UP BEAR CREEK
Shrooms! Shrooms! Shrooms!
by Art Goodtimes
Aug 19, 2010 | 1511 views | 2 2 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
<b>MUSHFEST COMING … Okay, I’m not above shamelessly touting the Telluride Mushroom Festival’s 30th anniversary next week – celebrating all things fungal and entheogenic. I’m often quite bad at sales, but when it comes to selling non-profits, it’s pull out all the stops. And yes, by way of disclaimer, for twentysomething years I’ve been the event’s parademeister, poet-in-residence and operations manager. For many years working for Fungophile, Inc. of Denver and now for our own local Telluride Institute ….Shameless because there’s no shame in this year’s crop of shrooms in the mountains, out hustling on almost every hillside ... And even less shame in this year’s honored festival guests – Paul Stamets (of Bioneers’ fame), the nation’s researcher/expert on the Psilocybe spp, talking about his work using mushrooms to clean up oil spills, detoxify nerve gas, and (oh, yes) save the world! … And Gary Lincoff, one of the country’s leading mycologists and author of the Audubon Field Guide to Mushrooms as well as his fast-selling newest book, which I reviewed in this column last week (The Complete Mushroom Hunter) … Lectures, performances, forays, workshops & our legendary parade. Check it all out on-line at www.shroomfest.com or on Facebook at the Telluride Mushroom Festival.


HELP NEEDED … Anyone with a home to share with an out-of-town mycophile (shroom-lover) mushfest staff member in exchange for tickets, or offering a ride into T-ride Aug. 25/26 (or out Aug. 29/30), get a hold of me at Mushroom Central (until Aug. 25th – 970.327.4767


POSTCARD FROM CROW … We met 44 years ago – a lanky fun-loving farm kid from rural Minnesota and yours truly in my pre-hippie failed priest & short hair adolescence. Whooped it up together in training at a lakeside resort deep in the Ironton Range of Northern Wisconsin as Volunteers In Service To America – doing what Kennedy had exhorted us to, doing something for our country. We got paid beans, and had to figure it all out on our own – often getting thrown into the backwash of rural America straight from the economic engines of our cities. Vista, they called it back then. The domestic Peace Corps … In Wisconsin, Loren Francis Anthony Bellrichard and I dreamed of buying an island we saw advertised for sale in a nearby lake (beaucoup cheap back then) and then living our image of the American Dream – like Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn … Sent to neighboring Eastern Montana reservations for our year of service, we hooked up mid-term for an epic cross-country Neil Cassady jaunt replete with lawlessness, romance and amazing grace …He took on the name “Crow.” I changed mine from Failed Priest to Goodtimes. He came to live with me (in San Francisco and Norwood – where one shed is still named the “Crow’s Nest”). A couple times I visited him and his dear mom Ethel (who turned 97 earlier this summer!) out in Austin, Minnesota – once catching Crow in his run for county commissioner consisting mainly of pitching a tipi and scattered photographs in the center of the Austin County Fair … We’ve had many adventures over the years, our lives weaving in and out of this four decades of sometimes intelligent design. I send packets. He sends postcards … His latest read, “These days I’m just tickled to be living in the country-side, very near (1/3 of a mile) where I grew up on a family dairy farm.” That’s a lost kind of laughter, the joy of living in one place for a long long time. Bless Crow for reminding us that place matters. All places.


POETS OF THE AMERICAN WEST … Lowell Jaeger of Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell, Montana, has assembled a collection of poet practitioners in some eleven western states. It’s a strong selection, though by no means comprehensive. As old Walt knew, this land is too big an embrace for one bound book, even if it weighs in at over 500 pages … Lots of big names, and many familiar ones to me. Most will be new to readers for whom poetry is a backwater art … I was pleased my “Skinning the Elk” poem made Lowell’s cut – a story from my first real job in Telluride, working for George Greenbank as a laborer on a construction job … I hope to introduce some poet voices from the book’s eleven states to Up Bear Creek readers over the next year or so.


THE TALKING GOURD


Luna


On the porch the big dog thumps

when the moon slides up

phantom twin cedars.


A line from my notebook, twenty-five years old,

floats off parched summer trails—

“rises a lady with a candle in her hand.”


Memory rushes from the litter

with just one pup bloody and squirming

in her cupped gloved hands.


I saw the birth of fog

out beyond the argument of garbage

and property.


A wave along the tops of poplar,

cottonwood went silver

as the moon breathed the shape of a lake,


tears in its sheer fabric

wafting upward

in slightest evening breezes.


Past midnight, the fog

draped over a willow

smeared the bedroom window,


hung from bird pecked barn rafters,

and veiled all but the eyes of

the moon.


She shall not be gazed upon

by all men. She is the bride

of one master,


not one of us.

A voice, keening

“oo-la-loo” through the fog.



-Michael Daley

Mt. Vernon, WA

Comments
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uh huh...
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August 25, 2010
That's why you leave a few instead of taking them all man. I like to eat the mushrooms and I'm white, maybe you're on to something.
leafanover
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August 25, 2010
Mushrooms are the progeny of busy little colonies. There is great effort expended in their production. Yet Americans kill them with little regard for their importance. I do not see anything other than White People killing them. They should be protected and admired. Why? Why? Why? How will the mushrooms survive if we take all of their seeds?