in dry fields
in dry fields
This is a video I made for a Tim Suermondt poem at The Poetry Storehouse. The readers are Nic Sebastian and Amy Miller. The music is “Simple Delayed Guitar + Violin Loop” by Candle Nine from Soundcloud. All of the pieces that comprised the video had been released under a Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license (the same one used here at Coyote Mercury). That license makes projects like this possible.
The video came about quite by accident. I was playing with Hyperlapse on my phone while at ACL Fest, just experimenting during Gaslight Anthem’s set. Later I came across the Suermondt poem and thought that some of the images might work with the poem.
I also liked the fact that the poem had multiple readings because I wanted to see what would happen with two different and distinct voices. I tried them both, and opted for Nic’s as the front in part because it was shorter, and I didn’t have much footage.
I edited to the rhythm of the words and the video. Then went searching for music. I wanted something with guitars, and the Candle Nine piece at Soundcloud worked well, and was the correct length. This was a fun one to put together, and I’m pleased with the result.
swirl from highway signs
A few years ago, I took a photo of the live oak tree in our front yard every day in October. Today, I’m playing with the gallery feature in WordPress and so, here they all are in one batch. One of these wound up in the logo art for Gnarled Oak—my new project, an online literary journal, and the other serves as the header image for Gnarled Oak on Twitter and Facebook.
Another wonderful ACL Fest. The weather couldn’t have been better. It was reminiscent of 2010, though without that year’s amazing, awesome lineup. I do miss the old days when there were more jam bands, jazz, and alt-country. The hip-hop doesn’t interest me much, but the upside was that with none of the nighttime acts being particularly compelling, it made things easier to do with with a three-year-old in tow. Still, another great weekend of music in the heart of Austin. And, finally, I got to see The Replacements.
Fri: Capital Cities, Paolo Nutini, St. Vincent, Foster the People
Sat: The Rosebuds, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Zoé, Interpol, Icona Pop, The Avett Brothers
Sun: KONGOS, Jhenè Aiko, Cults, The Gaslight Anthem, Real Estate, The Replacements
I used to have two blogs, but a few years ago that stopped making sense. At the time, I could barely keep this one going so I closed up a gnarled oak and started publishing my micropoems here. After two years, I’ve decided to do something new with the site so I relaunched it as Gnarled Oak, an online literary journal:
The idea developed as I was putting together a new poetry collection, and while proofing the acknowledgments page, I realized that most of the journals that had published some of the poems in that collection had shut down: qarrtsiluni, ouroboros review, Bolts of Silk, The Houston Literary Review, and a handful of stones. Literary journals are often transient things, but some of these were true favorites, and a handful of stones was where I got my first acceptance for a poem.
Now, I don’t know if the world needs another online literary journal, but I’m pretty sure it won’t hurt anything to add a little literature, art, and beauty to the web, and anyway I had this site and URL doing nothing, so I figured it might be fun and worthwhile to see what might grow here at this old Gnarled Oak. And if I can do this even half as well as the editors of the above-mentioned journals did, I will be very happy indeed.
I hope you’ll check it out and consider submitting. I’m reading for the Fall 2014 and Winter 2015 issues. The first issue will be a micropoetry, microprose, micro-whatever issue. Go, on, now. Check it out.
Over the past few days, I’ve been fortunate to have had two poems published. Red Wolf Journal published my prose poem “Walking Down the Night” as part of their Fall 2014: Celebration & Ritual issue, and Austin-based journal Carcinogenic Poetry published “Ghazal for Seven Goddesses.”
I also recently learned that three of my April NaPoWriMo poems made the daily top ten lists at Poetic Asides Daily, and one, “Trigger”, even won the day (Day 29: Realist and/or Magical Poem, chosen by guest judge Adam Fitzgerald). The two that made the short lists are “Sticky Note” (Day 3: Message Poem) and “The Summer Forecast” (Day 18: Weather Poem). Each days’ winning poem will be published in the upcoming anthology/prompt book Poem Your Heart Out (Words Dance Publishing).
slips across autumn sunlight
fluorescent light, linoleum.
Two cold-blooded singers
face off in the corner, circling,
testing–lunge and feint.
I wash my hands.
Watch the black-clad
rivals unable to back down
or go around until someone
brings a broom and dustpan,
sweeps up these two, away
to feed chickens in the yard,
their twelve legs locked
in pointless combat.
For Prompt #1 at This Is Not a Literary Journal: Write about the first animal you see today. I didn’t include my dogs, opting instead for wild animals. Those turned out to be crickets and the beetles that appear to stalk them, both of which have infested our school, and are now being swept up and taken to feed the chickens.
She went deeper and the boat receded. She worked her chains. The world was locks and water, but she knew the key and smiled as she sank.
The waves came and went leaving constant patterns in the surf. A message: Help me. The beach litter was a map of the seafloor.
He swam for hours into the darkening sea, found her lying in the coral. You came, she said. He exhaled for the last time.
The sea was air, the coral home. Their love the fish, the legs they grew as they evolved back to land to invent boats, chains and locks.
I posted this to my Twitter feed about a year ago and found it in my files. So, a rerun.