Right out of the blue Ronald Baatz every now and then sends to me his latest collection of poems.
Right out of the blue I usually sit right down with the collection and read the poems. Every last drop.
RB and I have never met. I know where he lives. I haven't been to Troy New York in thirty years.
I read his poems and almost never have a pencil free at hand so I stop and go get a pencil, then I
begin to read again. As I read I check a poem here and there and some I also don't check I also like.
I'm sharing the ones I recently checked. I think I'll write to RB and ask if we might take the checked-poems and make a foldout booklet to share. Yes, this is what we've done. The above image is the booklet of Ronald's poems — but what the hey — we'll share it all with you here. ______________________
moving along on the highway, two-lane, lots of bends, hill country
searching for the lost utopia in a one guy and his pickup truck
and we haven't seen a book quite like this one in adventurous spirit
since Blue Highways
but like I say, we are digging into the worm of the apple here —
utopian communities that at one time were speaking to this same
violent america as a possibility of
peace on earth —
indeed, bury it swiftly!
so the book is moving
allow it more space, wider margins,
a more relaxed and less jammed typography —
is the book world really going out as cheapskates? If there is anyone in the younger generation learned from the likes of Wendell Berry, Guy Davenport, Wes Jackson I believe Eric Reece may be the one.
[Yet] "the Shakers lasted one hundred years at Pleasant Hill; the perfectionists turned a completely successful experiment in socialism into a wildly successful joint-stock company; Modern Times gave up equitable commerce only after proving that it worked. To say that these communities no longer exist — and as Twin Oaks proves, many of them still do exist — is not the same things as saying that they failed. The angel of history may yet salvage their blueprints from the detritus of the past. Because, after all, we still need these ideas so badly. In fact, we need them now more than ever before. During my utopian summer, the western ice sheet of Antarctica began breaking off into the ocean, which will cause sea levels to rise far more than scientists had predicted. Back in my hemisphere, the American Congress passed fifteen bills into law — total. Five percent of Americans continue to control 85 percent of this country's wealth, and since 1980, the wealthiest Americans have seen their incomes quadruple, while those of the poor and middle class have flatlined. The more this inequality grows, the sicker and more punitive our country becomes. The epidemiologists Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett have recently shown that every single societal problem, with no exception, can be tied directly to income inequality. As a result, the United States has higher levels of mental illness, infant immortality, divorce, obesity, violence, incarceration, and substance abuse than all the other countries north of the equator. "In more unequal societies," they wrote, "people are five times as likely to be imprisoned, six times as likely to be clinically obese, and murder rates may be many times higher." Consider these two statistics: the United States makes up5 percent of the world's population, but we consume 25 percent of its resources and we incarcerate 25 percent of its population. I don't believe those numbers are a coincidence Almost all the wealth from extracting those resources, those fossil fuels, goes to the very richest, and the very poorest end up in jail because either they can't get by or they find illicit ways to get by or simply cope. Money that might go into education or even food stamps goes instead into the penal system. Money that might fund badly needed American infrastructure instead funds 761 military bases all over the world. Money that might be loaned by a community bank is paced as a Wall Street bet that a bond will default. Money that might reward real work circulates instead inside the same echo chamber of less and less tangible securities. Wealth becomes less accessible to most Americans, while the wealthy themselves use their power to ensure that politicians do their bidding, mostly in the form of lowering their tax rates and deregulating the industries they control. Large corporations shell out $6 billion annually to employ thirty-five thousand D.C. lobbyists to protect their wealth. Such game rigging has bred cynicism and pessimism among the body politic, and as a result, we have the lowest voter turnout on the world's forty industrial democracies. The more we retreat from, or are pushed from, the public sphere of influence, the more we lose trust in our public institutions and in one another According to the National Opinion Research Center, levels of trust in the United States have fallen from 60 percent in 1960 less than 40 percent in 2004. Into that vacuum, the imperious One Percent pours more money and accrues more power. That decline in trust has paralleled a widening income gap in the United States — currently the largest of any country in the Northern Hemisphere and the largest in this country's history, according to the 2009 census. When trust weakens and economic inequality widens, an epidemic of social maladies follows What it all adds up to, said the Supreme Court justice Louis Brandeis, is this: "We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of the few, but we can't have both."
"We obviously have the latter in this country, and I've come to believe that things will only get worse if we don't engage in some serious utopian thinking. Fighting for something like campaign finance reform is laudable, but that isn't what I consider utopian thinking because it is an effort to fix a plutocratic system that doesn't deserve to be salvaged. It isn't enough. Utopian thinking by contrast and by definition, works outside the system, in a bottom-up fashion, to create a new paradigm and thus create a true form of democracy that is worthy of its name. In my view, such thinking must begin by addressing this country's most intractable problems, namely, our gross disparity in wealth and a fossil fuel-based economy that is completely unsustainable in the face of climate change, resource depletion, and the degradation of our ecosystems."
(typed with book open on my knees from pages 327-329, if you, reader, are following along)
A poem (or more) will be offered by the hour or with the day and at the very least once a week. So stay on your webbed toes. The aim is to share good hearty-to-eat poetry. This is a birdhouse size file from the larger Longhouse which has been publishing from backwoods Vermont since 1971 books, hundreds of foldout booklets, postcards, sheafs, CD, landscape art, street readings, web publication, and notes left for the milkman. Established by Bob & Susan Arnold for your pleasure. The poems, essays, films & photographs on this site are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without the author's go-ahead.
New from Bob Arnold ~ "Faraway Like The Deer's Eye" ~ Bob Arnold Faraway Like the Deer’s Eye — A Saga — FOUR BOOKS IN ONE VOLUME ~ A Poet’s Memoir // 50 Years of Longhouse & Poets // A Builder’s Life, with photo assembly // The Selected Poems of Bob Arnold // An afterword by Andrew Schelling
Longhouse Bibliography Quick Link —
Link to the Birdhouse Bibliography
Read about Longhouse (a press edited by Bob Arnold) ~
Available from Longhouse. Please link on the image for ordering information. Drawing from years of poetry and also new poems, The Woodcutter Talks is Bob Arnold at his finest branching love poems with back country work poems and settlement with community, family and individual portraits. The extensive collection also showcases vintage photographs from woodcutters and woodchoppers and big-saw-pullers of old. Sweat runs down the cheeks of the mere literary and they adore one another.
Stone Hut by Bob Arnold
"Once again, my friends, this is your best book! Exquisite in design, fat enough to be a feast, pretty enough to just wade around in, but deep enough to dive into and stay with, all I can say is WOW, you guys really did it – it’s the first of its kind, a scrapbook novel that is also a how-to and a mystery -- how did he do it, and how does he make rocks balance like Thor? — Gerald Hausman" ~
Museum, An Unlikely Meditation, written by the poet Bob Arnold, is as much an unlikely novel. Visit this page for details.
Cid Corman's Of, Volumes 4 & 5 from Longhouse.
ANNOUNCING. The final volumes to Corman's opus in one book ~ of, volumes 4 & by Cid Corman. 1500 poems, 850 pages edited by Bob Arnold, now available in a limited edition from Longhouse, 2015. Please link on the cover image for details & Paypal payment information ~
'Fully a book ~
An interview with Bob Arnold on Cid Corman’s ‘of’
Janina by Janine Pommy Vega
New and available now from Longhouse ~ Janine Pommy Vega Janina 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.
Walking Woman with the Tambourine is the final book of poems by Janine Pommy Vega.
"Walking Woman with the Tambourine is the final book of poems by Janine Pommy Vega. The author completed the manuscript and left it as she wished with her executor Bob Arnold … New and available now from Longhouse ~ Poetry. 144 pages. Perfect bound softcover. Please link on the image for ordering information
New! James Koller : Selected Poems 2003-2004-2005
James Koller — Selected Poems 2003-2004-2005 Longhouse 2016, 72 pages, perfect bound. Please link on the cover image for details & Paypal payment information PLUS more from Longhouse
OPENINGS by JAMES KOLLER
Selected poems 1959 ~ 1985 edited by Bob Arnold. New and available now from Longhouse ~ 72 pages . Perfect bound softcover. Please link on the cover image for details & Paypal payment information PLUS more from Longhouse
Lorine Niedecker's A Cooking Book
A Cooking Book Lorine Niedecker Longhouse 2015 72 pages, perfect bound. Please link on the image to purchase this new title from Longhouse.
Kent Johnson's "I Once Met"
Available once again now in 2022! $25 plus shippingVisit the Birdhouse for Kent's book information :
JD Whitney's Selected Poems
J.D. Whitney ~Sweeping the Broom Shorter Selected Poems 1964-2014 from ~ Longhouse 2014. 192 pages. Please link on the cover image for details & Paypal payment information PLUS more from Longhouse
New! from Longhouse ~ Island Dreams by Gerald Hausman Please link for details & Paypal payment
ISLAND DREAMS by GERALD HAUSMAN Selected Poems 1968 ~ 2015 chosen & edited by Bob Arnold New and available now from Longhouse ~ 160 pages Perfect bound softcover. Please link on the cover image for details & Paypal payment information PLUS more from Longhouse
John Bradley's "And Thereby Everything"
L O N G H O U S E is very proud to announce a new book by John Bradley in their on going series of S C O U T book publications — other titles from the series have been by Kent Johnson, Janine Pommy Vega, James Koller, Bob Arnold and Lorine Niedecker with more in the works. An opening salvo at the front of the book by Patrick Lawler should provide ample cover for what the reader should come to expect. And Thereby Everything John Bradley Longhouse 2015 First edition only issued in softcover 208 pages, perfect bound illustrated throughout by Bob Arnold with 150 photographs
Dudley Laufman : Bull & More Bull
Visit this page for information on this new Longhouse by Dudley Kaufman (2016)
Dudley Laufman's Islandian Poems
The Islandian Poems & Fables Dudley Laufman Longhouse 2015. 72 pages, perfect bound. Please link on the image to purchase this new title from Longhouse.
MIRZA ABD AL-QADER BIDEL / ROBIN MAGOWAN ~
New from Longhouse. Please click on the image
New from Longouse ~ Robin Magowan
New from Longhouse. Robin Magowan. The Garden of Amazement, Scattered Gems After Sâeb. large softcover glossy bound with an introduction by the translator, 112 pages
Duo by Bob Arnold — New from Longhouse Please link to A Longhouse Birdhouse for more information
DUO Bird Poems by BOB ARNOLD. New and available now from Longhouse ~ 92 pages. Perfect bound softcover. Please link on the cover image for details & Paypal payment information PLUS more from Longhouse
Start With The Tree by Bob Arnold
New in 2015. Building a marriage, building a family, building a small barn out in the woodlands together as a family, as a marriage, and seeing the roof go on. Over 150 color photographs
Beautiful Days by Bob Arnold
Beautiful Days ~ new poems of living and working in the Vermont woodlands and to Hurricane Irene
Yokel by Bob Arnold
[from "Yokel, A Long Green Mountain Poem" by Bob Arnold] ~ that and more at Bob Arnold webpage of books & poems: Please link on this image for more
Go West by Bob Arnold
Filled with poems and travel photography — shares one cross-country trip the couple took in the mid-1980s to California from Vermont.
"I'm In Love With You Who Is In Love With Me" by Bob Arnold
from Bob Arnold's new book "I'm In Love With You Who Is In Love With Me" ~~~~~~~40 years of love poems
"Rain Bear" by Bob Arnold
Bob Arnold's first children's book "Rain Bear" New and available now from Longhouse ~ 50 pages. Perfect bound softcover with photographs ~ & drawings by Jason Clark
"Heretic" by John Phillips from Longhouse
New from Longhouse ~ John Phillips "Heretic". Poems with collages by the author. Click on the image for more ~
Kim Dorman — "Owner"
"Owner" by Kim Dorman. Including photographs by Kim Dorman. Selected and edited by Bob Arnold. New and available now from Longhouse 2016 ~ 80 pages. Perfect bound softcover