Thursday, April 11, 2013


So, as most of my readers know, I'm rather artsy.  That being said, I wrote a short play called "Antique."  And while writing the play is awesome, I have the opportunity to bring "Antique" to life on the stage at the New Play Development Workshop in Orlando this summer, which is infinitely more awesome than simply writing a play that no one will see.  I'm really excited about this and I hope that you are also.  However, there's a catch... I mean, isn't there always a catch?  So, getting myself and my play out to Orlando and finding lodging during Orlando's peak tourist season is expensive.  As a result, I need help raising the money to get to the New Play Development Workshop, to afford lodging in Orlando, and to pay the other costs associated with seeing "Antique" staged.  In order to raise these much needed funds, I have created a kickstarter project, which you can view here:

Please, if you are able to donate money toward my project, do so.  You will be part of the birth of this new play onto the stage, you'll be supporting the arts, and that's something that you can feel good about.  And if feeling good about helping this play get to the New Play Development Workshop isn't enough for you, I'm also offering some really great rewards for people who donate money to my kickstarter project.  My fundraiser expires in 18 days and I still need to raise $960 in order to meet my goal.  (Also, I should mention that kickstarter is an all-or-nothing venture.  If I do not succeed in raising my goal amount, I do not receive any of the money pledged to my project.)

So this is it.  Here I am, asking you to please go look at my kickstarter project and pledge money to this project if you feel so inclined.  Help me bring "Antique" to life on the stage.  I promise you won't regret it.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Fragments of Love

In late 2010, I put out a call on my blog, The (Word) Inferno, for artistic contributions for THE LOVE PROJECT, a project that I have yet to finish. Once the blog entry was posted, I proceeded to advertise my project on twitter, my username being @StarOfSavannah, by linking my tweets back to my blog entry on THE LOVE PROJECT. The call was answered by writers, artists, poets, musicians, students, business people, teachers, and many others from around the world. While the project is far from complete, this blog entry offers fragments that will be included in the final version of THE LOVE PROJECT.

What is love?

How do you define it?

Below are original writings, videos, and artworks created by people from around the world to reflect their understanding of love.

OneWomanRunning, @owr, an avid reader, writer, and chronicler of her days in England, submitted her blog post, "A Few Little Thoughts on Love."

Rich, @graffitipoet, a poet from Canada, sent his blog entry, "Love is Like Wii Boxing."

Michael Sanders, @MDwightMichael, a former Performance Studies student at LSU, offered this poem: "Return to Sender."

Silia Hatzi, @SJHatzi, a Greek poetess and entrepreneur, offered this bit of micro-poetry, which links to her video, "Dandelion Wish."

Paul Nadolny, @OddlyStarry, a dreamer and star gazer situated in the Northeastern United States, offered his untitled micro-poem.

Miriam Claire, @MiriDunn, a Canadian poetess offered a poem comprised of many smaller poems she had tweeted in her blog post, "The Love Project."

Katherine Downey, @kado56, an Irish writer, artist, and lexicographer, provided these beautiful images:

Navin Sasikumar, @NavinSasikumar, an witty writer from India who is currently living in Pennsylvania while working on his Master's degree, offered a blog post titled "A Little Thing Called Love."

Nancy Boozeneck, @MaltaGoddess, a lover of love from Malta, offered this tweet.

Osmar Jardim, @OsmarJardim, a humorous wordsmith from Brazil, offered this tweet.

John Nixon, @TheSupercargo, a writer, illustrator, and (ex)teacher in Sweden, offered his blog entry, "Together in Cordoba."

And my perception of love, well, here it is:

And here...

And here...

So there you have it, a few of the fragments of what will eventually be THE LOVE PROJECT. If you would like to contribute to THE LOVE PROJECT, please see my original post detailing the requirements of contribution and then submit your entry to me @StarOfSavannah. I will gather submissions through May 30, 2012, so if you missed the submission deadline the first time around, you have a second chance to submit. I hope to assemble THE LOVE PROJECT into its final form by the end of the summer.

Thank you, and remember, "All you need is love. Love is all you need" (The Beatles).

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Only breathing in thick air and listening for signs of life,
Stymied flowers force their blooms underground, retreating from
The silence of the torrential rains, too loud to make a sound.
Repairing facades of clapboard houses with hot glue and tissue paper
As though this was a reasonable solution to our problems, while
Comprehending the inadequacies of it all and acknowledging the
Inequities of this life and of your conceptions of kindness.
Symphonies of melancholy play to the tempo of my beating heart as it
Measures out the loneliness found in lost flowers and broken houses.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Time Traveller

He stood there looking tired, dirty, and strung out. His pupils were black pin-pricks located at the center of hazy eyes, an indication that he was back on the pills. We all knew the signs, but when each one of us is confronted by every single red flag, we tend to look the other way because sometimes it's just easier to ignore the facts. His tattered shirt was not a fashion statement, but rather a symbol of his status, or lack thereof. He was a twenty-seven year old man who had spent the last decade of his life working in kitchens, learning the trade of restaurant cooks. And he was good at it, except when he was high, which these days seemed to be all of the time.

Someone somewhere in the kitchen called out for some couscous. It never appeared though. Several minutes passed by and another person called out for the couscous. More minutes passed by. He just kept standing there staring at the nothingness, which seemed to consume his field of vision. He was present, but not accounted for.

"Where's my goddamn couscous?" a server shouted.

Finally, he moved, though his movements were sluggish and mechanical. He pulled a plate off of the top of the line and threw it in front of him. Next, he dumped a dish of microwaved couscous onto the plate and even as it began to fall apart, losing its form, he never once seemed interested in the work that he was performing. He handed over the plate of couscous, which lacked any meaningful presentation and then moved to put another dish of couscous into the microwave, immediately forgetting that mere seconds earlier he had completed this very task.

Hours later he claimed to have blacked out. His memory of the last 4 hours, he said, was gone. He had not been at work in the kitchen. Instead, he had been traveling through time and space, searching astral planes for a meaningful existence. His search had proven to be fruitless, much to his dismay. He told us nothing about the other wheres and whens of his travels, which led all of us to believe that he was lying to us. We believed, as we always had, that he had simply been too high to function normally. After all, who believes a junkie when he says that he is a time traveller? More to the point, who believes anyone who claims to be able to dance across time and space? Certainly none of us would profess to give such a generous benefit of the doubt to anyone who could not provide us with undeniable evidence in support of their claim.

Some hours later as I was sitting at the bar feeling sorry for myself he sat down beside me. Minutes passed in silence. I didn't even bother acknowledging his presence because I would have been obligated to speak to him about his drug addiction and I was, quite frankly, too tied up in my own problems to want to take time out of my day for him. It is selfish, I know. As I considered standing up and wandering around the building in search of a kindred soul, he turned his head and looked at me. It was growing increasingly harder to ignore his presence, and so I returned his gaze.

"I met the other you," he said.

"The other me?" I smirked incredulously.

He nodded.

"You mean like a doppelganger?" I asked.

He laughed a hard laugh. It sounded like wind blowing over dried reeds on a steely grey day in November. I hadn't been expecting it and it took me by surprise.

"No, it was you. There are a lot of other yous, but I only met one of them. You are a lot alike."

"This is absurd! There is not another me out there."

"Yes, there is. I met her when I was travelling today. You'd like her, I think. She doesn't wallow in her self-loathing," he said quietly.

"What?!" I was offended.

He didn't say anything in response, and so after few seconds passed I continued to speak to him, "I don't wallow in self-loathing. And I don't think there is another me out there. I think you are insane. Either that, or you are high. So which is it?"

He smiled, "Neither."

"Whatever!" I said as I moved to leave.

"I knew I shouldn't have told you," he said shaking his head.

"Lay off the drugs."

"Please, wait!" he implored me. Something in his voice was heartbreaking. It was as though every loneliness in the world had surfaced in those two words and he offered all of it up in his plea. How could I say no? So I turned around and faced him.

"What?" I asked.

"He's not worth your time. You know that he isn't. So does he. You're better than that."

"Who?" I asked.

"You know who I'm talking about. She told me about him. He's an image, a character. You've taken his best qualities and amplified them in your image of him and you've managed to ignore everything else about him, but he's a real person and he's more than the sum of his parts. You're doing him a disservice and you're doing a disservice to yourself, too. You don't respect him. If you did, you couldn't break him into parts and pieces. You'd want all of him. And he doesn't respect you."

"I don't know what you're talking about," I lied. I didn't want to admit that he was right. Further, I was puzzled by his knowledge of this particularly troubled relationship in my life.

"He lies to you. He isn't interested in you in the long run. All he wants are the bragging rights to that notch in his bedpost and once he's secured those bragging rights, he'll be gone. You're a novelty to him, nothing more."

"You don't know what you're talking about," I told him indignantly.

"What are you doing with him? At twenty-one he's no better than a child," he pressed.

"I'm not that far removed from twenty-one."

"Don't kid yourself. You are. And you've been an adult for much longer than you've been a child. You know better than this. She, the other you, told me to remind you of this before you waste anymore of your time and affection on him. He doesn't deserve you."

I didn't know what to say, so I just stared at him as the anxiety of this conversation twisted by stomach into knots.

"Has he ever taken you out to dinner? A movie? A real date? Does he call you just to hear your voice?" he asked.


"Does he lie to you?"


"And you know it, but you just let it happen."




"That's not good enough. Why?"

I didn't want to continue this conversation with him. I felt like I was following him down the rabbit hole and I was afraid of what I'd find there. I stood up and turned my back to him. Even as I inhaled deeply, I felt the defeat creep into my spine, twisting it ever so slightly. Everything felt heavier. I was on the brink of acknowledging my own worthlessness as I took a step forward.

"She told me to tell you that someday you'll be loved. Don't feel worthless, because you aren't," he said almost tenderly.

I stopped, one foot in front of the other, not turning around, "And how does she know all of this?"

"She's you in a decade. And she's happy now. You'll be happy someday, too."

I smiled at the thought of my future self being happy. Maybe he was high. Or maybe he was insane. Or maybe he was telling the truth. It no longer mattered to me whether this was the truth or a fantasy. I had hope that someday I would be happy. I walked away from him in silence, never bothering to turn around.

The next day at work we were informed that he had passed away in the night from a suspected drug overdose. Sometimes I entertain the briefest of thoughts that he isn't dead, but that instead, he is dancing across time and space, enjoying another where or when where he is happy, too.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Where is my representation?

So, I'm thinking about the Boston Tea Party. If I remember correctly, the slogan was, "No taxation without representation," or something like that, and by "something like that," I mean to say that this was most certainly the slogan. No taxation without representation. I'll say it again. No taxation without representation! And now I'm wondering about representation. Sure, there are senators and representatives from my state, and sure, I get a vote, but I wonder, who is really, and I do mean really, representing me? I mean, who is representing me as a grad student living in Louisiana at the poverty line? Who is representing me as a woman who was born in rural Pennsylvania? Who is representing me as an artist who sees beauty in everything, while still knowing that all beauty is subjective? Really, who is representing me? Those people in Congress are so far removed from me and my life that they might as well be the characters in a fairy tale. And the President, well, I definitely don't think he can relate to me in the way that I would like to be related to. And here's the thing: I can write letters to these people, my representatives, until my hands cramp up, but the only people who will likely read those letters are over-worked and under-paid interns. And these interns will likely throw my letters away as soon as they have managed to type my address onto a form letter thanking me for my initial letter. And this form letter will then be mailed to me post haste (or not). But really, who cares about me? About what I want? Who is standing up for me on Capitol Hill saying, "Well, there's this woman named Savannah who lives in Louisiana, but was originally from rural Pennsylvania. Did you know that she knows how to milk cows? Anyway, she's an artist and a graduate student and she's living at the poverty line. She's just struggling to get by. And so, as we consider this debt deal, let's keep in mind how our decisions might affect her life. Will she be able to continue going to school if we do away with subsidized stafford loans for graduate students? Or will this put her in a position where the debt of graduate school buries her? We don't want to see her default on her loans, or anything. So, while we consider this, can we keep her in mind? Thanks." But really, I know that there is no one on Capitol Hill who is standing up for me. And so I guess now I'm wondering, is this just another case of taxation without representation? And if it is, what can I do to be better represented?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

As I drove

It has been raining off and on for days now, and so there is a perpetual fine mist about the air. I hadn't noticed the mist until I was driving back to my apartment sometime just after midnight tonight. I rolled down my driver's side window to let the Louisiana night into my car. The muggy air slid over my face like a wet, warm blanket. The roads were empty except for roadkill and the occasional car, and in complete honesty, I was happy for it. My mind was free to wander as I drove. It wasn't until I reached Antioch Road that I realized that the air was full of visible water vapor. My lonely car drove down the road, dodging the muffled halos of light from street lamps that lined the nearly straight piece of pavement. A beautiful, whitewashed fence stood guard over open fields that stretched into the darkness of the night. Something about this place, this road, these muted orbs of light, this proud fence, made me feel like I had fallen asleep and woken up within a dream. It was so beautiful that I had trouble believing that such a place existed in real life. Even more interesting was the way that driving down this stretch of road made me feel as though I was the only soul on Earth, as though no one else existed and I had found the Garden of Eden. At the same time, I felt connected to this place, like I was reliving a memory. It was a strange experience to feel as though I was in a dream, while simultaneously feeling as though I was experiencing deja vu, as though I'd been here before. And for just a second, that strangeness made the world a magical place full of merging potentials and memories.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Old Poetry That Should Win Me The Award For Disturbingly High Amounts of Post-Teen Angst

Silence for J. Alfred Prufrock

From the oil slick ocean
To the dark pebble beach
The mermaids, they watched
Singing each to each
When along came the man
They despised above all others
Stumbling distantly down the beach
Dragging a woman behind him.
The mermaids grew quiet
Watching with somber disdain
As J. Alfred Prufrock shook the woman
Who cried out in pain
Then through the yellow fog of the October night
The shining gold orb, like a dead man’s dull eye
Appeared from J. Alfred’s pocket, his faithful watch and chain
As though holding time could possibly save his life.

These mermaids, they watch him with muted disdain
As J. Alfred replaces his watch and his chain.

Then frantic and panicked he pulls up a sleeve
Checking the time pieces on each arm
Four by four
Then sounds the alarm:
Time is running out!
Does he dare to eat a peach?

Thirty-four women he’s brought to their sea.
All of them he fears.
All of them he needs.
Each woman comes from the dark London streets,
From dirtied, wooden shacks
Where frescos by Michelangelo are tick marks on walls
Counting lustful engagements.
Tonight he won’t be alone
For time is running out!

He must slash their throats,
Soft flesh surrounds the gaping wound,
As they gurgle and tremble
Beneath the bleeding moon.
Then to the sea he tosses
The bodies, still murmuring with life
And he watches gleefully as the sea
Steals their last breath.

Their lives to save his own.
No, tonight… tonight he won’t be alone.

“What pollution is this?”
The mermaids, they screech
As from tar black waters
They pull the pit of his peach.

In his loneliest nights, J. Alfred implores them
To sing him a song,
But the mermaids deny him
Casting their angry eyes across the sea.
So he sings to himself,
Crooning songs of the utmost despair,
His anthems of drowning, death and decay
Like the Devil’s soul, bared
Touch the ears of the mermaids
Like ice picks to eardrums.
The mermaids, they dive deep down
Cursing that J. Alfred, the Ripper,
Had ever come
To their beach.

Knight in (Shining) Armor

Sobriety was never his strongest suit.
Intoxication was in his armored flask.
He rode the White Horse down the road
It was three years gone before he even looked back.

Once clear blue eyes, now murky pink glazed,
Stole my heart and swept me off with him,
My knight in (shining) armor now wears
Armor, like his eyes, darkening and dimmed.

Selfishness has become his constant shield
While addiction is the dull sword he waves
He’s forgotten to care for other’s souls
As long as the source of his ailment is safe.

And me, the lady he swears he loves
In his moments of sobriety,
I question how he can care for or love anyone
When he lives his life so selfishly.

Oh, there was a time, his lifetime ago,
When he was my knight in (shining) armor,
But as intoxication tarnished him
I realize that he is my knight no longer.

I wait in my tower patiently,
My tired blue eyes watching the end of the day.
The sun is setting on this fairytale nightmare.
His armor, not shining as he staggers away.

The Faceless Man

And the faceless man walked on
Rustling the hanged bodies in the trees
As he walked through the forest of
The Dead
In search of me
Running out of time
Running out of time

In search of Goodwill Industries
To recycle my belongings
God said to give up
Worldly possessions
To prove devotion
Mantra repeating:
Running out of Time

Like a Buddhist monk
Meditating to find
Heightened Awareness
I search for Jesus
In my dreams
But the Grinch swears that
He’s dead
Hanging in a tree
With a swollen face
And pecked out eyes
Because I’m running…
Running out of time

With Jesus dead
Is there salvation?
I ask the green, green Grinch.
He smiles his Grinchy smile
Running out of Christmas?
Stealing Christmas?
Stealing Christ
Out of time?

And so I run
Back in time,
To a place before God
Let Jesus die
In a tree, in midwinter
Where the faceless man,
Hooded, cloaked reaper,
Stands and waits for me.

Wagging a long finger
He sneeringly says,
I told you that you would
Run out of time!
And you have.
Oh, you have!
Gleefully stated:
You’ve run out of time!

The Silence of Us

It’s like the wet snow falling
Muting my crunching footsteps,
So that my ears hear nothing
But the deafening ring
Of quiet. And so that my eyes
See nothing, but hazy white.

All of this nothingness, hanging
In the air around me,
Well, it’s like wet bras and panties
And other unmentionables on a clothesline
In the rain.
Rotting and molding and festering
And stinking.

Especially the stinking of the words
That got lost somewhere in my throat
Choking me like a piece of food
Lodged halfway between my mouth
And my stomach,
Causing my eyes to tear and bulge,
Unable to even whisper that
I might be dying here.

Warring Factions

The embers
Illuminate our faces,
Set like stone.
And the fire burns,
The way an angry sun would kiss
No words will be uttered tonight.
The silence hangs thick
As a wet blanket,
Threatens to extinguish


Feeling that wanderlust again
A nomad by nature, and in my own skin
Still not quite happy in this world,
Like it’s time to shed this shell, serpent that I am
There’s something missing
Something crucial, like the difference
Between Transubstantiation and Consubstantiation
Forget that the principles are identical in the end.
It’s enough to claim a saved status for one
Leaving the other damned
And somewhere purgatory waits for me
Turn the cards that fate lined up
Not quite sure how to interpret the images,
But he tells me that I’m on my way
The stars don’t lie
How could they without mouths to speak?
Follow the North Star to destiny’s path
Quench my thirst
And leave this place behind.

Defining Your Perfection

Considering the fact that we are perfect for each other
I wonder if you know what perfect means?
While you are busy treading on me, doing as you please
I emulate the Hell in which I live.
And in rare moments of earthly Purgatory,
I am transfixed by the artist's eyes, not yours.
They are the trustworthy color of faded blue jeans,
Worn down by years of wear and tear... and caring.
Oh, and how the artist cares for me!
There is a connection for us to plug into
Like the last puzzle piece fitting into the seascape.
We are artists and prisoners of tortured lives together, yet apart.
Common ground is large enough to run upon it,
As though we were two halves of the same person, incognito.
When I lose focus of the artist's eyes
You are again drilling holes through my soul.
What about this is perfect to you?

Dying Embers

Dying embers like molten lava
Flowing into the pit of the bonfire
Set the mood
Imagine that it is only wood
That burns in this pit?
And so I watch the wood
Turn from a solid to a liquid
Burning away to nothing and
I wonder where you have gone.
Looking away from the fire
Is little help.
Smokey dark night.
And then I see you.
I love you, you know.
You don't reciprocate.
It's the end, you say.
Wish I could explain it
But I can't.
Instead we go home
Climb inside of our warm bed,
Two warring factions
Lying side by side
Angry in the dark.
No sweet talk.
No touching.
No "I love you"s.
The only thing here is anger and distance.
Lying here in this bed with him,
Is the first time in my life
That I've ever felt so
Utterly and completely alone.