Friday, December 02, 2005
From pools of shattered glass, upholstery springs
Sprout. Willow thickets burst from burnt out cars.
The smoke rain leaves flowers now above the foothills.
I should think over stupid things I've done.

Useless, the fighting. No use in denying

Couples their romance machinery, lovers
Haunting the trees, startled, the moon turned on.

So dance with me, as though through great stone rooms.
We'll have to give back that space, moving on
While night, in opening, ruptures icy chains,
Shakes drops — the twigs bead — sets small stars adrift —
(Things unintended rising to fulfillment).

We've kissed here, old Ford buried to the axles
Among the river willows, where rust bleeds
Into the stream — as recently as August
All the wells coughed sand. On Coffee Creek
The one hundred and sixty clear-cut acres
For sale very nearly tempted me
To buy into that light's simplicity,
A ruins such as gods might shout across,
Archaic stillness. The tail of the pool's

Rust dark. New waters flood the alder saplings.
As yet no salmon rises to the fly.


Jamie Irons said...

Today cleared after a series of rainstorms. Everything washed clean, the creeks alive again.

To me it has always seemed that there are many points of similarity between fly fishing and love.

For one, in both cases, by tricking oneself out in bits of fur and feathers, one embarks on a process of seduction.

Knucklehead said...


Ummm... loving to fly fish shouldn't lead one to compare... never mind ;)

As a guy who once tried to explain the similarities between an old baseball mitt and one's life long spouse, I have no room to talk.

Seneca the Younger said...

Knuck, I'm now really caught by the image of working a jar of neat's-foot or something into the leather to break in a new glove.

Jamie, I really really like this poem.

Jamie Irons said...


Thanks, I am honored.

(I knew the fly-fishing-love remark was a risky one! ;-)


Knucklehead said...


Go with lanolin or, in a pinch, shaving cream.

Doug said...

Incredible interview w/Jackie Mason, on now:

Doug said...

I like "fishegg fishing:"
Go to sleep and let the steelhead wake me up when it's time to eat! :-)
(A real Calif Sportsman, I was.)

Doug said...

As for the analogy...

Doug said...

From Tarzana Joe :

Not strangeness, but a leap forward of the same quality.
Accomplishment. The even loyalty. But fresh.
Not the Prodigal Son, nor Faustus. But Penelope.
The thing steady and clear. Then the crescendo.
The real form. The culmination. And the exceeding.
Not the surprise. The amazed understanding. The marriage,
Not the month's rapture. Not the exception. The beauty
That is of many days. Steady and clear.
It is the normal excellence, of long accomplishment.

Jack Gilbert

Doug said...

What I truly despise is the person who doesn’t appreciate his or her own good fortune in a world where so few rise. There’s the millionaire athlete who claims he gets no respect (and in case you are thinking I might be a redneck, I was thinking about my own paisano, Mike Piazza). There’s the movie star who won’t talk to the press. And there’s the attractive, successful woman who laments how horrible the world is for women.

And even though the book is written with a nudge and a wink, I find my stomach turning as I consider Maureen Dowd’s book “Are Men Necessary?” What really sickens me is the thought of Ms. Dowd speaking to a hotel ballroom full of women (including my dear mother, beloved wife, and respected female friends) and listening to them all laugh at the implication that a seaweed wrap or a new hat is more important, pleasing and satisfying than me…I mean men!

Here in my black hole of despair, when I turn to the dark side, I often come upon a moment of insight. Alas, while important, satisfying, and pleasing, this insight will not afford me an annual income. Nevertheless, here it is.

The entire male - female “problem” and the difference between the genders can be understood when you accept the fact that no man would ever entertain the question, let alone write a book titled,

“Are Women Necessary?”

--Tarzana Joe

Skookumchuk said...


For one, in both cases, by tricking oneself out in bits of fur and feathers, one embarks on a process of seduction.

Hmm. Yes, I suppose that is true. OK then, a quiz:

A Gray Midge is to a cotton t-shirt as a Royal Wulff is to a _____.

Buddy Larsen said...

now that I've read these rather amazingly expressive comments, i'm about ready to try the poem. But in the morn, with fresh senses.

Doug said...

I'll try to "Rain In" my California Dreaming after this:

The California Poppy
by Ina Donna Coolbrith

Thy satin vesture richer is than looms
Of Orient weave for raiment of her kings.
Not dyes of old Tyre, not precious things
Regathered from the long forgotten tombs
Of buried empires, not the iris plumes
That wave upon the tropic's myriad wings,
Not all proud Sheba's queenly offerings,
Could match the golden marvel of thy blooms.
For thou art nurtured from the treasure veins
Of this fair land; thy golden rootlets sup
Her sands of gold - of gold thy petals spun.
Her golden glory, thou! on hills and plains
Lifting, exultant, every kingly cup,
Brimmed with the golden vintage of the sun.

(When I was a lad, the hills were covered w/ Poppies, Lupine, and others too numerous to recall.)

Buddy Larsen said...

skook--did you read the Lileck's hit on Vonnegut, where he said something like Vonnegut is '...speaking Truth to Power, or maybe Hindu to Houseplants....'

I'm still laffin'....

Doug said...

If I ever get a "real" website going again, I'll post that Mason interview for y'all.
Quite impressive and inspiring.
...have no idea how old he is.
Said he had a
"Violent Desire to Succeed."
He did.
Brought up surrounded by Rabbis, he tried for a couple of years,
then decided:
"Somebody in this family's gotta make a living!"

Skookumchuk said...


Yes, it was hilarious.

Doug said...


Say Bazonka every day
That's what my grandma used to say
It keeps at bay the Asian Flu'
And both your elbows free from glue.
So say Bazonka every day
(That's what my grandma used to say)

Don't say it if your socks are dry!
Or when the sun is in your eye!
Never say it in the dark
(The word you see emits a spark)
Only say it in the day
(That's what my grandma used to say)

Young Tiny Tim took her advice
He said it once, he said it twice
he said it till the day he died
And even after that he tried
To say Bazonka! every day
Just like my grandma used to say.

Now folks around declare it's true
That every night at half past two
If you'll stand upon your head
And shout Bazonka! from your bed
You'll hear the word as clear as day
Just like my grandma used to say!

Spike Milligan

Buddy Larsen said...

ha! spike Milligan--maverick dude on fire.

I saw Jackie Mason tonite on O'Rielly's show--he was brilliant--as usual. The yiddish accent just slays me, he could read the phone book and roll me in the aisles. yes, he's gotta be way up there in his 80s.

"They said it couldn't be done...

But with a smile he went right to it!

He tackled that job that couldn't be done!

He couldn't do it!"

nite all...peace and love.

RogerA said...

Jaime--really elegant stuff--evokes some of my most pleasant memories: when I hunted ruffed grouse with my 28 gauge double in the hills around West Point in the fall--the smell of old concord grapes and the color of fall leaves with the sun streaming thru the cover in the late afternoon.

In the spring, I would take the hackle of the grouse and tie it into some very simply march brown wets and go out on the stream--Thanks for the beautiful work!

Buddy Larsen said...

haven't thought of the old 28 ga in years and years...gone the way of the 10 ga....too bad, it was a great white-winger--esp in a side-by-side.

Skookumchuk said...

RogerA, Buddy:

Look through Cabela's and pick up a nice Fox Sterlingworth or something for about two grand.

The tweeds and plus fours are optional.

Syl said...

I do like the poem!

Well, this is a men's room in here. I feel I shouldn't intrude.

Wait. That didn't come out right.

I don't understand your love for huntin' and fishin'. I accept it nevertheless.

I think a woman, well me anyway, doesn't need an excuse to stand in the middle of a stream and just enjoy the feel of the water and sights and sounds around.

Or walk through the woods, alone, looking back every 50 steps or so to see what it should look like when I find my way out again.

I don't associate solitude in the middle of nature with love of another human being. To me it's some kind of communion with the entire universe. Just me and it.

It's cleansing and gives perspective.

I can then go home and handle whatever is necessary because it is no longer overwhelming.

Skookumchuk said...


I think a woman, well me anyway, doesn't need an excuse to stand in the middle of a stream and just enjoy the feel of the water and sights and sounds around.

Hey, me too.

RogerA said...

Damn Jaime--you hit your post out of the park--very few things evoke those memories that are so deep in me--I still have my little Spanish made 28 double with a straight stock--it a beautiful effortless gun--and I am fortunate to live near enough the Yakima River in Washington state which is a really great trout fishery and in whose covers hold lowland ruffed grouse and Wilson's snipe along the banks.

Syl--if you understand what its like to stand in a river and feel the current, and see the rises and "feel" your fly drift thru a riffle or a long run, then you can be an honorary man! Ok--bad wording there :)

Elk hair caddis for rainbows in the riffles; march brown wets in the runs for the really big fish--the tight line, the jumps, and the beautiful feeling when you release that gorgeous rainbow at the end of the tussle.--It is pretty special--I could go on about grouse hunting too--its the dry land equivalent of fly fishing.