Thursday, December 31, 2020



J E A N     V A L E N T I N E

1934 ~ 2020






Silent in the woods where snow is falling

Silent in their hoods where snow is falling



And lovely snow

White and falling

Under the needled wing snow is falling

Fluffy white oh fluffy flight

In and out the wind night

Came snow and they

And the trees and the rocks

And the houses and the lights

Came snow and they

Through the woods

And light

And through the woods

And red children faces

And winter apples

And light and night.

and snow


Ceremonies in Bachelor Space

Russell Edson

Tough Poets Press

Who in the hell is Tough Poets Press?

Who knows. I saw a listing for the book

and liked that it was Edson, one of his books 

I didn't know, hadn't read, and the title and the

book design had Edson written all over it, and now

I see it was Edson's first book, published by

Black Mountain College, of all places, in 1951.

For some reason, and again holding to the Edson

aura, the contents of the book are in public domain

due to non-renewal of its original copyright, and so

the sharp-eyes in Arlington, Massachusetts at Tough

Poets Press, with the help of many (they list all the names)

on 49 Churchill Avenue, came through and published this book.

I'm very glad  they did. I have a sneaky feeling Tough Poets is

onto a very good thing, re-issuing the likes of Kirby Doyle, Gil

Orlovitz, Gregory Corso, Marvin Cohen, Johnny Stanton,

Donald Newlove — what could go wrong!  — Seymour Krim,

Dan Propper and Jack Micheline should be in the wings.

It seems the Edson is print-on-demand, so come one and

come all. NOTHING by Edson should be passed up.

I saw him read once in a cellar environment with

cellar people as his audience and it was beloved.

[ BA ]

Wednesday, December 30, 2020




Who enters this

kingdom. And

the people

formed in rock.

The Temper

The temper is fragile

as apparently it wants to be,

wind on the ocean, trees

moving in wind and rain.


No farther out

than in —

no nearer here

than there.


Here is

where there


Xmas Poem: Bolinas

All around

the snow

don't fall.

Come Christmas

we'll get high

and go find it.


It commonly sings,

this Christmas.


      for Stan's birthday

if we go back to where

we never were we'll

be there [REPEAT] But


head of

the outside


A Loop




anyone does


Still the same



One Day

One day after another —


They all fit.


Robert Creeley

Thirty Things

Black Sparrow


one more of those tiny books I love

Tuesday, December 29, 2020



Linda Gregg in her element, in a nicely pressed top



As I pull the bucket from the crude well,

the water changes from dark to a light

more silver than the sun. When I pour it

over my body that is standing in the dust

by the oleander bush, it sparkles easily

in the sunlight with an earnestness like

the spirit close up. The water magnifies

the sun all along the length of it.

Love is not less because of the spirit.

Delight does not make the heart childish.

We thought the blood thinned, our weight

lessened, that our substance was reduced

by simple happiness. The oleander is thick

with leaves and flowers because of spilled

water. Let the spirit marry the heart.

When I return naked to the stone porch,

there is no one to see me glistening.

But I look at the almond tree with its husks

cracking open in the heat. I look down

the whole mountain to the sea. Goats bleating

faintly and sometimes bells. I stand there

a long time with the sun and the quiet,

the earth moving slowly as I dry in the light.

To Be Here


The February road to the river is mud

and dirty snow, tire tracks and corncobs

uncovered by the mildness. I think I am

living alone and that I am not afraid.

Love is those birds working hard at flying

over the mountain going somewhere else.

Fidelity is always about what we have

already lived. I am happy, kicking snow.

The trees are the ones to honor. The trees

and the broken corn. And the clear sky

that looks like rain is falling through it.

Not a pretty spring, but the real thing.

The old weeds and the old vegetables.

Winter's graceful severity melting away.

I don't think the dead will speak.

I think they are happy just to be here.

If they did, I imagine them saying

birds flying, twigs, water reflecting.

There is only this. Dead weeds waiting

uncovered to the quiet soft day.

Kept Burning and Distant


You return when you feel like it,

like rain. And like rain you are tender,

with the rain's inept tenderness.

A passion so general I could be anywhere.

You carry me out into the wet air.

You lay me down on the leaves

and the strong thing is not the sex

but waking up alone under the trees after.


Linda Gregg

Sacraments of Desire

Graywolf Press


Sweetheart and I once upon a time

had an evening meal with Linda Gregg

and she asked me if she could sign a copy

of her book I had with me — and now that

she is gone, I am happy she did, adding a bit of

decorative scroll to her inscription which seemed

to be part of our all together get together. In another

twist of fate, she could have been one of the Beats,

but her beautiful working mind was always in the clouds.

[ BA ]

Monday, December 28, 2020


P O E T S     W H O     S L E E P


                                           drawn & scribed by Bob Arnold

Sunday, December 27, 2020



1951 ~ 2020




I have been reading My Heart Is Like An Open Jelly Jar 
all the while. It’s the last thing I read before falling off to sleep each night. 
My previous late night book for a week was Rockwell Kent’s WILDERNESS, 
my favorite of all his books. Christmas time in Alaska. 1920. 

The first dare of the poet is setting up each poem in a form syntax that most will either balk at — perhaps the serious reader — and it may attract the playful but as with everything you do in writing, it is both playful and deadly serious, even though as with the best of the ancient poets, your subjects are mainly frivolous. Your poems aren’t written, they’re told. I taste them. And I can think of no modern poet in America who does this with such aplomb and delight. You not only write excellent poems, you do so daring the reader to be as attentive as you are to a lover shaving her armpits, or leaves gathering like battleships, walks out to nowhere, the light and the shade, the petals that drop in the quiet of a dark room. Dearly masterful. You have to believe me. 

Not only are your poems structured into shapes, but I detected not one line was manipulated from its meaning to make each shape. Marvelously the poem shape and the poem strength and meaning align one to the other, it’s craftsmanship. Apollinaire could do this, Louise Landes Levi does this, precious few, and those that attempt it are usually disguising that little is behind the playful structure. We get acorns, bombs, missiles, leaves and poems that flow as song with you.

 Bravo maestro. You’re a poet who has seen life and death. You can’t help yourself but wake up and write, walk outdoors and write. And you’re a poet I would want to meet.

[ BA ]

Yggdrasil Press


Friday, December 25, 2020







the past 70 years, to be reading and viewing

again, the life and dream paintings of

Hieronymus Bosch?



Haven't you felt like someone,

maybe an evil monkey,

has been sticking a sharp stick up your ass. . .

or else a reptile is wrapped with a very long

tail around your neck, and it isn't

with comfort. . .you're a pushing-self

inside a large wheel perforated with nails. . .

later, two creeps that look like lizards in steel

helmets are holding you upside down,

bare-assed, on the edge of some funnel. . . 

or is that you with a spike

driven clean through your head?

Closeby, there's a guy walking, barely,

with his head locked in a saucer — 


you're always naked, filthy, and a

 mysterious woman wearing a veil

is riding behind you on a platypus.

Of course she is.

A farrier is shoeing both a naked woman

and a naked man with the farrier's

open fire pit flaring and mighty

off the fuel of a torched corpse. . .

GO complain! 

there's an entire

village of people swimming ahead

of you and most are drowning in the

swamp, or is it the waste of centuries?

The color of the pond or lake or river or ocean

doesn't look good —



 — we've been

here before,

except we haven't.

The bonfires ahead?

Set by the grinning imbecile in charge.



santa drawn by bob 12/24/20

HB Complete Works by Stefan Fischer (Taschen)

Andre Breton gives us the title

[ BA ]

Wednesday, December 23, 2020



The bible —

one of my all-time favorite books —

although written in the 1970s by some

smart cookies at the University of California/Berkeley

and structured chapter by chapter, or "patterns"

as a network, I highly recommend becoming comfortable

with this book in your own setting, as I did as a builder,

landscaper, husband and writer playing with the book

not as any guide or answer, but more as inspiration and

focus point, since the book is timeless and can be read

wherever your day or life takes you.

Need to build a house? It's here.

Need to find a secret place? Found.

Sacred places? Got it.

A place to wait. They know.

It's an endless pathway.

I've been re-reading the book for

the past 40 years.


Oxford 1977

Tuesday, December 22, 2020


It's 1963.
Your transistor radio is on.
It's always on.
The batteries never ran out!
On the beach, on your bike, in your back pocket
of the bluejeans. Radio.
As someone asked innocently enough,
"Where'd this music go?"


Monday, December 21, 2020



P O E T S     W H O     S L E E P


                                           drawn & scribed by Bob Arnold