It isn't. But it is. Writing is a way out, people, a way out of the mental flu. Prince died today. Jeeze. I loved him so much. I remember sitting on the floor with my new friend Lisa in 9th grade. Her older brother David, an accomplished high school musician who was going places, had an incredible sound system in his room. We went in, and she turned up Prince and said, "He is the real thing, a true musician, an artist. My brother respects very few. Listen." I already loved Prince's pop songs in 1985. But as we listened to David's unique and obscure Prince collection that afternoon, I was elevated into the mind of a magician, a spectacular genie. He made everything possible with his sumptuous chords. All we had to do was close our eyes and wish. And there was no carpet under our butts, no walls around us, no wires hooking up amps to all of David's instruments. There was only light and sound and a ray of beauty piercing us through the heart. As all the media remembers him today, my thoughts turn to mortality, my own, my husband's, my son's, my mother's. I compare all of our ages, all of our illnesses, our flu shot dates. I get scared. I want to be a good mom. I want to be a good writer. I want my students to shine in their work, to have confidence. I want, want, want so much that I could pop. I don't want Prince to be dead in April. I want Prince to be alive, not in the shadows of my hopes, but there in Paisley Park, hanging out in steamy, crazy Minnesota with the musicians he nurtured, playing, experimenting, taking our souls to the heights of musical sunshine only he can imagine. I am resisting death every day, and it may be making me sick. Then again, that resistance is what makes living an acute experience, right, and when it is acute, it is something you can feel, see, or taste.
My website is up to date now after a wonderful thing happened. I hired someone. I hired Stephanie Schoellman to help me. She is a PhD candidate at UTSA who is interested in becoming a shepherdess - poet in Scotland. She is super cool, organized, and a great listener. With her help, I am going to keep this website alive and current.
I am honored to be invited to be part of Mega-Corazon again. https://urban15.org/2016-mega-corazon/ Curated by the ever sweet local, state, and national treasure, Carmen Tafolla, this event is what it it says it is, a twentieth century online mega-heart coming right out of the center of San Antonio from Urban 15, a local nonprofit aimed at bringing arts and culture to San Antonio-- and the whole world. This is happening Thursday, April 28th. I will post my time here in case you want to check me out, but I am just one of 13 or 14 poets who are amazing. San Antonio is like a really well-seasoned cast-iron skillet, cooking up poets who are completely delicious in all of their variety.
After that some wonderful things on the horizon, Gemini Ink's Big Give on May 3, and a class with Veronica Golos, an amazing poet and friend of my beautiful friend, artist Sharon Shelton-Colangelo. I am really looking forward to meeting her and seeing the wonderful folks at Gemini Ink again. http://geminiink.org/event/reading-deeply-writing-deeply/ I am always filled when I work with other writers and artists. I am a spoiled brat when it comes to that. Looking forward to this class on May 7th.
Beyond all that, I need to be editing Drinking the Bee Water-- this is the new name of my novel, La Cruzada. I know. I went to English. My dogs made me do it when I was talking to them. True story.
Love and healing, and long live el principe, Prince Rogers Nelson.
And so many birthdays in the last two days, four of them of people close to me who I love: Evelyn & Oliver, April 20 (children of one of my best friends, Leah-- children born five years apart to the day!) and Lorena and Sami, April 21 (my cousin-like-a-sister and her amazing daughter). And then my beautiful niece, Lily, beautiful Lily in London who loaned me her bedroom last summer before her mother and I went to Italy for our writing retreat. Lily is 21. Oxford graduate. An amazing kiddo! Happy Birthday to them all. Births and deaths today. April is not the cruelest, even if it sometimes it rains so hard, hail crashes through most windows, totals cars, and caused our neighborhood to look as if it was bombed last week. No. It is not the cruelest. It is swelling with birth, love, pain, and change.