first edition * October 2o12 * 300 copies
*My good friend Beverly Hill said to me one day, “Mark, jazz is your dharma.” She could be right. See my website JAZZ FOR MOSTLY designed & maintained by Klaus, with photographic doctoring by Cal Haines (my old snapshots).
* Poems such as these can only come about during periods of relative calm and stability. I was blessed with such a stretch during April & May 2o12 and then again during August & September (altho, poem on page 6 actually dates from January 1, 2o11). Even as quite a few close friends got away lately … Dottie Grossman, Hal McKusick, Geminy, Kell Robertson, Todd Moore, Uncle Jack, David Prince, Dick Trask… their fires burn steadily in memory.
* The poems “Take 1 – 5” appear on the cd THE DALAI LAMA’S CLOCK (Zerx 081)
* Author photo taken by Richard Tabnik – August 24, 2o12 – with East River and Williamsburg Bridge, New York City, early evening
*I almost called this collection: WELL, ANYWAY and then, I almost called it: REVOLVED UPSIDE-DOWN INSIDE-OUT CROSS-EYED POSE
The doodles are by the author. This is Zerx chapbook #69. (c)2012 Mark Alan Weber | email@example.com | Zerx Press, 725 Van Buren Place SE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87108
Mark Weber | Photo by Richard Tabnik
calabacitas full moon
burrito haiku kaleidoscope
banana hosanna potato
turnip squash elliptical arabesques
cosmic tomatoes, spiraling spiraling
………………………….spiraling through space
jet airplane cork-screwing through time
spiraling dream world
luminous hyper world
slingshot to New York
— Mark Weber
first printing * October 2o12 * 300 copies
Some of these poems have previously appeared in these magazines: Pearl, Blue Collar Review Philadelphia Poets, Nerve Cowboy, SHAKESPEARE N’A JAMAIS FAIT CA (13E NOTE EDITIONS, PARIS, FRANCE) Poetry Review (London) Litro (London) The Morning Star (London). Frontispiece photo of Fred Voss & Joan Jobe Smith by Elaine King, 2o11
(c)2012 Fred Voss – Zerx Press, 725 Van Buren Place SE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87108
Fred Voss & Joan Jobe Smith | Photo by Elaine King
PIT BULL POETRY
“A machine shop is the last place on earth to look for poetry!”
my fellow machinists might say to me
if they knew I wrote poetry
and our tool steel chucks that grip steel rods 100 times harder
than pit bulls
brand tape measures and Muscle Car magazines lying on workbenches and men
who lift weights until they can heave 100-pound tool steel chucks
10 feet what
am I doing looking for poetry where greasy 50-pound gears
from a rattling 80-year-old lathe lie piled
on a concrete floor and men smile
as they talk about their pet tarantulas and that head
police just found in a paper bag up in the Hollywood hills
there are no Grecian urns
just buckets full of lube oil and cans full of liquid rosin
in this shop where men can work on machines next to each other for a month or a year
and not say one word to each other except
“Do you have that 17/32 stub drill?”
where is poetry more needed than in this place where we have cut tons of steel hard
as heart attacks and tombstones
as time clocks tick away our lives with such minute measured boredom we look into
and are suddenly 20 years older
and our calibrated micrometers measure cold unbendable brass down
to one-ten-thousandth-of-an-inch fact
where is a rose held in the hand of a blind girl
come back from the dead to pat his son
on the shoulder
turning a machine handle until his fingers ache as he whistles that child-like new melody
to his 9th symphony
over and over and wipes the beads of sweat off his brow
where is a cloud
floating by a tin door with an angel
and William Blake and Jim Morrison sitting on it putting their arms around each other
— Fred Voss
There are a lot of interesting poets in America
these days the ones that I have always followed are Ronald Baatz, Joan Jobe Smith, Ray Zepeda, Ron Androla, Mitch Rayes, Micki Myers, Cheryl Townsend, Charles Harper Webb, Fred Voss, Lyn Lifshin, Ron Koertge, JB Jeff Bryan, Ben Gulyas, Gerald Locklin, Lisa Gill, Judson Crews (1917-2010), the late Kell Robertson and Todd Moore and Dottie Grossman and Steve Richmond, and this guy I hardly know but stumbled across in the Gettysburg Review, name of David Kirby. There are many others. All are old friends of mine. Also Daryl Rogers in Kentucky, can’t forget the guy who gave me the title of my book PLAIN OLD BOOGIE LONG DIVISION. And Brent Leake in Salt Lake City who I ask to sing & play on his guitar “Louise” every time I see him.
A short list but like I’ve said before, the thing I look for in poetry I find most often in jazz.
An argument could be made that Fred Voss is the greatest poet in America. His work addresses the quotidian, the actual stuff of daily survival, and even though he’s deep into this life, he has a certain distance while inspecting it, that I like. I guess I’m partial to poets who have actually punched a time clock. It doesn’t get any Real-er than that in America. That and looking under the hood of your car or truck.
I should qualify that list by saying how much I like the crazy Beat poets (provisionally) Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso (see his masterpiece “Marriage”), Philip Whalen, John Wieners, Ferlinghetti, Frank O’Hara and Kerouac. Kerouac is in a class by himself.
Then, the usual influences of Pound, Neruda, Sexton, Octavio Paz, Li Po, Cavafy, Borges, Bob Dylan, the magisterial T.S. Elliot, Rexroth, d.a. levy, Tao Chien, Whitman, Raymond Carver, Dick Barnes, Charles Reznikoff, and my all-time king-favorite Horace (see The Odes). This is a very personal list.
What should we expect from a poem?
One of the remarkable things about poetry is it can be almost anything. A grocery list, a Corso-scribble, Chris Franke cut-up of a newspaper, an inquisition, an elegy, bill of lading, rhyming schoolyard taunt, a lie, promissory note, subpoena, any gawd-damned crazy nonsensical list of words and you have a poem. It can be all about love or it can be about war.
I prefer that poems tell us something that we do not already know. Or maybe we know it but have never seen it in this new manner. The words have magic, trick the mind into timelessness.
I especially get ancy when a poem endeavors to tell me what to do (didacticism).
I like poems to get to the point, and if possible make a distinction between how much belongs in the poem, or should be saved over for another poem. This is tricky, because poems like Todd Moore’s always had the core story, the back story, innuendo, irony, foreshadowing, all going at once and all in only thirty words. Let’s just say that I like short poems.
As much as I like language poetry and the idea of language poetry, for myself I prefer to use words merely as a conveyance. To dispense with the words/language as quick as possible and have the poem inspirate into the mind of the reader, for the page to disappear and the words to vanish.
And, I hate to admit it, but as I get older (59 two days ago), I’m less interested in Angst Poems: those that detail the travails life has heaped upon the aggrieved poet ( I have written thousands of these myself, and let them go some time ago — sure, everybody had a good laugh hearing about my tortured soul and the inequities I perceived were knocking me around, but, I got older and it didn’t seem so funny anymore).
Fred Voss’s poems have a transcendent quality, they ennoble life, even as they do not flinch at the harshness. I love his sense of rhythm and the line breaks.
Mark Weber | 23oct12
Fred Voss & Mark Weber — April 12, 2o12 — Long Beach, California — photo by Joan Jobe Smith
Fred Voss — December 22, 1995 — Long Beach, California — photo by Mark Weber
Joan Jobe Smith — December 22, 1995 — photo by Mark Weber
Ray Zepeda and Fred Voss — June 8, 1997 — photo by Mark Weber
Bronze bust of Charles Bukowski by Linda King at Fred & Joan’s place — photo by Mark Weber
Joan Jobe Smith at home — June 8, 1997 Long Beach, California — photo by Mark Weber
Todd Moore — June 13, 1996 — Albuquerque — photo by Mark Weber
I like Joseph Jarman’s poetry, also — January 25, 1989 — Cleveland, Ohio — photo by Mark Weber
Ron Androla — March 31, 1989 — Detroit — photo by Mark Weber
Chris Franke, Gerald Locklin, Mark Weber — April 23, 1988 — Kent, Ohio — photo probably by Bill Polak
And how could I forget my dearly departed good friend, the poet Joyce Guion Shipley — April 22, 1988 — Cleveland — photo by Mark Weber
Anne Menebroker — July 8, 1991 — Sacramento, California — photo by Mark Weber
collage by Mark Weber — March 28, 1994
Old Bennington, Vermont — March 12, 1989 — photo by Mark Weber
Ronald Baatz postcard postdated September 11, 2000
Lawrence Ferlinghetti @ City Lights Bookshop, San Francisco — August 16, 1978 — one of the heroes of American literature, Lawrence allowed me to take a dozen or so shots while he milled about the store that afternoon, he asked, “What are they for?” And I said, “Just for my personal enjoyment,” and he said, “Well, I hope you get a kick out of them.” — photo Mark Weber
Fred Voss with John Densmore of the DOORS — June 1, 2013 @ Fingerprints Music, Long Beach, California
The Go-Go-Girl who danced at the Whisky for the DOORS: Joan Jobe Smith — June 1, 2013
#01 THE PHONE Mark Weber, poems October 1983 | #02 OUT OF IT Mark Weber, poems & collages March 1984 | #03 JUMPING THE CONCLUSIONS Mark Weber, poems July 84 | #04 ABANDON SHIP Mark Weber, poem January 1985 | #05 THE SELECTED COLLECTED LEFTOVER POEMS Mark Weber, 1985 | #06 TWO BODIES MAKE ONE Mark Weber, erotic poems 1985 | #08 3 RING CIRCUS Mark Weber, short stories January 1988 | #09 NIGHT BEFORE Mark Weber, poems December 1987 | #11 THE ODES OF BIG WEB Mark Weber, November 1988 | #15 HOGWASH Mark Weber , stories June 1990 | #20 LOCKLIN BIBLIO bibliography Mark Weber , March 1991 | #23 DRUNK CITY Mark Weber, poems May 1992 | #24 BIG WEB BEHIND THE ZION CURTAIN Mark Weber, stories (unreleased) 1992 | #25 DARK GARAGES Mark Weber, dope poems (unreleased) 1992 | #26 WANDERING JEW MOM / THE COMPULSIVE GUILTRIDDEN TERMINAL MOTHER Mark Weber / Catherine Lynn , poems & drawings March 1992 | #28 LOCKLIN BIBLIO 2 Mark Weber, November 1997 | #29 BIG WEB BRINGS HOME THE BACON Mark Weber, post office memoirs (unreleased) | #41 LIBRETTO : OBBLIGATOS FOR TERPSICHOREAN DIPSOMANIACS Mark Weber, poems from the CD (9 Winds 0182) may 1986 | #44 LIBRETTO: OH SHENANDOAH BE NOT TELLING ME THIS Mark Weber, poems from CD (Zerx 001) August 1997 | #47 VEHICLE VORTEX VERTIGO Mark Weber, poems & concert program (w/ J. A. Deane ) November 1998 | #48 LOOSE FRONT END Mark Weber / Scott Virtue, poems & drawings August 1999..