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Global Voices Radio Spoken Word Lab American Sentences
American Sentences
Organic Poetry

SPLAB! Co-Founders Danika Dinsmore & Paul Nelson in SPLAB!
at 14 S. Division, Auburn, WA, before it opened, in December 1996

Dear Danika


itís not 3:15 but

I am @ SPLAB!

taking out the last

framed picture

Zappa shitting



††††††††††††††† it did when nothing

††††††††††††††† was in here

††††††††††††††† in that newspaper

††††††††††††††† picture except I am

††††††††††††††† not praying to your

††††††††††††††† ghostly vision


Iím talking



Dear Danika


Iím on green tea

again & it doesnít

make my butt itch

like a motherfucker




But I stare @ the AIM

poster & watch a video

of Sam Kinison††& take

books†††† books†††† books

††††††† books††††† books

††††††††††††††††††† &

††††† look @ all the

†††††††† Traffic

†††††††††† donít jump!



Dear Danika


Itís not 3:15 yet

though my watch says

3:17†††† eternally


until I get

††††††††† a new

††††††††† ††††††††battery




†††† SKIESbecause

††††††††††††††††††††††† of the late

†††††††† Black Sparrow

that & Lorca Variations

†† & one blue Loba.



Dear Danika††††††††† hello


Itís not 3:17 on my watch

still & SPLAB! is dead.

I didnít know Ted

Berrigan when I met you

& still donít


because heís dead

††††††††††††† like SPLAB!

†††††††††††††††††††††††† except


††† alive in your mind

†††††††††††††††††††† & mine

& night remains

††† black†† & now my watch

wonít even glo in the dark.



Dear Danika†††††††††


††††††††††††††† It is not 3:15

or 3:17


as my watch says.

Itís after midnight

& streetlightís streaming

through bare windows

just like in that first

newspaper photo.

Joanne told me to light

incense when I left

SPLAB! & thereís enough

patchouli going to sustain

†††††††††† a city of hippies.





††††††††††††††† Itís after midnight

†† & back @ SPLAB!

†† after recycling on

†† bike. You never


told me poetry doesnít

pay.†† Iím sweeping

one last tack

into a pile of dust

someday may be a

a star again looking

over you & Ken

†† in Canada.††† Youíll

recognize it†††† because

it has facial hair



Dear Danika†††††††††


††††††††††††††† reminiscent of Frank Zappa.

This poem all into

bits & Iím not even

trying.†† Must be


the sleep deprivation

or the marijuana cookie

memory of a marathon

years ago.††† Rachael thought

it was a brain tumor

but it was not


a premonition.††† Slaughter

†† has never been

††††† so quiet.



Dear ddd


††††††††††††††† Iím @ SPLAB!

after midnight out

of the cold & lonesome



air†††† through bare windows

in here must look

like an arson.It

would not be the first


in this town†† where

the going gets tough

except your mind & mine

where one day we may

escape Slaughter.





††††††††††††††† The candle

on the now bare altar

reflects shadows on

the pillar you & Rachael

painted attempted flowers

like us all

as if it were the last

candle††† & it is

here†††† after midnight

at the end of Fall

I can almost hear the

planet tilting back

& its odor

††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† definitely patchouli.


Dear D


††††††††††††††† di Prima†† is not calmly

reading Rant on this

†††††† old stage no one

†††† wants.†† Nor Michael

†† Ethelbert††† Victor†† (not

your cat)††† Eileen†† Wanda

Ed†††††† Jerome††††† Anne

Andrew††††††††† Joanne

no.††† Nor are Beaver Chief

or the ghosts


who once lived here

before I did

& before the crack

in the clouds

announced all this.



dear Danika


††††††††††††††† I know your name


is not Dakina

††††† but sometimes†† in the dark

I spell it that way not

like Amiri Baraka


on the poster

over the door

Ron Whitehead sent


& I can see myself

†††††† seemingly

in prayer on the floor

where a rug later went

on which wax dripped

†††††† remember?



dear danika


††††††††††††††† the air is so thick

w/ smoke

††††††††††† I canít see my

watch†††† but I left

it home anyway†† Ďcuz

it says 3:17all the time


2 minutes late

for an August morning

when the trees are not

bare & memories ainít

all aiming for my head

@ once††† and my pen

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† too slow.


dear Danika


††††††††††††††† Intergenerational Dick

††††††††††††† (Wicked Dick)†† Brugger

††††† & what was in the

†††††††††††††† SlaughterTeen

†††††††††† SlamWater&

Anne & Andrew six days

after Allen died†† & so

many corpses†† piles in

files now†††† all files

now††††† but no speakers

no beds††† no books

†† not even one last

††††††† bag of green tea

†††† nor mountain huckleberry

nor one last sleeping






††††††††††††††† the last of the patchouli

incense is leaving long

stringy trails†† of ash

connected††† like sausages

only smaller††† thinner


(meat always finds a way

††† in)

†††††††† & who were the spirits

†† who protected this place &

why didnít we also

ask them for



Dear Danika


††††††††††††††† Iím going home now.

Thereís only paint cans

old radio equipment

blue foam

a creaking ceiling

some lumber

chairs Iím taking

incense smoke

a loud heater

& one dream

must be left

to die


& little piles

of very old

dog hair.†† Dear Danika

itís not 3:15. Iíll turn the heat down

& leave a candle burning.

Email footnote from Jan 6, '07

----- Original Message ----
From: danika dinsmore
Sent: Saturday, January 6, 2007 7:02:34 AM
Subject: poem

hey paul, thanks for the poem on yr global voices site. dear danika. i was touched and it brought back a lot of memories. mostly good. :-) i think in a time of great emotional upheaval (divorce, saturn return, soul searching, arthritis, etc) splab was a grounding force for me. probably more than i even realized at the time. we did good things there and it will be remembered fondly by many, many people.



You are very kind to reach out. Glad you liked the poem. I thought I had channeled some pretty good energy that night I was cleaning out 14 S.Division. I agree with your assessment and it would not have happened without your vision and commitment.

Best Wishes for continued Success, Health, Happiness and Prosperity in 2007 for you & Ken.


Paul E. Nelson

On 06/01/07, Paul Nelson wrote:

Hey, can I put this email as a footnote to the poem??

Paul ----- Original Message ----
From: danika dinsmore
To: Paul Nelson
Sent: Saturday, January 6, 2007 9:53:49 AM
Subject: Re: poem

sure thing, if you'd like. i'm with Ken in London at the moment. fly back to Vancouver on Tuesday.

As i was reading the poem, i could visualize you taking down everything we had put up, established, painted, etc. everything from the curtains to the book rack to the posters and candles, the stage and that rug! it must have been quite the emotional task to do so. i remember shopping with you and Rachel at the thrift store and finding those great couches and that barber chair. and the first time Beaver Chief stepped in to do a clensing for us how he took up the whole room... wow!


Paul E. Nelson

London, eh? Wow. I was there for the first time November 2005.

Yeah, the mind-picture you had is right. It was the Winter Solstice 2004, as I had moved most of the stuff to the new studios, which I no longer have. All of Global Voices Radio is in my house now. Yes, emotional. A good thing we did, I suspect changed both of our lives for the better. Also, I think with projects like these, it will grow in its mythical potency/dimension, because we were WAY ahead of the time, not just for Auburn, but the radio shows, the work with teens, workshops, the folks we brought in. All pretty remarkable. I'd still be doing it if I could make a living at it.

I am in Chicago. Got here Xmaseve and leave Wednesday. Pop is doing a little better with the acupuncture, but is VERY stubborn. A good lesson in unconditional love dealing with him.

Love to you & Ken.