"Peace was Restored"
Dear David and Stacey:
An officer investigated when a mailbox was reported to have been run over at a Deadman’s Canyon Road address. The officer noted the incident was specific to this mailbox; no others in the area were damaged.
A caller from the McLeod Bar called 911 at 3:20 a.m. to report someone was trying to steal a truck from the parking lot. An officer responded and the report notes “peace was restored”.
A caller requested an officer respond to the gate of the gold course east of town where a boy was trying to sell golf balls to people as they entered the parking lot. The complainant was concerned because the young person would sometimes step out onto the highway while attempting sales. The boy left the area before the officer arrived.
A man parking his horse trailer near the mine parking lot on Business Loop West observed an old headstone about 10 feet off in the grass which bore a 1924 date. An officer investigated and reported it looked like it had been there for a long time.
Officers responded when a City Club employee asked for assistance to “settle things down” when two guys at the bar were getting mouthy with each other.
An officer was unable to locate a four wheeler reported to be running up and down River Street, out to Highway 191, coming back into the bird houses and up and down Second and Third that did not have a light. In addition, the caller said there was also a foreign car running around without a muffler. When asked what the complaint was about the foreign car, the caller said it wasn’t doing anything, just running around.
©bill hayward 2008
Dear Stacey and David: Sweetgrass County August 12 – 15.
An officer investigated a speeding pickup on Old Boulder Road. He then requested a big broom be brought to the Boulder Campground to clean up a big toilet that was busted all over the road.
The state road department was advised of a medicine cabinet creating a hazard in the westbound lane of I-90, mm383.
Services were rendered when an individual with a swather requested an escort under the Railroad Bridge north of Big Timber.
Officers were unable to locate a pickup with kids in the back going down Eighth Avenue really fast that lost control at the dropoff on Busha Street but continued driving fast.
A sink was found broken on Fairgrounds Road.
Cows and calves tearing up hay on private property on Swamp Road were reported and the believed owner contacted.
Dear Stacey and David: This is from The Real West Marginal Way, "Dialogue with Richard Hugo":
Well I think one thing was that Montana, of course, is vast, and there are a lot of poems lying around just to be picked up, and most of my Montana poems the last few years have come from east of the Divide....That's a funny way for a poet to think about it, but I do think of the world as a kind of hunting ground for poems and that I can find them lying around here and there. Hopefully always inside myself ultimately. But I am a landscape poet, I guess. I respond pretty much to the place where I live.
Dear Stacey and David: This is from [Richard] Hugo's The Real West Marginal Way, "Self-Interview":
Q: Do you think of the wind as God?
A: I suppose I do, except I don't believe in God. I believe the wind is like God because we can see and feel its effect but not see it.
Q: But isn't that true about other things, for example electricity?
A: Yes and I hate you for bringing that up. I suppose the fault lies with me. I want to but can never accept theoretical explanations of electricity, and I've never been able to accept electricity as a concept because I don't understand it. On the other hand I accept wind BECAUSE I don't understand it, and would refuse to listen to a theoretical explanation of it.
Q: Aren't you rather narrow?
Q: How about another poem about your ex-wife?
Bill Hayward writes to us from big sky country. He adds that the text accompanying the photo is from "the big timber police report in the big timber paper...that is in big timber, montana. " Thanks, Bill.
Bill Hayward recalls that "the Dylan portrait session was for Andy Warhol’s Interview Magazine and took place on November, 14, 1985..at my studio in Soho, 596 Broadway":
The title of the article was "A few things about Bob Dylan as told to Scott Cohen." The article consisted of Bob’s answers to such questions as:
Three Authors I'd Read Anything By...Tacitus, Chekhov, Tolstoy
Dozen Influential Records..."Lady's Man," Hank Snow; "lucille," Little Richard; "High Lonesome Sound," Roscoe Holcomb; "Tom Joad," Woody Guthrie; "Mystery Train," Elvis Prestley; "Not Fade Away," Buddy Holly; "Molly and Tenbrooks," Bill Monroe; "Get Back," Big Bill Broonzy; "Chauffer Blues," Memphis Minnie; "Riding On Train 45," the Delmore Brothers; "Ida Red," the Smokey Mountain Boys; "Pictures From Life's Other Side," Hank Williams.
The Best Cure for the Blues : "Ginger Root"
Events I Wish I had Witnessed: "Custer's Last Stand, Hannibal crossing the Alps, Lindbergh landing in Paris, Houdini on the East River."
Five Bands I wish I had been in: "King Oliver Band, The Memphis Jug Band, Muddy Waters Chicago Band (with Little Walter and Otis Span). The Country Gentlemen, Crosby Stills & Nash."
Several Things Still Blowin' In The Wind: Three Little Pigs, The wages of sin, Lester Young's horn solo on 'When Budda Smiles'."
A Threesome I'd Like to Play Golf With: "Paul Gauguin, Lee Iacocca, Edward Teller. "
Many of you have written to us off-line about the portrait we posted of poet Jason Shinder, who died last week. The portrait is by filmmaker and photographer Bill Hayward and is from Bill Hayward's Americans - America in Portraits of the Collaborative Self. Hayward engages Americans in conversation and play with paper and paint. By doing so, says Hayward, "individuals reclaim the authority of their imagination and speak truth to: Desire, Body, Memory, Love, Sex, Courage, Home, Mother, Freedome, Peace, and OZ. All of the words/marks/constructions in the images are made by the subjects: their words, their images, their truth...their art, their heart."
“We had macaroni for lunch every day,” John Ashbery read, “except Sunday, when a small quail was induced / to be served to us”
This produced laughter from the audience. Mr. Ashbery looked up from the page at us, and delivered the last two lines:
“Why do I tell you these things?
You are not even here.”
But we were there — at least three hundred of us, possibly more — we’d come to see him, to hear him tell us these things, and more things. Every chair was taken in Wollman Hall and those audience members who’d arrived not late, but not early, either stood or sat on the floor. The poem, titled, “The Room,” begins:
“The room I entered was a dream of this room.
Surely all those feet on the sofa were mine.”
At the start of the evening, in his introduction, the poet and scholar David Lehman said that he’d studied Ashbery’s poetry as an undergraduate at Columbia University. And while Mr. Ashbery read from Notes From the Air, the two men sat side by side at the table, as intimately unacquainted as people sharing a table at the public library, each reading from his own copy of the same book, one aloud, one silently, and Mr. Lehman seemed a student again, absorbed in the poetry of one of his favorite poets.
Mr. Ashbery, in a white shirt, read not slowly, not quickly, and rarely looked up.
After reading from his published poems, Mr. Ashbery pulled loose pages of new poems from a well-handled manila envelope. Now, it wasn’t going to be possible for any of us to follow along, either from a book or from memory.
To hear a poem being read without having had time with the poem on the printed page is to feel mildly unmoored, and in between poems, when Ashbery looked up, his gaze was as piercing as it was opaque, which lent to the sensation. But his gaze is a private gaze that allows for privacy; one needn’t be seen drifting in public.
He read a new poem titled, “He Who Loves and Runs Away,” and then searched in silence for another poem to read. As he leafed through his papers, we watched in our own silence, staring at him so intently as though it was our duty to keep him from vanishing between poems.
“I wanted to read something, but I can’t find it,” he finally said.
He moved on to his translation of Reverdy, and then he talked some about his poetry, and took questions.
Of the poem “The History of My Life,” he said, “The poem sounds like straight autobiography, and actually it is, but I didn’t realize it when I was writing it. I had been writing about my own life without knowing it.”
Once upon a time there were two brothers.
Then there was only one: myself.
I grew up fast, before learning to drive,
even. There was I: a stinking adult.
I thought of developing interests
someone might take an interest in. No soap.
I became very weepy for what had seemed
like the pleasant early years. As I aged
increasingly, I also grew more charitable
with regard to my thoughts and ideas,
thinking them at least as good as the next man’s.
Then a great devouring cloud
came and loitered on the horizon, drinking
it up, for what seemed like months or years.
About the strange non-engagement between dreams and life: “We dream, we get up, we go about our business and a few hours later, we’re back to being invaded by dreams. The president dreams, the pope dreams. But we go about our lives as though these dreams never happen.”
Ashbery had read a pantoum, the title poem of his collection, Hotel Lautreamont (which also appears in Notes from the Air: Selected Later Poems.) About this unusual form Ashbery said, “The pantoum is weird and rather frustrating — you have to abandon what you wanted to write and let [the form] write it for you. This is one of the only poems I have written on a computer, and I found it rather helpful.” He usually types his poems on a manual typewriter.
About starting poems in the middle: “The middle is where everyone starts writing. It’s not as though there is a threshold called The Beginning. The same can be said for the end — there’s no formal ending.”
--Wandrers Nachtlied (1780)
Over the hills
Comes the quiet.
Across the treetops
No breeze blows.
Not a sound: even the small
Birds in the woods
Just wait: soon you
Will be quiet, too.
from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman
THE RULE OF THUMB
Ringfinger was nervous
when they learned
that Hand might succumb
to the rule of Thumb.