Wednesday, April 04, 2007

UPDATE (03.24.07)—At Last Website! Bonfires Open Mic, 4th Year at Pritchard Park

FOR THE 7TH spring time in Asheville, I hear the drums resonate and watch bodies undulate at Pritchard Park. It’s also the seventh winter passing of my Appalachian crashland... My novel, “Waiting for Winter,” which I brought with me from New York City (coming from my many life’s layovers), is still unfinished—but, who cares? I am still rockin’.
Me and Marta The Nicer quietly celebrated the new Spring Sun by walking downtown, pass the drumming and dancing at Pritchard Park... punctuated by our most expensive dinner, so far, at Mela’s Indian Restaurant, and our most expensive coffee and strawberry cheesecake, so far, at the “new” Old Europe. We also spent our most expensive parking ticket (Biltmore Av, downtown) at $5 for less than two hours. We are still half-month behind our rent but, ah—who cares?
It’s spring!

ROME-based Indie senior writer Gaither Stewart and new Bonfires guest-poet Michael Hefner sort of “reminded” me of some “words of wisdom” that used to bother my aftermidnights, years ago...
From Oscar Wilde’s bothered soul came a-whispering, “All bad poetry springs from genuine feelings.” And from Jack Kerouac’s sweet stupor, “I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another till I drop. This is the night, what it does to you. I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.”
I sort of contradict these once beautiful words now, though... Moreover, I don’t believe in Ayn Rand’s objectivist epistemology anymore, or even Ho Chi Minh’s revered “war philosophy” ravens, and I don’t believe in the walrus anymore. All I know is the here and now...
But I’d like to spend an evening of intoxicated muses and broken metaphors again, with the nagging ghosts of Wilde and Kerouac. Anytime... here in my humble abode, 61 Dunwell Avenue, West Asheville.

NOW, the Update.

[ ] FINALLY, the internet home of this self-exalted “rock journeys and sublime madnesses” has come through. It’s already been born – -- but not yet fully nurtured or put up, although you can already view it. There are still a lot of joys and pains and defeats and victories – aside from new plans, projects and gigs, gatherings to fit in. Check it out, and let me know what you think. We will try our best to squeeze in choice Indie articles, sell some Loved by the Buffalo/Traveling Bonfires merchandise (including future LBTB chapbook projects), include MP3s, flash/videos and stuff, gallery of all these sweet lunacies, PayPal, the works. This will evolve in time, no problemo... [Thanks to Kim Vickers of Vickers Webdesigns, Ocilla GA—our Webmaster.]

[ ] THE INDIE, as you may have already noticed by now, has taken very drastic makeovers and “brave” new strides—in the last three or four months. Well, the modifications/experimentations/improvisations aren’t over yet... I am still on “scrimmage” with my demons and angels. Some “new” columnists are “rested/retired/resigned/cut,” effective this coming April 1-15 issue (that’s not an April Fools’ joke). The last issue (March 16 to 31 edition) was my most painstaking issue of all—and you can see/read some glaring offshoots (typos, typos—and WRONG, very wrong, info on the front page)! But, then—yes, it’s just one issue... work a better edition next time out.
Meantime, I will continue seeking that elusive mix (diversity?) of articles and subjects that’ll make me regain a good night’s sleep. Despite my temporary disappointment (with myself) though, the degree of positive response from mostly random (read, unexpected/unsolicited) readers and advertisers in the last few weeks is very promising and inspiring. In the past, when people whom I’m sure agree with whatever politics/philosophy/craziness that I exude, tell me, “I like The Indie!” (100+ superlatives, to boot). I almost don’t believe it. These are the kind of nice people who’d like to read what they want to read, period... But when people from somewhere whom I don’t expect to pick a copy up, say, “I love The Indie...” and then offer to help distribute them, among other selfless contributions and help, it’s hard not to believe them. This time out, the superlatives come from literally, all walks of life...

[ ] ONE SURPRISING call came from WNC Visitors Center, based in Waynesville. This is local tourism. They (c/o staff Jolene Bryant) offered to help distribute The Indie—specifically in Waynesville and Maggie Valley, for a start. Ms Bryant boasts of close to 3,000 mountain visitors during spring and summer. I am more excited with this news, more than a communication from the Acquisitions Section of the Michigan Historical Society. They asked for a full catalogue/back issues of The Indie, since our inception in 2003. Maybe that is SOP, but hey, it feels good to know that we are legit, after all. And we don’t even have a stainless steel box outside establishments, just like other Asheville/WNC publications... we can only afford 10 to 15 copies at a choice outlet. We still can’t afford to have those, maybe The Blue Sky God/dess will rain $$$ our way, one of these nights.

[ ] THANKS TO LIKE-MINDED, spirit-aligned nonprofits – The Human Movement (political satire show by Barry Crimmins) and Steven & Oshana Williams (who advocates a sort of “anti-cellphone” advocacy) – for placing paid ads to The Indie. I normally, automatically print Press Releases of community activities, like theirs, in favor of business-related media feeds. So it really feels good that, along with PRs, they also placed ads... even though, I’ll surely publish their submissions. This means, that they do understand how (financially) painstaking it is to get an issue out.

[ ] WE ARE GOING to test a Thursday open mic at The Dripolator/Asheville, starting April 12, 8 to 10pm. New Asheville resident and singer-s0ngwriter Jason Daniello loans his PA/sound system... I will rotate emcees but I will primarily be responsible with it. Anybody interested to emcee, as well? I’m also pushing Marta The Nicer to try it out...

[ ] THE TRAVELING BONFIRES April 5 poetry reading at Malaprop’s, features J.M. Cox, Michael Hefner, Matt Moon, Pasckie Pascua, Brian Sneeden, and Bob Voorhees, with ex-Beanstreets open mic emcee Kapila Ushana as guest. Marta The Nicer will be doing her first-ever emceeing gig.
By the way, the Third World Asheville/all-women (Laura Hope-Gill, Kathryn Magendie, Rena Wright, Jess Clarke) poetry reading at Malaprop’s last March 10, emceed by Womansong’s Kerry Daniel, was definitely one of The Bonfires’ most-attended “intimate” shows. A follow-up Third World Asheville all-women singer-songwriter show happens somewhere in May...

[ ] MEANTIME, the Traveling Bonfires visits Waynesville’s Osondu Booksellers on April 28. Myself, possibly Matt Mulder and Jason Daniello, and Michael Hefner, will join Waynesville/Maggie Valley-based poets (led by the bookstore owner, Margaret Osondu) and singer-songwriters to another “intimate poeting,” to borrow Gary’s (of Malaprop’s) words.

[ ] LAST BUT NOT the least... the “Bonfires for Peace at Pritchard Park,” Year 4, starts on May 12, featuring Touch Samadhi’s family of trance Goa DJs, with hopefully, bellydancers and firedancers.

A LOT of other “madnesses” are still “scrimmaging” in my head, at this juncture, but I’m okay. Winter hubris usher voices, the voices... Oh well, I am currently rereading “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, and pondering over old Fleetwood Mac blues (before “Rumours,” post-Peter Green era), and I just watched Clint Eastwood’s provocative and disturbing “Flags of our Fathers” (this movie made me remember my soldier-grandfather’s words to me when I was a kid, “There are no heroes, young man... there are only soldiers”).
So, again, spring is here! Downtown Asheville starts to jingle and the Blue Ridge Parkway begins to jangle... Get out! I know it’s NCAA basketball’s penultimate lap, but GET OUT! And, as ever—I admonish—live good, love good, and eat only good food!

4:02pm, Asheville NC


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