Monday, December 27, 2010

Self Interview with Scott Owens and myself in Referential Magazine

Go HERE to read more about how Scott and I collaborated to create The Nature of Attraction. Thank you, Jessie Carter, editor (former editor of Folding Word). The journal is based on an interesting concept. Read about it and submit.

My voice is making some attempt to come back after this extended loss from Oct 8 on, my longest in years now, but not like when I lost it completely for three years in the early years of ME/CFS. This illness is a challenge, to put it mildly. Today was an especially weak day, one that takes everything I have in me just to get from room to room or lift my arms. The interview came as a nice surprise on such a day. I knew it was coming out, but not when.


Oh, for fun, a few shots of houses in a neighborhood near ours that uses enough electricity over the Christmas holidays to feed a family in Africa for six months.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Haigaonline is OUT and my husband and I are in this 'family' themed issue

My husband and I are in the 'just out' Haigaonline. This is the family issue. I used photos he took when he helped convoy a boat from Nassau to Norfolk (they went on to Canada) to create my haiku. He went through many areas quickly that I sailed /motor-sailed more leisurely in my 1977 trip.

This link doesn't go straight to our work. Click on 'contemporary haiga' in the index. Little arrows across the top will lead you to all three haiga.

Other great haiga in here, too. I especially like the innovative collage haiga.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Reposting ;And Death Shall Have No Dominion' by Dylan Thomas, a poem I really love.

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan't crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.

So This Is Christmas by Celine week for posting some favorite songs.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Featuring Vladimir Golub, born in Byelorussia-1953 with an art piece perfect for now

At the very start of his creative activity Golub, like many of his contemporaries, experienced the expansion of the official Soviet art on the one hand, and the emasculation of late avant-garde on the other. It made him search for his own style. Currently his style represents a combination of realism and fantasy. Inspired by the images of West-Slavic mythology, the painter created his own symbolic-allegorical landscape inhabited by the Spirits of Nature. 

The above was taken from the following link. Read more here about the artist and see more of his work. I really love it.

(The link opens in a new window)!/album.php?aid=2057217&id=1619641475

Friday, December 03, 2010

Laura Hillenbrand featured in Elle. Her writing and her struggle with CFS/ME

What an inspiring woman, both in her writing and in the challenges of her illness! She truly has become our spokesperson through her successes.

An excerpt from the Elle interview with Hillenbrand. Read it all here:
(An ad from Elle will appear for about 10 seconds before the link comes up)

Hillenbrand has chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a cruel medical condition with an unfortunate name that fails utterly to do ­justice to an often debilitating array of so far unexplained symptoms, including muscle pain, unrelenting exhaustion, digestive problems, environmental hypersensitivity, occasional fevers, and that aforementioned vertigo. “Laura is on the more severe end of the spectrum,” says Fred Gill, MD, a noted specialist in ­infectious disease at the National Institutes of Health, who treated her for many years. “It’s very serious. It stops people’s lives.”

“It’s so frightening and hellish and disorienting,” Hillenbrand says, “and on top of that there’s this layer of gripping fear, because I don’t know what will happen next, if it will get worse.” She’s sitting at her dining-room table, one foot folded under her knee, looking like the picture of health, pretty and cheerful, in a black blouse, metal-rimmed glasses, and hoop earrings.

It’s early afternoon, her best time of day. Since she first came down with the disease in 1987, the severity of her symptoms has shifted without warning or explanation, and the ferocious relapse that began three years ago, as she was deep into the research phase of her ­second book, seems gradually to be abating. Over the years, Hillenbrand has often gone for long stretches without so much as leaving her room, but she’s feeling strong enough lately to receive a visitor. Aside from Flanagan, a soft-spoken professor of ­political philosophy, who passes through from time to time; her new doctor, who by necessity does house calls; and one social visit a few weeks back, I’m the only person she’s seen in months.

“When I was really dizzy, I was almost screaming with fear because it’s so thoroughly disorienting, but it’s not too bad right now,” she says, smiling. “Things are moving in a liquid kind of way, and the floor is slanting and it looks like a really bad computer-generated image. Nothing looks real.”
It’s only then that I realize Hillenbrand has ­remained perfectly still—keeping her hands folded in her lap—since we sat down an hour before. Suddenly imagining how my own gestures must look to her, I try not to make any abrupt movements.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

My favorite video of this song by Roy Orbison....In Dreams

Gean journal is out. AND The Red Fez

Gean Tree Journal of short forms is out! Go to to check it out.

Under haiga, you'll find three collaborations of mine with Geoff Sanderson. Each comes up one at the time, so hit 'next' underneath to see all three.

A good issue to browse through if you like haiga, haiku, tanka, and more.

Also, today, The Red Fez published their journal. Find my poem in it at The Red Fez You'll also find find poets such as A.D. Winans, Lyn Lifshin, Puma Pearl....

Still dealing with this virus from you know where. Not online much but did want to post this.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Three Christmas/holiday poems

Snow Globe

Wiry haired Nick on my left,
the one yet to die in a plane crash,
and John, once-lover, now friend, on my right,
hold me in our giddy weave
through the snow bombed Boston Commons.

Christmas Eve… our futures
still stretched out ahead of us
on some gypsy’s palm.
We kiss where the sidewalks meet.
Nick’s mouth tastes of weed,
John’s of some sweet sticky punch.
My laugh slices the dark like a laser.
A star loosens; falls.

I wish this night
might become a snow globe
to take home and shake
on some other Christmas Eve.
I want to see us again,
we three on this holy night
high and shivering,
young and invincible,
as we dance to the last tinkling
strains of Liebestraum.

published in Sketchbook Journal, 2007
and The Dead Mule 2009

christmas crossed

it went up yesterday
that twenty foot cross,
complete with dangling messiah,
lording it over the palmetto saws
and disco-dressed in K-mart lights.
her yearly monument to jesus.

cars troll our street
from twilight to midnight,
bumper to bumper,
while her messiah watches
with tired eyes.

the neighbors protest,
sign petitions,
make late night threats.

she’s ruining the neighborhood!

but the county says no law exists
to prevent an eighty year old lady
from crucifying jesus all over again
in the privacy of her own front yard.

I gather tossed beer cans at dawn.
they bring me a few bucks
for cheap muscatel.

his blood in a jug
my absolution.

Published in MiPo Weekly, 2002
and  The Dead Mule 2009

First Night

The night after that first
hurricane we walked into yards
stacked with lost trees,
wood fences, roof shingles
and somebody’s old lawn chair
and it was dark, so very dark,
like a plug had been pulled
on South Florida and it was
the First Night all over again
before Eve gave Adam the apple
and so black I could see the Milky Way,
the Dipper, and the Man In the Moon’s
grin and so quiet, like Nature
was humming Hosanna in the Highest,
and I was part of the chosen choir.

published in Boxcar Poetry Review, 2006
and The Dead Mule 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thanksgiving haiku

more missing faces
around the table this year...
Thanksgiving dinner

My parents and aunt (to right) in the early eighties.

Poem in Blue Fifth Review, Sam Rasnake, editor

A poem of mine , with art by Mary Hillier, inspired by the poem is in the just released Blue Fith Review. The link opens in a separate window.

I seem to be posting a lot of publications in these recent posts. I want to say I'm pleased and give a heads up to these journals. This has been a very tough year healthwise and it gives me pleasure to know that I can still accomplish something I feel is valuable without being able to leave the house.

I apologize that I've not made my usual blog reading rounds in a while now. I'm just on overload from the rear-ending on our way back from seeing the Miami doctor in Klimas' lab in July, then an infection and back to back viruses.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Featured in The Nervous Breakdown

S.A. Griffin....poet, actor, friend and co-editor of The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry recommended me to the editors of The Nervous Breakdown, and here's my feature.  Would love it if you at least took at peek at



Friday, November 12, 2010

They come in fours...

This week and last, I have a poem out in Wild Goose review,The Redheaded Stepchild, and two in Outlaw Poetry. If you're a poet, looking for a good place to submit, I enjoy being in all of these journals.

This is my first time in The Redheaded Stepchild, a journal that only takes submissions that have been rejected elsewhere. Since the rejection rate for Stepchild runs over 80 percent, according to the editorial, it has so many rejections that a new journal has been started (not one of theirs) that publishes 'rejections The Redheaded Stepchild')

I was also featured in The Nervous Breakdown. My poem is HERE and the interview, HERE. S.A. Griffin, poet/actor and co-editor of The Outlaw Bible for American Poetry, gave one of the editors my name, he looked at my work and sent the invite. Thanks, S.A.


Monday, November 08, 2010

Readership on blog and website

I've brought up this question before as readership on my personal blog (erratically posted to these days) drops to half it was before facebook became so popular. Oddly, I've been paying attention to the stats my pay website sends me every couple of weeks--just part of their service for the 7. 50 a month I pay to be there with my domain name. I have an average of between four to five thousand readers on the website a month. No-one has signed the guest book in years so I have no idea who they are. On a website there's no way of interaction, like on a blog, but that part has dropped, too.

Just an interesting fact to pass on.

I'm still with the cold from hell and no voice going on five full weeks now. My husband is sick, too. Only the dog and two cats seem to be mucus free and racing about the house full of vigor.

My website is HERE. Poetic Inspirations.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Find your passion....'ll keep you alive inside.

my hand
grasping the pen...

Keith Jarrett, jazz pianist and his experience with CFS/ME

Renowned jazz pianist, Keith Jarrett, evoking a lot of feeling in me. He was hit by CFS/ME,the same illness I have. He was unable to play the piano at all for two years and still isn't able to perform at his earlier pace,crashing after and between concerts, if accounts I've read about his concert schedules are accurate. Eye hand coordination is very difficult with this illness...just hand coordination with this illness, and the hands grow weak easily. Lights and extraneous sounds are difficult to handle.

Also, according to links I've read, one day when his wife was out, after his first two years ill, one day he felt as if he could play again. He went into his home studio and recorded a simple melody (compared to his power playing) and gave it to his wife as a gift. This is it below.

I have the CD. The other songs are more complex and wonderful, but I'll always love this one. I know what that movement towards getting his life back meant.

Below is the link to one interview about his experience. Please take time to read. It describes how it feels to live with this monster inside you.(This opens in a new Window),

Below is an excerpt from the interview/article:

Jarrett's uncertain pattern of recovery and relapse is not uncommon
to victims of chronic fatigue syndrome, an elusive, misunderstood
disorder, its seriousness undercut by the apparent triviality of its
"The stupid thing is that the name of the disease is so
lightweight," Jarrett says. "It sounds like somebody whining to their
mother, 'I don't want to take the garbage out.' Well, OK, you've got
chronic fatigue syndrome.
"But some doctors say that if you want to give the average person
an idea . . . it's like the last four months of an AIDS patient's
life -- but forever. I know people who have had this who have wished that
they had terminal cancer."

Note: If any details I've posted are inaccurate, please feel free to correct me, with references, and I'll change that in my post.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Well, it's Halloween again

This is the day my crossbones show. Kind of like Cinderella having to rush home before midnight so the mice and pumpkin wouldn't be discovered, her gown transformed to rags. I'm entering week four of voice loss and this darn virus from hell so my husband is in charge of answering the door when the wee goblins knock tonight. The only problem is, he got hit by something last night and is sitting in the recliner with a dazed look on his face today. He has voice, though, so let's hope the festivities aren't long. Our dog enjoys this more than any of us.

On the positive side, two poems were just accepted by Chiron Review today. I've been in that journal twice before but love it all over again each time. I'm especially pleased since my energy makes me like a snail when it comes to submitting things.

Back to the couch! Happy Halloween.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Two for one!

With my eyes still so bad from the whiplash , adding in the cognitive effects of CFS/ME, my stack of unread books sits there calling to me, but I can't answer. I've been writing poems that I hope will become part of a new book in about a year from now and I'm in a mood. Sometimes music is the only place I can go to tame the uncertain beasts inside. Tame, or release them. I don't know which.

Anyway, I couldn't decide on which video to share so I'm sharing both. Hope you take time to at least start them both, but I'm betting if you start you'll finish. Johnny Cash's Hurt comes with an extraordinarily moving video and his rendition of this song outdoes Nine Inch Nail's, even in their opinion.

Marianne Faithful sings a moving song and who can beat Nick Cave playing his distinctive sound behind you? No video on this one. Just a set picture but put on your headsets and enjoy.

Hurt by Johnny Cash in a very moving video recorded not long before his death.

Crazy Love by Marianne Faithful, with Nick Cave behind her.

Lyrics to the last one:

Hated by all and everywhere he goes
Blazing contempt for human life and lies
Murder as art and what he knows he knows
from life and fear in other people's eyes

Crazy love is all around me
Love is crazy love is kind
But I know somehow you'll find me
Love is crazy love is blind

She walks the boulevard without a care
Knowing too much but having come so far
Pretending life is just a game you play for nothing
Loving no-one and no-where

Crazy love is all around me
Love goes crazy given time
But I know somehow you'll find me
Love is crazy love is blind

She looks as if expecting a surprise
Maybe an encounter that will change her life
Not knowing hot from cold or good for bad
If life is just a joke or if it makes her sad

Crazy love is all around me
Love is crazy love is kind
But I know somehow you'll find me
Love is crazy love is blind

Crazy love is all around me
Love goes crazy given time
But I know somehow you'll find me
Love is crazy love is blind

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Here is Happiness

When I worked in Hawaii, each week a volunteer would come to the Day Care Center attached to the main building for sing along. She always ended with this beautiful song played in the upper octaves of the piano. One of my Japanese co-workers told me the song was Here Is Happiness. I'd been unable to locate it in many tries over the years. The song was magical.

Today I posted in my status message at Facebook that I was still searching for this song. One of my friends knew exactly where to search and posted the above link. Another friend commented that she had sung this at camp in Hawaii in her younger years. Small world. I'm just so happy to find it again. It doesn't have as much of an oriental 'feel' to it on guitar but the same wonderful melody is there.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sick again

Well, I seem to blog about being sick again more than I do being well. I hope that changes soon. I have the dratted stomach/sore throat/no voice/dizzy bug going around. My doctor says his office has been filled with it. I've made homemade chicken soup with vegetables and am trying to ignore the fact that I feel I need to lie down all of the time with my stomach poked out like I'm pregnant, and painful.

Today, Scott Owens and I were set to appear on the Jane Crown show. You call in from home but yes, you do have to be able to talk. I have poems from The Nature of Attraction (Main Street Rag Press), our recent poetry collaboration collection,  on audio so if there was any chance of voice, Jane would play the poems and I would use my wee bit of voice for discussion. Her Linnux wouldn't play the files properly and since she was dealing with a mute on this end, she decided to postpone the show. My problem is that I never know when I'll be well, have voice, be able to focus on the task at hand for a new show.

Having a compromised immune system truly forces you to live day by day and not count on future plans. You can't. Last year in November my friend, Margie, of 30 plus years now had planned to replicate our three day visit to a condo on the water in November where we stayed in 2008. This was my second 'away' in 20 years. Margie struggles with her health, too, since having two bouts of lymphoma, complete with chemo and radiation. This past year she was dealing with breast cancer on top of that and a bout of pneumonia from where her lungs were damaged by the radiation to kill the unoperable tumor in her chest. It did do that, thank goodness. I was dealing with a reaction to eye drops that left my vision too blurred to see for two months and a severely injured foot. My husband drives us and watches out for us since, at her best, Margie has neuropathy in her hands and feet from the chemo and frequent congestion from that same lung damage.

We want to have a trip this year. Novemeber rates are good. It's not cold there yet. We won't schedule until the last minute, though. Until we think there's a shot we might make it this year. Having a window of opportunity to do something important and losing it is just too hard.

the bird soars
into a maelstrom...
my daily bread


Sunday, October 03, 2010

Music for a Sunday!

Be sure to listen all the way. The guitar collaboration in the second half will knock your socks off! Dire Straits lead singer/guitarist and Eric Clapton.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

sharing a haiku

a fisherman dips his hands
into the full moon

Saturday, September 25, 2010

September 23- Twenty years living with ME/CFS

Last Thursday marked my 20th year anniversary since I awoke with all of the symptoms that were later diagnosed as CFIDS (now ME/CFS). For those of you who don't follow my blog, you can read the 'about me' page on my website for a description of my experience with the illness (  This link opens in a new window. All I'll say here is that the first 9 years of this illness were terrifying. I had tremendous difficulty thinking and understanding. Light and sound made me shake. I couldn't read. I couldn't listen to music or watch tv. Never mind do more complex things. I made it through by pacing the house, lying down, pacing again to keep my body going, lying down....when I did pace it felt as if weights were attached to my limbs. My mantra was 'all I have to do is get through the next 15 minutes'. I decided that the POW's didn't know when or if they would be released until it happened and I hoped a door would open for better functioning for me.

That door finally did open. It didn't free me, but it allowed me to begin using a computer, writing poetry, reading very short things, and watching a movie on tv ever so often.

On Wednesday night, I was very bravado. I told myself that the 20 years marked 20 years of survival, that I'd made it. The fact that my mother had died 14 years ago on that same day, too, made it a double whammy but I still didn't think it would affect me. I woke up out of a sound sleep at 3 30 Thursday morning crying and I knew that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't stuff down the real grief over the losses that day represented. It was important for me to release that as well as recognize my strength in getting this far.

Fortunately, my college friend Marilyn was visiting this week. Even though it's been a rough period for me with the whiplash and lumbar strain from being rear-ended, we managed to drive over by the ocean I love so much for a 15 minute visit. The wind was blowing too hard to comfortably stay longer and I was tired from lack of sleep. are a few photos from that day. I look at the photo of me and think what everybody who doesn't know this illness always says....'but you LOOK so good'......

My friend, Marilyn, below:

 A shot of the pier with the waves rolling in:

 Me, trying to keep my visor from blowing off and hanging onto my cushion so IT wouldn't blow away.

Click to enlarge.

Thanks for listening.


Nights in Rodanthe

I recently watched Nights in Rodanthe again, thinking as I did the first time, that the house with its feet in the surf had to be a movie creation, not a real one since the surf was washing under the steps down to the ocean. I googled and found photos of the house used in the film. Notes said that the hurricanes of 2009 had made the house unsafe but it had been bought and relocated to a safer area about a mile away. As I googled more, I saw more of these beautiful homes, now no longer protected by dunes and vulnerable. Many are condemned now. I wonder if eventually we'll lose them all, just as stilt city off of Biscayne Bay near Miami disappeared.

Some of the movie was filmed here on the Outer Banks and all was filmed in eastern North Carolina, a beautiful area. I sailed through the Outer Banks and can attest to this personally.

I don't usually use my blog to recommend a movie but loved this one and would recommend it highly. Read a small synopsis of the plot  HERE

The house.....

Friday, September 17, 2010

Haiku tribute to Jimmy Laney, good friend, in current Sketchbook Journal

Click on Sketchbook Haiku sequence to read.

To see the whole issue, go HERE. Under collaborative photo haiga you'll also find some work I did with Geoff Sanderson. Great issue!


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A friend's face

When you're almost completely housebound, as I have been for 20 years now with ME/CFS, it's hard to make or keep friendships. I can't go places with friends. I can only handle a certain amount of conversation before I crash and need quiet time before I can talk again. I'm fortunate that three friends from my old life understand this well enough to visit with me and accept that it won't be like before. They've wanted the friendship enough to adapt and for that I feel so very grateful.

My college friend Marilyn drives over from the other side of the state twice a year and would come anytime if I had an emergency and needed her, such as when my mother died and my husband left to go take her ashes up to the Carolinas for the memorial service there and burial beside my father. She arranged ahead of time, knowing mother was dying, to take off work and come be with me during that hard alone time when I knew old friends and family were gathering at the place I wanted most to be.

Marilyn is to the far right in this shot of friends outside our dorm.

This is me during our Stetson years at Daytona, an hour from Stetson, our school. I'm to the left with the plaid shirt.


Thursday, September 09, 2010

9/11 approaching

I'm still only posting off and on and not yet able to read many blogs. The rear-end accident in July has slowed me down more than usual. Readership continues to plummet on all but the most popular blogs, however, from what I hear and read from other bloggers. Everyone is spending their free time on facebook or twitter. I'm not a twitter person but I plead guilty to facebook browsing and posting. The search engines can't get to a private profile on facebook so I can post poems without running into the growing journal rule that 'if found by the search engines it's considered published'.

9/11 is approaching quickly so today I'm posting a link to a very brief page I did after the towers were hit.Go HERE to read it. Turn on your sound.

And let's hope that fool doesn't burn the Koran on Saturday.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Best of the Net...More good news in

My poem, Invastion, from my Men of the Cloth Trilogy, published in The Dead Mule, was just nominated for 'Best of the Net'. Go to The Dead Mule to read it. It's the second poem down in the Trilogy.


Brian Campbell recommends Sea Trails

Go HERE to read Brian Campbell's recommendation of my book, Sea Trails. Thank you, Brian. I appreciate your kind words and assessment.

I have only five personal copies left for sale, so if you want a signed/dedicated copy contact me as soon as possible. I doubt there'll be another printing of the book.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Four Weddings and a Funeral

I recently re-watched this movie and enjoyed it immensely. It stands the test of time, in my book. The Auden eulogy read at the funeral remains one of the best eulogies I've read. The text is here, with a link also to the youtube reading of the poem from the movie.

Funeral Blues

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

W.H. Auden

(No embed code is given on the site)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Three more poems in the Outlaw Poetry Network

Read them HERE. Resizing Norman is from my book, The Nature of Attraction, written in collaboration with Scott Owens. Sales information for the book is in the right sidebar.

I would appreciate any comments on the Outlaw Poetry site if you feel so moved.

I'm getting a mix of clearer days then a swimmy day now after the rear-ending and still can't spend much time on the computer. I apologize that I've not made return visits to those of you who so kindly read my blog. I will again when I can.


Saturday, August 07, 2010

Some exciting news!

I received a letter from Full of Crow last night telling me that the collection of Paul Newman poems I've been writing off and on for a couple of years has been accepted for their mini-chapbook series. Mine is a total of ten poems and will be available probably in December. I'd wanted these poems to appear together rather than scattered across journals, so I'm very pleased.

More when this happens, but I had to share the news now.

On the personal front, I'm still dealing with whiplash symptoms and still not on the blog much but will do more as I can. My apologies for not getting around to visit my favorite blogs in a while.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

This Is The First Day of My Life by Bright Eyes

This is a charming video and one I need to see the day after one of my dear friends died. Be sure to watch through to the end. Some really nice shots.

I'm dropping in to post this and will be away again for a while. Thinking of all of you, my readers and friends.


This is the first day of my life
I swear I was born right in the doorway
I went out in the rain suddenly everything changed
They're spreading blankets on the beach

Yours is the first face that I saw
I think I was blind before I met you
Now I don’t know where I am
I don’t know where I’ve been
But I know where I want to go

And so I thought I’d let you know
That these things take forever
I especially am slow
But I realize that I need you
And I wondered if I could come home

Remember the time you drove all night
Just to meet me in the morning
And I thought it was strange you said everything changed
You felt as if you'd just woke up
And you said “this is the first day of my life
I’m glad I didn’t die before I met you
But now I don’t care I could go anywhere with you
And I’d probably be happy”

So if you want to be with me
With these things there’s no telling
We just have to wait and see
But I’d rather be working for a paycheck
Than waiting to win the lottery
Besides maybe this time is different
I mean I really think you like me

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Time off from the blog.

I'm still really swimmy from the rear-ender on our way home from Miami on Friday. Too dizzy and tired to try to post what I found out there. Just over this last year the readership of this blog has dropped from an average of over 60 a day, constant for years, down to a low of 12 and an average of more like 15 over the year. I don't have the energy to visit other blogs very often either.

So....I'm going to take care of the immediate problems and just post fun things (for me) as I feel like it and stop feeling an obligation to post. I love this blog so I don't plan to abandon it. I'm just at my energy limit /health limit right now and need to respect that and stop for now.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Well, it's my birthday Sunday July 18.....

....and I'm not yet telling how old I am:-)

A day of rest and a lobster tail for dinner. I'm ready for it!

This is my fifth, with my childhood home behind us. I'm the one holding the presents.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Stardust by the man who knows how to sing it

This really takes me back. I could play it over and over again. Today is my last day on CIPRO for an infection. I get goofy and it's not been easy, but necessary. Friday is my day to go back to Miami for the results of my blood work and recommendations. I'm eager to hear about those. We're combining it with my second visit in Nancy Klimas' good day bad day study since I'm due (every 6 months for a total of 4 visits). I don't have a lot of energy so I'll see how I do. The cognitive test on the computer is the hardest since images flash on and off the screen to test both skills and memory. I can't look at a flashing Christmas tree without feeling like I'm drifting into the ozone. My first time, first visit, I had to keep stopping to close my eyes for a few minutes. Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Publication in Outlaw Poetry Network

Go to Outlaw Poetry to read the three poems.

Any comments in the comment box on the site would be greatly appreciated.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Interview just up on the Oranges&Sardines blog

Interview on the Oranges&Sardines blog

Click the above link to see an interview on the blog. Didi Menendez, publisher of Oranges&Sardines, super journal filled with art and poetry, is interviewing poets/artists who've been published in the journal. This is my page. Enjoy. Leave a comment if you can. I know I would appreciate it.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fading (post of an earlier poem I still like)

Celibate for longer than
Rip Van Winkle's nap,
Sara dreams in technicolor,
breasts firm like freshly scooped ice-cream,
and go-on-forever legs wrapped around
some sexy man's waist.
Sean Connery maybe, or
Denzel Washington.
She wonders if sex works like
heartbeats in animals, if
she used up her quota in her
too many men too little time
communal days.
She remembers when her face
blazed a fire in men's hearts.
Between their legs, too.
Now she's forgotten what an orgasm
feels like with a man still inside her.
She climbs out of bed, puts on her
Give Bush a Blow Job PLEASE sweatshirt,
joins other graying ex-hippie
women who wander the streets
and coffee shops after midnight,
minds still alert and longing,
bodies fading like ghosts
between every streetlight.

Pris Campbell

Published in MEAT, a semi-regular broadside by S.A. Griffin, co-editor of The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry

Republished in Empowerment4Women, June2008

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Still in a crash

When I get energy I'll read more blog posts and also post about my Miami visit. Just can't right now. Am limp.


Tuesday, June 08, 2010

This and that....

I'm in another crash. Yes, my regular readers have heard it before. Throat raw. Muscles limp. I have the good fortune to have an appointment, finally, down at Nancy Klimas' clinic at the U. of Miami Medical School this Thursday after 6 months on the waiting list. Since it's at the Medical School and not at her new pay clinic Medicare will cover an hour and a half evaluation and any follow up visit.

I know there's no magic bullet, but maybe hope that something might help is good medicine right now.

I've not had the energy to respond on blogs in a while now. I'll get back to it when I can.

And, on the subject I wrote about sites such as facebook or myspace taking readers away from the blogs, I just got my stats for this site and my website recently. Lowest numbers on both since I started them years ago. No, I've not been posting as often, but I went through periods in the past when I didn't, either, and the numbers stayed up there. I use this blog just for meanderings such as this now or fun things I'd like to keep as long as stays open.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Following the Gulf Stream north

My husband had a chance to crew on a convoy of charter boats returning to Quebec from their 9 month long charter season out of Nassau last week and next. In the two weeks he has off of work he's able to go the legs from Nassau to West End, then is now on the four day trip to Beaufort, N.C. where he'll get off. Right now he's incommunicado out there riding the stream north, but a spot tracker on the boats tracks their location every ten minutes. Below is a snip of where they were as of about 7 15 this morning. You'll see a series of locations. Their present one is on top.

Besides fulfilling part of his long time dream to do some open water sailing, the experience of sailing with a bilingual crew (French/English) has been fun. He was able to call me from Nassau before leaving to fill me in briefly. He's sailed for years but not on a boat so well equipped or so yar.

Thanks to Audrey Nicholson, poet friend from Quebec, whose son captains one of the boats and whose brother owns ,I believe , three of them, the offer to do this first came to me after she read my book , Sea Trails. She didn't realize I have trouble navigating walks through the house these days so I asked if Steve might sign on. I may not be out there but I can travel vicariously with them and if that's the best I can get I'll take it.

I'm adding a few photos emailed from Audrey before they left Nassau. They can get an internet connection at dock, but not at sea.


Some crew and family on the docks. Audrey is the only female crew sailing.

You can see my husband to the left in the aqua shirt in this one.

More partying at a popular Nassau bar. The guy in the white shirt is 'Norm, the storm', captain of RIO, the boat my husband's on.

Dinner in the cockpit with a few of the crew. They caught two big mahi mahi between Nassau and West End, so those went onto the grills for dinner.


My husband holding a mahimahi before it got eaten!

and....the wild ponies/horses on the barrier island across from Beaufort, N.C. This was all dunes with a few trees in 1977. We rowed over then and picnicked. Now you have to take a ferry over. The freedom of a visit has probably been abused over the years and this is for the protection of the horses.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Review of Sea Trails, my book from Lummox Press, by Sue Jackson!

Sue just wrote me that she had posted this. What a wonderful surprise! Thank you, Sue. A wonderful review.

Please read it at her blog HERE

Sea Trails is available through Lummox Press and Amazon. Would love if you read it, too!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Poetry Bomb Tour is in North Carolina. Go, S.A. Griffin!

S.A. on the go with THE BOMB
(Click to enlarge)

Helen Losse, editor of the Dead Mule, will be reading one of her poems and adding it to the bomb this Saturday night. She graciously offered to read one of mine. The following is the poem I sent her. Thank you, Helen. Thank you, S.A.

The Trombone Angels

The trombone angels have no teeth.
No ears.
Lips like a frozen kiss.
Their last dance was in the air,
ghost band hovering over the flames
at Auschwitz, Cambodia, Iraq.
Dressed in black raincoats,
they shuffle to fresh graveyards
and bone laden ditches,
feet cut and dirty.

What did they think
when they once flew,
ground rushing beneath them so fast?
Did they see gods reach
out to snatch soul from body
before flesh died?
Is that too much to believe?
Too much to hope for?

They blow a sweet tune
for those who no longer buy lies
from bible-rumped matrons
about lesser gods
for those not washed by Christ's blood
or chained to a catholic sainthood.
Those matrons claim we're all sinners.
They cast the first stones to prove it.

The wail of the trombones rises
as night tosses its net of stars.
A cock cries three times.
The silence from the graves is deafening.

(This was published in The Cliffs: Soundings)

Shot taken while the bomb was still being created.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Book Recommendation -Passenger Flight by Brian Campbell

Brian Campbell is a talented Canadian poet whose poetry I've had the pleasure of reading numerous times. He also is a songwriter, editor, translator, and teacher. I really enjoyed reading his latest collection out and would highly recommend Passenger Flight, a book of prose poems. Order it here at at AMAZON . This LINK gives you more detailed information about the book, including a review. Please take time to read it. The link opens in a separate window.

Below are two poems I especially like from the book.

(note: there is no line break in the first poem, but insists on putting it there despite several efforts deleting, then recopying and pasting, to make it merge into one whole poem)


All this shadow, shifting in nebulous darkness. I speak of you, pursing your lips to
kiss, making me step down into my body to experience the surprising pleasure. There is something in me that resists your affections. Something else that wants to blend, annihilate me, so that I urges into verb. Curious, this back and forth within my skin’s parenthesis. And now I see you there, the gentle slope of your shoulders, the scoop of your breasts. I will inevitably enter your softnesses, snuggle. Within me also, this describing self, this circumscribing self that stabs with a compass, etches circles, half-moons. Shouldn’t moon have an irregular plural, like mooni? Odd that one is an odd number. Even is so complacent in its evenness, it’s odd. But rounding again to a sensual knowing: there is something very conversational about blankets, the way they rumple and bunch and collapse, form hills and valleys with each toss and turn. And when you get up, the blanket slips away unveiling you, a statue, smooth, alabaster, yet soft in the lamplight. Your body eclipses the lamplight: penumbras slide about the room. All this play of light and shadow. Now. And thousands of years ago, in a cave.


The poetry editor of a magazine to which I had recently submitted sent me an e-mail asking permission not to print my poems, but to kindly let him grind them up into fish food. "In our aquarium," he explained, "we have several exotic fish, and we are of the opinion that your poems, ground up, would make an ideal nutrient for them." "Will you eventually publish them?" I wrote back. "No, we're afraid your poems, however worthy they may be, do not meet our editorial needs at this time." "Will I be able to publish them elsewhere?" was my next question. "Only," he replied, "if the publisher agrees to print them with this credit underneath: —Originally ground up as fish food for The Barracuda Review. However," he added, "we also think that your poems, grated, might serve as an excellent condiment for Italian food. If you agree, we'll try them on our Fettuccini Alfredo tonight." Reflecting on this, I realized it's true: poems don't have to be read to be appreciated. So I accepted his offer, although not without feelings of regret and chagrin.

See Brian's blog at

(Brian and I share the same last names, but we're not related)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Featured in Blogging Along Tobacco Road....Thanks, Curtis Dunlap!

Curtis Dunlap is posting an interesting series right now. He asks the poets he featured to send a photo of themselves either where they usually write or in a place that inspires them to write, then adds one poem by that poet. I'm working my way through the series and am enjoying seeing poets I know and don't know in their favorite spots and am reading very good poetry in the process. Your can see my feature at

Now, before you look, try to guess where you might find me:-)

Curtis, you're doing a great job!

(I'm sure Curtis would appreciate comments on his blog on any of the poets he's featured. Feedback lets us know what's working)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New Book by Pris Campbell and Scott Owens is now released.

My collaboration with Scott Owens, "The Nature of Attraction," poems focusing on a relationship featuring a repressed Norman and wild-childe Sara, is now available for the unbelievable pre-publication discount of only $3.50. Orders will be accepted at that price until July 12. The book will be released and mailed on July 26. This book will be a one print run, ie once Main Street Rag Publications sells all pre-publication copies plus extra copies it prints and Scott and I sell all of the copies we order to sell on our own, there will be no more. The price after the pre-order period will be 7 dollars.

Collaborating with Scott on this collection of poems was truly fun.

Below is a link to Scott's and my page which includes our photos, BIOs, ordering link and sample poems:

To view the entire series of Main Street Rag's Coming Soon page of chapbooks, go to this link (orders can be made from this page, as well)."

Monday, April 26, 2010

Collaborations with Mary Hillier in 2008

Mary's art is so amazing! She and I have collaborated several times now and have two more publications coming up.

I'd love it if you take a look at this In The Fray Issue containing four of our collaborations. While you're there, take a look around the journal. It's diverse and interesting. They also pay, which is unusual for a zine.

Here's one of the images as a teaser. Nude Maiden On The Cross. Click to enlarge.

This went with my City of Forgiven Whores:

In this city
where birds fly upside
down, and sadness is a welt
made by a raindrop, he comes to me.

He speaks of sleep-talking dreamers,
whores dunked by blind preachers,
then kisses me like when we were young.

I tug him inside
and we soar till our wings melt —
two candles, burnt to the nub
of a universe rebuilding.

We fall past old gods
converted to new ways of seeing
into the clear cleansing river of Eros
that finally Huck Finns us away.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Pageland, S.C., my hometown, as training area in World War II

Click HERE for the link about when Hospital Training Grounds were established in Pageland during World War II.

Scroll down for photos from the link and later.

An excerpt from the link:
It was expected that the 8th Evacuation Hospital would be activated on September 1, 1942. To provide field experience during July and August, the members of the University unit applied for active duty. While awaiting orders, the individuals closed medical practices, transferred patients and their records, sold or stored equipment, and made wills. By the end of June members of the unit received a red-bordered “IMMEDIATE ACTION” order to active duty.

The unit was assigned to the 3d Evacuation Hospital which it joined in Pageland, South Carolina. The new officers spent the first two weeks in basic training. Four or five hours each day were devoted to lectures on military courtesy, medical records, military administration, field sanitation, camouflage, and the use of gas masks. Both officers and enlisted men went on road marches and learned to roll packs and pitch tents. After general training they set up an evacuation hospital to serve the troops during maneuvers. Tents for the medical and surgical wards, operating room, dispensary, kitchen, x-ray, and messes were pitched in a field. The members of the unit were also responsible for unpacking the hospital equipment and drugs for the pharmacy. They discovered that most items had been wrapped in November 1918 newspapers. The equipment was incomplete in modern operating room equipment, lacking in essential laboratory and X-ray equipment, and stocked with obsolete items.

end of excerpt.

Click photos to see larger. The captions are UNDER each photo.

The gym shown in the website photo was across the street from my house, where I lived after this happened, and was part of the high school. The big two story house was two doors down from where I later lived. It's an interesting slice of war time I'd not seen until someone from Pageland posted this link.

The house two doors down. This was used as nurses quarters.

This is the same house, taken when I was in seventh grade. My female friends flocked to play touch football in the neighbor's front yard in hopes that the 'new boy in town' would come out. His family had recently moved into the big white house. The neighbor in the house whose yard we were in is now in her nineties and going strong.

Sandbox behind the white house. Me with neighborhood kids. I'm wearing the glasses.The shed behind us was where the 'new kid's' older twin brothers hung me by my shirt laughing to get even for my punching HIM in the stomach after he tackled me playing touch football to show off to my friends. The house behind that belonged to one of the poorer families in town.

A younger shot, playing in the middle neighbor's yard:-)

Pageland High School Gym, where I later attended many basketball games and the junior senior prom. The gym still stands, but the High School was torn down and a Middle School built in its place. My father was school superintendent, so we lived in the house designated for that position across from the school (yes, we paid rent)

Our house. My bedroom overlooked the side porch and had front dormer windows. When I practiced my clarinet too late at night, Mrs. Tucker called up from their bedroom window below...'Priscilla , can you stop for the night?'. Oh dear. I always did.

Playing with little next door neighbor outside my side porch.

Headed for the prom junior year in that gym. Ohhh, those glasses.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Meatloaf For Crying Out Loud

I don't think there's a bad cut on his Bat Out of Hell album , made in the late seventies, his only hit album to my knowledge.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dreams At Stake (Living with ME/CFS)

Please take the time to read this powerful interview on the blog, Dreams at Stake, to get a feeling for what it's like to have a severe case of ME/CFS. Go to Dreams At Stake post.

This is the illness that has tied me mostly to my own home since September 23, 1990. Not fun at all.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Are blogs beginning to lose their readership to communities such as Facebook?

I remember when personal blogs were read by a large number of people and many comments made to posts. I admit to not reading other blog posts the way I used to , just as readership of mine has dropped to about half of what it was not long after I first started. Maybe the blog, with the exception of those 'star' blogs that everyone reads, is going the way of the website now. I started with a website and still have it . I know people read it . My web-tracker shows more visitors there than to my blog, but no-one except spammers has signed the guest book in years. I'm thinking about removing the guest book. I mainly use the website as a place I enjoy playing with and storing the last version of poems I've written or haiga I've created. There's no interaction on a website which I know I've come to like and enjoy.

With as many problems as facebook has, if you stay away from all the applications and have it work for you, it's a good site to use. I can post poetry there without the search engines picking it up, like on blogger, making it ineligible for publication in many journals (and I don't post poems even there if I'm going to submit to a journal that's very strict about that rule). I can message people without giving out my email to a lot of people, connect with new poets, get announcements when a journal is taking new submissions and, just recently, a group was started about my old hometown of 2500 people. That group has been a real bonus. I've reconnected to people who were friends but no longer live there, some who do, and met people related to people I was close to. I feel like my hometown had been lost when my parents died but has been returned to me, even if only on the internet. Some of these connections have led to phone calls and a lot of catching up. So special.

So what about this blog? Do I keep on pounding out notes when I see my visitors now are more often coming from a google search that won't interest them in my blog or do I let it slide and post once a month?

I just don't know. My energy is limited by ME/CFS, so I'm trying to choose wisely.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

William Michaelian fascinates me!

Read his blog Recently Banned Literature and you'll see why. If I didn't have this snarky cold back again I'd tell you but if you check out his blog you'll find out for yourself.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Steve Vai Tender Surrender

Wonderful guitar work in a haunting, mellow song.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Featured on Poetic Asides. Thank you Robert Brewer!

Go to Poetic Asides to read an interview Robert did with me about Sea Trails and my writing. I really appreciate this, Robert!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Getting sick from a doc visit.

I keep forgetting that sick people go to see doctors and sick people are contagious lol. I had to see my internist last Wednesday about a few problems. Started with a scratchy throat on Saturday which got worse and yes, today am losing my voice and feel swimmy. A cold has taken me. I'd gone for a while without catching anything.

Maybe we ought to have virus free bubbles to step into when we go??

Hope this leaves soon! Being sick all of the time is hard enough. To be sicker is harder.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

How about some blues for a Sunday morning?

Rolling Stones, John Lee Hooker, Eric Clapton...can it get any better?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Paternity, Scott Owens' new book is wonderful!

Paternity Paternity by Scott Owens

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I'm entranced with Scott Owens’ latest book, Paternity. After three readings, my admiration only grew. The core subject of his book is his relationship with his daughter, Sawyer, but poems are also included about his stepsons as well as his father’s bad parenting. I’m not a parent, but I don’t need to be in order to enjoy both the expert craftsmanship of these poems as well as their magic. It’s both a book of the love of a father for his daughter and at the same time, a type of atonement for his own father’s failings. By being a better father, Owens walks away from the ghosts of his past into a better now of his own creation.

From On The Days I Am Not My Father

I don’t yell. I don’t hold inside
the day’s supply of frustrations.
My hands stay open all day.
I don’t wake tired and sore,
dazed from senseless, panicking
dreams. On the days I am not
my father I hold my son
when he cries, let him touch my face
without flinching…

A poet friend, after reading this book, wrote me that he would assign Paternity as a textbook for poetry students were it up to him. I completely agree. Every word, every phrase, every break is carefully thought out. And the poems sing, just as Owens describes singing to Sawyer on his cell phone to the amusement of passers-by.

This passage from The Word for What Only 4-Year Olds Can See is moving:

Today my daughter made up a word,
effuctress, to explain why I couldn’t see
the rainbow bird outside the window.
Effuctress, she says, are things
that can only be seen by 4-year olds.

I would recommend this book to parents and non-parents, lovers of good poetry. The first group will identify. The latter will be inspired to be better people. Both will aspire to become better poets.

From The Hours 7 PM

I no longer bathe with you.
No Gary Snyder, I grow self-conscious
as you fixate on differences,
but I still hold on to this time
of washing things away.

Scott Owens has published five poetry collections before Paternity and is editor of The Wild Goose Review. His work has received numerous awards and two Pushcart nominations. Paternity was published by and can be purchased at Main Street Rag.

View all my reviews >>

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Robert H. Keller, M.D. now has a page on Facebook!

Dr. Keller worked with me with my ME/CFS for over 8 years. While seeing him, I experienced improvement for the first time. His death last year came as both a shock and loss. He died of a blood disease that attacks bodily organs. It's generally not reversable, but if anyone could have beat it, he could. He was dedicated and a brilliant doctor.

Many people still enter my blog with his name as the search word. Links on facebook are iffy, but I'll list that. If the link doesn't work, search for him there under this exact search name: Robert H. Keller, M.D.

Here's the link to try:
Robert H.Keller, M.D.

His daughter started the page just today. I hope she doesn't mind, but I copied one of the photos she posted here on my blog, too.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Very evocative photograpy/videos/architecture...Alastair Cook

I'm thoroughly enjoying the work of Scottish photographer Alastair Cook. To visit his site go to

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Conquering Venus: Collin Kelley. Highly Recommended!!

From the Vanilla Heart publisher's release of the book: In the summer of 1995, young American writer Martin Paige agrees to chaperone a group of high school seniors on their graduation trip to Paris as a favor to his best friend, teacher Diane Jacobs. Diane hopes Europe will act as a catalyst to lift Martin from his grief following the suicide of his lover, Peter. But the trip proves to be more than either of them bargained for. Martin finds himself falling in love with one of her students, David McLaren, who is unprepared to cope with his burgeoning sexuality. He also meets a mysterious Parisian woman, Irène Laureux, who is debilitated by agoraphobia and spends her days spying on the hotel guests across from her apartment. Martin and Irène discover they have a logic-defying connection: a small tribal tattoo on their left hands that means “equal but opposite.” This is same tattoo that Martin’s lover and Irène’s husband had inked into their skin. All the characters lives are irrevocably changed in a horrifying terrorist attack on a Paris metro station. Liberated by the blast, forced from her own self-imprisonment, Irène learns her husband’s death was not an accident, and dares Martin to acknowledge the role he played in Peter’s suicide. Diane, harboring her own secrets and a hidden agenda, takes a drastic step to force David out of the closet and admit his feelings for Martin. From America to England to France, the globe-hopping story places fictional characters amidst historical events such as the Nazi occupation of Paris, the student/worker riots of 1968 and the terrorist bombings of Paris in 1995. Grounded in reality, Conquering Venus is a mystery, a love story and a journey of self-realization.

An interview with Collin about the book is by Jessica Handler on her blog

I couldn't put Collin's book down. Though labeled as 'gay fiction' at Amazon, this book is universal in its appeal. The plot, the locale, the complex interrelationships between characters and the mystery all keep any reader on the edge of his/her seat. I've enjoyed reading Collin for years now on He's an excellent poet as well as novelist. To put it more plainly, he 'has the touch'.

To read excerpts from his novel, view a trailor, and purchase it (several purchasing locations are listed as links), go to You'll also find 'ideal actors' Collin has chosen, were the book a movie. I've loved seeing him post those!

An excellent review of the book is at New Southerner.

I highly recommend this book. You won't regret your choice!


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Anke Merzbach , Artist extraordinary

I've featured her work in the past, but want to do so again, since she's added new work to her growing collection. I'm in love with her work. So....take a look and enjoy a fascinating artist.

See Anke's photostream HERE

Click to see them larger.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Oranges and Sardines....Didi Menendez does it again!

A wonderful issue! Click on the cover and you'll go fullscreen. Hitting 'escape' on your keyboard will take you back out. Click on the follow or back arrows to go through the journal. Fantastic art and poetry to be seen.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Speed of Light

for James Dean

Fast car. Fast car.
Liz in his thoughts;
the reek of his last
same-sexed lover 
still on his sheets.

Fast car. 
How fast can it go? 
Rev up the motor. 
Let out the throttle.
Full speed around
that next curve.

If he flies at the speed
of light, will he disappear
into the moon's belly,
he wonders?

He stubs out his last cig,
chugs down more Daniels.
The ghosts still won't slip off
his shoulder blades.

He's two people, and even
this fast, loud
little sports car
can't make the one
he hates go away.

Pris Campbell

Published in Remark Journal, 2006

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A REPOST FROM MAY 2006 Featuring Montage Art: Maggie Taylor/Jerry Uelsmann

copyrighted image by Maggie Taylor.

It's indeed a small world. When a Finnish fellow art lover on MySpace posted to me about a wonderful digital artist she'd discovered named Maggie Taylor, I googled her, saw she was from Gainesville, Florida. Years ago, I remembered my old (former) friend, an master of darkroom montages, Jerry Uelsmann telling me he was marrying one of his former graduate student who did stunning ditigal work. Another bio showed she was indeed his wife She works from photos and also from things she collects at old shops and scans them in her flatbed scanner (I had to wonder if she'd ever scanned her head, like I have :-) Her final work is all digitally rendered, though.

One of several sites for her work is at

A book, Adobe Photoshop Master Class : Maggie Taylor's Landscape of Dreams (Master Class ), describing some of her techniques was listed, but the write-up on says it's more of a showcase of her work (enough of a reason to buy it, alone) and less of a step by step, but gives some of that. It can be found at:

Amazon site for Landscape of Dreams

A book, Surreal Digital Photography (Paperback)
by Barry Huggins, Ian Probert, lauded by readers as having excellent step by step detail for creating montages in Adobe.

The link at Amazon is HERE.

Even if you don't like montages (a combination of images to make a meaningful whole) or surrealism, it seemed useful to me to see just what was involved to get these types of images, techniques which could be used to create other types of images , as well (though I admit, I love the surrealistic work, myself).

As a boon, on my old friend's site, I found video clips of him describing his work. He has permanent exhibits at the MOMA (he had one there when I knew him), The Smithsonian and a number of other prominent places. In the late sixties and early seventies, he gave me four signed and numbered prints. I gave three to a local art gallery in the eighties and kept one. I knew he'd had a show at the museum and that his work would be much appreciated by them and by patrons of the museum.

I see now that his work from that period goes for around 6 or 7 thousand dollars! This was his third marriage and, upset by 'female voices from his past' contacting him (he was in his early fifties and still a charmer), he finally asked all former female friends or loves to have no further contact with him to save destroying yet another marriage (It was already causing upset at that point). A loss. Jerry was a fun and loving friend. Still a kid at heart.

I hadn't seen him since his thirties. We met when I was in O'Hare in Chicago, waiting for the snowed-in commuter plane to take me back to grad school from Christmas holidays. He was teaching at Gainesville and visiting art friends where I attended school at the U. of Illinois. The airlines finally limoed us down and he and I were good friends by the end of the trip. He had his portfolio with him and his work bowled me over. I was to find out that, only in his thirties, he was already an icon and cult underground figure. For around five or six years, whenever he had a show close to whereever I happened to be living, we spent a day together, just exploring the area and, once, dancing down a Chicago street. When I lived in Boston, he got me into a one day darkroom workshop he gave there for 12 people. I was a rank amateur with a cheap enlarger in my bathroom. The others were aiming for professions in this field, so I felt lucky for that opportunity.

No, no romance between us. Just friendship.

I see in his vids that yes, he's older but he still has that same grin (and all of his hair, too). He's just past 70 now and going strong. So many good memories came back seeing him again, along with a bit of a tug that the connection has been lost.

His site is at:
Jerry Uelsmann: Legend

It's well worth a look to see some of his images, vids, and explantion of his darkroom work too. I still have a few cards he made for me and images with letters on the back. Since I only framed his mounted ones, many of these are worse for wear, even though kept in a folder, unfortunately. He sent the one below when he'd just heard he won a Guggenheim Fellowship and we were planning our Chicago visit.

The one with the angel is clearly a Valentine's Day card and so typical of his fun-loving creativity. The one with flower in mouth(see, I'm not the only one who does that:-) is a status report on the beard he was growing out. The last one was done on metal, so didn't scan well. Click any of these to enlarge.

Below is one from his website to show how intricate his work has become over the years. Remember, this isn't digital. It's all in the darkroom. I love this particular image. It's called 'Untitled'. Again, click to enlarge.

Note: There was no way on either artist's site to contact them, so I hope that by citing the links that if either ever see this blog, it'll be seen in the spirit of admiration in which it was done, with some leeway given for my former friendship with Jerry. With contemporary artists I always get permission before posting their work on my website with poetry.

With good memories!