Monday, August 10, 2015


Last month at the Eagle Saturday Market; I couldn't see the oak 
from which these leaves had come;
it must have been that storm the night before
that also left my yard littered with leafy limbs.


By hook or by crook, by shoestring and bootstrap, by 
running and hiding, by mortise and tenon, by moving
undercover of darkness, by wit and dumb luck, by
spit and polish, by weights and measures, by love or 
money, by hurrying up and waiting, by word of
mouth, by bread and board, by slice and dice, by not 
letting the left hand know, by bed and breakfast, by
nuts and bolts, by nodding and smiling, by mortar
and pestle, by hammer and tongs, by never crying 
over what we spill, by backing and filling, by surf and
turf, by health and safety, by soup and sandwich, by
bourbon and water, by offense and defense, by being
as dumb as an ox is strong, by mind and body, by day
for night, by sturm and drang, by fire and ice, by hit
or miss---oh yes, by hit or miss.

Vern Rutsala

A Handbook for Writers; New and Selected Prose Poems,
White Pine Press, 2004, page 21.

Vern Rutsala is another of those poets I heard read their work in the lively Bay Area Poetry Scene in the 1980s--poet's that we now will hear no more. There are new poets and some of them are very good, but these are the ones I met when I was opening my heart to poetry
after I woke up with a half-finished poem in my head and began to write them.

Here's my first poem:

I hate to change toothpastes.
An unfamiliar flavor in the morning is
I hate to change toothpastes. . .
                                      June Hopper Hymas

(My next poem was better, I'll post that one soon. . .)

Anyway, Rutsala was a MASTER of the prose poem. Look him up! His books aren't hard to find.

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