Reality comes when an exact moment coincides with acceptance of a certain event.
Reality came for me on September 12, 1995, when McKay, my only child, was abducted and murdered by an adult family friend named Hilton Crawford. McKay loved and trusted Hilton. Hilton betrayed that love and trust.
All that is left of McKay are memories, The McKay Foundation, a few personal belongings, a gravesite and some ashes.
Our mission has been to leave something more: lessons learned and hopefully wisdom gained.
Inspired by the culture, music, history and mythology of the Blues, The Red Light Was My Mind captures the tone, rhythms, sounds, images, and myths of the Mississippi Blues. Son House, Charlie Patton, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Robert Johnson, Peetie Wheatstraw, Billie Holiday, Jack Johnson, and a cast of entirely fictitious and mythical figures embody the region's legendary past and its often harsh present. These stories wind through a number of related narrative threads, interlaced with poems reflecting a myriad of Blues forms: songs, hollers, monologues, folktales, chants, spells, and sermons. Love, death, evil, sorrow, violence, and dancing fill the Blues and inhabit these poems.
In an instant ex-Sheriff Captain and respected businessman Hilton Crawford became the most hated man in Montgomery County, Texas. Was he a cold-blooded killer, or was he duped? Were there other parties involved who were never apprehended? Was justice really served in his execution? Seed of Villainy reveals the true details of his life and his crime as told in Death Row interviews prior to his death by lethal injection. It is the moving journey of one man through his desperate act and subsequent trial and execution.
Far-From-Equilibrium Conditions, Michael Lieberman's fifth collection of poems, struggles to find meaning in a world unmoored by turmoil and scientific discovery. In one poem, a speaker notes, "I will be assigned as nothing" and then implores that "it be a significant nothing." Lieberman is one of our most gifted poets whose preoccupation with love and desire create a gravity that is its own meaning in our topsy-turvy universe. Many of these poems are set in Lieberman's Houston neighborhood though they move far afield as they search for a coherent vision of the world.
The title of this collection of poems employs the word mourning in a manner that expands the strict definition of the word and crosses the ordinary boundaries of the senses, where color, time, and place are triggers to memory and experience. The reader will be taken on an odyssey including sixteenth-century England, the ancient hills of Spain, a Renoir painting in Ft. Worth, a precarious cliffside inn on California's Highway One, a rare-book library in the heart of Houston, a high-school gym in Georgia, an East Texas pine forest, and the violet crowned hills of Austin. The forays collected in this volume always return to Texas, most notably Austin, where the power of childhood memories shed light on the author's life experiences during the pivotal periods of the sixties and seventies. The collection recaptures unique and complicated times with irony, wit, and joyful mourning.
From villages in Crete to Carolina farms to San Francisco pavement, the women in these poems struggle to live by their own lights, despite pressure for them to serve as mere appendages to men. Aphrodite's Daughter tells stories of women in myth, history, art, and contemporary life. The goddess's daughter, fed up with her role in her mother's story, says to her: "i'm leaving-i'm walking out/of your myth finally-i need a mother not a love goddess. . . . " This volume springs from the sense that, as Adrienne Rich reminds us, under patriarchy women often feel "wildly unmothered."
On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina-the costliest hurricane ever to hit the United States-monopolized headlines, thoughts, and hearts across the country as lives were forever changed, some erased. This book not only chronicles the devastation of that storm but also immortalizes through words and photographs some of the tales of personal tragedy associated with it, while celebrating the resilience of the human spirit, as communities come together and begin to rebuild.
A man gains and loses many things on his journey from birth to death. Toward the end of life, it seems a man loses more than he gains. Retired heavy-equipment operator Cole Emerson has lost his wife, is about to lose his only sister, and is estranged from his daughter. He sells his trailer in Oklahoma and moves into his sister Elsie's house on Hardman Lake, a sprawling man-made impoundment in the lush Ozark Mountains of southern Missouri. Elsie is dying. During the day, Cole cooks, cleans, and tries to keep her comfortable, napping when she naps, adapting his needs to her schedule. At night, he escapes into the dark solitude of Hardman Lake to fish for bass and clear his head, until one night in Turnback Creek he sees a mysterious girl who awakens in him a young man's desires and old buried memories.
The poems in Moving House are grounded in the sometimes haunted landscapes of South Carolina, a setting rich with the flavors of ripe peaches and tomatoes and fresh-caught shrimp. The speaker of these poems turns her attention to the ordinary objects of her Southern home, seeing artistry in the scales of a fish, the pearly buttons of a linen shirt, a missed eclipse, a sprig of morning glory run wild. In the interaction between story, history, family, and memory, these poems find meaning rooted in the land, a source of both fear and wonder.