Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I'm Glad March Is Finally Here

The sun is shining and you can smell spring arriving, but I am setting here preparing a new blog while I listen to Bill Maher’s Fishbowl on (a favorite of mine), when I should be doing outside stuff.

So it goes.

This week I will post a couple of new Poetic States. There are nine written and ready to post, and six more plus DC to write. Illinois and New Mexico, one of my favorites are below.

First, my good friend and partner, Thomas Fortenberry, sent me a couple of links worth your attention:

That President Bush is still making public relations visits to the areas wiped out by Hurricane Katrina, conveys a powerful message. He is still forced to scrounge around in sheer desperation, searching for anything that resembles progress. The story that this persistent state of disrepair should clearly and loudly convey to the American people is that within the Bush administration and the Republican Party, common everyday citizens -- working and poor Americans -- really don't matter. (cont. at the web site)

Scientists scanning the deep interior of Earth have found evidence of a vast water reservoir beneath eastern Asia that is at least the volume of the Arctic Ocean.
The discovery marks the first time such a large body of water has found in the planet’s deep mantle.

The finding, made by Michael Wysession, a seismologist at Washington University in St. Louis, and his former graduate student Jesse Lawrence, now at the University of California, San Diego, will be detailed in a forthcoming monograph to be published by the American Geophysical Union. (cont.)


Before the poems, a book recommendation: Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill (William Morrow, 2007).

Now I have to be honest. I’ve only read the first chapter, but it is good as any fiction first chapter I’ve ever read, and that includes the very best, John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath.
It’s a horror story about haunted suit the novel’s hero bought on E-bay. That’s all you need to know except you should read it.

By the way, Hill is Stephen King’s son; and as the old saw goes, the eyeball don’t fall far from the severed head.


Before the Poetic States, one Rain short song:

Granmum Knew
(for Arthur Seeley)

Windows rattle, lights flicker, a lid sails by,
the gusts arrive, a broom sweeping the streets.
No eggs over, no sausage this morning –
“Art, it's raining iggs and swuthers aht theear.”

Iggs, et al is Yorkshire, nonsense words with no other meaning than it is raining in gusts and sheets.

Arthur is one of Britain’s outstanding poets. He has been winning awards and honors lately.


Poetic State XXXVI – Illinois

A Breeze Dies in the City
(for Lisa J, murdered)

geese land on lake Michigan
never to fly again

did she notice the geese as they swooped by Sear’s tower?

paper blows along the El
never to land again

did she notice the papers as they lay in State Street’s gutters?

garlic no longer grows
along the river

the Fox and Sauk no longer trap and trade
along the river

we can no longer hear the Black Shirts preach
of the black man they placed on a cross

does she see the traps and let the beaver go free?

does she hear Harrison’s lies in traffic to the airport?

smoke rises from barrels
never to heat again

the city moves on
less one brick

the garden grows
less one flower

the words speak
less one voice

and we wish we could hear
could see what she does
as the hoop moves on

as a breeze dies in the city

(An admission, this is the one Poetic State I had already written – in 2002. Lisa was poet in a forum I moderated. Her boyfriend killed her, though at first he denied it. The poem was written before he confessed.)


Poetic States XXXVI – New Mexico

Trinity’s Hour

A new sun bloomed out of the desert
defying Sol to roast white powder
glazed like broken pottery in a kiln

The light separated from the dark
to illuminate playas turned to steam,
clouds the sudden color of hell,
gypsum dunes and salt flats

It shone on chaparral forest,
creatures that crawled,
burrowed and fell from the sky,
seeds and fish waiting spring,
beasts that hunted beasts
and those that hid from the hunters

It lit a sheepherder in his hogan,
Alamogorda, Carlsbad, old Santa Fe,
lovers eloping from Las Cruces,
jingle dancer waking in her pueblo,
truth and its consequences,
the blood of a Spanish Christ

Its flash found a vendor on Honshu,
pineapple farmer on Oahu,
ballet dancer in Stalingrad,
soldier dying in a Pacific jungle,
rabbinical student at the Wailing Wall,
man of independence

as time shifted to five minutes
before the last midnight

(New Mexico and Colorado will be published in the spring Loch Raven Review at


Until next week,


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