Greetings from New York City (and San Diego)

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New York is beautiful–beautiful and fast.

My idea of poem hustling was hustled to a narrow slice of time. While I wasn’t able to peddle poems from a trench coat (as I had dreamed), I was able to hide, leave, and pushpin many poems in New York City. The best home for poetry (and there are many beautiful poetry homes in New York) is The Poets House. Wow. Welcome to a living dream.

The poems sent to me for the New York Hustle are beautiful; I felt like they should be read by more people, so this weekend I took my red “Poetry Flash” coat to San Diego. (I love San Diego.) So coast to coast poems by Yvonne M. Estrada, JoAnn Balingit, Carol Dorf, Dianalee Velie, Peter Schwartz, H.K. Hummel, Judith Arcana, Caroline M Davies, and  Brittany Nicole Connolly others.

I’m in San Diego now, which is a little like visiting paradise–a slightly imperfect paradise, but that’s exactly how I like it. I am very fortunate to be spending time with good friends, such as Dane, Sarahbell, Kate, Karl, and Curt. Friends are great for many reasons, but one of the many life-infusing gifts of friendship is the expanse of experiences. Dane (director of Manor House Quarterly—read it! read it!) led us to an amazing Coffee / Art house called Coffee & Tea Collective, Sarahbell took us to the Poway Rodeo, and today Curt and I will go sea kayaking with Kate and Karl. Art, horses, sharks: San Diego is no New York, but its wild cool.

One of the most cool (and wild) experiences I’ve had on this trip is teaching at San Diego, Writers Ink. This place is magical—truly a place haunted by the muse and frequented by kind artist. I hope I made some friends there, because Writers Ink has captured my heart.

In this wild cool place, I’ve been flashing people with poems—the emotionally naked and engaging poems that I took with me to New York. Coast to coast, poems have been flashed. Fun.

New York Reading:

The Stick-With-Me Poetry Stickers Are on Cups and Ready to Party

I’m happy to say that 250 coffee cups are dressed with poems and ready to celebrate the release of Charles Hood and Christine Mugnolo art book, 25 Tigers.

Great thanks to Sagebrush Café for giving poetry a place to live.

I will have more photos of people drinking poems soon! Best to all who love poetry and help to share words.

Flight and Grace at the Broad Stage

J.J. makes clay stingrays while I mold sunrays

The reading at Santa Monica’s Broad Stage was good fun, and currently fun is the focus of my efforts. Ron Koertge, Charles Harper Webb, and Brendan Constantine are masters of imagery and story; fairy tells unravel their hair, consume porridge, and take flight with their poems. I love to be read to; it always feels good to be brought into a dream—the Brad Stage was a dream space.

Fun might seem a trivial focus for today’s current climate. I recognize that we are at the crux of change—all seems to be infused with fear. This fear wants to own us, but it cannot have all of us. It cannot. Fun inspires joy and joy is beyond economic, politics, and all other tics of our existence.

I’ve been reading Ken Knabb’s Situationist International Anthology. I love this book; it is an investigation of revolution on an abstract (even absurd) level. In the “Report on the Construction of Situations and on the International Situationist Tendency’s Conditions of Organization and Action” explains:

“A revolutionary action within culture must aim to enlarge life, not merely to express or explain it. It must attack misery on every front. Revolution is not limited to determining the level of industrial production, or even to determining who is to be the master of such production. It must abolish not only the exploitation of humanity but also the passions, compensations, and habits which that exploitation has engendered. We have to define new desires in relation to present possibilities. In the thick of the battle between the present society and the forces that are going to destroy it, we have to find the first elements of a more advanced construction of the environment and new conditions of behavior—both as experiences in themselves and as material for propaganda. Everything else belongs to the past, and serves it.”

“Enlarging life” and “attacking misery on every front” are efforts I would like make—are efforts I hope I am making.

Yesterday, I asked a section of students sitting in the Broad Stage to make paper airplanes of my book, Circe. When I asked them to release flight, they tossed them into the audience. Audience was no longer audience—all was in performance (at least, this is what I strive for).

I’m very (veryveryvery) grateful to Red Hen Press for all this paper flight—for letting me apart of this event. I try to show my appreciation; but gifts are always awkward. Art is awkward too. I tried to make paper eggs filled with sunsets to give to my fellow readers; they turned out weird. But the poets accepted them graciously. Grace is one of life’s greatest gifts.

How to bake paper eggs: cook the dictionary until it smokes but doesn’t flame

Please Sign-Up: Word Collage 9/29

I would love (LOVE) to teach this class. I’ve cut over a 1,000 vintage images out of books to give to those who sign-up. If you know anyone who would be interested in the class, please (please) tell them.

I can only play with word-castles if others come to the sandbox.



When text is paired with image, a communication more poignant than any single medium is achieved. By mixing mediums an artist can attain greater heights of understanding and expression. This workshop will explore the fundamentals of making a successful union between text and images.


In Clearing the Path: Poetry as Collage, together we will:

  • Generate New Work:

This is a hands on workshop. We will generate new works of visual and textual art. We will examine how the techniques used in collages can be applied to the craft of poetry.

  • Help Overcome Writers Block:

Poetry, like collage, requires multiple layers to suggestion countless realities. By learning and executing the techniques used in collage, a treasury of poetry can be unearthed from a poet’s subconscious. By actively seeking to balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain during the creation process, writer block can be obviated.

  • Hone the Poet’s Craft:

Through constructive critic of the work made in class, every participant will leave the class with creative ways to generate new poems.

In the dark tunnels of our subconscious, where monsters and miracles lurk behind every corner, lives art. Just as every dark alley is more approachable and every party more exciting exhilarating with friends, art is made better by collaboration.

I will provide a majority of the materials needed, but I strongly suggest that every participant bring some collage materials to share with the class–these can include old photos, wrapping paper, old letters or postcards, newspaper print, etc. It is always an enriching challenge to work with another’s perspective; by sharing materials we can expand our possibilities and adopt new perspectives.

Another option is to buy ready-made packs of collage paper/ephemera, such as these sold at Collage Cashe (Sagebrush Press, $6); these small packages of found materials are a great way to begin or extend your journey with collage art and can be found at most Craft stores such as Michael’s or Joanne’s.



Originally from Utah, Nicelle Davis now resides in Lancaster, California, with her son J.J. Her book, Becoming Judas, is scheduled to be released from Red Hen Press in 2013 and In the Circus of You from Rose Metal Press in 2014. You can read her e-chapbooks at Gold Wake Press and Whale Sound. Her first collection of poems, Circe, is available from Lowbrow Press. She runs a free online poetry workshop at The Bees’ Knees Blog and is an assistant poetry editor for Connotation Press.

Her poetry-films are traveling the world and can be viewed at:

Class/Workshop Prices

Participants that register more than 1 month before a class/workshop, will save $10.00. Participants that register less than 1 week before a class/workshop will be charged an additional $10.00. Please note the class/workshop prices listed above do not reflect early registration discounts or late fees.


Kim Lesnau
San Diego Writers, Ink


Saturday September 29, 2012 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM PDT
Add to my calendar


The Ink Spot

710 13th Street
Suite 210
San Diego, CA 92101

Map to New York

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with maps; the obsession is based on a game my son plays with his little friends. These friends create horrific imaginary worlds that they must battle, systematically—these children are mapping adulthood. The maps are nothing short of perfect art.

I want so badly to be near perfect art, but I can’t. I’m too old. I can’t enter such suspensions of reality.

Oh, but I want to.

I’ve been collection the children’s maps and to create my own—a map back to childhood. Of course, it is a failure—my adult approximation of newness. I’ve been mapping my son in order to find something I fear is lost forever—but it feels good to attempt such connections.

Recently, I was looking at a wooden puzzle of the United States (my son love’s puzzles of the United States). This map was a topographical—my son asked, how am I to see a mountain in a bowl of macaroni? This isn’t dirt, he said, this is a bunch of lines. He is right, a bunch of lines.

Once a map is no longer a map, it begins to look more like flesh—the human body stripped of its skin. The map is only an attempt to position the singular identity in reference to others.  And oh, how we wish to find each other or escape each other (same things really). I’ve been reading Peter Turchi’s, Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer ; this is such an incredible book on the subject of maps as metaphor.

At 3 A.M. I leave for New York. I’ve been studying maps of the city, trying to decide the cheapest way of finding myself in this city of epic energy. How does something wild, as a girl from the city of all sky, find her way through the maze of skyscrapers? Adventure; it should be fun.

I’ll be reading Friday night at The Players Club. Such an honor, I feel, requires a devotion of time and imagination—it deserves a map.

My dear friend Pavi has hand painted a vintage dress—it is an approximation of a map. I’ve been working with JJ to turn him into a map made of poetry. I’ve also been creating glass chickens as gifts for my fellow readers—you know, so much depends upon…

I want to find New York and have it locate me. I would like to be with New York. The theme of my reading centers on the “want” of location—location me to location you—location me as you—you as me. We’ll see.






The Red Wheelbarrow

William Carlos Williams

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white