More Of Earth and Sky fun and another opportunity to read my work in front of a friendly audience.
Even though Charlotte Shout got Covid-cancelled, Of Earth and Sky has gone forward. At this link you can read and see videos of poets that are part of the exhibit. You can also access the map which shows where everyone's words are displayed around the Uptown Charlotte vicinity. My words are over at Romare Bearden Park, in the grass, in white letters.
Henry and I went on a very early walk this morning, before it was even light. By the time we got over to the ballpark side of Uptown it was just 7 a.m. There, beside the player/staff entrance sat two charter buses, full of what I guessed were the Charlotte Knights, off on a two-week road trip. At just about exactly 7 , they moved off the curb and down the street toward the freeway. Though the windows were shaded, I waved, and a couple guys waved in return. I told them I'd be here when they got back.
Charlotte Shout is cancelled for this Fall. I should have suspected it might happen when the video/photo shoot coordinator told me they were worried about getting the artist of the Earth and Sky installation over here from the UK. So the brief pain of being videoed was for naught. Oh well. It was nice to have my work chosen for something anyway, right?
I got a phone call last week. A good one. Where the person says "we've selected your..." in this case a poem I'd written to submit to an event happening here in Charlotte. You can read all about it here: charlotteshout.com. The exhibition in which my poem will appear is called OF EARTH AND SKY. The title of my poem is "In Front of Yer Face." It's a large-scale installation project featuring pieces from local poets. So, really no clue what it will look like, where my poem will appear, or anything. I did have to show up yesterday though and do a video reading the poem, and get my picture taken. So, yeah. That was weird. But I survived. One of the other poets took my picture and it's right here. Do I look like a poet? That's what I was going for anyway... I'll keep you up when I find out more. Whatever it ends up looking like, you'll be able to view the installation, along with the videos, beginning September 10, 2021, somewhere in Charlotte, through October 3, 2021. And they'll be a website, and I even here a book? :)
Take a summer break and go on a journey with me as I talk to author Kathleen Basi about her novel "A Song for the Road." It's about families, and love, and music, and a journey. Everything really. Click the link above, or paste this: https://charlottereaderspodcast.com/love-loss-and-the-power-of-music-to-heal-in-kathleen-basis-a-song-for-the-road/. Or just go to your favorite podcast carrier and you'll find it there.
...the heat here in Charlotte. It keeps me indoors way more than I would like. After last summer's imposed isolation, somehow, I forgot how damned hot it gets in this town. And humid. Let's not forget the humidity.
Somehow, though, I am able to power through this muggy-ass season when I've got baseball games to look forward to and a ballpark in which to hang around. Last night Henry was busy with triplet grandparenting and our plan was to meet at Truist Field for the Knights game. When I got there, I texted him to let him know we were in game delay, so not to hurry. "You're already there?" he asked. Well, yeah. I went over there early, setting out to walk the few blocks around six. Because I could. I like it there. Hanging out at the ballpark is my idea of a really good time.
It did start sprinkling, and most of the fans left their seats for the covered concourse. Not me. That's what raincoats are for. I sat back and watched the sky, the ballpark with all its support people doing their jobs, the players popping in and out of the dugout, impatient for their evening's shift work to begin. I'm not much for selfies, but here's one I took last night. Can you tell I like being there?
I was back to my happy place this week for two games at Truist Field with the AAA Charlotte Knights. Now I really feel like we're coming out of the other side of this pandemic.
Tonight is the opener for the Charlotte Knights, the Chicago White Sox AAA team and my neighborhood baseball. Six blocks down the street I'll enter through the gate by the outfield. Hopefully, the regular off-duty cop will be there directing traffic at that Mint Street entrance. He's a nice guy. Hope he's been doing OK through the pandemic. It will still be light out, since sunset won't be until a bit after 8. The setting will make the skyline glow. There'll be no programs to fiddle with before the national anthem - they are a Covid safety causualty. Instead we'll be able to pull one up on our phones. I'm planning for the usual 3rd inning hot dogs and 7th inning ice cream. We'll see if there are other ballpark treats to celebrate with on this special night. The last Knights' game was August 2019. I've missed it so. Pictures to follow.
I just got word that my poetry chapbook "The House Inside My Head" has been accepted for publication by Finishing Line Press. I am beyond thrilled. No details yet, like when, if the title will remain, covers, etc. But I'm accepted! WOO!
I am finding it almost impossible to write about the events of this week. Perhaps it's because it all feels so personal to me. I've worked on Capitol Hill, walked those halls... in the faces of the rioters, the cult members, and the President of the United States, I have seen none of the respect, reverance, honor, duty, or commitment I felt when I worked there. None. You are the very opposite of patriotic.
All I think I can say is this: If you believe in ridiculous conspiracy theories, that the election was stolen, or that Covid isn't a pandemic and killing thousands of Americans every day, I am truly sorry for you. You are a member of a death cult.
But my sorrow does not let you off the hook. I hold you accountable for the disgraceful violence at our Capitol, the death and injury that took place. You are responsible for the growing numbers of dead from a very real virus. If you are an elected official and you have cynically thrown in your lot with the rightwing disinformation machine in order to further your own ambitions, you are responsbile, directly, for what happened this week. And, if you do not do every possible thing in your power to stop this lying, reprehensible President from doing further damage to our country in the next 12 days, you should plan on finding new jobs.
We the people are watching. We see you. We hear you. We are taking names.