Training Secret Agents

July, 2015

What a month of poetry! The BAFS Poetry Camp once again did its job, inspiring poets to step outside their comfort zones and try some new techniques. Unlike the dying JKS SWP, we had mostly clear weather from mostly clear karma; which meant classes were held out in the grove so the mosquitoes & vampire flies could participate. The underground printing collective known as Toast provided flyers, prank stickers, & even BAFS notebooks for the use of the Campers. Boulder Poetry Tribe went above & beyond in the promotion of the Skool, hollering interviews, overviews, and underviews into the blogosphere. The Love Shovel crew made dinners & campfires, cleaned up, and bucket-flushed the toilet secretly behind the scenes while poets undulated near naked to the beguiling voices of theater clowns, strobe-lit punk madness w/ Black Market Translation, and the sound of their own hearts MeToo-ing into the nights. For the first time in the known history of LSR the hawks decided to nest here, and spent much time watching & listening to the curious antics below.
Given that the social format we employ is the Temporary Autonomous Zone, an Anarchist construct, the weeks went fairly smoothly. Certain there were conflicts of interest & love, but these roadbumps were fairly easily managed. The TAZ is an exercise in Responsibility & Community; we have all probably seen a TAZ that lacked some responsibility (many of use have lived in them) and the problems that occur thereby. As far as I know, there was only some minor pilfering of food & trinkets, some destructions that were irrelevant to everyone except Mr. If, and a rowdy dog were the worst we had to deal with in the way of social discord. Of course the County showed up due to neighbor complaints, but they were satisfied by a saint’s soothing mantra: “This is a Skool.” Instead of these lesser disruptions being the focus, our temporary community devoted its time to processing a variety of new ideas and differing viewpoints presented by the participants in the TAZ. Forms and Verse Libre seemed to get along adequately so perhaps our greatest challenge was the mingling of Monogamists and Polygamists, but I think they found their way through the tall grass w/out too many welts.
The point of the BAFS Poetry Camp is to advance the understanding of poetry and other cutting edge arts as tools of Ontological Engineering, that “With our thoughts we create the world”, and that poets think loudest of all, meaning that their influence while apparently subtle can actually be a greater psychological catalyst than years in therapy. Some of the most radical thinkers on the Front Range came together at Camp and tested their own entrenched ideas against their peers. Notably, several of our Instructors also teach inside Academia, and they used the Camp to test new teaching methods & styles that they intend to bring back to Academia. And that is our victory. Through our ‘secret agents’, the influence of that temporary collective mind we shared will begin to seep into the world out front of the lilac hedge, and perhaps our ideas of “Speak the Truth”, “Truth is a Myth”, “Do More for Free”, “Reinvigorate Naughty”, and “MeToo!” will influence a few humans stuck in rote academia to cut the psychic ties that bind them to an ontology designed only to clone them. Perhaps that wave of free creativity we all rode at Camp will build to a tsunami of the true uses of the Right Brain, the magical communication it contains, and gallery walls become bare as our greatest art gets posted over the ubiquitous “No Trespassing”, “No Bare Feet”, “No Breastfeeding” signs, and become Beauty in everyday life.

BAFS Poetry Camp: The Alchemy of Poetry
May, 2015

Happy Spring, folks! As usual, it was trying times here at the Ranch this winter. Scrounging for wood to keep the pipes warm (& us), diverting the floodwaters of Spring, dealing with County mandates (someone complained about Poetry Camp last year, who’da thought?), staying gainfully employed enough to afford the new 40% tax since marijuana became legal here at the top of the nation. Then Homeland Security showed up in the mountains fighting the ‘good fight’ against anonymous currencies and the entire intellectual property of Mr. If has been held hostage since their Halloween visit, including all the research & lecture notes of the Beyond Academia Free Skool. As a house we are back to an artists-only freehold, no more drainbows or road kids at the Shovel. Love Shovel Ranch is a challenge, not a party house.
Which brings up an interesting point on why we are“artists only” residentially. As a community of historically unpaid community members, Love Shovel Ranch was started to provide some ease to artists actively engaged in their fields. The rent is cheap, but you are expected to not only participate in the ranch chores & ecstasies but also to produce, to increase your body of work. By doing so you inspire the rest of the Shovel community with your personal gravity. Go deep on that journey and you become legendary. That’s what we’re doing at Love Shovel Ranch. Training ourselves to be heroes, to lead ‘civilization’ by its culture where we’ve got them by them balls. Reprogramming society is our job.
Now Spring has hit the Rockies and Love Shovel is gearing up for summer, clearing the yard and house of debris, tuning up the motorcycles and fountain pens, fending off the moose, and scrambling to gather our efforts into the BAFS Summer Poetry Camp, which will be 7/12-20 (or more) this year. We have some returning instructors and some new scholars to engage us in our 2015 theme: The Alchemy of Poetry. Socratic Circles will be held in the afternoons in the grove at LSR and the weekend will be jam packed with panels and workshops and of course the notorious Drunken Haiku Competition. Look for continuous new content under the 2015 Camp page to see how these poets intend to stir the cauldron…

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