july 24, 2018

posted in: photography | 0

“Don’t find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain” ~ Henry Ford


funny (snapseed)


Jeff Suchanek and his sweet wife Jeanne made my day. I was feeling a little down this morning when suddenly Jeff sprang into my office with a totally unexpected gift. They’d gone to a reading by poet F. Keith Wahle at Brier Books. They thought I would enjoy his work. They were right! It’s hilarious and just what the doctor ordered. I don’t know what I did to deserve having thoughtful friends, but I’m sure glad I did it, whatever it was. 


still funny (snapseed)

january 27, 2014

posted in: photography | 0

Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” ~ William Shakespeare

our bones baby (instagram)
our bones baby (instagram)

For all you poetry lovers, you might wanna pick up the latest chapbook from my good friend and major outhouse inspiration, Mary Carroll-Hackett. (In case you missed it, Mary is the primary reason the outhouse became a blog.) Mary teaches creative writing at Longwood University. I can only imagine how fired up she must leave her students after class. She is gutsy, honest, positive, and Southern as the day is long. All virtues in my book. They’re all virtues in her book, too, literally. There are few poets like Mary. Writers who lay their bloodied and bruised souls on the page waiting for the world to embrace them, or judge them cruelly. It’s pure vulnerability, like walking through a grocery store bare-assed naked the night before a snowstorm. Mary is fierce and unafraid. She changed my life, and I’m just one of many lives she has touched. That’s some positive power right there.

april 26, 2012

posted in: art, photography | 0

You must write, and read, as if your life depended on it.” ~ Adrienne Rich

the bloom is born by the elbow

I’ve had a writer’s crush on Nikky Finney since I was her student nearly 20 years ago; first in short stories, then poetry, where she was mighty gracious to a long-winded hillbilly like me. Her classes were not simply an exercise in writing. No. They were more like summer revivals, when the air is so hot, still and humid you can cut it with a knife, or forked tongue, as it were. She conjured the spirit like a fired-up preacher to move our minds and hands and mouths, making us cry out in shame and ecstasy until we laid our soulless words at the alter and begged to be better poets. Night after night she demanded truth; our voices, our truths, spread eagle on the page buck naked and raw or not at all, Amen.

Nikky is the real deal. She deserves the National Book Award. I fail her as a student but, she has never failed as America’s best. Just listen to her acceptance speech if you don’t believe me.