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Showing posts from 2005

... and I'll break out in hives if I want to!

That's right. It's my party. So, regardless of how cool I may look or how organized things may appear ... I'm having travel-sized panic attacks for at least a week leading up to a major event. My sixth annual Verbatim show was no different. (Friday, Nov. 18, 2005)

I was mostly worried about butts in chairs; I knew the show itself would be great b/c all of the performers on the lineup were fire. However, a hot lineup does not guarantee butts in chairs. I've mistakenly leaned on that lesson before.

So marketing is it, right? My bread and butter. My goal from Show 5 to this one was to elevate my marketing efforts from "the underground" to the mainstream. The accurate phrasing of this goal, truthfully, should be "My goal is to have a mainstream marketing budget." Let's face it; we do the underground because we gotta make the most of the resources we have, yeah? Do you think McDonald's or Nike or would opt for squads of college kids cram…

The Lonestar Shoutouts

Corpus Christi
Tito picked me up from the airport in his immaculately clean car. I was instantly guilty about the dust-draped buggy waiting for me at home. We drove directly to a restaurant; I knew Tito and I would get along famously. And we did. He told me about the lives he's changed through his work as a ... life coach. That's not his actual title, but when you show grown folks how to manage their anger and guide young folks to explore their own celebrity, nothing else should really fit. We talked about career climbing and confidence and love and fair fighting and forgiveness and tolerance and introspection and nurturing children and, of course, poetry. He also told me about this "revolution" that's coming ... but you'll have to wait for that wave to keep rising.

Stefan is a piece of work. No other way to say it. He was all at once intriguing and ridiculous, profound and eccentric. Over everything, though, he was thoughtful, protective, engaging and honest. …

The Truth about the Benjamins

I'm nearing the end of my first week-long stretch. Just like any other feature, the "show bag" is stuffed with books and CDs. Don't even bother with the zipper. In fact, being able to draw the gaping seam together at the end of each night would mark a success.

Counting the number of CDs and books I'll be taking with me back to Milwaukee, however, I'm reminded that I'm not that poet who can measure their success or impact in CD sales. Sure, the Taalam's and Sheba's and Nam's of the world count their sales by 5s and 10s (Bless 'em!); but not me. And, to be clear, this is not a revelation to me, just a reminder. I know I'm an ackward and underachieving salesperson ... I've got deep-seeded issues in that Asking Folks for Stuff department that go waaaaayy beyond poetry.

Still, I usually do okay (by my standards, anyway). Just a little short on hustle this trip. But I left my heart swinging from every microphone, like I always aim to do at…

Fire, The Wheel, Airplanes and Blogging

You have to wonder if there were nay-sayers when the whole fire thing first came about. You know, the ruthless militia that reassembles itself through the ages to riddle "never gonna happen" bullets into others' dreams and big ideas? What do you think the CaveLady who poo-pooed all over that wheel contraption would say now?

Ugh-ugh. Grunt. Scratch?

Yeah, I think so too. In fact, I know so b/c I am that CaveLady. Well, more like her distant cousin. I don't denounce new inventions, I just don't always get it. Don't get IM. Not compelled to iPod. Intrigued by Tivo, but not enough. Yeah, I know we had this technology conversation before, but this time I'm announcing my full conversion to live journaling and blogging.

Whoopee, right?

I opened this 'spot reluctantly, cuz I just didn't think many people would ... care. I haven't been convinced otherwise (not seeing a lot traffic, I tell ya), but I did discover that I've been approaching it all wrong.…

It's Official: I'm a Writer

Permanence makes things ... real. Like marriage. Same set up, same arrangement as when you're dating, but the permanence of marriage shifts lovers' mindsets from "oughta" to "gotta."

So, I got this tattoo ...

It's a feather quill (b/c the experts at Body Ritual were emphatic that the poofy plume idea was stupid. go figure.) marking a lazy, serpentine scribble on the back of my right shoulder. The inkwell (of course, there's an inkwell!) is shaped by the letters of the word "beauty."

My oldest daughter described it to my mother, "Mommy's a beeeyotiful writer ..."

So, it's official. Gotta get this second book done. The writing is all over my back.

At the Mercy of MapQuest again

You know that Mapquest is the Devil's plaything, right? Okay. Just wanted to get that out there.

Actually, Satan's toy didn't trip me up too badly this time. Just one rural "shortcut" that I could have done without. Otherwise, the drive was fine.

My first mini-tour in two years, I visited venues in central Ohio and one in Michigan. My hosts were incredible: Ed Mabrey in Columbus, Grand Rapid's Greg Bliss and his lovely leading lady Carrie, Link in Dayton (and the entire Rustbelt team: Melissa, Cherokee & Gee), and Olafemi and Hakim of Cincinnatie. Incredible.

Plus, I've seen a intense growth in my writing and performance over the past year, so it was profoundly gratifying to connect with these audiences in new ways. Now, I wouldn't say that my work has changed, it's just better. Better, from the standpoint that I've --finally-- given myself permission to let loose 100%. I can see now that my best nights, previously, had me wide ope…


The short version: I was able to open for Angie Stone last night ... and set the mic on fire!

The long version:

I know the publisher and editorial staff at Ya Heard Magazine and contacted them all last month about opening their Angie Stone concert. "Yada, yada, get back to you, yada." Their follow-up was "Hey, we'll do a poetry pre-show!"

Umm. No?

I gave them my unsolicited feedback about why I didn't think that idea was right for this event. "Yada, yada ..." It was a wrap, in my book. I tried, right?

Then I get an email around 4 hours before concert time from a sista I know telling me she's looking forward to seeing me at the pre-show party?

"Cool, see you there!" I say.

Next: "Hello? I'm ... performing ... for you tonight, I hear?"

Apologies. Explanations. Directions. Shuffling schedules with husband. Secure babysitter. Pizza Hut instead of teriyaki chicken. Staring into the closet. Pack CDs and children. Race.

The pre-show ha…

Virgin Blog

Okay. I was the one who didn't think email would ever catch on; I only have the second generation of Palm Pilots (should I even have that?); I have less than a year under my belt with this text messaging thing; I tried really hard to justify getting the camera phone, but couldn't; and I flat out don't get the point of instant messaging (rings like microwaveable Minute Rice, to me).

But here I am. Very much by accident, I called myself "passing through" someone else's blog. Silly me. Oz has spoken many megahertz ago: No one shall pass through anything w/o leaving behind a password or some other promise for future visits.

So here I am.

Not sure what I'll say on this thing, but, hey, I have a password and a few thoughts rattling around ...

... is this thing on ...?

Here I am.