The slowest race

Is not forever
In steel toed boots and rags
It is the most temporary place
The slowest race
Unforgiven graces
Where visages lift weights
And hands procure metal grates

I sigh
Coming nigh to the edge
Of a particular pledge
Where street signs lead masses
To kindergarten classes

Option B

Morning tension
My mind pulls my skin taught
Rotting food in the back of the fridge
Like beliefs I once had about you
Meals that I lovingly made
Breaking down with bacterial propagation
Unrecognizable. You are.
I slam doors to my words
Around you
Convince myself there is nothing to say
When really thereistoomuch
But I am no longer speaking to the person I once knew
Or the person you puppeteered yourself to be

Spring flowers lillies tulips irises things I don’t know names of
Show their sweet sex in my yard
Paperwhites look at me lovingly
They have transformed soil and light
Into images of beauty

This world makes us capable
Of succumbing to degradation
Or building from the unseen
I circle option B
And move on

Gamble it


We seep down into an inky valley
24 31 37 38

4 of us written in history books like madonnas of our own right
No end in sight
From darling to daemon
From beacon to bear

24 31 37 38
4 of us represent cross-points
Each one of unfurled petals
Each one creating the clover
They all stop to inhale (us)

We trot like ponies
On wet earth
But pagan carpets lay the way

Senseless poems written in late night haste
My mouth forms it’s own taste
Of left-behind whiskey

Even if we lose it all
We are fucking golden.

When Artists Crawl Out…


How many times have you met someone and

ached to know them deeper?

How often have you thought that

a real-life story was likely better than any movie you’ve watched in the last 5 years?

How many people around you are full of tattoos and tribulation and the kindest hearts?

This is nothing to balk at. Your experience is reality and most often movies don’t go for that format. For me, I used to pretend I was in a movie constantly as a kid. That there were cameras placed in the plants in my house, that someone was filming me from behind that tree while I walked down the road. Because I did feel my life was that interesting at the age of 7. That one day I would be a star of some kind, that surely I fell from a distant star and it would be recognized soon enough that

I just wasn’t made of this earth.

But that has yet to happen. I live here, no ship has swung by  to pick up my aching bones (and heart). No one has sent me a message in a bottle with a secret inscription stating what my mission is here. I am waiting, still.

But some people go ahead and create that reality for themselves. Some people live an artist’s life that others dream about. Some people chase down art inside themselves like it was the last meal they might have on this planet. One more canvas, one more photo, one more film, one more song… their artist’s legs are built like Jesse Owens’. Made for artistic sprint and jumping into pure air with no fear of what they might hit at the end. Living like this is a beautiful place and frightening for the rest of us.

We all want a success story near us. It helps us keep going.

It pulls our hearts from basements and gives us power when we see another human being in full expression. And we all have that flame, but when we share it… none of it is gone. We help someone else be brighter. Lighting another’s lamp never made our lamp go out.

We have a chance to make a difference in some lives right now. You have a chance to tip your torch towards some souls who are living that artist’s life and need some food for those powerful legs.

They need all of us to make it through this sprint and if we don’t come through, we let another human being fail. This is about making a community out of strangers. About the desire for that real-grit story to be told BY the real-grit folks who live it every day.

This movie is being made by rough-edged tattooed guys who are also some of the gentlest kindest most concerned people you’ve ever been close to, by queer people who have cast out from families, by monied kids who choose to live as artists instead of following their parent’s status quo, by people who knew when they were little that they would hold cameras up to life’s hardships and show them for everyone, by sweet-souled women who wear all the knives at their hips to protect anyone around them, by me, and maybe by you.

Don’t let these people fall, because they are you.

This world has too much apathy to let this campaign go by. There is simply too much heart-on-display to allow this to slip into the night without putting a few freaking dollars in the coffer of the church they are building. A church of Life, truly. Where spires are made from overcoming and the pews are full of stories that need to be told. It’s a place where we have a chance to feel united despite disconnect. It’s a place where we can jump into the game at any time and change it for the better for us all.

Every now and then a project comes along that can represent all of those things and we have the opportunity to know we did something good for someone else, but also for ourselves. Because watching Jesse Owens win so long ago felt like America won.

Help these artists win, for every





that ever lived inside you.


WATCH THE VIDEO HERE, and I dare you to not let your heart be moved. But I challenge you to support something on faith.

i am 

as if


are in me

velvet skins layered uplifted air barely between


lay ourselves submitted over string-laced drying lines

finding patterns in strong-winded tunnels mines

 tiny specks of children’s laughter caress

vocal cords, find perfect duress

in the places where voices crack

become open

i am 

as if


were in me

synapses keeping sweet rhythms 

swarming like bees over charisma

find my light under hoards of blankets

kept hushed momentum swinging

ballast never falters in singing

i quiet lulls and prod 

i am 

as if

you were in me


Sell your Boots






Who the hell am I?

I woke up with that on my mind today. I woke up thinking about my age, my disposition, my funny smile, my way in the world.

I look back at wild vacillations in my life and the whole complete story of heretothere full of antics and scraped knees. 

I am 36. I think of being in my 20′s when I was pretty damn sure of who I was that I was unchanging and thisisthewayitis was all up in my head as I awoke.

I have three daughters. That brings so many things about me into focus and how a person changes as their children change, especially from toddlers to teens. We become different people at the different ages of our children. I don’t think this is who I expected to be when I was nursing and birthing babies in cattle troughs in my bedroom. But there is nothing negative about what I have become. That road I thought I was on just ended up not being the one with as many flowers and trees to climb as I wanted.

I was divorced at 30 after telling my husband I had to think about women to have an orgasm when we were in bed. Hey, not the best blow to deliver to a male ego, but nothing else I said seemed to get through to him about how I was feeling.

So I embarked on a completely new path with my kids in tow, and sometimes they were raw and sometimes I was too raw to do things I should have been doing. But they watched me grow and I herded them into the best places I could. I healed some wounds and got some softer spots than I had previously had. 

I have spent the last 6 years really doing a workover of reinvention. I have not lost anything I had before. I feel like life is magical. I talk to insects. I talk to myself. My kids never stopped thinking I was goofy. I love to make people laugh. But a whirl of changing friend groups (while maintaining the ones I raised my kids with) brought me to new levels of insight and my heart rose up out of trauma with helping hands and souls that stayed close no matter what. 

I crocheted, I made clothes for women-of-size, I did drag shows, I gave nutritional advice and potions to everyone who stopped in, I did some burlesque, I raised 3 kids who are self-aware. I regularly raised money for Houston’s STAG (Some Transgenders Are Guys) community. I met Danny at a function one night when I was emceeing and the rest is history now. 

So here I am, a Pure Texas woman who (literally) sold her $500 cowboy boots and some facewash to get here. Surrounded by snow and living a dream of doing what I am passionate about while the kids are in better schools and I rest my head on the prettiest thing in the world at night.

Is it luck? Nah. Life throws us every direction it can before we discover gold. And it’s all the better that way. These crazy bumps and bruises are worth the world to me and the ability to look back on it and have clarity, even painful clarity, makes for some fabulous appreciation. 

I didn’t dream up this life. It dreamt of me.

Virgin Tamatillo Sauce in my Enchiladas


Before yesterday I had never touched a tomatillo in my whole life.  I mean, I had eaten plenty of them. My favorite salsa is tomatillo, my favorite enchilada sauces are always “green” ones. I have even see them on a friend’s counter and marveled at them.  But my relationship with them was like  when you believe that that perfect guy or girl will just never fall for you like you have fallen for them. I felt implicitly like tomatillos were far far above me and they would only leave me in tears in the kitchen if I attempted to tame them with the clumsy hands.

This week, I looked at Simply, which I have been enjoying, and noticed that tomatillos may fit into my life, that I may be able to provide what they need to flourish in everyone’s mouth. So i did it. I did it with no recipe. The only thing I looked up was how to roast them in the oven.  I am not bragging about not using a recipe, I am saying that what I did may actually be sorely lacking it ways to purely accompany this most incredible little fruit.

Tomatillos are mainly grown in Texas in the United States. They are a major part of mexican cuisine and may be intimidating because they are just not quite like anything. They resemble tomatoes, true.  But they have husks!! And their skin is like… well, not like a tomato at all really.

Peel your shirt off, peel those husks off, and lets make some SAUCE tonight!!!

You see above the wonderful vibrancy of the tomatillos, the way they show their skin so teasingly through the lacey husks their mamas gave them.  They are waiting to step out into your mouth.  I have discovered that they more than willingly give you what you want from them.  The lace is all an illusion.

Peel them, cut them in half, place them face down on a baking pan. Broil them for like 15 minutes… maybe less, maybe more, till they look like this.


I know this is not a great pic, sorry.  And also note that you need to cut the bottom of that head of that garlic and pop her on the pan too (lower right of picture).

What happens after this is insanely easy. Blend tomatillos and garlic. Salt and lime and possibly some roasted green chilis to taste.

Courtney Henslee-Kresha

33 year old mother of three daughters. Courtney is witty, truthful, daring, and sexy. She resides in Austin, Texas. Her youth was spent in both Houston and the Texas Hill Country. This lends her raw Texas appeal alongside intense intelligence. For three years, she produced and hosted a popular show on KPFT called WholeMother where her following ranged from young alternative mothers to cowboys looking for wit and a mothering voice. From street smart to rural smart, she drives like a maniac and writes with a passion.

The Days Roll By

April 2014
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