Fireside with booker/musician/curator Gus Rodriguez & musical guest Ace Elijah
it is true that because of my doubts and anxieties i only believe in fire. […] life. fire. being myself on fire i set others on fire. never death. fire and life. –anaïs nin
Well, ladies and gents – we did it. I am so thrilled with the debut of “Nature of the Muse”!
THANK YOU to my wonderful and talented writers, Gus for encouraging me and giving the event a home, Ace for playing your gorgeous tunes, everyone who supported me and promoted the event, and of course the fantastic audience who wrote prompts, soaked in the atmosphere, laughed a lot, and packed the house (!!!) that night.
You can view the full program HERE.
There are so many moments frozen in my memory – all the laughter, my parents in the front row, making a toast to “fire and life” right before we began, on and on.. I am so grateful. And we are doing it AGAIN!
SAVE THE DATE! The next Nature of the Muse will be Thursday, April 4th @ 7:30pm, same place by the fire at LIC Bar! Squeezing one more toasty reading in before the Spring – more details to come! But first…
Lovely NZ/UK blogger and LIC transplant Eric Hathaway interviewed me and then wrote a great review of the show, complete with sound clips of all performers – please check it out HERE on his blog, Sometime in Long Island City! Here again is also the great piece Jeanmarie Evelly did for DNAinfo.com right before the event. Thank you both!
And – HERE ARE THE PROMPT POEMS!
Everyone in the audience wrote a random writing prompt on a slip of paper and I tossed them all into a bag. Then while one writer got up to read their previously written work, another writer took a random prompt and went downstairs to write. Each writer ended up having 10 mins or less to write, and then had to present their work to the audience at the end of the event, no matter what it was or what it sounded like. Quite a fun and sometimes unnerving experiment – thank you all for being so brave! ;)
I’ve been feeling so (blank) after all these happy hours
“I’ve Been Feeling So Happy After All These Happy Hours”
I’ve been feeling so happy
After all these happy hours.
Half-off everything at the bar
Right after work, you say?
More perfect than a healthy birth.
More perfect than a solid report card.
More perfect than an outdoor graduation on a sunny June day.
More perfect than an acceptance letter.
More perfect than an outdoor graduation on a sunny May day.
More perfect than having it all figured out.
More perfect than finding a new job.
Oh, I’ve been feeling so happy
After all these happy hours.
1) My last mortal thought will be…
2) Why I write
“Inside a poet’s heart”
My last mortal thought
wouldn’t be barren or boring,
justifying why I wrote poems
instead of signing marketing reports
that felt like a noose around my creativity.
Yes, I write to savor
the silence I need
to survive the noisy world.
Semicolons, prepositions, conjunctions
linger in cavities afraid of unsaid, insecure words
uttered by those
who don’t understand their unpleasantness
is what the poet uses
to birth this poem.
1) Seeking a friend for the end of the world
2) Slings and arrows
The lovesong I sing
to tempt a friend to face the fire with me
is not wrought with bows and roses,
but with sunscreen and survival gear,
for the truest friend is one who dares
to face the flames of man’s worst fear.
I will hold her hand as the mountains quake.
I will kiss her lips as continents smash tectonic plates.
I will look into her beautiful eyes,
as a conflagration rages
both within my heart and my homeland.
I seek a friend who will survive with me,
scarred, blistered, wearing the acrid perfume
of sweat and burned hair.
And then the soliloquy echoes in my head:
to be or not to be,
but that is too trite for these days of dread.
Rather, we suffer the slings and arrows
of outrageous fortune,
my lover who will wrap herself
like a lead blanket
shield me from this dreaded future
with her love.
PROMPT: The worst thing about you
if not now,
the worst thing
how you stare at this page
and you trace lines and fold and scratch with your pen
and you wait
you can’t see
in front of you
since your eyes
focus in and out and in and out
on the thoughts that trail you
and maim you.
and bind you to a place
you swore not to go.
the worst thing?
the worst thing?
the image you see in glass is
not like what the world sees.
you have them in your palm
but you shake to know you might
not keep them there.
the worst thing is the words
you won’t say
not for lack of ink
but for lack of trust.
this is the worst of you.
so i ask.
if not now,
PROMPT: Funny Money
is what we bleed for
yet what makes us bleed
that saw me
hunched and tired
endless hours and computer screens
my head on the pavement
when i almost let it go –
fell down, passed out –
the stress was too damn much
or maybe, maybe
you get a little light-headed
when you spread your wings
for the first time
all vertigo and wild-eyed
in search, in search
with no monetary guarantees
but which remind you
god yes – remind you
of what it feels like
to be free.
(OF COURSE I got the “sex” prompt… which I had to read in front of my dad! Serves me right, I guess! ;))
pen on paper pales
to white hot heat inside
as the muse comes to
and somehow i feel it
deep inside my bones
that moment of release
if i could hold it, keep it,
clench my fists to sheets
what i’d give, my love
to always feel
the world inside
the shaken, brilliant
your skin on my skin
your precious breath
cracking open the cosmos
in the shape
of my name.
THANK YOU ALL again – many more events and projects coming your way.. As always, stay tuned – and stay WARM!