Friday, December 15, 2017


I Know A Day Will Come

I know a day will come

when those I know and don't know

will enter my room

to collect my remains

and wash the darkened blood stains I've shed across the floor

rearrange the upturned able and chairs

toss out the moldering garbage

take in the clothing from the balcony

someone will help me write the poem I didn't have time to finish

someone will help me read the book I didn't have time to finish

someone will help me light the candle I didn't have time to light

last will be the curtains that haven't been opened for years

someone will help me open them, and let the sunlight in for a while

they will be closed again, and nailed there deathly tight

the whole process will be orderly and solemn

when everything is tidy

they will all line up to leave

and help me quietly shut the door


from "Six Poems of Labor & Desperation"
translated from the Chinese by Eleanor Goodman

      XU LIZHI   (1990-2014)

Thursday, December 14, 2017


CreditSusan Walsh/Associated Press


The past half century has witnessed a retrogression of humanity, a chilling atrophy of culture, a frightening decrease in civility, decency, sense of justice, loyalty and faith and of the most elementary trustworthiness. Two world wars, breeding brutality and rapacity, have catastrophically lowered the intellectual and moral level (the two are inseparable) and left behind a state of disorder which is a poor safeguard against the plunge into a third world war which would end everything."

T  H  O  M  A  S        M  A  N  N



Mr. McKibben teaches at Middlebury College 
but not one Vermont author is included in
these 1047 pages — 
no Frost no Hoagland no Carruth
no Budbill no Kinnell
the Green Mountain State

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


Finding Jose Saramago's extraordinary blog (started up, like
Le Guin, in his eighties) was a revelation to the science fiction writer
and poet, so she has begun one of her own, and some portions have made 
its way into this new collection. As always with Le Guin, everything
is interesting where she touches down with her eye and writing. One
reviewer of the book described the author's move to a blog as "narrowing" her
perspective. "Narrowing" is impossible when it comes to Ursula Le Guin.
She's been to the universe. She expands. Yes, even when she spends
home time with her cat, Pard. A good name.

Houghton Mifflin

Tuesday, December 12, 2017


Yes, the new Shepard book is quite good, he has refined the writing 
or his poor health has done it for him. 
No more time to diddle around. 
He’s more like Issa here. 
He goes back and forth in almost a dreamscape between himself (the injured) 
and watching himself from a short distance 
plus it seems memory of an earlier life and love 
and her awful sickness and early death. 
The ending is strong and clear-sighted and tragic. 
He ends with his dignity. 
I was in two fine bookshops yesterday, neither had the book, 
but perhaps both shops have already sold out.

Knopf 2017

Monday, December 11, 2017


Love And Landscape

Don’t ask us how we crossed the saltwater marsh

Grasses were high and easy under foot

The last stream was spanned by a driftwood plank

Thrown carefully into the muck

I didn’t sink and you didn’t sink

And when we came to ocean

Skittering of sandpipers

You held your dress and walked into the spray

It must have been also the sudden daylight that I loved


Between Ives and Messiaen you move and I move with you. In one more stupid mall with cheap price CDs and three hundred Sunday shoppers all with the same behavioral instincts, what’s to look at? The ceiling is more curious, all suspended with some panels complete, some open straight up to the no man’s land of steel trusses and cheapness. I know when it rains it rains in the book section, and wouldn’t you know? A leak in the roof still to be found. Before we leave with our fix of CDs Carson wants to take me back into the book section to show me where he sits each time we come right in front of a rack of comic books and he often brings real books to this chair. Now I know where to find him. I remind him this is the best way to use this place — read for hours on a rainy day respectful of the merchandise but don’t buy a thing. How I move with you is standing still, not even thinking of much; will it be a CD Ives or Messiaen juggling prices, and in green cotton dress between racks you hesitate in its alphabetical organization, tight waist and hips curve, a freshly and very fuckable look between us.


During the big snowstorm

that lasted almost a full week

three feet of snow and plenty of

kerosene lamps used

two horses broke loose from

somewhere, though we have a

good idea where, but first Sweet-

heart had to be surprised by the

two at the door as she turned

and how she couldn’t help but

see how one was bleeding at the

eye and the other seemingly wasted

so she took them back through the

deep snow to the road where all

things, even those you can’t afford

to love, come and go

The Reflex

One must understand

I hug my love every day

as the world gets worse

and worse and worse

I hug her many times

in a day

I smell her hair, feel

her waist, and even

look out a window

but I hug her


I'm In Love With You
Who Is In Love With Me
Longhouse 2012

Sunday, December 10, 2017



Set against the night country of New Mexico is a mystery that has never been solved. The novel follows the footsteps of a young reporter who has been assigned to witness a series of bizarre cattle mutilations. In his search for truth, he interviews tribal elders, scientists, FBI agents, state police, mediums, mystics, cattle and horse ranchers, and many other observers living in the high desert of northern New Mexico. One of his interviewees is a scientist who claims to have been taken aboard a “star car”. A Navajo medicine man confirms that he was abducted as well. A tribal friend tells the author: “There is a hole in the sky and things are coming out of it.” PRAISE FOR GERALD HAUSMAN “If you’re hungry for a book to keep you up past bedtime—with all the lights on—this tale is for you. Based on real unsolved mysteries, Evil Chasing Way deals with startling animal deaths that some attribute to aliens, skinwalkers, secret government research or a force of true evil. This is New Mexico’s own X File anchored in Hausman’s elegant prose and finely tuned descriptions of the Southwestern landscape.” —Anne Hillerman, author of Song of the Lion "Evil Chasing Way is something special. Part mystery, part magical realism, part personal journey, and very much mystical, I was irresistibly drawn into the story. I was captivated by the narrator, an inquisitive journalist seeking answers to the mysterious and often grotesque cattle and horse mutilations that once plagued southern Colorado and much of New Mexico. Experts raced from incident to incent, but credible explanations were few and far between. What happens when reality defies known science and rationality? That’s where Gerald Hausman begins. Then he draws deep from his well of knowledge of Navajo story and culture. (Think Tony Hillerman on steroids.) He takes you on a journey from the arroyos and high forests of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the craggy stone crevasses of the Grand Canyon. Along the way you meet shuffling skin walkers, extraterrestrials, and crafty coyotes. This is more than a novel. It’s an experience you won’t forget and it will leave you hungry for more."

 —Peter Eichstaedt, author of Borderlands and The Dangerous Divide

Speaking Volumes
18 Sleeping Dog Road
Santa Fe, New Mexico