This, For All the Those Who Disturb My Sleep   Monday, September 03, 2018







this, is for all those who disturb my sleep

that's it!

I'm through trying to educate you

you tea-party poo-poo head...

you over-heated, under-ventilated birther...

you
death-panel devotee...

you
Marxist cannibal...

you
Capitalist cannibal...

you
non-economic determinist cannibal...

you
homophobic dickhead...

you
Nazi feminist man-eating, penis-envying  witch
who thinks all men should be strung up by the balls
until they admit to the primal sin of manhood...

you
victim-hood addict at home on your farm in Kansas on 9-11
but still wanting special consideration for your trauma...

you
left-wing lover of humanity, dismissive and impatient
with the blood and guts and specificity of the singular human,
alone in its own self,
unique
and separate
from the amorphous fictions
of humanity, human individuals and their
non-programmable
foibles and
failures

you
you...you..you know who your are -

I've done with you

go shout your dumb-ass obsessions
at the wind

see if it cares
any more
than I do

I wrote this in 2011. If I wrote it today I'd add some to the list - but none would be removed.









A short post, delayed because it's been too damn hot to think. All my poems  here,(but the first one) were selected from the 31 daily poems I wrote in August.

A note on leaving a comment (which I would enjoy reading) :  At the end of the post, click on "Post a Comment" - this will lead you to a page where there is space for your comment - below that space there is a place to identify yourself (anonymous is okay) and below that prove you're not a robot by checking the box and below that you can click on publish the comment or preview first and then post.
I think there has been a problem in that the publish or preview option may require dropping down a space.


Me
this, for all those who disturb my sleep

Me
a slow start

G. E. Patterson
Ingratitude: A Blues Sonnet

Me
crying time again

Liu Chang-ch'ing
On Parting Again from the Two Officials, Hsieh the Sixth and Liu the Eighth in Chiang-chou

Me
pirate queens and string bikinis

Me
potentially calamitous news

Ruth Stone
The Illusion

Me
silver threads and golden needles

Cornelia De Dona
Final Passage

Me
what will old Saint Peter have to say about it

Martin Espada
Two Mexicanos Lynched in Santa Cruz, California May 3, 1877

Me
the advantage of corporate-sponsored shade in the summer

Michael Ryan
One

Me
I eat like a bird
















A slow start to a good day.














a slow start

sunlight
slipping over the wall
paints the treetop leaves  neon green

a mat
of small light bulbs spaced
about eighteen inches apart,
hang over the atrium's floor,
strung high from wall to wall,
glow like crystal rhombi in the
morning sun...

a hard day ahead...

savor this soft start













First from my library, this poem is by G. E. Patterson, taken from his book, Tug, published in 1999 by Graywolf Press.

Patterson grew up in the middle of the country along the Mississippi River and was educated  in the mid-South, the Midwest, the Northeast and the western United States.














Ingratitude: A Blues Sonnet

You take trouble out of my pocket     Mama
Take all my troubles and leave me standing
Here     with nothing but two empty hands
How long you think you gonna get your way

Your love's like a wall keeping the wind off
Keeping the wind off and blocking the sun
You think your wall never gonna fall down
You think I ain't praying for you to die

I want to be a man     want to push back
Against everything making me feel small
Don't have no use for your secondhand hymns

What I want's a pussy stroking my dick
A woman quick to come when I call
Want to fuck her     make her wail
                                                       like Etta James













An unusual thing for me, an afternoon poem.















crying time again

listening
to country crying songs
on an old RCA console radio
big as a small refrigerator,
afternoon dirges of lovers lost
and sad betrayals,
drinking songs,
crying in your beer songs...

outside,
blackbirds crowd
the parking lot, fidgeting,
always moving like black flags waving
on a tear-blurred plain












This poem is from the anthology 300 Tang Poems, a collection of poems from the Tang Dynasty, 618 - 907 AD, often referred to as the "Golden Age" of Chinese civilization.

The book was published by the Far East Book Company in 1973. The poet was  Liu Chang-ch'ing, from the early 8th century. A native of Ho-chien, he rose to be Governor of Sui-chou.

No translator is credited.

But, as one of those people well past my sell-by date, this one speaks to me.












On Parting Again from the Two Officials, Hsieh the Sixth and Liu the Eighth, in Chiang-Chou

At this stage of life why dream
     of receiving the imperial mandate?
Human affairs are nothing to me -
     I had better learn tipsy songs!
There's a fine moon on the river,
     the northern geese are passing,
Naked treees in Huai-nan
     show more of the Ch'u hills.

How thankful I am to rest my body
     near Ts'ang-chou.
White hair faces me in the mirror -
     there's no help for it!
Our strength is failing by now -
     we are all old men:
I am touched that you still bid me
     beware of wind and wave














As advised, I have made change my friend, in this instance anyway.














pirate queens and string bikinis

when
I was a kid
not so many men had tattoos
and no women at all
unless they were pirate queens

I was never interested,
in tattoos, that is, but pirate queen,
well, I had some pretty good pirate-queen
dreams starting when I was 15 or so...

when
I was a kid
bikinis had 't been invented yet
until about the same time
I was dreaming about pirate queens
when some woman on a French beach
appeared in one, and then came
the monokini and then the string bikini
made, it seemed, of the string left over
after my mother sewed on a button
and, once, wen I was 14 in San Antonio
on a high school band tour and snuck into
a strip club on St. Mary's and the dancer
had on more clothes when she finished
stripping than the standard girl at a church
retreat in August playing in the surf on
South Padre Island...

plus,
a lot of them have tattoos on vast areas
of their tanned and lovely
shin parts...

so,
in summary,
I still don't like tattoos, but I think
I have to admit that the world,
in all its turning since I was a kid
has truly found a better place
for pirate queens
and fellas like
me


















It's difficult days we live in, hard days and hard ways to keep the happy light shinning.













potentially calamitous news

potentially calamitous news
yesterday,
leaving me at the lowest point
of most of my life,
leaving me seriously for the first time
thinking about the pros and cons
of throwing all my cards in the air
and leaving the table...

but I don't want to think about,
even less so talk about it,
it being on days like this to best talk about
the more relevant subject
of strawberry jam
which I consider to be a separate food group
on its own
and which I use in a manner justifying
its special place on the pyramid
be-spectacled home education teachers talk about...

great smucks of it on toast, on cornbread,
on biscuits, on pancakes, on waffles,
basically any food type flat enough to carry
a smuck-load of it...

it's just how I ride -

and
in the meantime,
fuck pig and the supreme court
he rode in on

(see, that's why I don't want to talk
about  yesterday's calamitous event,
cause there's no way I can do it
and remain the non-offensive
citizen I was born
to be)












This poem is by Ruth Stone. I took it from her book In the Next Galaxy. The book was published in 2002 by Copper Canyon Press.

Stone was born in Virginia in 1915 and lived in a rural farm house for most of her life. Although she began writing as a child, she didn't receive wide-spread recognition until 1999 when her book, Ordinary Words  won the National Book Critics Circle Award. She received many awards and honors after that, including the National Book Award in 2002 for this book.

In the end, author of 13 books of poetry, Stone died in 2011.











The Illusion

I am not the genes and the genes are not me.
We are identical twins, separated at birth.
This is my sinew. This in my fertile ovary.
What is worth the universe is also worth me.

I am not me. I am the genes. The double helix.
My future is spelled out. Tool of the universe:
pricks, cunts, genuflections, the orgasm's curse,
brief span, holy thou: I am the neutron fix.

I am the hole, the dark other, the negative between
I was and I am. Wherefore yes, dense and disperse,
blinded visionary that locks the moon in place;
I am the simple sieve that drinks the universe.















Somewhere around Independence Day.














silver threads and golden needles

the moon this morning
a thin silver thread, hanging
in the dim early sky,
the thread curved like my mother
curved her thread to tie off the button
on my shirt, replacing the one lost
in the scuffle with Toby down the street,
impulsive, easy to anger Toby
who later that summer blew off a toe
playing with firecrackers,
so like him that was.

no fireworks for me today, no lost
toes or fingers, just some lying in the sun
after dark skies for three days and
four and a half inches of rain,
decisively not thinking
about the leaky water pipe in my
front yard I couldn't get fixed
because the ground is so saturated
from the rain that the plumbers
couldn't dig...

decisively
not thinking about what that leak
is doing to my next water bill...

thinking instead about the possibility
of that thin silver string of a moon
might be strong enough to pull, as it passes,
a bright sunny day over the horizon,
like the old country song about
silver threads and golden
needles...







                                                               






This poem is by Cornelia De Dona, my poet-friend and occasional housemate at Blueline's "House of Thirty." It is taken from her book Boogey Fever.

To order Connie's book, go to.

  www.cornelidedona.blogspot.com









Final Passage

I am not a religious person,
however, I was.

I remember
deep belly laughs,
hot summer days
worshipping
the sun
at the nudist camp.
The ebb and flow of the tide,
the coarse sand, mixed with
suntan lotion
stuck between toes and in
crevices,
sun burnt and then brown.

I remember
soft music from a nearby
radio
against the backdrop
of the sand bar,
soothing and pink
like a conch shell, calling me
home.

I remember
the scent of tea trees, and
fresh plumeria blossoms
carefully placed behind your ear
and breathe it in,
as it flashes by.

I remember
kicking back with friends
drinking ice-cold beer and
dancing the "Macarena" under the stars.

A chapter of life - summed up,
and scattered in Kaneohe Bay.
Slowly spread out beyond the reef,
at peace at last.












A second poem in July about tattoos and pirate queens. Obsession anyone.













all that no longer surprises me

tall
slim
woman
in tight-fitting
cream-colored jeans
and a large tattoo on her left arm...

the tattoo, nothing special
these days, strange only because
she seems, as much as I can see, to have
only one...

and I think that if, through some magic,
my high school me was transported
from the halls of La Feria High School to today
I might be excused for thinking
that tattooed female pirates had won some
great war on the high seas and now ruled all lands
in some strangely erotic way

(and of course, it's my high school me thinking
this, my now self having long outgrown
such stereotypical and sexist thinking,
mostly)

and, setting aside
such stereotypical and sexist thinking,
I just make the point to wonder
how easily we get over change in our life,
an unoriginal thought,
it's true, but still, I wander the world some days
constantly surprised at all
that which no longer
surprises
me












Look, in South Texas in the summer, especially this summer, the only thing more likely to be talked about than the weather is the prospect of the Second Coming coming over the horizon.














what will old Saint. Peter have to say about it?

so
the coffeehouse WIFI is down
so I'm at my kitchen table
looking out the window at my
poor, tortured, water-starved back yard,
dry to the point that I just have
our yardman do our front yard
since mowing the bone-dry backyard
would require an EPA permit because of the
sun-blocking, dinosaur killing  dust storm
"mowing" would create, thus adding
climate disaster to my list of crimes
which the good heavenly gatekeeper
will surely enumerate when I arrive
penitent at his gate...

all this is, of course, nothing new,
our lovely winters and springs
are always followed by hellfire
summer, it's just this year the hellfire
arrived a couple
of months
early
leaving me to believe that this year, as my
75th birthday approaches, has taken me
even closer than ever
to Peters stern
welcome

















Next, this poem is from After Aztlan, Latino Poets of the Nineties, another anthology, this one published by David R. Godine, Publisher in 1992.

The poem I selected is by Martin Espada, a practicing attorney in Boston whose poetry has appeared in "Here and Now" often.













Two Mexicanos Lynched in Santa Cruz, California, May 3, 1877

More than the moment
when forty gringo vigilantes
cheered the rope
that snapped two Mexicanos
into the grimacing sleep of broken necks,

more than the floating corpses,
trussed like cousins of the slaughterhouse,
dangling in the bowed mute humility
of the condemned,

more than the Virgen de Guadalupe
who blesses the brown-skinned
and the crucified,
or the guitar-picking skeletons
day they will become
on the Dios de los Muertos,

remain the faces of the lynching party:
faded as pennies from 1877,  a few stunned
in the blur of execution,
a high-collar boy smirking, some peering
from the shade of bowler hats, but all
crowding into the photograph.















Even the deer count on their corporate lawyers to keep the summer cool.











the advantage of corporate sponsored shade in the summer

breakfast
at the diner where I made poems
for many years

long absent
but still familiar sights...

the oaks trimmed high,
long trunks beneath foliage like flags flying,
like the flag at USAA' large campus
across the commuter-streaking
rush on I-10

the pastures on the other side of the highway
green, but bare, too hot for the deer
to graze, but I know they're there
in the shadowed woods I imagine I can see them,
the white flags of their tails rising with every sound
that filters through the trees...

summer -

even the animals hide from it, like cows
gathered under a single tree
in a large pasture, jostling for space,
jealous if they knew of the fortunate
deer in their corporate-sponsored
woods...














This poem is by Michael Ryan, from his book, New and Selected Poems, published in 2004 by Houghton Mifflin.

Ryan is a poet, essayist, memoirist and professor of English and creative writing at the University of California - Irvine.
















One
    ...six million dead.
    a million of them children

A ten-year old
in a crinoline, her neck
inclined like a bather
by Degas, her washed black
hair spilling forward
over her crown and forehead
because the sheep shears
has begun to clip at her nape,
and for this split second
the first puffball of hair
balances on the unearthly
blue-white knuckles of the hand
about to drive these clippers
up her skull. This image
from nowhere particular
(photos or movies or newspaper
stories) caught in a gauze
of grayness and cold -
did it ever really happen to
this little girl, the wispy hollow
at the base of her skull
shocked by freezing stainless steel?
I have to think
to follow from the hand
up the emblazoned sleeve,
to see the ovens in the background,
to imagine what I can't
imagine but can only name:
her mother's anguish,
her father's nightmare terror
ensnared with their fear
for themselves and for each other -
has she lost them already
or are they watching her?
There must have been soldiers
whose Nazi blindness
were seared through by the horror,
but all I see of hem
in this split second
are blue-white knuckles
working an implement
used on animals
on this little girl
who dressed last night for a party,
and now, too confused to cry,
stands somewhere amid
barbed wire and mud
her head being shaved.


















Life is not fair.















I eat like a bird

every bite going to my
ballooning belly

it's like the fate foretold
by my parents
when I was a kid and I ate
watermelon,
too fast, you're going to swallow a seed,
they'd say, and a watermelon
is going to grow in your stomach
and, damn,
like most everything else your parents' told you
it looks like they were right...

I eat like a bird
and I resent old people who eat
like lumberjacks
and not just old people,
the young woman seated in front of me,
on her second breakfast, a large biscuit first,
with gobs of blueberry jam,
and now three slices of French toast with strawberries
and whipped cream and she's still thin and lighte and fit as a fiddle
if a fiddle was blond with good legs...

if I could eat half what she's eating I'd have to
skip lunch and  probably
dinner too...

I eat like a bird

well, except for pork chops -
given half a chance,
I'll eat a bunch of them












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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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