Saturday, March 30, 2013

so this is happening

The essay-slash-story that preoccupied much of last year's writing energy is going to see the light of day at a reading at Elliott Bay Books on April 4. I'm proud of the anthology, Beyond Belief, happy with my work and terrified to read this thing in front of actual people.
Scenarios play out in my mind constantly:
Will I chicken out and hire a stunt reader?
Or get completely wasty beforehand next door at Oddfellows and slur my way through?
Or maybe I'll function like a grown-up for once, get up there with my fellow editors and writers and soldier through my five minutes with reasonable gravitas.
Who can tell? Come down and see for yourself.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


I snapped this picture walking home in tonight's mild spring evening. I rounded a corner and here was a ballfield, kids scuffing dirt in the infield, lights halogen-bright. I heard the crack of bat on ball and got such a pang.
My middle sis posted the other day on Facebook how dunking cookies in her coffee reminded her of grampa and suddenly all the cousins were all chiming in and it turned into a familial trip down memory lane. I miss Dusty nearly every day, and now his house is getting cleaned out and I keep thinking how a piece of my past is going to pass into somebody else's hands and never again will I perch on a chair at the kitchen table, snacking on cookies soaked in his special brew of milky-sweet coffee. Never again sit with him on the bleachers at the ballfield at twilight, cracking sunflower seeds between my teeth, watching his strong tanned hand pencil in the box score. No more nights on the back porch steps looking up at the starry sky as he sang,"Bright and Shiny Moon" or calling shotgun in his rusted-out station wagon for a dump run. No more games of burn-out in the side yard between him and uncle Dugie, no more chasing fireflies on a humid Kansas evening while he put the finishing touches on the hedges. My cousins and sisters and I share this, this missing Dusty, this yearning for him. He was a handsome, classy old guy, with a good word for everyone and such a zest, such a passion for what he loved--baseball and kids and coffee with the guys and teasing gramma, calling her Marge and getting her all riled up.
It's a good hurt, I guess, missing Dusty.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

watch this space


I spent last week in the city--the 'hood, sort of--and all I saw was beauty. Graffiti turned drab iron panels into canvases. Music blared from cars and shopfronts, creating its own inadvertent sonic layering. Shopkeepers called us "honey" and asked if we got enough to eat. I discovered the delicately fragrant deliciousness of Caribbean rice and peas, bought a big bag of powdery yellow turmeric, ate hot hot fries at the Sip N Chat and sipped sweet potato vodka at a kosher wine shop. Now it's home and getting ready for more travel--the city! then Ethiopia!--and in the interim, a reading.
Yes, I said it. A reading.
Me. Reading.
I'm so scared I could puke. When I get up my nerve I'll tell you more.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

it's what's keeping me

I've been posting a lot of music, I know, but it's what's keeping me somewhat tethered to planet Earth. Mostly when work's stressful, I clap on big old headphones and let the jams take me away. Good beats are a mental massage, an implicit invitation to dance, even if it's just on the inside. So peep some Wesley and shake it.

bsp videos don't sleep on 'em