Monday, August 31, 2015

Bessemer Library's First Annual Local Author Extravaganza

The Author Book Signing Extravaganza at the beautiful Bessemer Public Library was wonderful! I met so many talented people! 

Here I am posing with my book, Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge, with Pascal the stuffed possum.

Thanks to the organizers of this event for a perfect day. Talented authors, great visitors, entertaining speakers, and great lunch served to the authors. This will be an annual event, and I look forward to recommending it next year to writers, readers, and library lovers.

And I talked to lots of people who told me about their possum experiences, encounters, and rescues!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Everyone's Talking About ... What to Read This Summer

Music, magic, and a good mystery! Woven around the discovery of a mysterious map found in the most unlikely place you can imagine, Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge tells a story as diverse and eccentric as the country folk who populate Moonlight Ridge and the small town of Eden, Alabama. This surprising book will touch your heart, make you laugh, and may make you want to sleep with one eye open.

Did you ever go doodle-bug hunting as a child? Ever hear strange and frightening noises or catch a fleeting glance of a dangerous animal prowling in the woods? Did you listen breathlessly to scary stories told late at night? 

Or maybe you have some eccentric ancestors, family members, or neighbors who make you laugh, rejoice, or cringe!

All this and more can be found in the music and magic of Moonlight Ridge!

    Willie T. and Lily Claire

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Art © Ramey Channell

Possum d'Amour

                    First Lightning Bug Night                    

Gato With Lightning Bugs

St. Leonard's Dragon

Claire and Camille

The Red Dress

The Secret

The Marriage of Robot & Otter

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Meet Me at the Music Room!

Join me at The Music Room
Saturday, May 30th 
 2:00 - 4:00
 for a book signing! 
I'll be reading from 
Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge 
and signing copies, 
and celebrating the newly issued
 2nd edition. 
Come join the fun! 

The Music Room 
1501 9th St.
Leeds, AL 35094

Thursday, April 30, 2015

National Poetry Month: A Conversation with Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman in Spite of Biographers
by Joanne Cage

I told you about myself. I never claimed to be perfect.
Those who dig at my life with suspicion
are punished with confirmation.
They do not diminish me;
they do not even diminish themselves.
They prove what I told you long ago:
they look for me in themselves,
and find themselves in me.  I am large,
I am the book writers, I am you.
I exist in the multitudes I love.
You are still welcome here.  Come,
and you will carry away as much and as good
as you have always carried away,
and I will not dry up, I will not be exhausted.

The size of your vessel will measure
how much of me you carry away.
So come on, bring your bucket or wheelbarrow–
Bring your begging bowl, cask or barrel–
Bring your bare hands, heart and brain,
and I will fill them up with large thoughts
on which you will ruminate like the great ruminants.
I will give you antidotes to fear and loneliness.

Read the books if you like, but I tell you again:
I am not there.  They have not pressed me between boards
nor bound me at the spine.
If you look for me in the books, you may lose me,
hate me, feel ashamed we met and talked together,
but you can never forget me.
As long as crowds mill around in city streets
and someone’s murdered in an alley;
while soldiers die and babies are born to women,
and men can dream like children
and believe in things the way they ought to be;
as long as dry leaves drift onto graves
and the world goes on as it always has,
you will remember the stories I told you
and read my letters written in the grass.      


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Celebrating National Poetry Month

Thanks to Barry Marks for allowing me to post this amazing poem. One of my favorites.

I Stop to Ponder the Stentorian Colors of the Day
by Barry Marks

The railing down from the deck
to the garbage cans was wobbly and
since you left I’ve certainly had
time on my hands,
so I unretired my rusty box saw,
found an old two-by-four
and some three penny nails,
and got to work.

A dog was barking, yelling his name
at the dog next door
Big Dog Who Swims! Big Dog Who Swims!
To which his neighbor barked back,
Dog Who Hates Cats! and
some nearby mutt yapped
Mama’s Favorite! Mama’s Favorite!

A cardinal was shouting
Beauty! A mockingbird said
the same, of course.

A chameleon shot out of the hedge,
stopped by my foot, and turning from green
to almost-brown, sneered
You can’t see me then skittered off.

The sky was whispering until
I looked up and it screamed,
to which the grass responded,
Joy is fragile!

And the saw
sang in my hands
and the wood?
Come on, now. An old two-by-four
with a bent nail in its heart?
Everyone knows dead wood
has nothing to say.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Half In, Half Out

I think every writer stands in the doorway of their prison. Half in, half out.  - Sherman Alexie

Elegy for the Forgotten Oldsmobile
by Adrian C. Louis

July 4th and all is Hell.
Outside my shuttered breath the streets bubble
with flame-loined kids in designer jeans
looking for people to rape or razor.
A madman covered with running sores
is on the street corner singing:
O beautiful for spacious skies…
This landscape is far too convenient
to be either real or metaphor.
In an alley behind a 7-11
a Black pimp dressed in Harris tweed
preaches fidelity to two pimply whores
whose skin is white though they aren’t quite.
And crosstown in the sane precincts
of Brown University where I added rage
to Cliff Notes and got two degrees
bearded scientists are stringing words
outside the language inside the guts of atoms
and I don’t know why I’ve come back to visit.

O Uncle Adrian! I’m in the reservation of my mind.
Chicken bones in a cardboard casket
meditate upon the linoleum floor.
Outside my flophouse door stewed
and sinister winos snore in a tragic chorus.

The snowstorm t.v. in the lobby’s their mother.
Outside my window on the jumper’s ledge
ice wraiths shiver and coat my last cans of Bud
though this is summer I don’t know why or where
the souls of Indian sinners fly.
Uncle Adrian, you died last week—cirrhosis.
I still have the photo of you in your Lovelock
letterman’s jacket—two white girls on your arms—
first team All-State halfback in ’45, ’46.

But nothing is static. I am in the reservation of
my mind. Embarrassed moths unravel my shorts
thread by thread asserting insectival lust.
I’m a naked locoweed in a city scene.
What are my options? Why am I back in this city?
When I sing of the American night my lungs billow
Camels astride hacking appeals for cessation.
My mother’s zippo inscribed: “Stewart Indian School—1941”
explodes in my hand in elegy to Dresden Antietam
and Wounded Knee and finally I have come to see
this mad fag nation is dying.

Our ancestors’ murderer is finally dying and I guess
I should be happy and dance with the spirit or project
my regret to my long-lost high school honey
but history has carried me to a place
where she has a daughter older than we were
when we first shared flesh.

She is the one who could not marry me
because of the dark-skin ways in my blood.
Love like that needs no elegy but because
of the baked-prick possibility of the flame lakes of Hell
I will give one last supper and sacrament
to the dying beast of need disguised as love
on deathrow inside my ribcage.
I have not forgotten the years of midnight hunger
when I could see how the past had guided me
and I cried and held the pillow, muddled
in the melodrama of the quite immature
but anyway, Uncle Adrian…
Here I am in the reservation of my mind
and silence settles forever
the vacancy of this cheap city room.
In the wine darkness my cigarette coal
tints my face with Geronimo’s rage
and I’m in the dry hills with a Winchester
waiting to shoot the lean, learned fools
who taught me to live-think in English.

Uncle Adrian…
to make a long night story short,
you promised to give me your Oldsmobile in 1962.
How come you didn’t?
I could have had some really good times in high school.