Born in New York City in 1953, Kenneth Warren is a civic journalist,editor, independent scholar, public librarian, and poet. He obtained a
BA and MLS from SUNY Buffalo He is the founder and editor of House
Organ, a letter of poetry and prose. He is a founding member of The
Lakewood Observer, a newspaper experiment in civic journalism. He was
an associate editor for Contact II, a poetry review, and Alternative
Press, a music magazine. He introduced and edited with Fred Whitehead
The Whole Song: Selected Poems by Vincent Ferrini (University of
Illinois Press, 2004). His two collections of poetry are Rock/the
Boat: Book One (Oasis Press, 1998) and The Wandering Boy (Flo Press,
1979). Captain Poetry’s Sucker Punch: A Guide to the Homeric Punkhole,
1980 – 2012, a collection of essays, will be published in 2012. He
lives in Ransomville, New York.
Here are a few poems found in the FROM BUFFALO OUT bundle:
from: Rock/The Boat
Going by the Mayan calendar,
I Batman is a root mantra.
By rhyme and reason
A funereal rock
To the umbilicus of limbo;
Then I crinkled,
The checkered past
Of every boy and girl.
Dark is night
The Trashmen so perfectly beheld
The bird in the finger tree
Anyone in Arizona could lift it
To defy the sacred line in thin air
John Roche at Kenhome neighborhood in Elsmere, New York
John Roche is an Associate Professor of English at Rochester Institute of Technology, and also the current President of the Just Poets organization. He earned his PhD from SUNY Buffalo, studying with Robert Creeley and John C. Clarke. His full-length poetry collections, Topicalities (2008) and On Conesus (2005) are available from Foothills Publishing (Kanona, NY). His poems have appeared in magazines like Yellow Medicine Review, Flurb, House Organ, Rootdrinker, Big Bridge, Jack Magazine, Interim, Intent, Woodstock Journal, Burning World, and in several anthologies. He edited the collection Uncensored Songs for Sam Abrams (Spuyten Duyvil, 2008), co-edited Doing Time to Cleanse My Mind (FootHills, 2009), and edited Martha Rittenhouse Treichler’s Black Mountain to Crooked Lake: Poems 1948-2010, with a Memoir of Black Mountain College (FootHills 2010). His latest book of poems, Road Ghosts, published by theenk Books (Palmyra, NY), is available from Small Press Distribution < www.spdbooks.org
and is also featured in Big Bridge # 15 at www.bigbridge.org. Recent readings include Talking Leaves Books, Buffalo, Caffé Lena, Saratoga Springs; Little Theatre Café, Rochester; Different Path Gallery, Brockport, NY; Greenwood Books, Rochester; Writers & Books, Rochester; Harvest Café, Montour Falls, NY; Olean Public Library; the Grey Hair Series, Buffalo; and Acequia Book Sellers, East of Edith series, and Fixed and Free series, Albuquerque. A chapbook titled the joe poems is scheduled to appear later this year from FootHills Publishing.
Here is a video of John Roche at RIT's Innovation Center II backed by the Handmade Orchestra
Stephen Lewandowski at Voorheesville Public Library
Stephen Lewandowski has worked as an environmental educator and consultant in the western Finger Lakes for thirty years. He is a founder of the Coalition for Hemlock and Candise Lakes and the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Task Force and worked on the development of watershed management plans for many of the Finger Lakes and Lake Ontario.
A member of Rootdrinker Institute, Lewandowski is co-editing issue 18 of Rootdrinker Magazine with magazine founder Alan Casline of Delmar, N.Y. Healso released a small book of poems, Digging Wild Soils, published in 2009 by Delmar’s Benevolent Bird Press and in 2010 a book
O LUCKY ONE, his tenth's small book of poems since 1974, published by FootHills Publishing. http://foothillspublishing.com/2010/id57.htm
ASLEEP IN THE BUDDHA
When I visit
she puts me in the spare room
with a bed, a desk, her books,
two meditation pillows and a brass Buddha.
The room is warm—I need only a light blanket—
and its walls are white.
Over the bed hangs a mandala.
Siamese cats visit me in the night.
Waking up, floor boards under my feet,
Gotama greets, one hand raised.
Bronze of the bell hanging beside his shrine
holds a long, singing note.
Dieffenbachia roots in a glass, blind
white rootlets, leaf arches over the Buddha.
A woodcut shows a gigantic man
smiling and directing a tiny traveler.
He is a traveler because his things
are done up in a bum’s knotted handkerchief.
He is tiny because the giant is pointing
to a distant mountain.
I’ve come with Snyder’s Fudo
and a beefsteak begonia to give away.
That done, I feel myself becoming tinier yet;
o white walls, white ceiling
brass Buddha setting on wood,
that mountain is huge
and so far away;
can’t I stay here with you?
WHEN YOU SEE
Our friend Craig around town
right away you’d notice
his short arms. He was a short
guy anyway but his arms
were really short. Bustling
down the street, he’d always
carry a pack of tickets
in his breast pocket--
to get you into the Trooper’s Club,
a chance at the Rotary 50-50, or
the Hatch Hose Lucky Number.
He’d stop to talk, “Hey, how’s it going?”
and you’d be looking away
from those tickets, but couldn’t--
I’d try to figure out what great luck
and chance of a lifetime had just
passed me by, but I’d never ask.
“See you later,” you see
once you asked, he had you.
Now that Craig is gone, I wonder,
Did he think I was kind of a stiff?
Will Nixon at Stewards in Voorheesville, New York
Will Nixon keeps Hudson Valley and beyond informed and amused at willnixon.com (Hudson Valley Poetry Blog) and through heads-up e-mails such as the sample below:
The city in my Love in the City of Grudges is Hoboken. I indulged in a Hoboken Week on my blog, posting pieces about Hoboken poets Joel Lewis and Jack Wiler (also an exterminator), plus the greatest, but least likely Hoboken writer of all, Edward Abbey, who wrote Desert Solitaire while stuck in town and frequenting Nelson's Marine Bar. Also, an On the Waterfront story. And a lonely night at Maxwells with the Suicide Commandos.
Michael Perkins, my good friend and co-author of Walking Woodstock, was a book critic for 30 years. He keeps introducing me to important books which, sad to say, I hadn't know of before. Two writers whom I'm now eager to read are William Bronk and Howard McCord. Plus, an interview with Janice King, who graced us for years at the Golden Notebook.
If you're a Hudson Valley hiker, try Beacon Mountain. I hadn't been to the fire tower since the 1980s. Now I've been back three times since the fall. Like Beacon, the mountain has gentrified, except when it hasn't. (You'll see when you get to the end
Will Nixon grew up in the Connecticut suburbs, spent his young adulthood in Hoboken and Manhattan, then moved to a Catskills log cabin in 1996 complete with a wood stove and mice. For years, he wrote environmental journalism, then turned to poetry and personal essays. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and listed in Best American Essays 2004. He now lives in Woodstock, NY with a wall thermostat for heat, but still can't get rid of the mice.
In the basement I fought World War One in dirt trenches
spread by trowel on the pool table. My mental soldiers
survived firecrackers catapulted by spoons, dive bomb
hand attacks by my little brother, earthquakes from our knees
drumming under the table. My father stopped the war
when Rex the cat began pooping in the dirt: “Your mother
doesn’t want you playing in bacteria.”
So I played mad chemist. I’d invent acid for burning
open safes; freezing fluids for ants, worms, and girls toes.
From brown bottles racked in my chemistry set, I mixed
bad odors and slow fizzles, but nothing burned from matches
dropped down blackened tubes. After my brother ratted,
my father locked the set in his closet: “Your mother
wants you to become a doctor, not a bomb maker.
Think about eating breakfast with no fingers.”
I picked his closet with a paper clip and took my chemistry set
to swamp with a bottle of Mountain Dew to mix my brother
a surprise. This formula would turn his hair blue, soften his teeth
like rubber. I drank my half of the Mountain Dew, then his half,
and held the bottle under slimy water, making it gurgle, until
a mucky head rose, a snapping turtle hooked like a claw.
My brother found the chemistry set in the swamp snow
rusty as an old can with spilled bottles of smelly ice.
My father punished me with no television for polluting
a wetland. He didn’t know the secret of the snapping turtle:
sipping chemicals, glowing green, breathing fire.
— Will Nixon
Reprinted with permission from My Late Mother as a Ruffed Grouse