Quick 15min excerpt taken from a recording of a live set played at Club Congress in Tucson.
I.Sunset after the long day
So many things a bullet can do and most of all only one. The weather just turned in Tucson; it hadn’t seemed so cold this morning.
Most of all in this one, this late dawn-drenched pueblo, sun metal-warm, it hadn’t seemed so cold this morning until bullet screamed first.
Gunmetal warm, tear-split pueblo, a bullet interrupts, echoes, lingers until all have screamed without wanting. An exit wound in me, in every chest:
one bullet can find many bodies. The political climate had slowly turned, unforcast violence in every chest; so many things a bullet can do.
II. For my mother’s favorite politician
Most of all only one: her smile rare for política. Smile, the kind that seems a heart. This morning your breaths are yours again.
A política rare, smiling: contact at palms, one by one. That morning your breaths stolen. Finding them floating, you inhale them back.
Palms in contact, each one with tears beading in palms, find ourselves floating–pull each other back– a smile is a circle we inhale,
deeply, until like you, we smile the kind that seems a heart. A circle breathed for each other but most of all for only one.
III. After Barack Obama
How well we have loved, each of us, in our time, widening ourselves into circles, holding all inside our ribs.
But each of us in this time– our instincts sharpened for gain– hold all we can inside our stomachs until each, alone, is sick with wanting.
Now, sharpen our instincts for empathy, expand our moral imaginations until solo sick wanting, left alone, evaporates. We make believe
that all is already here, widening the circle of our concern, condensing our belief that now, making each other well, we will love.
A demo laid down in a hurry with my compañeros Jason Andolino and Cayson Morrison in Arizona. It tells the (shortened) story of the Bisbee Deportation of 1917 and other early 20th-century race / labor struggles in the state. There are so many strange and sickening parallels between the xenophobia of that time and that which we experienced in 2010 & beyond. Don't ever think that history is irrelevant.
Here the mines run 24 hours making bullets to fight foreign powers. When the sun comes up it is made of sangre y cobre, the two mix to make profit in this company town, el porfiriato que nunca se terminó, más bien se migró al norte. to Arizona where white men make an American wage Mexicans make half as much, citizens or not, their sweat mixed with rage that summer when Mexicans went on strike, the white men stood with them, knowing they were unequally paid but equally exploited
No que no, sí que sí, ya volvemos a salir No que no, sí que sí, ya volvemos a salir
One morning in July the sheriff woke up early put badges on 2,000 white men put rifles in their 4,000 hands put a machine gun atop a company car drove through the shacks of Tintown and Zacatecas Canyon, asking Are you American or are you not? and by American they meant white, by American they meant docile worker, by American they meant corporate chump
They pulled dark men from their wives and marched them into company boxcars shoulder to shoulder only the summer heat between them, rolled them on company rails across the state line and left the 1200 men in the desert Told never to come back, not to our state not to our Nation at War, not to our White Man’s Camp.
No que no, sí que sí, ya volvemos a salir No que no, sí que sí, ya volvemos a salir
Puros jornaleros sus derechos robados piel oscura sin derechos humanos Les decían braceros, puros cuerpos baratos, bajo el sol, esclavizados brazos
That was Bisbee 1917, this is Arizona 2010 If you think SB 1070 is anything new if you think Joe Arpaio is anything new you have a whole lot of reading to do
The copper star in our flag was always raised on the back of immigrants, Slavs, Mexicans, Chinese demonized and deported at the earliest convenience
Pero ya volvemos a salir, and in this ciclical cynical history, and we will not be silent
El pueblo, callado, jamás será escuchado
My state of has a long history of people who demonize immigrants for political gain But Arizonan politicians are also immigrants, their legality just a twist of history.
No que no, sí que sí, ya volvemos a salir No que no, sí que sí, ya volvemos a salir
Sudor y sangre algodón y cobre
Vocals & mastering: Logan Phillips. Bass & recording: Jason Andolino Organ & percussion: Cayson Morrison. Additional vocal: Nayla Altamirano. Artwork: Adam Cooper-Terán.
SB1070 is a bill that is sitting on Gov. Brewer's desk right now awaiting her signature or veto. If she signs it, or if she chooses to do nothing, the bill will become law, and police all over the state of Arizona will be mandated to check the migration status of anyone they come into contact with.
So our position is a little like hers: we do nothing, and this thing becomes law. If we make our voices heard, maybe, just maybe, we can stop this.
In my travels I have the blessing and curse of telling people I meet that I am from Arizona. If they know the state, they usually smile and we talk about its natural beauty. If they've never been, they usually say something to the effect of, "Oh, you're from the state that wouldn't recognize Martin Luther King Day until the NFL threatened to boycott." If SB1070 becomes law, we will once again affirm the reputation as being one of the most backwards states in the nation.
We do not want cops enforcing immigration policy. We want cops enforcing criminal law.
being born and raised in Cochise County, I was privileged with a childhood surrounded by people with many different backgrounds. In part because of my many Mexican-American friends while I was an adolescent, I have gone on to learn Spanish and lead an artistic career very much connected to Mexico.
Yes, Mrs. Brewer, our state and country is badly in need of immigration reform and a comprehensive response to our border issues. SB1070 is not either of those things, rather, the bill further cements Arizona's image as a racist and backward state. Like being 50th in the nation in per-capita education funding, racist legislation is NOT something to be proud of. This isn't "tough on immigration," this is unconstitutional.
I should mention that I come from a family of Irish-Slavic decent. It is unlikely that police would stop me and ask me to prove my citizenship. However, throughout my life I have been taught not to defend only my rights, but those of others as well. Mexican-Americans are integral members of our communities, and this bill, if signed into law, will open up the door to more systemic discrimination.
Mrs. Brewer, history is not on the side of the hysteric anti-immigrant lawmakers, sheriffs and other demagogues. Though you will face initial criticism for vetoing the bill, it is the only sensible and human action to take.
Thank you for your time,
Logan T Phillips
A collaboration with the group Vessel and their piece "Transfix," directed and conceived by Rachel Bowditch. I joined the troupe for a shoot in Imperial Dunes, California, and later created a spoken remix of TS Eliot's "The Wasteland" which was performed at the Transfix retrospective at the monOrchid Gallery in Phoenix, April 2010.
Transfix Retrospective 1996-2010 By Vessel
At Monorchid Gallery, Phoenix April 2nd 2010
In collaboration with Verbobala, SonicAnta, Chris Loomis Photography, Saskia Jorda, Simon de Aguero and the PHX Fringe Festival.
Directed and Conceived by Rachel Bowditch
Glenn Weyant – Electric Ferris Box/ Sonic Anta Logan Phillips – Live Spoken Remix of T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland (Verbobala) Adam Cooper-Terán – Live Video remix (Verbobala) Simon De Aguero (Tensile Fabric Installation) Saskia Jorda (“Escaping White” - White Ladder Installation) Tedy Isaacks (Lighting Designer) Chris Loomis (Photography) Alexander Oliszewski (Monorchid/Imperial Dunes Video) Jake Pinholster (Sedona Video Footage)
Video Edited by Adam Cooper-Terán
Performed by: Lea Bender, Rachel Bowditch, Logan Phillips, Michael Thompson, Katie Kotulak, Laura Miner, Jamie Haas, Kate Kugler, Genea Sanchez, Erica Majtenyi, and Kyle Wills.
Performers at Imperial Dunes, CA February 2010 Anne Wareing, Philip Zisman, Aaron Wester, Stacey Sotosky, Nick Broderick, Erica Majtenyi, Rachel Bowditch and Logan Phillips.
SPECIAL THANKS TO: White banners commissioned by Scottsdale Public Art for the Art of Maintenance at the Scottsdale Canal (January 2010)
Websites: www.rachelbowditch.com www.verbobala.com www.sonicanta.com www.chrisloomis.com www.phxfringe.org www.monorchid.com www.saskiajorda.com www.dirtyverbs.com. www.vesselproject.org
And then the big winds camearound midnight, the radio station was tracking their arrival to the city. This just in to the West Side first.
Went walking beforehand, foot after foot, to the knee, deep snow. Deeper-than-dog snow. Dog bounding through snow and disappearing between bounds. I did a fall I call the inverse snow angel. (Video available upon request). falling thick.
And then the big winds did come, rearranging the powder as they saw fit. I saw it until the windows iced over. Then came the flashes of lighting unheard of in a blizzard, light bouncing between snow and low clouds, the whole world crackling purple white.
Woke up on the couch at dawn, the sun had come to breakfast. I was surprised and went back to sleep. The sun stayed anyway. Brilliant day. Sky without a trace of adjectives. I walked to Macy's. The coffee provisions had run out in our orange bunker.
Drank and thought about how the only way to live a desert is stories. Silko, Ortiz, first Australians, Bowden, Jews they all know this. Voices that shape the sand like big winds the snow. Stories that shape the ear. But how to explain that silence? The space after this stanza, the long horizon where words are born.
The stillness of staying home. Stillness rare like snow lightning. Stillness of cars stuck in the street.
And then the snow plow came and it didn't matter much, chaos is still chaos no matter who tries to own it. The City plows the rich neighborhoods first. Of course.
Resurrected my sister's car at sunset with a borrowed snow shovel. More is forecast, and what's here will freeze good tonight. Good to think we can leave when we want. But it's that silence we're after.
• • • L
for alison diciembre 2009
merry haunzakwanzamas & solstice, everybody
Avie is surprised to see the sun come over without calling first.
Snow turns the neighborhood back into forest.
Flag is very white, but tries to be colorful as well.
The space between things.
Always good to have arms for work. I spent an hour moving pounds of snow that won't exist if the sun sticks around. Like all work.
Here's an excellent project proposal by a friend and collaborator of mine, sound sculptor Glenn Weyant of Tucson, Arizona. Glenn is using an interesting and trustworthy website called Kickstarter to raise $3,000 for the production of a new double-disc edition of his most famous work, the Anta Project. For the Anta Project, Glenn plays the US-Mexico border wall as a instrument to make experimental drone / ambient music. Political, aesthetically interesting and cool. Profits from the sales of the new edition will donated in their entirety to No Más Muertes / No More Deaths, a human rights organization based in Southern Arizona that has saved the lives of countless migrants over the years by leaving water in the desert. This is solid humanitarian work that hardly anyone else is doing.
I'll leave the details to Glenn's description, but I want to throw my support behind this thing as much as possible. And since I'm short on cash and can't pledge more than $20, my support means spreading the word far and wide.
This is well thought-out and worth your support. Please join me in making art make change.
Come see 40,000 bats fly out from under the Campbell Ave. bridge!PLUS the spectacle & poetry of FLAM CHEN and Logan Phillips!
the Rillito River Project presents BAT NIGHT 2009 SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 12th 5:30pm Rillito Riverbed, Campbell Ave. bridge Bat expert Tar Petryszyn, P.h.D. Poet Logan Phillips Tucson spectacle experts Flam Chen FREE! One night only!
This just in! I'll be releasing my fifth chapbook next month! ARROYO INK, poems by Logan Phillips, illustrations by Logan Phillips & Adam Cooper-Terán. Two years have passed since my last book was released, it's time for fresh! I'm excited for ARROYO INK to meet the world. ARROYO INK will be on sale online June 6th, 2009. Get your PayPal ready!
Central School Project presents
releasing his new book ARROYO INK with a spoken word performance & video art showcase. Bilingual poems from Mexico City, Cochise County, Central America and points beyond. One night only.
FRIDAY 05 JUNE 2009 Central School Project 43 Howell Ave. Bisbee, Arizona 7:30pm • all ages • uncensored donations requested • que vengan
Book signing and reception to follow performance.
¡LIMITED EDITION BOOKS ON SALE FOR FIRST TIME! Arroyo Ink available for purchase online June 6th
Event on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=98148759921
Poster for print: http://dirtyverbs.com/content/images/2009.05_phillips-bisbee-PRINT.jpg
Hello friends, qué tal, I wanted to let everyone know that I'm safe and sound in Arizona, flu-free according to me. I was on tour for the last 20 days across the state, and was set to fly home tomorrow but changed my plans due to the craziness in el D.F. I don't mind being in my home state, but it isn't easy being away from so many people I care about in Mexico while this is going on. The panic is as problematic as the virus at this point. Thanks for your emails and concern, but there are others much more deserving. Please keep an open mind and be on the look out.
Hola mis amigos, qué tal,
quería decirles que estoy bien acá en Arizona, sin influenza segun. He estado de gira durante los últimos 20 dias aquí, y iba a volver a casa mañana pero cambié de plan por la locura en el D.F. No me molesta estar aquí en mis tierras, pero no es nada fácil estar tan lejos de tanta gente querida en México ahorita. El pánico es tan problemático como el virus mismo. Gracias por sus correos y preocupación, pero neta hay otro que la merecen mucho más en este momento. Espero que mantengan una mente abierta y atenta.
Espero verles pronto,
I'll be back in Arizona in April for another string of eclectic shows, I hope you can make it out! Video, DJ and poetry galore! New poems, new songs, revelry in general. All dates and details subject to change, please check back as the events approach.
- Mon. 4/13, evening, Buena High School, Sierra Vista. Hosting and spoken word feature with Jasmine Cuffee and Carlos Contreras at the student poetry slam at BHS.
- Tues. 4/14, morning, Buena High School, Sierra Vista. Workshopping with students. Closed to public, sorry!
- Wed. 4/15, morning, Southside Community School, Tucson. Bilingual storytelling & workshopping with elementary kids! Closed to public, sorry!
Thurs. 4/16, evening, Bisbee. Solo spoken word and videoart showcase! More info coming soon.
- Sat. 4/18, 9pm, Monte Vista Hotel Lounge, Flagstaff DJing with Emtron: Sonidero Verbobala, all the best dance music you may've never heard! More info here.
- Mon. 4/20, Flagstaff Performing vocal samples with the loops & drums duo CLOUDPEOPLE.
- Thurs. 4/23, 4pm, Rocket Gallery Tucson Solo spoken word feature at the "ARTivison" art reception as part of Tucson Youth Week. Rocket Gallery (270 E. Congress). Free.
- Thurs. 4/24, 10pm, Green Room Flagstaff DJing with Emtron: Sonidero Verbobala with Sambátuque.
Here is what has been happening in Mexico City lately: sonideros, the original Mexican street DJ's:
You Lightning-Flasher, Shirt-Raiser,lack-of-control Power Blinker, toss the trees around like wet cotton candy, they’re drunk marionettes, Power Cutter, Bed Rumbler. The night is a black-eye disco, and you’re a violent drunk, Night Storm. Drenching dreams, nowhere to go but right on top of us, roof Slam-Dancer, Sky-Splitter Night Light, Gutter-Defier, Waterfall-Caller tumbling down window panes, Door-Groper, a puddle on the tile. The nosleepers are listening to you, Tomorrow-Maker, Midnight Rumbler. Sharp clouds and nosleep, yer no quitter, Kid, Mountain Bowler, cement puddles, and a mud romance.
The clock blinking 12:00 in fear of You.
Nombres para esto
Tú Destellarayos, Levantacamisas, Parpadeador neumático sincontrol, zarandea los árboles como algodón de azúcar húmedo, son títeres borrachos, Cortador de Poder, Retumbacamas. La noche es un disco ojinegro, Y tú eres un borracho violento, Tormenta Nocturna. Sueños empapantes, ningún lugar a dónde ir salvo encima de nosotros, Slambailador de techo, Luz Nocturna Cortacielos, Desafíalcantarilla, Llamacascadas Tumbando paneles de ventanas, Tientapuertas, un charco en la losa. Los nodurmientes te están escuchando, Hacedor de Mañanas, Retumbador de Mediasnoches. Nubes afiladas y nodormir, Tú nunca renuncias, chico, Lanzamontañas, Charcos de cemento, y un amorío de lodo.
El reloj parpadea las 12:00 temiéndote.
Trad. de Alfredo Villegas Montejo
Aero avión, build nest.
Nido airplane nave. Vuelo, cielo cielo.
Caught the aeronave from the Juarez war zone back home to the onda arizona. (Amazing trip. Saludos a Leon. More soon.) The flight from PHX to TUS takes 20 minutes. The metal iguana doesn't climb over 5,000 feet. The up. Then the down. Bottled water for sale. Sixteen ounces. Two dollars.
(I'm on tour schedule again, sleeping from five A.M. to one P.M.) (Last night I made this video.)
Arizona is the fastest growing state in the Union. Maricopa County, home to the capital, Phoenix, receives an average of 7.76" of rain per year.
Maricopa County has the highest number per capita of golf courses in the United States of America.
The aquifers can't last forever. The metal iguana flies on.
fotovideo LOGAN PHILLIPS
additional music LIARS
thanks ADAM COOPER-TERÁN MOISÉS REGLA LEÓN DE LA ROSA
tucson, arizona dirtyverbs.com 2008
There is so much happening in the skyit's all we can do to keep ourselves distracted.
The monsoons roll in the late summer. We set the mowers against the grass, they graze like domesticated helicopters. Their growl fills up the neighborhood.
Hawks fly down from the foothills bending the wind with their wide arms. They watch for mice running from the mowers' whirling mouths.
The clear sky hemorrhages a beautiful white cancer, the sun becomes more beautiful in its gradual eclipse because we notice only transitions and invent things like boredom to camouflage our moments.
Everything smells of clean electric sex. The wind has distance on its breath. The afternoon begins to explode.
A season like this makes me wonder how we ever managed to shove time into clocks and watches, keeping time like a tiger on a leash, oblivious to its obvious rebellion.
Sooner doesn't always come before later. Now is never stuck in the middle, monsooner or later it will all come down.
The dirt roads will arrive eventually. Today they're running late.
This is first in a series of posts that I've been meaning to make over the last few months of tour, but am only now getting to.
Like most people, I couldn't wait to leave the town that I grew up in. My entire world was a little place called Sierra Vista, and it seemed to me that it existed at the expense of everywhere else: I wouldn't be able to expand my horizons until I left and vowed never to come back. Sure, that's extreme, but the world is an extreme place at 18 years old.
Again, like many people, I used the change of scenery to reinvent myself. Moving to Flagstaff, I grew my hair long and started to read my poems in public. I played a lot of guitar with people I had just met. I skateboarded everywhere. These were all things that I hadn't been able to do in my hometown.
It has only been this spring––some seven years later––that I've made my peace with this place. Though I regularly came back to visit my parents, I still wasn't comfortable. Then, a few years back, I began to perform in Bisbee from time to time and discovered a generous and empathetic audience.
Word got around, and plans started to be made for coming back to my old high school. I've always liked working in schools, but I was nervous about this one. I had been a very different person in high school––would the place remember me that way? There was lots of anticipation.
On a Friday in late March I did two performances for about 500 students each, and had brought along two of my favorite poets from the Albuquerque scene: Carlos Contreras and Jasmine Cuffee. I didn't want it to be about me, I wanted to be about us, about the students: this was something that anybody could do. After the school-day performances, we came back to the library later that night for a performance open to the entire community. It was a great little crowd.
Jazz, Carlos, Adam (along for the ride), and I celebrated hard later that night. I woke up on my living room floor the next morning (it was a full house) with a groggy head. Carlos tells me "You're not going to believe this," and tosses a newspaper at me. I fail to catch it, and it hits me in the face. And there it was: my mug on the front page. Holy shit. What a surreal thing.
Then the following Monday we did something like four workshops with about 30 students each. We tried to touch on everything in a very short time: free writing, revising, reading for a peer group, performing for a crowd, and even organizing a slam. Turns out that it worked, because a month or so later the school held their first-ever poetry slam.
And the student council asked me to speak at the Class of 2008 graduation, which I did last Thursday. The day had started with near-disaster: I was traveling to Sierra Vista from New York City, where Verbobala had just played our last date of the spring tour. Arriving to JFK, the airline had lost my reservation, and I was moments from missing my plane.
But no, the angels were smiling, and I made it to graduation. I may be the first person to ever give a graduation speech whose theme is I really don't know what to tell you. I had been racking my brains on the plane, and I realized that it would seem false to me if I suddenly got up in front of that crowd and tried to feign wisdom. I really didn't know what I could say that would be all-encompassing and relevant... except, well, that: I don't have it figured out perfectly and neither does anybody else. But that's OK. I then told a story I wrote a few years ago called "Sun Said Shine," and pulled from it a few tips that I thought might be useful. The newspaper was there again.
The infamous Sierra Vista wind was in full force, it was like the X-Games version of a high school graduation. Far cooler than speaking was getting to shake the hand of each one of the 596 graduates immediately after they received their diploma. What a unique moment to be a part of. Crazy damn kids. The world is theirs.
It's all been a really big honor, one that I never saw coming. Big thanks are in order to the principal Tad Bloss and the amazing librarian Mary Kohn, without whom I might have never made peace with this weird little place where I spent sixteen years of my life. And I helped bring poetry into the "cool" at my old HS. That feels good.
The zócalo has served as the symbolic center of Mexico City since Aztec times. Now at the heart of one of the largest cities on earth, hundreds of thousands of people walk across the huge plaza each week.
Also presented is Cochise County----an area just over the border----in the southern extreme of the state of Arizona, USA. The stark, depopulated landscape serves as a setting for countless illegal border crossings each year.
"Zócalo Cochise" is a short meditation on the author's twin environments: the thriving city near where he has made his home, and the deep desert where he was born.
Video by logan phillips, 2008
Additional Camera: Moisés Regla
Audio: "Como Yo Soy Tan Raro" Vargas Vil via Sonido Martines
"The Anta Project" Sound sculpture using the US border wall as a musical instrument. Glenn Weyant
Business / organizer stuff: This may or may not be of interest to general readers of this site, but if you've participated in the Slab City Slam / spoken word festival at Arcosanti in Arizona over the last seven years, you might be interested in these two letters explaining why the festival won't be held in 2008. Not what I had hoped for, but así es. The letters are here:
A Letter of Thanks to the AZ Poetry Community(s):
More than 8 years ago, three lovers of word collaborated on a mesa in Central Arizona to create a place and time for the Poetic Community(s) of our state to gather. The purpose was simple and stated: “Create a ‘neutral ground’ for poets and poetry groups to express, experience, and share outside of their normal venue and perception“.
For a year, Ira Murfin and Dan Seaman contacted, queried, listened, negotiated, brainstormed, and re-thought this process within all the groups and parameters that could foresee-ably be involved. The Arcosanti Spoken Word Festival & Slab City Slam was then born in 2001.
Many fantastic individuals stepped up to the task of helping produce this festival over its lifespan. Particular “thanks” to Jewel, Bob, Andre’, Christopher, Logan, Teresa, and the Arcosanti Community, et al.
Recently, an internationally circulated magazine ran a story which created concern for me about being involved with Arcosanti in the future (“O” July 2007, story by Margie Goldsmith). Further -- and similar -- information was brought forward in a long-time Arcosanti resident’s Live Journal (herteethflashfear Oct 8, 2007). Combined, these accounts reflect on what I can only conclude to be an environment of chauvinism, opportunistic sexism, authoritarian manipulation, and ongoing breaches of faith between artist and model from the highest level of representation at Arcosanti. That is my personal conclusion, from years of working with victims.
It can be said that I hold too high a standard to which I expect others to abide. However, it is the standard to which I hold myself as an artist: The model, subject, or student is not to be taken advantage of in any way, by the artist or teacher.
It can be said that I am too strongly influenced by having experienced a childhood in a single-parent upbringing in the 1950‘s and 60‘s, as my mother fought for her equal rights as an individual, rather than be subjected to a societal placement and continued degradation as “just another woman”.
Many things “can” be said, but this must be said: As organizers, promoters, and artists we have an obligation to our audience, our performers, our venue, and our selves to continue moving forward with positive social change… and to not ignore injustice for the sake of convenience. That’s just my opinion.
My most sincere love and thanks to all who have worked toward these goals through our Slab City Slam SpokenWord Festival, in the past. My best wishes to those who will continue on this path in the future. Until Women’s Rights are fully recognized there, I cannot allow myself to be involved with any festival at Arcosanti.
Dan Seaman Co-Creator/Organizer/emcee Slab City Slam 2001-2007
“… to do nothing, is to give approval”
January 8th, 2008
To the Arizona poetry community(s), past participants of the spoken word festival at Arcosanti,
Given that many people are asking, I thought it might be useful to give a little background of the organizational efforts that have taken place since the 2007 festival last May. I write this personally, not as a representative of the now-disbanded Advisory Board.
I was asked by Dan Seaman last summer to take over for him in hosting the Slab City Slam. After years of participating in the Festival, I felt that I was up to the task despite no longer living in Arizona, and had many ideas on how to grow and cultivate the Festival into a financially and organizationally sustainable event.
I asked six members of the statewide community to become an Advisory Board that would help me with the daunting task of creating a "New Festival" at Arcosanti to take up the torch. Dan Seaman, Ira Murfin, Jewel Blackfeather, Christopher Lane, Teresa Driver and Bob Nelson all accepted, having past involvement in organizing the Festival, and/or having extensive organizational experience in their local communities. I took on the role of director.
In my view, the Festival was never going to be held in 2008 unless we did something about it. Dan and other key organizers had made the choice to move on to other things, until they were convinced to stay on as Advisors. Additionally, the Festival has always been a grassroots, underground effort that operated without a budget, largely thanks to huge work put in by people like Jewel, Dan and Ira, among others. I think many people felt that 2007 was the "best year yet," it certainly seemed to me to be as far as the Festival could go without new organizational direction. It had simply gotten too big as it was.
For many who only participated in the Slab City Slam or attended the Festival, it was never evident that the entire event was usually organized on the backs and wallets of three or fewer key volunteers, who put in countless unpaid and under-recognized hours.
I spent the summer and fall with the Advisory Board exploring how to move forward: finding a new identity for the festival, investigating granting opportunities, promotion, budget, etc. It was clear that it was going to be a big task.
In the middle of that came the "O" magazine article referred to by Dan in his letter. As I learned more, it seemed to me that the incidents described were not isolated but rather indicative of an endemic issue at Arcosanti that had yet to be addressed in any meaningful way.
During the discussions on how to address the issue, and if we should move forward with a festival at Arcosanti, many key members of the Advisory Board resigned. This in turn lead to the dissolution of the Advisory Board that had formed last summer.
So what now? I'm not sure. It seems that a new beginning is in order, and it seems most appropriate to me that it happens somewhere besides Arcosanti. That is my personal view. I won't be directly involved in organizing any festival this year, where ever it may be. If invited to be involved by any future organizers / organizing committees, I would reevaluate at that time.
It has been a fantastic seven years, and I am truly thankful for even being able to see the Festival, let alone participate or help make it happen.
Thanks for the willingness to understand. Any questions about the above can be made to me directly, at 520.456.xxxx over the next week or at 520.413.xxxx thereafter.
logan phillips Former participant/organizer/emcee Slab City Slam 2002-2005, 2007
So I haven't mentioned this here yet. But I have a new project, called VERBOBALA SPOKEN VIDEO that Moisés Regla and I founded earlier this year in Cuernavaca. We use live video, experimental audio, and new media to create site-specific performance art. It's poetry in the widest interpretation possible. Our first show was not long ago at the amazing Arcosanti Spoken Word Fesival, and since then we rocked our home show, the CuernaSlam de Poesía in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico. While talking to people about the project in Flagstaff, they were calling Verbobala (say Ver-bo-ba-la) a band. You could call it that.
A week from today I'll be home from New York and Verbobala will be playing our largest show yet, at the Hotel Congress in downtown Tucson. We'll be in collaboration with heroes Flam Chen and Adam Cooper-Terán as part of a fundraiser to send Team Tucson to the National Poetry Slam for the first time ever. A worthy cause.
I swear this is going to be completely crazy. Hosted by my super cuate Aaron Johnson! Fundraiser for beloved Team Tucson! Poetry from Jewel Blackfeather! Bullhorns! Public disturbance! Music! Too good! Too good!
Hotel Congress. Do not miss this show. Tickets on sale here.
SMELLS LIKE TIGERS! A Fundraiser for the First Ever Tucson National Poetry Slam Team.
Talent from Arizona and beyond comes together to raise money for the first ever Tucson National Poetry Slam Team! Verbobala Spoken Video, featuring Logan Phillips, Flam Chen, Adam Cooper-Terán, and Moisés Regla, is a collaboration between a Border poet from Arizona and a video jockey from Mexico City. They create site-specific performance art that celebrates the forgotten past, the strange present, and a few possible futures. Verbobala causes a scene. This will be the largest Verbobala show to date, thanks to collaboration with Tucson's first-class spectacle spinners, Flam Chen. With performances by the Tucson National Slam Team--Lindsay Miller, Kelly Lewis, and Teresa Driver--as well as poet Jewel Blackfeather, local bands Crossing Sarnoffand One Eye Open, raffle for awesome prizes, and more! Hosted by Aaron Johnson.
DATE: Saturday, July 21st, 2007 – Doors at 6pm
LOCATION AND TICKET INFORMATION: Club Congress - 311 E. Congress All Ages $9 in advance www.hotelcongress.com $10 at the door
SCHEDULE: 6:00 pm - Doors Open 6:30 pm – Poetry by Jewel Blackfeather 7:00 pm – Music by One Eye Open 7:30 pm – Poetry by The First Ever Tucson National Slam Team: Lindsay Miller, Kelly Lewis, Teresa Dawn Driver 8:00 pm – Music by Crossing Sarnoff 8:30 pm – Raffle for awesome prizes 8:45 pm – Verbobala Spoken Video featuring Logan Phillips, Flam Chen, Adam Cooper-Terán, Moisés Regla
For More Information: Tucson Spoken Word Network at http://www.wordsonfire.org
On the last night of 2006 I recorded an interview with Noah Suby for his show on Bisbee, AZ's low power radio station, 96.1 KBRP. It's a unique project, one I support any way that I can, it's one-of-a-kind in its area (south of Tucson). Noah and his family are great people, and Bisbee is almost an adopted home town for me at this point. It was a good time to say the least. We talked a bit about the area, about immigration and other things. I also read some poems, one of which, "Taxco, Something in the Sky" is very new. Noah wrote to say that the interview is going to be aired again this Saturday, January 20th at 3pm Arizona time (MST). You can listen in, thanks to KBRP's live streaming, which is a very cool thing for an LP station to have. Sooner or later a CD-R of the interview will make it to Mexico, and when it does, I'll post the audio here as well. Hasta entonces. Happy Wednesday.
The grasses are always dancing in the median,headbangers, seed sowers, dry spines twisting. Freeway flowers face early decapitation— guillotine tirewind, lit by skyfire:
here the sun is literally a star, made of beaten copper, sharp, imperfect. As the star pulls itself up again, the sky goes streaked, the improbable pattern of yellow-red, vivid.
The radio stations are just murmurs in the Spanglish static. The cities hide behind the horizons. The tires break grass necks. The flowers throw themselves like colorful, suicidal philanthropists into the eastbound, into the westbound.
Saguaro shadows are twirling sundials on the clock face of burning sand, they tick, they spin, they speak until they’re spoken to, torn down, paved over, left in piles, sold.
The rush, the hush, the hiss of wind and the immutable silence of light. The piston explosions, the cellphone syllables.
Two realities in the same moment. Two landscapes that never touch.
Arizona freeway sunrise. A breeze blowing through barbwire.
Amanecer en carretera de Arizona
Los pastos siempre bailan en el camellón, de atrás para adelante, esparcen la semilla, sus secas espigas se tuercen. Las flores de carretera enfrentan temprana decapitación; viento-guillotina de llantas, iluminadas por el fuego del cielo:
aquí el sol es literalmente una estrella hecha de cobre forjado, puntiaguda, imperfecta. Mientras la estrella se levanta de nuevo, bandas cruzan el cielo, el improbable patrón de amarillo-rojo, intenso.
Las estaciones de radio sólo son murmullos en la estática. Las ciudades se esconden detrás de los horizontes. Las llantas rompen cuellos del césped. Las flores se arrojan como coloridos y suicidas filántropos hacia el este, hacia el oeste.
Las sombras de los saguaros son manecillas que giran sobre el cuadrante de la arena hirviente, hacen tictac, giran, hablan hasta que se les habla, derribados, asfaltados, apilados, vendidos.
La prisa, la calma, el silbar del viento y el silencio inalterable de la luz. Las explosiones de pistones, las sílabas de celulares.
Dos realidades en un mismo instante. Dos paisajes que jamas se tocan.
Amanecer en carretera de Arizona Una brisa silbando entre alambre de púas.
Trad. de J. Emilio Rodríguez