Recently, I recorded a series of videos of my poetry. My photographer, Rodney Smith of Tempus Fugit Design did an amazing job on all of them. We chose to launch this project with two videos about sexual assault and victim blaming. (They are “The Car Accident” & “How To Stop Rape“.) I am sad to say that I would be unable to count how many times I have physically been a victim of sexual predators. From being molested as a child, to weekly assaults while I was in a home for children, to the two “normal” rapes and my relationship with a violent alcoholic… there’s just too many attacks to even count.
If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, then you know I spent last weekend on a gorgeous property just outside Marshall, NC. While I’m not a vain person, one of the things I really like about me is that I can make people laugh. I’m funniest in bad situations, but so far no one’s asked me to do a comedy tour at hospitals and funeral homes around the country. For now, my gift of wit is donated to friends and family who are going through a difficult time. I know love doesn’t pay the mortgage, but it’s the only currency I’ve ever accepted for what I do.
My visit to the Rising Spirit property outside Marshall was requested by my amazing friend Sheila Shine. This woman loves music as much as I do. She has a spirituality that is unlike anything I’ve ever encountered. Her capacity to love and desire to connect people together is fierce. She is tenacious when she sets her brain on something that will improve someone’s world. Unfortunately, her breast cancer is just as tenacious.
April is National Poetry Month. As a poet, I’m required to have this knowledge and not just wait around for someone to post about it on Facebook…. and then look it up on Snopes to see if it’s actually true.
If you have a child, then you may know about all the poetry that happens in April. Even schools who don’t normally have poetry in their classes will seize the day (so to speak) and break out the Shel Silverstein, Dorothy Parker or may snag a local poet to come perform for the kids. I’m one of those fortunate local poets.
I have seen a lot of all-caps-multiple-exclamation-points posts from middle-class white people on social media this month. Their issue? That people are saying the wrong holiday greeting to them. They’re Jewish or agnostic or Wiccan or whatever and someone happily wished them a “Merry Christmas.”
I get being upset or annoyed by that. I really do. But going ALL CAPS & exclamation pointy on people?….I don’t get that. See, here’s the thing, for the first time in your life, you’re the minority. I’ll bet the majority of America celebrates Christmas. Maybe not the Christian version, and perhaps they also have a menorah lit in the window, but chances are, Santa is somewhere in their holiday season. read more →
And now I’m going to do something which I rarely do….promote myself. Please bear with me, this is not something I do well. Sure, I’m great at letting everyone know which bands and plays to go see, and I’m almost always right when I warn people to buy tickets because a show will sell out, but I am no good at reminding people to come hear me perform.
To further illustrate my point, this is the first time I’ve used my website to mention one of my shows in several months, maybe a year. I have an email list to send out newsletters, but I only sent out one and it was in early 2013. Yep, the shoemaker’s children have no shoes and the girl who loves to promote everyone else never says a word about her own work. read more →
Before I share my thoughts on Rosanne Cash’s new album, The River & The Thread, let’s go ahead and address the metaphorical elephant in the room. Yes, I am referring to the “clad in black, full of charm, iconic voice” known to all generations as Johnny Cash. Because yes, he is Rosanne Cash’s father; however his black coattails have never carried her career. To me, the fact that they are related is almost an aside when discussing her music. An interesting association, and certainly it enabled her to gather an insider’s perspective of the industry, but this is not what has made her an Americana music legend. read more →