A cold, bright Cathedral Square Park

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The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, full moon (or nearly full moon) rising, and Christmas lights brighten the cold December night.

Springtime in Milwaukee

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Yes. It is snowing. In Milwaukee. On Maundy Thursday.

Frosted window at sunrise

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When night winds leaves subzero signatures on the Saturday morning window, it is time for coffee and jazz and few lines of poetry… [1]

Try to count the colors
In a frosted window at sunrise
try to imagine the hues and shades
Of a Wisconsin winter morning…

NOTES
[1] With apologies to Three Crosses, inspired by song “Michelangelo”

This week is the Annual Poetry Marathon

Woodland Pattern Book Center, 720 East Locust Street, Milwaukee, WI 53212

Woodland Pattern Book Center’s 22nd Annual Poetry Marathon & Benefit is almost here and I have done a horrible job promoting the event.

This is the second time I will be reading poetry at the Woodland Pattern Book Center. If you are so inclined, you may sponsor me as I read poetry during the 9 -10 PM portion of the marathon. Details on sponsorship is here.

Or join the event and hear some of the poets in the area and beyond. Last year, if I recall correctly, some of the poets drove from as far as Madison to read at the marathon. Hope to see you there.

Spitting poetry at Grassroots

Day five

Several expressions are used in open mic circles when a poet or a singer songwriter is introduced to the audience. One of those expressions is, “Welcome, So-and-so to the stage. She going to bless the mic with her poetry.” Another expression often heard is, “Ya’ll give it up for What’s-his-name who is here to spit some poetry at you tonight.”

Last night I had the opportunity to read some recent, unpublished poems at the Grassroots open mic in Racine. That was the first time I have read at the Racine Arts Council ArtSpace Gallery (last summer I read some old poems at a Grassroots open mic at George’s Tavern). The poems seemed well received by at least a few people who talked to me at the end of the evening.

There was a time in my life when I used to read my work at open mics and other gigs at least once or twice a week. But those were different times and in a place far from here. Yet, the exercise of public speaking/reading returned quickly. There was fear in my mind that those skills had atrophied.

I will be reading at Woodland Pattern Book Center’s 22nd Annual Poetry Marathon & Benefit. It is a fundraising event. Your support is appreciated. It will be my second time reading at Woodland Pattern. For those interested attending and supporting the event, I will be reading on January 30th at 9 p.m. with a group of other poets — more details on that coming soon. If you would like to sponsor my reading, feel free to leave a note in the comments section or email me.

Rainy river walk

20160108-133453.jpgIt is difficult to believe that it is winter in Wisconsin. The weather reports offer that snowfall is in the forecast for this weekend and sub zero temperatures. But for now, a lunch time walk along Milwaukee’s River Walk is a damp pleasure.

Almost two weeks and counting…

DSCN2804-tiltshiftThe Rhode Center for The Arts in Kenosha, WI hosts an author reading of local poets and writers (including myself) on May 23, 2015.

I will have copies of How Long Does it Take to Write a Haiku?, The Vanishing Art of Letter Writing, Late Night Writing and other books for sale.

For invitation to the event, please contact me for more details.

Announcement & invitation

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The Rhode Center for The Arts in Kenosha, WI hosts an author reading of local poets and writers (including myself) on May 23, 2015. For invitation to the event, please contact me for more details.

Five reasons to support the poetry marathon

Racine poets at last year's poetry marathon

Racine, WI poets represented at last year’s Poetry Marathon.
Photo Credit: Woodland Pattern Book Center

Just two more days until the 21st Annual Poetry Marathon Benefit Reading at Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee. Here are five reasons to support the Annual Poetry Marathon:

  1. over 25,000 small press titles
  2. book titles include poetry, chapbooks, fine print materials, broadsides, and multicultural literature
  3. money raised supports Woodland Pattern’s 2015 programming in literature and the arts, including an after school program and youth summer camp
  4. enjoy 15 hours regional poets, writers, and lovers of the arts
  5. 150 poets and writers from Milwaukee and surrounding areas

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Five poets representing Racine, Wisconsin at the Woodland Pattern’s poetry marathon need your support! Help each performer raise at least $35.

  1. Nick Demske – poet and author of critically acclaimed self-titled poetry book and featured in Poets & Writers. read more
  2. Justin Grimbol – author of Hard Bodies, Drinking Until Morning and others. read more
  3. Kelsey Harris – poet featured at the 2014 Racine and Kenosha Authors Book Fair.
  4. Aaron Lundquist – spoken word poet, featured at Grassroots Open Mic and Artist Showcase. read more
  5. Nick Ramsey – Poet Laureate of Racine, Wisconsin and co-founder of Family Power Music. read more

Ok, technically, there are more than five, but I saw most of these fine poets perform last night at the Grassroots Open Mic at George’s Tavern. Also, I will be reading during the marathon as part of the Racine delegation. Please consider supporting me with a pledge. It is as easy as one, two, three. Go to the Woodland Pattern Book Center, here, and:

  1. under “Pledge a Reader online!” select a donation amount,
  2. add “Reader’s Name” (that’s me, Matthew Mulder) and
  3. click the “Pay Now” button.

Thanks for your support!

Behind the camera

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A concrete slab harvested from a demolished city building defends Pershing Park from the frozen Lake Michigan waves. It is large — the size of a small sedan — and surrounded by smaller rubble. Rebar and concrete and ice mix into a violent Jackson Pollack sketch as waves thunder into the shoreline.

The temperature outside is in the single digits — lower with the windchill. In the small sedan, the heater is not working. Or not well. The driver’s toes — numb from the cold — curl and uncurl. The driver is trying to capture an image — a photograph — of the spray from the waves when they hit the shoreline and shoot twenty feet into the air.

The visit to the public library introduced the driver to books by E. L. Doctorow, Wendell Berry and Alberto Manguel and a book on the history of time by Oxford Press. Timing the waves as they advance on the shoreline creates an illusion of distance. Patiently the driver composes a few more images.

The icy air advances deeper into epidermis. Reluctantly the driver places the lens cap on the camera and stows it in a black bag next to the library books.