Archive for the Harry Calhoun Category

haiku by Harry Calhoun

Posted in Harry Calhoun with tags on July 8, 2014 by Scot


Wind whips through graveyard
Tombstones shine bare, white as skulls
Whistle against death


Of the Creeks, the Baying Dogs by Harry Calhoun

Posted in Harry Calhoun with tags on July 8, 2013 by Scot

I remember flyfishing with my father
on foggy mornings, on Pennsylvania creeks. And today,
my black Labs with much hound mixed in,
strut undomesticated from my wooded backlot

to claim the back deck with wildness. Yowling
that if I would understand, I might become werewolf —
and I wish in some part I could. As I wish I could stake
some misty claim beyond my father’s death

and angle again those foggy banks, to become the wild
and the dead and the deathless — the ineffable and feral,
beloved eternal and mortal.

My lover my wife beside me wished eternal and hoped forever.
My father, my parent wished eternal and gone forever.
Communication: dog, human, lycanthrope, struggle,

I howl and the moon rises … or does the moon rise and then
I howl? I do not know which comes first. I have this, my fierce love,
and the strange and wild poetry that rises in my breast.

The Mirror this Morning by Harry Calhoun

Posted in Harry Calhoun with tags on November 5, 2012 by Scot

I look in the mirror this morning
and I just face it: I don’t want to grow old
and die. I just don’t want it, my love,

this journey has been so much
struggle and triumph and sheer endurance
and pain that to lose it seems unfair

if not downright mean. I turn to you now.
Take my hand, I feel like a child
about to catch the schoolbus. I’m too big

to cry but I’ll always be too young to die,
and I’ll never want to leave you, stuck
as I am in this world that call me old,

these mirrors that lie to me,
these kids that hold the door for me
and insist on calling me “sir.”

More than the Alley, by Doug Draime–Reviewed by Harry Calhoun

Posted in Doug Draime, Harry Calhoun with tags on August 26, 2012 by Scot

More than the Alley, by Doug Draime. Interior Noise Press, Austin, Texas, 2012. Available online at Paperback, 144 pages. $15.00.

Doug Draime’s bio in this book says that he has been a presence in the underground literary movement since the late 1960s. This book establishes both his continued vitality in underground poetry and his undeniable ability to turn out visceral, gritty and glaringly real verse.

The back-story of Doug’s book is almost as interesting as the book itself. In a Bukowski-esque hard-luck story, Draime submitted multiple book manuscripts over the years, had them accepted, and then had them fall through for various reasons. In his own words to this reviewer, “Since the early 80s I’ve had eleven full-length, selected poem collections that have gone belly up. That has to be a record, I would think. Actually, one publisher died, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. I don’t know whether to put a feather in my hat or rock out to this almost overwhelming, anti-climatic sensation I’m feeling (of having More than the Alley come to fruition.)”

So for all of you poets out there who are whining or just digging in and hoping, take heart. I know how I felt when, after a long fallow period in my career, one of my first submissions of twelve poems were all summarily dismissed. We’re talking not twelve poems here, but almost twelve books, folks! So More than the Alley must feel like a deep sigh of relief for Doug Draime. Was it worth it? Only Doug can answer that personally, but from a reviewer’s standpoint: A resounding yes.
Continue reading

Blues Poem II: Everyday Weekend Blues by Harry Calhoun

Posted in Harry Calhoun with tags on May 27, 2012 by Scot

And it’s three in the morning and all you got
is your own plain self and your two black dogs
and another shot of that harsh brown brandy
that makes it all go down, like it or not.

And that sweet girl of yours that you loved so long
is gone like a memory of a long-lost song.

So this is what it’s like to sing the blues:

The dogs come in with mud caked on their paws
and you wipe it off still smelling of booze
and you clean it up, the paws, that is, and the rest,
That’s just what it is, it’s yesterday’s news

There’s something like a song boiling inside
all angry and bruised, so call it a poem and just give up.

This must be what it’s like to sing the blues.

Drought Again, Brautigan by Harry Calhoun

Posted in Harry Calhoun with tags , on March 24, 2012 by Scot

The owl asleep in the rafters
wakes a minute and blinks
her wide sleepy eyes

and listens sturdy and prepared
for a drop of rain
through the roof

and yawns a thin crack
in her beak
and goes back to dreaming

of the rain, lucky rain
that will lull her back
into sleep: consider

the half-sentient lull
of the nonexistent rain
and the sturdy existence

of the never-changing owl.

Amy Winehouse is dead and my dog is gone by Harry Calhoun

Posted in Harry Calhoun with tags on August 3, 2011 by Scot

The best keep leaving us: Janis, Jimi, Jim, Kurt
and now Amy, all gone at 27. My Alex,
at a comparable age in dog years,

must be put to sleep. Because of an odd hybrid
of moth to an irresistible flame
and werewolf bitten and snarling

far outside of its genes. The tragedy
of addiction, of aggression, that rushes
like a wild river spilling predictably

to the sea of its predetermined end.
The way you walked was thorny,
my sons and daughters. It pains me

to see how you sought
or were brought
peace for eternity.