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Molly's Morning

collaboration with Eliza Frye

Poetry Projects Under Construction

Molly's Morning

Collaboration with Eliza Frye

Poetry is a perpetual motion machine. One project that keeps my bearings spinning is a magical realist renhaigatanka (連俳画短歌) with the indomitable Eliza Frye, called "Molly's Morning." The term renhaigatanka is (obviously) my neologism used to describe our collaborative process:

  • Step 1: Jordan writes haiku in English

  • Step 2: Eliza translates haiku into visual form

  • Step 3: Jordan translates both haiku and visual form into Japanese tanka poetry

  • Step 4: Eliza incorporates the tanka into her final design

The first three slides are to the left (minus my Japanese tanka).

Eliza's work is a vibrant, dark, erotic universe – check out her original art, prints, and graphic novel work here.


From the Eye of the Juken

The Japanese education system is famous for its hellish standardized test culture. Working as a proctor for the "Center Exam" for two years, I saw a lot of things that needed to become poems.

On the first day of testing, I began writing a series of poems based on the theme of juken (受験, the Japanese word for test-taking). Why use the Japanese term? Partly because that's where I encountered it, but partly because the concept is rather different in Japan.


The series is under construction (and seeking a publisher), but the first five are in the most recent World Poetry Almanac.

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