Pantoum from Penheadpress!

Today has been a day of steps and fun.  First, a big “Thank You” to William of Penheadpress.  I often struggle to explain to my students [and sometimes my friends] that poetry doesn’t have to be suicidal drivel best read at midnight with cigar and cognac in hand.  The playful spirit is as authentic as the mourning heart.  Pen Head Press, an online journal, takes submissions/suggestions, and then crafts a variety of poetic forms from our inspiration.  Follow the link to see the creation made from my two lines.

This is a unique collaborative experience, and I encourage others to have a little fun and try it as well.  The challenge of working in others’ ideas into lines that flow and make sense is amazing.

Sand River and Other Places I’ve Been

After months of review, revision, deliberation, and amputation, I feel like my first chapbook of poetry finally has cohesion.  While quite small with only eighteen poems, they feel like a unit, happy siblings fighting from the backseat of the car… but still family.  The next big step is to begin the submission process and quite frankly, that process is daunting.  However, I believe that writing is meant to be shared.  I’ll start with traditional venues and keep you posted on the process.

The Air, Slick Like Butter

I spent my Saturday, in part, at the Community Poetry Festival.  Phase II was held in Riverside Park, and I loved that fountains helped to keep people cool.  Unfortunately, there have been more than twenty days this summer above 100 degrees.  Ever try to describe heat without using the words “hot” or “heat?”  The following is my effort, and I challenge other writers to describe our sultry summer.

“The Air, Slick Like Butter”

The cicadas call from elm to oak,
furious rattles of warning, my body
aches to lie down in the light, bend

low before I break under the sun’s
white-gold gaze, melt into the brown
sod dormant from drought. My skin

smells humid, flesh sliding loose on
bones.  The haze bends cars into a
shimmer of water, and I dream of ice

cubes and mint.  The air so slick like
butter across my skin, the grass baking,
the trickles of sweat sliding down the

back of my head.  Veronica’s velvet
voice blending into the fire of the day
and I am angry only because I hurt.

The Community Poetry festival is an excellent time for writers, musicians, and spoken word artists to get together and share in our love.  There are two more dates this summer, including August 27th at Price Woodard Park and September 10that Linwood Park.  Look to either Poetic Justice’s website for further details,

or find them on Facebook:

Fabulous and Sweaty Sales

I find garage sales typically sweaty, hot messes.  I love to shop/thrift store hunt and spend my money.  I hate organizing any effort to recoup my losses… but today’s efforts have been fun, thanks in large part, to my wonderful friend Emily.  She also helped me spend more of my own money by bringing fabulous items over to sell.  The idea at our house isn’t really to make money, although I suppose that’s why many people do it.  Honestly, we’re just hoping that some of our junk will be useful to

someone else.  I actually gave away several items. (What?! I have a soft spot for bored kids dragged around by their moms)  The idea, however, is to simplify life–get rid of the items that seem to be cluttering up my thinking space.  And if I make a little money… well, then, all the better to spend at the DAV.

Wichita was actually featured on Oprah’s Road Trip last summer.  She played Bingo… and then hit the garage sales.  You can watch the video by following the link below:

What I found hysterical about Oprah’s stop was that the national spotlight on Wichita didn’t feature the things we’re really proud of.  I like bingo.  I like ham sandwiches, too.  But I just want to sigh over the bingo/garage sale stint.  Surely there were more unique things to do here.

If you’re in the area, you know, just passing through like Oprah, feel free to stop by our Fabulous Garage Sale.  Perhaps you’ll find a treasure of your own to carry back with you.  You can also see the facebook invite and pictures of great items here:!/event.php?eid=213777045331951

I’ll also be updating on Twitter when the big/popular items go.  Follow me @aprilinwichita