from DARK EARTH… ‘The Herald’ with biographical notes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing more than abstract ornament,
explanations and discussions
keeping us to ourselves; we were
too petty for anything else. God
and Spirit, man and God again: no
insight into the common denominators.

Stupidity categorized the crews
taking over. In Canada, one was
reduced to waiting; at best,
you sent yourself notes (not poems)
hoping they would stay closed, or
fall open revealing all upon arrival.

You are lost either way. Death
enters your life: a troubadour
strolling through the provincial town.
Each gesture of government singing
the unwanted guest to bed, who is
finishing the last bite of food.

One brought no plans for conversation,
issuing invitations in the dark
he slips from his clothes. The livery
stark amusement, leaving only the arc
of a streetlamp which constellates:
the hard vistas of distant expectation.

©Dean J. Baker

first published in Jewish Dialog

  • excerpt from

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****

A few notes on The Herald: I went to an advertised poetry reading at York University where I’d only previously been to meet up with Irving Layton.
Couldn’t find the room and was wandering the halls when I turned a corner and ran into Joe Rosenblatt, Francis Sparshott, and John Newlove.

I got to know Rosenblatt and Newlove, edited two books for Rosenblatt, and traded books and drinks and food with John Newlove. Outside Irving Layton, Gwen MacEwen, Al Purdy, Alden Nowlan, & Patrick Lane, and Milton Acorn – Acorn, Purdy, MacEwen whom I would come to know, exchange letters, share food and drinks, phone calls, Christmas cards, with – these two, Rosenblatt and Newlove, were my favorites. And Giorgio DeCicco, Maggie Helwig.

One day I wrote The Herald and mailed it to John Newlove – just the poem typed out, no note. Canada Post being what it was in those days I got a phone call the next morning from John.
Fairly wordless for John anyway, he stared by saying, ‘You have got to get this published. I’m speechless about it.’ etc.

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Nothing I Know

John Newlove

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An insult to the brain;
sun’s injury, this waking
before noon,
beneath the browed indifference
of Time, adventurer of our lives.

Who can tell that will? Each
whore and man
must dine amid swill and swallow
all: drown until
one rises where another fell.

Run, dark horse,
follow the body’s teachings:
how children have accomplished this,
turned back once, and turned into us:
nothing matters, now but results.

Dean J. Baker

-excerpt from The Lost Canadian, Vol.1, 112 pages, $14.99

*JOHN NEWLOVE

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BIOGRAPHY

LITERARY PUBLICATIONS

from THE LOST CANADIAN, VOL.1… ‘A FRIEND’

for John Newlove

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You don’t like marriage,
but you like the company.

We’ve bent our elbows
so long on the same drink:
one of us must be a mirage.

Do you think that this
is how it ends – a little
blood spilled, sinking?

That’s not the moon; white
and propitiated,
sweeping cobwebs off your shoulder.

You tell me to listen:
as if belief may do more
than conjure truth, again.

Dean J. Baker

-excerpt from The Lost Canadian, Vol.1, 112 pages, $14.99

*JOHN NEWLOVE

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BIOGRAPHY

LITERARY PUBLICATIONS

Everywhere I Go – John Newlove

jnewlove

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are people talking about. Everywhere I go they whisper.

They stick their eyes at me, right at the base of the breastbone,
when I’m not looking.

The breastbone seems flat, pointed like a dagger to the top
of my stomach.

O, my stomach, my stomach… when the knife rips you open
it will find coffee and four strips of bacon, pieces of chewed
beard and a handwritten note saying I have left town forever
again.

©John Newlove
– excerpt from his brilliant work, Lies, jnewlovelies1972 and from A Long Continual Argument, The Selected Poems of John Newlove

John was a friend of mine – yet I had only said hello back him when I heard him read this live one time at York University. I’d been searching for the room in which the reading was to be held, and came around a corner to come face-to-face with him, and Joe Rosenblatt.

https://deanjbaker.wordpress.com/links-to-my-books-in-print//

The mothership: http://deanjbaker.wordpress.com

©Dean J. Baker