I’ve been a doodler for a long time, and this past winter gained a bit of doodling confidence when I took a grad course in making comics with the wonderful Sarah Leavitt. Here’s a link to some of the comics that we created in that class and in some of Sarah’s other classes.
There’s a poem sequence in my new book, Exquisite Monsters, that called out to me to draw. The sequences is made of head, body, and legs poems that make up a variety of “monsters.” You read the poems straight through, or mix them up into different complete monsters.
Now, my doodles are not in the book, but this is how it works. Only, with poems.
(You’ll have to buy the book to read the poem.)
The book is designed with blank pages, so you can draw in your own book. I don’t hold books as sacred objects, and really hope that readers will take me up on this invitation. Even if they can’t draw. Especially if they can’t draw! The great Lynda Barry points out that we all start out as artists and as writers, but we end up developing only what we are told we are good at. Obviously, if you don’t continue to study and practice an art, your skills won’t develop. But that doesn’t mean you should stop.
If you come to my book launch on Thursday night at McNally Robinson, not only will I make you draw, but you’ll get to watch an actual real artist draw: CreComm grad and amazing artist, writer, and human being Jason Booth will be live-drawing to my poetry reading.
In the meantime, here’s a “legs” poem from the book. If you go out and draw it, I’d love to see what you come up with.
A single papier mâché flipper, wrinkled like clay, dried
like a mud flat, like a new desert,
white and powdery like a hard new surface
made by hard new powers
Just endless dive.