What I Would Tell My Friends When I Die   Monday, April 15, 2019

2017, contemplating the end and what it all amounts to.

what I would tell my friends when I die

the flesh and blood and bone
of me, that temporary carriage
that propelled the essence of me
through my limited time
of corporal life
is gone,
burned in the fires
of the end of times for me...

and in that burning
releasing again the essential elements
of me back to rejoin the greater home
form which I came, the universe
of drifting parts and pieces
that drifted together to form the temporary me
that for a brief spell walked the earth with you...

if you remember me as that fellow traveler,
remember that of all I prized, kindness
was the greatest, kindness not as I practiced it
but as a seldom attainable savior to our kind,
kindness as antidote to a world of little caring...

but also remember me as the greater me
I have become again, all the little bits of me
joining in all the little bis of all there is, all around
you, the everything of every time, all of the time...

remember me as a tiny piece of all of that,
the flower alone in a meadow, remember
the flower for a tiny piece of me is part
of its blood;

remember the fox at the edge of the meadow,
nose twitching as it sorts for the scent of danger
in the grass, for I am there too, a part of the fox
and a part of the grass which scent it investigates;

the lightning that streaks across the night sky,
I am there also, remember when you see me;

the summer breeze that carries the sweet scent
of lilac, that is the smell of part of me

the beach, I am not the tide, but in the moon glow
that shines like silver on the wave caps, that sends
the beach crabs to dancing for their mates;

I am there too -

and all the newborns,
babies of my own kind, and puppies, kittens, the barely
been born, the calf, the foal, the cow, chicken and pig 
lions, tigers, bison and beavers, and bears
all born with elements of me
in them
just as I am part of them

exercise your kindness to them as you would to me
because I am part of them as I am part of you and
we are part of all

understanding that in whatever kindness
we bestow it is to ourselves
our kindness
is given

Several poems from my library and more old poems from me, these from 2017.

what I would tell my friends when I die

a mighty fine thing to see
obsolescence is a point of view
black pepper

Jose Montoya 
At Forty, Huevos and Pride Can Leave You Dead
Purple Moon Over Portland

an exercise in swine abatement

why I quit drinking

Bill Roberts
When Dinahshore Roamed

Lynn Savitt
Why I Love the Old Man from Ellensburg

back when I knew shit from Shinola

being of dual purpose

Vadana Khanna
Two Women

freedom is just another word for whatever the hell this is

hurdy gurdy man

Robert Bly
Night of First Snow

hotter than a cowboy in $1,000 boots

I am America

All this and more at:

Here are several little shorts from 2017.

a mighty fine thing to see

I am a history,
A memory inventing myself
         Octavio Paz

I didn't exactly
even in those days
a hully gully
was, but I had a girlfriend
who did the hully gully
like a fire burning bright

and it was a mighty fine
thing to

obsolescence is a point view

the rooster
in the pre-first light
of morning dark,
by his obsolescence
in the human world
of alarm clocks
and digital geegaws

never crowed
for the human world

it is the ladies in the hen house
he seeks to impress


deep fog
covering the city
like a gray silk veil

later today
strong thunderstorms

but for now the

cars pass on the highway
in silence, gray sharks
passing, ghosts
in the mist

black pepper

low hanging clouds
caught pink at the top
by the setting

flights of grackles
like black
on the moving


cherry red hard-hats bobbing
over the incomplete building like
red ants at their nest among
the sharp scatter
of bull-head thorns
on sun-baked

the nest

watch it explode
with crawling, red fire

to what happens across
the street
when the food truck arrives
with breakfast


it's a day-off day
for Teresa, 30-something 
attorney I finally, after several years
of sharing coffeehouses, introduced myself to
a couple of months ago,
using my normal line of, "Hi,
I'm a writer and therefore professionally
nosey, so let's talk about you."

the number of times the police
are not called

Here are two poems by Jose Montoya from his collection, Information: Forty Years of Joda. 

The book was published in 1992 by Chusma House Publications.

Montoya was a cherished poet, artist, painter writer and musician, founder of Royal Chicano Air Force, a group of artists and poets in Sacramento, California. Montoya died in 2013.

At Forty, Huevos and Pride Can Leave You Dead

The Streets were sceraming
"They looking to dust you, ese,
cause you fucking with a chick
of that young vato and his dudes
don't dig veteranos anyway!"

- Pone trucha, ese! -

So let them kill me pinches

And the streets screamed aloud.

And they did kill him - and he
was the wrong guy.

And he could've told'em all
along, but that thing of honor
was involved and the streets
wept in silence and pride strutted
alongside the coffin.

Purple Moon Over Portland Town

Each day of sorrow
I consider my
association to that
purple moon

moving across
the infinite concave
taking forever
your dreams of me

and I choke
in the thin air
of cold minuscule
crystals that
lash at my
lidless eyes

crying crimson tears
for our  beautiful
and grotesque madness,
yours and mine.

This, from January 2017, a week or so before the inauguration.

an exercise in swine abatement

I planned to write
something deep and inspiring today

turns out 
I don't have anything deep or inspiring
in me

so I thought
I'd write something funny

but my humor these days
turns into Shakespearean tragedy

(but without all the blood
and eloquence and insight into the depths
of the human soul. of course)

thought I might write
about the weather, but the weather
sucks which would make my poem suck
and as an incredibly talented poet
I can suck without bringing the weather
into it

why bother

thinking about writing about
my lovely wife
but it's too early for her
and I'll be damned if I'm going
to write about someone
who won't wake up and make
the bacon while I toil in unrequited
poetic passion

might write about the fella
at the table next to me
but,truth is,
he's a doofus-looking guy
chewing his fingernails under
a gimme cap and it seems surely
to be a waste of my valuable 
poetry time

or I could write about the tiny
black girl who works here
and who looks so familiar
that I think she may have worked
at a coffeehouse downtown
five years of so ago
in those days she was even
and tinier
and I think I already wrote a poem
about her back then 



I could write about
the chairs and tables
and light fixtures
and the full-toothed way
the girl across the room
that'd be just and exercise 
in pointless extension

and I'm afraid if I keep
pointlessly extending I might
slip into writing about the pig who will soon be
president of the united states and everything
I've written so far was mainly about
avoiding that
it's time to realize the purpose
and original intent
of the exercise
and quit
the swine sneaks his filthy effluence into
the poem and

right here

From 2017, remembering one of my better ideas.

why I quit drinking

the blond woman,
mid-thirties, my guess,
sits, waiting for her coffee,
dressed in her casual just-got-up
get-up, Tee-shirt, tan pants, flip flops,
twitches her toes,
watches intently as the toes do their dance
as if surprised to see them move...

I've had mornings like that...

it's the reason I quit drinking, waking up
lying bloody dead on the street,
when it moved...

Here are two poets from the Summer 2001 issue of Rattle - Poetry for the 21st Century. The issue was described as " tribute to writers of the underground press."

The first poet is Bill Roberts.

When Dinahshore Roamed

Her delicate bones
Are barely settled,
But once she roamed
This diminished planet,

Eating of the veggies
And fruits and nuts
And the occasional cheeseburger,

To the sky
From peak to peak,
Shore to shore,
This talented

And now extinct Dinahshore,
So perfect God made only one,
It's been tough going
Since you left, Dinahshore,

But, if it pleases you,
I'm still seeing the U.S.A.
On mu Chevrolet...
Though it leaks oil badly.

This poem from the magazine is by Lynne Savitt.

Why I Love the Old Man From Ellensburg

it's 2 a.m & we're the only
ones up to no good tales
from the rest of the gang
ailing in body & spirit but
we can wordpaint until
cows come home someone
calls at 3 & we are outta
there dizzy with the wet
will of wanton stories to
spin mouths kiss off again
fuckers throw one back
for enthusiasm of younger lovers
buzzy blue tales explode orange
morning sun burns off 
booze & pain tell me about
woman who oilsliked you
last night i'll tell you about
dusky pink big easy i
return to again & again
music makes us dance keeps
us moving the gears work
well, sweetie, my story is 
peachy & swollen spill
the fruit of yours first
i'll lick your lips

From 2017, remembering when I knew stuff.

back when I knew shit from Shinola

I knew the secret
but have since lost it

it is age...

complicates things...

for the secret is simple
and simple is the secret

wisdom of the aged,
heard that for years and years

complications, confusions,
obfuscations. diversions, pathways
obstructed by ego,
that's the wisdom of the aged

I wish I was seven-years-old
back when I knew 
didn't have to think about it
to know the difference
from Shinola...

Still early 2017. Still processing the election, trying to figure out how to deal with it with four more years to go.

being of dual purpose

I've been
a mighty grouch
since the election
and while I don't want
to lose the attitude entirely,
stay vigilant for the next four years
righteous wrath sustained, always ready
for conflict, always ready to fight back always
judging and denying cover to the evil that is upon
us, but I know beautiful days are upon us as
well, birds that will sing, babies that will
tremble with laughter, dogs and cats
that fight and yet forgive, flowers
remain, horses grazing in their
fields, family and good
fellows around
to sustain

to circles of life to live, necessary, but also necessary
to never let the one overwhelm the other,
the duality of life during times when
siege engines loom dark and
ominous at our

From my library, a poem by Vandana Khanna, from her book Train to Agra

The book was published in 2001 by Southern Illinois University Press. It won the Crab Orchard First Book Award.

The poet was born in New Delhi and has lived most of her life in the United States. She attended the University of Virginia and received he M.F.A. from Indiana University where she was a recipient of the Yellen Fellowship in poetry,

Two Women

We squat in the cool grass gnawing
sugar cane, Brackish water brushes 
the soles of our feet - your hair smells
of cloves - skin the color of sandalwood.

We talk of our men lost
in wars, lost in other women,

and of the children we gained:
sons, grandsons, daughters.

The sahib's wife calls, the green shutters
are open, and Verdi drifts

in the air around us
It is time to shake out

the dust-clogged rug,
clean the brandy glasses,

and feed the remains
to the waiting dogs.

Another from 2017.

freedom is just another word for whatever the hell this is

in my third retirement,
I consider that I'm finally fee
to do whatever I want
(as long as my wife says it's okay)

I decided nearly 20 years ago
that what I wanted to do
was write stuff like this, really,
stuff like this, no, not really,
I had intended better stuff
than this, but this
is what I got...

my wife says it's okay
as long as I don't spend
any money on it

A sight to see, from 2017.

hurdy gurdy man

mid-winter night
spreads it's blanket
over Texas

over head,
thick clouds
smother the stars,
the sky dark,
as black as a night
can ever be

on the horizon
a small strip of twilight's
orange and peach

against the falling light
of day,
carnival lights of every
neon hue,
a tall Farris wheel turning
green, then orange, then red,
then blue, bright punctuation
between the dark and the light...

how inadequate I am
to praise the glory
of the sight,
listening closely now,
I think I hear the
hurdy gurdy man
his carnival songs

Robert Bly writes beautiful poetry, but I hated the way as a professor he pandered during the Vietnam Way to his draft resister students.

This poem, one of the beautiful ones, comes from his book, a Harper Perennial published in 1986.

Night of First Snow

Night of first snow.
I stand, my back against a board fence.
The fir tree is black at the trunk, white out at the edges.
The earth balances all around my feet.

The trunk joins the white ground with what is above.
Fir branches balance the snow.
I too am a dark shape vertical to the earth.
All over the sky, the gray color that pleases the snow

Between boards I see three hairs a rabbit left behind
As he scooted under the fence.
A woman walks over toward the wicker basket
Rocking in the darkening reeds.
The Bride is inside the basket where Moses sleeps.
What is human lies in the way the basket is rocking.

Shattered dreams in 2017.

hotter than a cowboy in $1000 boots

with the young girl
at Whataburger
and she flirted right back

I was thinking,
what a sweetheart
of a pretty girl and
I'm thinking
I'm really hot today,
hot as the
Chihuahua Desert
in full summer sun,
romancing , I am
like a stone-sharp
in thousand dollar boots

then another old fart
was ordering his burger,
just a-flirting like
and the pretty young girl
was flirting right back,
just like she flirted with me

damn two-timing

To close out today's lesson, this is an affirmation, written in 2017, about half way through the first year of President Pig.

I speak of keeping the spirit alive, harder to do now, 2 years later.

I am America

I am America 
in exile...

yet still I have the faith
of my forefathers and fore mothers,
and my brothers who served in past days,
and all those who served with me,
and all the others who served, those
who died and those who didn't,
and those who built the railroads
and the dams and those who till the land
to bring home each year a harvest of bounty,
and those who dug the ore for those who smelted
the iron for those who built our bridges, those
who build our tall buildings, all the Sandbergean heroes,
O, how he understood the promise of America for all,
for those women who marched for the vote those men and women
who marched for freedom and for those who died
in that freedom war, as well as all the other wars, how my faith
is with them, heroes all, as well as with those who teach
and those who heal, those who protect us on our streets,
and those who write our great novels,
and those who only try for greatness, and those
who pen our poems, those who make the news and the truth
available to us who care to listen, those
who make the art and music and dreams of us
for us...

heroes all, and many more - in them I put my faith,
my conviction that those who have lost faith in America
and its history and principles and the simple values of human
decency will lose in the end, that their day will end and ours
will come again and that I will someday come home again
and live in my country, my America cleansed and worthy again
of its dreams and its heroes, those heroes who built
America, those who have temporarily lost their way and those
who never will, those who will make it's stars 
bright again in a new bright day of freedom and justice
for all...

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.


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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