Uncollected later poems (2009–2014)

Weatherly’s 2011 New Year’s card.

I want to know every thing about the universe. I get a little pissed when I realize won’t live long enough, even a thousand years not enough time. I will learn what I can. — Tom Weatherly on Facebook 

Note: During the last few years of his life, Weatherly published other poems, not in literary magazines, but in online forums such as his blogs Ecletic Git and Saint Satin Stain, Facebook, and the political site Left in Alabama. A selection of those poems appears below: a wealth of late material that we can view as a supplement to that published in short history. An avid technophile, who in a contribution to an Elon University project called “Imaging the Internet” describes himself as acomputer user amazed by much of golden age of sci-fi realized,” Weatherly was also wary of surveillance culture: the same piece imagines a constitutional amendment that permits “view cams everywhere interfaced with data-mining software, including inside of the bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms in every dwelling,” and, as he outlines in one email, Weatherly used fourteen separate email addresses and numerous forms of antivirus and security software. Within this technological interface, addressed in Lauri Scheyer (Ramey)’s essay, Weatherly treated his various blogs, such as Saint Satin Stain and Eclectic Git, along with his email lists (the “Weatherly Report”), as informal publication venues, and many of the poems come from these sources.

This selection from Weatherly’s digital contributions includes eight poems from correspondence with Lauri Scheyer (Ramey) that provide fitting further evidence of his “rogue blues.” In particular, the 2011 poem “censer,” its title a typically witty pun traversing religion, the digital age, and the holiness of the poet’s calling, seems to encapsulate his ethos as a self-described “cranky counterculture” or “just plain nerd”: poems as (blog) “posts,” blog posts as poem, both as “honest speech” which Weatherly “codes in sense” as a “poem scene.” The selection also includes poems from email correspondence to Jerome Rothenberg: a New Year’s card from 2011; a duet for two voices; a tribute to the Swedish American poet Rönnog Seaberg; a poem deploying the “never muted heart” refrain which forms the theme to the sequence “wally,” published in short history of the saxophone; and a short piece called “papa dues,” Weatherly’s mouth munching oats and humming cantos. The remaining poems are taken from the online venues which served as Weatherly’s primary publishing outlet during his later years. “scrapple poesy” riffs on the moniker adopted for one of his blogs — “saint satin stain” — while “confederate cemetery” is a remix of the fourth poem from Maumau American Cantos. (The original is reproduced below it in order to illustrate the development of Weatherly’s work.) “how i do it” serves as a characteristically concise statement of poetics; the other poems tackle the information age and serve as an illustration of Weatherly’s increasing shift to the political left. Fittingly, we end with two meditations on mortality from Weatherly’s final month. “you aint safe from dying until you’re dead” — of which there’s also a poignant recording on Weatherly’s Penn Sound page — sees Weatherly reflecting on the “mortal / line” that is both the web of inheritance, lineage, and family, and the poetic line that he, as a poet above all else, “lived and breathed.” And in “antisemantic,” an elegy for another recently deceased writer, Walter Dean Myers, whose work is seen to live on in the transfer of breath from writer to reader, reactivated in word: “your breath / readers breathe.” — David Grundy 



[grind coffee berry]

she allege actual holy sashay



5772 [New Year’s Card, 2011]
simple honest speech

[blues skies]
papa dues
scrapple poesy?
confederate cemetery
to old elm, in cemetery for confederate dead
every man a kin
Needed correction, so here again
how i do it

[loose elias]

[you aint safe from dying until you’re dead]


hellhound bark

hellhound bark

hoodoo bard from heaven

uncharted west blues

cargo blues.

hoodoo bard from heaven



for Ronald Edson[1]


[grind coffee berry]

grind coffee berry

coarse to french

press friend of course

french and lawful


she allege actual holy sashay 

sashay evoke melody romance

actual legend way poet weaves

preach wasteland poetic canon joke

holier passion rector teach pray

hold rapt attention lazy deacons


saxophony phrase peccant bleeps

sashay weaves spoken breath fancy

peccant bleep saxophone phrasal

sashay weaves spoken breath fancy

poems she alleges sashay dances


Weatherly 1111909

for David Amram[2]











for John



he posts hence

speech not he

codes in sense

poem scene


chosen once he

hones spec

honest speech

bard sense


weatherly 061011

[New Year’s Card, 2011]

no threats
at thrones
hasten rot

torah sent
at thrones
honest art

seedy daisy
daily grief
woman agree
is theodicy
sod’s giddy
oxeye image
labia image
aha holy is

for Vivian Gornick


we believe                                                                                                
the trope alive                                                                                                
save within the grave                                                                                                
dodona grove                                                                                                
haunted heaven                                                                                                

      we believe
      the trope alive
      save within the grave
      dodona grove
      haunted heaven

love     love
survive    survive
we believe    we believe
the trope alive    the trope alive
save within the grave    save within the grave
dodona grove    dodona grove
haunted heaven    haunted heaven
naive    naive
love    love

for Ursula Hoebner Bromberger
poem moll 11-17-2008 

simple honest speech

simple honest speech rare
in public rare in private

say the fact some say
you opine some opinion
you speak as fact

In politics occupation
of governance
simple honest speech

peaceful free society

language without guile
pretension or calumny
you clarify
public policy not obscure

Language you do
not need to parse to understand

Weatherly 032510
for Rönnog Seaberg 1932–2007

[blues skies]

blues skies

mountains of the moon

blues skies above

mountains of the moon


for Rönnog Seaberg, 1932–2007


never muted heart
pumps every music
muses dealt gɘloos
helen proof rebel
heard judah rebel

papa dues

papa dues
loud hugs
muse mama

mouth can
oat munch
hum cantos

               for Ursula

scrapple poesy?

retard your brain
saint satin stain
the melanin
in darky skin

confederate cemetery

pine smell
elm tree

document wind not deed


listen elm bark in passage
dixie landed gentry

round its trunk 
children chant 
games above

roots grow through grave
neither desecrate nor revere

to old elm, in cemetery for confederate dead

The pine fragrance,
the magnolia graveyard,
surrounds a gnarled, old elm …

among conferences of silence,
honors heaped upon dead men,

it stands, to document the wind,
not their deeds …
journalistic season
past historic years:

listen to elm bark in passage
     of dixie landed gentry,
it makes no gesture of sound …

round its trunk children
chant their games
over buried roots.

Elm roots grow through graves,
neither desecrate nor revere,
crack the skulls open
to brace against the wind.

owl watch, perched in what dark
limbs silent swaying
with the wind.[5]

every man a kin

beasties go
megabytes and i 
big easy smote 
bigots set by 
stagey biome 
weigh down home

beastie limns 
meioses gat by 
holy poly isms 
thine messages cry 
easiest bog 
so steamy they beg

may bigots see 
holy biases meet 
gibes so steamy 
biomes gat yes 
gibes believe boss 
stymie base

Needed correction, so here again

there are still a few good ideas 
from the right, except no one on 
the right says them in public. A

fact some folk on the left state 
them proves them more thoughtful 
than most folks on today’s right.
The right will not accept ideas 
spoken on the left, even if the 
original source is on the right.
So lefty should state in public 
that all people should eat less 
than two grams of lead each day

how i do it

elias loose
usual easel
limns style

stole image
limns while
sound write

water tower
trope wrote
water tower


[loose elias]

loose elias

rogue blues

saucy blues


lying cease

belie cause

cease elias


eager rogue

agree cause

argue cease





[you aint safe from dying until you’re dead] 

you aint safe from dying until you’re dead

preacher said so

you work your brain to bone until you’re gone

rotted in your grave or enjoy the blessings

of breath until you have nothing else

to do but die because you can’t go on



whether you truly lived or no one knows

you lived and breathed and bred your mortal

line in the shifty sand alongside a sea

you can’t control even you were a god






thirds people 
poems breathe
yes breathe 
yep it’s breath
limns music 
until useful
the breath 
lessness ceases
your breath
readers breathe

for walter dean myers
08 12 1937–07 01 2014
010614 weatherly

“crossroad,” “[grind coffee berry],” “she allege actual holy sashay,” “[sashay],” “censer,” “[blues skies],” “[loose elias],” and “[you aint safe from dying until you’re dead]” were kindly provided from email correspondence by Lauri Scheyer (Ramey). “5772,” “xxy1,” “simple honest speech,” “exile,” and “papa dues” were kindly provided from email correspondence by Jerome Rothenberg. “scrapple poesy” appeared on Left in Alabama, October 2010. “confederate cemetery,” a 2010 remix of “to old elm, in cemetery for confederate dead” from Maumau American Cantos, appeared on Left in Alabama, August 2010. “every man a kin” appeared on Left in Alabama, January 2013. “needed correction, so here again” appeared on Left in Alabama, September 2013. “how i do it” quoted in Wasserman, dated March 2014. “antisemantic” appeared on Saint Satin Stain, July 2014. 


1. Included as part of Weatherly’s “Weatherly Report” email newsletter to select correspondents, this poem comes with a list of 101 blues songs, beginning with Robert Johnson’s “Hellhound on My Trail” and culminating with Weatherly’s own “Wally,” with which it shares the refrain “hoodoo bard from heaven.”

2. From an email enclosing the poem: “My bud David directs orchestra traffic, composes European, and plays the jazzy wif Dizzy.”

3. For two voices: “female voice first stanza, male voice second; last stanza female voice left & male voice right.” On one of his (now defunct websites), Weatherly notes of this poem that the phrase “haunted heaven” is “stolen[en]” from Wallace Stevens’s “A High-Toned Old Christian Woman” (Harmonium, Knopf, 1923) — “Poetry is the supreme fiction, madame. / Take the moral law and make a nave of it / And from the nave build haunted heaven” — and “dodona grove” from “dodona oaks” in his own poem “chaos aglow” (short history). “In the lingo arts it is allusion; in the sound arts it is sample.”

4. Swedish American poet Rönnog Seaberg and her husband, Steve Seaberg, invented what they called acrobatic poetry. According to The History of Nordic Womens’ Literature, Seaberg grew up in Umeå and moved to the US in 1955, “where she worked as writer-in-residence in schools in Georgia and was involved in cultural exchange activities between Sweden and Georgia. … She wrote short stories, novels, and poems for performance, and her works also include Hemlig dagbok, 1975, which was based on autobiographical material, as were many of her other novels, including Utrest, 1978, and Återresan, 1985. Her motifs were the family, emigration, and love.” Weatherly himself adds: “ronnog and husband steve & friends performed gymnastic poetry, often nude. she stripped language to the buff,” and notes that this poem is “aimed at the Bush administration.”

5. Weatherly notes on one of his websites: “the first version was the first poem i read in joel oppenheimer’s workshop at st.mark’s poetry project.”

6. See also the recording of the poem on Weatherly’s PennSound page.