Empty Mirror

Empty Mirror, established in 2000, is an online-only literary and arts magazine. Our focus is on poetry, essays, reviews, interviews, literary fiction, and art. Oh, and we have a soft spot for the Beat Generation writers, too.

New content is published several times a week and we accept submissions continually.

We hope you enjoy exploring Empty Mirror!

Essays & Reviews

Gloria Avner and David Gitin

Remembering poet David Gitin

It is with a numbed sense of great personal loss that I report the passing on June 27th of David Gitin: poet, educator, and polymath. As Gloria Avner lovingly phrased it (his long-lost teenage sweetheart, re-discovered and reunited in Key Largo six years … [Read More...]


Art Exhibits

Patient Clouds - BIll Wolak

Collages by Bill Wolak

Artist’s Statement: Collage undresses the darkness with a mirror’s secret undertow. It’s a dance done on burning kites while dreaming at the speed of light. Expectant as nakedness, collage is a door that surfaces in the shipwreck of your sleep. It’s a … [Read More...]

Nanette Jordan collage art

Portrait Collages by Nanette Jordan

Nanette Jordan is a multi-media "Renaissance Woman" from a family of San Francisco artists. The Smithsonian's Renwick Museum, as well as many other fine galleries, have featured Nanette's work. She is most known for her unique handcrafted sterling … [Read More...]

More Art Exhibits...

The Beat Generation

Ted Joans Lives!

Ted Joans website in works; photos sought!

For several years, there's been a very small, basic website devoted to Ted Joans. Now, it's time to go big.The new website will launch in April 2015. But, before that happens, I need to track down some photos and information. We'll be sure to credit … [read more...]

Sinclair Beiles - courtesy of GC - from the book Bone Hebrew

Sinclair Beiles: A Man Apart

Sinclair Beiles was a South African writer associated with the Beat movement of the late 50s and early 60s. During the time of his earliest successes, he moved from South Africa to Paris, to live with the community of writers and artists, which included … [read more...]

Allen Ginsberg - HOWL

The Howl Hat

My friend Sylvain went to San Francisco recently and brought us back some souvenirs as gifts. One of the places he'd visited on his trip had been City Lights Books. He brought me a t-shirt from there. And he also brought me one of the most complicated … [read more...]


The News

A.D. Winans and Andy Clausen Poetry Reading

A.D. Winans and Andy Clausen Reading, 7.16.15

San Francisco native poet and writer A.D. Winans and NY poet Andy Clausen will be reading from their collective works at the Beat Museum.Both poets were friends with many of the Beat Era poets like Allen Ginsberg, Ray Bremser, Gregory Corso, Bob … [Read More...]


Personal Essay

on painting on

On Painting On

“Why are the paintings going away?”Mommy explains: ”Your dad is having a very important one-man show at a big fancy gallery across from The San Francisco Opera House. We're going to get all dressed up and attend the opening.”I get to go and not … [Read More...]


El Condor Pasa

All my life I’ve been surrounded by paintings of cowboys. Longer still, I’ve been surrounded by people who wanted to be cowboys. Sometimes I count the paintings, the cowboys. There’s my grandparents’ acrylic that hung above their couch of a man, close to … [Read More...]


The Unforgiveable Sin of Joss Whedon

The Unforgiveable Sin of Joss Whedon

Avengers: Age of Ultron is upon us, and that means the odds have gone up considerably of me having to confront The Whedon Problem with my more sophisticated, artsy friends. First you have to understand that my friends and I spend way too much time … [Read More...]


The Great Consciousness of Life

Reaching in, pulling out. The great divide is conquered; and there lies an ever-evolving mission to extract meaning from chaos. This, then, is where it resides, the theater of the soul and the heart.In rewriting my biography of Jack Kerouac, I found … [Read More...]

More Film Articles


Original image: Olivetti Lettera 32, c. 1975 by mpclemens / Foter.com / CC BY. Photoshopped greatly by Empty Mirror.

Typewriter Experiment #1: Getting to Know You

A few months ago I bought an Olivetti typewriter with the goal of experimenting with the way the creative process changes when writing on a typewriter versus writing on a computer. This image is a scan of my first attempt, a stream of consciousness … [Read More...]