Wednesday, July 29, 2009

here's my last collage.

Nearly two weeks ago, M and I were fortunate enough to be invited to a special performance that featured Verbobala in all of its, or at least in 2/3's of its theatrical wonder (2 of the 3 members were present). To become better acquainted with what they do, here's a little description from their website:

Verbobala Spoken Video is a bi-national video performance group based in Cuernavaca, Mexico and Tucson, Arizona. Of diverse ethnic backgrounds, the members include video artist Moisés Regla, a Mexican of French and Spanish decent, acclaimed media designer, Adam Cooper-Terán, a Chicano of Russian and Yaqui decent, and Border poet Logan Phillips, an American of Irish and Slavic decent. This diversity is also reflected in their artistic backgrounds, as each comes to the project with experience in distinct areas including slam poetry, underground hip-hop, new media, experimental linguistics, electro-acoustic music, contemporary ritual and video installation.

Logan Phillips, the principle wordsmith of the group, also has a new chapbook called Arroyo Ink, which can be found here.

Logan Phillips and Adam Cooper-Terán are dynamic performers. I must also say that they are dynamic and impassioned cats off the stage as well. Their performance was intelligent and engaging, highlighting, from the set I observed at least, border politiks and self/cultural identity, using words, sound/song, costume, and image to pop their artistic vision(s).

After the performance, I also had the chance to meet and chat with poet and college professor, Francisco J. Bustos, who was kind enough to offer us his book, Aquí Estamos...YA NOS VAMOS. (I've seen Francisco read his work several times around town and he knows how to bring it.) This collection also includes poetry and prose by Michael Cheno Wickert and artwork by Ricardo Islas.

Here's what Alurista wrote about the collection:

"esta ouvre de francisco b y cheno es un kaleidos cope fronterizo...and wit estrait up and a cross with out cruz y fiction cuentos homage 2 those that live and struggle on y al otro lado de lada witness palabras que valen sin pecado la tinta no sobra...falta! simón que yes! ahora somos los mosquiteros...una mosca parada en la pader?"

Bustos' inscription:

To Paul + Mandi,
letras y ritmos for all, por siempre!

How cool is that? It was a wonderful night of art and conversation.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Go Nijinsky, Go!

While in Montmartre, my wife and I stopped by to say hello to Petrouchka. I too had dreams of levitation as a little boy. I'll post some more photos soon.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Poet and Editor, Tim Green, Brings It

And yet poetry as an industry is just as ridiculous as any other industry. Just as much a game: CVs, MFAs, bios, blogs, open mics, cover letters, conferences, colonies, grants, awards, networking, politicking, policing… I don’t care if you’re an academic poet, a street poet, or an underground poet. I don’t care if you’re the Poet Laureate or the Poet Lariat or the poet Harriet, who has a 160 poems in four different themes in a three-ring binder on her desk. It’s all a joke. It’s an egotistical, megalomaniacal, self-aggrandizing, back scratching, crotch-stroking, fist pumping joke. When I see a bio listing 104 “credits,” including Poetry and Triquarterly and the New England Review, I don’t think, Wow, that’s a real poet. I think, Wow, that’s a lot of postage. When I see the same poet reading the same poem over and over again to the same audience at every open mic in town, there’s no room to wonder about the transaction — the only one gaining something is you, gaining a captive audience for content that wouldn’t hold up through a dinner conversation.

You want fame, you want attention, you want respect. That’s all the game is about. It’s 28,000 submitters and 2,800 subscribers. It’s an audience of 30 at a poetry reading, and 20 of them thinking only about the poem they’ll read when the host calls their name. It’s a new book every four years because that’s what tenure calls for. And every faction, from the most amateur to the most erudite, thinks they’re the one that’s doing it right. It’s all the same silly enterprise.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Motörhead - I Don`t Believe A Word

I failed! I failed! I sat 4 ft. from Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee at a hotel bar/restaurant in Rome recently and failed to place their faces. I stared and stared and searched my little mind, but nothing! Would I have interrupted their lunch? Probably not, but I sure as hell would have said: "Motorhead made me used to feel 10 ft. tall, man!" Or maybe throw some devil horns and bob my head or something, I don't know. Maybe they would've noticed some inner fire in me and invited me on stage for their show in Florence to sing "I Don't Believe a Word" with Lemmy? Oh well.