Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Place Poem: In a Shower

The water is more than murky at my feet.

A razor strips away unknown layers
My tan fades quickly

A vision in the mirror. 
Bewildered. askew. The weeks without a reflection have melted my features 
They sit lopsided on my face. 

The water struggles to penetrate the mass of waxy hair atop my head 
Suds. Rinse. Suds. Rinse. Suds, Rinse?

At last I emerge anew, swaddled in a luxury I’d forgotten

Reveling in the delicious sweetness of remembrance  

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Illusion Maker

My friends will all be jealous
That they should long to be
A world weary traveler
As glorified as me

On Instagram on Facebook
On Twitter and on Vine
I post the sickest broadcast
That you’d be blessed enough to find

The snapshot caught looks sunny and I dance despite the rain 
The road is forever rosey and the troubles well worth the pain

Yet.. just beyond the filter
Beyond the smile that I wear
I cannot help but wonder,
What the fuck I’m doing here?

What resides beyond the camera lens? 
Behind the local smile? 
I’ll never know the grandest gift, 
I’ll never go that extra mile...


I’ll stroll about the market place
Pinch pennies as I sleep
I’ll hang with fellow wanderers
Seek novelty that’s cheap

Cross 18 borders—in a day!
Collect stamps that I’ll compare
Then return back home to you my dear 
With a wild tale to share

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Flashlight Moments

Have you ever experienced one of these?

It happens when the universe is trying to catch your attention. The world around you dims and a beam of light, a flash light if you will, radiates toward a single object. Look here. See this. In my life I think it’s happened about twice. There have been several “ah-ha!” moments and points of clarity, but flashlight moments are different. They come when you aren’t seeking. They come unexpectedly and obtrusively. 


She walked into the low-lit bar, and there he was. A leap away on the other side of the room, across tables and chairs and swaying bodies, her eyes land softly and directly upon him. Tunnel vision. Her instinct was to look away but were caught in the movement of his red plaid pants dancing to the juke box that played “Sweet Caroline,” on repeat all night long. His hair was happily disheveled and she could see his flushed cheeks despite the distance. Her gaze was with him all night. Even when she was looking away, she could still see him in jolly conversation just beyond reach. How she ended up with him in the backseat of his brother’s car is anyone’s guess, but she didn’t even stop to question it. The night ended in a blurry haze as everyone piled out of the car and she traipsed off arm and arm with Sarah, up the steps to their house. His memory soon faded into the haze of the night and come morning he was nothing more than a passing vision.

And then he called. It was the day after her birthday and he’d managed to find her number through a mutual friend. God he sounded… giddy? Her heart lost rhythm and she tumbled backwards unto her bed, rejuvenated. Life filled in the lines of the vision with gravity and color. The dream took form once more, and she smiled at the bounce in her step as she carried out the rest of the week with an extra pinch of zest.

Dream Series by Gray Malin

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Thank You 2014

The last day of 2014. 

I’m pausing to reflect upon all the moments that I’m grateful for. Whether they brought me joy, pain, pleasure, or embarrassment, they were all splendidly essential.

Here are just a short few:

1. Moving in with a precious friend and a just a block away from two of the greatest girls in Austin

2. Completing a year teaching a boisterous, darling group of kids

3. Standing at a show with my around a warm body as Valerie June’s sorrowful voice washes over me

4. Feeling breathless beneath the Serengeti stars

5. Singing, clapping, and swiveling my hips inside a Njoro village church

6. The ripple of connection between two human’s hands that makes me forget about age, race, time, or space

7. Showering after 6 days in the dirt

8. Running through the bush behind smelly Hadzabi hunters

9. Riding in the front seat across miles and miles of dry, open land

10. Receiving a drawing of a “strong heart”

11. Slurping ice cold oysters at the Walrus and the Carpenter and laughing with one of the sweetest women I’ll ever know

12. Dancing across the Highball stage until my feet and neck ache with pain

And I am FOREVER grateful for: 

The sweetness of melancholic moments
The electricity of a heart bursting with joy
Yoga in my underwear
The music of a song that plucks my heart strings
A houseful of freshly cut flowers
Silence. Coming home to a quiet house
Gravity. The force that makes me feel my own weight
Learning to trust my intuition 
Fresh morning light as it pours through the window 
Friends that teach me to be generous


What are some of YOUR moments?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Place Poem: Inside Doubt

This week has been a fucking tornado.
Like i’ve been sipping on helium and floating through date after date, killing my brain cells all the while
He was nice. so was he. let me leave this party a few minutes early and squeeze you in on my way home
Smile and nod. 

Maybe you just haven’t met the right one—
the idea that keeps me going

I’m afraid i’ve been fooling myself.

I want so badly to believe that i just haven’t met him yet
I want so badly to believe he is there- seeking me
     that all i have to do is savor the waiting
I want so badly to believe that when i see him, i’ll know him. ill recognize his face— 
     and that’ll be it for me
That faith is a tangible which sustains me

I want so badly to believe that i am not kidding myself
That i am not just a coward, just selfish, just closed off, just a goddamn snob
Not just finding fault and creating excuses, legitimizing “the no”

Because it’s so much easier to say no
So much easier to stay single
So much easier to say he’s not the one

When does certainty arise?

I’m afraid i’ve been fooling myself.

I want to believe that i am not just playing make-believe 
     that i am capable of letting him love me
     that he will see the brightness in me i forget about 

I want to believe that i will know how to hold him
     that i will lavish love upon him without fear, regret, or restraint

I will lay my head upon his chest and melt into him shamelessly

Painting by Joseph Moncada Juaneda
**My advice would be to not linger for too long inside of doubt

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Sometimes They Fake It

Just having fun with some sketches, watercolors, and these girls.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Place Poem: Serengeti

a gloomy weight presses upon me with increasing force. i turn stiff and thankless. my eyes darken, dead with distaste. the sun forbidden to shine, my soul aching. the gloom grows.

until… …it stops. on the last day the sun, fed up with its imprisonment, breaks free. a single beam parts the clouds and hits my shriveled skin. a tingle. a sensation of pleasure ripples throughout my body, and I remember warmth, (freedom, brightness, love!) and I emerge from the dampness.

The cloud covered sky fades into the distance as the truck’s wheels roll on and on, and on…..


The sun and the dryness are my element. The dirt blows through the air and makes a home in my hair
but I don’t care.

It’s quantity under my fingernails is of such a proportion I could build a termite mound
but I don’t care.

This, I relish. 

And the animals! it’s surreal.

Simba plays with his siblings on the side of the dirt road, rolling in the tall grasses
A peace settles over the plains 
The sun begins its habitual salute of red and orange 

And the stars! they're sublime

At night I watch the flames of our camp fire glow and dance in the cold air
Above me rests a blanket of brilliant stars
My breathe catches each time I lift my chin to the heavens. I wonder at their bold radiance.
At the sheer amount!
The ripple of the milky way is perfectly articulated as it flows through the inky sky

The rebirth is complete as I settle into the sounds of hyenas yipping in the dark distance

Eyelids descend and I anticipate the promise of another sun soaked day