Thursday, January 25, 2024

Monthly Update: January 2024

Hello and Happy New Year! I hope 2024 is treating you well. 

I've hit the ground running this year.

I've partnered with a wonderful organization in Sacramento (where I live) called Futures Explored Film Studio. They will be producing a collection of my one-act plays under the collective title Some of Us Are Brave. I'm excited to be directing the show. The cast is wonderful and the production team is stellar. Included in the lineup (each piece will be presented at each performance) are my plays Hot Rates to Omaha (world premiere), Number 76, Before Harmony Sleeps with Jeff, and I Bet She Has a Party to Go To (world premiere). If you're in the area and would like to see the show, tickets are available here. The show opens February 2. Some of Us Are Brave was featured in an article published in Broadway World

I was very sad to hear of the recent passing of singer Mary Weiss. Known worldwide as the lead singer of the 1960's girl group The Shangri-La's (my favorite girl group), her vocals have been featured on many iconic songs including Leader of the Pack and Remember (Walking in the Sand). To say she will be missed is an understatement. I have loved this group for many years. I'm working on a screenplay about the impact of their music. More on this soon!

Huge thanks to The Review Geek for including my horror novel Dummy on their list of 10 Books That Should Be Adapted. The article was published this month and because of it there's a lot of interest in adapting the book into a film. I hope to have more details to share soon. 

Regarding my health: it’s been a long few months. At my last physical my doctor was a concerned about a lab result. 15 (yes fifteen) tests later (I’m a human pin cushion) and I finally had surgery earlier this month, which was scary but a success. I was on bed rest for two days (not an easy thing for me to do). These were my two at-home nurses. I was in great hands. My family (chosen and biological) have been wonderful and supportive. God is good.

Earlier this month we got to have a lovely brunch/lunch at Estelle Bakery & P√Ętisserie. Such a beautiful place. Good times (and pastries) were had.

I can't let the month end without paying tribute to an extraordinary man and his forever legacy: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His influence on my life has been tremendous. In closing, I am sharing a poem of mine with you titled Subway Stations, Atlanta. It was originally published in The Dreamers Anthology by Beautiful Cadaver Project Pittsburgh

There's a reference in the poem to the song Dreams Come True (Stand Up and Take It) by the band Lone Justice (Maria McKee). 

I hope January has been a blessing for you. 

Onward and upward.


Subway Stations, Atlanta
by David-Matthew Barnes 

Here, luggage bangs against the legs
of travelers like orphaned children, starved
for a destination. Unknown, Georgia meets 
many with fast-tracked trains. Silver cars steal 
strangers, natives, flight attendants upon arrival, 
takes and feeds them to jutted glass teeth. They grin 
in the hazy distance. Northbound,
we rattle to the city we call ATL, others
call their arrival spot, Hotlanta, home.
In the far corner of the blue terminal, red 
digital numbers pulse and glow: the next time
another one will leave, lift off.

The centrifugal center of all things
tourist. Cameras, digital and pocket,
click and flash at CNN, where Nancy
Grace hangs above the crowd. Fish
bubble and squeak behind glass. Hawks
shoot and dribble down courts. Falcons
swoop across the dome, another sweet
victory. Olympic torches touch the hot
summer sky, frozen against the sky-
rocket’s Southern glare. The faithful
convene for motivation, gospel, paradise
at the world center, west of the sinful city.

Dreams come true. Stand up and take it. So
sings a muse named Maria. Like Martin,
she knows heartache, ghosts like the citizens
of Oakland Cemetery. We are still haunted
by memories, damaged and sweet. Heat
boils down the boulevards of Grant, 
Decatur. On the corners, the edges 
of the broken sidewalk still scream.
You will hear babies cry, mothers crashing
against their attempts to make a life
better than the one their mothers had. 
Hope fuels this train that slides, glides,
cuts the jazzy air, piercing the heart.

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