Saturday, January 16, 2021


An uneven (it's strength) collection of essays, memoir, 
poetry, photographs compiled by
librarian and Jack Kerouac climbing partner
(with Gary Snyder) John Montgomery
from The Dharma Bums, a rightfully so
ragtag membership of Kerouac
friends and scholars come forth, be it 
David Amram, Ann Charters, Joy Walsh, 
Gerald Nicosia, Michael McClure.
More more and more.
Seymour Wyse shows his skills
balancing Beat and jazz.
From Montgomery's own press
Fels & Firn, 1986

[ BA ]

Friday, January 15, 2021



Helga Weyhe in her bookstore in Salzwedel, Germany, in 2018. Her grandfather bought the store in 1871.

Credit...John MacDougall/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

R E A D     M E

Thursday, January 14, 2021



from The Warbler Road

                   for Jack Collom

I first heard of the Warbler Road just three years

ago, read of it in a used bookshop in Carolina, and

have thought of it regularly ever since. I was taken

with the term itself: the very idea of a human by-

way, or most anything else for that matter, named

after the wood-warbler group was rousing — no

matter that only a few bird people called it that. I

began to envision the place in the western Virginia

mountains not only as a good area to see birds, but

as a juicy conceptual transect in a most gifted part

of North America, a transect or a partaking, in the

tradition of Fuji viewing or honoring the solstice

at Chaco Canyon. And gradually, inadvertently in

truth, I began daydreaming the Warbler Road as a

sort of Way, a way of ordering one's priorities in life

so as to proceed, at a core aesthetic level, from war-

bler to warbler, something in the nature of Issa and

Basho's "Way of Poetry."


The Warbler Road

Merrill Gilfillan

Flood Editions, 2010

Another late night during that Christmas week

fresh with my new bookcase for tiny books, I

pulled out another title I always liked, and by a

writer I've had the pleasure of publishing three

times in the tiniest of fold-out booklets, Merrill Gilfillan.

I've read many books by Merrill and truth be told,

poetry or prose, every darn one is a keeper. Some,

like The Warbler Road from Flood Editions, is

exquisite in its design and printing care.

Imagine holding a book that feels just right

in the hands, just right in the head, and just

right in the heart. You'd want to build

a bookcase for that book.

[ BA ]

Wednesday, January 13, 2021



Peter Matthiessen's The Snow Leopard
was recognized with two National Book Awards
(1979, 1980) but George Schaller was Matthiessen's
guide. While Matthiessen's book covers his two-month
search with Schaller of the elusive cat in the Dolpo region
on the Tibetan Plateau in the Himalayas, and every bit worth
your time — Schaller's one chapter alone in Stones of Silence
on the snow leopard — and he is one of the very few to ever
snap a photograph of the snowy cat — will take your breath away.

Monday, January 11, 2021


P O E T S     W H O     S L E E P


                                           drawn & scribed by Bob Arnold

Saturday, January 9, 2021



I loved this mimeograph journal when it was released in the mid70s

or so and I still love coming across a copy today.

 It doesn't fit into the new and tall and narrow bookshop

 for tiny books I built, but other books by John Brandi would. 

Once upon a time we exchanged everything with one another. 

I have kept care and even coveted a few of John's books, 

mostso the tiniest ones, often hand-painted and out 

of his back hills mountain days of New Mexico. 

Back when a book would come from John and his "Nail Press." 

My own copy of Sol Tide is tucked away somewhere 

and here this morning I am looking at Janine Pommy Vega's copy. 

Like me, Janine kept her own copy in good shape and she was part of

the issue as I was. Just look at the roster of names! 

Editor and poem-hunter John Brandi was so good at this 

sort of thing, packed away with his little

family at the time in the outback and rolling out on hand crank

mimeo (as I was) issue after issue and booklet and folder and broadside and

poem from his Tooth of Time Press. What really captured my eye of John's,

beside his own writing and press work, were his delightful drawings of either solo

adventurer or some wanderer on the trail, ever in good mood and humor. At

least by the expression on their faces. In this issue of Sol Tide, Sweetheart noticed 

a short poem of mine never republished in a book. Yes, a pretty good poem.

I think I'll print up a bookmark of the poem and share it around.

[ BA ]

Friday, January 8, 2021

CIVIL RIGHTS ~ (archive)


"Summer 1964. Hundreds of civil rights volunteers were in Mississippi for a voter registration drive, and three (two white men and a black) were in Neshoba County to investigate the burning of a black church that was to have been used as a base for registering blacks to vote. After briefly detained for speeding one night, the trio drove into the night and simply vanished.

Their bodies were later discovered, and their murder became a defining event of the civil rights era and the plot of the 1988 film ”Mississippi Burning.” The main suspect were the local sheriff, Lawrence A. Rainey (above right), his deputy Cecil Price (above left) and 16 other men, all of whom were allegedly members of the Ku Klux Klan. They were charged with violating the civil rights of the victims.

Sheriff Rainey and seven other men were acquitted. Deputy Price and six other defendants were convicted. The jury could not decide on the remaining defendants. A Klan leader and one other defendant got the stiffest sentences, 10 years in prison. Mr. Price, whom investigators suspected of delivering the victims to their killers, got a six-year term and served four and a half years.

During the trial, LIFE magazine devoted two pages to the above photo made by Paul Reed, which showed defendants hollering and mocking the court. Rainey was seen flamboyantly chewing his tobacco in the picture. Public outcry followed, and when his term as sheriff ended in 1967, Rainey was unable to find further work in law enforcement. He ended his life working as a security guard at supermarkets and malls, and blaming the FBI for preventing him from finding and keeping jobs."


I was gifted this poster, now rare in its

original format, almost 60 years ago by

my older sister when it was re-produced

from Life Magazine into the sway of the

counterculture, and today the same photograph

is haunting its way back in the wake of 

assault and deaths

in the Black Lives Matter movement,

and the resurgence of white supremacist


White supremacist or black supremacist

does not spell life on this earth together,

except we are together. One planet.

I'm hardly against cops — I have warm and

responsible relatives who have been cops and

others who are still cops, but there are bad

cops, and bad cops quickly stand out.

A good cop, with the power, would have

already arrested a criminal president and any

 of his associates. No matter who they are.

I've seen bad cops, bad carpenters, bad teachers,

bad hipsters, bad anti-war protesters, bad

family members, bad lawyers, bad friendships.

You face them and call it out, with care.

My-corners-tattered-poster has survived

barn boards, sheds, rentals, corner walls

and silverfish so that on New Year's Day

2021 I finally planted the poster onto a

wide pine board and built a frame around

some famed Americans.


[ BA ]