Let me introduce myself. I am Claudia Samperi-Warren, the daughter of the American Poet Frank Samperi. This blog will be in honor of my father's life as a poet.
Frank Samperi was born in Brooklyn in 1933. Discovered by Louis Zukofsky and Cid Corman, he published some twenty books of poetry and appeared prominently in journals such as Origin and Caterpillar.
Master of the lyric and an autoddact steeped in Dante, Aquinas, and Shankara, Samperi created a unified, highly original lifepoem of pilgrimage through the American City and world of the spirit.
He passed away in Sun City, Arizona in 1991. He is survived by his daughter, Claudia & son, David.
As a poet, as in other respects, Frank Samperi stood apart. Orphan and first generation Italian-American, he discovered Dante in a Brooklyn institution, taught himself Aquinas in Latin, studied the Indian philosopher Sankara, non-Euclidean geometry and astrology. His work was not just counter-cultural but also counter-fashionable. Although discovered by Louis Zukofsky and Cid Corman, and appreciated by other poets of his generation, including Robert Creeley, Robert Kelly, and Will Peterson, as well as other "knowing readers," Samperi's poetry has heretofore been available only in limited editions.
With recent works like, Spiritual Necessity produced by John Martone and others we hope that this web site will bring to light his voice to a new generation of thinkers.
*From the introduction of Spiritual Necessity by John Martone, Huntington, NY 2003
What do you get when you bond two sonic and tonal mavericks together? ~ lend your ears.
Sonic Youth have been jamming, performing, busting into smaller groups and headlines and re-grouping like a force of nature since 1981. I've seen smaller portions of the group play in a bar and even a church.
Electronic and computer composer (& so much more) "James Tenney" (1934-2006) is the answer given by John Cage when he was asked in 1989 who he would study with if he were young.
Once upon a time in Nevada City, California Susan and I and young Carson arrived early in the day after days on a train. We had a few names and addresses in our heads, and Steve Sanfield was one. Steve's been on the same road address for as long as I can remember. Since we were in the post office to start the day off and sending out some postcards to folks back home, I thought I'd ask if they could tell me where this road was. Nope. Nobody knew. Nobody knew when later in the day we asked about another friend in Grass Valley. I was nicely impressed with how the neighborhood was mum. People were pleasant but they had that look that said — I don't know you and I don't know why you're asking. Fair enough. Steve and I have yet to meet in almost 35 years of sending our poetry back and forth to one another. We have mutual friends and we all like one another's poetry. Nothing at all wrong with that picture.
This morning in the mail Susan brought back from her hike up river a new book by Steve, beautifully designed and hand printed by Jerry Reddan at Tangram. Steve sent this with a note inside, always a friendly note from Steve inside. Often Jerry sends things, and I always send things back to them both. Sometimes I read a postcard poem or broadside Jerry has printed and it's in me enough to part with — someone else might like this, so I set it in the bookshop. Some I'll need to read over and over for years and years. The Perfect Breeze is one. Here's a few warm water drops.
I know so little about the activity of the pineal gland.
Really, what do I have in common
with my body.
I touch your skin and my skin,
I am not in you
and you are not in me.
It's cold here.
Homeless, I tremble looking
at our two bodies
warm and quiet.
I envy you. Every moment
You can leave me.
THE SAME INSIDE
Walking to your place for a love feast
I saw on a street corner
an old beggar woman.
I took her hand,
kissed her delicate cheek,
we talked, she was
the same inside as I am,
from the same kind,
I sensed this instantly
as a dog knows my scent
I gave her money,
I could not part from her.
After all, one needs
someone who is close.
And then I no longer knew
why I was walking to your place.
Look in the mirror. Let us both look.
Here is my naked body.
Apparently you like it,
I have no reason to.
Who bound us, me and my body?
Why must I die
together with it?
I have the right to know where the borderline
between us is drawn.
Where am I, I, I myself?
Belly, am I in the belly? In the intestines?
In the hollow of the sex? In a toe?
Apparently in the brain. I do not see it.
Take my brain out of my skull. I have the right
to see myself. Don't laugh.
That's macabre, you say.
It's not me who made
I wear the used rags of my family,
an alien brain, fruit of chance, hair
after my grandmother, the nose
glued together from a few dead noses.
What do I have in common with all that?
What do I have in common with you, who like
my knee, what is my knee to me?
I would have chosen a different model.
I will leave both of you here,
my knee and you.
Don't make a wry face, I will leave you all my body
to play with.
And I will go.
There is no place for me here,
in this blind darkness waiting for
I will run out, I will race
away from myself.
I will look for myself
till my last breath.
One must hurry
before death comes. For by then
like a dog jerked by its chain
I will have to return
into this stridently suffering body.
To go through the last
most strident ceremony of the body.
Defeated by the body,
slowly annihilated because of the body
I will become kidney failure
or the gangrene of the large intestine.
And I will expire in shame.
is the hardest
work of all.
The old and sick
should be exempt from it.
WHERE I AM DIGGING POTATOES
I am digging potatoes for dinner,
an ant climbs my naked leg.
— Ant, what do you think
The ant has a superhuman face
like chemical processes
in the sun.
The ant can educate me
in questions of eternity.
improves the mind.
Like an eye and an eyelid
United by a tear.
A DOUBLE RAPTURE
Because there is no me
and because I feel
how much there is no me.
LOVE WITH RUCKSACKS
two grey heads.
And the roads of all the world
from, TALKING TO MY BODY (Copper Canyon) translated by Czeslaw Milosz and Leonard Nathan
"Anna Swir (Swirszczyska) was born in Warsaw in 1909, the daughter of a painter. As she herself says, she literally grew up in her father's workshop, sleeping and preparing her lessons there. The poverty in which the family lived forced her to look for work early in life. In her own words: "I was then terribly shy, ugly, and crushed by a mountain of complexes." She put herself through the university, studying medieval and baroque Polish literature and discovering the Polish language of the fifteenth century, which according to her, is the most vigorous. Her first poems, published in the 1930s, bear the marks both of her upbringing in the artistic milieu (images taken from paintings and albums of reproductions) and of her fascination with the Middle Ages. These are mostly short poems in prose, sophisticated miniatures, from which any personal accents are carefully eliminated. The form of the miniature was to return later, while the reticence about her personal life was to disappear."
She's still out there performing...South Carolina born 1939, Maxine Brown started out in gospel and within a short time excelled in R&B, soul, jazz, pop with hits and not the best of luck. On the Wand label she recorded some of her finest work, including the Carole King/Gerry Goffin wonder "Oh No Not My Baby". It still gives me goose bumps and I still play it over and over. Nothing will ever be quite like first hearing the song in my mother's blue Impala, parked in the garage, rain on the roof, the radio on. She had the same back-up singers as Elvis.
In 1940 Paris, the great Left Bank bookseller & publisher Sylvia Beach wrote to the other great Paris bookseller Adrienne Monnier and listed the English writers she favored. Beach published James Joyce's Ulysses in 1922. Monnier had asked Beach who were her favorites. The two most famous booksellers in the modern era would become lovers for twenty years.
"First, it's no longer a secret that my favorites are my associate "Bill" Shakespeare, William Blake and James Joyce. And I like DeQuincey and Melville."
She continued on a bit later, "It's thus that Mrs. Norledge made me read one of the most beautiful works in the world, 'The Story of My Heart' by Richard Jeffries."
I agree. A book that easily slips away hidden on my bookshelf.
Beach goes on to ruminate about other authors dear to her: DH Lawrence, Huxley, Hemingway, Faulkner, Norman Douglas, Dos Passos, Yeats, Dorothy Richardson, TS Eliot, Marjorie Rawlings, John Steinbeck. . .
Like a bookseller and publisher and reader she just can't stop listing writers and books, mostso to the woman she loves and who was her mentor...with a bookshop right across the street. I'd give anything to walk down that vanished location today. Those double-barrel bookshops.
The year Sylvia Beach was born — 1887 in Baltimore — construction of the Eiffel Tower in Paris started in earnest.
Through the influence of her parents and travel to Europe, Beach settled in Paris and around the age of 30 opened Shakespeare and Company, an English language bookshop.
Quick on her feet, by 1922, she will have published the first edition of Ulysses. (Forty years later Borges will call it "unreadable"). It will take twelve more years (1934) for the notorious one to be brought to America via Random House, where 35,000 copies will sell in the first four months. The crunch of the Depression. More copies were sold in those four months than all the dedicated years of Beach peddling her discovery.
In five more years the German army will occupy France. Samuel Beckett joins the Resistance and within a year James Joyce dies, too young in Zurich, and blind. By 1942 the Nazis are crawling throughout Paris and we find Beach hiding her prized bookstore stock in her apartment. Found to be an American, she is arrested and sent to an internment camp for a half year.
The books survive, but even Ernest Hemingway can't "liberate" the shop back into the fold when he shows up in 1944.
Beach never opens her quixotic shop as a business again.
In 1951, a year after she translated and published with New Directions A Barbarian in Asia by Henri Michaux, Beach allowed George Whitman to use her famed bookshop name, but in another location, where he situated his own legendary book nest. The name lives on.
In 1955 Adrienne Monnier can withstand her suffering no longer (Meniere's Disease etc) and takes her life. A lover gone.
The following year Beach published her classic memoir Shakespeare and Company. One not to miss today, even after we've gone to the moon, are destroying our planet with ooze, and losing our minds to pods.
In 1962, with the helping hands of friends and others, the one who gave so much to many, is able to keep her apartment in Paris where she passes away on October 6th.
Sylvia Beach's grave is in Princeton, New Jersey, her childhood home.
The Letters of Sylvia Beach, edited by Keri Walsh (Columbia)
A lovely to hold in the hand volume, design-wise, with sublime care by the editor.
— JD Whitney, All My Relations (Many Voices Press)
Nothing like a Sunday morning with Roberto Bolano, hangover and all. Start anywhere, he's ready for you. I was intrigued by the last story first: "Meeting With Enrique Lihn". You will, too.
Robert Bolano, The Return (New Directions)
Then, there's nothing like reading aloud the snap and crackle of "Three-Ten To Yuma", as alive and full as the original film (skip the remake), read in what seems a matter of moments. This is the cheesy book club edition. A bang-up copy for the saddlebag.
Elmore Leonard, The Complete Western Stories (Morrow)
Heading into the whole summer with Nathaniel Mackey's three in one volume cries to the 'Angel of Dust'. Now if I could only hook up with the Crossroads Choir.
Nathaniel Mackey, From A Broken Bottle Traces of Perfume Still Emanate (New Directions)
The wider subject hasn't quite been touched on yet.
Those of us grown up inside a Vietnam experience already knew 40 years ago about the depths and criminal nature of those "In Charge".
BP is hardly a new reaction on the block.
It's been forming for decades, and all the while a larger portion of Americans have gone drunk drinking oil and buying vehicles (in many households EVERYBODY has a car, and if you're Jay Leno the sky's the limit) and heating their homes with the sweet tooth of a crazed adolescent.
Ever follow a Winnebago pulling a pickup truck trailed by a family member in a car?
This is the much tougher and dirtier picture than a continuous dumping upon the executives of the world.
They are already a dead species on this organic and leafy planet, despite their overbearing powers.
The vast majority have allowed their existence.
This is the 50 elephants in the room moment.
If you can't live with oil destroying your world:
plant a tree every week for a year
plant something / get the hands dirty, dirty is involvement
make a garden even if it is in a shoebox
know every time you fly in a plane you are spewing a ton of fossil-fuel garbage into the atmosphere
recycle recycle recycle
shut off the damn lights in every room in the house
pack a lunch
hang your wash out on the line
get on the bus!
remember how your grandparents lived
and, recognize finally true criminal behavior
and try those fairly where they will be shown prison
Below — Baudrillard is speaking to terrorism and 9/11. It may be attached, as well, to Katrina, Wall Street, foreign desert wars, BP oil and the myriad of destructive tools now at work.
"This is precisely where the crucial point lies — in the total misunderstanding on the part of Western philosophy, on the part of the Enlightenment, of the relation between Good and Evil. We believe naively that the progress of Good, its advance in all fields (the sciences, technology, democracy, human rights), corresponds to a defeat of Evil. No one seems to understood that Good and Evil advance together, as part of the same movement. The triumph of the one does not eclipse the other — far from it. In metaphysical terms, Evil is regarded as an accidental mishap, but this axiom, from which all the Manichean forms of the struggle of Good against Evil derive, is illusory. Good does not conquer Evil, nor indeed does the reverse happen: they are at once both irreducible to each other and inextricably interrelated. Ultimately, Good could thwart Evil only by ceasing to be Good since, by seizing for itself a global monopoly of power, it gives rise, by that very act, to a blowback of a proportionate violence. "
A poem (or more) will be offered by the hour or with the day and at the very least once a week. So stay on your webbed toes. The aim is to share good hearty-to-eat poetry. This is a birdhouse size file from the larger Longhouse which has been publishing from backwoods Vermont since 1971 books, hundreds of foldout booklets, postcards, sheafs, CD, landscape art, street readings, web publication, and notes left for the milkman. Established by Bob & Susan Arnold for your pleasure. The poems, essays, films & photographs on this site are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without the author's go-ahead.
Available from Longhouse. Please link on the image for ordering information. Drawing from years of poetry and also new poems, The Woodcutter Talks is Bob Arnold at his finest branching love poems with back country work poems and settlement with community, family and individual portraits. The extensive collection also showcases vintage photographs from woodcutters and woodchoppers and big-saw-pullers of old. Sweat runs down the cheeks of the mere literary and they adore one another.
Stone Hut by Bob Arnold
"Once again, my friends, this is your best book! Exquisite in design, fat enough to be a feast, pretty enough to just wade around in, but deep enough to dive into and stay with, all I can say is WOW, you guys really did it – it’s the first of its kind, a scrapbook novel that is also a how-to and a mystery -- how did he do it, and how does he make rocks balance like Thor? — Gerald Hausman" ~
Museum, An Unlikely Meditation, written by the poet Bob Arnold, is as much an unlikely novel. Visit this page for details.
Cid Corman's Of, Volumes 4 & 5 from Longhouse.
ANNOUNCING. The final volumes to Corman's opus in one book ~ of, volumes 4 & by Cid Corman. 1500 poems, 850 pages edited by Bob Arnold, now available in a limited edition from Longhouse, 2015. Please link on the cover image for details & Paypal payment information ~
'Fully a book ~
An interview with Bob Arnold on Cid Corman’s ‘of’
Janina by Janine Pommy Vega
New and available now from Longhouse ~ Janine Pommy Vega Janina Visions, Tales & Lovesongs 288 pages perfect bound packed with poems and photographs. Janine's full course album of photographs, travel journals, poems, facsimile notebooks of poems, childhood photographs, and family, Beat family, plus her unfinished memoir of Jerusalem.
Walking Woman with the Tambourine is the final book of poems by Janine Pommy Vega.
"Walking Woman with the Tambourine is the final book of poems by Janine Pommy Vega. The author completed the manuscript and left it as she wished with her executor Bob Arnold … New and available now from Longhouse ~ Poetry. 144 pages. Perfect bound softcover. Please link on the image for ordering information
New! James Koller : Selected Poems 2003-2004-2005
James Koller — Selected Poems 2003-2004-2005 Longhouse 2016, 72 pages, perfect bound. Please link on the cover image for details & Paypal payment information PLUS more from Longhouse
OPENINGS by JAMES KOLLER
Selected poems 1959 ~ 1985 edited by Bob Arnold. New and available now from Longhouse ~ 72 pages . Perfect bound softcover. Please link on the cover image for details & Paypal payment information PLUS more from Longhouse
Lorine Niedecker's A Cooking Book
A Cooking Book Lorine Niedecker Longhouse 2015 72 pages, perfect bound. Please link on the image to purchase this new title from Longhouse.
Kent Johnson's "I Once Met"
Visit the Birdhouse for Kent's book information :
Kim Dorman — "Owner"
"Owner" by Kim Dorman. Including photographs by Kim Dorman. Selected and edited by Bob Arnold. New and available now from Longhouse 2016 ~ 80 pages. Perfect bound softcover
"Heretic" by John Phillips from Longhouse
New from Longhouse ~ John Phillips "Heretic". Poems with collages by the author. Click on the image for more ~
J.D. WHITNEY'S SELECTED POEMS ~ NEW FROM LONGHOUSE!
J.D. Whitney ~Sweeping the Broom Shorter Selected Poems 1964-2014 from ~ Longhouse 2014. 192 pages. Please link on the cover image for details & Paypal payment information PLUS more from Longhouse
Or, try this cover of JD Whitney's Selected Poems
J.D. Whitney ~Sweeping the Broom Shorter Selected Poems 1964-2014 from ~ Longhouse 2014. 192 pages. Please link on the cover image for details & Paypal payment information PLUS more from Longhouse
New! from Longhouse ~ Island Dreams by Gerald Hausman Please link for details & Paypal payment
ISLAND DREAMS by GERALD HAUSMAN Selected Poems 1968 ~ 2015 chosen & edited by Bob Arnold New and available now from Longhouse ~ 160 pages Perfect bound softcover. Please link on the cover image for details & Paypal payment information PLUS more from Longhouse
John Bradley's "And Thereby Everything"
L O N G H O U S E is very proud to announce a new book by John Bradley in their on going series of S C O U T book publications — other titles from the series have been by Kent Johnson, Janine Pommy Vega, James Koller, Bob Arnold and Lorine Niedecker with more in the works. An opening salvo at the front of the book by Patrick Lawler should provide ample cover for what the reader should come to expect. And Thereby Everything John Bradley Longhouse 2015 First edition only issued in softcover 208 pages, perfect bound illustrated throughout by Bob Arnold with 150 photographs
Dudley Laufman : Bull & More Bull
Visit this page for information on this new Longhouse by Dudley Kaufman (2016)
Dudley Laufman's Islandian Poems
The Islandian Poems & Fables Dudley Laufman Longhouse 2015. 72 pages, perfect bound. Please link on the image to purchase this new title from Longhouse.
MIRZA ABD AL-QADER BIDEL / ROBIN MAGOWAN ~
New from Longhouse. Please click on the image
New from Longouse ~ Robin Magowan
New from Longhouse. Robin Magowan. The Garden of Amazement, Scattered Gems After Sâeb. large softcover glossy bound with an introduction by the translator, 112 pages
Duo by Bob Arnold — New from Longhouse Please link to A Longhouse Birdhouse for more information
DUO Bird Poems by BOB ARNOLD. New and available now from Longhouse ~ 92 pages. Perfect bound softcover. Please link on the cover image for details & Paypal payment information PLUS more from Longhouse
Start With The Tree by Bob Arnold
New in 2015. Building a marriage, building a family, building a small barn out in the woodlands together as a family, as a marriage, and seeing the roof go on. Over 150 color photographs
Beautiful Days by Bob Arnold
Beautiful Days ~ new poems of living and working in the Vermont woodlands and to Hurricane Irene
Yokel by Bob Arnold
[from "Yokel, A Long Green Mountain Poem" by Bob Arnold] ~ that and more at Bob Arnold webpage of books & poems: Please link on this image for more
Go West by Bob Arnold
Filled with poems and travel photography — shares one cross-country trip the couple took in the mid-1980s to California from Vermont.
"I'm In Love With You Who Is In Love With Me" by Bob Arnold
from Bob Arnold's new book "I'm In Love With You Who Is In Love With Me" ~~~~~~~40 years of love poems
"Rain Bear" by Bob Arnold
Bob Arnold's first children's book "Rain Bear" New and available now from Longhouse ~ 50 pages. Perfect bound softcover with photographs ~ & drawings by Jason Clark