Arts + Scene » Poetry

Why Humboldt County Doesn't Have a Poet Laureate



Doesn't need one.

At Jerry's latest Northtown Books reading-

new drool-, caress-, or frame-worthy Tangram chapbook,

150 signed limited editions-


Dante introduced Jerry as, If Humboldt

has a poet laureate, this is certainly him.

We agree.  Even Grandma Jim, begrudgingly,

But we don't much care, even Jerry.


Poetry is a world we walk around in

on a good day.  On a bad

we just don't know it.  Poetry

here is like farming or the one-


time logging or fishing, a common enough pursuit

so that even abecedarians

mosey in an atmosphere slow and old-

town, pastured and primitive and proud,


goat-like in its will and willingness and reserve-

an atmosphere slow and pungent enough

with this unleaving sway of trees,

trees and what transpires


near the Pacific Ocean, its anthologies of fog,

dissertations of rain, spells of reflection, and these trees,

trees-why, this poem itself mushrooming amid big-

leaf maples releasing leaves with their forest-stirring sounds


and a giant lone redwood left uncut surrounded

by Sequoia neophyteae due to its latter-day char and crown snap

and who needs another committee anyway

and will the Jambalaya doorman let us slip by tonight?


- Zev Levinson


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