A Conspiracy of D**kh.eads   Wednesday, October 18, 2017

This post bought to you by the National Rifle Association, always here to assist you in the murder of a stranger or your spouse.

Okay, I censored myself (an uncommon occurrence) for the title of the post. But I play it straight with this first poem, written the day after the mass shooting in Los Vegas.

a conspiracy of dickheads

so some crazy
in Los Vegas
killed more than
50 people
in the time
it takes
to toss a poker chip
across a green felt

his guns
sold to him
by some
dickhead dealer
in murder
and mayhem,
having the right to sell
instruments of murder
and mayhem
by bought-off, crooked
in Washington D.C.,
servile lackeys
to an organization
of dickheads
who make a fortune
buying dickhead
who give permission
to some dickhead
gun dealer
to sell instruments
of general destruction
to crazy
in the great state
of Nevada
and right next door
to you
wherever you

More, with occasional rants from 2011.

a conspiracy of dickheads


little Frankie celebrates Columbus Day

Ocean Vuong

except for the gay guys

Bryan Alec Floyd 
Corporal Kevin Spina, U.S.M.C"

young lovers huddle

Nick Carbo
The Filipino Politician


Li Po
Ancient Somg
Waiting for Wine that Doesn't Come"

just as I planned it

David Eberhardt
Tribute to Stephen Hawking & Rene Descartes (I think therefore I am)

every postman knows

4:55 a.m.

Dilruba Ahmed

Zulabula Land

Joanna Weston
In the Wind
When Days Run Together

saint of the rising sun

James Welch
The Wrath of Lester Lame Bull
There is a right way"

weep for me for I am a hero

kooks, crooks, cranks, and creeps

parts ah-scramble

Might as well go ahead and let loss another bit of rage.


our current slimebucket
of a president
seeks a new economic order,
not so new really,
but old,
as in the old South
when the plantation owner
told his workers,
you pick all the cotton you can, niggah,
buy you and the cotton
will always be

I think Marx
referred to this as ownership
of the means of

we call it human capital

Columbus Day not a big deal to me, but though it deserved a little (subversive poem)

little Frankie celebrates Columbus Day

in 1492
Columbus sailed...

and so on...

the day
never meant much to me, being
of mutt persuasion and ancestry,
but I did know an Italian once
who knew an Italian
who made the best meatballs

but mainly I remember
the holiday from elementary school
when every year we did a Columbus Day
skit - I was always a minor sailor
in the production
(the rich kid was always
Columbus, the star of the show)
and my best friend,
a Mexican boy, was always
the Indian, welcoming
big "C" and his scurvy crew,
the innocent savage,
naively welcoming the agent
of his destruction...

even in the third grade...

but for a while
later in life
I rose above the rank of anonymous sailor,,
but poor Frankie, poor little Frankie,
he stayed a poor little Mexican
to the end of his 

This poem is by Ocean Vuong, taken from his  book, Burnings. The book was published in 2010 by Sibling Rivalry Press.

Born Saigon, poet and editor Vuong grew up in Connecticut and  earned his bachelor's degree a New York University. His book earlier book Night Sky With Exit Wounds  was select as best book of the year in 2016 by The New York Times, the New Yorker, and others on a long list of prestige publications.


Because we were boys,
I could only touch you in the dark.
Where we pretended the sins
promised by our fathers
could no find us.

In the path of trembling hands,
the hair on our thighs rose
against the night, and I dreamed
the extraordinary things
light would do to the parts I touched:
tuft of hair, silk of foreskin, the wet pearl
emerging from its sheath.

As I tasted myself inside your mouth,
the breath's warm blooming,
as those fig leaves lay torn by our feet,
somewhere, someone was beginning to sing.

 I had to touch my lips
to know that hymn
                                    was mine

A little socially aware commentary from 2010.

except for the guy guys

you can call me
if you want, but
how is it
that men these days
often so look like pussies -

except for the
gay guys
who look like
they could climb a mountain
with one hand
while fighting off a pack
of hungry gray wolves
with the other -

it's too much time
helping mom look up
quiche recipes
in Wikipedia,
too much watching
"Mash" on TV, catching
the Alan Alda sensitive-guy
till their balls shrunk
to the size of a black-eyed
and they start arranging
in the back of their minds
while pretending
to watch Monday Night Foot-

it's gotten to where
I've got to call up some gay fellas
if I'm wanting a good
manly conversation

The next poem is from the anthology, Unaccustomed Mercy - Soldier Poets of the Vietnam War. The book was published by Texas Tech University Press in 1989.

The poem I selected is by Bryan Alec Floyd. Born in Oklahoma in 1940, Floyd served in the Marine Corps as a chaplain's assistant from 1966-1968. He earned his B.A. from Seattle University and an  M.A. John Hopkins University. At the time of publication, he taught at State University of New York. His honors include a Pulitzer Prize nomination.

Although he did not serve in Vietnam, Floyd is a Vietnam-era Veteran.

Corporal Kevin Spina, U.S.M.C.

He came of a sharecrop farm family
and could barely read and write.
He had never thought
about teaching his heart war.
When he personally received
a letter from the President
of the United States of America
he simply went, having faith.
He put on his uniform
and disappeared
and became his uniform.
When he came back in a box,
he was buried with full military honors,
his family give the flag
that draped his coffin.
Now that flag files every day
in front of his house.
When the neighbor's children pass by
they always look at he flag
and they always say,
"Someday there will be another war,
and I'm going to be a Marine."

A street corner observational.

young lovers huddle

a full moon
and a sky as blue
as the deepest of oceans
the young lovers

with a fire in their dark eyes
like I haven't seen
this early
in my own eyes
for such a long, long
and I am left deeply
alone and envious
of the dark-haired boy
in his knit watch cap
holding the
of the young girl,
her hair and her eyes
also dark, and

This poem is by poet Nick Carbo, from his book, El Group McDonalds, published by Tia Chucha Press in 1995.

Born in the Philippines the adopted son of wealthy Spanish parents, Carbo began writing poetry as a college student in the United States.

The Filipino Politician

When he finds his wife in bed with another man -

The conservative politician feels an ache in his stomach,
     remembers the longanisa and the tapa he had for breakfast.
He doesn't know whether to get the doctor or Cardinal Sin
     on the phone. He calls one of his bodyguards, tells him
to shoot the man and then, his wife. He takes his .38
from his briefcase, shoots his bodyguard in the back.

The liberal politician pours himself a glass of Courvoisier,
     remembers a passage from an Anise Nin story.
He is suddenly the one they call the Basque. He removes
     his Dior tie, his Armani shirt, his Calvin Klein boxer
He puts on a black beret, whispers, tres jolie, tres jolie,
     que bonito, muy grande my petite amore. He joins the
in bed, begins his caresses on the man's calves
     kisses his way up the man thighs.

The communist politician does not call is wife a puta,
     nor does he challenge the man to a duel with balisong
He stays calm, takes out a book of poems by Mao Tse Tung.
     Inspired, he decides to advance the Revolution.
He takes a taxi to Rosas Boulevard, he begins to curse
     and throw rocks at the American Embassy.

We're all product and process of our past. This from the near past, 2010.


have a hitch
in my get-along
this morning,
a vintage mid-fifties
phrase, probably planted
in my young brain by
Tennessee Ernie Ford
or some such,
meaning I"m limping around
like an old man
because of a pain in my hip
because of my cheapness
in refusing to pay $200
to have someone remove
a fallen tree from my
backyard resulting in
$400 worth of personal
pain and suffering after
trying to do it myself,
plus paying $200 to someone
to do the job I couldn't finish

but that's another story...

it's the phrase
I'm interested in this morning,
the phrase that slipped
directly from my brain
like a quarter
passing, unhindered, through
the guts and gears of a malfunctioning
vending machine...

in what secret fold of our brain
do things like this abide, a homely phrase,
a word you forgot you knew, an ugliness
deep buried, you think, never to see again
the light of day - and suddenly there
it is again, the good and the bad
and the merely embarrassing, jumping
right out, throwing itself
at the world like a giggle at you mother's
funeral, a subversive fart
while having tea with
the queen,
yourself revealed,
not really yourself, you explain,
but a little piece of your earlier self
you thought long left behind,
long banished or

my mother
would sometimes call window shades
window lights,
an embarrassment to her
because she thought it revealed
her country-poor upbringing

my father
stuttered when excited,
like all of us
sometimes ambushed
by the

Next, two short poems by Li Po, from the collection of his poems, The Selected Poems of Li Po. The book is a New Directions book published  in 1995.

A master of the Tang dynasty, Li was born in 701 and died in 762.

Ancient Song

Chang-tzu dreams he's a butterfly,
and a butterfly becomes Chang -tzu.

All transformation this one body,
boundless occurrence goes on and on:

it's no surprise eastern seas become
western streams shallow and clear,

or the melon-grower at Chi'ing Gate
once reigned as Duke of Tung-ling.

Are hopes and dreams any different?
We bustle around, looking for what?

Waiting For Wine That Doesn't Come

Jade winejars tied in blue silk...
What's taking the wineseller so long?

Mountain flowers smiling, taunting me,
it's the perfect time to sip some wine,

ladle it out beneath my east window
at dusk, wandering orioles back again.

Spring breezes and their drunken guest:
today we were meant for each other.

An early morning view.

just as I planned it

a swirl 
of clouds
back-lit by a full moon

looking from earth-side
like pictures of swirling galaxies
presented to us by the Hubble telescope

for a moment,
I feel like a god
on all my creations
churning as on the first day
I planned
on this early
on this early 
am proud

This short poem is from my poet friend David Eberhardt.

David, born in 1941, was incarcerated in 1970 for 21 months with Philip Berrigan and two others for protesting the Vietnam War by pouring blood on draft files. He is now retired after 33 years of work in the criminal justice system as Director of Offender Aid and Restoration in the Baltimore City Jail. He has published three books of poetry and is currently at work on a memoir.

Tribute to Stephen Hawking & Rene Descartes ("I think therefore I am")

The gold fish in a fishbowl
Being carried by a small girl
In a market, all this filmed, the different
Perspectives, laws of nature, reality in...
Quarks as if bound by rubber?
13,7 billion year history?
Is your "best fit model".
Mind of the beholder,
Between your ears,
What you choose to be.

Another from 2010, the beginning of something, ever more toxic today.

every postman knows

in the papers
that the Tea Party people
are having trouble
with their national convention,
speakers dropping out,
complaints about high registration fees,
concerns that someone
is making a whole bunch of money
off this thing...

not a surprise
to me,
cranks and crybabies
have started many a political movement
but they always fall in
on themselves,

as every postman knows,
will bite ankles, even if it has to be
their own

it is their nature

This poem is by Dilrua Ahmed, taken from her book, Dhaka Dust, published by Graywolf Press in 2011.

With roots in both Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Bangladesh, Ahmed has BPhil and a MAT degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and an MFA from Warren Wilson College. She has taught in Chatham University's Low-Residency MFA program.


At the field's perimeter
             frog eggs churned

to tadpoles. Glass
              stained our jeans

while wood-scents rose
              among rocks

and trees. We found

nectar-threads, morning
               glory and mint.

Honeysuckle grew suddenly
               in pairs of barrette

when girls emerged
               from hedges

wearing cotton skirts
               and flowered dresses.

As my poems this week make clear, this is my favorite time of the year, especially in the early morning

4:55 a.m.

woke up at 4:55 a.m. this morning
feeling as alive and fresh
as the new
that awaited me

the air dry
and cool
the moon nearly
full, the scatter
of the first
blown down the street
by a brisk morning

wind chimes
on back patios
join the birds
in soft songs of the

Next, two short poems by another poet friend, Joanna Weston.

She has appeared here frequently and has published two middle-readers and several books of poetry.

In the Wind

your voice warm and rich
tasting of oak cinnamon and cumin
coils about my head and spills
like aged brandy over my hands

I drink your sound with chocolate
hold it between pages of mystery and fact
thread it in rigging with my sails
as we head into high winds
with your hand on the tiller

When Days Run Together

always it is autumn
leaves falling within
branches breaking
in early storms
here I have no way
of holding the past
only the loosening
of hands on the present
which erases itself
into a blind
and speechless future

thoughts bend
into scented trees
and the taste of salt
licks my lips

This from late 2010, marking the discovery of a wonderful coffeehouse, which closed a couple of years ago, followed by another wonderful coffeehouse which closed a couple of months ago, leading to my current coffeehouse which went immediately to the endangered status list by my 3rd visit.

I seem to have that effect on coffeehouses.

Zulabula Land

9 a.m.
and I'm heading

for my new coffee

of occasional creations

of a poetic nature,
one of those Presbotarianist

where you get a blessing

with each cup of coffee
and an invitation

to donate
to their mission

in Zulabula Land
and nice art on the walls

and old furniture
and chairs

upon which a person
of my substantial substance

can find adventure
in intermittent

and groans -

I was driving

to this place of occasional
poetic creation

when two yuppie-puppie

raced right through
a red light

right in front of me
and if I hadn't slowed down

two blocks earlier
to get a better look at a house

I'm going to buy
after I win the lottery tonight

they'd have creamed me,
as we used to say,

having nothing to do with
cows or milking machines

or haystacks
or sylvan pastures of green,

just plain old run right into me,
leaving me in a bloody twist

of metal
and flesh formerly known

as me,
pretty bad for the flesh

formerly known as

but not so bad
for the wife of the flesh

formerly known as me,
said flesh, worth more

in such mangled and dead

than unmangled
and alive
making it possible

making it possible
she can move into that house

I was looking at without
counting on lottery winnings,

such are the economics
of life and death


another sign
of the craziness

all about,
these yuppie-puppie

in their yuppie-puppie vans

driving like Bonnie and Clyde
ruing from the

after a bank job

I'm telling you
there is no safe place

for us sane people
when yuppie-puppie moms

are driving their yuppie-puppie van
through a yuppie-puppie neighborhood

like Steve McQueen
chasing bad guys

through the hills
of San Francisco -

too damn many people
seeing to many movies

they're not psychologically
prepared for

is what I think
is going on

The next two short poems are by James Welch. Born in 1940 and died in 2003, Welch was a Native American novelists and poet, considered by many to be the founding author of the Native American Renaissance.

The poems are from his book, Riding the Earthboy -40-published by Confluence Press in 1990.

The Wrath of Lester Lame Bull

Bears are in the cabbage again,
cunning soles crashing down carrots,
faces thick to wear a turnip green.
Not even the onion dissents.

Lester Lame Bull in his garden grows
twenty rows of winter store
a piddling score to court
against the blue of mountain ash.

Cottonwood limbs rattle his bones.
Lesser storms those pesky winds,
stoning crows from purple cups.
Quirky grins are thick in muscatel.

Elephants are whispering in backyards.

There is a Right Way

The justice of the prairie hawk
moved me; his wings tipped
the wind just right and the mouse
was any mouse. I came away,
broken from my standing spot,
dizzy with the sense of a world
trying to be right, and the mouse
a part of a wind that stirs the plains.

Everything I need for the day comes the orange glow of the sun rising.

saint of the rising sun

is how my life starts
in the nearly-still dark,
7 a.m, this day

is what prepares me,
gives me the courage
to face a new
in a world
where nothing is new
it seems,
each new day
a black reflection
of the day

like the Egyptians
in their ancient days,
I look to the saint of
the rising sun
to save

This is another poem from 2011.

And how discouraging it is that so little has changed except to get worse.

kooks, crooks, cranks, and creeps

I was going
to write a poem
about the convention
of right-wing republicans
that's just wrapping up, where
all the presidential-aspirant-dwarfs
came in to pretend they aren't 3 feet tall
and ugly

and then
I thought, why
look for a fight on this
bright Sunday morning, better
to write a poem about the sun reflecting
off the window across the way, brilliant orange
flash, like an exploding Florida navel orange, pulpy splinters
spewing wetly
into the

I must tell you
that the reference to Florida
navel oranges was difficult for me
having grown up in a part of Texas famous
for our deeply orange and sweet navel oranges, and ruby red
grapefruit, not to mention tangerines, giant lemons, limes, avocado,
not forgetting grain, cotton and
sugar cane...
and tourist travel trailer camps, the last refuge of bankrupt farmers
when no one wants to buy their assorted fruits and nuts...

it was a most magnificently orange sun reflecting brightly
is all I'm saying before I wander off again onto a subject not remotely
connected to lunatic republican right-wingers or sun bright explosions of
like an explosion in the Sunkist Galaxy


is all I'm saying

We had more than our share of tragedy this past month, with true heroes, remarkable for their heroic actions. The rest of us are just victims, a terrible, but not especially honorable position to be in.

This piece is also from 2010.

weep for me for I am a hero

it was a terrible
evil thing
done to us

by terrible

this world is full
of terrible evil mother-

doing terrible evil things
everywhere people live

and the fact that
they did it to us doesn't
make us, them , or the thing

they did
special or unique - it's just another

of the human race
to its own destruction...

now it's true
we need to kill every one
of the terrible evil

who had anything to do
with the thing they did to us

(but it would be nice
if we could kill more of the evil
motherfuckers and fewer

shepherds and
shopkeepers and women
and children and babes-in-arms)

- I take that last as a given,
one that I would think we could
all share

but I know we don't
for there are those who say
kill them all

and let God, theirs or ours,
or who cares,
sort out the innocent from the

evil motherfuckers -
it is the psychology of victimhood
that makes a person

feel they are a special case,
that regular rules don't apply
to me because

after all
I am the victim here
poor me poor me kill them all

burn their church
(or don't let them build one at all)
mock their god

for I am a victim,
pray for me, weep for me,
send me money

for I am a victim and victims
are heroes now
and we all know how we love

our heroes,
weep for me, a hero,
daughter of the first cousin

of my neighbor's aunts dog
groomer killed in that terrible evil
thing done by those terrible


weep for me weep for me
for I am a victim
and a hero

and how
I am

and how I love in return
my victim's

in this ticker-tape land
of victim-

and how I fear
the day
my country

puts aside its passion
for victimhood
for how will I ever be special

Even bad mornings can be made good.

parts ah-scramble

under yellow-white light
I bruise through the deliciously
and bright
early morning

hard night and a
harder day
feeling like all the inner-parts
of me
have gone ah-scramble...

all will reassemble
in approximate order
if I give it time
I think

I hope...

until then,
what a perfectly terrible waste
of a perfectly wonderful

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, Sonyy, 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.


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


Sonyador - The Dreamer


  Peace in Our Time


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