Carolyn Decker | HQ Session 58: Golf Ball
The mouse scuttles under the snow grass,
the ice pushed up from the warmth
held in the histic soil –
the mouse knows nothing of epipedons
but holds all there is to hold about dirt,
seed pod, shiver, and holes –
That means less is known about feathers
less than he needs to about swiveled neck bones,
ears asymmetrical, false horns, talon.
Then again – you wouldn’t see them either –
it is altogether possible not to look up,
not to notice in time –
for eight ounces of air to kill one ounce of blood.
The spring bubbles underground,
seasons stacked like mouse prints,
the tail of the sun swiped
through the layers of pollen,
leaves chewed to the webbing,
the veins of trees stoppered,
the forest holds its breath a quarter turn.
By dead reckoning, a mouse lives
a half gasp, a whisker is a mote
stretched to the wind. Smelling makes a sound,
even if hearing doesn’t.
The pulse speaks, even when the feet are still.
Still – forage the winter, small seed eater.
The grass goes the same way you do,
bent crawling in the melted tunnel
of its own making. Make heat as
you make haste – there’s no use in staying cold –
stay long enough to exhale a hidden cloud,
and spring will bring you offspring.
Spring on – grow clear through to danger.
Carolyn Decker, poet and wetland biologist, spends her favorite days outside asking plants about who they are and where they live. She studied environmental science at Wheaton College and spent a year as a Watson Fellow investigating the relationships between nature conservation and creative writing. Endless Beautiful enables her to be a careful listener and thoughtful writer.
Theo Howard | HQ Session 49: Mud
Theo Howard is an artist who makes jiu jitsu artwork. He does commissions and illustrations of people doing doing jiu jitsu. He sells his artwork through a website he built specifically for his jiu jitsu artwork: www.locojitsu.com. He has sold his jiu jitsu prints and commissioned original paintings across the United States, as well as in Europe. Theo loves practicing Brazilian jiu jitsu, and being involved in that community.
Lucas Pralle | HQ Session 60: Duckpin
Step up the show. The big stage. Lights 10,000 degrees. Crowd of 50,000 or so. All of them about 10 below after the opening act. Good boy Johhny. That’s how we want them isn’t it? Line them up and I’ll knock them down.
“You’re on in 10 Weller.” That’s Johnny.
I run out onto the stage. I can’t see a damn thing. The the blinding glare of the stage lights in my eyes, I brief glimpse of a sea of hands thrust into the air, waving. The surge of it buzzing my calves through my shoes.
I feign not having a heart attack and take a seat in front of my date for the night. My apparatus. It’s a big counting machine. Something brought in from Japan. They didn’t let me take a look at it up until this point. Johnny sent a crew out to Japan to take a look once we got word about this gig, but the government sent them on some wild goose chase up into the mountains. Monks with shaved heads. That sort of thing.
“What if it wasn’t bullshit?” That’s what johhny asked me one night as he passed me a joint. “What if the government was trying to tell us the truth, and we were too stupid to realize it. To catch on?”
I didn’t have a response then. Now I was sitting in front of the hulking thing. There was a wind and and the copper dials spun and the levers switched. I could smell an ocean breeze. Not just something that you could scratch and sniff either. You could smell the bird shit and 10 year old boys running around with seaweed draped over their heads.
How did they do it?
Why did I sign up for this? 10 million is good, but there’s also no way for me to leave this stage without looking like a fool.
“I ended up going to Tokyo a couple weeks ago. Drinking sake like the whole thing didn’t bother me. Riding around with Johnny. Meeting with engineers. Artists. Gardeners. Fortune tellers. They all told me the same thing. You’re fucked man.
You get up there on stage against the Push. That’s we called it, they wouldn’t even tell us the name. You go against the Push and it’s going to decode you and walk off the stage. Your bones around going to be dripping out of your ears. After that thing gets a look at you or whatever it does. It’s going to tell you things you shouldn’t know. Let you taste something sweet and that 10 million is going to mean nothing. And who knows, maybe you’ll be a happier man for it. But the rest of the world won’t know or understand it. And you probably won’t either.
Lucas Pralle is in the right place when he’s putting tools to good use. He’s the writer and producer of the serialized audiobook, Inner Harsh. Production of Endless Beautiful allows him to explore the medium even more, and the sessions are an excellent way for him to put his creativity to test.
Nick Revel | HQ Session 53: Sewing Machine
Nick Revel is the founding violist of PUBLIQuartet, which was string quartet in residence for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “MetLiveArts” 2016/17 season. PUBLIQuartet has been presented by the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall, Joyce Theater, National Sawdust, Dizzy’s Coca Cola Club, and the Newport Jazz Festival.
He’s collaborated with Benjamin Millepied and the LA Dance Project, Björk, Paquito D’Rivera, Billy Childs, JACK Quartet, Alarm Will Sound, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Jessie Montgomery, and tuba legend Bob Stewart.
Nick’s 2017 composition “In DayDream” for viola and guitar premiered in Carnegie Hall on April 10, 2017. His new album “Letters to My Future Self” of all original compositions, improv, and sound designs for viola comes out in 2018.
Nick co-created the New York String Studio, located in Sunnyside, Queens with his wife Nora Krohn where they teach students high quality instrumental technique and foster a deeper understanding of mind and body, discipline, problem-solving, organization, time management, and self-expression.
T. Haven Morse | HQ Session 43: Windy Day
I search for an escape.
Trapped in the white noise of life and suffering
Sucked down by the waves of tragedy and struggle
Maybe my escape will come by vehicle, maybe by foot
Crunching the gravel or snow or leaves of fall
Keep moving, keep trudging, toward outside-the-box
Unlock the door to salvation, to freedom,
Not into the comforts of home but into another realm
A place of uniqueness and extraordinary circumstance
No longer trapped in, no longer a slave to standard
The mundane and superficial, I long to descend the
Staircase of life into something more, my something more
Sirens call to me in the distance of my mind,
Birds cry out to me beckoning me toward higher places
Children’s laughter reminds me that I am not stuck here
Chaos is loud, noisy, and gritty but I would rather
Have that than the blank, placid, existence I’ve been
Living thus far. I need an escape.
Other people surround me, unaware of my search,
They are happy in their bubbles of normalcy
Families, friends, jobs, and the like
These are not what I want in my bubble,
In my world, give me scrapping, give me clawing,
Rip out my heart and feed it back to me.
Universe, grind me up and spit me back out,
I desire the grinding, the tearing of flesh, and bone,
It is the drumbeat in my tortured soul
This necessity for escape pounds in my ears,
Blinds my eyes, like three trapped mice,
My spirit throbs for release and freedom
Spirit of home, please release your daughter,
Let me soar in the skies of possibility,
Make mistakes and play to the sound of my own fiddle
Only when set free will I be able to breath
To relinquish your vision for my future and
Settle onto the beach of my own soul’s sunset
Wave goodbye as I run, say so long as I flee,
Don’t cry tears for me, this is what I need
As I search for an escape.
Haven Morse enjoys penning in the realms of both literary and genre, as well as, both poetry and stories. She likes to strike straight to the hearts and souls of readers when possible. Morse has previously published a persona poetry collection through Bountiful Balcony Books, entitled “Flooded By”, and has seen other pieces published in journals and anthologies world-wide including Haiku Journal, Paragraph Planet, 101Words, Verbatim Poetry, and “In Medias Res: Stories From the In-Between.” Her latest book to hit Amazon and bookshelves is “Beam Me Up, Yoda” – a fan fiction fauxetry collection of poems from one-hundred of the most iconic scifi/fantasy characters of all time. Haven lives in the heart of a Texas national forest and emerges from her sanctuary only when necessary for promotions and further adventures. Find her on social media outlets under her name (THavenMorse) and at BountifulBalconyBooks.com.
Twitter – https://twitter.com/thavenmorse
Sandy Coleman | HQ Session 41: ATM
Sandy Coleman is an artist engaged in play. She is driven by an unrelenting curiosity and desire to explore various mark-making materials and concepts revolving around the beauty, power and mystery of women. Her acrylic paintings and mixed-media collage works reflect her fascination with the unspoken language of patterns, which connects her to Alabama roots, where her grandmother’s handmade quilts spoke volumes square-by-square. Sandy’s creations have been featured on HGTV, in Oprah magazine, and in exhibitions at colleges, museums and galleries in the Boston and Providence area. The artist currently is a magazine editor, after spending 20 years as a journalist working for the Orlando Sentinel and most recently the Boston Globe.
Sandy’s website is at creationsbycoleman.com
Mariah Sinclair | HQ Session 36: Nuts and Bolts
Mariah Sinclair is an award-winning designer. During most of her career, she worked for advertising agencies serving Fortune 500 companies, the City of Los Angeles as well as other government entities as a designer and digital marketer. She designed her first book cover in 2001. Now she focuses exclusively on designing book covers for independent authors. Her goal is to create beautiful, engaging book covers made to fly off the shelves!
She’s lived in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Orleans and currently resides in the quaint Arizona town of Prescott with her two cats that resemble the comedy duo Laurel & Hardy. Mariah also volunteers as an Art Docent, teaching art history and appreciation to children.
Mariah’s work can be found at www.mariahsinclair.com!
Halah Mohammed | HQ Session 18: Lock and Key
15 minute Poem:
I didn’t recite this part (Wrinkles in time only disturb the mind into small walks down lanes you tried to hide behind caution tape. What was it you were afraid of? You seem to fear everything. Your heart like a metronome ticking in time with rhythm of what you can’t escape–the new scape.)
What I recited:
Warp your mind into a thousand clocks with the same hands touching different times. Be in a zone not your own, nothing like what you’ve come to know. Grow into the fear of an illusion. See the pictures projected for what it is–amusement. Nothing real about tele but the material that holds onto it. Nothing sad about life unless you’re not the one living it. And even then, where’s your conscience gone? Mama thinks it takes a trip. Forget the slip of innocence it won’t follow you past the exit. You want assurance like guaranteed. Like approval stamps. Like check marks. Like 100%. Like this is yours. Like your names the title of it. Like you wrote it. Like you are it. Like you own it. Like you bought it. But even then people steal, people kill, people plan, people plot, people want what you got. Survival isn’t only for you. Remember that when you’re not seeing you in anything. And the feeling of misery is a numbing pain that comes again and again. Nothing real about tele but the material that holds onto it. Stop sulking like family hospital visits. Stop worrying like pubescents and adolescents. Stop thinking the only view is from your eyes–those things lie
Halah was born and raised in Brooklyn. There she learned to speak and write poetry like a second language. Most days that’s what you’ll hear first from her. Second, is “Hi”.
She currently resides in Denver, Colorado, amidst friends and loved ones. At any given time you’ll catch her doing one or all of these things at the same time: teaching, writing, listening, Knitting, living, or loving.
https://m.facebook.com/halahthepoet/ Instagram: @h252h
Twitter: @HalaHMD https://unblockingfreedomofexpression.wordpress.com/
Claudia Ford | HQ Session 30: Purgatory Hotline
1. Where watergoes,
The oft repeated wisdom,
wisdom? or is it knowledge.
The oft repeated wisdom is that all rivers flow to the
sea. They do.
Rain falls, ponds and
lakes overflow, rivulets,
They babble their way
down slopes, gentle
They rush down slopes
steep. They gather. All rivers,
flow into a distant sea.
But the wisdom does not
tell me where the waters of the body go
Where is the oft repeated
Amniotic fluid? Breast
Do our sorrows eventually
gather? Form rivulets?
Brooks? Do we release our babies,
our creativity into babbling
now rushing streams
Where do they go? the waters of
human struggle and sadness
Or the milk of human nurture
When I’m searching
for answers, a walk in the woods perhaps,
warm tiny clouds rising from
the pine needle bed that soaks in
a stream of urine
I get up from a squat, wipe
my hands on a leaf and
walk into the sun so
that the salty residue of my doubts
can dry on my cheeks
2. Too Busy To Care
Two minutes to get
out of the house and
make it in time for
my dental appointment.
Too many errands this
To and fro, up and down,
In and out of the house.
No time to sit, think,
ponder, contemplate, observe
And really? Just too busy to care.
On one side of a busy street
stands an 11 year old
boy, on his scooter. bike
helmet on. Waiting for
the traffic to slow so he can
safely cross. I stop, and
he scoots across the street
in front of me.
Dr. Ford has had a career in international management, development, and women’s health spanning three decades and all continents. Claudia holds a PhD in Environmental Studies and is on the faculty of Rhode Island School of Design. She teaches ethnobotany, indigenous knowledge, global sustainability, global business, environmental justice, and environmental literature in classrooms and workshops. Claudia is on the advisory board of an agroecology program, on 1500 acres of productive farmland in New England, that links ecological and social systems with agriculture for healthy food and farming communities. Claudia serves on the board of directors of The Orion Society, a community that publishes Orion literary magazine – caring for the planet by exploring the connections between nature and culture so that humanity might live on Earth justly, sustainably, and joyously.