Source Code 6

The eleven words of Open 6 come from “The Refrigerator” by Mary Ruefle. Here are the first few lines of the poem: There is the sound of the refrigerator being on. There is the sound of god beating inside my heart which is a strange sound since he does not exist. There is the sound… Continue reading Source Code 6

The Subject at Hand

One of the things that poets don’t talk about much even though IT’S THERE is subject matter. Although nobody seems to come out and say there are O.K. topics and there are topics that will not fly, I suspect that is the case. In journalism subject matter is the be-all and end-all, the big kahuna.… Continue reading The Subject at Hand

The Purpose

The purpose of poetry is to remind us how difficult it is to remain just one person, for our house is open, there are no keys in the doors, and invisible guests come in and out at will. —Milosz, from “Ars Poetica”

Is Inspiration Dead?

Although everything important has gotten killed off by philosophers, I wonder: do you have a place, a nook, a poem, something/anything that still inspires you? Jazz, for example, by Chet Baker or a passage from Leaves of Grass? Here’s something that I must admit I get excited about; I love the expressionistic elephant paintings. I… Continue reading Is Inspiration Dead?

Doctorow on W

It’s not easy being a writer in Texas. If it weren’t for the fact that the presidential debates are televised everywhere, we would have missed the election entirely. I had to pay cash money to get a John Kerry sign for my front yard. Here’s an editorial by E. L. Doctorow on Bush entitled, The… Continue reading Doctorow on W

Source Code 5

The eleven words in Open 5 come from “A Step Away From Them” by Frank O’hara which begins, “It’s my lunch hour, so I go / for a walk among the hum-colored / cabs.”

Source Code 4

The eleven words given in Open 4 come from a poem called “The Age of the Velocipede” by Lisa Jarnot. It appears in her second book, Ring of Fire (Zoland Books, 2001).


Selah, a book of poems by Joshua Corey, reverberates in your ears like bellsong. The biblical title refers to Corey’s lyrical use of silence within these contemporary psalms. We hear the knell of these words and learn or are reminded about how the depths of loss can take us spiraling. The arc of the book… Continue reading Selah

Question 7

What specific names of flowers have you used in your writing? Are there any types that you would probably never use? Such as, petunia? Be honest.

Question 6

Here’s a question about music. Lately what do you like to listen to while you’re writing?

Source Code 3

Okay, this is the easiest one so far. The eleven words in Open 3 come from the Emily Dickinson poem that begins, I started Early– Took my Dog– And visited the Sea– Several of you recognized the source. It’s the poem (Johnson edition #520) with the famous phrase, “The Mermaids in the Basement” in it.

Open 4

See if anything comes of these eleven words. And let us know. Here’s the list: pizza, side street, rain, eyeballs, Ezra Pound, crowded, killed, slightly, radio, tiny, and circus. That’s your mission, if you choose to accept it. And have a happy new year!