Playlist For The Ark, 2015

October 2, 2015

“Stormy Weather” — Etta James

“A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall” — Bob Dylan

“Let It Rain” — Eric Clapton

“I Love A Rainy Night” — Eddie Rabbit

“Let’s Spend the Day In Bed” — Over the Rhine

“Mandolin Rain” — Bruce Hornsby & the Range

“Rain King” — Counting Crows

“Rain” — The Cult

“Every Breaking Wave” — U2

“The Sky Is Broken” — Moby

“Purify” — Balligomingo

“Touch of Grey” — Grateful Dead

“The Rain Song” — Led Zeppelin

“The Ocean” — Led Zeppelin

“The Tide Will Rise” — Bruce Hornsby

“Who’ll Stop the Rain” — Creedence Clearwater Revival

“Running Down A Dream” — Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

“Keep the Car Running” — Arcade Fire

“The Well and the Lighthouse” — Arcade Fire

“Hurricane” — King’s X

“Knife-Grey Sea” — Pilot Speed

“Fields of Gray” — Bruce Hornsby

“When the Levee Breaks” — Led Zeppelin

“Underwater” — Vertical Horizon

“No Rain” — Blind Melon

Updated with two suggestions from friend and aunt, 9:06 p.m.


“In the Jewish wisdom tradition a parable (mashal) could be a dark and ambiguous saying like a riddle, but the dominant use of parables among contemporary Jewish teachers was as a means of clarifying scriptural difficulties. As an analogy in narrative form, it could lead someone from an understanding of the familiar to an understanding of the strange.”  —  Luke Timothy Johnson, in The Writings of the New Testament: An Interpretation (boldface added)



“Those things about which  we cannot theorize, we must narrate.”   — Umberto Eco


5Books to Read Before College

Jack White / The White Stripes on vinyl!

Books Mentioned on this Blog

New Music on vinyl!

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Break The Code


Words lie in our way!Wherever primitive mankind setup a word, they believed they had made a discovery. How different the truth is! – they had touched on a problem, and by supposing they had solved it they had created a hindrance to its solution. – Now with every piece of knowledge one has to stumble over dead, petrified words, and one will sooner break a leg than a word.1

  1. Friedrich Nietzsche. Daybreak: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy) (p. 32). Kindle Edition.

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Creative nonfiction as a philosophy of life?


Appropriate a “worldview” to have an impostor’s point of view.

Or, develop a point of view that allows for the broadest range of possibilities.

I think I’m onto something with the second option.

Creative Nonfiction and Inconclusiveness

In MFA programs, some writers of creative nonfiction attempt to tell personal stories about traumas and crises.

Even the best memoirs can fail to answer fundamental questions about those personal stories.

But I wholeheartedly support those attempts.

“We read to know we’re not alone,” said playwright William Nicholson (who placed those words in C.S. Lewis’s mouth in Shadowlands, a fictitious account of the Narnia creator’s life).

Someone out there needs to hear he or she is not the only one who has been through a particular situation, or even just a particular feeling.

Written works, if not abandoned, have conclusions — but creative nonfiction is not always conclusive. That might seem…

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Autumn 2015 contributor Tara L. Masih is series editor for The Best Small Fictions 2015. Here’s a review from the Evilcyclist’s blog.

Evilcyclist's Blog

The Best Small Fictions 2015 by Robert Olen ButlerThe Best Small Fictions 2015 is a collection of very short fiction originally published by a variety of publications. I was asked if I would review this book by the series editor Tara L. Masih several weeks ago. I accepted because I like it when I am asked to review something that isn’t a vampire apocalypse romance novel. I was not entirely sure what small fiction was about but was told there was prose poetry included. That was good enough for me.

I will say I was very surprised with this collection. I usually do not care for short stories because I feel dropped into the middle of a story and pulled out before it’s over or before I completely understand what is going on. Small fiction, however, is the matchbox of fiction; no story is more than a few short pages. There is also the feeling of completeness in…

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Ivan Jenson

August 15, 2015

Ivan Jenson contributed five poems to the Autumn 2015 edition.

Jenson is a fine artist, novelist and contemporary poet. His artwork was featured in Art in America, Art News, and Interview Magazine and has sold at auction at Christie’s. Ivan was commissioned by Absolut Vodka to make a painting titled “Absolut Jenson” for the brand’s national ad campaign. His Absolut paintings are in the collection of the Spiritmusuem, the museum of spirits in Stockholm, Sweden. Jenson’s painting of the “Marlboro Man” was collected by the Philip Morris corporation. Ivan was commissioned to paint the final portrait of the late Malcolm Forbes. Ivan has written two novels, Dead Artist and Seeing Soriah, both of which illustrate the creative and often dramatic lives of artists. Jenson’s poetry is widely published (with over 500 poems published in the US, UK and Europe) in a variety of literary media. A book of Ivan Jenson’s poetry was recently published by Hen House Press titled Media Child and Other Poems, which can be acquired on Amazon. Two new novels by Ivan Jenson entitled, Marketing Mia and Erotic Rights have been published hardcover and are available on and at bookstores everywhere. Ivan Jenson’s website is

Anne Babson

August 15, 2015

Anne Babson contributed four poems to the Autumn 2015 edition.

Babson’s first full-length collection The White Trash Pantheon (Vox Press, 2015) and her current chapbook, Poems Under Surveillance (Finishing Line Press, 2013) are currently available in independent bookstores and on Amazon. The opera for which she wrote the libretto, entitled Lotus Lives, was performed in the Northeast in 2012 and is currently being considered for broadcast by WGBH Boston. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize four times. She has been featured on Poetry Daily.

Her work has recently appeared in Iowa Review, Cider Press Review, Southampton Review, Bridges, Barrow Street, Connecticut Review, The Pikeville Review, Rio Grande Review, English Journal, New Song, The Penwood Review, Sow’s Ear, The Madison Review, Atlanta Review, Grasslands Review, WSQ, Global City Review, Comstock Review, California Quarterly, Wisconsin Review, The Red Rock Review, and many other publications.

In Europe, her work has appeared in Current Accounts, Iota, Poetry Salzburg, Nth Position and in Ireland, she was in an issue of Crannóg last year. In Asia, she was published in Quarterly Literary Review Singapore and Yuan Yang. She has been anthologized multiple times in both the US and the UK.

She has done residencies at Yaddo and Vermont Studio Center.

Colin Dodds

August 15, 2015

Colin Dodds contributed four poems to the Autumn 2015 edition.

Dodds is the author of Another Broken Wizard, WINDFALL and The Last Bad Job, which Norman Mailer touted as showing “something that very few writers have; a species of inner talent that owes very little to other people.” His writing has appeared in more than two hundred publications, and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Poet and songwriter David Berman (Silver Jews, Actual Air) said of Dodds’ work: “These are very good poems. For moments I could even feel the old feelings when I read them.” Colin’s book-length poem That Happy Captive was a finalist in the 2015 Trio House Press Louise Bogan Award as well as the 42 Miles Press Poetry Award. And his screenplay, Refreshment, was named a semi-finalist in the 2010 American Zoetrope Contest. Colin lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife Samantha. See more of his work at

Bruce McRae

August 15, 2015

Bruce McRae contributed three poems to the Autumn 2015 edition.

McRae, a Pushcart nominee, is a Canadian musician with over 900 poems published around the world. His first book, The So-Called Sonnets, is available via Silenced Press. He also has a short collection of poems entitled “All Right Already” available via a free download from Kindofahurricanepress. To see and hear more poems go to “BruceMcRaePoetry” on Youtube.

Donald C. Welch III

August 15, 2015

Donald C. Welch III contributed a poem, “Rainmaker,” to the Autumn 2015 edition.

Donald C. Welch III lives in Brooklyn, NY. His current project @SocialLit ( explores new forms of poetry and collaborative writing derived from Social Media. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in PASSAGES NORTH, WAR, LITERATURE, & THE ARTS, GRAVEL, THE RAIN, PARTY, & DISASTER SOCIETY, SOUTH85, INKY NEEDLES, THE EMERSON REVIEW, and elsewhere. His collection of children’s poetry WHO GAVE THESE FLAMINGOS THOSE TUXEDOS? was published by Wilde Press.

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