Tuesday, September 27, 2016


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He lied about the loan his father once gave him.
He lied about his company’s bankruptcies.
He lied about his federal financial-disclosure forms.
He lied about his endorsements.
He lied about “stop and frisk.”
He lied about “birtherism.”
He lied about New York.
He lied about Michigan and Ohio.
He lied about Palm Beach, Fla.
He lied about Janet Yellen and the Federal Reserve.
He lied about the trade deficit.
He lied about Hillary Clinton’s tax plan.
He lied about her child-care plan.
He lied about China devaluing its currency.
He lied about Mexico having the world’s largest factories.
He lied about the United States’s nuclear arsenal.
He lied about NATO’s budget.
He lied about NATO’s terrorism policy.
He lied about ISIS.
He lied about his past position on the Iraq War.
He lied about his past position on the national debt.
He lied about his past position on climate change.
He lied about calling pregnancy an “inconvenience” for employers.
He lied about calling women “pigs.”
He lied about calling women “dogs.”
He lied about calling women “slobs.”
So… who won the debate?
I invite you to follow me on Twitter (@DLeonhardt) and join me on Facebook.


David Budbill
June 13, 1940 – September 25, 2016

David Budbill died peacefully at his home in the early morning hours of September 25th with his wife of 50 years, Lois Eby, and his daughter, Nadine Wolf Budbill, by his side. A passionate lover of his family and friends, the woods, and all things human, he did not want to leave this life but over the past three years his Progressive Supranuclear Palsy—a rare form of Parkinson’s Disease—brought him to this moment.

David was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1940 to a streetcar driver and a minister’s daughter. His colorful life included being a track star in high school, attending Union Theological Seminary in New York City, teaching at Lincoln University (a historically Black college in Pennsylvania), moving to Northern Vermont in the late 1960s and building his own house, laboring on a Christmas tree farm, playing myriad musical instruments, working for racial and economic justice, tending a large vegetable garden, cutting his own wood, and writing a staggering amount of creative material.

He is the author of ten books of poems, seven plays, two novels, a collection of short stories, two picture books for children, and the libretto for an opera. During his prolific career David performed his work in many venues—from schools and prisons in Vermont to avant-garde performance spaces in New York City—often with William Parker and other musical collaborators. Several new books of David’s will be published posthumously, including his newest book of poems titled Tumbling Toward the End (Copper Canyon Press) and a novel titled Broken Wing (Green Writers Press). More can be learned at www.davidbudbill.com.

David is survived by his wife, Lois, his daughter, Nadine, her partner, Mia Roethlein, and his granddaughter Riley Wolf Budbill-Roethlein who gave him much joy in the last two years of his life and the first two of hers.  He is also survived by his cousins Martha Cross and Dick Miller, his brother in law and sister in law, Frank and Gayle Eby, many good friends and readers of his work, his work itself, and the woods where he loved to be.

His ashes will be returned to his favorite white pine stand in the woods at the home in Wolcott, VT, where he lived and wrote for 45 years.  The family wishes to thank the wonderful team at Central Vermont Home Health & Hospice who guided us and our dedicated caregivers through this challenging time with great skill and compassion.

An event to celebrate David’s life and work is planned for 2017.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to Copper Canyon Press, his longtime publisher, or an arts or peace and justice organization of your choice.

Out in the Woods

The only time I’m really free is when I’m out in the woods
cutting firewood, stacking brush, clearing trails. 

Just the chain saw, the dog and me. 
Heave and groan, sweat and ache. 

Work until I can’t stand it anymore. Take a break.

Sit on the needle strewn ground up against a big pine tree, 
drink some water, stare out through the woods, pet the dog. 

Stretch out on the ground, take a nap, dog’s head on my lap.
Ah, this would be the time and place and way to die.

Davd Budbill
from Nine Taoist Poems
Longhouse 2007

Monday, September 26, 2016


Is It




the stars

or stars


over the



4-foot wing span

Opens above me

Calls nothing

Flies over the river

Almost hides itself

Into a dead elm tree

And I stand in place watching

Solitary, the books say —

In 200 yards I’m standing

Across from the bird

And it hates it —

Quick screech calls

Fly backwards

200 yards

Lands where it began

A Tree Full of Birds

                                          for Janine Pommy Vega

That’s what I heard one morning

In a no-nothing town between

Phoenix and Tucson, where it

Appeared desolate and desperate

With a mall and motel and a big

Highway running through it all

And even the motel desk didn’t

Know the name of the route number

Of the highway when I asked the

Next morning with a desire to go

To the mountains north — as if no

One went to the mountains from here —

But I did, and before I left, hours

Before I asked any questions, birds

By the hundreds came to the trees and

Bushes of this motel square, dipping

Even into the swimming pool, and whether

It was sunrise that lit each bird yellow

Or if in fact they were yellow and each

Singing magnificently in the coolness of

Daybreak when I was awakened gladly

And stepped out my door and onto a long

Balcony to see and hear and feel the most

                                           Beautiful day in the world begin


B O B     A R N O L D
Once In Vermont

Sunday, September 25, 2016



  When the World Stands Still

It happens very rarely. The earth's axis screeches and comes to

a stop. Everything stands still then: storms, ships and clouds

grazing in the valleys. Everything. Even horses in a meadow

become immobile as if in as unfinished game of chess.

    And after a while the world moves on. The ocean swallows

and regurgitates, valleys send off steam and the horses pass

from the black field into the white field. There is also heard

the resounding clash of air against air.


Zbigniew Herbert
Selected Poems
Carcanet 1985
translated from the Polish by Czeslaw Milosz and Peter Dale Scott



The cops holler

“Drop the Gun!”

When there is no gun!


Bob Arnold

24 sept 16

see the fine Australian film ANIMAL KINGDOM (2010) for a fictionalized dramatization
of the police calling out, "He has a gun!" It's now the new buzz words since the cameras
are always rolling.

Saturday, September 24, 2016


One evening, when nothing was planned — often the best way to spend a late summer
evening — and Susan was down with a bug & fever, so I read awhile up in the bedroom with
her, by the large windows looking to the river, reading by the tail end of the daylight until
there was no light and Susan had fallen asleep and I kept on reading this large and beautiful 
book, heavy on the lap, with its deep showcase of the New York School of Poets, both
generations, meaning Ashbury, O'Hara and Koch to Berrigan and them all, and while reading
I just happened to type in wanting to find on the Internet Aram Saroyan's two early books
of poems from Random House via a put-down newsman reading the poems on a major network at the time and although I couldn't find the reading I found Aram Saroyan, in bad lighting, and all the
more interesting because of his intriguing storytelling of the same time I was reading about
in this large art book and I recommend everyone listening to Aram talking, reading his poems,
laughing softly and recalling and actually hearing him read his own one word gems and later
fielding questions from a friendly room.

[ BA ]