Saturday, September 30, 2023



Three Painting by Arthur Dove


Dove once pulled up a cyclamen

& tore it up

to show

how the color went

down inthe stem

& on into the root.

Color is a condition of the plant —

color of the flower,

& pod,

embedded in the bud.

At the perimeters of growth

the plant

has lines of force —

as the 'wind

has weight.'

If we could look at an orange flower long enough

it would become blue:

spathe, sheath,

petiole, blade,

stalk, & root —

'these moving circles, in which we walk'.


What is wanted

is someone who can open the chestnut-burr

with his bare heel,

& bark, hide, the bull-calf eye,

as forms.

Once open, form is wind, 'water in an old hoof-print'.

but most branch an eye,

the bull's or buck-eye,

as if —

it grew bark.  Give it hair, turf,


'Raw sienna, black & green'.

Form has no


The burnt-out log

is not a whale.

Nor is it

'silver burnt brown


color dark'.

And there are no cows.

We walk,

careful not to step on snails.

The grass is very


That the mountainside

looks like a face

is accidental'.


It is, of course, as great as any


The sensation of sound

as if someone

had hit a tree with a club,

fog-horns, the Ferry Boat Wreck—Oyster Bay,

& all his

Dawns, Moons, Suns,

are a new form, 'boundaries of other


such as cross-section

of sequoia,

scales of haddock, agate,


'On the levels of the very large, the very small, the very slow,

the eye sees as constant, & at rest,

what our memory assures us to be fluid & moving'.

The moon is on a tree-trunk

& there are rings of growth & brightness.

At the heart of this


it is dark.

This is a man who has looked at a moon in the face, night

& day

dove, dove.

A New Edition (with a Ralph Eugene Meatyard cover photograph)

 — many of us own the original Norton copy —

Ronald Johnson


The Song Cave, 2023

Friday, September 29, 2023



If Love Is For the Fishes

i breathe them in each night

a shallow breath of scaly skin

i breathe deep & think

of the shrimp's crooked smile

i breathe deeper & am thankful

for the lobster's claw

i know this is a type of love

and dream for their flesh to never know harm nor hurt

to never know run and hide

i know this is a type of love

because my cheeks grow warm

              my hands fling at the stars

              i dance a dance all my own

              there is music in my chest

i know this is a kind of love

because i think of my family

how they smile & i smile too

i always think of love & soft feather beds

the water is perfect for here & when i close

my eyes i only see a garden growing upwards

towards the sun that is really a smile

& the water washes away the dust

of my night screams

love is an open door

a boat swimming against a purple glory

& syrup spun sugar

& i breathed & breathe & breathe

love 'til we become


Mahogany L. Browne

Chrome Valley

Liveright 2023

Wednesday, September 27, 2023



P E A R L    B O W S E R

1931 ~ 2023


Issued from Longhouse 2023

Limited to only 100 copies:


Free shipping in USA

Overseas please inquire

Signed: $15.95

Paypal, use our email of
[we can invoice you]

or check to ~  Longhouse, PO Box 2454, West Brattleboro, VT 05303
or contact us by email for information

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Monday, September 25, 2023




A ruthless catalog of sorrows:

years in front of the screen, diplomas before jobs,

and languages —all the torture—now ranged under Languages.

Where are all the wasted days?  And the nights

of walking with hands stretched out

and the visions that crept over the walls?

Where are the feelings of guilt

and the sudden sadness faced with a little hill of fruit

atop a handcart in some forgotten street?

Years with no mention of the empty hours or the funerals,

expunged of black depressions and nibbed nails,

the house keys forgotten inside the house.

There isn't a single open window

and no trace of the desire, deferred, to leap out.

A life overstuffed with accomplishments,

scrubbed free of dirt:

proof that the one who lived it

has cut all ties to the earth.


Iman Mersal

The Threshold

translated by Robyn Creswell

Farrar, 2022

Sunday, September 24, 2023



Steven Manuel, The Fire (New Books)

Tao Yuan-ming, Returning Home (White Pine)

Ronald Baatz, squeezing an orange on a snowy morning (Black Fig)   

Dennis Maloney, Windows (White Pine)

Saturday, September 23, 2023



R O N A L D    B A A T Z 

Backroad Chalkie

Autumn 2023

Thursday, September 21, 2023




R E A D     M E


Strong in the Rain 

Strong in the rain

Strong in the wind

Strong against the summer heat and snow

He is healthy and robust

Free from desire

He never loses his temper

Nor the quiet smile on his lips

He eats four go of unpolished rice

Miso and a few vegetables a day

He does not consider himself

In whatever occurs. . .his understanding

Comes from observation and experience

And he never loses sight of things

He lives in a little thatched-roof hut

In a field in the shadows of a pine tree grove

If there is a sick child in the east

He goes there to nurse the child

If there's a tired mother in the west

He goes to her and carries her sheaves

If someone is near death in the south

He goes and says, 'Don't be afraid'

If there are strife and lawsuits in the north

He demands that the people put an end to their pettiness

He weeps at the time of drought

He plods about at a loss during the cold summer

Everyone calls him Blockhead

No one sings his praises

Or takes him to heart. . .

That is the kind of person

I want to be



Strong in the Rain

translated by Roger Pulvers

Bloodaxe Books, 2007

Kenji's best-known poem remained unpublished in his lifetime. It had been written in his little notebook with the title 'November 3' and discovered after his death. In this poem Kenji gives us a portrait of his ideal life. The 3 November is 1931, less than two years before he died. He wrote his will shortly before writing this poem. Perhaps he saw the poem as a kind of prayful wish for himself in his next life.

Kenji desperately desired to have a strong, robust and healthy body. Needless to say, this is a wish that is common to all people. But Kenji's desire for this contained a motivation that most of us would not claim for ourselves. Like the scorpion in Night on the Milky Way Train that burns its body to provide light and heat, Kenji wanted to use his body for the good of humanity. If you are sickly and weak, what sacrifices can you make for all of the humans who need you?

Kenji was utterly sincere in his wish to suppress and stifle his natural desires. These included natural physical drives such as those for food and sex, as well as material desires, such as those for wealth and comfort. Because of the asceticism inspired in him by his religion, Kenji denied himself these desires. To him, love meant only devotion and sacrifice. One's body must be robust, never sidetracked by worldly desires. The body, like the mind, must always be equal to the task of fulfilling its occupant's holy mission.

His last request to his father, on the morning of 21 September 1933— he died at 1:30 P.M. that same day — was to print up a thousand copies of the Lotus Sutra to distribute to his friends and acquaintances.


Thirteen years ago (I can't even fathom how time has sped) I posted this poem on the Birdhouse, another translation, in fact I have no idea who was the translator — the poem has been tacked up in my tool room now for almost half a century long, grimy and lasting. It could be Gary Snyder's since it was Snyder's tool & sheathed translations of Kenji Miyazawa I first read in 1969. This latest version of the same poem is translated by Roger Pulvers in Kenji's Bloodaxe publication Strong in the Rain. It's impossible not to share the commentary by Pulvers.

[ BA ]


R E A D    M E

Knopf 2023

Wednesday, September 20, 2023


Robin Magowan, An Eye in the Wind

illustrations by John Digby

Longhouse 2023

perfect bound, 120 pages


Issued from Longhouse

   $3.99 shipping in USA

Paypal, use our email of
[we can invoice you]

or check to ~  Longhouse, PO Box 2454, West Brattleboro, VT 05303
or contact us by email for information

Tuesday, September 19, 2023



What happened?  The stone stepped out of the mountain.

Who woke up?  You and I.

Language, language.  Co-star.  By-earth.

Poorer.  Open. At home.

Where did it lead? Toward unfaded.

With the stone it went, with us two.

Heart and heart.  Judged too heavy.

Become heavier.  Be lighter.


PAUL CELAN, NoOnesRose  (1963)

Memory Rose into Threshold Speech

translated by Pierre Joris

Farrar, 2022

Monday, September 18, 2023



When White Hawks Come

I dreamt the spirit of the codfish:

in rafters of the mind;

fly out into the winter's blue night;

mirth off alder tendrils sashay;

while I set up my winter tent;

four panels long—beams suspend

blubber strips aged in a poke seal bag;

a bluejay lands on the windowsill wing feathers —

shadowing the sun as a new moon; as blue, lapis

icicle time melts—when white hawks come.


dg nanouk okpik

blood snow

Wave Books, 2022

Saturday, September 16, 2023



One of the finest 'finds' in the book world for 2023

The complete works!

You (me) busy with Butler, LeGuin, Adams, Kim Stanley Robinson

— comeback to Earth with Portis


C H A R L E S    P O R T I S

Library of America


Friday, September 15, 2023

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Sunday, September 10, 2023



Newly Translated by Damion Searls

New York Review of Books


R E A D     M O R E

Saturday, September 9, 2023



R I C H A R D    D A V I S

The bassist Richard Davis in 1989 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was a professor of music and music history from 1977 to 2016.Credit...Brent Nicastro, via University of Wisconsin-Madison Archives

Thursday, September 7, 2023