The Day KY3 Springfield Let the Yarb Witch Go

If yer watching the sky some dry, winter’s eve
And around the full moon a dull ring you perceive
Don’t ya fret, don’t babble, don’t ya cry, and don’t swoon
Don’t worry a’tall for you’ll all be dead soon

Where a murdered man’s blood stains a worn-out, wood floor
A dark future you’ll read thare forever more
No need to keep searching for shiny, bright boons
Don’t worry a’tall for you’ll all be dead soon

If ya hear buckshot echo o’er green hills and hollers
Or the good colors leech from yer creased, dirty dollars
Remember that ring ya saw circlin’ the moon
Remember it well for you’ll all be dead soon

The Day KY3 Springfield Let the Yarb Witch Go

What We Are Doing Here is What We Are Doing Here: St. Louis Poetry Explosion Recap

Where to start? And how?

Let’s suppose (for today) that this all started when the parents of John Dorsey met and a little baby John Dorsey was born. Then let’s say we flash-forward some years (hoping I get this story straight) to when the aforementioned Mr. Dorsey was completing a residency at the Osage Arts Center in Belle, MO. Perhaps then came a cold and dark night in the winter of 2016 as a poetry reading was held at the aforementioned Osage Arts Center and brought together from Kansas City and St. Louis (and other locales) a group of writers known to the aforementioned Mr. Dorsey. Some of these writers may have had names like: Brett Underwood, Shawn Pavey, Stefene Russell, Jeanette Powers, Brandon Whitehead, Jim McGowin, Jason Ryberg, & Jameson Bayles. Literary kinships were kindled and the writers went their wanton way, back to their cloistered cities to plot and scheme.

And what foul and flowing plots did froth over from their fiery minds.

The aforementioned Mr. Bayles (with the help of the aforementioned Mr. Ryberg) dreamed and delivered The Kansas City Poetry Throwdown in April 2016.

Not to be outdone, the St. Louis schemers upped the literary ante by programming and producing 3 high-caliber events of poetic repute from which we are all attempting to recover. I have no idea how I got invited along but I didn’t want to waste the opportunity so, for the weekend, I composed a lengthy protest poem entitled America Hates You, America which I split into 3 parts to be read across the 3 events. I hope to put up a link to AHYA in the near future.

Day One:

Event Space: Joe’s Cafe Gallery

This space is like Pee-wee’s Playhouse. I want to move my family here. Inside we met old friends. We made new friends. The aforementioned Jeanette Powers read some poems. I read some poems. The aforementioned Shawn Pavey then the aforementioned Brandon Whitehead read some poems. Don’t believe me? Here is live footage of the aforementioned Brandon Whitehead reading:

Then came Leyla King (8th grade!!!) and finally the aforementioned John Dorsey brought the house down.

Interspersed between the poems, the collective musicians from Poetry Scores played and Holy Whitman, mother of Ginsberg! were they awesome. They translate poetry into other media, essentially turning poems into songs and sometimes scoring longer poems. I had a smile on my face from start to finish. Definitely check them out.

Day Two:

Event Space: Paul ArtSpace

This space lies on the northern outskirts of St. Louis and is a lovely house with land that provides residencies to artists and hosts various events. The Executive Director, Mike, is a true champion for creatives. The aforementioned John Dorsey is this week finishing up a residency there. Another resident at Paul ArtSpace is the crazy talented Lizzy Martinez. The poetry part of the night kicked off with a jaw-dropping performance by Treasure Shields Redmond which was followed by a gut-wrenching and heart-breaking performance by Cheeraz Gormon. After those two talented gals finished melting our faces, poems arrived from the aforementioned Shawn Pavey and the aforementioned Brandon Whitehead and Matthew Freeman and Nathaniel Farrell and Victor Clevenger and me and the aforementioned John Dorsey and the aforementioned Brett Underwood and Anna Lum and WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWO goddamn goddamn! By the end of the night, we were reading by flashlight around a bonfire.This event was how you wished every party you ever went to popped off: tons of people with creative energy swirling together, laughing, having beers, and making plans to bring wild things into this world.

Day Three:

Event Space: Bellefontaine Cemetery, at the grave-site of William S. Burroughs

What a beautiful place to read. Bill is buried right next to his grandfather and father. Reading at this event were the aforementioned Victor Clevenger, the aforementioned Anna Lum, the aforementioned Jim McGowin, me reading a piece by Charlie Zero, the aforementioned John Dorsey reading some wholly apropos poems by Everette Maddox, and the aforementioned Brett Underwood closing with a perfect piece by Burroughs himself.

Today:

Event Space: Our Heads

An odd place to find oneself after such a sequence of happenings. A very odd place indeed.

Thank you to all the folks in St. Louis for putting everything together. I’m humbled to have been involved and inspired to make better words because of it. Can’t wait to have you all (and more) back to Kansas City.

 

 

 

What We Are Doing Here is What We Are Doing Here: St. Louis Poetry Explosion Recap

Reminder: magical words this weekend in ol’ Saint Louie

No retreat, no surrender:

Friday, August 26 at 6:30 PM – 10 PM
Joe’s Cafe
6014 Kingsbury Ave,
St Louis, MO 63112-1304
https://www.facebook.com/events/1720614808193084/

Saturday, August 27 at 6 PM – 11:59 PM
Paul Artspace
14516 Sinks Rd.
Florissant, Missouri 63034
https://www.facebook.com/events/1180847458641761/

Sunday, August 28 at 1 PM – 3 PM
William Burroughs’ Grave
Bellefontaine Cemetery
4947 W Florissant Ave, St. Louis 63115
https://www.facebook.com/events/126799194431455/

Ain’t no shelves built to stop THIS dancin’ machine.

Reminder: magical words this weekend in ol’ Saint Louie

Alec Baldwin at the Open Mic

And, god, he’s killing it.
He’s on fire, a mile a minute,
     spitting truths, holding nothing back,
screaming into the microphone
his head at one point whipping back and forth so fast the features on his face form blurred lines of varied thicknesses.

This is what it’s about, what it’s all about, this realness, this heat.

Scanning the room, expecting to see Kim Basinger,
     but no,
          there, huddled into a corner,
               trapped between the stage lights and the bar,
                    sipping a Moscow Mule from a copper cup,
                         glasses obscuring laser-twinkle eyes,
                              sits Liz Lemon, nodding and smiling,
                                   watching with wonder this explosion of sight and sound.

What is she doing here?
     Why is she doing here?
          How is she doing here?

Liz Lemon is a fictional character
     and Alec Baldwin is a real man,
          a real actor,
               a real person
                    in this real world.

Though, it’s understood that perhaps

          Alec Baldwin at the open mic
          is nothing but a real dream
          shown inside a real brain
          sometime during the last real night.

Alec Baldwin at the Open Mic