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Welcome to the 2nd Wolf Twin Review!

Introducing: David Pedersen . . . a writer, banjo player, and owner of the independent bookstore Maze Books in Rockford, Illinois.

Portrait by: Tré
Portrait by: Tré



or yell

at the stars

the outcome

is the same


the pieces

remain permanent,

the artist

is the change.

And / And / And

what should I say?

that beauty

lives in the hands?

that true beauty

is wasted on mirrors

and sold at market

for validation?

that wrapped skin

is a commodity?

that perfect sentences

becomes slogans?

that hymnals

sells shoes

and gold

kisses the tongues

of human creatures

whispering to god?

what should I say?

what should any of us say?

what remains

when philosophy

omits shame?


we are fireflies


signaling worth

to our captors

Featured Poet Interview:

1. How do you feel being from the Midwest influences your work?

We exist in the middle of everything, while simultaneously exiled from both coasts. We are cold weirdos, Midwesterners. To explain the Midwest, is to explain a car ride on Thanksgiving, head pressed against a frosted window, watching dusty snow slide along grey fields of plowed land. It’s a state of being that is difficult to illustrate. I think that trying to share such a complex state of being, as a creative, provides a unique incentive. Sometimes the audience understands, and sometimes the audience just stands.

2. You are known to be a fan of the Beat Generation. What does the way they approached literature and life mean to you?

The Beats invented their own scene, their own movement, their own cultural chaos during mass conformity and liberal blacklisting. They didn’t see lack of mass interest in their poetry as troubling, but rather, an opportunity for inspiration and a consequence of being beaten down and in-between. They were lost. And rather than finding a place to fit in, they created their own world. They fought censorship. They pushed other artists to push back as well. Without the Beats, it is doubtful that America would have ushered in a cultural revolution in the 1960s. It’s difficult to come up with any contemporary American art that doesn’t somehow draw a connection back to the Beats. They live in everything now, even if modern artists/writers don’t know who they are.

3. Who are your favorite poets?

Denis Johnson. Carl Sandburg. Gary Snyder. Kaddish by Allen Ginsberg is my favorite poem.

4. You own a bookstore in Rockford, Illinois. Maze Books. How do you balance owning a bookstore and being at the forefront of the literary scene with having time for your own work?

It is difficult. There are days I question whether I’m more of a character of myself than my true self, but I’m going to guess that most people feel that way too. I understand the needs of my customers, but I don’t necessarily know what readers want from me as an artist. When I see other writers sharing their stories of success from others, I can’t help but draw comparisons to my own success, which can be problematic. The fact remains; I have been more successful in running a bookstore than I have been in creative writing. But success is probably the worst motivator for creativity. If I were solely motivated by audience response, money, or fame, then I would have stopped writing a long time ago. I’m still trying to sort out my personal motivations (and the motivations of others) but I don’t think that I’ll ever get close to a concrete answer for either. The reward is in the writing, not after, not praise, not sales, not compliments. Just as a sculptor or visual artist enjoys working with their tools to forge something from nothing, so do I as a writer. I don’t know if I have a choice in the matter, to be completely honest. I will always create, regardless of response.

5. You sometimes tag your posted work #succinct. As admirers of short form poetry here at Wolf Twins, what does Succinctism mean to you?

Succinctism is based on a challenge: How can we, as creatives, explain complex subjects or themes, using concise phrasing, that can easily be understood by the broadest possible audience?


Time is everything. People don’t seem to have as much time as they used to. Every word in a piece matters because reading takes time. If artists want readers or audiences to experience their work, or want to share collective thought, then the artist must understand that audience participation is a sacrifice.

Succintivists rebel against bloviation and redundancy. We honor time.

6. If you were a tree, which would you be?

I love Bass Wood for carving, Osage Orange for Color, and Black Locusts for strength and will.

To David:

Thank you so much for being our Featured Poet, and welcome to the Wolf Pack!

Dearest Readers:

Greetings, fellow poetry lovers. Check back next month, or subscribe to our blog to see the moonstruck poets we have lined up. Owwwoooooo!

MOONSCAPE by Thomas L. Vaultonburg and Tré
MOONSCAPE by Thomas L. Vaultonburg and Tré

MOONSCAPE has launched! Come with us to discover 1 year of illustrated haiku pairings, inspired by the 12 phases of the moon. This 80-page masterpiece—designed for both art lovers and discerning art collectors—unfolds as a truly distinctive and captivating expression of shared creativity. Be enveloped in velvety grey gradients, bold black-and-white contrasts, and the sharp details that bring our Art Book to life.  MOONSCAPE HAIKU PHASE I is the first of three books in Thomas & Tré's "SCAPE TRILOGY" Art Book series. TREESCAPE HAIKU PHASE II is already in production. DREAMSCAPE HAIKU PHASE III will follow, completing the set.

To everyone who has patiently waited, it truly means the world to us. We have created an array of book and art loving rewards that we are delighted to share, including: signed book copies, Limited Edition Prints, commissioned artwork, and custom haikus.

Secure your copy and join our moonstruck adventure! Pre-order by following this link:

Updated: Jan 31

Welcome to our 1st installment of the Wolf Twin Review!

Introducing: Russil Tamsen, poet of music and verse, guitar tickler, world traveler, inciter of mirth, and avid nature lover.

Portrait by: Tré
Portrait by: Tré


Delight to see sprites

Between the pines slipping slight

While moon mist thickens.


Wolves ripping the sky.

Alert echo-piqued ears scan

Across glacier scree.

Dark Matter

Beyond their pond rim

Koi sense a tough mystery...

But can't crack that case.

Featured Poet Interview:

1. When did you start writing poetry?

I took a few stabs at it as a teenager; through college my head was poetic but more into penning song lyrics. In my late 20s, scribbling poems kept my creative fire alive at boring jobs. 

2. What drew you to haiku?

Getting older. Enjoying simplicity. Especially, I found haiku to be an evocative way to caption photographs or pieces of art.

3. Who are your favorite poets?

Ken Nordine, E.E. Cummings, and Jill Scott.

4. Where do you go to be inspired?

To the dreamtime. To a blank page. To the world's endless problems. Inside, to feelings that are hard to describe. Staring into the distance can be fruitful... 

5. What is your favorite color?

How about a favorite paint color name instead: you can find 'elephant breath' at Lowe's. 

6. If you were a tree, which would you be?

Ah. In a previous lifetime as a druid, I probably would have known the correct answer to this. I am going to guess a redwood.

To Russil:

Thank you so much for being our first Featured Poet, and welcome to the Wolf Pack!

Dearest Readers:

Greetings, fellow poetry lovers. Check back next month, or subscribe to our blog to see the amazing poets we have lined up. Owwwoooooo!

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