Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Since 1970 Cold Turkey Press, led by Dutch artist Gerard Bellaart, has published limited, handmade editions of books, cards, and art pieces by authors Charles Bukowski, Allen Ginsberg, Ira Cohen, Samuel Beckett, Antonin Artaud, William S. Burroughs, Blaise Cendrars, Louise Landes Levi, d.a. levy, Sinclair Beiles and many others.

Gerard is now back producing large, elegant, color, poem cards.

These three by Bob Arnold are translated into French by Agnes Racine & Frederique Berringer.

Go here for a whole new world ~


MORE from Cold Turkey Press will be forthcoming at the Birdhouse

Monday, August 30, 2010


photo © bob arnold

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Hello everyone, or maybe it's just one or two, hello always.

Please take a moment (it'll be a great long moment) and have a look at what Steven Fama has brought to bear about my, and perhaps your friend, Cid Corman. It's an exquisite walk through the park of Cid's many small Japanese bound books done in just the flair Cid made with his own day. One on one with a poem. Steven selects his personal favorites and the company he makes for us is kitchen-table-sit-down-scrumptious. Be prepared to wanting to own a few of these books when you finish this visit! Origin Press, Elizabeth Press are the two presses involved at making these beauties through the 1960s-70s.

There is also an appreciation for Mark Kuniya's Country Valley Press titles, mostso Mark's own handwork, akin to the Corman titles. Mark is working at this as I speak. Books built like traditional Japanese houses. Park your shoes out at the door.

photo © bob arnold

photo © bob arnold

Friday, August 27, 2010


Since we last saw the roof job came four days of steady raininess ~ which means a half inch one day, then drizzles the next, followed by a good inch of nice rainfall which splashed up the river a notch, juiced the gardens, grew the grass, and kept us off the roof.

By Tuesday we figured we could play between the rain drops. Overcast all day, ideal for hunkering up at the chimney where I could tear out the old and rebuild new flashing and lead escarpment, and with Greg slide on two more sheets specially cut to work around the chimney. For awhile there it was Greg on one side of the roof where I had built in roof brackets so he had a landing to perch. And from there, the letterpress man could hand me hammer, drill, caulking gun, metals with the same grace and delivery of handling his type, fonts, ink and special papers. All with a certain deckle edge, graceful. I made the chimney water-tight. Sweetheart was up on the scaffold tending to any loose ends, checking the guys' work, putting that ever wondrous woman's touch to things. I wouldn't want a house without it.

A day off for another rain day Sweetheart and I got many town errands done. This means two weeks of groceries, two weeks of laundry, paperworks for printing at Longhouse and, an ice cream cone (shared).

Thursday was pitch perfect ~ not hot, not cold, not real windy, but a breeze ~ Sweetheart and I started the day and finished it building the rest of the scaffold across the face of the house and it would be one we think Michelangelo would have climbed up there with us. Had a look around.

Now we have 42 feet wide scaffold and we can walk like a stroll in a park (almost) down the whole edge of the roof eave and get at everything. Put up the ladder and hook and climb to wherever. Work either side of the roof.

I still have a day ahead of me to level off the old roof and set in the last of the spruce purlins for screwing the steel into. I'll work that alone with my one board helper who holds one side of the long and flapping sixteen footers.

When the purlins are anchored, we go with more steel.

Mr. Nonchalance up there has actually gone to the trouble of building all this wood scaffold because for once in his life he's doing a roof job with complete safety in mind. It must come with age. I'm also a traditionalist and remember as a boy working on hardy work crews where guys in simple cars and trucks arrived at a job and nothing stood in the way — need to get over an impasse? grab some 2 x 4s and build a bridge, a scaffold, a tower. Take it all down later, use it again, or bury it into something else. Plus I'm wanting everyone dear to me, and helping out, to feel safe. Plus halfway across with the steel, and a closer look at the chimney, I've gotten it into my bandanna skull that maybe it is time to rebuild the chimney while we're at it — either stucco and fully seal it, or maybe even rebuild the outer frame in slate. Yes, slate. I know, I've never seen one either, but no one gets anywhere interesting without first a dream. Or two.

So far we have found two damaged sheets and await two new ones from the lumberyard who awaits from the steel supplier in Pennsylvania. Everything connects. It's a map.

Our wedding anniversary is on Saturday.

photos © susan & bob arnold

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Hot? Up on the roof I've been broiled alive. I get up there early and work hard until 11, then break for breakfast and maybe deal with mail and a short film. Rossellini's film on St. Francis this morning. Then I go back to work from 12:30-2:30 and broil, take a break and bicycle with Sweetheart where we dunk in the river work clothes and all. I go back to work at 4:30 and I work steadily up there until 7:30, or real dark. Late supper. Start all over again the next day. Until the roof is done. This old roof is causing all sorts of surprises and tricks to hurdle. An old roof is three times the work of a new roof or modern house. But it has stages and angles and each inch is a discovery. Good poetry.

I'm finding light dips and slumps in ye old roof, my buddy. I've just ordered longer screws to go along with my regular artillery. I once worked on an old house where I had to build the middle of the roof up 8 inches! When the job was done, from the ground, one would never see the skirmish. All buried. A bridge under the steel.

I'm tearing off layers of shingles this morning and have reached the bone of 1790. The age of this house. Timber that hasn't seen the light of day for maybe a half century. "Hello in there", I say, as John Prine once sang those words.

O what a day. I mean O What A Day. We got 5 sheets of steel onto the roof and things are coming up roses. Bountiful. We are over the hurdle of what the roof will look like, the imagination runs wild. Even after all the years I've put on roofs. I don't know everything. I'm proud of that. Greg Joly came down in his newly rebuilt Toyota truck (re-call and Toyota gave him a whole new frame) and climbed the roof and worked with me, like when he got this job for me in his neck of the woods to rebuild an old country cabin falling into the ground. I did it. I hired him as a helping hand.

Think of it, Greg has also published two of my books of poems, each letterpress, each put together like the awls and screws and hammers in our hands. Thoughtful. Deliberate. Type that bites into the paper.

The day strung beautifully, low humidity, and Sweetheart ran between taking many photographs and some movies of the work, plus always there to help lift the steel sheets from the ground to us on the scaffold. What a pal!

In the stack of roofing, sheet 5 came up damaged. Bad news of the day. Took three photographs and emailed them immediately to the lumberyard. A new sheet expected late next week.

Neighbors wave to us on the ridgetop as I screw on the new ridgecap. Shiny. I wave back. Greg saddle rides the ridgecap to keep it all down tight as I move along.

Sweetheart and I go for a swim at 3:30 when work is done. Drench off the work grime. Sweetheart sits like a wood nymph on the ledge of stone inches from the water splash. Her hair all light. Then she is up to her knees in the water. Pants sky blue.

photos © susan arnold

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Shane MacGowan

Born in Kent, UK to Irish Parents in 1957 on Christmas Day, Shane MacGowan helps us celebrate the rising of the (full) moon today at 1:05 PM EDT. For more: go to MacGowan's own recordings, and with The Pogues.


Nino Rota

The prolific maestro (1911-1979) who composed 150 film scores over his grand lifetime filling the cinema shoes of mostso Fellini and Visconti, and flowing when not stalking through both The Godfather I & II. When away for a moment from films, Rota wrote ten operas and five ballets.
A great one.


Monday, August 23, 2010


All her life Emily Carr lived by the seat of her pants (1871-1945) this Canadian icon. Painter, writer, explorer, lover of the indigenous tribes & folk of the Pacific Northwest coast all the way to Alaska, which is portrayed in her many paintings of natives, nature & woodlands. Much of her mature and enduring work occured after the age of 57. A late bloomer for sure. She ran a boarding house for fifteen years before that, barely picking up her brushes. And then there was the love for her dogs. For every O'Keeffe one is shown, a Marsden Hartley and Emily Carr must be requested and embraced.

emily carr age 21


Klee Wyck (1941) encounters w/ Aborginal culture
The Book of Small (1942) childhood in Victoria
The House of All Sorts (1944) keeping a boarding house and breeding her beloved dogs
Growing Pains (1946) Emily Carr's autobiography

Many many posthumous works published, journals, biographies and letters not to be missed!




grave monument: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Emily_carr_2.jpg


emily carr photo: particle.physics.ucdavis.edu/bios/Carr.html

young emily carr photo: www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/EmilyCarr/en...