Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Soundtrack of My Life

IF YOUR LIFE WAS A MOVIE, WHAT WOULD THE SOUNDTRACK BE? A good friend of mine sent me a (chain) note with this heading the other day. It's supposed to be a random, shuffling game you play with the music you have stored on your computer, but because I am slightly off-kilter, I think about this all the time. Not because I think my life has been so exciting that it's movie-worthy, but because I truly do want my own soundtrack. I've been designing it in my head for years! Anyway, here's how I would write my own personal score:

Opening Credits:
Ascension -- Maxwell

Waking Up:
Happier Than the Morning Sun -- Stevie Wonder

First Day At School:
School -- New Edition

Making Your New Best Friend:

Falling In Love:
Easy Conversation -- Jill Scott

Breaking Up:
Ain't No Way -- Aretha Franklin

Get Me Bodied (Extended Mix) -- Beyonce

No Such Thing -- John Mayer

Life's Okay:
The Longest Time -- Billy Joel or these guys

Death of a Close Friend:
Show Me -- John Legend

Mental Breakdown:
Harder to Breathe -- Maroon 5

Follow Me -- Usher

It's So Hard to Say Good bye to Yesterday-- Boyz II Men

Getting Back Together:
Let's Stay Together --Al Green

Wedding Scene:
So Amazing -- Luther Vandross

Birth of Child:
Zion -- Lauryn Hill

Car Accident:
Time After Time -- Cassandra Wilson

Final Battle:
Purple Rain -- Prince

Death Scene:
Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer -- Stevie Wonder

Funeral Song:
525,600 Minutes -- Rent (The Musical)

End Credits:
Girl Blue - Stevie Wonder

Liner note: Can I just say that YouTube might be the best thing ever invented...
Hey, I think I'll do the Poems/Books of my life next :-)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Workshop at Pretlow Library on Monday, 1/26 @ 4:30 PM

Starting next Monday, I'll be teaching a Teen Poetry Workshop at the Mary D. Pretlow Branch of our local library system. I'm so excited to get a glimpse at some fresh faces and spark a few fresh ideas for the new year.

The workshop is open to all teens and will be held on the last Monday of each month up until May. Who knows? If we spark enough interest, we might get to hold a *showcase* for all the work created there by the time we're done.

If you're not a teen, but know some who like poetry, please spread the word! Here are the particulars:

WHAT: Teen Poetry Workshop -- Verse Biographies/Charting Our Own History
Activity Summary: For ages, poetry has been used as a means of charting our history in the world. It is a fast-paced art that pays attention to the minute details of our lives as well as the universality of human emotion. In this workshop, participants will engage in writing exercises that help generate poems that will tell their own stories and, ultimately, will become autobiographies in verse. No prior writing experience is needed. Students should, however, come prepared to write at each workshop and possibly share their work with others.
WHEN: Monday, 1/26/09 from 4:30 - 6:00
WHERE: Mary D. Pretlow Anchor Branch Library
111 W. Ocean View Ave.
441-1750 ext 323 or 324

Monday, January 12, 2009

Reading at B&N in MacArthur Center on Sunday, 1/18 @ 3:00 PM

Hey VA, if you're in town please, please, please, come out to my reading at Barnes & Noble in MacArthur Center this Sunday. This college bookstore-based B&N is trying to spawn a successful local authors series and is reaching out to area writers for support.

I'll be signing books and premiering new work during the reading. It has been a long while since I've had a reading in town, so I'd love to see some of the folks I'm always missing even though we live so close.

I don't want to call anybody out but if your name happens to be Nicole, Rashad, Princess, Til, Mister House or any number of possibilities, you may want to attend, just to see what new things people will know about you after the reading is over :-)

Here's the pertinent info:

WHAT: Local Author Reading and Book Signing
WHEN: Sunday, 1/18/09 3-5 PM
WHERE: Barnes & Noble at TCC
MacArthur Center
300 Monicello Ave
Norfolk, VA 23510
tel 757-625-3459

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Looking Forward, Looking Back...

So, the new year has already begun and I still haven't processed all that happened at the end of 2008. In short, I had a wonderful trip home and got to write about many of the places I knew as a child. I also got to spend time with some good people that I adore. Here's are some snapshots (along with my weird captions) that I took during my travels. I wrote lots of memory/landscape poems while I was out West. If you'd like to guess what I might have been thinking about at any of the locations below, leave me a note in the comments section and I promise to send you a few of the poems I wrote in return...

San Fran (Thanks to Myron Michael and Sweet James)

The Queendom, Wine Country

Mountains near Laveen

Bright autumn

Early morning skate-park

Brown Street mural

The Lady appears



Okay, okay, maybe that last one isn't too inspirational, but it is proof that I was actually at any of these places and it showcases how gorgeous my beloved friend was on her wedding day :-) I'm glad I got to witness and bear witness to so many beautiful things to close out the year. Here's a poem that always reminds how good it is to start anew:

won't you celebrate with me

won't you celebrate with me
what i have shaped into
a kind of life? i had no model.
born in babylon
both nonwhite and woman
what did i see to be except myself?
i made it up
here on this bridge between
starshine and clay,
my one hand holding tight
my other hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.