Friday, May 26, 2017



"There's going to be a world
where the imagination is created
by joy not suffering,
a man and a woman
can love each other again
they can kiss and fuck again
(a woman's going to come along
and make this world for me
even though I'm not
alive anymore)."

M O R E !

Thursday, May 25, 2017


Trump's Message in the guest book
for the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial


A poet and essayist who may be a finer essayist since
he has poetry in his essays, and essays in his poetry.
He's a remarkable toss-up.

To my mind, this is an ideal collection on the true ground
of contemporary poetry — with the intriguing portraits
of poets, and likewise the general life of Kleinzahler who
shares the days and nights and life of a poet.

Check out the subjects; Thom Gunn, James Schuyler's Letters, 
Leonard Michaels (a poet in a fiction writer if there ever was one),
John Berryman, EE Cummings, Christopher Logue, James Merrill,
Kenneth Cox (the one and only), Roy Fisher, Lorine Niedecker,
Basil Bunting (are you catching your breath?), Christopher Middleton,
Louis Zukofsky, Richard Brautigan (a bit too nasty about RB), Allen
Ginsberg (with Peter Orlovsky barking against the door) Lucia Berlin
(more poetry in the fiction), and wonderful side road trips to Alaska,
old homestead Palisades New Jersey, AK's music gluttony 
(a romp to read).
Don't even think to hesitate. 

[ BA ]


August Kleinzahler
Sallies, Romps, Portraits, and Send-offs
Farrar 2017

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


H a p p y     B i r t h d a y

Grandpa's 75 years old here
Shut up!
Going strong

"Early Roman Kings"
All the early Roman kings
In their sharkskin suits
Bow ties and buttons
High top boots
Drivin' the spikes in
Blazin' the rails
Nailed in their coffins
In top hats and tails
Fly away, little bird
Fly away, flap your wings
Fly by night
Like the early Roman kings

All the early roman kings
In the early early morn
Coming down the mountain
Distributing the corn
Speeding through the forest
Racing down the track
You try to get away
They drag you back
Tomorrow is Friday
We'll see what it brings
Everybody's talking
Bout the early roman kings

They're peddlers and they're meddlers
They buy and they sell
They destroyed your city
They'll destroy you as well
They're lecherous and treacherous
Hell-bent for leather
Each of 'em bigger
Than all them put together
Sluggers and muggers
Wearing fancy gold rings
All the women goin' crazy
For the early Roman kings

I can dress up your wounds
With a blood-clotted rag
I ain't afraid to make love
To a bitch or a hag
If you see me comin'
And you're standing there
Wave your handkerchief
In the air
I ain't dead yet
Ma Bell still rings
I keep my fingers crossed
Like them early roman kings

I can strip you of life
Strip you of breath
Ship you down
To the house of death
One day
You will ask for me
There'll be no one else
That you'll wanna see
Bring down my fiddle
Tune up my strings
I'm gonna break it wide open
Like the early roman kings

I was up on black mountain
The day Detroit fell
They killed 'em all off
And they sent 'em to hell
Ding dong daddy
You're coming up short
Gonna put you on trial
In a Sicilian court
I've had my fun
I've had my flings
Gonna shake em all down
Like the early roman kings


Bob Dylan


Happy Birthday!


Happy Birthday
Bob Dylan

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


Xantha Street

I close my eyes and all I see is rain
And bruised mouths lined above the silverware.
But rooms are empty as the country now:
The angels rise to Heaven splendidly
On page 289, but the evening still comes on.

Poorly cast in an eighth-rate Grand Guignol
Where every agonist proclaims his purity,
One's sight grows sharper in the glass:
The climate of murder hastens newer weeds.
And crippled neighbors wear divergent frowns
That no one saw before. — Nailed up in a box,
Nailed up in a pen, nailed up in a room
That once enclosed you amiably, you write,
"Finished. No More. The end," signing your name,
Frantic, but proud of penmanship. Beasts howl outside;
Authorities, however, keep the pavements clean.

It is to them that every face is turned,
Who steady rooms this earthquake rocks,
Graphing some future, indistinct, already frayed.
These rooms of ours are those that rock the worst.
Cold in the heart and colder in the brain,
We blink in darkened rooms toward exists that are gone.


Weldon Kees
The Collected Poems of Weldon Kees
edited by Donald Justice

"[The] narrator — hero. . .is Robinson Crusoe, utterly alone on Madison Avenue,

a stranger and afraid in the world of high-pain news weeklies, fashionable galleries,
jazz concerts, highbrow movies, sophisticated reviews — the world in which Weldon Kees
was eminently successful. Whenever he said, in these gripping poems, that it filled him with
absolute horror, he meant it. On July 18, 1955 his car was found on the approach to Golden
Gate Bridge. He has never been seen since."

— Kenneth Rexroth, New York Times Book Review

Monday, May 22, 2017


Quit School

The workers

each one





in the


the boss 




can’t wait

to get

back to


He’s Our Son

He’s our son

I’m very proud of him

especially today

he’s come out to work with me

in the woods, along the river

on an island damaged by flood

he’s been gone from home 7 years

been married & divorced

rebuilt his life, now a new girl

he’s also becoming overweight in

a little episode of life we can all make fun

of since he could slide it off in a matter of

weeks, he’s young! out of shape for

the work we are doing — lugging firewood

off this island, across bedrock, fording a creek

and then climbing up stone stairs of the river bank

to the road and dumping our loads countless times

into the back of the pickup truck

countless times, all morning, and it’s all over

his great young man face when he looks at me all

sweaty when we’re done and he exclaims “Jesus!”

Picking His Spots

There’s nothing like coming to bed

on a late summer rainy night

and my love is dead asleep with the rain

and the big male cat is

asleep on my side

All As One

We brought home the wood  —

it’s a tradition older than these hills

we brought it from


Bob Arnold

Monday, May 15, 2017


After The Flood

The yellow birch logs split tough

Those are the trees standing after the flood

The sycamore splits with ease

Dies with ease

The Searchers

We didn’t ask for any help

where we worked in the woods

along the river and we worked

steadily for weeks on end, no

one ever came by to visit or to

lend a hand, except for a stranger

who said he was a rock hound, he

hunted for precious rocks, and he

was curious to investigate our river

land where we worked, even showed

us special containers where his findings

shimmered, and since we were working

on the damage caused by a flood we in-

vited him down with us and continued our

woodcutting huge driftwood trees, as he

drifted off, young with shaved head bent

searching and dreaming as miners do

Being Alive Is All There Is

Maybe you saw him too —

the happiest person in the world

not more than a boy

being interviewed

and his father was

interviewed too and

he was clearly not a happy man

he was but a man

with all the thoughts of men

I had a father just like him

I bet you did too

and this boy must have known

something, because the way he

told his story was that he one day

jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge

in San Francisco, and somehow he

lived to tell his story, and I think he

lived because we were supposed to

know, and now that we do

now what do we do?

River Flows

After the flood

it took four very long weeks

for our woods river to clear

no longer muddy

no longer murky green

no longer running toxins

people drowned in such a river

houses were destroyed

gas tanks, hot tubs, ATVs went down

trees by the 1000s, animals lost, and

just by its thundering new sound

people were frightened for miles

especially in the pitch dark woods —

then one day the river cleared

the sun played in it again

you sat down beside it

lifted off you boots

and stuck your sore feet in


Bob Arnold

Sunday, May 14, 2017



Henry Lichenwalner: Living in the Middle

Here in Alliance, Illinois,
I’m living in the middle,
standing on the Courthouse lawn
in the middle of town,
in the middle of my life,
a self-confessed middlebrow,
a member of the middle class,
and of course Middle Western,
the middle, you see, the middle,
believing in the middle way,
standing here at midday
in the middle of the year,
breathing the farm-fragrant air
of Sunflower County,
in the true-blue middle
of middle America,
in the middle of my dreams.

Dave Etter
Alliance, Illinois
Spoon River Press 2004

Saturday, May 13, 2017



"If, on the other hand one takes not the materialist approach —
man's rights — but the spiritual approach — man's duties — the
poet has his place. It is not the State who should support the
poet, but the poet who should save the State — the poet together
with the saint and all lovers of the three verities. For civiliz-
ation depends finally upon those who give more than they receive."

K A T H L E E N     R A I N E