Wednesday, April 06, 2016


MY FRIEND AND FELLOW BLOGGER GLENN MORRISSETTE CHALLENGES ME EVERY TIME ME MEET TO "GO PUBLIC" WITH A POETRY PERFORMANCE---preferably as a busker. (street performer)  I've not done it yet--but here at the Slabs I can do a warm up by performing at the famous and infamous RANGE theater.  Shows every Saturday night, with a usual audience of 100 to 150 of the worlds most colorful characters.
Here's a rap performance.  
Builder Bill put me on the program and I stepped to the microphone to perform..  I began with my most furious poem "generators".
The ending lines are done in full volume: 
"They are worse than skunks and snakes and witches--

My over-the-top delivery perhaps triggered something in a borderline soul--forSuddenly out of the audience a mad man stormed the stage , taking off his clothes as he came, then seizing the microphone and raging incoherently at the audience.  I stepped aside (to the left) and watched.  For a couple of minutes he stunned even this tough audience. Eventually, several regulars came forward-- surrounded him and led him away.
I continued with a second poem. (polite applause)  THERE GLENN--I DID IT!!
Thanks to that mule riding (really) madman, my debut was memorable.
Big doings down the hill--A Rave is in preparation.

They construct a perimeter of old bicycle frames.

Then stand some old cars on their noses.  Hundreds of youngsters came--the music went on for 3 days and nights.  At the height of the event an explosion was set off--the loudest I have ever heard and I was 200 yards away.

The slabs have 3 large tanks with 14 ft walls--inspiring some artist to do quirky murals like this

and quality art like this 

and this!

All around the one square mile that makes up the slabs are houses---some makeshift like this hovel.
You can see more of them in this previous post.
Entrepeneuralism raises its head occasionally at the slabs.  This guy opened up a lounge called VIPer.
He enclosed an area--hired a band--made some seats and charges $5 admission on Friday nights,

AND THEN ONE DAY---THIS HAPPENED----A SANDSTORM.  Pict taken out my side window.
A dreadful experience because fine sand will seep into even well sealed rigs--coating your lifestyle with grit.
One day we motored our sunset group to Bombay Beach--and photographed it.....from the levee surrounding the town.

and the dead fish along its shore--a yearly phenominon.  Imagine a line of dead tilapia like this--about 3 feet wide stretching a hundred miles completely surrounding the Salton sea like a ghastly, smelly bathtub ring.  Soon, they dry up, however and quit stinking.
Read about it here.
Curious about my recently published book: 40 YEARS A NOMAD--CLICK HERE


Kimbopolo said...

You know, I've read that poem several times, yet never felt compelled to rip off my clothes and scream obscenities. Though it IS moving.

Glenn Morrissette said...

Congrats. A good first step, but I won't be truly satisfied until you do it on a random street corner. Preferably while standing on a real soapbox.

Anonymous said...

Randy, can you tell me, in the "quality art" images, are those done in oil paint? ...charcoal? ...or

Someone has a gift. Beautiful.

- Mitchell

Annie Peterson said...

It's good to be coaxed outside our comfort zone occasionally. All types at The Slabs for sure! We came 'home' early (last week of March) to hug on grandkids visiting from Virginia. We're definitely looking forward to spending some more time at The Slabs this fall. It was GREAT meeting you in person Randy after following your blog all this time -- and then seeing you again at the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous. Thanks for the time and attention you gave us.

Anonymous said...

Hey Randy,

Congratulations on the book, and on your poetry.

'Nothing like the approach and interference of an unpredictable stranger of questionable sanity to make one reconsider the pros and cons of public performance.

But I guess it comes down to personal values and temperament, as so many considerations do. Some derive such joy out of expressing themselves publicly, that even major difficulties and complications are well worth the ordeal. Others derive such little joy out of public performance--indeed, may experience it as more taxing than energizing--even in the best of circumstances, that even a minor disturbance is enough to decide the issue for them...against any such future ventures.

If I may be so bold...I would encourage you to consult your own heart and spirit...and decades of experience with yourself. People are legitimately different. Some, for example, take great joy out of rebuilding and redesigning one or more vans or RVs for years on end. Others can think of few less-rewarding endeavors. And the same goes for about any other project or pursuit, including reciting one's poetry to a random group. It may indeed be just the thing for you--but that it's just the thing for certain others--or that certain others, with all good intention, are confident that it's just the thing for you--says nothing about what will truly settle well on your spirit.

I seem to recall a good bit of wisdom from somewhere... "Know thyself."

Michael in the Great Plains

Anonymous said...

It helps to be a bit of an exhibitionist, my friend. In an odd way, standing on a soap box on a random corner, proforming for one and all, is in a comfort zone for one inured to (some) social ostracization and is fun. Transgressions, anyone?