"My eyes become set to the treetops, their black lines/intricate and fierce like pumping arteries that carry/the blood of spring, and I stare off until/my vision goes blind in twilight's grip."
The question has been asked, is print more substantial then on-line publication? The answers and reasoning behind these answers vary, but tonight I say yes. As I sit here holding the tangible debut from one of my favorite poets, who I have read on-line numerous times, her words and metaphors seem to take on a whole new weight. Vivid in their content and quality, each individual letter announcing permanence, existence, a space in a stack or on a shelf. It is nearly a new beginning for a poet that is thought of as established.
A new beginning is also a part of this collection, focusing on nature and the way connections are made. So much of writing is observation and in Thickets... Aleathia pulls life from the smallest movement of the darkest branch of the loneliest tree. This collection is about exiting winter on the surface, but on a deeper level it is about moving beyond an old life and finding joy and warmth in the face of a new love, the love and energy of a child.
There were only 77 copies of Thickets of Mayapple printed, and I am holding copy 24. To order your copy visit the Kendra Steiner Website.
Haley Bonar Big Star (Afternoon Records, June 10th, 2008)
"You dress yourself up/Put on a little bit of make-up/Go out and get a hair cut/And stumble out into the morning/They'll hate you tomorrow when no one buys your single/And when you fall we'll look the other way." from "Big Star"
Big Star is quilt of thoughts, dreams, heartaches, passions, and tears. Just as the letters on the album cover sewn together in different colors and shaped, expressing the heart of Haley Bonar. It is a heart that has been heart, but determined to move forward and become bigger then her surroundings. She always seems to have people in her life wanting her to help them up, to carry them forward, but never allowing her to move. On June 10th, she moves, she stomps, she swings herself free. She become Queen of Everything and I am sure soon she will be a big star.
Musically, this album is uncomplicated alt-country affair. At times it stomps and at others it gently blows a message across. The constant in all of this is Haley's gorgeous twang and real life stories. At the age of 24 she has managed to live enough to expound meaning and finding universal connection in her experiences. Big Star is her fourth album, and one that finds her struggling with the next step both musically and romantically. Be it fame or love, destiny or desire, they all can all involve fear at sum point.
Green Eyed Boy/Arms of Harm/Little Maiden Gin/Big Star (mp3)/Mayday/Better Half/Something Great/Queen of Everything/Highway 16/Along/Tiger Boy