Tag Archives: books

Items, by post (from Diego Garcia, Gifu, Tōkaidō highway, and “no country”

1) Stamps from British Overseas Indian Territory Diego Garcia, thanks Cmdr

items, arrived by post

2) Postcard re: podcast “writers read their early sh!t” from an affable gentleman boxer in Gifu / Tip: he’s featured in a “beat sushi“ video

3) Kurt Vonnegut’s “A Man Without a Country” – pleasing to the feel hardback

4) small collectible card from Tōkaidō highway which came packed with satchels of seaweed and seeds to make a sort if savory rice porridge. Working on the series

+ etc

Pleasant chat with dear sensei Larry Harper in Utah this morning. Grateful for his kind words and to hear steps forward with his health and housing.

near Ken Sleight’s pack creek ranch
Continue reading Items, by post (from Diego Garcia, Gifu, Tōkaidō highway, and “no country”

Musing: Painted into corner (of a blank canvas) #video

Spontaneous riff with usual lousy video and dodgy audio but solid stories

Diary musings including: brain fog; trips to Shimane and Kyoto (Minka Summit); pals Ted and Ed and a big dog; recent books (Alex Kerr, Robert Whiting, Miles Copeland, Dave Bidini) + classic Japonica books; ++ sorting out my head about “what comes next” (answer equals anything; seitai treatment; MECFS awareness (and other awarenesses month); sortganzing ephemera; new records, old records; how are you? etc – all from kura barn a spontaneous rambling blur on another sunny day in Okayama.

Accidentally features Leonard Cohen and Mxmtoon.

Did you notice my sweet black globe and green ship lantern?

Books (recent): Kerr, Whiting, Fitz, Gaiman, + usual Kerouac et al

4 pack of old, new, new to me / Japan, America, Jazz

4 books by post from Infinity Book’s ∞, Tokyo. Alex Kerr, author of two of these, it’s going to be an event later this month… Yes, I’m planning on leaving the house in subsequent months. Started into Dogs and Demons and it’s really exposing colossal buzz kill of modern Japan… {I have to be careful about what I process because I’ve chosen to live here forever, and certainly know that everywhere has its faults but have to take honesty and reality in small doses}.

The F Scott Fitzgerald is a beauty little edition as well. And so many of my friends freaking love (&/or in one case are pals with) Neil Gaiman so getting on board. Thanks Kat C for encouragement.

“Spy book” – I am already suspicious (is it strange to get to know somewhat embarrassed to be sharing this?) and Japan from the long timer

2 more books arrived, not my usual type maybe but, i enjoy Robert Whiting’s nostalgic-without-being-sentimental gazes at Japan and want to support his diligence + i like “spy craft” but without cheese and violence so curious if former agent’s nom de plume is logistically accurate and, if it’s about “running as in managing agents in the field” rather than an “agent running rogue in the field” as the former is much more interesting to me. (Am i a snob to say I’m *almost embarrassed* to show this?) No answer required.

Jack, Neal, Allen – all in one mighty tome

Also in the bedside stack: Reading first editions in bed. After all, books are for reading as well as collecting, sharing (and sometimes accidentally using it as a place to set coffee #NotRecommended). Nice to see a book by Jack Kerouac about Neal Cassady (Cody Pomeroy) with forward by Allen Ginsberg – quite a trifecta.

on hand, side of bed for respites and dreams

Notes: Ken Babbs’ “Cronies” book + chapbook & Doug Peacock

Ken Babbs’ chapbook “We Were Arrested” a preview of “Cronies”

Here’s a hilarious fresh, sharp interview with Merry Prankster/Marine vet/farmer/writer and *the* Intrepid Traveler Ken Babbs talking about his new book “Cronies, a Burlesque” with basketballer/Deadhead Bill Walton (dialed up to 11 as usual) on a Powell’s (Portland) Book Store show with a cute young host holding on for the ride.

{Sorta continuation from my “hero dossier / meet the beats” video a while back with namechecks & stories with Neal Cassady, Jack Kerouac, Ken Kesey, Grateful Dead, Merry Pranksters on Furthur bus, Acid Tests etc et al & more#plug #notaplug.}

Note: I bought from Tsunami Books/Press in the “super early support pre-release” to score a signed copy… but the shipping to Japan is rather expensive, so I get stuff sent to a friend in Olympia who is/was planning to visit – I’ve sent so many books to him (I did a lot of support of the Beat Museum and Ken Sanders Rare Books during the pandemic that I’ve amassed a small medium-sized library at his house – so eventually will ask him (and another friend in Pacifica, CA) to send out via M-bag if the borders remain closed for another year or so. This is just a long way of saying “no I haven’t actually read the book but eventually I will“.

Aside: I’m just finishing up a literary critical biography of Hunter Thompson (David S Wills’ “High White Notes”), and a series called “Letters of Note“ which is compiled by Shaun Usher (beautifully in a hardback book) interesting correspondence from throughout history. [more: books recently] and its companion “Lists of Note”.

Update: Tuns out, I have *sort of* read (some of) it as, whilst going through my bookshelf to freshen up the bedside stock, I found an advance copy chapbook called “We Were Arrested” with one of the chapters, printed on hemp paper(!) and signed to me from Mr. Babbs himself along with a doodle of his face.

For Dave {insert face sketch} Ken Babbs – thanks past-Dave for ordering this

Was made by Tsunami Books/Press to generate interest/attention for the now finished book. It’s about Babbs (Intrepid Traveler), Kesey, Cassady, George Walker and others starting the Acid Tests, formation of the Warlocks>Grateful Dead and (obviously) getting arrested. It was really nice little artifact and journey that led me to finding it.

Continue reading Notes: Ken Babbs’ “Cronies” book + chapbook & Doug Peacock

List: books of note / recent-ish (from a bus)

Semi-legible list of recent books read… in bed a lot recently so staying off the robot screens and looking at the pages of the words.

Some of these may be a couple months ago but can’t remember if I told you or not – anyway I made a list {which includes “lists of note“, a book of lists deserving of a wider audience, not to be confused with its cousin “letters of note“ volumes one and two, ed. & signed by Shaun Usher.

also Kerouac, Cassady, Brautigan, Ginsberg, Thompson, Babbs (a.k.a. usual suspects) plus Miles Copeland bio (& obligatory World War II book now that I’m a middle-aged guy).

Somehow mentioning Montana (regarding ordering Doug Peacock book from Black Elk Press in Livingston) reminds me to mention about reading Richard Brautigan’s “An Unfortunate Woman” in a lovely first edition hardback. Its a meta-chronological account of a few months of RB’s life, much in Montana with Japan, Toronto & SF namechecks and time-shifting. When i read his books, sometimes i think i wrote the lines, or at least want to make more pods and videos about his books but i’m super tired now so here are other items, already made, ergo: “Richard Brautigan” tag at this very creative life archive.

Extraneous note: Posting this from a bus with Wi-Fi leaving the house for the first time by myself since January, or is in December (#sickness)… Anyway, heading for some seitai treatment, it’s chilly, and i’m a bit foggy but I’m all right. Have scarf & cool shoes.

PS Bus has Wi-Fi and power outlets at the seat. Some kind of luxury. The bus company is called “Uno bus“ and it’s a private franchisee providing municipal bus service in my area of Okayama ++ seat rest covers, various payment options. And it’s actually really good Wi-Fi too. Also you pay based on *exactly* for how many stops you ride.

when boarding, get a ticket with a number and match with the grid when disembarking, that’s your price OR use a prepaid tap card and voila, auto-magic accurate payment

Schemes and Dreams for Year of the Tiger – Reiwa 4 / 2022

oh hai, just us talking about stuff like scrapbooks and schemes

+ Schemes and Dreams for Year of the Tiger – Reiwa 4 / 2022 + 

No surprise whatsoever, Dave, surrounded by scrapbooks, well-designed books, unfolded laundry, impressive selection of washi tape and a vessel of homemade miso – and feeling a little tired – looks ahead to 2022 with schemes and dreams including: 

  • compiling/creating a book called “a circumnavigation, of sorts” with freeverse poetry, snippets of diaries, scraps of letters, forgotten lists and possible scribbles; 
  • (the usual of) taking care of health and being a great husband and papa; 
  • making more scrapbooks and collages; 
  • maybe even some paintings of post boxes, payphones and portals. 

Plus tidying up digital odds and ends, stepping up some skills and figuring out how to space out and rest and relax (per Doctors’ orders).

Ichiro makes an appearance as Dave also sends a special *hello* to those who are dealing with some health challenges including uncle in Michigan, a young postcard maker in Sri Lanka, and Larry sensei, and possibly you. 

Finally, after reviewing a litany of scrapbooks of plans, poems, correspondence and other oddities from years past, offers encouragement to share your intentions for the year ahead and reflections on years past in whatever medium you fancy. 

[UPDATE] Feb 1, 2022 (due to sickness and reevaluation): basically canceled 90% of what I ambitiously planned. Recalibrating to “improve the campsite”, ergo: spruce up yard and garden a little bit, finish Kerouac video, make some washi paper, get better at writing Japanese, and maybe repair some broken ceramics with gold.

Note: Oh yeah, calendars and sweater thanks to Shawn P.

just staying alive, yup

Connecting Generations with Letters, Books & Ferments – Japan Cottage Musings

Pausing in the Kura barn from arranging dongles, cables, tripods – trying to upgrade tech aspect of telling stories – Dave starts with Kiana Brassest singing in the background while adding notes about decades of story making & thoughts about continuing with vigor.

Then into a recent Osera magazine cameo from a fermented foods tour (including saké, beer, cheese, wine, miso, shoyu…) in Maniwa, Okayama (which is also sorta son Ichiro’s first publication). 

oh! a curious cameo of us in Onsera magazine learning about saké making from a handsome gent in Maniwa, Okayama

Next onto recent books by post including:

“Waiting for Now” world-traveling “Scarborough dude” Ken Bole *often very* candid letters from Japan, Nigeria, Thailand, Canada etc to friends and family (with numerous coincidences and intersections with my own life).

connecting generations and traditions with letters, books, postcards and rambles

Waiting for Now” available via Blurb (part 2 available for preorder) & Check Scarborough Dudes DicknJanes pod diary etc.

“High White Notes” – David S Wills’ brand-new literary biography of Gonzo writer/journalist renegade Hunter S Thompson – available from his Beatdom publishing imprint + riffs include namechecks for Dr. HST’s book of letters “Proud Highway” and references to Joseph Conrad (re: Importance of dedication to art),  Henry Miller (re: Big Sur etc), and Jack Kerouac (re: enemy of my enemy is my friend – if he could get write about drugs and get published…)

“First Third” – beat, prankster, railroader, hero “Adonis of Denver” 50th anniversary of Neal Cassady’s partial autobiography, inscribed by his daughter Jami Cassady on behalf of Neal Cassady Estate –including postcards with noted photos of, and by, the elegant poet, photographer, lover and muse Carolyn Cassady – with the aim of “Keeping the legacy alive” ++ a bit about Ken Kesey & the Merry Pranksters Further bus.

Oh yeah a reference to Brian Hassett’s cool “Hitchhiking to Kerouac” book in there too with stories about Carolyn Cassady…

Be like your heroes of something… photo by Wang Ping (screenshot from a FB post obv)

Finally, a whole rundown of poets Gary Snyder and Wang Ping spending time together at Kitkitddizze in Sierra Nevada –working on translation, amplification and edification including coffee, Han Shan poems, Hanko stamps, sons Gen and Kei, Lagunitas IPA and gyoza dumplings and cowboy steaks, the history of Axe Handles poem (and translation thereof), Snyder’s new book “This Present Moment” and me at “home” (finally) in a red velvet robe with coffee cup by potter Marty Thurston Kendall of Utah knowing while our journey is our own, there is precedent for path before (like I can be 91 hanging out with my son Ichiro, living well and making poems in a barn).

Gary Snyder and sons Gen and Kei kicking back at Kitkitddizze homestead with Lagunitas IPA and dumplings by poet Wang Ping (who took the photo)

See more at @Ping Wang’s Youtube – especially this video about Axe Handles: and website: http://www.wangping.com/ and see also translated “Flander’s Field” (Canadian) John McCrae to Chinese.

More Kiana Brasset at (I guess, sorta need better link or…? anyhow) met her on the Tracks on Tracks trip.

Moo cards / various sizes and styles, each can be unique = get some https://refer.moo.com/s/gravellybeach

Also, a postcard from a friend wandering in London, a new batch of Moo “friendship” cards [get yer own]

Always more more more projects coming along…

Fondly, dvo/uw

Kura Cultural Curation – Japan Cottage Musings

Kura Cultural Curation – Japan Cottage Musings

Riffs about home reform with new rooms, woodstove and tea ceremony area (thoughts of Ichiro and pals coming home from school) heat pump for humidity control for responsibly curating and collecting books for a legacy library.

And a rundown of recent new/used records including acknowledgement of Shred Kelly, Nice Horse, and (Buffalo Tom’s) Bill Janovitiz’s community building in times of tumult + musical memories in tangible form with David Bowie Let’s Dance picture disc, Hüsker Dü covers, Dead Kennedys, Sonic Youth’s Dirty (Europe 92), War on Drugs (comfort foods), literary keeners The  Weakerthans from Winnipeg, and importantly pal Pat WOOD on Awesome Death’s “To Be Determined.”

Thanks to postcard club participants and folks mailing stuff my way and Casa Rosa for safe haven for library staging.

Fondly, dvo at Giggling Piglet Atelier and Consulate

PS Investigate Forthwith:

Books by Post – Japan Cottage Musings

+ Books by Post / Japan Cottage Musings catch-up riff +

Wearing stolen hotel pyjamas, Dave riffs about: Larry Harper’s “70” variety collection, various Richard Brautigan items (Rick Lupert’s Van Nuys Tokyo Express, William Hjortsberg’s Jubilee Hitchhiker, and “the world’s mightiest hat” gift from Marty and Willis), then onwards to the legendary Joan Anderson letter from Neal Cassady to Jack Kerouac, and Jack Micheline’s poems and ephemera… also riffs about analog and digital creative symbiosis and and namechecks Douglas Coupland and others… plus importantly, Ichiro bathtime, Ryoko’s chainsaws, and the usual postcards. Yowza.

Fondly from Tsuchida Cottage, Okayama, Japan.

Diary: Of Brautigan, Hats, and Hot Springs

Mondays at Tsuchida cottage are rather hectic by my standards… Grocery delivery comes from the co-op, new order form completed, take garbage down to the community collection center, plus the normal routine of taking out the compost, folding laundry, washing dishes, making rice and miso ~ plus trying to stay up on correspondence.

Just feeling a little bit behind because there’s so many things that I wanted to tell you about – really wonderful things, despite the challenges of my illness – including various treasures arriving via post, i.e.:

* The legendary beat culture literary legend “the Joanne Andersen letter“ Neal Cassidy wrote to Jack Kerouac

* A biography about Richard Brautigan that is bigger than a midsize city’s phonebook (quite literally starts with a bang)

* Another poet’s poetic homage to Richard Brautigan, the Tokyo Van Nuys Expressway. Really enjoyable poetry and also great book production quality worth emulating.

* A magnificent hat > handmade in Springville, Utah with the hat band in scribed by a phrase from “in watermelon sugar”, plus another rare book & various ID cards, posters, stickers, letters, momentos and other treasures. This new hat means I’ve now stopped collecting hats, I’ve reached the pinnacle. Thanks Willis and Marty so very much.

* A hand written card by the all-time postcard champion Nick Bantock, author of the Griffin and Sabine series and many other works of epistolary literature, ephemera and fine art. His words were so unbelievably appreciated “You’ve traveled so far to find home, well done“ ~ as his *story* inadvertently intertwined with mine, in a way that his fictional characters deal with one another.

* An ink stamp assortment for postcards including a sort of stamping “jig” and variety pack of delicious papers from Lydia Fiedler / Already used extensively (I would foreshadow about our upcoming festive cards but don’t want to put any more pressure to “get stuff done“, but hint: #TimeTraveler)

* Won an auction for some various treasures from, and also a way to support, the Beat Museum in San Francisco… One stash is going to my brother the commander on Diego Garcia, another to friends in Pacifica for safekeeping until I can be connected to the rare Bukowski & Ginsberg riffs

* A handmade card from a great correspondent in California Jeremiah Jacobs who, besides inky stamps and typewritten words, included specific fragrance in his card. #NextLevel (he’s got a new single out)

* well-chosen books, in English, for Ichiro / we are reading to him in English and Japanese on the regular already, including some of my childhood favorites and others that were gifted to me decades ago in an act of foreshadowing I suppose

* A stash of super cute Canadian style (meaning warm and rugged) baby clothes… All that stuff that you hear about babies growing out of their clothes super quick is well, super true. This goes along with Japan *really actually* having “4 seasons“ and the temperature seems to change right on cue

* Finally, the long-awaited literary collection by my dear sensei Larry Harper / “70” sparked from a riff during a time of recovery for him and distress for me, where we both did our best thinking in Hot Springs and made plans for the future. He’s got three out of three checked and I dug an entirely new foundation and build a completely different life. It all starts with Hot Springs my friends, Hot Springs.

OK, back to the domestic tasks, very grateful to hear whenever cards and letters arrive in your post boxes.

Oh wait… Did I even mention the great exhibit, well by my estimation anyway, of four of my post box paintings at the goat farm? Pleasant conversations, poetry, paintings and post and pals. All of it, all of it. Especially grateful for Mac Kobayashi’s kind words (mostly :-)) and father/mother-in-law‘s assistance.

Right now, Ryoko is at Mae Maes band rehearsal (safe &
all of that) with the increasingly (if that’s even possible) adorable Ichiro Stanley, there’s another stack of letters and dossiers and postcards to go to the post office tomorrow, I’m going to finish these dishes, make the rice, make the miso, make the pickles & vinegar and be grateful for all of it.

Fondly, dvo

PS  Connected with the photographer Steve Rapport who took the “Joe Strummer running a marathon” in London photos you might have seen floating around and he also has David Bowie in 1983… Want to buy prints.

Also, the umeboshi started in June or opened and sampled and very worthy of acclaim

Note: Above is Ichiro with Larry’s book / it’s so cool it doesn’t even have an ISBN #Renegade

PS 12.10 Several of these topics (the books and hats) are riffed in a recent Japan Cottage Musings video dispatch, dig in