Saturday, November 27, 2010


“To put meaning in one's life may end in madness,
 but life without meaning is the torture 
of restlessness and vague desire--
-it is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.”

-Edgar Lee Masters

Thanks to Harrison Rivers for finding this one.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

my micro-story in abe's penny

This is a text/art collaboration for Abe's Penny, a monthly postcard journal series. I worked with Jordana Zeldin who is a dear friend and brilliant photographer. I wrote a narrative inspired by the photos with a narrow word limit of 500 words which is incredibly difficult between killing darlings and also trying to arch a story that makes sense! If you want a print copy, click on the Abe's Link above and we are in the archives. It was a beautiful collaboration and I hope you enjoy it.

meghan o'rourke

Lately, I've been carrying around Meghan O'Rourke's poems as a sort of amulet. There's her stirring collection Halflife and countless other poems that crop up in the New Yorker, Poetry, Gulf Coast, etc. As a recent NYU Creative Writing grad, I saw O'Rourke at the Writer's House all the time as she worked with the poets. Unfortunately I was unaware of her skill at the time and the only conversation we ever had involved me complimenting her outfit as we waited for hot water to boil in the kitchen.

First, here's an excerpt from the poem Palimpsest in Half Life:

"I talk to my friends more than I used to.
I sleep less. That is the point of life:
you really care."

Here are a few full on poems by Meghan O'Rourke. Enjoy!

Apartment Living

So those despotic loves have become known to you,
rubbing cold hands up your thighs, leaving oily trails,
whispering, Just how you like it, right?
Upstairs the sorority girls are playing charades
again, smoking cigarettes, wearing shifts, burning
pain into their synapses.
Life is a needle. And now it pricks you:
the silver light in which you realize
your attempts at decadence
tire the earth and tire you. The etymology
of "flag" as in "signal to stop"
is unknown. It is time to sit and watch. Don't
call that one again, he's pitiless in his self-certainty.
You used to be so.
You laid your black dress on the bed.
You stepped in your heels over sidewalk cracks.
You licked mint and sugar from the cocktail mixer,
singing nonsense songs,
and the strangers, they sang along.

-- From The New Yorker

Late Mastery

So this is happiness: a flaxen, spoiling moon;
blindfolds; teasing, catastrophic fantasies.
Three weights of darkness:
a switch, a flick, a strike. My hands cold
beneath the duck-print eiderdown. That menagerie.
I do not like the sound of bedclothes
sliding to the wax-slick floor.
I do not like your body elsewhere.
And I do not like love, that narrow street,
along which children who play at the gate
disappear for days to return with a smile,
lighting matches in the grass
as if to smell--again--the sulfur.

From HalfLife

Monday, November 22, 2010


"The trails of light which the moths seemed to leave behind them...were merely phantom traces created by the sluggish reaction of the human eye...It was such unreal phenomena...the sudden incursion of unreality into the real world, certain effects of light in the landscape spread out before us, or in the eye of a beloved person, that kindled our deepest feelings, or at least what we took for them."

-- W. G. Sebald, Austerlitz

Thursday, November 18, 2010

christmas, really

Kathryn Allen Hurni, Christmas 2008 - Uppe Gwynedd Township, Pennsylvania

-- Katrina M. d'Autremont, January 2009 - Buenos Aires

-- Katrina M. d'Autremont

-- Melissa Ann Pinney

nicholas hance mcelroy

Edith Macefield's home, Seattle, Washington, 2008

See more of Nicholas Hance McElroy

harold brodkey

Harold Brodkey has been a major influence on my writing since I was a teenager. Once, in those early years, I picked up his short story collection from a library. It was First Love and Other Sorrows. As a teen, it was a very attractive title and I've been picking it up still in my woman years. Here are some favorite passages from the title story of that collection:

"...But my sister's face was so radiant, her charm was so intense, she pushed her blonde hair back from her face with a gesture so quick, so certain, so arrogant and filled with vanity, that no one, I thought, could doubt that whatever she did would not be right."

"I feel sorry for the man who marries you," I said. "Because everybody thinks you're sweet and you're not."

"She was not a mercenary woman, nor was she mean about money—except in spells that didn’t come often—but she believed that what we lost with the money was much of our dignity and much of our happiness. She did not want to see life in a grain of sand; she wanted to see it from the shores of the Riviera, wearing a white sharkskin dress."

melissa ann pinney

From "Girl Ascending"

-- Melissa Ann Pinney

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

cary ann hearst - a facet of unchained

A fun video from one of our Unchained Tour musicians, Cary Ann Hearst & Micheal Trent.
Savannah Friends - Her and her hubby are doing a show at Sentient Bean on November 18th.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

seely, black and white style

Face it, if you owned her you would gratuitously post pics of her too. These are by pal Becton Morgan and were shot on adoption day.

Monday, November 1, 2010


"All seats provide equal viewing of the universe."

--Museum Guide, Hayden Planetarium

the middle of the novel - zadie smith

"In the middle of the novel, a kind of magical thinking takes over. To clarify, the middle of the novel may not happen in the actual geographical center of the novel. By middle of the novel I mean whatever page you are on when you stop being a part of the household and your family and your partner and children and food shopping and dog feeding and reading the post---I mean when there is nothing in the world except your book, and even as your wife tells you she's sleeping with your brother her face is a gigantic semicolon, her arms are parenthesis and you are wondering whether rummage is a better verb than rifle.

The middle of a novel is a state of mind. Strange things happen in it. Time collapses. You sit down to write at 9 a.m., you blink, the evening news is on and four thousand words are written, more words than you wrote in three long months, a year ago. Something has changed. And it's not restricted to the house. If you go outside, everything---I mean, everything---flows freely into your novel. Someone on the bus says something--it's straight out of your novel. You open the paper--every single story in the paper is directly relevant to your novel. If you are fortunate enough to have someone wanting to publish your novel, this is the point at which you phone them in a panic and try to get your publication date brought forward because you cannot believe how in tune the world is with your unfinished novel right now, and if it isn't published next Tuesday maybe the moment will pass and you will have to kill yourself.

Magical thinking makes you crazy--and renders everything possible. Incredibly knotty problems of structure now resolve themselves with inspired ease. You randomly pick a poetry book off the shelf and the first line you read ends up being your epigraph--it seems to have been written for no other reason."

From "That Crafty Feeling" in Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays by Zadie Smith

I highly recommended this book for writers and I'll probably post more soon and I am in the MIDDLE!!!