HERE AND NOW
Ain't what she used to be, she's better.
The old "Here andNow" had basically three elements, poetry (mine and from my library) and photos. This new "Here andNow (again)" adds two elements, my art and my video readings. The poetry from my library remains, but my poetry changes. After writing a poem a day for nearly 15 years, I ran into a wall and am not now writing (except this). That's the bad news; the good news is that all those years writing a poem every day I have on file nearly 6,000 old poems, more than enough to last longer than I'm likely to.
The art thing began when my poetry crashed. In order to keep my creative needs alive, I decide to try painting, my method, spray paint on wood (generally 10 inches by 5 feet). I overcame my lack of talent by going abstract, or as people sometimes say at galleries, "my 3-year-old could have done that." I stand in for 3-year-olds across the world.
I have had one showing of my work so far. In a very informal setting, essentially just leaning my boards against the wall of a large room, as shown here. It didn't attract much interest. I have a show coming up later this year in a more formal setting at Capej, a small coffeehouse and gallery near downtown.
The video reading rose out of boredom and the need to try something new. It has become a habit, with a new reading every morning. I'll include several readings in this and subsequent posts.
poets on every street corner
lying naked in the summer grass,
under the ful bright eye of the moon
listening to the sounds of the creek,
the mating frogs,
sounds of the trees and the wind,
trying to imagine a time
when these were the only sounds of night
with the call of a lonely, hungry wolf
from the hills far awar, the only sounds of life around us
and we are otherwise alone
This poem is by iconic Chicana/Native American Lorna Dee Cervantes from her fifth major collection, Sueno. She has long been a leader in the Native American literary renissiance and a favorite of mine.
People Talkikng In Their Sleep
Who comes out of that dad end
alive, untouched? The surface
of glass, gasping with breath,
the thick gauze touched up
with sighs. Out the woodwork
of dreaming comes freedom
from the dance of life, comes
the future in a wheel-barrel
filled with the nickels of nitghtmare.
Come up on the stoop, play
the marbles in your head
through the gritting teeth.
All the truths of summer
slumber here on a dime.
All the wits of winter
wake up to the grumble of games.
All the leafigs of autumn
cry out through the teeth
of sleep - in the dream
talking to its person.
ALL THE PROPHETS SAY
well, what can I say?
it's another day and the day moves along,
with me moving along with it,
just a step or two behind it.
just another day, a day like any other
and you are there,
but that's not correct,
it's just my impression of Walter Conkite
from the old days when he did that TV show
that had you imagine you were there
on the day of great historical events
and, of course, you are not there,
except for me there is here
at my morning restaurant
writing what might be my morning poem
or maybe just my computer's morning post-breakfast fart...
we'll see as we get a little further along,
and, speaking of that,
I looked through the obituaries
this morning, whichi I do every morning,
reading up on all the old people
who won't be geting further along,
feelig sorry for them until I realize
what all these old people
who won't be gettng further along
are only a couple of years older than me
and begin feeling sorry for myself...
but then I stop feeling sorry for myself
when I read of the four high school boysvand one girl
killed in a car wreck on their way home
from band practice or basketball practice
or something like that
and I begin to feel sorry for the kids
and the full and varied life they will not see,
and the parents, left with nothing
but the past and bittersweet memories
as the get closer to their time
of going no further along
but their story is just a sad distraction,
not my story, not about me, and thus
easier to dismiss, as I consider more
about what's important to me today,
me, and my story about just another morning
and I am there, not yet to my no further getting along,
but getting closer every day
getting too damn close for comfort...
HABITS OF MERCY
BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK