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Ever since I discovered Ken Flett through his blog, Shaping Stones, I’ve felt we have a great deal in common — not in the sundry details of our distant lives, but deeper down, in their underlying fabric. That, of course, is due to his artistry and humanity. As the title of this post suggests, Ken is someone who needs to make things. And he is very good at making things out of whatever is at hand — so good, in fact, that I wrote a bit about him in the first installment of the new “Web Lights” series I’m doing for John Berbrich’s literary quarterly, Barbaric Yawp. I won’t reproduce the column here. If, after spending time at Ken’s site you’d like to read it, copies of the Yawp are easily and cheaply obtained from John. Just ask him for the January 2010 issue, which is also chock-full of poems, stories, and small press reviews.
Naturally, I didn’t want to tell Ken ahead of time that I was writing about him. Instead, I sent him a copy of the magazine as a surprise. What you see in this photo is what he so graciously sent me in return. The book was given to him long ago by a dear friend. Now it’s mine, but in a way that makes me feel that it’s really ours — Ken’s, mine, his friend’s, and yours. It’s hard to explain. It doesn’t need to be explained. It just is.
At the top of the page that says Scouting for Boys are the last two steps showing how to make buttons out of bootlaces. The pictures are Ken’s, and the stamp can be interpreted in many ways, or, better yet, relished as it is without interpretation — a lesson in life and poetry.
There is also this outlined phrase: No matter how difficult it may seem, he should tackle it, with a smile; the more difficult it is the more interesting it will be to carry out.
And that, along with my thanks, is a good place to end this post.
In the Forum: hydraulics and loneliness.