Monday, November 30, 2015


G A R Y     S N Y D E R


Drills chatter full of mud and compressed air

all across the globe,

        low-ceilinged bars, we hear the same new songs

All the new songs.

In the working bars of the world.

After you done drive Cat.  After the truck
              went home.
              Caribou slip,

              front legs folded first

              under the warm oil pipeline

              set four feet off the ground —

On the wood floor, glass in hand,

                laugh and cuss with

                somebody else's wife.

                Texans. Hawaiians, Eskimos,

                Filipinos, Workers, always

                on the edge of a brawl —

                In the bars of the world.

                Hearing those same new songs

                                    in Abadan,

                 Naples, Galveston, Darwin, Fairbanks,

                 White or brown,

Drinking it down,

the pain

of the work

of wrecking the world. 


G A R Y   S N Y D E R

Born in San Francisco in 1930 and after travels, work and life
around the world, Snyder to this day lives a few hours drive
east of San Francisco in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

Thursday, November 26, 2015


New and available now from Longhouse ~
Janine Pommy Vega
Visions, Tales & Lovesongs

288 pages
perfect bound 
packed with poems and photographs

Janine's full course album of photographs, travel journals, poems, facsimile notebooks of poems, childhood photographs, and family, Beat family, plus her unfinished
memoir of Jerusalem.


Shipping $3.95 ~ U.S. orders with Paypal

Buy now through easy-to-use Paypal, US Orders, $33.95

Please use our email address of

or we can invoice you, with thanks


all orders may be made by Paypal or check
mail order here:

 PO Box 2454
 West Brattleboro


"Generally speaking, of the so-called ‘Beat Generation’, it is the names and creativity of its male protagonists that are most familiar to us, and whose lives and works have been extensively documented, lionised, and mythologised.  But there were also, among this company of free-thinkers-and-livers, women too.  Lovers, wives and partners, surrogate mothers, and sisters, some of whom tried to keep hearth and home in some kind of order midst the turbulence of the wake created by the trajectories of the lives of those they loved. 

   Among the women who were part of, or associated with this group of poets, writers, painters, musicians, street-vagabond-drug addicts, outsiders and hobos, was an angel of the edge.  One who put herself out there where many an angel would have feared to have trod.  Her name was Janine Pommy Vega, who, as a very young woman became close friends with most of the prominent members of this older generation of ‘Beats’, who bedded her, initiated her into drugs, and more importantly tutored her in literature and thought, and a way of life that was a riposte to the stifling and meaningless materialism of the conventional bourgeois lives they were born into.

   Janine, or Janina in Polish, blossomed within this creative coterie, into a fine poet, writer, traveller, lover, sometimes-recluse, and quester for the truth of herself, in the form of love, both in the human realm among her many male muses, and in her search of the embrace of the Absolute or Divine.  The insistence of her ‘chosen’ path, that had actually chosen her, was the need for her to constantly travel to the edge; to put herself at risk; to test every sinew and thought in her enquiry into her own nature through the art of living and the craft of poetry.  In her pursuit of this knowledge, she travelled widely, both terrestrially around North and South America, Europe and Scandinavia, giving readings, writing, teaching, meditating and generally hanging-out; and into those deep hinterlands within her own consciousness.  All the while an enquirer, an observer, experiencing both realms with her intellectual, emotional and spiritual antennae ever-sensitive to the world around her – both the visible and the invisible.  Making home wherever her path took her, “…for home is a far place, and the place at hand.  I carry them with me, my home and my wanderings.”

   Here in this beautiful book – a tribute to Janine – designed and produced with the care and attention of ones who were intimate friends of hers, Bob and Susan Arnold at Longhouse Publishers, we find writings, papers, notebooks and photographs left after her death.  To read the contents and look at the photos, is like peering onto the desk and into the drawers of Janine’s own workspace.  Here is the poet’s temenos, with the evidence of the processes of her thinking, recalling, creating, adjusting and rewriting.   Occasionally with offcuts of her craft left lying about the place, marking her path – her heroic journeying towards catching a glimpse; a reflection; an echo of her true nature.

   Love was her vocation, both in her finite relationships with others, and finally in the infinite embrace of the Other.  Each dwelling within the learned recognition and acceptance of herself.  A beautiful woman poet who experienced that divine affliction – that ‘fine madness’ – the temptation to BE.  As she herself wrote; “…the woman Ferocious in her heart for love/And Poet, blessed with the necessity to go on seeking…”

Malcolm Ritchie
Arran Island, Scotland
author of ~ 
The Crows of Gravity 
( Longhouse 2016 )


Wednesday, November 25, 2015


K E I T H    W I L S O N


When writing of us, state
as your first premise
You will never understand us
otherwise, say that we

cherished war

   over peace and comfort
   over feeding the poor
   over our own health
   over love, even the act of it
   over religion, all of them, except
   perhaps certain forms of Buddhism

that we never failed to pass bills of war through our legislatures,
using the pressures of imminent invasion or disaster (potential)
abroad as absolution for not spending moneys on project which
might make us happy or even save us from clear and evident 
crises at home

Write of us that we spent millions educating the best of our
youth and then slaughtered them capturing some hill or swamp of
no value and bragged for several months about how well they
died following orders that were admittedly stupid, ill-conceived

Explain how the military virtues, best practiced by robots, are
most valued by us. You will never come to understand us unless
you realize, from the first, that we love killing and kill our own
youth, our own great men FIRST. Enemies can be forgiven,
their broken bodies mourned over, but our own are rarely spoken
of except in political speeches when we "honor" the dead and
encourage the living young to follow their example and be glori-
ously dead also

NOTE: Almost all religious training, in all our countries, dedi-
cates itself to preparing the people for war. Catholic, chaplains
rage against "peaceniks," forgetting Christ's title in the Church is
Prince of Peace; Baptists shout of the ungodly and the necessity
of ritual holy wars while preaching of the Ten Commandments
each Sunday; Mohammedans, Shintoists look forward to days of
bloody retribution while Jews march across the sands of Palestine
deserts, Rabbis urging them on. . . .


Will expose our children, our homes to murder and devastation
on the chance that we can murder or devastate FIRST and thus
gain honor. No scientist is respected whose inventions help man-
kind, for its own sake, but only when those discoveries also help
to destroy, or to heal soldiers, that they may destroy other men
and living things

                                                                                   Be aware that
Destiny has caught us up, our choices made subtly over the ages
have spun a web about us: it is unlikely we will escape, having
geared everything in our societies toward war and combat. It is
probably too late for us to survive in anything like our present


If you build us monuments let them all say that, as warning, as a
poison label on a bottle, that you may not ever repeat our follies,
feel our griefs.


K E I T H    W I L S O N

Keith was born in Clovis, New Mexico in 1927 and spent most of his life
in the southwest Rocky Mountains. He began his adult life as a career navy officer
and moved into a world and life of poetry, as a professor at New Mexico State University
and publishing more than twenty volumes of poetry over forty years. The poem above
has been drawn from his masterpiece Graves Registry


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Monday, November 23, 2015



In these days,

When the winds wear no wedding rings,

Everything seems to be going away:

My sweet son filling his sails at a distant college,

My springtime friends on trail to the ultimate West,

And, even in central summer,

I feel the days shortening,

The stealthy lengthening of the night.

And so, in the imperial extension of the dark,

Against which, all my life, I opposed my body,

I long to pass from this anguish of passings

Into the calm of an indifferent joy . . . 

To enter October's frail canoe and drift down

Down with the bright leaves among the raucous wildfowl

On the narrowing autumn rivers where, in those longer nights,

Secretly, in the shallows or on reedy shorelines,

Ice is already forming.

T H O M A S    M C G R A TH
drawn from William Kitteridge's Western Anthology, a beauty

Thomas McGrath was born in 1916. He was workingclass,
a poet of the Western vernacular and landscape, a college
professor, a novelist, a political activist, an activist. In the last
years of his life he wrote some of his finest poetry ever. In this
present age skittish of socialists, McGrath was a co-founder long ago of the Ramshackle Socialist Victory Party. They sugarcoated nothing.

Friday, November 20, 2015


 Gala & René Char

 TO M.H.

                                          11 September, 1966


Back and forth goes Autumn, swifter than the gardener's rake.

Autumn does not overwhelm the heart, which needs the

branch and the branch's shadow.

translated by Mark Hutchinson


Seagull Books, 2015 

Monday, November 16, 2015


R O B I N S O N    J E F F E R S    S T O N E     W O R K I N G

T O R   H O U S E   1930s

Eagle Valor, Chicken Mind

Unhappy country, what wings you have! Even here,

Nothing important to protect, and ocean-far from the nearest

   enemy, what a cloud

Of bombers amazes the coast mountain, what a hornet-swarm

   of fighters,

And day and night the guns practicing.

Unhappy, eagle wings and beak, chicken brain.

Weep (it is frequent in human affairs), weep for the terrible

    magnificence of the means,

The ridiculous incompetence of the reasons, the bloody and

Pathos of the result.

R O B I N S O N    J E F F E R S

Although born in Pittsburgh on January 10, 1887, Robinson Jeffers was really born, raised, lived, worked, died and endured on his rocky Pacific coast sanctuary of Carmel, California. You can go there today and still feel his poetry. Go find his books. Yes, make a bookstore order them.

J A I M E   D E   A N G U L O

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Saturday, November 14, 2015




Beauty's Nest

              GRAND CANYON: 1951

Beauty's nest
renders the body
mute. An elegance
so inconceivable,
it's violent. Extreme. It hurts
the heart to see
something so vast and deep
can also be made of dirt.

And if it can be
of the earth, the body
ponders, might
such a landscape
exist also within me?

The four of you stand
silent, uniformed on its rim,
while the imagination tries
to conceive all the things
it is still too dark
to see.

You jump back
into your wide tan Ford
and begin to drive
again — again — past
all the motels, and their signs,
which, were it not just
after midnight, you know —
and could see — say

Red All Over

The politics of frogs
The musth of butterflies
Elegies of cotton
The whiteness of flies
Interruptions by snails
A lie's guarantee
The hope of succotash
A chorus of hominy
Permission of the persimmon
Observations by the spine
The pincushion's reassurance
The propaganda of a line
Cackling from the Bible
Orations by the dog
The mirror's steady rifle
The fig tree's scarlet log
Ands and their derision
Lending library in the eyes
Patois' agnosticism
The tongue's chain mail of whys?
Lady calling from the ocean
Invisible Man on the moon
Lindy-Hopping dead upon
The ceiling in the living room
Girl asleep in the avocado
The minstrelsy of the floor
Bickering Birds-of-Paradise
Picketing the fickle front door

Dog Talk 

We-be   bo-broke   e-bev-ry-by


O-bour    mo-bouths    bo-broke    the-bem

a-band    o-bo-pe-bened    the-bem

fo-bor    ai-bair    o-bor    wa-ba-ter-ber

o-bor    see-beed    o-bor    foo-bood.

A-banse-se-bers,    que-bues-tio-bens,

na-bames,    se-be-cre-bets.    We-be

be-bent    E-ben-gli-bish,

em-bem-bra-baced    i-bit

the-ben    e-be-ra-based    i-bit

a-bat    the-be    sa-bame    ti-bime.


R O B I N    C O S T E    L E W I S 
Voyage of the Sable Venus
Knopf 2015


Friday, November 13, 2015

Wednesday, November 11, 2015



We have many shadows. I was on my way home

one September night when Y

climbed out of his grave after forty years

and kept me company.

At first he was completely blank, just a name

but his thoughts swam

faster than time ran

and caught up to us.

I put his eyes into my eyes

and saw the war's sea.

The last boat he commanded

rose up from under us.

Ahead and behind the Atlantic convoy crept,

those who would survive

and those who'd been given The Mark

(invisible to all).

While the sleepless hours relieved each other

but never him —

the life vest snug under his oilskin coat.

He never came home.

It was internal crying that bled him to death

in a Cardiff hospital.

He finally got to lie down

and turn into the horizon.

Farewell eleven-knot convoys! Farewell 1940!

Here's where world history ends.

Bombers hung in the air.

Heather bloomed in the moors.

A photo from early in the century shows a beach.

Six well-dressed boys standing there.

They have sailboats in their arms.

What serious expressions!

The boats that became life and death for some of them.

And to write about the dead

is also a game, made heavy

by what is yet to come.


T O M A S    T R A N S T R O M E R
translated by Patty Crane
Bright Scythe
Sarabande Books 2015

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


U N I V E R S I T Y  O F  M A S S A C H U S E T T S  P R E S S

the beat goes on. . . 

Monday, November 9, 2015


The Last Night Bus

The last night bus echoes away

into the depth

of the night's

spinal cord.

Stars shiver

unless they explode.

There are no other civilizations.

Only the gentle

galactic fear

based on methane.

Teaching About Arthropods

The male mite Adactylidium

hatches in his mother's body,

gobbles her up from the inside,

while mating

with all his seven

little sisters.

So, when he's born,

it's as if he were dead:

he's been through it all

and he's freelance,

in the bull's-eye,

in the focus

of extracurricular existence:

an absolute poet,




Distant Howling

In Alsace,

on July 6, 1885,

a rabid dog knocked Joseph Meister down

and bit him fourteen times.

Meister was the first patient

saved by Pasteur's

vaccine, in thirteen

gradually increased doses

of weakened virus.

Pasteur died of ictus

ten years later.

Fifty years later

the watchman Meister

committed suicide

when the Germans

occupied Pasteur's institute

including the poor dogs.

Only the virus

never got involved.

When the Bees Grew Silent

An old man

suddenly died

alone in his garden

under an elderberry bush.

He lay there until dark

when the bees

grew silent.

It was a beautiful death, wasn't it,

Doctor, says

the woman in black

who comes to the garden

as always

every Sunday,

and in her bag brings

lunch for two.

The Dead

After the third operation, his heart

pierced like an old carnival target,

he woke in his bed and said:

Now I'll be fine,

like a sunflower. And have you ever

seen horses make love?

He died that night.

And another one plodded on for eight


like a long-haired water plant

in a sour creek,

as if he stuck his pale face out

on a skewer from behind

the graveyard wall.

Finally the face disappeared.

In both cases the angel of death

stamped his hobnailed boot

on their medulla oblongata.

I know they died the same death.

But I don't believe they're dead

in the same way.


Interferon, or On Theater
translated from the Czech by
David Young and Dana Habova
Field, 1982