Instant Ancestor: Orville Clarence Taylor


Orville Clarence Taylor

I belong to a FB group that shares funny, unusual, or weird things we discover in thrift stores. One game that people in the group¬†like to play is to adopt “instant ancestors.” Basically you find old photos of people you don’t know, but that you’d like to have in your family tree, then you name them and develop a backstory.

Today I adopted my first fake ancestor! It’s a boy! ūüėČ Isn’t he great? I couldn’t be more proud. I’m going to buy him a little picture frame and he will live on my piano. He is my fake great-great uncle thrice removed.

He reminds me a little of a young Orville Reddenbacher (the popcorn guy), so I’m going to name my new ancestor Orville. A good, solid Midwestern name from the early 20th Century. Orville’s last name, of course, is Taylor.¬† His middle name, Clarence, was his maternal grandfather’s first name.

Orville grew up in Terre Haute, Indiana. This photo was taken on Orville’s graduation from Wheaton College in Chicago where he received his PhD in Biblical and Theological Studies. Orville headed from Wheaton¬†to New Brunswick that August to pastor his first church.

Before leaving the area to pursue his pastoral calling, Orville married his high school sweetheart, Corinne Magnuson. Their wedding was the social highlight of the summer, and many of Terre Haute’s finest citizens turned out to wish Orville and Corinne the best in all their future endeavors.

Erasure: Revolution

Erasure poem: Source Youth Challenges by Clarence B Kelland
by Debi


poor working-men
compelled to become lowly
beliefs handed down
until wrenched
into tradition
to the leveling tradition
elevating of equality
perhaps hers
had risen beyond
the whole-souled
revolutionist father
of her family

Notebook Cento #3

Sometimes I go back through my notebooks from Graduate school and make centos (collage poems) from phrases I find in the pages. This is the third of the series of centos from my notebooks.

Notebook Cento #3
by Debi

distance ———- home
love is in the mind
happens again and again
there are known unknowns
and unknown knowns
everyone lives parenthetically
do you have to work for it?
how much do you want it?
layers of imagery
is any poem with footnotes
a mixed genre work?

Notebook Cento #1

Sometimes I go back through my notebooks from Graduate school and make centos (collage poems) from phrases I find in the pages. ¬†Yes, I create found poetry from my own personal notes. ¬†Yes, I’m that obsessed with phrases. ¬†Yes, I’m that crazy about writing centos. ¬†ūüôā ¬†This is the first of what will probably be a short series of¬†centos from my notebooks.

Notebook Cento #1
by Debi

metaphysical sonnet
part of a new style
context embedded within
the poem keeps  moving
walking                 pacing
within the creative work
practical           theoretical
just keeps            moving
think about this
formal                   analytical
there is     real     meaning
whether we know it      or not
Basho        keeps        moving
Dante     ruminates

Continue the cento series here: Notebook Cento #2


I’m currently working on an erasure poem of an entire book. ¬†Is there such a thing as an epic erasure? ¬†That seems to better describe this undertaking.

Here’s a brief sample of a small part of one of the poems I found hiding in the text of the book I’m erasing.

UPDATE!  The book is now in print!  BAD THINGS HAPPEN: an erasure.


it is easy
to become conformed
all things
are working
in all things
to conform you
right now