Events · Recordings · Special Projects

Long Beach Underground Video

Here I am reading a few poems for the event I did a couple months back, Long Beach Underground. It’s less than ten minutes to play. Really, you can listen without watching too. Thanks to Sanjin Obi Malesevic for putting it together!

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Books · How to Unexist · Recordings

How to Unexist

Featured Image -- 1122New CD/Chapbook!

Sadie Girl Press

Limited edition poetry with CD and chapbook, How to Unexist, by Sarah Thursday with music by BobKat. 12-track album, recorded and mixed by Blacksheep Music, with 20-page, full color, mini-chapbook. Art by Lynn Azali. Available online only through the Sadie Girl Press Bookstore.

“How to Unexist is no easy listen. Drawing from intensely personal reflections, the 24-minute album is a raw, articulate journey through Thursday’s psyche amid pain, heartbreak, self-acceptance and cognizance. Her cutting delivery doesn’t pander or add flair; the poet’s voice is truthful and clear. Juxtaposed with BobKat’s ambient soundscapes—largely improvisational layers of rhythmic acoustic guitar riffs, fiery violin melodies as well as some horn, bass synths and mandolin—her words sink with impact.” Esther Kang, Long Beach Post

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Music · Recordings

Live recording of Poetry, Rhythm and Noise: Muliebrity

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On May 17th, I had the honor of once again reading with Dave Williams & MBT at CALB at the Shore. I shared my time with four other female power poets, JL Martindale, Raundi Moore-Kondo, Elmast Kozloyan, and MsT Musze. We were all dazzled by the incredible improvisational talents of Dave’s jazz crew, Magic Bullet Theory. Even though traveling back in time is not an option if you missed it, you can actually hear all the performances on Bandcamp. If that wasn’t enough, you can download them in two volumes for FREE.

Listen or download at mbtmusic.bandcamp.com/album/prose-rhythm-and-noise-muliebrity-vol-1 and mbtmusic.bandcamp.com/album/prose-rhythm-and-noise-muliebrity-vol-2.

2010s · Anchors (Poetry with Music) · Poetry · Recordings · The Unnamed Algorithm

Love Letter No.1: To My Pit-Bull Self

I love the teeth of your love
how you pit-bull deep
into the flesh of loving
How you make shrines
in the empty spaces,
abandoned apartments
Shrines to former residents
of borrowed books and toiletries
envelopes full of photographs
and letters in pen
How you never fill
the same space with new
but keep building out
expand the frames and floors
How you know when to change the locks
and when to nail it shut

I love how you calculate
estimate the risk
How you trust
the unnamed algorithm
the intuitive push, flashing “Yes,
love this one, let that one in!”
How soft your wrought-iron grip
holds every name tight
each face, its own story
each moment, a glass in your pane
How you refuse to argue
about the wrong
or right way to love

I love how so much of it matters
how you will forgive
as many times
as they will call
and ask for it
How you defend this weakness
with the expense of wasted time
Your time-to-give being
your love currency
not words, not gifts,
not your doing-for-me
But your minutes and hours
your speak to me, eat with me
your listen and watch with me
sit in this space of air
I breathe with me is love

I love how love-greedy you get
How you collect time
and stuff it in bags and boxes
shove it on shelves, in closets
covering walls, blocking doorways
in empty apartments
You guard-dog this house
an unapologetic hoarder
How you refuse to purge it
refuse to loosen your grip
Set shrines in windowsills
light blood candles
There is always room
for more

2-3-14
Originally published in Silver Birch Press, Self-Portrait Series.
Also listen on Soundcloud.

2010s · All the Tiny Anchors · Anchors (Poetry with Music) · Poetry

Honey

The first time you kissed me
I should have seen it coming
You were animal-starved
pawing hungry at my hips

You were hurricane-tongued
bracing me against your mouth
I pulled up fierce to match you
claw for claw around your neck

I could not hear us breathing
deafened by your torrent eyes
I did not recognize the beast
devouring my skin like victory

I wasn’t your prey or your prize
bound to be death-squandered
I had waited beyond time for you
to lay yourself down at my feet

I had hoped for honey sweet
and slow to drench my lips
with tenderness. But I—
I should have known

First published in Pyrokinection, also included in All the Tiny Anchors
Listen on SoundCloud.

2010s · All the Tiny Anchors · Anchors (Poetry with Music) · Poetry · Recordings

5:38

I keep smiling while I read them. All three texts. Sitting at a Greek place with coworkers at a long table for fifteen. Middle aged women and their husbands are asking about you. They all want to meet the man who put stars under my skin. I just told them about the place we found with 30 minute lines down the block, where they create gourmet pizza to order. All of them want to try it. Three texts at once isn’t like you. The waiter sets the cheese on fire and everyone is opening their mouths at the flames. I’m still burning on fumes from last Sunday when you’d kissed me full enough for days. I had felt lucky all week, lucky enough for months. I read them now. I keep smiling, but I am losing the ability to hear. My head goes underwater as our table splits like an aquarium wall, everyone else on the outside. All at once I am wishing there was a magic portal to stop time, an alarm clock for waking up, cameras to be revealed as a cruel joke played. Someone must have stolen your phone, is holding you hostage, making you text those things in English I cannot translate. I have to leave immediately. I leave my coat. I leave my purse. Leave my untouched food on the plate. I try to climb into the circuits of my phone, step through satellites, make you look me in the eyes. Make you face me when you fire that gun.

 

First published in Carnival Lit Mag, also in All the Tiny Anchors.
Listen on SoundCloud.

2010s · Anchors (Poetry with Music) · Poetry · Recordings · The Unnamed Algorithm

If I Ever Have Children

If I ever have children
they will never know me in my thirties
the woman checking it off
all the things-to-do
like a master’s degree
and home buying
like falling in love completely
and writing a book of how it ends
finding new community
and loving her whole body flawed
flinging open all the doors
and surrendering to the unknown next

If I ever have children
they will never know me in my twenties
the woman fighting against it
to save her own soul
find her own belief in God
and lose her given self
venture out from community
live alone, love alone
sort through the old baggage
give them names and abandon them
find focus for talents and energies
and heal the damage at all costs

If I ever have children
they will never know me in my teens
young girl trying masks
on and off each year
like too many friends
and partying far too young
like black dyed-hair and boots
sinking down through the cracks
sharp turn into a Christian life
and a radical-faced community
stepping through the windows
where she’d press her face to the glass

If I ever have children
they will never know me as a child
a broken girl holding
a green Picasso heart
running with one parent from the other
always leaving school early
memories in paper bags stashed
in the trunk of a broken-down car
with walk-in closets for the skeletons
and attics for hiding and running free
words swallowed in torn pieces
forcing her destiny as a poet

 

Originally published in The Mayo Review, also included in The Unnamed Algorithm.
Listen to the poem on SoundCloud, from Anchors CD.