Octogenarian Steve Cannon told me that Word is the last book he will publish. It is a thank you to all the people who contributed to “A Gathering of the Tribes Magazine” in various ways. He published fourteen print issues packed with poetry, essays, reviews and art.
Aside from doing some grant writing in his office, I was involved in several issues of the magazine, first as an associate editor, then editor, and also as a contributor of interviews and poetry. My time spent at Tribes, then located in Steve’s home on East Third Street in the East Village of NYC, was well invested. I learned a lot about literature and publishing literature from Steve. I also met hundreds of people of all stripes who came through the door daily, hourly…
It’s an honor to have a few of my note poems in this volume. Personally, it brought tears to my eyes as I read through it. That’s because some of the contributors have passed on, and so have the times that we all intersected with each other under the blessing of Steve’s hospitality.
I’ll have to leave the critical reviews of this book to others. But I will tell you that it is in glossy full color and contains as much art as it does poetry. Please take a look and consider adding this beautiful book to your collection.
A long time ago the people of the seaside city of Mara had everything that they needed, and knew how to talk with the creatures of the sea. But times changed.
Mark only knows what it is like to serve the Inlanders who conquered Mara long before he was born. He is angry that his mother is disrespected, and doesn’t want her to have to work so hard. Impatient for change, he decides to take action.
When the King sends Mark to jail, Mark dreams of a giant fish that speaks to him. He carves her picture on his cell wall and the Jailer punishes him for his handiwork. But a mysterious little girl with flowing green hair comes from the beach and gives him a blue stone to paint with.
Steve Cannon has been the engine behind A Gathering of the Tribes the magazine, gallery, performance series, community gathering that is Tribes, for decades. Word, An Anthology is a collection of works by some of the cast of characters who passed through and left something while they were there. It would probably be impossible to include everyone, but I am happy to say that I have a few of my note poems in there. I haven’t laid my hands on it or even seen the cover yet, but I can’t wait to read through every page.
I wish that I could be there for this event, which would be nostalgic for me if I did go. If you’re in the NYC area on April Fool’s day, please get to this HOWL! Happening in Loisaida, a reading and book release party. While you’re there say hello to everyone for me and tell them I sent you!
The eleven minute story describes Albert’s childhood, including that he hated school and renounced his German citizenship while still a minor. The high school dropout eventually found himself in the Swiss Alps where he theorized about relativity. Fact checked by Dr. Michio Kaku, the story illustrates the idea of relativity by taking listeners on a train ride.
Accompaniment on upright bass is by Bobby Vidal and a soundtrack created by Cooper-Moore.
You can listen to the entire story for free right here on this page, or purchase it now for $1.99 at cdbaby.com. You can also search for the title on Spotify, I-Heart, Pandora and other internet radio stations.
Thanks to A Gathering of the Tribes for publishing my “Letter to Pedro” at http://bit.ly/2bi3ZGI While you’re visiting Tribes you might also like to read Danny Shot’s review of Pedro Pietri’s Selected Poetry at http://bit.ly/2bEZAvs
John Dean interrupted my
regularly scheduled Sesame Street
when you were getting turned on to grass
i was watching Vietnam on TV
when you met Agent Orange
and he stuck to you like glue
i didn’t know i just heard
it was the word
later i got turned on to Jazz
ran away from college
searched for uncommon knowledge
didn’t know i could be Puerto Rican
dreaming in New York i never left
you never arrived at
didn’t know what was Taino
never missed My Island
didn’t know i could get a visa
from El Puerto Rican Embassy
didn’t know who was Miguel or Lois or Steve
just knew what i knew
putting words on pages too
i heard it was the place to go
a man dressed in black appeared
carrying freedom from misery in a briefcase
thinking radically under his hat Continue reading “Dear Pedro”
Here’s a little clip from a poem story about Queen Boedicea that I performed live on WBAI Radio with Bobby Vidal on upright bass back in the nineties in New York City. The animation is by my daughter Crystal Clear Waters.
This past weekend I had fun sharing my story about Nicola Tesla at the 14th Annual Hagood Mill Storytelling Festival in Pickens.
I also listened to some of the other storytellers recount stories from their childhoods. John Fowler talked about a valuable lesson that he learned from his first grade teacher. Kim Weitkamp talked both humorously and tenderly about her father and family. David Joe Miller told a short story at the end about how he got started with storytelling after he discovered some old family letters and discovered stories about his father, who died young. Listening to David I got to thinking about how I got started with storytelling.
The inspiration to tell stories and not just write them down, came about a decade before I actually began, when I was about eighteen or nineteen. I listened for the first time to a recording of Lord Buckley, who retold many familiar stories in what he called “hip semantic.” Lord Buckley, like me, was enamored with Jazz and the lingo of the Jazz musicians of his time, the 1950’s.