Friday, August 30, 2013

Bookmarks List/Bedside Table

Currently reading and enjoying:
Also, some of my work has been floating around the internet, and I wanted to share it with you:

What have you been reading this week? As always, thanks for visiting.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Real Breakthrough

A Real Breakthrough

Ah, the fly and the banana’s freckles
are art, too! And the chip in the blue bowl
holding the fruit, and the one shriveled

and the open window letting in
the flies.

Time to work on that taxonomy
of light glinting off
of flies.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Blessing Over Lateness

The Blessing Over Lateness

We push ourselves into time
and time resists
a little,

more trampoline than tunnel.
I can see the minute
I am

inside of, can see it go, become
a new minute, carriage
to pumpkin.

When I arrive, a wave of energy
arrives with me, rushes out
around me,

flood released by a hand pressing
the kiddie pool’s rim to
empty it.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I Have Thought of Everything

I Have Thought of Everything

I have thought of everything,
I have thoughts of everything.
You can pack for possibilities,
picnic basket that is actually
a grocery cart. Band-aids
and antibacterial ointments
and wipes for your hands to
remove the ointment and a bag
for the mess you’ll accumulate.
Every need: anticipated. Fear
can be crumpled up and chucked
and knowing what can happen
makes you strong and fearful
at the same time, guard dog
that’s never been off the leash.
Cure the worry you feel by
making a list, everything will
happen, every day will happen
with the normal velocity of
the week, Monday tumbling
after Sunday so beautifully
as if you were the one urging
time forth.

Monday, August 26, 2013



You can sleep through the awfullest years
of life, a war, loss of love, painstaking routine

and toil, but in exchange, twenty years will be
taken from you. Was it worth it, Rip, his friend

the wheelwright asks him, sure, your wife,
who drove you nuts, is gone, rest her soul,

of course, but you still have years with your
children, so do you. Have regrets. And in

the tavern, the old man sticks his fingers
in his nest of a beard, thinking. There is

gentleness and ease at each end of lucky
human life. And in the middle, war or sleep.

Friday, August 23, 2013

On Creativity: Juliet Wilson on Writing, Crafting and Procraftination

Today, I’m happy to share poet and artist Juliet Wilson’s thoughts On Creativity.

Writing, Crafting and Procraftination

One of Juliet's poetry windchimes

I was working on my novel this morning and quite quickly got stuck. The story seemed to have got into a rut of nothing much significant happening. I stared at the computer screen for a while then gave up. Time to do some crafting!

So I sat down and picked up my latest sewing project. Once I'd reminded myself of what I was to do next, I found my mind wandering to my novel. My fingers sewed away while my brain came up with ideas that have now transformed the scene I was struggling with into a vibrant and essential part of the story (well, we can all dream, can't we!).

It was also that same session of crafting that unblocked my ideas for what specifically I was going to write in this guest post!

I love writing and I love crafting and the two can work together in perfect harmony. Crafting gives me a screen break to avoid eye-strain and backache and keeps my fingers busy while my mind is free to wander over plot twists or word choices.

I also like experimenting with bringing the two together. I recently made some poetry wind-chimes that were exhibited in the Forest Café in Edinburgh. I'm currently making poetry collages to sell in my Crafty Green Poet Etsy shop.

The problem is though, with all the crafting I do, am I suffering from procraftination (the act of crafting when you should be writing)? It's easy to recognise that my crafting has a positive effect on my writing, but would I actually write more if I didn't craft?

What do you think, readers? How do you procraftinate? Is it helpful to you or not?

 Interested in sharing your thoughts On Creativity (process, inspiration, and creative challenges) in a guest post here? Contact me.

Thursday, August 22, 2013



I want to be responsible
for your beauty,
not to say I created you
but for you to
crawl within my wingcrook
and feel at home
in these feathers. You look
like you were
just invented, this crop
of rains brought
you here. Stretch clothesline
from branch to
branch to branch, and drape
sheets wherever
you need a wall. This is
the capital, a fresh
country. This is our chance.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013



I thought the ground was the x-axis
so I knelt to grab it
and as I pulled it,

this is how the world
came hurtling toward me

to show me how little
I know
of it,

just as glaciers
or future fields
cannot conceive
of me.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013



A healthy horse with ribs
showing faintly, a little thirsty,

perhaps, but fine. The underbark
of birch, dark slits in the white hide

of the trunk. Ruin starts small,
but is not always where we look.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Ursa Major Moving Group

Ursa Major Moving Group

All of the things that will one day be your fault
survive and drift through the universe
the way the stars do.

It is impossible to be blameless,

but this does not make you

Friday, August 16, 2013

On Creativity: Leah Umansky

Some artists weave wool blankets, and others make patchwork quilts. The first type of artist unifies and stirs. The second kind wants us to see the fragments and pieces of the puzzles they sit before.

Leah Umansky is the second kind of artist. In her book of poems, Domestic Uncertainties (published by BlazeVOX [books]), she shows us the world in pieces (as it is, maybe): lines from Virginia Woolf, text broken into columns and boxes. This is a book about reading books, but also about reading relationships, love, gender, break-ups, and choices. “Pull back at the auto-correct,” she entreats us in one poem, “Repeated for Emphasis, “Take back the margin, and the typographical errors are fab./[aren’t they?]”

Speaking of the margin, her poems are so visually engaging--more traditional-looking, left-aligned poems strain against their leashes into the right side of the page; some are thick paragraphs of prose that extend across the whole page; others are reminiscent of exams, with multiple choice options, fill-in-the-blanks, and text in boxes. The book itself is a square--an unusual and smart choice that works so well in housing these poems.

I admire how natural the design of this book feels. It is never heavy-handed. This might come from the fact that Leah is also a talented collage artist (this striking cover, shown above, is one of her creations). Her work feels alive and spontaneous and surprising on the page.

NOTE: After the interview, read a preview of the book. Order your copy of the book here, where you can also view the book preview.

Q: As a collage artist and poet, what is your relationship to fragments and pieces? When you make collages, does it feel the same as making poems? Why or why not?

I feel like I’ve always made collages. Like every teenager, my bedroom walls were covered in snippets of magazines and so were my dorm rooms in college. When I became an adult and lived on my own, I turned to the refrigerator. (How domestic!!) All the fridges, in every apartment I’ve ever had, have always been a medium for collage, but so has every pegboard above my desk. I like surrounding myself with things I love, desire and enjoy.

I always rip things out of newspapers and magazines and put them into a folder, and for years they sort of just sat there in my drawer. Thinking about it now, it wasn’t until I got separated and then divorced that I actually started making collage holiday cards for my friends. This is all in my book – I had to make a new version of myself, was forced to, and it had to be one that didn’t fully align with the old version of myself. As in my poem “In Dreams Bare,” “all day versions of us align.”

In creating this new version, I created a new self and pasted on parts of my previous life into it.  What I mean to say is, my life was fragmented. Everything I knew was wrong. I was now this new thing, a divorcee. I was now this new woman trying to write her way through something devastating. I did it, I wrote the poems, but they are fragmented. They remained disjointed and I think that’s where my collages exist, too. Perhaps, I picked up the pieces my self and made them pretty-like.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Custom

The Custom

Here, have these flowers,

instead of a cone full of
dirt and roots
and parts of dead flowers,

maybe I will give you both,

everything softens
into good darkness.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Places Melt

Places Melt

No place is separate,
I’m struggling with it.

To be more accurate,
I’m struggling to say anything

past it. Which inch
of the solar system do you wish

you could put on a
platter and carry out, hors d'oeuvre

made from streamers
and the room the party is held in.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Getting Ready

Getting Ready

Loop this long length of twine,
tie its ends to each other,

take a branch
and wrap the twine around
three or four of its knuckles.

Here is your new necklace,

a thing to wear every day
to warn others
the forest you came from
has not forgotten you.

Monday, August 12, 2013

To Invent Time, Look Up

To Invent Time, Look Up

The moon changes
so we measure the change down here

by it. Actually, the moon never changes
but how else are we supposed

to process shadow, the darkness
which will eat everything

out of our sky.
Humans are so cute,

we can hold in us
a crush on the universe

and still wash every dish
from the meal we just ate tonight.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Bookmarks List/Bedside Table

Currently reading/enjoying:

Your turn! Whatcha reading?

Thursday, August 8, 2013



This is a place because I call it one.
No, this is a place because I am standing
somewhere, in it. The place doesn’t need
anyone. If it relaxes into ruin, so what,
any dirt can become mud, and a lake
can become snow. The place is always
changing independent of what I want.
Also, it takes my ropes around its neck,
trying to bring it home with me. It only
tugs back a little, shaking its head to say
This is a place. This is a place. This is a place.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

More Things Don’t Happen

More Things Don’t Happen

How wondrous, all the things that do not happen.
The floor doesn’t cave in, even with you stomping
like that, your clothes fit, they stay on your body,
your skin stays on, your skeleton stays in and hitched
together properly. Every day, pumpkins do not transform
into carriages, or any things other than pumpkins
that grow and are taken away. Pumpkins stay
pumpkins, people stay people, gravity works
in exchange for pennies, our existence. There are
colors. There are ducks. You can be alive for every hour
today, no wild animals will climb into your windows,
frothily roaring, whole days go by before you feel fear,
and then you stop feeling it. An infinite number of ghosts
refrain from visiting you, so if one slips in, you’re doing
remarkably well.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013



This is about looking
at trees and fog,

looking out at mossy-green water,

looking at the red-haired
detective with a tree
for a last name
looking out at the water
or gray city.

There is a city
within the city.

There are so many trees.

Often, we see our detective
from behind, looking

at what she is looking at
without earning her thoughts.

What she knows:
if you don’t do something,
no one else will.

People are dead and girls are gone
and we know it.

Tucked in within us all,

shadowed cities,
we have to look.

We give ourselves away
in pieces, hunting love.

Monday, August 5, 2013



There is the time before you move into the world,
thinking about what will be,

waking in what room, with whose body overlapping
yours in trust, what dog skittering in

to find you who you see only in sounds, toenails
skritching on the hardwood,

light jingle of collar and ID tags in time with his
steps. And then there is all

the rest of time, when you move amongst the world,
still so many unknowns, but

life seems to replace these. The spell of the nouns
called home, to you, the spell

of the life immersive and wet. You walked the plank
without knowing you were walking.

Friday, August 2, 2013

On Creativity: Be My Guest

"Residency," 2012, by Jeremy Miranda

Right now, I have this craving for other people’s creative voices. I’d like to start sharing On Creativity posts by YOU here.

I welcome your thoughts on making stuff (including literature, visual art, music, movies, food...any creative work!). What have you learned about how you come up with ideas? How do you know that a project is finished? What are valuable lessons that you’ve learned about your process? What was the worst thing you ever made? What have you tried to do differently? How do you move on from a project that has failed? What’s been on your mind lately, as a creative thinker? (Here's one example that I wrote, and another, and another).

I encourage you to be specific--lots of writing about creativity can be too general. I am so curious about your specific projects, examples, passions, and idiosyncrasies.

The submission process is simple--send me a brief description of your idea, or send me a post.

Either way, just send one at a time. Though I won’t be able to share everything I receive here on the site, I’m open to your ideas!

Looking forward to widening the discussion on creative life.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

These Are Just a Few Examples

These Are Just a Few Examples

So many worlds, we cannot see them
all at once: Earthwormtropolis, worms
crying out, More decay, more decay!
There is the life of bones, outliving
us, moving only when the soil ripples
as it does, slightly, at least every few
years. The stoicism of driveway
basketball hoops and swing sets,
the first molecules of rust landing
and latching on. The life of air,
a cold front drifting in, a heavy
barge dragging the winds in, and
the Society of Tree Branches
nodding to acknowledge weather.
There is the future we think is going
to happen, hovering around each
one of us, the ages we envision
ourselves to be, the abilities we
will develop, always unseen.
Money World and Body Biology
World and Feelings World,
an entire symphony of people
speaking intimately to cell phones,
listeners we assume exist.
The Storialist. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.