a gallery of controversys

What is Done?

Full Prompt Post today. Read on.

Step One: Find a little quote on a page. Honestly, I don’t even read the quotes I choose. I just choose for size. what is done - 1

Step Two: Cut it out.what is done - 2

Step Three: Cut the quote into strips (lines).what is done - 1 (1)

Step Four: Organize the strips backwards, from bottom to top. Put the first line at the bottom, the next line above that, and so on until the quote is shuffled backwards.what is done - 3

Step Five: Glue the lines onto a magazine page. Use whatever you want as the background image.what is done - 5

Step Six: (above) Decide on a small phrase you can repeat. (I chose “What is Done?” because that was a title that jumped out at me, but also because when I tried those words in my head, it seemed like they would work.)

This will be your title. Place the first word at the beginning of the first line; second word at the second line; and so on. I would aim for 2-4 words, but do what feels right for your lines. You definitely want to repeat the phrase at least twice.

This is not an easy step. This is the difficult step. First, it is not so easy to find the words. Take a look at the below; can you find the word “done” on this page, which–by the way–is cropped so at least twice as easy to find? what is done - 1 (2)

Ugh. Point: be prepared. Eventually, I did resort to creating my final “done” ransom-style. Second, it is not easy to figure out how to make the sentences work. Rest assured; in the next step, you will be allowed to edit the lines.

Step Seven: Edit as much as you like! Use whatever you like to white out the words and feel free to add punctuation with a pen, and even a final line! How fun.what-is-done-7.jpg


The Indirect Passage

The return of the Controversy. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: I love boat names.  Controversy,  Compromise, Amphibi-Con, Riverkeeper. These names beg to be poemized.

Admission: Sometimes I sit down to do a new piece and feel absolutely befuddled.

My most typical response to that feeling is to choose a passage from the boat magazine and stare at it until certain words start to feel right. Today’s experiment began with just such a passage.

the indirect passage - 1 (1)

The second step here was to choose how to disappear the words.

India Ink won the day in this one, which is for some reason not a medium I’ve used yet in this book, but I can assure you I will be using it again. It is easier than paint, more flexible than marker, and allows the transparency I love so much. Continue reading “The Indirect Passage”


First thing I like about this page: its title. It sounds like Maiden, but is actually referencing the readymades of Marcel Duchamp — one of my favorite artists (there are a lot of favorite artists, but he really is up there) — whose intention was to get away from himself.

Call it a little game between ‘I’ and ‘me’
— from Duchamp: A Biography.


Continue reading “MADEIN”

Space ration

So, for the first poem after the last series, we’ve got a poem that responds physically to the title. Usually, with poetry and other writing, words come first. It is fun and challenging and worthwhile to turn that notion on its head sometimes.

space ration - 8

Here, form || the space, the design, the architecture of the image || is the driving force behind the poem. I cut words away I usually would have left, in favor of the lovely zebraesque* pattern created down the lower center of the page. Continue reading “Space ration”


In honor of finishing the 28 (-ish) part poem, “Another Affair with Water,” I’ve finished with a two-page spread. And in gratitude for all the darling people who follow this blog, share and like it on social media, and actually do collages/poems in response to my prompts and then send them to me (!), I will allow you to see today’s full image here.

Usually, when we write in our notebooks, we don’t track our progress according to the weight of our work—ink on a page does not significantly change the weight of a notebook. But look; my little book has gained a little over an ounce!

Continue reading “MAKING SENSE OF HISTORY”

colors arriving on the banks

Perhaps there is a name for the tendency to find the names of colors as appealing as the colors themselves. Some kind of synesthesia-type disorder. I don’t know. I just know that ever since I was a child I have loved the names of colors, in some cases more than the colors themselves. Pink, for instance.
27 colors arriving on the banks - 3.jpg
In this week’s collage, colors arrive on the banks. This is, after all, the second to last collage in this particular series, which is super awesome and incredibly surprising, and I think it is time the banks of my sad specter and lonely fish king saw spring. Continue reading “colors arriving on the banks”

The Fourth Book of Good Boats

Aphrodite, Baby Bootlegger, Alexandria, and Mary. Four boats. Four good boats.

26 the fourth book of good boats - 3

It’s more than a little funny how I’ve come to feel about the little black and white man featured in this gallery. I guess he must be the fish king himself, in his cozy sweater, with his mustache and curly hair. I can’t imagine he is the personification I would have chosen, but there he is nonetheless. Continue reading “The Fourth Book of Good Boats”

the world’s oldest hobby.


It is true, sometimes I start a poem for this book and discard it. The only thing that inspired me about the original draft of #25 was the color I’d mixed on a paint palette.

So, I cut everything but the number and the color and went in a more narrative direction. As it turns out, I am pleased with the final page so I am also fine with the process.

Continue reading “the world’s oldest hobby.”

Before the Flood

So, here we are at the final five poems in the “Another Affair with Water” series. I’ll be honest. I was not sure I’d make it through 28 connected collage poems. But I did and my little red book has gained a few ounces.

At this point, I started really thinking about how to tie up any loose ends within this series: my dear Fish King, Specter (Spectre), Light, Mistresses, Hearts, and Boats.

The pictures for this page are a little different this week. You’ll be seeing only process pictures, and no final images. Let’s start: Continue reading “Before the Flood”

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