Wednesday, September 30, 2020


Bowie tapped the Gulf of Mexico. 
"You ever seen the ocean, Keechie?"
She shook her head.
"Me neither. I'm almost thirty years old and you know I
never have seen the ocean. Can you beat that? 
Say, how would you like to live on the ocean?"
"Sounds pretty good to me."


I’ve been down in your territory the last few days re-reading West Texas and Oklahoma district books: The Killer Inside Me with relentless Jim Thompson, and now Edward Anderson, harsh right-winger from Oklahoma and his Thieves Like Us. Anderson sold the book to Hollywood for the film They Live By Night and got himself $500 for it, his second book, thoroughly grubby rich armed robbery stuff, but nothing seemed to help his career because of himself. Dead in his early 60s. By the energy in each Thompson novel you’d think he was made from electricity or kerosene and should be alive to this day. I never read a bad or weak book by him. I may go back and re-read a bunch of other books since I have them all, plus a biography I always liked that I keep on display out in The Studio part of the bookshop that no one ever buys. We may be talking about a world gone by. Usually the one I liked best.

[ BA ~ to ~ J.D. ]

Cathy O' Donnell & Farley Granger in the film
'They Live By Night'
directed by Nicholas Ray

~ If you want film noir at one of its best,
start here.

Monday, September 28, 2020


P O E T S     W H O     S L E E P


                                           drawn & scribed by Bob Arnold

all drawings

Sunday, September 27, 2020



Further Notice

I can't live in this world

And I refuse to kill myself

Or let you kill me

The dill plant lives, the airplane

My alarm clock, this ink

I won't go away

I shall be myself —

Free, a genius, an embarrassment

Like the Indian, the buffalo

Like Yellowstone National Park.



Philip Whalen

The Collected Poems

edited by Michael Rothenberg

Wesleyan University Press, 2007


For nearly any other collected poems

one can almost assume cracking the book open

to the middle will well provide the reader

with some of the best poetry by the poet.

Not so Philip Whalen.

For the last 50 years I guided my Whalen trajectory

through my favorite book of his, On Bear's Head,

a book devised and brought into existence through the

tough work of James Koller, Bill Brown and Don Carpenter

after a little fight with the co-publisher Harcourt & Brace.

Coyote Books was the rightful instigator, as usual.

Whalen was hot from the start — say after he gets through

his apprenticeship in the 40s— from the 50s onward

he is sailing, and Michael Rothenberg's perfect book

for Whalen: cover jacket design and hundreds of poems

(what more do you need?) plus Whalen's drawings and

doodles and general Philip-energy, it's all here in the Wesleyan

edition and I've come during a virus pandemic and read it all (ALL)

now a second time. Reading Philip Whalen is like bicycling up

a hill while eating an ice-cream cone, and maybe it's a hot day

but it doesn't have to be. Energies transfix. You know you've

got a poet when everyone says he or she is reading him and

no one knows who you're talking about.

Saturday, September 26, 2020


The University of Chicago Press

Friday, September 25, 2020





Billy Roberts


from ~
The Book of the Green Man

Of the seasons,

seamless, a garland.


to equinox —

The length of


a sequential foliage

firmly planted in

our veins,

we stand in our rayed form:


a chicory,

Sponsa Solis

& upon the sun appears

a face

also with rays

in descent

trough an undulant


Ronald Johnson
The Book of the Green Man
Norton, 1967

There is something beguiling and transfixed,
at least it happens to me, when I re-approach
Johnson's early books published exquisitely 
by Norton.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020



Sere ring a pipe wood

lodging sweet by tempest lodged

nose knows two colors pale

and deep lilac blossom breezed

pruned some red fall-scattered blossom

hesperis purple mother-of-evening gone spring

angels in bustles deep lilac

pales lilac angels for white

Q U E E N   A N N E' S   L A C E

Top-turfy gimp fiery oes eyes

light white flat lacy heads

centrums purple many uneven small

flowers each whorl umbel if

awry ladies songflawed wit pretty 's

well queen unwanted princess throws

horse prize wild carrot autumn

hurdle stands jackdaw-course carried her

S N O W - W R E A T H

From solitary flowerstalk some fingers

fragrance look down ridge-back enamel

leaves snowdrop impetal seagreen unseen

months snowflake unplanted snowdrift sweet

alyssum self-risen snowtrillium new valleys

east snowpoppy snow-in-summer starry grasswort

prairie snow-on-the-mountain wilding seacoast

snowberry-drupe snow-wreath earth-rounds bees' rose


80 Flowers
80 copies printed by
The Stinehour Press
Linen cloth boards
Gilded paper title label to spine
I found my copy in a northern
New England working town with
one used bookstore, bottom shelf
old plank floors, big front windows
Priced to move
Lucky me

Monday, September 21, 2020


P O E T S     W H O     S L E E P


                                           drawn & scribed by Bob Arnold

all drawings

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Saturday, September 19, 2020



Poem about My Rights

Even tonight and I need to take a walk and clear
my head about this poem about why I can’t
go out without changing my clothes my shoes
my body posture my gender identity my age
my status as a woman alone in the evening/
alone on the streets/alone not being the point/
the point being that I can’t do what I want
to do with my own body because I am the wrong
sex the wrong age the wrong skin and
suppose it was not here in the city but down on the beach/
or far into the woods and I wanted to go
there by myself thinking about God/or thinking
about children or thinking about the world/all of it
disclosed by the stars and the silence:
I could not go and I could not think and I could not
stay there
as I need to be
alone because I can’t do what I want to do with my own
body and
who in the hell set things up
like this
and in France they say if the guy penetrates
but does not ejaculate then he did not rape me
and if after stabbing him if after screams if
after begging the bastard and if even after smashing
a hammer to his head if even after that if he
and his buddies fuck me after that
then I consented and there was
no rape because finally you understand finally
they fucked me over because I was wrong I was
wrong again to be me being me where I was/wrong
to be who I am
which is exactly like South Africa
penetrating into Namibia penetrating into
Angola and does that mean I mean how do you know if
Pretoria ejaculates what will the evidence look like the
proof of the monster jackboot ejaculation on Blackland
and if
after Namibia and if after Angola and if after Zimbabwe
and if after all of my kinsmen and women resist even to
self-immolation of the villages and if after that
we lose nevertheless what will the big boys say will they
claim my consent:
Do You Follow Me: We are the wrong people of
the wrong skin on the wrong continent and what
in the hell is everybody being reasonable about
and according to the Times this week
back in 1966 the C.I.A. decided that they had this problem
and the problem was a man named Nkrumah so they
killed him and before that it was Patrice Lumumba
and before that it was my father on the campus
of my Ivy League school and my father afraid
to walk into the cafeteria because he said he
was wrong the wrong age the wrong skin the wrong
gender identity and he was paying my tuition and
before that
it was my father saying I was wrong saying that
I should have been a boy because he wanted one/a
boy and that I should have been lighter skinned and
that I should have had straighter hair and that
I should not be so boy crazy but instead I should
just be one/a boy and before that         
it was my mother pleading plastic surgery for
my nose and braces for my teeth and telling me
to let the books loose to let them loose in other
I am very familiar with the problems of the C.I.A.
and the problems of South Africa and the problems
of Exxon Corporation and the problems of white
America in general and the problems of the teachers
and the preachers and the F.B.I. and the social
workers and my particular Mom and Dad/I am very
familiar with the problems because the problems
turn out to be
I am the history of rape
I am the history of the rejection of who I am
I am the history of the terrorized incarceration of
I am the history of battery assault and limitless
armies against whatever I want to do with my mind
and my body and my soul and
whether it’s about walking out at night
or whether it’s about the love that I feel or
whether it’s about the sanctity of my vagina or
the sanctity of my national boundaries
or the sanctity of my leaders or the sanctity
of each and every desire
that I know from my personal and idiosyncratic
and indisputably single and singular heart
I have been raped
cause I have been wrong the wrong sex the wrong age
the wrong skin the wrong nose the wrong hair the
wrong need the wrong dream the wrong geographic
the wrong sartorial I
I have been the meaning of rape
I have been the problem everyone seeks to
eliminate by forced
penetration with or without the evidence of slime and/
but let this be unmistakable this poem
is not consent I do not consent
to my mother to my father to the teachers to
the F.B.I. to South Africa to Bedford-Stuy
to Park Avenue to American Airlines to the hardon
idlers on the corners to the sneaky creeps in
I am not wrong: Wrong is not my name
My name is my own my own my own
and I can’t tell you who the hell set things up like this
but I can tell you that from now on my resistance
my simple and daily and nightly self-determination
may very well cost you your life

June Jordan
Directed By Desire: The Collected Poems of June Jordan
Copper Canyon Press, 2005