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Preview: The Palace at 2:00 a.m.

Marly Youmans / The Palace at 2:00 a.m. / poems, stories, novels

Seek Giacometti’s “The Palace at 4 a.m.” Go back two hours. See towers and curtain walls of matchsticks, marble, marbles, light, cloud at stasis. Walk in. The beggar queen is dreaming on her throne of words…You have arrived at the web home of Mar

Updated: 2017-10-16T13:27:40.554-04:00


Handful of memories


Here's a peek at my recent travels--gardens, temples, castles, museums, and infinite Japanese pickles in Tokyo, Kyoto, Gero, and Sado Island. Sumimasen onegaishimasu, it seems I am inflicting a few images from my zillions of photographs on you... detail, a Chinese-style gate Baby octopi, Nishiki Market, Kyoto hidden bridge Matcha ice cream after octopus balls at the festival


Back in the states... More to come soon.

Listening to the visual


I'm going on something of a computer fast (for a reason that I'll talk about later) till near the end of this month.... Feel free to leave me a note; I will answer eventually! I also have some new book news that I may be able to talk about soon. I have a good many friends who are painters, and a number of them live in the space that looks as if it exists after photography and its

Art that says life matters


See this and more photographs of Juliette Aristides at The Bay Area Classical Artist Atelier post about a 2012 workshop with the artist. This year, the affliction of perpetual curiosity has sent me to podcasts related to the return to classical realism (or whatever you wish to call it) in painting. Perhaps because I have a lot of friends who are painters, perhaps because I'm always aware of

What survives


Ramesses II The only thing that ever survives from a culture is its arts. Political power is transient. Political power is nothing. It will vanish.  The most powerful man in the world is nobody. The only way we remember any of the powerful men of the world is the way they were captured by artists, often anonymous artists in ancient Egypt and Rome. The bequest of any civilization and the test

Powers of language in shadowy times


St. Elijah's Monastery near Mosul, Iraq, constructed in the late 6th century, obliterated in the 21st century Each of us is in contact with so many people via Facebook, twitter, the comments under online articles, and and so on, and I've felt burdened of late by certain dominant, humorless tendencies online. What if we tried to take a world that is slantdicular and often evil--something we

Linkfest: some poems online


Images from three in-print poetry books--The Throne of Psyche,Thaliad, and The Foliate Head.All art by Clive Hicks-Jenkins. I have added about 150 links to poems online on the stories-and-poems page. Some are poems or excerpts from published books--Claire (LSU), The Throne of Psyche (Mercer), The Foliate Head (UK: Stanza), and Thaliad (Montreal: Phoenicia)--and others are from future books,

Larking at the Clark

2017-07-17T12:23:55.801-04:00 Michael and I had a glorious 30th anniversary celebration over the weekend in Williamstown, MA. Two days at the ever-fabulous Clark Art Institute, feasting at Coyote Flaco etc., lots of walks around Williamstown. (If you go and are of a literary bent, St. John's has a splendid Bunyan "Pilgrim's Progress" window, and there are fabulous

Marly at Porter Street


Big thanks to Chris Phillips for featuring "The Wrexham Coverlet" and "At the Fall in Borderlands" (published in the current issue of John Wilson's new Education and Culture) on his podcast, Word from Porter Street (#4 new series.) I'm at 2:45, but listen to the whole thing; it's a quick 15 minutes. Jump just HERE. 

Summer sampler, part two


Named as one of their Favorite Books of 2015 at Books and Culture Magazine, Maze of Blood  (Mercer University Press, 2015), is a visceral shot to the senses and a fine filament tugging at the imagination that examines the results of thwarted dreams and desires in the life of a young writer. Set in rural Texas in the 1930’s, Marly Youmans uses language as both scalpel and wand to conjure a place

Summer sampler, part one


"Its themes and the power of its language, the forceful flow of its storyline and its characters have earned the right to a broad national audience."30 July 2012 John M. Contemporary Literature excerpt mid-way in Chapter 10, A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage. Pip runs away again, and this time he thinks to take Clemmie and her baby. * * * Stillness had come over

Conundrums of art


In between graduation parties and company and weeding the riot of summer and tidying the hovel and hanging out with the godly (the ones we now call Puritans), I've noticed a few things that seem good for those attracted by the arts. Creative economy podcast A lot of this tends toward the usual depressing stuff about the inability of the arts in our day to feed and clothe 99% of its practitioners

Poems: new online


I've just arrived back from more than a week at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts. As but an Alternate Fellow, I was pleased and grateful to be invited. Meanwhile, some print magazines with my poems arrived, and a few poems popped up in online magazines. Here are links to the online poems at John Wilson's Education and Culture and Karen Kelsay and Jeff Holt's

To make or not to make--


This post is especially for Tim Davis, a retired professor who often visits here, and who just wrote a post about why writers write. He also linked to a Huffington Post article about the same. I started to answer him on his post and then realized my response was not a comment but a post itself and probably could be a book, though luckily I have no desire to write a book about the subject. Out

Distractible me


Clive Hicks-Jenkins, My Dream Farm When I could have been doing research or cleaning the house or writing something more sensible, I have been seized by the possibly-silly impulse to quorate. And as both my current forays into Quora deal with collaborator Clive Hicks-Jenkins, I shall post links to my answers. Who is your favorite illustrator? and If you had to live inside a painting forever



The Rollipoke News no. 3 is now out! If you're a subscriber to my newsletter, please check your spam if you do not see a copy.... (And if you wish to subscribe, leave your email address in the Rollipoke subscription slot in the right-hand column.)



Novelist and poet Seb Doubinsky (he writes in both French and English) has a new project he calls "The Tabago Page." Interviews with writers will not focus on marketing and promotion but try to dig a little deeper into the work and the novelist or poet (or the poet-novelist or novelist-poet. Not sure what I am!) Here is my interview. And thanks to those who have already shared on social

Clive Hicks-Jenkins and Sarah Raphael-Balme at Lotte Inch, York


CLIVE HICKS-JENKINS & SARAH RAPHAEL-BALME THE MIND'S EYE 12th May 2017 - 17th June 2017 "Featuring the weird and wonderful, the imagined and the exaggerated, with prints and original paintings by artist, illustrator and designer Clive Hicks-Jenkins and York based painter Sarah Raphael-Balme." As you can see, original art from Maze of Blood is among the offerings. (The book was Finalist,



"Spirit-fall," a poem influenced by Yoruban chant and ancient Hebrew poetry. Originally published by editor Jonathan Farmer in "At Length." Part of a longer sequence. I made the recording using Audacity, and Paul Digby tinkered with the sound afterward. Illuvia dorado Photo courtesy of Ignacio Leonardi and

"tremendous beauty and continuous revelation"


"Exploring the Psychology of Creativity" (click for the video.) Below are some quotes from a conversation between Marc Mayer, Director of The National Gallery of Canada, and Dr. Jordan Peterson, Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto. March 9, 2017. I liked the video; you might also. Peterson has a Jungian perspective, and he leaves room for the dignity and freedom of human beings

Curiouser and curiouser


The fabulous Miss Yo-Yo! I've written seven pieces so far for a collaborative project that will result in a solo show in September, one that mixes visual arts (pen and ink, with colored inks) with poems and stories. Though I can't say anything much about it in public now--because we all love good surprises, and I can't spoil this one--I will be writing about it more privately in The



Yellow-blue morning Four male and three female goldfinches perched on the feeder, backed by a lawn that is a low meadow in shades of blue scilla and a few yellow crocuses. Plus a persistent squirrel. I am recalling my father's electrifying squirrel-defenses.... More on my wanderings, for the curious or downright nosey-- Grovewood Gallery by Grove Park Inn After I returned from Paris, I

"Lessons in history, beauty, and the point of life"


Moreau's Jason and Medea, Musée d'Orsay, Wikipedia public domain It's a bit odd that I made it to Angkor Wat and Machu Picchu before I ever made it to Paris but so it is. Here are a few scattered thoughts about my just-finished trip, which was quite wonderful and not at all like Lent (aside from sore knees and seeing many skulls and bones and rambling in the chilly rain.) What is so alluring



Learning curve: just sent a Rollipoke News out today... And got a bunch of replies. And then replied to one to absolutely everybody enrolled. Sorry out there!



I'm fresh back from Paris and promise to post soon--hope you have done something wonderful in the past week!