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Independent Publishing Resource Center

(WARNING: contains explicit language)

Last week I purchasIMG_20150225_213431ed membership at a nice little place called the Independent Publishing Resource Center on SE 9th and Division.  I found the website and–assuming on a whim that it would be useful  and a worthwhile cause–I got the $5/month “Burrito membership.” (IMPORTANT: you do not receive a burrito with your membership, they just call it that because it’s comparably priced…huge disappointment.) They instantaneously mailed me this welcome package, which includes an “audiozine” of Portland’s most notable zine publishers reading their work.  Quite a treat when I didn’t even expect to receive anything.  I’m telling you, Christmas everyday in Portland. 🙂

I went up there Monday to check out what they have and a very sweet and mellow volunteer with blue hair named Morgan gave me a quick tour.  The space includes a screenprinting area, a letter press area, paper cutters, bookbinders, craft supplies, printers, copiers, free GIANT-screened Mac computers, and a huge zine library.  So I spent a lot of time just checking the place out.  Then I opened up my half-finished poetry collection, fussed around with fonts and tried to print on some fancy paper I had purchased. Unfortunately, I don’t really know how to use Macs, and nobody working or volunteering there had any idea how to use Microsoft Word because apparently all the cool kids use Adobe InDesign (note to self: learn to be like the cool kids…). So even though I wanted to print two pages to a piece of paper, so that my book wouldn’t be gynormous, I had no success. I also had no success trying to load my fancy paper into the printer and convince it to take from that particular tray (“C’mon baby, just make it pretty for mama!”). I am not tech savvy.  FMPL (f*** my poetry life)

At one point a decently amicable (though painfully zinester) person made a kind of weak attempt to help me get things going and eventually, amid all my frustration, she casually asked “What are you trying to do anyway?” Involuntarily, my eyes welled up with tears and I looked into hers, lip quivering, and said “I’m just trying to make something.”  It 20150224_115104was at THAT moment I realized that if this thing is really going to get made, I’m going to have to expose how much it means to me and be vulnerable. I need help.  In fact, I need all the help I can get. I have no idea what I’m doing.  I like poetry, and I care about mine. Disclaimer: I don’t fucking know how to make a bloody mother-fucking BOOK! When people read my sweet poetry jams, I just want it to be a THING. A TANGIBLE, durable, moderately sodding professional, and beautiful looking THING (I get British when I curse).  Something that at least ONE person will take home and put in a special place and feel warm inside about it. Something someone will want to sit with under a quilt on a rainy day with the window open and a pot of tea on the stove. And then they’ll just curl up on the couch and think about it for a minute and feel all lovely.

I must have conveyed that pretty clearly because she started apologizing uncomfortably and saying she wished she could help.  It’s ok zinester with the unhygenic smell cloud around you.  I will get all the help I need and I couldn’t even stand close enough to get help from you anyway.  Plus, it was a learning experience to unreservedly express my creative desire to a stranger. It was pretty dramatic.   I like caring about something so much. I just ended up printing on regular paper in regular size (stupid ugly 8 1/2 by 11!).  TIMG_20150225_193205hen I went to use the bookbinding machine which sweet, mildly naive Morgan demonstrated for me. When I tried to use it, someone in charge stopped me in my tracks and informed me that you had to be trained to use it and Morgan just didn’t know that. But it just so happened that there was a bookbinding class happening two days later. It was fifty bucks, so I signed up.

And that is what I did tonight after work. It was incredibly fun. I made all these tiny little notebooks with covers made out of old National Geographic magazine pages I tore out.  The machine is big and old and funky. It heats up glue and spreads it on the edges of the pages and then presses them into the cover and pinches them tight.  Quite the toy for me.  The paper cutters are also giant and old. I think one of them was actually an antique. I should have taken a picture.

Anyhow, now I know how to bind and I have the authority. So that’s something. If I could just get trained for InDesign (“It’s basically what everybody uses.”) and figure out the bloody printer/copier, I might actually be able to make an actual book… soon


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Little Brown Bowl


pottery by Dan Peccia

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Two Poems for Shante Bolen

I woke up wishing

you a happy birthday.

And I blew out your

candles for fun over

my morning tea. I filled

up your balloons when

I put on my lipstick.

And I wrapped a bow

around your present

when I tied my shoes.

It’s not even the right

day for it. That was

the icing on the cake.


You are the one girl

I’d fly across the country

to kiss and cuddle.

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(1st Stanza)

‘Twas brillig and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gamble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

 (pottery by Dan Peccia)

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Christmas in February

IMG_20150220_102512Last night Daniel Peccia welcomed me into his fanciful home where he lives with a beautiful, loving family that includes two adorable pups and an aloof but friendly cat. He gave me a tour of his pottery studio. I have to say this is probably the coolest thing I’ve had the opportunity to do in a long time.

He showed me his kiln and all his materials, as well as the space where he selects and studies poetry that has been submitted to him, where the clay dries, where it gets rolled out, carved and imprinted into. He explained about the different ways to add the colors and the glaze. The time each part of the process takes. I mean, I have to say I could not have been more fascinated by the intricacies of this art.

As if the night could get any better, he then showed me what he has done with my title poem. This is the kind of stuff that makes me wig out with joy.  He has said before that pulling pottery out of the kiln is kind of like Christmas. It’s full of surprises and you can never know quite how it will turn out. That is exactly what the entire night was like. ❤ And watching him pull each piece out one by one and set it on the table, covered in my words, made from the beauty of his clay, was indescribable and powerfully motivating. I looked slowly and closely at each one as if I had never seen a piece of pottery in my life.  And I still do so. Everything around each piece gets blurry and each little caress of color reaches out.

I will be sharing his pieces over the next few days. One at a time so as not to detract from their individual beauty with the sheer QUANTITY I took home. 🙂

I walked from his house to another friend’s place and then from there to my house with a bag full of about 25 lbs of pottery. It was over three miles total. I have to say my arms could not have been more tired, but I could not have been more grateful. I almost wanted to keep on carrying it with me wherever I go…

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“When I see you everyone else disappears and we’re inside a snow globe liquid and swirling.”


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For Everyone Alone Today

“Alone, yet in the hearts
Of those who long for peace,
The restless feel my Aloneness;
The hungry eat it;
The thirsty drink it…

…Whatever danger threatens,
My aloneness breaks the spell,
Where misery craves company,
My Aloneness they may share…

…Alone, I walk and talk with men
Or stroll along the shady lane.
Aloneness has been granted me
Wherever I may be.”

From The Art of Meditation
By Joel S. Goldsmith

Pottery by Daniel Peccia

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I must tell you…

“I wasn’t as young as you then, and I’m not as old as you now.”


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The Soundtrack


Florence and the Machine

Sufjan Stevens

My Chemical Romance

The Decemberists


Land of Talk

Fuck Buttons


Bright Eyes

High Places

Dark Meat (link?)

The Honeydrips

Fleet Foxes


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New Life, Something To Do

Julius DC Bautista, in Chicago, has newly jumped on board with Heartstump.  I’m exceedingly grateful.  Overjoyed. In its highest expression.

Joe Diamond continues to inspire me with the magic of life and seeks to share his videos.  Havinphoto (2)g a magician in the family is a gift.  There is a magic in this world that we risk losing touch with everyday…

Daniel Peccia (of poetry.pottery.pdx) has produced a stamp to press into pieces of pottery containing lines from my title poem.  Please go visit his shelf on 2115 SE 48th Avenue, donate a little, and take home a piece of poetic pottery.  You can also submit a poem to him and he will turn it into pottery for you. He is gifted and generous.

New friends at PCSL reach out in new ways to encourage and support me, including music director Linda Rossi. I am eternally reaching back.

The ball is certainly rolling now… The question is can I keep up?

The Answer (A Haiku)

There is no other

choice, when you have, in your

heart, something to do.

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