Wednesday, September 25, 2013


"...some philosophers seem to be angry with images for not being things, and with words for not being feelings."

                     - George Santayana,  
                               Soliloquies in England and Later Soliloquies

quote of the day/something to think about

"She stopped believing in God: with the immensity of human suffering before her, she felt quite sure that Providence did not exist." Simone de Beauvoir, When Things of the Spirit Come First

Saturday, May 25, 2013

the beauty of the written word

As a creative writing major, I'm always reading - looking for new favorite poets and sources of inspiration. One of the most talented and inspiring poets I have come across in the past several months is Tony Hoagland, an American poet currently teaching creative writing at the University of Houston in Texas. Here are two of my favorites, both printed in the July/August 2012 issue of Poetry.

There is No Word
There isn’t a word for walking out of the grocery store
with a gallon jug of milk in a plastic sack
that should have been bagged in double layers

—so that before you are even out the door
you feel the weight of the jug dragging
the bag down, stretching the thin

plastic handles longer and longer
and you know it’s only a matter of time until
bottom suddenly splits.

There is no single, unimpeachable word
for that vague sensation of something
moving away from you

as it exceeds its elastic capacity        
—which is too bad, because that is the word
I would like to use to describe standing on the street

chatting with an old friend
as the awareness grows in me that he is
no longer a friend, but only an acquaintance,

a person with whom I never made the effort—
until this moment, when as we say goodbye
I think we share a feeling of relief,  

a recognition that we have reached
the end of a pretense,   
though to tell the truth

what I already am thinking about
is my gratitude for language—
how it will stretch just so much and no farther;

how there are some holes it will not cover up;
how it will move, if not inside, then
around the circumference of almost anything—

how, over the years, it has given me
back all the hours and days, all the
plodding love and faith, all the

misunderstandings and secrets
I have willingly poured into it.

Don't Tell Anyone

We had been married for six or seven years
when my wife, standing in the kitchen one afternoon, told me
that she screams underwater when she swims—

that, in fact, she has been screaming for years
into the blue chlorinated water of the community pool
where she does laps every other day.  

Buttering her toast, not as if she had been
concealing anything,
not as if I should consider myself

personally the cause of her screaming,
nor as if we should perform an act of therapy  
right that minute on the kitchen table,

—casually, she told me,
and I could see her turn her square face up
to take a gulp of oxygen,

then down again into the cold wet mask of the unconscious.
For all I know, maybe everyone is screaming
as they go through life, silently,

politely keeping the big secret
that it is not all fun
to be ripped by the crooked beak

of something called psychology,
to be dipped down
again and again into time;

that the truest, most intimate
pleasure you can sometimes find
is the wet kiss

of your own pain.
There goes Kath, at one pm, to swim her twenty-two laps
back and forth in the community pool;

—what discipline she has!
Twenty-two laps like twenty-two pages,
that will never be read by anyone.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

totally different head, totally

I realized recently that it has been over six months since I last posted here... But in the past six months, I have found loads of new artists to post. So. Without further preamble, allow me to share with you the ceramic work of Natalia Gruszecka, a Polish "ceramic designer" who works from her studio, ENDEsign. Of all of the work in her Etsy shop, her doll head cups are my favorite.

She says of her cups' design: "This cup was made during my work in porcelain manufacture in Poland. One day I found this warehouse full of old plaster molds, nobody used for production anymore. Among many others I found this treasure: a mold used to produce porcelain heads for dolls decades ago. I was fascinated! I decided to give them a new life…."

I also really love her slab-built cups. They're so delicate and organic (not two things I often associate with slab-built pieces).

Friday, November 9, 2012

across the universe

When these constellation and nebula-inspired paintings by Elise Mahan appeared on my Etsy Activity Feed, I knew I needed to share them with everyone I knew. Here are but a few (and some of my favorites) of her paintings.