My Book!

Dravet Syndrome Blues

Hello y’all!

For a long time, most of the people who read this blog were people I knew in real life. They are people I worked, went to school of church or jiu jitsu with. That being said, they’ve already seen this on facebook. If you’re one of those readers, I apologize for the double exposure.

But

I released my first book this week. It’s a poetry chapbook for Kindle called Dravet Syndrome Blues. Please consider buying it. I haven’t talked about my poetry experience a lot, but I’ve written it forever. In the mid-2000’s, I got really in to spoken word, and had to learn to write poetry meant to be read aloud-so lots of percussive consonants, alliteration, rhyme, and few turns of phrase that need to be read to comprehended.

Since then I experimented with form, and moved away from poems meant to be performed. When I lived in Utah, I started reading at PoetFlow . I enjoyed the community, and the folks at PF are one of the things I miss most about Utah, and I haven’t yet connected with a group in Albuquerque..

I’m not a salesman, I don’t know what I’m doing, but I do want my poems to be read. Thanks.

 

 

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A Late July Update

So no, in regards to my last post, we haven’t found a suitable place of worship just yet. I’m still not ready to give up, but with all the violence and BS happening around the World, I can feel my heart getting hard. I don’t want to be a bitter person. I talked to my dad last week about letting go of grudges and regrets, something I’ve been able to (mostly) do through meditative practices. He relayed he has always had trouble with it. For me, I saw it as intentionally defeating my ego and eliminating wasteful, unproductive habits and beliefs. We all program our brains differently, whether with intent or by accident. I decided I didn’t want to be mad at people who were jerks to me or constantly relive experiences where I failed to rise to the occasion. It surely won’t help me live in the present or be happy, and I think I’ve learned all there was from those experiences, so I discarded that junk like a holey old pair o’ drawers.

My first chapbook, Dravet Syndrome Blues, is written. I’m letting the poems air out and settle for a few days, then I’ll scrutinize them with red pen in hand, and revise. They won’t be too reworked- I want them to be not only GOOD, but an encapsulation of my current influences, experiences, and ability as a writer. I’ve solicited a little feedback, which has been helpful, but I have to just go or I will talk myself out of it. I’m working on layout and design at the moment. Design is not my strong suit, but that’s okay. I haven’t produced a physical product in forever (16 years or so), and I’m excited.

Speaking of books, I finally got around to reading Cormac McCarthy’s “All the pretty horses.” What a fantastic story, and McCarthy is able to write stark, laconic cowboy prose interspersed with flourished, descriptive passages in a way which is totally natural, without an air of contrivance.He’s not trying too hard-he’s just really that good. He is a living master.

Albuquerque is still magical.

I start work next week. I’m looking forward to it, but also not. I have enjoyed having little stress and no routine, but I am a person who very much needs a rigid routine. It will be a good addition to my life.

In addition to routine, I discovered that I also like taking risks and having adventures.  I’m writing this from a hotel room outside Denver. We drove 6.5 hours here so Lindsay and the oldest kid could go see Sufjan Stevens. It wasn’t a bad drive, but prior to realizing that our lives were finite and we were in charge of the character of our lives, I don’t know we would have done this. I want awesome experiences. I don’t hate road trips like I once did, and don’t get tired driving for more than 45 minutes, as growing up on an island is prone to induce.

So things aren’t perfect. I still hold on to old crap sometimes, and sometimes I’m grumpy and snap at the kids. Sometimes I don’t sleep well, and have learned there’s no wisdom in saying “I’ve never gotten sunburn on the tops of my feet”. Still, I think I’m in a good place, literally and figuratively. Seizures, and the threat thereof, are constantly lurking, and I never thought I could feel so dried up by someone else’s condition, but this in my normal. We have abundant moments, and are making stuff happen. I’ll take it.

 

Appointments

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I largely grew up in the evangelical church. I volunteered at the church office, doing admin work, and provided manual labor when needed. Church was safer than home, so I was there as much as possible.

There was a “Christianese” phrase I heard a lot in the 90’s/early 2000’s, and occasionally still do. It’s “divine appointment”. The idea is that God interacts with the trajectory of your life by injecting a person, or problem, or comforting thing, from which to learn and grow, or act in a situation.

36 doves on wires, against an obscenely blue sky. If someone were to suggest God put it there for me to see and appreciate, I would protest only mildly.

 

A Poem (a fun one)  from my upcoming chapbook Dravet Syndrome Blues:

Platitudes

When life gives you lemons
And your hands are covered in dozens of unexplained, tiny cuts
You can’t make lemonade without considerable pain
But you can make apologies and excuses

When opportunity knocks
Sometimes it’s life, giving you lemons
And sometimes it’s Mormons
Even though the sign says “No Soliciting”

It takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile
And many more to make lemonade
Even more telling the Mormon kids their homophobic intergalactic sexcult is creepy
And you’re not referring to a twenty-year-old as “Elder”, but you’ll help them escape

God doesn’t give you more than you can handle
I don’t think I could handle managing a combination Taco Bell/Pizza Hut
So I guess I’m glad for that one
I just want to stay far, far away from lemons.