Saturday, January 16, 2021
Friday, January 15, 2021
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
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
Monday, January 11, 2021
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
"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.