The Latest from the Four Hoarse Men SOund POetry Troupe

Greg Bem, Jason Conger & Joe Chiveney, poets I met through SPLAB, liked my idea of doing a cover of a Four Horsemen Sound Poem. I had seen the clip from Ron Mann’s documentary, Poetry in Motion (1981) and proposed the idea of performing it at the Breadline open mic. Joe had a Mexican vacation when we had to perform at the Puget SOUND Poetry event that Nico Vassilakis curated, also at the Vermillion Gallery and Bar, which hosts Breadline. We recruited Jeanine Walker to fill out the fourth hoarse spot and she’s stayed on with us, performing at the Ballard Poetry Festival and last Wednesday at Breadline.

To hear the latest poem by the The Four Hoarse Men sound poetry troupe, click:

There is something in this form of poetry that I find satisfying. Is it raw emotion and expression that would lie under words, but we’re cutting out the middle man. I also like the idea of doing public divination. If you listen to the mp3 at the link, you’ll see how a bit of magic came up for the 2nd querent. (The only serious one.)

We have applications in for performances around town in the next few weeks. We’d love to see you at one of them. We’re confirmed for a short performance at the Greenwood Lit Crawl on July 13, details coming soon. Thanks to Edred Thorsson for the source of the Rune sounds.

Here is one of the scores from our last performance:

About Splabman

Paul Nelson is founder of SPLAB (Seattle Poetics LAB) in Seattle, the Cascadia Poetry Festival and the August POetry POstcard Fest (PoPo). He has published a collection of essays, Organic Poetry & a serial poem re-enacting the history of Auburn, WA, A Time Before Slaughter (shortlisted for a 2010 Genius Award by The Stranger) and American Sentences, a book of 17 syllable poems drawn from the first fourteen of his 20 years of daily practice. The tenth anniversary edition of that book includes Pig War: & Other Songs of Cascadia. He’s interviewed Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Wanda Coleman, Anne Waldman, Sam Hamill, Robin Blaser, Nate Mackey, Eileen Myles, George Bowering, Diane di Prima, Brenda Hillman, George Stanley, Joanne Kyger & many Cascadia poets (see: has presented his poetry and poetics in London, Brussels, Bothell, Cumberland, BC, Qinghai and Beijing, China, Lake Forest, Illinois, Ukiah, CA, and other places & writes an American Sentence every day.
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2 Responses to The Latest from the Four Hoarse Men SOund POetry Troupe

  1. Blackbird says:

    Hi Paul,
    What a fun project!
    The Chants of the ancient shaman/magicians of the Nordic tradition related to each rune are called Galdr Songs.
    Chants for all the Runes are printed in Sirona Knight’s Little Giant Encyclopedia RUNES. ( Sterling Press)

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