Tuesday, December 18, 2018


When They Sleep

All people are children when they sleep.

There's no war in them then.

They open their hands and breathe

in that quiet rhythm heaven has given them.

They pucker their lips like small children

and open their hands halfway,

soldiers and statesmen, servants and masters.

The stars stand guard

and a haze veils he sky,

a few hours when no one will do anybody harm.

If only we could speak to one another then

when our hearts are half-open flowers.

Words like golden bees

would drift in.

God, teach me the language of sleep.


Rolf Jacobsen
from At the Great Door of Morning / Robert Hedin
translated by Robert Hedin
Copper Canyon, 2017

Monday, December 17, 2018


Hermit Advice

Don’t answer the door

It’s almost always bad news

Regular Advice

Always answer the door

It could be what you’ve been waiting for

Rain Song

Rain all day —

The lilacs bow

Rain all day —

Heads to ground

Geese graze

Rain all day —

What is green

Is greener

Rain all day —

The bucket splashes

Rain all day —

Tulips fold

Rain all day

I run again

Like a kid

Rain all day —

Rain all night

Out To Sea

Strange how I found a

golf ball way out in the

woods on the trail —

a sign of land


He showed us his firewood

Drifts he called it

Pulled from the sea

Split posts of spruce

Heating the room

Lighting the maps

Bob Arnold
Heaven Lake

Longhouse 2018

Sunday, December 16, 2018


It's the Dream

It's the dream we carry

that something wondrous will happen,

that it must happen —

that time will open

that doors will open

that the mountain will open

that springs will gush forth —

that the dream itself will open,

that one fine morning we'll drift

into a harbor we didn't know was there.


If you can make a poem

a farmer finds useful,

you should be happy.

A blacksmith you can never figure out.

The worst to please is a carpenter.

I Have Three Poems

I have three poems,

he said.

who counts poems?

Emily tossed hers

in a trunk,I

doubt if she counted them,

she simply opened another tea bag

and wrote a new one.

That was right. A good poem

should smell of tea.

Or of raw earth and freshly cut wood.


Olav H. Hauge
from At the Great Door of Morning / Robert Hedin
translated by Robert Hedin
Copper Canyon, 2017

Saturday, December 15, 2018




No more than the song of it. As if

the singing alone

had led us back to this place.

We have been here, and we have never been here.

We have been on the way to where we began,

and we have been lost.

There are no boundaries

in the light. And the earth

leaves no word for us

to sing. For the crumbling of the earth


is a music in itself, and to walk among these stones

is to hear nothing

but ourselves.

I sing, therefore, of nothing,

as if it were the place

I do not return to —

and if I should return, then count out my life

in these stones: forget

I was ever here. The world

that walks inside me

is a world beyond reach.


Paul Auster
Collected Poems
Overlook Press, 2004

Friday, December 14, 2018

BHARTRIHARI (Buddhist Hermit) ~


Her quick eyes

and animated mouth

unsettle me.

So, of course,

her uplifted breasts,

full lips —

soft fruits for the hungry.

But why should a

single wisp of hair,

stroked beneath her naval like some


line of poetry,

reduce me to such


                                                                                 K. 119


Some Unquenchable Desire
Andrew Schelling, Translator
Shambhala, 2018

Thursday, December 13, 2018



Smoke has been the sign of human settlement

ever since Prometheus' defiant act,

ever since people settled down to roasting,

torching, scorching and cremating, ever since

human history began its smoldering.

The pale blue smoke of campfires and

the black smoke of plunder, burning stakes,

and crematoria; they both have stained the sun

and its starry vault in this accustomed hey hue.

Puffing on a cigarette I'm sitting high up on a hill,

watching limpid supper smoke weave its way

from the valley across the reclining sunrise;

but it's the sickening fun of burning brains

that tickles my memory for taste and smell.

Could they be burning books somewhere?


Sandor Kanyadi
Dancing Embers
translated by Paul Sohar
Twisted Spoon Press 2002

Wednesday, December 12, 2018


How To Make Rain

Start with the sun

piled weeks deep on your back    after

you haven't heard rain for an entire

growing season    and making sure to face

due north    spit twice into the red clay

stomp your silent feet    waiting rain

rain to bring the washing in    rain

of reaping    rusty tubs of rain    wish

aloud    to be caught in the throat

of the dry well    head kissing your back

a bent spoon for groundwater    to be

sipped from    slow courting rain    rain

that falls forever    rain which keeps

folks inside and makes late afternoon

babies    begin to bury childhood clothes

wrap them around stones    and skulls of

doves    then mark each place well enough

to stand the coming storm    rain of our

fathers    shoeless rain    the devil is

beating his wife rain    rain learned

early  in the bones    plant these scare

crow people face down    wing wing

and bony anchor    then wait until they

grow roots and skeletons    sudden soaking

rain that draws out the nightcrawler

rain of forgetting    rain that asks for

more rain    rain that can't help but

answer    what you are looking for

must fall    what you are looking for is

deep among clouds    what you want to see

is a girl selling kisses beneath cotton

wood    is a boy drowning inside the earth


Kevin Young
Most Way Home
Zoland Books, 2000

Tuesday, December 11, 2018


 ~ Yale ~
edited by Barry Rosen

Monday, December 10, 2018


Breaking News

What's to be done with “Breaking News?”

I watch the news with the sound off and read the captions

So there is no sound of anything breaking

A second ago it was a cyclone

Now it's two planes nearly colliding over Indiana

The breaking news is now old news for all the passengers

It's not even news, it's good luck, they're still alive!

We need more good luck on television news —

By the time its breaking news reaches us

The cyclone may have died down to 

A light breeze, there’s no way 

To make news with mother nature

For instance, it's raining as I write this

But probably not as you read this

And if it is, it's just our luck


What to say to

A Mexican gal

Working high off

In the mountains

With a quick greeting

For us to step out

Back and see what

They do — dyeing

Wool over a cast

Iron pinion fire —

The dyes stir with

Wool skeins in two

Deep tubs boiling as

Bare armed she works

Ingenious pulleys to

Lift out and bleed

Magnificent colors —

Nothing like we see

Anywhere else in old

Town until we look up

To the sky, and another

Worker drapes the dipped

Wool over makeshift

Drying racks, neither

Women bothering much

To wear their masks

For the wicked vapors

Since out of nowhere

In the smolder of heat

And poisons she says

They are both

“Going to win the

Lottery” — fast toothy

Grins — “Yep, going

To win big-time

A million bucks!”

Cross Country

In all our windows

It’s the moon

On the train

Mother Earth

Lonesome far

Out in the snowy woods — 

When we wanted

A friend to visit

We built

A snowman

Bob Arnold
Heaven Lake

Longhouse 2018

Sunday, December 9, 2018


The Sun Also Fizzles

That's this place, between

geography and evening? The sun

also bludgeons; a car has three wheels;

and what's the wrong way to break

that brick of truth back into music?

Money belongs together. I'm right

where I wanted to leave me. Rain

belongs together. At mirror,

I've neither me believed.

I've come covered in arena dust,

my mouth a sleeve's end,

meatless. I've come somewhat up,

and I'm here to lick

the static from the ground.

Twice, I've been evidence of,

if anything, my breathing.

Not particular, I've pissed against

a cage, pretending wind.

Swallowed whole, a songbird might

could claw back through the hawk —

or so I've thought.

The choosing of a word

might be its use, the only poem.


Graham Foust
A Mouth in California
Flood Editions 2009

Saturday, December 8, 2018



More an historical narrative and portrait-driven
wonder on the counterculture streamlined
back-to-the-land movement once upon a time in Vermont.
The tribes arrived when gasoline cost 20 cents (I remember)
a gallon, and land was cheap, and some of the
ragamuffins were filthy rich, others had strong backs,
a mighty handful persist to this day. Not quite
the seminal text on the subject as Robert Houriet's
Getting Back Together, written in real-time
and it felt it; Daley digs in deeply to the
Green Mountain state decades after its
zenith dream-time and finds many of
the key locations, people, and she 
cherishes the heart that came with it.
A wiser proof reader should have been hired:
it has never been "Woodie" Guthrie (and
never will be), and "Further" was certainly
not cosmopolitan author Tom Wolfe's
prankster bus, but Oregon's own
Ken Kesey's.
Veteran commune photographer Peter Simon's
work graces the front cover of this
handsome book.
The resonant message: thousands came
and an uncountable stayed and made a viable community —
one outlier became mayor, congessman, then senator, 
and almost the president.

[ BA ]

University Press of New England

Thursday, December 6, 2018


TOSH is a memoir of growing up as the son of an enigmatic, much-admired, hermetic, and ruthlessly bohemian artist during the waning years of the Beat Generation and the heyday of hippie counterculture. 
A critical figure in the history of postwar American culture, Tosh Berman's father, Wallace Berman, was known as the "father of assemblage art," and was the creator of the legendary mail-art publication Semina.
TOSH takes an unflinching look at the triumphs and tragedies of his unusual upbringing by an artistic genius with all-too-human frailties, against a backdrop that includes The T.A.M.I. ShowSgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club BandEasy Rider, and more. Includes a preface by actress/writer Amber Tamblyn (daughter of Wallace's friend, actor Russ Tamblyn).
The book also includes dozens of rare and previously unseen photos.