Saturday, January 23, 2010

Paula Ray: Writer Spotlight

My recommended writer/poet/musician of the week is the ever-melodious, Paula Ray. Her work is an amalgam of playful rhythm and muted rage. “Sometimes I want to be smothered. I want to feed my screams to someone else…” from Break Me.

I’ve never heard her create magic on a saxophone, but the inflection of her aptly labeled Musical Pencil cries out to be heard:
“Why did I chose the sax?
Because it spoke to me and said,
“press your lips against my grain,
cradle me against your womb,
release the wind within your mind
and I will send your screams, sorrows,
and sighs star-ward
until the sunburned sky
showers you with blues.”
from Horn of the Devil Sounds Sweet.

She can tease our senses with evocative verse:
“I was one of working girls,
taking innocents into my private room,
teaching them fingering and tonguing tricks,
how to blow soft, make it scream loud,
get high, and growl. It was all about diaphragm,
rhythm, flow, and letting go.”
from Sax Lessons.

And then, turn our world upside down in thirteen perfect words:
“You shake me up to watch,
my mind fall in flakes,
your amusement.”
from Inside the Snowglobe.

It would be an injustice not to mention her outstanding flash fiction, composed with the same stunning, muse-inspired instrument. “She took the pen in her hand, it was still warm and sweaty from his palm, she could feel his pulse thumping beneath the engraved gold plating.” from Abigail’s Song.

Do yourself a favor and become a fan.

Works of interest include:

Shoots and Vines: Inside the Snowglobe

Everyday Weirdness: Abigail’s Song

Word Riot: Break Me

Strange Road: Sax Lessons and Horn of the Devil Sounds Sweet

Visit Paula’s blog “Musical Pencil” and be prepared to sing:

Paula Ray: Musical Pencil

All work cited is Copyright 2009 Paula Ray, all rights reserved


  1. I've recently come to discover Paula, a fellow North Carolinian and her fine work. Worth checking out for certain!

  2. Thanks for all of the links, Angel. I hadn't discovered her work yet.

  3. Angel! you gave me no warning! I'm completely amazed by you! My face is so red. Thank you for your sweet gesture. I hope no one runs from my blog screaming...Is he JOKING?

    Man, this is one of the nicest things any fellow writer has done for me. You are so generous, Angel.

    Thank you

  4. Oh, duh. I know PJ. I just didn't know the P stood for Paula. :)

  5. Paula is a fantastic writer. Her work is always poetic, often moving and sometimes absolutely gut wrenching, brutal and horrific. The lady has a talent.

  6. thank you so much, Michael, Laura, and Graeme :)

  7. Loved these writes—fantastic language and character.
    Excellent pick Angel. I'll be checking out more of her work.

  8. I am such a fan! These writes are amazing.

    Thanks, Angel.

  9. Paula Ray is musical and lyrical and these things pervade her writing. Oh, and she can HOWL! YAAA!! Am I allowed to say that here?
    Here's lookin at you, Paula!

  10. Howling away -

    thank you, Mark

    I can't wait for the anthology to come out :)

  11. Damn! Damn! Damn! Another Poet that makes me question why I pick up a pen! 8-)
    PS I pick it up cause it owns me! 8-)