

and the whole experimentation
of jazz
like the squirrel

sniffing and digging
sniffing and digging
until just the right elements

come together
for new sounds in
unexplored territory

and that is why...
oh, wait,
the squirrel is back

with another nut,
two nuts one squirrel
a very successful squirrel

indeed













October, 2008. I referred to the "autumn lady" in a new poem earlier this week.









no papers

the autumn
lady
street person
was
dancing
in the parking lot
this morning

dressed
in her normal
browns
& reds
& golds

slow-moving
arms
and hips
and shoulders
and heard to a kind of
calypso beat

not in a world
of her own
as you might think
but
in the music
only she hears

she
stops when I drive up
walks to the rail
and pretends to look down
at the river

I've said hello
to her several times
early in the morning,
like now,
but she never responds
because she is black
and I am white
because she is woman
and I am man
because she is homeless
and I am homed
because she is the queen
of this street
of this parking lot above the river
of the water
as it flow in her river

and of this and every morning

and
I
am just a trespasser
a passer-through
a migrant
with no
papers

meaning
no
good morning
greeting
is required
or to be acknowledged












November, Turkey Month, 2008. I'll try to find a non-turkey poem.












el dia de los muertos

on a day like today

and every day
is like today with living
and dead
in their separate
territories
only border between
the two brighter
today
than other days
when our thoughts
of the dead
are rarely so celebrated

I imagine myself
standing
at the graves of my parents
and my vision
is not of my parents
but of myself
standing at their grave
trying
to conjure up
a vision of them

and it never works

for I have no memory
of them
bound in a box
beneath the earth

my memories
are of them walking together
beneath an open sky

moments
particular to them...

my father
not as bad as he would be
at the very end
but knowing the very end
was coming

calling the three of us,
my two brothers
and I,
into a room to talk about
the final days he saw ahead,
worried
about what would happen
to our mother,
his wife of forty years,
losing
control for a minute,
only the second time
I ever saw him in tears,
the first
at the funeral of his father...

36 years passed since
and now
him gone
mother gone
older brother gone
and
just the two of us left
and most of my family life
lies now
in the memory of it -

memories of my mother
so proud
at the sale of her first painting,
holding a $50 check in her hand
waving at me
from across the room

and little memories
of her,
mixing cornbread and buttermilk
in a glass,
a treat from her childhood
she enjoyed
into her last days, or
playing dominoes with my son,
so happy she was to see him when
he finally came,
crying on the phone
when I told her...

my father,
not a man to show affection
or emotion
putting his arm across my shoulder
the night of my high school graduation
or sitting
in the back row of a Catholic church,
site of papist heresy
to his strict Lutheran soul,
giving me a thumbs up as I pass
down the aisle
with my new bride

so many moments

too many to fit in boxes
under this well-tended grass













Merry Christmas, December, 2008.










on reading cow by Federico Garcia Lorca

I am reminded
of how often I worry about the meat I eat,
not because I'm a vegetarian
or because I think it is necessarily
immoral to eat other creatures,
but because of the way these other creatures
come to become an entree on my plate -

if you've ever been to a slaughter house
you know what
I mean

no respect
for the life being taken
and
in the end
no respect
for the life being eaten

so
if I continue to eat meat
which I almost certainly will continue to do,
I will endeavor to remind myself
of the creature whose living essence
sustains me

no more hamburgers for me

from now on
when I go to McDonald's
it'll be ground cow on a bun to go,,,

no more BLT

instead
lettuce and tomato
on toast
with mayo
and crispy slices of
pig,,,

chickens
never get enough respect
for us to even disrespect them,
so we eat up our chicken breast
without thinking much about it

I haven't decided yet
how to deal with that

possibly
this

beast of feathered fowl
or maybe
leg
of feathered fowl
dusted
with secret spices
and fried
crispy...

will have to think
a bit more
about chickens,
I think












Back to the beginning of the year, January 2008.











clarification

young girl,
maybe twenty
and not much more,
fiery
in speech
and manner
says

there ain't no
country
called Hispanica
so how can I be
Hispanic

and there ain't
never been no
country
called Latin
and if they was
they been dead
a couple thousand
years
anyway

so no way
I'm
Latin

but there is a
Mexico
and that's where
my blood roots lie
so that makes me
Mexican -

you got a problem
with that?












Back to February, 2008, my birth month.











black hole boogie

       after Lisa Sanditz'  "Pearl Farm Underwater" - acrylic with pearl on canvas

dancing
on the ceiling
in a vortex
of star-
bursts
black hole
boogie
soul train moment
flash
of disintegration
open
fate-gate
to universal
nothing
all-thing
you-thing
me-thing

allallallall

in clouds of
megalithic
wonder












March. 2008 (again).












she pretends

           after K. K. Kozik's "Late" - oil on linen

she
pretends
she
hasn't
been waiting

she
pretends
to be fascinated
by the Times
and the hows
why
and wherefores
of Hill and Barry
and Britney
as well

but
she looks
over her shoulder
at me
and
I know better

the flowers
were a good idea
I
think












April, 2008.











okay, so you're telling me the Malthusian theory of population growth and the inevitability of catastrophic overpopulation wasn't, strictly speaking, my idea

I decided several years ago
that, being involved
in nothing else of consequence,
I should further my education

so I went to the university
in the city where I lived at the time
and signed up for a Masters Degree
program centered around
English Literature and Interdisciplinary Studies

I took my first class -
The Rhetorical Tradition -
basically a philosophy survey course
(seems the Greeks identified
Philosophy and Rhetoric as
basically the same thing) -
three hours a
night
four nights a
week
after an eight hour
day job
and it was no a bundle
of laughs,
but I did sell,
as well as it was possible to do,
in fact, which reassured me
that, even in a class
with a bunch of kids
who could have been the kids
of my kids,
I could do better than just
hold my own...

I did not go back the next semester
and have not been back since
because i didn't seem my mind fit
the kind of mind
that higher levels of education was aimed at,
minds, it seemed to me, directed toward
classifying and cataloging
someone else's intellectual output
rather than the kind of creative
intellectual adventure I was looking for...

I'm a assimilator of facts and ideas,
everything I know and think.
the entirety of the contents of m mind
is the result of interaction with other minds,
but I could no more tell you
how those interactions occurred
or with whom
then I could tell you the chemical composition
of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich

I know
what I know
but I'll be damned
if I know
how I know it

not
higher level education
material
at all

...

so what does this very long poem
mean?

I don't know,
except sometimes I feel the urge
to talk to myself
and if you do that sort of thing out loud
certain
negative
assumptions
are made about the state
of your mind












May, 2008.










this is what I remember this Mother's Day

as the end approached
she was often
confused,
obsessive over things
and time
no one else could remember,
and suspicious,
sure people
were stealing from her

I was impatient

I think of that now,
add it
to my ever-growing list
of sorrows,
things I would change
if the past
once set
could be reshaped
to correct
errors
of inattention
and selfish
negligence

but when I think of her
I don't think
of those last months
and years before
and from all that
passing time,
it is another picture
that comes to
mind -
it is her smile,
standing
at the backdoor
arms outstretched
to welcome me
when I visit

that's what I remember
on this day













June, 2008, a travel poem.











along the way

last night,
Huntsville,
a beautiful little city,
with hills
and green, green
green trees
and thick grass
fed by generous annual rain

headquarters
of the state prison system

bad vice

eager to leave...

tonight,
Nacogdoches,
one of the-oldest European settlements
in Texas, near the center of the Piney Woods,
historic downtown
beautiful
in shades of red,
red brick buildings
and red cobblestone streets,
but empty,
empty stores
empty streets
and an empty look
from from the old man sitting
in front of the old city hall

more people in the university district,
and a coffee shop,
Java Jacks,
that offers a quiet place to write

a quiet place to watch three students,
then four, 
then five,
practice their French,
a baffling language to me,
but as far as I can tell,
they're doing well,
trying hard,
even the cowboy looking boy
who seems to have as much "aw shucks"
as French in his accent,
and the one girl, the best of the group,
speaking the most, all in French,
incorporating
even the best Gallic gestures
and facial expressions, looking
like a pretty French girl
in one of those
new wave films playing art cinemas
back in the fifties

before leaving
I get a dinner recommendation
from the barista,
a Mexican place down the street
that turned out food as advertised

so now, over-full
and fully medicated
with all my nightly doses,
I'm ready for bed

tomorrow, the
coast














July, 2008.










liar, liar

I lied
to my dog today

when it came time
to put her in the car
so we could drive
to our morning walk
I said

"Reba,
I can't take you
with me
today
because I have
a bunch of errands
and you'd be stuck
in the hot car
and you'd get hot
and sweaty and
you'd hate it."

liar
liar
pants
fire

the truth is
I don't have any errands,
don't plan on doing anything
different
from what I usually do
before I go off to all the places
I usually go off to

but
I knew
as I scratched behind her ears
and looked into her soft brown eyes
that, weeping
though she might be on the inside,
she believed me

just as she always
believes me...

I ask you,
can a man
sink
any
lower
than this?












August, 2008, another damn August.











rainbow shoes

red shoes
one day
blue
shoes
the next
green shoes
yellow
orange
and purple
shoes
too

the bonny-eyed
girl
with rainbow shoes
always
wears a
golden
smile

invites
you
with a sparkle
of a laugh
to join in
the bright
happy
day
no matter what
the hue
of your shoes











And finally, September, 2008, three months short of making it around the year twice.










"Appaloosa"

went to the movies
today
at 11 am
early bird special
only $8 for the two of us

not counting
the $15
at the concession stand

a good old western - "Appaloosa"

the clip-clop of horse hooves
as the title
rolls

a horse whinny

gunfire
and the bad guy
makes his base nature known

and good guys -
good friends,
lawmen,
partners
cleaning up the New Mexico Territory,
one dried-up little town
after another,
making the territory safe
for the cheats
and cowards and double-
dealing civilizer
of the west

and a prissy little woman
who's something of a whore
inside
and a real whore
with a heart of gold
and loyal to her man

and treachery
and stand-fast fortitude
and moral choices
and the good in the bad
and the bad in the good
and a gun fight
when evil is defeated,
left lying bloody dead
on the dusty
street

and the friends must part
the one staying with the
prissy whore
while the other rides off
into the sunset
leaving the heart-of-gold
whore
with a little gold locket
and a kiss on the cheek

yes sirree,
I surely do
like
a good
cowboy
movie












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.

  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


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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