“Over the Edge” — plus a new poem by Harry E. Northup

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Fifty years ago this coming autumn, I was appointed the first poetry editor of Bachy magazine and I remember immediately heading over to the Wednesday Night Workshop that Joseph Hansen and John Harris had started in the late 1960s at Beyond Baroque, when it was located on West Washington Boulevard. Papa Bach Bookstore, at that point, was probably better known than Beyond Baroque. It was certainly easier to locate, since Papa Bach was only a three minute amble across and down the street from the NuArt movie theater, which was within a stone’s throw of the Santa Monica Blvd. exit from the 405 freeway. The nearest movie theater to Beyond Baroque in 1971 was the Fox Venice, and that would have been a half-hour walk at night that no one nonchalantly undertook. Fortunately, I had a 100 cc Honda motorcycle that allowed me to get there.

One of the initial poets to catch my attention was Harry Northup, a working actor who first appeared in a pair of films by a young director who would become a legend: Martin Scorsese. In having a thirty year career as a supporting actor, Northup contributed grace notes to numerous films by exceptionally fine directors, such as Jonathan Demme, as well as sharing the screen with actresses such as Jody Foster (in THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS) and actors such as Robert DeNiro, He also played lead roles, and one of his best known starring performances is as the town sheriff in the cult classic, OVER THE EDGE, which was directed by Jonathan Kaplan.

The DVD Blu-Ray UK Edition will be released on May 31, 2021.

Here is the link to the DVD Blu-Ray Edition of “OVER THE EDGE”:


Harry Northup is also a very admired poet whose book “ENOUGH THE GREAT RUNNING CHAPEL” was published by my Momentum Press in 1982. He is one of the L.A. poets who appeared in both of my Momentum Press anthologies, THE STREETS INSIDE: Ten Los Angeles Poets (1978) and POETRY LOVES POETRY (1985). Harry now lives at the retirement home known as MPTF in Thousand Oaks. His most recent half-dozen books have all been published by Cahuenga Press, a poets cooperative he founded with his late wife, the poet Holly Prado. The books are available from Small Press Distribution (spdbooks.com).

With his permission, I am presenting one of his recent poems.

In afternoon sunlight & shadow

To be without a woman, an excess
Imbalance; to live always in summer
When eyes meet & station slowly
With promise of a path not nourished

An acceptance, reluctantly closed
How can it when each sight evokes
The first touch & bodies bending near
To live among strangers, give respect

Hidden between small trees in red pots
The female face & shoulders burst
Into flame, a scarf furling around
Staying away from death’s image

Selfless love, turning away only
A robustness nestles in the image
Coolness shade, through the arch
Image removed, shield recedes

Roundness, a naked woman middle-age
She chose me, invited me in, gave me
Love, food & drink — All steps have mystery
With gate opened, guilt surrounds
Long wooden benches in afternoon silence

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Harry E. Northup

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