Saturday night a small crowd of people gathered at Writ Large Press HQ and wrote on index cards their thoughts about the word “connection.” I wrote something like, “I believe connection is an energy/disconnection is an absence or a lesser and lesser charge.” My definitions of connection and disconnection change wildly day to day. Mostly they expand. 

These women are part of a group of women that have recently been rocking my world. At left is Meera Menon, director, and at right is Cristina Fernandez, actress. We’re working together on a one-act play I wrote with the help of April Wolfe and One Axe. The play is based on this essay, “Spell.” Whenever I think about this, and working with these women, I’m THRILLED. The One Axe Inaugural Showcase that will feature diverse short plays and “films-on-stage” from established and emerging female filmmakers and theater artists is Sat. March 28th, and you can get tickets here. CRAZY. 

Earlier that day is BinderCon. I’ll be on a personal essay writing panel with Anna March, and later a panel with Eileen Cronin (author, Mermaid), Quinn Heraty (lawyer) and Leigh Stein (author and co-founder of BinderCon) called ON WRITING MEMOIR: THE LITERARY, THE LEGAL, AND THE LOOPHOLE. Cool, huh? The loophole makes it sexy. And then there’s something called a VIP party? 

AWP is around the corner and I hope it’s not a tight corner. 

While at AWP I’ll be a part of a couple of readings when I’m not walking aimlessly trying to match faces to avatars. One of them is the Stories & Queer Reading featuring 12—that’s right, TWELVE—writers at the Barnes & Noble in downtown Minneapolis, Thurs. April 9, 7-9pm. The second reading is on Fri. April 10. The HEAT 2015: Hotter than Hell benefit for VIDA runs from 12pm-6pm (!!!). I will see you at the 12-1pm hour. 

I’ll also be on a panel with this crazy killer line-up of Ben Tanzer, Jamie Iredell, my hero Megan Stielstra, and Anna March. Get over there Thursday April 9th at the crack of 9am. I hope I will have slept the night before, even if for just three hours. Also on Friday I’ll be at the Hippocampus Magazine table signing books from 1:30-2:30. Somewhere amid all this I’m recording two podcasts. I also hope I have a voice left and another three hours of sleep. 

I really want to do karaoke on Sat. night of AWP after my date with Megan and Anna. 

face of a woman who wants to do karaoke

After AWP I go to New York, and in New York, besides seeing old friends and going sniffing with Alyssa Harad and hopefully getting a babysitter and going out drinking with the love of my life one night, I will be reading at the phenomenon known as the Franklin Park Reading Series, hosted by Penina Roth. I love a fine reading series and I’m grateful to be a part of this one. 

Things are getting cray. 

Hollywood Notebook is pre-orderable. Writ Large Press and I are hosting a book release party on Saturday, May 16th from 8 to 10pm at a location yet to be determined but that has not stopped 50 people from RSVPing today, so thank you, nice people. I will for sure send you somewhere cool to meet me that night. I will be turning 42 that day, the same age my father was when I was born. 

Which brings me to my father. 

A week from today it’ll be one year since my father died. Tonight when I was saying it out loud I also acknowledged that it feels like it’s been way more than one year. It feels like eons. It’s not enough to say so much has happened. But that will have to suffice. For now. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014 Doors open at 7:00pm

Reading begins at 7:30pm

The Good Luck Bar

1514 Hillhurst Ave.

Los Angeles, CA 90027 

F.L.O.W. will be at this event! We will be checking out books, issuing library cards, and accepting returns. If you have books to donate, this would be an excellent time to stop by and catch a special event to boot.

NoxOculus – Rhapsodomancy – A Hunger

Question: Should she continue to balance school & mental health? If so – how? If not – why?

A Hunger – Lucie Brock-Broido Pg. 26
Poem: Jessica, From the Well

“Bring me back

alive. It was so simple to come down.

I wake with my own hair wound

into my fist, in sleep I’ve torn my own

self – pretty, milky curls.

A spool of me.

In the matter of my toes, there has been damage done

but when I come back, they’ll pinken up, I’m sure.

In America: Hard Work & Prayer.

Resilience is bliss in the body,

the voodoo of immunity,

the will to come back,



I believe this stanza tells that you have been through pain, where you felt outside of yourself – felt a break with reality – with your own mind. This tells me you have an inner perseverance – something which is driving you forward – tine into that – it is the “How” – and so I gather especially from the last four lines, that the answer is Yes. Keep fighting. Keep forging forward.

Next Sunday night, I will be reading at Rhapsodomancy Presents…Live Rhapsodomancy ++ @ DTLAB @ Traxx Bar, Union Station, hosted by wendycortiz (co-founder of Rhapsodomancy Reading Series, author of the newly released EXCAVATION: A MEMOIR) and Chiwan Choi (onehumangallery, poet and author, editor and publisher at Writ Large Press) as part of dtlab's #90for90 event series. Traxx Restaurant is located in Union Station, so if you’ll be in Los Angeles, I encourage you to take the train in. Some good writers have already been confirmed, and there are more to be announced. It will be a divine night.

Today’s rhapsodomancy horoscope:

Today is a day for nostalgia. Be gentle to yourself. Poke the old wounds gently or you will find yourself spiralling into depression. Remember the good times with as much vibrance as you can muster. Good things are on the horizon for you if you allow the past to be past, and carry only the sweet things with you into the future.

Have you ever fed a lover with just your hands?
Closed your eyes and trust it, just trust it?
Have you ever thrown a fistful of glitter in the air?
Have you ever looked fear in the face and said, “I just don’t care.”?

It’s only half past the point of no return
The tip of the iceberg, the sun before the burn
The thunder before the lightning and the breath before the phrase
Have you ever felt this way?

Have you ever hated yourself for staring at the phone?
Your whole life waiting on the ring to prove you’re not alone
Have you ever been touched so gently you had to cry?
Have you ever invited a stranger to come inside?

It’s only half past the point of oblivion
The hourglass on the table, the walk before the run
The breath before the kiss, and the fear before the flames
Have you ever felt this way?

La La La La La La La La

There you are,
Sitting in the garden,
Clutching my coffee,
Calling me sugar
You called me sugar

Have you ever wished for an endless night?
Lassoed the moon and the stars and pulled that rope tight?
Have you ever held your breath and asked yourself will it ever get better than tonight?

The first Rhapsodomancy of 2015 features short readings and conversation with Siel Ju and Jen Hofer, Sat. March 21st, 8pm-10pm in downtown Los Angeles. Click here for the fb invite

The event will feature short readings from both writers and conversation on connection/disconnection. 

Siel Ju: “Connection/disconnection: themes / ideas / plots within our writing and as the relationship between the author and reader. As writers we’re often having to tread this line between the need for self-expression for the sake of self-expression and the need to connect / reach others with our work. And perhaps this is true of our other relationships too — this tension between wanting to do our own thing regardless of what others think, and wanting to connect with and be accepted by others — which often comes up in writing.”

SIEL JU is the author of two poetry chapbooks: Might Club from Horse Less Press and Feelings Are Chemicals in Transit from Dancing Girl Press. Her poems and stories have appeared in Denver Quarterly, Drunken Boat, ZYZZYVA, LIT, and other places. More of her work can be found at sielju.com.

JEN HOFER is a Los Angeles-based poet, translator, social justice interpreter, teacher, knitter, book-maker, public letter-writer, urban cyclist, and co-founder of the language justice and language experimentation collaborative Antena and the SoCal language justice advocacy collective Antena Los Ángeles. She has published poems, translations, and essays with numerous small presses, including Action Books, Atelos, belladonna, Counterpath Press, Kenning Editions, Insert Press, Les Figues Press, Litmus Press, LRL Textile Editions, New Lights press, Palm Press, Subpress, Ugly Duckling Presse, and in various DIY/DIT incarnations. Her most recent translations are letters she and Dolores Dorantes wrote collaboratively, for Harriet: The Blog.

::October Readings::

Many readings, all over Los Angeles, so I expect to see my L.A. friends who live all over the L.A. map:

Sun. Oct. 13, 2013, 7pm. Rhapsodomancy’s 9th Anniversary Reading. Cynthia Cruz, Rob Roberge, Louise Mathias, & Wendy C. Ortiz. The Good Luck Bar, 1514 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027. www.rhapsodomancy.org

Fri. Oct. 18, 2013, 7:30 p.m. Robert Krut book release: This Is the Ocean. Reading with Sarah Maclay and Wendy C. Ortiz. 
Stories Books, 1716 W Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90026. 

Sun. Oct. 20, 2013. 5 p.m. HITCHED Reading Series at Beyond Baroque art gallery, 681 Venice Blvd.
Venice, CA 9029. Featuring Chad Sweeney with Rose Angelica Alonso and Meghan McCarthy and Wendy C. Ortiz with Rae Gouirand. 

Wed. Oct. 23, 2013, 7:30 p.m.
 The Local Salon as part of the Lit Crawl L.A.: NoHo. 
The L.A. Word: Five queer women share true stories about life in Los Angeles, and turn the Local Salon into a literary salon. Featured Writers: Cheryl Klein, Nicole Kristal, Bronwyn Mauldin, Wendy Oleson and Wendy C. Ortiz.


Rhapsodomancy brings four writers together at the Good Luck Bar for a lively Sunday night reading every even-numbered month since 2004.

Sun. Dec. 8. After Secret City at the Bootleg Theater at noon, you will have a few hours to collect yourself & come down to the Good Luck Bar, where we will wow you with Tara Ison, Sophie Sills, James Ducat, and Jennifer Genest. 

I've decided to accept Saturday Bibliomancy, Rhapsodomancy, Tarot, I Ching, Futhark Runes and Lenormand Readings

Saturdays only unless I state I’ve been overwhelmed once again with school work.

I will not accept ANON requests, but I will post readings sans the usernames if requested.

I reserve the right to push back a reading for any reason. The reason will mostly be school. I also reserve the right to read when I have time earlier in the week before your scheduled reading — which could be a good thing <3

Send an ask along to find out when your spot will be. If I give you a spot you are ABSOLUTELY free to cancel or revise your request (ie ask a different question as the day draws closer) with at least a day’s notice on revisions.

I’ll tell you what I need from you in terms of questions/words and whatnot when I answer. I will not accept an ask that straight up asks a question first. 

When I do the reading,
I’ll take a phone pic of the spread, read, write it out and type it up. I’ll post it to follow sometime during the week.

If it’s a strange reading, I reserve the right to write a formal blog about the experience sans the name of the querent.

This is me trying to make time for psychic practice <3 So honestly, I don’t mind a bit. I just require my rules be followed.

tl;dr / recap.
1. Send a message asking if there’s a spot available for the reading.
2. I will answer with instructions — wait for this message for at least 5 days before sending another request.
3. No anon requests at all ever. (But I will post the readings sans the usernames and won’t tag you.)
4. Go back and read this whole post. tl;dr doesn’t work in Divination and probably won’t work with rule-reading.
5. These are all for my practice, but I can guarantee that somewhere along the road of life in some other state of thinking, the readings will make sense if they don’t right off the bat.

Terminology and Brief Description:

1. Bibliomancy: Divining via books. Your book choices:
"The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Poetic Edda" and "The Prose Edda"
2. Rhapsodomancy: Divining via poetry. Your book choices:
"Meditations on Rising and Falling" by Phillip Pardi, "Autobiography of Red" by Anne Carson or "A Hunger" by Lucie Brock Broido.
3. Lenormand: French Cartomancy. Divining via a system developed during Mme Lenormand’s time based on proximity to key cards. Uses 36 cards per reading to form a story. (I find these are best for those who want a general reading. More fun for me that way too :3) I will use either Art Nouveau Oracle or Blue Owl Lenormand.
4. Tarot: 78 card divination system. Seems complicated. Needs intuition. I will use Wildwood Tarot, Legends: Arthurian, Archeon Tarot, or Crow’s Magick Tarot depending on the querent.
5. I Ching: 64-hexagram/card oracle system based on 3,000 year old Chinese Philosophy. I’ll be reading with two cards and the line differences on card 2 from card 1. My I Ching deck is Holitzka I Ching.
6. Elder Futhark Runes: A 24-symbol set based on ancient Norse ideas and symbols. Read in several different ways, but most commonly form a story about the querent or their situation. This is the system I feel I need the most practice with. I’m using a set of laser cut art runes with Yggdrasil on the back. I don’t use the blank rune.

Vote for your favorite places for food, arts, sports, and shopping. And make sure to check back Oct. 4 to see the winners.

Rhapsodomancy, the 9 year old reading series I co-founded & curate, is a finalist for Best Reading Series in the LA Weekly’s 2013 Readers Choice Contest! You can vote by following the link and scrolling down to “Best Reading Series.” You may vote by logging in to facebook. Easy peasy. Please vote for us! www.rhapsodomancy.org 

Anticipating Autumn

So. many. things. 

Yesterday was spent with teachers & staff at a Catholic school, talking creativity, writing, games, words, sentences, paragraphs, constraints, possibilities, and nonsense. 

In anticipation of the next season, let me tell you—I will be reading with Robert Krut and Sarah Maclay in Los Angeles in October: 

I’ll also be reading on Sun. October 13th at Rhapsodomancy’s 9th anniversary. 

And, actually, one more time, on Wed. Oct. 23 at Lit Crawl LA: NoHo

My friend Jacqui Morton's chapbook Turning Cozy Dark was just released from Finishing Line Press. It’s a gorgeous piece of wonder. 

Writ Large Press is opening their DTLAB in The Last Bookstore, and you are invited to come celebrate, Sat. Sept. 7th. There will be book signings, panel discussions, & more.

Ashley Perez, who rocks a corset and a pen, is one of several contributors to the book First Time: An Anthology About Lost Virginity.

I have a couple of interviews coming up in literary journals this fall & winter. I’ll ask you to read them when they appear. 

Now, please! Go outside, put your feet up, & enjoy the last month of summer.

Today’s rhapsodomancy horoscope:

The fight is not worth it today. You shouldn’t give up; you just shouldn’t fight, either. Just let things be today. Let the universe wash over you like water. Do nothing. Do not resist. Do not run. Just be. Any hard efforts today will have negative consequences on loved ones that will eventually erode those relationships. Also: beware of anyone named James. He will break your heart. Trust me on this one.

James, come on home
You’ve been gone too long baby
We can’t let our hero die alone
We miss you day and night
You left town to live by the rifle
You left us to fight
But it just ain’t right to take away the light
Remember Genie, from the casino
She’s still a-waiting in her big brass bed
The boys from your gang are knocking whiskey back
'Till they get out of hand
And wish they were dead
They’re only lonely for the life they led
With their old friend
Ooh, James are you selling your soul to a cold gun?
Where lies your heart?
It’s not there in the buckskin baby
It’s not there in the gin that makes you laugh long and loud
You’re a coward James
Your running away from humanity
You’re running out on reality
It won’t be funny when they
Rat-a-tat-tat you down

Today’s rhapsodomancy horoscope:

Beware liars, thieves, and ghosts. Today is a day for caution. You may find yourself being self-destructive. Try to make conscious, well-considered decisions, not lazy choices. A day for naps and avoiding big choices. Someone may try to manipulate you.

I’m not calling you a liar,
Just don’t lie to me.
I’m not calling you a thief,
Just don’t steal from me,
I’m not calling you a ghost,
Just stop haunting me,
And i love you so much,
I’m gonna let you,
Kill me.

There’s a ghost in my lungs
And it sighs in my sleep,
Wraps itself around my tongue,
As it softly speaks
Then it walks, then it walks with my legs

To Fall,
To Fall,
To Fall, at your feet.
Oh but for the grace of god go on,
And when you kiss me, I’m happy enough to die.

I’m not calling you a liar,
Just don’t lie to me.
And i love you so much,
I’m gonna let you
I’m not calling you a thief,
Just don’t,
And i love you so much,
I’m gonna let you,
I’m not calling you a ghost,
Just don’t

There’s a ghost in my mouth
And it talks in my sleep,
Wraps itself around my tongue,
As it softly speaks
then it walks, then it walks
then it walks with my legs

To Fall,
To Fall,
To Fall,
To Fall,
To Fall,
To Fall, at your feet.
Oh but for the grace of god go on,
And when you kiss me, I’m happy enough

Summer's Eve (I swear this is not about douche)

Dennis Cooper (July). Barry Hannah (August). Jack Spicer (September). 

These are the 3 authors I’ll be reading this summer. I picked the names out of a hat that included a bunch of other writers I’m intrigued by, want to get enmeshed with in my head. 

For the first time in a long time—since grad school?—I wrote a summer contract to keep me productive and accountable for the months ahead. There’s a lot to do. Not too much. Enough. 

Writ Large Press is launching their latest title, Antidote by José Luís Peixoto, on Thursday, June 20 at The Last Bookstore (Los Angeles). Great way to spend the eve of solstice. I wish I could be there. 

Next Thursday night, June 27th, is the Poets & Writers 3rd Annual Connecting Cultures reading at Beyond Baroque. Five different reading series, including Rhapsodomancy, will participate. Wine & cheese at 7:30; reading at 8. Each writer will read 5 minutes, so it’s a good taste of what each reading series has to offer. 

I’ll be teaching a seminar called “The Care & Feeding of Your Literary Reading Series” at Antioch’s MFA Program this Friday, June 21st. Email me if you’d like details/wanna show up for moral support. Ashley Perez responded to my last post suggesting that if you’d like to talk with me one-on-one about how to start & run a reading series, I’d meet for a donation to Rhapsodomancy. We met for one hour and I’m hopeful Ashley gets her series going next year as we discussed. Thank you for the generous donation, Ashley! It will help pay writers coming to read at Rhapsodomancy from out of state this year. 

In today’s other Rhapsodomancy news, I added a bunch of Google alerts for writers who’ve read in the series over the years. My hope is that I will be able to post at least one piece of good news a day, minimum. Please follow Rhapsodomancy on Twitter if you don’t already: @rhapsodomancyla. And “like” on Facebook, too. Thanks.

Before I drop off into some kind of ennui about not hearing back from editors on this day, allegedly a big day according to Susan Miller of Astrology Zone!, let me just say I’m grateful I have time to write this. I wish I had more graphics and photos for you, but I don’t. I’ve been on a submission fast, which has meant something of a “serious writing” fast as of late. It’s been half-self-imposed, half-circumstantial, as June is a sucky month in our house with all the annual obligations June brings. Still: I have my contract for the summer, our daughter starts preschool 3 mornings a week in July, and THERE WILL BE TIME TO WRITE. And play. Happy last few days of spring. xo