From now until July 18th, 2008 I will be mostly out of contact as I travel through Central America. I will periodically be checking email, but will only have a chance to respond to urgent messages. For Verbobala booking, please use this contact form on the Verbobala site. Gracias, ¡nos vemos después!
The problem with writing about tour is that there is rarely chance to do so. From mid-March until the end of May, Verbobala toured from Tucson to Portland, Boston to San Antonio, New York to Austin. It was our first time on tour in the US, and it was, in short, a blast.
Though Moisés (1/3 of the group) was unable to get a US visa, we were able to re-work our entire set and incorporate him through video projection. He wrote a different poem for just about every stop on the tour, recorded each one, and passed them to us the day of each show. It was incredible watching the audience react to the "mojado digital." I don't think I've ever seen an audience jump to its feet and cheer for a video projection... obviously he was able to transmit more than just his image.
In Worcester we were shown hidden speakeasies, mostly unchanged from the day that Prohibition was repealed. Adam called to the ghosts. In San Antonio we were shown an amazing time and got to meet Grupo Fantasma, a group I have loved for years. We went to Vancouver for a day and I featured at a poetry slam, which makes me feel like I've completed some crazy NAFTA-of-slam. In Tucson we debuted a brand-new full-length piece called Nobody Speaks with our sister group Flam Chen... it feels like the coolest performance I've ever been a part of. We sold t-shirts. I nearly sold out of books again. We played the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City with Patricia Smith and Jamie Caroline. Adam made his poetry open mic debut and offended everyone. We projected video onto the 60-ton, 3 story Cathedral of Junk in Austin with Show Me Tiger. We were on the radio, we scared coeds. We were called weird. We said thank you.
There is video of a lot of this, but it will be a little while before any of it goes online. Stay tuned. There is so much that could be said, so many names to mention.
I've been back in Mexico for about 10 days, catching up with Moi and other close friends. Verbobala has allowed all three of us to make a living with our art, and it feels incredible. I'm in love with this project. We'll be renting a house in Hermosillo in August to work on new material for a Mexican tour that will be September-October. Later in the fall we'd like to do some Canadian dates. There's some ideas for Argentina as well. Hopefully we can work with some people to get Moi's US visa worked out, it would be nice to tour the States again sometime. But we're not sitting around waiting for it.
Here's to hoping for Obama in November.
One thing about tour: it is definitely not vacation. It is a privilege to travel, but it's not relaxing, that's for sure. As of Wednesday, I'm gone traveling. It is time to disappear for awhile again with a blackbook and a pen. I'm headed to Honduras to meet up with a friend, then moving through Nicaragua to Costa Rica. We'll be mostly off the beaten path. As of July 18th I'll be back full-time.
Hasta entonces, amigos. Que les vaya chido.