Tuesday, March 31, 2015


AKA Marcel Duchamp
edited Anne Collins Goodyear
James McManus
(Smithsonian 2014)


Tomas Tranströmer

After a Death

Once there was a shock

that left behind a long, shimmering comet tail.

It keeps us inside. It makes the TV pictures snowy.

It settles in cold drops on the telephone wires.

One can still go slowly on skis in the winter sun

through brush where a few leaves hang on.

They resemble pages torn from old telephone directories.

Names swallowed by the cold.

It is still beautiful to hear the heart beat

but often the shadow seems more real than the body.

The samurai looks insignificant

beside his armor of black dragon scales.

translated by Robert Bly

Monday, March 30, 2015



Autumn Night

I doze, a guest among topsy-turvy books,
then sit amid insect song. Isolate silence,

remnant lamp casting halos of darkness,
heavy dew settling across cold branches:

it's joy absolute to gaze out all idleness,
or even more, to sit deep ch'an stillness,

and it's beyond insight. I clamp my nose,
and chant in a long-ago sage's lost voice.

Wandering Out With A Full Moon To
Eightfold-Integrity River

Thoughts turned far away from you,
confusion rife, I can't sleep. Finally

I rise, gaze up into bright stars, then
saddle a horse and wander the road

east, thinking rivers and mountains
might ease my worries. I know you

are no dinner. Come: we'll ladle out
clouds together here at their source.


When a spirit-spring broke open, it began
swelling and coiling on ahead and through

mountains crowded up, blocking the way.
It keeps flowing right on time to the sea,

harboring bright pearls in mud and sand,
frolicking dragons in cloud-and-rain dark.

Why ask where all its depths came from?
River gods see no further than themselves.

Sent To Assistant Magistrate Guide-Bell

You hurry around your life, and I just idle through mine,
so how could we ever wander up Bell Mountain together?

Outside city gates, I keep a child's routine. But turning to
look back, I see a lifetime of world-dust in a single dream.


Suddenly spring's ending. I close my brush-bramble gate,
green leaves already flooding the city, thick with shadow.

Old-age years are like this. I've lost the urge to see places,
but is there anywhere this spring wind can't go wandering?

Farewell To Candor-Achieve

Traveling north we delight in family,
and drifting south savor friends. How

could we forget each other? We gaze
anywhere into all our kindred depths.

Thoughts Sent On My Way Home From
River-Serene, After Stopping To Gaze At
Samadhi-Forest Monastery

My lame donkey hates the stony road
up there, and I'm done with big climbs.

It seems forever since I saw you, my old
monk friend. Our youth suddenly gone,

I keep following morning clouds away,
then race evening birds back into this

valley of pines all shadowed dark. Here,
I know you in the distances between us.

Gazing North


Hair whiter still, I ache to see those long-ago northlands,
but keep to this refuge: goosefoot staff, windblown trees.

Pity the new moon: all that bright beauty, and for whom?
It's dusk. Countless mountains face each other in sorrow.


Translated by David Hinton
The Late Poems of Wang An-Shih
(New Directions 2015)

I selected and designed a small foldout booklet
once upon a time of David Hinton's Wang An-Shih
and am delighted to find this full collection
~ not a bum poem in the lot

Sunday, March 29, 2015


"Thanks to the grandiosity and naïveté of W., Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz — another Jeb foreign policy adviser — U.S. Middle East policy is so muddled that, after occupying and blowing up Iraq, we are working with Shiite Iran to push back Sunni insurgents in Iraq and working with Sunnis and their Saudi Arabian allies in Yemen against a Shiite militia that has Iranian support."

M A U R E E N   D O W D     NEW YORK TIMES   M A R C H 29, 2015





Each time the delivery trucks

Hit and knock partly over the


Stone cairn I built at the top of

Our dirt drive, each time, I re-


Build the cairn, stone by stone,

And each time the impatient


Drivers hit it and each time I

Rebuild it, until I'm getting good


© Bob Arnold

Saturday, March 28, 2015


The Works

    Hard Rain Falling (1966, novel)

    Blade of Light (1967, novel)

    The Murder of the Frogs and Other Stories (1969, short stories)

    Getting Off (1971, novel)

    Payday (1972, screenplay)

    The True Life Story of Jody McKeegan
(1975, novel)

    Charles Bukowski's Post Office (1977, screenplay)

    A Couple of Comedians (1979, novel)

    Snyder, Whalen and Welch, Together (1981, magazine article)

    Turnaround (1981, novel)

    The Class of '49 (1985, novel and three stories)

    The Dispossessed (1986, novel)

    From A Distant Place (1988, novel)

    Fridays at Enrico's
(1993–1994, published 2014)

Friday, March 27, 2015


Wyoming 1954
photograph by Elliott Erwitt

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Werner Herzog
A Guide for the Perplexed
(Faber 2014)
Conversations with Paul Cronin

 On the back cover of the book, Herzog offers a list of advice for filmmakers that doubles as general purpose life advice.

1. Always take the initiative.
2. There is nothing wrong with spending a night in jail if it means getting the shot you need.
3. Send out all your dogs and one might return with prey.
4. Never wallow in your troubles; despair must be kept private and brief.
5. Learn to live with your mistakes.
6. Expand your knowledge and understanding of music and literature, old and modern.
7. That roll of unexposed celluloid you have in your hand might be the last in existence, so do something impressive with it.
8. There is never an excuse not to finish a film.
9. Carry bolt cutters everywhere.
10. Thwart institutional cowardice.
11. Ask for forgiveness, not permission.
12. Take your fate into your own hands.
13. Learn to read the inner essence of a landscape.
14. Ignite the fire within and explore unknown territory.
15. Walk straight ahead, never detour.
16. Maneuver and mislead, but always deliver.
17. Don't be fearful of rejection.
18. Develop your own voice.
19. Day one is the point of no return.
20. A badge of honor is to fail a film theory class.
21. Chance is the lifeblood of cinema.
22. Guerrilla tactics are best.
23. Take revenge if need be.
24. Get used to the bear behind you.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Robin Magowan

Robin Magowan
The Garden of Amazement
 Scattered Gems After Sâeb

 Longhouse 2015

112 pages, perfect bound, 6 x 8-1/2 inches
ISBN 978-1-929048-28-1

U.S. addresses ~ order here through PayPal
Shipping & handling: $2

International orders shipping $15

Sunday, March 22, 2015


that the only permanence

                     is loss

its pain — despite what I said —

to be always within me.

                         Beyond the season

             the season's loss.

             S  A  M  U  E  L    C  H  A  R  T  E  R  S

                  (1929 ~ 2015)

                  Bluesmaker, folkmaster, producer, music historian
           author, translator, educator, poet


Alan & Kazuko's Happy New Year Card
Year of the Sheep

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Friday, March 20, 2015


The Open Road
David Campany
Photography & the American
Road Trip
(Aperture 2014)

Thursday, March 19, 2015


Born a poor peasant, Zapata fought for an agrarian reform
and democracy in the Mexican Revolution. Under the
slogan "Land and Liberty" his Zapatistas fought as guerillas in southern Mexico.
Assassinated in 1919, he was buried in Cuautla.
Unidentified photograph from 1912

Wednesday, March 18, 2015



At the edge of the table

the man who is toying with

the magnet and filings

no longer hears the ocean

beating the rocks.

From the ceiling

beans are hung to dry

the whitewashed walls

let insects come and go

people passing each other by

would like to get back

in the habit of loving.


In a shed in the old garden

the separation takes place

amid the rustling of leaves

you have to go far away

to another country

to recover this moment of farewell

leaning on the quiet tree

in the hour of lamplight

just as a child is sent

with no one to confide in

looking for milk in the night.


Clearly in this broad daylight you can see

the empty bowl on the table

the background dappled

with the play of shadows

among the passersby

one picks up a pin

under a sky that darkens

though no lights come on.

A lithe body

is filled with silence.

Images from memory

will return with evening.


Some farmers keep on

watching the clouds

looking for clues

some prefer

an easy eloquence

to silence

at the corner

made by a hedge

of many plants

the transparent evenings

wear thin with repetition

on a stage of trestles

someone is making a speech

to others seated at tables

in the open barn

on furrows that shine

to the very ends of the earth.


People are kept in suspense

by these commotions about a woman

who remains beautiful

as she bends her body

her hair sweeping the red ground

in the last light of festivities.

All those who watch

have memories

but they no longer see

night approaching.


It's not always easy

to face the animal

even if it looks at you

without fear or hate

it does so fixedly

and seems to disdain

the subtle secret it carries

it seems better to feel

the obviousness of the world

that noisily day and night

drills and damages

the silence of the soul.


translated by Heather McHugh

D'Après Tout
(Princeton 1981)

Jean Follain (29 August 1903 – 10 March 1971) was a French author, poet and corporate lawyer.  A car accident took his life.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


The colorful rebel leader of the Mexican Revolution astride his
famous horse "Seven Leagues." He commanded the "Division of the
North" alleged to be the largest army in Mexican history. Villa was
assassinated in an ambush while riding in his car.
Photograph by O.T. Aultman in 1911.

Sunday, March 15, 2015


Kim Gordon
Girl in a Band
Dey Street Books


Before Spring arrives,  Dey Street Books releases two memoirs by two hard rockers. Their stories aren't all that interesting but it all comes from a storied time. Both writers rely on a sort of performance craft. Christgau's writing prowess has always been his strength — twisting through venues and characters — and while Kim Gordon will tell us she doesn't practice playing her guitar, and jokes that she can't play — it's all about attitude and rebellion — like Christgau the theme that fires her book is love. For him love (lost, then found), her (lost) and it's an emptiness you feel for her by the closing of the book. Christgau has survived decades of yeoman tasks at the Village Voice helm and his narcotic music Consumer Guides. For Kim Gordon flopping down in leather jacket and party dresses, whether it's more music, her art, or a clothing line, I'm glad she made it this far, and shared a personal peep.

Robert Christgau, Going Into the City, a memoir, Dey Street Books
(Birdhouse tomorrow)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Thursday, March 12, 2015


'Adieu, sweet Jack, the air of life is
permeated with roses all the time.'
Jack Kerouac
from Visions of Cody

Jack Kerouac ~ Alec Finlay