Nature of the Muse – 3/26/15

Flyer by GiAnna Ligammari // art !

fireside reading & live writing @ LIC BAR 3/26/15

all the “not readies,” all the “i need times,” are understandable, but only for a short while. the truth is that there is never a “completely ready,” there is never a really “right time.” as with any descent to the unconscious, there comes a time when one simply hopes for the best, pinches one’s nose, and jumps into the abyss. if this were not so, we would not have needed to create the words heroine, hero, or courage. –clarissa pinkola estés

the players:

AUDREY DIMOLA is partly made of fire and delights in making her talented writer-friends sweat! She is the author of poetry & prose collections Decisions We Make While We Dream (2012) and TRAVERSALS (2014), guerrilla sticker poet of the Compass Project, devious founder of “Nature of the Muse,” and curator of the first ever Queens Literary Town Hall. A steadfast crusader for Queens culture and a lifelong supporter/participant in the arts, Audrey lives for creative exploration across genres, and aims always to stay wild and stay grateful. Oh yeah, and there’s a pretty good chance she’s Peter Pan.

PROVIDENCE is a songwriter and music producer. He has worked both for Sony Music Entertainment and Atlantic Records where he has contributed to projects for Usher, Gavin DeGraw, Flo Rida and others. He spends his time creating, helping others, and making strides to become the strongest and best version of himself.

JENNIFER FAYLOR is a poet from New York City and has her MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College. She is the author of a choose-your-own-adventure poetry chapbook, “The Case of the Missing Lover” (Dancing Girl Press, 2013), and a full-length book of poetry, “Edison’s Ghost Machine” (Aldrich Press, 2014). She was nominated for Best New Poets, and has been published in such places as Bat City Review, Black Heart Magazine, and Cleaver Magazine. Occasionally she performs as a poetry whore at the Poetry Brothel. Every April she hosts a 30-poems-in-30-days writing marathon for other poets. She works as a freelance editor for creative writers and is currently working on a novel.

ARMANDO CHAPELLIQUEN is a Campaign Organizer with the New York Public Interest Research Group, where he focuses on financial justice issues at a city and state level. His poetry and writing dances between politics, philosophy, and the occasional quest for a perfect bagel. He lives in Astoria, NY with his dignified cat Coltrane and his fiancée-muse, Ada.

Born and raised in Astoria, BILLY CONAHAN is always quick to express his love for his city. Having invested time in cultivating the artistic scene that thrives in the neighborhood, Billy has become a staple of it. His early route as a stand-up comedian brought him to some of the top comedy clubs in America, including The Comedy Store, the La Brea Improv, and Gotham in NYC. After five years, Billy abruptly quit to become a singer/songwriter. Following that brief endeavor, he turned his eye toward hip-hop.

SAMANTHA LEON is a Singer/Songwriter from all over NY, currently living in Sunnyside, Queens. Sings from the heart every time. Currently working on her EP to release in 2015. If you like what you hear, upcoming shows take place April 22 at The Delancey in the Lower East Side.

CRYSTAL RIVERA believes in the art of collaboration, conversation, and Frank O’Hara, who wrote in his manifesto: “You just go on your nerve” – and so this is how she writes. Her muses are rooted in city tongues, Brazenhead books, and the heads of every tree. Currently she is part of the editorial review board for poetry for Newtown Literary Journal, where she was recently published.

RICHARD JEFFREY NEWMAN writes about the impact of feminism on his life as a man and the relevance of classical Persian poetry to our contemporary lives. His books include The Silence of Men, a volume of his own poetry, and The Teller of Tales: Stories from Ferdowsi’s Shahameh, a translation of part of the Iranian national epic. He curates the First Tuesdays reading series in Queens and is on the Board of Directors of Newtown Literary Alliance, a Queens-based literary non-profit. For 2105, he was awarded a grant from the Queens Council on the Arts to work on his second book of poetry, Words for What Those Men Have Done. Newman is Professor of English at Nassau Community College in Garden City, NY. His website is

local resources:
want more?! for QUEENS reading series, open mics, workshops, writers’ groups, literary organizations, lit-friendly venues & all the people to know… visit !!

did you know?! the search for the next QUEENS POET LAUREATE 2015-2018 is ON! spread the word & apply, deadline 4/24/15:

about the series:
founded in 2013, “nature of the muse” came out of many things – my experiences as a writer, reader, curator, audience member, and writing workshop participant, as well as a lover of improv and the unexpected – what happens when you push creative people to produce work on the spot and share it with spectators. if you’d like to get involved (not only limited to writers! musicians, artists, etc.) give a shout:

audrey wholeheartedly thanks:
everyone who has supported her and helped to spread the word about this event, my beautiful and gutsy friends for participating, all the open minds in the audience, and of course LIC Bar and especially GUS RODRIGUEZ for giving this event its first and only home, and for always encouraging his fellow creatives to pursue their dreams. MUCH LOVE!


and if ever you feel alone, if ever
the mountains fail to make you
feel like a forest of ancient lullabies,
know that there is an army in heaven
roaring your name, telling you:
you are worthy of the war. –ramya ramana




Prompt: The girl with the flower in her hair, where is she going?
Prompt: Reflective surfaces

“Girl With a Flower in Her Hair”

For Audrey Dimola

She is growing something in her hair-
a white orchid, as white as the lies
she tells herself every morning.

She is growing something in her heart-
a dark roller coaster,
a vehicle that will thrill her with terror
at all its twists and turns,
but will inevitably return to the start.

But what is the start? She asks herself,
as she grows this wild garden.
Where did I begin?

Before my birth, she muses,
before conception even,
before my father looked my mother in the eyes
with that look of pure wildness,
no, no, it was before all that.

It was when the first flower burst through
the soil. When it said to the universe:
Yes. I want to be here,
take me, I’m yours.


Prompt: Tinkering under the hood of my psyche
Prompt: Use the words “La, la, la,” “Penguin,” “Linguine,” and “Figurine” however you wish but no end rhymes.
La la la is the song in my head
The penguin slides down an ice ramp.
But ever my mind, just filling with fog
Too much thinking can give me a cramp.
Perhaps it is better to leave it alone
The icelands of my psyche go on
But what did I eat for dinner last night?
Linguine followed then by ping pong?
Why can’t my whole mind just stay in one place
When I’m tinkering with it under the hood?
The myriad mess goes ever around
A figurine lost in the wood.BILLY CONAHAN

Prompt: Write a rhyming letter (off rhymes permitted) to the person who ruined your life
Prompt: A building blew up today! What’s left where it stood?

Dear fuck face, you once dismantled me
Broke me off from that mantelpiece
Melted me as if candle wax
And told me, this is how it has to be

Ashes to ashes, the main gas blew, it was a catastrophe
Murder, strewn aside, amazed by your lack of empathy
I once stood tall and proud, I was my own entity
Till you set off a bomb and there’s barely anything left you see

Your life can change in a day
But by the night came I still stood in my place
I’ve faced adversity, you’ve tried so hard to be hurting me
These verses cure disease, not palates that are thirsty

And the worst thing is my birthday is tomorrow, and you ain’t invited
You deserted me, like I was a sundae, no cherry
I’m the first to be killed and the last to be buried


Prompt: fuck that
no more
i’m different now
Dive into the deep end
Break free



Prompts: The original beer
Prompt: What happened next?
The original beer fell from the sky in buckets.
Distilled from rocks, the original beer fueled rockets.
Looking for escape, this tribe brewed the original beer
in a long tent beneath the harvest moon.
What happens next fills my family’s fear
with beer stolen from a metal band in June.
The gods envied us the beer that happened next.
We alone are allowed to escape this text.
Prompt: Heffalumps and Woozles
i’m forever a little girl
today is a blustery day
i’m so damn loud
i think you can blame him –
tiggerrrr is his name!
heffalumps and woozles
my childhood watching
i clutch my care bears
i hope i never
how to play.
Prompt: Loss of friends by death
i don’t believe in death
i don’t believe in goodbyes
when i watch that
fire flicker
i can still see your
i feel your heart
in the crush
when the tears well
up inside
i know i miss you
but you’re dancing
you’re all the stars
in the sky
i don’t believe in
once one page is
another can be born
another pen stroke
another heartbeat
another – lesson
to be learned
i don’t believe in
‘now i’ve lost you’
cuz the fire
keeps you alive
you never stop
your dancing
when your
is the sky.
Prompt: The poet Marie Howe said that even when we write our own poems we’re writing in a persona. It’s the persona of the person we think we are that day. Write a persona poem based on who you think you are today.
who i think i was today?
don’t wanna get up.
roll into work late.
pretend to be an office
time ticking, last days..
the moment!
when i get outside-
i imagine, the blood
voyager’s heart
staring out at the fog
this is my true part
i’m always pretending
for the moment i can break out
do a cartwheel in the
i’m riding on the train
but i’m walking in the woods
feet out of shoes
feet in grass
feet in dunes of
i’m always imagining
in the moment
unlocking this door
inside my head
is this a persona poem?
this is a star.
i am exploding.
i am always
somewhere else –
that somehow
allows me to
be more when
i am here.

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