LOST RIVER MOUNTAIN
Pahsimeroi’s a river by definition
With a single grove of trees.
Pahsimeroi’s a valley of the union
Between horses and music.
Pahsimeroi Eki’s where we hear
How the West was lost
In the gasp where the world begins.
from Pahsimeroi Eki
Lost River Mountain is wide and deep. Using one musical voice with many contrasting tones, Charles Potts creates a strongly felt impression. His models are the epitome of ambition: Konchalovsky, Spengler, Olson.
Back across the volcanic geology of Idaho, back through his family’s genealogy, the poet returns to the scenes of his youth and adolescent roots to reconsider everything in the full light of maturity. Roots can’t thrive in magma. Only the indelible traces remain.
With humor and a conscious political purpose, Potts recreates and then redeems the social bearings of an entire class of people. His poems of Pahsimeroi in “The Pass at Doublespring” are as if from another world. He has nerve enough to end on an elegiac tone, in a pioneer cemetery, a graveyard where countless romantics founder.
Charles Potts is a realist. What he tells us applies to more than what he writes about. Sober, playful, melancholic, deadly serious. Charles Potts envisions an apocalypse of dust blown up from the volcanic land he loves. It is a big picture made of sound that continues to move: restless, compassionate, kinetic.
Cover painting by Robert McNealy
ISBN: 0-911287-32-9 paper $13.00
KIOT Selected Early Poems 1963-1977
I’m completely inside
Your head no
But you can relax
For I won’t be long
And I’m not dangerous
Nor habit forming
But in case you’d dig to know
Why the sound is coming
Out of you mouth
And into your ears
Throwing your voice
from Fu Hexagram 24 No Hangups
You will see very soon this is a mode of address unlike any other.
The young Charles Potts arrayed a serious arsenal of highly original stratagems to snag and sing disambiguated truth. The complexities keep being nudged toward simplicity and keep escaping to need rounding up again. It is poetry hard at work and hard at play. It is not about art. Its importance lies in its function—it is a process that, like digestion, becomes important because it strengthens. It is good because it nurtures its community, because it aids and comforts the allies. from the introduction by Janice Faye Fiering
Kiot drawings by Robert McNealy.
0-911287-51-5 paper $10.00
SLASH & BURN
by Charles Potts & Robert McNealy, artist
When an old poet hears something valuable in a young,
The young is juiced into the spinal fluid with practical application,
Back held more erect, butt up tighter, firmer tread.
Nothing makes the unbearable burden more bearable
Than even the most minuscule expression of love.
This volume of Charles Potts—a true collaboration between his old friend, multi-talented artist Robert McNealy—marks Potts’ passage into one of the gray beards of our time. Mentor acknowledges the poet’s own missed opportunities with McGrath, Rexroth, and his own mentor, Ed Dorn. Readers can intuit Pott’s sage-work with the young without Potts needing the recognition—only knowing its importance. This volume shows the fruits of long apprenticeship, including the long walk of Laffing Water and Kiot, earlier manifestations of this most American of American poets.
Handmade / Handsewn $400.00
100 copies. Signed by poet and artist
Pacific Northwest Spiritual Poetry
Charles Potts, Editor
Arguing anew the higher, sublime purpose of the poet, Potts reaffirms the poet’s rightful station as a prophet whose urgent voice must be heard more now than ever as our species is poised on the brink of ecological, economic, cultural, and spiritual disaster…The book is a veritable requiem mass sung by a choir of superb soloists…I can’t even begin to catalog the means by which each of these poets achieves Potts’ vision of the spiritual…recommended reading. —Amelie Frank
Paper 384 pages. $20.00