ShelbyDeadStephenson

 

“Whether he’s talking poems or possums, Shelby Stephenson is a fine choice for poet laureate.”

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2015/02/02/4525557_saunders-whether-hes-talking-poems.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

My Journey Down South

It’s February 3rd, I’m headed east of Raleigh,
Raleigh, North Carolina, and a fine day it is.
I’ve been on the road from New Jersey to Front Royale, VA.,
stopped in on a poet friend, had a good night.
Then I drove most of the way and stopped in Greensboro
for a poetry gathering, at a residence, and then we did dinner.
Afterwards we went to another poet’s house and did a fireside
chat and read more poetry. Wonderful! And my kind of visits.
The night before I attended an induction ceremony,
for the new Poet Laureate of that southern state
I went further down to Charlotte, family visit, then
back up.
Shelby Stephenson, is one of Red Dashboard’s book authors.
His two books The Hunger of Freedom and Shub’s Cooking are
available on Amazon. Wonderful books, his work is fantastic.

I drove back up to Raleigh and attended the ceremony with
the four ladies I met in Greensboro, fun times; we also had dinner.
The next day I went to Shelby’s home outside of the city. He
took me to his brother’s BBQ place, we drove, and all the while
talking life in poetry. I couldn’t have asked for a better visit
with the new Poet Laureate of North Carolina, 2015-17 (up to Governor).

The road has given me so much material for writing; it gives up
asphalt, white and yellow lines, shoulders- soft and hard, rocks,
stones, rusty nails,
the smells of the land, pollution,
strangers faces in motor vehicles, children in the rear window, animals,
signs, all color skies, sunrise, sunsets, and all sorts of shadows
that lead us to our thoughts, leading to words, leading to poetry and song.

Oh, and did I mention I sold a few books along the way, promote baby, promote!
ShelbyDeadStephenson2

(above photo taken during induction ceremony; bottom- at lunch, Stephenson’s BBQ, Benson, NC)

Inspiration Pops

October 22, 2014

I need to work on more drafts, because I just got a invitational call for submission from a well respected journal. I need to write more, but even tonight I’m distracted by my son’s excitement for an upcoming trip to Peru in 2015, and jabber in the kitchen about beer from my two men. Sigh.  But I try to slip in the muse when I can.

The title is not set in stone, it came from nowhere like a lot of poetry does, and I like where it is going…

 

Uncomfortable, Before And After

Opening up a book a friend handed me
I listened as she awkwardly said her mother
meant for me to have it.
She followed my posts (stalking grandmother?)
and was responsible for considering books
in her day job.
It was assumed I would enjoy the content.

Memoir caught my attention. Not the chubby girl
on the beach, it didn’t quite reach my consciousness.
My own journey of sharing overshadowed
the stirring of a writer’s mind.

Everyone has a story, a face—chubby, skinny,
hallow, broken, sad, happy, aging, and gone.
The body comes in all shapes and sizes, even the mind.
Economic, mid-size, to luxury models.
And all in our own individual colors—no duplicates.

I appreciated the thought of self-help on the friends’ part.
But what most don’t realize (excuse me for this judgmental blurb),
is it’s not just about pushing the plate away.
“What I cannot remember, however, is the decision I made
To eat the whole (birthday) cake”—It Was Me All Along, pg. 1.
Myself, I was born a bean pole.
Most of my life was eating my weight in food, and never gaining a pound.
Until I had my own children, it happens.

Like my Dad’s metabolism, the idea of food did not scare me. My mom,
however, was born chunky, and went to her grave morbid obese. She
was an emotional eater, and it showed throughout my childhood.
We all ate our plates clean.
Her mother was overweight, what they once called healthy. Her sister was,
and their children did not hang, all skin-and-bones.

Lanky, stalks me, like an empty corn field in October.
Rain falling, collecting in the grooves of the dirt.
Mud forms in the cold, full of minerals and nourishing elements.
I drive past them all, each day; each hint of wheat color remainders,
broken off at the beginning of its growth, jagged reminders
growing smaller in the rear view mirror.
The window wipers grind, back and forth in unison,
clearing yellow, orange and browns, remaining greenish,
a few crumbling edges break away.
They fell and drop with seasonal showers—debris clears.
Every day we cannot experience warm and fuzzy.

Garland Jeffreys2

What a weekend! I had a chance to go into NYC with my buddy Dennis McDonough, who writes for Elmore Magazine, NYC/NJ. They send him into the city to catch acts here and everywhere. He talks about this stuff, and about going onto WBAI with Bob Fass, Radio Unnamable. I have never caught him on, feel bad about it, but man he is a whip when it comes to music knowledge and poetry.

He ask if I wanted to go on with him one Thursday, I said Heck yeah! So we planned it, but in and around a few acts he had to cover- John Gorka and Garland Jeffreys. And as I said, it freaking rocked. These guys are great, in spite their celebrity, they allowed me to hang out. They adore Dennis, he has given them great press, but why not there shows were awesome.

I passed a bootleg copy of my book onto both, we shall see. I got an email from one of them, thanking me. Thrilling! Okay, I am a groupie, sooooo.

If you want to hear me, go here: WBAI > find this below, Radio Unnameable>

WBAIRadioStint

 

scroll mp bar over to 2:44 and you will hear Dennis begin singing Happy Birthday to the station host friend ,Lenny. I’ve been invited back this Thursday for more time. It’ s too long to explain why we only got 17 mins.

JohnGorka

SONY DSC

Yes, it has. Outside of my abcess and oral surgery, things are going well- Red Dashboard LLC Publishing is off to a good start, my first book is finished, and a few new poems were picked up and are in StillCrazyLitMagazine – ‘Mirrored’ and ‘Can’t Shake These Cowgirl Blues’. Both recently written pieces.

I was invited to participate in a New Years Eve poetry/performance marathon reading in NYC- ESTRELLAS EN EL FUEGO!/STARS IN THE FIRE! The Alternative New Year’s Day Spoken Word/Performance Extravaganza 20th ANNIVERSARY, and am excited. The literary scene is hopping this year and next. The AWP conference is in Seattle and I will be there for the week.

On a more personal note I will be having gastric bypass surgery, hopefully in the spring or summer. I am ready to shed the weight I gained after my daughter passed away 13 years ago. Getting around has been tough, it is time to begin anew in body, mind, and in spirit.

Happy New Year Everyone! PeACE… E

(photo above is Flanders the duck on Long Island- Northfork, Long Island, NY, and in Flanders the town)

AuthorSmyte9

He is/was a great Philly poet, and I had the opportunity to know the past four years. He is loved by many, and will be missed by us all. My heart was broken to read he had left us last night. I cry every time I see his photo. Smyte was only in his 30s and had very profound poetry. He recited his and others work in a Spoken Word fashion. Something I have always wished I could do by memory.

The last time I saw him at a reading I didn’t know who he was. He grabbed my arm, I looked down and saw this shallow face telling me hello. Then when they called his name I was shocked to see it was him. He had posted the cancer was beaten several times, so to find he was so ill, well, now I wish I could hug him so tight. Goodbye friend. xoxo

Tick tick tick

March 25, 2013

As time ticks on my writing style is ever changing. I have been encourage to use punctuation over free verse, void of any. Also a poet friend suggested I study someone who has mastered the art of no punctuation, and I will, but for now it will be more of a challenge to find my way around commas and semi-colons. Enjoy this prose written a few weeks ago…

Entertaining Your 60’s

Do you ever miss the simpler days of one room bullshit; beds were crumpled war plots, bad coffee played on every street corner, rats tussled trump cards when neglectful four in the mornings dragged on, a stack of books perky rabbit ears were waiting in the afternoon, and no one cared what your mode of transportation was? And washrooms were no more or no less than the sculleries they represented.

In present rooms—  crap piles up year after year; trips to foreign countries, magazines picked up in airports, trinkets once gifts, are at odds lying about with little or more sentiment on shoulders, and everything has at least one dark secret within its refuse. Showrooms built with coffinesque facade. Its gloomy corners lurk behind every piece of dark furniture housing the lost, covered under plastic recyclables, frilly useless pillows, and only during insomnia nights do they speak the peace.

Damned if you do markers, yellowing and peeling off milestones worth stumbling over as the clock now loudly ticks. ‘Thieves are welcome’ sign painted on the back of a cardboard game box, torn by hand, and goes into the window. Please come in and clean out every expression of the former owner. With help, they can carry out the aging, and take them to a new home.