Working Man Blues   Wednesday, November 08, 2017

This poem is from my first Ebook, Pushing Clouds Against the Wind, a collection of poems from 2006 to 2007, known to some as the book, which due to my ignorance, has the cover without a title.

working man blues

did some gainful

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

A little different this week, nothing from my library, instead, poems from several of my poet friends and a bunch of me.

working man  blues

indictment day

Bharat Shekhar
Weaved In

in a land so far away

insomniac moon

lost at sea

Gary Blankenship
Forge Dreams

the beauty of original sin

it is tempting to write about Paris

sic transit

Joanna Weston
In the Wind
When Days Run Together

brown legs walking in sunshine

where do boys go these days

space cadets announce

David Eberhardt
In Mem John Winston Lennon:

always remember what your mother told you

the variable ranges of truth between diddly and doodly

35 degrees

Alice Folkart
One Way to Deal with Fear

days lost to better dreams

nights at a desert camp

my mentors

The first dominoes fall.

indictment day

Indictment Monday,
the first new national 
of the Trumpian era
as on tenterhooks we await
which of our favorite creeps
will be the first to

This poem is by my poet friend Bharat Shekhar, a freelance writer from New Delhi.

I'm actually not sure what the title of this piece is so I picked the one of two possibilities that made the most sense.

Weaved In 

When the book
is in the mod,
it dreams her
into its plot.

on seasides
with alien shores,
streetlamps shine
on darkened doors.
Inside silence,
there is knocking.
In between knocks,
there is silence.
As stories here
die in life,
they live in death.

She is inside them,
they are inside her
she the dagger,
and sometimes,
the wound is hers,
as pain
as stain.

she finds herself in
cobblestone streets,
pipes inside
opium dens...

She is frost
on a guard's mustache,
as he freezes
on the high tower.

She drinks desire
on lover's lips,
eats starving leftovers,
from rummaged dustbins.

She becomes magic,
and she becomes mundane.
She becomes trees
and she becomes breeze.
She becomes storm
and she becomes shelter.
She becomes mountain,
and she becomes sea.

she becomes the
large, slightly raised,
in a child's book,
whose contours
a little finger

with a claustrophobic click,
a encyclopedia
buries her
deep inside.

with a flutter
o winged pages,
a poem
frees her.

Who needs a god when the universe we are a part of is so grand and glorious and awe-inspiring.

in a land so far away

in a land so far away
I could never go, a creature
so unlike we could never meet,
extends his sweetly licouriced ocular extensions
to view the oh-so-far-away bright that lights my day
and the tiny turning spec circling third from its blazing glory,
this tiny island that is giver of life for the me and the all around me,
and wonders about that place so far away where even he could never go
and if there might be such a creature so unlike him they could never meet,
creatures such as he and me, so far apart and so unlike, joined with the kindred souls of life
that includes all of him and all of me and all that could ever be souls entwined there in the far-some

in between
each and all
of all the places
too far to go
and others so unlike
they can only meet
in this forever
of souls in the
in between

From 2014, the problem, turning my brain off long enough to sleep.

insomniac moon

in an uncertain sky

a jumble
reminded of
by people
dog wants
dog wants
ah-jumble ah-tumble
moon set
sun rise
another day
to lose
after another 
lost night

Lost my WIFI for several hours. And they think they've got problems in Puerto Rico.

lost at sea

at my coffeehouse of champions,
table wobbly,
like sitting on one of those little shrimp boats
anchored in Corpus Christi Bay,
masts swaying with the

maybe not such a champion
after all

leaving me
without the Internet
from which I can steal items of interest
from which I might find the pearl
of a hidden poem, hidden that is,
to all but me who has found the secret
of snuffing out, like a pig after the Giant Truffle
of legend, pearls from the dreck
to which I apply my talent
for turning pearls
back into the dreck from which
it came...

but that is unnecessary
since my pearls turned-dreck
are already known far and wide,
holding the title as I do for consecutive daily dreck

(and since being A#1 at something is better than B#2
I feel so shy hesitation in reminding people
of it)


but it is a beautiful morning,
51 degrees
and a little dim
with maybe-promised rain

(I know that because I looked it up
on the weather channel back when I had WIFI
and the Internet to confirm the reportage of my senses)

looking out my window, it appears to be not raining

of course, I'll have to confirm that as soon as I get
my WIFI back

This is a piece from my poet friend Gary Blankenship. I'm not sure if this is a new poem or from his book of poems of the states, which I have but can't find.

Forge, Dreams


A Gary by Any Other Name
(for Patricia)

In his high-pitched childish voice
my step becomes lighter
and smile wider -
even the harmonic tones
of the Jackson family
do not make me feel as carefree.

When I hear the roar of the Indy 500
rumble across the brickyard
I reach for 4 on the floor,
push down on a reluctant gas pedal
and remember when 500 miles
seemed as far away as Mars moons.

When I read your poetry,
I am as enchanted
as if you rose from the Wabash
and clasped me to your bosom
while we cannoballed downstream
to part at Mardi Gras.

Sunlamp Dreams

Gray skies crowd the horizon
days more than predicted.
Seed catalogs surround me  -
tomatoes, sweet corn, ripen
on their slick, glossy pages -
sprouts planted in prairie heat.

A free thought, the greatest sin against that jealous old prig Jehovah.

the beauty of original sin

Abyss of Eros,
beauty of original sin.
         Ku Sang (Korean poet)

how exciting
it must have been,
how delectable, delightful,
outright beautiful that first sin,
the original sin, the concept "sin" unknown
until the thing, the sin, was done...

doesn't make any difference
what it was...

maybe it was the eating
of forbidden fruit
like the book
or maybe it was sex,
or was less complicated than that,
maybe it was when he first noticed the curve of her breast,
the round perfection of her ass, and liked it,
or maybe it was her sin, seeing
the arrogance of his massive cock, erect,
so different, she thought, from the little nubbin
that hung so humbly between his legs before,
and she imagined so many uses for it...

or maybe it was something more abstract,
maybe just a random thought, the one or the other
or the both thinking something
that hadn't been inserted for them to think,
something that they thought up all on their own, maybe
it was just that creativity, impinging on the realm
of he who created all and reserved creation
as a thing only for him...

or maybe it wasn't that complicated...

maybe it could have been something as simple and small
as putting a slug in a parking meter -

but no difference, a thing large or small, it was wonderful,
it was new, it was the first and it was original,
the first original thing for them, and thus, by the rules
it was, in its originality, a sin, the original sin, and it was

they may have wondered later if that sin was worth
its consequences, but to no avail, for in their wonder they sinned
again and again, there was no turning back...

This was written in 2015 after the terrorist attack against the magazine in Paris.

it is tempting to write about Paris

it is tempting to write about
events in Paris,
but terrible as those atrocities are
I am more concerned with my own country

and my countrymen -
so afraid,
fearful of everything and everyone,
anything and anyone
or unusual
of foreign or religiously or culturally
of the pieties the pious hold dear

a coffee cup
a threat,
a migrant child,
a threat,
a piece of fire-charred brisket
a threat,
a hot dog
a threat,
the fella who walks funny
a threat,
the girl in the big overalls
a threat,
the free-thinker
a threat,
the liberal
a threat,
a right-winger
a threat,
the armadillo in the middle of the road
a threat,
the Gitmo prisoner a threat,
too scary for even maximum security prisons on our own soil...

everyone on every side
of everyone on every other side

everyone on every side
Facebook blather
delirious with
before everyone on every other

to the point we have become crazy people
lost in our own self-imposed

it didn't used to be like this,
in the days
the country
and its countrymen and women
had the balls
to face the greatest evils
of the past century
and fight,
and prevail, the ascendancy of evil
not allowed,
thoughts of evil's certain ascendance
not allowed...

I miss those days...

Premature expectations

sic transit

rumored to be on the way,
their approach so far
to tree limbs shaking,
leaves scattering,
tossed about
on the red brick patio outside
my window...

and as soon as I say that -
the rain starts

and as soon as I say that -
the rain stops

sic transit
thunder thumpers

sic transit
my poem for the day

These poems are by my Canadian poet friend Joanna Weston.

In the Wind

your voice warm and rich
tasting of oak cinnamon and cumin
coils about my had 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

Getting old wouldn't be nearly so hard if you just couldn't remember young.

brown legs walking in sunshine

brown legs walking
in sunshine
and I'm sitting by the gym
and it's 1957 again
and I'm 13 again and
a new center of the
is revealed to me

From 2015, remembering "boy-time" as I knew it.

where do boys go these days...

to see horned toads
and tarantulas? where are the red-ant beds
to pee on, and the dirt roads and arroyos to chase down
on tough, stripped-down bicycles (the bicycles they ride today
would fold their delicate little frames into a submissive
crouch if ever introduced to a dirt road)? where are the muddy fields
to play slip and slide, and the thick brush where boys can hide
for the world and girls and grown-ups and smoke Parliament cigarettes, where
are the places where boys can be boys, where mischief can be
innocent and nothing is forever and never means until tomorrow?...


"I'm looking under
a dress of wonder
that I overlooked

we sang the ditty with not a clue of what was "under" and free to make it up
as we went along, imagination we assumed made us experts...

where do boys go today to capture such a gift of innocent

is there place safe for such
innocence, such

as eased us into the harsher truth
of it all?...

Sci-Fi crazy since I was ten years old. Always welcome news like this of further unknowns.

space cadets announce

there's a new moon
I read today

a bitty little thing,
its reality
by NASA, our space cadets
finding it finally after
a century
of its tiny presence
hanging around
(and around)
out there

a moon never lost
but finally

I won't be feeling
so bad
when I can't find
my keys
on a Monday morning

This poem is by my poet friend from Baltimore, David Eberhardt.

in mem John Winston Lennon:

Sweet dreams my prince, sweet dreams!
For the benefit of Mr Kite
A sooper dooper show tonite
Past Islington and Penny Lane,

Take lefts and rite past Strawberry fields.
To Pablo Fanque's Circus Royale enthralls
You out upon the greeny mall
And Edward Lear has brought along

A skeezix with a luminous dong!
Xanthus the mystery horse performs
As well a certain "Peppery Band"
For yr delite will b ice cream

And dancing on the trampoline
For kidlees and adults alike
The giant Bubbles entertains
The midget Semolina imitates

A walrus as you've never seen
Guns in amurika my try to end yr dream
But there are ways to melt them down-
Non violent love will steel the scene

And leftward leaning - let's all lean!
All we are saying is "Give peace a chance"
The lonely hearts of Eleanor Rigby
Find a mate, lonely no more

And Reverend Finster lonely no more!
See Judy leap a dozen rainbows
Until the wicked witch is dead.
Your dream of Sgt Pepper awaits -

Turn yr coverlet in a warm bed.
Sweet dreams my Prince, the Liver bird
Alites in Liverpool - the esteemed home of Mr Kite
and for his benefit tonite -
a show that's guaranteed delite

You should always heed any good advice offered to you, but especially if it's from your mother.

always remember what your mother told you

it is not a static universe
of clarity and certain definition,
it is a universe where everything
is blurred, everything is always moving,
everything is always changing,
the ground upon which you take you next step
not the ground it was when you raised your foot
to step, the great high mountains you see in the distance,
blink your eyes and they are not so high as they were before,
the moon that circles, the sun, the stars that shine
in the far corners of our universe, all in constant flux,
changing, growing, shrinking, over inestimable numbers
of blinks becoming one thing, then another, always
different from before, changing blink after blink until the one thing
has become another thing entirely...

we live in a present of eye-blinks -

we take a photograph, thinking we have captured reality,
but it is a reality of the past, always,
for as the lens opened and closed, the present of the opening
became the past of the close, we can, in that way
never know the moment we live in as we live it, only remembering it, a blur
we passed without ever seeing it clearly
for even the photo we count on for true vision
changes from the first time we look
to the next...

I look in a mirror in the morning and I see a face
I never saw before but a face familiar to the one I saw the day before,
a face from my past, the face of the morning before, the week before, the year
before, some time recent or far past before my face and all of the universe
changed again and again and again...

when you were a child you made an ugly face at your mother, she warned you
that someday your face might freeze and that ugly face would be yours to live with forever...

that is the stasis the ones who claim to know say will come,
someday, your face and all around you will freeze as the universal expansion
reaches its end, the balloon of all, blown as tight and as big
as it can grow and it can grow no more and all motion and all change
stops and everything will be forever as it was at that exact blink of time,
and the blurring passage will find its resting place and become clear
in a universe with no longer eyes to see...

will that com in our time?

it could, but no one knows...

so in the meantime, remember your mother's
admonition - do you really want to wear that ugly face
through the end of time?

through the forever of for never again...


 Deep thinking in 2015.

the variable range of truths between diddly and doodly

I was listening on the radio
to some scientists
dark matter
and regular matter

- "regular" matter being the matter
that matters to us
the scientist won't say
for certain
that dark matter doesn't also
matter to us,
because, frankly, my dear,
they don't know diddly
about doodly
when it comes to this
dark matter stuff -

which leaves the field of discussion
open to us
who don't need to prove to anyone
any measure of knowing
diddly about

being thus
free to express
my fully developed ignorance
I posit the interesting
though unprovable theory that dark matter
is the key to unlocking the door
to alternate dimensions, dimensions
of every imaginable color, black, brown, white,
red, yellow, purple, chartreuse, maroon,
avocado and even hot pink and fuchsia
and whatever...

and that all those alternate dimensions
are exactly like our dimension
except that
all the other dimensions were born
during different stages of the
big bang, thus, time,
which began with the big bang,
runs on different dimensional

so that in the very oldest dimension
it may be that
by now the bang has run its course
and universal entropy has set in
and the great contraction
will soon begin
leading in that dimension
to the great un-bang with all that is
no longer being, only the vast nothing
from which all came
for its brief exposure to
the experience
of being...

while, meanwhile, in the youngest
dimension, stars are just now forming
as cosmic winds spew through all the vastness
all the basic elements of matter, gasses, lumps of clay
that will become asteroids and planets and frogs
and dinosaurs and ultimately that dimension's
version of you and me...

and between those extremes there are the times
of Plato and Aristotle and Alexander the Great and
Abraham Lincoln and Pinky Lee and Johnny Cash
and Wiley Coyote forever chasing his Roadrunner nemesis
and even you and me,
except maybe we're just getting born or just dying or
just getting to second base for the first time
on the soft cloth seat of our parent's Packard, and maybe
even almost now, doing in one of the alternates
what we did yesterday, or maybe
in another what we will be doing tomorrow...

somewhere, I have just started writing this
and somewhere else I have just finished,
not entirely satisfied, but willing
to accept it...

and time travel is just a step from one dimension
to another and I can't help but wonder
if in one or more of those alternate dimensions
that step has already been taken,
leading, perhaps, to the ultimate human flourishing
or complete and utter collapse...

it is possible, you know,
for when there are innumerable
possibilities how can anything ever be judged

and that's what I think about

The coldest morning to this point this season. Break out the high boots and fur coats.

35 degrees

35 degrees
here, inside my Sunday Starbucks,
cheery warm

Bella awaits her morning walk,
thick-furred dog
wants more of the cold
than I

in my heavy coat
the first real cold of the season
is damn cold,
the dim morning,
gray on gray
as the sun begins to rise
outside exposure

but Bella wants her walk
so what can I do?

but it'll be a short

This poem is by my poet friend Alice Folkart. It was 2013, her 87th daily poem on the Blueline Poem a Day Forum. She had done over 3,000 by the time she left us, a cancer victim, her last poem posted 10 day before her passing. It has been about two years, I think. It's difficult to track that time when I think of her  and the pleasure of her poetic company so often.

One Way to Deal With Fear

Make friends with your demon,
tell him your secrets,
paint his claws, trim his mane,
braid his whiskers,
find out what he likes to eat,
name him, and tell him
how nice he ks.

He is only a demon
because no one has ever done
these things for him.
No one has named the purple one
Eddie, told him who you loved
in junior high school.
No one has painted his claws pink,
buffed and shaped them nicely.

And most important of all,
no one has said, do you like
chocolate or strawberry ice cream?
Do you want honey in your yogurt,
pancakes or oatmeal for breakfast,
coffee black or with cream and sugar?
And no one has said, "dear demon. Dear Eddie,
you are so nice. I'm glad you're my demon.

Try it
And if you survive
Tell us


Another interesting coffeehouse near encounter, again from 2015.

days lost to better dreams

former governor of Alaska,
former politician, current media
blowhard - as with all bad dreams
her name escapes me - but she
appears to be sitting in the booth in front
of me, and she is quite a nice looking woman
I have to admit, dark eyes behind
clear, rimless glasses, a little pout on her lips
that suggests, well, I don't want to think
about what it suggests because it's early morning
and carrying that thought around all day
would almost certainly severely deflect
my attention from the quality of my work
for the rest of the day
and I  am all about the quality
of my work, despite what you're seeing
right now which I attribute to an early effect
of those dark eyes and pouting lips

and I think it's going to be a


of course
the woman in the next booth u[
is not the former governor
whose name, like a bad dream,
I cannot remember, but
with those dark eyes and pouting lips
fame is not a requirement for
long days lost in better


A night in the desert in 1968, remembered in 2015.

night at a desert camp

night on the desert,
the orange crash of sunset
hours ago,
no light now
but the red glow
of our fire burned down to coals...

and the stars...

don't look at the fire we were told...

turn you back to the fire
if you want to see the stars, he said

and we did

and once we did the stars blazed
and we could see across the flat desert floor,
the undulating dunes, cactus reaching like fingers,
grasping for the very stars we discovered
and claimed as our own...

I try to imagine how it must have been
to sleep every night under such a sky,
such a diamond field of stars...

a daily loss
as all the star-bright beauty is leached out
by morning light

and the Hindu Kush, lost to the night,
returns, a smudge on the
north horizon

     (unnamed (literally) American military installation, West Pakistan, Northwest Frontier, 1968)

We all have our mentors. Mine live in trees.

my mentors

is the day I publish my weekly blog,
just about every week now
since May 2006...

a perfectionist
as some poets may be,
but I am as persistent as the squirrels
trying to get into my
bird feeder

plant the seeds,
they eat them

the story of my life -

like the squirrels,
both of us
locked into our routine
afraid of what we might do
if we didn't do
what we
so routinely

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 accusatory, 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


Post a Comment

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
October 2017
November 2017
December 2017
January 2018
February 2018
March 2018
April 2018
May 2018
June 2018
July 2018
August 2018
September 2018
October 2018
November 2018
December 2018
January 2019
February 2019
March 2019
April 2019
May 2019
June 2019
July 2019
August 2019
September 2019
October 2019
November 2019
December 2019
January 2020
February 2020
March 2020
April 2020
May 2020
June 2020
July 2020
August 2020
September 2020
Loch Raven Review
Mindfire Renewed
Holy Groove Records
Poems Niederngasse
Michaela Gabriel's In.Visible.Ink
The Blogging Poet
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