Friday, August 29, 2014


Forever and to be Tom Montag will always mean to me that mover & shaker from Wisconsin (but Iowa boy) who published MARGINS which for many of us through the 70s and 80s was a direct life line to all good and soulful and earth bound in the small press world. Long before the Internet, long before slow poetry, fast poetry, Slams and all the other hullabaloo which I'm sure is beneficial to many but seems like a lot of cheeze wiz to me, Tom was manning, single-handedly, a terrific magazine churned out on newsprint and stuffed page by page with remarkable networking heart. 
I cherish that sort of heart.

Little did many know, at the same time, the guy was writing poetry. A ton of it. Have a look.

Tom Montag
In This Place
Selected Poems 1982-2013
MWPH Books
PO Box 8
Fairwater, WI. 53931

from  In This Place ~

Holding that
of her,

as if
she holds

of me.

After the burial,
one star in the sky.

An eagle dead
along the road.

The sky has fallen.

Flash of orange —
nothing rhymes

with oriole.

Rain in my face.
Someday the ocean.

in the water —

you can't
get it out.

A greasy snow—
you could slide

all the way to hell.

The mud. Cattle
knee-deep in spring.

The swelling
sadness —

evening falls
on these fields.

Not birds but the trees
themselves, singing.

Wind pauses
where once

the tree stood.

The lonely
trees of 

wave to every


There are hundreds of poems in this book and many are couched inside chapter headings that place the reader squarely with the eye of the poet: Wyoming, birds, seasons, travel, right-at-home, a marriage and love. When I came to the poem about the midwest boy having the rain on his face and thinking "someday" the ocean, he had me. The poems can all blow onto the ground and across the earth with the wind and we can find them, one at a time if need be, and all will be fine.