A Very Special Creative Thresholds Today

Raven Gets In--Walt Pascoe

Walt Pascoe, “Raven Gets In” 48”x60” Oil on canvas

On December 21 of last year, a dear friend and amazing human being said goodbye to planet earth. His name is Walt Pascoe. Intense and luminous artist. Witty, wry, and intelligent crafter of words. Wise spiritual seeker. And a mentor of sorts to so many of us–artists, writers, and anyone who found themselves on a life journey they hadn’t necessarily planned. In this Creative Thresholds, we’re doing a reprise of an essay he wrote in 2012 (which, incidentally and uncannily, was published December 21) in which he writes brutally honestly and with humor about his struggle with colon cancer. He also includes his art in the essay. Please check it out. His words are wisdom for all of us who are human: “A Tribute to Walt Pascoe: Savage Uncertainties On The Road Home Reprise.”

The Power of Art as Witness: Call Me Down the Rain

Robert Rhodes, ‘Night map (1) so we can always find the way to one another.’ Acrylic, gouache and pencil on Arches paper.

Robert Rhodes, ‘Night map (1) so we can always find the way to one another.’ Acrylic, gouache and pencil on Arches paper.

The second Creative Thresholds issue in July was a very special one and perhaps one of the most important ones we’ve done. It was a series of poems dealing with attacks by Boko Haram in the city of Jos and other areas in northern Nigeria. The cycle of poems began when poet Laura M Kaminski (who grew up in northern Nigeria) posted “Call Me Down the Rain” on her Facebook page. Poet j. lewis responded with one of his own, beginning a conversation. amu nnadi contacted Laura and his poem was added to the collection. They continued the dialogue in poetry form from there. Creative Thresholds has the entire series, in two parts: “Call Me Down the Rain” and “Call Me Down the Rain, Part 2.” Artist Robert Rhodes’s paintings accompany the two posts. Please visit and experience the power of art as witness. Here’s the poem that began it all:

Call Me Down the Rain

work-song honoring those attempting to return home to territory reclaimed from Boko Haram

I must dance a circle
bring the monsoon
call me down the rain

pray like someone greedy
give me give me give
more than my share

of this year’s water
bring it bring it bring
the water, carry me the river

call me down the rain
and flood the plateau, bring
rags and buckets to me

you will find me on
my knees and scrubbing
more than red dust

more than harmattan,
I must scrub the northland
clean down to the bedrock

how can we return
to farm and village, how
can we plant new crops

in this earth from which
we’ve lifted the broken
bodies of kin and country

washed them, taken them,
them all, to mourn and bury?
how can we till land

charred from bomb-blasts,
how can we plant when
we keep finding bullet-

casings in the soil?
our lips will not permit
yam and cassava grown

in blood-soaked dirt
to cross them, our bodies
will refuse such tainted

nourishment. no. you
must carry the Benue
here, bring bring me

water, call me down
the rain so I can first
scrub the stains

of blood and bitterness,
scrub until there’s
nothing left but dancing

here, until the stain is
gone from memory,
from sole and soul —
call me down the rain

–Laura M Kaminski (Halima Ayuba)
(first published in Synchronized Chaos, forthcoming in Dance Here, 2015)

The Latest Creative Thresholds

I’m a little late getting this up due to illness, but I still wanted to share the enchanting and provocative latest issue of Creative Thresholds.

Moni Smith specializes in pinhole photography, and her photographs are pure delights. There’s always more to see with her work, each extra moment of looking rewarded. Check out “Time In-depth.”

Moni Smith-Lemonade Nachos and Cold Drinks

Lemonade Nachos and Cold Drinks

Christopher Hutchinson, our writer for the “Postcolonial Thoughts” column, is back with another essay sure to make you think of an artist’s work differently, if not turn everything you thought on its head in “Post Colonial Thoughts: Lyle Ashton Harris Lecture at the HIGH: Indecisive Moments.” Read Christopher’s trenchant comments about Lyle Ashton Harris’s Blow Up IV (Sevilla) and other works.

Blow Up IV Lyle Ashton Harris

Lyle Ashton Harris, Blow Up IV (Sevilla), 2006




2015’s First issue of Creative Thresholds

In November 2012 I started an arts-literary blog called Creative Thresholds in order to promote and (hopefully) inspire artists, writers, and other creatives. It comes out the second and fourth Thursday of every month. Today the first issue came out and it’s fantastic! Michael S. Church shares his masterful, provocative collages. aima peintar (Marcella Casu) invites us to explore the inside of the line in her tantalizing drawings. It’s a full, rich issue. Check it out! 



End of the Year issue of Creative Thresholds ROCKS!

The last issue of CT  for the year–and the last issue before going to a twice-monthly format–ROCKED!

Michael Dickins explores the blunting of awareness and empathy by our mass media in Michael Dickins: PreOccupied.

Michael Dickins, “New York 2011”, 48”x48”, pastel, graphite, charcoal, oil pastel

Michael Dickins, “New York 2011”, 48”x48”, pastel, graphite, charcoal, oil pastel

J. Adam McGalliard works the layers of reality in  “Projections“:

“The projected image works as a double-edged sword. It can starkly reveal something that is hidden, like the writhing tattoos of the Illustrated Man, or it can mask an individual as a concealing veil or garment that creates a protected outer hull.”

J. Adam McGalliard, “Pink Magnolias,” Oil on Linen

J. Adam McGalliard, “Pink Magnolias,” Oil on Linen

A fantastic end-of-the-year meditation and killer playlist in Rebekah Goode-Peoples’s “Pay Attention (and then do something).”

make and do (1)

In the “Postcolonial Thoughts” column Christopher Hutchinson reviews leading art theorist/curator Nicholas Bourriaud’s The Radicant.


Stellar reflection by Daniel Boscaljon upon the nature of relationship  in “all that I had in you was only myself”  (image by me).

Melissa D. Johnston

Melissa D. Johnston

Happy Birthday to Creative Thresholds!


A big “Happy Birthday!” to arts and literary blog Creative Thresholds, which celebrated its first year at the end of last month. The anniversary issue was fantastic–poetry, collage, painting, drawing, and photography from an international cast of contributors.

Swiss artist Verena Baumann enchants with painting, photography, and drawing. Check out Works by Verena Baumann.

bilderProlific poet Bruce Covey shares a secret in Evidence that Ke$ha is a Key Factor in America’s Growth Economy.

skull and panda by Lee Ann RoripaughAnne-Martine Parent explores the possibilities of photography, specifically iPhoneography, in The Others and I.

Processed with VSCOcam with x5 presetDaniel Boscaljon’s series Letters to You continues with who are you without what you are without.

mdjClaudio Parentela: Contemporary Art with a Freakish Taste tickles the fancy of lovers of collage.


md1Artist and art critic Christopher Hutchinson looks at the work of encaustic artist Michael David in CT’s column Postcolonial Thoughts: Critique of Michael David’s “The One-Eyed Turtle and the Floating Sandalwood Log.”


Interview with Nicola Ayoub, international choreographer and dancer

Every week on the Facebook Creative Thresholds page we feature one post from the archives. This week’s is my interview with Nicola Ayoub, one of the most inspiring creatives I know who has found a way to live her dream, albeit through much faith and perseverance. Be inspired by her story at Creative Thresholds.

Nicola Ayoub

The Latest Creative Thresholds

I’m excited about the latest Creative Thresholds. Screenwriter and graphic novelist G.A. Gallas shares pages from her graphic novel The Poet and the Flea, an ode to William Blake. My nerd self totally swoons over this.

G.E. Gallas The Poet and the Flea page 22

Michi Meko. Flux 2013. Atlanta. One heck of a performance. Christopher Hutchinson discusses why it’s so good in “Postcolonial thoughts: Michi Meko’s The job of the resurrectors is to wake up the dead.” Meko photo 1

“A sound theater of Negro prison work songs will be played to wake up the souls of Negro men that were forced to lay the tracks in and around Atlanta as the re-enslavement of Black Americans increased during the Civil War up to World War II. Most of these free men were imprisoned on bogus charges enforced by Penal Labor/Servitude laws allowing the cycle of supremacy to continue….”
Meko photo 3 The first chapter from Jillian Schedneck’s book Abu Dhabi Days, Dubai Nights recounts her two years teaching English in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. “I longed to be pulled and pushed, to journey to places that seemed unknown and less travelled, whose names held some kind of mystery and magic to my ears.” Definitely worth the journey.

Abu Dhabi Days, Dubai Nights book cover It’s no secret I love mobile photography. If I ever wondered what some of the creative possibilities were for its apps, Maarten Oortwijn gives more than enough of an idea…and plenty of inspiration in “the digital painter.”

Maarten Oortwijn-contactsheet

Letters to You by Daniel Boscaljon (with images by me) continues with my “best for your worst.” “some words have power….”

not rothko experiment. the now final

The Latest Creative Thresholds

Photography, flash fiction, experimental writing, critique, and iPad drawings: the latest Creative Thresholds.

Go behind the scenes of photographer J. Christopher Matyjasik’s latest project: dixie’s s-bahn.

photo 7 christopher matyjasik

See the continuation of Daniel Boscaljon’s and my collaboration in confession: the nature of my crime.

not the last time no by Melissa D. Johnston

Read our new columnist Christopher Hutchinson’s look at Rashid Johnson’s work in Postcolonial Thoughts: Afrofuturist Rashid Johnson’s Message To Our Folks.

Napalm by Rashid Johnson

Hang with Rachel Troutman as she sketches her iPad drawings in Sofa Drawings.

Rachel Troutman Revlon Still Life

Check out Maria Protopapadaki-Smith’s mysterious flash piece Dreamhealer.

Field Four (for video) by Melissa D. Johnston

Creative Thresholds looks forward to your visit!