November 2022

"#RIPIreneCara" - 11/26/22

Amazing, multi-talented, groundbreaking goddess
Awards bestowed for contributions to iconic "Fame"
Repeat success with irrepressible "Flashdance" theme
Oscar-winning Songwriter, pianist, actress, producer
Industry outsider bucking Majors unbeknownst
Unbridled lioness-artist-iconoclast ahead of her time

Beauty, brains, talent - long underappreciated imho.
Watched original film "Fame" again, seminal cinema
Ranks up there with "Coal Miner's Daughter" and
"The Buddy Holly Story" inspiration to countless
TV show it lead to an unabashed weekly highlight
Gravity defying Leroy and Debbie Allen both so brilliant

My life has been so connected to that show/film.
The character Bruno who did electronic music made
Me wanna play the synthesizer. A (rare, on screen)
Gay character taught me what all that meant and how
The arts were a place where private pain-isolation
Could transmute into transcendent self-expression.

The music Irene Cara sang/played so beautifully
Made me know exactly what I wanted to be
When I grew up (or rather, effective immediately).
When they used "Too Many Women" in the remake
The main reason it meant so much was because of
Irene Cara how impressive it had always been to me

Grammy winning, sang, wrote, performed, produced
Along with being an actor/dancer at such a high level.
She literally inspired generations of young artists
To be striving, polymath performers, including me.
Magic is a word reserved for otherworldly, inexplicable
Phenomena; your gifts resplendent, soul's ephemera

Birthday Prayer

"Birthday Prayer"
One must celebrate life in all its mysterious, miraculous, gossamer glory!
Nonetheless, flames of misplaced anger burn lives
Into oblivion; cruelty's questions remain unanswered
Violence is an obelisk piercing heaven's gaze
Remembrances instantaneous shock's depths ablaze

On this, my grateful birthday, I know with every cell
In my gasping, grasping entropy I am exactly like you
Five lives lost to shots fired by G-d knows who
I think of your mothers and fathers insta-mourning
Loved ones inevitably unhinged as balance rivals
Imbalance in all unwieldy, human/inhumane things

Oh let my soul be a vessel for change somehow
Wishing on thin candles I know my time is limited
Not by choices I may strive to make but by luck's
Fate forsaken longing more beautiful amens overcome
By hate trampled by misfortune may you rest easier
Among angels may peace embrace your spirits, unfurled

"Medicine" - 11/9/22
Tomorrow is a big day for me. I have my annual appointment at Memorial
Sloan Kettering (MSK), where I received 2/3 of my treatment for uterine
cancer in 2018. Hard to believe that was 4 years ago...
Over the past couple years I've lost quite a few friends and loved ones - an
ex-boyfriend, a business manager, a musical friend with the same type of
malignancy I had, a favorite Aunt among others - to various illnesses (some
cancer, some Covid) and so inevitably my perspective on health and healing
has shifted a lot since the first few of these high-pressure followups.
I used to worry so much, not be able to sleep, loathe reentering the same
elevator that took me to so many radiation and chemo appointments and
experience a kind of PTSD but now I carry all of this loss with me almost like
an armour of appreciation and aptitude as I've long practiced the art of
gratitude to the point where the preciousness of all my days ensuing my
diagnosis has far outweighed the worry, fear, and myriad manifestations of
I have always tried to make the "night before" and "the day of" as much of a
meditation as possible. I do things I don't ordinarily do - eat a favorite meal,
take a bath, get extra sleep - but tonight I am reflecting on friendship and
how, just a few hours after I go for these examinations I will be swapping
songs at a folk music conference with some of my very favorite people, whose
talent and inspired creativity I firmly believe are the best antidote to my own
self-absorption (however warranted in this extended moment).
We will approach each other gingerly - perhaps blowing kisses, masked and
sanitizing, but nonetheless intent on capturing the essence of what life is all
about in so many lyrics and melodies: empathy, humanity, vulnerability,
serenity, insanity, divinity, sobriety, levity, and on and on the blood flowing
from our voices to our hearts and singing, telepathically, to the stars.
What a perfect way to wait for news - listening and learning and singing life's
cues to love and to distance oneself from what's toxic; to heal and take care
of each other oh yes I will be tired and fragile but toughened from years of
pretending I'm totally fine and you, my folk family, brave like no other, will
beautifully whisper to me "rise and rhyme!"