So Much For the End of the World   Saturday, February 08, 2020






so much for the end of the world



expected
a bigger
bang

burning clouds

blue-white
lightning
ozone hissing
prairie-fire
world

wailing

gnashing...

hearts
ascending

the rest if us
tumbling

fiery
pits
blazing
like the sting
of 
a quadrajillion
angry
bees

wailing

gnashing...

maybe
next time









A short post, mostly because I had this much done then lost it all.  Don't know what I touched but gone it was and start over I did. When I got back to where I was, I decided I had done enough.

Me
so much for the end of the world



Me
thinking right is good



David Ignatow
As though life were a question



Me
missed the bus



Me
stumbling along the Way



Me
question time



Meg Kearney
Love Is a Form of Recklessness



Me
sailors on a fading sea



Me
random thoughts and scattered memories

Cleatus Rattan
Making the Grade
First Light



Me
I ain't a-scared of no ghost

Giving fair warning, my spellcheck is for some reason not working today, so please give me some slack. I'm flying solo today.











thinking right is good

the East
and much of the Midwest buried
under ice and snow
while here
the sun shines bright
above a clear blue sky
and the temperature is wandering
between 50 and 60
and it is a beautiful day
this morning before the night
before
and I'll try not to be
unnecessarily smug at my good
fortune because
I'm sure there will be a cloud
here some day

and in the meantime
it is a pleasure to be smug
because all those uppity Easterners
and cud-chewing Midwesterners
deserve a dose of humbling outsider
smug
now and then
after all the terrible things
they say about my home
state, though I find no pleasure
in the misfortune of others,
except when I can contrast
my good fortune to their
otherwise fortune
which
I am completely convinced
they richly deserve...

bunch of damn liberals
and dairy farmers
who claim Santa Clause
is not white and neither is Jesus
and how stupid is that
cause everyone knows God
is white and Jesus is his son
so he must be white too,
white dude Dad and Jew mother
but we'll forget the mother
since talk about that
would be for certain another front
in the War on Christmas which is about
white Christians and is definitely not about
Jew mothers...

how hard to understand that
hi ho hi ho

no wonder they have ice and snow
and we don't because they think wrong
and deserve it while us thinking
right certainly
deserves
our bright sun and blue sky
and temperatures in the 50-60s...

simple as that
hi ho hi
ho















This poem is by David Ignatow, one of his last poems in this book Living is What I Wanted (Last Poems), published by BOA Editions a year after his death in 1997 at age 83.
.
Born in 1914,  Ignatow was raised in Brooklyn. In a career spanning 50 years he authored 18 volumes of poetry and 3 books of prose, receiving numerous awards and honors. In 1964 he was poet-in-residence at the University of Kentucky, followed by similar appointments at the University of Kansas and Vassar College. He was professor of English at York College, City University of New York and Columbia University.




As though life were a question

In the ripe nectarine
is the sweetness of dying
as though we had a choice,
as though life were a question
of who must live it through,
as though we understood
or were happy
to have died unexplained
to ourselves, thinking on it
just another thought
in the minds of the living
with more to do than to think
but in the doing thoughtful
of their lives, who on their deathbeds
are reduced to thought,
smelling the air
breathing in deeply.









missed the bus

6 a.m.

4 children
bundled
r
  u
     n
         n
             i
                 n 
                   g
in the cold morning dark

l
a
u
g
h
i
n
g

in high-pitched
glee

dog watches...

wants
to g
o
t
o
school









stumbling along the Way

I didn't like
the fat
man
when he was here
a couple of days ago,
kept his hands
clasped
over his bulging belly
like he didn't want
it to get
away...

changed tables
three times
before he found one
sufficiently clean
for his taste;
found fault with everything
the server did,
sarcastic, smiling all the while,
creepy smile, like a child
ripping
one wing, then the other
from a captive fly,
so much fun,
the fat boy thinks,
cats,
maybe, next
that yellow tabby that sits
on the porch of the old lady
next door,
more fun than flies
because flies
are mute
and you cannot hear them
scream, not so cats
who yowl with each slice
of the knife, each
poke of the stick. each
flare of butane,
cats,
so much fun
to have
a kitty...


~~~~~

my diagnosis - the fat man
is a narcissistic psychopath,
pulling the wings
off
hard
working
waitresses,
probably part of a
psychopathic sex
fetish..

I didn't like
the fat man,
an asshole,
I might have called him
before my essence was moderated by
finding the Why...

but, may the Masters for give me,
I still like the pure clarity of it
best...

asshole!









question

when four people
sit in a booth in a restaurant,
why do the two largest people
always sit on one side and the two
smallest
on the other

that's just one
of the questions that occur to me
in the morning, especially
when
like today,
it is a bright and cool springish
day that encourages
one's mind
to seek out expanded territories,
answers
to life's persistent questions

the "fat people on one side
of the booth
and the skinny people on the other"
is just one such...

why doesn't the air
leak out into space, for example -


there's probably an extensively researched and proven
scientific answer to that
but it's probably complicated
and boring
and the problem with
running up against such questions
on a cool and clear, blue-sky springish
morning is that the answers
are never congruent with the moods
engendered by such mornings,
discouraging
as they do, things
that approach com-
plicated
and boring...

and then
there's the whole chicken
and road
thing,
but I don't want to get into that,
believing that such things
should not be
discussed
among friends with possibly
divergent
religious affiliations...

better to stick
with the fat people, skinny people
booth conundrum














The next poem is by the always reliable Meg Kearney from her book An Unkindness of Ravens. The book was published by BOA Editions in 2001.



Love Is a Form of Recklessness

My mother is AWOL from God.
That's what the nuns bacck
in Bristol are whispering,
though they'e not allowed
to speak her name or listen
to the radio, which keeps on
playing the summer of '64's
number-one hit on the pop charts:
Dionne Warwick's "Walk on By."

My mother's left hand grips
the steering wheel; her right
rubs her chin as Dionne belts
that line, "Oh, foolish pride.."
Mother's Levi's are still too
tight. Her hair is snarled above
her neck; her heart's a key on
a kite string. She left the convent
two years before and still has

nothing, not even her baby.
The alto horn cuts in, Dionne's
backup, as my mother,
twenty-five and broke, drives
her parent's Chevy back
to Long Island. I'm left in
Manhattan, seven years old and
clueless but panicky because
I'd sensed her panic as she left,

her kisses a pillow pressed to my
mouth. Now she wants to change
the station, change her mind,
because chances are she won't
recognize me if, years later,
I walk by her on the street. My
mother's love is the strength
to walk and keep on walking,
drive and keep on diving until
her daughter has learned to live
without her, until the day
a chance meeting is impossible
because she is forty-four and soon
will be dead. But my mother does
not see that far ahead. She merges
onto the L.I.E., reaches down
turns up the volume on the radio
and begins to sing along.









sailors on a fading sea



in the misty
morning
streetlamps pool
light on dark parking lots

brown leaves blow across
the light
like tiny fish
swimming
in a glowing pond

winter night
finding its way
to day
taking me
with it, quiet
as the tiny fish
that swim
in their little fading
sea








random ponderables and scattered memories

my dog
makes children
and pretty girls smile

and makes old women
go coochie coo

```

a man dies
on TV
and I think of my dad,
dead going on 40 years now

how could that?

dead at 65,
what a young age
that seems no
for a man to
be dying

```

young women
in my own youth
were such a mystery, 
silken creatures
from a different universe...

young women today
so lean and beautiful
and smart and strong,
different creatures
even than
before

I smile and I speak
to them,
the cute old man
at the coffeehouse

how far I imagine I have
fallen

```

lust after young women,
like Jimmy Carter did,
a little for their sex, mostly
for their youth

```

where
women have evolved
it seems to me
to be even better, to be even more mystical
and mysterious than they were before

men..
I don't know about young men,
dull an seeming thick

mostly
I'm not impressed

```

teller
at our drive-in
bank
include dog biscuits
with receipts if they see
a dog in your car

my dog
is very smart

knows this, moves to the front seat,
presses her head against the
windshield 
to make sure she is seen

```

I am past the age
where I don't want to act my age

I see old men now
trying so hard to be the studly gents
they imagine they were in their
youth

I am quite happy now
to be old an slow
and have no illusions
I was more enhance
in days long ago...

too long in my life
I have been a
realist

(except sometimes, on
a slow day,
I am the hero in a mid-afternoon
dream,, and the girl is 
beautiful
and she wants me to do
all manner of speak-able tings
to her ripe and luscious
body)

then I wake
and am only sometimes
and only temporarily
confused...

```

dog
likes country music,
blue grass
with banjo and fiddle
the best, but with always a soft spot
for Johnny Cash and Merle

she sings along in the car
on long afternoons, especially when driving
through the desert -
she's a Marty Robbins dog
in the desert
and Patsy Cline on fresh-scented
country roads

we share our taste in
music, but
I'm of better voice...

but what can I say?
still a darn good
dog










Next, I have two poems by Cleatus Rattan from his  book, The Border. The book, winner of the 2002 Texas Review Poetry Prize, was published by Texas Review Press in 2002. 

Rattan, a former Marine and retired professor of English at Cisco Community College, ranches a hundred miles west of Fort Worth, near Cisco. He is author of three books of poetry and winner of various awards and honors for his work.



Making the Grade

Living on a flat land ranch
and teaching in a college on a hill
is a simple life. Six miles
from the college, I sequester myself
on my principality, but the worlds
are connected. Occasionally the radio
and tv tell me about the other world -
schedules and such. At night
Fred and Ginger sometimes tap
out messages about the up-hill battles.

From my place, I can see the highway
weaving its way up the hills,
connecting the quilt of country
to the college where I am mastered,
often. Each morning I eye my gate

reluctantly, piece reality and draw
myself toward a tapestry of minds seemingly
interested only in things simple as ABC.


First Light

Saddling my horse in the early morning
dark, I try to remember how many high-headed
colts have become heavy, resigned old horses
under my saddles. How many times have I
stood at the gate feeling for the latch
fearing a snake might be near? Have I
know where danger lay? Trotting
out further in the back, I wonder
if my father had such thoughts
on this road. How many times will my sons
wait for the amber glow of morning on this way?
When I see the outline of cow and calf
in the beginning light, I put aside
these thoughts one more time.









I ain't a'scared ah no ghost

my old dog,
lovely Reba, did not like
dark places,
requiring wide detours
around storm drains when walking...

my new dog,
bashful Bella,
loves dark places and little holes
and niches, ever-curious, always wants to know
what there is where she can't
see...

I know people
like Reba, always just a nod
away from a nightmare...

others.
well. I know a few like Bella

mostly they're the ones you read about,
riding rockets into the deep dark
above, sailing tiny ships
from sea to sea to sea, all around the world, running
for president, taking chances despite all odds,
bull riders at the rodeo, firemen and navy seals,
all entertaining us
with feats that make us shiver...

I'm not one of those,
but I'm not the other
either...

I'm one of the reasonable ones,
charting the orbits the rockets must traverse,
but never on board for the ride,
watching little boats berthed
at the marina, bobbing
slightly in the incoming tide, making
queasy my cautious landlubber stomach,
sending my $20 check off
to the candidate I think I might
still like for at least a month after the election,
assuming he or she wins,
which I know even as I write the check he probably
will not, the reason my check is $20 and not $200,
political activism prudently restrained to the
low double digits...

always shaving the odds, that's what us reasonable
people do, buying the hat but staying
off the raging bull, my wagers always symbolic,
placed so I can say I did, never laying enough on the line
to make winning or losing a make or break
proposition...

I'll go to the fire
but make no commitment to picking up a hose,
never go close enough to the fire
to feel the heat that singes
the skin or crisps
the hair,
the exact safe distance,
plus maybe a reckless inch or two,
precisely
calibrated, precise calibration
being that at which reasonable men
are best...

not afraid of ghosts,
I say,
but also not one to knock on haunted house doors
at Halloween.










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