The Verge

Perhaps the imagination is on the verge of recovering its rights.

— Andre Breton

What divides the light from the darkness?
          The warmth of the egg

Q&A Session with Sharon Cunniff, Mary Ellen Binkele, and Michelle Tennison (2011)

What is the meaning of Grace?

          I heard you sing in your sleep

Question Harry Hudson,  Answer Michelle Tennison (2005)

What thoughts are weightless?

          I step out of my mother’s dream

Question John Levy,  Answer Michelle Tennison (2017)

Eve Luckring: Another Dialogue with The Marvelous



What is poetry?
          Yours or mine?

Question Michelle Tennison,  Answer Eve Luckring (2017)


What lives in sincerity?
          one to eat
          one to stone
          you with


What is remembering?
          Wanting to trust the shape a wave makes


What is stirring in my gut?
          (When) connecting the dots makes a circle


Questions Eve Luckring,  Answers Michelle Tennison (2017)


I have long been a fan of — and been inspired by — the work of Los Angeles artist and poet Eve Luckring. One of the gifts of haiku is that it allows us to recognize a kindred spirit, even across a continent. This is how I felt about Eve even before we connected recently through playing the Question and Answer Game.  I felt I could trust her with some difficult questions, and I was right. I hope I was able to answer a few for her as well.



Is God happy?
          The salt in seaweed


How will the world end?
          A bat released from a bubbling spring


Questions Michelle Tennison,  Answers Eve Luckring (2017)


What reveals disguise?
          When all the walls disappear


What do you call into your heart upon awakening?
          Like rain on sugar


What is forgiveness?
          A silence that rests inside fire


Questions Eve Luckring,  Answers Michelle Tennison (2017)


Thank you, Eve, for being you. It was wonderful, I would even say  Marvelous, “meeting” you this way.



“There is another world and it is in this one” — Paul Eluard



Sometimes the game itself transcends logic and seems to tap into another realm, suggesting a transpersonal consciousness at work. The following results from playing the game with Zen practitioner and haiku poet Christopher Herold give a glimpse into the more beautiful side of Surrealism, something Andre Breton called The Marvelous.

I asked Christopher 11 pointed questions, and he answered them, unseen:


What is the past?
          The taste of spring water at 12,000 feet


Where is the map?
          A brick path’s geometry of moss


What is the mind of God?
          The emptiness inside a mirrored ball


What is truth?
          This worn out pair of shoes


How do you know you’ve really made it?
          The scent of a pine forest on a hot afternoon


What is the one dream?
          Bagpipes skirling through a foggy dawn


What is kindness?
          The receding tide depositing driftwood on the shore


Where is the nearest exit?
          Linear time compressing as death approaches


What will happen when two snowflakes are exactly alike?
          Children’s laughter


How can I avoid suffering?
          Discovering and letting go of our attachments.


What is deep thinking?
          Nothing . . . in particular


Questions Michelle Tennison, Answers Christopher Herold (2017)


transpersonal zinnia signedjpg

Photograph by Michelle Tennison


It is a cry of the mind turning toward itself and determined in desperation to crush its fetters.

Surrealist tract, 1925


What if a question does not have an answer?
          One more step

Q&A Session with Timothy Binkele, Anna Binkele (age 14), Seth Binkele (age 11), Cole Binkele (age 5), Ella Binkele (age 3), Mary Ellen Binkele, and Michelle Tennison (2015)


What is deja vu?
          A blind person’s description of a sea anemone

Question Michelle Tennison, Answer Paul Miller (2014)


How can you recognize your own despair?
          A phoenix rising

Question Michelle Tennison, Answer Eve Luckring (2017)

Seriously, why am I here?
          the day lily
          in its splendor

Question Michelle Tennison,  Answer Sabine Miller  (2015)


Where do we fly to when we fly in our dreams?
          More of something,
          silence, more
          of this

Question Michelle Tennison,  Answer Sabine Miller   (2015)