Blog Archives

Standing On My Toes To Kiss Him

This poem is bringing a lot of hits to the blog; thanks! Glad you like it, and since you like it, why don’t I voice it for ya?  Let’s do a follow along…click on the link to open another window, come back here to start the video, then read along with me. Enjoy!

 

Han-yaa-say-ohh!

Sitting here at T and Me Tea Company in Gulfport,  biding time until the open mic at Mangia Gourmet starts at 7:30.  What a perfect occasion to put in some NaBloPoMo time.
Checked my stats, the WordPress tutorial was right about being obsessed with it, and I’ve had some views from South Korea. Which explains my phonetic title. ;-) Fun facts: my brother is married to a Korean woman. My nieces and nephew are delightfully insane. My sorority daughter is an American of Korean heritage. And I can eat the mess outta some Korean food!

20131012_214202 Sat here with Johnny the blues guitarist and I said, “You know what the most perfect song is?”
“No.”
“Kenny Rogers. Lady.”
He made a face. “I don’t know the song.”
“Yeah you do. Laady…I’m your knight in shining armour…and I love youuu…”
Still with the face.
I continue, “You have made me what I am aaaanddd…I am yourrrss”
I just serenaded Johnny.
He’s holding his head. “I know the song. I don’t like it.”
“Why?”
“I can’t think of it right now.”
We decide we should reboot the song, a funk version, keep the lyrics, I sing it and bam! I’m the next Sarah McLaughlin. Gulfport’s got a significant lesbian population;  we’d be a hit!

My plan is to take my wall graffiti and use Thursday through Sunday to blitzkrieg my manuscript.  Take small naps, like a Masai warrior on watch duty, eat only protein and drink coffee til my blood runs brown. Yeah man, I can so pull it off. As long as no one bothers me.

Guess I’ll go warm up the pipes. If Johnny shows up, I’m reciting this poem because it reminds me of him:

The Space Between the Words

Now you have gone into that space
Beyond language

You have gone into the pauses in our conversation
The time beyond time and time within time

You are in those moments when we sit in the audience
Waiting for the curtain to rise

And the end when the curtain has closed
And the actors have taken their bows

You are within the pauses of the bird’s song
When we strain to hear the next note

In the water between the fish
In the traveler’s silence within a foreign language

You are in the air that fills the sky
In the moments after the sunset

You are between night and day
Spirit next to soul

You are in the space between the words
The moment before the artist picks up her brush

–Vicky Lettmann

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How To Spend A Hot Summer Day

Original Post Date July 03, 2013 at 10:29 AM

The author beats the heat by walking down memory lane. Two original poems included!

We are well in the throes of Summer, and for me, that means limited outside time. Which I kinda master. As a writer, I’m naturally inclined to be a shut-in.

One recent afternoon, while aiming a fan at me and setting the A/C to Ice Rink, I decided to visit my poetry archives. Ain’t cloud computing grand? The entire hard drive of my old laptop, without having to dust the old box off! Five hours later, I was still going through files, laughing at some, shaking my head at others, even offering an outburst of, ‘Dang! That’s good stuff!’

The rest of the evening was spent organizing what turned out to be eight years’ worth of unpublished musings. Pretty much all of the Naughties. I found one I had performed in 2005 for friends in Kalamazoo, Michigan. It’s better in spoken word than in print because of a routine that goes along with it. I’ll set it aside and find an open mic to re-introduce it at.

The ones that had me cracking up were the poems that were in reaction to relationships at the time. So much time has passed, and yet, in reading these passionate pieces, I remembered who it was dedicated to, even surprised I can remember some of their full names.

It’s significant to run into these “love” poems, as I’ve recently commenced dating again. But it’s nice to see where my head was at then, and perhaps, if the dating season deems successful, I’ll be writing love poems again. I can hear your “awwwww”…stop it!

It’s vacation time for lots of you, so I wish you safe and fun travels. Here’s a couple of original pieces from the archives for you to read, as you wait for the trolley to pick you up from the parking lot, and escort you to your theme park of delight:

(From the “I Hate You” Folder)

All Gone Wrong

I am so disenchanted by you

Unthrilled

Nonplussed.

Not so long ago did I quiver at the thought of your name

And now…

You’ve proved yourself to be

the type of man I wish I never was attracted to

That I regret giving my body to

That I would never allow the hope of being a wife to

Thank you

Unsatisfying taste in my mouth

I liken you to lichen

Building thick and burdensome against the mighty pine

Be gone and

be a man and

by all means

Let me be. 

4.25.2006

 

(From the “I Like You” Folder)

Forgive Me

Forgive me for being so forward
that night so long ago
when I asked you to lie down for a while
when your hand was wrapped around
the door knob
 
You see, all I wanted was an instance of
being a part of you
wrapped in your arms
and becoming one like
Voltron
 
where we would be more than two individuals
in like of each other
we would be two individuals
in search for one another
 
We could be the two
that others boo at
that others sneer at
for being oblivious to our surroundings
as we grace ourselves in mutual
sexual
bliss.
 
Forgive me for being so forward
but I needed that opportunity to know
that the emotions I felt between my lungs
between my eyes
and between my thighs
were even-keeled
with yours.

 10/3/2005

Meet The Poets

Original Post Date April 24, 2013 at 10:40 PM

The author celebrates National Poetry Month. This week’s post is part three of a three part installment. This week we highlight published poets.

npm2013_poster_200We’ve celebrated National Poetry Month by getting in front of the microphone and performing our works, putting a poem in our pocket, and reminiscing on poetry recitation assignments of yore. Poetry will remain a constant in my life and I hope poetry will affect you the same.

I’d like to introduce you to a few poets I’ve had the joy of connecting with in the past few months. Here I close my tribute to National Poetry Month by shamelessly promoting their awesomeness and art.

Poet: Maureen McDole

How We Met: I met Maureen at an open mic and found out about her open mic at Crum’s every other Tuesday, which I’ve regularly attended. Maureen provided some of the pics I featured in this month’s blog on the open mic experience.

What I Like: Maureen is confident, present, radiant, and engaging. And she happens to be a woman. In an age where it seems women are more apt to snipe at each other than hold each other up, Maureen reminds everyone in the room there is worth in celebrating femininity. Even I, Miss Darkness, Miss Pouty Face, can’t help but smile when she performs her poems. I fight it, but it’s of no use: Maureen’s words are friggin’ inspirational.

Works Available At: maureenmcdole.com

Poet: Peter Hargitai

How We Met: Peter had me at “cock.” He recited a Hungarian folk tale about an adventurous rooster and I was immediately impressed, not only at the multitude of the mention of “cock” in one setting, but how outstanding his delivery was. After his presentation we chatted and I found out he’s just as amiable as he is talented.

What I Like: I love a good story, and I enjoy a great storyteller. Peter’s poems bring you to his world, and you can see and feel and smell the old country just as he remembers it. His love for his wife is on an epic level, witnessed through his anniversary poem he performed last month. I hope I become an eighteenth as creative as he is.

Works Available At: http://www.approaching-my-literature.com/index.html

Poet: David Messineo

How We Met: I attended David’s poetry reading on April 7th. He read from Historiopticon and Formal and in between, explained his approaches to the works.

What I Like: It so happens this year is the 500th anniversary of Ponce de Leon discovering Florida. I happen to have a working project labeled “The Bastards of Conquistadors.” When David read from Historiopticon, I was dually pleased to experience such rich depiction of sentiment and such tightly researched data. A rarity in poetry collections, David has all his references listed in the back of the book.

Works Available At: http://www.blurb.com/b/4215481-historiopticon

St Pete’s Got Talent: Open Mic Nights

Original Post Date April 11, 2013 at 10:14 PM

The author celebrates National Poetry Month. This week’s post is part one of a three part installment. The freeing energy that is the Open Mic experience. Snaps, snaps, snaps!

The Academy of American Poets recognizes April as National Poetry Month.This blog will celebrate poets and poetry this month in a three part series.

 

Imagine walking onto a stage, facing a sea of discontented, uninterested faces. Some are attached to bodies with ambivalent arms folded tightly across their chests. When you announce your name into the microphone, you’re greeted with a sea of disdainful groans. You spend the next five excruciating minutes of your life trying to convince these people you are not the enemy, but for every second you appear before them, you increasingly are. You’re not allowed to depart the stage until loaded questions are hurled upon you, harpoons of cynicism pierce you, and the unflattering photograph is taken.

Imagine waking up the next day, to find your unflattering photo captioned with a misinterpreted soundbite as first page news, and your supervisor blowing up your phone, prepared for a discussion on “best practices.”

Yup. That was me not too long ago. Days like that would keep any sane person away from a microphone, a stage, heck, from people altogether!

I poet. I speak words that are loosely formatted but convey a thought, an emotion, an image. I express myself in a manner that makes me feel whole. Poetry does that for many people. And many people here in the Saint Petersburg area are really, really good at expressing themselves.

My writing partner and I have been open mic’ing (if that’s the verb?) and are pleasantly experiencing dynamic synergy amongst local artists. Open mics aren’t just for poets. There are musicians, comedians, storytellers, and even interpretive dancers. It’s a do-what-you-like-and-be-adored-for-it kind of atmosphere. For me, it’s healing and it’s great practice for the upcoming book readings. And you know what? It’s getting to be a bit addictive too.

Whatever inhibitions you think you may have about performing your art in front of an audience, toss them aside and join in on the fun. When you say your name into the mic, everyone cheers. When you perform your set, you’ll be encouraged by smiles. And when you leave the stage, people will look forward to hearing from you again. Ready to get started? Here’s two venues with upcoming events:

APRIL 17 7pm-9pm: Open Mic Night at Irene’s – St. Bart’s Episcopal Church, 3747 34th St S, St Pete, 33711

APRIL 23 7pm-10pm: Open Mic Tuesday – Crum’s Bar and Grill – 2924 5th Ave N, St Pete, 33713

Put A Poem in Yo Pocket

Original Post Date April 17, 2013 at 04:26 PM

The author celebrates National Poetry Month. This week’s post is part two of a three part installment. This week, how poems can influence and inspire everyday experiences.

The Academy of American Poets recognizes April as National Poetry Month. Thursday, April 18 is National Poem In Your Pocket Day.

I qualify as perpetual carrier of poems in my pocket, be they in my Notepad app on my smartphone or my mini-journal in my junk bag. With Internet search engine at the ready, a random poem can be presented for review. Useful tools, saving me the numbing task of trying to remember a poem I’d recited a looooong time ago.

Remember that? Remember having to memorize and recite poems for a grade? You couldn’t get away with a haiku either, oh no.Shakespeare’s sonnets, any of them, incited hemorrhaging. I had the (cough, cough) joy of tackling Alexander Pope’s Rape of the Lock for a project. Thankfully, The Dragon (yes, she wanted us to call her that) only required Canto I of the five. Do the kids do this in school anymore? Is it another assignment they can file a legal injunction against?

This is why I respect poets. They can stand in front of an audience and spin a tale with grace and excitement and without needing to reference notes. Me? I tried it a couple of times with my own poetry. I can’t even memorize my own poetry! Perhaps I blew out that particular section of my brain during my recitation of Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky.

Poems can amplify your life experiences. One example is Stopping by Woods On A Snowy Evening. “Of easy wind and downy flake” is a beautiful line, full of imagery. I’ve enjoyed Robert Frost’s work since my childhood, but this poem literally came alive for me one winter driving in the mountains of Pennsylvania. Whenever I come across it now, I remember me and my dog Bear driving from Altoona to State College, stopping on a peak to admire the downy flake of an Appalachian winter.

Poetry can pronounce your experiences when your own words can’t do it justice. A Dream Deferred by Langston Hughes did that for me three years ago. I remember reciting it for a stage production and for junior year English but thought nothing of it then. Seventeen years later I was fumbling over my state of being, crippled by uncertainty, and then happened upon this poem (courtesy of cswnet.com):

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

And with that, I said, it’s time to become a writer. Novelist, poet, blogger three years later. Thank you Langston Hughes.

Remember to put a poem in your pocket tomorrow. Share it with everyone in listening range; posting on social media I deem cheating! I close with two of my own works for you to enjoy. One light, one dark, depending on how you prefer your poetic coffee.

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.
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