Sunday, January 13, 2019

GUEST POET: VENUS THE STRANGE (aka Ashley Ward) 


FIND YOU


Even after life

I will 

Find your light 

if heaven lied

I'll still wait for you

I wont sleep tonight

Not until I 

find your light




HAUNTED


I saw 

You clearly

And I 

felt you near

I saw

Your shadow

Fade into the air

It's Just a ghost

A Voice in the TV

& A stranger who calls

I must be haunted

Enough for us all

It's just the ghost

Ghost in the walls


  


BIO 

Ashley N. Ward was born in 1992. She’s been writing since she was 13. She enjoys playing piano, guitar & the accordion. She also writes short stories. She resides in West Virginia. 



Tuesday, January 8, 2019

GUEST POEM by RED LIPS SINK SHIPS (aka Jodi Pudding)- My Memory of You is Fleeting


My memory of you is fleeting     

No shitty tokens of remembrance              

There will be no funeral                                   

No lantern held at the helm,                             

In paltry hope of your return                          

Liars and traitors                                           

They are unwelcome here                 

Blasphemer of love                                      

Your eviction was overdue                             

You are a ghost                                              

You are dust                                                  

You are regret                                               

The aftertaste of lies                                      

And I banish you forever 



Pictured above: Art by Jodi Pudding. View Jodi's Paintings

BIO- Jodi Lynn Pudding (aka Red Lips Sink Ships) is a poet and painter born and raised in West Virginia. She holds an Associates in Business Management and is working toward a BA in Psychology. She left West Virginia for only a decade before the mountains called her to return home. She now resides in Charleston, West Virginia, single mother to three amazing kids.


Friday, December 14, 2018

True Love Waits

True love waits 

like glass below a broken apartment window on a wet street, 

like dog shit in grass. Like roadkill-body waiting to become fur-rags. True love waits 

like stoplights in hazy rain wait for disaster--daring you to rush. Metal impact against soft 

sternum, fragile skull--both very unforgiving of your very human impatience.

True love waits like the last cold spit-spotted swig in the bottom of bottom-shelf whisky bottles.

Waits like Nicky in her short black skirt by a light-post in light rain 

missing her next fix, her life incomplete without pill-winged angels to Fly Her Away, O Glory! 

True love waits like soldiers wait after a day dodging landmines in the desert--for sleep, for dreams without bodies coming apart in front of them.

True love waits without conscious decision of the human who houses it in her unrequited heart--It waits. 

It waits. It waits. For her lover to return (or not return)

Every new day. Dawn. Dusk. It waits, waits. It is no decision. 

It just is. 

Rinse. Repeat.


Pictured: Andrea Fekete

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Interview with Author and Poet Ron Houchin

Photo Credit: Most Exalted

Ron Houchin is one of my top 5 favorite living contemporary American poets. Houchin says he has no living mentors. I do and Ron is one of them. I have many of his poems hanging on my wall. When I get tired of one, I put up a new one. That's the benefit of being my old friend. I steal your poems.

For me, Ron's poems rise above context, simultaneously attach to but also separate from "place" or "time." His poems lie down beside the shadows of human mystery and grief for a conversation but the poems aren't the shadow.

His poems graze the truth rather than bluntly inviting us to stare right at it and somehow, as if by magic, the reader comes to a deeper understanding without staring the answer squarely in the face.







FEKETE: Do you consider yourself an Appalachian writer? Why or why not?

HOUCHIN: At one time in my early years, I hated the term Appalachian Writer. It felt too limiting when I was an undergrad at Marshall in the ‘60s. It smacked of regional to me then and that meant, felt like it meant, limited and not fit for the larger world outside the “prisoning hills.”

Now, I revel in it, now I understand that all writing is regional. All writers, whether they aware of it or not, are impacted and influenced by where they grew up, lived, and the language of that region—not to mention the religion.

FEKETE: I know you visit Ireland quite frequently. You also have a long-term relationship with an Irish publisher, Salmon Press, who’ve published many of your poetry collections. 5, I think? Could you tell us more about developing long-term relationships with a publisher and why Ireland? Ireland seems to be a land very special to you.

HOUCHIN: I plan to go again in the spring or early summer. I’ve been there in every season. With an average temperature of 59 degrees Fahrenheit, it is rarely freezing or blistering.

 The people there, the land, the history, and prehistory are all just what I love about the human race and this land we survive on: beautiful in spirit both the people and the land.

They have their problems and deal with them in their way, which seems to me very human and humane the more I get to know them—that’s something we in the US could benefit from more of. 

Even though they have an amazing amount of legends and superstitions informing their sense of self and their place in the world, they see much more clearly and honestly than most cultures I’ve known. So, this next visit, whenever it occurs, will be my 30th.

If I hadn’t gone there so many times, I could have a nice house, yacht, and maybe a trophy wife. Kidding, of course. The good news is I am interested in none of that.

I want experiences and understanding that I seem only to get in the writing and traveling—seeing things from other perspectives, other than my own.



An underdog country that has been bullied and tortured for over 600 years, Ireland amazes me at how much they have influenced the world, especially the world of literature and the arts.

 Why wouldn’t I want to gain and keep a relationship with an Irish publisher? Jessie Lendennie, the director of Salmon Publishing, is known for her egalitarian approach to publishing both women and men from Ireland and all over the world.

A long relationship with a publisher is a kind of love affair, if you’re lucky, and I am plenty lucky. It’s an affair of minds. The writer loves the work the publisher does and the publisher loves the writing.

 I’ve had other books done by other publishers: Louisiana State University Press, Wind Publications for the other of my 8 books. And Main Street Rag for the novella.

But above all of this, when you are reading in a foreign country, at their request, and one of their publishing houses comes to you after the reading and says something like, “I really liked what you read.

You should send me a book manuscript,” and you do, and it gets published THERE (in Ireland already famous for poetry and poets such as Yeats and Heaney, and Beckett and Synge, and Behan and many more), when you could not get a book done in your own country, how can you not feel lucky, stay with them, and do what you can to see them thrive?

FEKETE: Does Ireland or Appalachia provide you with a sense of place in your work? Do you believe a sense of place is necessary for a poet? How does it manifest in your own work?


HOUCHIN: I know this is not the popular, preferred view these days, and it may seem somehow inconsistent after all that about Ireland; but I feel all this sense of place is a bit overblown. I mean, I was born in National City, California, a small town that has since been absorbed by San Diego.

Had I stayed there, I’d be influenced by the great Southwest more than anyplace else. Sense of place should never be, at least for me, a kind of cheer leading, a “Go Appalachia!” attitude of my writing. I hope it never is in the poetry and the fiction. In the nonfiction, that’s another matter.

Sense of place does not mean a sense of loyalty or nationalism or regionalism, but just a matter of whether when writing, the warehouse of images you’ve accumulated through a lifetime of observation is filled with mountain laurel or bougainvillea that pops up when you need a floral reference or image.

If your senses are working, and you pay attention to them, you will have to have a sense of place in your writing—it’s inevitable. It’s not an accomplishment. 

FEKETE: When I visited Ireland, I felt there are similarities to my homeland of West Virginia. West Virginia is home of the coal mine wars with a long history of workers’ uprisings.

I noted those shared quality of love of land and a deep reverence for their history of resistance. Do you see these kinds of parallels and if not these- then what? Do these aspects of Irish culture inform your poetry?

HOUCHIN: Someone once said, if you want to be brilliant, you have to pay attention to the Universe. Who wants to read the poetry of a dullard? I shouldn’t say that. It may have already become a hipster fad. 

 Nonetheless, I try to pay attention to whatever comes to my window, so to speak, so I can’t help but feel that West Virginia is the Ireland of the US, and Washington—the government—is England. Look at the example of Ireland, they have had the English boot in their face for over half the millennium. 

 They are getting along very nicely out from under that boot. WV resorted to violence when necessary, just as did Ireland—and as violence is often wont to do, it got out of hand. How can this not inform what I write? 
I come from an area that has a history of being raped and plundered and I go out as a young writer and find and fall in love with a country that has even greater history with the same sort of treatment.

FEKETE: Does your poetry reflect where you are when you write? I’ve heard some writers say they only wrote about home when they are away.

HOUCHIN: I never know what I am going to write until about a nanosecond before I start writing it.  As much as possible, I write wherever I go. I am a strong believer in an morphosis, the way changing our position so often changes what and how we see. Looking at something straight-on will change dramatically when we see it from the side. For this analogy, Home is viewing and thinking straight-on, and anywhere else, even your neighbor’s back yard, is viewing from the side. If that makes sense.

FEKETE: What’s your process from idea to finished poem?

HOUCHIN: An Irish writer whom I love both in her work and her person is Paula Meehan. In a workshop in the ‘90s she once said how we must “invigilate” our work. Didn’t know that was a word, but it makes sense. You know what a vigil is. You have to keep vigil over your writing.

When I am working on something, which is most of the time—thank the gods and goddesses—I am rather absent minded about the rest of the world. I am obsessed with whatever idea has me in its grip. I may start out way over here in the dull twilight of some thought, but if I keep with it, I will finish in the brightness of noon—if I am lucky, also. 

Mastery is staying with it as it stays with you. It’s a kind of loyalty that never ends. I regularly change poems that are 10, 20 years old. Often I change a poem that’s already been published in journal or book form. 

I forget whom I am paraphrasing now, Da Vinci or someone, who said, “A painting is never finished only abandoned.” Something like that. I could go back right now and change any number of poems from yesterday or a decade ago. And I probably will.

FEKETE: What makes a poem “good “? Is that even something that can be measured or defined? If so, who should do the evaluating?

HOUCHIN: An elitist, academic might say there are objective criteria that have been established over time that tell us why some poems live forever, and others aren’t likely to outlive their era.

An egalitarian might say all poems are equal as expressions of feeling. Not everyone will like every poem. It is to some degree a matter of taste. For those poems that seem to last through the ages, they had the luck to have the approval of the establishment, whether that of the publishing world or the academic one—or both.

For me, there is truth in both these statements—I stand somewhere between and outside of both. There is a certain sonorous resonance in some poems that echoes about the human experience.

There are poems that take wonderful leaps to being about more than just themselves—what it is that the poem speaks of on its surface. And for my taste, originality is very important. If it is not being said in a way that has never been said before, why then should I read it?

FEKETE: In my experience, having known you many years, you share my opinion that writers must be perpetual students. Can you speak to this? Where and/or from whom would you say you learn most?

HOUCHIN: I have to say, that’s a hard one for me. I tend to listen to everyone who has anything interesting and original to say. I’ve had the usual influences: Wordsworth, Frost, Dickinson, etc. Later, Yeats, Beckett, Kees, Fearing, Goethe, -- the list is endless.

Living mentors? No one. I’ve been influenced by many writers. Some out of love of their work and others—quite the opposite. I do tend to learn more in seeing what not to do.

Writers that try to be so acceptable in their work bore the living shit out of me. I pay a lot of attention to how they fail. So most of my influences and/or mentors have been anti-mentors.

FEKETE: What would you say is you’re secret (or not so secret) talent?



HOUCHIN: I have none as far as I can tell, unless it is that I can fall in love again and again with the world or some aspect of it and assimilate from the need to reply to that love something like a poem. Or maybe it is just being honest about most things.

FEKETE: What advice do you have for poets of all ages? Young or emerging poets?

HOUCHIN: Same as what Rilke gave once to a young poet: If you don’t have to do it, don’t. It won’t get you in to heaven or keep you from hell. It may make life worth the living, but only if you are crazy in love with it.

Perseverance is paramount for emerging or emerged—unfortunately that makes the whole process sound like a bowel movement.

I started writing before I’d conquered the language. 

I couldn’t construct a clear, grammatical sentence, let alone a paragraph.

I had a huge learning curve. I’d been a semi-criminal through much of my public-school days and hadn’t paid much attention, so when I entered Marshall University in 1966, I had to hit the ground running to avoid being drafted.

That was my wake up call, being a high school graduate and realizing that my country wanted me to go halfway or more around the world and kill strangers who couldn’t have harmed us here with all their efforts combined.

I guess what I am saying is that it takes great motivation to keep at it. But look at the Universe. Just one big explosion and it is still going strong.



BIOGRAPHY

Ron Houchin lives on the bank of the Ohio River across from his hometown, Huntington, West Virginia.  For thirty years he taught public school in the southernmost, Appalachian, region of Ohio.  

He has eight books of poetry, one collection of short stories, and a novella published. His work has appeared on both sides of the Atlantic in the US, Ireland, and Wales; and in such venues as Poetry Ireland Review, the New Orleans Review, Poetry Australia, Verse Daily, Poetry Daily, and many others.  

His awards include the Appalachian Book of the Year in Poetry for 2004, the Vesa Fenstermacher Prize  from Indiana University, and The Weatherford Award for Poetry in 2013.  

Click here to hear Ron read his work.  
You can find his works online and at Salmon Press

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Instructions for those who are Broken 

Get yourself one ashtray. One bed. Few furnishings for your one small home.

Although you no longer smoke and you never sleep in beds anymore- get them just in case. 

A few windows will do. Place one clay pot with something green inside for distraction, on a windowsill

as if you still believe in things growing.

Buy yourself yellow and orange carnations tied with purple ribbons 

as if every day is Dia De Los Muertos for your own soul and those you’re too afraid to allow in your rooms.

Buy one pair of sunglasses each first day of summer. Sit on your porch alone, listening to neighbors 

laughing and children, too. Cars going somewhere, dogs’ barks.

Acknowledge none aloud. 

Purchase one pair of gloves for winter that you’ll forget each time you leave the house for necessary errands.

Keep one deck of cards in a kitchen drawer 

for long nights when you jolt awake, your body seeming to shake

on the inside. Surely from some old terror or some love lost you can’t even remember, perhaps never even had 

but your brain still houses somewhere.

Play solitaire by lamplight. You can’t lose every hand. 

You can live without others how you know you should. You can live more comfortablly than you think, with quiet so complete 

water poured in a glass echoes through the still house at night like memories of voices 

you mercifully released from your flawed company.

And when it becomes tedious, lonely,

go outside barefoot, in your nightgown, step into the cool air and 

drop the clay pot from your high porch, leaving the dirt and flowers punished,

alone to fend for themselves on cold, streetlamp-lit pavement. Soon enough 

you’ll again forget the small shoots of green which leaned hopefully, foolishly, toward sunlight.


THE MADONNA 

Pictured: Long ago best college friends. Andrea Fekete (the author) and Jennifer Hall. Circa 2000. If you recognize this photo which was taken at Marshall University, please inform me of the identity of the photography student who took it, so I can credit him here.  


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Class Privilege in WV: Becky Skips Line at the Polls (reminding me  & 30 voters behind Me how WV is Ran by the Rich)

Richard Ojeda is running for Congress against big money in West Virginia. He is grandson, nephew, and brother-in-law to coalminers. His family are teachers, nurses, and his father (my uncle) was raised in a 4-room coal company house (almost a shack) without indoor plumbing! 

My mom and her siblings lived on their own garden-raised food and raised animals instead of being in debt to the company store.

Quite a feat for their father, an undocumented Mexican immigrant miner who barely spoke English, raising his 9 children on his own after his wife died of cancer very young.

But Senator Ojeda, his grandson, has risen to the ranks of heavily-decorated retired major and his children have went to work as union leaders, miners, nurses, and one even trained at Mayo Clinic.

This family knows fight. And Ojeda is batting big money in this election. 

It’s old hat to describe WV as ran by the billionaires, the coal barons, and Big Pharma. We all know the long bloody history of workers fighting for freedom.

Ojeda’s opponent Carol Miller is a millionaire who hasn’t spoken on her platform at all, refuses to debate, AND Logan County delegates like Rupie Phillips- who showed Carol around their hometown just a few weeks ago- operates vitriol-filled hate pages called NOjeda and wages a war against Ojeda made of lies and schoolyard bullying.

It’s the new violence in coalfied politics.

So, what does any of this has to do with Election Day? Oh, let me explain.

I WATCHED MONEY SKIP ME IN THE VOTING LINE TODAY. Literally. 

I’m Ojeda’s very proud cousin, like him, descended of loud-mouth union leaders and a Spanglish-speaking man who raised his kids alone. My family takes zero shit from anyone with or without money. 

And today I was reminded why Carol Miller and Capito and all the rich fat cats in government must go.

Class privilege is all around.

Today, I stood in line at least half an hour to vote. Me, grandaughter to a man who barely spoke English, niece and daughter to workers rights leaders.

And what do you think happened? Same old, same old. 

Some beautiful 20 something blonde chick came to my polling place at Chamberlain Elementary in precinct 165 in Charleston dressed impeccably and appearing expensive, in her skirt, sunglasses, heels, and a VERY nice coat and DIRECTLY sashayed to the head of the line in front of me and 30 people. 

Yep. You heard me. 

I had been there FORVER (in the chronic PAIN I never mention anymore as usual) and she was given her ballot and put at the head in front of some guy ahead of me.

I politely asked the young woman if knew she had jumped line and the guy they put her in front of (ahead of me) said, "she had permission" BARKING at me coming to her defense. 

I asked and two poll workers were not happy about it but one said "oh, I said she could." I asked why and she said "because she has somewhere important to go." 

One worker said, "oh, did someone complain?" 

As if I’m a jerk.

I said, "We ALL have somewhere important to go. I have a medical procedure in huntington almost an hour’s drive at 3 PM! Did she have proof she had somewhere more important to go than me and the other 30 people behind me do?" 

I was on fire. Just on fire.

Had she looked cheap and had holes in her shoes or a thick accent (like mine) would she have gotten put ahead?

Had I been able to catch her, I’d have said I don’t care who you think you are, or what your last name is or how nice you look or where you’re going- your time is not more important than mine or the 30 people behind me, including the 18 year old black kid behind me voting for the first time who stood with me and a much older woman.

Who knows if anyone was on chemo or wearing a diaper or in pain (like me). Who knows who her beautiful appearance helped her trump in importance.

We have early voting and absentee ballots for a reason but rich looking blond white chicks can just waltz in in her expensive tights and sunglasses and say they have somewhere important to be and be put ahead of 30 people. 

I know it took her an HOUR to get ready. She’s in a big hurry though, right?

I could be wrong but I think it was she driving away in quite a nice vehicle when I made it outside

Dear "Becky"-

You and your tragedies or illness or job or kids or anything else ARE NOT more important than 30 of us.

 I don’t care where you need to be. You HAD TIME TO PLAN. That 18 year old black boy behind me and ALL the elderly people behind- GOP or Dems- are ALSO VERY important. 

THIS WAS RICH CHICK PRIVILEGE. Give her a thick accent and a cheap outfit with holes in the sleeves and see if this had happened. Hell no it wouldn’t have.

BUT THAT’s OK, sweety.

Cause our time has come. I may have to stand in line longer with my hips and back hurting (like they always do due to illness) and I may be broke.

 I may be in cheap looking shoes today or sound like a card-carrying certified Dumb Redneck today....but tomorrow, you’ll wish you’d have respected me and all the rest of us more.

We’re taking our state back. Big Pharma and Big Money and Little Rich Kids skipping line are GOING DOWN.

Carol Miller and hired thugs like Rupie Phillips and the men who beat Ojeda half to death two years ago for speaking out on corruption are outnumbered.

There’s more us than them. 

"If you don’t have a place at the table- BURN THE DAMN TABLE DOWN." - Senator Richard Ojeda 

Anybody got a match?


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Fire in the Mountains! Ojeda Sends Corrupt West Virginia Leaders Scattering like Rats

Things around West Virginia have been tough all over for far too long, but I partly blame us, the People, as we’ve resisted involvement with legislation.

Our people are unemployed. We’ve become the capitol for heroine overdoses. Our retired miners are about to lose everything because The Miner’s Protection Act keeps stalling.

We were a Blue state when I was a kid; now we’re Red. Whoop-dee-doo! So what? Nothing has changed but the color of the state on the political map on TV during election coverage.

Me? I think our leaders have let us down for decades--almost all of them--the Red team and the Blue team.

Apparently, West Virginians need somebody that makes both sides nervous, because so far not many have been on our side--the side of the working class--not for a century!

Ever since King Coal discovered us dumb old mountaineers were standing on more Black Gold than he’d ever dreamed, he and his Good Ol’ Boys in the senate and congress have worked hard to cleverly convince us to dig a hole underneath our own feet to make them rich.

And we did it, too!

Now, we’re left with almost nothing. We’re the poorest people in the United States ever to live on such filthy rich soil. But people are starting to fight back.

I hear people say, "Senator Richard Ojeda hasn’t done much since he’s been in office" or "man, he’s a bit rough around the edges."

Before anybody says they know I’m only saying all this because I’m an outspoken, biased Ojeda supporter, let it be known I care more about WV than I can express.

I want to see our miners working and my old childhood friends back on Buffalo Creek being placed in quality rehabs and getting CLEAN, not dying alone on the floor of an abandoned single-wide trailer while Big Pharma presidents buy a 3rd and 4th yacht and vacation with congresswoman So-and-So in France.

I want good psychiatric care for people like me who have PTSD, a common condition in WV and affordable, quality healthcare for women like me who have endometriosis, also a common condition in WV.

I want to see retired miners like my uncles get their promised, no--earned-- pensions and healthcare. I want to see teachers like my sister-in-law paid decent wages and rewarded when their students make excellent test scores.

I want to see hospitals like Man ARH stay open instead of shutting down how it did around 2001 putting multiple relatives out of work.

I want my niece and nephew to have a shot at competing academically to get into a quality university. I want my family safe and healthy.

Everyone in WV must be part of the solution to the disease of political corruption that is rotting WV from the inside of its guts out!

Helping ourselves starts with recognizing what real change looks like and let me tell you what, it looks like people like Senator Richard Ojeda, who has shook up politicians on both sides.


Change also looks like Lissa Lucas (District 7, running for House) who was physically thrown out of the capitol when she stood up and rattled off a list of which oil and gas company paid which politician.

And when Senator Ojeda starting speaking? Why, it was as if someone had switched on the electricity in the Capitol after decades in the dark.

And the light has the corrupt politicians scattering like rats!

From the moment Ojeda stepped inside the Capitol as the Senator of the 7th district, there has been a new energy under that big gold dome.

Some fellow representatives were intrigued by him, some were in awe, and some were shocked. He had big ideas, big plans and a lot of energy.

Admitting he had a lot to learn, he hit the ground in a dead run. Once he got the hang of the formalities, he started speaking up on the senate floor.  Fellow senators stopped looking at their phones and tablets and listened.

The introduction of SB386 he gave one of the passionate and moving speeches I had ever heard from a politician.  The next thing we knew, more than his fellow senators were listening.

House Members would sometimes be seen standing in the background via the live cams listening intently. Our friends, family, and neighbors started watching the floor sessions daily.

People who had NEVER paid any attention at all to politics were listening to senate sessions, committee meetings, and following the bills.

Citizens, once disinterested and convinced of their own powerlessness in government, are suddenly calling their representatives, writing letters, and showing up on the floor at the capitol.

People like Lissa Lucas and Senator Ojeda have shown everyday people they can and should be involved. We must support this kind of fire. 

When Senator Ojeda posts a live video asking people to light up the phones- those phones pop ablaze. Maybe the naysayers are right; maybe he’s a little rough.

He’s not your usual prim and pressed politician with outlined speeches. No, Ojeda is real. He’s "rough around the edges" because authenticity is always just a little bit flawed.

His words are passionate and from the heart--not from a script--so no, he’s not going to sound like the poet laureate.But he’s well-versed in truth-telling, not lying and sweet-talking.

His family are coal miners. And coal miners and their offspring (me, for example) have fight in their blood. That’s why the people of West Virginia are so inspired right now.

For the first time in my lifetime, a small-town, working-class man has stepped up to the microphone to speak and people all over the nation are suddenly attentive, on the edges of their seats.

And suddenly, like Lissa Lucas, everyday people like you and me, are getting thrown out of the capitol for telling the truth!


In my opinion, the reason leaders like Jim Justice and Donald Trump (who called Ojeda "wacko") are intimidated by Ojeda is two-fold.

One: he is from the coal mining and working-class families he represents, so his loyalty is with those people, not corporations.

Two: people are now paying close attention to what our leaders are doing.

For far too long, our leaders in West Virginia have operated practically unchallenged and unchecked. But now, even the haters are paying attention.

When people pay attention, they tend to take a stand and vocalize their opinions. They show up and they challenge our leaders. And boy, does this bunch in WV ever need challenged.

In the past two years, whether you are for or against Medical Marijuana, drug rehabilitation, second chances for felons, taxes, natural resources, severance taxes, unions, public employee raises or teachers and service personnel, you were watching.

The Lissa Lucas’ of the world may not be your dream candidate but she got the world’s attention when that video of her flung out of the capitol went viral.

And Ojeda may not be as quiet or rehearsed as you’d have liked, but he made the crooked leaders nervous, and he got you fired up, too. You watched.

If breathing new fire into our people isn’t exactly what WV needs then, I don’t know what is.

"If you don’t have a seat at the table, then burn the damn table down." - Richard Ojeda 




Sincerely, Andrea Fekete
a coal miner’s daughter, niece, and grandchild, a West Virginia writer, and VOTER


REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER, West Virginia! Let's start a fire.