Unlimited Poetry

I love Kindle Unlimited, and I love discovering new poets, but I’ve had trouble searching poetry on Kindle Unlimited, which is why I created Unlimited Poetry, a group promo that runs all February. It’s great way to find new poets on Kindle Unlimited. Check it out to find your next read, or, if you happen to be a fellow poet, get in touch so we can get your book up here too.

Witch/Pilgrim/Heretic: Poems for Serpents and Sorceresses

A book for serpents and sorceresses.
A meditation on sacred darkness.
A thesis on God and magic.

These are not sequential states of being, but a triskelion of consciousness. They are all aspects of seeking: myth, movement, and philosophy.

This collection of poetry came about as I was walking Camino de Santiago. Many of the poems were written during my journey across Spain. Others were written before or after ⁠— on hikes, at monasteries, in dreams.

As I sat sick in my room all through March 2020, I felt compelled to bring the collection to fruition. This book comprises what is essential in my current philosophy and practice. It has been a balm and comfort to me, and I hope it will help you similarly.

Release Date: May 23rd 2020

A few poems from Witch/Pilgrim/Heretic

reconciling with the sound of my own voice

Like most people, I hate my own voice. Unfortunately, reading aloud is a rather important part of poetry. So, for National Poetry Month, I’m reading a poem a day on YouTube. So far, all the poems I’ve read are my own. No promises that will remain a hard rule — I have a hankering to read some Plath and Keats and Coleridge.

Reading my poetry aloud still feels terribly scandalous to me. I’ve only halfway recovered from my WASPy embarrassment over being a confirmed poet. Reciting verse out loud, sometimes outside, where anyone might hear? It’s a horror. Especially when I can hear my own emotion.

Luckily, I enjoy horror, and entertaining my deepest, darkest fears. So here I am, with my heart in my voice and my soul on video.

I believe in the kindness of community

Don’t believe the stories that say 
at the end of all things
with the sky falling
we’ll dive into ever worse warring. 

We are well equipped to live liminally, 
for every resting place along our way 
to become a celebration when we meet. 
We can be strangers without a word between us 
and still communicate deeply. 

We, the wandering species, 
are as gritty as they say, 
but our grit is for adapting.  

We form communities 
like birds build nests. 
Put us in a wilderness 
and we are all camaraderie. 

You’ll learn this on any holy way, 
from climbing out of any cold sea. 
Come in, strangers will say, 
sit by the fire pit, have a steak. 
Tell us, what have you seen? 

No matter the odds, 
we possess every impulse
necessary for peace.

Art will keep us whole

Every day I spend shaking in this shell
I get closer to the holy
watching my own kindnesses and foibles
what pains lead me toward humanity
and what pains simply drain the self away.

Every poem I write is a song for the end of the world
but I’ve never been good at endings
just noticing and forgetting
and I’m getting worse at forgetting.

I must find another way of letting go
a philosophy made of more than should-haves
of more than smoke.
I look at the sky and think I know
what’s to come
what I will become
I don’t

From this haze let me reconstruct reality
pinpointing every joy
discarding every tremor.
Let me build saints out of disasters
reaching back into our history to find
this has all happened before.

Let me be the calm before the storm:
a peaceful place within the war
a meaning beyond what this body tells me
a way for us to feel like more
than an ending.

While I continue to cough up a lung, I’m looking for ways to help. In isolation, trying to heal, there’s not much I can do. I’m writing and editing still, as I cannot help but continue, but I’m wishing that I had some lovely frivolous work to put out into the world right now. What many of us are craving is a bit of escapism. A reason to get off of social media and into a head space that has nothing to do with plague.

I thought I’d offer you some of my free favorites. As my tastes run from trashy to macabre, they might not match yours, but I offer them to you all the same. If they don’t match, find something else, and while you’re watching or listening, do something. Draw a picture. Bake a cake. Start some seeds. Continue, and don’t let yourself spiral too deep.

The Seattle Symphony

Here’s my only high-brow suggestion. The Seattle Symphony has live broadcasts as well, which is nice for feeling close to others while you listen.

Regency House Party

This is a reality tv show that I wish had as many seasons as the Bachelor. It’s ridiculous and I hope you love it.

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

Speaking of the Regency era, this show is a modern remake of Pride and Prejudice. It translates the material pretty brilliantly.

Glasgow Ghost Stories

Charming, spooky stories set in Glasgow. This is one of my favorites for listening to on a rainy night.

Goosedrunks

Goosedrunks is my favorite way to fall asleep. And hey, if you’re not sick, you can play along.

True Crime, but funny

Okay, Buzzfeed Unsolved is a favorite of thousands, and a gateway to true crime fandom in general. But I maintain that nothing gets your mind of plague like puzzling over unsolved serial killer cases. Plus, the Ghoulie Boys are always an entertaining pair.

Do the work every day

I hear a rattle every time I breathe, and I won’t lie: I am afraid. I’m usually fit and healthy and rarely get sick, so at this point I’m hoping that my new sound effect is a result of undetected coronavirus, not something I’ve developed separately while the virus closes in. However, that’s the most likely scenario — criminally bad timing.

I’m pushing my way through WITCH / PILGRIM / HERETIC at an unholy rate. I just published Between Death and the Devil, but that was a tarot themed lark, not something that speaks to fear and death and love in desperate times. I take comfort that my first book of poetry, So Our Idols are Dead, addresses some of that, but while it focuses on the personal and political, WITCH / PILGRIM / HERETIC is a deeply spiritual text.

I want it finished. Just in case. Just in case it helps someone feel a little better. Just in case it helps me. My anxiety has long forced me to confront uncontrollable fears with ambivalence and love. Right now, I’m turning to that strength: doing the work, like always, every day. Resting. Feeling love. Doing the work that feeds my soul.

May you find kindness in your most desperate hour
especially the kindness you can give yourself
when you realize how cruelly you’ve been treating
this soul you’re made of.

May you learn from every mistake and every pain
so that each trauma and tragedy
doesn’t seem like meaningless cruelty.
May you let yourself mourn meaningless cruelty.

May you trust what you’ve learned,
standing proud in the knowledge
that you know more than yesterday.

May you revisit former states with ease.
May you age with grace.

May you always fight for those in need
abruptly or obliquely
but always deeply.

May you find the words you need to hear
even if you have to write them yourself.