Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Death does not discriminate

Death does not discriminate.

There is no sexual
or political

Death does not stifle
a solitary

Death comes riding
upon sweet summer's breath
and the scrying cries of eagles

Death does not laugh nor cry

It does not
just as it does not

Like the universe
death is an unsympathetic force
neutral to all that exists

and unyielding
to human

Unlike life.

Life is blood pumping
from atriums and ventricles
splitting atoms of breath
to capillaries, veins, and arteries

a massive systemic loop
bringing what is
to the tree of life
the body
a pulmonary roller coaster
like the wind
whistling through pines
settling in leaves
as innocent bystanders
in the earth and dirt

Life is subjective.

Unlike death.


does not discriminate.

© Susan Marie

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Help revitalize Main Street on August 3rd and 4th at ChalkFest!


Help revitalize Main Street on August 3rd and 4th at ChalkFest!

This two day family festival focuses on the use of chalk as a medium for art. This is an exciting format that brings thousands of people to Main Street while remaining true to the mission of turning the 500 Block of Main Street into an artistic and cultural destination.

Everyone is welcome, professional sidewalk chalk artists, children of all ages who simply wish to have fun, as well as adults, who may wish to try their hand at sidewalk chalk, at the same time, enjoying the diversity of downtown Buffalo, New York.

This free, family fun event will take place on the 500 Block of Main Street in Downtown Buffalo!

Young Audiences is the main beneficiary and Chalkfest is looking forward to collaborating with their talented staff.  

With this collaboration, Chalkfest will be able to offer more to the youth who will be attending, especially teaching through the arts that Young Audience’s strives to achieve. This type of alliance is the key to group ambitions, not only referring to ChalkFest, but also our mission to bring people Downtown and continue the rejuvenation of the city. 

Celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2013, Young Audiences ( mission embraces the idea of making the arts a part of young people’s lives in order to enhance their development as creative and productive human beings. Located in the Central Library at One Lafayette Square, Young Audiences goals and objectives also include the desire to promote Downtown Buffalo.

Join ChalkFest as an entire city block is transformed into a colorful playground with music, food, games and various events for children and adults.

To view some pictures from Day 1, 2013, click here

To view pictures of 2012, click here & here.

For more information or to reserve squares for fun or to compete, please visit

ChalkFest Buffalo 2013

August 3rd & 4th, noon-6pm both days 

Festival beneficiary – Young Audiences of WNY (they will be receiving all proceeds and donations  made during the festival, this includes all the vendor fees we collected but will not include water bottle sales as these are still going to the SPCA).  Sidenote: Young Audiences is trying to steer clear of being referred to as YAWNY, which was their old “nickname”.

Sponsors (this continues to grow but these are the great folks who have donated or sponsored festival supplies so far):

The Fruitbelt Coalition, Inc.
Hyatt Regency Buffalo
R&P Oak Hill Development
Carmina Wood Morris, P.C.
Allpro Parking
Tetra Tech
M&T Bank
Sanderson Wealth Management
Towne Auto
Dobmeier Janitor Supply, Inc.
Alternate Information Systems
Main (ST)udios
500 Block Association

Festival Supporters:
Buffalo Place
The City of Buffalo

Food Vendors:
The Black Market Food Truck
Amy’s Food Truck
Rolling Joe’s CafĂ©
East Park Pops

Merchant Vendors: There are a variety of merchant vendors that will be attending. We will also have the City of Buffalo Cosmetology Program which will be offering free manicures (quick ones of course)…this is the newest adult education program to come out of the city.

Live Music & Entertainment:

·         Dan & Leanne (
·         Olivia Frances (
·         Diamond Ricelli (
·         Differential Flava Crew (
·         Converge Dance Troupe

·         Hopscotch Tournament
·         Double Dutch (mostly for the fun of it)
·         Beer Tent

SPCA: They will be there with some animals (I believe kittens and dogs) for folks to adopt.

Literary Theme: This year we decided to add a theme to the festival, taking it beyond the live storybook, and thought Alice in Wonderland was the perfect classic novel for us to work with, and the following are our “Alice” themed activities: 

·         Michael Macaulay ( is joining us again this year and he will be drawing a 3D version of Alice falling down the rabbit hole.

·         Alice’s Tea Party: FOR FREE, although there is a limited space, both days we will be hosting a “tea party” for the kids with cute little cups of juice and treats donated by Delish! One of the 500 Block members will be dressing up as the Mad Hatter and we are hoping to get someone there dressed up like Alice.  There will also be roses for the kids to color-in.

·         Mad Hatter’s Hat Making: FOR FREE, although limited space, the kids will make paper hats and decorate them with chalk.

·         Live Storybook:  We have broken down the story of Alice in Wonderland into ten squares, this unfortunately meant we had to cut out part of the story but we were limited on space and artists to do it all. 
o   David Pierro, the ChalkFest 2012 Adult Artist Winner, will be creating the cover page of the story, and then we have other local artists filling in the rest.
o   We have been attempting to get a “celebrity” narrator but have not been successful…Erin Carminas' brother read last year and was so amazing and captivated everyone that he will be returning again this year!
o   There will be judging done for these squares, with a $250 prize, and there was no age limit or requirements for interested artists (they just had to contact us). We were also hoping to find “celebrity” judges for this…not sure who will be judging yet though.

·         Chalk Making: FOR FREE, although limited space, kids and adults will learn how to make handmade chalk!

Please contact Erin Carmina [] for more information and during both days of the event.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

just let go

I sat

before me he


he smelled of leather
and fresh linen

his eyes bore into
and above me

and I stared in awe

at this magnificent creation

of God

© Susan Marie

Friday, July 19, 2013

"Jack" in Fiction 365

Published on ---> Fiction365

Today's Story by Susan Marie



I greeted the day curled up in the back seat.  Spending the night in my car was not what I had in mind when I agreed to take this job.  It was only supposed to be for two nights.  It is now going on day five.

Damn her, I thought. 

It was still dark outside. I lit a smoke and cranked down the window whistling some Dylan tune. I saw lights on in a window up the street. Hopping into the front, easing into the driver’s seat, I cursed her for leaving me in this town.

Then I saw the note. It was lying on the dash, her usual manila envelope with thick, black scroll on the front, my name, what she liked to call me:  Toni.  I tore it open, thinking how much I loved and hated this woman.

Toni, my love,

Get something to eat, wait for my call.



There was a twenty-dollar bill inside, crisp and pure.  Like Jezelle.  I snatched the smokes and headed up the street to Bobby’s.

Nobody stared at me when I strolled into the diner.  A good sign.  I could really use a drink, I thought. There were five people that I could see, not counting who might be in the kitchen or getting their jollies in the john.  Two men in the back booth, an old man at the counter, and a girl in her teens.  She looked new.  You could tell by the way she sat all hunched over looking cold.  She held her cigarette as if she were posing for a picture. I had to laugh. That was me three years ago. I felt sorry for her.

When I turned my gaze from the girl, behind the counter stood Bobby.  God, how I had missed her.  She smiled. I headed for the bathroom. I took off my coat, gave my face a quick rinse and stared straight ahead.

Nothing scarier than staring into your own eyes.

When I came out, Bobby already had my coffee ready, black, as usual, and a plate of toast.  I pushed the plate away and sipped the coffee.  The elderly man mumbled to God.  Egg yolk dripped down his stubbly chin.  I turned away, focusing on the two men.

This is how bad it’s gotten.  Two men in a diner, a twenty-dollar bill and a half pack of smokes.  So this is where it ends.  I couldn’t even drink my coffee thinking of the grimy hands that would soon be groping my breasts.

Bobby nodded.  It was time.  I choked down the cup and took a shot from the pint in my coat.  Nothin’ like ole’ Jack to give you a hug when you need it.

I sat down next to the blond guy and whispered,

“Hi, I’m Toni.  Jezelle sent me.”

They both grinned and the mulatto slid in next to me. Bobby quickly pulled down the shades.  I wanted to scream.

The white guy rubbed my thigh and I closed my eyes.  

I thought of Jezelle.  I always thought of Jezelle.  And at this moment, it was her lips upon mine, her hands on my body and my eyes searching for her, once again, in the darkness of Bobby’s diner.


To comment on this story, visit Fiction365’s Facebook page

Thursday, July 18, 2013

every waking thought

every waking thought
is the flight of a monarch
before each bud that blooms 

she gathers
from both hemispheres
left and right,
like her wings
birthed twins,
where every waking thought
- as a first breath
- and the last gasp

where dreams become life
beneath the cloak of midnight
gaining momentum
churning vortexes
of hurricanes

such raw passion

never simple

a thought
is the genesis of energy

the subconscious of the artist, insane,
writing words such as this
solely to prevent the skull
from bursting,
spewing bits of memories
and rivers of tears, endless
that never run dry

a place where angels reside
sitting upon clouds
of sentences

the most holy poets -

sending telegraphs
to the chosen. 

© Susan Marie 2013 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

IDENTITY : A Group Show Presented by MAIN (ST)UDIOS

BUFFALO, NY – JULY 12, 2013, 6-9PM

MAIN (ST)UDIOS downtown art center presents a group show conceptualized by resident artist John Dunklemann and curated by resident artist Trinton “TrinityHawk” Garrett around the concept of identity. Work from several different artists of many different mediums will be exhibited.

Reception is FREE and open to the public with open mic on the Identity theme and special performance featuring energetic and emotional spoken word art from Pure Ink Poetry and unique refreshments provided by Mixology.

Featuring work by Brigid Jaipaul-Valenza, Cari Feltz-Abdo, Heidi Lynn Farrell Brown, Kathryn Eulella Shiver, and Katt Dunsmore, Paul Rybarczyk, and Trinton “TrinityHawk” Garrett .

Show runs from 07/05-07/18/13.

MAIN (ST)UDIOS is located at 515 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14203. Open hours are Tue-Friday 11AM-5PM and Wednesdays until 8PM. 

 More information -->

Inline image 2

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Western New York Musician Shares Concert Stage with Icon Joan Baez

Published on: 

Hired in late 2011 as a personal assistant and guitar tech to folk music icon --> Joan Baez, local singer, songwriter, guitarist and bandleader -->  Grace Stumberg is now living a musician's dream.

Within days of the start of Baez's current US tour, Stumberg was invited to sing harmony on a few songs in the music legend's set and on June 28, she began -->  Baez's concert in Lowell, MA with a well received 6 song solo acoustic set of her own original songs, largely drawn from 2 CDS [2010 "To Whom It May Concern" and 2012 "Affect"] both found here --> Grace Stumberg Music

Stumberg returns home for a series of performances with the --> Grace Stumberg Band around Western New York during July, and then heads out again with Baez's August tour of Australia & New Zealand.

Stumberg is a 2007 graduate of Buffalo's Performing Arts High School, Villa Maria College and --> Music is Art's "Music in Action" mentoring program led by producer/manager -->  Bob James and -->  Robby Takac of the Goo Goo Dolls.

Photo Copyright © Chuck Alaimo 2013
Copyright © Grace Stumberg 2013
© 2013 Joan C. Baez/Diamonds & Rust Productions

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Creative Writing Workshops II & III with Susan Marie @ Main Studios

You only need to bring your imagination. This is not your typical creative writing workshop. This is all about the creative process as a whole, reaching into yourself, finding what is in there, and bringing that out to the world. 

All workshops are virtual [live & recorded due to timezone] and in Buffalo, NY at Main Studios --> You can take two workshops, one, or all three. Whatever workshop speaks to you. 


Buffalo Workshop: $25 per workshop, discounted price for all:

Virtual Workshop : $15 for all 3 workshops, info here : and then I will need your email address after sign up there to give you virtual access. 

DATES: Workshop #1 occurred June 26. You can still access that virtually. 


II. July 31, 6-8/9PM : Creative Writing II: Expanding on the Creative Process also with guest speaker Ken Feltges, writer in residence, Mount St, Mary's. [educator and performance artist -->
Ken will center his presentation on the poetry of everyday life, how the ordinary can become extraordinary when viewed through a poetic lens. To illustrate this, he will read selected poems from his book, "BEFORE THINGS CHANGE" and have a Q/A session after. Ken will also have his book and CD for sale, which I definitely suggest getting. If you have never had the pleasure [or even if you have] hearing Ken perform, this is the time. 

III. August 21st, 6-8/9PM: Creative Writing III: Reading & Recording Your Work and Publishing Tips/Suggestions also with guest speaker Janna Willoughby-Lohr aka MC Vendetta, performance artist, musician, educator --> and

Janna will be speaking about the art of delivery, emphasizing on diction, clarity and inflection, mainly getting to the meat of the poem/work and slicing it open on stage. Janna has been writing poetry since she was 5, and performing since age 12. Janna is a Grand Slam finalist 2005-2008 Nickel City Poetry Slam and member of the 2006 Nickel City Slam team at the National Poetry Slam. She is also an editor and layout artist for Earth's Daughters literary magazine, the longest running women's publication in the country. 


There are countless free things for all attending to be listed. You will end [if you wish] with a spoken publishing credit, recorded, archived and promoted by me. If you attend the last workshop only, please be prepared to have a piece to [perform, read, sing?] then record. I will assign during June & July to prepare for August. Your final recording is 100% up to you. Virtual attendees will need to record this and send me the mp3 or wav file.


1. Jim Petretta :

2. Perry Nicholas:

3. Jennifer Campbell :

4. Randy Rumley:

5. Loren Keller:

6. Ken Feltges:

7. Just Buffalo Literary Center/Barbara Cole:

8. Poets & Writers.Org:

9. Theresa Wyatt:

10. Big Marker :

11. Susan Marie [my ebook/book of poetry/prose "knots']

12. Janna Willoughby-Lohr aka MC Vendetta : and

13. Think Twice Radio: Recording/Editing/Archiving of Spoken Word :

14. Hany Ghoraba/Delizon Publishers :

15. Publish America:

16. MAIN(ST)UDIOS :[Erica Eichelkraut-Zilbauer]

17. Delizon Publishers:

18. Ken Fried :  


Sunday, June 23, 2013

promise yourself this

On Audio --> here


promise yourself this

no matter how utterly
something may feel
when words are hurled
towards you
even direct
and sometimes
on purpose

like a tornado
an earthquake
like Mother Nature
breaking, finally

when all the dark chasms of this Earth
break open
and the plates of this planet
you were born onto
crash into one another
birthing explosions of molten lava
that spread upon your heart
molding an ashen sculpture

and the beasts that exist in the void
such evil winged creatures
begin flying above you
as your spirit lie
breathless, exhausted, wasted
and the last atoms
that are left


promise yourself this

that if one chooses
or does not even know
that they are releasing
all of their insecurities
and eventually

all of their love

upon your very soul

please, promise yourself this



© Susan Marie 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

the perfect poem

On audio HERE

the perfect poem
is without words

it is heard within the cries of lovers
legs entwined
like trees
limbs reaching roots
climbing vines
towards heaven

it is the sun dappled dawn
rich and vibrant
like cheeks rising

as apples, ripe

it is the laughter of children
encrypted within chalk lines on sidewalks
where no words are spoken
and no language exists

it is the heart, racing
through atriums and ventricles
pumping blood to breath

so your eyes
show laughter
through your tears after rainfall

the perfect poem
is you


it is the presence of love

and the breath of angels.

© Susan Marie