This is a true revolution, Poetic first, because it denies poetry by transcending it. The arrangement as a poem is banished in favor of the automatic text, the dictation of the unconscious, the dream narrative. No concern for art, for beauty. Those are paltry goals, unworthy of attention. The poet’s soul is what it is.

Maurice Nadeau,  The History of Surrealism


Does the ocean have a soul?
          All the children tell the same story. 

Q&A Session Mary Ellen Binkele and Michelle Tennison (2013)

All This Universe is the Glory of Ant

All this universe is the glory of ant, of Siva the ant of love. The heads and faces of men are his own and he is in the hearts of all.

Know therefore that nature is Maya, but that ant is the ruler of Maya, and that all beings in our universe are parts of his infinite splendour.

When one knows ant who is hidden in the heart of all things, even as cream is hidden in milk, and in whose glory all things are, his is free from all bondage.

excerpts from

SVETASVATURA (trans Juan Mascaro)
From The Svetasvatura Upanishad

(wherein the word “God” is replaced with “ant”)


adaptation by 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.