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The Ashlee Craft Show

EPISODE 1

Here is the (awesome) first episode EVER of my YouTube web series, The Ashlee Craft Show! The video’s theme is POETRY & I read the poem “& I Embrace the Changes” from my newest book, Art Poems – Volume 3, which I released 6/24/17. Let me know what you think of it in the YouTube comments!

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POEM:
& I Embrace the Changes

I walked alone on the beach in the morning before anybody was up / there were two places calling out to me I felt the inexplicable connection to though I’d never been there / I didn’t know exactly to where I was heading; there is a great big world out there & anywhere could be the place / but I embrace the confusion at last, & the darkness, & equally the confident light / & I embrace the changes

for a long time I tried to pretend that it wasn’t important; I buried it & muddled it & feared it & ran away from it / I put on the cloak & wore the dagger hidden where no one could see me; hid behind the curtains & sat in darkness because I would rather sit alone than with them / I cried at night & felt like a freak because they all sped by me in the fast lane rushing recklessly towards careers & eternal matrimony & I was alone & partially longing / but I never did want what they had anyways, & yet still felt left behind / but I have come to embrace the aloneness / & I embrace the changes

there are different things that have meaning to me / “still so far behind!” they wail in the corners / but I do not hear them anymore, & I do not care what they are saying when I cannot see them / let them have their opinions & make their conclusions; let them believe what they wish to believe / I am freedom, I am alien, I am independent, I am different / & all of that is okay / & therefore, I embrace the changes

I will never fit into their molds or want to sing their songs or want to go the places they go & do the boring things they do / I walk along the seashore each step a prayer propelled deep into the earth with vibration / each step is a declaration, a battle cry, a triumphant shout that I WILL NOT BE WHAT THEY WANT ME TO BE, I AM NOT WHAT THEY WISH I WAS, I DO NOT HAVE ANY INTEREST IN FITTING IN WITH THEM / each step is a statement of utter freedom, a release of the words I have been fighting for my ability & courage to say, the Phoenix pushing the ashes off the place of both its birth & its tomb simultaneously, shouting out into the night, YOU DO NOT OWN ME

& so, I embrace the changes

 

EPISODE 2

In the second episode of The Ashlee Craft Show, I read the poem “part two” from my poetry book, “A Beautiful Question of Where & When”.

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POEM:
part two

I left the space open
to write a good-bye letter to you

& the empty page stared back at me
gasping & lurching & trembling;

it was broken, it was cracked;
the paper swallowed me whole

I thought about the last time I saw you
how you were despondently numb & begging me

the bird sitting still in the cage
it once previously tried to escape from

& I thought about the tenderness :
radiantly gentle & ardent in its fierceness

& I thought about you;
you believed in me when I was just a shadow to myself

my hand was trembling
& the conviction inside me rose & sang

& I could not write anything
I could not say goodbye, unclasp your hand from my own

I could not leave behind, move on
from one I’d loved so authentically