A Conversation With Bob Marley   Thursday, November 07, 2019




\

a conversation with Bob Marley

"If you know your history
Then you would know where you coming from"
from Buffalo Soldiers


men so old
each year
is like another
crack
in the leater
of a well-worn shoe

nothing more...

they do not acknowledg
time
and time does not
reckon
them

a they live on
and on

survivors...

blood relics...

like 
all,
they will die

but it will not be in
my time



"Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights!
Get up, stand up: don't give up the fight"
from Get Up: Stand Up

a bowl
of tomato soup,
saltine crackers,
and a glass of water

the rights of man,
they say,
do not extend
to a bowl 
of tomato soup,
saltine crackers,
and a glass of water...

not here
anyway,
not at this counter

not now.
not today...

no!
until today



"They say what we know
is just what they teach us"
from Ambush in the Night

I
know
what my daddy
knew,
what his daddy
knew,
and what his daddy's
daddy knew

unto 
the 12th generation
and
that's all I need
to know



"Sun is shining, the weather is sweet
Make you want to move your dancing feet"
from The Sun is Shining


a baby
walking

walking now
on grass

baby
running

grass 
tickling his feet

a baby
dancing



"Can't tell the woman from the man, no I say you can't
Cause they're dressed in the same pollution
Their mimd is confused with confusion
With their problems since there's no solution"
from Midnight Ravers


juvenile hall
a.m.

reality 
of hot nights
and  cold lights

strikes

then fades
away

forgotten

until 
next time



"We gonna chase those crazy
Baldheads out of town"
from Baldheads


old men

old women

death grip
on life

true
too long ago
long
gone



"Misty morning, don't see no sun
I know your're out there somewhere, having fun"
from Misty Morning

day's light
lost

sucked into indefinite
swirling

we see
what we want 
to see

we see
what we fear
to see

we see
ghost of our
worst nights

indefinitely
swirling



"Long time we no have no nice time,
Doo-yoo-dee-dun-doo- yea.
Think about that."
from Nice Time

life
is joy
leaping on
those prepaed to carry
the load

prepare
yourself for joy
leaping

have a
nice time
while you can...

it's 
no deposit
no return...

if you don't use it
someone else will








A short post. Lots of very busy, hectic days since the last one.

The next post will be, if things work out, all new travel poems.



Me 

a conversation with Bob Marley

Rohn Bayes
i kinda feel

Me
a minor poet explains it all

Me
why did we wait

Bharat Shekhar
Anatomy of a Nightmare Ending

Me
starting a poem with its purpose and destination unknown

Me
someday, but not today

David Eberhardt
Poem based on tv ads

Me
gravyman














This is by my San Antono poet-friend, Rohn Bayes.



i kinda feel...

i kinda feel like
an old testament prophet
in a new age world, a pre-post apocalyptic world


i'm not rapper i'm not a preacher
i'm not a saint
i'm not a sinner

i'm in a genre of my own
no tribe no affilation
Li Po wandering the Yangtze
river back in the day
of old China
might describe my peregrinatios
in modern day america

riding on the streets and byways
of my fair city
on my black bicycle
stealthy
fast
it can do tricks

used to be a comanche war pony
in a past life
the comanches didn't join the missions
they raided the missions
a good resource
concentration of cattle and horses

easy to steal
and get away with it
roaming over the coarse tundra
of the southern plains

i go hammer down
from josephine to jones
(with a slight delay at buena vista)
and you know what??

i saw god
she looked like vonya the barista
at chapntula's
but it was a blurry image









a minor poet explains it all

I'm eating
breakfast north-faced
today,
unusual
because normally
I sit at the booth
at the other end, the one
next to the electric plug,
where I face south
as I eat

this morning
that booth was taken
by another south-faced,
keyboard- clicking
diner,
leaving me
at this end, in the
only other booth next
to an electric plug
where I now face breakfast
facing north...

I'm not sure
what effect this will have
on the gastro-dynamics
of my egg over easy 
and extra-crispy bacon,
but it does
present a subtly different
view which could have far-reaching
psychological effect on

those like me
who normally eat breakfast
facing toward the south and on-coming traffic
leaving the city,
this morning facing the on-coming traffic on the
interstate going away...

the different orientation
providing a reason
I believe, why
south-facing diners
like me are usually
highly motivated people
with the supreme confidence
required
to write meaningless, totally
trivial poetry,
while
north-facing diners
often suffer from abandonment issues
and are frequent victims
of depression









Erotic poems are hard to write, staying soft-core without falling back on cliches.



why did we wait

I had an apartment
where we spent most of our time together
every night right up to the edge of making love

until the night, lying on the carpet
we continued
what we had started,
slowly undressing her
as she reached down into my Levis,
then pulled them down around my knees,
stroking me as the heat and the blood rose
and, as I carried into my bedroom,'
both ready to explore the world
on the other side of the edge...

she lay. spread eagle on the bed
and I lay over her, stroking her small breasts,
licking her dark nipples as they rose proudly
to meet my tongue, ran my hand over the dark curls
that lay at the juncture of her thighs
and entered her, thrusting
as she cried out, little mews like a kitten,
arms around my neck,fingers
digging into my back,
and, in time, it was gloriously over
with a panting of breaths
and a small sprinkling of blood...

we lay together on the bed, hand in hand,
wondering why we had waited
so long









This poem and image are by my poet/artist friend from New Delhi,  Bharat Shekhar. Riding with Bharat through one of his doodles and poems is a trip indeed.








Anatomy of a Nightmare Ending

Dusk has long departed.
"Look," says your profile
to your front face,
"look, a new earth is birthing,"
Do your remember?
Doing nothing much at all,
you were seated on Twiddle Thumb,
which during the dark hours
also doubled as night's mare,
a detail you were unaware of,
till the beast
moved under you,
shifting seamlessly
from a trot to a gallop,
from the familiar to somewhere where...

II
...in front of you,
in awe of clouds
and their ability to hide the sun,
the sky too has turned soggy -
drooping in greenish-grey layers
of exposed age.
Every wrinkle
folds in on itself
pouches of atmosphere
that are
awash with exhausted fumes,
taste of metallic chimneys,
and drip
with a sly, moist sadness
that is evaporating off
remnants of the iceberg
that had once sunk the Titantic.
...and behind you,
you hang (both sides and front)
to the gaping jawline
of a warrior's helmet,
inside which,
a part of his face still bides.
...under you,
 whirling vortex,
at its center
the clasp
of yin and yang
collapsing
into singularity.
There is also a pot, puffing clouds,
and crying tears of clay,
curved caricatures
with emptiness for eyes,
eyes that
cower in the belly
of the four fingered monster,
a harbor without  dock,
a bewildered boa
anchored to the toe
of the tongue beast,
and with predicable fickleness
so characteristic of nightmares,
your ride dumps you right inside its maw,
where its acidic saliva
separates you,
screaming, burning, drowning,
back in two,
your side and front,
your profile and facade,
cleaved

III
But just before
you are about to go down
for the third time,
the tree of dreams,
pulls you out
by its roots,
and there,
swaying among its branches,
along with their fellow travelers
of the night,
a burst of happiness
suddenly frees you from
the miasma of the mare,
and hallucinates you instead
the open pages of a book
which write themselves
with a pen,
which is swinging from the ponytail
of a sleeping child.
In the distance, clouds
(shaped like Eve and Adam)
clasp each other by hand.
"Look," says your profile
to your front face,
"look, a new earth is birthing."









This was one of those mornings when I thought that if I just started writing something would come up along the way.




starting a poem with its purpose and destination unknown

I had my first job
stocking shelves and sweeping up
after school at a small neighborhood
grocery when I was 10

at 12, while continuing my grocery store work,
I started my own business
boarding dogs while their owners
went on vacation, a quarter a day for
small dogs, 35 cents for medium sized,
and a half dollar for the big ones - a schoolteacher
who brought her two boxers in every day
while she worked was my cash cow

at 14 I moved up to a larger grocery store
and started a law-mowing business with
8 regular customers, $5 to $10 a yard depending
on size - in a sub-tropical environment, grass
grew high and thick and the sun was hot and it
was hard work

I continued my boarding kennel business

at 16 I downsized my lawn mowing 
to 4 customers and sold the boarding kennels
to my younger brother while taking a bus
to a larger town down the road where I worded
at  a supermarket on weekends

I continued to work in the smaller, local
grocery store on Friday nights

at 17, the summer before my senior year
in high school, I quit the grocery business, except
for Friday and Saturday in the local store
and took a job working overnight as a dishwasher
a a hotel's overnight restaurant, but that job
didn't last long, competing with a summer school
typing class that started at 8 a.m., an hour after my shift
at the hotel ended

I continued to mow yards for a couple of old people
who I had started my business with

the next summer I started the first of three summers
working for an electric utility on a power line
construction crew

the main thing I learned at that job was that,
big and young and muscular as I was,
no matter how hard I worked and sweat
old men who understood the principles of leverage
and the physics of body movement produced 
more daily than I could on my best day

a lesson in talent over brute effort important in any
business or endeavor


`````

up to that point half of everything I made in my jobs
went to my parents for room and board and the
college fund

when I finally got off to college I decided
I had worked enough at that point
and took the first two years off, did nothing
bu enjoy the college life

that was an experience I duplicated four years
later, when, after a time driving a taxi
and delivering frozen chickens to 
supermarkets, I did not work for the last
two years of college, writing poetry instead
and enjoying the freshness of the rising sun,
living on the beans and cornbread
the GI Bill provided for me

after graduation I returned to work, this time
for the State of Texas for 30 years until a political
take-over of the Governor's Office and the Legislature
led to my involuntary first retirement, followed
by two subsequent retirements  until at the age of 65
I decided I had worked for other people long enough
and transitioned to self-employment - writing and, later
paintging - a pleasurable enough occupation to be sure,
but lower-paying than any job I ever had, except
possibly when I was 10 years old sweeping
out the little grocery store for
15 cents an hour

(thank god and FDR for pensions and social security)

so what's the point of this recital - maybe it is just a question -

after 65 years of diligent labor, why the hell aren't I rich?

maybe in a bout of honesty, it's my own fault, since,
for most of those years I was just having
to damn much fund
to expect to get
paid much
for it









Written in 2009, remembering a time in the 80s when I lived on the coast.




someday, but not today

I feel as old
as fog
on a winter morning,
opaque
and adrift
and cold, like refrigerated
mist from  butcher's locker

some day
I will write a poem
about the many metaphoric misuses
of fog 
- fog of confusion
- fog of denial
- fog of deceit
and so on and
how unfair it is to bestow
such negative allusions
to a part of nature's plan
for the collision of atmospheric tendencies
that can't play together nicely...

and then I will wirte a poem
about how I used to enjoy
foggy mornings on the coast,
driving along the narrow spit of road
across Oso Bay, a gray corridor, water
on either side, the slap of unseen fish
as they jump into the air and strike the water
with their tail when they fall back, and the fog
at the harbor, on the T-heads and gulls
with their morning cries, a few feet away
but invisible in the mist, or driving
on a forested road in East Texas, roadway clear,
but fog drifting through trees like long-dead
soldiers in grey uniforms, or walking the streets
of this city, downtown, between tall buildings,
across the river on a stone-arch bridges, listening
to the quiet of a city still sleeping
amid the mysteries in the morning murk..

someday
I'll do that,
but not today,
for today I feel as old
as fog
on a winter day
and only want to
sleep
in its gray embrace









This poem is form my poet-friend from Baltimore, David Eberhardt, poet of today, and radical of the old order.










Poem based on tv ads

yr pizza can b
returned, e.g.
wrong dipping sauce or
incorrect toppings!!!
as in topping i'd requested:
CRYSTAL METH!!!!!!!!!!

More on pizza - from spike lee movie do the right thing as RadioRaheem orders a slice from Sal - Sal's famous pizza

Yo!
Put some mozzarella
On that shit










I said this was going to be a short post. This the last of, from my morning breakfast diner.




gravyman

breakfast cook
at the diner, an Hispanic fella,
closer to my age than not,
in the parlance of my youth,
a cat, in Callowayian terms, hep
to the jive, tiny mustache and gray
soul patch decorating above
and blow his lip, rides
his $1000 bicycle to work, dismounts
and glides into the diner
with the slid of a denizen
of a weightless realm,
salutes all present with his 
normal morning greeting,
"gravy man,
you got the pappas,
I got the gravy..."











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