This event has been cancelled. Sacred Theory of the Earth: On the Paintings of Thorpe Feidt

The paintings of Thorpe Feidt will be the subject of a talk I am giving at Cape Ann Museum on April 2nd. Details here:

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Lee Chapman

Artist, editor, dear dear collaborator and friend

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Gerrit Lansing

Gerrit Lansing

I am walking still in the golden sunlight of the midsummer mystery

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Thorpe Feidt and Patrick Doud Reading at Gloucester Writers Center

Thorpe Feidt and I read together one sweet May evening last year; Thorpe from his wonderful novel, The Oracular Room, and me from a sheaf of poems.

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Let the Bucket Down, issue 3

There was a lovely event at Gloucester Writers Center for the new issue of Joseph Torra’s excellent magazine, and Greg Cook was there.

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Kenneth Irby


November 18 1936            July 30 2015

Beloved Poet, Teacher, Friend


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The World As It Is

A poem in the new number of The Battersea Review



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In the city of the gulls,
along with all the other pieces hatched
by gulls clamoring sunrise law,
there came you, largely a wound,

to the courtyard of brick.
Baby with a wormy wing,
thinglet never to fledge,
despite all that made those feathers grow

some calamity in the nest . . .
And during the fracturing into many
you wandered, for just a while,
juvenile on a tether of hurt.

I witnessed the meeting of you
and your weak reflection,
trembling for strength, for others
already spent, my atmosphere pulsing

with your imprint, your leavings.
It moves, I see even now, while gulls shatter
the common air with screams. Moves
as a color, a light that throbs on loose feathers

caught in the weeds that overflow the cracks,
on those cornered in a heap here
beside my shoe,
on the white spattered everywhere,

the hot brick . . . An orange-red pulse
in cities of gulls and humans
discovered through sight,
a burning through the eyes.

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January 22nd, Gloucester Writers Center

by Gabrielle Barzaghi
12 X 12 inches

I want to say something briefly about my poems, Gabrielle’s drawings, and why we are putting them together tonight.

There are the fragile, doomed arrangements of everything, despite intuitions of another, everlasting world that touches this one, that enfolds us and extends beyond our knowing: as in my or anyone’s words of lives in houses and on the forest floor; as in Gabrielle’s woods and rocks and people.

There is a closeness in space and time, in place and era, which are holders of importance in my imagination and in Gabrielle’s, but it is not just the temporary qualities that we live by, as we must, in our temporary bodies, that brings our work together.

As a poem is not merely about something, a drawing is not merely depiction. A work of art emerges from and has its being in places that are both inside and outside the artist; places that are inside and outside simultaneously. Places where living images grow, coming again and again to the artist, once imagination finds them. This view of art reflects the view that our being extends beyond our selves, and the being of others extends into our selves, and that what we call the self is a tangle of shared being.

Gabrielle’s being is strewn with wild care through her drawings, together with the being of others, of otherness that is not so other as we might think.

Currently popular, the comedy music video “What Does the Fox Say?” perhaps unintentionally attacks this view, mocking those who understand that there is a tie of body, soul and spirit between what is human and what is not.

But the fox asks the little prince to tame him. Gerrit Lansing’s fox is heard laughing in the woods, and the poem shares in that laughter. Tornonk, the half-fox half-man of the world of my novels, is the child of a fox who never read a book and an imagination that has been with many. The fox that is me is also an other.

As with distinctions between self and other, distinctions between humankind and all that is not human are, by nature, always as clear as they can be, and energy spent trying to make them clearer is spent at a loss to what we know of how the human reaches through the nonhuman and the nonhuman reaches through the human; to what we know of how our other selves make us.

Along the way, in the growth of that knowing─a knowing which love is one word for─a fox sits a flowering vortex of green otherness.

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Persistent Images

Persistent Images

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