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.

Of course, now the need to push some new words in presented itself. This required chopping the passage. At this point, I decided on the title: The Indirect Passage.

the indirect passage - 2 (1)

It was in the final section that I really pulled the passage apart and allowed my own poetic impulse to come to the fore. And that, my dears, is the way this happened. 🙂

the indirect passage - 3


Let’s use India ink! India ink on a matte magazine page is a beautiful thing. *note: it is not as beautiful on glossy pages, though it is interesting*

The only prompt today is to use India ink as your medium for erasing language. So, follow the above process (modifying it if you see fit) and make India ink the only medium of the page. The ink is what will unify your final product.

I really recommend playing with the ink: water it down (a lot and a little), layer it, use a brush, use a stick, use a calligraphy pen if you want to get fancy.

Example: at the bottom of my page, I used masking tape to mark off some lines and then just let the ink bleed.


I finished my MFA and did my reading and did not pass out. Hurray. I am now a poet.

I am reading on the 21st at Poets & Pints.

I have a poem, “A Yellow Bowl,” in Gargoyle, #65–the 40th anniversary issue, part 1.