Thursday, November 16, 2006

UPDATE (11.17.06)--Bonfires Christmas Coming Up, Autumn Blues, and memories

FIRST OFF, don’t forget—tomorrow, Saturday (Nov 18/7pm-9pm), me and Matt Mulder will be reading poetry at Malaprop’s with two young UNCA-based poets Arielle Carlson and Brian Sneeden, with unplugged/un-amplified music by Paul “Drum” DeCirce of Peace Jones. I have been struggling to finish at least 12 poetry drafts in the last 12 months or so, but I hope I could finish at least four, in time for Saturday – “The Vampire of the 21st Century” (the depleted earth that we live in), “It Does Not Rain in America” (immigrant sorrow), “My Mother is The Sea” (ode to my dear departed Mother and all the women/mothers of the world), and a new love poem, “Love Like the Wind…”
See you there!

STILL VERY COLD, but it’s kinda warm “inside.” Despite the intermittent FF (aka financial funk)—which seems to be the bitter yet necessary condiment to life and living—we still derive warmth from simple pleasures... such as these—
The Asheville visit of the anti-war “puppetista” troupe, Cardboard Chaos, silently/intimately swept pass WNC’s 30s chill with its circus/puppets road show, “When The Levee Breaks,” last Sunday (Nov 12) at UNCA’s Alumni Hall. The Traveling Bonfires’ co-sponsored this event with UNCA’s Socialist Unity League (SUL)…
The Bonfires provided Mellow Mushroom pizza and West End Bakery bread/pastry (peanut butter from our humble cupboard) to the show. Cardboard Chaos handed Marta The Nicer the $22 tip gathered from the sparse crowd, “for her efforts” (although I instructed Marta to give them the tip because they need it more, I guess... turned out, we needed it more?)

JUST THE thought that we (again) took the initiative when no one stood up to “host” traveling souls such as they, that’s all the “hero” we need be. Months ago, The Bonfires also brought/sponsored Haiti’s N a Sonje trip to Asheville, because no organization wanted the job (specifically, show coordination/venue administration)...
That’s all the “hero/heroine” we need be, I guess. Once again, I doff my hat to my ever-diligent and sweetly hard-headed associate Marta The Nicer – who ran the UNCA show (with SUL’s Lucas) as I nursed flu at 61 Dunwell Avenue afront my fireplace.
Ah, I remember my activism days of yore. No typhoon, no floods, no truncheons, no firemen’s hoses, no cuffs, no paddywagons, no lurking Marcos gestapos, no nothing prevent us from camping out a scab-infested factory “crippled” by workers stoppage, reading poetry, singing “Internationale”… or simply to support a street theater group from delivering their message to the people. Our presence meant a lot to the struggle.

THE SATISFACTION of the spirit is what matters, what mattered. In between swigs and swallows of Gato Negro organic wine, black coffee, and oranges/grapes—fireplace a-burning—me and Marta The Nicer congratulated each other for the quiet, yet on-target job.
We just gotta do it, that’s the deal. I keep my ambitions on even ground, and my expectations realistic – I am already thankful when “volunteers” show up for 20 minutes to an hour in a six-hour show, or run after 15 minutes of a weeklong-arranged meeting… because that’s all that we could ask for. Since we don’t have enough financial power and community clout—hence nothing much to offer—it is so hard to compete with words like “organization” or “professionalism.” But I am so glad that the spirit of the Blue Sky God/dess remains mighty within us, that fire keeps our energy moving.
One project done—we are happy. Life is a moment’s time. We move on. Tomorrow, next project—is another story.

I HOPE THAT the next Traveling Bonfires event—the “Christmas Community Convergence: A Traveling Bonfires Holiday Chill-Time” concert/party—on Dec 15 gather physical/presence or support from those who profess belief to the “madness.” It’s not because I am concerned about earning rent money or heating/winter budget at the door… but I just want to feel a semblance of community/friendship intimacy amidst all these funk and blues. You see, this journey sometimes is a lonely battle but somehow we manage to excise inner joy by simply doing them.
It will be a great event, I know, I feel. Ah, maybe it’s the weather… it’s depressing.
But how many winters did we battle to survive these all? How many adverse criticisms did we slug out of our beaten ears… we are still doing it and we will still be doing it.

THIS EARLY, we’d like to thank the following local/Asheville shops, stores and restaurants who already donated or committed to donate food, gift certificates, gifts, benefit auction stuff&things to the Dec 15 event – Corner Kitchen, Digable Pizza, Hannah Flannagan’s, Havana Cuban Cuisine, Instant Karma, Malaprop’s, Mamacita’s, Mellow Mushroom, New Age Garden (Swannanoa), Octopus Garden, Orbit Video, Vincenzo’s Ristorante & Bistro, West Asheville Tailgate Market.
We are awaiting word from Greenlife Grocery, Earth Fare, Don Papa’s, New French Broad Coop, Flying Frog, Pineapple Jack’s, Woolworth Walk, and Kress Emporium.
There are no cash though, and some of these “donations” are traded off with ads to all or either of the three magazines (The Indie, Wander, Blue Sky). It’s good to know that we were able to negotiate a workable rental/financial agreement with CUP (Center of Unlimited Possibilities), the venue, in re use of the sound/equipment and employment of the sound/techperson.
Negotiations work.
There will be no alcoholic drinks in the vicinity, so I guess, this is good. (Or is it?) We don’t want to pressure ourselves with “crowd draw.” I told Marta The Nicer that I just want to give out gifts to friends and advertisers, invite friend-bands to hang out, play some music, and eat good food, and relive the warm spirit of Christmas… No pressures. This is My family. Whether it’ll just me and Marta plus a few souls in there, this will still be Christmas. My Home.
For $5 donation – you eat all you can, and will definitely have a chance or two to win cool raffle prizes. Bring and give $5 worth of Christmas gift, you get the same value… We will also be auctioning off some valuable stuff&things. Of course, feel free to bring potluck food—that’ll be your gift to the spirit.
I guess, I will be emceeing the show. The celebration starts at 7pm. We have the venue till 2am but we don’t intend to stay that long.

MEANTIME, THE BONFIRES booth at CUP has also started to assume an “identity.” I’ve hung old Bonfires posters (ornamented by jewelries/accessories for sale), some of my old drawings and sketches (yes, there’s already walls in there, between booths)… and my friend (Baltimore-based artist) Daniel Stuelpnagel is shipping in some of his watercolor work etc to be displayed there.
I’d also like to congratulate Dani for a series of successful exhibitions/shows up north and in Hawaii in the past year or so. He plans to “circumnavigate” the globe with his art next year. It feels so good inside when friends from afar say that I do inspire and motivate them to dream and keep on dreaming… but at the same time, “Don’t ever stop to pursue your mission… Failure happens only when you stop.”
Two nights ago, my bestfriend in Manila, Duwi Iscala, who’s currently battling a heart ailment caused by a lung condition, emailed me (translated from Filipino): “Maybe our worlds have changed and differed through the years—because we pursued individual missions in life, as you mentioned. But until now, although my guitar is already broken and my chest gasps so hard to sing a song… I still have the melodies in my heart and your words in my spirit. Once in a little while, I sing the songs that we wrote together many years ago, and I remember the many good things that we have shared as friends.”
We were neighborhood chums… high school buddies… From 1985 to 1991, with another friend, we intermittently traveled to India to seek peace in the midst of political turmoil in the Philippines. He chose to pursue the inner peace of God… I chose to go back to the streets and the countrysides to seek my peace with the people.
Time flies, but the spirit remains connected.

I AM ALSO glad to know that The Indie’s last issue (Oct) only had 25 returns (we almost ran out of copies on Wander/Blue Sky). Does this mean that more people are picking them up? Wander and Blue Sky have new contributors, as ever—and I’ve been sending copies to a number of publishing agents up north lately (in turn, they also send me books to review). Malaprop’s Alsace Young-Walentine has also hooked me up with WNC-based publishers, on this regard. Thanks, as well, to Gaither Stewart (who’s in Buenos Aires, at this moment) for continually linking us up with new network beyond the US… Of course, without help from his words that flow like river to the sea, it would be hard for The Indie/Wander/Blue Sky to assume its own distinct voice.
LASTLY, in case anyone of you have time to watch UNCA musical concerts, WNC Jazz Society shows, Asheville Community Theater plays etc, let me know. We have free passes... So as ever, live good, love good, and eat good food.

NAMASKAR! TOKSA AKE! SALUDOS… Magandang gabi sa inyong lahat!



Blogger superclosetnerd said...

I had no idea how many sites i'd find on this subject. Seems a little odd but i'm glad. here's mine -> chimney cap

1:21 AM  

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