Wars For The Numb

War is entertainment
We watch fake wars when there is no real war
When the real war starts we are riveted
Hypnotized…. “The real thing”

We send our children to die
To fill our emptiness with their bodies
To fill our empty TV evenings
To keep our newscasters heroic

We start a new war every twenty years
In case we run out of war stories
We must not run out of war stories
We must keep the numbness quiet

Oh War please entertain us
Keep us numb, we pray
If you abandon us
Our pain will be upon us

We must be entertained
We have a right to be entertained
Or the real war
Will rage un-numbed within us

Down To The Salish Sea
(For Connie 10-24-2010)
(This day in 1998)

Gravity and centrifugal forces
Finally balanced

I met her by plan
By chance
In the old river town

Where Salish speakers once
Polled past standing
In their canoes up and then down
The river

This night
Candles in cups sailed down with them and

Women prayed
In thanks not requests
Knowing answers come
In whatever happens and

One man will imagine
Himself mastering
The art of polling canoes
And speaking languages
Unknown to him

Just to impress

She appeared on the bridge
With all the equipment
Knowing how to say NO then
Walking and talking and thinking
In grace

Then I stopped imagining and said:
I am ready now
I am ready now
I am ready now

For grace

In Forgetting To

There is meaning in
Planting the garden

There is meaning in
Harvesting the garden

There I meaning
In forgetting to plant the garden again

There is meaning
In having the child

There is meaning
In hurting the child

There is meaning
In forgetting to heal the child again

There is meaning
In being a person

There is meaning
In being defined by others

There is meaning
In forgetting to define myself again

There is meaning
In employing the person

There is meaning
In destroying the job

There is meaning
In forgetting to employ the people again

There is meaning
In building the family

There is meaning
In destroying the family

There is meaning in
Forgetting to build the family again

There is meaning
In building the building

There is meaning
In destroying the building

There is meaning
In forgetting to build the building again

There is meaning
In creating the language

There is meaning
In destroying the language

There is meaning
In forgetting to build the language again

There is meaning
In finding Paradise

There is meaning
In destroying Paradise

There is meaning
In forgetting to

Successful Predators

PLAY THE TUNE: Successful Predators

It is sunrise and I can tell the white thread from the black.

I don’t have to prove this.

I know it and you know it.

Modern human culture goes all the way around the world covering and polluting earth, air, and sea. Van Nuys and Istanbul look the same as Seattle, Tokyo, Haifa and Hebron. CNN is everywhere. The culture of coercion and consumption is everywhere in me and in you. We feel justified in our consumption and our conflicts. We want billions of things that no one has ever needed. We cringe at the wolf and the shark and the lion but they are endangered by us. We are THE predator. The world’s most successful predator.

They will have to go along…
You have to…
You need too…
How can I get you to???
I have a right to make you…
What ever it takes…

It is sunrise and I can tell the white thread from the black.

I don’t have to prove this.

I know it and you know it.

The Madras and the Humvee advertisement, the church and the public school, the drug advertisement and the McDonalds advertisement, the Oil Company advertisement and the political advertisement and the all volunteer army. ALL invite us to consume against our self-interest, enlist against our self interest, vote against our self-interest, accept all manner of violation against our self-interest and violate others against our self interest. We are invited to forget about consequences.

The environment doesn’t matter…
Animals don’t matter…
Children don’t matter…
Women don’t matter…
No other human matters

It is sunrise and I can tell the white thread from the black.

I don’t have to prove this.

I know it and you know it.

People can not be un-violated. Some people refuse to be violated some more. When you continue violating people many will become extremely efficient destroyers. Some will come from Ohio, some from Kolkata, some from Timbuktu some from Haifa, some from Pittsburg, some from Shanghai and some from Hebron. They did last week. They will next week, except there will be more next week. All over the world the violated are becoming the PREDATOR.

It is sunrise and I can tell the white thread from the black.

I don’t have to prove this.

I know it and you know it.

Victims who become PREDITORS often express themselves through the medium of terror. Sometimes they say they have a great cause and sometimes they leave no note. It always hurt the innocent.

It is sunrise and I can tell the white thread from the black.

I don’t have to prove this.

I know it and you know it.

There was once a time for war and a time for peace. Now it is permanent war. Permanent famine. Permanent suffering. All over the world the human response to violation is rising in a crescendo none of us can measure. It will be a tsunami coming suddenly from any direction. It will be from an earthquake that has already occurred somewhere submerged.

It is sunrise and I can tell the white thread from the black.

I don’t have to prove this.

I know it and you know it.

Mark these words.
We keep choosing to have more children as we continue to create more and more suffering. We set loose the rage-voice of the violated, we lie to them and rape them and starve them then we buy them explosives. We destroy the forest, the field, the rivers, the oceans and the air we breathe.

As humans continue to violate each other and the planet, the planet will find a way to heal from our folly. Human folly will cleanse the planet of humans. Human beings are of the dust, we have stirred up the dust and now we will all return to the dust. The planet has expressed itself through us. Soon…when we are gone… the planet will throw up another.

We will not be here to notice.

It is sunrise and I can tell the white thread from the black.

I don’t have to prove this.

I know it and you know it.

photo-John Lai

photo-John Lai

photo-Connie Bonner-Britt

NewTown, Cinefamily and Los Angeles Filmforum Present:

Blast Phemy! #5
A Mid-week Music/Media Mashup!

    • James Whitney Films (Yantra & Lapis), Gregg Johnson & Montino Bourbon, Music
    • Lucky Dragons (Luke Fishbeck and Sara Rara) with Selected Films
    • Transvalue with Chuck Britt, Spoken Word; Michael Vlatkovich, Compositions, David Crigger, percussion; Steve Shoffner, Projections
  1. Featuring:
    • James Whitney Films (Yantra & Lapis), Gregg Johnson & Montino Bourbon, Music
    • Lucky Dragons (Luke Fishbeck and Sara Rara) with Selected Films
    • TRANSVALUE with Chuck Britt, Spoken Word; Michael Vlatkovich, Compositions, David Crigger, percussion; Steve Shoffner, ProjectionsVersion:1.0 StartHTML:0000000105 EndHTML:0000037953 StartFragment:0000003116 EndFragment:0000037917Featuring:

    Event Summary

    Where: Cinefamily • 611 N. Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles

    Date: Wednesday, May 26 • 8:00PM

    Admission: $13.00 • $9.00 NewTown, CInefamily & Los Angeles Filmforum Members

    Reservations: Box Office: (323) 655-2510

    Advance Ticket Purchase Recommended – BUY TICKETS HERE!

    Photographs: Available on Request

    Information & Photographs: Richard Amromin, Artistic Director, NewTown info@newtownarts.org (626) 398-9278

    Experience the contemplative mastery of James Whitney’s exquisite abstract experimentations wedded to the award winning percussive mastery of the legendary Gregg Johnson making a rare SoCal appearance. New, exquisite digital transfers of Yantra and Lapis were supervised by the Whitney Estate and the Academy Film Archive The first half concludes with the multimedia mastery of Lucky Dragons whose song-based explorations with home-made synthesizer, vocal virtuosity and found object percussion meld with experimental films to “encourage connections between show-goers over the standard-issue connection between a band and their creation and the audience’s emotions”. We conclude with Transvalue, the prodigious brainbaby of trombonist/composer Michael Vlatkovich, percussionist David Crigger and spoken word artist Chuck Britt, melding virtuosic musical settings for L.A.’s finest jazz musicians supporting, surrounding and interacting with Mr. Britt’s growling, hissing, warbling and verbal dances, all graced with the visual explosions of Steve Shoffner. This show will never be replicated on this planet.

    About the Artists



    James Whitney (1921-81) began collaborating on abstract films with his older brother John in the early 1940s. James became increasingly involved in contemplative, spiritual interests-Jungian psychology, alchemy, yoga, Tao, Krishnamurti and consciousness expansion-which became the subject matter of the films on which he labored for over 30 years.  The two works in this program – Yantra (1957, 8 mins, 16mm, color) and Lapis (1966, 9 mins, 16mm, color) – are seminal works of visual music, as vital and stunning today as they were almost half a century ago.

    Gregg Johnson is an innovator in modern hand drumming and percussion, synthesizing the musical traditions of India within contemporary classical contexts of ‘junk’ and ‘found object’ percussion. Gregg is an award winning composer for theatre and film, having received a Dramalogue Critic’s Circle award for sound design and performance in a score for Steven Berkoff’s adaptation of Kafka’s Metamorphosis at the Mark Taper Forum.  He composed and performed for multiple seasons of the LA Music Center’s Improvisational Theatre Project and for THEATREWORKS’ Pericles, Prince of Tyre and A `Midsummer Night’s Dream .

    Montino Bourbon was born in Rome in 1942, and has been a musician all his life. In 1967 he started studying with Ali Akbar Khan, considered the greatest Indian musician of the 20th century. He finished his studies in 1979, and since then lives in Santa Barbara, where he teaches, gives concerts, and composes original music.


    “lucky dragons” means any recorded or performed or installed or packaged or shared or suggested or imagined pieces made by Luke Fischbeck, Sarah Rara, and/or any sometimes collaborators who claim the name.

    the name “lucky dragons” is borrowed from a japanese fishing boat caught in the fallout of hydrogen bomb test at bikini atoll in the 1950′s. the crew stricken ill, and the boat itself contaminated, the “lucky dragon” became a crystalizing symbol for the previously diffuse worldwide anti-nuclear sentiment. eventually the boat was painted black, renamed the “dark falcon”, and put into reuse as a fishing vessel, until it was retired and disposed of on the man-made trash island “dream island”, where it remains today.

    lucky dragons are about the birthing of new and temporary creatures–equal-power situations in which audience members cooperate amongst themselves, building up fragile networks held together by such light things as skin contact, unfamiliar language, temporary logic, the spirit of celebration, and things that work but you don’t know why. There have been hundreds of these simple yet shifting and unpredictable instances–with audiences ranging from the intense intimacy of one person to the public spectacle of thousands of people. At the heart of it all is playing together–building up social collectivities, re-engaging the wonder and impossibility of technological presence. It sounds–and looks–like simple and ancient patterns coming together and falling apart in a sincere attempt to let wires and screens and words become clear and crystal.

    Fischbeck and Rara have presented interactive performances and installations in a wide variety of contexts–including MOCA Los Angeles, The Smell, Smithsonian’s Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Whitney Museum of American Art (as part of the 2008 Whitney Biennial), The Kitchen and PS1 in New York, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, REDCAT and LACMA in Los Angeles, Frankfurt’s Schirn Kunsthalle, ICA London, ICA Philadelphia, and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.

    lucky dragons’ sister projects include “sumi ink club”–a weekly collaborative drawing society, and “glaciers of nice”–a small press and internet community.

    today’s influences: nikki de st phalle, joan didion, CoBrA group, crass, hieronymous bosch, thomas jefferson, tina turner, allan kaprow, joan jonas, bruce nauman, mayan codices, ivor cutler, jacques ranciere, helio oiticica, lygia clark, giorgio agamben, pauline oliveros, terry riley, plastic people of the universe, eliane radigue, bruno munari.


    Since 1980, under the name Transvalue, trombonist/composer Michael Vlatkovich has been, with his unique brand of improvisationally-friendly compositions, creating musical settings to support, surround and interact with the writings and vocal performances of spoken word artist Chuck Britt.  For this event they are joined by a third major collaborator and in percussionist David Crigger.

    Over the years, Transvalue has grown into a sort of repertory company of West Coast experimental jazz artists with the instrumentation and personnel varying with the needs of the material. Beyond Michael and Chuck, one mainstay of this repertory company has been drummer/percussionist, David Crigger, whose role as recording engineer/mixer has grown beyond mere capturing of performances, but the editing, shaping and extending those performances to match Transvalue’s current vision of itself.

    Other player’s having performed on all three Transvalue recordings include bassist, Domenic Genova; multi-woodwindist, Vinny Golia; trumpeter, Lou Gonzales; and keyboardist, Warren Hartman.

    Transvalue’s latest recording, “Book III” also features Glenn Horiuchi on piano; Jay Hutson and Bill Plake on woodwinds; Mark Underwood on trumpet; George McMullen on trombone; Bill Roper on Tuba; Melanie Cracchiolo and Chuck Sabitino on lead vocals; plus many other guests.

    Chuck Britt, Vocals/Poems/Verbal Expressions observes and invites us into his American life. From his loving but disturbed and too intense fifties family, through the polluted, war and riot torn, deteriorating sixties, the inflated, over watered desert of Los Angeles and the world of performance art and jazz in the seventies and eighties, through his visions of redemption in death and unlikely family healing over the last twenty years in the Northwest, Chuck growls, hisses, warbles and dances his vision. We can come or not… but it is clear that he will go on relentlessly.

    Michael Vlatkovich, Trombone/Compostions, called by JAZZIZ magazine, “…one of the most extraordinary improvising trombonists in this country as well as overseas… a daring and emotionally charged performer… takes delight in blending a broad variety of jazz and world music styles into his own brand of engaging and unpredictable music and manages to express a raw power and beauty within a minimally structured format that allows extensive group improvisations to lead the way.”

    William Roper, Tuba, has recorded with the rock bands: Thelonious Monster, The Fibonaccis and The Other Woman; poets: Jimmy Townes and Mark Weber; avant ensemble: Motor Totemist Guild; the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Parachute Express; as well as The Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, American Jazz Institute and Los Angeles Jazz Institute ensembles, the Orchestre Surreal, The Luckman Jazz Orchestra under James Newton, Bobby Bradford, Anthony Braxton, John Carter, Jimmy Cleveland, Billy Higgins, Yusef Lateef, Wadada Leo Smith, and Horace Tapscott.

    Vinny Golia, Woodwinds, has presented his music to concert audiences in Europe, Canada, Mexico, Japan and the US; won numerous awards as a composer, including grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, The California Arts Council, and the American Composers Forum; won LA Weekly’s “Best Jazz Musician” Award in 1999; ranked 1st in the Cadence Magazine Writers & Readers Poll in 1998; continually places in the Downbeat Critic’s Poll for Baritone Saxophone; . Jazziz Magazine named him as one of the 100 people who have influenced the course of Jazz in our Century.

    David Crigger, Drums/Percussion/Additional Keyboards/Programming & Sound Manipulation …joined the Don Ellis Orchestra at age 18 and has since recorded and performed with Elvis Costello, Klaus Doldinger’s Passport, Burt Bacharach, Brian Auger, Free Flight, Willie Bobo, as well as the big bands of Ralph Carmichael, Joe Roccisano and Bruce Lofgren; written for numerous magazines on music technology; engineered/produced CD’s for Jeanette Wrate, Bruce Lofgren Jazz Orchestra, Bill Plake and others.

    Domenic Genova, Acoustic & Electric Bass is a mainstay of the Los Angeles music scene; has played/recorded with Seals & Croft, Tori Amos, Michelle Shocked, Olivia Newton-John, 5th Dimension, Melissa Manchester, Jeff Richman, and Thom Rotella”. His Film and T.V. credits include Home Improvement, Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Roseanne, Happy Days, Little Mermaid, Married to the Mob, Naked Gun 3.5, Bye Bye Love, Leap of Faith, and Rookie of the Year.

    Wayne Peet, Keyboards, moved to Los Angeles in 1978 to play with John Rapson. He played with Alex Cline, Nels Cline, Vinny Golia, and Steuart Liebig in the 1980s, and recorded for Golia’s Nine Winds label. Peet has composed extensively for film and television, and also does production and engineering for Nine Winds, pfMentum, Blue Note, Enja, Atavistic, Little Brother, SST and other labels. He wrote arrangements for Brian Setzer from 1992-94, played with Bobby Bradford in 2000 and engineered the first Leviathan Brothers EP in 2005.

    Steve Shoffner is an artist and designer who received his  Masters of Fine Arts from Claremont Graduate University in 2003 with an emphasis in photography and digital media. Steve creates art in the studio as well as collaboratively with The League of Imaginary Scientists, a group of artists and scientists who engineer hybrid art works in the cross-section of their fields. The League’s projects span the globe with their current endeavor taking them to Ireland to study the Mars Rovers’ findings on Mars and learn more about Ireland’s changing climate. His solo Looking Glass series are interactive installations that combine performance and video to create illusions that manipulate the perceptions and expectations of his audience. His work, inspired by the everyday’s peculiarities that are often overlooked, reenacts humorous scenarios where technology leaves viewers bewildered and disconnected. Steve exhibits his projects in public domains as well as traditional galleries, such as Track 16 Gallery in Santa Monica, The Armory in Pasadena, The Torrance Art Museum, Union College in New York and the Casula Powerhouse in outside Sydney, Australia. His most recent project titled Cloud 29, a video existing on a unique arrangement of fifty-eight 46-inch screens placed end to end, will be unveiled at Los Angeles International Airport in the summer of 2010.

    About NewTown

    NewTown strives to make people aware that contemporary art forms are innovative, accessible, enjoyable and important parts of society’s fabric. NewTown often defines itself as “a laboratory for innovative presentational formats.” The goals of these formats are to bring new audiences to today’s cutting-edge art, while providing artists with new and challenges contexts in which to make new art. NewTown has brought new art works and new art forms to an estimated 171,000 people, many of whom had never encountered “experimental” art, with many of the events free and in public spaces; been a leading advocate for small, grassroots arts organizations; and maintained minimal administrative costs, so over 85% of all memberships, grants and ticket sales go directly to artists and event production.


    About L.A. Filmforum

    Filmforum was incorporated in 1975 to promote a greater understanding of film as an art form and the filmmaker as an artist by providing a forum for independently produced, experimental films, which have little opportunity of reaching the general public through normal channels of commercial distribution. Presenting approximately 45 screenings annually, Filmforum is currently the only venue in Southern California dedicated exclusively to the ongoing, non-commercial exhibition of independent, experimental, and progressive cinema.

    Filmforum facilitates cross-cultural dialogue by collaborating with other arts organizations to bring alternative media into traditionally underserved communities and to bring work from those communities to its regular venue. This geographically-diverse, multi-site programming also encourages shared audiences among arts organizations.

    Filmforum encourages the production of diverse independent media art. Through its eclectic series of in-person screenings and workshops, Filmforum provides the inspiration, models, and information necessary for the production and distribution of new work by local and emerging artists. Filmforum champions the dual imperatives of aesthetic and cultural diversity as necessary components for 1) enriching the art form and 2) assuring inclusive, democratic participation in social discourse.

    Filmforum provides valuable exposure for local artists. Its First Sight Scene series features new work by artists in the formative stages of their careers, in a format highlighting new ideas and aesthetics emerging in our evolving city. Retrospectives of work by major figures in the history of alternative media are complimented by thematically-based programs combing works of all generations.


    About Cinefamily

    The Cinefamily is an organization of movie lovers devoted to finding and presenting interesting and unusual programs of exceptional, distinctive, weird and wonderful films. The Cinefamily’s goal is to foster a spirit of community and a sense of discovery, while reinvigorating the movie-going experience. Like campfires, sporting events and church services, we believe that movies work best as social experiences. They are more meaningful, funnier and scarier when shared with others. Our home is the Silent Movie Theatre, one of Hollywood’s most beloved and beautiful cultural landmarks. There, The Cinefamily will provide a destination spot for Los Angelenos and others to rediscover the pleasures of cinema.

    Built in 1942 by John and Dorothy Hampton, The Silent Movie Theatre ran for decades as the only fully functioning silent movie theatre in the country. It has been fully restored to its original, vintage 1940s art deco design, along with a brand new screen and sound system, to help a new generation enjoy the pleasures of cinema in a beautiful theater.


Candles Upon Leaves
(For Connie)

Civilization appeared tens of thousands of years ago
Beside this sea

Born of a Spinning Spider
Upon this Turtle
Upon this Rock
Out of the Lips of this Canyon

My people have no history
Just a few lives spent
Arguing religion
Here yet

We try to know them
With our science
With our great wisdom of

Always with reductions
We say we study life
Forgetting to stop bringing death

I know this dancing girl
Her body a religion
Kicks with her ancient toe
Some dust into this river

The people watch
As if it turns to smoke
In the twirling current
Or candles upon leaves

Floating to the sea

CHECK OUT: http://www.newtownarts.org/shows/10_blast_phemy_5/index.php

to get the full story on the May 26, 2010 performance at

Cinefamily in Hollywood or see the next posting below, NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS.

Which poems will they perform?  Who will be in the band?

What will the background video be like?

Can I get a TRANSVALUE  hat or a TRANSVALUE shirt?

Email TRANSVALUE at: chuck@transvaluepress.com

John Leist, 2003

John Leist
(For Aaron David Britt)

And so it was
In the year 1969

No myth came out of pre-history
No legend came from oral history
No recorded history of these momentous events
No platinum hero emerged or chaste heroine
It was more than a football riot
But don’t try Google

There was an occupying army
There were attacks
There were counter attacks
There were sharpshooters on the rooftops
There was tear gas
There was intrigue
There were lovers
There was a Komarovsky
There was the knife
There was the daring flight
There was hiding

John was our rescuer
Tutti was his rescuer
He the mad doctor at the piano
She the passionate librarian
Who knew how to love through the decades
Making a music
That taught how music was made

For a time
After the rescue
We students made some music

It was you

photo credit

!!! NEWS !!!


— LIVE —

MAY 26, 2010 @ 8:00pm
Also live film scores by Lucky Dragons
Co-presented by

NewTown ARTS
L.A. Filmforum

Tickets – $13



View Map

Anima / Benediction
(10-14-48 / 10-14-81)

Oh God
Nurture me
That I may not love what I was given
That I may not hate myself
That I may destroy with less inadvertence
That I may create with less inadvertence
That I may love what I was given
That I may mother the resurrection

© 2013 POET'S MOUTH Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha