This week’s Featured Poet is Cindy Emch
Usually, Featured Poets come to me — I get loads of emails from people interested in having their poems featured here (in fact, I’ve had a big surge of interest recently, so if you’re waiting to hear back, please be patient! It’s taking me a bit longer than normal!). However, when I discovered Cindy’s work, I just had to get in touch and ask her to send some stuff. She’s a writer of fantastic poetry and prose-poetry, and it’s right up my street — quirky, irreverent, beautiful, poignant and funny. Here’s her bio and one of her poems… be sure to check out her site too. More later!
Cindy Emch likes to drive. She currently lives in San Francisco. She is also the lesbian lovechild of of Sally Bowles and Marlena Dietrich, with the heart and laughter of the former and the sophistication and mysteriousness of the latter, and also with just a little naughty undercurrent of the Big Bad Wolf.
She is addicted to road trips and muscle cars, has driven through 43 of the 48 landlocked states and has been in 13 car accidents - none of which were her fault. She can often be found writing highway poems and love letters to her adventures on a daily basis.
Cindy is a writer, accordion player for the bands Vagabondage & Rhubarb Whiskey, and pop culture nerd. She has in the past worked as a park ranger, dog grooming scheduler, pirate radio DJ, college radio DJ, telephone operation, queer open mic host, fry cook, accountant, film festival programmer, film reviewer, hot dog cooker and much much more.
Cindy’s writings have been been published in the Can I Sit With You project, LodeStar Quarterly, There Journal, Tough Girls 2: More Down, Dirty Dyke Erotica edited by Lori Selke, It’s So You: 35 Women on Fashion, Beauty and Personal Style edited by Michelle Tea, and numerous chapbooks. She believes that art can create change in the world and that it’s not so hard to be nice to people. She also thinks that dirt smells like magic and gets lost in the woods on purpose.
The soundtrack starts with laughter.
It’s always laughter. The full throaty of it. There is no control or contrivance in it. Life pouring out of and back into our lungs. Stories and landscapes of the hearts stitched beneath our skin. I sit in front of an ashy campfire with you. The sky sits close above our heads, stars fogged out by whiskey clouds, our laughter cutting past all of the smoke.
We step foot step foot wander away to clear our eyes, cabaret dancers set to stumble under a sky of magic. There is no careful in this freedom. No fear in our dare. We run with sense asunder, arms locked together hunting for nightswimming.
Clothes hit sand. Flesh hits lake. We gasp in stereo. Sudden intake shock the lungs and the whiskey clouds roll away. Our sounds and songs are quiet the way drunken sailors in alley are quiet. We’re telling our secrets in this water. The stars shudder silver glitter on the water and it’s black dark wonder of safe and mystery all around. Suspended in space and grounded by slippery skin. I hold you up still laughing. Swallowing night water. Swallowing night itelf in long gulping laughs and stories that sound like siren songs.
Goosebumps and fire pull us back. The land reclaims us and takes its price. The beach throws us down and around as we ride sand dune rollercoasters leaving trails of blood between our scattered clothes. We’ve lost your shoes. We’ve lost our balance. Stronger sober arms pull us back to the fire where adventure dries on our skin. The stars shudder more glitter down and I build the fire bigger. Whiskey clouds roll back in. Laughter rolls out. Waiting to seduce us again.
Want to see your poetry featured here? Send a couple of poems and a quick ‘hello’ to firstname.lastname@example.org — it might take me a little while to respond, but respond I shall!