Celebrating National Poetry Month at the Sheridan | Up Bear Creek
by Art Goodtimes
Apr 29, 2007 | 233 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print

TALKING GOURDS … Off season wasn’t completely off this past weekend, as Gourdsters from all over Colorado and New Mexico converged on Telluride for three days of hip-hop, slam, spoken word and performance poetry … For the second year in a row, Denver’s premiere trio Roc’em Soc’em (Day Acoli, Oracle Speaks & Bianca Mikahn) tamed the waters, healed the sick and rocked the Saturday night rafters at the historic old Segerberg Theatre (the Opera House’s original name), preceded by the elegant and understated artistry of Tres Chicas – the incomparable Joan Logghe, Renee Gregorio & Miriam Sagan … Friday saw award-winning poet Aaron Abeyta and his Adam State colleague Carol Guerrero-Murphy lead a troupe of adults and students in a fine group performance as the Grizzly Growlers, followed by three members of the 2006 Denver Slam Team that took first place at the National Poetry Slam competition in Austin, Texas, last year – Ken Arkind, Jen Rinaldi and Roc’em Soc’em’s Bianca Mikahn. Ken’s performances were wild and wicked, Jen had great chops talking about the importance of women in the kitchen, and Bianca charmed us all … Saturday’s noon show featured the Yoolgai trio from Shiprock – zoEy bEnally, Tish Ramirez & Curt Yazza. Both Tish and zoEy had me laughing through my tears, their rants and reveries about current rez life and the genocidal waves of the past both brilliant and powerful. North Beach émigré in Oak Hill-hiding Jack Mueller did his best stand-up Ferlinghetti, and took people’s breath away with dazlling off-piste zingers. This year’s Mark Fischer award winner Michael Adams (Adamsa in Slovak) of Lafayette and history teacher Phil Woods of Denver teamed up to wrench our hearts with the political and immerse our heads in the natural. They’re two thirds of a Front Range performance poetry trio called the Free Radical Railroad … And Telluride’s own Peggy Dobbins of Iron Springs Mesa (who took a Mark Fischer runner-up prize), together with long-time friend Kathy Barrett, gave a didactic art happening masque as uncloistered novitiate and her chuddar’d Arabian channel, and erected an installation tent of eight panels Karankawan pictograms “illustrating the Hebrew Genesis as revealed in Arabic to a 17th century Mexican nun.” … Perhaps the biggest surprise hit of the gathering was the winner of the Talking Gourds’ Tellus Award for the best poetry film of the year – Committing Peace in a Time of War, presented by film principle Bill Nevins and his partner Priscilla Baca y Candelaria, as well as producer/attorney Erik Sorotkin of Ubuntuworks … Beyond showings and performances, there were a bunch of workshops, open mikes, shared tables in what restaurants were open, bar tabs and unsanctioned readings, as well as the usual serendipities and private hanky-pankies that festivals are famous for … Yo, let’s do it again. Next year. April 24-27, 13008.

SMARTER THAN YEAST? … Richard Heinberg, author of the books The Party’s Over and Powerdown, shows one slide during his presentations that plots the vertical growth of yeast when sugar is added to a petri dish. The yeast multiply out of control before starvation and toxins in their own waste cause a massive die-off … In the next slide, Heinberg plots growth of the human population since the discovery of fossil fuel – a curve that happens to match the growth part of the yeast curve … Then he asks, are we smarter than yeast? … (thanks to Lance Christie)

 IRIS WILLOW … Omygoddess, where did the years go? Today is my eldest’s 24th birthday … It seems like just yesterday she was my two-year-old cover girl for the old Telluride Times, sniffing the blooms of a spring cactus down in Sand Canyon.

 SPEAKING OF KIDS … In a study published February 21 last year, researchers at Emory University in Atlanta analyzed urine samples from children ages three to eleven who ate only organic foods and found that they contained almost no metabolites of two common pesticides, malathion and chlorpyrifos … Once the same children returned to eating non-organic foods, concentrations of these pesticide metabolites quickly climbed as high as 263 parts per billion … And yes, danny white-boy, where’s your twinkie?

 SPEAKING OF SPIDERS … The Chinese have cultivated spider populations in field crops as a pest management strategy for centuries. Most of the so-called “inventions” of the modern world originated in China, according to Cambridge scholar Joseph Needham … Spiders are able to rapidly colonize a planted field by parachuting in on silk threads, or what’s called “ballooning.” However, spiders have a soft external skeleton, making them more vulnerable to variations in temperature and humidity than pest insect cousins, protected by hard exoskeletons of chitin … Mulching and no-till cropping techniques help maintain suitable spider habitat. A study in Germany found that mulch increased spider densities in wheat fields, leading to reducing cereal aphid populations by 25 percent. Spiders are very effective predators, killing more pest insects than they can consume … The researchers also found that the presence of spiders causes many insects to abandon host plants – cucumber beetles, Japanese beetles, cutworms, greenbugs, leafhoppers, planthoppers, and moth larvae in apple orchards.

 

THE TALKING GOURD

 

Macabre

 

Brautigan was a big man

who got the fame he wanted

fast cars & flight attendants

 

flashed a roll of best sellers

after Digger-like giving away

Plant This Book on Haight St.

 

with enough leftover

to pull  Hemingway’s trigger

& rot for a month in a Bolinas

 

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