Friday, July 21, 2017


A fine poet, interesting thinker,
acknowledgeable in the ways
of poetry, but not one to draw from
any poet other than compatible to the usual syllabus;
the most Hass let's his hair down is drawing an example of
Ted Berrigan and Jackson MacLow —
no Bob Kaufman here, Thomas McGrath or Janine Pommy Vega.
Where Hass has intrigued me the most are his informal
and off-the cuff introductions he presents from his post at the
University of California Berkeley reading series.

Thursday, July 20, 2017



This book was gifted to me knowing, as the presenter
does, that I read everything by Simic. Simic actually
advises this for poets, young ones, so I must still be young: read
everything and pretty much do your own thing as a writer.
He left off: and accept the consequences.
We are throttled by poetry schools, foundations, houses,
frat-party poetics, mean and lean criticizing threshers,
swords with blood on them, so you take your chances writing
as you wish. But please do so. I want to read you. I am reading
this new Simic slender book of poems in early June and
because I am always reading, and writing, and doing as I wish,
this won't appear until sometime in July.
The Birdhouse is nicely bottled up and singing.
If we're still here.
There's a Menace in the White House
also doing as he wishes.

The Week

Monday comes around with a new tattoo

It won't show us and here's Tuesday

Walking its latest nightmare on a leash

And Wednesday blind as the rain tapping

On a windowpane and Thursday sipping

Bad coffee served by a pretty waitress

And Friday lost in a confusion of sad

And happy faces and Saturday flashing

Like a pinball machine in the morgue

And Sunday with a head of crucified Christ

Hanging sideways in a bathroom mirror


Monday, July 17, 2017


Old Back Road Story

Saw Cliff the day before in his backhoe
moving a good size rock in the jaws
of his bucket, he stopped a moment
and flipped open his cab door to talk
said they’d be tearing out the small
back woods road bridge the next day

we looked at the sign maybe Cliff
or some other worker had scribbled
a notice for all travelers to note:

bridge closed
june 22 from
7 am to 7 pm
if any Q
please call ...

Cliff then asked us :
its June 22

we also got
a feeling
Cliff or some-
one ran out of room
to write “Questions”
and that’s why on the sign
they used a “Q”

the writing looks like
it was written by god
if god was a bear

I ask Cliff what they
are going to do with
all the old hemlock
timbers from the deck
of the bridge?

gee, I don’t know, Bob
do you want’em?

I nod yes
he nods okay
consultation over

the next day, in driving rain,
all the way up the back road
a good mile comes Cliff in
his front end loader, every old
hemlock long plank and timber
he’s got balanced like a pro and
he raises his wide bucket high
and swings right through our stone-
wall barway and meets me with a grin to
his grin as I point to an edge of the
woodlot where he sets the whole load
down soft as an egg


Bob Arnold

Friday, July 14, 2017



Counterpoint, 2017


This is about as good as it gets for us awaiting more word from
someone, anyone, on the life, pathways, and Old Coyote
wisdom of Jaime De Angulo — his mysterious and sure
linguistic and ethnographic work — and be assured that
eastern native but gone to the west coast for very good reason
Andrew Schelling would be the one to draw up buckets and buckets 
of well-stitched history and folklore for a marvelous telling
of De Angulo biography 
(Andrew insists it isn't, but it is, or the best we have at the moment)
Big Sur rugged characters, San Francisco poets who visited
(and learned something)
Native American lore, and just what happens when one
is this independent in the churning American machine age

[ BA ]

Thursday, July 13, 2017


Mr. Liu was imprisoned and unable to accept the Nobel Peace Prize in person in Oslo in 2010. The actress Liv Ullmann read from Mr. Liu’s “I Have No Enemies: My Final Statement to the Court.”
CreditOdd Andersen/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images 


                                           for Ronald Baatz

No rain today, thankfully (too much to do) but maybe tomorrow. Whereas the daylilies are now in full abundance, but it took a fight. A fight? With flowers? No, with deer! Three in particular that we have been at war with for years now, as the mother deer teaches her young the succulents. Why wouldn’t she?! We don’t mind the now and then flowers they pluck for breakfast on the outer edges but we won’t tolerate them in the full backyard where the best grow. Honestly, in the thousands. I worked for decades for people, wealthy, who often shunned the common orange man daylily, so I’d load up my pickup truck with everything they wanted “gone.” Gone was to our house. They even grew tired of the expensive daylilies bought as bulbs and multiplying beyond their imaginations so they were often also “gone” ones. More for our house. It’s how you gain and gain flowers and watch a garden grow, and gain and gain books, thus make a library inside the house. So last night, near midnight I was again out in the yard, barefoot, wet cool grass, the moon of Saturday night still with me, chasing the three deer; gallopers! with my strong beam flashlight and a stone or two. They never get hit, the strong beam flashlight seems to scare them like a flying saucer. I give chase. In the early evening if they dare to show, I will go out with my pellet rifle and sting one or two. That seems to send a quick message down the clothesline that, “This guy means business.” “Yeah but the other places have mean dogs.” "Yeah but he has a rifle.” So the message is getting across and we’ve saved the daylily splendor for this year. Last year the deer about wiped us out. We also spray peppermint oil on all the flowers. That takes a good half hour with a spray jar and determination.

Look at me, I haven’t even mentioned the woodchucks! A family have set into the new barn I built last summer. Don’t blame them, nice barn, filled with firewood, plenty of access and like a virtual hotel. Usually the snakes get the firewood locations but now the woodchucks are in. We discovered them when they ate every one of Susan’s potted flowers. That was money down the drain. We sent out a stern warning in real words when we saw the woodchucks and we knew they could hear us. “Do more of that and I bring out the .22 rifle next time.” No pellet gun. And I’m a pacifist (ask my draft board) but I’ve spoken with Gandhi over the years and he reminds me that we do share, but we don’t become overcome. So far no woodchuck on a daylily = friends. I showed Sweetheart where to put her new choice of potted flowers, along with the cherry tomatoes: upstairs on the bedroom porch. Fill it up to the brim, I said to Sweetheart, make it an outdoor greenhouse. Arboretum.

  [ BA ]

Monday, July 10, 2017


Dyed Brunette With A Blonde Streak

used to know her

bought fine clothes from her

always b’day or holiday gifts

shared stories of our children

laughed easily together

liked all the same music

knew her name and she knew ours

then the filthy rich took over our country

she was lost in the maelstrom

became shriveled and old

doesn’t know us now shopping the same day

in the dollar store

It Happens

After he grew

a huge beard

he barely talked

From The Heavens

I love the weather —

it controls the lot

of us


There is something

all together rich about

all of us a little poorer

walking around while it

rains in these small towns


Bob Arnold

Thursday, July 6, 2017


Still to

tell, still to

tell . . . my


asks me, and I

stare at it.

Am I alive?

I ask my room, —

I ask

the space in the expanse

and lastly:

Are you, space,

what I know?


When we're

stripped right

down to

clay, then

the talk of

what's singable

is right.

The man who is born,

thought through to the end —

it echoes back.



have no language.

Were I not myself

replete with misery, I

would not

move my tongue.


If we would once again

be given eyes

after some time

in the corpse, in death . . .

As we made love,

you examined

my cranium

very closely.


Look into the opened hand.


keeps showing up there.

A sound is present

and doesn't end

against the edges of the hills.


At the end of days,

what kind

of stammering will come

from mankind's mouth,

when difficulty

becomes a cripple,

if anything at all,

and the heavens' coldness

freezes the acts over.

Language formally,

this romance,

when the song already

lost its head.



when the last ones

are doing well for themselves

above the ashes,

when love

is the most blind

since the times, when those

who themselves forgot,

children of untimed,

are completely forgotten . . .

we — you all

in the unstoppable




Think, in the

quintillionth year

you won't

be allowed to be homesick

for person and Earth.

THIS, that you

were a child

of the universe,

is gone,

and where

is the unholy one,

the mother with her

wits about her,

and where

the star that shone for us?

I'm reeling.

I also wished,

before it ended, I'd see

a dream.


Wisdom, the idle wise,

might even a cut go

sharply across the eyes.

Unable —

all that love and guilt, all

that honor.

Also never to be ashamed,

as on days that

taste good.


Ernst Meister
Of Entirety Say the Sentence
Wave Books
translated from the German by
Graham Foust, Samuel Frederick