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Showing posts from April, 2017

Cap'n Jack Mueller 1942-2017

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I will not be reduced to false clarity or
deductive explanations of a leaf, falling.
*


There was a bobcat. To protect my rodents, I scared it off.

Then came a squall of hail so fierce it pockmarked my house. *

My Erasmus is dragging.
*

What I can't change 

changes me.
*

Time has a twin, but doesn't speak of it.
*

I am overcome by reason,
overwhelmed by song.
*

Budada is bigger than coca cola! 

*

The field is good for daisies 

and daisies for the field.
*

The world wept wooden tears
but it was already too late.
*

The degree of incongruence determines 

everything.

*

Wednesday night is like all the other nights  Too far from dawn
To be taken seriously.  

- JM





I think it was about fifteen years ago I first met Jack.  His first words to me were, You got a good weird on you.  
Thus began a friendship between us that could only be described as delightful, peculiar, dysfunctional, cerebral, soulful, tragic, and deeply rewarding.   Jack was the quintessential San Francisco beat poet with a big ol' Blakean heart, …

And Another for the Reaper: Rest in Peace, Robert W King, 1937-2017

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We are wise, or old. We can afford to laugh.  - RWK Bob was loved by many Colorado poets.  He was a poet who took his humor seriously, a journeyman, a wordsmith, a professor of English at UNC, curator of the Colorado Poets Center, and he was a dear friend.   A few weeks before he died, he asked me to say some words and read one of his poems at the service in celebration of his life, in Loveland.  Poets in the area who knew and loved him are invited to attend.  The services will be held at The Rialto Theatre, on 4th Street, Wed., May 3 at 4pm.  



In a Dark Time One Reads Nothing but Heather McHugh

What He Thought
For Fabbio Doplicher
We were supposed to do a job in Italy and, full of our feeling for ourselves (our sense of being Poets from America) we went from Rome to Fano, met the Mayor, mulled a couple matters over. The Italian literati seemed bewildered by the language of America: they asked us what does “flat drink” mean? and the mysterious “cheap date” (no explanation lessened this one’s mystery). Among Italian writers we
could recognize our counterparts: the academic, the apologist, the arrogant, the amorous, the brazen and the glib. And there was one administrator (The Conservative), in suit of regulation gray, who like a good tour guide with measured pace and uninflected tone narrated sights and histories the hired van hauled us past. Of all he was most politic-- and least poetic-- so it seemed. Our last few days in Rome  I found a book of poems this unprepossessing one had written: it was there in the pensione room (a room he’d recommended) where it must have been abandoned by the German visitor …

In Which the Poet Probes the Mysterious Many-Armed Beast of Social Media

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Results are mixed.  But generally the town squares of the day are square, or straight, or off the charts oracular, (and circular), intensely bent, or comfortingly bi-polar.

Twitter is built for brevity, but goes on and on and on.  It has the distinct feel of a house of footloose gremlins and their prickly spawn.  It's scarcely populated by poets, and those poets who are present tend to be the ones who object to Facebook on principle, and more power to them.  It's well suited to those with a quick wit and a pulse on the entire planet.  A particularly good place for the well-read, the clever and the curmudgeonly. And your basic egomaniacal ignoramus who doesn't know it.

Facebook is great for cats and memes and pokes and winks and those who like to engage, argue, and express their deepest fears, not with blood, or sweat, or ink, but with link upon link upon link.  It's the hub of social media, it's got the boomers by the short hairs, and it knows it.  And it shows.  Al…

Belle Turnbulle (1881-1970)

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Only the drift of tameless folk,
Tough in sinew, tough in bone,
Knit in their outlandishness,
Long endure by naked stone.

from Will Boil Too Early, The Ten Mile Range Belle Turnbulle 


A few dear poet friends and I will be discussing Belle's work at the Breckenridge Creative Arts Center the evening of Friday, April 21.  More information can be found here:  rANGE

Turnbulle, who lived in Breckenridge for the last 30 years of her life, came to speak the dual language of mountain and mining: 

Mountains were made for badgers, Probus said,
And badgers for the mountains.  And so long
As I can claw a tunnel, with the strong
Smell of the ore beyond, I shall be led
To sink my pick in holes unlimited,
To rummage in old stopes and raise the song
Of victory too soon, all laid along
Hellbent to crack a granite maidenhead.

And men of war may hoot and presidents
Rock down the chutes to hell, but I'll be going
Soon as a patch of mountainside is showing.
Soon as a bluebird settles on a fence,
Two shall string out …

In Which the Artist Goes to the Opening and Attempts to Paint in Public

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Colorado Canyons Gallery and Gifts

The good people of the Telluride Mushroom Fest have asked I design their T-shirts this year.  I'll also be vending original works at the event:

Mushroom Fest, Videlock T-shirt






#telluridemushroomfest




Writing Motherhood, edited by Carolyn Jess-Cooke

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These good folks in Ireland kindly asked permission to reprint "Flowers, for my Mother," a small piece of mine which first appeared in Poetry, in their new anthology, which is available now: