Friday, October 24, 2008

Only wright to rerun from Buffalo's ART VOICE from January '08, as LETTERHEAD II, VOL.1, is hitting the presses
In the Margins
Letterhead, Vol. 1: Interview

Robert Pomerhn’s name is synonymous with the spoken word in Buffalo. He’s published three poetry collections and has been working the local scene—from Sunday readings at the Screening Room to countless appearances at Café Allegro, EM Tea Coffee Cup Café and Rust Belt Books—for years. This Sunday, January 20, he’s releasing the first issue of Letterhead, a new annual literary arts journal for Buffalo that he’s founded in collaboration with Brian MacMahon, Bradley Lastname, Eric Johnt and Kimberly Tomczak. The release party and reading will start at 7pm at the Lancaster Opera House (21 Central Avenue, Lancaster).
What prompted the founding of Letterhead? I see the Buffalo scene as, basically, separate entities or different small islands, where nobody really has any continuity within the larger scheme of poetry. That’s true not only here but universally and nationally, too. Bradley Lastname, our managing editor, had the vision, since he’s from Buffalo, to put together Letterhead to form a community of artists from Buffalo to create a working partnership and to create a piece of work that the poetry stands up in. Then Buffalo would be the common thread rather than the name of certain smaller poetry groups within the city. There’s the UB poetry scene, there’s the Buff State poetry scene, there’s the spoken word scene, there’s the Rust Belt scene; what we’ve tried to do is be an all-inclusive place where everybody is accepted, or at least we’ve tried to give everybody a certain voice in a place where the work trumps the individual.
Why’d you choose to list author names in the table of contents only, rather than with their work? We want to accept those people and champion those people whose main goal isn’t to be published, but for work to grow and evolve as they grow. That’s something we’re actively pursuing. Another thing that really prompted us is that there are a lot of great spoken word artists out there that really don’t hold on to their work. They throw it out into the atmosphere and they make an impact in the room at that time, and then we don’t hear from them for a long time. A lot of this work is not only spoken word, but also academic. We really just don’t want labels. It’s confessional, it’s rhyming; it’s anything within, but we pretty much try to take the labels off that poetry and put it together to see how it reads. There are a ton of really great spoken word artists in Buffalo who really never pursued print media before, besides the obligatory Artvoice submission and maybe Blinking Eights.

Do you think spoken word poetry loses some its value when it’s written down? I’m hoping to dispel that notion. I’m a spoken word artist and I’m a performance poet. When you speak something out loud, you make an impact. What we’re really trying to do is to have you go back and read that work later, too. There was a time when there were a lot of small, underground presses; a lot of what has survived now are basically online journals. There’s a lot of online computer [media], but there’s nothing that’s really in the print media. A lot of these places that were small runoffs in peoples’ basements were unable to withstand the test of time. We’re trying to put out a high-quality product that people will be proud to be a part of. I think we’re trying to put the stress back on reading, because so many people really aren’t reading. We want to put out something that has some wisdom, some knowledge and understanding rather than just information, because a lot of times information is really just misinformation.
What audience are you hoping to reach? If you’ve ever gone to a poetry reading, usually you’re not sure when to clap, when to sit down, when to speak or when to breathe. We want to take a lot of that angst away. We want to bring poetry to the regular person, to the blue-collar worker, to the university professor, to the construction worker, because Buffalo’s a great place to make art, but it’s just a difficult place to market art. We want to have a readership that extends outside of the small local poetry circles.
Roughly what percent of submissions did you accept? We attempted to accept as much as we could, and we basically didn’t send rejection slips out with people whose work we didn’t accept at that point. Rather we sent out encouragement slips. Maybe there’s something they could do better because for us as their work strengthens and grows. That’s what we want to see in certain people. Those are the people we’re actively seeking out, people who don’t want to sit on their work as though it were the dead limbs of a tree or something, but who look at their works as something that can grow and flourish into something stronger than they ever thought it could be. So that’s something we really try to keep in mind, as well as casting our net to a wider group of Buffalo poets.
Copies of Letterhead: Volume 1 can be purchased at both Talking Leaves locations, Rust Belt Books, or by directly contacting Robert Pomerhn ( or Bradley Lastname ( via email.

© 1990-2008 Artvoice. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Joan Logue- Walsh, William Hollis, & nice Buddha POEM in progresss by Mike Grover


“She anesthetized unrequitedness”

She anesthetized unrequitedness

To make it a high art combating ordinary

About emptiness and one sock

A plethora of lint but no substance

Texture of dust and dust return

A film on the eye and no phenomenon

The foam of a head which is no drink

Dying of thirst with a blackened tongue

The black and tans were a mere lark

Of missing she can tell you a story

In third person mostly omniscient

Detached and full of subjective presence

With enough authorial absence

To be taken seriously, oh poor heart.

My scholarly melancholy is a joke

I played on myself in my fifth decade.

It gave me an excuse to delay gratification

For the great career I really saw myself in.

I was speeding downhill in a red ford Fairmount

Without a driver, With me in the backseat

I was ready to crash into the grassy knoll

It was going to solve all the controversy

I’m not sure about going back to college now

Maybe I should study ART.

I have no connection to technology

I paste up with scissors and glue

My concept of the future is grim

My favorite music is black and blue

I live all alone in a splendid shack

With vines and tendrils to enfold me

And animal comfort and companion

And trees and bushes surround me with density.

The sun can’t get in unless I let him

He is a man all golden and gleaming

With a blue eye for the morning
I am pale and wan and wanting
I settle for less than nothing
I wonder about my self-esteem?
I am a hopeless romantic it is spring
The fertile season of heat and germination

I’m too old for implantation and gestation

I’m giving birth to my own self being.

towards a structual proofing of the poem above

The Road Home

The road home
has many twists and turns
is icy sometimes and dangerous curves

steep climbs and no shoulder
to pull onto for rest.
The road home has no lighting
after dark

so you must learn the way by heart
memorize the feel of its surfaces
that change from craggy to smooth
or broken and gravelly.

You need to know the sounds
of the wheels turning over them.
If you don't understand these things
you'll never find your way back
you'll never be sure
though the road home is familiar
it is strange and new...
you need to listen for my call
at the front door.

J. Walsh






WW II intelligence officer

and Brilliant Poetry Professor

who taught and in-formed

among others FDW

and sd. to him at Drexel Univ.

in late 1974, "You may or may not be

a genius just keep to yr. poetry!"


From a balcony above the city he paints a late sun,
bright lights reflective among glass towers;
and sends them, his latest, by mysteries of email,
two, three at a time, surprisingly vivid, of which he says,
"The latest"; and I admire and laugh and blow them up,
remembering decades of canvases I've admired.
Portraits, guardian figures, and Japanese smut,
portraits of Andrea and me and suspicious bishops
are hung through the house, up and down steps;
then, ten years ago, landscapes appeared, full of crying
color and light, with a richness of Oaxacan hills
before builders came, before the world intruded.
Then back in the city where years add up and legs
might trip on steps that reach toward a new light,
and landscapes reach for a new peacefulness, colors
soften and distances are in some other world,
stretching with comfort that encourages me to fill
a room, where guests pause, sigh deeply and smile.

Then, finally, on that high balcony, without stairs,
as others carry younger loads, he can paint all day,

pausing to watch a late sun pull colors in sharp
reminders of other explosions, of other beginnings,
of explosions that might mean a beginning of life,
a new world to replace a flowing darkness of the past.
But something happens, the landscapes explode
in three new paintings that arrived just recently:
In a powerful balance of blacks and grays, red fire,
a bomb, shoots into the air, as if we were in Baghdad;
and in another, with a harmless title of 'first snow,'
in a world afterwards gray and silent, a black wreck.
In the third painting, reds in a dozen hues consume
remnants of a blackened world. I hold my breath
at what he has at eighty accomplished: a final warning
of what power can do to the world, a final hope of what
creative fire can do to burn its image of a wrathful Buddha
in everything he's ever seen, now seen from a quiet retreat.

It was part of waking, to hear their voices singing
among groves below my grandmother's house,
with words I could not understand, a cry
of words, a cry to anticipate the day.
They climbed the hill, and I climbed from bed
and quietly ran to the porch to watch them pass,
their mules in polished leather, the sun still cool
over pecan trees, their voices deep.
A heavy voice rumbled about heavy clay,
not made, he sang, for play, as others made
a sound like drums and bells and pipes, the words
a blur of rhythms to lift with hope.
Melodious and sad, but full of strength,
they followed muddy paths and dropped the song
in ditches behind mules, unloaded knives
and hoes and hunkered to a sweaty task.
It was still too early for grits and eggs,
and so, before returning to my bed,
I went to greet my grandfather, sitting under
a peach tree in the garden, reading his bible.

The day would pass in a casual way, with walks
to town, a lunch and naps, perhaps a story
from Clara Mae, a song at the old piano,
and regular trips to the outhouse in the garden.

"We'll sing," our Granny said, and lifted her voice
in an imitation of the songs I'd heard
as they had climbed the hill. It wasn't the same;
it lacked the flame, the need. It was amusing.
But as sun went down, I heard voices,
much slower now, in a cracked sound of pain
as they left cotton fields and came down the hill,
just there, beyond a swing on the old front porch.
The mules were dragging and piled with bags
of cotton, the wagon creaked and swayed; as old men
chanted, a woman's voice rose high and sharp,
and children cried, but not a dog would bark.
"The day's done gone," a voice sang deep;
"The night's come on," another voice broke in.
The voices of the women trailed after,
"I say it ain't much further we got to go."

A voice from the house called us to supper, ignored
the mules and men who slowly passed and children
huddled behind a group of women who sang
their chant of pain that was tired of the day.
Later, as I lay in bed and listened
to a night of restless wind in trees,
a cry still lingered like a memory
of ghosts in a blue smoke: "Oh my, oh my….
"This cry's the song you hear when you hear the voice
that cries the notes that linger in your heart
that aches like the muscles in your back. Oh my.
Oh my…." It was the song I heard as I slept.
Can you hear it echo in the night
and bet against the failure of memory?
I woke that night with a sweat of apprehension,
squatted on the slop jar and slept again.
That was years ago, and sometimes I wake
and whisper to myself, "The day's done gone;
the dark's fallin' here for good. Oh my…;"
and then I hear the voices calling at dawn.

He listened to and watched that strange adult world as he grew up in Lakeland, Florida, during the thirties; and, with his grandfather’s help, he started writing poems, usually during summers in Savannah or Buena Vista, Georgia, where he was too sickly to play with athletic cousins. And since he was one of the few kids, back then, who played the piano well, a student at the age of 8 at Florida Southern College, he had a wonderful opportunity to play throughout central Florida and overhear women in Winter Haven and Lake Wales and men in Tampa and Orlando talk about the whispered sides of their lives. He would play Liszt after a luncheon meeting and rush home to write a poem about some slick man with polished nails or the woman who hissed that she never wore underwear.
During college at Washington and Lee and Princeton, where he could not tie himself to one major, and during a year in Europe on a Fulbright, he was a loner, watching and listening and trying to find ways to make verbal music out of human experience. He sat on mountain tops in Switzerland and listened to an echo of voices, slept in cheap youth hostels, fell in love with Australian girls and the Grand Canal in Venice, ate in the cheapest White-Russian cafés in Paris, and tried to write poems more up-to-date than Keats, who had been his first love when he was 12. And then, after a couple of years in the army where, stationed in D.C., he spent most of his time looking at paintings and writing about that, he hit thirty. And then he married and taught at Dartmouth and Drexel and had a family, two daughters, an equestrienne and a scholar, and found that poetry had to be relegated to summer vacations — though the poems kept coming anyway, even after he grew tired of trying to fit into ‘the literary scene,’ a scene that never worked for him except when he was dramatically reading his poems in bars and bookshops of Philadelphia.

pictures above by Andrea Baldeck

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the pictures below with Mike's piece are from and of Bhante Yogavicara Rahula while in india and thailand a few years ago, one of the Mahathera great teachers and preceptors at the BHAVANA SOCIETY forest monestery, High View, West Virginia.


Buddha begging
In the streets of
The capital city
Of Shrauasti.
Patched saffron robe,
No shoes on his feet.
Empty purple stone bowl
In his hands for offerings.
Around noontime
He would go door to door,
Non discriminant of rich or poor.
Take clumps of rice in the bowl.
He would eat his meal,
This bowl of rice.
Return to his home
In the woods
Outside of the city.
Wash his feet,
Remove his robe,
Sit in his appointed seat.

On Huron Street
The homeless all look up
With sad, tired eyes.
I try to look each one
Right in the eye.
See if I can find
A Buddha somewhere.
I know he is somewhere.
I wonder how many pass him
Without even seeing.


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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

andrew lovatt from the time of OZONE, pine tree graphics studio, 13th and vine late early 1990's. Ficciones by "Eak The Geek", NYC, sideshow legend!

michael sent me the attached audio file - found on an old machine. it dates back to "downtown days" when i had the studio on N 13th St. for some reason it repeats the short poem twice. enjoy!

From: Michael Lovatt <
16August 2007 14:12:04 ISTTo:
andrew lovatt <>

Subject: hethatis

found this in my old files
that I'm going through
these days you had this
on the first iMac

you sent over back in '99, i kept it.
sadly is was
in sound
edit format, which

I no longer have
so had to import it raw
into a new editor, so lost some
quality thats material
in the background


r e d m o o n m e d i a . c o m clear thinking : creative vision
:: websites

:: contactemail:
tel: +353 1 5042360mob: +353 87 1236152

-------Web Creative Services Ltd.t/a redmoonmedia
Registered in Ireland no. 291859
7 College Farm ParkNewbridge, Co. Kildare

&&&&&&&&&& &&&&&&&&& &&&&& :

Eak The Geek, E. Arrocha, is the legendary 10- in- one STRONGMAN who worked at the Sideshow by the Seashore museum in Coney Island but besides that is an amazing underground writer as the reader of these short story/ "supra-real" if not gently surreal vignettes published here for the first time soon must come to grips with.

NOTE: The asst. administrator of ULAPoetry and Fiction must apologize to him for not having done so years ago when under the auspices of Mike DelVeccia, editor and publisher of the newspaper, Philadelphia Arts Writers the piece was made available to publish by that asst administrator.

The wild bazaar, a walk down the streets of the New Jerusalem, the captain of a one man ship, with a tattered sails and worn out shoes from winter walking and what a sight it was. Suddenly the nothing of " noting never making sense" came all together in a song of wild colors and black t-shirts peddled by men from far away lands with commerce on their minds, and the lust of money in their eyes, a walk, on the way to the gates of the kingdom where the hungry for more then food, and more then money, the hungry who could never satisfy the craving danced to beat of wild drums in the middle of the night warmed by bonfires burning in to ashes wooden pieces of doors and beams and buildings that lay in shambles.

Suddenly, the ghost whisperers of past echoes became a raging ring in tired neurons addled from to much living, exhausted beyond the point of sleep. Running from shortcomings in past lovers eyes and desires that stayed put in the back of greyhound bus seats, rambling thru Midwestern towns across the great divide, with there pretty houses and nice yards and the invisible people who lived behind the windows off quiet street and behind cars. Eyes wide open around a twisted square where in freezing weather the African statue lady danced, nude but for a skirt and shirt of silver electric tape, so far gone in the sounds of her imaginary drums as she moved to the rhythms of a mystery, while the lady and dogs gave out advice and pinched the passers by for Judas coin to feed herself and her brood of twenty or so small yellow mutts and to keep the mute veteran alive in his far away eyes, and the sadness of his memories.

And the desert became an odd after thought with it’s beautiful red cliffs, and it’s colors, and the carnival became dated once feet hit the city streets, and the people just became many and all had the same face and looked the same and said the same things in detached cool and somehow looked as if they had never left the rainstorm in the days of cold weather.

I had arrived like the lost Capistrano swallows that would nest in the porch of a the only bar in Madrid New Mexico, looking for the a familiar breeze that seemed to be coming from around the abstract corner, or perhaps behind the hill where the old spoils of the abandoned coal mine painted streaks of dirty ashes on the scarred hillside. I had arrived and it was so cold and no one paid attention, and no one said a word unless they wanted to sell me star dust promises and shooting rainbows, and I had been burned enough times to doubt before I believed.

Ah the New Jerusalem, where one could run away from the remnants of faded dreams and invent a past of convenience and believe in it just because it was there and no one but the drunkard passed out on the side of the pavement knew the truth. And I would sit on the side of the sidewalk and drink beer with the thin man who would paint and sell pictures for a quarter and who cried when they would swirl away in a gust of wind, the same one that would leave skeletons of umbrellas littering the curb, hoping the catch the wind with there skinny bent metallic limbs trying to catch a song. And I had arrived, almost hoping to be famous or to be swallowed in the night, at the tail end of roaming thru out the land, and I was so tired, I did not know it, and so sad I had no place to go, and behind me my bridges law waste, under the flood waters left behind by a broken levy.

Ah the New Jerusalem, where one comes to see the light or to be a subway pauper and become pieces of paper flying around the city canyons in wind devils, depositing there secrets two or three streets away where they do not mean a thing to anyone, as every one is busy enough to escape there own silly memories and hide there head in the sand, Ah the New Jerusalem, where I would stay up all night writing poems about the flies stuck in sugar water and the vanished sun. The New Jerusalem with the smell of piss and sausage on it’s shady street fairs, with it’s junk shops and the memories of what had once been the red light in the middle of the night and was now a barren wasteland of crack head skeletons with dead eyes wandering, looking for a place to place there fangs and suck blood to keep death alive another day. The New Jerusalem where I saw the sun rise for the first time in many years, the New Jerusalem, where the county fair meet the Atlantic ocean and an ancient Chinese fishermen pulled skate to cut off their sea wings and leave them there to die. The Jerusalem, where I came alive, one day and ran in to the circus that never leaves this town, full of subways ghost of the ones that could have been and the ones that never where, and the image of the young girl who lived in the projects and had pictures of the ocean on her walls, but had never taken the train to Coney Island to see the sea. The New Jerusalem with its well kept secrets waiting for a sacred hurricane to steal them in to a magic night colored by invisible stars.

And I arrived, to not or to fade in to the night, and I arrived to try to tell a tale, and got swallowed by the story. Eduardo Arrocha/ September 28 .

October 7, 2005

In the land of the endless sky, so large it swallowed the land, the red cliff the mountains and the sand, I staid awake under the sounds coming from the gray recorder, giving me the gift of songs from the endlessness of time, I smoked cigarettes and more, drank black cowboy coffee while grounding down buckles, inlaid with the secrets of the mountains, and I breathe epoxy and wood dust and did not care, as my mind flew free, far away from the feeling I had to fight every day, trying to figure how fill the empty hole from a recently amputated part of my soul.
I think we all have a chance to go to our own personal crossroads, and when we do; we dive far in to the ink vacuous, waiting for the thud coming from the great fall. Sometimes and only sometimes can we actually turn our arms to wings and fly far, far above the place where Icarus burnt his wings, as he got to close to the sun. I drank from the secret waters, and learned the secrets that have taken me a life time to learn how to forget. Perhaps I was smart enough to take flight late night, far from the big bright yellow light that could burn skin to a purple crisp and baked the desert stones.
In flight I would see the far away promises of distance laying underneath our feet in the back yard where the dogs howled and sang and barked and shat all over the place, the way dogs do, the would sit there and teach me the language of their eyes, and I would come back for a moment to check on the lathe and make certain my finger where all on my hand, and the right sanding belt was on for the job, and then I would fly again, once more.
My head was full of hair, and I did not worry about the growth around my waist, and I could deal with hunger as long as I could look to find and answer, somewhere, even in deep fried bread or a bowl of beans. Somehow I loved my nicotine stained fingers, and my yellowed teeth and my wild streak and my desire to write more poems and the communion I felt with every cup of coffee I drank, as it all moved away from her, just a little bit every time, but enough to not go completely insane. That is before I wrote "wild darling" just for her in a long gone New York café when I finally buried the hatchet and figured it was time to let her fade in to the suburb of her choice.
Did I ever think I would outlive practically everyone? It is not that I am old, it is just that they all seemed to die or fade away thru out the years leaving only pieces of their memory, of the though of desires and all kinds of thoughts that come and visit in the middle of thinking about my salad dressing. Simple how it happens, they just show up for a moment before going back in to the lost neurons, or in to a moment when the fire burned and I had no great worry, because I was to busy staving off the endless hunger.
It is the hunger that drives one to go to market and got as all together as the crate people catering to weekday refugees eating bad corn dogs on a stick and drinking down watered down soda, it was the hunger that allowed us to sit thru the rain and the wind and the sun and the thirst and the dessert gossip, it was the hunger that made a cheep breakfast and a cup of dark as shoe polish liquid taste as a gift from the ancient gods that lived in the crannies of the Sandias mountains. It was the hunger that made the cliffs so much redder and made a the eyes hurt when crossing the bridge in to radioactive city, and it made a cheep burrito from the taco spot somehow taste better then the finest of the finest dishes made in a four star Parisian restaurant.
It was not only a hunger for food, but a hunger for love and a hunger for tobacco and for enough money and for drugs and for anything to fill the empty void waiting for the ghost of her memory to come in and steel moments of my space. It was that hunger that can only be satisfied with a cigarette always burning on lips end, and a cup of coffee and the never ending adrenaline keeping the body hanging on for dear life, even though it is killing it.
We all go to our personal crossroads, but I jumped in full of fear, but I jumped in the end of day, and I played with, out of mock bravado and the scent of a promise broken.
Sometimes I am reminded by the supermarket manager that I am overweight, that I look fat, and I feel like asking him if he knows what it’s like to go with out food for days on end, but I shake my head and smile, after all it is not as bad as when the vicious old lady begins following me around calling me a Satanist and demands to see the boss.
It has been quite a few year in my personal spell of time since I had my last hurrah, and I cannot say I miss it, but it always leaves me thinking. I went to Albuquerque and then to the Jemez Mountains to visit the grave of my friend Spencer’s grave, he took me in when I got back from a sad Mexican adventure after getting out of the loony tunes and getting disowned by my father. My friend Charles, with whom I ran like a gazelle from the cops one day across Roosevelt Park died of liver failure in October of 2004, The Chilean doctor who talked me out of doing something really stupid committed suicide with out me getting a chance to thank him. Not too many remain; I figure they all have been swallowed in the dust or gone for a great adventure. My trip was weird, the Frontier restaurant was still there and I had a great lunch and remembered, some of the wonderful vendors in the plaza where still there and they remembered me, and it was odd and made me quite happy, almost all of them looked older and some the guys that where skinny like me, where all sporting a Buddha, what I call my gut, now that things have gotten comfortable. We spoke about old times and about the dead. Life goes on. We owe it enough to respect its memory.
Sometimes I wonder what happened to Sarah, after she surgically amputated that part of my soul, the last time I saw her I was about to leave Albuquerque for another great adventure, she stared at me intently and dropped her coffee on my conversation companion, she looked good and was about to get married. We did not speak and as I walked across the room our eyes caught and we did the long stare and knew we would never see each other again, we never did have a chance to say goodbye. I wonder if we would recognize each other, I am not as young as crazy as thin and do not smoke any thing any more though I still love my coffee dark!
A few weeks ago, I saw a guy who could have been the ghost of crazy skinhead David, he was rather poorly aged and his tattoos where faded, he looked like David, the greatest womanizer and a born thief would of ended up looking like if he would of not committed suicide in San Francisco running from the law. The last time I saw him he bought me a pack of cigarettes and smiled, I guess we where all tapped and burnt out and ready to run somewhere to be swallowed in the great sky bowl.
My cat died recently, my friend Donny gave her to me, and he was one of my oldest friends in New York and one of two people who knew all my secrets. He died a few years ago, left a wife and children. Me I am still hanging in there, I must admit I love eating a bit much, and still shake to the thought of hunger. I have not fallen in love ever again much to the chagrin of the few lovers I have had and of my past obsessions. And me, I just living another day, writing a few more poems and finishing school papers, ah that has been a great new adventure, but I will leave it for another day.

Eduardo Arrocha

Eak The Geek Gone To Law School And Has Another Success!