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Monday, August 8, 2016

J. R. Brady to appear at Aqus Cafe, Petaluma Poetry Walk, Sunday, September 18, 2016




J. R. Brady will present her poetry as part of the Petaluma Poetry Walk at the Aqus Café, Foundry Wharf, 189 H Street, Petaluma, on Sunday, September 20, 2016, 6:00 to 8:00 pm, on a program with Karen Melander-Magoon, Erica Goss, Leah Lubin and Susan Weinstein. 

J. R. Brady is an award-winning playwright and poet. Her work has been produced/published in the U.S., Britain, Scotland and France. In 2012 she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She has performed at numerous venues including the 1996 Edinburgh Theatre Fringe Festival.  A collection of her work, THE SPACE BETWEEN
was published by Beatitude in 2010 and a second collection, PERSONA, by Naiad in 2014. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild.



PEPIN
By J. R. Brady


Dance, dance, dance out of time...
There are no pictures of my great-grandfather.
He feared the camera would steal his soul, except
   for the wedding tintype my great-grandmother 
   wanted so much, of them standing together against 
   a pastoral painted screen, she, almost sixteen, in 
   a borrowed white dress, he, stiffly suited, older 
   by ten years, black hair wild about his face, and 
   his eyes, the eyes that saw spirits, momentarily 
   blinded by a flash of light.
I saw it once before it was misplaced by someone, 
   long gone before me.

Dance, dance, dance out of time...
There are still fragments mentioned.
He was born mixed blood of French and Anishinnaabe
   (Chippewa is a white name, a child divided between 
   two minds. one of worlds’ measured order, the other 
   of circles, circles of the sun, circles of the moon, 
   circles of the human heart, and which was which? 
Mother? Father? 
He must have told her back in the beginning, back 
   when they still loved each other, and she did love 
   him, the way an abandoned Irish orphan, raised by 
   nuns, can love the first feel of freedom, and flesh 
   and discovery of unimagined possibility.

Dance, dance, dance out of time...
The Anishinaabe say we possess two souls, one that
   travels in shadows and dreams, and one that stays 
   deep inside the human heart, and if either is ever 
   lost, it leaves behind an emptiness, unendurable, 
   except when filled by wandering spirits who come 
   to warm themselves, then leave, without explanation, 
   and from the beginning there were spirits who came to 
   him and became him speaking an ancient language that 
   knew the cries of animals and of the earth and of 
   the wind.
And in the beginning she believed with him in 
   his voices of vanished worlds, for to her, Ireland 
   was a harsh distant word, and nuns knew nothing of 
   animals or the wind.


Dance, dance, dance out of time...
The Anishinaabe tell a story of how a coyote, once, 
   fell in love with a star...but because a star 
   can never leave the sky, the coyote had to climb to 
   the top of a mountain so they could grab hold of 
   each other and soar together high up into the 
   heavens, where forever they could dance circling 
   the earth in an endless night.
But the coyote, being a thing of flesh and blood, 
   grew tired and numb and longed for sleep, and for 
   the sun, and, finally, it had to beg the star to stop 
   awhile, but the star couldn’t because it was star, 
   and so the coyote decided to let go and fall back 
   to earth, alone.

Dance, dance, dance out of time...
And I have heard it said that people can stop 
loving for the same reasons they began.
New Orleans, St Paul, San Francisco...in the cities 
   the spirits, they stayed with him, holding him safe 
   against sadness, but never her, until their son died 
   and times grew hard and she railed against him 
   demanding a silence of voices that refused to know 
   her, and with whisky there came silence ,and an illusion 
   of finding each other again...but then the space inside 
   him filled with such a darkness the silence became 
   all of him, and, even without whisky, there were no 
   spirits.

Dance, dance, dance out of time...
They say that when the coyote fell to earth it
   lost its first life but found a second that it 
   lived less foolishly than before. 
My great-grandmother remarried an Irish horse-collar 
   maker who drank as full a measure as her first husband 
   but, afterwards, would simply sing himself to sleep,
   and that was enough, 
And no one ever asks about the star.
When my great-grandfather is remembered, always he 
   is remembered for leaving.
It is supposed he died an alcoholic’s death, anonymous 
   in a Sacramento hotel room.
It is supposed but no on knows, and it is said that 
   spirits of the dead wander forever in the circling 
   winds looking for their own lost world, and it is said
   that blood runs thin through silence, dissolving time,
   dissolving memory, dissolving connection.

Dance, dance, dance out of time...
And always I have wondered about the star.
And when I look at our family album picture of 
   my great-grandmother with her horse-collar maker, 
   I feel their silences echoing inside me, and I 
   know I almost understand the language of animals, 
   and I know I am uncomfortable around cameras, and 
   I know my own sadness always softens whenever I 
   stop and listen to the wind.

Karen Melander-Magoon to appear at Aqus Cafe, Petaluma Poetry Walk, Sunday, September 18, 2016

Karen Melander-Magoon will present her poetry as part of the Petaluma Poetry Walk at the Aqus Café, Foundry Wharf, 189 H Street, Petaluma, on Sunday, September 20, 2016, 6:00 to 8:00 pm, on a program with J. R. Brady, Erica Goss, Leah Lubin and Susan Weinstein. 

Karen has been creating poetry and songs since she was two.  She was published in the Seattle newspapers in grade school and also in Seventeen Magazine and won the Bank of America Fine Arts Award for Northern California.  Karen sang major opera roles in Europe for two decades, returning to the states to help manage Guenoc Vineyards and Winery and certify for import the Bordeaux vinifera Carmenere.  Her mini-operas for voice and piano have been staged and performed throughout the states.  She is a member of the Revolutionary Poets Brigade, received her Doctor of Ministry from SFTS, Graduate Theological Union and Masters in Counseling, Boston University.