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The Old Man's Poems

David Ossman is probably best known as a co-creator of The Firesign Theatre. He has been a life-long poet, as well as playwright, novelist, memoirist, performer, and radio writer-producer.

The Old Man's Poems
by David Ossman

  • Year published: 2019
  • Pages: 60, in two signatures
  • Binding: handsewn, square-spine wrap
  • Size: 5" x 9"
  • Illustrations by Anita K. Boyle
  • Limited Edition: 150 copies
  • Price: $27.00


David OssmanThis book of poetry by David Ossman was inspired—by the company of a cat, a mountain, and a cup of coffee—to write something poetic every morning. Many of you will remember David through hearing episodes of the Firesign Theatre. (If you've not heard that title before, I encourage you to look it up.) Here is a brief excerpt from the beginning of the book.

Poems written during the “Old Man” years, mostly concerned with larger world events, particularly the Endless War, have been collected in Marshmallows & Despair, published by Neopoiesis Press. His essential volume of interviews, The Sullen Art, published by the University of Toledo Press, collects the earliest radio conversations with Allen Ginsberg, Amiri Baraka, Denise Levertov and twenty other emerging writers working in New York in 1960. Ossman’s two period-set comedy-mystery novels and two memoirs with comedy scripts come from Bear Manor Press, along with Firesign’s literary archive from records, radio, stage and film, edited by Ossman.

author photo

David Ossman speaking at the Book Launch Reading

Behind the poet is the The Band of Poets' drum set. The band came up from Seattle to provide music in honor of our featured poet at his book launch. During the performance, in a field two fences up, a truck quietly drove back and forth the newly mown field as people stacked bales onto the flat-bed. As I recall, the daylight was golden and perfect, the scent of fresh-cut hay everywhere. An unforgettable day.

There is a video of the book launch, which you can see by clicking this link. Please excuse my presence in this video, as decent introductions are not my forté.


Linoleum block print titled "Rustle of Flight."

This is one of six linoleum block prints inspired by and created for David Ossman's book.

About David Ossman

Born in Santa Monica, California in 1936, Ossman and family lived around that state, (and in Mexico City for a couple of years) before settling in Los Angeles, by the USC campus, near Downtown, a streetcar ride from Hollywood. All of the cinematic noir LA locations he grew up in have significantly contributed to his work, along with the influence of an early friendship with Ray Bradbury.Detail of cover art

Ossman and his wife Judith Walcutt have lived on Whidbey Island for over thirty years and their residence in the Northwest, with a view of Honeymoon Bay, has inspired the collection at hand, The Old Man Poems. Written over several Island seasons, the Old Man observes the state of the Mountain (Mt. Baker) and often shares his morning meditations with his new kitten.

Note: The original linoleum block prints were printed on handmade paper made by the artist from 100% cotton rug yarn, and are also available through Egress Studio.

If you click on a bulleted line below, you will be taken to one of my blog posts about David Ossman and The Old Man's Poems.

● Making the Book, plus

● The Book Signing

● Band of Poets