The Pan Dulce Factor   Thursday, May 07, 2020












the pan dulce factor 


my normal breakfast
is a kind of Mexican
pan dulce
called in South Texas
mojettes
and in other places
conchas

whichever name
you pick,
they are the same thing,
a round sweet bread
with a red, yellow,
white or brown sugary
icing spread irregularly
in a kind of waffle pattern
on top,
the various colors
for display only,
having no effect on taste

I prefer the mojette
because like most Mexican
sweet breads
it has less sugar
than the standard gringo
pastries, thus increasing
the possibility
that when the time comes
I will die with my feet on

with my mojette
I read two newspapers,
the local and the Times,
and drink one medium latte,
except, of course, if I’m at
Starbucks, I don’t have a
medium latte
I have a grande latte
which is what Starbucks
calls a medium latte
hoping to get you say
to yourself,
holy cow,
I got a grande latte
for the same price as a medium,
I’m going to get all my lattes
from Starbucks from now on

just a trivial example of the
reconstruction of language
that’s part of our daily life
now days, like Bush starting
a preemptive war
that only preempts
the continued living
of many Americans
and many more
Iraqis
or
the Texas governor’s
fast-track plan
to build many new
coal
power plants
described
as an anti-global warming
initiative
or the Republican candidates’ plan
to get rid of all the Mexicans
wherever they may hide
labeled
immigration reform

we’ve had eight years
to learn all these tricks
and the good news is
in less than a year
we can forget all about their
wordsquat
since they’ll be
gone

the bad news is
now we’re going to have to
learn
all the new democrat
wordbarf
and who knows what that’s
going to be

at least
however the
new
brave
new world
turns out, they’ll still be
a few Mexican bakeries left
laying out on their shelves
every day
a
50 cent
mojette breakfast
available
in your favorite
 
of four colors














Me

the pan dulce factor

Gwendolyn

on reading “Cow” by Federico Garcia Lorca

four days on the road

draft-dodging without bone spurs

in the dark woods of me


Charles Levenstein

Men Crying


Me

I just heard of her illness today

nuts in the neighborhood not all hoarded by squirrels


Elizabeth Alexander

The Texas Prophet


Me

let me tell you about me cause a remarkably interesting dude I be

China silk

watch this space


herenow.7beats.com















Gwendolyn


Gwendolyn,
i’ve named her
and i love
to watch
her talk -
American Sign,
with flashing eyes
and Gwendolyn
body
English
that seems too involve
every
movable
part of her physical being

as i watch her from
across the coffee shop
i have no idea
what she’s talking about
but, by God,
it looks exciting
















on reading “ Cow” by Federico Garcia Lorca



i am reminded
of how often i worry about the meat i eat,
not because i’m a vegetarian
or because i think it is necessarily
immoral to eat other creatures
but because of the way these other creatures
come to become an entree on my plate

if you’ve ever been to a slaughter house,
you know what
i mean

no respect
for the life being taken
and
in the end
no respect
for the life being eaten

so
if i continue to eat meat
which
i almost certainly will continue to do
i will endeavor to remind myself
of the creature whose living essence
sustains me

no more hamburgers for me

from now on
when i go to McDonald’s
it’ll be ground cow on a bun to go

no more BLT

instead
lettuce and tomato
on toast
with mayo
and crispy slices of
pig

chickens
never got enough respect
for us to disrespect them
so we eat up our chicken breast
without thinking much about it

i haven’t decided yet
how to deal with that

possibly

breast of feathered fowl
or maybe
leg
of feathered fowl
dusted
with secret spices
and fried
crispy

will have to think
a bit more
about chickens
i think
















4 days on the road



Fredericksburg, Texas 78624

dad’s home town,
visited
every summer
until my seventeenth year

from a world
where Spanish whispered
around me
to a world where
it was German

all around -
the only place
in the world where
the telephone book

includes a page and a half
of people
with my same short
last name

cousins all
to one degree or another,
but the only ones i know
are dead

so i don’t stop anymore
when passing through
except at Opa’s
Meat Market

for a few week’s supply
of koch kasse,
liver sausage,
and hill country peaches


Mason, Texas 76856

little Mason, Texas,
barely 2,000 German
Irish and Mexican souls
county seat of Mason

County

a town with a busy
square,
functioning businesses
on every side

and historic stone
courthouse
in the center
surrounded by

oak and pecan green

little towns all around
wither
and die
from the rot

of modern times

while
this one grows
more gracious and serene
like a woman

whose youthful beauty

is defined
and deepened
by age


Brady, Texas, 76825

on the way to Brady,
between Dry Shunt Draw
and Cannibal Creek
the geology changes

gone are red rocks
and rich red earth

as the hill country
begins to flatten
to high caliche plains

of cactus
and low brush
and rocky fields

with dust devils,
diablitos,
two or three at a time
pacing us,

twirling caliche dust
swirls,
outriders
on either side

Brady
a casualty
of the dusty
plain

is passed through
and left behind
with no regrets


Eden, Texas 76837

tiny Eden
Texas

don't go there
for
you'll surely be
disappointed

but if you must

don't pick the
apples


Lamesa, Texas 79331

high plains,
cotton,
grain,
a town dried up,
old buildings’
former glory
tattered,
brick dingy,
windows blank,
empty eyes
like old men
in decline
wanting just
a quiet place in an
uncrowded
corner
to die in peace

wanting just
to be left
alone


Lubbock, Texas, 79401

Bush country

god-fearing,
red-voting rednecks
with money,
sons of Birchers
back
when they were
still fighting the communist
conspiracy
with Impeach Earl Warren
billboards
and Rotary Club
luncheons

in appearance,
the kind of town
old Sam Walton
would have built
if he’d been into
building
towns


Fort Sumner, New Mexico, 88119

going west
on US 84, you
crest a hill
and see
the village of Fort Sumner,
population 1,100 give or take
a dozen, nestled
in a green and wooded
valley
on the Pecos River

a true Eden
in the desert,
a garden not yet
spoiled -

not
as seen from this
hilltop


Santa Rosa, New Mexico 88435

the desert is green this year

like a New England pasture
between even greener
hills


Albuquerque, New Mexico 87101

1
i remember
a night
camping on a trail
near the crest of Sandia
Peak
looking out under
a cloudless moon-soaked
sky
to the desert
like an ocean
stretched
below,
city lights
all the ships at sea

thinking

i will never see
anything this beautiful
again

and looking back
now

over all the years
since
that night

and all the sights i’ve seen,
i think i might have been
right


2
i rode this area
on horseback
many years ago

through it’s rough
arroyos,
across
it’s dusty flats

now
the asphalt tide
that engulfed it twenty-five
years ago
has shifted as the city
moves in new directions

leaving behind the derelicts
of an ebbing civic tide,
vacant buildings,
empty lots,
as all starts the slow fall
back to nature
one weedy tuft at a time

someday
long past my time
someone else
will ride this desert prairie,
leaving hoof prints
beside these ruins


Capitan, New Mexico 88316

just inside
the National Forest,
about six miles east of
Carrizozo
and the scrambled strew
of black volcanic rock
called the Valley of Fires,
is Capitan, a one-street village

its single street
shaded the full length
by large cottonwoods,
bounded on either side
by art shops,
a grocery market-gas station,
Amy’s Coffee House
and antiques,
new adobe homes,
and hundred-and-fifty-year-old
adobe ruins

quiet

cool
in the summer
and quiet

an elderly man
on a horse
checks his mail,
waves
as i pass


Roswell, New Mexico 88201

intergalactic way station

little
green men everywhere

stopping over,
like me,
for a plate of green
enchiladas

before leaving out
for home













draft-dodging without bone spurs

i remember
seeing my reflection
in a store window,
long hair,
greasy looking,
thin coat
against the wet
cold,
a refugee-looking
bit of human
marginalia


it was the first week
of January, 1966,
barely a month
from my 22nd birthday,
just off the bus from
Bay City, a small east Texas
town where i was working
for a small, three-day-a-week newspaper
when the “Greetings” letter
from Uncle Sam
set a new course
for my life,
a course i had frantically
avoided
since my 18th birthday

- dumb,
i was, to believe
i could drop out of school
and no one at the draft board
would notice…

it was early days in the war,
though no one knew that
at the time, and i
really didn’t have an opinion
about it,
except that, for damn sure,
i didn’t want any personal
part of it.
it was just, much like
Dick Cheney,
i thought i had better things
to do and was sure smoking
dope, drinking too much,
and thinking deep thoughts
were much more valuable
contributions to the war effort
than anything i could do
with an actual
gun -

but the letter came
and,
Canada aside,
there didn’t seem much
choice
until i went to the pre-
induction physical
and passed a room
where a line of draftees
in their underwear
were being divided into
two groups,
counting off down the line

1, 2, army,
3, marines,
1, 2. army, 3, marines
1,
2,
army,
3,
marines

and i said the hell
with that
and went back to Bay City
and joined the Air Force,
bumping some poor draft dodger
like myself, except
with a lower test score,
into the 1, 2, army, 3, marines
probably,
for which, though i’m sorry,
i’d do it all again

which brought me to this
place, a block and a half
from the induction center
in Houston,
looking at a stranger
i knew was me,
looking back from a store window,
a drifter in life
whose accomplishments
never matched
the opportunities available
to him,
the most alone
i had ever been,
wondering
what came next, knowing
i’d never see this particular
mirror me
again,
wondering
it that was a good thing
or bad










in the dark woods of me

it bothers me
that i seem to be writing
more for myself now
than for any other
reader,
making me wonder
about the relevancy
of what i’m doing
putting these
words
down
that no one
can care about
but me

irrelevancy
comes with age
as much as weakened
muscle
and failing eyesight,
and it’s the lose
that bothered me most
as i left behind
the responsibilities
of my workaday life,
the responsibilities
and the people
who counted on me,
on the decisions
only i could make -
and then i got older
and don’t do those things
anymore
and it seems the world
didn’t notice,
just kept right on keeping on,
and whatever hole
i made in the continuity
of time’s flow
closed
and the stream
flowed on
not just as if i am gone,
but as if
i had never been
and the sense of futility
grows,
calling into question
my life
and those things that had been
the pride of my life
and i sought ways
to turn back
this nullification
through some new way
to relevancy,
some new way
to break the flow
and leave an eddy in my wake
and like others i sought to place my claim
to relevancy
through poetry
and at first i was not very good
but i got better,
until now, with my sharpened skills
i find i have nothing
to say
but about myself
my dreams
and desires,
my successes
and my mistakes
and one day i read my work
with a clear head
and realized there is no reason
for anyone else to care
about any of it
and i realized
i am back where i started,
only older
and less inclined
to begin
again














This poem is by my poet-friend, Charles Levenstein and is taken from his book Poems of World War III, published by Lulu Press in 2003. 

Widely published in poetry e-zines, Charles is Professor Emeritus of Work Environment Policy at University of Massachusetts Lowell. He has a Ph.D. in economics from M.I.T. and a masters degree in physiology and occupational health from Harvard School of Public Policy. He is author of numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and several books in his fields of specialty.




Men Crying

I.
A man cried in front of strangers.
he read words of praise for a friend:
The founder of this, the leader
of that, the clapper of bells,
the fiery breath of our movement -
The words became fluent with tears,
then broke again and again,
a late season hurricane.

II.
Watching men cry is unpleasant.
They cry like broken glass. Not
the silent tearing of an eye,
but gasps, failed attempts
to say a word or two. Men cry
terribly and should be restricted
to special sheds where we can
howl like the dogs we are.

III.
A man in mourning cried for himself;
the thin paper of dreams burned
like a history book. He cried for
lost mothers, homeland in flames,
he cried bitter tears of abandonment,
and could not remember why. His full
belly craved respect, the worms never
gave him peace. He mourned he man
whose dreams he borrowed and now burned.
He cried for his friend, for innocence.












I just learned of her illness today

friends
for thirty-five years
though we haven’t seen
much of each other
for more than half
of that time,
but we fought the wars
together,
fighting for the good
and right
at a time when the difference
was clear to us,
battles won
and battles lost,
all as fresh in my mind
as the days we fought them

companions
of the good fight
we were,
making a difference
together,
for at least those years...

and we could be such companions
again,
for there is much good still
to be won...

and we could do it,
if given the time to fight












nuts in the neighborhood not all hoarded by the squirrels

received
mail yesterday
addressed to
“my neighbor”

the letter inside
two pages
of elaborate obscenities
carefully

written
in large block print
almost impossibly neat
and precise

response
to the two
Obama-Biden
campaign signs

in my front yard

but here’s the curious thing

despite
the obscene letter
the campaign signs
are untouched

does this mean
we have a fruitcake
in the neighborhood
who respects

the first amendment
and my right to exercise
my political
opinion

truly a positive attestation
to his patriotism and respect
for American political traditions
or does if just mean

that the fruitcake
hasn’t taken the signs
because he’s afraid
i’ll catch him in the act

and kick his ass












A





This poem is by Elizabeth Alexander. It is taken from her book, Body of Life, published by Tia Chucha Press in 1996.

Alexander was born in New York City and grew up in Washington D.C. She has degrees from Yale University and Boston University and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania. Her poems, short stories and critical writings have appeared in many literary journals.




The Texas Prophet

I am the Texas Prophet who is now in Baltimore.
God blesses those who see me and I'm coming to your town.
I guarantee you without fail a straight and one-way blessing.
I come to bring you luck and by your popular demand.

I'm bringing Mojo hands for those of you who can't win for losing.
All manner of diseases is healed. Cash money falls like rain.
If I were you I would come early. He can't stay all night.
Those who know me know I am no money-hungry Prophet.

I am the Texas Prophet who is now in Baltimore.
I'm bringing good luck talismans and guarantee my work.
Keep looking up keep looking up. His help is on the way.
Yours in spirit and love. The Prophet John C. Bates.













let me tell you about me, cause a very interesting dude i be

a poet
who seeks to create art
drawn
from the essences
and intricacies
of his own particular
self
should first
insure
that his own particular
self
embodies sufficient
levels of interesting
essences
and
intricacies
to merit a patron’s
involvement
in the adventure
of his art

meanwhile
on this night
i am so completely
humongously
stupendously
ginormously
bored
with myself
i see no prospect
for another poem
for a dozen
possibly
two dozen years
in the
future
upcoming

and
it's another fine mess
i've gotten
me
into

perhaps
i’ll
be more interesting
tomorrow











china silk 


everything 
I know about
Mandarin Chinese
I learned
by listening
to Chinese movies

there is a soft sound
in that language
that holds for me
a little piece
of the mysteries
of the orient

it’s a musical sound,
something like

“sssha”

that purses
the lips in a way
to me
most delightful

the Cyrillic alphabet
has a similar sound

“ssscha”

but it’s harsher
and harder
with something
of the Russian winter
in it,

while the mandarin

“sssha”

seems soft and intimate
as china silk













watch this space

i’m
holding this space
for my
next
great poem -

it’’ll
be a wonder,
a grand thing,
tender, deeply
evocative
of all that is
beautiful
and life-affirming
in rocks and mountains
and birds
and flowers and dirt
and stuff like that,
fierce
in its examination
of the gritty
entrails
of living, a
revelatory piece
of monumental
poetica
certain to illuminate
and expand
the meaningfulness
of your life

coming
soon, right
here,
for your very own
intellectual
and spiritual
development

or
not















little  bits

i 
lonely whistle
in the dark
lost
little bird
calls
home


ii
grizzled
elders grieve
pale women
dance
under dim
diminished stars


iii
dogs at
midnight
smell wild
intruder
bark until
first light


iv
no rain
for garden’s
growing
faith may
yet
bring rain

v
watch
the robin
danger ranger
calls her
mate
to eat


vi
whale song
ripples
the deep
navy sonar
roils
the tide










As promised/threatened two new boards since last post.


























I appreciate hearing from readers. Although they do not appear here, your comment,, if you choose to make them is available to me. So feel free to pass on any reaction, comments, or opinions by clicking on the "comment" button below.




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, 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



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






































0 Comments:

Post a Comment



Archives
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
January 2012
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
September 2012
October 2012
November 2012
December 2012
January 2013
February 2013
March 2013
April 2013
May 2013
June 2013
July 2013
August 2013
September 2013
October 2013
November 2013
December 2013
January 2014
February 2014
March 2014
April 2014
May 2014
June 2014
July 2014
August 2014
September 2014
October 2014
November 2014
December 2014
January 2015
February 2015
March 2015
April 2015
May 2015
June 2015
July 2015
August 2015
September 2015
October 2015
November 2015
December 2015
January 2016
February 2016
March 2016
April 2016
May 2016
June 2016
July 2016
August 2016
September 2016
October 2016
November 2016
December 2016
January 2017
February 2017
March 2017
April 2017
May 2017
June 2017
July 2017
August 2017
September 2017
October 2017
November 2017
December 2017
January 2018
February 2018
March 2018
April 2018
May 2018
June 2018
July 2018
August 2018
September 2018
October 2018
November 2018
December 2018
January 2019
February 2019
March 2019
April 2019
May 2019
June 2019
July 2019
August 2019
September 2019
October 2019
November 2019
December 2019
January 2020
February 2020
March 2020
April 2020
May 2020
June 2020
July 2020
August 2020
September 2020
October 2020
Links
Loch Raven Review
Mindfire Renewed
Holy Groove Records
Tryst
Poems Niederngasse
BlazeVOX
Eclectica
Michaela Gabriel's In.Visible.Ink
zafusy
The Blogging Poet
Poetsarus.Com
Wild Poetry Forum
Blueline Poetry Forum
The Writer's Block Poetry Forum
The Word Distillery Poetry Forum
Gary Blankenship
The Hiss Quarterly
Thunder In Winter, Snow In Summer
Lawrence Trujillo Artsite
Arlene Ang
The Comstock Review
Thane Zander
Pitching Pennies
The Rain In My Purse
Dave Ruslander
S. Thomas Summers
Clif Keller's Music
Vienna's Gallery
Shawn Nacona Stroud
Beau Blue
Downside up
Dan Cuddy
Christine Kiefer
David Anthony
Layman Lyric
Scott Acheson
Christopher George
James Lineberger
Joanna M. Weston
Desert Moon Review
Octopus Beak Inc.
Wrong Planet...Right Universe
Poetry and Poets in Rags
Teresa White
Camroc Press Review
The Angry Poet