Thursday, October 31, 2019

LONG DREAMS ~







She climbed Everest nine times

and set a world record – so why doesn’t she have sponsors?





C L I M B

photograph ~
Kayana Szymczak/The Guardian





LAURA VAN DEN BERG ~









Monday, October 28, 2019

YOKEL ( 3 ) ~







Earrings





He’d plow snow

All his life and

First with his

Father lights

Whipping the

Woods recall

From a heated

Cab tonight

Coffee thermos

Between the legs

And his own

Two boys riding

Along no matter

How late but damn

Things are getting

Strange how he’d

Never seen a woman

So pretty on this

Back road nor with

Four earrings in

Each ear and her

Friend had one

Stuck through

Her nose






Poet





Poet came to visit us from Arizona —

Not a country boy but with poet causes. 

He stood right up in the Howard 

Johnson’s next to our table and

Where his bus had come in and

Did a little routine that still

Makes me laugh. 

Back home in our woods 

Where he stayed a week

Poet wanted me to show 

Him how to split wood,

And then in the evening

Walking the flickering

Darkness of fireflies he

Asked, what were those?





Stars





Bigger as the night got later.

Nearing winter.

I’d walk out last thing of the day.

Bring in two armloads of stovewood.

For the next morning.

That’s when I heard the gunshots.

Unreal. In the middle of nowhere.

Louder than anything I’ve heard for weeks.

Native knew I could hear him jacking deer.

No one else in the world was down here.

One of those things we never talked about.





Occupied






Early morning

Walk into

The woodlot

Where birds sing



Soon enough

Our voices and

Sound of bow saws

Where birds sing



Where birds sing

We stop work and

Listen awhile

Until we sing




_______________
Bob Arnold
Yokel
Longhouse
2011










Sunday, October 27, 2019

CRAWFORD, SAVOY, SUGAR ~












Before coming to Vermont at twenty years of age
I was raised in the Berkshire hills and around
the New Hampshire White Mountains.
Recently Longhouse went back on a road
tour to some favorite locations ~
Crawford Notch coming in from the south
on the edge of Savoy, Massachusetts
and looking to the White Mountains
from where Robert Frost had a peek
in Sugar Hill, N.H.











Saturday, October 26, 2019

VASKO POPA ~











In the Village of My Ancestors



Someone hugs me

Someone looks at me with the eyes of a wolf

Someone takes off his hat

So I can see him better



Everyone asks me

Do you know how I'm related to you



Unknown old men and women

Appropriate the names

Of young men and women in my memory



I ask one among them

Tell me for God's sake

Is George the Wolf still alive



That's me one answers

With a voice from beyond the grave



I touch his cheek with my hand

And beg him with my eyes

To tell me if I'm alive too




translated by Charles Simic


______________

Vasko Popa
New York Review of Books
2019







Friday, October 25, 2019

JAMES TATE'S LAST POEMS ~













Ecco
2019


The Government Lake

          The way to the toy store was blocked by a fallen tree
in the road. There was a policeman directing traffic down a
side street. I asked him, “What happened?” He said, “Lightning
in the night.” I took the turn and drove down the street
looking for a way to turn back. Other streets were blocked by
fallen trees, and I couldn’t find a way back to the toy store.
I kept driving and soon I was on the outskirts of town. I
got on a highway and drove, soon forgetting the toy store and
what I was supposed to get there. I drove on as if I was hypno-
tized, not noticing the signs for turnoffs. I must have driven
a couple of hours before I woke up, then I took the next exit
and had no idea where I was. I drove down a straight tree-lined
lane with farm houses on either side. There was a lake at the
end of the lane. I pulled over and parked. I got out and
started walking. There were several docks along the shore.
I walked out on one and watched the ducks swimming and diving.
There was something bobbing in the middle of the lake. I stared
at it for a long time before I realized it was a man’s head.
Then, a moment later, it was a coconut. No, it was an old tire
floating right side up. I gave up and started following the
ducks. They would suddenly fly up and circle the lake and
come down and splash land again. It was quite entertaining.
A man walked up behind me and said, “This government lake is
off-limits to the public. You’ll have to leave.” I said,
“I didn’t know it was a government lake. Why should it be
off-limits?” He said, “I’m sorry. You’ll have to leave.”
“I don’t even know where I am,” I said. “You’ll still have
to leave,” he said. “What about that man out there?” I said,
pointing to the tire. “He’s dead,” he said. “No, he’s not.
I just saw him move his arm,” I said. He removed his pistol from
his holster and fired a shot. “Now he’s dead,” he said.


Poetry, 2019








Thursday, October 24, 2019

DUNCAN MCNAUGHTON ~








~ Look What Came In The Morning Mail ~


Somewhere in the Stream
Duncan McNaughton
Blue Press
126 Washburn Ave.
Santa  Cruz, CA
95060

_____________________



Hocus Locus Focus.      Pocus


Back in the 20th century he

was dating a chorine on the side, he'd

meet her at the stage door with an armful.

So he was blooey for a girl with shapely

legs, so buttons. Of florigens. From Brooklyn.

Dating in the sense that made sense back in

those days, radio sense in the carbon

sense on the bedside table. No remote,

nothing clamorous, nothing to get to

the point of, other than the two Jacks.

Kerouac was Bob, Spicer, Ray. Live on

The Great Black Way, as live as Kafka's ears,

Cocteau's smoke rings, Mayakovsky's, for

example, ascot. After they'd hunted

down Guevara and mutilated his

corpse — well, he couldn't get to sleep with her,

he couldn't get to sleep without her. Nets

kept him awake, the passions of heroes.



______________

Barrientes Barbie






Wednesday, October 23, 2019

JOHN KOETHE ~








Fear of the Future



In the end one simply withdraws

From others and time, one's own time,

Becoming an imaginary Everyman

Inhabiting a few rooms, personifying

The urge to tend one's garden,

A character of no strong attachments

Who made nothing happen, and to whom

Nothing ever actually happened — a fictitious

Man whose life was over from the start,

Like a diary or a daybook whose poems

And stories told the same story over

And over again, or no story. The pictures

And paintings hang crooked on the walls,

The limbs beneath the sheets are frail and cold

And morning is an exercise in memory

Of a long failure, and of the years

Mirrored in the face of the immaculate

Child who can't believe he's old.



______________
John Koethe
Walking Backwards
Poems 1966-2016
Farrar, 2018






Monday, October 21, 2019

YOKEL ( 2 ) ~









How Wars Begin





What he

Calls a

Log




I call

A

Tree








Skill





There is a certain skill to making dumps

But most are done where it is best to throw

Things out of the way and hereabouts that

Almost always occurs in old cellar holes and

If you don’t have one the natives tend to toss

Over the bank down to the river. Not exactly

Into the river, more in the crap of brush and

Small trees on the way to the river but stuff

Ends up where we swim anyway. All it takes

Is a good Spring flood and by July you’re

Stepping around planks with spikes, tire

Rims, an old car door. If the river were

Powerful enough it would probably scoop

Up the uncountable junk vehicles at one

Native’s place and send them down to the

Next town who are presently up in arms

That their drinking water is ruined for

10,000 homes on account of our one

Notorious junkyard on the road. But this

River is a mere thread on the map. Most

Times you can wade across its width up

To your waist and keep hiking. Invisibly,

Oils and gas and septic leach into its

Long hair and it’s been this way for years.

Imagine the hair on your own head.

Now go to town officials who say

Their hands are tied. Then talk to Native

Who says he’s doing the best he can.

I remember when the junked field was

Planted for potatoes and you could stand

On one end and think you were seeing the

Milky Way at the far end of the sky. 

Back then Native hunted with his father but

Was taught none of the care for farming or

Just the earth. He does what he knows in

Backcountry autobody and mechanics and

Teaches his own boys the same. You can’t

Expect Native to be like all the newcomers.

They all love him when the snow is deep and

He straps on his plow. Or sands their drive.

He has a dump for all the world to see.






Countryside





Where there are tall maples and oaks

There once was a barn



Nothing left where it was

But sunshine







Holiday





We really used to like it on this road

Around Christmas time when Sweetheart

Would have the cook stove fired up all day

And in the spirit decide to make Christmas

Cookies for all the neighbors. Back then it

Was a few natives and before the newcomers

Became full-fledged. We spent all day rolling

Out the dough, cutting out figures for the flat

Sheet and when just right sprinkled with green

And red. We then put a dozen or so into a box

And dropped them off. Most folks knew how

To react with that social charm and within

A day or so we got back something like a tree

Ornament or a card but really it was all about

Doing it out of the blue for holiday sake. But

I won’t ever forget one Native family’s reaction

After the initial surprise and attention, was to

Bring us down, special delivery in the power

Wagon and all the family squished in the cab,

A bag of bite-size Mr. Goodbar and Nestlé Crunch.





_______________
Bob Arnold
Yokel
Longhouse
2011