Readings

So if you go here, you can hear me perform my poem “Beansidhe” – a classic Irish ghost story turned tragic romance – on the SFPA’s Halloween Reading page (which I’m co-editing with poet Liz Bennefeld).

As noted on the page: “The pronoun play in “Beansidhe” can be misleading—it may be helpful to remember that not every narrator is reliable.” “Beansidhe” (the Irish spelling of “Banshee”) first appeared in Ideomancer and later my poetry chapbook, UNDOING WINTER (Finishing Line Press 2014) , which was nominated for the SFPA’s Elgin Award.

If, however, you stay here, you can listen to me, my daughter, and my cat playing with my new headset.

This is my favorite picture from the Someone Wicked Publication Celebration at Newark Arts Alliance on Saturday, where eight of my fellow authors and I performed excerpts of twenty stories from the spectacular Someone Wicked Written Remains anthology.

 

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photo by Justynn Tyme

I had a blast at the event – loved talking with friends and fans, loved listening to the stories,  and loved performing.  I even slipped into a southern drawl during my performance of Chantal Noordeloos’ “Mirror Mirror” – something I hadn’t planned to do, but the dialog seemed to invite it, so I rolled with it.

Unfortunately, though, this is going to be one of those memories I avoid revisiting in pictures because of how I look.  I’ve lost half of my pregnancy weight in just 10 weeks, but for me, as with many women, it’s hard to look at HOW we look with anything but a glass-half-empty mentality.

Weight has always been the Achilles’ Heel to my ego.  I was fat as a kid, and tormented for it, and turned into an anorexic teenager to make up for it.  Even after I found my ideal weight, my height has always made me feel like a giant compared to other women.  It’s been a lifelong challenge to embrace my body type, to love who I am inside AND out.  Add *cough*-ty pounds of baby weight, I end up feeling like a holiday float.

So when I look at the pictures from my reading, I don’t see a lady who is already halfway back to her pre-pregnancy figure.  I see a holiday float in front of a microphone.

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photo by Robert Lutz

But that’s ok.  Looking back through my old journals, I reminded myself that it took eight months to lose the weight from my first child (which is fair, I think, since it took ten months to put it on!) Thanks to nursing and a whole foods diet, I also lost *cough*-ty extra pounds, so that by the time my son had his first birthday I was sleek and happy in my size 10 jeans – just right for my type.

I’m hoping to do the same thing this time around.  I’m eating healthy whole foods again,  aspiring to exercise (heh), and watching the weight come down in a natural way (read: slow).  In the meantime, I’m trying to be kind to myself.  I’m enjoying my baby girl.  I’m embracing the things that I love, like writing.  Like performing.  I may never be able to gaze at those pictures of me at the mic with a warm fuzzy feeling, even when (and if) I lose the weight… but at least I’ll have the memories.  Float or no float, I did go to that party, I did get up to that mic, and I did do my thing.  And it was awesome.

I think that’s key to a full life: you don’t HAVE to love every inch of yourself, but you do need to be kind to you, and love you as a whole.  You need your whole self to show up, after all.  If you’re half-glassing it, you’re only half living.

I do need to get a babysitter, though, so I can get myself to that salon.    Note to self.  A nice cut and color can do wonders for self-love.

 

So we had a blast at Hummingbird to Mars, the host venue for Wednesday’s “Seduction” by Poetry With a Point.  Hummingbird to Mars is a quaint little speakeasy-themed venue above a local watering hole.  A perfect date-night destination – we definitely plan to go back for their regular jazz performances.

Love to my writing friends who came out to support me. I need to give a shoutout also to our waiter, who enabled me expertly with that third mixed drink.

Poetry with a Point provided an eclectic range of performances, including a lecture on how to be effectively seductive from a sexologist (fun word to type, btw), standup comedy from the gigolo’s perspective, live music (+ opera!), sexy as hell persona poetry by “Leonard Cohen”, and me trying to be classy with an iffy sound system. But you ain’t seen nothing ’til you’ve seen the Cockney Choir. Good times. And I got a t-shirt.

I may or may not have video to provide later – technology is a funny thing.  In the meantime, some photos of me in my Anna Akhmatova-inspired guise, courtesy of my darling husband:


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Poetry with a point

“Seduction”

September 18, 2013

Hummingbird to Mars, Catherine Rooney’s, Trolley Square

I am very excited to announce my upcoming performance with POETRY WITH A POINT – an intimate poetry/performance salon held semi-annually at Hummingbird to Mars, in Trolley Square, Wilmington, Delaware.

With “Seduction” as the evening’s theme, I will be reading as celebrated Russian poet Anna Akhmatova, from her early work.  Sometimes referred to as “the Muse of Keening” – and criticized by revolutionist Russia as “a nun and a whore” – Anna’s poetry often explored themes of passion, grief, and spiritual guilt.  Her work is deeply moving, sensory… and slyly seductive.

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“We’re all drunkards here.  Harlots…. O my heart, how you yearn for your dying hour/
and that woman dancing there will eternally burn.”
– A.A. from Rosary 1913

“Seduction”‘s lineup also includes local artists performing music, monologues, and poetry ranging from flirtatious to bawdy.  Poets, drunkards, and harlots welcome, though space is limited.

Doors open 6:30, Curtain time 7:00 PM

Hummingbird to Mars is a speakeasy themed venue located atop Catherine Rooney’s in Trolley Square. Just stop in the back of Rooney’s on 16th Street and press the intercom to enter a time of elegance, relaxation, and seduction.