Life & Arts

Entertainment, live performance, food, cuisine, dining, theater, film, television, art, broadcasting, SXSW, and other arts and culture news in and around Austin and the Central Texas counties of Travis, Hays, Caldwell, Bastrop and Williamson

Great Distance

Apr 27, 2017

Read by Carrie Fountain

Before I bury my head In yet another book

filled with magic and mythical monsters,

I sigh, for I have a wish

That can only come true

In a real world filled with magic and mythical monsters.

I want to be a superhero who fights magical beasts,

Makes brave decisions and performs miraculous deeds

While fighting for my beliefs!

I want magic, I want mystery!

You say it doesn’t exist

With a dismissive roll of your eyes.

But I cannot help but wish!

Hope, you say, will not deliver for you.

You will never have your silly magic wands and unicorns!

And I say to you, yes,

Hope will not deliver,

Nor will any amount of dreaming or wishing,

But the whole entire point,

You see,

Is          How             Far                 Away       It        is.

There is an uncompromising distance

Between society

And the myths and stories read by a girl,

Whose opinions don’t matter

Until she is eighteen.

Complete is my desire for sword fights and dragons,

Yet today

All childish notions have been completely snuffed out

By the growing foot of adulthood,

Which still hasn't found

A boot

That fits.

I Am a Pony

Apr 27, 2017

Read by Zell Miller III

I am a pony

Inside of me is disgusting

Outside of me is beautiful

And I have 1 leg and

No face and

500 hearts and

1 body and

1,000,000 eyeballs and

10,000 arms and

11,000 fingers and

5,000,000 brains and

10 noses and

No bones and

No skin and

I’m lonely and

My blood is green

Earth is Perfect

Apr 27, 2017

Read by Ebony Stewart

Earth is perfect

Earth is pretty

We have a world to ourselves but you really want to share it

Feeling Mexico

Apr 27, 2017

Read by Rabbi Neil Blumofe

As we drive

I see birds

high in the sky.

I close my eyes and imagine

I am a bird

flying all the way to Mexico.

I can taste the chamoy raspas.

I can hear the mariachi

and church bells.

I feel my heart jump.

Below me, I see trees

dancing in the wind.

I don't want to open my eyes

but when I do I'm back in the car

and we're still driving.

I look up and see the sign:

"Welcome to Mexico."

BETTMANN/GETTY

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Isaac Newton Farris Jr., former CEO at the King Center, grandson of the Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. and nephew of Dr. King Jr.

In this new foreword to the book, Farris shares what Daddy King meant to him as a family member and discusses the far-reaching legacy of King Sr.’s activism for civil rights and racial justice. 

In this episode of The Write Up, host Owen Egerton talks to George Saunders about craft, ecstatic empathy and the afterlife in his first novel Lincoln in the Bardo.

Saunders is an award-winning and New York Times-bestselling author of essays, short stories, novellas and children’s books. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Guardian, GQ, Harper’s and McSweeny’s. His vast literary achievements include multiple National Magazine Awards, a McArthur and a Guggenheim fellowship, a Bram Stoker Award and a National Book Award.


Home

Apr 25, 2017

Kenya


A busy, bustling place


My beautiful country


Oh, how I’ve missed you


Oh, how you’ve changed in these six years


Yet I remember the scent of heavy spices and roasted corn

The soft, crumbling ground after the rain


Everywhere you go people talking


To each other in community before my eyes


The complex beauty of languages twisted


Within each other resounding through the town


The rush of everyone with places to be


So many nights I have spent longing to be


With all of my true family

Hope and Dreams

Apr 25, 2017

Beams of light pierce the canopy of leaves

Dappling the forest floor with golden dots

A green ship arabesques through the air

Pirouetting and twirling around the spotlights

A dancer sails in and out of the light

Yawing and listing through the golden light

The birds sway and rustle

While the trees chirp and sing

Whispered secrets

I long to know

But my body betrays me

And I am content to

Sit beneath the shade of an old oak tree

With many a story of its own to tell

And hear them in my dreams.

The Long Road Home

Apr 25, 2017

Read by Sara Hickman

As I walk

I can feel the sun in my back,

Its flaming tendrils embracing me.

The road ahead is shimmering orange

And the road behind is burning bleak.

I can feel nothing but the heat

On my back; too afraid

To long for what I hope to reach.

I have traveled far,

But now I am going home

To the peace and quiet I once knew.

I see mountains and peaks in a blur.

I know this trip is longer still,

To where I once belonged and loved.

Where I'm From

Apr 25, 2017

Read by Ebony Stewart

I am from family

from Kate, Brian, Wesley, and Sam

I am from friends

who make me feel better

when I’m down

I am from hairpins and braids

And tall pecan trees

that I hug

like they’ll make everything perfect

I am from salad and dressing

from swimming pools and lemonade stands

I am from scissors and glue sticks

mistakes and triumphs

from “Go away” and “Quiet down”

I’m from overripe apples

that I used to give to my dog

until I learned they weren’t good for her

I’m from ice cream shops

that are sweet when it’s hot

I’m from soccer and kickball

running around the field from my dad

then my brother doing it too

In a room there is a drawer

full of old photographs and jewelry

that I look at as I wish

that my great-grandparents were still alive

I am from the love of my family

Who surround me.

For its upcoming fundraiser, Austin-based nonprofit CareBox Program will feature a lot of fundraiser staples: food, drinks, a live auction. It'll also feature performances from six of Austin's top standup comedians. This is the second year in a row that the young charity has staged a comedy showcase for its annual fundraiser.

Walking With My Eyes Open

Apr 21, 2017

Read by Zell Miller III

I’m walking
I see a lot of beautiful people
Everywhere I go
I see pretty trees
My delightful family
My favorite books, movies, and etc.
And the love of my life  right next to me
Then  Last but not least
I….I....I’ve done something
I really shouldn’t have done
I.…I....opened my eyes
Now I see dried up trees
My family is all sick and helpless
My books and all my favorites are all burned up
The love of my life died 
trying to save me from the fire 
And all the beautiful people disappeared.

In Flight

Apr 21, 2017

Read by Carrie Fountain

My dreams soar above the clouds

Bubbles of hope

And happiness

Flying with the birds

Close to the sun.

Although I may not fly,

My dreams can.

And I think about them

Being where I cannot be

As I sit at a desk,

In a chair,

Anchored to the ground.

But soon I will be up there with my dreams

In flight,

Wheeling through the air

Next to my fantasies.

The Coated Feeling of My Mouth Is

Apr 21, 2017

Read by Rabbi Neil Blumofe

The coated feeling of my mouth is

bitter and rancorous

Because I shout my first world

problems into the arms of depression where there’s nothing but being alone.

My mother’s feet are gashed

and burnt

while I count

up my dollars alongside my tears.

I’m not worth the

patronizing feeling

of harmonious conversation

painfully aware of my stutters and sputters

I’m nobody, who are you?

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. presents highlights of the 12th annual Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. Salute to Excellence Awards held during Super Bowl XL week.

Austin's Umlauf Sculpture Garden is currently hosting the exhibit Mentoring a Muse: Charles Umlauf & Farrah Fawcett. The show focuses on the long-standing relationship between the two artists; while a student at the University of Texas, Fawcett studied under Umlauf and the two continued a friendship throughout Umlauf's life.

Journey to Freedom

Apr 18, 2017

Darkness and fear spread everywhere

Covering up the moonlight.

The crickets did not chirp their happy song,

And the frogs no longer croaked in joy.

Hope and optimism nowhere to be found.

A small boat tumbled through the powerful waves

Forcing a way to safety

Immigrants fighting for their lives

Constantly trying to reason the unimaginable

Knowing they were making the right life-risking decision

All hope of a free life seemed simply impossible

Until the bright orange torch burned through the midnight sky

Words

Apr 18, 2017

Sometimes

Life isn’t fair

It was proven to me

He didn’t deserve it

No,

None of them did

And me,

I was saved

By words

A Forgotten Home

Apr 18, 2017

Read by Zell Miller III

We came to a stop,

the door opened

and a thick air filled the car

and creeped into my lungs.

I cough and sniffle,

dirt covers my face.

as we walk down the streets

of red, orange, blue and green houses,

mix matched tall and short, big and small 

made of twig, cement or bricks.

Fruit stands, carts selling make-up,

tacos and aguas frescas

line the block

and barefooted children run everywhere

asking for food or money.

I can feel the warmth in every step I take

to get to my grandma’s house.

I hear “bien” and “còmo estas,”

a language that almost sounds foreign now

and I realize: I’ve missed this place, my home. 

Ledges

Apr 18, 2017

Read by Carrie Fountain

I jumped off a ledge once

Into the water

It took me about half an hour to work up the courage

I realized afterwards

That it all happens very fast

But when you jump from high enough,

Your heart flies

And your stomach drops

And you can feel the wind wash you

And then you are in the water

The bottom of the lake was like a marshmallow covered in moss

I stayed under for a bit

Then shot to the top with traces of suspense in my heart

Once

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