Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sweet Success

Poets Against Greed was a success! Several poets showed up to read their work and we had an awesome night of poetry. Battling stuttering and nervousness, I managed to get through my first reading with dignity and now I can't wait for the next one. Eric Sutherland's performance was inspiring. I say "performance" because his poetry reading is its own art form. I'm so glad he was able to come down from Lexington and join us.

One of the poems I read was just written today and is still in its rough draft stage. It is called "The False Savior."

Yours is the wickedest deed of all

Offering painted promises
you reach out to the
Hope-starved masses who
search for a savior

Your words inspire them
Your face frames their
dreams for the future
Kindling hope

Your smile is sodden
with the greed that drips
from your brow like sweat

If only they could peel back
the promise-paint and see
the empty husks beneath

If only they could see beyond
your mask to the pockets lined
with the bounty of vampires

Yours is the wickedest deed of all

You are a false savior
bartering their trust for your success

Monday, August 11, 2008

Excessive Dreaming

Lately I've been doing some research on excessive dreaming, something I have suffered from for years. So far I have found that it is probably a symptom of a sleep disorder and there's not much you can do about it. To some, dreaming excessively may not seem like such a bad thing. However, take it from me, a night full of dreams doesn't give you much rest. Here's what it is really like:

Plunging into the deep
from moment of pillow touch,
I am tossed in
the maelstrom of night,

Turning in a vortex of
images recent and forgotten.

Three times I wrench myself
from the Sandman's grasp
Only to be lulled back
by his sirens.

At last, day
finds me spluttering
and crawling up the shore.

I arise from my bed.
My waking hours
taste of salt.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Naming Convention

When going through the set-up yesterday, I had to choose a name for my blog. I sat there staring at the screen unable to think of one. So I decided to look at some of the poems I had posted on myspace for inspiration. In the archived poems, I found what I was looking for and "Versions of Chai" became the name of my blog.

"Versions of Chai" was born at Live Wire coffee shop (sadly no longer in existence) in downtown Richmond. I was there with my husband and sister to listen to a musician friend play that night. Each of us had ordered a different type of chai. As we sat sipping our drinks, my sister commented that we all had "different versions of chai." Right away I thought that sounded like a good topic for a poem. Here is the result:

Cup in hand
I contemplate the versions of chai
While the musician plays my request,
The one about the girl and the poem--
Her smooth facade.

My version is hot and steamy
Vanilla with espresso swirled inside
Like the dark layer concealed
Beneath my pale skin.

Her version is spiced and iced
So much flavor mixed with coolness.
You can have a taste
But she'll never let you in.

His version is blended like a milkshake
With whipped cream on top.
Forever young, everything
Is ice cream to him.

We each sip our own
Til the strains of acoustic guitar fade
And the versions of chai
Are replaced by applause.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Poets Against Greed

After over a year of being wrapped in layers of mental cellophane, one of my good intentions will finally see the light of day. Next Tuesday night, August 12th, I am hosting a poetry open mic at My Time Coffee & Tea, a Richmond coffee shop. To the bewilderment of many, I am calling it "Poets Against Greed." Why the unusual sobriquet? First of all, I thought that "poetry open mic" was a little too boring. Secondly, I believe greed to be the root cause of most of the problems in our society and have made lambasting it the theme of a few poems. Lastly, I'm hosting it so I can call it what I want. It looks good on the flyer anyway.