If optimism is floral, you
are flourishing blooms
exploding pollen that instead
of making eyes water and itch,
eyes are forced to sparkle
and mouths from their corners
turn upward. Flowers with glitter
pollen residue rubbing on your
cheeks and your shirt and
your shoes. He said you really are
as you seem, all forceful
optimism endless like fields
of red poppies across silver brick
roads. You sing a song to calm
the giants from their castle clouds,
they lay at your feet to hear
your lullaby. Love, love, love—
girl, you are as you seem.
First published in Hedgerow.
Arroyo Seco Press presents Seventeen Poems Not About a Lover Chapbook Release party! 17 poems written by Sarah Thursday with lovingly crafted, paper-cut art for each poem by Alyssandra Nighswonger.
Sunday, April 29th from 4 to 6 pm at Viento Y Agua Coffeehouse, 4007 E. 4th St., Long Beach, CA. There will be guest poets, art, and books! Details TBA.
More about the collaborators:
Sarah Thursday was born, in part, from inspiration found in her collaborator, Alyssandra Nighswonger. After six years of friendship and artistic crushing, this dream project has come to life. In addition to writing poetry, Sarah founded Sadie Girl Press to help publish local and emerging poets and artists. She ran a poetry website called CadenceCollective.net, co-hosted a monthly reading with G. Murray Thomas, but still wants to find new ways to bring poetry and art into her community. She has been published in many fine journals and anthologies and received a 2017 Best of the Net nomination. Her first full-length poetry collection, All the Tiny Anchors, and her other chapbooks and CDs are available at SadieGirlPress.com. Find and follow her to learn more on SarahThursday.com, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Alyssandra Nighswonger is a multi-media artist and adventure-lover from Long Beach, CA. This project was a swan dive into the heart and a journey in itself. The thing that Alyssandra admires the most about her friend Sarah is the way she takes her own personal challenges and creates an alchemy of the heart with her raw and fearlessly beautiful poetry. For Alyssandra, who can be a lot more timid with exposing the darker side of her emotions in her music and art and tends to hide meaning behind whimsy on the regular, this collaboration was a thematic challenge. It led to creating deeper layers in the illustrations, opening them up to being cut apart, and exposing that even the cutest wolf has a shadow, which developed this work into a papercut escapade. You can explore several of her musical projects and adventures at talesofalyssandra.com or follow her instagram @alyssssandra.
I’m thrilled to be included in the lineup of performers for the first ever Long Beach Underground “Best of Open Mic”. Peter Basson and friends are launching a website and event series to showcase a variety of local talent associated with our fair city. My dear friends, Shy But Flyy, Alyssandra Nighswonger, Felicia Cade, and Chestina Craig will be some of the features I get to share the stage with. Join us on Saturday, October 1st, at 7 pm at The Mirage Cafe at 539 East Bixby Road, Long Beach. I go on second, so get there early!
So excited to have another poem (with one in the next issue as well) in Hedgerow: a Journal of Small Poems! They have included “Silver Brick Road” at the very bottom of the issue. I wrote it about my friend Aly who has taught me so much about the power of optimism. Take a moment and read through the issue.