Tag Archives: creativity

My Upcoming Poetry Readings

Good morning friends!

I am pleased to announce my first and second poetry readings here in Portland are imminent…

November 4th – “Word Warriors” – Hosted by Curtis B. Whitecarroll and Amanda Cochran Helstrom-White

Common Grounds Coffeehouse – 4321 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR – 7pm

November 14th at 6:30pm – “Starlight Talent Show” – Hosted by Portland Center for Spiritual Living – 6211 NE MLK Jr Blvd, Portland, OR

I will also be frequently attending the open mic at Sound Grounds every Thursday from 7 to 9.

Cheers! Hope to see you there! 🙂

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Milwaukie Poetry Series

Last Wednesday I went and saw Harold Johnson read at the Pond House at 2215 SE Harrison Street by the Ledding Library in Milwaukie, OR, as part of the eighth season of the Milwaukie Poetry Series. Harold Johnson is a local Portland poet.  He published a full length poetry volume in 2014 called Citizenship.  Harold’s poetry was full of his life experience, family history, political history, black history, and baseball.  Mostly, baseball…


I kid.  Harold had a lot of different experiences to share and to lend his creative insight to.  Harold has a bright spirit and a lot of talent.  Beyond the poetry itself, which was incredibly powerful and moving, the moment that struck me most in the reading was the moment when someone asked Harold when he started writing poetry.  I cannot quote his exact response, but he said something along the lines of that he would memorize poems in junior high and was very good at it.  And when he started writing poetry in high school was when he realized that no one cared about it–poetry.  He said this matter of factly, not indignantly or sulkily.  It was such an interesting thing to hear a poet say, especially in a room full of people that had just listened to him read, haha.  However, I do very much understand what he means in the sense it is not given as much stock in a way, as prose is. And, also, it just is not a cool art form in the way that music or movies are considered cool.   Now I myself am not fit to exp20150408_203147lain why that is. Personally, I have read many poems that have been just as pleasurable and exciting and enthralling to me as a good movie.  Poems that felt like roller coasters and poems with images that flashed through my imagination like moving pictures and sounds that echoed in my brain in surround sound.  I guess maybe it’s the whole reading thing that makes it uncool… and yet we’re all such big readers nowadays with the internet. It can’t be that either.  So I wonder.

I am extremely grateful to have found out about the Milwaukie Poetry Series.  I found out a little bit late, unfortunately, but there are still two more readings!!!  Lisa Steinman reads on May 13th and Annie Lighthart on June 10th, both on Wednesdays at 7pm.


Also, you can read Harold Johnson’s poem “Smell Theory” through The Oregonian. And you can read a few others by him through KBOO.

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John the Maintenance Man

The other day I was wcropped-img_20150220_1003001.jpgorking at the Canyon Grill.  A man came in. He was wearing a neon shirt that said “MAINTENANCE” on the front and the back. His name was John. I was very kind to him, friendly and conversational. I try talk with all our customers, if that is something that they want, and I’m not too busy. So we started talking about how things were going. I said I was tired and had stayed up late. He said “Partying?” I said, “No, actually, I was writing.” That was how he ended up asking for my poetry…

He wanted me to read something out loud.  I find that a little difficult, on the spot like that. So instead I opened up the title poem on my phone and gave it to him to read. Then I hid in the back of the kitchen for an inordinate amount of time. In fact, I think he finished his burger and probably wasn’t sure what to do with my phone, since I refused to come back.  Eventually he shouted to the back,

“Thank you for the burger!

And I liked your poem…

It was nice to read.

It made me want to

go for a walk in the forest,

without shoes on.”

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Prototype Book Covers


I’m in the very early stages. But I got some materials of various sizes and colors. I want the spine to be leather or something else more durable than cloth…

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Opening my Heart.

Hello Heartstumpers!

I’m finally in a place where I feel comfortable writing on this website. That in itself is a brand new step in this project. So I’m filled with joy simply to write something here. 🙂

Lately pieces seem to be coming together gradually and inevitably. I have newly found faith that Heartstump will coalesce effortlessly and organically.  I release all my concerns about when and how that will happen today, on this very page, at this very moment.

So before I return to my writing, I’m taking a brief minute to officially start my page off, and to start it with gratitude. There are people right now supporting this project in their own unique ways and tonight it struck me that although this project is “mine” in a way, the central theme of love makes it so that there is no way to produce such a work without the hands and hearts of others–and I could never want to. I am grateful to feel the very real reaching of other hands into my deepest most driven work today and over the past few months, in a myriad of great and ever so small gestures that have been opening me further and further up into a place of wanting to share.

There will be art in production surrounding my poetry collection, which lends itself to the idea of a heartstump. As I am lifted up, I hope that others will feel elevated. Some artwork is already in process: at least one painting being produced by a colorful, incandescent soul and a wood piece envisioned by a crafty carver, hopefully small enough for me to tote around and fit on a podium or back wall, as I travel to read aloud. A vibrant and visionary man seeks to collaborate on photography and video. A pen pal who, in the most continually humble gesture I have ever witnessed, relentlessly responds with emphasis on my writing, phrasings, and images I have bounced off of her instead of any of her own equally beautiful prose. She solidifies my work and pushes me forward every single day. It is awe inspiring in its selflessness. And most recently, a paternal potter promises to mold my words in his clay. I have already seen and taken home some of the meticulous and moving mastery that is his previous work.

I had planned to start this page with the visual art surrounding the project, but so much of that is still in careful process. I am excited! I look forward to the day it arrives and I can incorporate it into the page.  In the meantime, I celebrate the process and thank all who are or will be a part.

10857806_10155051026400647_1607209509230125865_n This post also formally reaches out to any person reading it that feels a sudden impulse to contribute, however they might do so, to the collection or any associated artwork.  In particular, I’m still soulfully seeking a graphic designer, someone with expertise in book binding,a seamstress (or seamster), a website designer, a kickstarter expert, and all others looking to create in conjunction. Sketch artists, tattoo artists, sculptors, painters, performers, and the like. Maybe YOU have a project of YOUR OWN and you want support, guidance, inspiration, or just a big thumbs up–a creative project or otherwise, anywise.

I am the right person to contact, as my heart is official open for business.

Thank you for reading. Start writing.


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