Friday, March 29, 2013

On Creativity: Spielberg Faces

Yesterday in the first-year seminar class I teach, we discussed this Keyframe video essay on The Spielberg Face (based on this article at The essay discusses a signature move that recurs in Spielberg’s work--a dolly shot of a close-up on an actor’s face, eyes wide in wonder and amazement, staring at something off-screen.

The essay celebrates The Spielberg Face, and explores the director’s recent experiments with the execution of this shot. It’s a fun essay, infused with a curious, appreciative spirit (which I always appreciate in analytical work).

It make me wonder about Spielberg Faces in poetry. Often, poems force the reader to look at a scene, idea, or situation (with, yes, wonder--the Oliver face!--or wistfulness, or disgust, or desire). Poems don’t exactly (perhaps they do, inexactly?) show their characters staring back past us at something we cannot yet see. But our response is anticipated by the lines in a poem, especially the ending. Poets stare through their poems, at us, is maybe how it works.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Swing of Things

The Swing of Things

Piano scales lilting 
us back to routine,

a life that carries us
a bit, to help us move

with less concern,
ferries the heavy as

if we were weightless,
loosens the gravitational

stranglehold. Take
my body, momentum,

make of me a lunar
being, lighter, buoyant.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Proper Motion

Proper Motion

The things we count on not to move
have always been moving.

The fallen tree was once young,
grown from the dropped

maple key of an elder tree, a hillside
or two up. The stars we use

to navigate are not welded to the dark
wall of space, they twist

and sway, Edison bulbs dangling near
a ceiling fan. The patch

of ocean you once stood in, you will
never find it again, and

jutting from the street like silver
stitches, one block’s

worth of trolley rail, trolleys gone
for eighty years now.

Monday, March 25, 2013



In every cake,
a world of destruction.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Bookmarks List/Bedside Table

Currently reading and enjoying....

Your suggestions for poems on grief and loss. Thank you for these, and for the kind words. It helps.

Chuck Rybak’s Interactive Choose-Your-Own-Poetry-Adventure Game (called “All the Things You Cannot Do in Poetry!”). Quite fun. It’s cracking me up.

This piece from The Atlantic--Cities, called “Landscape Absurdism: An Urban Prairie in St. Louis,” by Mark Byrnes. “Landscape absurdism” is a wonderful phrase, isn’t it? (Thanks to Marcos Armstrong for the link.)

Emily Spivak’s article, “The Perils of Wearing Clothes,” for an(other) awesome Smithsonian blog, Threaded.
Look at that wonderful cover by Yao Cheng!

This book, The Ides of March: An Anthology of Ohio Poets, which I was very honored to edit. The book was just released from Columbus Creative Cooperative--it’s beautiful (the poems, design, and cover art!), and I adore the work in here. Some of my favorite poets (and people!) have work in this collection, including David Baker, Joshua Butts, Terry Hermsen, Charlene Fix, Nikkita Cohoon, Nathan Moore, Natalie Shapero, Jack Schwarz (my dad!), Sandy Feen, and Scott Woods. Many more in there, turned out so well.

Your turn! What are you reading and loving this week?
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