Saturday, February 24, 2007

Sunday 11 February 2007


My morning begins with applause. A group of ducks rise together and move towards shore. They set down again, with applause and spray.

And then the messenger of haiku, Pam, brings her husband's verse. A page of haiku. And I see. And I hear. And further, I sense. "The bamboo shoot whispers now / and spring can begin." Thank you, David.

And here, in echo, is the haiku of Geert Verbeke from Kokoro 53:

frightened ducks
and circles on the water
the splash of one stone


I sit at my desk with my head in my book, writing the day. With my eyes closed, I let the sounds affect me. At 9:46am, there is a swell in the gravel. I force myself to experience the sound without looking up. I sense an army, a hundred bodies assembling and flowing past. One whisper moving towards one thing.

This is what spring must sound like to the earthworm, with robins performing balestras in the grass, starlings and flickers cracking the black shells of insects, poking their swords into the soil, with root-clutches sucking at the water pan and green nuns breaking the surface with a crumbling. And then, chingk, the shovel of the sky.

I later learn this was The Valentine's Run. Beth Coyote, poet and friend and a runner too, I did not know, drops off to say hello with a grin before racing on. Friend, do what you are here to do. With a kiss, she marks me.


I have a long-held belief in communication-- in language, music, dance and art. I have faith that the fact of our communication provides the underlying meaning, the purpose and goal of life.

When you strip humankind of matter, when you shake off desire and peel back image, what remains is communication, or the lack of communication. These two things. At the base level, there is nothing less. Our interactions with real things provide the content from which we construct meaning. Self, family, friends, strangers, the rain, the trees, rocks. All we have communicated, all that's been communicated, this is the peachpit that rolls on, after we step out of the world. This is the seed that travels through history.

Author Stephen Dobyns suggests that not only does the possibility of communication offer meaning to and exhibit the highest form of art, but that "great art, by showing us our common feeling, shows us our common responsibility. It shows us how to live" (Best Words, Best Order, p306). How to live. Not only the purpose, but instruction.

If you should ever forget, turn to art. If you should lose your way, run into a poem. Open the doors of a painting. Find yourself where life is rich.


We must come full circle, spin the kingpin one full turn, past perfect, past imperfect, back to perfect again. Beyond our carefully developed taxonomy lies the rhizome, the connected thing. If we succeed in integrating our lists and languages, our duties and values, we may approach what Wayne Roberts calls "art-language." Language, Roberts says, must explore the whole if we are to understand our part. Our part, together with his and her part, through dialogue and effort, make the whole. This is the reason that upon making a connection one feels so perfect, so satisfied. The perfect alone can trump dialogue .

"As science progressed, the superficial colourings/markings of a particular bird (analagous to a particular style in art) became less-important, and gave way to a more sophisticated study of the covert connections that exist between and among living things and their environment (which itself came to be considered something which is alive viz. Lovelock's Gaia hypothesis.) A new powerful art-language may then emerge when various 'parts' are connected to form 'wholes'" [Beyond Style in Art, © 2000-2003 Wayne Roberts].


Let nobody tell us what two parts fit together. Let us scrape together that which was on two plates. Let us find new solutions and then new questions. Let us find our moment and stand back-to-back with it and regard the whole of the day.

Poetry & performance
Science & art
Medicine & music
Art & eyesight
Dancing & physics


Play in culture and the competition for resources will, if unchecked, shut down our creative sources. And then what, work? A fritter of time? A meaningless meal? And then, at last, sleep?

Why not turn instead to play? "Play has the ability to distract us and insruct us about our fate, yet as civilization gets more serious, the distraction comes to take precedence over the intruction. Spectacle replaces thought" [Stephen Dobyns, Best Words, Best Order, p 329].
Spectacle. The group, gathered and dispersed, yet unmoved. This is nothing like the scroll you handed me in the candlelight of your study. This is nothing like the way your finger traced the line, explaining the history between events, his having painted it, your having acquired it.

How can we halt this progression, turn it around? Whose job is it to conjure play? The artist, can we agree, is tasked with the work of seeing, pushing, testing and playing? It has always been the artist's work - to play.

How, as a culture, can we support the artist?
  • grants
  • housing
  • press
  • participation
  • sponsorship
  • events
  • purchase art
But most of all participation.


I read Jack Gilbert's "Recovering Amid the Farms" to my visitors today. "She turned twelve last year and it was legal/for the father to take her out of school. She knows/her life is over." One of my visitors, also named Gilbert, responded, "I wonder if people living in Seattle can relate to that poem? I am from the South. My father also left school at the age of twelve and was put to labor."


Miriam read a poem by Antonio Machado. "Las Moscas." She giggled as she read the Spanish. Dirk and I waited. "I never knew you could think of a fly like this." Machado's speaker is remembering his past and there, in that past, in all those remembered scenes, is the common household fly. It is what connects the events of his life. A friendly creature, it lands at last on his closed eyes in the coffin.


Franco and Gitte read poems to me in Italian and German, from The Poem Itself by Burnshaw. Franco is a psychoanalysist who works with dreams. He is visiting from Oxford. I ask him about flying dreams. I have always wanted to fly in my dream, I tell him. He discourages me. I am surprised by this. He says those who fly are not rooted. They are always glad to be safely down on the earth again. "You do not want to fly." He talked about the dreamer who, in his dreams, flew several feet above his group of friends. The ego. When one of the dreamer's friends hit the wrong button, they all started to descend. The dreamer alone stayed in the air. Here, Franco said, is someone avoiding his growing responsibilities as a wage-earner and new father. "No, you do not want to fly." But Franco, I think I do.


Jim Page visited today. If you know folk music, if you live in the Northwest, you know Jim Page. He happened by with a friend today and visited me at my desk. He was just back from a tour of London and, before that, Taiwan.

He likened my work to the work of Chris Chandler, who brings poetry to the people with music. Chandler has shared the stage with artists such as Pete Seeger, Ani Difranco, David Wilcox...

Jim told me about the Taiwanese poet and political activist, Zhong Yongfeng, with whom he shared a stage at last year's Trees, Music & Art. He talked about the farmers in Taiwan. Yongfeng is speaking out on behalf of farmers. On behalf of the farmers and villagers in Taiwan who are losing their livelihood to dams. Oliver, who sits with me,who is visiting, talks of the farmers in China who are being killed for protesting unfair land deals, land seizures and dams, for trying to preserve their way of life. No discussion, just a silencing. At least in Taiwan there is the ability to sing about it, to talk about it. But our markets are too closely linked not to think one will affect the other.

Jim raised the subject of China's new carbon-neutral zones. An incongruity, perhaps a sign of hope, a sign of despair. Chongming Island, an island the size of Manhattan will serve as an experiment. A green city. An eco-city. "The main grid of the city will be for walking and cycling, not cars. There will be public transport within (550 yards) of each home," says Peter Head, director of Arup, the British firm designing Dongtan. "With no (gasoline) or diesel engines, Dongtan will be a quiet place. So you can open windows and ventilate buildings."

We need fewer experiments and more full-on commitment. Such places, such zones, should be the basis. An eco-world.


Julia Donc approaches then and interviews me for a possible story on KBCS 91.3FM, Bellevue Community Radio. As we talk, Oliver listens. Two young men on skateboards come to listen. There are 5 people now, listening.

Poet, speak.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Untitled [Intersection] = Performance Art + Poetry

Untitled [Intersection] has run continuously since 2007 at The Phinney Center in Seattle, WA. I was kindly invited by Mylinda Sneed, then Arts Coordinator for the Phinney Center Gallery, to produce a monthly series. I developed Untitled [Intersection]. I'd like to share my thoughts on that process.

I want, certainly, to present exceptional artists and poets, to give them the freedom to express their work in their own way, but I want something for myself as well. Personally, I want to do something meaningful for poetry. I want to bring poetry into the art world and take a stab at real dialog between poetry and visual art, between poetry and performance art. I want to offer poets a chance to form comunity by inviting peer reviews and poet-to-poet support. I also want to help artists take themselves seriously by asking them to consider their goals and direction. But what can one person really do to make the poet visible in our culture?


In lieu of competing with one another for a few small prizes, I feel our artists might better spend their time in service of one another, given that they believe in what their work might do. There is nothing more important than Robert Bly talking about William Stafford, or Laura Hinton talking about MeiMei Bersenbrugge or Carlos Martinez talking about Kathryn Lebo. One intelligent poet discussing another can do more to excite and assist the public than any poetry prize will ever do. I invite seasoned authors to speak out about up and coming authors. Each invited author selects and presents the promising poet of their choice. The reading circuit in Seattle is tight. Authors are brought in from New York and Michigan and Chicago. How is a local author to make it to the scene without support, someone pointing, for the public, "Look here, I've found another great poet!" The time has come for poets to speak out for one another.


I am tired of the poets who think that reading to one another is enough. Sitting in their dark cafes, their dark rooms, scurrying out to drop their little letters of submission into the postbox, waiting to hear from a writer on the other end of the line about whether or not they've made made a ripple. The time has come for poets to claim their place in the world by discoursing with the world.

The moment is now. This moment marks the movement of poetry into the art world. I don't mean physically. I mean the time has come for poets to begin to discourse, in an intentional way, with the painters, sculptors, perfomers and filmmakers. It is not coincidental that this series will take place in a gallery, that it will reach out to performers. What comes in through the eyes is as important as what one hears or feels.


If you believe that prose is what happened when text separated from image, you might see this series as a way of piecing together the language of poetry. However mechanical it might seem, if we are intent on creating a language to communicate our isolation, to communicate our experiences and stories, we must develop it with words and gestures. This is trully the dialog I hope for in pairing performance artists with poets, in pairing gesture with word. Performance art is, unfortunately, no more visible than poetry in the US. How to being these two invisible forms into the world?


When we articulate what our artist believes, we direct those beliefs into action. The more convicted our artists, the stronger our arts will be. In asking our featured artists to contribute to the small publication, Untitled [Manifesto], available on the night of their reading, we ask the artist to articulate their work. I envision this collection serving as a sort of barometer, indicating the direction of arts in the Northwest.



Untitled [Intersection] presents poetry & contemporary performance art on the 4th Friday of every month at Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA). The event includes a wine reception in the Phinney Center Gallery. Untitled [Intersection] launched on Friday 23 February 2007. The very first featured artists were Carlos Martinez, Kathryn Lebo and Oliver Orion.

We seek exceptional poets with a minimum of two published books. We invite traditional, experimental and visual forms of poetry, including video and film. In an effort to expand our pool of talented NW poets, Untitled [Intersection] invites featured poets to choose and introduce one poet who has yet to publish a full-length work. The feature and their choice read back to back, followed by a 20-minute piece by a contemporary performance artist. We hope to encourage inter-artist support. We hope also to open a dialog between poetry, performance and visual art.

"This reach from one art to another is the most leavening process of all to each of the arts and hopefully to everyone's daily experience." Stan Brakhage (experiemental filmmaker)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Sunday 4 February 2007


Drizzly, misty, mild, windless. Super Bowl Sunday.


She says my glittery sign reminds her of Denise Duhamel's sign, a neon sign, "POET," which used to flash on and off outside her Lower East Side apartment. Sharon Cumberland, an accomplished poet and professor at Seattle University, visited today. She told me to check into the Poetry Festival at the Hugo House. It's very good, she says, I should go. I should let people know.


Piles of hay and waste thaw and send up their scent. After a stretch of cold temps, the piles of waste leap forth. I haven't smelled the zoo since autumn. Here, behind the eucalyptus, the scent of exotic dung is a milestone, a marker indicating my distance from the meadow. Reassuring and indicative. Smelling the elephants means I have 20 minutes more to walk before I reach my meadow.


Along Aurora, as I walk to the lake, there is a house north of the bridge with a small fountain in a ledge in the porch. A wall fountain with a female figure pouring water. It used to spill green water from a vase into a half moon basin. After it broke, someone put an oversized glass vase into the basin. A brutal embrace, it seemed, of glass and stone.

A glass vase holds the contents of the fountain now, two gallons of brown-green liquid. The basin too is full of brown-green liquid. The glass vase is itself in a pool of water held by the basin. A container within a container. What used to spill forth is held still. Not exactly barren of mystery, but without an alternate story. One life as opposed to many. Two separate environments. Interior and exterior.


North of the fountain, a heavy concrete footbridge arches over Aurora. It connects the neighborhoods of Fremont and Wallingford. As I pass under it, I have time to say just one word if I want it to echo well. A two syllable word would be too much in such a small cavity. I call this the atrium. The ventricle. As if I were going into a heart. Into the atrium of Aurora.

As children in Pennsylvania, we visited the Franklin Institute. There is a giant model of a human heart in the Franklin Institute that you can walk through.

As the moment approaches, I force myself to relax, try to keep from formulating the word, so that when I pass underneath, when I come to the heart of the artery, the word simply erupts. I have uttered such words as yes and blue and mine. These words feel good, like a stroke of paint or flash in the dark.


Between Green Lake North, the road behind my meadow, and my spot in the meadow, there under three Hawthorn trees where the meadow slopes, a drain is set. The gates to the drain are not stamped in the ground like a coin, but stand vertical, spanning a 1½ foot section of hillock. A circular pipe drain is framed with a square concrete arch and cap, like a miniature smokehouse in a vast farmland. A tiny door to the underworld. I imagine tiny figures clutching the gate, tortured souls at the gates of Hell. I have commissioned Chloe to sculpt a figure to place at the gate. Chloe, who teaches clay sculpture for a Girls & Boys Club. "The wood from the Hawthorn provides the hottest fire known" [Sacred Woods and the Lore of Trees].


A little boy bicycles right up to my desk. His wheel touches the wood. I sense him there. I look up. "Hello. What's going on?" I ask. "I'm just riding my bike." "Would you like a poem?" "Hold on, let me ask… Mom!!" "My Mom says no?" "Too bad," I answer, "I had the Quangle Wangle's Hat for you." I look up and smile to his mother on the path. The little boy bicycles on.


Imperfect bells, not clear, but sharp and lively. A human hand on the organ keys at the close of mass. Their notes stumble across Aurora.

A new gull is visiting my meadow. It has a soft gray back, black-tipped tail feathers, a beige/heather hood and a black-tipped, down-turned beak. Perhaps it is a Ring-billed gull? Ring-billed gulls account for only 2% of the gulls in the NW.


Ours not to experience, but to invent the world. Real history is the history you create, the way you include the real, the remembered and the imagined. Myth is a most potent drink.

My meadow is strewn with pinecones. They lay in a ragged radius around my tulip trees. I look about and see the history of things I myself have named. These pinecones have known two seasons, have risen, fallen and been resurrected. They have scurried through my lawn as critters, hung as bangles from my tulip trees. Everything I see, I have created.

The day's first breeze is coming off the lake. It has a fishy smell. It smells of oil and guts, dried blood. Perhaps they've stocked the lake? It reminds me of a certain concrete pier, broken, and a filet knife, fish buckets and cut garden hose.


Danielle and Daniella of The New School interview me for a school radio project. Daniella lets me listen to her recording device. Green Lake amplified: the gravel underfoot, the wigeons, the lap of water on the shore. A breath, a seashell to the ear.


Leigh read a poem aloud to Clinton. She read from Rebecca Loudon's Tarantella, "Music for Piano, 4 Hands." "This is the broken window / This is the air rushing in."


Peter, an oversized man, a Bunyan, sits with me then. I ask him, "What moves you?" His answer is "light." How do you go about capturing the light? What is your medium? Are you a photographer?" Peter doesn't believe in capturing the light. Doesn't believe in capturing moments. He lets the images move past, experiences them as a spectator. A purveyor of life. He has been reading Leonard Cohen. Perhaps it is Cohen who is guiding him into knowing?

From "The Window"

Come forth from the cloud of unknowing and kiss the cheek of the moon; the code of solitude broken, why tarry confused and alone? And leave no word of discomfort,and leave no observer to mourn, but climb on your tears and be silent like the rose on its ladder of horn.

-- Leonard Cohen


Azart. Art from A to Z. A flower. Bad luck. Hazard. Chance. A venture. The passion to put everything at stake. Andre Breton, in his manifesto of Surrealism (1924), suggests that Christopher Columbus should have set out to discover America with a boatload of madmen. Well... didn't he?

If I could set my desk asail, I would. Azart.

What I most admire about Azart (the multi-cultural floating carnival which sailed 2000-2005) was their unwillingness to work within the realm of the commonplace, common practice, with what Breton calls "the realistic attitude," crediting observation over dream. A Ship of Fools, they crossed oceans, followed ancient Dutch merchant ship routes. The crew met both with dignitaries and the dispossessed. They visited town hall and the prison and mental institution. "Promoting artistic cooperation" was their intention.

One of the clearest signs that their intentions were true was their willingness to decommodify art and stress alternative methods for assigning value to the experience of art. "Entrance-tickets are gauged by the weight of the spectator, about ten pesetas a kilo or a tuppence a pound. This is inspired by mediaeval allegories, depicted by, among others, Breughel, in which the age-old fight between the poor and the rich is represented as a fight between the thin and the fat. Experience shows that this odd and discriminatory way of entrance makes it a popular theatre with the advantage that children pay next to nothing and that public participation is assured before the show has even started."


A bearded man and his wife stop to tell me about their friend, a poet, Carolyn Wright. They ask, have I been to the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival in Stanhope, New Jersey? Have I been to the largest poetry event in North America, a four-day event held every other year? Bill Moyers attends. Moyers even discusses it in a PBS series called "Sounds of Poetry" and "Language of Life."

They bring to me the work of Charles Alexander. So much to explore.


She stood square before me, "It is my birthday. Do you have a poem for me?" I flipped through an anthology and stopped upon "Fragrant Hands" by Faiz. She smiled when I was through, "That's perfect." She walked away. I read that same poem throughout the day to my visitors. "Fragrant Hands" begins with a note: "For the Anonymous Woman Who Sent Me a Bouquet of Flowers in Prison." This line lingers, "fidelity will always be in bloom." Everyone is moved by this poem. Faiz was both imprisoned and praised by his government. Faiz is able to communicate beyond walls and bars.


Tom brings a morsel today, Eric Rohmer's "Six Moral Tales." The experiment, says Rohmer, is as much about how to live as how to see and think.


Bruce Taylor (aka Mr. Magic Realism) and Roberta Gregory, who writes comics for Seattle Weekly, visited last week. They host an artist share & potluck at their house on the first Sunday of the month. FOKUS is an art share & potluck/support group. Artists are invited to share their work or just enjoy the others. Roberta and Bruce have been doing this for 20 years. What community, real and nurturing, is spread before me. Perhaps there are 9 or 19 poets competing for honors in the NW and then far below, there are 5,000 others who dream of writing lines that make an audience fall to their knees, and in between are the family of artists who live and share their lives, who give and receive.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Sunday 21 January 2007


Dry with wind.


Kathleen talked to me today about the difference in thinking, thinking in poetry and thinking in numbers. She has a broad face, her thick hair is pulled back loosely. I imagine her with her arms spread wide, turning slowly. "When I am thinking in poetry," Kathleen says, "there is the ability to jump around," which I take to mean associate freely, open doors, backtrack, let intuition play. If followed through, this sort thinking may produce a list, spontaneous and random, it may yield an jagged outline, or a method for decoding language. "When thinking in numbers," Kathleen adds, "you must follow logic, you must remain linear, progress on a plane. If I am working a job that requires logic, it interrupts my thinking in poetry."


Historically, the mode for poetry has been narrative, lyrical. At the turn of the century, the Modernists moved us away from prosody and began the free verse experiments. Symbolists gave way to Imagists. Modernist poetry is now the mode of most contemporary anthologies, as in Best American Poetry, and accounts for what is taught in most university programs. While the Modernist poet is free from meter and rhyme, he nonetheless works within a binary system, posing a central author, an "I" who expresses himself in right and wrong, truth and lie, day and night, beginning and end. He still progresses logically, still rises to a climax, reaches an epiphany and closes neatly. Structure is still imposed by a God-author.

Another experience has since been recognized and credited. It accounts for most of what we call experimental and L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry, which grows out of an alternate mode of collecting information and informing, an alternative mode of being, non-lyrical and subjective. Rather than segregating experience, the experimental poet embraces plurality and writes open-ended works, often making complex poems which follow multiple threads and offer more than one voice which vie for attention. "The 'personal' is already a plural condition," says Lyn Hejinian in "The Person and Description."

I am not a painter, I am a poet.
Why? I think I would rather be
a painter, but I am not. Well. . . (Frank O'Hara)

For sample work of the avant-gardes, browse UBU Web. For poetry, in particular, see How2.


Kathleen rakes leaves in the side yard. "What kind of job can I hold?" She has stifled her poet at the wrong job. She has been blessed to know the right job too, one that feeds her poet. One cannot sit down at one's desk when thoroughly exhausted. The poet needs a respectful environment. One's work must offer a sense of contribution and value. Light mental duty, light physical duty, but mindful work. The perfect job is difficult to attain because it is difficult to imagine, but it might be as simple as gardening or tending horses. James Broughton suggested working as a U.S. postal carrier. A postal carrier, he notes, must move about in the material world, yet his mind is free to wander. There is value in his task while ample energy is stored for pursuing one's passion.

When I think of free association, I think of the poetry of Harryette Mullen. Mullen identifies a desire "to write a poem that encourages collaborative reading across cultural boundaries." She is interested in "the interaction of language and identity." Consider these lines from her poem, Wipe That Simile Off Your Aphasia, "as onion as I can / as cherries as feared." Clear expected connections inherent in the subject and form are lost. The reader is left to make her own connections.


Metaphors take on new meaning when nouns appear in place of adjectives. Mullen plays at language, reclaiming structure, creating new meaning. In Muse & Drudge, cause and effect work out of sequence. "How a border orders disorder / how the children looked / whose mothers worked / in the maquiladora." The ear of the reader needs only to roll with the new speak, the way one rolls with the sounds of new music or a foreign tongue, associating sound with experience. Poetry "based on relations not things" requires an open and close reading. Sometimes it's best to read such poetry aloud. Sometimes it's best to give such poetry percussion.


Choosing what to eat, see, read. Where to live, work, school. The voices, the music to hear. The friends, leaders, truths to believe. Choices define us. "Caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar" [Antonio Machado, Campos de Castilla, 1917]. "By walking you make the path before you and when you look behind you see the path which after you will not be trod again."

“Caminante, son tus huellas
el camino, y nada más;
caminante, no hay camino,
se hace camino al andar.
Al andar se hace camino
y al volver la vista atrás
se ve la senda que nunca
se ha de volver a pisar.
Caminante no hay camino,
sino estelas en la mar.”

[From Proverbs and Songs by Antonio Machado]

The path you learn by making it takes me to the performance work of Amy-Ellen Trefsger, Urban Beach Scenes, in which the Seattle artist walks through urban settings in a bathing suit with swimmies and sunglasses on, while one assistant lays sand before her, another sweeps it up behind. She moves through town like this, upon the beach of her childhood memory.

Life is action. We must act in order to mean. This is the power of art. It has the ability to demonstrate life, to show us how to live.


I attended a panel discussion a few weeks ago at Francine Seders Gallery. The evening focused on the work of four independent curators working in Seattle: Suzanne Beal, Greg Lundgren, Carrie E. A. Scott and Steven Michael Vroom. Moderator John Boylan raised questions about the approach of independent curators. Does a curator dictate or cultivate art? Greg turned the question of arbiter of affairs around and says he lets the artists ask for the curator. In his experience, a tremendous amount of artists reach out and ask for advice about how to show and price their work. So what is his role? "Art," he says, "is a powerful tool and it's running badly on two cylinders. It needs some really good mechanics. It is my belief that art could supercede this culture of football teams and Hollywood. My purpose is to steer us away from popular culture."

Questions are raised. Is it possible to curate collectively? Do curators effect social change? How does money drive the market? How can curators show art they are passionate about if difficult art doesn't sell? How do you get people into a gallery?
And the artist says, "The curator cannot exist without me. And the curator retorts, "The artist cannot exist without me."

Does the poet believe it too? "The reader cannot exist without me." And the reader? "It is I who validate the poet. Poetry is not poetry until it manifests in me."


I read the poem "A Jar of Honey" by Jacob Polley all day today. A happy poem. Visual. Simple. "You hold it like a lit bulb,/a pound of light." Mark and Clinton would have been proud. They worry when the poems I share are depressing and mournful, ugly and hopeless. Poetry comes out of strife, I tell them, poetry is a protest. They want something uplifting.


My left eye, the wind is making it cry. Besides shivering, besides cold feet, a cold head, cold legs, my left eye is tearing up. And so I blink against the wind and try to focus on the text, but it is the sub-text that comes through. A man just passed, walking two huskies. He asked as he went, "Do you write poetry for dogs?" Off his dogs led him into Sherwood before I could answer. "Ah, it seems I do, it seems I do."

Tom talks to me about the sailing barges, or bateaux, that used to run up and down the Columbia River, flat-bottomed barges with square sails that were used to transport trade goods and furs in the 19th century. My friend, Oliver, plans to take his 18' wooden sailboat from the source of the Columbia in Eastern Washington to Astoria at its mouth. "Depending on the weather and wind, that could take a while," Tom warns.

My left eye is weeping. I suppose the wind is making it cry.


I have collected pine cones from the Borealis Strip and brought them to the tulip trees in my meadow. At the terminus of each fingerling branch, I balance one pinecone. They dangle like chandelier drops, wiggle in the wind. A man pauses beside them. "It's like one of those trees from another culture where they decorate them to make wishes come true." "Yes," I say, "may your wishes come true."

I have hung my tulip trees with pine cones. Each pinecone is a manifesto. Eventually the wind will knock them down in circles around the tree.


The Chelsea Hotel Manifesto (1961) by Yves Klein exhibits dedication. "Due to the fact that I have painted monochromes for fifteen years."

The Futurist Manifesto displays passion. "We have been up all night, my friends and I."

The Communist Manifesto strikes fear. "A spectre is haunting Europe."

The Cheap Art Manifesto accomplices. "For awhile now, many of us have felt growing dissatisfaction with some popular arts events."

The Crap Art Manifesto has yet to be written.

The Manifesto of Visionary Art removes the blindfold. "The Visionary artist uses all means at his disposal - even at great risk to himself - to access different states of consciousness and expose the resulting vision."

The Poetry Manifesto has only one line, "Poetry rejects definition."

Robert Grenier's "I HATE SPEECH" Manifesto is another one liner, and that's it, "I HATE SPEECH."

An Outlaw Poet Manifesto, written by Alan Kaufman, is strong in belief. "To be one from whose ashes someday truth shall arise."

Personism, A Manifesto by Frank O'Hara (1961), explains and concedes. "Everything is in the poems, but at the risk of sounding like the poor wealthy man’s Allen Ginsberg I will write to you."

Wendell Berry's Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front incites. "Love the quick profit, the annual raise,/vacation with pay. Want more/of everything ready-made."

Lawrence Ferlinghetti's Populist Manifesto No. 1 demands action. "Poets, come out of your closets,/Open your windows, open your doors,/You have been holed-up too long/in your closed worlds.

Time Rebel Poets' Manifesto refuses the bounds of time. "We are INDIVIDUALS that refuse to be captured by time."

The Conservative Poetry Manifesto politicizes. "In light of the separation of America into “Two Nations.”