a gallery of controversys

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”

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”

Encountering Farnham’s light-displacement

Here is the thing about experimental writing: It insists that you follow every impulse, no matter how vague. So, when you are flipping through your magazine and happen upon a line of boats each bearing the name CONTROVERSY, that would be an obvious sign.

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I admit, this is not my favorite poem thus far. But it has its moments. The title is killer and it introduces a theme. It is the first piece that makes me think something bigger is going on story-wise in the collection:

encounter |enˈkoun(t)ər|
verb [with obj.]
unexpectedly experience or be faced with (something difficult or hostile) Continue reading “Encountering Farnham’s light-displacement”

Build Your Own Boat

What do you call a poem without words? A picture poem.


I considered putting words on the page but decided the absence said enough. To be honest, I am confident that I could read this poem aloud if I was forced to. Certainly, I could speak to why I believe in it.

Here are some explanations for this piece. Continue reading “Build Your Own Boat”

“The French word for scissors, is the plural of the word for chisel”

For the second poem, I decided to dip into the Artforum magazine in order to assure that this project does not go too boat-crazy. I could see how I might get too attached to the concept. This poem begins a secondary theme of dealing with the artifice of collage … or maybe I’ll end up with a little embedded series “for” artists I adore. It’s early days. Keep an open mind.

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If you are one of the three people following along <this is me winking at my mother> with this project as an instructional guide, the following is for you. Continue reading ““The French word for scissors, is the plural of the word for chisel””

The Light Displacement Controversy

The first poem is the most important poem. It sets the tone of your collection. This poem tells readers two things:

  1. This is about boats.
  2. This is not about boats.

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The Controversys

That is not a typo. That is the name of a line of boats. Down in the basement of a local bookstore this weekend, my sons grabbed a 1984 copy of Wooden Boat and a 2007 copy of Artforum for collage. Thus began a new project. And with the new project, a direction (finally) for this blog.

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I’ll document the progress here as I begin with these two magazines creating a page by page, no editing allowed, collection of “picture poems” (my youngest’s term for collage), erasure, and poetry experiments.

Continue reading “The Controversys”

blog is here

death erasure
erasure #2 from Wobegon series

I used to have a website. It was hosted through a server. Now it is not. Now I have this.
Talk about rebirth as I slowly rebuild.

Cedar (Re)names Animals

A charming video from 2010 which Cedar will never live down.

Four Conversations with Cedar, age 3

no. one: The snake and the rock

me: Do you see that snake down there on the ground?
cedar: Yes. It is beautiful. We should not throw something at it.

me: That is true. We shouldn’t.
cedar: Because someone might find out.

me: Well. Maybe it just is not such a good idea. We could hurt it.
cedar: Yes. And somebody might get mad.

me: Really, Cedar, we just should not want to hurt the snake.
cedar: Yes. And someone might find out we did it because a rock would crush the snake.

Continue reading “Four Conversations with Cedar, age 3”

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