Welcome to the new simplified website. As books, poems and/or articles are published you’ll hear about it on this page. Meanwhile I’m really enjoying working toward my MFA in Creative Writing at Goddard College. My advisor this semester is Aimee Liu. Her ability to get to the heart of whatever I’m working on and help me see the light at the end of the tunnel is extraordinary. And the best part is she does it with grace and intelligence. I feel blessed.
Today has been a day of harvesting. After bringing in the tomatoes we went mushrooming in the Olympic Mountains and came back with a bonanza of Lobster and Chanterelle mushrooms.
Below are two poems I’ve been working on whenever I get sick of editing 350 pages of text.
I live on an inland sea
I hear the wheeze
and hack of herons,
long dactylic hexameters,
odd wracking convulsions,
sad tuneless songs
to lost sailors.
Like Odysseus –
a low down
too many whiskeys,
inhaled too many
unfiltered cigarettes –
my pursuit is
I rope myself to a raft of pages
refusing to ballast my ears
against the muse’s song
calling from the same rocky knowing
that cast us all from paradise.
Saluting Aristippus for his belief in pleasure
I bend my back to the task –
turning them to luff
past the barrier reef of my skin.
My Strawberries Wild
Knee high wanton wilderness.
Seeded with rubies under foliage
like emerald umbrellas
pressing humidity hard into musk and loam
black with decay, the life giver.
What was relinquishes to what will be –
the sweet fruition of possibility.
A strawberry forest cultivates wildness.
It is this chaos that gives a flavor
for life, for its ups and downs.
It is this juice that forces the drive
to over-reach, go beyond, burgeon.
The birds and I harvest together
each vying for our fair share.
But we are objective co-owners
of this manna. We cooperate,
co-habitate, celebrate our fortune.
The birds approve my constant hunger
as I husband each plant.
In return we are all blessed
with more and more offspring. And, too,
it’s me who tears out the tangle-foot quack grass
that thwarts each feathered farmer’s passage
on their journey to partake of forbidden fruit.
Here are a couple photos of the plotting wall in progress. All the visuals for composites of each major character are up where I can stare at them for inspiration. They’ll help keep my descriptions consistent, too. In addition, I’ve got a 7-foot strip of butcher paper tacked to the wall with a line that shows the way the plot climbs along its trajectory to the denouement then down into crisis in the last third of the book and finally up again into a peak moment before things settle down at the end. What I’ll do with the evolving outline is print it out, scene-by-scene, on small pieces of colored paper. I’ll stick these up along the plot line visual where each event occurs within the novel. Then I can move the bits of paper around as I fiddle with the plot until it’s working the way I want it to.
I finally have a room of my own again. It’s in the basement away from distractions and completely self-contained. I never need to come upstairs unless I WANT TO!