“This Is Just To Report” – Poem as a Journalist Taking a Poetry Class

When you’re a poet going for a journalism degree, filling out the teacher evaluation after attending your first ever poetry writing class, but stylistically have always been a journalist amongst poets. I added actual constructive criticism afterward, but couldn’t not write this down once the idea occurred to me.

In case the allusion isn’t obvious, check out the original William Carlos Williams poem.

This class was taught by poet Brenda Cárdenas, and I enrolled specifically because she was the teacher. I plan to take another in spring, one which deals with book layout. On my computer sits got a decade-long backlog of poems waiting to be published, so this class should prove convenient and helpful. The writing has been done, that’s the important part. Publishing can always happen later.

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Exploring Riveredge Nature Center

I started working at Riveredge Nature Center in early October and I’m enjoying getting to know the landscape. Riveredge is comprised of 379 acres along the Milwaukee River, and is located in Newburg, Wisconsin. It’s about a 40-minute drive from Milwaukee.

I’m primarily a writer, but I use photographs as a companion to words. Sometimes pictures can more quickly communicate an experience than words are able to translate. Taking pictures has given me an excuse to go exploring the 10 miles of trails and find things to write about.

I’ve been trying to look at the place with new eyes, try to see things from perspectives other people may not, or from places I haven’t thought to look from.

I liked that this view was initially a little confounding to look at. The angles of the tree shadows, the grass through the water, the water now becoming solid instead of aqueous and taking on a different sheen.

I’ve been trying to capture the sense of topographical dynamism that I observe between the hills, ponds, immediate trees, skyline, and forest in the distance.

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One thing I’ve realized – it’s pretty challenging to get pictures of birds. They just don’t stay still! I saw these hawks tussling above the prairie, and unfortunately I had the wrong lens to capture any of them individually. Ah well, we all learn (hopefully) new things, and I’m glad this is giving me an opportunity to practice new skills.

Here is a shot of the Milwaukee River in late October.

A Poem – In Case of Emergency

Americans are so bad at death. Once someone dies it’s like they end up in a time capsule that is never questioned or discussed. Here’s a poem remembering somebody’s unpredictable sense of humor that flourished regardless. Click the arrows to read the next lines.

Deer Hunting Poem on Milwaukee’s NPR 89.7 WUWM

I stopped by the 89.7 WUWM Lake Effect Studios last week to record a poem about sitting in the woods and feeling certain that everything you hear is a deer – until it isn’t. Give a listen to my deer little ditty Orange Blaze of Glory. Don’t worry, it’s not graphic, in case you’re one who doesn’t eat meat.

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Here is the view from my tree stand on the first snow of the season.

 

Milwaukee Plein Air Painting Gallery Opening

Last winter I happened upon an artist painting the frozen Lake Michigan shore. I admired her method and introduced myself, asked if I could take a few pictures. The painter is Lynn Rix and I’m pleased that this chance interaction gradually led to her art show opening this Thursday evening at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center alongside fellow plein air painter Pamela Ruschman. I’m excited to see their work on the walls at Schlitz Audubon and you should come check it out too.

Complete gallery opening details here.

Here is another photo I posted last winter when I happened upon Lynn, taken at the same time.

Jim James of My Morning Jacket Registers Youth Voters with HeadCount

This is a story I wrote about HeadCount‘s The Future is Voting Tour, which swung through Milwaukee with Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Christopher Porterfield of Field Report, and Linqua Franqa. HeadCount is a non-partisan voter registration organization that registers voters at concerts. Give a read here.

Jim James Backstage

Tamarack Colors Are In-Season

Tamaracks offer a fantastic luminescence when struck by the afternoon sun. The nature of lovely fall trees in Wisconsin.