Sunday, March 4, 2012


Lots of old guys still writing poetry. Poetry nobody really wants. Old guys that don't go to the AWP. Guys that write lots about old girlfriends, or roads not taken. Guys hiding half their faces in photographs. Balding guys with hats, caps, scarves, I know. All white guys. They once ruled the roost. Filled anthologies. Not these old guys, they came after the model white guys ruled, and in came ethnic and many colored, and women storming and true. The old guys, the ones that haven't died bad deaths, early deaths, drink and drug deaths, blow-my-head-off deaths, now write some of the softest and maybe even sweetest poems I know. Many being insomniacs, they write these poems when you sleep. If the poems are terrific, it means you are getting something done while you sleep. These old guys will give you their poems. They've about given up, but not quite. Like old birds you can't help but feed them. Talk to one, you'll get a song.

photo © bob arnold


Conrad DiDiodato said...

"Like old birds you can't help but feed them. Talk to one, you'll get a song."

I know an "old guy" or two like that: late bloomers who shun the limelight, whose minds don't dissolve in language schools, etc. Who've been around longer than we'd like to admit and who may have waited a long time to learn a thing or two about the nature of poetry.

I might be one of these "old guys" myself.

Thank you, Bob, for this very moving tribute to the rest of us.

Bob Arnold / Longhouse said...

Many thanks, Conrad.

I kinda hated to make the old guy static by drawing a quiet portrait, but certain poems sent to me, or I found, during the winter have stood up and said to me, "I'm still here." And yes you are I replied.

all's well, Bob

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...


Bob Arnold / Longhouse said...

Vassilis. . .

is that you?

Ed Baker said...

OLD ?!! speak to yourself oppps that shod be "for your "self"
just this 'a moment ago' I willy-nilly ish composed 11 "shortie" masterpieces
((as ALL of my dreck-stuff are wanttobe (masterpieces)) from that Old Age Storehouse of Memories..

wanna see them ?

nice post ...

Bob Arnold / Longhouse said...


You just sent me one!

stay well as always, Bob