Some People Say This Is Art   Thursday, July 26, 2018

nobody says that but me.

But I took an art appreciation class in eighth grade
so I'm pretty confident in my appraisal.

Getting right the hell to it, a summer issue, short and all me. Ambition should not beexpetced nor tolerated when it's headed to 107 degrees outside.

This abbreviated issue is all Me

seeking a poem about anything but the pig in the White House

whether I want to or not

sitting in the sun room with Bella

the distress of a west-facing cowboy


the great fortune of Fernando

stern-faced woman and the artist

green umbrellas

dim day

three red deck chairs

like Salome

Thursday night at Jimmy Bones Incorporated

Enough is enough (more than).

seeking a poem about anything but the pig in the White House

a fellow poet
describes his mind "clenching like a fist"
as he faces each new day and the news of our
pig in the White House and his latest assaults
on my country and its heritage and decency...

exactly as I feel
but I fight it and try hard not to write about it...

I avoid the news as long as I can,
get up early,
enjoy the breaking day, and the trilling accompaniment
of the birds in my trees, turn on
no media for at least an hour,
no TV,
no radio,
no computer
until I get to my coffeehouse
and my first cup of coffee,
where I go to Facebook and vent my spleen
and try to forget about it for the rest of the day...

but it never works, of course, because
once I open my mind to the daily news,
it festers.
festering in my spleen
and though I don't want to write about it,
it suffocates all other poetry in my mind...


my defense...

pretty young women in stretch pants,
like the pretty blonde ordering her coffee,
stretch pants tight, no evidence of panty line,
and the color, not pink, more like the almost pink
of a peach cut in half, the color somewhere on the color scale
between the red flesh by the pit and the orange, pink sunrise color
at the edge of the flesh...something like that, and with that color,
abstract designs in old, looking-like gold leaf embossed
on the not quite pink of the fabric...

I admire the rounded curve of her butt
and, realizing that my constant chatter about rounded curves
of young women's butts is, at some point, going to damage
my reputation as a serious creator, so I seek another subject
for my daily construction of words and images
and startling realizations of truth, maybe settle for another crappy
poem about the weather...

anything bur our pig in the White House...


From 2016, December, after the country seemed surely to be lost..

whether I want to or not

whether I want to or not
(and I don't)
I'm going to write about
trees and beautiful sunshine
and dogs playing Frisbee
in a cool winter park
and  boy and girls holding hands
under a faint morning
moon, eggs over easy with
extra crispy bacon
and a great night's sleep
and, oh, you know, that kind
of stuff
when I would much rather 
scream again in
will this ever stop?
I doubt it,
not for way too long a time
I'm afraid

I'll do my best

look at them clouds

look at them green trees

look at them playful dogs

how 'bout them cowboys


Pig has slithered into every one of my poems so far. I swear this is the last.

sitting in the sunroom with Bella

in the sunroom 
with Bella,
watching through the French doors
to the patio and the brilliant yellow esperanzas
that line the edge of the concrete pad, the flowers
so bright golden under the sun, like small companions
to the mother high in the mid-day sky,
and beyond the flowers, the trees along the fence,
guardians of my privacy, leaves fluttering, I started to say,
but that's wrong, butterflies flutter, fluttering here is too slow,
too gentle - these leaves shake madly in a rush of wind, more
like fists, raised in an upsurge of anger at one of Trump's endless
rallies, raised and ready to strike, pay back for the slights
they imagine, up-stretched fists against the forces of the

A 2016 story of a cowboy's early morning struggles

the distress of a west-facing cowboy

 bunch of engineer-looking
types have taken my west-facing table
at the coffeehouse,
leaving me to take a new place
facing east,
which is a real problem
since everybody
about us cowboy types -
how we die with our boots on and
how always we are creatures of west-

which leaves me
in a state
of high anxiety
since what if I write
a snobby east-facing poem
and have to keep it
I can't come up with

you know,
facing east and
guaranteed trouble
for a west-facing cowboy

A new poem. After deciding that I plan to live to 85, I came to the realization that if I was going to stay alive for the ten years required to meet that goal, I was going to have to do something about the deteriorating state of my body. So, among other things I returned to my long previous practice of walking my dog early every morning.


walking my dog
in the pale light of almost-dawn,
I have found the moon again,
high and full behind
a translucent curtain of thin,
gauzy clouds, passing clouds that sometimes
lightly obscure like morning fog on the coast,
and sometimes clear,
bright button on the dark sleeve of our orbit,
falling to the west...


after months of avoiding my morning walk,
I began again
and it has been this week like finding
an old lover, beautiful as she ever was
despite time passed,
lost, and found

From 2016, imagining the beneficiary of a smile not meant for me.

the great fortune of Fernando

the pretty young girl
at the Stop-n-Shop smiles
and for a moment
I enjoy the idea she might be 
smiling at me,
even though I know
I am just another forgettable face
cluttering her busy morning
and that her smile is for the memory
of her night with

A new observational poem from the coffeehouse.

stern-faced woman and the artist

two young women
at the coffeehouse, one, a very hard face,
severe, like the teacher who caught you looking at Playboy
in study hall, and really ugly, I'm sorry to say, ankles and the other
woman, hair in a bob, sweet face with glasses, sketching, it looks like, 
the tree in the atrium on a napkin...

and that's all I've got this morning, but at least it proves
I'm not always obsessed with behinds, truly, really extraordinary
behinds,  yes, but the run-of-the-mill behinds, not a quiver
of interest, and I guess I should confess neither of these young women
are in the really extraordinary category when it comes to 


but then the stern-faced woman just smiled and that, at least,
was an extraordinary sight and I'm glad I was here
to see it...

From 2016, an experiment, five poem series that begin the same, then branch off and go their own way.

green umbrellas


green umbrellas

red awning

blue sky,
baby-blanket blue sky

the sun, bright,
Sunday morning shining
over the top of the yellow limestone

that cuts
the morning into sharp-
hued edges,
like the old woman
with stubby crayons
and the patient, steady
precision of an old seamstress's
gnarled and spotted
muscle memory
recalling their days of dexterity...

the mystery of memory
recalling such
bright days


green umbrellas

red awning

blue sky,
baby-blanket blue sky

the sun, bright,
Sunday morning shining
over the top of the yellow limestone

that cuts
the morning into sharp-
hued edges,
by the crone smoking
in the corner under one of the umbrellas,
long legs,
long feet,
long crimson-tipped toes,
like the hawk's talons
after a kill,

clouds of smoke
like a volcano preparing to blow
above her sharp, lava-flow face

of smoke
drifting through the sunshine
like muddy currents
in a slow-moving river,
the sun
like a hazy bar light
with the 2 a.m. smell
of nicotine-stained nights,
like the burning fields in Mexico,
the stink of fires
rising to the upper atmosphere
then drifting over us,
a smell of burning
mesquite and huisache
falling onto us

like the crone,
barely middle-aged,
already in her small world
the beginning of her own
unnatural disaster


green umbrellas

red awning

blue sky,
baby-blanket blue sky

the sun, bright,
Sunday morning shining
over the top of the yellow limestone

that cuts
the morning into sharp-
hued edges

in the corner
by the fountain
splashing blue in the sun
a baby suckles
at her mother's pale breast,
her lips tight
mother's dark nipple
that will forever
bind them

the mother hums;
the baby sucks, a soft
Sunday morning air to accompany
the fountain's splash
and whisper


green umbrellas

red awning

blue sky,
baby-blanket blue sky

the sun, bright,
Sunday morning shining
over the top of the yellow limestone

the morning into sharp-
hued edges

here every Sunday morning
the elderly man,
natty dresser with a rakish fedora
perched squarely
atop his head,
eating a cinnamon-raisin
scone, his jaws
like a great threshing machine
crossing an alfalfa field
in Iowa

I saw him get out of his car
several Sundays ago,
a new Lexus,
a well-off man
why does he not have teeth?

are his dentures
so painful
he can't stand to wear them
(I've had days like that)
or does he just not like
prefers to go toothless

or is there some kind
of medical issue
not evident
to those of us looking only
from the outside

I don't know to be
sorry for his condition or
unreasonably annoyed by his obstinacy
or to just accept
him as another of the anomalies
seen by those who pay

it is Sunday morning
after all,
when all the good people
are in worship
and the world is left to us,
free to exercise
the anomalies we keep hidden
when the church folk
are around


green umbrellas

red awning

blue sky,
baby-blanket blue sky

the sun, bright,
Sunday morning shining
over the top of the yellow limestone

that cuts
the morning into sharp-
hued edges

by the window
the old man watches
and notes the changes
of time coming and going,
the shifting
of time and dimensions,
this little enclave
of umbrellas
a stable point
in the universe of
dimensions flowing
past each other
like random currents
of the mighty river
of time and place, as he,
as much an unchanging reality
as the green umbrellas
and red awnings
and yellow rising sun,
records it all
as alternate realities
flash in and out,
recording in his daily journal
all the inhabitants
of the other realities
as they pass and live,
unknown all to the others,
never knowing how short their time
in the place that does not change,
never knowing
they are the ghosts of reality
seen only by the recorder's eyes
as they play
their small, short part,
and are gone
from their one reality
that eternally resides
in this small corner where
their ghostly passing
gives them this little time
to make a place
before the presence of them
in the old man's failing memory
is all that is left
of them...

the old man, the poet
who stays
where no one else
can stay,
fulfilling his duties
as recorder of who comes and goes
so quickly
giving them their small moment
of reality

From last week, miserable days, hot, humid, a chore to live through. Thinking of those passed days when I had to work out in it. I was young and strong and mostly unconquerable. Today, I'm old and would die in a half hour without my air conditioning.

dim day

dim day,
not a fluff or flutter of breeze,
air like a soup curtain

not a day for

not a day
for great expectation...

not a day
to experience Nirvana
or its cheap cousin

if I was 50 years younger
I'd take my Chevy
and sit on the levee
and drink tequila
till my toes went numb

these days
I guess I'll just take a long nap
and pretend it's tequila,
no salt
no lemon
no hangover

More colors from 2016.

three red deck chairs

red deck chairs
under seven small oaks
for the return of familiar bottoms
to take their place
under the cool bright sun
of autumn's second


open your countenance
to the splendors
of this life

throw wide your arms
and rejoice!

your chair
and the morning
and the beauty of our turning
star-child await

like Salome

thin clouds
over a full, silver-bright moon

like Salome
with her seven

Already passed the short issue I promised, just one more.

From my future "what I did in the war" series.

Thursday nights at Billy and Bones Incorporated

on a Thursday

at one of the 
linoleum-top tables

at Billy Bones
on Dearheart Blvd.

right down the street
from the Love's Dirty Splendors
porno shop...

pickled egg
my beer chaser

waiting for a better

as drunks
some still drinking,
others asleep on their bar stools

Sally Slou
hacking away
on her accordion,
sounding like she's aiming

at a hip-hop take on
Dancing Matilda or Lady of Spain
or maybe Good Night Irene

either way
a questionable concept

she plays every night,
mostly for free beer, sometimes
a hand job in the back

if she knows you well
and you have
a buck and a quarter...

just another
Thursday night at Bill & Bones,
our usual last stop

before we stop in
at the Chili Shack for a bowl
of "rocket red"
and a good anti-hangover

stomach greasing
before we turn,
get a little sleep before

5 a.m.
roll-call, for just another hot Friday
doing our Uncle's business

If you've a mind to, please comment by clicking on the comment button below and let me know if you have a problem accessing the comment section. I've been told there's a problem but I can't confirm it. I do now that I've not been receiving comments for a while now.

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

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 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

at 10:48 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

You and I seem to be of one mind, Allen, oh I don't do as much "butt gazing" as you do even tho' a well proportioned hunk still catches my attention now and again. I don't watch much news, maybe PBS now and again and I seem to agree with you about our present pig in Washington. Lots of pigs in that population. I have taken to removing Trump's face from my feed by either deleting the sources or if not possible to at least deleting the distasteful post. I never read what he purported to say. I'm glad at 82 that I won't be around for much longer to see our country embarrassed by our numerous politicians and so called statesmen. Of course I don't plan to kick off tomorrow or even next year, but one never knows. Good luck to you and I am still enjoying most of your work. As you see, I won't be a hypocrite and say I like it all. I hope you understand. It's art after all .... Ava

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