poetry & prose

Pictures and Poetry: The Bio-Domes


the sea and the sun

and the wind which shapes this world

cannot change your soul

God cannot tell you

who you are or what to do

flowers breathe and bloom

we are strong as rocks

no matter the size, each stone

is part of a whole


   I'd like to present to you some new work which I've been working on. Expect to see large prints of these pictures and other images dealing with the cohabitation of man and earth in the coming weeks, as well as show announcements for the Spring and Summer. The three photographs I've highlighted here were all taken in Milwaukee this February at the Mitchell Park Conservatory Bio-Domes. The domes are always an other-worldly experience - stark geometry contrasted by exotic natural beauty. This was made plain for us immediately upon entering. In flaming scarlet, a male Cardinal danced desperately with a female, the two separated by the glass and steel of the domes, doomed, yet determined, the sound of wings batting fruitlessly against the barrier sounding a subtle echo through the hum of the ventilation system.

Poetry: "electric."

I was going through a notebook that I''ve nearly finished up and came across this poem from just about a year ago exactly. It is exactly what I look for in a poem: it's concise, yet comfortably charismatic. It's important for even a short poem to have some kind of dynamic range. So, here, in all it's glory, is "electric."





is there anything more beautiful

than a woman reading?


the drapes softly undulating

with the room's respiration.


she turns a page --- 

lips pursed in thoughtful anticipation ---


undresses her arms

bringing the open book to eye level


the air still,



and electric.



...m.e.s. .jan.30.2012...

Dreams As Fiction: Submit Today

Make Your Dream A Story: Contribute to Dreams As Fiction Today!

   I am very happy to announce that submissions will be accepted to Book of Dreams: An Anthology of Dreams As Fiction. That's right! We are working on compiling a book of dreams as short-stories to be published in early 2014. The anthology will deal with dreams on a narrative level, to be read and enjoyed like literature. Instead of dissecting and analyzing, like current studies of dreams, we are interested in the creative fiction our minds are able to produce every evening.

   Because there is no foundation of study for dreams as fiction, we are turning to you. We would like you to submit an interesting or favorite dream to us for consideration in the Dreams As Fiction anthology. We're accepting entries at the e-mail address dreams@equallyempty.com. Leave the name you'd like to be referred as and any pertinent contextual information, if it is necessary. There are no size requirements for this process: entries may be as long or as short as needed. We understand dreams can be fleeting in nature and welcome your experimental approaches to capturing them.


Why You Should Contribute

   Since Freud and his cohorts have trapped dreams to the realm of analyzation, it's time to take them back for the people. Back in Freud's day others had ideas about the value of dreams. Beginning in the years following World War I, eminent Surrealist Andre Breton joined Louis Aragon and Philippe Soupault of the Dada movement, publishing Littérature which included transcripts of dreams along with their other automatic writing experiments. As Dada would emerge into Surrealism, pivotal artists such as Salvador Dali used dreams as an important catalyst to their work."Dreams of Venus" by: Salvador Dali

   We look to continue in this line of thinking, proudly placing dreams in the pantheon of art, as a kind of co-creator. Just because most art is created in the conscious realm of the brain does not mean it is only found there, the unconscious is a new and unexplored terrain for art making. So let's open this ground for expansion. Join us to create an artistic base for the literature of the unconscious! Send us a dream to dreams@equallyempty.com!


What Happens If I Get Chosen?

   For the artists selected, we'll be taking care of editing the copy for publishing - i.e. correcting grammatical mistakes, spelling, and on occasion, clarity. Because space is limited, we will not be able to use everyone's story, but if we do decide to use your story we will be in direct contact with you. We want to preserve the artist's vision, maintaining formatting as much as possible. By May we hope to have enough stories to begin designing the book and hope to have books published by late 2013 or early 2014. By submitting to Dreams As Fiction, we will give periodic updates on our progress, so you can expect more accurate dates as the process moves along.

   If you have any questions regarding Dreams As Fiction don't hesitate to send an e-mail. We'd be happy to address any concern or query. And, of course, if you'd like to make a submission, send them here: dreams@equallyempty.com!


Poetry for the New Year: Benjamin Franklin's "XII Mon. February (1746) hath xxviii days."

I stumbled upon this at the Poetry Foundation's website. They publish Chicago's very own Poetry Magazine and are truly one of the most important groups bringing poetry into the new millennium.

While this poem was penned over 250 years ago, it still holds true today. Debt is as pertinent in this age as it was in Benjamin Franklin's. He's the author of this poem "XII Mon. February [1746] hath xxviii days."Our forefather Benjamin Franklin about debt and living more frugally. A nice motivational poem for those of us so resolutionally inclined:


Man’s rich with little, were his Judgment true,
Nature is frugal, and her Wants are few;
Those few Wants answer’d, bring sincere Delights,
But Fools create themselves new Appetites.
Fancy and Pride seek Things at vast Expence,
Which relish not to Reason nor to Sense
Like Cats in Airpumps, to subsist we strive
On Joys too thin to keep the Soul alive.



Poetry: "the front door"

the song of wind chimes
color the background,
conversations detail the fore
while December winds
whisper their chills, settling down on the floor

then the stillness returns
only for a moment, before
phonecalls and laughter
resume their chorus
i add my lines:
what is this weight that troubles me?
why is life such a bore?
trees claw at the breeze
that is opening and slamming
the front door

m.e.s. .dec.21.2012... 

From the Library: "The Labors of Thor" by: David Wagoner

Chris Hemsworth as the God of Thunder: Thor   So, last night after all of the turkey was put away and our wine glasses were filled, my family sat down to watch the action-adventure movie The Avengers based on the comic of the same name. The movie was a mildly entertaining thing where Thor's brother Loki plans on enslaving humanity (in the actual myths Thor and Loki are not related) but The Avengers band together and save the day.

   While that's all jolly-good, what really excited me was that all of the appearances by Thor reminded me of a superb poem by David Wagoner: "The Labors of Thor." Published in the Sept 17, 1973 issue of the New Yorker, it is one of those great poems that not only conjurs visions of another world, but tells a story and offers encouragement through a delicious twist in the last stanza. Enjoy!

The Labors of Thor by: David Wagoner

Stiff as the icicles in their beards, the Ice Kings
Sat in the great cold hall and stared at Thor
Who had lumbered this far north to stagger them
With his gifts, which (back at home) seemed scarcely human.

“Immodesty forbids,” his sideman Loki
Proclaimed throughout the preliminary bragging,
And reeled off Thor’s accomplishments, fit for Sagas
Or a seat on the bench of the gods. With a sliver of beard

An Ice King picked his teeth: “Is he a drinker?”
And Loki boasted of challengers laid out
As cold as pickled herring. The Ice King offered
A horn-cup, long as a harp’s neck, full of mead.

Thor braced himself for elbow and belly room
And tipped the cup and drank as deep as mackerel,
Then deeper, reaching down for the halibut
Till his broad belt buckled. He had quaffed one inch.

“Maybe he’s better at something else,” an Ice King
Muttered, yawning. Remembering the boulders
He’d seen Thor heave and toss in the pitch of anger,
Loki proposed a bout of lifting weights.

“You men have been humping rocks from here to there
For ages,” an Ice King said. “They cut no ice.
Lift something harder.” And he whistled out
A gray-green cat with cold, mouseholey eyes.

Thor gave it a pat, then thrust both heavy hands
Under it, stooped and heisted, heisted again,
Turned red in the face and bit his lip and heisted
From the bottom of his heart—and lifted one limp forepaw.

Now pink in the face himself, Loki said quickly
That heroes can have bad days, like bards and beggars,
But Thor of all mortals was the grossest wrestler
And would stake his demigodhood on one fall.

Seeming too bored to bother, an Ice King waved
His chilly fingers around the mead-hall, saying,
“Does anyone need some trifling exercise
Before we go glacier-calving in the morning?”

An old crone hobbled in, four-faced and gamy,
As bent in the back as any bitch of burden,
As gray as water, as feeble as an oyster.
An Ice King said, “She’s thrown some boys in her time.”

Thor would have left, insulted, but Loki whispered,
“When the word gets south, she’ll be at least an ogress.”
Thor reached out sullenly and grabbed her elbow,
But she quicksilvered him and grinned her gums.

Thor tried his patented hammerlock takedown,
But she melted away like steam from a leaky sauna.
He tried a whole Nelson; it shrank to half, to a quarter,
Then nothing. He stood there, panting at the ceiling,

“Who got me into this demigoddiness?”
As flashy as lightning, the woman belted him
With her bony fist and boomed him to one knee,
But fell to a knee herself, and pale as moonlight.

Bawling for shame, Thor left by the back door,
Refusing to be consoled by Loki’s plans
For a quick revision the Northodox Version
Of the evening’s deeds, including Thor’s translation

From vulnerable flesh and sinew into a dish
Fit for the gods and a full apotheosis
With catches and special effects by the sharpest gleemen
Available in an otherwise flat season.

He went back south, tasting his bitter lesson,
Moment by moment, for the rest of his life,
Believing himself a pushover faking greatness
Along a tawdry strain of misadventures.

Meanwhile, the Ice Kings trembled in their chairs
But not from the cold--they’d seen a man hoist high
The Great Horn-Cup that ends deep in the ocean
And lower all Seven Seas by his own stature;

They’d seen him budge the Cat of the World and heft
The pillar on one paw, the whole north corner;
They’d seen a mere man wrestle with Death herself
And match her knee for knee, grunting like thunder.

Poetry: "epochs of time"



poems come
and poets go
art is always modern
these towns keep changing their names
but the mountains
and the seas
steadfastly remain
they have seen the world created
will see its demise
do our queries unspoken
really go deaf and unanswered
to the wind's unconscious replies?
an echo resounding
proof the world is providing
it's our duty
to navigate the tide.
the mountains will tell you
their rocks have a wisdom
built upon epochs of time.


...m.e.s. .aug.16.2012...