Thursday, November 23, 2017



I've yet to see, read or own a Michael McCurdy book, or a book
illustrated by McCurdy, that wasn't greatly enhanced by having McCurdy's
wood engravings — none more finer than in his own reading of Walden —
an A-to-Z showcase with McCurdy referring to Henry's world
and updating it to McCurdy's own, also a Massachusetts boy.
Balance is beauty.

Charlesbridge Books
Watertown, MA.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


New Year 2013

windows be damned!

I want the whole-hearted panorama of sky

fire of morning

                                        ice blue moon

the hovering bulk of

the live oak

                            the hulking barn-studio

                             red looking black in the half-light

the streetlights


                                            the buttery yellow light of

                                            neighbor's porchlight

                                            a rectangle breath house dark

                                            and morning red-orange blaze

I want

the full 360 of self and world and wonderment


Jim La Villa-Havelin
Poems of a Place
Wings Press 2017


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Monday, November 20, 2017



Away from the road

Off into the high edge

Of a field, unless I

Looked carefully you

Would never have been seen

Picking wildflowers

Growing in folds of sunlight

Among the tall grass

Each snipped by hand

At the same height, then

Gathered inside a pail

Of shallow water

The world seems weightless

Watching you work

If this is work —

You call it a prize

Saved for the last

Hour of the afternoon

Taking away what this

Plot of land has to give —

Flowers for the kitchen table

Brightened windowsills


Beneath rain clouds

She wheelbarrows

Loose black soil

Of daylilies

From the brook

To plant around

A ledge of stone

And in a month

She will smell like

The yellow blossoms


Apple, poplar, ash

Cherry, red maple

Pine, basswood, oak

These are the woods

That we sawed today

In two hours of thinning

Selecting, we made a cord —

Trampled branches on snow

Worked without words —

Simple thoughts, like picking

Up these sticks — back and

Forth in the mind — until we

Stop to rest together against

The pile, brushing off woodchips

Shedding hats and gloves

And because we kiss, I warm

My hands beneath your blouse

Winter Day

I swore if you laid

Your cheek, wind

Blown red as any

Soft maple leaf

Onto the pond

And looked down through

The half-foot of

Ice, the rest was

Water flowing clear

Way back up to you —

The scales of depth

Catching your breath


I'm In Love With You
Who Is In Love With Me
Longhouse 2012

Friday, November 17, 2017

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


Dear Bob Arnold,
My name is Nina Mamikunian and I am the new Curator of the Archive for New Poetry at UCSD Library's Special Collections & Archives, following Rob Melton's retirement in 2016. I am very excited to carry on the work of the Archive for New Poetry, documenting and making available experimental work, including public performances and collaborative efforts.

To that end, I am pleased to announce the launch of our latest digital collection, the Paul Blackburn Audio Collection. These digitized recordings feature poetry readings, lectures, conversations, and correspondence recorded on reel-to-reel tape by Paul Blackburn from 1960 to 1971 in New York City.

Blackburn was a cornerstone of the New York Poetry scene: he organized and attended poetry readings at venues across the city, hosted his own radio program, “Contemporary Poetry,” on WBAI, and often recorded casual conversations about poetry with friends.  Blackburn’s recordings include some of the first readings performed at St. Mark’s Poetry Project, correspondence with Julio Cortázar and readings by such poets as Allen Ginsberg and Robert Creeley.

The first release of this collection includes over 100 recordings featuring over 100 poets, now available for streaming at Subsequent releases will bring the total number of recordings to over 200 available for online streaming and about 70 descriptions of recordings that can be made available onsite at UC San Diego Library’s Special Collections & Archives.  We anticipate having the entire digital collection complete by February 2018.

We would like to thank you for being a part of this project and giving the library permission to stream the readings online. The editor of Blackburn's posthumously published Collected Poems (1985), Edith Jarolim, has called this collection "the most comprehensive oral history of the New York poetry scene between the late 1950s and 1970." We are excited to be able to make this important collection available to a wider audience.

The collection is available at Additional information about the collection and its release is available at .

Thank you again for your contribution to the Paul Blackburn Audio Collection. This project would not have been possible without it!

Monday, November 13, 2017


One Word

Finally a blue sky day

And you do the wash!

Then you go and hang everything

Out on the line, a place reached

Through two feet of snow, rotten

Ice and a pathway I shoveled

Colorful wash all day

Blowing in the wind

At dusk you go pick

Dry clothes off a rope —

For a moment your billowy

Red skirt, violet sweater

Bright long hair blowing

In the same breeze

I come to help as

You hold one garment up to

Your face breathing in the

Fresh wash and all you

Say with a smile is


That’s Her

doing farm chores, lugging

water she hikes through a field

of wet grasses in high boots

old pants & cap, a red tee

shirt she slept in & much

earlier in bed I raised this

& kissed her kissed her


it’s snow


into her


pail of 



onto a





back from

the hen



inside her



Morning light of falling snow

We went outside and did our work

Shoveled out dog huts

Opened a trail to the chicken shed

Busted ice from water buckets

I was sweeping off long metal sheets

Over the woodpile when you said

see how this feels — and in your

Gloved hand you held the flesh of

A warm egg to my icy cheek


I'm In Love With You
Who Is In Love With Me
Longhouse 2012

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Friday, November 10, 2017


Dream of the West

Driving through the country of the otherworld as I passed
a small town I pulled to the side of the road. I don't know
why I stopped. The sky was dark but the busy highway
and the roadside were just like our world in the middle of
one of its ordinary end of everything afternoons. It could
have been Oklahoma just before a tornado or the bomb.
I was driving a big American car, a Ford LTD or maybe
it was a Continental. The edge of the road sloped sharply
down, then dropped off much faster than I expected. The
huge automobile lurched downward and stopped sideways
on the precarious slope.

I could see the situation from several points of view. The
busy highway. The little Okie town across the fields. My
car ridiculously stuck. Then I saw other cars had gone
off this embankment. Some were part way down, some
farther. Rusted, abandoned. At the bottom of the long
slope a sunny grove of trees. There were people living there.
People in some of the cars.

Just below my car there were some Indians whose car was
older and much worse stuck. There was some
argument. Whose fault it was they'd gone off the road.
Then we began to laugh about our common
predicament. I could envision a big yellow tow truck
coming to my rescue. The whole nine one one. The cable
reaching down from the highway to bring me up again.
But it never came. I never called.

I've been living down here ever since.

Jerry Martien
Earth Tickets
Bug Press

Wednesday, November 8, 2017



There are many books about Woody Guthrie,
 including the masterpiece Guthrie wrote himself
Bound For Glory
and this book by noted music historian Santelli
is as good as it gets regarding Woody Guthrie,
his associates, travels, time period, including
Guthrie's celebrated song
"This Land Is Your Land."
Somehow Santelli takes the reader
right up to the song's door.


Tuesday, November 7, 2017


'In Sweden, where I live, war has not been waged since the seventeenth century, that is since the time of 
Montaigne, Cervantes, Shakespeare."


Americans can swish that sentence around in their heads for a moment.

Monday, November 6, 2017



Try to get three berries

Off one stem at rest stop

As three of us

July In The Sun

We pick blueberries this way —

I wear jeans and t-shirt

you wear a pretty dress

the rest is easy


I wanted the

Longest kiss —

So we began

The World On A Perfect Day

All day it rains a steady rain

We can’t work in the gardens and fields

We hear the birds while we wait for the rain to end

The rain never ends

We watch the rain in the trees

We are surrounded by woods

We make love at lunch


I'm In Love With You
Who Is In Love With Me
Longhouse 2012