Impossible meetups (a tanka series)

Screen Shot 2019-04-16 at 3.01.42 PMEvery day I get an email from Meetup.com suggesting a new group I might want to join. Young Republicans. Future Farmers. Martial artists and stay-at-home moms and people considering becoming travel agents (is that even a thing any more?). None of them are my tribe. Meetup’s web-tracking technology clearly has room for improvement.

But the absurdity of the suggestions has inspired a tanka (a poetic form related to haiku) series. The titles are the actual meetup group names and first line or two of each tanka is taken from or inspired by that particular meetup’s description. Here’s the first installment:

WARRIORSAGE DOJO
WarriorSages
keep one foot planted in the
material world.
It’s a delicate balance:
meditate or masturbate. Continue reading

The songs of gentrification and capitalism and ghosts and loss

This is a poem I’ve been working on for a couple of months. It names a number of Asheville, N.C.-based landmarks, characters, and artists, but my hope is there’s something of the universal. So many of us are witnessing the loss of our communities to the juggernaut of development and wealth, neither of which ever do much to forward the arts or the creative culture.

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The Merle performing at Vincent’s Ear.

THE GHOST OF GAVRA LYNN

The man took the temperature
of this neighborhood and decided
in his boardroom that, yes, it’s time
to capitalize on what the artists

built. The ambiance of ingenuity mined
from the rubble. Construct a hotel
to tower over the coffee shops and dive
bars, over the thrift stores and book stores, over Continue reading

THE RECLAIMED HYMNAL

Inspired a ukulele made from repurposed church pews by the artist Zeke Leonard at Pentaculum 2019 — a craft and writing residency at Arrowmont School.

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Photo by Dan “Soybean” Sawyer

Say an instrument is born with all of its songs
intact, DNA in the material from which
it’s forged. A ukulele fashioned from repurposed
church pews, the wood still holding ghosts Continue reading

FUNDRAISER/magical poem giveaway

I’m participating in the 5th annual Mountain of Words Write-A-thon to benefit Asheville Writers in the Schools and Community. My goal is to raise $200, and I am hoping that you will help by sponsoring me as I write as much as I can for AWITSC between now and November 17. Click through to learn more and/or donate online or by mail.

LEARN MORE HERE.

Everyone who sponsors me by Nov. 17 will be entered in a drawing for a personal poem, by me, infused with magical intention. Positive magic only!

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WITCHWOOD, part 2

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SKELETON KEY

You collect them. One was stolen from a neighborhood
house empty of all traces of its previous owners except
the crystal knob on the hallway door and the thin
iron key. Whoever bought the house wouldn’t care
about the lives lived in it before, or the echoes of footfall
or the way long shadows took on the shapes of those
who no longer sit at the tables or gaze out the windows. You Continue reading