Talking with Crickets again…

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July 12, 2017 at 4:10 am Leave a comment

Logged in after resetting my password to read this blog…

It is a delicate thing, this gathering of spirits, this communal bloodletting on paper. It takes a degree of trust… in yourself, in the kindness of others, in the words that spill from the pen. That is the ultimate trusting – in the words. That they know the way as they eke out the DNA […]

via Writing Workshop with Wind — Deborah Edler Brown

July 12, 2017 at 3:10 am Leave a comment

Late night ramblings home alone with crickets

Testing 1, 2, 3. Can you hear me now?

June 11, 2017 at 4:21 am 1 comment

I voted early

…and before I did I had conversations with Gordon Smith and Holly Jones personally for more than three minutes. The rest of the people on the blue primary ballot I voted for based on hear say from friends and research on the internet. If you haven’t voted yet, please do so based on the information between now and then that informs you of the people who share your values and opinions to represent you. Please don’t get caught in the razzle dazzle show…

March 15, 2016 at 3:00 am Leave a comment

Moving on

Just in case you wandered by here unaware, this blog has migrated back to it’s original home at jazzandpoetry.com as of yesterday. Come on by the new/old space and say hello. Sorry for the confusion, but I just couldn’t see a reason to keep two separate blogs anymore.

February 23, 2010 at 4:07 am Leave a comment

Bunny Up

What I didn’t know when I wrote the blog “Fire” was that roughly 16.5 hours later Gabrielle would leave her body to rest on this earth and the fire she shared in the hearts of the many people she touched in her time on this planet. It’s been over a week now and I still haven’t found the words to express how that felt or what it meant to have a friend like her in my life, but I’m going to make an attempt.

What I did know that night was that we had exchanged text messages about 8 hours earlier and she insisted I wait to send her tracks from the demo she challenged me to create until I had the final polished CD to mail her. I knew I was up against a deadline when I’d left her in Austin at the ER at midnight January 9. However, she said with a ;), she knew I was excited, but it would be worth the wait. I wonder if she knew she would be gone, but had already heard the melodies drifting into her dreams the same way I felt her fire that day spinning my world through a barrage of phone calls into a new direction.

I met Gabrielle in the swirl of the Seattle Poetry scene. Before she was multimediagrl she was the mothership on my email and chat lists. When I left Seattle to tour with Poetry Alive! Gabrielle jumped on board the Slam committee with Allison Durazzi and Paula Friedrich to make my dream of a National Poetry Slam in Seattle become a reality. She was always the one with the fire to get things done.

Unlike my older relatives who have left this world, Gabrielle was someone I actually lived with in the crazy condo on First Hill lovingly referred to as the Purple Palace. I don’t share space well with other people, as anyone who has lived with me can tell you, but we had a lot of fun together. The summer of 1998 we went out nearly every night I was in town. Always dressed in something that sparkled, we’d find our way to the OK Hotel first to finish painting our nails with glitter over one of Raymond Kempe’s Bloody Marys and watch who came in before it was too crowded to see anything but the performers lit up on stage. We shared a passion for cheering on our favorite musicians and poets. We also shared scars from loving those who knew how to use, but not how to feed, a muse. Cat O’Sullivan and Ciro Viamontes joined us in the healing process that summer which culminated in spending an entire day building a sweat lodge in order to cleanse ourselves of baggage. That’s powerful medicine that can only be explained through experience.

Even after I sold the Purple Palace to move to Asheville, NC we kept in contact regularly. I kept up to date with the National Slam community vicariously through her. She would brainstorm career moves with me as she left Seattle to return to Buffalo and eventually relocated to the heart of her Slam Family in Austin.

Where ever my wounded heart feared to tread she would boldly go to make things right. We shared the heartache of flying across the country to make real a long distance relationship only to discover the girlfriend at home. We also shared the belief that the creative work was more important that the failed attempt at true love and at least one of us could salvage that at times. She was better at doing that even to the end with the most recent musician/roommate to turn my world upside down. When everything stopped working, Gabrielle was there encouraging each of us back on our feet toward success rather than self destruction. Conveniently, she only had to deal with one of us in town visiting her at a time.

Most importantly, she had a great sense of the big picture. My last days visiting with her included being the sounding board. She was mapping out a master plan for providing a thriving framework for the tribes of artists she so dearly loved. It leaves me feeling that she didn’t so much leave us behind. She simply needed to escape the body worn down by living enough for three people each day so that her spirit could stretch to reach us all.

Gabrielle Boulaine

Known for hosting the Erotica Slam at Nationals in her sequined dress with bunny ears, Bunny Up became Gabrielle’s code when the pain was bad. In her last days, the widespread love of her extended family became obvious in the bunnification of facebook profile pictures. When she left us, the network of all that love suddenly felt like a fragile spider’s web in a wind storm. She laid out the road map though and gave us the code. Bunny Up. Love something, even if you have to start with learning to love yourself.

February 8, 2010 at 3:56 am Leave a comment

Fire

See the flames alight in my hands
radiating out from my heart
holding Gabrielle’s words
singing the song of creation?

Hop to it,
lift up your head
open your mouth
speak love
& live.

I love you,
wendi

p.s. In the mid 1990’s I was fortunate to spend a few years singing with Shades of Praise. I’ve had a version of “Fire (shut up in my bones)” that our director Cora Jackson taught us in my head this evening. I couldn’t find that for you to hear, but I can recommend her first album to you here: Original Praise.

Here are a few other things I found along the way to share:

Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”

Jeremiah 29:10-11, “This is what the LORD says: ‘When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

January 29, 2010 at 1:42 am 2 comments

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