Sierra DeMulder- Live at Icehouse

Curated By Ralph

"The Road Not Taken" is a source of inspiration for me, because it encourages me to seize opportunities and chart my own course in life.

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Sierra DeMulder, performing @icehousempls5665 in Minneapolis

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Thank you thank you for that wonderful Introduction Um Kenny's Instagram is poem dreams or Poetry dreams Palm dreams is Kenny's Instagram go Follow it right now Um yeah thank you for that introduction Um I'm so happy to be here I'm so happy To be opening up for Blythe Um yeah I Um earlier Um I was asked like if I considered Myself a Twin Cities artist Um I moved away a couple years ago and But it's true Um everything of note that I've ever Done in my life I've done here um Because we have such an amazing Community of people um to grow and build With uh so I'm so grateful to be Considered part of that and I just also Moved back here for good so [Music] Um yeah I think so I'm gonna do all new Poems off my cellular device because I'm A professional who doesn't own a printer At 32 so Um I've been thinking a lot about Transitions I'm just coming out of what Was a really horrible year starter good Way to start a first date Um and so I've been thinking a lot about Transitions

Um some of these poems I wrote before This year some of this some of them Afterwards but so I've been thinking About how like you know Um in nature there are constant Transitions and in relationships there Are constant transitions our country is Going through a transition Um our my niece is going through puberty And she's going through a transition you Know and how we lean into those how we Humble ourselves I think makes that Process a little bit less horrible okay I'm a writer um This is uh this is You know when you're like ah dang that Relationship is really over No never Your relationships are all perfect great Good Um This is called Autumn Driving through Pennsylvania in Autumn I Watched leaves flip in the air Their yellow bodies hover and Float Almost motionless above the concrete Before a final collapse honestly it Looks like magic or a hundred tiny Icarus is I know none of us are going Back we can't undo what is already Undone the scarf unraveled my feathers Melting from the heat of your breath I Am in awe of this season how every room In nature becomes a funeral I remember

You in this light your hair haloed in Gold your hand on my thigh awake of Leaves around us none of us are going Back winter will be served cold and Alone the way things lie in museums Welcome to our finest exhibit the heart Gutted the lovers who will know no Springtime thanks [Applause] Right hand This is called I have a hair in my Armpit My ten-year-old niece squeals half shock Half Delight from inside the bathroom We inspect The hair is light almost a cobweb not The dark Pelt of a woman yet but it is Impossible to ignore her how her body is No longer draped as a child more the Scaffolding of a body of a building Unfinished on her chest two doughy coins The straight pavement of her legs is Beginning to turn at first I wanted her To stay small forever a girl pan curled Into a ball of yarn in my lap now I Delight in picturing whose heart she Will swallow first the lies she will Tell her mothers which parts of her body She will wish to sand down born into a Forest of women with axes for hands I Can save her from none of this and would I if I could Smooth the surface numb her edges or Would I rather meet her on the other

Side of the table or phone when someone Proves how edible her heart is or when The dark hounds of our family finally Catch her scent [Applause] Mm-hmm Um This poem is called Ode to Daddy Not about my father I feel like I need the lunch after that Okay Oh to Daddy Yes Daddy not because I want you to be My maker but instead what disassembles Me Yes Daddy not as my father but in a way A trinity tongue palm and Holy Ghost Daddy a man daddy a woman daddy two good Hands and the sliding pendulum of gender The Rorschach test of Flesh yes Daddy Because I've been so good because I've Been very bad because I went to work Every day this week and didn't spit on Anyone Daddy asks me what my name is and I say Please Daddy asks me who I belong to and I forget my own citizenship pledge Myself to hunger daddy says wait And my heart levies itself shovels dirt Over my legs Stacks heavy bags of sand On my chest like a woman accused of Witchery our body bodies capable of pain And pleasure at the same time and even

Science can't explain such unlucky Mechanics that we could crave what Offends us a nipple dragged Beyond Itself and the warm mouth that leashes It the blocked hallway of my throat and The gasp that taste like sugar [Applause] Okay Thank you I don't know what I'm doing with my body Today [Music] I have a half a glass of wine before Performing and I become one of those Things outside of car sales places you Know All right I'm gonna do two more show Poems and then end with a new spoken Word poem Um these are two poems a part of a small Series that I wrote um about uh abortion This is road trip 2008. And I wrote this the day after the Election We both thought we were pregnant What are the odds we laughed her feet on The dashboard windows down radio crying Out for a lover neither of us ready to Be mothers yet What will we do raise them together like A pack of wolves braid Hemlock into Their hair or light a hundred candles And pour salt and pray this world isn't Good enough for them to want to stay

For weeks we drove across state lines Corn fields and billboards I have a Heartbeat after 18 days it's a life not A choice and dreamed of leeches nursing Off of the fat of our body it was early Light unsure of itself when I found the Blood in my underwear red fingerprints Made by anti-hands she said when I Told her We brought we bought a test at the Drugstore parked at Dunkin Donuts I Waited in the car bent at the waist from My own body spilling itself betraying Her wholeness I knew before she opened the car door We'll handle it I said And the car became a cave a voice my Voice an echo of the thousands of women Across time who have said this exact Same words Thank you [Applause] And this is the second one in the series And Um I asked my dad Uh my dad's like pretty liberal but he Grew up in a small town and I was like One day I said Um Dad are you pro-choice and um Without missing a beat he goes Yes Sierra it's just death what are we All so afraid of and I was like Hahaha Okay so uh that's the title of the poem

It's just death Sierra what are we all So afraid of Foreign Was my father's answer when I asked him Over breakfast if he was pro-choice my Father had broken the cardinal rule About abortion don't give pitchforks to Those who believe it's Murder By Admitting well yes it is the murky Nothingness the other side of that Bright foyer I should mention that my Father is a hunter and a taxidermist he Has both dealt death and paused it also Made a mockery of motion bear claws Frozen into a coat rack a pheasant Caught mid-flight in static why are we So angered at the return of Stillness is It the suffering or the lack of parade I Am special but not significant I am Holy But of made of dirt each of us our own Labyrinth but in the end only one Hallway a corridor 184 years long or so Seven years short or 23 or 46 or the Length of just an idea fetus or Sunspot The body is a body for such little time Thanks [Music] Thank you Um I'm gonna do one more poem Um yeah one thing really quickly I want To plug that Um I thought it was I had a horrible Year Um but I'm my priority for the next year

Is to Um not prioritize uh success or Relationships or anything I'm just gonna Prioritize being happy and Um thank you and making art and being Creative Um so uh one of the things I'm doing is I started a podcast with my best friend It's called just break up it's a Relationship advice podcast Ironically titled obviously but um I Hope you check it out you can find it on ITunes or apple podcasts or Stitcher Spotify or wherever you listen to your Podcast we really enjoy making it it Comes out every Monday the first three Episodes are already out Um so yeah this is my um new song word Poem If you were to ask the world Which is to say the internet What self-care looks like It would tell you Candles Hundreds of candles Stationed around your bathtub like a Winking flower crown flickering in the Corner of your perfectly angled Instagram photo captioned me time It would tell you it's sipping tea not Coffee in a color coordinated mug at Dawn or doing yoga outside at dawn or Writing a gratitude list at dawn or even Knowing what the dawn looks like

It would tell you it's drinking your Weight in water it's buying a new set of Sheets a gym membership it costs money It doesn't spill or stain or Fray It would tell you nothing about how hard You have to cry to break a blood vessel Or what it's like to order takeout again A whole pizza you can't afford to eat Alone in your bed like a slow eclipse The Box in your bed your body always in Bed not a grave but still somehow a Burial What it's like to choose between paying For your cell phone or the water bill Knowing you drown yourself in both Endlessly scrolling soaking up a Thousand lives before you ever get up in The morning or what it's like to be so Lonely you dream in sitcom characters Masturbate to the thought of your ex the One who treated you so so poorly you Might as well let them you over one Last time Do a quick Google search of how trendy Healing looks these days thousands of Shareable images on well-curated of Well-curated mantras pasted over a Postcard of the Rocky Mountains I am Enough The truth is I look nothing like this The truth is Sometimes self-care is wanting to text The person who hurt you but instead

Letting your phone die Sometimes it's showering without sitting Down in the tub Sometimes it's falling asleep in the Afternoon Waking up in a lake of Blackness Speaking to no one for days sometimes It's making it to the job you hate on Time because you have to because you Have bills to pay and your boss doesn't Care if you need to hashtag sent to Yourself these days self-care seems to Come with a price tag and a filter Healing is rarely so photogenic nor is It one size fits all and I know as a Poet I will have to pay some sort of Poetic Severance tax for how cliche that Line is but I'm sick prior to Prioritizing what's pretty over what's True which is to say It's been a hard year Which is to say I hid myself from you Because I was afraid the mess would Disgust you which is to say this spring I let the lawn grow long I let the sun forget me I ate that whole Damn pizza myself I went for walks Cried the whole time took a picture of Nothing I found the box cutter again renamed it An organ a cancer starved the desire to Die from my body Let the laundry stay swallowed in the

Hamper watched dust paint the coffee Table ignored the dishes in the sink and I need you to know there was mold None of it was pretty Healing is a baby's first word No one really taught them what to say They just picked up what they could made It up as they went along and whatever we Do however we get to the next day that Is just as valid as the glittery veneer We've been taught to hide under I know I Am here because of where I am not I did I did buy candles though From Target The ones picked over and half off that Smell like Pine and cinnamon and a Chemically engineered ocean And isn't that self-care Giving yourself permission to believe in Seasons Thank you [Applause]

Hey... I'm Jasper!

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