Thursday, June 30, 2011

July's Truck journey

Many thanks to Frank Parker for a splendid June. Tomorrow Skip Fox will take the wheel for July. New drivers every month. So if you'd like a turn at the wheel just get in touch with me. The Truck has drivers through November, so after that . . .





This is my last post as guest editor of TRUCK for the month of June 2011. My thanks to Halvard Johnson for entrusting me with his mighty rig and my gratitude to those who have followed along. I hope you have enjoyed meeting some terrific poets and their work in a different format.

Frank Parker is the author of three books of poetry, Heart Shaped Blossoms: 1993-2007, zig-zag journeys (2009), and Win Po: a work in progress (2011), all from his Obscure Press. He edits the online journal Frank's Home: An Active Anthology of Verse and publishes widely on the web. He has an installation of 33 broadsides online in the current issue of Big Bridge. He’s on the Board of Directors of POG, a collective of literary and visual artists in Tucson, AZ, and is the sound technician for POG and Chax Press readings. Frank maintains the web site POG Sound, an audio archive of POG and Chax Press readings. He can be found on Facebook too. He loves his little adobe casita in Barrio Viejo, feeds sparrows, Gila Woodpeckers who nest in the Chinaberry Tree, and marvels at a Cooper’s Hawk occasionally splashing in the birdbath. Oh, you should hear the Gila Woodpeckers’ screech!

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Nostalgia — Jim Wilson


Jim Wilson, 1942-2008

A note about Jim Wilson, a somewhat elusive figure, whose name, and sometimes photo, have shown up in Haight-Ashbury histories, including one online (TheStraight.Com see first photograph). He was co-founder (with me) of Poet's Theater in San Francisco. Wilson published in Dust, Illuminations, and Bricoleur in the sixties. He studied dance with Noel Parenti. Jim Wilson 1942-2008.

-- David Gitin

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

from INVOCATION — Vishishta


Vishishta is a California native who prefers to think of herself as a student of the world. She has lived and worked in coastal areas, watching tides and stars for clues and meaning. Poetry, for her, is a way to find alchemy in words, the exact stating of such, a way of magic. "Something well stated allows the concept to "disappear" and then, a choice occurs, do you wish to re-create it or not? So these poems are both psychological and spiritual."

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Massacre — Jennifer Doane Upton


Jennifer Doane Upton studied poetry with Wendell Berry at the University of Kentucky. For many years she has been interested in the teachings of the "Traditionalist" school of writers on comparative religion and metaphysics: René Guénon, Ananda and Rama Coomaraswamy, Titus Burckhardt, Martin Lings, Huston Smith, Frithjof Schuon, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, James Custinger et al. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where she writes poetry and gives public readings.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

He — Charles Upton


Charles Upton is a poet and a writer on "metaphysics and social criticism." A protégé of Beat Generation poet Lew Welch and veteran of the counterculture and the peace movement, he has lived most of his life in the San Francisco Bay Area. His books are: Panic Grass (City Lights, 1968), Time Raid (Four Seasons Foundation, 1968), and Doorkeeper of the Heart: Versions of Rabi'a (Threshold Books, 1988), all poetry; Hammering Hot Iron: A Spiritual Critique of Bly's Iron John (Quest Books, 1993), and The System of Antichrist: Truth and Falsehood in Postmodernism and the New Age (Sophia Perennis, 2001), which is currently available through His second epic poem, The Wars of Love, (a sequel, in a way, to Panic Grass) will be coming out through Corona Mundi some time this year. For the past fourteen years he has been a Muslim and a dervish of the Nimatullahi Order under Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh. He lives with his wife Jennifer Doane Upton, also a writer and poet, in San Rafael, California.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Santa Claus: Santa Cruz — Robert Sward

Sward,RobertClick the image to enlarge . . .

ROBERT SWARD has taught at Cornell University, the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, and UC Santa Cruz. Former Fulbright scholar at the University of Bristol and Guggenheim Fellow for Poetry, he was chosen by Lucille Clifton to receive a Villa Montalvo Literary Arts Award. His 18 books include: Heavenly Sex (just published); Rosicrucian in the Basement, from Black Moss Press; and Four Incarnations (Coffee House Press). He is also the author of two novels, The Jurassic Shales and A Much-Married Man, plus the Canadian bestseller, The Toronto Islands, an Illustrated History. Widely published in traditional literary magazines (The New Yorker, Poetry Chicago, The Hudson Review…) and anthologies (The Bedford Introduction to Literature…), Sward, noted as a “bridge person” between hard copy academic periodicals and literary eZines, serves now as contributing editor to "Web Del Sol," "Alsop Review," "Blue Moon Review" and other Internet literary web sites. He is currently touring the U.S. and Canada with Heavenly Sex. His Collected Poems 1957-2004,  is due out soon from Black Moss Press.

Friday, June 24, 2011

POOLSIDE — Michael Rothenberg

Rothenberg,Michael Click the image to enlarge . . .

Michael Rothenberg lives in Pacifica, CA. He is publisher of Big Bridge Press and Big Bridge, His poems have appeared in Exquisite Corpse, Jacket, Sycamore Review, Zyzzyva and many other publications. Most recently he is editor of OVERTIME, Selected Poems by Philip Whalen.

Thursday, June 23, 2011




Mark Weiss’ publications include five books and chapbooks of poetry: Letter to Maxine (Heron Press, 1974), Intimate Wilderness (New Rivers Press, 1976), A Block Print by Kuniyoshi (Four Zoas Nighthouse Press, 1994), Fieldnotes (Junction Press, 1995) and Figures: 32 Poems (Chax Press, 2002). He edited (with Harry Polkinhorn) Across the Line/Al otro lado: The Poetry of Baja California, and edited and translated “The New Cuban Poetry,” a fifty-page special section of Poetry International VI (2002). Forthcoming are, as editor, The Whole Island/La isla en peso: Six Decades of Cuban Poetry (2005), and, as editor and translator, Stet: Selected Poems of José Kozer (2004),  (with Harry Polkinhorn) Luis Cortés Bargalló's booklength poem To the Unconquerable Shore/Al margen indomable, Selected Poems of Gastón Baquero, and Selected Poems of Raúl Hernández Novás. He is editor and publisher of Junction Press.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Time is a Factor — Neeli Cherkovsky

NEELI CHERKOVSKI'S poetry books include FROM THE MIDDLE WOODS, FROM THE CANYON OUTWARD, the award-winning LEANING AGAINST TIME, ELEGY FOR BOB KAUFMAN, and ANIMAL; two acclaimed biographies, Bukowski: A Life and Ferlinghetti: A Biography; and Whitman's Wild Children (a collection of critical memoirs). In the late 1960s Cherkovski co-edited the poetry anthology Laugh Literary and Man the Humping Guns with Charles Bukowski. Since 1975, Neeli has lived and worked in San Francisco. For ten years he was Writer-in-Residence at New College of California, where he taught literature and philosophy. His papers are at The Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

TOES — Michael McClure



At the age of 22 Michael McClure gave his first poetry reading at the legendary Six Gallery event in San Francisco, where Allen Ginsberg first read Howl.

He has received numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Obie Award for Best Play, an NEA grant, the Alfred Jarry Award, and a Rockefeller grant for playwriting.

McClure has made two television documentaries – The Maze and September .  His many books of poetry include Jaguar Skies, Dark Brown, Huge Dreams, Rebel Lions, September  Blackberries, Rain Mirror and Plum Stones. He has published eight books of plays and four collections of essays, including essays on Bob Dylan and on environmental issues. His novels are The Mad Cub and The Adept.

His journalism has been featured in The Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, and the L.A. Times and San Francisco Chronicle.

Two recent collections of Michael’s poems are:
Mysteriosos and Other Poems (New Directions, 2010)
Of Indigo and Saffron: Selected and New Poems (University of California Press, 2010).

McClure is a Professor Emeritus of California College of the Arts, and holds an honorary doctorate.

DREAM OF A LOST EDEN — Antonio Pineda



Antonio Pineda was one of the founders of the Straight Theatre in San Francisco California. He was influenced in that halcyon era by the poets Michael McClure, Richard Brautigan and David Gitin. Pineda is the author of the avant garde lysergic novel, The Magick Papers. The curator of the Straight Theatre archives is Reggie Williams, The novel and theatre piece entitled Minuit Aux Pere Lachaise, translated by Anthony Georges Whyte, can be accessed at

Monday, June 20, 2011

Stormy Monday — David Peirce


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I'm happy to report David Peirce has indeed retired since this poem was written. He's in Rensselaer, NY, listening to sides from his vast vinyl jazz collection and having a good cigar :)

Broke down by the side of the road . . .

I'm having trouble uploading to Blogger this morning! I'll keep trying throughout the day. Wish me luck!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dawn — Erminia Passannanti


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Erminia Passannanti is an Italian poet, translator and essayist. She read Modern Languages at The Faculty of Letters and Philosophy of the Salerno University (Italy). She completed a doctorate at the UCL (London University College) on the poetry of Franco Fortini. Erminia lives in Oxford, England, where she teaches Italian Literature at St Clare's College and gives tutorials at St Catherine's College.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The History of Weather — George Mattingly


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George Mattingly is a book designer, writer of fiction, essays and poetry, photographer, and one-time letterpress printer and typographer. He has been a columnist for and taught publishing at The New College of California, San Francisco. He edited the literary magazine Search for Tomorrow (1969–1974) and founded Blue Wind Press (1970–). His books are Darling-Bender (1970), Breathing Space (1975) and the forthcoming new & selected, a while (2011).

Friday, June 17, 2011

from ‘an alley’ — John Martone


Martone,John copy
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John Martone's most recent handmade books are box turtle, a cell, and grammaire magdalenien. The first twenty-four appeared as dogwood & honeysuckle (available from Red Moon Press). He was the featured poet in Origin 6, 3.
You can read more of John's work at:

Thursday, June 16, 2011

from A GLANCE — Jack Marshall



Jack Marshall was born in 1936 in Brooklyn, New York; after graduating from public high school, worked in the New York garment district, then traveled in the Mid-West and South, taking various odd jobs along the way. At 19, shipped out as a deckhand on a Norwegian freighter to West Africa. Returned to New York, worked on 42nd Street, attended night classes in poetry with Stanley Kunitz and Robert Lowell, and moved to the Lower East Side taking part in the growing poetry scene there. Married, then in 1968 moved with family to San Francisco. First book, "The Darkest Continent" published in 1967 by Donald Phelps's For Now Press; followed by "Bearings" (Harper & Row, 1970) and "Floats" (Cedar Creek Press, 1971). Was invited to teach in the Iowa Writer's Workshop from 1969-1971; then at the U.S. International University in San Diego, 1972-1974. Returned to San Francisco; "Bits of Thirst" published by Blue Wind Press, 1976; "Arriving on the Playing Fields of Paradise" (Jazz Press, 1983), winner of the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award; "Chaos Comics," a chapbook, was published by Pennywhistle Press, 1994; books published by Coffee House Press: "Arabian Nights" (1987); "Sesame" (1993), winner of PEN West Award and finalist for National Book Critics Circle Award; "Millennium Fever" (1996); "Gorgeous Chaos; New & Selected Poems" (2002); "From Baghdad to Brooklyn" (2008); and "The Steel Veil" (2008).

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

PERFORMANCE PIECE — Jefferson Carter

Jefferson Carter has lived in Tucson since 1954. He taught developmental composition and poetry writing at Pima Community College, Downtown Campus, where he was the Writing Department Chair. He is now retired. He has won a Tucson / Pima Arts Council Literary Arts Fellowship, and his poems have appeared in such journals and e-zines as Carolina Quarterly, CrossConnect and Barrow Street. His chapbook Tough Love was the winner of the Riverstone Poetry Press Award. My Kind of Animal from Chax Press is his eighth collection of poetry:

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

country western — Rick London



Rick London was born in Detroit in 1948. He moved to San Francisco in 1974, where he continues to live and work.

Books and chapbooks:
The Prone Body Under (Trike, 1981)
The Motion Is A Fall (Trike, 1984)
Dreaming Close By (O Books, 1986)
Abjections: A Suite (O Books, 1988)
Picture With Moving Parts (Doorjamb Press, 2002)
The Materialist (Doorjamb Press, 2008)

Translations (with Omnia Amin):
Now, As You Awaken: 20 Poems by Mahmoud Darwish (Sardines Press, 2006)
The Novel, by Nawal El Saadawi (Interlink Press, 2009)
Rain Inside, by Ibrahim Nasrallah (Curbstone Press, 2009)

Translations (with Omnia Amin) on
Mahmoud Darwish
Ahmed Abdel Mu’ti Hijazi

New at BigBridge.Org:
Ahmed Abdel Mu’ti Hijazi – As If A Voice Were Calling
Translated by Omnia Amin and Rick London

Editor (with Leslie Scalapino):
Enough (O Books, 2003)

They’re back! Well, I’m back anyway . . .

After three days in the hospital I’m home. I had acute angina, a severe heart spasm, that required an emergency trip to the local bone shop. After some tests and consultations I was released “with conditions” for better behavior, alterations in lifestyle. So essentially, I’ve been given a third chance at life. How unusual is that? Thank you for the well wishes and let’s keep on truckin’! – Frank Parker


Saturday, June 11, 2011




By Ken Bullock special to The Berkeley Daily Planet
Thursday May 29, 2008

Luis Garcia is a Berkeley native who attended Berkeley High (“a dropout! but later dropped in to classes”) and Contra Costa Junior College. In 1963, Garcia spent a year in Chile, where his first book was published, becoming associated with poet Nicanor Parra and meeting the surrealist painter Matta and (on returning to the Bay Area) with Chilean poet Fernando Alegria, who taught at UC Berkeley and Stanford.

Garcia met poet Robert Creeley “serendipitously” at the Berkeley Poetry Conference in 1965, later visiting him when he taught at SF State, living in Bolinas.

“Out of that friendship came a lot of things that have influenced what I consider my better poetry,” Garcia said. “I have a history of failure at academic pursuits, but lifelong friendships with the teachers outside the classroom came out of that.”

“I listened to a lot of jazz,” Garcia continued, “the notions of improvisation, of the transformation of notes—hitting them in a different way—of inflection and intonation influenced my style, one of brevity and lyricism,” which qualities are exemplified in “Music Man”:

He plays himself
like a violin

(with no strings

He’s a snowball in hell
with everything

but the song
in his head


Friday, June 10, 2011

Almost out of the sky — Frank Parker


Click the image to enlarge . . .

Frank Parker
is the author of three books of poetry, Heart Shaped Blossoms: 1993-2007, zig-zag journeys (2009), and Win Po: a work in progress (2011), all from his Obscure Press. He edits the online journal Frank's Home: An Active Anthology of Verse and publishes widely on the web. He has an installation of 33 broadsides online in the current issue of Big Bridge. He’s on the Board of Directors of POG, a collective of literary and visual artists in Tucson, AZ, and is the sound technician for POG and Chax Press readings. Frank maintains the web site POG Sound, an audio archive of POG and Chax Press readings. He can be found on Facebook too. He loves his little adobe casita in Barrio Viejo, feeds sparrows, Gila Woodpeckers who nest in the Chinaberry Tree, and marvels at a Cooper’s Hawk occasionally splashing in the birdbath. Oh, you should hear the Gila Woodpeckers’ screech!

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Jacques Prévert – trans. by Anne Berkeley



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“Jacques Prévert (1900-1977) remains one of France's most popular poets. His books are on sale in supermarkets. His songs were immortalised by Juliette Greco and Yves Montand, and as a scriptwriter he'd be remembered for Les Enfants du Paradis alone. During the German occupation of France, his poetry sounded in protest. He was on the side of the underdog - the child, the worker - and he ridiculed hierarchies and rulers whether military, clerical or civil. Lyrical, witty and often surreal, his writing presents a challenge to the translator. So far as possible, I've attempted to honour the presence of rhythm and rhyme in the original. His puns and wordplay die when transplanted from their native French, so I have attempted to give the English an equivalent force. So these are not always literal translations but I hope they are closer in spirit to the original.”

Anne Berkeley
Cambridge, England
April 2000

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

MODAL — David Gitin

Gitin,David 2
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David Gitin, born in Buffalo, NY, was influenced by the work and friendship of Allen Ginsberg, Charles Olson, and Robert Creeley before moving to San Francisco in the mid-60s where he co-founded Poets Theater with Jim Wilson, edited Bricoleur, and produced radio programs for KPFA in Berkeley.

He eventually settled in Monterey, CA, working as a jazz disc jockey as well as teaching English at Monterey Peninsula College and producing a reading series that included Carl Rakosi, Michael McClure, Ron Silliman, Allan Kornblum, Lorenzo Thomas, Jeanine Pommy Vega, Diane di Prima, Maureen Owen and Bernadette Mayer to name just a few.

His ten books of poetry include This Once, New and Selected Poems 1965-1978, and Fire Dance, both from Blue Wind Press; Passing Through, from Linehan Press; and just out from Blue Wind Press, The Journey Home.

David Gitin's web site:

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Gloria Avner – Don’t Look


Gloria Avner lives in Bar Harbor, Maine in the summer where she writes, paints, and tends her gallery of art from other cultures. In the winter she teaches, writes, and paints in Key Largo, Florida.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Fernando Pessoa — Trans. by Ken Bullock



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**(published as a New Year’s Greeting from Moe’s Books, Berkeley, CA, 1999)

Fernando António Nogueira de Seabra Pessoa, known mainly as Fernando Pessoa (Portuguese pronunciation: [fɨɾˈnɐ̃du pɨˈsoɐ]; June 13, 1888 in Lisbon, Portugal — November 30, 1935, Lisbon), was a Portuguese poet, writer, literary critic and translator, one of the most significant literary figures of the 20th century.

Ken Bullock is a translator and theater critic in Berkeley, CA.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

waking — Andrew Burke



Andrew Burke was born in Victoria in 1944, but raised in Western Australia. He started writing poetry at twelve under the influence of Milton et al, and went modern at fourteen after reading Eliot, Pound and Williams. Since the mid-Sixties, Burke has been published in magazines and newspapers, and has six collections of poetry published. He has also written and published short stories and criticism, and edited other authors’ work. An early career in advertising gave way to lecturing at universities in mid-life, in Australia and China. Now he has retired to write full-time.  Readers may read his daily musings at

Saturday, June 4, 2011

another hungry ghost — Joan Cofrancesco


Cofrancesco,Joan_2 copy

“Joan's love of poetry is lifelong; as a child of the 60s, she grew up listening to Dylan and Mitchell and reading Kerouac, Ferlinghetti, Corso, and Wakowski. She says her poems come from the tension of "who I am and who I would like to be." Her thinking has been shaped by her Catholic upbringing and her Buddhist inclinations, her Italian culture and her own dreams and attitudes. "My greatest joy comes from creation. Poetry is sublime mystery mixed with mythology."

When you read her work, you are immersed in Greek and Roman mythology, musical genres that run from classical to jazz to rock'n'roll, and history and herstory.”  . . . from a feature on Joan Cofrancesco in The Healing Muse Café, May 24, 2011.

Friday, June 3, 2011

read me, darling — Anneke Derksen


Derksen,Anneke copy

Anneke Derksen: Born (in the year of who knows when) of Jewish holocaust survivors and raised in Holland's most orthodox catholic part, the province of Noord Brabant, in a village called Oudenbosch. Opened up her eyes to the ringing of the bells of the replica of the Rome St. Pieter basilica. Marked for life.

From the time she learned to write and inspired by Anne Frank's diaries, she started to write her own diaries for years and years to come. In those diaries she found the inspiration for her poems. Above that she found in singer-songwriter Bob Dylan a congenial spirit, he became her Muse. Desire and Love, two inexhaustible sources.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Swimming on an Eagle — Denise Enck



Denise Enck grew up a mile from Puget Sound on the highest point in Seattle & now lives in Mukilteo, Washington, where she can see both the Olympic & Cascade mountain ranges. In 2000 she opened, an online bookshop specializing in the Beat Generation, modern & small-press poetry, and the work of Michael McClure.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Truckin’ like a June Bug



Good day sunshine and welcome to TRUCK for the month of June 2011. I’m Frank Parker and I’ll be shifting gears for you as we highball highways and jakebrake on down grades into towns with signs that read “No Jakebreaks!”. That means we may move fast and loud but we won’t be late.

I’m going to feature a daily broadside created from a poem or slice of a poem or translation from the poets and translators found on my web site an active anthology of verse. I began making what I like to call electronic broadsides and posting them to my Facebook page around December 2009. I started an album of my own poetry, 33 of which are currently featured on Michael Rothenberg’s BIG BRIDGE, and then began an album called poem-O-the-week that show cases an author from my web site every Monday on Facebook.

However, on TRUCK I will be making daily posts. Now this is important, some broadsides are larger than this blog will permit. In order to see a full size image all you need to do is click on the broadside.

My thanks to Halvard Johnson for entrusting me with TRUCK. Look out June, here we come!

Your comments are welcomed and encouraged please!

Charles Alexander

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Charles Alexander's books of poems include Hopeful Buildings (Chax 1990), Arc of Light / Dark Matter (Segue 1992), Near or Random Acts (Singing Horse 2004), and Certain Slants (Junction 2007). He lives in Tucson, Arizona, where he directs Chax Press and shares an art studio and life with visual artist Cynthia Miller. He has received three Fund for Poetry Awards as well as the Arizona Arts Award. He teaches at Naropa University, the University of Arizona, Chax Press, and Pima Community College. He is a founding member of the Tucson poetry and art presenting group POG, and former director of the Tucson Poetry Festival and the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. You can find Chax Press on Facebook too.

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Frank Parker
June 1, 2011