Sunday, February 23, 2020

Saturday, February 22, 2020


Seagull Books 2018
translated from the French by
Chris Turner

Friday, February 21, 2020


Alternate Take

                  for Levon Helm

I’ve been beating my head all day long on the same six lines,
Snapped off and whittled to nothing like the nub of a pencil
Chewed up and smoothed over, yellow paint flecking my teeth.

And this whole time a hot wind’s been swatting down my door,
Spat from his mouth and landing smack against my ear.
All day pounding the devil out of six lines and coming up dry,

While he drives donuts through my mind’s back woods with that
Dirt-road voice of his, kicking up gravel like a runaway Buick.
He asks Should I come in with that back beat, and whatever those

Six lines were bothered by skitters off like water in hot grease.
Come in with your lips stretched tight and that pig-eyed grin,
Bass mallet socking it to the drum. Lay it down like you know

You know how, shoulders hiked nice and high, chin tipped back,
So the song has to climb its way out like a man from a mine.

Tracy K. Smith
Life On Mars
Graywolf 2011

Thursday, February 20, 2020


Awakening in 5 Irish Towns

                                                                             "Appalled: I see

                                                           the true shape of my hand"

                                                                            — Robert Sund


This morning, like other mornings,

one hand tucked into the other,

I watch tap water fill

the bowl they form,

but on its way to wash my eyes,

lifelines in the palm

foretell my heart's climate

and I spill cold water

in a puddle at my foot,

the bowl of fingers as gone

as all that was real when I dreamed.


GO    FIND    THE    POET    IN    4    OTHER    IRISH    TOWNS

Michael Daly
Awakening in 5 Irish Towns
Empty Bowl

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Monday, February 17, 2020

YOKEL ( 19 ) ~

Old Town

When proudly announced at town meeting

Cable television was coming to the area

In the front row one old native raised an arm

Asking,  Does that mean I have to get a TV?


Some animal pawed

A stone out under the

Chicken hut last night —

The animal in me puts it back


Cityboy liked to remind me once or twice

When we were standing out in the road

Talking how he’d like to give it to someone’s

Wife, you know, up the rear end. It was

Funny though because the second time

He told me this she drove by and Cityboy

Just about turned white but still gave me 

A little wink. A sick fuck. It only dawned on

Me later how much younger and how similar

At a glance the woman looked like Cityboy’s 

Wife who he liked to solo away from on the week

Ends and rough it at his country retreat that

I was hired to caretake and carpenter and

Woods clear and over the long winters to

Shovel his long driveway mainly for the gas

Deliveries and his nice car. Of course he was

Forever late on ever paying. I was young and

Stupid then, often worked far too long for these 

Nonsense wages and it would be more than

Once where you could catch me hand shoveling
In a snowstorm way past midnight with dear

Sweetheart helping and both of us working

Under the headlights of our VW all so the 

Place would be ready for Cityboy’s arrival. 

You do what you have to do.

So after fifteen years of this and watching this

Joker at work — with pipe and book in town

Thinking he is Hemingway in A Moveable Feast,

Eating at one of the popular cafes where hippie

Girls once smiled at everyone — I walked away.

But first I told him everything

I’m telling you here.

Work Truck

You’ll never get into a clean one —

Even after the weekend or a

Vacation or a holiday the truck

Remains the same — your feet

Rest on top of a big toolbox or

Tools slide out from under

The seat or off the dash or what

Is usually the case —

There’s no room at all

For passengers

Bob Arnold

Sunday, February 16, 2020





Academy Award-winning filmmaker and political provocateur Michael Moore offers his subversive and humorous take on the issues of the day and talks to a wide range of people from comedians and politicians to the people who’ve tried to kill him. Plus various mischief with Mike’s friends, family and the neighbors who don’t work for the NSA.

Saturday, February 15, 2020


At the Golden Gate

      At the Golden Gate

    A single plover far at sea

                             wings across the horizon

  A single rower almost out of sight

                                                 rows his skull into eternity

And I take a buddha crystal in my hand

                               And begin becoming pure light


Lawrence Ferlinghetti
San Francisco Poems
San Francisco Poet Laureate, Series No. 1
City Lights Books

Friday, February 14, 2020




N O N (E)

And then there was none. Imagine that, none. Non. No “e.”

No both Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. No Little Big Horn, grassy as it is. No Canyon De Chelly. No Valley of the Gods (Sweetheart and I once spent a day driving through it all), no big mitts, no Salt Flats, no Grand Canyon even, or ravens, or donkey, or burro, no trails. No Big Sur, no Jeffers, no Six Gallery, no Lew Welch, no Henry Miller, no Partington Ridge, no sea lions, no Lenny Bruce, no Walt Disney, no Mel Brooks. No Ferlinghetti! No Brautigan dead like your Redneck next door neighbor friend. No Eric Hoffer. No Jack London. No MFK Fisher. No Nob Hill, no Salish handmade homes, no Kesey, no Babbs, no Bill Russell. No Kobe. No Ivar’s Clam Bar. No Empire Builder. No Minott North Dakota snow. No Wisconsin Dells, no Chicago, no Sandburg, no Koller, no Dorn, no Hemingway, no Algren. Non. No Sherwood Anderson, no Lafcadio Hearn, no Gypsy Rose Lee. No OJ, no Jim Brown, no Johnny Unitas. No Mickey Mantle, Koufax, Mays. No Highway 61. No Jessica Lange photographs, no Flannery O’ Conner in the same town as Blind Willie McTell. No Muddy Waters. No Howlin Wolf, no Harry Partch, no US Highballin’, no John Cage, no you. No Skip James, no Death Letter, no Edward Abbey, Muir, Thoreau, Snyder, Beltrametti visiting, no knock at the door. No John Kerouac, no Jack Kerouac, no Visions of Cody, no Sal, no Dean, no James Dean. No Woody, no Arlo, no Cisco. No Dorothy Day, no Garbo, no Janine Pommy Vega. No border music. No border. No free range. No rocky coast, no Khatadin, no Baxter, no Moosehead Lake, no Gulf of Maine. No Smokeys. No Pullman. No E.B. White. No Nearings. No Woods Hole Alchemists. No Port Huron Statement. No Billie Holiday. No Monk. No Bird. No Coltrane. No Lester Bowie. No Huey Newton. No Fred Hampton. No Eric Dolphy. No Red Pine. No White Pine. No Route 66, no Peach Springs, no railroad, no box car, no lumber, no Chinese, no Sierra tunnels, no zoom zoom. No tap dance, no Fred Astaire, no Bojangles, no Jerry Jeff. No Dylan, no Zimmerman, no Blind Boy Grunt. No Pistol Pete, no Pike’s Peak, no driftin’ the night away. No Drifters. No rowboat, no sails, no Golden Gate Bridge. No Peckinpah, no Half Moon Bay, no ridin’ the high country. No Ishi. No Jaime. No Geronimo. No Hit the road, Jack. No Nat King Cole. No Easy Rider. No Last House on the Left. No David Goodis. No used books, no good books, no books. No trombone. No Pete Maravich. No Dr. J. No sky hook. No Blonde on Blonde. No Bardot. No Marilyn Monroe. No Tiny Tim. No cat, no dog, no bird. No wind chimes. No arroyo. No coyote. No dirt road. No back road caller. No habitat. No ink. No this land. No my land. No Woody.

Sunday morning, early, writ out of my brains to Peter in Maine, and no nothing left. Just a Rat and his serfs. Too bad you only had the old radio to listen to his drizzle the day after the impeachment came through, because everything about this Rat is seeing him in body action and expression, radio doesn’t cut it. House member Zoe sounds almost sexy and wanting by radio with her testimony after testimony during the impeachment trial; Sweetheart and I listened to her as we drove a great back road we like, all snow, in the furthest northwest corner of Massachusetts, around the only town that voted for this Rat in all of the Berkshire hills region and what is surrounding them is the most beautiful rural part of the colonial Massachusetts, where Mohawk once roamed, and on TV heavy set Zoe’s words are half lost in her body delivery of shuffle and shove. Her lean down to the microphone on radio sounds like a nuzzle to the ear, by TV she is never getting comfortable. To see this Rat in full action, nose dried out by terrible meds, face swollen and meaty and bleached around the eyes, the same terrible shit blue suit, long red hang-me tie, hair combed all from the back like James Dickey and Hemingway all did it, to hide the baldness, the baldness, the baldness. And every ugly human species that decorates Washington DC is in the big room with him, fuhrer style gathering, all on tenderhooks, all awaiting, and they actually give this cretin from Manhattan (sold beads so he had a place to exist) a corny but to them all real and regale “Hail to the Chief” proclamation horn playing straight out of a Key & Peele skit where they played Obama for fun and exactness (Jordan Peele who would go on to make two classics for cinema: Get Out and Us) and the warped music tone plays precisely all over this big empty blue suit delivery and this one who gave us the None. The Non. Is about to deliver everything he is up to next, and if you’ve been paying close attention — none of it will be a surprise — 'if you love me, I love you / but if you hate me, I hate you, and I will come and get you.' And somehow I have all the power in my empty hateful-eight head, straight out of the Chauncey Gardner school where like Chauncey I learned everything from TV, so one best watch TV to know where I’m coming from. It doesn’t do any good to just make fun of me, ignore me, think this big bag of suit I am is simply going to blow away, and take Teddy Bear Billy Barr with me, Rudy-Judy, Pom Pom Pompeo, Mick the Dummy, and Snow White Mike Pence. Uh Uh, ain’t happening. I own all three government branches, you should have been paying attention. I stole one election and if you think I’m going to be bothered to take the time and effort to steal the next election, you’re crazy. I’m simply calling off the next election for government safety. I’m enacting martial law. Executive Action. For the good of the country. And all the while I’m erasing the entire Democratic Party. I did it with the impeachment. By 2021 there will be no impeachment. Oh there will be for Billy Clinton, but not me. I’m having the House of Reps erase my impeachment when they take over the House, and if they don’t take it over, they’ll manage anyway. The only street fighters in the Democratic Party are the Bernie people and they’re all Communists. Did you hear me, Communists! You better believe it. So I’m having a great time watching the Democrats fall over themselves debate after debate, really sweatin’ it up, man against girl, girl against girl, black against white, rich against normal, gay against straight, dummy against smartie, media against debaters, media against media, mogul against mogul, mogul against all, and me, big bag of blue suit bullshit steering it all.



First published on Valentine’s Day 2020 at Longhouse, and digitally at ~ Dispatches from the Poetry Wars
kudos to Kent Johnson & Mike Boughn

Thursday, February 13, 2020


“Inspirational!  It makes me want to design another line of jewelry!”
—Ivanka Trump

“There’s a word for this kind of thing, and it ain’t poetry.”
—Mike Pence

“This book does to the written word what that iceberg did to the Titanic.”
—Sarah Huckabee Sanders

“What we need is a literary revolution.  Will AGITPORP help bring it about?  I have no idea.”
—Bernie Sanders

“My lawyers have already been given stilettoes.”
—Kellyanne Conway

“Every single word in this book can be found in Wikipedia!”
—Kanye West

“Is this what has become done to our beloved American alphabet?”
—Sarah Palin

“I’m pleased to say that I’ve never met John Bradley.  Nor would I ever want to.”
—Noam Chomsky

“Keep this away man from your children.  And the family dog.  And your pet rattlesnake.”
—Harvey Weinstein

“Satire is the rudest form of flattery.”
—Hope Hicks

“John Bradley has written another book.  Shelter in place.”
—Gina Haspel

“It’s true—this book could have prevented the Civil War.  And could start the next one.”
—Andrew Jackson

Dispatches Editions

Wednesday, February 12, 2020


Our once a week visit to town, and of course
the post office, brought up this neat little
booklet of translations by Walter Franceschi,
untitled and double-stapled and thoroughly
modest the way the best poetry comes,
and all poems by an old friend to Longhouse ~
Franco Beltrametti
Franco visited us a few times with our mutual
friend Jim Koller and both would 
bring stories and poems and art 
work to us from the open road


why don't you write longer epics

Lawrence Ferlinghetti once asked me

I had some broken ribs and a girl friend

took a nice picture of us

we were in Big Sur it was at the end of January

on the beach we found a wooden woman

shoe mold and I said there are many

strange objects drifting in the world

and Lawrence said this can be

the opening of a long epic and what do you know

years later somebody would take a picture of us

in Amsterdam near a bicycle painted like a zebra


Franco Beltrametti
from Tutto Questo
translated by Walter Franceschi

Tuesday, February 11, 2020


Miami University Press, 2014

Reviews & Such

Sahar Muradi's review of Hafez appeared in the October/November 2014 issue of the Poetry Project Newsletter.
In awarding Geoffrey Squires' Hafez the 2014 Lois Roth Persian Translation Prize judges for The American Institute of Iranian Studies write:
Since Sir William Jones first made the attempt to set in English the “orient pearls at random strung” of Hafez, the most canonical of Persian lyric poets, dozens of translators have attempted English translations and versions of Hafez, but few have succeeded. Squires’ Hafez captures the energy and depth of this fourteenth-century poet in contemporary English without archaisms or predetermined interpretation. It displays a supple and at times even exhilarating handling of language and form. The integration of annotations and commentary provide the uninitiated reader with the right balance of background information and a personal, lyrical encounter with the raw poem. Squires’ intimate familiarity with the poems, and the clarity and crispness of the diction he employs, almost makes Hafez a contemporary writer, but without obscuring from today’s reader the chronological and cultural difference, and the unique qualities of the fixed-form ghazal he practiced.
CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries published a review by W. L. Hanaway in their September 2014 issue: "Translating Hafez is difficult for anyone ... Squires, a poet himself, has approached the problem in a new and refreshing way ... he breaks up the text of many of his translations into smaller units. By doing this he is able to use skillful arrangements of lines and phrases, emphasizing, for instance, examples of assonance and internal rhyme to emphasize his points."
Pierre Joris writes on his blog: "the best Hafez by far I have come across, with an excellent & most useful apparatus."
NewPages posted a review of Hafez: Translations and Interpretations of the Ghazals in September 2014.
Geoffrey Squires’ translations of Hafez are not only beautiful (and they are) but innovate a new approach to the translation and presentation of poets from the distant and exotic past.  In finding fresh means to show Hafez in context, Squires composes a work both faithful to Hafez and with a narrative power that opens a true dialogue between present and past.  His Hafez in that sense sets a new standard for our time and for years to come.
Jerome Rothenberg
In their careful, musical, painterly pointing of difference in similarity, stress inside equanimity and singularity breaking the continuum, Geoff Squires' Hafez translations weave a shimmering, moiré fabric from the old and the new, the strange and the deceptively familiar. Squires is the best of hosts, too, offering small, genial and always useful interventions, tiny palate-cleansers of data or abstract form, which arrive before you knew you needed them. If Paul Blackburn had improvised a verbal riff on Astrophil and Stella, and Brian Coffey had written it down, they might have come close to, but would never equal, the marvelous sensual minimalism of Hafez and Squires.
Peter Manson
Geoffrey Squires is a poet of note. What strikes me is his capacity to put into words what is fluid or elusive, writing characterized by the innerness of its language. This explains why he has an affinity with Hafez. His long absorption in the world of Iran has led him to the masterpieces of its literature. Analyzing Hafez in the light of his predecessors such as ‘Ayn al Qozat, he explores among other themes the mystic gulf between belief and faith. A richly mature work, this translation brings a new lustre to the jewel that is Hafez.
Charles-Henri de Fouchécour

About the Author and Translator:

The poet Hafez was born around 1315/17 and died in 1389/90, towards the end of what is often seen as the golden age of Persian poetry. He lived almost all his life in the southern city of Shiraz where he was involved in the court circles of various rulers and played an important role in the vibrant literary and spiritual life of the times. His poetry is collected in his Divan, which contains nearly 500 ghazals and some other verse. Little is known about his personal circumstances. His reputation was established in his own time and has continued to grow ever since, to the point where Iranians and many others regard him as one of that nation’s greatest poets.
Photo of Geoffrey Squires
Geoffrey Squires (b.1942) is an Irish poet who after living and working in various countries is now retired and lives in England. His work has been collected in Untitled and other Poems (2004) and Abstract Lyrics and other Poems (2013), both published by Wild Honey Press, Bray, Ireland. A translation of one book, Sans Titre, was published by Editions Unes, Nice, France in 2013. He is also a translator of medieval Irish poetry.