Monday, October 31, 2011

All Hallow's Blogging

Happy Halloween, folks! This is my favorite time of the year, and, fittingly, I have a pretty good bit transpiring.

My interview for WUTC’s Around & About with Monessa Guilfoil is set to air tomorrow at 10 and 2. Tune in to 88.1 to give it a listen. The series highlights a lot of great things taking place in the city, and if you’d like additional info or just to stay up with what they’re doing, check out their blog here:

I posted before that I would have a story being published. Well, it’s HAPPENED! Oysters and Chocolate ran the story, and it always is a good thing when you can compensated at all for your art. People largely know me as a poet, but I write a number of genres. This one is definitely for the mature crowd, but if you’re so inclined, you can give it a read here:

All this week, I’ll be rehearsing for the show this weekend at Kavarna in Decatur, GA. I’ve got some new poems to hit the stage with, so I’m going to have fun putting it all together set-wise. If you’re close to ATL, feel free to pop out. I’ll be sharing the stage with the fantastic talents of Emily Kate Boyd, Hannah Thomas, etc.

Well folks, that’s all I’ve got for now. Oh, and to commemorate today’s occasion, enjoy the video below!


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Chapbook Business

Your Friendly Neighborhood Christian JUST finished ordering the birthday cake for MANIFEST: Year One. Make sure to come get yourself a piece on November 11th at The Camp House (1427 Williams St.).

In other news, I’ve previously posted on here that my chapbook Ghosts & Echoes is now being sold at Winder Binder in Chattanooga. Ray Zimmerman, who is a very influential artist as well as a man I feel honored to call a friend, is going to be doing a book reading there on December 4th. Earlier this week, Ray reached out to me and asked if I’d be interested in participating, and I gladly accepted. So, you’re all invited to pop out and hang out on December 4th. I’ll throw some additional info about the reading up in the very near future. Stay tuned!

As for the book, I thought that it would be a good idea to post a few poems for you to check out from it. If you have any questions on other ways to obtain the chapbook, feel free to comment of e-me at

Miracle Worker
Mama Dear is up before
the day, filling this house
with the smell of breakfast.
Lean strips of bacon scream.
A cube of butter sinks into
the navel of grits. The roaches
have become shadows behind
doors, underneath the couch
& television, & like a spell,
the house is blooming with life.
My uncles gather around
the crowded ebony table,
their eyes bloodshot, dry-rose lips hungry
for the weight of the day’s first cigarette.
The black ink is shaking out the sky
& we can forget that money seldom
stays here. For now, we have this meal
to share & carry in the maroon chapels
of our stomachs, & Mama Dear
has woven her magic again.

Moonlight rests in the brunette
garland of your hair. Outside,
the first cool hours of morning
have arrived & your eyelids are moving
to meet one another & shut.
As I watch sleep summon you,
every damp organ inside me screams
for you to stay & dream beside me.
My clumsy mouth knows no incantations
to keep you in this bed. I know that soon
you will rise to traipse out into that black,
cloud-speckled haze alone, leaving the space
between these ivory-painted walls silent.
How hungry I am to trade my warmth
with you, to barter with you, to feed
comfort to your still body. How my heart’s song
wants to soften into a light massage,
a steady feather stroke against the muscles
in your back. Look at us – you are nestled
comfortably on the bulk of my pillows, drifting
on the hilly bodies of my blankets,
eyes hidden behind the beige curtains
of your flesh, & here I am awake,
carrying this want in the milk of my bones,
& with these weary, bloodshot, open eyes
I am dreaming of you.

The Sea
Even the silence
has tumbled out of this room
making its exodus underneath
the heavy ivory door.
It is just you & I on the cusp of sleep.
My hand against the beach
that is your stomach, brushing over warm skin.
For this moment your breath, your covered ribs,
your bone & body are partially mine.
I press my fingers against your abdomen.
The tide is rising behind these muscles.
The sea in you is singing my name,
each syllable aloft in melody.
My desire is a wildfire – untamed, enveloped
in its longing to drop anchor inside you
& holler back at the Heavens
that this is where I belong.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Birthday Blogging

What’s shakin’, world? Yesterday was my birthday (Your Friendly Neighborhood Christian is now 28), and it was a very busy and beautiful day. I had the opportunity to perform at Chatt. St. for their Café Tuesdays event. It’s a great feeling to be able to do what you love on your day of birth, and it was really cool to have the opportunity to participate in the activity.

As a result of showing up at the college, I can now say that I’ve performed in a cafeteria (you know that’s going in the updated bio). What I found really cool was just the opportunity to see so many eager, talented people. A lot of the students who sang were fantastic. I really hope that some of them will start coming out to the open-mic challenge at Camp House. People deserve to hear them. If I was gifted a singer’s voice, trust me, you couldn’t pay me enough money to shut up.

Anyway, the next Café Tuesday event will be on November 15th. If you’re looking for something to do on a Tuesday morning, feel free to come out.

Switching gears, I’m sure you’re all aware of MANIFEST: Year One coming up on November 11th. It’s our birthday show, and I’m really excited about it (I’ve got some new poems in my set, too). Last year on my birthday, I made the very first MANIFEST flier. So much happened in October of 2010 leading up to the first MANIFEST that it’s really hard to believe. On our opening show, Marcus Ellsworth performed for the first time WITHOUT paper. Now, the man has taken to it like a pro. It’s been a real joy to witness.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now. Just a quick reminder that you can scoop up my chapbook at Winder Binder in Chattanooga. It’s called Ghosts & Echoes, and if you’re out and about around Frazier Ave., swing by.


Saturday, October 22, 2011


Hey Friends,

Earlier today, I had an interview with Monessa Guilfoil for Around & About, which is a series that WUTC puts on to highlight different things and people in Chattanooga. I went on to promote MANIFEST: Year One, which is MANIFEST’s birthday show.

Initially, we talked about the show, the origin of the showcase, etc. but the bulk my conversation with Monessa dealt with different issues in the community. We talked poverty, marginalization, how to rectify things, etc. It was very interesting.

She and I ended up talking for 52 minutes. When the piece airs, it will be reduced down to about 6 minutes, so I’m very curious to see what Monessa keeps in. I’ll keep you guys posted on when it runs.

Also, for those of you who haven’t been able to catch me live anywhere and have wanted a copy of my chapbook Ghosts & Echoes, you can now buy it at the Winder Binder bookstore (40 Frazier Avenue) in the Northsore area of Chattanooga. Winder Binder has been very supportive to Chatt-Town’s poets, so if you would like to support them, me, or just immerse yourselves in a cool environment for a while, stop by and check the store out.

Lastly, we’re closing in on the end of the voting for the YP Award nominations. If you would like to cast a vote for me for Artist of the Year, you can find the form here:

I’ve given my personal guarantee that the voting will take under five minutes of your time, and I still stand by that. For my e-mail address, you can put down. And if you’ve already voted or plan to, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I sincerely appreciate the support.

Well, that’s about all for me, folks. At least for right now. Be good, stay up, and I’ll talk to you soon.


Monday, October 17, 2011

I LOVE October

What a weekend! I feel like I’ve been on a hot streak with saying that. On Friday night, we had MANIFEST. The slam was interesting because we didn’t have many of the usual cast of characters. No Marcus, no Jayce, etc.

Our winner for the night ended up being Mr. Ray Zimmerman. He’d JUST got back to town from doing a reading in Nashville. How’s that for fate?

I broke out the MANICAM for the occasion (as I did for most of the weekend, actually), and I’m very pleased with what I managed to capture. I was just testing the waters this time, so I can only imagine what I’m going to be able to get in the near future.

Next month, we’ll be doing the birthday show for MANIFEST: Year One. This time last year, I was promoting, promoting, promoting, and trying to cement everything. It’s hard to think that we’re rapidly closing in on being in the game a full year.

I shot the press release out earlier today. It reads as follows:

On November 11th, MANIFEST, a monthly arts showcase hosted and organized by Christian J. Collier with the purpose of highlighting predominantly local artists, will be celebrating its first anniversary at The Camp House (1427 Williams St.). To commemorate the occasion, there will be performances by some of Chattanooga’s most dynamic poets including Marcus Ellsworth, Britni Bridgeforth, Jayce Stock, and Christian Collier. DJ Flannel Boy, who has shared the stage with a number of phenomenal live acts including Machine Are People Too and is one of Chattanooga’s most eclectic and skilled djs , will be opening and closing the show with a unique mixture of dubstep, breakbeat, electro, and other genres.

General admission for MANIFEST: Year One is $8. Doors open at 8 PM. For more information on MANIFEST, Christian J. Collier can be reached at

I’m very excited about being able to kick out the jams with my comrades. Also, I’m excited about celebrating with the peeps that come out. After all, you fine folks have largely helped make MANIFEST what it is and has been. So, if you want to hear some dope poems, shake your tail feathers a bit, drink a little bit of wine and snack on some birthday cake, bring yourselves out! You and yours are invited. Peep the videos on here for an indication of what you can expect on 11/11/11.

Last Saturday, I went to New Voices in St. Elmo. I set the MANICAM up and managed to get some great stuff by The Undoctored Originals. Great guys, and phenomenal musicians.

Prior to stepping out though, I really wanted to have something specifically geared for the band’s sound. I set to work writing a new poem, and, fortunately, I got enough of one to go break it out live. I need to polish the piece a bit more, but I’m pretty satisfied with where the poem is right now.

If you’ve been following the blog (thanks, by the way), then you know that I’ve been campaigning for the Young Professionals Association of Chattanooga’s Artist of the Year Award. If you’ve voted for me (thanks, by the way), I really appreciate it. If you haven’t voted and would like to, you can go
to do so. You can list my e-mail address as on the form.

Lastly, I’ve got an interview this Saturday for Around & About. It’s going to air right before MANIFEST: Year One, so hopefully, it will help to bring a few more bodies through the door. Before all that takes place though, I’m going to make a setlist for the 11th and for my next Decatur, GA excursion to perform at Kavarna on November 5th. I try to stay active.


Oh, and this is what you should be listening to!

Monday, October 10, 2011


Hey Everybody,

The Young Professionals Association of Chattanooga (YPAC) is now accepting nominations for its annual YP Awards. They will be held on Friday, November 18. The categories are Young Professional of the Year, YP-Friendly Business of the Year, YP Artist of the Year, YP Entrepreneur of the Year and the YP Community Service Award.

Nominations are open from now until October 25 and are open to any young professional, business or agency in the greater Chattanooga area. The top five finalists in each category will be announced on Monday, November 7.

For additional info or to vote for your favorite business, artist, etc. follow the link to the YPAC website:

If you’ve enjoyed what I’ve done for the past two years with Speakeasy, the past year with MANIFEST, or just me in general, please, please, please throw a nomination out! Make your votes count!!!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Info for the People

Hopefully, all you fine folks are enjoying October so far. I’ve said before that this is my favorite month of the year, and for numerous reasons. October just has a certain vibe to it. It has a very distinct energy, atmosphere, etc.

In addition to being the month of my birth, October is also when a very good friend of mine, Shane Morrow (The Creative Underground/ MANIFEST: Art & Soul 1), is starting a monthly jam session/ open-mic called Eclectic at Blue Orleans in downtown Chattanooga. It runs from 8:30 to 11:30 on the first Friday of each month. Eclectic will actually be making its debut THIS FRIDAY NIGHT! It’s a good opportunity to be a part of something cool in the city.

Also, the MANIFEST: Autumn Nights Poetry Slam is next Friday, October 14th. Doors and sign-ups begin at 8. We've had two stellar slams so far this year, so I'm very anxious to see the talent that's going to hit the stage next week. Also, we'll be starting off the night with an open-mic, so feel free to break out a few pieces for the slam, the open-mic, or both!

In other news, Your Friendly Neighborhood Christian has signed on to host the new Battle of the Bands that’ll be coming to The Camp House later this month. Here’s the official spiel:

There will be five semifinal nights (Oct. 28,29; Nov. 5,12,19) consisting of four bands each. The winner of each night will be brought back for the final on Friday, December 2nd. Bands will be free to choose the semifinal date in which they perform; however, the dates will be given on a first come, first serve basis. Each night will be judged by a panel of three judges on the following criteria: musical ability, stage presence, originality, and crowd reaction.

Bands that win their semifinal night are guaranteed to take home $100 the night of the final. The prize schedule is as follows:

5th - $100
4th - $100
3rd - $150
2nd - $200
1st - $300 + Live Recorded & Mixed EP OR $550
(The live recorded EP will be recorded during a separate show to be booked later)


For complete rules please see our website:

For more questions please email me -

Band registration info is here:

Rules and regulations are here:

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now, fam. Do yourself a favor and listen to Phonte’s Charity Starts at Home and Evidence’s Cats and Dogs albums. You can thank me later.


Sunday, October 2, 2011


Hey, everybody. As some of you know, I've made music under the moniker of The Wetworks for a number of years. I've put out an album, a couple of EPs, yadda yadda. I really haven't done much under that name in quite some time, so this idea hit me. To celebrate October, which is both my birth and favorite month, I'm going to put up a little something each week. Here's the first offering. Let me know what you think!

The Wetworks - Hallow by Christian J. Collier