06 8 / 2013
This is about looking
at trees and fog,
looking out at mossy-green water,
looking at the red-haired
detective with a tree
for a last name
looking out at the water
or gray city.
There is a city
within the city.
There are so many trees.
Often, we see our detective
from behind, looking
at what she is looking at
without earning her thoughts.
What she knows:
if you don’t do something,
no one else will.
People are dead and girls are gone
and we know it.
Tucked in within us all,
we have to look.
We give ourselves away
in pieces, hunting love.
05 8 / 2013
There is the time before you move into the world,
thinking about what will be,
waking in what room, with whose body overlapping
yours in trust, what dog skittering in
to find you who you see only in sounds, toenails
skritching on the hardwood,
light jingle of collar and ID tags in time with his
steps. And then there is all
the rest of time, when you move amongst the world,
still so many unknowns, but
life seems to replace these. The spell of the nouns
called home, to you, the spell
of the life immersive and wet. You walked the plank
without knowing you were walking.
02 8 / 2013
|"Residency," 2012, by Jeremy Miranda|
Right now, I have this craving for other people’s creative voices. I’d like to start sharing On Creativity posts by YOU here.
I welcome your thoughts on making stuff (including literature, visual art, music, movies, food…any creative work!). What have you learned about how you come up with ideas? How do you know that a project is finished? What are valuable lessons that you’ve learned about your process? What was the worst thing you ever made? What have you tried to do differently? How do you move on from a project that has failed? What’s been on your mind lately, as a creative thinker? (Here’s one example that I wrote, and another, and another).
I encourage you to be specific—lots of writing about creativity can be too general. I am so curious about your specific projects, examples, passions, and idiosyncrasies.
The submission process is simple—send me a brief description of your idea, or send me a post.
Either way, just send one at a time. Though I won’t be able to share everything I receive here on the site, I’m open to your ideas!
Looking forward to widening the discussion on creative life.
01 8 / 2013
These Are Just a Few Examples
So many worlds, we cannot see them
all at once: Earthwormtropolis, worms
crying out, More decay, more decay!
There is the life of bones, outliving
us, moving only when the soil ripples
as it does, slightly, at least every few
years. The stoicism of driveway
basketball hoops and swing sets,
the first molecules of rust landing
and latching on. The life of air,
a cold front drifting in, a heavy
barge dragging the winds in, and
the Society of Tree Branches
nodding to acknowledge weather.
There is the future we think is going
to happen, hovering around each
one of us, the ages we envision
ourselves to be, the abilities we
will develop, always unseen.
Money World and Body Biology
World and Feelings World,
an entire symphony of people
speaking intimately to cell phones,
listeners we assume exist.
31 7 / 2013
You Never Know
A before shot followed by
another before shot followed by
more and more, all befores, no after
to speak of because the minute
we place the next picture down,
boom, another change, more light
on the brow and more shade under
the cheekbones, more oily sheen
of wild delight in the eye.
Whole stack of photographs, you look
happy in this photo, but in another,
I think a buzzard is perched
on your heart. Before, before,
surely there will be an after
but why am I looking for it
with my hands all full of camera.
30 7 / 2013
House Hunters International
Such kerfuffle in arranging
where to live,
clusters of rooms
sought and sold,
the sense that you will know
what you are looking for
when you see it,
that space will speak to you.
The good news:
you can’t get it wrong.
Your future does not depend
on the percentage
of Hacienda-style design
the house’s veins
and along the arched doorways.
The world is your house.
Well, the world is your apartment.
29 7 / 2013
We were waiting for a boat that was never a boat.
Waiting is a kind of journey.
We waited and looked. A gull became a boat.
Wind in our own hair
sounded like a sail accepting the air in order
to move. On the morning
that we found a broken sand dollar, the oldest
person in the village said,
The boat will be here soon. I felt relieved that
we weren’t waiting for
a train, it would have been worse, silent railroad
tracks, leaves instead of water
in the harbor. One time, I tried to shout out, It’s
a kite, not a boat! This whole time
it’s been a kite! By then my voice had dispersed,
it was all I could do to wave.
26 7 / 2013
Currently reading and enjoying…
Crapalachia: A Biography of a Place, by Scott McClanahan (published by Two Dollar Radio, a Columbus-based press!). Boy oh boy oh boy….this is some gorgeous, demented writing (my favorite combination). I recommend this book SO MUCH. I meant to read just a few chapters to start with, but I ended up reading the whole thing in one sitting.
One of my favorite passages:
“I felt darkness because I had been deep in the hollers, and I knew glory because I had stood on top of the beautiful mountaintops. More mountaintops, please. More mountaintops.
This is a lie I was told as a child, but it’s still true. The New River is one of the only two rivers that flows directly north. The other one is a river called the Nile. Those rivers are inside of me. I have a river inside my heart. You have a river inside your heart. There are diamonds inside of both of us. We are all flowing North.”
“Lost at Sea,” by Casey N. Cep, an essay on the trope of the shipwreck.
This essay, “Smells Like Words,” by Rebecca Steinitz (at The Millions), on anosmia (lacking the sense of smell). Fascinating!
And you? What are you reading? What should I be reading?
25 7 / 2013
Tour of the House Falling Down Around Us
Come with me, come inside,
half of the rafters have fallen
but on the plus side, that means
the roof does well under pressure,
or that the rafters that remain
were the strongest and most
loyal. Window there, window
with no glass over here, but
still very much a window, maybe
even more a window now.
The chandeliers leak crystals
and the grass is coming up here
in one corner. But you can unzip
your hazmat suit, I want you
to be comfortable while walking
through this wreck. Every minute
it gets worse, but we can live out
our remaining days here. All things
fail, there is no permanence in any
shard of our universe, it doesn’t have
to be hard for us. I still see at least
three walls here, dear, I’m rounding
up, and even after every splinter
has rotted away into the bellies
of earthworms which will also
be obliterated by the next asteroid,
there will be the memory of a
house exploded amongst the stars.
24 7 / 2013
Where does beauty register in the body.
In the chest, the heart, and the forehead.
Why, when looking at a beautiful thing
do we close our eyes, sighing.
To make the pleasure more private,
but also, to sketch the lines of what we saw
so we can bring them back.
Why does beauty prompt a twinge of pain.
Because it isn’t yours. Nothing is.