Session 34: Sounds of Woonsocket – Sponsored by NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley

Our Woonsocket, RI community creativity workshop sponsored by NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley finally happened! Listen to the amazing results!


  • Precious Blood Church Bells
  • Russ Typing up a Story at The Call
  • Walnut Hill Bowl
  • YMCA Basketball Court
  • Tattoo Gun, Renaissance Tattoo
  • Pharaoh’s Fury, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church Annual Festival
  • WNRI Egg Timer
  • Cold Spring Park Playground
  • Blackstone River
  • WNRI Gumball Machine
  • Working out at The Gym
  • Strong Man Hammer, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church Annual Festival

Lucas’s Result

Normal Rivers and Extraordinary Things

Church bells ringing. A wedding. Hot concrete outside the church. Black melty tar on the cracks. My sister’s heel stuck in. She laughs. She says those shoes were junk anyway. I didn’t believe her. I remember playing football in the small field across the way when I was in middle school. I haven’t been back to that church in the small town where these memories reside since. The couple that were married that hot day and my sister are both working on their second child.

Bowling. I remember being upset with my friend. Irritated. I couldn’t understand how her score was higher than mine. She was pathetic. Every other ball in the gutter. I was half drunk. This was before or maybe after another summer wedding. She won the game 135 to 120. She told me years later that she had changed the score in the computer. I was angry again. I was also quietly impressed.

Basketball. I remember playing a lot of basketball in middle school with a girl named Darcy. She was a tomboy. We would play games of one-on-one every other recess. Never really keeping track of the tally of wins or losses. Just playing. I don’t know what happened to Darcy. I hope she is well.

Carnival time. I’m a big baby when it comes to rides.  I’m not sure if I get more sick when I go on them now or if I was just better at masking it when I was younger. I’ve jumped out of planes before. Why are roller coasters so scary?

Things are quieting down now. relax. take a piece of gum or eat a piece of pie. Play in the playground. I was always envious of the kids that could go super-high in the swings. You know what I mean. When the swing goes so high that the person begins to drop down suddenly. I’m not sure if I ever saw a bad accident on the playground swing. Maybe somebody getting kicked in the gut. Pretty low on the school playground accident list.

Rivers are good. Catfish are amazing. They say things you know. Seriously, if you pick a big catfish up out of the water it will quack like a duck. If they get big enough, they will even eat a duck. Some of these things are hundreds of pounds and the size of a car.

I like that the normal rivers off side country roads can have extraordinary things.

Time to kick it up with a little exercise. You know what is even more amazing than car sized catfish? Soap Opera actors. I swear the afternoon soap operas still have the same cast as when I was a kid, when I was staying home from school and not playing basketball during Middle school recess with Darcy.

Amazing! Talk about job security.

Carolyn’s Result

Bronze bells – their welcome ominous and bright,
there is so much to say, and then only this –
the monotone of the tongue meeting the wind.
Press on. Be as the dust of the key meeting
the dust of the skin – dust to dust is the
one my father always mentions. Fire of
the fingers – sisterhood among all moving things.

I like disorder. I crave not knowing
and then realizing something, the anticipation
of a stone rounding out and all its eroded
self scratched out on the hillside – the hints
left by every interaction – thunder being the
mark of lightning – sound being the shadow cast
when the light has fled – and the ink embeds
itself in our skin.

My voice is not my own. All it ever does
is leave me. I imagine it as a brook
that crouches into its mossy corners, or better
yet the bathing animal that steps in that
greenness and shivers the air cold with water drops.

Let us do a lot of shaking.
Remember the tolling bell – how much
lower and slower its music if it were underwater,
if the city were swallowed up by the river
and the current pushed us all
with a much more obvious certainty.
The uncertainty is the undervalued asset.
Confidence overrated when bravery is so much more
beautiful – do we not crave the validation of risk?

CD 8.12.17 – Woonsocket