Thursday, February 28, 2019



Crossing America


We hitchhiked America. I

still think of her.

I walk the old streets thinking I

see her, but never.

New buildings have gone up.

The bartenders who poured roses

into our glasses are gone.

We are erased.


Minook, Illinois,

one street out of nowhere through cornstalks.

Winter clutched the cornfields into Chicago.

Cold, we couldn't get in out of the cold.

But a lonely filling station owner risked

letting his death in out of the night.

I lay on his gas station floor and let her

use me for a bed.

I will never forget the cold into

my kidneys or lying awake bearing the

pain while she slept like a two month

old child on the hill of its mother's tit.

It was on the stone floor

that I knew I loved her.


just a portion of this excellent long poem by
Leo Connellan
Crossing America
Penmen Press, 1976

Wednesday, February 27, 2019



The Museum of Modern Art

A labor of love portrait by Deborah Wye
 which spirals around
as only Bourgeois could feel
the intricacies in art & labor
of this astonishing artist —
every man should study this artist
and this book —
Every woman is already born to it

[ BA ]

Tuesday, February 26, 2019


Janine Pommy Vega circa 1969 ~
how a troubadour poet lived

The back of the sheet —
one of Janine's poems and drawings

Janine in Lima, Peru with a dream 
w/ Bill Bathurst, Bob, Susan and Carson Arnold

Janine Pommy Vega
A February birthday

Monday, February 25, 2019


He’s Nearby

                     for Franco

I hear



in bicycle



He said

when he

was old

real old

he would

go live in

Venice and

watch the

pretty women

She said

no the


women with

the best

legs were

not in Venice

or France but

Czech women

He thought

a moment

and said

okay when

I am old

and alone

I will go

live in


I Sent To My Mother

my book of forty years of

love poems and she never

said if she received the book

or not, so I asked —

and she sighed

“Oh yes, I have that

I put it away”

Family Tree

They have come to visit

From a long way off —

The expectations are thrilling 

He is 40

She is 30

Their daughter is 3

By the time they leave

After nearly two weeks

He is miserable

She is middling

And the daughter 

Keeps hugging us

for John


Bob Arnold
Heaven Lake

Longhouse 2018

Sunday, February 24, 2019



Donald Keene
1922 ~ 2019


February Child

she shivers around the corner

where the wind is wild

I went around the corner

And I asked her come with me.

There's a yellow fire at my house

by a green cedar tree.

My wife will dry your shoes

The fire will warm your feet

My daughter will count your toes

And I'll look for your mother

In the wind and the sleet


Edward Dorn
Derelict Air:
From Collected Out 
Enitharmon (U.K.)

Saturday, February 23, 2019




I was birthed restless and elsewhere

gut dragging and bulging with ball lightning, slush,

broke through with branches, steel

I was bitch-monikered, hipped, I hefted

a whip rain, a swirling sheet of grit.

Scraping toward the first of you, hungering for wood, walls,

unturned skin. With shifting and frantic mouth, I loudly loved

the slow bones

of elders, fools, and willows.


Patricia Smith
Blood Dazzler
Coffee House Books

Friday, February 22, 2019


The Stepping Stones

I have my yellow boots on to walk

Across the shires where I hide

Away from my true people and all

I can't put easily into my life.

So you will see I am stepping on

The stones between the runnels getting

Nowhere nowhere. It is almost

Embarrassing to be alive alone.

Take my hand and pull me over from

The last stone on to the moss and

The three celandines. Now my dear

Let us go home across the shires.

The Night City

Unmet at Euston in a dream

Of London under Turner's steam

Misting the iron gantries, I

Found myself running away

From Scotland into the golden city.

I ran down Gray's Inn Road and ran

Till I was under a black bridge

This was me at nineteen

Late at night arriving between

The buildings of the City of London/

And then I (O I have fallen down)

Fell in my dream beside the Bank

of England's wall to bed, me

With my money belt of Northern ice.

I found Eliot and he said yes

And sprang into a Holmes cab.

Boswell passe me in the fog

Going to visit Whistler who

Was with John Donne who had just seen

Paul Potts shouting on Soho Green.

Midnight. I lost the moon

Light chiming on St. Paul's.

The city is empty. Night

Watchmen are drinking their tea.

The Fire had burnt out.

The Plague's pits had closed

And gone into literature.

Between the big buildings

I sat like a flea crouched

In the stopped works of a watch.

[ From the Sleeping Hand ]

Look down from a height on the long

Oystercatching shore of Loch

Long at first light with the tide

Streaming out between the pools

And you will see. Don't breathe

Or frighten me waiting to meet

My dear from the sleeping house coming

Over the shingle with her bare feet.


W.S. Graham 
Selected by Michael Hofmann
New York Review of Books

Thursday, February 21, 2019



May happiness

pursue you

catch you

often, and

should it

lose you,

be waiting

ahead, making

a clearing

for you.


A R Ammons

(from a card nailed up
in my tool room) 

Wednesday, February 20, 2019


Out of the corner

of his eye the

other world, the one

that always seems like

real one, the one

without us

on the hill a

saddle of light.

He dreams he wakes

in his childhood

room, can't find the

light to write this

down, then wakes for

real, finds light and

paper, writes To

place back the stone

of origin

and enter the

world of end-time

pools of


in the


A long way from the Andes

the sound of a wooden flute

rides up the escalator

at Lexington Avenue.

Sudden as birds

two girls' hands

break into conversation

across the car.

Under the snow the meadow

more like a river than the river.

Threadbare hillside, whose colors

go out as clouds gather.

Two crows cross the frozen lake

without a sound.

dusk, Ninth Avenue, face

bathed in a cellphone glow, cowboy

Narcissus, at his tasks


Michael O'Brien
Flood Editions 

Tuesday, February 19, 2019


Summer Time — The Full Moon 
Four Days After July 27th

my mother silently went to heaven       four days ago

and tonight       is the full moon

my mother quietly completed her work

                         the last penance called living

when she breathed in and exhaled       as though reaching

as far back as to the Inca Empire

                                          the thin river of her life

                                                          trembled like a thread

snow     everything is fine

she is     happier than the moon      she does not have to wander about

                                      among the dark clouds

she does not have to       shine serenely

                                   and slowly leave

she has obtained       the permanence

of her existence by not existing       ah

I forgot to say, thank you       because your leaving

this world was      too soon      and too quiet a sigh

what is called permanence is       transient

because it only exists inside me

in this finite inside

infinity       that is a permanence is       now


ah       full moon

                      please shine

on my beloved       my mother

                    please flutter

                like a spring breeze

            quietly over the repose of her soul


                               drops of light


Kazuko Shiraishi
New Directions 2009
translated from the Japanese by
Yumiko Isumura & Samuel Grolmes

Monday, February 18, 2019



No one visited all winter

No one —

Everyone decided

There was too much ice

From the road to the house

We’d see squirrel tracks

Cat tracks

Fox tracks

In the lightest snow

They came

Town Rain

Isn’t it great

When it rains —

Suddenly everyone is running!

Beauty Queen

The old cat

Is deaf —

Purrs louder


come to

them be-

fore it

is too


Problem Solver

I saw the face of god today —

now having lost half my readers because of the

word god, no hard feelings, let’s continue

as I was saying I saw the face of god

in fact his whole body and soul

he was walking towards us in an old Rangers team jacket

cap, shorts, he maybe even had his god beard, I believe he did

the sun returned after five straight days of rain and

no one showed up on the park bench right

outside of the grocer’s

but the two of us

and how good does it get

when god speaks to you

as we rise to leave walking the side-

walk toward this bearded transient 

waving confidently one arm in the air

shouting these very words —

“You guys are the salt of the earth —

(pointing) I hate those other people”

what a



Bob Arnold
Heaven Lake

Longhouse 2018