One of my favorite poems…

I’m a sucker for words.  I jot down great quotes and beautiful phrases that I hear on post it notes and napkins and tuck them in desk drawers so I can reflect on them later.

The excerpt from a Rumi poem below is one of I have in several translations–the words vary slightly by translator, but I think the imagery is fabulous.   I had an interesting experience recently that made me want to dig this poem up and share.  Enjoy:

Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study
and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.


Sore From A Hot Sweaty Night with the Daredevils

Saturday August 25 was a hot, sweaty night at Stella Blue in Asheville.  Automanic from Knoxville, TN opened up, and I think drummer Donnie Thunder bears a strangely enchanting resemblance to the one and only Glenn Danzig.  Bitch in heat fantasies aside, Automanic is loud and in your face, sound reminiscent of a more refined version of The Stooges or a sexed up Motley Crue with a sprinkle of the over the top showmanship of Kiss.  Don’t miss them next time they roll into town.  And hands off Donnie Thunder, I’m calling dibs, if only in my dreams.

 The headliner at Stella that night was Asheville’s sleaziest rock n roll band, my friends Crank County Daredevils.  If you’ve been living under a rock somewhere and the Daredevils haven’t bulldozed into a stage near you, they are rock n roll sex demon gypsies spat fresh from the mouth of Hell itself.  Blistering guitars, pounding drums, eyeliner: the Daredevils have been the reigning kings of sleaze for years now, but with the addition of Rory Kelly from Hickory’s Intethod, there’s a whole new brand of magic going on.

STP had a special sound and Guns n Roses had their own special sound, but the sound that the members of STP and GnR generated under the guise of Velvet Revolver takes it up to whole new level of amazing.  Crank County has been bringing the eargasms for years now with Adam Fever and then Johnny Sikk on lead guitar, but the addition of Rory Kelly pushes CCD into that Velvet Revolver realm of voodoo.

With Rory onstage with Scotty P, Mark Hammer and Billy Velvet, the interaction between the band has improved a hundredfold.  The spark brought by these four musicians pushes the sound beyond an auditory fondle in backseat to a full blown rock n roll porno.  The Daredevils have “it,” that nameless something that dances between charisma and selling your soul to the devil, and they know they’ve got it.  The audience was undeniably drawn into the performance, pushing hard to the front of the stage despite the unwavering heat.

Crank County has never been a band to do cover songs, but on this evening, they brought out a cover of GnR’s It’s So Easy.  The cover was so electric, it was like the song had really been written for CCD all along.  The audience lapped it up, and I’m glad the Daredevils went for the cover.  Covering one familiar song well is enough to draw new people in a band’s audience into the spider web of sleaze; bite them and they will come back for more.

I’ve long fantasized about partying down with the Daredevils, living out the sex and rock n roll image til the light of dawn breaks the spell…  When I imagined waking up sore from a sweaty night with CCD, what I got in reality wasn’t anywhere near what I’d imagined.

Somewhere in the last song of the night, the incomparable Billy Velvet took a tumble off the stage, bass in hand.  I saw him coming and tried to step aside, but just managed to put my head in the way of his bass.  I took a blow to the head that made everything go black for a few seconds.  Billy landed like the smooth cat he is and kept on playing, while I swayed my way to the bar for ice.

My right eye wouldn’t stop watering.  I drove home with ice on my head, right eye running like a river, head thumping and aching like I’d been kicked in the brain.

I woke up the next morning with a purple eyebrow and two knots, one of them right in the middle of my forehead.   Sexy.  Not what I imagined in my rock n roll fantasy, but I guess I’ll take what I can get.  When the Daredevils are on the cover of Rolling Stone, I can tell this story…or better still, I can sell this story to the tabloids.  Rawk on…


In memory of Chris Reuther, 1973-2007

It’s tragic and stupid that it takes the loss of my friend Chris for me to blog again.  Chris and I used to trade stories, poems, and he always had the courage to tell me when mine absolutely sucked.  He read my blogs and told me what he thought, told me when I was just half-assing my stories.  And he told me when I was good, too, when I was on my game; he never hesitated to dole out compliments.  I have a poem somewhere that he told me I should try to publish, and in his honor, I’m going to try.

Chris Reuther died in Hawaii, his life taken by a random stranger.  It’s hard, but I’m doing all I can to focus on the wonderful way Chris lived, not the terrible way he died.

Chris and I used to analyze song lyrics.  All the way back to 8th grade, we’d listen to music (tapes, then CDs later on) and talk forever about what was our favorite song, what was our favorite lyric.  We could talk about music for hours on end, until our parents made us hang up or the cordless phone ran out of juice.  I remember we talked a lot about R.E.M.’s “Green” album, and there are lyrics from that album that really resonate with me in this time of loss. 

You are here with me
You are here with me
You have been here and you are everything

Chris was just a really good guy, and I know that I am not alone in wishing for one more phone call, one more email, one more visit.  He had friends everywhere he’d ever been, and I know we all miss him. If I had the chance to talk to Chris one more time, I’d tell him I loved him just so he could hear it…I’m sure he knew that he was a friend so dear to my heart, but I don’t think I ever said it out loud in our 20+ years of friendship.  I can type it here and that’s as close as I can get: Chris, I love you, friend, for always having a smile, for always seeking out the adventure, for being a friend to me and to the world, for capturing the most magical moments with your camera and your words; I and all your other friends around the world will do our best to live up to your expectations of us, we’ll chase our dreams like you chased yours.

I was in Tennessee over the weekend, and I saw a magnet with words that sort of summed everything up for me:

If I could sit across the porch from God, I’d thank Him for lending me you.

Oh geez Chris, I miss your goofy emails already…but I think if you were here now, you’d take a photo to capture the moment, take an image of this, and you’d move on to the next adventure…and so I’m trying to capture the moment, the feeling, and move on to my next adventure with my friend in my heart.


Birthday Wish: Take Me to the Man Cave

It’s time, one and all, to think about me.  You should already think about me at least once every 45 seconds or so, but now it’s time to really think hard, really focus…

My birthday is next week.  I’ve been told I’m ever so hard to shop for, but I think this year I’ll make it super easy…Here’s what I want:

I’d like a big strong man (he’s got to be strong for this next part) to heave me over his shoulder (I’m a big girl, this better be a big sturdy shoulder) and carry me off to his man cave for, ummm, quality time (he should have his own man cave, not like part of a cave he shares with his mom).  And then we can have cake.  Chocolate cake.  That should pretty much take care of my wish list.

If I have to throw him over my shoulder that really just takes the shine off the whole damn thing.  Now, go forth and gather up the big strong men, put bows on their heads and make sure they smell vaguely presentable.  I’m looking forward to a lineup of men on my birthday, a plethora of men and man caves from which to choose.

Just fyi, I will be pretty peeved if you don’t round up a man or two for me.  If you look everywhere–under the bed, at WalMart, in the back yard, at Auto Zone–and you still can’t locate a man fitting the proper description, I will accept flowers, truffles from the chocolate fetish and money instead…but just imagine what my Christmas list will look like if I don’t get my wish.