“Maybe this is how it starts” you think to yourself, as you wait at the passenger arrival gate at PDX. This isn’t the first time you have had this thought, and you have even been close to being right before. You look at the faces of all the other people there: the gruff, hardened, emotionless middle aged man. The white family who has signs made for whomever they’re waiting for. The young black girl, she’s wearing a knit hat and coat maybe a little too large for the November weather. You love her the most, she’s also wearing headphones that may or may not be plugged in to anything, and a headset microphone in front of her mouth which reminds you of Janet Jackson’s Rhythm 1814. Your suspicion that she may be high-functioning autistic is reinforced when she lets out a loud squeal of pure glee when she sees who is probably her brother coming out of the doors, only then does she tear off the headphones. Continue reading Arrivals
Two years ago, when I lived in Los Angeles, I left my job to take a year-long “artistic sabbatical”. I felt a creative itch that was brought about by working with my LA family at Sacred Fools Theater Company. A few months into that year, I went through some shit. I came out on the other side more determined than ever to create a life that was artistically fulfilling, and more than anything true and authentic to myself. I visited Portland for the first time in February of 2013, and instantly fell in love with it, thanks to my good friend and tour guide Summer Olsson. And then a funny thing happened: Continue reading Happy Birthday, BLCKSMTH
You know that feeling when you’ve worked on something for a really long time, and you release it into the world? It’s wonderful and terrifying. Those are the feelings I get when I announce the release of my first book, The Tropic Of Never. It wasn’t a difficult birth, but the conception was less than auspicious: Continue reading The Tropic Of Never, A Book In Three Parts
I’m from Michigan.
It’s funny though, as you get older, you run as far away as possible from where you came, run fast as you can from that normal job and normal life, and change your life six ways from Kansas and back, then you tell everyone you meet you’re from the place you did everything in your power to leave.
So yeah, I’m from Michigan.
Which is good, because somehow that seems to satisfy the question of “Why?” every time someone asks me. And they nod, as though I were offering the one explanation that will justify the situation at hand.
Why? Why am I intent on taking a picture of every house of worship in Detroit? Why is this clearly liberal, obviously (and quite specifically) non-religious, more-than-likely-not-wearing-pants womanchild putting her face forward as the spokesperson for the anywhere from 1200-2500 churches, synagogues, temples and sanctuaries in Detroit? Continue reading Gimme Sanctuary
Another ridiculously enjoyable piece from BLCKSMTH contributing editor Jennie Kay. If you like this piece of hers, check out this one too.
Poetry is important to kids. It really is, even though we are all sucky poets as kids. Except that eight-year-old-Appalachian-savant that makes words out of twigs and becomes a poet-laureate, when they are the only ones in their extended family that know how to read. Except for them, we are all sucky poets as kids, but I believe it is really important to be a poet as a kid. Everything is so much more real then. I always said I wouldn’t get jaded, but as I look back, I was pretty well done by the age of ten. As a kid, you spend so much time looking around you can’t help but notice what’s really going on. You learn things like: staring someone directly in the face after you have lied, will make you win. You shouldn’t know about winning before you are at least seventeen. I didn’t have a lot of wins growing up, but there were a few. Continue reading Oh Fudge, I’m Winning
BLCKSMTH introduces its first contributing editor, Jennie Kay. Jennie Kay poses as a communication design specialist while packing a six-shooter of creative wit and observation. Originally from Michigan, she has lived in California for the past thirteen years, and currently resides in Antigua, Guatemala.
“Welcome To My (Microwaved-Organic-Low Calorie-Horribly Unsatisfying) Life”
I have decided to split up with my boyfriend. I made the decision.
I realize that it is not for lack of care or anything he has or has not done, which unfortunately I blame way too much on him in the first place, poor guy. Simply put, there is nothing he does that makes me a better person.
He helps me throw better parties, but that is not really a relationship skill, or is it?
My friend Greg says it is.
He says it means you ultimately know how to work together. That is great, but throwing a good party isn’t helping me finally lose some weight and feel better about myself, throwing a better party is not getting told my tits look fantastic (frankly, it usually is, but not by him), throwing an amazing party is not going to help me figure out what the hell I am doing with my life, throwing a great party isn’t helping me pay off the credit cards I have been living off of the last three months and it sure as hell won’t tell me if I can seriously commit to helping a child grow up. Continue reading What the Kay?
He paused for a moment, hands poised above the keyboard, wondering if he was going to write another story about talking possums, or dumb but lovable deer. “Ah, f**k it,” he muttered, and started another story about a dyslexic lemur that just couldn’t catch a break.
Or maybe not. I started this blog to chronicle my big life decision to leave my retail career after 20 years, and only do doing things that fulfill me creatively and artistically. I know: BOR-ing! No one has ever had that impulse, right? Continue reading Plumbing the Depths