Monthly Archives: June 2012

Poetry Prompt for you…


Reading an article on Jezebel listing the things we DO have in life– even though we don’t “have it all.”

That got me to thinking.

Write a list poem about the things you DO have in your life… not what you don’t have, not what you want. But what you have right here, right now. Look at what’s lying around you, what you’re wearing, what’s hanging in your closet. Write about the beliefs and attitudes that you have.

Have fun with it… and when you’re done, appreciate all these wonders that you posses. These things that make you, you.


Information on an Anthology I’ve been published in

“Buzzkill: An End of the World Anthology” from NightBallet Press has just been published. I’m published in this along with my friend Ed Plunkett and others. As the title states, all of the pieces (art, fiction, poetry) discuss various aspects of the end of the world. The title of my piece is “And At the End of the World.” Ed’s piece is called “The Luckiest Ones.”

Information on ordering is on the website.

Many thanks to NightBallet Press and its editor, Dianne Borsenik.

First iWPS slam of the season, crocheting and back to shadowcast love…


Well, the first slam of iWPS season was put in the books last week. There were seven of us performing. I drew fourth slot, which I was fine with. My three minute piece was called “Where I Come From,” talking about my moves when I was little. A good piece… one I had been wanting to write for quite a few years. It ended up with a 28.3. Scored me for fourth for the round. My friend, Ed, gave a rousing poem about the insane sex scene from the worst poet movie ever, “Street Poet,” He ended up in the lead after round one.

The second, two minute round, had me changing my pieces around. I opted for one of my more popular pieces, “The Mammary Way.” (yes… it’s about THOSE)  Ended up with a 28.7 for that one. I was quite satisfied with two 28+ scores. There were a lot of 29s given to the other poets, and Ed ended up winning the night (his first win since ’09) and Rose came in second (that woman can spin straw into gold). I ended up third. We all received points toward the Grand Slam to see who is representing Writer’s Block at iWPS.

I was surprised with the result. I’ve never scored points so early in a season. Rose said she’s seeing more confidence in me. To be honest, I feel more confident. I trust my stories and  performances more. Feels pretty good.

After that, though, I took a break. Wrote one poem about my name and worked on my crochet. I’m creating a new doily for my side table. I want to eventually make a runner for the coffee table, but I’ll be happy with the smaller doily, right now. It’s been fun getting back into the swing of crochet. It’s good to have a couple of different creative outlets– keeps the mind sharp.

Here’s a picture of the piece in progress…


I still have a border to figure out, but I think I know where I want to go with this. And, no, I don’t use a pattern. I rarely use patterns for doilies, anymore. I enjoy the problem solving aspects of creating a new pattern.

And, as if my life isn’t crazy enough, I’m back to shadowcasting, now. Sunday is the first rehearsal for The Midnight Shift’s performance of “Army of Darkness.” I’ll be playing Evil Sheila. I even convinced the mister to play a deadite. Fun times.

So, yeah… that’s me this past week. Going to see Jon Sands perform at WB tomorrow… and hopefully get inspired for some new pieces for next week’s slam. We’ll see what happens.

New Slam Season… and the travesty that is “Street Poet”


New slam season starts tonight at Writer’s Block. Individual World Poetry Slam prelims. This was the season I started out with last year… the one year anniversary of my slam adventure.

I admit, it’s had its ups and downs. I love performing. I love putting myself out there for people. I love hearing the different stories everyone brings to the table. I love the “So what!” scream and the “Fuck the time!”

I hated not placing well, though. I hate that it feels like I started this adventure so late.. though, really, not late at all. I hated not being able to go to the national events and be a part of the performances… and I hated that I felt that way.

But this year. This season… I’m turning over a new leaf. Performing what I want to perform– not what I THINK people want me to perform, and pretty much not giving a damn about the scores. I figure, I’ll either win to get in… or I’ll storm an event. Other people do it. Why can’t I. I just need to use these events to make myself a better performer, a better poet… and to have fun, dammit! Poetry is supposed to bring me joy. Creating is supposed to bring me joy. Letting myself get stressed out about the slams takes away that joy. I will not let that happen, anymore.

Speaking of slams…

I, and around 10 fellow poets from Writer’s Block all met at the library Saturday for a showing of the 2010 *ahem* movie “Street Poet.” SP is the SECOND title for this movie– the first being “Fighting Words”… from 2007. Yes, this movie was so bad that they had to re-issue it three years later with a different title. We sat and had pizza and snacks and watched this travesty and gave it our best Riff Trax treatment whilst also playing Slam Bingo. Every cliche we could think of we put on our bingo sheets and marked them off as we saw them. I won. Damn straight!

As to the movie. Wow. It was bad. It had C. Thomas Howell as a hipster sell-out poet with the world’s worst soul patch. It had a bunch of no-name actors portraying poets and publicists… and it had Fred Willard as a Marc Smith-lite version of a Slam Host… the slam being the “Poetron Slam.” No, there were no neon lit spandex suits worn during the making of this movie. If so, the movie might have been better. Maybe.

There was just about every conceivable stereotype concerning poets in this movie; everything from the drunk poet using his poetry to try to pay the rent to “I just want people to hear my words.” Ugh. There was (get this) a poet with a shoe endorsement deal (C. Thomas Howell’s character… that shit was funny). That literally had jaws dropping in the room.

Oh, yeah… we in the room believed that this movie took place in the 2000’s, but you didn’t find one poet using a computer, and there was mention of “floppy disks” in one of the poems. That one left us scratching our heads.

And if the general poetry cliches and inaccuracies weren’t bad enough, there were the world’s most awkward sex scenes in this movie (the most up-front way anyone in cinema has told another person that they were HIV positive AND later the most dramatic unsheathing of a condom ever. EVER.), and the oddest poetry slam ever created. And not one damn snap! Not one! AND they used props during the slam. The hell!

I could literally go on and on about this movie… but I will spare you. Needless to say, this movie should be buried in a pit. A pit of poetic despair, never to be seen from again, along with C. Thomas Howell’s soul patch.

It was such a bad movie, one of the poets in attendance said “If this is how people see us, I’m out.” We all kinda felt that way. About halfway through the movie, he left. Couldn’t handle it. We don’t blame him.

So, if you’re at a Redbox or on Netflix and you see “Street Poet,” do yourself a favor… search for “Slam Nation,” instead.

Columbus Arts Fest and the after effects (pt. 2)


Okay, I promised a part two to this… so here I am.

Not only was this past weekend the Columbus Arts Festival, it was also the Rustbelt Poetry Slam. Teams from all over the midwest came to Columbus to compete for a team and individual title. I didn’t get to go, as I was preparing for Arts Fest– and, let’s be honest– trying to balance my life in the process.

From what I have read on Facebook and seen on YouTube, there were some fire hot performances. To cap it off, the Writer’s Block team won the team competition.  That was amazing to hear and I was quite proud of them. And, a little envious.

Oh, envy…. green-eyed beast. Sitting over my shoulder, watching the performances on YouTube, reading post after post celebrating each others’ work, that beast almost took the wind out of my sails for the weekend. Almost made me feel that Arts Fest was second class or something. Made me feel like there was a part of me that STILL doesn’t belong in the poetry community. Made me wonder what is still wrong with my poetry that it doesn’t belong in this upper echelon of regional and national performance. Kept whispering in my ear, “why aren’t you like them?”

I really hate that part of myself.

I listen to performances, read the responses about it giving people chills, being genius, having “arrived” and I wonder if I will ever have that skill. Be able to move people that much. And those were the questions that lingered for a couple of days after the Festival.

Until today.

I remembered going to see a friend perform last Friday night. He didn’t see me in the audience until a little over half-way through his show. He finally saw me and said hi. He then asked me if I still perform “Pockets”– a poem I wrote two summers ago. He said he “hearted the Pockets poem a lot.”

And then at Arts Fest, a woman telling her friend that I was the one who “wrote a poem about doing it in the garage.”  She was a fan of that one.

And, of course, remembering that I worked DAMN HARD to make it to Arts Fest! They don’t take everyone, and it’s an absolute HONOR to be there and be a top three finisher, to boot! Just making it to Arts Fest was one of my goals when I first moved to Columbus a year ago. To make it AND place in the top 3… it leaves me jubilant and humble.

What did I learn from these memories?  My poems DO live. They take on little lives of their own and make their little mark on that woven tapestry of memory. And that’s pretty cool.  And I’ll take it, and keep on writing and performing. Hopefully, I can keep writing and performing pieces that will entertain people, periodically.

So now, dear readers,  I deal with burn out. I’m tired, peeps! Work and poetry and still getting settled in with the mister. I took a couple of months off f from shadowcasting, but I think I am going to have to cut down even more. I love shadowcasting, but I can’t do two casts… that’s two shows a month plus rehearsals. I can’t do that if I want my primary focus to be on improving my poetry.  This means that there are some hard choices coming; but it’s best to cut back than burn out on everything.  Damn responsibility.

I am taking a couple days off from writing. Might crochet this week. Might just read. Might just sleep. But next week,oh, I’ll be getting back into the swing of things, and the world better watch out. I still have stuff to say! My story isn’t over, yet.


Columbus Arts Fest and the after effects… (pt. 1)


Part one of my recap of Columbus Arts Fest and my recuperation/ thoughts on the future…

It took me a couple of days to get over the beauty that was Columbus Arts Fest down at the Riverfront. It was my first time really visiting and getting to know the area. They’ve finished a couple of new parks, walking areas, a new stage– all of which are beautiful. And I got to be a part of it all.

If you don’t know much about CAF, it has a slew of artists, musicians, and yes, poets from across the nation (though, to be specific, the poets were all Ohio). There is almost every art form imaginable on display and for sale, and it is a wonderful way to get a taste of the Columbus art scene. The mister and I bought our first piece of art together– a print from an artist named Sooro Kim. The picture on his artist info page is the print we bought. It hangs next to our front door. now.

The Ohio Magazine Word Is Art Stage was at the entrance to the Festival. We got people coming and going, and it was great. People would turn their heads, stop and listen as the poets were performing. One of the volunteers told me that during my piece “Her Hips,” the people would keep turning as I repeated the phrase throughout the performance. He asked, “what is it about hips?” I could have gone on FOR YEARS.

The performances that I saw… amazing. I didn’t catch many because my mister and I wanted to do a little walking and exploring. Bless my mister; he enjoys poetry performances,  but he needs a break, periodically. I work with him.

But back to the performances:

The second runner-up, Rose Smith enthralled the audience. She has a masterful way of telling a story, describing a scene, and, honestly, I could listen to her all day long. The winner of the Arts Fest competition, Joanna Schroeder, amazed. She has a very unique take on the world, and it is reflected in her poetry. She also has a commanding stage presence, and it showed. I was impressed, indeed.

My performance? I enjoyed myself, from my signature piece “They Called Me,” to my newer formed pieces such as my Ghazal “Tonight” and “Her Hips,” I tried to give them every spark I had. It felt good. My mister said I had a very good command of the stage during my feature, which pleased me to no extent. That was my first major feature, and I wanted to have a nice ebb and flow to it.

The nicest thing about the performance, quite a few people I truly care about were there. Ed and Scott were running the stage– and Ed introduced me, which was a very nice moment. He and his wife were two of my first friends I made when I started going to Writer’s Block. They both mean a lot to me.

And, besides my mister, MY BROTHER showed up. I had never before performed in front of blood relatives. That really meant a lot to be able to see him and his friend in the audience. And he recorded it… I STILL need to get that video.

Anyway, here is a photo of myself, Rose and Joanna. I had to make sure I got a picture of the three of us together. Such a good memory to keep.


From left to right: Rose, Joanna and myself.

After the features, there was a Slam hosted by Scott (Woods, awesome poet… former President of Poetry Slam, Inc.). Myself and three gents. It was all in good fun and featured two rounds of poetry and a haiku round. The audience scored. And there were some interesting scores. I ended up last. A big, teddy bear of a poet, Brandon, won the night. It was well earned, and a lot of fun.

Sunday, I performed three pieces with The Secrets of Oshun. My friends, Vernell, Izetta and Tiffani are members of the group, and all had great performances throughout the hour. It was a good cap to the weekend.

To be continued…