Frankly Speaking #1

I am proud of this issue. It is what I had hoped TC(r) would become ... a magazine by and for black sheep. Karen's poem Black Sheep describes what I mean by black sheep. Whenever I read or hear this poem, I cry. That is corny. But being corny is one of the major secret weapons in the cherotic revolution. Corny is being human. Black Sheep is from Karen's book Shock Treatment, published by City Lights Books who let us reprint the poem here. Karen is usually thought of as a female Lenny Bruce-like chocolate-smeared nude performance artist keeping me company on Jesse Helms' shit list. But I think her real significance is as a poet in the tradition of Ginsberg's Howl ... howling for a human, humane world.

I feel like a host introducing my great friends to one another. Guess that is one of the perks of being the editor of a reality subversive magazine. Let me continue to take you around.

If you have seen the first TC(r) or have seen the chero posters, you know LaBash's drawings. If you have come to our performances, you know LaBash as Michael (or, better yet, as Mikee), the curly look-alike, a jolly master who farts and laughs his way through life. His drawing-poems give TC(r) its unique look.

He, Linda, Kyle, Luna and I are the collective editorial we that I sometimes refer to.

I first performed with Jesse and Jack with his wife Adelle, along with the wacky performance/poetry band the Outpatients, when I was locked out of The Lab, a Bay Area gallery which had booked me but then backed out on its commitment. We performed on the sidewalk in front of the locked gallery for two nights. That was about three years ago. Since then, we have performed together numerous times within the poetry community, which is in general more experimental, accepting, and open than the art scene ... Maybe because in poetry the possibility, and hence the pressure, of money, fame, fashion, and even of an audience/readership is slim.

Jack is a driving force in the Bay Area poetry scene, having a poetry show on KPFA and editing Poetry USA. I was going to try to describe Jack's art. But I have decided to put my poem about Jack in this issue. That saves me that impossible job. By the way Master James in Jack's poem is the gay (in many more ways than sexual) poet/filmmaker James Broughton who is making love to life in his post-75-year old era. Jack has booked the Chero Company at many poetry events. A part of our function at these events, some of which were very high class, was to call forth a magical context for the event by sitting nude in the audience. One time Jack booked us for a poetry reading at a cafe which informed Jack there could be no nudity during the reading ..... So there was not ... But there was plenty of nudity before and after. This reading event is the subject of Jesse's poem. Jesse is another of those sexy beings beyond age. She is a blues singer, a composer, a writer, a performer, etc.

In fact, we have quite a number of cult figures represented in this issue. Noni is a commanding figure in both the poetry world and the sexual underground. Brenda is the publisher of Eidos, the militant sex paper. Tracy and Diviana make up a revolutionary artistic couple. Eric is one of the nation's best photographers ... and a sweet guy.

And Will of the Wisp just sent the cartoons by the mail. But they speak for themselves.

This issue may look like a poetry issue. In a way, I hope every issue will be a poetry issue even when there will be nothing in that certain issue which looks or sounds like poetry. I hope this because poetry at the heart is an alchemical language reaching out of the normal reality into the super-normal nonlinear reality in which the Cherotic Revolution, both the magazine and the movement, exists. But we will never do theme issues such as poetry, gay, sex, women, etc. This is because the theme format is a great way for editors and galleries (etc.) to keep control of content, style, point of view, and the accessibility of the communication channels they manage. The theme concept also fragments both people and dialogue into labeled bits that can be shuffled in and out of fashion time. TC(r) will follow the magic wherever it nonlinearly goes. We will print what we like, what interests us ... But we probably will often print what we do not like, are not interested in. So you will never be sure why we print, or do not print, something. But you can rest assured it is not because you are in a framed group.

While we are at it, we can outline our frame of communications. I want to hear from you. My address is throughout this mag. I can not promise to personally write back ... but I may. But I may print all or parts of what is sent to me in TC(r) unless requested not to. We reserve the right to edit unsolicited material. But we will not edit solicited works.

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Last modified July 7, 1997