Our Curious DNA of Desire [SSL 209]

AUDIO NOTE/APOLOGY: Please excuse the less-the-standard auto quality this week. I recorded this episode on-the-road and I could not bring what I should have to make it better.
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The Final Word on Vengeance [SSL135]

Today on Spark My Muse I feature a reading from the book by Brian Zahnd “Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God: The Scandalous Truth of the Very Good News”.
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Eps 142: Guest, CJ Casciotta; Finding Your Sacred Weird

Today my guest is CJ Casciotta.

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Eps 110: The Immigrant Refugee Story and Work of Karen González

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Karen  González

She describes herself as a-
Follower of Jesus | Mujerista | Immigrant Latina | Writer | Refugee Worker in Baltimore | Amateur Theologian | Co-host of |

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Eps 73: Spoken Word brings Life- Guest Anita Scott

Welcome to Spark My Muse!

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(I bring you something to enjoy and you give me some money to cover the cost.) Thanks for your generousity, today.



Today, I feature the lovely, effervescent, and talented, Anita Scott.


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VISIT Anita Scott’s website
ollow her on Twitter: Twitter.com/poetanitascott


Anita reads her poem

About her background

Min 2:30

Chicago Poetry slam event (she performed “Mary Go Round” – see link below to watch)

• Mudroom (Anita’s page)

• Tammy Perlmutter (her own website)

The TWO EPISODES in which Tammy is my Spark My Muse guest:

What it’s like living in an intentional urban communal arrangement as a family.

Follow-up episode answering listener questions & on the power of confession.

MIN 5:00

Reads All Seasons (NOV 2007)

MIN 8:30

How Anita got started in poetry?

and her family background and education.

MIN 10:00

Her introduction to rhythm, poetry, and rap music to express emotions


Her spiritual formation and rediscovery of her faith as an adult.

MIN 14:00

D Boy and Preachers in Disguise (PID)PID

Reverend Rhyme

Being homeschooled

Teaching 7th grade

MIN 19:00

Deciding who you want to be.

Bringing poetry into the classroom.

MIN 21:00

The role of the arts during times of trouble (including the current racial tension and tragic recent event like the slaying of police officers in Dallas)

MIN 23:30

Anita’s thoughts about seeing racial violence and violence against police unfold right in front of her in her own hometown.

MIN 25:00

Nothing will get back to order if there is no justice.

What the arts can do for the issue of Justice.

MIN 28:30

Performing poetry that relates to racial and social justice issues–now seems even more powerful.

Anita performs “In Memoriam of Morality: end quote

It’s hard to look for a good laugh

when so many of our channels expose the madness

of what seems to be consistent harassment

of what some might call . . .


How do you converse and talk about

videos and uploads from people on their walk about

showing millions and millions what to gasp about

because honestly to see so many videos about . . .


Well, that might be where we get stuck

or unable to label true stories or fables

either over dinner or all too often under the table

dealing with people who . . .


Well that might make things sticky

when hearing only one side of a story sure makes things iffy

and so we are left with a tricky . . . 


What is race?

And is that the question?

Or what is racism

and is that the conglomeration of too many. . . swirling in one population

with too many nationalities, ethnicities in one or several locations?


Again, is that the question?


I watched videos of the recent incidents

and no lie, I felt completely absent from joy

and completely different from indifference

but also distant from revenge or payback. 

I honestly felt more under attack

not from a color, but from a sin

something within every human

and because we are fallen

we lack the courage to say what C.S. Lewis so eloquently expressed:

We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.”


end quote. 


Isn’t that utterly ridiculous and even senseless?

But, oh dear friends, he is speaking to our present day existence. 


We take Jesus out of schools

and are stupid enough to demand and look for values.

We sanction abortion, 

but lock up thieves.

We “Hooray!” same sex marriages

and question why little boys and little girls struggle with identity. 


We laugh and mock politicians,

but stay out of the polls

and then when we turn on the tv, 

we have the audacity to ask, “What is going on?”


So is that the question?


What channel should I watch just to get away from this humiliating madness?

What channel can I view to escape the constant harassment?


To be honest, friends, 

when I watch these videos again and again, 

I fall to my knees in utter repentance

because I start to see color when I see brutality. 

I start to see race when I see crimes against humanity.

And I only feel that way when I lack the courage to say these words from Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

Judging others makes us blind whereas love is illuminating.”


end quote. 


Then no wonder we can’t see.

Our judgements have burned down these cities

and we wrestle all night

wondering who and what color will be the victim of our fights

like 2 wrongs ever made a . . . 


Mother Theresa smiled and said, “God will ask, ‘How much love did you put into what you did?


end quote. 


Is that the question?


That question will expose the reality in our hearts 

as we 60-mile-an-hour brick through windows

hoping that will cover up the anger and grief in our souls

and so we submit to temporary exhilarations 

contributing to an ongoing deviation

of how not to deal with a systemic situation

as we watch those bricks shatter bank accounts

but do we even take into account

the morning after the one night stand

when fumes consume the inability to resume

the life we presume or desired. 


I have a question because I can’t put out this fire:

How do unjust deaths lead to grocery buggies with flat screen tvs

car trunks with microwaves and DVD players?

Yeah! I’m a hater. 

What are we doing and what have we done?

We’re teaching a younger generation that sin has a color

and revenge is the other route to avenge

and we’re letting them grow up with another lie. 

Why are we quiet?

If we choose to send a message of silence

we are inevitably advocating the violence. 


It’s hard to see through the anger in our hearts, 

the unforgiveness in our carts, 

Add to cart

the grudges in our cart

Add to cart

the vindictive actions that tasted sweet but only backwash tart

Add to cart


Check out!


Some of us need to check in and ask yet again “What is the question?”


What can we do to get away from this stench of sin covered in revenge

covered in avenge someone’s death.

Our plight has us fight against skin, 

but the only real fight is the one against sin,

but how do you fight a force you can’t grab, you can’t choke?

Is that why we burn down buildings because at least with smoke

we can see the ruin of our demise

and yet even when I close my eyes

I can’t shut out or shout out the images inside.

I’ve already seen them – the punches, the chokeholds, the funeral and in these last days my brothers and sisters, get ready for more turmoil. 


All men sin and fall short;

that’s nothing new to report

accept with that terse verse feel free to rehearse your own shortcomings.

May not have involved a chokehold or a gun

but a sin is a sin, and in the end,

we all desperately need repentance. 


Don’t we?


Isn’t that the question?


end quote.

MIN 37:00

Civil Rights movement

Black Lives Matter movement

MIN 41:30

What do you think people with light skin can do to make things better?

MIN 43:30

Having conversations about privilege.

Telling our stories and making sure the friends and connections you have are very diverse.

MIN 47:30

On diversity in community

MIN 50:00

Making adjustments to deal with the events of the summer.

Poetry resources

• Nikki Giovanni

• Langston Hughes

MIN 54:30



A reading of


VIDEO of Bellows (Spoken Word poem)


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