cold dark homeless
clogged with ice fears,
my only friend
is the wind
chilling my bones
into a cynical loneliness.
Herding my sheep,
looking in windows
of unattainable desires,
looking at presents
I don’t have anyone to give them to,
looking into the past
soft colored warm homes
that are no longer mine.
Everyone has left,
everyone is gone.
Even the sun has left
long before the manger.
And the sun
will not come back
This is the season
of dark depression
and fragile suicide.
I can always bum up
the plastic hope and faith
at 7 Eleven
it is my wonderful life
in the video store’s window.
But instead I wrap myself in a jaded pretense of dry ice isolation of not caring, and drinking the stale but warm wine of regrets.
of new hope
has always been hidden within
the long cold
clinging to our tribal warmth
as our only protection
into the scary
we always have been blind
to the evergreen
hope of life.
It has always been
the first time
and easy hope
have gone away.
So we always think
they will never
The evergreen hope
has been hidden
in the womb
of the humble
and in children’s dreams.
The forces of greys
have always overheard
of the hidden hope…
have always searched
to pervert it
into human isolation…
to kill it
for all time.
But the forces of power
the hidden human hope
in the baby’s cradle.
goes on a desperate killing,
the old world up……
we huddle together
in the silent night
upon the hill,
in our tribal body warmth.
the holy woman,
the medicine man
have always shifted
our attention away
from the dark
have always shifted
to the guiding light
of new birth…
in the stars,
then in the roaring
all human feelings
and still later
into that corny
with bright colors
Into this fire we have always gone, hearing the drumming of our innocent heart beating in a slow excitement, meeting again our love of life. We curl up with our love and wait for warm spring to arrive… as hope grows into knowing.
There are all kinds of art. There is art that calms, art that pacifies, art that sells, art that decorates, art that entertains.
But what I am committed to is art as a battle, an underground war against fragmentation. The battle is on all realities.
The controllers have always tried to fragment us. Fragment us from each other. Imprison us in islands of sex, color, religion, politics, classes, labels, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc. they fragment our inner worlds, they blow our individual realities apart, and play the pieces against one another. They are us, or a part of us. They are the controllers, the politicians, the sexists, the women’s libbers, the pornographers, the censors, the moralists, the church, the media, the businessmen, educators, the victims and the powerful.
They are us. They have divided us from our power, from our beauty, from our lust for life and pleasure. They have divided us from most of reality – divided dying from living – sex from living, sex from pleasure. We are kept in boxes of fear, of mistrust. We are kept waiting – kept waiting to do what we want – waiting for enough money, enough schooling, for everything to be right. We are kept waiting and protecting and hiding and suffering.
This is the time to do battle with the boxes.
As artists, our tools are magic, our bodies, taboos, and dreams.
This kind of art can be bubbles of childhood – hidden places where you can play and explore – it is the kids’ under-the-covers world, the playhouse, the treehouse, the cave, behind the barn, playing doctor, cars at drive-ins before going all the way, Huck Finn’s raft, tepees. People are afraid of this area of lusty exploring that they think they have out-grown — but they are sucked into it.
But this kind of art can have a more heavy-duty magical side to it that shocks, offends, and breaks new ground. This side is what is locked in, the subconscious, the womb, the underground, hell/heaven, pleasure/torture, the coffin, the grave, birth/death/rebirth, dream/nightmare, the hidden world of taboos.
Artists of this breed need to be warriors who are willing to go into the areas of taboo, willing to push beyond where it is comfortable and safe to explore and build a larger zone of safeness. They need to be idealists, willing to live ideals.
What we have here is only the first smell of fresh magic. Matter is hollow tubes containing fibers of packets of possibilities. Matter is symbol, is metaphor containing possibilities. These packets shape matter. These packets, in turn, are reshaped by each body /object they pass through. We are affected by the stars, and the stars are affected by us. We affect the Tarot cards and the I Ching coins we cast. The physicists affect the subatomic particles they observe.
By reshaping these inner packets, the material reality is reshaped.
The inner rivers of possibilities are two way on the linear level. The magical effects are always two way. The light of the sun warms us; but we affect the sun through the same channel.
We have entered the level of the dynamic web of relationships in which the individual does not exist. In place of the individual, there appear points of personal responsibility in a dance.
It is not the sun that warms, nor is it us who are warmed. It is the dance of no dancers, the dance of relationships that warms, and that is warmed.
Reality creation is a dance. We are the dancers. But in truth, it is a dance without dancers. If we really take on personal responsibility for the dance, we surrender to the dance, give up individual “control,” give up individual linking with the results. By taking on the personal responsibility for the dance, we are the dance. We melt with the dance. We are only the dance. We admit these facts. It is not a question of becoming, but of remembering and admitting. It is a question of being, living, dancing lustfully, without controls or limits in responsibility.
The life dance is beyond morals or limits. It joyfully digs into the dance to the juicy black core.
This is the poem that Frank wrote for a class of medical students at University of California, Berkeley:
NO CAN NOTS by Frank Moore Sunday, April 28, 2002
Talking to future healers & teachers & maybe future muckrakers & troublemakers Well, Not really future Because hopefully You are doing IT RIGHT NOW! Hopefully I’m not talking to the future guards Of the corporate normalcy Armed with can nots, Limiting futures from birth, Enforcing coloring only within the lines, Enforcing doing everything THE RIGHT WAY THE NORMAL WAY
This poem was published in the book Skin Passion, a book of poems and paintings by Frank Moore.
the cave is our world, his and mine. together around the fire in the warm cave. it has always been this way. mother and grandmother…mothers and grandmothers have always been in the cave above the tribe, have always been talking to the world spirits for the tribe, have always been taking the tribe out of the world of survival, cold wet fear…into our body cave of warm laughing joy, taking them into us deep for awhile.
and there has always been one of his kind in the cave. mother said that before i was born, the one who she lived in the cave with died. his death cursed the tribal field, cursed the tribal planting. the tribe again survived only by the hunt and the gathering. the spirit of the field would only come back when mother could mate in the tribal field with a healer after hair grew on his body. until that time, during times of moon blood, mother led the tribal women in the chant of plant magic, keeping their knowing of the secrets of growing alive during the years of waiting.
as the world spirits desired it, for many years no deformed male baby who could be a healer lived for more than for a few days within the tribe…even when mother secretly took such babies from the sacrifice rock and brought them to the cave, where she and the old healer tried to bring them fully into life.
so after the death of the healer, mother had to make the secret and dangerous journey to the sacrifice rocks of other tribes in her quest for a deformed boy baby, for a spirit that didn’t dwell in the world of survival, for a magical son who could be a healing bridge between all realities. mother had to hide behind the sacrifice rock of each tribe for many nights, waiting for a father to put a deformed boy child on the rock to die.
one day the tribe discovered that mother was not in the cave. they went into a ritual dance and a fast, piling all the food outside the cave to bring her back. they had a feast when they discovered that she had returned with a new healer. she had found a deformed boy baby. she saved him from the sacrifice rock and carried him to the cave. there she gave birth to him. everyone knows that cave magicians can give birth to even full-grown men. so no one was at all surprised to see this baby in the cave.
mother took care of him, raised him in the cave. she grew to understand his sounds, his moving body, his spirit talk. i understand him now. as he grew up, his healing magic became physical touch. he was in the future and the past and the world spirit…linked with mother’s body. now linked with my body.
when hair grew on his body, mother took him as her magical mate. then the secrets of growing, the magic of the plants, again came out of the moon cave and into the field. once again, the spirit entered the field and was attended to by the women of the tribe.
once again, before every harvest and every planting, the tribe carried mother and her magical mate to the fields. there she would take him deep inside her. they became one body together in ritual pleasure, offering the pleasure to the earth spirit as a thanksgiving. these were the only times he left the cave. these were the only times that she took him deep into her, although they were always together in the sacred play when they were in the cave, rubbing, licking, laughing, moaning, crying within the awareness of life. he and i are still in that awareness cave.
mother got big and i came out of her into the cave. if i was a male baby, mother would have gone like a spirit with the baby out of the cave to where the woman of the chief slept. she would have put the baby beside the woman and then slipped away. the boy would be born to the woman of the chief. the magic of the cave mother can only be passed on to a daughter of the cave. if i did not come from mother’s body, she would have gone on a quest for a cave daughter, leaving the healer alone in the cave. the tribeswomen would take care of him as best as they could. but if mother would die on the quest, the healer would die. then the tribe would die.
i grew up cuddled up between their bodies, playing with their bodies, smelling the herbs mother hung to dry in the cave, smelling the teas and other medicines mother made from them to give those who came to the cave to be healed. i ate the food and drank the water and the milk that the tribe brought to the mouth of the cave everyday.
i always played with mother and the healer…to me, he is laughing face because his hairy face always has tickled me…when they played together. but she put me into the child hole to play whenever she and he did rituals with a tribesperson. grandmothers from long ago dug these child holes. there is one just outside the cave for when mother danced with the chief before every hunt, before every battle, arousing his power.
i now arouse him.
there is a child hole at mother’s secret place where she goes when the tribe faces death from nature offended…the secret place where she offers herself to earth spirits as a sacrifice by working herself up by dancing and rubbing until who she is burns away. and there is a giant children hole in the middle of the moon cave where all the tribeswomen with children without body hair go during the times of blood. i watched the rituals from the child hole. when i could get out of the child hole, i could take part in the rituals…even before body hair and times of moon blood.
mother started teaching me cave mother magic and how to combine and blend it with the magic of laughing face. laughing face has always been my brother, my playmate. i grew up understanding his sounds, understanding his body, hearing his thoughts, seeing through his psychic eyes. he is my body. since i had body hair, he has been my mate.
mother started teaching me cave mother magic. cave mother magic is body magic. the body of the cave mother is the body of the earth. after i could get out of the children hole in the moon cave, mother started teaching me cave mother magic. mother said a long time ago the women of the tribe did not bleed together as one body in the full bright moon time. each woman bled alone at her own time away from the tribal fire, bled alone in dangerous cold darkness. one day, the moon, full and bright, told cave mother that the women will only have their time of blood in the nights and days of bright moon. the moon told cave mother that on the night before the full bright moon, all the women with all the children before body hair should leave the tribal fire, carrying a flaming branch, and dwell together in the special cave until the last moon blood fell. the times of moon blood are the most magical.
during times of moon blood, the elder men with the chief stay with the healer in the healing cave, taking care of him until the cave mother returns. they feed him, give him drink, bathe him. but they themselves fast and chant and rock and gently touch him. they can not understand him, can not see through his eyes. but as they sit around him, his spirit fills them and they are filled with visions.
mother began my magical training by taking me with her when she left the moon cave during the waiting day and the day of restoring. on these journeys she would collect herbs, special stones, healing mud, and all the other magical objects that she would prepare and use with the healer in their cave, our cave. she told me the story and the power behind each object. she told me the secret magical stories hidden within the stories that the women shared within the moon cave, rubbing one another, rocking together, enjoying their single body.
after the times of blood, when we returned to the healing cave, mother started letting me help her prepare the healing objects. mother said the objects by themselves do not have healing powers. but the body magic calls forth the healing effect of the object just as mother and the healer call forth the healing magic within each other. after someone left the cave after a ritual, mother started explaining to me what had happened. most of this explaining was not done in words, but by mother and laughing face playing with me, turning my body and spirit on.
laughing face would melt into the person’s body as they played, seeing what was needed. sometimes by touching deeply, he could transmute the inner sickness. other times, when he felt death was approaching, he and mother would arouse the body spirit to melt with death. but most of the time, as the healer was physically melted with the person, mother saw with the healer’s eyes, felt with his body. then the healer would lay back, and mother would begin her body dance, rubbing wet warm, sucking the other into her, licking coolness, blowing life into the other, dancing hard and long deep into the woman cave. the other could be the ill person. often it was the healer. just before she left, mother started to pick me to be the other dancer. the dance would fade into sleep. then just before dawn, mother would wake the person up, give him herbs or a magical object, give him rituals, then would send him back into the tribe in survival.
i absorbed all of this. i saw boys come to the healing cave when they first had hair on their bodies. the boy with first body hair would be barred from entering the moon cave on the first time of blood after body hair first appeared. the cave mother would ritualistically force his mother to not bring him into the moon cave again because he would never be again her son. the cave mother would send him to the healing cave. there, the chief would bar him from the cave, telling him to sit on the rock outside the cave, to wait for cave mother, to wait, not moving, without food, without water, without sleep.
days later, the cave mother would return to the healing cave, without giving any notice to the sitting would-be man. she would enter the cave and would lie beside the healer. the elders would slowly dance from the cave to the sitting would-be man, lift him up, carrying him into the cave mother, lying him on her, belly on belly. then the elders would leave to dance outside of the cave.
mother would gently let the boy enter her body, guiding him to melt with her in body and spirit, pulling him into the deep trance of transforming pleasure. then, when the boy had died to his child soul, the elders of the tribe would enter the cave, lift the entranced would-be man onto their shoulders, and carry him out of the cave and on into his quest for a vision, for a new soul, and for a proof of his worthiness to be within the tribe.
when a girl first entered the moon cave on her first time of blood, the women gathered around her and rocked her gently day and night until the moon blood stopped flowing between her legs. then they washed her childhood away, washed her into womanhood, washed her first in their moon blood, then washed her in clear cold water, welcoming her into their collective body.
then the cave mother took the new woman outside of the cave, laying her down on a bed of leaves. mother would reach deep inside the new woman, gently breaking the seal of skin, if it had not been broken in child play. the mother started calling forth from inside the new woman, started calling forth wave upon wave of intense moaning burning pleasure moving within the new woman’s body, joyfully burning up the little girl’s insides, the body of the young new woman writhing, opening wide to let the whole universe in. when the little girl had been completely burnt up, the tribal women took the new woman into their circle to rock with her.
as my mother did before, i live with laughing face in our cave of love and play, far outside the reality of cold survival of the tribe. most of the time, people of the tribe come to our cave not to be healed of some sickness, nor to know the future, nor to appease the spirits, nor anything that you in your time might think would be magically important. most of the time, they come to be rocked by me and the healer, to be sung to by us, to play with us, to come into our personal love of warm playing skin. the possibility of this personal love has not truly entered their reality of survival…except in their memories of what they have experienced within our cave…slowly this pleasure playing of personal love has leaked out of the cave over the lifetimes of the many cave mothers from the time when the first young girl found the first healer and hid with him in a cave, sneaking out to steal a blazing branch from the group fire of the human pack, sneaking out at night to gather berries and fruit…sneaking out so that the pack wouldn’t kill the useless deformed boy…sneaking out until she became an earth spirit to the pack when they caught sight of flashes of her. the young cave couple lived a new kind of existence together. in the pack there has always been the physical love of a mother for her babies, and children of the pack always have played together. but when the children entered the adult pack reality of cold survival which was dominated by fear, by individual isolation, and by being together solely out of physical need, this love and this child play quickly faded into the ultimate black beyond the light of the night fire of the pack.
but in the first cave couple, the personal love that was the mother-child physical love within the pack transmuted into the personal love between people that hadn’t been linked by the birthcord. this new kind of love was what melted the bodies of the first cave couple together. their playing together as children in adult bodies called forth this new kind of love. slowly their play revealed totally new physical pleasures which humans had never experienced before. in the pack, there was an ever-present lurking of a violent urge erupting in some male, grabbing a female from behind just to let her go a minute later after the pressure of the urge had been relieved, the woman going off to soothe her wounds.
but within their cave playing, the first cave mother and the first healer began discovering the many paths of pleasure within their body of two…long giggling tickling belly warm chest moaning exploding white light turning colors sleeping warm skin. on these paths of pleasure, the moon came to them and taught them magic. the moon told many strange things…that men were not just protectors and providers…that men have a direct and active role in the creation of life…that everyone in the pack is physically connected to one another as a body. becoming aware of these things would transform the pack into a tribe, calling forth tribal love, extending into the land and animals. this awareness would come slowly as the tribespeople visited the cave, visited the personal love of the cave mother and the healer, experience within their own bodies the new physical pleasure. they would take tiny bits of the expanding cave reality back to their relationships within the tribe. the moon said every pack had a cave couple developing, hidden, playing.
i am seeing into your time through laughing face’s eyes. i’m seeing past the marble temples where cave mothers became sex goddesses…past the men of power dividing the cave mother from the wounded healer, chaining her to promote isolation by turning her into just a safety valve for the release of guilt of power and the frustration of unattainable desire.
but laughing face and i are still in our hidden cave waiting for you to come and play with us.
Evolution searches out potential Within every life form, Within every experiment, Flowing through change, Flowing through adaptations Into new possibilities.
This tide wave Moves everything, Shapes everything, Leaving everything Which doesn’t find The ever changing Potential within its soul Behind… Just didn’t live out Within the dynamic dance Of existence. Failures are the golden steps Of expanding creation.
But we civilized humans Have been denied For most of the blink Of our history Most of our potential. The tide wave Has been dammed up, Evolution has been funneled Down into a narrow, High pressure laser Focused for profit and power Of the hidden few.
Most of our potential Is locked in, Locked away, Locked out, Locked up. Locked away in closets, Locked up in factories Of meaningless work, Locked away in warehouses Of waiting to die… Death waits A dull lifetime to come. Locked outside the margins, Locked outside on the homeless streets, Locked inside the suburbs of isolation, Locked within the walled communities Of comforting unreasoning fear, Locked up within well-paid sitcoms, Locked out toiling in the fields, Not allowed to eat the food, Dying in the false famine, Dying from thirst In the African dust Manufactured from bottled demand, Dying from sickness Preventable, Curable, Locked away within The dark other, Locked in the kitchen Cooking artificial food Of bland pretending Routine not fulfilling Any need or love, Locked down in chains On the sofa, On the shrink’s couch absorbing unattainable desires, Locked in gridlock, Not coming, Not going, Just sitting within Unmoving isolation, Listening to the latest muzak Of loveless loneliness, All shining and cold, Locked away In the passionless bedroom With the glass ceiling, Tied down in the bed of hopelessness, Tied down, Locked up in the nursing home, Lifetimes of wisdom Dismissed and forgotten, Locked up in padded cells, Dangerous healing imagination Being burned up by electric shock, Burning up the trash that could Save us all. Locked up on Death Row, Within the isolation cells Lies change. It will not die, Even under tortures Of ten thousand years. Just lock it up! Dam it up With the oily gum Of dogma! Manufacture fear and mistrust Of the other of difference. Pour the many flavors Of this poison Of bigotry From childhood In mother milk, In God’s image, On the blackboard Of coloring within the lines… Lock what’s acceptable, Normal, Within the lines… Then send these good citizens Off on crusades of killing Of the different other, Of killing off diversity Which is the curse Of profitability. The brew of bigotry Blinds the eyes to red is the color Of all human blood, Blinds us to We all are locked in Locked up, Locked away On the plantations Of slavery, In the sweatshops Of suppression, In the factory farm fields Of exploitation, In the occupied territories Of closing walls, Of refugee camps Of wandering Jews, Of death camps, Warehouses of all kinds Filled with waiting-to-die Living hopes, dreams, Loves, imaginations, Cultures of the human spirit Which do not fit into power, Wealth, and the controlled reality.
Yep, we all are in there, Including most of you Who believe you are The masters and the guards In your dank cubbyholes Of fears and addictions.
And within our cells We have been digging Throughout the ages Underground passages Linking passions together. When we reach to touch one another, The bars melt like butter. We sing together In words that the masters Can’t understand. We create together, Dream, imagine together. We hope and make love Together behind the dam In evolution.
The silly mentally retarded girl Giggles as she runs to hug An absolute stranger. This is hope Of evolution. The police hose fires High-pressure profits Blasting of shortages Through the dam’s hole… Business as usual. But it looks like evolution Is about to burst through the dam. Will it destroy all of us? Who knows! We always have lived With Dooms Day Judgment Day Around the corner. Sometimes it came, Sometimes it didn’t.
But I’m betting That our underground potential Will be released in the coming flood And will expand.
But then This is written by A guy Who was supposed to have died LONG AGO In one of those death cells!
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.
cracking through the blacktop
in the park.
We don’t own it.
We own all life.
All life is our property…
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
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,
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 lock and key…
Except for this goddamn weed of life
We sprayed it with poison,
Ripped it out,
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
nomads without space
without water wells,
farms of independence,
or music of a free soul.
We own the rights to all imagination
We hold all the cards!
So why is this goddamn weed
Cracking the blacktop?!
How come this single weed
is spreading unprocessed life
And the cracks
In the blacktop
John The Baker reads “That Goddamn Weed Of Life” on Frank Moore’s Shaman’s Den, March 25, 2007.
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