100 pages / hand bound / poetry & prose ISBN 0-944048-13-7
Jim Bogan came to the Ozarks in 1969, and began writing about the
people and places and events he experienced. The result is Ozark Meandering
-- a mixture of poetry and prose, the familiar and the strange, the
serious and the humorous.
Bogan has published an earlier book of poetry, Trees in the Same Forest (Cauldron Press, 1976) and co edited with Fred Goss a collection of writings about William Blake, Sparks of Fire: Blake in a New Age (North Atlantic Books, 1982). In the last decade he has created a number of films about the Amazon and about Missouri painter, Thomas Hart Benton.
This edition of Ozark Meandering was handcrafted by Clarence Wolfshohl.
To order, send $20.00 per book to:
MRS. CLARA FRANZ: MOTHER EARTH'S DAUGHTER
Ninety year's old
never been to Kansas City
got as far as a St. Louis suburb
Still, fairly radical:
"I ain't against pool or dancin."
She used to walk ten miles to go dancing Saturday Nights
about the time her father sold apples for a quarter
white mop top
bright old blue eyes
teeth in a drawer somewhere
voice travels from the morning dove to the crow,
four layers of flower-print dresses
sturdy as a turnip
didn't wear shoes in the summer until she was 73.
milked cows every day from the time she was 8
til she turned 78 (Hates milk but likes the cow)
Still keeps chickens, says,
"A day without work is a day without food."
Remembers what happened:
a Year and a Day ago
forty-nine Years ago
seventy Years ago
and everything in between--
Quick at arithmetic, too.
She's 8 when the calendar rolled over to 19-double ought.
25 when the man who will be her husband
ten years later embarks for France
to fight their mutual 2nd cousins.
43 when the WPA builds the bridge down the road
60 when Ike gets elected for the first time--
and she voted for him--been Republican ever since
Wilson lied about keeping us out of war.
76 when Otto died and that almost killed her:
"I wish I was dead. Never done that before."
and what her wood stove won't heat
Plants her man-sized garden by the Moon:
"If you sow radishes by the light of the moon
all you'll git is greens.
Petrified of snakes, lightning and the dark:
"I wouldn’t open the door to Santa Claus himself
after the sun goes down."
She was weeding okra one morning
when a pair of Jehovah's Witnesses
descended upon her
them in shirt and tie
her in bonnet and sweating some--
"Git on, if the Lutherans couldn't save me,
you sure as hell cain't."
Always has a can of Gold Label beer ready,
and a risky joke:
"Lady goes into the music store.
She asks the clerk," You have Hot Lips?"
He says, 'No, but I got nine inches.'
She says, "Is that a record?"
'No,' he says, 'but it's a damn good average.'
Or this one she told her grandson on the day she died:
"Do you know why babies are so fragile?
Because they are put together with only one screw."
Had one child of her own
cried "a barrel of tears"
when he shipped out for Korea.
Raised eleven kids,
orphans that she literally picked off the street
"And made us work,"
says the religious one.
"My husband never made complaint."
She listens to mathematicians
astrologers (on occasion)
Truth or Consequences on TV
She says, "It's very educatin',"
while crocheting on her pink and white African.
I knocked at the door louder and longer than usual.
She finally appeared, looking like a cat that's been shoved
off a chair
I shouted (her hearing aid lives in the same drawer
as her teeth):
"What ya doing? Taking a nap?"
"TAKING A NAP?"
"Eh - you make me sick.
I been workin.
It's you been takin a nap."
She was right too.
You know its her coming down the road
honking like a teenager
in her speeding Maverick
headed for the Big Star Market
purse full of coupons.
Always candy for the kids
and for their parents:
When the local undertaker met her
in the potato chip aisle of the Krogerstore
he put his hand on her shoulder
"Ain't cold yet, Marvin."