An Introduction to the
CYCLE OF PURELAND CHAPBOOKS
WITH A BUDDHA-LIKE FACE IN THE CLOUDS
Over the last 21 years I have written poems from the cuddle of my little house, a bungalow house built back in 1930 in the small timber town Cottage Grove Oregon. Let's start by taking a look at that year. 1930 was a hopeful year as it was a year in which the United States was shuffling through the Great Depression. And 1930 was also a year fraught with demons seething to swarm like steam up out of the earth. Adolf Hitler would be appointed as the chancellor of Germany by President Paul Von Hindenburg in just 3 years, and in 6 more years, in 1939, when Hitler invaded Poland and World War Two began to roll out of hell like a locomotive towards a Holocaust that would itself begin with the Nazi invasion of Russia in 1941! Now these dates will come back to haunt us in the last two chapbooks I will be assembling here, but we have cool our jets and wait to get to them a bit later.
So back to my little house near the coast fork of the south end of the Willamette River. The Willamette River is a river that runs north to Portland and Westward out to that place the Columbia forever tumbles into the North Pacific at the end of The Cascadia Subduction Zone and the infamous Juan de Fuca Fault. An hour and twenty minute's drive south, just off the I-5, we find ourselves back at my little house, a property at the bottom of a river valley that is also downstream of 7 volcanoes, one of which Mount Saint Helens exploded very recently, all of which are active and one, Mount Rainier across the border in Washington state, makes me a little nervous. And that makes my black cat nervous.
As I have arranged many of these poems into 7 chapbooks all called “In the Pure-Land of the Volcanoes”. I have, on reviewing them at my leisure, come realize that have topics standing behind the poems like a teacher behind three rows of schoolchildren. topics that stand in the background of the of my personal lifelike a Greek chorus reminding the sudience that the drama on Olympus is always subject to the sme fate as those living amidst the physical and social realities of the little state of Oregon in the Northwest corner of America. And although my poems never really focus on any one of these mysterious strangers loitering in the background as I write, I understood in my gut that sooner or later one of them, (I can't guess which one!), might jump like a tiger to the foreground and immediately dominate my life and the world I live in. So here they are, in some occult order, several diverse groups of poems arranged so they ramp up to The Big One that comes like a burning caboose on the end of a train passing in the distance in the dark of the Night!
In fact, this Big One I have chosen is a topic that is so big that it needs to be spread out over two of the chapbooks. One of them, the first chapbook, will tell a story about life over 70 years ago during World War II. And the other chapbook, the follow up, will tell a story about the near future of the United States of America, the years between the years 2016 and 2029. And Brother and Sister! These years will prove to be a future which demonstrates once again that people who do not learn from History must suffer to repeat it again