Due to the success of Rockpile On The Road in 2009 we have developed and formalized the ROCKPILE REVIEW. The REVIEW consists of David Meltzer, Michael Rothenberg and Terri Carrion and a dynamic troupe of musicians to be assembled in each tour city. The Rockpile performance has evolved over the year and a libretto has been developed. This libretto is rooted in the poetic tradition and maintains the improvisational nature of the original 2009 Rockpile performance but moves beyond it by engaging elements of musical theater and cabaret. We look forward to seeing you on the road!

Please check our calendar for upcoming performances of the ROCKPILE REVIEW.

rockpile-version-for-blog CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE ROCKPILE on the road BLOG

A Collaborative Journey of Poetry & Music…

ROCKPILE is a collaboration between David Meltzer — poet, musician, essayist, and more — and Michael Rothenberg of Big Bridge Press. David and Michael will journey through eight cities in the U.S. to perform poetry and prose, composed while on the road, with local musicians and artists in each city. ROCKPILE will serve to educate and preserve as well as to create a history of collaboration. It will help to reinforce the tradition of the troubadour of all generations, central to the cultural upheaval and identity politics that reawakened poets, artists, musicians, and songwriters in the mid-1960s through the 1970s. The project will end with a final multimedia performance in San Francisco.

Made possible by a grant from the Creative Work Fund

and sponsored by the Committee on Poetry.

Visit our ROCKPILE BLOG to see what we are up to once we hit the road!


And check our CALENDAR, on the right sidebar, for day to day details starting on October 5th. Just click on the red highlighted date!


  1. steve potter says:

    see ya next week in rochester. looking forward to it.

  2. Gary Shell says:

    Gee, I thought I was going to find that Dave Edmunds and Nick Lowe were getting back together. Sigh. I am betting I am not the first, or last to stumble on this.

  3. Reverbnation site has a first poetry song by new band, Mike Marcellino with Ensor, “Amelia Earhat,l soft silver wings”

    Rockpile – good idea

    do you pick up hitching poet performance artists

    if you get cold stop in St. Augustine

  4. Ed Baker says:

    well, MR, enough about you
    let’s talk about me!

    does my Stone Girl E-pic (also) ‘rock’?
    (some of it is on my site)
    how about these “goddeses
    (more “stuff” in the other batches)

    anothe ‘far out” lump is the moon..

    full moon
    I think I’m in love
    with a rock

    hey looking forward to your hour at The Writer’s Center
    here in Bethesa

    if I can get within a stone’s throw of the place
    do to the pending huge crowd of rock-solid poets
    twwill be a miner mirickle! and
    if I get i
    I promise to keep my mouth shut!!


  5. Tisa Walden says:

    was reading Basho’s “Narrow Road to the Far North” for the umpteenth time
    when David wrote about “Rockpile” — have included a couple of short poems
    from that and “The Records of a Weather Exposed Skeleton” –. . .

    first, the great opening of Weather: Determined to fall
    A weather-exposed skeleton
    I cannot help the sore wind
    Blowing through my heart

    After ten autumns
    In Edo, my mind
    Points back to it
    As my native place

    Then from Narrow Road: Turn the head of your horse
    Sideways across the field
    To let me hear
    The cry of the cuckoo

    if the going gets rough. . . Bitten by fleas and lice
    I slept in a bed
    A horse urinating all the time
    Close to my pillow

    another masterpeice: I am awe-struck
    To hear a cricket singing
    Underneath the dark cavity
    Of an old helmet
    (David! — i’m dying shoelaces blue
    with Iris petals for you to wear. . .)

    Love and Luck
    Tisa Walden

  6. Michael says:

    We are working on London. We have some people want to put together London, Paris and Amsterdam for Spring 2010. Cross your fingers!

  7. Ossian says:

    Wish I could be there. Please bring Rockpile to London!

  8. red slider says:

    A little off topic, Perhaps some readers can help:

    Are you surprised that there is no designated ‘peace monument’ (PM) on the web? I was. In response, I’ve created one (that is I’ve reserved that name-space in trust for those , along with myself, who may wish to steward such a project in the future. The only other option I had was to take my lantern, get on my camel and go rapping on committee doors like some raven of peace. Forgive me, but I really don’t have the years left to do that.

    The barest beginnings of the PM project may be viewed at http://www.peacemonument.org

    I have two immediate needs (reasons) for which I’m writing the blog –

    1. The August 6th opening for the Hiroshima/Nagasaki portal of PM is utterly impossible, but I intend to have something up that I trust will not shame the effort. I need some poems (a dozen, perhaps, for now) that will do something a little more than simply exhume the horrors and antipathy to war (important as those works are). I’m looking for work that somehow reveals something of the why of the matter and more, the unexamined spaces upon which (viscerally and/or visibly) we might begin to puzzle out something of what the last six million years or so has failed to do – how to redo ourselves before we, surely, undo ourselves. Don’t know what that is (in verse or art or music or thought) but perhaps we will know it when we see it? I have some Shiraz and Tamura that I am considering. One work by Kakugawa is on the opening page. Suggestions needn’t be specifically on those subjects (Hiroshima/Nagasaki, nuclear weapons…, nor on Japanese experiences of the matter. This portal (entire) will be related to the roots of modern weaponry and the removal of all such implements from this planet. (Gort, Barrada Nikto?)

    (It is planned that this section will also include the stories of victims, art work, discussion, documents and other modes of exposing the subject. But, for the moment, poetry may have to stand the first watch pretty much by itself).

    2. The poetry of/for the monument will require some kind of stewarding group to sift, cull, suggest and generally tend to the integration of word and silence into the project. Its a global affair and will require an international group to attend its needs. For that matter, it needn’t be solely made up of poets – anthropoligists, linguists, perhaps some with no particular reading in the subject, but who have come a little closer to the subject than most of us would ever care to? I don’t know, I’m just winging it. Your suggestions for people who might be good to invite for that role would be much appreciated.

    That’s about it. I have more questions about this project, perhaps, than any of you might. Not in my area of competence, particularly – It just fell in my lap, though I would have preferred it had been someone else’s. Till then, doing what I can do, If you have questions/thoughts, email me and I’ll try to respond like I know what I’m doing.


    Red Slider
    email: steward@peacemonument.org

  9. Ed Coletti says:

    Rock That Pile, you guys!

  10. tom clark says:

    This is to honour the memory of Arthur Okamura, painter, friend to many poets, Buddhist, cloud traveller, rare soul in the great universe:

    Scenes Along the Road (for Arthur Okamura)

    The Infinite in the Finite and the Otherworldly in This World (for Arthur Okamura)

  11. J. J. Blickstein says:

    I’ll see you when you get here, Sugar smacks.

  12. Michael says:

    doug, this sounds like a great idea. would love to make that trip. please drop me a line at big bridge walterblue at bigbridge dot org and let’s talk about it.

  13. doug eaves says:

    Dear Michael, Thanks bunches for the information, updates, and iterations of the ongoing event. It would be a ‘daihitto’ (big hit) in Tokyo, and if you search the right places, I’m sure the funding would be taken care of by some of the philanthropic cultural associations scattered around the metro area here. Yokohama is celebrating its sesquicentennial of allowing Westerners to enter the country this year, and those who sponsor events here crave performances by Western avante-garde performers. If you’d like, I could try to connect you with a sponsor. Although I don’t know any personally, they are easy to locate online and they might even speak English. I can use my job title and a subsidiary association of ours, The Council For International Culture and Education (it’s a tax dodge, but legitimate nonetheless), that could at least get a reply, perhaps. If they don’t speak English, I have a friend whose Japanese ability is excellent. She’s a native speaker. OK, best of luck and glad y’all are givin’ those in the provinces over there the opportunity to have an authentic aesthetic happening. It’ll do wonders for some of those in the audiences. I know. It was a treasured experience for me whenever someone from a civilized place ventured into the backwater where I grew up to give an enlightening performance. kindly yours, doug eaves

  14. Michael says:

    phylix.. go to peformance dates category on the right side of the home page and look at November 9th for NY. Or go to the calendar and click it to November and roll your cursor over the dates. You will find November 9th lights up. If you click on that it will give you more details. No dates on the calendar until we take off in October. See you in NY! “Rockpile to lovepile!”

  15. phylix says:

    Don’t see NYC in red numbers
    Sing it and Swing it
    Every Elsewhere and Back
    from rockpile to lovepile

  16. michele salvail says:

    Aces! I very much would like to hear more news. Good work boys.

  17. Michael says:

    We apologize if you encounter “Not Found” error messages when you try to navigate the site.

    The website pages and categories seem to vanish once in awhile. Not sure why.

    Just now I was updating some pages and suddenly “Not Found” error messages everywhere.

    It seems to come back all on it’s own. Not sure if it is a server problem or what.


  18. Michael says:

    Gerald, We are definitely coming to Rochester. Go to Performance Dates and Venues on the blog home page and calendar is there with details. Yes, let’s get together for a jam!!!

  19. Michael says:

    Florian, Peace and best wishes to you in Morocco!

  20. Florian Vetsch says:

    Hey you guys out there, reanimating the nomadic troubadour mystic: Don’t stop! “He who stops is lost” Paul Bowles… All my very best greetings and wishes from Fes, Morocco, where I spend a month joinig my family, writing, smoking, dreaming, imagining! May there be poetry, may there be peace on earth! Florian Vetsch

  21. Gerald Schwartz says:

    Are you coming to Rochester (Neuvo York)? When? Where? Any possibility of a pile-on?

  22. Gerald Schwartz says:

    I thought I heard you were going to light here in Rochester? True…? Where? When? Any possibility of a jam/mash-up?

  23. Michael says:

    Good to hear from you. We hope to come visit. Maybe next year! Keep us in mind for one of your great gatherings there in Chile. That would be a dream come true. Best, Michael

  24. Leo Lobos says:

    Greetings from Santiago of Chile estimated Michael and David, I hope someday to see them in Latin America, from the south my wishes of success to you….

  25. Sharon Doubiago says:

    oh, star,starlight,you were. A great reading and a great project.Please keep me posted to the whole journey. Maybe I can catch up with you all.

  26. Make the pile and I will start throwing!

  27. Michael says:

    The workshop at Bird & Beckett went great!!! The place was packed. Thanks to everybody for coming out.

    Bob Malone was rollickingly awesome and sweet. David M was beautiful as ever, angelic! I wasn’t bad but I forgot to grab the mic because I was so busy running around. But everyone said they could hear me fine. What a show!!

    Star sightings: Sharon Dubiago and Neeli Cherkovski, singer Elya Finn and others.

    Can’t wait until the next performance in LA.

    After the show a group of us went down the street to a nice restaurant and ate barbecue pork, french fries, grilled salmon, gumbo, mussels. more wine than should be legal, key lime pie and a fluffy crusty bread pudding ….

    Thanks to Terri Carrion for chauffeuring us all over the Bay Area….

    We will be posting a video of the performance in a couple of days. If there is any thing you want me to talk about in future blogs, please let me know, this is a first. MR

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