Once You Learn the Trick of It   Saturday, April 11, 2020

once you learn the trick to it

the music was great
and I had a couple (two) beers

- Sir Williams Dark Ale
and if I ever start drinking again
Sir Williams is going to be my best friend -

and I hardly ever never drink, having
done enough of that in my previous lifestyle
of the poor and infamous, but, I think I already said this,
the music was great and great beer and good music just go
together, so I surrendered
to the impulse and had a couple (two)

now folks who know me from the years following the years
of my previous poor and infamous lifestyle never
see me with a beer in my hand, so I could hear the whisper
when I got my second, Allen got another beer, I heard, which
I thought was kind of funny, almost encouraging me to go for a third
but it was a whole hour and a half past my 8 pm bedtime so I thought
better of it and went home, expressions, heartwarming, I must say,
to be safe on my way home, as if there was considered a distinct possibility
that I might run down a night owl nun on a health-seeking pilgrimage jog
or maybe a group of marauding first graders out on their nightly
search for Waldo, or, you know, generally do something stupid - well
I told them not to worry cause I was in full control of my
faculties and they, never having experienced the lifestyle themselves
of the poor and infamous, did not understand that being
a former drunk is very much like being a former
trick bicyclist - once you learn the tricks to it,
you just hardly ever forget…

Another rough, mini-post, mini for reasons previously explained.


once you learn the trick of it

kicking the can

thoughts arising from a discussion gentrification

Kathy Song



thursday night poetry at the coffeehouse

the voice of hard times coming

an unplanned overnight

Ursula K. le Guin

Waking in April

The Non-Caratesian in June


que the music triumphant

kicking the can

the loud woman
is here,
wheeling and dealing
“know what I mean”
every sentence


I’d write a short poem
about the brightness of the sun
but lost it in the glare



on Broadway

I wave poems at them
but no one notices

too busy
for stray street corner
too proud to hoist
a cardboard


the light is red...

everyone stops

the light is green...

everyone goes

the sign-slinger
in the intersection

as there is no time for poets
no time either for terpsichorean


close enough
sufficient for these latter days
being exceedingly
of myself for coming close enough
in the spelling
of terpsichorean
for “spellcheck” to correct it,
I rest on my laurels
for the day


like kicking a can
down the road, not important
where you kick it,
just the kicking of it
perfectly good

thoughts arising from a  discussion regarding gentrification

a discussion
on NPR concerning “gentrification”
reminds me of the truth
of life
we would all like to forget

no good thing is permanent

the strong and virile
days of youth;
the passion of sexual
the moment of insight
when the answers
to all great questions
were apparent;
the neighborhoods
with the neighbors you knew,
the little café on the corner where
coffee was a nickel and
a burger was a quarter
(30 cents with cheese);
the time when new meant better,
not just destruction of the old
and more humanly
replaced by
boxes for caging
people, like the cheap wire
we used to cage our

there are many places I should have
gone to stay in my life,
gentle places
with gentle, interesting people
but it is too late now
for they have all become the place
I stayed instead, the universal place,
the “Soviet Realism” of architecture,
of neighborhoods,
of neighbors marching faithfully
in our own May Day

nothing good is permanent and neither
are the bad times, which
I suppose
is the good side of stasis,
every deviation, good or bad,
always returns to the monotony
of stasis, when the stars
in the night sky
their circling, stop
the twinkle of their burning…

nothing either good or bad
is permanent,
just the redundancy
of mudded time
very slowing and
inexorably returning to where
it never left

This poem is by Kathy Song, from her book, Picture Bride. The book was published by Yale University Press and was winner of the 1982 Yale Series of Younger Poets competition.

Born in Honolulu in 1955, Song received a B.A. from Wellesley College and an M.A. in creative writing from Boston University.


     for Kathy

He will rise with you one morning

when you will be wanting

to slow the motions down,

but everything happens so quickly now –

once the light lifts the dogs in the yard

from their sleep

and the hens begin to peck between

the boards of the house

and before one daughter is through,

your milk curdles with another

whose bright eyes will hurt you.

She is the one who brings you

cups of water

on trays with flowers.

your father never moves

from his place where the porch slopes,

his bad eyes yellowing like the old sun

that washes the house each afternoon,

pulling from you

what the kiawe trees

have been burning off for years,

the slow fires.

The bones and the branches

gathered by the dogs

burn in your need to sleep.

Thursday night poetry at the coffeehouse

the dim yellow dusk
at the end of a rainy day

the sun,
hidden for most of the day
struggles to make its mark
before the night gathers and spreads
its thick, ebon robe over the land

street lights in the mist-damp air
cast crystal shadows across
the gleaming

moody night, mysterious strangers,
dark corners, drifting fog will rise
below the bridges,
cover the
and river walkers…

I watch through the window
as the night rolls softly across
the sky…


poetry night, Thursday Night Poetry I host
at the coffeehouse,
for the other poets
so I can start
the show

the voice of hard times coming

pretty young woman
with a hard voice, hard
as an asbestos shingle, talking
to an older man with a softer voice,
apparently manager/owner of a movie theater,
talking about the movie business, talking
about good times in the business…

she, the voice of hard times
like Marley’s ghost,
a coffeeshop
of the dangers of great

an unplanned overnight

an unplanned overnight
on a hard hotel

breakfast at Denny’s
(obesity, thy name
is Denny)

much accomplished
to long term

quality of life
but much still

this day
to do
but I’m tired

in unplanned
second day clothes
and hand-combed hair

teeth coated with yesterday
and breath not fit for
human presumption

and I want to be
back south

to my wife
and my dog and my cat
and my coffeehouse

and homely air
and familiar light
and everything else

that years ago
set my feet
 away from wandering

where the good days
with a kind and gracious

leisure - it’s
what I call

Here are two short poems by Ursula K. le Guin from her book, incredible good fortune, published by shambhala publications in 2006.

Waking in April

Drifting on the birdsong river

between no light and light

and the sleep of a man and a cat,

I wear the soft old shirt

my mother made me seventy years ago,

nightshirt, day shirt,

winter coat, wedding gown.

I wonder, as it wears away to rags

and gauze, will there be a mirror

to see the naked soul in,

or only an unraveling of shadow

as the day widens

and things grow clearer.

The Non-Caratesian in June

Sun shines through roses

moving in the wind

Are the wind the sun the roses

all one?

The sun the roses the wind

one articulate thing?

Questions the mind raises

on a summer afternoon.

Are the sun the roses the mind

On with the wind?

The roses are pale pink.

I am, therefore I think.

que the music triumphant
fixed the phantom glitch
that kept my photos from posting on Facebook,
I am like that slope-browed hunter
from time before my time
to his cave, the hunt complete,
mastodon liver flung
over his shoulders,
dancing around the fire
celebrating his time,
however short,
for today
the hunter made his mark
and his slope-browed wife and all his slope-browed children
will eat for another day

the music

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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

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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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