Friday, October 30, 2015

They Wither With the Wind, and They Crumble in Your Hand...

Sometimes a song just gets better and better with age. Both versions are beautiful, but this more recent version really tugs at the heart-strings, doesn't it?

Here's the earlier version for fun, too....very lovely and pure-sounding.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone. Enjoy those leaves while we have 'em...

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Structural Integrity

from "The Wilder Annual," by Krysta Jabczenski

Structural Integrity

Water and moss and rot
and a treeful of leaves released
because the tree said to the coming cold

I accept you

Whatever will find its way in
finds a way in

If there is one thing we know
it is the continuity of the body

but what to make of the flesh
and its permeability

[Image above by Krysta Jabczenski]

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Heather Goodwind's Poetic Paintings

These paintings by Heather Goodwind are like poetic puzzles, aren't they? They feel personal, almost confessional, but are also so mysterious...

"Book 10, #46"

"Book 12, #2"

"Nothing to See Here, Book 12, #4"

See more of Heather Goodwind's work here.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Two Poems by Donna Vorreyer

"Ornament of Grammar--Allium Primitive," by Alicia LaChance

by Donna Vorreyer


We pick through the rubble under the pier:
a tangled net, a towline, an amber
bottle half-buried in silt and seaweed.
All can be of use: the line to pull clear

of quicksand, the net for trapping
minnows, the glass as tool or weapon.
You present a bouquet of reeds gathered
with a bow of old balloons, flourish it

with a grin.  In these circumstances,
it will suffice. Your eyes a mansion.
This raft a ferry. Some small god dances
at the window, ticking off all our sins.


How to Explain This Emptiness

An overpass, deserted, looming over dust
and yellow wildflowers latticed by dirt.

A freight train snaking in the distance, all tankers,
fluids bound and bordered by rust.

A dilapidated church, its crossbeams split open,
releasing an undulate parabola of swallows.

The holy in what is not whole, the music
in the silence, another life thrown into this thresher.

The harsh twang of steel guitar like a death cry,
like a baby’s wail. An unsteady hand suturing the wound.

Donna Vorreyer resides in the Chicago area and is the author of A House of Many Windows (Sundress Publications, 2013) as well as six chapbooks, most recently Encantado, a collaboration with artist Matt Kish (Red Bird Chapbooks). Her second collection Every Love Story is an Apocalypse Story is forthcoming from Sundress Publications in late 2015. Visit her blog here, or find her on Twitter here.

[Image above by Alicia LaChance]

Friday, October 23, 2015

Babies on Board

from "Open Fields," Guillaume Amat

Babies on Board

All of us on the road in our cars in the morning
we are blood cells pressing forward in the veins
of some great being If cells had consciousness
would they share our precious sense of individuality
Minus the cars this morning sky looks like an illustration
from Peter Pan Pink insulation peeking through
the threadbare spots of blue Over and over we want
to tell the morning how beautiful it is If we agree
on this then an overwhelming sense of relief might
overtake us but only for the moment

[Image above by Guillaume Amat]

Thursday, October 22, 2015

David Winter, "Sluice"

from "From the Sea," by Deb Schwedhelm

Days pass like water through a sluice:
shallow, almost still, merciful

in their transparency. The past spreads
its murk, its soft living matter

across the felt floor of the deep,
where fish abandon their luminous

appearances. The future is no different
except for the newness of things,

how the sun ignites surfaces,
how rain deepens aquatic lives

and sends frogs bellowing their love
into summer, ugly as anyone

who has emerged from their first
small form into unfamiliar longing.

David Winter wrote the poetry chapbook Safe House, where this poem first appeared in print. His poetry has also appeared in the literary magazines Four Way Review, Forklift, Ohio, Harpur Palate, Meridian, Muzzle, Ninth Letter, The Offing, and Winter Tangerine Review. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Ohio State University Department of English, where he also earned his MFA, served as Poetry Editor of The Journal, and worked extensively with the Literacy Narratives of Black Columbus Project. He is a curator for Paging Columbus, a literary event series.

David’s chapbook Safe House is available from Thrush Press here. And you can read more of his writing here.

[Image above by Deb Schwedhelm]

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Beth Dow's "In the Garden"

"Apples, Sissinghurst"

"Arch, Great Dixter"

"Allée, Boboli Gardens"
"Hillside, Waddesdon Manor"

       I bookmarked this beautiful photo series by Beth Dow, called "In the Garden" a little while ago. She photographed formal gardens, and as she says in her statement, her images are not "depictive." She explains, "I use the land before me as a jumping off point, implying light or shadow where perhaps there was none, as a way to create my own path through the garden. In fact, by positioning the lens, cropping my prints, and using burning and dodging to guide the viewer’s eye through a picture, I feel that I too am a gardener in a sense."

Wander through the whole series here, on her site.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Teju Cole on Photography

This quote comes from Teju Cole's fascinating recent essay in the New York Times Magazine, entitled "Memories of Things Unseen." Beautifully-written thoughts on the temporal, what remains after destruction, and Snapchat.

Monday, October 19, 2015

At Home

from "Stars fell on Livaniana," 2015, by Stefan Krauss

At Home

Within anything that lives there is structure
and segments of chaos both

In any house live the forces that can unbuild it

The doorbell’s voice lives alongside its beloved
named Silence

The dirt adheres to laws made by
no person

but by the subconscious of the dirt

Meanwhile there is much rejoicing in the lawlessness
of what will just grow

[Image above by Stefan Krauss]

Friday, October 16, 2015

Bookmarks List/Bedside Table

"Reading at the Shelburne Farms Library,"

Currently reading and enjoying:

-The Father Of The Arrow Is The Thought, by Christopher DeWeese
-The Dancer’s Notes, by Wendy McVicker
-This harrowing, scary essay, "How Doctors Take Women's Pain Less Seriously," by Joe Fassler at The Atlantic. This piece feels important.
-This lovely, melancholy short essay, “Home, Not Home” by Nikki Reimer
-This collection of “Handlettered Logos from Defunct Department Stores” (from Christian Annyas’s design blog). I’m not so much “reading” this one as gazing at it in admiration…so much fascinating design content (especially about typography) on this blog!

And you, friends? Have you had the time to read for pleasure lately? Hope that your weekend is full of good times, good people, and good vibes!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

All Heart

from "Hunting Season," by Constantinos Chaidalis

All Heart

One tree flushed red
while the others stand in their green or yellow
reveals to others it is in love

Every year it’s the same
the secret turning itself inside out
patch of scarlet turned scarf
turned full body blush

Red tree you will soon hold space
and no leaves at all

and the next year you will do it all again

which is why we call you brave

[Image credit: Constantinos Chaidalis]

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

"One Massage Therapist Massages Another," by Tyler Gobble

"All That Fake Laughin' for Nothin'," by Wayne White

One Massage Therapist Massages Another
by Tyler Gobble

after Kenneth Koch

One massage therapist massages another, and she dove
Face first onto that chair she hovers over
Daily, blue with a slight hint of other body.
One barber trims up another, both quieter than usual,
The one in the chair glancing

At the large-mouth bass and stuffed quail he’s seen a thousand and three times,
But now, the first from this angle. One mathematics
Tutor instructs another. And here age is important for the first time
In the poem—the old woman in control, her white hair soaked
In equations, tutoring the boy in Calculus, driver’s license still wet

In his pocket. He drives his mom’s Corolla
Down Cherrywood, reinforcing the times table to third graders
Waiting on their teeth to grow back. One construction worker builds
Another, out of spare two-by-fours and a tarp, putty
And a hard hat, to recreate his friend Earl,

Eight years on the same crew and poof! Earl is gone, transferred
To Wisconsin. One state fair food truck worker feeds another.
She trades a hand-breaded tenderloin for a rain check
On a jumbo lemonade and deep-fried Twinkie. The boy consumes
It right then and there, Mavis of Mavis’s Loins staring

Down at Steven, his summer job at the stand across the way,
Deep frying everything—Twinkies and Oreos, bacon and Coca-Cola.
She waits to make certain he is appreciative. One truck driver
Drives another. Two fellas from two states, one south, one east,
Their trailers of difference, the one with a load of balloons

And a flat tire. The other, the chicken hauler, pulls behind the flares,
Ahead of schedule, and takes the lead on the tire change,
Which takes him longer than he expected. Both now behind
Schedule and together, the chicken hauler decides
To show the balloon boy, as he calls him in his head,

A cozy, cheap diner stashed away in the hills. One ultimate fighter
Ultimately fights another to death, but the death comes
Much later, after they’ve both left the ring,
After they’ve both showered, after they’ve both drank champagne
With their spacetakers, so stoked to still be alive.

Tyler Gobble is currently a poetry fellow at the Michener Center for Writers. Alongside Jennifer Whalen, he hosts Everything Is Bigger, a reading series in Austin, TX. His first full-length collection, MORE WRECK MORE WRECK, is available from Coconut Books. He prefers disc golf, sleeveless shirts, porches, and bacon. More at

[Image above by Wayne White]

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Laura Ferrara's Paintings and Collages

These pieces by Laura Ferrara are the perfect combination of enigmatic and dreamy, with just a dab of creepiness.

Monday, October 12, 2015


"Page 38/90," 2015, by Missy Dunaway

Horoscope for my son not yet born

This is the sign you will be
I hear you are the explorer sign I hear you
are half-human half-animal although right now
you gallop in place because you are still dreaming
yourself into being Or maybe you are the dream
My body the sleeper You are the unleashed arrow
of the zodiac Baby you will be blunt
This week you are the size of a squash
and so in vogue On every menu squash this
and pumpkin that This week little horse you may
flip and prop your feet up on the headboard
of my ribs Mid-month you will receive fantastic
career news and as the month ends you will also
be getting ready to finish and ship a professional project
Baby when you are born you will be so unprofessional
thank God This is the week we paint your room
and I’ve ordered you stars for the wall to introduce
you to the sky Meteors will come this week but
the clouds will keep them from us Sunburnt rock parts
will stream over us and although we cannot see them we know
they are there There is nowhere I can read about you
to see what you will be

[Image above by Missy Dunaway]

Friday, October 9, 2015

Recent Earworm: "Kingfisher," PHOX

Thursday, October 8, 2015

"Ethics," by Linda Pastan

"Where There Is Smoke," by Emma Powell

Linda Pastan

In ethics class so many years ago
our teacher asked this question every fall:
If there were a fire in a museum,
which would you save, a Rembrandt painting
or an old woman who hadn’t many
years left anyhow?  Restless on hard chairs
caring little for pictures or old age
we’d opt one year for life, the next for art
and always half-heartedly.  Sometimes
the woman borrowed my grandmother’s face
leaving her usual kitchen to wander
some drafty, half-imagined museum.
One year, feeling clever, I replied
why not let the woman decide herself?
Linda, the teacher would report, eschews
the burdens of responsibility.
This fall in a real museum I stand
before a real Rembrandt, old woman,
or nearly so, myself.  The colors
within this frame are darker than autumn,
darker even than winter — the browns of earth,
though earth’s most radiant elements burn
through the canvas. I know now that woman
and painting and season are almost one
and all beyond the saving of children.

[Image above by Emma Powell]
[Poem via Poetry Magazine]

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


"Move the Wrong Side," 2015, by Tracey Kessler


Without shape all reduces to chaos
Without love all reduces to a continuous stream
of detritus
If you take all your meals alone you have seen this

There is nothing more soothing than cutting out
people-shapes out from gingerbread or sugar cookie dough

Here is where the body ends
and everything within its borders counts as human

[Image above by Tracey Kessler]

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Waldemar Strempler's Collages

"Air," 2015, Waldemar Strempler

"Untitled," 2015, Waldemar Strempler

"Poet," 2015, Waldemar Strempler

See more of Waldemar Strempler's collages here.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Recent Earworm: Peter Gabriel covering Vampire Weekend

I'd heard the Vampire Weekend song, "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" before, and it's weird lyrics and cute, bouncy tune always stick to my brain. There's a lyric in the song that name drops Peter Gabriel ("It feels so unnatural, Peter Gabriel, too"), and I was totally delighted to discover that Peter Gabriel made a (terrific) cover of this song.

Have a wonderful, creative weekend, friends! Here's a song for a happy Friday.

Thursday, October 1, 2015


from "Open Fields," by Guillaume Amat


In the way that before
can mean both previous and in front of

we make our home
in the center
and extending from us equally in both directions

is time

This makes the body
the plastic snail shell from which the metal

measuring tape of what is future
and what is history


That which is about to happen
we eat

One more Pac-Man pellet for the ghost world
just over our shoulder
almost touching our hair

[Image above by Guillaume Amat]
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