A Woodburners We Recommend Publication 2005 series



I have had this little book in mind and in the making for some years now. Cid and I often talked about it and it had his blessings, and in some ways it may be the perfect gift to be given now with his passing. This is Cid at his ever best, informally presenting his poems typed outside on mail aerogrammes to all his friends and correspondence - no matter how long he had known you - complete strangers became friendship as any friend. I imagine the post office might have had one reader in its ranks between Kyoto & Vermont. The poems suddenly appeared on the aerogrammes at the start of the '90s and continued right up to his last letter to me at the end of December 2003. All others who had letters from Cid experienced similar poems-as-gift. He mined poems from his already published books, new work, poems that were coming to him as he wrote a letter to a particular friend; even other poets' poems. Everything was game. I know he drew poems to me right out of my letters or the subject of those letters - so a poem to my young son Carson, another about Ted Enslin, laying stone in my work as a builder - the matter at the moment. Few poets reached the very moment like Cid. He meant poetry to be the absolute headache for any archivist or scholar of the future: the insistence on poetry being of the now. What's the point, afterwards? Cid seems to be saying to us all. I've selected over fifteen years of the poems-on-aerogrammes period and of course before then, poetry was always Cid's letters. Mail-call. One more reason why we miss him every day. ~ Bob Arnold, 2004


A Selection ~


Has it ever
occurred to you
you’re what is oc-
curring to you?

There are stories and
there is poetry and some
times even music.
Always that shudder
when the third eye winks
between the others.
Only a bunch of
swallows over and over
the darkening stream.
Nothing ends with you —
every leaf on the ground
remembers the root.
Everything is
coming to a head — meaning
blossoms yet to fall.

She waters
the plants downstairs
from upstairs —
so does the rain.

The last day at last —
everything they brought to
school coming home now.
Why should I
think of her
now? But then

she was my
mother. She
thought of me.
An old twisted stick
but sturdy — red oak —
just what I wouldve
expected from Ted.
Fire under the ash
and written on the wall the
shadow of a friend

— Basho

I wonder. Is it
mere curiosity or
just a quiet glow?
The sun is
my shadow

I shall not
want — it

leadeth me
When am I going
to lose my leaves and find I
am the poetry?

At this


you can

feel how

you are.



Now available ~

Cid Corman. The Famous Blue Aerogrammes. Longhouse, 2004. First edition. 1 of 100 copies. New in wraps. Selected poems edited by Bob Arnold of Cid Corman's poems written on the outside of the poet's aerogrammes from Kyoto, Japan. A prime example of age-old mail-art. Introduction by Bob Arnold. Limited edition. $15.95

As an act of goodwill and for poetry - Longhouse is sending out each month complete publications - online - of one poet we have published in booklet form for everyone to share. It's a way of giving back to many of you who have sent to us poems, letters, purchases and the same goodwill over the years. The series will fly in under the banner of our Woodburners We Recommend. It should also be felt as a certain warmth in memory of our close friend and long time working companion Cid Corman. Each monthly booklet will also be available for purchase from Longhouse. For those readers that travel back as far as 1972 when Longhouse began, you know poetry was released like bandits by the day, by the week, by the month, and always free. We have never taken on grants and meant poetry to be seen & heard & on poetry terms. For the years 2004-5 and within the universal cyber cosmos, we would like to share a dozen poets with you....and only ask that you share them further.


© March 2005 by Bob & Susan Arnold

© The Literary Estate of Cid Corman
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