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jennieytallman.com

a gallery of controversys

LATE

Having spent the past two months caught up in a number of things that required that I abandon my sons to Minecraft.

Having woken in the middle of too many nights trying to shake the terrible feeling of complete domestic failure.

 

Having finished the first draft of my novel yesterday.

Having finally made Pasties from scratch.

Having missed my last two blog-Wednesdays.

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Continue reading “LATE”

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Library of Water

For this page, the eleventh in the “Another Affair with Water” series, I was thinking about congruity–especially across the series.

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The title echoes the series’ title.

Visually, it relates to the Broken White poem.

Poetically, both are between satire and abstraction.

Thematically, both come at a time when I am once again defeated by anger and sorrow at the ever-growing list of murdered black men. Continue reading “Library of Water”

Of Yachts and Men

Here, a return to the heart, previously explored in Young Fair Hearts… which is where you may recognize the heart stencil from. 10-of-yachts-and-men-1

This time I used the cut out heart directly (rather than as a stencil): cutting some words out, leaving others, and inserting new ones. And red paint. And a little messiness, because I like a little messiness. Continue reading “Of Yachts and Men”

Letters to the Spectre

Magazines are always filled with letters to the editor. In them, you will find some of the very best language. Seems a shame to waste all those Dears.

9 Letters - 2

In this case, the answer (above) was written first and then the question (below). Continue reading “Letters to the Spectre”

Abstract Talking I & II

On the left hand page, we have image.

On the right, words.

This quote and last post’s image come from an article in Artforum titled, TALKING ABSTRACT. What better excuse to delve into line and language?

PROMPT

1. Begin with a quote. I chose this:

intermission2 - 1

2. Cut it into lines.

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Continue reading “Abstract Talking I & II”

Intermission

We all need a little recess from time to time. For me, that time was today.

Today’s post and next Wednesday’s are both intermissions from the current project and both are translations.

Abstraction and Experimentation both ask us to find inspiration from others. This image is a complete translation of a work of art by Peter Halley.

intermission - 4

As quickly as possible, I translated his image into the below. Mine has an unexpected Americana feel.

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Continue reading “Intermission”

The Survival of the Fish King

Forewarn: Physically uncomfortable as I began this post, I finally removed the snorkel and umbrella from the chair I have been sitting on too long. Which is to say, my youngest son is coughing on the sofa where he has been sleeping for the past 14 hours, the cat is screaming out the window at the oldest two for walking outside without her, and I have probably had less than 5 hours of sleep (nightly, not total) for the past week. Being an insomniac, this last is not really news.

THE SURVIVAL OF THE FISH KING matters now more than ever. If this post is goofy, it is because I am barely here.

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Part of right page image, “stained glass effect”

Continue reading “The Survival of the Fish King”

Broken White

Sometimes your art will live in a safe and insular world and sometimes that world will have to open up and acknowledge the outside world too.

This past week has been grief filled. I have often written, in essay or poem, of the unwelcome privilege I have been afforded by the very authority that took the life of a good man, a neighbor. A man who shopped at the same grocery store as me and sat in the same traffic and clipped the same coupons.

 

Version 2

Continue reading “Broken White”

The Chicago Technique

Let’s show a bit of formatting today. Here is the excerpt of today’s poem, like I would typically post:IMG_2274

and here is the full page, with words blurred out:

IMG_2275Prompt: This poem came entirely from the title.

It is really fun, whether working experimentally or not, to write a poem from a title. You might choose a line from a beloved poem, or even a beloved line from a poem you aren’t head over heels for.

For a more experimental take on this: Remember the container of words you already created? If not, scroll to the bottom of this post and take a look.

Pull three or more words out of your container and arrange them into a title. Write that poem in the ransom-style. Or just write it, with a pen, the regular way poets do. After the leap we discuss copyright. Blah.

Continue reading “The Chicago Technique”

Young Fair Hearts

I admit that I adore this poem. Mostly because the finished product reminds me of a John Hughes movie. It is such a misfit, just like he was.

I kind of want to write a million poems about young fair hearts now.

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Speaking of young fair hearts… I recently finished up teaching a little poetry in the Hamline YOUNG WRITERS WORKSHOP. (Meghan Maloney Vinz is a genius for many reasons, but this summer day-camp for budding writers is a crystal clear example of how much she gives of herself to support and build a writing community for the people who need it most.) What I want to say about that group of students is Thank You. I was floored by their talent, their motivation, their kindness, and their heavy journals spilling words.

Continue reading “Young Fair Hearts”

Fish King Part II: step-by-step instructions

This is where we begin to see the fish king take a real shape. This king is a she, naturally, as she was originally a boat. blog fishking 3 - 2Let’s talk about the way these pages are set up. There is some variation throughout, but this is probably the first place I’ve so blatantly mixed the mediums: handwriting, black-out erasure, and ransom-style composition (which I, in this gallery, consider free-writing). Continue reading “Fish King Part II: step-by-step instructions”

Build the Fish King

This “poem” relies on a list of tools to find itself… as it should.

At first, this seemed impossible. But as I stared at it and wondered why it insisted on being so boring, words began to appear that I had somehow missed at first.

Words like SPIRIT, LIGHT, RULE, and RABBET (a step-shaped recess cut along the edge or in the face of a piece of wood) came out of nowhere and suddenly there was some magic in that list. More importantly, there was an invitation for more.

This is one of those poems that threatens to be too insular, too in the writer’s own head to make sense to others, too abstract. I’m all right with that danger. To me, the fish king is a real thing and this is its poem.

And since I have, as usual, worked ahead… I know it will return.

Continue reading “Build the Fish King”

The Damage is Done

For the first poem in the series of “Another affair with Water,” a more language based piece. I counted the steps (originally step-by-step instructions for building a King-Fisher) and … there are 29. I admit, this is overwhelming. I will have to be flexible, I assume, because I know of no brain (writer or reader’s) that can handle 29 poetic instructions.

Either way, here is the first. I like the way this one came together; I’ve always been a sucker for ripped paper. blog - 11

Prompt: Overwhelm yourself. Set a goal that you literally do not know if you can meet. Be prepared to adapt.

Another affair with Water

Another full spread image. These clippings almost give you the full effect. For this, I’ve used the same Stained Glass* effect. It is a style I’ve grown comfortable with.

blog - 8 (1)Simply find an image that has a lot of lines and begin cutting shapes or patterns away, using the lines as a guide.

Use rubber cement to place new colors or images behind the cut away. Voila: stained glass.

Major prompt: Incorporate a quote, an epigraph if you will — common in poetry.

For this piece, I’ve filled in a boat with the word “Water” floating in blue. And look, that W is not a W at all. It is an upside-down M! Wow, mom.  Continue reading “Another affair with Water”

Protected: Part 3: The Achievements

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Protected: Part 2: Museum of bad feminist art

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Protected: “Global Feminisms” Part 1: How many feminists

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Celestial Navigation

Number 7 is about image and sun and finding your own way and Bob Marley.BlogMain - 7Number 7 is the place where you should let your hair down, loosen your belt, drink a root beer, and free yourself from whatever preconceived notions you hold toward poetry, art, and writing.BlogSup2 - 7

Here is a photo of my work space. This is a piano bench. My piano bench does not contain music because I play by ear, or by finger, as shall be explained after the jump. Continue reading “Celestial Navigation”

Controversy 27

This is the second in the on-going internal series of Controversys.

I am a writer who responds well to limits and rules (Too much submission? Perhaps). Sometimes, there are just too many words in the world. This poem says:

You may only use the words which appear in this particular column on this particular page. Continue reading “Controversy 27”

The Eye is the First Circle

This cut-up poem is very hard to look at. The colors are just atrocious: almost all the hues are exactly the same value and saturation. This is such a huge no-no in design ( I should know: I attended a lot of art colleges and took Color Theory 101 at each one).

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But, honestly, the intensity is what I love about this and what drew me to the font in the first place. Continue reading “The Eye is the First Circle”

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