Saturday Songs with Vampires

Vampire Weekend-2-2

Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lots going on these last few weeks here in my world, including work on a new chapbook, and preparation for a live reading with the River Poets at the Bloomsburg Public Library this Thursday, September 1st.

I also went on a bit of a William Stafford reverie and recorded several lesser-known poems from his 1987 collection, An Oregon Message. I’ll share those with you this weekend as well.

Speaking of this weekend, I’m currently whipping a few dishes up in the kitchen, including pasta salad with peas, bacon and dill, and a batch of my new favorite, curried humus. All this is in preparation for a visit with my brother Jeff, who is visiting from Florida for his hundredth class reunion. Of course, he’d prefer I bring garlic ring bologna (a Pennsylvania-German thing), and a case of Genesee Light. But I’m sure he’ll get his fill of that somehow.

So while I am getting creative with green onions and mayo, Continue reading

A Ritual to Read to Each Other, by William Stafford

Poems for Stuart, Part 3

stuart and davidI mentioned in the previous two parts of this series that my dear friend Stuart came to America this summer to visit with his son. What a blessing to me that on the way to Frank Lloyd Wight’s “Falling Water,” they took the time to divert slightly north and meet me at a restaurant in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. There we had a lovely time over food and drink in an outdoor cafe on the sidewalk. It wasn’t part of the original plan to meet at a restaurant where I once worked, but such are the serendipities of life.

After dinner, we went to the river to fulfill a small side-goal of the visit. Stu had asked if during our time together this day, he could record me reading a poem that was meaningful to this period of my life, and so I came “prepared.” As it’s difficult for me to choose a favorite among the many poems that have spoken to me of late , I came with several possibilities in mind. Finally, I decided on this one.  Continue reading

Flashback Friday, Overvision

15sec Exposure of the lunar eclipse from my ba...

Lunar eclipse, Sydney. August 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is Flashback Friday still a thing? Are people still hashtagging this? Or has #ThrowbackThursday stolen the show? What can I say? I like flashing, and my throw is always a little late for whoever is up at bat on Thursday. So here’s a rewind to 2012 when I read my poem, “Overvision,” at Poetry Under the Paintings, Faustina’s Art Gallery in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

You probably need to crank up the volume for my video, but then adjust it back to listen to the gorgeous voice of Frances Uku, who does my poetry an immeasurable kindness in recording this piece also. What a lovely thing to do, and frankly, her reading is my favorite.  Continue reading

Birding – A Poem by Tina Mozelle Braziel

I’m officially in love with Poetry Breakfast.

Poetry Breakfast


Where lichen blooms green on the hickory.
Where an unblinking rabbit hunches

in his burrow. Where dried hydrangeas
and broom sedge rustle in the breeze.

I watched you carry an armload of oak
through the uphill brush and stack

the rounds in the wood cradle.
When the red hawk unfurled his cry

between bare branches, your eyes
lifted and your lips parted. I saw you

breathe in his longing. Watched it
unfold, flowering within your chest.

From Rooted by Thirst – A chapbook by Tina Mozelle Braziel.

About the Poet:
Tina Mozelle Braziel, a graduate of the University of Oregon MFA program in poetry, directs the Ada Long Creative Writing Workshop at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her poetry has or will appear in The Cincinnati Review, Southern Humanities Review, Tampa Review, and other journals. Her chapbook, Rooted by Thirst, was published by Porkbelly Press. She and her…

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Music Monday with Hamilton

A portrait of Alexander Hamilton shortly after...

A portrait of Alexander Hamilton shortly after the American Revolution (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s still a little time left for a Music Monday Feature, so for the four or five you out there who are not yet familiar with the Broadway hit Hamilton, this post is for you. I was talking to Jonathan, my middle son, last night, and he at least said he was “familiar with it.” Traditionally he’s had an aversion to anything that’s popular, but he’s learned as he’s aged that sometimes popularity happens because of a combination of excellence and timely cultural relevance. Okay, so he didn’t say that; I did, but I can see him nodding his head.

I’m not sure what I have to offer when it comes to informing you about the musical that won 11 Tony Awards this year. You’ve probably already seen the interviews and behind-the-scenes videos with creator and star, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and if you haven’t, you can easily look them up, or follow the suggested links from the video below on YouTube. What I can share with you is how this musical has affected me, even without seeing it.

I’ve watched only clips, but I’ve been listening to the soundtrack, a gift from a lovely friend and co-worker in the children’s department at the main branch of our library downtown. Now as I drive through town with the windows down I look and sound like I think I’m a real bad ass, when alas, I’m just the gay, white male stereotype, listening to Broadway musicals on my stereo.  Continue reading