Git Along Little Dogie   Thursday, February 28, 2019







From my first book, Seven Beats a Second (2005), out of print, but Amazon often has used copies and  a print-on-demand option from the publisher.

I think the book is more fun than the ones that followed, in part because I didn't know what I was doing, was less full of myself, and was having fun myself, which, I think, translated into the poem selection

The book, on slick paper, has art on every page by my collaborator Vincent Martinez.


git along little dogie

hair
soft and blond
as sun-bleached tassels
of summer corn,
hanging all the way down
to a sassy little ass
snuggled up in blue denim
tight enough to send Mr. Rogers
skipping
through the neighborhood
singing
heidee ho heidee hee

that was Lily Dee, best thing
about a little shit kicker bar
on the south side of San Angelo
where me and Toby shot pool
when we ran short of cash

my oh my,
what a treat was Lily Dee

gave the cowboys
something to think about
on those hot July nights,
sweating alone
in their bunkhouse beds

git along little dogie...
goddamn it,
git along








Nearly a month since my last issue. Not feeling well much of that time, also much credit due to  determined laziness.

Here's what I have this time.

Me
git along little dogie

Me
whitest white girl
the runners

Edna St. Vincent Milay
Passer Mirtuus Est

Me
lying in the sun with Susan

William D. Barney
Cowtails and Crabgrass

Me
darling companions

John Kenney
Who were you thinking about?

Me
cinnamon dreams

Me
an indecisive day
spend it soon
I will not be fooled

Sulamis Yelin
Yom Kippur Morning '73

Me
like a sailor

Me
life is

Jean-Paul Pecqueur 
Tuscon's Classic Rock

Me
could go either way
a cream-colored overcoat

Me
caress

Me
dark lover

Me
I watch the fire

Me
about sex

Hugh Seidman
Gail

Me
lotsa hots

Me
bus line

That's it for "Here and Now" issue Number 611.


















From last month, January, coffeehouse observationals.















whitest white girl

the whitest
white girl in the county
with coal black hair
and strawberry lips,
slings coffee at the Starbucks
on the corner of Oakes and South Flores,
pale ghost of Macchiato past,
hints of Flappuccino
futures...

talks smack
with a Betty Boop pout,
dances behind the counter
to an Ocasio
twist

Sunday morning coffee
with Saturday night patter
and dark-eyed
seduction...


the runners

the young woman
in the neon-orange knee socks
stretches
lifts her legs. one at a time,
high over her head, pointed toes
reaching for the dim early morning moon

her fellow runner,
a bearded fellow in a watch cap,
squats,

incapable
of either reaching for the moon or squatting
I am impressed
and jealous

turns out not only I cannot run,
neither can I do the things
runners do before
they run...

and I wish I was 15 again...












I always imagined Edna St. Vincent Milay as a prim and proper high school English teacher type. Perhaps it was that the poems we read were assigned by prim and proper high school English teachers under the watchful eye of prudish school boards. I was later to learn that the poet, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry n 1923, was far from the demure, retiring English teacher I had imagined.

This poem is from her collection, Early Poems, published by Dover Publications in 2008.










Passer Mirtuus Est

Death devours all lovely things;
    Lesbia with her sparrow
Shares the darkness, - presently
    Every bed is narrow

Unremembered as old rain
     Dries to sheer libation,
And the little petulant hand
     Is an annotation,

After all, my erstwhile dear,
     My no longer cherished,
Need was to say it was not love,
     Now that love as perished?









From Seven Beats a Second, published 2005, usually available in used copies at Amazon. As credited earlier, the art is by Vincent Martinez, my collaborator.













This poem is from A Cowtown Chronicle, a collection of poetry by William D. Barney, former postal worker and several time named Texas Poet Laureate. His books and his inclusion in a wide variety of poetry anthologies, attained a national recognition in 1962 when he received the Robert Frost Memorial Award (handed to him personally by Robert Frost). He writes about life growing up in rural Texas a half century to a century ago. He is not a "cowboy poet," an often fun but never quite respectable genre, but writes in the vein of J. Frank Dobie, Horton Foote and Katherine Anne Porter.

The book was published by Browder Springs Press in 1999.










Cowtails and Crabgrass

Back when he worked at the Swift's plant
(in the refrigerator section)
coming out on a hot July evening
he couldn't keep his eyes steady
He was afraid to go downtown -
the cops would likely pick him up
for another drunk. It made him wonder
whether the had giddied his mind.

It was a famous place for squeezing
the last full measure out of everything.
Even the ants leave bones,
but here bones sent into the fertilizer.
He knew men in the packing house
who collected cow brushes (ends of tails) -
they used them to fill mattresses.
But then (maybe the heat made him think
of it) he knew other people
who did the same with crabgrass.

He got to studying. You can see
why someone would find a use
for all that hair - nobody likes loose ends -
but it took genius to discover
a function for crabgrass. It must
have been a gardener, like him,
who didn't know whether to curse or pray
when the first pale leaves begin to slit
brown soil the last of April.
Whoever, he must have had a mission,
a passion for utility in life,
to think of hoeing up the pest
and stuffing it in a mattress.
A kind of vengeance, being able
to sleep on the dry bodies of a weed,
getting to hear it groan a little
ever you turn to a fonder dream?


                                                                        
















I'm at the clinic every three months for tests and prodding and reassurances that I haven't killed myself yet. This scene, after one visit, moved me.












darling companions

after a morning
at the clinic,
I leave and an old man and woman,
neither over 5 feet tall,
leave in front of me, ahead of me on the sidewalk,
and I hold back, not wanting to push past them
like an arrogant gringo, as usual, in a hurry

the woman in front of me, white hair,
and I can tell, though I can't see her face,
in distress...

the old man,
puro indio, dark hair,
straight and thick
as a Mayan jungle, his cheek bones
flat as the high plains of West Texas where so long ago
his ancestors rode their mustang ponies

he stops and turns around
and places his work-worn hand lightly
on the woman's shoulder
and smiles...

that small gesture, speaking of
so many years of comfort and companionship,
hearts and minds intertwined,
moves me
deeply,
brings a new light
to a dim, cold
day














This piece is from Love Poems (for Married People), a humorous collection on the subject of domestic bliss by John Kenney, published by G. P. Putnam's Sons in 2018. The book was gifted to me by my wife for our anniversary a couple of days ago (42 years, for those interested).













Who were you thinking about?

You.
Of course you.
Who else would I have been thinking about?
My coworker Alex, who always seems tan?
Or Carlos from Soul Cycle?
Please.
Our love is deeper than that Craig
I mean Daryl.
I know your name is Daryl
But right now I was thinking of Craig from Starbucks
     who has those blue eyes.
But you are my husband and we are married for life.
And yes I think of you during these intimate moments.
By that I mean you certainly cross my mind.
You're in there.
In the mix.
You would be in the credits if it were a movie
Way down though.
Guy in sweater.
Jus...shh.
Don't worry about it.









From Seven Beats a Second, art by Vincent Martinez



















Here's a couple of early morning poems from January.
















an indecisive day

this
tight-wrapped winter morning,
the sun, a flaming red beach ball
on a shifting horizon sea,
floating,
rising slowly with
the tide

an indecisive day

begins



spend it soon

cold morning, clear sky,
moon as big and bright as a pirate's gold doubloon

spend it soon,
as big sister rises from her night bed
in the east



I will not be fooled

the day broke
slow and blurry-eyed...

no, wait,
that wasn't the day,
that was me...

the day
actually
broke invigoratingly
cool and bright
and completely wasted
on me
of the blurry-eyed and dim
disposition...

I will not be duped
by this cool and bright day
into confidence
in human kind and its
fate

for
the stars,
you know,
are exploding daily


















This poem of remembrance is by Shulamis Yelin, a Canadian where she was a distinguished teacher and poet. The poem is from Seeded in Sinai, her first collection published by Reconstructionist Press in 1975.











Yom Kippur Morning '73

The dead surround me, my beloved dead
this awesome break of day:
My Mother, smiling
piles her clothing in orderly array
on moving belt to fiery furnace;
my sister, young and lovely,
soft and solemn-faced, embraces me;
and wise and gentle,
calling me by pet-name to his open arms,
my husband smile.
Death himself,
in pin-stripe suit,
with jaded ear-ring
dangling from his long left ear,
calls me, snaps his fingers,
telling time
on a sundial darkened by his shade.

My head is lit with charred memorial lamps,
singles, sixes and six million,
flickering in the dawn,
and I, in whom there's little faith
in life beyond the grave,
plead their intercession:
Sing me a better tomorrow.
Oh, the portents of this awful day!
















In an earlier poem I talked about an experience after a clinic visit. Here's a little more from an earlier visit.
















like a sailor

like a sailor
screwed, blewed and tattooed
on a 12-hour leave and ready to return
to the high-rolling embrace of the sea,
after a morning at the clinic,
poked, prodded, pummeled, pricked
and bled,
I"m ready to call it a day,
head for the soft nestle
of my dream-catching
recliner...










Another from Seven Beats a Second. I did the poems and Vincent Martinez did the art. I also did all the page layouts, an epic achievement to my mind at the time since I had never done it before.

















This poem is from The Case Against Happiness, the debut collection of poet Jean-Paul Pecqueur, graduate of the University of Washington's Creative writing program where he was winner of the Academy of American Poets Harold Taylor Prize. At the time of publication he taught Literary and Critical Studies at the Pratt Institute at the City University of New York.














Tuscon's Classic Rock

which scary dude, quoth Maggie
which judgement legislating for feeling
on which watched and worn-out corner

in the slowly draining light of June
             the palmetto frond
                          is a roach scaling the wall

in Tuscon

in June the wind smells or creosote
it smells of ozone and trouble
but you get used to it, quoth Maggie

as in - it becomes you
like an old habit of blackish-blue skirts
it becomes the music you move to

Tuscon's classic rock
fuck you, screamed from a passing car
please, oh please, whispered in reply


















More coffeehouse observations.













could go either way

she's
one of those women
who you can't tell if she's laughing or crying...

dark pants,
grey suit coat, dark hair, long,
dark brow, shadow eyes crinkled
in laughter, pain, sorrow, anger...

hard to tell

leans over the table
her face in the face of the man's she's with...

a real comedian he must be, or
it's a bad date going worse
by the minute...

from here,
seems like it could go either way...

a mystery woman
in a mystery



a cream-colored overcoat

a woman
in a cream-colored overcoat
sits in front of me
the coat thin-waisted with a flare below,
and above, a cape-like fold over her shoulders
and upper back

long brown hair flows down, over the cape
and to the middle of her back...

I know nothing about the woman
but her back and her beautiful cream-colored overcoat
with long brown hair flowing down

but I think it's possible I could fall in love...









More Seven Beats a Second.














Another from Seven Beats a Second because it's easy and I'm tired and want to go to bed.



















An old man's lament.















I watch the fire

I
watch the fire
as its red and yellow-orange fingers
rise and curl
and I dream, not of things to come
but of times passed
when things to come were still coming...

seeing clearly in the flames
my own cooling embers, irrelevancy
dims my resolve even as the fire burns
brighter...









Seven Beats a Second again.
















This poem by Hugh Seidman is from the anthology The KGB Bar Book of Poems, published in 2000 by Perennial.

Seidman was born in Brooklyn in 1940. His first book, Collecting Evidence, won the Yale Series of Younger Poets. He read at KGB on March 16, 1998.














Gail

I am sixteen you are my first love.
Your breasts are small under yellow cashmere.

The plastic surgeon has smoothed your cheerleader's nose.

It is Sunday at your uncle's in Boro Park in Brooklyn.
The light of the heavens whitens the floor.

I am kissing you in the taste of cigarette, the odor of perfume.

I am sixteen and do not know
that I will never not remember this afternoon.

I am sixteen and do not imagine
how envy fails friendship
how anger thwarts love
how arrogance is humbled.

I am sixteen and do not recall
the dead behind the sky
trapped in the impenetrable.

I am sixteen and do not think
how you are each who turns away
how you are each from whom I will turn.

I am sixteen and can think of nothing
but the pungency of cigarette, the reek of perfume.

As you lean back in the smoke that swirls about your face.








Seven Beats a Second for the last time this issue. Used copies usually available on Amazon. Plus I have just a few more left the original 500 I started with. I don't expect anyone to bet interested, but if you are let me know via email allen.itz@gmail.com. I still have a couple I can sell for the original price, $35.






















Last for this issue, another early morning moment.















bus line

in the pre-dawn dim,
a Greyhound idles
on the corner of Broadway and Jones,
stop light reflecting red
on the fog-wet street and dew-dripping bus,
the smell of diesel burning,
memories
of many miles, many places,
many people gone,
passed,
far now
from this morning,
this place,
this me...









my comment button no longer works, so if you would like to comment on this post, email me at allen.itz@GMail.com. I appreciate hearing from readers.


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.






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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