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Laura, Toucan Editrice

Friday, January 28, 2011

Poem of the Week-Endless Novel, Chris Crittenden

As you might have noticed about us Toucan gals, we're suckers for poems about writing. We don't know why, except maybe that we have a tendency to be self-referential. Perhaps they especially hit home because we're creatives ourselves (Laura's a painter, Liz a writer), and it's nice to see the process, "obsession" in this poem, occasionally glorifed. No one does it better than Chris Crittenden, better known as the sublime blogger Owl Who Laughs. In the brief time we've known him, he's submitted some standout poetry, written glowing yet insightful reviews of several of our issues, penned us amusing and inspirational emails, suggested how to make reading old issues easier, and...questioned Editrice Laura's existence. Not a guy who wastes a lot of time, and we're happy to devote this post to him. You should all check out, where he routinely posts his poetry and comments and lit mag reviews, all of which make fulfilling reading, even if they're not about us. And now, for his poem, which Editrice Liz finds especially poignant after waking up in the morning and realizing what it really means to take 5 writing classes in one semester.

Endless Novel

by Chris Crittenden

obsession is a hydra
his fingers cannot slay
on the chopping block
of a keyboard--
too many necks of words
soft as maggots,
wide as cottonmouths,
multiplying with every strike,
the chapters like bellies
engorged on the chum
of his distress.

his need obvious,
the dark raw call,
toiling to get lost
in a creepy tickle like seaweed.
no life vest
and the threat of eels on the shin.
he summoned this ocean,
walked his plot into its monsters.
he liked the way the brine opened,
seduced him with its gape.

the heroine reached up,
to clench his devotion;
and he went down happily,
ensnared in her braids.
his focus twisted into an astrolabe,
uncertain of its own science,
second-guessing reality
as the climax died.


  1. I am honored and bedazzled by this generous feature of my work. Thank you both for doing so much for the literary world. I think you've brightened the sanctums of many an obsessed poet's heart.

    You're meta-awesome!


  2. Great images Chris and good to see your work accepted at yet another great site.

  3. In case anyone didn't know, Gordon Mason runs a very fine international poetry site:

    He lives between two worlds (Scotland and Spain) and has an exceptionally honed sense for poetry.

    His website is somewhat of a secret, but I'm blowing its cover here, because he deserves the attention and the best poetry you can offer.