The Gospel of the Fat Cactus

“Poetry is as visual as are painting 
and the cinema.” – Charles Simic

If you are lucky, you will
find yourself reading poems
by Jim Harrison or Ted Kooser

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Only When You Open




You are a white screen begging
for color, pleading to deep
from the deep. Full of meditations
and repressions, you pursue
the art of stuffing.

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Healing in Creative Community


I spent four days last week at the Escape to the Lake music conference in northern Indiana. Every year, I discover afresh how needed and how wonderful this gathering is. The efficacy of the conference was in question this year, what with a new venue (which worked out beautifully) and a new time, along with major changes currently going on at Under the Radar, the organization producing the event. It went off without a hitch, however, and what hiccups there were seemed to play into the conference instead of working against it. This was my third year, and I’m always struck by the degree of healing offered through this congregation of musicians and listeners.

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The Escape to the Lake Compilation

ETTL logo turntable

If you haven’t heard about Under the Radar, consider listening in to it. Dave Trout, the generous head of the program, is one of the most supportive people around for independent artists, especially in a the vein of truth-telling, lyrically rich, radio-neglected music. The non-profit program features a free weekly podcast on Fridays, stuffed to the gills with excellent music from folks all the way from Rich Mullins and Randy Stonehill, to Andrew Peterson and Josh Garrels, to our own Rachel Mosley and Adam Whipple.

Each year, Under the Radar puts on a conference called Escape to the Lake. It doesn’t look like most conferences you might know. In fact, it’s more like a vacation, at a music festival, where it’s just your extended family there—and you like all of them. In preparation for Escape to the Lake (August 8-11; there are still a few tickets!), Under the Radar has again released a compilation of stellar music from twenty artists. Some of these tracks are previously unreleased. This is available at Noisetrade on a pay-what-you-want basis. Please enjoy! All your tips go to support Under the Radar.

Go HERE to download! And thank you!

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