My Night At The Café Ruined

2/25/03

Oh this poem is shit!
I might as well
Be writing an essay
Like I told the cops
When they ask me
“Are you with THOSE poets?”
Hey, Peter denied being with Jesus
Three times
Before the cock crowed!
But they ain’t no Jesus!
Just poets whining
About poetry being censored,
Being thrown out of the café
Because they wouldn’t follow
THE HOUSE RULES
To promise the poetry
Would not offend anybody,
To give a warning
Of possibilities of offense
So that earplugs
Could be inserted!
Now I agreed
That THE RULES
Are Fascist.
I told the cultural gatekeepers
My opinion!
I tried to be
THE VOICE OF REASON,
Tried to mediate.
I AM A NICE GUY,
After all.
But the immature poets
(obviously age ain’t a sign
Of maturity!)
Started reading poetry
Right here in the café…
After their permit had been
REVOKED!
EMBARASSING!
I mean I was embarrassed!
I started chatting loudly
To drown out
The forbidden words,
To not be connected
To the untouchables
Actually yelling about
CENSORSHIP AND FREEDOM!
Thank god
The powers turned up
The musak!
But the savages just screamed
POETRY!
That’s when I started
Writing my poem…
After all
I AM A POET!
But my focus
Has been shaken by poets
Being dragged,
Very roughly,
Across the floor,
Right in front of my table,
And being booted outside!
It’s a wonder I can
Write at all!
They have put
armed police protection
Around the café
As I write this.
That’s better…
But still the sounds
Of struggle outside
Invade the café
Just like the sweet smoke
Gets into my house
From the soap factory
Next door…
Some fools say it is a death camp!
Fools! No one would put a death camp
In OUR neighborhood!
OH, CHRIST!
The loonies are actually
Reading poetry
Outside
In the bitter cold,
Right outside the big window
Right next to my table.
They are making eyes at me,
Trying to make me feel guilty
For being a poet
Sitting warm inside,
Sipping coffee,
Writing poetry
When poetry is
Locked out!
Well, it won’t work!
I just moved to another table,
My back towards them.
Don’t they realize
The real censors are rightwingers,
Lady Bush, Helms, brown shirts
With their blacklists?
We nice reasonable people
Ain’t censors!
We are artists and poets,
After all!
We are family,
After all!
We ain’t the enemy,
After all!
And we will make you
Look like feeble-minded whiners
If you dare come after one of us,
THE REASONABLE PEOPLE!

Damn, they are still out there!
I can’t leave,
Going through raw poetry
Between home and me!
I’M TRAPPED
Listening to Phil Ochs
Singing on the jukebox
A SMALL CIRCLE OF FRIENDS.


Deborah Crooks reads “My Night At The Café Ruined” on Frank Moore’s Shaman’s Den, June 19, 2011.

Frank to be included in the Live Art Research Space of Performistanbul

Performistanbul

Frank’s work will now be archived in a new performance art research library in Istanbul, Turkey, the Live Art Research Space.

We were contacted by Performistanbul requesting a donation of Frank’s work to their archiving project. As a result, all of Frank’s digitized videos (almost 1000), and all of his published books will be added to the collection, plus other publications, a collection of posters, some original performance scripts, paraphernalia from Frank’s 2008 Presidential campaign, and more.

Performistanbul Live Art Research Space will focus on archiving, documenting and exhibiting performance art while providing space and resources for doing research.

“Over the course of our conversations and collaborations with performance art experts in the past two years, the need to conduct further research and access the means by which to do so has become ever more pressing. To this end, Performistanbul has decided to create the Live Art Research Space to meet the needs of students and researchers working in the field of performance art both locally and globally.”

“Performistanbul believes in the uniting and healing power of performance art, which is at the same time, a very effective tool to reach out to people around the world. This has motivated us to plant the seeds of discovering and creating new languages in the field of live art and as a first step, we decided to establish a specialized library and an archive of more than 7000 physical and digital resources within the research space. Planning to open in 2018, the Live Art Research Space will also launch Performistanbul Publishing, aiming to publish new books as well as translated books in Turkish.”

Learn more about Performistanbul at www.performistanbul.org
See Frank Moore’s website at www.eroplay.com

That Goddamn Weed Of Life

11/28/02

That goddamn weed of life,
Green, yellow, purple,

cracking through the blacktop
in the park.
We don’t own it.
We own all life.
All life is our property…
Except weeds!

After the riots,
We put all living greens,
All living color,
Behind tall black iron fences.
Lovers, babies can’t lay on the grass,
No dreamers stretched out in fresh smells,
Looking up into the fluffy clouds of possibilities
Ever changing.

All of that was too dangerous.
Now we separate flesh
From life colors.
Now, walk or roll on blacktop,
Squint thru black bars
At grass, trees, flowers…
All at a safe distance…
Sit straight up on benches
With hard arms of separation,
Preventing love-making,
Sleeping…
Showing any tender pleasure.

All of that
Is kept in a safe distance
In the past
In this zoo,
In this gas chamber
Of a park…

All at a safe distance
Under control
Under lock and key…
Except for this goddamn weed of life
RIGHT THERE!
We sprayed it with poison,
Ripped it out,
Crushed it…
But it keeps coming back!

Doesn’t it know?
We own all life now.
It’s our personal property now.
We own the building blocks,
The dna keys of life…
Under our patents and copyrights.
We own the water.
We own the seeds.
We own the monopoly on life,
Hijacking evolution itself
Into the goal of profit.
We who sit in first class,
In box seats,
Behind oak doors,
Not to be seen.

WEEDS! WEEDS! WEEDS!
80 percent of all humans,
and of all life
are useless weeds,
to be ultimately destroyed
by all means necessary…
and in the meantime
to be contained within warehouses,
keep them moving from warehouse
to warehouse,
nomads without space
on blacktop
without water wells,
rain barrels,
farms of independence,
or music of a free soul.

We own the rights to all imagination
And dreams.
We hold all the cards!

So why is this goddamn weed
Cracking the blacktop?!
How come this single weed
is spreading unprocessed life
all around?

And the cracks
In the blacktop
Are spreading!

 

John The Baker reads “That Goddamn Weed Of Life” on Frank Moore’s Shaman’s Den, March 25, 2007.

Naked Poles

August 5, 1995

ripping paper,
revealing
the beautiful rough wood
buried
under
all of those
littering
words,
ideas,
events,
messages,
images
of humans
gone out
of control,
seeking contact
right out
on the street
where anyone
and everyone
can see
and read
and get tempted,
get distracted,
get pulled
into i-don’t-know-what.

all on the telephone poles
on my avenue.

beautiful telephone poles.

so i make my rounds
pulling,
ripping,
making
our world
neat again,
making it
safe
and comfortable
and pleasant again
for tourists
and macy’s.

after all,
ideas
stapled up everywhere
are disturbing,
disquieting,
and messy.

i don’t look
or read
as i rip,
i just listen,
then pat the nude wood,
then move
on to the next pole
covered in scales
of communication
of strange communities
and subcultures
who don’t know that there are
right and correct
channels of
communications.

buy an ad
on a bus bench,
for pete’s sake.

ever hear of the classifieds?

get a review,
you lying nixons
and funky headshrinkers,
whatever you are!

they are probably
oily
slimy dark
so-called
beat punk
poets
writing pages
upon pages.

no sense of order
or of the correct style.

they wonder why
sensible papers
don’t list
their wailing sessions.

so they deface
my natural beautiful pole
with their crude
rude
announcements.

is your mutt lost?
check the pound.

lost child,
see the police.
but i’m getting carried away.
i leave
missing persons
and wanted posters up
as a public service.
after all,
the cops
always wink and smile…
except when i tried
to burn the disgusting flyers off…
it got out of control…
but i will keep control.

cops
and managers of up-scale chain stores
and the city beautification committee
all smile
and wink
as i pass.
i’m their agent.

i do
what they want
until
they can pass a law.

there will be a law
because there should be one
against
this rubbish of scum.

and when that day comes,
as it surely will,
the chamber of commerce
will reward me with a scroll,
and a grant,
and the position
of the keeper
of the poles,
complete with handcuffs
for anyone
i catch
pinning words
to nude wood.

i don’t care if it is
martin luther nailing his protests,
robin hood posting
his demands
to the evil sheriff,
tom paine banging
his broadsides
up at every crossroads
and outside every tavern
in the land,
ben franklin plastering
his newspaper
all over towne,
the girlie posters
by that french dwarf,
or whathaveyou?

it is not a question
of censorship
or free speech.

we should just keep things
in their proper places,
keep neat
order!

now i’m willing to let
the real politicians
have the use of
my poles
only
during elections.
after all,
i’m american!

but the rest of the year
the poles must be nude!

 


Andrew Goldfarb of The Slow Poisoners reads “Naked Poles” on Frank Moore’s Shaman’s Den, March 26, 2000.

Pole Art Series - Telegraph Poles by George Kauffman

Pole Art Series – “Telegraph Poles” by George Kauffman – 1994

Tribal Performance

Tribal Performance

september 30, 1992

i am not interested in
climbing up
onto the altar of the stage,
in hiding behind the invisible fourth wall.

i am not interested in
dividing myself
from the people,
from the magic,
from the tribal community.

i am not interested in
hiding
behind masks
or characters.

i am not interested in
doing monologs,
standing alone
and isolated
under the spotlight…

not interested in
being a cultural commentary.
not interested in
being a lone artist,
suffering,
alone,
traveling around the land,
chasing fame…
or at least recognition……
embittered
that art doesn’t pay.

i am not interested in
fucking you
the audience.

i am not interested in
just putting my cock
into your body.

i want much more than sex.

i want to put my whole body
into your body…
i want to take
your whole body
into my body.
i want
our naked skin
to melt together
in touch…
our skin
melted
into an organ of tribal body…
an organ of connection……..
an organ that brings everything within.
i want
to erase
the false role
of skin
as the dividing line
that separates
you from me,
the outside from within,
the above from the below.

i want us to be
in a tribal body,
in the state of community.
i want us to be
cozy,
wrapped up into one another’s bodies
as parts of one body….
rocking together.

i am not talking
symbolically or abstractly.
i am not talking
flashes or peak experiences.
i am not talking
about fractions of a second,
or seconds,
or minutes.
i am talking about
hours and days
within this tribal body
within the magical reality of performance.
i’m talking about
physical reality that
makes us sweat,
makes us be turned-on…
a reality that
we can touch and rub…
a reality of
human laughter
and heavy sobs of true feeling…
a reality
which sticks onto our bodies,
our naked tribal body…
and gets carried out
of the ritual space
into “the real world,”
“real life,”
infecting
that outer world
with the virus of
new alternatives and new possibilities.

but this tribal performance…
this calling up of tribal body,
tribal experience,
tribal reality…
is much more possible
when the “performance”
comes out of a tribal life….
when the tribal reality
is not limited
to the performance reality.

life on the road
for an artist
is lonely,
isolating.

this tends to
infect
both the artist
and the art.
and the fact of the matter is,
performance is
a full time occupation
for a single body…
and in cold practical reality,
this occupation does not pay the artist…
the artist has to be willing
to pay the art
for the privilege of doing it.
this has always been true.
this will not change.
this places the artist
who lives in only one body
in an almost impossible situation…
a situation
that is only made liveable by either
magic or compromise
(and compromise
is death
to both the art
and the artists).

but the artist
who lives and creates
within a tribal body,
a tribal community,
can perform
many different tasks
at once both
in the art
and in the mundane world.
the tribal body
can go to work
to get money,
do the art’s office work,
make the flier,
book tickets…..
all at the same time.
this is also true
for inside the ritual of art.

and besides,
the tribal body
has much more fun on the road…

and that fun
(joy)
infects
the art.

i have a dream for the 90’s….
that we will see
artist bands,
clans,
carnivals,
circuses…..
all self-contained
tribal communities…
roaming the country
doing art rituals.

yes,
i have a dream…
the night of the tribal bodies!

 

“Tribal Performance” poem by Frank Moore
Read by Edna Floretta
Background music: Sander Roscoe Wolff
Thumbnail photo by Kevin Rice

A segment from the web video series LET ME BE FRANK, Episode 5.
Website for the series: http://frankadelic.com/
Watch episodes: https://vimeo.com/channels/letmebefrank

Tribal Performance poem by Frank Moore artwork by LaBashTribal Performance poem by Frank Moore artwork by LaBash

Artwork by LaBash


Deborah Crooks reads “Tribal Performance” on Frank Moore’s Shaman’s Den, June 19, 2011.