Have you ever seen a thing you just loved without question or reason?

That’s how I’ve felt about this small square patch of green and off white stripes ever since I saw it peeking out from page 367 of the ARTFORUM magazine.

happiness of objects before

I left it intact on the page for years but finally, yesterday, decided its time had finally come. Clipped it from its page. Set it beside a random poem clipped from the pages, by WB Yeats (from The Winding Stair and Other Poems, 1933).

Examined it. Realized the lines remind me of the huge ruled paper from Kindergarten when I was first learning to write, and I don’t understand the Yeats poem. Found some more words and decided to use them all, and nothing more.

process2 happiness of objects

The feeling of absence, a confusing sense of time, will soon become, other lovers, we loved each other, naked and hid-…. these are the words that initially emerged from these clippings.

process 1-Happiness of objectts

PROMPT: color in the lines

Step One is to find a background that appeals to your sense of order.

Step Two is to allow yourself to think about the image you’ve found. Consider its space and inherent rules. Identify the pattern you are willing to adhere to.

Step Three is to create a poem/narrative within that pattern (for instance, I have done the obvious and stuck to the lines). When you are pleased with the assemblage of words, glue them down.


In this poem, I went through 7 different arrangements of the words before deciding I had it. The first and last groups of 2 stripes are the things that never changed for me.

Step Four is to give your piece a title. This is your chance to speak one last time to your reader. Is there something you want to say that you did not entirely convey? You can also think of titles as steering the reader.

For instance, I could have titled this any of the following; they were all under consideration. Think about the direction these titles would take you, as opposed to what has been chosen.

All done. As always, if you have made a collage, I would love to receive a photo of it. If you ask for my critique, I will give it. Otherwise, I will just thank you for showing me.
Contact me here.

In other news, I have been reading and submitting to Mid-American Review since I began doing such a thing. (Full disclosure—for me, this means I have submitted to them six times since 2006.) I got an acceptance with the sixth, so that essay will be coming out later this month and I am thrilled about it.