P o e t r y   P r o j e c t
Michael Carrino      Alan Cobb      Colette Inez      Rustin Larson      Nynke Passi      S Stephanie      Suzanne Vesely









Canto 65: Creating


When the act of creating
becomes deliberate,
the sensorium empties,
the mind blanks,
and silence fills awareness.

One does not become
aware of nothing:
one becomes Nothing.

The blank mind is
not an empty mind:
it becomes nonexistent,
not a mind.

When the sensorium empties,
the eyes are not blind
nor the ears deaf:
this emptiness is a saccade
of neurological nothingness,
a blink of the inner eye,
all space in a photon,
a thunderclap of silence.

Alan Cobb







Seeing A Painting

              It is September, let's believe it's one September
night at a gallery, and I'm enticed
              by “The Field of all Possibility.” In time fixed,
              implied, I've avoided any glide to another, a next
painting by what appears, as this surface
              turns liquid, and let's believe, just below this teasing
             surface, an image is forming, formed in the painter's
imagination at some past time, intended  
             to detain me in this weightless crowd, conversing
             between sips of white wine, bites of cubed cheese,
but no one nudges me, no one leans
             into me, trying to move me along, to find some thick
            stroke or color more enticing in the next painting, no
derivative comments, knowing looks,
             let's believe, meant to shift my attention to the next
             painting, perhaps the one after, until I've lost
and forgotten “The Field of all Possibility”
             and its troubling, engrossing image always forming
             just below its calm surface, if, let's believe, an image
must be forming, was formed, and this surface,
             in this now dissolving crowd, is truly, deeply calm.

Michael Carrino








Field ...

(After the Painting by Ken Dubin)

I’m going to need a lot of Titanium White today.
The Raffia I painted the kitchen with has peeled
into that gray of past conversation and plans
of adventures and travel turned a thick gone.

I too believe everything comes from somewhere, but
it disintegrates so abstractly into something else. 
Look how the souvenir coffee mug from New Orleans
once held music, but now echoes: I left you this gift.

These strokes of white, like swaths of bandages—
behind each one, something is surely buried but rising
insistently. Yet whether as ghost or expectation,
as memory or possibility, today I just can’t tell.

S Stephanie







A Yet to be Determined Painting

The silver maples dip and swirl and wave
like ocean algae in a tidal pool.
The element is prismatic. There are strong
currents moving. Some of us cling
to the bottom and wait, and then some of us
scuttle out into the forces. I think
of my mother trying to calm herself:
brown pillows on the sofa, Connie Francis
singing on the phonograph. She threw
dessert parties for her friends.
She would save me a slice of dream cake.
They sat in a circle in the living room,
drank coffee, laughed and chatted for hours.
Maple seeds flickered down from the branches.
“We are the replacements for butterflies,”
they said with their illusion of two wings.
They struck the boards of the deck,
and then they just lay there, broken machinery,
done, the pilot green, the current strong.

Rustin Larson


















Nine Ways of Looking at Nothing

All things have a hollow center                       
so secret and sacred it can’t be entered—
the heart of a blooming rose,
air caught inside a floating soap bubble,
a hunch-back ring of smoke.  
The human body is composed in the airy balance
of cobweb, cake batter, universe—
ten percent matter and ninety vacuous space.
Flesh is a flimsy nylon stocking covering the soul.
The firmament stretches like a circus tent—
as if anyone could pull sunlight tassels
and push aside the curtain.
Is the cosmos God’s skin draped
across God’s bones, skeleton
of fundamental geometry?

Does math restrict matter
like a corset flesh, or do the two untie
like hook from eye?
How can the present be unwrapped?
That would be like trying to undress the sea—
her gray silk skirts, the surf’s endless frills
of lace-trimmed crinoline.
Imagine seeing far into the bones of swans,
tracing the double helix of DNA corkscrewed
inside the curvature of delicate neck—
a bird’s maze-like, dizzying architectures—
pockets of nothingness waiting within
the cathedral arches of folded wings
where see-through rachis balance breath
between barbules and barbicels
of snow-white feathers.
One twig’s tap on a pond’s surface
spreads into concentric rings,
each ripple widening until it reaches
shore and moves no more—
while the center is still
beyond end or beginning.
All things draw toward a common core
the way a wild goose soars
below the cloud deck in a gray sky,
wing beats like metronome clicks
measuring time’s longing
inside the chest of space.

All things pledge themselves to the secret
of origin—the way a swan mates
for life, taking a pristinely white vow
with only an inkling, without
thinking, without rings.

Nynke Passi



The Salt

The salt
of the salt
of the salt
of this universe
of all universes
manifests beyond
time beyond
space beyond
even the finest
freedom resting
majestic, ageless
without a trace
of ambivalence
without the obsolescence it implies,
without an object,
all-encompassing dynamic
whirling dance
creation undisguised…

Suzanne Araas Vesely







Ken Dubin's Field
Of All Possibility


Dubin’s painting of ghost blue,

gray, white parallel arcs,

jots of color the eye will retrieve--

is it an inkling of what’s to come

or chart for a planetary

orbit in an outpost of time?

A brightness of being.

sweeps towards us—is it heaven?

Scanners, x-rays nowhere in residence

nor how the neocortex works

in vivid recollections.

We must believe the body outwits us

with possibilities, our afterwards to climb

in waves, interpretations made fact

pulling us in like an ancient tide past argument.


Colette Inez