Monday, May 30, 2016


I've been taking notes for my next book
which has a lot to do with teenagers and
I happened to watch The Big Street (1942).
It's a bizarre movie, especially the big psychological
ending. Que? The highlight was seeing the spoiled
Lucille Ball trussed in the back of a farm truck
bound for Florida. Actually, that would have
improved the movie a lot to develop that long walk
Henry Fonda took, pushing her in a wheelchair along
the Eastern seaboard, but it was all told in flashes.

We also saw a Star Trek episode 'Charlie X' from 1966.
Even in outer space there's teenage trouble.

Saturday, May 28, 2016


I just sent off the next book to the printer. 
The title is: AT THE EDGE OF AMERICA. 
It's 2 connected novels, BAGDAD BUTTERFLY 
The beautiful cover is by Ruth Hulbert, 
with a foreword by Dan Hanrahan.
This is the cover spread for the new 
Good Deed Rain book.
The publishing date is early June, so stay tuned.
Thanks to Fred, Ruth, Dan, Rob and Neal for your help
creating this. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016


I've been rereading William Hjortsberg's amazing
biography of Richard Brautigan, Jubilee Hitchhiker.
Richard's arrival in 1950s San Francisco and the
years following are so inspiring, I've started writing
notes for a new novel.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Mr. Hobbs

Just watched "Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation" again.
This film from 1962 is playing at the Drive In theater
in the sequel to ROOSEVELT...

Friday, May 20, 2016

another good book

Another good book about poets of China

By the way, I finished a new novel
yesterday. I walked around in almost a daze
deciding if it really was done, but it is.
I'll type that up and hope to find an
old-fashioned illustrator for it. It's sort of
a children's book, set in a slightly different

Thursday, May 19, 2016


Yesterday is the year anniversary of starting the novel
I'm currently working on. This one has taken me longer
than usual to write as I've been so busy with job and
working on the Robert Sund tribute.
Anyway, it's going good and approaching the end.
I won't tell you anything else about it at the moment
except to say that this place features briefly in it:
Anyone driving Bellingham to Seattle will know
this spot on I-5, atop Starbird Road...

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

the tu fu look

There’s a great passage from p.126 of Bill Porter/Red Pine’s
POETS OF THE PAST, that perfectly illustrates what I was
trying to do with A FLUTTER OF BIRDS PASSING
Porter describes a collection of Tu Fu,
“This was how poems were meant to be read: big type,
lots of space, room to let the eye and the mind roam, an
ink-black landscape appearing out of the mist then
disappearing into the mind transformed.”

Sunday, May 15, 2016

movie time

Watched another one of my old favorites

henry fonda

I've been watching Henry Fonda movies.
THE MOON'S OUR HOME (1936) which is
sort of a lead-in to one of my favorite films
THE LADY EVE (1941).

Thursday, May 12, 2016

T'ao Ch'ien

There's no end to the great poets of China.
They laid down the footsteps for us to follow.
This book by T'ao Ch'ien is great.
Robert Sund is very much in this tradition.

loading poems

I've been rereading Richard Brautigan's
Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork.
Sat in the park on break reading these poems.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Review of A Flutter of Birds Passing Through Heaven

Here's The New York Journal of Books review
of our new book, A FLUTTER OF BIRDS

Call it an appreciation, a gathering, a do-it-yourself
biography, what this amounts to is an authentic tribute
to an important American poet. Robert Sund (1929– 2001)
lived and worked the woods country of Washington state
as poet, artist, musician, teacher. Author Tom Robbins wrote
in 1969, “Sund is likely the finest poet now practicing in
the Pacific Northwest.”

What editors Allen Frost and Paul Piper have done is
assemble a rich collection of Sund’s own writing and
honest recollections and tributes to the man and his work.
These include some of the best writers from that era or area:
Kenneth Rexroth, William Carlos Williams, Gary Snyder,
Robert Bly, as well as his more intimate friends and fellow
artists: Charlie Craft, Tim McNulty, Arjuna (Diane) Barton,
Joseph Stroud, Frances McCue, and about 40 more.

The book is beautifully laid out and lush with graphic images
of the poet and friends, but also with copies of some of the
correspondence and posters of events. Sund lived extremely
humbly in a fisherman’s shack, often off of the good will of
friends. Each element fills in a story that the reader constructs
without a narrator’s bias.  

Sund’s own poetics are summed up in his description of T
he Sullivan Slough Review publication, which he edited briefly:
“We are interested most in silence, and in great agedness.
We want to publish the work of poets, who are like insects,
free from dogma, fully a part of their world, alive, solitary
members of the brotherhood of poetry, religious, thoughtful,
full of clarity, and related to everything.” Fortunately for the
readers such poetry, his own and others, fill this book. Here
is a poem from his running journal dated September 22:

Invited to stay here, there is a room
upstairs. Going to live in Bellingham
now, there is a fine spirit coming alive
here, a warmth that is present from house
to house, casual friendship but springing
from deep concern. This is a very large family.
This book emanates from this generous spirit.

Robert Sund is perhaps best known for the books Bunch Grass,
Ish River, Poems from Ish River Country: Collected Poems &
Translations, Taos Mountain, and Notes from Disappearing
Lake: The River Journals of Robert Sund. There are also a host
of beautifully done chapbooks.

It is entirely appropriate that two poets, Frost and Piper,
from Bellingham, Washington, should produce this essential book
from a small literary press, Good Deed Rain. 

Larry Smith is the author of Lake Winds: Poems (2014), 
Kenneth Patchen: Rebel Poet in America (Bottom Dog Press,
reprinted 2012), and Lawrence Ferlinghetti: Poet-at-Large
(Southern Illinois University Press, 1982). He is also the
publisher at Bottom Dog Press.

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