Category Archives: Poetry
Every event has its own outfit. Every outfit contributes to the show. I didn’t learn this from a fashion magazine, I learned this from a grown man wearing an arrow through his head!
Steve Martin wants to get you to dance the King Tut? He throws on a Pharaoh’s crown. Needs to prove to you he’s a normal (crazy) guy? Steve Martin pushes on bunny ears! He doesn’t do it to feel complete; he does it to engage his audience. In person, he’s quiet, introverted, and even distant, as I read about him years ago. Kindred I feel, and thus, do my best to emulate.
Given the choice of sitting on a couch listening to talented storytellers, or, standing under spotlight to tell a tale, I’m likely to be in my baggy sweats, legs curled under me, rapt in attention. But, there are moments when the crowd becomes the crowd pleaser. My most recent event found me wrestling with that discomfort: while I enjoy writing and I love my stories, I’m worn out from stage life and the spotlight. However, if I’m trying to profit off my art, I gotta do the arty thing and get on stage with it! Yikes.
For me, it’s not a nerves thing. It’s more of a fun-ed out thing; the more time I spend reading completed art, the less time I’m spending on incomplete work and I’d rather invest my time at the computer screen. So, when I find myself wrestling with the duality of solitary writer/crowd performer, I settle my nerves with a simple question: WWSMD?
Steve Martin would coat, shellac, paint, tighten, sculpt, mould, highlight, tweeze, press, scald, twist, puncture, squeeze, and freeze spray for SpookEasy! Here’s what two solid hours ended up with at my vanity:
Since I read from Night Walkers, a Horrified Press anthology featuring ‘creatures of the night’, I dressed as a glamorous gangster, and introduced myself as ‘Queen of the St Pete Underworld’ before launching into my short fiction, “Tokyo Rose,” a story of a woman’s slow, terrifying downspiral during an evening at a martini bar. I am actually not sure when the book will be released, but I imagine if you visit their Amazon page, you’ll be able to find it eventually. See?? Proof that I’m not into the marketing end of things!
You do performances to keep people abreast of your art, but you be a writer – you exist as a solitary individual ensconced in the deep folds of imagination, preoccupied with hours upon hours of unrelenting play, to create what brings you joy, and, maybe, develop that creation into a format worth sharing, should you choose to do so. Being is so much easier than doing, but doing can be a delight!
Here’s a few pics with me as The Glam Gangster, courtesy of Community Cafe’s Facebook Page:
Also went ahead and got some head shots taken before the eyeliner seeped into the crow’s feet! :D I’m using this one as my new Avatar. Ya like??
[Fun day with Writer's Block last Sunday! This was an ekphrastic exercise, my favorite timed prompt. Here's what I produced in the 15 minute time frame.]
Concept: Observe one of the featured paintings on the Community Cafe wall, and write in response.
He bought me this bunny. He bought me this bunny because when we first met at the fountain, he overheard me talking to my best friend Jordie about the movie “Con Air.” Jordie and I thought we were the only Americans at the fountain in Hannover until that afternoon. The three of us kept talking about bunnies in movies. “Best film rabbit ever?” “Donny Darko!” He and I hugged at whim, a random affection imparted to a random man in a not so random city, or as Jordie pointed out, in a very romantic city. “Come on,” Jordie begged like a whiny kid, “give love a try, one more time, for me.”
“For you, or because we’re in Europe?”
“Just fall in love, kiddo.”
He brought the velveteen, blue-gray bunny to the bistro that evening. I’m so glad you called, he said. Where’s Jordie? He asked. When I didn’t answer, he blushed. “I brought you something.” I already saw its black leathery nose peeking out of the top of his bulky cargo pants. I watched as he fished around, knowing what he was going to do before he did it, but psyching myself to not laugh until he did it.
And then he did. And I laughed so hard, so hard… I don’t remember ever laughing that hard before. Or ever since.
That bunny rode on his dashboard during the six months he was away; I, back home in Florida, pretending not hearing from him every second of every minute of every damn day didn’t cause me any heartache. One scary phone call at 4am; he thought he was in trouble. I trembled for him, I cried for him, all the while repeating, “You stay alive, baby. That’s your job, stay alive,” in the steadiest voice I could.
I never knew the beauty of a sunny day until the day he landed at the airfield. Safe, all in one piece, handsome in his tailored suit. It looked like the one we saw across the street from our table, on a headless mannequin behind a shop window. I squinted as sun rays coaxed him down the stairs and into my arms…yes, it is the exact same suit.
In a separate bag, he carefully removed the bunny and placed it in my hands. Coated in motor oil and sand, he kept apologizing for its sorry state. I hugged the dirty, sandy bunny, the talisman that brought my heart home in one piece.
And that’s why, my sweet little girl, this bunny is so old and dirty. It was busy keeping your father’s love for me alive.
Like any disillusioned Gen X teen buried in 90’s angst, I drank in Poe’s work like a healing elixir. I embraced my darkness, played with the ‘black dog’, and became enthralled by the beauty of madness. No secret I borrow directly from Poe when I compose my more macabre pieces; in fact, I make sure to mention when I’m channeling Edgar Allan Poe in a composition.
May I not suffer his fate, but if I do, please write a decent obituary, and perhaps, throw in these original poems, inspired by The Master:
Ode to Three Birds Tavern
(Composed 5.31.12)Once upon a day dreary wind choppy, sky bleary I wandered into tavern here soaking wet, ordered a beer Soon it amounted to more than one and out peak’ed the afternoon sun Kristen sparked the music box right with rockabilly to delight the boys in the back pushed the cue the bartender kept pouring brew the winds calmed down the sky did clear and all of this cause I stopped for a beer.
Stopping By The Master’s Grave
(Composed 4.4.13)youandI have been here before youandI youandI have spoken in cold air and youandI were youandI despite the chill youandI have much in common youandI darkness we wear like a furry cloak in the air of despair will me towards the black trust me to honor your way your words your fundamental melancholy youandI have much in common youandI I will see you brother it will not be too soon.