July 3, 2013

Settled into the new digs in June.  Had a migraine for 3+ weeks.  Joined an online Fiction group; dropped out of online fiction group.  Wrote absolutely nothing that I was supposed to be working on.  Started writing a chapbook of flash fiction (Rosebud and other small tales).  What?  Since when do I write short fiction?  Since never, that’s when.  A breakthrough at last!  Woo hoo!!!

My friend Chris Robbins’ video of me reading from Extra MoJo!

To Like the Hidden Charm Press page: https://www.facebook.com/HiddenCharmPress

 

 

HCP-StoneSoup3-Feb.2013

March 1, 2013

Well, it’s really only Feb. 27 at 3:30am, but close enough.  So my back and neck are still protesting having to sit still for 3 hours Monday night, and the cold I refused to let get the best of me until Tuesday is wiping me out…BUT it was totally worth it.

The launch of Hidden Charm Press with its first title Extra MoJo! at the Stone Soup Poetry reading in Central Square, Cambridge, MA on Monday night was fantastic!  The open mic was great.  My sisters-writers were an outstanding feature, making poems from the anthology leap off the page.  It was truly enthralling!  I couldn’t be prouder.

Hidden Charm Press (HCP) was created in July, 2011.  It took until July, 2012 to put together a first draft of the Extra MoJo! anthology. By Winter, 2012 I had a cover artist and layout artist on board to make the manuscript into the book that the 20 writers deserve.

Hurrah to my co-features Toni Bee and Robin White; kudos to Denise Washington whose poem is on the back of the book; woo hoo to cover artist Jessica Grundy and to my football buddy, layout artist Steve Glines, for making a pile of papers into a gorgeous book!

The Press’s inventory for the evening sold out, so now I can afford a new computer battery, the HCP website purchase, and incidentals like food all at the same time :-D

HCP-StoneSoup3-Feb.2013

photo of Robin White, Mignon Ariel King, and Toni Bee by chad parenteau

A Century of Black Voices 3: 1912-2012 Photos!

Photo by Jack Scully.   Thank you to the First Church in Cambridge!

{Sorry folks, no MAPS-ONE: A Century of Black Voices annual reading for 2013.  The host was launching a new Press and didn’t have enough gas to do both.}

Toni Bee, Poet Populist of Cambridge, MA; (Bridgit Brown, Boston writer, not pictured; Mignon Ariel King, Boston-born writer and Deliriously Happy Host; Denise Washington, Roxbury writer; Sam Cornish, Poet Laureate of Boston; Charles Coe, Cambridge writer and Event Co-host;  Beatrice Green, JP writer and composer.  Aren’t we a stylish group?

Photos by Pat Williams:  http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150711770136457.454550.749876456&type=1&l=748b100dfa

Thank you to everyone who read, listened, helped.  The reading Saturday was great.  It was a pleasure as always to host and to listen to 7 of my favorite local poets at this annual event.  Old and new friends made set up and breakdown a breeze.    –And Happy Belated Birthday to my big sister!  She gave me the sumptuous sweater in the photo.

NaPoMo: Week Three

NaPoMo 2011: 15-21

15 Deadline 

This is the day set to stop calculating,
to stop saving for something special.
He’ll never be enough, just a tax
on what’s left of my emotional budget.

16 What Longing Means

Sufre mas el que espera siempre
que aquel que nunca espero a nadie?

[Does he who always waits suffer more
than he who never waits for anyone?]
Pablo Neruda

When we were twenty-five a friend snorted
at the notion of deep love.  She said that if
her fiancé died, maybe mowed down by a car,

in ten years she’d be sad, but not devastated.
“As long as the mortgage is up-to-date…oh,
and my two children are well-fed, of course,

I’ll go on, be fine.”  She had never been madly
in love.  I sighed, said I envied her.  Then words
escaped me: And I feel very, very sorry for you.

17  In the Act

He came in like a monsoon, whining buckets about some chick.

It’s always the same.  She done broke my heart sniffle-sniff,

and now she’s after my money.  Sure, sure, he’d had his share

of tarted-up dames on the side.  That was different, though.

When a woman cheats, it actually means something.  True.

It probably means this whiner adds nothing to the sheets 

but a lotta sweat.  The guy should carry a mop with him.

But I took his money, retained to shoot cheap photographs

of his wife’s cheap affair.  But, the “other man.”  He was

something special.  So I took him instead.  Left those two

cheaters with a full refund and their bigass house in Weston.

18  Not So Fast

I barely budged from the couch, per usual.

Watched half of Massachusetts descend

on Kenmore and Copley Square.  Saw 

the shot heard round the world refired 

on the six o’clock news.  So hard to turn

pages of the free magazines picked up

from various spots all week to prep

for the Monday holiday.  Carbing up on

canned roast beef hash, I flip to an ad

for running shoes or Gatorade or….

Yay, Japan!!!  Nap time.  Again.  

19  The Rest

 

Oh, the rest of them, lying under sod,

their work all done now.  The sweetness

of resting under their laurels. Tourists walk

over the mossy mouths of them, bones

legendary, some cryptic.  And it’s what

we all want on some level.  Just want

each time to finally get the writing right,

to leave a mark that warrants having

one’s name inked next to a tiny dot

on that map.  For one well-read girl

to become excited on a dreary field trip

for once:  Really, Teacher?!  She’s

buried here?  Oh, where?  She’ll march,

practically run, to the other side

of Mary’s columned gazebo, to where

I’ve left my permanent marker.  There

she’ll sit, legs pressed to her chest,

shaggy-edged, raggedy-paged, 

marked-up book of poems propped

on her knees.  She’ll smile, that very same 

odd smile I had first time my fingers 

traced “Longfellow.” And knowing

that she’s there, I’ll deliberately send 

a shiver through the page.  Just for her. 

Because she had the decency to care.

["Before I Sleep" prompt]

20 Ran Into Tim in the Square

When I ran into Tim
in the Square, he said,
“Five bucks for a sandwich
over there!”  Really needing
some lunch and a poem,
I bought one, got one free,
then bounced home.

21 Wedding Bells

We were always better in the dark,
whether so heated by fierce debate
that we didn’t bother getting up
to turn on post-dusk artificial lights
or warmed through by the taste
of each other’s steaming tongue-tips.
Now we suffer congregate afternoons
of backyard barbecues with his oh-so
dull boss, my ever-so witty colleague.
Then there’s a ringing in our ears,
all other sounds moot as lips still move
in the fading sun.  All we hear is
a promise, a call that links our arms
in the crowd until one heartbeat
drowns out the sun, drives home
the crowd, and we begin once again
to honeymoon under the stars.

[Prompt: Illumination]


NaPoMo Poems: Week Two

NaPoMo2011-8-14  

8 Am I Up Yet?

It’s too early for this,

the furious sounds of hunger

and pure agony dueling

for my belly

as the sun beams obnoxious,

rabble-rouser,

then kicks my back

once I’ve rolled away

from its insulting glare.

Haunting shouldn’t happen

after night.

 

9  “You’re an adult. You have a life.”*

Sometimes a girl-woman needs a reminder.

Maybe while eating microwaved-for-55-seconds meatballs

for breakfast…off toothpicks, like Cher’s kids in that movie.

DYS shoud’ve showed up long before Bob Hoskins.

No Bobby to cook me Easter ham, so after teaching

a night course, what will I eat for dinner at 11pm?

I’m a big girl now.   Defrosted block of broccoli

with grated cheese?  Wash it down with Sam Adams? 

*Poster on the T** for Cambridge College

**Footnote to footnote:  The Tis the public transportation system in Boston, MA

 

10 I Get My Best Moves from Rockers

With each bus lunge, I nearly lap a stranger,

words–racing around the solitary track

in my brain that makes room once per year

for relay–knocking me off balance, almost 

onto my cowboy booties.  This passenger

doesn’t look too upset.  Latino dude,

maybe 30, almost getting a free lapdance

from this black velvet stretch of sistah.

Nigerian beads tap together, gypsy blouse

wafts a puff of grapefruit in his face.

He stares at the hipped belt that proclaims

Love in sweetheart pink, black-lined letters.

I’m a rock poet, baby, feel free to watch me

disembark from the ordinary then walk away.

 

11  Published in MoJo! Issue 9 

 

12  Soft Apprehension

I feel a soft apprehension in the dark,

a tiny fear at best gripping my chest.

Well, really, it’s the memory of fear.

Then I hear the hollow yet comforting

roar beside me and slide one knee

up and across the hair-covered beast.

He wakes as my hands press his wrists

to the bedpost, wrapping one with his tie,

the other with my bra.  He growls,

“Uh-oh.  Looks like you got me.”

 

13 What Was I Thinking?

If this isn’t a wish, it ought to be:

You, annoying as ever yet suddenly

too unusual to pass up.  Me, unusual

as ever, however annoying that is.

Then, there’s the drone of everyone

else.  But we don’t notice them enough

to be unsettled by their nice-nice

ways.  Did we ever really care

whether or not they’d just go or why

they’re here at all?  Well, don’t ask me. 

I just produce fleeting thoughts, never claim

they are, or might grow up to be, true.

[Prompt:  Write for 5 mts. only about something speedy.]

 

14 Branded for Life

Our mother thought it was dumb to toss perfectly good salt over one’s shoulder.  

Morton’s belonged on the shelf next to Durkees’ black pepper and the Lawry’s 

that made fried egg sandwiches even before Sam and I splatted ketchup on them.

I sprinkle white grains on pre-molded chicken burgers, then add curry powder 

and garlic, wrap them in Saran for tomorrow.  And I text Sam, who gets up early 

to cook his three sons pancakes before school.  I tell him I went into the downpour

to get Fritos to go with my Spaghetti-O’s, just like when we were kids.  Why does 

rain make me feel 6?  I ask.   Sam texts back Cuz it makes me feel 5.