Soft Thrumming

Brendan has a stomach virus—the last few hours tonight we’ve cradled him, cleaned him from his attacks of vomit, consoled the resulting moods—

following along the river of family, from his image    to the speaker’s self,
Needless to say, little sleep over the last six hours—he sleeps now thankfully, slightly stretched across the couch with a small, stuffed toy.

In the calm moments like this I’ve been writing in the halfdark, restructuring lines for various projects. The house murmurs to itself, a glacier of winter, soft thrumming of existence. Checking on Brendan every few moments, he settles into a calm security of my presence, clutching his blanket, slow even breaths lifting his chest.
My poet-friend, Joan Seliger-Sidney, recently had one of her poems read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac. Her words provide a theme of connections, of familial bloodlines transposed over generations. Though the narration, the reader is taken with the speaker, from the immediate present of watching her son bake challah bread, following along the river of family, from his image to the speaker’s self, to her mother, and finally to her grandmother in Zurawno, Poland “pressing, stretching, /folding flour, water, and eggs/into a living elastic” (ll.7-9).

Take a listen.

In regards to the production of my book, Variations on a Theme of Desire, the first draft of the cover displays a painting from an established artist from New Orleans, Keith Perelli. (A greater sense of excitement takes over, whenever I look at the cover image.) His complex style retains a heavy sense of the surreal and dream-logic one can accidentally encounter in the world. Perelli manages to create a heavy sense of photo-realism with oil and mixed media. The artwork to be displayed on the dust-jacket is titled: "Tread." It portrays a male figure surrounded in a collage of elements, his claustrophobic environment consisting of high water, broken lumber, and torn paper, flags. His face appears frozen in shock, as a character locked in mid-epiphany as-it-were. Or a figure in mid-transformation, sudden realization of his surrounds.

Most importantly, easily overlooked if one is not careful, the male's gaze takes in the image of a small bird, an anthropomorphic-symbol of change physically landing (or rising to leave) from a nearby branch. A thread of connection can be drawn from the male figure's eyes to his gesturing hands to the symbolic bird—a trio of imagery which echo with the themes and fragmented phrases that play out throughout the full text within Variations.

Overall, it inspires and pushes at me to generate more poems in this fashion of fractured logic and collaged realities. Broken perspectives rejoined in a haphazard, instinctive, highly-creative fashion.


  1. Having trouble posting, my comment was deleted. Here goes again: Wow, great cover, which fits your book!!!

  2. I have been following the artist for the last two decades—love how his style mirrors my work's intentions.


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