Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Remembering Maya Angelou, an earth angel

What can you say? The St. Louis native, 86, wrote her own life, in autobiography, essay, and poetry; you must admit, she took the opportunity of being alive to speak for herself. When you look across the pop culture landscape, I think you see we need her now as much as ever.

I'd speculate she is the most read poet of the late Twentieth Century. She had the stature to rightly criticize a Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial for its poor quote ("that made him sound like an arrogant twit." “If you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice," he said. Well, count her as the flag corp leader for wisdom, at the very least. Her words shared many with many of her poetic sisters and brothers, but what she means as an individual can't be replaced, only honored.

I was 17, coming from a house where my parents didn't read around me, when I discovered instructors at the Governor's Honors Program speaking of Maya Angelou in hushed, respectful tones. I had yet to discover how important a dignified Black female voice would be across the mental landscape, among those who think and feel deeply. It is not only her words, but their context, her background, her identity in this world as well as the being within, in which we are all alike, that infuses our conversation about her words with rich textures, further questions, additional meaning. When I first encountered her---for to meet one's word is to be the person herself--- I had barely been initiated to the world of poetry. Our words of song seem to have so little force amid the crushing realities of politics and business, yet without their essence, even among those who do not read them but think and feel in their would life be worthwhile? Meaning is worthwhile. There's no greater agony than to bear a story untold, she said. As I assess her words as a body, I become proud to share her insights and sentiments, proud to write, proud to love. Proud to have shared this Earth with beings invested in her nurturing.

Maya---that name often means "earth," and what is her last name, but that of an angel?--- became a well-spring of the sort of aphorisms that have enlightened us across recorded time. To speak wisdom is to be timeless. To be quoted is to never remain silent.

We, unaccostomed to courage,
exiles from delight
live coiled in shell of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.

Love arrives
and in its train comes ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold, love strikes away
the chains of fears from our souls.

We are weaned from our timidity
in the flush of love's light
We dare be brave
and suddenly we see
that love costs all that we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
that sets us free.

-Maya Angelou.
And glad I am that I had to type each word, the better to remember.
Her first name was the earth. Her last name now will be the angel. The work created by those who read her---in deed and in feeling and imagination---is another, which is somehow greater even than the poet's body. It goes on unfinished, breathing, vivid, to this day, and all the days these words are read, and more to come. Rest in Peace. Live in us forever.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A new Southern Gothic Romance/ Comedy novel comes of age, (or, Please, I'm out of ravioli,) Anywhere With You: by Cecil Disharoon

"Write what you know." I've gotten a lot more done this way, for certain. As much as I want to write fantastic allegories, I realized I have something personal to say. The strangest, most beautiful moments of my life have something in them for me to remember, and something special to share, which I can't even know until it lands in the hands of the reader. You readers make a new piece of art the moment you read a book, because the way you imagine it, and the thoughts that come to you in the process, are uniquely your own.

Paperback copy :

my links are invisible...whuh? It's on Kindle, I promise.

For example, my grandmother's diary was presented to me, over twenty years after she passed away. I was charmed by the irony of having her words during the time she fell in love with Grandpa---because that was the real impetus for keeping the diary, and that's a blog unto itself--just as I was going to press again with words inspired by me falling in love, too.

That, and we can all laugh about the time I kicked in the apartment door just to impress the girl with me and my sister, because I was carrying a flower for her under my coat and couldn't stand having my groove interrupted by us being locked out. And the time we woke up with guns in our faces.

I've written, honestly, over a million words already in this lifetime: so many stories, essays, articles, interviews, and poems and other nonsense. I really feel called to do it. It's the first thing my partner and sweetheart knew for sure about me: I was born to write. But you can decide for yourself.

Funny thing is, I was very much a skeptic about the supernatural, in any form, probably for the sake of my own sanity, and then...well, something not unlike the core problem in my novel really happened. That's where the Gothic part comes in. The Southern part gives the book its resonant struggle to make peace with free thinking and a conservative Biblical upbringing. I didn't want to go over board rhapsodizing about philosophy, but there it is, amid a plot that owes its pace more to romance novels than Goethe, Kant, or Plato. It's also a good bit more charitable about loving than Nietzsche, although, to be fair, I don't suffer from syphillus.

The very first copies have been purchased, so I've had the neurotic joy of wondering how it measures up, and what curtains I may pull back in the workings of my life and mind. Yet, here I am, unabashedly plugging it! You only need search last summer's blog entries on Be Chill to read all the preview pages you like. Hey, I've got to save SOME of the best stuff, y'know!

(Is it on Kindle? Insert hilarious one-liner indicating "yes," here!) To avoid confusion with another novel that can't possibly be QUITE as good, the Kindle version has its original title, I'd Go Anywhere With You.

It's not my very first book, either, but I feel like it's got breakthrough potential...which would be nice, as I am presently eating gift cans of ravioli and bunking at my in-laws after my travel plans fell apart for now.

Some sample chapters: for a romantic scene for a good laugh for both for a taste of the thought-provoking conversations

If you're feeling sad about love, I really think the book could pick you up. If you're trying to recapture the flavor of being young and falling in love, I feel like it's got youthful impetuousness and the dizzying process of abandoning logic, if not reason (because hey, I have it on good authority I chose well. My wife tells me). If you're in the mood for a good coming of age novel, or coming of age yourself, I know these are great working class heroes for you, just trying to do some of the same things you wish you could do, perhaps, yourself.

And if you're feeling philanthropic...may I suggest buying a box of copies to pass out to libraries and friends, as you declare your friendship with this upcoming cult writer who'll be on everyone's lips in twenty years?

Because...I'm out of ravioli.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Fabulous Fragility

This is dedicated to our sweet sister Dixie Hellfire, her family, and her aunt Debra, recovering in a nursing home. It's been a pretty rocky road for the ladies that inspired these words, but good things DO happen, and even the tightest spot can get better. For now, I'm glad Dixie can walk again and ...feel things, let's say, instead of paralysis, which was very nearly the case! And here's to Aunt Debra, who came back from a stroke after two years with cognizance for the first time since then.

Fabulous Fragility (for Dixie)

Amaj7/Dm7/ Amaj7 /Dm7/ Amaj7

Dmaj7 Bsus2
Pain inside makes it hard, hard to move

G Em A
No doctor has told us of a way

DM7 Bsus2
My normal life, inflamed desire, inflamed desire
G Em A
Spurs are in me not making me faster, yet, gay…

DM7 Bsus2 F#m
I take the cheer and responsibility

Em A
G Mistake the rain inside for regrets of agility

(special chords) Fabulous Fragility Dmaj7

Em G
A horse of a different color…

A Dmaj7 Em G A
I live this life some might fear in the path of every wrecking ball but I’m still here

D Glad to feel, a hand of
Amin 7 steel balances me every

G time I fall, without you Dmaj7 near without you dear…

2. Brain is fried; take a pill, another bill

I nearly lost the nerves to walk away

Once I thought my dear one lost I looked up to her

One Easter weekend she woke up to say

I had to cry, I thought she had lost all ability

She smiles, & knows my name & helps me pray for new mobility

Fabulous Fragility It meant so much to tell her that I love her

And pain so great, so small a thing to suffer

A Dmaj7 Em G A
I live this life some might fear in the path of every wrecking ball but I’m still here

D Glad to feel, a hand of

Amin 7 steel balances me every

G time I fall, without you

Dmaj7 near without you dear…

Amaj7 Dmaj7 Amaj7 Dmaj7 Dm7 Amaj 7 FIN.

Written by Lue Lyron Copyright 2014 Integr8d Soul Productions/ Wingbat Tunes

I've now added pics and vid, hopefully, from our appearance at First Friday downtown, the huge city-sponsored concert, as well as the Bridge The Sea benefit at the Mellow Mushroom Saturday at 8pm, to benefit a small island in the Philippines. Hope to see you there! Come hear a song and get a drawing from us!!! Cee and Aye

P.S. If Create Space goes smoothly, our novel I'd Go Anywhere With You finally goes on sale in paperback on, as well as on I've added some new material, including my discovery of Grandma's diary when she first got engaged! Awesome...