Tuesday, March 31, 2009

André Gide: Dostoevsky

Dostoevsky was the only psychologist from whom I had anything to learn: he belongs to the happiest windfalls of my life, happier even than the discovery of Stendhal.
                                                                                     —Nietzsche (from title page)

Recently Acquired:
by André Gide
New Directions (1961)

Introductory note to the first English edition (1925)
by Arnold Bennett; new introduction by Albert J. Guerard

Paper. 181 pages. $3.00.

Image: back cover (click to enlarge).

Dreams: Another added yesterday to the Annandale Dream Gazette.

In the Forum: An index built by elves would have its drawbacks.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Strange, Sad News

He was so far ahead of the first pitch I threw him that the home run he hit hooked foul. The second pitch resulted in a blistering line drive that would have hit the third base coach if he had not been quick enough to duck. The third pitch was my best sucker pitch — a knuckle floater that landed a foot in front of the plate: strike three, followed by a pale ash club thrown down the third base line in anger. Now, this morning, forty years after that Babe Ruth game, a message arrives: he is an unexpected suicide.

3.30.2009 #2
3.30.2009 #1

After Her Walk

After her walk, I find a sprig of plum,
drinking from a baby food jar.

(first publication)

Recently Linked: Blogs by Poets and Writers

“After Her Walk” added to Poems, Slightly Used.

In the Forum: an index would be nice.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


The ache of a new song,
before the notes are tried

the hope in a cheap room,
before the paint is dry

the needing otherwise
of able, dirty hands

between drinks and rides
in this wide’n empty land

t’Duluth and other times,
as if they’ve never been

Duluth and other times,
as if they’ve never been.

(first publication)

“Duluth” added to Poems, Slightly Used.

In the Forum: At least it’s pot nainful.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Right Ward

In its advanced stages, the need to be right is a paralyzing illness. That, my friends, is why we are here: to see if there is not some cure; to see how wrong we can be, not only about these poor souls, but about everything we see, and to feel that wrongness in our bones, and in the very thoughts we breathe.

(first publication)

“The Right Ward” added to Poems, Slightly Used.

In the Forum: Willie needs his pills.

Friday, March 27, 2009


I’m beginning to think we’d be better off if words were flowers.

3.27.2009 #2
3.27.2009 #1

Let Him Down

Poor kid, he died in Paris,
a stranger to the dives and alleys
of his own hometown.

Look twice,
then let him down,
let him down.

The homeless didn’t know him
like they should

             let him down

or the policemen
making rounds

             let him down

or the spooks
on Front Street

             let him down.

Let him down,

             go ahead,
             let him down.

I’ll tell his mom when I get home,
if she’s around.

I heard this song at an imagined funeral. It was sung by a young man seated on a stone and wearing a wide black hat. After he was done, he stood up and slid his guitar onto his back in one easy motion, so that the neck was pointing down. From the front you could see the thin black strap. Then he walked away. It was a cloudy day. No one said his name. I guess they didn’t know it. I followed him to the curb. He almost smiled. Then, reassured, he looked right through me.

(first publication)

“Let Him Down” added to Poems, Slightly Used.

Another Vineyard Dream added to the Annandale Dream Gazette.

As the Conversation continues, Bronx Cream shoe preservative makes awking a bit walkward.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Here it is — dawn, unfolding like a flower.

(first publication)

“Autopsy” added to Poems, Slightly Used.

3.26.2009 #2
3.26.2009 #1

Another Vineyard Dream

I’m standing in the graveled driveway in front of the house where I grew up when a kitchen on wheels pulls in. It has trailer house sides, but no steering wheel or windshield; the front end is a counter. Behind the counter is a friendly long-haired young couple I know from somewhere. They definitely know me. I say, “Welcome back.” The man offers me a cup of coffee. I say, “Coffee?” and the woman sighs and says, “Yes, that’s all we have this year.” After they give me the coffee, the man hands me three or four filtered cigarettes and a hand-rolled one that won’t stay together. I end up with loose tobacco in my hand.

Soon, a small crowd gathers, and we are inside the kitchen in a little sitting room behind the counter. I can’t find my coffee. A stranger points to a paper cup sitting on the window ledge. Through the ledge I can see the pine tree in our front yard. I notice then that I still have the cigarettes in my hand, and a new book of matches with several extra flaps, which are glossy-beige and unfold in opposite directions. Wondering if there is an advertisement for a correspondence course inside, I pry open the flaps. The inside cover is blank. I strike a match, but it goes out before I can light the cigarette. I try two more times, but a breeze coming through the window blows out the matches. Finally, I succeed. The cigarette has no flavor whatsoever.

Someone, I don’t know who, mentions the fact that the vineyards in the area are budding out beautifully this spring. Hearing this, I suddenly remember that I have completely forgotten to prune ten acres of vines along the north side of the property. I feel horribly guilty about this. Puffing on my flavorless cigarette, I realize that the only way I can possibly prune ten acres of vines is if I quit writing and prune like a madman for eight or nine hours a day to keep the vineyard from going to ruin. I am torn between what I should do and what I must do. I wake up thinking, “another vineyard dream.”

In the Forum: Bronx Cream

A mini-review of Hit and Run Magazine added to News and Reviews, along with mention of the publication of my piece, “In a Hotel Lobby Next to a Haberdashery.”

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

In Gratitude

I can only guess at how different my life would be if Paul L. Martin had been one of my teachers in high school. I do know that it’s different now, and better, because of his honesty, curiosity, and the work he does. Indeed, although we have never met, I am pleased to call him a friend, and flattered that he has allowed me to serve at his school, however inconsequentially, as what might best be termed a “writer not in residence.”

Paul, who teaches in Los Angeles, is a voracious reader and compassionate writer. He thinks before he speaks, and knows how important it is to make the most of his brief time here on earth. I’m sure many of his students already know how lucky they are to be passing through his influence. And others will find out later, when they realize how rare and unselfish he is:

I am a teacher because I love literature and stories and books and life and learning. I am a writer because I have something to say, stories to tell, ideas to explore. I cannot leave either behind.

I’ve read and learned first-hand about Paul’s dedication. He expects a lot from his students, and even more from himself — probably too much. But often we have to push ourselves to find out what we know and where our limits lie, and to find out if they are limits, or merely self-imposed obstacles and excuses. As a writer and poet, this is something I try to keep in mind. As an amateur human being, I am thankful to Paul for the reminder.

3.25.2009 #3
3.25.2009 #2
3.25.2009 #1

Hit and Run

My thanks to Paul A. Toth for posting the visual remains of one of my strange works-in-progress in his delightful new publication, Hit and Run Magazine. I must say, it looks right at home there amongst the frenzied jottings and mad squiggles of other writers and artists from around the world.

A link to Hit and Run can also be found in the “Reading Room.”

3.25.2009 #2
3.25.2009 #1

Your Love’s Return

Yes. This is a perfect place
For a sonata or quartet.
Or, better yet, a tiny waterfall
Splashing on a mountain path:
Icy water and a serenade of jewels,
A chamber of light where angels
Laugh and bathe.

We could enter from the street
Through a doorway no one knows is there,
Then come up behind the stage,
Where the master’s piano waits.
The concert hall is dim:
Better to invite the spirits.
Soon they will introduce us
To their friends.

Have you ever danced
With a naked angel whose wings are wet?
Have you run with her inside the wind, or him?
It happens next: the resurrection,
and your blessed love’s return.
Hold out your hand. We’re going in.

From Songs and Letters, originally published March 25, 2006.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Neal Zirn: Manhattan Cream

Manhattan Cream
by Neal Zirn
MuscleHead Press
BoneWorld Publishing
Russell, New York (2008)

Chapbook. $5.00. 56 pages.

What a delightful collection. If I were an employer, and if Neal Zirn presented this chapbook as his resumé, I would hire him on the spot — for any job, even if there were no openings. Later, when his drug test came back positive, I would promote him to Director of Marketing & Cultural Affairs.

On BoneWorld’s website, Zirn’s chap is billed as “Short fiction & poetry that thrust the reader into the world of drugs, sex, music, & politics of the 1960s New York scene.”

To that I would add “Told with all of the conversational warmth, wit, and timing of good autobiography.”

These short overlapping vignettes and poems are a pleasure to read. They turn on a dime, and many of them come with a lemon twist of Zen enlightenment, or something very much like it:

Blinky Cohen

was quite the guy.

He was originally
from Brooklyn
and working class parents
who were union organizers
and advocates for the equitable
distribution of wealth.
He lived in an East Village
basement flat with floor
to ceiling literature
that ran the gamut
from the practical
to the most high

Blinky, who was against
Everything Material,
ate like a bird,
dressed like a monk,
parceled his words
as if they were Torah,
and apparently dedicated
his life to the creation
of nothing from something.

Blinky Cohen-Aces
in a deck of Jokers.

After reading Manhattan Cream, something tells me fragments of its author are still roaming the streets of New York and Greenwich village, preaching the wisdom of Mary Cochran, manager and chef at the Screaming Zebra, student of Zen, and friend to Honest Red: “Rid yourself of gloom and assume your original state.”

Neal Zirn was born and raised in the Bronx, is a chiropractor, an exhibiting painter and printmaker, and has a Master’s Degree in Liberal Studies. He lives in Potsdam, New York.

Cover: Neal Zirn (click to enlarge).

Dreams: Another added yesterday to the Annandale Dream Gazette.

In the Forum: Manhattan Cream.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Transatlantic Sessions

As a sort of folk addendum, here are two videos featuring Mary Black, Emmylou Harris, Jerry Douglas, and others:

The Loving Time
By the Time it Gets Dark

With thanks to Chrees, who seems to have passed an agreeable weekend.

3.23.2009 #2
3.23.2009 #1


Daffodils in a hailstorm —
white shoes, yellow shawls.

From Songs and Letters, originally published March 28, 2008.

In the Forum: acoustic dessert.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Dink’s Song

A few days ago, I told my youngest son it had been ages since I’d heard him play that “fare thee well” song on his guitar. As it turns out, the song is more properly called “Dink’s Song,” so named, according to this brief Wikipedia entry, for the woman who sang it for musicologist John Lomax back in 1908. The song was also recorded early on by Bob Dylan, but not included on his first album.

Within an hour or so, I heard my son, who is only slightly older than Dylan when he was starting out, “remembering” the piece on his ’69 Guild six-string. As he felt his way back into the simple palm-muted chord structure, I was pleased to hear how his understanding of the song had grown since he first tackled it two or three years ago, thus enabling him, like Dylan, to make it more his own.

As he worked on it the next day and the next, he let the notes ring more clearly than Dylan, which somehow suits his vocal treatment of the lyrics, which, in turn, in true folk tradition, he is amending slightly as his mood and experience dictate.

Here are the lyrics as set forth on this page at Bob Dylan Musical Roots:

Dink’s Song

If I had wings like Noah’s dove
I’d fly the river to the one I love
Fare thee well, my honey, fare thee well.

I had a man, who was long and tall,
Moved his body like a cannon ball.
Fare thee well, my honey, fare thee well.

’member one evening, it was drizzling rain
And in my heart I felt an aching pain.
Fare thee well, my honey, fare thee well.

Once I wore my apron low,
Been a-keep’ you away from my door.
Fare thee well, my honey, fare thee well.

Now my apron is up to my chin,
You pass my door but you never come in.
Fare thee well, my honey, fare thee well.

Muddy river runs muddy ’n’ wild,
You can’t care the bloody for my unborn child.
Fare thee well, my honey, fare thee well.

Number nine train ain’ done no harm,
Number nine train take my poor baby home.
Fare thee well, my honey, fare thee well.

Fastest man I ever saw
Skid Missouri on the way to Arkansas.
Fare thee well, my honey, fare thee well.

Indeed, I do love the song, now more than ever. And with it I offer this reminder: what we do in our spare time is everything, because spare time is all we really have. What we don’t do remains forever undone, its bright light and peculiarity unknown.

Image: Bob Dylan (click to enlarge).

“Dink’s Song” added to Notebook.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Of Cabbages and Kings

A note of thanks to Dr. Ben Trawick, pastor at North Wilkesboro Presbyterian Church in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, for closing his thoughtful pre-election sermon, “Of Cabbages and Kings,” with the following selection from my Collected Poems:


Long ago,
on a street corner
in the city where I was born,
there was a dump truck
full of large green cabbages
parked in the mud.
The driver of the truck
raised the bed,
forming a mountain of cabbage
on the ground.
Suddenly, from nowhere,
several dozen women appeared,
as if they had been waiting
beneath the pavement itself.
In exchange for their tears
and in some cases
a few small coins,
the truck driver,
an unshaven man in his sixties,
handed cabbages to the women.
A short while later
the cabbages,
the women,
and the truck driver
were gone.
But hunger remained.
For a long time,
hunger remained.

Recently Linked: It’s a pleasure to welcome Chrees as a follower of Recently Banned Literature. I’ve been enjoying his blog, A Common Reader, for quite some time. Currently under discussion: Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin.

In the Forum: fare thee well, my honey.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Pause for Thought

Pause for Thought
March 19, 2009

I wonder: what do these drawings really say about me? That I’m sad? Miserable? Depressed? And yet if I am, why do I feel so happy when I’m making them?

Recently Linked: A note of thanks to Brian Salchert for adding a link to the alphabetized text-and-image index of Songs and Letters to his blog, Rhodingeedaddee.

In the Forum: There ain’t no sunshine, without no suds a-goin’ down.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Haiku Shoes

Sprouting irises — someone’s muddy footprints led me here.

(first publication)

“Haiku Shoes” added to Poems, Slightly Used.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wash Your Bowl

My thanks to Chris for posting my poem, “Winter View,”
in Wash Your Bowl.

A link to the site is included in the “Reading Room.”

Or, as a monk told Joshu ...

3.18.2009 #2
3.18.2009 #1

As Marrow

Language as marrow, words as blood and bone, nerves as rail lines tuned to wires’ hum and worn out shoes, no stranger but myself, moving on.

(first publication)

“As Marrow” added to Poems, Slightly Used.

A new comment added to the A Listening Thing comment page.

In the Forum: from dump to dive to stay alive.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Butterfly, why was I given this stone tablet, chisel, and hammer?

(first publication)

Recently Linked: My thanks to David Winters for signing on as a follower of Recently Banned Literature. David, who says that “tiny fragments of his body and soul are scattered throughout London, Brighton and Manchester,” is the author of an excellent blog,
Why Not Burn Books?

“Wings” added to Poems, Slightly Used.

In the Forum: a one-eyed Delta man and a list of made up names of blues singers.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Bare maples
thrashed by wind,
restless crows roll
smokes behind
the potting

(first publication)

Note: After recording this haiku, I asked myself where this poem takes place. I tapped a pencil against my head, came up with the other side of when.

“Frame” added to Poems, Slightly Used.

As the Conversation continues, reality TV sinks to a new low.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Day 730

On this day in 2005, I wrote the last entry in One Hand Clapping:

March 15, 2005 — In yesterday’s paper, there was an article on the front page about how people with money to burn are building larger and larger homes. In one example, a husband, wife, and child were wandering about like lost souls in well over 3,000 square feet of space. It didn’t say, but I assume the extra room is for lawyers, counselors, and intercom repairmen. Life is tough when you have money and don’t know what to do with it. It’s tough when you decide to teach your children to collect gadgets and insurance policies instead of how to plant and tend a garden. It’s tough when your grotesque dwelling covers almost every inch of your property, leaving scarcely enough room for a professionally installed generic landscape, a golf cart, boat, motorhome, SUV, and a timed sprinkler system. The latest tally of U.S. war-dead was on Page 2. The number of maimed and psychologically destroyed was not given. The number of murdered Iraqis and their starved, frightened children was not given. There was no mention of the latest group of wounded soldiers who were flown back to the United States and shuttled to medical facilities under cover of darkness. I am looking at the palms of my hands. Would they look different if I, too, believed in killing? What do the president’s palms look like? Are they worn from handling his putter and silver spoon? What do a murderer’s hands look like? What about his dreams? Or are they nightmares? I am looking at the palms of my hands. If I were to bring them suddenly and forcefully together, what feeble sound would they make?

3.15.2009 #2
3.15.2009 #1


March 14, 2009

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sea Change

Note to self: the next time
a fish swims by
when you
look outside,

don’t open the window.

(first publication)

“Sea Change” added to Poems, Slightly Used.

In the Forum: BoneWorld beer-kits.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Brain Replacement

Brain Replacement
March 12, 2009

In an email yesterday, I told someone I was thinking about having a brain replacement. “Imagine,” I said, “getting a new brain and thinking someone else’s thoughts — but not knowing it, because how would you remember your brain had been replaced?” Then, not long after I sent it, I thought, What if it’s already happened? Hmm. I wonder. There are no scars on my head. But considering my obvious limitations, maybe only a tiny incision was needed.

In the Forum: the coveted Small Press Refusal of Excellence form.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Genesis Notes

Two rocks of different geological backgrounds fall in love. Their parents disapprove, but they marry anyway. Their children are beautiful and strange. A man sees them and says, “I will use these to build a house.” The house is also beautiful and strange. Every night, the man and his wife hear voices. Finally, they go mad. Many thousands of years later, the entire mountainside is mad with strange, beautiful rocks. “Ah,” God says. “I see someone’s been here before me.”

(first publication)

“Genesis Notes” added to Poems, Slightly Used.

In the Forum: the bad side of good.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Depression Poets

Let them say we were like crooked old trees, blooming through the toughest of times.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Case in Blind Poetics, Letter 6

What isn’t a poem? What word, what expression, what situation, what memory, what belief, what hope, what sorrow, what dream, what reality, what perception, what machine, what myth, what philosophy, what encumbrance, what crutch, what disease, what rock, what flower, what tree, what animal, what river, what ocean, what star, what number, what color, what silence, what scent, what sound, what death, what birth, what dance, what failure, what success, what genius, what folly, what blindness, what burden, what loss, what disappointment, what void, what shame, what setting down and picking up again, what revelation, what coin in the palm, what remedy, what poison, what hunger, what need, what balm, what imagination, what heaven, what hell, what ghost, what angel, what grain of sand, what fear, what thirst, what pain, what body, what crisis, what breakdown, what garden, what wasteland, what tomb — what sweet lullaby, long after the world ends?

From Songs and Letters, originally published March 9, 2009.

Recently Linked: My thanks to David Winters for linking here from his blog, proposition: in a cold winter, why not burn books? A link to David’s blog can also be found in the “Reading Room.”

As the Conversation continues, I become the first customer to order a chapbook from BoneWorld’s new Web Store.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Like a Flower

I was trying to think like a flower
when she found me

                     and shivered so

(first publication)

“Like a Flower” added to Poems, Slightly Used.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Egg Dream

I’m in the kitchen, holding a large brown raw egg. I start peeling the egg. Bit by bit, the shell falls away, but the membrane stays intact. I handle the egg as carefully as I can, but there’s one place where the membrane is torn. There’s a small frying pan on top of the stove, also a cardboard box full of old letters. The refrigerator opens; a gust of air lifts empty bread wrappers from the countertop. They land on the cold burners. I wonder how I’m supposed to fry an egg under these circumstances. A woman standing nearby says I’m not supposed to fry it, I’m supposed to see how long I can hold it. Now, through the tear in the membrane, I see a dark red flower.

Added yesterday by Lynn Behrendt to the Annandale Dream Gazette.

In the Forum: good things in store.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Edna St. Vincent Millay: Felicity of Grief

Recently Acquired:
Mine the Harvest
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Harper & Brothers, New York (1954)

First Edition
Hardcover, 140 pages

This book begins with a Foreword by the poet’s sister, Norma Millay. Here is the first paragraph:

At the time of her death in 1950, Edna St. Vincent Millay was bringing together material for a new book of poems. Many were already selected for the edition, although some had not yet been given titles. Several had appeared in periodicals; many she had read to friends. She was in correspondence with her publishers over preliminary plans for the book. It is my genuine concern that the character of this volume reflect such planning, and I hesitate to intrude even here upon it. In both content and arrangement it follows her own wishes and practices as closely as possible.

The following poem is from Part VI, which contains twenty sonnets, all but one of which are untitled. This is the nineteenth, one of two, notes Norma Millay, that are “irregular in form”:

Felicity of Grief!—even Death being kind,
Reminding us how much we dared to love!
There, once, the challenge lay,—like a light glove
Dropped as through carelessness—easy to find
Means and excuse for being somewhat blind
Just at that moment; and why bend above,
Take up, such certain anguish for the mind?
Ah, you who suffer now as I now do,
Seeing, of Life’s dimensions, not one left
Save Time—long days somehow to be lived through:
Think—of how great a thing were you bereft
That it should weigh so now!—and that you knew
Always, its awkward contours, and its heft.

Image: Edna St. Vincent Millay, by Carl Van Vechten, 1933.
(click to enlarge)

This entry added to And I Quote.

In the Forum: lapels only.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Wash Day

Deep inside my pocket, wild chamomile and a prairie sunset.

(first publication)

“Wash Day” added to Poems, Slightly Used.

In the Forum: “Do not go gentle into that good night.”

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Two American Poets and a Spider

Recently Acquired:
Walt Whitman: A Supplementary Bibliography 1961-1967
By James T.F. Tanner (North Texas State University)
The Kent State University Press (1968)
First Edition, Second Printing

The Serif Series: Number 5
Bibliographies and Checklists

William White, General Editor

Hardcover, 59 pages

This slender but very sturdy volume begins with a short introduction by James T.F. Tanner, who writes, “The bibliography below is divided into two parts: (1) bibliographies and (2) criticism, biography and reviews. The bibliographies are listed in chronological order; all entries in the second part are listed in alphabetical order with the exception of items appearing under the “Unsigned” designation which are listed chronologically.”

An entry from the first section:

Libman, V.A. “Bibliography: Critical Works on American Literature in Russia ... Walt Whitman,” Problems in the History of the Literature of the U.S.A. Edited by G.P. Zlobin. Moscow, 1964, pp. 460-463. [In Cyrillic.]

An entry from the second section:

Nist, John. “Two American Poets and a Spider,” Walt Whitman Birthplace Bulletin, IV (January 1961), 8-11. [Whitman and Emily Dickinson’s use of the spider.]

This entry added to And I Quote.

3.5.2009 #2
3.5.2009 #1

The Night Before

An old truck hauling firewood has lost its load in the snow. The truck is parked by the curb, facing uphill. There are disinterested people walking by in dark coats and hats. The driver points to a low flat empty trailer behind the truck, and says he’d be happy if the wood were put on the trailer. I volunteer. He thanks me, then climbs into the cab. The wood is white. It blends with the snow. I pick up as much of it as I can find and put it on the trailer. Before long, the pieces I’m picking up are only the outside bark portion. I find them by locating their eyes, which look up at me through a layer of ice. I handle them carefully, because I think they might be ancient tribal masks. Finally, I give up. The driver is asleep. I walk into a building, thinking it’s a bank. Instead, it’s a little bar with very simple tables. Everyone is drinking the same thing, a non-alcoholic clear fluid served in six-ounce juice glasses. Everyone is happy. About three tables away, my mother is chatting and laughing with an elderly woman I don’t know. They’re having a wonderful time. She looks my way without recognition. I’m joined by a friend. He’s holding one of the drinks. He says it’s time to leave. I follow him around one corner and down some steps. The walls are made of orange clay. As we reach the bottom of the steps, he almost collides with a young boy, but he doesn’t spill his drink. The boy is no longer a boy, but a navy man in a fancy uniform. He passes by us without saying a word. I ask my friend if he’d like to go somewhere and have a real drink. He says no, he had far too much to drink the night before. I realize then that I don’t even remember the night before. It makes me wonder what else I don’t remember.

Added yesterday by Lynn Behrendt to the Annandale Dream Gazette.

In the Forum: Boredom versus Fascism.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Winter Trees

Feline huntress, dozing on the grass.

Along the fence, a cortège of wary sparrows,
each dark face a funeral card.

On my lips, imagined bird names:

                            Shwittl, Tikipap, Pikit ...

               farewell, farewell

                                           winter trees.

(first publication)

“Winter Trees” added to Poems, Slightly Used.

As the Conversation continues, it becomes necessary to pull a policeman’s teeth during a routine traffic stop.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Good Medicine

Granted, it’s one of my shorter poems — thirteen words, four lines — but the dentist recited it perfectly. My face was numb by then. The bird feeder outside the window was still swaying from its most recent visitors. The dentist smiled, started singing a country song.

In the Forum: “Toc Toc: A Couple Observed” and Apollinaire’s tombeau.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Recently Blamed Literature

If you ask me, Cassandra LaMothe deserves an A.

3.2.2009 #2
3.2.2009 #1

Wrong Window

A friendly butcher is standing behind a high glass case stacked with steaks and birthday cakes. I hand him a flat box that holds a manuscript, but he thinks it’s a job application, and says the store owner will call me in a few days for an interview.

Added yesterday by Lynn Behrendt to the Annandale Dream Gazette.

As the Conversation continues, we conceive of a wildly creative sewer project.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


One stray crocus, raised like a prophet’s fist.

(first publication)

“Harbinger” added to Poems, Slightly Used.

In the Forum: Lawrence Ferlinghetti flings around his imagination.