Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Bob Arnold's first children's book

"R a i n   B e a r"


New and available now from Longhouse ~

50 pages

 Perfect bound softcover
with photographs ~
& drawings by
Jason Clark



Shipping $2.00 ~ U.S. orders with Paypal

Buy now through easy-to-use Paypal

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all orders may be made by Paypal, credit card or check ~
mail order here:


 PO Box 2454
 West Brattleboro, Vermont 05303

Monday, April 27, 2015


After a long nap,

the cat yawns, rises, and goes out

looking for love

Give me a homeland,

and a passionate woman,

and winter alone

Brilliant moon,

is it true that you too

must pass in a hurry

Thus spring begins: old

stupidities repeated,

new errs invented

I   S   S   A

In pale moonlight

the wisteria's scent

comes from far away

Light winter rain

like scampering rat's-feet

over my koto

In a bitter wind

a solitary monk bends

to words cut in stone

Moon in midsky, high

over the village hovels

and wandering on

B   U   S   O   N

But for a woodpecker

tapping at a post, no sound

at all in the house

I'm a wanderer

so let that be my name —

the first winter rain

Winter showers,

even the monkey searches

for a raincoat

The morning glories

bloom, securing the gate

in the old fence

B   A   S   H   O


the pocket haiku
translated by Sam Hamill
Shambhala 2014

Saturday, April 25, 2015


Joe Bussard

Scribner 2014

Hands down, this book is a delight to read, so don't hesitate. The author goes to almost every extreme
imaginable, starting with putting up with the wackos of the collecting world, something I know a little about. But in this case, a last of a breed — 78 record hustlers — lovers and devotees. We find the author even taking scuba lessons, renting gear, and diving into some of the murky old rivers of Wisconsin in the region of defunct record pressing plants, like Paramount's in Grafton, Wisconsin, on a brainstorm that she might even find a box of old records tossed away long ago as worthless. Out of the rivers she visits some of the basement haven boarders of terrific record collections, like Joe Bussard (above) priceless in their hands; and what's a book on the subject without a lengthy back history on Harry Smith, compiler and genius of The Anthology of American Folk Music, the musician's
 Leaves of Grass.

[ BA]

Friday, April 24, 2015


Larry Eigner circa 1950

From the sustaining air 

from the sustaining air

fresh air

There is the clarity of a shore
And shadow,    mostly,    brilliance

             the billows of August

When, wandering, I look from my page

I say nothing

      when asked

I am, finally, an incompetent, after all 

so the words go up

so the words go up
into thin air

        parlor    the speaking

                 birds pass the window
                a plane lengthens through fog
                       or cloud bends away
                  the curves together

                            the phone the hallway
                                 all my life

Old Man

two big pigeons on the new roof
below which he grew corn
                                           ten years back, one year   .

the wind like an ocean

the wind like an ocean
but sometimes the sun stills it
and the surface is solid

why shouldn't life pass as in a dream
or a dream itself,    there are different degrees
or different dreams    reality
at one with a dream

         the naked sea
          is fresh
                 in time,

                                  (o shut your eyes against the  wind

All Intents

once a man is born he has to die
                                          and that is time, the
                   position of the moon

       the earth is never still in one spot
                            or perhaps it is, it is
                    (part way

                                                 it is round

               and we are always here
                                             though every sound perhaps not

               but here we are, we are

stand on one foot

stand on one foot

  like a tree

       the law

             gulls change
             the angle

        pressing through leaf
        you cannot  mount
        the green
            sound of

small world of stars

A bird flies under
        leaves close
   in the heavy day-long rain
      still keeping up
        the roofs glistening


Selected Poems / Larry Eigner
edited by Samuel Charters & Andrea Wyatt
Oyez 1971

"Larry Eigner (1927–1996) wrote over three thousand poems on a manual Royal typewriter (a bar mitzvah gift) with the thumb and index finger of his right hand. Disabled by a forceps injury at birth, Eigner lived with cerebral palsy his whole life; able to walk only with support or assistance, he made his way through the world in a wheelchair. Until his father died and his mother was too old to care for him, he lived at home in Swampscott, Massachusetts, writing many of his poems in the glassed-in front porch that served as his office. In 1978, Eigner relocated to Berkeley, California, at first living in a communal house for adults with disabilities and then residing with poet-friends, mainly Robert Grenier and Kathleen Frumkin, who also served as his caregivers. "
— George Hart

Thursday, April 23, 2015


Back Road Chalkie
L A R R Y   E I G N E R

photo: bob arnold
april 2015

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


translated by Lee Fahnestock

"Born in 1899, Francis Ponge studied both law and philosophy before taking up a variety of editorial and teaching jobs. Le parti pris des choses, published by Gallimard in 1942, caught the attention of writers and artists. Wide recognition came in the sixties when Gallimard published several large collections of his poetry and essays. Ponge avoided appeals to emotion and symbolism, and instead sought to minutely recreate the world of experience of everyday objects with playful neologisms and his own phenome- nological ballet. He described his poetry as "a description-definition-literary artwork" that avoided both the drabness of a dictionary and the inadequacy of poetry. He died in 1989. Lee Fahnestock is a translator and critic. Long an admirer of Ponge, she has published translations of Vegetation, The Nature of Things, and The Making of Pre. Her translation, with Norman MacAfee, of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables and her translations of Jean-Paul Sartre’s letters to Simone de Beauvoir have been widely celebrated."

Tuesday, April 21, 2015



                                                                  for Sam

Sweetheart and I are both down with very bad colds, or maybe it's the flu? It’s been years since we’ve experienced this sort of wrangle, and after a tough winter. Not fair! Have to laugh.

I can hear the goldfinch calling out in the rain as I type. Most of the snow is gone except for the snow that always lasts until May 1st at the back door. A big pile there. I checked yesterday.

I tore down the old duck shed/tool shed I built 35 years ago of salvaged lumber — pine boards and even the oak floor joists I yanked out of this main house when I renovated in 1977. The joists were heavy gang plank mothers, worked perfectly in the old shed for the roof. Lasted. This time around I slid them out and bucked them up for firewood and now they heat the very room where I once pulled them from. You can go home again.

I salvaged 3/4 of the old lumber and have now built a tool room extension to the studio building. It sort of looks like Thoreau’s hut with his woodshed addition. It will take the mowers (which you don’t like) and all other tools for landscape work. I got it framed up, raftered, purlined, and sheathed over the weekend. Just to put on the white cedar wall shingles and evergreen steel roof. Let all future snowfalls slide off.

I’ll also put a blue steel roof on the stone hut in May. It will turn 30, with Carson.

© Bob Arnold
Spring 2015


Monday, April 20, 2015




Early morning climb to the roof

Cold dew on pebbled tar, taste of

The galvanized nails in your mouth

Work — nail shingle to shingle tight —

Each hammer pound echoes another

Pound in the hills, enough to wonder

Where it ends and who hears it then


© Bob Arnold 

from Where Rivers Meet
Mad River Press 1990 


Sunday, April 19, 2015


Anywhere You Look

in the corner of a high rain gutter

under the roof tiles

new grasses' delicate seed heads

what war, they say


Jane Hirshfield

Knopf 2015

Saturday, April 18, 2015


Joan Colom
I Work the Street
photographs 1957-2010
Museu Nacional D'Art de Catalunya

Joan Colom at work

Friday, April 17, 2015

Thursday, April 16, 2015


Eduardo Hughes Galeano, writer
3 September 1940 ~ 13 April 2015

Wednesday, April 15, 2015



I awoke in the middle of the night to find

A horse standing quietly over my bed.

My friend, I'm so glad you're here, I said,

It's snowing and you must've been cold

And lonely in your stable down the road

With the farmer and his wife both dead.

I'll throw a blanket over you and check

If there is a lump of sugar in the kitchen,

Like the one I saw a man in a top hat

Slip to a mare in a circus, but I fear you might

Be gone when I get back, so I better stay

And keep you company here in the dark.


The Lunatic
Ecco, 2015

"All writers have some secret about the way they work. Mine is that I write in bed."

Monday, April 13, 2015


Crossing the Yellow River

A little boat on the great river 

whose waves reach the end of the sky —

suddenly a great city, ten thousand

houses dividing sky from wave.

Between the towns there are

hemp and mulberry trees in the wilds.

Look back on the old country:

wide waters; clouds; and raising mist.


Wang Wei
translated by Sam Hamill 
Tiger Bark Press

Friday, April 10, 2015




A span of 20 feet —

Someone, but no

One’s around, once

Laid down these log

Poles and nailed the

Planks for what I balance

On and cross, and then

Turn and once again

Walk over, because I

Like the feeling, the

Mountain creek beneath

And leaves floating

The range of light

Now back across slowly

The last time

Finally into my direction


                                                                    for John Levy


© Bob Arnold

from Habitat
Pentagram, 1979



Thursday, April 9, 2015


Some Days A Fruitful, Cautious Longing
Comes Over Me

Some days a fruitful, cautious longing comes over me,
to love and kiss affection on both cheeks,
and from afar there comes to me,
demonstrative, a wish, a different wish of loving, strong,
the one who hates me, the one who tears up his role, the little boy,
the one who weeps for one who has been weeping,
king of wine, slave of water
the one who hides in his own wrath
the one who sweats, the one who passes by, the one who
shakes himself within my soul.
The pleasure to arrange a braid of hair
of one who walks to me, the soldier's hair;
one's light, the great; one's greatness to the boy.
I want to iron a handkerchief at one
for the one who cannot weep
and, when I'm sad or when good fortune pains me,
to patch up geniuses and children.

I want to help the good man be a little bad
and have an urge to sit
on the right of the left-handed, answer the dumb,
trying to be useful in what
I can, wanting very much
to wash the cripple's foot,
and help my one-eyed neighbor sleep.

Oh, this love of mine, this world-wide love,
interhuman, parochial, fulfilled!
It comes just right,
from the foundations, from the public groin,
and coming from afar it makes one want to kiss
the singer's scarf,
to kiss the one who suffers, in this roasting-pan,
the dumb, in his deaf cranial murmur, dauntless;
the one who gives me what I had forgotten in my breast,
on his Dante, on his Chaplin, on his shoulders.

To sum up, I should like,
when I am on the famous verge of violence,
or when my heart is brave, I should like
to help the one who smiles to laugh,
place a little bird square on the scruff of a villain's neck,
nurse the sick by provoking them,
buy to kill from the killer — a dreadful thing —
and be at peace within myself
in everything.

6 November 1937
César Vallejo


translated from the Spanish by Gerard Malanga

Selected Poems of Cesar Vallejo
Three Rooms Press

César Abraham Vallejo Mendoza was a Peruvian poet, writer, playwright, and journalist. Back in 1975 or so I edited and published a small booklet of Gerard's which I'm sure was one of these poems from this fine collection. As Aram Saroyan writes, "This in turn gives the young poet —in his twenties when he did this work—the courage of his convictions, the essential room to breathe."