28 November 2009


Hello friends,

I just want to let you know that I have migrated my blog to deliciousginger.wordpress.com.
Please join me there for new poems, a new look, and maybe even a new outlook...

Thanks for reading,

08 November 2009


I have been thinking a lot lately about what makes a good blog (mostly because of our new work blog, which I've been maintaining), and I realized that I wouldn't want to read this one very much because there's usually nothing happening. I know that there's very little happening here because I've been thinking about a lot of other things besides poetry lately. In fact, I haven't been doing a whole lot of writing, which always makes me feel as if I am failing myself. It's a whole lot more complex than that, though. The creative process encompasses much more than these moments of actual creating, whether it is writing a poem or making a painting or forming some other object.

I have been involved in the creative process of my life--trying to figure out what I'm doing here. It's been interesting, but has definitely kept me from writing about writing. So, I have decided to broaden my scope on delicious ginger to talk about the rest of life too. 'Cause, damn, it's been pretty rich lately...

I have been studying herbalism with Maia Toll, which has been opening up some new windows and doors for me. I've been making a garden at my house, which has finally (after two years) allowed me to consider this my home (good thing, too, since I don't have another home...). I've been learning how to bake gluten-free--something that kind of rocked my world to begin with, but I think it's turning out to be pretty amazing. I've been thinking about the gifts life has been offering me and how to make the best use of all that juicy energy. Basically, I've been moving into each moment more fully, and embracing (as best I can) what I am faced with as I navigate the world.

In all of this transition and shifting, I have been working on feeling more connected to my poetic voice and my living in each moment voice. That has been fantastic. I did even manage to get a poem to paper yesterday, and so here it is for your perusal (with, as always, wonky spacing):

Delicate florescence

the rust sticking--

draft version

of shedding your skin

the burn and rub

brush of sand-knee-hand

pocket of stones

your hand in my pocket

boys blush

the hurricane

moves ground

see stars through rain clouds
our efforts to outline
what this is about
this gasping accumulation

Oh, how the wind braces

standing naked

all handles and screws--

all fear and abandon--

holding a spectrum spread wide

22 August 2009

Collaborative ventures

I have been thinking a lot about collaboration lately, in part as a way to justify my thieving of others' language, but also as a practical phenomenon. I have always enjoyed working with other artists and writers to stretch my own comfort zone, to rejuvenate my practice of writing and art-making, and to get to know others' work intimately--from the inside out. It's a way to transcend one's own limits, and to find new ways of expression. This has been a major part of my practice since I started creating as an adult. I used to worry that I needed collaboration because I didn't have enough knowledge or skill or cleverness (or whatever) to make art out of my own inventive mind, but now I see this form of practice as serious risk-taking. It would be easy to stay within the boundaries that I create or learn--in fact, I love creating formal structures as a way to limit my language--but what fun to get messy and maybe fall flat on my face with someone else!

I do this with other writers' work all the time (without their knowledge, usually). I have been scanning some old visual pieces to send to Christophe Casamassima, which got me thinking about appropriation as collaboration. I have used a lot of different texts in a collaborative way--works on fire suppression techniques, the Salem witch trials, the function and nature of the eye, and works by Freud, Cotton Mather, and Susan Brownmiller.

Christophe suggested the possibility of collaboration--a prospect that excites me--of course there is the question of what would that look like? I haven't completed a collaborative piece with another writer since Deborah Richards and I wrote the chapbook Cut and Shoot together in 2001. I enjoyed the work, the back and forth, the getting-out-of-my-own-mind that the collaborative space provided. I have been looking for ways to explore that space again. This is an example of how I've been comfortable with collaborating (from my maybe-chapbook "No Delicate Flower," which employs Susan Brownmiller's text Femininity),

but I'd like to work in new ways, with more than just my own parameters to contend with.

In my work-life, I wanted to create a collaborative blog where researchers could comment on the organizational structure and description I provided for the Chew Family Papers, but I never quite had the time to make it happen. In retrospect, however, I'd rather save that energy for collaborative poetry. I'd love to hear about others' projects, collaborative desires, or the logistics of collective work. Leave a comment, or just email me at deliciousginger at gmail dot com if you're interested in exploring this kind of work and/or conversation.

09 August 2009

Each moment, a work of art

I returned yesterday from a furious week of work at the George Nakashima shop in New Hope, PA, an unexpected position that came at the right time for me. I left feeling inspired once again to do the work that pays my bills, and because of the Nakashimas' generosity in allowing me to stay in their cloister cottage, I also had the space and time to reflect upon the poetry that I have been wanting to write for the past few months. I spent the evenings alone reading and writing, and felt the impact of my archival career upon my writing life. I haven't had the energy to produce much of anything since April or so, which has produced a feeling of desperation in my art-starved heart.

my room with a view

I am looking forward to filling the rest of August with some creative content, and to recommitting myself to not letting work take over my creative life. Though I haven't been producing on a material level, I feel like I've been manifesting some amazing beauty. I hope to start putting these new forces into words, and to sharing more work here soon. In each moment, a poem awaits, if only I can find it.

19 July 2009

Help Keep Giovanni's Room Alive

from Edwin Hermance, owner of Giovanni's Room Bookstore
Giovanni's Room, the oldest independent LGBT bookstore in the United States today, needs your help and support to survive. Our 12th St. wall, which is structurally unsound, must be taken down and rebuilt from the ground up; construction will begin by sometime in August. The cost of this renovation, roughly $50,000, will not be easily paid; independent bookstores, lgbt bookstores included, have never been that profitable. Our store's success is measured by the people Giovanni's Room has helped in an almost limitless number of ways and by the exposure we have given to authors and publishers, filmmakers and musicians.

Giovanni's Room
Photo by R. Kennedy for GPTMC

This will be a delicate time in the store's history. We need your support more than ever, and the store will remain open during the construction. Here is what we are asking you to do:
*Continue to shop at Giovanni's Room despite the challenges.
*Order in person, online, by email, and by phone.
*Show your support!
We have often faced adversity. In the beginning, in 1973, we had hardly any books to sell and the store was staffed 100% by volunteers. When homophobic landlords evicted us from the Spruce Street location and no one, on a major street, would rent to Giovanni's Room, we were able to raise the down payment for the current location by borrowing from you, our customers. Over 100 volunteers helped renovate the building to make the beautiful space we have occupied since 1979.

Now, at this defining juncture, we have formed a Committee that will be addressing fundraising, volunteers, special community and author events, and other activities to help meet the cost of this repair.

Keep gay heritage alive. Volunteer your time - make a financial pledge! Your support to Giovanni's Room will help us survive our 36th year.

Giovanni's Room
345 South 12th St. (corner of 12th & Pine Sts.)
Philadelphia, PA 19107

24 February 2009

A new series

This is one of a series of new poems I've been working on.

This control,

        this push away—

difficult to say       how the flush

        of her face

shaded her eyes—

Sunlight through thick clouds
invites those urges of passion

    this glass creating

    a sunset, a fire—

each struggle, a line,
each blade, an instrument

     of division—

words collapse into water
with her breath—

our position shattered—

lips colliding with skin—

18 November 2008

Reading at Chapterhouse

If you are in Philadelphia on December 13, please come hear me read at the Chapter&Verse series (Chapterhouse Gallery and Cafe, 620 S. 9th Street). The reading starts at 8pm.

I will be reading with Laura Jaramillo and Brandon Holmquest.


Hope to see you there!