I’m down about it, too, Evan Dando…

Y’ever have one of those weeks where you want to cry and throw things and escape the hum-drum life filled with financial worries (I did just complete my MFA, after all…yikes), a living room filled with the aftermath of your stressed out explosion (poetry books, to-do lists, the immobile Electrolux)?

There’s a cure for that chaos and its name is: The Lemonheads. I know that I have written a blog about the Lemonheads before, however, it cannot be repeated enough how excellent they are.

I love the album It’s a Shame About Ray, but Come On, Feel the Lemonheads is an album that will dance out of your sorrows. I traded a bad hair day for headphones this morning and was grateful for the renewed bond I felt with Evan Dando and Juliana Hatfield.

“Into Your Arms” is probably about their relationship–after all, underneath the title track it proclaims “Written for Juliana Hatfield.” Dando sings, “I know a place where I can go, when I’m alone…into your arm, oo-whoa-ooo, into your arms, I can go.”

Well, it appears that my new hobby is being wretchedly single but a song like this transcends earthly love and devotion. My rock has always been music, and this morning as I drew blue eyeliner crescents underneath my eyes, I dedicated this song to music.

The greatest love affair of my life thus far has been with music. There is no more forgiving, welcoming, healing partner in the world than that. I’ve always been self-conscious of singing aloud while I have headphones on but today I let it fly, pretending that I could be Juliana Hatfield, collaborating with a talented male musician on an album fans will appreciate almost 20 years later.

I want to be to someone what Juliana Hatfield’s voice is to Evan Dando’s. Better still, I want to meet someone that gets as excited about music as I do. In every day, in every conversation, music is present, for me. The timbre of a voice, the piped-in radio at Rite-Aid, the few words that will have me singing a song, much like my mom does, in the middle of a conversation…

I was thinking about a recent rejection of my work (it seems that as much as I love to write, the right people haven’t tuned into me yet) and dove to the CD rack to hear “The Great Big No.” Somehow, I knew hearing the wit and honey of Dando’s voice and Juliana’s harmonies would set my path straight again.

“Patience is like bread I say, I ran of out that yesterday.” But I’ve still got sunshine. It’s about time.

Be well, have a great day, and come on, feel the Lemonheads why don’t you?




My literary magazine is available online now…

Word Fountain literary magazine is now available!
Posted on December 1, 2011
Issue No. 5 of Word Fountain (the literary magazine that I manage) can now be accessed on line through Word Fountain’s blog:


Hard copies are available through the library. Contact me at: wordfountain@osterhout.lib.pa.us if you would like some mailed to you.

Be well and keep writing!


The Letter

This post is all about songs that involve the mention of something near and dear to me, in this time of rampant technology. Please note: the author of this post is aware of the irony of using technology to rave about old-fashioned communication.

Who doesn’t love getting personal “snail mail?” Handwritten expressions carry more weight because they mean that you took the time to sit down, relax and invest thought in someone you care about.

My friend, Cathy, writes at least seven of her friends one and sometimes two cards each every week, even when she is under the weather. We’ve decided to celebrate National Letter Writing Day (Monday, November 28, 2011) with a program about postal mail at our work place.

Thinking of mail, of course, I’ve been singing the Box Tops “The Letter” for a matter of days now, when it occurred to me to ask for feedback from my readers. I will leave a few examples here but please feel free to post your own. It is my hope that, before the program, Cathy and I will create a mixed CD of songs relating to the value of postal communication.

Here are a few of my favorites, followed by a list of suggestions. I’d like to see yours.

And off we go:

The Box Tops “The Letter.” This was Alex Chilton’s (God rest his spirit) first debut with his rough and rich vocals.

“Please Read the Letter” Robert Plant and Alison Kraus,

“Letter to Elise” The Cure

“The Letter” Natalie Merchant

Take a Letter Maria R. B. Greaves

Love Letters in the Sand (Patsy Cline or Pat Boone or Gene Austin.)

Sealed with a Kiss The Four Voices

Just a Song Before I Go Crosby Still and Nash

Rock and write on!

“Postally” yours,


P.S. By the way, I really, really love The Cure.

“Sing me a real song…sing me a real, real soooong…”

Well, the subject line comes from Mother Love Bone. In my opinion, one of the greatest but sadly, short-lived bands of the early 90s. What I really wanted to talk about was songs that are like friends. You know what I mean. There’s one artist to whom you, while at a stoplight, say, “That’s damn right!” Or “Sing it to me, Paul.” Or, “I understand, Thom Yorke.”

For me, this is usually…Paul Westerberg. Yep. I bet you swore your piggy bank savings I’d say Eddie Vedder. Eddie has healed me, defined my life, etc. But whenever I’m in a funk, or just feel like some raw, good old-fashioned truth-telling, it’s to Mr. Westerberg that I turn. My induction to the Replacements was actually MORE than a decade after I was taken with Paul Westerberg. I fell in love with his solo stuff first, and it is, though I love the Replacements, my favorite.

Whenever he’s in the car next to me, I feel like there’s a friend there, telling me all about his bad day or crazy musings. I know it sounds corny but lately the lyrics have been speaking great volumes to me. Perhaps it is time to join the land of the living more. It always happens like this. I go through phases were all I do is write, work, read for school and sleep. Sometimes I can’t even keep my house clean. I forget what people’s voices sound like. But Paul brought me out of that this week and I actually went to see a good friend who served me a cup of tea. In my “I have to do it all myself” world, that was hella nice. (Thanks, Jenny.) Or maybe it’s when Amy says she’s working on a new work of fiction.

And I think, wow, that’s great. And damn, I miss fiction. But what I need to do more is create the chapbook. It is here where I stumble when I’m “achin’ to be.” Now that I’ve put my poet pants back on (with a lot of help from my creative community) I think, busy as I am, that I should write a poem a week at least. I can do more than that, but I want to let it sit, edit it, and make it good. Keep me honest. And, enjoy some Paul Westerberg on the house. I hear he’s looking for some new friends, too…

And a song, that I LOVE, written and recorded while there was, in fact, a frozen pizza in the oven…on a Friday night…
But this is the live version. Go buy Besterberg, the best of Paul Westerberg to hear the original…

And, if you’re feeling down, Paul understands. “Just add water I’m disappointed.”

But I hope you’re not disappointed tonight.
Be well, rock on, and cherish every moment,