Friday, May 29, 2015

Recent Earworm: Lord Huron's "Meet Me in the Woods"

Sing us into the weekend, Lord Huron. Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Not So Fast

"Dada Aajooba and Mama," 2013, by Priya Kambli

Not So Fast

The verb in photography is take
to take a picture

is to seize and grip
the conspiracy between light and this
specific place and bones within a face
rearranging themselves so they convey

I say into the ear of the second
that wants to be gone
Not so fast

What I am allowed to retain
is a baby bird version of satisfaction

[Image above by Priya Kambli; see feature in Lensculture]

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Bookmarks List/Bedside Table

 Currently reading and enjoying:

-This stunning essay, “He’s Not Really Here,” by Ijeoma Oluo in Hazlitt
-Autoplay, by Julie Babcock
-FINAL Proofs for New Poetry from the Midwest!!! We’ll release very soon…so excited about and proud of this beautiful anthology! We had Advance Review Copies at AWP, but the real deal books will exist very shortly.

How about you, friends? Whatcha reading, mid-week?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Of Both Worlds

p. 36 from Indago, by Yurian Quintanas Nobel

Of Both Worlds

Dear artists what so many of us have in common is illness
or healing or both

If you have been in bed
with the darkness pouring out of you

I will call you friend

[Image above by Yurian Quintanas Nobel]

Monday, May 25, 2015

Creative Events

"Night Swimmers," by Laura Berger

This weekend, I’ve been thinking about all of the amazing creative events I’ve attended in the past years (and some not-so-amazing ones, of course). I’ve been brainstorming types of literary events for my own planning purposes (for Paging Columbus, the literary series I run). Although these events usually take the form of a reading or artist talk (3-4 writers or artists share their work around a certain them), I’ve been craving some variety in terms of format.

I’ve been remembering some of the events that truly stuck with me as fun, innovative, and valuable—not all have been literary. For instance, I once attended a “Trampoline Hall Lecture”…this was ridiculously fun. Three speakers each gave a mini-lecture (and Q and A session) on a topic that they couldn’t be a expert in. One speaker (author Kevin Chong) spoke about a strange cultural practice wherein a woman marries a set of brothers, and another gave a talk (with illustrations!) on “Spotting the Perp in Nancy Drew books.” The questions and answers were so bizarre and interesting…it was such a playful, DIFFERENT type of creative event. I’ve always wanted to hold one of these!

So now, I’m asking you. What were some of the most fun and memorable creative events that you have attended, and why? I’d love to hear other perspectives on this! These might be readings, panels, competitions, workshops, artist discussions, concerts, art openings, or book/product launches…

Thanks for any thoughts you share!

[Image above by Laura Berger]

Friday, May 22, 2015

Sea Wall

by Kamila Nora Netik

Sea Wall

We bathe to forget the self
Do trees wash away or return to their sapling beliefs
in the rain Who I was as a slenderer being
younger Back then I barely knew the light

Consider your mind in the shower
How the warm water brings you pictures
to fill up the privacy

If there is water what it will do is tumble
Where there is water it is harder to feel lonely

One of my favorite walks two cities back
took me past water and rocks
and docks and a bridge on my left side
and on my right trees and an elementary school
and back gardens

On nights where it is difficult to find sleep
I take myself back there
each vignette a ghostly way to look out over water
to pour my restlessness into the body of a tree

[Image above by Kamila Nora Netik]

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Raw Deal

Untitled, 2015, by Alexandr Paraskiw

Raw Deal

Crumbling world are you the last of the crumbling worlds
In all visions of how our planet pulls itself apart
there is an overwhelming lack of one necessity
that we have used up Like water Like oxygen
A ground behaving like the ground of our ancestors
being good underfoot In watching this again
it isn’t that we are sending out a warning
Maybe we are making peace with knowing that
this place is mortal like us What if that is why
we were brought together
When this era of greenness goes away will any of
my yet-unborn future ancestors be alive

[Image above by Alexandr Paraskiw]

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Literary Journals to Love

"library," 2013, by Daniel Waggett

Ah, SUMMER READING. That glorious time in a teacher’s life when she can read for pleasure…in general, summer feels like the perfect time to read whatever you desire. It’s easy to grab a few books, head out to the porch, patio, or park and bliss out.

Along with full-length collections and novels, I’m looking forward to exploring some new literary journals.

Here are 5 journals/magazines (among so many) I’ve been loving:
-Whiskey Island
-BOMB Magazine
-The Kenyon Review
-Pinwheel (open to submissions in May!)

So, what journals and magazines do you love? What will you be reading? And writers, where will you be submitting?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Something to Write Toward (Susan Baird)

"Hill End Verandah," 2014, by Susan Baird

Need a muse today? How about this beautiful painting by Susan Baird...should you find yourself feeling stuck, maybe write or create toward whatever piece of this image speaks to you.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Long Light and a Long Drink

"the depths of the sea are only water after all," by Michelle Kingdom

Long Light and a Long Drink

I dream of the heartland and in the dream
call it The Shire
An Enya song plays against the green
while a boy skateboards on the paved driveway

The dream is funny but it is about chasing peace

and about how in imagining a life even
and tranquil as a green lawn

I must acknowledge that without any storm or torment
it would be difficult to identify peace

And if grass could dream
it would dream of both Long Light
and a Long Drink

[image above by Michelle Kingdom]

Friday, May 15, 2015

Bookmarks List/Bedside Table

Currently reading and enjoying:

And you, friends? Happy weekend, whatever you're perusing...

Thursday, May 14, 2015

"Late Bloomer," Jenny Lewis

I love, love, love the storytelling in this song. It's so well-written and subtle. Jenny Lewis always under-tells just a little in her songs, which is something I really enjoy. In this song, she also does that great thing where words in the chorus shift ever so slightly...I always appreciate that. 

Crank it, and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Chanel No. 5 (A revision)

"Mr. Farrow, Raising the Masts of his model of the 'tommy Campble a fine big Ship one of the best that I ever saild in out of Grimsby,'” 2015, by The Litus Gallery

Chanel No. 5

Weird Ohio is littered with worldly names:
Mesopotamia, Macedonia, Lima,

London, Toledo, Geneva. This state
gets around, or Ohioans do. I think of Shanelle

who I worked with at the coffee shop
in college, collecting love like passport stamps.

I like her. She knows how to make every drink
on the menu. She knows the area.

I ask her, How far to Mantua? Shanelle cracks up.
No, say it like this: Manaway. My ex-fiancé

lives there.
Holland, East Palestine, Lebanon,
Troy, Versailles. Ohioans palm a globe, spin it,

let it fall and bounce, and choose a name.
Here is how we take for our own what is foreign

that we might learn from it, might make
ourselves larger or more lush, a wedding ring

we slip on. Shanelle’s folks shared this fondness
for exotic trade. When I ask her the story

of her name, she tells me her parents
rushed the wedding when her mother

began to show, and on honeymoon
somewhere in Ohio, her dad heard an ad

for Chanel No. 5. Sounds French, he said,
a name for an explorer, opening like a sail.

[Image via The Litus Gallery]

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Hand in Hand

"His hands II," by

"Murmur," 2009, by Valerie Hammond

"The Companion," 2012, by Heather Horton

"The Cathedral,"" 1925, by Auguste Rodin  

"Traces 21 and 8," 2011; 2008, by Valerie Hammond


Monday, May 11, 2015


"Enchanted Forest," by Elsa Mora


Where was the flower
before it was here

Because a flower has arrived
do you look down at it

pronouncing This is your destiny
How happenstance is a plant

tumbled from the breath
of a nearby plant

a sequence of them scattered
along the street

in a sentence reading Here
once there was wind

and enough light and soil
and water in agreement


                                                                                                                [Image above by Elsa Mora]
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