Broadsides: Nils Peterson

Limited ed. Signed in blue ink by the poet on lower left.   

With bonus free poster announcing a Valentine’s ”revel” with Nils Peterson and the Choraliers of San Jose State University directed by Charlene Archibeque. title:  ”Love’s Not Time’s Fool” showing a seated nude drawn by by Jean Swan Gordon.

The poems read:

Bedtime

If we have quarreled our bodies wait

Patient as horses.  At last their owners

Set off huffy and proud leaving

The sweet bests to each other.

They turn, nuzzle, and speak through the night

The eloquent touching language of the dumb.

Lady,

You know as well as I

a sun soon will rise

That will not rise on us.

You have heard with your sweet ear

And read with your quick eye

The things poets say –how long

They’ll love or how they’ll catch

A willing soul’s fire in their pages

Like butterflies in amber.

It is all moonshine, you tell me,

And will not scare

Be flattered or cajoled,

Yet today the sun came up in the high air

And great birds begin their dalliance

Above an earth grown tense with blossom.

Morning    early

Almost awake

Bedclothes settled about like clouds

At the edge of summer.  On the horizon

My hand floats on the warm sea of your body.

How did it get there? Is it off on its own?

Or has it some mysterious charter from the king,

Some errand that will save all of France?

Time to call it back though now it rides so easy

On the suck and swell of your breathing.

125 copies printed for the San Jose Poetry Center at Blackwells Press 1983.

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Broadsides: Naomi Clark

This lovely poet who died in 1992 at the age of 59 earned  English degrees ( BA, MA from SJSU and PhD from UC Santa Cruz), taught at SJSU where she developed the San Jose Poetry Workshop. The on-campus library in the old home of poet Edwin Markham (SJSU) is named the Naomi Clark Library.   Limited edition. Signed lower left by the poet.  (9 and 1.2″ X 11 and 1.2″ )

The poem reads:

The Woman Who Makes Eyes by Naomi Clark

Then even as we are known

We shall know.

Born blind,
By touch she made eyes for herself,
Piece by tiny mosaic piece,
Facet by facet.
Now she polishes lenses,
Joins them;  breeds rose windows,
Odor all new.
Her face lacked even sockets.
She cut through bone,
Constructed twin caves,
Planted new membrane, nerves.
She connects it all.
Her green eyes taste green,
Lemon, cinnamon, every leaf,
The sleep of water, sky’s walk,
Every curve of earth’s face.
Though it hurt more than death,
From this dark
She did look out.
With her eyes we see.

Broadsides: William Stafford

Another one of America’s famous poets, a pacifist, lecturer, and although born in Kansas in 1914, he is known as a regional poet of the northwest because he lived most of his life in Portland, Oregon.   Some slight smudges in the center but not distracting.  II and 3/4″ h X 9 and 3/4″ w   Limited edition. Signed William Stafford in ink.

The poem reads:

The Things I Learned Last Week by William Stafford
Ants, when they meet each other,
Usually pass on the right.
Sometimes you can open a sticky
Door with your elbow.
A man in Boston has dedicated himself
To telling about injustice.
For three thousand dollars he will
Come to your town and tell you about it.
Schopenhauer was a pessimist but
He played the flute
Yeats, Pound, and Eliot saw art as
Growing from other art.  They studied that.
If I ever die, I’d like it to be
In the evening.  That way, I’ll have
All the dark to go with me, and no one
Will see how I begin to hobble along.
In the Pentagon one person’s job is to
Take pins out of towns, hills, and fields,
And then save the pins for later.

Broadsides: Robert Bly

Nobody really needs to be told that this man is an American poet. He is one of the few who has been able to support himself fully by his poetry. Born in Minnesota in 1926, he has written at least eleven books of poetry.  You may have enjoyed one of his seminars or, if you are a male, his drumming sessions.  This broadside of a prose poem “Twelve Roses”  is signed in ink and in perfect condition.   8 and 1/2″ X 14″   The color of the paper is a dark cream and not blue as shown here.)

The broadside reads:

A Bouquet of Ten Roses by Robert Bly
The Roses lift from the green strawberry-like leaves, whose edges are slightly notched, for the rose is also the plum, the apple, the strawberry, and the cherry.  The roses are reddish-orange, the color of a robin’s breast if it were silk.  I look down into the face of one rose: deep inside there are somber shades, what Tom Thumb experienced so low under chairs, in the carpet darkness…those unfolding swirls of gathering shadows, that eyes up near lamps do not see.  It is the calm fierceness in the aborigine’s eye, as he holds his spear polished by his own palm.  These inviting lamb-like falmers are also the moist curtains on the part of the woman she cannot see; and the cloud that opens, swarming and parting for Adonis…It is an opening seen by no one, only experienced later as rain.  And the rose is also the skin petals around the man’s stalk, the soft umber folds that enclose so much longing; and the tip shows violet, blind longing for company, knowing already of an intimacy the thunderstorm keeps as its secret, understood by the folds of purple curtain, whose edges drag the floor. AND in the center of the nine roses, whose doors are opening, there is one darker rose on a taller stem.  It is the rose of the tumbling waters, of the strumming at night, the color of the Ethiopian tumblers who put their heads below their feet on the Egyptian waterfront, wheeling all over the shore…This rose is the man sacrificed yesterday, the silent one wounded under the oak, the man whose dark foot needs to be healed.  He experiences the clumsy feeling that can only weep.  It is the girl who has gone down to the world below, disobeying her mother, in order to bring calm to the house, travelling alone…and the rose windows of Chartres, the umber moss on the stag’s antlers…