January 2020
"grace" - 1/24/20
If I do not choose to capitalize your name tonight
Let it be because you are a part of a special coven
Of creative witches I know to have deemed themselves simarly stylized
And in my affection for you, as with ani (lowercase) d. 
Or the great e.e. I know my faith in your reverence 
Of beautiful art is soul-secure
I know this not because your voice is beautiful (which of course it is)
Nor because so many others adore you (as they do)
Neither am I sure of your worthiness from your work ethic alone (though it is laudible)
I could not either have been certain purely upon the basis of reputation,
Recommendation, inspiration or fascination
(Though in scintillating conversation you surely are likely to excel)
If I do not choose to frame your photo tonight
Let it be because you are part of a special order
Of anti-bitches I've been invited to dream alongside ideas into a paradigm
And in my protection of your talent, as with Loretta
Or the great Patsy I know instinct runs parallel 
To your compassionate heart still but not unduly pure
I share this not because your mission is altruism (which of course it's rarely)
Nor because so many others admire you (as they do rightfully)
Neither am I sure of your ambition from your admission alone (though it is palpable)
I could not either have been certain solely on the basis of marketability, 
Package-ability, accessibility or sensibility
(Though in popularity you surely are potentially a winner)
I knew because like your name, you are gracious as well as wise, 
Humble as well as strong, generous as well as hungry for truth
Like your name you offer before being asked, 
Ask a million questions when you do not know, 
Offer solutions even when they are not required 
And pave pathways in your own snow
For all of these reasons and more, 
I have committed to support you like a marriage of the minds, 
In which both our wings align to help the Goddess scale new heights
Like a carriage in the dark your courage and resourcefulness
Made all the more fortified 
By our collective reading of the stars

“Imminent” - 1/7/20

The threat of war is always there
The thread of disease constant
The threatening looks of angry parents
Eyes every child fears

The threat of failure in all realms
Cripples the most insightful
Temporal and inconstant woes
Wield might of crushing armies

The threat of violence soul-obscures
The thread of peace falls dormant
Its frozen cobweb consciousness
Fascistically abandoned

The threat of cynicism’s clutch
A hawkish machination
Separation replaces touch
Distance gives cruelty carte blanche

The rules of war are mystifying
The tools of war are petrifying
The ruling books of angry leaders
Penned in borrowed tears

The threat of insurrection flares
Landmines of insecurity
Suppression is the saddest blow
Every sentient endures


"Pulpit" - 1/6/20

It is difficult to know sometimes
From the pulpit of "entertainment"
How much to let on / let in

Fires consume continents, wars consume regions
Friends consumed with mothers and fathers, lost
What can we do, when we are gathered

This few of us, on a Sabbath
At the edge of a city taut
Fraught with its own tragedy

Reviewing my potential set-list tonight
"This Darkness", "Bravery's On Fire"
I couldn't quite do it

Anticipating if I sang publicly what I
Mourn privately, no holds barred
Rivers would flow

"Release show" is an oxymoron
Releasing cannot be done for show
Releasing comes from letting go

Sometimes, as Joy confided tonight
"Playing music is so hard"
But not playing is not an option

So I will rest my eyes
Grateful for the opportunity
To gather generous listeners

To the palm of my heart
Hopefully, hope comes through
Even when life cannot imitate art

"Amplifier" - 1/2/20
I was never someone who inherently loved singing
I was electrified by sharing ideas, amplifying uplift
Until I revelled in the virtues of touring, the mystical
Repetition-redemption derived from doing more 
Than the occasional one-off 
I never really envisioned voicing my own stories
As a kid an early goal was hit songs on the radio
But the conundrum was I didn't trust anyone else
To deliver messages I was secretly encoding
Fact is I might not be doing what I'm doing but for a
Collision course with the infamous Jenny Hillis
Jenny was popular and I was a transfer from another
School where visciousness abounded. I'd begged for
Freedom from inane competition for quixotic status
In favor of somewhere I could start fresh as myself
Jenny liked my songs but was also honest
A non-musician she nonetheless had the A&R chops
At 11 to turn me on to a crucial pile of cassettes:
Carole King, James Taylor, Bread, The Doors, Cat Stevens
(She also supplied The Dead but that never stuck)
Until then my influences essentially spanned
Classical, Broadway, Hebrew School and Top 40
Suddenly I envisioned a potential scaling the walls
Of angstful youth's melodic insurrection
A mission encompassed by Jenny's collection
As for singing, I never got into chorus but I also
Never felt that should sway me from my newfound
Professional goal of expression-ambassador
Birds sing to give voice to the delight of life
Great voices abound and I've never been silent or still
In spite of my own questionable piloting potential
Tonight I witnessed gloriously gifted opera singers
Effortlessly emote their passions impromptu
At a soiree celebrating a loved-one's birthday
Tuchus-kicked, humbled, nonetheless I reflect
I'm still not someone who inherently loves singing
What electrifies me is sharing ideas, amplifying uplift
Still I revel in the virtues of touring, the mystical
Repetition-redemption derived from doing more 
Than the occasional one-off 
I have no idea what happened to my friend
Who embraced me as the nerdy new girl
Even though she was cool, and impossibly beautiful
But tonight it occurs to me that she deserves a lyric
Better than one I wrote for her at 11, "Jenny's Friendship"