Friday, May 31, 2013


Love Poem

I hate all these new movies

I hate the sameness of the new theaters

I hate the cold seats in the poor old theaters

I hate seeing the young kids waiting in line for the film I just hated

I hate the parents that let these kids see films that hate

I hate you, I know I do

I hate the big parking lots

I hate the ticket stubs that mean nothing afterwards

I hate having to talk about these films

I hate not being able to talk about these films

I hate that paradox

I hate films that have great opening credits and nothing more, nothing more

I hate going into a film and coming out seeing that it snowed on the earth while I was away

I hate the fact movies no longer tell stories

I hate that everyone but me wants to be a movie star

I hate the idea that I am a movie star and you just don’t know it

I hate the people that don’t watch closing credits

I hate the punk who comes in too early to clean the aisles

I hate everyone who comes too late

I hate anyone who is in my seat — 8 rows up, center

I hate anyone who is in my other seat — backrow, center

I hate anyone in any of my other seats

I hate tubs of popcorn; think of it, tubs!

I hate balcony seats that are closed

I hate lit EXIT signs and miss old wall clocks

I hate smug couples

I hate fat farts

I hate parents who won’t let their kids run

I hate people who stand up behind me

I hate the guy who snuck up and criticized us for a film we took our son to then ran away

I hate cowards

I hate I didn’t get a good look at him

I hate the fact it happened while I watched the closing credits


Bob Arnold
from something forthcoming

 The audience with the film "Gaslight",  Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Here are a few photographs from just a few days ago in the northeast as today's weather and tomorrow and the next plan to sky rocket into the 90s ~

Heading up Mt. Greylock (Adams, Mass.)

Whiteface Mountain, NY State, two-feet

In the region, 18 inches

We started our woodstove burning early last October 2012 and lit one match and that fire hasn't gone out until this morning (we think). The longest continuous wood fire we've ever had in five decades of heating our home with wood.

See you at the swimming hole.

snow photos: @massEMA / @tristateweather

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


We were so poor I had to take the place of the bait in the

mousetrap. All alone in the cellar, I could hear them pacing

upstairs, tossing and turning in their beds. "These are dark

and evil days," the mouse told me as he nibbled my ear. Years

passed. My mother wore a cat-fur collar which she stroked

until its sparks lit up the cellar.


Charles Simic

Houghton Mifflin, 2013

Monday, May 27, 2013


art © bob arnold

Sunday, May 26, 2013


photo © bob arnold
spring 2013


The Klezmatics sing the lyrics of Woody Guthrie

Friday, May 24, 2013


He Had 7 or 8 Horses
explaining a tornado


First he called it a monster

then a giant lawn mower

then a flying landfill


little kids come out of the

wreckage luckily alive with faces

that look again like the newborn



state troopers hats look nothing like those worn in Vermont

the Oklahoma hat looks like a hard

shelled insect



I break

when I hear the radio announcer's

voice break


the tornado is coming from across the earth —

you make a mistake wondering

what does it all mean?


we're becoming used to children dying

this should be given some thought. . .

and more thought



their last moment on earth

the children were seen

hugging a wall


he had 7 or 8 horses —

now he has 1 horse

and no shirt

they were bleeding and hurt teachers

carrying children out of the wreckage

holding them like parents



this is happening faraway —

yet on the only planet

with life

neighborhood after neighborhood

wiped away

back to earth

it all comes it all goes

but memories

are fixed




and bedrock —

the Indians knew to keep moving

for big & little

He Had 7 or 8 Horses

 explaining a tornado

 by © Bob Arnold
Longhouse ~ Vermont
May 2013


Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Arthur Waley

by Akutagawa Ryunosuke (1892-1927)

When I am insulted, for some reason or other it is always good while before I am annoyed. But after about an hour I do invariably begin to feel gradually more and more annoyed.

When I saw Rodin's Count Ugoli—or rather, a photograph of the Count Ugoli—certain homosexual passages in my life suddenly came into my mind.

When I look at trees, it seems to me quite unbelievable that I, like any other human being, have a front and back side.

Sometimes I become a tyrant and want to see large numbers of men and women eaten by lions and tigers. But the mere sight of a bit of bloodstained gauze lying on a surgical tray gives me a sudden feeling of physical indisposition.

I sometimes feel about other people that I should be glad if they were dead, and some of the people about whom I have felt this were my nearest relations.

I have no conscience of any kind, not even an artistic conscience; but nerves I have in abundance.

I am entirely devoid of hate, but I make up for this from time to time by outburst of contempt.

I know by experience that among my own characteristics the one that fills me with the greatest loathing of myself is the fact that I find falseness everywhere. Moreover, I do not, even at the time, get the slightest feeling of satisfaction by these discoveries.

I listen very closely to the way different sorts of people speak. For example, the way the boy from the fishmonger's says konnichi wa (good morning). He doesn't end it with a vowel sound, but says something more like konchiwaas. I don't know why he puts this unnecessary s at the end of the word.

I am not merely one person. I am a son, a landlord, a male, in my view of life a realist, by temperament a romantic, in philosophy a sceptic, and so on. There's nothing particularly inconvenient about this. Yet I am tormented by a perpetual conflict as to which of these is really me.

Whenever I get a letter or anything else from a woman whom I do not know, I cannot help beginning at once to wonder whether she is good-looking.

All words go in pairs that are like the head and tail of a coin, I call so-and-so pretentious; but that does not mean that in the relevant respects he is at all different from me. When I behave in the same way I am only showing a decent amount of self respect.

When I go to a doctor, I never succeed in telling him anything definite or precise. With the result that I come away feeling that I have simply been shamming.

In proportion as I move away from where I am living, I feel my identity growing dimmer and dimmer. This phenomenon seems to begin as soon as I am about thirty miles from home.

My spiritual life never goes smoothly forward, but progresses in jumps, like a flea.

When I meet anyone I know by sight, I always bow. If he does not notice that I am doing so, I have a feeling of being out of pocket.

Akutagawa Ryunosuke was a prolific and intensely original writer whose influential career came abruptly to an end when he committed suicide at the age of thirty-five. This fragment, written shortly before his death, is one of his few autobiographical writings.


Translated by ARTHUR WALEY

edited by Ivan Morris:
Madly Singing in the Mountains
(Harper 1972)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

J.M. Barrie ~

J.M. Barrie Chalkie

"Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet, OM (9 May 1860 – 19 June 1937) was a Scottish author and dramatist, best remembered today as the creator of Peter Pan. The child of a family of small-town weavers, he was educated in Scotland. He moved to London, where he developed a career as a novelist and playwright. There he met the Llewelyn Davies boys who inspired him in writing about a baby boy who has magical adventures in Kensington Gardens (included in The Little White Bird), then to write Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up, a "fairy play" about this ageless boy and an ordinary girl named Wendy who have adventures in the fantasy setting of Neverland. This play quickly overshadowed his previous work and although he continued to write successfully, it became his best-known work, credited with popularising the name Wendy, which was very uncommon previously.[1] Barrie unofficially adopted the Davies boys following the deaths of their parents.

Barrie was made a baronet by George V in 1913, and a member of the Order of Merit in 1922. Before his death, he gave the rights to the Peter Pan works to London's Great Ormond Street Hospital, which continues to benefit from them." *

Daisy Fairy from Peter Pan

Monday, May 20, 2013


Paul Hellstern/The Oklahoman, via Associated Press

Teachers carried children away from Briarwood Elementary school after a tornado destroyed the school in south Oklahoma City on Monday.


Tar sands exploitation would mean game over for climate, warns leading scientist

Prof James Hansen:

Sunday, May 19, 2013


It's now time to put our collective hands, arms, legs, faces, and voices together for Dudley Laufman. 

A week ago Dudley went into a Concord, New Hampshire hospital for bypass surgery, and Dudley is no longer a young man (early 80s), although you would be surprised and inspired at just how 'young' Dudley has lived most of his life. A professional fiddler, contra-dance caller and dance caller, as well as accomplished poet, gardener, folklorist and father, and so many other learned crafts is all about the man.

Dudley once told me this was one of his favorite photographs and he does look pretty snazzy in red. Fiddle (always) in hand, even when it isn't. That's the tiny hamlet of a house he built himself when he had a family to raise and all pitched in; children he recalls right to this moment with complete affection. How and where he and his first wife tucked away all these kids in that tiny house of heart, with the firewood piled deep at the entryway, is beyond me, even when Susan and I paid Dudley and Jacqueline a surprise visit one rainy fall day last year. No one knew we were coming. We didn't even know we were coming. . .quite by a rope pulled fantasy is the car being towed off the main highway and up through the tall woods to the hilltop of Canterbury, New Hampshire. Shakers land. There's a large rock testimonial in the center of the village graveyard that simply states SHAKERS. Try to go in there and shake up some spooks. It ain't happening. The sky and air and even the road you are now on seems like it's circling the region like one of the rings around Saturn. Somewhere up there, in this little house since remodeled by the carpenter of the duo (Jacqueline) you'll find them tucked away behind the trees, gazing further from the house to almost a sacred open grassland out back.

We were brought in from the cold and rain for hours with homemade soup ladled out of the jar, warm lamps, a wood fire, all of us around a long wooden pound-your-spoons-on-it kitchen table. It's one big room with other doors and hatchways ducking away elsewhere, a wooden ladder in a corner going up, plank floor, sink counter, open shelves stuffed with garden, jars, colors, practical living, a library of well worn books across the room, benches and cushioned seats, windows peeking out to greenery. It's simply good living. It takes just the right practitioners to make it have a go of it. Dudley's been here from what others would proclaim as forever.

And when Dudley's not here, he's with Jacqueline on some tour with both their fiddles striking up the band in some local high school, or across the country in Port Townsend, or overseas, or right up the road in the town hall, or someone's house, or parade, or on the street once with me and some others reading poems and making music and raising a few shekels to send as donation down to folks in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina busted the city and surroundings up. In 1965 Dudley was on the stage with his merry band of musicians playing their way at the same event in Newport when Dylan went electric. That changed the scenery. If he had his way, he'd be back at Newport playing, or in some New Hampshire small town fair, but right now he's trying to get his hoarse voice back to mellow after surgery which has taken a slow hand to him. He's in the ICU. Family is visiting. No flowers. Music is playing, and Dudley is squeezing a loved one's hand when a loved one speaks to him.

This is why he needs our hands. Send a thought and hand~squeeze in that direction. Concord, New Hampshire's a town and a place where you can see the state capitol golden dome from almost all the highways. The woods are a ten minute drive away. The White Mountains stand above the city as the greater capitol further northward. You're in the gateway when in this town. One of its terrific son's is calling.



Bob and Susan Arnold

P.O. Box 2454

West Brattleboro, Vermont


The Poetry Project Newsletter circa sometime ago

Thursday, May 16, 2013


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Ikkyū ~

before birth after birth

that's where you are now

it's logical: if you're not going anywhere

any road is the right one

rain hail snow ice

I love watching the river

only one koan matters


rain drips from the roof lip

loneliness sounds like that


Crow With No Mouth
Fifteenth Century Zen Master
versions by Stephen Berg
Copper Canyon 2000

Ikkyū  was born in 1394 in a small suburb of Kyoto,
he could sometimes be a troublemaker.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Monday, May 13, 2013


Once In Vermont Films © bob arnold