I thank my son for showing me how to make art again. I will never forget when he was just able to stand and old enough to make big messy fun. We would equip ourselves with canisters full of bright colored finger paints and a large roll of paper. He then showed me the way back to the child within myself, free to play as we made big gooey messes with our fingers. Eventually, he would lose interest and go on to play elsewhere and leave me to finish my own masterpieces. We moved on to do this same ritual with crayons. This became a form of cathartic expression in its rawest state for me. I still use Crayola, colored pencils and Chinese markers. Although more primal and childlike, I really enjoy these sketches and have come to calling them my twisted sisters. Occasionally I will still get out my colors and trance out a sketch. Thank you Jesse, for showing me how to make art.
It first began with a simple desire, as a young musician, to write my own lyrics. But the words never came easy, I was often stifled and I struggled over how to have an authentic voice while rhyming lyrically. Trying to make the words behave and yield to me a perfect prose, was as painful as constipation. And then I discovered poetry. Not just any poets, but the voices of empowered womyn and the alternative press of feminist & lesbian writers like June Jordan, Adriene Rich and Judy Grahn. One day the revelation came to me that unhinged my creative process and opened the door, stop writing lyrics, stop trying to rhyme and just write, extraneous, spontaneous and wild. All of my best poetry is a result of letting myself go to free form expression. I write to purge the emotions that haunt me. I write to shift the inner dialogue when I cannot stop the incessant negative thoughts in my brain. I write to comfort my broken heart. I write to live and breathe.
Click on the image for some excerpts from my book Panic.
A copy of Panic is available for purchase at Lulu. Get it here!
Around the time I discovered my inner poet I met a collective of womyn in Baltimore putting together the feminist fanzine, Broom. This gave me my first opportunity to explore writing as a means to further the cause of my politics and expression as well as exploring the works and lives of other inspirational womyn while exposing the corruption of the patriarchy. I am forever indebted to this collective for showing me how easy it is to formulate a voice and opinion and change lives through your words. It was the spirit of this collective and the time I spent with Broom that goes into my teachings and each of the outlines I create for a new workshop. I hope to carry that tradition on this website with my new blog, Dirty Mouther.
Click on the image to read an issue of Broom.
Recently I have discovered fantasy writing, this has taken me to unchartered territory, and oasis beyond catharsis through art. The adventure began a few years back as I discovered the world of online role playing, which can be so immersive that anyone with any need to escape and will succumb to the other world and easily forget and possibly neglect real life, finding irritation in having to deal with bodily functions like eating and sleeping or honoring your commitments to work and loved ones. In my discovery of the online game Planeshift this is precisely what happened, to leave a wake of debasement and destruction that became one of my most epic failures in my life. It took me years to sort it all out and forgive myself and forge myself anew and I am still on the mend. After a few years of turning away from the creative outlet, I felt a strong nostalgia for one of my characters and her story. I began to role play selectively and with more driven intentions for the story line. This inspired me to begin writing a book that is in the works. Part of my healing was to recognize that role playing was not the demon that destroyed my life and that I do not have to hate it or turn my back on this oasis of imagination and enjoyment but to remember it is the power of creating the story that moves me.
Click on the image for an excerpt from Dakkru’s Heart.
Siteya’s portrait by Roger Creus. See portfolio at digitalrowye.com.
I have been included in other fanzines and publications through-out the years. Two that I loved working with and recall more easily were Tongue Bath and The Purple Poetry Book. Tongue Bath was a fanzine started in 1993 by Kim King. I was an artistic contributor, with my art on the cover of the #1 Collector’s Edition. I also wrote reviews under the pen name, Fallopier Tuber. I loved writing anonymously, because it gave me the ability to be frank and honest. The Purple Poetry Book, is an annually project of Turn Around, Inc. and Women Against Violence Everywhere (WAVE). Both Baltimore non-profits, put together this annual book of art and poetry giving voice and expression to the survivors of abuse to raise awareness and funds. I was published in the 2010 edition with my art “Up & Out” and the poem “The Piano.”