Audio! — Performance at Women of the World local poets showcase

Hi!  The Women of the World Poetry Slam 2015 is over.  There were hundreds of the best female and female-identified poets in the country in Albuquerque this week, and I feel honored to have been in workshops, audiences and on stage with some of them!  Not only that, Albuquerque’s own Mercedez Holtry tied for third place in the finals!

Saturday’s Local Poets Showcase was one of the event’s highlights for me.  Thanks to everyone who attended, and for those who didn’t make it, here is the audio of my performance!

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Purple Lyrics statement on ABQ Slams

For nearly two years, I’ve had the privilege of participating, competing, and winning in the Albuquerque slam poetry scene. I’ve learned a lot and met many talented, delightful people. I’ve contributed a new voice and perspective. Over the last few months, however, I’ve felt slightly disillusioned with the atmosphere. I’ve wondered if it was me, the audience, or the behind-the-scenes aspects of Albuquerque slam. But in the last two weeks, I’ve observed behaviors and had experiences that have pushed my mild sense of something’s-not-quite-right into anger and sadness. I’ve realized that a handful of those who run the behind-the-scenes aspects aren’t aligned with my values and vision for what poetry, artistry and community are about.

I have therefore decided, for the time being, to withdraw my participation in the Albuquerque slam poetry scene.  I will continue to write, perform, collaborate and hopefully publish – in the Albuquerque area and beyond – but will be more mindful of ensuring my poetry activities take place with fellow artists, and in settings, that truly support and embody integrity, respect, justice, inclusion, community, clarity, responsibility, accountability and excellence. I think my last slam – where the audience and I were inspired by my performance, I was the only woman in the final round, I placed second over one of Albuquerque’s top performance poets, and I missed first place (which went to a veteran poetry slam team member and city champion ) by .1 point – is an excellent note on which to end for now.

Some may view this somewhat formal statement as unnecessary, overly dramatic, or politically unwise. But feigning indifference about matters I care about, staying silent to stay in the good graces of people with positional power, or failing to act when action is called for is also not in alignment with my values or my vision for the world. Not taking a stand is to be complicit, and failing to voice one’s stance so others can hear it maintains the status quo many of us artists are committed to changing. To speak of change, indignity and injustice on stage, and then to live otherwise off stage is to perpetuate the problems we rail against, dilute the precious power of spoken word, and dishonor our truths. It is to be cynics, hypocrites and victims. I am none of these.

I encourage you to likewise take a stand for what you care about and commit to living in fierce integrity with your values and goals. I heartily thank you for your enthusiasm for my work and your ongoing support. And, I look forward to continue evolving as a writer and artist – my best work is yet to come!

Love letter to the audience

Do you tire of pain?
Are you weary of suffering?

Once I found healing
my pen ran dry
And what does it say of a poet
if she has nothing to write when she’s happy?

Is this why we artists are so tortured?
Our souls bleed and weep onto the page
the pen like a needle in our arm
feeding our addiction to venom
the sweet, sweet pleasure
of our own suffering
mainlining our rage and grief
into our audiences
getting you hooked
on the ejaculation
of our shame and secrets
leaving you sticky
and needing a hot shower

Was it good for you?
Are you satisfied?
Or would you prefer to make out for a while?
Spoon and snuggle?
Gaze up at the stars from a blanket?
Find awe in all the beauty,
marvel at all the good?

Would you hear me if I didn’t shout?
Believe me I didn’t spit?
Love me if I were unmiserable?

Poets are not just truth tellers
calling out the sins of the past
but visionkeepers, harbingers
of possible futures
We’re not starving for lack of dreams
but in spite of them

Whitman said, “to have great poets
there must be great audiences”

So let us both be great

Let us feast
on a more diverse diet of human story
and make lovewords
alongside our painbodies
creating the world we fantasize
with our breath.

© S. Rinderle, 2014

Today is my anniversary!

One year ago today I first participated in the Albuquerque slam scene as the sacrificial poet at Poetry & Beer.  Two championships, three features, multiple slams and tons of new friendships later, I can hardly believe it!  All I set out to do was to try sharing some of my poems publically, and while things took off in a way I didn’t expect or intend, I’m still enjoying it and still making time for art and words among my many pursuits and commitments.

So come celebrate with me! Next Saturday, March 15th I offer some poems during the Rhythm & Words benefit for the Agora Crisis Center at ArtBar starting at 7:00 p.m.  See Facebook for more info.  No better way to celebrate my anniversary and the momentous Ides of March!Rhythm & Words

4th place in Albuquerque WOW slam championship!

It was a great show last Friday — all the seasoned pros and newbies alike brought their best game, had fun, and supported each other loudly and generously!  I made it to the third round and came in 4th place overall, and also got some enthusiastic responses from audience members and helpful feedback from coaches.  Thanks to everyone who came out (and to those who cheered from a distance!) and felicidades to the winner, the consistently amazing Jessica Helen Lopez who will rep ‘Burque at the national WOW slam in Austin next March!  Click here to see some photos of the event!

I’m in…most likely! ABQ Women of the World Slam Poetry Championship

Hi!  I hope Thanksgiving was a bounteous and restful time for you and yours!  There’s one more slam between now and Friday, but chances are pretty good I’ll be in the lineup this Friday to compete with 9 other women to represent Albuquerque at the international level in March!  Come out this Friday, 7:30 p.m., Outpost Theater in Albuquerque! Click here for more information and tickets!

On Anger

I’m angry
because my parents didn’t want me
like all children should be dreamed and coveted
I was the fruit of duty
conceived one spring evening
after church
I was born
on Sunday

I’m angry
because my mother didn’t love me
like all girls should be
adored and mentored
because her mother didn’t love her
the latest in a long matriline
of hollow faceless dolls
filling their withered daughters
with dry, empty breath

I’m angry
because I couldn’t run free
always the good one
trimmed of messy edges
neat and symmetrical
a patch in the family quilt
weakly sewn together
pulled in all directions

I’m angry
because no one could comfort me
and my self-soothing
dramatic pleas for help
sudden welts
closed-up bronchi
spasmed colon
and fits of self-mutilation
inspired rejection
instead of redemption

I’m angry
because my father didn’t
straighten his back for me didn’t
widen his shoulders for me
never taught me
to stand up protected
my boundaries too permeable
for safety or resilience
letting in all manner of
pestilence
virus, bacteria
free radicals
and human plague

I’m angry
because the world taught me
I’m a girl
I’m not allowed
beauty and brilliance
I’m not afforded
affection and respect
I’m second to any mediocrity in the room
if it has a penis
and a deep voice

I’m angry
because circumstance
was not the way it should have been
happenstance
rarely just or logical
so much imperfection and harm
easily avoided
or remedied

But as I reflect
relax my tightened triceps
accept
everything
was exactly
as it had to be
and I’m okay

I’m free

because
I’m no longer
angry.

© S.Rinderle, 2013