after Joy Harjo


Clear a space for yourself.  This includes time.

No thinking, no ideas, no answers, no logic, no reasons.

Stand against productivity.

Don’t be afraid to put the needs of others out of your mind.

The light, predawn or evening, works its private magic.  This counts.

Collect materials.  Watch sidewalks for doll parts or rusted washers.
Go to flea markets.  Buy dusty, moldy, chipped, beaten, time-worn pieces.

All junk has potential.

Don’t forget the odd family scraps; you don’t even know how you ended up with them.  (A banknote from Venezuela for Dos Mil Bolivares or a moldy photograph with “Turku, Finland” penned on the back?)   Let their hidden stories prance on without you.

Indulge in setting up.  Admire your tools: Scissors. Paper. Water. Glue.

You can love simple things here.

Do not tamp down your excitement.

Your paint brushes are a group, a chorus. All different heights and haircuts, they applaud you.

Here there is no shame.  You do not have to know anything.

Your hands and eyes know everything.


When you don’t have a plan, the options are infinite and equal.
Glinda’s sparkling wand or Lana Turner’s head?  Make your choice.

Glue it down. Bam!

You have created a point in the universe.

As you peruse your materials looking for that pterodactyl, you will often find something else. The perfect blue circle. Let it in.

There are no mistakes. Things just turn out different.

You are free to crack yourself up.

Respect the messiness: the gluey edges, the crooked cut.

Become lost. Nothing matches.


Kim Farrar is a writer and collagist. Her poetry collection, The Impossible Physics of the Hummingbird, is forthcoming from Unsolicited Press in 2025. Her chapbooks, The Familiar and The Brief Clear are available from Finishing Line Press. Her poetry has been published in Alaska Quarterly Review, New Ohio Review, and other literary journals. Her essays and creative non-fiction have been published in Midwest Review, Illness & Grace, Voices of Autism, and Reflections. She was a semi-finalist in the Grayson Books Poetry Contest in 2022 and 2021. Her chapbook of poems and collages was a semi-finalist in the 2022 New Women’s Voices contest. She is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee.


Kim Farrar

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