Explicating the Poetic Process

“My writing process saves a fair percentage of timefor self-doubt and lack of artistic confidence.” It starts with an encounter. There is a notarized mammal, a dead serpent, and a preserved misspelling. Then a mythical flash of inspiration, the grabbing for tool and template, and the clumsy yet magical act of documentation. Just like the […]

“To bring out the fine points of a good picture.”

“To bring out the fine points of a good picture.” Such was the idea put forth by painter (and frame maker) Charles Prendergast in explaining his theory of crafting frames. Recently,  I had the chance to learn about Charles, and his better-known brother Maurice, at the New Britain Museum of American Art and to experience […]

Scars and How We Wear Them

  “I’m looking for a soap dish. . . . ” This is how I begin “Giving up the Chokehold,” an essay about searching and about finding. What I find first is a necklace, actually a bunch of them, “chokers I haven’t worn in years.”  One, is woven into a braid, “a thin zig-zag, like […]

New Release

Just released, the first episode of The Vanguard Podcast featuring writers David K. Leff, Katherine Hauswirth, and me, along with musician Lys Guillorn. Join these conversations at the Forefront of Creativity with hosts L.M. Browning and Kelly Kancyr. See also The Vanguard Podcast to subscribe (or listen on iTunes, YouTube, and more). This episode includes a […]

the paraphrase of a quail egg

After Inspecting Brassaï’s Graffiti At Musée d’Art Moderne I notice the construct of silhouetted stick figures juxtaposed above a door; one’s triangular body tells me to go into a different salle. There, I find another version of graffiti on the door in front of me as I sit down. This is not art someone has […]

Poems for Snow and Spring

I can’t believe it’s already day 12 with Tupelo Press and my 30/30 project. Have you been keeping up with all 96 poems? That’s 96 poems (8 poets for March x 12 days, so far. . . ) and more to come. Follow us into spring. Tomorrow promises more snow. Find the poems inspired by these […]

This may sound easy. It isn’t.

“A poet is somebody who feels, and who expresses [her] feeling through words. This may sound easy. It isn’t.” E.E. Cummings (or e.e. cummings as he preferred) wrote this advice to a young poet, and my poetry teacher shared it with me when I first started writing. After 27 years, it’s still not easy, but I can’t […]

First Editions

To celebrating the release of the second edition of Reconnaissance, enjoy this poem about first editions. Click the title to order your own first edition at a special discounted price. The Thief I apprenticed well. For a sixth grade project, Mrs. Montecalvo taught me the worth of a good forgery when she assigned the footnoted […]

Birdsongs

I’ve been enjoying Ken Burns’ Jazz documentary on demand lately. Here’s “Birdsongs” from Reconnaissance. For Charlie Parker and the wind tunnels where, magically and dangerously, creativity may wait. Birdsongs   Having forgotten what a line looks like on a page, I unwrap a notebook and tune to Charlie Parker. If I Should Lose You, I’ll wait […]