Wow! January is gone and half of February is almost over. I settled in my new home in Oceanside, CA at the end of January. It’s so pleasant here. Our family housing community is wonderful to us. It feels so nice to be able to enjoy movie nights, Ladies Potluck Bingo, and other housing events with our neighbors.
I finally am slowly working on reshaping my favorite passion, which is bringing community together. Moon Pixel “Open-Mic” is postponed for awhile.
I am planning on branching out Moon Pixel Collective into something spectacular this 2017 year. Visit the upcoming new site here. It’ll give you insight on what is to come.
Elmast Kozloyan is running a new open-mic series now at Half Off Books, CA called Inside The Lantern. It is every first Friday of the month. Inside The Lantern is the replacement for Moon Pixel Open-Mic. I’m not sure when I’ll be back in Whittier, CA as a resident again. If it ever does become my residence in the future I wouldn’t mind coming back and hosting for you Pixies.
I started a GoFundMe Campaign to help me flourish the vision I have for Moon Pixel Collective. It might take a while! That’s okay. Regardless of the time it takes I am organizing everything to start community here. If you’d like to see the progress of my campaign, or donate whatever contribution you’d like just click on the link above, or below. I’d appreciate any motivation or financial support.
Seriously, e-mail me from time to time asking how my lesson planning is going, or what my thoughts, and hopes are with this project! I’d love to have someone I can check up with on my progress. Positive reinforcement is a wonderful thing!
I hope you are all doing well. I miss some of you very much. I am thankful that last weekend Sarah Thursday visited me. We had some lovely girl time together. It was great!
Have a blessed weekend.
Wednesday night I went to The Ugly Mug in Orange, California for the Cadence Collective: Anthology/Sadie Girl Press Night. I wasn’t planning on going because I’ve been going through some health issues. Also doing full-time this semester leaves me with little wiggle room to have fun. I became easily swayed into going after I finished up an essay for Anthropology. I finished my essay early because I wanted to see and hear my poetry community. Finishing the essay early also gave room for a relaxing weekend, which is why I am even able to write this post in the first place.
I hadn’t seen anyone in a month prior to Wednesday. Being there at The Ugly Mug felt like the first time hearing everyone again. It was magical. Sarah Thursday did a wonderful job. She told us the story to her cover art for All the Tiny Anchors. I’m not going to tell it because if you weren’t there you missed out! Ask her about it the next time you see her. Thursday also read a few poems she hadn’t read out loud before at the request of Terry. She also read from The Unnamed Algorithm. Hearing Sarah Thursday read after so long was a sugary sweet treat.
Terry Wright was absolutely phenomenal. She read her poems from the Sadie Girl Press Sampler: The Language I Was Broken In. Do I need to mention that she also read from Cadence Collective: Year Two Anthology? Of course she did! Terry Wright is a woman full of talent. She told us the story behind her poem Mappae Mundi. I am going to be honest I really love the last line of that poem, so when she explained how that came about I giggled. I cannot wait until her chapbook release party in December. I’m so excited to have her work on my bookshelf soon.
JL Martindale read poems from her joint chapbook with Daniel McGinn The Bottle & The Boot. I cannot explain to you how wonderful her reading was. It was absolutely raw, loud, and she exposed herself without holding back. I was swooning so hard. Seriously, it’s been well over a month since I heard this woman read her poetry. I forgot how much her poetry jumpstarted my heart with emotions. JL also read a poem by Amanda Tan titled I dazzle, even with my eyes closed. It was very nice to hear Amanda’s poem be read by JL.
I also enjoyed hearing G. Murray Thomas read. Who can get tired of G. Murray Thomas reading his poetry? I can’t. I also never get tired of his awesome hugs. Robin D. Hudechek also read her wonderful poetry. I loved hearing her read What My Hands Know. It’s an absolutely beautiful poem. It gets me every time. Michael Cantin read a poem about his very big white balls but they weren’t actually about his balls. It was amazing. His reading was flawless and it left me absolutely stunned (in a good way of course). I kind of wish he read his gold poem too. Great stuff. LeAnne Hunt also read. I always love when she reads. It’s always so good. Marc who was sitting next to me agreed that LeAnne’s poetry was too good. K. Andrew Turner had challenged Elmast Kozloyan to write a poem where she incorporates Armenian. She accepted the challenge and oh it was great. I cannot wait for her second chapbook Luna Seas. Marc J. Cid also read three poems. One of the poems he read was Inoculation, which you can find on Cadence’s website. Ben was a gracious host and closed the night reading a poem by Keayva Mitchell, Alexis Rhode Fancher, and Ricki Mandeville from the Cadence Year Two: Anthology. I got there 30 minutes late though because Bruxie’s was calling, overall it was a great night.
I am so honored to be part of such a strong, talented, supportive poetry community. It’s been the best gift I’ve received to be able to be part of it since I was seventeen. I genuinely can say they are my chosen poetry family. I don’t know when I will be able to go back to The Ugly Mug. All I know is every time I do go back I always feel welcomed. These nights are only made possible because Phil the Ugly Mug owner makes it happen. I should also tell you Phil makes the best Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups milkshake. So when you go, order one, and have it.
The mass consumption of poetry put a pressure on me. Every day I would write or draft a poem. I repeated that routine almost all of summer. I came to slowly realize it was draining me of my creativity and confidence. I was producing poetry that was a waste of my time. All the things I was writing were terrible and the drafts I had accumulated I couldn’t complete. I realized my drafts were always just a long stanza I couldn’t find direction to. After staring at my draft for too long I convinced myself that it had potential, so I stayed up late trying to force it to find its end. When I would start seeing the sunrise through my window I realized these drafts had no purpose. That truth made me feel like a failure to my own craft. It wouldn’t let me fall asleep right away. Often throughout the day I found myself asking what I was doing wrong. I started becoming intimidated by the page. I couldn’t pick up a pen, type anything on word, or even think about what’s the next leap I wanted my poetry to gain.
It was a month ago that something suddenly changed within me. I began noticing how frequent my fear of writing something and challenging myself was becoming. I had to stop for a second and ask myself what was wrong out loud. After two minutes of asking myself what’s wrong I was able to voice out loud what the issue was. The issue was honesty. The writing I was forcing myself to produce over the summer was not honest. An integral part for me to feel fulfillment come to fruition in my writing relies on honesty. That component was shattered in the failed efforts I was putting to writing, writing, and writing away with no purpose in mind.
Honesty was part of the issue the other part was myself. I didn’t want to come to terms with things. Honesty meant accepting the experiences I am going through, went through, will go through, and writing about them in order to heal. I wasn’t ready to heal because I was still figuring out how to process, accept, and grow from all the challenges revolving my day to day life.
After feeling angry with the lack of growth I was accomplishing with my writing I decided to tackle every issue I was afraid of being honest with on. This resulted with me writing on sticky post-it notes all the issues I didn’t want to face. In a matter of minutes half of my bed’s head-frame was filled with post-it notes with my issues. These post-it notes gave me a big reflection on what my current state of mind is. All the issues I wrote down at the moment inflict so much emotional pain on me. At the top of the post-it list is my mother’s health.
It felt uneasy at first deciding I was going to write about my mother’s health again. There were four post-it notes that I wrote in regards to that issue. One had false messiah, the other song, the third one had blood (x3) nose bleed, and the last one had mother. For two weeks I would just look at those post-it notes, while embracing and organizing my thoughts, feelings, and identifying my pain over them. It was agonizing but at the same time therapeutic. On the third week I drafted out a layout on what I wanted the central components of my poem to consist of.
This step by step process and the amount of time it was taking for me to write wasn’t new to me. I had become unfamiliar with it. I stopped doing these things after I turned nineteen. It took a month for me to write a poem that had outstanding quality to me. I performed this poem at EastSide Poetry at The Daily Brew Coffee Bar in Montebello, California about a week ago. Whether the poem was successful to the audience I do not know. The important thing is that as an artist it was successful to me and that it was the best representation of what I currently am aiming for with my poetry. I cannot express to you enough how important it is for you to find your purpose. What is your purpose? Find your purpose. Every day I wake up reflecting on my purpose and asking myself if it’s still relevant to the person I need to be right now. If it’s not I find a way for my purpose to either change or adapt to who I am.
Eric Morago: is a Pushcart Prize nominated poet who believes performance carries as much importance on the page, as it does off. He is the author of What We Ache For (Moon Tide Press, 2010) and Here for the Friction (Orange Ocean Press, 2012). Currently he teaches for Red Hen Press’ Writing in the Schools Program, is an associate reviewer for Poetix, and serves as a poetry editor for FreezeRay. Eric has an M.F.A in Creative Writing from California State University, Long Beach, and lives in Los Angeles.
ericmorago.com or facebook.com/EricMoragoPoetry
remSleep: is an indierock/folk two piece band straight outta Los Angeles CA. With influences such as Bright Eyes, The Vaccines, and 80’s dance punk music the duo create dancy, uplifting, storytelling music. Tranquil sounds to a poppy catchy tune is what you hear from this local band, followed by sweeping bass riffs suttle to the ear all done by (Andrew Parra), outstanding structured lyric format in which Ish Guerrero(singer/guitar) composes and writes. Ish says he loves word meaning much more than anything else and really focuses on what he speaks rather than just making normal generic tune
This event is FREE and open to all ages. Come on and join us for another month of Moon Pixel on September 25, 2015. We welcome everyone to sign-up and perform…poets, musicians (acoustic only), story-tellers, magicians, or comedians. Sign up sheet goes up no later than 6:30 P.M. We start the magic at 7:00 – 7:15 P.M.