Listen to my music on SoundCloud!

The people have spoken and I have heard you!  You can now listen to a limited sample of my original songs on SoundCloud! I’ve also added links on my music page.

As the songs that I’ve uploaded are from my 1990 demo “The Rehearsal”, there are two disclaimers:

1. I was 20 years old when I recorded these!  That was more than half of my life ago.  My voice (both literally and figuratively) has matured since then.  🙂  In case you’re curious, the album photograph was taken 3 months before the recording.

2. It was 1990!  My style has also evolved with the times.  Exhibit A: the album photograph!

Listening recommendation:  Start from the bottom and listen in order (#1 – 6) or, better yet, listen to the entire album in the order it was intended (first entry at the bottom “demo album”).

Please listen, comment, and stay tuned for more — I anticipate uploading some covers in the next few weeks!




I don’t know if I should tell you more
of my story
much less how
I don’t know if you care enough to be safe
I don’t know what I fear most right now
your contempt, indifference, empathy
or silence.

How to describe this plague?
This looking out on a perfect, shiny, flowering spring
through a windowpane
drenched in rain
and tears on the inside
This trying to swim in a sparkling river
upstream, in a wool bodysuit
sopping, weighted, drowning.
Whether to convey the other shapes of me?
You see
confident, strong, smart, sexy
yes, yes, yes, yes
and to the wild furry beast
pacing in my ribcage
wide paws
scissor claws
and hungry, yellow eyes
also yes.
I forget that my skin is not translucent
and you can’t see her there
I forget you don’t have x-ray vision
and you can’t see through the thickened lead walls
that contain the detonated atom bomb
that is my life.

They say that doing the same thing over and over
expecting a different result
is insanity
but maybe it’s also faith
the one constant variable
Do I risk again?
Inviting a kind new stranger in
revealing I’m not only wide and clear and resilient
like the mirrored surface of a resting lake
but also small and blurred, prickly, asymmetrical
bouncing unpredictable
doing a courageous job of calm
wringing out all the water from my tear ducts
so that my eyes can smile.

It’s fear and love that motivate me
the fear of what I might do to others
with my claws and ionizing radiation
but also the terror of what they might do to me
the world is not kind
to honesty, difference, or awkward attempts
and you
this almost-love-not-really-never-maybe-quite
growing presence
glowing essence
I don’t need you to fix it
or solve me
I don’t even know if I want you to see
but to gently lift my chin and cradle my neck
in your capable hands
and get two breaths in
before I bob back under the current
is enough.
To slowly wipe a path
for my gaze
on this windowpane
and kiss my forehead
as it leans on the glass
will soothe.
To not recoil horrified at the sight/site
of ground zero
if I crack open this lead door
is all.

If you could lead this caged beast
out of the darkness
she’d follow you
but no one can
if you would light a candle
so she can sleep a while comforted
warmed and free of hallucination
would be better
than silence.

© S. Rinderle, 2013

Published: Snapdragon: A Journal of Art and Healing, Issue 7.4 Depression: Acceptance, Winter 2021

Without you

I missed you today
not an unnatural emotion
but unnatural for me
in the midst of a song
that’s not about you
contemplating my lover’s familia
there you were


In 43 years I don’t remember ever
feeling this way
not even
in the 13 since you disappeared
I still recall
that 2 a.m. phone call
from 1500 miles away
the hardest phone call
my father ever made
his voice saying
“sweetie, she died”
and my roommate
who understood no English
lurching downstairs crying
because of whatever
was coming out of me
after that.

I stood in line at the airport
in my black coat
and by the time we got
to the tarmac at LAX
to sit and wait
for a gate
while they harvested your organs
in my absence
I’d had all my feelings.
Impossible to explain
what it’s like
to lose your mother
the one person you know nothing without
whose womb was ground zero
for your very existence
Even though I sometimes hated her
often pitied
usually feared
and always mistrusted
I now miss the best she did
and the things she never gave
not because she didn’t want to
but because she was unable.

I wonder now if she didn’t love me
because I didn’t love her.
I’m sorry mama
I so wanted you to see me
my simmering rage
and oldest daughter’s pain
kept me from seeing you
seeing true
and now at 13 years of distance
and safety
I can finally admit
the garden of my life
is more thirsty, faded
and barren
without you.

© S. Rinderle, 2013