Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Poetry Discussions and Muffins....Paging Columbus on CookBook!

This past weekend, poet Darren Demaree invited me (and fabulous Paging Columbus co-curator Joy Sullivan) to be a part of his online video series called CookBook, in which he interviews a poet while they cook something (and eat it) in his kitchen. I love this concept--the series is officially for Sundress Publications, a wonderful, innovative, community-minded literary organization and publisher.

We made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (they were KILLER...I have eaten many this week!), and talked about Paging Columbus, the literary community in Columbus (which is alive and well, friends), and our plans for future events.

Enjoy! And do try the recipe...

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

"Red Bank," by Lesle Lewis

"Somewhere in Austria," by Andrés Lázaro (via Mark Peter Drolet's fantastic tumblr)

Red Bank
by Lesle Lewis

I wanted a horse. 

I jumped from a plane. 

I was not comfortable with your illness. 

I was a detective at the wedding. 

I recognized the new way it would be with you in rehabilitation. 

I saw how the sunset colors on the Navesink River got sad with the lone rower.

I lived on a lone planet with my befuddlement.

I’d lost a person. 

I didn’t know how to hold my lips. 

I was like the goose bathing in parking lot puddles. 

Definitely, I am on a train. 

[Poem via]

Monday, September 28, 2015


"Enclosure XI," by Frances Ryan


One red leaf on the granny smith tree
and this is the voice of the coming cold
trembling in its throat A murmur
An admission The need to tell
is bright red An ember behind the teeth
Apple skin shrapnel prodding the gums
to spit out the flesh of that fruit
There are times to be unreasonable
and those that announce the zoo is closing
in an hour The apple-flooded orchard
is now closing and all children must squirrel
their parents home

[Image above by Frances Ryan]

Friday, September 25, 2015

Recent Earworm: "Bandit," Neil Young

Remember this song? It's been in my head all week long....I was lucky enough to see Neil Young's Greendale in concert back in 2003 with my husband. This song was the definite standout from that album for me...

Happy weekend, friends!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Cats, Cats, Cats!

"Sweethearts," Agnes Bodor

"Rubber stamp cat gang," Clare Owen

"In Jungle," Deth P. Sun

"Black Cat," Kevin Gray

Save Your Energy

from "Flatlands," by Jaime Beechum

Save Your Energy

In listening to every song there is a climbing inside
There is a slow eating of plant material to cast away
evolution’s grip on the purpose of your teeth Take that
evolution Take that function over form Art is the sickness
and the doctor and the medicine and the even the long winter
convalescing A body makes a mark before it vanishes
damn it The Earth will let you echo

[Image above by Jaime Beechum]

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

"mulberry fields," by Lucille Clifton

"Uphill (Green Cover)," 2014/2015, by Alice Brasser

mulberry fields
by Lucille Clifton

they thought the field was wasting
and so they gathered the marker rocks and stones and
piled them into a barn    they say that the rocks were shaped
some of them scratched with triangles and other forms    they
must have been trying to invent some new language they say
the rocks went to build that wall there guarding the manor and
some few were used for the state house
crops refused to grow
i say the stones marked an old tongue and it was called eternity
and pointed toward the river    i say that after that collection
no pillow in the big house dreamed     i say that somewhere under
here moulders one called alice whose great grandson is old now
too and refuses to talk about slavery    i say that at the
masters table only one plate is set for supper    i say no seed
can flourish on this ground once planted then forsaken    wild
berries warm a field of bones
bloom how you must i say

[Image above by Alice Brasser]
[Poem via]

Monday, September 21, 2015

Eight Minutes Ago

"Pile," from The Unfinished Letter, 2015, by Jasphy Yiran Zhen

Eight Minutes Ago

This is the part of the story where
before you is your heap of piled up choices
and they glitter and they resemble
the people you love
Here you can watch a cloud trawl its gauze
overhead so that the light is diluted
This light took eight minutes to fall
over me All of history is above us
And in their part of the story people
here long ago knew to examine the stars
To look at what has lingered
and try to tell the truth
of our vast ignorance

[Image above by Jasphy Yiran Zhen]

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Letter That Their Envelope Carries

"Samantha," 2014, by Maddy Young

The Letter That Their Envelope Carries

If in the window of someone’s face
you see a light
know that you are seeing
what cannot be seen

Thrust your arm into all that you carry
and feel around for gratitude

[Image above by Maddy Young]

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Recent Earworm: "My Love Took Me Down to the River To Silence Me," Little Green Cars

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Hilde Provoost's Abstract Work

 When I look at the abstract work of Hilde Provoost, I see falling petals or ice cream smudges. Lovely, decisive mark-making here...

"Traagheid ter dingen, Serie, n°2," 2015
"Traagheid ter dingen, Serie, n°1," 2015

"Mind Patterns," 2015

Check out more of her work on her site.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


"All the Moons of Our Solar System," 2015, by Stella Maria Baer


Every event is beholden to
what A sequence or only consequence
It is beautiful to think
that by lifting a window
you have made somewhere
a branch fall

but I know this is romanticized truth
also known as illusion

The inventors of the pinball machine
screamed out Look Here is the meaning
of life and how it all began

Maybe not
but they did say
now let’s try steel for that ball

[Image above by Stella Maria Baer]

Monday, September 14, 2015

On Decomposition and Inspiration…

My favorite season, as seen in Dead Poet's Society

More than any other season, fall inspires me.

I’ve never been a summer person—the heat that drags on into early September, the sunburns, the loosening of structure that initially feels rejuvenating but ends up contributing to my procrastination. Nope. Bring on fall. There’s that September shift in the light that’s happening right now, and a new coolness in the air. And fall reminds me of (romanticized) academia and new beginnings—the excitement of students meeting one another for the first time, charming brick buildings, strolls and conversation on campus, the inherent coziness of reading and writing.  You know, the stuff of Dead Poets Society and Rudy (movies which border on schmaltzy education-porn, but I still love).

It’s funny that in a season where everything is, essentially, falling apart, there is such palpable energy in the air. Or maybe that’s where the energy comes from…all those leaves preparing to crumble and collapse.

Are you with me on this one? What’s your creative season of choice?

Friday, September 11, 2015

Been There

"Old Mask II," 2006, by John Stezaker

Been There

I have circled water walking
with no intent to swim

and when I stopped moving to stare
out at the lines the water made while it
left again and again

what I felt was the self running out of me
following only the unsolid surfaces

and wanting to be rid of the barbs
I possess that have hurt you

Have you been there

Please tell me you’ve been there

[Image above by John Stezaker]

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Throwback Thursday--The Cranberries

The first cd I ever purchased with my own ("own") money was by The Cranberries (their debut album). I loved Dolores O'Riordan instantly, and thought she was so talented and effortlessly cool.

No Need to Argue was even better than their first album. I listened to it incessantly--just the sound of it conjures up my room in middle school and memories of getting ready for school.

For some reason, this album has been on mind this week. Let's listen and have an unabashed cry or spin around the room, shall we?

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Heat of Autumn

"Ripe," by Shannon Webster

The Heat of Autumn
by Jane Hirshfield

The heat of autumn
is different from the heat of summer.  
One ripens apples, the other turns them to cider.  
One is a dock you walk out on,  
the other the spine of a thin swimming horse
and the river each day a full measure colder.  
A man with cancer leaves his wife for his lover.
Before he goes she straightens his belts in the closet,  
rearranges the socks and sweaters inside the dresser
by color. That’s autumn heat:
her hand placing silver buckles with silver,  
gold buckles with gold, setting each  
on the hook it belongs on in a closet soon to be empty,  
and calling it pleasure.

[Image by Shannon Webster]

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Chuck Groenink's Illustrations

Magical and oh-so-charming...these illustrations by Chuck Groenink are adorable.

"Night of the yokai," for Fiep magazine, 2010

"Nobrow, the double, 2011"

"Jungle book inspired illustration for Boekie boekie magazine," 2014
Be sure to check out his site, as well as his Etsy shop (such cute things for sale!).

Friday, September 4, 2015

Bookmarks List/Bedside Table

Currently reading/enjoying:

-This beautiful poem, "Reading Whitman Postpartum," by Lesley Jenike in Waxwing
-This piece, "The Space Between the Lines" about artistic "unlearning" by Tessa Hulls
-This conversation with poet Kathy Fagan in the Kenyon Review blog
-I'm not reading them, but I am enjoying this write-up on the amazing shadow puppets of Lotte Reiniger in Open Culture. Here's Hansel and Gretel, which is equally stunning and horrifying...

A very happy Labor Day weekend, friends! What will you be thumbing through?

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Recent Earworm: "Blood," The Middle East

This isn't a new song, and I've often heard it on soundtracks (and on Spotify, where I listen to most music online). But each time I hear it, I'm reminded of how lovely and poignant it is.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Few Key Differences

from "Nue singularite," by Valerie Boutot-Nobrega

Few Key Differences

In the place without stars they have a saying
A dark sky to keep us warm

In the place without stars they do have one star

This is the sun

In the place without stars the symbol of human life
is a lantern

All along the streets neighbors admire one another’s
porch lights and street lamps

In the place without stars lovers take a blanket out
to the field early in their courtship and there they sleep

In the place without stars they use a sunscope
to look at the darkness inside the light

Mythology is linked to weather
and those who study it are seen as charmingly antiquarian

In the place without stars there is also no moon

In the place without stars there are remarkably
few insomniacs

In the place without stars it is still worth looking up

[Image above by Valerie Boutot-Nobrega]
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