Monday, August 11, 2014


Life is uncertainty. That's a given. (Get it?)

I returned from Nebraska after a brief but great visit with my father and step-mom, and I feel renewed. To be completely honest, I didn't feel so great before I left. I felt numb a lot of the time, going through the motions. Not depressed, not sad. Just not much of anything. I explained this to a few folks, and they said it was likely burnout. Judging from the fact that the trip helped so much, I think they were on to something. I came back to some tough news, potentially scary news, but instead of feeling panic and instead of feeling nothing, I just felt okay. Some time to write: that's the cure.    

Below is a poem I wrote for and in honor of the Art Farm, a residency like no other. I recommend it to the hardest-core of hardcore writers (badasses only). Below that is some lit news and a short prompt. I wish you all a wonderful week.


We arrive, carry art on our backs or balance it on our heads
like books as we walk slow, sleepy circles in order to reach
the straight line time dances around, just ahead, and we

live in heat, for wind, with an ailing raccoon whose pupils
have narrowed with sunlight and the flies that clean their legs on our
swatters as they eye our compost—the mound of decay that gives life.

We work, painting walls, digging trenches, burying waste,
watching the leaking water with worried eyes and grubby
hands that, together, have raised a substantial roof; and we

wander, meeting those in town who know those
near town, who know those mothers and fathers of those
in surrounding towns, who know—all of them—Ed; therefore, us.

We live without time, find our way home, think back, send treasure maps,
reconnect and feel our roots pulling us back toward shared grounds where
Arctic winds, warmed by the reach to Nebraska, embrace and kiss corn 

as we remember walking the silky rows, beneath an expanse of blue and above
dust and clay that is thrust up by truck wheels and embedded beneath our skin as we
wave each other on by, growing smaller in reflective mirrors but no less a part of the farm. 

Here is a prompt based on my time at the Art Farm:

Write about excess. A character whose life is over-filled with stuff is forced to live without. How does s/he change? There is a lot of potential here to use humor.  

Literary news: New fiction is forthcoming in Per Contra (read the current issue for some great work!) and elsewhere. More soon... 

xo Jen 

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