is a tiny wandering imaginary dinosaur which migrated from AOL in October of 2008.

Thinking Lizard

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Rhodingeedaddee is my node blog. See my other blogs and recent posts.


[6-16-2009 Update Insert: Most of what is in this space is now moot. I found out what I was doing wrong and have reinstated Archives and Labels searches. They do work. However, in certain cases you may prefer Labels to Archives. Example: 1976 Today begins in November of 2006 and concludes in December of 2006, but there are other related posts in other months. Note: Labels only shows 20 posts at a time. There are 21 hubs, making 21 (which is for 1976 Today) an older hub.] ********************************* to my online poems and song lyrics using Archives. Use hubs for finding archival locations but do not link through them. Originally an AOL Journal, where the archive system was nothing like the system here, this blog was migrated from there to here in October of 2008. Today (Memorial/Veteran's Day, May 25, 2009) I discovered a glitch when trying to use a Blogger archive. Now, it may be template-related, but I am unable to return to S M or to the dashboard once I am in the Archives. Therefore, I've decided on this approach: a month-by-month post guide. The sw you see in the codes here stood for Salchert's Weblog when I began it in November of 2006. It later became Sprintedon Hollow. AOL provided what were called entry numbers, but they weren't consistent, and they didn't begin at the first cardinal number. That is why the numbers after "sw" came to be part of a post's code. ************** Here then is the month-by-month post guide: *2006* November: 00001 through 00046 - December: 00047 through 00056 -- *2007* January: 00057 through 00137 - February: 00138 through 00241 - March: 00242 through 00295 - April: 00296 through 00356 - May: 00357 through 00437 - June: 00438 through 00527 - July: 00528 though 00550 - August: 00551 through 00610 - September: 00611 through 00625 - October: 00626 through 00657 - November: 00658 through 00729 - December: 00730 through 00762 -- *2008* January: 00763 through 00791 - February: 00792 through 00826 - March: 00827 through 00849 - April: 00850 through 00872 - May: 00873 through 00907 - June: 00908 through 00931 - July: 00932 through 00955 - August: 00956 through 00993 - September 00994 through 01005 - October: 01006 through 01007 - November: 01008 through 01011 - December: 01012 through 01014 -- *2009* January: 01015 through 01021 - February: 01022 through 01028 - March: 01029 through 01033 - April: 01034 through 01036 - May: 01037 through 01044 - ******************************************************* 1976 Today: 2006/11 and 2006/12 -- Rooted Sky 2007: 2007/01/00063rsc -- Postures 2007: 2007/01/sw00137pc -- Sets: 2007/02/sw00215sgc -- Venturings: 2007/03/00216vc -- The Undulant Trees: 2007/03/00266utc -- This Day's Poem: 2007/03/00267tdpc -- Autobio: 2007/04/sw00316ac -- Fond du Lac: 2007/04/00339fdl -- Justan Tamarind: 2007/05/sw00366jtc -- Prayers in December: 2007/05/sw00393pindc -- June 2007: 2007/06/sw00440junec -- Seminary: 2007/07/sw00533semc -- Scatterings: 2008/08/00958sc ** Song Lyrics: 2008/02/sw00797slc ********** 2009-06-02: Have set S M to show 200 posts per page. Unfortunately, you will need to scroll to nearly the bottom of a page to get to the next older/newer page.


Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Postures 2007 Contents Side One Side Two * [ last modified: 2008-10-15 ] Side One - first 22 poems are from 1963, 1964, and 1965 poem 23 (added 09-18-07) is probably from 1989 poem1s1 Ode to Evening poem2s1 Even After Five Years poem3s1 The Future Belongs to the Rilkeans poem4s1 Simon poem5s1 Depression / Elation poem6s1 The Rock Garden poem7s1 Marcus Aurelius poem8s1 Whispers (from the meadow grass) poem9s1 Song poem10s1 Now poem11s1 Modernity Having a Poet by the Collar poem12s1 Mr. Barrington Moss poem13s1 Ode on Progress poem14s1 Blue in Blue poem15s1 ? (Question) poem16s1 Woolly Mammoth poem17s1 Lament poem18s1 Deadman's Point poem19s1 Rome, 300 A.D. poem20s1 Grandpa's Reasoning Song poem21s1 Symphony poem22s1 Sestina About the Reasons Why 23. Aunt Martha - - - - - Side Two - 35 poems from 1966 into early 1980 01. Apologia 02. The Mystery 03. Tonight 04. Systems 05. Spider 06. Tobin 07. After Reading Hamlet Once Again 08. Imagined Words to James Tate at an Iowa Workshop Session 09. James Tate 10. Alone in the Smith's Apartment 11. Apples 12. Friends 13. From Brian to Brian 14. Watermelon 15. Funeral Words 16. After the Funerals of a Friend and an Uncle 17. Of the Passing of George Arnold 18. Recalling Mr. Tabet (1907 to 1972) 19. Wedding Toast 20. Newlyweds End-of-Rite Petition 21. For a Marriage 22. From a third-floor window 23. In the Arcadia High Cafeteria 24. Registration 25. November Trees 26. From this high bridge 27. 20° Breeze 28. To Us 29. November (the last day of) 30. Between / Within 31. To My Student Poets 32. Memorandum 33. Four for John Ashbery 34. Epiphanies 35. Francis Grey Owl, Walking - - - - - Postures 2007 - Preview - Postures 2007 - Overview - - Brian A. J. Salchert -


Postures 2007 - 58 poems - 1963 into 1989 - Preview Postures was originally published in 1980 under my Thinking Lizard imprint and my Alden St. Cloud pen name as Side One and Side Two in the cassette medium. Several changes to it have been made since then, the latest of which is a revision to the ending of my "Symphony" poem, a revision I made today: 2007 031 02 1 3 or 2007-01-31. [ 02/06/07: I recently revised the aforementioned. I know it seems weird to be telling you this since I'm not showing here either that revision or the present one. My purpose is this: to emphasize my revisioning habit. ] From what I can tell, the 22 presently in S1 were written in 1963, 1964, and/or 1965. Two of the cassette S1 poems have been deleted. The 35 presently in S2 were written after 1965. Two of the cassette S2 poems have been deleted, but two others from its time period have been added: "To My Student Poets" and "Four for John Ashbery". Just as I am likely to revise anything I have written at any time, so also I may decide to add appropriate poems to this work. I have decided to place each poem on a separate page instead of placing all the poems in a given Side on one page. However, I will keep the Side format. [ On 9-18-07 I added a poem likely written in 1989. It is #23 on Side One. That could change, but for now this book has 58 poems. --09/19/07-- ] - Below is a possible cover design:

P O S T U R E S 2 0 0 7 O _ ) ? \ + - ( ! / 1 0 } . [ > < { : ] ^ v ~ ; | - Next is what I had for the inside cover: About Me, and About This Book There is too much to say, and not enough time to say it in. That is the first thing about me; for I am a Capricorn, and am ruled by Saturn. To say I am an insane eclectic hermit/ would not be improper. These are the 2nd, 3rd, 4th things. I am, after all, an epileptic who also has osteoporosis and other ailments. However, I'm not a danger, at least not in a bodily way, being the itsy- bitsy I am. My interests are words and numbers, and trying to be always kind, even if I/ sometimes/ fail to be. These are the 5th through the 12th. Am I not pretty silly? Don't laugh too long now, or you'll hurt your tummy. This volume of poems exemplifies what you have just read about me; but/ it was first written long ago and I, now, am 65. Changes-- constants that they are--ever rule; and so, alas, each who/ is Earth-alive/ must ever vie with them. Brian A. Salchert 2006-05-30

- - - - - Brian A. J. Salchert

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


This Day's Poem - tdp032107 27 [ The poem here is from 013007. ] Choose Your Devotion The mystery of the word; the song of a bird; the delight not heard. ------- Brian A. J. Salchert

Monday, January 29, 2007

03/09/07: old info here of minor interest 438 poems of mine are now in this journal according to the count I just made. My mutt objects and ditties are not included. The next book I intend to place here is my Postures. It presently contains 54 poems. After that is online I expect to place my Fond du Lac long poem--which is not all that long when compared to certain other long poems. Then an 18-poem chapbook, Teasings, will be put up. I've not determined what will follow it, but there are numerous possibilities. My This Day's Poem project will probably skip on. At some point I will begin placing, partially or entirely, my dozen-plus other journals here. Pages of my math endeavors may also appear, though dealing with them is going to be more challenging than dealing with my poems and non- mathematical prose has been or is likely to be. Brian A. J. Salchert


one warm day -- y2007 yd029 m02 w1 d1 which is today, and then a string of cold days. - About AM 12:30 I pulled out this apartment's furnace's filter and pushed in a new one. The filter sits atop the furnace. The furnace is an electric furnace, and I think this is my first en- counter with such a device. I presently have the thermostat set so that the temperature in here rises to/ just above seventy F. I have no idea what my first utility bill will be, or/ when it is due to arrive. As I may have said before, until I inhabited this space, I had not resided/ in an apartment since 1986. In April of that year, my now passed companion wife and I moved into a new mo-ho, a structure I persisted in until December 2, 2006. Which reminds me, I want to call WCJB-TV back in G'ville. Brian A. J. Salchert

Sunday, January 28, 2007


Peeking beyond the living room's left drape I saw someone walking away from me with one of those bun length hot dogs on a long leash. Above them was a clear sky and a waxing gibbous moon above which was a double-stream jet. For nearly a minute the latter drew my attention, and the cloud- less sky made the day seem warm when actually it was below-freezing cold. Soon I turned away and let the drape fall to its usual location. - This day, this Sunday, is the last day of the first month of my personal calendar. Tomorrow will be y2007 yd029 m02 w1 d1. On February 2, 2007, the moon will be full. For me that means it will be full on y2007 yd033 m02 w1 d5. Brian A. J. Salchert


Venturings ***** *** *** ***** "Shoot for the stars", they say, they say. I've shot for them, in my own ways; yet, generally taken, i am an almost. Oh, there were days i was the fastest kid, and days i was the smartest one; but, usually, i am an almost. I know that my imagined needs have moved me to damnable deeds; that there's the proof i am an almost. But what can anyone well do without the universe's nod? It may be, forever, i am an almost. Certainly, my little creations have often pleased others' faces, though among my own i am an almost. Perhaps i should be satisfied, though nothing out of me abides; but i do not like it i am an almost. God, Fates, Universe, what is blessing, what is curse? Even in love i am an almost. Being no more than i can be, yes, frustrates and angers me; nonetheless, for the most part, i am an almost. completed 1-2-84 as a poem authored by Alden St. Cloud - Copyright September, 2003 Brian Salchert ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


The Undulant Trees one old ditty and six old poems She She beat her husband with a stick to make him smart and make him quick to get in bed and get to sleep without a whimper or a peep. - - - Praise the Lord! (for Mike Chaffin) As I stepped from my door, a swooping hawk snatched this bird right out of its tree. - - - This Frightening Balance If mostly we are evil and cannot escape it, let us quickly destroy ourselves, and be done. If mostly (however) we are good, let us just as quickly end our insidious imbroglios, and begin. Have not the frustration and constant suspense lashed your heart to a red rock too? - - - Girls and Grasses Beaded; Too young for sun, In a glorious greenness they sway, Delicate And spritely as a daydream fairy; Fulsome, And heavy, As a March-time toad. (Bewhere!Theyare,carefree) Cummings might/ pun from his grave. Yet, Like them, I Am morning too-- Soft, Still, Irresistibly expanding; pressuring Thinly To a bluebird burst. And shining here, I am bright in their growth; And weak, but smiling, Near their quivery Fingers. - - - In Winter's Tedious Nights There goes no moth Nor gray nor emerald bird But snow will wave the last leaf down And men will drift, unheard; Nor maiden word Nor country less than town But wind will snap a beggar's cloth And frozen strangers frown. - - - Sometimes a person doesn't know where he's at: Arcadia, Whitehall, or Saskatoon; if a twitchy red squirrel is climbing his back or his body's the floor of a carpeted room. Maybe his daughter thinks he's a strait; maybe his father thinks he's a tern. In broken old churches fly angels of steam. Sometimes a person dies as he dreams. May 16, 1973 - Brian Salchert - - - Wisconsin Impression The dark whirls move and the pale men spin And fingers go stiff with a tingling pain, And wind over ice and ice over wind. So down comes the snow where the blue tombs grin But birds keep away for the birds are sane. The dark whirls move and the pale men spin. A man's like God and aman's like Sin, The knot in the tree and the drift of rain, And wind over ice and ice over wind. For twelve long years and a new man in Wisconsin sang through the frost and the grain. The dark whirls move and the pale men spin. But I neither long for milk or fin In lands that laugh and leave must on my brain, And wind over ice and ice over wind. Where weather will totter and tear at my skin I cannot stay, for the staying is vain. The dark whirls move and the pale men spin-- And wind over ice and ice over wind. ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


This Day's Poem tdp032007 26 [ The following is an old poem I revised today: 012807. ] As the Muse Directs There is one way to sing, and one way only: To know the voice which whispers from your soul, and to follow it. Whether wrenches, pipes, or saw blades bloody that soul's tense lips; whether yogurts or juices soothe its tongue, there is but one way only. Deny an other one. - - - - - - - [ To me, the notion that one manner of writing (of imagining) discredits another is hogwash, which is not to say one manner may/ seem more vital and/or be more appropriate at the time of its ascendancy. As change is a constant for those of us who are Earth-alive, the ways we encounter, assimilate, express change/ do often accordingly/ change. I let/ whatever minglings of sound and sense appear in my consciousness/ lead me forth/ whenever I choose to be/ led forth. Still, I am not above/ choosing a pattern for/ what I/ intend to express. ] - Brian A. J. Salchert

Friday, January 26, 2007


IV Weights and Balances [ 01/27/07 As you may have concluded, "Doom" is the only poem in Part IV of Rooted Sky 2007. It has fifteen sections. I have toned it down somewhat. The original is more abrasive; nonetheless, I tend to view it as an adult poem. It definitely is an example of what W. B. Yeats believed: out of our arguments with others we make rhetoric; but out of our arguments with ourselves we make poetry. B A J S ] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Doom an argumentative interior dialogue 1 What questions do you have for yourself for a hobgoblin world Arthur Alone in the sweating jackpine in the shagbark stream did the eyes of the owl melt you Alone in the sale day laughter in the sulphurous alley did the screams of a woman crack you Arthur are you flesh or spirit at all 2 Come after me brown hair brown eyes little man but do not think you know where I am & do not think I can really be found As winds pulse a thousand ways so I As earth shifts away from itself & into itself so I There are times when a person cannot rise from the tangle of sleep with any rightness What questions would I ask myself what questions this hobgoblin world O dark creator I am myself a question In the thistle days I have travelled when the goldfinch gathers down I have noted most men most wise Still come after me son of January soak into roots burst into air crumble into God 3 Into God Arthur Crumble yes but not into God O damn damn nation United States me United States how many graceful trees you have mulched into bills how many heart-pure minds you have paled & trained me O break break away United States & you Arthur how can you lead who are merely a question 4 Hoh Of January indeed Sit down If all things in the universe curve repeat themselves changed but subtly the seed of the apple is answer & question the apple tree is answer & question the apple blossom is answer & question the apple is answer & question if all things in the universe so you so I Do not think you can find me Though I am forever I am only for a while I am never as I was & yet I am even as you and so have direction in the words from my bowels in the smells of roses in the turning chewing seeking of God 5 God again Arthur What's with you Man Man is the problem the center the shattering light 6 Okay But don't be surprised when the lilies bow the minnows dance the birds praise & your thin mouth opens in wonder 7 I won't i won't Seren- serendipity That would be good a still point of energy But I my direction weights and balances inhabiting the air dancing in the void words around death There's a tree I know of on a farm halfway between Fond du Lac & Oshkosh whose upper & outer branches set dead from a core thickly green Whenever I ponder men or see my own reflection I recall that tree Arthur I know what wonder is and can I've felt violets wink in secret woods & die I understand the emotions behind axioms on infinity I've smiled at a baby smiling at me You do not have to condescend I've watched myself spit & stammer yell out fuck kill been inside my fantasies of sex with all heard the sounds of stabs into tradition of time in a daydream room of hell I have not missed the odor of your wishes 8 You have not missed Would you grasp this Earth how it leans ever more toward Vega Would you realize if you are right about that schozoid tree you claim is so important to you you cannot say with ease this country this world or anything is dead Would you bless this planet which moves ever more toward toward Son I would give you a way 9 Where In the realm of dream In the Blood of Christ We have run into ourselves these latter years & our tiny planet expanding expanding expanding the sphere taut the dermis thin & our centers tremble our nerve-ends split Baffled bare we worship the sun we roll in the grass while the termites of uncertainty hollow out our bones There is no enchantment & the center of it all has long been lost ki-dee ki-dee ki ki ki ki ki-dee bird I cannot find bobbing walker on inland shores ki-dee ki-dee we are passing on like butterflies we are circling downthrough death dee dee ki-dee Would I grasp WouldI bless I do not know 10 Undo Not a petal shines without you not a beam of steel endures Play in a canyon swimming hole work in a stolid office it is always you At the dark edge of the universe in the heart of your gut it is you Pass from this self-pollution Undo 11 Cherry blossoms That's what you want isn't it or spaceships rising in salvia spikes of flame Well I'm not in the mood So bananas 12 Ha-ha Ryan you're a kink-and-a-half Oh what the heck Look I'm not about to force you into peace & happiness I couldn't anyway But at least your humor's alive 13 Ya Let me tell you something One afternoon when I was eleven or twelve squirming like a river-bottom worm on the living room carpet holding back urine my eyes sunk to my throat the family vanished In a field full of spiders & strawberries it was growing it was hardening & my heart rattled my flesh smiled Closed into lead into nowhere I'd ever known I suddenly opened as a lake-borne wind through a morning grass heavy with dew But I did not understand & I did not trust & anxiously hid & still at times I feel I am just a contorted cypress splattering high on a crag by the sea 14 Ryan Ryan Is it really all so bad Is there really no way you can see beyond destruction Certainly stars will outlast our frail O but must we reject ourselves believe our limitations have finally ended us that humanity can not other than suicide that the one great sin of Man (if sin there be) is his being Man earth air water fire mind heart What we know & do not know Questions without answers There is always wonder What we are & might become What we never once can be There is always God If churches if institutions shatter there will yet be lovers kissing over daisies there will yet be men discovering how to live Green green Earth & blue & white & brown I enchant myself to nectar & am taken by thebee I wish myself to milk & am swallowed by the child Frailty strength in frailty protect acquire From the ugliest of matter a rose From the darkest specks ofenergy a paragon of light 15 Blasted Just look at these fingers Ink all over them God bless it this has got to be the leakiest pen I've ever seen Now why in Hades can't they make things right Crud I'm goin' for a walk

------- Brian A. J. Salchert

Thursday, January 25, 2007


This Day's Poem tdp012007 18 Intersections There is a sense of high estate too difficult to contemplate; and I am here, and I am there, slithering in my underwear. ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


This Day's Poem tdp011907 17 What You Make of It And the ice storms raged through the Middle West. Yet the sheathed vegetation, horribly torn by the crystal weights, bore a prophetic brilliance as cold and darkness descended upon thousands & thousands of frantic humans, and community became holy again. ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


This Day's Poem tdp011607b 16 My Birthday Party Could Not Be and so I say: All the years, all the sad years, pass me by; and many others will be lauded, but never shall I. It is best that way. ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


This Day's Poem tdp011607 15 This Day's What? I am a foolish troubadour who ghoulishly whispers at your door and wants too fervently to explore what you reservedly hide in a drawer. ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


This Day's Poem tdp011507-011607 14 This It certainly would/ not take much to bury me as a such-and-such, or to/ forever show a visage of me as a so-and-so even though/ I might yet touch with some surprise, might be a such (or a so) accepted by/ your knowing eyes. ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


This Day's Poem tdp011507 13 And I? The idiots ride. The idiots ride. The idiots ride the idiots. The idiots ride the Idiot's Ride, and I among them, duly tied. ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


This Day's Poem tdp011407 12 And So We Met-- a wimp, a hunk, and a yellow bunk. ------- Brian A. J. Salchert

yd014 m01 w2 d7 AM 8:44 The second wave of the ice storm has passed. The third wave--which will be the worst in that it is expected we will get 1/2 inch more of ice and then sleet mixed with snow accumulating to 5 inches, and then below-freezing temp's for the rest of the week-- is due to arrive later today (Sunday) and to continue into Monday. Early this morning this building was without electricity for approximately 105 minutes. I decided to turn the heat off. About AM 3:32 the electricity came back on. I set the heat near 55. AM 8:55 It is presently set at 62. Similar to "my" heatpump system back in Gainesville, FL, the electric furnace here heats to about 4 degrees above what it is set at. --- Yesterday I turned my computer on and let Zone Alarm do its weekly scan. During that period of time I called Tom Montag and spoke with him for some while. I told him, among numerous other things, about the storm here. I also gave him my new address and my cell phone number, and told him I'd set up a deal with SBC Global for highspeed Internet service and that I should be getting equipment from them by Friday the 19th but that I had a feeling the bad weather might delay that. --- I did contact my sister, but have ever since been concerned about their decision to use the gas stove for heat at their place, but I am unable to get back to them. I suspect the call towers have been frozen dead. --- Before the storm, she brought over several items (along with the remainder of my food), one of which is a fancy screwdriver. Since then I have found my small hammer, my 1/4-inch foot-long screwdriver, my wire nippers, and my pliers I had been using in my mo-ho in G'ville for removing the caps from too- tightly-secured bottles of water. --- A longer electric outage may be in the offing. --- On the day I moved in I purchased a bed frame and a twin box spring and mattress, and an oak book-shelf-with-light headboard at Springfield's Mattress Outlet. My two nephews set it all up for me after one of them had brought it to this apartment complex in his pickup. Yesterday I found a good use for the box the bed frame had come in, placing it (though not quite all of it), after I had flattened it out, on the rug floor in the bedroom's closet. I did need to use a section of the plastic which had been wrapped around either the mattress or the box spring in order to cover the entire length of that closet. I then put items in there and closed the closet's folding doors. --- It is bright outside but solidly overcast. In spite of all the ice, birds are about. I've seen what appeared to be warblers. Earlier I heard a crow. --- Finally no more "Call failed" messages. I accessed a voicemail from my eldest sister, sent a voicemail back, and then called her. She is now, I am pleased to say, at Ronald's house. She told me to call our sister in Mobile. I told her I would, and that I had tried to earlier, but that that call also failed. I called my youngest sister immediately. We conversed a good while, mostly about the day I arrived here, at apartment 12. Brian A. J. Salchert


y2007 yd013 m01 w2 d6 Ice everywhere and more coming. An announcer on the radio I decided to unpack and try said there's an ice storm warning for tomorrow, with temp's in the low 20's. --- I had planned to move into this apartment (my sister and I decided I should take) on Monday, but when she heard about the bad weather coming, we moved fast and I was officially in here on the 10th. It cost me $50 more but--thank You, Lord--it was definitely a right decision. So far I have not had a serious electric outage. If one occurs, it will be quite chilly in here. This apartment is totally electric. --- Before the storm arrived, I had gotten my computer system set up, and I did attempt to make a connection, but the highspeed signal proved to be too weak to be useful.. So, I unplugged it, and called a local computer service, and then called AT&T and worked out a deal for SBC Global, which is the company I wanted to connect through even though it is partnered with Yahoo!, a company I mistakenly tried to use (for a second time) several months ago when I was still in Gainesville, Florida; and was the company (SBC Global, that is) the technician at the computer service strongly recommended. It appears that the 19th will be the earliest day I will be back up. --- I have been spending most of my time arranging my belongings here, and going through bags and boxes of them to find what I should move from the temporary warehouse livingroom to other rooms. I have gotten to a point where there isn't much more I can do/ without some furnishings and/or help from others. Propitiously, this apartment is about a mile from where most of my belongings were stored. My two Springfield-area nephews, my Springfield niece and her son and daughter, and my sister of course/ helped me move in. --- This January 2007 Springfield, Missouri, ice storm reminds me of the March 1976 ice storm in West Bend, Wisconsin, about which I wrote several sonnets. Brian A. J. Salchert


Books Relevant to Rooted Sky - 1) Bare Roots and Ragged Limbs is a handmade chapbook of which there is only one copy. It contains 18 poems, many of which later were placed in other larger books; and the beginning of the first section of another book which was never used/ in that book. - 2) Rooted Sky is my first true book. It was published in November, 1972, by Tom Montag's Monday Morning Press. - In 1980 I republished it as a Thinking Lizard cassette volume under the pen name of Alden St. Cloud. - Presently I am placing it online as Rooted Sky 2007, a Thinking Lizard volume by Brian A. J. Salchert, in my AOL journal. It is a work in four sections, the last of which is one long poem entitled "Doom". After I get through this and other Flow-Break entries, I will enter it. I have been making some revisions to the pieces in the original Rooted Sky, a copy of which I am using for Rooted Sky 2007. - 3) Minnesota Poets Anthology---1973 published by St. Cloud State College, St. Cloud, Minnesota The following three poems from Rooted Sky were reprinted in that anthology: "Beauty" "The Mind Has Seasons Out of Time" "Being a Poet" - See at Jan. 7 sw00063rsc in this archive for Rooted Sky 2007 contents/links. - Brian A. J. Salchert

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Rooted Sky 2007 - III. Words Around Death January 1, 1970 The flowers engulf me; I am smothered in perfumes; like a drop of water pulled through the heart of a cosmos, I am devoured into veins, and beyond the corolla am alive in my dying, my love. ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - III. Words Around Death Death & Rebirth The movements of your fingers I can only recall. My body whispers like a flameless coal. * A shadow meets a shadow. A shadow thins into light. A heel of granite stomps on a snail. ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - III. Words Around Death

Mary, At stream's center the waters jangle at the edges think Your heavy sunflowers peered straight up juncos sparrows sparrows vanished in the banquets of their eyes Jammed in convertibles ghostly teens the patterns on your aprons turned & turned my bare feet glide through goldenrod my blond-red hair waves Swallows arc in rain

------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - III. Words Around Death What Color . . . Death? As the coffin passes, gold & light-blue flowers. The mourners dance. * Near twisted steel, the body wrapped a tire in scarlet guts; my camera clicked - black & white & grey. * The blanket lifted across her face, green on brown. Her sister cried. * Leap from your ledge, rose, beige, saffron dream; the rocks are brilliant orange. ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - III. Words Around Death Lover, Whatever it was that drew me I have found raw carrots are not to my taste though the dust balls in my closets do not bother & the hours we keep our distances are green green Tomorrow we are likely to have rain but even that does not matter The sun was lost long ago The birds & the bees fall dead Whatever it was that drew us into this we are weedless we are cold and that green you find or that green I find when alone is a sham We have captured ourselves in webs of concrete & they will not dissolve ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - III. Words Around Death

Why She Left Though she walked into the bedroom Smiling like a crocus, There was nothing about her I couldn't understand. Even her bosom was open to me that night. Backwards out of chaos With the world together, She could with a wink Have the foaming sea in her hand; She could with a touch delight. But on that unmitigated day - Blue, green, Floating with cardinals and eyes - Tossed and tossed, I was too disjointed to hold, or to fight.

------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - III. Words Around Death

Looking for Work in Chicago Seeking the coins of challenge, he warmed the streets adulterously: Playboy, Holt, Chicagoland: passing in jeans and tasseled hair, filled out applications at them all. In his dreams he fled from the voices of secretaries & the edges of forms: peaches rotted / cream soured. The day he rolled down Dearborn, even sunlight decayed. He knocked on Poetry's door; a foyer spun, dull black / a distant woman. . . .

------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Important Translation by Andrew Shields In the January 2007 issue of Poetry is what is to me a must-read essay by one Durs Gr├╝nbein thankfully rendered into English (for those of us who cannot/ read German) by Andrew Shields. That essay begins on page 310. I am not going to say more other than to tell you to read it, and read it several times, and ponder it. - Brian A. J. Salchert

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Rooted Sky 2007 - III. Words Around Death Haiku I am the last leaf of autumn today I fell today is April [ "Haiku" was originally published in Bitterroot. ] ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - III. Words Around Death Following an Impulse I trudged into the cattails ignoring the red-wings' screams the deepening thurp & swish of my feet those hours of reverie: me on that island for days shedding & donning my clothes with the sun learning how to impose with grace pester grasses like a lark on the hunt converse as water with earth & air earn the patience of ants be natural though I sank at times to my waist & dreamt of being sucked into death the roots of cattails beating against my eyes I could not stop With (as I had to be) neither boat nor boots I nudged the hard sharp leaves aside once I even swam dragging myself through the boggy shore peeling out of my shirt & heavy jeans blue & blue for a willow bush I stood spead-eagle for the wind full of light the marsh pulled off I turned toward a hill a goldfinch dangled at the top of an elm there was no-one else around ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - III. Words Around Death

Cave We did not need to squeeze through this black crack, or scrape our elbows at a turn; our nostrils would exchange stone damp for cedar needles. And why twist over some slippery crevice, just to break a film of olive-purple moss with fingernails or granite chips? So what it maple twigs would scratch the sun. This shorn, moist ledge will not display for long my thin and ragged: B.S. '41

[ "Cave" was originally in Wisconsin Review. ] ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - III. Words Around Death Imagining Myself on a Hill near the Old Mill Stream, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin (for Robert Bly) Resting on a stone, chin in hand -- dark movement, green. From a blade of grass a charcoal ant nearly tumbles into tinted wind. In the distance a small boy falls from a tree. [ "Imagining Myself . . ." was originally published in Wisconsin Review. ] ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - III. Words Around Death

The Curse (On Earth, as always, Justice is more than blind.) I am an absentminded man a man of daydreams of imagination and this world this fire-cracking ball seems all violence all reason There are no grounds here for one such as I This afternoon in Terry's office Joel told us how because of his cold he picked up Vicks & Sucrets wondering which to take but thoughts in a haze took them both and how this morning the judge let him choose a 50-dollar fine or 50 days in jail This afternoon nearing my car I remembered my lunch bag turned breathed God damn it and walked back Looking at my desk I saw that I forgot I had forgotten my jar of Mazon -- no grounds -- And Janice & I are living in a new apartment complex unready when we entered already falling apart and the landlord's lease is tight In the winter he would rather a resident's tailbone crack than sand or salt get into his buildings In the spring he is especially hard to see and declares without investigation the flooded basement an Act of God In the summer he will do whatever he can to keep the deposit money In the fall he blows his whistle and loves more than his wife perhaps his hunting dogs Oh the judges the landlords all of us how we can pray and pray and eat the flesh of men

------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - III. Words Around Death The Administrator Reaching toward the burning candle, he does not pinch the flame but squeezes the wax his hand around the neck of a child putting out its mind. ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - III. Words Around Death After Considering Again the Breakdown of My Civilization Stuttering through a wind toward the edge of what can be heard my voice is a pale blue moth [ ". . . Breakdown . . ." was republished in River Courant. ] ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - III. Words Around Death Dark Gazelle All the clocks in our bowels are wrong. Seasons falter. Forests breathe and give their lives away. Oceans turn to stone. ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - III. Words Around Death Storm Hurry writer there is no time no time gusts shred the roses the dogwoods whine like frightened bones the garbage can cover splatters against the picket fence I am driving my car through your Chinese elm your blood is crashing down ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - III. Words Around Death Transferal Do you understand? No. What do you expect of me, Ep? If I were to tell you that the trees play hopscotch on my tongue, would you understand? You tell me that in this dream of yours bees were taking, not just the nectars, but the blossoms themselves of clover, dandelions, asters, and that you saw their hives clogged with them and that some were already withered. Now, what can I say? Should I understand that the bees were killing the world? [ "Transferal" was originally published in Wisconsin Review. ] ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Flow-Break Note: Today, Wednesday, March 7, 2007, I am changing all Flow-Break entries to something relating to their topics. Therefore, the note herein which begins by admitting that this weblog, if I allowed to happen so, could well be Flow-Break littered is no longer relevant; but I am going to let it remain here. - This journal I am building here could easily be littered with Flow-Breaks, but I had promised to get back to it; so, I am going to. (Thanks to the help given me by an excellent female AT&T technician, I now am DSL-driven.) I will try to place a Flow-Break (or another string of them) in a congenial location. Some will show as This Day's Poem Breaks. - Brian A. J. Salchert

Monday, January 22, 2007


This Day's Poem tdp030807 11 (ice storm poem) I am back, but it is not in the manner I had hoped to be. The ice storms here were spotty yet massive. I wrote a poem about them, but yesterday (March 7, 2007) I discovered I have it in this journal twice, which means I either must remove one ot them or--as I am attempting to complete today--place a different ice storm poem here. - - Ice Storm ickity crickety eeek/ screak slippery treachery over me winging rackety mastery predator-pummeling optical-covering every-life-ravaging minions as we - - - So on this Thursday, March 8, 2007, what had been tdp011907 has been replaced by a much stranger tdp: tdp030807 - Brian A. J. Salchert

Tuesday, January 9, 2007


Announcement I have found a place to reside, and so will be packing up again. - When all is ready in that place, I will continue with Rooted Sky. - Brian A. J. Salchert


This Day's Poem tdp010807 10 As You Wish Two megalomaniacs prancing on the head of a pin. You who, you who, hee, hee! Come in. Come in. - Brian A. J. Salchert


This Day's Poem tdp122006 9 3 Yo ho!, Jamezy boy, we love you 'cause you give us joy, and toy with us in our employ of the whatever it is (in our silly conjunctions) our quiz- zical nibs whip and whizz. - Brian A. J. Salchert

Monday, January 8, 2007


Rooted Sky 2007 - III. Words Around Death Where Once the Old Mill (for John Moses) But now the mosses dry And the weeds along your banks No longer struggle Through the heads and bellies of suckers, And I think of that closer summer When a dam of boys was fishing here, And you were wild against their boots; and they were wild, and smiled in you. [ After the publication of Rooted Sky, "Where Once the Old Mill" was reprinted in River Courant. Again, according to the index card I made out for it, this poem was originally in Wisconsin Review, but I am not certain of that since I do not have a copy of the issue it's supposedly in. It is in the 1980 anthology, Poetry Out of Wisconsin V. ] ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - III. Words Around Death Snow Last month four inches high along a branch two caterpillars curled the next day nothing white remained but one small butterfly the next warmth & wood [ "Snow" is my most often republished poem. It was in River Courant, the Whitehall High School Whitonian, the Wisconsin Poets' Calendar: 1983, and elsewhere. My notes say it was originally in Bugle-American, but I am not certain of that. ] ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - III. Words Around Death Swallow Bend Again I come to Swallow Bend though the swallows have swung away and all the squirrels, having fattened themselves, are hiding under the wood; but below this ledge, where water curved, I see a stone bed wind, and as I descend, the sandy clay, strewn with thistles and dying roots, fills my shoes. Here - where the stripped trees quiver in the wind and starlings huddle in holes they stole from redheads and flickers - fish and leaves; and this island I've hid on, flooded last summer with wild roses, dogwoods, willows, berry canes, clumps like a tumor. Carefully moving in, I stop for a moment, then idle round to the city, balancing, it seems, on a surface of bones. [ "Swallow Bend" was printed first in Wisconsin Review and subsequently in River Courant. ] ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - III. Words Around Death

The Rooted Sky Exploring a stream, I found roots iced with clay, rigid in the August wind. Or were they spindly toes? a ruddy starburst? Swiftly I climbed their flaky cliff, wormed between them: into that roost where the sky now lured me with its wooden lightning, and standing, gloried - Indian, Norseman. Or were they tentacles? Spinning over thistles, careening, I tripped in a dog-hole, gasped, looked back. Or were they strange calendulas? worn men's knuckles? just shadows?

------- Brian A. J. Salchert


[ Do not read this entry [947] without first reading the [946] warning entry before it: ] entry #946. - BAJS - - Rooted Sky 2007 - II. Dancing in the Void

Notes at the Watershed (Christmas Season, 1970-71) 1 The Past? The Classics? Separate yourselves from them. What Man was has nothing to do with what Man is. Separate yourselves. 2 We walked for hours along the stony trail trying to scare the hillsides with our whistles & yells punching each other's shoulders snapping twigs & booting toads In woods & fields sparrows thrushes warblers chittered hid We laughed at them & the summers scattered from us like frightened deer the rock we finally stood on subtly backed away the heavy sun melted into a pine-stubbled face Stripping in the still sultry air by the sudden pool we could not wait to swim we began to fight 3 T. S., Ez? Who are they, seeking to heap tradition on our backs, forcing our faces to root in mud? 4 Taken with Al's bleeding eyes Carmen jerked him upright by his hair & kneed his balls Al curled writhed the skin across his knees reddened his right side scratched & tore Carmen smirked then bending down pried apart the protective cup of Al's hands & dragged him by his fingers ass up to an oval of weeds Miguel Jason and I had stopped our tussling to watch we could not help 5 Turning and turning . . . Downward to darkness . . . (Is it all Irony, Opposition?) I saw my city . . . On the seventh day . . . 6 In the quickening shade - because of Rose Al & Carmen had been coming to this for weeks - Carmen swiftly released Al's hands grabbed his balls from behind crooked his left arm under Al's chin & swung him toward us Al attempted to curse & wriggle loose but Carmen tightened "Keep looking, pals" We wedged closer waited 7 1971 - and what? For nearly 30 years I do not know how things proceed creeping walking running climbing just that we are each alone & yet together hate love die live 8 Carmen! what you going to do!? I'm going to castrate this bastard No youcan't He's been messin' around with my Rose Jase & he's not gonna anymore Now get back No If you castrate Al you'll never get Rose so let him go Oh . . . get the hell out of here 9 Those hard moments when the ices seem most impervious are the lovliest ones We travel beyond our mightiest atom's expectations though we never move 10 Carmen was saved

------- [ "Notes at the Watershed (Christmas Season 1970-71)" was originally published in Wisconsin Review. ] - Brian A. J. Salchert

(946 entry: a caution regarding the poem at entry 947) Rooted Sky 2007 - The next entry is both intellectually and descriptively adult, but its centrality to Rooted Sky is such that I cannot in good conscience eliminate it. Think polar; for although "Notes . . ." does take one through a kind of hell, it is at core a spiritual poem about salvation, as its double structure and resolution attest. - I did once read it to some inmates at Wisconsin's state men's penitentiary, and the on-the-edge-of-laughter response a certain line in it led several of them to, coupled with--while we were on our way back out--a cogent remark from a younger poet-acquaintance who also read, I did later remove that not-in-touch-with-reality line. I've also changed at least one word. - Nonetheless, reader, I must recommend avoidance of it unless you are certain you possess the capability and stability that a proper reading of it demands. - Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - II. Dancing in the Void Letter (May, 1970) Recently, Arthur C. Clarke, a well-known scientist and science fiction writer, quite intelligently speculated that those beings of other planets who have advanced much beyond our stage of development must be peace-loving, for their only alternative is annihilation. If this is so, we are living in the most critical era of our race and, undeniably, our most needed virtue is wisdom, the allying of ourselves with the forces of life. Yet, ambiguous creatures of polarities caught up in change, we are constant mysteries. No philosophy, no ideology of ours has ever fully sufficed: Plato's Republic, Communism, Democracy. Just keeping close to Balance, our one Utopia, takes all the awareness we can command. But this awareness--what is it, and how does one know he has it? Purely, no human has it, but let me approach this negatively. A man in the United States says the Communists are atheists and must be killed; a man in Russia or China says the Americans are imperialists and must be killed. Neither of these men is aware. A college student thinks he is superior and calls a policeman a "pig"; a white worker thinks he is superior and calls a Negro a "nigger". Neither of these is aware. War and violence are allies of fear and death, and this little planet cannot sustain them. Our bellies and our self-centered pride must not hold sway. Yet I know, as who does not, the power of the flesh and emotions, that no thought sparks in a corpse. Food, shelter, gods. A person who thinks property is more sacred than human life; a person who cannot weather criticism and respect differences, is not aware. A person convinced that patriotism means being a sheep before the government, that the United States is necessarily and forever the greatest country in the world and that any country or minority thinking otherwise should be subdued, is not aware. A person who thinks that having a "decent" job or having enemies is ultimately more practical than having a fulfilled life or having friends is not aware. The stones he throws will bury him. Awareness begins in knowing one is not aware. "We must love one another or die." [ "Letter" was previously published/ in several newspapers, one of them being the Eastern Illinois University paper. ] ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - II. Dancing in the Void Because. . . . Soaked in fire, your skin & hair reek; your muscles scream out the door; bright in the wind, turning to ash, the leafing trees quiver before you, autumn child. In your closing mind, the nickel's worth of gasoline spatters off the basement floor; hysteric in the new-mown grass, your brilliance is too much for us. We cannot let you go. [ "Because. . . ." (under its original title) may have been first published in Wisconsin Review. It definitely was later published under that title in River Courant. ] ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - II. Dancing in the Void Admonition Every evening this heart and head should bend, ignite new symbols; spell the forest of our unconscious to ordered pleasures, mysteries. ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - II. Dancing in the Void Being a Poet "You can disregard it when it does happen but you can't turn it on. All you can do is wait, and make doodles in the margins." Margaret Atwood Or down the middle of the page, elm leaves sawing through a window; beetles drowned in human blood; moonlight curled on the backs of sleeping wolves. However buried in the hourglass sand, the clear grain that transforms the world -- however lost in the forest, the vireo's eye -- however closed in the hurricane id, the aboriginal image cannot hide from the poet's will. Held in a frank awareness no-one understands, the poet searches painfully yet peacefully awaits the right relationships; and the solid earth explodes, the chrysanthemum withers, the dead hand learns/ the words. [ "Being a Poet" was originally published in Wisconsin Review and latterly in the 1973 Minnesota Poets Anthology. ] ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - II. Dancing in the Void To Poets: On Personae There is no mask for what we do. Touched with whatever wildness comes, our fish-leaps squander nothing. And if we think a ribbon wrong or a tie too gray, our striving for exactitude will not excite a leaf. Even such a motion passes through the viewer's eye. We do not hide in lines or willows. We cannot hood our minds. ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - II. Dancing in the Void The Mystics It's been a mean climb, Jack, to this plateau, this mossy man- sized crescent ledge. I never really felt, back at the base of the cliff, that you, I, or anyone -- but here we are! and the cirrocumulus caps on that distant crowd of trees, and that glassy lake. How human the world is! And just imagine it! those slow steps (all, all), trembling along an indolent granite, made possible that, and this: our riding on air, our wide eye [ "The Mystics" was originally published in Small Pond. ] ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - II. Dancing in the Void

Janus Just sitting here is not desirable (the ragged earth about), playing my mind, however winds roll. Remaining aloof so isn't right; my "Big Ben" Westclox won't turn back, decipher who I am; my calendar and car keys force no act, charting how I am pulled apart.

------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - II. Dancing in the Void February 8, 1970 (Sunday) "But it is 1960, it is almost spring again" James Wright Ganglions, cities, countries, world, the rains shatter the frozen ground, the ice retreats; the snows and the ice return. The land grows hard below and above; the land grows soft. Looking for life, for the proper satisfactions, you are always almost there; but the grass won't come. Wings matted with oil, you have barely survived. ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - II. Dancing in the Void December 31, 1913 (After a remark by Virginia Woolf on the loss of innocence in the West) On the eve of knowledge snowflakes stirring undulant spaces, Matilda's gown, songs from soldiers, the floor gathers peau de soie; majors nod. ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - II. Dancing in the Void Prosody Belted to their seats, our autos wheel us into and out of dreams: Smoke in the morning, fog, sunlight shining a mound of coal, engine and rubber and wind resistance songs, hallucinations bashed by diesels' horns, the sudden appearances of other cars, storms; and all this time we live as at each curt moment we can by our wits and wills, the trees undress then put their clothes back on, our spouses dance in love, our bodies bob. * What sea is this, or excremental bay? What frightful blossom of fire, glass, tin? Surely these are not real. Surely wea are not crying in the ambulances' lights. Surely -- in silences we rocked to intricate lives; in silences, we will stop; and whether our endings fall after one or a hundred lines, for the work, no loss; and whether those endings curse the days we were born, or each present day desires those endings, always, a holding score. * Consciousness gnaws. Imagination wands. Sequoia and redwood are great men tall. On distant roads, tense, still, tollings of departing suns echo; our visions kiss. Signals speaking red, green, lemon-orange; lips approaching everywhere, we search for form. Earth, air, beads: the prosody of the human condition ebbs, rises, kneads; in our fingerings, progeny, wispy pages unfolds the apple of ages. [ "Prosody" was originally published as a broadsheet in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. ] ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - II. Dancing in the Void Beauty When swans, like snow, arc this tangled shore, we balance on stumps & cans. [ "Beauty", first published in Karamu as "The Swans of Winnebago", was latterly published in River Courant and then in the 1973 Minnesota Poets Anthology. ] ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - II. Dancing in the Void The Mind Has Seasons Out of Time The mind has seasons out of time (far beyond and far below) Where men will fall; men will climb; As I may take my tea and rhyme And smile through glass at yellow snow, The mind has seasons out of time. I tell you edges flash in slime; That seeds burst stones when winters go Where men will fall; men will climb: For while I've never seen each crime Nor heard each wind there is to know, The mind has seasons out of time. One laurel, so, immortal, prime, Greens against that embering show Where men will fall; men will climb, And life is not a pantomime, And was will be, nor cease to grow; The mind has seasons out of time Where men will fall and men will climb. [ "The Mind Has Seasons Out of Time" was first published in Pursuit and then published in Karamu, and latterly published in the 1973 Minnesota Poets Anthology. ] ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - II. Dancing in the Void The Old Men We have come like lightning, Creaking over the hill - O, in our whispering wonder, In our still will. ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - II. Dancing in the Void

Lightning years rattled stones waves then amino acids protoplasm ferns dolphins birds the blue airs roll through the rooms of breath waters seep & rive the dust is blood, muscle, bone from the gathering eyes of one last form the universe is taking flight & the lightning knows

------- Brian A. J. Salchert

Sunday, January 7, 2007


Rooted Sky 2007 - I. Inhabiting the Air

Mind, taproot, endless in your thirst earth leans darkly against your skin but light air water soil forsake themselves for you & you for them wooden likely to rot your limitations serve the whole of your ambition stems leaves wonder mind taproot deepen & gather in the universe if you can & make it yours & yourself its & writhe & dance & tree tree tree

------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - I. Inhabiting the Air Behind the Garage Squeaking out of their fictional ground, families of metaphors twist & bow in the changing air, cling to twines & slats as rains ring on their skins & shades of sunlight enter their bones; and we are, passing now, slowed by stems, leaves, how blue/ the morning glories. [ "Behind the Garage" was originally published in Wisconsin Review. ] ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - I. Inhabiting the Air Deep in the blood birds fly south my heart pulses bronze chrysanthemums darknesses open laden with flame holy in seed your womb grows our eyes once more begin ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - I. Inhabiting the Air

The Marriage of God and Money (for Doug Flaherty) Remember this afternoon it is as you said that shopping center in Albuquerque the big gold cross for Christmastime that million dollar spire with Billy Graham's name at the New York World's Fair a posh & distant pope those rotten shacks of Bogota You are breaking me out of my Towncraft shoes My toenails krinkle my soles go brown my dark eyes flutter like fledgling thrush near the bottom of my skull the insistent breath of the swift red fox

------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - I. Inhabiting the Air

To Weldon Kees (who may have leapt to his death from the Golden Gate Bridge) Groping toward stones then drifting out your roots swirled borne through alien ground Sea salt wearing wide your eyes your skull rots anemone minnow kelp who parted so draw draw

------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - I. Inhabiting the Air Martha, Time ticks in the ear of corn & the conch shell rolls with the voice of God Your latest footstep totters the earth your fine white fingers lust I climb against a glacier's rage I stumble across the sun's despair Smiles in lettuce rooms of ammonia angora moving along my palm my ring talks with yours & learns another world I could not farm ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - I. Inhabiting the Air

Revealing the Source Words put one off for hours sometimes; sometimes, for years. Take, for instance, "culture". No flag can really give it form; no flaunted skill or costume. Even if one would see beyond his own language, ripe and full, he could not hold it. To jostle such a word from the imperium of mind to the stability of rock or, even, of skin, a man needs to travel into himself miles; for popped (as words proclaim we are) away from the Gutenberg Galaxy, we will not let its stars be symbols now but must have each one as it is - our imaginations have changed. Artists painted their mythic lives on the walls of caves; musicians, on the winds; dancers, from the rooted earth through nimble bones; poets, in constellations of words. imagination / miles For this language, "culture" began as adoration and the wheel and the tillage of land; religion, science, art. Caught in today, imaginations have not changed; they have only forgotten.

[ "Revealing the Source" was originally published in Yes. ] ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - I. Inhabiting the Air

Starting Over So no-one noticed that he climbed backwards into his mouth no-one noticed the trees are full of fire / the sun wood a man of the mind must atone for much no spring exists that is not a heart / no blood that is not stream the object & the relations of objects & the view that oak on the hill in any cloudless dawn may seem transfigured / from the other side in any cloudless evening may seem consumed his body fills the fields / his entrails move

[ "Starting Over" was originally published in Road Apple Review. ] ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - I. Inhabiting the Air Matters of Place 12:25 in Halsey Science 155 - I am with my second class. Last May, hurrying into Coleman Hall, I told a friend, "We're going to California. For one thing, we don't like the weather here, and Charleston's just too small." San Francisco lived between my ears like cotton candy. Earth, air, water, fire: the tongues of my daydreams lapped them. Eastern Ill. U. was passing. 12:55 in Radford 201 - I am with my pen. Last July, driving into Wichita, I told my wife, "We'll get to Fond du Lac after midnight, if I go." I didn't really want to. But, I had risen west, and failed. There was nowhere left. WSU--Oshkosh. I have tumbled back to the womb. ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - I. Inhabiting the Air The Maverick (for the poet James Wright, and latterly for a neighbor named James Wright) 1 Romping out of the must & sulphur fog, the one-year maverick whinnies at the sea. 2 Morning winds on the aspens - tired, hungry, he watches, listens - leotards of ice crackle like chicken frying in a high, slow heat or fire in the distant brush. He begins to warm. 3 Slipping in the forest pool, the maverick startles his image; a pair of ravens stroke from shore to shore. 4 And again I see him gallop into ochres, russets, shafts of white. 5 The maverick rears inside me; my bones sprout thistles & grain. [ "The Maverick" was originally published in Wisconsin Reveiw. ] ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 - I. Inhabiting the Air

Muse Dream She with her Indian rope tricks, and I with my straight as an arrow - Why there's just no telling how far we could go into the dark

[ "Muse Dream" was first published as "A Dream of Collaboration" in Karamu and then in the 1972 Rooted Sky as "A Dream of Collaboration with the Muse". ] ------- Brian A. J. Salchert


Rooted Sky 2007 contents/links Parts - I. Inhabiting the Air II. Dancing in the Void III. Words Around Death IV. Weights and Balances Originally published in November of 1972 by Tom Montag's then Monday Morning Press, Rooted Sky was my first post-Iowa volume. In it are forty-seven poems and one letter. I was 31, and yet teaching at WSU-Oshkosh. - - Contents - - - I. Inhabiting the Air - Muse Dream s1poem1 - The Maverick s1poem2 - Matters of Place s1poem3 - Starting Over s1poem4 - Revealing the Source s1poem5 - Martha, s1poem6 - To Weldon Kees s1poem7 - The Marriage of God and Money s1poem8 - Deep in the blood s1poem9 - Behind the Garage s1poem10 - Mind, taproot, s1poem11 - - - II. Dancing in the Void - Lightning s2poem1 - The Old Men s2poem2 - The Mind Has Seasons Out of Time s2poem3 - Beauty s2poem4 - Prosody s2poem5 - December 31, 1913 s2poem6 - February 8, 1970 (Sunday) s2poem7 - Janus s2poem8 - The Mystics s2poem9 - To Poets: On Personae s2poem10 - Being a Poet s2poem11 - Admonition s2poem12 - Because. . . . s2poem13 - Letter (May, 1970) s2letter.may.1970 - "Notes at the Watershed" Warning - Notes at the Watershed (Christmas Season 1970-71) s2poem14 - - - III. Words Around Death - The Rooted Sky s3poem1 - Swallow Bend s3poem2 - Snow s3poem3 - Where Once the Old Mill s3poem4 - Transferal s3poem5 - Storm s3poem6 - Dark Gazelle s3poem7 - After Considering Again the Breakdown of My Civilization s3poem8 - The Administrator s3poem9 - The Curse s3poem10 - Imagining Myself on a Hill near the Old Mill Stream, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin s3poem11 - Cave s3poem12 - Following an Impulse s3poem13 - Haiku s3poem14 - Looking for Work in Chicago s3poem15 - Why She Left s3poem16 - Lover, s3poem17 - What Color . . . Death? s3poem18 - Mary, s3poem19 - Death & Rebirth s3poem20 - January 1, 1970 s3poem21 - - - IV. Weights and Balances - Doom s4poem an argumentative interior dialogue - - - Books Relevant to Rooted Sky - - RS = Rooted Sky - - Brian A. J. Salchert


This Day's Poem - tdp122706 8 The Man on the Bench When we passed by earlier, he seemed dead; and he was dead; but then another man whispered to us: "Is he dead yet?" - - Brian A. J. Salchert


This Day's Poem - tdp120306 7 Remembering There are always those who go before us even though they arrived after/ we arrived. The length of a life is not the issue, but the beauty of/ a life lived is. Yet who are we who cannot judge, being unfit? We are those who persevere. In whatever miniscule, gracious ways, we are those who create and preserve. I have been given, temporarily, a bedroom/ once inhabited by Jeffrey Wester. On a framed pictureboard left of his bed it says: "Jeff/ thanks/ for the/ memories" and: "March 15, 1983 - January 1, 2006". Affixed around these centered notes are/ 63 photos. - - The above was written on the blank page of the P O E M S section in my copy of the December 2006 issue of P O E T R Y where I noted it preliminarily as A Reflection 12-3-2006 Ozark, MO - - - - (Jeffrey Wester lived an inspiring, vibrant life, in spite of his cross: cystic fibrosis. I, yet in Gainesville, Florida, when he passed, had no knowledge of his existence at that time.) - Brian A. J. Salchert


[ last modified: 2008-10-19 ] More sonnet opus Essential Notes 1. The Bicentennial Year of the founding of the United States of America republic was 1976. 2. August 2, 1976, was 32 years ago. It is extremely important that you remember this when reading my sonnets for that year. 3. Even though I have entitled the 352 sonnets which remain from that year 1976: in 2006, I have already made several revisions in 2007. 4. Each sonnet reveals something about me; yet even if you were to read all 352, you would only know a smattering of/ what there is to know about me. Though there are some aspects of me which have not changed, I am not the person I was then. 5. Do not try to pigeonhole me. 6. On August 2, 2008, I changed the title of this opus to 1976 Today. - - Brian A. J. Salchert


Poets & Writers Magazine Note On page 21 of Volume 35 - Issue 1 - Jan/Feb 2007 an introduction to a prized phantom poet begins. Written by one John Freeman, president of the National Book Critics Circle, the introduction is entitled: "The Art of Reading Frederick Seidel". Two comments: 1) It seems to me Frederick Seidel is a cosmopolite. 2) I recommend you find and read John Freeman's "The Art of Reading Frederick Seidel". Brian A. J. Salchert

Saturday, January 6, 2007


Daily Prayers some of which I have stopped saying (03/10/07) Lord, Jesus, through each this moment along the way, thank You for Your gifts today. - Blessed Trinity, Blessed Virgin, all you saints in heaven, all you holy angels, good (whatever sector of this day it is), this is Brian Salchert, here in (whatever locale I am in), thank you for being near and within, and for your blessings and mercies upon, me and all my relatives, Earth-alive and other: (here I name sisters, brothers, cousins, and whomever else I choose to include who is related to me through my father and mother) and (next I name whomever I choose to include who is similarly related, but is among those who have passed) afterwhich I (move to those related to me through marriage). I then continue: thank you for being near and within, and for your blessings and mercies upon, all of those here in Southwest Missouri, who have been or had been especially charitable to me; and for all of those in Gainesville, Florida, and vicinity, and elsewhere, who have been or had been especially charitable to me and my (passed companion wife); and each of those my (p- c- w-), I, both of us chose to be good to, and each of those who chose to be good to both of us, to me, to my (p- c- w-); and each of those my (p- c- w-), I, both of us chose to not be good to, and each of those who chose to not be good to both of us, to me, to my (p- c- w-). - Blessed Trinity, Father Creator Sustainer, Son Redeemer Sustainer, Holy Spirit Enlightener Sustainer, thank You for each human, for Your blessings on each, and for sharing within each of us Your wisdom, love, serenity, and courage, and determination, and holy creativity. - - y2007/yd006/m01/w1/d6 - prayers - Brian A. J. Salchert 03/10/07 end note: As I began to read through the prayers here, I glanced at my computer's clock, and the numbers were PM 1:11, numbers which represent for me God or God time. Such events occur in my life so often I no longer consider them coincidences. Brian A. J. Salchert

Friday, January 5, 2007


Journal Entries Recap for 2006 y2007/yd005/m01/w1/d5 per my new calendar 2007-01-05 per calendar in common use - I am writing this from Ozark, MO, to which I returned earlier this afternoon. I had once again been in Springfield. Today I learned I will soon have an apartment there. - - Here is a list of my 2006 entries: - - Author's Quirky Introduction - This Day's Poem - This Day's Poem Too - 3 Poems and 5 Mutt Objects - From a Place Lost - their place in the heat - Of My Personal Self, and My Poet Self - Prayer for Saddam Hussein - Bill Knott, Poet - 2 Poets: David Antin and Denise Levertov - When You Are Young (a wisdom message) - Noosphere - Notes to Nowhere (page 3: 6-22/6-21/6-20 2006) Notes to Nowhere = N2N - N2N (page 2: 6-19/6-18/6-17 2006) - N2N (page 1: 6-16/6-15/6-14/6-13 2006) - see November 2006 archive - This Day's Poem (and how this series began) - The nnss: Natural Number Summation Sequence - This Day's Poem - 110906 (What You Do Not Know) - Coming Soon, I Hope - My Personal Calendar - I Have Designed a Calendar Which - Some Information About My Poems - Guess What - Not a quiet day today - Another wild day, - Important Battle Won Last Night - 3 Weird Poems - Strange Day - About Me - Writers' Workshop Alumni Survey - At First to Poets - One More Crazy Day - 1976: in 2006 - 351 sonnets (1 of 25) January: Year-day 1 through January: Year-day 15 - 1976: in 2006 - 351 sonnets (2 of 25) January: Year-day 16 through January: Year-day 31 - 1976: in 2006 - 351 sonnets (3 of 25) February: Year-day 32 through February: Year-day 46 - 1976: in 2006 - 351 sonnets (4 of 25) February: Year-day 47 through February: Year-day 60 - 1976: in 2006 - 351 sonnets (5 of 25) March: Year-day 61 through March: Year-day 77 - 1976: in 2006 - 351 sonnets (6 of 25) March: Year-day 78 through March: Year-day 91 - 1976: in 2006 -351 sonnets (7 of 25) April: Year-day 92 through April: Year-day 106 - 1976: in 2006 - 351 sonnets (8 of 25) April: Year-day 107 through April: Year-day 121 - 1976: in 2006 - 351 sonnets (9 fo 25) May: Year-day 122 through May: Year-day 136 - 1976: in 2006 - 351 sonnets (10 of 25) May: Year-day 137 through May: Year-day 152 - 1976: in 2006 - 351 sonnets (11 of 25) June: Year-day 153 through June: Year-day 167 - 1976: in 2006 - 351 sonnets (12 of 25) June: Year-day 168 through June: Year-day 182 - 1976: in 2006 - 351 sonnets (13 of 25) July: Year-day 183 through July: Year-day 197 - 1976: in 2006 - 351 sonnets (14 of 25) July: Year-day 198 through July: Year-day 213 - 1976: in 2006 - 351 sonnets (15 of 25) August: Year-day 214 through August: Year-day 228 - 1976: in 2006 - 351 sonnets (16 of 25) August: Year-day 229 through August: Year-day 244 - 1976: in 2006 - 351 sonnets (17 of 25) September: Year-day 245 through September: Year-day 259 - 1976: in 2006 - 351 sonnets (18 of 25) September: Year-day 260 through September: Year-day 274 - 1976: in 2006 - 351 sonnets (19 of 25) October: Year-day 275 through October: Year-day 289 - 1976: in 2006 - 351 sonnets (20 of 25) October: Year-day 290 through October: Year-day 305 - 1976: in 2006 - 351 sonnets (21 of 25) November: Year-day 306 through November: Year-day 320 - 1976: in 2006 - 351 sonnets (22 of 25) November: Year-day 321 through November: Year-day 335 - 1976: in 2006 - 351 sonnets (23 of 25) December: Year-day 336 through December: Year-day 351 - 1976: in 2006 - 351 sonnets (24 of 25) December: Year-day 352 through December: Year-day 366 - 1976: in 2006 - 351 sonnets (Notes) (25 of 25) - - 03.10.07 - - Brian A. J. Salchert