Escape Into Life Digest No. 33

Instance Of Eruption, 2007, collage by Aaron Wexler

As February ends and March breezes in, Escape Into Life celebrates the contributions of Carmelita Caruana. Spring calls her back to her amazing Italian cooking classes. Her talent ushered in the new and inspiring chapter of EIL, surging forward after the tragic loss of Chris Al-Aswad. We will miss her vivid voice supporting us all towards continued creative excellence.

Spring also shines down on us with Chris’s deepest thoughts and philosophical ponderings as his sister Mandy Al-Alaswad shares passages with us from his bookcase full of journals and sketchbooks.

The poetry of Maureen Doallas . . . illuminating the details of our specific longings, these verses play on luminous threads of desire, regret, and reflection in verses that make us want read more and to live longer. Doallas is one of those rare poets that can create a blueprint for courage through direct poetic phrasing.

Mythology Never Dies: An Essay by Tony Thomas . . . When we see Thomas’s name on an art history essay we know we are in for a treat. There will be beauty, there will be tongue lashing, something scathing, something pithy, and something new. This thought provoking essay examines a few places where art and myth intersect and discusses changing attitudes toward and uses of classical and modern myths.

Obsession, Art, and Photography: An Essay by Fred Shively . . . Contains the shadowy and mysterious elements of a classic horror movie–the kind that surreptitiously reminds us of our own darker aspirations and fears, beginning with a look at Italo Calvino’s short story “The Adventure of a Photographer” from the collection Difficult Loves. In revealing the obsessions of the Calvino protagonist, Shively asks whether personal and artistic cobsession is a driving factor for great artists or a swampy sidetrack best left unexplored.

The poetry of Desmond Kon Z Kon Zhicheng-Mingdehicheng-Mingdeon . . . sings through familiar words and images wrought into  unfamiliar and surprising constructs. Each bead on the knotted chord should be examined with care.

Music Review: Lonely Avenue by Ben Folds . . . Luke Grundy’s judicious review of new work by two established artists, Ben Folds and lyricist Nick Hornsby, provides background, description, and evaluation of their collaborative album Lonely Avenue released in October of last year. Not altogether a fan of the results, Grundy does pique the reader’s curiosity.

Stacy Ericson is an editor and photographer who is interested in imagery both in word and in art.  Her work often reflects her roots in the western states and her abiding interest in other cultures, ancient languages and religion, and visceral passions. She lives and works in Boise, Idaho. and her poety, fiction, essays, and photos can be found at

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