Alibi V.27 No.15 • April 12-18, 2018 

Letters

C’est N’est Pas une Pistolet

Dear Editor,

I was appalled at the uncalled for, senseless, shocking and utterly inappropriate menacing display of a very real-appearing large black pistol by an actor during his performance of a poem at the April 1 SOMOS (Society of the Muse of the Southwest) event in the Taos Arts Center.

This actor ran about the audience waving his "fake" firearm in audience members’ faces. There was no warning given. The "fake" firearm display and audience-menacing was all recorded on cell phone video by an audience member. No one in authority at this event had the presence of mind to halt the performance and re-direct this wayward "actor," alas. Fortunately no one was hurt physically, though there was shock and distress among at least some audience members.

The SOMOS event curator and the SOMOS executive director have since stated to me that the pistol was a "prop" and this display was unrehearsed and unexpected, but they also state that the actor who waved the "prop" firearm intended it for theatrical effect "to illustrate a poem about a sea captain high on drugs who threatened his crew." This seems an odd choice of a poem subject in our current gun-violence climate; but even given that choice, why must a poem be "illustrated" so literally in a crowded performance hall. If the poem were about fire, would the actor have set the building on fire to "illustrate" his chosen text? I am puzzled by this explanation. Even in the context of April Fools’ Day, this was outrageous, insensitive and unacceptable. It should never be repeated at any public performance, in jest, or otherwise.

I myself have lost a most dear family member to hostile gunfire, and I myself have also in years past been personally menaced by gun-wielding criminals. I see this as no joke. I also have long experience hosting and performing in poetry and theater events. I am a dues-paying SOMOS member as well as the curator and host of a Poetry and Prose performance series in Angel Fire. I hosted poetry performance series in Albuquerque for many years including the long-running Resolana series at South Broadway Cultural Center. We never pointed guns at the audience at these performances, even when the recitations touched on gun related subjects. This seems like stating the obvious, but the following needs to be said, nonetheless: Guns—even fake, “toy,” starter or unloaded guns—and poetry performances do not mix. Any discussion on this? For the record, there are to be no guns displayed, even in jest, at any literary events which I curate and sponsor. Period. And I intend not to attend any events where guns are flashed about in a foolish manner, nor to support any literary or theatrical organizations which encourage or even permit such dangerous and irresponsible public behavior. I look forward, as a SOMOS member, to some public statement on this matter from the Board of Society of the Muse of the Southwest of Taos.

Bill Nevens,

Albuquerque

Only Ballots Can Stop Bullets

Dear Alibi readers,

(A poem inspired by the March For Our Lives Movement)

Arming teachers? Giving schools drones?
Measures so dubious, amendments overblown!
Individual “freedoms” preserved even if wrong.
Toddlers, teenagers, teachers. Their lives forever gone…!

Newspapers plastered with dead students’ pictures.
Corrupt politicians keep quoting Holy Scriptures
People in power, supposedly the “winners”
NRA owns them, they are all hypocrite sinners.

Millions and millions of guns in circulation
Any small conflict escalates to confrontation
Small little “fires” turn to conflagrations
Firepower evil. Impossible situations.

More guns in the community,
An increase in homicides.
Pimps, guns, drugs, and more robberies
Who can stop these deadly crimes?

Schools so cold in winter.
Teachers should be packing heat?
There is no money for art programs
Yet more problems come via “tweets”..

“Never again” chanted all Washington
“Enough is Enough” we all could hear
“Let’s end gun violence” said McCartney
“My best friend was killed ‘round here”

“You can’t fix stupid,” they were saying
“You will need to vote it out!”
Only ballots can stop bullets
We will win without a doubt.

Federico Beckman,

Teacher

East San Jose Elementary School

Trump Tax Records

Dear Alibi,

The President’s actions that roil the stock markets make it more important than ever that his tax and current financial records be made public. He has said his tax records are of no interest to the public, only to the media. If that is true why doesn’t he let the public decide? There are enough persons in the nation who are anxious about his erratic behavior and even question his moral and ethical standards. His recent bunker mentality with his firings of those who don’t demonstrate enough adulation and sycophantic behavior do not inspire confidence in the markets or thoughtful persons. It’s important that Congress admit that his recent actions make it more important than ever that his and his family’s tax and current financial records be made public. His ability to time and excite market excursions for Trump family benefit is too plausible to ignore.

Ted Truske,

Albuquerque
Letters should be sent with the writer’s name, address and daytime phone number via email to letters@alibi.com. They can also be faxed to (505) 256-9651. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may be published in any medium; we regret that owing to the volume of correspondence we cannot reply to every letter. Word count limit for letters is 300 words.