“Reality is Fabricated Out of Desire” — Man Ray


Will this dream ever end?
          I bet heaven is also what you make of it.

Question Christopher Herold,  Answer Michelle Tennison (2017)


Fairy dust, plus
a little wind
makes what?
          At extreme magnification it remains star-shaped.

Question Sabine Miller,  Answer Michelle Tennison  (2015)


Fecund in a New Way: John Levy

I madly love everything that adventurously breaks the thread of discursive thought and suddenly ignites a flare illuminating a life of relations fecund in another way.

— Andre Breton

Poet John Levy’s curious questions add an almost Monty Python-like quality to the game. Together with some random answers they do create meaning, albeit of a somewhat cosmically weird kind. Makes me wonder as I go through an ordinary day what else is hiding there.

How does a herd of gaffes disappear?
          “The tulips have opened, Love, hurry home!”

What haunts your eraser?
          A long exhalation of ferns

What do the weeds sing?
          A dark comedy

When does the mind really mind?
          The thumping sound of a flat tire

Questions John Levy,  Answers Michelle Tennison (2017)

Grasp the Eye by the Monocle

Surrealist proverb, Paul Eluard and Benjamin Peret


What do babies see?
          I’m a butterfly when you’re not looking

Q&A Session with Mary Ellen Binkele and Michelle Tennison (2014)


What did the bird leave behind in the tree?
          The flower no one sees

Q&A Session with Paul Cunniff, Sharon Cunniff, Mary Ellen Binkele, and Michelle Tennison


Saved by The Marvelous?


I don’t know if Andre Breton ever really defined the concept of The Marvelous, a term he used to describe that transcendent, almost magical connectedness that collaborative surrealist games of chance and other surrealist techniques can occasionally attain, but some related concepts might shed light on its creative expression. The following passage from Ervin Lazlo’s Science and the Akashic Field discusses consciousness within the transpersonal realm and its promise:

Transpersonal consciousness is open to more of the information that reaches our brain than the consciousness still dominant today. This could have momentous consequences. It could produce greater empathy among people, and greater sensitivity to animals, plants, and the entire biosphere. It could create subtle contact with the rest of the cosmos. When a critical mass of humans evolves to the transpersonal level of consciousness, a higher civilization is likely to emerge with deeper solidarity and a higher sense of justice and responsibility.

— Ervin Lazlo, Science and the Akashic Field

Where does your body stop and everything else begin?
            A residual memory pulls us toward its center

Question Christopher Herold,  Answers Michelle Tennison (2017)


Consciousness evolution is from the ego-bound to the transpersonal form. If this is so, it is a source of great hope.

— Ervin Lazlo,  Science and The Akashic Field

Transpersonal Psychology associates ‘transpersonal consciousness’ as higher or expanded consciousness, including consciousness of a transcendent spiritual dimension.

Non-linear, Non-ordinary Sabine Miller

I count West Coast artist and poet Sabine Miller among my close friends, even though we’ve never actually met in person. A few years back we played numerous long-distance rounds of  The Question and Answer Game, and it was thrilling.

Sabine is a master of non-ordinary juxtapositions and connections within poetry, as evidenced by her most recent collection Branch to Finch with Ornithopter Press. She is one of the most non-linear thinkers I know, so playing The Q&A Game with her is quite a ride:

Are you awake?

          Russian nesting dolls


Does the ocean have a soul?
          Dark matter


What is the dream of the ruby-throated hummingbird?
          And you, too, are wild
          in the oak’s dream


When will I be loved?
          The wind is so gentle today


Questions Michelle Tennison,  Answers Sabine Miller (2015)


Which brings me to the thought that there is something really different going on here with this game. On occasion it can feel quite personal, even healing.

Perhaps it’s because, due to the element of chance, we feel brave enough to ask some personally significant questions we might not otherwise choose to ask.

And there is something more. 

To comprehend these Q&A connections we often have to find meaning that isn’t obvious by means of logic alone.  We need to engage other channels of perception. For me it is an intuitive process that seems to work best when we engage the heart,  because the heart can recognize truth even when the rational mind can’t quite get there.  And, by the way, it is into just this very territory that I gladly entrust Sabine Miller to be my guide.

Make two o’clock with one clock

— Surrealist Proverb,  Paul Eluard and Benjamin Peret



What is time?
          Memories of sleepwalking

Question Harry Hudson,  Answer Michelle Tennison ( 2005)


What fills the empty spaces?
          This moment

Q&A Session with Paul Cunniff, Sharon Cunniff, Mary Ellen Binkele, and Michelle Tennison


How long does a flower last?
          The eternal soul

Q&A Session with Mary Ellen Binkele and Michelle Tennison (2015)