When Sumnagashi Falls

From where it is drying on the window pane it makes a swooshing sound that startles me…





Suminagashi & Poetry





Spilled Ink #8

I drop two drops
of purple ink,
it doesn’t print
exactly what you see
or what you think
not the mod blob
I’ve placed on the bottom
but these scrim of pattern
unraveling.Add blue
this earth is turning
as a child
I thought that if I jumped
off the back porch steps
I’d hang in air
and in that instant
the fast spinning globe would turn
and I’d land
somewhere other
than my mother’s yard
if not China, at least

Green swales down
around a violet egg
I like this one
I’m doing what you’re not
supposed to do
pulling one print after another
off the water’s surface,
and adding white, islands appear
like continents seen by satellite,
and the last piece
mostly pale yellow blank
with just a corner of wave
like something Japanese
just waiting for a poem
about red leaves and a cabin
screened, where sleep is dark and undisturbed
and dawn’s light scatters into


Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: , . 1 Comment »

Working A Little Differently

I usually can outline my creative process pretty simply. But there are a lot of factors here at Wildacres–my poetry & Isabel’s suminagashi & Isabel’s other media & embroidery & my suminagashi & mother/daughter relationship & lovely cabin in the woods…




We’re working on a prototype for a piece we’re really enthusiastic about–but no way to complete it here–looks like the work of many months ahead.


This Started Out As A Kind of Failed Experiment

because the marbled tissue paper crumpled up–but it is now one of our favorite elements and inspiration for what we are developing. Photo by Isabel Winson-Sagan. Window at Wildacres, North Carolina.


Suminagashi and Text Collaboration


when you were a baby
a Ballanchine dancer
praised your sitting posture

now that you’re grown
I need to question you to understand—
a woman of another generation

I walk in the autumn softwood forest
with my cane—elegant fungus
grows along a tree trunk

palmate leaves
bigger than any gloves I’ve ever worn
turn green, yellow, brown, red

you say the paper sculpture
should be just about
as tall as you are

an enormous spider web
seems dropped into these woods
by Chiuhuly

you blow the line
of ink
across the standing water

if autumn were a woman
she’d be undressing now
for her date with solstice

the koan asks: for whom
do you adorn yourself
and make yourself beautiful?


14 Lines for the Wave

what floated on the surface and what sank—kelp or a princely galleon

what floated on the surface of a dream—detritus of the day, rogue maple leaves

dyslexia has its uses, turning in the right—the wrong—direction

the fan opened blank—that surprised me

what could be folded into an origami bird—a sense of loss, lost days of childhood

what could be hidden in a matchbox—an acorn cap, a secret, a half smoked roach

no matter what you did, some portion was white space

we played at mermaids, naked but for green tights

you can stitch paper, a wound, and air (if you’re a dragonfly)

I didn’t want to love a mermaid—I wanted to be one—

unable, even for a prince, to walk on land

tideline littered in plastic bottles, apocalypse washing up on the shoreline

slick black rocks covered in shells with tiny suction cups against the tide

what could be stored inside the self—an other self, ecstatic—sober as the devil and drunk as god

Collaboration at Wildacres

Isabel Winson-Sagan and I are in residence in the autumn forest of Wildacres, North Carolina in a spacious cabin with three very square meals a day.


From Andrews Experimental Forest: Poem by Michael G. Smith and Photograph by Laura Young


Alder Leaves

Alder leaves fall
into the creek one-
by-one, float down
stream, sometimes
flipped over by a
whim of current,
one yellow leaf caught
by a foot-wide eddy
within four river rocks
going round and round
until an imperceptible
change in the flow
of clear water
kicks it out
enabling it to press on
along its solo path,
my circle of thought
like the summer forest
vanishing too.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 930 other followers