TAPESTRY – Pop Poetry Sneak Peak

A sneak peak at a poem from my book, Class Action, coming January 23rd.  Enjoy…


What happens when the walls all fall down?

Everyone knows the tapestry is woven.

We’re all here all aware we’ve been chosen.

Everyone catches the strings attached as we

crash into each other’s axis all irrational.

But what happens, when the strings unravel?

When all the roads have been traveled, and

the culture shock shatters, where will you be?

Home sitting along on your throne of victory?

Hoarding batteries and harvesting preservatives

or sleeping comfortably with your superlatives?

Patiently, praying for manifestations,

co-creating revelations— level UP playstation.

See, at some point pi has to repeat itself!

And any way you cut it

nets are bad for your health.

We’ve got to turn this tapestry upside down,

shake it from the ground up.

Hold up our fists and rock it,

building futures not for profit.

A force so great no stopping it.

Changing vibes on a dime lifelong cause

one day we’ll all be singing the same song,

dinging the same dong.

Things won’t seem so wrong …

Get a nice whiff of

the whole world turning on a paradigm shift,

violence begone.

See our rebirth of mankind unfold all along.

One thought held on the tongue of everyone all at once,

that’s my want, so come on. #ulit

So, let me take you away to a far away place

where face and race don’t decide who prays.

Where you and I equal unity,

the sooner we learn how to believe in community.

Where what we wear matters less than how we wear it,

and what we trade fair matters less than how we share it.

Cause what happens when this tapestry unravels?

Somebody’s gotta put it back together, I’d imagine,

in a different fashion. Let’s make it happen

in a rebirth of magic.




Following your dreams

There are no words to describe the past few weeks …  To call it an adventure falls short.  A distraction, doesn’t do it any justice.   A journey, maybe, but I’m trying not to have an end destination in mind at any given time.  I am not running away, nor am I running to.  Though I may be looking for something, I will allow it to find me.  I now know that I am strong, capable and worthy, just as much as the next human.  No less, no more.  I am home within myself.

Traveling across the my country, I am proud to be an artist in the middle of such a corporate hustle.  Logistics and problem solving have always been an asset of mine, thankfully.  Living life day-to-day and not constantly a slave to a scheduled calendar is the greatest blessing of all.  Though it is lonely from time to time, I find those moments come with the most self-reflective clarity  I’ve always been one to travel with a tribe, and what a different experience to rediscover your tribe in other people and places without hesitation.  I have been so blessed to be surrounded by such like-minded and open souls.   So grateful to be performing with some of the most creative artists I’ve ever met.   Humbled in making pizza with some of the most incredible folks I’ve ever met at a festival of mind-blowing (and yes, mind-numbing) proportions.  I have never been more confused, yet more clear on which direction to step forward in.  One day at a time.  I am rediscovering my worth.  Owning my power.  And not afraid to live it.

Learning to sustain one’s self on the road is a constant, somewhat selfish flux.  What do I need?  Where do I want to go?  How should I approach this situation next?  And while it feels terribly tragic to be so selfish (yes, I feel selfish), it also is so liberating, that it’s worth the stereotypical struggle.

Life on the road is everything I wanted it to be.  Sure, I wish I had a bigger car, with a trailer and maybe a surf board strapped to the top, but I am content in my Corolla (that now has four new tires).  Currently I’m in Orlando, headed for Miami to participate in Mama Gena’s Women’s Retreat and then back to Orlando for the Zen Awakening Festival.  November 22nd I am teaching a hoop workshop at Breathe Yoga in Atlanta.  Then to Asheville for Thanksgiving with my best friend, and on up to NYC for a few weeks, until I being my journey home.  People have been SO kind, I am constantly over-joyed with the generosity and team-spirit that have filled up my experiences.

I love discovering new places, new faces, but most of all I love discovering new parts of myself I didn’t know existed. Where my art fits in and how I contribute to society is a constant learning curve, and as I get older and grow in my art, the more vulnerable I feel, but in the best of ways.

I honestly can’t shake the notion that a part of me has died.  My attachment to a certain place or people has vanished, and I am left with nothing.  I can now live in the wind.  A gentle tickle on the back of your neck.  Or in a song you used to know the words to.   Reminding you we are all one, at one point or another.  We are all in this together.  And nothing should stop you from going after what you deserve.

You know when you can’t tell your dreams from your reality, that you are in the right place.  Blazing trails and riding rails, for now.

Here is to letting go,



Free Falling

As I get ready to embark on this huge, mind-altering trip (wander-lust, not psychedelic) in the next week, I stand at the edge of 30-years old, looking back at what I’ve accomplished, and then forward at what I’ve yet to do.  I can’t help but wonder… what is ENOUGH?

Four albums.  A feature-length film.  A documentary.  Countless performances.  Music videos.  3 Fringe Festival shows.  A book (almost- #poppoetry12poetsin12months – January 2rd).  Road trips.  Festivals.  Events.  Rehearsals.  Collaborations.  People.  Places.  Forgetting names, but remember energies.  I have and continue to do SO much, yet I still grapple with doing more.

In looking at this next big “mid-life crisis” around the corner, I admit to being pulled in multiple directions (as we all are).  Literally, on the road, but also physically and emotionally, let alone mentally/rationaly/psychologically.

Do I go to law school, like my family would love?  Or Rabbinical school, as my Jewish community would appreciate?  Yoga teacher training?   Naropa institute to study some sort of metaphysical psychology as my good friend has inspired.  Or maybe to Hawaii, to work on a pineapple farm?  And then there is Europe, calling my name…

Honestly I couldn’t be more lost, and I thought by now I would have more mindful ‘direction’.  There is one thing that is obvious, and that is trust; trust in letting go of making the “right” decision and letting the right path unfold in front of me.  Some might call my so-called-faith naive, but I find it endearing, and exciting.  It quenches my thirst and alleviates anxiety.  There are no WRONG answers.  Just trial and error, and failure is a sure way to know it’s time to change paths.  (Still an optimist at heart, guilty).

While I know I have not failed as an artist (there’s no such thing really…) I am looking at a glaring reality where sustainability is becoming increasingly more important.

So I’m turning left.  First, as an artist, and then maybe even further.  I am leaving Kansas City for a few months, to accomplish various tasks and jobs and performances.   I will be back in December to help my grandfather write his memoir, amongst other projects lined up.  Applying to law school is in there somewhere, assuming I do well enough on the LSAT.  I am really not sold on ANYTHING at this point; anything other than love of course.  Most of us would do just about anything for love.

So until love stops me in my tracks, I will keep moving forward, with ultimate perseverance, knowing that within every step I take lies a lesson.  A missed conception, found.  Every breath I take brings fresh air.  And every chance I get, I’m going to jump as high and hard as I can into a free fall, only to be caught by my own wind.  I am not scared.  I am not committed.  I am FREE.  Maybe for the first time in my life, and that should not be taken for granted. Freedom is a precious gift, and I will cherish it, while I can.


(Photo Credit: Hampton Stevens)

Dirty Laundry

I picked up a new washing machine last week…
     well, really, it was used free,
but i had to go pick it up, so I asked my roommates to accompany me,
As so, we loaded it up, dragged it home,
hooking it in, to find,
that it really doesn’t work.  Perfect!
And that’s really just the beginning of my dirty laundry phase
at least the awareness of its stench so
back to the laundromat I went… to hang out my shit
all out in the open like nobody’s bitchin’ business,
but hey, it’s only 2 dollar and fifty cents a load now, witness
       (inflation’s a bitch)
and when I look at all the shit I could should just lay out no the table all available
it becomes, unforable for one reason or another to speak of such wonders and secrets locked inside a basket case that only wishes to be set free I shudder, readily,
you all know it how good it feels to be honest, and honestly, tragically…
 ….lately, I’ve forgotten who i am,
so I dig through my laundry, to remind me, of where I’ve been….
Hiding behind silent disgust,
trust used to be enough, but once disrupt, I find sometimes
it’s  easier not to bring it up,
I know that
we’re all stuck,
wading around in our own bullshit muck
wondering, are any of us really telling the truth
Is the truth even good enough, can you tell, that I’m so fucked-
Uphill, the walk, always good intentions paved,
but downhill the upswing often sways with salty wounds and white sails waved.
As we continue to run our dirty underwear up the flag pole, call it liberty, act like, we’re not scared, unscathed.  pretend it’s no big deal, I got this, Im brave
I am also just as afraid
as you on your worst day,
yet still as confident as MLK on parade
so take all your opinions and just put ‘em away
because, only for today, I’m gonna let it all hang out on display
comments need not be made
 Call it art and let
 NOTHING take that freedom away.
I am blessed.  I am privileged.  yes,
I do know my place.
What a funny time and space
 to feel like you have no voice …
as a white woman in this day and age,
I say, what use are my words if they carry  no weigh?
What If everything I have to say is just dirty laundry I can’t help but put on display?
And hey,
my washer may be broken
but at least I’ve got a clean slate :).

The Boredom Blues

I hate to admit it, but yes, I have been bored lately.  Bored of the same places…. the same faces.  I didn’t even KNOW I was bored until I stepped outside of my comfort zone recently and tried some wildly different experiences, which I would like to share with you, fellow readers.

Yesterday, I had the privileged and the honor of attending the Lansing Correctional Facility in Leavenworth County.  Two other poets, Douggie Nightlife Jones Rosenbrook, Sheri Purpose Hall, and I went for the End of Summer Hip Hop Bash, to witness an evening of awe-inspiring music and lyrics.  #holycow


These men we got to see perform were SO open, so honest, so excited to be spittin’ bars up on that stage.  I’ve never seen a better hip hop show, hands down, chalk full of talent and heart.   Some of the men were clearly rappers/lyricists, some could sing like you wouldn’t believe, some were producers of tracks, others were making up the house band.  It was truly an evening unlike anything I have ever experienced.

The most touching song that brought tears to my eyes, was this older gentleman’s song called “Life in the Pen”, cross-referencing spending time in the penitentiary with finding live inside his pen and paper, which was getting him through the experience.  My “Orange is the New Black” knowledge of the prison system didn’t begin to equate to how much I learned about the spirit of this local jail in just a few hours.

Meanwhile, back in midtown, KC, a good friend of mine was encouraging me to check out the local float tank experience, Float KC.    If you’ve never bobbed like a cork in 1,000 lbs of Epsom salt, you’re definitely missing out.


The spa-like space located near 75th and Wornall is incredibly luxurious, with a private dressing room for changing and overhead showers.  The float itself is truly a unique experience, taking meditation and relaxation to a whole new level.  You essentially get into a sensory-deprivation tank for an hour and bliss out.  But the BEST part about the Float KC experience was the 15-minute chiropractic-esque massage chair.  I’d go back for the chair alone!  It does your whole body at once, in a room that feels like you’re in space.  The whole thing was really so strange, I beg of you to try it once in your life, if it at all interests you.  There is a whole culture and history around floating!

I’ve heard you have to give it a few tries before you get the hang of it, and I can’t wait to go back!  It is for sure something new to give a chance.

Speaking of new chances, some of you may know I am getting ready to leave town for an extended period.  Not quite sure how long.  Or where I’ll end up actually.  I’m leaving around the beginning of October, and I won’t be back until mid-January, when I will be publishing my first book!  Save the date: January 23rd at Prospero’s Bookstore of the POP Poetry series.

If this whole artist thing doesn’t work out, my back up plan: Law School.

Here’s to curing those boredom blues, by stepping outside of your comfort zone and going for your dreams.  There’s no turning back now.

Ciao for now darlings!



A Stringed Cheese Incident Report

Where does one even begin to describe the greatest place on earth?  You don’t… you just GO.  It’s like Burning Man, or Paris… there is no explanation, you just have to experience.  The culture.  The notion.  The “Vibe”.

I’ve seen a lot of musicality in my lifetime, but nothing has compared to The String Cheese Incident at Red Rocks last weekend.  Shall we take a look?

Everybody said “you will love it”… everybody said “it will be amazing”.  I knew it going in, with my heart already in love with Colorado for many years, and the red rock of the earth striking me so comfortable.

I fell in love with Cheese years ago.  I remember my friend in high school telling me, “Dude you gotta check out this band” but it wasn’t until Wakarusa 2005 that they really spiked my curiosity.  “Why is everybody hula-hooping, geesuz?”, is what I was really thinking.

But they grew on me, as all things we love do, and I found myself at a Big Summer Classic at camp Zoe in 2007.  The hula-hoop thing clicked, many of us began our  spinning journeys, and the cheese was ON.
Fast forward to July 26th, 2015, Red Rocks Amphitheater, the vibe had never been so ecstatic, dare I say?
For starter, the googly-eyes I put on my friend were epic.
Leonard, the hand puppet made several appearances:
And the cheese grins were FULL BLAST.
EVERYBODY was smiling.  The crowd was amazing.  It didn’t matter if you were standing next to your best friend, your lover or a stranger, we all celebrated as though we had known each other for years.  It is truly a showcase of the best aspects of a tribe mentality, coming together to celebrate life.

I cried three times during Nahko & Medicine for the People.  THREE TIMES!  And then he busted out an “I Like the Way You Work It” cover and I about lost my dancing shoes right there.
And Cheese.  I get goosebumps when I think about their synergy.  These guys have been playing together since 1993, originally out of Crested Butte and Telluride.   The band got the name when in Bellevue Colorado in 1996, there was an incident when Michael broke a string. All members write original compositions and sing, but Nershi has written the bulk of the group’s original songs. These guys are SO talented on so many planes.  Michael Kang has an incredible voice and his violin, wow…  Michael Travis and Jason Haun (of the off-shoot EOTO) are incredible forces of nature.  And then there’s Kyle Hollingsworth.  Say it again, because his name is so sexy, KYLE HOLLINGSWORTH, who makes me want to start an I Heart Kyle Hollingsworth fan club.  Ok, sorry, sometimes I turn into a 12-year-old girl.

According to Wikipedia, Their music has elements of bluegrass sounds, as well as rockelectronicacalypsocountryfunkjazzLatinprogressive rockreggae, and occasional psychedelia.  These guys span everything from honky-tonk to new age dumpstuck funkadelic hip hop remixes holy cow! All with this very distinct sound, or twang, of cheese.  It’s electrifying!  It’s addictive.  It’s incomparable to anything else of it’s nature, and to be so profound at such an un-nostalgic level.

For me, I believe spirituality comes from a certain sense of nostalgia.  People are drawn to moments that stimulate something comfortable from your past, and the same works vice-versa for bad memories.  Things we are conditioned not to like in religion or spirituality often make us avoid that which doesn’t suit us.  That’s why when we hear our favorite song played, we get so excited.  We can sing along.  It feels good to know it and love it.  And while it’s easy to feel that way about say, The Rolling Stones or The Beatles, it’s harder for me to find it personally in modern day music.

Now I’ve been in love with Cheese for over 10 years now, so some would argue there is time for nostalgia to build up.  And it has.  The love for this band has grown larger than I could have imaged.  Their fans travel cross country to a ridiculous magnitude, to Winter Carnivals and Hulaween celebrations.  Into Electric Forrests and into the Rocks of Red.  It’s been quite a journey.

Over the years they have worked with several artists, collaborating with names like Skrillex, Talking Heads producer, Jerry Harrison, Jamie Janover, Leftover Salmon and more.  It’s an ongoing, ever-unfolding story of magic and tease, a little bit of attitude.  It’s Cheese.

I left Colorado on Sunday and bought a string cheese as the gas station. It made me smile.  Incidents are everywhere.  You just have to look for them and listen, heart open wide.  The song is clear.

Until next time, stay sweet,

Van’s Warped Tour 2015

I went in for the Kosha Dillz….and I came out a fan of many. I really didn’t know what to expect. I’ve heard about Warped Tour for years, and as a connoisseur of festival culture, I was truly blown away by the hoard of people who got off their asses on a Thursday in July to brave the heat at Sandstone.

Yes, we’re calling it Sandstone. End of discussion.


11 a.m. and the parking lot was almost as full as the sold out Dave concert weeks before. I’ve never seen so many young people, SO hot, and SO excited to be present. It was a rocker’s paradise. Every band had it’s own tent; every band you could go and shake hands with, and every band had a 30-60 minute time slot on one of the eight stages set up in Sandstone. Six of the eight stages took over a whole parking lot, and forgive me if you’ve been to Warped Tour before, but for those of us who have not, it’s quite a picture to paint.


Kosha Dillz kicked it off early on the Beatport stage, with more energy and hutzpah than any Jewish rapper I’ve ever seen. The Bar Mitzvah of his sidekick rapper Flex Matthews was a nice touch.  (For all you goy’s out there, a Bar Mitzvah is a BIG DEAL, and yes they did the hora)


The Carousel Kings were on point with an amazing lead singer and superb crowd interaction.


Phosphene’s hot front girl really stood out, even with her backing tracks underneath!

KooKoo Kanga Roo has an amazing song about fanny packs…

IMG_7435Riff Raff was in the HOUSE! (yay)

Even the comedy tent was hoppin’ … Grant Cotter blew me away.

You can scope the full lineup of artists here: http://vanswarpedtour.com/bands

It was truly a unique festival experience. Every performer there was hustling, HARD… to get people to their show (with signs and promo featuring the time and location of their show), hustling to get people to buy merch afterwards, to take stickers, to be friends with and build up their fan base.

The whole production clearly took effort, from the volunteers, to the vast array of merchandise, sound and stage production, vendors and info booths galore… everybody there was COMMITTED and in for the long haul. (Well, except me, I came, I saw, then I got the hell out of there and came back to the AC to write this blog post… which is why some people actually get paid to do this shit… it’s hard work being out there all day!)


All in all, well done Warped Tour. Ya’ll actually had your act together, which for a rocking shit-show, can be hard to do. I for one was impressed, and with a little planning, hope to be back next year on your lineup!

MissConception, reporting live from Kansas City #WarpedTour2015

P.S. Moral of the day: “The Dream Doesn’t Chase Itself”

Go get it.