The life and art of shaman, performance artist, writer, poet, painter, rock singer, director, TV show host, teacher & bon vivant FRANK MOORE
a web video series
Originally we had planned to do a documentary about Frank’s life and work because we have so much footage and so many photographs. But we did not want to do a “normal” talking head style documentary. We realized that Frank had already written a biography of sorts in his book, Art of a Shaman, so decided to try to use that as the “script” for the video. We decided to see if we could get people who were important to Frank and had played a part in his life to each read a chapter of the book. After drafting the email and sending it out we were blown away at the immediate response and the project took off. We assigned chapters to readers using the random principle … as Frank loved to do … pulling a piece of paper with a chapter number written on it from a bag as we read a person’s name.
Once we had all of the recordings of the readings and added up the time, the documentary was going to be at least 3 hours long … and it was going to take a really long time to put together. We then had a eureka on a walk one day …. we could put each chapter out on the web as we create them … as episodes!
Several musicians have created “background music” for each episode.
Way back at the beginning, when we first had the thought of even doing a documentary about Frank, we asked Vinnie Spit Santino if he would write a song for it, without any idea how we would use it … or what we were even doing with the documentary. Vinnie wrote the amazing “Let Me Be Frank” that will be the opening song for each episode … and the title of the series!
Ok, here it goes…fast forward through the 35 years since Debbie and I left the community. A bus ride to D.C. to her family…the Jewish mother-in-law from hell [years later she sicked a hit man on me!]. I quickly called my friend Moe…whose head shop was in that book I was writing and which is lying unfinished in a trunk….but I did turn the material I was “channeling” into a book art of living. [The metaphysical writing is in the same trunk.] Moe rescued us and put us on a plane to San Francisco. The first person we ran into as we stepped off the airport shuttle was another of my college friends who put us up for the night. The plan was for Debbie to go to the S.F. Art Institute [where I would go years later]…but she couldn’t get in. After a week getting kicked out of rooms [crips weren’t in fashion yet], we boarded a bus to Santa Fe before we ran out of money. Santa Fe is where I lived before I went to the community. We got into Santa Fe at 4am without any phone numbers of my friends. But a friend drove by and saw me…and woke my dear friend Louise up. She picked us up. We stayed with her for a while. But to get Vocational Rehab money, I had to get back into college. So we moved to Albuquerque, staying with my friend Steve in the mountains until we found a room in town. My channeling made a spiritual community interested in me…until my muckraking nature raked up muck! I got my B.A. much too soon in terms of our money. We met Jo who we became intimate with. We three moved back to Santa Fe, where I got into an intensive film course. We met Ray. We four got married. After the film course, not having money to make films, I did nonfilm performances. I also started a drop-in workshop combining theater, ritual, intimacy, eroticism, etc. A community began to develop out of this. I began doing all-night audience-interactive ritual performances. We moved, with some of the workshop people, to N.Y.C. to continue the work in a loft off of 5th Ave. Both Debbie and Jo were pregnant. Louise flew out to deliver the boys at home after the hospital wouldn’t let me even on the ward [again before crips were in fashion!]. The boys came three days apart. We raised them tribally…the sanest way! They are in their 30s now…one is becoming an acupuncturist; the other is a musician and an instrument maker. After they were born…and after I did 2 nights of ritual performance in a ballroom…the tribal we moved to Berkeley…after a short attempt in San Bernardino. There I got a motor wheelchair. Imagine me mobile, driving myself all over the bay area, driving into all kinds of adventures. I even drove into a travel agency and met a sexy travel agent Linda who quickly quit to be my partner in crime for the last 35+ years!
A guy who saw a flyer for my workshop came to check me out. He didn’t want to do the workshop. But he did want to come to me for weekly individual sessions where I kicked his ass about his relationships and his life…and he paid well! He turned out to be a psychic teacher. All of his students and clients wanted to see me! For a couple of years I worked 8 hours a day and had two weekly workshops going. Although I always charged just what the person could afford, money was good, especially when they started moving in with one another and came as households! I even got a masters degree just by documenting this work. But problem solving was boring. I wanted a community of deep intimacy. So I demanded more. A community of 30 in several households emerged. Sound familiar? Also quite a few successful businesses came out of this sexy coming together…not to mention a few millionaires [never me!]. We won a legal battle with the I.R.S. over getting church status. They were saying we didn’t believe in a God. We had to go to D.C. with my channeled and metaphysical writings and the A.C.L.U.! But Inter-Relations was born, which has made doing the work much easier.
I started putting on events like free concerts and sexy parades, and directing plays at our storefront. I also started doing 48-hour improvised performances. Everything was small and underground. But then I directed what was supposed to be a one-night-only wacky tacky sexy take-off on beauty contests, the outrageous beauty revue, at the S.F. punk club the Mabuhay. The room held 500. It was packed. The first two rows were photographers and reporters [we were on the third page of the next day’s S.F. paper]. Scary! The club’s producer made me announce that it’ll be a weekly show. So it became the ever-evolving early show every Saturday night [and often Thursday too] for three and a half years. So we opened for EVERY punk/hardcore/whatever band! And we got international coverage of all kinds…magazines, t.v., films, etc. I had to work hard to not let it get big or lose its edge…to keep it underground where you have the most effect and freedom…just popping up everywhere to interject bits of subversive alternatives. At the beginning, I was not in the show. But I started worming myself in. I added a live band, the superheroes…of course I was one of the lead singers! The band started getting gigs at other clubs. And we opened our own club, the blind lemon, in Berkeley. But by the second year of the show, the community began to decay. It took years for that painful process to play out.
In the meantime, I started making small films [after walking out of a “real” film deal!] and mainly put them in the closet…waiting for the internet and public access t.v. to give them outlets! The first film, Fairytales Can Come True, even was distributed. In the meantime I went to the S.F. Art Institute graduate program for “performance/video”. I/the work freaked them out bad! But Linda and I stuck it out for two years…which landed me a cover story in the major performance art magazine… which made me the darling of “THE ART WORLD” for at the most two years, until they figured out I wasn’t a nice safe thankful crip artist, but an artist who pushed limits. But during these two years, before the art world blacklisted me, Linda and I started touring the U.S. and Canada, doing both the long ritual performances and singing gigs. I also started being invited to lecture at colleges. I was one of the featured performance artists in the film Mondo New York. I also kept making videos [directing, acting, editing, even creating musical scores and Linda doing the camera work]. I began a performance series at the University of California. This series, which lasted for three years, gave me a lab where I could improvise/jam with other artists/musicians. When I got on the art world’s blacklist, I moved into poetry readings and other underground worlds. But then Sen. Jesse Helms got me back into the art world’s graces, kind of, by including me on his list of six targeted performance artists whom he considered obscene. That opened more possibilities for touring. I rode that pony for all that it was worth!
My writings, as well as articles about my work by other writers, began to be published in a wide range of magazines and books. In the early 90’s, I began to offer shamanistic apprenticeships. My book, Cherotic Magic, came out of this. By this time, the community had shrunk to our household of five and the two boys. And even in our house, the original vision, principles, etc. had faded. Linda and I finally moved out…in with two of my apprentices, Mikee and Alexi. Debbie and the two others of the old household went into walking around town nude as The X-plicit Players.
I continued performing, directing, touring, etc. But we also started publishing an underground zine, The Cherotic [r]Evolutionary which became very popular…which ain’t saying it was a profit-making thing! The Work has always been a holy addiction that we pour money, etc. into to create community and to effect social change. We jumped into the web full force when it was born. FreespeechTV.org gave me free unlimited space to put up videos and audio content …that lasted for years! We put up the works of other artists as well as our own work. Our site, eroplay.com expanded and expanded. Over 7 years ago I started doing a radio show the Shaman’s Den, on a web station. But my muckraking their ambitions to make it big didn’t sit well. They suggested not politely that I start my own web station. So we did within a week. luver.com started with a live music show web casting from Japan, followed by my 2-hour show on Sunday nights. But LUVeR quickly evolved into a radical 24/7 station with all kinds of music, news, whatever shows. It became a black hole for our time and money, forcing us to stop publishing our zine. In about a year LUVeR started webcasting video as well. My show started to be a video show of me either talking to a very interesting person or of bands from all over the world playing live at our house. Then I started doing shows on Berkeley’s cable public access station. I use the shaman’s den shows as the base of these cable shows, but throw in videos of my live performances, films, concerts, erotic explorings, poetry readings, whatever. For a year the City Council tried unsuccessfully to get me off the air. But now I’m on the channel every night of the week, up to 6 hours a night!
Now we have two houses on the same street. I live in the “Purple House” with Linda [we have been together for over 35 years!], Mikee [who has been with us for over 15 years,] Erika [who has been working with me for 5 years and moved in over a year ago], and three cats. And in the “Blue House” Alexi lives with Corey and Cookie the Cat. The two houses are on the same block. We designed the Blue House, and Alexi and Corey basically built it. Alexi learned construction by working for a company that grew out the community of 30. We have set him up with a successful handyman business. Corey works at the natural food store around the corner. Through it we have started an international food testing project for GMOs. Erika has become the director of enrichment at a large retirement community, injecting our sexy subversion in there. Linda, Mikee and I work at home keeping everything going. Mikee does the tech and graphic stuff [which, btw, he is available for hire cheap!]. Linda does all the practical stuff that makes everything possible. And me?…a cult leader always with big ideas! We are a good team, a tribal body.
Hey, I just found out that we are putting on a LUVeR benefit at the illegal infamous historical hardcore dive burnt ramen with my jamming erotic band the cherotic all-stars in May. Not bad for a crip turning 60 in June! True, we have pretty much stopped flying to places touring. But there is no sign of slowing down!
The Art of Frank Moore & LaBash The first ever showing of shaman performance artist Frank Moore’s erotic innocent primitive passionate digital art, alongside the funny/disturbing/mind-scrambling/reality-bending drawings of LaBash. Sunday, Feb. 2 – Saturday Feb. 15, 2020 Hours M-F 12-8pm Sa-Su 11am-8pm
Let Me Be Frank video screening On Valentine’s Day, the first ever live screening of episodes from the web video documentary series, Let Me Be Frank, based on the life and art of shaman, performance artist, writer, poet, painter, rock singer, director, TV show host, teacher and bon vivant, Frank Moore. Come EARLY and bring your musical instruments for a music jam before the screening! Friday, Feb. 14, 2020 5-6:30pm – MUSIC JAM 6:30-8pm – LET ME BE FRANK screening and Q&A
Adobe Books 3130 24th Street San Francisco, CA 94110
by Erika Shaver-Nelson, Alexi Malenky and Corey Nicholl
When we arrived at Adobe for the event, we found that people had left comments and drawings in the notebook we had left in the gallery space.
“fuckin’ love this stuff!” “you inspire me profoundly” “many thoughts head full …” “whoa!” “WTF?! infathomable, navy?” “the world needs more FRANK MOORE for all of us to be sexually liberated!”
Heather said that the art show has been getting a lot of positive reactions, especially from young people who come into the shop. Heather and the other volunteers at Adobe Books create a very open feeling there, and it felt great to have the event there. She told us later that when we take down the art in a week, the next group is a bunch of young people who will be doing some sleepovers in the space, and writing their dreams on the walls …
We brought homemade popcorn (two kinds: buttered & curry), and orange spearmint water, and valentine’s chocolate … they were a big hit, devoured!
Michael Peppe was the first to arrive, and the first person who came for the jam. Only one other came to jam, one of the people we recognized from several of Frank’s later performances, including at Temescal. He brought a drum which he played, and sometimes took toy instruments and shook them inside the drum, etc.
But at first, it was just Peppe … he came back into the gallery and sat down at a keyboard and started playing … we three started jamming with him, and before long there was a couple who had not even come for the event, but were drawn back to the gallery space, and after checking out the art, they also joined the jam. It was really fun, and it felt/sounded like a Frank jam, felt primal, and Erika said that the feeling during the jam was “freedom”. As time went on, more people came in and joined the jam.
Between the first two episodes, we were talking with Michael Peppe, and he said some amazing things about Frank …
“You have a bunch of things that you regret in your life, not necessarily that you regret doing, but regret not doing, but I was thinking watching the film that that’s one I totally do not regret, is hanging out with Frank Moore, and jumping into his thing, you know, going to performances, being in the performances, watching the videos, reading the text, and all his art … not one second of my life was wasted hanging out with Frank Moore.” He remembered the first time he performed with Frank at UC Berkeley. “From that moment on, yeah, I absolutely do not regret any of that.”
He is such a once in a lifetime kind of person. Usually in art, you think well, wow, he was great, I wonder who the next guy’s gonna be. You know, who’s gonna follow up. There is no next Frank Moore. There is only one. There is only one, and that’s all you get. And I’m sure that there’s not going to be anyone quite as amazing and remarkable as him. The world has had plenty of time to come up with another one, and it hasn’t managed to do it, so … he’s it, he’s the only one.”
He also talked about the Outrageous Beauty Revue, which is when he first saw Frank at the Mabuhay in 1981. “No one had ever done that, and no one has done it since.” “Celebrating people for who they are, what they are, whatever they look like …” He was also really struck by the quotes from Frank at the end of the 1st episode, about faking it until you make it, and how Frank saw himself as beautiful. “And like he said, that’s magic. That’s what magic is. You know, that’s something to think about. That’s magic.”
Watching Let Me Be Frank with a live audience was amazing … it was the first time, after only having watched it together at home. Both the reactions, laughter, etc. and the silence really made you feel like people were taking a lot in from the episodes.
Alexi counted about 25 people at the screening. Among the people who came was a coworker from the health food store where Corey works, Kacey, and Erika’s coworker Megan and her boyfriend Josh. Megan was the last student who worked with Frank. Also, Keith Wilson came, the filmmaker who is doing his own documentary on Frank.
One of the first questions after the screening was if Frank had been an organizer for disabled people in the bay area community, or if his work drew other people with disabilities into his work. We talked about how he had participated in the protests in the early 80s at the Federal building in SF over the ADA, and also about the group that put on the OBR, and how it came together through Frank’s workshops, and that there were several people with disabilities that were part of the workshops and later formed deeper relationships, formed households together, etc.
We talked also about how Frank was challenging to the disability community in the seventies, because while they were advocating independence, hiring people to help you so that you could be “independent”, Frank was talking about having deep relationships with friends and lovers who would take care of your needs.
We also told the story of Frank showing Fairytales Can Come True at the CP Center.
Heather brought up what she had read in How To Handle An Anthropologist about Frank’s experience at the San Francisco Art Institute, and about not getting booked by gallery spaces and being embraced by other subcultures like the punk scene … and we ended up telling the story of The Lab cancelling Frank’s performances, and how the poetry community came out to perform with him on the street in front of the space. And then Peppe talked about how you can’t even count how many places have banned Frank! And how Frank didn’t care, he just thought it was funny!
A Japanese woman who Heather told us later had come specifically “for the Frank Moore event” told Erika that she had a friend who had been severely disabled, and gets very down in the dumps about what she can’t do anymore (she is an artist), and that she felt that Frank was really inspiring, and would be inspiring to her friend.
At the end of the night, after the second episode, she talked again about how Frank was really inspiring, especially how for so long, from such an early point, Frank had this idea of interdependence (instead of independence), and she was struck by his self-respect and his will to do his art, that was really admirable, and a lot of people could not do this, so she couldn’t understand how anyone could ever ban him! She also said he was “so cute! so lovable”
Afterward, a couple who had come to the event came up to us. Matt is someone who volunteers at Adobe, and is a musician who recently did a dissertation for his degree at Mills College where he helped create musical instruments for people with disabilities, that they could play and jam together with. He was really inspired by Frank, and had been thinking about doing something about Frank with his disabled students where he teaches at an Academy, but he said he will have to see what the administration of the school is open to.
Also after the screening, as we were packing up, Heather’s partner Kyle talked about the part of the OBR episode where Steve Hoffman was playing Joe Cocker. He was really impressed. He said it was “pure rock ‘n’ roll”, and that he have never seen anything quite like it.
When Peppe left, he asked us when is the next one!? He wants to be there.
Heather wants to do more screenings/jams, and suggested that perhaps the next one could be around Frank’s birthday!
Here is what Frank wrote for Vimeo about this series of videos:
Today we put up the first in the series of private performances I did in the early eighties. I now am calling these NONFILMS. These were also the raw footage of my films EROTIC PLAY and THE NUDE CAVE. I told the people we were filming I was doing a film. So I made films! But basically I was bringing back the concept of NONFILM which I played with in the early seventies and now videoing these private performances.
Ever since college days, I had been writing nonsense scripts dealing with nudity and nonsexual eroticism. Also during my college days, I read such books as Toward a Poor Theatre and The Theatre and its Double. But it was not until I and my communal family took a very intense film‑making course in Santa Fe in 1972 that I was able to put my weird ideas into performance.
We made films of rolling nude down a hill, smearing bodies with baby food, nursing by a sexy woman. But when the film course was over, I did not have money to make films. I could not see putting my energy into getting money to make films, could not see putting up with the compromises and outside control involved in an artistic context requiring big bucks. For me, the act of breaking a taboo is what is magical, what effects change…not someone seeing it in a film.
This not having money, this not wanting to be controlled and limited by money, was what sealed me into a performance life.
So I started looking for a way to work with people. I wanted to see people nude, and touch them, and to create an intensity between us.
I had been painting oils for years, painting with a brush strapped to my forehead, painting nudes from magazine photos. One day, a rich woman asked me to paint a nude of her. My wife set me and my paints up in the fancy living room as the woman undressed. On that day I realized how art can give people permission to do what normally is forbidden. It gives a frame that switches realities from the narrow normal reality to the freeing altered reality of controlled folly. If you go up to a stranger on the street and ask him to show his body to you, you will be lucky if he just walks away and does not hit you. But if you sincerely (and sincerity is a key) ask him to model for a painting or be in a video that involves nudity, there is a high chance he will do it because you are offering him a key to a new, different, and temporary reality.
This began my street series. I sat on the center plaza, “selling newspapers”. But selling papers was only a context. The context for me was an excuse for watching people, talking to people who had the slowness and the insightful curiosity to stop and talk…a way for me to ask them to model for me. These special people were my real targets for my street pieces. They saw past the mask of the cripple. The masses used the mask of the cripple to relieve their guilt, to reinforce their fragile superiority of being “normal”, to make themselves feel better by throwing money (up to $20 a throw) at the less fortunate at whom they would not even look. The third type of person was made up of the poor and the kids who gave money as a pure spiritual act. When the special person stopped to talk, a crowd gathered around to listen. Money fell on my board while I was asking the special person to model.
The newspaper selling quickly fell away. All I had to do was sit there on the sidewalk, being available to talk. It did not matter that I dressed fancy, or had a sign saying “I don’t want money; I want you”. The money kept falling. But I did discover that there are special spots and special ways of sitting which attract people. Sit at a slightly different angle, or on a spot a few feet away from the special spot and you become invisible.
I have done these street performances across the country. I have gotten tickets to the Joffrey, filled a couple of workshops, got my cameraman for one of my films, all from the street pieces. I almost caused a riot in front of Caesar’s Palace in Atlantic City, N.J. The crowd did not take kindly to the casino guards trying to push me away because I was taking Caesar’s money.
I painted a lot of the special people from the street performances. I noticed the changes in the people when they took off their clothes; how they relaxed, how they started talking on a deeper level about important personal things. After I got a taste of direct inter‑personal acting out of erotic dreams, painting became too static. I began a series of private performances called Nonfilms. I asked the special people from the street performances to come to my home, into my study which was my first cave. Within this cave, cut off from the normal reality, we created scenes which no camera would shoot, nobody would see. Although I had played with my friends before in nonsexual eroticism, this was the first time I tried to use “sexual” acts in a nonsexual art form. I was surprised with the power that this released. Because of these scenes, the people started talking about their lives during these sessions and said it helped their other relationships. Not one person minded that there was no film. These nonfilms were the base for my career in relationship counseling.
I first noticed the nonlinear effects of private performance in these secret rituals. People whom I approached on the street came to me weeks after the nonfilm, the person usually reported changes in his life, in his relationships, in how people were towards him…all of which amazed him (and me too) because he hadn’t told anyone that he had done the ritual. Part of the change in how people related to him can be explained linearly by the change in the person emotionally and even physically caused by the performance. But this does not explain how things “just happened” to him, things that were improbable, things that we both linked to the ritual.
Here is a selection of stills from some of the videos:
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
the two nude figures sit in time and space. one upon the other. rocking together. rocking in their cave.
two magic figures rocking together against time. rocking back through time. back and forth.
mother rocking her baby. rocking against sickness and tears. rocking back into love and peace.
in the cave, unseen except by the spirits, the holymen rock out of this reality of personal isolation of greys. rock until they rock into the pulse of pure light. back and forth until at-one-ness came, until atonement came… not just for them… but those outside the cave. magic rocking. passion rocking. almost sexual, not quite… very sexual… beyond sexual.
two bodies rocking together, rubbing isolation away.
grandpa sits in his rocking chair, slowly holding onto creaking passion of living. lovers dance, rocking back and forth to the music. sometimes fast. sometimes slow. passion rises warm and comforting. pain and grief disappear. a kid holding onto a blanket, rocks back and forth, holding onto the wrapping that holds us all together. colorful ribbons of our cocoon. the 2 lovers pumping hard on the swing, working together to get the highest thrilling flying and swooshing drop on their bellies and, yes, in their loins. almost sexual, but not quite…. very sexy… beyond sex. mere sex would get in the way of the child-like melting of earth and sky. back and forth, up and down, wrapping us together in brightness and softness and the magical commonness.
a girl laughs on a big old rocking horse. a g.i. holding his guts in, blood oozing out, rocks on the battlefield… rocks to keep life in and pain out.
light pulses, reflected off tin and plastic.
daddy rocking baby to sleep on his lap. cozy togetherness in ribbons, rocking by the fire far away from reality.
the arab woman, on her knees beside the unrecognizable remains of her husband rocking to handle grief and pain. a crazy rocks on the street corner, talking to beings from another reality. wrap us up cozy. wrap us warmly. maypole dancers with ribbons. admit that we all are wrapped up together in see-through ties.
the gypsy woman, eyes closed, rocks back and forth, giving master spirits her voice and her body to speak through. rocking in her tent.
the boys rocking uncontrollable from laughter at their childish pranks.
rocking surrealistic in the darkness, in their colorful bonds, the two nude figures, using magical passion to melt together, rock like the blind, like the insane, like the holy men, like lovers… and the magical melting spreads out of the cave and into the world.
“Wrapping/Rocking” Poem by Frank Moore Chanted by Michael LaBash Background music: excerpt from “Body Music” performed by Frank Moore’s Chero Company: Michael LaBash, Alexi Malenky, Rourke Smith & Leigh Thumbnail photo by Kevin Rice A segment from the web video series LET ME BE FRANK, Episode 4. Website for the series: http://frankadelic.com/
Here are some Wrapping/Rocking performances:
Wrapping/Rocking @ The Intersection, San Francisco, California March 14, 1986
Wrapping/Rocking, Sixth Sense Gallery, NYC May 19, 1987
Wrapping/Rocking, Painted Bride, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
May 23, 1987
Wrapping/Rocking & Statues, EZTV, Los Angeles, California
September 9, 1988
“Wrapping/Rocking”, Berkeley, California
January 14, 1989
We are standing before a gate, On the edge Of newness, Holding hands.
All bodies desire To merge with, To fuse with The core of every body Within closeness, Core within all cores. This is the hidden secret Of Gravity. It is not a mere attraction Of bodies… Not sexual. But this desire Has been long Thought of as impossible In this reality of divisions… Impossible Because of unwillingness To melt bodies and forms, To melt through skin, To melt beings With the Other, Going through layers, Until cores fuse Into just life.
But the time has come For fusion, A blend of explosions And implosions Outside of time and space, Deep within our body, Peeling away layers By deep friction Of warm love. Time has come To start to fade out The reality of division By lighting the fuse Within the small hidden cave Between our bodies, Going within the warmth.
The reality of division Started when the cell of Life Divided and kept dividing. This reality of difference Released the possibilities Of personal love and creativity, The possibility of personal responsibility And being in aware relationship with THE OTHER.
But before the Pyramids… A blink of an eye Within an evolution… The reality of division Became CIVILIZATION, Becoming a filter Used by the elite To turn evolution Into progress That benefited their Empires of isolation.
Yes, we are standing Before a gate, On the edge of newness. When we light the fuse Within the hidden cave, It will release unimagined Possibilities. It will release what has been Locked up and away for so long. Get the foot off the neck Of dreams. Get the weight of the world Off the little kid’s back, Release the deep beating heart From the tight cage. It may release blasts Of tears, pain, joy, giggles. It will release life Full of wonder deep inside our body. Together we will take The blasts within us, Expanding us In all directions. We don’t even know What fuse is. It may not be any particular act. We are just following it deeper, Going past taboos, Going beyond language… Just going on a journey Within between our bodies Within our trust. We will make our report After we return From the merge core, And after we discover A new language.
Life itself Survives at all Because of the secret journeys Of the dismissed Within small caves Of love, Personal trust, And passion Beyond taboo.
“Fuse” A poem by Frank Moore Read by Edna Floretta Art/Animation by Michael LaBash Music by Sander Roscoe Wolff A segment from the web video series LET ME BE FRANK, Episode 10, “Theater of Melting” Website for the series: http://frankadelic.com/