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Underground Report: Jacksonville, Illinois. June 24, 2013 you can try to make sense of it, or ... (just say Thank You) so how did this all come together? the reporter asks hhmmm. why isn't this wifi working? how late are we running? does anyone have an extension cord?? how did what...? he should have been a little more specific. then i said something ridiculous about snowballs and musician-eating poets or the like. it came together.. um, i'm not sure ..i... have to give it up to the universe on this one. a gazillion things had to happen and fall into place just the way it did for THIS. whatever it is. beautiful, i think i said, and meant it. my kid. Kari. who really came through for us, being responsible and helping her mama... deal. Kari worked at the hospital here in town a while back and i believe that's where she met Mike Brant. how she specifically came to be the FAKE-naked chick in the first Bucky movie, i'm not sure. but she did. and in a compound somewhere in Berkeley with a gaggle of poets and a couple of creepy giant basement heads... we all laughed our asses off and became instant fans. from that connection, the Bucky movie was on the front page of Zygote in my Coffee issue #139. sometime after 4/20 in cleveland, i got this brilliant idea to host a little poetry reading right here in jacksonville. i worked on setting one up before and it just wasn't happening. neither colleges in town wanted anything to do with us, the book shop had already told me to take a flying leap, and the visitors bureau was not able to help in finding a venue either. so i let the idea sit for a while. this time though... completely different story. mike brant signed on to do his stand-up comedy and show the bucky movie. then before we knew it, his whole crew was stepping up and making a BRAND NEW bucky ... hilarious, insane, and frickin mimes, okay. Mimes. then mike said hey- i play in this band. check it out. maybe we could play at the show. which worked out beautiful. these guys brought the noise for real and ended the night perfect. why not two bands? Again, Kari. had a Flamingo CD. and knew a few of the band members. checking... yes. click click. thank you, universe. not only did these kids (sorry, i'm old) bring it with their performance, they were possibly the most enthusiastic about the poets at the show... and i love that. it's sincerely appreciated. and they're all local--the filmmakers, band members--from the jhole, or nearby. they handed out a shit ton of flyers, told all their friends, pimped the show on the interwebs, and came with a professional, fun, just good all around attitude. the acoustics were terrible. shit was not set up. issues with drink here, not there and PA system.. what the fuck is a PA system. if it takes a damn village to raise a kid, it in the very least takes a family to put one of these events on. and we tend to function like that.. with our ups and downs and weirdness all exposed (some more than others) and still, there's this love and appreciation. Unique as it was and i know i'm not doing it justice because, shit, i'm still trying to figure out what happened. there's a bag of dead mouse in the bush. hello, officer. i almost don't want to call it jhole now. i have mad respect for everyone that was involved and came out to support the event. Thank you, Kari. you are so talented and you don't even know. Thank you, Brian, el zygote editor/nothing to lose host. what the fuck would i do without you but probably air the show in braille and you know you know you know...... my brother, Eric, took flyers everywhere and enlisted even more help with that. Handyman Jason! We wouldn't even have had a floor (mostly), if it wasn't for you!!! stay out of JAIL, dammit. Shay tried to motivate Kari to clean and then of course just did it herself. Thank you, Shay! Nick and Jessica Brown... you know what you did! STU WRIGHT. sharing FN's work the way you did... it was a very special moment of the night for me, personally. thank you, brother. Mike Brant, Nick Manker, Josh Peyton, John Franz... Flamingo and Utter Chaos... mimes and other actors and WOW the universe was good to us, i'm sure to be forgetting someone... i didn't even get to meet them all... everyone that came together to make this event happen and be a success. THANK YOU. the poets. jesus, you guys. i really wasn't sure about being able to get anyone to schlep themselves all the way to the jhole. i'm so proud and honored to call you my friends.... my collaborators... maybe someday my cellmates. it just snowballs, yo. what else can i say? i am in awe. luv, mm


Underground report: Carlinville, Illinois. March 2013 I didn't get lost until the way home. Which is usually the way it happens since I don't bother with directions at that point. Not a big deal though since it was daylight and I have a general sense of the area already. I was able to clip down a beautiful county road for a bit and get straight back to the highway. The drive served to remind me of why it's not always best to take the interstate. Save time with this, save time with that... what are we saving time for? More of this and that, I think and it turns out to be Istuff. bluck. There's a whole bunch of country out there, Americka. I passed a small dam in the middle of the country, just chillin. Old railroad bridges, cemeteries, random scattered farm equipment, caved-in barns. I was coming around one of the many narrow curves and hit it just as the sun peeked through the clouds on a small body of water surrounded by fallen down trees and tall dead weeds. The sunlight bouncing off the water just right turned the whole view a sort of pink tint. Population 200. 1400. no sign at all. People care. I'm going to guess 12 but am sure there's a record somewhere if you must know the exact number. Jammed into a small conference room with thankfully comfortable chairs. There was cheesecake and cupcakes and coffee but I had stopped at the local coffee joint (The Refuge Coffee House) before the library. I swear to god, right there on the square in carlinville is the best vanilla caramel lattes ever. The Refuge Coffee House. I was hungry too and didn't want my stomach grumbling at the library (sssshhhhh!), so I had a blueberry pineapple muffin. Holy whatever... so good. Had to be fresh fruit. Anyway, I found the library that is in a building with the local police department and municipal offices. Guild business was happening but they stopped a moment to welcome me and point me to a seat around the table. There was Wanda, and I recognized a few other faces from wanda's poetry reading a while back at aforementioned coffee joint. They were talking about a literature contest for teens, how to get people involved and spread the word. So if you hadn't noticed from my description earlier, this place is rural. It's not unusual to have to drive many miles for the basics ... grocery, medicine and whatnot, not to mention you are likely to drive many many miles in order to pursue your interests. I believe there were more out-of-towners in attendance than local to carlinville. One fella mentioned he was from Springfield which is about 50 miles up I-55. Two others mentioned long, full-day drives coming up for literature-related events. That's dedication. If you have that kind of dedication without caring then I would guess you are likely suffering some sort of mental illness and should seek immediate medical attention. After the business portion which was both short and interesting, everyone in the group read a little something that they had either written from a prompt or had published. I'm glad I was there early enough for this part because each and every person had something valuable to contribute. I have to admit the hairdresser poem was my favorite. There were some rhymes, lust, god stuff, a fishing story (not really about fishing) and the Easter Bunny isn't real and might be cooking on the stove. None of this frightened me. It was all good. The thing that had me concerned was the sign sitting in the middle of the table... something about rules and Rule #1 was NO PROFANITY. Hhhmmm. Okay. When the reading was done, they turned it over to me—amazingly, not nervous. I had grabbed some stuff from around my office to show them... a few cut-up, taped together pages that made the latest citizens zine, a polish journal, some early Rural Messengers stuff... the first print thing I ever sent out into the world- a mail art postcard and Aleathia Drehmer's broadside from long, long ago. I took one of the covers from Red Reader. I must have given them all away because the cover was all I could find. They ooed and ahhed over the Tainted Coffee Press flipbook, the latest from Uno Kudo, some Full of Crow little books and random cool shit I have received in the mail. As those were passing around the room, I talked about my travels over the past two years to these literary events in Toledo, Cleveland, Chicago, Milwaukee, Oakland/San Francisco, Ypsilanti, Albuquerque, Denver and back to Toledo. Some of what goes into the planning, crazy shit that happened... and the beauty of it all. The group was attentive and engaged... and even invited me to keep in touch and come to one of their open mics. I had free stuff to hand out of course... citizens #5, the damn poem and love broadside by Brian Fugett and Bud Smith and I even sold some of Tim Murray's Dinosaur Ditch and Michael Grover's Some People Go Crazy. They kinda liked the fact that it's not a dinosaur, timmurray. It's a woolly mammoth! It doesn't matter if we like the same lit, the same subjects or styles. The love of the word and how it can positively effect individuals and communities, that's the stuff. Truly a pleasurable experience and I'm so glad I went. I am honored that Wanda invited me to speak to the group and so thankful to have met these individuals. They also sprang for lunch which was crazygood. If you are ever in Carlinville, Illinois, find Magnolia's. It's on a quiet side street not far off the square. cont....


As those were passing around the room, I talked about my travels over the past two years to these literary events in Toledo, Cleveland, Chicago, Milwaukee, Oakland/San Francisco, Ypsilanti, Albuquerque, Denver and back to Toledo. Some of what goes into the planning, crazy shit that happened... and the beauty of it all. The group was attentive and engaged... and even invited me to keep in touch and come to one of their open mics. I had free stuff to hand out of course... citizens #5, the damn poem and love broadside by Brian Fugett and Bud Smith and I even sold some of Tim Murray's Dinosaur Ditch and Michael Grover's Some People Go Crazy. They kinda liked the fact that it's not a dinosaur, timmurray. It's a woolly mammoth! It doesn't matter if we like the same lit, the same subjects or styles. The love of the word and how it can positively effect individuals and communities, that's the stuff. Truly a pleasurable experience and I'm so glad I went. I am honored that Wanda invited me to speak to the group and so thankful to have met these individuals. They also sprang for lunch which was crazygood. If you are ever in Carlinville, Illinois, find Magnolia's. It's on a quiet side street not far off the square. Underground Pre-Report: Cleveland, Ohio. April 15, 2013 miles and miles to go just days from cleveland and i'm using up wishes, hoping the jeep is fixed in time but know i'll get there either way. maybe the howll-mobile rides again. maybe i skip the gps and get lost among the windmills in indiana. maybe just for a little bit. cruise control is a beautiful thing. set it, forget it, sing some songs, pick up friends, roll into town without a care in the world. i love all you people. even the ones i don't know yet and even the ones i know all too well it seems. here's the thing that's bigger than any one of us, right there. i hope whatever road you come by, it's honest. and with a light in your heart. call me sentimental and cheesy, i don't care. it's genuine and i figure that ought to be good enough. and basically don't give a fuck if it isn't. 4/20, yo. http://tinyurl.com/420cleve hope to see you there. Underground report: denver. January 20, 2013 First time back in my office in a week. I just didn't want to come in here. 1. it's a damn mess. It happens. Getting ready for a trip/event, just start throwing stuff everywhere in a frenzy to get everything done. And still I don't get it all done, which is why I didn't want to come in here, really. This trip required an especially long “recovery� time. Physically, I was skating the line of flu and altitude sickness the entire time (shit is real), driving like a maniac, long long hours of wakeness and no naps. Lots of people that both inspire and freak me out. Listen, I like my naps- fuck off. Mentally, spiritually... jeezus crist. Nearly Required Emergency Room- title of my next chapbook. My experiences in denver were the very definition of polar opposites. Realizations that require drastic and severe, brutal unrelenting reflection and course of action. I will not apologize for anyone other than myself and with that I am kept fairly busy. Sorry, in advance and sorry later too. But I will not be sorry in the moment. I will be thoughtful just as much as I can. I will learn and move on. I have my own dilemmas and battles, dwelling on anyone else's bums me out. Fuckit. I will move mountains to help a friend tow the line, no doubt. I got you. But life is too short to waste my time on motherfuckers who lie and use and don't ever stop to consider what incredible douchebags they are. Goodnight and good luck, bitches. As for the polar opposite of that. Goddammit- I love you people. The state of being so jaded which is something I have come to accept, is not necessary. It's the moment of good food lovingly prepared with good, fun, crazy lion-mane wearing gangsters. Vikings. Laughing because it's better than crying. Drawn documentaries and last minute haikus. Seeing the future right in front of you, all around you. Not cringing for once. One of those feelings that if you can hold it with you, it's never going to suck. It will always be an adventure. And for that, I thank you.


Profile for Literary Underground

CfDL #7  

Citizens for Decent Literature Part VII: Jesus saves, brother, but, not you, motherfucker! Alan Catlin, Tim Murray, Carl Miller Daniels, Len...

CfDL #7  

Citizens for Decent Literature Part VII: Jesus saves, brother, but, not you, motherfucker! Alan Catlin, Tim Murray, Carl Miller Daniels, Len...

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