Tribal Performance

in Poems

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.

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