Lunatics - a Short Morning Inventory   Sunday, August 30, 2020

 








lunatics - a short morning  inventory

ovoid moon
behind a lacy curtain
of thin, translucent clouds

a lunatic bird
sings all alone
at the roundabout...

a lone cowboy
limps in through the door

sharp-toed boots
a hat with
a silver band
and a mustache
thick and
wild

settles slowly
in his chair, like a good cowboy
takes off his hat
and stores it under his chair

like the bird
he would prefer
to be alone, howling
at the night sky
as it slips away to another
day

instead
he welcomes the ovoid moon
with a smile
and a sip
of morning sarsaparilla...

hard-faced woman
across the room, once a beauty,
now a mask of cold indifference,
glares at her eggs,
has no interest in an ovoid moon
even as it stirs the tide

of her discontent...


fella in the corner booth,
fingers a-fly
on his laptop keyboard
as his coffee gets cold

another solitary lunatic,
obsessed with
lunatics
and ovoid moons














Here and Now

Lunatics – A Short Morning Inventory
Herenow.7beats.com



Me

lunatics – a short morning inventory
another page in the continuing story of me
an excellent place to be leaving
the great way, sea to sea
nobody feels sorry for Sally


Rita Dove

Fox Trot Fridays


Me

the next time a Democrat chicken or no chicken at all


Michelle Boisseau

Visual Dictionary


Me

cracking the night wide open
just ask her yourself
swimming in the Facebook seas
at bat


Herenow.7beats.com












another page in the continuing story  of me

life’s complications
intrude…

down to one car
as Dee’s 2000 Solara finally gives up the ghost
at 200,000 miles,
resting serenely now at a local scrapyard,
waiting its turn to be next year’s
BBQ pit,
or grocery cart,
or the girders of a tall building,
or plastic lawn
chair

and in the meantime,
until she finds a satisfactory replacement
for the old car,
I am the source of all travel
for the two of us,
this morning particularly complicated,
with my normal breakfast, poetry, coffeehouse schedule
and Dee’s need to get to work and to a doctor’s appointment
and back to work, just too damn complicated
for a seeker like me of the simple life

so, as I often do when faced with complications,
more than what a simple-seeker like me
wants to face in an early morning

(even though it was a beautiful early morn,
autumn busting out all over, with a small breeze blowing cool air
across the yard and on my bare back as I stand, legs apart,
arms resting on my hips, surveying the new
star-strewn, moonless night, okeydokey, okeydokey, I think,
a personal best morning, summer staggering to its overdue close,
as I call Bella to follow me back into the
house)

but wonderful as this early morning is,
I know it is only temporary respite as the very complicate day looms
and I respond, as I said, as I always do when faced
with such a challenge as this day
promises
to be...

I go back to my bed and return to sleep…

so,
six hours after my normal get-up-and-go-get’um time,
I awake and arise when Dee returns from
her doctor apartment to pick me up for lunch,
which we have outside under a pecan tree and a beautiful blue sky
at Josephine Street Restaurant just a few blocks from my normal coffeehouse retreat
which I return to after finishing lunch and dropping Dee off at her work,
ready to face this new and beautiful and simplified day and write my poem of the day,
and drink my coffee and, in general, return to my normal simplified self,
except when I get to the coffeehouse and get my coffee I discover
the coffeehouse personal no longer puts cream in my coffee for me and that
I have to do it myself with a carafe requiring manual dexterity and a new degree
of complication of my coffee

and I’m thinking maybe I ought to go back to
bed…










an excellent place to be  leaving

1968,
the middle of another of the periodic
mid-east wars
and threats of war...

embassy flight, South Carolina
to Karachi, Pakistan...

one stop to refuel in Madrid, overnight
at a hotel in the city, then
an unscheduled stop in Dhahran,
Saudi Arabia because
of a problem with
the plane...

and we were stuck, 140 degrees, easily,
on the tarmac so we were taken
off the plane, marched single-
file across the airport terminal
between a double column of Saudi soldiers,
backs to us, weapons at the
ready, hours sitting in a transient lounge
in the terminal, then taken to dinner
in a bus, windows covered
even though it was already dark,
didn't know where we were going,
didn't know where we were
when we got there, no memory
at all of what we ate...

but when done,
back to the airport
for a short wait before the plane
was ready to go again...

it was only later
I realized
the soldiers weren't guarding us
from the people at the airport, but
the people at the airport
from us...

it was an excellent place
to be leaving,
though the place I left to,
far out on a desert
frontier,
wasn't much
better...

but, at least
they were mostly pointing their guns
at each other and not
at me










the great way, sea to sea

early,
still dark,
traffic on the interstate
two racing strands of white diamonds,
one going north and west, to El Paso and
several states later, the vast Pacific
washing clean the sands of California beaches,
the other string headed south through downtown,
then, past downtown, east to Houston, eventually, past
the alligators and snapping turtles afloat in Louisiana bayous, past
the golden quarters of New Orleans, to the white beaches
and emerald Atlantic waters of Florida, Jacksonville,
where this road ends and the beginning of another, both ends
beginning/ending, thousands of miles apart, at lapping waves
of great water while I, here in the middle of that great reach, stay dry
on the shell-strewn bed of ancient seas, understanding this morning that all here
and all around in every direction was in a past unfathomably long ago, the great sea
of everything and everywhere, our mother the sea who bore us, nurtured us,
then left us, high and dry until her coming rebirth…

~~~

welcome our mother
as she, again, laps at our feet










nobody feels sorry for Sally

nobody
feels sorry for Sally
better
than Sally does

and it pisses her off
when other people don’t feel as sorry
for Sally as she
deserves…

she thinks
they’re just not trying
hard enough…

so
if some fine and sunny day
you see Sally coming
down a bright summer street
be sure
and tell her how sorry you are
about everything

then leave
quickly
before she can tell you
all about
it













This poem by Rita Dove is from The Best American Poetry - 2003, published by Schribner Poetry.


Dove, born in Ohio in 1952, has published multiple volumes of poetry, a book of short stories, a novel, a volume of essays, and a play. She received the Pulitzer Prize in poetry in 1987 and from 1993-1995 was poet laureate of the United States. At the time of publication, she was Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.


She tells an interesting story about this poem, about dancing at night on the ashes of her house just burned down by lightning at a party thrown for her by her neighbors.





Fox Trot Fridays


Thank the stars there's a day
each week to tuck in

the grief, lift your pearls and
stride brush stride

quick-quick with a
heel-ball-toe. Smooth

as Nat King Cole's
slow satin smile,

easy as taking
one day at a time:

one man and
one woman,

rib to rib,
with no heartbreak in sight -

just the sweep of Paradise
and the space of a song

to count all the wonders in it.

(first published in Callaloo)










next time a democrat chicken or no chicken at all

so Monday
‘bout midnight
I cast the bones,
and studied carefully
the innards
of the chicken from whom
the bones were extracted, and it was clear
from my reading, 100% scientifically determined,
that one of two things was going to happen on Tuesday…

either the Democrats were going to sweep the elections, or,
I was going to win the Mega Million lottery, $154 cash-option million

well, you know what happened (or didn’t)

it’s what happens when you count on some lying son-of-a-bitch
Republican chicken…

next time it’s a Democrat chicken or I’m switching
to frogs, or beavers, or otters, or squirrels
or platypi, or koala bears or a trout or a weasel
(no wait, the weasels are all republican and not to be trusted)
or some other appropriate
creature
(but definitely not a weasel)
of a democrat disposition














This poem is by Michelle Boisseau, taken from her book, Trembling Air, published by The University of Arkansas Press in 2003.


Boisseau was born in 1955 in Ohio and attended  Ohio University where she received a BA and an MA and the University of Houston where she earned a Ph.D. in 1985. She taught at the University of Missouri, Kansas City while publishing several poetry collections.

She died of lung cancer in 2017 after receiving a Guggenheim Fellowship that same year.






Visual Dictionary


for my husband and his brothers

April snow that racks against
his well-oiled garage doors
has slicked your face. Dry them

now, breathe in sweep grease
and metal. Point, shank, head:
here are your father's nails,

here his screws (slotted, Phillips,
Robertson), and a trove
of washers, bolts (hex, toggle,

dead, wing) and nuts ordered
in five-pound coffee cans.
The bandsaw is silent,

likewise the drill. The cold
stove winks and seethes as you
shovel the sawdust in.

The simple wrenches frown
and smile, and frown and smile
when you turn them around -

they're dumb as hourglasses.
The vise hangs as the end
of its thread, its jaw set:

nothing can speak for him,
not even you, his middle-
aged children. He was hard

to know. And now even harder
to lift and hardest to put
back down again is this

maple-handled hammer,










cracking the night wide open

thunder
cracks wide open
the dark
with blossoms
of light,
intense and white,
shatters the wind, throws it
into swirls and twirls,
a vortex
of unruly soak-blown night


lying where he left it.










I have to add, she always has water and the windows are always open and we always go home before the heat of the day strikes.




just ask her yourself

one of the regulars comes in
tells me it’s about to
rain
so I run out real quick,
to check, my windows half down
so Bella can get some air, sitting in the driver’s seat
as usual, what’s up? she says
with raised eyebrows

false alarm, dry as a bone,
which I don’t actually say since
any reference to bone
needlessly
activates her salivary glands
which is a mess, so I euphemize,
tell her, never mind
go back to
sleep
and she goes back to
sleep
which she does almost as well
as she salivates when “bone”
or its phonetic equivalent is heard

so
I thought I’d come back inside
and write this pitiful
excuse
for a morning poem
while watching
for the phantasmical rain
that isn’t here
yet
even though the regular guy
says it was

actually
I think he was just giving me
and indirect hard time
for leaving my dog
in the car

I have to deal with that kind of buttinsky type
all the time,
even though I’ve discussed the question
with the dog and she stated an emphatic preference
to sitting in the car waiting for me
than sitting at home
alone…

if you don’t believe me, I tell the buttinskies,
ask her yourself












swimming the Facebook  seas

have you ever wondered
about those people
you meet on
Facebook, cranks for all seasons,
leftists, right-wingers,
paranoids, schizoids, one-worlders,
isolationists, faddists, food Nazis, conspiracy
mongers, commies-under-every-bed, fascists-
behind-every-tree, Chavistas, fashionistas, Utopians,
vegan militants, Black-power militants, White-power  militants,

anti-vanilla-Oreo militants, peace-militants,

bomb-the-fuckers

militants, carnivore constitutionalists,
nihilists, anarchists, gun nuts, anti-gun nuts,
riders-upon-the-latest-againer-fads - anti-GMOist,
anti-pipeliner, anti-fat, anti-lean, anti-histamines, anti-
whatever-the-Great-and-Wonderful-Oz deems next…

all taken to senseless extremes,
so tiresome, Facebook like a little clubhouse
us kids had when I was one, password required

how come I never run into these people
in real life?

is it that they never leave the clubhouse, content
to stay in their cozy cubby, unthreatened
by the sense and reality real people
face in the real world?

or is it that the regular people I meet
are not so regular when no one is looking,
their secret life of rant and rave
hidden during the regular course of their regular day?

I’m thinking they’re all around me, that I in my own
regular life swim in seas of well-disguised Facebook weirdos,
that they’re everywhere, like a school of sharks
circling, waiting for the first slight taste
of blood to pounce, to try to sell me tickets on their particular train
of twenty-first century balderdash…

my God, what a dangerous world this is we live in, the time,
I’m thinking, to gather the women and children,
to lower the lifeboats,
time, I’m thinking, to break out the tin foil hats!










at  bat

blue-black sky
as dawn
creeps around
night’s dark
corners

and
as usual,
I will start this emerging day
with a poem…

not a great poem
as this dull gem makes clear,
but I’ll keep trying…

it’s like baseball,
you’ll never hit one over the fence
if you don’t swing the bat









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Poetry

New Days & New Ways


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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
















1 Comments:
at 5:59 PM Blogger davideberhardt said...

Allen Itz- an unrecognized Texas treasure: best landscape photog since Eliot Porter- as to black and white- he's up there w Franks and Winogrand- contact dave eberhardt for 2 tribute poems- mozela9@comcast.net use this email not email below

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