The Roadburn Cafe

Make it Work for Me 

The ultimate connect-the-dots ~ everything coordinated to GO at a pre-assigned moment. It’s been awhile since I’ve “launched”.  I forgot, I tweeted it yesterday before the “launch”. Forgive me, my dear ones ~ ready, set,




Hurry, hurry, hurry.


Get it now while supplies last.  Oh, you can’t say that.  There are endless supplies unless, of course, someone pulls the plug.  And, with me, anything can happen. I am about to be part of something that is going to happen ~ Make it Work for Me, available on a device near you.  





Christmas Eve 

One of the difficult tasks in the gift giving department is getting the sticky little tags off, the ones that reveal the price, or the sale price. Bonus if you can get the “clearance” label off and the two that preceded and gone down in small increments over the past months, and now in a last ditch effort, the little red tag goes on.  If the original tag was to stay, the receiver might think “Wow, she spent that much for this!?  She must really love me, poor thing.  She never could manage money.” Little do they suspect I paid fifty cents because I had a 20% off any-purchase-in-the-store coupon and I don’t really love them at all. Well, maybe in the grand sense.  


But this Christmas, the spirit has been sporadic and mostly evasive. Last year I did a Stage-It online show. I should have done that this year, but the tour in The Netherlands was an autumn one...then it was Florida.  I came home to Christmas like I was a visitor of, rather than a participant in. I put on my Christmas coat--bright green silk with reddish flowers really ridiculous, my muffin mitts and dingle-ball hat, red elf shoes and went to a school band concert. Analisa playing the french horn. The band conductor announced, “If you get in the mood, feel free to sing along.”  I closed my eyes when Come All Ye Faithful  started and sang with eyes closed and tears welling up, and feeling it, not noticing no one else was.  I opened my eyes to sideways glances and open mouths all looking in my direction ~ it’s okay, I got a little Christmas.


Analisa played very well.  She’s a natural born comedian, eleven years old, gangly, very long feet, braces--and with all that, beautiful. Funny how beauty cannot be disguised. I like that I didn’t embarrass her. I unintentionally embarrassed my children a great deal at school events.  They cared about what people thought. It seems it was the beginning of the backlash against the sixties, when people started becoming ridiculously well behaved and fashion became a uniform.  Marketing reared its head and people became self-enforcers of wear what is correct for your demographic socio-economic group, etc.  I probably would have continued happily being the oddball or the beatnik or hippie or freak. The terms and cliches used daily in mass media. If it were not for children who kept me informed, not so much by words but actions.  Anyway, Analisa wasn’t embarrassed which gives me great hope for the future which is nearly here and getting closer by the minute.


My tree is not entirely finished.  Most would say it is, but I know it isn’t. Even though Christmas Eve approaches, I’ve taken a sampling from all ten boxes of my ornaments to do the chore. You see, there is a point of no return.  You can tastefully space the trimmings.  But for me, something is wrong.  It’s not the universe, the world. I haven’t done enough, haven’t gotten everyone that perfect something, haven’t solved any of the world’s problems, yet I persist, and hang one more icicle. I bring the past to the present and it unfolds in the drama, comedy, mystery.  My story of Melanie, the tree. Why did some bale on me this year without a word, leaving me in mystery? Why did grief leave so soon? I need it to buffer from the harshness and the sharp edges. I string popcorn and cranberries and it all comes together in this tree creation. There is no answer except “yes”; nowhere to put our feet except one in front of the other; nothing more to do than let it go, let it slide. And I put the star on top of the tree. It’s Christmas, My Dear Ones. I brought you all here tonight to spend Christmas Eve with me.  There is a sense to all this. And we look up at the stars.





The Tops of Palm Trees 

The tops of palm trees. Not often the view in Florida unless flying or skyriding in a theme park. But they are foolish enough to put up high rises here and there. I am in the tower of the Boca Raton Resort, 11th floor of the 27 available. The wind’s been gusting and just died down, the sun’s come up.

I performed at the benefit last night for the Philippines. I hope they made a lot of money. So many good things one can do with money. And then I look around at the two-, three-million dollar boats, the Maza Ferrari Rolls Royces in shining black white, and this fabulous blue color. Jewels and lifted faces. And in the tops of the palms, I find solace. Yet I remind myself, I’m in a tower. Someday the wind will blow it all away. And I want to sing the pyro Jeni song from the Threepenny Opera...or maybe, Old Bitch Warrior. I want to say to these people, you can be relieved of your burden -- donate! What they raised last night is maybe a year’s worth of car washes for that beautiful Maza Fe-freaking-rarri. The ad in the spa brochure in my room reads “A ritual bath is available at the spa. This 50-minute ritual provides an all over feeling of well being and decadence”?


With love, my dear ones


P.S. The rooms were donated by the Boca Raton Resort, "Mizner's Dream".


Fall into Autumn 

I’m thinking about my set for the upcoming 9/29 at Notable Blends. If it was just going to be “us” I probably wouldn’t. But considering there could be people who might never leave their homes watching, the ones who might spy from a crack in their curtain on their neighbors, across the way. Voyeurs. The audience for the live stream could include the curious. “How is she looking these days?” “Can she still sing?” Critics ~ critical types. Usually in a live show, I can spot them. There is a mass and weight to those thoughts, a certain energy I can avoid up there, where I have a protective shield that’s been created for me.

Yes my dear ones, once upon a time, one hundred years ago or more, more or less, I sang at Woodstock and the flow of human power, light and love has not left me. I will sing forever ~ I didn’t get paid, but that’s one hell of a perk, huh? So I don’t need to fret. (Beau’s joke: What kind of musician worries the least? Answer: A fretless bass player.) But I will give some thought to my approach of reckless abandon and do songs I never do ~ it will be a test of sorts for me ~ to qualify they will be songs I love and don’t feel have been given a fair shot or have never been officially recorded or fall into autumn ~ that’s the name of this show , Fall into Autumn with Melanie.

I will herald in the season with Happy Christmahanavaloween ~ as retailers are negating September, October, I will attempt to give those golden months their due. I hope you, my dear ones, will be there. You never know who’s watching. Walmart may wage war against such heresy (they’re big) because the invisible picket signs in front of the stage at marquees will read, “Let us have October. Keep the essence of November.” Walmart can have the whole 25 days before Christmas. This should be in the contract. An irrevocable decree which states unequivocally that heretofore, humanity (also known as humadity) keeps October and November. Retailers have the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas and through the new year. Then, no hearts and valentines until five days before the end of January.

And whoever might want to buy and support Christmas in September can go online or visit the many all-year-long Christmas shops. Or this year, buy everything they need the day after Christmas at great bargain prices. Of course there’s very little heart in that. (My point exactly.) I envision this lawn in an upper middle class suburbia festooned with jack-o-lantern lights, a ten-foot blow-up snowman holding a menorah, lighted cupids propped up around the manger (heart shaped luminaries), a Christmas tree covered with little turkeys and pilgrims, and finished off with a sleigh. And in the sleigh, next to Santa, as a vampire, a pilgrim holding a turkey and a tofurkey and everyday, blow-up pedestrians running for their lives as Cupid’s arrows fly. It’s only September! We don’t need to hurry. Um, but I do have a signed book that might be the perfect, never mind. But they could run out. Oh, I’m joking of course. It’s not even close to...anything, except Halloween. What are you going to be? I’m going as love and a kiss from the heart.


Spiders and Webs 

Everyday on my porch I discover the new works of very industrious Tennessee spiders and I drink my coffee surrounded by Charlotte's Web. Our webs are not visible, nor beautiful, but there nonetheless and can be as treacherous. I’ve been stuck in a few myself. I’m comfortable with my spiders and their webs, the breeze blowing through and the gold ball that I throw to the other side of the lake and it comes back, reminding me to throw again and stop weaving. Spiders do that just fine.

All this talk of spiders and webs. It’s Halloween, the fall, autumn is coming. “Oh baby, look over there, the birds are southward bound. Oh baby, I’m so afraid to lose the love we’ve found.” That’s in quotes because it’s in the Jesse Winchester song. It was “Jesse”. I felt more comfortable with “baby”. Jesse didn’t like me. Maybe it was because I took his name away when I sang his song. Or said “Yankee Man” instead of “Yankee Lady”. I certainly didn’t mean to upset. Intentions are what we need to look at when we find ourselves accusing and weaving, creating uncomfortable and sometimes unbearable webs and nests.

Intentions. Not manners, etiquette, or political correctness. Which brings me to email, leaving entirely too much room for webs...haha. My dear ones, my plan for peace includes web pre-living and lots of LOL.


Matters of the Heart 

I fell, you see, that’s all. Dislocated shoulder, then another, and then again. Dislocation. During that month of three dislocations, I experienced pain in my chest, because I fell. I fell, like I’ve done throughout my life, mostly when I was little. And other than my arm having no shoulder cuff to call home, and the excruciating pain, I brushed off my clothes, put a band-aid on my knee, and went back to the playground.

There was this pain in my chest. I asked Dr. Cox, the orthopedic surgeon, “Could it be a rib or a herniated something?”
“Well, go to the ER and have an EKG.”
“But, I just fell. You can’t hurt your heart that way, can you?”

“When did you have the heart attack?” the nurse practitioner asked.
“Oh no, Silly, I never did.”
“Well it looks like it. Maybe the tape wasn’t on right.”
“No, you see, I just fell.”

On to a heart specialist.
“Hello, Doctor. You see, I fell and it all started with that.”
“We’re going to do another EKG and an echocardiogram.”

Results: abnormalities. But I was a technical difficult study and two times, I defied the machines. And really, I just fell...and now it hurts. This just happens to be where my heart is. On to New York City. I don’t know but if we’re talking the heart, that little mysterious organ that keeps it all going, I better be in New York.

Maddy Miller, who took photos before and after, kept me looking right as rain and got me to Dr. Merle Myerson with her very preventative approach, which I appreciate, to heart issues. She recommended blood tests and stress tests and a nuclear-reactor something-or-other... and I don’t even have a microwave. Maddy held my hand throughout. Hence, no “during” photos. We were both radioactive for one day. “Don’t go near children or animals” we were both warned after the fact. But those results sealed my fate. The other tests were not erroneous, there was something wrong and a catheterization was urgent. But, I just fell.

Dr. Roubin did the procedure. The day after Maddy’s birthday, roof photo and feet tweet. Four hours later, I was released with a walking stick, went home to my New York City residence, hardly knowing what hit me. I have a high threshold for pain, it seems.

It was a silent heart attack. Pretty recent. I’m remembering this hurt, that pain, can’t really pinpoint. Maybe when Peter left, a broken heart, the heart so mysterious. Oh, and I don’t have high blood pressure or the high “bad” cholesterol. But there was 100% blockage of a big-boss artery. Now I live with the miracle of science. A stent has success fully opened one of those tree branches servicing the big-momma valve. So, I’ve been singing with half a heart for a few years, my dear ones. Could you tell?

I’m becoming stronger by the day. There were two shows in Canada and now, I will “recupe” and fortunately, I’m not having to cancel dates. There is a book signing in Nashville on August 27th and The Cutting Room in New York City, October 12th where I’m planning a Brand New Me...“Don’t hate me, I’m old enough to use it” written by a young girl I know well but not well enough. There will be a performance the likes of which you have never seen before as I never do the same thing twice.

This last paragraph is scored with Liza Minnelli's version of New York, New York:
“Bamp bamp bah tada..Bamp bamp bah tada...”

My dear ones, while all this medical stuff was going on, I wanted to tell you but didn’t want to scare anyone. So now, I assure you, the danger’s passed and my heart is bursting with joy. Well, maybe “bursting” isn’t the right word. No, no bursting. My heart is receiving everything it needs and I am poised to love and to be loved. You see, I just fell, that’s all. My dear ones, everything for a reason. An angel’s watching.


The Miracle of Color Light & Fire 

I sat in the middle of the sky at 9:20 PM and even all the way up there, a shrub was obstructing my view. I held it down with the good arm as I am prone to calling it recently. However, my other arm is never referred to as the bad arm. It might make it more predisposed to behaving poorly. I'm encouraging, nurturing and certain it will respond.

Back to NYC and the 4th of July Spectacular. We watched on a W 57th St. rooftop with other residents of the building. My review of fireworks display reads: The gold burst of several sizes, configurations, swirls, wraiths & pinpoints all in golds & white, glistenings & flashes, consecutive. Then the next colors~all
blues and purples
with red orange centers, green outer circulars.

The red hearts were the crowd pleaser, weren't they glad I held down the shrub for that? ~ One of my favorite parts of any fireworks is standing in a group where we all chant “Ooooh”…and then “Ahhhhh”...and the applause at the written-in standing ovation. Smiles & joy of being so blessed, that the heavens bestowed the miracles of Color Light & Fire.

Next time, I envision the fireworks don't stay put but travel. The wraiths leading the way, then the ball bursts bounce up and down and follow. There they go, flitting hither & thither assuming their own life, like us.

So difficult to control. Oh my dear ones, the endless possibilities.

Yeah Hooray ~ the miracles of Color Light & Fire.


Happy Birthday, Peter Podcast

Peter had two, really three birthdays. June 23rd and February 23rd. His mother made up the second one so he’d qualify for milk rations longer in wartimes. Then we found out that his real birthday was June 24th, as we approach June 23rd, 24th and February 23rd I am pondering how survival can affect people’s behavior in strange ways. While celebrating Peter’s last birthday in this life, his mother said, “no Pete this isn’t your birsday.” Peter bolted up from the table and said, “Mommo please, you make up so many birthdays. I never had a birthday!” Till the day he died, Peter had difficulty discerning truth from fiction. If I had died first I would never have come to this realization ~ didn’t give it analytical thought. Peter was just crazy that way.

I was born February 3rd in the Valentine month, the month of Presidents, flowers, chocolate, cherry trees ~ always loved my month , a nobility in my month in ways defined who I was ~ Connecting those qualities with who I would be “Father, I cannot tell a lie” (what George Washington supposedly said) ~ Cupid bringing love love love, mischievous Cupid ♥’s bows and arrows, darting, hither and thither, dropping chocolate Valentines everywhere. Cold month, February, good month for red wine, that tricky R that so many forget to pronounce, my month, so I got it right from the get go. Always attracted to other February children, the chocolate connection, or is it the eyes ~ I can always tell “the eyes”.

When I leave this body, if I have to come back here for any particular reason, I hope it’s February
or maybe I’ll just be Cupid
Love leavings, chocolate
red wine
oh yeah
Peter never got to have a month identity
Just one phantasmagorical story after another
We miss the stories
Happy Birthday, dear Peter!


  1. Candles in the Rain / Lay Down