There was a ship

There was a ship at sea in a storm. There was a ship. It was at sea. A storm whipped its sails. There was a captain of the ship at the wheel of the ship at sea in a storm. He was yelling back into an angry wind. He was angry, yelling into the wind, carrying a load, a heavy load. There was creaking wood. There was a load, churning below, bound and bedded. There was a load below. There was a ship. There was a storm.
Stay True. Stay True she said. Stay True she said to the ship. She could see out to sea. She could see the wide sea in the storm. Stay True she said to the ship, even if the captain curses the Goddess of the Sea so bitterly. Stay TRUE to the course. Stay True she said to herself. Stay True she said to the ship. Stay True to me too she said. Look out to Sea. Freedom or Death. Stay True. Be True.

Why am I posting Marvelina on Wattpad?

Marvelina has been a labor of love ever since I created the radio drama for WBAI Radio decades ago. I could never let the story go, but I didn’t find the time again until several years ago to recreate the story, and move it far beyond the radio drama, in the form of a novel. The difficult truth is that I have been knocking on doors for years now that I have not been opened to me and I feel discouraged. It’s hard to get anyone to even read the book let alone talk about publishing it.

I know creative people are trying all kinds of platforms on the Web. One of the reasons I chose Wattpad is because it’s exclusively for readers and writers. If you don’t want to read then you’re not going to go to Wattpad. I like that idea, that I’m posting for readers and not people who like to like pictures. Also, there are mostly new adults hanging around there, and I believe that that is the target audience for Marvelina, although I could be wrong about that. I’m not so up on the whole marketing thing either, honestly. Why can’t a writer just write?

I’m not sure if the fact that most of what’s on Wattpad is fan fiction, and a lot of it is mediocre, is a negative for me or not. Since my novel is not fan fiction maybe it has more of a chance to stand out. I have found that a lot of women post there and some of it is very interesting. And as I suspected, my book is relevant as women’s literature. At this particular moment it is ranked 196 out of 10.8k under the tag #women. They call that my most impressive ranking.

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Listening and Being Heard

Kards1 works on the wall at Listen & Be Heard Poetry Cafe in Vallejo, CA Jan. 27, 2005

I am almost at the end of a writing journal that has taken me a couple of years to fill. I was looking back through it this morning and came across this entry. I was taking a first stab at writing a story about my experiences with Listen & Be Heard both in New York in the nineties and California after that. Maybe I still will, but I thought I would share this for a change of pace from all my notes…

Listen to the unexpected and unforeseeable words of a stranger who shows up for open mic. Be heard by the same people who show up because they want you to listen to them. It seemed catchy and simple to me, Listen & Be Heard. It occurred to me while walking alone at night on 8th Avenue, heading for the subway back to the East Village. I didn’t get a shivery feeling, more like a lightbulb feeling. I didn’t say it aloud to anyone when it came to me, cuz like I said, I was alone.

I didn’t like being alone. Really I wasn’t alone, alone cuz my little girl was still a little girl. But I felt lonely. And, it had finally dawned on my unreasonable optimism by then that some of my choices had created obstacles for us that I might never surmount in this lifetime.

Some things are deceptively simple, like ‘just be honest.’ That sounds simple enough. That’s all I want to be with you, honest. But we all know how hard that can be sometimes. So if you ever think I’m not being honest, just stop me. Cuz I might be tempted to try to make myself look good. And really none of us are good because we all have trash swirling around in a dead zone in an ocean somewhere on this planet.

Listen and be heard. That’s straightforward and simple. You listen. You are listened to. But most people want to be heard. The listeners only come in a couple varieties. I know I’ve tuned out when I shouldn’t have. You can’t always be listening. But there’s plenty of people who don’t hear anything even when they are listening.

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Marvelina Chapter Two Part One

Lorelei wondered how the young girl had evaded STs and SSFs. The clothes she put on, several sizes too large, exaggerated her petite stature. She had a clear complexion, manicured nails and the brightest, reddest hair that Lorelei had ever seen. She handed the girl a mop and watched her clean up the water from the floor. When she finished, she looked down at her scratched feet and wiggled her red toes on the cold floor.

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Marvelina Chapter One Part Four

Marvelina strained awkwardly to pull out her diary, thinking that writing would keep her from drifting off to sleep again.

girls serve 

wine and meat 

clean sheets



distractions for 

the main attraction 

the man in charge 

he feels large 

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Marvelina Chapter One Part Three

Marvelina thought that she understood their downcast looks of embarrassment. She remembered her own shame. She had wondered how Nanny Florence could have failed to tell her anything about marriage. She felt like she had been deceived her entire life. For a moment she considered that the STs looking for her might think that one of these girls was her, then she was ashamed of herself for wishing her trouble on someone else. She turned abruptly in the opposite direction toward the Market…

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Marvelina Chapter One Part Two

Marvelina shuddered at the thought of becoming a ghost slave. Her mother had told her that Shavana was a witch, and her army of ghost slaves hated Aristocrats because they couldn’t stand the light of their souls. But Marvelina still wanted to get beyond Outer Wall.

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Marvelina Chapter One Part One

She heard her husband’s grating laugh from within as the back window rolled down. His hand reached out from the interior and grasped at the sheer silk of her dress. He tore it away, stripping her down to her lingerie. She dropped her book and reached down to pick it up. Her breasts broke free from the top of her low push-up bra cups as she looked up to see her frilly white dress fluttering in his grasp. The limousine sped off, spewing exhaust in its sudden hurry….

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He Said She Said We Said

 I’ve been performing this poem for more than a decade…but it seems timely…

The gig at the Five Forks branch of the Greenville Public Library, back in April 2019, was sponsored by the library. They reached out to the Greenville Jazz Collective to provide a program of jazz and poetry, so then the GJC reached out to me for the poetry. I would still like to work on an arrangement for this piece, especially including some percussion, and then record it…