Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Writer and actor Peter Coyote remembering his close friend Lenore Kandel at a memorial for LK in January 2010


Lenore Kandel in the center of things, 1967

Tuesday, June 29, 2010



click on image to enlarge

If you would like to purchase the new booklet, please link here

For the complete Longhouse titles we offer, please link here


click on images to enlarge

If you would like to purchase the new booklet, please link here

For the complete Longhouse titles we offer, please link here


Monday, June 28, 2010


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


The photographs were taken on twelve Himalayan trips between 1986 and 2005 using an old fashioned 4x5 Toyo view camera mounted on a sturdy wooden tripod.

(Fields Publishing, North Truro, MA.)



photo: barbara tyroler

If you would like to purchase the new booklet, please link here

For the complete Longhouse titles we offer, please link here

Sunday, June 27, 2010



Rarely pausing

Though I have seen

It stop the flutter

Of its amazing

Wings and perch

Nearly invisible

On a wire against

The evening sky —

And be sighted —

And being very

Still, be thought

Of as not there


Put no trust in nothing, not even yourself

Yesterday was like summer, today snow blows

I’ve walked six miles with an axe and wedge

Actually make my living near a river running bright water

Home to a small hawk found mangled in the woodshed

Eyes opening, I load my rifle but won’t use it

Instead talk with the closest thing to me right now

Heavy gloves moving back short feathers

The break in its neck, claws no use, eyes closing

from Where Rivers Meet, Bob Arnold
photo © bob arnold

Saturday, June 26, 2010



It is the

Rope of bells

You have put behind the door

That let me know

Whenever one of us goes

To the privy

The woodshed

The outdoors



Just before supper

I watched a storm draw in

Taking light

The trees toss

No matter

I have finished carrying

Elm from the edge of the woods

Bucked, split then stacked

I am done

Well used

Come snow


It is a day

Of sawing slab wood


Then stacking

And be done

Tucking away insulation

Fixing windows

Sharpening every tool

The happy moment

Is there are still

Small grasshoppers

In the slip of meadow

That it is 28 degrees

At 7 this morning

And I wash your hair

In one bucket of

Strong spring water —

There is nothing like it

from Where Rivers Meet, Bob Arnold
photo © bob arnold

Friday, June 25, 2010


(Kim Gordon & Thurston Moore)


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.




Thursday, June 24, 2010



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.

the old man's place

filled with stuff

never to be used again

changing the stream's song

simply by moving

a stone or two

twenty-five years later

still dazzling in or out

of her clothes

for Sarah

long after

breaking the cup

still finding the pieces

the death of an ancient pine

presents us with a view

we never wanted

wrote the poem

that said it all

can't seem to find it

Thanks Steve & Jerry ~ the perfect visit.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Anna Swir (Swirszczynska) 1909-1984


Through the streets of Warsaw

kitchens for the poor are hauled.

The poor stand in lines,

they warm themselves by bonfires

which are lit for them

in the streets of Warsaw.

It is the First World War.

Mother put on a kerchief,

covered her face, went out

into the street to stand in line

for the soup of the poor.

Mother was afraid

that the janitor's wife would see her.

Mother after all was

the wife of an artist.


Twenty-four hours

I was dying of fever.

Twenty-four hours

mother knelt

and prayed by my bed.

Twenty-four hours

father lay, face down

on the floor.

They saved me.


I am filled with love

as a great tree with the wind,

as a sponge with the ocean,

as a great life with suffering,

as time with death.


I sleep in blue pajamas,

at my right my child sleeps.

I have never cried,

I will never die.

I sleep in blue pajamas,

at my left my man sleeps.

I have never knocked my head against the wall,

I have never screamed out of fear.

How large this bed is

if it had room enough

for such happiness.


You lie asleep,

warm as a small heating plant.

Your lungs move, viscera digest,

glands diligently work,

biological processes of your sleep

make grow

the vegetation of dreams.

Do you belong to me?

I myself do not belong to you.

I touch my skin,

lungs move inside me,

viscera digest,

the body performs its work

with which I am not acquainted.

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.

I cannot

leave myself.


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

another dog.

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

my body.

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


like crazy

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.


I am digging potatoes for dinner,

an ant climbs my naked leg.

— Ant, what do you think

of eternity?

The ant has a superhuman face

like chemical processes

in the sun.

The ant can educate me

in questions of eternity.

Digging potatoes

improves the mind.


Like an eye and an eyelid

United by a tear.


Because there is no me

and because I feel

how much there is no me.


Two rucksacks,

two grey heads.

And the roads of all the world

for wandering.

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."

— Czeslaw Milosz

Tuesday, June 22, 2010



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.

Monday, June 21, 2010



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

A lovely to hold in the hand volume, design-wise, with sublime care by the editor.

Sunday, June 20, 2010




-------and still


— 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

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)


Thanks, Whit,

one more strong article about the Gulf oil tragedy, from in-field research and understanding:

But ~

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:

start bicycling

start walking

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

obvious is obvious

and set the unlucky and unfortunate free

the cruelty has gone on long enough

Those who can make you believe absurdities

can make you commit atrocities

Saturday, June 19, 2010




The waterfall runs all day and night,

shedding big self on the rocks below,

refilling with more self, more self, more self,

while bathers visit in small groups, never

the same bathers, always the same river —

my local, inverted, redneck pre-Socratic.

from, Where's the Moon, There's the Moon (Knopf)



I live on the corner

of Ninth and Lewis, the last

house on the last corner

of the last block. I live

in that house where moss

and morning glories conspire

to topple the porch. I live

in that slab of light

you see suspended

in the night. Once inside

I'm no different

than any other

visitor to any other

star. That's what I love

about this story.

from, Terrestial Music (Curbstone)



We wander all three of us

village to village, forest to forest

up to our ankles in hot sand.

Best is to walk barefoot.

Father collects from cottages

paper cut-outs, from garrets

he culls out old paintings.

In the evening

I sleep over a clay tureen

of wild strawberries and milk,

over a hunk

of bread as dark as earth,

from a loaf that weighs

as much as I do.

from Talking To My Body (Copper Canyon)

photo © susan arnold

Friday, June 18, 2010



This river water is

The warm breath of

Her whisper, what I hear —

The brown and white flurry

Of her thin clothing

The sweat of handwork

That musses the long

Blonde hair — dirt across

The forehead, may I wash

It off? thicken my hands

In that hair, kiss what I love

Away from our work and bathing

Part whisper and part water


I must have carried out
Every peeper in this valley

Home with me, 13 miles
Trees shiver in light rain

The moon following the
Fences following

A hillside of fog lies down
Generously in an apple orchard

Here is where a few sheep
Suddenly break into a run

A horse pounds the night
Meeting you at barbed wire

What is the sound between us
It is water that has brought me back


The river for weeks is low

Visitors arrive

Call it a creek

We know better

Say nothing

Next month in a downpour

Bridges wash out

Trees go down

Days of mud

No one visits

from Where Rivers Meet, Bob Arnold
photos © susan arnold, bob arnold

Thursday, June 17, 2010



Ever tear out a floor under

a fixed 300 pound cast iron

claw-foot tub? Of course you

haven’t — what fool would?

I would —

and having to leave the subfloor

in place, so all attack was from the

side or tightly under the tub

pine splitting, wedge cracking

piece by mother loving piece

and bracing the tub when working

under the claws and careful not to

harm a thing or any pipes or any

hand-painted tiles, to work instead

like a beast at

being delicate

and slide insulation board and

a new floor all back into

place by quitting time or


Bob says this poem is just as much about carpentry as it is about poetry.

photo "two bobs" : Bob Arnold, Bob Hauptman on a building site circa 1985 © susan arnold

Wednesday, June 16, 2010



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. "


There is evidence of spring everywhere

A pair of geese, into a headwind / point north

The shed door shuts easier now

Rain water comes to the meadows

Planks are thrown down


There are these things

That make lovely creatures

More lovely —

A red-tailed hawk sweeps

From one moment of the hillside to another

Rising mist will not lose him

3 deer wade into the shoulder of a field

They feel safe in the holler of rain

Then you, rolling up your pants

Before a bicycle ride

Your hair just touching the ground

I tell you I will do something with that

Your smile makes the beginning of all this

from Where Rivers Meet, Bob Arnold

photos ©bob arnold
tamarack, planted circa 1975
1st daylily of the year, 15 june '10

Tuesday, June 15, 2010



Don’t ask us how we crossed the saltwater marsh

Grasses were high and easy under foot

The last stream was spanned by a driftwood plank

Thrown carefully into the muck

I didn’t sink and you didn’t sink

And when we came to ocean

Skittering of sandpipers

You held your dress and walked into the spray

It must have been also the sudden daylight that I loved

from Where Rivers Meet, Bob Arnold
photo © susan arnold