Morning Collages -- Weeks 5-7


To get caught up, see my adventures in Week 1Week 2Week 3, & Week 4 wherein I disclose more about this mysterious creative process.

Right when I thought I was getting into the swing of a new habit, I just stop. Sort of typical for me - it's like my own version of rebellion. When I know something is fun and I could do it every day, suddenly I find that I don't want to anymore. Instead of bemoaning this fact, I decided to just let myself sit down and create whenever I wanted, which meant this habit became not as daily. And that's fine. The more I try to do something 'perfectly' the more it sort of ruins the creative magic, you know?

So here's a smattering of my creative energy over the last three weeks. Three of which I did just this morning, to give you a sense of how uneven this creative process has been of late.

Morning Collages - Week 4

To get caught up, see my adventures in Week 1Week 2, and Week 3, wherein I disclose more about this mysterious creative process.

Another week, another batch of weird collages. This truly is the first thing I do every morning. I sit down at my little desk in the corner of my living room and bring out my tools - my hodge-podge of 'collections' - and make something. I've realized doing this that I love it and want to make bigger art works and eventually have more space in which to deploy my creative mania. But for now, carving out this little window of time for myself to play is just what I need.

Dig in!

Morning Collages - Week 3

To get caught up, see my adventures in Week 1 and Week 2, wherein I disclose more about this mysterious creative process.

Officially this means I've formed a habit - 21 days of doing something new. 

I know it's a good one, too, because it doesn't feel like a chore. I genuinely look forward to waking up and shepherding these weird creations into my day. Every morning I allow whatever grabs my attention (of my gathered store of images/words/etc.), whatever I REALLY like, to find its way onto the page. It's like a Polaroid image of my inner self emerges every day for me to think about. And only I know all the associations and thoughts behind the collage, or what I left out at the last second. When my art journal is full, it will be a true representation of the state of my soul in 2020...

Morning Collages - Week 2

I can't believe it's been two weeks of this new morning routine. Check out Week 1 here. My mini Poe-themed art journal is filling up fast. What I originally thought was 'just gluing paper to other paper' has become a full creative process. Let me break it down and fill in the blanks as we go.

1. The Gathering Phase: 

You need a supply of images, words, colours that light you up. This has to be its own pre-collage step (the way I do it) because when I sit down to work my magic I don't want to have to search through actual magazines to find stuff. I have a folder that houses all the things I've gathered and I go into that to find my 1-2 things that I want to work with that morning. But anyways, the gathering phase could be setting aside a few hours one afternoon to gather together some source material (in my case it was avant guard art magazines because they have such weirdness in them, which I love). And then you just tear away, collecting any images, entire pages of colour for background, any headlines or other words that you just like. 

That's the key, though. Everything is WHAT YOU LIKE. You don't need to know why, just that you really like it and want to keep it (like a hummingbird next to a skull haha, see below). Eventually you get this folder full of gems that you can eventually work with. But I've realized that it's important to have some time between when you collect the things and when you deploy them in a collage, so-called 'marinating' time in the creative process.

Morning Collages - Week 1

I've been wanting to do this for a while! I just didn't know how, until now...

So far I've been making bigger collages and making them into zines at a snail's pace. Like one zine a year. I wanted a way to bring this practice into my daily life somehow that wouldn't take all day - enter the daily morning collage. Jon gave me one of his mini notebooks from his (what seems like) infinite cache of notebooks for this purpose. Of course, it's Poe themed :P

Edgar Allan Poe notebook

I decided I would set myself the challenge of creating a collage every morning as part of my morning routine. I love morning routines, and for a while now I've been doing either Morning Pages (3 pages of free flow writing by hand) or some kind of seated meditation. I read and edit all day, so why not try something other than writing?

No Walls

I love sitting down with a box full of random words, pictures, colours, old magazines and making collages. Sometimes they turn into zines and other times it's a one-off. These creative moments, especially now during prolonged social distancing and quarantine, are therapeutic as f.

How are you getting creative these days?

Thought (Magnetic Poem #4)



to   you

Gilded Words (Magnetic Poem #3)

Gilded Words

books are the solution

full of sound & beauty


                  follow the                     words

The Language of Art (Plunderverse Poem #5)

The Language of Art

language is intelligent, idiosyncratic,
                             a life's work                                      elements of
                       a seemless

                                                the artists' own words
                            the language
keening, strident, warlike, seductive


                                                              provocations, flashes


                                         profoundly awake
                                   eyes open

seizing the light
working under cover of darkness
                            obscuring darkness

A Kafkaesque Self (Magnetic Poem #2)

                                      do you feel it?

                                                 ennui & delight
                                                beauty & languish
                                                obtuse & cunning

                                   this herculean banality

a Kafkaesque self

Slather Language Here (Magnetic Poem #1)

Creativity is like a deep well, and as long as you keep it nourished, its waters will be there for you.

During this time of self-isolation, I realized I need creative time to play and get away from screens. So, this series of poetic interventions into my day, via my fridge haha (thanks magnetic poetry!) is meant as a creative outlet.

Here's the first poem. But technically this is Day 9 of self-isolation.

slather language here
miscreant missives

a system for
fecund ennui

(N is for Neville who died of ennui
- Edward Gorey)

Fall Haiku

The last leaf whispers
"I want to stay with you, Tree"
Wind has other plans


I am the last leaf
I am always the last leaf
Until Wind finds me


The last leaf trembles
"Goodbye, Tree, until next time"
Wind comes out to play

Zombie Self-Portrait (Plunderverse Poem # 4)

Zombie Self-Portrait

I remember the first year art had changed

the art making happened in the neglected rental
with strangely shaped rooms and walls
crawling with words 

and mysteriously the electricity was spotty
crackling, black-stained extension cords

ideal for her plans

astral abstractions on canvas and paper
graphite greys and jaundiced yellows

a figure made of nightmare

early evidence of zombification
long tresses of hair and insects
jellyfish sacs and vermin
snakes for flesh 
surrounding a grinning set of human teeth

dumpster-dive faces,
masks of mess

black hole covered over 
with an aggregate of natural wonders
and street horrors

The Spectacle (Plunderverse Poem #3)

The Spectacle

it comes back to the
icons of my personal history
the bizarreness of growing up,
my desire to collect,
this obsessive accumulation of information

archives for the show

I took the photograph of the original,
fascinated by familiar

half snowing, half raining
so precarious that they would seem to be falling

Edges of Resistance (Plunderverse Poem #2)

Here's the full spread:

Edges of Resistance

voices are lyric,
strident, warlike
operatic and celebratory

horizontal panels,
collaged typewriter text
missile-like tongues

then a change
horrendous, almost unspeakable,
but different

I decided to make Woman the protagonist
presented in profile
she carries under her arm
a giant

Replying, she expressed her discomfort
at being the subject of a photograph

"I am my work ... the piece is more myself 
than the person,"

an act of revolt
angry, defiant, silenced
the ideal voice for having uttered 
the most extreme expressions of alienation

Light's Shadow (Plunderverse Poem #1)

Fun with plunderverse poetry (aka blackout poetry). I'm working on a zine edition full of plunderverse, so stay tuned!

plunderverse poem

I have this image
of Nature
really small
a seaside theme

born again
it didn't matter
It was more like
projects that were advancing me

unknown again
discovery within
start all over
in a way 
of assemblage aesthetic

Welcome to the Dollhouse

This piece is my first attempt at being  a poetics pirate! I’m trying my hand a unique form called Plunderverse. It’s an “Expressive Subjects” prompt that I’ve been meaning to try for a while. The idea is that you take a poem or a piece of writing you like, and you take out bits and pieces from it and make a variation of the original.

In my case, I’m not even using a poem. Instead, as I was listening to the audiobook of the book Beautiful Boy (a father’s memoir of living with his son’s drug addiction), I took notes on words and passages that I liked, and made something new.


Both homes seem illusory.
Teenagers complain, integrate their lives badly, a flaw in their character

A flaw in their lives.

Books, quiet, low-grade melancholia
Two weeks to cram in surfing

Re-enactments & the vanishing act. Wait for the shuttle,
trailing minors with magic markers.

Open cardigan. Suitcase of your things. Warbling lyrics through the airplane.

Scary eyes, woo-woo chorus, percussion, cacophony, pounding.


Test drive the minivan for your growing family
Less trampled beaches
Rolling in the waves
Seaweed crust
Waiting for the next wave to crash down

On the way home, ceaseless back-and-forth
Worldly, sagacious child but with emotional chasms.
Meagre consolation.

Welcome to the dollhouse.


Building storeys
lines of text, layers
of sedimentary rock
of sentences building an edifice
of a tower of babel, skyscrapers built on air

sand castles of stone

Stories are set in stone
until they grow wings
and shatter the sculpture block

We tell ourselves stories
to make sense of the chaos
around us, within us
to throw meaning against the wall

We store parts of ourselves in our stories,
like squirrels store nuts in their cheeks
and forget where they buried them

stored inside a vessel,
an amphora of oil
secure for millennia
in Socrates’ grave

keepsake in a sealed jar,
a boat built inside with delicate
set adrift on ocean waves

seagulls have stories
they keep to themselves
swooping to peek through
smudged glass

Refracted stories
ride infrared waves beyond vision
distort memories
light up recesses and buried treasure
cover like a down duvet
goose flesh across your arms as you hear a story
hitting its mark on the tender spots you pretend don’t hurt

Picture frames
expensive and heavy mounted on walls
to showcase that you’re worthy
of oak

Framed like pictures snapped on iPhones
filtered for effect
Clarendon & Juno
to manicure our moments

stories built up in sediment