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Three answers and one question

Neo again.

I’ve noticed a lot of people here asking what’s going on with Olive. Gerard’s brother is still here and he’s taking very good care of her for now. She seems to adore him; perhaps she recognizes the familial scent? He’s looking for a good home for her and I don’t think it will be a problem, but I’ll let you know if there are any hitches and we need volunteers.

I’ve also noticed many people who sent checks in the last month or two are wondering what the plan is about that – donate to charity? Send back? Let them become part of the estate? Gerard’s brother is also in charge of that. I don’t know what the plan might be, but I’ll ask him.

Then there’s the matter of where Gerard will be buried. He requested cremation and the scattering of ashes in a spot in Chico he’s selected. I’ll learn more about that later.

If you’ve got any other questions, just put them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Now I’ve got a question for you. I’m thinking, in addition to the essay book Gerard had planned, of compiling another one with just his poems. But there’s no neat little category “poetry” here that’s all-inclusive, and I definitely don’t know all of the poems he published here or where they might be on the blog. If you could post links to some of the poems in your comments here, I think it would make my task a lot easier. Thanks.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Joan of Argghh! February 1, 2023, 5:51 PM

    “Never now to stagger or to slip
    back into the shadows and the rain,
    back into the warm musk of the day,
    but, keen as an iron blade
    touched to the tongue,
    we sail forever on these slate seas
    out to the far edge of imagine,
    and on, and still on beyond,
    into the heart of the stars,
    into the silence of their song.”


  • Steve February 1, 2023, 6:03 PM
  • John Condon February 1, 2023, 6:49 PM

    One thing I have known for long time is that stories and go at American Digest and favorites of mine would disappear after I tried to recall them from my archives.

    In my mad scramble to find lost stories of his these last days, I discovered the “New American Digest” that he started this last year and has a paywall. I suspect alot of his archives are there, though I have not done a deep dive in there.

    i hope it helps

  • Walt Gottesman February 1, 2023, 8:21 PM

    In my extreme age —
    In my age extreme —
    Skin planed to glassine,
    Bone buffed to crystal,
    Light locked in the marrow,
    And memory melded to images only…
    Of my extreme age —
    In my age extreme
    In my extreme age —
    In my age extreme —
    Thoughts thinned to one
    And dreams dimmed to soul;
    To that one shred of thread
    Which stitches the shroud
    Of my extreme age —
    In my age extreme.
    In that age extreme,
    That extreme edge of age,
    There shall still
    In such stillness
    Ring in my ears
    One echo of now;
    Of my extreme age —
    In my age extreme.
    In our age extreme
    Your echo shall glimmer
    Ever on the river that streams
    Through time’s silted canyons
    Of my extreme age —
    In my age extreme.
    Of our extreme age —
    In our age extreme.
    — Vanderleun for Emma Jean.


  • Walt Gottesman February 1, 2023, 8:29 PM

    Throughout the night, the cold drew close,
    And wrapped our home in shrouds of frost.
    Within eight candles lent us light,
    Returning to us all we’d lost.

    Around us, all our village slept.
    Our children safe, their breathing slow.
    Eight candles gleamed beside our tree,
    Their flames burned long, burned low.

    Then all fell silent round my house.
    The snow shone blue, the shadows, slate.
    You could almost hear the planet turn.
    I stood alone beside my gate.

    Behind me, those I loved slept warm,
    Protected by God’s endless grace.
    Below me lay the village streets,
    Wrapped in winter’s chill embrace.

    The darkness waned, the morning loomed,
    Within my house, the fire grew bright.
    Outside I walked on fragile snow,
    And prayed for greater light.

    As a child, I’d lived in dreams of stars,
    Of Peace on Earth –life’s golden seal–
    And This Night seemed, of all those nights,
    The one when all such dreams were real.

    Tonight I know this is not so.
    The world is not as we would wish,
    But as we make it, day by day,
    And this the mystery and the Gift.

    The candles whisper of His Gift.
    The stars reflect them high above.
    The Gift is given to us again,
    That we remember how to love.

    for Justine Van der Leun — Mill Hill Drive, Southport, Connecticut, 1990


  • CT February 1, 2023, 8:37 PM

    Re: money (checks) that have been sent recently, one of them is mine and should have been received by now, I think. It is generous, and my intent was that it go directly to the many expenses G. has recently accrued. Surely this is not a situation that has never been encountered before. Does someone have power of attorney to sign the checks to go directly to G.’s expenses? It seems that there must have been time before G. died to get this settled and provided for. I know that we can’t know details, but I (for one) will be very disappointed if (1) I never know what happened to it, and/or (2) it disappears into some amorphous “estate”. I WILL BE HOPING FOR AN ANSWER ON THIS.
    I certainly hope that his “estate” doesn’t have to go through a lengthy probate process. (argghh!)

  • Walt Gottesman February 2, 2023, 4:48 AM

    by VANDERLEUN on OCTOBER 14, 2022

    Our unquenched urge to ascend persists
    And fills stone seats with ghosts of mists.
    Below in the center, the gold-glimmered pool
    Where once they drenched these stones with slaughter
    Stands revealed by the moon to be pure still water.

    Tonight Our son will slay again
    (Offstage) Our father’s killer,
    And carry out Our mother slain,
    Wrapped in rags wound tight by twine,
    And lay her down, Our unburnt offering,

    As the chorus, shuffling slowly, chants
    The deathless moral of Our play,
    Our daughter, raped and bloodied, screams
    Words We hear but do not now know
    That frame Our ancient and endless show.

    Above these shadows that glaze our sleep
    Bats through a maze of moonlight sweep,
    Leap, reap in their gyres, free of time’s yoke
    Snatching gnats from the smoke
    Of Sophocles’ speech.


  • Walt Gottesman February 2, 2023, 5:28 AM
  • Walt Gottesman February 2, 2023, 5:37 AM


    (I just re-read your request for links to Gerard’s poems, not the poems themselves.)

  • jwm February 2, 2023, 6:07 AM

    One further question, Neo.
    What about the subscription site? Will it be discontinued? Should we cancel, now, or wait?


    • Jack February 2, 2023, 6:52 AM

      Good question, JWM. I want to cancel my subscription to New AD and I don’t know how to go about it.

      • jwm February 2, 2023, 7:32 AM

        If you’re viewing on a desktop, there is a button on the upper right hand corner of the banner that says “account”. Click there. There is an option to cancel.


  • Walt Gottesman February 2, 2023, 7:14 AM


    Have been working backward from the current AD page. The above (republished) was on Page 15.
    That’s all from me for now.

  • Jen Logueflower February 2, 2023, 7:33 AM

    Only By Fire
    First written in 9/23/04
    (killing of Eugene Armstrong)


    Reposted 7/4/22

    The comment section of the repost is evidence of Mr Van der Leun’s deep humility and gratitude. The place where writer meets reader – mutually beheld.

    Thank you Neo Refuge. I’ll email a musical setting of this poem to you.

    • Tom Hyland February 2, 2023, 4:31 PM

      A powerful poem. Amazing. I started visiting here shortly after Gerard returned from his heart attack. It’s been 11 years? I never read that poem until today. And it reads like the lyrics to a famous musical arrangement… something everyone knows… like a song written as a national anthem.

  • Dirk February 2, 2023, 3:23 PM

    Check, keep it, cash it, spend it. I truest your judgement.

    GV and I had spoke regarding the check sent. It’s possible I sent it wrongly, other than several other checks got there in the past few years. I just checked it’s not been cashed as of today.

    Another thought, assume GVs going to be buried. If so use that money for a bronze grave marker quote.

    and I’m happy to send another 500.00 for a fitting original GV marker, something totally GV relevant. If the letter containing the check fails to arrive bump that 500.00 to 700.00 from us.

    Olive, Olive happy to help, but I recognize many fine folks here are also well qualified cat wranglers. Believe Olive would be happy with any/ all.

    Just an fyi, we’re available if a loving cat homes needed


    • LadyBikki February 3, 2023, 9:35 AM

      I believe Neo said Gerard wanted his ashes scattered.

  • Walt Gottesman February 2, 2023, 8:50 PM

    Waiting for the Rain
    by VANDERLEUN on SEPTEMBER 6, 2022
    For his brother, Thomas John Van der Leun, 1947-2020


  • Walt Gottesman February 2, 2023, 9:15 PM

    At Lindbergh’s Grave
    by VANDERLEUN on AUGUST 24, 2022
    Composed and photographs taken on site. Hana, [Maui], 2003

  • Walt Gottesman February 2, 2023, 9:30 PM

    Riding the Light Inside the Wave
    by VANDERLEUN on AUGUST 20, 2022
    [composed in] Berkeley, California, 1966

  • Walt Gottesman February 2, 2023, 9:47 PM

    by VANDERLEUN on AUGUST 9, 2022
    by Gerard Allen Van der Ginsberg

  • Walt Gottesman February 2, 2023, 9:51 PM

    by VANDERLEUN on AUGUST 9, 2022
    by Gerard Allen Van der Ginsberg

  • Walt Gottesman February 2, 2023, 9:56 PM

    I curse DEMOCRAT!
    by VANDERLEUN on AUGUST 9, 2022
    [ With apologies to Carlisle: The Cursing Stone]

  • Walt Gottesman February 2, 2023, 10:28 PM

    For Brian Jones (Written on the occasion of his death, 1969)
    by VANDERLEUN on AUGUST 2, 2022
    [composed] — 2 July 1969, The Green House, Berkeley California

    That’s all for now. Hope these are helpful for your project.
    It’s now about half-past midnight out here on the prairie. G’night and God bless!

  • AesopFan February 3, 2023, 11:02 PM

    Thanks to all who have linked your favorites among Gerard’s poems.
    In a just world, he would be in all the modern anthologies.

    • Anne February 6, 2023, 6:19 PM

      We can do that! If we each go to the local library or university library and check an anthology. Write down publisher, funder, etc. Then as a unified group we storm the citadels with his poetry!