Justin Teerlinck

@teerlinck / teerlinck.tumblr.com

Author of alt history, picture books, poetry, chapter books, comic fantasy, humor, nonfiction. Wait...did I forget something?

Rutherford Conservatory Poetry Garden at Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden, Federal Way, WA. My poem The Salmon at McLane Creek was featured and read aloud. Photos of me by Jennifer Preston Chushcoff. All rights reserved. 

I'll be reading my poem The Salmon of McLane Creek at 2:45 PM for Blue Poppy Day. An etching of the poem will appear in the garden. Come one, come all. Stop and smell the poppies, listen to poets and watch artists creating.

Come see Jennifer read from WA is Water, her genre-defying contribution to ecological writing containing musings on  natural history, Taoist-like meditations, a coffee table photo collection in portable form, and a study of human interactions with the natural world. I will also be there, representing my master, Dr. Horace S. Browntrout, and reading from the works of that venerable purveyor of inscrutably absurd circumlocutions: Mental Disorders of the Mind, I Am THE Victim Here, Death or Glory! A Gentleman Explorer’s Guide to Manliness, Mountaineering, and More.

This is a chance to see some brilliant and renowned writers live! The Baron Joel Van Valin rarely reads, and he will be present with new verse. His command of form and reverence for the past masters is unparalleled. John-Ivan Palmer's acid wit and macabre sensibilities are always a delight to behold. Though I am not as familiar with the work of Norita Dittberner-Jax, her presentation is bound to be both emotionally intrepid and intimate, given the subject matter of her work Crossing the Waters. Attend this performance, be enlightened by some of the bright lights of Whistling Shade and the Twin Cities, feel something, and be a part of the community that keeps the heart of poetry beating strong and rhythmically--or freely versed, if rhyme is not used.

Jennifer Preston Chushcoff stands next to her 3D painting The Foghorn Blew, the Monster Answered A Portal to Ray Bradbury, on the corner of East F Street & Division Lane in Tacoma, WA. 

Jennifer is a mixed-media artist, painter, and author of the IPPY award winning WA is Water, An Intimate Portrait and the Moonbeam award winning book Snowflakes: A Pop Up. You can also see her photography at the South Tacoma Pumphouse (a.k.a Tacoma Municipal Water Works Building at 6222 South Clement Avenue, Tacoma, WA), as part of the FLOW exhibit, helping beautify and revitalize the Flume Line Trail. 

In addition to her nature writing and children’s books, her art has appeared in numerous galleries, installations, and shows. Jennifer’s boundless imagination  is an inspiration, and the celebration of local ecology is more aptly termed eco-ppreciation. Artists like Jenn demonstrate to us all that activism need not be angry. Jenn’s activism is one in which joy, humility, wonder, and an insatiable curiosity about the world are inextricably intertwined. Share her wonder and her wonderful imagination at http://byjenn.tumblr.com/. Read about Jenn’s work on FLOW at https://thesubtimes.com/2018/09/05/local-artist-celebrates-role-of-water-in-community-heritage/.

Letter to Jasper From Prickles the Hedgehog

This is a letter I--er, Prickles--wrote to my nephew over the holidays...

Dear Jasper Bear,                          

 My name is Prickles. I am the crystal hedgehog Uncy J sent you in the mail. Thank you for making me. It’s good to be alive, spikey, and orange. I heard your Paw say you liked The Football Games, and that you like The Purple Viking Team. I want you to know that even though I am orange, I like purple things too. Skoal!

 I am writing this letter to you by sneaking out at night through a little door in the wall that’s hidden so that dogs can’t get me. I have an office and a critter den under the ground out in the backyard. I dip one of my spikey bits in ink and then write with it like a pen. I have a candle and thick reading glasses called spectacles because I don’t see very well.

 I have a brother named Poppy and a panda friend named Pandy. Pandy eats panda bread and watches TV. We do a lot of texting. My bro Poppy came from the same litter, so we’re littermates. His spikes are orange too. He has a job as a balloon popper. When people have birthdays and they don’t want the balloons anymore, they just call Poppy, who comes around in his van (though luckily he’s never had to change a tire on it) with a flashing light and a siren. He runs out of there and starts popping all the balloons and then he stares silently at the balloon holders until they cut him a check. His business is called POPPER STOPPERS, because nobody stops him from popping. Once, he popped a balloon he wasn’t supposed to and then he had to de-pop it. He charged the hooman a de-popper fee, which was two shillings.

 Poppy likes popping balloons and “that’s his jam.” That means, that’s what he likes to do. What’s your jam? Is it toe jam? I hear that toe jam is good with derpleberry pie. I grow my own derpleberries out in the back yard, but no one sees them because they’re the size of pin heads. Mr. Worm always wiggles by and tips his hat when I’m out tending my berries. Mrs. Honeybee tells me about all the beeswax, and how it isn’t like ear wax at all. Bees do not make ear wax, did you know that?

 Derpleberries taste a little like chicken, chocolate, and cheese. Like wobblepuffs with a hint of boofalope or hoozle noodles with dandelion juice. Do you know what I mean, man? There is nothing so fine as derpleberry puddin’ with a few southern-fried termites served in oak bark sauce. Yum.

 Please take good care of my crystals. I’m sorry they’re kind of pokey. I bet you’re happy you don’t have to sleep on a pin cushion in an old, smelly shoe with a dirty foot sock for a blanket. Hooman feet get quite dirty. I know. I have to see them because I’m a short critter with stubby nubbins for legsies. Only hoomans wear foot socks. I don’t know any critters that wear foot socks or shoes on their feeties.

 May I ask you a question? Are you a hooman? Is a boy also a hooman and a hooman also a boy? They never told us much at Sharptooth Primary School For Pokey & Spikey Things. That’s where I went to school. They say that hoomans are tall, and stand on two feet, but that boys are like mini-hoomans who then get bigger as they grow. I got as big as I am now, pretty fast. Is your Mum n’ Paw hoomans as well, or are they people? What about your Uncy J, what is he? What’s an “uncy” anyway? I’m so confused.

 Thank you for growing my crystal spikey bits using the borax solution that is not a toy, and required adult supervision. I don’t know what all that means, but it sounds like quite a lot of trouble to go through for a small plastic animal with questionable sireage. Spikes for a hedgehog are like feeties to a hooman—as in, very important. So thank you, boy hooman.

 I am told that it is the custom of the Viking to say skoal, and hope that you have a field goal. I hope you reach all your fields, if that is your goal. I love my fields, especially ones with clover, dandelions, and sunshiney stuffs. Thank you for being a friend. You travel down a road and back again. Your heart is true, you’re a pal and a confidant. Meery Skoalmas to you and all the hoomans you like.

 Yours really,

 Prickles Hedgehog

Greetings and welcome to my blog. Stay tuned for important information, like letters to Christmas trees. Check out my books, biography and publishing endeavors in the side bar. Thanks for popping in.