Michael Andrews Arts

See Announcements for details on publication of Archilochus poems in Arion Magazine.
Currnt Project

The Book Peddlar

Current Project

 

I have cirled the globe several times traveling in a vain attempt to sell books.
In 1978 I went to Santa Cruz where I met Rita Bottoms at UCSC. Rita had just been aligned with William Everson in printing Cyprus & Granite, a letterpress, fine print selection of Robinson Jeffer's poetry. It was in a wood slipcase and I felt vindicated. In those day Jim Davis at UCLA and Chris Brun and UCSB fought over who would get my archive. Nowadays no one wants the archive of a dying poet.
In Santa Fe in the early 80's they referred to me as "the Michael Andrews". In 2008 in Santa Fe they did not know my name and basically treated me as something to hurridly wipe from the bottom of a shoe.
In the UC Davis library I gave them my archive and all afternoon, while the rain spattered the pavement outside, for the first time in about 25 years, I held in my hands Cyprus & Granite, a letterpress, fine print selection of Robinson Jeffer's poetry, printed by William Everson at Limekiln Press. I read it cover to cover and wept for the sheer hell of it.
That year I drove through Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and California looking for libraries with mad money. I traveled many times to New Castle Delaware to exhibit in the Oak Knoll fest, and have been every time to Codex in Berkeley.
I might say, things have changed.
The Book Peddlar is meant to reflect some of those moments, lost in the tides of history.

To The Reader From The Heart Of The Moment


The heart of stone beats slow.
The sky is ripe lemons bursting.
The storm licks its tongue through the mountain's fur.
The rain stalks across a summer lawn of hemlock and pine.
The sun mints gold on the hems of cloud.

Add S to a word and it cuts two ways.
It all comes down to a twig lying in the dust.
For a moment of your time
and an infinity of my mine
the cardiovascular pulse of the mountain
flutters to the beat of the hummingbird's heart
and that twig is all there is of clocks and rulers,
the only moment that ever ticked,
the sum total of every thought,
all there ever was of galactic clusters,
the history of bipedal brains,
this poem —
and you
reading this page,
closing this book,
putting it all back on the shelf


At The Movies


We sit in the pitch black of the Mann Six theatre
full up with dull normals chewing Snicker bars,
gossiping about their dreary idols
and the vagaries of the Olympics in Atlanta.
Taken all together they do not have
the combined intellect of a lawn sprinkler.
We are watching a movie about the
world's smartest man.
He is smart either because of extraterrestrial
aliens or because of a brain tumor.
The brain tumor is about to kill him
deader than the thought processes
of a House Republican even though he still
wants the woman he loves in spite
of the fact that she is the world's
meanest living human being
and even though she is mean
most of all to him.
The best ideas of the world's smartest man
seem to involve improved methods
for using pig shit to power a car,
the arrangement of cars in a parking lot,
and the use of a photovoltaic cell to grow a zucchini.
He is not smart enough to be wary of the FBI,
to avoid the wrath of the local dull normals
and the assaults of the world's meanest woman.
The audience sobs at his pseudo pain,
chokes on their Snicker bars
and tries to grasp the concept of
reading a book.
I sit in the dark munching stale popcorn
without butter flavoring
watching an actor who has had it made
since the moment of his birth
get paid fifteen million dollars to portray
pain and intellect to an audience
who barely has the intelligence to vote
itself into becoming the third world.
Now I will have to spend the rest
of the evening belching undigested popcorn
and line my coffin with
unpublished poems.


In The Auto Parts Store


What happens
when you walk into
the auto parts store
and there is this dude
behind the counter
covered with fur and grease,
weighs 324 – 7 foot 2 – pounds,
his knuckles
dragging on the ground,
hasn't shaved for 6 days,
no bath for twice that,
flies are buzzing around
in his navel,
and you ask
"Hey man
you wanta buy an ad
in a poetry book?"

He looks up
says, "Sure,
Hold this,"
and drops
a Chevrolet block
in your lap.