a gallery of controversys



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”

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”

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”

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”

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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