World Heavyweight Poet Bout
I was something between a senior and a grad student in college, finishing up my practicuum in Applied Physics. I had very little money, just having moved to New Mexico with basically whatever I had from Graduation in my pocket. My Volvo had blown out its fuel pump just as I had arrived in the town where I was to live. I had spent my last getting an apartmentand had little enough left for food.
So I was walking everywhere. One day I looked down and on the ground there was ae flyer for a World Heavyweight Poet Bout in Taos, NM. 120 miles. So I decided to walk, and see where I would quit. I thought, if I go 40 miles, hey I can turn around if I get tired. I knew I could walk out to the edge of the mesa (10 miles) then down the canyon. Fortunately I caught a ride down the canyon to the base of the mesa and just outside of Pojuaque I started walking through the high desert. The walk took about a day (go there at about 3 am or so). I fell asleep in a field. I remember seeing a bookstore with a sign that said Taos - "Time enough. Space enough". I remember the grocery store where I got stuff for sandwiches. The muzak was IGY by Steely Dan. It stuck in my head. found a porn movie catalog thrown by the side of the road , on the way. that didn't stick in my head. but I sure as hell put it in my pocket
Nightfall, I got in free through the side door that opened up to the graveyard where Kit Carson was buried. I sat there half in and out of the auditorium. My food was stashed near the graveyard.
A Poet Bout is sort of like an open mike competition. The audience determines who wins. The two that were in either corner were named Carlos, and Anne. I think Carlos was an ex post office employee. He mopped the floor up with Anne that night. I remember girls dressed up as referees that , between rounds, would walk out and hold a tray and then spin the tray around and it would say "round six" or maybe it was written on some part of their body or something like that. It was always neat to see what they would do next. They went I think, 10 rounds. It could have been a knockout in the third with Carlo's work about a place in China. He won by a decision in the 10th.
I was reading the Silmarillion last night + it dawned on me that , in the first age - Tolkien was setting up his battles between the elementals (Maiar, Ainur) much like these contests. The template may have been drawn from literary society's contest amongst its members. The audience transposes, I think, in Tolkien's case to a natural world response. So Morgoth's up and he throws a really mean uppercut blank verse and you might hear about dark clouds, blood of valinor flowing, sea ice gnawing away. (see p. 205 I think, battle between Feanor and Sauron)
There are more intense readings of how all this came to be. But it probably won't be as fun. I think a first age without poetry is about as viable as , the film "Oh God" without George Burns. And I do mean, just George Burns.
I used to RP, when I was a kid growing up in Florida, elves. Because they loved to play practical jokes. One thing I thought was really neat were those bumper stickers that said "I (heart) my dog". I once got these circular, white adhesive backed stickers of screws... and .... then put the sticker right over the...
heart! lol. They'll drive around for days not knowing it.