Grandmothers are mothers, too . . .

Indie Book Awards0001Grandmothers on your Mothers Day gift list?






Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Poetry


Photographs by Ken Salzmann


a61650010 (2)

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry

Dark-eyed strangers. . .


“Poets are like baseball pitchers. Both have their moments. The intervals are the tough things.”

–Robert Frost


Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry

New poetry podcasts now online

It amounts to something of an unplanned theme, but music–in one form or another–seems to unite this recent collection of poetry podcasts. Readings of my poems “When Summer Gathered,” “At Paul’s Mall,” “Jitterbug Waltz,” and “What But the Music” are now available  right here.


(You can find LANE CHANGE, the book in which these poems appear, as either a paperback or an eBook on Amazon.)


Leave a comment

Filed under Music, Poetry

At a loss for words

This time, it was the Chickasaw language. But the story is familiar enough that it called to mind for me a similar one from a decade or so ago about another place and language. That earlier story prompted me to write the poem posted below.

Today’s  article  reported that  Emily Johnson Dickerson, the last person who spoke only the Chickasaw language,  died last week in Ada, Oklahoma.  Dickerson, 93, was one of about 65 people fluent in the Chickasaw language, which still had thousands of speakers as recently as the 1960s.


That’s a situation mirrored in many places and cultures world wide, and for anyone who loves language and values diversity it can only be sobering. The big picture is brought into focus by the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages.

As it happened, however, it wasn’t the “big picture” that led me to write that poem. It was a 2004 article in the New York Times Magazine by the noted journalist Jack Hitt. . . .

(Portrait of Emily Johnson Dickerson by artist Mike Larsen.)



Say No More

I intended to say we share words as well,

although it takes just two of us and a common language

to articulate a tower.


More like that Sunday magazine article

On dying languages in Patagonia

Than we care to say:


I asked her if she ever had

a conversation with the only other person

in the world who [spoke Yaghan].

No, Emelinda said impatiently,

the two of us don’t talk.


You might have said we are forever tossing

sound about in places where ideas are gathered

then drummed into senselessness.


That we are approaching the moment

when we will sit at a café table

telling secrets but speaking in tongues.


I intended to say we share words as well,

and the speechlessness of aged Yaghan women

hoarding icy words in a land of fire.


“Say No More” appeared in Front Range Review, Spring 2007

Leave a comment

Filed under Poetry

Talking poetry . . .

Recently, I was reminded of an interview I did a couple of years ago for Sketchbook, an international journal. The interview was conducted by Sketchbook Contributing Editor Helen Bar-Lev (a wonderful poet as well).

Here’s that discussion from 2012.


Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Poetry

Steroids in baseballl? My historian son and his colleague  think a little context is in order, as they propose in this OpEd.

(The Chicago Tribune has a paywall, but there’s a simple and free way to sign up for a few free articles.)

Our Nation of Bionic Workers

By Sarah  F. Rose  and  Joshua  A. T.  Salzmann

September 25, 2013, Chicago Tribune

As Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez prepares to appeal his 211-game suspension, seeking the $86 million remaining on his contract, it would be easy to dismiss him as a steroid-using cheat. But the narrative of A-Rod as a greedy fraud obscures the fact that players’ use of steroids has been driven by the changing business of baseball. Ironically, Major League Baseball’s arbitrator will be deciding the fate of the industry’s own creation, even as MLB and the Yankees escape with their profits intact. Read more . . .


Leave a comment

September 25, 2013 · 9:58 pm