It Starts Here

Mark Weber | after swim in Delaware River at Callicoon, New York | Photo by Kazzrie Jaxen

Please Note: Please put the cursor over the highlighted names in this poem and you will see what will happen. Same works for the image gallery at the end of this poem.

IT STARTS HERE

walking along
just walking
with my yoga bag slung over my shoulder
walking
walking to yoga class
so pleasant
here in this world

it’s almost like being in a reverie

luminosity

the undulating visions of Thomas Hart Benton
begat the hallucinogenic panoramas of Z.Z. Wei
remindful of Marsden Hartley
begat my fattened eye

the electrified impasto landscapes of Louisa McElwain

the other-worldliness of Sharon Feder’s Denver with stark
grain elevators and abandoned gas stations

the darkened aspen forests of Forrest Moses’s canvas
the quietude of a Robert Striffolino forest, stricken
in the canopy by sunlight

the protective cooing of yoga teachers
every morning all over America
like poetry the things they say:
Ahdo mukha svanasana
Parivrtta ardha chandrasana
Trikonasana
Viparita karani
“Extend your heart through your fingertips”
“Breathe deeply like the clouds”
“Who is God? (Kabir was asked) He is the breath and
the breath inside the breath”
“Hopefully, we can fall into the mystery, rather
than be so concerned with mastery”

I walk home and by chance stop in a second-hand store
(second hand?) and find a June Christy album that
I’ve always wanted to hear, that has arrangements by
the mystic Bill Holman, way out in California, on the
Pacific Rim

(It has been said that poetry strives for the conditions
of music, but, I would more hope the sense that I get from
paintings be in poems — as Kandinsky has pointed out: music
needs a span of time to achieve its effects, but a painting
needs only an instant)

the breath within the breath
the color within the color
the shadow doppelganger jumps into you and back out

calm is the condition that best suits me

second hand calm
hand me down calm
recycled calm
quiescence

June Christy floating on the magic carpet of a jazz big band
whispering “Good-Bye” with Bob Cooper, tenor saxophone
obbligato

What is that fantastical poem by Charles Reznikoff
where
he is out for a stroll
and a stray dog joins him?
It’s been years since I feasted my eyes upon it, that
poem knocked me out —
I can heartily recommend Charles Reznikoff —
have I ever given you a bum steer?

. . . just another walking poem

I come to Central Avenue, old Rt.66, and
wait a minute to cross, wait for the traffic, standing
at the corner where the Zia Motor Lodge used
to be —
vacant lot, old slabs of concrete foundations
where the cottages stood, seems
in the past year 4 or 5 of the old motor courts
have gone under the bulldozer, sad
but
things fall down, change —
mostly sad to
remember the post-war hopefulness
that pervaded the U.S. those years, there was such promise
in the air,
almost naive, really, blessed — that’s
what comes to mind
when I see those motor courts, that
era where everything seemed possible — (over-looking
for the moment the paranoia of McCarthy HUAC and those
gray days of conformity)

The thing I won’t miss someday
is telephone poles — but, even they
can seem nostalgic —

Still, some number of the old motor courts
remain in Albuquerque, I have been standing here
with ghosts
much too long, certainly
the traffic comes from another world, ancient, I am
not at a crosswalk, although
jaywalking this moment
seems myriad and effortless
summer vacations
apple pies . . .

Staying home and listening to records | first printing * September 2oll | 300 copies. *Long poem about walking composed between September 6-18. Some of the internal poems within it are from earlier in 2oll. *A11 poems from 2oll. Page 14 — February 8 & 9. bottom of page 12 — February 13. page 17 — March 21 & 22. page 16 — April 28. page 15 — May 2. page 13 — May 9. page 18 — June 1. *photo of Zia Motor Lodge, north-east corner of Central & Madison by MW June 14 w/former White’s Dept Store. *art & squiggles by MW. *frontispiece photo of author 7augll by Kazzrie Jaxen after swim in Delaware River at Callicoon, New York. *some of these poems have appeared in singular versions in KE5TRA, PEARL, BIG HAMMER, MALPAIS REVIEW, MAS TEQUILA REVIEW, and possibly NERVE COWBOY, and dear old MINOTAUR and at METROPOLIS website and at Lisa Polisar’s blog site. (c)2011 Mark Weber. Zerxpress@aol.com | Zerx Press, 725 Van Buren Place SE, Albuquerque NM 87108

& Nothing But The Zone | First printing. 300 copies. September 2011. Zerx chap # 68. Cover illustration: “Zweeeet! bwiff, bonnnk!”— JB Bryan ink on paper. Frontispiece: JB Bryan studio. jb@laalamedapress.com | Copyright © 2011 by JB Bryan. All Rites Reversed. Zerx Press 725 Van Buren Place SE Albuquerque NM 87108


1 Comment

  1. My mind won’t do. I’ll have to try less.

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