Posts Tagged ‘Spoken Word Paris’

I’m Not Tech Savvy

July 24, 2016

But.

I am listening to music that my dearest friend put together as a playlist for me.

French music.

From a Parisian.

I feel so special.

Seriously.

I love me some French music.

Perhaps because it is an easier way for me to understand the language, lyrics tend to be repetitive, simpler than every day conversation and lyrical, which makes it easier for me to access.

And there is just something to it.

I want to couples dance with someone in a cafe with ceramic black and white tiles.

The smell of tobacco smoke drifting in as the door opens.

The smell of coffee in the air.

The low light, the ambiance, maybe I need a French cafe in my home, whenever I get it.

Either that or just frequent trips back to Paris and this time to also experience the night life a bit more, the cafe music life, I got into the spoken word a tiny bit with my excursions to Le Chat Noir for Paris Spoken Word events and had a tiny taste.

But to be there with a Parisian and be let into that exclusive view.

Delicious.

It’s sexy and sensual and worldly.

All things I aspire to.

I got to record with Adriana Marchione today for a podcast she’ll be posting along side  her ongoing project “The Creative High” .

I was really honored to be thought of and it was a great experience, and I have to say, I felt my voice, I was in my voice and it felt really powerful.

And.

There’s something to be said to having an artist, an auteur, and a teacher, interested in my work.

Also.

How she described me.

Well.

I’ll leave you in a little suspense, but it was quite flattering.

The podcast will go up in about a week and will be on her website.

I got to share a part of my story, a bit about my process, my experience with writing, blogging, poetry, the little bit of spoken word I have done, my best friend passing nine years ago and how that prompted me to Burning Man, my other best friend and how she was the person to whom I went to for help when things all came crashing down.

It was a great experience and I didn’t prep for it other than run through a small set list of poetry pieces of my own that are memorized.

Three.

That’s it.

I have three of my works memorized.

But they please me and it’s nice to share them once in a while with someone.

I shared about the patron last year from Burning Man and doing the collaboration with him.

I talked about my memoir(s) and how I still don’t know what to do with them, or how to go about getting them together, but also, how much that striving has pushed me towards places and experiences that I was just not expecting.

At all.

It also gave me another taste of recording.

And I have to say, I liked it.

“Are you going to do something for the talent show,” I was asked by the amazing MC last night before it was about to start, “you sing right?”

I told her I didn’t.

“You look like a singer,” she said.

Now there’s a compliment.

I admitted that I do some spoken word.

But frankly, it didn’t feel appropriate to recite one of my pieces to the fabulous birthday girl, they weren’t quite in the spirit of what was happening, and they also weren’t pieces that would have been celebratory of her and her experience.

And that was important to acknowledge.

There was a moment, I thought, well, there’s that one piece that might be fun, but really, it would have been to garner my own attention and I wanted to just sit back a little and be a wall flower and watch the main act and really enjoy that I got to have the privilege of being asked and then showing up to celebrate someone’s life and the gifts that she brings into her circle of friends.

It was a great honor.

And fun.

Although I had to bail “early.”

Heh.

Though I was slightly shorted on my sleep, I came home and unwound and blogged and watched part of Stranger Things.

Which.

Side fucking bar.

FUCKING AMAZING.

So good.

I mean, I really can’t recommend it enough, except.

Well.

Ha.

I’m susceptible to the scary.

And I did have a moment last night when I was curled up in my bed with my hands literally over my ears, because I did not want to hear the soundtrack and I was preparing myself for the scary, that I thought.

Hmm.

Maybe I should’t watch this right before I go to bed.

Oof.

It’s good.

Seriously.

Check it out.

End side bar.

I can’t just get right into bed, even on a late night, so, not so much sleep was gotten.

But.

Oh.

I took a nap today.

I am so proud of myself.

I never nap.

And it was just begging to happen.

I mean, only getting five hours of sleep will catch up with me, sometimes it’s not so bad and I can have an extra cup of coffee, but I didn’t want to blow my vocal cords out and be dehydrated from drinking coffee today, so I skipped my usual Saturday morning large coffee with my person today at Tart to Tart.

Then went straight to the podcast, after that to Scooter Centre, then to Scuderia, since Scooter Centre was unexpectedly closed, aired up the tires, scooted home, ate a late lunch, caught up with a girl friend on the phone, and then I looked at the time.

I can nap for one hour before going to my new Saturday night commitment.

I folded up my laundry, nothing says sexy like knowing I’ll get to slip into fresh washed sheets tonight, and grabbed a pillow.

I lay down at an angle on the bed, on my back, head propped up on a small throw pillow and closed my eyes.

It was just a touch chilly.

Afghan, the one I got in the mail from my grandmother.

I reached for it.

It had been sitting folded on the end of my chaise lounge in the sun.

Extraordinary.

It was like being wrapped up in warm soft sunshine.

Best nap ever.

Covered in the love of my grandmother.

Warmed by the sun.

After getting to do some art and be available to my friend.

It was glorious.

I almost didn’t get up.

In fact.

Had I not had that commitment, I would have gone back to sleep.

Grateful I didn’t, I don’t need to muck with my sleep schedule.

But.

Boy howdy.

That might have been one of the best naps I have ever had.

Plus.

It was good to connect with my people.

To see and be seen.

To not let myself be isolated.

A sweet, simple, glorious little day.

Full of light and warmth and art.

Poetry.

Narrative.

Recovery.

I mean.

Really?

My life is fucking awesome.

Seriously.

It is.

Happy.

Joyous.

Motherfucking.

Free.

 

“Dear Carmen”

May 31, 2013

We like your writing very much.

Holy shit.

I am getting published.

I knew it was happening, or I should say, I had some suspicions it might.

The magazine contacted me while I was still in Paris and asked me for an author’s bio and a different file format for my submission.

I had forgotten about it.

and would like to publish “The Button Boy”

Wait, did yo say you would like to publish The Button Boy?

You did not.

Wait.

You did!

Jumpin’ Jesus on a pogo stick.

I cannot believe that my first publishing credit (ok, I am going to clarify that, it sounds like I have not been published and I have, The Peacock, also in Paris, published a piece I wrote, but it is a student magazine and I was not a student there, I knew the editor and she needed something in a pinch and I tossed out a little epistolary to accompany some photographs in the magazine, so technically I do have publication credits.  And there is this, my blog, which is published every night, but neither were submitted publications) is a short story.

Not only a short story, but a science fiction short story.

“May I make a suggestion,” my room mate said as I was laying my weary head down on the table top at 36 Rue Bellefond.  I was either beating myself up for not doing enough work, or I was castigating myself around my edits to my book, or I was dying of fatigue from having crammed in a full day of walking the cold, wet, mean streets of Paris, taking photographs and trying to live the idea, the fantasy, of the kind of life I was supposed to live in Paris as a struggling writer.

Where is my tiny violin playing for me right now?

“NO, I don’t want your suggestions,” is what I thought, “sure,” is what I said.

“Well, when you are tired of all this work that you are doing, and I know that it is work, you are putting in a lot of time, doing things in Paris, writing, taking pictures and stuff, why don’t you write something fun for you.”  He said unfurling the scarf from around his neck.

“You know, just write something completely out there, something that has nothing to do with what you’re working on.” He said and stepped toward the stairs, turning on the overhead light.

“Hmm, I hear you, you may be right,” I said.

I was being flippant.

But something dinged in my head.

Something said, he’s got a point.

Do you want to be happy or do you want to be write.

I mean “right”.

“I do have an idea for something, now that you mention it,” I said and he paused foot suspended in mid air.  “I saw something on the Metro the other day that I could not figure out what it was and I suddenly got a line, a sentence, and it’s been stuck in my head now for a week or so.”

“There ya go, buddy, write about that,” then he trundled up the steps and I sighed and went back to editing the photographs I had taken that day, a job in and of itself that took anywhere from an hour to two hours depending on how many I had taken during my walk about Paris.

in the next issue of The Bastille.

“You should come check it out!” She said to me one afternoon as I was rinsing out a tea cup in the kitchen of the Scots Kirk Church, “I go every Monday, it’s a lot of fun, and yeah, there’s some drinking, but most people are pretty chill and there’s some good stuff and I love going.”

I knew what she was talking about, I had seen the flyer for it in the window at Shakespeare & Company on one of my first visits to the famous book store across the river from Notre Dame.

Paris Spoken Word Open Mic.

I googled the event.

I made plans to go.

I did not go.

I had a baby sitting gig.

I got a case of nerves.

I was tired.

I was full of excuses.

I don’t have anything to say.

“Hey, I’m going to go this Monday,” Hannah said to me as we hugged outside 65 Quai D’Orsay.  “You should come, you don’t have to perform, I just like to watch actually, we can just hang out.”

“Ok,” I said, I had begun to see, with the help of someone wiser and more experienced and oh, I don’t know, not me, that I have limited perspective and that I often make fear based decisions and that I need to practice saying yes instead of no.

And fellowshipping is good.

So go.

I went.

I performed.

I got high from the adrenalin of getting on stage.

The lights bright, the faces rapt, I felt caught, captured, held, and I recited “While You Were Sleeping”.

I had them in the palm of my hand and I knew it.

Then, I was hooked.

I went back, I did more poems, I did “Cry Baby” and I did “Into the Pink”.  I read a long free verse poem called “Fevered”  I read an old poem about an old lover that I wrote on a break in between a double at Hawthorne Lane while having coffee at a cafe on Market Street in San Francisco back in 2002.

At one of the Open Mics the MC mentioned that The Bastille was closing down it’s next round of submissions, if you want to submit then go to blah, blah, blah.

I wanted to submit.

I had a feeling that I would get in.

I was feeling cocky and high from the performing.

I did not always nail it, but when I did.

I really did.

“So, I just wanted to let you know, I took your suggestion,” I told my room mate one evening.

“Which one,” he said without breaking a beat.

He had given me a lot of suggestions.

“The one about writing something fun,” I said.

“Oh!  Awesome, good on you,” he replied, settling down at the chair kitty corner from me at the table.  “What did you write about?”

“I actually wrote a short story, a science fiction short story at that, I have never written science fiction before, either,” I said.  “I was at Odette & Aime and I did not feel like I was done yet, but I was finished editing, I did a full chapter, and I read for an hour and I was just suddenly poked to take out my notebook and write something completely different.”

“Good for you!” My room mate exhorted again, then he told me about his day and I zoned out a little thinking about how I wanted to write more of these short stories, how good it felt to write.

We’ll be in touch to let you know when it will come out and to get a free copy to you.

I’ll send them “While You Were Sleeping,” “Cry Baby,” and something else, I thought as I looked over the submissions page.

A little voice said, send “The Button Boy”.

I had put it, the short, up on my blog and my friend had given me a really detailed and lovely response of his reaction to the story just a few days prior.

I never expected that they would choose it.

I never thought, boy, when I get my first piece published it will be for a magazine in Paris and it will be a science fiction short story.

SCIENCE FICTION!

Not a poem, not an essay, not one of my blogs.

A science fiction piece that I was inspired to write because I saw something on a little boys’ head that did not make sense to me, I made up a story to explain the unknown.

This is how Gods are created and constellations and mythologies, personal mythologies, my history.

I can still see that little boy and the gigantic plastic button, which I learned later is a hearing aid, on the back of his skull with a little wire running into the black nest of his short cropped hair.

I can see the car I am in on the Metro and I know where I am going.

And now I know what piece I need to work on next.

But just for this moment, just for today, I get to celebrate this little victory.

I get to bask.

Then back to work.

But for now, the basking.

Bask.

Bask.

Bask.

All the best,
 
David & the rest of the editorial team DSCF5360

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