Archive for February, 2009


This post is long overdue!  But, as usual, I’m a day late and a dollar short for everything.

My dear friend, Bob Church, has a book out that has become one of my new, all-time treasured possessions.  Many people already know Bob and have purchased Book of My Heart.  But just in case you haven’t been lucky enough to read it, I hope to spread the joy as much as possible.

When I first met Bob, he instantly felt like kin.  For that matter, he’s better than kin, because he doesn’t tell me to get a real job or cut my hair.  AKA “Bubba” or “the most exotic thing in Moberly, Missouri,” Bob is a kind and genuine person.  His personality radiates from the page.  It seems Bob has never met a stranger.  So in a sense, we’re all his kin.

Bob is an excellent storyteller.  That’s all there is to it.  From riding the rails in Searching For Bo Belinsky to the foggy Seattle skyline of Ferry Tale, Bob’s stories have one theme in common–humanity.  Each story is woven with the craftsmanship of a fine writer.  Each story is a song unto itself.

During my recent move, I thought of Bob as I met several interesting characters at truck stops.  That might seem like an odd way to describe a writer, but it makes perfect sense to me.  Bob notices small things when most people hurry past.  Bob has a heart for people, no matter what their situation or “status” is in society.

Bob is also an awesome poet.  One of my favorite poems in his book is Vented Four-Poster–$100 (as is).  This poem really hit me, as I had just sold some of my old furniture before moving.  Again, Bob’s words sing a song as they tell the story:

Only the mattress complained, resisting all attempts at displacement.

A few memories rose from the small stains that remained despite her

best attempts at removal; militant in posture, defiant to the end.

Bob can turn even the mind numbing task of selling an old bed into a story.  All those old stains, rusty springs, and dust make for some sweet memories.

You can purchase Bob’s Book of My Heart by clicking  HERE.  There is a nice sample preview of the book at that link.

You can also check out more of Bob’s work at his blogsite, Not Quite Right Bubba .  Drop in and tell him how much you love his work.  I know I did.

Bob’s work often makes me laugh.  Sometimes, he makes me bawl like a baby.  But always he makes me think.  I raise my glass to you,  Bob “Bubba” Church.  You’re a great storyteller, poet, and friend.



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Tobacco is cured by hanging.

She knows this–she grew up

in the brown breath of barns,

sweet leaves tied to wooden stakes

upside down in rows from the rafters.


She grew up on the back of tractors,

skin burning from the sticky work:

suckering, cropping the tops,

watching out for black widows

who love to live between the leaves.


She grew up hating the staleness

of overflowing ashtrays,

the smell of smoke in the folds

around her grandmother’s neck;

her father’s brown-yellow hands

passing plates at the supper table.


She grew up with the insistence

of katydids waking up to die.

She knows when the sun shines

while rain steams on the ground,

the devil is beating his wife.


She knows the panting breath

of droughts, empty blue sky,

little white bones of clouds

over land where tobacco plants

grow strong by her back door.


Now she longs to beat the devil

at his own game, roll in thunder,

let swirling whirlwinds curl her hair.

Instead, she rolls herself tight in

stiff white sheets, dreams of rising

slowly through the rafters, cured.

Julie Buffaloe-Yoder

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I’m very excited to be this weekend’s featured writer at Shoots and Vines.  Six of my poems will be posted on February 13, 14, and 15.  You’ll see good old Aunt Aggie and also a newer poem, Snake Handling.

While you’re there, please stick around to read all the excellent writing and see the artwork.  The editor is Crystal Folz, who is an amazing writer.  You can see her work (and everyone else’s) by pulling down the names on the contributors’ sidebar.  My friend, Scot Young, was the first feature writer.

At the risk of sounding like a gushing fan (again), I am so thrilled to have met a talented editor like Crystal.  Shoots and Vines is a beautiful site, and her concern for showcasing writers and poets is obvious.

The first print edition of Shoots and Vines is available at Penny Lane Coffee House in Evansville, Indiana.  When you’re on the Shoots and Vines site, check out the editor’s notes to learn more about publications and collaborations by Shoots and Vines writers.

If you happen to be in the Evansville area, stop by the Penny Lane Coffee House.  I’m adding them to the list of places I will go when I head back to the area for visits.  To hell with Starbucks!!

If you’re a poet or writer who’s struggling to get published in this crazy world, don’t give up hope.  There are very cool editors out there like Crystal Folz who truly care about writing and art.  And there’s some excellent work going on in the small press world.

What impresses me about the editors I have met in the small press world is that they are also writers, poets, and artists.  They are right there in the trenches with us.  They don’t lock themselves away in some lofty ivory tower.

The Shoots and Vines site has moved to a new location, but I changed that link here also.  Submission information is also on the site.  Why not give it a try?

Click HERE to check out Shoots and Vines.  Stick around and give the contributors some positive feedback.  Link them up and tell a friend.  The small press world depends on folks like us.

Thanks so much to Crystal for this exciting opportunity.  And thanks so much to everyone here who continues to encourage me.  Your support is most appreciated!



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Hey, y’all.. I’m headed out on the road again.  Hopefully, it will be the last time for a while.  But who knows?  It’s funny how life can go along pretty much the same for years, and then in a span of a few months, it all changes.  The changes are exciting, though.

If I can find a motel with internet access, I’ll hook up tomorrow and chat with you.  If not, I’ll see you when I’m online again.  I hope you all have a beautiful week.

If I were to really disappear, there’s a good chance that I’d be hiding in a cave somewhere…stockpiling canned goods and wearing a tinfoil hat.  But you never know.


Shop Gossip

Julie Buffaloe-Yoder

If I suddenly


don’t believe

what the


in the shop

will tell you.


I did not run away

with Gator Jonson,

hop a steaming train

to New Orleans,

get filmed for

Girls Gone Wild,

drink myself into

a stupor, leave

Gator at the beach,

run off with

a busty redhead,

lose her to some

fat chick at

Misty’s Diner,

hitchhike to


or throw myself off

the Golden Gate



Go look

in the back of

a greasy shop

in rural Ohio

inside a drum

of muriatic acid.


The good ole boys

don’t know jack

but they do

have lots

of friends.



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