Posted tagged ‘1 Mississippi’


January 22, 2013

(Doesn’t completely suit the poem, but you get the idea. And it’s cold!!!!!)


She skidded
along the surface of time.
He dug his heels in.
Either way time flowed, bunching around
his ankles, splashing about
her curves.

Feet flexed, he leaned
into his wake, barely ahead
of inundation, while she, without
suavity of surf or ski, lurched
through her glide. They tried

to hold hands,
but it was difficult.
Even side by side,
a stretch, and when he dug in, and
she swerved, great
elasticity was needed.


Posting the above, a re-write of an older poem for dVerse Poets Open Link Night, and also for Magpie Tales (where Tess Kincaid posts a pictorial prompt.) I don’t think my poem completely fits Tess’s picture, but it did give me the idea of returning to this poem. My awkward rendition below.


8 Mississippi!

October 24, 2012

“Eight Mississippi” From 1 MISSISSIPPI by Karin Gustafson

A day dealing with decisions has left me with little oomph for a new poem or political post, so I turn to…. MARKETING!

Above is a picture from my counting book 1 Mississippi.  If you like counting, elephants and rather watery watercolors, it may just be up your alley (or it might work for a small child you know.)

Or, if you feel like you already know how to count will enough, you may prefer Nose Dive, a very fun young adult book that features NYC, high school, Broadway musicals, phone sex (don’t worry!), and a generational discomfiture with Barbara Streisand.  (By Karin Gustafson, illustrated by Jonathan Segal.)

From NOSE DIVE – by Karin Gustafson, illustrated by Jonathan Segal

Or GOING ON SOMEWHERE, (by Karin Gustafson, illustrated by Diana Barco.)  Poetry, primarily formal poetry (sonnets, villanelles, pantoums.) 

All the books are published by BackStroke Books (my own imprint.) 

Thanks for your indulgence and support. 

In Support of Mark Twain

January 7, 2011

The above drawing does not purport to be from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which is complex, human, and powerfully reflects its time and geography. How can the present be understood without clear views of the past?

1 Mississippi (See the movie, at least trailer!)

December 17, 2010

I am a truly terrible self-promoter.

Every once in a while, I feel I should try.

A while ago, I published a (I think) very cute little children’s book called 1 Mississippi. It is a counting book–its most notable feature are watercolor illustrations, mainly of elephants, that tend to be, well, more watery than the illustrations in many children’s books–more variegated, less blocky.  I think this is because I paint in a somewhat brushy way, with of different tints.  (Sort of like this blog.)

It is a sweet book for a young child, new parent, or, perhaps, a pet pachyderm.

The book is on sale on Amazon (with my other books Going on Somewhere, and Nose Dive),  and there is related gear on the publishing site BackStroke Books.   (if you want to buy or receive a book at a discount, contact me and I’ll see what I can do.)

Thanks much!


PS – I am linking this post to the wonderful Jingle and gooseberry garden.

(PS  – yes, the above video is not good!  Alas, my favorite movie actor, Pearl, is away this morning.  I will try to re-do later with her assistance.)

Looking For Relief at 102 Degrees (With Elephant)

July 7, 2010


Keep cool.

(And, while doing so, check out 1 Mississippi by Karin Gustafson on Amazon.)

ManicDDaily’s Favorite Soccer Players

June 12, 2010

Check out this BBC video to see my absolutely favorite soccer players.

Question:  should they be allowed to use their trunks?

(For a picture of elephants watching soccer instead of playing it, and for other rules for picking favorite teams in the 2010 World Cup, check out today’s earlier post.)

(And if you only like elephants, forget about soccer, check out 1 Mississippi by Karin Gustafson, on Amazon.)

Summer Mornings Without Air Conditioning – A Certain Slant of Light, Gainsborough Hair,

June 6, 2010

Sir Thomas Gainsborough - Mrs. Thomas Hibbert

Emily Dickinson writes about a “certain slant of light,/Winter afternoons,” which I’ve been thinking of a lot as I wake up these days. There’s definitely a certain slant of light on summer mornings.  I feel (kind of) sorry for those who sleep in air conditioning and don’t get to fully experience it.

It’s only a trick of my ear that thinks of Dickinson, for this slant of light is not oppressive like the light in her poem.   It’s a low angled, almost curved, light, which accompanies a time of softness, space, invitation.  Movement is easy enough, though after the restlessness of a night of trying to find a cool place on the sheets, you may not want to move much.  Your body feels suddenly dry, almost powdered.  The air, because you are careful not to fully open blinds, is tinged by a slight blue-grey wispiness like the hair in a Gainsborough painting.

Sounds are distinct, but muted—footsteps below your window, water running upstairs—there is nothing like a Sunday morning after a sultry night in New York City for quiet.   Stereos stilled–if there is a music, it’s in the tradition of John Cage.

You can smell that it will be hot again soon; you can even see it after a while –just there, at the corner of your eye.  The promise seems not to come from the sky so much as from the sidewalk, which, with its cached memory of yesterday’s heat, early radiates an incipient over-brightness.

But, the heat’s not forced itself into your apartment yet;  for these minutes, Gainsborough lingers in the air, and the breeze whispers at just the right pitch.

(If you like summer and sultry, but are more into elephants than Gainsborough, check out 1 Mississippi by Karin Gustafson, on Amazon.)

(And, for a complete change of pace, check out yesterday’s post, why people hate banks.)

What’s Up With Robert Pattinson? Cartoons? Elephants? Is It All Just Coincidence? Hmmm…..

February 2, 2010

Rob Pattinson With Beard

Every once in a while, one is lucky enough to have confirmation that one really does exist in the world, and that, despite all evidence to the contrary, the little pebbles of one’s actions create ripples that are more extensive than one could ever have projected.

The confirmation of my particular ripple effect has come in the convergence of two extremely newsworthy events:

1.  Robert Pattinson is the subject of a new biography written in cartoon form for Fame magazine, and

2.  Robert Pattinson is  slated to star in the film Water For Elephants to be directed by Sean Penn and supposedly to be shot in upstate New York this summer.


I humbly submit that this blog has long combined writing about Robert Pattinson with

(i)  cartoonish depictions of same;

Rob Pattinson With Yankees' Cap

(ii)  elephants,

Vampire Elephant Contemplating New Moon

and (iii)  a dash of upstate New York (also with a couple of elephants).

A Couple of Elephants in the Catskills

The coincidences just mount up!

Coincidences?  Hmmm…..

Further investigation may be required.

Further Investigation

Rob–if, in fact. you are reading this, give me a call!

For more Pattinson, check out the Robert Pattinson category on the home page of this blog;  for more elephants, check out the elephant category.  And, for even more elephants, check out 1 Mississippi by Karin Gustafson on

Even After the iPad – Reasons to Stick With Books – The Bath

January 28, 2010

Bathtub Book

Even After the iPad;  Reasons to Stick to Books.

1.  You can take them into the bath.

2.  You can drop them in the bath (and, if you don’t mind rumpled pages, read on, without being electrocuted.)

3.  You can also drop them on the floor. (For example, at the side of your bed.)

4.  You can spill tea on them.

5.  Or pizza.  (Though it’s not so easy to spill pizza, even on a book.)

6.  They sometimes open to your favorite spots automatically.  Othertimes they open to spots you hadn’t planned on, but are glad you found.

7.  You can underline sentences or whole passages (if you’re kind of OCD.)

8.  Or keep them absolutely pristine (if you’re really OCD.)

9.  Sometimes you find things in their pages that you’d completely forgotten about—an unpaid bill, a letter from an old friend, a wilted buttercup, a spot of tea (or pizza).

10.  Some books bear handwritten inscriptions, even just a name, perhaps your grandmother’s name.  You might read these more closely than what’s in print.

PS – if you like elephants, check out 1 Mississippi by Karin Gustafson on home page or Amazon.


PPS- I am linking this to Bluebell Books Short Story Slam; the prompt was a girl in a bath–this may be a girl elephant.

Icy Cold

January 10, 2010

Icy Cold

Too cold for dogs, elephants, ManicDDaily.

If you like your elephants warmer, check out 1 Mississippi by Karin Gustafson.